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Saturday, 22 June 2024 Dereel Images for 22 June 2024
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Garden flowers in early winter
Topic: gardening, general Link here

Yesterday was the June solstice, time for the monthly garden flower photos.

Just before the June solstice we had a relatively heavy frost (-2.4°). That shows:


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And our long-suffering Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” has suffered just as it wanted to produce more flowers:


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But at least the rear of the bush has escaped the worst of the frost:


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But it's also the time where autumn meets spring. This year it's not very pronounced. There aren't too many roses left:


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And there aren't too many spring flowers yet, though this Iris is already there:


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Our second lime bush is gradually bearing fruit:


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And the Abutilon over Piccola's grave is gradually flowering better, though the big one near the laundry door hasn't quite come out yet:


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Ubuntu again
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Installed the latest version Ubuntu Linux on a virtual machine today.

Why? A couple of reasons: to see whether VirtualBox still works after the change in networking infrastructure that caused disaster and despise, my two Microsoft VMs, to lose connectivity. And to see how well it does out of the box with rendering non-Roman fonts, thus a user-oriented desktop version.

It didn't start well. Configured it with all the defaults, and it just hung on boot. After a while I decided that it wasn't going to do anything, and went searching the web, coming up with Ubuntu 18.04 installation on a VMWare stucks [sic]. The default memory size that VBox selects (only 1 GB) is too small, and Ubuntu is too polite to complain. With a sane amount of memory (8 GB) it ran presumably as intended, still leaving a blank screen long enough to be concerning. And then it discovered that it needed an updated installer. OK, no problems, in the process proving that networking was working.

After that, a pretty screen that told me nothing. No indication what to do next. What do beginners do? I clicked on the “install” icon (twice, please, in case one fails) and it started the installation all over again.

Finally it was done. Blank screen. Ha ha, only joking, that's the screen saver. Log in, and another incomprehensible display:


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Where's xterm? How do I talk to the machine? Yes, there's a terminal displayed on the left, but it wasn't when I first connected. And it's some strange xterm substitute that just confused me. It also came up in reverse video, of course. Somehow Ubuntu seems to like black. OK, never mind, what does the network look like? Ah, no ifconfig, that's an old, worn-out magic word. But you can install it.

As expected, it used DHCP. A bit of searching allowed me to find the network settings, and they worked.

And xterm? Yes, I can have that too. Only 2.5 GB more storage needed!

 
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But the real point of the exercise was to see whether Ubuntu could display unusual fonts out of the box. Yes! So that's an area where FreeBSD is still lagging behind. In the short term, I can just copy the fonts.

So: I can't see myself actually using Ubuntu—it scares me almost more than Android—but the effort was well worth while. Now to find out what network problems disaster and despise have.


Sushi?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A while back we bought a “sushi kit“, mainly rice, nori and sushi vinegar. I lost the instructions, so we didn't do anything.

But Yvonne forced my hand. She wanted to eat sushi, so yesterday she bought some in town. Somehow the prices for sushi are horrendous, and it seems that this place has changed owners recently. Yvonne was not impressed, and somehow the sushi itself didn't taste as good as I recall, though I have difficulty deciding what the issue was, apart from the fact that the nori was so tough that I couldn't bite through it. I suppose it matches that their stated web site https://sushinoodleonmair.com.au/ is currently not accessible.

So: time to learn how to do this myself. There are plenty of videos on YouTube. Watched this one, which was instructive:


Sunday, 23 June 2024 Dereel Images for 23 June 2024
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Frijoles refritos?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Cooked another batch of frijoles de la olla (boiled beans) today. They're intended to make frijoles refritos. In principle I'm happy with my recipe, but can it be improved? One thing that occurs to me: it contains lard, something that makes the beans unsuitable for vegetarians, Jews and Muslims. But why? Frying the beans also takes (significantly more) lard. Why not add it all then?

Off on the web looking for Spanish language recipes to avoid the US American bean paste. And how about that, I found this page, which goes into significant detail. It agrees with me that the beans should be crushed, not puréeed, so it must be right. But there are a number of details that I didn't know, including adding onion and garlic. And it doesn't mention anything specific about boiling the beans. I'll look at it again next time I fry.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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