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The AJ Chronicles: 24 November 2023

A week in my life, and my recent Medium stories

Alan AJ
8 min readNov 24, 2023


A collage of six photos: A tray containing cacti; a circuit board from a Hive receiver; a heater control box; repairing a chair before and after, using washing line; and a steam iron
My son’s ailing ‘desert garden’ cacti, the modified Hive receiver circuit board, the finished heater controller, the chair repair, and the steam iron photo from this week’s Medium story. Author’s own photos


My Life

Recent Medium Stories

My Life

This week’s events

  1. A quieter Saturday 🌌🤫
  2. Stephanie’s fast electrician 🔌💨
  3. Dealing with Virgin Media’s price increases 📡💰
  4. Chair repair 🪑🔨
  5. Overwatered cacti 🌵🚿
  6. Too hot in the night 🥵🌃
  7. My son asked my advice about an electrical problem 🚗⚡️
  8. Should I leave Substack? 📝👋
  9. Odds and ends🚶‍♂️🚗

1. A quieter Saturday 🌌🤫

My father-in-law picked up my eldest son as usual on Saturday morning, and we took a look at his newly repaired car.

Although it still has a few scuffs, and the damage his daughter caused to the front grille is still there, the worst parts have been repaired. It now looks fairly average for its age.

Stephanie did not stay over last Saturday, so I had time to finish modifying my bedroom heater system to use the Hive receiver, as mentioned last week. It works well but I’ve had to put tape over the Hive LEDs because they’re too bright. (My circuit has auto-brightness for its LEDs, but I didn’t go to the trouble of modifying the Hive LED drivers.)

With Stephanie not coming over, I stayed at my in-laws’ longer than usual when picking up my son in the afternoon.

My mother-in-law asked for help ordering a 2024 diary on eBay. She said she’d tried earlier but the payment did not go through. She could have asked my son before I got there; perhaps she still thinks of him as a child.

I was surprised she wasn’t familiar with A4 and A5 paper sizes — especially as she used to have a printer for her laptop. Her 2023 diary was A4, so I suggested A5 because she wanted something smaller for next year.

My son placed the order, and it all went smoothly. Then we looked at the recent purchases…



Alan AJ

Random life stories, opinions, and a dry sense of humour. A 55-year-old former electronics engineer and programmer in England. Previously 'Autistic Widower'.