sjh - mountain biking running linux vegan geek spice - mtb / vegan / running / linux / canberra / cycling / etc

Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven
Hanley

About

email: sjh@svana.org

web: http://svana.org/sjh

Other online diaries:

Aaron Broughton,
Andrew Pollock,
Anthony Towns,
Chris Yeoh,
Jeremy Kerr,
Martijn van Oosterhout,
Michael Carden,
Michael Davies,
Michael Still,
Tim Potter,
Tony Breeds,

Links:

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Canberra Weather: forecast, radar.

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December
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2004
Months
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Fri, 31 Dec 2004

Bring in the new year mtb style - 22:26
Last year at around 11:30pm December 31st Mikey, Russ, Nick, Morgs and I went night riding through Majura Pines to bring in the new year on our mountain bikes. Champagne, Rum and Coke, Chocolate and single track fun were all had. Night riding, such as we do in the 24 hour race and other similar events is a great deal of fun, the fun of riding the first single track of the year was pretty good too. Mikey had first crash of the year too, living up to his nickname (Crash).

Anyway I am about to head over to Majura Pines to meet up with whoever else chooses to be there this year in order to see in the new year riding the mountain bike. Last year no one was overly keen on the champagne so today I grabbed a bottle of coopers pale ale to share around in plastic cups while out there listening to fire works and riding single track. This is obviously my last diary entry for the year too. Fun was had, and I am sure fun will be had next year too.

[/mtb] link

Where I have been tounge twister style. - 21:25
Well, Andrew, Mikal and Michael did this create places you have visited map so I may as well also (yeah sheep that I am).


create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits Nederlands

On another note I saw a link to this page full of tounge twisters today, who knows they may come in useful one day, possibly as something different on conference badges at linux.conf.au who knows.

[/various] link

Thu, 30 Dec 2004

Pleasant long ride today - 22:45
This morning I met up with Mikey, Richard B, Allan B, Chris N, Marea and an Audax rider named Bob to go do the mostly flat 170 KM (176 in fact) federal, collector, bredalbyn, gunning (lunch), gundaroo, federal ride again. We kept a pleasant pace (average of 28.7) for the whole ride, though some silliness happened at times (chases, hill sprints, etc). The hamburger at Gunning was good, though as Mikey pointed out, after a long time in the saddle a shit sandwich would probably go down a treat so it maybe best not to take the word of a bunch of hungry cyclists on this.

Near the end of the ride I got a call and was told my car would not be ready as early as expected, the mechanic said the engine needs to be removed, and an axle or something, and something in the gear box needed fixing as well as the clutch. The unfortunate thing is Jane will still need to return the rental car on Monday and then somehow get back to Sydney, I will then also have to collect my car from Macksville (and get up there in he first place), oh well shit happens.

I just did some grocery shopping in Dickson by bike a few minutes ago, not too bad, though I still don't like locking any of my bikes up anywhere they could be stolen, I also bought just a little bit more than I can fit in my backpack so carried one bag with bread and fruit home too. I should probably do more shopping by bike anyway, it may force me to be more careful about not buying too much or impulse buying as I have to carry it all home in one backpack.

Anyway as usual, the Friday morning mtb ride tomorrow so I should head for bed.

[/mtb] link

Wed, 29 Dec 2004

Rise and fall of societies - 22:40
A few days ago my sister suggested I read a book by Jared Diamond called "Guns, Germs and Steel" which attempts to explain why western societies have come to dominate the world. I have been reading the Tim Flannery book "The Future Eaters" which takes an even longer term view but does discuss some of the issues about resource usage various civilisations. Today I saw a link to a Malcom Gladwell review of a new Jared Diamond book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" which appears to take an even closer view on the same subject of why a society may or may not succeed.

I am about half way through the Future Eaters and so far it is a good read, I suspect these books by Diamond are also if my sister and Gladwell are an indication. I suppose I should add more links the the post above, for now though bed beckons once more.

[/various] link

Tue, 28 Dec 2004

Back in Canberra - 22:14
I have to say I have now found NRMA premium cover useful. On Saturday morning (yes Christmas day) as I arrived in Macksville with my sister, my car's clutch stopped working correctly. Apparently something to do with the mesh plate or some such (I have no idea about car internals), anyway needless to say I was unable to drive it back to Canberra. No mechanics would be open until Wednesday (tomorrow), Jane needed to be back in Sydney by Wednesday morning and had planned to borrow my car for a holiday over new years, I was planning to be back in Canberra. Jane has now already driven back to Sydney, so she can go to work tomorrow and then head up for a holiday afterwards.

My mother pointed out the car was covered by NRMA's premium cover, this entitled me to a rental car that would enable me to continue with whatever car usage plans I had until my own car worked again. As Jane's new years holiday plans place her up around Port Macquarie she will be able to take a detour and drop the rental car we were given off up there and get my car back once the work has been completed.

As for the rental car, I have just drive in back down to Canberra from Macksville today, 8 hours in the car. The car is a Ford Falcon Sedan automatic. A very different car to my Toyota Corolla 4wd Station Wagon. The good features are, new car (~ 9000 KM, compared to the ~ 295,000 of my car) and cruise control. I admit the cruise control was a joy for long highway stretches, I could set it and not have to worry about speeding accidentally or driving inconsistently and thus concentrate more on the traffic and conditions surrounding me. So the car was pleasant to drive, I must say however it enforces my wonder as to why anyone would buy a sedan. The damn things can't fit any gear, when there are perfectly good station wagons available the purchase of a sedan baffles me. I suppose this does bring out my reasoning for owning a car though, to me a car is simply a tool, a mechanism by which I can transport my bicycles (mtb and road) and occasionally skis or some other outdoor equipment.

Speaking of bikes, I have done hardly any riding (I had one of my mountain bikes up north with me, but did not do any big rides) in the last 4 days, something I intend to rectify in the next few days, time now for bed to further this plan for more riding.

[/various] link

Fri, 24 Dec 2004

Speakers announced - 13:34
Invited speakers appearing at linux.conf.au 2005 are Eben Moglen, Andrew Morton, Robert Love, Andrew Tridgell, Rasmus Lerdorf, Rusty Russell, and Anton Blanchard. These people and all the speakers presenting from CFP submissions are listed on our speakers page.

Many cool talks, tutorials and other stuff. Some life on lca-announce again finally with this email telling people about registrations, the speakers and prices.

[/lca] link

Thu, 23 Dec 2004

Over designing standards - 22:55
Recently at some XML conference (XML Dev Con 2004) Tim Bray from Sun spoke about standards design. After my complaints yesterday concerning complex standards this seemed somewhat appropriate. In his presentation Bray said something along the lines of "Whenever people are complaining that a standard is too simple for their application, that's a good indication that the standard is going to be a hit" (source). He was also quoted as saying "If you don't have an urgent burning requirement for things right now. You ain't going to need it. Failed standards have too much stuff in them." (source)

Both these are relevant, both to standards design and simply to programming. Do not do premature design or try to design for features you imagine you may one day want to use. Extreme Programming though of course simply another selection of tools in the programmers toolbox (and not the second coming as some people seem to think) does have some good points. One of which is the avoidance of premature design or coding for "future" features. The ACAP standards yesterday struck me as over engineered for a few basic things to attach to IMAP, using my example of the need for an address book that is accessible with your email. If an email client was to implement an address book functionality in ACAP, it would still need to decide on the format of the address book data in ACAP, and other clients would need to implement this and agree on this also.

Anyway back to the subject of conferences, Rory was covering the XML conference in an amusing manner, and at one point for example paid quite a lot of attention to the shoes worn by a speaker. The shoes a speaker wears are obviously important and must be blogged or covered in some way at conferences. For linux.conf.au we will obviously need to ensure there is online coverage of what shoes speakers are wearing. Mikal will I am sure be keen to self nominate for this task of telling the world about the speakers shoes, even uploading some photographs of their shoes maybe. Lets hope the speakers understand and do not become too freaked out by this behaviour.

[/comp/design] link

Wed, 22 Dec 2004

Why are you not a fish hatchery worker? - 21:29
As mentioned, Mikal is evil, he pointed out how funny and clever this guy (Rory Blyth) is. Yet another thing to use up some time, and damn Mikal was right, the guy is clever and funny. Anyone who says something like

It was a day like any other in 1987.

Unless you choose to differentiate it by the rows of luncheon tables covered with newspaper, plastic, large salmon, and cutting implements.

Aside from that, it was very normal.

The reason I said that "It was a day like any other" is that there's a good chance that you work at a fish hatchery or a morgue. In either case, you should be able to relate easily to the events of this story. On the outside chance that you aren't a fish hatchery worker or an embalmer of the dead, then things might seem a little strange, but let's be honest: It's your fault for choosing a profession so strange that it doesn't involve regular contact with dead fish and flesh-cutting tools.
(source)

deserves to be read, I just have to remember to go read more of the stuff this guy has written now.

[/amusing] link

ACAP for data access appears difficult - 20:50
In response to my post suggesting address book data be placed in an IMAP folder for easy access from any IMAP client. Brad pointed out the ACAP effort. Admittedly I noticed this rfc on the imap rfcs page when I glanced at it earlier, I did however ignore it as it looked complex. Now looking closer I think I was right it is complex.

About two years ago when a vulnerability in the default implementation of ASN.1 was discovered, almost every appliance or library using it was found to be vulnerable. Although many important protocols (SSL, LDAP, SNMP, etc) use ASN.1 no one had bothered reimplementing it due to the huge size and complexity of the standard. The ACAP people say their protocol is supposed to fill "niche somewhere between a full-blown directory service, a file system, and specialised single-service protocol support".

I still think it is too complex, if you think about basic rss and how much it has taken off, there is no real formal protocol or XML dtd, or anything, rss is simple to implement on both client and server end and it tends to work using standard libraries and tools. I did a CPAN search for ACAP, there was nothing remotely usable available in CPAN to speak ACAP, nor was there a Debian library (apt-cache search acap) or something to make it easier. If you have an IMAP client already however, there are a bunch of vCard libraries in CPAN and Debian, the same applies for the other stuff (email with vCard mime attachments) in Bill's suggestion for an address book in IMAP.

The other thing is I have never seen any mention of ACAP support in a feature list for an email client. (though I have not looked explicitly for this)

[/comp/email] link

RSS bandwidth usage - 19:10
Mikal is an evil man, writing a blog entry I just had to respond to (with some research and fact checking) and thus using up time... (or I suppose I could simply stop this online diary thing, after all Andrew is of the opinion (possibly accurate) that I am addicted)

Anyway Mikal wondered why the rss standard could not simply add a field suggesting blog update frequency to rss feeds. Ignoring for a moment that rss is a bit of a mess and not really standardised (with rfcs and other such stuff), this suggestion requires clients to implement it properly, and would require all the feed formats (rss 0.9, rss 1, rss 2, atom, etc) to have this sort of functionality. I generally do not trust clients to implement standards properly, and these are not even real standards.

I mentioned to Mikal a recent post I had seen somewhere like BoingBoing about how someone had implemented a nice way to cut off people gobbling too much bandwidth at the server side. A bit of a google search found the entry I recalled seeing. This keeps track of UserAgent/ip, and takes note of feeders that abuse the system (constantly re fetching data they already have, etc), to do this one would need to keep track of this data in some manner which is non trivial and can use memory or disk. Also of course people behind a corporate proxy or firewall and those on roaming proxy's such as AOL subscribers may have problems with this implementation. The implementation discussed only throttles the feeders that abuse (consume more bandwidth than they should) so people using better clients will not be hit.

I have to say I do not particularly like either of the above implementation suggestions, Mikal's suggestion due to the need for compliant implementations and the fact I don't think predicting your update frequency is worth the effort. The server side enforced limiting due to added load and complexity on the server side and due to the limitations of the method. There really is no way to solve this that I can think of that is likely to catch on. What really needs to happen is rsync in the http protocol (rproxy) needs to be adopted in http servers and http clients.

[/comp/blosxom] link

Address book storage in an IMAP folder - 17:52
Talking with Bill Clarke last night at work about IMAP issues (I was doing work on more features and stuff for our new email system at work) and he made what I thought was a pretty bloody good suggestion. One of the problems with IMAP storage of email, is though you can access your email from anywhere, you do not have an associated address book accessible from anywhere in all email clients that support IMAP.

Bill's suggestion though simple and not some sort of IMAP extension or anything, to me appears elegant and useful. Store address books in a folder in your IMAP mail storage area. I thought, that sounds neat, use some common format such as vcard attachments to emails. So the folder, could be called anything and store an email per vcard file. The email client could be told to use the IMAP folder named "whatever" to get its address book information. Now all we need is someone to write a thunderbird extension and a squirrelmail extension to do this and we will be set.

I did look around google a bit and glance through the IMAP rfcs and could not see that anyone had done anything similar yet, of course I may have missed it. David Gibson has talked about plans to make a better mail retrieval protocol than IMAP from time to time, to get around problems such as the need for tools like offlineimap (and may I note, how cool is it that this is hosted on gopher). David may have thought of some way to add useful information to his protocol, however nothing is implemented yet so who knows.

[/comp/email] link

Tue, 21 Dec 2004

Poetic Ani Sigs - 14:51
To further my point about Ani lyrics being an eminently readable form of poetry or similar, I should talk about my email signature.

From around 1996 until April 2002 my email signature was the same few lines of text

Look Up In The Sky
    Is it a bird?   No
        Is it a plane    No
            Is it a small blue banana?
Yes
Which was deliberately obscure and strange, anyway I finally got around to changing my signature in April 2002 to the following Ani Difranco quote.
You are subtle as a window pane standing in my view
but I will wait for it to rain so that I can see you
   Anticipate - Ani
Which is as you can see the opening of the song Anticipate, I love the quote, and I like the double meaning of the song title by saying "Anticipate Ani".

Not long after Sam (Reinhardt) returned to work in January 2003 after time off following the birth of Maxine (notice the Righteous Baby t-shirt <g>), Sam suggested she was bored with my signature and that I should change it. Obviously not realising my previous tendency to keep an email signature for many years. Anyway I gave it some thought at the time and decided one thing I could do is go through all of Ani's lyrics from all her albums and select at least one quote from each song or poem. Using this I could have random signatures generated from the selection of quotes.

The idea behind this was to show how good Ani's lyrics are due to the fact there is some good quotable snippet from every one of her numerous songs. Anyway I extracted the quotes (in a format that is pretty trivial to parse) and since then have not used them in my signature. I guess for now Sam will just have to put up with the fact my signature doesn't change much.

I did however I think prove the point of the exercise. Though there are a few songs I did not collect quotes from, generally due to them being too short, I did collect quotes from almost all of the approximately 180 songs released by Ani since 1990.

[/leisure/music] link

Gladwell impact, though I still wonder about marketing. - 12:32
Kottke linked to an article about Malcolm Gladwell today, discussing his impact on companies and marketing and various other areas. I have said in the past how much I enjoy Gladwell articles. The article about him today is interesting to see from the perspective of how business have been utilising his ideas. A good read, though as Hugh Macleod often points out, Branding/Marketing/Advertising etc in the forms most recognised today really are, or should be, dying out. In the fast company article there is a quote from Garry Warech of Simmons on his views of Gladwell ideas "This is great. We can operationalize this and help our clients.". Anyone who uses "operationalize" in a sentence should probably have been shot at birth...

[/various] link

Cool/Intelligent people attract Cool/Intelligent people - 11:27
This train of thought came from a post made by Robert Scoble on the subject of ipods and marketing. Scoble said "Let's take a lesson from the geek dinners. I learned that if you get three people who a lot of people want to have dinner with that you'll have a large interesting group.".

He is quite correct, this is one of the things that makes linux.conf.au such a fun and interesting conference to attend. A whole bunch of cool intelligent people rock up to speak at the conference and delegates attend because they can sit around and chat with these people (and hear them speak too, but to some extent that is secondary).

[/lca] link

Mikal is not over analysing. - 10:52
Yesterday I commented on the Ben Folds Five song Brick after seeing Mikal ask a question about how other people perceive the song. Mikal thought I may have been criticising him for over analysing the lyrics, I really wasn't. I mentioned I had not listened to the lyrics of Brick properly until after I heard Ben Folds talking about the song in interviews. I did also say some fans seem to over analyse songs, I don't think Mikal has, listening to lyrics and noticing what they are about is not the freaky analysis I was thinking of. I was thinking more of this sort of thing.

I agree with Mikal that the lyrics in songs are important and can be a form of poetry, heck this is something I constantly point out with Ani Difranco lyrics, they are a form of poetry and worth reading in their own right. I guess I was not so much commenting on Brick, or Mikal's interpretation so much on how some fans may take analysis well beyond what artists ever saw in their own music.

[/leisure/music] link

Fri, 17 Dec 2004

Registrations - 21:43
We opened linux.conf.au 2005 registrations almost exactly two days ago with out much fanfare. Our current plan is to put out a press release, announce on lca-announce and make the list of speakers live at about the same time. Already we have received around 10 registrations from delegates, about half of these have paid already (which is the point at which your place is guaranteed). I promise you will learn of all the cool speakers coming soon.

When I phrased that differently recently, saying "all the call people coming to lca", Jeremy joked, they already know the organisers will be there, so they know who the cool people will be <g>.

[/lca] link

Thu, 16 Dec 2004

P2P sharing extreme ironing in tight lycra. - 17:41
LWN had a link to The World's Smallest P2P Application today. The idea is to point out how ridiculous any attempt to ban the creation of p2p utilities would be. As the author Ed Felten points out "I wrote TinyP2P to illustrate the difficulty of regulating peer-to-peer applications. Peer-to-peer apps can be very simple, and any moderately skilled programmer can write one". Interesting idea, and who knows this may become a who can write the smallest p2p system, in what language, etc. Though the question of libraries used and complexity there may come into question, though smaller code size while remaining readable or understandable is a plus point toward a language and available libraries. (ignoring one hopes a p2p library such that one could write $p2p->new ("client"); or something)

Anyone out there who has not seen extreme ironing should check it out. I saw the link on Metafilter recently, which reminded me of the activity. I first heard about it a while ago when Jim Trail (mtb friend and ex Triple J presenter) put it on his sports page at Triple J (that is the earliest occurrence I can easily find of the extreme ironing photo in the Way Back Machine copies of the page, if interested you can look for more)

Speaking of mountain biking (yeah so I don't want to make a separate diary entry in the mtb category for this), Michael Ellerman from ozlabs wrote a while back on how he thinks it is a pity so many cyclists wear lycra. Michael wonders if many people are put of cycling due to their perception that one needs to wear lycra to ride a bike. Personally I wear cycling clothing for pretty much any ride longer than my commute to work (2KM), I do this because I find it much more comfortable to ride in than other clothing, and it means my other clothing will not be sweaty and disgusting. However many people also find tight lycra off putting, this is why clothing companies such as GroundEffect and N-ZO exist and sell so much of their loose/baggy clothing. More comfortable to ride in than cotton shorts and t-shirt and you don't look like a cyclist. Unfortunately clothing to make cycling comfortable is still all pretty expensive.

[/various] link

Wed, 15 Dec 2004

Card games new to me. - 11:28
At a bbq at Rusty and Alli's place the other day, we played some card games. I believe I have played Spoons before, however I am pretty sure the other game Warlords and Scumbags was a new one for me.

Spoons I believe I played last in 1993 sometime while at a YHA in Ireland. (a rather cool remote mountain lodge in Tipperary AFAIR), the way we played it was not entirely similar to the rules I linked to, it was however similar enough to see he basic premise. This is not so much a card game as it is a game of spoon watching. It can be entertaining, especially once you decide Rusty should be seated a few metres away so his numerous fake grabs for spoons are a little louder or more onerous or something.

The other game, Warlords and Scumbags was also rather entertaining, the way we played is pretty much as described in those rules. Once again Rusty was good at this game, the rest of us just had some fun. Oh and yeah I was going to mention that Lucy should update her blog just to increase the peer pressure Chris and others have been applying, however looking at the page I notice she already updated it.

Looking at Hugh's blog I notice he is talking about riding (and possibly buying) a greenspeed recumbent trike to make his commute to work more comfortable. Hugh wondered if the proximity to the ground with respect to less visibility from car windows would be a problem. Though it is a good idea to put a tall orange flag on the back of a trike such as this, an interesting thing to note is that often recumbents are more visible to traffic than traditional bikes due to being unusual.

[/various] link

Tue, 14 Dec 2004

Fun jerseys - 15:44

Team Six Pack full size

Team Gadget full size

Purple Pickle Peddlers full size

Astroboy full size

T-Mobile Womens Team full size
Some people did not understand my complete joy the other day when I was finally able to buy a black Maladjusted jersey. Due to this I feel the need to point out how much I like fun or unusual Jerseys to ride in.

Team Six Pack
From 1999 to 2002 Michael Carden's 24 Hour team at the Mont 24 Hour Race had a different name. 1999 Team Crash, 2000 Team Shagwell, 2001 Team Gadget, 2002 Team Six Pack. From 2000 onward they had new team clothing each year also. This is the 2002 (and 2003) team gear they wore. I was lucky enough to get an outfit even though I was not a team member.

This outfit has a few cute features, a twist top collar, the beer labels (Genuine Cold Filtered Single Track) contain the text "Established 2002" and "Contains 4.5% Av Skill Content" in small print. The side panels on the shorts are the green bubbles motif again.

Team Gadget
This of course was Mikey's 2001 24 Hour Team Jersey, once again a hell of a lot of fun to wear, the shorts have the text "Go Go Gadget" on the side panels.

Purple Pickle Peddlers
This was the jersey my 2003 24 Hour Team wore for the race. There are a few cute features. We were the Purple Pickle Peddlers (deliberate spelling) as we were to some extent jokingly trying to sell or peddle the wares of the Purple Pickle Cafe (where the cartoon character in the circle came from). There is a Pickle Me Elmo (Elmo in a jar) on the centre back pocket of the jersey. The pattern on the jersey is called pickle plate (similar to the flooring pattern) made up of a woven looking three pickle cross hatch pattern. Also the entire outfit is very purple, the shorts have pickle plate side panels.

Astroboy
Leading up to the 2003 24 Hour race Mikey and his team had decided not to get a new jersey design and once more enter as Team Six Pack, however Alan Vogt who had done the design work for the previous outfits wanted to do something special, so he quietly had about 20 Astroboy Jerseys made and a few of us lucky cyclists were able to buy one. Once more lots of fun to wear.

T-Mobile Womens
Now you may accuse me of selling out as this is the jersey of a US based road cycling team. However I would like to point out they are a womens cycling team, and irrelevant of that "HOT PINK FLAMES", how could I not want to wear this jersey.

Admittedly the Maladjusted jersey is not bright, or a cartoon, or some in joke or any of that, but hey I think it looks cool. Morgs and some of his friends have a jersey with a FreeBSD style demon on it (actually for a company DataFlow), their most recent jersey has a road sign on the back "Warning this rider may crash unexpectedly Next 17 KM" (the 2003 24 Hour course was 17 KM), which is also very cool.

I wish to some extent that someone made a Tux jersey. Currently the jerseys I wish I could own but really can not justify paying money for are SpongeBob and the Cookie Monster jerseys. Truly it seems as if that company is the only one to make really cool jerseys.

[/mtb/gear] link

A tad damp - 12:20
As Andrew noted, we have had some rain recently, which is a good thing. Yesterday we had a slightly less common occurrence of heavy rain. The red patches just leaving Canberra on the map to the left indicate the heaviest rain the BoM radar images display, it is rare even when raining heavily for there to be red patches on the map.

full size
I took the photo on the left looking out the front door of DCS (where I work) about 5 minutes before the radar image, so while the red dot was centred directly over us. It was neat we could have built little snow men with the hail for a while after this hail fell.

[/various] link

Mon, 13 Dec 2004

Recumbent couch. - 11:47
Recently I linked to a company making automobile beds and couches. Today on Metafilter I found a link to a Couch Bike. How cool is that, so sure you can not mountain bike on recumbents, or for that matter on a bike that wide, but who cares, I want one, riding a couch around looks like fun (though probably far less comfortable than a traditional recumbent for various reasons). As the site says "In 2002, two intrepid cyclists rode a human powered couch through Maritime Canada.", yet another interesting way to bike tour Canadia.

[/mtb] link

Fri, 10 Dec 2004

Smart people working, may play dumb for telemarketers, probably will not wear redneck head coverings, and may see strange squirrel behaviour - 15:24
From BoingBoing yesterday there was a link to this study of how creative people work. I think someone should get something from Tridge to put there. What is there already is pretty cool such as Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson and others.

On receiving a phone call from a telemarketer this guy played dumb, definitely a good performance. It reminds me of something I have been told my father once did. When Mormons knocked on the door, he let them in, listened to them for about an hour, then said, Right my turn, and started explaining English literature ideals or something to them in great detail. The guy I link to above is someone named Paul Davidson, he has a book Consumer Joe: Harassing Corporate America that appears to be pretty cool, he wrote letters to American companies with weird or nonsensical requests and suggestions, and reprints 100 of the letters and the responses he received. Sounds amusing, I wonder if I should get a copy for my cousin Jackson. (Jackson once wrote to the Australian Prime Minister suggesting they get cop cars to be disguised as taxis just to see the sort of response he would get from the Prime Minister's office.)

I mentioned to Dave and Alex this morning that I saw this Common Redneck Head Coverings poster online yesterday. Apparently the US DoJ released some posters on "Common Muslim American Head Coverings" and "Common Sikh American Head Coverings" (source). So someone realised a red neck warning poster may be needed to give to shop keepers in South Asian Rural Areas.

One of the guys I ride with, Dave Morgan (Morgs) has a flatmate, Cath, who I swear must overdose on red cordial on a daily basis. Listening to her speak in an excited manner can be a mind altering experience at times. Anyway I saw this entry in a blog with the author discussing their interpretation of the thought patterns of a squirrel outside their office.

You can't see me! I'm brown and I'm flat. And so is this branch. I'll blend right into the branch and she won't even know I'm here. Never mind my two beady little eyes that she can feel staring at her or my huge orange bushy tail that I couldn't stop wiggling to save my life!!

If I did not know better I would swear Cath said that about squirrel thought patterns.

[/various] link

Thu, 09 Dec 2004

More cool print jobs, and talking about emus with Americans. - 11:59
The capability to print circuit boards sounded cool, however there are other even better uses of printers if this research on printing body parts pans out. I lost a bit of skin, got another possibly impressive scab and bruised my ribs in a crash on the bike path near work yesterday, however it will be a few years before I can power up the printer at work and fix myself up this way. Sounds cool though.

Michael suggests one way to distinguish Australian's from Americans is to ask them to pronounce "emu". Is it just me or do the majority of conversations with Americans not present ample opportunity to talk about Emus? Of course it may be fun to work Emu's into every conversation with an American, after all what more fascinating topic is there but that of flightless Australian avian fauna. <g>

[/various] link

Wed, 08 Dec 2004

Now I can be Maladjusted Black. - 16:56

full size


full size

The first time I saw Mal riding around in a black Maladjusted jersey I was envious, I thought the black jersey rocked and wanted one of my own. Mal had sold all the black Jerseys though, and I was not particularly interested in a yellow, white or red Maladjusted jersey. Since that day around 3 years ago I have constantly pestered Mal to order more Black jerseys (yes I know I am obsessive compulsive...).

Mal's order of jerseys that included black was around 4.5 years ago, he again ordered jerseys from a different supplier about 1.5 years ago, a yellow example of which is pictured left. Apart from the fact none of these were black I prefer to use traditional cycling jerseys with three back pockets made from a shiny material.

Due to the above, I am sure you can understand how incredibly happy I am that Mal ordered and received more jerseys, once again made by hot designs so I know I am comfortable in the cut and fabric and this time there are black jerseys. Woohoo I know own a black Maladjusted jersey. Obviously small things to amuse small minds and all that applies here <g>.

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Tue, 07 Dec 2004

What other encylcopaedia is this up on pop culture. - 12:13
There has been much discussion in the online media recently about WikiPedia, kind of a battle between this encyclopaedia created by those who show up and the more traditional sort of encyclopaedia. It could almost be seen as an open source encyclopaedia vs a traditional closed source encyclopaedia if you look at it from a geek perspective.

Chris, Rusty, and Martin got into the discussion (Martin links to some other perspectives on the WikiPedia discussions). Thinking about the "Can WikiPedia be trusted?" question is to some extent pointless in my opinion, it is just another information source, all sources should be checked and taken with some amount of salt when you use them (what you use them for will also allow you to choose how much you want to rely on any one or any collection of sources).

I do however think WikiPedia is fantastic! It evolves fast, corrections often appear with in minutes, sure it may have inaccuracies but there is also a lot of cool stuff there. WikiPedia already has a large entry on the 2004 US Presidential Elections heck it even has the 2004 Australian Federal Election which generated a lot less global media and public attention. That however is all quite boring and dry, WikiPedia also contains modern pop culture references, and I have to say, would any other encyclopaedia have an entry about the Underpants Gnomes.

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Mon, 06 Dec 2004

CORC XC Race photos. - 15:20
I have uploaded a bunch of photos I took at the CORC XC race yesterday. I only put 100 of the photos I took online, but that is a fair number still.

I took the photos with Russ Baker's Cannon EOS 300 camera as I had left my Canon Powershot A60 at home, I must say, the EOS 300 is a damn fine camera, I was not able to sneak away with it without Russ noticing, alas.

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Fri, 03 Dec 2004

Drive your bed or bathroom. - 17:49
You can hire a chauffeured 4 poster bed for tours of London. The company Cummfy Banana designed and built a street legal 4 poster bed, along with a motorised bathroom, a sofa and a host of racing vehicles that remind me of the Wacky Races cartoon.

Is it just me or does anyone else now want to drive a couch or bed to Sydney or some where. I wonder what sort of bicycle mounting mechanisms could be attached.

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Speaker acks - 11:01
We sent the speaker invites out at the beginning of the week. It is very cool to see their ACK's for speaking at lca come back. As Anand said, this is one of the milestones, we have a whole bunch of very cool people who have agreed to speak now.

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Thu, 02 Dec 2004

BCG does reviews. - 17:55
Cool, Martin has another website, Big Cool Guy, he even does some album reviews. I imagine this site may have come about in a similar fashion in the ozlabs office to the Where is Anton site. (some fun in the office generating another website), I suppose I could ask one of them to find out for sure, but that may spoil the fun.

People wondering about the BCG thing may be enlightened somewhat by looking at one of Martin's old business cards, possibly not as much fun as Rusty's Kernel Hocker (instead of Hacker) cards at ltc, as BCG was deliberate rather than an accident.

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Must remember to comment on this - 17:43
gapingvoid has mention of a A list of reasons from 36 bloggers discussing the question "Why Do We Blog?". Responses came from a number of somewhat prolific blog writers. Definitely interesting reading, and I want to comment on a bunch of the stuff in there for the heck of it, maybe I will have time tomorrow.

Preparing for an lca meeting tonight, and I have to fix a puncture on my mtb. A pinch flat gained, during the lunch time mtb ride, while trying to ride up a set of steps I have not previously ascended. I guess I need to practice, and remember these points.

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Wed, 01 Dec 2004

Any point to these entries or some form of addiction? - 14:26
During November I made a point of making at least one diary entry on every work day. Basically just for the heck of it (and I thought my October calendar looked a bit empty). I do not know if I will continue with this, if this strange habit continues Mikal can probably go and label me an online diary addict.

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Full tour coverage! or how will I ever survive July? - 14:10
As pointed out by Allan, SBS have just announced they will show the Tour de France live from next year onward. Since 1991 SBS have aired a half hour highlights package each night of the tour, with their new agreement they will also have the live coverage on late at night. Cycling news also have coverage of the SBS announcement.

I shudder to think how I will live through July next year, I tend to watch maybe 1 hour of tv a fortnight most of the year. The exception is during July when, since 1992 (second year of Indurain's reign), I have avidly watched the Tour highlights package every day and in the past few years also watched the 2 or 3 live stages aired by SBS.

If this is not a good reason to get a Tivo, set up a MythTV or some other form of PVR I don't know what is.

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New mtb computer, new road rear light - 14:01
I picked the warranty replacements for the Cateye items I had fail today. One cycle computer as previously mentioned and one extremely bright flashing red rear light for my road bike (Cateye TL-LD600-BRR). I use this rear light on the road bike as it is one of the brightest tail lights you can buy, and cars are dangerous to cyclists.

Anyway the computer has the option to set the odometer distance to whatever it was previously set to (say before a battery change or replacing a bike computer), I admit it is temping to reset it to 10,377 KM as my broken computer had hit, however it kind of feels like cheating, I feel I need to put in the hard yards and get the computer past 10,000 again the proper way, which is probably what I will do.

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