Wulf's Webden

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Thursday 19 October 2017
by Wulf
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Pour Strategy

When I previously mentioned my Ruby Saison brew, I noted that it was a gusher and I hadn’t managed to pour it cleanly even with a painstakingly slow process of loosening the bottle cap. While I’m still planning to make another attempt that will minimise the amount of sediment in the bottle, I have found a better way to drink the present batch.

My new pouring strategy is to open the bottle and immediately empty into a large jug. Last night I used a 2+ litre jug for a 330ml bottle and that was enough to safely contain the foam but I wouldn’t have wanted anything much smaller. After a couple of minutes, a reasonable glassful could be poured and, a little later, the rest was added (still with a reasonable head of foam). I still haven’t figured out a way to get the beer out in its apparent bottle clarity but at least I’m not spending twenty minutes working the cap to try and release excess gas before ending up with a result that was no better.

Wednesday 18 October 2017
by Wulf
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Use new calendar

I just spotted a story on Ars Technica announcing that Google is rolling out a new calendar design and, checking my Google Calendar, found the promised ‘use new calendar’ button towards the top right of the screen. So I pressed it and…

In some ways, it looks very different from what I was used to on the desktop, although it is immediately recognisable as a web-based calendar app. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel too strange as it deliberately uses a lot of the design cues from the mobile app and I’ve been using that for a long time too. Does it make any real improvement? I think the answer is going to be yes but it comes in subtle forms. For example, I don’t recall that I could previously view a year at a time – if I could, I didn’t realise and resorted to jumping month by month. Clicking an appointment is also improved, popping up a more informative summary of the event.

I expect there will be other things too – they might even all be wonderfully gentle like this, enhancing the experience rather than making me feel like I’m learning a brand new tool. If you use Google Calendar, I don’t think you have anything to lose by looking for the button and clicking on it.

Tuesday 17 October 2017
by Wulf
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Ding Ding! Round One

Today at work I’ve had the experience of being audited. A team is in from one of the organisations we get data from and, as Information Governance Manager, my duty is to sit with the auditors and help field the questions about the study involved and how we look after the data. I think we’ll do okay, although with some areas to work on, and the auditors seem quite pleasant. However, I’m glad I haven’t got anything too heavy on tonight… just a bit of playing around with art and music.

Round two tomorrow.

Monday 16 October 2017
by Wulf
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Red Sky … at Noon?

If shepherds delight in a red sky in the evening and. conversely, make preparations if they see a red sky in the morning, what do they do with a red sky at noon? There have been reports of unusually warm tones in the sky from across the UK as the result of particles dragged into the upper atmosphere by the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, which is also making its presence felt on land today.

In Oxford, the sky seemed more golden than red, like what photographers call the ‘golden hour’ and, while I was cycling down to town for an afternoon meeting, had turned more of a bruised colour. I wonder what it will be doing by the time it comes to cycle home? Anyway, meeting starting so time to finish this post.

Sunday 15 October 2017
by Wulf
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Slip and Slide

I used a sharp knife when I was preparing dinner this morning… and managed to slice into the end of my left thumb. Ouch! Protected with a plaster, I was able to carry on with preparing the food but then I was down to play bass at church. How was that going to go? It turns out it was okay as I don’t have the habit of squeezing my thumb into the back of the neck. Indeed, with the plaster on my finger and an incentive to press lighter than ever, my playing was positively fluid at times.

Now, for tonight’s jazz jam (The Red Lion, Brightwell cum Sotwell, 7pm) the question is whether to plaster up in advance? I think I’ll risk leaving it bare as the air exposure is good for the wound but I might slip a plaster into my case as a precaution if it does open up!

Saturday 14 October 2017
by Wulf
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Secret Hitler

I was helping out with the youth group again tonight and one of the things we did was play a game called ‘Secret Hitler’, although we played the ‘Secret Trump’ version. Pick any political leader you would think of as somewhere on a spectrum from scary to nefarious and have away with it (I did wonder about secret Boris….).

In the game you split into two uneven teams, essentially goodies and baddies. However, you don’t know who is on which team nor who represents the leader of the ‘baddies’, as that is done by handing out playing cards. We had red for Republicans, black for Democrats and a red ace to represent the Donald. Every one closes their eyes and the baddies have a chance to look and see who else is on their side; in our group of six, there were two baddies and four clueless goodies. Eyes open again and, each round, one player takes a turn to be a chancellor who proposes a president. If the other players accept this choice (by simple vote), the chancellor picks three cards representing policies and passes two of them to the president, who discards one and plays the other face up. The goodies win with five black policies played; the baddies need six. However, there are more baddie policies than good and, if the notorious leader happens to be selected as president and gets to play a baddie policy when there are at least three others on the table, that also wins them the game. After the policy has been revealed, you can ask chancellor and president which cards they had but there is no compunction on them to tell the truth.

In our game, the baddies won both rounds. That was my team on the second round. One player started to suspect me so I didn’t get voted as president but then it was my turn to be chancellor and I ‘innocently’ nominated the player opposite me, who was still widely trusted… and actually the one with the Trump card. Mwah hah hah!

Doing a quick search on my return home, it turns out you can actually buy the Secret Hitler game and that the rules themselves are published under an Creative Commons licence, so you can adapt and share it on a non-commercial basis (and giving credit and retaining the same restriction: BY-NC-SA 4.0). And there is also ‘Secret Trump’ expansion but no ‘Secret Boris’. Yet!

Friday 13 October 2017
by Wulf
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Fill-in Vim

Today’s neat trick in Vim

:put =range(x,y)

That fills lines in the file with values from x to y, which did what I needed today. However, it looks like there are plenty more tricks in this vein, so some experimenting still to come.