...of Things Going Wrong can be found at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's website. Somewhat morose at times, with titles like "Collision with terrain".

I find the investigation reports quite interesting, not just because of me flying paragliders but in general. But then I'm a nerd, always happy to learn something new.

[ published on Wed 25.10.2006 16:48 | filed in brainfarts | ]

The weather was...suboptimal this weekend, so I mostly lazed it away. I fixed the over-sensitive smoke detector (recipe before: start toaster, get jolted by the klaxon, run into hallway, unplug the detector's battery...). Soldering a switch in to disconnect the horn was easy, and better than disconnecting the battery (because on replug the beast emits a number of loud screeches so that you know you're not deaf just yet).

Also started working on my latest home improvement project (ha!), which is replacing the sliding cupboard doors in the bedroom and office. The frame has been doctored (because it had a bulkhead in the way), and I've started some woodworking to make Shoji-style door frames; got a new backsaw and a vise, made me a bench hook etc.

But I'm not any good at woodworkingy yet, unfortunately: my level of perfection is mostly on the screw-butt or (at best) half-lap joint level. Yesterday I tried a bridle joint, but it got fucked up pretty badly: too imprecise, mortise too wide, tenon too thin and the cuts/chiselled bits have lousy edges. The reasons are that I have little experience, no table saw, no router (yet...), and that I'm a bit impatient with the tenon saw. Net result: get more (cheap) timber, and ponder the cheap ($80 or so) plunge router kits out there.

But, all in all making sawdust can be quite a bit of fun :-)

[ published on Mon 23.10.2006 11:31 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Perl is a programming language, just like C, only it is even weirder.

$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=++$a + $a++; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=++$a + ++$a; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=$a-- + $a++; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=--$a + ++$a; print "$b\n";'

My Bizarrotron just broke its indicator needle. Fascinating!

[ published on Sun 22.10.2006 15:10 | filed in interests/comp | ]

I wonder: did Adam+Eve succumb to this problem when they took that bloody apple?

[ published on Wed 18.10.2006 10:41 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Two weeks ago I refurbished an inherited PC (thanks Richard!) to become my desktop (1.6GHz P4, cd-burner, 64mb Geforce2 but only 256mb RAM). I bought 2x1gb DDR memory modules, with the rationale being that I'd better max the thing today, when this particular kind of memory is actually readily available. Did a quick bit of research as to compatibility, seemed fine. Thought I got a good deal at $170 for a new unopened HP-branded pack (when this seller's other items went for $200+). On insertion the box wouldn't even peep. Surprise, surprise.

I didn't realise at first that I had ordered buffered/registered+ecc rams. It turns out that most PC chipsets only deal with unbuffered/unregistered ram, and that I hadn't done my homework sufficiently well. Some Cursing ensued. The replacement pack cost me $270, because there's once again a shitload of fine print to consider when you buy large memory modules (this time it's "high-density"...I remember SIPP vs. SIMM and FPM vs. EDO, a nd single- vs. double-sided and...all this other PC crap).

So I put the Reg+ECC simms on ebay, hoping to recoup at least some of the loss.

Today the pack sold for $451, the money is already in my account and the parcel is shipped. 8-]

[ published on Fri 13.10.2006 19:26 | filed in brainfarts | ]

While life in general is very much on the crap side right now, at least in some things I do prevail against the odds.

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 09.10.2006 00:45 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I haven't had any decent flying since February or so. The stats are fairly ugly.


Last week we had the Canungra Cup in the area; I had taken the week off and was hoping for at least some XC flying with the retrieves arranged.

The Friday before the comp I got sick, something flu-ish with fever and general crookedness. Saturday, Sunday and partially Monday the others flew and I sweated feverish and slept. Tuesday and Wednesday I was on the hill but didn't like the conditions much, thus didn't fly. Thursday I did fly, but only a sleddie; it was a bit rough out there and I didn't fight much against being dumped in the bombout. Friday and Saturday I didn't even drive up to Canungra, because I didn't want to fly anymore: no motivation, only general depression. Didn't go to the presentation dinner either, as I had no wish to see any of the (mostly happy) 69 other pilots at all.

Taken altogether, this sucks plenty. I have no idea how I'll get back into the saddle.

In other not-yet-news, I ordered the steerable reserve from Switzerland two weeks ago; eagerly awaiting the delivery...

[ published on Mon 09.10.2006 00:32 | filed in interests/flying | ]

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