Almut’s new food blog

E.g. Baked Custard, img: a href="https://aspaeth.de/baked-custard/">Almut Spaeth (CC AT-NC-ND 4.0)
EBaked Custard, img: Almut Spaeth (License: CC AT-NC-ND 4.0)

Almut kocht gerne und vegetarisch. Nun hat sie sich ihr 27 Jahre altes Kochbuch “Home Cooking” von Linda McCartney vorgenommen und kocht es durch, schlägt Varianten vor und fotografiert die Gerichte neu. Noch dazu veröffentlicht sie alles in ihrem neuen food blog “A new take on Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking”. Leider müssen wir als kulinarische Versuchskaninchen herhalten :-), aber es gibt schlimmeres als leckeres Essen.

Dear London, a few questions

The Round House, London
Why is the Round House not actually round?
The Spaghetti House
Why is the Spaghetti House not thin as a spaghetti?
Taking a nap is actually not that comfortable on these benches…

Some more questions:

  • Why does it seem like Little Italy is right next to Chinatown?
  • Why are pedestrian green cycles so short that a good walker barely makes it across alive?
  • Why does the tube enforce digital detox? My phone does not detect a single phone carrier underground.
  • Why do people stand on the right hand side on escalators and overtake on the left hand side in a left-driving country?
  • Are grey-brownish squirrels tasteful? St. James’es Park has plenty of them!
Cars seem a little weird in the UK…

So many questions, clearly I will have to come back for answers… 🙂

When it rains, it pours

I am in London this week, to visit my old colleague Stefan Haefliger. It is good seeing him (and his sweet little daughter Emmett). I like to walk around a lot in cities that I do not know well, so I walked from office at Cass Business School back to my hotel.

No, that is NOT the university where I am a guest researcher…

And then it rained! The Dailymail titled it “Commuter chaos across southern England as four major London stations are closed due to flooding when torrential thunderstorms dump a MONTH’S rain on the capital in hours” (and has impressive pictures of flooded stations)

That large spike yesterday is when I was out there! (img:ⓒBen Lee-Rodgers)

The nicest weather data I could find was from nw3weather.co.uk (thanks, Mr. Lee-Rodgers) which recorded a rain rate of 60 mm/h (16:31) and a daily amount of rain of 24.2 mm just on Sep 24th. There is an average monthly rainfall of 34.6 mm, so it was not quite a month’s of rain in a day, but close enough for me to get soaked.

All photos except the weather chart are (c) by me and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Raketen!

Am Wochenende haben wir endlich unsere selbstgebaute Rakete ausprobiert. Modell Ariel vom Raketenmodellbaushop Klima, die wir uns als Bausatz bestellt hatten. Der Zusammenbau geht gut von der Hand, mit ein bisschen Kleber und zwei Kindern als Helfer geht das problemlos.

Modellbaurakete mit Startrampe
Rakete Ariel vor ihrem ersten Start ©Spaeth CC-BY-SA 4.0
Startrampe nach dem ersten Start ©Spaeth CC-BY-SA 4.0

Getestet haben wir mit einer batteriebetriebenen Elektrozündung und dem kleinsten verfügbaren Motor (Typ A6-4).
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0!

…Zisch, und ab ging es, ca. 45 Meter hoch. Dann am Fallschirm schön wieder nach unten. Ein voller Erfolg! Und eine gute Gelegenheit um einmal unsere Walkie-talkies einzusetzen, damit der Startpyromane mit der Recovery-Crew sprechen kann, die die Rakete auf dem Feld wiederholen musste.

Danach wurden wir etwas übermütig und haben den starken Motor eingebaut. Start! und ab gings. So hoch, dass wir die Rakete erst nicht mehr sehen konnten! Dann sah man den roten Fallschirm eine Weile HOCH oben in der Luft pendeln. Und dann… muss eine Windböje aufgekommen sein, jedenfalls war der rote Fleck am Himmel weg und tauchte nie wieder auf. Vielleicht steckt Ariel jetzt auch auf der Sonnenoberfläche :-).

Spaß gemacht haben unsere zwei Starts jedenfalls und wir werden sicherlich wieder eine Ariel zünden, sobald wir eine neue haben…

New Thunderbird plugins

The new world has arrived for Thunderbird 60, and many old plugins of mine stopped working. Here are the substitutes I found useful.

  1. I had been using “Nostalgy” to quickly file away messages from my INBOX into arbitrary folders. Unfortunately, Nostalgy has not survived the switch, so I use a combination of: Quick Folder move which enables the same functionality but uses SHIFT-M as hotkey and Dorando Keyconfig to keep using the old “S” from nostalgy for filing away things.
  2. I had been using the EWS Exchange plugin to connect to my employer’s Exchange server. And I use Cardbook to connect to my carddav/caldav server. Unfortunately, this has not seen an update for quite some time. I could test with the fork from here , however, I am now using a combination of TBsync which connects to both Exchange and Caldav/carddav servers, using this plugin. TBsync nicely works with CategoryManager. The one drawback of TBsync is that it does not synchronize shared calenders from EWS, apparently.

Home Assistent Pitfalls

I have been playing with Home Assistent. Yes, our home should be smart too :-). But I am not giving up my privacy, so only a local solution was considered! Here are a few pitfalls that I experienced when configuring Home Assistant, I hope they are useful to you too.

FritzBox device tracker:

I have a FritzBox from AVM, so I installed the “platform: fritz” module to track devices in our WLAN. However, that led to mysterious “Failed to establish connection to FRITZ!Box with IP: 169.254.1.1” errors. Debugging the underlying package “fritzconnection”, it turns out that you need to turn on “Zugriff für Anwendungen zulassen” AND “Statusinformationen über UPnP übertragen” in your Homenetwork->Network Settings, to make it work. This will turn on TR-64 and the transmission of the necessary status information. Error handling of this package could be a tad better….

FritzBox DECT switch (Fritz DECT 210):

the “platform: fritzdect” module is supposed to handle The Fritz DECT 210 remote switch. However, I still haven’t gotten it to work. I receive error messages in the form:

 File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/dist-packages/homeassistant/components/switch/f
ritzdect.py", line 157, in update
 self.state = actor.get_state()
 File "/home/hassio/.homeassistant/deps/lib/python3.6/site-packages/fritzhome/a
ctor.py", line 56, in get_state
 int(self.box.homeautoswitch("getswitchstate", self.actor_id))
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: 'inval'

Notifications via XMPP/Jabber:

I have managed to receive notification messages via XMPP when certain things happen. Now I need to come up with smart rules, to make things smart….

ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED AS I PLAY MORE WITH HOME ASSISTANT.