Posted on Tue 24 November 2020 in Food • Tagged with Recipes, Food

I've loved daal (or dal or dahl or dhal etc) since my trip to India in 2019... Ugh, that seems so interminably long ago now, in the final weeks of the long decade of 2020. Anyway.

A dark, brown-green daal makhani, with swirls of cream visible.
Daal makhani in Varanasi.

So there's this recipe I've followed a handful of times. I like it, it's similar to what I enjoyed while travelling through Jaipur, but it doesn't really kick the same way that the food in India did, so I always find myself tweaking it. The base recipe came from https …

Continue reading

iRedMail, SpamAssassin, and Lynis

Posted on Mon 02 November 2020 in Tech • Tagged with Tech, Linux, Mail, Security

I really like iRedMail, and I also really like Lynis.

However, they don't exactly like each other... or, more accurately, some of Lynis' recommendations can cause a couple iRedMail components to fail. Today we're talking about SpamAsassin.

One of the suggestions from Lynis is to turn off the 'execute' bit on compilers for users who aren't either the owner or in the owner group (the 'other' execute bit). For example:

root@server:/# chmod o-x /usr/bin/as
root@server:/# chmod o-x /usr/bin/gcc

Easy peasy! But once you do …

Continue reading

iRedMail: Daily user unknown entries from backup_sogo.sh

Posted on Sun 01 November 2020 in Tech • Tagged with Tech, Linux, Mail

If you've been running iRedMail for a while, eventually you'll probably start seeing 'user unknown' events in your daily logs:

* Backup all users' data under /var/vmail/backup/sogo/2020/11/01
<0x0x5574a64c36b0[SOGoCache]> Cache cleanup interval set every 300.000000 seconds
<0x0x5574a64c36b0[SOGoCache]> Using host(s) '' as server(s)
2020-11-01 09:29:12.784 sogo-tool[29749:29749] user 'abdulm' unknown
2020-11-01 09:29:12.786 sogo-tool[29749:29749] user 'bent' unknown
2020-11-01 09:29:12.786 sogo-tool[29749:29749] user 'brettr' unknown
2020-11-01 09:29 …

Continue reading

Your mate Eric, and his journey through depression

Posted on Thu 08 October 2020 in Ramblings

A couple of months ago, the team at my day job asked me to write something for Mental Health Awareness Week, so today I'm sharing some of my personal experiences around depression. It's one of my longer articles, but the key message I want you to hear is: If you're struggling, speak with someone. Seriously, just lean over to your mate now and say "Hey, did you see that article from Eric today?" – that's all it takes to start a conversation, and believe me: sharing your feelings is a solid …

Continue reading

Make the Flex theme center images

Posted on Wed 07 October 2020 in Tech • Tagged with Tech

Previously I've been frustrated that the CSS in the Pelican Flex theme doesn't centre images. However, I'm only one user with one use-case, so I haven't raised a pull request.

Instead, I've finally gotten around to creating a quick-and-dirty sed string to fix the minified CSS file:

sed -i 's/}img{max-width:100%}/}img{max-width:100%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;display:block}/' style.min.css

I also like my caption text to be italicised and centered, so I extended this a little:

sed -i 's/}img{max-width:100%}/}img{max-width …

Continue reading

Kate Bush - Army Dreamers guitar tab

Posted on Sun 30 August 2020 in Ramblings

Some friends and I have been working on our own version of Army Dreamers, by Kate Bush. The original version is replete with instruments, including a prominent Mandolin, some background violins, a synth of some sort, and even the sound of a rifle being racked. Since we're two guitarists, a bassist, and a singer, there's quite a bit of arranging to do to make it work.

Although there's plenty of tab around for the mandolin part, that's only a few notes, with the violin part kicking in immediately afterwards. I …

Continue reading

Ham and Pea Soup

Posted on Sun 09 August 2020 in Food • Tagged with Recipes, Food

I've never made Ham and Pea soup before today. I remember my mum making it when I was younger, but it was never really my thing. But tonight just seemed the right combination of a rainy, chilly, wintery evening... and we had some leftover jalapeño cornbread!

Well, it was so good I completely forgot to even take photos. I did it all in our pressure cooker, so the meal was ready in about half an hour. Here's what I did:


Primary Aromatics

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped …

Continue reading

Delicious Cornbread

Posted on Sun 26 July 2020 in Food • Tagged with Recipes, Food

I remember celebrating Christmas with family in New Mexico when I was a kid. I was fairly young, but I think it must have been at the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. One of the most delicious treats I recall from the Feast was real Mexican cornbread.

Now, every few years I'll head into Gilmours and yoink a three-kilo bag of cornmeal. I don't make this often, but we do all love it, and one batch usually makes enough for multiple households.

A cast-iron skillet, hot from the oven, cradling a golden-brown cornbread.
It really comes out this beautiful every …

Continue reading

I made Salmon Gravlax!

Posted on Sat 11 July 2020 in Food • Tagged with Recipes, Food, Whisky

I joined some friends last weekend for a belated World Whisky Day celebration. The entry fee was, of course, a bottle of whisky (this year the theme was different finishing casks)... but we also each bring some delicious morsel that piques our interest.

This year, as I was bringing Glenmorangie's The Lasanta (aged in Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks), I decided my amuse-bouche would be sherry-based.

My treat was dried prunes, soaked in a dry sherry, then sprinkled with a pinch of salt, and eaten with a tamari-roasted almond …

Continue reading

My mountain

Posted on Sat 06 June 2020 in Ramblings

Landscape photography of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, covered in white snow

I got a tattoo a couple years ago, which is a sketch outline of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, in the Central Plateau of New Zealand.

The photo that the tattoo, which the tattoo was based on, was just the result of a Google search. I've tried to find it many times since I actually got the tattoo - at very least just so I could give credit to the photographer. However, to no avail.

The other day I happily found a copy of the photo, and went to Google's Reverse …

Continue reading