Recent blog entries for mikal

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.

   

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150701-tuggeranong_hill photo canberra bushwalk
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches

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Syndicated 2015-07-01 15:52:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

30 Jun 2015 (updated 1 Jul 2015 at 02:08 UTC) »

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.

   

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150630-percival photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches; Cooleman and Arawang Trigs; One Tree and Painter; A walk around Mount Stranger

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Syndicated 2015-06-30 04:08:00 (Updated 2015-07-01 02:08:08) from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

29 Jun 2015 (updated 1 Jul 2015 at 00:06 UTC) »

A team walk around Red Hill

My team at work is trying to get a bit more active, so a contingent from the Canberra portion of the team went for a walk around Red Hill. I managed to sneak in a side trip to Davidson trig, but it was cheating because it was from the car park at the top of the hill. A nice walk, with some cool geocaches along the way.

 

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150629-davidson photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches; Cooleman and Arawang Trigs; One Tree and Painter; A walk around Mount Stranger

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Syndicated 2015-06-29 15:38:00 (Updated 2015-07-01 00:06:00) from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Yet another possible cub walk

Jacqui and Catherine kindly agreed to come on another test walk for a possible cub walk. This one was the Sanctuary Loop at Tidbinbilla. To be honest this wasn't a great choice for cubs -- whilst being scenic and generally pleasant, the heavy use of black top paths and walkways made it feel like a walk in the Botanic Gardens, and the heavy fencing made it feel like an exhibit at a zoo. I'm sure its great for a weekend walk or for tourists, but if you're trying to have a cub adventure its not great.

                                       

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Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150620-tidbinbilla photo canberra bushwalk
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches

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Syndicated 2015-06-20 02:20:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Further adventures in the Jerrabomberra wetlands

There was another walk option for cubs I wanted to explore at the wetlands, so I went back during lunch time yesterday. It was raining really quite heavily during this walk, but I still had fun. I think this route might be the winner -- its a bit longer, and a bit more interesting as well.

                                       

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Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150618-jerrabomberra_wetlands photo canberra bushwalk
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches

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Syndicated 2015-06-18 16:01:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Exploring possible cub walks

I've been exploring possible cub walks for a little while now, and decided that Jerrabomberra Wetlands might be an option. Most of these photos will seem a bit odd to readers, unless you realize I'm mostly interested in the terrain and its suitability for cubs...

                                 

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150617-jerrabomerra_wetlands photo canberra bushwalk
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches

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Syndicated 2015-06-16 21:35:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

More coding club

This is the second post about the coding club at my kid's school. I was away for four weeks travelling for work and then getting sick, so I am still getting back up to speed with what the kids have been up to while I've been away. This post is an attempt to gather some resources that I hope will be useful during the session today -- it remains to be seen how this maps to what the kids actually did while I was away.

First off, the adults have decided to give Python for Kids a go as a teaching resource. The biggest catch with this book is that its kind of expensive -- at AUD $35 a copy, we can't just issue a copy to every kid in the room. That said, perhaps the kids don't each need a copy, as long as the adults are just using it as a guide for what things to cover.

It appears that while I was away chapters 1 through 4 have been covered. 1 is about install python, and then 2-3 are language construct introductions. This is things like what a variable is, mathematical operators, strings, tuples and lists. So, that's all important but kind of dull. On the other hand, chapter 4 covers turtle graphics, which I didn't even realize that python had a module for.

I have fond memories of doing logo graphics as a kid at school. Back in my day we'd sometimes even use actual robots to do some of the graphics, although most of it was simulated on Apple II machines of various forms. I think its important to let the kids of today know that these strange exercises they're doing used to relate to physical hardware that schools actually owned. Here are a couple of indicative pictures stolen from the Internet:





So, I think that's what we'll keep going with this week -- I'll let the kids explain where they got to with turtle graphics and then we'll see how far we can take that without it becoming a chore.

Tags for this post: coding_club kids coding python turtle graphics logo
Related posts: Coding club day one: a simple number guessing game in python; JPEG 2 MPEG howto; Graphics from the command line; Implementing SCP with paramiko; Packet capture in python; I'm glad I've turned on comments here

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Syndicated 2015-06-04 19:35:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Geocaching at the border

Today's lunch walk was around Tuggeranong Pines again. At the back of the pine forest is the original train line from the 1880s which went down to Cooma. I walked as far as the old Tuggeranong siding before turning back. Its interesting, as there is evidence that there has been track work done here in the last ten years or so, even though the line hasn't been used since 1989.

                       

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150604-geocaching photo canberra bushwalk
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches

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Syndicated 2015-06-04 02:49:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Melrose trig

I went for a short geocaching walk at lunch today. Three geocaches in 45 minutes, so not too shabby. One of those caches was at the Melrose trig point, so bagged that too. There is some confusion here, as John Evans and I thought that Melrose was on private land. However, there is no signage to that effect in the area and the geocache owner asserts this is public land. ACTMAPi says the area is Tuggeranong Rural Block 35, but isn't clear on if the lease holder exists. Color me confused and possibly an accidental trespasser.

         

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150602-melrose photo canberra bushwalk trig_point
Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches; Cooleman and Arawang Trigs; One Tree and Painter; A walk around Mount Stranger

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Syndicated 2015-06-01 22:55:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

In A Sunburned Country




ISBN: 0965000281
LibraryThing
This is the first Bill Bryson book I've read, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Bill is hilarious and infuriating at the same time, which surprisingly to me makes for a very entertaining combination. I'm sure he's not telling the full story in this book -- its just not possible for someone so ill prepared to not just die in the outback somewhere. Take his visit to Canberra for example -- he drives down from Sydney, hits the first hotel he finds and then spends three days there. No wonder he's bored. Eventually he bothers to drive for another five minutes and finds there is more to the city than one hotel. On the other hand, he maligns my home town in such a hilarious manner I just can't be angry at him.

I loved this book, highly recommended.

Tags for this post: book bill_bryson australia travel
Related posts: In Sydney!; American visas for all!; Melbourne; Sydney Australia in Google Maps; Top Gear Australia; Linux presence at Education Expo


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Syndicated 2015-06-01 03:10:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

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