Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dead right about Ed!

Yes, I predicted that Ed would win back in June! True to form Labour has retreated to its 1970s comfort zone when the brothers were united in tribal solidarity against the wicked witch of the South-East, Margaret Thatcher. It all feels about as retro as flares.

Today was a day of small accomplishments. Ever since scraping the side of my car, the red Toyota Auris, against the side of our artfully-curving drive in the pre-dawn about ten days ago, I have been meaning to get it fixed. As my current contract is now basically over (one last meeting Tuesday morning) I drove down to the Wells Accident Repair Centre on the Glastonbury Road this morning to get things moving.

Despite claims to be open till midday, at 10.30 a.m. there was no-one at home and it was all locked up. The helpful mechanic from the next door garage offered that the owner (no doubt sole-proprietor, receptionist, painter and chief metal banger all-in-one) had gone off to the bank. "He owes me some money," the overall-clad one informed me in a melancholy voice.

As I was hanging around I spotted a computer repair shop opposite and on a whim decided to pop in and enquire what they could do about a cheap PC World Advent notebook wherein the fan has given up, leading to random thermal shutdown. A tiny bit embarrassing for the hotshot consultant.

"Yes," I was told. Bring it in Monday and for a small charge (as compared with buying a replacement machine) we can fix it for you. I spent some time this afternoon locking the machine down. All Windows password-remembering turned off, all data encrypted, cache files emptied. Alex, who's visiting, checked it this evening and found a Restricted document in the un-emptied recycle bin. Oops!

The other project this afternoon was to replace the non-working security light overlooking our driveway with a new one. B&Q provided a marvellous LED spotlight array with a thermal trigger and after much effort it's up and running.

I am so useless at practical things that I was unbearably pleased to get the mains lead correctly and robustly connected to the lamp. It then turned out that the now-tethered light wouldn't reach its wall attachment which I had previously drilled and screwed into place. I sat and buried my head in my hands ... and gave up.

Alex fixed the problem after a further hour of systematic work: measuring, optimising, redrilling, moving the wall-frame and then screwing the lamp to it. So now it works: phew!