Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Saturday 18 August 2018
by Wulf
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Back Garden – August 2018

Here is the back garden in August:

View of the garden from an upstairs window

Looking Down on the Back Garden – August 2018

It turns out to be harder to take the photos for this series in the summer than the winter. Abundant growth means that my established reference points, like the top of the back fence, turn out to be much harder to see!

Friday 17 August 2018
by Wulf
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Soul Survivor B 2018

I wonder who else I know who will be at Soul Survivor B? I need to get an early night so I can finishing packing tomorrow morning. That includes loading the car. This year, I’m head chef for the St Clement’s group so I’ve got gas, gas burners and a large quantity of food to fit in!

Thursday 16 August 2018
by Wulf
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Big Deal

When I got my double bass, about 6.5 years ago, it came with a gig bag (since replaced with an upgrade) and a huge, semi-rigid case. I’m not sure how I got it in my old car (although I did once or twice – see the whale post) but even with the Fabia Estate, it was awkward. Not only that, but the case occupied a huge chunk of space in the house. I recently filled the corner it was lurking in with something else and came to the conclusion that it had to go.

You may have noted the past tense in the above paragraph. A couple of weeks ago, I popped into Beecher Acoustics to see if they were interested. They took my number and I thought that would probably be the end of that. Lo and behold though, they called yesterday to say they had someone who could use it. I was off work in the afternoon so took the case across so they could check it fitted. It did and so I’ve now got a bit more space at home and the value of the case will go a long way to getting the bass its first new set of strings (currently still on the unbranded ones it came with).

Perhaps I could have driven a harder bargain but, with all that space freed up, I think it was a big enough deal.

Wednesday 15 August 2018
by Wulf
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Game of Snap

Last week has been an odd one, since the Wednesday evening when Jane was coming in from the garden and spotted a rat sneaking past her into the kitchen! We’ve had the kitchen largely emptied out and a protocol of all doors in the house kept shut. It feels a bit like camping although at least with electricity and a comfortable bed (two things I won’t have at Soul Survivor next week). Finally, I came down this morning and found that it had fallen victim to one of the snap traps I put out on Monday evening.

The morning after it arrived, Jane went out and bought a bait box and a container of rat poison. I haven’t checked it today but, certainly by yesterday morning, it hadn’t been touched. I’m quite glad in a way. Although we’d been assured this was fast-acting stuff, poison often means a drawn out, painful death in some inaccessible corner. Much more effective were the snap traps: ordered on Sunday, initially set out on Monday, baited on Tuesday and – SNAP! – hopefully bringing the story to a conclusion by this morning.

One trick that was effective was sprinkling fine material on the floor in areas where we thought the rat would go. We started with some old maize flour, later supplemented with table salt. The salt grabs moisture out of the air, so it doesn’t last as long, but it also means you aren’t spreading out a bountiful food source. This was a low tech way of getting intelligence about the creature’s movements. When we were in, we were leaving the back door wide open in the hope it would make an escape but it didn’t seize those opportunities and, each morning, we could see the footprints.

Why not a humane trap? I think those things are far more cruel than gentle souls like to imagine. The victim is trapped until you get round to checking the device and you’ve then got to transport it a long way to let it out or it is likely to find its way back. Assuming you travel far enough (3 miles or so seems to be the general consensus), the released creature is bereft of any family it had and stranded in unfamiliar territory where it will probably either starve, get killed by another creature or end up plaguing another home.

All done? I think we’ll camp for a couple more days, with powdered floors and traps at the ready just in case there were others. One thing we still haven’t determined is where it was hiding so we won’t sound the all clear just yet. However, I hope this game of snap is now over.

Tuesday 14 August 2018
by Wulf
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Disconnected

I set up my social media workflow so long ago, I had to look back to remember how I did it. When I blog, the title and link get fired across to Twitter (using the WP to Twitter plugin) and when I tweet, Twitter has permission to send that to Facebook as an updated status. The trouble with that kind of workflow is that changes at any of the connection points have the potential to derail things.

A while ago, something broke a little and, when posts got to Facebook, they only showed the header image from my blog rather than the lead image of the post. As a lot of my posts are about visual content, that was annoying but there wasn’t an obvious fix. Now though, posts aren’t showing up at all and, according to Twitter, it is down to a policy change at Facebook and a bit more digging shows some clues on the Facebook site. It seems to be linked to their stated desire to protect users privacy but seems to be putting the walls around their garden even higher. I did look at other WordPress plugins but it appears they are hitting the same barrier at the moment.

I think the consequence is that my Facebook account is going to get updated less often, at least until this all settles down. If you want to easily stay on top of what I’m doing what you need is not Facebook or Twitter but the good ole RSS feed.

Monday 13 August 2018
by Wulf
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Everyone Else is Alright

Have you ever read a book where lots of characters intrigued and engaged you? You wanted to find out how their story arcs would unfold. When it came down to it, you would even say you cared. And then, the alleged protagonist not only took on the role of a fairly minor character but turned out to be quite despicable?

That’s where I’m at so far with The Man Who Wasn’t There by Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt (written in Swedish in 2012 and translated to English in 2016). I’m enjoying some of it – yet another Swedish crime novel but plenty to chew on. However, if I had to rank characters in order of sympathy, Sebastian Bergman would be a long way down the list. That’s a shame as apparently this is a ‘Sebastian Bergman Thriller’.

Here’s hoping for some redemptive streak in the last seventy-five pages or other ‘Sebastian Bergman Thrillers’ are likely to stay on the shelf.