Cheese and Yogurt Making (by )

yogurt and cheese making supplies

Last year our yogurt maker broke - in truth it had been not quiet right for a while plus only Jean and Al could eat it. But then I saw that the thermos had been reduced and decided to buy another one - after all the first one had lasted 10 yrs!

With everything settling down health wise as well I thought I'd see how I handled yogurt and seemed to be ok with it. So I put a batch order in taking advantage of sales and what not. I had wanted to get warm bath type yogurt maker but they are really expensive 🙁

I also picked up a soft cheese maker which is basically a strainer and something I could have improvised but I figured I was more likely to get around to the actual cheese making with a special thing to help. I also added vegan rennet to the shop as I want to make proper cheese that is Alaric friendly and also Mary safe cheese!

This year is going to be about the cheese making 🙂

RIP Chook (by )

RIP Lilly the Chicken 🙁 Was clucking around this morning went for the pre-Jean home from school check and there was a sadly still form. She was the one who grew her feathers back last, and the one who had not laid a proper egg - last few months after a bout of being so ill we thought she would be gone before Christmas (she's the one we were keeping in the shower) she began laying the smallest little perfect eggs and her plummage was at last brown and full like the others. I hope the last year an a half outside of the battery farm was good to her.

Not sure how Jean is going to take this 🙁 She has been looking after them and is very proud of what a good job she has been making (hence I check up on them because she is only 9 and she sometimes forgets stuff like water). And of course Lilly was her chicken specifically.

How I’m managing my life with emacs org-mode (by )

It's no secret that I'm a busy person; often, when I decide to do something, a few years pass before I actually get to do it. So the only way I keep afloat is by the judicious use of computers to track my task lists. I rely on automatic systems to make sure I always know what I need to do today, and what are the most important things I need to do "sometime" that I can do right now. There's no way I could keep all that in my head without forgetting about things and letting people down, or feeling stressed because I'm juggling too much in my mind, or not being able to find the best thing to do when I have a free moment.

As I've mentioned before on here, I want a personal information management system based on predicate logic, so I can express complex relationships between things easily, and tell the system how to infer knowledge automatically. However, "build one of those" has yet to hit the top of my TODO list, so for now I'm using emacs' legendary org-mode. This lacks the rich semantic power of my proposed PIM, but it's already implemented and has a nice editing interface 🙂

A few people have asked about what I've done, so here's my attempt to document it.

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Old Maps (by )

The Maps of Imagination

I went through our books and found we had like a shelf of out of date maps of various types so I thought I would do some craft stuff with them. I had a few ideas which I'm sure you will all be getting to see soonly! But I also popped on the laptop to have a little look around the net and found some amazing things on Pinterest.

I saw some amazing pictures done on maps and though that type of drawing isn't really a me thing I thought about the fact I have a draw full of old mapping pens which were damn expensive (geology was known as the colouring in degree at Imperial), and I thought and thought and remembered I'd wanted to do some pictures of little creatures....

And yeah - so now I have a few of these pictures and lots of butterflies the girls punched out of maps and I have plans for bigger art works and what not!

I will be selling the Maps of the Imaginary at the comic con in Cheltenham in Feb for anyone who is interested 🙂

The Extreme Reading Jean (by )

So Jean's friend came up with an idea over Christmas and that was EXTREME READING which he did and took photos of to school. The school promptly nicked the idea or though he is helping coordinate so nicked isn't the right word!

the Extreme reading Jean

Anyway Jean is now Extreme reading - the book of choice is How It Works written by the XKCD comic guy - this was one of her Christmas presents - it was supposed to be mine but she got excited about it when she saw Al wrapping it. It has now been read several times!

Close up of Jeany ready How It Works XKCD in the cave at the climbing wall for homework

We took it to the climbing wall because extreme sports can always be improved by reading right? Cause everything is improved with reading... Not sure what we are going to do as a follow up though!

Jeany reading in the cave

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales