zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
[personal profile] zeborah
I knew this would happen one day. In fact I suspected it would happen today.

Because a while ago when I came home there was a fence up around the house next door. And yesterday when I came home there was a bulldozer on the driveway beside the house next door. So today when I came home it wasn't terribly surprising that there was a bulldozer on the small pile of rubble that is all that remains of the house next door.

But I am disappointed that I can't share any photos, because it's winter and my commute is about 1h15 each way, so when I leave in the morning it's dark and when I get home at night it's dark.

In related news, I got a surprise voicemail from EQC/Fletchers last Thursday and after a couple of rounds of voicemail tag they asked me if the repairs on my house had in fact been completed. No, I replied, in fact they had not. Much as I told you last time you asked me this five months ago. Oh, they said, and asked for details again, which I told them again. It's possible that this time they'll do something about it, but I'm not in a rush. (It's just aesthetics around my living room fireplace. It's serious aesthetics, so sometime in the next five years would be nice, but people are living in their cars and using bubblewrap for insulation, y'know?) Mostly I just want to know that their records reflect the fact that they haven't finished, so a call every several months suits me fine.

A few days later I got a further call from EQC related folks but in this case it was land assessment, wanting to check what damage my land sustained. I could have sworn they'd already assessed my land (you know, before spending all that time and money mostly-fixing my house 18 months ago) but I'm a librarian, not a geotechnical engineer so what do I know? I managed to get agreement that they don't need access to my house because, while they'd like to check the land underneath it, they respect my desire not to have my new insulation and plastic sheeting torn up for the purpose. Peering through the vents will apparently be fine. This means they can come and skulk around the property by themselves while I'm at work.

In unrelated news, I've been baking a series of Herman the German Friendship Cakes, which involves keeping and feeding a yeast-based starter. Whether it's particularly warm of late, or the ingredients have got off-balance, or what, but the last several days he's really taken off with serious bubbling. He also smells increasingly alcoholic. :-D

I mentioned making curtains: I now have the three incorrect ones up and will make the fourth one correct in due course.

I may have also mentioned dehydrating fruit. When my trees are in fruit this is peaches and plums; right now it's mostly cheap apples and pears; but sometimes I have some persimmons or honeydew melon going soft. So I can come home of an evening and grab myself a slice of dried persimmon, and it is good.

And at work I have been making a javascript bookmarklet to provide a permalink to bibliographic database pages. This is more complex than one might expect if one doesn't know bibliographic databases; but it's also a lot simpler than I initially feared. Not that this cut down on any hours of debugging. (One of the most frustrating was a bug introduced only in IE when - as I eventually tracked down - the page's doctype is malformed, which happens on more databases than you might think.) But it's now good enough that I'm getting a colleague to send it to a couple of potential users for testing purposes. And it's so pretty.

Date: 2013-06-13 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ajk
Alcoholic starter! That's familiar.

How does yeast-based starter differ from sourdough starter? I assume there's a difference (though sourdough also contains yeast).

Date: 2013-06-13 07:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ajk
Ah. Sugar and yeast together do lead to alcohol :-D When you add stuff, do you also remove stuff, or do you just let it get bigger?

Sweet and sour, maybe? (I think it only refers to acidity in the case of a regular sourdough starter.)
Edited Date: 2013-06-13 07:42 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-06-13 09:54 am (UTC)
choirwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] choirwoman
Ah, freezing question answered. Note to self: read everything before you post.

Date: 2013-06-13 09:50 am (UTC)
choirwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] choirwoman
Natural yeast, yes; proper sourdough bread doesn't contain any added yeast. I'd start baking sourdough bread again if I wasn't the only person in the house who likes it; can't eat it before the starter needs to be used. Does anyone know whether the starter can be frozen (and will work when thawed)?

Date: 2013-06-13 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ajk
I've read of people freeze and thaw sourdough starter successfully but never done it myself. My own preferred form of sourdough storage is drying. Seems to work ok. In both cases you may need one or two revival feedings before it's good for actual baking.

Date: 2013-06-13 09:53 am (UTC)
choirwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] choirwoman
My mother used to have a friendship cake starter --hilarious that it's called Herman because that's my father's name-- but I always declined a portion because she (and presumably whoever she got it from) were very superstitious and chain-lettery about it. Also, at that time, when I was a student, I didn't even have a proper oven so I'd have had to bake it at a friend's house.

Date: 2013-06-14 08:25 pm (UTC)
choirwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] choirwoman
It was the "and superstitious" part that made it creepy.

Date: 2013-06-13 01:25 pm (UTC)
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
The fact that people are still not back in their homes well after the event is so sad. :(

Date: 2013-06-14 08:27 pm (UTC)
choirwoman: (pic#1344836)
From: [personal profile] choirwoman


zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

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