Saturday, March 08, 2014

In fact it's a gas

Yes, it's all right now. I spent a frustrating Friday morning trying to get the new bbq grill set up for use. The major problem was that the documentation (which came in twenty-one European languages) was not at all helpful. The French and the English (the only two of the languages I can read) did not say exactly the same thing. Similar, but not close enough to be helpful.

This photo has nothing to do with this post. But there's still a point. LOL.

The procedure described for connecting the gas hose, accompanied by drawings, did not correspond to the actual grill parts I had. The instructions showed one type of hose connector, but my grill does not have that type of connector. I banged my head against the table several times trying to understand why I had instructions for someone else's grill. I thought I must be misunderstanding something and, like a perfect example of the common definition of insanity,* I kept reading and re-reading the instructions (English and French), studying the pictures and my grill, then banging my head in utter frustration.

It became clear, earlier to Ken than to me, that I needed to give up on the modern screw-on coupler as per the instructions and use the old-style compression collar to clamp a hose onto the gas nozzle (that may not make sense to you, but I know what it means). I had already been out to the store once to buy the gas bottle. I didn't get a hose because I had at least realized then that the hose with two screw-on couplers was not going to work. So, after discovering that the regulator on the gas bottle could be used with either type of connector, I went out to the hardware store for a plain gas hose that thankfully came with the correctly-sized compression collars. Interestingly, the plain hose is a third of the price of the hose with screw-on couplers.

Here we go, I thought, almost done. But nooooooo. "Slipping" that hose onto the gas nozzles (one at each end) was like stuffing a baseball bat into a tube of toothpaste. We pushed, stretched, and twisted that hose for half an hour before we finally were able to force it onto each of the nozzles. The compression collars worked fine.

Once again, I was convinced we were finished. But nooooooo. I couldn't get the burners to light. A trip back to the internet made it clear: I had bought a bottle of butane, the gas we use in the kitchen, which apparently loses pressure in temperatures at or below 10ºC (high 40sF). The internet site said that it shouldn't matter, because who wants to grill outdoors in temperatures below 10ºC anyway? We were at around 11ºC as I was reading.

I finally got the burners lit and the grill heated up, as did the outside temperature, and we were able to cook our lunch. The grill worked great and lunch was delicious (and not too late). I'm going to grill again today and tomorrow -- both days are going to be warmer than yesterday. The butane should work fine through summer, then, when the bottle is empty, I'll trade it in for a bottle of propane.

* Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

12 comments:

  1. damn! so, what did you pick for your first grill-a-bration, beef or chicken or both?

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results....."
    Boy, oh boy!!
    We all do it, and then repeat it a couple of weeks or so later with a different set of instructions!!
    Be careful with the table tho'...
    I once broke a loo lid whilst trying to install something in a bathroom...
    well, the loo lid was the nearest, dry, flat surface to put the instructions....
    and...
    as I head butted it for the fifth time...
    there was a loud crack!!
    I replaced it with a polyethelene based one to avoid future "accidents"!!

    Love the picture...
    thist'le do!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Pauline just reminded me that we watched an episode of "Midsommer Murders" at an ETAP on one of our journeys through France....
      and we commented at the time that what was said in French....
      didn't match what we knew from the lipreading...
      and anyone watching the "King's English" in VOSTF must have had a very strange view of our last King...
      there were very many mistranslations...
      was it done by machine?
      But...
      all instruction manuals are translated initially from Chinese into Finnish...
      and then into all the "foreign" languages...
      by translators working in the eternal Finnish night...
      and fueled by wodka and fermented reindeer milk.
      And, when it comes to adding the pictorial instructions....
      they just click on the nearest .JPG file to the mouse pointer.
      So...
      down at the bottom of the page...
      there is always a line like...
      "The management reserve the right to change the specification of the model you have just purchased as needs dictate."
      Which basically means....
      "The contents of this box and its attendant leaflet may not necessarily match!!"

      Delete
  3. 17 degrees temps tomorrow afternoon for you. Perfect timing firing that barbecue even though it took longer than expected!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK. I don't get the point... what are those cool things in the photo? And as far as instructions, I have found I can often download user guides and such from the internet in English when the packaged product has every European language except English (although this was not your problem unless they really did put in the instructions for the wrong model). And for me, no project can be complete without at least two trips to the brico store. Anyway, you tell a great story with which I can identify except that I didn't hear anything about foul language. I'm glad it had a happy ending. Are you now jumpin', Jack ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thistle leaf points... one of the large annual ones... and those points go through thin leather gloves like a hot knife through butter!
      It'd make a fab quiz picture tho'... they look odd because Walt has taken the picture from a "hand's-eye view"!

      Delete
    2. Ah, OK. And on second look I think they also look kinda like little birdies waiting for mom to bring them breakfast. But thanks for the warning.

      Delete
  5. This is why I ignore the instructions, until my way of doing something does not work. I think there is a noticeable difference in flame temperature between butane and propane.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOL about the "point". How did we live before google solving our problems?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, such a frustrating experience! Certainly there would have been some swearing going on in a few homes that I know of, in this situation ;) You two were probably cool as cucumbers though, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  8. They look like alien baby birds

    ReplyDelete

Pour your heart out! I'm listening.