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Another hot day here

Aug
25
Horrible that the hot weather that is drawing people to the seaside led to these deaths at Camber Sands. Don't know what happened yet. And that earthquake in Italy, is there no good news at the moment?

I'm WFH today, with all the windows open, it's very warm.

Didn't go out for my walk until pretty late last night, after tea while Clare was watching Great British Bake Off. And it was properly dark! Surely it hasn't been properly dark for ages? There were still people on the beach though, and walking and riding on Princes Parade. I nearly bumped into people not really paying attention because I was listening to music on my new phone.
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Paul Clarke's blog - I live and work in Hythe near Folkestone, Kent. Married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do mostly javascript, nodejs, python, ruby, and php. I like pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel.

The 1980s How It Was

Aug
25
New video for this Validators song made up of 1980s photos from chrisporsz.com:
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Not so sure about the new MagPi raspberry pi mag

Aug
25
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It's a "beginners special":




But I'm a subscriber and not a beginner, hope there is enough in there for me. Well, not really a beginner, I'm a bumbling amateur at some of it. The previous issue of magpi was a windows 10 iot special, so most of the mag did not apply to me. I can't even try out windows iot on the pi as you need a windows 10 machine to install it I think. Don't think Clare's laptop is up to it.

Too much more of this, and also unincluding the direct debit subscribers from the free raspberry pi zero and I'll be off I think.

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
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Wileyfox Swift seems ok so far

Aug
25
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This new phone the wilefox swift is here and it's good, it's lighter than my last phone I think, slightly thicker but rounder. Exactly the same screen size as the sony xperia, and it's a sony camera in there. SIM and SD cards go inside under the battery so they won't pop out like they did on the xperia. Also there's room for two so maybe time to get that freedompop free sim. Cyanogen OS seems fine so far. I did not have cloud backup of apps, have set it up now though. Only preinstalled music player was Google Play, which is fine, have set it to "downloaded only" and all working. Haven't tried my “sync some mp3s to the phone” script that I'd been using yet, have to see how the phone is mounted when I plug it in. Installed player.fm for podcast management as I was previously using default android music player, which is not here. Fitbit, Pebble, Slack, ssh, photos, music all working as expected, rah.
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Fitbit is syncing on the computer again

Aug
24
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Phew I have not lost out on any step count with having no phone for a few days... I moved the fitbit dongle to another usb port and it started working. This is good in this heat, it's more of an effort to get any steps in. I've been out at lunchtime today for a walk round the lake, then a bit further along a footpath alongside some of the farmland round here. Only 6.5k so far today, but I'll get there All results here, been a while since I missed my 10k target.

Phone has arrived today, still at work so not tried it yet.
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Hot hot hot here today and yesterday

Aug
24
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Hot weather drives people to our part of town, literally. I'm sure the beaches were heaving yesterday as it was so sunny. I was at work deep in the countryside though, so my evidence for this is the huge queue of traffic heading out of Hythe at 5.30, the time I was driving back in. London Road was queued up really badly, but as I'm sailing past in the opposite direction I'm OK. And if you're in that traffic you've probably been on the beach all day instead of working, so deal with it.

Clare took Harry and Tommy to the beach yesterday and they went in the sea too, so might do that when I'm next free at the weekend.

Harry's tennis club is going really well, he's having a good time. Two more days of that to go.

My new phone should arrive today, the Wileyfox Swift, I hope a) Clare is in to sign for it, b) it is good, and c) I have got the right sized SIM already. I suspect I don't which will delay me getting back on the grid again for a few days. Also it's likely to cost me a fiver for the new sim (I'm on a £5 a month deal so this is where Virgin Mobile claw some back). Still if the phone will boot up without one and I can get on the wifi that's fine. So long as I can sync my fitbit again, I'm worried about losing steps! Have not dropped below my 10k target for months now, but if it loses some from this week because of network issues that will be annoying...

Still lots of people on the beach after I got home, some in the sea, lots of barbecues still burning, nice and holidayish.
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More than Coach Trip we're loving Robot Wars

Aug
23
The return of Robot Wars is great, Harry loves it and so do I, and Tommy loves the intro to it and the house robots, though can't sit through a whole episode yet... I'm really impressed with the quality of the robots now, they're better than the house robots. Been some really impressive stuff. Still really remote controlled vehicles with weapons though, not many of them doing much that is automated. A robot that can recognise the weak spots in another robot and know when to get out of the way, that's what you want...
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Twenty years ago today I was at Reading Festival

Aug
23
Reading Festival
Reading 6.4(10 1 votes, 0, Pauly) 23rd Aug
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I'd just got the job at nme.com, but had not started yet. They invited me along, a bit of a jolly to ease me in. I think I must have got the train up, as I remember leaving the Stone Roses part way through to walk back to the station. Think I met up with some friends there and stayed at one of their houses nearby on one of the nights too.

I remember seeing Chris Evans on stage with Black Grape, was that this Reading?

So it's about twenty years ago since I moved to London then, as it must have been soon after this.

UPDATE: and then I Wanna Be Adored just came on my shuffled music. Still a spine tingling intro, and that was the tune they opened with at Reading that year. There was no John Squire at that time he had just quit, but still fine musically. Then the vocals started, and it was shocking! I was never a super fan of the Stone Roses, but I don't think I'm the only one who walked away from this.

illustration

I remember seeing quite a lot on the main stage on Sunday on my own, after my friends had gone. Think they were only there for 60ft Dolls and Marion.
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I'm sure this is fine

Aug
22
Germans advised to stockpile food and water.
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Really enjoying the new Coach Trip

Aug
22
Coach Trip is back, and at first it looked dreadful. It's on E4 only now, they're going for a different audience, all young trendy people, not old giffers like me. So there's not much variety in the people on the coach, they're all early twenties, mostly buff gym bodies, mostly very irritating and stupid in fashionable way. The first group on the coach tried to play the system, not just with tactical voting but with refusing to vote this time. All the couples but one were on a yellow card, and then that couple quit, so everyone remaining would have to give one of their buddies a red card vote. So they all refused to vote, and they all got kicked off, every last one of them and a new coach load were brought in. Then the new people were mostly dreadful too, but at least the coach is moving on and people are getting kicked out. There has been a suspicious amount of "oh I've had an emergency call from home and I have to leave now. Without saying goodbye to anyone on the coach", hmm. Still liking it though, I can even sit through another series of all young people I think. If it gets another series.
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Holiday over

Aug
22
Back to work today, though wfh. As an added bonus today I have to pay for the new floor (though thanks Nan for that great contribution!) and a service for the Peugeot, and I need a new phone. This sony xperia has been a disaster from beginning to end. It was cheap, but there's a reason for that. Considering a one plus 2 like George has but not entirely convinced so doing a little more research. OK I have not used NFC yet so not worth upgrading to the newer hundred-quid-more one plus three but there are a few other annoying things. Patchy 4g coverage, will that really affect me? I mostly use it on the wifi. And the other lack of sd card and the use of usb c are likely to be common to all new phones. I will have to just give it a punt I think, as I can't manage long without a phone these days. For one thing with all the two factor authentication we have for work (when you try to log in you get texted a code that you also have to enter) if I get logged out of anything then I'm a bit stumped...
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Teletext on a Raspberry Pi

Aug
21
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Going to try this out, can make your raspberry pi output a proper TV signal with teletext, might be fun.

github.com/peterkvt80/vbit-pi-stream

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
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Tried this, can't get component output working on any raspberry pi

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That means there's probably a problem with the old leads I found in my box that looked like component leads but were probably something weird... Also I'm trying it on the old plasma tv that I don't have a whole lot of faith in... remember when that was the new tv? I thought it'd be nice to be able to use the picture-in-picture of it, or flip between channels and have different computers available, one doing security, one doing entertainment, etc. I've got this to some extent by doing some hdmi to rgb conversion, so have two running at once, but would really like to get component working... so will buy a new lead.
22 Aug Comment / reply

Oh and we got new floors

Aug
20
We've got a new Karndean floor in the kitchen and the bathrooms, it was fitted while we were away in Bath by Elite Flooring. Please with how it looks and nice it was done with no disruption, as we weren't here.
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Quorn is going vegan!

Aug
20
Quorn has such a presence in supermarkets and restaurants that it's annoying that it's not edible for me. They say it's mushroom, but I think it's mostly egg. Or it was. But now there's a new vegan range, Clare spotted it today in the supermarket. Even if they are just cashing in on the current vegan trend, that's good enough for me.
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BACK from BATH

Aug
20
Holiday 2016 was a trip to Bath. This is really our traditional anniversary city break too, we picked Bath on a whim and it was very nice indeed.

Went to Portchester first, see the family, drop Harry and Tommy off for a few days. They had a great time and did not want to leave again with us at the end of the trip.

Got the train nice and early to Bath, a relaxing trip and no parking or traffic to worry about. Bags dropped off at the Premier Inn and off for a look around. Loads of eating and drinking, great. Good for vegans. Bath is a lot like Edinburgh it seems to me, really has a feel of the place. It's the third most popular tourist destination outside London too apparently after Edinburgh and also Liverpool. Edinburgh is another of my favourite places, Liverpool less so though.

We went to the Roman Baths that was good and interesting. Hot springs are amazing.

illustration

Weather was really hot for most of it. Good, as I took shorts and no coat, but it wasn't much of a risk as I planned to shelter in pubs if there was any rain, and Clare had a lot of shopping lined up, but as it turned out it was super outdoor weather.

We came across Bath Rugby filming some kind of promo in the centre of town, so look forward to seeing that, reckon it will show up here soon. I hope we're in it. We recognised some of the players but I had to look up the names. Sat watching for quite a while in the sun so Clare had to go and buy a hat to avoid getting burnt.

We did a nice relaxing boat trip too.

I can't find The Stable in my venue listings but it was one of my favourite places we went to. EIGHTY different kinds of cider! We only had time for one each before heading off for dinner but here are some of my other favourite places; I'll follow up in separate posts.

Here are my pictures, didn't take as many as I should have, battery and memory card issues, will get Clare's pictures off her hone too.
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Dinner in Koh Thai - average imo

On our first evening in Bath we had dinner in Koh Thai Tapas. We had a couple of tapas dishes as a starter, both a bit tasteless imo. Then disappointingly my main was not good either I had something aubergine, and it was like aubergine in batter, then in a curry sauce. Made it all very stodgy. Clare enjoyed hers though.
24 Aug Comment / reply

More beer in the Old Green Tree

After the Pig and Fiddle I had more time to kill waiting for Clare to finish her shopping, and run back to the hotel and get changed. What more enjoyable spot to do it in. A lovely little three room pub, all wooden panelling. No sitting outside option here, but a really nice pub. CAMRA pub of the year for the area I believe, recommended.

Clare joined me for one more drink here, a very nicely made Pimms, then on to our dinner, Thai I believe on our first day.
24 Aug Comment / reply

I enjoyed a pint in the garden of the Pig and Fiddle

Nice enough sort of place, seemed a bit studenty but a nice place to sit and read and have a beer while I waited for Clare to get ready. I think she was getting ready. She left me on my own for a bit, I wasn't really paying attention what she was up to, perhaps she was shopping. Anyway plan was she would leave me for an hour or so, so I could drink beer and read the paper. So we did! Good real ale nice to sit in the sun in their sort-of garden. From here I moved on to the Old Green Tree/
24 Aug Comment / reply

Green Rocket Cafe, so good we ate in it twice

Nice, this was the first place we headed to, as we'd looked it up advance and were arriving about lunchtime. We turned up in the half hour dead spot when the kitchen was closed, just after they'd finished breakfast but before they were ready for lunch. Discovered a grapefruit San Pellagrino there though, so all is not lost. Drank that and waited for lunch and it was fabulous. Both times I had their burger, with cashew "cheese" and rosemary sauteed new potatoes, and both times Clare had warm salad of roasted squash, lentils and tomatoes. We enjoyed it so much, we had to come back again for the same on our last day too.

Warm salad of roasted squash, puy lentils and slow roast tomatoes – Topped with marinated hemp seeds and either feta, halloumi or marinated tofu VO, GF £9.25
Mushroom, sundried tomato and basil rice burger served with a raw beetroot salad and blue, cheddar, halloumi or vegan cashew ‘cheese’ V, GFO £8.95
24 Aug Comment / reply

We won £20 at the quiz at the Boater

Nice to line up a pub quiz while we're on holiday, combine a couple of our favourite things, drinking and being clever. Not a big quiz a the Boater, maybe it's different in term time. Felt like a bit of a uni crowd. We came second, so won a £20 bar tab, which we basically had to spend right away, so large G&T's and as many crisps as we can carry.

Had a bit of an issue in this pub with one of their pump drinks not working, just not tasting right, but they were adamant it was all fine. This put me off the other draft drinks, probably all in my head though.

The quiz was fun, quite easy, but a couple of quirky rounds that we did not do well on. One was making a paper aeroplane, the other was drawing a picture. Still, we came second, not to be sniffed at.
24 Aug Comment / reply

Had a fancy meal in Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen

Loved this place. Very small, but fine vegetarian dining, mostly vegan, all vegan option anyway... Clare and I went for the same starter from the set menu of carrot and cashew pate with pickles, salad and spelt crisps, very tasty. Then Clare had Calabrese broccoli and confit Jersey royals for main, we thought that meant the potatoes would be made into a cake or something but no, think they're possibly cooked in stock. It also came in a spelt grain sort of risotto:
Calabrese Broccoli & Confit Jersey Royals with spelt grain warmed in a smoked almond
& olive oil emulsion, lovage & pickled cabbage (VG/N)


I had the "slightly curried cauliflower" which was ace:

Slightly Curried Cauliflower poached cauliflower core with garlic lentil dhal, roast
cauliflower and truffle puree, lightly spiced cauliflower and almond fritter, almond pilau rice
& some kale (VG/GF/N)


The pudding of chocolate tart was amazing, we will try to copy the recipe but doubt we can match it. We would have liked to do the whole "wine matching" that they offer on the menu on http://www.acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk but didn't have time to draw the meal out too long as we were off to a quiz at the Boater...
24 Aug Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's - I work and live in Hythe near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a software engineer, and I do mostly js, nodejs, python, ruby, and php. I like pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel.