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Thu, 28 May 2009

The Annual May Zombie post - 17:46
Keeping with the tradition I guess I should do something about zombies this May. It has been strange to watch, it seems zombie news has been jumping out at me all month, from seeing a friend post a zombie referencing photo and some mention of a zombie group somewhere on facebook to the various metafilter and boingboing zombie links this month.

However a recent post on boingboing has got to be the best so far this month, in the fun ilk of Randall Munroe's limerick db (hilarious stuff there) is a large collection of Zombie Haiku. To win a copy of the game Plants vs Zombies (also appearing on there this May) readers were asked to submit Zombie Haiku in the comments.

And remember

Brains are delicious,
However, I must warn you,
Shotgun blasts are not...

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Tue, 19 May 2009

The reboot worked - 13:18
I mentioned a while back after seeing some movies that I was keen to see another one to see if the reboot of the universe worked. I saw the new Star Trek last night and what can I say, on the whole it rocked. The characters really came across as we would expect them to.

Bones was my favourite TOS character and in the new movie, Bones is awesome and cool and completely and utterly what I would expect him to be like. I was entertained to see Chris Pine even got the slouch in the captains chair looking like TOS Kirk, Scotty was great and even though it bought the characters together in a different way it all seemed to fall out well. I tend to agree with many comments suggesting the Uhura/Spock thing was a bit weird, but it did not detract from the rest of the movie too much.

I saw the movie with a friend who was not particularly keen on seeing it, but thought it was potentially going to be good, she was blown away with how much fun it was and how good the movie was. Definitely worth seeing I think.

[/leisure/screen] link

Mon, 18 May 2009

2009 ACT Cyclegaine - 16:15
Yesterday Keith, Danielle and I competed together in the 2009 ACT Cyclegaine. I took some photos (not many) I have uploaded. I think we came 4th over all and 3rd mixed team (just a bit behind Wayne and Matt in mens, behind Randall, Selina and Mark in mixed and a long long way behind an on fire Chris, Nathan and Heather also in mixed).

A fun day out on the bikes in perfect Autumn weather and enjoying the Cotter Dam/Pierces Creek area in ACT.

[/mtb/events] link

Sat, 16 May 2009

One handjob ready to roll - 18:22

Ready to roll on the handjob (fullsize)
I am doing a cyclegaine tomorrow, however I rode the pink bike on Friday morning and had some problems with the setup, so I finally spent a few hours today and moved all the bits across to the new frame. Here it is ready to roll.

[/mtb/gear] link

More evidence of the hard life of a mountain bike - 12:40
So I stripped down my geared mtb today in order to change over to the new frame and looking at the old pink frame it really does show evidence of a lot of hard use. Similar to my comments in October 2006 with even more KM put into the bike.

[/mtb/gear] link

Fri, 15 May 2009

Lake water testing and areas - 11:41
Over summer (and now into winter this year) there are regular water quality tests of Lake Burley Griffin, testing for Blue Green Algae or other hazardous things in the water. The National Capital Authority manage the lake and provide media releases with the water quality test results. (for example the 14th May 2009 Release)

The thing I noticed is if you do not know the boundaries of each area of the lake or what the parts of the lake are called these may not make much sense. So I went looking for maps, I found some descriptions of the regions on the Wikipedia article which helped. Still no good map was found until I stopped searching for terms such as tarcoola reach on the natcap site and Julie pointed out to me the page on their site about Lake Burley Griffin and Surrounding Parklands.

The map available on that page is not really large enough to read all the writing on it, however it shows enough detail to get a good idea of which areas you can use from lake closured. I have copied it to my server as the file is hidden behind some javascript view thing otherwise. I would love to see a larger version of this image (or a scalable version) if anyone knows where it is (possibly on display at Regatta Point I guess).

At least for now it appears we can still paddle down Yarramundi Reach from Yarralumla bay. If we get a bit of rain over the next few days and the weather remains cold we may even have the Algae levels lower enough to use the whole lake again for paddling. I am making this post largely so I remember where to find a map of the lake showing me what the names of the various areas are.

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Thu, 14 May 2009

More open source required in government - 12:36
With the Diebold voting software fiascos in the US and other areas the past few years there has been a lot of proof that any voting systems on computers should be open source (even though governments around the world have not yet cottoned on to this). A few years ago (June 2005) I commented on some DUI charges being tossed out of a Florida court due to the lack of open source code available for the breathalysers. I followed on with mention of problems with speed cameras in Australia playing up also.

Today Schneier had some information on breathalysers that due to court orders finally had the source made available for some analysis. This is not the same breath test system as used in the Florida case from what I can tell at a glance (this was a New Jersey case), however it definitely opens your eyes once more on how crap closed source software can be (and yes I admit lots of open source software can also be crap) and you will have no idea, and no way to fix it. Any software used in law enforcement in such a way that it could be so incorrect or wrong and yet still cause someone to lose their licence or gain a criminal record really should be opened up, at least to the agency/government/force using the software, if not open to all people.

[/comp/ip] link

Tue, 12 May 2009

Mothers day, how mum turned out to be a strong paddler - 11:14
The last few years I have been to get Mum to come paddling with me at the Mother's Day Mayhem paddle race BGCC runs. Last year I had her convinced to come along until I broke my collar bone and the doctors said I could not paddle for 3 months. I discovered I could paddle again a week before mothers day however Mum was already booked up for a Golf competition she could not get out of at that point.

So this weekend past I finally was able to go and participate in the Mother's Day Mayhem event with her. I drove out to her place at 7:30am and made her pancakes (she fortunately quite likes pancakes I can eat made with soy milk, ground linseed and no eggs) then after breakfast we went over to Yerrabi pond where the event was being held this year as Lake Burley Griffin was still not open to secondary contact use in the river near the club shed.

Due to some confusion around the days paddling I was not sure if we were racing or just going for a leisurely paddle at first. I also did not know if we were paddling around the edge of the lake hugging the shore or coming back past the start area. So we started paddling and I saw the other boats go off with people paddling hard, so I picked up my pace and Mum simply matched. Way to go Mum.

After turning around the first island I started heading across the dam wall to hug the shore all the way around and another boat knowing where we were supposed to go headed back on the shorter course, so I turned there and caught back up. Mum was able to hold my fast stroke rate for almost the entire 2 km and we ended up coming home first. Way to go Mum, for someone who had never kayaked before and had not paddled a canoe for more than 20 years I was impressed.

After the paddle event we went back to Mum's place and then headed out so I could treat her to lunch.

To finish off the day I headed out to see Wolverine at Dendy with some friends. Fun and entertaining movie, nothing spectacular but good to watch none the less.

[/various] link

Fri, 08 May 2009

A new bridge should be more useful. - 15:22
I have been seeing all the discussion in the paper and other places about the potential new immigration bridge in Canberra for a few years. (I will not link to it as I do not like the currently mooted location, a quick google can find the website). I really can not see a reason to have a bridge (even one that will be pedestrian/cycle access only) from the NMA to Lennox Gardens.

I am firmly in the camp that if money and construction effort is to go into a pedestrian/cycle access bridge across the lake in Canberra it should be somewhere that genuinely would improve the cycling and pedestrian access to parts of the lake and Canberra. I know it is not visible from the centre of the city area or from central basin but I must say the only location that makes much sense to me is for a new bridge to go from Black Mountain Peninsula to Weston Park. Either of the crossing points on this map would be good.

Having a bridge across here would speed up access to many parts of the lake and Canberra and provide more route options for self propelled people to get around the city that would actually be useful. The other major advantage is that sail boats do not race down toward Yarrmundi reach thus the bridge may not have to be high enough for large sailboat mast clearance. However it is a much shorter span so it would be a lot cheaper no matter what height it had to go to.

Update: I have since first posting this heard that sailing does sometimes happen as far down the lake as the Governor General's place, thus a bridge built here would still need to accommodate masts passing under it. The span as noted is a lot shorter so it is still going to be cheaper here than at the currently mooted site.

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Wed, 06 May 2009

Reminders and bugs - 17:16
It is probably a bad thing, but while working on a Solaris system a fair bit recently I am reminded how much my head does not grok Solaris. I am so used to Linux and the Linux ways of finding information out about how to make it go that when I try to do things in Solaris it feels very foreign.

As for the bugs thing, I think there is a bug in the Ubuntu 9.04 libnss-ldap, I found a problem where it was not reading something configured by the install from ldap.conf and I need to do a little bit more testing before submitting a bug report.

[/comp] link

Mon, 04 May 2009

Mad about you or ACT Treasurer? - 21:50
Is it just me or do others also think the ACT Treasurer bears a striking resemblance to Mad About You's female lead?

Especially with the stock photo of Minister Gallagher the Canberra Times uses fairly often such as is on the back page of the Canberra Times news section today.

[/various] link

Sun, 03 May 2009

My first Yerrabi Multi sport - 20:22
This is a race I have been keen on doing for a few years, however for a few reasons was unable to the last few years. I finally got my chance today, it was a perfect Canberra day, cold enough to go hard but sunny and calm. The results are up already along with a photo gallery.

I rode my cyclocross bike in the race and I think it was a perfect choice for this course, I managed to do the 28KM bike leg in just over 1 hour including transitions and felt pretty comfortable for the entire leg. My total time for the race was 2h8m (for a 4km run, 5km paddle, 28km mtb and 4km run) which I was fairly happy with. Fun was had, thanks to the local Sri Chinmoy Race Team for another good event.

[/mtb/events] link

Sat, 02 May 2009

Check sooner next time - 18:04
As D is getting back to the house tomorrow, Matt and I agreed it was time to turn the heating on for the winter. So I went to do that today and found it would not turn on. I mucked around resetting the unit many times. Turned the mains power off for a while. Tried a few more resets, even climbed into the roof to have a look at the unit and see if there was a reset button on it.

Previously we have had a number of problems with the heater in the house, though the one here now is a fairly new gas central heating unit so probably should not play up. Still stumped for what was wrong, I was reading the manual from the website for the heater and the error code was saying something about it not being able to light the heater from 4 attempts each time.

It finally occurred to me to go outside and look at the gas meter, and well what do you know the lever on the meter had the gas coming into the house turned off. You know what, heaters really will not light when there is no fuel available for them, kind of funny that. Next time I may try to remember to have a look there sooner, no idea why I just assumed it was still turned on from last year (though I do not remember ever turning it off).

[/various] link

Fri, 01 May 2009

Lesser exercise week - 21:14
After the fun wet and windy ADE last Saturday I had Sunday off exercise as the wind and conditions got worse I thought. This week on the whole I have had a lesser exercise load then many recent weeks, often recently I have been doing two sessions of some description most days. This week I have kept it at one until today.

Monday I headed out for a fun paddle in Matilda in the cold with one of my house mates, Tuesday I did the Bilbys track running session, Wednesday I did the morning road ride, Thursday I did the morning swim squad. Finally today I did the morning mtb ride and tonight did the evening swim squad. Feeling pretty good, will probably do a road ride tomorrow and then on Sunday I am competing in the Sri Chinmoy Yerrabi pond multi sport race which should be a bit of fun.

As for why I tend to be doing two things on many days the last few weeks I do not really know, I have no current goals in mind, though I guess it suits long term goals, I can simply tell anyone who asks why I am out exercising that it is Jindabyne Multisport prep. Today I also entered the Angry Doctor 100 KM mtb race AROC run in September which will be a nice wind down a week after the World Mountain Bike Championships are over in Canberra.

[/mtb] link

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