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So it's Friday. Tomorrow is a public holiday. Then it's Sunday. And then back to work. What the hell? Already?


Actually, it's a bit of a worry given that people will have gone all over the place for their holidays. Who may be... unwell? I will need to treat everything as potentially contaminated. Well, I do anyway, but I'll need to be extra vigilant given that many people will not have just stayed at home. I did. Others went on holiday to the south, the mountains, Spain...


Welcome rain and unwelcome brambles

The heatwave broke on Tuesday evening with violent thunderstorms. It went from something around 35°C to something closer to 22°C in a matter of seconds, this strong wind suddenly blew, and it just got stronger and stronger, whipping up dust storms in the fields.
Scary sky
You know it's going to be bad when a sunny sky becomes blackness in about half an hour. That photo has not been processed, if anything it was actually blacker.
And bad it was. Torrential rain and a rather impressive light show that was like a disco strobe.

The next (Wednesday) morning was light drizzle and about 20°C. Really welcome after the heat, which made sleeping difficult. So I sat outside with a tea and box of doughnut-things. Yup. In the drizzle. Just enjoying the fact that it was so much cooler.

Soggy doughnuts!

Speaking of doing stuff in the rain, I had decided that as work was fast approaching, I would stop doing stuff with the brambles because I didn't want to do something stupid like get a nasty thorn in a finger. I know what my luck is like.

Problem is, having spent the heat marathoning The Witcher and random films, I felt that I needed to... do something. So yesterday evening I went out to cut a few more brambles. This was vastly more difficult compared to before as there was wild rose intertwined betwixt the bramble, and wild rose stalk is like trying to cut iron rods. I needed the hardcore long-armed chopper to get through the rose. Little by little.

The storm came. And it started to drizzle. I told myself that I'd hang around so long as it didn't end up with that torrential rain again.
It did. For all of about ten seconds. I picked up the tools to go in, and it just stopped and was drizzle. So I stayed out. My hair got wet but the rest of me was just mildly damp.

I'm sure you'll agree, it was worth it.

A distinct absence of brambles.
And from the other side:
A distinct absence of brambles.

When mom and I used to come over to France for the summers (1996-2001), we'd walk along the lower wall, up onto the higher one, then along and sit down on the far end of the upper wall in order to enjoy a little bottle of Kriter (a white wine with enough bubbles that it could pass as a cheap champagne) while watching the sun go down.
Sometimes around 2002-2005, the ivy set in and the wall was quickly covered in green, and that led to brambles. We did our best to keep things under control, but it mostly fell apart in 2008 when I got a job. I no longer had time to do all the work that needed done, and with mom getting older she tackled the less onerous stuff. The orchard was abandoned, as was the part behind the pig barn/stable (that I recovered over this holiday).
Suffice to say, it's probably been a good decade since I've seen that bit of wall!

As you can see from the side of the building, there's still a lot more to do regarding the ivy and wild rose, but little by little it's being tamed.

Turns out, the storm raged in Rennes and caused flooding. I guess I narrowly missed that one!


A massive help in all of this is Marte. Today I mowed the access lane, and since the rain had caused the grass to perk up in the Western Wilderness, I gave that a cut.

Mowing the driveway.
Given that I was low on petrol (I meant to get some more, but forgot...), I did most of it on speed #3. Not recommended! Going over bumpy ground at that speed made me wish I had a seatbelt, and the cut is a bit roughshod (but it's shorter, even if irregular).
But, the thing is, with a full tank of petrol and working at normal speed (#2), I can get everything that Marte looks after done in maybe three hours? Using the smaller mower, three hours wouldn't be enough to do the Western Wilderness, never mind all the rest. Which was part of the problem.
Last summer holiday, I was at home most of the time, and I dedicated about two or so hours a day for most days to get the grass cut down so it looked nice for when mom came home (not that she ever got to see it). It took most of the time doing just that.
This holiday? Right at the beginning Marte got it sorted in one afternoon, so I had time for Netflix, for brambles, and for simply sitting and staring at the sky.
Without Marte, I would be congratulating myself on having cut all the grass. Instead, I have something a lot better to feel happy about. A work in progress, sure, but little by little, right? The potager has mostly been tamed too. I've not done anything more there since late Spring, so there's still work to be done (that'll be the case forever, I think) but what has been done hasn't turned into a mess of nettles or brambles. Oh, sure, it'll try, for weeds are pernicious. However, weeds fail in the face of pieces of metal rotating at high speeds (usually something in the order of 2800 to 3200 RPM, which means the blade tips may be moving at over 300kph!).

After all, that's the plan, isn't it? Get as much as possible sorted out in a way that it can be done quickly with the big mower to leave time for, well, everything else.
Oh, look, Netflix has just notified me that Teenage Bounty Hunters has just arrived. ☺ Not sure if I will find it interesting (the concept seems good enough) or if I'll find the protagonists to be highly annoying. But if I like it, it's a good enough way to finish my summer holiday, given that the sun is already setting an hour earlier than it did in mid-June. But, then, we're already a third of the way to shortest day, so it's going to speed up and lose a lot of time soon. Sunset today is twenty past nine. By the end of the month, it'll be quarter to nine. A month from now? Twenty past eight. Ugh. At least Summer Time lasts until the 25th of October (weren't we supposed to be doing away with the time changes?).



I fired up my Manga software to see "what's new" and found it complaining about a 301 redirect that it cannot handle.
No problem, I actually had a flag bit in the settings file to switch back to using https.

Sadly, this failed.

Having done some poking around, and additional help on the ROOL forums, it looks like there are two problems with the same root cause.
The root cause is that is now using the Cloudflare CDN. This means that the SSL will probably be using SNI, which means that I'll need to fiddle around with the AcornSSL settings to either enable SNI (I think I need to give it a hostname) or to tell it to "just connect and don't abort if there's a certificate error".

The second problem is rather more fundamental. I'll need to try to supply enough of the right sorts of headers to get Cloudflare to think that my app is a browser. At the moment, tests (using SecureSockets) all result in a 400 error (bad request). I would imagine that this is what Cloudflare does if it doesn't like what is connecting. It may also require cookies to be handled (doesn't the URL fetcher do this automatically?).

Looks like I'll have my work cut out to get it working again.

But not right now. It's summer holiday (just) and back to work. I'll leave it until I'm back in the swing of things and there's a rainy weekend. After all, it's not as if I'm going to be going to Châteaubriant every weekend... not until France gets its infection rate under control.



I wasn't able to get my car serviced, as I mentioned in the comments recently, the man's idea of Jeudi prochain was the Thursday in a week, the 20th. When I'll be back at work.
A similar confusion exists in English with people who use next Thursday to mean the logically next one (as I would), and those who use this Thursday to mean the one coming and next Thursday to mean the one after that (as mom used to).

However, that doesn't mean I cannot perform some basic checks myself. Coolant?

Coolant level.
Oil, okay. Brake fluid, okay. Wiper fluid, also okay.

Sidelights? Good. Headlights? Good. Main beams? Not so bright, but they work too. As do the indicators.

Tail lights.
At the top, the dimmer red tail lights that come on when the headlights are on, and the brighter red brake lights.
The dark part below that is a reflector. Below that, the indicators. And finally, the fog light on the left (road side) and the reversing light on the right (kerb side).
So they're all good too.

The tyres look okay. Mom could tell by kicking them. I never sussed that, they always sounded the same to me but she'd know which ones needed air.

So... I guess my car is ready to begin work on Monday. I'm not sure I am.....



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Rick, 30th August 2020, 15:34
Just to let you know - Manga now works. Not everything, as the underlying markup has changed a lot, so the what's new and search don't work... 
...but listing available manga and reading does now work. 
Find the latest version on !Store. 

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