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Welcome to the Yodeller: my ongoing project to try and write something every day. You can read more about the background from here. If you are a new reader you might want to start from the beginning.

Bread tree of st. John

While eating my evening snack I was once again reminded of this mysterious plant. I have seen and heard about it in many places but never actually checked what kind of plant it actually is. And more importantly: what's with the weird name!

Carob is a tree native to Mediterranean and Middle East. It grows edible pods that have many uses and it's also used as a decorative plant. The powder grounded from the dried pods can be used as a substitute for cocoa. It can even be used to make chocolatey treats to dogs as it doesn't contain the chemical dangerous for them. The seeds are commonly used as a food additive (that's how it ended in my snack yoghurt too) as a thickening agent in low fat or gluten free products.

Apart from the bread tree name (actually just st. John's bread in English, the one I used in topic is a direct translation of it's Finnish name Johanneksen leipäpuu) it is also known as a locust tree. The names come from the belief that this plant was the source of the "locusts and honey" eaten by John the Baptist.

Carob is also the source of the unit carat used to weight precious metals and stones. The seeds of the tree were used to weight these things originally in the Middle East. Later the unit was standardized to 0,2 grams. The Roman gold coin solidus weighted 24 seeds of carob. That's why the purity of gold is still also measured in carats where 24 carats equals 100% pure gold.

You know you have been writing long when...

After writing about having a car fever yesterday my wife commented me about it that I have been writing quite long if I'm writing about that again. Or maybe I just get this fever way too often.

It is true that I wrote about wanting s new car almost three years ago. But unlike back then, this time I didn't go out and buy a new car the next day!

This kind of events give a bit more perspective on how long I have been writing. When you can think back to something that feels happened way back and then realize you were already writing back then it feels different than just thinking you have been writing a few years now.

Days and years are just numbers. Those events are what make the time pass. If nothing happened in between it would feel just like yesterday. Looking back and recalling all the things that have happened since really puts the distance in time.



Historical units

I mostly associate units like inches, yards and pounds to history or historical settings (and fantasy). I believe this is the same for the rest of the "metric" world. They just sound archaic compared to the commonly used metric units.

But in fact, metric system is oldest of the three major unit systems used around the world today. Dating back to the times of French revolution in 1790s it's actually three decades older than both the imperial system defined in 1824 and the U.S. customary system from 1832.

Of course the latest official revision of the metric system was defined in 1960 when it was refined as the current SI system. And of course both the U.S. customary units and the imperial system are both based on systems used for thousands of years by Romans, Saxons and other prior cultures.

Car fever

There is nothing wrong with our current car... except it's still tunning (mostly) on gas. Sure the hybrid tech has reduced the amount of gas it guzzles up, but still it would be nice to switch to something even more environmentally friendly.

There are just a few problems getting fully electric car at this point. First one is charging possibility. Our housing cooperative still don't have that option or even plans of making that possible. This would mean that at least until we finally manage to get ot through the car would need to be charged at the public charging stations. Just like the traditional combustion engine versions, except filling up the tank takes only minutes whereas filling up the battery even with the highest capacity chargers still takes ten times more. And those high capacity chargers are still rather rare around here.

The range is another limiting factor. Most of our drive is jus around the city with occasional trips to places 50 to 100 kms away. Those trips aren't a problem for most electric cars (as long as they are properly charged) but every now and then we do visit our home town. The distance isn't too long to warrant any longer stops along the way where you could convincingly charge the car at the same time, but long enough that most of the cars within the comfortable price range aren't up for the trip in a single charge.

Of course there is also the questionable environmental friendliness of those electric vehicles. While the running effect to the environment is much lower than the traditional engines, especially when charged using electricity from renewable sources, the initial strain produced by the manufacturing process is a lot higher mostly due the batteries. It takes years to offset that difference when calculating the lifetime impact to the environment.

Thank god it's Monday

If this would have been a regular week I would have been already working today. But due to Easter today was still a public holiday, a nice extension to my vacation.

While I was happy to have a vacation I'm also happy to get back to work.I was already getting a bit bored with nothing to do. On the other hand, the boredom only came at the end of the vacation, so there really wasn't time to start anything new either. Luckily today was action packed so didn't have to suffer from boredom any longer.

One of the things I decided to do (well, actually not to do) was touching the computer unless there was something important or too cumbersome to take care of on the phone. This went surprisingly well. There were only a couple of occasions at the beginning of my vacation when I spent a small amount of time in front of the screen.

But it was for a really good reason! We got our company bonus on the side of the latest salary and I had already decided to spend it on my new hobby: traditional archery. So I was looking for a bow and other accessories for it. Unfortunately the webshops selling those proper bows weren't either too modern and browsing them on mobile was rather challenging. Maybe they intended potential buyers to learn to hit small targets.