Rik's Ramblings

Monday, August 30, 2004

Lake Tahoe Trip

Hey, I forgot to give graphic detail of our trip to Lake Tahoe last weekend (19 - 23 August).

[Some photo here]

We went up to D.L. Bliss State Park. The park is located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, just North of Emerald Bay (photos of said, somewhere on Sagar.Org).

Had great weather, despite the weatherman pessimistically expecting thunder for the whole time we were up there, we only had one day where it looked like it might.

D.L. Bliss has it's own beach. Depending on where you are in the site it's upto 30 minute walk to the beach from the campground. We spent the first couple of warm days hanging out on the beach and around the camp site. Some of Ben's friends were there too, so he was happy to just hang-out climbing big rocks at the camp.

Water in the lake was a little chilly, but once you got it in was bearable for about 30 minutes. Fortunately the sun was good and hot to bring your body temp back up to normal while you laid on the hot sun drinking, ahem, water to rehydrate :o)

We bought Ben a little inflatable boat, much like this one:
Intex Boat

Spent a few hours with Ben trying to row it round the lake, of course his arms aren't long enough to actually pull both the oars at the same time, so it was somewhat amusing for me (and frustrating for he)!

Sunday wasn't great weather, lots of cloud and rather cold on the beach, so we that day we went over to Tahoe City and had a 'paddle boat' ride on the Tahoe Gal. The Tahoe Gal is a fake paddle boat (the boats from Zephyr Cove were real paddle steamers if I recall correctly).

Anyway, the authenticity of the boat didn't really matter as the bar had Long Island Ice Tea, so as soon as we 'put to sea' Debbie and I were knocking those back. Actually, I think we even started before we set-off. After a little while I also discovered the wonders of the Bloody Mary which never really appealed to me before I tried it. I thought a tomato juice based beverage a silly idea, but after sampling I can recommend it. It might even dislodge Stolli-Martini for my number one cocktail position. Bloody Mary; a fusion of salsa and alcohol. What could be better!

The trip was only slightly marred by Ben hurling in the car on the way back and we had to stop off in Sacramento to clean puke off the back seat. In the parking lot of some university or other.

Good weekend overall!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Canada Agrees With My Wet Ramblings

    [John] Kerry made a surprise appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night. ...
    The Globe and Mail: "That tells you something about the insanity that has gripped the American media."

Hey, isn't that my opinion:
The News, Wednesday, July 28, 2004, Wet Ramblings of the Dive Boy

Yes folks, you heard it here first.

Incidentally, in recent weeks I've seen several times the likes of CNN re-broadcasting Daily Show snippets. So now it appears, the major cable news networks get their news, too, from Comedy Central.

Hey, like I said before, it's the best (fake) news show on the box.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Outsource your job to earn more!

    Outsource your job to earn more! - The Times of India: "[US] Programmers are outsourcing their software modules to cheap and efficient labour in India. This way they get the best of both worlds- more money and more time. They earn doubly - one from the outsourced job, other from the new job they undertake. "

A couple of us had this idea a few years ago. Never thought anyone would be dumb enough to try it, but hey, more power to 'em. Better this than their Retarded Multinational Employers creaming all the profits!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tiny Tin Lady

Official favorite Girly Band on the week!

Tiny Tin Lady - http://www.tinytinlady.com

Following their performance at a certain famous folk festival recently, I was introduced to this band. Great singers and excellent guitar work.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Leuven's Marktrock Festival

Marktrock - or "Market Rock" I suppose we'd call it in England!

The centre of Leuven is transforming into a stadium the week festival. Unfortunately I won't be here at the weekend when the real festival starts. Shame, Lou Reed is headlining on Sunday night.

Anyway tonight (Tuesday) I went for a little wander around the town (looking for a burger for dinner) and - lo and behold - there was a band player doing covers of 70s and 80s pop (Abba, Buggles, Bee-Gees).

The square was full of people having a bop. I had a couple of beers (a Hoegaarten, a Leffe and a Palm). It was nice atmosphere and looked great. The olde city hall illuminated in the background, with it's ornate 16th(?) Century scuptures and the regional flags unfurled.

The scene seemed very different from England or America. Example, the combination of crowds, music, and alcohol in England would have attracked a hundred police (here I saw 2) and a brawl. In the US, it would just have been illegal to play loud music in the streets after 8pm! Although, I think a British crowd would have sung "Video Killed the Radio Star" with more umpff!

Rather than a burger I was brave and figured I'd try a local delicacy called a "zwarts". It was a sausage affair and I was curious! Turned out to be (basically) black pudding. Imagine, that traditional Yorkshire faire having a Belgian twin! Anyway, I aite it, afterall, I'd already drunk a Hoegaarten, a Leffe and a Palm, I'd have eaten anything at that point!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Wonders of Nature

Flew out of San Francisco to Brussels today.

The view as the plane left SFO and flew north over San Francisco was brilliant, I wish I'd had a camera with me.

There was a massive fog bank behind the mountains to the West of the bay. It oozed between the cracks and flooded down over the city and into the bay. The Trans-America pyramid was sticking out through the fog, as were the tower tops of the Golden Gate Bridge. Out to sea, the cloud was solid, no sight of the ocean and of course, in the southbay it was gloriously sunny, so the combination was marvelous.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Microsoft smoothes mangled translations

Microsoft smoothes mangled translations

    ... EWW is meant to assist people who know a fair number of English words but need help mastering the often arcane and seemingly contradictory patterns that govern how they're put together.

I know a few navite 'Engish' speakers who could use this tool too!

Comment from a Space Geek

The following input was received from a space geek in response to my Cassini consternation.

    Cassini didn't actually pass through the rings of Saturn during SOI. What it did was pass through the Ring Plane. That's pretty much unavoidable if you go past Saturn - even Voyager had to do it.

    Now the wackos at JPL did expect there to be some material in the ring plane, but 'minefield' is a bit of a misnomer - the average particle size in the ring plane is the size of a grain of smoke. Cassini registered 100,000 hits in the five minutes it took to cross it.

100,000 hits and it took it on the chin - what a manly space-probe that was.

Morning trip to the gym

Morning trip to the gym

Clearly that entry was a jinx. Since I posted it I've been sick and not able to go to the gym.