The tree in my garden has lots of delicious ripe plums on it:
Basket of plums

New House

I've moved house (still in Dalgety Bay).
There are now cables running everywhere - in the loft,
under the floor,
and extra sockets in the wall.
A new satellite dish provides Freesat service.
There are three bedrooms (so I now have a guest room as well as computer room) and a separate dining room.

ASDA's experiments with soap

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When my local ASDA stopped selling their "Smart Price" soap I had to buy it from other ASDAs or get other people to buy it for me. This worked ok for a while but then they changed to poor quality soap that falls apart. Based on the list of ingredients, when they make soap with Sodium Palmate it stays together but when they make it from Sodium Tallowate it falls apart. They now have other variants in my local ASDA that don't fall apart.

Comparison of all three soaps
Original soapNew soapBetter soap
IngredientsOriginal Smart Price soap (Sodium Palmate)New Smart Price soap (Sodium Tallowate)Better soap (Sodium Palmate)
Used exampleOriginal Smart Price soap (intact)New Smart Price soap (in several pieces)Better soap (intact)

The Usual Suspects

With strong winds forecast I've made sure none of my bins try to escape this time:

Four bins tied to a fence

Update: With some new Velcro straps the bins are now attached separately:

Four bins individually strapped to a fence
[Euros Cherrueix 2012]

A few weeks ago I was in Cherrueix, France to watch the Scottish team compete. I took plenty of photos and video of the event (with multiple cameras). The top 10 looks different from usual with France not even in the top three countries.

I took most of the photos from along the pit/technical area but went north towards the sea on the last race:
[My GPS track at Cherrueix]

Broken plates

I had a set of 4 square plates and 2 large round ones until I washed the dishes this morning and managed to drop one of them onto another and hit the tap at the same time:

Broken plates

Unlike the last time I broke a plate, they won't sell these any more so now I'm stuck with two odd sets.


At last... an internet connection running at almost the maximum line speed.

Max:   Upstream rate = 26390 Kbps, Downstream rate = 82608 Kbps
Path:  0, Upstream rate = 20000 Kbps, Downstream rate = 79999 Kbps

Speed test: 73.31Mb/s down, 15.21Mb/s up, 30ms ping Ping test: 28ms 1ms

Cistern block hack

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I'm supposed to just drop the block into the toilet cistern but then it interferes with the flushing mechanism... hanging it from the overflow pipe is working quite well so far:

Toilet cistern with blue block

Visible power button

My new server case doesn't have a very visible power button and I don't want the reset button being pressed instead... some careful application of white correction fluid makes it easier to see:

Before (indented black power symbol) After (indented white power symbol)

Working in Paris

I was working in Neuilly-sur-Seine the previous two weeks and I found some time before I left to visit the Eiffel Tower (which I could actually see out of the office window). There was a long (1 hour 40 minutes) queue but then the actual ascent didn't take more than a few of minutes and it didn't feel as high up as I thought it would be.

Amongst my photos I also took a video of a flashing "pedestrians crossing!" sign above the road. They have a similar system to the United States where some pedestrian crossings have no red light on the driver's side (only a flashing warning triangle) so they can still drive over it as long as they don't hit anyone.

My French is quite poor despite having learned it at school for 5 years. Bonsoir.

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Content authored by myself is just my honest opinion. If you find any words or pictures menacing or offensive, stop reading now.

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