new car in pieces

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 15.12.2013 13:01 | filed in interests | ]

With the new job I tend to do my bicycle runs much later, usually after dusk or at night. That time of day has its own special challenges: occasionally I get mobbed by bats and flying foxes, one of the trails is full of frogs or toads if I'm really late, and oh, there are lots of homo sapiens automobilis who are blind as bats.

Since the number of the damn saps who pass me much too close is a lot higher at night I decided to replace my dinky red flasher with a Really Annoying Red Light.

So I spent the grand sum of $22 on a set of "Tioga Dual Eyes", and the better light seems to help - it's really bright and obnoxious, might not be good for epileptics but that's SEP. Very much recommended.

[ published on Sun 08.12.2013 19:35 | filed in interests/au | ]

decent and cheap aldi-brand chewing gum? completely gone.

great rice crackers with lots of seaweed? no longer sold.

feta, danish or greek style? history.

i'm somewhat underwhelmed by aldi au's recent product policy...

Update (Fri 29.11.2013 22:22):

oh, and and what marketdroid genius decided to rebrand the aldi sausage as "bërrk"?


extra points to them for the guts - or maybe somebody just had a bad attack of the röck döts?

anway, somehow i don't think it's sound commercial procedure to associate your comestible product with the sounds of somebody hugging the toilet after a long and alcoholic night...

(still, the product is quite good - just don't try to pronounce the trademark.)

[ published on Fri 29.11.2013 21:55 | filed in interests/anti | ]

when i came home today i didn't find the garage door handle - which isn't a real surprise, because it's not my garage door. strange.

at my door mat there was a bill for $some_other_resident, 79 $street_address, for a new garage roller door. $some_other_resident is not me, for no values of me, but 79 is mine.

$some_other_resident wasn't too happy when i walked over to her place with that bill in hand. apparently the door installer measured her garage door but installed it in mine (or maybe he was confuzzled from the beginning).

now i'm curious what'll happen: i'm certainly not going to pay $650 for a door that i didn't order, replacing my perfectly working old door.

now, if he can find my old door he can certainly reinstall that (but i find it somewhat unlikely that they didn't dump the thing at the garbage transfer station straight away) - or a different door that is in comparable condition and for which i get keys.

[ published on Mon 25.11.2013 18:42 | filed in still-not-king | ]

The web setup of the local $male_sheep bank cretinly (not quite a typo) fits their namesake's pattern.

Yet another bunch of dimbulbs who insist their customers have to laboriously go hunt and peck on an onscreen 'keyboard' to enter their passwords, because it's for the gasp Extra Securrrriteeee!

Imagine all the ATM keypads were replaced with giant Twister mats on the sidewalk, so that people have to hopscotch their PIN in public: ridiculous - but roughly as 'secure' as the damn onscreen keyboids.

We hates them, oh we do - with a mouth-frothing passion.

Fortunately the combo of jQuery and greasemonkey makes a decent anti-foaming agent, and I'm stubborn enough to not give up easily.

Here's the result, my small but nifty userscript which I'm sharing just as usual; a goodie that makes the pain go away and lets you use your ten fingers as they were intended.

(I find jQuery actually pretty fun to program with - if only it didn't involve EczemaScript...)

Anyway, enjoy the fruits of my labour and don't get fleeced :-)

[ published on Sat 09.11.2013 20:07 | filed in interests/comp | ]
  1. Not allowed to play Perl Golf.
  2. Mustn't write dense expressions that use few spaces.
  3. I may not exorcise the g**gle, even though we detests them.
  4. to 213: to be announced, because actually it's really pretty good at work :-)

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 30.10.2013 20:47 | filed in still-not-king | ]

As of tomorrow I'm a full-time worker bee again.

[ published on Sun 20.10.2013 17:10 | filed in still-not-king | ]

a brazilian female geek has developed conductive makeup and eyelashes to make your visage into an input device.

I'm so looking forward to somebody repurposing this idea for an _out_put device; just imagine the fun that can be had if you could shockprod people remotely...

[ published on Thu 17.10.2013 13:08 | filed in interests/humour | ]

I find Charlie Stross' book series "The Laundry Files" absolutely hilarious.

It's a wild and wicked mix of Lovecraft, a bit of computer science, general IT, Dilbert, the BOFH, Deighton - and maybe Aleister Crowley.

Highly recommended - if you're somebody who appreciates the BOFH stories, Acts of Gord or Dilbert.

(Btw, not recommended - at least not by me: Accelerando. I couldn't stand it.)

[ published on Sun 13.10.2013 14:36 | filed in interests/humour | ]

if so i'd like to recommend bela tarr's satantango - which is really long, very dark, pretty weird but cool. the minimal music matches the epic pace perfectly.

[ published on Thu 03.10.2013 23:58 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Reading the usual heartwarmingly nasty postings on the esteemed samizdata blog, I fondly remembered Cory Doctorow's story When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth (which you can publish, read, sing, yodel or even download here).

[ published on Wed 02.10.2013 23:10 | filed in brainfarts | ]
 angry birds, oz edition

On today's 26km cycling loop I had 4 swooping attacks - a new record :-/

[ published on Tue 24.09.2013 18:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

Ten days ago I returned from a 5874km road trip that took us through the archetypical parts of the QLD outback and up to (but not into) the Simpson desert: starting at the Gold Coast we went west to Quilpie and Birdsville, then north to Boulia and Winton, looped back south to Charleville and on to Bourke, followed by a trip to Sydney and finally a solo drive back home along the coast.

Sorting through the pictures and notes was tedious, and I'm happy that the write-up of this travel report of sorts is complete (and I'd love to travel out west again any day).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 02.09.2013 22:18 | filed in interests/au | ]

is upon us. Unfortunately that's also magpie swooping season - as I was reminded of today: two substantial attacks by two separate birds in two different areas (one I knew of from last year on Markeri Street, one new bird in the bushes off Bermuda Street). The first of those almost sent me in the ditch: no warning, just a thunk against the side of my helmet.

Damn birds. Neither of the two spots is easy to avoid on my 26km "standard" route, so it looks like I'll have to rethink the route for the next 2-3 months.

Alternatives: none, because the normal folk remedies do not work, riding without helmet is illegal here and I'm certainly not going to cycle with an afro wig over my helmet :-)

[ published on Thu 29.08.2013 18:04 | filed in interests/au | ]

I really love Shorpy, a historic photo archive, not just for the often awesome large-format scans but even more so for the flippant titles, sarcastic captions and insightful comments (like the post's title, which captioned this image.

Or photos like the earliest pig photobomb, or the feeding time sign, or the subwoofer photo...the list of goodies is endless. There's also a large amount of great but very bleak photos by people like Lewis Hine or Dorothea Lange.

Browsing shorpy is great but wastes time like nothing else (except maybe wookiepedia).

[ published on Mon 05.08.2013 01:57 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Ingredients: one drive south to a place called Minnie Water in the Yuraygir National Park, good company, pretty good weather (it did rain but it wasn't very cold), and gorgeous scenery. Mix well and enjoy.

 trulsons wintertime camping trulsons wintertime camping campsite minnie water minnie water beach north minnie water beach north rabbit proof fence rabbit proof fence beach north of minnie water sea eagles above minnie water beach sea eagles above minnie water beach toys on the beach trulsons on the beach trulsons on the beach pano granite lookout washpool national park walking towards wooli walking towards wooli walking towards wooli pt on the beach beach towards wooli beach towards minnie water rutile sand pano wooli beach
[ published on Wed 31.07.2013 13:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

Last time when I was overseas I left a dinky webcam in my living room with a bit of software to take snapshots every now and then. That worked reasonably well but it was a) totally static and boring and b) of limited resolution.

So I thought about acquiring an cheapish ip camera, ideally a motorized one with pan+tilt capabilities - and hey presto I got one for my birthday, a Foscam FI8910W (which was my own, underinformed, choice).

This has proved to be a suboptimal choice, as there are a number of cams in the same price segment with fewer bugs and better features.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 16.07.2013 13:38 | filed in mystuff | ]

Not my car, of course - that's a 4-cylinder boxer (maybe opoc in the future?) - but my computer infrastructure is now using IP version 6 (except a few embedded/legacy boxes which don't support it).

Changing everything over was a bit interesting; both my local ISP (Internode and the colocation operator where my servers live (Silver Server) offer IPv6 addresses but for the local ISP there were a few hoops to jump through: PPPoE for the DSL, and on top of that you need DHCPv6 to activate the IPv6 Prefix Delegation.

So far, so unspectacular - except that the state of DHCPv6 in debian is pretty lousy: the standard ISC daemon doesn't work on PPP links, full stop; the dibbler thing is reported to not do prefix delegations; the wide-dhcpv6-client is not pretty and a bit under-documented but can be made to work - and that's all the offerings.

I find it interesting that so far the spammers and the scammers don't seem to be interested in IPv6; after a week I've yet to see a single spam attempt coming from v6 addresses (my yearly average is 3 spams per minute).

[ published on Sun 07.07.2013 14:12 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Certain Lamas can live at an altitude of 12442m. That is, if it's an Aerospatiale Lama, if the pilot is Jean Boulet, and if it's the 21st of June, 1972.

Two days later I was born.

[ published on Sun 23.06.2013 01:11 | filed in brainfarts | ]

In the beginning Oz was cursed with British bread: white, without form and void; and darkness was on az's face. And moldy spirits were hovering over the bakery shelves.

Then az said 'Let there be Rye!'; and there was rye bread. And az saw the rye bread, that it was good; and az divided the Real Bread from the White Crap.

 fresh rye bread fresh rye bread

Life would be so much less nice without my bread maker and decent ingredients.

[ published on Tue 18.06.2013 22:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

(sorry for the untranslatable title :-))

So Reuters polls 835 yanks online, and extrapolates 835 bots' answers to 'Nearly half of all Americans' - great work! snort

Inferring a "credibility interval" of +/-4% from a sample this tiny is pretty creative use of statistics.

Anyway, 47% of those 835 bots are, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, complete idiots ("those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.") - and that's what nearly 100% of all the az's on the internet say.

[ published on Wed 12.06.2013 12:39 | filed in interests/anti | ]

the fable of the #debian channel is fun to read (but unfortunately also quite true).

[ published on Mon 10.06.2013 20:43 | filed in interests/debian | ]

Damn. I just read that Iain Banks died. No more Culture novels with their lovingly madly named ships, no more Wasp Factory greatness. I'll miss his grandly scoped books.

[ published on Mon 10.06.2013 12:42 | filed in interests | ]

Very tech-head I know, but I find the beauty of this much more uplifting than the superstitious hogwash that goes on beneath that barrel vault.

There's a nice set of photos of this church on flickr.

[ published on Wed 29.05.2013 13:06 | filed in interests | ]

...when it comes to door-to-door salescritters, fundraisers, religious looneys and other scum who bother me at home.

I think I'm a fairly polite person, overall. However I do know that towards professional door knockers I'm very rude, and that's absolutely on purpose.

  • First, if you ignore the 'no salespeople' sticker on my door (at chest height, really hard to miss), then in my book this constitutes full acceptance of any amount of rudeness on my part.

    The two begging bastards that I sent packing this afternoon claimed the sticker doesn't apply to them "when fundraising", upon which I pointed out that in this case politeness doesn't apply to them, either.

  • Second, it's quite amazing how badly many of these fellows take being treated rudely.

    I really like that, because it makes my revenge so much sweeter. In return for them annoying me greatly, I annoy them back - and it would be a shame if they didn't care at least a bit :-)

  • Third, it's pretty quick. A few choice words followed by slamming the door in the critter's face very efficiently terminates all unnecessary arguments and delay tactics like discussing how I am or what their name is (they rarely ever get far enough to tell me what crap they want me to buy or what cause to donate for).

[ published on Fri 24.05.2013 21:07 | filed in still-not-king | ]

alas, i am quite sure that i couldn't afford the work of these gifted spanish woodworkers...

[ published on Fri 24.05.2013 11:57 | filed in brainfarts | ]

yesterday the mailman brought the portable usb battery that i had ordered. the box it came in (i'm surprised there even is a box) has some hilarious examples of pretty incompetent translators at work.

 get rid of children

i like the statement 'this product should be keep out of children.' :-) reminds me of conny when she was very little, insisting that baguettes are best eaten sideways.

[ published on Tue 21.05.2013 11:48 | filed in interests/humour | ]

In New Zealand software is no longer patentable.

This is pretty good news and a welcome development, especially when you contrast it with less great news, like the never-ending war of the Content Cartel against everybody else: for example, have a look at the Trans Pacific Partnershite, where NZ is apparently also involved.

Not-NZ-related but also on my big fat hate list is the undead CISPA, the Completely Idiotic Spying and Persecution Act...

 Say no to this Typical Protectionism Project! I wish CISPA was less like Bela L.
[ published on Fri 10.05.2013 14:50 | filed in interests/anti | ]

as of this moment, and after an unwelcome parting gif^W^Wbit of extortionist bank fees i'm now the undisputed, debt-free owner of my house: i finally paid off my home loan and got the house and land title transferred.

it's a good feeling not to owe anybody anything *happy* :-)

Update (Tue 30.04.2013 21:47):

"ANZ's profit swells" it said in the news, and no surprise: this bank's greed knows no bounds.

To close a paid-out home lown and get the title to your property back you have to pay them:

  • $160 as "Production Fee".
  • another $160 as "Lodgment Fee".
  • and $137.10 as "Government Registration Fee"

oh, and by the way, the registration fee doesn't mean that the title is actually transferred do you; no sir, we do no such thing: for that purpose we recommend you lodge your documents ASAP and by yourself with the Land Registry Office, for another measly $152.10. WTF - what did i pay you $137.10 for, then?

disgusting bloodsuckers!

[ published on Tue 23.04.2013 17:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

...on yourself: that's what it feels like doing an in-place migration of your computer from 32-bit debian to the 64-bit version. you transplant the libraries and the linkers, and hope that you match up enough 64-bit binaries with their libs and linker just in time so that the patient don't die from anaphylactic shock.

i really don't like reinstalling numerous boxes from scratch, losing all my configuration magic, so i decided to try making the changes in place, on the "live object".

it's a pretty tense exercise; there are numerous situations where you're a single keystroke away from a totally hosed system. in the end i didn't have to boot my rescue media, not even once (but having a static busybox saved me twice, as well as knowing about ar vx whatever.deb...)

debian is really cool but of course there's no automation for that kind of operation so you have to hold apt and dpkg's hands quite a bit to clean up your mess, but it's doable and even fun (once it's done :-) and i've got four more boxes to mangle...)

[ published on Mon 29.04.2013 11:45 | filed in interests/comp | ]

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