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25 December 2011

The Mud House: Day 2

I've already made 11 bricks, just this morning. The cumulative total is now 20. Which is 1% of the bricks you need for a tiny house.

Quiet Christmas

What a quiet Christmas? Apart from the animals there's no sound here at all. We haven't got a single Christmas symbol on the whole block. Not even presents. Well, unless the Xbox dad accidentally got with his laptop and gave to me is a symbol of Christmas... Probably it is.

For Christmas Eve dinner I could John and myself dinner and drank expensive spirits as I might have done with my mum in Sydney. However, by the time I took dinner over to John he was asleep so I cam back and ate by myself and listened to Antony. As one does when you're all alone on Christmas Eve.

Then I lugged my swag down to the creek and slept under the best stars in my (extremely flaky) memory.

I'm going to go make some more mud bricks while it's cool. And then have mushrooms and coffee. And then play the Xbox for the first time. And then go to my friend's mansion for Christmas cavorting.

24 December 2011

The Mud House: Day 1

Today was probably the first real day of building my mud brick house. I've finally got some soil (dad and I went to the dirt shop and got some) and I've set up the water and this morning I made five whole bricks. Yep. All by myself. I did it. They were even pretty good ones. It was hard work and I ached for the rest of the day but I not so sore that it stopped from coming home and making six more whole bricks. Leaving me with a total of 11 bricks. It's a pretty good days effort. Especially considering you can't do any work between 8am and 7pm.

Apparently, the whole house will need about 3000 bricks to make. About 30 tonnes of dirt. It's a pretty tiny house, so it seems like an awful lot of dirt.

Perhaps the house will take the whole year to build and not just three months. But that is OK. I don't have much else to do next year.

23 December 2011

Climate Change

Climate Change

Posted by Nutloaf

Everyone needs to do their bit

Green Capitalism

I just bought some carbon offsets. I have finally become a full on green capitalist. I went off on the web trying to find out how much carbon the average folk were popping out. It seems like quite a lot. I was a bit depressed to realise how much I was probably doing too. I make a lot more of that shit than those Chinese folks and way more than those Cuban folks. Champions they are.

So I did those sums and then bought some nut trees in Guatemala. I have a suspicion it will be one of those things where western hippy organisations come in and bulldoze people's houses to plant offset trees. If it is then I am sorry Guatemala.

I also resolved this morning to stop joking about my carbon emissions. It's not actually any funnier than lots of other shit I really don't think is funny.

21 December 2011

Symfony2 invalid type messages

Symfony2 will automatically add validation to entity fields ensuring that values match the database type. For instance, If you try to set an alpha character on a DECIMAL column you will get "This value is not valid" along with other constraint violations. If you manually add a Type Constraint you'll end up with a largely duplicate assertion. However, if you want to set the message on the default constraint, you can't do it in the entity itself. You have to do it in the form class.

$builder->add('amount', 'money', array(
  'label' => 'Default Price', 
  'invalid_message' => 'Price must be a number'

I couldn't find that documented anywhere, but it works.

14 December 2011

Preventing ordering out of stock items in Ubercart 3

In template.php or some such...

function site_uc_product_add_to_cart( $variables ) {
  $sku = $variables['form']['node']['#value']->model;
  $stocklevel = uc_stock_level($sku);
  if (is_numeric($stocklevel)) {
    // Stock tracking is active
    if ($stocklevel <= 0) {
      return '<div class="add-to-cart out-of-stock"><button disabled>' . t('Sold') . '</button></div>';
    else {
      return theme_uc_product_add_to_cart($variables);
  else {
    // Stock tracking is not being used for this product, just show the add to cart button as normal
    return theme_uc_product_add_to_cart($variables);


It's just a test

4 December 2011

Built-in Cupboards

I went around to my friends house yesterday to help them build some built ins. Build them built-ins in we sure did. I have no idea about cupboards or built-ins. Or even carpentry and tools in general. Except for what my dad taught me when I was 10. At 10 I felt like a new quite a bit, and for a 10 year-old I probably did. I sawed and glued all sorts of little woody things. Sometimes with metal. And I would haul timber up into trees and nail it to things to make the trees more fun to sit in. However, I never built furniture that wasn't in a tree. And I haven't even built tree furniture for about 20 years.

Fortunately my friend is quite savvy when it comes to wood and other practical similars. The day turned out well well and was well fun. The cupboard went in after a good full day of drilling and screwing and shoving at bows in bits of wood to get them straight or rectangles. It weighs a lot. Possibly much of that is screws. We went through quite a few screw heads. But we finished the construction bit and it looks pretty sweet. It stands up straight, even according to the level. And the shelves are perpendicular to gravity, which is pleasing and a bit unexpected.

Today I ache a little from shoving at twisty bits of the wood. I should go to the gym or something one day.


The hommous in my life had been going so well. I'd made it every day for two weeks and every time was almost delicious or actually delicious.

But I started to get experimental. I started to get hippy. I thought I could do it without tinned chickpeas. I thought I could buy them dried and in bulk and cook them myself to use less packaging.

So I did. I soaked them overnight. Then I cooked them slowly in a pressure cooker for about 5 hours. Then I made hommous in the blender just as I had been. Simple, but usually quite yummy.

The hommous was horrible. Tasted like dust. Soggy dust. And just mushy. I thought maybe sitting it in the fridge for a day or too would make it better. It made it worse. I gave the rest to the chickens.

Now I am no longer happy when I think of hommous. I feel nervous and unhappy. I hope this hommous malaise doesn't stay long.

2 December 2011

Omafiets Dutch Bikes

Some friends of mine have opened up a second hand bike shop selling imported Dutch bikes. They have about 100 to sell from their first shipment. I wish I was in Sydney so I could go and ride them.

Enabling WordPress Multisite

I've just been working on adding a few users to WordPress Multisite. It works pretty well. It's a lot more straight forward than the old WPMU. However, it didn't work that easily out of the box where your "network domain" is already a subdomain. I wanted to use to manage the network, but WordPress is hoping for a top-level domain. Or rather, a domain to act as the root domain for all the domains in the network. That's fairly sensible, but it wasn't that practical here because there was too much stuff in my top level domain to use that and too many existing blogs setup as subdomains.

So if your network domain is then blogs will be at etc.

If your network domain is then blogs will be at

Fortunately it isn't hard to rename blog domains after they are setup. So you can rename your to Everything seems to work all happy, until you try to login. WordPress is willing to show you a blog at any domain I think, but cookies are more tricky. The cookie domain for every blog is determined from the network domain. So if your network domain is you cannot do any cookie stuff on However, it seems if you set the COOKIE_DOMAIN define in your wp-config.php to the top level domain you can keep the network domain as a subdomain. So far that is working, and I haven't found any other consequences.

I was importing from old blogs and I wanted to rename the blog domain **after** the import so that WordPress would get the media from the old one. When you rename the blog domain all that media will break, but you can rename them with a plugin.

So it's all running sweet now. Much better than the old software (but still surprisingly crap).

1 December 2011


So the other day (quite a while ago) I was just minding my own business cutting grass and killing insects and marsupials with the mower. Then out of no where comes this hills hoist and sucker punches me right in the side if the head. Floored me to the fresh cut grass. I got a not cool head cut which I'm hoping will turn into a cool head scar. In the mean time I walk around slightly woozy and with a bit of a not cool throbbing down the side of my head. I'm not sure what the moral is here.

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