Tuesday, 19 March 2019

A Blue Show

Among all the yellow dwarf narcissus I have several patches of blue:

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Chionodoxa sardensis (lesser Glory of the Snow) bulbs

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Monday, 18 March 2019

Seeing Red

The flowers on a nearby flowering currant bush:

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A 7 spot ladybird - usual view

2019-03-18-16.21.33 ZS PMax2

Underside

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Tinkering Again

I decided to 3D print a name sign for my home.
It is taking a few trial test prints to check my CAD efforts are producing what I need.
The sign will be made with seven individual letters.

Just working on the first letter at the moment.
I started with a letter height of 120mm with three holes for screws.
That was bigger than needed really and took about 5 hours to print.

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For a second test print I reduced the height to 100mm - much better.
Also at Adrian's suggestion I tried to make countersunk holes (middle red letter A)
Unfortunately I didn't get them centred over the holes and the slope was too sharp.

Back to TinkerCAD to try again.

Screenshot (2019-3-15 6.05.38 pm)

The holes are made with thin cylinders.
The countersinking made with inverted cones and nicely aligned after much jiggling.

Saved and the file loaded in Cura

Screenshot (2019-3-15 6.07.58 pm)

Reduced the infill to 8% and speeded up the extruder moves.

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That brought the time down to 2h 45m
That print (in green above) looked much better.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Cymbidium Time

A bit disappointing that only one of my Cymbidium orchid plants has produced a spike of flowers this year.
At least I have half a dozen large blooms on that plant.

Cymbidium Orchid

Cymbidium Orchid

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Frog Spawn

In February, when we had an unseasonable spell of warm weather, I had heard frogs croaking in the garden pond. I only heard them the once so it was with some surprise I saw they had been busy in the meantime spawning in spite of the drop in temperature and the icy winds we are now enjoying.

A bit fuzzy as the gusty wind was making hand help shots a tad difficult:

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Monday, 11 March 2019

Blue is the Colour ....

.... I had chosen to use as a theme when I was ordering Spring bulbs last Autumn.

Hanging basket:

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with Winter flowering Pansies still going strong along with Russian Snowdrops and Hyacinths.

Planter:

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more Pansies, Hyacinths and Russian Snowdrops along with a few Muscari.

As it was about 1C with a bitter wind my hands were feeling more than a bit blue when I took those photographs this morning.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Panic Stations

The saga starts about a month ago. Phone call from doctor's surgery - time for my 3 monthly blood check for kidney function. Earliest appointment to get it done at the local surgery, three weeks away. I duly turn up at the appointed time. Blood pressure checks OK. Attempt to draw blood from right arm - fail, nothing. Attempt on left arm - fail,  just one drop. Apparently there is some rule or recommendation that only two attempts are allowed.

I'm given the choice of trying to make a new appointment with a different nurse or have it done at the local hospital. I chose the hospital. I turned up bright and early as the queue is always short at that time of day. Within 30 seconds of my turn being called all is done successfully and I am back on my way home.

Doctor receives the results next day and is not happy as they are 'borderline' so I have to go back to the hospital the next day to give more samples. Again all runs smoothly. This time the doctor receives the results by the afternoon and thinks they show abnormalities and insists I attend the hospital Urgent Care Centre straight away. (The UCC replaced the A&E unit)

More blood samples taken. Those had to be sent to another, fairly local, hospital for testing. I had to hang around until the results are sent through. Estimate about an hour and a half. Meanwhile I get a BP and ECG check. BP a bit high. Usually is when I go anywhere near a medical unit of any sort. ECG turned out to be normal. Doctor listens to heart. All OK.

After another two hours the blood test results came through. Most within normal levels. Just Potassium is slightly raised.  Referred back to my local doctor for continuous checking.  Given some advice on what to watch out for with my diet as raised Potassium in the blood increases the chance of a heart attack.

My doctor wanting an immediate hospital check didn't do a lot for my panic level but the thorough check up showing I'm still in decent shape for my age made it worth it in the long run. One thing I can say from my experiences of local NHS services over the past 20 - 25 years, in spite of all its staffing and money problems, if they perceive a need for swift action they don't hold back.
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