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Friday, 7 December 2018 Dereel
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Where is Hengasch?
Topic: multimedia, general, opinion Link here

When watching TV programmes, I very much identify with locations. Some of the films I see clearly show where they were taken, and even feature the location, such as the German series „Notruf Hafenkante“ (which might be roughly translated as “Port emergency”, clearly centred in the port of Hamburg, and „Hubert und Staller“ (the names of the heroes) in Wolfratshausen.

But then there are others that are placed in some location „Mord mit Aussicht“ (“Murder with a view”), which explicitly takes place in some fictive location in the Eifel area of Germany, close to the Belgian border.

But where? I have only established that some scenes were made in Korschenbroich, to the West of Neuss and Düsseldorf, where my brother-in-law used to live. Nowhere near the Eifel.

The names of the locations don't help. Hengasch is the main locality (vaguely obfuscated „Hängarsch“, or “Hanging arse”) in the district of Liebenich („lieber nicht“, or “rather not”). Where are they? In episode 18, Scharfe Bräute, ganze Kerle, at 30:37 into the episode, they show a map:


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OK, Bad Münstereifel really exists. Hengasch is to the east, and Liebenich to the north-east. Drag out a map:

 
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That doesn't show much, does it? In fact, „Hengasch“ in in the middle of a forest, and „Liebenich“ is near a lake, but nothing like what's really there (a couple of houses).

The real issue, though, is: why can't I drop a location marker? That used to be trivial. Now I can't find out how to do it. Can OpenStreetMap do better? Certainly the view is easier to understand:

 
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Can I drop a marker? Probably, but it requires work to find out how. Why did Google Maps have to change everything?

In passing, it's interesting how much trouble they took to create this map. I've seen this kind of thing before with Rain Shadow, but they didn't go to nearly that much trouble.


No hay!
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Three months ago we ordered some hay for the coming season, and a couple of days ago I get a message saying that it was ready and that it would be delivered today or tomorrow. She later clarified the number:

 
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Bloody SMS! But OK, I saw it by chance.

That was two days ago. This evening, while watching TV, an unusual sound came from my office. It proved to be “I'm too polite to speak, so I'll beep: you have an SMS”. And what an SMS!

 
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OK, the rainfall was low, but surely she wasn't that off in her previous message, which had been after the math. It sounded much more likely that she had sold it elsewhere. Called up and left a message, and got a furious call back: “How dare you complain? You don't have a contract”. Well, in fact, I'm sure that her SMS would stand up in court.

Of course, what's the truth? It's been a bad year. If she had told us a month ago that things weren't looking good, we would have had a chance of finding an alternative. But now we're left high and dry.


Rudy Guiliani, the cyber security expert
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Rudy Giuliani is a person who has gone down considerably in my esteem since he jumped on the Donald Trump bandwagon. And like his master, he loves to tweet. Recently he tweeted:


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Clearly careful typing isn't his thing; he was probably using a mobile telephone, in which case I can understand the problem. But the result here was that he created a URL g-20.in.

Enter Jason Velasquez, a web designer. He tried to follow the URL, but the domain didn't exist. OK, we can fix that.

The link above is from the Washington Post, which only allows a certain number of free views per time frame. There's an alternative (but not quite so good) article in the Guardian.
 
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In passing, it seems that this kind of lack of attention doesn't just affect right-wing US politicians. The article above (currently) mentions a site g2o.In, which (currently) still doesn't exist.

That would have been funny enough. Twitter doesn't have a provision for modifying tweets, so he would have had to delete it, something that apparently wasn't an option. Clearly he wasn't happy. His first response shows that he didn't understand how Jason was able to exploit the loophole:

Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE

And look at those conspiracy theories!

The most interesting thing, though, is that it seems that Giuliani has served as a cybersecurity adviser to Trump. Now doesn't that say something about the calibre of his advisers?


Saturday, 8 December 2018 Dereel Images for 8 December 2018
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Chinese food revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've gradually been accumulating various fresh raw foods that are approaching their use-by dates: some Hokkien noodles and some fresh doufu.

What can I make with them? One of the reasons I have had them so long (nearly 2 months) was precisely because I wasn't sure. I had bought the doufu for some breakfast idea, probably Korean, but never found a good enough recipe. And while looking, found the noodles, for which similar concerns apply.

The doufu was relatively simple: I found another pack of preparation for Mapo doufu:


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But the devil is in the fine print. Well, not even that fine: “HOT”. And what's that other language? Japanese! And indeed it was made in Japan. But the HOT spells death for Yvonne, who hates even the sight of a chili.

A good thing I had the noodles. Again, what recipe? I found one in Wendy Hutton's “Singapore food”, but I didn't like it very much: it claims to be particularly heavy, but I don't see anything to bear it out.

In any case, I made the dishes, both with surprises: the doufu was barely hot at all—I suspect that Yvonne could have eaten it—and the noodle recipe omitted half the ingredients (prepare prawns and pork, but don't incorporate them into the dish; prepare garlic and explicitly discard it). I'll have to think about whether I keep the recipe, but here are the ingredients:

quantity       ingredient       step
500 g       Fresh Hokkien noodles       1
      hot water       1
15 g       Garlic, sliced and fried       2
      oil and lard for frying       2
250 g       Pork, cut finely       3
100 g       Tiger prawns, unshelled       4
150 g       Prawns, shelled       4
2       eggs, whipped       5
250 g       Bean sprouts       6
20 g       Salt       7
100 g       Spring onions       7
      Coriander leaves for garnish       8
  1. Prepare the noodles as instructed (in my case, 2-3 minutes in boiling water). Drain and keep warm.
  2. Slice garlic and fry in fat until lightly browned. Reserve.
  3. Fry the pork in the fat until cooked. Reserve.
  4. Warm the prawns in the microwave oven.
  5. Fry the egg in the fat, breaking into smaller pieces.
  6. Add bean sprouts and fry. I omitted this step (no bean sprouts), but I'm sure it's better with the sprouts.
  7. Add the garlic, pork, prawns and spring onions and mix well. Add noodles, salt and broth and mix again, frying until hot.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Maybe it's worth keeping. Yvonne certainly liked it, but I found it a bit boring. It wasn't until later that I found the Hokkien mee page on Wikipedia, which might have some more interesting ideas.


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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