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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Prickly Pear and Mint Ramblings

This is a bit of a split post the first half is all about Linux Mint and the internet and the back half is all about Prickly Pears. Without further ado we'll begin.

Linux Mint and online.

In the week I decided to test something out, I've noted already here that I created a dual boot system with linux mint so you either have a choice of Windows XP or Mint, but so far its been a closed system gated off from the Internet and intermittently receiving product updates by USB stick.  What we wanted to do was link it up downstairs where our internet connection is and let it run wild online.  Noting that it was a bastard to do with either XP and Vista (my system is old so you'll excuse us that we don't have windows bastard 8 running) we were just going to test to see if it would actually recognise there was a system there.

Remarkably it did first time, so we decided to run the service centre and update linux as well as bother about with firefox which I've used for years.  Your default page is Linux mint which also gives you a janky search to go with it.  We also added adblock because the internet is hell without it, and decided to also see if you could download stuff and add it, turns out you can if you use terminal and know what distro you are running but if you are unsure just look for it in the service center.  If I ever get a new computer I'll be sure to run mint to see if I can at least find out how to get online as i'll know it works.

In other news It looks like the latest updates to  NI. Reaktor, Skanner and Drive seem to be win 7 or higher only. I put this here as a Vista user it seems that 5.8 is the last version for us.

Prickly Pear.

This summer has seen some weird things flower in  the conservatory.  For starters we had a good year a lot of Echinopsis flowered for the first time in ages, helped along with the long hot summer we had.  I also had this flower too.

Bud back in June
When we came back off of holiday  there was this bud waiting for us and we thought that would be the end of it.  It would remain that size and not do much, how wrong could you be.

Three inches in all.
As the summer wore on this is what it eventually turned into a big tomato red flower with its trademark sensitive stamens.  This is quite the result as opuntias don't really flower in the UK as they require massive amounts of space and time (and I guess light as well)* to do well.  Some are slow growing but most rocket up throwing out pads replete with vicious glochids that will snag anything that will come into reach, so you can see why they are neglected. 
*Apart from that they are easy to grow and are remarkably cold hardy, we grow without winter heat and have never lost an Opuntia to cold. 

Anyway a few months later after the flower (it lasted one afternoon) had died and a green fruit was left behind I ventured back into the conservatory to see that it had coloured up and was now a deep purple.

The sad chumbero (size 1 inch).
After some deliberation I decided to take it off as it wouldn't get any bigger and stuff it into the kitchen first removing any stubborn glochids and other junk.  It stood there for about a week before I had the heart to eat it. 

All prepared.
The actual pulp and seeds itself was quite odd, it tasted a lot like a plum slightly sour and with a massive amount of juice.  The seeds themselves were bullet hard and are now back in the conservatory on a paper towel but I have to say it was quite pleasant.  The juice itself reminds me of beetroot and with all the attendant caveats about beetroot juice (it stains).  I wonder if it could be used as a dye my fingers are still purplish from cutting up the fruit, maybe someone with access to a lot of prickly pears and doesn't mind fingers like a pincushion could try it out.  I'll wait till the spring to sow the remaining seeds and see what I get (they will need chitting and preparing before sowing as like I say they're bullet hard).

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Food and drink.

So its happened Google has morphed my entire blog, Youtube channel and unwanted child of a Google Plus page into one hideous shambolic whole.  Its not as if I wasn't warned but now I have one log in to rule them all and be damned if you want differently.  Also Youtuber channel owners look in your channel for the subscribers sidebar and click get Email notification for all you sub to as the new way is only frequent fliers will be updated meaning you'll miss out on all of you updates.  Its a horrible way of working I know but at least this way you'll get an Email notification when someone updates.

Food and Drink.

We don't really cook up stuff, I can make breakfast at a pinch so this will be a few recipies for soft drinks  with an occasional plea for making products that do not exist. 


Due to an ambivalence toward Alcohol this is strictly drinks for teetotallers and non diabetics due to frightening amounts of sugar.  We picked up a few cans of coconut juice at the weekend and a thoroughly vile sugarcane juice from an unofficial poundshop.  Really mixed up it looked like grey water from the bath and it really didn't help adding 7UP as a mixer.  Hopefully the coconut version of this will be much better, when mixed as we still have a few 500ml bottles left.

My favourite version of this is just plain coconut juice and cream soda which is heavenly.  There really isn't a straight version of coconut soda although such a thing must exist somewhere maybe this dude has some.
(hint yes he does.)

The pound shop also had cans of drink as well including the lovely pokka melon milk and a few other concentrate stuff like an orange drink version (don't care for orange) and a mango one which is nice.
Also I've had Korean drinks in small cans including a nice grape juice drink with added grapes and occasionally Sujeonggwa. See below.

Made with Persimmons
Finally because I'm obviously some sort of manchild we have Frosties for breakfast (Frosted Flakes for non UK citizens) it offers basic nutrition with the added hit of sugar.  I had the crazy idea of adding raisins or even currants to the flakes and as an afterthought reaching the bottom of the current box decided to bulk it up with Fruit and fibre.  Not too sure about the peanuts but it actually works with the added raisins to it.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sky Plus Lego

We have a second hand Sky Box and its rather better than what we previously have, this is due to the fact its a Sky plus box rather than a normal sky box.  We picked it up a few weeks back and it required a bit doing to it where a bit stands for adding cables and a remote.  The cables are easy we just switch it over from the regular Sky box we have and it'll work no problem, card is more problematic as it seems to deny us the right to view Sky Movies and Sports (not that I care about movies and sports), but regular stuff and the odd sky channel its ok.  You know I can't remember the last time I cared about Sky one (oh yeah Touch and they cancelled that) unlike when I was young and showed stuff worth a lick.  The remote we picked up at the Meridian bootsale for the princely sum of £10 as opposed to the £25 or so they wanted in store, it sort of works (no subs no sky EPG) so I'm proud of that, all I have to do is deal with Sky and get recording added.

On other news I found my old Lego in a sweet jar in the cupboard, ominously titled stick insects on the lid (we did have them, they were a gift from a neighbour and they fed on Privet).  Tipping it out we found these things.

A mass of weird blocky trees.
A collection of dismembered lego men not including several firemen mostly missing hands, heads and legs.
A chef excellence who's main body was replaced with a set of wheels.
Various ladders (from the fire station set)
Various space thrustery bits (from the lunar landscape set)

Oh and these two characters.
Percy Pig is on your right.
Percy Pig comes with his own wheelbarrow which I still have, the other guy well I don't know who he is only that its the only thing left from my duplo set as a kid.  I love his cheeky grin and porkpie hat and seems to be part of a tugboat toy (thus making him a sailor.)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Android Days.

This I swear, will be the final bit on virtualbox for a while, and I believe I mentioned Android (or phone linux as its never known as) last time. So here goes, I had about 3 different ISO.s of this before I finally found a copy that worked.  My first got stuck in some sort of command line hell even after rebooting, the second installed fine but when it came to boot proper it got stuck at the loading screen (Ironies I'm emulating a bricked tablet) the final version I found works well and I've come to if not like Android then on a level abide it. 

You'll need to disable the mouse to actually do anything with it, and I've browsed the Google play store and even watched some porn online (even though flash doesn't work with it so watching any video is pointless). Also as its basically running in a box you could essentially click on all those ads on the side and not suffer any consequences doing so, (We've not installed adblock so the screen area looks massively cluttered and untidy.)  On the plus side I get the joy of playing android games except what I've installed so far requires an update or my virtual box is not considered a proper phone for downloading through google play.

So far I have Disgaea Netherworld  (either not supported or not let us download) and PPSSPP which doesn't run for me either on android or computer.

NEO GEO Gold SNK step in.

Didn't expect to find this via Dr. A's twitter feed. SNK have publically disowned TOMMO distributors of the NEO GEO gold X handheld console, which we translated the specs of way back when.  The console itself wasn't that great and was basically a system on a chip running a version of FBA so maybe its for the best.