Sunday, May 27, 2007

Desert Umbrella

When I first heard about hikers using umbrellas to combat the heat, I though of Gogo Dodo (see right). Ha! I'd never use something so ridiculous. And then I read more about the ferocious heat of SoCal, and I softened. Then I read Catra's blog - she just started on the PCT and it sounds hot out there. I put aside images of Dodos, costume drama parasols, and Englishmen in bowler hats; I got down to M&S and bought me an umbrella. Add a space blanket for heat reflection, et voila, behold my creation...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I got me a spork!

I just like saying it, too. Spork! Spork! Spork!

Actually, typing it is less fun than saying it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The truth about Lena

Everyone in image processing knows her face, but until today I could only speculate about what lay below the shoulder-line.

Lena is a standard test image used in image processing books, papers, and software tools. It's good for its mix of highly detailed areas, smooth areas, and sharp edges. She's also much more pleasant to look at than zone plates (argh! My eyes hurt again!), mandlebrot sets, or pictures of buildings. And as it turns out she's a Playboy model from the 70s who had no idea of her fame until she was invited to a computer graphics conference. I'll never look at test images quite the same way again.

Full story and details here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dyfi Enduro

The Dyfi Enduro was on May 6th and, as usual, it was awesome. The last outing for my knees before the operation, and there is no better even to ride your mountain bike at.

It's based in Machynlleth which, in Glyndwr's day, was once the capital of Wales. Nowadays, it's the alternative capital of Wales in another sense with the Centre for Alternative Technology, a great bike shop, and a hippy cafe. And then there are the trails of the Dyfi Forest where long fire-road climbs go up and rocks, roots, mud, and steepness go down.

The Dyfi Enduro takes the laid-back attitude and the in-your-face trails, and puts them together to make the most fun enduro of them all. Then to cap it all, they throw in random spot prizes, home-made flapjack, and weirdness. What weirdness? Well, after the first long climb has nicely separated the field, the sound of a band can be heard on the wind. Yes they have a rock band in the middle of no-where. Round another corner, and now there are cheerleaders. Now you're just spoiling us, and we haven't even ridden down any hills yet.

You only need to look at the grins in the photos to know it's great. And ask yourself what you want to see at the top of a hill, angry XC guys in Lycra or this lass...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Feet up, arse down

Doctor's orders... Must be idle this weekend.

The arthroscopy on my knee is done. They didn't find anything wrong, which is good because it means my knee's not just going to fail. But it's kinda bad because it cost a lot of money to get no solid conclusion about what's wrong. Once the recovery from surgery is over, it might just have got better by itself. Hmm.

Anyway, rain, enforced sofa time, and an impending adventure mean I'm back on blogging.