This second post of this year is not about a hack but about a fairly
nifty contraption that I just completed building.
In the local flying club we've had pretty bad experiences with
our wind stations in the past. But with the lay of the valleys around our
flying sites the local wind conditions often aren't even close to
what the publicly accessible coastal stations report, so we really
needed something to be done.
So I decided to build a new wind station for the club. Being a believer
in the KISS principle I wanted it to be simple and robust, and as self-contained
as possible: no grid power, no fixed-line Internet comms, no nothing.
As usual I'm presenting my experiences and code here for anybody interested
in building their own.
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Mon 21.01.2013 16:14 | filed in interests/tinkering
...is almost as good as flying like an eagle. Especially when it's a
mellow fellow like this one: today Andrew and I were enjoying a late arvo soar
above Beechmont when a substantial wedge-tail joined us from below,
effortlessly closed in and, after some lazy circles with/around us,
disappeared into the sunset :-)
[ published on Wed 24.04.2013 23:37 | filed in interests/flying
from boingboing today i learned that all of the OMNI magazine
runs (1979 to 1995) are freely available at archive.org (in the usual
multitude of useful formats).
the covers and layouts still look gorgeous (at least the pre-90 stuff),
the ufo/para/nutter stuff is
very much not my cup of tea but there are still some interesting
gems in there (wanna see a mugshot of william gibson as a youngster or wozniak with really disgusting sunnies?
i couldn't resist laughing about some of the reverse time capsules:
- 1982's idea of fashion in 2001 is just as ridiculous as the
- 1984's forecast 2000 predictions are almost all duds, but their naivety is
pretty touching sniff.
- what they thought of the home office in 2020 in 1991 is a bit closer
to reality, but only in some regards.
apart from the weirdo stuff there's another really obnoxious aspect of
this (and many similar) american magazines: "story continues on page NNN".
ripping apart stories in this fashion and forcing the reader to puzzle
them together laboriously is a very american sin - cf: ad breaks forced
into films every 5 minutes, dvds with their unskippable anti-everything
nasties and so on.
no surprise that the modern unwashed masses tend to have the attention
span of a gnat, and that the yanks overdiagnose and hype ADHD...
[ published on Thu 18.04.2013 13:26 | filed in brainfarts
For CISPA, that is.
It would be really good if it got stopped - and you may be able to help, so please do so!
Note that I'm highly skeptical as to whether any of the damn bastards in
power (in any country, they're all scum) listen to the unwashed masses,
online or not - but it doesn't cost a thing to express one's displeasure
at the latest version of this pretty evil law.
[ published on Wed 17.04.2013 13:06 | filed in interests/anti
bei nachrichten wie diesen muss ich immer gleich
an "die gottverdammte pleite" und "1928" von ludwig hirsch denken.
[ published on Wed 10.04.2013 22:34 | filed in brainfarts
I don't watch TV much, let alone series, but this one I
liked a lot and thus recommend: it's called
Engrenages and it's a
French cops and rob^Wkillers (cum judges and lawyers) series with a lot
of bite. (It's got an English title, too, which is "Spiral".)
The fun thing about that series is that all the portrayed people are crooked,
from the cops to the baddies to the judges and the land sharks. The good are
often bad and nasty, the evil occasionally are humane, and justice is often
neither just nor blind.
It's lovely, not a single straight line in sight.
[ published on Wed 10.04.2013 19:42 | filed in brainfarts
Almost always when I'm happy about something I've finished/completed/done,
it's just a small thing that nevertheless provides satisfaction.
Like getting rid of the really really ugly and impractical door knobs in my
house and replacing them with levers. (Whoever invented door knobs never
had two hands full.)
Or receiving my new Japanese pull saw in the mail and
immediately using it to fix a small blunder I made a few years ago.
My sister recommended a pull saw, and I really like it because it
cuts much nicer than all the hand saws I've owned so far.
(Naturally the local hardware shops didn't have
anything but the usual crap, so I bought it
from this guy in Sydney.)
Or retrofitting all the cabinet doors in my place with soft-closing dampers
(Airtic). Or diagnosing and fixing an annoying electrical problem with
the car's power window. Or lubricating my bicycle until is whirrs. Or...
[ published on Mon 08.04.2013 20:36 | filed in brainfarts
There's not too many of them (10 in Queensland versus 17 in Austria),
many of them are mobile (rescheduled if they should fall on a weekend),
and some of them are handled really oddly, for example Easter:
Good Friday: everything is closed, and I mean just about everything
including bottle shops.
Saturday: everything is open.
Easter Sunday: everything is closed again (didn't check the
bottle shops though).
Easter Monday: everything is open again.
[ published on Mon 01.04.2013 11:50 | filed in interests/au
That's very good to know. For the first time in 12+ years I saw a snake
near my house this morning: it was sunbathing/slithering through the branches
of a bush just outside my kitchen window. I saw it only because I thought 'hmm,
I'll have to cut that back soonish...wait a minute, what's that?'
After a brief bit of online investigation I found out that it's a common
tree snake, which is not poisonous according to Wildlife Queensland; its colouring was
actually quite beautiful (similar to this blue-green one). Mind you, I still don't plan
on going anywhere near the critter...
[ published on Tue 05.03.2013 11:16 | filed in interests/au
It seems that during the last two months there was about as much sun in
Queensland as there is green in Greenland (Erik the Red = marketing bozo).
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Mon 04.03.2013 17:59 | filed in still-not-king
There were some minor wall/ceiling paint touchups to do at home,
preferrably with a roller because of the nice texture.
I still had some small foam roller covers, but the roller handle
No problem: here's how I solve minor annoyances like that:
Locking pliers are great
[ published on Sat 19.01.2013 19:59 | filed in still-not-king