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 Little Old Man Weekly


 Little Old Man Weekly

 In the year 2021

09 July 2021  Telephonic apparatus.

  Hotspot phone hanging from the USB charger.

Over a year ago when the Little Old Man moved back on board Cribbit full time the small difficulty of connectivity became a problem. The mooring here is in a slight cutting behind a high hedge and not in line-of-sight to a phone mast. The only place he can get a mobile phone signal is in one of the two bow windows. [Slightly better to starboard.] Of course being a little old man, he quickly made a small bracket to stop the phone from sliding off the sloping windowcill and then the next problem showed up. He was using the phone as a mobile hotspot and it was working at increased power to overcome the low signal strength so the battery was soon exhausted. So now we needed a 5volt supply to keep the battery topped up. This all worked very well in the winter but when the summer came it was just too hot in the west [starboard] window and a few times the phone had to be put in the refrigerator to cool down.

  now the charger lead goes outside ...

  ... and connects with the phone in a re-purposed thermal enclosure

  There was a short period of no rain but not too hot days when a rooftop solution seemed like a good idea.

The rooftop setup worked for a while but soon this was too hot as well so a way to hang the phone in the port bow window out of the sun was needed, of course with the summer comes asparagus and asparagus comes with a nice elastic band to keep the stalks together. What could be better for hanging the phone from one of the window clips?? Well there are hidden problems.

  The black elastic band just looks like a phone feature blanking off the send button.

In the dark, the black elastic band just looks like a phone feature. When the lom tried to send his email he found there was no 'send' button and it needed daylight to be able to see that it was an elastic band and not a graphic feature of the phone that was hiding it..

24 April 2021  A guest post from South Africa.


Of course South Africa is THE land of the braai and they are experts at cooking over an open fire. Recent immigrants are still learning the ropes on the braai front so have to improvise when things don't go quite to plan. BBQs in the UK are such mean affairs with miserly bits of charcoal and no great springbok steak to put on them either.
One of the many things I like about South Africa [and Greece] is how folk improvise when they don't have quite the right thing to hand. It is a joy to the little old man to discover kindred spirits.

Of course the extra danger for the South African LOM is that he is also a physicist so you can be sure that his improvisations will be underpinned by science through and through.
He explains his solution to a novel braai problem when the grid is too small to fit on the existing supports, but too big to fit into the fire pit.
What you need is 'a counterbalance' so that the inappropriate braai grid that one owns can be made to work regardless. Of course it has to be made from handy nearby braai materials and utensils.

I am told that there are ♉other uses for BBQ tongs. Please send any that you have found to: cleadbeater@netscape.net

  is the "top shelf" sign a little ambiguous?

The Little Old South African Man [LOZAM] also relates a recent experience of staying in an hotel under covid restrictions.

'The shelves are to hold the cushions that go onto the sun loungers he explains. 'We *think* the shelves are for unused and used cushions in a covid aware scenario - i.e. someone comes and sanitises the cushions left on presumably the bottom shelf but it is completely unclear as to what one is supposed to do and which shelf is to be used for what, the signage only states the obvious.'
Yet you knew what to do! There seems to be an assumption that folk will apply common sense or even intelligence where there might be ambiguity.
The following pic perfectly deals with the problem of the able bodied parking in spaces reserved for the disabled. Not a big stick but a sign that makes you think or tars you with a brush you deserve.

  Think before you park or be for ever condemmed.

30 March 2021  LOM vindicated.

  'The emissaries of the Canal and River Trust.'

You may remember that back in February the ♉   Little Old Man protected the towpath daffodils with a pallisade of sticks and then later did a ♉   cribBlog post about them when they came out. Well to-day he has been vindicated as 'the emissaries of the Canal and River Trust' passed by with their grass cutter and left the daffodils untouched. Nb Trojan's sign was not so lucky though.


  Some of the defenders paid a heavy price

  as indeed did nb Trojan's sign.

28 March 2021  Squeaky.


Its windy to-day and the Little Old Man has been driven mad with the squeaky fender rubbing against the Armco. Fixed it by dangling in a bit of old climbing rope. Normally the LOM likes these flat fenders ... they don't roll and usually they are quiet. He has had natural fibre [and round] ones in the past but they rot and roll themselves into knots when one rubs alongside anything.

24 March 2021  Re-arranging my sock drawer.

When I explained what I had been doing today to someone on the towpath, they responded that this sounded rather like 'Re-arranging the sock drawer'. Sad but true though it kept me occupied and was more akin to re-arranging the drawer rather than its contents.

The 'drawer' in question was one of my open toolboxes. The Little Old Man has several of these and like many another was probably seduced into buying them in the first place by the 'handy' holes and slots for carrying screwdrivers, chisels etc that it sports and which the Little Old Man has never been able to use, either because they are too big or too small and bits hang down below the tool trays and catch on things and rip his trousers. In a fit of inspiration, the Little Old Man decided that the tool tray would be much 'improved' if the side tool carriers were cut off. It would also then fit better into its place in the cupboard but he realised that one function of the side toolrack was to give the tray rigidity so would have to be replaced with a wooden strip.

  The end toolrack removed.

  Now what possible use could the Little Old Man find for this bit?

  Wooden strut.


  Tooltray now fits into the cupboard. Much less effort than making the cupboard bigger

25 February 2021  Acoustic isolation.

  Acousticly isolated.

The Little Old Man is getting even more little old manish if such a thing were possible. He has quite a few options for generating 240 volt mains on board, there is the main 1 kilowatt inverter in the stern locker which needs a trip outside and a delve under the covers to switch on. There is the dedicated 350 watt inverter for the water heater that can be undedicated. There used to be a little 150 watt plug into cigar lighter socket inverter which failed after 30 minutes of running the laptop [65 watt] and there is also his ancient plug in 300 watt square wave generator inverter which rattles and bangs and vibrates and is likely to drive the poor little old man mad when it first starts up. [It quietens down a bit after a while when it has had a chance to blow all the spiders out of its innards] This latter can be seen in the pic above sitting on a foam sponge to isolate it accoustically from the resonant kitchen worktop.

  The foam sponge. Saved from a [short] life of mopping out the oily bilge.


13 February 2021  Daffodil defense.

  A barricade of small sticks.

The other day CRT contractors came along the towpath with hedge and grass cutters and I felt that my hedgerow daffodils were in peril. So little old man that I am have protected them with a barricade of small sticks which at least may make a satisfactory graunching noise if they are attacked by the mower.

As I did it, I was reminded of my A-Level chemistry lessons which were taught by Tam Muir. A typical lesson [if it was inorganic chemistry] would start by him telling us to 'take out your ♉Holmeyards' and then some exposition of the revered contents. The particular memory that was trggered was on the subject of zinc. According to Tam zinc is used to coat the steel used to make dustbins and I'm sure my notes had the immortal line that 'this enabled them to withstand the emissaries of the sanitation department' well so be it and I'm hoping my few feeble sticks will enable our daffodils to withstand the emissaries of the CRT with their great grass mower. We shall see.

  Drunken winding hole sign, another casualty of the hedge cutting


  What happens when they are not protected.

  Daffodils are not the only fruit! Snowdrops..

11 February 2021  Coal bucket.

  Coal bucket with shovel in reach of the fireside chair.

Sometime last year the Little Old Man acquired a very nice brass coal bucket from the facilities wharf. He has been very pleased with it as it holds well enough smokeless knobs for a cold day's burning and it fits perfectly on the hearth by the stove.

It had but one small defect which was that the Little Old Man found it difficult to close the lid using the coal shovel without moving from the considerable comfort of his fireside chair. No matter because after a search through his many boxes of bits and bobs that might just come in handy one day he found a small strip of steel that had been the target for a magnetic cupboard catch in its former life. A little action with hacksaw and drill soon fitted this for its new life as a catch so that the coal shovel can now close the lid without spoiling the comfort of the Little Old Man.

  Easy to OPEN the lid.

  The New shovel catch.

  In use from the comfort of my own chair.

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