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Friday, 18 September 2020 Dereel
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Frijoles de la olla revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Cooked another batch of frijoles de la olla today. Time to reconsider the recipe. As it stands, I want 480 g (an 800 g can) of tinned tomatoes for 1 kg of beans (frijoles negros). But where can you buy 1 kg of beans in this metric country? They come in 375 g packages, so normally I cook 750 g at a time. And ¾ can of tomatoes is annoying.

So a whole can it is. I tried something similar with baked beans in the past and it proved to be too much. But in that case there were many more tomatoes and tomato paste. We'll see.

Apart from that, why put lard into the beans? The recipe called for 60 g of lard for what would become 16 portions, or rather less than 4 g per portion. Each of those portions is then fried in about 15 g of lard. Why bother in the first instance?

And then there's epazote. Once that was hard to get, and I was careful with my quantities: only 8 g for the batch. But that was long ago. Since last autumn I have so much of it that I don't know what to do with it, and in various Mexican recipe videos I've seen large handfuls go in. So today it was a large handful, more precisely 30 g.

I won't eat the first portion until Tuesday, but I'll be interested to see what it turns out like.

Where am I?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

One of the prerequisites of taking my analemma photos is to know the time of mean solar noon. My GPS navigator tells me that my location (well, the post outside my office) is at -37.80061,143.75168. You can calculate mean solar noon easily enough from the longitude: multiply by 4 minutes and subtract from UTC. That gives me 01:24:59.6 UTC, close enough to 01:25 to not make any difference.

Sometimes web sites want to know my location. I've grumbled about that in the past: they won't take my word for it, and instead go via some IP address or another. Which address? Depends on the service. Today we discussed the matter on IRC. The results:

Site       Groggy       Callum Gibson
geoIpResult       near Regensburg, Germany
maxmind       Auerteich, Kassel       Camperdown
geoipnet       Bentleigh E       Melbourne CBD

There were others, but not reported accurately. Alastair Boyanich was in the middle of Sydney Harbour, and geoiplookup also put me in “Francfort” (really Griesheim) and in Echo Lake, California. Clearly it's not looking at the IP address at all, but the address of the web proxy. Why should that be related to the location of the system?

It's interesting how many locations are in the middle of parks or lakes. On discussing it, Alastair came up with a couple of links: an innocent victim of a lone house in Kansas, also the subject of this article.

In summary, then: I've been grumbling about this inaccuracy for some time, but others are also hit by it. Why don't people like Google do something about it?

Saturday, 19 September 2020 Dereel Images for 19 September 2020
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Some days everything goes wrong
Topic: general, food and drink, photography Link here

Today was one of those days where lots of little things go wrong. It started with making breakfast. Time to mix up another batch of Curry laksa. That needs 200 g of coconut milk, which I had in the deep freezer. And somehow I had forgotten to label it, but then, coconut milk is easy to recognize. Took it out, but it wouldn't melt! Instead it flaked: it was frozen wonton skins. I couldn't find any coconut milk.

OK, open a new can. One half with solid coconut extract, one half with liquid. So I had to mix it, which first meant heating it up.

Finally that was done, and I added my 200 g. But for some reason the weights didn't match up. Added more water than seemed right, but when I moved it I discovered that the scales had fouled the stove, so I had 200 g more than I needed.

Later I took my weekly house photos. Out to the first position, where I discovered that I had the wrong glasses on. Back to get the right ones, turned the camera on... battery empty.

Back to get a new battery. Turned the camera on, but the remote control wasn't working. Batteries (2 AAA NiMH) discharged! Three trips back to the house where none would be needed.

The batteries for the remote control are interesting. They seem to last for ever. I don't know when I last changed them. But when I measured the voltage, something that I do as a matter of course now, I found what I have so often seen: one had 1.25 V, in other words reasonable charge, while the other was 0.82 V. It's surprising how often that happens.

Summer's here!
Topic: general, gardening Link here

Spring is progressing well. But today we suddenly had a top temperature of 26.2°. Only 2 days ago it was 14°. Time to do some garden work. What did I do? Nothing, unless it's marking a Freesia in the nature strip towards Progress Road:
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It doesn't belong there, and the last one I took felt very much at home in our garden:
Image title: Freesia hyacinth
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So the marker is there to find it again after it has finished flowering.

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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