Escape tech problems

My wife had some technical issues with her work-from-home this morning. Her work laptop simply wouldn’t boot up, and hung even when restarted in all of the various safe modes. So she ended up spending most of the morning on remoter tech support over the phone, trying various things to get to a point where should even begin working. This is very frustrating, both for her and also for me since I’m in the same house hearing it all going on.

Around 10am I went for a long walk to clear my head (alas my wife didn’t have that option). I took Scully with me. She’s feeling much better now after her illness last week.

Scully near Greenwich Baths

Here she is hanging out near Greenwich Baths, which is a good solid 3 and a bit km walk (about 2 miles) from home. That’s a really long walk for her and she was dog tired when we got home. 馃槃

This afternoon I made cr猫me br没l茅e to use up some leftover cream I had in the fridge.

Cr猫me br没l茅e

It’s actually not difficult to make. The custard turned out pretty well. The recipe says to refrigerate overnight before adding the sugar and flaming it to melt it, but I was impatient and decided to blowtorch some brown sugar on top tonight.

Cr猫me br没l茅e torching

Unfortunately the sugar was a bit lumpy… and caught on fire. After extinguishing the sugar and letting it solidify, it actually turned out fine. The whole thing was delicious, although the sugar didn’t make a nice even crust on top. I think tomorrow I’ll try white sugar, and make sure the layer is even before torching it.

New content today:

More Pirates!

Firstly, Scully is feeling much better today. Her appetite is definitely back, thanks to the barbecue chicken the vet suggested we try giving to her. She seems to like it a lot better than the plain boiled chicken we’d been trying. She’s also active and behaving like normal too. So hopefully she’s well on the road to recovery.

We went for a bit of a walk this morning, a big loop that we commonly do, up and down some hills, through a big park, and then back along the waterfront. Here’s Scully at the marina.

Scully at the marina

She has several interesting bandanas. I think she has a bigger wardrobe than I do!

This afternoon my wife and I played Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! again. This time she’d got the hang of it and the game was much closer. We both ended up on 37 points, and I had to check the rulebook for the tie-breaker condition. And using that… she won!

The other main thing I did today was cooking. I made another loaf of bread using the “sourdough light rye” bread mix packet, and it turned out great again. Scully’s vet had also suggested we try white fish if the barbecue chicken didn’t work, so I’d bought a fillet of barramundi yesterday. Given she liked the chicken, I now had a piece of fish to spare. I don’t normally cook with meat or fish since my wife is vegetarian, but now I had to think of something. I decided to make myself a Thai green curry with fish pieces, broccoli, and green peas, with some jasmine rice. And oh my goodness it turned out delicious. (I also made my wife a vegetable omelette for her dinner.)

New content today:

Scully’s Diary, Day 6 of Operation Nom Nom Nom

its working!! iTs just like the other Puppers said in their wee-mails… i sniffed up this idea last week and decidded to try it out. On mOnday i just didnt eat anything, and also vomited for good measure. 馃ぎ On Tusday I did it again. 馃ぎ馃ぎ Teh vomit was all likwid that time, aWesome!

On Wensday my hoomans took me to the Bad Place, and the peeple there stuck needles in me and poked me in the tummy. but i held firm. i was sooooo hungry when i got home, and they gave me boiled chikkin insted ov kibble – wich they nevah normally do!! – so i gave in and ated some. bUtt i remembered teh plan & vomited it all up agan an our later! 馃ぎ So proud of myself

i ated a tiny bit on Thusday and Friday… just enough to stave off starvation, but not enuff to please my humans. If i culd just hold out a bit longer, i knew theyd crack. i also hadn’t done a poop since Munday night, and on Thusday i did a big watery one! 馃挬 Haha!

i was begining to weeken and wunder if this was all worth it, and I should just eat the chicken. But i staid strong and rilly turnd it on this mornig (Satarday). i got the humans up at 5 oclok and made lyke i wanted to go outside for a poop, and then didnt do anything but snif the grass for haff an our!! HAAHAA! ANd then ten minits after i got inside i did it agaiN! and then again!! 6 tymes!

and then they tryed to feed me boyled chikin and i just turned my nose up at it. They took me to the Bad Place again… and the Evil nEedle Lady poked me again and gave me a tablet, YUk!

But then my hyoomans picked me up and talked all srsly to the nEedle Lady and then took me home… and then they gave me BARBECURE CHICKIN 馃崡馃崡

SCORE 馃帀馃帄馃崡馃構

i ate it ALL. SO GOOD. htey were just so hapy to see me eeting anything!! HAHAA! and then tonite tey gave me moAR BABECUE CHIKKIN. tis is so Awedsome. i might not even throw up tonigte!! tummy so full…

Scully 馃惥

ps.. Hooman #2 wantd me to put this heer:

New content today:


I don’t believe I got any sleep at all last night. Scully was restless and I was concerned for her health after yesterday’s visit to the vet. She kept moving around during the night, which she doesn’t normally do, and eventually got up around 3:30 and wanted to go outside for a toilet.

The good news was I got to see the spectacular conjunction of Jupiter, Mars, the crescent moon, and Saturn, high in the sky. The bad news is that I was tired and mentally worn out all day. I’d planned to write some Darths & Droids strips for discussion with the writing group, but by evening I’d only managed to write one line of dialogue.

But the other good news is that Scully has started eating today and has not vomited at all, and is this evening looking much perkier, after spending much of the day resting quietly.

New content today:

Lightning and vet

Today was busy and exhausting. Workwise, I found a cool new Proof that the Earth is a Globe, that I didn’t even have on my list already, thanks to a reader. It was so cool, I wrote it up today!

In other news, I was preoccupied with Scully, who hasn’t been able to keep any food down since Monday night. She’s been sleepy, and refusing almost all food, and vomiting a few times. My wife took her to the vet today, and they did a blood test and x-ray, which both turned up all clear, so they suspect probably a stomach bug of some sort, which should hopefully resolve in a day or two. She’s got some anti-nausea medication to help keep her food down, and she’s eaten dinner with some gusto, so hopefully she’s okay.

Also, I baked some scones today, since my wife expressed a desire for some, and I thought it was a good idea to spoil her today.

New content today:

Easier day, bad start

My day began at 4:30 this morning, when Scully threw up on the bed. Having to get up and turn the lights on to clean up shocked me out of my deep sleep, and I couldn’t really get back to sleep afterwards, so was groggy for most of the morning.

I took Scully out for a play in the park in the morning, and then she went with the doggie daycare for a group walk with some other dogs. And then this afternoon I took her to another park to meet her regular doggie friends and chase a ball a bit more. She should be super tired tonight!

Work-wise, I started work on writing annotations for the latest batch of Irregular Webcomic! I’ve bene doing a lot of other chores today, so didn’t get very far with them.

I did take this video of Scully in the park though, reacting to our emergency recall command word.

I’ll just leave you with that for today. 馃榾

New content today:

Scully games

It’s been a bit of a write-off of a week, with my wife working from home and Scully being home too, which means a lot of distractions throughout the day.

Scully has this game that she and I play every evening before we retire for the night. She’s a small poodle, and although we initially vowed she wouldn’t sleep on the bed with us, nowadays she does. She’s good, staying at the foot of the bed, and honestly it’s better than our previous arrangement where she slept in a crate next to the bed, and would scratch to get out at first light, waking us up before we were ready. Now she sleeps as long as we do.

Anyway, normal procedure is that Scully gets tired in the evening, and around 9pm or so she actually gets up and wanders into the bedroom and sits to wait to be lifted into the bed. (We don’t let her jump on or off anything – she’s trained to sit to ask permission to be lifted up.) So we pop her on the bed and she snoozes for a bit until we’re ready to go to bed.

Now, on the bed we have a plush toy puppy that she likes – it’s been one of her favourite toys since she was a puppy herself. But when she falls asleep, it’s usually a little bit away from the puppy. When I come in, before going to bed myself, I take her downstairs to the grass for a final toilet. Scully can hear me getting her lead and my keys ready, and when I go into the bedroom and move to put the lead on her, she will often make a sudden lunge for her puppy and clamp it in her jaws, so that when I lift her up to take her out, she has the puppy firmly gripped in her mouth.

Every evening I try to circumvent this by stealth, surprise, or quick action, and she tries to get past me and get the puppy. She wins most of the time, but sometimes I manage to get her up into my arms before she can reach the puppy. And every evening my wife watches this battle of wits and laughs every time Scully beats me.

Anyway, today I did a large grocery shop – the first shopping I’ve done in 8 days. I bought a lot of food… honestly I think the amount of food I bought could probably last me and my wife for well over a week. I guess we’ll see.

Later this afternoon I took a walk for some exercise. Passing through a nearby park, I saw that the children’s play equipment had all been taped off.

Playground closed due to COVID-19

A sign said that the playground equipment was closed until further notice due to COVD-19.

Playground closed due to COVID-19

Times they are a-changin’.

New content today:

Proof writing

I spent most of today writing the next entry for 100 Proofs That The Earth is a Globe. I’ve almost finished it, but I won’t be able to post it tonight, so it’ll go up tomorrow.

The other big news is that today is Scully’s second birthday!

Scully's 2nd birthday

She got a cool new toy from Luna (the poodle next door) – a combo plush/rubber duck, and she had fun all day chewing it into little pieces…

I also did a big grocery shop today. We’re converting from 3 or 4 shops a week to try and stick to just one, as part of social distancing to avoid spreading/catching coronavirus. The supermarket was not busy, but they were still out of toilet paper and flour. I would like to get some breadmaking flour, to try some bread baking at home, but oh well. Maybe next time. We have plenty of everything else we need.

New content today:

Up for the sunrise

Scully woke us up early again, this time at 04:00. Normally she just sleeps through the night until we get up, but not the past few nights. She didn’t sneeze, but was a bit congested. I took her outside for a toilet, which took ages, and got in a bit after 04:30. Scully and my wife went back to sleep, but now I was wide awake again.

I decided to make the most of it and do another sunrise photography session.

Poodle rock

This time I went to North Curl Curl, where there is an ocean pool on a rock shelf, just east of the surf life saving club.

North Curl Curl pool, dawn

I got there well before sunrise, and there was a thin crescent moon in the sky, above where the sun would appear. And yes, as the above photo shows, there is a large rock in the middle of the swimming pool.

Division of water

The pool is separated from the ocean by a concrete wall. The tide was approaching high for the day, and at this time occasional waves crash over the wall and into the pool. The above photo is a long exposure, and the dark patch in the pool on the left is a swimmer.

Heron breakfast time

A white-faced heron flew onto the rock shelf next to the pool, and as I watched it fished a small crab out of the water to eat. I wasn’t quick enough to a get a photo of it eating the crab.

Three worlds

A few minutes later the sun appeared on the horizon and climbed up into the sky. It goes from dark to light really quickly in Sydney.

Dawn laps

Just a few minutes later I had the camera off the tripod and was taking hand-held shots of swimmers in the pool.

Morning swim class

And not long after that about 50 kids arrived for some sort of swimming class. They all did a few laps of the pool and then ran off again.

With the sunrise done, I headed home to process the photos. This was interrupted only by taking Scully to the vet to have her congestion looked at. We have some medication to give her to get her feeling 100% again. Hopefully tonight she’ll sleep through… and I can get a decent night’s sleep.

New content today:

Rain and more rain

It rained a lot today. I sent much of the day drawing comics at home, heading out at lunch to get some fish & chips. Although it’s only a 10 minute walk and I carried an umbrella, I was pretty wet by the time I got home.

The comic I was drawing is now complete, and I’ll be publishing it tomorrow – but for now it’s a surprise.

This afternoon I took Scully to the dog park, despite the rain. This time I wore a raincoat with hood, rather than use an umbrella. Scully had her doggy raincoat on. She doesn’t like the rain. She ran after the tennis ball a few times, but then decided she was wet enough and simply turned and walked back to the car. I had to coax her over to the park with some treats, but she really wasn’t into it.

Only a couple of the regulars at the dog park showed up in the rain, and they took a short walk before heading off, since the rain was moderately heavy. It was then that I realised that even though I was fairly dry under my raincoat, the coat itself was dripping wet… and I’d have to climb into the car to drive home. I decided to take it off and toss it into the boot before dashing into the car myself without the wet coat on. By which time Scully (in the passenger seat) had shaken the water off her and coated the interior of the car in spray…

New content today: