Content here is by Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com. All opinions are my own.
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Tue, 22 Sep 2015



First trail run

    So, now I trail run apparently. This was a test run for a hydration vest (thanks Steven Hanley for the loaner!). It was fun, but running up hills is evil.




    Tags for this post: blog canberra trail run
    Related posts: Second trail run; Chicken run; Update on the chickens; Random learning for the day; Boston

posted at: 17:26 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 21 Sep 2015



Camp Cottermouth

    I spent the weekend at a Scout camp at Camp Cottermouth. The light on the hills here in the mornings is magic.

       




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150920 photo canberra bushwalk

posted at: 18:21 | path: /diary/pictures/20150920 | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 16 Sep 2015



Exploring for a navex

    I feel like I need more detailed maps of Mount Stranger than I currently have in order to layout a possible navex. I there spent a little time this afternoon wandering down the fire trail to mark all the gates in the fence. I need to do a little more of this before its ready for a navex.




    Tags for this post: blog canberra bush walk
    Related posts: Walking to work; First jog, and a walk to Los Altos; A Walk in the Woods

posted at: 15:15 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 13 Sep 2015



On running

    I've been running for a little while now, but I don't mention it here much. I think I mostly don't mention it because I normally just post photos here, and I don't tend to stop and take happy snaps on my runs. The runs started off pretty modest -- initially I struggled with shin splints after more than a couple of minutes. I've worked through that and a couple of injuries along the way and am consistently doing 5km runs now.

    That said, my longest runs have been in the last week when I did a 7.5km and an 8.1km. I'm building up to 10km, mostly because its a nice round number. I think ultimately trail running might be the thing for me, I get quite bored running around suburbs over and over again.

    Its interesting that I come from an aggressively unsporting family, but yet all of my middle aged siblings and I have started running in the last year or two. Its a mid-life crisis thing perhaps?




    Tags for this post: blog running fitness sport
    Related posts: First jog, and a walk to Los Altos; Martin retires from his work netball league; A year of being more active

posted at: 13:46 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 12 Sep 2015



CBC Navigation Course

    So today was the day long map and compass class with the Canberra Bushwalking Club. I liked this walk a lot. It was a good length at about 15km, and included a few things I'd wanted to do for a while like wander around McQuoids Hill and the northern crest of Urambi hills. Some nice terrain, and red rocks gorge clearly requires further exploration.

                                           

    See more thumbnails




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150912 photo canberra bushwalk

posted at: 00:32 | path: /diary/pictures/20150912 | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 08 Sep 2015



Lost and alone in the dark

    I've been doing the Canberra Bush Walking Club navigation course for the last couple of weeks, and last night's exercise was a night time dead reckoning navigation session. The course is really good by the way and I've been enjoying it a lot.

    It should be pointed out that I also wasn't lost, or alone, but it sure was dark.

    Anyway, the basic idea of the exercise is that you're given a hand drawn map, and a set of markers. You determine the bearing from each marker to the next, and the distance to walk. You then set off on your adventure. Getting a bearing or distance wrong matters, because you either need to stop and find the next way point, or carry the mistake on to the next marker. The markers were generally things like "gate in fence" or "two big trees".

    It turns out for me the hardest part is walking in a straight line when its dark. If you look at the GPS logged map below, you can see that the consistent error is that I tend to veer slowly to the right. That's a pretty useful thing to know, because it means I can correct a bit more for it next time. I got the line of march (not the bearing!) pretty badly wrong on the way to the dam, and that resulted in a bit of an adventure to find that way point. I think we missed the next way point as well because we carried the mistake on by setting off from the wrong point on the dam for the next leg.

    I really enjoyed this little walk, and I think I need to do a few more of these to get better at this skill. It seems arbitrary, but if my GPS ever fails and the weather is terrible it might come down to a skill like this keeping me moving in the right direction or not.

    Also, I think this would make a super good exercise for scouts. Now to try and convince them its fun...




    Tags for this post: blog canberra bushwalk navigation
    Related posts: Outline mode numbering of headings; Destinator 3 GPS navigation for the PocketPC

posted at: 16:17 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 31 Aug 2015



Walk to the Southern Most Point

    I've just realized that I didn't post any pics of my walk to the most southern point of the ACT. The CBC had a planned walk to the southern most point on the ACT border and I was immediately intrigued. So, I took a day off work and gave it a go. It was well worth the experience, especially as Matthew the guide had a deep knowledge of the various huts and so forth in the area. A great day.

                                           

    See more thumbnails




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150818-southernmostpoint photo canberra bushwalk

posted at: 00:40 | path: /diary/pictures/20150818-southernmostpoint | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 06 Aug 2015



The Crossroad




    ISBN: 9781743519103
    LibraryThing
    Written by a Victoria Cross recipient, this is the true story of a messed up kid who made something of himself. Mark's dad died of cancer when he was young, and his mum was murdered. Mark then went through a period of being a burden on society, breaking windows for fun and generally being a pain in the butt. But then one day he decided to join the army...

    This book is very well written, and super readable. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think its an important lesson about how troubled teenagers are sometimes that way because of pain in their past, and can often still end up being a valued contributor to society. I have been recommending this book to pretty much everyone I meet since I started reading it.

    Tags for this post: book mark_donaldson combat sas army afghanistan biography australia
    Related posts: Don't Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs; Skimpy; Qantas site; We're getting there; More on the new E-3 Visa; Thanks for the kind word Pia


posted at: 22:04 | path: /book/Mark_Donaldson | permanent link to this entry


Terrible pong

posted at: 17:21 | path: /coding_club | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 03 Aug 2015



Searching for open bugs in a launchpad project

    The launchpad API docs are OMG terrible, and it took me way too long to work out how to do this, so I thought I'd document it for later. Here's how you list all the open bugs in a launchpad project using the API:

      #!/usr/bin/python
      
      import argparse
      import os
      
      from launchpadlib import launchpad
      
      
      LP_INSTANCE = 'production'
      CACHE_DIR = os.path.expanduser('~/.launchpadlib/cache/')
      
      
      def main(username, project):
          lp = launchpad.Launchpad.login_with(username, LP_INSTANCE, CACHE_DIR)
          for bug in lp.projects[project].searchTasks(status=["New",
                                                              "Incomplete",
                                                              "Confirmed",
                                                              "Triaged",
                                                              "In Progress"]):
              print bug
      
      
      if __name__ == '__main__':
          parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description='Fetch bugs from launchpad')
          parser.add_argument('--username')
          parser.add_argument('--project')
          args = parser.parse_args()
      
          main(args.username, args.project)
      


    Tags for this post: launchpad api
    Related posts: Taking over a launch pad project; Juno nova mid-cycle meetup summary: the next generation Nova API

posted at: 23:10 | path: /launchpad | permanent link to this entry


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


Sat, 18 Jul 2015



Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool

    I did a walk with the Canberra Bushwalking Club from Casuarina Sands (in the Cotter) to Kambah Pool (just near my house) yesterday. It was very enjoyable. I'm not going to pretend to be excellent at write ups for walks, but will note that the walk leader John Evans has a very detailed blog post about the walk up already. We found a bunch of geocaches along the way, with John doing most of the work and ChifleyGrrrl and I providing encouragement and scrambling skills. A very enjoyable day.

                                           

    See more thumbnails




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150718-casurina_sands_to_kambah_pool photo canberra bushwalk

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: Cooleman and Arawang Trigs; Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Quartz trig; Goodwin trig; Tuggeranong Trig (again); Stromlo and Brown Trigs

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


Mon, 13 Jul 2015



Quartz trig

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


Wed, 01 Jul 2015



Hunting for GC1D1NB

    I went for an after work walk to try and find GC1D1NB on Tuggeranong Hill yesterday. It wasn't a great success. I was in the right area but I just couldn't find it. Eventually I ran out of time and had to turn back. I am sure I'll have another attempt at this one soon.

       




    Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150701-tuggeranong_hill photo canberra bushwalk

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: Cooleman and Arawang Trigs; Square Rock and Mount Franklin; Quartz trig; Goodwin trig; Tuggeranong Trig (again); Stromlo and Brown Trigs

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


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