Page composed using
Seamonkey composer1
site map
January 2020 February 2020

Thursday 6th February 2020
09:17 GMT
  The forecast for yesterday, even the later revisions, seriously underestimated how much sunshine there would be. The sunshine started out quite hazy, but hardly ever dimmed, and as the morning passed the sun became clearer and clearer. I'm not sure if my memory is accurate, and of course I wasn't looking outside all day long, but once that haze had dissipated the sky seemed to be clear to beyond sunset, and the sun was shining all day. The downside is that it was a very cold day. I'm not sure that the temperature reached the forecast 8° C, and it may have been no higher that 7° C.
a sunny, but frosty start
warming up !
  This morning has started with a frost. All the cars I can see in the road have a rime of frost on them - and it is not just on their roofs. It is starting to warm up now. Before I rushed upstairs to get a camera my thermometer, as seen on the left, was showing 1.1° C. By the time I went back downstairs, and took this picture, the temperature had risen to 1.2° C !! The screenshot of the forecast was of the 6am revision. It has been revised, and now says there will be sunny intervals during all the hours of daylight. It is possible some clouds will come along and spoil it, but at the moment the sky looks completely clear, and with luck, today may be as good as yesterday - but still bloody cold, or maybe not. The latest revision says the afternoon temperature could be 9° C today. Tomorrow may possibly start with a frost, but once again it should be sunny, and the afternoon temperature is predicted to be 9° C again. It is much later tomorrow that a seemingly peculiar thing happens - the temperature rises even higher in the night. It is the first touch of a storm that is coming in from the Atlantic Ocean - warmer, but very wet air is racing towards us to bring rain and high winds.

  Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I was very busy, but I have little tangible evidence to show for it. Among the evidence that I could show is a clothes horse with some laundry that should be dry this morning. I also did another bit of washing that would not be obvious without a before and after picture. I washed the lampshade, and the wire down to the lampholder in the back room. It does make the room look a bit brighter - which seems strange because the lampshade is dark blue, and doesn't really pass any light. The extra brightness is probably all in my mind.
the angle of the sun
                          near to midday
  I took this picture about 10 to 15 minutes too late. It took that amount of time to decide that I should try and snap what I was seeing. What I had seen was like a snapshot of the state of the changing seasons. The sun was just high enough to shine over my house to light up the very top of the back fence. In just the short space of time that it took to decide to take a snap, and grabbing a camera, the sun had moved on, and started dipping back down in the sky, and was just missing the back fence. As every day passes, that sunlight will be reaching further down the fence, and until in another month or two, it hits the soil at the bottom. It won't be until June that most of my garden is lit by the sun. That's the penalty of having a north facing garden. Meanwhile, my front garden is bathed in sunshine almost from dawn to dusk on any day the sun is out.

  I did do some more work on the bookshelf in the back room yesterday. After throwing so much away I do seem to have a lot of space on the shelves now....well not a lot, but enough to leave some space for extra additions. Most of my effort concerned the space under the lowest shelf. There is plenty of room for stuff to be stacked there, and some of that stuff should be thrown away, but two items are two big and heavy to be dumped in the wheelie bin. I am unsure how I will dispose of them. Disposal was a problem that limited what I could do yesterday. The wheelie bin was full, but fortunately it should have been emptied this morning (or maybe a bit later this morning).

  I may resume throwing some stuff out today, but yesterday my attention turned to a couple of old laptops that may never be productive again, but sort of deserve another go at life. This particularly so of one laptop that even after being stuck in a cupboard for possibly a year or more, still had enough charge in it's battery to boot up. Apparently the battery still had 20% charge. Maybe I could find a use for an old laptop with a usable battery, but all my work yesterday concerned another laptop.

  It is a Dell Inspiron 8100, and it has some problems. The battery in it is totally useless, and the BIOS back up battery has also failed. It is a real pain in the rear end to get to the back up battery, and it is of an unusual type. If I ever dig deep into the bowels of that laptop I may need a "creative solution" to change it. Another difficulty is that the chipset only supports 512MB of RAM. That can make any "modern" operating system slow, or not even work. When I had that laptop at work (it was an old work machine that I saved from the electronic scrap pile when we moved premises) I did have Linux Mint running on it, and it was quite usable by allowing a big swap partition on the hard drive.

  At some point I tried to speed things up with a solid state hard drive. My memory is very hazy, but I think it was all working OK until I did an update. My theory, although at this point it is only a theory, and could be wrong, was that the update to the kernel would not allow a swap partition on a solid state drive. What I do know was that the swap partition was not being mounted at boot time. It meant that everytime I tried to load a program that needed a fair bit of memory, like a web browser, the thing would choke, and that program would crash out.

  The only solution was to fit a conventional, spinning rust, hard drive, but that brought up new difficulties. The laptop only had a CD reader, that struggled to read some disks, and I needed a DVD reader to install a new operating system on a new hard drive. The solution was to borrow the DVD drive from the other laptop I mentioned. Both laptops are Dell Inspirons, and the optical drives are easily swappable. Last night I left it installing Linux Mint Debian Edition. This morning it seemed to have choked at some point during the installation, and I have just rebooted it to try again.

  For the umpteenth time running, I can't recall what time I went to bed last night. The reason is that with no need to go to work in the morning, and thus no need to get up at a certain time, I just go to bed whenever it feels good. It is often soon after TV becomes boring, and that is often not long after 8pm. I guess I was in bed, and asleep sometime between 9pm and 10pm.

  Maybe I was tired, or maybe my bedroom was the perfect temperature, but I seem to think I fell asleep really easily. I also appear to have slept well last night. I only have vague recollections of getting up once or twice in the night - until the first hints of dawn, and then I did wake up for maybe half an hour. I didn't think I would really get back to sleep after that, and so it was a bit of a surprise when I opened my eyes again to find sunshine streaming through the windows. That seemed like a good time to properly get up.

  This morning I felt a bit stiff and creaky, but much of that is wearing off now. One positive thing is that I managed to eat carefully yesterday - carefully as in to reduce my blood glucose level, but probably not my weight. This morning my blood glucose is back down to about average after it was annoying, but understandably high yesterday morning. Now it's time to think about my day.

  Part of my day is very simple - it's Thursday, and late this afternoon I will probably be getting the 16:10 train to Shortlands for my Thursday boozing session. It is before and after that, that involve some uncertainties. One thing I have already started, and maybe continue with, is playing with the old Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. Since I started writing this I have successfully installed Linux Mint (Debian Edition), and it is installing a host of updates. I may do more to it, or I may turn my attention to what may be the more useful laptop - the one with a usable battery in it.

  One big unknown concerns shopping. Ideally I could top up the fridge. The question is, do I do it before I go out, or call into Sainsburys on my way back from my drink ? The latter might be safe because it would be mostly salad, which is safer to eat than some temptations from bigger supermarkets, although sooner or later I will have to go to either Tesco or Aldi. One other diversion today could be to start filling up the wheelie bin with stuff from my back room.