## NYE 2002 // at 23:59

Another hot, sultry night, the wind banging the blinds around, too hot to sleep... Nine AM and the rain has just cooled things off a little, but not enough to inspire me to do anything or move anywhere.

Rain! Torrential, cooling rain...

New Years celebrations were very laid back. Four of us went to dinner at The Gate in Church street, where we were charged a 10% NYE surchage — “Just because we can.” After the dinner we walked down to the river and stood on the footbridge half-way across, watching the taller parts of the city fireworks displays as they appeared above the trees.

>

## untitled // at 23:59

Thirty degrees at nine in the morning, last night's cool change petered out into a smattering of rain drops and no drop in temperature. There's many things I could do with my three days off, but today, no incentive to do anything very much, just move slowly, sip cool drinks, and listen to music....

This time last year, we were just starting out New Zealand bike tour — we must get around to deciding — soon — once and for all whether we're going on the Geneva to Verona ride later this year....

## untitled // at 23:59

Another lazy Sunday down at Lorne — I took off by myself in the morning to wander along the beach — alone in the crowds, watching as people staked out their territory for the day with towels and sun shelters and bags. Then up to the shops to rummage through the second-hand book-shops. They're not cheap, but there's plenty of choice as people discard unwanted Christmas presents and holiday reading. I nearly picked up a Lawrence Durrell novel or two — after thinking I should read some for many months — but they all seemed to be the “continued” part of a four or five book series.

The tide is a long way out again, same as yesterday, and the beach is full of people.

On the ugly side, the entire foreshore has been turned into one enormous carpark. The bowling club has been bulldozed and replaced by a carpark, but the old carpark still exists, and in the interests of rampant consumerism and packing even more people in, cars are parked across the remaining grass areas and footpaths. There's still no way of crossing the road anywhere in Lorne — the entire town is one side of the Great Ocean Road, the beach is on the other, and not a single pedestrian crossing anywhere.

Everyone is sitting around waiting for the cool change to come through — even at eleven in the morning. It's nearly 30°C, gray and overcast, and humid enough that the flies and children are driving people crazy....

## Saturday in Lorne // at 23:59

Saturday morning at Lorne, the standard ritual: Toast, coffee, and the newspaper, followed by a walk down the hill then around the beach to the pier. The tide is the lowest I can remember, and we could walk out under the pier, something neither Jo nor I could remember ever being able to do. A striking view out from under the concrete piles towards the bay.

The exceptionally low tide provided us with a myriad of rock-pools that aren't normally visible. The number of people now visiting the beach seems to have resulted in all the normal rock-pools being bereft of any life other than a handfull of snails, but the pools revealed today were swarming with different types of fish, small crabs and crayfish and shellfish of all kinds.

... and in world-shattering news, I actually went for a swim this afternoon. Highly unusual, all around me were shocked! My dislike for cold water and the beach at Lorne don't usually go well together, but the weather was hot and the sea not as frigid, so in I went.

## untitled // at 23:59

Day three of Monash-induced stupidity. Yep — back at work for the three hours from nine to noon. I'll try to stay awake... There's my most recent photos to organize and a few bits of journal to write...

To read, there's a christmas email/webpage from my cousin to her relatives and friends — an extensive list, it probably includes half the uk! It took some time to get my head around the characters and the plot... Almost as convoluted as The Usual Suspects, which Joey and I sat and watched last night — Yay! — about time we started using our TV!

Joey is grinning from ear to ear with her new toy — the Xbox — even if neither of us is very good at any of the games we've got. I think we're both suffering from reflexes that are a decade too old for video games!

A spur of the moment decision on the ride home this afternoon and I came by “Bike Track” rather than road. What should I run into but a very large council truck completely blocking the path — I am going to have to create a page/photo-album dedicated to the things that I find blocking so-called bicyle facilities... To top it off, one of the myriad of patches of glass has succeeded in puncturing my rear tyre, so I rode home with a gradually softening rear end. Hardly surprising that I've got a puncture, considering the sheer quantity of broken bottles on the path now that the school holidays have commenced.

## untitled // at 23:59

Desperate to get out of the house for some exercise, we headed off to find the mysterious foot-bridge over the Yarra. Yesterday morning, a casual browse through the street directory showed that what we had thought was only a rail-bridge between Richmond and South Yarra appeared to have a footpath alongside. All this brought on by the trivia question “How many churches are there in Richmond?” Sure enough, once we managed to find the access track down behind the Country Road offices, there is a set of stairs up onto the rail lines, and then a footpath over the river.

Once over the river, we continued all the way back along the southern bank to MacRobertson Bridge, a two-hour walk by the time we got home, and one that was nerve wracking in places as families wobbled past on their newly-unwrapped department store bicycles — knees stuck out to the sides from seats too low and helmets on the backs of their heads. Near Herring Island we stopped to watch a heron, or maybe an egret, stalking along in the shallows. Apparently Herring Island is named after Sir Whats-his-name Herring, who had something to do with the Boy Scouts, and not after the little fish, which made sense, since I don't think any self-respecting herring would care to be caught this far up the muddy river.

## untitled // at 23:59

Christmas day, much feasting and unwrapping. Apparently Jo had an inkling of what her large present might be, but wasn't sure until she opened it — the fact that she's been bugging me for a Playstation everytime we saw one in the shops or catalogues should have been a dead give-away. Anyway, its an Xbox, not a Playstation, since I've heard that Microsoft loses money every time someone buys one.

## untitled // at 23:59

Tuesday; Christmas Eve — woke to hear Biggsy playing The Clash on the radio this morning and thought that all was well with the world — then heard that Joe Strummer had died the previous night. This afternoon I sat on the couch and listened to a few hours of Clash compilations.

Tonight; off to the Corner Hotel to see Mick Thomas — a Christmas Eve institution — the music between the bands was a Clash tape. Between songs, Mick observed that he'd first heard Joe Strummer here in the Corner, then launched into I Could Spot You Anywhere — a song with references to finding someone at the Big Day Out. Flashback to January 1997 — Big Day Out at Flemington showgrounds — I walked in the gate, overwhelmed and disoriented, and paused to get my bearings at the RRR stage. Joe Strummer was playing, two friends of mine walked straight up to me out of the crowd, it was the most memorable performance of the show...

...but back to today... Dinner at Silvio's, yet another great pizza and a couple of glasses of wine. The place is an institution.

Mick Thomas on Christmas eve is another — some of the songs off the forthcoming album sounding a bit odd though — I guess they'd sound alright on a Saturday afternoon in the sun, but on Christmas Eve in the Corner, the crowd seemed to want a little more. Michael Barclay was the unexpected guest, and almost unrecognisable with his hair cut neat, and an enormous grin as he seemed to be having a ball. I half-attempted to take some photos, but my camera just isn't up to it. The combination of a weak flash and a slow response from trigger to capture means that I get some interesting, and very dark, shots two seconds after I push the button — like Michael Barclay with a castanet and mike stand in front of his face!

A good night though — Jo was a little disappointed about the songs that weren't played, although I pointed out that more keep getting written, and so some old ones must be left out, and that going to a gig and complaining that you only like “their old stuff” is a sure sign of impending old-age and senility.

## untitled // at 23:59

What a stupid day to be at work! Monash shut down last Friday, but the powers that be have decided that we'll have one staff member from each area present from 9 to 12 each day. Today I'm it. Three hours of reading email and browsing the web!

## untitled // at 23:59

The world is too small a place — I discovered at dinner that a cycling friend of mine in Melbourne who has lived in Brisbane, is also friends with Dr Alan, a cyclist I know from Brisbane... I guess its not that unlikely, but it came as a surprise.

## untitled // at 23:59

Last night we decided on the spur of the moment to have dinner at Kanzaman, a Lebanese restaurant that's up the street — optimistically, we chose the banquet for two... It was fantastic food, the same as the last time we were there, and there was even a visit from a local belly dancer to entertain the diners.

After sitting around lazily all morning trying not to get too hot — while the temperature climbed towards the predicted maximum of 36°C — we headed over to visit friends for an afternoon barbecue. A brief interlude of paranoia while Marko and Lesley thought that nobody was going to show up, followed by several hours of good company as we all lazed around in the garden, only getting up to move as the patches of shade moved.

## untitled // at 23:59

```Sunrise 5:57am (AUSEDT), sunset 8:37pm (AUSEDT) at Melbourne, VIC, AU (14:39 hours daylight)
Full Moon 6:09am (AUSEDT)
Monash: Last working day for 2002
```

Very strange weather this morning — quite warm, but foggy enough that we couldn't see the city. It was strange riding to work in warm fog! Summer solstice too...

The last working day of the year — except for me, since I'm down as the volunteer to man the phones next week. Nobody interested in doing anything very much.

An interesting bit of discussion is going on at the moment in one of the cycling groups regarding Hokey Spokes, and other non-standard lighting. Nobody is quite sure what the laws state — I was under the impression that the red rear and white front were mandatory, and that anything else was prohibited, much the same as motor vehicle rules. Some people seem to view that because the regulations only mention motor vehicles, bicycles can be decked out however they want — in my opinion this is getting close to stating that bikes are toys and not vehicles... the debate continues.

### CMS MLP

[http://tikiwiki.sourceforge.net/]
TikiWiki: yet another Wiki, could be worth investigating.
[http://touchgraph.sourceforge.net/]
TouchGraph: Graphical browser of wiki's.

## Monash University ITS Christmas party // at 23:59

Sound, colour, excitement, food — it must be the annual ITS Christmas party. The time of the year when we must pretend that we're all bosom buddies and all working towards the same goal...

A large array of inflatable bouncy-castles had been procured — probably at great expense — in order to ensure that all of ITS had “a good time.” There was a small bouncy castle, a jousting thing, a large slide, and a horizontal bungy-jump. These were all roasting hot in the sun, and only a couple of them were used to their full! I was most dissappointed that despite the signs everywhere proclaiming that they all belonged to “Pete the camel man” — A Camel Hire there was not a single camel to be seen. Apparently after 25 years of hiring out camels, the increases in insurance have killed off that part of the business.

## Site sights and stuff // at 23:59

Apologies to viewers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. After months of using Mozilla to view my own work I've just discovered that IE doesn't correctly interpret the style sheets and leaves my photos hanging off the bottom border. A quick change from a
; to an empty <p> and all is back in order...

This all came about because today's Mozilla daily is badly broken — it won't display anything at all.

... so many things I'd like to change on this site.

• a new logo, but every attempt I've had to create an image of my monogram has failed — dismally.
• my photos — still a mess. I want some of the features of Gallery, without all the ugly URLs and embedded tables and cruft. Change the backend without changing all the links...
• A more “CMS-like” setup. I still want text-only page content, but with the indexes and page wrappers autogeneratd — and definitely no ugly great URLs like those that seem to be generated by most CMS applications.

## untitled // at 23:59

Ow, Ow, Ow! I think I've broken a toe... Half-asleep this morning, I managed to kick the wardrobe door and get my toes jammed between the bottom of the door and the carpet. Toe is now an interesting purple colour.

For about a week now there's been a dumped car at the side of the road in Oakleigh, the only odd thing is that the registration plates are still attached. It's gradually increasing in entropy as people smash more and more parts of it. I wish I'd got a photo of it when it first appeared — a time-lapse sequence perhaps....

## untitled // at 23:59

One of my coworkers managed to absolutely amaze me today. I had no idea that supposedly intelligent people could come out with statements like:

“I just change my own car oil then poor the waste into a corner of my garden — it just soaks away...”

When I asked him about pollution, the fact that it drains straight into the storm-water and into Port Phillip bay, he just shrugged and said he just pours it into his garden....

This evening's entertainment was a trip to the Balwyn Cinema for the latest James Bond movie — Die Another Day — it's just too long since I last saw a good Bond movie — or indeed any Bond movie! The usual satisfying mix of explosions, evil genius bad-guys, car-chases and scantily clad ladies.... The only dissapointing scenes to me were the very unrealistic looking surfing scenes, both at the beginning and later in the movie.

## untitled // at 23:59

A hot day at last! Joey and I journeyed into the city to visit the Queen Victoria markets — something we've been meaning to do for ages. I'm not sure what was the most fun; looking at all the fruit and veges that we don't need to buy, or wandering through the aisles of cheap clothes and complete crap that various dodgy-looking vendors try to sell. The funniest was a battery-operated toy soldier — I think he's meant to be doing a commando-crawl along the ground, but to everyone watching, they looked like weird homo-erotic groin-rubbing motions. Each time we saw one we burst out laughing.

This evening there was a Bund Christmas barbecue at the house of droo. An untimely event, since Bund christmas events are usually held sometime in June or July. The obligatory collection of digital cameras and geeky toys were present, as was some magnificent food, and some highly spicy sausages. There should be some photos, probably on cos' elsewhere, but I can't find them yet....

## untitled // at 23:59

An invisible kind of a morning! After visiting the fruit and vege. markets, we dropped in for breakfast at Blue Heaven. Coffee arrived, the breakfast order vanished. After investigating, we got the breakfast, then were not charged for the coffees, since the order had vanished. Half an hour later, we called in at the bakery for a second coffee — ten minutes later it hadn't turned up, so I enquired. The whole order had vanished. Coffee was created, delivered, apologies were made and accepted, together with a joking comment from the waiter that perhaps today would be a bad day to go out for dinner...

Somewhere along the way we bought a new tent. It was a bit of a whim, but AU\$75 for a three-man tent was too much to resist. My hike-tent is fine for one person — and excellent to carry on the bike — but is too small for two people and their luggage. For the last year we've been borrowing a three man tent (for three small Korean men) from some friends, now we can finally hand it back and luxuriate on our next camping trip — whenever that is.

It sounded a little strange — “the tepanyaki restaurant in the K-mart carpark” — but the food belied the trepidation. The usual prowess that you'd expect from the chef, the fun and games of him flicking the cooked egg at the customers, and tasty fresh food cooked right there in front of you....

## untitled // at 23:59

Maybe, just maybe, the weather is warming up for the weekend... I'm getting really tired of wearing my winter cycling top in the middle of December!

Richmond: 144° 59’ 45.3" -37° 49’ 41.6"
Clayton: 145° 7’ 35.1" -37° 55’ 26.3"

I'm bored, here's a picture of my desk at Monash. Currently visible are all the bits of junk that I work with each day. Inspired by — and submitted to — the collection at [http://snapyourdesk.barkins.com/]

## untitled // at 23:59

Wake up summer time! This is getting ridiculous — nearly three weeks of constant drizzly cool weather — it was 14.5°C today at noon!

This afternoon I ran a bit of a sanity-check through my journal, my bike ride notes and my website. Still not sure who the intended audience is of any of these, my writing in the paper journal has dropped right off, some of it due to me writing more here, some of it due to less time by myself. I guess there's some truth to the saying that diaries are only written by the weird or the lonely...

After much procrastination I've finished going through the scrawled notes that I took during January and the blank places in my journal, and written up the rest of our New Zealand bike tour. After emailing a guy in the UK who is going to NZ, I'd referred him to my trip — then decided I'd better finish writing so it all made sense! Unfortunately there are way too many places where I've obviously left myself a half-empty page — to be filled in later — and then never got around to it.

Do I laugh or cry? The motorists on the ride home... First was my attempted murder by the idiot driving the 2 tonne truck, rego. `FPM-659`, turned right straight across my path at the lights of Malvern road and Darling road — he nearly had bike and rider embedded in his door at 40km/hr. My shout should have been loud enough, but he was blissfully unaware, mobile phone glued to his ear. At least the ambulance parked right next to me would have been able to render assistance.

Five minutes later, still fuming, I got to see the funny side of the motoring idiot. On High street there's traffic lights for a pedestrian crossing, a gap one car length, a railway crossing, then the lights over the freeway. While I'm sitting at the pedestrian crossing the next set of lights went green, the 4WD Pathfinder next to me started up and drove straight through the red lights of the crossing, then the driver realised and stopped just before the railway lines. Then the level crossing lights came on, then the boom-gate slowly came down. Lower... and lower... then — BONG! — as the gate hit the bonnet. Only then did the driver put the 4WD into reverse and leap backwards like a startled cat! Myself and a few people on the footpath couldn't help ourselves, and burst out laughing.

## De-lumped // at 23:59

Woohoo! The mysterious lump in my finger has mostly gone away. I think I did the equivalent of the traditional “belt it with a bible” trick — running upstairs for a coffee, I managed to hit my hand against the door handle. Hurts like crazy, but the lump has gone!

## untitled // at 23:59

Bah! That'll teach me to clean my bike — half-way to work this morning and it started to rain again. Yet another cold, grey, drizzly day. So much for summer time...

The Nigerians, the Nigerians... In what must be some kind of record, there are four Nigerian Business Offer scams in my inbox this morning! Its frightening that there are so many stupid gullible people in the world to make these scams work.

My “Just in time Bike Ride entry scheme” just failed me. Leaving it far too late for the Alpine Classic, something I've never quite had the courage to enter previously. I tried today and found that they're all booked out. If vacancies are available, they'll be announced today... Oh well, at least I've managed to enter the Bicycle NSW Big Ride for next March, it'll be strange to be doing it alone, since Jo doesn't have enough leave. I must remember to book some leave for that....

More cycling-related news. Some friends from the France tour last year, Karen and David sent me an email today to say they've had a baby — a very small baby compared to the size of my nieces!

## untitled // at 23:59

Another day, another wedding task... today was the day of the cake. At least cake testing is not an onerous task, especially when it's a great big chocolate mud-cake that you've decided on! Under quarter of an hour, into the shop, check the pictures, point to the preferred shape and decoration, wave arms wildly around the head and leave. Either we're easily pleased, or we know what we like...

Jo's movie with friends fell through, so the two of us headed into the city to see the Gleaners and I, something I've had on my “to view” list for some time. Unlike a lot of movies on this list, I actually got to see it before the season finished! As the IMDB says:

An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director...

I think they mean picturesque, but you get the idea. A touching film, it struck a lot of resonances with me on the subjects of waste, on recycling, and on the stupidity of a lot of foods' “use-by” dates. One amusing thing I noticed was that with the French dialogue, naturally all the units were metric — or Francs — but the sub-titles had been translated into American, with pounds, inches and dollars.

## untitled // at 23:59

Woke to more rain and drizzle and a definite non-summer Saturday. Miraculously, our Christmas lights are still working, although four bulbs at the end of the strand are out of action and seem to be full of water.

A typical Saturday, coffee and scrambled eggs, the paper and the crossword, then a frantic dash up the road to the markets before they shut at noon! Lunch of fresh bread and delicious tomatoes, then a walk the full length of Richmond. Past the myriad of girlie-clothes shops, twisting and turning through the crowds along the path to our first stop — Richmond Hill Café and Larder, to check out their famous “cheese-room” and be overwhelmed at the selection. There's the cheese equivalent of a sommelier in residence, quite happy to talk to absolute novices, equally happy to dispense small tastes of whatever takes your fancy. All the cheeses are labelled in dollars per 250g, since the price per kg would cause heart failure — privately imported boutique cheeses do not come cheap! We left with two very small samples of a Morbier and a Montgomery cheddar, then continued on our walk through East Melbourne to the Fitzroy Gardens.

On Thursday evening, the wedding celebrant had suggested that since she was doing a wedding in the Fitzroy Gardens, we should wander past and see if we liked her style — so feeling very self-conscious, we sauntered up to the wedding and hung around behind all the well-dressed guests. No obviously obnoxious habits were apparent, so we headed off, passing another three weddings in the park on the way out!

Phew! That over, it was back to the Bridge (hotel) for a well-earned beer in the late afternoon sun — but there was no escaping them, today was a day of weddings. Across the road on the lawns of the Ridges hotel were the accoutrements of yet-another one. We sat and laughed as later and later guests arrived, frantically hunted for parking, then dashed across the road to take their places.

## Fri, 06 Dec 2002

Sydney is busy being baked by bushfires, meanwhile, monsoon in Melbourne... Adrian, keep your day job, that's almost good enough for a sub-editor at The Age, but not quite.

## Summer? Winter? // at 23:59

Summer ... winter ... summer ... winter...

Wow, massive thunderstorms in the morning. Hail in the afternoon. Showers in between. Almost enough to make you want to stay in bed all day.

... and now a rhetorical question for all you motorists out there: If there was a straight, empty stretch of road, with free parking available along the entire length of it, not one other car in sight, and no restrictions anywhere, would you park across the cycle-path entrance, or would you park somewhere else? (Please forward your answers to the idiot who this morning chose the former)

This evening's rather scary event was a visit to see a wedding celebrant — after weeks of flicking her business card back and forth between us, Jo had more courage than I and called up to see her.

Marg has been recommended by a friend — sitting talking with her brought us suddenly down-to-earth and reminded us that we're getting married, so far everything has just seemed like large-scale event-planning. Nothing too earth-shattering, but both Jo and I had a few moments of butterflies... Marg seems a delightful person, she talked almost non-stop for the hour we were there and had so many suggestions and comments that we were completely overwhelmed at the thought of being able to ask questions!

To celebrate one more mile-stone completed, it was back to Via Ponte for dinner, yet-another of their wondrous pasta dishes, the problem being which to choose!

## Which bank? // at 23:59

Bye bye bank! Which bank, I hear you ask... the Commonwealth Bank. Too many months of too many bank fees, total inaction on their part to a request to change my account to a lower-fee type (today's story is that paperwork has been lost). Walked into the office this afternoon, closed my account, walked out again. Nobody there was the slightest bit interested in why, or in persuading me otherwise. The final insult was when I asked to transfer the money from my account to an account with another bank, I was told “it'll take seven to ten days, it's a manual process you know.” I can do it myself with their Internet banking, the staff must be brainwashed into a 1930s paper-based office when they join the bloody institution.

### MLP

[http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=332186.545194]
Neal Stephenson on surveillance

## Monday, day of hoaxes // at 23:59

First I had an email from a friend, passing on the `jdbmgr.exe` virus hoax. Then there was yet another Nigerian Business offer sitting in my intray. The other was an hour later by a cow-orker, who received the Friend of a Friend warning of the Wallet and the Terrorist and the plot to blow up the local shopping centre. The minutest piece of cynicism or the tiniest check on the net would have shown this one has been circulating since November 2001, but no, deeply worried, it is forwarded on to all of us.

Or, if you've already received another version of this email: where the Arab drops his wallet in a cab/pub/pole-dancing club; where he gives the date as 28/30 September or 1/5/10 October; or where MI5 turn up at your door with a really big book of wanted terrorists, you might want to reflect on the net hoax phenomenon which can reduce otherwise rational people to headless chickens.

Even after we point out the previous hoaxes, she's still not convinced, just keeps reiterating that “it is better to be safe than sorry.” Sigh Some people just don't seem to get it.

To top it all off, being the start of the school holidays, the bike paths are a mass of broken glass. It looks like the schoolies must have spent most of the weekend getting pissed and smashing bottles. No flat tyres so far....

The answers to all my questions — from the Royal Australian Mint's website [http://www.ramint.gov.au/]:

When was the \$1 coin first released?
1984
When was the \$2 coin first released?
1988
When were 1c & 2c coins taken out of circulation?
The last one cent coins were dated 1990 and the last two cent coins were dated 1989. They were progressively removed from circulation starting in 1992.

## A teevee, oh no! // at 23:59

Ok, we've done it now. The TV has been purchased — and what a comedy that turned into! It seemed to take a quarter of an hour for the staff in Dick Smiths to find one in their store-room and get it to the checkouts. I was amazed at the size of the box, concerned that it wouldn't fit in the car, but since the washing machine went in, just assumed that the Astra could take it... As the young lads were wheeling it out to the car-park I realised why it looked so large. 76cm screen vs. the 66cm one we'd purchased. Then came the fun part, around four iterations of “That's the wrong TV, not the one we wanted,” followed by “are you sure?” Eventually we got the right one, and loaded it into the car. I guess if I wasn't so honest — or not quite so quick to comment — we'd have walked off with a AU\$1600 TV for AU\$800 — me and my big mouth... (TEAC CTW2850S, no manuals in the box, no warranty card, no receipt, but apparently a 3 year warranty)

Added excitement was provided by the girl driving the Budget Hi-Ace rental van (`PWO-869`), driving straight into the back of us as we sat at the traffic lights on Warrigal road. She refused to give her name or license details, saying it wasn't necessary as there was no visible damage — probably terrified of what Budget would do if she admitting to crashing their van.

Farewell; Paulus, it was nice knowing you... Or whatever else is appropriate to wish someone on their bucks night. He doesn't look too concerned, we all enjoyed the proceedings. Most of them went Go-Cart racing in the afternoon, I joined for dinner at the Napier and then beers at an assortment of pubs in Fitzroy.

Far more interesting than the travesty of the State election held today. The Liberal party appears to have self-destructed over the past few weeks, the Greens don't seem to have any policies, just a general “be green” message. It being a “time of trouble” it was predicted that the populace was likely to vote for the incumbents anyway — and so it happened.

## CM // at 23:59

Time to be a feral unemployed bike-activist asshole (according to one posting in that bastion of petrol-headed free speech, news:aus.cars). After several years of reading the Critical Mass mailing lists, but not going to any of their rides, I decided to head into the city for the 7th birthday ride. The last times I was there, years ago, I became quite disillusioned that there were a small number of people who were pro-bike, a large number of people who were anti-car, and a medium sized number of people who were just anti-everything. My feelings for CM just keep on oscillating about. Some cyclists hate it, BV seem to hate it, on the other hand, conditions for cyclists are basically what scraps are thrown to them, and are frequently inappropriate. Civil Disobedience may at least raise the point that some people aren't happy...

5:30 meeting time at the State Library, the 6pm start time came and went, the whole assemblage resembling a mighty herd of cats — and about as easy to control. There were normal bikes, decorated bikes, and some highly customised one-off examples of the frame-builders art and fevered imagination... Sometime around 6:15 we headed off, tearing through the city streets at around 7km/hr. Much fun and laughter, no obvious aggression from any motorists, and many smiles and waves from motorists at some of the incredibly decorated bikes. One of the most impressive was a four-person vehicle of two riders and two drummers — the latter riding in a chariot-like contraption behind the riders, and protected by a large canopy.

After an hour of riding that included circling around through the city, splitting the group in two over two different routes, heading down St Kilda road and through parts of South Melbourne, I ended up missing the ride over the Bolte Bridge. I was starting to feel that the group had lost its way and wasn't going to get there, and I had other appointments for later in the evening, so at Flinders street I departed, heading home at a more normal speed. Amusingly enough, as I cycled down Bridge road, all three intersections with “forward bicycle boxes” were unusable due to the motorists parking in them. So much for BV's “pot 'o paint” approach to bicycle facilities.

Apparently the ride did go over the Bolte bridge, if I'd only stayed with them for another half-hour or so.

Later in the evening was a catch-up drinks and dinner with friends I hadn't seen for ages — about 18 months in a couple of cases. A late arrival and too much standing around talking and drinking beer meant that we missed the kitchen closing in the restaurant and Jo and I ended up with growling stomachs and a late supper when we got home around midnight.

## BMW Boxer to drool over // at 23:59

Browsing a few Motorcycle-related bits and pieces I found a BMW Boxer to make me drool. Just the kind of vague ideas I've had of what I might like in a café-racer style of bike.

[http://www.teamincomplete.com/boxerintro.htm]
Team Incomplete's boxer

## Lethal bike paths // at 23:59

The mud is still there this morning; MarkO rang me at work to thank me for warning him about it, apparently when he got to the underpass there were three cyclists crashed in the slime, one with a suspected broken wrist. He has spent half the morning playing telephone tag between City of Buroondara council and Vic Roads, nobody wanting to take ownership of the problem or clean the path. A bit of digging around and I found the council website and their email address (mailto:boroondara@boroondara.vic.gov.au) — I've emailed them and asked them to clean it up.

[http://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/]
Boroondara City council
[http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/]
Yarra City council.

Something must have worked — no response to my email, but riding home this evening there had obviously been a front-end-loader through and it had cleared out all the mud from the underpass — until the next time it rains....

## Rain, and unusable bike paths // at 23:59

Not quite the end of the drought — but it was pissing down all night. There was about half an inch of water in the containers on the balcony, and Gardiners creek was a churning mass of mud, water, and polystyrene run-off from all the surrounding suburbs. My timing was perfect this morning — the ride was humid, but there was no rain. Then half an hour after I arrived, it started pouring again.

... about 12mm according to the weather bureau. It certainly came down in a hurry though, on the ride home Gardiners creek had flood marks nearly two metres above the current water level! Heading down into the underpass at Toorak road a rider coming the other way yelled out and warned me about the mud — a thick, black, slimy, stinking coating of evil black goo, slippery as grease. When will the idiots start to design bike tracks, rather than just squeeze them in along storm-water drains?

## Open letter to idiot // at 23:59

Another day, another homicidal maniac...

Dear Sir,

Just in case you're reading this, the reason that the cyclist smacked your car with an open hand — making that remarkably loud sound — was that as you drove through the give-way sign and straight into his path, he had just had to perform an emergency stop to avoid riding into your drivers door at 40km/hr.

Oh well, he certainly jumped. Now if only he learns from the experience....

## untitled // at 23:59

It certainly wasn't going to hit 33°C today — so much for the forecast. On the other hand, there were no more excuses, it was finally time to perform a vigorous house-cleaning. After a mere half-hour, the carpet was located beneath a thick layer of read, unread, and partially-read newspapers, numerous unwashed and discarded clothes were returned to their respective stores, and a couple of kilos of toast crumbs removed from the kitchen floor...

Uh oh! We've nearly bought a television. After nearly ten years without one, I think the temptation to own a TV is getting to me... a few too many documentaries are looking appealing, and it is getting embarrassing to have DVDs and no way of watching them other than on my (work's) laptop. Dick Smith have a 66cm wide-screen TEAC that seems to be about what we're after — so long as we can find somewhere to put it, without having to rearrange our whole lives around the damn thing.

Speaking of rearranging things; we nearly had the front of the car rearranged by the usual idiot — yes, a P-plater in an Imprezza WRX, screaming past a tram at a tram stop, passengers leapt left and right out of the way, somehow he didn't hit anyone, then slid to a halt in the middle of the intersection, heading straight at us. A big laugh from the driver and his mate, back into gear, and off he goes. Hopefully he'll put it into a large concrete barrier soon and remove himself from the gene pool.

And to think that we actually went out shopping for a CD rack — an object that seems to be missing from every shop we visit. You can find any number of cheap plastic ones that'll hold forty or so disks, or ornate stylish numbers taking up twice the space and holding half as many — but try to find a simple shelf for two hundred or so, not a chance....

Mr Curly, the duck, Vasco Pyjama... Michael Leunig's famous cartoon characters brought to life in a series of short animations. They've been screening in-between TV shows on SBS, tonight at the Astor there was a full length show of some of the 50 short films, an interview and chat with the artist, and a documentary of the making of the animations. His cartoon “Sunset” is one of the defining Leunig items to me — a single panel showing the inside of a room in a house, a man proudly showing his son a magnificent sunset on the television, outside the window the exact same sunset is playing in real life.... Around ten years ago I was camping in a caravan park on the NSW South coast and felt that I was living in that frame — sitting by the fire as the sun went down in magnificent colour over the lakes, not a soul was outside, and every window of every caravan was flickering in time, as they all watched the same news program on television....

## Summer? // at 23:59

Somewhere, someone must have decided that today was summer. The hazy cloud lifted while we were at the markets and it quickly heated up to around 30°C, with nothing much on the agenda for today, it all leant a very lazy summer feeling to the day.

## Mick Thomas meets Dr Suess… // at 23:59

Its either a sure sign of senility, or of hanging around with a two-year-old nephew for too long. Tonight we went off to the HiFi bar to see Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing play, supported by Gorgeous and the Drowners. During the Drowners set, Stewart (Stuart?) from the Sure Thing was standing near Jo and I watching them. The conversation between Jo and I was something along the lines of:

“Isn't that one of the …”

“Yep, Stewart, one of the Sure Thing.”

“So, is he Thing One or Thing Two?”

Half the audience stood around looking like stuffed fish all night long — looked like they would like nothing better than for it to finish so they could go home to bed. Too much effort to be out to a gig on a Friday night. There was one song that caused a bit of confusion, I could have sworn I'd heard it before, yet Mick announced it as a new song — I guess I'll just stay confused.

The encore was “Made of Stone” by the Stone Roses, and odd choice, but one that Mick has sung a few times before. I nearly laughed when I looked around and saw all the old people in the audience singing along, and all the young ones who weren't around in the mid 80's looking puzzled.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Drowners, as well as Mick and the band, so on the way out treated ourselves to a copy of their CD (Far From Home), together with two No Sleep Til Richmond tee-shirts — in anticipation of the Christmas Eve gig at the Corner.

## Naked politicians! // at 23:59

Some idiot of a politician is proposing that Muslim women in Australia should be prevented from wearing traditional garments; due to the possibility of them carrying concealed weapons or explosives — fine, I'll agree with it, so long as it applies equally to all other clothing that could conceal any kind of weapon. I think the first place to enforce it would be in Parliament — “for their own protection from terrorists” — just think how quickly the sittings would take place if all those fat old men had to face each other naked and shouting....

## untitled // at 23:59

A quick jaunt up to the shops before breakfast to get some bread, and — surprisingly — there was only one car illegally parked in the clear-way on Bridge road, and it even had a parking ticket on it. Normally there's at least one car per block!

The cool and drizzly weather has cut down on the number of other people riding in the mornings, and on the number of wandering people-with-dogs on the path. Makes it a pleasant trip heading in to work. On the downside, the evil smells from Gardiners creek are much more apparent!

I never knew that trying such a simple thing as moving mailing lists from my work email address to my private one could be such a hassle — yesterday I thought that I'd done it, today I found that some of the subscribes worked and some of the unsubscribes worked. I'm getting two copies of some stuff, and one (at various places) of the other. I don't think there's anywhere that I've managed to lose a subscription completely….

## untitled // at 23:59

Cool, drizzly morning rain;
Eucalyptus smells along the creek.

[http://mesa3d.sourceforge.net/]
Mesa 3D toolkit has released version 5 of their software.
[http://www.doxpara.com/]
assorted interesting stuff: Black Ops of TCP/IP: Paketto Keiretsu
1. 0

I went through a number of my email mailing lists and changed the subscriptions from my work address to my private one — not that I'm planning on changing jobs anytime soon, it just seemed more appropriate. Along the way I added the hooks into spamassassin on the mail processing on bund, and changed from spambouncer to spamassassin on my home machine. Spambouncer just didn't seem to be staying up-to-date enough.

## untitled // at 23:59

yawn. For some stupid reason I woke up at around 2:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, it wasn't helped by not getting to bed before midnight — so now I have to try and survive Monday without falling asleep on my feet.

Interesting fun and games across the street at breakfast time — as I sat down to coffee and toast I noticed two of Victoria's finest Police officers standing around waiting at the door. Eventually the occupants came out, she in pyjamas, he dressed, and a great arm-waving discussion took place with the girl. Arms were waved, mobile phone calls were made, documents were shaken about. The most interesting part of it was that one of the coppers was quietly having a cigarette the whole time, cupping it out of sight in his hand like a naughty school kid. Unfortunately my camera isn't quite up to surveillance standards, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Now I wonder who was the genius who put the application for a car-park permit on my desk at work? \$50 to battle it out with the students in the blue areas, \$316 for the exclusive staff-only parks… on the other hand I could just stick to riding the bikes and park for free.

… and a quick visit to the doctor has reassured me that the mysterious lump in my left ring-finger is scar tissue on the flexor tendon sheath— probably from vibration or gripping handlebars too hard on the tandem! It should go away in a couple of weeks, I'm to take it easy on the handlebars….

## untitled // at 23:59

Off into the city this afternoon to shop around for Joey's birthday present — I know what I want, I just can't find it! Eventually successful, not only that, but the shop in question had the book on sale! Along the way I checked out the Lego Mindstorms that Dick Smith has — it's getting very tempting as a present to myself! None of the other chain stores had it, so price checking wasn't possible, but I did get to see all the current cool bits of Lego that they do have — like the Bionicle robot thingies. Of course, like every other piece of merchandise these days, they have their own website at www.bionicle.com.

Two new CDs also managed to fall into my hands; Rob Snarski and Dan Luscombe's “There is nothing here that belongs to you” as a present for Jo, and Death in Vegas' “Scorpio Rising” for me. The first one was hard to find, filed under S where I'd been looking under L, the second was a bit of a wild card, without hearing anything other than the single “Hands Around My Throat” I was hoping I'd enjoy it as much as “The Cantino Sessions.”

Viewed from the tram on the way home: a 20-something girly, arms waving wildly around as she was freaking out in Bridge road. The source of her problem — her car bent neatly around the nose of another tram. I guess she didn't see it....

Birthday dinner for Jo with Jo's family — Jack still happily believing that all birthdays are for him, leaping in and blowing out all available candles.

## Thoughts of tandems // at 23:59

The Spiegeltent is back in its box, back home to Belgium for some R&R. That'll teach me to not quite get around to visiting it. Maybe next year...

Hmmm, maybe its time to get serious and compare the KHS Alite and Cannondale MT800 tandems:

 KHS Alite Cannondale MT800 Frame 7005 Cannondale Mountain Tandem Size 20"x16" MS/LS/LM/XS/XM Weight 17.5kg 17.9kg Price \$3300 \$4400 Fork O/s CrMo Unicrown Fatty R 1 1/18 Headset Tioga DX/2 Ahead Cane Creek C-1 Rims Sun Rhyno Lite, 40hole Sun Rhyno Lite, 40hole Front Hub Alloy QR Shimano Tandem Rear Hub XT 145mm Shimano Tandem Tyres KHS 26x1.75" Continental Explorer 26x2.1" Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra Shimano LX Rear Derailleur Shimano XT Shimano XT Shifters Shimano LX Shimano Deore Freewheel Deore 9sp 11-34 Deore 9sp 11-34 Seatpost Front Kalloy SP 267 Cannondale Expert Seatpost Rear Post Moderne Susp. Cannondale suspension Brakes LX V-brake Shimano BR-420 w/XT

So there it all is. As Pegasus Peter has said, there doesn't seem to be much between the two, is the Cannondale frame and name worth an extra 33% on the price?

## untitled // at 23:59

Weird stuff is going on in the Melbourne Critical Mass “community.” Flames, etc appearing on the mailing list, and the sound of personalities clashing in the night....

There has been an interesting discussion on bells and the sounding of same prior to passing pedestrians. The argument for is in the interests of peace and harmony of all human-powered transport, the argument against is that most pedestrians on cyclable paths either know the bikes are there, and so don't need the bells, or don't know the bikes are there, and are such dopey idiots that making a warning noise is not in the best interests of cyclist or pedestrian.

The law requires me to have an “approved sound maker” “affixed to my bicycle.” Is my voice, capable of a large dynamic range, considerable volume, and wide variation, an “approved sound maker?” Is my 85kg mass, attached at seat, pedals and handlebars, better “affixed” than a bell or tweeter held on by a clip or one phillips-head screw? These questions and more can be asked of your local magistrate...

Woo! Bicycle Victoria has redesigned their web-pages. It still amuses me that Bicycle Victoria has a “.com” domain while Bicycle NSW has a “.org” registration — and it seems to reflect their focus as commercial ride organisers rather than bicycle activism. Oh well, it looks like I'm out of luck with respect to the bells, below is a direct quote from Bicycle Victoria.

Bells are of little use in alerting people in motor vehicles but can help alert people who are about to step onto the roadway.

The rules

Traffic regulations require a rider to have a bell fitted. The penalty for riding a bicycle without a bell is \$50. The penalty refers specifically to a bell. The old definition of an audible warning device no longer applies - so you can't argue that your voice meets the regulations.

I wonder how the law regards air-horns, since they obviously aren't “bells?” Strangely enough, the requirements don't apply to tandems or other non-standard bicycles!

It's too nice a day, I should be outside riding my bike.

[http://www.criticalmass.org.au/]
[http://www.criticalmass.org.au/stkilda]
[http://www.urbanbicyclist.org/]
[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bicyclesexcepted/]
Bicycles Excepted.

In keeping with the day's bicycle orientation, I went and attended Bicycle Victoria's Annual General Meeting this evening — something I've never done in the past. I have my own views on BV, and of how they've changed over the years, and of what their focus is these days, after five years as a member I thought I'd see what the AGM was like.

A few observations from the meeting:

• Out of a membership of around 30,000, approximately 50 people attended the AGM.
• The motto “*More People Cycling More Often*” might well be amended to “More People Cycling More Often — so long as we can make money off the events they're cycling in.”
• The crisis in public-liability insurance is causing much consternation, both to BV and to the related BUGs.
• Owing to “commercial sensitivity,” the majority of BV's financial information is not available to its members — whether there is a real or imagined threat to their income is not known, but it only serves to hi-light any suspicions that members have.
• The statements “*All organised rides were financially successful*” and “*Easter-bike is no longer held since it is not financially viable*” seem a little circular. It appears that the money is more important than getting “more people cycling” in this instance, and that the one main family-oriented event cannot be cross-subsidised by other events.
• The closing of BV's office the day before an important special meeting was explained as incompetence, rather than malice or any sinister motive to rail-road through changes to the constitution at that meeting.
• The councillors, old and new, seemed to be predominantly business people, or “recent new cyclists.” It appears that once you are a regular cyclist, you are no longer the primary focus of Bicycle Victoria. This seems to be reinforced by their emphasis on off-road paths and recreational facilities.

## untitled // at 23:59

The old and the new — restoration of St Paul's cathedral and the newly opened Federation square.

I'd been wanting to take a look around the square, I like the design, the architecture. I also like the fact that it inspires people enough to detest it and write scathing letters to editors, rather than just being blandly uniform.

There was a fashion shoot going on in the main atrium, and we didn't get there until 4:00pm, but even so there was plenty of time to look around the galleries and open spaces. It should be even better when access to the river, and Birrarung Marr is opened up.

None of the cafés are open yet, so over the river to Southbank for a snack, then off to see a movie. Ten Vietnamese spring rolls were ordered, ten appeared on a plate, both Jo and I swear that we'd eaten five each, yet one remained.... The only possible explanation is that aliens had teleported an eleventh spring roll onto the plate.

Being good, civic-minded citizens, we attempted to purchase train tickets for the trip from Flinders Street to South Yarra — machine number one took our money and issued tickets, but machine number two refused to take our tickets and validate them. I guess we just put them in our wallets for later....

There hasn't been much on at the cinemas recently that has inspired either Jo or I to go out, but in order to use up my free Palace pass, we headed over to Como to see Time Out. Very, er, “French,” or “arthouse,” or whatever else you'd use to describe a movie that was intriguing, but seemed to drag on interminably. The last scene was a surprise, after what I thought was the end, a particularly black ending, there was a final scene that all too neatly tidied things up — almost as if some test audiences hadn't liked the original ending.

## Mindless parking // at 23:59

Flat battery? Need a mate to start your car? Where do you think you should park. No worries — park right across the middle of the bike path, she'll be right!

Just another of the myriad uses that bicycle paths seem to have in the public mind...

In case its not quite obvious what the content of the photo is, I was sitting at my least favorite set of lights waiting to cross Malvern road to continue up the bike track. The car on the opposite side has driven onto the bike track and parked, bonnet up, to jump start the broken down station wagon parked in the middle of the lawn.

## untitled // at 23:59

After four days on the tandem, riding my own bike this morning was a bit surprising. It felt so light and manoeuvrable! I realized as well how much my seat has slipped down over the last couple of weeks, put that back up to normal height, hopped on and nearly swerved into the kerb in our street — the steering seemed that twitchy! The tandem must have helped the fitness though, the ride along the Boulevard was a lot quicker than it usually is!

Traveling home, today's “Idiot of the Day” award goes to the rider of the orange 100cc Honda motorbike, registration `ZO-097`. Passes me on the road, then turns left onto the bicycle track, sped off along the track and over the pedestrian/cyclist bridge over Warrigal road, before disappearing up behind the houses along the cycle track towards Chadstone.

## Myrtleford to Milawa // at 23:59

Today: 37km
Total: 192km

Myrtleford: 146° 43’ 39.1” E, 36° 33’ 35.8” S
Milawa: 146° 25’ 53.4” E, 36° 26’ 45.4” S

## Beechworth to Myrtleford // at 23:59

Today: 62km
Total: 154km

Beechworth: 146° 41’ 10.7” E, 36° 21’ 41.4” S
Myrtleford: 146° 43’ 39.1” E, 36° 33’ 35.8” S

## Rutherglen to Beechworth // at 23:59

Today: 52km
Total: 92km

Rutherglen: 146° 28’ 0.5” E, 36° 3’ 0.1” S
Beechworth: 146° 41’ 10.7” E, 36° 21’ 41.4” S

## Wangaratta to Rutherglen // at 23:59

Today: 40km
Total: 40km

Wangaratta: 146° 19’ 34.4” E, 26° 21’ 19.4” S
Rutherglen: 146° 28’ 0.5” E, 36° 3’ 0.1” S

## Stupidity prize? // at 23:59

Are there prizes for bizarre motorist behavior? Is the warmer weather affecting their minds? Just how many people believe that only other drivers need to obey law regarding mobile phones and driving? Sadly, I don't think I'll ever know the answers to these questions, but after managing to make it to work on the roads with them this week, I'm getting more amazed by the day.

... there must be some way that I can hook up the USB webcam to the laptop and get some “commute-cam” footage....

I don't know whether this should make me feel better or worse. Yobs don't just abuse cyclists from their cars, they're quite happy to scream at pedestrians as well... “Get a f#\$%ken haircut C#@T,” rang out loud and clear from the occupants of the white Ford XD wagon, rego. `PDF-374` as I walked along Beach road in Brighton, on my way to pick up the tandem for the weekend.

## untitled // at 23:59

`Wyvern` is operational again. After spending far too long getting eye strain from reading the 5pt printing in the green guide of today's paper, I discovered that the computer shop on campus has power supplies for much the same price — \$60 and a ten minute at lunch time was much easier than running half-way around town to save a whole ten dollars! I did end up with a supply that can support a P4, should I get around to upgrading the box — and the Abit IT7-RAID motherboard is looking kinda nice....

... and after seeing yet another mention of the CODA file system on one of my mailing lists, I tried to install the coda client on my laptop: Simply run the installer, pick `C:\win32\cygwin`, restart the machine, run a shell and start the services:

```\$ net start coda

The coda service was started successfully.

ajft@NBK-9978 ~
\$ net start venus
The venus service is starting.
The venus service could not be started.

A system error has occurred.

System error 1067 has occurred.

The process terminated unexpectedly.
```

It was even more interesting when I then tried to stop the coda service... instant blue screen.

All part of the grand scheme for one decent, replicated, file store of everything I have!

## Cooked it! // at 23:59

I removed `wyvern`'s power-supply this morning and had a look inside — no wonder it isn't working too well — the circuit board is blackened and warped, and it looks as though half the components have been cooked. Definitely time for a new one!

## untitled // at 23:59

I've now recovered from whatever tried to kill me, but Joey had to leave work early and is now in bed with the same thing. At least we both didn't get it at exactly the same time!

To make life even more miserable, I had a rather desperate call from a distressed friend to come and pick him up from work this afternoon. Seems that a friend and colleague of his has been arrested for something remarkably stupid and could be in big trouble — It's happened, but I'm not writing about it.

## untitled // at 23:59

Uh oh! Four in the morning and I woke up with mysterious rumblings in the stomach. A mad dash to the bathroom and I spent the next twelve hours being violently ill, or collapsed in bed! Probably not food poisoning, so I guess it must be whatever has been killing off my work colleagues for the last few weeks.

## untitled // at 23:59

A morning at the markets, an afternoon shopping for unmentionable material in relation to 2003-Apr-12. Along the way I dropped in at Christies, ostensibly to look for cycling shoes, in reality to ponder the tandems — that matt black MT800 is sure looking tempting...

A more prosaic form of transport was employed get around the back yard while MarkO was cooking the barbecue for dinner. His pride and joy, an old Cyclops scooter destined for the dumpster before he rescued it paid good money for new tubes. I can remember having one of these back in about 1973...

Despite the best attempts of the weather to rain on us, we managed to have a successful first barbecue of the summer, probably one of many.

?huh?

## Welcome to america // at 23:59

Just a little too much excitement at Monash this morning...

Two dead, eight injured in Monash Uni shooting

Helicopters buzzing overhead for two hours or more, all the phones stopped working as everyone tried to call in or out for news. The mobile networks couldn't cope either, probably because every student seems to have a mobile phone.

Still feeling a little stiff and sore from yesterday's exhertions. Walking down stairs wasn't too hard, I'm guessing that it was neither the easiest or hardest of my three “round the bay's.”

## Sun, 20 Oct 2002

Four fifteen a.m. is a completely ridiculous time to be getting out of bed. I hadn't really slept since about 1am, neighbours seemed to be coming home steadily between two and three, a cat was yowling outside the window the whole time, and then the birds started chirping around 3:45... I think I'll stick to more sociable bike-riding hours in the future.

Once outside and on my way I yawned my way down to St Kilda, catching up with another rider in Church Street who then kept me company down Chappel street — with vastly reduced traffic from it's Friday/Saturday night jams. A few cars passed carrying bikes on racks or the roof, then as we got nearer to Fitzroy street the density increased, bikes and riders were everywhere, mixing it with the departing clientel of the bars and clubs.

With near-perfect timing I reached the start at 5am, in time to see the first bunches ride off. There didn't seem to be much point in milling around in the darkness, especially since I hadn't arranged to meet anyone, so at 5:05 I was heading off down Beach road, yawning continuously.

The ride down was in large bunches, I seemed to spend most of my time surrounded by a team from Alcoa and a very large group wearing shirts advertising Dean Woods. As usual there was every mix of bike and rider and rider skills possible. Three tandems, a couple of full suspension mountain bikes, even a guy with a toddler in a baby seat. The majority of people were on road bikes, and most of these seemed fairly up-market versions. Arrived at Sorrento at ten past eight, plenty of time to gather lunch — ridiculous time for lunch — and get onto the eight thiry ferry.

Queenscliffe to Geelong has never been a ride that I've enjoyed. Usually I've ridden too hard for the first half, then stiffened up in the ferry crossing, and then can't seem to find a reasonable group to ride with. Today it was all these plus strong head-winds and a dash of rain.

Luckily, after Geelong we turned so that the wind was at least partially behind us, I found myself in a group of about ten heading up the road towards Lara at around 38km/hr! By around this stage I was starting to get a little tired of the “you must be doing it hard on a mountain bike” comments.

After falling off the back of their group I was mostly by myself on the roads towards Altona, unfortunately being shadowed by a wildly erratic guy on a Peugeot. His jerky pedalling and strange half-overtaking maneuvers from the left were quite disconcerting. Topping this off was the quick release wheels fastened incorrectly, the release levers tightened up like big wing nuts. Unfortunately I couldn't drop him and he wouldn't take the lead, just sat somewhere behind me, drifting in and out of view on one side or the other.

It was a good feeling to be crossing the Westgate bridge, coasting down for the last couple of kilometres back to St Kilda. Not an easy ride though, by this time the wind had picked up across the bay and was buffetting us about. Finally got back to Catani gardens at 13:55 after about seven hours forty minutes on the bike!

233.3 km, 8hr 32m, 27.3km/hr average speed (once I'd ridden home). Not a bad effort for the day!

The rest of the afternoon was spent dozing on the couch, listening to the noises of protestation from feet and ankles, legs, knees, bum, back and shoulders. Then early to bed!

Tags: ,

## untitled // at 23:59

A Saturday to myself since Joey had to go off with her mother on secret Joey business.... Highly successful secret Joey business, since with the minimum of fuss they found and bought a wedding dress!

I did much more interesting things — like fruit and vegetable shopping at the markets, and visiting the bicycle trade exhibition at the Carlton Gardens.

Actually, the bicycle exhibition wasn't very interesting — it might have been due to the fact that I'm not after a BMX bike or downhill MTB, since that's what seemed to take up the majority of the stalls. Lots of boutique imported racing frames, and a number of very cheap looking Chinese toy/bicycle stands. Nothing much about touring, and only one very pricey tandem — AU\$5000 for a Trek that didn't look like it had very speccy gear on it. Just keep looking I guess...

## Bingo! // at 23:59

Bizarre things that I should have taken a photo of: A Bingo board sitting at the side of the road in a park, looking just like it had come straight from a 1950's bingo parlour.

## untitled // at 23:59

...last night's lesson is: three pints Guiness good, four pints Guiness bad. I shall try to remember this lesson for the future.

A very slow day — surely by this time in my life I should know better!

Out to dinner at Flor in Carlton. We both got a surprise walking in the door, from the review in the paper I thought it was more of a restaurant — turns out to be quite small, and predominately a wine-bar. An impressive wine list with entries from all over Europe and Australia, and enough variety in what was available by the glass. Chicken and Leek pie was very tasty, followed by Orange and Pecan pie, coffee and a liqueur. I was in an experimental mood so tried some of their grappa — contrary to previous advice I had received, grappa is not an Italian word for petrol, it was quite tasty and went very well with desert and coffee.

## Three pints good, four pints…? // at 23:59

Happy birthday to me...

This evening a celebratory Guiness seemed in order, so Evan and I headed up to the Terminus for one ... or two ... or even more. While there we were talked into participating in the weekly Bingo games — hilarious fun, with the couple running it knowing all the traditional wise-cracks for each number, along with a whole section of Melbourne-specific ones regarding footballers and trams. I foolishly tried to play sixteen games at once, frantically scribbling from one end of the table to the other. Evan took a more relaxed approach with only four games — a much better choice since he then won the first round, becoming the proud owner of a jug of beer. Not wishing to mix free beer with Guiness, the jug was donated to a party of young girls at the bar. Deeply suspicious of a no-strings-attached donation, the girls bought me a fourth pint. This proved my undoing...

## untitled // at 23:59

Wow, what a shed! I'd heard about the shed, Kathy had talked about the size of the shed, but it didn't really sink in until we drove out there and saw it. Kathy and Cec appear to have an aircraft hanger in their paddock! I guess when you need to ride and exercise your horses all year round, a really big shed just might be what you want.

...and then the long drive home to Melbourne....

Dead quiet out on the highway, we left too early for the truck traffic, and being monday afternoon after the school holidays, there was no private traffic either.

Paused in Holbrook to wander around and look at HMAS Otway — 400km from the nearest ocean, I'll let you look up the story yourself! Even out here we couldn't escape the World Master's Games — a bus load of eastern-european guys from one of the teams was busy taking photos as well.

## untitled // at 23:59

Spent the day visiting my newest nieces. Too lazy to take a photo of them, appologies to anyone who wanted one. Casey has a curl, Zoe doesn't — other than that, I can neither tell them apart from each other, or from any of the other three-month old babies that I've seen. Two at a time certainly are a handful, but they all seem to be coping.

In the background for the whole afternoon was the Bathurst races — I can remember when I used to be interested in it, when it had a variety of production cars that bore at least some resemblence to what was on the roads. This year it was fifty percent Falcadores and fifty percent Commofords — the only interest was when rabid plastic bags kept blowing across the track and blocking air intakes, causing cars to overheat and expire.

Next year's NSW Bike Ride will be staying in Bungendore and then Yass, so we were curious what route it might take. If it uses the Yass River Road, which is likely, knowing the organizers' pathological fear of main roads, then we'll be riding straight past Liz and Colin's house! The night before, we'll probably be camping at Bungendore showground — just over the road from mum and dad!

## Sat, 12 Oct 2002

We made like tourists and got lost driving towards the Floriade in Canberra — followed the signs through the city, along Constitution avenue to the lake, off towards the east, down under Constitution avenue, then missed the carpark turnoff and ended up heading back towards the city! Ended up driving around and parking near the pool, where I tend to head automatically, since that's where the bike path would take me!

Floriade is the same as always, a great place to stroll around and gaze at the colours and the work that must have gone into it. Not such a great place to get anything to eat though! Ridiculous prices and lousy food, we walked back into town for a late lunch.

On the way out of Commonwealth Park I took pity on a poor Canberra Uni student who was conducting surveys and offered to answer his questions. We managed to find one question where none of the available multiple-choices were appropriate, and generally shot down all the others, since they whole survey seemed based on the premise that we had come to Canberra solely to see the Floriade.

## An affordable tandem? // at 23:59

Hmmm, very tempting! A second hand MT3000 for just over the price of a new MT800! I wonder how much shipping from the US is?

FOR SALE 09/12/02: Cannondale MT3000, Team Race Yellow, 1999 with less than 60 miles on it, wife don't like it, been in storage for 2 years, never seen water, looks better than show room condition, this was the best tandem that Cannondale made that year, it has all the top components, XTR's, Magura Hydraulic Brakes, Triple Clamp Cannondale front Suspension, rear seat post suspension, size Large/Medium(19"/16"), awesome bike, a steal at US\$2,500.00 O.B.O. You will not be disappointed. Check it out at this site for a pic and more info on it, http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/99/model-9mt3.html.

Mike
Home Phone: 269-435-4010
Work Phone: 269-580-2676
MikeJitjaeng@aol.com

Hurried home after work so that we could leap in Jo's car and try to get out of town ahead of the rush. Luck must have been on my side because we managed to leave by 5:15, and were out on the Hume by about 6pm. From there it was just the usual long and boring drive for six and a half hours — up the freeway through Victoria to Albury, country highway to Holbrook, then Tarcutta, skirt around Gundagi, on to Yass, then the Barton Highway to Murrumbatemen and a twisty country back-road at midnight from there to Bungendore.

## Smokers are an odd lot // at 23:59

The bizarre quote of the day would have to be the one I just found in today's Herald Sun newspaper. In reference to a proposal to further restrict smoking in public places, and introduce “Public Substance Inhalation Rooms;” one smoker is quoted as saying:

“If I smoke I want to do it outside in the fresh air...”

Personally, I don't mind where people smoke, so long as they:

1. Don't exhale
2. Remove all ash, cigarette butts and rubbish
3. Don't stick the hot end into my clothes

Judging by the sea of butts that surrounds every restaurant door in Melbourne, it appears as if the average smoker is the filthy pig that has always been presumed, and that they don't consider cigarette butts to be litter.

## untitled // at 23:59

Off for the week's bike riding in a vague hope of maintaining some fitness before Around the Bay in a Day. It was such a calm, still morning that I hurried off down around the bay to Frankston and back, deciding to climb Oliver's Hill for a little extra exercise. As usual, some petrol-head in a rusty old bomb tried to run me off the road in Frankston, but that's Frankston — it happens every time. On the way home the breeze picked up, and by the time I reached St Kilda it was blowing hard enough to be causing considerable distress to some of the riders out on the road for the afternoon.

In desperate need of food I called in for a large (and suspiciously healthy-looking) apple crumble in Albert Park, then headed home for a much-needed beer or two. The beers were in the Dover Hotel, since Joey pointed out that she's never been in there, they have a pin-ball machine that looks like her favourite one, and they have a new beer garden that needs investigation.

A quick browse through the papers in the evenings to try and find a decent movie — nothing seemed to grab our attention — then we found it. The Great Escape, at the Astor. A magnificent piece of entertainment, and one that just has to be seen on a big screen for full enjoyment. James Coburn as an aussie was a bit bizarre, I didn't realise until right near the end when he told someone that he was Australian, that that's what he was meant to be!

## Water water // at 23:59

Rain all day... apparently October is Melbourne's wettest month. Half of Victoria has had a drought for the last three years, the dams are 52% full, and still there's no water restrictions for anyone in the city. “Yah just turn on the tap and the water comes out.” Maybe one day the government will have the guts to introduce the water restrictions...

## untitled // at 23:59

One more tiny step on my way with Plan9... Today I managed to upgrade the T21 from the CD, maybe I'll be able to compile a kernel that can use the embedded 3com network card and not lock-up the machine.

```9660srv
mount /srv/9660 /n/dist /dev/sdD0/data
replica/pull -v /dist/replica/cd
```

Flicking through the Green Guide section of The Age I was happy to see that the feature on digital cameras pretty much agreed with me, the Digital IXUS was the camera of choice in that range. The other interesting device was a stand-alone hard drive that I saw in an advertisment, 20 or 30Gig in a device about the size of a paper-back book. Has a card-reader slot and doesn't need to be attached to a computer — when your camera's memory card fills up, plug it into the drive and it automatically down-loads all the images. [http://www.powerinnumbers.com.au/]

## Ride to work day // at 23:59

A little detour on the ride to work this morning — I headed into the city for Bicycle Victoria's annual “Ride to Work” day and free breakfast. Everything there was all sweetness and light, in some contrast to the ride to get there!

One car parked in the clearway/bike lane on Bridge Road. Seven cars and a tow-truck stopped in the bike lanes at traffic lights. Two out of four “forward bike boxes” at the lights had cars parked in them. One taxi double-parked and disgorging passengers out both sides, and a motorist who attempted the “overtake and then turn left” manoeuvre. Heading to Monash afterwards I'd have to add the solid mass of vehicles blocking “Swanston Walk,” the couriers' vans parked in the St Kilda road bike lane, and the woman who reversed out of her driveway without looking, and then drove past too close for comfort while yabbering into her mobile phone.

Oh well, at least BV will have their camera footage, parliament will see that there are a few bikes around — at least for today — and I managed to get my drivers license number engraved in my bike frame. Its supposed to aid recovery in the event of theft; I think I'd much rather prevent the theft in the first place since the proportion of stolen bikes that is recovered is very low.

Tags: ,

## Amanuncle // at 23:59

Woohoo, I'm an uncle. Weird that I was congratulated, its not as if I've acutally done anything! Jo's sister has had one of those “two o'clock in the morning” babies. I can remember when I was at primary school everyone used to think it was really cool that they'd been born at strange times — I was boring, born somewhere around three in the afternoon.

Evening found me round at the hospital visiting Kath and for the first time in my life holding a very small new-born baby. Young William is much quieter than his two and a half year-old brother Jack...much lighter too!

## Great CTC customer service // at 23:59

Wow, impressive response to a usenet posting! In a discussion of UK cycle routes and Sustrans routes I made the comment that when searching I hadn't been able to find any information about them, and then when I looked on the CTC's website it was rather “hostile,” and that when I sent email enquiries I had never receieved a response... today I find an email from the Director of the CTC asking for feedback on how I believe they can improve their service — I can think of a few other organizations that could do with that level of customer care!

## Gariwerd / The Grampians // at 23:59

A clearer day today, still not picture-postcard weather, but more conducive to tourism than yesterday! Over a home-cooked breakfast of bacon and corn-fritters we examined the maps, and decided to head to the northern reaches of the Grampians, possibly re-visiting some of the lookouts if the weather was clear.

First stop after leaving Pomonal was the tunnel — one end of a 2.5km long tunnel that brings water through the ridge from Lake Bellfield on its way to Stawell. The water was originally carried in wood or steel flumes, now in a pipe underground. This wallaby sat quite unconcerned and watched as we looked around, possibly because we were in the gully and down low, it didn't feel threatened.

Back down the road to Halls Gap, a few jokes along the way about nobody believing us since it was obviously not possible that we were able to drive out to the tunnel on the dirt road since we didn't have a 4WD. Along the way we passed two older women on touring bikes, full panniers on, also heading into Halls Gap. It looks like a great place to either tour to, or to ride to and camp, going out on bush walks.

Today at Reeds Lookout the sky was almost clear, panoramic views for miles to the south, and chaos in the carpark with cars, busses and camper-vans packed side-by-side, not helped by the idiots who had parked on both sides of the access road leading in. I'd hate to be here in the summer — it must become almost impassable. The Balconies looked just like the postcards, against a grey sky rather than blue, and the track out onto them is closed off, no more standing in the jaws for a photo for the friends — either too much erosion or too many tourists were plummetting into the forest below...

Eventually we managed to extricate the car and get out onto the road before heading off for McKenzie falls...

Spelling seems to be a matter of opinion around here; possible variations have been Reed and Reid's lookout, Zumstein and Zumsteins, and McKenzie and MacKenzie falls. Most of these seem to have optional apostrophes, depending on which brochure, map or road sign you happen to be looking at at the time. A guy in the kiosk at McKenzie falls claimed that it was because of the confusion between the National Parks and the local authorities, but on the wall behind him were two hand-written signs, in the same hand writing, offering both spellings of McKenzie!

McKenzie falls is one of the more popular tourist destinations and it shows. Large car parks, already full, with people spilling over into other roads and parking in driveways. There's a kiosk and icecream stand, picnic tables and toilets. One family arrived with their dogs in tow, despite all of the Grampians being a National Park, where pets are forbidden — they were persuaded to put the dogs back into the car for the duration of their stay. Even the walking tracks have had to be concreted in order to minimize the erosion from the tramping of thousands of visitors...

I wonder how much longer the park can be free access, or accessible to private cars, there surely must come a time when the vehicle traffic makes it necessary to put restrictions on getting there — maybe an hourly shuttle bus around the sights is needed...

Since most of the other people were heading directly from the carpark to McKenzie falls, we decided to turn left and visit Broken falls, smaller but nearer. A good decision, when we got there we had the lookout to ourselves.

Off along the main path to the main falls, we could tell we were on the right track by the sheer number of people — not that there's any chance of getting lost on a concrete path through the bush! The last few hundred metres are down a very steep, very narrow staircase, there's only room for one person at a time, so people heading in opposite directions have to stop on the landings to pass. Down at the base of the falls it was crowded, 30 or more people walking around, clambering over the rocks, or just sitting drinking coffees and smoking. These last group seemed unaware of the need to not litter, and were quite happy to drop plastic cups and cigarette butts anywhere they happened to be — I grabbed about three cups on the walk back to the kiosk.

Who should we meet on the climb back up than Mr Noisy from <tstamp date="2002-09-28"yesterday</tstamp>, only this time he was sitting very quietly on a bench, looking quite red in the face, and not saying a word.

With impeccable timing we got back to the car just as the rain started again, and headed off past Zumstein (or Zumsteins or Zumstein's) to Mt Zero and Hollow Mountain. One of the postcards that I picked up on Friday has a picture of three kangaroos on a grassy paddock and is labelled “Zumsteins;” presumably that is the name of the area, but Jo and I were laughing all weekend at the thought of overseas tourists seeing a photo of three furry animals and assuming that these were named “Zumsteins.” All afternoon we kept pointing to the Zumsteins in the paddocks.

At least we were now into a less popular area of the park, only a few vehicles passed us on the roads. Just before the Mt. Zero carpark a trio of emus wandered across the road in front of the park, adding to the feeling of remoteness.

There are two walks marked, the first is past a disused quarry and on to one of the Koori cave painting areas that is open to the public. No pictures of the cave paintings — a vague feeling that maybe the owners might not like it, combined with the ugliness of the steel cage protecting the rock from the visitors deterred me. Reddish-brown child-sized ochre hand prints and emu tracks covered the overhanging roof. On the way out there a rustling in the bushes to the side of the path attracted our attention, carefully peering through the bush revealed this echidna desperately trying to hide itself from our prying eyes. We checked on the way back, but it had retreated to parts unknown.

The major walk was then up to the top of Hollow Mountain, first through the bush and wild-flowers, then up and around the mountain. The path is clearly marked with small orange-red arrows painted on the rocks, but is a bit of a scramble in places — and definitely not for those afraid of heights!

Spectacular views and icy winds greeted us once we reached the more open ground at the top, the higher slopes also had a group of ten or so rock climbers busily practicing their technique on some of the overhangs. What amazed me more were the number of family groups climbing up their with very young children, a couple of babies in carry pouches and a few four to six year-olds!

After a while on the summit the chill wind and hunger started to outweigh the magnificent views, so it was time to head back. Scrambling back down we passed even more groups on their way up, then waded through the wild-flowers back to the car, cursing ourselves for not bringing any lunch!

Unfortunately it was time to start heading home, just as the weather seemed to be clearing up and we were getting into the spirit of the walking. Out to the highway with the intention of stopping in Ararat for a late lunch — last night's visit to Stawall hadn't inspired us to try there for lunch. Of course no highway trip in Australia would be complete without a sighting of one of the “Big things, so as we passed through Dadswell Bridge we had to laugh at the giant concrete ugliness of a three-storey Koala that leers down at passing traffic and attempts to attract passing tourists.

Lunch was a magnificent stroke of luck. We parked at random in the main street of Ararat, then looked across the road to see “Café Kerry” beckoning. Nearly empty, and just starting to pack up for the day, but Kerry had a magnificent home-made beef, vegetable and red-wine pie, and equally delicious sausage roll/meat-loaf to serve us.

From Ararat onwards it was just a case of driving back down the highway to Melbourne, the only excitement being the speeding South Australian motorists who seemed determined to run us off the road from behind. We nearly suffered the embarrassing fate of running out of petrol between Ballarat and Melbourne, partially due to not really knowing how much fuel Jo's car uses, and mostly due to the idiot road signs that direct you off the freeway into small towns for fuel — and don't point out that some of these petrol stations shut at sundown, and some have shut months ago! Eventually we ended up back on the freeway, heading back towards Ballarat, just to get enough fuel to get us home! The car's handbook isn't very helpful either, with the message “when the low-fuel light flashes, you are about to run out” — we later calculate that there was 6 litres left and we could probably have driven all the way to Melbourne with the stupid light flashing at us!

## Rainy Day in Gariwerd // at 23:59

A toss-up this morning between the Black Panther and the Emu Café for breakfast — the Emu won with the salmon savoury eggs on the menu.

Bad choice — no salmon! Bacon and Eggs instead, which came served on an icy-cold plate, together with bad watery coffee and a stuff-up with the bill. (This was the second time this month I've tried for salmon and eggs for breakfast, and the second time that it's not been available — I'm starting to suspect a conspiracy)

Down the road to the tourist centre for a look at the maps and national parks exhibits — trying to work out what to do today, then a visit to the Brambuk Cultural Centre for a Koori perspective on the area. The Brambuk building is magnificent, built of sandstone, timber and iron-sheeting on a plan of five interlinked circles, and with a wavy, circular roof reminiscent of a turtle's shell, or low hills. I just wish that the local council would insist on more buildings like this that fit in with their environment, and a lot fewer of the motels and gift shops that they've allowed. In the grounds between the two buildings there's a garden of local plants, together with a few pieces of sculpture, including this one by Chris Booth, the description I've found states that it was influenced by the crest of the cockatoo — a local totem animal, I thought it reminded me of the head and neck of one of the mythological giant emus depicted in the stories inside the building.

We spent the rest of the afternoon dodging rain showers, with varying levels of success, driving between lookout points in the park and walking to visit lookouts and waterfalls. Silverbud falls, interesting in that the water just vanishes into the ground at the base, its all just loosely packed rock. Even right at its base the ground is dry, and quite solid-feeling rock. An annoyingly loud party of three tourists followed us in there, although only the male of the party seemed to be making all the noise, either talking loudly or whistling through the forest.

From Silverbud we drove up to Sundial carpark, there are at least two walks leading off form here, we chose to walk to Lakeview Lookout, since Mr Noisy had just arrived and was heading off down the other path. Unfortunately they must have turned around, shortly afterwards we could hear him shouting through the bush, chasing away the Eastern Spinebill that was sitting 1m from me as I tried to photograph it. Windy and damp out at Lakeview lookout, the view was still impressive, it must be fantastic up there on a clear, sunny day. We could see right across the valley to Lake Bellfield — mostly empty while they attempt to fix leaks in the dam wall — and the eastern ridge including Mount ???. Tiny white dots below us in the valley as the flocks of Corellas flew about. On the way back we were literally wading through the wild-flowers along the track, without intending it, we've arrived here at almost the peak of the spring wild-flower season. Retracing our steps we then attempted to reach the Pinnacle, one of the more famous lookouts, and got to within a few hundred metres before the rain hit. We had just passed this impressive mushroom of a rock formation when the grey clouds turned to mist and then to rain. Up on the exposed hill tops, me with no waterproof clothing, Jo folded up into a ball and sat under her umbrella. I retreated to the rock formation and sheltered under an overhang, admiring the view and hoping for the rain to ease off.

After quarter of an hour or more it lessened up enough for us to head back, hungry and a little too damp to head out to the Pinnacle, we'll have to make do with the postcards taken on the sunny days! Back in the car and up to Reed's lookout (or Reeds or Reid's, depending on the map). By now the outside temperature was down to 4.5°C and the cold misty rain made it quite an effort to get out of the car. As it was, once out of the car, all we could see were the 15 shivering asian tourists, taking photographs of each other in various combinations against a backdrop that might include spectacular views on a good day...

Enough tourism for the day, back to Halls Gap for a late lunch, hot soup and a glass of red, arriving just in time to see the last quarter of the AFL grand final on the television. The flickering images proved too addictive, so we had to wait and watch as Collingwood lost to the Brisbane Lions — no big loss, neither team means that much to me!

Our accomodation was at “Walsh's on Wildflower,” a B&B at Pomonal, 10km or so out of Halls Gap. True to their name, there are wildflowers everywhere, a large native garden and magnificent views of the easternmost range of the Grampians.

For something a little less tourist-oriented we drove into Stawell for dinner at the pub. The rest of Stawell seemed deserted, but inside the pub it was lively and warm. This decision worked out well, the Town Hall Hotel was laid-back, full, and served excellent steaks. Strangely, they seemed to refer on their menu to a website for the pub at http://www.townhallhotel.com.au/, I laughed and commented at the time that there were probably quite a few hotels of that name in the country. Checking up on this two days later shows that the website is of a pub somewhere in Sydney — I must have remembered it incorrectly, or they forgot to re-register their domain.

## Off to Gariwerd // at 23:59

Friday, holiday.

Listening to the new Death In Vegas track, “Hands around my Throat” on the radio, something in it keeps reminding me of “Fade to Gray” by Visage. Its bugging me, I'm going to have to try and dig up a copy and compare them.

Breakfast has been dealt with, its time to start packing, we're off to the Grampians for the weekend. Maybe I'll even manage to finish off the roll of APS film that's been sitting in my camera since last year!

Yay, a holiday. Time to mentally unwind and get away from things for a while — regrettably during the school holidays, because neither Jo nor I thought to check this before booking the time away!

Breakfast was easy, packing less so — I muddled around at home for a while unable to work out what I wanted — and ended up forgetting my rain coat and losing my sunglasses. Off into the glare with an old pair of cheapies that I'd bought a couple of years ago digging into my ears.

Snuck around Ballarat on the freeway and continued on to Beaufort for lunch, I remembered the café from the last Deadly Treadly Ride.

Back in the car and on to, and then through, Ararat, marvelling at all the old pubs and 19th century buildings. Our first “holiday stop” being at Pinky Point, to find out why there was a monument at the side of the road. It was one of the first gold finds in the area, and a tiny park has been created on the corner of the main road and “Better Route Road.” We never did find out why it was a better route, although ten minutes later we drove through the intersection where the other end rejoined.

The rest of the way to Moyston and then Pomonal it grew gradually darker, the clouds thicker and more ominous, and by the time we reached Pomonal it was raining heavily. Of course it hadn't occurred to me to bring my rain jacket, I guess I'm getting too used to lazy weekends around the house.

Halls Gap seems a strange place, the town is all strung out along the one road, there's no real “town center,” just one long line of tourist-oriented souvenir and fast-food shops and a board-walk of more gift shops and cafés. As with everywhere else in the country, the gift shops stock 50% local souvenirs and 50% uniformly crappy non-specific Australiana. School holidays hit us with a vengance in the town, every carpark was packed, and everywhere we looked there were families with kids; camping, walking, shopping and shouting.

Late lunch at the Black Panther café, or maybe it was lunch part-two, and then checkin time at the Kookaburra Motel. Our luck was in, despite being a typically non-descript motel with no charm, at least it was off the main road and reasonably clean — and the view from the rooms was spectacular. Kangaroos and cattle grazing together with a few deer, the paddock started at our back door and extended straight across the valley floor to the mountains.

To try and get some circulation back in our legs we walked off down the road into the drizzle, then south along the walking track that parallelled the road. With the drizzle and gloom of late afternoon there were kangaroos everywhere, coming out of the forest to graze on the open lawns and fields. We looped across the creek and back onto the steeper, eastern side, heading back through thicker woods and gradually increasing rain. The path was heavy goind in places, recent storms have brough down a lot of trees, and there's fallen timber everywhere. Along the way a Black Swamp Wallaby leapt out from almost underfoot, but shot off into the bracken and scrub before I could get my camera out.

Trying to dodge the rain we called in at the Halls Gap Tavern for a beer, and to scout the place out for dinner, no atmosphere, not much of a pub, it resembled more an upmarket family restaurant — and at 6:30 it was already packed with families. The prices seemed steep too, so we decided on the short walk back through town to the other pub...

A considerable time later we found the pub, much further out of town than either Jo or I had remembered from the drive in, it seemed to be several kilometres away and had all the ambience of a large brick footy-club shed. Dinner involved lining up at the bistro with several hundred other people, dodging the squealing kids as they ran riot through the room to the “Brat Shack” to play, then ran screaming back after being hit, chased or picked on by other kids. Good warm pub-food, it was just a little too bright and a little too noisy at the end of the day.

The funny part was leaving the pub and stepping out into the pitch darkness to stumble the 2km back to town! There was no moon, no stars and no lights — just the low overcast and a very faint gleam of the white lane along the edge of the road to guide us.

Eventually we made it back to Halls Gap, and called in at the Black Panther for a glass of port — and then another — and sat chatting with the staff as they packed up for the evening.

## untitled // at 23:59

Woopee, I paid the rent. Nothing else interesting happened.

## 100 minutes per day // at 23:59

There are 1440 minutes in the day, roughly 100 of them I spend on my bike riding to and from work, 500 of them I spend at work. That one hundred minutes riding are far more enjoyable than the rest.

Speaking of cycling, I just tried to have a look around the CTC's website [http://www.ctc.org.uk/] — it seems to be gradually crumbling to pieces. I think if I were them I'd be tempted to just bin the whole thing and start from scratch. This all came about following a comment in news:uk.rec.cycling about the horrors of cycle paths, and my experiences last year in trying to find the, and the difficulty in getting a response out of the CTC to enquiries.

Tags:

## untitled // at 23:59

Yikes! We're going away this weekend and I haven't booked any accomodation. In typical lazy fashion I was relying on just turning up and finding some — forgetting, of course, that its the school holidays and the place will be packed. Frantic phoning around and I've found somewhere for Friday, for Saturday we'll just have to trust in the patron saint of last-minute accomodation.

Maybe a challenge to myself: take at least a photo a day. Stage one was to actually carry my camera around with me, I guess stage two is to convince myself to use it more often....

## Bike Path Surprise! // at 23:59

Yet another “Bike Path Surprise” this morning — rounding one of the corners after going under Toorak road I found myself hitting the brakes to avoid running into the back of a very large council truck. I'm not quite sure why it was on the path, but it seemed to be ripping branches off the bushes on both sides as it passed. Maybe it was some bizarre kind of gardening experiment. Maybe it was driving down the bike path to repair the damage that's been caused by all the trucks that drive down the bike path....

More bike path excitement on the way home — the nearly futile attempt to find, and not lose, the bike path from Mt. Waverley back to home. I'd made a detour leaving work, then found myself darting down backstreets, ocasionally sighting “Bike Path Ends” signs, and having to wait at intersections where the tiny side-streets cross main roads (a sure sign that I'm on a preferred bike route). Add in a liberal sprinkling of broken glass and a detour through the loading bays of Holmesglen Tafe — not sure why the signs directed me in there — and its just another typical piece of bicyle facilities.

I really should take some photos of some of the more outlandish bike-path stupidities that I run into....

## untitled // at 23:59

It's been tempting for a few weeks — ever since the old Mamod steam engine was dug out of the cupboard as part of the “Jack Entertainment Equipment,” we've been dying to fire it up and see if it still works! A bottle of metho. purchased especially for the job, a large clear patch of floor, some muttering and incantations over the half-remembered start-up procedures, a long drawn-out pause as we waited for the steam pressure to build up, then we're off! Round and round the kitchen floor, hissing and rattling before all too soon coming to a halt.

[http://www.mamodspares.co.uk/]
I should have known that Mamod would have a webpage! Everybody has a webpage. Every thing seems to have a webpage as well.

Off for a much-needed ride in the afternoon ... down to Mordialloc and back for a late lunch in the sun, a lazy quarter of an hour spent sitting watching the boats. Its not a particularly imaginative route, down Beach road and back, but it does have good views.

## untitled // at 23:59

I should have gone out cycling today, but somehow laziness just crept up on me as usual... A visit to the markets, brunch in the sun, there went the morning. The afternoon seemed to disappear quickly enough too, a hike up to Victoria street for some last-minute ingredients for dinner, and before we knew it was time to head home and clean up for visitors.

Dinner was a family dinner for Kath's birthday — but don't tell Jack. As far as Jack is concerned, all parties are Jack's party. Chicken Provençal followed by Chocolate Pavlova, complete with Jack singing “Happy party to you, Happy party to you...”.

## untitled // at 23:59

Browsing around from place to place, I happened upon http://www.experimentalstuff.com/. An amusing name for a whole bunch of material available from Sun.

Sitting around this evening I found a couple of good 'ol fashioned demos that will run on my WinXP laptop. Made me all nostalgic for the Amiga and all those old demos that sometimes sort-of half-worked, because I never quite had the exact same A500 or A1200 as all the demo writers.

## untitled // at 23:59

Yay! Monash has processed the change to my bank details... one more step on the way to dumping the Commonwealth Bank. Probably be another month before the other companies manage to process the automatic deductions — then I guess I find out whether the devil I knew was better than the devil I half know...

Oops ... I saw a reference to David Brin's web site, which reminded me of a book he's written that I'd like, which reminded me of other books I'd like, which had me visiting Amazon.com and ended up with me spending money. It's all just too easy.

It must be book day. At lunch time I went to get some money out of the bank, on a whim I ducked into the bookshop in the Student Union, quarter of an hour later I walked out with “A Parrot in the Pepper Tree” the sequel to a book I like, and “Warrior Class” a trashy novell ... but at \$5.95 it was a very cheap trashy novell.

News Flash — Nigerian Business Opportunity, I don't know whether to laugh or cry, I've just received my third Nigerian Busines Opportunity this week. Two purporting to come from Congo, one from Nigeria.

### MLP

[http://www.davidbrin.com/]
David Brin's site. Science Fiction author.
[http://www.facilitate.com/ray2002/]
some photos of a cycle tour around the UK midlands by Ray Swartz.

## untitled // at 23:59

...mumble, mumble... rode to work, spent the day at work, managed to install the VPN client despite the installation instructions, did battle with weirdnesses in the anti-virus software, rode home... Tuesday over.

...and as I go to bed, a bizarre drinking incident. An ice-cube — carefully placed in a small glass of whiskey — explodes violently, spitting whiskey straight into my eye. I must have offended the little-known god of whiskey and ice.

## untitled // at 23:59

The howling winds have ended, today's weather installment calls for torrential rain.

There've been some upgrades on Bund, and I seem to be having problems with SSH and CVS — not sure yet whether they are temporary, or a sign that the cygwin SSH and CVS don't want to play with the new Bund machine. I guess if they don't work, then nobody will get to read this! Hmm, narrowed it down to `cvs blah` works, `cvs -z n blah` fails.

## Sorry Mate I Didn't See You // at 17:42

A gentle rant. Variations on a theme. Words from the motorist to the cyclist.

Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, I was on the phone, but Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, and I only looked down for a second, and Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, and the road is dangerous mate, but Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, and the light had only just gone red, but Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, and the kids were arguing in the back, but Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, and I was only going a bit over the limit but Sorry Mate I Didn't See You and you should wear brighter coloured clothes, and Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, you should ride on the bike path and Sorry Mate I Didn't See You AND ITS YOUR FAULT.

Tags: ,

## untitled // at 23:59

28.5°C, winds gusting to 100km/hr — yep, sounds like a perfect day to go for a bike ride. My one intelligent decision was to head north, into the wind, in the vague hope that this would make the ride home easier. Out towards Wittlesea on a dead-flat road the head-wind was holding me down to 18km/hr, occasionally slowing to 14 in the stronger sections — on a good day you can average 30 along here! Every magpie in Victoria seemed to be out to swoop me as well, an experience I haven't had much of since leaving Canberra six years ago.

Turning off just past Wittlesea and heading to Humevale and up through the forest was as picturesque as ever, and a blessed relief to be out of the wind — I actually went faster up the hill in the shelter than along the flat in the wind. 21 minutes up the hill won't set any records, but I think it's the first time I've ridden up on my mountain bike. I surprised a swamp wallaby along the way, it didn't hear me approaching, then bounded off into the forest.

Riding home was certainly faster, at least until I reached the city, I covered over 35km in the first hour after leaving the top of the ridge, and for around 10km out of Wittlesea was sitting on 44-48km/hr! From Mill Park onwards it was the usual mix of petrol-heads in Commodores and 4WDs back to the city, smoking tyres and shouting witty comments. Finally home at 2pm, four hours twenty minutes on the bike, tired and covered in dust!

## untitled // at 23:59

A successful visit to the Prahran market — Spanish food and drink were on display, and despite the mindless spruiker with a microphone, we managed to taste an assortment of olives, oils and drinks, find a source of the Pedro Ximinez sherry that so took my fancy. The spruiker was a woman seemed to have been lifted straight from a large department store — able to talk constantly, without actually knowing anything about the products she was promoting.

This evening at the Corner Hotel, Died Pretty played their final-ever gig — unless they decide to reform some time in the future and play some more. The place was packed, most of the crowd were quite old fans, some obviously enjoying their first gig in months or even years. I was amused a the number of people who seemed to be having a “rebellious cigarette” — they just looked as though they didn't normally smoke, and were having one for a special occasion. All the old favourite songs, all Ron Peno's more bizarre dance moves, and apart from having my foot stamped on by an over-eager pogo-ing fan — and didn't she look silly — the night was good.

## untitled // at 23:59

For some stupid reason I woke up around 2am and couldn't get back to sleep all morning. I got up around four and read for a while, then tried to go back to sleep, but it was getting light and the birds were calling, so in the end I just gave up and got up early.

As expected, the batteries ran down somewhere around two in the afternoon — I groaned my way through the rest of the day, then came home for a later-afternoon sleep!

Then after being dragged out of bed at seven it was time for some atypical Friday night entertainment — I accompanied Jo and some of her work colleagues to the Australian netball finals at the Rod Laver arena. One of their other colleagues was in the Melbourne Phoenix team, so the decision of who to support was easy. Amazingly fast, and I guess it would have helped if I had some idea of what the rules where — I was constantly having to ask why various whistles had been blown, and what it all meant!

## untitled // at 23:59

Cold again, and rain...and wind — Melbourne spring time.

## untitled // at 23:59

t was a dark and stormy night... and as a result, the rain and hail kept me awake for most of it! Clear and sunny by morning so I cycled in to work, then sat and watched the clouds roll in for the rest of the day, heavier by the hour.

A minor scare on the bike track this morning—just past East Malvern station there was an empty twin baby-stroller parked on the grass. It was where there's a gap in the barricade to keep people off the tracks—I had visions of seeing a depressed young mother and her two kids on the tracks—a quick look around and there's nobody in sight. I guess it's just been stolen and dumped there...

I'm still fiddling around with style sheets... I like the look of waferbaby's site [http://www.waferbaby.com/] — and he (or she) does say to use it if you like it. I might try an adaption of same.

Riding home this evening I think the cold weather was affecting peoples' brains. There seemed to be a large number of idiots on bikes; first one of my favourites—a near-miss with someone with the red-light on the front, shortly afterwards I had to swerve around a stationary cyclist parked facing the oncoming traffic, yabbering on his mobile phone, the final one was an oncoming rider with a dim yellow flasher not being able to see the path and riding around a curve and straight at me.

## untitled // at 23:59

Some bad habits are so easy to slide into — and so easy to get out of. I think its over two years since I last spoke to a very good friend of mine, we just got out of the habit of meeting or calling up. I wasn't even sure if he was still living in Melbourne. In a fit of action this morning I looked him up in the phone-book, called up, and we've arranged to meet up on Wednesday. The bizarre aspect of it all is that he's apparently doing some contract software development for Monash University—and is having weekly meetings in the same building that I work in!

MarkO, Leslie, Joey and I headed out to Scienceworks for the afternoon. Neither Jo or I have ever been there, and its been on our list of things to see for ages. An ad. in yesterday's paper for their steam-engine day guaranteed that MarkO would be interested, and so off we all went.

There's far too much to see to go there for just half a day, especially when you arrive after 2pm! Next time I think I'll try and get there as the doors open in the morning. We did manage to see the steam engines, a phenomenal old Bulldog tractor—with something like a 9.5 bore and a 10 stroke, it would run on anything that you could pour into the fuel tank—and a steam calliope, now running on compressed air but still deafeningly loud.

Some fantastic examples of Victorian era engineering are on display in the old Spotswood (sewerage) Pumping station. I had no idea that this was here!

Back inside the exhibitions we had time for a brief look in one of the halls at some of the sports exhibits before we were all asked to leave as it was closing time. Amongst the exhibits were one of Oppie's bikes that he used to set some world records on, and the bike pictured, wired up to an exercise-bike, but with a motor driving it so that you can see how the skeleton moves on a bicycle.

## untitled // at 23:59

While walking up the street this morning and passing “the door that is never open” we noticed that it was open. Peaking inside shows a fascinating piece of Richmond falling into disrepair. The front of the shop has been boarded over for as long as I've seen it—probably four years at most—but there's no indication of any development, any owner, or any activity whatsoever. I wonder how long its been like this, and what its future holds....

Fun and games filling out YHA membership renewals online. The stupid website designer makes you enter all of your name and address details, then sends you to a page where you enter your membership number, which presumably is already part of a record of all that information. You can also register for a “membership” on their website, this is completely separate and has no link with your YHA membership. Then every time that you make a booking or a purchase, you have to enter all of your name and address details again!

Evil wedding chores caught up with us for the rest of the day—driving around to assorted venues checking their suitability. In true Jo and Adrian fashion, the first one we saw ended up being the one we decided on—I think the subconscious had done a lot of pre-selection before we actually visited anywhere. The venue itself was made even more appealing by their cider and apple brandy, together with brochures and maps for their holiday house in Belvés, southern France—I think I rode past on our days near Sarlat in June last year.

Reminder to self: Kellybrook winery, 12th April, 2003—be there.

## untitled // at 23:59

I found myself struggling through some of the material on A List Apart—trying to find all those pages about style sheets and how to make them work in all browsers. Along the way I found a few typography articles and took to heart some of the comments about the poor old em-dash and en-dash, and their much over-used companion, the hyphen.

8212
em-dash
8211
en-dash
8220
open double-quotes
8221
close double-quotes
8230
ellipsis

## untitled // at 23:59

Oh bugger, guess who forgot to shut the freezer last night.  The freezer now contains half-melted meaty things in bags, soggy bread, and some rather leathery looking ice-cream.

Still itching to rework some of http://ajft.org/. I want to use a proper CMS (so long as the resource hit isn't too high), and I want to redo the styles–neat and clean but interesting.

### MLP

[http://billgatliff.com/]
Cross compilers and using GCC for embedded systems.
[http://oswd.org/]
Open Source Web Design. Yet more styles and themes for websites. Most of them use a hideous mess of tables within tables to do anything.

## untitled // at 23:59

Wow, what a wind last night! It was one of the times when I was wishing for a recording anemometer. Assorted crashes and bangs seemed to indicate that various neighbourly tin-sheds and garbage bins had come loose, this morning there were large trees down in all the parks, both near home and Monash.

Dinner with señor Marko, the poor lad was exhausted — the wind yesterday and today meant that the SES had over 3000 jobs to do, removing fallen trees from anything and everything, and running around putting roofs back on.

## untitled // at 23:59

Monday, back 'a twerk. I need to get more inspired and write less rubbish.

### QOTD

While there are strict laws on driving while intoxicated, strangely, there is no law against “driving while stupid.” And you know, the intoxicated person will eventually sober up, while the stupid person will go on being stupid.

## First of spring // at 22:08

Spring weather for the first day of Spring — almost unheard of.

Walking along the beach this morning there were even kids swimming, I know this isn't proof of warm weather, but to a casual glance it makes it look like it! The low tide was I think the lowest that I've ever seen, flat expanses of sand, the whole of groyne exposed, weedy rock pools that are normally hidden. In addition the water was incredibly clear, from the pier we could see the bottom where it was at least 2m deep, again, something I've never seen before.

## GOR // at 23:59

Escaped in the afternoon for a ride along the Great Ocean Road. Despite all my best efforts I couldn't quite manage to get my average speed up to 30km/hr. Very light traffic, surprisingly few idiots on the GOR, a clear sky and magnificent views. Average speed was 29km/hr when I got to Apollo Bay, and despite the tailwind on the way home, fell to 28 by the time I returned to Lorne.

Traffic on the way back reaffirmed my faith in motorists; first a light truck towing an unregistered caravan, the van was swerving around in gently s-bends, if I tried hard I could probably have stepped off the bike and into the van through the open door. Close behind was a ute towing a trailer load of crap, looking a lot like all the scaffolding to hold the caravan up. About 30 seconds after it passed I watched a 2 foot section of timber fly off the back and into the oncoming lane. Neither the caravan or trailer had any lights, so the next motorist behind them very nearly ran into the back going down the hill under brakes.

Tags:

## Yet Another CMS // at 23:59

[http://www.typo3.com/]
another promising content management system for me to play with. I had problems accessing their demo from Mozilla, it tells me to "use a 4+ browser"
Tags: ,

## Docklands visited // at 23:59

A fine sunny afternoon, time to finally go out and explore the mysterious reaches of the Docklands development. Jo and I had been meaning to go and have a look around there for months, walking nearby on the way to the football the other week had rekindled the idea, so today we set off to explore. The usual mix of absolutely lunatic motorists in Bridge Rd had us alternately laughing hysterically, swearing copiously, or just swerving wildly to keep out of their way. I was seriously wondering whether some of these people are ever likely to wake up one morning and think to themself:

“You know, I've just realised that I really don't know what the road laws are, maybe I'd better hand back my driving license.”

...but I doubt it.

Up through the city, down Collins St. Oh so tempting to shoot across Spencer street and over the Collins street extension, except for the 3m high fence barricading it off! Instead we wended our way round in a more conventional approach, then discovered that the major use of Docklands seems to be in providing free carparking for football fans who don't want to pay when visiting Docklands Stadium/Colonial Stadium/Telstra Dome/whatever it is this week. I guess they'll be in for a shock when the residents want to use their own carparks.

Lots of concrete, lots of shiny new walkways, not a single person around. It was a bit like taking a tour of a film set, or an end-of-the-world scenario where all the people have dissappeared. Pleasant enough out in the sun, it was icily cold in the shadows of the big concrete buildings with the wind whipping around the harbours. Steps everywhere too, not many, just the one or two at a time, but it made riding around the place a pain. I guess only healthy young people will be allowed to live there, no elderly, no injured.

The other feature of the whole area that we didn't notice until we tried to leave was just how isolated it is; it seems cut off from the rest of the CBD by freeways on most sides, there is no easy way in or out for people on foot or bike. Maybe that'll change as more of it is built. The promotional material is chock-full of warm and fuzzy statements of accessibility.

### Evening entertainment

Home-made pumpkin soup and off to see a movie. Last Orders at the Rivoli, if we hadn't had the hot soup before hand we would have needed it afterwards, all the scenes of cold english rain had me shivering in my seat! Well worth seeing, I can't write movie reviews so I won't. I'll just recommend it to others.

## Bad coffee :-( // at 23:59

Life's too short to be served bad coffee. Two bad coffees in a row and now we can't bring ourselves to call in at Via Ponte. A sad thing when both Ian and Michael are such nice guys, but with all the other cafés in the street, we keep walking past theirs and on to somewhere else.

A longish ride in the afternoon. Just like last Saturday I headed out in short sleeves, half thought of coming back for a warmer shirt but didn't. Dodged the cars in bike lanes, dodged the cars in bike boxes at the lights, dodged the same car again when he tried to drive through me at a red light. As I got closer to the bay, the wind increased, nothing catastrophic, just strong enough and cool enough to make life uncomfortable. Down to Frankston and back, more than enough to keep the legs warm and the mind occupied—dodging the 4WDs and assorted yobs around Bonbeach.

Tags: ,

## File synchronisation experiments // at 23:59

So much for the spring-like weather! Almost warm this morning on the ride to work, then cold and grey and drizzly rain all afternoon. Not the kind of weather to inspire me to leave work and ride home, maybe it was a plot created by the ITS management to make me work longer hours.

This evening I explored the strange behaviour of `tra`. Or maybe I'm just not understanding how it works yet. Two config files, `work` and `sng-work`, corresponding to the directory `\$HOME/work` both on my home machine on at Monash.

```bash-2.05b\$ cat ~/.tra/work
#!/bin/sh

bash-2.05b\$ cat ~/.tra/sng-work
#!/bin/sh
```

A subdirectory, `FRED` containing a single file.

```bash-2.05b\$ ls FRED/
log.txt
bash-2.05b\$ rm -r FRED/
```

Run `minisync` from here to Monash, and nothing happens. I would have expected it to remove the file and directory.

```bash-2.05b\$ minisync -v work sng-work
```

Run `minisync` back the other way and sure enough, it copies back the missing files.

```bash-2.05b\$ minisync -v  sng-work work
copy /FRED/
copy /FRED/log.txt
bash-2.05b\$
```

Remove just the file, leaving an empty directory, and then sync.

```bash-2.05b\$ rm FRED/log.txt
bash-2.05b\$
bash-2.05b\$  minisync -v work sng-work
remove /FRED/log.txt
```

Ok, that behaved as expected and deleted the file from the destination. Now remove the directory and sync.

```bash-2.05b\$ rmdir FRED/
bash-2.05b\$
bash-2.05b\$  minisync -v work sng-work
remove /FRED
bash-2.05b\$
```

Again, that behaved as expected. So it looks as if `tra` only removes empty directories, and chickens out from removing them if they go from non-empty to non-existant.

## untitled // at 23:59

It must be springtime. Whooosh, KLACK! and the first magpie of the season swooped me as I rode along the Yarra boulevarde this morning.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has announced a \$2.66 billion profit and says it will axe 1,000 jobs as part of a restructure.

Banks! They still haven't managed to process my change of account request from June! I wonder if they can manage to replace my credit card before it expires and renders me moneyless?

## Announced // at 23:59

It was with great apprehension that we informed Jo's parents of our engagement—actually that's not true at all. This evening we finally managed to visit them now that they're back from their holiday and let them know!

## untitled // at 23:59

Monday morning; traffic banked up along the freeway all the way back to Warrigal Road. Nudging the motorbike along behind the lady in the Honda Accord—she weaves from side to side, mostly staying within her lane, the phone's in her left hand, or sometimes resting on the passenger seat, she's busy chatting. Flashing the high beam does nothing, she glances up and continues babbling. To top it all off, the left rear tyre of her car is so flat she's just about driving on the rim. But she's not speeding, which is all that's important, because, as we all know from the television ads, Speed Kills.

Tried to compile tra this evening to see if it fits better with what I want to do with maintaining my home directory and replicating it between multiple machines. Only problem is, I can only get it to compile on one machine! Linux is fine, but there's no Windows port, and it fails on `sng` since the assembler is missing.

Tags:

## untitled // at 23:59

A very slow day. A little too much Pinot Noir last night, or maybe it was the Guiness or the champagne... In any case, neither of us felt inspired to do much today except lie on the couch and read the paper, or in my case, Graeme Fife's history of the Tour de France. A fascinating mix of his personal ride and historical anecdotes.

“A Sunday Afternoon Drive in the Country,” just the phrase seems to be enough to make me cringe, but we decided that we had to get out of the house for a while. First part was easy “to go,” the second part, “where to go,” was not so easy. We ended up driving out to Sylvan Resevoir and going for a walk in the forest. An annoying amount of beer cans and plastic bags littered around, together with the large proportion of 4WDs in the car park and the number of people taking their dogs (illegally) into the nature park reminded me that this is rural Australia, or at least outer-urban Australia.

Leaving the dam, we detoured up through the forests to Olinda Falls, where very new walkways and lookouts seem to have been built to view the falls, a great idea to get away into the forests and the quiet. Driving home we headed back up into the Dandenongs, popping out at Olinda in the heart of tourist country, suddenly being confronted by milling hordes and traffic everywhere—quite an astounding contrast.

## untitled // at 23:59

I don't think I was ever intending to get up to go riding at seven this morning, I'm just not cut out for the early morning rides when I can stay at home warm and comfortable. After some morning household chores I headed out by myself at the far more civilised time of about half past noon to ride down to Mordialloc and back.

It almost looked like a warm spring day. Almost, that is, until I got half way through the suburb and realised that a short sleeved top was foolish. If you sat still in the sun it was ok, but moving in the open it was still very much winter! Once down at St. Kilda, Beach road was the usual mix of cyclists, tourists and cars everywhere, I guess that's why people get up and ride earlier in the day.

Dropped in at Pegasus on the way home to top up their coffers and get myself a new tail-light—the bits of packing tape and cable ties that are holding the busted one together keep failing. I also treated the household to the track pump that we've been promising ourselves for a few months, then had to carry it home tied to my rack and rattling like crazy.

On the way back I briefly thought of visiting the Spirit of Tasmania I and II, the two new Tasmanian ferries that were tied up at Station Pier, but the wind around the bay changed my mind and headed me home. After all the fuss about the government subsidies so cars travelling free yet bicycles cost \$27 each way, I was wanting to go and make some comment.

We barely had time once I was home to get changed and head back out for drinks and Nettie's birthday dinner down at Port Melbourne. I was hoping that the 7:30 dinner would make up for no lunch, but the 7:30 booking meant a 9:00pm dinner, so I was getting a bit hungry by then! Everyone oohed and aahed to see Joey's ring, it seems there's a bit of a rash of it going around, a whole bunch of people we know are either engaged or getting married soon. The food was good, a fixed menu with four entrées and four mains, it seemed that about two thirds of us had the one kalamari entrée, Jo's lamb rump was much tastier than the battered fish and chips, which seemed all batter and no fish.

## untitled // at 23:59

Headed out this evening to see the Importance of Being Earnest at the Como. We were both surprised at how few people went out to the movies there on a Friday night. The cinema was half empty and there was hardly anyone turning up for the session next door.

Funny, whitty, and true to the play—a play that I've never seen or read—when we got home I read half of it sitting in bed before realising I couldn't keep my eyes open any more! As I had been invited to go on a 7:00am bike ride tomorrow, I thought it time to go to sleep.

## untitled // at 23:59

Interesting ride home this evening. After a random comment yesterday about Gardiners' Creek path being far too windy and slow I decided to try the road today. The distance was slightly less, the average speed while riding was higher, but I spent so much time sitting at red lights that I think it ended up taking me longer. That was using a combination of Dandenong Road and Orrong Road, I'm sure there are other ways.

It also let me observe some more of the motorist inhabitants of this city. I guess I'm fairly lucky in that I can commute on a bike path, and that the path does seem to actually go where I want it to. There's currently a discussion raging in news:aus.bicycles regarding 4WDs, specifically stereo-typically Toorak-tractor urban 4WDs, owned as status symbols and only ever driven to and from work, or to take the kiddies to school.

Tags:

## untitled // at 23:59

Blah, not much to say. Wow, how did it get to be half way through the month already?

After scanning through `wyvern`'s Apache logs I noticed that I've been Nimda'd recently and it irked me, so I rummaged around and have installed EarlyBird on the box. Only time will tell if it actually performs a useful function.

### MLP

[EARLY BIRD]
A real-time HTTP worm attempt reporting utility.

## untitled // at 23:59

Proof that television is bad for you: After lugging the TV down the stairs and into the boot of Jo's car, I've managed to pull a muscle in my back; and after a rotten night's sleep, today decided to stay home and rest it rather than try to hobble in to work.

One thing I did manage to do today was to fill in a lot of the missing details of last year's bike trip in June and July. Not all of it has been uploaded yet, after reconnecting and keeping the modem online twice I gave up when it dropped off for the third time. Bring on cheap broadband access!

I also managed to have the joy of hanging up on a telephone direct marketer. I'm not quite sure what is the greater pleasure; not having them call me in the first place, or the satisfaction of hanging up on them and making it abundantly clear what I think of their tactics.

## untitled // at 23:59

A slight chill in the air, a vague threat of rain and hail in the morning, a sore back from the weekend. They all added up to the decision not to ride the bicycle to work. This evening as I went to leave, boy was I glad of that decision! Strong winds and icy rain made the ride home unpleasant on the road, rather than potential lethal on the bicycle track.

Riding home with the wind hammering me from side to side, the rain so hard against the visor that there's no hope of seeing anything on the road, just hoping that anything big enough to be dangerous will also be big enough to see. Trying to balance the desire to slow to 80km/hr with not wanting to be rammed by the 4WDs and semi-trailers that are still travelling at 110km/hr. Snug and dry inside my waterproofs, except for below the ankles where my feet are soaked. Icy cold water seeping in through the seam in my lap as it always does, I never can quite seal it off completely. Finally making it home, almost exhausted after twenty minutes on the road. Then undress for a shower in an expanding pool of rain.

## untitled // at 23:59

The grocery shopping isn't meant to get exciting. Normally its a very routine event. Today it was looking perfectly ordinary until we got home, I tried to get the eggs out of the egg carton, and discovered that they were cemented in with dried yolk from one that had leaked. Attempting to prise them out of the carton, one exploded, showering me with rotting egg, and filling the kitchen with a truly evil stench.

It was in poor humour that I took the carton of eggs, firmly sealed in two plastic bags, back to the supermarket and politely requested a replacement. I nearly had the last laugh when the Coles rep. started to open the bag at the service counter, in front of all the other staff and customers, but self-preservation got the better of me and I advised them not to open the bag inside, but to escort it gently to the hazardous waste area.

This afternoon we went to the footy! Joey had acquired some free tickets courtesy of work, so Rosie, Jo and I went off to the footy. St. Kilda vs Geelong at Docklands Stadium, err, Colonial Stadium, err, Telstra Dome. It's all getting very American and corporate, football held inside under floodlights so that the TV cameras get even coverage, advertising everywhere. I had to laugh at the quarter and three-quarter breaks when they unroll banners advertising the team sponsors, leave them out for all of five minutes, then roll them back up again. My life is now complete with the true Melbourne experience of having a pie at the footy and hearing the large Cats fan next to me scream out “Yer white maggot! at the umpire. As we pointed out, it isn't real footy since we're not out in the cold and the rain with a beanie and a scarf, shivering at a suburban oval in the drizzle. As Rosie pointed out though, there are now only four AFL ovals in Melbourne, all the original club ovals have been closed, or no longer hold “premier league events.

Oh, the actual football? After trailing dismally for the first three quarters, St. Kilda woke up in the last quarter and finished only one point down, 101 to 102.

A post-match beer at the Celtic club, disappointed that on a Sunday they've closed off half the rooms, the only one open is the one chock full of traditional Irish poker machines and a large-screen TV showing American sitcoms.

On the way home we were in a hurry to get out of the wind, and jumped on the first tram without checking carefully what it was. Two out of three that we could have picked one heading up Bridge Road, we got the wrong one, down and along Swan Street. It made up for it by being chock full of skimpily dressed, shivering Kylie fans, all out for a big night at the Kylie concert, and by threatening to fall apart at any moment. A very worried looking tram-electrician was poking around behind a panel at one end of the tram, and every time we stopped there were all sorts of weird clunking sounds before we managed to start up again. When Jo and I finally got off we saw that we were being followed up the tracks by a very large truck equipped with a tram-pushing bull-bar.

## untitled // at 23:59

With some misgivings I dragged myself out of bed this morning to go riding with Mark. Evan and Kelvin turned up on time, I couldn't think of a better way to get from home to Carnegie so we rode up Gardiners Creek bike path, Kelvin muttering that he'd only been on his new bike an hour and here I was taking him around a myriad of right-angled bends on poor surfaces, determined to tip him off.

After a wake-up coffee we headed out along Waverley Road towards Ferntree Gully, being honked at by the first petrol head of the day shortly after turning onto the road. Rolling up and down the hills to the police academy, then screaming down the descent towards Jells Park. As usual on descents, Evan was well in the lead, clocking around 80km/hr and passing a four wheel drive and its rather stunned looking driver. From Jells Park out to Ferntree Gully it was windy and noisy, the usual mix of Saturday morning traffic on their way to the shopping or sports. A little bit of excitement turning off into the hills, someone had stopped their car in the middle of the lane and walked off, leaving it sitting there with the hazard lights flashing. It had either died so completely that they couldn't move it to the side of the road, or they were of the common opinion that hazard lights let you do imbecile things like this. Either way, we managed to squeeze past and commenced the climb up the mountain.

Everyone settled into their own rhythm, Evan and I gradually getting further in front, Kelvin and Mark at the rear. Unfortunately somewhere along the way the latter two took a wrong turn and ended up on a side road going over the ridge and past a telecommunications station, meanwhile Evan and I sat at Ferny Creek shop and waited and waited for them to catch up, wondering what was taking them so long. When the miracle of modern telecommunications eventually allowed their two non-Telstra mobile phones to work, we found that they had gone over us while we waited, and were two kilometres further up the road!

Reunited a few minutes later, we continued on along the ridge to Olinda for a large, warming lunch of home-made soup and pies before considering the descent to civilisation.

Back outside the café we quickly realised that the warmth inside was due to the fire, not the sun! A quick chat with the motor-cyclists who were also leaving at the same time and then it was back down the road to Sassafrass, hauling on the brakes to avoid running into slower the motorists. Turned off down the Old Mountain Highway and had an almost perfect run down to Bayswater, the wind dropping as we did, and the temperature climbing. About a third of the way down the motor-bikes caught up after their regrouping in Sassafrass, and there was some good natured racing between the two types of bikes.

From there it was just a long boring slog homewards. MarkO was worn out and kept threatening to catch a train, Evan and I told him to shut up and just ride along behind, that it wasn't too far to Syndal, our first possible stop. It seemed to work, before too long Mark and I were turning off down Blackburn Road, leaving Evan and Kelvin to continue in towards the city. I was surprised at how quickly we got to Kath and John's place in Syndal, Mark was just glad to get off the bike and call Leslie to come and pick him up!

Jo came over after washing her car and we spent an agonising ten minutes with her walking around hiding her left hand in her pocket before we could get both John and Kath in the room at the same time. Once the news was sprung there was a mixture of “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” together with “and it's about time too!”. Unbeknownst to us, it seems that people have been taking bets on when we'd get engaged every time we've been away for a weekend, or off on a holiday!

## Engaged signal // at 23:59

“Would madam like a ring with her breakfast?”

I don't think the two of us could stop grinning or laughing. Half of it is relief that we've finally got the bloody thing and don't need to spend out weekends surreptitiously shopping.

Jo decided not to wear it to work, not just yet, she felt strange not having told her family.

This evening we hit the phones and I called my parents and brother, I tried my sister first, but as usual she was outside with the horses, so she didn't get to be the first to know. Calling mum and dad was funny, all the normal bits of conversation regarding the weather and health and work etc all seemed to drag out to an eternity before I could find a gap to drop the news into.

To celebrate we walked up the street and had dinner at Saragosa. As usual their food was impeccable, the unexpected bonus this evening was the after dinner drink suggested by the waitress. An incredibly dark, flavoursome Spanish sherry — “Leyendra Pedro Ximinez” from Jerez, Spain, I'd love to get hold of a bottle to have sitting on the shelf for sipping on those cold winter evenings.

## untitled // at 23:59

A memorable day. My “quick trip into the city at lunch time” turned into a bit of a nightmare. There was a parade to celebrate the home-coming of the Australian Commonwealth Games team, so Collins Street was closed off, assorted side streets were closed off, traffic police were directing traffic every which way, and general mayhem was in the air. I eventually managed to park on Elizabeth street and walk up the road to pick up the mighty secret which can now be revealed to the world.... Jo's engagement ring. Eek! There it's been said in public now. I even managed to get soaked on the way back to work by misjudging the rain clouds.

The ride home almost became traumatic too. Only a block from home in the dark, in the wet, as I started to turn right into Khartoum Street I slowed, wondering what had caught my eye, then hit the anchors as the unlit cyclist turned across in front of me! I yelled out "get a headlight" as I went past, he got angry and put on a massive sprint up behind me, screaming abuse. Fine with me if he wants to leave the gene-pool, I just hope he does it in front of someone else.

Spent a frustrating night sitting at home by myself. Jo was caught up at work and didn't have time to come home before going out to the theatre, leaving me facing a small box containing a small ring. As punishment, when she did get home I pretended that I hadn't had time to go into the city and didn't have it.

## untitled // at 23:59

I just finished reading Tim Moore's “French Revolutions” this evening and have been struck by a great longing to go away again on another bike tour... so many of the things in his writing were so evocative — the slug tennis for example — or just the descriptions of the riding.

Joey is getting all twitchy about the length of this week and the great secret to be revealed...

## untitled // at 23:59

House cleaning. House cleaning. Then a little more house cleaning.

Somewhere in the past few weeks we seem to have omitted a few of the routine chores. This morning they all caught up with us! There was a frenzy of domesticity, followed by relief at being able to see the kitchen bench, comfortably walk across the floor in bare feet, and enter the bathroom without needing a full decontamination suit.

Escaped to walk up the river in search of lunch, we tried out e lounge (I think its name is) on Victoria Street in Abbotsford. The only European café in the street, they made a fantastic bianco pizza — roast potato, olives, Spanish onions and semi-dried tomatoes with a dash of chilli-flavoured olive oil.

Jo has just pointed out that one year ago I was leaving the UK at the end of my holiday. It must be time to start planning another trip... Maybe I can convince her to come on Wide Open Road's Geneva to Verona trip next year.

## untitled // at 23:59

Incredible for a Saturday—we were breakfasted and out of the house by ten o'clock. The secret shopping mission kept us occupied for most of the day, was completed by four pm, so we adjourned for a well-earned glass of wine at South Bank, closely followed by an equally well-earned pint 'o Guiness.

Somewhere along the way I succumbed to an advertised “sale” and bought 256M more memory for `wyvern`, turns out that Dick Smith's sale price is still well over the average green guide price, but at least I've finally bought some, so there's no more excuse.

## untitled // at 23:59

Just to make sure I don't forget, Casey and Zoe are now firmly recorded in my address book. I even sent their birthday present.

Wow, there was a huge thunderstorm this evening while we were up the road having dinner. Getting home involved leap-frogging from shelter to shelter along the street. Thunderstorms aren't meant to happen here in the winter!

## untitled // at 23:59

Jelly legs this morning, but rode to work anyway. The forecast is for 18 degrees, it sounds almost spring time. Certainly wasn't warm for the first half of the ride though!

The major news of the day (or of yesterday I guess), is that I now have two new nieces. Hello to Casey Elizabeth and Zoe Anne, if you ever get to read this! 14:08 and 14:14 yesterday, at 7lb and 6lb 7oz respectively. Colin and Liz now have both hands full, three daughters under two and a half! Just imagine the chaos in about ten years.

Shamelessly quoted from slashdot:

Jef Raskin, the guy who designed the first Macintosh and author of The Humane Interface, has a SourceForge project putting his ideas into action.

### MLP

[http://butterfly.net/]
IBM's joint venture with grids and massively multi-player games.

## untitled // at 23:59

This evening I went on the Mascott Cycles ride for the first time in months. Seems that it has changed a bit, a lot of the faces I knew aren't there anymore, and the people that are there are there for a more serious ride. The first lap was gentle enough, but as soon as we turned around the roundabout for the second, off they went, harder than I could keep up. There doesn't seem to be a slow bunch either, so you either keep up, or ride around in the cold and dark by yourself. I was hungry, I was cold, I wasn't really fit enough, so I pulled the pin at two and a half laps and came home!

Getting to the start was a challenge. I decided to ride along the floating bike track around Burnley, a path that I've never ridden along before. After almost running into the river, into the concrete pillars, into trees and off the path, I can recommend that unknown bike paths be ridden in daylight first!

## untitled // at 23:59

Monday morning, groan. Way too little sleep after staying up to watch the Tour last night. To add to that, whatever I did to my neck last Friday is still sore, so I was half tempted to stay in bed with a hot-water bottle, sulking.

I managed to find the answer to a question that has been bugging me for about a year—just who was wearing the polka-dot jersey on l'Alpe d'Huez last year when they shot past me? Turns out it was Patrice Hilgand. I'm most impressed with le Tour's website, they've got all the information from previous years, and it is all updated in a timely manner once the event is underway.

## untitled // at 23:59

So much for the nice weather! Today it was back to grayness, windy and cold.

Spent the morning being a good little aunt and uncle and looking after Jack while his mum and dad went off to a brunch. A rather entertaining time for all concerned as Jack explored the wardrobes in the spare room, just in case someone had hidden any trains in there, and attempted to drive a large steam-engine around the lounge room floor. After assisting us with two bowls of soup and a large quantity of partly chewed toast, he placed a prize chocolate biscuit into his shirt pocket and left with his parents, leaving us to have a much needed afternoon nap!

Rejuvenated, it was with some trepidation that we ventured out this evening to see Minority Report at the Rivoli, the story had sounded good, the reviews promising, but just seeing Tom Cruise's name in the credits made me cringe... Unnecessarily as it turned out, I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite jumping half out of my seat a couple of times and nearly scaring Jo out of hers in the process.

Then home for the final stage of the Tour de France. Full of interest until the end, the green jersey wasn't decided until the last sprint for the finish. Robbie McEwen ended in green, Laurent Jalabert retired from racing while wearing the KOM, Lance, of course, was in the yellow.

## untitled // at 23:59

A beautiful spring-like day. The good intentions were to get up and out of the house early, visit the markets and be out shopping by ten. After a bad night's sleep we woke around eight, but then fell asleep again, so it wasn't until ten thirty that we could step outside the door. Markets and groceries, then breakfast at Via Ponte. Sadly, the coffee isn't up to scratch. Not as bad as last week's shocker, but still not good. Then it was onto the tram for a trip to the city.

It was an interesting day for tram travel. As we got on we couldn't help but notice the two identically dressed girls sitting side by side, identical mobile phones in their hands, totally engrossed in the game they were both playing. I read later in the week that Ericsson is doing some sneaky marketing with one of its new phones, something about getting models to pretend that they aren't models and play with their new bluetooth phones in public—maybe that's what we were seeing, I can't tell from the picture. There was also a family with a dog on the tram, it being held in someone's lap for the duration of the trip.

Due to the fact that we may or may not have been in possession of valid tram tickets, but we definitely did not like the ugly dial of the tikett inspektor, we alighted from the city bound tram and walked along in the sun besides the gardens.

More bits of shopping, on top secret topics, then home again, strangely enough, another girl with a dog attempted to get on the tram in the city but the driver wouldn't let her on. He did first ask whether the mangy-looking terrier was a seeing-eye dog, just in case.

Jump in the car before heading out to Glenferrie Road for another browse in the windows. Topping off the afternoon, Louie's provided some much-needed treasure in the form of spiced olives and tasty cheeses. The Tarago Shades of Blue is one of my favourites.

## New PC time? // at 23:59

More thoughts on a new PC. The Shuttle SS51 looks pretty cool, as usual, it was brought to my attention on slashdot.

[www.shuttle.com]
the Shuttle SS51G product description.
[http://www.satotech.com.au/]
Australian supplier, and they're nearby in Box Hill.

## Bike light quality control // at 23:59

Bloody bike lights! Half way to work this morning and my rear flashing light snapped in half and fell off. That's the second one of these where the plastic clip has just fatigued after a couple of months use, there's nothing wrong with the light. I managed to catch it as it bounced around on the pannier rack, and have reattached it with packing tape. Not quite as good as gaff tape, but it holds a lot of the world together.

## untitled // at 23:59

Riding home at night I nearly ran off the bike track and into the trees. I thought I was on the track, then saw a red flashing tail light off to my right. Just as I started to head towards it I realised that a) it was only about a foot off the ground, and b) it was bouncing up and down. I swerved back onto the path just in time to see a Jack Russell terrier come bounding out of the shrubbery with the light on its collar!

My subconscious must be attempting to enforce my fitness. I managed to leave my keys at work this evening, which meant that when I got home there was nobody there, the door was locked, and the only thing to do was go and ride a lap of the Boulevard.

Only one idiot boy racer in a Porsche tried to make life miserable, the rest of the ride was great. The wattles and some of the other trees are starting to flower, so riding in the dark you notice the scents that much more.

## untitled // at 23:59

There's only one problem with staying up until 2am watching the Tour de France, and that is getting up the next morning and going to work, especially when the radio informs you that its a pleasant 3.4°C outside. All thoughts of cycling disappeared, a strong coffee and smoke-emitting toast helped me on my way.

Lunch time today and I sent off an email to one of the other guys from the France tour last year, wondering whether he'd stayed up last night to watch the stage. Five minutes later I got a reply, but it wasn't a reply, he'd decided to send an email on much the same subject at the same time!

Then in a fit of race-induced enthusiasm I finally got around to entering Round the Bay in a Day — I guess I'd better get off my lazy backside and start riding my bike now! Not going to join the other Monash staff in their 'team', I'll just do it my own way and let David and whoever he talks into it do it theirs.

## untitled // at 23:59

Spent an interesting afternoon exploring parts of the CBD. It started as an optimistic trip to the shops, but the ones we wanted weren't open on a Sunday, so we delved into the arcades and alleys. Found places I'd heard of, but only had vague recollections of where they were—on the other hand, I'm not sure I'll be able to find any of them again...

We also wasted a little of our time and a little of someone else's time by visiting an apartment that is for-sale and telling a few lies to a real-estate agent. Stupidly designed place, judging by the size of the fans in the bedrooms and the thickness of the roof, it probably hits 40 degrees in there in the summer. The second bedroom was only just big enough to put a single bed in, and had a diagonal wall to make furniture placement a nightmare. I guess we stick with renting for a few more decades!

I guess the only other thing was deciding that the free washing machine could go back to the land of large free white-goods. Just too much of a hassle making it work properly, it kept trying to hammer its way through the wall and into the neighbours, either that or switching itself off every half revolution of the spin cycle.

### Tour de France

Wow, what a race. Despite the shocking reception, Jo and I stayed up to watch the live coverage of the Tour, starting at 11pm. After a 180km breakaway with a 13 minute lead, Richard Virenque managed to cross the line just two minutes ahead of Lance Armstrong, but it was a nail biting finish as Lance stood up and rode like he does, chasing down the last 8km and chewing up the time gap. It really made a difference knowing that last year I had been riding up the same mountain, at least from Bedoin to the summit.

## untitled // at 23:59

Hmmm, some much-needed house work. A little archaeological digging and we rediscovered the lounge room floor. A visit to the Richmond markets and we've convinced the fridge that we still have a use for it. Then probably the worst coffee of the year, a shockingly bad serve from a favourite café, scalded milk and weak watery coffee.

Not much else, lazed around after being up half the night watching the tour.

Oh yeah, an abomination has occurred. We borrowed the TV from Jo's parents, since it seemed easier to watch the rest of the tour from the comfort of our own couch rather than by being sociable and visiting friends. Only problem is the reception, it is only barely recognisable as a television picture. The TV socket in the wall doesn't seem to do much, but the cable I'm using is a hand made one, so it won't be helping.

## untitled // at 23:59

A 9:40 am appointment at St Vincent's hospital to see the Orthopaedic people. The doctor wasn't happy about me managing to dislocate my arm for a fourth time and so he's referred me to the hospital. Stupidly I thought that a 9:40 appointment meant an appointment that started at 9:40. Turns out that it meant an appointment that started at 9:55, but only because the person before me had given up and gone home! Half an hour later I've completed part I, which is merely the great filling out of forms, I am then escorted into a large waiting room and told to wait (surprisingly). A casual enquiry of “how long?” was met with “we can't promise anything but you should be seen in an hour or two!!!” It didn't end up being that long, on the other hand it didn't really accomplish much, I spent half an hour sitting with an Orthopaedic registrar while he asked me lots of questions and poked my shoulder a bit, all exactly the same things that each doctor has done each time I've dislocated it. After all that I was sent off for x-rays and told to make an appointment with their real orthopaedic specialist! I finally escaped at noon to go to work!

Two particularly humorous events of the morning, both were in the x-ray waiting room.

• The guy leaning against the wall with his elbow resting on the Switch off all mobile phones sign, chatting away merrily into his mobile phone, and. - Overheard as the x-ray technician came in to collect me “I need to

do a left shoulder mobility set—what on earth is that?”

### Holidays

[http://www.lhasa-2-kathmandu.co.uk/]
Lhasa to Kathmandu. I've read about it before, its getting tempting... especially the 160km downhill run!

## untitled // at 23:59

There are huge masses of kelp washed up along the beach and rocks today, but no signs of the whales that were seen on Friday. It's getting to be a joke that where ever I go, there are no whales. Fishermen on the pier, coffees in the café, another relaxing day as we unwound from last week.

3:30 this afternoon and I decided that I desperately needed to get out and go for a bike ride, to try and capture the last of the sunny afternoon, so while everyone else snoozed on the couch I rode off along the Great Ocean Road, arranging for them to pick me up at Torquay.

It was cool, but bearable, and magnificent riding through the forests and along the beaches. The late afternoon sun and good waves had brought out every surfer for miles around. Even the motorists were surprisingly well natured, considering it was the end of the school holidays and everyone was heading back to Melbourne. There was only one baseball cap wearing P-plater driving the ubiquitous Commodore who decided to spin the wheels as he overtook on the wrong side of a traffic island.

With impeccable timing, Jo, Mark and Lesley drove past just as I rounded the roundabout at the bottom of Torquay. Packed the bike into the car and we continued on to Geelong to peek into Machine Age, and look for Mark & Lesley's old couch, then eat more magnificent food at the Sailor's Rest on the waterfront.

10:00pm, back home. It looks like a bomb site, there'll be no avoiding the housework next week!

## untitled // at 23:59

Woke up, ate, went for a walk, ate, sat around the house, ate, went for a walk, slept. Nearly a perfect day really.

MarkO offered what may well be one of the centuries' more meaningful wine reviews. Sitting down to a magnificent beef curry with a large glass of red, he uttered the following:

Ere, this is alright; and there's lots of it.

Truer words are rarely spoken.

## untitled // at 23:59

Not a very productive week, the more machines that we install Sophos anti-virus software on at Monash, the more machines we seem to have that are experiencing problems. Or maybe that should be, that are eXPeriencing problems, since most of them seem to be on WindowsXP. No amount of removal and reinstallations seems to work. The NetWare 6 native file access product is driving me crazy too, the test server works perfectly, the production one will let Windows machines login but not Macintoshes. No amount of "try this, try that" type advice seems to be helping.

...and this morning's idiot of the day award goes to the man in the Subaru Forrester. Holding a thickshake to his mouth with his left hand, and a phone to his ear with his right, he still managed to stay mostly in one lane as he drove with his knees up Swan St.

Yay, time to get away for the weekend. Off to Lorne to sleep in late, eat good food, drink good coffee, slurp good wine, and be with good friends.

Drove down through the miscellaneous 60, 70, 80 and 100 km/hr zones that make up the continuous road-works that is the Geelong road. I'm astounded that people can manage to do this twice a day and not get caught by a speed trap, some of the transitions from one zone to another are not easy to spot, and the mix of old, new and temporary road-markings is frightening in the dark!

Well the first meal of the weekend was a failure. Pizza from the only take-away shop left open in Lorne, it was an evil slimy affair covered in diced pig and not much else. MarkO and Jo had trouble containing themselves when the sole waitress in the empty shop used the intercom to order the pizza from the cook in the kitchen, roughly a metre behind her.

## untitled // at 23:59

Brrr! Another frosty morning, and a very cold ride to work. Almost reminded me of Canberra.

[http://www.cofax.org/]
yet another content management system. Java based, much nicer design, no ugly URLs... need more copious spare time to investigate further.

Received an interesting email today. In February I read a number of papers on possible future operating systems, all published by Microsoft. All were hosted on the website http://research.microsoft.com/ and are publically viewable. Today I received an email telling me to remove the reference, even though I had not included their email address, and was linking to a publically available page that can be found via any search engine.

Just as it would be rude to post someone's telephone number on the web without their permission, you should not post their email address without their permission—especially not in a form that can be read by a spider. Please remove my name from that page.

Oh well, I've removed the person's name, as per the request.

### Tour de France

Fascinating level of coverage of the Tour de France in The Age though. The race started on Sunday and there was nothing, Monday... nothing, Tuesday, a sixth of a page because the Aussies appeared in the placings. All of sudden, today there is a full page spread since all four are in the top thirty places! I wonder when they'll realise that they can cover world class sports when there are no Australians winning them.

## untitled // at 23:59

Useful snippet for formatting PHP files. Handy if I'm going to try and delve into postnuke any more. It is generating some abominable HTML, a mix of HTML 4.01, XHTML and just plain wrong.

```(defun php-mode-hook ()
(setq tab-width 4
c-basic-offset 4
c-hanging-comment-ender-p nil
indent-tabs-mode
(not
(and (string-match "/\\(PEAR\\|pear\\)/" (buffer-file-name))
(string-match "\.php\$" (buffer-file-name))))))
```

I carefully left work so I could drop in on friends and watch SBS' 6:30 to 7:00pm coverage of the Tour de France... Arrived spot on 6:30, just as MarkO turned the TV off. Somehow I'd misread the times from the TV guide. Damn, missed all the excitement of the Aussies ranking up high. Robbie McEwen is third overall, Baden Cooke thirteenth, Brad McGee sixteenth and Stuart O'Grady twenty seventh!

## Stange coincidences abound. // at 23:59

An old friend from my Uni days is visiting Melbourne this weekend and he'd promised to call me so we could catch up. Vaguely I'd known that years ago John had said that he had a friend called Drew. This morning John called up and points out that Drew is Bund Drew, and so I know him already. On further investigation I probably met him years ago at John's wedding! The coincidences were explored at great length over an excellent lunch at the Blue Train and a number of pints of Guiness.

Some interesting beers that I bought today to take to a party at Rae and Alex's house:

• Peroni Gran Riserva
• Velkopovicky Czech lager
• Schneider Aventinus
• Hansa Pilsner

## Postnuke site style created // at 14:03

I've selected StyleBox as the basic theme to work with, it was the first theme based solely on CSS that I could find.

Death to the <table> tag!

## Installed postnuke for the very first time // at 17:13

Experimentation time for me, the boss. I've installed postnuke 0.713 and I'm all set to go....

## Postnuke? // at 23:59

Gallery and PHP-nuke or Postnuke look like I should investigate them. This business of building everything from scratch has got to stop.

### MLP

[http://gallery.sourceforge.net/]
maybe I should investigate using Gallery for my photo albums.
[http://phpnuke.org/]
PHP and MySQL content management system.
[http://www.postnuke.com/]
yet another content management system.

## untitled // at 23:59

A throat full of razor blades and a steel band around my chest.... Not quite, but artistic license is always helpful when feeling sick. I'm spending today in bed, trying not to cough out my insides.

## Diseased // at 23:59

I've still got a cold, snuffling and wheezing, but its getting better. Lying in bed this morning I remembered that this time last year I was somewhere in France, but also had a cold.

Wondering what I was doing last year, I've ended up spending part of the afternoon catching up on some more of my journal. I got back from my trip with the best of intentions of transferring it from paper to here, so far so little has been done.

## Get Philosophical // at 00:00

From The Age, Wednesday June 26, 2002. Originally from Guardian

If philosophy's your subject, here are some sites to help the thought processes.

The Argument Clinic
[http://www.univnorthco.edu/philosophy/clinic.html] — Submit an argument to the clinic and have it critiqued by staff at the University of Northern Colorado.
The Atheism Web: Logic and Fallacies
[http://infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html] — An excellent introduction to contructing logical arguments, together with an intriguing list of common fallacies.
Bjorn's Guide to Philosophy
[http://knuten.liu.se/~bjoch509] — Although this site is no longer being maintained, it is still very useful as it includes summaries of the lives and thoughts of many philosophers.
Blupete's Philosophy Site
[http://blupete.com/Intro.htm] — Includes a good range of biographies with summaries of thinking: Descartes, Hegel, Kant, Plato, Popper, Sartre, Schopenhauer and many more.
[http://epistemelinks.com/index.asp] — A comprehensive ethics and philosophy site arranged into topic sections with substantial searching facilities.
Ethics at RS—Web
[http://rsweb.org.uk/] — The ethics section of RS—Web contains links by ethical theory and issue, as well as a glossary of terms and links to online versions of major philosophical works.
Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
[http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/] — Another vast resource containing articles on philosophers, philosophical and ethical theories, terms, movements and so on.
Philosophy Comix
[http://members.aol.com/lshauser/phlcomix.html] — If you want to know how a Garfield cartoon can convey conversational implicature, Peanuts false cause of Dennis the Menace Mill's method of residues, start here. No explanations are given, but the cartoons make a good primary source for lessons.

## Banks // at 23:59

OK, out of the goodness of my heart, I've given the Commonwealth Bank one last chance. The last few months' statements show that I'm now being billed around \$100 a year for the priviledge of banking with them, and together with the rest of Australia “I don't like banks.” Catylsed by the ACCC report showing that the public paid around \$7.1 billion in bank fees in the last year!

My account is changing to a new type, with fewer fees and consequently, less chances for me to actually use it (We can't have me actually getting access to my own money, can we). In true banking fashion in the early part of the 21st century, the papers have to be forwarded from the branch at work to the branch where I originally opened the account, to enable them to do the work!

Maybe the last of yesterday's photos is appropriate...

### Stuff

[http://www.cexx.org/]
??

## untitled // at 23:59

An ignoble end to a fine piece of furniture. Today we tossed out the hairy-brown-couch, left it lying destitute at the side of the road, waiting for collection by the council on Monday morning.

This morning's drive to Lorne was uneventful, we arrived in time for lunch, then spent the afternoon relaxing and strolling about. Out on the pier we weren't the only ones watching the fishermen. The heron in the photo was intently watching for any signs of food.

In the fish co-op Jack was fascinated by the crabs, so much so that Christos gave him one. Nobody was quite sure what Jack would think of eating the crab, but he enjoyed looking at it! Unfortunately I didn't enjoy eating it, a slight allergic reaction later in the evening had my lips tingling and eyes puffed up. A real shame since it tasted delicious, but that's the second time in my life that fresh crab or crayfish has given me a reaction!

## Robotics // at 23:59

[http://www.robotoz.com.au/]
an Australian source of parts and kits!
[http://www.robotbooks.com/]
a large collection of books

### VHS to Digital video

Some notes, grabbed from a posting to the Audio/Video forum of arstechnica.

## untitled // at 23:59

The free washing machine has just changed to a sixty-six dollar washing machine, however it does now have a pump that works. It amazes me at the stuff that people through out at these rubbish collections!

It was frightening out on the road riding home this evening. I was starting to suspect that everyone had picked up their pay and spent it on stupid-pills. First one was some idiot overtaking along Gardiner road and heading straight at me, apparently the new 50km/hr speed limits are not to his satisfaction. At the next set of lights I sat alongside a taxi driver (`M-0486`) who nearly burst a blood-vessel hammering on the horn to try and make the car in front of him turn right for the right turn arrow, while the driver of the car in front patiently waited for the straight-ahead light to go green, since that's where he wanted to go.

Now that there is a “speed measuring” sign in Gardiner road, showing how far over the 50km/hr limit you're driving, some motorists actually seem to slow down to try to stay on the limit. I've found that its 3,500rpm in 3rd gear. On the other hand, some of the other drivers seem to resent the 50km/hr and do stupid things like this evening, or try to find the “high score” of the sign.

## untitled // at 23:59

Woohoo! A free washing machine.

I think it's illegal, but when someone dumps a perfectly good washing machine at the side of the road for the council hard-rubbish collection, I think its environmentally sound to pick it up!

Plugging and plumbing it in showed that it isn't perfectly good, just mostly good. Everything works except the pump, so we can use it as a gravity emptying washing machine, safe in the knowledge that should gravity fail, the inability to wash our clothes is the least of our worries.

## untitled // at 23:59

First frost I've seen so far this year! Normally I'm not out of bed early enough, but today it was back on norky bike to get to work. Cold and misty along the river, with the fog rising up off the water, then frost along the creek through Hawthorn. I could feel the temperature rise as the path climbed from the creek up to Glennferrie road.

This evening, curiousity got the better of me so I went for a ride to see just how bad North Road is for cycling along. There's been a campaign for quite some time by Monash cyclists to get a bike lane built along the road, to encourage more students and staff to either ride to Uni, or to catch the train to Huntingdale and ride from there.

Riding at dusk, in the cold, in rush hour traffic is probably not the best time to visit any major road! From the University back to Huntingdale it didn't seem anywhere near as bad as some narrow roads I've ridden on, the kerbside lane is fairly wide. Nobody swerved at me, hooted at me, or threw anything at me, so it's not as bad as some of the rides I've been on in Oakleigh and Clayton! The main problem is the speed and noise of the traffic. Maybe enforcing the speed limit would help! Crossing the mighty Dandenong Road/North Road intersection is another matter, you seem to be confronted by acres of ashphalt, and the twelve seconds of green light seem very short while you're doing it!

## Mostly MLP // at 23:59

[http://urbanphoto.org/]
Urban photographs of a number of cities, including Melbourne.
[http://webcam.omni.net.au/]
Webcams showing Melbourne. (Although nowhere near as good as speed-hump cam)

Then I found a few links to more cycling material from the urbanphoto site.

[http://urbanbicyclist.org/]
I know where the development version is, but I'm not supposed to tell.
[http://www.johnforester.com/]
Why Bike Lanes are a Bad Idea. Flip left for right for Australian use, it sums up all my feelings on the subject.

## untitled // at 23:59

The Saturday Age's general knowledge crossword has started to be a bit of a morning ritual. Completeness varies between 25% and 95%, I don't think we've ever finished one. Today I knew one of the answers was Nietzsche, but couldn't for life of me remember the correct spelling. Enter one of the more interesting reference materials I've ever used while completing a crossword... TISM's Hot Dogma liner notes.

Into the city to see the exhibition of RAIA entrants for this years awards. It's always great to see decent design in any field, seeing the architecture awards reminds me that Australia hasn't been taken over completely by ugly neo-Georgian box monstrosities, ever-expanding across the landscape in a cancer of suburbia.

Then head up towards the corner of Russell and Latrobe Streets, curious at the apartment development being built there. We got there to find that its all being sold off the plan, which is probaby fine if you want to become a slum lord (oops, property investment manager), not so good if you're picky and want to buy somewhere to live. Along the way we passed a building site, everywhere there was motion, eight cranes busy moving materials around. If there's anyone in the building trade out there, how do they all tell which whistle is for which crane?

Beer in Carlton, then off along Grattan Street to find the new University of Melbourne building that was entered in the architectural awards. I've never been around the area much, Jo has, but almost ten years ago, so she was amazed at the changes.

Then wonder of wonders, catching a tram back to the city, I spotted not one, but three ticket inspecters. Busy writing out tickets to book the recidivist criminals that are the Melbourne travelling public. The amusing thing was that what had caught my eye was the turban-wearing gent who at first glance appeared to be one of the old conductors, then I realised that he probably used to be one of the conductors. Gone are the days of selling tickets to the public, now he's employed to fine them for not buying them from the machines.

A night for trashy entertainment, off to the Jam factory to see Spider Man. It was everything I expected, fun, lightweight, a comic book on the big screen. What was not fun was the ankle-deep layer of crap in the cinema, and the way that they abruptly shut off the credits around 10 seconds in! There was barely enough time to read the first three lines of the major stars, then bang off with the movie and full on with the house lights. I guess Jam Factory need to maximise their profits by cramming the next session in and didn't want the audience waiting around for...

Towards the end of the closing credits the theme song from the original Spider-Man animated series is played.

## untitled // at 23:59

I feel like an old cripple this morning. Somehow I managed to pull a muscle in my back while tossing papers and books around on Wednesday afternoon.

Tired too, as a result of the Concrete Blonde gig last night. A most impressive show, even if Johnette did appear to be wearing snakeskin pyjamas! Old songs and new songs, ending with Tomorrow Wendy. I managed to take a couple of photos, but was more interested in listening and having a good time than in photography. I'm no good at gig reports, suffice to say that I had a really good time. Even the Prince Of Wales' concrete pillar didn't get in the way.

Looks like one of the guys from ITS has decided to organize a team for BV's Round the Bay in a Day. Not sure if I feel enthused enough to join, or whether I'm still thinking that \$AU70 to Bicycle Victoria for a glorified ferry ticket is a bit much.

## untitled // at 23:59

Haha! Despite the best efforts of the motorist in the red Honda Civic I'm still here. Wet slippery road, lights turn orange, three cars in front of me run the orange, I stop, car behind me flies around me and slides sideways around the corner through the red light!

Recieved an email back from Kodak Support Australia, they're really sorry but they've got no idea. Please call 1300.138.029. I called them and found out the good news and the bad news. The good news was that they could actually help me, the bad news... PictureCD is only available when I get my APS films developed, PhotoCD is all that's available “post-development”. Other suggestion was to try National Photos (a Kodak offshoot), who might be able to offer PictureCD after processing.

PhotoCD costs \$AU19 per CD, then \$AU2.50 per image, minimum of 20 images. Quick back-of-envelope calculation shows that 350 images is around \$AU900!

Nope. National Photos can't help, they did refer me back to Kodak though...

Declare war on ugly web browsers! Time to encourage people to use something that complies reasonably well with HTML and CSS standards. I've included the following little 'ol snippet of javascript from webstandards.org to redirect anything evil (eg Netscape 4.x) back to my “about” page:

```<script type="text/javascript">
<!--  //
if (!document.getElementById) {
window.location =
}

// -->
</script>
```

This evening I rebuilt the i2c and sensors module on `wyvern` to see if I can monitor the motherboard temperature. Only problem seems to be that since Monash “upgraded” it for me, I've got a very dubious no-name motherboard. The manual is for three different chipsets, and doesn't even have a company name on it anywhere! Best I can come up with is Brand X with VIA82C693A chipset.

Suggestion to load the `i2c-riva` module that's available from rivatv

## untitled // at 23:59

Evil weather this afternoon. There was a huge thunderstorm around 5pm, then by the time I left work it had blown away to leave everything soaked and an icy chill in the air.

Owing to lack of interest in the kitchen, dinner was provided by Grandma Funk's, Swan Street Richmond.

## untitled // at 23:59

laugh — Another day, another Nigerian Business offer.

Uploaded the photos from the weekend. Ten points and a free beer to the first person who can spot where we live. No, we're not at the end of the rainbow!

## untitled // at 23:59

Today was a holiday for a some, a leave day for me, but hardly worth taking the day off. Just like the last holiday, Anzac Day, it was cold and gray and miserable.

With much yawning we dragged ourselves out of bed in the dark in time for a quick breakfast before driving Kathy to the airport. Managed to take the right turnoff this time! We joked that it was hardly a typical morning's drive along citylink, seemed to be that the whole city had either gone away for the weekend or stayed in bed this morning — the roads were nearly deserted. Remembered where Virgin's terminal was down in the freight part of the airport and managed to let her out without having to locate the mysterious short term parking area that signs referred to, but didn't point towards.

Probably the most exciting thing we did all day was catch one of the shiny new trams along Victoria Street. The Victoria Gardens concrete monstrosity of a shopping centre is getting bigger and bigger, rather than walk past it we jumped on one of the new low-floor trams. All very quiet and modern and efficient, in some ways they don't seem to be a part of Melbourne's public transport system at all. Tied in well with a letter to the editor of the paper asking for the W-class trams back, but only on the tourist routes so normal people didn't have to use them, and a couple of articles referenced off slashdot about Hong Kong's Octopus card system.

Old band memory of the day: Fischer Z — dredged up from somewhere and played on the radio this evening. A show I don't normally listen to but tonight the woman with the irritating giggle isn't in the studio, so I haven't turned it off yet.

## untitled // at 23:59

Running late to head towards the airport this morning there was a comedy of events. A girl moving into one of the other units had parked a van across half the driveway, we could have driven around it except that they'd left a washing machine standing in the middle of the other half. Rather than move the washing machine, three of them indulged in some very complicated conversation and exchange of keys, then started the van and inched it backwards out onto the street and around their other, illegally parked, vehicle. Growing frustration was tempered by amusement at their complete incompetence.

Then the event we've been joking about every time we drive along citylink towards the Westgate (bridge), we forgot to turn off onto the Hume highway and found ourselves heading rapidly the wrong way towards Geelong. Luckily it is possible to detour off, down through the last petrol station, then under the freeway, back around through the other petrol station, and up onto the freeway again. Not something I'd recommend though, especially since there's a stop sign that seems to appear out of nowhere while you think you're on the main road, only to discover that you are meant to stop for merging traffic.

After all that we got to the terminal only five minutes late, picked up Kathy and made our way, uneventfully, back home.

Did the tourist bit in the afternoon and caught the tram into the city, shopped in Daimaru 1, then visited the Rialto to get a good view of the city from above. Probably the best part of the day to be up there, we started in daylight and got to see all the city lights come on. The observation deck has been updated since I was last there, about five years ago, and the very dated 1980-esque photos with 1970s captions have been replaced with recent colour displays of the numerous views. Other things that seem to have been renovated are the wall displays and brochures listing the Rialto's place in the world's tallest towers. There must have been much frantic reprinting last September, since there's no mention of the World Trade Centre anywhere... they never existed. Slightly more odd, the brochures are available in multiple languages, fair enough, but there are three different copies with Australian, American and British flags on the covers. Unfortunately we didn't grab one of each to find out what the differences were.

We even managed to find a tram driver with a sense of humour. Normally the announcements over the PA are incomprehensible, or all you manage to hear is “Sppttthht Street.” On the way in to town it was as if we had an ABC TV announcer in the cab, and then the message— “Spring Street, State parliament, Fitzroy gardens and lots of trees.” — all delivered in a dead-pan voice.

### Stuff

1. One shiny new teapot, on sale as part of Daimaru's clearance sale.

## untitled // at 23:59

Dee Dee Ramone is dead. chuckle the Ramones are leading the Beatles two to one1. I heard Julie is a Punk being played in tribute this morning on RRR. Wow, that was a demo from 1975... what were we all doing in 1975? I seem to remember Sherbet and Skyhooks, and Mrs Andrews my fifth grade teacher.

Favourite junk mail for today:

``` . [  30: customerservice5034l57@] Free Septic Tank Information 6618RdoT4-86-11
```

I've been looking at some of the photos that are online, especially some of the material on http://photo.net/. Reminded me again that I need to make a concerted effort to get all my old photos scanned and added to my archive, then post-processed so that they look ok! Dug into some of the processing software that came with my camera, stuff that I've never really looked at yet.

PhotoRecord seems to do a passable job of printing, at least on the only colour printer that I've got access to. I made a test page of the Birrarung Marr photos and all the problems were at the printer end, not with the software!

[http://www.photorecord.com/]
PhotoRecord

### Ooh pretty lights

What is this business with the stupid little blue lights on car bonnets? Are blue glow-in-the-dark windscreen squirter nozzles meant to be cool or something? I was tailgated home along the freeway by a black ford ute `EVLXR-6` with some this evening.

1. OK, I was wrong. For some odd reason I managed to forge Mr Harrissson and only remembered the dead lennon. It's a two-all draw.

## untitled // at 23:59

```195.1Mb 9d07009277b9aa3ecd9e84d4a3ca4770 qnxnc620.iso
```
[http://www.qnx.com/]
QNX

## untitled // at 23:59

There's one problem with 9pm movies — not getting to be before midnight. Yawn I must be getting old, but it was very difficult to get out of bed this morning.

A beautiful clear wintery day to be out cycling. World environment day I believe, not that you could tell based on what the Australian and US governments had to say about the Kyoto treaty today! Riding in to work I diverged from the bike track and explored a few short cuts and side tracks that I've seen people use, they seem to be much more straightforward and involve far fewer bridge crossings of the creek.

For some reason a girl in a Laser gave me a blast on the horn as she passed me near the Nott this evening. P-plates of course. She also jumped about a foot in the air when I caught her at the lights and made an equal amount of noise by smacking my hand on the door of her car.

### Stuff

Saw a reference to Squeak, which then led me to Alice. Not sure if I want to get involved in smalltalk or a derivative. I never quite got my head around it the last time I tried, and that was at work!

[http://www.squeak.org/]
Squeak
[http://www.alice.org/]
Alice

## untitled // at 23:59

An interesting variation of my route to get home today. I ended up nearly circumnavigating Richmond after impatience at seeing the traffic. It was banked up from McRobb bridge around the Boulevarde, then back down onto the freeway to the toll gantry. (Toll gantry on a free-way? Too hard, I'll explain some other time.) Anyway, I continued on around to Punt Rd, nearly slammed into the back of a bimbo who decided to stop in a no-standing merge lane, phone to ear, while she attempted to merge one-handed with 80km/hr traffic, then had to continue up to Bridge Rd because I'd forgotten that you can't turn right into Swan St. Eventually I got home and thought that next time I'll just wait patiently in the grid-lock!

Tonight we'd decided to go and see a movie, the only problem was that neither Jo nor I could choose. Eventually it came down to Gosford Park, because the season was nearly over, and 9pm because there was no way we could get to an earlier session in time.

We drove off into the unchartered reaches of Camberwell this evening to find a cinema, and took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Gosford Park was worth it though, lots of chuckles and a cast of characters that I'm still trying to get straight in my head. “The buttler did it...”

We should now be able to drink professionally made coffee as a result of the course Joey went on today. Elementary Espresso 2000, quite a humerous name, but it enables her to safely run the espresso machine in the café without endangering herself or others.

## Brothel Probe Goes Too Far // at 23:59

Probably one of the more spectacularly eye-watering headlines I've seen in a newspaper all year. Jo and I spent half the afternoon sniggering and warning each other to “beware of the brothel probe.”

## Rear wheel from hell // at 23:59

That's it! Tomorrow the evil rear wheel from hell comes off my bike. Yet again I had to wrestle with it for quarter of an hour, letting it down completely in order to pull the valve far enough out to clamp the pump on to pump it up!

Life got a bit lighter once I'd arrived at work. Two more copies of the Nigerian business scam arrived today! I must be truly blessed.

## untitled // at 23:59

I couldn't resist! Standing on the corner waiting to cross Church street, right next to the "forward bicycle box" that Bicycle Victoria is oh so proud of having introduced to Melbourne's roads. Up comes a car, but does he stop? No, the driver goes straight over the bike box and sits half across the line at the front of the intersection. Not just any car mind you, this was one of Victoria's Police. Just a little more evidence that maybe what Australia's cyclists need isn't more shiny paint markings on the road, its a change in the attitude of the motorists.

The officer in the passenger seat wasn't really happy, but he couldn't quite figure out what I was doing taking a photo of their car. He made some whitty comment about my courier bag making it look like I was wearing a seat belt, I added that it didn't have an airbag fitted, then left before I could be booked for photographing policemen without their permission.

Tags:

## untitled // at 23:59

Surprise, surprise, BP hasn't replied to my email, despite the assurance that they would do so within five working days. I'll try a written enquiry tomorrow...

A Bund dinner at Mexicali Rose. Despite the photo being solely of beer and other beverages, we did have food as well.

Tags: ,

## untitled // at 23:59

I made a concerted effort to get my head around some of the XML and XSLT things that I should know and mocked up a first draft for a redone photos page. It still isn't quite all there, but PHP, XSLT and Sablotron sure beats assorted static includes and text files.

### Stupid Device of the Day

[http://www.orgasmatron.com.au/frameset.htm]
poorly named toy.

[http://www.toysrgus.com/images-conce/chewie-family.html]
[http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~mbsf/sworde.htm]
[http://www.deskmod.com/]
[http://www.dotvoid.com/]

## untitled // at 23:59

It was a sleepy Sunday, as a result of last night neither of us got out of bed before noon!

I decided to attack my unsorted photos and finish putting them in albums, so I jumped on the bike and headed off to buy another album from the photo shop on Swan Street. It was shut, so was the other photo shop on Swan Street. Halfway home I thought I might as well visit the one on Bridge Road, he'd made a hash of my last photos, but maybe buying an album was ok. He didn't have any. One last chance as I tried the shop in the Richmond Plaza, only to find that they were also shut on Sundays.

The gods must be against me, I came back home and put the rest of my photos from 2000 and 2001 into the existing albums, discovering that I didn't really need a new album after all. I must do something about scanning the outstanding APS films though.

Late in the afternoon it was time for some exercise and a little exploration of the far side of the river bank. The natives appeared friendly, and the architecture impressive. We had tried to walk down along the river from Hawthorn Bridge to Swan Street, but found ourselves stopped by private property in several locations. We did find a number of very impressive sized old mansions. A back alleyway as a short-cut turned into a dead end, but the gap in the fence at the end lead into the rail embankment, a brief scramble through the bushes and we could scurry through a hole in the wire fence and back out onto the street. Somewhat further along we finally did get back down to the river, at Power Street Reserve, the park which we'd both been thinking of in the first place! With our breath fogging the air, wet elms all around and people everywhere walking their dogs, it had the feel of a winter's afternoon in an English park.

If only there was a public right-of-way along the river we could have made it the rest of the way to the Boulevarde, but as it stands the private schools own the river frontage, so we could either walk east all the way to Glennferrie road then back along the bike path bridge, or retrace our steps to Swan Street. We chose to go back, stopping to peer in the windows of Watermark Appartments, the appartment development on the old tramways depot. Interesting to see the old depot under the new apartments, we're wondering what they'll do with it. Not so impressed to see apartments with windows at street level, two metres from Power street, with only a single pane of glass between them and the traffic!

sigh. I'm getting sick of either the lights or the wiring in this place. Just replaced two bulbs, one in each bedroom, and then discovered that one in the entry foyer has blown. There's 24 bulbs in the place, I've replaced at least nine in nine months, and two work only intermittently!

Tags:

## Sunday meandering // at 00:00

Cold, damp and foggy morning. It reminded me of Canberra winters.

After briskly doing the rounds of the Richmond market, stocking up on vegetables and dodging small children and wildly erratic grandmothers with trolleys, we adjourned to a newish café to try out their breakfast.

Via Ponte; not a very original name for an establishment on Bridge Road, but the staff are friendly, the fire is warm, and last weekend we found that the coffee and pasta were good. The breakfasts were just as good, bacon, eggs, toast, sausages, tomato and coffee all for under ten dollars, and friendly service. Definitely a place to become a regular customer at!

In the afternoon a walk in the vague direction of the Botanic Gardens ended up detouring all along the river and turning into an exploration of Birrarung-Marr, the new riverside park between Swan Street bridge and Flinders Street Station. Looks a little forlorn in the cold of winter, nobody knows its there yet, and its still partly landscaped. We played around the Federation bells, but they're designed to only be played by the official mechanism from underground, so the only sound they made was a dull thud when Jo accidently walked into one of them.

Along the way we saw the last four minutes of a football match at Olympic park. The most interesting part was trying to work out exactly what we were seeing, since the only bits visible was the back of the crowd and the tops of the goals. Apparently it was Melbourne Storm losing an ARL match to the New Zealand Warriors.

Another first, since the walk into the city had made us thirsty, we stopped for a beer at Young and Jackson's, something we'ld been intending to do ever since I'd revealed to Jo that I'd never been there.

Finished off the day by a late night out to see the Black Eyed Susans at the Tote. Embarrassment on both sides when neither of us could remember exactly where the Tote was, it not being on our regular list of venues, but we found it where we guessed it would be, then had to endure several hours of the thickest smoke in a venue that I've been subjected to for some time. Having had a large dinner with a couple of glasses of wine, we started out tired. Arriving there around ten-thirty and the Susans didn't start until nearly midnight, so when they called it quits we were quite ready to hurry home. Even so, it was a good night, the support band was excellent, and the Susans played well.

## untitled // at 23:59

There's a scary letter to the editor in The Age today. Entitled “Time to get rid of the two-wheeled killing machines,” its from a guy who has apparently written many times before. Apparently everytime there's mention of motorcycling in the news, he has a rant and want's them off the roads completely.

## untitled // at 23:59

Slack me, nothing here.

Finally attached the 5¼” floppy drive to an old MS-DOS machine so that I can attempt to read my old Flex-formatted disks. Not having much success, but I seem to be on the right track with `anadisk`.

In a desperate attempt to use up the last of the vouchers for discount meals before they expire at the end of the month, Jo and I went out to dinner at Ghurkas in Carlton. Strange to be going to a non-Italian restaurant on Lygon Street though! I'd forgotten just how pushy all the touts for the Italian places were, we'ld only just walked around the corner when the first one stepped out of his doorway, blocked our path and tried to push us inside his restaurant. The place was packed, the food was excellent, and we both ate far more than we should.

After waddling out of the restaurant it was off to see A Beautiful Mind at the Nova. A disturbing movie, now I want to know more about Mr Nash.

## Thank you for communicating… // at 23:59

Well, after being shouted at yesterday, I've sent off my enquiry to Mr BP asking them to explain themselves and tell me exactly which law it is that requires me to dismount from my bike before filling it…

Thank you for communicating with BP Australia. Your feedback will help us to provide a more valuable, responsive, and reliable internet service in future. A customer service representative will respond within 5 working days.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets on whether they will respond within 5 working days, or whether they'll be like the last bank I wrote to who never responded. On the other hand, maybe 5 working days is four calendar months…

Tags: ,

## Its the law!!! // at 23:59

It was wet, it was cold, it was miserable, and all I wanted to do was to fill my bike with petrol on the way home. I called in to the BP service station on Ferntree Gully Rd, the same as I'd done any number of times in the past. Pulled up to the pump and put the nozzle in the tank, waiting for the pump to be switched on... and waited... and waited...

Eventually the attendant walked up from his counter to the door and stood there and shouted at me that I had to get off the bike. I asked why. “It's the law he,” shouted. I asked what law. “It's the law, in case you spill petrol on yourself, catch fire and sue us,” he shouted. I asked what law. He told me it was “the law,” and to “get off the bike.”

I told him to get stuffed, put the keys back in the ignition, and rode off to the next nearest servo, where not only was the petrol 2c a litre cheaper, where I could be served sitting on the bike the same as for the last sixteen years, but where I could have a friendly chat with the owner.

Congratulations BP, that's one less customer.

Tags: ,

## untitled // at 23:59

A couple of interesting programs that I'd seen mention of in the past, they popped up on /. today.

[http://www.etherpeg.org/]
EtherPeg, macintosh only.
[http://www.ex-parrot.com/~chris/driftnet/]
Driftnet, an opensource equivalent.
[http://www.inter-mezzo.org/]
InterMezzo — another candidated in my never-ending quest to keep everything synchronised, yet another reference to yet another distributed file system.

## untitled // at 23:59

More suggestions about moving mail around, cos suggested `isync` or `mailsync`.

[http://www.gigaspaces.com/]
maybe if I could actually get some JavaSpaces stuff to run on any platform, I'd be able to investigate further.

## Mailings // at 23:59

I discovered the wonders of fetchmail today. Must get around to setting up one IMAP server and then slurping all my older mail into it, especially stuff from the myriad of mailing lists.

For slurping old mail from an IMAP store somewhere:

```fetchmail -a -p imap --folder folder-name --user me \
-m "/usr/bin/procmail&nbsp;-d %T" mailserver
```

Or just use a `\$HOME/.fetchmailrc` a bit like:

```poll mail.domain proto IMAP user ME mda \
"/usr/bin/procmail -d %T" fetchall folder folder-name
```

Also got my digest split up and stored as individual mail items. Use procmail recipes of either:

```| formail +1 -ds >>undigested-folder
```

to store on local folders, or:

```| formail +1 -d -s \$DELIVER undigested-folder
```

for folders on an IMAP server, where `\$DELIVER` is the wrapper script around the Cyrus `deliver` program.

## untitled // at 23:59

The time had come to fire up the Honda after its two weeks of rest. Unsurprisingly, the battery was so flat it could barely light the dashboard lights, so I had to play the jumper lead game. The new battery is getting further and further up the priority list...

After successfully managing to get to work without getting myself killed, I took a long lunch and rode into the city to join in the protest against the new \$AU50 "safety" charge being added to motorcycle registration as part of the state budget. All the tasks that this money is earmarked for are suitably wishy-washy, and most of them have to do with all road users, noticably the ones in cars who keep on driving into things that they don't see. I'm no good at guessing crowd numbers, but there seemed a lot of people (and bikes) there. Everyone gathered at 222 Exhibition street, TAC headquarters, and assorted media photographers ran up and down filming us all, then at noon we rode around into Spring St, parked and there were many speeches regarding the "safety initiative". It appears that neither the government or the opposition could be bothered to send a spokesman out to address the crowd, which may say something for their attitude to this latest revenue raiser.

[http://bigmouth.here-n-there.com/]
all praise the singing fish.
[http://www.linux-usb.org/]
time to see if I can make my RoboCam work on `wyvern`.

Seeking here and there, I found that I needed the following to install the kernel modules for the USB camera:

```depmod usbcore
depmod ov511
```

`mount -t usbdefs none/proc/bus/usb` mounts the USB filesystem so I can look and see what is attached... A VIA USB HSB rev17 for starters!

The LifeView RoboCam&trade; is really just an ordinary OV511 camera (USB Id, Vendor=05a9, ProdID=0511), so most software should work. I tried `gqcam`, `xawtv`, `streamer` with moderate succecss, then used `imgstamp` to stamp the image and upload it. Nothing is quite automated yet, but its a start. Certainly better results than I've got from the support from their company, the provided software for Windows XP fails to install and the email they sent responding to my request basically said “can't help you, it works for us, except in much worse english.

[http://www.thedirks.org/v4l2]
Video for Linux 2.

## Webcam // at 18:00

 webcam

Please be patient. I'm experimenting with a USB camera connected to either my desktop PC at work, or a laptop provided by my work, both of these run some form of Windows software that grabs hold of images. The main part of the experiment is to find a seamless way of uploading these images to `ajft.org`.

I haven't found any free Windows software that will do what I want in an unobtrusive manner, nor can I get the USB camera to work at all under Linux on my home machine. Any hints or suggestions would be very welcome!

To add an extra degree of difficulty, once I installed the drivers and software for my digital camera on the laptop, the USB camera has stopped working completely.

There's a chance I can use the Digital IXUS 300 as a webcam, but that would definitely require me to buy an external power supply for it.

2002-May-14: Latest news is that with a bit of experimentation, I've managed to get the LifeView RoboCam™ working under Linux. Still needs work to automate the snapshots and uploads.

## untitled // at 23:59

Will I, won't I... to ride the motorbike or not... My arm is probably up to it, but only if all of Melbourne's motorists behave themselves and nobody does anything stupid in front of me. Chances of that with slightly wet roads, not high enough. So its back on the trains and buses.

Sitting in an empty shiny train, I took a picture of it, one of the stupid things that is easy to do with a digital camera. There's no waiting to finish a whole roll of film before developing it—click, instant gratification and more stupid snapshots than you can poke a stick at. This then came up in discussion later in the day, the pros and cons of digital and 35mm cameras. After spending on average, \$30 per roll for film and processing of my APS camera, I'm quite happy most of the time with the digital. The only times I wish for an SLR would be taking close-ups, or long exposures, or all the odd things.

Attention passengers; the 6:15 train to Flinders street has been delayed and is expected in five minutes...

Digging around looking for ways to read the Flex floppies into `wyvern`. There seems to be a standard format for Flex disk images to be held in, which is "DSK". The best approach I've found seems to be a combination of `anadisk.exe` and `ana2dsk.exe`, both of which are MS-DOS programs. Oh well, if it works, I'll be happy! Quite a thriving community of Flex users out there, tending their old machines or running their software on emulators like flexemu.

maybe I should enter some of my photos in their competition... maybe not.

## untitled // at 23:59

I finally sat down and attacked the old pile of 5¼” floppy disks this evening, albeit not very successully. Most of them are unlabelled, there's a mix of DSDD, DSHD and even some SSSD disks in there, some were written by MS-DOS, some were written by Flex. I managed to read most of the 1.2M and some of the 360k MS-DOS floppies.

Other success story of the day was getting the sound working again on `wyvern`, the modules that need to be loaded are, in order: `soundcore`, `sound`, `ac97_codec` and `es1371`. Once this was done, all the annoying beeps and blurts from the gnome desktop are back, and I can play mp3s.

## untitled // at 23:59

Yay! I've finally managed to drop off my tax papers... only a few months late.

More fun on public transport this morning. I'm not surprised they can't count tickets when the bus driver was just waving people on, regardless of whether they had a ticket or not. The one this evening had an interesting habit, all the tickets that students bought, he'd put into the machine so they were cancelled, once out on North Rd, the tickets that the new passengers bought were just handed to them, consequently two out of three just put them in their pockets and got a free trip.

I seem to be getting somewhere with installing plan9 onto my laptop, slowly, step-by-step and with a lot of assistance from mailing lists. I've got the partitions set up, formatted, just can't get the network card to work.

### Stuff

[http://xine.sourceforge.net/]
open-source video/DVD player.

## untitled // at 23:59

Two trains and a bus and I still managed to get to work in just over an hour, the gods must have been smiling because all three of them met up with minimal waiting.

Its fascinating how many people the bus driver can cram into his bus, the three people squashed between the windscreen and front door looked a little uncomfortable!

I wonder how many times I'll have to relate the story of how I managed to injure my arm?

IBM's Robocode looks like fun to play with.

## untitled // at 23:59

A sunny day, sitting at home, my arm in a sling and not able to do anything.

An odd thing happened while I was updating this — a guy climbed up a ladder and stared in at me through the window, is very odd typing while someone cleans a window 1m away. I knew there was something I was meant to do this morning; close all the windows to make life easier for the window cleaners.

[http://www.dotico.com/]
pretty icons, found them while following up something else.

Enough of this, I should be using the time wisely to complete last year's income tax, as a timely reminder from the accountant pointed out.

The Salvation Army don't want my old couch. Should I feel insulted? After many years sterling service we've replaced it, I rang them up yesterday and the truck just came to visit. The driver took a brief look at it, poked it, and pronounced it dead. Suggested that the best thing I could do would be to dump it down the street one night.

Amazing, I think I've actually managed to complete my tax for last financial year. All I need to do now is get it to the accountant.

A walk up the road to fetch some drycleaning, I thought the weather was warm, it wasn't until I stopped in at the Dover on the way home that I found out that with a maximum of 28.1°C, today was the hottest May day since sometime in 1905.

In other interesting news, a couple of old school friends caught up with me via email. I haven't seen Ralph and Denise since 1982 at Hawker College, but somehow they found me, and read about last Friday's mishaps. I think they'll laugh when they see what happened on Saturday.

### Snippets from the newspaper

[http://www.samsonite.com/]
Bluetooth Briefcase. A lovely shade of iMac™ translucent blue.
[http://www.robocop.com/]
Robocop, surely one of the silliest movies of all time. Who can forget the magnificent robot, ED209.
[http://atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/atom_147]
Seventeen Seconds to Sophie. A stop-motion film of a pregnancy.
[http://www.cycho.com.au]
Cycho — Stop-motion plasticine animators.
[http://www.uwb.org/]
Ultra Wideband networking.
[http://www.superscape.com/]
Superscape; 3D graphics engine for current mobile phones

## untitled // at 23:59

A morning visit to the doctor became a bit of a saga. Not open at 8:30 when I arrived, by the time nine o'clock came about, five people were waiting, all pushed past me to be the first to the desk. One of the doctors called up sick, so we all had to wait for the other, and I hadn't been before so there was a mighty filling out of forms before I could get near him. Extra excitement because my Medicare card expired about 18 months ago and I hadn't noticed. When I did get to see him it felt like it was: “What can I do for you, you need surgery, I'll book you in to a specialist at St Vincents, here's a certificate for two days off, goodbye, next.”

Checked my mail for work and did what I could while typing with one hand in a sling. Mused some more on the idea of building a dual-CPU Athlon PC. It seems expensive, and I've got nowhere to put it!

[http://www.tweakers.com.au/]

## untitled // at 23:59

Experimental cooking, a two-year-old's birthday party, dinner with friends.

While I sat around all morning feeling sorry for myself, Jo took over the kitchen, making mysterious smells and creating an interesting batch of Capsicum Dip/puree.

Young nephew Jack thoroughly enjoyed his second birthday party, making the most of all the attention he was receiving, not to mention the toys and cake.

Then to unwind, a barbecue with MarkO and Leslie and a chance to go "Ooh" and "Aah" over their rejuvenated floor, now that they've completed the removal of the evil carpet and the restoration of the floorboards.

## untitled // at 23:59

Three new CDs, a new pair of wheels for norky bike, a trip to the markets and a dislocated arm. Bugger! Not quite what was intended for today.

It all started fairly well; our first real weekend at home since before Easter. A walk up the street to the Richmond markets, then an enormous brunch at Blue Heaven, sitting in the sun in the courtyard in feeing more like late summer than nearly winter.

Part two of the day's shopping started along Swan Street, looking for birthday presents for others and CDs for us, and finding a new bike store along the way. Melbourne's first concept store, the guy proudly told us. Looks just like a shiny new bike shop that only stocks Specialized brand to me.

Off into the city to visit Gaslight, pick and choose three CDs each and a pair of tickets for Conrete Blonde next month. I got Do the POP the new double compilation of 70s-80s Australian garage rock and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's B.R.M.C, Joey picked up the new Billy Bragg, England, Half English, Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting and Nick Cave's No More Shall We Part.

Stepping out the door we were on our way down towards JB Hifi when we spotted a bike store, stepped inside and there was a display rack of wheels. Checked closer and they seemed to be what I was after. Instant decision time, five minutes later I was walking out the door with, finally, a replacement for the 'orrible rear wheel from Hell (or Devizes) in the form of a pair of Mavic Crossrides.

The arm? Well the full story will have to remain shrouded in mystery. Suffice it to say that at ten to midnight while lying in bed, I put my arms up to cuddle Joey, she leant down on my upper arms and everything went horribly wrong. She called the ambulance, I lay with my arm off the side of the bed how the hospital had put me once, while we wondered how long an ambulance at midnight on a Saturday would take. Managed to lift myself up on the cushions and there was a very loud clunk as my shoulder went back. Jo called up again and cancelled the ambulance, and the two of us sat in bed and drank a large mug of tea each while I held an ice pack to my arm. Bugger!

## SMIDSY // at 23:59

Sorry Mate I Didn't See You — it ought to be grounds for instant revocation of a motorists license. Yep, I was knocked off the bike this morning. I stupidly thought that the driver of the stationary vehicle waiting to enter Glennferrie Road, the one who turned his head and looked towards me, had actually seen me. From a standing start he drove about 50cm and got me side on; his first words on leaping out of the car and coming to see me lying on the ground, yep, you guessed, “Sorry Mate, I Just Didn't See You.” Total damage - a cut on my shin where the number plate got me and a big bruise on my bum where I hit the concrete. I was too amazed by his stupidity to bother getting his license or rego. details.

I rode up the Boulevard on the way home to see the police helicopter circling over Richmond again, spotlight shining down. Was nearly tempted to go off chasing it to see what was going on. A good thing I didn't, I found out later that they were searching for a gunman who had tried to hold up one of the bakeries on Bridge Rd.

We spent the early part of the evening sitting in the Bridge reading the music papers with a few beers. Tiredness overtook us, so that was the extent of the socialising, but it started the thought processes on the path of new CDs and time to see more bands....

## untitled // at 23:59

I'm feeling quite virtuous, this is four days in a row that I've managed to get up early enough to cycle to work. The usual fun and games getting around the horde of foreign students between Glenferrie Rd and Hawthorn campus of Melbourne Uni.

Fog.

## untitled // at 23:59

Ooo, look! I finally received a copy of the notorious Nigerian Scam email.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but we went and saw The Scorpion King this evening. 92minutes of absolute stupidity, but that's what we were expecting. I think it must have the highest proportion of fight-scenes to movie-length of any movie. Left the cinema half deafened, since the Jam Factory seems to believe that everything has to be turned up to 11, and with my ribs and jaw aching from laughing so much.

## untitled // at 23:59

I finally got off my arse and cycled to work this morning, doing battle with the 'orrible rear wheel from hell in order to inflate the tyre which still hadn't been done since its return from the NSW ride! Only six degrees this morning, but a surprising number of people out on the track. The ride home was more exciting, I only had my flashing LED lights and they just aren't sufficient for Melbourne's cycle tracks, which are made even more hazardous by the number of idiots who've spent big money on their 50W lighting setups and have them pointing up in your eyes rather than down at the ground. It makes spotting the unlit, oncoming riders a bit of a challenge. Extra points for stupidity to the guy riding towards me with a flashing red light on the front, at least I managed to see him under a street light before trying to go around what I thought was a slower rider heading my way.

Plan9 4th edition has been released, I've downloaded the CD image and a boot floppy, but my T21 thinkpad won't install. It gets part way through the boot sequence then simply stops. Last messages on the screen are:

```Booting Plan9 (4th Ed)
....
#Y0 : TI PCI-1450 Cardbus Controller, 50000000 intl 11
#Y1 : TI PCI-1450 Cardbus Controller, 50100000 intl 11
```

I've read a couple of notes that suggest that the T21 has an Intel PC100 ethernet controller, even though it identifies it as a 3com one, but I can't seem to get any further. All help and suggestions gratefully received!

## When the machines fail // at 13:48

Why is this not on this website? At some time back in 2002 I must have found it of passing interest and copied it, it appears that I have should not have republished it so it has now gone. So as to prevent URL entropy I'll keep a place-holder here for posterity — ajft.

## untitled // at 23:59

Finally got around to putting the replacement fan into the powersupply in `wyvern`. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work, so maybe the temperature sensor has burnt out. At least, after putting the new fan in and connecting it up, it didn't come on at all for the rest of the day.

## Harvest time // at 23:59

Spent the day grape picking for Jo's uncle at The Duke Vineyard, down at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. Lots of people there, and for the first time in memory the weather was pleasant, apparently it is normally cold and windy, with occasional rain. The hardest job of the day was lifting the netting off whole rows of grapes, walking hundreds of metres up and down the hills, with your arms above your head, alternately unhooking the netting from nails at ankle level, then disentangling it from the vines. The picking was finished by lunchtime and then got to watch as the grapes were fed into the destemming machine, a fascinating device, and then the resulting pulp being crushed and the juice extracted.

## untitled // at 23:59

Woken at three am by pouring rain and a loud party of neighbours returning from their night out. Today is the ANZAC day holiday, we didn't move from the house, just sat around inside and watched the rain.

## untitled // at 23:59

A little more tidying up of the photo archives, together with an upload of the weekend's pictures. I still need the index to pick up the most recent folders...

Damn, this evening I finally got around to unpacking the bikes from the NSW trip and it looks like Jo's has suffered at the hands of the luggage thugs. Big chain ring is bent about 4mm, probably when they were throwing the boxed bikes out of the truck!

## untitled // at 23:59

No chance of sleeping in with a two-year-old in the house! Jack made sure that everyone was awake and out of bed—especially when given a little hint by Jo.

A family outing to pick apples at Allenvale was a minor failure, rains early in the season had meant that the crop was tiny, so we abandoned the apple picking and went for a bushwalk to Phantom Falls. No blackberries to be found either, and only a minute trickle was running down the rock face of the falls. The pools were stained black from decaying trees, so there doesn't seem to have been much rain in recent times.

Later in the afternoon I had to get out of the house and go for a walk by myself, peace and quiet is a precious commodity with six adults and Jack around! I spent the afternoon wandering around the beach and parks, watching the surf and the gulls, smelling the autumn leaves and the smoke, and generally just having an enjoyable time. The beach was covered in feathers, weed and cuttlefish, all washed up by the last storm — the feathers are too big for gulls, but I've no idea what they're from.

I tried to take photos of all the different gulls and terns, but with my camera its too hard to get close enough — the trade-off between pocketability and SLR-like functionality.

Along the way I met a man with a 1950 Vincent motorbike, and stupidly didn't get a photo of it. I have no idea what model it was, but it was in mint condition and looked and sounded beautiful.

## untitled // at 23:59

Uh oh! Looks like Joey has finally discovered my website... She just sent me an email asking me to put a big picture of her on one page.

## untitled // at 23:59

Woke to a gray drizzly sky and the sound of rain. Welcome back to Melbourne! It seemed awful dark compared to last week... a quick check... If I was still in Uralla, further north (further east is the key, I later discovered):

Uralla, NSW, AU (11:17 hours daylight)
Sunrise 6:15am (GMT)
sunset 5:32pm (GMT)

Melbourne, VIC, AU (11:05 hours daylight)
Sunrise 6:47am (GMT)
Sunset 5:52pm (GMT)

### MLP

[http://www.ckdhr.com/dns-loc/finding.html]

## Monday: Sydney — Melbourne // at 23:59

The last chapter of the RTA Big Ride... Getting home.

Fun and games with transport this morning, a typical story of the hotel arranging an airport bus for us, then the bus driver refusing to carry bicycle boxes. With much difficulty we shoe-horned the boxes into a Taxi station wagon, then put up with half an hour of the driver telling us how wonderful Sydney's taxis are and how we shouldn't even bother trying with the bus. Checkin at the airport was painless, no charges for the bikes this time, and by noon we were back in Richmond, flaked out on the couch, recovering...

Most impressive! The real-estate agency that manages my flat has managed to send me a letter with the following attributes:

• It has the address of the property specified incorrectly.
• Its dated 25th May 2002 — about a month in the future
• It has the wrong postcode, 5121 instead of 3121
• It's postmarked 10th May 2002, but with insufficient postage so...
• It's been stamped by Australia Post as having visited the dead letter office and "Underpaid - to be paid by addressee", probably as a result of it going to South Australia before being forwarded to Victoria.

Amazingly, it still seems to have made it to me!

## Sunday: Uralla — Walcha — Sydney // at 23:59

Today: ??km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Saturday: Guyra — Uralla // at 23:59

Today: ??km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

At afternoon tea Jo and I met up with a girl that we'd last met about five years ago on a ride from Tamworth to Newcastle. The main cause of the meeting was her bike, she had a Norco Mocha, the model between Jo's Magnum and my Java. This time we managed to get a photo of the three of us and our bikes.

## Friday: Bundarra — Guyra // at 23:59

Today: 100.98km
Average speed: 18.27km/hr
Riding time: 5h 31'
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Thursday: Inverell — Bundarra // at 23:59

Today: ??km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

In the afternoon, in the main street, Goat Races. Promoted at great length by the organizers as a fun thing to do and the place to go. I don't think anyone realised that the goats in question were feral and had only been captured the day before. As the locals kicked and belted the terrified goats to get them out from the pen and into the harnesses, fewer and fewer of the riders stayed to watch. The RSPCA would probably have been very unimpressed. A few souls volunteered to ride the billy carts, Ratty being one. He had an event filled career as a goat rider, short that it was. Fourth, third and then second places, but would probably have placed higher if he could have convinced the goat to stay on the course and not ram the barricades.

Stormclouds were starting to appear in the east but we were assured by the locals that there was nothing to worry about, that it only ever rained when it came from the north.

We all adjourned to the pub and queried the publican, since the stormclouds towering up from the east were getting darker and closer, “Nah mate, it won't rain.” Five minutes later it was absolutely pouring down, we could barely see across the beer garden.

Making our way back to the campground after the rain had stopped, I managed to lose first my gloves — by leaving them in pub — and then my sunglasses — when they fell out of my pocket as I carried my bag. Finding our bags at dusk was a major problem, they were hidden at the far side of the campground with no signs around them and no lights above them. The evil-smelling wet gloves were recovered later that evening from the lost property, but the sunglasses never returned. I've still got the spare lenses if anyone wants them...

## Wednesday: Inverell // at 23:59

Today: 12.29km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

This morning I found a horse shoe. Not just any horse shoe, it was one of the huge shoes belonging to the draught horses that were towing the carriages around town. I carried it around for half the morning and bore the brunt of many jokes, eventually met up with the carriages and handed it back, to be thanked profusely, since they cost around \$50 a piece!

A last minute detour into a Bric'a'Brack store saw Jo and I make a fantastic find, a bright orange, 1960's Atomic brand stove-top expresso machine — totally impractical to carry on a bike ride, possibly non-functional — of course we bought it. It even has the original instruction manual, featuring a sample packet of the correct grind of coffee!

Late in the afternoon I decided to ride out to the draught horse center, some 4.5km out of town according to the sign near the showgrounds. It didn't start well, as a bunch of local yobboes screaming obscenities swerved their van at me and ran me off the road. Some five kilometres out of town I found the turn off, then a couple of hundred metres down the side road there was a sign that the place was shut on Wednesday and Thursdays! In a bad mood I rode back into Inverell, then spent an interesting half hour chatting with Dave Walker as he was packing up his carriages after a very successful day around town.

## Tuesday: Ashford — Inverell // at 23:59

Today: 60.11km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Monday: Warialda — Ashford // at 23:59

Today: 81.52km
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Sunday: Barraba — Warialda // at 23:59

Today: 106.59km
Avg. speed: 22.13km/hr
Riding time: 4h 49"
Trip total: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Saturday: Manilla — Barraba // at 23:59

Today: ??km
Trip: ??km

I wasn't here, I was on the RTA Big Ride.

## Friday: Melbourne — Sydney — Manilla // at 23:59

Today: 0km
Trip: 0km

Departed this evening for the NSW Bike Ride.

For the first time ever we were charged excess baggage for the bikes, the woman on the Qantas check-in counter quoted a "mandatory \$AU10 charge plus \$AU1 GST", so we paid up, weighed the boxes, and deposited them with the other oversized luggage then went to get the first beer of the holiday.

Looking up we noticed that our flight had closed, so we sprinted off through the airport, endured the evil eye of the attendents at the gate, and made it to our seats. There was then a slight delay while one of the cargo doors couldn't be shut, before we taxied off and were on our way.

A stuff-up by Qantas catering meant that there was no dinner on the flight, only a snack consisting of three tiny breadsticks and some salty nuts.

Once in Sydney the fun began; how to get from the airport to Darling Harbour, with two bicycles, without killing each other. We discussed the relative merits of Taxis vs. the train and decided to attempt the train, then use the light rail from Central to Darling harbour. Jo tried asking at an information desk whether the light rail was at ground level and was given a puzzled look, then told in very slow, carefully enunciated words, that "it is part of our public tranport system".

Getting to the train is not for the faint of heart, not if they have any luggage! There are three lifts to negotiate, each is too small to wheel a laden trolley into, so one person has to hold the doors open while the other unpacks the bags and boxes. Down one floor, open the doors and reverse the process, then off to find the next lift. At the ticket gate there is a sign forbidding luggage trolleys, so you are meant to carry all your belongings from there onwards! Luckily one of the staff decided to let us through a wider, staff-only gate.

Tickets are another mystery; the one-way ticket from the airport to the city is \$AU10, but on one brochure I had seen a mention of a \$AU15 group ticket that could be used by up to four people travelling together. The automatic ticket machines made no mention of these, and the couple in front of us in the queue were charged \$AU20 for two single tickets to Central. It was only when I explicitly asked whether I could use a group ticket for the two of us to get to Central that I was told "yes"!

As I had been previously warned, the train has minimal luggage space, so we had to stand in doorways with our bags and bike boxes, at least this meant less distance to carry them on and off.

At Central we seemed to be on a platform which had no access other than via stairs at either end, so we picked the boxes up again and made our way through the Friday-night football crowd to Eddy Avenue, intending to try and catch a taxi. Eventually I managed to flag down a station wagon and became involved in a bizarre argument with the driver, who tried to tell me, in very broken english, that I couldn't possibly want to go where I wanted, as there was no bus terminal there. Finally he saw the bike boxes and shrugged, pointing out that the seats in the station wagon are bolted down and can't be hinged to make use of the load area, then drove off! Two police walking past then suggested that we carry everything down to Pitt Street and flag down a taxi heading north, as that was the direction we would need! We were both nearly exhausted by now when Jo spotted the light rail station at the top of the escalator above us, a quick check showed that the stop at Haymarket was the closest we could get, so we waited for the tram.

The tram arrived and we met the first helpful person we had spoken too so far in Sydney. The conductor had a good laugh at the size of the boxes, confirmed that we could get where we were going, took our money and helped us get the bikes into the tram!

Finally at 10:30 we were at the meeting point, three hours ahead of departure, with nowhere to store our luggage and no way of getting dinner. Luckily a few other early arriverals watched over our bags while we walked back to china town and had two large plates of noodles.

By midnight the crowds had arrived back at the buses, very few people from Sydney, most seemed to either be interstate or international travellers.

Despite a number of warnings that the buses would leave exactly on the scheduled time, all of them were delayed about ten minutes, and ours was forced to wait an additional half hour "just in case" there were any late arrivals. Luckily the video recorder seemed to be broken so the driver couldn't (illegally) show a movie, unfortunately he managed to fix it, so at 4:30 am the idiot woke the entire bus by playing an Arnie movie. Obviously it doesn't occur to bus drivers that normal humans sleep at that time.

By 7am we were driving through scattered patches of fog in the dawn, and made it to Manilla to commence the great task of unpacking, meeting old friends, and getting ready.

### Bookmarks and bookmark management

[http://lbstone.com/apb/]
Active PHP Bookmarks

## untitled // at 23:59

Possibly not the best way to spend an evening — stumbling around with a large glass of red in one hand and a spanner in the other — disassembling two bicycles to fit them in the boxes to take up to Sydney and points further north tomorrow evening [1]. Still, it has to be done.

### Assorted .Net things

[http://www.go-mono.com/]
Mono, .Net for Linux

## untitled // at 23:59

We went out last night to see GUD, one of Paul McDermott's shows as a part of the comedy festival. I found it slow to start, and painful at first due to the sound system muffling the voices. Then the audience was treated to an obnoxious woman heckling continuously until eventually Paul told her quite simply to shut up or he would sing a song about her...and it wouldn't be very nice. Mick Moriaty of the Gadflys played guitar and straightman, Cameron Bruce keyboards and demented sex maniac. Paul just was himself. Assorted popular song medleys using Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban were one highpoint, and a running gag about not being able to use any of their material about the Queen Mother now that she's died.

Flat battery again this morning, jump started the motorbike. It really is getting to be time to replace the battery. Maybe when I get back from the NSW bike ride in a week or so...

Uploaded a bunch of photos from the Easter DTT ride, the 29th, 30th and 31st of last month and 1st of this one — strangely enough, not one of the photos is of bikes or cycling, all seem to be of beer, food or pubs.

On to more technical stuff, I perused some of Asad's notes on P2P computing (hate that term), and started some more thoughts on what I should be doing with all my many and varied bookmarks and references and maybe they should be in an XBEL database somewhere....

### Today's MLP

Asad Khan's personal page. Lots of information on serverless computing and P2P.

## Oh, I get an extra day of holiday! // at 23:59

An unexpected holiday for me. I was expecting to go to work after easter, it was only when I checked my palm pilot that I found out that Tuesday was an official University Holiday! Would have felt a right idiot if I'd not checked and gone in!

So what did I do? Housework! So much for holidays.

## Friday: Beaufort to Clunes // at 23:59

### Where?

Beaufort, Clunes.

## Happy 60th birthday dad! // at 23:59

Interesting suggestion popped up during discussion on my destruction of my laptop. Since we haven't got ACAP working for everything™, fiddle it with an IMAP folder holding all my config files as MIME attachments or such.

## untitled // at 23:59

Phew! I think I've mostly recovered from destroying my laptop. "Upgrading" from Windows2000 to WindowsXP failed, destroying the partition table (who knows how) and of course I hadn't got backups of some of my most recent photos, so the following I only have thumbnails and medium size images left.

I've been attempting to get my old webcam working under WindowsXP on the laptop, the installer keeps crashing due to some parts of an old version of the software. I've written to the tech support from LifeView, but judging by the poor instructions that arrived with the original software, I don't expect a response.

[http://www.lifeview.com/]
makers of the RoboCAM.

## untitled // at 23:59

Following on from yesterday, Mozilla's SVG+MathML build is now working again with our proxy service.

So here are two test pages for me:

Or maybe even an embedded sample: