Called up Olympus Australia today
and spoke to John about the missing WiFi symbol on the viewfinder of my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
He couldn't explain it either, though his guesses were interesting: no SD card in the
camera, only one SD card in the camera, SD card too fast. None of them proved to be
the case, though he said “it works for me”. Asked him to forward the request to Japan, and
he said he'd be back to me within a week.
Into Ballarat today to talk to Dr Paul
Smith about my finger. As expected, there wasn't much that could be done, though it's
interesting that the report he got was more detailed than what Mr Csongvay told me.
To make it worth my while, he found another vaccination to give
me, Influenza. And he has a new poster
on his wall:
He suspected that the orange areas were of bacterial origin, but couldn't tell me where to
take the stuff. It seems that there's nothing
in Australia comparable to the German
First fun was printing the shipping label. When I had finished the web form (and had my
money deducted), no label arrived. eMail? No. Tried reprinting a couple of times. Each
time it looked as if it would work, but nothing came out of the printer. Printer problem?
Printed a packing slip with no trouble, but the next attempt to print the label failed too.
Finally I discovered that the page was too polite to send the document to the
printer without my explicit request, and had stored multiple copies in ~/Downloads.
Why couldn't it say so, or, better, give me the option?
After the fun I had last time I sent an item via eBay, I called up
Australia Post to find out how to handle
the satchel question. That in itself was fun: just finding a phone number is at least as
difficult as any other web site, and then they play silly buggers hiding the phone number:
From within Australia
13 POST •• •••• Show numbers
From overseas +61 3 •••• •••• Show numbers
The •••• hide the real number, and you have to click on “Show numbers” to display the
numbers. Well, really. Who is going to steal the phone number of Australia Post? At least
they gave me a landline number (which proved to be +61-3-8847-9045), though they didn't seem
to give any priority to it. And I had some difficulty explaining to the person I reached
that I had an eBay shipping label and just wanted a satchel. Finally she said “Yes, you can
get them at the post office. They're white instead of red. $2”. I asked her if that were
exactly $2. Yes.
At the post office, I asked for an unfranked satchel. It seems that the verb “frank” is not
in their vocabulary, but I made it clear what I wanted. Yes, over there on the wall.
Nothing comparable to the 3 kg satchel that I had paid for, nothing at all for $2.00, but in
the end found a possibly better padded envelope for $1.45.
Why is this all so complicated? Hundreds of people must send this stuff every day. But
nobody at Australia Post seems to know about it.
Olympus provides lots of software of
various kinds, ranging from camera firmware to processing software to remote control
software. Where's there a summary? The only place I know (now) is my own Olympus photo software summary. And
that's still a work in progress.
In the process, it's interesting to note that http://www.olympus-imaging.com/ is homeless: no home page, and any attempt to access it will result in a 403 error.
A medal for that webmaster!
Every time I've tried to use OI.Share I have been frustrated beyond belief. But then it occurred to me:
a while back I had tried
(and discarded) Olympus
Capture. One of the reasons was that it required a Microsoft computer, which at the
time would have tied it to dischord, my desktop Microsoft box. But now I
T430. Maybe that's worth using.
Installed it—it no longer “stops working”, and modulo instructions looks reasonable.
Isn't it an indictment of the current state of the art that toy phones and computers have
such a completely different interface, especially since the newer technology is so markedly
Yvonne took our discussion on Saturday for a decision,
and she's been merrily trying to get rid of Rani all over the place. I'm not that convinced, but Rani is helping: today she
crapped in the bathtub, again although the door to the laundry and the cat toilet was open.
You'd think she was trying to make a point.
But why is this our fault? We contacted the breeder, as agreed for this kind of situation,
and she implies in her answers that we didn't “potty train” her correctly, and that this
kind of behaviour is usually due to stress.
OK, she hasn't seen the cat, and in general she might have a point. But Rani is definitely
not suffering from stress. Breeder forgot that she had herself identified Rani as a little
unusual, and sold her to us considerably cheaper as a result. But I find it upsetting that
she should blame Rani's behaviour on our treatment of her.
That's not the only issue, of course. Yvonne is particularly unhappy about the way Rani
treats Piccola, and she may have a point.
Kelly Daly has identified a relative
in Melbourne who would like to have
her, and a mutual relative
in Sebastopol who is
visiting them over the weekend, so Rani could be gone as early as Friday.
May 1 Greg starts working with IBM, 2001
May 1 Greg starts working with UNIVAC, 1973
That's not quite exact. My employment
with UNIVAC started on 1 May 1973, but that was a public holiday, so I really started work on
2 May 1973. But those events were 16 and 43 years ago, not
multiples of 10 years. Coincidentally, I do know where I was 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and
even 60 years ago:
Ten years ago I spent the night (finally!) at home
in Echunga. But then, that was after
I had stopped travelling.
Apart from the fact that I was almost always not at home, it's interesting where I
was. Twice in Madras/Chennai (they changed the name of the city between the two occasions),
and Vaduz, Holzkirchen and Kempten are all quite close together (272 km total distance
apart). But I've only been to India three
times; somehow the snapshot is misleading.
Huh? If there's one thing that stands out about it, it's the speed. But the original
poster claimed that it would freeze when the camera buffer was full. Long discussion,
finally the agreement that it wasn't slow after all.
My part was investigating reviews, and in the process I found this
page, which confirms that just about everything about the camera—even startup speed,
which I find slow—is state of the art. And then of course there's Camera
Memory Speed, which shows that the camera with my Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GB should reach 160 MB/s write speed.
Unfortunately they don't have many cameras in their list, but the fastest Canon they tested
(the EOS 5D Mark IV) only manages 112 MB/s. Only the Nikon D5 XQD manages
faster rates (at nearly 300 MB/s), but it
uses XQD cards.
For some reason I have a significant number of items I bought on eBay that are taking forever to come. None of them are
important: USB cable, flash shoe cover, USB hub...
USB hub? It no longer shows anywhere. I received a package nearly two months ago, but it was the wrong article. I had asked for a replacement, and they confirmed that
they had sent it. But the first article arrived within 3 weeks, and now it has been nearly
another 7 weeks. Where is it?
It doesn't show on my eBay pages either. Not under “purchased”. Not under three different
categories of problem items. Finally I found it under “purchased” after selecting all items
for 2017. That shouldn't be hidden. Clicked on the “involve eBay” setting and explained
the situation. We'll see how that pans out.
Before you need to reset you camera body, does this happen on all setting for i-Auto, P,A,S & M?
This will need to be done via the menu and a full reset.
Unfortunately you will lose custom settings.
What a copout! As I replied (paraphrased):
Clearly this is an Olympus problem, either a documentation problem or (more likely)
a firmware problem. Either was it needs to be fixed, and only Olympus can do that.
If I reset my camera, I'm going to have to spend hours re-applying the settings. At
some point this may re-introduce the bug, so it would make sense to check after
every change in settings, even ones that seem to be completely unrelated.
Under the circumstances, I would have thought that Olympus Japan would be interested in
correcting the problem, not working around it. It's disappointing that they don't seem
to care. In case they do, I'm attaching the current settings of my camera for them to
It'll be interesting to see whether they follow up on this. It's also interesting to note
that they didn't mention the option of saving the settings. Sadly, it doesn't help much
here: since I don't know what setting is causing the display to go away, it's really a
question of trying every setting individually.
OK, the cheapest appears to be Economy Air, prices from# [sic] $21.48, a denomination
not supported by Australian currency, which has a granularity of 5¢. The adapter and
packaging have a weight of about 350 g, but the page has a click menu to enter the weight: 2
(default), 1 or 0 kg. And 1 kg costs $36.95, exactly the price the buyer paid. OK, so this
is the one he wanted. But why did the previous page offer $21.48? Discovered that I could
set it myself to 0.5 kg, and sure enough, it came up with $21.48.
Talk about obfuscation! Anyway, it seems to have brought me $15 extra, and it offers the
all-important tracking, so that's the one for me.
Next, the shipping address. According to eBay, it's 53 Allées du 8 mai 1945, toulon Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 83000, France. That
doesn't look right. Toulon is the town,
but French addresses don't include
the Région, and presumably
there's only one Allée du 8 mai 1945. Off to take a look with Google Maps, which confirmed my expectation.
While I was there, I saw other references to the address. Flats to let, 56 m² for 690 € per
month! But then, maybe that's what flats in French cities cost nowadays. But the most
interesting thing about the offer was the post code: 83200 instead of 83000. Which is right?
Off to look at La Poste. After 20 minutes, I
couldn't find anything better than to tell me that the whole of Toulon has the post codes
83000, 83100 and 83200. Nothing to help me find the post code for a specific address.
Clearly the national postal carriers of the world are united against transparency. It also
suggests that the different post codes aren't of much use.
My anniversaries a couple of days
ago were interesting mainly because of where I was and the fact that I could track
them in the first place. But today there's a more significant one: 20 years ago I returned
to Australia for good:
This time we had an additional passenger on the way in: Rani, whom we left with Kelly Daly's grandmother
in Sebastopol. That's
probably the last we'll see of her. I can't say I'm happy, but it was clear that she was
too much work.
At Eureka, Bill was up and about, but still not very active, so again I did the rounds by
myself. Bob Carr is no longer in his room; I didn't see him at all, but forgot to ask what
happened to him. It's quite likely he's been moved to hospital.
Off to the post office to post the EC-20 teleconverter to France. It went
relatively smoothly until I asked where the tracking number was. Sorry, no tracking number
with this service, said Tim, who handled the transaction. I pointed out that the web site
had claimed that there was tracking, and that that was very important to me. He scanned the
item, it was accepted, and he said “Ah, there must be one after all, it's there”,
pointing to a number on the receipt.
What does this mean? It means that Australia Post doesn't know what services they provide.
What do I do now? eBay allowed me to enter
the “tracking number”, and it's clearly the shipment method they buyer wanted, so for the
moment I'll just grumble.
There's been some discussion about macro photography on the M43 Australia Facebook group,
with the interesting discovery that a large number of people do it hand-held. The
moderator, Kev Russell, seems to have hands of steel: he takes surprisingly good macro
photos, and he recently published a photo taken hand-held for 60 seconds. I'm
talking about equipment, and people don't believe me, even saying that focus rails are a
problem with focus stacking; I'd think exactly the opposite.
By chance my Hibiscus
rosa-sinensis bush has produced another flower, so it seemed to be time to take some
According to the EXIF data as reported by
first one has a focus setting of 0.185 mm, the last a setting of 0.190 mm. The problem is
that exiftool only reports the focus setting to the nearest 5 mm, and so far I
haven't found a way to interpret the numbers
(perl tells me that
they're rational, whatever that
means in this context, but looking at a dump I can't interpret them). The other thing is
that the total change in focus must be less than 10 mm. This was done with focus step 1 and
Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 Macro macro. At this distance and aperture, the depth of field
should be 1.1 mm, so 8 steps should have made effectively 1 cm:
=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/39) ~ 14 -> dof 60 8 0.19 Lens focal length: 60 mm
Aperture: f/ 8.0
Hyperfocal distance: 56.250 m
Circle of confusion: 8.00 µm
Subject Focal plane Magnification Exposure Near Far Depth of
distance (m) distance (mm) comp (EV) limit (m) limit (m) field (m)
0.1900 87.6923 0.462 1.1 0.1894 0.1906 0.0013
Maybe this is due to motion. I took these photos without flash, so the exposure times were
0.4 s. I won't be able to use this lens with ring flash until my adapter rings arrive. But
even with flash, there could be differences between the individual images. Maybe I should
just put this into the “too hard” basket.
Mick the gardener was due at 9:00 this morning, so up in plenty of time. I was just going
into the office when I saw him arrive, at 8:20, apparently thinking that he was too late.
Finally got round to planting
the Camellia japonica that has
been in a pot since we bought it over six
years ago. Surprisingly, we got it out of the pot with little difficulty and no
damage. Also found a surprising number of plants for Chris Bahlo:
I've had a surprising number of problems selling my lenses on eBay:
eBay finds reason to believe that my account has been compromised, but doesn't give any
reasons. Instead I just get my password reset.
They change their password regulations from time to time without telling, so I have
trouble logging in.
They don't tell in advance what the password requirements are, so it's a matter of trial
Huh? In April I sold one item, and that's nearly 25% of the value. And why $9.01 for
shipping? Firstly it's a completely unlikely sum, and secondly I had already noted that the
shipping cost $7.35. Where are the details?
After a couple of hours searching for the details, I still couldn't find them. Going online
to “my account” showed nothing more. Going to the “Sold” category in “My eBay” didn't even
give me the opportunity to view the transaction. Somewhere I recall seeing a sum of between
$10 and $20 commission, but if it's still to be found on the web site, it's well hidden.
Still, there's a glimmer of hope: the link “We're here to help!”. But that
just gives generic information, nothing at all to relate to my transaction. And the
“Help & Contact” page offers
a “Contact Us” button that first requires me to choose from a menu to describe exactly what
my problem is. And then it doesn't offer the option of email, only phone call (not usable
in evidence) or “chat”:
But when I press “Start chat”, I get taken back to the grandparent page. After over an
hour, I couldn't contact anybody about the problem. On Monday it'll be Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Things didn't use to be like this, but one thing's clear: that was the last thing I try to
sell on eBay until they change their tune. It would seem that they don't want any “casual
sellers” any more.
I was going to take the other two items down, but maybe I get charged for that; that is one
potential explanation for the discrepancy. So instead I've significantly increased the
price, and we'll let them either sell or expire on their own.
Chicken with chestnut stuffing for dinner tonight. The main ingredients were oranges and
the chestnuts that I processed a week ago, a
recipe from Georgina Horley's “Good food on a budget”, roughly:
soggy English-style bread, torn into lumps
Bizarrely, she also asks for cayenne
pepper, something that I left out.
Things didn't go well. Somehow I was sidetracked, and I started far too late. The chicken
weighed 2.4 kg (the weight of a turkey 100 years ago), and by rights should have taken about
130 minutes with 30 minutes rest afterwards. And I started 90 minutes before we started
dinner. To make up for the late start, I cooked the chicken at 180° instead of 170°, first
laying it on the breast, and turning it over after an hour, in the process tearing the skin
off the flattened breast. After 2 hours the breastbone temperature had reached 80° (I
was planning to go for 82°), and I decided to serve it.
The good news: the chicken was relatively well cooked and tasted good. The less good news:
I managed to spill the gravy over the table, and spent some time scraping it up again. And
the stuffing was boring. No chestnut flavour at all, and the orange tasted bitter,
something that I've experienced before.
At my request, Chris Bahlo brought her Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with her in the evening to try out the wireless control from a smart phone (OI.Share), about which I most recently
grumbled a week ago. Apart
from the fact that it might be interesting for her, I was interested to see how well she got
on with it.
Surprise, surprise. It worked well. Even the problems that I've always had with networking
didn't occur. And she's quite happy with the app, and has an application for it, taking
photos of herself in the riding arena when she's alone.
So why doesn't it work for me? The networking issue is particularly puzzling: she was
connected to our home wireless network when she turned it on. My camera claimed immediately
that there was no camera to be found. Hers just connected.
Sometimes I think that I'm part of the problem, but I really don't understand this one. Of
course, we took some silly photos:
After modifying my remaining eBay listing, got another password reset:
We have reason to believe that your eBay account has been used fraudulently without your
permission. We’ve reset your eBay password. Any unauthorized activity, such as buying or
selling, has been canceled and any associated fees have been credited to your account. Any
listings that we removed are included toward the end of this email. We assure you that
your financial information is securely stored on a server and cannot be seen by anyone.
Why don't they give me their reasons? If there's really a breach (which I greatly doubt),
it's in my interests to find out how it happened. What a mess!
Over to Chris Bahlo's place today, I thought to take some wide angle videos, but I ended up
taking photos of her and Yvonne training horses. Here some
that Yvonne liked best, along with one that I found amusing:
So why is eBay charging me so much money for
last month, and why can't I find a detailed invoice? Their “chat” is still broken, so
selected “please call me” on the web page. Quite quickly I got a call with the typical
telemarketeer ploy of a long delay—in this case, nearly 30 seconds—after which I heard a
recorded message “When Valued Customer is on the line, please press 1”. Yes, literally
“Valued Customer”, and I don't recall them mentioning eBay.
Then “Please continue to hold”. Another 2 minutes, and I was connected with Mark (or was
that Marc?). I told him of my issues, and he picked on the easiest one: why couldn't I log
in to eBay? I had to repeat that the password had been invalidated, and that I had had
already created a new one and logged in. But then he took me to the invoice page. Exactly
the one that I was complaining about, in particular that I wanted it itemized by
transaction. “Sorry, that's all we have”. I pointed out that this does not satisfy
Australian legal requirements. In the process, I discovered that the invoice is worse than
I thought: it's in USD,
not AUD. Why that? And why was there no
indication on the invoice?
He started searching, and I told him that I required in writing, by close of business on 10
A detailed written invoice.
An explanation for the use of USD.
The nature of the fraudulent use of my account.
About the only useful information I got was that yes, indeed, cancelling a listing did not
involve any charges. In meantime, I asked him to ensure that the sum was not booked from my
I got an answer quite quickly:
Your account is currently registered under USD. You can change the setting back to AUD
once you've paid the remaining balance which is $64.57 and when you've paid that you can
go ahead and change your currency back to AUD. And also regarding your password, since
the system detected your account is at risk so the system automatically changed your
password to protect your account from fraud.
I hope I answer all your questions.
No, he didn't answer any of the questions. Where's the issue with the invoice? And
the reason for the alleged fraudulent access? And why is my account in USD, when I
changed to an Australian account nearly 2 years ago? Sent off an answer repeating my requirements, and received a
response indicating that it could take them up to 3 days to respond. And no recognition of
the fact that I had prohibited them from accessing my credit card.
Dammit, another callback. This time I spoke to Vince, who again wanted me to wait
while he scratched his head. I once again said that they must not access my credit card and
asked him to get back to me. He left me with a case number. Later I got a
I have checked that your account was originally registered in US which means that your
billing currency is in USD.
You have requested for change of your registration site to AU last 2015, however. the
currency was not updated and this does not get updated or changed automatically.
OK, why doesn't the billing currency get changed automatically? Why didn't they tell me?
Sorry, eBay, this is your fault, not mine. And that link doesn't help at all: it's generic
help, and I couldn't find anything leading off it that would help me change it.
More to the point, however, I found what I was looking for on the nth look at the
invoice, which neatly fits into the too-small subwindow they provide. Underneath are the
I'm not sure if they were there before, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. So,
the problems were:
The invoice is structured in a way that nobody could expect to find the details.
Neither Mark nor Vince did. I suppose if I still lived in the 20th century, I would
have printed it out and found it. That might also have happened if they hadn't hidden
the invoice in a subwindow.
Without telling me, they did not change my billing currency from USD to AUD. And they
blame that on me!
Their “April” is US Pacific
Daylight Time, to which they refer as “Pacific Time” in the invoice. Of course, the
name is inaccurate, and the term could equally well apply
to Australian Eastern Standard
Time. And given that they write the date the right way round (“01 April - 30 April
Pacific Time”), it would be easy to assume that that's what they meant.
By chance, I sold the Zuiko
Digital ED 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 on 1 May before 17:00, when it was
still April at the other end of the world, so the charges were included in the April
invoice. I wonder whether this is related to the incorrect currency setting.
Would they be this bad if they had significant competition?
Making some nasi lemak (literally
just the rice) today. The recipe calls for 800 g rice, and when it's done I freeze it in
But how big should the portions be? In the past I have decided on a weight round 140 g, but
that's very unlikely to be an integral quotient of the total weight. Wouldn't it be better
to weigh the pots and use that
information to determine the total weight after cooking?
Did that, and came up with a weight of 2160 g total. Deducting 10 for the daun pandan left
me with 15 pots of 144⅓ g each. But when I came to the last pot, I was short by about 25 g.
That's too much for sloppiness on my part. I suspect it's a non-linearity in the scales.
I've seen something similar when making tortillas: the sum of the parts is less than the whole. I'm not sure how to handle
that, beyond noting it.
Chris Bahlo along in late evening, too late for me to do anything with it, with my latest
new lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4. Once again it came in record time: picked
up in Hong Kong on Friday after close
of business, delivered in Ballarat at
11:09 this morning:
Modulo time zones (I'm assuming local in each case), that makes a total time of a little
over 74 hours. In terms of “working days”, it's 2 hours, 41 minutes. Compared to other
courier services and especially Australia Post, that's really quite good.
eBay has responded with lots of stuff
requiring investigation, but one that seems particularly dubious is that they can't stop
booking from my credit card. It appears that they did so, as well. In Germany, at any
rate, this would be illegal. I'll wait and see what happens, and then put in a formal
That was taken hand-held at ¼ s, and it's acceptably sharp.
So why the new lens? It's a 12-60 mm f/2.8-4 zoom, and I already have an Olympus
lens with those parameters. There's even reason to believe that it might be better;
certainly a comparison of the maximum aperture is interesting:
Looking at the raw data, it's not clear how much of this shows real differences in the
optics, and how much is inaccurate reporting in
the EXIF data. When I got the Zuiko lens
over 8 years ago, I noted discrepancies in the reported
More important, though, is the size of the lenses. Here at 12 mm and 60 mm:
Huh? That's a Leica, not an Olympus. Yes, focal length and aperture are the same, but
that's not a way to identify the lens, even if it's unknown: Makernotes tag 0x201
contains a code that identifies the lens, and if it's not known (like the Vario-Elmar), exiftool reports the code:
Since the most recent update, I've been having random crashes “stopped working”
while processing my photos with DxO Optics “Pro”. While I
was entering the other bug report, I reported this one too, asking what information they
needed. The result blew my mind:
Thank you for writing. Let's try re-downloading and reinstalling the program to see if this resolves the issue for you.
Please use the instructions below and please be sure to follow every step carefully.
Please download and install the program from the link below. We have just verified that this link is working properly,
and that the file downloaded successfully installs the program.
When you do this, ONLY use Internet Explorer to do the download and please remember to clear all browser caches first.
Also, it is recommended that you temporarily disable your anti-virus program for the download and install. Please use
the link exactly as you see it above. The link is case sensitive.
Please remember that you MUST have a good quality, high-speed Internet connection to do the download. A dial-up or
satellite connection will not work and are not supported.
This is also very important. It is suggested that you do the installation with administrative rights to be sure that all
of the files get installed properly. The easiest way to do this is to right click on the installer program icon and
choose the 'Run as administrator' option.
Once installed, please do not forget to turn your anti-virus program back on.
When DxO OpticsPro has been reinstalled, please reboot your PC.
No suggestion at all about how to trace the bug, just “remove, reinstall, reboot”. What
kind of confusion can give rise to that kind of idea?
Taking my photos of the new
and old 12-60 lenses was much more difficult than I thought. I stood in front of a blank
wall and used the Olympus E-PM1, and
the lenses didn't want to focus. So I tried manual focus, the problem being that I had to
be in two places at once. So I put a chair where I would be and focused on that. No focus
peaking, of course, but where's the magnification? After fighting my way through the
“instructions”, discovered that the only way was to set automatic magnification when I
turned the focus ring, not quite what I wanted.
The results were not quite sharp—presumably I didn't position myself correctly—and the slow
shutter speed (1/6 s) gave some motion blur too (me, not the camera).
OK, a good application for SHARPEN
projects professional, the first time I've used it. It's even harder to use
than the others! What I finally got made very little difference to the sharpness, but it
greatly accentuated the grain. Run the cursor over either image to
compare with the partner, and click to see a larger version:
Many people in the “Western” world are prejudiced
against Islam. Why? To a large extent,
the Western world is to blame because of the way it has collectively treated Muslims. But
the result has been the arising of a subculture that has reinterpreted
the Qur'an to incite to violence,
something that's completely wrong.
But still, most terrorist attacks outside
the USA tend to have a radical Islamic
background, and that doesn't help people who get the impression that all Muslims are like
that. High time for some public relations.
Certainly in the latter case there's every reason to believe that the incident was
politically motivated. But that's not the point. By passing this verdict, the court has
once again put Islam in a bad light in world opinion, just as the court
in Kuala Lumpur did.
Whatever the background, this kind of action does not help the Muslim cause. When
Malaysia was founded I read the constitution,
and noted with approval that Islam was the state religion. I have changed my mind. This
has nothing to do with Islam specifically: Christians and Jews have also abused their
religions for political purposes, and even such supposedly peaceful religions
as Bhuddism show an ugly side
in Myanmar, where they're persecuting the
Muslims. Martin Luther was right
when he demanded separation of religion and state, and this has been proved again and again.
I've been eating baked beans for
breakfast for some time now, and it's time to cook a new batch.
It's clear that I need some kind of pulse to go with the meat, but somehow baked beans seem
too British (though they're really US American). There are so many good Indian bean and
(especially) lentil dishes. Can't I adapt some of that? The real question is how that goes
with bacon and eggs.
Today I started with Julie Sahni's “Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery”, which was rather
disappointing: it's over 450 pages long, but the only reference was in the overview on page
43, a single paragraph on Rajma dal.
Still, that was enough to go googling, and I found this page.
In many ways it's close to what I've been doing already.
So I modified my current recipe, carefully adding a couple of details from the new one.
Differences in bold:
dried white beans
oil for frying
tinned tomatoes (400 g can)
beef stock powder
water (to cover)
I think that the additional water was a mistake, but we'll see.
Strangely, the beans were cooked in 90 minutes; I really can't understand the cooking
times. I ended up with 1610 g of mixture, so I aimed for 10 portions of 160 g—and was short
by 40 g. I should do some more rigorous testing of the scales.
Do I want to bite? Not at the moment, I think. But it's worth thinking about. The few
images I've seen (not from Kev) haven't been convincing. What's the depth of field?
The first thing to do is change my viewpoint on distance. Typical depth of field programs
measure based on subject distance, but that's not even stated in this lens, just a
magnification of (only!) 4× to 4.5×. Time to update my depth of field program. And while I was at it, I improved focus stacking support.
So now I can, for example, see how many images I would need to take a stack with a depth of
field of 1 mm (!) at 4× magnification and f/8 (presumably the best for a compromise between
depth of field and diffraction):
=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/38) ~/src/photography 147 -> ./dof 20 8 -m 4 -e .0259 Lens focal length: 20 mm
Aperture: f/ 8.0
Hyperfocal distance: 6.250 m
Circle of confusion: 8.00 µm
9 focus steps
Total depth of field: 1.033 mm (24.900 mm - 25.934 mm)
And already I see another issue. How do I determine what 1 mm depth of field is? I need to
suck it and see. Time for yet another enhancement.
From a photographic point of view, it's clearer: such a razor-thin depth of field (even at
f/16 it's only 0.4 mm) effectively limits the lens to flat objects, and that's what all the
sample photos show. If Kev doesn't sell it, and if he's willing, I might borrow it for a
couple of photos, maybe to compare with the photos I took with the SMC Macro-Takumar 50 mm f/47 years ago, but I don't see it getting
Just when we thought
that US politics was
settling down, Donald Trump does it again: not only dismissing James
Comey, the director of the FBI, while he
was investigating an affair that could possibly involve Trump, but also giving contradictory
explanations for his actions. Yvonne showed me this cartoon,
published without copyright information on Facebook:
Woke up to the news that Microsoft boxen round the world had been hit
by a ransomware attack. Could it
happen to my computers? No way!
When I got up, found more information, later summarized in this CERT report: it was a known
vulnerability that had been fixed a couple of months ago, and it relied on network
accessibility. Yes, I use network facilities with my Microsoft boxen, but they're hidden
behind NAT and a
firewall. And I don't run email on them. So yes, it didn't happen to my computers, for all
the above reasons.
And of course ransomware relies on lack of backups, something that hasn't happened to me
since long before “Windows” came in to existence,
though it did give me cause to consider whether the default weekly backup is frequent
enough, and I've changed it to daily to match my real computers.
So basically there's no threat to well-organized people, right? This kind of exploit can
only compromise individual users who don't perform updates, who don't secure their systems
even remotely, and who don't do backups. Far from it. It seems that the
British National Health
Service was the hardest hit, but also the Russian Interior Ministry
and FedEx. What does that say about the
systems administrators of those entities? I would expect a thorough purge and lots of
rolling heads. It makes you wanna cry.
This time there was almost no movement; I used a second tripod (in the middle above) to keep
a branch out of the way, and set initial focus well short of the closest part of the
flower. Using in-camera merging, ( finally I have something that looks worthwhile:
It's interesting to note that in the second image I really needed f/16 to get enough depth
of field, even with 8 shots. This is possibly a reason to move to focus bracketing
(flexible number of photos, and image processing on a computer), but for the moment it
should be one step at a time.
Looking back, though, it's clear that I've been through several iterations of label. First,
a bit of background.
In the time from about 1979 to 1981 I was responsible for the rollout
of Karstadt's first ever computer
ordering system. It was what we called “on-line” in those days: the orders were entered
directly into a computer in the department store. Only then did the paper trail start.
As a result, I had much contact with Egon Göke, the High Priest of the Computer Centre back
in the head office in Essen. The Computer
Centre took up a whole floor, including big computers with enormous banks of disk drives.
Can you say 1,600 MB in only 8 drives?
The computers were protected by two levels of physical access control (badge readers).
Outside were (still) punch card operators, and inside (the “Holy of holies”), apart from the
computers, there was a room about 150 m² in size for paper processing, including document
readers and fast laser printers. And for direct marketing, they printed adhesive labels
that were then automatically attached to envelopes.
One day, while walking through, Egon pointed out boxes of these labels and said “Can you use
one of those?”. I asked what for, and he said “Oh, don't you have a deep freeze?”. I was
Enlightened, and took one. It has proven to be a lifetime supply:
Tim Corin posted some images of Sydney
Harbour today, taken with Olympus in-camera HDR. Two of them were quite good, but the
third shouted “Look! I've been taken with in-camera HDR”. During the discussion I pointed
to my investigations shortly after I got my Olympus OM-D E-M1. But I was sure that I could do better, and I came up with these three images, taken
with “HDR1”, “HDR2”, without any special processing, and processed in my standard way
with align_image_stack and enfuse:
Yesterday Yvonne and Chris brought Chris' mare Candileja over
to our place in the latest horse swap. Today they put her together with the other horses,
Carlotta and Gabriela. I went along mainly to get some practice with the new Vario-Elmar:
In the process, discovered a couple of things: the 100 mm shortest focal length can
sometimes be a little long, the zoom ring has a very long (and not very light) travel, and
in the process you can get your fingers caught in the tripod mount.
While looking at this, one of the clips holding the camera strap came undone. If I hadn't
been holding the camera by the lens, it would have hit the ground. How could that happen?
The clips look like this:
They're only designed for lanyards holding name tags, but in fact they're pretty solid. I
can only imagine I accidentally pushed on the open lever, but it would still have been quite
a coincidence. As I commented over a year ago,
Yes, it's not very deep, but it's pretty soggy under there in the winter semester, so we're
planning to put (mainly) shallow-rooted plants in there. I'm hoping that
the Camellia japonica will be
able to handle the conditions.
Also spent some time trying to debug the extraction pumps. Mick had tested it last time,
but again it wasn't running, and this time it wasn't a blockage. He replaced it with the
spare that we have, in the process discovering that it wasn't the same model: it's bigger,
and probably as a result stops pumping when the water is at a higher level than the old one.
Spent a couple of iterations swapping pumps, with the final result that neither of them
would pump. I suspect an airlock, but I can't work out how to remove it. Further research
needed. In the meantime, I hope that we won't have any heavy rain.
While figuratively head-scratching, Mick also planted the
remaining Buddleja cuttings that
Lorraine Carranza gave us, along the fence line to the Swifts:
The main reason was so that they wouldn't die. But now that we have somebody to do it for
us, it costs much more than the value of viable saplings just to plant them, so the free
cuttings hardly come into the equation.
In the afternoon we heard a repeated bark from the bathroom (“en suite”) of the main
bedroom. Not loud, not long, but repeated. And it didn't sound like Leonid, the only dog we have who normally barks. It
proved to be Sasha, who had found this
in the bathroom:
I've had an infrared thermometer for a few years now, and in the course of time it has accumulated a fair amount of
grime, to which function the plastic surface seems particularly conducive. Today I tried
cleaning at least the display. Here the result afterwards:
But even the slightest bit of moisture was too much. After cleaning it, I turned it on and
it showed random error displays. Some moisture must have got in between the display and the
frame. With luck, it'll be OK again when it dries out, but how long will that take? A new
one can be had for under $10, so I ordered another.
Considering that they're looking directly into the sun, that's remarkably good. But it also
shows that the Olympus 12-60 is better than the other two.
Another thing that was obvious in the photo taken with the Vario-Elmarit is the curvature of
the wall on the left. That's partially due to the fact that,
despite EXIF data to the contrary,
DxO Optics “Pro” thinks it's an Olympus lens, but in fact that just improves it. Until they add support for
the lens, I'll have to do it manually, so I created a profile (“preset” in DxO parlance) to
apply the appropriate corrections. That worked nicely. Here with other processing:
barrel distortion at 12 mm,
but at 36 mm it changes to slight pincushion distortion, and stays that way, slightly
weaker, at 60 mm focal length. Nothing much I can do about that except correct every image
individually. I'd rather wait until DxO supports the lens.
I've been keeping a careful eye on my
old Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
bush to see when it blooms, and so far it's done a very good job of tricking me. This
morning I came in to find a new, hitherto undiscovered bud opening:
That was taken with available light at 1/10 s, and it gives the lie to the claim that the
image stabilization of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II allows you to take photos up to several seconds without camera shake. So I went back and
got a different lens and ring flash:
The second image is taken from below and shows the damage to the clamp on the front of the
bellows. I've had difficulties with these bellows before, and I think this is probably the end,
though possibly I could just glue the front part together and adjust with the rear. I could
also buy new bellows, but I wonder how many successful photos I have ever taken with
bellows. Certainly my attempts of 50 years ago were nothing to write home about.
Clearly Donald Trump's
actions in the last week have woken many concerns, and it's not over yet. And of course
people have been asking for
his impeachment almost from his
inauguration. But this article, with a ridiculously long and possibly fragile URL, is different: it's
by Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb
University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and
published by the Washington Post, the
newspaper that sparked the Watergate
affair. I suspect it won't be the last call.
This year's anniversaries are frequently a multiple of 5 or 10, and today's another
example. From my calendar:
May 17 Greg starts working at Tandem, 1982
35 years ago! But that's only one of three:
17 May Greg starts working at Karstadt, 1976
17 May Greg starts working at Tandem, 1982
17 May Greg last flew in an aeroplane, 2006
It's amusing that I stayed exactly 6 years
at Karstadt, all the more so because
Germans always start and end employment at the beginning and end of a month.
As if that wasn't enough, in 1975 my fiancée Doris and I had wanted to get married on 17
May, but that was a Saturday, and the registry offices were shut. Yes, we got married in a
church, but in Germany you still need to go to the registry office
(Standesamt) as well, so in the end we
put it forward by 8 days.
Yvonne went shopping today, and she called me
from Ballarat: flat tyre.
Once upon a time that was routine, and if I had been there, I would have changed it myself.
But that's not for Yvonne, so I called up Bob
Jane, where Mick promised to attend to it (it was only a couple of blocks away),
though it might take up to 20 minutes.
Another call from Yvonne, over an hour later: yes, they had repaired the tyre (and taken 40
minutes to get there), but discovered that the wheel studs were damaged in some undescribed
way, and she had to leave the car for repair.
Off into town and picked her up, completing her shopping on the way.
Why do they do that? It's clearly deliberate misrepresentation, and probably prohibited by
Australian law. And what advantage does it bring them? I'll now remember the name
Massel, and to give them a wide berth.
At Davies they had some pretty looking
“Mini Beef Wellington”,
apparently individual portions, so we bought a couple. Back home, we discovered that they
weighed over 300 g each, presumably more than 200 g of it filet. So we only cooked one (for
the record: 25 minutes at 180°, convection). Surprise, surprise! It wasn't a piece of
filet after all:
It seems that there were small pieces of beef in there, possibly filet, along with ham and
some undescribed sauce. It wasn't that bad, but why does pre-prepared food in
Australia have to be so strange?
Creamy Thai Laksa? What's that? Wikipedia tells me that it's a curry laksa influenced
by red curry. But does the photo bear
any relationship to the contents? It's supposed to be two servings, which normally converts
to 3 for me. But it's only 200 g, and they only want 350 ml of water, and no added coconut
cream. That looks like a single serve. And sure enough, it was:
Should I buy new bellows? I use them so seldom, and the likelihood of that changing is
relatively slim. How about just screwing the front end of the bellows to the rail? There's
even a hole in the base that looks like it could be used.
Looking at the unit, it seems that I've had this idea before:
To the Ballarat Pump Shop today with one of my submersible pumps to discuss what I thought
was a priming issue. Yes, says the bloke, who remembers repairing the dog bath (and confirms
that he did remove the pump from the bath). But neither he nor his colleague could
offer a solution to keep it primed. The pumps are designed to always have some water at the
bottom, and they didn't really have a solution for a situation where the water dries out in
Worse, on talking about the instructions for the bore pump, which was installed almost exactly 2 years ago today. The
entire instructions they could drag up were a single sheet of paper, ⅓ sheet of A4 paper,
and that in 3 languages. How to reduce the pressure? You can't. That's what the pump
delivers, and it should be allowed to run free, otherwise its life will be significantly
Back home, less happy with the Ballarat Pump Shop that I have been. Why are there no
instructions for the pump? We had a whole folder from them last time. In any case, it's
beginning to look like we'll need the kind of header tank and pump that we had in Kleins
Road after all. But why didn't they tell me that at the time?
Off to Coles looking
for Laksa paste today. Found some that
I'll describe when I try it.
This is the first time I've been to Coles in years, and in the meantime, of course, they've
introduced self-service checkouts. But in contrast to other companies, nobody seems to use
them. I tried it out and found out why: the method of use is completely unintelligible. An
eager employee came to help me, and I made my point. He told me that they had just changed
the software (he didn't say “upgrade”), but on questioning told me no, it hadn't got worse.
They could at least provide instructions.
That looks like very little, but it's typical for Australian plants. The ones here are all
red, while the official one is pink (a hybrid, I think, with a white version with a
defective gene). Somehow I can't find a good way to take photos of it:
We ate the other “Beef
Wellington” this evening. It seems ridiculous to heat up our enormous 90 cm oven just
for one small piece of pastry, so this time we did it in the small toaster oven. For the
That's my fault. It was taken at 12 mm focal length, and I should have folded a diffuser in
front of the flash head. But that's a kludge: it has a focal length adjustment, and doesn't
warn when it's too wide for it.
Then there are the photos of the food, which I took with on-camera flash mainly because it
One of the questions I still haven't answered is: which image stabilization should I use?
Olympus uses in-body image stabilization (IBIS), while Panasonic equips certain lenses,
including this one, with their own image stabilization. And of course they have buzzwords
which don't really say anything. This one has “Mega O.I.S.”, while my two Leica lenses have
“POWER O.I.S.”, which, based on the price of the lenses, is probably better.
Yes, 0.3 s is a very slow shutter speed for a 280 mm equivalent lens. My old rule of thumb
was that the slowest shutter speed was the reciprocal of the focal length, so in this case
1/250 s. ⅓ is more than 6 stops slower, so it's hard to expect no camera shake. But the
Olympus IBIS managed it, and the Panasonic OIS didn't. I took a couple of shots in each
configuration, and they all show the same difference.
Off to “Federation University” (a modern
name for the too-obvious previous name “Ballarat University”) today. Based on previous
experience, I left well in advance to be able to find where I had to go. There's a
campus map, but it's too polite to show gory details, so all I had was an overview
that didn't even tell me where to park.
I wanted to go to building F, at the east end of the campus. Found a car park, but it told
me it was for building G. On to the next, E and F. Into the car park, and found a place
next to Chris Bahlo's car, which seemed right. Then looking for the building. No sign
posts at all. Down past this faceless façade and unmarked entrance:
But there was no real entrance there. I wanted to room F200. How do I find it? Round the other
side of the building and found an entrance with ample signage which, however, didn't tell me
the name of the building:
When I went back inside, he introduced himself as the facilities manager, so I gave him my
opinion, which he took readily. He also pointed me to F200 in a manner that was so
ambiguous that I walked straight past it. It, too, had only a tiny sign on the door (which
I had to shut to see anything at all):
It turned out that the unmarked entrance that I went past at the beginning was in fact the
correct entrance: F200 is on the left in that photo.
Chris later told me that there are enough people complaining about the lack of signage
(“People go into building S and never come out”). In all probability, the facilities
manager is in complete agreement but unable to do anything about the situation.
I've spoken with Chris about her topic a number of times, but it was interesting to hear the
presentation. She kept impressively to her 20 minutes allocation, but the panel didn't keep
to their 10 minutes or so: it sounds like they were quite interested, and the discussion
went on for another 20 minutes.
Then we were all thrown out while they discussed the matter. Clearly Chris was Enlightened,
to the amazement of all:
I off home after that. We later heard that Chris' candidacy had been confirmed, and to
celebrate she and Margaret decided to come to dinner with us. Time for Champagne. In fact,
it seems, high time for Champagne. The cork was so tight that I needed a pipe wrench to get
Mick the gardener along again today and spent yet more time doing the front bed, without
finishing it. I'm left wondering if it wouldn't have been cheaper to get somebody with
machine tools to do the job.
A couple of days ago I received a couple of filter adapter rings, so now I have rings that
will fit both lenses at the same time. All I needed was a Hibiscus, and that appeared
Success? No. I couldn't get the flash to work At All. Once again I'm fooled by the
technology. At the very least I have:
I have my focus bracketing stuff stored under custom settings 2, but it is set for
aperture priority (appropriate for available light). How do I set manual exposure? I
still don't know. So for today I switched to M.
You need to turn the feature on in two different places. First go to camera menu 2 and
select Bracketing (and not Multiple Exposure), and before moving on, be sure to
press OK. Then go to “Focus BKT” [sic] and select it, again confirming
How do you select focus magnification? I've done it before, but this time I only got 3x
magnification, not enough. Turning knobs didn't help. It wasn't until later that I
discovered: first press the button to select the magnification frame. You can't select
the magnification here. Then press it again to magnify. Then turn the front
wheel to select the size, which remains selected when you go back to normal view.
But how do you turn flash on? I had a flash precharge set to 1 s, but nothing I could
do would enable flash. I thought it might be related to the shutter speed: on the
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark
I I had to select 1/13 s or less. On the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II I'm guessing 1/60 s or less, but I couldn't get it to work at any shutter speed. I
still don't know.
Clearly the answer is RTFM, but the thought
of fighting my way through the “instructions” turned me off.
Received mail from the FreeBSD ports machines
today: the Hugin build is broken.
Something to do with GLEW, whatever that
is (it claims to be the “OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library”, but I've never seen a need to
wrangle any kind of extension).
OK, remove Hugin and GLEW and build it from scratch. Works fine. Do I have an environment
issue? I did this on eureso, which, as the name suggests, is a future eureka.
Time for a build VM, so spent some time setting that up.
Like the last, it was boring, and to get any semblance of flavour, I needed to add a lot
of sambal. But I'm coming to the
conclusion that the portions mentioned on the packages are—exceptionally—about half to
three-quarters what I need. This jar was supposed to be enough for 4 portions, but I've
nearly finished it with two. I'll be
in Geelong next month, and I can buy some
real Malaysian stuff there to compare.
We use the area between house and shed for a number of purposes. It has the external unit
for the air conditioner, the dog bath and clothes lines. And it would be a good place to
leave the dogs to dry out when it's raining—if it were covered.
We can do that, so I submitted an online request, promising 3 quotes within a week, a while
back. Result: one reply with the name of a company, and a call from a Mark, who may be the
same or a different company. We arranged for him come by between 10 and 11 this morning.
On the dot of 10:30, a truck showed up with two people. Mark? No, Callum and his mate
Dave. Started taking them round to show them the area, but they wanted to know whether they
should erect it or just deliver it.
After a bit of confusion, it turned out that they had nothing to do with Mark, and nothing
to do with me: they had just had difficulty distinguishing the text 39
from 29, and they were really delivering a shed for Graham next door.
And Mark? I called him up later, and it seems that he was off sick. He should be here on
I've had trouble with congestion in my nose and throat for decades, and a little over 25
years ago I consulted the professor at the University clinic in Frankfurt am Main. When he
had no better idea of finding out what was going on inside my head than to cut me open—at an
excessive cost only disclosed when I was about to go in for the operation—I gave up on him
and consulted a professor at the University clinic in Gießen. She was a little more up to
date, but she wasn't able to find much wrong with me. In the end, I gave up.
Lately things have been a little worse, and I thought that maybe the state of the art had
advanced since then. On Dr. Paul Smith's advice, into town today to see Mr. Mark Guiguis, an ear, nose
and throat specialist at St John of God hospital in Ballarat. As a
specialist, he no longer uses the title Dr.
Based on my experience last
month, I left myself plenty of time. A good thing too. Once again there were no
signs, nobody at the information desk, just a disinterested receptionist with a long queue
in front of her. When I got to the front, I asked her if she would take a suggestion that
they put some signs up so that people could find their way without standing in a queue
asking. “But that's what I'm here for”. She really didn't understand, but promised to
forward my request.
And Mr. Guirguis? Not here. He's at 701 Sturt St. Sturt St is the main road
in Ballarat, about 20 km long in all.
Where's 701? Off back to the car, asked the GPS navigator and found my way—it turned out to
be only barely further away than the car had been—and fought my way into the building: it's
on a street corner and has four doors, three of which are locked; you have to go in via the
rear entrance, the furthest from Sturt St. Somehow I arrived only about 5 minutes late.
First I showed him the Bisolvon tablets
that I had been taking. He said they wouldn't work, because they dry things up rather than
loosen the phlegm. But they do, leaving me somewhat puzzled. And to quote their web site,
Bisolvon® Chesty Forte thins and loosens the mucus that causes a chesty cough, making it
easier to cough up and clear chest congestion.
But sure enough, the state of the art has advanced. The first thing he did was stick a
flexible endoscope up my nose and down
my throat, where he found little of remark, but decided that it was all a bit dry, and
prescribed me Flo sinus
care, a bottle of about 100 ml to be filled with decongestant and inhaled twice a day.
I bought the kit, but on consideration, I'm beginning to wonder whether the cure isn't worse
than the complaint. Maybe I should just bring it back and forget the whole matter. In
addition, on comparing their web site, it's not clear that I have the right stuff; it's
labeled “post operative”, which doesn't quite match my situation.
Yesterday my attempts at focus stacking with flash were frustrated because flash wouldn't
work. As planned, today was RTFM time. And
how about that, on only the second reading I found what I was looking for, on page 94:
· If compositing fails, the image will not be saved.
Not so. It saves a broken image.
But other stuff was more interesting:
· To use the flash, select [Allow] for [Silent [♥] Mode Settings] > [Flash Mode].
→ [Silent [♥] Mode Settings] (P. 98)
Aha! And on page 98, almost as an afterthought, I found:
Silent [♥] Mode Settings
Choose [Allow] or [Not Allow] for each of [◾)))], [AF Illuminator], and [Flash Mode].
What's ◾)))? No idea, and they're not telling. It's likely to be as intuitive as this ♥
symbol for the electronic shutter. But after finding the menu position, remembering to
press OK in the right places, and discovering that it all goes away again when you
change the position of the mode wheel, I was finally able to take my photos with
flash. Well, almost:
Still, the results are an improvement, though it's clear that the choice
of JPEG as output format for the in-camera
images is suboptimal. Here one of the partial images where the flash worked correctly, but
the exposure was a little on the low side, and the in-camera result (second image) shows it
So now that I have flash working with electronic shutter on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II,
how fast can I go? I had guessed 1/60 s (coincidentally the flash sync speed of
the Pentax Spotmatic, because
that's the maximum image repeat rate. Put the mecablitz 58 AF-2 on the camera and tried. 1/50 s (coincidentally the flash sync
speed of the Asahi Pentax
SV). Not documented anywhere, and with studio flash it's trial and error.
After yesterday's visit to St John
of God for an endoscopy, what
better way to start the day than get up early in the morning and travel
to St John of God for
an endoscopy? This one was planned,
however: a colonoscopy for Yvonne, effectively the same procedure as I went through last year. I was happy with that
procedure, which went
through Medicare, but it
took 4 months to get an appointment, so this time we took the private health care approach.
What else do you get for $600 out-of-pocket (not including what the medical insurance
covers)? Different laxatives, though it's not clear that there's an advantage either way.
Got Yvonne to the hospital at 7:40. It's a good thing that we had been told where to go:
That's the main entrance hall, completely deserted (the figure in the background at left of
centre is Yvonne), and clearly depicted with a mobile phone. We had been told that the
procedure would take about an hour, and that I would get a phone call about 30 minutes
before she was ready for discharge. I left Yvonne and went off to take some photos.
I had expected her to be ready 2 hours later, round 10:00, but still no phone call by then.
On the chance that they had (more) difficulties with my phone number, went back anyway, and
was waiting for her by 10:20:
I was told that she had been operated
(for actinic keratosis) in the
main operating theatre, and it would be between 45 and 60 minutes before I could see her
(“they're not as fast over there”). A good 15 minutes later, I was taken in to see her:
A far cry from my treatment: after the procedure, I was pretty much ready to go. The
difference seems to have been the removal of the actinic keratosis, though that had been
performed under local anaesthetic, and the stitches look remarkably primitive:
By comparison, my actinic keratosis had been removed with cryotherapy, but presumably hers
was too large for that. To quote Wikipedia:
Excision should be reserved for cases when the AK is a thick, horny papule, or when deeper
invasion is suspected and histopathologic diagnosis is necessary. It is a rarely utilized
technique for AK treatment.
The colonoscopy had discovered a single polyp, 7 mm in diameter, the same size as mine.
The monitor on her right was beeping away complaining about low pulse rate:
Nobody seemed to be concerned about the warning beeps. I checked and found that the arm
cuff was loose, so whatever it was, it was historical. Shortly later an obese nurse came in
and I asked her about the cuff. She said “that's her blood pressure”. I suggested that it
might once have been her blood pressure, but she didn't understand. It seems they do a few
spot checks. All well and good—I didn't have any blood pressure measured at all—but the
sound of a warning beep from a monitor signals an emergency, and if they don't do something
about it, one day they'll miss some real emergency.
Finally we were off round 11:00, Yvonne feeling maybe a little less normal than I did last
year. I'm left wondering to what extent, if any, the procedure was done better than mine
I've been taking photos for well over half a century. My very first photos, which I hope
I'll find one day, were taken in mid-1956. I recall one of my bicycle and one of myself in
a mirror: even then I was trying tricks. Ask me about the technical side of photography and
I'll usually have a good answer. But I've never really learnt the artistic aspect of
Today, while Yvonne was in hospital, I walked and drove
around Lake Wendouree. It's a
pretty area, and it seemed a logical place to find some good motives.
Somehow, I failed. Yes, lots of pretty snaps, but not a single one I'd be proud of. On the
other hand, I learnt a few things I didn't know about the place.
Further round, at the south-west end, I found a memorial to the
1956 Olympic games. It
seems that the water sports were done exactly there. The memorial is hard to photograph,
but my attempts seem to be a complete failure:
And then there's the war memorial. War memorial? No, that's elsewhere. This is an
Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, a
name so unique that it's the only hit on Google. It's quite pretty, and some of the photos
In passing, http://www.fbbg.com.au/?
It used to be the much more appropriate http://www.fbbg.org.au/.
Looking at the registry, it seems they now have both domains, though the org domain only
redirects—coincidentally—to the sign above. What on earth made them do that?
Apart from that, a couple of photos that I almost like:
That's Mount Buninyong (719 m
high!) in the distance, and the Ballarat Base
hospital to the right. I didn't recognize the building to the left, but it appears to
House, a place I had never heard of. It's easy to forget how many religious
institutions there are in Ballarat,
though the press continually reminds us.
By this time it was coming on 10:00, but still no word from the hospital, so I took a look
into the old cemetery, which looks like this from the outside: