So started the day off with not really wanting to start the day. So watched one of the ‘Royal Institution Christmas Lectures’ instead. It had lots of explosions, can’t beat a good bang. So that gave me a fairly fruitless idea, I was going to get Jamie aroused. I tried all the usual stuff, talking about whales, pointing out his wobbly bits and getting his nipple up like the end of a Biro, all without too much success. I then found out that the bit between the balls and the ass hole is called the ‘taint’, as in ‘ain’t the ass, ain’t the cock’. There is some confusion over this that some people think it should be called the ‘Gooch’ over some guy who apparently they couldn’t decide if he was a cock or an arsehole. Anyway I found that slapping him on the ‘taint’ and ‘mooing’ also wasn’t bringing about any kind of eroticism so I got up and picked up all the dog shit from the garden.
We then went to Cribbs, where he went into Game and bought something confusing and I went into John Lewis and bought a selection of cheese knives. Then came back and put said knifes on wall. Didn’t like the position so re drilled it and moved it again. I then spent the rest of the remainder of the afternoon balancing radiators and updating my movie blog. “Untraceable (2008)” “A perfect getaway (2009)” “Case 39 (2009)”
I think the radiators are almost finally there, need to go around and do one last check, but all seem to be heating up nicely now and I’m getting my 12 degrees between flow and return. I must turn the water heating back on soon as yes, it’s almost time for a bath.
Quite a few things to get on with tomorrow, still not overly happy with my cheese selection.
Didn’t start the day particularly early as the rain was hammering down and I wanted to take the dog out for a decent walk. In the end I ended up walking her in the rain anyway.
Came back and did a few odd bits, then went and did the shopping in Tesco’s. As we are having a small bash on New Year’s I bought a selection of party food. Well more of a horde. I think we are going to be eating party size pasties until March. I’m still not entirely happy with the cheese selection though.
Came back and made myself look pretty. Tonight I was meeting up with Martin who I hadn’t seen since the wedding and Steve Teague who I hadn’t seen in about eight years. It was only at the local Indian. Met up with Steve first, who hasn’t really changed much other than expanded somewhat. Martin arrived after a bit, he never changes, looked middle aged when he popped out of the womb. We’ve all turned in to moaning old bitter bastards. Which to be honest we always were anyway, so nothing really has changed. It was nice meeting up again and probably won’t get the opportunity again for another eight years.
Came back, we had coffee, they were mugged by the dog. I then settled down and watched some torture porn. You often think in life, ‘Would I have changed anything?’, yes I would, a hell of a lot.
We can’t suck our bellies in for much longer.
Started the day off reading Kindle books on wine making. Doesn’t seem so much as a dark art, more of a severe chemical reaction. Ordered a couple of books as it’s something I’d like to thumb through, also ordered bigger barrels to do the 30 bottle kit.
Walked the dog. She has been farting like a trooper after last nights curry. So thought she needed to run around and degas for a bit so we played with a ball in the garden for half hour. She was suitably tired and took about four shits, all of them had a certain aroma of Chicken Tikka.
I then drove to Cribbs, went in Halfords and bought a funnel then went into Maplin and got served by a real miserable shite. I then walked around the Mall thing, admired cheese boards in the John Lewis sale. Didn’t buy anything.
Came back and de-scaled the coffee machine. I then decided that now that everything has been tested and working on the heating it was indeed time to re-balance the whole lot again. I have my new gadget now so it’s just a matter of adjusting the lockshields and waiting for the temperature differential to reach 12 degrees. Which is why I’m now typing this sat on the floor in the guest bathroom. This valve is a tricky one as it’s the first one in the run, it’s currently on 9.5 degrees, I think that’s about as close as I’m going to get it.
Ended up slowing the pump down again as I still seem to be getting air into the system. So I’ve now got the radiators upstairs fairly well balanced, although the lockshields on them are almost fully closed, I thing the last one upstairs is about one turn open. But measuring the temperature across the last radiator in the circuit I’m getting back on 12 degrees and that lockshield is fully open. Across the flow / return on the boiler I’m over getting 7 degrees, I’d prefer closer to 12. Still have all the downstairs to do and recheck, but that will do for this evening. I finally turned off the heating circuit and enabled the water circuit. I’m actually getting about 14 degrees across the tank with the lower pump speed, so it’s good to see the water tank is way more efficient at dumping heat than the whole of the radiator system. Hopefully that will mean that the water heats up quickly, then of course I can have my bath….
Ok, after eventually getting up I stripped the valve down properly this time. The mechanism was all a bit bent and the micro switches were missing the blades, this was all probably down to years of heat expansion / contraction though. Nothing really wrong that a bit of plier manipulation and some WD40 didn’t sort out. So then it was on to the actual valve bit itself. It has very little movement, probably 30 degrees at best. So I attached a big adjustable to it and forced it over to the B side, which is water only, I then fired up the boiler. With my posh new differential thermocouple machine I was managing to get a temperature differential of about 20 degrees, so that all looked fine. I then moved the valve over to the A side, which is heating. This is where I thought I had a big problem as I wasn’t getting much of a differential at all, plus at times it was actually negative, so the water was hotter than the heating. I checked all the valve again, free movement, so I was thinking the valve was leaking on one side. Then I had lunch, and that visionary moment, where you think, ah yes, big tit. So what was actually happening was quite simple. On the A side of the valve is the nice very long collection of pipes doing the heating, containing many litres of water. On the B side is quite a short loop just going to the water tank. The water tank contains about 60 gallons of water at about 55 degrees. So what happens when you move the valve to the A side? Well the B side now just contains stagnant water, which is being heated in a massive heat exchanger in the water tank. So as there is no flow, the water tank will now be heating the water, not the boiler, it’s all acting in reverse. So what I did was turn off all the hot water heating on the programmer, then throughout the day I just used all the hot water as normal. Then sure enough when the heating comes on I’m now getting a 30 degree temperature drop across the valve as the B port pipe now contains nothing but cold water. So finally in conclusion, apart from the actuator being a little big old and knackered and could probably do with replacing at some point, there is actually nothing wrong with the valve at all.
Went to Tesco’s picked up food as mother was coming to dinner. Then spent the afternoon in a mixture of cleaning and wine making. I bought a kilo of Strawberries and a huge bag of sugar. Then using my new wine making stuff I proceeded to make a Strawberry fruit wine. Well I now have a bucket of fermenting something or other anyway.
About to have a shower when I decided to go outside and tell the taxi that was waiting that he should actually be at my mothers rather than my house, he read the source and destination the wrong way round. At least that company is cheap.
Jamie was finishing at 8, mother arrived just after 7. I must admit both her and the dog were very well behaved. She only came out with a few dull anecdotes. Managed to get her on a good quality red wine and she enjoyed the food. She only gets fed once a year so good she enjoyed it.
After she went Jamie decided it was then a great time to put the Sonic Meccano together. Getting stickers on the right way round after a couple of bottles of wine was an interesting challenge. Still good fun had by all.
So today started in the afternoon. Not because of any ill effects of the night before, I felt all fine and dandy, but just because we couldn’t be arsed to get up and the only thing we had planned was to go over to the mother-in-law’s anyway, and I wasn’t in a major hurry to do that. So we stayed in bed and watched the Christmas ‘Doctor Who’ episode, which wasn’t too bad this year, if a little random in places.
We did eventually get up and then pack the dog off into the car and drove, well almost sailed there was so much standing water, to Weston. The dog then proceeded to be mainly a pain in the ass for the next couple of hours. I had wine related gifts, Jamie had plenty of tat and the dog got a bone. We left after demolishing all the food.
Got home, tidied up. Red instructions for wine making kit again, looks like I have to buy lots of things and then buy more things that’s aren’t in the kit. Still, got to start somewhere. So Jamie has used all the hot water, so need to wait for that to recharge before I can have a bath. So tomorrow then it’s looking at the mid position valve and then may be some wine making. Mother is coming over for a curry in the evening, I’ve booked a car for her.
Woke up early, mainly because Jamie was snoring like a train. So stripped down part of the mid position valve at 6AM. Then went to sleep in the spare room, where I slept quite soundly until the dog discovered where I’d got to at about half eight.
So breakfast served and dog de-peed, Santa had left a stocking by my coffee machine. Went back to bed (same one as Jamie this time), unwrapped contents of stocking, mainly chocolate based. Got up, I walked the dog, together with what seemed like the rest of Bradley Stoke dog owners. Came back, Jamie had got up by now. We unwrapped presents and were vaguely nice to each other. Jamie got a PS Vita, I got a home brew kit.
Then we sorted everything out, packed the dog away and then got picked up by mother. Went over to my sisters. There’s Shaun cooked a lovely lunch as usual. My mother proceeded to tell countless anecdotes with no to them whatsoever. So was dressed in a floral flock wallpaper style dress, I’m sure I’ve eaten in a booth covered with the same material before. My sister wore a sort of brown number and looked a bit like a tubby Lara Croft. The rest of us made no effort, except Jamie did wash.
We stayed there until mid afternoon when we came back home to sort the dog out. I promptly fell asleep. Jamie then woke me ten minutes before we were being picked up again. So quick shower and then we returned. We then ate various party food and I fell asleep again. Between me and my sister I think we cleared off about eight bottles of wine. We ended up playing Pictionary, the answer to everything was of course ‘Vagina’. My mother then made a rather interesting faux pas by calling the youngest nephew a ‘faggot’, Jamie then berated her for the next half hour about it, she kept saying that ‘she didn’t mean it like that’. I just tried to explain that he wasn’t a faggot but merely a medium height potential homosexual. Anyway good night had by all. We returned, drank more lager and ate cheese and pineapple while watching Christmas TV.
So started the day off fairly early, considering I had the day off. Went to TLC and bought a new central heating programmer after working out the old one was fairly knackered. Got a rather nice Horstmann seven day one, dual channel for water and heating, all LCD, all shiny shiny. Parked up in Cotham and walked into town, it wasn’t that busy considering. Bought a new wall planner. Got back, had lunch. It’s still officially a Monday, so Chicken sandwich it was. Then walked the dog.
Then decided to crack on with replacing the programmer. So started with putting a big hole in the airing cupboard for the cable to go down. This was fine, except the original wiring centre appears to be mounted on some sort of batten and the existing wires are coming through it, so no way on earth I’m going to get behind it, so instead have to come out slightly above it and bring the cable out there, then surface mount it to the wiring centre. Anyway, got the back plate mounted and wired. Then tried to get the timer on, there was no way it wanted to fit. Removed back plate from wall, still no go. Then unwired it all, no chance. So removed all the slot connecting things, then finally it fitted. Turns out that it requires a huge amount of force to get the damn thing to close up and connect properly, so wired it all back again and gave it a big shove, now it was mounted. So back to the wiring centre, I just connected the earth, live and neutral and fired it up, all appeared to be working fine. I used six core and earth cable. Every core was black apart from the earth, but each was individually numbered on the insulation sheath which was very strange. So then removed the old programmer wiring, which ascended somewhere from the kitchen and replaced with the new one. Then removed the old programmer from the kitchen and rewired all that behind a blanking plate. All appears to be working fine, so programmed it up.
My other new gadget arrived today, which is a dual thermocouple temperature reader. This basically means you can clamp a sensor to both flow and return pipes and it will give the temperature differential. I’ve got this at the moment stuck on the A/B outlets of the mid-position valve. Even though it’s going through the internal motions I’m still not convinced it actually works at all, I’m getting very little differential between A/B when it goes through the three modes. I think I’m going to whip the mechanism off the top and check that the valve under it is going through it’s full range of movement. Certainly the spring arm seems to be shot on it.
And there we go, that was my fairly productive day. Christmas day tomorrow. It’s still a Monday though, so salad as usual. I may have a glass or two of wine though.
Started the day off somewhat slowly and watched plenty of items on iPlayer. Finally got up and had lunch. Jamie was working today. Took the dog out, she was being a pain in the ass so that was fairly short.
Came back and finally looked at the heating timer, it is indeed fucked, the heating terminal is permanently live no matter what the switch is set to. A nice job for Christmas.
Finally got round to wrapping everything up. Didn’t make a particularly good job of it, mind you I didn’t exactly put much effort into it either. So that’s all done. Did some hoovering and a little bit of cleaning ad no cleaners this week. Looked at heating timers, think I’ll go for the Horstmann one, it’s a bit more expensive but I already have a Horstmann thermostat that I have been taking house to house and that’s always worked flawlessly. So pick that up tomorrow and probably wander into town as well. No gym, as it’s closing early, tut. Bath and wine time I think.
Started this morning with Jamie trying to find something green to wear. He asked to borrow something of mine, except mine is all size small. He then squeezed into something red, to which I said “Don’t worry dear I’m sure it just shrunk in the wash”.
Watched several things on iPlayer as it was hammering down with rain. When it reduced to a drizzle I took the dog out. Then ventured into Tesco’s and did the shopping. The shop itself wasn’t too busy but the car park was fairly rammed.
Had lunch. Then decided to pick up some sand for the lizards. This is for their tanks, not some kind of play pit. So got that, then ventured into Maplin, where I bought various tat. Parked up on Whiteladies Road, paid a fortune on parking then decided it really was far too wet to be going anywhere, so bought a tin of chopped tomatoes and went back to the car. Drove to mothers, picked up my Christmas cake, and very nice it is too.
Came back, attempted to fix a toy fruit machine, failed, put said machine in bin. Did the accounts. Cried over being paid money I was owed, well didn’t cry over that bit, just the two grand of tax. What the lord give ‘uth the tax man take ‘uth away.
I’m now going to empty the dish washer, let the dog out for a piss then take a bath. Tonight once again I’m making a curry. And no it’s not bloody Turkey curry. Tomorrow I look at the heating timer, I can hardly contain the excitement.
I spent the entire day working on the new project again. It’s still interesting, but does require some proper design now after a lot of messing about. But that’s going to be a job for the new year. That’s it now for 2012 work wise.
So have a ton of projects to do over Christmas. No idea how many will get done. Will probably start with the heating and go from there.
Walked the dog. Went to the gym. That’s about it really, time to move into Christmas mode, and that as normal will start with a bath. And I need to phone my mother, I’ll turn into Scrooge then.