Greg
animals food and drink
gardening general
health multimedia
photography opinion
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
March 2018
Translate this page
Select day in March 2018:
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:
2017 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2018 Jan Feb Mar Apr
2018 May Jun Jul Aug
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

Thursday, 1 March 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel → Cape Clear → Dereel Images for 1 March 2018
Top of page
next day
last day

Free as in free beer?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Where do I find maps that I can embed on my pages without worrying about copyright? Google Maps allows embedding, and OpenStreetMap exists for that purpose, but neither of them do atlas-style maps. So I went looking and found this page, which looked like it could do exactly what I'm looking for:


This should be Free-maps.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Free maps          Dimensions:          1331 x 501, 385 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, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But it only showed a small fraction of the maps, unsorted. How should I sort them?

 
This should be Free-maps-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Free maps detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 372 x 237, 22 kB
Dimensions of original: 372 x 237, 22 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 1 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Nothing useful. And why “sort by price” for something that's free?

In the end, I didn't find just what I was looking for (a world map centered on Asia and Australia). There are plenty of them, but not free.


Next doctor's appointment
Topic: health Link here

Off to Ballarat again to visit Dr. Paul Smith, our GP, who didn't have too much to add to what has already happened. We have a pretty full schedule with medical treatment for Yvonne in the near future.


Next doctor
Topic: health, animals Link here

Back home, I just had time to pack Leonid and Nikolai into the car, and then off to Cape Clear to visit Pene Kirk, the vet: Leo had something wrong with his left hind paw. Yvonne suspected that it was a grass seed that had got stuck in the paw and infected.


This should be Leonid-8.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 8          Dimensions:          3456 x 4694, 1671 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Pene took one look and diagnosed a fused joint in the paw, apparently a common ailment with greyhounds. Got a lecture for not having clipped his claws. “He's a dog, not a bird of prey. He doesn't need talons like that”. Solution: amputation.

That proved not to be as invasive as it sounds. She removed the claw and half the bone joining it to the joint:


This should be Leonid-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 10          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 1719 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Leonid-14.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 14          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 1472 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Leonid-15.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 15          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 1679 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

It seems that this can be a particularly bloody affair, but this time it went relatively well apart from the fact that he had very tough bones, and it took quite a while to clip it off:


This should be Leonid-18.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 18          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 3248 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Leonid-18-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 18 detail          Dimensions:          1431 x 975, 141 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Still, I ended up with quite a bit of blood on my hands from holding the leg still.

And then she took the opportunity to clip his claws:


This should be Leonid-21.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonid 21          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 2369 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 Thursday, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

She also did Niko's, to his usual displeasure. Back home with a decidedly groggy Leo, who gradually came to over the next hour or two. And Yvonne tells me that she had cut their claws only yesterday. But the more I think about it, the more I think that this must have been going on for quite some time. Leo had a history of biting his foot. We thought it was just a behaviourism, but possibly it was his way of alleviating the pain (or itching?). Two things are for sure: we'll keep a better eye on their behaviour, and on the length of their claws.


Autumn: a time for tomatoes
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

We haven't planted any vegetables for a long time, but tomatoes are like weeds: they crop up without invitation. Today was the first day of autumn, and also the day our first (small) tomato was ripe:


This should be Tomato.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Tomato          Dimensions:          2214 x 3193, 715 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, 1 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 1 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 1 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

A fit birthday present for Yvonne.


Friday, 2 March 2018 Dereel Images for 2 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Mike the gardener along today, mainly doing tidy-ups. But they made a difference, and things are now looking relatively tidy.


Goodbye “Pro”, hello “Industrial”
Topic: general, opinion Link here

ALDI has a kitchen trolley on special this week:


This should be Industrial-trolley-12.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Industrial trolley 12          Dimensions:          1971 x 2480, 3266 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Or is it? It claims to be a Butcher Trolley, whatever that is. You'd expect it to be related to meat, but (apart from the dog at bottom right of the image) there's not much meat to be seen or implied.

Still, it looks like something that we could use, so I picked one up on Wednesday, and today I started to assemble it. How about that, according to the package, it's Industrial quality. Now that suggests to me that it's made out of metal and slightly greasy, but I get the impression that the intention is to say that it's more than Professional. I wonder if we'll see more nonsense of this kind.

The truth is somewhat different. On unpacking, the uneven surface was immediately apparent. Yes, it's pine, and there are knot holes, though these are particularly roughly finished:


This should be Industrial-trolley-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Industrial trolley 10          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 3191 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

   
This should be Industrial-trolley-6-detail-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Industrial trolley 6 detail 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 625 x 407, 80 kB
Dimensions of original: 625 x 407, 80 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 2 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Industrial-trolley-6-detail-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Industrial trolley 6 detail 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 241 x 177, 45 kB
Dimensions of original: 241 x 177, 45 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 2 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But deep scratches, filled in and painted over?


This should be Industrial-trolley-6-detail-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Industrial trolley 6 detail 1          Dimensions:          2293 x 525, 158 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That must really be the most flagrant violation of ALDI's “stringent quality specifications” that I've seen so far. It's not even worth assembling. Back it goes.


Updating Olympus firmware
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Olympus has released firmware upgrades for several products that I have: the OM-D E-M1 Mark I, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4.0 IS PRO. The pre-release discussion suggests a way to download the firmware and install it from an SD card, just what I have been looking at for a long time. The information was posted on Facebook, so I can no longer find it, but it seems to be related to this page. It let me download the code (88 MB!), but it's structured so that I can't find out how to do the transfer to the SD card. Instead I need to follow the procedure that the author of the page decided on, without knowing up front what it is.

This may be worth it, but right now I didn't have the time, so I used the painful way via Digital Camera Updater, in the process discovering that it wouldn't update both camera and lens at the same time, though both needed updating, and that, without warning, it didn't save the configuration for my E-M1 Mark I (which I now need to reset manually).


E-M1 Mark II Firmware 2.0
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

After fighting my way through the firmware update for my Olympus equipment, I finally have not only new features, but also a new “manual”.

So what's new? The list is here, but most of it is uninteresting. The things that interest me are:

What does the last item mean in practice? The updated manual contains an appendix with descriptions of the changes in the new firmware. Here's what it says about the “fisheye compensation”:

 
This should be E-M1-manual.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: E M1 manual
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 580 x 234, 44 kB
Dimensions of original: 580 x 234, 44 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 2 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

What's missing here? What's “the angle (1 to 3)”? And what does it do? What's “distortion”?

Did a bit of experimentation. “Distortion” is the term they use to mean “divergence from rectilinear projection”. The feature takes a (presumably undistorted) fisheye projection and converts it to an (implicitly undistorted) rectilinear projection.

What, in the raw image? No, of course not. It doesn't say, but this is Yet Another camera function that overrides your choice of image format and creates JPEG images even if you didn't explicitly ask for them. The raw image is unaffected by any of these settings. That makes sense, but can't the “instructions” say so?

And “angle”? It's a crop specification. Crop 3 (smallest image, longest equivalent focal length) corresponds to a rectilinear lens with a focal length of marginally less than 9 mm. Crop 1 could correspond to a rectilinear lens with a focal length of 7 mm. Here's what I found with a series of images taken from the same place:

Original image from fisheye lens:


This should be House-fisheye-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House fisheye 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 8662 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Image converted to rectilinear by DxO PhotoLab:


This should be House-fisheye-DxO-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House fisheye DxO 1          Dimensions:          6980 x 3888, 10065 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

In-camera conversions with “angles” 1 to 3:


This should be House-fisheye-ooc-1-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House fisheye ooc 1 1          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5128 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be House-fisheye-ooc-1-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House fisheye ooc 1 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4766 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be House-fisheye-ooc-1-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House fisheye ooc 1 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4442 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And finally a shot with the Zuiko Digital ED 9-18 mm f/4.0-5.6:


This should be House-9mm.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: House 9mm          Dimensions:          5208 x 3888, 7310 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, 2 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 2 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 2 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

So “angle” 3 is marginally wider than the 9 mm image. And “angle” 1 is considerably narrower than what DxO makes out of the same view. Arguably that makes sense, since the DxO view shows the real limits of rectilinear projection.

But what use is this? It all crops, it all only produces JPEG output. I don't see myself using it.


Saturday, 3 March 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 3 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Premature optimization
Topic: health, general Link here

On Thursday we received a number of prescriptions for medication. Nothing was needed immediately, and rather than wait while they were being filled out, we decided to leave them until today, when Chris Bahlo and Yvonne were planning to go to Pilates: they could hand in the prescription and collect it on the way back.

Problem: Chris has a cold, and so they cancelled Pilates. And we needed the prescriptions. So I had to drive into town and pick them up, also returning the horrible “butcher trolley”. On the way home, dropped in at Christie's in La Trobe St, No, they didn't have anything like that. They could get one made, but they didn't know anybody who would have them off the shelf. An antique shop, maybe?

Somehow fashion is taking the upper hand over practicality.


Sunday, 4 March 2018 Dereel Images for 4 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Spraying weeds
Topic: gardening Link here

I've been meaning to spray weeds for I don't know how long, but I've always found an excuse to put it off. Today I finally did it. I wonder how long it'll be before the next time.


Refund: done!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Last week I cancelled a purchase of a lens cap, because it didn't fit. The seller responded quickly with a refund and the indirect recognition that the cap was faulty: he didn't want it back.

That was confusing, though: I got a message saying that the purchase price had been refunded:

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:21:34 -0700
From: eBay <ebay@ebay.com.au>
To: groggyhimself@lemis.com
Subject: Seller initiated a refund: Leica Plastic Lens Cap Press Tabs apx 46mm just under 2&amp;quot; Superb

But that was just the purchase price, not the postage. OK, message to seller, who again replied quickly: He had refunded the postage too. Checked my PayPal account: yes, all OK, though it was two separate refunds. PayPal or eBay up to their usual tricks. Case closed.

And then today, a week later, I received not one, but three more messages:

  84   + 02-03-2018 service@paypal.com.a To Greg Lehey   (  22)   + Notification of a Completed Refund
  85   + 02-03-2018 eBay                 To Greg Lehey   ( 279)   + You have a refund for: Leica Plastic Lens Cap Press
  86 N + 02-03-2018 service@paypal.com.a To Greg Lehey   (  22) N + Notification of a Completed Refund

The first read:

Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2018 06:38:01 -0800
From: "service@paypal.com.au" <service@paypal.com.au>
To: Greg Lehey <groggyhimself@lemis.com>

This email confirms that the Pending Refund you received for $11.00 USD from seller@ebay.com has cleared. The funds are now reflected in your PayPal balance.

That was the postage, and the third message referred to the item itself. What does this mean? It seems that it's one of their irritating delayed payments, this time nearly a week. Do they suspect the seller? Or me? And why was I able to see the transactions in my PayPal account? I'll never understand these people.

The message from eBay was just about the item, not the postage. No further mail from them.


More summer flowers
Topic: gardening Link here

Now that autumn has started, the summer flowers are coming out. Here the very first Mandevilla laxa:


This should be Mandevilla-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mandevilla 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2507 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, 4 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 4 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 4 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And the Clematis next to it is now flowering satisfactorily:


This should be Clematis-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 2          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 3120 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, 4 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 4 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 4 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Hopefully the Mandevilla will survive the coming winter better than the last one.


Olympus firmware: worth the trouble?
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Taking the photos of the flowers brought a surprise: they were stored in “LN” format, which in Olympus speak means “full sized JPEG, average quality”, round 3 MB in size. This was with the OM-D E-M1, where all the settings got reset. Spent something like 30 minutes putting them in again, with the exception of one that I forgot to write down and can't find: instead of the “Super Control Panel”, display a single menu item at once.

Is it worth upgrading the firmware? The purpose of this particular upgrade was:

Corrected issue of autofocus (AF) function not operating correctly when using the "LEICA DG ELMARIT 200mm F2.8 [sic] / POWER O.I.S. (H-ES200)" interchangeable lens produced by Panasonic.

I don't have the lens, so I didn't need the update. I certainly didn't need the irritation caused by resetting the camera to defaults.


Leonid's paw
Topic: animals Link here

Today was the (only) day intended for changing the bandage on Leonid's paw:


This should be Leonids-paw-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonids paw 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4612, 4613 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, 4 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 4 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 4 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Leonids-paw-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Leonids paw 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4615, 3590 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, 4 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 4 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 4 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


Next HDR software
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

My experience with Aurora HDR was mixed: it was much better than HDR Express, but still left a number of questions unanswered. Before looking in more detail, it seemed worthwhile to look at the alternatives, notably the top of the list that I had found.

In passing, it's interesting to note that I received no reply from Macphun about my findings. I would have expected some kind of reply, though clearly they would not have agreed with me.

That's Photomatix PRO, and to my surprise I discovered that I had had contact with it before, nearly 9 years ago. At the time, it seems, it was only available for Apple, and it didn't work on my (PowerPC) Apple, though it didn't make it clear whether the lack of function was due to the hardware. It's also not clear whether I understood at the time that it was HDR software.

Five years later I tried again, but somehow didn't get very far.

This time things worked well. The thing installed, and I was able to convert images without looking at the manual and store them where I wanted them. And the results looked usable. Here the one image that I have been using for comparison, using the “Normal” preset. Here the results with HDR Express, Aurora HDR, enfuse and Photomatix. Run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour:


This should be e-from-house-0-1EV-HDREx.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: e from house 0 1EV HDREx          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 7096 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, 17 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 February 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be ABright.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: ABright          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4718 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, 17 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 February 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be e-from-house-0.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: e from house 0          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2974 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, 17 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 February 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be e-from-house-0-Photomatix.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: e from house 0 Photomatix          Dimensions:          5183 x 3886, 4154 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, 17 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 February 2018 Complete exposure details

 

How about that, the gradation is just about the same as with enfuse. There are plenty of other presets, including ones that are much gaudier than the Aurora example, but it's good to know that I can get “normal” images too.

Ghosting is a different matter:

 
This should be e-from-house-0-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: e from house 0 detail
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 258 x 388, 54 kB
Dimensions of original: 258 x 388, 54 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 17 February 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be e-from-house-0-Photomatix-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: e from house 0 Photomatix detail
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 176 x 337, 49 kB
Dimensions of original: 176 x 337, 49 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 17 February 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Clearly Photomatix is much better, but it's not perfect. There are knobs to tweak that could help. The biggest issue, one of the few that I had observed before, is that I can't find a way to enlarge the image on the screen to the point where I can see the difference (like in the crops above).

And batch processing? (Almost) “just works”. You can tell it how many images there are per shot, and by default it stores the results in a subdirectory with a name derived from all components, and with the inevitable loss of expertise:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/13) /Photos/6-HDR4-grog/PhotomatixResults01 529 -> l
total 150
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  4,254,378 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-0+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,019,091 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-1+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,090,466 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-2+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  4,087,074 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-3+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  4,788,053 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-4+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  4,652,090 17 Feb 13:44 e-from-house-5+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,326,763 17 Feb 13:47 garden-nw-0+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  4,833,483 17 Feb 13:47 garden-nw-1+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,288,794 17 Feb 13:47 garden-nw-2+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,335,886 17 Feb 13:47 garden-nw-3+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg
-rwxr--r--  2 grog  wheel  5,538,737 17 Feb 13:42 house-from-entrance-0+0EV_+1EV_-1EV.jpg

I'll do a bit more testing, but it looks like this is the one to take. But which version? It seems that there's an “Elements” version that costs $40, and a full version that costs $100, along with one optimized for Real Estate people. What's the difference? Various things that I may or may not need, but then... only Pro offers batch processing! That's basic! What kind of a world are they selling to?


Monday, 5 March 2018 Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

“Internet banking”, not our problem
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

I needed to do a bank transfer this morning, from the Bank of Melbourne this morning, using their “Internet Banking” service. But this time logon failed in a number of different ways. To log in you need three parameters: an access number, a “Security number”, effectively a PIN between 4 and 6 characters long, and an “Internet Password”, where the word “Internet” is doubly superfluous.

But when I tried to log in, I got a transient error messages against the “Security number”: “Please match the requested format”. The value is numeric, of course, and this looks like the page's way of saying “You entered a non-numeric character”. And it wasn't repeatable, at least not completely: sometimes it went off to talk to a server with a name that looked like an IP address with 0 replaced by o. It didn't return.

After about 20 minutes of alternative attempts, including the discovery that on Microsoft the browser hung and had to be force stopped, finally called the help line on 13 22 66. Connected to Bill (I think), who listened to my problem report (“Please match the requested format”) and went through all sorts of identification procedures: “Can you give me your full name, please?”. Me: “Greg Lehey, 29 Stones Road, Dereel”. Driver license number, please? Dug that out, then “Your address, please”. “I already gave it to you”. “Huh?”.

He carried on with all sorts of things. Account number? That's not anywhere in my documentation. More digging. “Can you give me details of transactions in the last two weeks?”. No, of course I couldn't. It seems that he had forgotten why I was calling.

Finally I got through the business—20 minutes on the phone, a total of over an hour trying to access the system—and he told me he would have to put me through to “Internet” help. By this time I was running out of time. I explained again that the problem was clearly at their end, and would they please call me back when they had fixed it. No, they can't do that, they're not allowed to make phone calls.

Grr. “Please connect me to your supervisor” (he had confirmed consulting with him earlier). Long wait, then I was connected with Josh, who had absolutely no details of the issue. And he wasn't a supervisor: he was 2nd level “Internet” support. He listened to my problem, and then asked me if I was using an iPhone or an “Android”. No. Huh? iPhone or Android? Finally I had to spell it out to him that I was using a computer.

Interesting suggestion then: I should try logging in to St George, ostensibly another bank. But the login screen had the same structure, and when I tried to log in there, I got the same error message. Still more proof that it was their problem.

OK, tried with firefox and Chrome. How about “Internet Explorer”? Dammit, I might as well humour him. Tried it and... it worked! Finally he became more informative and said that they had ongoing “issues” with firefox, and that I should use something else. I said that I would give them a week to fix the bug, and if it wasn't gone by then, I would indeed use something else—another bank.

Was this really a firefox issue? Back to try logging in with firefox. It worked. So whatever the problem was, it had been fixed or worked around in the meantime. No thanks to the people whom I contacted. And 1½ hours of time wasted.

We've had web banking for 20 years. When are they going to get it right? And when will Bank of Melbourne fix their help lines?


Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Dereel → Melbourne → Richmond → Kew → Boronia → Mount Evelyn → Nunawading → Richmond → Dereel Images for 6 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Ordeal in Melbourne
Topic: health, general, photography, food and drink, opinion Link here

Off to Melbourne today for Yvonne's EUS and FNA, which took up the whole day.

On the freeway between Geelong and Melbourne saw a strange sight: a police car with flashing blue and red lights, clearly wanting to get past. OK, prepared to pull over at the first opportunity, but he swerved through the traffic and got past the truck in front of me. Then he disappeared on a slip road, only to come up the other side, doing at least 125 km/h. Several others came by and did similar antics. They finally stopped a car on the side of the road, while others drove on.

What's wrong with this picture? It looked like something out of a bad TV police series. They didn't seem to have any idea of how to drive, and they took ridiculous risks (why didn't they just drive along the emergency stop lane?). The cars appear to have amazing acceleration, but they drove so slowly. I wonder to what extent it was all necessary, and to what extent they were just doing it for fun. If it's the latter, they should get more training. They'd be lost on a German freeway.

First to the Victoria Market to do some shopping, in the process discovering that Minh Phat, the Vietnamese grocery, closed down on 29 January. It seems (from the link) that the redevelopers of the market didn't find that they suited the new look, so they're gone. That's a pity. I wasn't as fond of the place as the person who wrote the entry, but it was convenient. The articles don't seem to have mentioned the fact that they have another shop in Abbotsford. I've been there before, and it wasn't far from the hospital, but I didn't have the address with me.

Yvonne did her usual shopping, while I spent the time taking photos. Also bought a couple of cookbooks at the cookbook shop near where Minh Phat used to be. I had expected them not to last, but they've been there at least since our last visit 16 months ago.

The good news about the VM is that car parking is now free for the first hour on some days, including today. We got through within our time, and then set off for the Epworth Hospital in Richmond. We had left ourselves an hour just in case, which wasn't unreasonable: it seems that 9 years ago it took me 45 minutes to get to Minh Phat in Abbotsford, which is nearby. But we made it in 20 minutes, and decided to check in early rather than kick our heels. That proved to be a good choice: they have a first come, first served policy, and even so it was nearly 3 hours before Yvonne even got to be examined.

In the meantime I headed off to Boronia to Fleischer, the German butcher, stopping on the way at 135 Brougham St, Kew. That's where my grandparents lived in the 1960s, and which Louis Nowra mentioned in his book “The Twelfth of Never”. I spent several weeks there in July 1961, and have only been back once to drive past. Today at least I got some photos:


This should be Brougham-Street-6_rect.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Brougham Street 6_rect          Dimensions:          5167 x 1777, 3036 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

It's the third house for the left, where the postman is trying in vain to find somebody.

On to Boronia, marvelling about the traffic signs:


This should be Signage-nonsense.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Signage nonsense          Dimensions:          4639 x 3456, 5304 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Signage-nonsense-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Signage nonsense detail          Dimensions:          1734 x 1913, 1008 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Victorian Consolidated Regulations state:

A driver must not drive past a no entry sign .

And yes, the space before the full stop is original. This positioning of the sign is complete nonsense. It doesn't mean no entry at all, and it's in the wrong place. What it really means is that at certain times (7:00 to 9:00) you're not allowed to leave the roundabout (visible in the distance) in the direction of Wills St, whichever one that may be. But you only see that after stopping and wondering why you can't continue.

Similar fun in Boronia. There's a parking place behind Fleischers. And now they have a sign in front of it:

 
This should be Boronia-1-detail-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Boronia 1 detail 2
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 377 x 453, 83 kB
Dimensions of original: 377 x 453, 83 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 6 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

This should be Boronia-1-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Boronia 1 detail          Dimensions:          2800 x 843, 867 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Boronia.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Boronia          Dimensions:          4211 x 1613, 3323 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

What does that mean? Clearly there's an entrance (left) and exit (right). But it's not clear to which side the sign applies, nor indeed if it applies at all: it's pointing up the wrong side of the road.

I can't make up my mind whether this is saying that no entry is allowed at all (clearly nonsensical), no entry is allowed on the right side (no sign necessary). Basically, the sign is misplaced and meaningless. And the sign underneath? After careful consideration, it might mean that traffic from the other side of the road is not allowed to enter the parking place. That might even make sense, since there's a crest just behind it, and it could be dangerous. But then the sign is in completely the wrong place.

At Fleischer's, I'm left wondering whether they're going downhill: normally the place is full, but I was the only customer the whole time, and the place seems a bit run-down: the door no longer opens properly, scraping into the floor, which it has clearly done for a long time. I spoke in German the whole time, which the people understood, but it was clear that they're not in practice. The younger girl said „Du“ to me, apparently not understanding that it wasn't appropriate. I bought some Bratwurst, of which they had various kinds, including “Mild” and “Pure Pork”. It seems that they put beef in all but the “pure pork”, which is completely at odds with German custom. So I asked „Zwei Kilo von den Reinen, bitte“, and she started to give me some of the “mild” sausages. I pointed out that “Pure Pork” translates (literally) as „Rein Schwein“, which they both found amusing.

From there on (figuratively) down memory lane to Mount Evelyn, where I spent some time in August 1957. Finding my way wasn't helped by my GPS navigator. Why doesn't the thing show the compass direction? It told me to drive 90 m and then do a U turn. Based on what I know of it, I assumed that it thought that I was continuing north, so I turned south. But by the time it recovered, I had crossed Boronia Road, and it took me on a long diversion (about 7 km) to get back again.


This should be Boronia-to-Mount-Evelyn.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Boronia to Mount Evelyn          Dimensions:          857 x 900, 550 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

This map makes it clear that I should, indeed, have left Fleischer's in the other direction. But there was no way to show me where I was, even in which direction I was pointing (though I guessed that), nor the direction I needed to go in. Once I did, it was crawling traffic through suburbia almost all the way to Mount Evelyn: 40 minutes for 24 km, an average of 36 km/h. 60 years ago this was all countryside.

Finally got to Mount Evelyn. Again, I haven't been there except for driving through since then, and today I had difficulty finding anything. About the only thing I could recognize was the course of the roads, and what (I think) was then the village centre is now a little off to one side.


This should be Mount-Evelyn-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mount Evelyn 1          Dimensions:          4639 x 3456, 4585 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

I couldn't recognize any building, though this must have been built on the ruins of the grocer's shop that my aunt Frieda and uncle Bill ran in the late 1950s, and which burnt down some time after they moved on:


This should be Mount-Evelyn-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mount Evelyn 2          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 3869 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

From there, crawled back to Nunawading, where I lived even earlier, from 1948 to 1952. At least I recognized Heather Grove, though our house is no longer there. Instead there's this house:


This should be Heather-Grove-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Heather Grove 7          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 4835 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

I had thought that it was a second replacement for the house that I had lived in, but it seems that it's still the same house we saw 15 years ago, but for some reason most of the plant life is gone. Here's what it looked like 15 years ago:


This should be 22-Heather-Grove-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: 22 Heather Grove 1          Dimensions:          2048 x 1536, 672 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, 12 April 2003, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 12 April 2003, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 12 April 2003 Complete exposure details

 

But across the road was a house that I remember, that of the Smith family.


This should be Heather-Grove-4-0.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Heather Grove 4 0          Dimensions:          4571 x 3427, 3894 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

One recollection I have from my childhood is of wandering down all the way to the (eastern) end of the road with my father's pickaxe, opening manholes. I didn't shut them again—at 3 years of age I wasn't strong enough for that—and I don't know how many I opened, but I do recall one on the other side of the T junction, where I found nothing more than a junction of drains. Off to take a look:


This should be Heather-Grove-8.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Heather Grove 8          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 6933 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But it's not the same manhole. There are two covers, and they're marked “PMG”, an old, worn-out word for Telstra, so presumably this one covers phone lines, possibly even fibre.

From there, on back to Richmond. On the way, it occurred to me that there's a sizeable Chinese community in Box Hill, and that the station area might have a good Chinese grocery. Found my way there with no trouble, even a parking place across the road—until a man called out of his car and told me that parking was not allowed there—and that after I paid $2 for a parking ticket. Checked and discovered that I was allowed to park until 16:00, about 25 minutes, after which it because a no-stopping zone for the rush hour traffic. And that was the time that the ticket machine had given me, being too polite to tell me that I had tried to pay beyond that time, but taking my money anyway.

The shopping centre at the station was much as I remembered it:


This should be Box-Hill-Centre.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Box Hill Centre          Dimensions:          6344 x 2824, 4949 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Rush through the Chinese grocery (which, in fact, looks quite good) and got the most pressing items, but missed on the dofu. Back out again and left at 15:59. heading south.

I was supposed to go north to return to White Horse Road (about 300 m behind where I had parked), but it was almost impossible to get there. A combination of broken GPS navigation, restrictive traffic signs, slow traffic lights and heavy traffic meant that by 16:15 I had got about 800 m from where I had been parked.


This should be Escaping-Box-Hill.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Escaping Box Hill          Dimensions:          900 x 559, 192 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Then my phone rang: Yvonne. But when I tried to answer it, the connection was dropped. Called back, she answered, but couldn't hear me until I shouted. Then, of course, she was upset.

Why was the connection dropped? That has happened before. It's this appalling Android GUI. To answer, you don't just press, you “swipe” (not stealing, but wiping) to the right. But careful! Go too far and you hit the “hang up” area, and I think that's what I did. And why couldn't the nurse contact me? I had given them the number on checkin, but there was no evidence of any call in the logs. It wasn't until I had picked her up that I discovered that, despite the anal registration form they required, they had got all details, including old details, from the referring doctor, and they had tried to call me on the number that expired some years back.

Off to Richmond again, only 12 km away, and got there in only 30 minutes. Searching for Yvonne was fun, but we made it out by 17:15. The best news of the day: the cyst was not neoplastic. Then off back home.

How I hate Melbourne traffic! Again the GPS navigator, Melbourne traffic flow and road works confused us. The obvious way would have been via the freeway, but it seems that there's no entry to the west from Punt Road, and it tried to take me down Domain Road, which was surprisingly empty. At the other end I found out why: the entrance to St Kilda Road had been closed. Back again, fuming, and to Toorak Road, where I was only allowed to turn left (east). Found a place for a U turn, into St Kilda Road and Kingsway, and finally got across the West Gate Bridge at 18:00. 45 minutes for 12 km!

 
This should be Escaping-Melbourne.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Escaping Melbourne
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 739 x 334, 283 kB
Dimensions of original: 739 x 334, 283 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 6 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Finally got home round 19:30. What a day!


Understanding the car fridge
Topic: general Link here

One of the worse purchases I have made online was our car fridge, which constantly annoys us by stopping and displaying the message “Er 1”. In the course of time I have come to the conclusion that it is overly sensitive to supply voltage, and I've played with the input voltage switch to no avail. Today I did so again, and gradually it dawned on me: while the car is running, there's no problem. But if I stop and leave the power on, the voltage is insufficient, and it fails. The real issue is that it doesn't recover when the power comes back to its expectations.

There's a simple solution there: after any such stop, unplug the fridge (the plug is conveniently near the safety belt buckle) and reconnect it. That seems to work so far.


Home-made sausages
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Bratwurst for dinner tonight. We've always had our fun making them the same length, but it seems that we're not the only ones. These are the ones that I bought at Boronia to Fleischer today:


This should be Sausages.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Sausages          Dimensions:          4602 x 3744, 4428 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


Wednesday, 7 March 2018 Dereel Images for 7 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bookkeeping
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

A surprising amount of stuff happened yesterday, and I took a number of experimental photos. Today I spent just about the whole day documenting it, including playing around with the various photos I had taken. As advertised, Photomatix PRO can assemble HDR images from hand-held sequences, and in fact did very well. DxO PhotoLab did less well in creating remapped perspective corrected rectilinear images from fisheye lenses, such as this one:


This should be Victoria-Market-9.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Victoria Market 9          Dimensions:          3880 x 6972, 6384 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

So far I haven't been able to get both perspective correction and HDR assembly; that will have to wait for another day.

The other issue is to allow space for perspective correction. One perspective correction that (almost) succeeded was this one:


This should be Victoria-Market-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Victoria Market 10          Dimensions:          4597 x 3452, 2678 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, 6 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

In the original the whole façade was visible.

Photomatix also came up with some irritating peculiarities. It's a Microsoft space program, of course, so it comes with these annoying pop-up windows where a straightforward text input would have been easier. And one of them persistently came up positioned across the bottom of the screen, so I had to move it up Every Time to get to the buttons at the bottom. This particular one seems so strange that I suspect that it's related to my screen size. More investigation needed.


Transplanting
Topic: gardening Link here

A number of plants have sprung up in the pot with the curry tree:


This should be Curry-tree.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Curry tree          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 3455 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, 7 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 7 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 7 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Most of them are curry tree suckers, but the one at top left is a self-sown Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. I've been meaning to transplant the Hibiscus for some time, but Peter Jeremy told me I shouldn't transplant the curry trees until they were 25 cm high.

Problem: they have stopped growing upwards, though they're growing outwards. And doubtless the roots are spreading too. So today was the day to try a couple of them.

To my surprise, the couple proved to be only one plant:


This should be Curry-tree-sucker-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Curry tree sucker 3          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 4520 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, 7 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 7 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 7 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But that's not really that surprising on reflection: they all started off the main tree. But it was still surprising how long the roots were, and how short the branches.

The Hibiscus had more widespread roots, most of which tore off:


This should be Hibiscus-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 2          Dimensions:          4372 x 1668, 2075 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, 7 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 7 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 7 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Planted them all in pots. Hopefully the Hibiscus will survive: I'll be interested to see if it flowers differently from the parent plant(s).


Al dente: when?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We have eaten a fair amount of dried pasta lately, and I'm amazed how inaccurate the cooking instructions are. The worst is clearly carelessness: rice sticks that require 10 minutes cooking are sold with instructions “cover in hot water and leave to soak for a minute or two”. But increasingly western-style pasta seems to want to be cooked for only ⅔ the time I need.

Today we ate “fresh” tortellini, ostensibly “ready in 5 minutes”. After 5 minutes cooking they were still only half cooked, and in the end we gave them 9 minutes, just about enough to not be crunchy.

This happens so often that I wonder if the problem isn't with me or my equipment. But I really don't like soggy pasta, and I can't see anything obviously wrong with my equipment. My best guess is that “ready in 5 minutes” sells better than “ready in 15 minutes”.


Thursday, 8 March 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 8 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Health care and shopping
Topic: health, general Link here

Into town today for a couple of appointments for Yvonne, physiotherapy and bone density measurements, while I did the shopping. All worked well, though of course it took all day.

Back home, I don't seem to be getting anything done. I'm still trying to catch up from Tuesday, mainly photos and maps. I wonder how real people do this.


NBN: Some uptime possible
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've commented frequently in the past that the Australian National Broadband Network is not the most reliable. But it seems that I ain't seen nothing yet. Over the last couple of weeks I have received the following mail:

We have received the following advice from nbn:

----
This notification is to let you know that we will be performing Fixed Wireless network capacity work. Due to this activity the services listed below will experience a loss of connectivity for up to 30 hrs 0 mins during the change window

NBN estimates interruption 1 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 14th Mar 7:00AM
End: 14th Mar 9:00PM

NBN estimates interruption 2 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 15th Mar 7:00AM
End: 15th Mar 9:00PM

NBN estimates interruption 3 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 17th Mar  7:00AM
End: 17th Mar  9:00PM

----
This notification is to let you know that we will be performing Fixed Wireless network capacity work. Due to this activity the services listed below will experience a loss of connectivity for up to 24 hrs 0 mins during the change window

NBN estimates interruption 1 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 4th Apr 7:00AM
End: 4th Apr 8:00PM
Back up date: 5th Apr - 7th Apr

NBN estimates interruption 2 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 6th Apr 7:00AM
End: 6th Apr 8:00PM
Back up date : 7th Apr - 9th Apr

NBN estimates interruption 3 (Listed Above) will occur between:
Start: 7th Apr 7:00AM
End: 7th Apr 8:00PM
Back up date : 8th Apr - 10th Apr

If your customers would like to know why this planned work is taking place, please advise them that the activity is being performed to optimise the serviceability and performance of the Fixed Wireless network.

Serviceabilty? In the 25 days (600 hours) between 14 March and 7 April they intend to suspend service for a total of 81 hours? That's an availability of only 86.5%! And it's all in the daytime and early evening. Taking my usual access time frame 9:00 to 18:00, it represents an availability of only 76%. And on 14 and 15 March, and again on 6 and 7 April, I'll effectively be off the net for two whole days! How can they justify that?

I sincerely hope that it's just stupidity on the part of the people who wrote the document, and that there will only be one outage. An alternative reading would be:

And how long will the outage last? Until it's done, of course. But I can't imagine the techies wanting to work 10 hour days either. Maybe that's a "just in case" time. Even 10 hours would be unacceptable.


Remove that link!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Received a strange email today:

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2018 20:51:50 +0000 (UTC)
From: EAG Marketing <outreach@eagmllc.com>
Subject: Link Removal Request
Message-ID: <1702181020.31743.1520455910533@ip-10-1-0-82.ec2.internal>
Reply-To: EAG Marketing <outreach@eagmllc.com>

[-- Type: multipart/alternative, Encoding: 7bit, Size: 2.3K --]

Hello, 
 I am writing on behalf of the Hertz Corporation.

I work for EAG , which is one of Hertz digital agency partners. I???m working on cleaning up links to www.hertz.com, and I need your help in removing some links from your site. While we appreciate the support, at this time we are requesting that you please remove this links as we strive to better control our backlink profile.nk profile better.
 Here's the page on your site with the link: 
http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-feb2002.php

The link needs to be actually removed, rather than just disavowed. Even if they are ???nofollow,??? I???d still like them removed.

Once you???ve removed the link, please send me a quick note so I can create a record of it.

What's wrong with this? I can think of so many things:

Replied in this vein, but didn't get a response.


Friday, 9 March 2018 Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More catch-up work
Topic: photography, general Link here

The various things that I did on Tuesday still kept me busy today, and I still don't have all the photographic stuff worked out. My big question was whether I should buy Photomatix PRO. It still has its irritations—what Microsoft space software doesn't?—but I think it'll be worth the investment this time.


Camera USB problems cornered
Topic: technology, photography Link here

I have continued to have intermittent but frequent problems reading photos in from my Olympus OM-D E-M1, but not with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Lately I've had exactly the same syndrome with the E-PM1, which at least suggests that the problem isn't in the camera.

The E-M1 (Mark I) and the E-PM1 use Olympus' old-style USB 2.1 cable, while the E-M1 Mark II uses a USB 3.0 type C cable. Could it be related to the connection? On a whim, changed the cable to a different USB hub. Bingo! The problem no longer occurs (after only one or two attempts). The old hub is an el-cheapo USB 2.1 hub, while the new one is USB 3.0. The cable is still USB 2.1, but maybe the designers of the old hub weren't expecting to have to handle sustained traffic.


Saturday, 10 March 2018 Dereel → Leigh Creek → Dereel Images for 10 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Battle of the buttons?
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Surprise of the week, maybe the year: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are to meet to discuss disarming North Korea. Who would have thought that only a month ago?

Will it work? We'll see. But at this point it's worth considering that if it does, Trump's place in history will be greatly improved. It probably won't stop him from ruining his country, but it would greatly improve his standing.

And why is Kim doing this? Some suspect that he's just buying time, others claim that the sanctions are finally working. But isn't there another possibility? I had heard that their underground testing facilities are gradually feeling the impact of the explosions, and that it may not be possible to use the current facilities any more. So they have the alternative of starting a new facility from scratch. That would certainly be an incentive to find a way to shut the programme down.


Off to Kryal Castle
Topic: general Link here

Yvonne is gradually recovering from her accident—nearly 8 weeks ago—but she's still not riding. Today there were more rider games at Kryal Castle, and she was asked to take photos. Since she still can't drive, I had to take her, the first time I've been there. And of course I had to take some photos:


This should be Kryal-castle-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kryal castle 4          Dimensions:          6292 x 1130, 2394 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, 10 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 10 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 10 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


Photomatix size mismatch
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

So I've taken the plunge and bought Photomatix PRO. Took my weekly house panoramas as ever, and quickly ran into trouble. Hugin had difficulty aligning the images:

 
This should be Hugin-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hugin 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 539 x 214, 16 kB
Dimensions of original: 539 x 214, 16 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 10 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

This should be Hugin-3.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hugin 3          Dimensions:          2551 x 1181, 5162 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, 10 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 10 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 10 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Those two images are taken from an identical viewpoint. The only difference was my hand in front of the sun in the left-hand one. But Hugin didn't find any control points? Why not? It should have been no trouble at all.

There was a clue in the raw images displayed after loading them:


This should be Hugin-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hugin 1          Dimensions:          1869 x 504, 1401 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, 10 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 10 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 10 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The images are of different size. Why? On investigation, the size differed by only one pixel. Cropping the images to the same size worked around the problem. But why should this be an issue? In the case of the Kryal Castle panorama, I used images of vastly different field of view (some taken at 12 mm focal length, others at 38 mm), and that worked fine. What's the problem what breaks this particular view?


Fish tagine
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Margaret Swan brought us some spices as a present last time she was here: “Zanzibar Fish Spice” from the Spice Bazaar. On the web site it's called Zanzibar Fish Masala, which at least gives some indication of the intended kind of cuisine.

But what do we do with it? It looks like a fairly typical combination of coriander, a little cuminseed and cinnamon, and claims to have lemon grass in it. But on Tuesday we bought a book on North African cookery by Arto Der Haroutunian, and this weekend Margaret was here again, so we had intended to cook a fish tagine. So that seemed to fit together.

The strange thing was how few fish tagines there are. Out of something like 30 different tagine recipies, only two were for fish, and they were pretty similar, down to the vague quantities (“6 halibut steaks, 3 potatoes, 2 medium onions...). So I made that, adding some of my own ideas:


This should be Fish-tagine-11.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Fish tagine 11          Dimensions:          2763 x 4104, 2514 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, 10 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 10 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 10 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Fish-tagine-14.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Fish tagine 14          Dimensions:          4200 x 3073, 2914 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, 10 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 10 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 10 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

It didn't taste bad, but I understand why there are so few fish tagines. Meat, preferably a lesser cut, really does taste better. Even Margaret agreed that we should cook a meat tagine next time, and she would just eat the vegetables.


Sunday, 11 March 2018 Dereel Images for 11 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Has my password been stolen?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

One of the things I'm very careful about is not to share passwords across various Internet services. In particular, I never log in using a Facebook or Google password, and I use different IDs (including email addresses and password) for each service. So I was rather interested to read this article, which pointed me to https://haveibeenpwned.com/. OK, let's check. Yes, indeed, I have had my password stolen!

Really? Tried again with my standard fake email, groggyhimself@lemis.com, the one I only use in examples in this diary. Bingo! It too has been exploited:


This should be pwn.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: pwn          Dimensions:          957 x 233, 36 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, 11 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 11 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 11 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Problem. It doesn't have a password. In fact it doesn't exist.

Checked with a completely unknown address, and that hadn't been pwned. So what have the pwns been smoking? My guess is that they have just checked to see if the name crops up elsewhere on the web. I know that it does (and that's why it exists): I continually get messages like:

Mar 11 16:16:16 www postfix/smtpd[70567]: connect from krseoul88.idfnv.net[160.202.162.58]
Mar 11 16:16:17 www postfix/smtpd[70303]: 191931B72838: client=krseoul88.idfnv.net[160.202.162.58]
Mar 11 16:16:18 www postfix/cleanup[70565]: 191931B72838: message-id=<20180312001616653840@vwU.hwqtsmzhd.org>
Mar 11 16:16:18 www postfix/smtpd[70567]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from krseoul88.idfnv.net[160.202.162.58]: 550 5.1.1 <groggyhimself@lemis.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table; from=<pikx@Yjv.dgxzmd.org> to=<groggyhimself@lemis.com> proto=ESMTP helo=<Yjv.dgxzmd.org>

Interestingly, though, the vast majority fails for another reason:

Mar 11 16:38:07 www postfix/smtpd[70945]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from unknown[91.210.117.71]: 450 4.7.1 Client host rejected: cannot find your hostname, [91.210.117.71]; from=<wzafzno@1000thinktank.com> to=<groggyhimself@lemis.com> proto=ESMTP helo=<a258262.mx.mailhop.org>

NBN: How fast?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Mail from MyNetFone today, pointing to this page, explaining Internet link speeds with the National Broadband Network.

Isn't that simple? 12/1, 25/5, 50/20, 100/40, in each case Mb/s down and up. But no, those are old, worn-out specifications. No silly confusing numbers any more, only “Plans”: Basic, Standard, Standard Plus and Premium. And their speeds are very different. At peak the downlink speeds are 7, 15, 30 and 60 Mb/s. That's round 60% of the old values.

That's not what the NBN promised. Is this just an indication that you shouldn't sign up with MyNetFone, or is the industry diluting its promise? After discovering that I'll be off the net for days at a time in the following 3 weeks, I wonder.


Monday, 12 March 2018 Dereel Images for 12 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Did Craig Weber (klearview) defraud you?
Topic: technology, general Link here

One of my most irritating experiences with eBay recently was in regard to seller klearview_au, otherwise known as Craig Weber, who took my money, opened a non-payment case, causing me to pay again, and never delivered the item. Both eBay and the police saw no reason to intervene: too much trouble.

I'm not the only one. Although it seems difficult to find, two others have found my diary entries and contacted me. I sent a message to the police, and got no reply. How many people do we need to get something done? And how do they find out about the rest of us?


Comparing computer products
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Another borderline spam message today today:

I noticed your website sends users to Privoxy here on this page - http://lemis.com/grog/diary-sep2008.php. I wanted to warn you that they're sending their visitors to a couple of shady sites, like a binary options review website which promotes known investment scams (take a look at the bottom of each page).

I'm sure you don't want your visitors getting scammed - if you're looking for an alternative, may I suggest our list of free VPNs as an alternative?

http://ctech.link/free-vpn.

In case you???re unaware, a VPN is another type of proxy that achieves the same end result as Privoxy. VPNs sacrifice a small amount of speed compared to other types of proxies but are more secure, so I think your visitors will find this valuable nevertheless.

Clearly she had noticed nothing of the sort. The reference was completely indirect, and equally clearly not replaceable by another URL. But still, free VPNs are interesting, so I followed the link and was redirected to https://www.comparitech.com/, which, though it didn't describe free VPNs, does seem to have some interesting links.


Volunteers beat the pros
Topic: gardening Link here

The Kniphofia that we bought in November brought a stowaway with it:


This should be Volunteer-tomato-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Volunteer tomato 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 5946 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, 12 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 12 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 12 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Volunteer-tomato-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Volunteer tomato 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 3253 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, 12 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 12 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 12 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And yes, hidden in there is the Kniphofia, which hasn't flowered. Behind it there are also a couple of Hedychium gardnerianum, normally borderline invasive that seem to have had difficulty with the soil or moisture conditions.

I gave up growing tomatoes in the past because they were a lot of work, and the results all came at once. But this one Just Growed, and produced very nice, uniform fruit somewhere in size between a cherry tomato and a “normal” tomato:


This should be Volunteer-tomato-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Volunteer tomato 5          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 1806 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, 12 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 12 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 12 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And yes, they taste good too. It looks like we have plenty to keep us going for the next month.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Dereel Images for 13 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Another power failure
Topic: general Link here

Another power failure this morning at 5:08.


Preparing for the Big Outage
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Tomorrow is claimed to be the first of six total Internet outages announced by the Australian National Broadband Network for the next 3 weeks. Can I believe that? Asked a question on the DEREEL OUTPOST Facebook group and discovered a number of things:

So what's the truth? So far I have:

Date       Greg       Lauren Minns       Tim Marsh
                  (Aussie)
14 March 2018       14 (7-21)             14 (7-21)
15 March 2018       14 (7-21)             14 (7-21)
17 March 2018       14 (7-21)             14 (7-21)
23 March 2018             4 (0-6)       6 (0-6)
26 March 2018             4 (23-6)       5 (23-4)
27 March 2018             4 (7-21)       14 (7-21)
3 April 2018                   5 (23-4)
4 April 2018       13 (7-20)             13 (7-20)
5 April 2018       13 (7-20)             13 (7-20)
7 April 2018       13 (7-20)             13 (7-20)
Total outage (hours)       81       12       111

The information is: outage duration (start hour, end hour). Sharon Bowman recalls that the interruptions would be round 30 minutes each.

I'm still guessing that it will only be on one day, probably one of the last three days. We'll see.


Dealing with online multimedia
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

I've been fighting multimedia software and data for over 13 years, and somehow it's not getting much easier. Now I can get material online, and I've been able to turn off my TV broadcast reception, but the software and the suppliers still cause problems.

The big plus I found some months back is that nearly all German public broadcast TV programmes are available online, notably at the ARD Mediathek and the ZDF. I'm still hoping to find something similar in English.

But how do I find the content? There's MediathekView, but for some reason it limits itself to a maximum age of 30 days, and even then it doesn't find everything. Lately I've been looking through the ARD and ZDF sites, and found a number of additional programmes that should have been found by MediathekView. OK, I can download them with youtube-dl.

But they arrive without the promised subtitles. Oh, you want subtitles? Why didn't you say so?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) /src/Series/Kirche-im-Dorf 16 -> youtube-dl --all-subs 'http://www.ardmediathek.de/tv/Die-Kirche-bleibt-im-Dorf/Folge-6-Oma-Anni/SWR-Fernsehen/Video?bcastId=13489530&documentId=47550082'

Fine. Then I end up with:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) /src/Series/Kirche-im-Dorf 17 -> l
-rw-r--r--  1 grog  wheel       87,919 14 Mar 10:56 Folge 6 - Oma Anni-47550082.de.ttml
-rw-r--r--  1 grog  wheel  817,376,116 14 Mar 11:57 Folge 6 - Oma Anni-47550082.mp4

I can get rid of those irritating spaces in the file names with despace (thanks to Peter Jeremy):

despace ()
{
    for i in "$@";
    do
        mv "$i" $(echo "$i" |sed "s:[ ()]:-:g; s:&:and:g; s:':-:g");
    done
}

But mplayer still doesn't want to know the subtitles. At first I thought that it was the .de in the file name, but no. What it prefers are .sub subtitles. How do I get them? Google, of course, and come up with (the obvious) ttml2srt:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/37) /src/Series/Kirche-im-Dorf 21 -> python3 /home/local/bin/ttml2srt.py Folge-6---Oma-Anni-47550082.de.ttml > Folge-6---Oma-Anni-47550082.sub

Done! Yes, but what a mess mplayer makes of the subtitles. They include the German characters äöüß, of course, and for that I have to pass it the -utf8 flag.

But it still doesn't work correctly! Some of the subtitles are mutilated, notably around the special characters. Checking shows that the subtitle file is in an ISO 8859 (“Latin 1”) character set. And for that I need -subcp latin1, not -utf8. That seems to be a doing of ttml2srt.py: the original is in UTF-8.

I'm getting there, but it's painful. What do real people do?


Finding online TV content
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

In the previous article I glossed over how to find online TV content. That's not always simple. We had watched the first episode of „Die Kirche bleibt im Dorf“, and decided to download further episodes. OK, off to the ARD Mediathek, which has a search function:


This should be ARD-Suche-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: ARD Suche 1          Dimensions:          1060 x 679, 328 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, 14 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 14 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be ARD-Suche-1-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: ARD Suche 1 detail          Dimensions:          811 x 242, 87 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, 14 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 14 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Sorted by relevance, the top hit is “Kundin bleibt “Kunde”” (“Customer (feminine) remains customer (masculine)”, a legal decision about German grammar). What earthly connection does that have? A couple of false positives could be acceptable, but nothing this far off the mark, especially since the thing I was looking up didn't show up at all.

So how do you do it correctly?

Now surely people can do better than that. Why can't they provide a search function that works, a list of programmes that doesn't spend minutes downloading useless images, a download function that doesn't try to play the programme at the same time...


PCs for septuagenarians
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I'm gradually heading towards my 70th birthday, and a statistic from Statista brought that home:

Desktop computers are for septuagenarians! Why is that? Unable to change with the times?

No, I think that the real answer is that I don't have to change with the times. I've been using mobile phones since 1990, long before most people I know: in fact, I was known at Tandem as “that guy with the cellphone”. But I had a good reason then: I was moving around a bit, and people had difficulty contacting me. Now that I'm retired, I don't need that any more, and the disadvantages of mobile phones outweigh the advantages. And so it is with computers. Give me a real keyboard! Nothing else comes close as an input device, despite all the attempts to advance the state of voice recognition. I doubt that it will in my lifetime.


NBN public relations
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While writing my article on the National Broadband Network outage, I went to their home page. How about that, they're listening to their customers:


This should be NBN-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: NBN 1          Dimensions:          1394 x 456, 753 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, 13 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That links to another page with planned obsolescence: it refers to “February”, without a year. It explains the three key areas that they find important:

  1. Progress We’re rolling it out, with more than 6.3 million premises able to connect today. And we’re coming to your street soon, with a further 100,000 homes and businesses being added every month on average.
  2. Co-operation Our work with phone and internet providers has helped reduce average bandwidth congestion across our network from more than 4 hours per week to just 12 minutes, supporting higher speeds during busy periods.
  3. Quality When installing equipment to prepare your homes and businesses for connection we get it right the first time nearly nine times out of ten.

The first and third items are clearly of little interest to existing customers, but it's nice to see that they're addressing congestion. And indeed, I've noticed improvements as well:

Click to see larger image

So has the Sydney Morning Herald.

On the other hand, there's a way to go before they're really helpful. This whole confusion with the maintenance work is a good example of where they need to improve. And their own figures show that one out of 9 installations fails and needs to be repeated.


Deadly nightshade?
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Yvonne in this afternoon with a small plant:


This should be Deadly-nightshade-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Deadly nightshade 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 2840 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, 13 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Deadly-nightshade-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Deadly nightshade 6          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2647 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, 13 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

She tells me that it's Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna). Is it? Looking at the leaves, they have little barbs on them:


This should be Deadly-nightshade-6-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Deadly nightshade 6 detail          Dimensions:          903 x 759, 238 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, 13 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

None of the photos I've seen online have these barbs. Something to keep an eye on.


Wednesday, 14 March 2018 Dereel Images for 14 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

English language online TV programmes?
Topic: multimedia Link here

While looking for English-language TV programmes, came across https://www.itv.com/hub/shows. To be investigated later. So far the shows seem amazingly uninteresting.


Max Lehey
Topic: general, opinion Link here

My uncle Max, the brother of my father, will turn 90 years old in a few months. But unlike his older sister, he's not in the best of shape. He has recently been in hospital with amyloidosis, and he managed to break a couple of bones in his back while doing some exercises on a machine. I haven't had much contact with the family since Frieda's 90th birthday party, but I finally got round to giving him a call. I was expecting the worst, but he still sounds pretty chirpy. I really should have visited them last week


Gmail false positives
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've been using Gmail for spam filtering for over 2½ years: first I receive the mail via one of my 450-odd email addresses, then send it on to Gmail for spam filtering. On the whole it works relatively well, though the filter is definitely a bit on the aggressive side: there are many more false positives than false negatives.

But in the last couple of days things have changed significantly. Today I ended up with 174 messages in my spam folder. Of these 28 were genuine spam, 115 were FreeBSD commit messages, and there were 31 others.

Why? Ask gmail:

Why is this message in Spam? It's similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.  Learn more

That sounds like “we analyzed it from all sorts of angles, and the sum suggests that it is spam”. In other words, not much help.

A number of people on IRC suggested that it might be because of SPF mismatches:

Received: from www.lemis.com (www.lemis.com. [208.86.226.86])
        by mx.google.com with ESMTP id p6si146007pgc.456.2018.03.13.06.48.15
        for <groggyhimeslf@gmail.com>;
        Tue, 13 Mar 2018 06:48:15 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning owner-ports-committers@freebsd.org does not designate 208.86.226.86 as permitted sender) client-ip=208.86.226.86;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
       spf=softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning owner-ports-committers@freebsd.org does not designate 208.86.226.86 as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=owner-ports-committers@freebsd.org
Received: from mx2.freebsd.org (mx2.freebsd.org [8.8.178.116])
by www.lemis.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id E657D1B72839
for <groggyhimself@lemis.com>; Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:48:13 +0000 (UTC)

I know of this problem, and I consider it one of the most serious issues with SPF: forwarding messages like this is perfectly legitimate, but it breaks SPF.

Still, this hasn't been an issue for the last 2½ years. Is this really the reason? There's an obvious solution, since I have control at the FreeBSD end: forward these messages directly to my gmail account. Did that. Now to see if it makes a difference.


Thursday, 15 March 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 15 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

NBN outage, day 2
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

No NBN outage yesterday, as expected, and when I came into the office, the network was still up, confirming my theory that nothing would happen this month.

That was a little premature, unfortunately. At 7:38 we went off the net, and it didn't come back until 15:10, almost exactly 7½ hours. On the way into town, and also on the way back, I drove past the radiation tower to see what they were doing, but there was nothing obvious.

After the net came back, there was no obvious improvement. In fact, there was quite a bit of congestion for several hours, after which things came back to normal.

A considerable amount of discussion on the DEREEL OUTPOST Facebook group. What I see so far is:

An indication of left hand, right hand syndrome is that one person had an appointment with an NBN tech to find out what was wrong with her installation. He was not happy when he got there and discovered no signal.


More shopping and MRCP
Topic: general, health Link here

Off to Ballarat again today for what seems to becoming normal: dropped Yvonne at St John of God for an MRCP, while I went off shopping.

After that, off to look at some things that Yvonne had found online: a table and an “Ottoman”, the latter enormous. And of course, as ever in such cases, she wanted both of them. The table came from two doors down from where Kelly Daly's parents live at the end of Virginia Court.

On the way, stopped off at Woolworths to complete our shopping. I had already been to Woolworths in town, and had spent nearly $10 on most of the things on my list. This time we left with a bill for $140 odd. No wonder our bank account is looking better since I started doing the shopping.


More Internet effects
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Part of shopping involved getting some cash from an ATM. Since ANZ closed their ATM in Sebastopol a month ago, that has become a problem. Since I was in town, I went to Bridge Mall, noting quite a queue in front of me. Summary: wait time 2 minutes, transaction time (including everything) about a minute.

On down Bridge Mall, noting the lack of people and the number of premises for lease:


This should be Bridge-Mall.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bridge Mall          Dimensions:          7849 x 1853, 5211 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
 
This should be Bridge-Mall-detail-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bridge Mall detail 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 492 x 465, 107 kB
Dimensions of original: 492 x 465, 107 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 15 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

This should be Bridge-Mall-detail-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bridge Mall detail 2          Dimensions:          997 x 801, 299 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Bridge-Mall-detail-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bridge Mall detail 3          Dimensions:          1885 x 1240, 525 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

OK, it was mid-morning on a Thursday. But this is what I predicted: retail premises are becoming less interesting.


Garden flowers in early autumn
Topic: gardening Link here

It's the middle of March, time for the early autumn garden flower photos.

The increase in watering time has definitely made a difference. The roses, in particular, are doing much better, though there's clearly room for further improvement:


This should be Rose-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rose 2          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 7241 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Rose-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rose 3          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 6953 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Rose-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rose 4          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 1776 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The Clematis are also looking almost normal for a young plant at this time of year:


This should be Clematis-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 4889 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Clematis-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 7          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 3007 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That's the one on the trellis. The one on the fence is not doing as well:


This should be Clematis-11.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 11          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2760 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That's the one that broke off during planting. The other stem grew along the ground, and is now covered by a happier-looking Tropaeolum. I can only see where it was by the flower that is showing through:


This should be Clematis-12.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 12          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 3306 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Clearly it can't stay there, but it's a good candidate for transplanting.

And as expected, the Mandevilla laxa is now flowering happily:


This should be Mandevilla-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mandevilla 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 2560 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

It's almost as if summer has only just arrived.

The lime tree is still not looking spectacularly good, but compared to previous months (where I didn't even think of taking a photo), it's much better:


This should be Lime.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Lime          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 5444 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That one probably needs still more irrigation, along with more fertilizer.

Then there's this plant in the veggie patch, and nowhere else:


This should be Mystery-plant-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mystery plant 3          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 7916 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Mystery-plant-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mystery plant 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 4196 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

What is it? I planted some Italian seeds a while back in the hope that they might be some kind of French-style salad, but I didn't think they would look like that. Yvonne doesn't recognize them either.

The Strelitzia nicolai seems also to be happier with the additional water, and new leaves are coming:


This should be Strelitzia-nicolai.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Strelitzia nicolai          Dimensions:          4608 x 3458, 3490 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The “black” Tropaeolum in front of the house is now showing a few isolated flowers, but they're definitely not even close to black:


This should be Tropaeolum-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Tropaeolum 1          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 4417 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And the ones near the water tanks, with the Solanum laxum, are looking better than they have done, as are the Solana:


This should be Tropaeolum-Solanum-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Tropaeolum Solanum 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 5848 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

There's still a way to go, but they're improving.

And the tree ferns are looking happier since I stopped spraying them with bore water:


This should be Tree-fern-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Tree fern 1          Dimensions:          4694 x 3456, 7561 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Tree-fern-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Tree fern 2          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 5329 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Other things aren't looking as good. In particular, I think that our Salix babylonica is dead:


This should be Salix-babylonica-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Salix babylonica 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2373 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Salix-babylonica-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Salix babylonica 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 4416 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

That's probably the result of a few days without irrigation last month, but it's not a good location for a Salix anyway. I'll give it until spring to recover, but probably we will find a replacement.

Round there the small-leaved Carpobrotus are still flowering, something that I've never seen before at this time of year:


This should be Carpobrotus-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Carpobrotus 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 5018 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Another set of plants that seem to have suffered from inadequate irrigation are the Hebes:


This should be Hebe-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hebe 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 8922 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hebe-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hebe 2          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 8142 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hebe-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hebe 3          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 8408 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hebe-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hebe 4          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 7253 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Some of them seem to have had blocked drippers. After fixing, I'm relatively confident that they'll survive, and hopefully we'll get more flowers next year.

And then there's the Alyssum, which for some reason has all died back:


This should be Alyssum-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Alyssum 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 7708 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

I don't understand why. It had enough water, and in the past it has flowered prolifically.

The grass bush with the tall flower spike has now finished flowering, and it has large seed pods:


This should be Grass-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Grass 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4792, 6079 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Grass-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Grass 3          Dimensions:          4608 x 3456, 1573 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Inside, my big Hibiscus rosa-sinensis bush is growing furiously, but not flowering much as a result. The other one is making up for it:


This should be Hibiscus-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 3619 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hibiscus-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 3404 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And the last Phalaenopsis flower just managed to hold on until today, though it's clearly on its last legs:


This should be Phalaenopsis.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phalaenopsis          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 2891 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, 15 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 15 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 15 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

There were something like 10 blooms on that stem, and the others all died off months ago. Here it is a month ago, and then 6 months ago:


This should be Phalaenopsis-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phalaenopsis 1          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 2837 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, 17 February 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 February 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 February 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Phalaenopsis-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phalaenopsis 2          Dimensions:          4032 x 3024, 2380 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, 16 September 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 16 September 2017, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 16 September 2017 Complete exposure details

 

 


Friday, 16 March 2018 Dereel Images for 16 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More gardening
Topic: gardening Link here

Mick the gardener along today to do some more tidying up. Gradually it's looking better.


Another multimedia content site
Topic: multimedia, technology Link here

Mail from Carsten Holtkamp today, suggesting:

I had a look on your diary entry: Dealing with online multimedia.

So, I think the reason for the 30 days rule is, that the content is only available for that time due to legal restrictions.

That's a reasonable assumption, but it's not the case. There's lots of older stuff there, like the example I discussed yesterday, which is 3 months old and has a specified expiry date of 31 December 2018.

On the other hand, Carsten pointed me at https://www.mediathekdirekt.de/, which shows older content—but not the content I was discussing yesterday. Somehow all of these sites have their limitations.


Goodbye Gmail
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

After 24 hours of routing my FreeBSD mail to Gmail, it seems that Peter Jeremy's assumption is correct: Gmail is rejecting mail specifically because it has been forwarded from mail.lemis.com, and thus fails the SPF test. Other mail continued to be filtered. That, combined with Gmail's clumsy mail selection method (click on the tiny box next to Every Message), makes it impractical.

That's a pity, especially since there seems to be no way to tell Gmail's spam checker to ignore that kind of problem, or, better, to accept it if it comes from mail.lemis.com. So for the time being at any rate, it's goodbye Gmail.


Saturday, 17 March 2018 Dereel Images for 17 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

STF!
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Yvonne off to Ballarat today, and on the way back she brought me a parcel from the post office—one of the advantages of living in the country is that the post office (in Napoleons) is open 7 days a week.

It contained an Olympus STF-8 (a name clearly chosen by a non-English speaker) macro flash unit that I had bought from Kev Russell, and which I hadn't expected for another couple of days. This time Australia Post managed to deliver it in less than 72 hours.

It's an amazing piece of equipment. Just getting at it took a bit of time. It comes in an oval case with several subdivisions:


This should be STF-8-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4103 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, 17 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be STF-8-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 5109 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, 17 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be STF-8-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3419 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, 17 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be STF-8-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 5          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3168 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, 17 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Mounting it on the camera isn't easy, either. It comes with exactly 2 rings that screw into the filter of exactly three designated lenses: the M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 Pro, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 Macro and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro. I no longer have the first, but I have the other two. But why this limitation? Effectively there are two rings with filter threads 62 mm (for the 12-40) and 46 mm (for the other two. The unit isn't cheap: Olympus sell it for $699. My el-cheapo ring flash came with more rings than I could count, about 6 (though irritatingly not a 46 mm one). Why does Olympus limit things here?

Still, it proves that the larger ring also fits the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4:


This should be STF-8-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 1          Dimensions:          5230 x 3888, 2854 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The flash heads bear a close resemblance to the toy flashes that came with my OM-D E-M1 Mark I (FL-LM2, left) and Mark II (FL-LM3, right):


This should be STF-8-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 5          Dimensions:          4884 x 2320, 1429 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But they have an even lower guide number than either of the others, only 6.5! Yes, you don't need much power for macros, and I took this into account when I bought it, but this is really borderline. I can understand the weak flash rating of the toy flashes, because they take their power from the camera battery, but this thing is powered by four AA cells, the same as for the high-powered mecablitz 58 AF-2 with a guide number of 58, which is over 50 times as powerful. They could at least have put in the same GN 9 tube that they use in the FL-LM3.

And how do you put the batteries in? The compartment looks like this:


This should be STF-8-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 7          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3662 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Which way round? It's easy to oversee the yellow markings, and even when you do, they're not 100% unambiguous. Which end of the battery is + and which is -? OK, check the instructions:


This should be STF-8-10.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 10          Dimensions:          833 x 368, 110 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, it shows the way round, but not as clearly as I would like. The good news is that the lid is formed in such a way that if you put the batteries in the wrong way round, they won't make contact.

Mounting the flashes on the ring is fiddly. It took me about 5 minutes, though I'm sure that it will be faster once I get used to it. The clamps come apart, and the heads have a ¼" thread for a tripod:


This should be STF-8-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 2          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2534 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be STF-8-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 3          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2948 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be STF-8-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: STF 8 4          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2295 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But all these cables! And they're not detachable, probably because of contact issues. It certainly looks like the most complicated flash I have ever had. And in spite of all the complexity and the cost (also the most expensive flash I have ever had), it's missing something obvious: a flash test button! Why did they leave that out? How do I measure the lighting with an exposure meter?


Ottomans for Borzois
Topic: general, animals Link here

The “Ottoman” that we bought on Thursday is really very big. I've put it in front of my armchair and a little to the right. Just right for a Borzoi:


This should be Nikolai-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Nikolai 1          Dimensions:          5256 x 3888, 3505 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, 17 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 17 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 17 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


Sunday, 18 March 2018 Dereel Images for 18 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bushfire!
Topic: general Link here

Yesterday we had noted strong northerly winds, not a good sign. Round here strong northerly winds almost invariably change to westerly winds. If there is a bushfire, the northerly wind drives it in a line to the south. Then the westerly wind takes the line and converts it to an area extending to the east.

Today I listened to the news at 7:00. Yes, indeed, there were bushfires in Western Victoria, fortunately some distance away. And once again they mentioned names of tiny little places that say nothing to most people: Naringal East, Taroon, Ayrford, Dixie, Ecklin South, Naringal, Garvoc, Laang, Nullawarre North, Panmure, Terang... They're so small that at the time of writing Wikipedia only knows four of them.

Wait a minute. Garvoc rings a bell. That's where Nele Koemle lives! Spent some time pondering this matter when I heard a helicopter fly overhead. That could only be from the CFA. No getting back to sleep any more. Out to look at the Emergency Services Map. No fires in our area, but further west it didn't look good:


This should be Emergency-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Emergency 1          Dimensions:          2560 x 1440, 2487 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

What is Nele's address? Asked Yvonne when she got up: 486 Garvoc-Laang road. That looks even worse:

 
This should be Emergency-1-detail-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Emergency 1 detail 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 312 x 479, 74 kB
Dimensions of original: 312 x 479, 74 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 18 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Emergency-1-detail-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Emergency 1 detail 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 355 x 99, 5 kB
Dimensions of original: 355 x 99, 5 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 18 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Later Yvonne got in contact with Nele (via Facebook, of course). She had taken her children with her to Warrnambool, about 35 km away, leaving her husband Pat behind to protect property, horses and dairy farm. She had heard that the paddock by the churchyard was burning. She had had some horses there, and people had seen horses running loose. And she had lost telephone contact with Pat. What a situation!

Later things became clearer. No humans or animals injured, no damage to their property. But the dairy farm of Pat's brother had been affected, some sheds destroyed, also their hay supply. And—we think (the Emergency services are now too polite to present this information)—the fire still hadn't been contained. Later the maps were updated to show the extent of the fires, clearly showing the shape caused by the wind change:


This should be Emergency-3.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Emergency 3          Dimensions:          1086 x 955, 851 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Nele and Pat live outside that area, just north of the junction with Mcconnell's Road, to the south-west of the western fire. In fact, it's not clear why they still refer to it as the Garvoc-Laang Road fire, since it only barely touches the Garvoc-Laang Road. But things still aren't over. Hopefully no further damage will occur.

The other thing that puzzles me: why there? The summer was neither particularly hot nor particularly dry, and when we were there this time last year things had looked pretty lush:


This should be Lotto-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Lotto 10          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 7545 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, 26 March 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 26 March 2017, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 26 March 2017 Complete exposure details

 

That's the Garvoc-Laang road in the background.


Power fail
Topic: general Link here

Another power failure today, maybe, at 9:15. The UPS in my office noticed, and so did the printer, but the kitchen equipment didn't.


Galah storm
Topic: animals, photography Link here

This part of Victoria has lots of bird life, mainly Cockatoos. Sulphur-crested cockatoos, in particular, are very gregarious, and we frequently see flocks of hundreds of them.

But there are relatively few Galahs. All the more interesting when we saw quite a swarm while walking the dogs:


This should be Galahs-1-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Galahs 1 detail          Dimensions:          1945 x 1485, 440 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Galahs-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Galahs 7          Dimensions:          5184 x 3889, 3796 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, 18 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 18 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 18 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


Monday, 19 March 2018 Dereel Images for 19 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

The morning after the night before
Topic: gardening, general Link here

The bad news about bushfires continues to come in, not only from Western Victoria, but also from New South Wales, coincidentally not far from where Chris Bahlo used to live, near Bega. Round here we only had the effects of the wind. This was a Canna a couple of days ago:


This should be Canna.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Canna          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 2414 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And walking the dogs showed enough cases of fallen trees:


This should be Fallen-tree-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Fallen tree 1          Dimensions:          5332 x 3888, 10331 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Fallen-tree-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Fallen tree 3          Dimensions:          5284 x 3888, 10383 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Fallen-tree-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Fallen tree 5          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 9696 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

What's less obvious is whether the weather also has these once-plants on its conscience:


This should be Basil-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Basil detail          Dimensions:          2451 x 2943, 1824 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Thyme-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Thyme detail          Dimensions:          2669 x 2345, 1573 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, 19 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 19 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 19 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The first was a Basil plant I bought at ALDI on Thursday, and the second is the Thyme plant that Mick threw out along with the bathwater on Friday. But I had expected the thyme to be tougher. We'll see how it develops.


E-M10 problems?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Chris Bahlo borrowed the SD Card from my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I on Saturday: she had the impression that her camera was very slow. I had noticed in the past that even the slower Olympus cameras can benefit from faster cards—Yvonne's E-PM2 was a case in point, so I suggested she try a faster one.

But I needed the thing back, so over to pick it up today, in the process discussing the problem with Chris. Whatever it was, it was an order of magnitude worse than just “a bit slow”. After fighting my way through the menu (this is an E-M10 Mark II, and there aren't as many buttons), managed to get it to take reliable 6½ photos a second, still a little less than the claimed 8½, probably because of the slow shutter speed. But after taking about 20 photos it took forever to write to the card, whereas it was done in a few seconds with my card.

So: faster card? Went looking yet again, and once again I was amazed by how expensive the fast cards are. Today the best price I could find was round $75. There's a question as to whether that's really needed, but that's for Chris to answer. The real issue is that her original speed problems were an order of magnitude worse than what we saw today.


Tuesday, 20 March 2018 Dereel Images for 20 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Bushfire!?
Topic: general, opinion Link here

In mid-afternoon, Yvonne called out: “Bushfire in Spearys Road”. That's just round the corner, and more to the point, it's where Lorraine Carranza lives (one of only two houses in the road). So we piled into the car and off, where we found a bloke from the CFA whom I know, and who recognized me by name, but I forget his. Still, he confirmed that Lorraine had reported the problem (“smoke”), that they were unable to find anything, and that he thought that it came from the Terang fire (the one that affected Nele Koemle and family on Sunday).

In to say hello to Lorraine, not for as long as she would like—it's been several months since we were last there—and out to find another bloke, Neville, looking for a fire. It seems that he lives somewhere down in Enfield State Park between Misery Creek Road and Rozenstein Road, and he was concerned as a result. By then the smoke was more noticeable, and he didn't think it could have come from as far away as Terang (100 km away). But when we got back home, there were still no reports from anything closer, so it looks as if that's the case, especially since the wind was coming from that direction.


STF-8: finally
Topic: photography Link here

When I got the Olympus STF-8, I had the ideal subject to try it out on: bees pollinating the garlic chives, which are currently in flower. But by the time I charged the batteries, the weather had changed, and it's still not appropriate. So I tried something else:


This should be Hibiscus-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4615, 1549 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, 20 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 20 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hibiscus-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 6          Dimensions:          1784 x 2435, 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 Tuesday, 20 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 20 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Begonia.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Begonia          Dimensions:          3456 x 4617, 1855 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, 20 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 20 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, they're not good. In particular, they're not 100% in focus. It's difficult to keep things in focus at that distance. But for a hand-held photo they're remarkably good. It wasn't until I looked at the results that I discovered that there are mites on the flowers. The exposure was absolutely correct for all images. And that's the important thing: even a few mm difference in distance changes the exposure, and with the (manual) ring flash I'm happy if I get even close on the first attempt.

Now if only this mounting would work better. My hope of it getting faster with practice hasn't been realized yet. I'm sure they could have found a much better way of attaching the heads to the lens ring. In particular, the attachment screws are too small and too flat, and I ended up using pliers to tighten them. I think I'll leave them attached and screw the lens off the ring when I'm not using it.


Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Dereel Images for 21 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

ANZ bank: The pain
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Call from Gordon Wallace this afternoon: when were we going to transfer the money that we owed him?

That's unusual. He was here last week, and exceptionally we didn't have cash to pay him, so Yvonne agreed to transfer the money to his bank account, and did so immediately. So why wasn't it there? Checked the details, and yes, they were all correct. Dammit, I'm going to have to call the bank.

I was quickly connected to their horrible voice non-recognition system. But first “in a few words, describe the reason for your call”. OK, what's it looking for? “A bank transfer hasn't completed”. Nope, the thing was unimpressed. OK, I know this: just say “consultant”. No, that's an old, worn-out magic word. Over the course of 2 minutes got more and more annoyed, to a point where, not knowing where the program was in its state machine, I was asked to “Please answer yes or no”. To what? Damned if I know.

Finally, somehow, got connected to a human being, who gave his name as Antonio. First question: how do I get connected to a human being without all this nonsense? His answer “just answer the questions”. I tried to explain, but no, he was about as pre-programmed as the voice non-recognition program. Asked to be connected to his supervisor, whose name proved to be Nitin, He, too, wasn't able to give me an alternative. He could take a suggestion, but I had to make it clear to him that it was a complaint. Ah, that's another department, and he'd have to transfer me.

First, though, the matter at hand. He took the details and established that the bank was Bendigo Bank, confirmed that the money had been transferred, and that it hadn't come back. The rest is up to Bendigo Bank, so he raised some kind of issue, the term for which I have forgotten. Then he connected me to complaints.

Fully 20 minutes later I was connected to Emmy, who suggested just pressing # until the bloody thing gave up. Not quite a user-friendly way. They should have a documented way to bypass the thing. Spent much time talking to her, and finally she took a complaint. Oh, you want a reference number? That will take a couple of minutes. Indeed, it took over three minutes to generate a number. What's wrong with their system?

And when will I hear back? Oh, I won't, it's internal. So how do I find out about how to bypass the system? I won't.

OK, I said, I'll give them a week, and if after that I still have trouble with their system, I'll take all my accounts elsewhere. “Oh, I'm sorry about that”. “Will you put that in the complaint?”. After asking about three times, she said that she would.

Is this Emmy? The excessive delays aren't her fault. There's something seriously wrong with their system. And the whole thing took me a total of nearly 50 minutes!


Facebook stole my personal data!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

The big news at the moment is that Facebook has been caught giving user data to Cambridge Analytica. People are up in arms. Did they steal my data too? No, probably not, at least not in this case. As one commentator notes, Cambridge Analytica could just be the tip of the iceberg, so maybe others have.

Am I worried about my personal data? No. I never did trust Facebook, so I'm not disappointed. Most of my profile information on Facebook is incorrect. Place of birth (currently Kandahar), place of residence (currently Aleppo), education (started at the University of Melbourne in 1952; this part is true, but it was a kindergarten). I don't make friends on Facebook, and I'm not even friends with Yvonne. And my Facebook password is, well my Facebook password. I don't use it to access anything else.

People used to think me stupid, strange or paranoid. Many probably still do, but my reasoning has proved correct.

In that connection, it's interesting to note this investigation on public attitudes by Statista:

It's also interesting that Amazon and Google are also perceived as net negative.


Cat door, finally?
Topic: general, animals, opinion Link here

When we moved in here nearly 3 years ago, we had planned a cat door in the laundry, like we had had in previous houses. Problem: the laundry door is all glass, so we had to buy a special door—85! Then all we needed was somebody to cut a hole in the glass. That got put into the “too hard” basket.

Then Piccola ran away, and when she returned we thought it prudent to keep the cats in at night. Then we got Rani, whom we didn't want to let out at all, so it was really only after she left that the idea became practical again. But we forgot, and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we realized that Piccola, now alone, might prefer to stalk around outside at night.

So we dragged out the door and called a couple of glaziers. Oh. Can't put a hole in an external glass door. It's toughened glass, and it would just shatter. We need a completely new glass panel in which they can make the hole first and temper later. Cost: round $800.

Somehow this is unacceptable. These things are sold for mounting in glass doors. Cat door insets for wooden doors are far cheaper. Basically, they're sold under false pretenses. The illustration on the package clearly shows a cat entering from outside.


Finally, the bees
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

The weather has improved, and today I was able to take some photos of the bees in the garlic chives with my new Olympus STF-8. And yes, the results are quite acceptable:


This should be Bees-5-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bees 5 detail          Dimensions:          1702 x 1453, 472 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, 21 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Bees-6-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bees 6 detail          Dimensions:          1383 x 1264, 344 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, 21 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Shutter speed is an interesting thing. These photos were taken with aperture priority at f/11, and for some reason the camera chose shutter speeds between 1/60 s and 1/100 s. And clearly that's too long:


This should be Bees-18.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bees 18          Dimensions:          4615 x 3456, 2277 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, 21 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Bees-18-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bees 18 detail          Dimensions:          1792 x 1426, 342 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, 21 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Yes, I can use manual exposure and decrease the shutter speed, but only to 1/320 s. That looks like an insoluble problem.


Thursday, 22 March 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Health checks: the verdict
Topic: health Link here

Into town again with Yvonne today for yet more doctor's visits. First to Mr. Kon Shimokawa to hear about the results of the endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and the magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP).

Summary: as I had suspected, the FNA didn't take place, since the results of the EUS were conclusive enough, and the MRCP (which happened last week) didn't show anything more than the EUS. So basically the results were the same that Dr Peter Tagkalidis told us two weeks ago. But somehow he managed to make it sound much worse. Yes, there are cysts in the pancreas, and there's the possibility that they might have to operate. But first we'll monitor, meaning another EUS in 6 months' time. Yvonne was ecstatic.

Then on to see our GP, Paul Smith, who had other news, the results of the bone density measurement two weeks ago. Also not good news: osteoporosis. He went into great detail about the treatment, something that I'm going to have to read up on, but we'll have to wait until Yvonne's fractures have healed. In the meantime she will discuss the matter with her dentist at the next appointment (coincidentally next month). After the fractures have healed, there are various treatments. The one that he would prefer is Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that prevents the formation of osteoclasts, but there's no point starting until the current breakages have healed. In the meantime he prescribed high-dose Vitamin D (1000 IU, only 25 μg per day).

Isn't getting old fun?


Banks: beware of scams
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Two messages in mail today, one from each of my banks.

The one from the Bank of Melbourne read:

Subject: Security Alert - Important Phone Scam Information

Bank of Melbourne will never send you an email asking for your personal details or link to a sign-in page. Keep your system security up to date. For more information visit bankofmelbourne.com.au/hoaxemails View this email with images

At Bank of Melbourne, helping our customers avoid falling victim to scams is our top priority. We'd like to make you aware of a current phone scam targeting Australians.

The scam involves a caller posing as an employee of a large telco, utility provider or computer company. The caller will usually advise they are calling you because your PC has malicious software, help is needed to catch a criminal, or to recover an outstanding debt owed to a government body. Callers may become quite aggressive or threaten you with prosecution if you do not comply with their request.

Gregory, we strongly recommend you simply hang up if you receive this type of call. If you believe the call was legitimate, we recommend you return the call to the company using a trusted phone number found in the yellow pages or on the company's website.

How this type of scam works:

1. The caller will generally ask you to install a piece of software onto your PC. The technical name is 'remote access software' and this software allows information, or even control of your computer to be shared remotely with another user. Once the software is installed, the other user may attempt to control your computer without your permission or knowledge.

...

Yes, I've experienced this kind of scammer, though it's interesting to see that the bank finds it necessary to inform its customers. Certainly not a bad idea.

The other one, from ANZ, was a little different. Firstly, it was in HTML only. And it read:

Attached is an update on the matter you recently raised with the Complaint Resolution Centre.

This correspondence may be encrypted due to security reasons. Please use the password provided by your Consultant to open the WinZip encryption. You can download a free copy of the WinZip application via the WinZip website (www.winzip.com).

Alarm bells! Never “open” a ZIP attachment sent to you by email! Was it really a ZIP attachment?

[-- Attachment #1 --]
[-- Type: text/html, Encoding: quoted-printable, Size: 4.3K --]

[-- Autoview using /home/local/bin/dobrowser '/home/grog/mutt-eureka-JcjBRyd8' --]

[-- Attachment #2: COM-493674.docx --]
[-- Type: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document, Encoding: base64, Size: 44K --]

[-- application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document is unsupported (use 'v' to view this part) --]

No, but a proprietary Microsoft file! What can I do with that? Is this really from ANZ? What do the headers say?

From YourFeedback@anz.com  Thu Mar 22 12:10:08 2018
Return-Path: <YourFeedback@anz.com>
Received: from mail1.bemta26.messagelabs.com (mail1.bemta26.messagelabs.com [85.158.142.1])
        by www.lemis.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 66DF21B72837
        for <groggyanz@lemis.com>; Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:09:18 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from [85.158.142.99] (using TLSv1.2 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 (256 bits))
        by server-1.bemta.az-a.eu-central-1.aws.symcld.net id CA/7E-08235-C3203BA5; Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:09:16 +0000
Message-ID: <82341928.136405.1521680902315@aup4117l>
Subject: Subject: FW: ANZ Private & Confidential

So? Clearly a forgery.

In fact, I have every reason to believe that it is genuine, but that ANZ's security—about which I have complained on many occasions in the past—is really almost non-existent.

And then there was another message from ANZ, asking me to fill out a survey about how satisfied I was with the interaction I had yesterday. Willingly! But it was only a couple of questions: was your problem resolved? Would you recommend ANZ? Are you happier or unhappier after this interaction? I answered all in the (very) negative, but that was all it wanted to know. Just statistics, nothing like trying to make the customer happy. Not for the first time, I think I should change banks, and the main reason I haven't done so is that it's a fair amount of work.


Friday, 23 March 2018 Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Cleaning the “nature strip”
Topic: Stones Road house, gardening, opinion Link here

We have an area in front of our property, about 200 m² in size, that belongs to the State of Victoria and has been designated as a “nature strip”. It's supposed to contain “native” plants of significance. We're not allowed to change anything there, much to Yvonne's annoyance, since there's a fair amount of grass there, and the thing looks untidy.

In December 2016 I contacted the council about the matter of the fire danger with Dale Smithyman, the Natural Resource Management and Emergency Manager at the Golden Plains Shire, and discussed the matter. I sent him some photos:


This should be Nature-strip-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Nature strip 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4642, 4615 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, 13 December 2016, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 December 2016, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 December 2016 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Nature-strip-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Nature strip 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4628, 6117 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, 13 December 2016, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 13 December 2016, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 December 2016 Complete exposure details

 

Those flowers in the foreground in the second photo are Watsonia, invasive exotics, and clearly something that needs removal from the strip.

But I got no reply, and I put it on the “too hard” list. When Yvonne started talking about it again, I suggested that she followed up. And today I got a call back from somebody who didn't give her name or position, but appeared to be something like a secretary for the department. I explained that I had sent documentation to Dale over a year ago and received no reply. She put me through to him, very apologetic, and yes, he had been in the area just a few days ago. He started looking for something and ran into computer trouble. I suggested that, since he had seen the strip, we agree that we preserve the native vegetation but remove the Watsonias and cut the grass. Yes, OK, we'd be doing them a favour by removing the Watsonias. One followup email on my part and all was well.


Buddlejas, try 3
Topic: Stones Road house, gardening, opinion Link here

Our attempts at propagating Buddlejas in Stones Road have been vastly less successful than in Kleins Road. Out of the 10 or so plants that we planted, we have currently only two, and one of them doesn't look good:


This should be Buddleja-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Buddleja 1          Dimensions:          4610 x 3456, 7063 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, 24 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 24 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 24 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The one on the right is OK, but the one on the left is barely recognizable. Here it is from closer:


This should be Buddleja-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Buddleja 2          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 6652 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, 24 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 24 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 24 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

I had planted a row of five there, and I had been waiting for the weather to cool down enough so that I could plant some more cuttings and have them (hopefully) become somewhat established before winter. Now I have:


This should be Buddleja-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Buddleja 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 8669 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, 24 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 24 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 24 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Buddleja-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Buddleja 4          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 3352 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, 24 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 24 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 24 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

 


More nvidia pain
Topic: technology Link here

Yesterday I built a new system for teevee, the TV display computer. But when I tried to start X, I got a failure message that printed only on the display, and not in the log files. The system log had nothing, and /var/log/Xorg.0.log had only:

[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0): Failed to initialize the NVIDIA GPU at PCI:1:0:0.  Please
[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0):     check your system's kernel log for additional error
[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0):     messages and refer to Chapter 8: Common Problems in the
[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0):     README for additional information.
[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0): Failed to initialize the NVIDIA graphics device!
[  1644.802] (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failing initialization of X screen 0

Clearly an incompatibility with the kernel. I've seen this before, and I found that deinstalling and reintalling the driver worked around the problem. But not today.

OK, revert to the old kernel and try to follow up. Where's README? /usr/local/share/doc/NVIDIA_GLX-1.0/README, it seems. And how about that:

Q. My X server fails to start, and my X log file contains the error:

   (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failed to initialize the NVIDIA kernel module!

A. Nothing will work if the NVIDIA kernel module does not function properly.
   If you see anything in the X log file like

   (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failed to initialize the NVIDIA kernel module!

   then there is most likely a problem with the NVIDIA kernel module.

Well, yes, that's what I thought, but it doesn't help much. Now to find out how widespread the problem is, and whether the latest version (yes, they released version 390.42 on 12 March, but it's not in the Ports Collection yet) also has the problem.


More Facebook fallout
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Seen on The Shovel today:

Wishing him a happy birthday for last week and complimenting him on the new shirt he bought today, Mark Zuckerburg reassured 26 year-old, university educated, soccer-playing junior accountant James Samuel ‘Jimmy’ Wilson, that Facebook only collects the basic data required to run his account...

Saturday, 24 March 2018 Dereel Images for 24 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

TIFF, not JPEG
Topic: photography, general, technology, opinion Link here

Today was Saturday, the day for my weekly house photos. I had a little time, so I finally started on something I have been planning for a long time: make all the intermediate images in (16 bit) TIFF, not JPEG. That promises better quality, but required considerable attention to my scripts. One of the biggest headaches is the plethora of “extensions”. In various scripts I currently have:

EXTENSIONS="_DxO.tif _DxO.tiff _DxO.jpg .jpeg .jpg .JPEG .JPG .gif .GIF .png .PNG .tiff .tif"

And that's not including raw formats, which are even more poorly defined.

I have some heuristics about how to deal with these, but in general I've developed them over time for JPEG, while the corresponding code for TIFF has been left as it was years ago. Spent much of the afternoon tidying things up, and still didn't get finished. About the only thing that was obvious was that the images had a marked brown tone. Here last week and this week:


This should be house-from-ssw-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: house from ssw 2          Dimensions:          4604 x 2314, 3504 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, 16 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 16 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Friday, 16 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be house-from-ssw-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: house from ssw 2          Dimensions:          5152 x 2210, 3502 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, 24 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 24 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 24 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Why was that? It's hard to think that that was because of the TIFF format. It had been raining and was quite dim. Possibly that made the difference, but it's just one more thing to investigate (and also to find a way to make both JPEG and TIFF versions at the same time).

The most obvious other difference is size. Yes, the raw images are big—in total, I took about 2 GB of them. But at the end of the day I had a total of 18 GB of images. I think I'm going to have to decide to delete the intermediate images when I'm done.


Pomegranates?
Topic: gardening Link here

Julie Donaghy has offered Yvonne some pomegranates. What's that? Yvonne genuinely didn't know, and I had difficulty recalling the difference between them and mangosteen. At least I recall having eaten mangosteen.

Off to Julie's place, to find her harrowing the paddocks. Paul, her husband, showed us the fruit: on the tree, which was a good place for them. They were still a little unripe:


This should be Pomegranate-and-medlar.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Pomegranate and medlar          Dimensions:          5199 x 3888, 979 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

The small fruit on the right is from another tree with a name that I didn't quite understand, but probably Mespilus germanica (“medlar”, which I understood as “meddler). Paul says that it's Dutch, and that they taste like overripe pears.

We took a total of four pomegranates. We'll leave them to ripen and then maybe go back for more.


E-M10 speed
Topic: photography Link here

After dinner in the evening, discussing Chris Bahlo's speed problems with her Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. After a while we came to the conclusion that it was the combination of two facts that made Chris think the camera was ready: the SD card access light blinked (because it was writing the last image to it), and the last image was also displayed on the monitor.

That's a feature, not a bug—claims Olympus. By default, the last image is displayed for 0.5 s after taking, and then it returns to the viewfinder. You can return at any time by half-pressing the shutter release. But the combination of the two left Chris thinking that the camera was not ready for another photo.

But even when you know how to bypass it, it's a real nuisance when you're taking a lot of photos quickly and the viewfinder disappears for half a second each time. I don't understand why it should be like that by default. I think that's what DSLRs do, but then traditionally they couldn't use the display as a viewfinder. Still, you can change the duration that it displays, including to 0 seconds, and that's what Yvonne and I have done on all our cameras.

How? I recall that it's non-intuitive. The obvious place for that is in menu D (“Disp/bang/PC”). But no, it's in the spanner (miscellaneous) menu at the bottom, and the name Rec View is so vague that I keep forgetting it. Once I found it, I also found my diary entries about the subject from 27 November 2014 and 29 May 2016. As Chris says, it's the kind of thing you can't find until you know the answer.


Sunday, 25 March 2018 Dereel Images for 25 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Canned fish?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A while back I re-read “The Far Country” by Nevil Shute. Not a spectacular book, but one that painted Australia in rosy colours and England in the darkest grey. One recurring topic was that at the time—1952, just after the Second World War—food was scarce in England and plentiful in Australia. You could even buy kippers on every street corner in Australia, but they couldn't be had for love nor money in England.

Well, that was 66 years ago. Where do you find kippers in Australia now? There's one brand on the market, two kippers conveniently frozen together so that you can't remove just one of them, and at a price higher than the most expensive steak. So I was interested when I found this brand of canned kipper:


This should be Kippers.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kippers          Dimensions:          2455 x 1352, 1671 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

I had already had good experiences with these fake sprats from ALDI:


This should be Sprats.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Sprats          Dimensions:          1204 x 1735, 683 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

So I tried them. I suppose you have to make some allowances for the storage format, but this still looks like a sorry excuse for a kipper:


This should be Kippers.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kippers          Dimensions:          3264 x 3203, 2755 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, 26 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 26 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 26 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

And the taste confirmed it. Barely a trace of kipper flavour. Kippers may be an acquired taste, but I don't know how you can acquire a taste for this stuff.


A good, old-fashioned war
Topic: general Link here

Took Yvonne over to Chris Bahlo's today, where she was preparing for battle, with squire Amber at hand:


This should be Chris-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Chris 1          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 5854 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Chris-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Chris 7          Dimensions:          3456 x 4610, 6056 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Chris-9.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Chris 9          Dimensions:          3456 x 4609, 5228 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Amber-with-horses.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Amber with horses          Dimensions:          4609 x 3456, 5047 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 25 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

She gave me the helmet to try for weight. It's heavy, but it's also too small for my head:


This should be Greg-finds-it-too-small.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Greg finds it too small          Dimensions:          2724 x 3332, 1031 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Complete exposure details

 

I left, but Yvonne stayed on and watched the fun. It's not really clear how much use the helmet is:


This should be with-helmet-27.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: with helmet 27          Dimensions:          1669 x 2103, 623 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, 25 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 25 March 2018, small
Complete exposure details

   
This should be with-helmet-27-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: with helmet 27 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 557 x 367, 58 kB
Dimensions of original: 557 x 367, 58 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 25 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

 


Cameras: size isn't everything
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Yvonne was not amused when I bought her the Olympus E-PM2: far too big and bulky. And she didn't like the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens for the same reason, and I ended up getting her a M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ instead, a lens that I still don't like because it has an “electric zoom”, which is less controllable and much slower.

But gradually she's realizing that her photos are better, particularly because other people tell her so. Today was a rather dull day, and she was taking photos indoors, so I gave her the Leica Summilux 25 mm f/1.4, not big, but definitely larger:


This should be E-PM1-E-PM2-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: E PM1 E PM2 2          Dimensions:          4821 x 2033, 1610 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, 26 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 26 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Monday, 26 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But she likes it, and despite the lack of zoom even used it later on in the open.


Monday, 26 March 2018 Dereel Images for 26 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Road safety: even more stupid
Topic: general, opinion Link here

I've ranted much in the past about how stupid the road traffic speed limits are in Victoria. That specific rant is nearly 10 years old, but nothing has changed, apart from the fact that they have removed the document that was once at http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2008/pdf/Int_Comp_06.pdf, which showed that the draconian speed limits didn't stop Australia from having the most road deaths. But now we have Wikipedia, which shows the same information: whether deaths per 100,000 people, deaths per 10,000 vehicles or deaths per 100 million km, Australia comes out worse than most European countries, including the UK and particularly Germany, where there is no general speed limit on the freeways:

Country       Fatalities per       Fatalities per       Fatalities per       Freeway
      100,000 inhabitants       100,000 vehicles       1,000 million km       speed limit
Australia       5.4       7.3       5.2       100
Germany       4.3       6.8       4.9       none
UK       2.9       5.1       3.6       110

Only one thing is lowest in Australia: the speed limits. But some of this data looks suspect. Is the UK really that much better? And the USA is much worse. What's really needed, though, is a comparison between traffic density (lower in Australia than just about anywhere I know) and traffic deaths.

But things have got even worse! Today we received yet another ticket. This time I was fined for driving at 105 km/h on an almost empty four lane freeway in good condition. I wasn't allowed more than 100 km/h. In the past there was a 10% leeway, but it seems that even this is now gone.

Safety? Money-grabbing! I'm disgusted.


Copying DVDs, yet again
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

Chris Bahlo has some new horse DVDs, by Anja Beran. So I had to read them in to a computer. And once again I forgot how. I had thought that vobcopy was the way to go, but that no longer seems to work. And then there was a script called copydvd. That's still there, but it only copies one track at a time. Why is this so complicated?

Still, after consulting my diary, it seems that this is the way to do it.

And that worked for the first DVD, which for some reason really contained two titles. But not for the other two. It couldn't decrypt the CSS.

I should start celebrating 27 June 2001 as the start of my multimedia odyssey. Nearly 17 years and still such pain.


What does Facebook know?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Lately a number of us have been downloading our Facebook archived data, because we can. I didn't expect to find anything of interest, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't. Only the strict separation of text and images was rather annoying, since I couldn't (easily?) find out what belonged to what. And since my basic data is deliberately incorrect, it's difficult for Facebook to classify me.

But then Peter Jeremy suggested that the real information is in the connections: who are my friends? Where do they live?

Good question. But Facebook doesn't show much evidence of having good geographical understanding. The two Facebook groups I visit relatively frequently are M43 Tech Talk (Australia) and DEREEL OUTPOST (clearly local). And for those two I currently have three suggestions for member invitations: Jörg Micheel (Auckland) and Sue Kuuka (San Francisco Bay Area) for both, and also my sister Beverley Cottrell (in Meldreth) for M43 Tech Talk and Edward Tomasz Napierała, a FreeBSD person living (I think) in Poland, for DEREEL OUTPOST. In all cases there is absolutely no reason why any of them should be interested in the topics. If these suggestions are really the result of some kind of analysis, it has failed miserably.


Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Dereel Images for 27 March 2018
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Next NBN outage
Topic: general, technology Link here

Yvonne to me this morning: “The phones aren't working”. And sure enough, the NTD showed all I needed to know:


This should be NTD-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: NTD 1          Dimensions:          4273 x 2269, 1653 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

   
This should be NTD-1-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: NTD 1 detail
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 707 x 282, 59 kB
Dimensions of original: 707 x 282, 59 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 27 March 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The second NBN outage! So much for my guess that there would only be one. But this time the NTD status was different. Were they doing something else? Off to take a look. Yes, there were people there:


This should be Radiation-tower-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 1          Dimensions:          3369 x 4445, 2100 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Radiation-tower-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 2          Dimensions:          4559 x 2451, 2892 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

What were they doing? Not very much. My guess is that they were repositioning the uplink mirror, bottom left in this photo:


This should be Radiation-tower-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 10          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 1711 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

While I was at it, took the opportunity to take photos of the antenna assemblies of both the NBN tower and the adjacent Telstra tower:


This should be Radiation-tower-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 10          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 1711 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Telstra-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Telstra 2          Dimensions:          3457 x 4608, 1858 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Daniel O'Connor had claimed that they looked the same. Clearly the frame isn't, but the antennas aren't either: the Telstra ones are much longer (maybe because they need to run at 900 MHz?). By comparison, the uplink dish does look pretty much the same.

While doing this, came across a remnant of another, bygone era of technology:


This should be Telstra-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Telstra 3          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2933 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Telstra-3-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Telstra 3 detail          Dimensions:          906 x 2301, 575 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Once again the outage lasted all day, from 8:49 to 16:19, only marginally shorter than last time. And when it did, it didn't stay up. We had two aftershocks, a very short one at 17:36 and 8 minutes starting at 18:11.

Two weeks ago I had guessed that there would only be one outage. But we have now had a second outage in the first two groups, so I fear there will be another outage in early April.

Why does this have to take so long?


More HDR experiments
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Taking photos of the Radiation tower wasn't easy. There's a great deal of contrast between the sky and the ground, and it's important to get the top of the tower correctly exposed. I tried various things, including exposure compensation and various kinds of HDR techniques. I got acceptable photos, but not without work.

First I tried a 3 exposure bracket (0EV/+3EV/-3EV) like I do for my house photos, only hand-held. Then I processed them with enfuse and Photomatix PRO. Neither looked good, though interestingly the one from enfuse (the first one) looked marginally better:


This should be Radiation-tower-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 4          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 2169 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Radiation-tower-4-Photomatix.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 4 Photomatix          Dimensions:          3423 x 4603, 3525 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But with Photomatix I can tune things better, and maybe I should do so.

I also tried with the in-camera “HDR”, which brought the usual washed-out look:


This should be Radiation-tower-7-HDR2-orig.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Radiation tower 7 HDR2 orig          Dimensions:          3456 x 4608, 1805 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

In particular the shadows at the bottom are rendered particularly badly.


Kangaroo post
Topic: general, opinion Link here

The road in front of our letter box is not paved, so we can see when the postie has driven past:


This should be Kangaroo-post.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroo post          Dimensions:          3456 x 4709, 6779 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, 27 March 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 27 March 2018, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 Complete exposure details

 

But it's also clear from this photo that something has wiped out part of the tracks:


This should be Kangaroo-post-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: