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Quinces!

One year, the quince tree at work was dropping so much fruit from on high, we seriously feared a quince would bean a visitor to death. We had it savagely cut back and it sulked for three years. This is the first year it’s fruited since.

Oddly enough, there was no low-hanging fruit *thinking face emoji*

I had to wait for some of the higher fruit to overripen and fall. That’s why it’s so spotty. I’ll cut out the worst buts and it’ll be fine for quince jelly.

I love quince jelly, but making it is such a pain in the ass, I go several years between batches.

Storm’s a-coming tonight, everyone. It is upon us. Logging off to hunker down. Have a good weekend!

September 30, 2022 — 6:01 pm
Comments: 6

I’m sure I missed a few

I don’t like suspense, so let me say up front: yes, I got the power supply installed without too much fuss and yes, it appears to have solved my USB problem completely. So far so good, anyway.

Those numbered things are zip ties, tightly holding the old cables to the frame. They each had to be cut, preferably without nicking the cables they were holding. Yeesh.

Things I know now:

Plug the cables into the power supply first, before you do anything else. The manual says to bolt it into the case first and then plug the cables into the motherboard and THEN plug them in the back of the power supply.

This means pointlessly sticking your fingers into many wkward tiny places to seat fiddly plugs you can’t see. I have circuit board rash on the backs of both hands.

I’m sure any way you do it is a doddle on an airy, well-lighted work bench. Sitting on the floor of a 16th Century farmhouse, not so much. Dark in here, fam.

Because the plugs are individually shaped, you can’t really go wrong. The worst mistake you can make is to leave something out so your rig is under-powered. And even that might not matter, depending on the component.

There is no over-powered splodey error.

The amount of juice coming out of each wire is the same. It’s not special sauce going to the motherboard or the graphics card. Plugs are shaped and numbered that way to idiot-proof the process.

One of these days, I’ll learn to watch a few YouTubes *before* I get stuck.

September 29, 2022 — 5:47 pm
Comments: 5

That was quick

My power supply arrived. Yeah, these people are good.

It’s a monster – hand for scale. It says it fits in an ATX case. Let us hope. But did I install it this evening? I did not.

I was busy chasing a little white rooster round and round my neighbor’s driveway. Damn, that little bastard is quick.

I chased him through blackberry brambles. I chased him through stinging nettles. I am alive with small ouchies.

I never caught him, but I did manage to chase him through a hole in the hedge so he could make his way back to the henhouse. It was well past chicken bedtime.

You know the previous post, when I said only one of those chooks in the picture is still alive? It was him – the little white bastard on the right. He was pushing his luck tonight.

September 28, 2022 — 7:18 pm
Comments: 7

Stop it, Google

Every time I log into my Google photos, it proudly shows me years-old pictures of my dead pets. (Well, one of these chickens is still alive). I’ve just now got so irritated I learned how to turn that feature off. It’s in settings.

I read an article about what a terrible problem this is for people who have lost a spouse or child – Facebook floating the images up on anniversaries or birthdays.

I hadn’t thought of that.

I do sometimes think about all my many free email accounts (I keep separate accounts for separate activities). When I croak, they’ll go on collecting spams in their hundreds, day after day, until…I guess until they reach the storage limit. Then the warnings will start to accrue. The cloud is probably already stuffed with dead people’s junk.

My new power supply is due tomorrow. Expect swearings!

September 27, 2022 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 5

We went on the choochoo!

There are several excellent heritage railways within day-trip distance of us. We haven’t been to one in ages. They’ll soon stop running for the year (except the Christmas trains in December), so off we went on Sunday.

It was a beautiful run through the countryside. Sheep and cows and little streams with little bridges over them. Clusters of oaks and blackberry bramble. A proper castle, even! You can go a long way in the countryside here without seeing anything ugly.

We splashed out on First Class and had it to ourselves. On this train, First Class was a corridor with those little wooden compartments, like in the Agatha Christie movies. We forebore to murder each other.

There wasn’t a tea service this time, but we bought a packet of sandwiches in the station and made do.

We were so worried that some of these railways wouldn’t survive the lockdown. Despite much of their staff being volunteers, they’re terribly expensive to operate. Not only have they survived, but a couple of them are working to reach a main line station – and then they’ll be more than just a novelty service.

September 26, 2022 — 6:08 pm
Comments: 6

One word: Ravenholm

Oh my word, people – the Half Life 2 VR mod has just been released in beta and it is a BLAST. I haven’t encountered a bug yet and I’ve got as far as driving down the coast blowing up ant lions.

Well, I mean, I guess ant lions are bugs.

The original is 18 years old (wow! really?) and the textures are a bit jarring in VR, but the gameplay is spectacular. The team promises to release regular tweaks. It’s a fan project and it’s free, which is awesome. And good on Valve for letting them do it.

And thank you to everyone who weighed in on my USB issues. I’ve been reading up on power supplies. One article that said a gaming rig should have a 1000 watt power supply. Mine is 500, so that seems the likely culprit. I mean, it probably doesn’t qualify as a gaming rig in 2022, but it’s still likely underpowered.

Now I have to bull my way through the specs and pick one.

Oh, hey, Windows invited me to install Windows 11 today. First time. Anybody taken the plunge yet? I’m…dubious.

Good weekend, all!

September 23, 2022 — 4:45 pm
Comments: 14

Glut of tomatoes?

Homemade V8! Makes a kickass bloody mary.

Preboil celery and carrots in a little water until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook another 20 minutes with the lid off. Put in a blender or zizz with a mixer. You’re supposed to strain it through muslin then, but that makes it too thin for my taste. I just trawl trough it for chunks (celery is the usual culprit).

According to campbells.com, the proper article is tomato puree plus carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress and spinach. But the as long as you have tomatoes and Tabasco, you’re good.

Sorry about yesterday. It was the database on my server. I didn’t even bother to file a ticket. I knew they were working on it and I wasn’t too fussed. I had bloody marys!

Any hardline computer geeks online?

I’m having a mystery problem with my fancy computer. It’s three years old and it’s the absolute highest spec I could afford.

While it was still fairly new, I noticed the USB ports in the front were a little flaky – sometimes cutting out briefly. I assumed that bank of ports wasn’t fully plugged into the motherboard.

Then the ones in the back got a little flaky. Then all of them got pretty flaky. Then all of them got intolerably flaky, stuttering in and out constantly.

So I broke down and bought a PCI card with four USB ports. Which worked a treat. For about a week.

What could make all my USB ports unreliable, even freshly added ones. Would that be (please no) a motherboard issue? Could it be the power supply?

September 22, 2022 — 5:19 pm
Comments: 15

Eyyyy…we’re back!

Sorry. Some kind of MYSQL error for five hours. Back. Talk later!

September 21, 2022 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 6

Oh, she running

The Clinton Global Initiative held their first annual meeting since 2016. This is the Clinton Foundation’s mini-Davos.

I don’t know if they’re happy or sad that they were completely knocked silly by the royal funeral, but I’ve been saying since forever she’s not given up yet.

So what’s Hillary’s path to the presidency? I don’t think she’ll risk running again. My theory is, Joe croaks, Kamela appoints Hillary VP, then Kamela finds a way – any way – to step down if she doesn’t want to get dead.

Also, Putin gives a speech at midnight-oh-one Moscow time. Doesn’t that sound ominous? It’s probably about this:

But what does it mean? We’ll know in two hours, I guess.

September 20, 2022 — 7:07 pm
Comments: 11

The most famous spider in history, y’all

An estimated five point two billion people saw this little eight-legged ham today. And almost no-one saw Meghan.

You can’t tell me that was chance. Nothing at these ceremonies is by chance. At every turn she was behind a candle or a pillar or a tall guy blocking her face. Also, spider bro got closer to the crown than she’ll ever get.

Seriously, however you feel about monarchy, if you weren’t part of the 60-some percent of the planet that supposedly watched this thing, do watch some of the footage. Brits do these pageants brilliantly, always.

Also, your girl got the day off!

September 19, 2022 — 5:49 pm
Comments: 8