More Jet suits!

I’ve posted about jet suits before, but I still get a thrill every time I learn a bit more about them. In the following video, a jet suited marine takes off from a pursuit vessel, boards a gigantic naval vessel, and flies back to the pursuit vessel again. That manoeuvrability is what caught my attention. And the speed. The marine in the jet suit is flying a heck of a lot faster than the boats can power through the water. Love it. 🙂

cheers
Meeks


Coffee & peanut shortbread

As always, apologies in advance for the poor quality of the photos.

I made the peanut shortbread in celebration of the Offspring getting the first jab of Pfizer! [Recipe at the end of the post].

The cup, saucer, and side plate I chose this time share colour tonings but are not ‘a set’. Very few of my pretties match because I collected them one by one, over about thirty years. So, first the side plate. There are no marks of any sort on the back, so either it’s quite old, or…it wasn’t considered worth marking? No idea, sorry.

The cup and saucer do have a mark. It says ‘Foreign’, which leads me to wonder whether the design was made in Japan for the Western market :

Awful photo, I know. Couldn’t hold the damn phone still. 😦

What I can say is that the cup and saucer are what’s called ‘Lustreware’. The pieces I have are all made from a porcelain so fine, you can see through it when you hold it up to the light. They also have a kind of translucent irridescence that I love. You can get a sense of that in the pic of the cup below:

And now for that recipe! I can’t take much credit for it as it’s basically the same one you can find on the back of the packet of McKenzie’s rice flour, but here goes:

Shortbread with peanuts

Ingredients

  • 225 grams plain flour [all purpose flour], sifted [I didn’t]
  • 115 grams McKenzie’s rice flour, sifted [I didn’t]
  • 115 grams caster sugar, sifted [I didn’t]
  • 1 pinch of salt [as I was going to use salted peanuts, I did NOT add the salt]
  • 225 grams of butter, at room temperature [I forgot to take the unsalted butter out so had to use it cold]
  • 1/3 cup of salted peanuts

Method

Preheat oven to 150C [302 F]. If using the fan forced or fan bake setting, make it a few degrees cooler.

The next bit says you should grease a baking tray and line it with baking paper. I didn’t. I cut a piece of baking paper to size and simply lay it inside the baking tray.

From here on in I’ll just tell you what I did. So, I put the plain flour, rice flour and sugar in a bowl and stirred with a fork.

Next, I cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients and kept cutting it into smaller pieces until they were small enough to rub between my fingers. Rubbing involves pressing the butter/flour mix between the tips of your fingers as if you were trying to wash just your fingertips. Keep ‘rubbing’ until the mixture becomes granular. Sometimes you’ll hear people say ‘until it’s like breadcrumbs’. You really don’t have to be too precious about it, just mix the ingredients together.

Add the peanuts and mix in to the rest of the ingredients.

This next part is easy. Squeeze the mixture into a ball and bung it down onto the middle of the baking tray. Spread it with your hands, trying to avoid having a big clump of peanuts in any one place. I patted the shortbread dough into a rough circle because it was quick, and I was lazy. The thickness of the circle was about the size of a peanut lying flat – i.e. I wanted the peanuts to be covered by shortbread without the whole thing being too ‘fat’.

Press the tip of a fork all over the dough to allow the mixture to expand sideways.

Place the shortbread in the middle of the oven and allow it to bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until it’s a pale, golden brown. If you have any doubts about the temperature of your oven, check after 30 minutes.

Take the shortbread out of the oven and immediately ‘cut’ it with a knife. The shortbread will still be quite soft. Once it cools you won’t be able to cut it.

Leave the cut shortbread on the baking tray until cool. Eat with coffee, tea or cold milk. 🙂

cheers
Meeks


Pet Circle – Buyer Beware!

This warning applies to https://www.petcircle.com.au/

As the name implies, Pet Circle provides all sorts of products for your pet. I made one purchase, ages ago, via the Pet Circle online store. As far as I was concerned, this was a one time purchase. Imagine my surprise when I checked my emails this morning and found this:

I knew I had not set up any kind of recurring purchase so at first I thought the email was one of those awful scams we all have to live with. I would have deleted the email out of hand if not for all the personal information that a scammer would not have known:

When I logged into the Pet Circle website and had a look at my account, I found an option about Auto Delivery that I’m sure I didn’t see when I made my one and only purchase:

I cancelled the auto delivery and rang the company. I was told that there was different pricing for one off sales and auto delivery sales. I’m damn careful with my money so you can believe me when I say I was not aware of this AT ALL.

The person I spoke to at Pet Circle said something along the lines of ‘it can be confusing’. Yes, it can.

You can see from the bit I circled at the top of the previous screenshot that it is not at all clear that the discounted prices are contingent on signing up for the auto delivery.

In fact, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that there was no ‘signing’ up involved at all.

I am no lawyer so there may well be some kind of legal ‘thing’ whereby if you accept a certain price, you are accepting certain terms and conditions that go with it. I assume this is the legal grounds on which the Pet Circle auto delivery function operates.

But…if a customer effectively agrees to an ongoing ‘direct debit’ on their account, that should be made very clear, multiple times before the customer makes that purchase. There should never be any confusion about a direct debit. Direct debits give the company access to your bank account. This is dangerous stuff and should never be entered into lightly.

What bothers me the most is that I’m soooo careful with my money and with everything to do with online security, yet if I had followed my first instinct and deleted the Pet Circle email as a scam, I would not have known about the transaction until a) an unwanted purchase landed on my doorstep, and b) my account was debited with an amount I could ill afford to lose.

This is the first time I’ve personally come across this kind of ‘confusion’, but I can’t help wondering how many other online companies are doing much the same thing? When you buy online, please read all the fine print and do NOT leave your credit cards details with any merchant unless you are absolutely sure that you want to give them access to your bank account.

I’m okay. Make sure that you’re okay too, now and into the future.

Not even a little bit happy,
Meeks


What is wrong with us?

This is the sentence that horrified me just moments ago:

Iowa Woman Admits to Hitting Children With Car Because of Their Ethnicity

It’s not click-bait. It’s real, and that makes it a million times worse.

The article is written by online blogging friend, Jill Dennison. You can find the full details, including the official statement by authorities, here https://jilldennison.com/2021/04/24/71725/

Be warned though, the account is chilling because the ‘Iowa Woman’ deliberately targeted two separate kids at two separate locations.

As a mother, I cannot conceive of any act more brutal, more evil. But the aftermath, sickened me almost as much:

‘What I don’t understand … this woman who attempted to murder children because she didn’t like the colour of their skin … is handled by law enforcement with kid gloves, while in North Carolina, a 68-year-old Black grandmother was dragged out of her car by her hair, slammed to the ground by police, stepped on, treated so brutally that she suffered a torn rotator cuff (part of the shoulder joint) … for exceeding the speed limit.’

And similar acts of brutality are being carried out, by police, right here in Australia. Against people whose

skin.

is.

not.

white.

What is wrong with us?

Meeks


Hydrogel for damaged joints

“Once it’s been injured, the protective cartilage in our knees and other joints heals very slowly – if at all. A new injectable gel, however, could both reinforce the tissue after it’s been damaged, and encourage new cartilage to grow over top of it.”

If you’re like me, and starting to find that your joints are not as young as the rest of you, the following article in New Atlas should be of interest: https://newatlas.com/medical/hyaluronic-acid-hydrogel-reinforce-regrow-cartilage/

If you’re young and have no idea what cartilage is, or how a joint works, or why it can cause pain, here’s a simple picture:

Image courtesy Wise Geek https://images.wisegeek.com/frontal-view-of-joint-with-cartilage.jpg labels by me

As you can see, the bone ends that meet in our joints, don’t actually meet. They’re held in place by ligaments [the blue bit] that act a bit like rubber bands. And to make sure the two bones don’t grind against each other, each end is capped by cartilage. Cartilage is a tough but flexible material that acts like the tyre on the wheel of a car – it stops you from driving on the metal rims.

And just like tyres, the cartilage protecting the ends of your bones wears down over time. How much time depends on how much wear and tear it is subjected to. The knee cartilage of runners tends to wear down faster than that of couch potatoes because it’s used more. Unlike tyres, however, joint cartilage can’t be replaced when the ‘treads go bald’, which is why this research is so important.

My tread isn’t bald yet, but it’s getting there, so I can hardly wait for the hydrogel to be commercialised. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone,

cheers
Meeks


WP Media Library – ‘Uploaded to’??

I’m not usually stumped by what appears to be a common ‘feature’ in WordPress, but I’ve just found one that has me utterly baffled.

This is a screenshot of the Media Library as accessed from the Dashboard:

I have the view set to ‘list’ instead of ‘grid’, but the column heading of ‘Uploaded to’ doesn’t mean ‘this picture was inserted into XX post’ because most of my pictures are shown as ‘Unattached’, despite the fact that I know they were inserted into posts.

The blue ‘Attach’ option doesn’t do what I thought it should either – i.e. it doesn’t insert a saved picture file /into/ a post. I actually tried it out and when you select the ‘Attach’ option, you’re given a list of posts to attach the picture file to:

But…selecting a post and clicking ‘Select’ does NOT place the image into the post. I tried. It doesn’t do anything that’s visually obvious. The only thing that changes is that for that file, ‘Attach’ changes to ‘Detach’.

I tried searching for an explanation of what the ‘Uploaded to’ column means, or what the ‘Attach’ option is meant to do, but found only programming type gobbledegook that sounded as if it had nothing to do with inserting a picture into a post.

To save /my/ sanity. Does anyone out there know what this is all about? -cough- In plain English?

Meeks


WordPress Media Library

Meeka’s Mind is a ‘word’ blog rather than a picture blog. Nevertheless, I do use quite a lot of graphics – 2,172 at last count – so when I tried to insert an old pic into a post and couldn’t scroll past 2017, I dashed off a help request to WordPress. The problem is now fixed, but in the process, I learned that the Media Library you see within a post is a dumbed down version of the Media Library you see from your Dashboard.

This is what you see from within the post:

It’s a basic grid layout with the ability to filter your pics by the month [Filter media], or via a search function [not shown]. If you have over 2000 pics like me, finding one particular thumbnail is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

But have a look at what you can do from the Dashboard!

See the small blue icon circled near the top left of the screenshot? That corresponds to the ‘Details’ option in Windows Explorer. It lists all your pics according to 5 different categories: file [filename], Author [some sites have more than one], Uploaded to [name of post], Comments and…ta dah…Date. Clicking on the name of the category – e.g. File – causes all the files to be sorted in alphabetical order. Or date order etc.

So instead of scrolling through hundreds of thumbnails, you can narrow your search down by year, or filename [if you happen to remember what it was called] and so on. And because the icons on the list are so small, everything loads so much faster.

Now, the reason I did not know you could sort your pics in a list view was because I never use the Media Library from my Dashboard [that’s the black panel on the left]. I upload new pics from within whichever post I’m writing or editing. Or, if I know I’ve already got the perfect pic in my Media Library, I also look for it from within the post. And I have to tell you, that can be excruciatingly painful.

Anyway, I thanked the nice tech person who answered by original call for help, and then I asked him why such a useful function was not available in the one place where it would be most needed – i.e. in the post. I haven’t received a reply yet, but I assume this is all part of the mobile phone devolution. Thumbnails in a grid can be rearranged to fit smaller screens fairly easily. Columns cannot, and who’s going to swipe sideways every time they want to see the Date column?

So you see, I do understand. I also understand that the bulk of WordPress users are probably quite young and very efficient with their thumbs. They probably don’t want to write, or read, long word posts. They probably write multiple, very short posts, with pics, whenever the mood strikes them. And that may be the direction in which all social media is heading…but…those of us who’ve been with WordPress the longest signed up for a blogging platform focused on…words.

Have we become the old demographic, in all senses of the word? A dying breed?

What say you, fellow dinosaurs?

Meeks

p.s. As a form of protest, I decided against including a graphic. Instead, please picture me in fluffy slippers, taking on all comers as I wield my trusty rolling pin. 🙂

p.p.s. I notice that the preview function is back the way it used to be! Glory be. Must have been a lot of people complaining.


Proof of concept – Innerscape

Forgive the grandiose title, but I’ve just read an article on Medium that details the current research aimed at creating a computer-brain interface. And that concept, taken to an extreme level, is precisely what Innerscape is all about.

I’ve known about some of the technologies for some time, but I was truly surprised by how much, and how varied, those technologies are. Some are clearly still in their infancy, but I see great potential for others…including football fans. 🙂

No, I’m not kidding. The article below contains a video about a very special ‘kickoff’. The person doing the kickoff [first kick of the game] is wearing an exoskeleton, and he’s paralyzed. He’s moving the exoskeleton with his brain. That is little short of a miracle.

You can watch a video of that kickoff, and read about the other technologies in development here: https://medium.com/predict/brain-computer-interfaces-the-next-step-in-human-evolution-a0e0723a1791

One thing I very much like about the article is that it talks openly about the elephant in the room – the ethics of some of these technologies. We humans have a habit of jumping into new tech feet first, so enamoured of the potential for good [or profit] that we wilfully ignore the potential for harm. And there is always potential for harm.

It’s Good Friday here in Australia so I’ll wish you all a Safe and Happy Easter if you celebrate it. If not, may you have a Safe and Happy Holiday.

Much love,
Meeks


Final Freebie – 3 more days

The 6th, and last, free ebook I’m offering is the Innerscape Omnibus which includes all three books of the Innerscape trilogy.

As the title says, the Innerscape Omnibus is free for about 3 more days, depending on your timezone. The promotion ends on April 3, 2021.

US https://www.amazon.com/Innerscape-Omnibus-Books-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0871W9YDH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Innerscape+Omnibus&qid=1617103285&sr=8-1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Innerscape-Omnibus-Books-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0871W9YDH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Innerscape+Omnibus&qid=1617103337&sr=8-1

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/Innerscape-Omnibus-Books-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0871W9YDH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Innerscape+Omnibus&qid=1617103385&sr=8-1

Canada https://www.amazon.ca/Innerscape-Omnibus-Books-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0871W9YDH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Innerscape+Omnibus&qid=1617103433&sr=8-1

India https://www.amazon.in/Innerscape-Omnibus-Books-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0871W9YDH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Innerscape+Omnibus&qid=1617103493&sr=8-1

If you are not in one of these Amazon marketplaces, you can find the Omnibus by going to the Amazon search box and typing:

Innerscape Omnibus acflory

While you’re there, perhaps you could check out some of the wonderful books written by Sue Vincent: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1617227018&sr=8-1


Meeks



Sue Vincent – 1958 to 2021

I knew it was coming, but I hoped for more, for longer, for a miracle…

Ani’s Voice is gone, but she will never be forgotten. Goodbye Sue.

14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021


%d bloggers like this: