George V. Reilly

Bar Room Booze

As I mentioned last week, we started painting our "bar room" blue. The picture above shows the new color—and why we call this room the bar room.

The kitchen stove is just on the other side of the doorway, but the extractor fan is about six feet left of the stove, over the sink. The kitchen was remodeled and expanded in the 1960s; I believe the original stove was under the extractor fan. One con­se­quence of this is that, over time, bottles and glassware in the bar room become greasy.

I cleaned all the bottles tonight. Some of them needed it quite badly.

We have a sizeable collection of liquor and liqueurs, but we drink very continue.

No Spoilers for Star Wars

I can’t decide whether I should be amused or ex­as­per­at­ed by all the cries of NO SPOILERS! NO SPOILERS! for Star Wars: The Force Turns Over in Bed and Goes Back To Sleep.

Review: The Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell

Title: The Last Kingdom
Book: 1
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 368
Keywords: historical fiction
Reading period: 9–17 November, 2015
Title: The Pale Horseman
Book: 2
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 384
Keywords: historical fiction
Reading period: 18–20 November, 2015
Title: The Lords of the North
Book: 3
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 332
Keywords: historical fiction
Reading period: 21–23 November, 2015
Title: Sword Song: The Battle for London
Book: 4
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 368
Keywords: historical fiction
Reading period: 24–26 November, 2015
Title: The Burning Land
Book: 5
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 345
Keywords: continue.

Python f-strings

At this month’s PuPPy (Puget Sound Pro­gram­ming Python) Meetup, I heard a brief mention of Python f-strings as a new feature coming in Python 3.6.

In essence, they offer a simpler, more versatile method of string formatting and in­ter­po­la­tion over existing methods. F-strings can include not only symbol names but Python ex­pres­sions within strings. With str.format, you can write 'Hello, {name}'.format(name=some_name). You can control various aspects of how name is formatted, such as being centered within a field—see PyFormat and Python String Format Cookbook for ex­am­ples—but no more complex expression is allowed between the braces.

Herewith some examples of f-string ex­pres­sions drawn from PEP 0498:

>>> date =, 10, 12)
>>> f'{date} was on a {date:%A}'
'1991-10-12 was 

Dark Chocolate Gelato-Buttermilk Milkshakes

For the CookBrite holiday party this evening, we selected recipes from the CookBrite app and cooked them for each other.

We had a lot of good food. I par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoyed making and drinking these milkshakes.



Cooking time: 12 minutes

Adapted from Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals, Caroline Wright

Christmas Cards

It seems old-fashioned to do so, but I still like to send and to receive Christmas cards. We wrote 30 cards last weekend. Almost all were Wondermark Multi-Purpose Greeting Cards, from a Kick­starter that Emma con­tributed to a few months ago.

Speaking of Kick­starters, No Holds Bard showed up in my Facebook feed today. I was so tickled by the concept that I anted up $10. I’ve read several novels where Will Shake­speare was a character, such as Ink and Steel and Revenger, but never a comic book where he was a superhero.

Yesterday, we started receiving cards from other people. A couple of dozen more will follow.

Painting the Bar Room

Two weeks ago, we painted the kitchen blue. A deeper blue than I had intended. It had more than a little bit of the Greek taverna about it.

Today, we started work on the "bar room", the room between the kitchen and the back yard, where we keep the booze. No painting yet. We’ve taken everything out of that room and cleaned. Fifteen years of cobwebs have been removed from behind the book cases.

Soon, a lighter blue.

Review: Legend

Tom Hardy has had a very good year, starring in Mad Max: Fury Road and playing both Reggie and Ronnie Kray in Legend.

Legend loving recreates London in the Swinging Sixties when the Kray twins were not only notorious gangsters but also celebri­ties, mingling with the rich and famous in their nightclubs. Reggie is portrayed as the smarter, charming, and stable brother; Ronnie as erratic and psy­cho­pathic; both are capable of great violence. The film is narrated from beyond the grave by Reggie’s wife, Frances, and con­cen­trates mostly on Reggie. Hardy is excellent as Reggie, but hard to understand as Ronnie, while Emily Browning does a fine job as the young wife who’s continue.

Christmas Movies: Die Hard

We have three non-tra­di­tion­al Christmas movies that we watch almost every December, Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and The Ref.

Die Hards 1 and 2 are the best in the series. Although they seemed wildly over the top when they were made (1988 and 1990), they seem un­der­stat­ed compared to the thrillers that Hollywood pumps out now.

We saw Die Hard again tonight. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman shine in their breakout roles. Willis exhibits the trademark cockiness that was already familiar from Moon­light­ing, but he’s not as obnoxious as he often was in later roles. Rickman gently nibbles the scenery as a terrorist turned master criminal.

USB 3 Drivers on a Lenovo E545

Emma’s been com­plain­ing for some time that USB devices only worked in one port on her Lenovo E545 laptop. The USB 2 port worked; the USB 3 ports didn’t.

I took a look at Device Manager, and I noticed that most of the USB nodes looked wrong. She went to the Lenovo website and downloaded two USB-related drivers, the AMD USB Filter Driver and the AMD USB 3.0 Driver. Between them, they fixed the problem and she now has all ports working.

This machine is running Windows 7. At some point, she wiped the machine to get rid of Lenovo crapware, and installed a clean copy of Windows 7. She downloaded a pile of continue.

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