Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cleaning and buying adventures

First, the failed buying adventure. Aside from finisher swag, one of the things I figured out during the run was that I was going to stop dithering and buy an iPhone 4. And the finisher swag, aside from the semi-ugly T shirt, is very nice. So this morning I trundled up to Market Mall (and this was after breakfast, and an hour of working from home) to buy one. I figured since the initial rush was over it ought to be no problem. If you figured that too, you would be wrong too.

There was a sign at the front of the store saying they're selling them so fast they were out of stock. The nice guy at the front was telling people the next shipment would be available Tuesday morning. He suggesting starting the line up at 6am, for a store opening of 10 am. NOT! Gee, do I spend that time lined up, hoping to get one, since he said they come in about a dozen at a time, or do I go to work and put in some billable time? Duh. The other choice was to buy it online, pay full freaking price, and find someone to sell an air and data package for yet more $$$$, with no rebate off the purchase price, AND I have to get a new phone number. Since I'm in the mood, NOT!

The Telus store just around the corner gets even fewer, and he had the same advice. So I went home bereft and unfulfilled. Sigh.

Cleaning came next. Estela was filthy, covered with road grime, sticky from the honey and OJ that oozed from one of my drink bottles, which got on my hands, which then got lots of places. So I spent a while cleaning her thoroughly. This was a very peaceful and restful activity. I chatted with some neighbours at the same time. She's all ready to go for the next ride, which is more than I can say for me. We went for a short walk around the block, a mere 3 K or so, and my legs were a bit tired at the end.

We've had our current microwave for 20 years or so, and it wasn't new to us. We got it for storing a friend's stuff while he traveled around the world accumulating insurance claims. I was acting as his agent, paying his bills, moving money around, talking to insurance agents. I got to know the one insurance agent quite well. This is the kind of microwave where you push in a button to pop open the door. That button has had a crack in it since forever but worked fine till the other day. Then I had to fuss with it to open the door. Then had to do it again. It's been getting harder and harder to get the button in, and we decided we were done with it. Both of us could just picture having friends over, needing to nuke something, and being unable to open the door. This exact thing happened at work while I was in Penticton, and I missed out on the chance to join a bunch of engineers and other technical people, with real and improvised tools from the lab, trying to get into the microwave. They didn't.

So off we went to Trail Appliances in the old Costco store. They've got lots of upscale stuff, but went pretty quick to the right place for counter top microwaves. We wanted a basic one. It took longer to round up a sales guy than it did to pick out what we wanted. Turns out he runs marathons, and wanted to chat about Ironman Canada, since I was wearing the finisher jacket. (It was cold and raining out, give me a break!) In the end we were in the store 20 minutes, and another 10 waiting for our turn to pick up the box from the warehouse door. This one has about twice the zap of the old one, a cup of coffee taking 1 minute to heat up, rather than the 2 of the old one.

We'll be good and take the old one to the electronic recycling place. But what I want to do is line the inside with a couple layers of garbage bag, put it on it's back, and totally fill it with water so that door just barely closes. Then get a long extension cord. A really really long extension cord, like several hundred metres worth. Put the microwave in the middle of a big empty place and turn it on high. Eventually the water will heat up. Since there is very little space for steam to go it will start to pressurize the microwave and the pressure will build. Although the temperature is above 100C the water is not boiling because it will be at higher than local atmospheric pressure. Eventually, even though this is a very heavy microwave, built on a metal frame (it's really old, remember) the internal pressure will exceed the structural strength of the microwave enclosure. It will start to rupture somewhere, which will allow the water pressure to drop. All the latent energy will go into converting that superheated liquid water into a cloud of steam, very quickly, and very, very violently. A cubic foot of water, (which is about the interior size of the microwave) will convert into 1700 cubic feet of steam. Now you see why I want a really long extension cord. And something big and thick to hide behind. There is probably a youtube video of someone doing exactly this, but I'm to lazy to look, and besides, watching a video wouldn't be nearly as much fun as doing it.

Speaking of videos, we started season 2 of True Blood last night. I drank wine and ate cheese and crackers. Tonight will be more episodes, with beer, I think. I won't indulge myself like this too much, but it's sure nice to be having a break from training.

Oh, and I found my race photos here.


  1. Do you like it? Do you? Do you?

    (the iPhone 4)

  2. ahahaha, I still think you should blow it up and tape it!

    Got your email the other day and will send out an email next week to see when we can get peeps together. I'll check the Highwood as well for booking schedule.

  3. heya keith - great day up there in canada - i finally got around to writing up my version of the event...

  4. I was disappointed in this post, but it's my own fault. When I saw the title, I assumed "Adventures" was a pseudonym for a young Calgary whoo-wer with a heart of gold and that you bought her and were cleaning her up to take to the Kalgary Kotillion. And that the whole story would have a "Happy Ending". Followed by more cleaning.

    But an iPhone?

    How am I supposed to fap to that?

    Not that i won't try ...

  5. Try the Apple store at Market Mall. They get the most number of phones in. I got mine there last year back when Rogers and Fido were the only options. I was leaving Telus and the good folks at Apple helped to port my old Telus number over to the new phone and got me set up on the contract. I'm not sure how things work now that there are more service providers but you might have the best luck there.

  6. And if you want to skip the insane lines to purchase then I think you can even make an appointment to shop online. The caveat is knowing that they have the phone in stock, but there you go - options! Good luck!


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