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Fri, 09 Dec 2011

Around the K in a Day - 10:26

Only 100km to go (fullsize)
Though I have previously been calling this the SLER loop/ride that does not make much sense as that was only what we called it on the 2004 attempt. The moniker a few people have been using recently makes a lot more sense. Around the K in a day.

The course is 320 km on road with 6500 metres of climbing (and descending) spread around the loop. Some of the best scenery in the Australian alpine region that is easily accessible and a fantastic day out on bikes.

We did it last time in Feb though my diary entries for it were a bit later. It seems the standard timing for us these days is to get around with a 5:15am start and finishing around 9 to 9:15pm. This time we had two half hour stops for food (Adaminaby and Khancoban), a shorter stop at Cabramurra and a few water refills from mountain streams.

I still did not make it this time around, I did feel I was able to however was riding a lot slower than the others on the hills. With a 20km climb to go before rolling mostly downhill to Jindabyne we managed to find a lift for me up the hill so the others did not feel bad leaving me behind as it got dark. Still a wonderful day out on bikes and I am keen to try again. Looks like we may try again on Feb 18, or Feb 25th (though I think I would prefer 18th if everyone can manage that weekend).

Anyway all the photos I took are online, fun was had.

[/mtb] link

Abel Tasman Kayaking - 10:23

Camping Observation Beach, Abel Tasman NP (fullsize)
Keith and I met up for a kayaking trip in Abel Tasman National Park when we were both in New Zealand. The photos are all up on my Abel Tasman Kayaking January 2010 Page

As Keith said this is something that should be on everyone's bucket list. An incredible area and some wonderful kayaking. We were thinking about it a fair bit and we both think there are other ways you can approach this trip that would be fun. Heidi told me there is an Abel Tasman marathon sometime in September, I am thinking that it would be a lot of fun to run up the track to the end in one day, get your gear dropped up there for camping along with a fast AR double kayak. The next day leave your gear there to be picked up and kayak back.

Otherwise we both think doing the track walk to the end and then kayaking back, or maybe walking in from the other end of the track and doing a remote park start for your kayak trip at Tonga Beach (this is the farthest north the rented kayaks will be dropped off) and paddle back to Marahau.

I had a lot of fun on the trip and the fact we did not have a nice fast kayak such as Matilda was not really a problem as we are on holiday and not trying to go fast or anything. I did miss Matilda a bit at times but I got over it.

[/mtb] link

Kind of no longer saturday - 10:23
So the first day of the ghosts session went well. Stewart missed his first flight to Canberra, Pia and Jeff ended up arriving this morning. Alli and Rusty were a few minutes late, but hey it took me a bit of time to set up the networking and power and such in the meeting room. We did not get through the entire agenda, but hey the discussion strayed as it is wont to do. On the whole the day went well, though looking through the minutes I was taking all day we have a large number of new action items.

[/lca] link

Cans of weed killer left next to the garden - 10:23

Cans of weed killer next to the garden (fullsize)
I noticed one of my housemates must have been tending the garden and only used one can of this weed killer, I guess there will be more weeds to kill with the unopened can soon.

This reminds me of DAAS or possibly Flacco in one of the DAAS videos saying some line like "Nah it's beer mate". This time instead the line would more aptly be "Nah it's weed killer mate".

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Through the pearly gates in a 200 mph fireball - 10:23
Anyone who recognises the quote probably has already guessed I watched Top Gear last night (the expression about going through the pearly gates in a fireball seems to be a favourite of the presenters). I agree with so many other viewers that this is a funny show. Heck I tend to have an almost negative interest in cars and yet this show has me laughing along throughout most episodes.

I remember watching the old series with Clarkson in it when I was living in the UK in 1993, though at the time I paid some small interest in cars (such as watching Ayrton Senna in F1 races) I do not recall Top Gear being so amusing. I suspect they really ramped up the humour of it when they changed the format and started the new series in 2002. My amusement at the pearly gates expression has me trying to think of a few expressions for how various people may want to go, somewhat macabre maybe but I am trying to think of it in a similar manner to my Fairy Tales in the key of Klingon post. Alas nothing comes to mind yet.

[/various] link

Glad to be doing a ride again - 10:23
So I didn't get time to go out on the bike yesterday, finally this morning I was able to do a ride again (no rain to ruin components), although it was an easy ride (Bilbys wednesday morning bunch ride) it just felt good to be spinning the legs over again. The new ahead stem on a quill stem adapter on the road bike looks and feels pretty good (roox mtb stem, so now the fattest tube on the road bike is on the head stem, if I crash the road bike that will be the last component to break, or something), though on the whole the road bike needs a clean and some work to make it feel really good again. I swapped bikes to ride to work as I have my hardtail up and running again so I rode that to work.

[/mtb] link

British "Whose Line Is It Anyway" - 10:23
As most people should know British comedy tends to be the best around, a show I was hooked on when living in the UK for all of 1993 is Whose Line Is It Anyway, airing from 1988 to 1998. I taped around 13 episodes from Foxtel my my mum's house a few years ago (they have Foxtel, on which it was airing). There was a US version of the show, with some of the same comedians appearing and hosted by Drew Carey, however the US version of the show sucked.

Anyway the show is an theatre sports style improvisation show with comedians acting out various provided (often by the audience) situations on the spot. I have to say this is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, probably helped by the fact it has some of my favourite comedians as regulars, Paul Merton and Stephen Fry.

I have been watching the tape I have of the show a bit last night and tonight and I have been laughing almost constantly. This truly is brilliantly entertaining, highly recommended. For more information there are some sites with more of it and of course something Wikipedia.

[/leisure/screen] link

Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race - 10:23
As mentioned a few times the report from Geoquest 2007 has been a while in coming, pretty much all involved in the team have now seen it and have no problems with it. In it are 99 photos, 5 videos and a fair chunk of text. We had fun and I am hoping to be back next year for more of it. Thanks to Bruce, Danealle, Craig and Brendan for racing and big thanks to Jane, Zoe and Jaymz for supporting. Also Gran and Jude were fun to have around the race.

Anyway for anyone who wants to have a look here is our report from the team Out of Range at the 2007 Geoquest Adventure Race. Enjoy.

[/mtb/events] link

Oh no I missed another Blorthday - 10:23
Just like last year when I posted about the Blorthday a day late, but you know worse because this time I am 5 days late. So yeah 26th August was the second anniversary of this diary, and what did I do? Nothing, no cake, no party, not even a post. I am pretty sure my diary is going to go sit in a field and eat worms any second now.

Stats this time around are

[18:16:50] 3 oneiros sjh ~/diary/data>find -name '*.text' | wc -l
[18:16:54] 4 oneiros sjh ~/diary/data>wc `find -name '*.text'`
19384 145996 929924 total

I passed the 500th post without noticing, I will soon have more than 1 MB of my blathering up here (when the third number just next to total says 1048576). 221 posts is down a fair bit from 337 the previous year. One thing I have noticed is I have not been keen to sit around and work on silly category posts much (various/ilmiwac). Not sure why.

On the whole maybe I am just not as worthy of the cool t-shirt Andrew gave me, especially when you consider the fact there are still no photos of my non existent cat on here to provide some blogthenticity.

[/various] link

Ghosts is over - 10:23
On the whole ghosts worked very well, and I believe helped the lca 2005 crew understand a lot more about wha gos into running this conference we have.

We had a rather large number of people at the ghosts session, I wonder if maybe this was a bad thing. It seemed a times we did not need quite so many people. One thing I noticed is the ghosts session was really for the new lca team to be able to learn from previous organising teams. Thinking about who was present I dont really see that we could have left many out. Maybe if the LA committee were not so strongly reccomended. For future ghosts I wonder if maybe just the LA president and Treasurer would be enough.

I suppose LA was strongly represented at the meeting due to the fact Rusty and Mikal are both on the committee and both lca people also, Michael Davies as the 2004 Lead organiser was necessary and also is on the LA committee. Mark Tearle was there from Perth but mostly there as the LA treasurer, we already have Tony Breeds on our lca crew from Perth. So looking a it this year the LA committee was almost all there by necessity, so bringing AfC and Stewart in for LA to meet afterwards kind of made sense.

The thing that strikes me is we had ~ 20 people in the meeting room all weekend, fortunately it worked well for us, we got through almost the entire agenda and people did not interrupt with out reason. However it just seems busy with that many people there. Also with the LA meeting at the end of the weekend before everyone flew out there was a bit of rushing and possibly some things left off the agenda or not discussed that should be. I think a large part of why the LA thing happened was due to the make up of who would already be there. I would be nice to be able to avoid that in the future for ghosts if possible I think.

I dont mean it as a criticism really as it did not impact heavily on us this weekend, more just something to think about for the future. As for the lca crew, we have a whole lot of new ideas stemming from this weekend, and some action items and the like. One thing that is very important is we need to be more active in getting the word out into the community and the pulic at large abotu this conference and what is happening. Time to send a lot of people email <g>

[/lca] link

Caffeine and glycogen storage, maybe the roadies have it right - 10:23
There is an article in the Canberra Times today referring to a Melbourne study on some endurance cyclists measuring glycogen storage in muscles when caffeine is consumed immediately after a ride until exhaustion session.

The professor in charge of the study at RMIT is John Hawley, a google search turned up the article in question. It is quite a common practice among cyclists to head to a coffee shop after a ride, though most of us do not consume 6 cups of coffee and a loaf of bread, we do consume some food and coffee at these gatherings fairly often.

Good to see we can even claim the post ride coffee is part of our important training schedule and recovery plan.

[/mtb] link

Trying to be fair to students with a few doing damage. - 10:23
So we have been watching the traffic a bit on our student networks and have noticed that some students are using ssh tunnels to download huge amounts of data over the fat pipe the uni has. Considering we have ssh open and most other ports closed one would hope the students did not abuse this. Too much to hope for I guess.

We could block ssh entirely to the student networks however that is not a good thing as students should be able to log on and do work from remote locations.

The solution we are looking at is accounting for all student traffic on both incoming and outgoing such that ssh is blocked to all but one machine. Then on this one machine we have the netfilter patch that lets us account for traffic on the INPUT chain on a per user basis. This will mean we can set student quotas for all data, or maybe even simply subtract the ssh incoming traffic from their web quotas also.

I guess students will simply have to get used to using one machine to access the rest of the student systems, should not be hard for them and will stop the people abusing the system.

[/work] link

What to do in Denver^WCairns when you're dead^Won holiday? - 10:23
On Saturday I am flying up to Cairns for a little over a week on holiday. While there I am competing in two mountain bike races the Herberton 8 Hour race in a team of 3 and the RRR Classic (details of both races can be found on the Cairns Mountain Bike Club website) on consecutive Sundays. I will be staying with friends, however apart from that I really have no idea what to do in Cairns for a week.

Dave and Julie were there recently and went on a Kayak trip, which was probably fun. This is the part of Australia where glass bottom boats are rather common, heck the Kayak/Canoe you really want up there is one of these transparent canoes I saw on BoingBoing the other day. Apart from the fact my arms may drop off 3 hours into any attempt to Kayak somewhere I have no planned something like that. Is a reef trip a good idea I wonder?

I will probably ride up to Port Douglas one day, maybe look for nice swimming rivers/holes/etc on the way up and down to stop off at. I will probably look for a bit more mountain biking while there or maybe a walk or some trail running. But I really have no idea what to do apart from read books on the beach (which could not be all bad I guess).

Anyone have suggestions?

[/leisure/holiday] link

Finally faster - 10:23
Well it happened, this is now hosted on something a bit faster. Since sometime in 1999 Martijn and I have had the same colo machine (wherever it was located). An AMD K6-2 400 Mhz, with 128 MB of RAM and 2 9 GB IDE drives (not raided or anything). For a while now we had been discussing the need to upgrade the hardware to something a bit more recent, or at least to put more memory in.

Back in November I mentioned this to Steve Walsh of Nerdvana, he told me they do colo, and would throw in new hardware (leasing arrangement) all for less per month than we are currently paying and colocated in a rather nice facility in Sydney. Martijn and I thought this sounded tops so signed up.

Finally we shifted all the domains and config and data and everything across for the final time last night and we now are actively using the new server for all domains we host and everything else. The new machine is definitely a nice step up, now a Dual 3 GHz Xeon with Hyperthreading, 1 GB of RAM and 2 250 GB SATA drives configured in RAID 1 for full redundancy. Damn this new machine is fast, operations that used to take a few minutes now happen in 2 or 3 seconds.

Finally I can do a few things I have been holding off from doing on the old machine for a while, either for lack of disk space, lack of memory or incredibly high load caused by trying to do the things I had in mind. Heck I may even add some sort of comments thing to this diary (Jane reckons I need comments here)

One of the other problems with the old machine was I had never gotten it to cleanly boot up into a kernel newer than 2.2.20pre2, which meant ancient firewalling, probably a few vulnerabilities, inability to try some new things that may have been interesting and a few other issues. The machine was also running Woody, so it is nice to have Sarge with a few even newer bits on the new machine.

RIP, long live (we did not change the name, which was confusing once or twice while moving config over).

[15:46:41] 9 calyx sjh ~>
  sh -c 'cat /proc/cpuinfo ; free ; df ; uname -a' | egrep 'MHz|Mem|cg0-data|Linux'
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
cpu MHz         : 3000.269
Mem:       1036352    1001088      35264          0      68208     713860
/dev/mapper/vg0-data 235694888   8981204 214741076   5% /data
Linux calyx #1 SMP Fri Nov 25 23:43:09 EST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux
[15:47:27] 10 calyx sjh ~>

[/comp/hardware] link

Polaris for Dummies 2006 - 10:23
Marea and I once again teamed up for Polaris over the weekend just past. We had a good time, and proving that practice helps after three Polaris' as a team we won the mixed division this year and came 8th over all out of the 200 or so teams.

Anyway I put photos and a report of the 2006 Polaris event online.

[/mtb/events] link

Ghosts starting to gather - 10:23
This weekend the Ghosts of lca meeting is happening, for those of you outside the lca world (ie most of you) each year we gather some of the organisers of previous conference organisers and some LA people at the venue for the coming conference to talk to the new organising team and work out stuff for the conference.

Anyway this morning Mark Tearle (LA Treasurer) arrived in Canberra at 6am on the red eye from Perth. AJ (Anthony Towns) will be arriving later today, as will most of the other people attending from outside Canberra (Michael Davies, Anand Kumria, Ryan Verner, Pia Smith, Jeff Waugh, etc, etc). This is going to be a pretty busy weekend.

[/lca] link

Obscurity, P=NP etc, Hash Visualisation - 10:23
Three things I saw online today I feel like mentioning, first linked from Schneier's blog was an article about how lock making companies are still very much in the security through obscurity world and how lock geeks getting together online and at (computer) security conferences are breaking their obscure secrets open. An interesting read.

It is interesting to see some companies such as Kryptonite eventually reacted, others seem intent on denying public information, or trying to shut down people who know about it. In computing it is a well known fact (although still ignored by too many people/companies) that security through obscurity will not work, public design and analysis by experts in the field however does work and should be used for things that need to be secure. Although one aspect that comes to mind here is that in the case of locks you may not want to make them impossible as other attack vectors are then used. As the article mentions crooks seem to prefer using a hammer (or maybe explosives) over opening the locks through lock exploits. There were some discussions about this in the car that were I think linked to by Schneier a few years back.

Next was an interesting wikipedia page linked to by kottke, a list of unsolved problems from a number of different field, those listed in Computing are familiar, however looking through the collected information on those in other fields is pretty fascinating. Mmmmmm wikipedia goodness.

Catching up on some LWN reading and I see the mention of a new OpenSSH version approaching, in the list of new features is "Experimental SSH fingerprint visualisation" with a paper (pdf) linked. So I download and had a read of the paper, largely to see what sort of images they generate. It is good to see some work on what is one of the biggest security weaknesses out there, the humans using secure systems.

[/comp] link

We have a team, a support crew, some boats, some bikes, cool lets go hurt ourselves. - 10:23
Last year I competed in the Geoquest Half adventure race with Lina, Michelle and Ian. This year I wanted to go back and compete in the full length race. The half is a 24 hour race (effectively), the full has a 48 hour time limit to complete the course. (well the half also has a 48 hour time limit, however it is approximately half the distance).

This race is a fairly large commitment of time, training and money to compete in, simply getting through 48 hours without sleep while navigating and racing in different disciplines is not trivial. Unfortunately none of my team mates from last year were able to compete this year (Knee Injury for one, another in South Africa, and the last not wanting to try the full length race this year).

Fortunately I have been able to convince 3 other friends to come along and race. Bruce, who I compete in Triple Tri with and other events over the past few years. Craig who has been doing some rides with Bilbys recently and has done a 24 hour mtb solo and is a damn tough bugger. Danealle who raced the full Geo last year with the Pink Ladies and thus has experience and proven toughness. Rock on, one hell keen team out there to have fun on the full course.

For support crew I have Jane (sister) returning, Zoe a Bilbys friend who wants to find out what Geo is about with the aim of possibly competing next year, Tom (Zoe's partner, who is likely to be roped in as support next year), James a mountain biking friend with bike mechanic experience to wrench and stuff and Louise (Jane's flatmate) who sounded enchanted with the support thing after Jane described it last year (I hope Louise fails to realise last year Jane had a remarkably easy support job due to the course structure, but hey if you wont tell her I wont...)

Next we had to get a pair of double sea kayaks, preferably fibreglass (lighter and generally thinner and faster) and ensure we had the rest of the gear needed (lights and batteries sufficient to last two nights in a row when we may be separated from our support crew for a long time), and generally commit to doing the race.

I have a new toy I bought which will take care of one of the above requirements, I will probably mention it next week when I get it, other than that we have been out doing some training and sussing out some of the gear and talking in the team about what conditions have been like previously and will be like this year.

Our main goal is to have fun and complete the course, we think we stand a good chance of meeting both goals. Bruce is overseas for work this week, however last night Craig, Danealle and I went out for a hill hike on Mt Ainslie which was fun, this was after a paddle yesterday morning with Danealle. This morning Craig and I both rode with the Bilbys road bunch and then headed to the lake for another paddle. I guess if nothing else this gives me something to get off my lazy arse an do some exercise for <g>.

The team motto for the event is "Because its there and fun will be had" and the bio I put in with the race entry was

4 Canberrans who constantly find there is more fun to be had outdoors than in our loungerooms.

We know each other from the Canberra AR community and the Bilbys Tri club, though none of us are triathletes.

Steve and Danealle have raced at Geo before and both have an affectation for the colour pink, Craig and Bruce will probably attempt to counter the pink gear (boat, mountain bike, some clothing, etc) of half the team.

Bruce and Steve have been doing events in teams together for a number of years, including some AR. Danealle has done a lot of AR, Craig is a tough nut and likes to try new stuff.

Our aim is to have fun and complete the course.

[/mtb/events] link

Hurty Andrew - 10:23
So this morning we had our ritual friday morning Bilbys mtb ride. This time we rode a Majura Pines, which being one of the Canberran mtb mecca destinations is a lot of fun. My bike computer said 26KM and 1hour 24min by the end of the ride. I wonder if I should maybe feel bad for Andrew Rowe, I did a rather enjoyable gap jump over a gully at Majura and he decided upon seeing me do this that it was not so hard so attempted it. Andrew was riding his single speed rather than his Orange Duallie and unfortunately came to grief, landing about 10 cm short his back wheel bucked up and threw him over the handlebars. Breakfast and coffee and all that at the pickle after the ride calmed him down I hope, he has since said he squealed pretty loudly in the shower.

[/mtb] link

False advertising on ride speed - 10:23
So last week Allan circulated an email suggesting a few of us join in for a leisurely paced (28KMh to 30 KMh) road ride around the mostly flat/easy loop of Barton Hwy, Nanima Rd, Murrumbatemen Rd, Gundaroo, turn around and then out Shingle Hill Way to the Old Federal Hwy and back into town. This is around 100 KM for people starting and finishing northside.

Though there was a CORC race on that arguably I should have done as I need the fitness and speed from the race I decided to take the soft option and head out for this road ride.

However upon finding the bunch I see Allan's email had convinced around 30 of the Vets club members into joining in the fun, this included the likes of Nick, Chris, Pete H who like to go fast and a few others who, due to there being no race this weekend decided it would be fun to go a bit faster.

Thus we ended up doing the 100 KM ride with an average speed of 34 KMh, which fortunately was easy if you stayed sitting in the bunch the whole time, however it was entertaining to tease Allan on his ride with far more people and a much higher average speed than sort of advertised.

[/mtb] link

Yell for Cadel, Australia's best ever XC mountain biker won the tour! - 10:23
I know it has been a few weeks, however I have not exactly been on a blogging rampage, what with having my first ever month of no entries here. However I should start writing again and this is something of note for sure. How exciting it is that Cadel Evans won the tour!

I have been a fan of Cadel for a while, I guess since reading mtb magazines through out the 90s and marshaling at the mtb National Championship races in Majura Pines in Canberra when he won the title here. That he won the MTB World Cup series for two years in a row, has also won the Road World Cup series two years running, won the Road World Champs and now the Tour de France it is fairly obvious to all he is the most complete successful cyclist Australia has ever produced.

I still remember watching him lead through some of the single track at Majura in 1997 from where I was marshaling, seeming to be riding on smooth pavement through sections I rattle and bounce over, sure it was a shame when he left mountain biking, I am after all a mountain biker at heart, but there were as we all know bigger achievements in his future, there is nothing in the mtb world that could possibly excite a nation the way he has the last few years.

For the entire tour this year Cadel and his team seemed to be well organised, know what they were doing and went about everything the right way. Leopard also dealt with the race well, thus as Andy Schleck has said it definitely seems the best rider did indeed win this year. The final time trial was an incredible hour of viewing, seeing Cadel so focused and confidant at the start and then he almost won the stage and blasted away everyone else. Of course seeing him get air on a time trial bike was pretty cool too.

I really hope this helps move Australian's recognition of bikes and cycling forward, the reception for Cadel in Melbourne on Friday was awesome, with St Kilda rd lined 5 deep on each side all the way along and then Federation square packed so full along with all of us watching who did not make it down. The media coverage across the board has been positive and pretty good. Now we can all hope for a repeat performance next year. Rock on Cadel.

[/mtb] link

Artists and analysing their music - 10:23
Mikal wondered if others had noticed how depressing the song Brick by Ben Folds Five is. Although I like Ben Folds Five, I can not say I had noticed this due to listening to the lyrics as a) I didn't really listen to the words so much, and b) I heard about the basis of this song to some extent before I gave the lyrics any thought. So I can say I know the lyrics are depressing, not that I had noticed.

I have not researched this to check my memory is correct, however Ben Folds has talked about this in interviews in the past. If my memory of these interviews is correct, the song was to some extent based on a harrowing experience he had when he was around 18-20. He and his partner at the time went through the process of having an abortion and all the emotions and the shit that happened around the event weighed heavily on him, this song is an outcome of the experiences surrounding that event.

However Ben Folds is to a large extent not alone among musical artists saying, on the whole, over analysing lyrics in his work is not what he intends or expects, many artists seem astounded by the amount of analysis that goes into lyrics they write, often according to them written simply for the rhyme, or to work with the song and containing no deeper meaning. The fans doing the analysis may of course argue the subconcious has other ideas, who knows.

[/leisure/music] link

More Mont awesomeness - 10:23

New and Old Zing Vests (fullsize)
By far one of my favourite pieces of clothing is my Mont Zing Vest, I bought my first back in March 2006, then it was shredded in a crash in April 2008, I had however bought a second vest at that point, in yellow. Most cycling vests have mesh backs, I dislike these as I wear my vest to paddle and a waterproof back is great paddling. Also for warmth year round in all manner of activities (running, rogaines, etc) the lack of mesh is a bonus I think.

Due to the fact I use the vest so often through the colder months it is often damp or wet when I want to use it (soaking from paddling to ride home in winter, or from wearing for a run to get home), thus I was keen to get a few more. Mont are a great company and Dave has been very nice to me in the past. They had run out of Zing vests in my size and I had been asking Dave when I would be able to buy two more for a while. He had some ready for the yearly sale that is on next week and told me to come visit. However he had only had yellow vests made, which I was keen to buy another one of, I was however hoping for some colour variety. Dave then offered to make a few out of whatever colour Hydronaute ultra they had in the factory. Sure it is not pink but I am definitely partial to purple too so I was excited to be able to get two brand new vests in purple.

Did the Ainslie run up at lunch today, was letting my HR creep above 180 and then remembered I should not be going too hard so backed it off to 176 or so for the rest of the run up. Still did 15:16 which I thought was alright.

[/mtb/gear] link

BOB United Flight - 10:23
The subject of the recent united airlines flight that was directed back to Sydney after taking off there due to a sick bag found on boad with "BOB" written on it came up at the pub talking with Martin Pool and some others. I mentioned another mtb rider I had met at a race recently had been on that flight. Niki Gudex was on that flight and wrote about the experience on her diary (with some photos of dumping fuel and such). Bruce Schneier covered this flight and the strangeness of it in a recent cryptogram.

[/various] link

What is happening to these magazines - 10:23
Okay so after sitting in meetings all weekend in preperation for lca I have not been out on the mtb or road bike all weekend and have to admit I could use a ride. It looks like the rain may be setled in for all of tomorrow now also which may stop me.

Anyway I purchased a copy of the magazine Ausralian Mountain Bike, it appears my subscriptiuon ran out as it did not arrive at work the past few weeks, anyway I was told by a few friends in the past two weeks that this issue was kind of abysmal, I was hoping they would be wrong and all that, however I think this time I have to agree, the only articles I found interesting this issue were the columns by Jim Trail and TTfH (Tony Fathers), and to some extent this may simpy be because they are friends.

I think the thing that turned me off in this issues was simply nothing grabbed my attention, most issues a least one or two stories/articles manage to look good and turn out to be good reading, I suppose I should try to quantify why this time nothing grabbedmy attention and usually something can, I think I will instead simply leave my brain on downtime tonight however.

[/mtb] link

I am obviously slack - 10:23
So I did not get out for the cotter/uriarra loop on the road bike this morning, and this is strange as I really want to go for a ride. Part of it is, I admit, the really heavy rain last night probably had me convinced it would be a bit damp. Mikey did the loop and has since called all of us who didnt soft. If I can get some lca stuff (ghosts minutes, and agenda for the next meeting) plus a resonable amount of work at work I would like to go for a ride during the day. However I also have to visit the bike shop, as more bits broke, need replacing, etc. Bike equipment really doesnt last, though I suppose that may have something to do with the regularity with which I ride a bike.

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Woohoo for Radio National - 10:23
So I recalled Mikal mentioning Radio National Podcasts a while back, this interests me, in the past I have lamented the lack of AM support in radio tuner cards for the exact reason that it would rock to be able to record Radio National shows and play them on a mobile device when ever you wanted to listen to them.

I googled the other day and found the Radio National podcast page, they do indeed have a pretty good selection of shows available for download. I rang Crash to ask if he had been doing any of this podcasting radio national thing, he rides to work every day, a rather nice ~ 23 KM commute, listening to an mp3 player or a radio. Crash had indeed been engaging in this podcasting thing, downloading any new casts night at 3am. I asked what application he used to do this, a Gooey application would be kind of silly to use for this so I hoped there was a basic CLI application for the task.

Crash was able to point out this rather cool shell script, Bashpodder, to download all new/updated feeds from a list of feed URL's. Mikal, sfr and Rusty will I am sure be glad to see a very useful application, written in shell still rather than some other language, that it works reliably and the newer release even shrank from 76 lines of shell to 44 lines (now including more comments too).

I added all the RN feeds I wanted into the file one per line, ran the script and a few minutes later I had 800 MB of cool Radio National content in mp3 format ready for listening anywhere and anywhen. Now if only we could convince the government to fund the ABC and Radio National better so they can keep up the fantastic work well on into the future.

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Dreaming - 10:23
So I may not really be in the target market of tv broadcasters, after all I tend not to watch much tv. In this specific case, the Olympics coverage, I tend not to care for any of the summer Olympics. While the summer Olympics were on in Sydney in 2000, I was living in the Sydney and deliberately did not go to any events. I even went skiing at Perisher for a week of the Olympics to get away from the city.

However there was one thing at the Sydney Olympics that I was glued to whenever I was near a tv, the same thing happened for the Utah/Salt Lake City winter Olympics and then even for the Athens Olympics I did actually watch one thing on tv. So far I have not seen more than a minute or two of Olympics coverage on screen, when I have seen it on at a cafe or similar I have tuned in for a few seconds. So what is missing from the Olympics coverage this time?

Roy and HG with The Dream of course. This show added to the fun and humour of the Sydney Olympics. It increased the value of the Utah winter Olympics (I actually enjoy watching a fair amount of the winter Olympics) and it made the non stop coverage around the country of Athens more bearable. Maybe it is because Channel 7 spent so much money to get the rights for the Olympics they feel they can not make fun of the event. Maybe it is as is suggested in the article about the lack of the Dream, no studio audience due to Chinese security and crowd restrictions and the bad timezone issues make it unworkable for channel 7.

It is interesting to note there is a lot of criticism going around that this is the worst Olympics coverage in recent memory and most articles discussing this seem to note people are calling for the Dream to come back rather than the Yum Cha thing on each morning.

Fortunately though tv rights are taken there is nothing stopping Roy and HG commenting on the Olympics on the radio, which they are doing with aplomb on Triple J every afternoon. At least there is still some Australian piss taking going on, even if it is not live from Beijing. So I guess what I am saying, in my opinion at least, the lack of this show on the Olympics coverage means there is no reason to turn a tv on this month. I spoke to a few people at work and I hear a number of people with little interest in the Olympics have a similar view.

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Pubbage and no business talk - 10:23
So a few weeks ago Pia asked if we had planned any social gathering on the friday night before ghosts for the people who had arrived in Canberra already. By social gathering she of course meant rock up to a pub and chat.

Anyway, though I live about 50 metres from All Bar Nun I only really go there about once every three months if that, and dont really go to pubs much. Too busy mtb riding or something I guess.

I said sure lca crew and other ghosts attendees in Canberra by friday night could rock up to All Bar and sit around chatting about all things unrelated to lca and LA.

So now the reason for this whole spiel, the amusing part is, Pia and Jeff decided they had to attend the SLUG meeting and are now not arriving in Canberra until around 11pm.

[/lca] link

My software works too well, change it back - 10:23
I have upgraded a few of the systems at work recently to a far more recent image, this one based on feisty (users get to choose what environment they log in to though (kde, gnome, something else, etc)). A short while after putting the image on James' desktop he wandered over and asked if I had doubled the size of the swap partition. When I said that had not changed he was almost amazed as he said around half the memory used before the upgrade was now in use.

It appears the profiling and lower memory foot print work various gurus in the kde and gnome and similar camps has paid dividends as there appears to be a pretty big drop in usage and memory leaks here and everything feels a bit faster all of which is good news. Not that I have done any real testing but perceived feel is relevant to some extent in a computing environment.

The most amusing thing here I thought was my interpretation of how he asked the question, it sounded almost as if something was wrong. As if James was saying "my computer is not using enough memory, and is running to fast, fix it, make it as slow and hoggy as it used to be". I guess at least he was not about to request a change to a computing system that seems to constantly get slower and more user unfriendly with every major release.

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Why an online diary? - 10:23
Well everyone is doing one and I am a sheep. Or something. In reality in the lca crew we decided to run an agregator to collect all the online diaries from the crew that were for lca. So I guess I need an online diary thing.

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