Variant cauliflower bomb

This morning was another online ethics class, doing the “getting even” topic I mentioned on Friday. A new student signed up for the class about 15 minutes before it started, and was my first student from the USA. I’ve got students from at least 6 different countries now.

I had some things to do in the city today, so caught a train in. We no longer need to wear masks on public transport here, since there’s no COVID circulating, but it still feels a bit weird being in close quarters with so many people.

I spent a couple of hours in the city, and before coming home I visited one of my favourite bookshops. Browsing the gaming section, I found and decided to buy The Ultimate Micro-RPG Book, which looks like some good fun.

For dinner tonight I tried a variant on the cauliflower bomb which I’ve made a few times. I had half a tin of chick peas leftover from Sunday’s dinner, and decided to make hummus with them, and then realised baked cauliflower would go well with that. So I basically did the recipe replacing the honey cashew cream sauce with hummus, and it worked beautifully. Really delicious. I neglected to take any photos though, so I can’t share with you, alas.

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Old logins

My wife and I took Scully on a very long walk this morning. We wanted to check out the nearest Aldi store for some specials, and it’s about 3 km away. And after checking it out, we walked back a longer way. By the time we got home we’d covered 7.5 km.

This afternoon I spent some time going through a big list of old login/password details that I had stored, to transcribe them to a new storage. There were some weird old things in there. I apparently had a login for the site, but I have no idea why. That site currently appears to be a personal loan website, but I’ve never had a personal loan, or even applied for one. I can only presume that the domain has changed from whatever it was that I can’t remember.

I also had a login for Minotel, which currently appears to be a Swiss telecommunications company. Again, this is a complete mystery to me. I thought maybe Minotel might have been a hotel chain that I booked through at some point. I bit of Googling indicates there may have been a Swiss hotel chain by that name back around 2002, but I didn’t travel to Switzerland until 2016. 🤷🏻‍♂️

And then there’s a login which is labelled “Sydney University Alumni”. I am an alumnus of the university, but checking the university website I can’t find anywhere were alumni can login to anything.

Anyway, it’s an interesting little bit of data history. I’m tossing out some of the info like the Minotel login. I just hope I don’t need it for some reason in a few years time.

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Double sized Ethics

Today I did the grocery shopping in the morning. Then spent most of the day working on slides for my planned Outschool class on atomic theory. First I did an outline for the last of the 6 linked classes, on the Big Bang, so I now have completed outlines for them all. I started writing slide descriptions – I’ll leave most of the images and artwork for later, as I’ll need to either find public domain images or draw my own diagrams for everything.

At 4pm I had my Friday afternoon ethics class on Outschool. Last week I had 2 students, but today I had 2 new enrolments, for 4 total. It made it a little more difficult, because I no longer had time to ask every student every single question individually. I had to ask a couple of them and then see if either of the others had any further points to add, or if they wanted to disagree. It worked reasonably well, but of course it was noticeable to me that each individual student didn’t get as much time to speak as before. But it was fine.

And this evening I had the opening session of the Plenary ISO Photography Standards meeting that I’ve been mentioning. It was only an hour long, and at 8pm, so not too much of an issue.

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Cold and rainy – very cold

It’s winter here in Sydney. Australia operates on the meteorological definition of the seasons, which goes by calendar months, so winter began on 1 June, and lasts until the end of August.

And it was cold today. Really cold. Bands of chilling rain swept across the city all day, and the temperature rose to a maximum of only 13.4°C. This made it the coldest day in Sydney in five years. Standard disclaimers – other places get a lot colder, etc, etc. Sydney has a warm climate, and we’re really not used to temperatures this cold.

My wife brought Scully home from her office at lunchtime and left her here with me for the afternoon, since she didn’t want to deal wth a wet dog in the office. Which meant I had to deal with her… At one point she wanted to go outside. I put on her doggie raincoat, rugged myself up with a jumper and a jacket, grabbed an umbrella, and we headed out. Via the garage as we always do when it’s just a short toilet expedition.

Scully spent half an hour wandering around the garage, eventually getting to the door where we could see the rain outside. She decided not to head out there after all, and eventually we just returned upstairs. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I spent time today—when not freezing and trying to warm up—writing my lesson for tomorrow’s online ethics class. It’s on “getting even”. Both in terms of good deeds and ill. Should make for a fun lesson! I also had some more preliminary work to do for the ISO Photography Standards meeting that begins tomorrow night. I’ll be missing my regular fortnightly board games night with my friends to attend this meeting via Zoom, as the opening session runs from 8pm to 9:30.

Oh, and it looks like the new hard drive I got for backups is working nicely, and regular backups of my computer have resumed properly.

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Tech panic!

I woke up this morning, got out of bed, grabbed my bowl of muesli and yoghurt, and sat down to check my emails and stuff from overnight.

When the computer screen came on, there was a system dialogue. It said the most recent backup attempt had failed. And…

… that the most recent available backup was from some date in 2018.

Now, I’m no expert in how Apple’s Time Machine backups work, but that seemed somewhat sub-optimal. I didn’t have time to do much about it, as I had to get ready and head to school to teach my weekly Ethics class. So I set it to try and do another backup while I was out, and headed off.

I taught my class, and popped into the supermarket to buy a few things we’d run out of, and came home, to find the new backup had also failed. A quick discussion with some of my more tech-savvy friends confirmed what I suspected – it was time to get a new backup drive. I ordered one online, for pickup, not delivery, so I could get it today. It was ready to pick up pretty quickly, and I caught a train a few suburbs over to get it.

While I was out, I decided to grab some lunch, and had some tonkotsu ramen at a place in the shopping centre. It was okay, but I’ve had better. I picked up my new hard drive, and then since there’s a game shop there I popped into have a quick look at the games. They had copies of the new D&D book: Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. I had a quick flip through and it looked like the sort of thing I’d like to read through fully and mine for ideas, so I bought a copy, with the limited edition alternative art cover. When 5th Edition first came out, I bought every book as it was released, but now I’m being more selective, as I don’t really have much use for some of the books they’ve been releasing lately (e.g. Candlekeep Mysteries, Eberron).

When I got home I plugged in the new drive, formatted it, set it as the new Time Machine backup drive, and started a full backup. Now, seven hours later, it’s still going, although it should finish in less than another hour. And then I can breathe easy again…

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Back to golf

I’ve been holding off from strenuous exercise—and also golf, haha—for a few weeks due to a strained muscle in my abdomen, but it’s been feeling better recently to I decided today was a good day to try it out on the golf course.

I invited my golfing buddy to play at the short “par 3 pitch & putt” course we go to often. It was a bit busy today, with several groups going around the course. I hit my ball into the way of people playing other holes a couple of times, and had to signal them to make sure it was safe for me to play my stroke before they continued. One tee shot I hit actually landed on the tee mat for another hole! I had to take a free drop from there.

Anyway, I played pretty poorly, dismally in fact, scoring 10 more strokes than last time I played there. I did however sink a birdie putt, which was the highlight of the morning.

I did my usual thing on the way home, going via a favourite pie shop by the beach at Collaroy for lunch. I bought a beef and burgundy pie and a butter chicken pie, and walked to the beach to sit and eat while watching the waves and the sea birds, and the odd surfer. It’s such a nice thing to eat lunch outside somewhere with a nice view.

Back home I met my wife and Scully for a late lunchtime break and play in the park, after which my wife took Scully back to the office for the afternoon, until I picked her up about 4pm and we walked home. It’s a big day in Scully’s life, as today is the third anniversary of the day we brought her home for the first time as a puppy.

Scully 3 years ago and now

The first photo is 1 July 2018. The second is, well, not today but a week or two ago.

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Triple baking

This morning I had my Monday Outschool ethics class – same subject as last Friday with different students. It was interesting because another part of the discussion was about the difference between trusting doctors versus people advocating traditional/herbal medicines. Last Friday, the students all said definitely trust the doctors more. Today they both said definitely give the herbal medicine a go first. Obviously these opinions come from their upbringing, and it’s interesting to see how that can vary across a range of children.

I took care of some odds and ends today. I had to finish writing comments on a photography standards document draft and send it off. The ISO meeting begins on Friday, with a plenary session from 8:00-9:30 pm in my time zone. That’s not so bad, but the technical sessions during the following week are all going to be 11:00 pm-02:30 am each night, for five nights in a row. That’s going to be a very tough week.

Last time we had a plenary meeting, it was in Lisbon in 2019, and I flew there with my wife. I had a week of meetings while she did sightseeing, and then we spent another week doing more sightseeing around Portugal together, so it was very pleasant. This meeting should have been in Okayama in Japan, which would have been lovely too. But COVID made sure that didn’t happen as planned.

I also made two batches of dough today – one sourdough for a loaf of bread, and one pizza dough for dinner. We just had dinner, and I baked the sourdough straight after while the oven was still hot.

The title above is “triple baking” – the other one refers to last night. My wife decided she felt like an apple for dessert, but didn’t want to just eat a raw apple because of how cold the weather was. She commented casually that I could make some apple crumble…

So I did! Peeled a couple of apples, made some oat crumble topping, and baked the result. We had it hot out of the oven, and it was delicious! Although normally I like to cook with Granny Smith apples, which are nice and tart, but all we had were my wife’s apples, which are pink ladies. I thought they’d soften more quickly than Grannies, but they really didn’t and were still a bit too firm when we ate it. Oh well. Maybe next time I’ll buy a lot of Grannies.

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Relax Sunday

I had a bit of a sleep in this morning – I think I must have needed a bit of a catch up. I didn’t feel particularly active so didn’t do very much today, except for a long walk with my wife and Scully.

The quarterly Coal Loader Artisans Markets were on, and it’s a bit of a hike but within walking distance from us.

Coal Loader Market

As we arrived, there was an oil tanker being guided into port by tugboats, which was kind of interesting.

Coal Loader Market

As you can see it was a grey day, and it sprinkled lightly for a bit, but not so much that we really got wet. It was also very cold. My wife had gone out earlier with Scully and told me it was warm and sunny and I wouldn’t need a jumper. So I went to the market with just a jacket over my shirt, but the clouds rolled in and a cold wind as well, and I felt chilly the whole time.

This afternoon I relaxed and spent some time compiling historical dates for a project of a friend of mine: Bisecting History. For example, this one from earlier this month:

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Home alone

My wife was out for much of today, for a yoga class in the morning, and to go see a movie with her mother in the afternoon. She took Scully to yoga as normal, but I had time with Scully all afternoon.

I worked on Darths & Droids comics, writing and assembling. And I also did some prepwork for the upcoming ISO Photography Standards meeting – downloading and reading documents, and writing up comments on drafts.

In a piece of home maintenance, I swapped out all the batteries from all the remote controls and put in new ones. I’ve decided to do this once a year, whether the batteries need changing or not, to avoid leakage ruining the remotes, after I found some batteries in one of them had started leaking and corroding the terminals. Fortunately it wasn’t far gone and I cleaned it up, but I don’t want to risk this again, and would rather just get new batteries annually to prevent the mess and inconvenience of losing a remote to corrosion.

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