Sunday, January 24, 2010

This and that

It appears that some bloggers out there seem to think that quoting from the Telegraph and adding words to the effect "me too" is worthwhile. Really, it's not. However, I do like to follow their links and seeing how many clicks it takes before you get to some half-arsed "libertarian" nonsense (answer - not many - and it's usually some guff about how "democracy is crap because after all the Germans elected Hitler didn't they?" - answer - no they didn't).

Fortunately, bits are incredibly cheap, so all this nonsense cluttering up the internets isn't really costing anybody anything. But you know, when someone can say
"When drinking was a male preserve that was kept out of sight in backstreet boozers, we never had all this anti-drink hysteria." and at the same time refer to a "wave of neo-Prohibitionist sentiment sweeping the land", I can't help wondering if they should put down the Telegraph and have a go at something a bit more fact-rich
like this:
Fascinating report about the history of temperance and it's relation to alcohol policy from the Rountree foundation

Enough about that.

We had a bit of a scare the other day. Sitting in the office having a cup of coffee while the boil was under way (we do sometimes do some actual brewing you know) a sudden loud bang made us jump up. Bangs pretty much have to be sudden and loud don't they?

Investigation (of the panicky sort) revealed that the circuit breaker on the 12kw copper heater had tripped and couldn't be reset.

We were able to complete the boil (just) on the 9kw, but I really wasn't looking forward to replacing the heater.

Next day, after I've found my little multi-meter under a pile of stuff, I unplugged the mighty heater plug and checked a few things. Everything nominal. B*ll*cks.

I dragged the copper around a bit so that I could get at the heater heads and checked the wiring. Bingo! Chafed sleeving on the earth and evidence of arcing. Smashing, put that right, threw a hundred litres of water into the copper and turned the heater on. Bang! Breaker tripped again. Double B*ll*cks.

More careful investigation of the wiring in the heater head revealed two more distinct faults (caused by vibration and heat I'd guess, along with slightly cramped wiring) and a bit of looseness as the cable passed through the gland. When I'd unplugged the thing I must have twisted the cable just enough to give me nice high resistance to earth - plugged back in we had a short. Anyway, touch of spanner and a bunch of insulating tape and we're laughing. Ah ha ha ha.


Woolpack Dave said...

Tried to read the report, but fell asleep.

Try heat shrink sleeving, it's great. Much better than insulation tape which will move in time.

StringersBeer said...

heat shrink sleeving... yes, that's what I should have used, but none in tool box.

I don't read newspapers (except a quick scan of the NW evening mail, which Becky buys) - they (all of them) make me a bit tense and shouty. So I'm afraid I do read that kind of thing - also there's quite a lot of temperance in the family history (seems to be an awful lot of chapel-goers and soft drinks manufacturers and band of hope in the family tree) so again I have an excuse for finding it a bit interesting.

The JRF have come up with what amounts to a masterplan for anti-booze activists . This is the terrain that the battle will be fought over.

To quote:

The current debates often unwittingly
reuse arguments and take positions which
come from temperance and the drink
issue of the nineteenth century. The
following concerns all echo nineteenth and
early twentieth-century debates:
– crime and disorder
– out-of-control women
– whether alcohol use is good for you or

This is more or less where we've got up to, but looking ahead expect to see more of
– the role of women could be used more
– religion could also be built on in a
multicultural society
– there are potential alliances between
medical and scientific and criminal
justice interests
– there are opportunities for wider
democratic involvement offered by
licensing reform.

– the political possibilities in the drink
– the potential for working with sections
of the industry.