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A lovely day

I cursed as the alarm went off. I disabled that, as I meant to do. I got up and fed Anna, made a tea, then went back to bed. I didn't sleep, I ended up reading random crap on TVTropes until half ten. Then I got up to go shopping.

I stopped by Lidl for spare chains for the chainsaw. The chains I need are for a sixteen inch cutting arm. Inches?
Okay, it's marked in metric as well, but somehow forty point sixty four doesn't quite have the same snappiness. So, alright, it's sixteen inches. Helpfully it mentioned it was suitable for the "PKS 2200 A1", which is my exact chainsaw.

Stuff from Lidl
Stuff from Lidl.

I also picked up an anti-bird mesh as I feel that I might want that later on for the raspberries. And the impulse purchase, a solar powered coloured globe thingy.

Night light
Night light.

It's quite top heavy. I wonder if it'll survive the summer? Or the next storm? If you look closely, you can see transparent glue on all the glass bits, so there's some sort of inner mould. I hope it's plastic! Glass bits were stuck onto this in a mosaic, and it was then grouted.
You know, if I had any artistic talent, I'd pull them all off and put them back in the pattern of the continents.

I also stopped at the DIY place (used to be a Mr. Bricolage, but I think this is it's third rebrand since I've been here so I don't bother to remember the name of the place) to get a three-phase plug. It cost €18. I think the reason for this is because there only appears to be one manufacturer of these things, so there's no competition. If I wanted a pure three-phase only plug (no neutral in the middle), there were several on offer and they cost about €7. But add the extra pin and suddenly pricey.
It's slightly more expensive than the one (probably the exact same thing) suggested by Zerosquare the other day, but once you factor in postage and the delay...

At the supermarket, I picked up a nice big piece of stewing beef. But the potatoes were rather awful, looking far too close to shades of green for my liking. So I put the dead cow back and got myself a pack of frozen burgers.
That quickly went back, as I spotted chicken burgers. Oh, yes, that sounds like a worthwhile diversion. I mean, it isn't as if I don't mostly eat chicken anyway. ☺

Chicken burger bits
Roll your own chicken burger.

I also got some cheap crap own-brand chips. The weird thing is that the supermarket's own brand chips turn out better results and less icky bits than the branded chips costing over twice as much. I should mention I'm a really fussy eater, though I have already touched on texture being as important as taste for the things I eat.

Because I got some frozen things, I got some of it back as a credit note on a promotion only for today. So effectively my chicken burgers were free. Cool.

But not only that, they were doing a special thing because they've been around for... thirty? forty? years. A long time. So they're celebrating. I waved my little coupon in front of the terminal and got a text message to say I'd win a little present.
At the information desk, the woman offered me a choice of a pack of ground coffee, a slab of chocolate, or a pack of organic chocolate topped biscuits. No brainer, really.

Chocolate, and a little extra
Chocolate, and a little extra (it says 200g on the packet).

 

Doing the electrics

When I got home, I had a picnic before sorting out the electrics in the kitchen. I had my coat on while I was outside as it was sunny but kind of chilly.

Oh, look, chicken!
Oh, look, chicken and... uh... chicken!

So I then went in, and opened the front and back doors to get some airflow through the house as I did the necessaries.

The first task was to wire up an old short extension flex and wang the kettle into a socket to make sure it doesn't do something dumb like trip out the power. Nope, it boiled water so I had a cuppa.

I needed a hole in the cabinet to push the cables through, so I tried to unclip the gas tube and the twiddly bit fell off in my hands, rusted through. So I just reached in with a pair of pliers and hacked the tube apart.

Then I chopped off the moulded plugs on my new extension leads, which was a shame as they were nice plugs with little flip-up things to help you pull them out. New sockets can be very grippy and getting these type E plugs out can involve some degree of wrestling. On the other hand, the things practically fall out of the wall when moving around with a vacuum cleaner. I think they do it on purpose.

The cables were fed through the hole formerly for the gas pipe, and pulled through until I had enough I could wire up the big-arse plug without bending over.

The big plug
The viscera of the big plug.

Essentially one is wired up to phase 1, the other to phase 2, with shared earth and neutral.

For some odd reason, the extension leads are slightly different lengths. So I fitted one to the side of the under-sink cupboard by whacking two self-taps into the melamine and then sliding the socket block into place. It can be easily removed so things don't go wrong when I want to clean the draining board just above.
This has the kettle plugged in, as it's a convenient place. Of course I needed to test it works well, so... another cuppa.

One power block
Oh power block.

The other power block is tucked between the toaster and the microwave. The microwave is currently plugged in, but it's off because both of these blocks have big on/off switches. This wasn't really a factor in the purchase, the model with the switches was cheaper than the model without. <shrug> But it's fortuitous and useful to have the option.

The other power block
The other power block.

So now I have access to six sockets, which can happily cope with a 2kW load concurrently, which is great. It was a limitation in the past, like I couldn't do the oven and the kettle, for example.

Here's the big plug in place.

Plugged in
Plugged in.

It was expensive for a flamin' plug, but it's done now. No more farting around with that extension lead. I'll have to remove this some time soon.

 

Easy listening

By this time, it was getting really rather warm. Only 14.8°C as air temperature, but in the sun it was hot enough that I went and got a parasol.

And, of course, decided to listen to something different to my habitual symphonic metal/rock. I've actually just recently discovered the channel "Rock Antenne Symphonic Rock" (Google it) which I've added to my radio. It's not quite as dark as the stuff I normally listen to, but Antenne has me covered there as well with a Rock Antenne Gothic Rock channel. ☺
Every so often, a quick blast of German for the station ident, but otherwise no adverts.

Anyway, just for a change I decided to break out my old record collection.

Turn around, look at what you see-ee-ee-eee...
Turn around, look at what you see-ee-ee-eee...

Inside the record sleeve it says "Simon" (and then his surname that I won't write). He... lost a bet. And this record became mine. I don't remember what the bet was, it's been an eternity. But, hey, still have this record. So, of course I had to break it out when Stranger Things did. ☺

Actually, a reference to this song in in my SIBA stories and it was written long before Stranger Things did it. that being said, it's damn near one of the iconic songs of the decade. Anybody that isn't aware of the story of Bastian and the Swamp of Sadness is... either culturally comatose or too young to know any better.

 

Is Anna broken?

Ever since, I've fed her Felix. But recently she's decided those pouches just don't do it for her. The one she has chosen? Canaillou, the cheap-crap-own-brand stuff from the Intermarché (not my habitual supermarket).

Is she broken, or have they changed the Felix recipe so at least one out of n cats doesn't prefer it?

Cat foods
Cat foods.

 

Class of '07

If you have Prime Video, please allow me to point you in the direction of a weird little Australian series called Class of '07. Starring Emily Browning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Uninvited, Sucker Punch) and Megan Smart. There's some sort of weird anomaly with water gushing out of the ground, so Emily's character seeks shelter at the highest place, her old school. Which turns out to be holding a class reunion. Shortly after, the various women discover that the water is lapping at... wait, hang on? Aren't they like at the top of a mountain? Freak out! And, then, it all goes to hell.
It's all quite enjoyable. So time to make some chips and watch episode 4 (of eight). The episodes are 33 minutes long, so it's perfectly possible to marathon it in one long evening. Which I probably would have done today, except the weather was so nice. But, bit by bit works too.

 

One more thing

While I'm boiling water to wash the dish for the chips, and pre-heating the air fryer at the same time ☺, let me drop in one final photo.

The globe light at night
The globe light at night.

 

 

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J.G.Harston, 28th March 2023, 16:25
It's point six four, not point sixtyfour. 
Sixtyfour is ****************************************************************  
point six four is just under two thirds of * 
J.G.Harston, 28th March 2023, 16:31
With a three phase supply you really need to use all three phases to keep them balanced. Do you have a third set of things you could usefully supply? 
 
There are ways to measure the incoming current to work out which are least loaded and use them. If the rest of the house is single phase and from the same phase, then the usual thing would be to use the two other phases from your three-phase socket. 
Rick, 28th March 2023, 17:23
Most of the house is wired up single phase, pretty much entirely at random. 
 
My usual consumption is so low, I'm not going to worry about it. 
After all, in the UK it's normal to wire successive houses up to different phases, and that's an entire house which may well be quite different to the next one along... 
 
I dropped in the sixty four to see if anyone was paying attention to the bleu blah. Well done! ;) 
Anon, 28th March 2023, 23:16
Is that a Crossley turntable? *vomit* 
 
Try one of these: 
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rega_Planar_3 
 
(Link please!) 
 
A word of warning. Crossley turntables etc tend to have a tracking force that is, how do we put this, somewhat on the high side. As in over 10 grams. 
 
The Planar 3 tracks with 1g of downforce, if that. As a result, your precious vinyl will last for years. Rather than a dozen or so plays using 12g of downforce! 
 
I do approve of the choice of music though.
Anon, 28th March 2023, 23:30
As for the Neverending Story... about time for a remake. And stick to the source material this time (ie the bloody book!) 
 
First mistake: Yes, Artax drowned in the Swamps of Sadness. Atreyu didn't. He couldn't die while he was wearing the Auryn amulet, remember? 
 
Second mistake: Falkor didn't rescue Atreyu. There was an entire section missing from the book. Atreyu makes it out of the Swamps of Sadness after being told by Morla the Aged One (the giant turtle) to 'seek out Ygramml The Many'. When he finds her / them... well, I won't spoil it, but it does explain how Falkor and Atreyu make it to the Southern Oracle, something which was supposed to take 'more than a lifetime'. 
 
Third mistake: The dwarves at the Southern Oracle talk about the 'three magic gates'. But in the film we only see two - the sphinx gate and the Magic Mirror gate. Atreyu walks through the Magic Mirror gate (with a steaming heap of exposition left out from the book) and the film just cuts away. In the book, he went on to have to go through the No-Key Gate. The entire scene is missing from the film. 
 
Fourth mistake: Bastian gives the Childlike Empress her new name, and is transported to Fantastica (as it was named in the book). This is the halfway point of the book, and is a massive turning point in the story. The film just sort of... ends, right here. 
 
Definitely time for a remake, more faithful to the source, and with the advantage of modern SFX.
Rick, 28th March 2023, 23:57
Not a Crossley, but same basic idea (probably same stuff inside). 
 
You forgot to mention that the sexy looking glass turntable *starts* at €840. That's an order of magnitude more than mine. And while I'll happily admit mine is crap, I don't listen to vinyl often enough (or have enough records) to justify something a fraction of that price... 
 
The turntable is about 7g of force. Which is just on the upper side of what vinyl was actually designed to be able to cope with (1g of force was practically unheard of in the late 70s). By the way, with so little force, how does it not skip in bass heavy sections? 
Rick, 29th March 2023, 00:08
Remake of The Neverending Story? Over my dead body! 
 
Two things to keep in mind. 
 
First, we live in a world where busybodies are happily massacring books in order to appease delicate snowflake sensibilities. Soon we're going to have Little Red Riding Hood where the wolf is just a misunderstood transpecies creature that doesn't actually eat anybody (thus missing the entire point of the story). 
 
Second? The live action remake of Ghost In The Shell, which I believe I described as somebody attempting to film all of the cool scenes from the animé with no actual understanding of the story. 
 
The film is known to have only adapted the first half of the book. There may have meant to be a sequel, but perhaps Wolfgang Petersen's vision scared them off (he doesn't do "small" does he?). 
 
So, it would be nice to see a better made version, that absolutely must use the version of the theme song by The Birthday Massacre (one of the few covers that is better than the original), but I have serious doubts as to whether it'll be true to the book, or bowdlerised to suit a contemporary narrative. 
Anon, 29th March 2023, 01:00
So I just dug out the manual, actually the recommended tracking force is 1.8g with the supplied Elys cartridge. Mine has an Ortofon which tracks at 2g. 
 
I have a Planar 3. I didn't pay 840-anything for it (euros or whatever) though. Bought it off a guy for £100 on the understanding that it needed a new drive belt (£12 for the 'elastomeric' one that isolates all motor vibration from the platter) and a new cartridge (£55 for an Ortofon 510 - actually quite an upgrade from the standard Rega Elys cartridge). 
 
It sounds fantastic. Objectively nearly up to CD quality. Have tried a few A-B comparisons where I have an album on vinyl and on CD, eg Chris Rea's "On The Beach". The title track sounds pretty much the same in terms of tonal balance whether played from CD, high-bitrate MP3 or vinyl. The CD (and MP3) have the edge on detail and of course the complete lack of hiss and surface noise. 
 
Also with the Chris De Burgh track "Sailing Away" - the digital version sounds perfect, the vinyl is pretty close but with a few pops and clicks. 
 
With the ABBA album "The Visitors" things are a bit different. The CD wipes the floor with the vinyl. The album was a fully digital recording and has a massive dynamic range, almost no mastering compression and a lot of high frequency content. Vinyl just can't handle those kind of transients, or that level of high frequency content, and as a result it distorts quite badly. The CD, on the other hand, sounds amazing. 
 
For reference I'm listening through an Arcam AV receiver and a set of Monitor Audio Silver 6 speakers (look them up!). Digital sources are played on either a Denon blu-ray player (in CD mode) or a Squeezebox Touch (via SPDIF). Vinyl goes via a Pro-Ject Phono Box II into an analogue input on the receiver. Analogue interconnects are Chord Cobra III, speakers are wired using Chord Rumour 4 (bi-wired). The whole system is powered from its own dedicated spur from the fuseboard, with a surge and RFI filtered mains outlet. 
 
Going back to the Neverending Story - well, I was thinking more of the re-make of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which (apart from that STUPID sub-plot with Christopher Lee as the dentist Wilbur Wonka Snr) was pretty true to the book. (Except they spliced the ending from Great Glass Elevator onto the very end of the film, ruling out an adaption of the sequel book - shame, I would love to have seen Vermicious Knids taking over Space Hotel USA.) 
 
Anyway, I digress. The remake wouldn't replace the original, it could exist alongside. See the original and remake of 'Carrie' for example. (Yeah yeah, ok, so you see nipple tissue in the original, you don't in the remake, but still.) As long as the wokerati don't get involved and ruin it. 
 
I'm actually pondering on what a Tim Burton-directed remake of Neverending Story would be like. Or maybe James Cameron? 
 
There was actually a sequel, called (originally enough) The Neverending Story II - The Next Chapter. It loosely (and I mean very loosely) followed the narrative of the second half of the book. The part where every time our hero makes a wish, he loses a memory. Only instead of being part of the deep magic (yeah, Narnia-esque term I know) it was a device constructed by the evil witch Xayide that would steal a memory every time he used Auryn to make a wish. 
 
But again, so much was missing from the book. 
 
My vote goes to a remake, in two parts, which is faithful to the book. It'll be dark, sure, but the book was pretty dark too. 
 
As for music? I'd be wanting a full orchestral score, something done by John Williams. (As an aside, what about Speilberg directing the film?) 
 
One can dream, I suppose.

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