Greg
animals food and drink
gardening general
health language
multimedia music
opinion photography
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
February 2020
Translate this page
Select day in February 2020:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Select month:
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
2019 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2020 Jan Feb Mar Apr
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Previous month
Next month
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Saturday, 1 February 2020 Dereel Images for 1 February 2020
Top of page
next day
last day

Fixing the outside light
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Nat Mckay along this morning as discussed to fix the infrared switch for the outside light. And it behaved as expected. Some discussion about the way it should work. Does the range sensitivity override the ambient light settings? It shouldn't, but Nat wasn't so sure.

Ultimately he set it pretty much as it had been, and it worked. Why? What had changed? It wasn't until later that I looked at the photo of the controls again:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200131/big/Infrared-detector.jpeg
Image title: Infrared detector          Dimensions:          4336 x 1270, 697 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 31 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The range sensitivity (in the middle) was set to fully on. Could it be that that is also an override of the other two controls? When he left, it was set much lower:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200202/big/Light-controller-2.jpeg
Image title: Light controller 2          Dimensions:          2030 x 657, 196 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 2 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 2 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 2 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

There's still plenty of tweaking to do, but it would be good to understand the device, and as usual the instructions are useless.


More strange weather
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Yesterday was really hot, but once again the weather changed completely. I was able to take my House photos in the morning, but only a couple of hours later we had a good imitation of fog:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/e-e-from-house.jpeg
Image title: e e from house          Dimensions:          8180 x 3622, 5967 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/Fog.jpeg
Image title: Fog          Dimensions:          4396 x 2121, 1551 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, they're taken from slightly different viewpoints, but the difference in weather is obvious.


More E-M5 Mark III insights
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I've now finished watching Tony Northrup's video about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Clearly he makes errors, but that's normal. I found a couple of things interesting: firstly, what he didn't mention, such as focus stacking, which I consider one of the most useful functions.

The other interesting thing is comparing the camera feature for feature with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. They're remarkably similar, but I discovered something interesting. Apart from the inscriptions, the controls to the left of the viewfinder on both cameras look almost identical:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/E-M1-II-E-M5-III-comparison-6.jpeg
Image title: E M1 II E M5 III comparison 6          Dimensions:          4617 x 3456, 2670 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/E-M1-II-E-M5-III-comparison-7.jpeg
Image title: E M1 II E M5 III comparison 7          Dimensions:          4617 x 3456, 2800 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

On the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II the two buttons to the left of the power switch bring up two very useful double menus. Here the rear one (metering mode and autofocus mode), then the front one (multiple exposure/HDR and shutter mode).


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/E-M1-II-E-M5-III-comparison-4.jpeg
Image title: E M1 II E M5 III comparison 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 4041 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/E-M1-II-E-M5-III-comparison-3.jpeg
Image title: E M1 II E M5 III comparison 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 3984 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III? It's castrated! The front button brings up only the shutter mode menu:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200201/big/E-M1-II-E-M5-III-comparison-5.jpeg
Image title: E M1 II E M5 III comparison 5          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 4246 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 1 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 1 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And the rear one just switches between the viewfinder and the “Super Control Panel”, the function of the extra button on the back of the E-M1.

So why? Clearly the firmware on all OM-D models, even on all Olympus Micro Four Thirds system cameras, is closely related. Only the E-M1s have that specific HDR menu, but nearly all have the functionality—even the 7 year old E-PM2 has HDR, though of course the menu is missing because there's no button to summon it. But there is on the E-M5 Mark III. Why don't they include the menu? There seems to be no technical reason at all to not provide it. The only thing I can think of is that they want to deliberately castrate it. They could easily add this functionality with a firmware upgrade, though the markings on the buttons would confuse things somewhat.


Sunday, 2 February 2020 Dereel Images for 2 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Cirrhosis of the Palestine
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

I'm not the only person horrified by Donald Trump's proposed Steal of the Century. But this series of maps in Deal of the century in bullet points seems to sum it up:

https://ppost24.com/thumb/1140x500/uploads/images/2020/01/5excJ.jpeg

Somehow the last map looks like liver degeneration caused by cirrhosis. Are Trump and his cronies really stupid enough to think that people will accept that? What would happen if, say, California were to be dissected like that?

Ugh! But even more concerning is that the USA can get away with it. It reminds me of Germany 85 years ago.


Godox TTL studio flash
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I've been thinking of a new studio flash unit for the kitchen for some time now, but now that the power point is finally in place, it's time for action. In principle all was straightforward: cheaper units cost $100 or a little more and generate enough light for the purpose. But it means using a light meter or a map such as the one I worked out last year.

And then I discovered that some Godox studio flashes support TTL flash. Which ones? Three of my flash units are from Godox. Do they support TTL?

I've been searching for months and asking experts. Finally found a video by Rob Hall:

guS96ufKk_8

Summary: there are five model ranges that support the X Series: the QTxxxII, where xxx is an energy rating in Joules (or, as people love to say, Watts), QSxxxII, GSxxxII (also called Gemini), DPxxxII and SKxxxII, in order of increasing affordability. Only the QTxxxII does high-speed sychronizing flash. And the features of the others mainly differ in durability and recycle time. Do they all do TTL, or is Rob just too polite to mention their deficiencies?

OK, off looking for an SK300II. Prices start round $170, and to that I can add about $100 for a flash trigger. Is that worth it? I'll still need to let it go through my head, but it looks as if it would be easier just to use conventional technology.


Improving server security
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Things seem to be working well with the external servers, but looking at the log files shows some interesting stuff:

Feb  1 00:00:17 lax sshd[16759]: Invalid user sinusbot from 180.76.102.136 port 35108
Feb  1 00:00:17 lax sshd[16759]: Failed unknown for invalid user sinusbot from 180.76.102.136 port 35108 ssh2
Feb  1 00:00:17 lax sshd[16759]: Failed password for invalid user sinusbot from 180.76.102.136 port 35108 ssh2
Feb  1 00:00:17 lax sshd[16759]: Disconnected from invalid user sinusbot 180.76.102.136 port 35108 [preauth]
Feb  1 00:01:07 lax sshd[16763]: Invalid user minecraft from 178.128.124.204 port 36180
Feb  1 00:01:07 lax sshd[16763]: Failed unknown for invalid user minecraft from 178.128.124.204 port 36180 ssh2
Feb  1 00:01:07 lax sshd[16763]: Failed password for invalid user minecraft from 178.128.124.204 port 36180 ssh2
Feb  1 00:01:07 lax sshd[16763]: Disconnected from invalid user minecraft 178.128.124.204 port 36180 [preauth]

Not a real issue. You need an SSH key to log in, so password-related logins are just noise.

Or are they? It's worth checking:

=== grog@freefall (/dev/pts/1) ~ 19 -> ssh lax.lemis.com
Password for grog@lax.lemis.com:              indication that there's no ssh key
Last login: Sat Feb  1 04:32:21 2020 from freefall.freebsd.org
...
Welcome to FreeBSD!

Oh horror! But what do I see in /etc/ssh/sshd_config?

# Change to yes to enable built-in password authentication.
#PasswordAuthentication no
#PermitEmptyPasswords no

Aren't those values the defaults? OK, uncomment them, restart sshd and try again. No difference! And what's worse:

=== grog@freefall (/dev/pts/1) ~ 25 -> ssh root@lax.lemis.com
Password for root@lax.lemis.com:
...
Welcome to FreeBSD!

Some discussion on IRC, and Jamie Fraser came up with the suggestion that I should also disable challenge-response authentication. Why? I'm not using it. Tried anyway, and how about that, it worked! Ultimately I ended up with the following modifications:

--- sshd_config 2019/08/03 00:21:06     1.1
+++ sshd_config 2020/02/01 22:31:04
@@ -33,7 +33,7 @@
 # Authentication:

 #LoginGraceTime 2m
-#PermitRootLogin no
+PermitRootLogin no
 #StrictModes yes
 #MaxAuthTries 6
 #MaxSessions 10
@@ -58,11 +58,11 @@
 #IgnoreRhosts yes

 # Change to yes to enable built-in password authentication.
-#PasswordAuthentication no
-#PermitEmptyPasswords no
+PasswordAuthentication no
+PermitEmptyPasswords no

 # Change to no to disable PAM authentication
-#ChallengeResponseAuthentication yes
+ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

 # Kerberos options
 #KerberosAuthentication no

Peter Jeremy later “explained”:

By default, passwords are managed via PAM, not sshd.  Setting "PasswordAuthentication" means sshd will look after passwords itself.
From memory, ChallengeResponseAuthentication is having sshd natively handle things like S/KEY.

But somehow that still doesn't make sense. At the very least the configuration should be more transparent.

That wasn't the only issue:

Feb  2 02:40:51 lax qpopper[52480]: Client at "121.229.0.50" resolves to an unknown host name "50.0.229.121.broad.nj.js.dynamic.163data.com.cn"
Feb  2 02:40:51 lax qpopper[52480]: Client address "121.229.0.50" not listed for its host name "50.0.229.121.broad.nj.js.dynamic.163data.com.cn"
Feb  2 02:40:51 lax qpopper[52480]: (null) at 121.229.0.50 (121.229.0.50): -ERR POP EOF or I/O Error

That really is noise, but it's unnecessary noise: I'm not using POP3 any more, so I just disabled it, along with ftp. Now at least the log files are smaller.


Monday, 3 February 2020 Dereel Images for 3 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Late CFBSD testimonial
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

It's been nearly 25 years since I started writing what became “The Complete FreeBSD”, and 17 years since the last edition. But today Callum Gibson pointed me at a new testimonial. Looking at it, it seems that Jack Velte was right: the advertising on the cover sold it to this particular customer (“not revealed due to privacy concerns”):

When I first saw The Complete FreeBSD book by Greg Lehey I remember noticing the text on the front page that said, "The Free Version of Berkeley UNIX" and "Rock Solid Stability", and I was immediately intrigued! What was that all about? A free UNIX operating system! And rock solid stability? That sounded amazing.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Dereel Images for 4 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Dirty water?
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Our house water comes from the sky via storage tanks. How clean is it? We've been drinking rainwater for nearly 23 years now, and at the beginning I was concerned that we didn't treat it in any way. But neither does anybody else, and the water tastes good. I like to say “there's only a little bit of magpie droppings in there, well below 0.01 ppm”.

But that's not quite all. I keep a water jug in the fridge which I top up (about 1 l) every day. My guess is that it has been a year since I last cleaned it, and it has clearly accumulated some sediment:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Water-jugs-1.jpeg
Image title: Water jugs 1          Dimensions:          4881 x 3846, 2877 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Water-jugs-2.jpeg
Image title: Water jugs 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2784 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What is it? Not magpie droppings, for sure. I'd guess something ferric, with dust a good contender. And how much is that? It's hard to guess. My best guess is in the order of 10 mg. From 400 odd litres, that's about 0.025 ppm. I'll let it dry out and try to reproduce it with a known quantity of some substance. Salt comes to mind, but it's not the right colour.


Mounting the studio flash
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

Whether or not I buy a new studio flash unit with TTL metering, I need to put something in the new position. I had decided that I need two units, but for the time being the new position seems better if I only have one.

Spent far too much time attaching the mounting plate. Why didn't I get the electricians to do it? And when I did, the shortest cable I could find was round 2 m long, making a real mess:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Kitchen-flash-2.jpeg
Image title: Kitchen flash 2          Dimensions:          3738 x 5167, 2935 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Spent even more time looking online for replacement cords. I can't find any less than 1.2 m long, nor any that are white. Will I have to make one up myself?

The good news is that the photos (like of the water jugs above) came out well.


More garden work
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Spent some time in the afternoon trying to catch up with garden work. I've already established that we had some damage to the sprinkler system. This one to the south of the house was a surprise:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200131/big/Sprinkler-system-3.jpeg
Image title: Sprinkler system 3          Dimensions:          3889 x 5184, 6348 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 31 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200131/big/Sprinkler-system-5.jpeg
Image title: Sprinkler system 5          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3918 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 31 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 31 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Normally that means that a dripper has parted company with the hose. But what I found was:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Irrigation-3.jpeg
Image title: Irrigation 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 2837 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What's that tape? If something like that is damaged, we have pipe sections to repair it. In this case, it looks as if Mick had tried to replace a dripper at exactly that position, with results that were to be expected.

And the one in the north garden was just plain missing:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Irrigation-1.jpeg
Image title: Irrigation 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 3588 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That was originally a 30 cm riser, and presumably he tore it out along with my experimental ground cover. You'd think he would have noticed that. I suppose I'm going to have to do more of this kind of work myself.


Draining the swamp
Topic: gardening, general, opinion Link here

It has rained quite a bit now, and the sump to the east of the house really needs pumping out. Sump? Did I say sump? In honour of Donald Trump I suppose I should call it a swamp.

The problem is that the pump, though functional, trips the RCD. It needs changing, once the swamp is drained. Can I just wait? An alternative is the old Eaton UPS, now no longer needed. It generates 3 kVA, more than enough for the pump, and presumably it won't be worried about a little leakage current. But all the fittings are wrong! It has a 15 A power plug and just bare wires on the output. Time for more electrical fittings.


Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 5 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III: yawn
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The first rumours of Olympus' expected E-M1 Mark III (the successor to my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II) are out. There's lots of hype, like “SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter)”, the sensor cleaning mechanism introduced 17 years ago for the first Olympus interchangeable lens digital camera. What I see is: “Starry Sky AF”: “A new algorithm was developed to enable accurate focusing even on the tiniest stars shining in the night sky, enabling ultra high-precision autofocusing”. Doubtless an improvement, and it would have made my life easier for a couple of shots, but would you buy a new camera for that?

What I would like to see is better autofocus tracking. Can the Mark III do it? According to pre-release advertising hype, the Mark I could do it. And then the Mark II could do it. And now the Mark III can do it, at least before the release.

But taking a step back: what are these features? Software. We've seen such features retrofitted to older models, and other features that nobody talks about, such as focus stacking, introduced for the E-M1 with firmware version 4.0 (26 November 2015, two years after the camera was released).

We've also seen the bottom drop out of the market because a large proportion of potential customers are perfectly happy with the camera in their mobile phone. But there's another reason for the drop in sales that nobody talks about: camera technology is mature. I still take photos with the E-30, now 12 years old. Yes, it's missing a lot of the niceties, but it takes perfectly good photos. And the E-M1 is now 6 years old, and there's really very little difference to see between it and the not-there-yet Mark III. Maybe the most important part of the Mark III is more powerful processing hardware (“TruePic IX”, about which, like other manufacturers, they release no information).

The good news: if I can believe the rumours, the new camera is exactly the same size as the old one, down to 100 μm. And somehow it weighs 70 g less. Probably the weight is without the battery, in which case it weighs 6 g more:

Dimensions: 134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9 mm
Weight: 504g

Hardware shopping
Topic: general, photography, Stones Road house, opinion Link here

Into town after breakfast to look for a variety of things at Bunnings, mainly gardening and electrical stuff. Found a 1.2 m cable for the kitchen flash unit, which greatly improves the appearance:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Kitchen-flash-2.jpeg
Image title: Kitchen flash 2          Dimensions:          3738 x 5167, 2935 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Studio-flash.jpeg
Image title: Studio flash          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2241 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It's black, of course, so I bought some white cable and power plug, but I couldn't find an IEC C13 connector. There's also the question of how much difference it will make: after all, the flash itself has lots of black on it.

Also looked for gate openers like the one that our neighbours at the end of Stones Road have. It's probably this one:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Gate-opener-1.jpeg
Image title: Gate opener 1          Dimensions:          3987 x 1124, 748 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But it doesn't have a PV panel to run it. It's also cheaper, so there's a good chance that the panel needs to be purchased separately. In addition, it only has two remote controls, and we really need 3 (one for each car, and one for the house). At least I now have a manufacturer name (Richmond) and a model number (GTR099), so I can do some research.


Lens sharpness
Topic: photography, gardening, opinion Link here

While in town, bought some ant killer (or is that killa?). There are two kinds of active ingredient: Bifenthrin and Permethrin:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-2.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 2          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2260 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But that photo (taken with the Olympus E-PM2 and the Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm f/1.7) doesn't look really sharp:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-2-detail-1.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 2 detail 1          Dimensions:          1497 x 190, 70 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-2-detail-2.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 2 detail 2          Dimensions:          1549 x 210, 66 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Looking more carefully, this appears to be a depth-of-field issue: according to the Exif data the focus distance was 0.225 m, and the depth of field (f/2.5) was 8 mm. OK, come even closer and focus on the text:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-3.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 3          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2363 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-3-detail.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 3 detail          Dimensions:          2607 x 985, 322 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What went wrong there? That was at a distance (according to Exif) of 0.200 m. Just marginally closer and it couldn't focus at all. My best guess is that the AF system was a little over-optimistic about how close it could focus. Back off again and things were fine:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200205/big/Ant-killer-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Ant killer 4 detail          Dimensions:          1479 x 587, 122 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Or were they? It's still not as sharp as it could be. I need to do some comparisons with different lenses and different texts. I didn't buy this particular product, so I'll have to start again with something else.


Thursday, 6 February 2020 Dereel Images for 6 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Pad Thai: how?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I now have a number of pastes that purport to produce Pad Thai, one of my breakfast foods:

Which is authentic? I have no idea. Even the name sounds wrong: it should be Phat Thai if my memory serves me correctly. But do I want an authentic Ph?a[dt] Thai? It seems to require rice noodles and crushed peanuts, neither of which I particularly like. So ultimately the pastes are simply a short cut to cooking something that I do like.

I've been using these pastes from ALDI for some time now:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20180208/big/Phat-Thai-1.gif
Image title: Phat Thai 1          Dimensions:          1235 x 1860, 1532 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 8 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 8 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 8 February 2018

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20180208/big/Phat-Thai-2.gif
Image title: Phat Thai 2          Dimensions:          1213 x 1785, 1517 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 8 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 8 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 8 February 2018

 

It claims to be enough for 2 portions, but in fact I found that it was, irritatingly, enough for about 1.5 portions. So I had to use two sachets and make three portions, two of which I kept in the fridge until another day. But looking through the pantry showed other things, including these two:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Phat-Thai-4.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai 4          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 1887 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly they're both “authentic”: I assume that the important parts of the brand name are only in Thai. Which is better? I tried the tall jar (from Mae Pranom) a couple of weeks ago, and discovered that it's much thicker than the ALDI paste. The ALDI paste quantities prove to be 80 g per portion, so I tried 80 g of this paste. But it's much thicker, and I needed to add water to get the correct consistency. The result, of course: far too much.

And today I tried the other one, labeled Por Kwan. Based on previous experience, I thought I'd get by with 60 g of the paste, but in this case I really needed 80 g (and water to dilute as well).

The results? The Por Kwan wasn't as interesting (and had a noticeable peanut flavour to it). It's also the most expensive: $3.50 for (barely) 3 portions, compared to $1.96 for the ALDI paste and about $2.10 for the Mae Pranom paste.


Back button focus?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

One of the suggestions that Tony Northrup had in his video about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was to use back button focus. What's that? Ah, you press on a button (implicitly on the back of the camera) to focus, and the shutter release just, well, releases.

Nothing new. In fact, I've had my camera set like that for a long time in manual focus mode. Tony's suggestion made a little sense, though I had my doubts, but it was worth trying.

Now I've tried it: no, thanks. I find it clumsy. I think the idea would have made sense years ago when the camera focuses once, and that's it. Of course you could release the half-pressed shutter, or press the back button (labelled AEL/AFL, for Auto Exposure Lock/Autofocus Lock) again, but once you did that, the focus was fixed.

That's not the case any more, and hasn't been for a long time. As far back as the E-30 (2008), and probably even further, there was the option of manual focus after pressing either button. So autofocus mode 3 (back button) in combination with S-AF+M (single autofocus followed by manual) is exactly the same as manual focus mode 3 (clearly also back button): after pressing the button, you can adjust manually. That can be useful sometimes, but then it's easier just to switch to MF.


Bank of Melbourne money transfers
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Received the invoice from Nat McKay, whose company proves to be called Elecservices Victoria, today. OK, pay it with the Bank of Melbourne account, because they send mail directly to the recipient to say that the money is on its way. All went well.

And then I owe money to Kelly Yeoh. I had already had problems transferring money to her, not helped by the stupid behaviour of the bank (in this case ANZ). OK, do that while I'm there.

In each case, the Bank of Melbourne irritates by making a phone call to give me a confirmation code. With Elecservices it went fine, but this time it took forever to come through. When it did, it started with its usual “You have requested a transfer of the sum of $foo to BSB one-nine three-seven six-foo, account number one zero zero four...”. And then it hung. Apart from the silly way of reading the BSB numbers (they're two groups of three digits), it's clear that there's something wrong.

OK, try again. This time things went normally, and I got my confirmation that the transfer had been accepted.

But then I got email: two confirmations that I had transferred money to Elecservices, none for Kelly. Check my account. No deductions. Are they like ANZ, where they can't update the sums in real time, or has something gone wrong again?

Why are Australian banks so bad? Yes, I could call them up and ask, but of course I didn't write down the confirmation number, and my attempts in the past have suggested that I might just as well bang my head against a brick wall.


Repotting Hibiscus
Topic: gardening Link here

My Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” is still not looking happy. It's been nearly 3 years since I last repotted it, so it's probably due. I put it outside a couple of days ago, where it looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200204/big/Hibiscus-2.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 2802 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 4 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 4 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

By today it hadn't improved: the sun had bleached some leaves, and the wind had broken off a few smaller shoots. Finally repotted it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200206/big/Hibiscus-3.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus 3          Dimensions:          3236 x 4316, 1564 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 6 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 6 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 6 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It still doesn't look much better:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Hibiscus-2.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 2130 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But I'm relatively confident that it'll recover.


More Asian pastes
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Another jar of paste that I had in the pantry was labeled “Ayam Yellow Curry”. That's puzzling in itself: yellow curry is a Thai dish, and Ayam (“chicken” in Malay) is clearly Malaysian.

OK, read the instructions (also on the web page):

1/3 cup AYAM™ Thai Yellow Curry Paste
500g chicken thigh fillets, diced into 2cm pieces
1/2 can AYAM™ Coconut Milk 270ml
1 tbsp AYAM™ Fish Sauce
...

cup? How much is that? I can't even go by the volume of the jar (185 g) because a cup is volumetric measurement. Assuming a density of 1, the jar would be 0.74 Australian cup or about 0.78 of one of the “standard” US cups. More generally, though: why can't people put measurements in these recipes that relate to the quantity of product in the jar? ½ jar might have been a better quantity, assuming that very few people will actually weigh the product.

I decided that the jar was ⅔ of some fictive cup, and used the entire jar. My quantities for Ayam yellow curry:

quantity       ingredient       step
185 g       Ayam Yellow Curry Paste
1 kg       Chicken pieces      
400 ml (1 can)       Coconut Milk      
16 g       Fish sauce      
16 g       brown sugar      
100 g       green capsicum      
240 g       potato      

There should have been green beans, but I discovered that the ones I had were not appropriate, thus the potatoes. But that didn't make any difference: there was far too much meat and not enough of anything else. It's not done yet, so I'll add many more beans and capsicum for next time.


Friday, 7 February 2020 Dereel Images for 7 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

TTL flash: the penny drops
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

My search for Godox studio heads with TTL metering has not been successful, but one of the comments I received (from Will Price) is interesting, even if it requires a little interpretation:

ttl is literally “through the lens” metering by the camera. Unless your subject and background are both 18% gray it will give false readings. Photograph a person wearing dark colors and it will likely blow out the skin.. zoom out from the same exact setting and include a bright sky.. it may underexpose them. A bride in a white gown and it will likely underexpose. If you have to go into your flash settings for compensation settings anyways, make it much easier on yourself and set the thing in manual.. once you set it, and your camera (in manual) you’ll get consistent results

The interpretation: the camera does not measure specific areas of the image, not even when the metering mode is set correspondingly. It just measures the total amount of light that goes through the lens. This clearly assumes some specific implementation (read: maker) of TTL metering, but it ties in with all the pain I have had over the years, for example the comparisons I did six years ago.

Or is it that simple? I had similar problems with the photos that I took of the Phat Thai sauces using the mecablitz 15 MS-1 . Here the first attempt:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Phat-Thai-1.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1538 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Why was it so completely underexposed? My guess is that the “metering” exposed for the highlights, and the lids of the jars fulfilled that requirement. Yes, postprocessing could improve that, but that's what things looked like out of the camera. And the next shot, taken with studio flash and light meter, looked like this before and after postprocessing (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Phat-Thai-4.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai 4          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 1887 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Phat-Thai-3.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai 3          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 1844 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That's more like what I would expect. There are differences, but the overall exposure was spot on. So the question is whether TTL exposure is worth the trouble. But why? Is this a historical quirk, dating from before the cameras had such sophisticated metering modes?


More wildflowers
Topic: gardening Link here

The summer has been relatively moist, and many things are growing better than usual, including this creeper, which is all over the place in Bliss Road:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Creeper-2.jpeg
Image title: Creeper 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5670 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That's a creeper? Yes, but for some reason most of the plants have grown where there's nothing to creep up. Today we found a couple:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Creeper-1.jpeg
Image title: Creeper 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 4760 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Creeper-3.jpeg
Image title: Creeper 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 5047 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

In the evening, found this Acacia in Progress Road:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200207/big/Acacia.jpeg
Image title: Acacia          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5248 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 7 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 7 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Fruit? No, acacias are leguminous and bear pods. I had heard that these could be galls, and following up it seems that they're not native to the plants, but caused by the Trichilogaster wasp. The photos I've seen of these galls show an uneven surface, like this image from the Wikipedia page:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/Galls_of_Trichilogaster_acaciaelongifoliae_%28Froggatt%29_9798.jpg/1920px-Galls_of_Trichilogaster_acaciaelongifoliae_%28Froggatt%29_9798.jpg

But these are different. They hang off the branches like cherries. I suppose I should take a closer look.


Saturday, 8 February 2020 Dereel Images for 8 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Yvonne sick
Topic: health Link here

Yvonne is feeling unwell again. Nothing serious, mainly loss of appetite. But why? She has just received a new batch pills for her chest pain, rather strange ones: Pantoprazole, usually used to address gastric problems. And checking that page suggested that it could cause Yvonne's symptoms.

See? For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant... and wrong. It seems that she has been taking the things for a while, so there's no obvious reason why she should get these symptoms when starting on a new packet.


Recovering lilac
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

One of the plants that was suffering a couple of months ago was this lilac:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191120/big/Lilac.jpeg
Image title: Lilac          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 5563 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 20 November 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 20 November 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 20 November 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's doing a lot better now:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Lilac.jpeg
Image title: Lilac          Dimensions:          3890 x 5184, 4697 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That's not the same foliage as in the first image; the remainder of that is at top left:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Lilac-detail.jpeg
Image title: Lilac detail          Dimensions:          1271 x 1866, 401 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

So: what was the reason? I'm tending towards fertilizer.


Cleaning water filter
Topic: general, opinion Link here

I've commented on numerous occasions about how often I need to clean the bore water filter cartridge. I did it again a few days ago, and Yvonne asked me what I had done with the red filter.

That is the red filter! But yes, it looks a little dark. Why? Ferric oxide deposits? While I was in town on Wednesday I picked up some hydrochloric acid, and today I treated the filter cartridge with dilute HCl:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Water-filter-2.jpeg
Image title: Water filter 2          Dimensions:          3608 x 4811, 824 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Water-filter-3.jpeg
Image title: Water filter 3          Dimensions:          3608 x 4811, 992 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, indeed, there are deposits, and to judge by the reaction with HCl and the colour of the solution, it was indeed some ferric compound. I wonder if it will now take longer before it clogs up.


Acacia cherries revisited
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

While walking the dogs this afternoon, got some more photos of the “fruit” on the Acacias:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Acacia-fruit-1.jpeg
Image title: Acacia fruit 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 2896 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200208/big/Acacia-fruit-2.jpeg
Image title: Acacia fruit 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2904 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 8 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 8 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

They really resemble unripe cherries, and not the galls that I had been thinking of. What are they? Brought a couple home for examination, but didn't get round to it today.


Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another one-second grid power failure this evening at 23:56:20.


Sunday, 9 February 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 9 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Ballarat Market
Topic: general, animals, gardening Link here

Off to the Sunday market in Ballarat early this morning, mainly for Yvonne to buy some dumplings and mustard. No dumplings. Ultimately she ended up with some licorice and two jars of Thomy mustard, expired in August 2019.

I looked around for plants, and found a few: a couple of nameless succulents, one of which could be a Sedum, and both of which will, I hope, form a good ground cover:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Succulent-3.jpeg
Image title: Succulent 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 2508 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Succulent-4.jpeg
Image title: Succulent 4          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 2598 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Also picked up a Sisyrinchium angustifolium “Blue eyed grass”, whose flowers—which faded quickly on the way home—remind me of Dianella revoluta:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Sisyrinchium-angustifolium-2.jpeg
Image title: Sisyrinchium angustifolium 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5220, 2757 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Sisyrinchium-angustifolium-3.jpeg
Image title: Sisyrinchium angustifolium 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5191, 2307 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Also a Tulbaghia violacea “Society garlic” (a name which, according to the fine print, is not a trade mark, but the use of which can incur civil action), which looks and smells pretty much like the garlic chives that we have in the herb garden, except that it's variegated. Its flowers, too, didn't like the transport home.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Tulbaghia-volacaea-2.jpeg
Image title: Tulbaghia volacaea 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 2667 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Tulbaghia-volacaea-3.jpeg
Image title: Tulbaghia volacaea 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5194, 2198 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And finally we found some Corymbia ficifolia trees at the same place where we bought the ill-fated one last June. On that occasion I wasn't sure, but this time it was flowering, and I got the information that the root stock was Corymbia maculata. Also got it considerably cheaper because the last one died. Hopefully this one will do better.

Back home with it, where Mick Solly was mowing the lawn—$160 for a math that would normally not be necessary—and got him to plant it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-5.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 5          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3062 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-4.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 4          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2975 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 


Limits of image stabilization
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

We took the dogs with us to the market, and of course they got lots of attention. While I was looking at plants, Yvonne talked to various people, and I got a few photos. I had the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4.0 IS PRO on the camera, not exactly the fastest lens I have, and that was reflected in the exposure times, between 1/6 and 1/10 s. The image stabilization worked fine, but of course people and dogs didn't stand still.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Ballarat-market-2.jpeg
Image title: Ballarat market 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3607 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Ballarat-market-3.jpeg
Image title: Ballarat market 3          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3757 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

I'm reminded of photos taken in the 19th century.


Another mystery plant
Topic: gardening Link here

This volunteer has sprung up outside the laundry door:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Mystery-plant-3.jpeg
Image title: Mystery plant 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 6778 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Mystery-plant-2.jpeg
Image title: Mystery plant 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3953 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What is it? Yvonne tells me that she has seen (and forgotten) a reference suggesting that it might have pink flowers.


Monday, 10 February 2020 Dereel Images for 10 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Acacia galls investigated
Topic: gardening, animals Link here

A couple of days ago I brought home some Acacia “cherries” because they didn't look like the Trichilogaster galls described on the web. In particular, they were on stalks that looked like cherries.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200209/big/Wattle-gall-2.jpeg
Image title: Wattle gall 2          Dimensions:          5194 x 3888, 3351 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 9 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 9 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Cutting them open made things clear, though:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Acacia-gall-2.jpeg
Image title: Acacia gall 2          Dimensions:          5190 x 3888, 2291 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200210/big/Acacia-gall-4.jpeg
Image title: Acacia gall 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2766 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 10 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 10 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The larva on the right was alive and moved around from one photo to the next. Yes, I don't have any evidence that it's a Trichilogaster larva, but also no reason to doubt it.


More NBN outages
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

More NBN outages today, a total of four of them, totalling 97 minutes. When will they ever stop?


Macro focus pain
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Getting things in focus with extreme macros is a challenge. The Olympus OM-D cameras make things easier, but it's still not easy, and the documentation doesn't help much. This article tries to explain (to me) how to set the cameras that I have (E-M1 Mark I, E-M1 Mark II and E-M5 Mark III) to use the functionality. My assumption is that other newer Olympus cameras offer similar functions.

There are three main aids: focus stacking, focus peaking and image magnification. Focus stacking is a different can of worms, so I won't discuss it here. Focus peaking highlights the sharp areas of the image in the viewfinder, exaggerating the sharpness of parts that are in focus, and magnification, well, magnifies a portion of the image, in this case by a factor of 3, 5, 7, 10 or 14.

Enabling the functions

There are two different ways to enable both focus peaking and magnification:

I've found that it's best to enable focus peaking with the focus ring and magnification with the button (upper button to the right of the lens). On the E-M1, due to a firmware bug, I also have focus peaking assigned to the lower button to the right of the lens.

Setting MF mode

On the E-M1 Mark I and the E-M5 Mark III, there are two manual focus modes: straightforward manual focus using the focus ring (MF) and S-AF+MF (“single autofocus + manual focus”), where autofocus works normally, but you can then correct with the focus ring. This is available in menu A or A1, but it's probably easier to set it from the SCP. This is the same functionality as on all older Olympus models, including the DSLRs. This is the only case I have seen where the settings on the E-M5 Mark III are the same as on the E-M1 Mark I.

On the E-M1 Mark II there are two separate settings, also in menu A1: AF Mode and AF+MF. AF+MF enables or disables the +MF functionality on all focus modes (with the obvious exception of MF). I leave this turned on.

To add to the confusion, there's a back button focus mode for MF on all cameras: in menu A or A1, select AEL/AFL, MF and mode 3. With this setting, you can autofocus normally by pressing the AEL/AFL button, and then possibly adjust focus and shoot without further camera involvement. Many cameras call this autofocus. It's available for all older cameras that I've seen, including the E-30 DSLR (where it's in menu B) and even the Olympus E-PM1, which doesn't even have an AEL/AFL button (you have to assign one of the few buttons to that function). I find mode3 very useful, but it's not directly relevant to the current discussion.

Focus peaking settings

There are a number of Peaking Settings in menu D (E-M1 Mark I) or D3 (E-M1 Mark II and E-M5 Mark III):

All of these settings can be modified by a particularly complicated set of tricks: after turning the feature on (including with the focus ring), and before doing anything else, press INFO. A small menu appears, where you can set the parameters above. This also prevents the camera from resetting the peaking mode after one second in automatic peaking mode.

Magnification settings

As mentioned above, I've assigned the function “magnify” (the magnifying glass symbol) to the upper button to the right of the lens on the E-M1s, and to the single button on the E-M5 Mark III.

To use magnification, at least this way, press the button. A green frame appears in the viewfinder, indicating the area that will be magnified. You have three choices:

On the E-M1 Mark I (firmware 4.4) selecting magnification turns off automatic focus peaking; I can only enable it with the dedicated button. This doesn't happen on the other cameras, and I think it's a firmware bug.

Red herrings

Finally, on the E-M1 Mark II and the E-M5 Mark III there's a submenu in D2 with symbols that mean little to me:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Olympus-menu-1.jpeg
Image title: Olympus menu 1          Dimensions:          3473 x 2332, 1422 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Olympus-menu-2.jpeg
Image title: Olympus menu 2          Dimensions:          3603 x 2416, 1635 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It's clearly related to magnification, but under what circumstances? And what do “recently” and “equally value” mean? It's clearly confusing enough that the instruction manual for the E-M1 Mark II doesn't mention it at all, not even in the list of menus on pages 116 and 172. But the E-M5 Mark III manual explains:

Choose the starting zoom ratio for playback zoom (close-up playback).

That still doesn't explain what “equally value” means.

Summary

In summary, I have:

And yes, writing this article was good—for me. Now I understand things better. For example, I used to use the lower button on the E-M1s to turn focus peaking on. That's not necessary on the E-M1 Mark II: turning on with the focus ring is much easier. The firmware bug in the E-M1 Mark I means that it's still useful there.


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Dereel Images for 11 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Begone foul spammer!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

After the failure of GMail, I have resorted to various methods to control spam, including procmail. Some of it works, but it's painful. And in principle it should work against spam like this, where there's an unambiguous keyword in the Subject: line:

 875 N T 10-02-2020 =?utf-8?B?IkRyZXciID To greg@lemis.c (  18) N T Desperate for a Fuckbuddy

But it doesn't. The clue is in the From: header: =?utf-8?B?IkphY3F1ZW. The whole thing is encoded in base64, and the Subject: line is really:

Subject: =?utf-8?B?SSBNaXNzZWQgRnVja2J1ZGR5IE1lc3NhZ2U=?=

I don't know how to convert that to something sane. I tried recognizing the sender address, but for some reason that didn't work. But then I realized that the To: address was greg@lemis.com. That's not my email address. Why is it being forwarded to me? Checked in /usr/local/etc/postfix/virtual and found, as blame told me:

1.11         (groggyhimself     18-Nov-14): # Too much spam
1.11         (groggyhimself     18-Nov-14): # greg@lemis.com                     groggyhimself@lemis.com

The entry once existed, but I commented it out over 5 years ago for exactly the reasons I have now. Tried sending mail to greg@ from the FreeBSD network, and it got through. But how? Changed it to a more explicit:

greg@lemis.com                  nobody-here@lemis.com

And sure enough, that bounced as expected, both locally (quick and dirty using mail) and from freefall.freebsd.org. Done! Well, with a lingering question about why it worked before, when it was commented out.

And then another one arrived! Dammit, how is this stuff getting through? More checking. Send mail to greg@ using mutt. Got sent to me! Tried again with mail. Rejected.

What's going on here? Somehow postfix isn't as transparent as it should be. Somewhere underneath there's still the Old Way. OK, check in /etc/mail/aliases:

...
1.4          (grog     22-Oct-08): greg:                root
1.4          (grog     22-Oct-08): newscrisis:  root

Eleven years ago! In the days when spam wasn't quite such an issue. OK, I can remove that, then run newaliases. Hmm. Wasn't there some issue with newaliases...?

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) /etc/mail 242 -> wh newaliases
3468544 lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  32  4 Oct  2016 /usr/local/bin/newaliases -> ../../../usr/local/sbin/sendmail
3054005 lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  21 25 Nov  2015 /usr/bin/newaliases -> /usr/sbin/mailwrapper

wh is a shell function that finds all instances and lists them verbosely, as shown. Which is the correct newaliases? My guess was /usr/bin/newaliases. Ran that, and sure enough, I had a new /etc/aliases.db. Ran mail to greg@ again. It still got sent to me! OK, check again:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) /etc/mail 263 -> l /etc/mail
...
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    1,596 11 Feb 11:27 aliases
-rw-r-----  1 root  wheel  131,072 30 Dec  2013 aliases.db

Look at that date on aliases.db! Dammit, newaliases wrote to /etc/aliases.db. Was that the problem? Set the permissions on /etc/mail/aliases.db to 0 (----------) and try again. Finally it bounces.

There's something very wrong here. How many loose ends are there? Even man newaliases doesn't help, because it refers to postfix. And there's still stuff around doing it the Old Way.

But at least it's done. And then, in the evening:

   1 N T 11-02-2020 =?utf-8?B?IkphY3F1ZW To greg@lemis.c (  19) N T I Missed Fuckbuddy Message

GRRR! What's wrong now?

To: greg@lemis.com, groggyhimself@lemis.com

Sent to my real email address too! How annoying this is! No wonder nobody uses email any more.


Lost tortoise
Topic: animals Link here

While walking the dogs this morning, Leonid found something of great interest. It proved to be a tortoise, about 25 cm long:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Tortoise-2.jpeg
Image title: Tortoise 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 4539 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Tortoise-12.jpeg
Image title: Tortoise 12          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2030 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Yvonne was sure that it was a lost pet, and that we should take it home and find a taker (or even its owner). Put it in a plastic box with some hay and water, while Yvonne tried to find out what to do, not helped by the NBN outage:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Tortoise-3.jpeg
Image title: Tortoise 3          Dimensions:          5192 x 3888, 3602 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It didn't want to stay there, for understandable reasons, but to our surprise it managed to get out:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200211/big/Tortoise-10.jpeg
Image title: Tortoise 10          Dimensions:          3890 x 5184, 2995 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 11 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Ultimately Chris Bahlo told Yvonne (in person, due to missing communications) that there are indeed wild tortoises here. I should know: I ran over one five years ago. So we took it back again and put it on the other side of the fence, where it's less likely to get run over.


Another day without NBN!
Topic: technology, music, general, opinion Link here

After yesterday's NBN outage, I was hoping for a little time without the perpetual “routine maintenance”. No such luck. The net went down again at 9:30. But not for “long”: at 10:15 it was back again.

But for even less time. At 10:37 it went down again, and stayed down all day. I've taken to starting an audible ping to catch when it comes back again:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/67) ~ 5 -> ping -a -i 5 www
PING www.lemis.com (45.32.70.18): 56 data bytes
ping: sendto: No route to host
...
ping: sendto: No route to host
64 bytes from 45.32.70.18: icmp_seq=3655 ttl=251 time=200.780 ms
64 bytes from 45.32.70.18: icmp_seq=3656 ttl=251 time=195.903 ms

That tries every 5 seconds. When a packet gets through, it beeps (that's the -a option). But somehow I don't have the fortitude to wait, and from time to time I look at the NTD anyway.

And how about that, round 15:40 the NTD showed normal status. Why wasn't I connected? Checked and found that dhclient wasn't running. Started that, and all was well.

So now I had two questions: when did the connection come back, and why wasn't dhclient running? It can't have been back for long, since I kept looking at the NTD. And the dhclient process?

Feb 11 10:40:41 eureka dhclient[37660]: My address (167.179.139.35) was deleted, dhclient exiting
Feb 11 10:40:41 eureka dhclient[37552]: connection closed
Feb 11 10:40:41 eureka dhclient[37552]: exiting.

Why is that a reason for dhclient to exit? And how did the address get deleted? Presumably it's up to dhclient to change the address, but what else could delete it?

I have a partial explanation: wwww.lemis.com is the name of my internal web server (count those ws), and at some point I had thought of making it available to some people to access before I had synced the content to www.lemis.com, so I had it bound to the external interface.

Two problems: firstly, when the NBN link goes away, dhclient deletes the address, and I can no longer access my local web server. So I had to do:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 262 -> ifconfig xl0 wwww

But that doesn't remove the address, it reinstates it. So it's not clear that it's related to the issue. Looking at the source (/usr/src/sbin/dhclient/dhclient.c, round line 270) is interesting:

  addr = inet_ntoa(((struct sockaddr_in *)sa)->sin_addr);
  if (rtm->rtm_type == RTM_NEWADDR)  {
          /*
           * XXX: If someone other than us adds our address,
           * should we assume they are taking over from us,
           * delete the lease record, and exit without modifying
           * the interface?
           */
          warning("My address (%s) was re-added", addr);
  } else {
          warning("My address (%s) was deleted, dhclient exiting",
              addr);
          goto die;
  }

goto? Die! But certainly my re-adding the address wasn't the cause. The real question is the value of rtm->rtm_type, which wasn't checked. But when will this happen again?

The other issue was that providing access involved more firewall juggling than I wanted to do, so effectively I had no benefit in assigning this address to wwww, especially since it's a maintenance liability if my external address changes. So I've reassigned it to the internal net.


No music for Groggy
Topic: music, technology, opinion Link here

Facebook message today from Lyndon Watts: invitation to a bassoon recital in Melbourne—today at 17:00! Thank you, National Broadband Network, for making this possible!


Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Dereel Images for 12 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

NBN: A million seconds and counting
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

After the NBN horrors of yesterday, today was better, right?

Wrong. At the end of the day we had:

Timestamp      Outages  Duration  Availability    Date
                        (seconds)
1581253200        4       5830   93.25% # 10 February 2020
1581339600        2      21141   75.53% # 11 February 2020
1581426000        2      25075   59.90% # 12 February 2020

That's a total of 52046 seconds, or 14 hours, 27 minutes, 26 seconds, all during normal working hours! Today, including the night, the availability was under 60%! And the tendency is increasing. It also represents 5% of all down time (now well over a million seconds) in the over 6 years that I have been connected to the NBN:

Summary
Total 434 outages, total time 1035780 seconds (11 days, 23:43:00)
Average time between outages:   435990 seconds (5 days, 01:06:30)
Average duration:               2386 seconds (00:39:46)
Availability:                   99.45%

Today I kept a particular eye on the NTD. Normally during maintenance the ODU (outdoor unit) LED lights orange, and the others are off. But shortly before it came back, I saw this display alternate about every 2 to 3 seconds:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200212/big/NTD-1.jpeg
Image title: NTD 1          Dimensions:          4675 x 608, 347 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200212/big/NTD-2.jpeg
Image title: NTD 2          Dimensions:          4637 x 603, 339 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What does it mean? How can you tell? It would be easy to guess that it's a “normal” display stating that the signal strength is inadequate (one red LED: inadequate; two orange LEDs: marginal; three green LEDs: good), but then the ODU LED would have to be green. Maybe the signal strength LEDs are really displaying signal strength, and the ODU LED indicates that communication hasn't been set up yet.

Can we expect it to improve from now on? Hardly, it seems. The last outage warning stated:

The details are:
  - Start date and time: Mon 10th February 2020 07:00 AEDT
  - End date and time: Mon 17th February 2020 20:00 AEDT
  - Window: 181.0 hours

You may experience the following interruptions during the maintenance
  - 480 min
  - 480 min
  - 540 min
  - 480 min
  - 480 min

So today was the 540 minute window (9 hours). And if they stick to their threats, there will be more outages tomorrow and Friday.

The good news is that there are no further threats after this one. But how can anybody put up with this? Started a thread on Whirlpool to try to understand the reasons for these perpetual outages, and coincidentally had the opportunity to answer a question on Quora: “How good would you rate the Australian NBN?”.


Hot summer weather
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Eleven years ago we had the Black Saturday bushfires, with temperatures in the mid to high 40s. Today was different: a maximum of 22.5°, moist and foggy:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200212/big/Fog.jpeg
Image title: Fog          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2549 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That's a visibility of less than 200 m. Yvonne tells me that it was even worse when she went through Enfield.


Mini-dumpling
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Today's dinner was leftovers, and Yvonne ate some goulash with a dumpling, which I made for her. Simple: mix the mixture (interpreted from the package: 28.75 g powder and 60 g water per dumpling), leave to swell for a while, and form into a dumpling.

Then our views differ. I wanted to put it into hot water, bring back to the boil briefly, and simmer for 15 minutes. That worked fine a couple of days ago. But Yvonne thought that I should put the dumpling in cold water and bring it to the boil. That worked better than I had feared, but the resulting dumpling was only half the original size:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200212/big/Dumpling-3.jpeg
Image title: Dumpling 3          Dimensions:          5197 x 3888, 2954 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

“Well don't do that, then”.


Thursday, 13 February 2020 Dereel Images for 13 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, for real
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Another thing that yesterday's protracted absence from the net hid from me was yesterday's announcement of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. I had already seen the rumours and commented on them, but of course the truth can be different.

OK, look at the specs. No, the rumours were accurate. Significant differences are:

And what's missing that the E-M1X has (apart from the bulk, of course)? There's no talk of the AI focusing modes, which would be a pity. And also no GPS receiver, and only one of the card slots is UHS-II. Does that suggest that the TruePic IX is not as powerful as two TruePic VIIIs?

In any case, though it's pretty much what I predicted last year, but nothing to send people off to the shops to buy one. I can see the likes of Tony Northrup grinning and saying “I told you so! Olympus is dying!”. Surely Olympus would have thought of that before bringing out such a boring camera.

The M.Zuiko 12-45 mm f/4 Pro that they introduced at the same time didn't help. It's only marginally smaller than the M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 Pro, but one stop slower, and it's still a relatively big lens. And the difference between 40 mm and 45 mm at the long end is pretty meaningless; I've found 60 mm too short.


New camera strap attachments
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Today the quick release camera strap attachments arrived:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Camera-strap-connectors-1.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap connectors 1          Dimensions:          5066 x 3728, 2257 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Camera-strap-connectors-2.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap connectors 2          Dimensions:          4743 x 3499, 2477 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Somehow they don't quite solve the problem. Without the strap there's too much on the camera, and the strings look too flimsy to me. In addition, it's not easy to disconnect the strap: the connectors are too firm, and the first time round I had to use pliers. Yvonne has decided against them, so I'll try on my camera for a while.


NBN: sting in the tail
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

After the pain that the National Broadband Network caused me over the last three days, I was expecting them to continue for the rest of the week. But no, the link stayed up all day long.

Until the evening, when I was watching the TV news when the display hung. Just before close of business they managed to sneak in another 37 minute outage.


Woolworths and bad language
Topic: food and drink, language, opinion Link here

Spits for dinner today. Or is that skewers? No, the modern word is kebab. And how about that, Yvonne prefers chicken, but just for me she bought lamb:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200213/big/Mystery-food.jpeg
Image title: Mystery food          Dimensions:          1445 x 1023, 253 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 13 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 13 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 13 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Unpacking them showed that they looked nothing like lamb. Back to look at that label again. What does it tell me? Mainly that Woolworth's can't spell and also can't describe things worth talking about. “Lmn&Grlic Kebab RSPCA Approved”:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200213/big/Mystery-food-detail.jpeg
Image title: Mystery food detail          Dimensions:          1056 x 323, 60 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 13 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 13 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 13 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Drop the words not in the Oxford English Dictionary and you have “Kebab Approved”. What is it? It proved to be chicken, and those in the know will know that the RSPCA only approves killing chicken. But what kind of brain damage leads to that kind of mutilation of English and poverty of description? What's wrong with “Chicken Kebab with Lemon and Garlic”? It would easily fit on the label, along with a date with a complete year.


The next grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another one second grid power failure this evening at 21:17:22.


Friday, 14 February 2020 Dereel Images for 14 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Investigating filter crud
Topic: general Link here

A couple of days ago I cleaned out the rainwater filter, and got a surprising amount of crud. How much? A couple of millimetres at the bottom of the jug in which I rinsed the filter cartridge. And how much is that? Filtered it through paper, left it to dry, and weighed it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Water-filter-crud-1.jpeg
Image title: Water filter crud 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4756 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Water-filter-crud-2.jpeg
Image title: Water filter crud 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3912 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

A total of 337 mg, as good as ⅓ g. That's less than I had expected. And what does it represent in terms of the amount of water that went through the filter? Hard to say; I'd guess that I've used about 33,7 m³ of water (168.5 days or 5½ months at 200 l/day) since the last time I cleaned the filter, in which case the crud represents (conveniently) exactly 0.01 ppm of the water. That's far lower than most analyses cater for.

And based on that, how much did the sediment that I measured in my water jug last week weigh? I can still only guess, but I can't imagine that it's even 0.1% of what I found in the filter cartridge—in the microgram range.


No NBN outage!
Topic: technology, general Link here

Today was a day when the National Broadband Network had threatened up to 8 hours of outage. But none at all! Friday, and the first time this week!


Olympus E-M1 Mark III: More insights
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Not surprisingly, there are a number of videos on YouTube about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. One was in German, „Olympus OM-D E-M1 III ausführlich erklärt“:

fhQRPN25Ti4

So for the fun of it, I took a look. It turned out to be very interesting: a discussion between a photographer, Andreas Jürgensen (clearly an Olympus enthusiast, and apparently the moderator of Olympus Fotoforum) and Nils Häussler, a representative of Olympus Germany. This in particular gives it a certain official status. There's also a text version at Olympus Fotoforum. A number of points:

Apart from that, and a short discussion of the M.Zuiko 12-45 mm f/4 Pro, one other interesting point: they will announce two more lenses and one more body this year. I really can't think what they might be, but I fear that they won't be very interesting.


More grid outages
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

The weather today was really extreme: thunderstorms and lightning, and a total of 14 mm of rain. And, of course, grid power failures. In fact, though there were 5 of them, they were all very short (“one second”).

Given the situation, I decided to crank up the battery charge from the grid. In the past I've been wary of setting the lower limit because there were two potential values that I could set, with descriptions that suggested that I could cause problems: “SOCmin: Minimum limit for switching to standby (%)” and “SOCrecx: Value to generate voltage in the loads (%)”. In the end I decided to risk it and try SOCrecx, which proved to be the correct value. So normally I have SOCrecx set to 20% and SOCgrid (“Maximum charge limit from the grid/genset (%)”) set to 40%, but today I set them to 60% and 80%. In the process I also increased the charge rate from 1000 W to 2000 W. I think I can leave that at that value. It's still much less than the charge rate from the PV array on a bright, sunny day, where it can reach 5000 W.


Saturday, 15 February 2020 Dereel → Lal Lal → Dereel Images for 15 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Garlic chives in Phat Thai
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Fake Phat Thai for breakfast. I often garnish it with garlic chives, but now they're flowering:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Garlic-chive-flowers.jpeg
Image title: Garlic chive flowers          Dimensions:          4654 x 3328, 2034 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

OK, take some stalks and buds:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200215/big/Phat-Thai-with-garlic-chive-flowers-1.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai with garlic chive flowers 1          Dimensions:          4741 x 3772, 2789 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 15 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 15 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 15 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200215/big/Phat-Thai-with-garlic-chive-flowers-2.jpeg
Image title: Phat Thai with garlic chive flowers 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3967 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 15 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 15 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 15 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Not a good idea. The stems are different from the normal stalks, and they're much harder. And it doesn't really look very funny either.


Outing to Lal Lal
Topic: gardening, technology, general Link here

After Mick Solly destroyed our last electric weed sprayer last month, Yvonne offered to do the work instead, and she bought a manual sprayer unit which she hasn't got round to using yet. And then she found a second-hand 30 l unit on sale at a price only marginally higher.

Off to Lal Lal to take a look at it, in the process marveling at the inaccuracies of the GPS navigators I had brought with us. My dedicated unit has suffered from the heat recently, and I think it might have damaged the touch screen:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/GPS-navigator-1.jpeg
Image title: GPS navigator 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3246 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And Google Maps offered the usual pain:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200215/big/Google-Maps-3.png
Image title: Google Maps 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 362 x 182, 12 kB
Dimensions of original: 362 x 182, 12 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 15 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Where's my Nokia 3? Ah, that's just a marketing name. We call it HMD Global TA-1020 to avoid any confusion. And sure enough, my phone beeped and forgot all about it. Only later, when I tried to fire up manually, did it recall that there had been this call earlier. It took me to a location roughly 300 m from where it had shown me on the map. Closer examination showed that it didn't consider the rest of the way navigable, though the aerial view shows that it clearly was:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200215/big/Google-Maps-1.png
Image title: Google Maps 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 589 x 620, 455 kB
Dimensions of original: 589 x 620, 455 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 15 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The spray unit looked worthwhile:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Weed-sprayer-2.jpeg
Image title: Weed sprayer 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3228 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

My main concern was the battery, which of course was fully charged. The concern was clearly not completely unfounded: it had already had a battery replaced. But that in itself is a good sign: it's possible. And the spray wand sprays cleanly. So we took it.

I've finally (after decades of roughing it) come to the conclusion that I'd rather drive a little further than be bounced around over bad and unmade roads. Maybe the car helped: in the old days, my Citroëns were much more comfortable. So we decided to go back along the main road, about 5 km further. Got back to Lal Lal and were presented with differing opinions by the two GPS devices. My car GPS wanted me to turn left before the level crossing (into Yendon Lal Lal road, a detail that it was too polite to mention):

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200215/big/Google-Maps-2.png
Image title: Google Maps 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 632 x 700, 597 kB
Dimensions of original: 632 x 700, 597 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 15 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That sounded wrong, so I fired up my phone, which gave me the startling directions: “Go west”.

OK, Google Maps, how do I know where west is? You're too polite to irritate me with compass directions. Presumably it didn't know where I was pointing, so it couldn't say “go straight ahead”, but the very least it could do would be to display a compass rosette.

And once again, as 15 months ago, it came up with nonsense directions. Driving through Enfield, it told me to turn right, where there was no road, and a little later “go south”. Is this an indication of hardware problems with the phone?


Sunday, 16 February 2020 Dereel Images for 16 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Camera straps revisited
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I've been looking for reasonable detachable camera straps for some time now, and I've come to the conclusion that they're things that money can't buy. I've been looking for over a month, and the best I can find are things with pigtails:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Camera-strap-connectors-1.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap connectors 1          Dimensions:          5066 x 3728, 2257 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200214/big/Camera-strap-connectors-2.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap connectors 2          Dimensions:          4743 x 3499, 2477 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 14 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 14 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Yvonne didn't like them, so I tried them on my camera, where they looked just as silly:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Camera-strap-4.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap 4          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 2488 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But look at the hooks that I've been using all along. I've been hooking them into the delta rings, but they should fit through the lugs. Shouldn't they? Yes!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Camera-strap-2.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2384 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Camera-strap-3.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 2168 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

OK, put them on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Camera-strap-7.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap 7          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2194 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Camera-strap-6.jpeg
Image title: Camera strap 6          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2314 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

They can still scrape against the side of the camera, but since they're now parallel, there should be less damage. At least I now have something to compare.


The eternal mattress
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Last year we found an abandoned mattress along Harrisons Road:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190708/big/Rest-for-the-weary.jpeg
Image title: Rest for the weary          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 6210 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 8 July 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 8 July 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 8 July 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It remained there for several weeks before it was finally removed. But today I saw:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Abandoned-mattress-1.jpeg
Image title: Abandoned mattress 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 5444 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Abandoned-mattress-2.jpeg
Image title: Abandoned mattress 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 6838 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Is that the same mattress? It could be, but I don't have any comparable photos, and to get one now would involve turning the thing over, far too much work for me. How did it get dumped exactly at the T junction of Stones Road and Grassy Gully Road?


Two-headed sheep
Topic: animals, photography Link here

Walking the dogs today, saw this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200216/big/Double-sheep.jpeg
Image title: Double sheep          Dimensions:          5086 x 3756, 4537 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 16 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 16 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Sadly, it doesn't enlarge well. If I ever find good retouching software, I should try something with this image.


Monday, 17 February 2020 Dereel Images for 17 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure at 01:51:58, again only one second.


Using the new weed sprayer
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Today was one of those rare days, warm but not overly hot (round 28°) and with relatively little wind (maximum 16 km/h). Just what we need for spraying the multitude of weeds. And now we have the new sprayer!

So I filled it up and went spraying. What went wrong? Nothing! That's so seldom that it's worth mentioning. OK, like anything of that shape, you need to be careful not to run it into your heels, but that wasn't too difficult to work around. And the thing has a nice long hose, about 3 m, which means that I can park it and spray a reasonable area, then move it on. For once something that seems worthwhile.


More weather station woes
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

I've had problems with my weather stations since I got the first one over 10 years ago. In particular, the communication between internal and external unit is flaky and inconsistent. Lately it has got to the point that communication fails for hours on end.

What can cause that? Battery problems seem the most likely, so I changed the ones in the internal unit. No improvement. The batteries in the external unit are self-charging via a tiny PV panel, but they can always fail. So out to take a look, replacing them with fully charged NiMH batteries.

No improvement. And the existing batteries (rechargeable Alkaline) showed a perfectly normal voltage. About all that I managed to do was to jam the thermometer cover so that I couldn't replace it properly.

What do I do? Replace the thing? The WH1080/1081 appears to no longer be on the market, though Daniel O'Connor tells me that his WH3080 is software compatible. But will it be any better? Or should I put the internal unit closer to the external unit, like in the lounge room (connected to teevee) or in Yvonne's office (connected to lagoon)?

Dammit, I don't need this pain.


Tuesday, 18 February 2020 Dereel Images for 18 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

End of the NBN threats
Topic: technology Link here

For as long as I can recall, when I signed in to my personal data on the Aussie Broadband site, I was greeted with this banner:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200213/big/NBN-fail.png
Image title: NBN fail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 620 x 155, 15 kB
Dimensions of original: 620 x 155, 15 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 13 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It had become completely meaningless; there was always the threat of an NBN outage. But no more! It's gone!

Does that mean that the extreme pain of last week was a final fling? No more NBN outages? How I wish I could believe it, but I fear that there's more in store once they regroup and regain strength.


No FreeBSD mail?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

In the office this morning, found about 10 commit messages from the FreeBSD project. That's unusual: normally it's round 100 to 150. Did something go wrong?

The obvious first check was whether the messages had been filtered into a spam folder, especially since I had managed to shoot myself in the foot with my procmail configuration a while back. OK, check procmaillog, which shows what procmail has done. It's not easy to read:

procmail: No match on "Subject:.*skincare"
procmail: Bypassed locking "/var/mail/grog.lock"
procmail: Assigning "LASTFOLDER=/var/mail/grog"
procmail: Opening "/var/mail/grog"
procmail: Acquiring kernel-lock
procmail: Notified comsat: "grog@3000110:/var/mail/grog"
From owner-svn-ports-head@freebsd.org  Mon Feb 17 22:00:22 2020
 Subject: svn commit: r526362 - head/www/py-flask-admin
  Folder: /var/mail/grog                                                   6724

That shows the end of filtration for one of the last messages I received. The whole thing is a couple of hundred lines long. The important thing is just that: the line with the number offset to the right (the message size, I think) is the last line for this message, and it shows that it was delivered to my inbox.

The next message is similar, but much shorter. Here the entire log:

procmail: [47393] Mon Feb 17 22:00:26 2020
procmail: Locking "/home/grog/Mail/backup.lock"
procmail: Assigning "LASTFOLDER=/home/grog/Mail/backup"
procmail: Opening "/home/grog/Mail/backup"
procmail: Acquiring kernel-lock
procmail: Unlocking "/home/grog/Mail/backup.lock"
procmail: Locking "msgid.lock"
procmail: Executing "formail,-D,65536,msgid.cache"
procmail: Assigning "LASTFOLDER=formail -D 65536 msgid.cache"
procmail: Unlocking "msgid.lock"
procmail: Notified comsat: "grog@:/home/grog/formail -D 65536 msgid.cache"
From owner-ports-committers@freebsd.org  Mon Feb 17 22:00:26 2020
 Subject: svn commit: r526362 - head/www/py-flask-admin
  Folder: formail -D 65536 msgid.cache                                     6550

It took me some time to understand this. What it's saying (in a format that is more intelligible to it than the reader) is that it has passed the message through formail, and formail has discovered that the message has already been delivered: I got it from two different mailing lists. And this is a feature, not a bug: it stops me receiving duplicate mail messages.

But that was the last message I received. The time was local time, so it was nearly 12 hours ago. Problems with FreeBSD mail? After a while I went looking on the mail server and found (after some searching):

Feb 17 11:00:25 lax postfix/smtpd[39088]: connect from mx2.freebsd.org[96.47.72.81]
Feb 17 11:00:25 lax postfix/cleanup[39090]: 29C35280D4: message-id=<202002171100.01HB0FeO029057@repo.freebsd.org>
Feb 17 11:00:25 lax postfix/qmgr[23420]: 29C35280D4: from=<owner-ports-committers@freebsd.org>, size=6325, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Feb 17 11:00:26 lax postfix/smtp[39091]: 29C35280D4: to=<grog@lemis.com>, relay=mx0.lemis.com[167.179.139.35]:25, delay=1.4, delays=0.14/0/0.57/0.68, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as F193926358B)

This was the message that I had found in the procmaillog. But then the next message, 8 minutes later:

Feb 17 11:08:16 lax postfix/smtpd[39122]: connect from unknown[96.47.72.81]
Feb 17 11:08:16 lax postfix/smtpd[39122]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from unknown[96.47.72.81]: 450 4.7.25 Client host rejected: cannot find your hostname, [96.47.72.81]; from=<owner-svn-ports-head@freebsd.org> to=<grog@lemis.com> proto=ESMTP helo=<mx2.freebsd.org>

The reverse lookup had disappeared! Is that specific to lax, or general? It proved to be specific to lax:

=== grog@lax (/dev/pts/0) ~ 3 -> host 96.47.72.81 108.61.10.10
Using domain server:
Name: 108.61.10.10

Host 81.72.47.96.in-addr.arpa not found: 2(SERVFAIL)
=== grog@ffm (/dev/pts/0) ~ 1 -> host 96.47.72.81 108.61.10.10
Using domain server:
Name: 108.61.10.10
Address: 108.61.10.10#53
Aliases:

81.72.47.96.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer mx2.freebsd.org.

In other words, it worked for ffm.lemis.com, but not for lax.lemis.com, both using the (same) specified DNS server address. OK, a clear case for Vultr support. Sent off a ticket:

From server w4.lemis.com only, the address 96.47.72.81 cannot be resolved:

$ host 96.47.72.81 108.61.10.10
Host 81.72.47.96.in-addr.arpa not found: 2(SERVFAIL)
$ host 96.47.72.81 8.8.8.8
81.72.47.96.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer mx2.freebsd.org.

And after 40 minutes received a message

We made an adjustment, If you are still having issues please let us know

“An adjustment”. I wonder what. But it made no difference. Another response, and another reply (T+5:40):

Would you clarify this for us?  The issue is that *reverse* DNS for 96.47.72.81 is not functioning, correct ?  The forward DNS for lemis.com is working properly ?

Note that if you need an immediate solution, you can switch your DNS resolver in the instance to any other ( Cloudflare = 1.1.1.1 , Google = 8.8.8.8 , QuadNine = 9.9.9.9 , and your ISP surely runs one as well).

Now doesn't that look as if they haven't read the message? It seems that I omitted to mention that 108.61.10.10 was their delegated forwarder, but you'd expect them to know that, especially as it seems to be the same address (but different name server) at every location.


NBN giveth, Vultr taketh away
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While entering the tickets for the DNS issues, discovered this exciting news, which the Vultrs had not seen fit to get to me by email:

Frankfurt Scheduled Maintenance - 2020-02-20
Event Type: Network Upgrade
Start Time: 2020-02-20 03:00:00 UTC
End Time: 2020-02-20 04:00:00 UTC

The Frankfurt network will be upgraded to provide network enhancements as part of ongoing efforts to provide excellent service and maintain an ideal hosting environment. A device reload may be necessary and some customers may experience brief periods of latency or packetloss while routes are updated across the redundant topology.

In fact, it was so well hidden that I could barely find it. So: ffm has been up for 744 days. At least it's over 2 years, but I had hoped it would live longer than that.


Tree mushrooms
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Seen down Progress Road, opposite Wendy McClelland's property:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200218/big/Tree-mushrooms-2.jpeg
Image title: Tree mushrooms 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4924 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 18 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200218/big/Tree-mushrooms-4.jpeg
Image title: Tree mushrooms 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 4743 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 18 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What are they? The one in the second photo (underside) is about 30 cm across. I don't suppose that they're edible.


Another grid outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another brief grid power failure today at 12:31:39. I really should separate the ones where the inverter reports an “Off-grid” situation (which appears to take 2 seconds) from those where it doesn't. This one was the latter kind.


Video editors
Topic: music, photography, technology, opinion Link here

I've been looking for a video editor for some time now, and I'm even prepared to pay real money for a good one. Yvonne is in even greater need: since buying the PIXIO “Robot Cameraman”, she has clips with useless start and end portions, where she approaches the camera to turn it on or off. She asked Julie Lannen, who tells her that she uses Adobe Premiere Pro, presumably paid for by somebody else: it's expensive, but not nearly as expensive as she claims. But I've decided years ago that Adobe isn't for me. OK, off looking for other recommendations. For no particular reason, ended up at this page for free Linux video editors. After a bit of checking, it seemed that shotcut might be a choice. Does FreeBSD have a package? Yes. OK, install it on lagoon (while sitting at teevee in the lounge room).

The following 109 package(s) will be affected (of 0 checked):

New packages to be INSTALLED:
        shotcut: 19.12.16
        qt5-x11extras: 5.13.2
...
Installed packages to be UPGRADED:
        firefox: 70.0.1,1 -> 73.0_2,1
        mplayer: 1.4.0.20190928 -> 1.4.0.20191227
        mpv: 0.29.1_11,1 -> 0.31.0,1
        postfix: 3.4.7,1 -> 3.4.8,1
        hugin: 2019.0.0_3 -> 2019.0.0_4
...

What a pain these dependencies are! But the installation went fine. Try to run it. Too-small window appeared, along with lots of debug output on the xterm. Then:

Abort trap (core dumped)

OK, this is probably a modern program that doesn't believe in networking. Started installing it on teevee, then checked locally on lagoon and got the usual dark grey display and lots of incomprehensible icons. But they all do that, and we'll have to go through the tutorials to understand how to drive the thing.

But then Yvonne came to me and asked me what had happened to firefox. Ah, right, upgraded, needs restarting. Nothing happened! Started from an xterm.

Segmentation fault (core dumped)

Scream! Deinstalled it, then reinstalled it. Same thing. And this on a system that was completely up to date two months ago! Now firefox is dead in the water. Gave Yvonne a Chromium to get by until I can salvage things, trying not to get too annoyed by Chrome's insistence on knowing better than me about window decorations.

Back to teevee, where the installation had been completed. Does it run there? No:

Cannot mix incompatible Qt library (version 0x50c02) with this library (version 0x50d02)

Dammit, doesn't anything work any more? That's what the dependencies are supposed to fix. Forget it: I don't really need it here.

Back to more usual things, music from Radio Swiss Classic

=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/5) ~ 121 -> mpv http://stream.srg-ssr.ch/m/rsc_de/aacp_96
ld-elf.so.1: /usr/local/bin/mpv: Undefined symbol "archive_read_support_format_rar5"

GRRRRR! And a deinstall/reinstall didn't work. I had to rebuild the package from source. At least then I had my evening's software.

What's wrong with this picture? I've been having this kind of problem for decades now, and though it sometimes seems to be getting better, this kind of problem happens again and again. It's interesting to note that the last system upgrade on lagoon, only 3 months ago, was because things went really wrong that time too.

Somehow I need to investigate file system snapshots. That way, when a port upgrade goes wrong, I can back it out until I find the problem.


Wednesday, 19 February 2020 Dereel Images for 19 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Rebuilding firefox
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne off shopping today, plenty of time for me to build the firefox port.

First, though, a couple of symlinks. I don't want to check out the entire ports tree to lagoon when I already have one on eureka. In addition, it seems that I was duplicating packages on lagoon, so:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) ~ 75 -> ln -s /src/FreeBSD/svn/ports /usr
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) ~ 76 -> ln -s /eureka/home/var/cache/pkg/ /var/cache

The first issue was:

===> Fetching all distfiles required by firefox-73.0.1,1 for building
===>  Extracting for firefox-73.0.1,1
=> SHA256 Checksum OK for firefox-73.0.1.source.tar.xz.
===>  Patching for firefox-73.0.1,1
===>  Applying FreeBSD patches for firefox-73.0.1,1
1 out of 1 hunks failed--saving rejects to gfx/webrender_bindings/RenderThread.cpp.rej
1 out of 1 hunks failed--saving rejects to gfx/webrender_bindings/src/bindings.rs.rej
=> FreeBSD patch patch-bug1511726 failed to apply cleanly.
=> Patch(es)  patch-addon-search patch-browser-app-nsBrowserApp.cpp patch-bug1269654_comment5 patch-bug1288587 patch-bug1504834_comment10 patch-bug1504834_comment5 patch-bug1504834_comment7 patch-bug1504834_comment9 applied cleanly.
*** Error code 1

What went wrong there? That's the file /usr/ports/www/firefox/files/patch-bug1519629. Checking the log, I got the information “File is not under version control”. How can that be? Where did it come from? I certainly didn't put it there. And shouldn't it have been removed if it were once there and had been removed from the repository? At the very least I would expect to find some find of revision history there.

OK, rename files to filed and do an svn up in the parent directory. That worked, checking out a new files directory and showing that a number of other files that also shouldn't have been there.

On to build the dependencies.

===>   nss-3.50 depends on file: /usr/local/sbin/pkg - found
=> nss-3.50.tar.gz doesn't seem to exist in /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/distfiles/.
=> Attempting to fetch https://download.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/security/nss/releases/NSS_3_50_RTM/src/nss-3.50.tar.gz
nss-3.50.tar.gz                                         74 MB 2522 kBps    30s
===> Fetching all distfiles required by nss-3.50 for building
...
===>  Installing for nss-3.50
===>  Checking if nss is already installed
===>   An older version of nss is already installed (nss-3.47.1)
      You may wish to ``make deinstall'' and install this port again
      by ``make reinstall'' to upgrade it properly.
      If you really wish to overwrite the old port of nss
      without deleting it first, set the variable "FORCE_PKG_REGISTER"
      in your environment or the "make install" command line.
*** Error code 1

So it built a newer version of a package without comment, and then tripped over its own lack of caution at the end. That's make deinstall; make reinstall, but I had to do it manually. And not just for this package.

And then there were unexpected dependencies:

===>   Returning to build of firefox-73.0.1,1
===>   firefox-73.0.1,1 depends on executable: nasm - not found
*** Error code 1
<i>(later)</i>
===>   firefox-73.0.1,1 depends on executable: zip - not found
*** Error code 1

Why not build the thing? Again, it worked manually.

Later it wanted to build llvm90, a compiler suite that I swear spends most of its time building itself. I didn't even give that one a chance: abort the build and install the package.

The same happened with rust, but this time it wanted to install rust-1.41, and the packages were still at rust-1.40. So I had to build manually, in the process admiring once again cmake's one-sided view of the environment:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200219/big/cmake-filth.png
Image title: cmake filth          Dimensions:          929 x 1030, 21 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 19 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200219/big/cmake-filth-detail.png
Image title: cmake filth detail          Dimensions:          905 x 83, 2 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 19 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Why do the same people who think that coloured output is a good idea also not understand that text is normally dark on light, not the other way round? If my xterm background had been white rather than beige, the text would have been completely invisible.

More dependencies that don't get built:

===>   Returning to build of py37-sphinx-1.6.5_2,1
===>   py37-sphinx-1.6.5_2,1 depends on package: py37-docutils>=0.11 - not found
*** Error code 1

And finally, in late afternoon:

Generating unstable book md files (x86_64-unknown-freebsd)
thread 'main' panicked at 'fs::remove_dir_all(dir) failed with Directory not empty (os error 66)', src/bootstrap/lib.rs:1247:9
stack backtrace:
   0: <std::sys_common::backtrace::_print::DisplayBacktrace as core::fmt::Display>::fmt
   1: core::fmt::write
   2: std::io::Write::write_fmt
   3: std::panicking::default_hook::{{closure}}
   4: std::panicking::default_hook
   5: std::panicking::rust_panic_with_hook
   6: std::panicking::continue_panic_fmt
   7: std::panicking::begin_panic_fmt
   8: bootstrap::Build::remove_dir
             at src/bootstrap/lib.rs:1247
   9: <bootstrap::doc::UnstableBookGen as bootstrap::builder::Step>::run
             at src/bootstrap/doc.rs:735
  10: bootstrap::builder::Builder::ensure
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:1302
  11: <bootstrap::doc::UnstableBook as bootstrap::builder::Step>::run
             at src/bootstrap/doc.rs:97
  12: bootstrap::builder::Builder::ensure
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:1302
  13: <bootstrap::doc::UnstableBook as bootstrap::builder::Step>::make_run
             at src/bootstrap/doc.rs:91
  14: bootstrap::builder::StepDescription::maybe_run
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:184
  15: bootstrap::builder::StepDescription::run
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:208
  16: bootstrap::builder::Builder::run_step_descriptions
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:557
  17: bootstrap::builder::Builder::default_doc
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:553
  18: <bootstrap::dist::Docs as bootstrap::builder::Step>::run
             at src/bootstrap/dist.rs:98
  19: bootstrap::builder::Builder::ensure
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:1302
  20: <bootstrap::install::Docs as bootstrap::builder::Step>::run
             at src/bootstrap/install.rs:191
  21: bootstrap::builder::Builder::ensure
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:1302
  22: <bootstrap::install::Docs as bootstrap::builder::Step>::make_run
             at src/bootstrap/install.rs:176
  23: bootstrap::builder::StepDescription::maybe_run
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:184
  24: bootstrap::builder::StepDescription::run
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:208
  25: bootstrap::builder::Builder::run_step_descriptions
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:557
  26: bootstrap::builder::Builder::execute_cli
             at src/bootstrap/builder.rs:547
  27: bootstrap::Build::build
             at src/bootstrap/lib.rs:445
  28: bootstrap::main
             at src/bootstrap/bin/main.rs:15
  29: std::rt::lang_start::{{closure}}
             at /wrkdirs/usr/ports/lang/rust-bootstrap/work-amd64/rustc-1.40.0-src/src/libstd/rt.rs:61
  30: std::panicking::try::do_call
  31: __rust_maybe_catch_panic
  32: std::rt::lang_start_internal
  33: std::rt::lang_start
             at /wrkdirs/usr/ports/lang/rust-bootstrap/work-amd64/rustc-1.40.0-src/src/libstd/rt.rs:61
  34: main
  35: _start
             at /usr/src/lib/csu/amd64/crt1.c:76
note: Some details are omitted, run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=full` for a verbose backtrace.
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "x.py", line 11, in <module>
    bootstrap.main()
  File "/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/lang/rust/work/rustc-1.41.0-src/src/bootstrap/bootstrap.py", line 912, in main
    bootstrap(help_triggered)
  File "/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/lang/rust/work/rustc-1.41.0-src/src/bootstrap/bootstrap.py", line 898, in bootstrap
    run(args, env=env, verbose=build.verbose)
  File "/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/lang/rust/work/rustc-1.41.0-src/src/bootstrap/bootstrap.py", line 141, in run
    raise RuntimeError(err)
RuntimeError: failed to run: /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/lang/rust/work/rustc-1.41.0-src/build/bootstrap/debug/bootstrap install --config=config.toml --jobs=4
*** Error code 1

Note particularly the:

note: Some details are omitted, run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=full` for a verbose backtrace.

The mind boggles. But what does all this crap mean? To me, it means that, after 25 years, the FreeBSD ports collection is still broken. A whole day wasted, and I didn't even manage to build the tools to build firefox!

On a hunch, tried installing the firefox package again. It ran! Some of the people watching on IRC saw this as success. I see it as abject failure, worked around. I still don't know why it now works.

People, can't we do better than this? We have people who codify the Makefiles so that you need to understand 20 different variables just to specify the URL of the source tarballs, but these kinds of bug still slip through. I despair.


Chrome: listen to me!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

While watching TV this evening, the full-screen image turned to a framed image (coincidentally the same size). Before I could ponder what was causing that, a message appeared: “Can't update Chrome”.

What's that nonsense? I didn't ask Chrome to update, and it should know that it's too stupid to perform its own update under FreeBSD. But what kind of mindset causes programmers to interrupt whatever else is going on on a computer to deliver what proves to be a completely boring and unwelcome message?


Thursday, 20 February 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 20 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More grid power fluctuations
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

I had more or less planned to separate my reports of grid power problems into two kinds. The inverter doesn't report an “Off-grid” condition until there has been at least 1 second of power outage, and for most outages it never gets that far. So it seems reasonable to separate reports into “transient” outages where the inverter doesn't report “Off-grid”, and those where it does. Both could result in problems for unprotected devices, but I don't have a way to know how long the transients last.

But this morning at 01:32:02 we had a different situation. Normally after an outage, the inverter goes into a “Waiting to connect” state for 60 seconds before reconnecting. Today it lasted 120 seconds. Why? The obvious guess is that further transients occurred, and the inverter waited until there were 60 seconds of stable grid power before reconnecting. How do I report that?


First tomato of summer
Topic: gardening Link here

We have a tomato!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/First-tomato-of-summer.jpeg
Image title: First tomato of summer          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2888 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That's the first one that has ripened this summer, 9 days before the beginning of autumn, and fully 45 days later than last year. Why? Despite the international attention that our bushfires have attracted, it has been a relatively cool summer. There are more fruit on their way, but I don't see us having a bumper crop either.


More mouse problems
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

A month ago I gave up with the problems I was having with my Logitech M705 MARATHON mouse: it had a tendency to paste data in unrelated windows. Instead I went back to my old el-cheapo Jenkins mouse.

But that, too, wasn't without its problems. This one did the opposite, marking portions of windows when I deiconified them. At least for the moment that proves to be more irritating (I had difficulty marking text, going to another window and pasting it), so I'm back to the Logitech for the time being.

But what's causing this? My guess is button bounce: the driver accepts every change of state, even if it's really short. It should ignore any transition that last less than mumble ms, where mumble could be in the range 10 to 40. Maybe I can brave the emetic code again.


A new range hood?
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion, animals Link here

I've complained about our horrible SMEG range hood almost since we moved in. The only reason we didn't complain earlier was because Jim Lannen forgot to install it, and we had to get Corey Spiteri to tidy up the mess Jim left behind.

We've given up trying to get the thing replaced. Specs? Who cares about specs? Sue us! But we've experienced continual death of the silly halogen light bulbs and the great difficulty in replacing them. Finally it happened as it had to: the sockets for the lamps are wearing out, and they no longer make contact.

OK, it's our money, but also our piece of mind. Buy a new one. But which? What do we want?

I had spent some time looking at specs online, in the process confirming my opinion that people don't really understand how to replace the showroom feel. The only way to find out about specific features is to look at the device, and the images provided online are inadequate. So today we decided to go into town and take a look at the showrooms.

Which showrooms? Basically there's only The Good Guys and maybe Harvey Norman. Off to the Good Guys first, where I confirmed that I could get all my requirements—only not on any one hood. Many still have halogen lighting, though it seems that they will be banned from September. Otherwise this one could have been suitable:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Range-hood-1.jpeg
Image title: Range hood 1          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 1910 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Range-hood-2.jpeg
Image title: Range hood 2          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2040 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Frustrated, off to Harvey Norman. They had a much more uniform range: all over $1,000, all with halogen lighting. Goodbye, Harvey Norman. But that was it. Nothing useful at all.

We took the dogs with us to town, and first for a walk in the Botanical Gardens, then on to the Delacombe Town Centre to wash them. The place is directly opposite Bunnings, and Yvonne told me that it would take her 30 minutes to wash them, so I went into Bunnings to see what they had in the way of range hoods. In fact, not too bad:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Range-hood-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Range hood 4 detail          Dimensions:          4430 x 2196, 1149 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Range-hood-5.jpeg
Image title: Range hood 5          Dimensions:          3670 x 2198, 1675 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But it was only 60 cm wide. OK, we've installed two range hoods back to back before, and there's space either side of the current hood. How about two hoods side by side?

Back to PETstock to get some video of washing the dogs. No luck. I had only been gone 10 minutes, but they were finished—quite the reverse of the pain I went through as a boy, where my mother continually took 3 times as long to do anything as she said she would.

Back home: the gap for the range hood is 108 cm, and we would have needed 120 cm. So no go with the 2 hood idea. Why is this all so difficult?


Microwave oven limitations
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

One of the good features of “inverter” microwave ovens is that you can use them to soften butter, and I frequently do this. But today things went wrong:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Microwaved-butter-2.jpeg
Image title: Microwaved butter 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2230 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

How did that happen? I had the oven (Sharp R350EW) set to 100 W. Did I set it incorrectly? No, then it would have melted the butter, not just bored a hole, and the rest of the butter was relatively firm. My best guess is that the very centre of the cavity has a hot spot, and moving the butter around on the carousel won't help if part of it is over the centre. So: offset the butter, or put it in the Panasonic, which so far has not caused any such problems—or both.


Friday, 21 February 2020 Dereel → Napoleons → Dereel Images for 21 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Australia Post outdoes itself
Topic: general, food and drink, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I ordered some alcoholic spirits online from Nicks. They sent the packages by Australia Post parcel service.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, but yesterday I received a strange message from Australia Post:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Australia-Post-topology.png
Image title: Australia Post topology          Dimensions:          1446 x 1440, 241 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 20 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 20 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Australia-Post-topology-detail.png
Image title: Australia Post topology detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 598 x 221, 17 kB
Dimensions of original: 598 x 221, 17 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 20 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200220/big/Australia-Post-topology-detail-2.png
Image title: Australia Post topology detail 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 334 x 323, 20 kB
Dimensions of original: 334 x 323, 20 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 20 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

In principle everything looks good. They'll deliver to my door, and if I want to pick it up elsewhere, I have a choice. What's wrong with that?

It bears no relationship to reality! Australia Post will not deliver parcels of this size to my door, only tiny packets that will fit into the letter box. And the 21 pickup points they suggest bear no relationship with their topology. It was clear to me from the outset that I would have to pick up the parcel at Napoleons post office. But it wasn't on the list! On the other hand, Snake Valley, 45 km away, was.

I took no action. Is there something special about alcohol that excludes Napoleons PO? No, as the next message implied:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Auspost.png
Image title: Auspost
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 396 x 469, 35 kB
Dimensions of original: 396 x 469, 35 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 21 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But there, too, they still haven't learnt to spell “Napoleons” consistently. Since we were expecting guests, I headed off to Napoleons and picked up the package with no difficulties. But the messages I receive give me the impression that a whole department has almost no communication with the rest of the organization. What's the point of them?


Micro Four-Thirds is DEAD
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Well over a year ago Tony Northrup disqualified himself in my eyes by claiming Micro Four-Thirds is DEAD . Not because he was wrong, but because he said was nonsense.

But that doesn't mean that some of his arguments couldn't be right. The camera industry is in a shakeup, and it's becoming more and more difficult for smaller companies to keep up. The recently introduced Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a case in point. It's really not that different from its predecessor, now over 3 years old. What do I do if Olympus shuts down its camera division (again)? The big issue is my collection of 25 lenses. Well, there's still Panasonic. Yes, Tony thinks they'll leave the sinking ship too, but there's no obvious reason for that: they have a very good market for cameras that specialize on video. Even Tony uses them.

And then today I read this article. Three new members of the Micro Four Thirds System standard group. Why?

It's worth thinking carefully about this. Two of them, Yong Nuo and Venus Optics, already make lenses for μFT. What difference does it make if they join the standards body? Better access to information needed to build the lenses? Or maybe just a show of solidarity? As some people think, it would be nice to have more third party lenses with autofocus. Or, taking a step back, is it maybe a recognition that a lens mount shared between multiple manufacturers has a better chance of survival?


Dinner with Chris and Margaret
Topic: food and drink, general, photography, opinion Link here

Chris Bahlo and Margaret Swan along for dinner today. That's not as common as it was, worth some photos, also of Yvonne's new wall tapestry:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dinner-2.jpeg
Image title: Dinner 2          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 3773 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dinner-6.jpeg
Image title: Dinner 6          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 3743 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dinner-7.jpeg
Image title: Dinner 7          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 3854 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And Yvonne cooked a gratin dauphinois, one of Margaret's favourites:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Gratin-dauphinois-5.jpeg
Image title: Gratin dauphinois 5          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 2718 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

On the one hand, Margaret fought off any attempts to share with others, but at the end she didn't finish it, and we were left with:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/Gratin-dauphinois-1.jpeg
Image title: Gratin dauphinois 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2764 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But the real fun was with the dessert, an apple with a wafer roll in the middle:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dessert-4.jpeg
Image title: Dessert 4          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 2466 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dessert-18.jpeg
Image title: Dessert 18          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2186 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dessert-20.jpeg
Image title: Dessert 20          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 2208 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200221/big/Dessert-21.jpeg
Image title: Dessert 21          Dimensions:          4765 x 3456, 2879 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 21 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Friday, 21 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Dereel Images for 22 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Another laksa
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've been eating a lot of laksa, both Penang laksa and Singapore laksa. Or have I? What I called Singapore laksa doesn't remind me much of the Singapore laksa of my childhood. And it's made in Malaysia (specifically, Klang or Penang).

But last time I was in Geelong I bought another kind, from Prima Taste:

https://www.primataste.com/shop-online/pub/media/catalog/product/cache/10f519365b01716ddb90abc57de5a837/p/r/prima_taste_box_laksa.jpg

It's about time to try it out: I'm going to be in Geelong again on Monday, and I should know whether I want any more.

From recollection, one of the reasons I didn't try it earlier was because of the relatively high price and the small quantity: only two portions instead of the usual 4. But it's there, so today I cooked it.

“In a pot, stir laksa premix into 600 ml water”:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Singapore-laksa-2.jpeg
Image title: Singapore laksa 2          Dimensions:          4622 x 3456, 2196 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

“Add laksa paste and mix well”. How do I get the paste out of the sachet? It's so firm that I had to cut the sachet open and scrape it out:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Singapore-laksa-1.jpeg
Image title: Singapore laksa 1          Dimensions:          4623 x 3456, 3612 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And how do I mix the mess? Heat the water. Fortunately the lumps dissolved well in the water when it got hotter. It seems that the white stuff is dried coconut cream. Why did they bother? They could have put the cream in a sachet too.

It also came with another sachet of sambal that was equally lumpy:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Singapore-laksa-4.jpeg
Image title: Singapore laksa 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1246 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The result, as following the recipe, was nothing like the photo on the packet:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Singapore-laksa-5.jpeg
Image title: Singapore laksa 5          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1518 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It tasted alright, a little on the pedas side (I didn't find a use for the sambal). Probably the most interesting detail was that it tasted nothing like the curry laksa I have been eating. It's probably the real Singapore laksa. Now to find a better source.


Jousting training day
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

One of the reasons that Chris and Margaret came for dinner yesterday rather than today is that Chris did some jousting training today, and I was asked to come over and take some photos—as it turned, 859 of them, made easier by the high speed shutter mode of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. How do you filter that many photos? I've left it to Yvonne, and even she will take a couple of days. So far her favourite is:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Jousting-training-day-391-detail.jpeg
Image title: Jousting training day 391 detail          Dimensions:          3222 x 3517, 3658 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And I went through the list and got about 10% through, gleaning these photos:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Jousting-training-day-22.jpeg
Image title: Jousting training day 22          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2989 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Jousting-training-day-33.jpeg
Image title: Jousting training day 33          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3139 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/Jousting-training-day-36.jpeg
Image title: Jousting training day 36          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2263 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Many DxOs
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Processing the photos was a challenge. With the house photos, the photos of the laksa preparation and my analemma project, I took a total of 957 photos. DxO PhotoLab is not the fastest image processor on the market—in fact, it's quite possibly the slowest—and in general I can reckon with 5 images per minute. That's a good 3 hours for that many photos. OK, spread them across two computers and it'll be a little better.

But how? DxO is not only slow, it tends to get slower with lots of images. After startup it can take up to 5 minutes to react to user input while it goes and looks at images with which it has nothing to do. In the end, gave up with euroa (the laptop) and continued only with dischord. But every time I tried to “export” some images, I was presented with a dialogue window asking what to do with the pre-existing output files.

Where did they come from? Not from dischord, which was just trying to “export”. And I had stopped DxO on euroa. Or at least, I had tried. After several iterations, found a way to fire up the task manager (euroa runs the same version of Microsoft as dischord, but irritatingly differently), found:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/manydxos.png
Image title: manydxos
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 356 x 241, 9 kB
Dimensions of original: 356 x 241, 9 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 22 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Two or three DxOs running in parallel! How did that happen? How does that match the Microsoft “there can only be one” philosophy?


Hung teevee
Topic: technology Link here

While watching the news on teevee, the mouse cursor froze.

Bloody mice! Off to change the batteries, though they seemed OK. No change. No problems accessing teevee from the net, which showed nothing in the logs.

Broken web browser? That seems the next most likely reason. And sure enough, both firefox and Chrome were immortal. ps showed:

=== root@teevee (/dev/pts/15) ~ 52 -> ps alx | grep chrome
1004  2370     1   0  20  0  654304  80332 ctl.api_ DE   v0       7:50.87 chrome: --type=gpu-process --field-trial-handle=14865618314097472987,5793152138677131776,131072 --gpu-preferences=
=== root@teevee (/dev/pts/15) ~ 53 -> ps alx | grep firefox
1004  2361  1227   0  20  0 3549544 652680 -        T    v0       6:32.33 firefox
1004  2367  2361   0  20  0 2769620 299660 ctl.api_ DE   v0       1:14.21 [firefox]
1004  2736  2361   0  20  0 2765036 308296 ctl.api_ DE   v0       1:50.25 [firefox]
1004  3257  2361   0  20  0 3025732 249848 ctl.api_ DE   v0       4:11.22 [firefox]
=== root@teevee (/dev/pts/15) ~ 54 -> ps alx | grep X
   0  1109  1108   0  20  0 6389308  16336 os.lock_ D    v0      19:03.30 /usr/local/bin/X :0 -listen tcp -auth /home/grog/.serverauth.1085 (Xorg)

What are those wait channels? ctl.api_? os_lock_? But clearly something is misbehaving: there was no disk activity, but the processes were in a D state (with an E showing that they were trying to exit). Was this a deadlock? I should have taken a kernel dump, of course, but today really wasn't the day. I was so busy with photos that I didn't even manage to finish yesterday's diary. Reboot and the problem was gone (into hiding).


Sunday, 23 February 2020 Dereel Images for 23 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More PV problems
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

I usually have a window on my :0.0 display that shows the current state of my photovoltaic system. Looking at it this morning was surprising:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-1.png
Image title: PV 1          Dimensions:          892 x 802, 116 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 February 2020 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-1-detail.png
Image title: PV 1 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 479 x 331, 49 kB
Dimensions of original: 479 x 331, 49 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 23 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I'm generating more power (2014 W) than I'm consuming (1880 W), so the rest goes into the battery (currently 60%). But it's also charging from the grid (1140 W)! Why? It should only charge below SOCgrid, which should be set to 40%. Are my settings wrong? Yes:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-2.png
Image title: PV 2          Dimensions:          1216 x 1020, 183 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 February 2020 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-2-detail.png
Image title: PV 2 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 503 x 382, 38 kB
Dimensions of original: 503 x 382, 38 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 23 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yes, SOCgrid is 40%, but maximum charging power is 0 W. In other words, charging from the grid is disabled. Could it be that 0 W has a special significance, one which INGEteam has been too polite to mention? Let's check the other things first. What happens if I disconnect the grid (turn the “main switch” off)?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-4.png
Image title: PV 4          Dimensions:          892 x 802, 109 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 February 2020 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-4-detail.png
Image title: PV 4 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 451 x 320, 43 kB
Dimensions of original: 451 x 320, 43 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 23 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's as was to be expected. But when I turned the power back on again, it continued charging from the grid. OK, power cycle the inverter, involving multiple switches. And when it came back, it continued to charge from the grid.

It took a while for it to dawn on me: the inverter was doing a battery recalibration, another thing that it's too polite to mention. It had started round 8:50 for no apparent reason (the state of charge was already increasing, and the PV array was gradually ramping up):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-7.png
Image title: PV 7          Dimensions:          1216 x 1020, 144 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 February 2020 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200223/big/PV-7-detail.png
Image title: PV 7 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 737 x 404, 47 kB
Dimensions of original: 737 x 404, 47 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 23 February 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The result? Loss of perfectly good solar power. Today was one of those days when the sun shone all day long, like yesterday. But yesterday we generated 45 kWh, and today it was only 33 kWh. Why did the inverter start the calibration at that time? Why not at sunset? At least it only went through one cycle this time, and things were over by early afternoon.


Death in the age of Internet
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

A while back I received notification of the death of Bruce D. Evans, one of the more noteworthy members of the FreeBSD project. Sad, of course, but particularly so in Bruce's case. Like most members of the project, I didn't see much of him, though he lived in Australia. Here he is with us (in the light blue shirt) at a meeting in Sydney


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20060330/big/bugs-5.jpeg
Image title: bugs 5          Dimensions:          2816 x 2112, 592 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 30 March 2006, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 30 March 2006, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 30 March 2006 Complete exposure details

 

It's difficult to understand Bruce's importance to the project. He was something like a conscience, not criticizing but reminding and discussing in excruciating detail. Submit a patch to Bruce for review and you were liable to get back a dozen nits that you hadn't thought of. And he was always right! It didn't take people long to come up with the word “brucifiction”. There's more detail on the FreeBSD In Memoriam page.

And then I received a very different obituary: J.A.I.M Schuurs, an eBay seller from whom I bought a large number of CDs between 2001 and 2008, and with whom I had some correspondence. Somebody (presumably looking through her old email) must have discovered that, and they informed me that she had died on 20 December 2019. Again, sad to see her go, but somehow it's also a sign of the times that I get an obituary for an eBay seller whom I have never met.


Monday, 24 February 2020 Dereel → Geelong → Dereel Images for 24 February 2020
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More grid power outages
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Multiple short grid power failures this morning between 1:53:55 and 1:56:28. For once there were longer outages, one of nearly 2 minutes. That's also my horror scenario: if the power goes out at that time of the morning and stays out for any length of time, I won't find out until we have completely lost all power. Hopefully it won't happen too often.


Garden flowers in late summer
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Summer's nearly over, though you wouldn't know it. Time for the monthly garden photos. The strangest thing is how unusual this summer has been. While further north and east there have been record droughts and bushfires, here it has been comparatively cool and wet. For the first time I can remember the grass is green at the end of summer. Here a comparison from a couple of days ago and the same time last year:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190223/big/house-from-n.jpeg
Image title: house from n          Dimensions:          15142 x 4807, 15864 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 23 February 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 23 February 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 23 February 2019 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200222/big/house-from-n.jpeg
Image title: house from n          Dimensions:          15168 x 4761, 16755 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 22 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 22 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

I've been spending a lot of time attending to irrigation and fertilization, and it may have paid off. Some of the plants that seemed to be dying have now stabilized, such as this rosemary bush and the Coleonema pulchellum:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Rosemary.jpeg
Image title: Rosemary          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 7961 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Coleonema-pulchellum.jpeg
Image title: Coleonema pulchellum          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 8765 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly most of the rosemary is dead, but the part that's alive is now flowering. Hopefully it will recover.

Other things that seem to be doing well are the Box Elder and the birch:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Box-elder.jpeg
Image title: Box elder          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4091 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Birch-1.jpeg
Image title: Birch 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 6116 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The Box Elder is still tiny, but the autumn look is gone from its leaves, as it was from the birch. And we even have another volunteer birch on the other side of the house:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Birch-2.jpeg
Image title: Birch 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 3018 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The pepper tree that we transplanted a couple of months ago continues to improve:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Pepper-tree.jpeg
Image title: Pepper tree          Dimensions:          3890 x 5184, 3818 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And the Paulownia kawakamii, though not enormous, is at least looking healthy:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Paulownia-kawakamii.jpeg
Image title: Paulownia kawakamii          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 6077 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

And the curry tree now looks almost normal:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Curry-tree-2.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 5023 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Curry-tree-3.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3045 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” that I planted outside is now looking much better than in the spring:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-2.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3512 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-3.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2599 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Hopefully it won't suffer as much in the coming winter.

One herb I certainly don't need to worry about is the Epazote. It has completely taken over the herb garden, and I probably now have enough of it for the rest of my life:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Epazote-1.jpeg
Image title: Epazote 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 6438 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Epazote-2.jpeg
Image title: Epazote 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5309, 6787 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Looking at the way it's seeding, though, I don't think I've seen the last of it. It has completely taken over the thyme next to it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Thyme.jpeg
Image title: Thyme          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3961 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

On the other hand, there are still causes for concern. My last Buddleja suddenly looks sick again:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Buddleja.jpeg
Image title: Buddleja          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 7081 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

I've been trying for nearly 5 years to build a hedge of the things, based on their behaviour in Kleins Road: plant a twig and watch it grow. But here it seems a real problem. Out and spread about 1 kg of fertilizer in the area, in the process noting:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Buddleja-detail.jpeg
Image title: Buddleja detail          Dimensions:          3522 x 1302, 2188 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Irrigation.jpeg
Image title: Irrigation          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3982 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Why are there those brown patches under the bush? They're nowhere else. Is that an indication of some soil problem, or the Buddleja drying out the soil? The second photo might suggest that: the irrigation repairs that I made three weeks ago don't seem to have been very reliable. OK, fix that, water in, hope that the thing survives.

And then there are strangenesses like this Persicaria odorata (daun laksa, Vietnamese mint, ...):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Daun-laksa.jpeg
Image title: Daun laksa          Dimensions:          5258 x 3888, 6328 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It's not dead, but why has it died out in the middle? Again, it's a thing that normally grows like a weed.

There's a rather different issue in play with this Pelargonium:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200225/big/Pelargonium.jpeg
Image title: Pelargonium          Dimensions:          5389 x 3888, 7561 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 25 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 25 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 25 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly it needs trimming back, but how? Would it be easier to replant some cuttings?

Then there are some volunteers, such as these:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Mirabilis-jalapa-3.jpeg
Image title: Mirabilis jalapa 3          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 4617 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

What are they? They look like they could be Mirabilis jalapa or Valerian, both of which self-seed furiously. I hope they're the former.

And I've noted this one before:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Mystery-flower-1.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower 1          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 6689 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Mystery-flower-2.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower 2          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2531 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

It looks like some kind of Solanum, and I can't make up my mind whether I like it. The flowers point down, so there's not much to be seen. But for this year, there's nothing to replace it.

The Strelitzia nicolai hasn't quite finished flowering:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5306, 5712 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2262 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But the tomatoes are still waiting. They're growing well, but nearly all the fruit are still green:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Tomato-1.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 1          Dimensions:          5306 x 3888, 5766 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Tomato-2.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3317 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Tomato-5.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 5          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 6223 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Tomato-6.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 6          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2653 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

This time last year we had been harvesting them for weeks.


To Geelong again
Topic: health, food and drink, opinion Link here

To Geelong today for my six-monthly periodontal checkup, which was uneventful.

Then to Belmont to the Gourmet Asian Grocery (which, as occurred to me, can be abbreviated “GAG”). In the past I have spent a lot of money there, but today there was little to be had. I no longer need the Chung Hing dofu puffs, since they're now available in Ballarat. The same may apply to pork and fish balls, but I had planned to buy some here anyway—only they were out of stock. So I ended up only with some curry laksa paste, not as much as I had planned, but as much as they had, and some prawn paste.

Then looking for cheese. It's not easy in Australia: you can buy dozens of varieties of Cheddar and “Tasty”, but try finding a Swiss cheese. Gruyère is available, but you have to be careful that it's really Gruyère and not some copy made in Tasmania. I suppose that the same applies to Emmental, but I wasn't looking for that.

A search on Google led me to Geelong Fresh Foods, a “Gormet food store based in Geelong”, so found my way there and took a look.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Geelong-Fine-Foods.jpeg
Image title: Geelong Fine Foods          Dimensions:          7461 x 1578, 3305 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 

This is their complete cheese section:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Cheese-1.jpeg
Image title: Cheese 1          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2301 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 February 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200224/big/Cheese-2.jpeg
Image title: Cheese 2          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2179 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 February 2020, small