Thursday, 7 February 2013

Pottering on and a win for us

I'll try not to go on too much about the weather as I realise it's been a bit of an obsession recently. Mind you, this blog's purpose (in so far as it has one beyond giving me a raison d'ĂȘtre) is to give an impression of what life is like living on board our boat, and being obsessed with the weather is a part of that at this time of year.

And if you don't like it, I can always go back to talking about buying bread again…


Speaking of which, this morning's jobs consisted of bleeding the towel rail in the bathroom and walking into the village after coffee. The towel rail has turned out to be the bit of the central heating system that collects any air that's going, and the top rail had been staying cool recently. So once the heating had finished its morning run, I got the radiator key and let the air out, afterwards topping up the header tank in the wardrobe.

I was wondering why we're still getting some air out of the system when I remembered that I carried on doing this on Sanity pretty well right up to the time we sold her. Part of the reason is that there is a slow loss from the header tank through evaporation (I haven't found any leaks in the system) and so the very occasional top up is needed. This in turn introduces some more dissolved air.

I use the distiilled water from the dehumidifier to top up, so as not to introduce any scale forming metal salts. The circulating water is also treated with antifreeze which includes anti- corrosion compounds.

We've two reasons to celebrate today; Sheila has finished the text generating bit of writing her book and passed it over to me for editing and formatting. I had to go back to the blog for this time last year to remind myself how to do it; for those wanting to create a Kindle book on a Mac, this is what I said:
I seem to have found the best way of preparing a Kindle book on the Mac, after a certain amount of experimentation. This involved doing the main work in Pages, the Mac equivalent of Word, and then exporting the file as Rich Text Format (rtf), thus stripping off any odds and sods of tags left invisibly in there by whatever cutting and pasting has been done.
I opened the rtf file in TextEdit, and exported it from there as HTML. That file I opened in Sigil, where I did all the formatting, adding a cover image, breaking the book up into chapters and so on. Sigil saves the file as an ePub, the version used by most ereaders other than the Kindle. It is possible to use the KindleGen plug-in, part of the Amazon free app Kindle Previewer, to convert that to a .mobi file, but this doesn't create a proper Kindle Table of Contents (TOC).
Instead, I loaded the ePub file into calibre, and used its conversion system to generate the .mobi file which is the Kindle's native format. It seems a long way round the houses, but Sigil is really easy to use to do the formatting, and calibre seems to produce the best version of the mobi file, including a proper TOC.

 The other reason to celebrate is that we got the March issue of Canal Boat this afternoon, on our way back from a brisk walk round the marina, and for the fifth year running, we're in the money as winners of the Christmas Quiz. We reckon we got 55 out of a possible 60, so not bad going for two ageing brains!

Congratulations to our fellow winners, Alison Smedley and Jenny Tyte.

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