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Just a minor crash

This week: Just three cables; Just a minor crash; A bit of caddying; The place next door;

A few remaining leaves
A few remaining leaves

The mosquitoes are still flying.

However that said, they are flying more slowly, and there are fewer of them. So with less exposed skin because of lower temperatures, they are easier to squash.

It is just that I have never seen them so late in the year before and I have never been bitten this late. Friday is the 1st December too!

The weather is still swinging wildly from sunny and mild to strong colds winds, which are normal for this time of year.

A lot of the deciduous trees still have their leaves, although they are yellowing and falling rapidly in the wind.

Green leaves and late autumn sunshine
Green leaves and late autumn sunshine

At the same time, next year’s buds are swelling on many of the fruit trees.

Swelling buds on a Cherry tree
Swelling buds on a Cherry tree

If we do get a cold spell, it will mean there will not be much soft fruit next year.

I try and walk every day, usually accompanied by one or more of the felines. They are happy at the moment because there is little dew so the grass is dry.

Yoda following me along the path
Yoda following me along the path

Kittens don’t like having wet feet!

The wet and warm autumn weather means that there is a lot of lush grass growth everywhere. This does of course mean that there will be a bumper crop of weeds next spring!

Lush grass in the olive groves
Lush grass in the olive groves

Along the green lanes around my home, the only wild flowers are daisies and dandelion. There is nothing even slightly out of the ordinary.

Just three cables

I was puzzled about some wiring this week.

In the hall, I have two switches for the centre light, but one is by a door which will be obsolete when I finally get my building work done.

It is always handy to have light switches near to doorways, so I was thinking about where I will need them in the future.

This is because I have been preparing wood for the hall floor. However before I lay it, I need to make sure that any and all wiring is buried underneath.

It would be useful to have three switches, which is possible, but it needs what is called an “intermediate” switch. This special light switch allows the light to be turned on and off from more than two locations.

A two way switch wiring
A two way switch wiring diagram
Two way and intermediate switches
Two way and intermediate switches

I have the switches and meters of cable, but need to plan the most efficient layout.

Once again, it was a sit down with a blank sheet of paper at coffee time, to plan what needs to go where.

Just a minor crash

There was an item on one of the Facebook history groups which made me go looking for a copy of a photo I had scanned some time ago.

I am careful to back up digital files, as I have done for many years since I used CD’s for the purpose.

There has long been a discussion about how long CD’s, DVD’s and external hard disc drives will keep their data for.

The industry “Gold standard” for archiving, is to use different media, so that if one media backup fails or gets damaged, then the other, from a different manufacturer is unlikely to suffer the same fate.

Consequentially I have used two makes of CD and DVD, so I have had two copies of each file.

With newer external Hard Disk Drives (HDD’s), I have ended up NOT having two of each, although many files have been duplicated.

I found the image I was looking for, a Photoshop .psd file, however when I tried to open the file, I kept getting errors.

Running a disk analysis programme, a section of the HDD has been damaged and the files are corrupt. It is just a minor crash, as it affects only one small area of he HDD.

At this point Murphy’s Third Law of Consequences cuts in. These are the only copies of the file that I have.

They were on my old image scanning computer, the disk of which has now been wiped. All is not lost though, because I still have the original photographs.

It is just a complete pain that I need to rescan them.

I have eight HDD’s of various ages, including two of the new solid state (no moving parts) drives. The red solid state HDD in the bottom left of the photo, has more capacity than the others and is ⅓ the size.

A selection of backup HDD's
A selection of backup HDD’s

A couple of these drives I have had for probably 12 or more years and it was one of these which has failed.

I have learned my lesson though and need to be more careful about creating backup files.

A bit of caddying

Getting my image scanning computer set up and working, I decided that I would buy some solid state memory. This is so I can back up scanned images.

Having also discovered that there was a problem with one of my External hard disc drives, I decided I would make a disc caddy.

A disc caddy is where computer discs are stored.

Thinking about what I needed, somewhere to store different size discs, a means of moving them around easily and the ability to quickly plug and unplug, I designed my own caddy.

With a calliper I accurately measured the dimension of each disc drive. That gave me the maximum and minimum measurements required.

From there I sketched a rough design on paper and went to find some wood that I could use.

I was already using the Makita Thicknesser to turn some timber into PSE lengths which I need for another project.

So while I had the Makita out, I used it to plane down all the various pieces I needed, to standard sizes, so I could build my design.

Makita Thicknesser
Makita Thicknesser

Once I had all the pieces planed to the same size, I cut everything to the correct dimension.

Then it was marking the various pieces, so everything would fit together in the right order. I also marked where the five shelves in each caddy would go.

The rebait for each shelf was cut with my router and a 10mm cutting bit.

Cutting the shelf rebaits
Cutting the shelf rebaits

I decided right at the start that I would cut enough parts to make two complete caddies. Whilst I had the machines out and I have more than enough timber, making a second unit will cater for future expansion.

It will allow me to have two backup discs for each system.

The caddies have been both glued and screwed, so after assembling the first one on Saturday morning, I clamped everything together and left it to dry.

The first caddy all clamped up.
The first caddy all clamped up.

The only thing I will need to get is a pair of nice lifting handles, one for the top of each caddy.

The place next door

It has taken two years of on and off negotiating, but the hard work has paid off.

This week I finalised the purchase of the property next door to my home.

So after around 100 years, the whole property, as built by one man, is now back under the aegis of one owner again.

As you look at the photo, it is all the buildings closest to the camera, the land I am standing on and quite a bit more as well.

Traditional Croatian stone buildings
Traditional Croatian stone buildings

There are a couple of roofless building shells, but with substantial walls.

The derelict Byre
The derelict Byre

Then there is quite an amount of land too.

Grass and weeds galore
Grass and weeds galore

There are oranges, lemons, almond, pomegranate and nettle trees. Some of which will be kept and those with disease will be removed.

Inside it is just as the last occupants left it. A 1960’s wireless set still sits on the sideboard.

A 1960's wireless set
A 1960’s wireless set

Clothes are still hanging in the wardrobes and shoes are still in the zapatero.

Clothes still hang in the wardrobe
Clothes still hang in the wardrobes

In places the roof has given way. One reason for buying is because I have damp coming through my adjoining wall.

Some work is needed
Some work is needed in places

Then there are the remains of an old Mercedes car in one of the Konobas.

Talking to my neighbours, it is forty to fifty years since a couple from Split used to come to Dol to stay for the summer. Then the owner’s husband passed away and she never returned.

The lady has now passed away too.

So, as an Estate Agent would say, “The property has potential, but it needs some work…” NCG