I’ve got something of a fixation with plumbing interfaces.
Growing up I became fairly accustomed to the standard arrangement of hot/cold shower and bath taps, or in the case of the 2nd bathroom at Mum & Dad’s place, an extra knob to open the channel to the shower head or from the tap spout. Intuitive, sensible, logical.
Moving to the UK I was exposed to a variety of other possibilities, and then upon my various travels around Europe I’ve often considered putting together a photographic essay on different ways people have to control the flow of warm water – and generally it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s going on.
But there’s another plumbing interface which has confused me for a while, and it turns out to be not so obvious.
My first recollection of a dual-flush cistern featured a control surface that looked something like this:
Fairly straightforward stuff, nothing complex there. The visual indicators on the buttons tell you pretty much exactly what’s going on.
Where it gets more complex – as I learned during a quick straw poll last night – is setups like this:
I showed this picture to the other people I was having dinner with, and they all looked at me oddly. Unanimously their faces (and for the most part, voices) said “What part of this isn’t completely obvious?!”. And then proceeded to all contradict each other.
The permutations as I see it are:
Option 2 sounds a bit like overthinking, however it’s borne out in practice by interfaces such as this:
Customarily in this case pushing the smaller button will take the larger button down with it, thus representing the full flush even better. So safe in this knowledge, we’re suddenly presented with this:
And what this is supposed to mean is anyone’s frigging guess.
And then there’s whatever happens in Japan.
Maybe it’s just different in Australia because water’s scarcer than platinum, so there’s an ingrained cultural bias towards using less of it wherever the opportunity arises.
So, does anyone have a canonical answer?
There is a third possibility which occurred to me this afternoon –
It looks like a bench in our back “yard” (more like 8 square feet, but it’s very nice). But it’s not. It’s a wood storage thing.
Or at least, it was at one point.
Now it’s a nest of rather horrible things, which live in between the bordering-on-liquid remains of what was once firewood. And cunningly I set myself the task of ushering it all into rubble sacks to take out the front ready to dispose of at some point soon.
I talk about how the spiders in this country are pathetic (relative to what we’ve got to endure on a daily basis in Australia). And it’s generally the case. But there’s things inside that bench that would give JRR Tolkien the willies.
I hope Liz doesn’t read this.
Fairly recently following our move into the new house (WHEEEEEE! NEW HOUSE!) I posted on Facebook remarking on the fact that a favourite mug of mine had been with me for some time and was quite well-travelled: coming to me from my mate Caitlin back in around 1994-sih from her exchange year in Denmark, to Australia, and then back to the UK where it’s still in service some 22 years (and innumerable cups of joe) later.
Well, as if the Mug Gods were watching, it seemed that I got in just in time.
I’m sorry to report that the Danish mug was cast to the floor by the vibrations of our new German washer/drier during one of its outlandishly effective 1400rpm spin cycles.
All’s not completely lost – a few judicious drops of epoxy resin and we’re back in service, although it’s probably not the most cosmetically amazing job you’ve ever seen. I had a dream the other night featuring the mug wrapped in bandages, shrieking “GIVE ME THE MIRROR!”. Ridiculous.
This blog came screaming into the world on November 25th 2003.
Many things have changed since then. Man, is THAT a redundant statement in reference to a 10 year period…
Version 1 of it all was something I put together as a way of teaching myself how to write PHP, after being hired for a job as a Classic ASP developer and in between my getting hired and starting the client went somewhere else. My secret purpose was to use it as a way to keep friends and relatives informed about what I was doing after moving to London, but the thrill of it all made the site much, much more than that.
Early theme changes and additions saw all manner of ludicrous additions – I’d often get emails of complaint from friends saying that while the new hot pink design was wonderful, it meant that they couldn’t covertly read my blog at work any more or without damaging their retinas.
I put together a subscription system which emailed updates out as I published them, attaching photos at the bottom and providing numbered footnotes with URLs where relevant.
Another marvellous inclusion was The Moodulat0r – when posting I’d add a couple of numeric scores based on how I was feeling at the time, and then the page display script would use these numbers and an average to calculate my overall mood and provide a background colour accordingly. And as we found, all things in the universe tend towards beige.
The hosting arrangement wasn’t always entirely simple – first it was hosted on my work web-facing dev server (because that was the only place with PHP running that I had access to. Then when we got a server set up in a hosting environment for our Scout Group website, I put it on that. Then after 6 months or so of learning how expensive that could be, the box was moved back to my mate A-Bomb’s place and lived at the end of his ADSL connection.
When he upgraded PHP on that machine, or something, it completely buggered my page – so after a few months of total inactivity I took the plunge and ported everything to WordPress (which I was pretty impressed with the outcome of, I won’t lie: all my pre-Wordpress posts are in the Blog 1.0 Category – which explains why half of the embedded images are probably missing), setting up on a Dreamhost account where it has remained ever since.
I didn’t think to take any screenshots over time, and because of the ridiculous nature of the hosting setup it appears that the Internet Wayback Machine doesn’t have any either.
Since moving to WP my level of technological change has stagnated totally, and it’s fair to say that this year so has my blog output. It’s certainly not through any lack of material to write about – more lack of time to do so, and a more general tendency I’ve picked up to bail out on the post when I get 1500 words in and realise that I’ve actually got nothing to say, and can’t be bothered putting you all through a 2/3 finished ill-constructed rant.
So at least we can see that I’ve grown as a person during that time, anyway.
I certainly do love having a blog, and at least 4 times a year mentally prepare to turn over a new leaf, get back into being self-disciplined about writing, start a bunch of posts, then get distracted again. Seriously – you should see what’s collecting dust back here. Ah, and I already told you all this in September. Value add, right there kids.
For now though I couldn’t let the anniversary go by without at least conducting a bit of a spruce up, and to that end – please enjoy the new look. Because every blog deserves one every 6 or 7 years, I find.
For the *really* keen stats nerds in the room, here’s a pretty awful looking and borderline accurate tabulation of post numbers during the lifetime of this masterpiece.
We can seen that 2011 was a pretty good year, although much of this is due to me trying to win an iPad via a competition with the former Qype website where you had to write 50 reviews of places. Didn’t win. Although with all that wonderful new content out there I suppose humanity were the real winners in that scenario.