Greg
animals food and drink
general health
history gardening
language multimedia
music opinion
photography politics
Stones Road house technology
Greg's diary
January 2021
Translate this page
Select day in January 2021:
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 30
31
Select month:
2020 May Jun Jul Aug
2020 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2021 Jan Feb Mar Apr
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Previous month
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Friday, 1 January 2021 Dereel Images for 1 January 2021
Top of page
next day
last day

The revenge of the tiger
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

The result of washing the dish from yesterday's huevos a la tigre:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210101/big/Tigres-revenge.jpeg
Image title: Tigres revenge          Dimensions:          5216 x 3888, 4164 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, 1 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 1 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 1 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly it was overcooked. It took quite some scrubbing to clean out. Hopefully things will be better when I do them for a more normal time.


Microsoft problems: bloody Samba!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So what's going on with my SMB connection between distress (Microsoft 10) and my FreeBSD computers? Yesterday I established that it was related to the system not listening on port microsoft-ds (445). And that was almost certainly because I didn't tell inetd to listen on that port.

OK, clearly a configuration issue, probably because I've been dragging the same configuration with me for over 20 years, and in those days microsoft-ds probably wasn't used. In principle it seems that this would do the trick (last line, bold face):

# Enable the following two entries to enable samba startup from inetd
# (from the Samba documentation).  Enable the third entry to enable the swat
# samba configuration tool.
#
netbios-ssn stream      tcp     nowait          root    /usr/local/sbin/smbd    smbd
netbios-ns  dgram       udp     wait            root    /usr/local/sbin/nmbd    nmbd
swat        stream      tcp     nowait/400      root    /usr/local/sbin/swat    swat
microsoft-ds stream     tcp     nowait          root    /usr/local/sbin/smbd    smbd

But do I need special parameters? What else have I missed? Off to google for sample inetd.conf entries. And that was surprisingly difficult. Finally I found this page on samba.org with a chapter “Starting from inetd”. The sample entries?

Next, edit /etc/inetd.conf. Look for the following two lines and add them if they don't exist. If you already have smbd and nmbd lines in the file, edit them to point at the new smbd and nmbd you've installed. Your brand of Unix might use a slightly different syntax in this file; use the existing entries and the inetd.conf manual page as a guide:

netbios-ssn stream tcp nowait root /usr/local/samba/bin/smbd smbd
netbios-ns  dgram  udp wait   root /usr/local/samba/bin/nmbd nmbd

WRONG! That's exactly what I have (and in fact the nmbd line should only be one one system per LAN. Otherwise I get errors like this:

Jan  1 02:27:19 lagoon nmbd[2471]: [2021/01/01 02:27:19.307068,  0] ../../source3/nmbd/nmbd_namequery.c:109(query_name_response)
Jan  1 02:27:19 lagoon nmbd[2471]:   query_name_response: Multiple (2) responses received for a query on subnet 192.109.197.134 for name LEMIS<1d>.
Jan  1 02:27:19 lagoon nmbd[2471]:   This response was from IP 192.109.197.137, reporting an IP address of 192.109.197.137.

That was easy enough to fix: comment out the entry.

OK, there's no clear documentation on how to handle microsoft-ds. Possibly it's just as I wrote above, but is that correct? There's an obvious alternative: just start smbd manually. I had been starting it without parameters, but the documentation mentions -D without further comment. What's that? Start as a daemon. OK, that makes sense. Do that and try to map eureka:/Photos to P: on distress. Success!

Best to stop while I'm ahead, but what I see now is:


Saturday, 2 January 2021 Dereel Images for 2 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Happy New Year!
Topic: music, multimedia, opinion Link here

It's now 2021 throughout the world. The New Year arrived in Hawai'i round 21:00, about the same time that the Vienna Philharmonic started their annual New Year's concert.

I particularly like the Vienna Philharmonic for the little details that most people would probably not notice:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210102/small/Wiener-Philharmoniker-2-detail.jpeg
Image title: Wiener Philharmoniker 2 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 597 x 452, 41 kB
Dimensions of original: 729 x 552, 58 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 2 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210102/small/Wiener-Philharmoniker-5.jpeg
Image title: Wiener Philharmoniker 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 390, 49 kB
Dimensions of original: 1280 x 720, 120 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 2 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It's been nearly 60 years since I first listened to it, live in those days (and of course in black and white). Now we can download the entire concert, if we know where.

All German-speaking countries broadcast it. It was recorded by ORF, of course, and available on their TVThek (Austrian for „Mediathek“)—if you have an IP address that they recognize as Austrian.

Never mind, there are more. SRF (Switzerland) has it on their Mediathek, and clearly they're the better choice, since they have decent download speeds. So I downloaded it and... no commentary. Why? Is this political correctness (if you have a commentary in written German, you also need commentaries in French, Italian and Romansh)? OK, start over again with ZDF, which took 3 times as long to download and proved to be a smaller file:

-rw-r--r--  1 grog  wheel  2,951,065,299  2 Jan 11:56 Neujahrskonzert-der-Wiener-Philharmoniker-2021---Live-aus-Wien-20210101-111500.mp4
-rw-r--r--  1 grog  wheel  4,120,407,985  2 Jan 10:17 Sternstunde-Musik-Neujahrskonzert-der-Wiener-Philharmoniker-2021-0126714501.mp4

Is the ZDF version lower resolution? No, on the contrary:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/14) /src/Series/Neu 49 -> mpid *4
Neujahrskonzert-der-Wiener-Philharmoniker-2021---Live-aus-Wien-20210101-111500.mp4      VIDEO:  [H264]  1280x720  24bpp  50.000 fps  2435.4 kbps (297.3 kbyte/s)
Sternstunde-Musik-Neujahrskonzert-der-Wiener-Philharmoniker-2021-0126714501.mp4 VIDEO:  [H264]  1280x720  24bpp  25.000 fps  3500.6 kbps (427.3 kbyte/s)

The ZDF version is 720p50, while the SRF version is 720p25. Presumably there would be fewer artefacts in the SRF version, but we didn't see any in the ZDF version either.

But there was a big difference from previous years:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210102/small/Wiener-Philharmoniker-4.jpeg
Image title: Wiener Philharmoniker 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 390, 62 kB
Dimensions of original: 1280 x 720, 152 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 2 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

No audience! It seems that the restriction on audiences is only (currently) of short duration, until 6 January. But it brings things home.


Samba documentation again
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While writing up yesterday's pain with Samba, noted this emblem at the top of the page

https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/samba2_xs.gif

That's the title page of the O'Reilly book, Using Samba, 2nd Edition, February 2003—18 years ago! No wonder it's out of date.

Is that an excuse? It's an explanation, of course. But anything that old should come with obvious disclaimers. And it was the only thing I found on the Samba site that dealt with that configuration detail.


Processing photos with distress again
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So now I can use distress again for my photo processing. All OK? Hardly.

First, while processing the weekly house photos, 66 out of 72 DxO PhotoLab conversions failed:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210102/small/DxO-1.png
Image title: DxO 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 583 x 463, 149 kB
Dimensions of original: 446 x 354, 8 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 2 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I've had problems in the past where a couple failed, but over 90%? Looking at the destination directory showed:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) ~/Photos/20210102 190 -> l orig/*f
...
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  121,228,768  2 Jan 12:41 orig/41026156_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  121,228,680  2 Jan 12:41 orig/41026157_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel   29,483,408  2 Jan 13:05 orig/41026158_DxO.tiff
...
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel   31,352,848  2 Jan 13:05 orig/41026165_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel      836,624  2 Jan 13:06 orig/41026167_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel   26,963,984  2 Jan 13:06 orig/41026168_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel   33,032,464  2 Jan 13:06 orig/41026169_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel            0  2 Jan 13:06 orig/41026174_DxO.tiff
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel            0  2 Jan 13:07 orig/41026175_DxO.tiff

The first images were saved correctly (120 MB), but many of the rest were interrupted after a partial transfer. How did that happen?

A retry worked without any further problems. The problem happened some time between 12:41 (when the first 6 images were saved correctly) and 13:05 (where the first truncated images appeared). That in itself is a surprising length of time. One possibility might be that it was round the time that I changed /etc/inetd.conf on lagoon to no longer start nmbd. But the modification timestamp of that file is 13:14. Did I change it twice? There's no evidence to that effect. But the 26 minute gap suggests some kind of timeout.

If that wasn't enough, Ashampoo Photo Optimizer just hung after the first image while optimizing a group of photos. What went wrong there? I confirmed that it worked on dischord. Tried again with just one photo?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210101/small/Ashampoo-1.png
Image title: Ashampoo 1          Dimensions:          838 x 322, 108 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 1 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 1 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 1 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Read-only medium? Please God, no! How do I fix that? Confirmed that I could write to P: from distress. Wrong permissions? Yes, I know that that's a different error, but does Ashampoo?

After much messing around and trying to understand the horrible menu trees, discovered that the update that I had just installed had removed the pathname for saving the “before” images. Not reset to a default: it was empty. And this emptiness caused the save to fail, and the program (or programmer) decided that this must be a “read-only” condition, but was only prepared to divulge this claim when only a single image was being processed. Ugh!


ALDI salmon puffs
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne bought some “salmon puffs” from ALDI recently:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210103/small/Salmon-puffs.jpeg
Image title: Salmon puffs
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 564 x 479, 131 kB
Dimensions of original: 4117 x 3493, 5739 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 3 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

We tried them today. How about that, they look like on the illustration:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210102/small/Salmon-puffs.jpeg
Image title: Salmon puffs
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 601 x 449, 109 kB
Dimensions of original: 5204 x 3888, 3764 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 2 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I did these in the “coffee machine” air fryer, where they took 20 minutes at 200° instead of the 12-15 minutes suggested for a convection oven, and still came out looking unevenly browned.

But the big detail: they were boring. Not even enough salt, let alone the promised herbs in the filling. Do people like this sort of thing?


Sunday, 3 January 2021 Dereel Images for 3 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bad language of 2020
Topic: language, opinion Link here

What a year last year was! And with it, of course, came a number of words that we had never used in that way before. Others have come up with lists, but they don't match my feelings. Here's what I see:


Cookery: plan ahead!
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

For this evening I had planned enchiladas. Not a problem, right? I have frozen pre-cooked chicken, even with epazote, plenty of masa. What else can we need?

Well, queso cotija, salsa roja or salsa verde—and, of course the chicken. I had none of those!

OK, how about prawns and squid. We have those.

Well, yes. But what about the other ingredients? At the very least we were missing celery and snow peas. Arguably we could have worked round that. But once I had thought of the dish as being relatively simple, and in fact there's a fair amount of work involved.

So we finished off the other half of the steak and kidney triangles that we made last year. Yes, now I'm sure: I prefer it as a pie. And Yvonne still likes it like that. But there's no reason not to make one of each next time round.


Monday, 4 January 2021 Dereel Images for 4 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

The limits of red-eye reduction
Topic: health, photography, opinion Link here

All my modern cameras and many of the flash units have a feature called red-eye reduction. It's supposed to avoid things like this (from the Wikipedia page):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/BoldRedEye.JPG

In my experience it doesn't work very well. But today Yvonne came in with an example that blew it all out of the water:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210104/small/Red-eye-1.jpeg
Image title: Red eye 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 534 x 505, 81 kB
Dimensions of original: 2881 x 2727, 1240 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 4 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

What's that? How did it happen? How dangerous is it? Off to the hospital first, ask questions later?

No, it didn't hurt, and it seemed to be limited to the white of the eye. OK, call up a doctor first. Paul Smith? No, he's an excellent doctor, but he seems to be on holiday all the time. Yvonne called up Health First and arranged for me to send the image. And unlike last month, the mail went through. Yvonne got a call from a Doctor Steve, who told her that it was a sub-conjunctival haemorrhage, and that a single incident wasn't serious. It seems that some forms of exertion can cause it. Of course, the Wikipedia page includes other potential causes, including being choked, ebola and leptospirosis.


Where's Paul?
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

It's been a week since Paul Gallagher should have arrived to do garden work, and exceptionally it's still moist enough for the lawn to grow. It's a new week now, and the Christmas break is over, but he still didn't show, nor did he answer his phone. Where is he?

Spread some fertilizer on the pot plants out on the verandah and also on the north side of the house.


The advantages of diaries
Topic: history, Stones Road house, photography, opinion Link here

I'm currently reading my diary of n years ago, were n is in 6 10 20 51 55. Why bother? In fact, it's quite interesting. The 6 years ago was because the Stones Road house was just nearing completion, and the 51 years was because I stopped keeping my paper diary a little over 50 years ago.

And how about that, a prediction of the future on 3 January 2011, comparing DSLRs and SLRs:

On the whole things are better now, but better viewfinders would still be a good idea. I don't think we'll see them on DSLRs; when they come, they'll be electronic.

That was nearly 3 years before the first mirrorless cameras with look-into viewfinders came out. They lived up to my expectation (focus peaking, magnification), but some people still claim that they're inferior.


Tuesday, 5 January 2021 Dereel Images for 5 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Yvonne's eye progress
Topic: health Link here

The Wikipedia page on sub-conjunctival haemorrhage suggested that Yvonne's eye could take 2 weeks to heal. Time for a series of photos. Here yesterday and today:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210104/small/Red-eye-1.jpeg
Image title: Red eye 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 534 x 505, 81 kB
Dimensions of original: 2881 x 2727, 1240 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 4 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210105/small/Yvonnes-eye-1.jpeg
Image title: Yvonnes eye 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 449, 75 kB
Dimensions of original: 5191 x 3888, 2441 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 5 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That looks better than I had expected.


More old diary insights
Topic: technology, history Link here

Only yesterday I noted the advantages of old diary entries. And then today I found one addressing the issue of inputting special characters into X clients. How do you enter a Σ or a °? Ten years ago I found one way: put them into a custom ~/.XCompose file.

But recently it stopped working. Why? My way of entering ° is Multi_key d e. But that stopped working on firefox, and I discovered that I could create it with Multi_key o o. Why? I was running firefox on dereel, because eureka is still so down-rev that many sites won't talk to its old, worn-out firefox. And I didn't have the file on dereel. Easily fixed. One more irritation eliminated.

In the process, noted that it seems that each client reads the file when started.


Leonid: further problems
Topic: health, animals, opinion Link here

Yvonne off with Leonid to Melissa Wisbey today for some osteotherapy. Melissa discovered a lump above his elbow and suggested that we get a vet to look at it, so Yvonne off into town.

She wasn't gone long, but returned in tears: it's a tumour, and based on the speed with which it has grown it's probably malignant. What can we do? Cutting it out is an option, but will that help? Chemotherapy for a dog? Yes, it's done, but how will it affect him? And how long would he have to live if we do the operation? He's nearly 7 now; maybe we should just let him live as long as he's not in pain, and then put him down.

That's always the issue with dogs. We expect to outlive them, but it's always sad when we do, and this time it was quite unexpected.


Where's Paul, again
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Still no response from Paul Gallagher. No worries: he's with Jim's Mowing, and they have a phone number I can call, 131 546. After an interminable wait I was connected to somebody to whom I explained that he hadn't shown last week, and that he hadn't returned my calls. She checked: he's not working at the moment. What does that mean? He's not taking new customers.

Should I explain to her that I wasn't a new customer? No, I had already done that. But she promised that Eric, local manager, would contact me today or tomorrow.


Counting the days
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Seen on Quora:

http://www.lemis.com/grog/Day/20210105/Trumped.jpeg


Wednesday, 6 January 2021 Dereel Images for 6 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Leonid: what to do?
Topic: animals, health, opinion Link here

So it looks like Leonid has some kind of cancerous growth on his right foreleg. What do we do about it?

Called up Melissa Wisbey and discussed the matter with her. She confirmed that the lump wasn't there last time she saw him (3 weeks ago), so it grew quite quickly. She said that if it were her dog, she would do the operation. Pene Kirk (via Facebook) is concerned about what his quality of life would be like after the operation, though she seems to think that the leg would be amputated. She wanted to know whether it's an osteosarcoma or a fibrosarcoma.

In the late afternoon, Stewart Greedy, the vet, called up, and we had a long discussion. It seems that it's probably not attached to the bone (thus presumably a fibrosarcoma, not an osteosarcoma, though I didn't have the names at hand to ask him), and that it should be possible to remove it without amputation. He agreed that amputation would be a great problem for a dog of that size. And he hopes that Leo would have a considerable life ahead of him once it's over. He didn't think that euthanasia was appropriate at this stage. And despite the proximity, he doesn't see any relationship between the arthritis and the tumour.

So: what do we do? Leo will be 7 years old next month, and his arthritis would remain. What happens if we do nothing and let him live as long as he is comfortable? Will the tumour continue to grow, or will it stop? Stewart says that it could go either way. Much thinking to do.


Loeffler? Perdue!
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Today (or really yesterday; the USA is a day behind) was the Senate election runoff in the US state of Georgia (a place that I had always confused with the state of Georgia in my youth).

Why should I care? It could have implications round the world. If both seats moved from the Republicans to the Democrats, the Democrats would have balance of power in both houses of Congress and also in the presidency.

It was a long shot, and I started watching the results almost as soon as polling closed. They looked encouraging: both Democrat candidates (what are their names? Onoff? Warlock?) had round 65% of the votes.

Oh. Out of 10% counted. It seems that there's—once again—a big rift between city and country, and in the course of the afternoon the relationships came much close and even still changed hands. But by evening the battle between Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock had been decided: as they would say in French, Kelly Loeffler: perdue. Warnock had won. And that shows one of the advantages of the Republican candidates: the names are easier to remember. „Loeffler“ is “spooner” in German, and « perdue » is (feminine) French for “lost”. By chance, the last “street” address I ever had (where “Street” or “Road” was in the name), and also our first own house, was Loefflerstraße 63, Friedrichsfeld, from 1979 to 1982:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19790401/small/Friedrichsfeld-2.jpeg
Image title: Friedrichsfeld 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 632 x 427, 70 kB
Dimensions of original: 2048 x 1383, 496 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 1 April 1979:
thumbnails    small images
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20041014/small/Friedrichsfeld-1.jpeg
Image title: Friedrichsfeld 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 184 kB
Dimensions of original: 2048 x 1536, 1248 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 14 October 2004:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


Observing honeyeaters
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

We've noted that wattlebirds have shown a particular interest in the Kniphofia just outside the dining room window, so I have put a camera (Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I with the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 mm f/4.0-6.3 on the dining room table. Today we had a visitor: not a wattlebird, but a New Holland Honeyeater:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210106/small/Honeyeater-8.jpeg
Image title: Honeyeater 8
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 59 kB
Dimensions of original: 3456 x 4608, 1385 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 6 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210106/small/Honeyeater-10.jpeg
Image title: Honeyeater 10
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 490 x 552, 73 kB
Dimensions of original: 1864 x 2098, 552 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 6 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It didn't seem very hungry. It sat motionless on the stem in the first image (a Canna) for quite some time, and we were concerned that it might have been sick, but then it hopped to one of the Kniphofia stems and picking around a bit. Then it flew off, and another one came by. “There can only be one”? It didn't eat either.


Thursday, 7 January 2021 Dereel Images for 7 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Perdue? Perdu!
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

I had little hope that both senate seats in the Georgia runoff elections would go to the Democrats, but it happened. The Democrats now have balance of power in both houses of Congress and also in the presidency.

Did I say presidency? That's fake news! But a (somewhat) different topic.


A historic day in the USA
Topic: politics, history, opinion Link here

Today (well, yesterday, since it was in the USA) was the day that US Congress counted and approved the electoral votes for the presidential elections. A pure formality, and deathly boring.

Well, for the most part. The introduction was something that no living person has ever seen:

https://www.theblogger.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/in-pictures-the-storming-of-the-us-capitol-building.jpg https://i.dawn.com/primary/2021/01/5ff66b8249709.jpg

What's that? That's the “demonstration” (Mike Pence called it an insurrection) instigated by that enemy of the people, Donald Trump. It was so unexpected that the police couldn't stop it, though with the help of the National Guard they got it under control, but not before 4 people died: one shot dead (very few by US standards, it seems) and the other 3 because of “medical emergency”, not a term that I would apply to death.

And still some Republicans senators objected to the count, though there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago. The motions were defeated, of course, but I wonder how the senators and representatives will fare once this horror is over.

I'm still trying to come to terms with what has happened. Somehow this is all horribly reminiscent of 85 years ago when Hitler manipulated his followers in a similar manner. It's a good thing that there are less than 2 weeks before Trump leaves office, but that's plenty of time for him to do more damage. Some people, even his own, are already talking about invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and removing him immediately.


Vaccinations for Australians
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Australia has done relatively well in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: 28,568 cases (1.1‰), 909 deaths (35 ppm), only 2 of which were in the last 4 months. The USA has had more deaths per capita in the last week than Australia throughout the pandemic. Currently 35 cases in hospital, none in intensive care, none on ventilators. Factor in the almost 0 deaths from influenza and we might actually be better off than in previous years.

So it's not surprising that vaccinations are off to a slow start. We weren't even supposed to start until March or April. But a couple of recent incidents have brought the issue forward. Today I read a report:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia's first coronavirus vaccinations could commence as soon as mid-February.

He said the government aimed to have four million Australians vaccinated by the end of March, with a target to roll out 80,000 vaccinations a week by mid- to late-February.

OK, let's think about this. 80,000 per week? And he wants to get 4 million people vaccinated? That looks like 50 weeks to me. Was he really talking about March 2022? Or, considering that each person needs 2 vaccinations, March 2023?


Friday, 8 January 2021 Dereel Images for 8 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Storming the Capitol: the aftermath
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Yesterday's storming of the US Capitol has taken centre stage, sidelining even things like the “Coronavirus. I, too, am still trying to understand. Was the police force more sympathetic to the right-wing terrorists storming the Capitol than they were towards relatively peaceful “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations 6 months ago? You can (maybe) forgive them for not expecting what happened, but once the National Guard came on the scenes you'd expect that they would all be arrested and placed in cages, like they do to otherwise innocent illegal immigrants. But no, only about 80 were arrested. Why?

Did I say terrorist? Yes. By the FBI definition, that's exactly what they were:

Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.

And what about removing Donald Trump from office? The Democrats wanted Mike Pence to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and remove him immediately. That would have required a majority of the Cabinet to agree, not made easier by the immediate resignation of at least two members. And it seems that Pence was not available to talk to Nancy Pelosi on the phone. First they made her wait 25 minutes, and then said that he wasn't available.

But that doesn't seem to be aimed at Pelosi. We've been bombarded with news flashes all day, but one name was missing: Pence. Has he gone into hiding?

So what now? Impeachment? It's a bit late to start that again, and I can hear the echos of Trump saying “I was the best president the US has ever had. I was the only one to be impeached twice”.

The satire sites had a field day, of course:

One thing's for sure: Joe Biden is facing a tough start to his presidency.


Tidying up old junk
Topic: general, multimedia Link here

Request on Freecycle today: somebody in Snake Valley looking for an old radio and amplifier.

I can do that! I still have the unit that I picked up, also from Freecycle, 2½ years ago So I answered, and he came along and picked it up. Can I convince him to take more? Yes, the old TV antenna and two old spray units. I even managed to find the charger for the battery-operated one.

We can do more of this. I suppose I should offer the old gas range and UPS on Freecycle. They're worth a few bob.


Surprise lilies
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Wandering round the garden and finding still more leaks in the irrigation system, I came across this flower:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210108/small/Lily-3.jpeg
Image title: Lily 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 92 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2473 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 8 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210108/small/Lily-1.jpeg
Image title: Lily 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 112 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2854 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 8 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It's surprisingly large, nearly 20 cm across, and I can't recall having seen it before. Did it not flower last year? I don't see anything in the monthly flower photos.


Saturday, 9 January 2021 Dereel Images for 9 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Pre-prepared Phở for breakfast today, from “Mr Chen”:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Mr-Chen-1.png
Image title: Mr Chen 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 521 x 518, 470 kB
Dimensions of original: 2136 x 2123, 7832 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I've had it before, but apparently not mentioned it. It's confusing: broth for the Phở, rather unnecessary rice sticks, and dried herbs. Now wouldn't it be a good idea to be able to buy just the broth (which, in this case, didn't taste overly like the way I recall it)?

And in this case I got my choice (or maybe no choice) of rice sticks:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Pho-3.jpeg
Image title: Pho 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 606 x 446, 74 kB
Dimensions of original: 4694 x 3456, 2720 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I don't suppose it makes much difference.

In passing, “Phở” is an irritating word. How do I search my diary for it? “Pho” is much easier for that.


Still more panorama mods
Topic: photography Link here

I've been taking panoramic photos for 12½ years now. It took me a while to understand the mounting hardware needed to keep the entrance pupil in the same place, not helped by the industry or the available documentation, but by 4 years later (and over 8 years ago) I had pretty much the equipment I'm still using.

But there were still issues with the bracket obscuring the field of view, causing suffering five years ago. And then I bought a M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO and discovered that I had to move the rail further forward, fouling the camera against the side of the L bracket:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-8.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 8
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 55 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3456, 1624 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-2.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 446 x 606, 64 kB
Dimensions of original: 3456 x 4694, 1207 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

OK, not a problem: turn the rail around so that the L bracket is on the other side:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-12.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 12
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 55 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3456, 1642 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I had done that almost as soon as I got the lens. But now the adjusting knobs of the bottom rail get in the way of the picture when the camera is tilted down:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-13.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 13
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 54 kB
Dimensions of original: 3456 x 4608, 1162 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I hadn't taken many photos like that, so until today I hadn't done anything about it. But it's clear that that also needs to be changed round. In fact, this photo was taken after the change. It required removing a rather silly level at the end of the rail:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20151108/small/Pano-rail-5.jpeg
Image title: Pano rail 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 565 x 479, 82 kB
Dimensions of original: 3567 x 3022, 960 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 8 November 2015:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It wasn't that big a job (far less than writing it up). But it's amazing how long it takes to get things right. And in passing, it's interesting to note that the green colour of the fluid in the level (fluorescein?) has completely faded.


Preparing for honeyeater photos
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

For the past few days I have had my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I with the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 mm f/4.0-6.3 on the dining room table waiting for the return of the New Holland Honeyeater. So of course it hasn't come back.

But there's a basic issue with the exposure: I'm taking the photo from inside the house, and the background is very bright. How do I balance the exposure? One obvious thing is to use the studio flash in that room. Tried some trial exposures today. At least during the daytime, not encouraging. Here first the photos without flash:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Flash-test-4.jpeg
Image title: Flash test 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 86 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 1549 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Flash-test-5.jpeg
Image title: Flash test 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 65 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 1442 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

With flash there was a change, but not a great one:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Flash-test-2.jpeg
Image title: Flash test 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 85 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 1618 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/Flash-test-3.jpeg
Image title: Flash test 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 68 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 1784 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's during the daytime, of course. In the evening it would be different. In particular, though, the honeyeaters don't come at night.


Sunday, 10 January 2021 Dereel Images for 10 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Choice of camera
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

To take yesterday's photos of the panorama I took the Olympus E-PM2 and the Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm f/1.7. Clearly I couldn't use the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (that's what I was taking the photos of), and the OM-D E-M1 Mark I was in the dining room. And after all, the image quality is pretty much the same.

But the results were less than satisfactory, and I had to repeat most of the photos with the E-M1 Mark I and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4.0 IS PRO. Here a comparison, first E-PM2 and then E-M1:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-1.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 406 x 666, 54 kB
Dimensions of original: 2468 x 4050, 576 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-7.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 7
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 53 kB
Dimensions of original: 3457 x 4608, 1333 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Here the short focal length (20 mm) of the Lumix lens bit me. I got the rotator OK, but I'm looking up at the camera. The second time round I was much further away, with the lens set at 100 mm.

And then there was the issue of depth of field:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-4.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 606 x 446, 53 kB
Dimensions of original: 4694 x 3456, 836 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-12.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 12
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 55 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3456, 1642 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 4 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 618 x 436, 54 kB
Dimensions of original: 2411 x 1702, 250 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Panorama-bracket-12-detail.jpeg
Image title: Panorama bracket 12 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 623 x 434, 84 kB
Dimensions of original: 2046 x 1425, 540 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The fuzzy appearance isn't the fault of the lens. I took the E-PM2 photos with available light, at full aperture f/1.7. The stupid horizontally mounted compass was perfectly sharp, but the camera was further away. After seeing the results, I changed a few other things, including taking the E-M1 photos with flash, which also greatly improved the appearance. But why didn't I see the unsharpness earlier? Because I was using the LCD monitor viewfinder. It really doesn't work as well as the “EVF”.

So: I could probably have done the better photos with the E-PM2 as well, but I would have needed a longer lens, a viewfinder and a flash trigger. And they don't all fit on the camera!


Putting Microsoft to sleep
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Interesting question on Quora today: Did Windows remove the sleep mode. That's quite relevant to me, since I haven't been able to get distress, my Microsoft “Windows” 10 box, to sleep.

But the answer (now thoughtfully downvoted) referred to hibernating, not sleeping. A bit of searching found the answer anyway. The problem was that I was looking in the wrong place. SHUTDOWN/H will hibernate, but there's no corresponding option for “sleep”. Instead you need to open the menu at the bottom of the screen, select ⏼ (IO), find “Sleep” in the new menu, and click on it. Clearly much friendlier than using old-fashioned commands.

To prove the point, the instructions for enabling hibernation show how difficult command input is under Microsoft:

How to make hibernation available

  1. Press the Windows button on the keyboard to open Start menu or Start screen.
  2. Search for cmd. In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then select Run as Administrator.
  3. When you are prompted by User Account Control, select Continue.
  4. At the command prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate on, and then press Enter.
  5. Type exit, and then press Enter to close the Command Prompt window.

Isn't it easy to make simple things complicated? And why do they have two different ways to do things? They could easily have tied the menu tree climbing to the SHUTDOWN command. But it also shows to me how unintuitive I find the Microsoft environment.


Leonid: operation yes or no?
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

After my discussion on the phone with Stewart Greedy on Wednesday, we decided to go ahead with the operation, and we have an appointment for Monday week. But Yvonne continued discussing the matter with her friends, and both Pene Kirk and Judy Lannen advise against it. So we're still not sure if he will be operated or not.

One of the issues is his age: he'll be 7 years old next month. How old do Borzois get, asked Juha Kupiainen. 10 years, I said. But it's good to check. Google says 7-10 years. Wikipedia says 10-12 years. That's a big difference, though the fine print reads “Median lifespan based on a UK Kennel Club survey is 9 years 1 month.”


Friends
Topic: animals Link here

Piccola seems to prefer Nikolai to Leonid, but recently she's been with Leo more:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Leonid-Piccola-2.jpeg
Image title: Leonid Piccola 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 469 x 574, 80 kB
Dimensions of original: 1574 x 1928, 422 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Does she sense something?


Chilorio
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've been planning something pseudo-mexican for some time, but things like enchiladas and burritos are too US American and messy for my liking. How about some filling that you just roll up in a tortilla?

Off looking, and found a recipe for chilorio in “Mexico: The beautiful cookbook”. Like all such books, it's a pain: measured in spoons and things, and the quantities of spices appeared improbably low. In the end guessed what they meant and multiplied it by 3, with good results. Yvonne thought that it was spot-on, but I'm left wondering if it shouldn't be even more.


More flowers
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Not everything in the garden is dying. Our Leucospermum cordifolium seems to have reacted well to the fertilizer I gave it in the winter:

And more of the lilies that I noted on Friday are now flowering:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Lilies-1.jpeg
Image title: Lilies 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 105 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2770 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Lilies-2.jpeg
Image title: Lilies 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 83 kB
Dimensions of original: 5186 x 3888, 2495 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


Sunset
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Nice cloud colour at sunset this evening:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210110/small/Sunset-2.jpeg
Image title: Sunset 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 658 x 410, 120 kB
Dimensions of original: 5186 x 3232, 4035 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 10 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Only it was almost impossible to capture an image. This one required a maximum of colour accentuation in postprocessing, and even then it didn't do justice to the original.


Broken glasses!
Topic: health, general Link here

While taking the photos of the sunset, for some reason I put my glasses on my armchair. Returned, sat down, ...

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210111/small/Spectacles-5.jpeg
Image title: Spectacles 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 52 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 1095 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 11 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210111/small/Spectacles-1.jpeg
Image title: Spectacles 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 449, 70 kB
Dimensions of original: 5191 x 3888, 2245 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 11 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210111/small/Spectacles-2.jpeg
Image title: Spectacles 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 601 x 450, 65 kB
Dimensions of original: 5194 x 3888, 2135 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 11 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210111/small/Spectacles-3.jpeg
Image title: Spectacles 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 60 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2208 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 11 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210111/small/Spectacles-4.jpeg
Image title: Spectacles 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 62 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2186 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 11 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Specsavers sent me a reminder for an eye test a few days ago. I think I'll have to take it up.


The day of the 5 cameras
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

55 years ago I started carrying a second camera, and continued doing so until most of my camera equipment was stolen in Milano in ten years later. In those days it made sense to have a second camera, since things like film type and sensitivity varied and couldn't be swapped easily.

More by accretion than by design, we now have 6 Olympus cameras: my OM-D E-M1 Mark II and Yvonne's OM-D E-M5 Mark III. Then there's the E-M1 Mark I, the predecessor to the E-M1 Mark II, which I kept because I thought it could come in useful sometimes (it does).

Apart from the OM-Ds, there's Yvonne's old camera, the E-PM2, which I'm now carrying with me in my handbag, and the E-PM1, which I used to use for this purpose until Yvonne got her new one.

And finally there's the (second) E-30, which I use only for the Analemma photo series that I've been taking for nearly 1½ years.

The funny thing is, with the exception of the E-PM1, we really use all these cameras. In fact, I used all 5 today: as mentioned above, the E-PM2 and the E-M1 Mark I for the panorama bracket photos, the E-M1 Mark II for the flower and sunset photos, the E-30 for (of course) the analemma photos, and the E-M5 Mark III for the photos of Piccola and Leonid, since it was easier to get at without disturbing them.


Monday, 11 January 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 11 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Gardening again
Topic: gardening Link here

Paul Gallagher around today to mow the lawn and continue weeding, two weeks after he had been due. It showed: we had more grass in the garden than I have ever seen in January. Here part of the north garden a year ago and two days ago:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200111/small/House-n-e.jpeg
Image title: House n e
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 116 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5543 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 11 January 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210109/small/House-n-e.jpeg
Image title: House n e
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 131 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 6483 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 9 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Paul had got an unwelcome Christmas present, a case of gastroenteritis from his nephew, and had apparently been out of commission for two weeks. As a result, he wasn't able to stay as long as needed (and certainly not helped by the 37° temperatures). It looks like it will be a while before we get the garden into the condition that we would like.


Eye test again
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Into town to Specsavers this afternoon for an eye test and to see if they could repair my old glasses. As I feared, no chance of repairing the old glasses.

The eye test was interesting. It included a hearing test (listen for faint tones drowned out by the loud ambient noise), which (they say) was successful, though it seems that it was prepared to show higher frequencies than I detected. Then the eye test, and a photo of my retinae, one of which showed a pale patch which the optometrist thought could be indicative of a loss of peripheral vision. So in to have a peripheral vision test, which came out with mixed results: right eye no problem, left eye showed a loss to the right (fortunately in the area covered by the right eye). He thought that it might be related to tiredness, which is quite a possibility. We'll repeat when I pick up the glasses.

And then the eternal search for frames. Some for “$149 for two pairs”, some, almost identical, for $249. And none like the ones I had (which they had supplied two years ago). Finally selected a single pair of $249 glasses. $420! I will never understand their pricing, though clearly the prices are for normal lenses and not multifocals, and also don't include the all-important nonreflective coating.

It wasn't until I left that I realized that he hadn't checked my computer glasses. Should I worry?


Tuesday, 12 January 2021 Dereel Images for 12 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bibimbap: worth the trouble
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Bibimbap for breakfast again today:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210112/small/Bibimbap-2.jpeg
Image title: Bibimbap 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 606 x 446, 98 kB
Dimensions of original: 5286 x 3888, 3639 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 12 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I wonder why. It's horribly complicated to make, I don't have a number of the ingredients, and it's not overly interesting. To make matters worse today, I forgot the sauce.


Rotated photos
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

While looking at old photos today, came across this thoroughly forgettable image:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20180522/small/Yvonne-Piccola-rotated.jpeg
Image title: Yvonne Piccola
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 106 kB
Dimensions of original: 2448 x 3264, 874 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 22 May 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It would be bad enough the right way round:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20180522/small/Yvonne-Piccola.jpeg
Image title: Yvonne Piccola
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 106 kB
Dimensions of original: 2448 x 3264, 874 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 22 May 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It was taken with the old Samsung GT-I9100T mobile phone, and intended to show that even that camera could take better photos than this, which we had received a day earlier:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20180521/small/Sofa-bed-2.jpeg
Image title: Sofa bed 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 17 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 540, 23 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 21 May 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But why was it rotated? And why was it distorted?

Comparing web browsers, it seems that firefox has started honouring the Orientation tag in the Exif data, something that it never used to do. I had processed the photo and changed the orientation to portrait, but I hadn't changed the Exif data, and the dimensions on the web site were correct for the rotated image, so the external dimensions didn't change.

How do I fix it?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/27) ~/Photos/20180522 863 -> exiftool -orientation=horizontal Yvonne-Piccola.jpeg

But how many photos are affected? Not the ones processed with DxO PhotoLab, it seems, but there are plenty of others like this one that weren't. Time to go through my entire collection and see what's affected.


Old photos: still no magic bullet
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

It's been over 12 years since we last had a dinner party for my family. Today I stumbled over the photos again and marvelled, not for the first time, about how had they were.

At the time I had only just started processing raw images, and I was using ufraw. I was clearly not happy with the results, and I tried at least twice to fix things. Here's a photo with which I was particularly unhappy:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080928/small/celebration-7-ufraw.jpeg
Image title: celebration 7 ufraw
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 451 x 599, 111 kB
Dimensions of original: 2800 x 3720, 1849 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 28 September 2008:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080928/small/celebration-7-try2.jpeg
Image title: celebration 7 try2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 109 kB
Dimensions of original: 2736 x 3648, 1018 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 28 September 2008:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080928/small/celebration-7-try3.jpeg
Image title: celebration 7 try3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 131 kB
Dimensions of original: 2736 x 3648, 1720 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 28 September 2008:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

On the face of it, the middle one is the best. My shirt is black, after all. But surely I can do better nowadays with my current workflow. Here's the result compared to the previous best (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080928/small/celebration-7-try2.jpeg
Image title: celebration 7 try2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 109 kB
Dimensions of original: 2736 x 3648, 1018 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 28 September 2008:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080928/small/celebration-7.jpeg
Image title: celebration 7
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 82 kB
Dimensions of original: 2736 x 3648, 1356 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 28 September 2008:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The gradation is better, and the halos are gone, but it's still not good, and the shirt has got paler. An issue with the camera, maybe? This was the Olympus E-510 with the Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD. What would it have looked like with a different camera?


Wednesday, 13 January 2021 Dereel → Cape Clear → Dereel Images for 13 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Investigating Leonid's growth
Topic: health, animals Link here

Off to Cape Clear this afternoon for Pene Kirk to perform a biopsy on Leonid's lump in his leg:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210113/small/Leonid-biopsy-6.jpeg
Image title: Leonid biopsy 6
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 90 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2890 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 13 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210113/small/Leonid-biopsy-10.jpeg
Image title: Leonid biopsy 10
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 81 kB
Dimensions of original: 5185 x 3888, 4274 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 13 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210113/small/Leonid-biopsy-36.jpeg
Image title: Leonid biopsy 36
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 91 kB
Dimensions of original: 5185 x 3888, 3920 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 13 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210113/small/Leonid-biopsy-54.jpeg
Image title: Leonid biopsy 54
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 496 x 544, 84 kB
Dimensions of original: 1315 x 1441, 252 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 13 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The lump proved to be surprisingly hard, more like cartilage than anything else. We'll know more about its nature next week after the pathological investigation, but Pene is sure that it is malignant, and almost certainly some kind of fibrosarcoma.


Phantom files
Topic: technology Link here

While backing up my photos today, came across this strange information:

...
2-grog/.nfs.d7ef1349.29924.4
2-grog/.nfs.d7ef3635.29924.4
2-grog/.nfs.d7ef5a7a.29924.4
...

What are they? /Photos/2-grog/ is a staging directory that I use to make life with Microsoft bearable: put the files I need to process there and run a Microsoft-space program always against the same directory so that I don't have to climb trees directory for directory. The software (in this case DxO PhotoLab) is set to write its results back to the same directory.

But what does that have to do with NFS? I'm using SMB with Samba. Still, some of those timestamps look interesting:

  -rwxr--r--   1 grog  wheel      9304  2 Jan 13:04 .nfs.d7ef5a7a.29924.4
  -rwxr--r--   1 grog  wheel      9304  2 Jan 13:04 .nfs.d7ef3635.29924.4
  -rwxr--r--   1 grog  wheel      9304  2 Jan 13:04 .nfs.d7ef1349.29924.4

Looking back, I found this article. The times match exactly: conversion stopped on 2 January at 12:41, and from 13:05 on I had truncated files.

But what does that have to do with NFS? And it seems that there are many more files there that I can't explain, some dating back as far as August 2013. But on that occasion, as on the others (all more recently in this month), I hadn't noticed any file loss. So at best there's only a partial relationship.


Thursday, 14 January 2021 Dereel Images for 14 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Reheating Mexican food
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

On Sunday we ate Mexican-inspired food, including tortillas and frijoles refritos. I made enough for a breakfast of huevos rancheros for Tuesday.

Tuesday? For various reasons it dragged out until yesterday evening (for leftovers) and this morning (for the eggs). How did the food fare?

The tortillas, left in their serving box, got somewhat hard. I ran water over them and left them to soak before heating them in a microwave oven. The result: quite acceptable yesterday evening, though the rolled-up taco fell apart. But that happens with fresh tortillas too, though it didn't with the ones we ate on Sunday.

This morning I used even more water and heated longer (30 s at 1.2 kW for 2 tortillas), and they came out almost as if they were fresh.

The frijoles refritos were even better: add a little water, heat them up, and they were indistinguishable from “fresh”.


distress crash
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning to process some photos, and found that distress, my Microsoft “Windows” 10 box, had apparently crashed and rebooted during the night:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) ~/Photos/20210113 449 -> date; ruptime
Thu 14 Jan 2021 09:45:23 AEDT
dischord                 down    3+21:13
distress                   up      13:59,     0 users,  load 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

How did that happen? How do I find out? First, of course, I establish contact with the machine:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 586 x 460, 90 kB
Dimensions of original: 1235 x 970, 86 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 14 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Setting up your device? Idiot! Don't you know that it's a computer? Did something go completely wrong? And all these silly settings:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1-detail-1.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1 detail 1          Dimensions:          889 x 304, 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
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

OK, Microsoft, I'll bite. Where do I touch my computer? What do I smile at? You're supposed to know what you're running on. What is this nonsense?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1-detail-3.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1 detail 3          Dimensions:          1029 x 262, 125 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Now how does that work? Do I even want to know? Presumably I must use only Microsoft “devices”. Nonsense!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1-detail-4.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1 detail 4          Dimensions:          894 x 302, 145 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I can't even be bothered to look at this one. “Premium Office apps”. Clearly it costs money. As a FreeBSD developer I already have a free subscription to some Microsoft service which offers me lots of stuff, and I couldn't be bothered to access it. And security? I already have FreeBSD.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1-detail-5.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1 detail 5          Dimensions:          922 x 293, 154 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

“More secure in the cloud with OneDrive”. Somehow that's an oxymoron. If you want data to be secure, you don't make them Internet-accessible.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-1-detail-2.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 1 detail 2          Dimensions:          1072 x 252, 122 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I was going to say something nasty about this one too, but it occurred to me that it could be useful. I fear that it could involve lots of tree climbing, but I should take a closer look, some other time.

But why did the system crash in the first place? Ah, not a bug, a feature:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210114/small/Microsoft-setup-2-detail.png
Image title: Microsoft setup 2 detail          Dimensions:          1617 x 167, 107 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 14 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 14 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Without so much as a by-your-leave, it had simply installed updates and rebooted. I thought I had prohibited that. How I hate Microsoft!


eureso again
Topic: technology Link here

My system upgrade ground to a halt, not for the first time, a month ago. I ran into an unexpected feature (yes, really) of VirtualBox that gave me what looked like inconsistent disk images. I'm sure that I can work around it, and the feature itself (different views of the same disk on different VMs) can be very useful, but here it's just another way to shoot myself in the foot.

So, how about a real computer? Looking around, I was surprised to discover that I have no fewer than 8 ThinkCentre boxes. Five are in use, one appears to be dead, but that still leaves two. So today I grabbed one of them, put a disk in it, and investigated what I need to do to carry on with last month's image.

The biggest problem was that the disk image is 30 GB in size, and the disk I chose had only 20 GB:

=== root@tiwi (/dev/pts/4) ~ 2 -> gpart show
=>       40  976773088  ada0  GPT  (466G)
         40        128     1  freebsd-boot  (64K)
        168   41943040     2  freebsd-ufs  (20G)
   41943208   20971520     3  freebsd-swap  (10G)
   62914728   41943040     4  freebsd-ufs  (20G)
  104857768  871915360     5  freebsd-ufs  (416G)

That's my typical partition layout: boot partition, root file system, swap, alternate root file system and rest of disk for /home. How do I fix that?

For the moment, 20 GB is enough for /home. So I moved what I needed there. Now I need to remove partition 5 (that's the single digit column in the middle) and create a 30 GB partition there.

And then there's the next problem: the boot partition is only 64 kB in size. As I discovered six months ago, that's not enough. I might be able to fake it on this system, but eureka also only has 64 kB. Probably the best choice is to buy another SSD for the root file system.


Android messages: caught in the act
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Over the past few weeks, these irritating “here now and gone forever” messages on my phone have become fewer. But today one appeared just as I happened to be looking at the phone. It was from VicEmergency, about which I have complained in the past. Something about Covid, but I didn't have time to read the rest.

Somehow that's typical of the app. It's supposed to inform me about emergencies, notably bushfires, not ongoing incidents. But could it be that it was too polite to send to my Messages tab, and wanted to display it itself? Fired up the app, which is as useless as it has ever been, and indeed I saw a warning about COVID-19—from two days ago! Nothing newer!

What a USELESS waste of time!


Friday, 15 January 2021 Dereel Images for 15 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Anatomy of a power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general, technology, opinion Link here

In the early afternoon my office UPS beeped once. I've heard that before: it often happens when there's a grid power failure. Why? I wish I knew; maybe a slow cutover to battery power?

Out to confirm: yes, the power was out. It started at 13:46:29, and continued long enough for me to investigate. Check the Powercor outage map, the one that displays a map of all of Victoria, 95% of populated South Australia and half of New South Wales, and always insists on going back to that view. Zoom in. Yes, a large pink-shaded area round Ballarat, going about as far as Buninyong. Nothing round our way. Click on the symbols. Nothing useful happens.

OK, report online. “We are aware of an outage in your area” (“but are too polite to mention it on the map”?). And how about that, a while later the area from Ballarat to here and on to Rokewood went blue. Click on the area. Still nothing happens. What do the colours mean? Click on “Legend” at bottom left:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210115/small/Powercor-1.png
Image title: Powercor 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 417 x 647, 85 kB
Dimensions of original: 333 x 517, 32 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 15 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Ah, think outside the box:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210115/small/Powercor-1-detail.png
Image title: Powercor 1 detail          Dimensions:          861 x 314, 76 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 15 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 15 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 15 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Pink means “200 + Customers off supply”, and blue is between 50 and 200. Presumably less than 50 customers is not worth worrying about. And how many of us were off supply in blue Dereel? 254. Sigh.

OK, look at the list. Yes, problem being identified (a text meaning “We're working on it, but can't be bothered to update the status”), location Sutton Street, Delacombe. Good, in town. So they'll look at it fast.

Checked the status later. Estimated restoration 17:00, location Learmonth St. Buninyong. Were there two outages? No, it had changed for all locations.

Still later looked again. Now it's at Geelong Road, Mount Helen! Doesn't that inspire confidence? No wonder the status was still “Under investigation”. They're still trying to find where it happened.

The good news was that the power came back, with a hiccough, at 15:35:52. The battery was 100% charged, the sun was shining, and the inverter started using grid power:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210115/small/power-generation.png
Image title: power generation
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 729 x 371, 158 kB
Dimensions of original: 1229 x 625, 119 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 15 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

What caused that? Round 17:50 it was about 10 kW. The inverter can only provide 6 kW, and that came almost entirely from the PV panels, so it's understandable that the rest had to come from the grid. But why? What was using 10 kW?

The power failed again at 16:57:19, almost as if to justify Powercor's claim of power restoration at 17:00. I didn't even notice until the next day.

Of course I was informed about the outage. At 14:58:16 I got a message from Ingeteam telling me that the power had been “out of range” for over an hour, starting at “1/15/2021 1:46:40 PM”. I've grumbled about the format in the past, but why the 11 second discrepancy in the start time? It didn't seem to bother sending me an “end of alarm” message this time, though it used to in the past.

And after jumping through a few hoops, including sending a confirmation code to my mobile phone, Powercor also informed me of the end of the outage, at 15:41 (Android doesn't believe in seconds). Like the message from VicEmergency, it gave a brief 1 second display and then went away again. But unlike VicEmergency, it put the message in my Messages tab, where I would expect it. So so far it seems that this confusion is VicEmergency's fault.


eureso upgrade
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Continued with eureso today. The disk image that I copied from the stable12 VM booted happily, though I ran into a couple of minor issues. First, my intention is to have as good as the same configuration files for both eureso and eureka. /etc/rc.conf contains:

FORREAL=0
if [ $FORREAL -eq 0 ]; then
  hostname="eureso.lemis.com"
  hostip=192.109.197.143
  defaultrouter="192.109.197.137"
else
  hostname="eureka.lemis.com"
  hostip=192.109.197.137
fi

All I need to do, I thought, was change FORREAL from 0 to 1 or back. But life isn't that simple. At the very least I need a different /etc/fstab. And then there are things like multiple nmbd processes: I need a different /etc/inetd.conf. What else?

Apart from that, a more obvious problem: I didn't have enough space to build a world. All day and I ended up with a full file system. Still, I'm back on familiar territory again.


Saturday, 16 January 2021 Dereel Images for 16 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

eureso upgrade, day 3
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning. The build, now with /usr/obj NFS mounted, almost worked. But then, towards the end of the kernel build, I saw something I've never seen before:

===> Ports module x11/nvidia-driver (all)
cd ${PORTSDIR:-/usr/ports}/x11/nvidia-driver; env  -u CC  -u CXX  -u CPP  -u MAKESYSPATH  -u MK_AUTO_OBJ  -u MAKEOBJDIR  MAKEFLAGS="-I /Photos/Tools -D NOCLEAN -I /Photos/Tools -D NOCLEAN -D NO_MODULES_OBJ .MAKE.LEVEL.ENV=MAKELEVEL KERNEL=kernel TARGET=amd64 TARGET_ARCH=amd64"  SYSDIR=/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/sys  PATH=/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/tmp/legacy/usr/sbin:/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/tmp/legacy/usr/bin:/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/tmp/legacy/bin:/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/tmp/usr/sbin:/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/tmp/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin  SRC_BASE=/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12  OSVERSION=1202504  WRKDIRPREFIX=/home/src/eureso/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/amd64.amd64/sys/GENERIC make -B clean build
pkg-static: Warning: Major OS version upgrade detected.  Running "pkg-static install -f pkg" recommended
===>  Cleaning for nvidia-driver-440.100_1
===>  nvidia-driver-440.100_1 pkg(8) must be version 1.15.9 or greater, but
you have 1.10.5. You must upgrade the ports-mgmt/pkg port first.
*** Error code 1

Yes, it's not surprising that I would need to upgrade the nvidia-driver. And that's a port, and I first need to get my ports sorted out. But before I can do that I need to build a new kernel. Vicious circle.

OK, the current kernel's less than 2 months old. It'll probably do. So start the eternal ports upgrade. Will it finish today?

Yes, indeed:

=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/1) /usr/src 22 -> pkg-static install -f pkg
pkg-static: Warning: Major OS version upgrade detected.  Running "pkg-static install -f pkg" recommended
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
pkg-static: repository meta /var/db/pkg/FreeBSD.meta has wrong version 2
pkg-static: Repository FreeBSD load error: meta cannot be loaded No error: 0
Fetching meta.txz: 100%    916 B   0.9kB/s    00:01
pkg-static: repository meta /var/db/pkg/FreeBSD.meta has wrong version 2
repository FreeBSD has no meta file, using default settings
Fetching packagesite.txz: 100%    6 MiB 582.8kB/s    00:11
pkg-static: repository meta /var/db/pkg/FreeBSD.meta has wrong version 2
pkg-static: Repository FreeBSD load error: meta cannot be loaded No error: 0
Unable to open created repository FreeBSD
Unable to update repository FreeBSD
Error updating repositories!

That wasn't the first attempt: that was pkg upgrade pkg. But clearly the exact invocation wasn't the issue. I'm dead in the water. What do I do now? Yes, I can throw away the ports, all 1,200 odd of them, but that way madness lies.

Sent a message to freebsd-ports@freebsd.org, and how about that, got a reply from Kyle Evans within 20 minutes. It's obvious:

pkg bootstrap -f

And how about that, it did. After that, the expected (and here heavily truncated):


The following 1349 package(s) will be affected (of 0 checked):

Installed packages to be REMOVED:
        ImageMagick: 6.9.5.7,1
        bind910: 9.10.4P3
        emacs24: 24.5_3,3
        python34: 3.4.5
        samba42: 4.2.14

Number of packages to be removed: 120
Number of packages to be installed: 289
Number of packages to be upgraded: 792
Number of packages to be reinstalled: 148

The process will require 3 GiB more space.
3 GiB to be downloaded.

But I expected that, especially removing Emacs. Let it run, which continued for the rest of the day.


Honeyeaters
Topic: animals Link here

Gradually I'm getting some usable photos of the New Holland Honeyeaters that feed on the Kniphofia outside the dining room window:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210116/small/Honeyeater-4.jpeg
Image title: Honeyeater 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 83 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3456, 1880 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 16 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


firefox will help!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I'm still suffering from slow performance from web browsers. firefox thinks so too, and offered to help.

OK, I know what the real problem is, but it would be interesting to see what it wants to do. But I never expected this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210116/small/Firefox-refresh.png
Image title: Firefox refresh          Dimensions:          808 x 334, 138 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 16 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 16 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 16 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Throw out all customizations! All my settings! All the things I've worked to carefully get the thing to be halfway usable and less painful! These people need their heads read.


Sunday, 17 January 2021 Dereel Images for 17 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More eureso pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Some time in the early hours of this morning my port upgrade completed. Well, it stopped running:

[8/1417] Upgrading gstreamer1-plugins from 1.8.0 to 1.16.2_2...
pkg: gstreamer1-plugins-1.16.2_2 conflicts with gstreamer1-plugins-bad-1.8.0_1 (installs files into the same place).  Problematic file: /usr/local/include/gstreamer-1.0/gst/audio/gstaudioaggregator.h

I had expected that. Somehow I had 26 gstreamer-related ports installed, including

gstreamer-0.10.36_4            Development framework for creating media applications
gstreamer-ffmpeg-0.10.13_4     GStreamer plug-in for manipulating MPEG video streams
gstreamer1-1.8.0               Media applications framework

OK, take note of the fact and remove them all. Well, maybe only gstreamer-0.10.36_4. But of course, that wouldn't work without removing another 55 ports, including gnuplot, Hugin, Opera and what looked like most of KDE. OK, note them and continue.

Next failure:

[554/1304] Installing linux_base-c7-7.8.2003_1...
Cannot install package: kernel missing 64-bit Linux support
pkg: PRE-INSTALL script failed
ld-elf.so.1: Shared object "libicuuc.so.57" not found, required by "sendmail"
You have new mail in /var/mail/grog

How about that, there are now two linux KLDs: linux and linux64. OK, I can load them, then continue. But what's that error about libicuuc.so.57? And why sendmail?

Left it running for a while, then decided to start a new xterm on eureso. Nothing happened. OK, ssh:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) ~ 551 -> ssh eureso
ld-elf.so.1: Undefined symbol "rl_filename_rewrite_hook" referenced from COPY relocation in /usr/local/bin/bash
Connection to eureso.lemis.com closed.
Disconnected at Sun 17 Jan 2021 16:05:53 AEDT

Oh. What went wrong there? Clearly we need a shell. How about just removing bash and reinstalling it?

   ...
Proceed with this action? [y/N]: y
[1/1] Installing bash-5.1.4_1...
[1/1] Extracting bash-5.1.4_1: 100%
=== root@eureso (/dev/pts/1) /usr/ports/shells/bash 90 -> bash
ld-elf.so.1: Undefined symbol "rl_filename_rewrite_hook" referenced from COPY relocation in /usr/local/bin/bash

Damn! Things are really messed up. Build from source?

cc -shared -Wl,-soname,cut  -Wl,-export-dynamic -fstack-protector-strong  -o cut cut.o
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
mkdir /home/src/FreeBSD/svn/ports/shells/bash/work/stage/usr/local/lib/bash
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
*** Error code 139

Once again I'm dead in the water.

One thing is clear: just upgrading eureka or eureso just Doesn't Work. What do I do now? The best thing seems to be to start with no ports at all and build them all from source, like some people have been advising me. But first I need to think that through. What exactly do I remove? /var/db/cache contains packages, which I don't need any more, but they're convenient to have in case I change my mind. What about /var/db/pkg? And how does this differ from the approach I started with dereel over 9 months ago?

How frustrating this is!


Fake fake tagine
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We've got lots of stuff floating around that we don't seem to be able to get rid of: beef cubes in the deep freezer, hundreds of nuts and dried fruit in the fridge. So how about my fake tagine? After all, a tagine sounds like the best thing to make to use up that kind of odds and ends, including a courgette that Yvonne bought a couple of weeks ago, and which, despite a valiant struggle, was gradually giving up the ghost.

So it was. But I hadn't checked that I had all ingredients. In particular, we don't have any dried chick peas any more, and I needed 300 g. I found 130 g of cooked chick peas in the freezer, but that's only about 20% of what we needed. We were also out of ras-el-hanout, and I ended up substituting a number of other random spices that we had floating around: La kama, Harira (really the name of a dish, not a spice) and some cinnamon powder that some misguided visitor had brought us. In the process, I also doubled the quantities of spices and also ginger and garlic. It wasn't until later that I compare with other recipes and discovered, for example, that I could have used cumminseed and cinnamon instead.

Next problem: how do I heat the tagine? Last time we still had a gas stove. Now we only have the induction cooker and the emergency gas stove, which isn't really big enough, and the tagine is made of non-induction-capable aluminium. Clearly it's high time to order a heating pad for such events, and I did, but of course it'll be a while before it arrives.

OK, how about a metal pan in between, like this paellera?

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210117/small/Tagine-1.jpeg
Image title: Tagine 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 542 x 498, 74 kB
Dimensions of original: 3960 x 3640, 1545 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 17 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yes, it worked, sort of, but it didn't seem to do the paellera much good, and to get a gentle bubbling I had to set the power rating to 7, which is probably round 800 W, heating the surroundings more than the tagine. So I ended up putting it on the small gas burner, which produced the same result when turned down far below minimum.

And how did it taste?

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210117/small/Tagine-4.jpeg
Image title: Tagine 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 99 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 2803 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 17 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Very good, better than I ever remember it before. My guess is that the greater quantity of spices made the difference. Here's a comparison with the base recipe:

quantity       quantity       ingredient
(recipe)       (actual)
1 kg       1 kg       meat (beef or lamb), cut into 3-4 cm “cubes”
10 g       20 g       ginger, finely chopped
20 g       40 g       garlic, pressed
10 g             ras el-hanout
      10 g       “Harira”
      5 g       cinnamon powder
      5 g       la kama
300 g       60 g       chick peas
            oil for frying
5 g       5 g       cinnamon stick
400 g       400 g       tinned tomatoes
80 g       80 g       honey
30 g       28 g       salt
0.5 g             saffron
400 g       400 g       potato, in about 10 pieces
250 g       250 g       carrot, in about 10 pieces
125 g       125 g       dried apricots
225 g       460 g       courgette, in thick slices
200 g             aubergine, in thick slices
      260 g       carrots
      390 g       prunes
      80 g?       almonds
      50 g?       pistachios

Monday, 18 January 2021 Dereel Images for 18 January 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

The revenge of Microsoft
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne in to my office with a problem: distress, the Microsoft “Windows” 10 box, wouldn't talk to her, something to do with all slots being full. Sure enough, it was repeatable.

Bloody Microsoft! Does this have something to do with the unsolicited upgrade last week? Probably. In to my office to check. Worked fine for me. Simulate Yvonne's environment and try again. Long delay while it logged her in and did whatever else Microsoft does when it starts up. But it worked. Back to her office. Worked.

So what went wrong? She had to log in, but the first couple of times around we didn't get that far. But it seems to be related to logging in, which only happens once per reboot. I should at least have kept track of the exact message.


Tuesday, 19 January 2021 Dereel Images for 19 January 2021
Top of page
previous day

Next system upgrade attempt
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

As part of my migration attempts for eureso, brought dereel up to date: new kernel, new userland, update ports.

It almost worked:


[43/194] Installing librsvg2-rust-2.50.2...
pkg: librsvg2-rust-2.50.2 conflicts with librsvg2-2.40.21 (installs files into the same place).  Problematic file: /usr/local/bin/rsvg-convert

There's too much of that kind of thing. OK, it looks like librsvg2-rust-2.50.2 should win, so let's remove the other:

=== root@dereel (/dev/pts/0) /home/grog 2 -> Log pkg delete librsvg2-2.40.21
===== Tue 19 Jan 2021 12:37:08 AEDT on dereel: pkg delete librsvg2-2.40.21
Installed packages to be REMOVED:
        ImageMagick7: 7.0.10.24
        audacity: 2.4.2_2
        chromium: 84.0.4147.135
        darktable: 3.2.1_3
        emacs: 27.1_1,3
        firefox: 84.0.1,2
        gimp: 2.10.20_1,2
        gtk3: 3.24.23_1
        gtkmm30: 3.24.2
        handbrake: 1.3.3_1
        hugin: 2020.0

Number of packages to be removed: 23

Those were only the ones that I recognized, and it includes about every port I use on the machine. No way I'm going to do that. So I just restarted the pkg upgrade, and how about that: it worked!

But then I discovered that the source tree hadn't been updated in weeks. It's easy enough to guess why: the FreeBSD project is moving from subversion to Git.


Making friends^W acquaintance with git
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So I have to finally use Git to update my software. I really wish they hadn't done it, but I'm going to have to come to terms with it.

OK, where's the docco? I had saved some mail messages on the subject for later perusal. Now's the time. 529 messages! There must be a simpler way. Peter Jeremy has been there before me (and grumbled mightily). Ask on IRC.

No Peter, but Andy Snow came up with this summary, which refers to Warner Losh's git primer, the one that he had sent to me some months ago.

OK, follow that:

cd /usr/src
REPO=https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd.git
git clone $REPO -b stable/12

Nothing happened. Oh, yes, I was just looking in the wrong place. Lots of network traffic, and after 25 minutes I had a tree /usr/src/freebsd, 3.3 GB in size.

But no history! What use is that? Daniel O'Connor came up with an alternative way, described in this document. It's also by Warner Losh, but completely different, and refers to different repositories.

But wait, there's more. Callum Gibson came up with this page, from which I derived the invocation:

REPO=ssh://git@gitrepo.FreeBSD.org/src.git
git clone $REPO

That's the main FreeBSD source repository, for registered developers only. And it said something as it worked:

Warning: Permanently added 'gitrepo.freebsd.org' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
remote: Enumerating objects: 433625, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (433625/433625), done.

It also checked out into a directory src/, more like I would have expected, and there seems to be some kind of history involved. So: all OK? Not quite.

First, how do I find the version number? Looking at bin/ls/ls.c, the last svn version has:

__FBSDID("$FreeBSD: head/bin/ls/ls.c 368467 2020-12-08 23:38:26Z bdrewery $");

And the git version?

__FBSDID("$FreeBSD$");

So we've lost a lot of information. Ah, says Jamie Fraser, that's an old, worn-out way of looking at things. Just

=== root@dereel (/dev/pts/2) /usr/src/src/bin/ls 6 -> git log -n 1 ls.c
ESC[33mcommit 3fee777ec5a2e91ffbd9b396e99edae386eb150eESC[m
Author: Stefan EÃ<9F>er
Date:   Sat Dec 26 22:10:54 2020 +0100

    Simplify LS_COLWIDTHS processing
    ...

Now isn't that helpful? One program invocation to do what you could previous do with a single glance. And whether I want it or not, I get both terminal control codes and a pager that doesn't understand them, thus the vomit round the meaningless commit identifier that bears no relationship to previous or subsequent commits. Clearly a modern program.

Still, the good news is: it works. But wouldn't clear documentation have been a good idea?


Next Android challenge
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

We're off to Melbourne for the first time in well over 2 years on Thursday, so time to program a map into my GPS navigator. First, though, an overview with Google Maps. That was straightforward enough, and it offered to send it to my Nokia 3 phone (or, as it chooses to call it, my HMD Global TA-1020).

OK, that makes sense. Do it! And how about that, the phone buzzed, and that was that. No popup. Do I have to “open” “Maps”? Tried that. No route. Looking around at various options, I discovered that it had noted all my waypoints, and would happily take me to any of them. But no route!

I'll never understand these things.


Little garden work
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

My attempts at growing chilis and tomatoes from seed have been particularly unsuccessful this year. The tomatoes have barely any fruit at all, and the very first ones are becoming ripe:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210120/small/Tomato-4.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 149 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 4815 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210120/small/Tomato-3.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 87 kB
Dimensions of original: 5185 x 3888, 2497 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The chilis are even worse. One each of the chile serrano and árbol have died:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210119/small/Chili-serrano-1.jpeg
Image title: Chili serrano 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 95 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5185, 2264 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 19 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210119/small/Chile-arbol-2.jpeg
Image title: Chile arbol 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 112 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 3111 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 19 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But the other árbol looks healthy enough:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210119/small/Chile-arbol-1.jpeg
Image title: Chile arbol 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 116 kB
Dimensions of original: 3889 x 5184, 3465 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 19 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And the remaining serrano even has a flower, unlike its mate that I planted some months back. So I planted it in the same bed. Here the new one on the right, the left one, barely alive, on the left:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210120/small/Chile-serrano-3.jpeg
Image title: Chile serrano 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 156 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5185, 4922 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210120/small/Chile-serrano-2.jpeg
Image title: Chile serrano 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 123 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5186, 2911 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210120/small/Chile-serrano-1.jpeg
Image title: Chile serrano 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 123 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5185, 2915 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.


Top of page Previous month Greg's home page Today's diary entry Greg's photos Copyright information

Valid XHTML 1.0!

$Id: diary-jan2021.php,v 1.21 2021/01/20 07:25:45 grog Exp $