Saturday, April 11, 2015

The zombie washing machine

A couple of days ago things got really cheerful and expensive looking (Yes, I have had moths flutter out when I open my wallet. Bloody thin moths too). The faithful Speed Queen (was dead if you're American, salute. This is one of the best products out of the US I've ever encountered - seeming still made the 'old' way. Big, solid, relatively simple, and robust.)after 20 years of cleaning Freer clothes - mine are a challenge to excavators, and two boys growing up is going to always be rough, even without them being tru-blue Freer boys - ie. good at getting filthy, covered in mud, blood and grease and kindly letting their clothes share. It had had hard, faithful life, and baring some minor hiccups with the solenoid last year... done itself proud.

I prepared for a suitable burial with full military honors, as it certainly died in service - it washed my old army jacket that I use for muttonbirding as it's last item (yes that could have killed most things). I cowered in terror before the specter of replacing it - a new one costs $2300! It would have to be something else, cheaper.

But as a last, forlorn hope I called up my evil mechanical persona, Doktor Monkenstein (who I believe lives in a turreted gothic rocket-propelled palm tree in Transylvania, at least in the swampy recesses of my mind.) Doktor Monkenstein came with all his surgical implements (and a thunderstorm for sufficient voltaic force). You know, your typical microsurgeon's equipment - 4 pound hammer, monkey wrench, shifting spanner, vice-grip. None of the right size sockets or spanners of course. Don't be ridiculous. I dissected the beast, and fiddled. My trusty hunchman... uh henchman, Jamie showed up at lunch time, and gave it a wiff of that wonderful revivifying gas AKA cow manure... and I replaced the solenoid (which hadn't quite died previously, and with care had allowed us to continue using the beast. Needless to say I had dissembled the whole thing for a task that actually needed... 1 screw to access it. Ah well, I had wonderful time putting it together and now have some lovely spare screws and bolts. There's barely any baling wire involved... Und you can call me Doktor Monkenstein... Cause I have a monster. It lives IT LIVES... Mwahahaahaaa!

It's actually working better now than it has for about a year - which is real worry (my fixing doesn't usually do that) even though the relief is vast.

Besides these little adventures into terrorizing machinery back to life, I have been moving a cupboard and huge bookcase into my study/office. This necessitated 1)lots of lifting, straining grunting and sweating (they both weigh more than me, IMO and it's just easier to do it alone. 2)A triumph of getting big things in narrow gaps. As the actress said to the Bishop 'it'll fit in if you wiggle it enough'. And yeah, it was case of less than 1/8 of inch on one, and a little surgery (Monkenstein had to be restrained from the chainsaw. A hand-saw did the job.) with the other.

Of course it is never simple... that's meant reorganizing my study, and the existing 'book-shelves' (AKA lots of bricks and planks, and 2 bookcases).
I am in tears and snuffles. Not because it is tragic - indeed I'm well pleased, but because books really do hold a lot of dust.

And I kept finding things I really really must read again.

I've got, courtesy of my mate Peter, a huge window to put in the container/workshop. I now have to work out a hinge for it. This may be too hard even for Monkenstein (it's aluminum. Monkenstein works best on steel or at pinch wood) but I'll let him have a go, if I fail.


  1. Is there a Australian versions of It, RC is a very good source for parts, diagrams and info for many, many things.

    1. Jon, not that I'm aware of. I am lucky enough to have a fan (from my sf-books) who is a qualified repairman.