Other online diaries:
Tue, 28 Nov 2006
Fri, 24 Nov 2006
Messed up fines - 12:15
The police were doing drug searches of all busses and trucks on the highway up near Goulburn, no idea why, maybe they had a tip off, or maybe they just wanted to use police resources there for some reason. Anyway the drug dogs sniffed around the luggage and all the passengers on the bus which took a while. The messed up part is what happened to one German backpacker. Jane mentioned the dogs had singled him out for some reason, so the police questioned him for a while. However in the end he did not have any drugs or evidence of drugs on his person or in his luggage. However they found a swiss army knife in his luggage (carry on luggage) and gave him a spot fine of AUD $550 for that and confiscated the knife.
So apparently the terms and conditions on the ticket may have some clause about no concealed weapons to be carried on your person, though it is not possible to find this anywhere on the Murrays website, the terms and conditions on purchasing a ticket make no mention of such clauses, it may simply be in some public transport law the police claim to be adhering to.
I personally think it is somewhat dodgy to fine someone and confiscate possessions, sure there may be some good reason the Police dogs went for this guy, however with no way to convict him on the spot it is a bit rough to fine him for someone I am fairly sure no one has ever mentioned or warned about. Really this is not air travel, have you ever been told upon getting on a bus that you need to stow all weapons or similar items in the baggage hold?
Thu, 23 Nov 2006
I wish I had thought of it - 23:05
The slightly strange thing is the race was not even held in Victoria so the outfit was not even as expected as these guys at gravity.
Fri, 17 Nov 2006
Mark's Guide and Cool Tools - 21:42
But Brain, how exactly to the 1428 pair of rubber pants fit into the plan? - 19:39
Then there was the report on BBC with physicists claiming they will be able make useable wireless power transfer mechanisms using resonance of materials in the radio or similar level frequencies. The claim is rather light on actual references or details of the research, however it sounds interesting, it would seriously rock to be able to use a laptop inside the office or at home or at cafes and have power and network coming through the air. Lets hope this is actually for real.
Then more of the purely cool research, the scientists mentioned on an ABC Australia news story that got dolphins to sing the Batman theme tune. The good news here is at least they are not singing "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish" I guess.
The ABC is often a source of good stories (humourous or otherwise) such as the story about teaching pandas to mate by playing them porn videos, obviously in the hopes they will emulate the the behaviour on the screen, they must be hoping these pandas are not the type to rock up to the Sydney Mardi Gras with a ready supply of rubber clothing. Lets hope the Pandas do get it going to the bow wow wacka wacka beats.
Mon, 13 Nov 2006
Good consistency where Gravity happens. - 14:58
I have photos and a few words up on my 2006 Gravity 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race page. As for consistency, I was happy with my performance, being able to do 6 laps with the following lap times: 37:54, 37:33, 37:20, 37:13, 37:36 and 41:48 around the 12.3 KM slightly hilly lap.
Thu, 09 Nov 2006
Geek mountain bike humour - 13:10
However some of the Gnomes were broken a bit, probably having been hit by riders a little bit off line as they went past. My suggestion as to the cause of the broken Gnome was that someone had committed some bad untested code into CVS.
Mon, 06 Nov 2006
Another what I ate for weekend lunch style post - 16:46
This weekend Lina and I competed in the ACTRA Spring 12 Hour Rogaine on Saturday. Held in Deua National Park out beyond Tallaganda. We both had a lot of fun, and I think we both improved our rogaine and navigation skills somewhat which is definitely on my must work in improving list (day and night foot navigation). With the benefit of hindsight, and a look at the controls Tom, Al and Karl collected in the 6 hour event (getting a higher score than we did in 12 hours) I can see a bunch of better routes we could have done, but it was fun anyway.
The rogaine finished at 11pm on Saturday night, it would have been lovely to camp out at the hash house with most of the other competitors and come back to Canberra on Sunday morning. However I had to be back for a kayaking/paddling course on Sunday morning, so we left after a good post event feed and the presentation ceremony. On the drive back, while still on a dirt road between Cooma and Braidwood before turning off toward Captains Flat. I wondered why the rear of the car seemed to be influencing the steering strangely, it got really wobbly and was not handling right at all, so I pulled up to a stop, got out and found the flat rear drivers side tyre. It was around 1am when this happened, it explained the handling, I had obviously been driving for around 1 or 2 KM with it in this state as the tyre was now shredded. Fortunately the spare in the boot was ready and it took about 15 minutes to change, the most surprising thing is that it happened at all. I have never had a flat in this car before, and from what I can tell flat tyres are remarkably rare in cars now days.
So after getting to sleep just before 3am I had to be up at around 7:50am in order to make it to a Kayaking/Paddling course I am doing for the next two months (Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons) being run by the Burley Griffin Canoe Club. Julie suggested this course to me as it will give me proper coaching in improving my technique, balance and all round capabilities in the kayak, something I think I need to do for the purposes of being able to do adventure races more comfortably. Then Sunday afternoon I went for a mountain bike ride with Tony and Mikey around the 2006 Australian 24 Hour race course as I had not had a chance to ride a lap of this year's course yet, and Tony and Mikey were both keen on having a mountain bike ride somewhere.
That was the weekend (see told you it was a boring post), next weekend is the Gravity 12 Hour mountain bike race down in Victoria, should be fun.
Thu, 02 Nov 2006
Apparently Rocky Mountain Element bikes will break if you have low shock pressure. - 16:40
So as stated below my Rocky Mountain Element 50 Dual Suspension frame broke while out riding on Friday morning 2006-10-20. As the frame snapped just below the shock mount I just looked at and though, ahh well something was wrong there, they will replace it under warranty. The warranty says 5 years for dual suspension frames. Of course it also says under what is not covered "B.Consequential damage or any damage caused by accident, misuse or abuse." and "C.Improper assembly and/or lack of proper maintenance," and there is the other clause that the majority of bicycle manufacturers seem to place in their warranty now days under What will void your warranty "A.Competition racing".
Anyway as you may suspect this is leading up to the Australian Importer of Rocky Mountain (Advance Traders) have rejected the warranty claim, Rocky Mountain are standing by the call Advance Traders have made. Their reason for rejecting the warranty claim is that the shock pressure was too low when it was bought into the store. I have been running the shock at 150 psi since I bought the bike. I can not remember exactly why I chose this pressure, though mostly it was from riding it, looking at how much it sagged, checking to ensure the shock was not bottoming out while riding (tie a zip tie around the shock shaft) and setting it to the pressure that seemed to give about 1 inch sag and felt comfortable.
Rocky Mountain have since said the pressure should have been around 190 psi for someone my weight. However I am trying to work out why a low pressure in the shock would cause the frame to break. What Advance had to say on this was somewhat hard to interpret.
You are correct in saying that a standard triangle frame should not break in the middle of the tube, which would probably be a sufficient point if the bike were a hardtail. But, because you have a moving rear end, it's highly likely that excess force (due to heavy impact and / or undersprung shock) through a certain area will cause the problem you have experienced. "The key to it's design is that it doesn't rely on the shock as a structural component of the suspension." (Rocky Mountain 2004 catalogue - Element - Design). If the shock were a structural part of the design I would expect the shaft of the shock to bear the brunt of the force and bend, or the shock bolts to do the same instead of the force being transmitted through the frame.
So they do not even answer my query as to why a low shock pressure will cause the break, it seems they suggest it is highly unlikely to cause the problem I have experienced with a moving rear end. I have asked in my email why the low shock pressure would cause the break. There is nothing in the warranty or owners manual suggesting the frame is in grave danger of breaking with low pressure in the shock. Also the claim made that the warranty guy at rocky mountain has never seen a frame break there before, I think would suggest there must have been something wrong with this specific frame.
The price they have offered a replacement front triangle to me is AUD $750, however I still do not understand why the low shock pressure is being used as a reason for rejecting my warranty claim. Anyway links to parts of this page are at the top to make it easier to see different things I have written about here.
I am not an engineer so I am waiting for some feedback from friends who are to see what someone who knows about this stuff would say on the issue. It is interesting to note that no onw from either the importer or Rocky Mountain have looked at the frame or seen it themselves. They are basing the rejection on photos I took and on asking the bike shop I some questions about it.
Wed, 01 Nov 2006
Kernel command line for environment variables - 14:56
I remembered reading something somewhere about setting the proxy environment variable on the kernel command line that d-i would then be able to use. I can find no documentation about this with respect to d-i. However it seems to work correctly by putting append="http_proxy=blah" into the correct pxe boot file. AJ pointed out it is a kernel feature that allows variables entered in such a way to be passed to init (this is sort of hinted at in the kernel Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt file, though not made clear). Anyway because d-i uses wget (and even when it gets to apt, apt understands the same variable) to fetch files this works correctly.