Content here is by Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com. All opinions are my own.
See recent comments. RSS feed of all comments.


Sun, 02 Aug 2015



The End of All Things

posted at: 00:39 | path: /book/John_Scalzi | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 28 Jul 2015



Geocaching with a view

    I went to find a couple of geocaches in a jet lag fuelled caching walk this morning. Quite scenic!

             




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150729 photo sydney
    Related posts: Weekend update; Sydney redeems itself, if only a little; Slack talk at SLUG; Bigger improvements; Google? Sydney?; In Sydney!

posted at: 16:38 | path: /diary/pictures/20150729 | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 27 Jul 2015



Chet and I went on an adventure to LA-96

    So, I've been fascinated with American nuclear history for ages, and Chet and I got talking about what if any nuclear launch facilities there were in LA. We found LA-96 online and set off on an expedition to explore. An interesting site, its a pity there are no radars left there. Apparently SF-88 is the place to go for tours from vets and radars.

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    I also made a quick and dirty 360 degree video of the view of LA from the top of the nike control radar tower:






    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150727-nike_missile photo california
    Related posts: Arrived yesterday; Napa Valley; First jog, and a walk to Los Altos; Sitting in the California DMV office; VTA station for the Santa Clara Convention Center; Packing

posted at: 17:07 | path: /diary/pictures/20150727-nike_missile | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 26 Jul 2015



Views from a lookout on Mulholland Drive, Bel Air

posted at: 20:37 | path: /diary/pictures/20150727-lookout | permanent link to this entry


Geocaching with TheDevilDuck

    In what amounts to possibly the longest LAX layover ever, I've been hanging out with Chet at his place in Altadena for a few days on the way home after the Nova mid-cycle meetup. We decided that being the dorks that we are we should do some geocaching. This is just some quick pics some unexpected bush land -- I never thought LA would be so close to nature, but this part certainly is.

             




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150727 photo california bushwalk
    Related posts: A walk in the San Mateo historic red woods; Arrived yesterday; Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Napa Valley; First jog, and a walk to Los Altos; Goodwin trig

posted at: 13:52 | path: /diary/pictures/20150727 | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 18 Jul 2015



Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool

posted at: 15:35 | path: /diary/pictures/20150718-casurina_sands_to_kambah_pool | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 15 Jul 2015



Wanderings

    I am on vacation this week, so I took this afternoon to do some walking and geocaching...

    That included a return visit to Narrabundah trig to clean up some geocaches I missed last visit:

                   




    And exploring the Lindsay Pryor arboretum because I am trying to collect the complete set of arboretums in Canberra:

                       




    And then finally the Majura trig, which was a new one for me:

       

    See more thumbnails




    I enjoyed the afternoon. I found a fair few geocaches, and walked for about five hours (not including driving between the locations). I would have spent more time geocaching at Majura, except I made it back to the car after sunset as it was.

    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150715-wanderings photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Melrose trig

posted at: 14:30 | path: /diary/pictures/20150715-wanderings | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 13 Jul 2015



Quartz trig

    A morning of vacation geocaching, wandering, and walking to quartz trig. Quartz was a disappointment as its just a bolt in the ground, but this was a really nice area I am glad I wandered around in. This terrain would be very good for cubs and inexperienced scouts.

                                           

    See more thumbnails




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150713-quartz photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Melrose trig

posted at: 00:06 | path: /diary/pictures/20150713-quartz | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 01 Jul 2015



Hunting for GC1D1NB

posted at: 15:52 | path: /diary/pictures/20150701-tuggeranong_hill | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 30 Jun 2015



Percival trig

    I had a pretty bad day, so I knocked off early and went for a walk before going off to the meeting at a charity I help out with. The walk was to Percival trig, which I have to say was one of the more boring trigs I've been to. Some of the forest nearly was nice enough, but the trig itself is stranded out in boring grasslands. Meh.

       




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150630-percival photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Melrose trig

posted at: 18:41 | path: /diary/pictures/20150630-percival | permanent link to this entry


A team walk around Red Hill

    My team at work is trying to get a bit more active, so a contingent from the Canberra portion of the team went for a walk around Red Hill. I managed to sneak in a side trip to Davidson trig, but it was cheating because it was from the car park at the top of the hill. A nice walk, with some cool geocaches along the way.

     




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150629-davidson photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Melrose trig

posted at: 16:29 | path: /diary/pictures/20150629-davidson | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 20 Jun 2015



Yet another possible cub walk

    Jacqui and Catherine kindly agreed to come on another test walk for a possible cub walk. This one was the Sanctuary Loop at Tidbinbilla. To be honest this wasn't a great choice for cubs -- whilst being scenic and generally pleasant, the heavy use of black top paths and walkways made it feel like a walk in the Botanic Gardens, and the heavy fencing made it feel like an exhibit at a zoo. I'm sure its great for a weekend walk or for tourists, but if you're trying to have a cub adventure its not great.

                                           

    See more thumbnails




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150620-tidbinbilla photo canberra bushwalk
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool; Big Monks

posted at: 02:20 | path: /diary/pictures/20150620-tidbinbilla | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 18 Jun 2015



Further adventures in the Jerrabomberra wetlands

posted at: 16:01 | path: /diary/pictures/20150618-jerrabomberra_wetlands | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 16 Jun 2015



Exploring possible cub walks

    I've been exploring possible cub walks for a little while now, and decided that Jerrabomberra Wetlands might be an option. Most of these photos will seem a bit odd to readers, unless you realize I'm mostly interested in the terrain and its suitability for cubs...

                                     




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150617-jerrabomerra_wetlands photo canberra bushwalk
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool; Big Monks

posted at: 21:35 | path: /diary/pictures/20150617-jerrabomerra_wetlands | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 04 Jun 2015



More coding club

    This is the second post about the coding club at my kid's school. I was away for four weeks travelling for work and then getting sick, so I am still getting back up to speed with what the kids have been up to while I've been away. This post is an attempt to gather some resources that I hope will be useful during the session today -- it remains to be seen how this maps to what the kids actually did while I was away.

    First off, the adults have decided to give Python for Kids a go as a teaching resource. The biggest catch with this book is that its kind of expensive -- at AUD $35 a copy, we can't just issue a copy to every kid in the room. That said, perhaps the kids don't each need a copy, as long as the adults are just using it as a guide for what things to cover.

    It appears that while I was away chapters 1 through 4 have been covered. 1 is about install python, and then 2-3 are language construct introductions. This is things like what a variable is, mathematical operators, strings, tuples and lists. So, that's all important but kind of dull. On the other hand, chapter 4 covers turtle graphics, which I didn't even realize that python had a module for.

    I have fond memories of doing logo graphics as a kid at school. Back in my day we'd sometimes even use actual robots to do some of the graphics, although most of it was simulated on Apple II machines of various forms. I think its important to let the kids of today know that these strange exercises they're doing used to relate to physical hardware that schools actually owned. Here are a couple of indicative pictures stolen from the Internet:





    So, I think that's what we'll keep going with this week -- I'll let the kids explain where they got to with turtle graphics and then we'll see how far we can take that without it becoming a chore.

    Tags for this post: coding_club kids coding python turtle graphics logo
    Related posts: Coding club day one: a simple number guessing game in python; Huffman coding; JPEG 2 MPEG howto; Graphics from the command line; Arduino with the kids: Cricket Noise Door Bell; Example 2.1 from Dive Into Python

posted at: 19:35 | path: /coding_club | permanent link to this entry


Geocaching at the border

    Today's lunch walk was around Tuggeranong Pines again. At the back of the pine forest is the original train line from the 1880s which went down to Cooma. I walked as far as the old Tuggeranong siding before turning back. Its interesting, as there is evidence that there has been track work done here in the last ten years or so, even though the line hasn't been used since 1989.

                           




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150604-geocaching photo canberra bushwalk
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool; Big Monks

posted at: 02:49 | path: /diary/pictures/20150604-geocaching | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 01 Jun 2015



Melrose trig

    I went for a short geocaching walk at lunch today. Three geocaches in 45 minutes, so not too shabby. One of those caches was at the Melrose trig point, so bagged that too. There is some confusion here, as John Evans and I thought that Melrose was on private land. However, there is no signage to that effect in the area and the geocache owner asserts this is public land. ACTMAPi says the area is Tuggeranong Rural Block 35, but isn't clear on if the lease holder exists. Color me confused and possibly an accidental trespasser.

             




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150602-melrose photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Oakey trig

posted at: 22:55 | path: /diary/pictures/20150602-melrose | permanent link to this entry


In A Sunburned Country




    ISBN: 0965000281
    LibraryThing
    This is the first Bill Bryson book I've read, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Bill is hilarious and infuriating at the same time, which surprisingly to me makes for a very entertaining combination. I'm sure he's not telling the full story in this book -- its just not possible for someone so ill prepared to not just die in the outback somewhere. Take his visit to Canberra for example -- he drives down from Sydney, hits the first hotel he finds and then spends three days there. No wonder he's bored. Eventually he bothers to drive for another five minutes and finds there is more to the city than one hotel. On the other hand, he maligns my home town in such a hilarious manner I just can't be angry at him.

    I loved this book, highly recommended.

    Tags for this post: book bill_bryson australia travel
    Related posts: Why Australia tops the piracy list; In Sydney!; Back from Perth; NLA web crawling; American visas for all!; Don't use Jetbus Sydney if you want to catch your flight


posted at: 03:10 | path: /book/Bill_Bryson | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 31 May 2015



The linux.conf.au 2016 Call For Proposals is open!

    The OpenStack community has been well represented at linux.conf.au over the last few years, which I think is reflective of both the growing level of interest in OpenStack in the general Linux community, as well as the fact that OpenStack is one of the largest Python projects around these days. linux.conf.au is one of the region's biggest Open Source conferences, and has a solid reputation for deep technical content.

    Its time to make it all happen again, with the linux.conf.au 2016 Call For Proposals opening today! I'm especially keen to encourage talk proposals which are somehow more than introductions to various components of OpenStack. Its time to talk detail about how people's networking deployments work, what container solutions we're using, and how we're deploying OpenStack in the real world to do seriously cool stuff.

    The conference is in the first week of February in Geelong, Australia. I'd be happy to chat with anyone who has questions about the CFP process.

    Tags for this post: openstack conference linux.conf.au lca2016
    Related posts: LCA 2007 Video: CFQ IO; LCA2006 -- CFP opens soon!; I just noticed...; Updated: linux.conf.au 2007 MythTV tutorial homework; LCA 2006: CFP closes today; I just noticed...

posted at: 22:44 | path: /openstack | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 28 May 2015



Square Rock and Mount Franklin

    I'm not really sure why it took me so long to write this set of walks up -- I think I just got lost in preparations for the most recent OpenStack summit and simply forgot. That said, here they are...

    Tony, Steven and I mounted an expedition to Mount Franklin, which is one of the trigs I hadn't been to yet. Its right on the ACT border with NSW, and despite not being a super long walk its verging of inaccessible in winter (think several feet of snow). So, we decided to get it done while we could.

                 




    We also tacked on a trip to Square Rock based on the strong recommendation of a good friend. Square Rock has amazing views, highly recommended.

               




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150426-square_rock_franklin photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
    Related posts: Goodwin trig; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Big Monks; Melrose trig; Oakey trig

posted at: 00:23 | path: /diary/pictures/20150426-square_rock_franklin | permanent link to this entry