19
Nov
'14

I made this game stew for the second time, and it was again great.

The original is from the Weg magazine and is in Afrikaans.

• 40 g dried mushrooms
• ½ cup warm stock
• 1 kg meat in 4 cm cubes. I used gemsbok.
• ½ cup flour
• 2 onions
• garlic
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 cups stout (I used Guinness the first time and homebrew the second)
• 1 tin cherry tomatoes, drained (reserve sauce)
• 2 tablespoons Worcester
• 2 tablespoons soy
• 4 sprigs thyme

Chop the dried mushrooms and soak in hot water or stock (I added the stock powder later). Do this before prepping the meat and onions.

Coat meat with flour and brown in oil (I skipped the flour, it makes a mess and I am yet to be convinced). Keep meat warm.

Brown onion and garlic. Add sugar, add meat, fry for five minutes (I added the stock powder to the onion mix with the sugar)

Add beer, tomatoes, Worcester, soy, thyme, mushrooms.

Cook for an hour or so. Add the tomato sauce if it looks dry.

Serve with rice.

I didn’t bother with Weg’s baby onions at the end, but it sounds like a good idea.

 





11
Nov
'14

And now that we’re all maudlin, let’s step it up a little.





Moore’s law, the speed at which technology moves forward, means that the digital past gets smaller every year. So this is what is left are the tracings of hundreds of people, or thousands, who, 20, 30, 40 years ago found each other and decided to fabricate all this…digital stuff. Glittering ephemera. They left these markings and moved on.

Who wouldn’t want to go back 20 years—to drive again into the office, to sit before the whiteboard in a beanbag chair, in a place of warmth and clarity, and give it another try?

Go read.





20
Oct
'14

Sunday was mead bottling time. After fermenting for about six weeks, I had no bubbles in the airlock and SG was down to 1.000 or maybe even 0.999.

Of course it still has to bottle ferment for six months or more.

I also added some sugar to almost two litres of the mead and bottled that under crown caps, the future will tell whether I get sparkling mead or bottle bombs.





15
Oct
'14

I need some round labels. The ones that come on an A4 sheet that you feed through a laser printer.

Avery makes ‘em, as does Redfern. The Avery 3/4″ round part number is 5408.

Wanting to support the locals instant gratification, I google for Avery 5408 site:co.za.

And lo and behold, WantItAll has it listed, at R1061 for 12 sheets. For comparison, Amazon lists them for $3.44 for 42 sheets. At the current exchange rate, that’s about R40.

I have no idea who shops at WantItAll but it sure ain’t me.





A little restaurant called Satori.

Food is good (this is the Pork Belly – Beetroot Mash – Maby Marrow & Mushroom with Soya, Honey and Ginger dressing — apologies for crappy cell pic), waiters are excellent, the wine menu is above average for this kind of establishment, and the prices are not bad.

What is there not to like?

* Presumably Kalk Bay’s best kept secret is so well kept that I don’t know it. Yea I know, I’m a nerd.





I suppose the URL of this blog gives it away, so nobody will be shocked to hear that I’m often slow to adopt technology.

So I only recently moved to Windows 7 from Windows 2000. You see, there’s nothing really wrong with Windows 2000.

What is wrong is that the latest ChromeFoxEra doesn’t run on Windows 2000 any more, and the latest Flash plugins don’t plug into the earlier versions of ChromeFoxEra, and the older Flash plugins won’t play Youtube movies any more because of a completely misguided opinion that one can make it impossible to download movies off the ‘net if you use the latest greatest features of Flash.

Or something like that.

And with both my home PC and my work PC now running Windows 7 (Classic desktop theme, animations and special effects very much “off”) it was time to upgrade the Mini 9 from XP to 7.

Google gives many hits on how to do this. But those websites / blogs don’t exist any more.

Fortunately we have the Wayback Machine, which saved a copy of multimolti‘s blog which is OK and a copy of Rick White’s blog which is excellent.

So I followed that, except that I used the very excellent Rufus to make a bootable USB stick.

Peeve: vlite is a nifty tool, but it needs the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). Download vlite, 1.4 megabytes. Download WAIK, 1.4 gigabytes. Microsoft needs to take some lessons from Steve Gibson.

 

Vendor 197B, Device 2382 / 2383 : Card Reader from JMicron, download drivers here.

ACPI\CPL0002: Battery meter, install R192569.EXE.

Touchpad driver: From Synaptics. Yes, you have to download the 118 megabyte file for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, 32 and 64 bit. I guess it’s more convenient for them that way. And you then have to go to Device Settings / Settings to turn off tapping (which is the only reason I needed this driver anyway).

(http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dell-mini-9-guides/2707-drivers-dell-inspiron-mini-9-910-a.html)





4
Sep
'14

In 1961, Frank Drake helped organise the first Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conference. In preparation for his speech, he came up with the Drake Equation, which effectively multiplies a whole lot of unknown probabilities together to come up with a figure which may or may not tell us how many real live aliens there might be out there trying to communicate with us.

Drake’s Equation is little more than an interesting thought experiment, since every single variable is a SWAG. Still, people use it to come up with a figure that motivates them to aid the search. Nothing wrong with that.

But even if Drake’s Equation convinces you that there are many many civilisations out there, there’s reason to believe that the Earth is unique, or at least very rare, in one way. From where we stand, the sun and the moon both occupy about 30 arc seconds, or to put it differently, the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon and also 400 times further away.

Where the unique becomes sublime is when we have a total eclipse of the sun. If the moon were bigger, we wouldn’t see a halo. If the moon were smaller, it wouldn’t be a total eclipse.

Which is why Iain Banks, in his novel Transition, suggests that instead of watching the great American eclipse of 2017, you should rather be looking around. Many of the spectators might have hitch hiked a number of lightyears to observe the phenomenon.









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