Just a reminder

katamari2
...to all my LJ friends -- I've moved my blog to my main website.

Site: http://liedra.net
RSS: http://liedra.net/rss.xml
LJ feed: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/liedradotnet/

Thanks for reading! ilu! :D

Important Notice

katamari2

Hi guys, after wordpress has been thrashing my rather large-memory’d server I am going to be closing it down shortly. I will have my new site back at http://liedra.net with a new blog engine (written by Nicholas) and a new Twitter-powered comment system (written by me!) :)

Please update your RSS feeds to http://liedra.net/rss.xml and your bookmarks if you use those to http://liedra.net :) Thanks!

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

Early Spring in Namur

katamari2

I think spring is springing in Namur! Today we had a beautiful sunny day with the temperatures around 7 deg C outside, getting up to about 10 in the sun which is virtually summer compared to some of the subzero temperatures we’ve had this winter!

Since I’d bought a new bicycle recently (a Dahon Vitesse D7HG) I decided that now that it wasn’t snowy and icy and dark that it would be a great opportunity to “break it in” with more than just a trip to the post office. So I jumped on, unfolded it, and off we went!

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63270565

Here’s my new bike with the Citadelle de Namur in the background. Isn’t it cute? :D

I did a bit of a roundabout trip, and I think I did close to 20km total in about 2 hours. It was such a nice ride though, mostly flat along the river, that it hardly felt like much work at all, though I am certainly feeling it now! :) My original plan of riding along the Meuse down toward Andenne was foiled by roadworks blocking off the RAVel in that direction, so I decided instead to head the other direction up the Meuse and check out the little island I’d seen from the Citadelle as well as the giant lock there.

Firstly though, I met some friendly swans. They were courting each other, much like all the other swans I saw on my trip. One couple were being very lovey-dovey in the water, dancing around and nuzzling each other, it was really quite cool to watch (no photos though, since they were quite far away and in a lot of shadow).

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63270098

Swans and Geese on the Meuse

Swans and Geese on the Meuse

Further down the river I stopped to take some photos of the beautiful view back to the Citadelle on my real camera, it was so picture-postcard beautiful!

Namur

Namur

Namur

Namur

In that last picture you can see the island I went to look at. It’s a wildlife refuge, with no bridge, but I saw lots of swans and ducks and other birdlife in there from the shore.

I also had to cross the lock:

Meuse River Lock

Meuse River Lock

I really had a lovely ride, and the bike seemed to hold up pretty well. It was lovely and smooth except where there were uneven cobblestones, and we even negotiated lots of muddy areas where the roadworks were going on — thank goodness for the mudflaps! Heh. I think my next trip will be in the Andenne direction, but on the other side of the Meuse this time :)

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 3

katamari2

- a new acquaintance, the stroller’s tale, a disagreeable interruption, and an unpleasant encounter -

Listen now:   or Download as MP3

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 2 (part 2)

katamari2

The second part of Chapter 2. I’m trying to improve my reading aloud, so constructive criticism is welcome! Apparently the little Flash player doesn’t re-post very well to Livejournal. I’d recommend either viewing the original on my site or subscribing to the feed or, if all else fails, downloading the one you’d like to listen from the directory here.

Listen now:  

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

katamari2

So Kraft bought out Cadbury, after a long set of negotiations. Instead of talking about the possible ramifications of that, which are rather boring, ultimately, I’d like to talk about the differences between the Cadbury Dairy Milk that I ate in the UK and that of Australia.

First up, some brief facts about the contents of each type of chocolate:

UK Ingredients: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifiers (E442, E476), Flavourings.

UK “Description”: Milk solids 20% minimum, cocoa solids 20% minimum. Contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter.

AU Ingredients: Full Cream Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Milk Solids, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, 476), Flavours.

AU “Description”: Milk Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 21%, Milk Solids 28%.

So, the Australian Dairy Milk is actually milkier and chocolatier than the UK version, which basically sums up my taste test between the two. This is a bit of a shame really, since I would have thought the UK version the “definitive”, but honestly the Australian one tastes a lot richer and smoother than its parent.

Let’s hope Kraft doesn’t mess with the Australian recipe in any case! Dairy Milk 2.0 anyone?

(Donations of Aussie Dairy Milk gratefully appreciated, this Belgian chocolate is all well and good but sometimes you just want something that reminds you of home :)

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 2 (part 1)

katamari2

Chapter 2 in my series of read-alouds of The Pickwick Papers.

Listen now:  

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 1

katamari2

I am reading through The Pickwick Papers for Nicholas, and I thought maybe others might like to subscribe to my podcast. I am reading the version available on Project Gutenberg for those who wish to read ahead! There are also illustrations, the pertinent ones of which I will attach to each post. I will do these when I get the urge to, which will probably be fairly often. Dickens is hilarious, in a really beautifully creative way, so I am really quite enjoying reading this. The first episode is a little tricky to understand because it involves interjections and such, but later episodes become a lot easier, so bear with me! :)

If you would like, you can subscribe to this podcast only feed (with iTunes or whatever) at http://liedra.net/wordpress/category/podcasts/feed

Listen now:  

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

A very Belgian winter

katamari2

It’s cold! Very cold! But it’s snowing and snow is pretty :)

I have lots of photos. Here are a few!

Ice Sculpture, Christmas Markets

Ice Sculpture, Christmas Markets

Ice sculptures in the Namur Christmas markets. Pretty!

Namur Citadel Winter 2009

Namur Citadel Winter 2009

The citadelle after a night’s snow. More Christmas markets and an outdoor ice skating rink!

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IMG_1337

First snowfall!

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IMG_1342

Holly outside my window — it’s definitely Christmas!

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IMG_1345

Sunset after today’s snow

IMG_1348

IMG_1348

Someone went to a lot of trouble to make some very large snowmen!

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IMG_1350

The ducks and geese are appreciating the most of the water they have left (it’s been down to -13degC!)

IMG_1352

IMG_1352

My first and rather poor attempt at a snowman – a snow bunny for ixchelbunny!

Some other intriguing things have arrived in Namur: A milk vending machine! The lack of fresh milk has been a source of annoyance for me, so this arrival of a vending machine not only helps the farmers who have been having a tough time of it recently but also provides me with fresh milk for much cheaper than my previous source! :) Yay!

Milk Vending Machine

Milk Vending Machine

Milk Vending Machine sign

Milk Vending Machine sign

Nicholas came to visit me at the beginning of the month and we pottered up to Amsterdam, home of canals, art, deep fried batter balls, fantastic Ethiopian food, and rain. I put up some photos here. We had a wonderful time and it was really awesome to see him. I’m hoping he’ll be back in Europe next year!

This week I am off to the UK for Christmas, staying with Yvan, Kat, and Yvan’s sister Yaël for Christmas itself, then off to visit Chris for the break between Christmas and New Year! I’m very much looking forward to it :) Missing everyone at home for Christmas, and the nice warm temperatures — but I must admit it’s fun to have some snow! Heh. Let’s just hope I can get on the train though — Eurostar has cancelled 3 days of travel because of the bad cold conditions… so I hope that by Wednesday it will clear up! Even then there could be issues with the backlog of passengers from this weekend!

Anyway, hope you all have a happy and safe new year! Looking forward to seeing what the new year will bring!

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

A very small review of google wave

katamari2

I received an invitation to Google Wave recently and went to have a play. Fortunately I know some people who are involved with Google so it meant I had a few people to fiddle around with things with but to be honest I am not hugely fussed by it.

My main thoughts on it, having played around for a little while without really knowing anything about it:

1) It’s very difficult to use. The UI is very cumbersome, and they seem to have given everything silly names that are not in the least bit descriptive. On its own that might be okay, with one or two like that (such as with twitter/tweets) but with waves and blips and gadgets and robots and god knows what else is going on you need a pocket reference book to take with you. Also, it’s completely unintuitive as to how to add a gadget to a wave. I spent the better part of 5-10 mins trying to work out how to add a gadget to a wave before discovering I had to “reply” before I got the options up.

2) Not much information about what has been done recently. It’s a pain in the butt to have to read through 100+ “blips” to see what’s been updated along the way. This is connected to the “feature” where people can edit other peoples’ posts. However “useful” that might be, I could see it being highly irritating to miss an edit because there was no highlighting of it or anything useful like that.

3) Gadgets. Only a couple of gadgets are available, yet there seem to be heaps on other app sites yet with no easy-seeming way to add them. How do we add them? Also the weather app is only in Fahrenheit. Grump.

4) Settings. I realise that the main settings are coming, but the extension settings didn’t actually allow me to customise anything I wanted to actually customise. Like the weather app being in Fahrenheit. Also, why can’t we easily add more extensions from here? Why do we have to “add from URL” (another COMPLETELY confusing option) when replying to a wave?

5) Freedom. I suppose that’s what this is all about, but to be honest I find Wave too free. It has no real focus, anyone can edit anything, and so it makes it pretty useless to replace irc/forums or similar, yet there isn’t the infrastructure to really handle much more than making it a glorified dumping ground for youtube videos and sudoku games. What is Wave supposed to be, Google? It doesn’t fit anything I can think of that might be particularly useful, except maybe for D&D tabletop gaming. lol.

So that’s my little review of Wave. I realise I’m probably just ignorant about some of these things but honestly this is what struck me :) Mostly #5 too. I look forward to seeing how it develops, but atm it doesn’t do anything that my other forms of communication don’t already do, and there are some weird, off-putting bits that need ironing out.

Mirrored from liedra dot net.

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