Tuesday, 25 September 2012

TV & wires

Our last two TVs have been Sony Bravias. Mainly because of that excellent ad with the animated plasticine animals. The most recent TV was purchased in November 2008 (RRP £1,000) and a few months ago it started to act odd. Half the screen would remain blacked out until it warmed up - which took between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the room temperature.

A look at various TV forums revealed that this was a common fault but despite this there was no product recall. Sony suggested we take the TV to their approved repairer, pay for an assessment and if indeed it was the faulty panel, they'd replace it otherwise we'd have to foot the bill for a repair.

Long story short: we couldn't be bothered taking it to the repairer, whose opening hours weren't exactly helpful and they were five miles away. Rob decided he wanted an internet ready TV and a highly recommended Toshiba fit the bill for a lot less than we paid for the Sony. The Toshiba has a ridiculous 46" screen, which is only one centimetre deep.

Pictured at top is the Toshiba on our Ikea cabinet. The Sky box, Wii and DVD player are now inside the cabinet and powered by a Marmitek Infrared extender.

We bought this thing four years ago with the aim of getting rid of the mass of wires under the cabinet. It's taken this long for Rob to get motivated to set it up. Hopefully it works OK as it came with a 2 year warranty which is obviously void now!

Here's the mess of wires inside the cabinet... so much better than being under it...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tap is sorted

This domestic lark is getting beyond boring. The new (3rd) kitchen tap is in. This one cost £150 and is made of better stuff than the previous two. The builders couldn't fit it, so I endured a session of Rob's colourful pronouncements as he attempted to get it to join up with the pipes. Anyway, it's in and it works fine and I actually prefer the spray action on this one than its predecessor. There's a lesson in there somewhere: a cheap tap that doesn't fit is a waste of £50.

No sign of the replacement part for the hot water heater, and no update from Sunfold Systems about coming back to sort out the leaky roof. Fortunately it hasn't rained for more than half an hour for weeks. Does anyone out there actually have a 100% finished house where nothing goes wrong? Give me something to look forward to, please...

Photo of the tap would've been too dull for words, so here's my set-up from Saturday night: we were eating locally but my record box is too heavy to lug, so I used the trolley I bought for moving gear around at festivals. The gig was in West London (£25 taxi each way, ouch, could've bought another tap) and the soundsystem was awful - one of the turntables constantly skipped despite realignment, and the output from the desk was substandard. Disappointing as I actually played a good set, shame it was difficult to hear...


Here is a photo of our tap. Butler of London is the brand BTW.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Tap, leaks & cartridges

I've just ordered a home delivery meal as plans to make dinner were scuppered when our lovely Polish builders popped round. Initially they were going to sort the leaking hot water heater under our stairs. A plastic nut had cracked, so water was leaking for about 2 weeks before we noticed it. There's bound to be water damage but I'm not motivated to empty the cardboard boxes that are stored under there just yet.

The builders then tried to install our replacement kitchen tap. Which unfortunately turned into a massive breakage. The concrete counter has a hole drilled through it, but there's nowhere for the vice to attach to, to hold the tap still. The part that should hold it in place has sheered off from the jiggling. Now we have no tap installed and the contents from under the kitchen sink cupboard are spread out all over counter top.

It's not the builder's fault, it's just one (or two) of those things. Hopefully replacement parts can be procured tomorrow. Otherwise we're in trouble as it means no tap until the builders get back from their next job.

On a positive note, I finally got proper cartridges for my decks and learned how to adjust the tone arms. Immediately my vinyl sounded 100X better. They're Numark CC1's if you're interested (pictured). They're not the top of the range by any stretch but for around £80 a pair they're a lot more affordable than other options. Really wish I'd done it sooner.