Firstly the cracked kilner jar – it has held a full 1l of water all day without a drip. But I suspect it was how it was stored, the weight of other jars stored on top of it that caused the crack to open just enough…

Today was a drive out to Reading to deliver and collect. The main part was to collect silkscreened panels. Most are for a product, but a few are just the company logo. Partly this is for a potential requirement, which we would not want the circa £60 set up charges etc just to have a silkscreen put on, so I had a few blanks with our logo put on for future one-off use.

But I am also planning the idea of marketing the case we now manufacture for others. May as well have our logo on the (blank) front panel in the photo shoot.

Postal strike.

My opinion is that the public – persons and companies – should hold its own strike, i.e. by not using the post for *anything*, the idea being to give Royal Fail and the quote Union unquote the idea that we’re prepared to go on without them… Let them know that I now email invoices for my company, and don’t bother to post a copy; and all payments are now BACS with emailed remittances. Why – due to PO closures and all the strikes.

An unwelcome puddle…

October 28, 2009

..around the bottom of a kilner jar today alerted me to something wrong. I quickly emptied the jar – at least I had another spare one to hand for the contents. But while it had been dripping, it took ages for me to find the crack:


barely visible - a crack along the glass seam.

These Ravenhead kilner jars have two seams running down the edges, and for about 10mm at the bottom of one the seam looks much brighter in certain lights – very hard to photo, but if you look at any cracked glass item and move it around the light, you will know what I mean.

So somehow or other, this jar developed a very small crack, which then dripped the liqueur inside out. Oh well.

At one point I had far more of these jars than lids. In clearing out a cupboard at parents last year, I came across an old ice-cream container, which had half a dozen lids, and a bag of white seals – still flexible, but probably too old to use.

This post has one factor that will not be apparent, but is a first – I downloaded the picture from the phone to the computer, edited it and posted it without having to reboot the computer into another system to do the download from the phone camera.

I know it sounds odd, but in my youth, I just could not watch “Star Trek”; so bad was my phobia, I would retreat to parent’s bedroom, heated by an electric fire, and even have my evening meal there, rather than downstairs and be in the room with the TV.

Parent’s bedroom was above the living room, the chimney rose through it so it was in any case the warmest of the upstairs rooms, hence the easiest to heat up.

I never had the “behind the sofa” moments with Doctor Who. In fact, I cannot think why I could not watch “Star Trek”; for I have watched it, and the successor series since (albeit not from my home, I don’t have a TV set, so what I do see is the very occasional viewings at other people’s homes).

Tom Baker is my favourate Dr Who, to the extent that I wore an overlong GAP scalf for a couple of years before the moth found it last year. In Star Trek, I much prefer the Patrick Stewart captain.

This also reminds me of the puppet series “Thunderbirds”. My father used to take me for a walk in the local woods (late 1960s), on Saturdays, and we would get back in time for the ATV broadcast of “Thunderbirds”.

An age later, it was re-broadcast on the BBC, and I was at parents on the broadcast of the very first programme. What a flashback. And what a moment,. when Lady Penopole told Parker to “wait until we get to the motorway, [the M4], when there will be no-one around”. Oh, how I wish!

The wilds of Oxfordshire

October 21, 2009

Red Kites wheeling around (archive photo of mine)

Red Kites wheeling around (archive photo of mine)

Out to Oxfordshire via Henley today. This meant going past a farm where there have been a lot of Red Kite releases. The above photo gives no idea as to how many Red Kites can be seen around there. This archive photo was taken over the summer at Mother’s, but due to computer issues, had not been published earlier.

I believe that I spotted a high flying Red Kite over SW London earlier this week – the second time I noticed this, and I recognise their flight by observing it at Mother’s. But by the time I found a telescope it had flown away (and far too far for a photograph). It is only about two years ago since The Independant published a letter about the first Red Kite to be seen in London for 150 years.

Slackware 13

October 19, 2009

I have an old computer, and a new computer that has proved troublesome (not faulty). Anyhow, it has been getting more and more difficult to access web sites (including the BBC, and some other people’s WordPress sites) due to flash and other more recent updates.

Although installed for some time, it was only today I got the computer to boot from a LILO disk. I hate the default window manager, but cannot yet find how to change it.

One worry was that the email program, xcmail, I use would no longer work, as I had heard that parts would not compile. Indeed, I could not compile part, (a needed library). So I copied across the old ones, just to see. Well, the mail program at least starts and looks as if it will work. That, and my update of the program mlist both running is good news. The dialer to get onto the internet is a new one I had to download, again due to the existing one not compiling for mysterous reasons, and that does give rise to some conflicts with mlist. But it’s early days, and at least I’m learning this while able to copy across files as and when from the old system. Thus when I set up on the new computer. it should all be a lot quicker…

20 October update

I’ve made a lot of progress on this today, although not everything is running. More was copied across from the old system as it would not compile on the new. I can now access the DOS partition and run those programs; elog, an electronic log book I cannot praise highly enough is running; I can collect and send email; and much more, although I’m still in the process of setting it up.

Apple Orchard

October 18, 2009

View from tree-top height

View from tree-top height

Today I had a chance to pick apples in parent’s Orchard. Two of the trees, Adam’s Pearmain and Mutsu (aka Crispin) are in biannual cropping, and this year it’s Adam’s turn. Ivy has run riot this year, so it was a great surprise once I got the ladder out and climbed, somewhat gingerly, onto father’s shed. The photo shows the size of the crop, and I could only reach a fraction of it. That still filled a “bag for life”. I found one Mutsu apple.

There is another variety, unknown, large crop of very small fruit of apparent little merit.

For the last few years there was the problem of how to store/preserve this crop. Last year’s amost entirely spoilt, the previous year’s was attacked by vermin. So finding an Apple and Orange butter recipe on The Cottage Smallholder was a great help, and will be tried. And I dug out mother’s slow cooker to try, along with the bag of apples to sort, and use up those that clearly will not keep.

Now that recipe called for cooking apples, whereas Adam’s Pearmain is listed, curiously enough, as a cider apple. I wonder if the unknown variety is a cider apple, due to quantity and smallness of fruit; who knows. i remember eating the Adam’s even when it became shrivled (an apple jack, I believe).

A few Adam’s are enormous, the sort of thing to put into a show, if there were one with such a class (and, of course, the difficulty of finding half a dozen of the same size etc). I know that it is late to be picking the crop – almost after the first frost (not entirely sure if there was one there last night, but certainly very cold today).