Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I had a dream ... (is how I should have started yesterday's post)

...which involved me driving a shiny red car with the top down today. I did drive the car but the top was up. Rain interfered with my plans. Perhaps tomorrow will hold more promise.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Surprise! The Miata would not crank this morning so I ended up buying a new battery this evening. It's all good now. (Odometer: 112k miles)

On the positive side, the oven is fine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not So Handyman

OK, I got around to the oven today. Long-long-long story short, the oven now works though I tried really hard to mess it up. Now that the oven is functional, I believe I will be making some biscuits in the not so distant future (Saturday).

And in other news, I put the freshly charged battery back in the Miata today and it started just fine so I went out for a while. And then when I got back home, I left the headlights on. Doh! I discovered this about an hour later. Hopefully it will stick crank on ... Tuesday.

All the signs indicate that today was a very bad day for me to try to be useful. Indeed, I did not try to fix anything else. I believe this was a prudent move on my part.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Errh, Errh, Errh

...is the sound your car makes when the battery is mostly dead.

Sunday afternoon the Miata needed to go out for a while. It hadn't moved in a couple of weeks but I was still a little surprised when I put the key in and turned it only to hear the motor go errh, errh.

Being determined to roll, I jump started the Miata and all was good, that is until Friday morning when I tried to start it again. This time it only went errh. Since I was on my way to the office, I left it be and drove the Charger in that day.

So this morning it occurs to me there are twothree things I need to do today: 1) replace the battery in the Miata, 2) install the oven element that finally arrived, and 3) take a nap.

Replacing the Miata battery turned into a magical mystery tour. It turns out the battery is different. Three stops and I had not found one. At the third stop, they did offer to test it for me. According to the technician, the battery was just under charged. A good trickle charge and it should be ready to go. Hmmm.

I assumed the battery was dead and needed to be replaced because it is old. This is the battery that was in the car when I purchased it almost 6 years ago. I also assumed the recent cold snap had finished it off. It also probably didn't help that the car had only been run about once a week for the last month or so.

So I brought the battery back home and put it on the charger, which I probably should have done in the first place if it hadn't been so old, and so cold. Tomorrow I will put it back in the Miata. Hopefully next week it will still be fine. If not I will have them order me a battery.

Only two of the three items on my list got tackled today. I got my nap in as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Of things unspoken I shall now mention. Our oven decided to stop functioning in a normal manner on Thanksgiving day. Fortunately or unfortunately we did not notice until the next day. By that statement I mean that the oven did not impede Thanksgiving in any way whatsoever so we had that going for us. Something to be thankful for, yes.

At this point your eyes should begin to glaze over just like my wife's when I begin to explain how something works. Here goes: what happened when the oven quit functioning normally is that when it was turned off, it did not turn off. By that, I do mean the controls indicated the oven to be turned off, but the oven was hot, indeed very hot because the broiler was on - on at about 450 or 500 degrees.

My first guess was that a relay had welded itself shut. Way back when this happened I disassembled the oven and after looking at the main control board, decided to simply replace the entire control board rather than trying to replace a single relay. I made this decision because the relay in question did not appear to be stuck shut when power was removed from the oven. I believed that was the correct call then and I stand by it. Even though replacing the main control board did not fix the oven and has thus proven me wrong. (I now have a spare controller board in the event one quits!)

After that did not work, I took another look at what could possibly be the cause for the oven broiler being stuck on. (This is what you would the shot gun approach to trouble shooting an appliance.) On all the time that is. Well, not really all the time - if you unplug it, it does turn off. Or if you turn off the breaker. But anyway, after checking all the obvious stuff, I was just sitting around on the cold-hard-tile floor behind the oven trying to decide what to do next. Perhaps a walk in the park. Since I had a schematic and nothing was making much sense, I decided to check anything and everything I could based on the diagnostic information available on the schematic. - It turns out there are several interesting diagnostic modes built into the stove that working by pressing a super-secret-sequence of buttons. .

I eventually discover that the lower element in this oven (it is a dual oven) was open. By that I mean it measured zero ohms between the terminals. The schematic indicated what the resistance should be, but it was not. This did not make sense to me. One element is out, so the other one is on all the time. How can that be?

So anyway, even though it makes no sense whatsoever, I decided to go head and replace the faulty element (it really is bad, unlike the controller board). Once the element arrives I will install it and we will see if the oven magically starts working correctly. I don't really believe it will so therefore it probably will just to spite me.

To recap. The oven quit ON over a month ago. My first attempt to repair it was costly and a miserable failure. My second attempt to fix it is not so costly thought I don't expect it to work. And it has taken me about a month to get around to ordering the part which is not available locally. Why did it take me so long to order the park? Because I don't believe it will fix it. Why am I trying it anyway? Because the oven hasn't worked in almost six weeks.

And because the other oven is not cooperating with my homemade biscuits. :(

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Finished up Bri's bookcase today. I can't believe I spent more time painting it than I did building it.

We had some snow Thursday and Friday. The schools shut down so the kids got to stay home.

I walked out by the creek in the backyard today. There was some ice along the edge of the water. I walked on it, so technically I was walking on water.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Someone finally did it. They created a sarcasm font. Now if you could just explain to me how to use it in my post.