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Thu, 29 Sep 2005

No inspiration? - 21:51
So many blogs have one of those posts, the post that starts off with "I have no idea what to blog about" and pretty much ends there. This is probably one of those posts. I have no idea what to write, or should I even write something? No inspiration, I obviously need a source of inspiration, where art thou inspiration?

I could go wabbit^Winspiration hunting but where would I begin to look, maybe I had better hope inspiration comes from some external source, like say alien abduction. Who knows it could happen, though if it does, I hope it is some cute fluffy little aliens, cute fluffy friendly little aliens, not big scary aliens. Big scary aliens would be a bad source of inspiration, you would be sitting there all quaking in your boots... assuming of course you are wearing boots? Who knows you may be wearing slippers, or pumps, or spd sandals. Okay so for the sake of argument, you are sitting there quaking in your spd sandals while the big scary alien is scaring you. After all that is what big scary aliens do isn't it.

After all if the alien was sitting there with a tea service and scones it would be a big tea and scones alien and not a big scary alien. Anyway you obviously wont get inspiration from the big scary alien, nor for that matter would you get any from the tea and scones alien, what with it being too busy with its tea and scones to do any inspirin'. So it is obvious really why it has to be cute fluffy aliens that sit around giving inspiration. They could give you all sorts of inspiration, you could write blog posts about bunny rabbits, and harmless little kittens, maybe even the harmless cute fluffy aliens could be the focus of your newly inspired blog post.

But really how likely is any of that, maybe I had better face facts, I can think of nothing to write about, I hope my poor little blog does not have to be put down or anything because of it. Ignoring for a minute how difficult it is to put down some virtual object, just think about it, if you have a piece of paper, or a pen or a gherkin. You could put it down on that table (assuming you are near a table, rather than the camel you are probably closer to, in which case you would need to put it down on the camel). How do you hold some virtual object in order to put it down?

[/various/ilmiwac] link

I think that kind of flopped - 00:24
My attempt at milk carton blogging this week, an interview with a milk carton, really tanked I think. It took me a long time to think up ideas of what to include in there, I do not think I adequately connected things together, and I was unable to "bring the funny" at any point I can see.

I suppose what Jeremy suggested when I mentioned I was "trying to work out a way to write an interview with a milk carton and make it not sound absolutely stupid" may hold true. jk: "yeah, i think you might be stuck there."

I thought I may be able to make it work, heck the interviews fafblog do are generally brilliant such as this with an Enormous Pumpkin or this with God, though of course the people writing Fafblog are far funnier than I.

[/various] link

Wed, 28 Sep 2005

Tuesday afternoon milk carton blogging - 12:46
Today rather than a passive display of information pertaining to milk cartons or some photo of a milk carton I thought it best to sit down with one of these revered calcium rich liquid containers and ask a few questions of it in order to further understand the life and times of your average milk carton. Thus I present you with.

Interview with a Vampi^WMilk Carton

sjh: So why is it that Buffy so regularly kick's your arse?
MC: Who/What is this Buffy of which you speak?

sjh: Oops, yeah I was still lost with the whole interview title mixup in my head, there must have been a milk carton involved somewhere
MC: Whatever

sjh: So you are a milk carton, when people wander up to you in the street, how do you prove to them that you are in fact a milk carton? Or do we need to take it as an article of faith that you are a milk carton?
MC: Well in my case there is a fair amount of Scientific Method that could be applied to back up any claims I make in relation to actually being a milk carton. My mostly rectangular cartonesque shape, labels pertaining to my milky contents, I would hope there is no need to extract milk from within and test that, however that is also an option. I hope not too many would feel the need to tickle, prick or poison me to learn how identical I am to other milk cartons.

sjh: So you are fairly sure anyone wishing to apply scientific methodology will believe claims that you are a milk carton, however what do you claim to those who wish to ignore such methods?
MC: If a bunch of skeptics wished to ignore scientific methodology and were really not interested in learning more I could get away with murder, I can go around claiming to be a herd of buffalo or a carrot cake and there would be no sensible way to refute my claims, it may even be fun.

sjh: There is a continuing theme in the collective conscious of many people about the missing person's ads that have appeared on milk cartons in the past. Conspiracy theorists may suggest milk cartons even had something to do with the disappearance of these people, what do you think of all of this?
MC: Sure there are many theories about what may have happened to all those people on the milk cartons, you should of course be careful of what to believe lest people think you a little strange.

sjh: You really don't seem to be answering the questions posed to you, is there any reason you are simply touching on the topic and then trying to distract me with possibly related information?
MC: No Comment

sjh: Thank you for your time, I hope you have no problems returning to your milk cartony ways after this brush with blogdom.
MC: No comment.

[/various/milkcarton] link

Tue, 27 Sep 2005

The sheep are scared, what's next Brain? - 15:10
Riding out in the country today, along a bitumen road, 20 metres from fenced in paddocks full of sheep. It would appear the sheep have sufficient distance from me that they would not be afraid. One would think they may even be brave enough to come close to the fence and taunt me as I ride past. Insults and taunts such as "Baah Baaaaah Bah Bah Baaaah" or the rather cruel "Bah Bah Baaah Baaaaaaaaah Bah Baaah", none of this happened though. Instead the sheep ran further away from the fences on both sides of the road as I rode past.

Woohoo I instill such fear that even the sheep are running scared, next step either Profit or World Domination (heck why not both). Ignoring for a moment any other interpretations of scared sheep.

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Sun, 25 Sep 2005

The 100 things meme a snarky review - 19:11
So it probably could be shorter, it would be easy to make even less sense too. The link is to the site of some random amusing blog I found. His top post when I found it was a response to the "100 things about <insert your name>" meme that pops up on blogs often, number 9 is absolute gold.

9. I am great in bed. Seriously, I can sleep like you wouldn't friggin believe! Coma like. I was almost buried once!

I found that via a movie review blog, 16mm Shrine I saw linked from MeFi on Thursday. Brilliant stuff: Snarky, well written, many non sequitur interludes. Fun to read for all involved.

[/various] link

I Wonder - 19:00
Could this be shorter?

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Fri, 23 Sep 2005

Special conference features for the little people - 21:44
I notice Arjen Lentz discussing a mysql t-shirt he had on his baby daughter, I do not know if he is planing to have a line of baby clothing available for sale at the next mysql event, or is simply considering it for the mysql clothing line they have somewhere.

I do however think it is interesting to get a few special items like this for a conference or event. In the case of lca, part of what makes the conference fun is little special features organisers have at the conference or similar. Such as the Perth guys putting unusual hints in their DNS records and the hidden badge label stuff on their rego system (which we copied).

One of the cute things we (2005) did was copied an idea from the Adelaide people (2004) and got some kids clothing made up. Partly because our organising crew followed in the footsteps of the 2004 crew and their were 3 babies born to organiser's families in the course of the year leading up to lca2005 and partly because it looks cool to see babies and young kids wandering around in your geeky t-shirts. (well we all seem to think so)

It is good to see Arjen is at least working on some of these fun sort of aspects, the fun or unusual items are often one of the lasting impressions from a conference. Well that and hearing DaveM make our brains melt talking about making the Linux networking stack go even faster (CALU talk).

[/lca] link

Thu, 22 Sep 2005

Hi ho hi ho its off to link we go. - 19:05
Well I have not done a two things for a while, 1) post to the various category, and 2) post a bunch of links I have seen in the past while that interested me. Time to fix this easier stuff, before working on the harder stuff like splitting the atom, finding Newton's groove or starting it with a big bang not a whimper. (all of them available here)

From Suw Charman some incredibly amusing suggestions relating to English Folk songs on how to avoid having the last three stanzas of your life totally sucking, probably with the involvement of a doleful ghost.

In Canberra there are food markets at Belconnen and Fyshwick, fresh produce will often be there from Thursday morning onward. On Saturday mornings there is a farmers market on at Epic (Natex for people who have not adjusted to the latest name change yet). Anyway the markets have reasonably good produce, and the produce available from the Farmers Markets is generally great (quality and price). Of course it annoys me that it is only 8am until 11am on Saturdays as I am almost busy with some riding related activity during those times.

Anyway on the subject of fresh produce and why you should pursue this in your diet, this post, 10 reasons to eat locally grown produce is a worthwhile read.

More stuff from Suw Charman, here pointing out how off putting Coca Cola tastes in the US, this is of course largely due to the US obsession with using Corn Syrup as a sweetener in everything. Of course it would largely depend on what you grew up with, and in Australia and England we are used to Cane Sugar based sweetening. I too find most corn syrup sweetened foods to taste vile so would be tempted to say "Sing It Suw". (I can not get away with saying Sing it Sister, for many obvious reasons I suspect, ahh well)

I saw this during the tour, then did not blog about it, ahh well. Stuart O'Grady is regularly one of the most amusing, interesting and cool professional cyclists in the peloton in my opinion. Anyway I loved this quote late in the tour this year. A pretty tough day coming up today... "Yeah, it's been really easy over the past two weeks."

This game they apparently were playing at the recent debconf in Norway, Assassins sounds pretty cool to play at a conference or some other gathering of people.

There was a bunch of stuff online a few months ago about how we have relay short circuits in our brains for items that are familiar to us. This article titled Why your brain has a 'Jennifer Aniston cell' talks about it. I thought it was interesting largely because thinking about it, it appears our brains do a form of huffman encoding with this.

Paul Graham generally turns out great essays to read, I kept this link in my to blog file in early march sometime, a quickie Paul Graham Essay on Writing I am sure it is a good read, otherwise why would I have kept it in the file...

Enough from the file for now, time to escape for home and get some sleep. (damn just as I was spell checking and fixing up this post a bit before uploading Bob tagged me to lock up CLUG for the night), one more then, this somewhat surreal furniture is pretty cool.

[/various] link

Wed, 21 Sep 2005

Tuesday afternoon milk carton blogging - 14:32
Feel Good Wednesday Edition

Feel Good Milk Carton
Well do ya punk? (full size)

[/various/milkcarton] link

Tue, 20 Sep 2005

Naming schemes again and non obvious contact methods - 16:40
So I noticed on Planet Debian this morning Benjamin Drieu was asking about naming schemes for computers. I have previously talked here a bit about problems finding a good name when you do not have scheme, so I thought I would share two of the naming schemes he did not mention that I have seen in use.

As I said in my previous post, at a job I used to do around 2000, the scheme in use was alcoholic drink names, I found the list of proposed drink names and those in use at the time I left when I looked around some backups just now also. A scheme we use where I currently work is types of penguins (which ran out quickly, so we used some other penguin related things for a while too). More exactly Benjamin did not suggest a naming scheme as a species of animals or similar (well apart form the suggestion of fishes).

So I was going to email him (or post a comment on his blog if that was an option), so I click on the link and bring up his blog, I can find no email address there anywhere, even encoded to stop spammers getting it. There are no comments (which I do not mind as I do not like web forums) available, heck he even has geek code about himself on his about me page and a photo but absolutely no way to contact him. Admittedly I am sure google could work out his email address quickly, and I can find out his Debian email address (if he is a developer) easily, but it still strikes me as strange that there is no way to contact him that can be easily found on his home page or blog anywhere.

Interestingly I just noticed Andrew's site and diary do not list any obvious way to contact him (though he does mention a GPG key so one could look up a public keyserver and hope I guess (or ask google and work it out).

[/comp] link

Sun, 18 Sep 2005

The Banana Sandwich Theory - 09:04
This could instead be titled the turd sandwich theory I suppose. When you are working your arse off for a period of time, whether it be riding for hundred's of KM or moving furniture or some other sort of big physical effort for a number hours any food is liable to taste a whole lot better than at other times.

Crash reckons the best hamburgers in NSW are sold by the Wee Jasper take away, this is likely largely due to the fact he has only ever eaten one of their hamburgers after riding more than 100 KM over some large hills. Crash reckons there is a good chance you would be rhapsodising about a turd sandwich to all and sundry if you had eaten one after 150 KM into a head wind over big hills. Thus the reputation of the hamburgers in Wee Jasper probably needs to be considered with some scepticism.

This all came back to me yesterday while helping my sister move her furniture and belongings into storage in Sydney before her pending world travels, we made some banana sandwiches. These were truly brilliant banana sandwiches, however due to the physical effort involved in the moving process I did wonder if they were, as it seemed at the time, the epitome of banana sandwiches or not.

In reality we can probably be grateful that when we are out busting our arses on some huge ride, whether it be the Polaris Challenge, Alpine Classic or an epic into the mountains with a bunch of friends that the food we eat will, irrelevant of content, be some of the best we have consumed in our lives. Just be happy we are so easily catered for by the food we brought on the ride and that we do not need to find the elusive five star cafe at the top of Mt Coree.

[/mtb] link

Sat, 17 Sep 2005

How can you tell if you are as camp as a row of tents? - 22:15
It appears, if the title is anything to go by I am in search of some really bad colloquialisms, or maybe I just need to get in touch with my own raging homophobe. One possible response to the question I heard is "You have had a few pegs in the wrong places". If I were serious at this point you would expect me to be donning my white pointed hat and robes or taking up a position in the US Republican party (if they are not already synonymous?)

In answer to the question I could just link to the James Dobson's notes on detecting if your Son is gay (actually I can't as it appears the original article has disappeared, however Fafblog and the Apostropher to which I linked said it all much better) and suggest that my work here is done, there is however the small problem of that document being impossible to read with a straight face. Ahh yes if the gaydar pings wildly in the presence of your male offspring (notice of course in this obviously male centric world there is no questions raised about the female offspring) you must rush out and cure them of this abomination in front of Alanis^Wyour $DEITY.

But I hear you ask, given the option to choose your own $DEITY, what reason is there to be upset here, after all you may worship at the church of Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary, or any manner of fun loving and sensible (or not) house of worship. Indeed it is even written down in a few places that it is a good idea to allow people to choose their own religion (and have free speech and a bunch of other stuff). If we go ahead and let people choose something, rather than insisting on a prescribed text it would be folly to get upset over something as unimportant as someone having a slightly different sexual orientation to the so called norm. Wouldn't it?

I probably only wrote this post because I cracked up upon hearing the expression used in the title, ahh well.

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Fri, 16 Sep 2005

Operation: ANB is a great post - 12:02
So Aaron has only been doing this blog thing for a little while, but I must say he seems to be continually posting some interesting stuff from his travels in Canadia.

The guest blogging practice really can work and be amusing as is appears Aaron has discovered with this post about the IKEA Nationals 2005, a great example of the blogging artform, photos, text, humour all based on an every day experience.

[/amusing] link

Fairy Tales in the Key of Klingon - 10:21
I have been wondering for a few days now if there were some way I could work this link into a post, however I have given up in failure and, due to this being most amusing, will dedicate an entire post to it.

I first saw this link on Kottke back in August, and have since seen it in other places. Another Mcsweeneys list, Klingon Fairy Tales. Including "Goldilocks Dies With Honor at the Hands of the Three Bears" and "Jack and the Giant Settle Their Differences With Flaming Knives".

Now I am just waiting for someone to write more than just the titles, as Kottke suggested, think of the titles as read by Michael Dorn with his Worf voice. This does make one wonder what other fairy tale titles one could think up for various characters in various shows and movies?

"Jack hopped on a plane to Bora Bora to avoid the Giant so he could Live, Grow Stronger and Fight another Day" as told by Methos (that link has been updated far more recently than

"Snow White and the 7 dwarves sat around drinking beer and eating burgers, mmmmm Burgers" as told by Homer Simpson.

"Little red riding hood breaks a press-on nail while fighting the werewolf" as told by Buffy Summers.

"How the white knight had new legislation passed to better support Old Mother Hubbard and was brought the finest muffins and bagels in the land" as told by Joshua Lyman

[/amusing] link

Thu, 15 Sep 2005

2005 NZ-O WSMTB 12 Hour race - 14:31
As in previous years the WSMTB 12 Hour mtb race was on and I went up to Sydney to compete. After I put our entry in Heidi decided she would be flying over to Australia to compete in the Mont Australian 24 Hour race and to focus on it a bit, thus the prospect of flying to Australia twice in less than a month was not a good one, so I had to find another team mate this year.

I eventually gave up the prospect of doing well in mixed pairs and asked Morgs (the guy between Heidi and I in that photo) to compete with me in mens pairs. Morgs is a damn fine rider, skill levels well above most of us mere mortals and a great guy to have a beer and sit around telling tall stories with too. This promised to be a good weekend. Also Morgs had never raced or even ridden around the Yarramundi course so he was in for a treat as it is a really fun mtb course.

Driving up to Sydney a bit later than intended on Friday arvo (I was held back in Canberra doing some work in preparation for the Mont 24 Hour I had to get done that week) I knew I was going to miss out on a practice lap. I caught up to Sam, Ben, Nikita and Max on the highway, the whole family was sick and it did not bode well for their race, they had been stopping often for Max to be sick on the way up. I followed them almost all the way to Richmond from there, however I saw the battery light come on in the car so had to stop at a mechanic. Annoyingly my alternator had failed, so I had enough time to drop all my kit at the accommodation and drive back to the mechanic at Londonderry. This meant I would have to get away from the race for an hour or so the next day to pick up the fixed car. Ahh well I was not getting home otherwise.

Morgs and Allan drove up in Morgs new car (S*b*r* Forester) after they were able to get away from work and arrived at the accommodation around the time I got back from the mechanic. The Canberra (and extras such as Warren) crew (Morgs, Allan, Crash, Warren, DaveS (on the left), Jim, TerryE, AlanV, DaveE and Garrett) headed out for dinner in Richmond and afterwards tucked in for a good sleep in preparation for the race.

I decided to dress up for the first lap of the race (including the run) as Marea had fixed the top from our 2004 Polaris outfit on Thursday. Pictured here in its full glory. :)

shiny Steve having fun on the first lap
Having fun on my first lap (photo by John Hardwick of Mountain Bike Australia Magazine) (full size)

There is a slight drawback to this outfit though, and the reason I was actually quite happy it rained for most of the duration of the 2004 Polaris, this outfit does not breathe well and is far too hot to be worn in hot weather. I survived through the heat on the first lap and changed to cooler clothes quickly. Morgs headed out for one lap and on his return I went out for a double. We settled in to doubles until around 4pm when we decided the laps for the rest of the day would be singles again.

On my second and third laps I had some cramping problems, obviously I had not been drinking enough, with the temperature heading for 31 Celsius on the day there was a possibility of a repeat of serious dehydration as I had at the 2003 Gravity 12 Hour, keen to avoid this I started drinking lots, getting through 1.2 litres of sports drink, and 1.5 litres of water before heading out for my next double. I had driven across to pay for the new alternator in the car and get my car keys between my first and second double, I was worried Morgs would have gone through already by the time I got back. Unluckily for Morgs he had a flat that he had to repair with glue on a lap then so I had some time to prepare for my next double lap.

In keeping with the drinking lots theme I went through 2 litres of water in my camelback and a 750ml bottle of sports drink in the following 1h25m of the double lap I did at this point. As it got cooler when evening came on my drink lots practice paid dividends as I headed out for the dusk into darkness lap and felt fantastic, I was able to start going fast again and really got to enjoy it a lot. When I got back from that lap Morgs said he was stuffed and it would be his last lap he was heading out for. I was not sure if I wanted to do more laps myself or not at that point. I was keen to wear the silver outfit again now it was cool, but I had suffered in the heat and was not sure if I would. In the end I decided not to, so did the other Canberra crew people we were hanging out with, thus before the race had even finished, in an attempt to avoid the traffic mess leaving post race we had packed up and returned to the accommodation and were sitting around drinking beers and telling stories of the day.

Almost everyone at the race was hit hard by the heat, I know for a fact the Canberrans had difficulty, going from our morning rides in 1 or 2 degrees, or day time rides in 15 or 20 degrees to racing in a humid 31 degrees was not easy. Cara Smith, racing solo said she cramped up for the first time in her life during this race, I saw a lot of people looking like they were going through hell with grimaces on their faces out there on the course. However irrelevant of that I suspect everyone had fun, I know I did and will be back next time.

[/mtb/events] link

Wed, 14 Sep 2005

Tuesday afternoon milk carton blogging - 14:59
Wednesday edition.

Milkcarton rules for today.

  1. There is no Tuesday afternoon milk carton blogging
  2. You do not talk about milk cartons.
  3. There probably was not even a Tuesday or a milk carton more than five minutes ago.
  4. You must put away the hot pink pants on Sunday arvo in Victoria
  5. If you are attacked by a milk carton wielding criminal in Arkansas you may defend yourself only with a similar milk carton
  6. There is no rule 6

[/various/milkcarton] link

Ode to talkative cereal - 12:42
Yeah that cereal, the little one in the corner that looks like puffed rice, not the serial in the place with long sleeved white jackets who would like to be on the loose and armed. The little puffed rice'esque cereal, that may in fact not be puffed rice at all. Who knows it may be a weet bix (ahh the joy of English, where the plural of Weet Bix is Weet Bix) or a Pterydactal (a lesser known form of breakfast cereal dating from some 80 million years ago, this breakfast cereal looks remarkably like a large flying lizard, do not let it fool you though, it tasted great with a bit of milk).

Anyway while chatting with my breakfast cereal this morning, discussing the vagaries of economic rationalism as it is applied to pasta sauce purchases ("what if god wanted pasta sauce" sung to the tune of the Joan Osborne song) made by converts to the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster it got me to wondering, if I post something here, when you take into account my ability to Tipo, is anything written here intended to was some other message supposed to appear out of the mess that are these posts?

Just think, if we could combine dyslexia (bringing to mind the buttload quote "I am dyslexic of borg prepare to have your ass laminated") with Typos and apply this behaviour to many bloggers around the world, maybe they do not all write about their cats but are instead writing insightful posts into the modern world in which we live. Then again maybe not.

What to believe about the posts appearing on blogs around the world may possibly be influenced by other things, such as people adding the music they are currently listening to on the end of their posts. Why we need to know this is beyond me, though if they post about Alternative Rock how do we know they are not looking at another rock?

Alternative rock is the name given to one stone when you're looking at another stone. The term was coined by photographer Edwin Blastocyst when looking at one stone and speaking about another

After all this, how do you really know this train of thought arose while talking with a rather insightful rice cripsie? If I was not talking to my bowl full of bacon and eggs on toast with fresh milk poured upon it what was it that really sparked this post? Maybe it was simply more adventures in searching for blogthenticity. After all, the other day in an interview Heather was seen to suggest

if someone is just yakking about their cereal and how many errands they have to run and here they are living their life and describing it in the most banal way possible then it doesn't matter if it's the best looking site I've ever seen, I probably won't go back.

if I can not talk about my breakfast, I had better find something interesting to talk to my breakfast about, and the realities of pasta sauce in the modern world is as good a topic as any.

Mmmmm ... cows.

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Mon, 12 Sep 2005

The Young Tycoons - 15:18
Last night I was still in Sydney after the 2005 WSMTB 12 Hour race I rode in on Saturday. I was visiting my sister, Jane, and we decided to go and see a play our cousin (Ashlie Pellow) had mentioned she was performing in. The play, "The Young Tycoons" (this may be a semi permanent link to a description of The Young Tycoons), being performed at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company was pretty damn good. For most of the play I was laughing a lot, it was a really funny and quite well executed play.

The Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the play in their weekend edition this weekend, they have the review and a photo online (the photo is of Ashlie and Nicholas Hammond (imdb link)). (if you do not wish to register to read the SMH pages Bugmenot can easily supply login details for you). The SMH review is on the whole pretty good, I can not say I blame them, I would recommend seeing this show if you are in Sydney in the next 3 weeks.

The show sort of critiques the Packer/Murdoch dynasties and influences, the fun poked at the rich and famous is really good to see here, though Ashlie did not have a huge presence in the play as the play really was focussed on the men, I am happy to see she came across as one of the two smartest most well balanced characters in the play, though considering what we learn about Nicholas Hammond's character through the play Ashlie's character could come out as the most sane and sensible seeming character of the play.

I loved the performance of the character Ted, especially when he fires his son, absolutely hilarious. Nicholas Hammond also plays his part really well. Interestingly, Ashlie pointed out how amazing it was to be working in a play with Nicholas Hammond, being the uncouth I am I had not heard of him so had to go look at the imdb link for Nicholas Hammond. As Ashlie pointed out he played "Friedrich von Trapp" in the original The Sound of Music movie, I (being the geek that I am) was interested to also see he played Peter Parker/Spiderman in the 1970's Spiderman tv series (though until today I did not even know there had been a Spiderman tv series, thus proving once more I am DC Comics geek and not much interested in anything Marvel generally).

Anyway a good night out was had, even though Jane was feeling too sick to hang around for drinks with Ashlie for long after the play was finished, I did not mind too much as I had to get up and drive back to Canberra around 5:15am this morning (okay so I get up around 5:30am most mornings, but going out for a ride is worth that, driving is not fun)

There is some information about "The Young Tycoons" on the Darlinghurst Theatre's Now Showing page at the moment if you want to see a bit more information too.

[/leisure/theatre] link

Tue, 06 Sep 2005

How exactly does one go about "Watching the sausage"? - 21:24
So I freely admit, Fafblog is pretty neat, in theory we all may be Fafnir, however irrelevant of our status as Fafnir I would recommend reading Fafblog.

I do need to ask one eensy weensy question though, no not "Giblets: Are you a big girly man?", instead I feel the need to ask, how exactly does one go about "Watching the sausage"? And what exactly do you get out of watching this tubular meat product?

As a small experiment, lets try it out shall we?

A Sausage

So what is the above Sausage doing for you? Does it incite you to riot? Are you sitting there planning a bbq that was not on your social calendar until your eyes alighted on the tubular meat product? Will this pair of sausages have meaningful insights on the problems faced by your political party of choice?

Should we simply sit around watching the Sausage or should we compose some questions for the sausage, stage a sort of Sausage interview if you will.

So Mr Sausage, how about dem Bulls?

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Get some blogthenticity! - 21:23
Given that this is supposedly a blog I had better do something to ensure you all believe that it is indeed a blog. Ahh but what I hear you ask gives a blog that oh so necessary street cred? Ahh of course, photos of cats are on all blogs everywhere, that must mean something, I had better do something about that fast.

Schroedinger's Cat
There, that may or may not be a photo of my cat ready for posting to Mongolia or simply wondering how to play alive and dead all at once.

There we go, back to our regularly scheduled adventures in belly button fluff.

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My Stromlo report from today - 21:03
Another day another stuck in a rut should try something else but haven't, climb of Stromlo from work. Ahh well it is a good test case to see how I am riding. I did a little bit better today. 1h7m45s from work and back, 36.3KM, which is around 32.5 KMh, the climb itself was pretty good I kept above 20 KMh almost all the way to the boom gate (on two occasions I dropped to 19.something and then picked it up again) however that did leave me struggling a bit more on the easier top half of the climb, I dropped to 19 for longer periods there. Time at the top was either 11m30s or 10m30s (I simply looked at my watch at the bottom but forgot which minute it said for my start) I suspect it was 11m30s though as I doubt I had a 1 minute improvement since Sunday afternoon.

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Tuesday afternoon milk carton blogging - 20:53
So yeah this looks like a night time edition of the afternoon milk carton blogging, ahh well we can't have everything. Actually *milkcarton* I think maybe that last statement about not having stuff could in fact be correct. For the life of *milkcarton* me I can not think of anything to write here or a photo to take and place here *milkcarton* that involves those oh so important calcium rich liquid containers.

It could thus be su*milkcarton*ggested there is no real point to this post, after all what is a blog post on a given subject with no content about the subject? Of course maybe I just need *milkcarton* to keep up the meme, or maybe there is some sort of subliminal message here keeping this post on topic. If it is some subversive *nerdlihc ruoy retfa era snotracklim* message I hope it is a good one and not some sort of satanic death metal scare story thing.

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Sun, 04 Sep 2005

Have a break, have a Stromlo - 17:11
So, in need of some exercise and a break from what I have been doing most of the day today I headed out once more for a climb of Stromlo and return, this time from home. 38.75 KM, approx 1h15m and 30.9 KMh average the climb itself was 11m30s. Still alas not great, I really do need to get out and do some long road rides (120 KM or more depending on the climbs) at a reasonable pace again soon as that really will help put on form. Another thing that should help is we will be starting the Tuesday morning Cotter/Uriarra loops every Tuesday until May or so again this coming week. These are good as they are done at pace and, if you really want a workout, you can get to the top of the climbs and go down to the last rider coming up rather than sitting waiting at the top too.

On another note, I had my mp3 player on for the ride, and when I got back home and sat down, the silence of no music was almost startling. Listening now to the rather fun Revelling album from Ani.

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Sat, 03 Sep 2005

Doing the 53x12 thing - 16:34
A friend who has recently had some time off the bike and wants to get back into the sport gently said when we go for the first few rides they do back on the bike, to make it fair, I should use the hardest gear on my bike. On the road bike this is of course 53x12. I was just riding home from Kaleen a few minutes ago after dropping off some things I had borrowed from another friend, I thought I would try it out, at least to satisfy my curiosity on how hard it is to push that gear everywhere.

Well it is not easy, and it felt like I was grinding my knees to a paste the whole time, though the cadence I was doing was similar to my on road steep climbing cadence when using 39x26, hardest were the starts from being stopped at a road crossing or similar. However, and why I suspect this may not work as a making the ride fair measure, pushing such a big gear I continually was upping my speed to around 40 KMh or more on flat sections, simply to make the pedals easier to spin. That speed is just a bit high for someone getting back into the sport, I think maybe just the insistence on a gear a few clicks harder would suffice to make a ride harder and stop me from trying to spin faster.

It is interesting to note, part of the Tridents Tri club morning training ride they do on Wednesdays consists of finishing off the session with a big ring, stay seated section from Parkes way all the way out to Scrivner Dam along Lady Denman Drive. Pushing 53x12 would be a whole lot harder if you can not stand up.

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Thu, 01 Sep 2005

Feeding the addiction - 15:36
I wholeheartedly agree with Mikal, riding a bike is a fantastic way to reduce stress and it is a kind of drug. I have said in the past (that post is even about using cycling as a stress reduction tool) that I am a cycling addict.

I fed the addiction today, with the intention of getting some quality kilometres done at a steady pace I was planning to head out for a lap of Cotter/Uriarra with Sue (as we did two weeks ago) in an effort to work on building my base back up. Sue however pulled a reverse double pike with a twist or something, some excuse about having no bidons at work or something. However she had by that point talked Rob Allen, Dave Moten and someone I had not met previously named Tim, into joining in on the loop. Rob is a fair bit stronger on a bike than I, Dave Moten is one of the best climbers in Canberra on a bike and Tim was no slouch. Eek none of this taking it easy with guys like this even their slow pace would require some effort.

As evidence of how poor my current form is, for this 61.5 KM ride, which in summer we do on Tuesday mornings at an average speed of approximately 31 KMh often, today my average was only 29.2 (the ride took 2h6m today). Now I know to people who do not cycle this does not sound like much, trust me it is a pretty huge difference out there, the difference is mostly due to my poor climbing form. Sure I will never be able to climb faster than Dave Moten, however I hope to have much better form back in the next few months. Ahh well it was a gorgeous day out there and we all had a great ride.

As for Mikal's comment about feeling somewhat sweaty, I would suggest a shower can solve the feeling sweaty problem rather well.

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Leon does not appear to trust quill stems - 10:26
For some reason Leon appears to think quill stems are prone to failure. I have no idea why he thinks that, they are as reliable as most other parts on modern bikes. The steering mechanism on any bike relies on friction to avoid slipping, whether one uses a threaded (quill stem) or threadless (aheadset) setup at the front.

For a description of the various stem mechanisms Sheldon Brown describes them in the context of adjusting handle bar height, specifically look at his description of threaded stems. Sheldon also has a page up with some details of doing failure tests on various stems and he mentions the places he found failures and with what frequency with threaded and threadless systems.

There are a few reasons why you may prefer to use a threaded setup, even though they are far rarer these days. Of course one possible negative, in these days of aluminium being so prevalent in bike parts threaded headsets freeze inside the steerer tube. Jobst Brandt has a discussion on ways to get them loose and points out the system remains from the days when steel was the prevalent material.

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I am happy to report derailleur hangers work - 08:39

What's left on the frame (full size)

The hanger (full size)
Riding through Bruce Ridge on the shared use single track this morning with Ben, Tanja and Peter I thought I had a stick in my spokes. Stop, look, no stick, hop back on and pedal, can't pedal, stop have another look and notice (because this time I was looking for more than a stick in the spokes) that the derailleur is in the wrong place.

As the hanger is the same colour as the frame I was initially afraid the frame had snapped instead of the hanger. Fortunately upon closer observation once I got home I realised it was just the hanger. (this is after all the reason derailleur hangers are used on aluminium and carbon frames, so they break rather than the frame).

I was lucky to be riding at Bruce Ridge and Black Mountain this morning rather than Majura too, it was a nice down hill roll all the way home and I did not have to scooter or walk for 4 KM as I would have had to otherwise.

Of course now I have the small problem that the Rocky Mountain importers do not bring replacement hangers into Australia, fortunately however Allan Bontjer also has a similar Rocky Mountain frame and he purchased a few spare hangers from Simon's Bike Shop in Vancouver. So I will order myself a few new hangers, and give Allan one to replace the one he fixes me up with when they arrive.

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