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Friday, 21 April 2017 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 21 April 2017
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Uneven cooking
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

One of the things I considered in my list of requirements from cookers was even heating. And today I had the perfect example of how things could go wrong:


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The tomato at bottom left is almost charred, while the one at top left is barely cooked. This was done on my induction cooker with a cheap, thin frying pan, which thus conducts heat to the food faster than across the base. It's almost impossible to know how the tomatoes are cooking until you turn them over.

Does this mean that the thin pans are no good? No, not necessarily. The thinness also means that they heat up much more quickly. From cold, they're too hot too touch literally in a matter of seconds. And the unevenness doesn't make any difference for boiling (think cooking pasta), and it's acceptable for frying when there's a fair amount of food in the pan. But in this case I'm going to have to stick to thicker pans, and hopefully find a more evenly heating cooker.


Eureka Village again
Topic: general, animals, opinion Link here

Off with Nikolai, Sasha and Yvonne to the Eureka Village Hostel and the Geoffrey Cutter Centre again. Once again Bill was asleep, so I did the rounds by myself. Bob Carr is looking better, and seems to be more aware of his surroundings; he even asked Niko to sit, which he did after some encouragement.

Once again I was done far faster than Yvonne, and over to complete her visit with her.

This marks a year since we started the visits. The dogs are really not enjoying it overly. From the beginning we wondered whether Borzois had the right temperament to do this kind of work, and gradually we're coming to the conclusion that they don't. We should plan some kind of exit.


Fake URLs
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Today I became aware of a new way to fake URLs: use Unicode. For example, https://www.xn--80ak6aa92e.com leads to a site whose URL displays as https://www.аррӏе.com/. It takes a lot of looking to realize that the а is Cyrillic а (0x430), not Latin a (0x61). The worrying thing is that it's really difficult to protect yourself against this stuff. The description at the link describes some of the issues.


Saturday, 22 April 2017 Dereel → Enfield → Dereel Images for 22 April 2017
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Enfield wetlands
Topic: photography Link here

The Dereel Camera Crew had planned a trip to the Enfield Wetlands today to take photos. I've been through Enfield hundreds of times, but I wasn't aware of any wetlands, and neither is Google. All I knew was that I should bring both telephoto and macro lenses, suggesting birds and insects or flowers.

Down to the Dereel Hall at 14:00 to find it closed, and nobody at all outside. Talked to some blokes at the Men's Shed, and then a car arrived: Lorraine Carranza, trying to get rid of some of her copious harvest of chestnuts.

Off to Enfield on the off chance that I might find somebody or something to photograph. Neither worked. The State Park is full of Epacris impressa at this time of year:

 
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But that's all. Drove down numerous unmade roads and found nothing that we don't have just round the corner from our house. Back to find that they had implicitly cancelled the meeting. Somehow people seem to be losing interest.


E-M1 Mark II incompatibility
Topic: photography Link here

The failure of my helicopter photos on Tuesday had me wondering, and I set off doing some comparisons. How about that: the combination of Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 and EC-20 2× teleconverter does not focus at all with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II! I tried it with other cameras (E-M1 and E-PM1), where it focussed with its usual glacial speed, but with the E-M1 Mark II it didn't even try. It's only this combination: the Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm f/2.0 works fine, though it's not clear what use a 70-200 mm f/4 weighing nearly 2 kg might be.

Yet another reason to replace it. And the clear replacement is a lens that they call the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S., in other words a Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3. Strangely, the cheapest price I could find anywhere in the world was in Sydney with eGlobaL. They're asking $1,628, compared to a list price of $2,200. And in the USA the list price is $1,800, or a little over $2,380 at current exchange rates. Once Australia was expensive, but now it seems to be one of the cheapest places to buy equipment.

About the only issue is that I had to find an address where they would send it without ridiculous surcharges, effectively meaning Ballarat. So once again Chris Bahlo (who conveniently came for dinner) gets involved, now that she's working at the prestigious Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation.


Insect invasion
Topic: animals Link here

In the last few months we've seen a surprising number of millipedes, more than for years. They're an exotic species, and they have no natural enemies in Australia. Even the cats may play with them, but they're clearly not edible.

We were talking about them in the evening—Chris Bahlo hates the crunchy noise they make when you tread on them—but when she left, they were waiting for her:

 
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They weren't alone. There was also a solitary ant about 15 mm long and a moth with amazing antennae:

 
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This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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