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Saturday, 15 December 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 15 December 2018
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No water?
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

In the shower this morning I noticed that the water wasn't as warm as usual. Another problem with the hot water system? Made a note to look at it later.

But while we were preparing for breakfast, Yvonne told me that we didn't have any water. Check. Power OK. Pump seemed normal. And after the recent rain the tanks were full, 50 m³ of water.

Power cycled the pump. A bit of noise, but not—it seemed—as much as normal. And still no water. The bloody pump had failed! And I only bought it less than a year ago!

Called the Ballarat Pump Shop on 5339 6366 and spoke to Jeff, who, as it proved, had sold me the pump in January. Yes, they had a replacement pump for me, so into town, in more of a hurry than planned: I discovered that they shut at 12:00 on Saturdays.

Made it at 11:55, and Jeff took the pump and put it on a bench. Didn't start. Turned the rotor. Started. Ah, that's the capacitor (on the right, 8 μF, 450 VAC):


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What? On such a new device? OK, can happen. We can fix that. Armed with only a pair of combination pliers, he cut off the wires from the old capacitor and put in contacts for the new capacitor, which had contacts instead of leads. Done!

How about testing? Yes, OK. No change. Damn.

Round about here, Adam came along. He remembered me from the dog bath repair eighteen months ago. Together they puzzled over it, discovering in the process that it wasn't the control unit (good: that was from the old pump and out of warranty), and that something was funny with the pump itself.

By this time it was way past closing time, so Jeff fitted a pump for me, and off back home to install it. Why do these things always happen on weekends?

In passing, it occurs to me that I should have taken more photos. The place looks like something out of the 1960s. Over one power point, for no obvious reason, was the inscription “ADAM IS A WANKER”, and on another wall a poster for operational health and safety, obviously modified: “Don't lift heavy loads. Get some other cunt to do it”.

And the hot water? Clearly the problem with the pump caused the pressure to be lower, resulting in more cold water flow in relationship to the hot water. Do I believe that? Not really. Out to open up the distribution panel for the hot water system. Yes, the circuit breaker had tripped again! It's only been three weeks since the last time! Is that an indication that it's getting worse? Hard to say: it seems that with reasonable sunlight we don't need the electric boost, and even over the past couple of particularly dreary days, and with much use of hot water washing yesterday, the water was still acceptably hot.


Australia recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Two months ago the current Prime Minister of Australia, whom I like to call Scott is Moron, tried to win a by-election in a safe seat. He failed.

The election was necessary because the seat had been vacated by the incumbent Malcolm Turnbull, this year's first prime minister, who had been deposed by Morrison. One of the tricks that Morisson used was to claim that they would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Despite the sizeable Jewish population in the Division of Wentworth, they lost the vote. There was some reaction, though: Indonesia protested strongly and put various negotiations on hold.

Now it seems that Morrison, never one to learn from his mistakes, has recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, thus angering the Palestinians, the whole Muslim world, myself, most of the people I know, and even Israel (which lays claim to the whole of Jerusalem). From The Times of Israel:

While Australian Zionists celebrated the decision as “historic”, a recognition of only West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital may actually be detrimental to the Jewish state’s efforts to secure the international community’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the entire city.

So who benefits? The Indonesians have got up on their hind legs again and demanded that Australia recognize Palestine. That would actually make sense, but in general the reactions were sufficient for Australia to issue a travel warning (I think; I can't find anything on then DFAT web site, but that's normal enough), and others are calling for a boycott of Australian goods.

More annoyingly, though, this third attempt at a prime minister states that “Australia” recognizes West Jerusalem. As part of “Australia”, I strongly protest. The (minority) Australian government recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital, a move that even Israeli media see as self-serving:

Recognizing Jerusalem is expected to help the embattled Australian PM — who faces the prospect of an election drubbing next year — with Jewish and conservative Christian voters and win him friends in the White House.

Oh, for politicians with the interests of the country at heart!


Sunday, 16 December 2018 Dereel Images for 16 December 2018
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Garden flowers in early summer
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Middle of the month, and of the first month in summer, time for garden photos.

Gradually the garden is looking tidier, and my application of fertilizer a while back seems to have borne, if not fruit, then at least flowers. The variegate Hebes are flowering for the first time (first photo), and particularly the lilac flowering ones are doing better than ever before:

 
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Other plants that appear to have benefited from the fertilizer are the Pelargoniums and the roses:

 
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The roses look less good than a week or two ago, though; possibly it's time for another round of fertilizer.

The annuals in the beds are doing less well. Some of our pansies and petunias have died, and the others are not all as good as they should be. There were several pansies in this image, but only the ones on the right have survived (and thrived):

A number of plants are coming into flower, though a little later than last year, notably the Cannas and the Leucospermum cordifolium. Here comparisons of last year and this year:

 
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The sole Kniphofia bloom is disappearing from the bottom:

 
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There's a good reason for that: it's directly outside the dining room window, and on a couple of occasions we've seen Wattle birds sucking the nectar from the flowers. I don't think that's what nature intended: I can't imagine what's left bearing fruit.

The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis that I planted in the garden are still doing acceptably, though differently. The clone of my uncle Max's Hibiscus has recovered from the burn it got, and the leaves are looking a lot better, though it currently has no buds:

 
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On the other hand, the new one with the erectile dysfunction has many flowers, but they're smaller than usual:

 
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And indoors, the parent Uncle Max Hibiscus is showing the way with flowers at least double the diameter:

 
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Other things that aren't doing well are the Fuchsias that we bought only last month:

 
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I don't understand that.


Marianne returns
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

The current protests of the gilets jaunes in France are somehow part of French life, reminiscent of 230 years ago. Not just for me: this weekend five women appeared in a demonstration, dressed as Marianne, a symbol of the French Revolution, and with the distinctive cocarde tricolore (English cockade) of the revolution:

Some news sources just mentioned the incident, others noted that they were bare-breasted. Almost none actually showed them from the front. That would be too offensive, like this painting of Marianne (Liberty Leading the People) by Eugène Delacroix, which used to be on the French 100 F bank note:

Even the frontal photos had been retouched. Somehow people have become too politically correct.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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