Author Archives: garymoore

Salt crystals

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve compounded the problem with the damp wall. Around seven years ago, I fitted a new door, creating an air (or, rather, heat) lock between the kitchen and the back door. The door wasn’t exactly new, since I’d found it in a skip, but it’s a nice door and it resulted in a warmer kitchen during a very cold winter. 

Unfortunately, a warmer kitchen resulted in a colder rear lobby. So any damp wasn’t going to dry out. 

Since resuming work on the damp wall, with the new/old door remaining open, the wall’s now a lot drier. More frequent use of the kitchen stove of late has surely helped too. 

On close inspection, earlier this evening, I realised just how bad the dampness had been. 

Salt crystals. Blue ones too. 


A while ago, I dropped down to one desktop PC. With smart TVs and other connected devices, there was no longer the need to have more. 

One old desktop didn’t quite make it to the tip, purely by accident. It hadn’t been used in years, so I was surprised that it booted-up this afternoon. 

I bought it from ebay for around thirty quid over a decade ago, but I think it’s around 17 years old. It’s running Ubuntu 12.04 and, if I remember correctly, couldn’t upgrade to 14.04 a few years ago. It’s something like a Celeron 5 or 600, with a half gig memory and a 60 gig hard drive. 

I may keep it. 

Pointing (again)

One of the problems associated with living in a house built in (roughly) the 1830s is the lack of foundations. I may have mentioned this previously. 

Last year, I found that the wall by the back door suffered from damp. Badly so. I removed the plaster from the wall and, since I’ve a fondness for exposed brick, I briefly considered leaving it so. However, it seemed that a previous occupant had also detected dampness. Early last century, I’d guess. I say that because the solution was to apply a cement-like substance as a barrier. Some of the cement coating came off with the plaster, but a large patch wouldn’t budge. Despite aggressive chiselling. 

So, I put off doing anything with the wall because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. After a year of occasional deliberation, I decided on the only real option. To coat the wall and re-plaster. 

Today, I took the first step and pointed the wall. 

It’s rough, but it’s going to be covered, so I don’t need to tidy it up. 

The big lump of stone on the right is the side of the fireplace. I’d have liked to clean it up and leave it exposed, but it’s just not practical. 

Photoshop the verb

Somehow, I’d missed the formalisation of Photoshop as a verb. Like many, many other people, I’d used it as such since the 90s, but I’d not realised that it had been adopted by dictionaries until this morning when, on breakfast news, a clip was shown of Theresa May accusing Russia of using fake news along with photoshopped images. 

As a committed Linux user, I’ve used Gimp as a most capable alternative to Photoshop. While I do recognise that gimped may not work quite as well as a verb, it feels wrong that mainstream dictionaries should offer free advertising for Adobe. 

Fire II

With some knotty and twisted, uncuttable lumbs of wood accumulated, the kitchen stove has seen a lot of use today (they’re too big for the small stove in the front room). 

A moment

According to Wikipedia, a moment lasts around 90 seconds. Microsoft, on the other hand, has an entirely different definition. Around 20 minutes. 

I’ve used Libre Office for several years at home, Open Office for years before that. The former comes with Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. It’s free and it’s very capable. 

However, an offer via work led me to purchase Microsoft’s offering for only a tenner. While this remains much more expensive than Libre Office, I was tempted by the price. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t actually take a moment to install. 

I think that in a bit may have been more appropriate a message during installation.