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A friend of mine sent me the Millenium list of Heavy Metals (De Millenniumlijst van Zware Metalen[^]), which I've been listening to for the past few weeks.
It has some old favorites in it, some albums I never liked and some albums I didn't know yet.
One such old favorite is Nightwish's Century Child on #37.
However, my favorite Nightwish album is Once, the follow-up to Century Child, which got very good reviews at the time, but somehow isn't on this list.
After Century Child I put on Once and I've been listening to it ever since.
Once is the last album with singer Tarja, which is still my favorite Nightwish singer to date.
Her successor, Anette Olzon, was a pop singer who didn't even come close to the operatic soprano of Tarja, so I stopped following Nightwish after that.
The current (Dutch!) singer Floor Jansen is awesome though and their new album is pretty great!
Anyway, an old favorite this week, the epic Ghost Love Score
Given the upcoming apocalypse is showing no signs of abating I thought I'd get a bread maker, which would leave toilet paper as the only remaining item I'd be forced to fight zombie hoards for, just to secure another day of survival. It turns out that even with a bread maker it's not as fool proof as I'd hoped. Sure you toss the ingredients in and press a button, but if you don't like what comes out you need to research what might have caused it, tweak the ingredients for your next run and so on.
We had some moderate success with the first two loaves but "edible" would be the best adjective I could probably attach. The third loaf was pretty decent but a little too heavy. So I found a bread-making forum and posted my question; "I made a loaf of bread but it didn't work." The advice I got back was that the problem might be the temperature of the water that I used, as it was fairly hot. We did another loaf with water right from the tap and the results were an utter disaster. Even the machine was disgusted as for the first time it was making all sorts of banging noises as it was doing the kneading phase. The finished loaf looked like Seth Brundle emerging from his pod so it went right in the bin.
At this point my ideas for progress and my partner's were quite different. She wanted to try a different mixing paddle, different amounts of the ingredients, different flour, different this and different that. I disagreed, saying that that what we had to was go back to the last known good configuration. The only thing that was different to the loaf before was the temperature of the water so to confirm that was the issue we had to go back to the previous temperature and try again. If we can confirm that was the issue then everything else had to stay the same and the only change we'd make was to try a slightly lower temperature. By changing only one variable at a time we know that the new result is solely down to the last thing that we changed.
Who would have thought that the skills you learn when writing code would translate to even making bread
I gave up on bread makers in the end - they were just such a source of disappointment!
You'd watch it optimistically for ages and it looks like it's going to be wonderful ... the house smells of fresh bread ... it's starting to crust ... then at the last minute it collapses into a hockey puck.
Or it bakes wonderfully, an dyou cut it to find one huge bubble with a crust.
Salt is important, as is the age / type of your yeast, the flour mix, the flour type(s), the flour manufacturer, the batch of the flour, the time of bloody day, and probably the phase of the moon ...
Nowadays when I make bread I use the dough attachment on my mixer, hand finish the kneading (you can "feel" when the dough is "right" after a while), and rise (in a bowl) in the Sous Vide so I get a consistent ambient temp and humidity. Then bake it, and - mostly - it works fine.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
"Common sense is so rare these days, it should be classified as a super power" - Random T-shirt
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
would leave toilet paper as the only remaining item I'd be forced to fight zombie hoards for
You're joking, right? 8 months on, white bread flour is still like hens' teeth. Not quite as bad as it was in first lockdown, but it's still a case of "if you see any, buy it, regardless of the stupid price they're asking".
I now resort to making with 1/3 white bread flour, 1/3 wholemeal, and 1/3 plain. Works fine, but (unless you forget the yeast or the fat) it's pretty much impossible to mess things up, I find. And having had my "own" bread from the breadmaker, I can't bear shop-bought stuff. Been using a breadmaker for about 15 years, on the 3rd one now, but only because previous ones have disintegrated through over-use. Always buy the entry-level Panasonic; great loaf every time. Use dried yeast - one packet or two level teaspoons.
[I do not work for Panasonic, neither do my relatives, and I receive no commission. YMMV.]
When the first round of panic buying hit, I dug out my old (>20yr) breadmaker and fired it up for the first time in maybe a decade. Halfway through the second loaf, it shredded the main drive belt...
A "new" one from the charity shop cost less than a replacement belt, so I now have a reasonably upmarket one. Its great virtue is that it is almost infinitly programmable. As well as its 8 built-in programs (each with loaf size and crust colour options), you can store 4 of your own.
The real lesson is ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. I use 5 different bread mixes from 2 manufacturers, 4 different programs. The "wholemeal" programs start with a half hour preheat (35C) before it does any kneading, so initial temperatures don't matter.
Because I live at altitude (a bit over 1000m), above 12% of the atmosphere or thereabouts, I have to use less yeast. In theory you can add salt to achieve the same effect, but I've found it easier to use a measured 5ml teaspoon out of the usual 7g sachet. No big bubbles, loaves hitting the chamber roof and other embarrassments.
Water quantity is critical too. It pays to measure to +/- 10ml if you can.
Software rusts. Simon Stephenson, ca 1994. So does this signature. me, 2012
CodeProject made quite an impact on my (professional) life, but this is getting ridiculous.
Tonight I dreamt that my bedroom (or rather, a bedroom that was apparently mine) was turned into a CP museum.
All I remember from it is that it had some kind of Canadian award on display.
At first I was honored, but then I realized I probably wouldn't have much privacy sleeping in a museum.
Also, there was this guy who was supposed to do my laundry, but didn't.
@chris-maunder Stop the Inception crap and go make your museum somewhere else.
Also, ask @Kent-Sharkey to do my laundry to make up for emotional damages