Potato scallops and algebra

Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway Gary Lum algebra

Potato scallops and algebra? Whose thought of that together?

I hadn’t until tonight. I’ve been in Melbourne today and my flight to Canberra didn’t land until nearly 7 pm. Way past my tea time. I decided I’d go to Jamison Takeaway and get some fish and potato scallops. I asked for one piece of battered fish and two potato scallops.

Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway Gary Lum algebra
Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway

Where’s the algebra come in?

What I received were one piece of battered fish and three potato scallops. This is not uncommon. In my experience in Queensland, the Northern Territory of Australia and the Australian capital Territory (Canberra), where n is the number requested and what you receive is more often than not n + 1. I’ve also noticed that when the request is n≥5, the number of potato scallops may be n + 2.

How many potato scallops can you eat in one sitting?

If you’re wondering have I have asked for 5 or more potato scallops for myself? The answer is yes. I love them.

I prefer them to chips and like them as much as potato gems (tater tots for my US friends). If it wasn’t for the fact they are deep fried I’d eat them every day, they taste so good.

Were you good at algebra?

What were you like at algebra at school? I didn’t mind it. I ended up doing mathematics but not advanced mathematics at school. That’s because I wanted to do physics, chemistry and biology. I also had to do English and Japanese. Given the choice, I would have done advanced mathematics rather than Japanese but my school wouldn’t allow it. I’ve never used any Japanese in my life.

Why do north Americans say math rather than maths?

Why do north Americans say math? It sounds really odd. In Australia, we say we’re doing maths or we’re going to maths class. It’s the science of mathematics. It ends with an s, so maths makes sense to me.

 

 

A new thought walking around Lake Ginninderra

Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing. Gary Lum

I’m going to have a go writing a short story

As I walked around Lake Ginninderra this morning I pondered a thought about a short story I thought I might write.

From time to time I mentally jot down ideas for works of fiction. I’ve never written a short story before but I follow enough blogs to admire people who can and do write short works of fiction. Whether I can or not is another thing altogether. I’ve never thought of myself as a good writer. I think I do a satisfactory job for my work, but creative writing is not something I feel comfortable with.

I’m not sure when I’ll make a start or when it might be finished, but I know the trigger for the story and I’m fleshing it out in my mind.

For now, enjoy a couple of photographs I shot this morning. I used a Sony α7ii with a 24–240 mm variable aperture lens. Each photograph represents three frames at three different exposures. I used Adobe Lightroom and Aurora HDR software to merge the images and edit them. I hope you like them.

Buoys on Yerra Beach, Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum
Buoys on Yerra Beach, Lake Ginninderra
Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing. Gary Lum
Lake Ginninderra from the south-east Ginninderra Drive bridge. HDR post processing.

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Canberra is crushing salmonellosis in early 2017

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis

Crushing salmonellosis is probably not a great headline for the National Capital

Crushing salmonellosis is nothing for Canberra to be proud of but I was surprised when I looked at the figures today for salmonellosis notifications per 100,000 population by state and territory in Australia.

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis
Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory (Friday 2017-03-10)

National notifiable diseases surveillance system

You can find the information on the website for the national notifiable diseases surveillance system. Anyone can access the information, you can search by disease by year or jurisdiction and by numbers or rate per 100,000 population.

Is infection by Salmonella a big deal?

Most people who get infected have some sort of gastroenteritis, mainly diarrhoea with lower abdominal pain and sometimes fever. You certainly don’t feel well but most people will recover without treatment. That’s an important point, most people should NOT be treated, I repeat, should NOT be treated. In reasonably healthy adults, treatment with antimicrobials can prolong the carriage of Salmonella in your gut. It’s not the thing you want to have in your guts for a prolonged time.

There are also some risk groups, namely, people who are immunosuppressed, and people at the extremes of ages, especially infants. In these groups, treatment with antimicrobials is advised. In these susceptible groups, invasive disease including meningitis, bacteræmia and septicæmia can occur with death a distinct possibility.

Therefore, Salmonella infection is a big deal for public health officials. It’s why, such a big deal is made of food safety and hygiene in restaurants and places where food is eaten, especially outdoor events when controlled environmental conditions cannot be guaranteed. Anyone with a permit to sell food must take scrupulous care when preparing food and cook it properly.

Final words

Canberra has recently had some well-reported outbreaks of salmonellosis. The reporting is mandatory and it indicates for Canberra this has been a big deal.

A tweep started an exchange with me about this and I don’t think he appreciated the magnitude of the numbers.

 

The take home message is being careful with food preparation.

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A wet Saturday in February

Cows near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

I love a wet Saturday any time of year

Canberra started to warm up towards the end of the week with yesterday getting to 35 °C (95 °F). Overnight it remained warm. I slept poorly, not because it was warm, but it seems every Friday night I wake up at about 3 am and just lay awake. It’s so annoying.

At 5 am I got out of bed and ground some beans to make a strong coffee. I got a sense the day would be cooler. This is a good thing because I wanted to make sure I got to walk around Lake Ginninderra to get some exercise.

Breakfast

It’s hard to beat a weekend classic. Streaky bacon and fried eggs.

Crispy streaky bacon and fried eggs breakfast for Saturday morning Gary Lum

Grocery shopping

Before the shopping, there must be coffee!

Coffee from Everbean Espresso Gary Lum

One of the new annoyances in Canberra is the ACT Government imposition on shopping centres to attach locks and chains on shopping trolleys.

This is being done to reduce the number of trolleys abandoned on footpaths, in car parks, in the lake and elsewhere. The problem is instead of trying to develop a nuanced and tailored solution, a cheap inconvenient method has been adopted.

What I’ve noticed around Belconnen and Woden is abandoned trolleys are still there and some of them have been locked together.

These trolleys stand defiant despite their chains despite their bondage. #canberra #cbr #nannystate #civildisobedience #chains #iphone
These trolleys stand defiant despite their chains despite their bondage.
#canberra #cbr #nannystate #civildisobedience #chains #iphone
Mating trolleys from Woolworths and Coles Gary Lum
Mating trolleys from Woolworths and Coles

Lake Ginninderra

The relatively cool weather should have meant more people walking around the lake, but it was oddly quiet. The clouds were quite good and with a little extra editing in Adobe Lightroom and Luminar or Aurora HDR I hope these photographs don’t look too crunchy.

I know a lot of people really prefer a more natural look, but for some reason, I like crunchy HDR.

It was good to see the cows back under the trees on the north-east side of Lake Ginninderra.

 Lake Ginninderra on a Saturday morning in February Gary Lum

Lake Ginninderra on a Saturday morning in February Gary Lum

Tree near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

Blossoms near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

Cows near Lake Ginninderra Gary Lum

This is where the cows were Gary Lum
This is where the cows were

Lunch in the mall

Despite having done the bulk of my grocery shopping earlier, some things weren’t on the shelves. Given I finished walking around Lake Ginninderra at about noon, I thought I may as well have lunch in the mall. I had no idea what I wanted to eat. I knew I didn’t want a burger or Mexican or Chinese food. In the end, I went with potato gems (also known as tater tots in the USA).

Potato gems and pineapple juice Gary Lum

An afternoon of relaxing

I spent the afternoon editing photographs and thinking about what to make for dinner.

Dinner

I’ve blogged on Yummy Lummy about what I had for dinner. It was a pork and beef cheese pie.

Spicy and crispy pork and beef cheese pie with vegetables Gary Lum

Final thoughts

Not a bad Saturday really. I feel quite full. I wonder what I’ll get up to tomorrow.

TGIF hello weekend

Seafood basket at The Canberra Hospital staff tuck shop Gary Lum

Yay, it’s the end of a Friday and the weekend is nearly upon Canberra. It was quite warm today, I think the bureau of meteorology predicted it would get to 35 °C (95 °F).

I was fortunate, I was in a laboratory all day and it was nicely air conditioned.

I’ve already shared a photograph of the hospital but I played around in Adobe Lightroom and enhanced it a little.

The Canberra Hospital Gary Lum

Even though I had a Mavi Special breakfast wrap (bacon, hash brown, fried egg, mushrooms, cheese, barbeque sauce) for breakfast with a coffee in a mug, I still ate a reasonable-sized lunch.

The Canberra Hospital has a staff tuck shop and on, Fridays they usually do a seafood ‘basket’.  It’s so much of a basket, but a plate!

Seafood basket at The Canberra Hospital staff tuck shop Gary Lum

After a busy afternoon, I wasn’t feeling very hungry so I thought I’d go very simple and go meat-free. I decided to cook some corn using a technique that I’ve described elsewhere and on YouTube. You can see I like adding some corn with my butter 😂😋

Meatless Friday butter with sweet corn Gary Lum