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Sunday, 23 September 2018 Dereel Images for 23 September 2018
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More ALDI spice pastes
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A while back I bought a lot of pre-mixed East Asian spice sauces from ALDI. Some were OK, others less so, and I'm still left with a couple. This one suggested breakfast with the egg on the image:


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Diary entry for Sunday, 23 September 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The recipe suggested (only) 300 g of chicken breast for two servings. That seemed too much for me, and I ended up with 200 g of mixed chicken and pork, and added some chopped spring onions. Still too much. But it didn't taste too bad. Also, despite the description, it is not hot at all.


Incredible dying trees
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Yesterday Yvonne drew to my attention that one of our birch trees is not showing any signs of recovery from the winter. It's difficult to get a photo, but clearly the one on the left has new leaves, while there's little to see on the other one:

 
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Took a look and noted that the Paulownia kawakamii is also showing little sign of spring. And I've noted for some time that the buddlejas in the south garden are not doing at all well.

Why? Could it be the soil? Five months ago I had an issue with a Hellebore producing shoots that then died off again:

 
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I got Mick to dig out the soil and replace it with good topsoil, and that has definitely made a difference:

 
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But they still haven't flowered in the nearly 3½ years that we have been here.

So could it be that the soil is the problem with the birch and the Paulownia? The birch that is suffering is considerably larger than the one that (still) looks OK. Could it be that its root system has grown down and struck granite clay, and then given up? We know that there's clay 80 cm down, but could that kill a tree?

Closer examination and comparison came up with a different potential solution, though: the Paulownia doesn't produce leaves this early; last year they started round the beginning of November, only to get frozen off by a late frost:

 
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And looking at the Paulownia and birch in more detail, it seems that there's still hope:

 
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One thing that this does say is: it's too early to plant the Hibiscus and tomatoes that I had planned to plant soon. Instead, prepared some pots with soil for the tomato seedlings. I'll leave them inside to warm up and then plant them tomorrow.


Monday, 24 September 2018 Dereel Images for 24 September 2018
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Tomatoes!
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

After yesterday's recognition of the dangers of planting out too early, decided to pot the tomato seedlings that I bought last Thursday. I had only really needed two, maybe three plants, and clearly there were more here. But I was still surprised to find that there were 12 of them!

 
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They're a cultivar called “Sweetbite”, early maturing cherry tomatoes, presumably the same thing as Yates “Sweet Bite”, which are sold as seeds. I wonder if they're any different from the volunteers we got last year. Yates claim that they're “smaller than normal cherry tomatoes, fruit is produced in clusters on long branches”. We'll see.


More image issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Seen on IRC today:

gr00gle: I don't see any Minox images.

That was a reference to my article on Minox on Saturday. And sure enough, they weren't visible on the external web site. Normally that's because I forgot to sync my local copy, but in this case the images were from WikiMedia.

So why did they display locally and not on the external site? My guess was that it was due to the lazy display code I use:

<img alt=""
     title="Minox Riga.  Click to see in original size."
     src="/grog/Photos/20120628/tiny/loading-image.gif"
     data-original="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Minox_Riga_with_Minostigmat_3%2C5_F%3D15_lens.jpg"
     width="300" />

The display looks like this until the Javascript functions load the real image (after the page has been uncovered on the screen):

 
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But I had set the access mode for all /grog/Photos/*/tiny/ to 000, so clearly that couldn't (and didn't) display. But why should that stop the display of the external image? Reset the permissions of /grog/Photos/20120628/tiny/, and all was well. I still don't understand why.

I have a number of images in these hierarchies to which I refer explicitly in my code, notably my photos at the top of the diary pages. Time to go through the code and fix the references.


European Wontons
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

What's a Wonton? It's not a word that I hear much any more, and it seems to have a US American overtone to it. In fact, it is a valid word, referring to a kind of dumpling like the yum cha dumplings that I bought recently in Geelong.

We had no less than two packages of Wonton skins in the deep freezer, and today Yvonne decided to make some Wontons. I had my doubts: Yvonne tends to approach cooking from a decidedly European viewpoint, and the use of things like Noilly Prat didn't reassure me. But the results were good, even if she insisted on baking hers:

 
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This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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