Snow. SNOW!!!??

Me in Austria 1974. Not Bluff Knoll. © PJ Croft 2021

This is crazy. We had snow on Bluff Knoll, the highest point in the SW of WA on Sunday night. It’s not even winter yet and we had 27deg as a maximum only a week ago, yet here in May, snowfall. Wow. Summer has given way to winter in only a week. Buckets of rain on Sunday and during that night, howling wind, lashings of it. The maximum temp was only 14.7deg yesterday and I had to run the heating. Yet now it’s a clear, cloudless blue sky. Oh well, I get my wish: changeable, interesting weather.

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Did you know? There’s a blood supermoon due tomorrow evening at 5.44pm in WA. It means the moon will rise when it’s at closest approach to Earth, hence the ‘super’ part, and will rise in a partial eclipse, meaning we will see its light through the dust surrounding the Earth, causing a red colour, hence the ‘blood’ moon.

This is another full moon, 14/11/16 © PJ Croft 2021

Having bought a big, solid tripod a few months ago, and having my Nikon P950 with its 2,000mm zoom, I should get out there and get some shots. I did this a couple of years ago, in January 2019, the last time this happened, and I kinda stuffed it up, arriving at my chosen location just as the moon was rising. By the time I got my lightweight travel tripod set up on a wobbly jetty, it was practically all over. Here’s my chance to try again.

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I’m being driven mad by scam phone calls. I had eight yesterday and I’ve had four so far today, at 1.30pm. Most I don’t bother to answer on my landline phone, but they’ve got my mobile number too and it doesn’t necessarily show the area code, so I’m not sure if it’s a genuine call. “Hello, this is Amazon calling. Regarding your recent purchase of a set of encyclopedias at $499, we have charged your account. Please press 1 if you do not want to proceed”, or rubbish like that in a synthesised mechanical voice.

Most of them are coming from Melbourne ( 03 prefix ) and if I don’t answer the first one, I get a second one five minutes later. This morning I didn’t answer that either, so five minutes later, they rang my mobile!

There was a lull for a couple of months recently, and I read that Telstra are using an AI program to weed them out, but they’re back with a vengeance lately. Damn, a bunch of criminals in India are effectively making our whole phone system untrustworthy.

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Double damn. My lovely multi-size-capsule coffee machine has gone wrong and I don’t know what the cause is.

It’s the usual ‘place your capsule in the holder and bring down the lever to punch a small hole and force the hot water through with a pump’ machine. But a couple of weeks ago, I found that bringing the lever down, it wouldn’t go all the way and the lever sprang back up a bit. Then, when you pressed Start, the pressure would build up and the lever would be forced up, with water spraying out. Trying to hold the lever down was near impossible, the pressure was so high. Hot steam was forced out and you risked burnt arms.

Obviously, the flow of water is being blocked and the pump keeps pumping, resulting in the blow out. Why is the water being blocked? OK, I thought, maybe it’s blocked by scale, since I hadn’t de-scaled it since I bought it. So last week I thoroughly de-scaled it. With no capsule in place, the water flowed through and was a bit brown and cloudy at first. I put about five passes of water through, each time with a new lot of de-scaling liquid and the water ran clear by the end. That’ll fix it, I thought.

Ho ho ho, I laugh at your puny efforts, said the coffee machine. No difference when I put the capsule in.

So I’m stumped at the moment. I hate having to dismantle these things as I always end up with a screw left over or an O-ring missing, or something. What is it with coffee machines? This is the fifth machine I’ve had fail or go wrong in the past five years or so. This one only cost $75 and ordinarily, I might go out and buy a new replacement, but this one is special – it takes four different capsule brands and sizes, Nespresso, Lavazza, Expressi and Vittoria. I bought it on eBay. I’ll see if I can find it again.

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Meanwhile, I’ve had to go back to ‘normal’ coffee and I’ve found that Nescafe tubes of pre-mixed latte with no sugar are available, and it’s not bad. I like it. Now I’ve found that their double shot coffee is pretty good, too. These will do me while I figure out what to do about the capsule machine.