Freesteel Blog » 2012 » April

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 3:08 pm - - Weekends

No one else makes such a big fuss of air travel these days. When doing it very sparingly (given the infrequent sea crossings), you need to stay a long time. In my case it was three months, travelling around everywhere in the US by train — which is easy. I’d do all that again.

I was carrying a surprising lot of completely useless crap. Here’s what it looked like when I put it all out ready for repacking. Nine tent pegs for the bivi bag was probably excessive.


Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 1:26 am - - Cave

There are friendly cavers in darkest Virginia who are out every weekend checking holes in the ground and recording their locations on a secret database which no one can see. That’s dedication. Becka met them on her last caving trip to China.

They complimented me on the swiftness with which I tipped all my crap out of my rucksack and made myself at home on their living room floor. My thermarest kept getting tossed into the back room whenever I turned my back for fear that the cats would claw a hole in it.

That’s what a good subculture is for — when you’re in it, and other people are in it, then they’re your friends even if you’ve never seen them before. I’m sure the Amish are the same, when they travel around and stay at each other’s farms and instinctively know what chores they need to do to really ingratiate themselves with their hosts. And they know what to do if they really hate them, such as chopping off their beards. To annoy a caver as much as that you’d probably have to smash some stalactites or cook a batch of bat soup.


Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 11:47 pm - - Machining 1 Comment »

No one thought there could be a bug in something as fundamental as the drop cutter onto triangles function, which has been in use at the heart of most every machining algorithm since I had started writing these functions 20 years ago. But the farm found one.


Sunday, April 15th, 2012 at 4:02 pm - - Hang-glide, Weekends 4 Comments »

Just what have I got to complain about! I was doing this last week, dammit. If I am in any way ungrateful, then I am very spoilt child indeed.

There was no thermalling, no getting up to cloud-base for me. But the dawn light was beautiful. Purchasing a video camera for the last day was the best decision I made as it gave me the chance to see things from another perspective, from outside of my narrow point of view. And boy did I need that.


Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 4:35 am - - Whipping

So the ScraperWiki hackday in the Washington Post worked out. The team arrived the previous Tuesday in order to get on with some of that capitol city networking. There was a shared apartment for three of us and a good old fashioned diner round the corner with waffles.

It’s been a long time since I have been at home, and half the people I know from home were here. Except the important ones.