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pandemic

Day 43 – Poetry

Another rainy day, and the forecast is for a couple of weeks of rain, although we had some sunny spells over the course of the day.

I was off today, and Tracy was at work. We played a bit with zoom backgrounds, did school work and took a breadmaker apart.

Zoom backgrounds

We’ve seen many people with fancy backgrounds in the zoom meetings we’ve done. However I couldn’t work out how to enable it. What I realised recently was that you can’t do it on a phone, nor on the Linux client. Out of the 11 devices we have that could run zoom only two aren’t android or Linux.

So we got a Windows 10 machine and turned on a single person zoom meeting so we could try them out. I was wearing a green t-shirt, and it became the zoom background!

We then worked out how to spot the colour, and made it blue like a room divider we had. Both Alexander and Lucy were wearing blue and they also blended in.

Disembodied heads and hands were a strong draw and made us all laugh a bit. We also tried a number of other things, like Lego marvel models, Alexander’s shield and a mug.

Once we’d had enough fun I hung a blanket so we’d get a full background next time we’ve got a zoom meeting.

Poetry

For writing practice Lucy chose the option to write a poem with Hello as the first word. She did a plan, thought of all the rhyming words she could and wrote them in a circle. Then she decided that she’d pick a form. Once she’d done that she practiced it out loud and then wrote it on the computer because she didn’t want to keep copying it out when she changed it. You can read Hello on the earlier post today.

While she was doing that I also wrote a poem. Mine was a villanelle, a format I quite like, and which has a standardised rhyme scheme. Mine is titled Hello, Hullo, Hallo.

Breadmaker disassembly

On Monday the breadmaker stopped spinning the paddle about ten seconds after we switched it on. The motor was still going, so it wasn’t completely dead. However I couldn’t get into it because I couldn’t find the U shaped screwdriver head.

Today the replacement U shaped head arrived. So Lucy and I undid all the screws on the bottom of the breadmaker (a Morphy Richards fastbake breadmaker model 48280 for the record).

It was clear from our initial attempt that the manufacturer didn’t intend for people to fix this themself. It was particularly awkward to take apart. We took five screws off the base, and used a screwdriver to separate the base from the body, but it wouldn’t come off.

At that point we were able to dislodge the control panel from the front plate. I also took the lid off, which was super easy. I guess they expected that we might want to wash the lid!

With the front panel off we could see more screws inside. Five more screws later, which were unscrewed through the hole in the fascia, and the front part lifted. It wasn’t free yet, but we could see that the drive belt had disintegrated. We could also see two more screws at the back of the breadmaker. They were behind the oven compartment and completely inaccessible.

Lucy decided that she’d seen enough and went off to build Lego. I watched a couple of YouTube videos. This included one that said the easiest way was just to take a Stanley knife to the bottom cover! I think that’s true.

I found another site that said to remove the seal round the main compartment. Once that was off the top cover just lifted off. This gave access to the last two screws. With both covers off I removed the fragments of the old belt. Then came the job of finding a replacement. All the branded ones were very expensive, about five times the price of the generic ones. However I couldn’t really tell from the online pictures whether or not they were compatible. Usually I’d have gone to a shop and had a look. But I couldn’t, so I bit the bullet and ordered the cheapest that would arrive in the next week or two.

Scouts

We had another scout meeting on zoom. There were 14 scouts and 4 leaders online. Like last week I found the zoom connection unstable. Afterwards I realised that Alexander was playing an online game.

I ran a bit of it, questions on a segment of an OS map. I’d wanted to put the scouts into breakout rooms, but we didn’t set them up in advance. So instead we put them all on mute and let them find the answers individually. We then used the annotate function to identify the places on the map that answered the questions.

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