by simon baird

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Not the city. I'm talking about bed sheets. At Target they had 500 thread count percale cotton sheets on sale. They were $49.95 reduced from $199.95. Sharyn found them and bought three sets. They are white on white pin stripe and they are GOOD. In case you don't know 500 thread count means approximately 500 acres of cotton were harvested per sheet to make these sheets. Lying on them is like resting on a cloud in heaven. But you know what? I heard that Oprah has 900 percale. O-PRAH.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Madonna please put your pants back on

Okay we get it. You work out a lot and you're very flexible. You have great hair and a killer new album, but please Madonna I don't want to see your grandma arse any more, no matter how firm it is.
Please! It's kind of embarrasing
Otherwise it's a cool video...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My picks from Google Video of the Day

Manamana, insane Korean b-boys, emo lyrics explained, visual Bach, old lady versus Mercedes, more emo lyrics (if you liked the first one

My first Ruby hack - Array.each_with_count

I've started to learn Ruby. It is very cool. You can try it out now in your browser. I'm currently trying to use it instead of (my old faithful) Perl for little text manipulation scripts. Here is a little thing I put together because I was doing this kind of thing a lot:
count = 0
some_array.each do |v|
  # do stuff requiring count
  count += 1
It's an extended each iterator for arrays that includes a built in counter. Here it is:
class Array
  def each_with_count
    count = 0
    self.each do |element|
      yield element,count
      count += 1
Example usage of my new iterator:
["abc","def",123].each_with_count do |x,i|
  print i,"\t",x,"\n"
Which of course prints this:
0       abc
1       def
2       123
Cool huh?! (Apologies to my non computer geek readers... :)

Update 10-Mar-06

Oh boy do I feel foolish! My next project is a roundish thing that might have some application in the field of transport. :) See Enumerable#each_with_index. Ps, ruby is good.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Poker Night 2

Poker night has been renamed to "give your money to Michelle" night. Instead of having a game this weekend could all players please just send $10 to Michelle via PayPal. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sigur Rós tickets

I missed Sigur Rós on their last tour. I was flying from Cairns to Tokyo literally while they were flying from Tokyo to Brisbane. They had just played the Fuji Rock Festival. I was quite upset. Little did I know they would return to Australia so soon and that I would get tickets for their Sydney and Brisbane shows!!!!!! (Sorry, this is old news for some of my readers). I have to thank Lynn (aka PiB) who told me about the tour on the day the tickets went on sale back in November, otherwise I probably would have missed them again. Anyway the shows are on Easter Saturday (Tivoli, Fortitude Valley) and the Wednesday before Easter (Enmore, Newtown). Check back here later for a gig review.

Super home media thingy update

As I have previously mentioned I have a computer next to my TV that I use for recording TV shows. Here's a list of good and bad so far.
  • I can pause, rewind and fast-forward live TV. This is cool. Eg I watched Double Jeopardy the other night with Ashley Judd on Channel 7 and fast-forward the ads...
  • ...but not while watching Austar. The Austar comes in through the svideo input and there's no way to timeshift that.
  • The remote control that comes with the card is excellent. It works via an IR usb thingy.
  • I can't figure out how to use it with VLC player or Media Player Classic. I think perhaps it's possible though. The remote says it's preconfigured to work with certain other programs like PowerDVD or something.
  • It's excellent for watching bit torrented divx files straight from the hard disk to the TV...
  • ...but my wireless network bandwidth isn't good enough to watch a show from my disk upstairs via windows sharing. I can play iTunes shared music downstairs from my main iTunes upstairs though. That's pretty cool.
  • I'm still fighting with WindowsXP and dual monitors. I have nvidia desktop intstalled which has a control panel for saying "Open all new windows on monitor 2". But too often I end up with a window or a dialog opening on monitor 1 which is my TV. Then I have to turn on the TV (if it's not already on), change to the right channel drag my mouse over to the tele and try and retrieve the window and drag it over to the monitor. I have the TV as the primary monitor because FusionHDTV seems to want to go fullscreen on the primary monitor only.
  • I have some fun with aspect ratio. My (SD) TV is running 1024x768 but at widescreen. So for a 16:9 video I have to set aspect to 4:3. It looks squashed on the monitor screen but correct on the TV. And sometimes the player doesn't want to use the aspect ratio I tell it to. I've found the VLC player is the best for this reason. Other players sometimes won't go to 4:3. Windows Media Player, doesn't even seem to have an option for setting the aspect.
  • The FusionHDTV software is a little flakey. It's recording scheduler is just barely useable. But they seem to be releasing new versions regular so hopefully it will improve. I've downloaded WebScheduler to see if it's any better but haven't tried it out yet. I've been looking longingly at MythTV but so far I've decided not to take that plunge. I don't want to risk not being able to actually get my hardware to work.
I will update this post later with some photos.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

For MythBusters: Freezing Bent BMX Wheels

I want to see this on MythBusters. I don't know if it's true or not but when I was a kid everyone knew that if you bent your "tuff" (plastic BMX wheel) it could be straighted out by freezing it, as illustrated below. Can anyone confirm or bust this for me? I looked on Snopes. Nothing.

It appears that in fact it is true. Myth confirmed!

Chewy's Blog

Chewbacca, the famous guy from Star Wars, has his own blog. He's an articulate blogger with some controversial opinions you might not have expected from a wookie. Check it out here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Joanna Newsom

I have just discovered and fallen in love with Joanna Newsom, thanks to seeing her on rage. I think she's not actually human but an elf of some kind. Maybe a gelfling. Just look at her ears. I told Chris about her and he was like, "Well duh! I told you we went to see her in October." He also told me she played her harp until her fingers nearly bled. Here is a video, a CD and some lyrics.