More Bread

I made another loaf of bread. This is a recipe that makes an open crumb artisan bread. Check this out.

The Loaf

I made that! Here is what it looks like on the inside.


Here’s a closeup so you can see the awesome holes.

Holes Again

It was yummy too.

OK.  OK. Yawn! I’m posting pictures of my dinner online. Boring.

So how about a cute bunny?


That guy is living in our back yard and eating our exotic flowers. Not our favorite bunny. Wascally Wabbit!

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Really Old Car

I went out to the garage to put the new charger for the new phones in the car. I decided to try the charger in the accessory port to see if it would work.


Hunh? Wazzat?



It’s like new too. Never used.

I guess I’ll leave it in there since there isn’t any other cover on the port.

Now, that’s an old car.

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Today, I made a loaf of bread.

The Bread

I have been studying better techniques for making artisan bread at home. I am all into autolyse and gluten and oven spring…..

Of course, I picked the very best day of the year to turn on the oven and bake something for a couple of hours, as our thermometers confirm.


Somebody stop me.

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“Smalt”. That is a really cool word. It is the name of a paint color that I just found.


The original Smalt is made from ground up Cobalt Glass. This paint is called “Smalt Hue”, which means that it is the same color as Smalt, but the actual pigment is not really Cobalt Glass.

Smalt is the color that I was looking for to use in my new painting palette. I have been devising a new palette using muted colors, and I was having trouble finding a blue that would fit. Red was easy, moving from Cadmium Red to Burnt Sienna. Yellow was easy too, going from Lemon Yellow to Yellow Ochre. But blue is blue is blue. Blue is in-your-face.

Then I was out at the Golden Paint* web site, and I found Smalt. It seems to be close to what I was looking for, and is slightly less in-your-face blue than Ultramarine, Prussian, or even regular Cobalt Blue. We shall see how it behaves on the canvas.

*I use Golden paints, but I am not selling them. I paid full retail $$$ for that tube of paint. But they do have a very interesting web site where you can interactively mix their paints and see what they look like.

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Another Seuss Plant

We have another Dr. Seuss® plant blooming.

The Plant

At least this one doesn’t smell like rotting flesh.

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This blog has been quiet lately, and that is because I have gone off on another project to build an instrument. I am building a dulcimer this time. Here is what it will look like.

The Plan

I am documenting every (mis)step in the process. You can check it out on my web page at

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22 Years

Wow! 22 years! That went by fast. That’s how long those LED light bulbs are supposed to last.

However… today we had one literally fall apart while we were using it. The bulb was in this desk lamp.


I turned the lamp on, and the glass globe that covers the LED’s fell off…. onto the floor… and shattered. Look at this.


It appears that the glass was glued in place, and the glue let go. The light was still on after the globe fell off. So I turned it off an took out the remaining bits.

As you can see in the photo, I have this funny habit of writing the dates on things like batteries and light bulbs when I install them (ya… go ahead…. call me crazy). So when I took out the remaining part of the bulb, there was the installation date.

In case you can’t see it in the photo above, here is a closeup.


By my reckoning, the life of this bulb was about 3 1/2 years, which is approximately 15.9090909091% of its estimated life span. That doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me. And to top it off, another bulb of this same brand failed last week. It was installed on 2015/01/04 in an open ceiling fixture. That was just over 2 years ago. These are store brand bulbs from a major HarDware store,  which shall remain unnamed to keep me out of trouble with the lawyers.

In case you were wondering what is inside those new-fangled LED light bulbs, I took advantage of the busted bulb to snap some photos of the guts.

Star Wars

Now, that’s a Star Wars® looking device. Here’s a closeup of the business end of the bulb.


Those are the actual LED’s, hooked onto their heat sink. There are 20 of ’em. They are even numbered….. or maybe that is Alien Speak for “Take Me To Your LEDer”

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Fox in the Henhouse

We don’t have a henhouse, but apparently we do have the fox.


This guy showed up early in the morning and was poking around the house, probably looking for breakfast.

The crappy, double-exposed photo is because I took it through the double pane glass door on the slider, early in the morning and with no flash. The crappy, depressing blue-gray color scheme is because it is still Winter here, even though it is April. C’mon, already. Where’s Spring?

Similar to the hawk in my previous post, once the critter caught sight of me snapping its photo, it took off in a blur.


This time, I caught it in the act of leaving…. well sort of.

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We had a visitor today. He showed up in a tree out back.


He spent some time surveying the place, probably looking for squirrel lunches.

I spent some time snapping photos.

Looking right

There he is, looking regal and checking out the back yard.

Looking Center

OK, more like owning the back yard.

Looking left

Uh oh! Busted!


After he spotted me, he took off. Camera shy, I guess.

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Nixie Clock

So, what do old programmers do after they retire?

They write old programs, like a Nixie Tube Clock program.

If you don’t know what a Nixie Tube is, then you are not an old programmer. They are neon glow bulbs that have 10 elements in them in the shapes of the 10 digits, 0 – 9. They were used on old equipment for numerical displays. You can read all about Nixie Tubes on the Wiki,

I have always liked Nixie Tubes, and my computer used to have a Nixie Tube Clock display on it. Somehow I lost that clock program and cannot find it.

So I wrote one myself. Here it is on the computer monitor.


It is up there in the upper right corner by the X-Eyes. Here’s a closer look.

Closer look

I made it real big below so you can see what the Nixie tubes look like.

Full size

Those are pictures of the Nixie tubes, of course, not real tubes. In the real tubes, the numeral elements are layered inside the tube front to back. As the numbers change, you can see them jumping back and forth inside of the tube. Psychedelic!

But the software version has a nice, warm glow.

I was surprised that you can now buy Nixie clocks again…. real ones…. not just pictures of tubes….  real tubes…. check it out.

What is old is new again.

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