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Saturday, 16 March 2019 Dereel Images for 16 March 2019
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Cleaning the toaster
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Our toaster has a convenient tray under the mechanism to catch bread crumbs:


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But for some reason the toaster has been smoking recently. Tried the more conventional method of turning it upside down in the sink:


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Clearly there's room for improvement in the toaster design.


Garden flowers in early autumn
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, time for my monthly garden flower photos, this time for early autumn.

The long, dry summer isn't showing many signs of abating. We've finally had a little rain, but only a little. Still, some plants are recovering, maybe also because of significant application of fertilizer. The difference is particularly obvious with the roses: this „Gruß an Aachen“ had almost no flowers to show when I showed it to Bev on Sunday, but now it's doing well:


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Can that be as a result of the fertilizer? It seems too fast.

The other roses aren't doing badly either:


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And then there's yet another Gladiolus that has, apparently, only now found conditions suitable for flowering:


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On the other hand, it looks as if some plants haven't survived the summer, notably the Hebes that I had been watching over the summer:


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I fear that there's little hope for them. We should put something hardier in their place.

But not all Hebes are doing that badly; some at least are flowering:


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In general, though, I'm seeing the same effects that I have seen at this time in past years. Some plants are looking decidedly unhappy:


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But the Paulownia kawakamii seems to be doing well, possibly as the result of fertilizer. Here last month and this month:


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I'll have to spread much more before spring.

And the succulent bed is looking particularly good:


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The herb bed is a hive of activity:


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The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis with erectile dysfunction makes up for it by flowering copiously, if with small flowers:


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The other one, the clone of Uncle Max's bush, is less copious, but its sole flower is also surprisingly small:


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And one of the Hibiscus syriacus is also flowering, while the other shows no signs:


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And the Alyogyne huegelii (“native hibiscus”) is also flowering, more copiously than ever before: I only planted it six months ago:


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The pink lily that I noted a couple of weeks ago has now taken on a more expected colouring:


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One pleasant surprise is the Banksia integrifolia, which is now producing numerous flower spikes:


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The Wikipedia page explains that they come from two to three year old nodes in the foliage. Presumably the tree—now the largest that we have planted in the garden—feels happy where it is.

And the Hellebore that I transplanted two months ago is now looking much happier. Here before (17 January) and now:


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The other one, transplanted a couple of days later, seems to have been too late. But on careful observation there's a new leaf there too:


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And the one surviving Clematis is gradually looking like a real plant:


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Flies!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

By chance it has been almost exactly a third of a century since Yvonne and I first considered returning to live in Australia. We decided against it for two reasons: the pay (going rates were a little over half what I was earning in Germany) and the flies. That was late spring, clearly, and the flies in Bendigo were terrible.

When we did return, 12 years later and (again coincidentally) almost exactly 22 years ago, we were surprised how much better the fly situation was. Was this the result of research into dung beetles? We have flies, of course, but they were actually not as bad as what we had in Germany.

Until today. For reasons I don't understand, the house is full of them. I must have killed 30 of them in a 24 hour period. Why? Does it have something to do with the harrowing that Yvonne did the other day? That doesn't sound likely.


International news: not suitable for children
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

While attempting to watch the TV news today:


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I know that the news is rough at the moment, but I really wasn't expecting that. And, of course, I got a typical message from Google as a result:

 
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Linux? We don't use no steenking Leenux! But in fact, by Google's standards, that's not bad: it has accepted the fact that I'm in Dereel. Is that maybe because my mobile phone also connects via that external address?


Photo optimization: not size
Topic: technology, photography, opinion Link here

While syncing my photos to the external web server today, noticed that it was taking a long time. Then I looked at the sizes of the photos:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~/Photos/20190316 89 -> l _Ashampoo_Photo_Optimizer_Backup/Hellebore-2.jpeg Hellebore-2.jpeg
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  wheel   4,323,518 16 Mar 17:29 _Ashampoo_Photo_Optimizer_Backup/Hellebore-2.jpeg
-rwxrw-r--  2 grog  lemis  23,475,024 16 Mar 17:29 Hellebore-2.jpeg

The first file is what I created with DxO PhotoLab, and the second is what Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 7 created from it: it's over 5 times the size! Why?

Tried again with version 6 of the Photo Optimizer:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~/Photos/20190316 93 -> l.jpeg _Ashampoo_Photo_Optimizer_Backup/Hellebore-2.jpeg Hellebore-2
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  wheel  4,323,518 16 Mar 17:29 _Ashampoo_Photo_Optimizer_Backup/Hellebore-2.jpeg
-rwxrw-r--  2 grog  wheel  6,632,721 16 Mar 17:29 Hellebore-2.jpeg

That's a big difference, but it's still 50% bigger. Time to look for better software?


Broken glass!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

A week or so ago I broke a glass in the kitchen. Since I walk barefoot at home, I asked Yvonne to sweep it up. And since then the floor has been swept, vacuumed and washed. But that didn't help: this evening I felt a pain in my foot, and discovered:


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The results were corresponding:


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How can such a small piece of glass remain on the floor despite all the cleaning that had gone on?


Sunday, 17 March 2019 Dereel Images for 17 March 2019
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previous day

Toaster woes
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Yesterday I tipped all the crumbs out of my toaster. Today I tried using it for the first time since then. No reaction.

What's wrong with it? There are several possibilities:

  1. The crumbs are necessary for the function of the toaster.
  2. I damaged something while scraping the crumbs off the base.
  3. The power cord somehow got dislodged.

Can I be bothered to investigate? I don't think so. But that will teach me to be overly clean.


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


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