Ceud Mìle Fàilte

Photography Nature Technology Food
Movies Music Politics

and life in the Highlands.


Thank you for dropping-by, I hope you enjoy your visit. The main content is to be found in the blog where I discuss everything and anything but topics including photography, nature, technology, food, movies, music and politics make regular appearances.

There is also a dedicated section on movies (or films if you prefer) where I will discuss and review in more depth. The scope covered will be mainly mainstream English language movies from the 1930s until the present day.

About me

My name is Iain MacDonald and I live in the Highlands of Scotland (although I have lived elsewhere in the past). I am a big fan of Free & Open Source Software which I use both professionally and at home.

Computing and technology tend to infuse themselves into my other interests, as once you learn some skills in one area it is convenient to use them to solve problems in other spheres.

When not tinkering with computers, I am likely to be found repairing things because living in the countryside you learn to be resourceful.

Of course, man doesn't live by SSH tunnels and kerosene vapour burners alone so food, as a subject, makes regular appearances too. Did I mention I used to work in hospitality?

Latest Life articles

My most recent ramblings.

  • Homemade mustard

    I've been meaning to make my own mustard condiment for years, but never got around to it for one reason or another. If I had realised how easy it is to get a really tasty result, I would have done it years ago, instead of prevaricating. The only (mildly) difficult part is sourcing the mustard seed. You can buy one of three mustard seed types: white/yellow, brown and black. The three seed types are increasingly ... [Read more...]

  • Wood processing: the ideal set up - Part 2

    Limbing produces a lot of relatively small branches, which although useful firewood, is time consuming and difficult to handle. The problem is that the branches need to be held in place while I cut them with the chainsaw. As the branches are thin, I might cut through them in a second or two. I then need to put aside the chainsaw, re-position the branch, secure the branch in place, pick-up the saw, cut the next ... [Read more...]

  • Bird strikes

    The long period of sunny weather we have experienced in the Highlands this year, starting in April, seems to have increased the number of birds striking the house windows. The angle of the light hitting the windows, the light intensity and how bright it is in the room, all have an effect on how transparent the windows look. The birds, presumably, don't see the glass and believe they can fly-through the gap. I was dismayed ... [Read more...]

  • Making sauerkraut

    This is an article on how to make sauerkraut at home. I'm not going to give you a precise recipe with measurements down to the gram, nor will I set out the exact equipment you should use. Instead, I will describe the process and the proportions of ingredients I use when making fermented cabbage. Armed with an understanding of the concepts, it is easier to adapt to using different quantities of cabbage, introducing new ingredients ... [Read more...]

  • Mastodon web client

    I have only been on Mastodon for about 10 days, but I have found the concepts easy to understand because I am familiar with Twitter. The familiarity is enhanced because the standard Mastodon web interface looks very much like TweetDeck. There were however some deficiencies in the web interface which were niggling me. [Read more...]

Click here to view the whole Life section.

My latest Mastodon posts

Mastodon is a microblogging app that is part of the decentralised web known as The Fediverse. See this article for more details.

Fitheach (@fitheach@mstdn.io)

Sat, 17 Nov 2018 10:21:35 +0000

This article explains the reasoning by Clearcast for banning the advertisement.

In short: it wasn't the advert content, it was the involvement of Greenpeace. Seems like nonsense, to me.


Sat, 17 Nov 2018 09:56:20 +0000

Say hello to Rang-tan

Started life as an advert for Iceland,
was banned, and has become a rallying call to save Orangutans.

Please don't buy products containing palm oil.

Other food suppliers are available.


Sat, 17 Nov 2018 09:20:08 +0000

The film isn't intended to be a history lesson, but some context would help. Also, sympathy for a character sobbing in the loo is limited when we just discovered he earned $250k.

Considering the confined locations, cinematography is top notch.

Not sure Jeremy Irons quite pulled-off his role, Terence Stamp, as a similar character, in Wall Street (1987) was better.

Mary McDonnell had a blink-and-you-missed-it appearance. Did she end up on the cutting room floor? Shame!

Sat, 17 Nov 2018 09:08:40 +0000

Last night's was:
Margin Call (2011)

A drama focused on one fictitious trading company at the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

A stagey production with lots of talking heads, but with mostly powerful performances, from a stellar cast.

If you enjoy courtroom dramas, you will probably enjoy this. I would recommend this film, with reservations.

The film didn't do a good job of explaining its core premise, nor did it convey the wider implications.

Fri, 16 Nov 2018 21:23:41 +0000