take a break

Me Too!

Woohoo!

Thanks to Chris for pointing me to that contest...
category: General posted on Saturday October 30, 2004 at 19:19:56 by: 0xCC

Gas Experiment Update

Filled up the third tank of 89 octane yesterday. The second tank was 62.002 litres and a total of 660.0 kms. So that gives a mileage of 9.39l/100km, still better than most of the 87 octane tanks but not by such a large margin.

Currently on the final tank of 89 octane so the next fill up will be 91 octane. Stay tuned.
category: The Gas Experiment posted on Thursday October 28, 2004 at 19:52:28 by: 0xCC

Opening a file

Ok, Race Analyzer can now open a file. I was having problems getting the file dialog box to open up properly mostly because I'm an idiot. Well, maybe that is a little harsh. Maybe it is just because I was working on it past my bedtime last time and I didn't notice the silly mistakes. I find that happens to me a little more often than I would like to admit. I bang my head against the wall trying to get something to work and finally give up for the day because I know I am too tired to get anything done. So I started back at it tonight and quickly found a couple of silly mistakes and bingo, the file dialog opens and I can open a file.

So things are progressing. The next step will be to take the contents of the file and dump it to the window.
category: Development posted on Tuesday October 26, 2004 at 22:48:39 by: 0xCC

The Bones are There...

Alright, after going through parts of the wxPython Wiki I seem to have a partially running skeleton of my first wxPython app. It was pretty easy to get a bare-bones app up and running and although there is much, much more to do it is pretty nice to have something that looks like a real window and should be fully portable to the MasOS and Linux.

I have the About box done, that means I am about 90% complete right? ;)

I seem to be having a problem importing some classes that would allow me to have a file open dialog box. Hopefully I can solve that little issue later this week.
category: General posted on Sunday October 24, 2004 at 22:42:01 by: 0xCC

Onward...

I have been stalling a little bit with respect to any personal project development. What was it, two weeks ago that I last posted actually doing anything with development stuff? No, make that three weeks. Jeepers.

There have been a couple of things that have prevented me from doing some concentrated development. The first is that I have been screwing around with this web site, getting it set up and stuff like that. The second is that I didn't really have a clear vision for what I wanted to do for my first 'mini project'. Well today I sorted out what I want to do as a first-run of this mini project.

Right from the start I knew I wanted to make something that would make analyzing race results easier. I haven't put an 'about me' page up on this site yet but once I it will include the fact that I compete in triathlons (swim, then bike then finish all that off with a run) as well as the occasional road race (running race) in the fall/winter/spring. The road races are mainly to give a boost to my weakest triathlon sport, running. I should note that I am not at all competitive in the races, I do them to give a purpose and a goal to my training. If I didn't have a real, concrete goal to be working towards I would personally find it very difficult to stay motivated enough to even do three times a week of physical activity. When I get to the peak part of my training season I usually end up have 3-4 day stretches where I will be doing two things each day (morning and evening). There is no way that I would be able to push myself that much without the goal of a race to motivate me.

Anyway, back to my vision for the app I want to write. Often race results are posted on the internet and often they are just plain HTML. That is great to look at but you can't really do much with it. I usually want to know a little bit more about how I did in a race other than the time I finished in and the place I finished in overall as well as in my age group. I want to know what percentile I am in, how my swim time compared to every one else and every one in my age group. How do my transitions compare to others in my age group? What place was I in when I finished the bike? How many places (not whether I did or not, because I always do) did I drop during the run?

So what I have been thinking of writing is something that would allow a little bit of easy analysis of the results. I was getting bogged down when I tried to think of which analyzing features should be in it and how to get the user input on their name (so the app could find it) and their category and all that stuff. Then I realised that at least for the first version of the app I don't need to do all the whiz-bang features. All I need to be able to do is export to a comma separated values file that a users could import into their favourite spreadsheet and do the data manipulation in the spreadsheet. Now the problem is much, much more simple and I can concentrate on just getting it done rather than pondering how to implement the details.

So I have been playing around with Python and I think I would like to take a crack at this in Python. I would also like it to have a GUI and be portable to the MacOS. So I want to use wxPython.

This brings me to step 1: Get a window up and ready to open a file, a bonus would be to have it ready to open a URL which I have no idea to do but I will keep my options open for that in the future. I already have both Python and wxPython installed on my system. I haven't figured out how to make wxPython work quite yet so that will be a bit of a hurdle for me. I just need to keep in mind that all I need to do is get a window up and be able to open a file.

So that is the plan. Updates to follow.
category: Development posted on Friday October 22, 2004 at 15:59:45 by: 0xCC

From the pumpkin patch...

Last weekend I got a little ambitious. When we were out shopping for groceries I saw the mound of pumpkins outside the grocery store just waiting to be carved into jack-o-lanterns. This was in the middle of our Thanksgiving weekend, the Thanksgiving weekend without a real Thanksgiving dinner. I was feeling a little left out of the whole Thanksgiving celebrations and I was looking for a way to get back that Thanksgiving feeling.

I decided when I saw those pumpkins that I would try something I have never done before. I was going to make a pumpkin pie. From scratch. Including the crust. Have I mentioned that I haven't done this before? I have baked a lot of things before, everything from cheesecake to cookies to gingerbread houses to Black Forest cakes. I have been baking since I was under 10 I think and have been pretty good at it. But I have never baked a pie from scratch. The only pies I have baked have come pre-made in a box and all I had to do was throw them in an oven.

I was about to embark on a journey to turn this: Pump-e-kin!
Into this:

mmmmm.... piiiiieeeeeeeee.....
There's more...
category: General posted on Monday October 18, 2004 at 16:07:05 by: 0xCC

Gas Experiment Update

If you missed the introduction to my Gas Experiment you can check out the entries by clicking here.

Yesterday I filled up my second tank of 89 octane. While I would get right around 600 kms on a tank of 87 octane gas I managed to get over 700 kms with the 89 octane. That works out to almost a full litre per 100 kms less than the 87 octane. At an average of 5.5-6 cents difference between the two octane levels, does this make financial sense? Let's see. Say 6 cents difference to be conservative. Say 60 litres of gas. So yesterday 87 octane was 78.4 cents which would have cost me $47.04 and if I got a ball park 600 kms out of that it cost me 7.84 cents a kilometre. The 89 octane was 84.4 cents so a 60 litre tank would have cost me $50.64 for 700kms would be 7.23 cents a kilometre. It looks like on the first tank of gas of 89 octane that the 89 octane makes more sense. Two more tanks of 89 octane left before I can come to any sort of conclusion though. This one tank could have been a fluke. Maybe it wasn't as windy, maybe I did a little more highway driving, maybe I wasn't quite as heavy on the gas pedal. We shall see...
category: The Gas Experiment posted on Friday October 15, 2004 at 08:57:27 by: 0xCC

Conversation with a 6 year old

Conversation I had this weekend with my 6 year old nephew.

"Do you have a piggy bank?"
"Yes."
"Do you want something to put in it?"
"What do you got?!"
category: General posted on Thursday October 14, 2004 at 20:45:27 by: 0xCC

Fall in Southern Ontario

Here is one picture, I have a couple more that I will try to put up later today...

Seasons are changing

Update:
Here are a couple more:

Southern Ontario in the fall

Fall field
category: General posted on Tuesday October 12, 2004 at 08:53:57 by: 0xCC

Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

Happy Thanksgiving Monday to my fellow Canadians. We did the run around to all the family stuff on Saturday and Sunday. If you are in Southern Ontario now you need to get out to an area where you can enjoy the tree colours. The colours are spectacular right now and it will probably last for another week or two at most. I am going to try to get a picture up if the weather holds. It is looking a little bit grey out right now but this afternoon it is supposed to brighten up.

Yesterday we picked up a pumpkin while grocery shopping because I wanted to try my hand at making pumpkin pie. I have never made it before (I haven't even made a pie crust before so I am in for an adventure) and I didn't know that it requires condensed milk! I just figured that with some eggs, pumpkin, spices and flour I would be able to whip it up. I may delay this experiment until tomorrow (I took the day off work) or see if I can find a grocery store that is open so I can pick up some condensed milk.

I will also probably end up playing around with this site today so if things looked screwed up it is just me messing things up.
category: General posted on Monday October 11, 2004 at 09:29:06 by: 0xCC

The Gas Experiment

The Backgrounder:
In April of this year we took ownership of a new (new to us, it is a 2002) car. The old (a 1996 model, different brand) car had a 1.9L 4 cylinder engine and was manual and the suggested octane level was 87 or regular. The new car has a 2.4L 5 cylinder engine with turbo and is automatic with a suggested octane level of 91, generally the highest level of octane. I know the previous (and only) owner of the new (to us) car and he always just put regular or 87 octane in the car and never had any problems with it (i.e. no engine knocking). So that is what we have been putting in the car since we took ownership. There's more...
category: The Gas Experiment posted on Thursday October 07, 2004 at 12:59:52 by: 0xCC

Mozilla weirdness

For those of you out there using Mozilla (which seem to be a high percentage of people visiting here, myself included) the calendar on the right side seems to be messed up for some reason. The links don't want to work. If you take a look at the source for the page they do seem to be there, they just aren't behaving well. It looks ok in Explorer though. Also, I am using Firebird v0.7 so maybe that has something to do with it. In any case I am aware of it and I am looking into it.
category: General posted on Tuesday October 05, 2004 at 13:07:14 by: 0xCC

Still working on it...

I have some of this stuff working the way I want but I still don't have it all exactly the way I want it. I have been trying to figure out how CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are being used to control positioning and I think I am starting to get it. Before this weekend I never really understood the power of the div tags. Well, I have been enlightened and I understand how it is possible to live without tables now. ;)

So the long and short of it is that I am on the right track for what I want to do here but I am not finished. So stay tuned, more changes coming.
category: General posted on Sunday October 03, 2004 at 20:53:44 by: 0xCC

Contents may settle during shipping...

Not that there is anyone out there looking at this yet but if you are this is just a warning. I am going to be spending the next little while (could be a couple of days) messing around with this site. So things might look broken, they might look really bad for a little while but I am working on it. Please bear with me and try to ignore the dust...
category: General posted on Saturday October 02, 2004 at 11:36:40 by: 0xCC