aahh! they’re messing with my head!

For as long as I can remember (and likely before it), Weetabix has been my breakfast. The familiar yellow box has always been a priority item in the shop:

old weetabix box

But now it’s gone blue!

new weetabix box

How am I supposed to find it now? No other breakfast box had the familiar (and yes, comforting) colour. There is yellow on the box, but it’s different – lighter, less substantial.

If you need me, I’ll be the one in the corner, rocking and emitting small mewling noises.

pear shaped plan

I fear my plan to have the T21 as a home server has gone wrong. Looks like the mini-PCI network card has blown, leaving it invisible to the network. Since the screen backlight is dead, I can read no diagnostics … ;-(

Update: Aha! The backlight gods must’ve heard me, for the T21 actually graced me with a visible screen for a few hours. It was down to:

  • A bad line in my fstab which was trying to mount an unattached USB drive. This drops OpenBSD into single-user mode.
  • no dhclient configuration, so the machine would not automatically appear on the network. Since I swapped out the purportedly faulty mini-PCI network card for a spare (what?! you mean you don’t have spare mini-PCI network cards about the house? Tsk.) I had to tell the system that this was the new card to get a DHCP address.

So all works now, and I’m happy. Now to attack the LaserJet 4 duplexer, and swap it onto my refurbed printer …

deadfish

We lost one of the platies last night. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it; its eyes and scales were still bright, but it was definitely dead. The water’s clean, and has very low nitrite and ammonia levels.

Poor wee fish.

the end of poverty in your coffee cup?

I’m not sure what to make of EWB‘s current campaign, which features a future newspaper headline G8 Leaders Declare End of Extreme Poverty. It links to playyourpart.ca, which seems to say that we can end world poverty just by buying fair-trade goods?

I know there’s a lot wrong with the coffee industry (Free Trade Coffee: You Grind The Beans, We Grind The Peasants! Enjoy the smooth trickle-down flavour, etc) but it’s a simplistic argument. What can the extremely poor sell to us?

I don’t know what to think.

completely tanked

I spent most of yesterday setting up the aquarium. It’s an 120l one, so it’s a lot bigger and heavier than anything I’ve worked with before. It’s been running since then, getting the water ready, and I put in a couple of plants today. Real plants, that is; not the plastic ones that came with the tank.

The tank’s already got a couple of denizens; some tiny snails that were lurking on the plants. I don’t think they’re anything to freak out about yet. If they’re still alive in the morning, at least I know the water’s not completely toxic.

The biggest problem has been making sure the heater’s working. Today it’s been hotter in the house than the tank, so I don’t know if the set-point’s wrong.

best beat neat nest

Beware, nerdiness follows: I generally like my BlackBerry 7130e, but its multiple letters per key can sometimes give the wrong result. Using word frequency lists from the British National Corpus, sqlite, and way too much programming time, I determined that the key sequence with the most possible word results (81?2) produces best, beat, neat or nest. The device itself suggests also brat and bray, so I should try a longer word list — in my copious free time, of course.
The longest (common words in the corpus) that have the same key sequence are employers and employees, which might briefly cause hilarity in an HR or legal context.

no standard offer goodness for WindShare

Tallking to the OPA today, it seems that WindShare doesn’t qualify for SOC because it’s behind ExPlace’s meter. Aargh!

Update: I got a call from the OPA; they were wrong. Grandfathered embedded generation such as the WindShare turbine will be eligible after all.

a wee corner of Scotland at Ellesmere & McCowan

Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …

all around the lakes

Had an impromptu visit to Port Burwell today to fix a cranky cell modem. It was also my first experience of driving a stick shift — and not just any stick shift, one with 400Kclicks on it — on the wrong side of the road. It was weird, but since I neither wrecked the car nor hit anything, I think I got the hang of it.

Anyway, no trip to Burwell is complete without a visit to the Lighthouse Restaurant for fresh fried lake perch. While I was there, I got chatting to a couple from Chicago who were working on their plan to cycle round a Great lake each summer. By doing this, they were hoping to appreciate the scale of these huge bodies of water. Neat plan.

One day, when I’m a Celebrity Windfarm Designer with my own television show, I’ll take a summer off to go round Lake Erie.