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Saturday, 16 November 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 16 November 2019
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More storage space
Topic: general, language, opinion Link here

ALDI had some shelving on offer today, just what I needed for the garage, so off early to pick some up.

Started trying to assemble them in the evening. The assembly was supposed to take 30 minutes and not require any tools except for a hammer that was suddenly mentioned towards the end. After 45 minutes I had the first one about 80% assembled:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191117/big/Shelving-unit-2.jpeg
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After that I had to prepare dinner, so it had to wait for tomorrow.

At first the “instructions” looked a cut above the average for this kind of equipment, but that was just the first impression. What language! It refers to two different kinds of cross members (“cross beams”), horizontal and vertical. What's a vertical cross member? It's one along the long side. Why “vertical”? Either the person writing the documentation was lying drunk on the floor, or it's an artefact of translation (the shelves come from Poland, so presumably the documentation was originally in Polish). If that's the case, I can only assume that the translator was working without the illustrations.

There are more issues, but I'll leave that until it's complete.


Goodbye, LEMIS
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

LEMIS ceased trading in 2007, but I've dragged my heels for years to get it deregistered. Finally it's done, as I discovered after asking my accountant what was going on—on 26 September. That's something like 40 years since it came to be, back in Friedrichsfeld. How time flies!


Rumours of my demise...
Topic: photography, politics, opinion Link here

Interesting, but slightly disturbing, news today: Olympus closure is near, can happen in less than 8 months. Huh? That's a blog entry of a certain Vitaly Kiselev, whose home page seems to consist mainly of ban notices. The content implies, rather than clarifies, that he's talking about the imaging division.

OK, some random detractor. What does Olympus say? 奥林巴斯公司 公布新经营战略称不会关停相机业务, surprisingly in Chinese. Google translate offers Olympus announced that its new business strategy will not shut down the camera business .

OK, who's behind this? We see lots of use of web sites to influence politics. This one looks to me like a (possibly paid) attempt to influence business. My first thoughts were: “Sony” and “Tony Northrup”.

Why? I don't trust Sony's business integrity—we saw that years ago with their abuse of the Gnu public license, though it seems that the web has forgotten this matter, maybe the same way that it forgot the elk test (which Wikipedia insists on calling a “moose test”).

And I've already noted that Tony Northrup appears to be paid to put down the Micro Four Thirds system.

And sure enough, off he goes:

There's a lot of stuff in there, but some of the highlights:

So: all just nonsense? No, this could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And Olympus has left its users in the lurch in the past, with the sudden end of the OM system. It's concerning at least for those reasons.


Sunday, 17 November 2019 Dereel Images for 17 November 2019
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Finishing the first shelf unit
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Continued with the shelf unit this morning, and finished it pretty quickly. But it wasn't without surprises. Despite all care, I had managed to mismatch the height of no fewer than 3 cross-members, like this one (from yesterday's photo):

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191117/small/Shelving-unit-2-detail.jpeg
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The units are held together by tongues on the cross members sticking into slits in the columns. They're supposed to go in and out again on the same side of the column, but it's very easy to get them coming out on the other side or jam on the edge of the slit:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191116/small/Shelf-connector-2.jpeg
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I spent much of the time trying to get them to fit in correctly. I found that I could push in the end of the tongue with a small pipe wrench did the job.


Tool terminology
Topic: language, opinion Link here

Are these metal strips that fit into the columns on the shelving units really called tongues? The instructions carefully avoid giving them any name at all. But after much consideration, I can't think of an alternative term.

And then: I used a pipe wrench to push in the tongues on the shelving units. Or did I? Pipe wrench? What's that? I thought I knew my terms, but clearly others don't. What I'm talking about is this kind of tool, and I used the nose to push in the tongue:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Multiple_pliers.jpg

It's amazing how confused the terminology is. I found this particular image at tongue-and-groove pliers, a term I have never heard of. But the article gives alternate names: water pump pliers, adjustable pliers, groove-joint pliers, arc-joint pliers, Multi-Grips, tap or pipe spanners, gland pliers, and the image above is titled “multiple pliers”. And there are other wrenches also called pipe wrenches, but which look completely different:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Ridgid_10%22_pipe_wrench.jpg/477px-Ridgid_10%22_pipe_wrench.jpg

My guess is that every city has its own terminology. No wonder they never finished the Tower of Babel.


Carpobrotus in full flower
Topic: gardening Link here

The smaller Carpobrotus in the island in front of the house are in full flower:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191117/small/Carpobrotus.jpeg
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And down Harrisons Road the one Solanum aviculare plant is flowering more than I have seen before:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191117/small/Solanum-aviculare-1.jpeg
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Is this due to the moist spring?


Can opener pain
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I've been using can openers for at least 60 years. They're not exactly high-tech, and for the past 50 years or so the standard opener looks pretty much like this:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191118/small/Can-opener-2.jpeg
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But I've had difficulty with them in the past: cans are giving way to single-use plastic, and it's not clear whether this is a good or a bad thing. But the cans themselves are changing: they're thinner and more easily deformable, and I suspect that the lid is indented further from the top, making it difficult to open properly. So three years ago we bought a new opener, which, though strange, seems to work.

But today I couldn't find it, so I had to use the old one. What a mess! It wasn't enough by itself; I needed other tools too:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191118/small/Can-opener-1-detail.jpeg
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And that's without my bleeding hand, caused by the screwdriver slipping. By the time I got round to looking at it again, there wasn't much to see.

Why is this so difficult?


Blue spot fish
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

ALDI had “Blue spot emperor fillets” on special this week. What's that? A kind of fish. It doesn't seem to be well known. According to an Australian government web site, Bluespotted Emperor is Lethrinus punctulatus, but that (Wikipedia) link redirects to Lethrinus lentjan, a different species with the names pig-face bream, pink ear emperor, pink-eared emperor, purple-eared emperor, purple-headed emperor, red spot emperor and redspot emperor.

Still, it looked good, so I bought a pack, and we made sweet and sour fish out of it. Verdict? Boring. Maybe we should have followed ALDI's recommendation and just pan-fried it.


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. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. 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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