Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Friday 29 August 2014
by Wulf
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Small plant with bright red flowers

Salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’

This is recent addition to our garden: Salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’. We’ve had Salvia growing for some years but a blue flowered variety; very pretty but, in mid / late summer we need a few more splashes of vivid colour.

It remains to be seen how this establishes itself but it has plenty of time to put down roots before the winter and Jane managed to get several decent looking clumps from the one pot, spread out to different location, so we have hedged our bets about where it will thrive. We’ll enjoy it for this season and wait to hopefully see it light up the garden next summer.

Thursday 28 August 2014
by Wulf
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New Font

I might be wrong but have I noticed a new font on Flickr? It looks subtley different to me. Digging deeper, it appears to be a font called Proxima Nova. Perhaps it has been there for months but I like it.

Maybe I should think about the fonts on my own site (mainly Droid Sans) although perhaps I should take a look at my server logs first and figure out how many people actually visit the site as opposed to just picking up the news feed somewhere (at which point, I’m just delivering text; fonts are likely to get rendered by the news reader).

Wednesday 27 August 2014
by Wulf
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MacLight

What am I enjoying about the new Mac? Apart from the start up speed I’m definitely a fan of the light weight of the whole thing, which feels about half that of my previous laptop. Having drawn extensively on the portability of laptop, taking it with me to and from work and to numerous meetings, that was one of the key factors in my decision.

Things like RAM, storage and CPU speed are important but don’t underestimate the value of portability!

Tuesday 26 August 2014
by Wulf
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Cleaning with Mess

After the first couple of fires in our woodstove, the glass at the front was already looking quite dirty. We probably didn’t have it hot enough or burnt wood that was either a bit wet or resinous. How could we get it clean again to enjoy the full benefit of the flames?

It turns out that everything we needed was at hand. I sat in front of the fire with a bowl of water and a damp cloth and wet the inside of the glass. Dabbing my fingers in the ash inside the fire, I rubbed them across the surface and then wiped the resulting mess off using newspaper (on hand for setting new fires).

The result? A very impressive cleaning job. Online sources suggest that the ash is both mildly abrasive and mildly caustic which gives it an edge over plain water although I must give the even simpler solution a test next time I get a build up on the glass. However, I am happy with the result and delighted with the idea that I can use one pile of mess to help clean another.

Monday 25 August 2014
by Wulf
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Batch Renaming on the OSX Command Line

Put your propellor beanies on: I’m about to get geeky!

One of the command line utilities that I find incredibly useful on the Linux command line is rename. You can change the name of a file or a whole batch of files by providing a simple pattern. For example, I might want to add a date stamp to a directory full of photos:

rename 's|.jpg|.20140825.jpg' *.jpg

As soon as you have more than a handful of files that need to be renamed according a regular schema, this is an invaluable tool. Unfortunately it appears that OS X uses rename for an entirely different purpose. However, a little bit of searching shows that also supports a similar regular expression tool in the form ${string/search/replace} so I can get the same result using a slightly more verbose method:

for i in *.jpg; do mv $i ${i/.jpg/.20140825.jpg}; done

It isn’t quite as concise because I also have to include a loop to run the operation on every file in the directory but it gets the same result and saves having to download and install one of the many third party utilities that can be found online to so the same thing (meaning that it takes me less time to get up and running on a vanilla system).

Sunday 24 August 2014
by Wulf
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Plan B

I had planned to provide the music for this morning’s service at St Clement’s on double bass, accompanying the angelic voice of my friend, Clare. Unfortunately I got an apologetic text early in the morning to let me know that she was suffering with flu-like symptoms including a very sore throat. While I’d fairly successfully pulled off a vox / bass duet earlier in the week with Jo Mowat, it felt like a bridge too far to go DB and solo vox.

In the end I opted for my trusty six string Sei bass – the Excalibur in my collection. It worked okay although went much better when one of the youth took pity on me and joined in on the keyboard. Playing solo is much harder than working with someone else, certainly in the context of worship music. He kept up admirably, even in my version of Amazing Grace (I’ve changed the time signature and the chords and probably the melody too). That swang though; I was even able to pull out my double-time walk to pick up the final verse.

I think the congregation threw themselves into the music, probably out of kindness to me, but, for a plan B, it worked pretty well. Next Sunday’s challenge: an outdoor service (weather permitting)!

Saturday 23 August 2014
by Wulf
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Tyger Bread

Bread with a slight crackle effect on the surface

Tyger Bread

I decided to get creative with the loaf I made yesterday. Once I had shaped it, I made a mix of rye flour and water with a little sugar and yeast. Just before popping the loaf in the oven, I painted the top with this paste and then did my regular scoring with a sharp knife.

I was hoping for more of a cracked glaze effect (perhaps the rye paste needs to be thicker?) but I certainly got a beautifully deep colour and a strong contrast with the scored stripes. It doesn’t taste bad either so, while there is room for further experimentation, I am still happy with the result.