Friday, April 18, 2008

Milestones 18/04/2008

Since it's the end of the (working) week, and I think all reflection on progress is good:

  • 120kg squat, a new PR by 5kg. There are currently a bunch of challenges on at my gym, one of which is max. squat. I was interested to learn that though plenty of dudes squat much more than me, as a percentage of bodyweight I'm doing the same as all but the strongest guys (1.7xBW)
  • Submitted a quote for a big project. Still anxiously awaiting a response. Planning out the quote was a good experience — I think we did it much better than last time and have a very solid plan to guide development. Also had a new idea for a product while developing the quote.
  • Made more steps towards the PhD. Writing a literature review at the moment. It is tedious but useful.

The Ressurrection

This blog is back, for no better reason than I felt like commenting on another blog shutting down its comments thread.

I'm kinda ambivalent about comments. Community and all that, but once you get past a certain size the drive-by commentators coming crawling out of the 'tubes. You know, the guys (presumably they are always men) who leave a comment along the lines “You're such a n00b. If only you understood blah blah blah you'd realise how correct I am!” then disappear, never to explain their point in terms comprehensible to anyone who is not them. They can't be doing it because they want to teach, as if they did they'd hang around, engage in dialogue, that sort of thing. So they must be doing it for the ego-boost, which is pretty sad and lame. No wonder Megan got tired of that.

Rather than comments I'd prefer everyone to comment on their own blog. This gives more accountability, so would tame the trolls I think. Unfortunately the tools for following conversations between blogs are pretty lame. Blogger, for example, doesn't seem to support trackbacks. So here we are, in the best of no worlds.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cheaper than racing cars

Belt sanders were one of the first power tools used in the growing field of power tool drag racing wherein a pair of stock or modified belt sanders are placed in parallel wooden channels and fitted with long extension cords. Each heat begins when a common switch or individual switches triggered by the racers energizes them, causing the sanders to race towards the end of the track spitting wood dust along the way. Stock sanders race down a 50' long track, while modified sanders race on a 75' long track.

So says Wikipedia.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Defining Fitness

Moderately interesting program on Radio 4 concerning fitness, trying to answer the question “what is it to be fit (enough)?” It's part one of the Am I Normal? series. It's mostly concerned with the lower end of the fitness spectrum, and how to move up a bit. I don't think they answered the question very well but they brought up some good points on the important of fitness as a major contributor to health.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jobs For Nerds

Got a PhD in Maths? You'll be in good company if you get a job writing for the Simpsons! Awesome!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

96p don't come for free

Is it possible that ebay has the worst website in the world? So long as there is MySpace it can't be true, but ebay must be duking it out for one of the top spaces on that list. I recently concluded my first transaction using ebay (selling 4 assorted bits of household stuff we no longer want) and while the transactions went smoothly gawd durn does that website make me sick! So much visual noise. It doesn't need to be so hard, but when you're top dog in a big market you don't need to worry about design. To be fair I think most of the big name websites look like they were designed by a three year old, but at least Google keeps their pages clean.

Lots of little incidents recently. Two that stick in my mind are the cops outside a neighbours house (didn't find out why, as no-one was home), and our ill cat (boo! But getting better now.)

PS: The post title is what I made on one sale after PayPal took their cut. As the buyer collected the goods I don't know why they didn't pay cash.

Friday, June 15, 2007


5:20am and I'm awake. Rain is hammering down outside. It's a good time to be awake alone, though I doubt I'll be all that pleased come midday.

It's been a week of rain and little incidents. The bonsai cat killed a sick pigeon, covering the back garden in feathers. I found a dead cat by the side of the road. I eavesdropped on some amusing interactions between the local kids in the park (I'm sure we were just as bad in our youth). Also managed to do some work, sort out most of the robotics kits, and contribute my bit to Untyped's code release on Monday. If I'm not a complete zombie today I hope to get the forward/backward algorithm for POMDPs implemented.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

One Week's Food

Week's Food 1
Originally uploaded by Noel Welsh
As a rejoinder to a post I did at Untyping, this is a photo of most of one week's food as purchased on Saturday at the markets. If you click on the picture and follow it to Flickr you can see the rest of the food in the next photo. No, we don't eat cat. Total cost was about 48 pounds, a bit over budget.

BTW, if you read this blog you probably want to read Untyping as well, which is where all the non-personal stuff goes.