23
Aug
'18

Where basically the same bunch of fellows take to the bush (metaphorically speaking) in search of venison, this time not rolling a trailer on the way there.

At the last hunt, we met a fellow who knew a fellow and some subsequent negotiations resulted in an option on blue wildebeest at a relatively good price (R39/kilo dressed with head off but skin on).

So I stayed over in Bellville, so that hunting buddy could pick me up at 0500, pick up other hunting buddy, and go to third hunting buddy’s place, leave from there. I woke up at four with a sore throat, made a quick trip to M-Kem just up the road, got some miracle snake oil, OD’ed on that all the way, worked well.

The little cottage is up on a hill overlooking a part of the camp, with the main road and the lights from Marchand in the distance. Notice the tree on the right-hand side of the braai…

…yup, that’s where the farmer leaves the feed out. We could have shot one or two right there but that would not be ethical now, would it?

The camp also has kudu, sable, springbok, impala and gemsbok, but for looking at only.

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My back’s been bothering me since Y2K. I could handle that. My foot started bothering me about five years ago, debilitatingly so. After two neurosurgeons, one neurologist, a podiatrist, biokinetics, three orthopaedic surgeons, four MRIs, many X-rays, and a nuclear scan,  It Was Time.

The good news is that I have 100% medical aid cover. The bad news is that doesn’t mean what you think it means — good doctors (And Dr Makan is good, no doubt about that) charge 225% or more. So I’m in the hole for about R20k of Dr Makan’s time, as well as some amount towards the klaas vakie, but it’s money well spent for professional service.

The other good news is that the medical aid fully covers the hospital (Life Vincent Pallotti, recommended) charges, and there are many.

I went into theater at around 13:30 on Tuesday. Started being aware of my surroundings maybe somewhere around 17:00, 18:00, thereabouts, up in High Care. Saw Dr Makan, briefly, at a distance, he waved, said all had gone well.

Moved down to Protea ward somewhere between breakfast and lunch the next day, all was good. Very nice staff, great (well, for a hospital) food, morphine drip, catheter… lay back and enjoyed it.

Thursday was… not so good. They started taking me off the painkillers and the drain (pipe coming out of my back and into a bottle) was really making its presence felt. So also the catheter. Thankfully Dr Makan came around, I asked, he told ’em to lose all the plumbing, and once they’d removed that (needle in my wrist, drain in my back, catheter) life was much more rosy.

So I started swapping food pics with my mother-in-law, who was in Life Knysna at the time. Crappy cellphone pics, but still.

05:30, coffee and a rusk.

08:00, breakfast.

10:30-ish, coffee and a cookie.

12:00, lunch.

14:30, coffee and two cookies nogal.

1700, supper.

20:30, coffee and sarmies.

Hobbits would like this place.

With the Medical Aid paying, everyone was cool with me staying the maximum allowed 6 days, but I booked myself out on Sunday to make Tanya’s life easier. So now I’m supposed to spend six weeks on my back…

 

 





23
Jun
'18

We’ve been doing this Kalahari thing for a while now, and they tend to all run together in one’s memory after a while, so this year my hunting buddy decided to make things memorable by rolling his trailer on our way there.

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15
Jun
'18

 

Do go read. The Curmudgeon writes well.





I love my Instant Pot. It’s a slow cooker, it’s a pressure cooker… on Sunday I cooked three separate things in it. This is the middle one.

Gemsbok shin curry, recipe adapted from Food & Home’s Blesbok curry.

Instant Pot on saute, 20ml oil, fry one chopped onion for about five minutes. Add some ginger and some garlic, I use the little plastic jars from the Spar because I’m lazy. Add half a teaspoon or so chili flakes. Give it a few minutes.

Add 400 to 500g meat, in 1cm-ish cubes. Give it a few more minutes.

Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes, mix it all up, let it simmer a bit. Add a couple cardamom pods and some cinnamon (I used about half a teaspoon ground cinnamon).

Add six to eight baby potatoes, halved.

Close the lid, set to pressure cook for 15 minutes, have a beer.

Depressurise, stir in about a teaspoon garam masala, let rest while you quickly rinse the pot and use it to boil some rice (2 minutes at pressure, maybe five minutes total).

 





6
May
'18

So I’m messing around with a Burroughs TD831 terminal which uses a 6800 processor, 8 kilobytes of DRAM and 16 kilobytes of mask PROM.

The PROMs are fairly typical of the era, in that the chip select lines are also programmable. So you program the first one in a bank of four to have two active low chip selects, the middle two ones to have an active low and an active high, as well as the reverse, and the fourth one to have two active high chip selects. That way you can run address lines into the chip selects and four PROMs act like one PROM four times the size, effectively.

How I figured this out: the PROMs have 24 pins, the largest 24 pin PROM is a 2732. Told my EXPRO that’s what they were, not much joy. Went down to 2716s, and that gave data out of one of each bank of four PROMs. I figured that this means the devices are similar to for example the 82S191. So it was time to write some code.

I was lazy and just told the code that the three potential chip select lines were address lines. This gave me a 16 kilobyte per PROM dump, three quarters of which is blank Looking at how the banks were located in the 16 kilobyte address space makes it look like pin 21 (A10 on the 82S191) is an active high Chip Select, while pin 20 is A10 and pins 19 and 18 are the programmable Chip Selects.

I suppose I can rewrite my code to map things that way, but I should be able to paste my dumps together into something that can be disassembled. If ever I am arsed to do that.

But if you are here on a quest to restore one of these things to life, I think I have given you everything you need in order to be enlightened.

Edit: You might notice that I did change the code and re-dump the ROMs in nice neat 2k binaries.





7
Apr
'18





Happy Birthday, Preacher.

 





29
Jan
'18

Prepping (i.e. making sure you have enough essential stuff stored away to tide you through a difficult time) is always a good idea. Now is a good time to start.

“Now” is an especially good time to start prepping for Day Zero. Here are some good ideas, except go light on the rice and dried beans (you need water to cook those) and buy water, not empty containers.

Successful prepping revolves around buying more of the kind of stuff you’d buy anyway, and then rotating it. Day Zero is not going to go full-on Zombie Apocalypse on us (we all hope) but the supply chain might be slow due to people having to queue for water, rather than being at work. If you also have to queue for water, and maybe go to work*, taking the time out to go to the shop will be a luxury. So shop now.

But don’t go out and buy a ton of freeze-dried Bear Grylls stuff you’ll end up never using and throwing away, just get extra stock of the tinned stuff you normally get, stick some extra chicken or mince or steaks if you can afford it in the freezer, that kind of stuff.

Remember to keep your plastic grocery bags, you’re going to need them :-/

Also, waterless hand cleaner and bleach. Paper plates might not be a bad idea either. A fellow student, back in the early nineties, kept his plate in his fridge so he only had to wash it once a week. He was just lazy, but if water’s scarce, it could work.

Start thinking about food recipes that need little water. I made this one the other night, it’s pretty damn good.

And have a Plan B. Always have a Plan B.

*Although how one can be expected to work when the toilets don’t flush is beyond me. Note that this also applies to the staff at your friendly local grocery store. Which brings us back to the point — shop now.





The 28th of December gets no respect. It’s just another day in the week most people take off to go to the beach.

But 100 years ago people sat up and noticed. Specifically, they noticed an article in the New York Evening Mail.

The Rise of the Bathtub
The first bathtub in the United States was installed in Cincinnati December 20, 1842, by Adam Thompson. It was made of mahogany and lined with sheet lead. At a Christmas party he exhibited and explained it and four guests later took a plunge. The next day the Cincinnati paper devoted many columns to the new invention and it gave rise to violent controversy.

Some papers designated it as an epicurian luxury, other called it undemocratic, as it lacked simplicity in its surroundings. Medical authorities attacked it as dangerous to health.

The controversy reached other cities, and in more than one place medical opposition was reflected in legislation. In 1843 the Philadelphia Common Council considered an ordinance prohibiting bathing between November 1 and March 15, and this ordinance failed of passage by but two votes.

During the same year the Legislature of Virginia laid a tax of $30 a year on all bathtubs that might be set up. In Hartford, Providence, Charleston and Wilmington special and very heavy water rates were laid on persons who had bathtubs. Boston in 1845 made bathing unlawful except on medical advice, but the ordinance was never enforced and in 1862 it was repealed.

President Millard Fillmore gave the bathtub recognition and respectability. While Vice President he visited Cincinnati in 1850 on a stumping tour and inspected the original bathtub and used it. Experiencing no ill effects he became an ardent advocate, and on becoming President he had a tub installed in the White House. The Secretary of War invited bids for the installation. This tub continued to be the one in use until the first Cleveland Administration.

And it’s been bouncing around the world and the internet since.

 

 

 





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