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

Monday, 1 November 2021 Dereel Images for 1 November 2021
Top of page
next day
last day

Panorama build success
Topic: photography, technology Link here

Got round to looking at Saturday's panorama problem again today. The problem was that I had taken a couple of images with a polarizing filter, which reduced the exposure by 1.7 EV. The result was:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211030/big/house-s-try1.jpeg
Image title: house s try1          Dimensions:          17426 x 4204, 14668 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 30 October 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 30 October 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 30 October 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But that's after various recovery efforts by the stitcher. The preview image was much worse:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211101/big/exposure-before-detail.png
Image title: exposure before detail          Dimensions:          874 x 424, 596 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 1 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 1 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 1 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And the photometric parameters showed that the normally exposed images had an exposure of 11.9 EV, compared to 10.3 for the dark ones. OK, adjust those two, and all was well:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211101/big/exposure-after-detail.png
Image title: exposure after detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 779 x 299, 392 kB
Dimensions of original: 779 x 299, 392 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 1 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And that gave me what I was looking for:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211030/big/house-s.jpeg
Image title: house s          Dimensions:          17426 x 4165, 15283 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 30 October 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 30 October 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 30 October 2021 Complete exposure details

 


More spam!
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

In my mail this morning:

  28 N + 01-11-2021 To GROG@LEMIS.C ( 624) Australian Taxation  N + We need to talk to you about your activity statements [SEC=OFFICIAL]

That claimed to come from the Australian Taxation Office. But that's nonsense. What activity statements? I haven't had any activity in nearly 15 years. And if the ATO wants information, it knows where to get it: from Peter O'Connell of PPT.

OK, who is this joker?

Received: from mx2b.ato.gov.au (mx2b.ato.gov.au [180.149.192.216])
        by lax.lemis.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 8A0CF27313
        for <groggyhimself@lemis.com>; Mon,  1 Nov 2021 01:20:45 +0000 (UTC)

Hmm. That looks genuine. What's in the message? A partially formatted HTML page with unformatted junk at the bottom. Is that an indication that it's genuine or not? It said:

Hello GREGORY

We need to talk to you about your activity statement for the tax period 1 July 2021 to 31 October 2021.

You need to contact us by 3 November 2021.

Phone us on 1300 650 286 Between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and enter 4711.

Well, not many people call me GREGORY. Is the number for the ATO really 1300 650 286? Checked and found 13 28 61. But IRC to the rescue:

<neous> 01:36:04> that 1300 is listed on https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Contact-us/ as
       "compliance activity call-back line"

Oh. Time for a mail message to Peter O'Connell:

It sounds alarm bells for a number of reasons:

- My recent issue with BankWest, of course.
- It talks about a non-existent activity statement, apparently for
  four months, which seems wrong.
- It wants an immediate answer (by Wednesday).
- It's not clear why they haven't contacted you.

No response from Peter, but another message from ATO:

  29   + 01-11-2021 To GROG@LEMIS.C (1810) Documents 29970        + Activity statement review of ABN 33136580288 [SEC=OFFICIAL:Sensitive]

Now it's not just OFFICIAL, but Sensitive as well. And this time with a PDF attachment including:

Dear Gregory,

We are holding your refund for your business activity statements for
1 July 2021 to 31 October 2021.

We are holding your refund because:
• this is your first significant refund and we need to understand why
...

OK, call up and speak to Shamil, who had also heard alarm bells. Spent quite a deal of time identifying myself, not easy under the circumstances. It seems that somebody had reinstated my ABN on 24 September (seem familiar), via my myGov account, and backdated to 23 July:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211101/big/ABN-2-detail.png
Image title: ABN 2 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 698 x 280, 27 kB
Dimensions of original: 698 x 280, 27 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 1 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

He also started to give me the address, in Highton, post code 3216, but then he said that he wasn't sure he was allowed to for “privacy reasons”. And my privacy? He also confirmed that the intruder had changed the email address (to what? Not a lemis.com address, but of course privacy concerns meant that he couldn't tell me) and revoked the authorization for PPT. All of this sounds surprisingly familiar. He also said that he had contacted PPT (found the phone number in a different account, probably superannuation), and asked them to call me. He expressed a poor opinion of the cooperation of the person to whom he had spoken, probably (he assumed) a receptionist. Certainly I hadn't had a call.

The purpose of the effort? Tax refund from ATO, of course. He confirmed that he would cancel the requests and put me on to Thilan of the Client Identity Support (phone 1800 467 033), who told me that the activity statement was accompanied by a request for a refund of $5000 (odd) in taxes and a further $4000 (odd) in GST. He asked me to log in to myGov and check my inbox. Nothing there from ATO, of course, because I don't have a link. But it seems that if there had been something, they wouldn't be able to cancel it: that's a legal principle (his words), and I might be responsible for the sums, though he wasn't very clear about that.

I also told him (as I had told Shamil) about the Centrelink breach, and gave him the number of the account to which the money had been transferred. The current request was for the same account! Why haven't the police done something about that?

So things will be reset, the ABN will be “Cancelled” again (a dubious term for something that can apparently be uncancelled), and no money will be transferred. But he had some advice, some of it good, about what else to do: it's quite possible that the intruder will try again, or has already done so. So contact Medicare and my bank. At the ATO they will put an indicator on my record to be particularly thorough, due to the breakin, apply a “voice imprint” to recognize my voice on the phone. And I should think out a “secret question” and answer! Now isn't that clever? I gave him a question and an answer which made it clear how much use I thought secret questions are.

He also gave me a phone number for a company called ID Care, along with a number which didn't quite match the number on their web site. I got that from the police as well last month when reporting the Centrelink issue. I suppose I should really follow up. He gave me a reference number ATO 21-IDC that seems far too short, probably just an indicator of where the reference came from.

And I will get a courtesy call from the case officer in the near future. How will he identify himself? The phone call will be from a “private number”, and he would quote the reference number for this matter. Now isn't it good to know that that number is magic and shouldn't be shared with anybody? Has everybody gone mad? What kind of security is that?

I pointed out that anybody can enable calling line identification suppression, so that's no security at all. No, he says, scammers never suppress the calling line identification. As I said, they must be very stupid, and clearly the ATO is lucky that they are, because they don't seem to have taken any precautions. Has everybody gone mad? What kind of security is that?

So, once again, what do we have?

I'm at a loss for words. How does the government get away with this level of stupidity?


buildworld: success!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So now I have an up-to-date git tree of the FreeBSD sources. What next? My immediate need is to commit something to the tree to avoid my commit bit timing out. I know what to commit: ls -l, (the comma is an operator) inserts commas or other thousands separators into large numbers, for example:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/5) ~ 20 -> ls -l, /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  21,414,318 25 Nov  2015 /boot/kernel/kernel

But on mu -CURRENT box I see:

# ls -l, /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel    31443184 Nov  1 08:39 /boot/kernel/kernel
#

Apart from the fact that the kernel seems to have bloated by nearly 50% in the last 6 years, the explicitly requested commas are missing. Why? Because there is no locale to specify what delimiter should be used for thousands.

But we can use a default. In all English-speaking countries, it's a comma (that's why I chose the character in the first place). Only in most European countries it's a dot (“period”), and in Switzerland it's an apostrophe:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/5) ~ 23 -> LC_ALL=de_CH.ISO8859-1 ls -l, /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  21'414'318 25 Nov  2015 /boot/kernel/kernel

So why not default to a comma? Spent some time looking, and discovered why I didn't do it last time: the check for locale isn't done in ls, it's done somewhere in the innards of the C library. And that could end up having further-reaching repercussions.

Strangely, it seems that I have found another bug: ls -l, doesn't work correctly for French and German locales:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/5) ~ 24 -> LC_ALL=de_DE.ISO8859-1 ls -l, /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel    21414318 25 Nov  2015 /boot/kernel/kernel
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/5) ~ 25 -> LC_ALL=de_DE.ISO8859-15 ls -l, /boot/kernel/kernel
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel    21414318 25 Nov  2015 /boot/kernel/kernel

What's causing that? I'm just using the standard printf function, so it's unlikely to be anything I did.


Salmon lasagne again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Chris Bahlo to dinner this evening, the first time in nearly 9 months, and Yvonne decided to cook salmon lasagne. We last cooked that less than a year ago, but somehow I discovered that we didn't have the correct details in the recipes; possibly we used commercial dried lasagne last time, but I've decided that I don't like that, and made my own pasta.

And there's the problem. It seems that I haven't done that seriously for over 8 years, and the last time, a little over a year ago, the results weren't what we expected. Somehow I didn't have the weights right.

The recipe called for a 60 g egg and additional 40 g of egg white (each one egg; Yvonne used the second yolk for sauce mayonnaise). Is that what they really weighed? Today I tried the double quantity, so it should have been 200 g, but in fact it was 175 g. But for that I still needed 320 g of flour! No wonder we had problems last time.

And then there's the question of the thickness of the lasagne sheets. I had thought setting 5 on the pasta machine, Yvonne thought 4 (thicker). In the end, I think that 5 was closer, though it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that we should go to 6:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211102/big/Salmon-lasagne-1.jpeg
Image title: Salmon lasagne 1          Dimensions:          4738 x 3425, 2140 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 2 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 2 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 2 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211102/big/Salmon-lasagne-2.jpeg
Image title: Salmon lasagne 2          Dimensions:          5189 x 3888, 1823 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 2 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 2 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 2 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Tuesday, 2 November 2021 Dereel Images for 2 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Misunderstandings
Topic: language, photography, technology, opinion Link here

Subject of a mail message I received today:

Subject: pic doesn't center when i use a macro

My first thought: why should that happen with a modern camera? It would be an obvious problem with a rangefinder camera, but a single-lens reflex or mirrorless camera should have no issues.

But then I read:

From: Douglas McIlroy <douglass.macilroy@dartmouth.edu>
To: groff@gnu.org

False positive! Douglas McIlroy is the spiritual father of Unix, the boss of Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie round 1970, when Unix was born. And he's a text processing guru. pic the PIC (markup language), a preprocessor for troff and groff, and the macro isn't a lens, it's a programming aid.


More dog problems?
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Larissa seems to have soreness again, similar to what she had in August. We gave her a painkiller, and it seems to have gone away, but clearly we need to consider what to do about it.

In August the issue was diagnosed as hypertrophic osteodystrophy, and it should go away by the time she is 10 months old. At the time we had thought that it might be related to her diet, which we changed completely as a result.

And just a couple of days ago we changed the diet again: fewer chicken frames (half a frame once a day instead of twice a day). Could that be the cause? It seems unlikely, but why take the risk? For the next couple of months it's back to twice a day.


Wednesday, 3 November 2021 Dereel Images for 3 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Redmi 9A battery life
Topic: technology Link here

One of the things that surprised me about my Xiaomi Redmi 9T was the long battery life, several days. How would Yvonne's cheaper Redmi 9A fare? I was sure that it would exceed the life of the Samsλng Galaxy S7 that she had borrowed from Chris Bahlo.

And it does. The Samsλng might survive overnight, but it would be pretty well discharged. This morning the Redmi 9A had a remaining charge of 40%—after 5 days! Then we turned on the GPS receiver she used it for navigation, which used up 20% of the remaining battery. But that's still surprising. To think that 30 years ago I had a spare (bigger) battery for my Motorola Brick so that I could make it through the day!


Chilis for dogs
Topic: animals, food and drink, opinion Link here

Watching the dogs in the garden today, they started to chew on the framework for the long-suffering Clematis. Chase them away. No luck. OK, I'll teach them. Decades ago I read Lassie Come-Home, and was particularly impressed by one passage:

But training of years was there, too. How carefully had Sam Carraclough taught her not to pick up strange food. He had done that by dropping small pieces of meat at various places—and in the meat was inserted cores of burning red pepper. As a pup Lassie had started to eat those bits and had soon discovered that they contained what seemed to be balls of living flame. Moreover, as her mouth burned, she had been scolded by the voice of her master.

“It’s a crewel hard thing to dew,” Sam Carraclough had told his son Joe, “but it’s t’only way I know that can teach ’em—and I’d sooner have a pup taste hot pepper than have a raised dog dying o’ poisoned meat some madman has thrown to it.”

OK, the reasoning is sound. Off to the kitchen and got some really hot chili powder and spread it on the wood. Along came Lena and sniffed at it, then licked up the powder on the ground! I got the impression that she didn't like the taste much, but it should have caused her pain. Then Larissa came along, by which time I had got over the surprise, so I took a couple of photos:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211103/big/Larissa-eats-chili-powder-2.jpeg
Image title: Larissa eats chili powder 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4169 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 3 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211103/big/Larissa-eats-chili-powder-2-detail.jpeg
Image title: Larissa eats chili powder 2 detail          Dimensions:          1605 x 1270, 364 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 3 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

How can that be? I didn't want to hurt the dogs, but I thought that it would taste unpleasant enough for them to leave things alone. I'm amazed that they seem not to have an issue with it. And clearly the passage in Lassie Come-Home has no factual background.


Thursday, 4 November 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 4 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Dogs: chicken frames or not?
Topic: animals, food and drink Link here

Two days ago we decided to feed the dogs two half chicken frames a day again. But we didn't consult the dogs. Larissa was happy enough to eat one in the morning, but today Lena just left it behind. Later Lara came and ate it.

What do we do? For the time being we'll play it by ear. Lena gets her frame in the morning, and if she doesn't eat it, she'll get it again in the evening.


Into town again
Topic: health, gardening Link here

Off to Ballarat today for a six-monthly blood test, in the process also looking for lawn mowers. Not surprisingly, used mowers are almost impossible to find at this time of year. The cheapest new mower was from David Chestnut, who has now changed the name of his shop to Yardgear, though David himself served me. I thought that it was maybe a franchise, but all indications are that this is the only location.

He offered me a Rover Mini Rider 382 for $2,900:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Lawn-mower-2.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 2          Dimensions:          4714 x 3456, 2162 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

At least that's a lot cheaper than what I saw, though I later saw them on offer for $2,500. But things like lawn mowers really need to be bought locally; the special offer didn't include shipping, and the only locations are all in New South Wales.

On to Creswick Road to look for the place where we bought our McCullough MC17542ST 11 years ago, but they're no longer there. From there to the Ballarat Mower Centre, interestingly a company without a web site. They only had (very expensive) Husqvarna mowers, but opined that the Rovers are acceptable quality, but that spare parts are hard to find.

Back home, looked on eBay, arguably not the best place to look for lawn mowers. But as luck would have it, there was a Husqvarna LTH 1536 on auction in Bannockburn, currently at $1,100. Should I buy it? Called up the mower centre and asked them what they would list it for if they had one for sale. Answer: $1,400. That seems a little low for me, but it's food for thought.


Australia Post does it again
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Last week we bought a new watch for Yvonne on eBay. And once again the shipping took forever. Finally, on Tuesday, it was flagged as “In transit to Ballarat”.

Ballarat? So far it has always been to Wendouree, the suburb where the sorting facility is located. And then nothing yesterday. Today the tracking told me that it was under way to Lucas, and was carded to await collection. Why there? That's nowhere near Napoleons. And, of course, estimated delivery date was between Tuesday, 9 November and Friday, 12 November.

Why do they do these things? The item was in Napoleons, of course. And it was a new low: no buttons, no instructions. With a bit of messing around was able to set the time, but not to have the display on all the time. And it seems that it only displays in 12 hour format. It'll go back, and when Yvonne went into town she got a new battery for her old watch, which we had planned to replace with this thing.

Why is it getting increasingly difficult to get sane electronics?


Kirsch: the next problem
Topic: food and drink, general Link here

At the end of last month Ruth Viebrock sent off my second and last bottle of Kirschwasser. All done bar the waiting.

But no, it was homesick. It came back to Ruth with a label that was barely legible:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Return-to-sender.jpeg
Image title: Return to sender          Dimensions:          847 x 508, 116 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Overweight! How can that be? The bottle was smaller than the last one. But it seems that they had also added a completely inappropriate glass (“a welcome present for a new customer”). The glass certainly must encourage drinking: a serve of Kirsch is round 20 ml, but this thing must hold 150 ml:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Schnapskelch.jpeg
Image title: Schnapskelch          Dimensions:          1075 x 1220, 200 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But that didn't explain the weight difference. It must be the packing itself. Still, nothing for it: repack. Poor Ruth. I hadn't expected this much trouble when I asked her to send it on to me.


Goodbye, “America”
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

What is happening to the USA (or “America”, as they call themselves)? It was once the undisputed strongest, richest country on Earth. But then Donald Trump came along and set it on a course to ruin. Trump is mainly gone, but far too many people don't understand the damage he has done. They have had elections on Melbourne Cup Day, in which the Republican Party made significant gains. If this continues, the reelections of US Congress could give the Republicans a majority there too, meaning that Joe Biden would not be able to get any legislation passed that the Republicans don't like.

And what do the Republicans want? Certainly not what people in the rest of the world think is sane. 160 years after the US Civil War racial segregation is still alive and well. And the states continue to set their electoral boundaries to ensure that it stays that way. Representatives represent what people want, not what is good for them. Combined with the particularly insular US mentality, that means that it's almost impossible for even well-meaning politicians to negotiate sensibly with other countries, particularly not with those who don't share their view of the world.

What's going to happen? I despair. My guess is that the USA will continue to decline on the world stage. What will happen when they realize the fact? They still have the world's biggest military. Will they attack other countries for perceived injustices?


猪油渣? Greaves? Lardons? Grieben?
Topic: language, food and drink, opinion Link here

Yesterday Yvonne bought 600 g of pork fat that I wanted to use to make the 猪油渣 (chu yau cha) for KL Hokkien Mee.

What are they called in English? I had determined that they're called greaves, and the Oxford English Dictionary agrees with me. But Wikipedia equates them with crackling, which they pluralize. But that's a different dish, made from the skin, not the fat itself. Lardons? They're not necessarily crisp. Google Translate translates 猪油渣 as “lard residue” and gives a pronunciation “zhū yóu zhā”.

About the only language where I have found something similar is German, „Grieben“. Which of these should I choose?

In any case, I tried to make something today. It turned out that my pork belly fat had flipped, and what I got was pork back fat, which is surprisingly hard; I gave up trying to cut it with my ceramic knives, because I thought they could snap. The el-cheapo “cut anything” stainless steel saw couldn't handle it, and I ended up using a large conventional knife.

Next, how do you reduce it? I tried in a frying pan, but it was a slow business, and I was concerned that it might burn. In the end put them in a saucepan in the oven and tried temperatures between 130° and 160°:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Greaves-1.jpeg
Image title: Greaves 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2170 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Greaves-4.jpeg
Image title: Greaves 4          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2086 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I had expected t see a significant difference in appearance over the course of time, but there wasn't much. The first photo was taken at 130° and the second at 160°, three hours apart, and the Grieben themselves looked too light in colour:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211104/big/Greaves-5.jpeg
Image title: Greaves 5          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3203 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 4 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 4 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

All I established was that 160° is too hot: the lard starts to smell burnt.


Friday, 5 November 2021 Dereel Images for 5 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Rash!
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Looking at my elbow this morning, I saw:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211105/big/Skin-rash.jpeg
Image title: Skin rash          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2280 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, 5 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 5 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 5 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The tiny prick slightly to the right of centre was where my blood sample was taken yesterday. But what's the rectangular area to the left? It must have been where the plaster was applied to keep me from bleeding. Why is the skin inflamed? Is it an allergy, or something wrong with the composition of the adhesive? I've never had that before.


A new lawn mower
Topic: gardening Link here

Should I buy a new lawn mower or a second-hand one? Sometimes I think that I'm a little too stingy. After all, we could easily afford a new mower.

But is it the right choice? On second thoughts, the mower I looked at yesterday is a little too small for what we're looking for. And the Husqvarna on eBay looks like a good choice if I can get it for $1400. So I bid $1415 for it (don't ever bid round numbers; that's what everybody else does), and I got it... for $1415, proving my point with round numbers.

And now? I have to travel to Bannockburn to pick it up. Somehow the idea fills me with dread. I'm getting too old for this stuff.


Greaves again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Somehow my greaves aren't as brown as I expected. More rendering at 150°, without any difference. OK, we'll have to see how they taste.

Later reading more about KL Hokkien mee. In one of my prime references, Nyonya cooking, I read that the back fat that I used is “the best for making crispy pork lard”. Now to see how the size works out.


Saturday, 6 November 2021 Dereel → Bannockburn → Dereel Images for 6 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

KL Hokkien Mee with hindrances
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I had decided on another attempt at KL Hokkien mee today, at least to try out the greaves that I had prepared over the last couple of days.

Did I have everything? The only thing I was 100% sure about was the marinated pork. Yes, I had everything else. But where was the marinated pork? There was none! Fortunately Yvonne had bought some pork loin steaks, so I could use one of those.

Or could I? How I hate these firm plastic packages! Even apart from the ecological harm they do, they're almost unopenable, to the point of mention causing injury, This one was firm plastic underneath and a thin foil on top, which was fused with the base. The only way to open it was to cut along (and maybe into) the meat itself:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/Woolworths-packaging-1.jpeg
Image title: Woolworths packaging 1          Dimensions:          5246 x 3888, 3584 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/Woolworths-packaging-2.jpeg
Image title: Woolworths packaging 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2088 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Why do people do this?

After an emergency marinade, another difference that I had been planning: squid instead of fish balls. That requires really strong heat, but with the induction cooker on “Boost” it worked and filled the kitchen with smoke.

The other difference was the composition of the sauce. Today I used 10 g of light soya sauce, 20 g of dark soya sauce and 10 g of caramel sauce. And the result wasn't too bad, maybe a little on the salty side. But that could have come from the jelly-like chicken wing stock that I used instead of chicken broth. I still think that the jelly stock is better, but next time I'll try with chicken broth.

The result wasn't bad. I think the squid is an improvement. And yes, the greaves were a little overdone. I had cooked them for much longer than strictly needed in the hope of getting them darker, but that didn't happen. Next time I'll do them much shorter, and maybe only at 140°


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/KL-Hokkien-mee-3.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien mee 3          Dimensions:          5218 x 3888, 2926 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And how much broth? It seems that I had too much again, or maybe I just didn't thicken it enough:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/KL-Hokkien-mee-5.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien mee 5          Dimensions:          5268 x 3888, 3931 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

To be considered.


Collecting the lawn mower
Topic: general, gardening, animals Link here

Off to Bannockburn today to pick up the lawn mower. Contrary to my fears, everything went smoothly, and I was back home in 2½ hours, including picking up the trailer and loading the mower. About the most interesting thing was that the dogs liked the trailer:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/Larossa-Lena-1.jpeg
Image title: Larossa Lena 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2517 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The mower itself looks remarkably like our old McCullough mower. But looking back three years ago, I had noted that the McCullough seemed to be intimate with Husqvarna, and had noted the similarity between Mick Solly's mower (second photo) and ours.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190915/big/Lawn-mower-1.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3386 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190106/big/Lawn-mower.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 5121 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 6 January 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 6 January 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 6 January 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Lawn-mower-3.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2718 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly the new one is not the same as Mick's, but there's a great similarity

According to the Ballarat Mower Centre, the 1536 in the model number means 15 HP, 36" (90 cm) cutting width, but the engine is clearly marked 17.5 HP, the same as the McCullough.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Lawn-mower-5.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 5          Dimensions:          4767 x 3456, 2687 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Lawn-mower-5-detail.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 5 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 524 x 692, 93 kB
Dimensions of original: 524 x 692, 93 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 7 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Joy, the real seller (her son Andrew listed it with eBay) tells me that the engine has been replaced, so maybe the replacement (Jono & Johno “Easy start”) is more powerful than the original. Certainly (and marginally surprisingly), the “easy start” claim seems to be correct: it started first time, every time.

And apart from that? The comparison with the other mowers made some things apparent that might otherwise not have been the case. Are the front wheels correctly aligned? It would seem that they're better than the other two, but I'm still not convinced. And the grass deflector seems to be missing, not a thing that I'll lose sleep over:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190915/big/Lawn-mower-2.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 2          Dimensions:          5254 x 3888, 3557 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Lawn-mower-2.jpeg
Image title: Lawn mower 2          Dimensions:          4644 x 3456, 3117 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Apart from that, a detail not mentioned in the listing: the old mower had a 6 speed manual gearbox, but this is automatic. I don't know how much difference it makes, but it means (apparently) that it doesn't need a handbrake.

Apart from that, of course, the tyres were flat. What pressure do they need? You'd think that one of the many stickers on the body would say so, but I didn't find one. Still, as for the McCullough, ample documentation is available online, in this case 4 potentially different user guides in English (though that's not what they claimed), all of them specifying the tyre (sorry, “tire”) pressures in antiquated units (PSI). 14 for the front tyres, 12 for the rear ones, corresponding to 96 100 kPa and 83 kPa respectively. That gave me a chance to finally use the compressed air hose that I had bought two months ago, and which was still in the hallway.

Surprise, surprise. Only one of the tyres had a valve cap. No wonder the tyres were flat. Now where do I get valve caps for free?


Sunday, 7 November 2021 Dereel Images for 7 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Dog sizes
Topic: animals Link here

Our dogs are gradually growing up. Lena already looks almost adult. We measured them today: Larissa 67 cm, Lena 71 cm. The standard specifies heights of between 68 cm and 78 cm for bitches, so Lena could already count as fully grown, though clearly she has a way to go yet: they're not even 8 months old.

One point that is clear: they were both well over the minimum weight (25 kg) when we last weighed them: Lara weighed 27.2 kg and Lena weighed 29.2 kg. We should consider reducing their food intake.


Wildflowers in the paddock
Topic: gardening Link here

Seen in one of our paddocks today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Wildflowers-1.jpeg
Image title: Wildflowers 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 5799 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Wildflowers-2.jpeg
Image title: Wildflowers 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3320 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I've seen them before, but never so many in one place.


Shock!
Topic: animals, general, opinion Link here

It's been 4 months since we removed the last horses from the property, but, as planned, today they came back, along with another 2 of Chris Bahlo's horses, Carinita and Chica, and Melanie's horse Morgana.

Four months isn't a long time for us. But for our dogs, it's half a lifetime. When the horses left, we had had Larissa for less than three weeks, and Lena didn't arrive until after they were gone.

And that's a problem: now we have the electric fence on again, and the dogs don't understand it. How do we explain it to them? Yvonne had the idea of leading them to a low-voltage section (due to poor contacts) so that it wouldn't hurt too much. But somehow that didn't work: they didn't pay much attention, and they didn't try to go under the fence wiring.

Later we took them to look at the horses. They were, of course, somewhat scared, especially when Carinita leant against a fence wire and ran off, scaring the dogs:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Horses-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Horses 4 detail          Dimensions:          4542 x 2015, 1678 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Lena-1.jpeg
Image title: Lena 1          Dimensions:          3482 x 2993, 1098 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

In the end we left them outside in front of the house, as so often before. And at some point after that I heard frantic screaming from what proved to be Lara. Both of them ran backwards and forwards, Lara still howling. Clearly she had made acquaintance, but with what? We wanted her to associate the zapping with the white electric fence band and also our clear “No!” before she approached the fence. Both failed.

And Lena? I don't know. She was upset, but that could just have been because of Lara.

Later in the evening Lena disappeared into the sewage paddock, going under the live fence in the process, but not getting zapped. For some reason she didn't want to come with me, and ultimately ran back towards the fence. “No!”. But she didn't listen, went under the fence and was zapped mildly. That's what we wanted. Now does she associate the zap with the fence? We'll see.

On thing is clear: they were both sufficiently shocked that they ate almost nothing in the evening. Instead of half a chicken frame and about 150 g of pellets, Lena ate nothing at all, and Lara ate only 22 g of pellets. Hopefully they'll recover soon, but in the meantime there's little danger of them starving.


Paupiettes again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Paupiettes de veau again for dinner today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Paupiettes-2.jpeg
Image title: Paupiettes 2          Dimensions:          5226 x 3888, 2294 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211107/big/Paupiettes-5.jpeg
Image title: Paupiettes 5          Dimensions:          5331 x 3888, 3308 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 7 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 7 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But that's not what they looked like last time. The sauce was completely different.

Oh. We forgot to write down the recipe last time, and Yvonne found this one on the web. We really must write the recipes down.


Monday, 8 November 2021 Dereel Images for 8 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More mail problems
Topic: technology Link here

Jerry Dunham is still having problems with his email. Some of it, I'm sure, is of his own doing, but it's not clear how. One thing's clear: he can't access his mail on mail.lemis.com using Pegasus Mail and POP3S. Finally I got a “log file”:

19:26:37.693: --- 7 Nov 2021, 19:26:37.693 ---
19:26:37.711: Connect to 'lax.lemis.com', timeout 10 seconds.
19:26:48.835: 8: Socket read timeout
19:26:48.843: >>
19:26:48.853: --- Connection closed at 7 Nov 2021, 19:26:48.853. ---
19:26:48.862:

That really doesn't say much. When did it happen? Yes, there are times with millisecond resolution, but what time zone, and is the time correct? Jerry's in Austin, TX, and conveniently they just reset to standard time this (yesterday) morning. So it could be UTC-6 or UTC.

He sent me the message round 1½ later by his time, so I assume that the time was North American Central Standard Time. That's 1:26 UTC today. And sure enough:

  Nov  8 01:26:47 lax qpopper[66233]: TLS handshake Error
  Nov  8 01:26:47 lax qpopper[66233]: TLS/SSL Handshake failed: -1

That's not very helpful of qpopper. But it seems that he's the cause of these messages (which come every 5 and a bit minutes), enabling me to perform this trace:

  04:47:30.261140 IP 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528 > www.lemis.com.pop3s: Flags [S], seq 782348110, win 64240, options [mss 1460,nop,wscale 8,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0
  04:47:30.261255 IP www.lemis.com.pop3s > 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528: Flags [S.], seq 1811090580, ack 782348111, win 65535, options [mss 1460,nop,wscale 6,sackOK,eol], length 0
  04:47:30.321689 IP 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528 > www.lemis.com.pop3s: Flags [.], ack 1, win 1026, length 0
  04:47:41.361271 IP 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528 > www.lemis.com.pop3s: Flags [F.], seq 1, ack 1, win 1026, length 0
  04:47:41.361337 IP www.lemis.com.pop3s > 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528: Flags [.], ack 2, win 1026, length 0
  04:47:41.362775 IP www.lemis.com.pop3s > 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528: Flags [F.], seq 1, ack 2, win 1026, length 0
  04:47:41.422766 IP 99-23-195-227.lightspeed.austtx.sbcglobal.net.5528 > www.lemis.com.pop3s: Flags [.], ack 2, win 1026, length 0

That's still nothing like helpful. Should I run wireshark? Problem: lax (or mail) is running an old version of FreeBSD, and I can't really install any ports any more. Tried anyway, and as soon as I saw that it needs Qt, I knew we were doomed. In any case, all this stuff is encrypted, so it's not clear that there would be much to see.

In all probability, though, it's the fact that my certificates haven't been registered, as I noted last month. Presumably Pegasus Mail is too polite to report the sordid details, as is my Qpopper. The certificates need to be done anyway, at least so that I can offer HTTPS, so let's Encrypt. I found how to do it with FreeBSD and Apache. First step: run certbot, carefully obfuscated as py38-certbot or security/py-certbot. Surprise, surprise, it installed from ports with no trouble. But:

# certbot certonly --webroot
ld-elf.so.1: /lib/libc.so.7: version FBSD_1.6 required by /usr/local/lib/libpython3.8.so.1.0 not found

Damn! How do I handle that? Tried various attempts to build python from ports, but nothing helped. Tried it on dereel, but no, it really wants to be run on the web server.

What should I do? Give up on my attempts to keep the machine up as long as possible? After all, lax has only been up for 3½ months, a far cry from ffm:

=== grog@lax (/dev/pts/3) ~ 3 -> uptime
 2:36AM  up 107 days,  7:45, 4 users, load averages: 0.34, 0.33, 0.35
=== grog@ffm (/dev/pts/0) ~ 1 -> uptime
 2:36AM  up 1372 days, 11:39, 2 users, load averages: 0.49, 0.46, 0.42

But that still requires work: in principle, setting up a new VM and copying the data across. Not mañana, not pasado mañana.


Lena sick again?
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

After yesterday's shock, Lena didn't eat anything at all yesterday evening. Today, as a treat, Yvonne finally found some lost pig's ear strips and gave one to each dog. Nothing that Lena was used to:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211108/big/Lenas-vomit.jpeg
Image title: Lenas vomit          Dimensions:          5247 x 3888, 4168 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 8 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 8 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 8 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

What is all that? Some of it is clearly pig's ear, but other stuff looks more like noodles. Where did it come from? She hadn't eaten for nearly 48 hours.

The real questions, though, was how much would she eat this evening. I couldn't even get her to go out to eat. Yvonne took her out there, and she ate... 6 g! She then gave her a chicken frame, which was gone in record time, though I'm not sure that she didn't just hide it, and she didn't eat any more pellets.

What's wrong with her? Can it be poisoning? Bloat? Those should cause pain or distress, but apart from her appetite, she seems healthy enough. In the end I put her in the dog run with the food and left her alone. Came back an hour later: 200 g gone! So it seems that she was really just still afraid to eat. Maybe we should feed her somewhere else.


Tuesday, 9 November 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 9 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Five years since the catastrophe
Topic: history Link here

Read in my diary of five years ago:

“Make America Great Again”? I think he'll take America into meaninglessness.

The occasion was 9/11, of course, (8/11 in the USA): Donald Trump was elected President of the USA. Looking back with hindsight, my concerns were well-founded:

I could imagine impeachment as a real possibility.


Commit pain
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

I'm still drumming up courage to perform my first git commit. Not the first time I've been in this position; as it happens, exactly 10 years ago I had the same issue with subversion).


Heart checkup
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Into town with Yvonne today to hear what Rodney Reddy had to say about Yvonne's heart condition. Quite positive on the whole; only the side effects of the medication are still an issue. He discussed briefly the possibility of ablation, which has a 90% to 95% chance of removing the cause of the problem. But it's a relatively invasive procedure (though still without surgery), and we'll consider it.


Phone accessories and keyboards
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Then off to Officeworks to look for a carrying case for enzian, Yvonne's mobile phone. Total loss on two counts: firstly, they really only had any cases for smaller phones (5.8", whatever that might be; they're too polite to use centimetres), and secondly they were really only cases, nothing for attaching to clothing.

While there, it occurred to me that the keyboard for teevee is failing (sticky Shift key, which is amazingly irritating). OK, what does a new keyboard cost? You get the choice, anywhere between $7.79 and $229:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211109/big/Cheap-keyboard.jpeg
Image title: Cheap keyboard          Dimensions:          3787 x 2193, 849 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 9 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211109/big/Expensive-keyboard.jpeg
Image title: Expensive keyboard          Dimensions:          3756 x 1615, 837 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 9 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

What's the difference, apart from the 30-fold price? The expensive one has illuminated keys, potentially a good idea for teevee, but not at that price. Neither has a mouse; there's a version of the cheap one with mouse for $18. In the end bought two keyboards, one with a mouse, one without.

To put these prices further into perspective, we also bought some markers. Yvonne bought a pack of 5 highlighters for $0.99, I bought an indelible marker that may—I hope—be less easily wiped off the deep freeze bags. One marker, $5.58!

And yes, the keyboards work, though they're a little difficult to get used to in the dark. And each wants its own dongle, though it's not clear why. Now teevee has:

=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/9) ~ 13 -> ls -l /dev/kbd* /dev/ums*
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel        6 29 Oct 11:13 /dev/kbd0 -> atkbd0
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel        7 29 Oct 11:13 /dev/kbd1 -> kbdmux0
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel        5 29 Oct 11:13 /dev/kbd2 -> ukbd0
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel        5  9 Nov 13:44 /dev/kbd3 -> ukbd1
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel        5  9 Nov 15:53 /dev/kbd4 -> ukbd2
crw-------  1 root  wheel      0xd 29 Oct 11:13 /dev/kbdmux0
crw-r--r--  1 root  operator  0x8c 29 Oct 11:13 /dev/ums0
crw-r--r--  1 root  operator  0xc3  9 Nov 13:44 /dev/ums1
crw-r--r--  1 root  operator  0xcd  9 Nov 15:53 /dev/ums2

After reflection, it seems that the two real mice are /dev/ums0 and /dev/ums1) /dev/ums2 is the non-existent mouse to go with /dev/kbd4.


Australia: bottom of the class
Topic: general, politics, opinion Link here

It seems that Australia has come at the bottom of a list for climate policy at the current COP26 conference. That doesn't surprise me, and it's certainly nothing to do with whom I voted for in the last election.

But it seems that momentum is building to do something about climate change, maybe because the press is paying more attention to it this time round. One article that I found particularly interesting was this, the second of three articles describing not only how Australia could catch up with the rest of the world, but maybe even overtake them.

Sadly it's really irritatingly formatted, but it comes up with some interesting ideas, including using the battery of an electric car as storage for a house. At first that doesn't make much sense, but domestic power storage is one of my unanswered questions. We currently have photovoltaic panels rated at 10.8 kW, but the battery only stores 6.4 kWh. A second battery is not worth the cost, but it means that we invariably run out of power overnight (and have to use power from the grid). An electric vehicle battery stores between 6 and 100 kWh. If you have the car anyway, you can charge it from PV and use the power overnight. If you have to leave on a longer journey early in the morning, you may still need power from the grid, but for many people, myself definitely included, that's relatively uncommon.

What really gets me is: why haven't I heard of this before? There's other stuff in there that I knew about, like reducing bovine methane with seaweed, but there's also talk of carbon fixation with the aid of dung beetles, which makes me wonder about a bloke who showed up at Wantadilla years ago looking for dung beetles. He claimed to be a retired scientist from CSIRO, but he didn't explain his interest in too much detail.


Wednesday, 10 November 2021 Dereel Images for 10 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bloody frying pans
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I have had issues with fried eggs for decades, including losing my job as a result on one occasion, so I very seldom fry eggs. Today was an exception, an egg to go on top of the rice in nasi lemak. What a failure! It fried nicely, but the egg wasn't the newest, and the yolk slid to one side of the “non-stick” pan, where it stuck to the side. Despite my attempts, I wasn't able to dislodge it cleanly. Here the results:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/Fried-egg-failure-2.jpeg
Image title: Fried egg failure 2          Dimensions:          5321 x 3888, 5508 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 10 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/Fried-egg-failure-1.jpeg
Image title: Fried egg failure 1          Dimensions:          5240 x 3888, 4012 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 10 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Fixing Pegasus Mail
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

My article about Jerry Dunham's email problems caught the eye of a couple of people on IRC. For me it was an issue with trusting the certificates (there's no way to trust them), and I'm still looking at how to fix it, but Peter Jeremy thought that it's a Pegasus Mail configuration problem, specifically that each side was waiting for the other to throw the first stone. That would certainly explain the timeout.

Daniel O'Connor went to the trouble to install Pegasus, so I created a dummy email ID on mail.lemis.com for him to play with. With a bit of side-sniping from Edwin Groothuis, we established that it can be done, and Daniel even posted the results and the configuration:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/Pegasus-mail.png
Image title: Pegasus mail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 772 x 617, 119 kB
Dimensions of original: 772 x 617, 119 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 10 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/Pegasus-mail-config-1.png
Image title: Pegasus mail config 1          Dimensions:          817 x 473, 41 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 10 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/Pegasus-mail-config-2.png
Image title: Pegasus mail config 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 408 x 480, 26 kB
Dimensions of original: 408 x 480, 26 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 10 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

So it's back into Jerry's court.


Getting certificates for www, try 2
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

As a result of Monday's mail issues, I tried to install trusted certificates on mail.lemis.com, also known as www.lemis.com, using certbot. I failed because the Ports Collection didn't like my down-rev environment.

But there are alternatives, and I started investigating them today. certbot uses Python, and that was the main part of the problem, but there are alternatives, including getssl, which is a series of shell scripts. More reading to do, but of course it worked out of the box and gave me a main configuration file ~root/.getssl/getssl.cfg, also a shell script, to edit. All seemed relatively clear, though they didn't make it clear whether the commented-out entries were defaults or just suggestions, and ultimately I tripped over this one:

# Define the server type. This can be https, ftp, ftpi, imap, imaps, pop3, pop3s, smtp,
# smtps_deprecated, smtps, smtp_submission, xmpp, xmpps, ldaps or a port number which
# will be checked for certificate expiry and also will be checked after
# an update to confirm correct certificate is running (if CHECK_REMOTE) is set to true
SERVER_TYPE="https"
CHECK_REMOTE="true"

Well, I want certificates for https and pop3s. What do I enter for SERVER_TYPE? Maybe I can just make a spaced list, but the right thing to do is to read the docco more carefully. Mañana.


“Smart” TVs: back into the dark ages
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

Like most broadcasters, ABC Television offers online content under the name ABC iview. But unlike most broadcasters, you can't download the content; you need to watch it online. And what I have seen has always been in low resolution (typically 576p), though it seems that some is in “high” resolution (720p).

But what about our new Hisense A7G “smart” TV? It offers iview, and since it claims to be 2160p, the 576p low resolution won't cut it. Try it out. You need to log in! Yes, I have an account, with a password that reflects my opinion of their web site. How do I type that in? Ah, use a QR code and add a mobile phone to the smart. Or go to a web browser and enter a 4 letter code.

OK, to the web site:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211110/big/ABC-sync.png
Image title: ABC sync
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 595 x 703, 27 kB
Dimensions of original: 595 x 703, 27 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 10 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Switch display back to see the 4 letter code, in the process wondering how it can be unique (there are only about 450,000 possibilities). Ha ha, only joking. You're logged in!

How can that work? It would be nice to say that the web site had recognized the IP address, but they're not related. hisen, the TV, has the address 192.109.197.237, and the web proxy has the address 121.200.11.253. About the only possibility is that it looked at its side of the NAT in each case, in which case it would, of course, but the same. But I don't really trust that much insight to the ABC, and in any case it's subject to abuse.

OK, look at the display:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211111/big/Smart-TV-6.jpeg
Image title: Smart TV 6          Dimensions:          4690 x 2642, 1208 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 11 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 11 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 11 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

OK, we can skip past that. Where's the “fast forward” button?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211111/big/Smart-TV-8.jpeg
Image title: Smart TV 8          Dimensions:          4701 x 1069, 824 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 11 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 11 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 11 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

OH. There isn't one!

Could it be hidden behind the coloured buttons? No, they do nothing in this context. The only way I could find to hit the fast forward arrows was to use the cursor buttons on the remote control to position on the display and then press OK. And then it just set a different speed.

Is this an iview problem? The TV also offers YouTube. Try that. Not the same thing, but no better: once again, no sane positioning. And after all, the lack of the buttons on the remote control tells a story.

I'm flabbergasted. Yes, I know that “modern” consumer equipment is hard to use. I had always put it down to the viewpoint that the designers didn't know any better, and that despite the problems newer devices were better than what we had years ago. But that's no longer the case. I have never seen a Video Cassette Recorder that didn't have these controls. Until I looked at the “smart” TV remote controls I have never seen one that doesn't include search and fast forward buttons. Why have they done this? You can't even click on the position line at the bottom of the display, because you don't have a mouse! By comparison, the almost equally stupid display, requiring sliding the display (again with the cursor buttons, one item at a time) is understandable: that's the way it is on mobile phones, the smallest electronic display device, so clearly it needs to be like that for the biggest electronic display device you have.

I've been ranting about the stupidity of modern consumer devices for so long that I had become accustomed to it. But I can't find words for explaining this current stupidity. And I don't know why I'm the only person to complain about it. Has “smart” technology rotted peoples' brains?

For me, the situation is clear: the “smart” TV interface offers nothing, but absolutely nothing, that I couldn't do more easily in a web browser. It could at least save the position in the stream, but it doesn't even seem to do that. When I accidentally pressed the “home” button and had to slide my way back, it positioned me at the beginning of its display, so I had to slide again to even find my programme, and then go through the whole rigmarole of waiting for the certificates. Why bother? I could do it with a web browser, except that they have broken that interface:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211111/big/iview-fail.png
Image title: iview fail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 709 x 221, 32 kB
Dimensions of original: 709 x 221, 32 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 11 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yes, this could be something in my configuration, but I've had so many unexplained errors with iview that I can't be bothered.

On reflection, one reason for this stupidity occurs to me: the providers don't want you to use this functionality. You must watch the commercials. But that's still stupid. ABC doesn't have commercials, and what earthly use is it to them to force you to watch through certification information and “what happened in the last episode”? So at the very least it's a serious misfeature of “smart” TVs.

To recap what I do:


Goodbye, paypal127@
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I ordered some wine online from Mclaren Vale Cellars. In the middle of payment, my browser died. OK, restart. Yup, still logged in, PayPal showed that I hadn't paid anything yet, so complete the transaction.

The confirmation came relatively quickly—sent to paypal127@lemis.com! That's my Paypal mail address, not the one that I use for Mclaren Vale Cellars. How can that happen? Clearly the interface between Mclaren Vale and Paypal leaked an email address.

Sent several messages to them, and finally got a call from Mark Curtis, the manager. It was clear that he thought that it was user problems, but that's impossible: the new account had all the information that was in the old account, and I certainly didn't input it. He would delete the account, but in the meantime I kept getting spam from both of them, and ultimately it's clear that the address has been breached, so time to change the email address.

That's in /usr/local/etc/postfix/virtual. Removed it, tested. Still there! Lots of searching, but I couldn't get rid of this damn paypal127@. Finally I found it in /etc/aliases:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/5) /etc 61 -> blame aliases
...
1.3          (grog     18-Aug-03): # Paypal names
1.3          (grog     18-Aug-03): paypal127:       grog

I thought /etc/aliases was an old, worn-out magic file name, and indeed it is. The last entry was:

revision 1.111
date: 2008/01/02 04:21:00;  author: grog;  state: Exp;  lines: +13 -1
Update barbecue list.
Various new one-off aliases.

Since then, I moved from sendmail to postfix, and to confuse the issue, the default installation moved /etc/aliases to /etc/mail/aliases. But postfix still seems to look in all three places. I wonder if I can just remove /etc/aliases altogether. In the meantime, I've removed all the site-specific addresses from it.


Still more PV battery calibration
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Somehow battery calibration is still something I don't understand. For quite some time I had a single calibration cycle once a month, but that now seems to have stopped. Yesterday and today I had two cycles, each during the daytime and charging to 100%. It seems that it charges at up to 5.5 kW, then slows down to 500 W at 95%, meaning that it can feed into the grid in parallel with charging the battery. But why does it even need to do that? From time to time it charges to 100% under normal operating conditions. What's the difference?


Thursday, 11 November 2021 Dereel Images for 11 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Net zero by 2022
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

The COP26 conference continues to hold people's attention. Our government has been remarkably reticent about taking action, though our fearless leader has made the headlines on numerous fronts. But we have a plan:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211111/big/Net-zero.jpeg
Image title: Net zero
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 526 x 569, 53 kB
Dimensions of original: 526 x 569, 53 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 11 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


More “smart” TV interfaces
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

Discussion of yesterday's article on “smart” TV interfaces on IRC today, of course. For once, Daniel O'Connor agreed with me:

<groggyhimself> OK, but I'm ranting about "smart" TVs here.
<doconnor> oh they are awful
<doconnor> I am dreading when I would have to look for a new TV

Daniel seems to like Apple TV, but that's even more of a lock-in. I did, however, get a chance to look at the Chromecast remote control, though. It's even more bare-bones than my TV remote control:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211111/big/Chromecast.png
Image title: Chromecast
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 782 x 809, 29 kB
Dimensions of original: 782 x 809, 29 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 11 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

What will the future bring? Clearly it will take a while to catch up with me, old-fashioned as I am.


Chicken kebabs, yet again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Chicken kebabs (for want of a better word) this evening. Yvonne buys them untreated and then marinates them. What do we do with the marinade? Today I used it to fry the kebabs, which added flavour. I think we'll do it again. 6 minutes on each side over medium heat seems to be the best.


Friday, 12 November 2021 Dereel Images for 12 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

KL Hokkien Mee, yet again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

KL Hokkien Mee yet again for breakfast today. What difference this time? Do we really need prawns (there are only about 4 per serving), or could I just use more squid? Tried the latter approach, with 100 g of squid instead of 50 each of squid and prawns.

Also more experimentation with the sauces. 5 g light soya sauce, 20 g dark soya sauce and 10 g KL caramel. No chicken wing jelly this time, just 30 ml water with 1 g of chicken stock powder. Also most of it towards the end, to make it easier to mix, and 8 g of cornflour instead of 5 to make it thicker:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211112/big/KL-Hokkien-Mee-2.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien Mee 2          Dimensions:          5246 x 3888, 3867 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, 12 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 12 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 12 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211112/big/KL-Hokkien-Mee-4.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien Mee 4          Dimensions:          5380 x 3888, 3796 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, 12 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 12 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 12 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The thickness now seems better. Here last week and today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211106/big/KL-Hokkien-mee-5.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien mee 5          Dimensions:          5268 x 3888, 3931 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 6 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 6 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211112/big/KL-Hokkien-Mee-5.jpeg
Image title: KL Hokkien Mee 5          Dimensions:          5321 x 3888, 4425 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, 12 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 12 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 12 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

On the other hand, it's still too salty, and I think the prawns are missing. Maybe I should use no light soya sauce at all. And maybe I can use less than 15 g of garlic per serving.

Yvonne tried it and... didn't like it. „Wat de Boer net kennt, dat frett he nit“.


Stupid packaging!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

I frequently complain about stupid packaging, most recently last week. It seems that I'm not alone. Today I found this article: how do you open your first pair of scissors?

https://www.theshovel.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/scissors.jpg

How do you cut the cable ties? With scissors, of course! Or, like the hero of the story, with your teeth.


The power of error reporting
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

After Wednesday's combined effort to fix Jerry Dunham's problems with Pegasus Mail, I was expecting the problem to be solved.

Not so. But he did get better logging out of the program:

23:19:48.811: --- 11 Nov 2021, 23:19:48.811 ---
23:19:48.811: Connect to 'lax.lemis.com', timeout 10 seconds.
23:19:49.950: [*] SSL/TLS session established
23:19:49.950: [*] ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384, TLSv1.2, Kx=ECDH, Au=RSA, Enc=AESGCM(256), Mac=AEAD
23:19:49.950: [*] Peer's certificate name is '/C=AU/ST=VIC/L=Dereel/O=LEMIS (SA) Pty Ltd/OU=Messaging/CN=www.lemis.com/emailAddress=groggyhimself@lemis.com'.
23:19:50.048: >> +OK Qpopper (version 4.1.0) at lax.lemis.com starting. <23358.1636694389@lax.lemis.com>
23:19:50.048: << USER jdunham
23:19:50.098: >> +OK Password required for jdunham.
<< 0016 PASS XXXXXXXXX
23:20:00.190: 8: Socket read timeout
23:20:00.190: >>

At the very least, it shows that Pegasus accepted the certificate without complaint. But then it timed out on the password! So it wasn't a question of throwing the first stone after all. Doesn't logging help?

Jerry decided that his 10 second timeout was too short, and increased it to 30 s. Surprise:

23:34:23.321: Connect to 'lax.lemis.com', timeout 30 seconds.
23:34:24.461: [*] SSL/TLS session established
23:34:24.461: [*] ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384, TLSv1.2, Kx=ECDH, Au=RSA, Enc=AESGCM(256), Mac=AEAD
23:34:24.461: [*] Peer's certificate name is '/C=AU/ST=VIC/L=Dereel/O=LEMIS (SA) Pty Ltd/OU=Messaging/CN=www.lemis.com/emailAddress=groggyhimself@lemis.com'.
23:34:24.557: >> +OK Qpopper (version 4.1.0) at lax.lemis.com starting. <23458.1636695264@lax.lemis.com>
23:34:24.557: << USER jdunham
23:34:24.610: >> +OK Password required for jdunham.
<< 0016 PASS XXXXXXXXX
23:34:34.699: >> -ERR [AUTH] Password supplied for "jdunham" is incorrect.

So after 10.089 seconds, qpopper decided that it didn't like the password. Why so long? I guessed, and Daniel O'Connor confirmed, that it was a deliberate delay to foil brute force attacks.

OK, change password? We've been through that dozens of times before, and I confirmed that the one that we set still worked for both user IDs.

Both user IDs? Yes, I had a dunham and a jdunham, both with the same user ID. In /etc/passwd:

dunham:*:1022:31:Jerry Dunham:/home/jdunham:/usr/local/bin/bash
jdunham:*:1022:31:Jerry Dunham:/home/jdunham:/usr/local/bin/bash

And both with the same UID. That's not incorrect: by default, FreeBSD comes with two users, root and toor, both with UID 0. But if qpopper checks things with getpwuid, it will find the first, dunham, not the one that it should be looking for. OK, change UID on dunham.

And it worked! So, what was it? Password or UID? My money was on the UID. I can check that by changing the UID back again. If we get a “password mismatch”, it will confirm my suspicions.

But it still worked! So the real issue was:

As a result, I've spent a lot of time barking up the wrong tree, trying to find out how to create valid certificates, and the whole thing has dragged on for over 6 weeks.


Saturday, 13 November 2021 Dereel Images for 13 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Turbo vomit!
Topic: animals Link here

Noise from the bedroom this morning, Yvonne shouting about something. In to find that Piccola had commented about her food (pellets) in no uncertain manner:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211113/big/Fountain-vomit-4.jpeg
Image title: Fountain vomit 4          Dimensions:          2161 x 4417, 1028 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 13 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 13 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 13 November 2021 Complete exposure details

   
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211113/big/Fountain-vomit-3.jpeg
Image title: Fountain vomit 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 705 x 797, 126 kB
Dimensions of original: 705 x 797, 126 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 13 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Somehow she had managed to vomit to 80 cm from the ground, round 3 times her own height.

OK, Piccola, we understand. No dried food any more.


File system structural abuse
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Mail from Stephen Rothwell today. He's upgrading the Ozlabs systems, in the process thinking of yet another security measure, involving sending a UDP packet before trying the ssh connection. He suggests:

The "port knock" works like this: you need to send a UDP packet (at
last one) to port 22 on the machine you want to log into (with the
correct IP family, of course :-)).  You then have 20 seconds to ssh in.

From bash, you can just do "echo >/dev/udp/host/port"

Strange Linuxisms! But he also gave an alternative, based on BSD software, that can be executed automatically, making life easier. Things worked straightforwardly enough, and I sent him feedback, including that the first thing wouldn't work because we don't have a /dev/udp hierarchy.

But, he says, if you're using bash it should work. OK, try it (and listen at the other end).

Yes, it works! Ugh! Somehow bash is kludging a directory structure where a built-in command would be more appropriate. Why did they do that? Jamie Fraser tells me that it was introduced in early 2000, by which time I had been using bash for at least 12 years, and that it was introduced from ksh93. Nobody can tell me why.


The power of vaccination
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Saw an Interesting statistic today:

https://cdn.statcdn.com/Infographic/images/normal/26159.jpeg

The scale is one of these strange “per 100,000” things, which I would interpret either as units of 10 ppm, or thousandths of a percent. Another way to look at this particular graph is to read the “1,000” in German, corresponding to 1.000 %.

And that means that in August/September per week over 2% of the unvaccinated population were infected! Yes, that's a peak, but it's still amazing. By contrast, it's no surprise that infections among vaccinated people were round 10 times less.

And still millions of idiots don't want to be vaccinated.


Sunday, 14 November 2021 Dereel Images for 14 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More exploding bottles
Topic: general, animals, health, photography, opinion Link here

Noise from the kitchen area this morning. Went out to find:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Kitchen-explosion-2.jpeg
Image title: Kitchen explosion 2          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 2558 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

What? More exploding Guinness? That wouldn't explain the piece of broken glass. Opened the door and found Piccola and this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Kitchen-explosion-4.jpeg
Image title: Kitchen explosion 4          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2294 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

At the very least I should be more careful with individual bottles.


Macros to the rescue
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

To add injury to insult, while wiping up the mess I managed to get a piece of glass in my finger, and I couldn't get it out. Nothing was visible, not even with a magnifying glass.

OK, what about a macro photo? At the closest focus, my M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 Macro with extension tubes has a pixel width of rather less than 2 μm. What can I see?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Injured-finger-1.jpeg
Image title: Injured finger 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2203 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Injured-finger-2.jpeg
Image title: Injured finger 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2633 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Nothing! In the first image, the wound is obscured by a drop of blood, and the second it's out of focus, despite being taken at f/22—the surrounding skin is sharp. That's at least partially because I took it hand-held, and with my left hand at that. Next time I do something like this I should use a tripod and focus stacking.

In the end managed to get it out without camera help. No wonder it was hard to find: it was a flat piece of glass about 2 mm across and very thin, maybe 50 μm:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Glass-chip-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Glass chip 4 detail          Dimensions:          2056 x 1629, 330 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211114/big/Glass-chip-5-detail.jpeg
Image title: Glass chip 5 detail          Dimensions:          1637 x 1737, 358 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 14 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 14 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And even those photos, taken with a tripod but without focus stacking, are barely acceptable. Maybe I should do focus stacking as a matter of course for this sort of thing.


House networking issues
Topic: general, technology, gardening, opinion Link here

It's been a very cool and wet spring, and though the sprinklers are running, I don't think it was necessary.

But are they running? I don't see any areas of particular moisture. And come to think of it, I don't recall seeing the daily cron output of the netsprinkle program for some time. Have I messed up my crontab?

No, it still contains:

0 4 * * * /home/grog/src/netsprinkle -f /home/grog/public_html/weather/sprinklefactor -l 30 30 30 30

So why isn't it running? Tried running it, and it hung at the start. Damn these powerline network adapters! Off to check: yes, only one of three LEDs. What does it mean? Back to the office, where I couldn't see anything. Into the dining room. 2 LEDs. What's the third one? Connected up fwaggle, my Apple, which happened to be next to it. 3rd LED went on. So presumably the LEDs are: Power on, connection with other end (maybe?) and something connected to the Ethernet port.

To the shed again. Now 2 LEDs. Not the relay board. Check connections, remove and replace network cable. No change. Power cycle. Success! So the board itself must have hung.

It wasn't until some time later that I considered that it might have been related to the grid power failure two weeks ago. Check the mail backups. Yes, the last message was on 29 October, an hour before the outage. So clearly it's related to the outage, like the weather station failure. I wonder if there are more issues lurking somewhere.


Monday, 15 November 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 15 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Huevos a la tigre: use for leftovers
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I had planned some huevos a la tigre (fake Huevos a la flamenca) today. Surprise, surprise: we had potatoes, tomatoes and spring onions left over from Saturday. The spring onions weren't exactly the normal onions that I had planned, but they worked well enough:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-1.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 1          Dimensions:          4630 x 3456, 2813 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-13.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 13          Dimensions:          4636 x 3456, 2347 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


I hate flash!
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Taking the photos of the huevos a la tigre required flash, of course. I used the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I with the flash trigger and the flashes in the kitchen. Some of the photos were excellent, but for this one the flash didn't fire:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-2-orig.jpeg
Image title: COVID registration          Dimensions:          3000 x 4000, 783 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Amazingly, DxO PhotoLab managed to salvage an almost completely satisfactory image:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-2.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 2          Dimensions:          4637 x 3456, 2986 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I didn't know that, of course, so I tried again. On no fewer than 4 occasions I got incorrect synchronization:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-4.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1701 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That looks like incorrect sync speed; that's what I would expect to get from a 1/500 s shot rather than the correct sync speed of 1/250 s. OK, try at 1/200 s:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-6.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 6          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1941 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Now it's overexposed! Is that because of ambient light? Try stopping down ⅓ stop and going back to 1/250 s:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-7.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 7          Dimensions:          4637 x 3456, 2480 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That looks correctly exposed. But things didn't stop there. The next image showed underexposure at the top, suggesting again a too-high shutter speed.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-8.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 8          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1655 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Another round of changing settings, ultimately getting a good exposure at 1/250 s and f/7.1.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Huevos-a-la-tigre-13.jpeg
Image title: Huevos a la tigre 13          Dimensions:          4636 x 3456, 2347 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Somehow things are completely inconsistent. What can it be? The camera shutter? The flash trigger? The flash units? Yesterday I had a similar issue with the photos of the broken bottles. There I was using the same camera with the mecablitz 58 AF-2. It fired, but I got no image. On that occasion I didn't try any further: I had enough ambient light to get good results (modulo colour balance) with the Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD.

But could it be that the shutter of the E-M1 is getting lazy? In any case, I think I'll use a different camera for flash from now on.

Why do I have so much trouble with flash? I've been grumbling about it for over 50 years, and I seem only a little closer to getting good results.


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

It's late spring, the calendar says. You'd have to know. The “spring” has been very cool, possibly the coolest since we've been here, and also very moist. Still, it's time for the monthly flower photos, though as a result, we have almost no flowers, but plenty of grass. Here our “succulent bed” this time last year and today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Succulent-bed-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Succulent bed 1 detail          Dimensions:          5365 x 2495, 2858 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Succulent-garden-detail.jpeg
Image title: Succulent garden detail          Dimensions:          4762 x 2114, 1621 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

We're working on controlling the weeds, but somehow, since Mick Solly left, the weeds are winning.

The “trees” in the east garden are still giving cause for concern. The best I can say about the Schinus molle is that it's not dead yet:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Schinus-molle.jpeg
Image title: Schinus molle          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2080 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The Corymbia ficifolia is once again looking really sick, though again it is getting new growth:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-1.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 3359 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-2.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 2          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 1856 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The funny thing is that the problems don't seem to be related to winter. It's been cool, but we haven't had any frost for a couple of months, and in August it looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210823/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-1.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 4730 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 August 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 August 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 August 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210823/big/Corymbia-ficifolia-2.jpeg
Image title: Corymbia ficifolia 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2327 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 August 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 August 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 August 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Petra Gietz came by while I was taking the photos, and she came up with an idea: maybe it's too wet for it. That could be the problem: it gets wettest at this time of year, and this year it has been particularly wet.

The Strelitzia nicolai is flowering again:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211116/big/Strelitzia-nicolai.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 3491 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 16 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 1982 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          4625 x 3456, 2480 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-3.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 3          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 2291 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

It seems to be doing so more every year. It's a pity that the Strelitzia reginae have hardly flowered at all since we've been here.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211116/big/Strelitzia-reginae.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 3626 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 16 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Another flower that should be flowering now is the Kniphofia. Last year things looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201122/big/Kniphofia-2.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2177 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 

But this year there's no growth to be seen:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Kniphofia.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia          Dimensions:          4608 x 3458, 3704 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I'm not concerned about them; they're just late, an indication of the unseasonably cold weather.

The Persicaria odorata that Bryan Ross murdered is trying to come back, but so far it hasn't got very far:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Vietnamese-mint-1.jpeg
Image title: Vietnamese mint 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 4599 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Vietnamese-mint-2.jpeg
Image title: Vietnamese mint 2          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 2331 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That, too, could be due to the weather.

One thing that I hadn't expected was this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211116/big/Ornithogalum.jpeg
Image title: Ornithogalum          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2344 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 16 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211116/big/Ornithogalum-detail.jpeg
Image title: Ornithogalum detail          Dimensions:          1178 x 1287, 195 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 16 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 16 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That's the Ornithogalum that I planted a while back. It has significantly increased in number. It has only just started to flower.

The roses are drowning in weeds, but flowering nevertheless:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Roses-1.jpeg
Image title: Roses 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 3946 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Roses-2.jpeg
Image title: Roses 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 4687 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/Roses-3.jpeg
Image title: Roses 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3458, 4109 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And apart from that, there's very little to be seen. It's certainly a far cry from 10 years ago. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.


Health checks in times of COVID
Topic: health, technology, general, opinion Link here

Into town today to hear the results of the blood test earlier this month. I was in for a surprise:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/COVID-19-Nazis-1.jpeg
Image title: COVID 19 Nazis 1          Dimensions:          4192 x 3070, 1259 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/COVID-19-Nazis-2.jpeg
Image title: COVID 19 Nazis 2          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2005 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

They wouldn't let me in! They had a woman (nurse?) standing guard by the door. I had to call the reception (10 m away) on a mobile phone to tell them that I was there! And that where I have such difficulty getting an answer. This time it took over 3 minutes. Why couldn't the guard tell them? And then I had to wait outside until Paul came and collected me. I think the guard must have been obliged to take my temperature—they always do that—but somehow she forgot.

Voiced my displeasure to Paul, who tells me that it's a legal requirement since some clinic had a positive case and was closed down for two weeks, but people who have been fully vaccinated are exempt. And that, it seems, is 95% of the population of Ballarat! The guard didn't tell me that. And why is there no mention of this on the signs outside the practice?

The good news was that there was nothing of interest in my blood test results beyond slightly high blood pressure (142/82), which he attributed to the circumstances, and undetectable bilirubin. It's not normally an issue, but it does rather look like a measurement error. And yes, I (and Yvonne) should have a booster vaccination 6 months after the last one, which would be 31 January next year, and presumably a Pfizer vaccine.

On leaving, spoke to the guard, who had her mask on incorrectly (not covering the nose, which seems to be popular). No, she hadn't told me I was allowed in if I had been fully vaccinated, because I was so nasty to her. Nonsense! It should have been the first thing she asked, possibly after asking for the purpose of my visit.

Off, wondering if I should put in a formal complaint, and another patient came up to me and agreed that the guard had been particularly impolite. I'm not even sure if she was right: the guard was less impolite than she was bureaucratic and unhelpful. But at least it shows that I wasn't the only one unhappy with her behaviour.

Other signs of the times:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211115/big/COVID-registration.jpeg
Image title: COVID registration          Dimensions:          3000 x 4000, 783 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 15 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 15 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That's a QR code for registering entry with the Service Victoria app. But read the fine print:

Unable to scan? Download the Service Victoria app and use code: HR9 S49.

Why download the app if you have just tried to scan with it? And if you haven't downloaded it, why not try to scan after you have done so? But the idea of downloading any app while standing outside a shop blows my mind.


Tuesday, 16 November 2021 Dereel → Napoleons → Dereel Images for 16 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Ten years of identity theft
Topic: history, technology, general, opinion Link here

Ten years ago today I had a surprising problem: somebody had changed my electricity supplier. And neither the old nor the new supplier would tell me who it was, and it was up to me to recover from the problem.

The people in question proved to be our neighbours from across the road, the Everetts. They had just moved in to their new house, and somehow they had got their address wrong: 47 Kleins Road (our address) instead of 46 Kleins Road. And with only this misinformation, they were able to apply to have our electricity supply changed.

That sounds surprisingly like my stolen identity last month. You can take as much care as you will to protect your identity, but when big companies and government agencies perform only superficial checks, there's nothing that you can do. I find it particularly offensive that “privacy” laws prevent me from even following up on the matter.


New flute
Topic: music Link here

Pickup notification in the letter box today (“You have Mail”). Addressed only to me, meaning that it wasn't eBay (where the address is to both of us). Could be the flute from Helen Deards or the Kirschwasser from Ruth Viebrock—in either case a reason to go and pick it up today.

It proved to be the flute, which had been sent with the wrong post code, resulting it being sent to Bendigo not once, but twice, and kept there for nearly a week each time. I had thought that the slow delivery was due to the COVID-19 border restrictions, but in fact it could have been here two weeks ago.

It came with a case:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-1.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 1          Dimensions:          4986 x 1605, 1271 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But no key! How do I get into the box? Brought out some tools and tried lock-picking, to no avail. How do you pick that kind of lock?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-2.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2636 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Sent a message to Helen, who called back quickly. She didn't have a key. Just push the rod in the middle to the right, and it will open. And so it did:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-6.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 6          Dimensions:          4856 x 2118, 2124 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-32.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 32          Dimensions:          4686 x 575, 234 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Presumably it only works like that when it's unlocked.

Unfortunately, the flute isn't ready to play. Some of the pads have been changed, but others haven't, meaning that it's almost impossible to get any of the right hand notes. Looks like I'll have a restoration case ahead of me. Should I get the pads and do it myself? Sending it to Terry McGee doesn't sound like that good an idea if I want to see it back in this lifetime.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Dereel Images for 17 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Another bloody NBN outage
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Another long NBN outage overnight:

Start time End time  Duration   Badness        from                    to
                     (seconds)
1637069123 1637078171   9048  0.003 # 17 November 2021 00:25:23 17 November 2021 02:56:11

That's marginally over 2½ hours, and probably a scheduled outage. There are so many of them, mainly false positives, that I can't be bothered to check. But why do we still get them?


Shanxi noodles revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've had a package of not-quite-dried Shanxi planed noodles in the fridge for a couple of weeks now. I've had them before, and found that they were quite good with some dishes. But the next time we looked for them, they were out of stock, so we tried “Shan Xi pull noodles”. And that was a catastrophe. They were very broad and stuck together, and there was no way to separate them. So they went back.

The pull noodles were very wide, but the planed noodles are also wide. Will they stick together this time? To be on the safe side, I put them in cold water and loosen them first:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Shanxi-noodles-1.jpeg
Image title: Shanxi noodles 1          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 2073 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And then, of course, the cooking time. Last time I had cooked them for 14 minutes, but clearly they needed less after soaking. In the end I gave them 9 minutes (instructions said 8-10 minutes), and arguably they were still too soft. And they stuck together, but just a little:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Shanxi-noodles-2.jpeg
Image title: Shanxi noodles 2          Dimensions:          5251 x 3888, 5002 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Should I have soaked the pull noodles first? Not according to the instructions:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210827/big/Shanxi-pull-noodles-2-detail.jpeg
Image title: Shanxi pull noodles 2 detail          Dimensions:          1164 x 527, 127 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, 27 August 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 27 August 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 27 August 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Of course, that doesn't mean that it would be a good idea. But I don't see any particular advantage in the noodles, so I won't try it.


Kirchwasser!
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

More stuff to be picked up at the post office today: the Kirschwasser that Ruth Viebrock sent me on 4 November her time:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Etter-Kirsch-1.jpeg
Image title: Etter Kirsch 1          Dimensions:          1542 x 5078, 777 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That's less than 2 weeks, faster than the flute, and once again no duty to pay. Long live the “Cherry” brand!


Photos of reflective objects
Topic: photography, music, food and drink, opinion Link here

Taking photos of my new flute wasn't easy. In particular, how do you get a good image of the maker's seal and serial number? There are two issues: reflections and contrast. Here my first attempt, with studio flash:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-20.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 20          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2899 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I tried various ways of getting with the reflections, finally turning off all lights and pulling down the blinds, resulting in a 60 s exposure:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-27.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 27          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2177 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Unfortunately not much difference. And the light tent (something that I should have thought of before)?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-36.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 36          Dimensions:          1512 x 1575, 414 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, the tent really improves the lighting, but the contrast is still too light. Turning “microcontrast” to maximum in DxO PhotoLab helps a little, but I'm still not really happy:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-38.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 38          Dimensions:          1575 x 1512, 406 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Siccama-flute-37.jpeg
Image title: Siccama flute 37          Dimensions:          1575 x 1512, 488 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

While I was at it, also took photos of the Kirschwasser with normal flash and in the tent:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Etter-Kirsch-1.jpeg
Image title: Etter Kirsch 1          Dimensions:          1542 x 5078, 777 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211117/big/Etter-Kirsch-3.jpeg
Image title: Etter Kirsch 3          Dimensions:          1502 x 5081, 589 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

In this case, I think that the reflections add to the appearance.


Finally answer mobile phone calls?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Called Yvonne on her mobile phone today. No answer. Try again. No answer.

But then I got a call back, and once again my phone didn't offer me a “answer call” popup. More “swiping”, and finally got to the notifications. There it was!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211118/big/Mobile-phone-notifications-detail.jpeg
Image title: Mobile phone notifications detail          Dimensions:          1018 x 355, 27 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 18 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That seems to always be available. I've been using “smart” phones for nearly 5 years now, and it has taken that long to find out how to answer an incoming call!

And why hadn't Yvonne answered the call? Exactly the same problem! At least now we have (I hope) solved that problem, at least for Xiaomi phones.


Thursday, 18 November 2021 Dereel Images for 18 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Lens size
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Olympus OM System has bought out a new lens, a 20 mm f/1.4 PRO.

Why f/1.4? They already have three lenses with f/1.2 and focal lengths 17 mm, 25 mm and 45 mm. Ah, this lens is compact.

Is it? I carry an E-PM2 with a Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm f/1.7, and that's really compact. How do things compare?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211118/big/lenses.png
Image title: lenses          Dimensions:          1094 x 508, 221 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 18 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That's at Compact Camera Meter, and it shows, from left to right, the 17 mm f/1.2, 20 mm f/1.4 and 20 mm f/1.7. So yes, the 20/1.4 is considerably smaller than the 17/1.2, but enormous in comparison with the 20/1.7. And that for ½ stop speed difference? I can do without that.

In passing, what is a good focal length for a standard prime lens? In the good old days, 50 mm was the standard answer. That's what Leica always used, and what the SLR makers aimed for, though they had difficulty, and many wide-aperture lenses of the time had focal lengths of 55 mm or 58 mm. 55 years ago I looked down on a camera with a 40 mm lens.

But nowadays 50 mm (well, 47° diagonal) seems rather narrow. The 20 mm lens I use on the E-PM2 corresponds to a 40 mm lens on a 35 mm SLR and has a diagonal of 57°. Nowadays that seems much better. Only 55 years ago it was very difficult to make a lens like that for SLRs, though I don't understand why Leica had settled on it.


We will stop your pension payments in October
Topic: health, technology, general, opinion Link here

Yvonne and I receive multiple pensions. And at some point we're going to die. That poses a problem for the pension funds: how do they know if we are still alive? The French and German funds have a simple if ineffective solution: send a form to be filled out, claiming that you're still alive. Get somebody in authority to witness it. In Australia, that's a Justice of the Peace who has never seen you, but considers your driver license to be adequate proof of your identity.

It doesn't work well. We've been fighting the French CNAV since the beginning of the year, and they have actually stopped payments for her relatively tiny pension. In early September I received a letter from the German Rentenservice, asking for proof of my life. This year it's simpler: due to “Corona” I just need to sign the form and send it back. I did that immediately: though „Rentenservice“ is run by the Deutsche Post, the German post office, it arrived with maybe a couple of days to spare. So it wasn't surprising that two weeks later I received another one. I called them up on 24 September and confirmed that the certificate had, in fact, arrived.

And then today I got another one!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211118/big/Lebensbescheinigung.jpeg
Image title: Lebensbescheinigung          Dimensions:          2471 x 3437, 674 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 18 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 18 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

“Please send your certificate by 15.10.2021 or we will stop payment of your pension”. That's 5 weeks ago! When was the letter sent? Ah, that's secret. No date on the letter, and of course dates on postage stamps are a thing of the past. But it's reasonable to assume that it's dated at least 2 weeks before 15 October. Why does the German post office take so long to deliver letters? The Kirschwasser that I received yesterday was sent on 4 November, at least a month after the presumed date of the letter.

What do I do? I was going to call up again, but clearly that doesn't help much. But they included an email address, so I sent a somewhat stiff letter asking:

This isn't limited to Germany, of course. I have mentioned France above, and I have more than enough trouble with the Australian authorities. But in Germany they have an obligation to answer satisfactorily, so maybe some good will come of it. My guess is that this letter was also written before 24 September, in particular because my pension payment for October went through 2 weeks after the deadline. But trusting authorities is not a good idea.


Modern German punctuation
Topic: language Link here

I speak relatively good German, but it's not my native language, so when I wrote my letter to the „Rentenservice“, I asked Yvonne to check it through for me. She found very little wrong with it, but she came up with a couple of punctuation issues, both of which I ignored.

OK, let's check. I have about 4,000 pages of Duden in various rainbow colours. And that's the problem. Where so I start looking?


Friday, 19 November 2021 Dereel Images for 19 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Another bloody NBN outage!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Another National Broadband Network outage today, this time even longer at 9600 seconds (2 hours, 40 minutes). I hope they finally get their act together.


Plain text characters set on a web page
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I wrote the reply described in yesterday's article in German, but the file I saved is text without any markup. Problem: it includes the German quotation marks „“, and they don't appear to be in any ISO 8859 character set. OK, save in UTF-8, like this diary.

But what I got was mangled:

Die im Schreiben erwähnten Begriffe „Postabrechnungsnummer“ und „Postrentennummer“ sagen mir nichts. Sie werden auch nicht im Schreiben erwähnt, das nur eine einzige Kennungsnummer enthält.

I don't need to ask why: the web server is interpreting them as 8 bit plain text. But how do I tell it that it's UTF-8? For this diary, it's straightforward: it's in HTML, and each header contains

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/xhtml; charset=utf-8">

But I can't do that for plain text documents. What do I do? Some discussion on IRC, and Daniel O'Connor pointed me at this page, which includes multiple suggestions, at least two that don't work and one that does. Add this to the .htaccess file in the same directory:

AddDefaultCharset utf-8

And how about that, that worked. Synced the file to www.lemis.com and many of us checked again. Didn't work.

Ah, says Jamie Fraser, what does your httpd.conf say about AllowOverride? Nothing in each case. Not so simple: the default was All up to Apache 2.3, and then None. OK, that sounds reasonable. Add this to httpd.conf and try again:

 <Directory /home/grog/www.lemis.com>
         Options All MultiViews
+        AllowOverride All
         Require all granted
         Options -Indexes
 </Directory>

And now it works. Problem solved?

Well, no. .htaccess is a performance issue, and it's a bit kludgy. Somehow I need a cleaner approach. One might be to simply set UTF-8 as default. Would that break things? Possibly: some of those files probably contain ISO 8859 characters, and that would break them instead.

Probably the most sensible approach is to avoid plain text altogether and encompass plain text in an HTML page that includes the necessary information.


Destructive dogs
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

The dogs are rediscovering the terrace area:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Lena-2.jpeg
Image title: Lena 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3566 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And they still haven't stopped chewing things:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Dog-damage-1.jpeg
Image title: Dog damage 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 4608 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Dog-damage-3.jpeg
Image title: Dog damage 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3274 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


More wildflowers
Topic: gardening Link here

Seen walking the dogs today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Wildflowers-1.jpeg
Image title: Wildflowers 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2883 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Wildflowers-4.jpeg
Image title: Wildflowers 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3458, 2591 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

I'm sure I have seen them before, but there are seldom so many of them in one place. It might have something to do with the cool, wet weather.


Saturday, 20 November 2021 Dereel Images for 20 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

A new kitchen tap!
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Since moving to Stones Road, one thing that has given us continual pain was the kitchen mixer tap. What they installed was:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20150526/big/Taps-1.jpeg
Image title: Taps 1          Dimensions:          2967 x 3648, 2496 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 26 May 2015, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 26 May 2015, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Complete exposure details

 

It looks trendy, but it doesn't pull out like the old one we had, and it doesn't even have an aerator! It just ends with an open pipe!

Never mind, we had a fitting that would do the job. The builder sent a plumber around a few weeks later, but he didn't have much time and discovered that the hole in the sink needed to be enlarged. So in the end he replaced the old one and left us to look for somebody to do the job.

It took us over 2 years to find a plumber, in September 2017. But by that time the chrome on the tap had deteriorated, and the replacement I ordered was defective, so it wasn't until some time later that we finally got it installed—badly. The swivel part didn't turn easily. For that, though, the plumber sent me one of the most expensive bills I had ever seen.

As a result, less than two years later, the tap broke off the hose:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190730/big/Dead-tap-1.jpeg
Image title: Dead tap 1          Dimensions:          5394 x 3888, 5795 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 30 July 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190730/big/Dead-tap-2.jpeg
Image title: Dead tap 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4142 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 30 July 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 30 July 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Another new tap! In this case, I was able to replace the head, so we had water again, but the body still needed replacement. And we've been trying to find somebody for another two years.

Finally today Paul Donaghy and his mate Terry came to do the job. I'm glad they did: the old tap was really difficult to access, with two screws (here removed, showing just the holes) holding it in place from underneath:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Old-kitchen-tap-1.jpeg
Image title: Old kitchen tap 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1414 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Old-kitchen-tap-2.jpeg
Image title: Old kitchen tap 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2019 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But that was nothing compared to the new one. I thought that they were the same, but this one has a threaded outlet for the mixed water, and it's also the only mounting screw, conveniently hidden behind the hoses:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/New-kitchen-tap-3.jpeg
Image title: New kitchen tap 3          Dimensions:          1462 x 1479, 266 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

To screw it tight, he needed a 15 mm box spanner. Where do you find one of those? To my surprise, in our shed. But it still took a lot of effort, and Terry really appreciated it when I told him that there were another three to do in other rooms.

So where are we? We're not there yet. Yes, it works, but as the photos show, the thing isn't aligned correctly. The horseshoe washer should open to the front, but here it's turned by about 30°. That can be fixed, but somehow the head doesn't fit well:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/New-kitchen-tap-7.jpeg
Image title: New kitchen tap 7          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2594 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/New-kitchen-tap-8.jpeg
Image title: New kitchen tap 8          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 3754 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

6½ years and it's still not finished!


Turkey for dinner
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We bought a turkey breast roast from ALDI a few weeks ago when they were on special offer. Yvonne doesn't particularly like turkey, but I find it good in slices for German „Abendbrot“, so we cook it, eat one meal from it, and slice the rest.

ALDI instructions are: thaw, cook for 40 minutes in foil, turn, cook for another 20 minutes, remove foil and baste, cooking for another 30 minutes, 90 minutes in all. By this time the insides should have reached 82°. In fact it took 100 minutes.

Here after 70 minutes (foil off for 10 minutes) and again after 100 minutes, just before removing from the oven:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211120/big/Turkey-1.jpeg
Image title: Turkey 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2276 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 20 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211120/big/Turkey-2.jpeg
Image title: Turkey 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2637 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 20 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The entrée was prawns, avocado and the all-important Nasturtium flowers:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211120/big/Prawns-2.jpeg
Image title: Prawns 2          Dimensions:          5269 x 3888, 3795 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 20 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211120/big/Greg-3.jpeg
Image title: Greg 3          Dimensions:          2255 x 3470, 1285 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 20 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 20 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Sunday, 21 November 2021 Dereel Images for 21 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Coffee with the Swifts
Topic: general, animals, opinion Link here

Over to Graeme and Linda Swift today for coffee and cakes.

A surprising amount rotated around animals. They have a new sheep, Dolly, which they just got yesterday as a companion for their miniature pony Smokey:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Dolly-4.jpeg
Image title: Dolly 4          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 3123 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Dolly-3.jpeg
Image title: Dolly 3          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 2568 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Smoky-2.jpeg
Image title: Smoky 2          Dimensions:          4714 x 3456, 3216 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And they have lots of wild but friendly sulphur-crested cockatoos:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Cockatoos-6.jpeg
Image title: Cockatoos 6          Dimensions:          4646 x 3456, 3896 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Cockatoos-3.jpeg
Image title: Cockatoos 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2938 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Cockatoos-5.jpeg
Image title: Cockatoos 5          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 2062 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And it seems that they also have owls living in the trees around their house.


86-DOS: Censored!
Topic: technology, history, opinion Link here

Mail from Ryan Ottignon today, asking about 86-DOS. I had bought a copy of it in October 1981 and send to Louis-Luc Le Guerrier in December 1997, and Ryan wanted some details. OK, point to my diary entries of July 2011 and August 2015, along with the advertisement in Byte magazine for November 1980:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20150824/big/SCP.png
Image title: SCP          Dimensions:          1067 x 1353, 956 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 24 August 2015, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 24 August 2015, small
Diary entry for Monday, 24 August 2015 Complete exposure details

 

But the image wouldn't display. Well, not on one firefox. Others on IRC tried it, with similar results. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. OK, it's a PNG image. Has firefox stopped understanding them? Converted to JPEG. Same thing. Look at the file name: SCP-advertisement.png. Anything wrong with that? In some places I replace - symbols with the HTML equivalent &#45;. Could that be the problem? Call it foo.png. Yes, that works.

With some effort, helped by Juha Kupiainen, found what the problem was: the word advertisement. My ad blocker didn't like that. Rename the file to SCP.png and all was well.


Garden flowers in late spring, for real
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

On Monday I took the monthly garden flower photos—a little early. Over the years I've been taking them later and later, first at the start of the month, then in the middle of the month, and now round the 21st of the month, in line with the equinoxes and solstices. So this month it should be today. But I forgot and did them in the middle of the month.

What has changed? Not much, of course. The biggest difference is that we finally have a flower spike developing in the Kniphofia clump:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Kniphofia-1.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 1          Dimensions:          4644 x 3456, 3652 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Kniphofia-2.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 2          Dimensions:          3458 x 4608, 2270 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

On the one hand, that's nothing compared to this time last year:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Kniphofia-1.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4997 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Kniphofia-2.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4004 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 

The first Leucospermum is now starting to flower, and the Carpobrotus are flowering more, mainly because of the sunshine today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Leucospermum.jpeg
Image title: Leucospermum          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 4146 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Carpobrotus.jpeg
Image title: Carpobrotus          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 4984 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Again, nothing like last year:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Leucospermum-cordifolium-2.jpeg
Image title: Leucospermum cordifolium 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2496 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Leucospermum-cordifolium-1.jpeg
Image title: Leucospermum cordifolium 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5625 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 


Nervous mouse
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While at Officeworks two weeks ago, I bought a new mouse, a Philips M405. The Logitech M705 that I have seems to misbehave from time to time, and possibly the regurgitation effect that I have had in the past could be related to Logitech quirks.

Today I finally tried it out. How about that, it works out of the box. But it feels strange: it's too light. It's also very sensitive. Something to get used to.

Or that's what I thought. Then I saw the mouse cursor crawling across the screen, and noted that the screen saver didn't cut in: the crawling was enough to wake it again. Is this an issue with the mouse design, the individual mouse, or the FreeBSD mouse driver? Looking at the reviews, it sounds like it's a design issue:

This is by far the worst mouse I've ever used. I have to keep the base off to pull the batteries out every 10 minutes or so. Batteries that last about 2 weeks.

Certainly the nervousness has the effect that the (red) LED is on all the time, so this could be related. Elsewhere I saw a reference to what might be my “nervousness”.


Monday, 22 November 2021 Dereel Images for 22 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More mouse pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning to find that my MediathekView window had focus and wouldn't let go of it. Why? Spent some time confirming that the computer was running as usual, and I was able to switch to a different X server, which worked normally. But when I switched back to :0, I still couldn't get focus.

OK, back to :1 and shoot down the MediathekView. All OK again. Write up yesterday's diary entries, in particular the nervous mouse. Tried out the mouse again, confirming yesterday's issues. And I ended up with another window holding on to focus.

What was it? Was it related to the new mouse? I don't know. This time I wasn't able to just close the window. Finally I turned off the mouse, shot down and restarted the X server, and it didn't happen again. A lot points to the mouse, but I can't think how it could have been to blame.

I've been using X for over 30 years now, and there are still surprises.


Tandem Computers, 30 years later
Topic: history, technology, opinion Link here

Frank Sheeman, formerly of Tandem Computers, held a get-together at the Duke of Edinburgh in Cupertino last Friday. I would almost have gone, but it's a rather long distance for a drink or two. But Gary Tom took a couple of photos, showing the passage of time more than anything else. The last time I was at the Duke would have been in August 1992, but I didn't really spend much time in Cupertino after about 1989. Then most of the people I knew were in their 30s or early 40s, so now they'd be round 70 or older, and it shows. I tried to recognize the people in them. I recognized two or three, all false positives. With the help of Carl Niehaus, we have:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Tandem-reunion-1.jpeg
Image title: Tandem reunion 1          Dimensions:          4032 x 1960, 1419 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

From left to right, Carl Niehaus, Ted Holman, Joe Petersack, Joel Bartlett, Rick Rasay, Frank Sheeman (standing), ?, Phyllis' husband, Phyllis née Flick, Wendy Bartlett, Les Faby. David Kurn, Paul Wright, Don Nelson.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211119/big/Tandem-reunion-2.jpeg
Image title: Tandem reunion 2          Dimensions:          4032 x 1960, 1213 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

From left to right, Paul Wright, Gary Tom, Carl Niehaus, Frank Sheeman.

It's interesting to note how many of these people I kn[oe]w. Tandem had over 10,000 employees, but I knew Carl, Frank, Joel and Wendy relatively well, and had to do with Les Faby, Don Nelson and Gary Tom as well. I have also exchanged mail with Joe Petersack and Paul Wright—9 of the 14 people identified.

Another sign of the times: in those days, all the buildings around belonged to Tandem. Now they belong to Apple Computer.

Sic transit gloria mundi!


Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Dereel Images for 23 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

New mystery flower
Topic: gardening Link here

Helen Miller along this morning, bringing with her a couple of rippings of a flower she has in her garden:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211123/big/Mystery-flower-1.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower 1          Dimensions:          5321 x 3888, 4430 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211123/big/Mystery-flower-3.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower 3          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 2488 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

She tells me that it flowers long and reliably, and that it spreads as a ground cover—just what we need to keep the weeds at bay. But what is it? She doesn't know either.


More email delivery issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Two days ago I sent an email to Carl Niehaus, but didn't hear back from him. But then I got a DSN message. Message delivered. That seemed a little late, so I checked the server log:

Nov 21 03:58:35 lax postfix/smtp[28411]: C4C9828034: to=<caniehaus@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=1.2, delays=0.21/0.01/0.97/0, dsn=4.4.1, status=deferred (connect to mx1h1.comcast.net[96.102.157.178]:25: Connection refused)
<i>... retry at regular intervals</i>
Nov 22 19:46:20 lax postfix/smtp[46284]: C4C9828034: to=<caniehaus@comcast.net>, relay=mx2.comcast.net[68.87.20.5]:25, delay=143266, delays=143257/0.03/7.4/0.93, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 pFGWm9KAui5C7pFGdmKjcc mail accepted for delivery)

143257 seconds! That's nearly 40 hours! Why that? Comcast is a reputable company. They can't have been offline for 40 hours, or the world would have been up in arms.

Is this some form of greylisting? There's no indication, and 40 hours is rather long. But my reply to him also didn't go through in the couple of hours while I was watching.

Is this gradually the end of the Internet as we know it?


More failures
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The 404 document on my external mail server sends me email when a local page refers a non-existent local page: this is link breakage that I can fix.

Well, maybe. I have to believe that the referrer is correct. Occasionally I get messages like:

Referrer:       http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-aug2015.php?subtitle=Let%27s%20go!&article=D-20150827-223324
Referenced URL: http://www.lemis.com/sitemap.xml
Request URI:    /sitemap.xml

Problem: http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-aug2015.php has no reference to a site map. I don't understand why people do this.

Recently, though, things are even more bizarre:

Referrer:       https://www.vv0.com
Referenced URL: http://www.vv0.comhttps://www.vv0.com/main.dart.js
Request URI:    https://www.vv0.com/main.dart.js

What does this have to do with my server in the first place? It comes from the server, so somewhere it's involved, but how? This happens for a number of sites. From my mail index:


FAILURE: https://www.99syn.com/index.html &lt;- https://www.99syn.com
FAILURE: /sitemap.xml &lt;- http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-aug2015.php?subtitle=Let%27s%20go!&article=D-20150827-223324
FAILURE: /sitemap.xml &lt;- http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-aug2015.php?dirdate=20150527&size=4
FAILURE: https://www.vv0.com/main.dart.js &lt;- https://www.vv0.com
FAILURE: https://api.tha79.com/tha79/app/download/list &lt;- https://api.tha79.com
FAILURE: http://api.bgwimadadjkjkllds.com/bgwin/app/user/info &lt;- http://api.bgwimadadjkjkllds.com
FAILURE: http://www.vv0.com/football/inner_redirect/skGameFootballInfoTwo/findFootballList &lt;- http://www.vv0.com
FAILURE: https://www.sky-sport.net/TOP/js/public.js &lt;- https://www.sky-sport.net
FAILURE: http://www.zhibojia.cc/col.jsp?id=103 &lt;- http://www.zhibojia.cc
FAILURE: http://zhibojia.cc/col.jsp?id=102 &lt;- http://zhibojia.cc

What is that all about? And how does it convince my server to even try to serve the page?


5 years of fake Facebook account
Topic: history, technology, opinion Link here

Reading my diary back through the ages, I came across this article for 5 years ago. To sign up for a demonstration copy of software, I had to use a Facebook address.

I refuse to divulge my real Facebook credentials, so I created a new account—they're free, after all. And apart from this one use, I have never used it. But from time to time Facebook sends me “new friend” suggestions. That's really surprising given the attention that people have been paying to fake accounts. I wonder when they will come to reap this one.


Am I perfectly clear?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The product that I was looking for five years ago looked interesting: it promised functionality like Ashampoo photo optimizer, potentially with fewer bugs. But it had a fatal disadvantage: it was only a plugin for Photoshop and friends. So the whole effort was in vain.

Is that still the case? Checked and found yes, indeed, there is now a standalone version. Three weeks free trial, so downloaded it. I'll start trying it out tomorrow, though the documentation is not overly encouraging: the web site shows an automatic improvement, but the detailed documentation shows that there's a fair amount of work involved. The automation is one of the reasons that I still use the Ashampoo optimizer, despite its failings. And it seems that it hasn't been updated in over 4 years, not exactly a recommendation. Still, it could come in handy, and this is the time of year for special offers in the USA, so I can get it for well under half what they were asking 5 years ago.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Dereel Images for 24 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

So nice, so nice, we do it twice!
Topic: food and drink, technology, opinion Link here

One of the sillier mottos at Tandem Computers was “So nice, so nice, we do it twice”. And somehow the idea of duplication pervaded the company. So I suppose it was to be expected that, after I have spent some time discussing the Good Old Days, our breakfast eggs looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-DxO.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers DxO          Dimensions:          5230 x 3888, 2306 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Perfectly clear?
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

More playing around with Perfectly Clear photo software today. Yet another irritating interface. They all are, so I can't blame the maker. But what does it do? So far it looks more like a set of default processing parameters than any “Real Intelligence”. Tried it out on the fried egg photo, comparing with DxO PhotoLab of course (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour).


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-orig.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers orig          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2483 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-DxO.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers DxO          Dimensions:          5230 x 3888, 2306 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-PerfectlyClear.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers PerfectlyClear          Dimensions:          5195 x 3896, 2003 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That's first PhotoLab with no corrections, then PhotoLab with my default settings, then Perfectly Clear with what looked like a good setting. Which is best? One thing is clear: Perfectly Clear doesn't have any geometry corrections, so the images are somewhat different in shape and size.

Clearly both are better than the uncorrected version, and the Ashampoo photo optimizer doesn't improve anything. Here the “optimized” version of the Perfectly Clear image, first without “optimization”, then with it; the DxO version is similar (once again run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-PerfectlyClear.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers PerfectlyClear          Dimensions:          5195 x 3896, 2003 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/Double-yokers-PerfectlyClear-Ashampoo.jpeg
Image title: Double yokers PerfectlyClear Ashampoo          Dimensions:          5195 x 3896, 2126 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 24 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

This shows probably the worst problem with Ashampoo: the sometimes extreme colour changes. A worse one is this, again compared with Perfectly Clear (and again run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211123/big/Mystery-flower-PerfectlyClear-3.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower PerfectlyClear 3          Dimensions:          5195 x 3896, 2119 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211123/big/Mystery-flower-3-Ashampoo.jpeg
Image title: Mystery flower 3 Ashampoo          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 3083 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


A ring tone for Yvonne
Topic: music, multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne is still having difficulties with enzian, her new Xiaomi Redmi 9A mobile phone. Once again she wasn't able to answer it when I called. I wonder how prevalent this issue is.

One thing that she wanted was a better ring tone for the thing: the introduction to the second movement of KV 622. That's not exactly unknown. Is there one available on the web? Out to search, and Google found many hits, all apparently with a signal to noise ratio of 0: if there was any download possibility in that jungle of advertising, I didn't find it.

OK, I know how to do it myself, or at least I once did. That's why I write these things in my diary. OK, that entry wasn't very helpful, but at the end I was successful. Try again, this time without the pain of a ports upgrade. It remembered! It's been 2½ years since I last used it, but it pretty much ignored what I wanted to do today and went to the directory that I was using then! How I hate GUI software!

OK, select the 70 seconds of the introduction. Then save it. Oh:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/audacity-2.png
Image title: audacity 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 484 x 486, 52 kB
Dimensions of original: 484 x 486, 52 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 24 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why is everything greyed out? I can't save the file. I can't even export it! How I hate GUI software! I'll look at this tomorrow.


Weather station resurrected
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

When my weather station died, one of the first things I did was to connect it to dereel to see if it would work there. But I ran into MySQL configuration problems, and put it in the “too hard” “later” basket. After all, teevee and its USB bus were still working, but it didn't recognize the device.

Still, why not eureka? Tried it out and... it worked immediately. What is wrong with USB?


Thursday, 25 November 2021 Dereel Images for 25 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Real non-stick frying pans
Topic: food and drink Link here

Most modern frying pans have a “non-stick” coating. It's much more durable than the old PTFE coatings, but nowhere near as “non-stick”. But there's hope in the new ceramic pans. Here a beaten egg fried in the pan with no oil whatsoever:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/Photos/20211125/big/omelette-2.jpeg
Image title: omelette 2          Dimensions:          5215 x 3888, 2598 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/Photos/20211125/big/omelette-3.jpeg
Image title: omelette 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2294 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/Photos/20211125/big/omelette-7.jpeg
Image title: omelette 7          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2417 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/Photos/20211125/big/omelette-12.jpeg
Image title: omelette 12          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3287 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/Photos/20211125/big/omelette-13.jpeg
Image title: omelette 13          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2798 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Complete exposure details

 

If only more of them would come on the market.


Bloody Android ring tones!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Yesterday's search for a ring tone for Yvonne's phone drew a blank, and I couldn't even get audacity to let me save an image. Spent quite a bit of time today trying to find out how to save export the clip. I still don't know why, but since the “File” menu gave me almost no options (import, Exit or “Recent Files” (an obscenity in itself), I chose “Recent files”. There was only the file I was looking at. But in this second window, for no obvious reason, I was allowed to “export”:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211124/big/audacity-4-detail.png
Image title: audacity 4 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 503 x 568, 43 kB
Dimensions of original: 503 x 568, 43 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 24 November 2021:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Finally! Well, no. Trying to “Export selected audio” exported the entire clip, all 17 minutes of it. I had clearly not selected the way it wanted. More messing around, I think by clicking on the area I wanted, and things changed and I was able to save the clip. Now why didn't I write down these details last time?

OK, how do I upload it to enzian, Yvonne's phone? I have two programs that I use to access the file system on the phone: WiFi File Transfer, which presents a web interface to the phone's file system, and WiFi FTP Server, which interfaces with an FTP client. In principle FTP looks the way to go, but for some reason I hadn't been able to get authentication to work when I installed it on enzian.

In passing, why “WiFi” in these names? Modern software doesn't understand internetworking.

OK, try with WiFi File Transfer. Oh. It can't copy files from the Real World to the phone, only the other way round. Back to WiFi FTP Server. For some reason, anonymous access doesn't work. More head-scratching, then checked out my access scripts. Oh. I'm not using anonymous FTP on hirse, my own phone, either. OK, set up the password for the same fictive user as for hirse, and it worked on only the second attempt (HOW I hate invisible passwords on glass keyboard!).

So, into the setup menu and select the ring tone. Yes, it plays it for me, and I select it. Back to the previous screen. Not set! Much more messing around, but it just would not stick. The same things work fine on my phone. After over an hour of various attempts, I gave up. My best bet is that the ringer doesn't like the format of my clip; maybe it's too complicated. The same clip works fine on hirse. Should I call up Xiaomi support? I feat that that way madness lies.


Anonymous FTP to mobile phones
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Why can't I access hirse, my phone, or enzian, Yvonne's phone, using anonymous FTP and WiFi FTP Server? Much messing around:

=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/13) ~ 43 -> ftp -P 2121 hirse
Connected to hirse.lemis.com.
220 Service ready for new user.
Name (hirse:grog): anonymous
331 Guest login okay, send your complete e-mail address as password.
Password: no echo
230 User logged in, proceed.
Remote system type is UNIX.
ftp>
=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/13) ~ 44 -> ftp -P 2121 hirse
Connected to hirse.lemis.com.
220 Service ready for new user.
Name (hirse:grog): ftp
331 User name okay, need password for ftp.
Password: no echo
long delay
421 Service not available, remote server has closed connection.
ftp: Login failed
ftp>

So: FTP Server understands user anonymous, but not ftp. You'd think it was written over 30 years ago. But on reflection, it's easier to have a user name anyway.


Spring starts to come
Topic: gardening Link here

In a week it will be summer, and we have hardly seen anything of spring. There have been a couple of exceptions, such as our Strelitzia nicolai, which seems to be flowering more than ever before. There are at least 3 flowers in various stages of bloom. This one is the most developed:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          4736 x 3456, 3015 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 2148 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-9.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 9          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 1863 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

The Kniphofia that only last week was showing no signs of flowering has now produced a single flower spike with amazing speed. Here 4 days ago and today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211121/big/Kniphofia-2.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 2          Dimensions:          3458 x 4608, 2270 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 21 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 21 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Kniphofia.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 1825 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And the next round of Irises is blooming happily:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Irises.jpeg
Image title: Irises          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2313 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Oyster sauce chicken wings
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I saw this recipe for “Oyster sauce baked chicken wings”. Very simple, to the point of using garlic powder!

Clearly that's a no-no, but it was worth trying, even if I decided that the cooking method was a little simplistic. So bought some wings, marinated them, and today baked them in a glass form in the oven at 85° because I was too lazy to do them sous-vide. Interestingly, the oven kept the temperature surprisingly accurately, normally to within 1°. But after 1½ hours the chicken was still at 69°, so I ultimately heated them to 84° by trial and error in the microwave oven. Then in the “hair dryer” “air fryer” at 230° until they looked nice and brown, which proved to be 15 minutes:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Chicken-wings-1.jpeg
Image title: Chicken wings 1          Dimensions:          5216 x 3888, 3011 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

How were they? Boring! Nothing like as good as the soya-braised wings I eat with nasi lemak. But Yvonne liked them, so it looks as if she might also enjoy the soya wings.

The real test of well cooked chicken wings is that the meat falls off the bones. These ones failed the test:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Chicken-wings-2.jpeg
Image title: Chicken wings 2          Dimensions:          5318 x 3888, 3425 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 


Theiving Lena!
Topic: animals Link here

Seen in the lounge room after dinner:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Theiving-Lena-1.jpeg
Image title: Theiving Lena 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4281 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

What's interesting about that? Yvonne's glasses!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211125/big/Theiving-Lena-3.jpeg
Image title: Theiving Lena 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2457 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 25 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 25 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

For some reason Lena keeps stealing them, probably because they belong to Yvonne. She has done it several times now, but she has never damaged them.


Friday, 26 November 2021 Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

KL Hokkien Mee: done?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

KL Hokkien Mee for breakfast again today. I think I have now reached a definitive recipe. Compared to last time, there are relatively few differences: 5 g of garlic instead of 15, and half and half prawns and squid instead of only squid. So finally I have something like a definitive recipe.


Perfectly clear
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So what is “Perfectly Clear“? Two days ago I got some results, but only as “Looks” (their term, including capitalization). What else can it do? Went off and found a surprisingly fuzzy video that explained what it can do. It applies “Looks” to your image, and also offers adjustments based on these base “Looks”.

It seems that a “Look” is what DxO PhotoLab calls a “Preset”, a collection of settings. With a bit of practice I could presumably do the same thing with DxO.

What did come out of the video was that Perfectly Clear can apply lens corrections for some lenses when converting raw images, at any rate. The video specifically showed an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I with an M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 Pro, so it might even work for some of my lenses.

Do I need it? I don't know. It certainly seems to work better than the Ashampoo photo optimizer. In particular, should I “optimize” my weekly house photos or not? In particular the one in the north-west of the garden ends up with some really strange colours after processing with Ashampoo, and potentially Perfectly Clear can improve on things. I still can't decide. If I do, I should do it soon: they're currently bombarding me with special offers, though none are cheaper than US $64.50, still a lot of money for what it is.

Why did I look at it in the first place? It seems that I was looking for photo restoration software. Maybe I should investigate that more.

A couple of strangenesses: like DxO, it defaults to cropping to the same aspect ratio as the original, and even snaps back to that default after Every Image. And it has a crop guide that makes no sense at all to me. Apart from the usual grids, there's also a spiral.


Saturday, 27 November 2021 Dereel Images for 27 November 2021
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Naomi visits
Topic: animals, food and drink, music Link here

Naomi, primarily a horsey friend of Yvonne's, along today to look at and ultimately buy a saddle that Yvonne had for sale. Of course she got breakfast (Yvonne's take on Eggs Benedict). And during breakfast I discovered that Naomi plays the double bass. I know a lot of musicians, but this is, I think, the first time I have met a bass player. And for reasons she didn't get round to discussing, it seems that the lowest note of the instrument as she played it was low E, only a sixth below a Violoncello, and coincidentally a tone above the low D of the Tauber contrabassoon that I played 50 years ago. I wonder why. But then the double bass is a strange instrument.


Heron in garden
Topic: animals, photography Link here

From time to time we see a solitary heron wandering around in the garden. Discussed it at breakfast. Naomi thought it was a bit far from water, and I thought that it was probably looking through the wet ground for nourishment. After processing the photos, I found that I was right:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20211127/big/Heron-13.jpeg
Image title: Heron 13          Dimensions:          2119 x 1260, 939 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 27 November 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 27 November 2021, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 27 November 2021 Complete exposure details

 

A pity that the focus was out.


Flowering Acacia
Topic: gardening Link he