27 November 2015

Debugging, and chowder

Walt's been up since 4 a.m. figuring out how to get the new boiler's remote-control unit to work. At some point, he got an error message saying that the remote had lost its connection to the receiving unit on the boiler downstairs. He managed to get it to reconnect. Now we can't help but expect it to disconnect itself at any moment, for whatever reason.

The new boiler, a De Dietrich model, is about the same size of the old one. De Dietrich is a company headquartered not in Germany but in Alsace, which is a French province located along the border with Germany. I put a laundry basket in the frame for scale.

Typical debugging, I guess. Learning to live with it. At least we do have heat this morning. The thing came on too early. I'm sure Walt will explain a lot about it all in his blog post this morning. I'll be busy in the kitchen today, cooking a leg of lamb and some flageolet beans for our delayed Thanksgiving dinner.

Here's the boiler with our little chest freezer in the photo. The boiler is not a lot bigger than an American washing machine.

Oh, how did the French word chaudière become the English word chowder? Well, the old definition of chaudière, dating back to 1120, is « Récipient métallique où l'on fait chauffer, bouillir ou cuire qqch. [ou] contenu d'une chaudière. » That says "a metal receptacle in which one heats, boils, or cooks something [or] the contents of such a receptacle." In other words, it's a big pot. So chaudière, its pronunciation adapted to the English vowel system, became chowder, meaning the contents of a "chowder pot." Clam chowder, corn chowder, and so on.


  1. Wow, that is really small. I remember your old boiler (furnace?) as being quite large. Yes, I did go to Ginny's for Thanksgiving and had a great time. We were twelve all together. Turkey and all the fixings. I'm so full and wide awake right now. (Must be the coffee I had at noon. I don't drink coffee anymore.) I'm glad I drank coffee at Ile d'Oleron -- otherwise we would have missed the damn hoopoe. Have a great Thanksgiving meal! Try to take some photos.

  2. Ken, we have occasional "errors" from our thermostat/controller....
    due, it seems, to irregularities with the supply... brown outs and the like...
    we've been advised by our heating engineer to put a UPS in line with the heater's computer.
    Thinking on it... have now fitted them to the 'puters and are quite happy...

  3. Happy Thanksgiving with heat (you'll figure it out)!

  4. Oh, I wondered if you'd do leg of lamb, and when:)
    Ken, I haven't checked a dictionary, but that chaudiere sounds likes a cauldron... Just curious if that's the word we'd use for that:)
    Happy delayed Thanksgiving!

  5. Well, it's working just fine today. No more dropped connections. The temperature in the house has remained steady at 20C / 68F and comfortable all day. We feel almost too disconnected from the outside reality (high 6C / 42F today). I guess this won't be too hard to get used to.

  6. I remember when my hot water heater broke.
    Basement - lots of water
    House - no heat
    Me - tragic

    Now I have a new boiler, heat and I try to not get tragic .. as long as it doesn't stop working.

    1. I hope for you that the new boiler will be effective and efficient for years to come. Ours too.

  7. The comment above about the heat was in response to Evelyn's.

    Judy, there is also the French word "chaudron" for cauldron. That word is closely related to "chaudière"...


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