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Tuesday, 1 December 2020 Dereel Images for 1 December 2020
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More network problems
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne into my office today to tell me that she had been unable to upload her photo metadata to the external web server.

Why? Was it down? She had been able to upload the photos themselves to Digital Ocean, so it wasn't the net connection to the outside world. But I couldn't even ping www.lemis.com.

Was it down? No, no issues from eureka, only from lagoon. Routes? Probably not if I could access Digital Ocean, but checked for explicit routes. No, nothing. Ran tcpdump on eureka's external interface. Ping out, ping reply. And lagoon saw nothing. A bit of searching: the firewall! This line stopped it:

ipfw add 00021 allow ip from mx1 to aussie-gw

I suppose that makes sense, but how did it work before? I had already puzzled about this rule when I rebooted a couple of days ago, where the rule looked even stranger:

ipfw add 00021 allow ip from mx1 to eureka

That could never have worked because no traffic gets routed to eureka over the global Internet. All traffic goes to aussie-gw. So the new rule means that nothing finds its way to the natd further down in the rule set.

But it used to work. At the very least it seems that I made modifications to the configuration that didn't find their way back to the config file. I won't make that mistake again (I hope).

How to fix it? First I need to think my way through ipfw. For the time being, Yvonne has synced her metadata, so I have time to think.


Microsoft network pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The other networking issue I have is with distress, my Microsoft 10 box. Compared to firewall debugging, this seems to be swamp debugging. I still suspect that it has suddenly decided not to be compatible with older versions of SMB, but there was one workaround to try: mount the NFS-mounted copy of eureka:/Photos from lagoon.

Does that work? Yes! So I'll leave it like that until I have finished upgrading eureka, hopefully some time in this decade.


Understanding LED globe power use
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Question on Quora today: How much electricity does a 60-watt LED bulb use?. Clearly he was talking about a “60 W equivalent” globe. And I've seen that before. Well, not quite that:

 
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So a 100 W equivalent (“ENERGY”) globe produces 1600 lm (or Lm, as they prefer to falsify it), and a 60 W equivalent produces 800 lm. That doesn't seem plausible. But it doesn't really answer the question, so off to check what I had:


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To summarize:

Equivalent       Lumens       Power       Lumens/Equiv       Lumens/power
100       1521       14.5       15.2       104.9
100       1500       17.0       15.0       88.2
89       1300       15.0       14.6       86.7
75       1055       10.5       14.1       100.5
      1055       13             81.2

What does this tell me? It suggests that the brighter globes are also more efficient (maybe some overhead?), and that there are two different groupings of efficiency, one round 102 lm/W, the other round 85 lm/W. Coincidence?


More spring flowers
Topic: gardening Link here

One of our Strelitzia reginae is flowering:


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The other two are still looking unhappy, but at least something is happening. Also the Clematis “Edo Murasaki” has another flower:


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There are also a number of further buds.

And then the Trachelospermum jasminoides is coming again:


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By now it should have covered the arch, of course, but it's something.


Viltrox “speed booster”: problems
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I was quite happy with the Viltrox NF-M43X “speed booster” (apparently a trademark of Metabones) that I received last month. The build quality is considerably better than the other adapter, and you can see past the rather silly tripod adapter that's part of the device.

Or can you? Today I used it to take the photo of the Strelitzia reginae. And there I ran into a problem:


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The tripod adapter fouls the ARCA Swiss plate that I normally have mounted on the camera. Yes, I can take it off, but it's a bit silly to have to. They could at least have made it demountable, or done the logical thing and omitted it altogether. You can't even mount an ARCA Swiss plate on it, because that would foul the camera body.


Christmas beetles again
Topic: animals, photography, opinion Link here

As planned, took some photos of the “Christmas beetles” that I collected yesterday:


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The obvious problem is inadequate depth of field. I could have stopped down a little, but not much. What I need is focus stacking, but they won't keep still long enough for that—yet. I wonder if they look any worse when they're dead.


Wednesday, 2 December 2020 Dereel Images for 2 December 2020
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NFS/SMB: No go after all
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yesterday I discovered that I could access an NFS-mounted FreeBSD file system with SMB. But that was only up to a point, and when I tried more complicated processing today I got various hangs. Why? I don't know. I can still do all the processing I want via dischord, the Microsoft 7 box, so it's not urgent. More urgent is continuing the system upgrade for eureka.


More fun with the eureso upgrade
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

On Sunday I got my eureso upgrade to the point where I had a file system with an up-to-date kernel and userland—on dereel. Next step is to upgrade the ports, and for that I needed to boot it. New machine? Virtual machines should work for that.

OK, fire up my eureso virtual machine. Oh. Can't do. Some network problem, error VERR_SUPDRV_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND. What's that? I've seen problems with VBox networking before. From prior recollection (and documentation), it was something to do with the kernel modules that were needed: /boot/modules/vboxdrv.ko and /boot/modules/vboxnetflt.ko. But they were loaded. Found a /boot/modules/vboxnetadp.ko, so loaded that too, with no change.

OK, Google search. Once again no useful answer. OK, unload the kernel modules and reload them. Suddenly I had 14 modules instead of 11! But no, the Id of the modules doesn't have to be sequential. In fact there was only one new module, ng_ether.ko. The process of loading the other two must have loaded it too as a dependency. And after that things worked.

So why didn't ng_ether.ko get loaded at boot time? No idea. But that's a FreeBSD-specific module, so it's probably not surprising that I didn't find any useful answers.

But that wasn't the end of the matter. After NFS exporting the file system on eureso, I was able to tar copy the file system—for about 400 MB of data. Then the VM crashed. Restarted it, restarted the copy, and I got a spontaneous reboot, which further progressed into a reboot loop that did about 3 iterations before continuing—and dereel carried on copying as if nothing had happened. That way data inconsistencies lie. How do I copy the file now? From the other end?


Strelitzia nicolai not to be outdone
Topic: gardening Link here

One of the strangest things I've found about Strelitzia flowers is that they're so varied. Yesterday's Strelitzia reginae flower seemed completely normal, but I've seen others. And now the Strelitzia nicolai has produced a flower with at least 4 spikes:


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The fourth is pointing up to the left, and there's another one coming on the other side.


Incontinent Guinness
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne brought back some Guinness from shopping today. It didn't survive the transport well:


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How did that happen? These cans feel strange, rough-surfaced, almost as if they were made from plastic. Did I put the slab down too forcefully? No, it seems. The leak was tiny and on the side of one of the cans:


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Only on looking at the photos carefully did I see a scratch leading up to the leak:


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That can't have been my fault: it was in the middle of a 6 pack, pointing inwards, and the cardboard of the pack was undamaged. Put it in a beer glass into the fridge, where it stopped leaking, at least while I was watching.


Reboot your mobile phone?
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

More trouble with my mobile phone today. Various buzzes. Is that its way of saying “you're receiving a call, but I'm too polite to make the noises you asked for”? Tried calling myself. No “ring” tone. Was the original buzz Yvonne trying to call me? Tried pressing the phone symbol on the log to call her back. Nothing happened.

While messing around, about a minute later, my VoIP phone rang. I had pressed the phone symbol on the wrong log entry and called myself—but it had taken the phone a whole minute to get the request through its thick head!

OK, reboot. And how about that, though this is Android and not Microsoft, it worked! And the ring tones worked again.

On IRC people suggested that you shouldn't need to reboot a phone. But this is a Nokia 3, a cheap and nasty phone only about 50 times the speed of a CDC 7600, the 1970s supercomputer.


Thursday, 3 December 2020 Dereel Images for 3 December 2020
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Preparing for Christmas
Topic: general, photography, opinion Link here

The year is coming to an end, and one of our tasks is to write a new Christmas letter (really an end-of-year letter, since we want to include Christmas in it). And for that we need a photo.

In the past we've chosen different places each year:


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Where do we take this year's photo? It's difficult to get something from inside because of the disturbing background. But there's one room with a sofa and a plain background: the “library”.

But: it's been almost a year since my cousins Brendan and Robert Herbert brought me many boxes of old photos and documents from my mother, and the room is still full of them:


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And that was after tidying up. Clearly there's more to be done. Currently the boxes look like this:


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I must finally get round to scanning in the photos. Or should I? I don't recognize a large number of them, and I still have lots of old photos from the 1980s and 1990s that I haven't scanned in. At the very least I should get rid of all the old frames in the second box, which are really of no use to me.

The place for the photo is only one part of the setup. How do we differentiate ourselves from previous years? Clearly horses are out of question in the library, so it's back to our faithful Borzois. And in this year of the pandemic, we should all wear face masks—the dogs too.

How do we do that? Yvonne has borrowed a couple of greyhound muzzles from Whitey (Tim Winter), our pet food supplier, who is into greyhound racing:


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Can we fit a face mask on it? Yes!


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What we can't fit yet is a Borzoi head. We'll need an extension, though they're definitely wide enough:


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Now to get them to keep still with the things on. From prior experience, it's difficult enough without a muzzle.


Family reunion anniversary?
Topic: history, opinion Link here

43 years ago today we had a family reunion. I was back in Australia for the first time in 6 years with Doris, my wife of the time, and my parents had held not one, but two events, a barbecue and an evening reception. It was the first time in a long time I that had seen many of my relatives, and some I saw for the first time. And for many, it was also the last time; in the following 20 years I only returned to Australia once, and I didn't visit many of them then.

But one of the things I found in my mother's old documents was this pack of gold-rimmed invitation cards, somewhat over the top even for her. Looking at the amount left over, she doesn't seem to have used many, especially since they came from the Singapore era that finished nearly 3 years earlier:


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And on top were two that had been filled out but not sent:


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How about that, the second party of 43 years ago. But the date was 9 December 1977. How could that be? Did I get the date wrong? I wasn't keeping a diary at the time, but I did keep notes of fuel consumption. For early December I have (written on the back of a punch card):


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The format is mileometer reading (trip counter in brackets), both in miles, / litres / price. Look at those fuel costs! Between 16.5 and 21.9 ¢ per litre!

I'm pretty sure that we arrived in Australia in late November, and the fact that we didn't drive anywhere until 6 December is not of any particular consequence. And on 9 December we were in Frankston. The next fill wasn't until a week later, in Bendigo. The distance traveled (245 miles, or 392 km) clearly includes the journey from Frankston to Bendigo (210 km), and the other 180 odd km don't seem much for a week's driving, so that doesn't preclude the possibility that we drove to Bendigo on the afternoon of the 6th.

Still, there was a barbecue, which started round midday, and I was pretty sure that it was on the same day. My aunt Freda was there, and she lived in or near Frankston. But I'm sure she didn't travel with us. So I'm still not sure.


The eternal eureka upgrade
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yesterday the latest issue with my eureka upgrade was eureso crashing while copying files. OK, tar the file system to a file on (the real) eureka and untar it into the second file system on eureso.

It still crashed! It wasn't file system corruption on the destination file system: I had run newfs on it first. What's the issue here? Old, worn-out VBox? Old, worn-out kernel on eureso? No, that kernel is the same as the one running on eureka.

But clearly I need an alternative. One of the pile of 5 old real machines on the office floor? I don't even know which ones are still functional. One of the other VMs on eureka? Tried firing up one called 12-stable, which couldn't boot. 12-unstable could, so I hung the file system on it and was finally able to copy things, but by then it was evening.

Time to tidy up old, worn-out machines, both real and virtual.


Friday, 4 December 2020 Dereel Images for 4 December 2020
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Doctor's visit with a difference
Topic: health, technology, opinion Link here

Appointment with Paul Smith today to discuss last month's blood test. Dammit, do I really have to go to Ballarat just for that?

No. One of the positive things about COVID-19 is that we can now perform many doctor's appointments by phone, and today was a good example. Somehow it's not the same, though; maybe we should have a video link.

Results were unspectacular. Vitamin D is now in the normal range, though the test was taken only a couple of days since the end of the 3000 IU treatment. So for a while I'll take a more normal 1000 IU. And HbA1c seems to be climbing, from 5.9 in January to 6.1 in June to 6.3 now. The soft limit is 7.0, and the hard limit is 8.0, so though Paul is concerned, it's not clear why. Even if things continue at this rate, it'll be a couple of years before I hit the soft limit.

What are these numbers? According to the Wikipedia page I shouldn't be over 5.7%. I had to drag out my prior records (later) to find that the numbers Paul quoted were %, and they correspond to 41, 43 and (probably) 45 mmol/mol, an obfuscatory way to say 4.1 ‰ etc (Per mille, itself an obfuscatory way to describe tenths of a %).

But they're both % values! What is this? Ah, blood sugar is too important to have only one unit of measurement. It seems that there are at least three. I don't really want to know.

And there's the issue. I don't have a copy of last month's results. Normally Paul prints them out for me, but that clearly didn't work. Still, he can send them to me by email (reminding me that I'm still waiting for X-rays by email from Mario Cordioli from two weeks ago).

I also promised to send him some information on my visits to Dr. (Mr.?) Turner on 24 June 2015 and 19 August 2015. But the mail didn't go through:

<reception@healthfirstballarat.com.au>: host
    d205870.a.ess.uk.barracudanetworks.com[35.176.92.113] said: 550 permanent
    failure for one or more recipients
    (reception@healthfirstballarat.com.au:blocked) (in reply to end of DATA
    command)

Blocked? What's that? Did I have the wrong email address? No, it's correct. Why is it blocked? Called them up and spoke to Amanda, who sent me an email message, to which I replied successfully. Well, except that she couldn't open the attachment. What attachment? Oh yes, there's a digital signature. But it seems that her MUA is not set up to read straight RFC 822 mail messages, though she did find it.

So what's going on here? Clearly Amanda doesn't know, but it would be interested to investigate.


Tracking December 1977
Topic: history, photography, opinion Link here

So when did we have the family reunions in December 1977? I had thought 3 December 1977, but my mother's invitation said 9 December. Nothing for it: I needed to find additional evidence.

The obvious place was to look at the photos that I took at the time. The scans, taken weren't very good, but since then I've been able to significantly improve the results. So instead of scanning my mother's old photos, as planned, I started scanning my old photos, in the process discovering many more, both unscanned and (badly) scanned. There's a total of about 320 of them, and it takes half a day to scan a single film.


Mud wasps
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Petra found a mud wasp nest next to the front door today, and accordingly removed it. But the wasp wouldn't take no for an answer. During the course of the day, it (they?) rebuilt it at an amazing rate. I started observing relatively late, but between 17:33 and 19:10 it increased like this:


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That seems to be as much as it wanted to do. I'll remove it and see what happens next time.


Saturday, 5 December 2020 Dereel Images for 5 December 2020
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Recovering old photos
Topic: photography, history, opinion Link here

Spent most of the day scanning in slides from December 1977. I've scanned slides before, but I still run into issues I hadn't expected.

The good news: the images are much better than the best I could get out of that horrible Canon 9900F. But they weren't the same! After scanning in all images that I think could have belonged to the barbecue on 3 December 1977, none of the images matched.

The explanation came with the next film: more photos of the same event or events, interspersed with newer images up to the middle of the month. It seems that I only scanned in that film in 2004. It's also clear that we had two cameras—here's Doris with the other one a week or two earlier:


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Or is it? Where's the photo she took there? And almost none of the photos appear to have been taken by Doris. Why would I take two rolls of Kodachrome 64 in two different cameras at the same time? And which would the other camera have been? My second camera (an Edixa-Mat Reflex D) was stolen 26 September 1976 the year before, and I never replaced it. So on the face of it it would have been Doris' camera, probably a Miranda F, except that there's every reason to believe that I took most or all of the photos. I'm still puzzled.

The scan results with the Epson were an order of magnitude better with the Canon, but it's not perfect either. In particular, apart from the clunky software interface, it also seems to have issues recognizing the size of a slide, at least when it's in portrait mode. This is the display after previewing:


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The first image (top left) clearly has a different aspect ratio from the others. That's because it's in portrait orientation. Turning it round and repeating the preview gave the full width, as these two crops show (the second rotated back for comparison):

 
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That's actually easier than putting them all in the right way up. It takes less time, and rotating them during postprocessing is much easier. But it also shows a general issue with framing: now the images are clipped in the other direction.


Mud wasp disturbed
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

The mud wasp nest was clearly finished when I took my last photo yesterday evening. It looked just the same this morning. OK, remove it and watch what happens.

The first thing was what looked like a larva:


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That was the best (hand-held) photo I got. Unfortunately I lost it before I could bring it inside for a better photo.

Nothing happened for about 2 hours, but then I found the wasp rebuilding the nest one brick higher:


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But that's as far as it went. After I took these photos, it stopped. I think it decided that my proximity was not good, and it's either going to wait for me to go away, or more likely build a nest elsewhere.


Sunday, 6 December 2020 Dereel → Ross Creek → Dereel Images for 6 December 2020
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Lunch at the Teos
Topic: general, food and drink Link here

Off to Ross Creek today for lunch with Danielle Teo and family. We arrived too early, of course (for the record: driving time 22 minutes), so off with Yvonne to take a look at Wotan, who has ended his wanderings here:


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They have a nice place, on the side of a hill looking north:


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The food was excellent, of course. Just a light lunch:


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Danielle is Hokkien, and so of course was the food. My experience is more with Cantonese food, and there was some difference. Now how many of these dishes can I copy?


More slide scanning
Topic: photography, history, opinion Link here

Back to yesterday's question: why did I take two separate sets of photos of the family reunions in December 1977?

Why, did I take two separate sets of photos of the family reunions in December 1977? After more careful comparison, including of who was there and what they were wearing, it seems that we had more reunions than I thought. What I have now is:

  1. Probably 3 December: we had a relatively small barbecue. The only people I got on film were two boys round 10 years old:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771203/big/Barbecue-1-detail.jpeg
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    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771203/big/Barbecue-2.jpeg
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    It's quite probable that these are Brendan and Robert Herbert, my cousins who live in Bendigo, so their presence didn't need to mean much in the way of parties.

    If I'm right, this also shows how things had changed the next time they visited:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Robert-Greg-Brendan-Nikolai-9.jpeg
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  2. My cousin Mick and girlfriend Diane came for a visit and stayed overnight.


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771203/big/Mick-Diane-Doris-1.jpeg
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  3. There was an evening reception with some members of the Herbert family.


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    That's my father staring bravely into the cannon, my uncle Bob Herbert on the left in the first image, his wife Lorraine on the left in the second.

  4. Then, almost certainly on the next day, we had a barbecue worthy of its name: in particular Bob and Lorraine had come from Armidale, 1200 km away. This barbecue was also with members of the Lehey family, though I don't see any here:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771204/big/Barbecue-2.jpeg
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    About the only thing I can recognize is this, first from the afternoon, then from the evening:

     
    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771204/big/Barbecue-9-detail.jpeg
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    I suppose it's a sign of the times that I don't recognize who this is. But clearly the evening photos were taken on the same day. For some reason there seems to be no representative of the Leheys in the photos:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771204/big/Reunion-7.jpeg
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    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771204/big/Reunion-9.jpeg
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So it seems that all these photos were taken sequentially in one camera over two days. If Doris took any, she probably kept them when we broke up. And it strongly suggests that we didn't have a reception on 9 December, as the invitation cards suggested, or if we did, I didn't take any photos. The date also clashes with one of the few possibilities where I could have taken photos at my uncle Max's place, which I had set for 9 December.

What a pain this scanning is! The slides weren't nearly as well-marked as I thought. Film number 7 proved to be mainly purchased slides of the Alhambra, now amazingly faded, which we presumably bought in October 1982, along with 13 slides of Singapore. And my propensity to get 37 shots on a 36 exposure film meant that some of the slide carriers (also for 36 shots) overflowed. The carrier with the Alhambra and Singapore also had a 36 and 37 with a proud mother and baby, and neither of us can recognize who they might be.

On the positive side, I'm now in a position to compare the scans of 16 years ago:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19771204/big/Barbecue-4-Canonscan.jpeg
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It's not as simple as just being underexposed: I couldn't find a way to enable 48 bit mode on the Canon, so I couldn't fix the scans. And the thing was too stupid to find the frames correctly (something, however, where the Epson also has problems).


Monday, 7 December 2020 Dereel Images for 7 December 2020
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Another power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure today at 13:33:28, this time 3 seconds.


2020 Christmas photo
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

We borrowed some greyhound muzzles from Tim Winter last week, and they're due back on Wednesday. High time for this year's Christmas photo.

It wasn't easy. In particular, Leonid didn't want to play along. Nikolai did at the beginning:


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By the time Yvonne got Leo to come to the party, Niko had lost interest and was studiously studying the floor. The best we got was this:


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It looks like we'll be in for another session tomorrow.


Sunset mouse
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've been having various issues with the wireless keyboards that I use instead of a remote control for teevee, my TV computer. Spent some time messing around with batteries, without any final results.

But Yvonne wanted to join in the fun. She came to me and said “I think my mouse needs a new battery”. I don't think so:


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But yes, the mouse was dead. It has a red LED, but it was off. How old is it? It seems to be a relic of a bygone millennium. But things were worse than that: the keyboard didn't seem to work either, though the NumLock key came on. It took me a while to realize that I had dislodged the monitor connector while checking the mouse.

But the X display still didn't work. Switch to a vty? Yes, worked, sort of: the display driver scrambles the screen, but input still works. Back to X. The LED came on and it worked, sort of: I could move the cursor, but some button functions didn't work. Window manager problems?

Restarted X. Same problem. Try with other mice. Similar problems. Mouse buttons 2 and 3 worked, mouse button didn't. Dammit, Microsoft time: reboot.

And reboot failed with an unexpected error:

Dec  7 17:41:28 lagoon kernel: (da1:umass-sim0:0:0:0): SERVICE ACTION IN(16). CDB: 9e 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 20 00 00
Dec  7 17:41:28 lagoon kernel: (da1:umass-sim0:0:0:0): SCSI sense: HARDWARE FAILURE asc:44,81 (Vendor Specific ASCQ)
Dec  7 17:41:28 lagoon kernel: (da1:umass-sim0:0:0:0): fatal error, failed to attach to device
Dec  7 17:41:28 lagoon kernel: g_access(958): provider da1 has error 6 set

That's the photo backup disk that I installed only 3 months ago. Is it really dead? It's possible, of course, but it seems strange that it should have occurred right now.

Disconnected and reconnected the disk. Finished booting, doing the lengthy fsck in the background, and started X. Still mouse problems. The old Sun mouse is clearly defective; I checked it in teevee and got the same results. But the Logitech wireless mouse that I put in in its place also didn't always work: in particular, mouse button 1 only worked sometimes, as I was able to confirm with xev.

So what's the issue? My best bet is that the Sun mouse failed and took lagoon's USB bus along with it. That would explain the problems with /photobackup. Time for a new machine. What do I have lying around, apart from junk? My list shows:

System name       Label       Serial       Model       CPU       Speed       Memory
tiwi       MT-M 7483 P33       R81HZK3       M58p       Core 2 Q9505       2.83 GHz       4 GB
      MT-M 6073 BMM       L3AAX4D       M57p       ?             ?

My guess is that the second system is defective, and that's why I don't have complete information. And the first one is considerably slower than the current lagoon, itself not a ball of fire. Time for yet another ThinkCentre. The good news is that the M93p is now available for $159, including postage, so we'll hope that we can hold out until then.

And a new mouse? OfficeWorks has them for $4 and upwards. But maybe Yvonne will find that a wireless mouse isn't that bad after all.


More herons
Topic: animals, general Link here

We've had the occasional visit of a heron for at least 3 months, though we've had them on numerous occasions previously. I was idly wondering if it was always the same one, but today we got at least a partial answer:


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Are they a pair? Yvonne is concerned that they would eat the goldfish, but I don't think that's easy. What they do seem to be eating are the numerous snails around the garden at the moment.


Tuesday, 8 December 2020 Dereel Images for 8 December 2020
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Another grid outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure this morning, starting at 08:40:53, and lasting nearly 16 minutes. Fortunately it was in the daytime, so despite the low state of charge of the battery, we didn't have any problems.

That wasn't the only one; at 23:30:50 we had another brief outage, which I normally wouldn't mention.


Christmas photo, try 2
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

Yesterday's Christmas photos weren't the best we have ever taken, so today we had another attempt. It wasn't much better. Yvonne was able to get Leonid to sit down, but only briefly. In the end we once again didn't get anything of much use:


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The muzzles go back tomorrow. Which will we choose? Or should we just give up and take some other kind of photo?


Investigating Microsoft networking issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So why can't distress (Microsoft 10) access file systems on eureka with SMB? There was an issue with the protocol version, but I fixed that months ago. Has distress forgotten the settings? Off to check, with the help of this page. Well, sort of help. It's dated 23 May 2018, over 1½ years old, so Microsoft has changed their maze of twisty little menus, all different.

But when I checked, yes, SMB 1.0 client was enabled. The message I had was:

 
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OK, more searching, and came up with this page, which said “Pinpointing the direct cause of the problem you are dealing with is one of the most important steps while troubleshooting”. That sounds like my kind of page, but what followed was a series of suggested solutions without first knowing what the problem was. First I should enter:

C:\Users\grog> net use * /delete

That sounds a bit drastic. How about

C:\Users\grog> net use P: /delete

Yes, that worked. Next, adapted,

C:\Users\grog> net use P: \\eureka\Photos /user:grog Vomit

But that didn't work:

 
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Left hand, right hand. On the left it discovered EUREKA (its name for eureka), but on the right it can't find the “network path” \\EUREKA.

tcpdump time. It's sending requests to eureka on port microsoft-ds (445), and though it's getting answers, nmap can't access microsoft-ds, and the tcpdump shows RST responses:

17:26:56.471131 IP 192.109.197.172.54974 > 192.109.197.137.445: Flags [S], seq 1528633366, win 64240, options [mss 1460,nop,wscale 8,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0
17:26:56.471135 IP 192.109.197.137.445 > 192.109.197.172.54974: Flags [R.], seq 0, ack 1528633367, win 0, length 0

Clearly dischord can access the system, so my guess is that distress is ignoring settings and trying to use SMB client > 1.0. OK, it's nothing new that Microsoft is broken. High time to get back to my eureso system upgrade.


Acacia stricta after all?
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Due to Leonid's arthritis we haven't walked the dogs far recently, but today we went a little further, and found this Acacia in flower:


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That should probably be “still in flower”. I had already noticed it in May and thought that it could be an Acacia stricta, except for the flowering time.


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But it seems that it has been flowering for a lot of the intervening time. Maybe not such a bad choice for our garden. Surely Acacias should be able to survive here.


Wednesday, 9 December 2020 Dereel Images for 9 December 2020
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Another attempt at huevos a la tigre
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

My previous attempts at huevos a la tigre left the egg not completely cooked. Maybe the “air fryer” approach isn't the best. How about a good old microwave oven?


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Well, I could have mixed the egg better. But maybe it's a better approach. To be repeated, at least once.


SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations start
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

Yesterday the first wide-scale vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 started in the United Kingdom, not without a bit of theatre. Neave Barker of Al Jazeera reported:

More than half of the people who have died of the virus in the UK are over 80. They're getting the injection first.

So it wasn't surprising that one the first to receive the vaccine was William Shakespeare, though I have to wonder whether Donald Trump's logistics team might have had a hand in the matter.


The eternal eureka upgrade
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Clearly I went off on a tangent to try to fix SMB communication between distress and eureka yesterday. I should have been continuing with my upgrade of eureka to a modern version of FreeBSD. So that's what I started on today. I had a root file system with up-to-date kernel and relatively new userland. Boot up in eureso and upgrade the ports.

That wasn't the problem I expected, sort of. It didn't even want to delete Emacs, only, to my surprise:

Installed packages to be REMOVED:
        chromium: 79.0.3945.130
        firefox: 72.0.2_2,1

OK, I can reinstall them later. Spent much of the day with the install. Then back to install the browsers:

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) /usr/src 9 -> mailme pkg install chromium
pkg: No packages available to install matching 'chromium' have been found in the repositories
=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) /usr/src 10 -> mailme pkg install  firefox
pkg: No packages available to install matching 'firefox' have been found in the repositories

Huh?

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) /usr/src 11 -> pkg search chromium
chromium-bsu-0.9.16.1_1        Arcade-style, top-scrolling space shooter
chromium-gn-85.0.4183.121_3    Gn meta build framework
=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) /usr/src 12 -> pkg search chrome
chrome-gnome-shell-10.1        GNOME Shell integration for Chrome
rubygem-chromedriver-helper-2.1.1 Easy installation and use of chromedriver
xf86-video-openchrome-0.6.0_4  X.Org openChrome display driver
=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) /usr/src 13 -> pkg search firefox
firefox-esr-78.5.0_4,1         Web browser based on the browser portion of Mozilla

What has happened there? pkg database corruption?

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/1) ~ 7 -> mailme pkg update
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
FreeBSD repository is up to date.
All repositories are up to date.

That's what I expected, but how about using force?

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/1) ~ 8 -> mailme pkg update -f
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
Fetching meta.conf: . done
Fetching packagesite.txz: .......... done
Processing entries:
Newer FreeBSD version for package p5-POE-Component-Server-SOAP:
To ignore this error set IGNORE_OSVERSION=yes
- package: 1201000
- running kernel: 1200502

Why should the current kernel, built last week, have that kind of inconsistency? After a bit of messing around, discovered that both kernels were considerably out of date:

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) ~ 1 -> df
Filesystem      1048576-blocks      Used     Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/ada0p2             29,736    14,896    12,461    54%    /
eureka:/destdir         39,662    13,447    23,042    37%    /destdir
=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/0) ~ 2 -> l /boot/kernel/kernel /destdir/boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  37,150,288  5 Feb  2020 /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  31,326,088 13 Apr  2019 /destdir/boot/kernel/kernel

Huh? I just installed a kernel on this thing a few days ago. Where did it go? I'll have to fire up instable-12 again to find out what I did.

Why is this all such a pain? Clearly I'm ignoring what I wrote 25 years ago about making installation easy, but then in those days we were talking about new installations, and we didn't have the massive dependencies of the Ports Collection to contend with.

Another “mañana”.


Finishing the 1977 photo scans
Topic: photography, history, technology, opinion Link here

I've been scanning slides of our Australia trip in 1977 and 1978 for 5 days, and finally I'm done—I think. Multiple things complicated the matter, including deciding how to organize the files. I started with a single directory per film, but then it turned out that the slide trays didn't correspond one to one with films. But now I have directories ~/Photos/Film/19780101 to ~/Photos/Film/19780108, along with one that didn't belong there at all: processed in March 1977, and from my preliminary examination seems to have been taken in Mexico.

That's confusing, because I thought we traveled to Mexico in January 1979. But on recollection it was a decision we made at relatively short notice: we had planned to travel to Singapore for my sister's wedding, but she called it off. And those recollections are related to our time in Schermbeck, which we left in October 1976. I had joined Karstadt in May 1976 with the agreement that I could take my holidays for 1977 and 1978 together over the Christmas 1977 break—as, of course, I did. So why other holidays in 1977? My guess is that it was (probably deliberately) left-over holiday time from 1976, which would have expired in March.

So how do I process the photos? Decided to put them all into one directory, process them, run my “contact print” process and then move the selected images to a more appropriate date. Repeat until they're all done. So far I only have around Melbourne and the Adelaide trip.


Thursday, 10 December 2020 Dereel Images for 10 December 2020
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Breakfast with Helena
Topic: general, food and drink, opinion Link here

Helena Mirčić, our neighbour from the other end of Stones Road, came along today with still more eggs. Yvonne invited her to breakfast:


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System upgrade, continued
Topic: technology Link here

Why did I not find my new kernel and userland on eureso yesterday? Put the “disk” back into the instable-12 VM and checked. Yes, the kernel is there!

[root@instable-12 /destdir]# ls -l /destdir/boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  37262464 Nov 29 22:12 /destdir/boot/kernel/kernel

What's going on? Checked the pathnames to the “disks”, not helped by the too-small window (which, however, I was able to enlarge. Yes, same pathname. But then a transient display popped up:

 
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Yes, the same file. Different differences.

That's a feature, not a bug, just not a feature that I was reckoning with. What it basically means is that I have to be very careful when moving “disks” from one VM to another. And what do I do now? Procrastinate again and consider what to do. The obvious thing would be to complete the work on instable-12, but first I need to think it through.


Your Windows has crashed!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne into the office this afternoon to report a serious “Windows” error:


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That's nonsense, of course. This was on lagoon, a FreeBSD box. And the phone number wasn't even valid: it's clearly a US telephone number. But I couldn't get rid of the page! They had modified the cursor movement so that I couldn't close the tab, nor even copy the URL:


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It was straightforward enough to shoot down the firefox and restart, but what do people do who don't understand the background?


Getting a good photo
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I took this morning's photos with the camera on a tripod and a remote control. When do I click? I need to be more careful:

 
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50 kWh!
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

When I last investigated photovoltaic power, one of the things I did was to check how much power I could expect from a panel. Various web pages suggested that round here I could get the equivalent of 3.5 hours of sunshine on average throughout the year: the average daily output of a 1 kW panel would be 3.5 kWh.

I've been keeping an eye on that. We have 10.8 kW of panels, so I should expect an average of 37.8 kWh per day. In fact, we almost never got that much. Today (sunrise 5:56, sunset 20:39), for the first time since the middle of the year, we finally generated 50.01 kWh, the equivalent of 4.6 hours of power. But that's a real exception. I should find a way to sum all the power we have generated, but I'd expect the average to be no more than 2.5 hours, maybe only 2.


Friday, 11 December 2020 Dereel Images for 11 December 2020
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Damn ABC reception!
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

For the past three days I have had no ABC radio signal at all. Admittedly only two radios, one connected by a real Yagi antenna, the other just a strip of wire behind my bed. At least no reason to believe that there's anything common between the two, and TV reception was normal.

Bad ABC! Their coverage page showed no outages. That's not the first time, and previous experience suggested that I should be prepared before calling them. So I asked on the Dereel Facebook page and got almost no response.

OK, what could the alternatives be? Could it be that the bedside radio was connected to the antenna after all? Then a loose connector from the radio antenna could be the problem. Out to take a look:


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Yes! OK, problem identified. Now how do I fix it? My days of climbing on roofs are long over. I suppose I'm going to have to call in an electrician.


An eagle!
Topic: animals, photography, opinion Link here

To get the photo of the antenna I used my Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 mm f/4.0-6.3, which doesn't normally see much use. And on my way back into the house I was greeted by this sight:


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I had thought that it's an Aquila audax, the audacious largest species of Eagle, known as the wedge-tailed eagle. But somehow the tail doesn't seem just right. I took other photos, but they were even worse. Even these are barely acceptable. But what else could it be?


New ThinkCentre
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The new ThinkCentre 93p for Yvonne has arrived. It came with a virgin install of Microsoft “Windows” Pro, so before giving it to Yvonne I tried setting up file sharing to see whether it would far any better than distress.

First problem: what should I call the system? Checked /usr/share/dict/web2 and came up with the possibilities disagree, dislike, disarray, disaster, discard, discord, disdain and disturb. And in the DNS configuration I already had disgust, which I had used last time. In the end I selected disgust, though it's probably not the most appropriate.

It's only been 5 months since I set up distress, but already I had forgotten the details: everything Microsoft is so counter-intuitive. Still, I have a HOWTO page to tell me what to do.

Oh. I started updating it round that time, but never got very far. As a result it wasn't very much help. Still, there's plenty of rant in my diary, and that helped.

One thing that it made clear was that the process was different this time. In particular, though it was the same version of “Windows 10” (2004), it didn't want a Microsoft ID from me. Did it somehow sense that it was near other Microsoft boxen? It certainly didn't say.

Took a number of screen shots of the process, something that I didn't do last time, and in principle things worked without too much pain. I was able to disable their firewall and enable remote desktop (differently from last time), but I ran into the same issues trying to mount SMB file systems from eureka. But I noticed a point in the diary at the time: it didn't work then either until I did something that made it work. And frustratingly, I never found out what it was.

Roll on the new eureka.


Still more mud wasps
Topic: animals Link here

After I caught a mud wasp in the act of building a nest last week, nothing much happened. But today it was back, apparently with a mate:


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Two nests! More to observe.


Saturday, 12 December 2020 Dereel Images for 12 December 2020
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Swallow? Swift? Dead.
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

About the first thing I do every morning is to let Piccola out of the laundry and outside—not directly through the laundry door, but through the front door, because that's her routine.

But looking through the laundry door I found a dead bird:


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What is it? I thought it was a swallow, but Yvonne told me that it was a swift. She's usually right, but I went checking anyway, and came up with the interesting fact that there are almost no close-up images of swallows and swifts (especially swifts) on the web. It wasn't until much later that I found my bird book, which showed images of barn swallows that look almost identical. So that's what it is until proof of the contrary.

How did it die? None of our animals were involved as far as I can see. It seems uninjured. Hopefully not some contagious disease.


Photo scanning: enough
Topic: photography Link here

I've now scanned something like 10 films, but I've only processed part of the first one. The processing takes more of my time, thus the discrepancy. But before I lose track, I'd better try catching up. No more scanning for the moment.


More flat Guinness!
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A nice, undamaged can of Guinness this afternoon.

Well, undamaged, but flat:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201212/big/Flat-Guinness-1.jpeg
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What caused that? Was the next the same? Well, no, but also not good:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201212/big/Flat-Guinness-2.jpeg
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That makes at least 4 cans that were not up to scratch. I'm not sure that I've had more than one that was OK. Return?


Sunday, 13 December 2020 Dereel Images for 13 December 2020
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Catch-up day
Topic: general, photography Link here

Somehow I've been doing lots of things lately. But not today: time to catch up with things I've been doing, and to do a bit of photo processing. It's good to slow down a bit.


Another dead bird
Topic: animals Link here

Found another dead bird outside the laundry today, this time a male superb fairy wren:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201214/big/Fairy-wren-4.jpeg
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So why have I found two dead birds outside the laundry in the past couple of days?


More sprinkler work
Topic: gardening Link here

I haven't paid much attention to the garden lately—the lack of progress is very discouraging. But clearly some plants are suffering from lack of water, so off to check the sprinklers. Yes, we have a number of leaks. Plugged some of them, but the others are hidden under surprisingly prickly hebes, and I'll wait for the cooler weather forecast later in the week.


Monday, 14 December 2020 Dereel Images for 14 December 2020
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Gardening and more
Topic: gardening, Stones Road house, general Link here

Paul Gallagher along this morning for the fortnightly lawn mowing and continued weeding. He also made himself invaluable by reconnecting the radio antenna:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201214/big/Antenna-repair-3.jpeg
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He also helped me move the indoor tomato plant and the mite-infested curry tree out onto the verandah:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/Tomato-curry-tree.jpeg
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Hay!
Topic: general, animals Link here

John Freeman and helpers along this morning to deliver this year's batch of hay:


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That incurred a certain traffic jam, since Chris Bahlo also came along to see the fun, and Paul Gallagher was also there:


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Happy birthday Chris
Topic: general, food and drink Link here

Today was Chris Bahlo's birthday. It's been a while since we stopped having dinner every Saturday, but today was a special occasion, even if the birthday cake involved some effort:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201214/big/Birthday-dinner-5.jpeg
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I'm reminded of this old slide of “Big” Jim McGibbon, taken about 50 years ago, which I recently found during my slide scanning:


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Calculating field of view
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Yet another question about camera optics on Quora today: Why is the Nikon 16mm fisheye able to have 180 degrees despite 14mm being technically wider than 16mm?.

Well, what's “technically”? Clearly the 14 mm lens is rectilinear, and the field of view follows different rules from fisheye lenses. Wrote an answer, which was well received, but the original poster had a follow-up question: “Can you explain those formulas again and put them in a form i can save to notes like super simplified.”.

Good question, I suppose. What does Wikipedia say? Nothing useful, it seems:

For lenses projecting rectilinear (non-spatially-distorted) images of distant objects, the effective focal length and the image format dimensions completely define the angle of view. Calculations for lenses producing non-rectilinear images are much more complex and in the end not very useful in most practical applications. (In the case of a lens with distortion, e.g., a fisheye lens, a longer lens with distortion can have a wider angle of view than a shorter lens with low distortion.

I have such problems with these statements. First, the author is confusing distortion and projection. I put these two images in the reply:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20170826/big/Dinner-5-fisheye.jpeg
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The first is the fisheye projection (note the curvature of the frames at the top of the image), and the second is rectilinear (note the extreme elongation at the edges). Which is “distorted”? It's interesting to note that some news videos now appear to be taken with fisheye lenses, maybe because the projection is less obtrusive.

More complicated? For a rectilinear lens, the angle of view is 2 * atan (d / (2 * f)). For a fisheye lens, it's d / f. Clearly the fisheye is simpler.

Off looking for something better, and came up with this page, by Bob Atkins. It looks quite reasonable.

Oh. He disagrees with me about the formula for fisheyes. 4 * asin (d / (f * 4)), not d / f. Why?

In fact, the disagreement is elsewhere. He has gone to the trouble to show the formulae for fisheye lenses with different projections. He claims, without evidence, that most fisheye lenses have an equisolid projection, for which the formula is—he says—4 * asin (d / (f * 4)). He gives the same formula as I have for equidistant projection, the one I'm using. He also comes up with two further projections: for ““orthogonal” projection (I think he means orthographic) it's 4 * asin (d / (f * 4)), and for stereographic it's 4 * atan (d / (f * 4)).

So who's right? What projections do most fisheye lenses have? How can I find out? Until proof of the contrary I'll stick with equidistant.

And what's this equisolid projection? I haven't found a good description yet.


Tuesday, 15 December 2020 Dereel Images for 15 December 2020
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More fisheye thoughts
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Yesterday I did some thinking about fisheye projections. It's a confusing issue: firstly, people seem to think that there's only one projection, and that it's a form of distortion. In addition, most references to projections seem to have to do with map projections. Yes, they're the same thing, but the viewpoint is somewhat different. And finally, there seems to be no consensus about the names of the projections. So far I have:

wikipedia       Bob Atkins       alternatives
rectilinear             gnomonic
stereographic             conform, planisphere, azimuthal conformal
equidistant       equidistance       linear, linear-scaled
equisolid angle             equal-area
orthographic       orthogonal       orthogonal

I'm sure that there are others too, but I can't find them.

Did a bit of searching and came up with this page, by Paul Bourke, which explains the background of the mappings. And the Wikipedia fisheye pages is also not as bad as the angle of view page. Sadly, the illustrations on both pages are not really compelling, notably not the one on Wikipedia. Probably the take-home thing is: the equidistant projection seems to be the best choice.

And what do I have? According to Bob Atkins,

Probably the most common is the equisolid angle projection,

But Paul Bourke writes:

By far most fisheye lenses manufactured today for cameras, and usually with the intent of being mapped into equirectangular images, are of the equidistant type.

Who's right? Maybe both of them at the time they wrote. The Wikipedia page gives projections for a number of fisheye lenses, all old; the newest Olympus lens is the 8 mm f/2.8 Zuiko, presumably a circular fisheye for full-frame film cameras. It is apparently equal-area (equisolid). Are the newer Olympus lenses also equisolid?

The obvious thing is to take a photo of a geometric subject and compare areas of the photo. I did this three years ago:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20170901/big/Fisheye-test-1.jpeg
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That doesn't look like the bricks are all the same size. But that's clear on reflection: the equidistant projection is equidistant: the sizes are the same when mapping a spherical surface. And clearly this wall is plane, not spherical.

So how do I find out? A relatively detailed Google search revealed nothing. Sent a question to the M43 Tech Talk page on Facebook, but I don't expect any useful answer there. How about considering what happens when the direction of view changes? With rectilinear views (like Google Maps Street View) the change in aspect at the corners is very pronounced. If I understand it correctly, things should be distorted in the other direction with equisolid and (especially) orthographic projections, while equidistant should show no change. From Paul Bourke's page:

http://paulbourke.net/dome/fisheyetypes/fisheyetypes_s.png


Mystery flower
Topic: gardening Link here

Suddenly we have a lot of these flowers across the road from the entrance to our house:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201215/big/Mystery-flower-2.jpeg
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What are they? Have I seen them before?


Wednesday, 16 December 2020 Dereel Images for 16 December 2020
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A new lagoon
Topic: technology Link here

Yvonne off shopping today, time for me to change the hardware of lagoon, her computer, hopefully without her noticing. Since last week's crash it seemed certain that the USB subsystem of her current machine was defective, so I bought a new one.

They're both ThinkCentres, the old one an M91p, the new an M93p. All I really needed was to change the disk and the display card. How long could it take? 10 minutes?

It took half an hour. ThinkCentres are interesting because they need almost no tools, but I still have difficulty opening them (each model differently) and getting the disks out of the carriers. And of course there's the cabling that gets in the way. But the new one came up with no issues—except that I still had the same problem with the Logitech mouse that had convinced me that something was wrong with the USB system. So in all probability there's nothing wrong with the old machine after all. But the new machine has USB 3, so the transfers to the external disks will be much faster.

Now how do I ensure that Yvonne doesn't notice the swap? Put all the stuff around the machine back the way it was before. Yes, the box looks marginally different, but will she notice?

No, not directly. But I had moved the USB connectors round, with the mouse dongles at the back, and while I was at it I plugged her camera in to charge (off the USB subsystem). And she noticed that. And somehow the new el-cheapo wireless mouse ($7 from OfficeWorks) still has issues with not waking up. But as far as I know, she still hasn't noticed that the machine has changed.


More mud wasps
Topic: animals Link here

I've been observing the mud wasp nests outside the front door for nearly two weeks now. Only the following day it looked as if I had chased it away. But now it seems to have brought reinforcement. Here on 4 December, 11 December and today:


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I should get rid of them, of course, but I'd like to observe them first.


More dead birds?
Topic: animals Link here

I've been wondering where the dead birds came from recently, but today Piccola brought a clue in her mouth, this time some kind of wren. It was still alive, so I took it for her and put it outside on the table on the verandah.

It didn't look good. It looked as if the tail may have been broken at the base, and it was panting furiously. Yvonne got some kitchen paper, put it in a plastic container, and put the bird on top. How about that, it stopped panting, and an hour or so later it was gone. Yes, I can't exclude the possibility that Piccola found it and processed it somewhere where we couldn't find her, but I don't think so.

So: was she responsible for the other two birds? It's quite possible that she wanted to kill them but not eat them.


CFA preparations for fire season
Topic: general, Stones Road house, opinion Link here

I had barely put Piccola's bird away when somebody knocked on the door. Lucy from the Beeac CFA, with a big brochure and lots of advice on how to survive the fire season. One suggestion: install the VicEmergency app on my phone. My response: “Why? It's useless”. I had installed it a couple of years ago, and though it's still installed, I don't get notified. She agreed, but she had to say it.

Why don't people do something about these useless apps?


Thursday, 17 December 2020 Dereel Images for 17 December 2020
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More rain gauge strangeness
Topic: general, opinion Link here

It rained overnight. How much? I have the choice: 4.0 mm (west rain gauge), 6.6 mm (weather station) or 7.0 mm (east rain gauge).

I've had issues with the two real rain gauges showing different results; in fact, they almost never show the same results. But this is very extreme, especially since the weather station almost invariably shows less than either of the other two. Can it have something to do with the way the rain fell?


The daily dead bird
Topic: animals Link here

Another dead bird outside the laundry this morning, something like a sparrow. That's four dead birds in six days. But this one was different: it had clearly been chewed on. Clearly Piccola. And the fact that I found it in the same place as two of the others suggests that she had had a paw in their deaths too.

Yvonne thinks that it had something to do with the hay delivery on Monday. She had seen Piccola climbing up over the hay to the swallow's nests. Problem: the dead swallow was on Saturday, and the dead fairy wren was on Sunday. And the other three birds didn't seem to be related to the swallows' nests. So the hay might make it easier for Piccola in the future, but it doesn't explain how she caught these ones.


E-M1 exposure issues
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

After taking a photo with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I today, I switched back from auto-ISO to standard ISO 200/24°. And then Piccola started stalking something.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/Piccola-1.jpeg
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What went wrong there? The Exif data shows correct ISO setting, but the exposure (1/60 s at f/4.1, EV 10) was far too long. Only 3 minutes later, after power cycling, I took another photo in a somewhat darker area with 1/320 s at f/5.6 (13.3 EV). The problem was visible in the viewfinder (one of the great advantages of an electronic viewfinder), but it went away when I power cycled the camera.


Lagoon update issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning and checked the nightly backups, as usual. Where's the backup for lagoon? Nothing there. A quick check showed a cron job started at 21:00, but waiting on something. And then nothing.

OK, first start a dump and put the question on hold. It ran normally, but I got two mail messages. Two dumps!

day 17 month 12 weekday 4
dump -2uf - / | bzip2 > /dump/lagoon-FreeBSD/2/root.bz2
  DUMP: WARNING: should use -L when dumping live read-write filesystems!
  DUMP: Date of this level 2 dump: Thu Dec 17 21:00:00 2020
  DUMP: Date of last level 1 dump: Fri Dec 11 21:00:00 2020
...
  DUMP: level 2 dump on Thu Dec 17 21:00:00 2020
dump -2uf - /home | bzip2 > /dump/lagoon-FreeBSD/2/home.bz2
  DUMP: WARNING: should use -L when dumping live read-write filesystems!
  DUMP: Date of this level 2 dump: Thu Dec 17 21:43:05 2020
  DUMP: Date of last level 1 dump: Fri Dec 11 21:01:58 2020
...
  DUMP: level 2 dump on Thu Dec 17 21:43:05 2020

That all looked good. But why didn't I have that in my inbox first thing in the morning?

Blame it on Microsoft: it sets the system clock to local time. It took me quite a while to notice the date: it was in the future. It seems that ntpd took one look at the system clock and gave up, writing an error message to standard output where nobody would ever see it. The result was a system clock 11 hours in the future.

The other thing was that Yvonne did seem to notice that something had happened to her computer: I left a slot bracket behind after putting the display card in the new machine, and I didn't replace the stuff round her computer carefully enough. Next time I'll take a phone to be sure.


Measuring fisheye characteristics
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

On Tuesday I did some thinking about fisheye projections. As expected, I haven't had any feedback about what projection my fisheye lenses use. And I had already established that a single photo wouldn't help me decide.

But two might. Take two photos from the same position and measure the width at the centre and at the edges. I did it with three lenses: the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO, the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 8 mm f/3.5 fisheye lens, and the M.Zuiko DIGITAL ED 7-14 mm f/2.8 PRO (rectilinear) lens. Here the results of the same brick from the same position, on the left in the middle of the frame, on the right at the edge. The image pairs are both the same crop of the original images.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/m.Zuiko-fisheye-1-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/m.Zuiko-fisheye-2-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/Zuiko-Digital-fisheye-1-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/Zuiko-Digital-fisheye-2-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/m.Zuiko-7-14-1-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/m.Zuiko-7-14-2-detail.jpeg
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Clearly the images at the edges are smaller for the fisheyes. For an equidistant projection the sizes should be the same. So maybe it is equisolid after all. It's not clear that my photos are accurate enough to do exact measurements, but here's what I got for the ratio of size at the edge and in the middle for each lens:

Lens       Width       Width       Ratio
      (centre)       (edge)
M.Zuiko fisheye       1324       1156       0.87
Zuiko Digital fisheye       1396       1256       0.9
M.Zuiko 7-14       520       940       1.8
M.Zuiko 7-14       1272       1796       1.41

The last line is for a different pair of images taken closer to the wall, rather proving my concerns about the accuracy.


Friday, 18 December 2020 Dereel Images for 18 December 2020
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More power failures
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Three grid power failures this morning: one-second outages at 04:53:42 and 08:42:19, along with a nearly 40 minute outage at 07:47:07. Fortunately the sun was up and the air conditioner wasn't running, so during the outage the battery state of charge didn't change.


Yvonne unwell
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Yvonne in from the paddocks this morning barely able to stand. Somewhere outside she had been overcome by weakness and nausea, though without any obvious description. She spent much of the day in bed, but by evening was feeling better again.


More noodle data
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've had these noodles lying around in the pantry for far too long:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201218/big/Noodles-2.jpeg
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They haven't expired yet—they still have 4 months to go—but I shouldn't just leave them lying around. Why haven't I eaten them yet? They're clearly wrapped in nice single-portion nests, but how much does one weigh after cooking? And how long do you cook them for?


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I'll believe that when I've checked it. The 6 nests weighed an average of 60.5 g, which makes the 30 total come some way short of the 2 kg that the bag is supposed to weigh; possibly they have dried out a little. Still, cook until not quite soft. 7 minutes. And the 363 g gave 902 g of cooked noodles, close to 5 of my portions. So it was worth the effort, and showed that I can't just rely on one nest per portion. And of course the noodles tasted fine.


More pot plants outside
Topic: gardening Link here

Gradually more of our pot plants are making it to the verandah. Today it was the somewhat mistreated lavender, on the right of this photo:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201218/big/Pot-plants.jpeg
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It's interesting to note that the chile arbol needs a stake since being outside:


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Still, they look better than the chile serrano that I planted at the begining of October:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201217/big/Chilis-3.jpeg
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Maybe I planted it a little early, but it hasn't died yet, so why isn't it growing now?

On the other hand, our lilies are flowering better than ever before:


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I think I'm going to have to give up on trees and bushes and concentrate on things that regenerate every year. But then our maltreated Clematis “Edo Murasaki” is still catching up with spring:


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More lens projection insights
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

While chasing my fisheye projection questions, came across this page, which might help. It comes up with yet another projection, “Thoby fisheye”, which I still need to follow. This page also looks interesting. Potentially there's other interesting stuff on that site.


Saturday, 19 December 2020 Dereel Images for 19 December 2020
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Lazy gardening
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

I established last weekend that a number of drippers in the sprinkler system are not working correctly. I fixed one or two, but found a reason to postpone the rest. First it was too hot, then there was some other reason. But we risk having plants die, so today I finally gave myself a kick and replaced them. With one exception it was completely straightforward, but what a kick I needed!


Sunday, 20 December 2020 Dereel Images for 20 December 2020
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Lunch with the Swifts
Topic: general, food and drink, opinion Link here

Over to Graeme and Linda Swift for a barbecue lunch today. About 6 years ago Graeme had looked over the fence at the house, which was just being built, and invited me for coffee when it was done. So today was the day:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201220/big/Lunch-with-Graeme-and-Linda-18.jpeg
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We were a little concerned that they might serve unpalatable Australian sausages, but no, Graeme doesn't like them either, so they tried out something new on their guests:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201220/big/Lunch-with-Graeme-and-Linda-39.jpeg
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Those are pretty much exactly the chicken and beef kebabs that we have tried a couple of times in our air fryer, most recently two months ago. How did Graeme's barbecued kebabs compare? Much better! I think I'm going to have to accept the fact that the rotisserie on the “air fryer” isn't the way to go.

They appear to recently have created a bar room in what we termed the “middle sanctum” (inner sanctum was their house, currently being renovated):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201220/big/Lunch-with-Graeme-and-Linda-p1.jpeg
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We got a few photos of the four of us:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201220/big/Lunch-with-Graeme-and-Linda-50.jpeg
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They have occasional avian visitors, clearly illiterate:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201220/big/Lunch-with-Graeme-and-Linda-53.jpeg
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As usual, we ate too much. Well, I ate too much. Yvonne managed to surpass herself by eating only one kebab and a little potato salad—for the whole day! But I had had enough to do without an evening meal too.


Monday, 21 December 2020 Dereel Images for 21 December 2020
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Garden flowers in mid-summer
Topic: gardening Link here

The December solstice was on the other side of the world this year, at 23:03 yesterday evening. Time for the monthly garden flower photos.

As I've been saying for some time now, the garden is not doing well. I think that I'm going to have to accept that much of the work isn't worth the time or money. In particular, trees just don't thrive here. My carefully coddled Paulownia kawakamii (that's the parent tree on the Wikipedia page) has now died:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201221/big/Paulownia-kawakamii.jpeg
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Should I be sad? It was barely a metre high after over 5 years; it should have been 5 m high years ago. Even if it had survived, it would be nothing like it should have been.

Other trees are not doing well. The Buddleja × weyeriana that I planted two months ago that I salvaged and then planted a couple of months ago has died. The Corymbia ficifolia that I bought earlier in the year, and which flowered happily until the first frost, doesn't seem to have recovered from the winter:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201221/big/Corymbia-ficifolia.jpeg
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Another five-year-old tree is the Ginkgo biloba that we planted 5½ years ago. It hasn't died, but also hasn't grown:


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And the Grevillea robusta that should survive anywhere is not dead, but clearly worse off than when we bought it:


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On the other hand, a couple of trees are bucking the trend. The Schinus molle that I was so concerned about two months ago now seems to be returning. Here then and now:


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The Quercus rubra (“red” American oak) that we planted in the same area is also marginally larger than when we planted it, and has plenty of leaves:


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Once we get rid of the weeds round its base, it might still grow. A related plant (I think) is the Acer negundo (“Box elder”) that we planted nearly 3 years ago, and which never did well. We had thought it dead, but there's hope yet:


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The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” that I planted two years ago isn't dead, and it's developing buds, but it's barely any bigger than it was when I planted it (first photo):


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I think it's just too cold for it where it is. Now that it's looking vaguely OK it's probably time to take a couple of cuttings for planting inside.

My suspicion is still that trees grow to a certain point, after which they hit the clay substrate at about 80 cm depth, and then they just die. But there are a couple

In a more positive light, the bulbs and tubers and things are flowering well:


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I'm planning to plant many more for next year.

And the Clematis “Edo Murasaki” is flowering better than it has since it was cut to the ground by the accidents with the wind break in May:


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Some of the grasses are doing well too, from the small to the large:


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The flower stems are over a metre long, and they remain (there's still last year's stem in the middle).

Part of the issues is almost certainly watering, and in particular I've wondered whether that was the issue with the Paulownia and the Corymbia ficifolia. One indication is these hanging baskets, where I was a little lax with the daily watering. Only one plant survived, but now seems to be doing well:


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After repairing the sprinkler system last week I wasn't really reckoning with this:


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Where did all that water come from? It can't have been from rain; it hasn't rained in days. It looks like the fixes allowed new leaks to spring up. How I hate this technology!


Riding again
Topic: animals Link here

Yvonne still hasn't completely recovered from her fall two months ago, but at least the doctor has allowed her to ride again. Today Chris Bahlo came over with Yvonne's horse Carlotta, who had been visiting Chris while Chris' horses ate down our spring grass, and off they went:


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Tuesday, 22 December 2020 Dereel
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Summer time!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Yesterday was the summer solstice. This time last year the temperature was relatively mild, but after the air conditioner failed it rapidly climbed to over 42°.

Today was a completely different matter. The maximum temperature was 13.3°. I'm reminded of 25 December 1977, where the temperature in Bendigo was 17°, and in London it was 14°—still warmer than here today.

As if that wasn't bad enough, it poured with rain all day, a total of 33 mm.


Baked beans: more rind?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Time to cook a batch of baked beans today. I add pork rind, but how much? I didn't note it. Today I put more in than is probably needed, 120 g for 750 g of dried beans. We'll see how that pans out. I've also decided that I don't need as many beans as before. At one point I had 160 g per serving, which I had lowered to 140 g, but it still seems to be too little. This time the portions are 120 g.


Debugging weather station software
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

My weather station is horribly unreliable, and my software is full of heuristics to capture valid data anyway. In general, the station returns I/O errors several times a day, and I have to recover.

But today it didn't work. The debug printfs that I have put in the software return things like:

./wh1080 starting
Raw rain: 0.000000, max: 3.000000
Previous rain 0.0, rain now 940628436634351921645591195969126400.0, difference 940628436634351921645591195969126400.0
Raw rain: 940628436634351921645591195969126400.000000, max: 3.000000

That's not the station. It's my heuristics, and clearly using floating point doesn't help. I have the distinct feeling that I have an uninitialized variable somewhere, but I can't find it for the life of me. The fact that it's happening now suggests that it's related to the continuing rainfall, but the printfs don't bear that out.

Add more printfs and wait.


Latest ports pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

In my mail saw an update to youtube-dl. OK, upgrade.

pkg: Repository FreeBSD load error: cannot open sqlite3 db: Not a directory

Now isn't that helpful? Which sqlite3 db? Where is this stuff? Was this related to a recent NFS hang? What are sqlite3 dbs called, anyway? locate didn't help much, but then I gradually recalled /var/pkg/db. OK, what's in there?

=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/7) /spool/Already/Series 215 -> l /var/db/pkg/
total 145
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel         158 22 Dec 09:28 FreeBSD.meta
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  89,997,312 22 Dec 09:34 local.sqlite
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  54,493,184 15 Nov 16:10 repo-FreeBSD.sqlite
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   6,471,021 21 Dec 03:05 vuln.xml

Off to compare this system (teevee) with eureka. 994 entries! Here's some of it:

drwxr-xr-x  2 root  wheel          512 19 Oct  2012 redland-1.0.15_1
drwxr-xr-x  2 root  wheel          512 30 Jun  2013 renderproto-0.11.1
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   56,098,816  1 Nov  2018 repo-FreeBSD.sqlite
drwxr-xr-x  2 root  wheel          512  9 Jan  2012 resourceproto-1.2.0

Where have they gone? Looking at the timestamps, somewhere else; this is an old, worn-out directory.

OK, try again to get the error messages more carefully:

=== root@teevee (/dev/pts/5) /var/cache/pkg 52 -> pkg upgrade youtube_dl
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
FreeBSD repository is up to date.
All repositories are up to date.
Checking integrity... done (0 conflicting)
Your packages are up to date.

In other words, the problem had gone into hiding. And the update hadn't made it to the packages system yet.

HOW I hate bad error messages! But my guess is that it was probably talking about /var/db/pkg/local.sqlite (and not /var/db/pkg/repo-FreeBSD.sqlite), which was modified round the time. Now how did it recover?


Wednesday, 23 December 2020 Dereel Images for 23 December 2020
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Clever minds
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

For years, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the best German newspapers, had a slogan „Dahinter steckt immer ein kluger Kopf“. I can't think of a good translation, and of course neither can Google Translate: “There is always a clever mind behind it”. The image makes things clearer:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7f/Dahinter_steckt_immer_ein_kluger_Kopf_%284107713308%29.jpg/450px-Dahinter_steckt_immer_ein_kluger_Kopf_%284107713308%29.jpg

The important error in the translation is that the article is talking about a head, not a mind. It's certainly a better slogan than „Bild denkt für mich“ (“Bild thinks for me”), a slogan of the Bild-Zeitung, even if the Bild slogan is easier to translate. It also seems to have lasted better: a Google image search brought only 20 hits, all false positives, and 17 of which were from this diary for October 2016. It does, however, show me that I've done this comparison before, though with a different emphasis, and it makes me wonder whether I have misquoted the slogan.

But that's all background. This year has been one where (fake?) news is particularly important, and I've been reading not the German newspapers, not the Australian ones, but the US Washington Post and New York Times. Even Yvonne has joined in. Both have subscription models, but give a few free articles per week, and they send free news summaries.

Still, that's not always enough, and when the Washington Post offered 12 weeks for $1 for full coverage, it seemed that I could afford it. The sting's in the tail, of course: at the end of the three months I can cancel the subscription or continue at $10 per 4 weeks.

But I continue to be bombarded with offers like $29 for a year or (best value!) $59 for two years:


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OK, Washington Post, why is $59 best value? That's $29.50 per year. Or do they really not intend to continue these offers? I can understand that the $1 for 12 weeks is probably a once-off, but I'm sure that I've seen the $30 offer frequently. My mail backups show a “last chance, sale ends tonight” offering exactly the same offer, except that it ended 3 weeks ago. If my backups went further back, I would probably find similar offers.

Still, it leaves me in a dilemma. My current $1 subscription runs until the end of January. Should I let it run out and hope that the $30 offer is still there, or throw away $2.60 and sign up now?

There are other newspapers, of course. I've tried reading the The Guardian, which is free, a good price for the content. And then there's the Courier (Ballarat), our local newspaper (amusingly one of two Couriers in Australia; the other is the Mount Barker Courier, our local newspaper when we lived in Echunga). They provide a daily email with headlines and—they claim—free access to COVID-19-related coverage. Some of the headlines look good, but they don't offer any free views, and they want $3 a week for access, comparable to the standard rates for the Washington Post, and round 4 times the price of their specials. That's too much. I wonder how much the print version costs, but they're not saying.


Autofocus lens adapters
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

An interesting new gadget announced today: an adapter for legacy lenses to a mirrorless camera. There are plenty of those available—I have a number myself—but this one includes a focus helix connected to the camera's focus logic, so it can autofocus any lens, even ones that never had autofocus.

That's quite a clever idea. It's billed as an adapter from Leica M (of all things) to Nikon Z-mount, but obviously the make of the lens isn't important. The make of camera might be: clearly the maker has found out how to access the autofocus logic of the Nikon. I wonder how many other cameras it could be adapted to.


Brexit is early this year
Topic: politics, health, opinion Link here

Interesting photos going round the media lately, like these:

https://static.independent.co.uk/2020/12/19/11/PRI176529341.jpg https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/08/24/11/brexit-queues.jpg

The explanation: France has closed the border with the United Kingdom because of the discovery of a mutation of SARS-CoV-2 (“Coronavirus”, as if there were only one kind), which somebody thinks is up to 70% more contagious than the current version that we all know and love. So France has closed the borders.

And the British are up in arms! Goods traffic has ground to a standstill! It's not fair!

They could be right. It's not clear what the real issues are around this new mutation. But what is clear is that, bar a miracle (in short supply this year) this is going to happen anyway next week when Britain regains its independence. In fact, the photos above, from the Independent and the Evening Standard, are not about this issue at all, but about Brexit. And the the first (with photo) was written a couple of days before the latest contagion scare, explaining that the reason was people trying to jump the gun on the Brexit chaos. That's something that I haven't heard mentioned in conjunction with the virus mutation.


Thursday, 24 December 2020 Dereel Images for 24 December 2020
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More sprinkler issues
Topic: gardening, technology, opinion Link here

Getting dressed this morning, I saw this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201224/big/Sprinkler-flood-4-detail.jpeg
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Huh? There are at least two things wrong with this picture. First, there's a leak in irrigation circuit 1, and secondly, its time slot is 4:00 to 5:00, long before I saw it.

Out to take a look. The relay board (sprinkler.lemis.com) showed:


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That's circuits 1 and 4 on. But the sprinkler program had finished, and in any case, only one is ever turned on at any one time.

Circuit 4 (or maybe 3?) also seemed to have had its problems:


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And once again our Leucadendron was flooded:


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So: what went wrong? Defective relay board? Bug in my program? Off to check the relay via its web interface:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201224/big/Sprinkler-flood-10.png
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So it seems to agree with the LEDs. Program? Not beyond the bounds of possibility, of course, but in this case the program is so straightforward that I can't believe that that's the problem. It never sets more than one relay at a time. Network issues? That, too, seems hard to believe. Got as far as formatting the output of the program (HTML from the relay board, the only way it's prepared to talk to me) so that I can read it, but analysis is going to take a while.


Moreton Bay bugs again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Moreton Bay bugs are generally only available round Christmas, so we planned them in for this evening's dinner.

How do you prepare them? I've been there before, not coincidentally on the same day 6 years ago, so I had something to go on.

But somehow it wasn't quite enough. It seems that I cut the wrong side of the bug, the carapace rather than the tail. Today it seemed easier cut down the sides and at the join between the main body and the tail:


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Despite the carnage, Yvonne managed to serve them up in the carapace:


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Friends
Topic: animals Link here


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201224/big/Leonid-Piccola-2.jpeg
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Bugs for cats
Topic: animals, food and drink Link here

There's a lot left over after extracting the goodies from a Moreton Bay bug. Would Piccola be interested in the rest?

No:

I get the feeling that she's saying “where's the real stuff?”.


Cooking turkey breast roast
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Turkey breast roast for dinner this evening. It's a compromise between my wish for turkey and Yvonne's wish for something else. The remains can be cut into slices and eaten with German-style Abendbrot.

Instructions from ALDI: thaw, cook in foil at 170° for 40 minutes, turn over. 30 minutes before the end (a polite way of saying “after 60 minutes”) remove the foil and brush with oil to brown. End temperature should be 82°.

And how about that, it really took exactly 90 minutes to reach 82°. But:


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That's not exactly browned. And it was cooked inside. What to do?

The obvious thing was to let it rest (where the temperature went up to about 86°, which I think is normal) before cooling again. Then put it under the grill for a while:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201224/big/Turkey-roast-4.jpeg
Image title: Turkey roast 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2407 kB
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Now you see me, now you don't
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The usual photos for dinner. We've found a way to improve the view:


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Image title: Christmas dinner          Dimensions:          3417 x 2015, 1136 kB
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Friday, 25 December 2020 Dereel Images for 25 December 2020
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Farmer's eggs
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We've been buying our eggs from a local producer for some months now, and they have been excellent, big, fresh and tasty—until the last lot, which appeared to have been a batch that had been forgotten somewhere for a while. Half the yolks broke on opening, and this morning Yvonne found this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201225/big/Rotten-egg-1.jpeg
Image title: Rotten egg 1          Dimensions:          5192 x 3888, 4416 kB
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Image title: Rotten egg 3          Dimensions:          5194 x 3888, 5966 kB
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I've never seen that before. Even the dogs were dubious.


Christmas photo, the third
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

Over 2 weeks ago we took a series of photos for our upcoming Christmas message. I wasn't happy with the results, and we tried again the following day:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201208/big/Christmas-photo-1.jpeg
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