Mar 30 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-03-30

  • reviewing a “solution overview” document… #
  • RT @philmccredden very cool online whiteboard with great drawing interface #
  • suddenly homesick for Africa #
  • Increasing my carbon footprint: Hawthorn, Montrose, Fitzroy. Oh joy. #
  • - a little surprised to learn it’s only Wednesday. I mean… I knew… just didnt feel like it was Wednesday. #
  • Back in Montrose. My day is already about 2 hours off the rails… #
  • NOT sitting in Bruswick street having a coffee… though it’s tempting #
  • catching up on #westwing season 5, since I’m being left behind by my viewing buddies #
  • my experience of “waiting” for IE has only ever been while I was using it… #
  • I hate it when I meant to direct a twitter comment at someone, but don’t, and just end up with a cryptic status #
  • Adding subtitles to some interview footage from Uganda. Accents and background noise… #
  • The drive to Entebbe to Jinja is as boring as hell, not matter how short you edit it down. Feel like I’m reliving it… #
  • poor Bec. #
  • poor @willie42 #
  • about to jump on the deadly treadly for home… #
  • RT @becmatheson almost ready to head to Marco’s 40th. #
  • tired. happy. #
  • listening to Rikk Watts on the Rock Garden #
  • Learn about the history of Fairing #
  • hoping for less marsupial encounters today #
  • just played a very fun “friendly” against mostly his own team #

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Mar 29 2009

Autocom, Bash Plate… coming


Wow… it’s a bit sad when my twitter feed is generating more blog posts than I am. Need to remedy that.

Last week I ordered an Autocom Active PLUS from a reseller on eBay. It pays to shop around for these, since the one I bought got undercut by another reseller a few ours before I purchased, and I missed it. Also, by the looks of Autocom’s UK site, they’re replacing their entire model range, so there’s a good chance that all the existing models will start to drop in price in the next few months.

Anyway, I’ll soon be kitted up for iPod, phone, UHF radio and GPS chatter in my ears. I’ll need to get a an adapter made up for my Earmolds and my Noise Terminator throat mic, but that shouldn’t be too hard. In the meantime, the kit comes with two complete helmet setups, so I can at least test it with one of those.

At this point I’m still leaning toward a tank bag as the means of housing the Autocomm and all the associated gadgets. The Wolfman Expedition is probably winning – I’ll wedge all the power adapters etc in the bottom corner of it, and put a false floor over that. I’ll need to feed lines out for power, GPS and the PTT switch at the front, and for the mic/headphone jack at the back. Should be a nice setup when it’s done.

I’ve also ordered a bash plate from JNS Engineering in the states. I was able to share the postage with a couple of other guys… pretty happy about that.

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Mar 23 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-03-23

  • wow… morning already? #
  • RT @billious just found out it would cost nearly $6 billion to fill a swimming pool with printer ink… #
  • RT @billious The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned, but it is still nonsense.
    ~Benjamin Franklin~ #
  • Off to Home Group to tell his story…. #
  • is feeling pretty drained #
  • RT @kevinroose “My life with cables”: This is awesome. #
  • Felt the #earthquake in Hawthorn, but didn’t recognise it as such til someone told me #
  • Home… but not done working. Grrrr #
  • has another very full day, How long until the school holidays? #
  • had a great night with @ChristinaAitken and @m_scott_aitken. Fresh pasta, fresh coffee… and great conversation as well #
  • at Auburn South Primary School #
  • RT @kevinroose New rule: Call me a godless pervert on my Facebook wall, get defriended. (sounds reasonable to me) #
  • duelling with Ghost #
  • been hangin’ with the Montrose PS crowd. Good times… #
  • Firehouse for breakfast with @geoffmatheson this morning. Always a good thing #
  • RT @jonathanbrink McLaren: Jesus didn’t proclaim a new religion. He proclaimed a new kingdom. #cac09 #
  • Starting to wish I was at #cac09 #
  • Reading Rohr quotes from #cac09 #
  • Snooping #bsg finale goss #
  • Chilling to the Once soundtrack #
  • #bsg finale: frakkin’ brilliant #
  • loving the “Once” soundtrack #
  • can’t find a 14mm axle nut anywhere on a Sunday morning #
  • home from lunch in time to go out for dinner… #
  • making an early start #
  • home. smelly. tired. otherwise, excellent #

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Mar 16 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-03-16

  • working at Fitzroy North PS (basking in the glory of Damo’s success) #
  • heading home #
  • is sweating his way through a No. 11 HOT from Sentosa Noodles #
  • doing hands-on support for Fitzroy North’s PD. Might have to live-tweet any cool ideas I see… #
  • Testing OSX 10.5 policies being applied from a 10.4 Server… here goes #
  • talking to will #
  • mildly disappointed #
  • can’t find the remote for the stereo #
  • RT @willie42 Check out this awesome class blog with times tables raps made by the students #
  • off to the visit a pharmacy client! #
  • convinced that Farmers Union Iced Coffee is better #
  • Makes sense: #
  • tagging video from Uganda (still) #
  • has a system to build today. Weeee…. #
  • RT @billious hand-drawn digital clock – way cool: #
  • will never cease to be amazed (disgusted) by techs who over-spec on technology and under-deliver on usefulness. Empire builders… #
  • waiting for backups to complete #
  • hoping that this RAID driver is the right one #
  • Has success… #
  • just watched hot fuzz with good friends and too much wine. Weeeeee… #
  • wondering if they’ll be praying for headaches again today #
  • wondering if they’ll be praying for headaches again today #
  • conferencing #
  • a smart speaker knows not to compete for attention with rain #
  • just had a wake-up call #
  • is organising a bulk order of KLR650 bash plates from #
  • back at the office building servers. :( #
  • is over servers and everything to do with them #
  • is going home… #
  • will be in bed by the time you read this #
  • is at the office too early. Could do with a day off. #
  • just heard about a woman struck by lightning. Her son was (I quote) treated for “shock” and later “discharged”. Journalism is dead #

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Mar 15 2009

Great Ocean Road


Had the opportunity last week to ride a long stretch of the Great Ocean Road, from Torquay to Laver’s Hill. My riding companion was Marco, on an Aprilia Pegaso Trail, with road tyres and stiffer suspnsion than mine. I’m proud to say that even with my D606 nobbies, the KLR kept pace very nicely through all the corners and on the infrequent straight bits.

It was a fantastic ride, save for the bumper to bumper traffic on the way back. The bike was great, and the Earmolds were superb. The Wolfman Beta hung over the back of the bike very nicely, too!

If you’re ever looking for a place to stay on the Great Ocean Road, I can highly recommend Muxy’s Place in Johanna. It’s a log cabin that can sleep about 10 in comfort. We had five adults and two kids, and it was a top spot to relax.

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Mar 15 2009

(Belated) Meeting Report


Wow… the last two weeks have just flown by. I meant to write this up straight after the event – I don’t quite know what happened.

A bunch of prospective inmates got together the Monday before last to talk through the route and logistics of the top-end trip. It was great to meet some of the new faces – friends of friends, and one follower of the blog – and to hear input from interested parties.

There were some great ideas thown around, as well

Food, etc
One of the things I’d imagined was that, for the most part, we’d fend for ourselves on the trip. I was aware that different people would have different budgets for food and accommodation, so I figured that this would free people up to spend as they saw fit. Instead, we’ve decided that we’ll pool our resources and for the most part cook and eat together. We’ll all still contribute to making camp and cooking tea each night, but we’ll save money by buying in bulk. Fridge space will be shared and limited, so if we’re together in what we’re carrying and using, that will save space as well.

I’m not sure how all of that will work out just yet. I’m sure it will be flexible, and there will still be lunches and snacks on the road for which people will do their own thing.

We also talked a bit about the distance of the trip, and the length of some of the individual days. The suggestion was made that on some of the longer “bitumen” days – particularly on the Stuart Hwy – we might be able to trailer the bikes and share the driving, and cover much more distance in a day than we might have otherwise.

As much as the purist in me wants to ride every last kilometre, I also know the purist in me will have a sore butt by the end of day three, and will probably cave in to the idea.

The plan has a lot of merit. Even if we can’t trailer all the bikes, we can still rotate who is riding and driving, and share the load that way. We’ll still be limited by daylight hours, though; the risk of hitting wildlife is simply too great at dawn and dusk.

It was also suggested that we use this plan to shorten to overall duration of the trip, to buy us more time at the Top End, but because we’re meeting and farewelling people at key places along the way, that probably won’t be possible. What it will mean is more rest time – in the times that we’re not riding, and in the days we win back with the extra distance covered.

Capping the Numbers
Though this didn’t really come up at the meeting, it’s become apparent that we might need to cap the number of people who come on the trip. Between bikes and 4WDs we could have as many as 20 people coming already. Considering that the middle of the trip is a visit to one or more Aboriginal communities, we need to be sensitive to the impact such a large group could have.

A smaller number of us met last weekend to start estimating the costs for the participants. We have to take into account fuel for the bikes and 4WDs, food, accommodation, parks passes and permits etc. We came up with some rough numbers, but we want to refine them more, and confirm some details, before we publish anything here. Stay tuned!

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Mar 9 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-03-09

  • is listening to rain on the roof. “Grace is the smell (or sound) of rain” – Daniel Amos #
  • is just about ready to go home for the day #
  • is home #
  • is heading to Home Group #
  • “Grace is the smell of rain” – Daniel Amos #
  • RT @willie42 #gr8t RT @mbarrow: Wow! Have you seen 360 degree Cities. THis is fantastic thank you! #
  • won’t mind if it rains for days #
  • RT @kevinroose MS Word just told me my document was unsaved, and I got really nervous. I’ve been spending too much time around evangelicals #
  • cant wait to ride the Great Ocean Road, then send the weekend with friends #
  • cant wait to ride the Great Ocean Road, then spend (with a p) the weekend with friends #
  • eating left-over pasta sause with olives, squash, mushrooms, salami and bacon. Sooo good (if I do say so myself) #
  • thinks speeling is overrated #
  • Bracing himself for @JesusNeedsNewPR live-blogging #AmericanIdol. Always amusing #
  • is ready for the weekend #
  • RT @geoffmatheson Cadbury to receive fair trade certification later this year – #
  • Heading for the Great Ocean Road! #
  • chillin’ in Ocean Grove before the final stretch home one the bike – which has been awesme, by the way! #
  • home… and winding down from a long ride #

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Mar 2 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-03-02

  • has had a very quiet twitter day #
  • is missing Uganda all over again #
  • has emailed the details of the Top End Trip Meeting. Wanna come? Send me a message! #
  • is having breakfast with the work guys. #
  • just got freaked out by a sponsorship offer for The Trip. Wow… serious stuff #
  • just watched The Big Lebowski with Chris. Gotta love the Cohen Bros, even if you don’t understand them #
  • happy to be home from work at a reasonable time #
  • is getting up at the crack of dawn to ride to Philip Island #
  • getting on the bike to Philip Is. David Crowder and U2 on the iPod. Sweet. #
  • has a sore butt… #
  • having an early night. It’s been a long day, but lots of fun. #
  • just found a bug in Safari 4 #
  • Working on a client’s server. Would rather be in bed #
  • is having an afternoon (dozing) off #
  • Going to ARB to look at transit cases #
  • is coming to terms with the size of the Arnhem Land trip. Got some really good, practical input tonight at the meeting, too. #

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Mar 1 2009

Researching the Earmolds


I’ve done a bit of snooping today, looking at the parts used in the Earmolds earphones I bought yesterday.

Seems that the earphones themselves are made by McKay Associates, an Australian company that sells radio accessories around the world. The best (actually the ONLY) price I’ve been able to find for the earphones themselves is around $AUD100, which is $AUD50 less than what Earmold is selling them for.

McKay seem to have some great comms gear. They don’t sell radios, but specialise in  accessories – and seem to do so very well.

So add to that a DIY earplug kit for around $AUD50 and you have pretty much the same setup for $70 less than the Earmolds offering. Of course, if it doesn’t work, the risk is on you. Perhaps the middle-ground is to buy the McKay earphones and get an audiologist to make the earplugs.

But perhaps after all that, $220 to get Earmolds to do it isn’t so bad.

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Mar 1 2009



When I went to the MotoGP at Phillip Island last year I checked out the custom molded silicone ear plugs from Earmold. These guys had a stand at the expo there, and were making money hand over fist making plugs and earphones for riders. I was a little reluctant to put money down on something that you really can’t test first. You really don’t know how they will work until they make a set for your ears.

While I was at the Superbikes yesterday, I took the plunge and bought a set of earphone plugs. They’re flipping expensive, and I’m guessing their costs area fraction of the sale price, but since I haven’t been able to find an alternative or do-it-yourself solution that I could guarantee would work, I decided to go with these.

The earphones work on a rubber-hose system, which puts the actual speaker about 30cm away from your head, and funnels the sound through the tube, which runs through the earpiece. (This is the part I haven’t been able to source elsewhere…). The noise supression is good, though I’m told not quite as good as the solid plugs. There’s also a little bit of wind noise from the tubes themselves at speed. Sound quality is good, though probably not worthy of the title “most expensive earphones I’ve ever bought.” That said, at speed they’re the best sound I’ve heard in my helmet… and that’s what counts.

They come in a range of awful colours, but I got mine made in skin-tone, so I can wear thm as in-ear monitors on stage if that opportunity ever presents itself again. Unfortunately Earmolds no longer use clear tubing, so even with skin-tone plugs I have black leads running from my ears.

That little bit of wind noise aside, the ride home was very good!

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