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A day off work

We're doing a "pont", that is to say a "bridge". Since the public holiday was on the Thursday, and the weekend is tomorrow, we're taking the Friday off as well for a long weekend.

Again I got up at half five, fed the furball, made tea, went back to bed... I dunno what it is about half five. Is that when the visitation is over? And I wake just a little too late to see them in my room? Well, guys, you can find far more interesting specimens than me.

The guy from Orange called just after 11am. I told him everything seemed good, but could he please unlock my line. Which he did. One Livebox reboot later and I'm syncing at 3.6Mbit down and 0.8Mbit up. That's about normal. Actually my noise margin is 7.8dB so I could probably get a little more, but whatever, those are the right sorts of figures.
More importantly, it is stable. Rather than how it was last weekend which closer resembled thirteen years of Tory rule (thus, anything but stable).

I mowed the grounds. Yeah, again. Wasn't it the day of the coronation that I did it last? So, just two weeks ago?
I noticed the front strut looks in pretty poor shape now. I wonder how many mows are left in Marte. And should I try to repair it, given I'm not actually entirely sure what sort of mower it is (makes it harder to get the right parts) or should I be looking for a replacement?

 

Pressure cooker rice

I noticed that the pressure cooker suggested that on high steam, one should expect things to cook in about half the time. And on low steam, two thirds of the time.

Then I noticed that the white rice cycle claimed 6 minutes for Less, 8 minutes for Normal, and 15 minutes for More.
No. No way.

My little rice cooker takes ages when cooking koshihikari (Japanese gloopy rice). It takes a fair while to heat up. It then cooks for around 40-50 minutes, and then a timer starts counting down the final 15 minutes.

So I measured out a dosing cup of rice (about 120g) and rinsed it in a bottle of cheap crappy water. I tossed this into the pan and then added two cups (about 320ml) of better water (Volvic).

The lid was closed, the steam valve was put in place. I chose the rice More setting, and felt "inspired" to knock it back to 12 minutes (rather than 15). I mean, this was just going to be a mess so what the heck.

There was a gentle rumbling noise after four minutes.
After six minutes, it was boiling. The pressure notification thing popped up after seven minutes, and about thirty seconds later the cooker registered that it had good pressure and started the cooking timer.

After about a minute, there was a very mild release of pressure from the overflow valve. It only bubbled gently for about thirty seconds. From that point on, it was quiet for the rest of the cooking time.

Cooking the rice
Cooking the rice.

When cooking was done, it switched over to keep-warm mode. I left it on that for five minutes to allow the pressure to drop. After the five minutes, I released the rest of the steam with the button. There was very little.

I opened the pan expecting to find a mess. I didn't expect what I saw.

Rice, Yakitori (soy) sauce, and tea.
Rice, yakitori (soy) sauce, and tea.

It was just slightly hard, but in the al dente sense. I think an extra minute would sort that. Perfectly edible. And the entire process including preparing the rice took less than half an hour, which is maybe a third of the time the actual rice cooker takes. Mind blown.

You know, I used to eat a lot of rice because mom quite liked it. But I haven't in a while because it just takes so long.
Maybe it's time to fall in love with rice all over again?

 

Old telephone

I stripped and cleaned it. Took lots of pictures so I know how things went, and also what was wrong. Quite a lot.

The track side of the circuit board
The track side of the circuit board.

I cleaned up most of the crap on the board, though I think it was actually flux (from the days when flux was about as bad for you as the lead fumes from the solder).

The ringer
The ringer.

This, as you can see, was rusted. It needed a complete strip down. I think it works now, but I can't say for certain as the Livebox (as predicted by Zerosquare yesterday) doesn't appear to be up to moving a mechanical ringer.

Oh, dear god...
Oh, dear god...

You know, I'm starting to wonder if the woman that sold it lived in a cave rather than a house.

The phone itself carries a date on the underside. The 9th of June 1977. That might have been the time I was in America? Sadly the person who knows the actual dates.... yeah.... oh well.

The phone's ID
The phone's ID.

It was all cleaned up, put back together, and then taken inside to test.

The microphone is a bit iffy. Well, the epic damp that it endured might be a cause. The earpiece is bright and clear, however. And, yes, that's a recording made on my mobile phone of calling the landline.

 

Kitchen window

To air the house, I have been opening the front and back door. This is because the kitchen window would only open a crack.
Well, today I decided that enough was enough. I found a box and wrapped loads of random ceramic pots in newspaper, threw out loads of artisinal soap, and all manner of other crap.
Now I can see a manky windowsill, I'll need to clean that, but more importantly, the window can open. Looks like it needs a damn good clean and to be got at with some putty. But, look, I have "a view", and more importantly, a decent air flow.

The kitchen window
The kitchen window.

 

Almonds

Remember not so long ago when I was taking pictures of the sweet almond flowers and saying this was the first tree that flowers in the spring?

Well, I thought it was like the flowering cherry, a tree that makes nice flowers but that's about it.

Today, I hung my clothes on the line again to finish drying them, and nearly dropped the panier.

Oh, nuts!
Oh, nuts!

It has never done this before.

 

 

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David Pilling, 20th May 2023, 01:47
Your own almonds are exciting - flowers only turn to fruit if pollinated, if that depends on a bee making the journey from another tree, two miles away, not surprising it only happens some times. Get out your paint brush. 
Curses you said 'sweet almonds' I wanted to be that guy on the internet who says "don't eat them they may be poisonous" (as most almonds are). 
Zerosquare, 20th May 2023, 02:25
Those old phones used carbon microphones. They weren't high fidelity even when they were new, and they don't improve with age!
J.G.Harston, 20th May 2023, 12:53
The carbon granules in carbon microphones compact over time. You may have luck gently tapping it on a table while rotating it completely through 360 degrees.

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