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Wednesday, 5 August 2020 Dereel Images for 5 August 2020
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Hand wound
Topic: health, general Link here

It's been a week since I cut my hand trying to open inappropriate packaging. Time to change the bandage again:


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Took a shower before putting a new cover bandage on it, after which the suture showed its advertised peeling away at the edges:


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Things look much better now, but I'll leave the bandage on until the suture detaches by itself.


Pump issues
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Out to take a look at the extraction pump this morning:


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The float has lodged on the frame and was thus not able to fall low enough to turn the pump off. I'll have to tidy the whole thing out and test it, once we have more water. At any rate enough water had gathered in the sump overnight that I could pump it out, apparently showing that the pump has not been (seriously) damaged.


COVID-19: fines for non-compliance
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

The state government has imposed stricter rules for non-compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. If you're positive and don't abide by the self-quarantine requirements, you can be fined $1,652. And if you're caught a second time, you can be fined $4,957. This is what alerted the news media, who report it typically as “about $3,500”, politely omitting their reference to US currency or to the second time. To quote the New York Times:

Nearly everyone traveling for a job deemed essential must carry a signed work permit. And after a campaign to check in on people with Covid-19 found that one in four was not at home, a fine equivalent to about $3,500 was established for future violators. Some of the new rules have led to widespread confusion, with unclear guidance for everything from dog-walking to seeing romantic partners.

Good! It should be higher. In fact, it can be. Those are on-the-spot fines (you do have that much cash on you, right?). The $1,652 can be extended to $10,000 in court for repeat offenders, and the $4,957 can be extended to $20,000 for repeat offenders (isn't that what the $4,957 is for)? Still not enough considering the damage it can do; $50,000 wouldn't be too high.

But why these strange sums for the on-the-spot fines? They're in penalty units, of (currently) $165.22, so the first one is 10 units, and the second one is 30 units. Does that make sense? I can't decide, but at least I have an explanation.


Thursday, 6 August 2020 Dereel Images for 6 August 2020
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Accident in Grassy Gully Road
Topic: general, opinion Link here

While walking the dogs today, noted several skid marks. First, heading west:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200806/big/Road-accident-1.jpeg
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What could cause that? There was nothing else on the road, but clearly the driver had left the road and hit a tree.

But there was another skid mark in the opposite direction (going east):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200806/big/Road-accident-5.jpeg
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This one was mainly of interest because of all the litter left behind. But it would seem that two cars came along too fast, and to avoid collision they left the road and collided with vegetation instead.

Only: if that's what happened, they left to the right. Why? We drive on the left round here.


Measuring salt
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

The US Americans have a mania for measuring foodstuffs by the volume of some not clearly defined household device that wasn't designed for this purpose, notably spoons and cups. I've ranted about this at length. There are three basic issues:

  1. Measuring by volume, even in controlled circumstances, is not very accurate; the best you can hope for is 1%, and 3% is more likely. By contrast, most 1 kg scales (say 500 g average weight) are precise to about 100 mg, 0.02%.
  2. Measuring solids by volume is difficult because granularity can change the density of the product.
  3. Using substitute measures like spoons and cups introduces the largest error yet: even in the USA, home of such things, “cup” can refer to 6 different volumes between 84 ml (“small” cup on coffee machines) to 240 ml.

Today I found a question on Quora: How many ounces are in a teaspoon of salt?. OK, why not measure it? The result: between 0.19 and 0.56 (avoirdupois) ounce.

In detail. Three different kinds of salt:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200806/big/Measuring-salt-with-spoons-5.jpeg
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Take two different teaspoons, measure 10 “spoonfuls” of each kind of salt, and weigh them.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200806/big/Measuring-salt-with-spoons-2.jpeg
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Here the average weight per spoonful:

Salt kind       Spoon 1       Spoon 2
Rock salt       7.55 g       11.36 g
Kitchen salt       7.51 g       10.87 g
Table salt       7.84 g       9.98 g

All these were done with naturally heaped teaspoons. Interestingly, and contrary to my expectations, the kind of salt didn't make a big difference to the weight: it's within experimental error (table salt was the heaviest from spoon 1, the lightest from spoon 2).

I also tried as level as possible a spoon (spoon 1) of table salt and got 5.35 g.

In the past I have tried to measure the volume of teaspoon 2 (level) and come up with a volume of about 3.5 ml. In the USA, a "teaspoon" is defined as 4.93 ml (customary) or 5 ml (legal, § 101.9 paragraph (b)(5)(viii)), in other countries only 5 ml, all larger than any teaspoon I have measured.

The difference between definitely too little salt and definitely too much salt is probably about 30%. Here we have a difference of 300%. That's a perfect way to ruin a dish. And why?


Steak and kidney pie again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We're still not home with correct preparation of steak and kidney pie. Last time I baked at the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes with the top element. The main issue there was to cook the dough under the filling, but I hadn't wanted to cook in two different ways.

Today I tried a different tack: cook the dough underneath by itself before filling, this time for 5 minutes at 180° in the “coffee machine” “air fryer”:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200806/big/Steak-and-kidney-pie-2.jpeg
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Is that enough? It wasn't too much, anyway.

Then fill the pies and cook for 20 minutes at 210° with the top element in the middle of the oven. After 10 minutes they looked like this:


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And after 20 minutes:


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OK? Somehow the browning seemed too uneven. But we're getting there.


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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