2011 January 11

Part of the 365 Days project.

Framework for the dome on the new Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham. This view will never be seen again once the building is finished.

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2011 January 9

Part of the 365 Days project.

Washed the car today! Well, okay. The carwash washed the car. But I vacuumed and dusted everything inside afterwards. All clean and shiny now!

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2011 January 8

Part of the 365 Days project.

Today we had Kingy Cake thanks to Hélène Lacroute!
I was lucky enough to find the king! 🙂


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Galette des rois, gâteau des rois or French king cake is a cake celebrating the Epiphany in France and traditionally sold and consumed a few days before and after this date. In modern France, the cakes can be found in most bakeries during the month of January.

Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A trinket, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds it in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. Originally, la fève was literally a broad bean (fève), but they were replaced in 1870 by a variety of figurines out of porcelain or—more recently—plastic.

These figurines have become popular collectibles and can often be bought separately. Individual bakeries may offer a specialized line of fèves depicting diverse themes from great works of art to classic movie stars and popular cartoon characters. The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the “king” who finds the fève in their piece of cake.

To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service.

Formerly, one divided the cake in as many shares as guests, plus one. The latter, called “the share of God,” “share of the Virgin Mary,” or “share of the poor” was intended for the first poor person to arrive at the home.

2011 January 7

Part of the 365 Days project.

Oh great, more snow. I sat for about 40 minutes trying to get in to work this morning, and only got about three miles from home. It’s a joke. The roads were clear!! Why aren’t you morons moving!?! The radio traffic report said many of the roads to which I was heading were also stationary, so I gave up and went home. At least the internet makes it easy to work from home.

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2011 January 6

Part of the 365 Days project.

Finally got the brightness function keys working on my new Toshiba NB250 netbook running Fedora 14 Linux today. Most of the ACPI events worked, but the brightness keys did nothing. They didn’t work under Ubuntu either. Having installed the very latest development kernel-2.6.37-1.fc15.x86_64 from the Fedora 15 Rawhide repository it now works a treat! Hibernate also works faster thanks to compression of the memory image before writing to disc. Woo!

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2011 January 4

Part of the 365 Days project.

The post around here has been rubbish lately. I hope it starts to get back to normal now. I sent a disc back to LoveFilm today. I’ve got just over a week to get two more discs this month … should just about make it.

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2011 January 3

Part of the 365 Days project.

This is the washing label for my WIF suit! That’s weddings, interviews, and funerals. I actually used it for an unusual purpose recently – a new years eve dinner dance. It got thoroughly doused in spilt wine so now it needs washing. It says “machine washable” at 40C so here goes … hope it doesn’t become a suit for midgets!

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