Greg
animals food and drink
gardening general
health history
language multimedia
opinion photography
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
December 2019
Translate this page
Select day in December 2019:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Select month:
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
2019 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2020 Jan Feb Mar Apr
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Previous month
Next month
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Sunday, 1 December 2019 Dereel Images for 1 December 2019
Top of page
next day
last day

Garage sales, day 2
Topic: general Link here

After yesterday's fun with garage sales, we had had enough. But one was still of interest, at 111 Stones Road, almost our next-door neighbour (only 800 m away). Up early to take a look, but ultimately didn't find much of interest. It seems that things were hopping yesterday morning, though.


Recovering lagoon, day 2
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

On with the recovery of lagoon today. In principle, it's simple. Change /boot/loader.conf on the first bootable partition:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 36 -> rcsdiff -wu /destdir/boot/loader.conf
--- /destdir/boot/loader.conf   2017/10/04 22:51:33     1.1
+++ /destdir/boot/loader.conf   2019/12/01 01:06:44
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
-currdev=disk0p1
-rootdev=disk0p1
+currdev=disk0p4
+rootdev=disk0p4

Copy or merge the important files in /etc/ to the new root partition, and we're away.

Oh. The loader can't find the root partition. Somehow I had messed up my file systems, and the new /etc/fstab still reflected the old Vultr system:

# Device        Mountpoint      FStype  Options Dump    Pass#
/dev/ufs/rootfs /               ufs     rw      1       1

Yes, that didn't work. Quite a few files in /etc/ still needed updating, including files not under revision control. Morale: save all config files in RCS, even if they're not changed. That way I at least have an indication of what else I needed to do.

And apart from that? Email continues to be a pain, and I got messages that I didn't expect:

Dec  1 13:12:52 lagoon sm-mta[1144]: alias database /etc/mail/aliases.db out of date

And strangely it stayed that way after running newaliases:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 42 -> l /etc/mail
...
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    1,698  1 Dec 10:22 aliases
-rw-r-----  1 root  wheel  131,072  8 Nov 15:22 aliases.db

But clearly I need to spend more time going through the postfix configuration with a fine tooth comb. /usr/local/etc/postfix/main.cf is currently at revision 1.18

revision 1.18
date: 2007/03/08 04:43:19;  author: grog;  state: Exp;  lines: +6 -5
Adapt to local environment.
...
revision 1.1
date: 2001/02/06 01:31:46;  author: grog;  state: Exp;
Initial revision

Interestingly, it really seems that it hasn't changed in nearly 13 years, since before we moved to Dereel.


Google: don't obfuscate
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Juha Kupiainen came up with some interesting information today: Google Slammed Over Chrome Change That Strips 'www' From Domain URLs . But it seems that Google doesn't care:

When asked about this change in a long discussion thread on a mailing list, a Google staffer wrote: "www is now considered a 'trivial' subdomain, and hiding trivial subdomains can be disabled in flags (will also disable hiding the URL scheme)..."

They may consider that to be the case. They clearly haven't considered the DNS implications of using the domain name as the web server name. And it still violates POLA. Fortunately, somebody has come up with instructions on how to stop it doing this stuff. Hopefully it will still work if I ever find myself forced to use Chrome.


Rusty Wrench again
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Mail from Linux Australia today, soliciting nominations for next year's “Rusty Wrench Award”:

The Rusty Wrench Award is Australia's highest honour for community contributions to the Open Source movement in the country. It was eponymously named after luminary Rusty Russell, one of Australia's most prominent contributors and community members, founder of linux.conf.au (as CALU, in 1999), and the inaugural recipient of the award.

And how about that, I was there at the first presentation, nearly 15 years ago at the conference dinner for linux.conf.au. And though I didn't mention it in my diary at the time, I did take a photo:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20050422/big/Rusty-Wrench.jpeg
Image title: Rusty Wrench          Dimensions:          902 x 1399, 240 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, small
Diary entry for Friday, 22 April 2005 Complete exposure details

 

Not a very good photo; this was 2005, after all, and my camera (Nikon “Coolpix” 880, with only 3 megapixels, and already a few years old) was not the best. But that's not the original image; I have enhanced it (if that's the correct word) with DxO PhotoLab. Originally it looked like the left-side image (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20050422/big/Rusty-Wrench-orig.jpeg
Image title: Rusty Wrench orig          Dimensions:          910 x 1394, 159 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, small
Diary entry for Friday, 22 April 2005 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20050422/big/Rusty-Wrench.jpeg
Image title: Rusty Wrench          Dimensions:          902 x 1399, 240 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 22 April 2005, small
Diary entry for Friday, 22 April 2005 Complete exposure details

 

Things would be even better if Ashampoo optimizer would still work, but in this specific case the new “green background” bug makes it unusable.


Flowering Solanum?
Topic: gardening, photography, opinion Link here

Nine months ago I noticed some particularly active Solanum laciniatum bushes. But today they're flowering even more:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191201/big/Solanum-laciniatum.jpeg
Image title: Solanum laciniatum          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 8750 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 1 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 1 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 1 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Where? Walking past, the flowers reach out and grab you. Why is there nothing to be seen in a photo? Yes, they're there, but somehow the photo (any photo) hides them.


First tomato of summer
Topic: gardening Link here

It's only been a couple of weeks since I planted this tomato plant, a „Riesentraube“:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191201/big/Tomato-1.jpeg
Image title: Tomato 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3278 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 1 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 1 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 1 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I wonder how long before it will bear usable fruit.


Food poisoning from raw fish?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

When I answered questions on Quora, one of the recurring questions related to food poisoning. Eat food that hasn't been cooked to at least 145° and you run the risk of food poisoning.

One thing is common to all these questions, and the temperature itself shows it: clearly 145° is not a normal temperature for anything you eat. It uses the old Fahrenheit scale (and corresponds to about 63° C). It seems that this phobia is a very US American thing, and the idea of eating undercooked or even uncooked food (like the sashimi that we ate yesterday) probably sets off people's reactions without them actually having to eat anything.

But this morning I got up and discovered that Yvonne had forgotten to put the leftover sashimi into the fridge. Had it? Took a sniff. No, seemed perfectly normal. So I put it in the fridge and we ate it in the evening. Admittedly I had a few misgivings, but again, it tasted normal. And we had no ill effects.

How dangerous are raw animal foodstuffs really? Under what circumstances could you get sick from food that tastes normal?


Monday, 2 December 2019 Dereel Images for 2 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Understanding postfix
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So lagoon is up and running, and so far Yvonne hasn't found anything wrong. But there's still the mail configuration to worry about, and it occurs to me that I haven't really ever understood postfix. That's why I still use a configuration that I cobbled together 18 years ago, and which I have been hacking ever since.

Today I had two main problems. Firstly, I don't really understand postfix's main.cf configuration file. I've told it to use a virtual map for delivery outside the local system:

# $Id: transport,v 1.5 2012/07/10 02:44:24 grog Exp $
# While they're blocking 25
*   smtp:eureka.lemis.com

postmap then converts this to a database format. That works, but postfix ignores it! Configuration issue? I have:

transport_maps = hash:/usr/local/etc/postfix/transport

And that's also what's in my other configuration files. But on lagoon what I get is:

Dec  2 12:09:36 lagoon sm-mta[4995]: xB219aVd004995: from=<grog@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=377, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201912020109.xB219Z8P004994@lagoon.lemis.com>, proto=ESMTPS, daemon=Daemon0, relay=localhost [127.0.0.1]
Dec  2 12:09:36 lagoon sendmail[4994]: xB219Z8P004994: to=grog@freebsd.org, ctladdr=grog (1004/1000), delay=00:00:01, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30045, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (xB219aVd004995 Message accepted for delivery)
Dec  2 12:09:48 lagoon sm-mta[4997]: STARTTLS=client, relay=mx1.freebsd.org., version=TLSv1.3, verify=FAIL, cipher=TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits=256/256
Dec  2 12:09:51 lagoon sm-mta[4997]: xB219aVd004995: to=<grog@freebsd.org>, ctladdr=<grog@lagoon.lemis.com> (1004/1000), delay=00:00:15, xdelay=00:00:15, mailer=esmtp, pri=30377, relay=mx1.freebsd.org. [96.47.72.80], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (Ok: queued as 47R6Tn5KDjz4Slv)

Oh. Not what I intended, but what I wanted. Looking at the message when it came back confirmed:

Received: from lagoon.lemis.com (167-179-139-35.a7b38b.mel.nbn.aussiebb.net [167.179.139.35])
        (using TLSv1.3 with cipher TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 (256/256 bits)
        server-signature RSA-PSS (4096 bits)
        client-signature RSA-PSS (2048 bits) client-digest SHA256)
        (Client CN "guest.localhost", Issuer "guest.localhost" (not verified))
        by mx1.freebsd.org (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 47R6Tn5KDjz4Slv
        for <grog@freebsd.org>; Mon,  2 Dec 2019 01:09:48 +0000 (UTC)
        (envelope-from grog@lagoon.lemis.com)

In other words, my network link no longer blocks SMTP. That's excellent news—if it lasts. It means that I no longer have to use this kludge mail tunnel to www.lemis.com. But it doesn't help in the slightest in understanding what postfix is doing.

By comparison, the other problem hasn't gone away. newaliases, once the part of sendmail responsible for creating /etc/mail/aliases.db, is now a new alias for postfix, and though it complains about the content of aliases, it doesn't change that file. This is not related to the upgrade of lagoon; it happens exactly the same way on eureka:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) ~ 116 -> newaliases
postalias: warning: /etc/aliases.db: duplicate entry: "mailer-daemon"
postalias: warning: /etc/aliases.db: duplicate entry: "postmaster"
...
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) ~ 117 -> l /etc/mail
...
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   13,350  3 Dec 11:26 aliases
-rw-r-----  1 root  wheel  131,072 30 Dec  2013 aliases.db

This doesn't matter for postfix, but there are other programs, like mail(1), that look at /etc/aliases.db and complain:

Dec  2 12:09:03 lagoon sm-mta[4988]: alias database /etc/mail/aliases.db out of date

That's really a problem, since I can't find a way to rebuild the file, and messages that should end up with me go to root instead. More head-scratching.


Microwave oven usability
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Since we got our first “inverter” microwave oven over 12 years ago, we've found one of the best features to be the fact that you can soften butter with them. As a result, we've ensured that the two successor machines are also “inverter” machines.

But the newest, the Sharp R350EW, bought in August, doesn't seem to do it as well as its Panasonic predecessors:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191202/big/Microwaved-butter-1.jpeg
Image title: Microwaved butter 1          Dimensions:          4762 x 3456, 2666 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 2 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 2 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 2 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That was done at 100 W, the same rating as the Panasonics, for 90 seconds. It seems that the power distribution of the Sharp is not as uniform. Presumably the hole is in the exact centre of the turntable, where rotation doesn't help. And so it seems that putting the butter to one side would work around the problem. So would doing it in the newer Panasonic oven, which is still in service.


Tuesday, 3 December 2019 Dereel Images for 3 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

lagoon again
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Basically things are working on lagoon now. Email continues to be a problem, but I have workarounds for the time being, and I'll need to spend more time to consider all the issues.

Apart from that, there are things like the nightly backups. They're run from a cron job in /etc/crontab:

0 21 * * * root /home/local/bin/cleanup

But for some reason it doesn't get started, and there's no obvious reason why not.

As expected, there were problems running my photo software. The strangest one was:

=== yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/1) ~/Photos/20191203 26 -> for i in `ls *.jpeg *.gif *.png 2>/dev/null`; do  echo $i;  done | by 2 /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php /Photos/Tools `pwd` tiny 67500;  MYDIR=`pwd`;  IMAGELINKS=`pwd`/Imagelinks;  if [ -f $IMAGELINKS ]; then  (cd ~/public_html/Photos/`basename $MYDIR`/tiny && checkimagelinks $IMAGELINKS tiny);  fi
sh: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: not found
sh: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: not found
sh: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: not found
sh: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: not found

Huh? That file is there. Isn't it? Yes:

=== yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/1) ~/Photos/20191203 27 -> l /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php
-r-xr-xr-x  1 grog  lemis  1,927 16 Feb  2013 /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php

So what's the problem? Pull it out of the loop and try again:

=== yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/1) ~/Photos/20191203 25 -> /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php
bash: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: /usr/local/bin/php: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

Aaah! Missing port. Now wasn't the message from sh helpful? OK, off to install.

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 110 -> pkg install php
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
FreeBSD repository is up to date.
All repositories are up to date.
pkg: No packages available to install matching 'php' have been found in the repositories
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 112 -> pkg search php | wc -l
    2843

Which of the 2,843 php ports should I install? How I wish that there were a canonical port name for these things! They seem to have managed it for Emacs. Why not for PHP?. Finally found php74 and installed it, and despite my concerns (much newer version) it worked as expected. But it shouldn't be such a pain.


Email requirements
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Email proves to be a bigger problem than I had expected. I need to take a step back and think what I really need, and then how I achieve it. There are at least three separate configurations:

Firstly, the main email configuration at eureka, externally better known as mx0.lemis.com. This is the final destination for all mail to lemis.com. What do I need?

Then there are the higher-order MX servers. This currently “works”, though I'm not convinced that everything works well. They require

Finally, other machines, both local (lagoon) and remote (ffm.lemis.com for example). It's not clear that I even need an MTA on lagoon, but the principle is the same, and I should have an MTA on ffm and possibly other external servers that I may create. In principle, they only need to send. That should be an out-of-the-box configuration, but I need to reconsider after I have done the other two.


YouTube reviews: fake news?
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

I've already taken Tony Northrup to task for his misinterpretation of “ISO” and his claims of the demise of the Micro Four Thirds system. In the latter case, in particular, I suspected that he was paid to spread rumours, as he did two weeks ago again about Olympus closing their camera business.

But it seems that he doesn't just have it in for Olympus. He also has a clip Nikon is DYING “(but it's not too late)”, and most intriguingly, Are DSLR Cameas DEAD?!.

That seemed worth watching. It seems that Ricoh (the only serious camera maker without a mirrorless offering) has claimed Ricoh Thinks Mirrorless Shooters Will Switch Back to DSLRs in 1-2 Years. They're not alone: yes, Tony says, DSLRs will make a comeback.

His argumentation is amazing. He compares mirrorless cameras (a clear technological advance) with DVD Audio and Super Audio CD (attempts at marketing fragmentation). He looks at numbers based on Amazon's top 100 list, noting in passing that CIPA has other figures.

I didn't know about Amazon's top 100 list, so I went looking. Yes, it's interesting, and it's based on Amazon's recent sales. But there are separate lists for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and the lists are updated every hour, clearly reflecting recent sales (though it's clear that that doesn't need to mean exactly the sales in the previous 60 minutes). But there are so many reasons not to use it as reflective of real sales.

From this dubious base he makes projections and claims that lens makers will be reluctant to bring out new lenses for mirrorless cameras, ignoring the large number that have been introduced: DSLR lenses fit mirrorless too, mirrorless don't fit DSLRs.

What's completely missing from his argumentation (and from Ricoh's claims, for that matter) are hard technical facts. How will any DSLR maker be able to bring out lenses like Nikon's 58 mm f/0.95 Noct? Or any number of other lenses too difficult to make with DSLRs? How do you do macro work, where a DSLR viewfinder is too dim? How do you do video? (Answer to that one: simulate a mirrorless camera, because that's all you have when you flip the mirror to take video with a DSLR).

The bottom line, though, is that many people listen to people like Northrup. He's a marketing factor, and he's clearly available for hire. I don't think it's worth listening to anything he has to say any more.


New wildflowers
Topic: gardening Link here

I would have thought that by now I had seen most of the wildflowers that there are around here. But I don't think that I've seen these ones (in Westons Road) before:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191203/big/Wildflower-1-3.jpeg
Image title: Wildflower 1 3          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 5665 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 3 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191203/big/Wildflower-1-1.jpeg
Image title: Wildflower 1 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 2827 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 3 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Wednesday, 4 December 2019 Dereel Images for 4 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

lagoon continued
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

OK, lagoon is up and running, but I had had some strange problems installing the userland after the last buildworld, probably as a result of moving file systems around. OK, update and build the latest FreeBSD 12-STABLE.

It crashed on me! And in a way I know:

Dec  4 09:05:05 lagoon kernel: pid 4073 (c++), jid 0, uid 0, was killed: out of swap space
Dec  4 09:05:07 lagoon kernel: pid 4082 (c++), jid 0, uid 0, was killed: out of swap space

Huh? I have 20 GB of swap! Don't I?

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 140 -> pstat -s
Device          1048576-blocks     Used    Avail Capacity
/dev/ada0p3                  0        0        0    98%

Huh? Oh: /etc/fstab contains:

# Device        Mountpoint      FStype  Options Dump    Pass#
/dev/ada0p1             /destdir                ufs     rw      1       1
/dev/ada0p3             none                    swap    sw      0       0
/dev/ada0p4             /                       ufs     rw      1 2

That makes sense. All my system disks have the same partitioning: partition 1 is the first root file system, partition 2 is the boot partition, partition 3 is swap, partition 4 is the second (alternative) root file system, the one I'm using now, and partition 5 is the (big) remainder file system. But gpart sees a different view:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 145 -> gpart show
=>        40  3907029088  ada0  GPT  (1.8T)
          40    83886080     1  freebsd-ufs  (40G)
    83886120    41943040     2  freebsd-swap  (20G)
   125829160        1024     3  freebsd-boot  (512K)
   125830184    83885048     4  freebsd-ufs  (40G)
   209715232  3697313895     5  freebsd-ufs  (1.7T)

It seems that I partitioned lagoon before I settled on this scheme, and here swap is partition 2. But for convenience I copied the fstab from teevee. And it seems that swapon was clever enough not to use the partition.

Or was it? The summary at the end of the aborted kernel build showed 6 page swaps. Why the 0 in the output of pstat? Because BLOCKSIZE was 1048576 (1 MB), and the partition was only 512 kB in size.

So: did I swap to the boot code or not? Copied the partition to a file and compared with the boot partitions on teevee and subsequently on eureka:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) /var/tmp 149 -> cmp bootpartition.eureka  bootpartition.teevee
bootpartition.eureka bootpartition.teevee differ: char 28, line 2
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) /var/tmp 150 -> cmp bootpartition.eureka  bootpartition.lagoon
bootpartition.eureka bootpartition.lagoon differ: char 1815, line 18
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) /var/tmp 151 -> cmp bootpartition.teevee  bootpartition.lagoon
bootpartition.teevee bootpartition.lagoon differ: char 28, line 2

That doesn't help much. OK, reinstall the boot code and try again:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 16 -> gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 3 ada0
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 17 -> dd if=/dev/ada0p3 of=/eureka/home/var/tmp/bootpartition-2.lagoon
...
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) /var/tmp 152 -> cmp bootpartition*lagoon
bootpartition-2.lagoon bootpartition.lagoon differ: char 28, line 2

So at the very least the bootcode that I just installed is different from what was there before. Was the old code still OK? Hard to say, but it's so easy to reinstall, and so hard to recover if you have a machine with no boot code.


More mail forwarding insights
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I worked around my problems with /etc/mail/aliases on lagoon by creating a file /root/.forward that forwarded all email to groggyhimself@eureka.lemis.com. And that works, and I'm getting root mail for lagoon again. And then on a hunch I did:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 6 -> diff /destdir/root/.forward  ~/.forward
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 7 ->

That's exactly what I did last time! So it's quite possible that mail on lagoon hasn't been working properly for a long time.


/etc/crontab problems: solved?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Why isn't cron on lagoon honouring the contents of /etc/crontab? Spent some time RTFMing, without any obvious insights. And then I checked the log files:

Dec  2 09:43:00 lagoon /usr/sbin/cron[900]: (*system*) RELOAD (/etc/crontab)

OK, clearly it's looking at /etc/crontab, and presumably it's doing it automatically. But that was 2 days ago, and it was the only time. When does it reload? When the file is updated, in other words when the modification time stamp increases?

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /etc/X11 20 -> l /etc/crontab
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  768 30 Jun  2018 /etc/crontab

That makes sense. I had copied it from the old partition with cp -p, so the modification timestamp was unchanged. And when?

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /etc/X11 21 -> l -c /etc/crontab
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  768  2 Dec 22:14 /etc/crontab

Problem solved, indirectly, on rebooting the new system.


X problems
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

One of the puzzling things I had with lagoon was still outstanding when I started the upgrade: Two years ago I put in the current display card, which identifies as:

[  1606.734] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GT 710 (GK208) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0)

That's very convenient, because on teevee I had:

[    18.506] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GT 710 (GK208) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0)

In other words, exactly the same hardware. The fact that it worked so well in teevee was the main reason I put one in lagoon. But it didn't work! At the time I just gave up and installed the standard nv driver.

Clearly a cop-out. So today I tried again, again ending in failure. In the process I saw a message in /var/log/Xorg.0.log that I have never seen before:

[  1605.758] (WW) Hotplugging is on, devices using drivers 'kbd', 'mouse' or 'vmmouse' will be disabled.
[  1605.758] (WW) Disabling Keyboard0
[  1605.758] (WW) Disabling Mouse0

And sure enough, keyboard and mouse were dead in the water.

The remaining content of the log file is similar to what I had 2 years ago, but different enough to be hard to interpret. But it seems that the big difference is here:

[  1606.735] (II) NVIDIA(0): Validated MetaModes:
[  1606.735] (II) NVIDIA(0):     "NULL"

That contrasts with the contents of the file on teevee:

[    33.442] (--) NVIDIA(0): Valid display device(s) on GPU-0 at PCI:1:0:0
[    33.442] (--) NVIDIA(0):     CRT-0
[    33.442] (--) NVIDIA(0):     CRT-1
[    33.442] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-0
[    33.442] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-1 (boot)
...
[    33.443] (II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 16X
[    33.463] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-0: disconnected
[    33.463] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-0: 400.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    33.463] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    33.464] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-1: disconnected
[    33.464] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-1: 400.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    33.464] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    33.467] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: disconnected
[    33.467] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: Internal TMDS
[    33.467] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: 330.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    33.467] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    33.482] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): connected
[    33.482] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): Internal TMDS
[    33.482] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): 230.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    33.482] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    33.485] (II) NVIDIA(0): Validated MetaModes:
[    33.485] (II) NVIDIA(0):     "DFP-1:1920x1080"
[    33.485] (II) NVIDIA(0):     "DFP-1:1280x720"

In other words, no mention of any devices attached to the card. Why? At first I thought that it might be that the monitor wasn't providing any EDID data, but that wouldn't explain the reference to non-existent devices like CRT-0 on teevee. I still have the old card from teevee, so I should try that out.


Revenge through spam
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

I can't be the only person who is receiving torrents of spam from RAY-BAN and UGG BOOTS. Time to update my ~/.procmailrc file. Why do renowned companies resort to such tactics?

Why, do renowned companies resort to such tactics? While looking at things to filter on, noticed that the headers appear to have nothing to do with the companies:

From: "RAY-BAN[2019]" <obama@dgpcm.com>
From: "RAY-BAN" <lucy@roses18.com>
From: "RAY-BAN[2019]" <coupons@dgpcm.com>
From: "UGG BOOTS" <lucy@shqmcg.com>

And so on. Interestingly, the domain part of the email address is correct, and they're presumably expecting people to use toy MUAs that are too polite to show the originator's email address. So whoever is sending these messages appears to have nothing to do with the companies they claim to represent. Are they trying to get them to pay to stop?


Leonid does a runner
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

For a couple of months now we've been letting Leonid run free when we walk the dogs. We only want one to go free so that they won't feel obliged go head off together into the Wild Blue Yonder. Originally we had decided to let Nikolai run free, but on that occasion he got bitten by an electric fence, and I had to save him. Since then he feels insecure if he's not on a lead.

So it's Leonid. But today he misbehaved: for no obvious reason, he ran down the driveway of Fay (neighbour in Grassy Gully Road, whose surname I have forgotten). Wouldn't come back, and I had to go and get him. Fortunately there was a gate at the other end, so I was able to catch him. But that's really disappointing. Should we keep him on a lead from now on?


Thursday, 5 December 2019 Dereel Images for 5 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Peace!
Topic: general Link here

It's been a busy week, but finally the activity is subsiding. All I really did today was to write my diary. And it's so relaxing.


Harrisons Road house
Topic: general, Stones Road house Link here

We're observing the progress of the new house by JG King in Harrisons Road. It started construction about 2 weeks earlier than our house five years ago. Now they've started bricking:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191205/big/Harrisons-Road-house-detail.jpeg
Image title: Harrisons Road house detail          Dimensions:          5180 x 2414, 3835 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 5 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 5 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 5 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Is the time gap between the houses widening? No, on checking it seems that they started bricking our house on 16 December 2014. I still think they'll move in round Anzac Day or a couple of days earlier.


Friday, 6 December 2019 Dereel Images for 6 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

TIO complaint
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Yvonne in round 10:00 this morning with the sad news “We're off the net!”. And so it was. NBN planned outage? Presumably. It would be difficult to recognize an unplanned outage, since just about the whole day, every day, is slated for a “planned outage”.

Fortunately it was relatively short, barely half an hour, but it reminded me that I had set a deadline of last week for some kind of action to be taken. Of course none was. So: off to http://www.tio.com.au/ to enter a complaint.

That in itself was a problem. They wanted all sorts of information that made little sense in context, but then there was a box to enter the details of the complaint. OK, wrote that out and stored it where people can find it. Then tried to paste it in to the box. Sorry, only 1200 characters (about 40%) allowed. OK, paste the first two paragraphs and point to the online version.

Finally “SEND”. Sorry, we don't support this browser. Please upgrade to a supported browser:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191206/big/TIO-pain-1.jpeg
Image title: TIO pain 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 710 x 220, 9 kB
Dimensions of original: 710 x 220, 9 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 6 December 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Now isn't that fun? Why didn't they say before? And what are their supported browsers? There was a link, but I didn't follow it, and I closed the window.

Finally found a browser that met TIO's approval and sent the complaint off. Got an automated reply assigning number 2019/12/02636. I hope that the 02636 don't refer to the number of complaints received so far this month. It reinterpreted “when did you become aware of the complaint?” (March 2015, and in itself the question is strange) as “Complaint date”, which potentially could be a problem: at https://www.tio.com.au/complaints-we-can-and-cant-take I read:

We deal with complaints about things that happened, or that you became aware of, within the last two years. We may still be able to help with complaints that are up to six years old, depending on the reason for the delay. Contact us if you’re unsure if we can help.

I think there's a valid case here: I was told that it would stop, and it didn't.

And then there was this question:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191206/big/TIO-pain-2.png
Image title: TIO pain 2          Dimensions:          812 x 110, 12 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 6 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

But what arrived on the copy was:

Your preferred outcome The RSP can't do anything. This is a problem with the NBN.

They also mangled my carefully written text by removing all white space except single spaces, making it almost illegible. But I suppose they're used to reading the vomit that such systems produce.

Here's the content of the complaint:

This complaint relates to the NBN fixed wireless “service” in Dereel, which I have been using since December 2013. It is the only Internet service available, and the reliability is the worst I have experienced in 30 years using the Internet. I first noticed this problem in June 2014 (http://dunham.org/grog/diary-jun2014.php#D-20140607-015618).

Most of the unreliability comes from NBN “scheduled maintenance”, which they have been performing on a regular basis for several years now, causing regular outages of up to 8 hours during the daytime, effectively taking the service offline for a whole day (for example, from 17 October 2019 08:38:34 to 17 October 2019 16:29:26). Since August 2016 I have received a total of 81 outage notifications from my RSP, and there have been some for which I have not been informed, such as on 23 April 2018 (http://dunham.org/grog/diary-apr2018.php#D-20180424-001301). I have a complete list of outages at http://dunham.org/grog/nbnstats.php which currently shows a total of 418 outages amounting to 11 days, 6½ hours.

The first time I complained was on 13 April 2018 (http://dunham.org/grog/diary-apr2018.php#D-20180414-015333), when I was told that these outages were necessary to improve service in the future. But they have been continuing for over 2 years now, and there are always new outages on the horizon. Both the frequency and duration of the outages are on the increase. For the months of July 2019 to October 2019 there were a total of nearly 39 hours of outages, an availability of only 98.52%, or an average of 26 minutes of downtime every day. Currently (6 December 2019) there are three outages scheduled for the next 2 weeks, covering a time frame of 12 days, and with potential outage durations of up to 12 hours. I can't recall a time when there has not been at least one outage scheduled.

I lodged a formal complaint with Aussie Broadband on 3 July 2019 (http://dunham.org/grog/diary-jul2019.php#D-20190704-050320), when I was told to expect a call back from the NBN within 1 to 2 weeks, with the fault number #6275739. I didn't hear back.

On 14 November 2019 I checked the progress of the fault number, and couldn't find it. I contacted Aussie Broadband repeatedly, but did not get an explanation for the disappearance of the fault. Instead they raised a new complaint with the NBN, #11411861. I asked for a response by CoB 29 November. So far I have had no contact.

I find this level of service completely unacceptable. While I appreciate that it's not possible to maintain 100% reliability, I find that the current situation is not even close to reliable. If I had an alternative, I would probably take it. As a state-sponsored monopolist, I consider that the NBN has a responsibility to improve its services. There is a Telstra mobile phone tower next to the NBN tower. It uses very similar technology, and I haven't heard of any outages with it.

I fear I won't get much satisfaction.


Prima Taste Prawn Mee
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Last time I was in Geelong I bought a couple of spice mixes to try out, along many established ones. Two were from Prima Taste. Today I tried their Prawn Mee:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191206/big/Prima-tasteless.png
Image title: Prima tasteless          Dimensions:          1529 x 2653, 9836 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 6 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The most obvious thing that occurred to me was the price. $8 for 3, maybe 4 portions! Add to that meat and prawns and it's really quite expensive.

On the positive side, they go to a lot of trouble. Most of these things are a single sachet; this one had four, including chili powder, fried shallots and garlic powder (!). OK, make it up, three portions. The results: boring! Also not enough. Somehow they have completely missed the mark.

I also have a laksa from them. I wonder what that will be like.


Sick curry tree
Topic: gardening Link here

Since I've had my curry tree (Murraya koenigii), I've had problems with it. It's particularly prone to mites, and I have been spraying it with pyrethrum at regular intervals. But it didn't help much, and a few months back a salesman at Formosa gardens suggested a very expensive product which proved to be soap water.

Repeated applications. To no avail:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191206/big/Curry-tree-5.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 5          Dimensions:          3477 x 4971, 4433 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 6 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

OK, time to clean it out completely and repot it. I don't think it's going to die, but it's certainly not doing well. Does it still have mites?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191206/big/Curry-tree-1.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 1          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2870 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 6 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 6 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's difficult to decide if there's anything alive in that mess. It could just be soap film. Too much, maybe?

Mick Solly, the gardener, was also here today, and spent 5 hours weeding, notably removing the yellow-flowering “ground cover” that he had so carefully planted: it had grown to 40 cm high and completely smothered other things, notably (to his pain; he doesn't use gloves) the cacti.


Saturday, 7 December 2019 Dereel Images for 7 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More grid power failures
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another two grid power failures today between 11:36:44 and 11:49:50, each a couple of seconds long, but proof that they were real failures and not brownouts. The PV system has made itself paid for the peace of mind it brings, though today might also be the first day where we had a net credit with Red Energy, our grid power supplier: we consumed 5.3 kWh from the grid (so early in the morning, before the break of day), and fed back 24.5 kWh, corresponding to the price of about 10 kWh from the grid.


More signs of summer
Topic: gardening Link here

Gradually it's getting warmer, and about time too. While Sydney burns, we have been subject to cool and moist weather. But the garden is showing that things are improving. The outside clone of the “Uncle Max” Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is gradually producing buds:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Hibiscus-1.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4612, 1306 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

One of the Strelitzia reginae (Strelitziis reginarum?) is flowering, and the Strelitzia nicolai apprear so be progressing in that direction:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-reginae-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1937 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-4.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 4          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2229 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And the chili plant that got burnt by fertilizer seems to be shaking it off:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Chili-2-detail.jpeg
Image title: Chili 2 detail          Dimensions:          1945 x 1524, 707 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Further afield, we've found two more flowering bushes at the end of Bliss Road:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Carpobrotus.jpeg
Image title: Carpobrotus          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 6589 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Alyogyne-1.jpeg
Image title: Alyogyne 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2931 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Alyogyne-2.jpeg
Image title: Alyogyne 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3745 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The first appears to be a Carpobrotus species, and the second an Alyogyne. But I've never seen either in white before. I took a couple of stems of the first, which should grow; I'll have to find a supplier for the Alyogyne.


Exposure compensation
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I took the photos of the garden flowers with the OM-D E-M1 Mark I, and somehow the viewfinder image didn't look right. Neither did the results. Then I realized: the camera was set to manual exposure, and the photos were overexposed by up to 3 EV.

OK, I can compensate in post-processing. But 3 EV? Tried, and they didn't look too bad, but there was no reason not to Do It Right, so out and took the photos again. Here a comparison of the results:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Chili-1.jpeg
Image title: Chili 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 2289 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Chili-2.jpeg
Image title: Chili 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3834 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-reginae-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 1390 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-reginae-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1937 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The first pair were really 3 EV apart, and it shows. My attempts at compensation could have been better, but the first is almost acceptable. The second pair were only 1.4 EV apart.

But a lot depends on what I'm aiming for. On a second attempt, I got:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Chili-1a.jpeg
Image title: Chili 1a          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 2982 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Chili-2.jpeg
Image title: Chili 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3834 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-reginae-1a.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 1a          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 1762 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Strelitzia-reginae-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1937 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That looks better, but the background of the chili shows a non-recoverable problem: the label is burnt out. There's nothing you can do about that.


ALDI “Salmon Wellington”
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A couple of weeks ago Yvonne bought a deep-frozen “Salmon Wellington” at ALDI, and today we ate it.

I should have been warned by the description: “with cheese & dill sauce”. What an idea! It was intended to be put in the oven and baked (50 minutes, 185° in a fan oven). Presentation wasn't good. The pastry was cracked and broken, and the fish fillet itself was offset by about 3 cm from the middle:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Salmon-Wellington-1.jpeg
Image title: Salmon Wellington 1          Dimensions:          5249 x 3888, 2975 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Salmon-Wellington-2.jpeg
Image title: Salmon Wellington 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1809 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Salmon-Wellington-4.jpeg
Image title: Salmon Wellington 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1327 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The cooking time proved not to be enough: the pastry was still pale. So I grilled it for a while, and after another 10 minutes it looked the kind of colour we wanted.

Cheese & dill sauce? What I found was a completely inappropriate béchamel with little to no taste to it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Salmon-Wellington-6.jpeg
Image title: Salmon Wellington 6          Dimensions:          5211 x 3888, 2807 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191207/big/Salmon-Wellington-7.jpeg
Image title: Salmon Wellington 7          Dimensions:          5222 x 3888, 3807 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 7 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 7 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Without the slime it didn't taste too bad, but it would have been cheaper and more flexible to buy some salmon and bake it, probably with a different sauce.


Baking peanuts
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

At the end of last month I noted that air fryers aren't ideal for roasting peanuts. But I've never had really good results in the oven, either. Since we needed it on anyway for the salmon, I heated it up half an hour before and tried baking peanuts in it. 160°? 10 minutes? Not nearly enough. Another 10 minutes? Still not enough. Out of time: I had to put in the salmon, which wanted 185°, so I moved them down a notch. And after another 10 minutes they were almost overcooked.

My guess is that they're particularly temperature-sensitive. Next time I'll think of going for 170° and maybe 20 minutes.


Packaged excrement
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

In the evening, Leonid wanted to go out the front of the house rather urgently. On the way to the door I found this on the ground:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Packaged-excrement-1.jpeg
Image title: Packaged excrement 1          Dimensions:          4767 x 2527, 3158 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Packaged-excrement-3.jpeg
Image title: Packaged excrement 3          Dimensions:          5189 x 3888, 2686 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's almost certainly from Leonid. But how did he end up with passing that? Yvonne thought that it might be weed mat, but it's nothing that obvious. It almost looks like some kind of root, but he would have chewed it at least partially.


Sunday, 8 December 2019 Dereel Images for 8 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Rejecting mail
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

It's been over a month since I did my last mail server changes, something that should long have been finished. Things seem to be working, but I have something like 200 messages in the mail queue on oldwww.lemis.com. Most look like this:

3D6B41B728BA     1886 Fri Dec  6 01:31:43  nicola@servmonk.live
(host mx0.lemis.com[167.179.139.35] said: 450 4.1.1 <groggyhimself@lemis.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table (in reply to RCPT TO command))
                                         groggyhimself@lemis.com

This time that's really groggyhimself@lemis.com, a fake address that I use in this diary to protect against people like nicola@servmonk.live. And of course it should bounce immediately, but the soft_bounce parameter in the server configuration stops it.

OK, reset soft_bounce to no. That will fix it. But it looks like it will take 5 days; the ones that are waiting in the queue continue to wait.


More garden stuff
Topic: gardening Link here

Once upon a time I did a lot of work in the garden. But that was years ago. Today was an ideal day for weed spraying, and the sprayer is full and ready to go. And that's the way it stayed.

About the only thing I did was to plant the Pandorea pandorana (Wonga Wonga Vine) that we bought in October:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Pandorea-pandorana.jpeg
Image title: Pandorea pandorana          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 4664 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's in the shade area, and while I was there I saw that the Fuchsia triphylla, bought last year and already considered dead, was still showing signs of life. Cleared around it and spread fertilizer carefully, but clearly not carefully enough, as this photo shows:

Somehow I managed to burn the new leaves anyway.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Fuchsia-triphylla-1.jpeg
Image title: Fuchsia triphylla 1          Dimensions:          1559 x 1664, 942 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Fuchsia-triphylla-2.jpeg
Image title: Fuchsia triphylla 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 6021 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Also spread some fertilizer, of which numerous plants appear to be in need, like this Pelargonium:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Pelargonium.jpeg
Image title: Pelargonium          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 6338 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

On the other hand, we have the first water lilies, and the reborn Clematis “General Sikorski” is making up for lost time with multiple flowers:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Clematis-2.jpeg
Image title: Clematis 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 3712 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's still much smaller than the Clematis “Edomurasaki”, but it's flowering more profusely. Hopefully we have that problem behind us.

There's now little doubt that the growths on the Strelitzia nicolai are flowers. Here's today's status:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          3889 x 5184, 3204 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Waiting for mail? Or Godot?
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Seen while walking the dogs today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Waiting-for-mail-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Waiting for mail 1 detail          Dimensions:          5063 x 2901, 5271 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Waiting-for-mail-3.jpeg
Image title: Waiting for mail 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3890, 6676 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I wonder what the chair is there for.


Monday, 9 December 2019 Dereel Images for 9 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Strelitziae!
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Our second Strelitzia reginae is flowering, once again with an atypical flower. Here the new one, then the still-flowering other one (there's a third that doesn't seem to want to flower):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Strelitzia-reginae-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 1          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2784 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Strelitzia-reginae-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2888 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And it's becoming clear that the Strelitzia nicolai is also preparing to flower. The bud has changed angle and now looks more like the proportions of the Strelitzia reginae, though it's more than double the size. Here yesterday, then today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          3889 x 5184, 3204 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3452 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It seems that the flowers can be recognized early by the shape of the leaf at the end of the top spike:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-3.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 2994 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Preparing for Christmas
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

We're working on this year's Christmas letter, which includes a photo of Yvonne, myself and as many animals as we can fit in. We tried the photo today.

Arranging the animals has always been “fun”, as has the choice of location. Today, somehow, we had more fun with the animals than normal. Here are some of the photos that didn't make it:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Christmas-photo-17.jpeg
Image title: Christmas photo 17          Dimensions:          3938 x 2903, 2464 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Christmas-photo-24.jpeg
Image title: Christmas photo 24          Dimensions:          3938 x 2903, 2407 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Christmas-photo-5.jpeg
Image title: Christmas photo 5          Dimensions:          3938 x 2903, 1502 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Maybe it's time for photos with the horses this year.


Tuesday, 10 December 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 10 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Strelitzia watch
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

I'm keeping my eye on the buds of the Strelitzia nicolai, which are gradually opening. Here's the more accessible one two days ago, yesterday and today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          3889 x 5184, 3204 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191209/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3452 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 9 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 9 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191210/big/Strelitzia-nicolai.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3309 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 10 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 10 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 10 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

TIO: NBN can do what it wants
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Call from Yash from the TIO today referring to yesterday's complaint, and wanting to know what it was all about and what to do going forward. Yesterday? I didn't put in a complaint yesterday. It was on Friday. And I had given more detail than they expected, so much that I couldn't paste it in their form. Oh, they're not allowed to follow URLs. So could I please explain going forward?

What? They make judgements on disputes without being able to use the tools of their trade? OK, I explained it to him briefly. Sorry, they can't complain about the NBN choosing their maintenance schedule, only missed appointments and property damage. I'll have to contact my ISP [sic] going forward.

OK, nothing that he can do about it going forward. I asked him for an email confirming his statement, and got one with the interesting information (reformatted for legibility):

The TIO is a dispute resolution service for small business and residential consumers with complaints about telecommunications services supplied or offered in Australia.

We handle complaints where the consumer is an end-user of the telecommunications service or is directly affected by the telecommunications service.

The types of complaints we handle include complaints about supply of services, faults with services, billing and debt recovery, and breach of privacy.

OK, sounds right. That's why I contacted them. He goes on:

Your correspondence is about NBN scheduled maintenance which has been causing your internet to be disrupted over the past several months.

Exactly.

Because your complaint is about this issue, we cannot continue handling your complaint and we will not be taking this matter further.

Huh?

The TIO does can't compel NBN to stop having scheduled maintenance due to the matter falling out of the jurisdiction of the TIO.

Does that add up? Not for me. In any case, it ties up absolutely with what Rob of Aussie Broadband told me early last year. Next step: complain to my local federal Member of Parliament. That might potentially have some effect, since at least part of the complaint is that the NBN hasn't even responded to my complaint.

Is there any significance to the fact that today is the 6th anniversary of the NBN's arrival in Dereel?


A new pussy?
Topic: animals, food and drink, general, opinion Link here

A few days ago, Petra Gietz, who is into animal rescue, came across a blue-point Siamese cat in Sebastopol whose owner had been transferred to an aged care facility, so the cat was thus looking for a new home (alternative: put her down). Yvonne got in contact with Sharon, the daughter of the owner, who had left her in her father's house. Clearly high time to get her out of there, but Sharon hadn't had time until today.

Off as planned to Ballarat, first to look for a new Chinese grocery store that Daniele Teo had mentioned. On the way Yvonne listened to her voice mail: Sharon couldn't make it today! Damn. At the very least we need to do something about voice mail on mobile phones. She called Sharon up to make a new appointment, and Sharon asked if our dogs were allowed inside. Yes. “Oh, in that case I can't give you the cat”.

It's been a long time since I've stopped marvelling about people with strange prejudices, but I felt sorry for the cat. But Yvonne thought, possibly correctly, that that was just an excuse, and for some reason she had found somebody else to take it. I hope she's right, and that the new owner will look after her.

To add injury to insult, we couldn't find the Chinese grocery. It's possibly that the local relationship (Yvonne first said “Big W”, but then “Woolworths”) is incorrect, and the shop is kilometres away. Frustrating experience.


New tripod? Newer? Neewer?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

We need another tripod. Why? I already have three, but I'm using each for purposes that require a certain amount of work to configure. On occasion, for example, I have missed my analemma shot because the tripod had the wrong equipment on it.

What I have now is:

But now we have the PIXIO “Robot Cameraman”, and it needs to be mounted on a tripod. Which one? They're all in use, sort of. So last week I went looking for yet another tripod. It didn't really need to be special: the FANCIER would have done. But how do you find them? The eBay sellers seem to concentrate on table-top devices, and when they do describe features, they're features that don't interest me.

I need a tripod at least 1.70 m high. Where do you find that? Went looking through the catalogue that B&H thoughtfully sent me, but such details don't seem to interest them either.

Finally I bit the bullet and found a few that looked as if they might fit, in particular two tripods from Neewer (how do you pronounce that?) Both are interesting in that they have a tiltable middle column, like the Vanguard:

http://dunham.org/grog/Day/20191210/P-s-l1600.jpg http://dunham.org/grog/Day/20191210/R-s-l1600.jpg

http://dunham.org/grog/Day/20191210/C3-s-l1600.jpg http://dunham.org/grog/Day/20191210/C5-s-l1600.jpg

Why do they make two tripods that are so similar? What are the pros and cons? The first one (they appear to be too polite for model numbers) seems the older, and on careful examination it proves to have only fixed angles (or is that angels?) for the centre column. It's also not quite as high, though 1.83 m (compared to 1.91 m) is still more than enough. For the PIXIO either is overkill, but there don't seem to be any others that go over 1.6 m in height, and potentially it could be useful for macros or other situations requiring convolution. So in the end I ordered the higher one. Should be here next week.

In passing, it's amusing to see that they advertise this tripod as “for Panoramic Shooting”. I don't understand why. Do they think that the horizontal column means that you can position the entrance pupil over the axis of rotation? Yes, but except for extremely long focal lengths and distant entrance pupils, you're going to get the rest of the column in the picture, and even then you can only shoot absolutely horizontal panoramas.


Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Dereel Images for 11 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More email fun
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Another mail bounce message today, reminding me that the status quo is insufficient: the current external mail server (oldwww.lemis.com) claims to be www.lemis.com, but that's a different address, causing a number of sites, notably FreeBSD, to reject mail. I need to change something for my outgoing mail. But since they removed the block on my outgoing SMTP, there's no reason to use any external server as a relay any more. So how about just updating the transport database to deliver directly?

No go:

Dec 11 11:34:02 eureka postfix/cleanup[8344]: BDB72263592: message-id=<20191211003402.BDB72263592@eureka.lemis.com>
Dec 11 11:34:02 eureka postfix/qmgr[8264]: BDB72263592: from=<groggyhimself@lemis.com>, size=308, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 11 11:34:02 eureka postfix/smtp[8346]: BDB72263592: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, relay=none, delay=0.22, delays=0.02/0.01/0.2/0, dsn=4.4.4, status=SOFTBOUNCE (Host or domain name not found. Name service error for name=mail type=A: Host not found)
Dec 11 11:34:41 eureka postfix/pickup[8263]: DB1DE263594: uid=1004 from=<groggyhimself>

Huh? Of course there's a name. In fact, there are at least two, depending on which IP address, a detail that the message politely omitted. But it works from lagoon. Doesn't it? Sent a message, and it worked fine:

Dec 11 11:36:08 lagoon sm-mta[82461]: xBB0a8Zi082461: from=<groggyhimself@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=372, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201912110036.xBB0a7Xl082460@lagoon.lemis.com>, proto=ESMTPS, daemon=Daemon0, relay=localhost [127.0.0.1]
Dec 11 11:36:08 lagoon sendmail[82460]: xBB0a7Xl082460: to=groggyhimself@freebsd.org, ctladdr=groggyhimself (1004/1000), delay=00:00:01, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30038, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (xBB0a8Zi082461 Message accepted for delivery)
Dec 11 11:36:18 lagoon sm-mta[82463]: STARTTLS=client, relay=mx1.freebsd.org., version=TLSv1.3, verify=FAIL, cipher=TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits=256/256
Dec 11 11:36:22 lagoon sm-mta[82463]: xBB0a8Zi082461: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, ctladdr=<groggyhimself@lagoon.lemis.com> (1004/1000), delay=00:00:14, xdelay=00:00:14, mailer=esmtp, pri=30372, relay=mx1.freebsd.org. [96.47.72.80], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (Ok: queued as 47XdK36RSFz4TmG)

Well, there were some strange messages in there. What's this STARTTLS? The important thing, though, was that the message got through.

OK, I need to read up, but the obvious thing to do is to use lagoon as the relay. Update transport again on eureka, and modify the config on lagoon to relay from the local network. That wasn't helped by a complete change in the main.cf file, with nearly 1000 lines of diffs between my current file and the sample configuration file. At one point I got:

Dec 11 11:45:03 lagoon postfix/smtpd[82503]: fatal: in parameter smtpd_relay_restrictions or smtpd_recipient_restrictions, specify at least one working instance of: reject_unauth_destination, defer_unauth_destination, reject, defer, defer_if_permit or check_relay_domains

OK, look for smtpd_relay_restrictions in main.cf. Not there! I had to add it. But why the message in the first place?

Even after fixing that, it didn't work:

Dec 11 12:29:08 lagoon postfix/smtpd[82727]: 1185CD7BD4: client=eureka.lemis.com[192.109.197.137]
Dec 11 12:29:08 lagoon postfix/cleanup[82732]: 1185CD7BD4: message-id=<20191211004156.B4BA6263594@eureka.lemis.com>
Dec 11 12:29:08 lagoon postfix/qmgr[82726]: 1185CD7BD4: from=<groggyhimself@lemis.com>, size=502, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 11 12:29:12 lagoon postfix/smtp[82741]: 1185CD7BD4: host mx1.freebsd.org[96.47.72.80] said: 451-4.7.1 Try again later 451 4.7.1 in case of permanent delivery errors (e.g. 5XX SMTP errors) please send your problem report from a non-blocked location (e.g. gmail/yahoo) to postmaster@FreeBSD.org and include the following information: time (Dec 11 01:29:15) and client (167.179.139.35). (in reply to end of DATA command)
Dec 11 12:29:13 lagoon postfix/smtp[82741]: 1185CD7BD4: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, relay=mx66.freebsd.org[96.47.72.85]:25, delay=5.8, delays=0.06/0.02/4.8/0.9, dsn=4.7.1, status=deferred (host mx66.freebsd.org[96.47.72.85] said: 451-4.7.1 Try again later 451 4.7.1 in case of permanent delivery errors (e.g. 5XX SMTP errors) please send your problem report from a non-blocked location (e.g. gmail/yahoo) to postmaster@FreeBSD.org and include the following information: time (Dec 11 01:29:17) and client (167.179.139.35). (in reply to end of DATA command))

What went wrong there? At least the second message is different, but what does “try again later” mean?

It seems that this time it wasn't my fault. While I was scratching my head, the other shoe dropped:

Dec 11 12:39:00 lagoon postfix/qmgr[82726]: 1185CD7BD4: from=<groggyhimself@lemis.com>, size=502, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 11 12:39:03 lagoon postfix/smtp[82773]: 1185CD7BD4: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, relay=mx1.freebsd.org[96.47.72.80]:25, delay=596, delays=592/0.01/2.5/1.3, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as 47XfjQ1ZJ5z4Wxd)
Dec 11 12:39:03 lagoon postfix/qmgr[82726]: 1185CD7BD4: removed

So it looks as if it was a problem at the other end, and on the second try the mail went through, along with a lot of other stuff.

This is getting more and more confusing. I knew this stuff well 20 years ago, but it looks like I should start from scratch and revisit everything


NBN outages: Telstra to the rescue?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The situation with NBN reliability remains unacceptable. But today on IRC, Peter Jeremy pointed me to a search path to find that Telstra apparently offers a “modem” for NBN that features 4G wireless backup—for no extra cost, if I read the documentation correctly. Yes, only 6 MB/s downlink, but not so long ago that was a luxury:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Telstra-2.png
Image title: Telstra 2          Dimensions:          1010 x 496, 72 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Is it worth going through the pain with Telstra to get that feature? The pain started with “check your address”, with this tastefully formatted message:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Telstra-1.png
Image title: Telstra 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 560 x 410, 36 kB
Dimensions of original: 560 x 410, 36 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 11 December 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why no FW signup online? The last thing I need is to talk with a “consultant” who would fail the Turing test, to potentially discover that this “modem” offer doesn't apply to fixed wireless.

Now wouldn't it be nice if Aussie Broadband would come up with something like that?


Repotting curry tree
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Our Curry tree lost its remaining leaves in the wind, but it's not dead:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Curry-tree-0.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 0          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 5635 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Curry-tree-1.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 1          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 3020 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Curry-tree-2.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5189, 2936 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Are those still mite webs on the second image? Or does this damage indicate an infection?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Curry-tree-3.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 3          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 3096 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Maybe I should cut it back from those points.

Repotted it as planned today, in the process planting a number of suckers in individual pots:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191211/big/Curry-tree-11.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 11          Dimensions:          5184 x 3890, 4243 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 11 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Thursday, 12 December 2019 Dereel Images for 12 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Christmas photo, take 2
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

Somehow Monday's attempts at Christmas photos weren't quite what we wanted. It occurred to me that we have more animals than just cats and dogs, and they're better trained. How about a different view this year? From left to right Valeta (with a single t), Yvonne, myself and Carlotta:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Christmas-photo-11-detail.jpeg
Image title: Christmas photo 11 detail          Dimensions:          2714 x 2079, 1597 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That sounded easier than it was. Yes, the horses are well-behaved, but it was cold outside (after all, it is December), and they wanted a warm-up first:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Photo-preparations-14.jpeg
Image title: Photo preparations 14          Dimensions:          5215 x 3888, 2730 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Photo-preparations-20.jpeg
Image title: Photo preparations 20          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 8078 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Photo-preparations-28.jpeg
Image title: Photo preparations 28          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 4574 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Finally we had them together, and we positioned them:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Photo-preparations-35.jpeg
Image title: Photo preparations 35          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 7505 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Christmas-photo-1.jpeg
Image title: Christmas photo 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 6307 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Press the button on the remote control. Don't hear anything. And only one photo. Did the shutter go off? Checked the remote control and found the LED blinking. Battery empty? Off back to the house to get new batteries, and then discovered that the remote control was set incorrectly to something that the camera doesn't understand. Reset, replace batteries anyway, and back.

Press the button on the remote control. Don't hear anything. Check. Yes, firing normally. Just a very quiet shutter.

So: is it now worth adding some ducks to the photo? We had them there until the horses started running around:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Dam-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Dam 1 detail          Dimensions:          2345 x 628, 572 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

But I don't think it would add much.


More mail fun
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So now mail is working, if not quite the way I expected. Still, until I read up on the subject it'll do the job.

But then Yvonne came and told me that Danielle Teo wasn't getting the email that she sent. Danielle's on Gmail, and it's easy enough to check:

Dec 11 16:46:15 lagoon sm-mta[83327]: xBB5kFGK083327: from=<yxlehey@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=1312, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<20191211054615.GC73821@lagoon.lemis.com>, proto=ESMTPS, daemon=Daemon0, relay=localhost [127.0.0.1]
Dec 11 16:46:15 lagoon sendmail[83324]: xBB5kFXI083324: to=daniteo@gmail.com, ctladdr=yxlehey (1005/1001), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=31129, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (xBB5kFGK083327 Message accepted for delivery)
Dec 11 16:46:20 lagoon sm-mta[83329]: xBB5kFGK083327: to=<daniteo@gmail.com>, ctladdr=<yxlehey@lagoon.lemis.com> (1005/1001), delay=00:00:05, xdelay=00:00:05, mailer=esmtp, pri=31312, relay=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com. [74.125.24.27], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (OK  1576043183 i33si750514pgl.485 - gsmtp)

So what's the issue? It accepted the mail, no complaints. Could Google be performing obscenities? Got Yvonne to send a test email to Danielle and my Gmail account. Look at that!


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191212/big/Gmail.png
Image title: Gmail          Dimensions:          902 x 187, 21 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 12 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 12 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

“Why is this message in spam? It is similar to messages that were identified as spam in the past.” What does that mean? Follow the question mark? That way stupidity lies. I have no indication why Google silently marks my email as spam.

That may sound trivial, but it's really unfair discrimination. Yvonne has done nothing wrong, but she can't send mail to the world's largest mail provider, and they won't say why. Arguably that's abuse of their market power. One more black mark against Google.

How do I proceed? It seems reasonable to assume that it's related to the MTA configuration, but FreeBSD accepts it where it didn't accept others. At the very least the Google MTA should have rejected it. As it is I have to guess, and if Danielle hadn't reported the problem, we would never have found out.


Friday, 13 December 2019 Dereel Images for 13 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Next step with lagoon
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

In principle lagoon is now up and running, and even serving mail for our domain, something that I had never planned. But Yvonne still had issues: F11 didn't work.

OK, that's clearly in the context of editing emails with Emacs, where I had bound it to a function called tidy-up-reply. And of course it said what was worrying it:

Undefined dictionary: british

In other words, I hadn't installed aspell. OK, switch to VTY 2 to install it. Then switch back to X server 0. Not there! For some reason it had crashed!

OK, start again. Comes up in 640x480 mode. Somehow X couldn't find the nv driver. Dammit, where did it go? And how do you install that?

Rather than think too long about that, considered the alternative that I really wanted, the proprietary nvidia driver. Tried that, and, as last week, got no useful results.

OK, what next? Last week I had considered the possibility that the monitor was not supplying the correct EDID information. OK, it's easy enough to test that: put in another monitor. Did that, and sure enough, things worked! So despite the annoyance, it was worth the trouble.


The eternal mail configuration
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

OK, why is Gmail silently swallowing my emails? Did some testing, in which it appears that it's too polite to make any complaint, even when sending mail to nonexistent destinations (or is there really a groggyhimslef@gmail.com?). OK, let's guess that it's my MTA behind NAT, and let's finally configure the server on www as it should be.

First, modify main.cf on lagoon to relay to www. Try it out. No change: it continued to send messages directly:

Dec 13 12:19:10 lagoon sm-mta[90492]: xBD1J9PU090492: from=<groggyhimself@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=386, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201912130119.xBD1J9Mk090491@lagoon.lemis.com>, proto=ESMTPS, daemon=Daemon0, relay=localhost [127.0.0.1]
Dec 13 12:19:10 lagoon sendmail[90491]: xBD1J9Mk090491: to=groggyhimself@freebsd.org, ctladdr=groggyhimself (1004/1000), delay=00:00:01, xdelay=00:00:01, mailer=relay, pri=30052, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (xBD1J9PU090492 Message accepted for delivery)
Dec 13 12:19:21 lagoon sm-mta[90494]: STARTTLS=client, relay=mx1.freebsd.org., version=TLSv1.3, verify=FAIL, cipher=TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits=256/256
Dec 13 12:19:25 lagoon sm-mta[90494]: xBD1J9PU090492: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, ctladdr=<groggyhimself@lagoon.lemis.com> (1004/1000), delay=00:00:16, xdelay=00:00:15, mailer=esmtp, pri=30386, relay=mx1.freebsd.org. [96.47.72.80], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (Ok: queued as 47Yt9l2hmLz4LDW)

Gradually a suspicion came to me. Why is postfix on lagoon calling itself sendmail? I've always found that to be irritating, but at least in the past the log messages said postfix. Now what I see is:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 51 -> ps aux | grep mail
root      872   0.0  0.0   16980   1496  -  Ss    4Dec19     0:05.88 sendmail: accepting connections (sendmail)
smmsp     875   0.0  0.0   16800   1048  -  Is    4Dec19     0:00.08 sendmail: Queue runner@00:30:00 for /var/spool/clientmqueue (sendmail)
root    86493   0.0  0.1   11436   2092  0  S+   12:38       0:00.00 grep mail
grog    82753   0.0  0.0   10776   1180  2  I+   Wed12       0:00.00 tail -f /var/log/maillog
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 52 -> wh sendmail
  93508 -rwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  36304 15 Nov 10:14 /usr/local/sbin/sendmail
5057980 lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel     11  4 Dec 11:14 /usr/sbin/sendmail -> mailwrapper
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 53 -> wh mailwrapper
4736986 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  15416  4 Dec 11:14 /usr/sbin/mailwrapper

Is that really postfix? The path names look strange. postfix should be in /usr/local, and sendmail should be in /usr/sbin and friends. Here I seem to have a mixture. OK,

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 54 -> postfix start
postfix/postfix-script: fatal: the Postfix mail system is already running
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 55 -> postfix stop
postfix/postfix-script: stopping the Postfix mail system
postfix/postfix-script: waiting for the Postfix mail system to terminate

That looks like I was running postfix. What's left? As before. Try again:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 57 -> postfix start
postfix/postfix-script: starting the Postfix mail system
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 58 -> ps aux | grep mail
root      872   0.0  0.0   16980   1496  -  Ss    4Dec19     0:05.88 sendmail: accepting connections (sendmail)
smmsp     875   0.0  0.0   16800   1048  -  Is    4Dec19     0:00.08 sendmail: Queue runner@00:30:00 for /var/spool/clientmqueue (sendmail)
root    86605   0.0  0.1   11436   2176  0  S+   12:40       0:00.00 grep mail
grog    82753   0.0  0.0   10776   1180  2  I+   Wed12       0:00.00 tail -f /var/log/maillog
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /usr/local/etc/postfix 59 -> ps aux | grep postfix
root    86601   0.0  0.2   22776   8276  -  Ss   12:40       0:00.00 /usr/local/libexec/postfix/master -w
postfix 86602   0.0  0.2   22768   8296  -  S    12:40       0:00.00 pickup -l -t unix -u
postfix 86603   0.0  0.2   22816   8384  -  S    12:40       0:00.00 qmgr -l -t unix -u
root    86607   0.0  0.1   11388   2172  0  S+   12:40       0:00.00 grep postfix

So it seems that yes, indeed, I've somehow managed to run both sendmail and postfix at the same time—and it worked! OK, stop sendmail and run only with postfix, which worked as expected and produced somewhat more intelligible and less ambiguous messages:

Dec 13 12:20:33 lagoon postfix/qmgr[90594]: AFE44D7BD4: from=<groggyhimself@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=580, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 13 12:20:33 lagoon postfix/smtpd[90597]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] ehlo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 data=1 quit=1 commands=5
Dec 13 12:20:34 lagoon postfix/smtp[90601]: AFE44D7BD4: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, relay=www.lemis.com[45.32.70.18]:25, delay=1.2, delays=0.11/0.01/0.6/0.43, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as 9133F27FF6)

But how did that happen? I know that you have to disable sendmail when you install postfix.

After some time, came up with these changes:

And that almost worked. Mail came in and was relayed. But then I saw a message:

Received-SPF: pass (google.com: best guess record for domain of yvonne@lagoon.lemis.com designates 45.32.70.18 as permitted sender) client-ip=45.32.70.18;

What's that? The SPF record should be there. And it is. DNS delays, maybe?


Talking to Apples
Topic: technology, photography, opinion Link here

DxO PhotoLab version 3 is out, and normally I'd try it out. But DxO doesn't like dischord, my Microsoft box: it runs “Windows” 7, too old for something modern like PhotoLab. So that's yet another upgrade on my path.

But recently Chris Bahlo gave me an old MacBook Pro, and DxO runs on Apple as well. Now to find out how to access it from a sane system. VNC, wasn't it? Checked. Yes, I have a program called vncviewer on eureka. What do I need on silberapfel (the Apple)? Nothing, it turns out. Newer versions of Mac OS include a VNC server. Just click, click, click, click, click and you're done!

OK, try it out:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/27) ~ 79 -> vncviewer -autopass silberapfel
Connected to RFB server, using protocol version 3.8
Performing standard VNC authentication
(Password)
Authentication successful
Desktop name "silver (2)"
VNC server default format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0
Warning: Cannot convert string "-*-helvetica-bold-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*" to type FontStruct
Using default colormap which is TrueColor.  Pixel format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0

Login screen appears, I log in, then...

Rect too large: 1282x1026 at (0, 0)

A Google search showed that I wasn't alone. Old version of vncviewer? Checked, and it seems that the real name is tightvnc. OK, install on teevee, and try again. Same thing. What's that?

After a lot of discussion, found an alternative, tigervnc. That also installed a program called vncviewer, requiring the removal of tightvnc. It looks more polished, and it worked. Got round to installing DxO when the connection froze. So did the computer. Chris gave me this box because it had a display problem—that's one of the reasons for VNC. In the past I suspected that there was more to the problem than the display, and today it seems to have proven it: the display scrambled, and the machine was dead in the water.

I wonder if it's worth repairing. Chris had enquired and decided “no”, which is probably correct.


Another grid power outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure today at 12:05:25. It was one of these really short ones, but interesting because it made the office UPS beep, so I noticed it at the time.


Saturday, 14 December 2019 Dereel Images for 14 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Mail config, the daily pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So my mail configuration is finally working. Or is it? lagoon is still sending all mail to www. Is that a good idea?

No, for at least two reasons. The mail about the nightly backup, which should end up in my inbox on eureka, gets sent to www too, not exactly efficient. But from there it can't get back!

Dec 13 22:18:10 w4 postfix/qmgr[29383]: 787C727FF9: from=<root@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=59648, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 13 22:18:40 w4 postfix/smtp[36173]: 787C727FF9: to=<groggyhimself@eureka.lemis.com>, relay=none, delay=43572, delays=43542/0/30/0, dsn=4.4.1, status=deferred (connect to eureka.lemis.com[192.109.197.137]:25: Operation timed out)

It should, of course, send to mx0.lemis.com, the external address for eureka. But there was some issue with the transport.db table. .lemis.com instead of lemis.com? I had hoped to get by without transport, which seems to be particularly poorly documented. Read the man page and some “helpful” web tutorial that helped even less, and finally created a table:

.lemis.com   :smtp:mx0.lemis.com:25
*       smtp:

But that didn't work. Instead I got:

Dec 14 03:03:38 w4 postfix/qmgr[37725]: 787C727FF9: from=<root@lagoon.lemis.com>, size=59648, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 14 03:03:39 w4 postfix/error[38579]: 787C727FF9: to=<groggyhimself@eureka.lemis.com>, relay=none, delay=60671, delays=60670/1/0/0, dsn=4.3.0, status=deferred (unknown mail transport error)

If it doesn't know, what chance do I have?

In addition, I had a really bizarre message:

Dec 14 01:41:41 w4 postfix/qmgr[37555]: AB7942819D: from=<groggyhimself@lemis.com>, size=710, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Dec 14 01:42:12 w4 postfix/smtp[37563]: AB7942819D: to=<groggyhimself@freebsd.org>, relay=none, delay=31, delays=0.2/0.01/30/0, dsn=4.4.3, status=deferred (Host or domain name not found. Name service error for name=mx66.freebsd.org type=A: Host not found, try again)

But while I was scratching my head about other things, it retried, and the message went through. mx66.freebsd.org does exist, so maybe the FreeBSD people are having fun with email or DNS as well.

And then there was another issue: I'm using www as a higher-level MX for lemis.com, but I also accept mail for Chris Bahlo's domain, narrawin.com. And I completely forgot about that!

Dec 14 00:03:11 w4 postfix/smtpd[36819]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from au-smtp-delivery-103.mimecast.com[180.189.28.103]: 454 4.7.1 <christiane@narrawin.com>: Relay access denied; from=<alumni@federation.edu.au> to=<christiane@narrawin.com> proto=ESMTP helo=<au-smtp-delivery-103.mimecast.com>

OK, declare it for local delivery. Add to mydestination:

--- main.cf     2019/11/04 04:46:34     1.2
+++ main.cf     2019/12/14 01:53:21
@@ -161,8 +161,7 @@
-mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain, localhost
+mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain, localhost, narrawin.com

But that didn't work either!

Dec 14 23:43:40 w4 postfix/error[45713]: AF9FE28182: to=<christiane@narrawin.com>, relay=none, delay=78478, delays=78478/0.06/0/0.01, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: mail for narrawin.com loops back to myself)

While messing around with this, the shell input froze. Network problems? www down? We proved to be off the net. But that's another story. And after that I was so frustrated that I didn't continue.


More bloody network problems!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While trying to fix my mail config, my network link failed in mid-command. I got as far as typing le of less, and that was all.

What caused that? The usual tools showed that nothing was going across the link:

Looked at the NTD, but it looked normal, and usually the NBN people are too polite to work at weekends. Was Aussie Broadband doing some reconfiguration work that went wrong? It wouldn't be the first time.

Finally decided to brave the mobile phone app. No go:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) /usr/local/bin 196 -> tcpdump -n -i xl0
12:58:11.932614 ARP, Request who-has 167.179.136.1 tell 167.179.139.35, length 28
12:58:12.928504 ARP, Request who-has 167.179.136.1 tell 167.179.139.35, length 28
12:58:14.302346 ARP, Request who-has 167.179.136.1 tell 167.179.139.35, length 28
...
 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191214/big/aussie-fail-detail.png
Image title: aussie fail detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 554 x 252, 44 kB
Dimensions of original: 554 x 252, 44 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 14 December 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Should I call the number? It usually takes for ever. But given the error message, it's possible that something serious had really gone wrong, and that I might get an informative recorded message. So I called and had to fight my way through multiple menus (1: “residential”, 3 “support”) to be told that, quite frankly, the waiting times were longer than they would like, and that they would call me back if I want.

Finally! That's just what I was complaining about earlier in the year. So I pressed that, and sure enough Frank called back relatively quickly. No, no outages known. What brand of router? Oh. How old is the computer? That depends on which part. Finally I explained that I was sniffing the connection to the NTD, and that nothing was coming back, though the status was normal.

Bit of discussion, along with the information that somebody could come and take a look on coming Wednesday. Wednesday! Four days without a net? In any case, while we were talking, I power cycled the NTD. Restart dhcpd. And it worked.

Fool Groggy! I always power cycle before calling; I only didn't this time because of the misleading error message on the app. But it does rather look like there's an issue with the NTD. If it happens again, it might be worth having it replaced. It wouldn't be the first time.


Girding down
Topic: general, language, opinion Link here

What term do you use for putting on armour? I know “gird up”, but strictly speaking that's the application of a girth. Still, it's something that Chris Bahlo does relatively frequently, and usually Yvonne helps her.

And then there's the opposite: removing the armour. Yvonne helps there, too, and until I find a better term, I'll call it “girding down”.

That's what Yvonne had to do today; Chris came by after dinner, giving me the opportunity for some photos and to admire her new chain mail shirt:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191214/big/Girding-down-2.jpeg
Image title: Girding down 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5192, 2406 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 14 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191214/big/Girding-down-14.jpeg
Image title: Girding down 14          Dimensions:          5192 x 3888, 2133 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 14 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191214/big/Girding-down-24.jpeg
Image title: Girding down 24          Dimensions:          3888 x 5192, 2422 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 14 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191214/big/Girding-down-80-detail.jpeg
Image title: Girding down 80 detail          Dimensions:          3093 x 4243, 1517 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 14 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 14 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Sunday, 15 December 2019 Dereel Images for 15 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Delivering hay
Topic: general Link here

It's hay harvest time again, and despite all our fears, particularly with regard to the droughts in Queensland and New South Wales, we got a relatively reasonable price. But no delivery! So Chris Bahlo and Yvonne had to go and pick it up themselves.

For health reasons I can't participate, but I was able to get a few photos, showing that, in fact, there were really enough helpers already:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Unloading-hay.jpeg
Image title: Unloading hay          Dimensions:          7955 x 4535, 7520 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 


Taking the hay photos
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Clearly the photo of unloading hay needed some preparation. Where do you position the camera? How much dynamic range do you need? Did some testing before they arrived with the hay and discovered that there was a 6 EV difference in brightness between the hay shed and outside. OK, we can do that with HDR imaging. But my first attempt looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Hay-test-2.jpeg
Image title: Hay test 2          Dimensions:          7248 x 3269, 5113 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's still pretty dark in the shed. A bit of playing around brought this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Hay-test.jpeg
Image title: Hay test          Dimensions:          5064 x 2291, 3095 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

To get that, I loaded the left-hand image twice and masked the dark portion of one of them and the light portion of the other. Then I raised the brightness of the dark one and stitched. That works here because the boundaries are relatively clear, but there must be a better way. HDR stitching with Hugin?

And the final photo? It wasn't the only one. I took four different viewpoints with the Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH. and a total of 36 HDR images, of which I only used 8. And it was still not easy, at least partially because, I suspect, I didn't guess the entrance pupil right.

The angle of view wasn't very wide, only 102° horizontally. How about using the M.Zuiko DIGITAL ED 7-14 mm f/2.8 PRO, which, by sheer coincidence, has a horizontal angle of view of 102(.04)°?

Tried a few photos like that from a different viewpoint:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Unloading-hay-a-2.jpeg
Image title: Unloading hay a 2          Dimensions:          4573 x 3399, 2415 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Unloading-hay-a-6.jpeg
Image title: Unloading hay a 6          Dimensions:          4431 x 3354, 2092 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Unloading-hay-a-7.jpeg
Image title: Unloading hay a 7          Dimensions:          4535 x 3368, 2371 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

They were hand-held, so I can't stitch them, but it's a possibility for next time.

In passing, these images were taken hand-held and merged with Photomatix, which didn't always get things right, and I had to discard a number of blurred merges.

But they were also taken with the P (“program”) autoexposure setting; normally I set it on M (“manual”). With manual, it changes the shutter speed (for example f/5.6 at 1/200, 1/25, 1/1600 s), but with P it changes both shutter speed and aperture, for example 1/100 s at f/3.6, 1/60 s at f/2.8 and 1/250 s at f/5.6. Clearly that's a better choice in this specific case, since otherwise the +3 EV exposure would have been 1/15 s at f/5.6.


Daily mail fun
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

After the annoyance with the net failure yesterday, I gave up on what I was doing with mail. But looking at that transport table again made things clear:

.lemis.com   :smtp:mx0.lemis.com:25
*       smtp:

Syntax error! It should have been this, without the colon in the predicate:

.lemis.com   smtp:mx0.lemis.com:25

OK, try that. Success!

Next, what do we do with narrawin.com? Chris forwards her email to Gmail, so all we need to do is send it on. And the MTA on oldwww.lemis.com, now rather lonely, can do that. So just add another line to the transport table:

narrawin.com smtp:mx2.lemis.com:25

Reload postfix, and what do I see?

Dec 15 00:03:23 lax postfix/smtp[45937]: EB63528165: to=<christiane@narrawin.com>, relay=mx2.lemis.com[192.109.197.81]:25, delay=73765, delays=73764/0/0.2/0.2, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as A59691B72837)
Dec 15 00:03:23 lax postfix/smtp[45960]: 0E515281B8: to=<christiane@narrawin.com>, relay=mx2.lemis.com[192.109.197.81]:25, delay=77732, delays=77731/0.03/0.22/0.15, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as B9E061B7283D)
Dec 15 00:03:23 lax postfix/smtp[45957]: EFAF2281EC: to=<christiane@narrawin.com>, relay=mx2.lemis.com[192.109.197.81]:25, delay=78894, delays=78893/0.01/0.21/0.34, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as ADA0C1B7283C)

In passing, the lax there is the name I've given the server. Migrating functions like www makes it difficult to keep track of which system is which, so it seems to make more sense to name them by their location, like ffm and tyo before them.

So: success? Up to a point, yes. But the devil's in the detail: the messages were delivered 3 minutes too early! How could that happen? Simple: now that transport works, postfix looks at where to send the messages. And that's:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/29) ~ 1696 -> host -t mx narrawin.com
narrawin.com mail is handled by 20 mx2.lemis.com.

So the mail had been forwarded even before I put in the special rule. Now to work out how to get Gmail to accept mail directly for narrawin.com.


lemis.cn?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Unexpected mail today, from chinaregistry.org.cn, the Chinese domain registrar:

A company called Kanghong Ltd requested “lemis” as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names (lemis.cn, lemis.com.cn, lemis.net.cn, lemis.org.cn)

They wanted to know if it had anything to do with me. Nice of them to contact me, but what should I do? Years ago lemis.de, once my domain, was taken over by somebody else, though currently it's registered to parkingcrew.net, clearly a cowboy. It would be nice if Kanghong Ltd. would pay me some money for the name, but that chance seems extremely unlikely.


Where did aspell go?
Topic: technology Link here

While testing Friday's aspell problems, I renamed /usr/local/bin/aspell to test the results. And I forgot to rename it back again! What did I call it? On one system I called it foo (a safe name), but not on lagoon.

OK, pkg update. No, it's up to date, who cares if it's complete? OK, remove it and reinstall it. No problem. No aspell. Why didn't it install it? That doesn't make sense to me.

Of course, there are easier ways to find the old aspell binary. List the directory by time and look for other programs that are installed:

-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel     150,712 14 Nov 12:20 apsel
-r-xr-xr-x   1 root  wheel       2,050 14 Nov 12:20 aspell-import
...
-r-xr-xr-x   1 root  wheel          68 14 Nov 12:20 run-with-aspell
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel      15,224 14 Nov 12:20 word-list-compress

Lost heron
Topic: animals, photography Link here

In the evening heard a noise outside. An aggressive magpie trying to chase off another bird. Other bird looked unimpressed: it was a heron, apparently a young one. Off to get my camera, which was still set to HDR. Got one photo, but while I was resetting the camera it flew away:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Heron.jpeg
Image title: Heron          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 2989 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191215/big/Heron-detail.jpeg
Image title: Heron detail          Dimensions:          1153 x 1115, 298 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 15 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 15 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's surprising how well it merges into the background.


Monday, 16 December 2019 Dereel Images for 16 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Shame on Australia!
Topic: politics, language, opinion Link here

The effects of Climate Change are becoming ever clearer. The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season looks like being the worst on record, with bushfires starting in New South Wales in early September, months earlier than normal. Sydney has been covered in smoke:

https://sm.mashable.com/t/mashable_sea/news/s/sydney-eng/sydney-engulfed-in-smoke-has-a-ghastly-air-quality-problem_qryd.960.jpg https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f1de28fb352303fda6a536da78146af5

What is our government doing about it? This month was the occasion of the COP25 conference in Madrid. It was a failuredisappointment. Three countries were singled out for holding up progress: up: USA (think Donald Trump), Brazil (think Jair Bolsonaro) and... Australia, where it seems that Scott Morrison sees the others as role models and is trying to emulate them.

Our supreme leader has managed to completely ignore the catastrophes of the last few months. You'd think that he has misunderstood the name of his government: “Coalition” does not derive from “Coal” and “ition” (an old word meaning “the action of going”).

What will it take for these people to see beyond the next election? Would it help if all their houses burnt down?


PIXIO: current status
Topic: photography, multimedia, opinion Link here

Yvonne has used the PIXIO “Robot Cameraman” a couple of times now. The last time she placed it in the middle of the long side of the arena. We placed beacon 1 on the other side at the right corner, beacon 2 on the other side at the left corner, and beacon 3 on the left corner of the same side as the camera.

Things worked OK. Time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of the device. The advantage is clear: it does what it sets out to do, most of the time. But there are a number of irritating issues, and that might be the reason that she didn't even try today:

I haven't mentioned zoom. That's not really PIXIO's fault. Like just about all cameras that evolved from still cameras, our cameras don't support remote zoom control. PIXIO does support a very few video cameras with this feature, but there again there are issues: choosing a video camera, getting used to using it, and finding usable software to process the streams. And even when all that's done, there's the question of what you want in the image. Today Yvonne was training two horses, and they didn't stay together. How do you automate that? For the time being I consider it to be an unsolved problem.

So: the first step to make life with PIXIO easier is for better mounts. Today I ordered a number of Arca-Swiss plates and clamps, one of which will go on to the top of the PIXIO. That way at least mounting won't be such a pain. Then to consider shorter charging cables.


Tuesday, 17 December 2019 Dereel Images for 17 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

I want lemis!
Topic: technology Link here

Mail from Gareth Jing today, presumably associated with Kanghong Ltd:

To whom it concerns,

We will register the China domain names "lemis.cn" "lemis.com.cn" "lemis.net.cn" "lemis.org.cn" and internet keyword "lemis" and have submitted our application. We are waiting for Mr. Kevin Liu's approval and think these CN domains and internet keyword are very important for our business. Even though Mr. Kevin Liu advised us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

OK, it's interesting to see it from the other side. I've already had lemis.de taken over by somebody with only minimal connection with the name, though I see that it has now landed with a domain squatter. It doesn't seem to be a good idea to duplicate a name used in other domains, but what can I do about it? Suggest that he pay me something?


New tripod, loss of face?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

When will the tripod arrive that I bought last week? I was just considering contacting the seller to ask about tracking numbers when a courier walked down the drive with the tripod in a far-too-large box. That's not bad service for “free postage”. I wonder if it's a sign of things to come: the wine sellers also always send a courier to the door.

Unpack and take a look. Yes, quite nice, and sturdier than the FANCIER, though not as sturdy as the Vanguard. And it doesn't look bad:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191217/big/Neewer-tripod-3.jpeg
Image title: Neewer tripod 3          Dimensions:          2392 x 4495, 727 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 17 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191217/big/Neewer-tripod-4.jpeg
Image title: Neewer tripod 4          Dimensions:          2446 x 4789, 669 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 17 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Two ball heads? Why that? The upper one looks good and works better than the ones I already have. But the lower one doesn't rotate.

RTFM? It doesn't mention the ball heads at all. Time for some head-scratching.

Just as I was finishing my investigation, Yvonne came in with a little plate with the word “FANCIER” on it. It seems to have fallen off the old tripod, and I couldn't get it back on. Loss of face?


Wednesday, 18 December 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 18 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Food shopping in Ballarat
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne off shopping in Ballarat this morning, and I decided to do the same, though independently. First to the Curry Star Restaurant, which has an Indian food section at one end, for... kidney beans, no longer the staple they once were.

Then on again looking for the new Chinese grocery that we looked for in vain last week. Since then Danielle Teo had sent us a map, which proved to be pointing to a Chinese noodle restaurant. In and discovered that the grocery shop was about 100 m further west at 33 Little Bridge St:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191218/big/Chinese-grocery-1.jpeg
Image title: Chinese grocery 1          Dimensions:          4096 x 3006, 2147 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 18 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191218/big/Chinese-grocery-2.jpeg
Image title: Chinese grocery 2          Dimensions:          4108 x 3024, 2681 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 18 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Sadly, it's quite small and very Chinese: in other words, no Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese food. I found some fish balls that I might be able to use if I run out, but not the Daun pandan or even fried dofu that I had been looking for.

Disappointed, on to Cellar Savers in the off chance that they might have some good cheese for fondue de fromage, but I couldn't find a parking place, and the chances didn't look that good. On to ALDI in Sebastopol to look for Christmas roasts, bumping into Yvonne in the process.

We've been calling the place “Cellar Savers” for a long time, but it's really called Campana's Stockade Cellars.

ALDI Sebastopol has recently been renovated. It seems only a year or so ago that it first opened, but in fact it's been 12 years. They haven't increased the floor area, but it seems to have much more space:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191218/big/ALDI-Sebastopol.jpeg
Image title: ALDI Sebastopol          Dimensions:          10975 x 3067, 7659 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 18 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 18 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Much of that is because the shelves are higher. I had to help a rather short woman access some food on the top shelf. Does it look better? Yvonne says yes, but I'm not so sure.

And the roasts? Nothing. What a frustrating search. At least I got my kidney beans.


Understanding the Neewer tripod
Topic: photography Link here

What do I do with the tripod I got yesterday? Back to look at the illustrations on the eBay offer. They didn't help much, but I did check the relatively voluminous negative feedback about the seller, emilyandlilly. Items not as described, poor communication. And even the seller name appears misleading: far from being a small operation of a couple of women in Sydney, it's international (a surprising amount of negative feedback was written in French and Italian).

Oh well, let's try anyway. Sent a message:

The tripod I received does not look like the illustrations. In particular, there is no second centre column component between the two ball heads. The lower ball head (with the red ball) also does not rotate. The instructions don't mention any of this. Please clarify.

To my surprise, got an answer within 2 hours: after loosening the screw on the lower “ball head”, first lift the inner part of the central column out of the outer part, and then turn:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191219/big/Neewer-tripod-2.jpeg
Image title: Neewer tripod 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 1184 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 19 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

So the only problem was the appalling documentation. But that's modern. Sent them back a reply saying that the issue had been resolved, and even got a confirmatory reply from them.

Negative feedback? No, definitely positive. Could it be that the “seller” is really a franchise, and that the service you get depends on where you order it from?


You, too, can register lemis.cn
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

More mail from Kevin Liu of chinaregistry.org.cn today:

We have already suggested that they should choose another name to avoid this conflict according as your company have no relationship with them, but they persist in this name as China domain names (lemis.cn, lemis.com.cn, lemis.net.cn, lemis.org.cn) and internet keyword. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company then register it to promote his company.

As is known to all, the domain name registration based on the international principle is opened to company and individual. Any company or individual have the right to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered. Your company haven't registered this name as China domains and internet keyword, so any company is able to obtain them by registration. But in order to avoid this conflict, the trademark or original name owner have priority right to register China domain name and internet keyword during our dispute period. If your company is the original owner of this name and want to register these China domain names (lemis.cn, lemis.com.cn, lemis.net.cn, lemis.org.cn) and internet keyword to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send you an application form with price list to help your company register these China domains and internet keyword during our dispute period.

Somehow that rings alarm bells. Nothing wrong in what Kevin says, but what if they're just trying to sell domain names? It would certainly be a lot of effort for little gain.


Preparing vols-au-vent
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Vols-au-vent for dinner today. Should they be baked before filling? According to the instructions on the package, they should be baked after filling, but that way madness lies.

Decided to try them in the smaller air fryer (the “coffee machine”), giving them 4 minutes at 140°. Not enough. What do I do next time? Longer or hotter? Maybe both: 6 minutes at 160°?


Thursday, 19 December 2019 Dereel Images for 19 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More domain registration insights
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Discussing my domain name issues on IRC with Peter Jeremy today. He came up with some interesting details, including this explanation of “internet keyword” from chinaregistry.org.cn:

Internet Keyword, a newly emerged technique for visiting network names, is a convenient way to realize the visitation of the browser by establishing a corresponding relationship between Internet Keyword and URL. You only need to use the language you are familiar with to tell the browser the address of the Internet Keyword you want to go.

But other links were more interesting, like this one. It's over 6 years old, but the exchange is almost identical with mine, with some names changed. Here a quote from that page:

We are Huajing company based in China. We will register the “abc” as internet keyword and China domain names .cn, .com.cn, .net.cn, .org.cn. We have submitted our application and are waiting for Mr. Peter Cheng’s approval. We think these CN domains and internet keyword are very important for our business. Even though Mr. Peter Cheng advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

Best regards Gareth Liao

And here's what I received two days ago:

We will register the China domain names "lemis.cn" "lemis.com.cn" "lemis.net.cn" "lemis.org.cn" and internet keyword "lemis" and have submitted our application. We are waiting for Mr. Kevin Liu's approval and think these CN domains and internet keyword are very important for our business. Even though Mr. Kevin Liu advised us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

Kind regards

Gareth Jing

They didn't even change the name “Gareth”.

There's also another, more detailed description at Chinese Domain Name Registration Scams, though the texts don't match as well. But they show that the pricing can be worthwhile for the scammer. I wasn't very interested initially, but should I play along? I discovered that I couldn't get any pricing from chinaregistry.org.cn, so maybe I should answer yesterday's offer and at least find out how much money they want.


Another grid power outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure today at 9:33:42, about 2 seconds.


Communicating with Telstra customers
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Voice mail from my cousin Robert Herbert today. It seems that he doesn't have our real phone number. He had sent me an SMS a couple of days ago, but I hadn't seen it—it was probably announced by one of those strange beep sequences that Android loves to send.

Called Robert up on the phone (now isn't that an old-fashioned way to communicate? I suspect that it's so complicated on “smart” phones that people choose other methods) and discovered that he and Brendan will be down this way on Monday. Time for a dinner party? He'll discuss with Brendan. In the meantime I have to send them an email, and that doesn't work well with Telstra. Sent a message off and followed up by sending from a different domain.


Mutt problems
Topic: technology, history, opinion Link here

I chose to send the duplicate emails from freefall.freebsd.org. Things weren't quite as I expected:

=== grog@freefall (/dev/pts/45) ~ 1 -> mutt
ELF interpreter /usr/libexec/ld-elf.so.1 not found, error 8
Abort trap

Huh? OK, contact the admins, and Li-Wen Hsu replied pretty quickly asking an obvious question:

Which mutt are you running?

I should have thought of that, but what could I be using?

=== grog@freefall (/dev/pts/45) ~ 5 -> which mutt
./mutt
=== grog@freefall (/dev/pts/45) ~ 6 -> l mutt
-rwxr-xr-x  1 grog  grog  1191851 Dec  6  2000 mutt

Look at that date! What's that doing there? My best bet is that I put it there, nearly 20 years ago, because freefall didn't have mutt installed at the time. Apart from the egg on my face, isn't it amazing how much time has gone by? That's by no means the oldest file in my home directory on freefall; that honour falls to a file called mbox, unmodified for nearly 24 years::

-rw-------  1 grog  grog  5744 Feb  8  1996 mbox

And some things never change. One of the messages in it was:

Received: from cls.net (freeside.cls.de [192.129.50.1]) by time.cdrom.com (8.6.12/8.6.9) with SMTP id BAA15841 for <jkh@time.cdrom.com>; Fri, 12 Jan 1996 01:46:02 -0800
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 96 09:45 GMT
To: jkh@time.cdrom.com
Cc: postmaster@cls.net
Subject: mail failed, returning to sender

|------------------------- Failed addresses follow: ---------------------|
 <grog@lemis.de> ... transport smtp: MX record for allegro.lemis.de points to local host
|------------------------- Message text follows: ------------------------|

Time to start tidying up? But then I'd miss such historical gems.


NBN Christmas Joke
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

One of the eternal NBN planned outage messages today, making 4 upcoming outages in total over the next 6 weeks. But this one was clearly a joke:

NBNCo has let us know that they are planning network maintenance in your area, and that
  your service at <strong>29 STONES RD, DEREEL VIC</strong> will be affected.<br>
The details are:
  - Start date and time: Fri 31st January 2020 00:00 AEDT
  - End date and time: Fri 31st January 2020 06:00 AEDT
You may experience the following interruptions during the maintenance
  - 1 min

One minute? They can do (much) more than that, and that in the middle of the day. Now if only all outages were so short.


Magda and Nele for lunch
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Magda Delva is in the country again, so we wanted to invite her for dinner. To my surprise, it's been ten years since we met her. Now her daughter Nele has two children, and she also lives considerably further away, so we can no longer entertain them in the evenings. Big, heavy lunch:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191219/big/Dinner-3.jpeg
Image title: Dinner 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3807 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 19 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191219/big/Dinner-8.jpeg
Image title: Dinner 8          Dimensions:          5238 x 2742, 2291 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 19 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191219/big/Poires-gourmandes-2.jpeg
Image title: Poires gourmandes 2          Dimensions:          4627 x 3456, 3693 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 19 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 19 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Then a quick walk in the paddocks to see the horses, and they were gone again for another year.

Somehow these heavy meals in the middle of the day completely disrupt things; we didn't eat anything for the rest of the day.


Friday, 20 December 2019 Dereel Images for 20 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Sumer is icumen in
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Summer's clearly come. Today was threatened to be very hot, and it was: the highest temperature was 44.5°, a new December record. Over the last 10 years since I wrote my weather station software and until yesterday, the highest December temperature that I recorded was 42.2°. That's not only a new record, but a significantly higher one.

It wasn't just here. Horsham recorded 47.9°, beating the previous December record of 46.6° and setting an all-time record.

What lies ahead? We've had it good in Victoria, but bushfires have been burning out of control in New South Wales for over 3 months, and the main bushfire season hasn't even started yet. What does our Supreme Leader do? Goes to Hawaii to cool off.

There should be some way to bring the government to account. But the current Trump Impeachment furore shows how difficult that is.


Bushfire! Where? What?
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

On a day like today we keep an eye on the emergency services web site. I've been grumbling about this site and its predecessors for over 10 years, but it has only marginally improved. Today Yvonne noticed what could be smoke to the east. Check http://emergency.vic.gov.au/. Yes, many fires:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191220/big/Bushfire-7-detail-2.png
Image title: Bushfire 7 detail 2          Dimensions:          1091 x 888, 854 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 20 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 20 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 20 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

What is all that stuff? Looking in more detail made it clear that you can't believe what you see. Yes, doubtless there's at least one fire, but:


Your tripod is on its way!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I was musing about the lack of tracking number for my new tripod. But they've made up for it:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191220/big/Toll-1.png
Image title: Toll 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 651 x 369, 28 kB
Dimensions of original: 651 x 369, 28 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 20 December 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

“19 Dec 2019 3:58 pm”. That's two days after I received it! Am I going to get another one? Off to follow the tracking number, helped by eBay's polite refusal to provide a link, and ultimately found this:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191220/big/Toll-2-detail.png
Image title: Toll 2 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 544 x 355, 17 kB
Dimensions of original: 544 x 355, 17 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 20 December 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's the presumably roughly correct information, modulo missing timestamps. How does eBay manage to make such a mess?


Modern-day resource hogs
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Once upon a time Emacs was considered a resource hog, in the long-gone days of the 20th century: “Eight Megabytes And Continually Swapping” gives the lie. And then came web browsers with a memory hunger than blows my mind.

Move over, firefox. The real hog is Java, or at least applications that use it. Today I started MediathekView, a java application, on teevee, and had to wait for it to start up and read in its programme list:

  PID USERNAME    THR PRI NICE   SIZE    RES STATE    C   TIME    WCPU COMMAND
 9543 grog         22  21    0  1780M   409M CPU2     2   6:38  11.04% firefox
16996 grog         24  52    0  2505M  1173M uwait    1  13:00   1.16% java
 1112 grog          1  20    0  6260M    35M select   3 770:35   0.95% Xorg
84521 grog          4  20    0   155M    28M select   3   6:12   0.01% emacs-26.2

13 minutes of CPU time and well over a gigabyte of real memory just to start up! How often did a CDC 7600 manage to stay up that long, taking into account the relative performance? Clearly it couldn't come close to using that much memory.


Saturday, 21 December 2019 Dereel Images for 21 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

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

Steak and kidney pie for the main course this evening. I've been working on the recipe for some time, and last time I established that “air fryers” were not the appropriate way to bake them. So back to the real oven, where I had written “30 minutes at 210°”. But that's not optimal. After 20 minutes we had:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Steak-and-kidney-pie-3.jpeg
Image title: Steak and kidney pie 3          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2799 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Steak-and-kidney-pie-4.jpeg
Image title: Steak and kidney pie 4          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2705 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's brown enough in general, but the smaller pie shows distinct areas that are underbaked. So: next time cooler.

In addition, there wasn't enough salt in the mixture, and it was far too dry. More adjustments to the recipe.


Still more flash pain
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I thought I had gradually sorted things out with flash exposure, but today I was reminded that we're not there yet. Yesterday I had managed to try to add some meat to cucumber sliced with a mandolin, and I had had a bandage on the end of my thumb, not a good place to keep it in place. While turning off a light, I discovered it gone:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Switch-1.jpeg
Image title: Switch 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3377 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Switch-2.jpeg
Image title: Switch 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2812 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Nothing special, right? But that's after postprocessing. I took it with the mecablitz 15 MS-1, and the original looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Switch-1-orig.jpeg
Image title: Switch 1 orig          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2363 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191221/big/Switch-2-orig.jpeg
Image title: Switch 2 orig          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2294 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Why so underexposed? That's a TTL flash unit. My best bet is that it's not strong enough, though it should be. I had the camera set to aperture priority, f/10. The unit should have a guide number of 21 at 200/24° ISO, which would be enough for a distance of up to 2 m.

A related issue is my planned flash lighting of the kitchen. If we can ever get an electrician to do the work, I'm planning to put a studio flash between kitchen space and living space, roughly where the stand to the left of this view is:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Kitchen-without-flash.jpeg
Image title: Kitchen without flash          Dimensions:          5363 x 3888, 2444 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I thought that this might be enough by itself, but it's clearly lop-sided:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Flash-in-kitchen-1.jpeg
Image title: Flash in kitchen 1          Dimensions:          5360 x 3888, 2729 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

But with the existing flash on top of the fridge on the right it doesn't look too bad:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Flash-in-kitchen-3.jpeg
Image title: Flash in kitchen 3          Dimensions:          5368 x 3888, 2407 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Only at the back, near the oven and the stove, it gets a little dark:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Flash-in-kitchen-4.jpeg
Image title: Flash in kitchen 4          Dimensions:          5306 x 3888, 2939 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Flash-in-kitchen-5.jpeg
Image title: Flash in kitchen 5          Dimensions:          5199 x 3888, 3179 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Would TTL flash help there? I don't seem to have had good results.


Sunday, 22 December 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 22 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Air conditioner failure
Topic: Stones Road house, opinion Link here

Went to check the room temperatures shortly after noon and found the air conditioner turned off. Strange. Turned it back on again, and after a few seconds it turned itself off again.

What's causing that? Circuit breaker tripped? Out to take a look at the switchboard. No breakers tripped. Turned the air conditioner breaker off and on again, just in case. No change. Toggle outside switch? No change. But I thought that there was usually a brief mechanical noise when I powered it on, and this time there was nothing.

Anything inside of interest? When the unit was installed I took some photos, notably this one:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20150428/big/Air-conditioner-2.jpeg
Image title: Air conditioner 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2519 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 28 April 2015 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20150428/big/Air-conditioner-5.jpeg
Image title: Air conditioner 5          Dimensions:          2064 x 1465, 608 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 28 April 2015 Complete exposure details

 

OK, that shows a set of contact breakers at top right. Had one tripped? Took the cover off and took a look. No, circuit breakers OK. On the board on the left there was also a fuse, also OK:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-5.jpeg
Image title: Actron 5          Dimensions:          4143 x 2249, 2280 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

There was also some convenient documentation on the inside of the cover, including status codes:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-1.jpeg
Image title: Actron 1          Dimensions:          3369 x 4605, 3101 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And for reference here's the manufacturer's identification on the outside:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-3.jpeg
Image title: Actron 3          Dimensions:          3065 x 4186, 2191 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Checked the power supplies. Yes, power was getting to the circuit breakers and the board at the bottom left, which they call a CPU. Yes, interestingly 230 V AC. But nothing in the display.

And then I read this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Actron 1 detail          Dimensions:          1494 x 148, 82 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

No display on boot. That can't be mechanical failure. The board itself must have failed. OK, nothing I can do.

Off to check on how to contact Waldron. Not at all until 6 January! They've taken two weeks off, and the air conditioner chose the worst possible time to fail. Checked the Actron web site, where I was able to fill out a form:

Outdoor unit does not start. Indoor controller works but powers down immediately,

Checked power to outdoor unit and circuit breakers and fuse on CPU board. All are functional. Power comes to the CPU board, but the display does not work. According to the information in the unit, it should display "boot" for 30 seconds after powering up. I therefore assume that there is a problem with the CPU board. The LED on the small board above the CPU board lights green.

What's the chance of that getting done before Christmas? A bat's chance in hell, I would have thought. We've been here before with the dish washer: buy another one to tide us over.

In the case of air conditioners, that means a portable air conditioner. Where do you get them? Somehow The Good Guys are about the only game in town. And their web site is suffering again today, producing even worse results than usual.


Still more grid power failures
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Coincidentally, discovered that round the time the air conditioner failed, there had been five grid power failure, all only one second long. They happened between 13:15:14 and 13:52:53. I took my photos of the external unit starting at 13:41, so it's unlikely that the unit failed any later than 13:30, after only the first one. Alternatively, could the report be related to power cycling the air conditioner? No, I don't think so. One occurred at 13:41:57, between these two photos:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-2.jpeg
Image title: Actron 2          Dimensions:          4396 x 3103, 3051 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Actron-3.jpeg
Image title: Actron 3          Dimensions:          3065 x 4186, 2191 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

They were on the cover at the end of the external unit, and I can't imagine that I power cycled the unit between the two. And the PV inverter stats show that the mains voltage was between 250 V and 245 V, lower than usual, though still above the nominal mains voltage of 230 V.


The pleasure of animals
Topic: animals, health Link here

Walking the dogs today, a car passed us with a barking dog. Leonid wanted none of that, and wanted to chase them. Yvonne tried to hold him back, and he danced around on her feet:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191222/big/Yvonnes-foot-2.jpeg
Image title: Yvonnes foot 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4186 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, bruises are nothing unusual. But it swelled up like that after only a few seconds! Coincidentally this happened in almost exactly the same place that Nikolai and Leo pulled me over and dislocated my little finger three years ago, maybe 3 m away, on the other side of the road. Curtailed the dog walk and took Yvonne and Leo back, after which I took Nikolai for a short walk.

Is it serious? Bruises swell up, and then the swelling goes away. But this time it happened so fast that I was concerned, especially since Yvonne is no longer the youngest. She discussed it with Chris Bahlo, who agreed that it would be good to get it looked at.


Off to Ballarat
Topic: health, Stones Road house, general Link here

So off to the Ballarat Base Hospital, where I left Yvonne and went on to The Good Guys to look for an air conditioner. To my surprise, the place was almost empty. Found a singularly clueless sales “assistant” who couldn't tell me anything useful about the units, even to the point of claiming that they have no reverse cycle ones, until she ran into one. But reverse cycle doesn't seem to be the best choice here: the one item produced 3 kW cooling power for $699, and we found a 5.5 kW unit, a Levante LEV18 for (ultimately) $949. You can buy a lot of electrical blower heaters for that price difference.

I hadn't even loaded the thing into the car when Yvonne called to say that she had had a clean bill of health, and that nothing needed to be done. Picked her up and off home again, a total time away, including an hour's drive and filling up the petrol tank, of 100 minutes. From the IRC log:

* groggyhimself heads off to the emergency department with Yvonne.    [15:48]
* groggyhimself returns with checked-out Yvonne and new aircon.       [17:34]

Levante LEV18 air conditioner
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Unpacked the air conditioner and put it in place. Where are the instructions? Spent some time growling before I finally found them, stuck inside the exhaust air duct.

How do you connect the exhaust air? I had problems with this 3 years ago, when we bought one for Chris Bahlo. The mounting equipment is just plain bizarre:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Air-conditioner-1.jpeg
Image title: Air conditioner 1          Dimensions:          5368 x 3888, 3186 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's too short for a sliding door, and completely wrong for typical Australian wind-out windows:

A bit of reading the instructions made things clear. This unit (and all others on the market, it seems) is not designed for Australian conditions. They expect sliding windows, not wind-out windows. Why? Wind-out windows are the Australian standard, and though we had some sliding windows in the old part of Wantadilla, I haven't seen any new houses with them in the last 20 years. So now I need to find a way to seal off the gap in the window, something that the maker should have provided.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Air-conditioner-5.jpeg
Image title: Air conditioner 5          Dimensions:          5333 x 3888, 3532 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And apart from that? It works, and it cools. For a device that claims “lower noise” you have to wonder what it was comparing to. Sure, I wasn't expecting anything as silent as a ducted system, but this one is really noisy. And it doesn't stop blowing when it reaches the set temperature. Under those circumstances it's a good thing that it has a remote control (requiring a screwdriver to insert the batteries).


Monday, 23 December 2019 Dereel Images for 23 December 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Repairing the air conditioner
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

What chance do we have to get the air conditioner repaired quickly? Not much, but not impossible. Called up Waldron on 5336 0000 and got the expected “we're closed for the next two weeks” message, but I was able to leave a message. Not much hope, but why not?

Then called Actron on 1800 119 229 and spoke to somebody who didn't give me her name. She would send the local agent around as soon as possible. Waldron? Let me check... there seem to be a couple of others around who are open over Christmas. With a lot of luck they might contact me on Friday. Reference number—hold on—8046819. That's about as much as I had expected.


More equipment failure?
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Hot on the failure of our air conditioner yesterday, I looked at the “Dashboard” of my photovoltaic system this morning. No solar power at all, despite bright sunshine outside. Damn! Has the thing failed?

No, just gone off to do its own thing and “calibrate” the batteries. From 0:45 to 17:00. OK, it started in the middle of the night, but if this is really necessary, can't they start it immediately after sundown? As it was, instead of the 50-odd kWh that I've been getting in the current weather, I only got 10 kWh. That's effectively $12 lost.

As if that wasn't enough, in the afternoon I heard a whining from our new fridge, possibly from a fan. Hopefully it's not going to fail on us over the Christmas period as well. It went away after about half an hour, but it sounds like I'm going to need to call service after the Christmas break.


The birds is coming
Topic: animals Link here

Looking out the lounge room window this morning, saw a surprising number of birds of different feathers in close proximity:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Birds-4.jpeg
Image title: Birds 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3955 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Birds-7.jpeg
Image title: Birds 7          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 4482 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Birds-11.jpeg
Image title: Birds 11          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3873 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's unusual. In particular, there aren't many galahs around here. My guess is that the seeding grass attracted them. And the poor image quality is because I chose not to open the glass door in case it scared them off.


Garden flowers at the summer solstice
Topic: gardening Link here

Yesterday was the summer solstice, time for the monthly garden photos, but the sun was too bright and glaring, so I decided to take the photos early this morning. I think it has paid off.

The trees in the front of the house seem to be looking better. The Schinus molle that we replanted at the end of last month seems to be improving. At first sight the comparison between last month and now doesn't seem very different:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191129/big/Pepper-tree-4.jpeg
Image title: Pepper tree 4          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3254 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 29 November 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 29 November 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 29 November 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Pepper-tree-1.jpeg
Image title: Pepper tree 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 7980 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

But the leaves are growing:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Pepper-tree-3.jpeg
Image title: Pepper tree 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 2917 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Pepper-tree-5.jpeg
Image title: Pepper tree 5          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 3292 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

So I'm relatively confident that it's on the way to recovery.

Another plant that gives cause for concern is the Curry tree, which lost all of its leaves after a treatment with soap recommended by our local gardening supplier:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Curry-tree-1.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5215, 8613 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I repotted it, and it seems to be gradually recovering:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Curry-tree-3.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 3          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2170 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Curry-tree-5.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 5          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 2363 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Curry-tree-6.jpeg
Image title: Curry tree 6          Dimensions:          4612 x 3456, 2106 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And for once my Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” is not looking at all happy:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-2.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3474 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-3.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 4374 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It dropped leaves on the shade side some time ago. My guess is that I hadn't watered it enough, and that was its reaction. The other side is looking normal enough:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-1.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 1          Dimensions:          5204 x 3888, 3565 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

So in case of doubt “it needed pruning anyway”.

And the first Hibiscus syriacus of the season is also flowering:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Hibiscus-syriacus.jpeg
Image title: Hibiscus syriacus          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3282 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The Grevillea robusta that wasn't looking so robust last month is now looking better, though it's surprisingly difficult to demonstrate on a photo:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Grevillea-robusta.jpeg
Image title: Grevillea robusta          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 5324 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Again, I have few concerns.

And then there's the Paulownia kawakamii, which should have grown much more. But at least now it's as tall as its star pickets:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Paulownia-1.jpeg
Image title: Paulownia 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 6352 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

A first is a flower on our Strelitzia nicolai, which became apparent at the end of last month:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191130/big/Strelitzia-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia 1          Dimensions:          3889 x 5184, 3592 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 30 November 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 30 November 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 30 November 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It has been developing since then, but it's still not open. Current status is:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3545 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191224/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 3202 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 24 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The second view is from above, and shows a total of four components of the flower.

And the Strelitziae reginae are also flowering for the first time in a couple of years:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Strelitzia-reginae-1.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 1          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3234 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Strelitzia-reginae-2.jpeg
Image title: Strelitzia reginae 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 3791 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The Clematis “General Sikorski” was just coming into flower last month. Now it has almost finished flowering, but in between it was surprisingly active for such a small plant. Here a photo from 8 December:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191208/big/Clematis-2.jpeg
Image title: Clematis 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5186, 3712 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 8 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 8 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

The succulent bed to the north-east of the house continues to grow well:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Succulent-garden-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Succulent garden 1 detail          Dimensions:          5199 x 1581, 3814 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Succulent-3.jpeg
Image title: Succulent 3          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 5361 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Succulent-5.jpeg
Image title: Succulent 5          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5833 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Succulent-9.jpeg
Image title: Succulent 9          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4011 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Other dry climate flowers are the Kniphofia and Leucospermum cordifolium. The latter has recovered from what I suspect was under-watering:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Kniphofia-1.jpeg
Image title: Kniphofia 1          Dimensions:          5215 x 3888, 5345 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Leucospermum-cordifolium.jpeg
Image title: Leucospermum cordifolium          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 4454 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Maybe we should plant more of that kind of plant.


Visitors from Bendigo
Topic: general Link here

My cousins Brendan and Robert Herbert came down from Bendigo today, bearing an incredible amount of old photos.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Photos-1.jpeg
Image title: Photos 1          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 5029 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Photos-2.jpeg
Image title: Photos 2          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 5001 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Photos-3.jpeg
Image title: Photos 3          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 4930 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Photos-4.jpeg
Image title: Photos 4          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 4743 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 23 December 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 23 December 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I had asked them to find some of my personal effects, including a photo album, but it has taken them over 9 months to sift through the amazing amount of stuff that she had, and these are just the photos (including my photo album, which shows my development up to about 1960).

There's some interesting stuff in there: photos that must be over 100 years old, a locket that my father gave to my mother-to-be on her 16th birthday (12 April 1940), two medals from the RAAF in honour of his service in the Second World War, and other things that I had never seen before, including these photos, taken on 24 February 1972:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19720224/big/QE2-Norman.jpeg
Image title: QE2 Norman          Dimensions:          2830 x 1884, 575 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 24 February 1972, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 24 February 1972, small
Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19720224/big/Duke-of-Edinburgh-Audrey.jpeg
Image title: Duke of Edinburgh Audrey          Dimensions:          2789 x 1884, 522 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 24 February 1972, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 24 February 1972, small
Complete exposure details

 

Those are my parents in the middle of the photos. It will take me months, if not years, to sift through all the stuff.

This is only the second time that I have seen Brendan and Robert since December 1977, when they were 15 and 11 years old, and the last time was at my mother's funeral. Unfortunately they couldn't stay. A cup of coffee, once round the property and looking at the horsees, and they were off.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20191223/big/Robert-Greg-Brendan-Nikolai-9.jpeg
Image title: Robert Greg Brendan Nikolai 9          Dimensions: