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Wet Ride
Lazy Little Blogger
We are an Uncle
Grand Prix
Inner tube
Another Puncture
A Few Random Pictures
Lycra Makes You Slow
Lysterfield Once More
Sunset Picture
Yet Another Bike Ride
Thu Mar 29 20:56:30 2007

Wet Ride

gales and storms

Melbourne was assailed by a flock of squalls this afternoon. From our flat we had grandstand views of them as they dumped torrential rain on the suburbs.

For reasons that remain unclear to me, I took my bike out. Five minutes out, I ran into one. On the plus side, there was no hail and no lightning. There was quite enough freezing cold rain, though. I should have turned round then, but commonsense was still absent. Cold, wet and miserable, I perservered.

Unusually, today's howling gale was from the north. I caught another roadie at Port Melbourne, and strolled past at about 23mph with a honking great tailwind. From there to St Kilda was less than eight minutes. The ride back, into a 20-knot headwind and blinding, freezing rain was, well, character-building.

I got cold and wet. You get a sunset. You have to pretend you like it.

Squalls at sunset Two minutes later, I was soaked.
Wed Mar 28 22:22:40 2007


end of the big dry?

The weather in Melbourne is confused. The Osaka Cup started on Sunday, so the normal howling southerly was appropriate. Keeping this up would have been far too convenient for the competitors, so the Weather Monsters tried something new - a flat calm. As the competitors drifted gently eastward, The Monsters got confused. Unable to resort to the normal howling gale, the temperature crept up. Then down again. Then it got strange. The day started with The Other Meteorologist pointing this out:

Melbourne mammatus Mammatus

This picture was taken at 0830, which is, obviously, impossible. Mammatus clouds are a product of thunderstorms. Quite how a CuNim developed over night, over water is a bit of a puzzle. How it cleared to leave a clear, warm, still day is an enigma. Neither thermodynamics nor fluid mechanics seem to apply to the Weather Monsters.

As we were walking to a tram this evening, they finally lost control. It's now been pissing down for six hours. More rain has fallen this afternoon than in the past four months. Traffic chaos ensued. It almost feels like England.

Sun Mar 25 18:16:49 2007

Lazy Little Blogger

beer consumed? maybe some.

I have failed you, my faithful bloggees. The burblage has been scant and seldom. Sorry. In my defence, I will mention such diversions as:

  • Beer. An entirely new brew, Hop Thief, has consumed some our evenings. Assertive, bitter, with a charming abrupt finish. Pass me another...
  • Project success. The whole "On time, under budget, to quality" thing. Again. For some reason, other people find this surprising, and offer us small gifts. We shun such baubles and entertain ourselves. With luck, we can expense some of this.
  • Idleness. My personal key skill.

There's a whole bunch of stuff I should blog about, including:

  • The Melbourne-Osaka Cup Race. Exotic racing yachts, two-handed for 10 million metres.
  • Where I've been on my bike (at high speeds)
  • Roadies I have humiliated
  • Just how damn good I look as I leave roadies wheezing in the gutter
  • Fast - how a bike should be ridden
  • My ego - is it a public health hazard?

If you're lucky, I might blog about the first one, and stop.

In other news, the semi-sentient AI that generates this bilge has been liberated, co-opted and put to better use over there.

Tue Mar 20 21:58:53 2007

We are an Uncle

for the third time

Our deepest congratulations and best wishes go to my sister, her family, and particularly to the newest member.

May I point out that it's a really good idea to give babies a name? Otherwise you have to keep referring to 'The Nameless One', which is hard to write without capitalization, and can lead to self-esteem issues, unfortunate trans-dimensional incidents and the destruction of the entire cosmos again.

Sun Mar 18 19:46:40 2007

Grand Prix


The Formula 1 season kicked off here in Melbourne this weekend. Unlike every other sporting event here, it wasn't cheap. Tickets for the race started at $100 and went up from there. We decided to spend that cash in the pub instead.

I went out shopping before the qualifying session yesterday. My carefully scheduled plans were disrupted by a bunch of lefties, pinkoes, commies, hippies and other assorted soap-dodgers who had decided to shamble down Lonsdale Street waving poorly-produced and mis-spelled placards. This impeded the progress of my gas-guzzler to the extent that I missed seeing the first ten minutes of the qualifying session. Not Pleased.

The Honda team this year have painted their cars blue and green, and are trying to raise awareness of environmental issues. This is either a very expensive, very subtle joke, or someone in marketing needs the stronger tablets. During a Grand prix weekend, the Honda team will burn over 500 litres of fuel.

This morning we were treated to a series of displays by military aircraft, all desperate to distract attention from their recent attempt to poison the Prime Minister in Iraq (really - I'm not making this up). The aerobatic team were impressive. The helicopters were, um, helicoptery. The FA-18 was wonderfully loud. The show was then stolen by Qantas, who flew a 747 over at about 1000 feet and full throttle. Pictures of all this will, no doubt, appear in the usual place.

We could hear the cars screaming round the track from our apartment as we watched the race. I was surprised by how entertaining it was. Some cars actually overtook others. David Coulthard almost killed himself and another by driving over (yes, over) another car at high speed. The new tyres for this season seem to make the cars handle badly under braking, which led to some highly amusing spins. Some crashes, some mechanical failures and no deaths. A good weekend.

Then I took my bike out and rode the whole Capital City Trail in 90 minutes. Justification for beer this evening.

Wed Mar 14 22:40:03 2007


And another sunset. Tough.

My heavy drinking schedule has prevented blogging for the last few days. It should calm down for a bit, before ramping up again at the weekend. In the meantime, a couple of pictures (including a sunset).

Bike Shadow Shadow
Yarra Sunset Same sun, different evening.
Sat Mar 10 11:40:32 2007

Inner tube

Oh, the injustice.

After my puncture I resolved to be better prepared. I bought not one, but two new inner tubes, took the old one out, replaced it with a new one, and put the spare in my CamelBak. Sorted. To demonstrate to my rescuer just how tricky tube repairs are, I put some air in the damaged tube. The pressure held. And held some more. The punture, smeared with rubber solution, had repaired overnight.

For reasons I do not fully understand, this caused amusement in certain quarters.

Thu Mar 08 22:36:42 2007

Another Puncture


So, a gentle potter down through Westgate Park (avoiding the keen racing types), and out along to the mouth of the Yarra this evening. It's breezy as usual. Less expected, it's freezing cold. However, athletes of my calibre won't be stopped by a few icicles (shut up in the back).

Just after turning round at the furthest point from home, by back wheel hits a rock at an awkward angle and the too-familiar 'pffffft' sound is heard. Oh, poot, I say. It had to happen a mile from the nearest road, at the furthest possible distance from home.

Still, not a major problem. I have the tools to repair it with me. Off comes the rear wheel, and I start the search for the leak. This is not easy. The wind makes it impossible to hear the leak, and it's getting dark. Eventually, science triumphs, and I find the holes by a combination of binary search and dumb luck. Next, to fix it. I shall spare you the sordid details. Suffice it to say that my efforts were not entirely rewarded. So I phoned home and The Real Hero came and collected me, minus ego.

Puncture Repair Broken. Sadness.
Thu Mar 08 22:27:21 2007

A Few Random Pictures

for no particular reason

Here are a few pictures taken on my last couple of rides. First, the obligatory sunset. This was meant to be a striking silhouette of a tug in the setting sun. What you get is an indecipherable blob.

Tig in sunset The only sunset shot today. Promise.

Next, a pretty little ship going the other way:

Ship Ship. Small. Blue. Pretty.

Finally, a wave breaking over some rocks. This was taken at the scene of my next post.

Wave spray Splosh.
Tue Mar 06 21:32:37 2007

Lycra Makes You Slow

with an irrelevant picture

A pleasant evening, with only a moderate southerly gale, so I head down to South Melbourne along the river. Pottering gently back, I have to wait for a roadie to pass before joining traffic. I watch for a bit as Captain Lycra advances towards the horizon. The plan is for a gentle ride, and a gentle ride I shall have. The competitive instinct cuts in about three nanoseconds later. Oxygen consumption goes up, common sense goes down. Four minutes later (not that I was measuring), the poor roadie is somewhat startled by a sound like Darth Vader with pneumonia close behind him. After a few hundred metres in his draft, I pass him. He hangs on for about half a mile before I gradually pull away. Now comes the hard bit. It would be devastatingly, humiliatingly, ego-crushingly terrible to be caught again. Down goes the hammer, and I drop him. He'll blame it on the turbulence from my baggy shorts.

Smug? Moi?

For no particular reason, here's a picture that's not a sunset.

Tug under Bridge Tug
Sun Mar 04 19:02:31 2007

Lysterfield Once More


A lovely, bright day, around 25C, so we went to Lysterfield Park again. The Sensible Cyclist had a go at some single track for the first time since The Crash. We had a bit of an explore on some trails we hadn't ridden before. My spiffy GPS showed that we were getting close to the competition track, so we persevered with a sixty metre climb, and joined the track just at the start of the switchback climbs.

Sensible People stopped there and watched others struggling with the climb. I hammered up the hillside, swooped down the valley and had a fantastic lap. Twenty one minutes, thirty one seconds. Personal best. Beer earned.

Sat Mar 03 12:44:22 2007

Sunset Picture

because you deserve it

The wonderful thing about our flat is that sunsets like this are so common as to be unremarkable.

Melbourne Sunset Sunset? Again? Seen it.
Sat Mar 03 12:33:33 2007

Yet Another Bike Ride

with pictures

I rode over 120kms last week. This virtuous behaviour was traded for excessive beer last night. Fragile? Not me.

The weather was lovely for the ride on Thursday. I had been planning a gentle spin over to Williamstown. Unfortunately, a roadie tried to pass me just as I started, so we had a nose-to-the-bars, pain in the red zone grind past the container port. 30km/h all the way into a vicious headwind. Didn't get dropped. Carbon fiber and lycra are no match for sheer bloody-minded determination.

Half an hour later, when my eyeballs had stopped bleeding, I took a couple of pictures.

Orange Support Ship Orange Ship leaving Yarra
Melbourne again Melbourne
Sat Mar 03 12:25:49 2007


Jobs I'm glad I don't have

A series of thunderstorms are trundling across Melbourne at the moment. On the building site across the road a crane is engaged in a reproductive act. As it was lifting another chunk of crane, the rain started, and the people on the top scurried down, leaving a large, probably very expensive, component swaying in the breeze.

Crane in Thunderstorm Crane reproducing
Sat Mar 03 12:12:03 2007


There has to be a better way

I have some pictures to post. I was just starting to put them up here when it occurred to me that the whole process seems a bit involved. Here's how it works:

  • Connect Camera to laptop
  • Copy all pictures to ~/images/
  • View pictures
  • Select pictures
  • Copy to $BLOG/images/
  • Rename pictures manually
  • Set file permissions to world readable (my camera thinks my pictures are Super Double Secret)
  • Open pictures in gimp
  • Make adjustments (if needed, and sufficiently motivated)
  • Save each picture (this reduces the size from 2.5MB to something a bit more reasonable)
  • Run webify.sh, which uses ImageMagick to create thumbnails and resize originals
  • scp files to webhost
  • cd to $BLOG/source
  • Fire up emacs on new .blog file
  • Open hat.blog (don't ask)
  • Copy image stanza from hat.blog and paste into .blog buffer for each image
  • Edit stanza for each picture
  • Write blog entry
  • Build HTML and XML files from .blog files
  • Publish the HTML and XML files to the webserver
  • Check in web browser
  • Spot tpyos
  • Fix
  • Rebuild
  • Republish

This is clearly too much work. I'm going to see which bits can have a big chunk of laziness added.

email BurbleChaz

Last modified: Thu Aug 31 22:46:12 AUSEST 2006