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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 Dereel Images for 19 March 2019
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Kangaroo apple
Topic: gardening, photography, opinion Link here

We have these plants that grow around the area:

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Diary entry for Tuesday, 19 March 2019 Complete exposure details

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What are they? We know them as Kangaroo Apple. Looking on Wikipedia, that's Solanum aviculare. But the image on that page looks very different:

Then there's this page, describing Solanum laciniatum (“Kangaroo Apple”):

Is that closer? Maybe. That page (from the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and thus hopefully trustworthy) notes that “Kangaroo Apple” can also mean Solanum aviculare, but this one is clearly Solanum laciniatum.

OK, link to the Wikipedia page. There isn't one! Or at least, not in English. There's a German version. Do I really have the energy to translate it?

New mobile phone battery, try 2
Topic: technology Link here

Another battery for Petra Gietz' phone came in today. It works! Needs charging, of course. And that took a remarkably long time; by evening it still wasn't done.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 Dereel Images for 20 March 2019
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More mobile phone fun
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Shortly after midnight, I heard what could be an electronic alarm or phone ring tone. But it wasn't anything that I recognized. Got up and went out to look, but there was nothing to be heard.

When I got up, checked my phone. No obvious message. That doesn't mean anything, of course; I continue to be amazed how difficult it is to find things on Android phones. But then Yvonne rang up from town. Wrong ring tone! Somehow it had reset to some default ring tone, though not the one I had head during the night. How did that happen? I had no difficulty resetting it to the one I want (Carl Maria von Weber's Andante e rondo ongarese), so it wasn't a case of sudden disappearance. What happened there?

Also today the new battery for my old Samsung GT-I9100T phone arrived. Time to look at how the other one was getting on, the one I put on charge yesterday. Still not charged! Dud battery or dud charger? Put it on a different charger and watched it charge more normally, but also refuse to power down: after powering down it immediately restarted. I'll never get used to the bugs features of these things.

So what was wrong with the other charger? Put the new battery (dated 2018-03-01, newer than I expected) into the phone after confirming that it had good charge (displayed as 84%) and charged it on the old charger without difficulty. What's the difference? On examination, discovered that the charger was made by Samsung and was rated at 5 V, 1 A. Isn't that enough?

Losing my sense of smell
Topic: food and drink, health, opinion Link here

A few days ago, after differences of opinion about wine I bought on eBay, I bought a number of Adelaide Hills wines at Dan Murphy's, with prices ranging from $6.60 to $16 a bottle. Comparing them with the wine I bought online, I discovered I could barely tell a difference between the three. Only the most expensive (Nepenthe 2018 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc) tasted a little different: it was too sweet.

And last week Yana brought me some coffee from Adelaide. Finally flushed the coffee machine of the old beans (Lavazza Qualità Oro) and tried it. Yes, there's a distinct difference: Yana's coffee is more heavily roasted. But, as with the wine, I can't tell any difference in aroma. It seems that my sense of smell is giving up on me. I suppose the good thing about it is that I don't need to spend money on expensive coffee or wine.

More Solanum laciniatum
Topic: gardening, photography, opinion Link here

Finally got round to adding a stub Wikipedia entry for Solanum laciniatum. How about some photos to go with it? Off with the dogs to Harrison's Road (which Google Maps still claims is Stones Road) and took some macro photos:

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Is that acceptable? Maybe. It's better than some, which were clearly affected by the wind. But I'd like to do better. And I noticed that a couple of flowers had fallen off, so took one back home with me to take photos under more controlled conditions:

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But despite the aperture (f/16), it's not all sharp. Time for some focus stacking, but with a different flower: I didn't notice until processing the images that this one was missing the stigma, so I'll have to get another one.

New toaster
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Time for a new toaster. You wouldn't think that that's very interesting, but I had a number of mail exchanges with a Mark without surname, who pointed me at a blog entry by Eric Raymond, in tasteful pale grey on white. It seems that both esr and Mark have had issues with toasters in the not-too-distant past.

I hadn't anticipated any issues: go to The Good Guys and buy their cheapest model with the specs (4 slices), pretty much the opposite of what esr had done. But Mark suggested Costco. That's a non-starter: the closest outlet is in Melbourne, 130 odd km away.

OK, how about Target? That made more sense, especially as I bought a surprisingly cheap suit (which, admittedly, looked like it) there a couple of weeks ago. Off to look at their web site. The prices were round 25% cheaper! So Yvonne went there first.

Ultimately she bought a different toaster, still cheaper than the Good Guys' cheapest. It's difficult to compare: it seems that the Good Guys get the makers to make different models that don't compare directly to the ones on the open market, and when the sites don't give any technical details, it's difficult to say. The complete description of ours, the “Sunbeam Toaster - TA6410P” is:

  • 4 Sliced [sic] Toaster
  • Polished Metal
  • Matches the KE6400P Target Kettle

Materials and Composition

  • Polished Metal

The “Materials and Composition” is almost completely wrong. Like all toasters, it's made out of plastic. Only this model has a plate on each side that looks like polished metal, the reason why Yvonne took a shine to it. But what size slits? What power? We're too polite to upset you with things like that. It proved to be 15 cm and 1400 W, rather less than I had hoped for, and less than the old toaster (16.5 cm, 1550 W). But, contrary to esr's and Mark's experience, the thing seems to do what I want. It doesn't happen often that I'm easier to satisfy.

While writing this article, I got a popup from Target's web site asking for feedback. Gladly!

You could include specifications in your descriptions. The descriptions I have seen are superficial, irrelevant, incomplete and wrong. See for publicly visible comments.

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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