Wulf's Webden

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Monday 14 June 2021
by Wulf
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Thick and Fast

Harvests from the garden are coming thick and fast now. We haven’t picked something every single day of June but we’ve picked something most days and often two or three things. Today it was over a kilo of broad beans (weighed in their pods), which brings us to over 2kg of that crop so far this season. That one has definitely paid for the pack of seeds and there is more to come.

The game now is not ‘when can we get some food from the garden’ but ‘how can we find time to keep on top of getting new things going when we harvest out crops that are already there’: a nice problem to have.

Monday 14 June 2021
by Wulf
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Taking Charge

When I got my Windows computer last autumn, I needed a keyboard and mouse to got with it. I opted for wireless units for both. On the plus side, they work well and they glow in pretty colours. However, I think I could do with a slightly larger keyboard including a number pad. The most inconvenient thing though is due to their very nature: wireless items need charging.

I could probably get 2-3 days regular use out of the keyboard and more from the mouse. However, since you don’t get much warning before the device stops working, I’ve got into the habit of charging them up ever evening. This is workable but does get annoying. At some point, I think I might switch back to wired equivalents… although I still want ones that glow with pretty colours.

Thursday 10 June 2021
by Wulf
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Chicken Vindail

Time for a curry tonight. Spices cooked briefly in oil to add fragrance. Onions softened. Garlic and crushed cumin. Chili and other spices. Tomatoes (from a can). Meat from chicken thighs (bone, skin and fat removed to make stock). And finally, to finish, vinegar and sugar.

This recipe, from Rick Stein’s India is the origin of the British vindaloo but it isn’t blow your head off hot. Instead, it is blow your socks off delicious and, if the alarm on my phone is right, ready about now.

Wednesday 9 June 2021
by Wulf
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Double Out

This afternoon, I took my double bass out for the first time since… well, since before moving up to Loughborough at the end of 2019. We happen to have a talented jazz pianist in the congregation and so we spent a bit of time in the church this afternoon running through a variety of jazz standards.

This might lead to some kind of low key jazz gig there later in the summer but, for today, it was enough to play some jazz again and reassure myself that I haven’t forgotten everything I knew or lost all the co-ordination and finger strength for the upright. Listening back to the recording I made, it actually doesn’t sound too shabby at all.

Tuesday 8 June 2021
by Wulf
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Strings and frets

Today I was revising something very elementary on a stringed instrument: where to find a note an octave higher? On something like a bass, which typically has a consistent perfect fourth interval between each string, once you find the patterns, you can go on applying it along and across the neck.

In this case, and assuming you want to avoid big jumps, there are just two patterns: up two strings and two frets or up three strings and back three frets. I’m discounting other options, like up one string and seven frets, as requiring too much of a stretch on most instruments. On a four string bass, the +3/-3 pattern only gets a small amount of use in the range of a hand span or so but that increases as you throw more strings into the mix.

What I’m actually aiming to do is improve my ability to find any given note in any part of the neck by dead reckoning but patterns are a way in as I work towards that.