Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Inside lane skulkers

Don't you hate pricks who come up on the inside lane, when you're parked at the lights, edging forward because they know that their lane doesn't continue on the other side of the intersection? They figure that because they drive a BMW, or an Audi, or a Merc, that they're entitled to be in front of everyone else. Why should they wait in the line of traffic like everyone else? Yes, they think, I'll go up on the inside and blast away from the lights, cutting across in front of anyone who dares get in my way.

Well, drivers, I've got news for you. This little black duck is going to make sure that you don't get in. Once you cross the intersection, you're going to have to pull up in hurry to avoid running into the back of that parked car. Just try it and find out for yourself ;)

Monday, 28 July 2008

Latex Mattresses

Ok, you want to know about latex mattresses? I am about to potentially save you a lot of money. Here's the most important thing: If you don't like sleeping in hot beds, then don't buy one. That's about it. Everything about latex mattresses is good, except for that. Yes, they're heavy, but just get some mates to help you carry it. They don't harbour dust mites; they are unbelievably comfortable; they maintain their shape for decades; they don't get lumpy - but..they're DAMN hot. Boiling hot, in fact. It's the middle of winter here in Melbourne and gets to zero during the night, but I am covered only with a thin doona AND I have to have one limb hanging out most of the time. Just to keep cool enough to sleep. Oh yeah, I forgot, that's with a lambswool underblanket over the mattress to further insulate me from the heat.

God knows what it's going to be like in the summer...

Monday, 21 April 2008

HDMI problems

The HDMI on my new Sony STR-DA5300ES just stopped working.

For some reason, when I turned it on yesterday, there was no display (on the Samsung 1080i LCD TV) from the HDMI out of the AVR. Not only was there nothing from the single HDMI1 source, but even when trying to simply display the on-screen menu, the screen was showing 'No input'.

I checked that the source component (a PS3) was actually outputting a signal, by plugging it directly into the TV HDMI input, and yes, everything worked, so I knew it had to be the AVR at fault.

First I tried a few simple procedures that I found on the web: Turn off the power to all components, leave for 15 min, then turn on the TV, then the AVR, then the source - in that order. No go.

I wiggled the HDMI leads. Nothing.

I swapped the HDMI leads. Nothing.

I did a complete reset on the AVR, something I admit I neglected to do when first setting up the unit. Nothing.

Now I was getting desperate. I thought that instead of HDMI, I'd try using component video out from the AVR to the TV, to see if that would work. At least then I'd have a picture.

After plugging in the red, blue and green component leads between the AVR and the TV, suddenly...the menu appeared! Everything was working again - through HDMI!

I can't understand it. Very strange indeed. I know this is not an uncommon situation as many people have reported the same thing in various A/V forums. This is the latest incarnation of HDMI, 1.3a.

It leads me to believe that HDMI still has a fair way to go before it can be regarded as a completely stable and reliable solution to carrying High Definition audio and video.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Fastest Coffee in Australia

Sick of standing around getting old while waiting for that early morning latte?

You'll wonder how you ever tolerated it after buying a coffee at coffee@collins in Collins Place, Melbourne. My average morning coffee normally arrives within 60 seconds of ordering. Now that's more like it.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

My Buell

I have to thank you, Erik Buell. You designed a motorcycle that has all the ingredients that someone like me could hope for.

Not only do I have my 'naked bike' seating position, I have something that handles better than any Ducati, looks meaner than an MV Augusta, runs like a V-Twin dream, and sounds like sex on wheels.

Until I discovered Buells, I thought that in order to get that gorgeous Harley sound, I'd have to become an 'outlaw motorcycle rider' and ride around on a big, wanky, black-and-chrome cruiser that handled like a pig and deafened anyone within earshot. Not so. You've provided the link between the past and the present. A bike which not only looks good on paper, but actually stands up in real-life and takes on all comers. A technological masterpiece with a heart of pure Milwaukee gold.

Thank you.