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Living with Kitchenfun
The life and times of a guy that can't sit still.
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Hospital and my love......
Posted:Jan 24, 2009 8:39 am
Last Updated:May 9, 2009 5:23 pm

Today Jess and I visited the local hospital to see a consultant in the Urology dept. Jess has had scans and they showed a mass, (Tumour), on one of her kidneys. We saw the scans and basically the function of the organ is completely ruined. The whole kidney will be removed later this year by key-hole surgery.
We are worried, but so far as the scans show, the tumour is well contained within itself, and hasn't spread.
Jess feels no pain from the failed kidney, and the tumour only came to light as a result of a routine scan done to check for a pancreatic issue. However she does experience a whole lot of other stabbing pains which may be as a result of the tumour. Who knows what sort of tissue the kidney tumour is. It could be a mass of hormone secreting tissue for all we know. That might account for some of the sensations she's been living with for years.
The family is being very supportive though, and the local hospital is great.
Cottagers and Dogger's paradise.....
Posted:Jan 23, 2009 6:57 am
Last Updated:Feb 2, 2009 2:13 pm

Jess and I are sat in the car in a car park in stoke on trent. One of the few city parks that I know of which still has a nice public toilet. A free toilet.
I understand that on any given day in the summer, after 9.30pm this place is a doggers' paradise. Well that's what I read on the net anyway.
Nice park, used to be a mine or something. Now the mine is a very deep lake.
1 comment
Job fairs.....
Posted:Jan 22, 2009 2:36 pm
Last Updated:Feb 2, 2009 2:14 pm

Today I attended a Job fair at one of the hotels in Hanley, Stoke on Trent. It was a small affair, and the representatives included:
The Sentinal News Paper, The Army, Phones 4 U, Job Centre Plus, The Britannia, Alton Towers and a few temp agencies and training institutions.
I felt a bit overdressed in my suit. Most of the other people there were dressed for the pub, and a rather relaxed student union pub at that.
Phones 4 U......not with a 100ft barge pole.
Alton Towers.....I could do that.
The Army.....I'm not smart enough.....Actually Jess would kill me.
Job Centre was there for folk to claim benefits and was the most popular table.
The Britannia.....Sounds like a great company to work for.

Rather irritating was the way all the stands were handing out cards with the website addresses that we can apply through. No interviews were taking place on the spot, unlike US job fairs. It begs the question, if we could all apply on-line, why have a physical job fair? So I printed ten copies of my cv,(Resume), for no reason. Darn!!!!

I think I'll just train to become a plumber. Jess says I'll be able to show my plumbers' crack......
Fuel pumping fun.....
Posted:Jan 21, 2009 12:19 pm
Last Updated:Jan 23, 2009 6:47 am

Well today was fun.
I got the fuel pump replacement and fitted it quite easily.
Thank the lord for that.....
The hardest part of the job was the eight mile cycle ride to get the part.
I hate messing with fuel. It's amazing how much fuel flows through a broken pump by syphon action alone.
1 comment
Very dangerous.....
Posted:Jan 19, 2009 1:00 pm
Last Updated:Feb 14, 2009 1:22 am

Well today was fun.

I spent a few hours in the wet ground next to the car, fixing s new fuel filter. All went well until I completed the task and tried to start the car. No starting, and then I noticed the smell of petrol. Damn, I thought one of my connections must be leaking, so I got Jess to turn the key as I observed the repair. This was when I noticed the petrol coming off the fuel tank. The source of the flood was a broken fuel pump that sits in the top of the fuel tank. No wonder the engine check light had been coming on. Fuel pressure had been too low thanks to the massive leak.
The new pump will cost a fortune, but it's better than sitting in a fireball.
A little bit dangerous.....
Posted:Jan 18, 2009 1:26 pm
Last Updated:Oct 3, 2022 9:6 pm

No not my cock........

The untethered fuel filter that I found banging around next to the fuel tank this afternoon. Seems the issues we've been suffering with the car could well be due to leaks in the fuel system. As I lay on the floor looking up into the wheel arch where the filter is intended to sit, I couldn't help wondering how it hadn't already gone up in one large bang.

Air in the fuel lines, not good.
Mud in the fuel pump, bad idea.

So tomorrow I'm going to make some time to replace a few fuel lines and clean all the crap out of the wheel arches. Nasty job.

Today I merely succeeded in identifying the problem and a tedious oil change. Yet more treacle oil, sucked out via the dip stick hole with a big syringe. Takes ages, two hours in fact. I'm hoping it gets easier when the old oil has finally washed away. I think it will take about five doses of engine purge to clear the years of neglect.
The curse of the engine check light
Posted:Jan 18, 2009 2:43 am
Last Updated:Jan 20, 2009 8:16 am

Darn it, I thought I'd seen the last of check light issues when we sold our Chevy Astro back in Texas.
Our latest car has a fault that seems to develop when ever we're on the motorway, speeding away from oncoming truck drivers. The engine gives us the speed we need but the Punto lights the check light to say it's not happy.

OK, time to back track a little. Yesterday afternoon we decided to go to Birmingham, via the M6, M42 etc. All was well until we pulled out onto the M6 and I took her up to 60mph. Engine check light comes on. Gahhhh. Witness the next few long miles of, "Is this car going to make it to the service station." Of course this is a 1994 Punto and well before the OBD2 standard engine management codes. Ergo our code reader is no help. We are left to guess what might be the problem. We took her down to a 40mph trundle and limped to the Stafford service station. There I discovered an engine breather hose was loose and did my best to repair it. We decided to go to Wolverhampton instead and visit a branch of Halfords for spares. The offending hose on our car is intended to bridge the gap between the engine breather tube and the air intake. An easy task for a tube of the correct length, but for some reason our tube was an inch too short. Size does matter.
We visited the good branch of Halfords in Wolves and got some more tubing and a few other choice parts. The fault seemed better. We trundled on into Birmingham and had a meal at Kerachi Fried Chicken in Spark Hill. Yummy. The place has no equal. Their food is fresh and wonderful.

The fault re-appeared as we returned home, again on the M6. Again after accelleration in front of a foreign truck. I plan to change the oil, oil filter, fuel filter and do a general clean of the air intake this afternoon. Ahh fun.
Low blood sugar......
Posted:Jan 15, 2009 11:02 am
Last Updated:Jan 21, 2009 1:52 am

Gahhh. The rental agency sent someone to look at replacing the gas fire. Hmmm well he could see that it is possible to install pretty much any gas fire. This is of course what we want. However he decided that the best, read cheapest, option for the landlord, would be an electric fire. Hmmm crap. Electric heaters are rubbish. We're going to end up with one of those fake stoves with a fan heater glued to the bottom. And if experience is anything to go by, the old rusty gas fire will get left in the back yard......nasty.
Useless rental agency.
Posted:Jan 14, 2009 3:31 am
Last Updated:Jan 20, 2009 8:15 am

Today Jess and I visited the office of the rental agency that we rent our house through. It has been some time since they promised to get our home sorted out.
The following faults were identified last year and they promised to have them sorted within a few weeks last year.

(1) Leaky roof. Elderly roofs need love too. Ours needs tiles and tlc.
(2) No roof insulation.
(3) Kitchen carpet needs replacing with a decent clean lino.
(4) Bathroom shower needs installing
(5) Painting and decorating needs doing.

The bird in the agency told another member of staff that we were getting "Tetchy", this was after trying to give us telephone numbers to make the calls ourselves. Ahem, no. Our landlord pays and agency to manage things like this. We pay the landlord to avoid the responsibility of doing this ourselves. The cheek of it.
Brass monkeys weather
Posted:Jan 10, 2009 3:55 pm
Last Updated:Jan 20, 2009 8:15 am

Stoke on Trent is quite cold at the moment. So cold in fact that it was a bit painful to be outside today. I spent several hours outside, working on the car. I achieved very little, just cleaning and lubtication.
I am still trying to change the oil in the car engine. So far I have ruined one good 12v pump, purchased two more pumps that are the wrong size, and changed the filter. I'm closer to correcting the steering though.

Jess prepared a wonderful supper of deep fried battered quorn textured soya protein. Tasted just like very well seasoned battered chicken breast. Yummy. We had fried onions, chips and cake too. A special weekend treat for the .
Fun in a Punto
Posted:Jan 8, 2009 4:35 am
Last Updated:Jan 10, 2009 6:42 am

RIP Woolworths
Best Wishes M&S

Now onto good news.....sort of.
Jess and I just got a car, a 1994 Fiat Punto with less than 60K on the clock. It smells of cigarettes but a good cleaning and our scented parrot dangler will sort that.

It hasn't had an oil change for two years and the sump plug has welded itself in position. I'm unable to empty the sump in the traditional way. Fun, fun. Need an electric pump for that I guess.

I hope you're all having fun what ever you're up to.
Happy New Year
Posted:Dec 31, 2008 7:18 am
Last Updated:Jan 2, 2009 1:50 pm

Here's just a quick note to wish you all a Happy New Year.
The search for a little car
Posted:Dec 29, 2008 2:16 pm
Last Updated:Oct 3, 2022 9:6 pm

It's been a long day. We've had a car over Christmas from Enterprise. It was, as always a great experience. We had a hatchback. We realised that we need a car and there's no way around it. All the decent jobs are miles away and we need to do a lot of travelling in the next few months when we go house hunting again.

I walked about ten miles, from dealership to dealership. Stoke has a lot of dealerships. Most of them appear to be struggling.

Tomorrow I guess I'll walk some more. I'm considering everything. We hope to get a nice small car with low mileage and good economical gas consumption. Looks like it might be a Nissan Micra again. I'd love to go all silly and get a Perodura Nippa, Austin Mini or a tiny Fiat.....but such cars offer no safety in the event of a crash.

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