2016 — 3 May: Tuesday

Something seems to be slightly rotten in the State of BlackBeast1 and I know not what. There's no changed behaviour, so far as I can tell, in any of the programs I run and nothing is obviously "broken". But the sun is shining, pension day is rapidly approaching, there's a fresh cuppa close at hand, some cool music from the other end of the room, and my evening televisual binge yesterday left me two (or was it three?!) episodes into "House of Cards" Season #2. It's an amazing piece of television.

I've just heard a demo tape that Charlie Gillett played on his "Honky Tonk" BBC Radio London show in 1976, a year before the aspiring musician re-branded himself "Elvis" Costello — it's amazing what crops up on some of these "Late Junction" shows as I work my way steadily through them. (I'm currently on my 100th of those I have that are curated by Max Reinhardt, with another 27 left in 'his' particular heap.)

Time for breakfast.

There's an interesting...

... piece on filters within Inkscape in the latest issue of "Full Circle". How sad does that make me?!

Nor had I realised...

... there's an interesting alternative to Mint — "Linux Lite" — bubbling away downunder. So many distros, so little time! (Link.)

I'd forgotten...

... until bringing the Epson 1660 scanner back into use yesterday just how very speedy it is compared to the sluggish scanning 'bit' of the HP All-in-one. Anyway, here's this morning's just-delivered guilty pleasure:

Castle #7 DVDs

Now, if only I could wrap my head around those Inkscape filters I might even be able to re-introduce drop shadows :-)

On the other hand, I could do with a fresh food drop, too, before the scurvy gets too bad. It's still deliciously sunny out there.

Another useful...

... incantation:

System spec details

Meanwhile, the next coat of Danish Oil is now applied and the "artwork" is sunbathing on the back step.

Alas, poor Skylark!

I shall be consulting one of my gurus in due course. My attempt to install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS MATE was all going beautifully... until a fatal error, fairly late on in the game, when it came to creating? writing? a bootloader. At the moment, therefore, the current count of working Linux PCs hereabouts is down from four to three. This is, erm, jolly irritating.2 Now I can't even get the BIOS to clamber out of its shell to say "Hi!"


I need a different hobby.

Meanwhile, Mr (Combined) Gas and Electricity has just told me that I used 15,353kWh of gas and 2,684 kWh of electricity last year. My gas consumption is within 2kWh of last year's figure. Electricity this year is about 12% down on last year's total. My estimated bill for the coming year is therefore £870-59 (give or take).



1  If the daily presence of a fresh 300MB 'core' dump in /home is any guide! Now proven to be provoked simply by re-booting an essentially quiescent system... Most odd.
2  I'm rather cross with Ubuntu. Since Skylark is/was still just a testbed, I'd given over the entire SSD for Ubuntu to play with and it got very nearly to the end of the installation process before this very terminal error. It had been perfectly happily running the "live" distro, too, which I poked and prodded for about 30 minutes before deciding I liked it more than well enough to give the thing a proper home. And then, of course, this is how it repaid me, by deciding to drop me down this rabbit hole.
I have no clue what is stopping the BIOS from even popping up. I would ask "How can s/w get it so wrong?" but I think I already know the answer.