Oscar up the Gog

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Mon 24/10/2016 08:18 PM


So - another of my bucket list ticked off. Finally made it up to Bathurst for the Great Race!

It’d been something I wanted to do for ages, but it hadn’t ever really been viable - until Jason mentioned that he had a mate living in Bathurst that he could crash with. Well, that was enough motivation - we decided we should try and get up there.

Turns out that Jason’s mate was actually his Dad’s mate that Jason had never met - but that was still good enough - so we organised to pitch a tent in his back yard and headed up.

We took Friday off and basically drove all day to get up there - and spend Saturday and Sunday at the circuit. We found a nice spot on Skyline to watch the race. It wasn’t the best spectator spot, but it had the advantage of having a big screen close by, so combined with our radios we could actually keep tabs on what was going on - which would have been almost impossible at some of the ‘better’ spots.


Such as Forest Elbow - that was a much more spectacular spot - but no screens. The race is well and truly long enough to move around a bit though.

Far out the track is steeper than it looks though. I can see it on the TV now, but until you’ve been around the track you don’t realise how insane it actually is.


On the Monday we hunt around in Bathurst for a while - and eventually the track was opened so we could drive the circuit. Of course, the speed limit is 60km so it wasn’t exactly a flying lap - but I’m very glad to say I’ve driven around it now.

The race itself was awesome too - even if it wasn’t a brilliant day for Ford.


The mighty Forester on the straight at Bathurst!


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Mainland trek
Mon 24/10/2016 08:00 PM


So the other weekend Jason and I went for a drive in the Forester.

Just a short jaunt up to Bathurst in NSW. Almost 1600km round trip from where we got off the Spirit. 

Got to say, some of the roads were a little more interesting than I'd expected (see photo). I blame Jason's navigating.

Almost 800km in a day, I'm pretty sure that's the longest I've travelled in a car, and it's certainly the longest I've driven. Not a bad drive though.

We split the return trip over two days. We could have done it in a single day, but we didn't want to risk missing the boat.

It also gave us time to stop at a Toyworld in the town of Young. I love rural Toywords because they often still have older stuff on the shelves - but even I was shocked to see this on the shelf. Lego 9v track hasnt been available for years! It's not on the shelf anymore :)


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Evil Numbers
Mon 19/09/2016 10:27 PM


Ok - so I’m certainly no mathematician as anyone who knows me can attest - but even I can tell that 196 + 2.91 - 196 - 2.91 equals zero. 


The negative numbers cancel out the positive, and you’re left with zero.

Unless you ask Excel, that is.

I use Excel quite a bit, but this is the first time I’ve come across this particular problem. According to Excel, the result is -3.55271E-15.

There’s nothing hiding in those numbers (type them in yourself and test). Excel just can’t hack it. If you change the order of the numbers it sometimes gets it right.

You can force it to change the formatting and that will hide the odd result and appear as zero - but it’s only hiding the issue.

So what’s going on?

I’ve tried multiple computers and different versions of Excel and had the same result.

I’m still not really sure what’s going on here - but from what I can dig up, it’s got to do with the fact that Excel uses floating point numbers, and they aren’t precise enough. So it actually is just getting it wrong.

This is an issue with floating point numbers, not Excel itself. I used floats in SQL and had the same result.

This is the first time I’ve come across this sort of issue by accident. Took me ages tearing my hair out trying to work out why my data wasn’t reconciling. Turns out that it was - if you discount the issue.

I'm slightly less embarrassed by my lack of Mathematical ability when I can get this right and a computer can't.

Trust me - regardless of what Excel says, the answer is zero.

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Note to self....
Tue 16/08/2016 12:45 PM



Note to self, remember to put on your spacesuit before opening the airlock...


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Dedicated to Space
Fri 03/06/2016 07:11 PM


It’s been a while since I posted - so it’s as good a time as any to dust off an old topic I’ve been meaning to post about.

Back to Brickvention.

I’ve been attending the Lego convention in Melbourne for a few years now. I’d like to think the stuff I’ve displayed is decent, but it’s far from the quality that many of the other exhibitors bring along. They leave me for dust.

Each year, there are awards for best in show and similar categories. These go to models and builders which display the most skill, not necessarily the ones that pack the biggest punch for the general attendees. 

This year was the 10th anniversary of Brickvention, so they decided to add some extra fun awards. And I scored one!

They gave me the award for "Dedication to Space", which seemed a little odd as I didn’t really consider myself a space builder. But thinking about it, every year I’ve been I’ve had at least one space related exhibit. Apparently I am dedicated to space, although sometimes that just means a random spaceship and not anything impressive.

But to be honest - I’ve got a feeling that the award had more to do with tables than space.

Jason has joined me on my trips to Brickvention quite a few times (although he missed this year due to getting married or something) - but I’ve noticed that no one ever seems to know who he is, while many will greet me by name.

I’m not a very outgoing or chatty sort of person, so that’s not it.

The people who know me are generally the organizers and committee members, rather than just other random exhibitors. 

I think it’s because I’m generally one of the last people out of the hall. 

Brickvention packup is an epic undertaking that never ceases to amaze me. Within a few hours of the last visitor leaving, the exhibits are all packed and out the door. And for most people, that’s where the convention ends.

For the organizers and committee members though, there’s a lot of work getting the tables sorted, packed, and into trucks or trailers. All the table cloths etc need to be sorted, and every single thing needs to be out of the building before they can leave for the night. There is heaps of work involved.

So I stick around and give them a hand. Even if I have to take my car load of Lego back to the hotel, I’ll turn around and tram back to the hall to help with the pack-up. 

Jason doesn’t do this - neither do most of the exhibitors. In fact, you can be pretty sure who will be there at the end - they always seem to be the same exhausted faces.

I think that’s why the committee know who I am.

And I think that’s why I got the "Dedication to Space" award.

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