hirez: (Challenger)
On Monday, we were driving up through Old Market towards the Volunteer when there was a noise of more-or-less unsilenced motorcycle.

I commend you all to go visit the Volunteer while they're having a Japanese 'pop up' cooking-thing. It is all lovely and goes nicely with any of the beers they may have on tap. Although you will become the sort of person who visits a 'pop up' thing and thus be forced to don a paper bag when mixing with sensible people from now on.

Anyway. Motorcycle. Or in this case quadbike. Quadbikes. Weaving through the traffic in a manner familiar to those who might have seen the Banana Splits television programme, which sucked the colour from the country in the early seventies and left us with brown and avocado until we were saved by the Thatcherite shock troops of the 23rd Laura Ashley bombardment wing some years later.

If you are unfamiliar with the start of the Banana Splits television programme, the pair of scrote-piloted quadbikes were weaving through the traffic up Old Market towards the 90-degree bend as if they had stolen them. Like everyone else, I slowed right down because killing bikers, even scrotey ones, is a really bad idea. Thus I was a couple of car lengths away from the 90-degree bend opposite the big old hotel/bar thing at the top of Old Market when one of the scrotes zoomed up on the inside.

I don't know much about making quadbikes go around corners. I suspect that like most other vehicles, steaming up the outside, clipping the apex and powering away is the correct way of doing it. So when scrotey-boy steamed up the inside, I was paying attention because I wanted to see how he did it. I think it would have gone better had he been able to make the back end break away and been able to steer round the corner on the throttle.

As it was, the big balloon tyres performed as normal and collapsed on the outside, which if not corrected would spit him sideways and through a taxi office window. He tried to straighten up, but it was a 90-degree bend opposite a big old hotel/bar.

It was like watching someone on one of those bouncy-castle-velcro-suit games that people have a go on when they're drunk and always smell of vomit. Only on a quadbike travelling at circa 20mph into a solidly built hotel/bar. The quadbike bounced back into the middle of the road and scrotey-boy crumpled into the middle of the pavement.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
This afternoon I found out what a cyclist hitting a car sounds like. In the way that road accidents don't go bang so much as slap, so it is with people hitting bonnets.

I say heard rather than saw because I was busy looking over my shoulder for entirely expected cars at the oblique junction where the river path meets Locksbrook Road/Brassmill Lane at the edge of Bath, when there was a crunching slap noise from in front of me.

There was a moment of silence before the driver started on a fit of the vapours and the passenger leapt out and round the car toward the chap on the ground shouting fuck fuck FUCK.

I stayed out of the way - someone else was already on the phone for an ambulance, I'd not actually seen what had happened and getting in the way so as to be able to post pictures on Twitter would have been rubbish.
hirez: (Object)
I can see I'm going to have to conduct an experiment/give a demonstration.

Here is a picture of a fridge-freezer and a callow youth. Please give it your full attention.

Now: [Poll #1818129]

I trust this clears the matter up.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
Because I didn't fancy the idea of standing in a queue at the Post Office in my winter cycling leggings this AM, I beetled down there in my jeans. This would have been fine had it not been pelting it down with wet snow by the time I hauled the pushbike out of the back of the car half an hour later.

I am now steaming gently from the lower extremities and probably risking a nasty case of Trench Leg. Trench Bottom, of course, is a couple of miles down the river from Stanley Pontlarge. Probably.

On the other hand, it's the first time since forever that I've been quite this stupid.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
Minor excitement on the pedal in to Bath this AM. It looked like some time-trial-to-work bollix had come steaming past the pub at the near end of the canal-path and walloped right into some geezer. The blood was fresh on the path, both participants were upright and someone else was on the phone to the ambulance.

I don't particularly mind people giving it full throttle in the big ring, because I do it when I can and it's a bloody marvellous feeling while it lasts, but it really is a fucking stupid thing to do when there are pedestrians about who won't know the score. Especially on the canal path.

The main Bristol-Bath bike path is, well, a bike path. Most of the sight-lines are pretty good (apart from the chicane handy for Rose Green Road, and I've watched a couple of lycra-bollixes belt into each other there and have a swearing competition thereafter) so there's no real excuse for being a cock-end about it and steaming into anyone else.

However, the canal path in Bath is a towpath with ideas above its station and several nasty blind corners under bridges. Conceptually the South Circular to the bike-path's North Circular, if you will. Thus it's common to find people pottering quietly to work with iOS kit plugged into their ears, fishermen, tramps sampling the first brew of the day, tourists and if you're really lucky, a mob of oblivious children.

Of course, some people really are just self-righteous cocks and the only way of making them learn is to break their tri-bars off and hammer them right up their arses. I stongly suspect they're either cycling-as-the-new-golf wankers or triathletes; I would be genuinely surprised if a sensible club-cycling sort would be that shit at bike-handling.
hirez: (dissent)
It seems to be some largely unexamined function of 'social networking' that no matter how well or poorly designed the 'contact management' functionality may be, there will be a set of people who will immediately exploit it to create maximal drama.

I mean, we bugger along with LJ's unfortunate overloading of the word 'friend' and have to generate elaborate interpersonal structures in order to avoid the sort of howling fuckups who agonize about net imbalances in 'friend' vs 'friend of'. However, the longer one uses tools like 'default view' , a default custom-post list and the oh-get-over-yourself that is lj-toys, the more the likelihood of cock-up or coat-tailing tends toward 1.

Meanwhile, FaceAche has a flat friend-space, which is Geek Social Fallacy no.4 enshrined in pre-compiled PHP and a complete joy to behold when it inevitably goes wrong. You can either keep it totally 'hullo trees, hullo sky', which means the place is ankle deep in lifeless bullshit and anyone with the gross bad taste to be having a bit of a shite time is perceived as lame and driven out of the herd by those who're convinced that it might be catching. Or you can generate a bogus identity so you can be happy-smiley for work and/or the people who you wish had stayed inside FriendsReunited.

Obviously there are degrees of false identity, which range from 'sadly required to stay safe on the internets' via 'you are a trouble-magnet and please stay the fuck away from me' to 'genuinely disturbing stalker ditto'.

You know how proper hacker types muck around with computing kit in order to get it to work the way they want, and it's all about privilege escalation and exploits and man-in-the-middle attacks? The broken design of the existing crop of 'social networks' enable exactly the same behaviour, but this time root == optimal gossip-source.

[ Reference material: http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2 ]
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (i))
(To be found here.)

"Long Live British Democracy Which Flourishes and Is Constantly Perfected Under the Immaculate Guidance of the Great, Honourable, Generous and Correct Margaret Hilda Thatcher. She Is the Blue Sky in the Hearts of All Nations. Our People Pay Homage and Bow in Deep Respect and Gratitude to Her. The Milk of Human Kindness."

A great loss to the diplomatic service. (Via the authentic and hand-tooled C. Stross Esq.)

What is this I don't even.
hirez: (posing)
http://beastclothing.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/mad-as-a-badger

I guess it makes them easier to spot.
hirez: (Challenger)
A collection of accidents desperate to happen:

i) some dayglo bollix on a blue Ridgeback. Drop a frigging cog you useless muppet, then you wouldn't have to wave about on your bike like one of those dancing flower things. Also, don't be a cock-end and steam up the inside of a queue of cars when the pair at the head of the queue are indicating left. I knew you were a self-righteous tossbag and was watching you in my wing-mirror, the other fellow wasn't. A cycle lane painted on the edge of the road isn't a bloody forcefield and you're going to get yourself killed. You cock.

ii) Blue Avensis-minder a few miles further on. Steaming up to a roundabout in the right-hand lane of the dual carriageway is fair enough if you are intending to turn right or continue in the right-hand lane. It is, however, a fucking stupid idea to swing into the left-hand lane on your exit from the roundabout when there is already a Saab 9K occupying that space. You cock.

iii) Sweatmaster-sweat with the aero-bars and the Cervelo replica kit. If you're going to play at TT riding on the way into work, do it on the straightish bits of the cycle-path where there's plenty of elbow room. Trying it on the canal path in Bath will lead to you going for an early bath in the river if the bloke on the Brompton doesn't know you're there and swerves to miss a pedestrian at the same time you steam past on the right. Since you're on the pointy-bars you've got less control than usual. You cock.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
What the fuck?

I suspect it's about as likely as Fabian CSpartacus beetling about on an electric pushbike, but I guess we'll find out if a set of mysteriously-expiring cyclists equally mysteriously fail to decompose after.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Oh, FFS.

(Via R. B. Trage[livejournal.com profile] andrewducker)
hirez: (dissent)
Right then, TwitTypes, is it all down and happening with the kids under '#wgw' or '#whitby'?
hirez: (Challenger)
Finns bending a variety of old Fords, Volvos and, um, other things. Quality soundtrack, too.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
If you're avoiding changes in critical systems this afternoon, I commend you to read this.

(PDF, splendid writing, funny yet likely to cause despair. In that the 'When does this start to be fun?' feeling is rather familiar.)
hirez: (Challenger)
A30 (i): What appeared to be a Polo astride the central reservation on the far side of a gap in same. Polis blocking the southbound carriageway, but of course everyone had to slow down for a good look while travelling north. Further up the road, two polis cars were trundling along at the head of an appropriately-sized queue.

A30 (ii): Caravan in layby with bodywork at 45-degree angle. First time I've seen one of those mobile boghouses with a ram and tipping assembly, but I suppose it makes unpacking less of a struggle. Oh, wait. There's a battered-looking car still attached to the towing hitch. There's not a straight panel on the thing and it looks very much like the caravan shook it around like a football rattle.

A30 (iii): Coned-off Pug 30X (probably) with a concertina bonnet.

M5 (i): Some frizz-haired bollix in a Polo decides it would be a jolly good wheeze to steam up on the inside of some middle laner caravan-pilot. Not such a good idea when caravan-pilot starts to pull in while Polo-girl is in his blind-spot. Oh how I laughed as the effing caravan fishtailed down the road in front of me.

M5 (ii): Angry baldy-man in an Accord does not indicate or look, but starts to pull out into the space occupied by a reasonably-sized lump of Swedish steel (and rubber, plastic, etc).

At about this point, I think 'Soddez cela pour un jeu de soldats' and hasten (because I am no longer going to hang around so stupid people can try and drive at me) to the nearest motorway exit.

Even then, I cannot escape. The traffic lights on the ring-road are down and the polis aren't letting anyone into Frenchay.
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
Bang!1. Sithee.

(Thank you. We've been here all week.)




1. That was actually the aircon in the SAAB.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
But on less-than-sober reflection, perhaps explaining Joey Deacon (with actions) to the Nice Americans was perhaps not terribly clever.
hirez: (Radiation)
No. 25: Do not look at pr0n when the window behind you is overlooked by another office.

(Poor quality smut, too.)
hirez: (Challenger)
(Inspired by well-wrought fulmination elsewhere.)

In-car navigation kit that uses GPS as a locator is still pish.

It'll remain pish until two interconnected problems are solved.

i) The mapping data has to be the OS. There are no other maps but OS maps (modulo Nicholson Streetfinder for those trapped within the M25 forcefield) because they show you where the road stops being a road, where the 1-in-3 hills are and where to find a pleasant riverside pub. (Usually next to a pleasant river)

ii) The voice-in-the-box is not a middle-aged man. It doesn't know the best way of getting to Yeovil from Bristol. Sure, it can have a stab at calculating it, but it doesn't effing know. It can have the voice of Cleese, Kitt or Clarkson and it's still going to point you down a lane that peters out into scrub after the cattle-grid.

I believe that the crucial test for GPS-located navigation is the ability to orbit Cheltenham in the opposite direction to the one-way system. (Or indeed any medium-sized town that's been cursed with urban 'planning' of the T. Dan Smith school)[1] Until that time, the things are as much a curiosity as a memo-taking biro or a calculator watch.

There is a technique for navigating country roads and it involves having lived in the area for a long time, keeping a shit old car, turning your lights off when approaching junctions (obv, if the other chap does that too, hilarity ensues. Ensure your passengers are relaxed by feeding them strong ale) and most important, diving for the hedgerow as a reflex. Getting the tracking fixed is cheaper than a new front end. The standard townie practice of screeching to a halt in the middle of the road Will Not Help and Will Cause An Accident.


[1] The bottom end of the M32 in Bristol was bad enough. Now it's far worse. It beggars belief that the slack-jawed fuckwits were allowed to get away with something that looks like the sodding trench from the Death Star surrounded by shopping canyons. I know that retro is big business, but is sixties fag-end neo-brutalism really a hip and happening thing? Bod help us all if so.

With any luck, the current crisis in the development and retail sectors will make them all Very Sorry. Bastards.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Sod. New m/b has expired in a pile of squeaking (Single and entirely undocumented long peeps) and an upgrade appears to have shagged Courier authdaemon.

[FX: Hackery]

M/b still hosed, but with any luck under guarantee.

IMAP swerver doing auth again. I think the packaged version depended on mysql. (Not on my bloody computer you don't)

Still feel entirely bloody lost without my proper computer to hand, mind.

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hirez: (Default)
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