I don’t know where my fascination for fat bikes came from but after looking at some youtube videos, I am convinced I NEED one. Fat bikes are the Land Rover of the cycling world. Tough, go anywhere vehicles.

I figure I may as well get the original and best fatbike, the Surly Pugsley. However, places that sell such a beast in the UK are few and far between. I am pretty much resigned to having to travel to Glasgow or Edinburgh to pick one up. That isn’t a huge issue.

The issue is the price. The Pugsley is an eye watering £1600. Ye Gods! I just don’t have that sort of ready cash lying about the place. I have no doubts that the bike is worth that much but still…ouch.

Thus I have a dilemma. I can save up the money in a few months, putting away a few hundred quid every payday will let me have a bike in time for winter and the potential snow which would be hella fun to ride in. But it means waiting.

The other option is some sort of credit. I really don’t like being in debt. Only time I got something on credit was my Land Rover and that was paid back in a year. Still wigged me out owing money. I can easily pay the money back but its the principal of the thing. Goes against my “if I don’t have the money, don’t buy it” mantra. But it means getting the bike that much sooner.


Wherein we find out about the author’s inability to follow instructions

So I’ve been thinking that I really should learn Lisp. A nice programming language unlike any other I have seen. Clojure is one dialect of Lisp which is targeted at the JVM and .NET CLR. A quick search of the Youtubes revealed a decent video introducing Clojure with a practical example and a quick touch on Leningen.

I started going along with the video a couple days ago when I hit a snag. Errors about not finding files, no such namespace etc. The versions of the libraries I was using were quite old, was that the issue? Has the syntax changed?. The answer is a lot more depressing.

(GET "/" request (homepage request))
(GET "/:id" [id] (redirect id)))

Can you see the issue? I coudn’t.

(defroutes myroutes
(GET "/" request (homepage request))
(GET "/:id" [id] (redirect id)))

I missed a single argument from (defroutes). Literally could have put any old ascii string in there and it would have worked.




Remember kids, when copying code from a video, make sure to get it all.

Restarting Stronglifts 5×5

Just completed my first Stronglifts session in a while. Fell off the wagon due to lazyness and didn’t bother with any real routine once I got over my boneidleness. Just basically threw weights around. That will not do.

First session went very well. Hit 5×5 on squat, bench and rows at 37.5, 25 and 30kg respectively. Even though the weights are low as hell I am still sweating. That was fun. Workout B on Wednesday.

Started reading The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross. First dead tree fiction book in several years. More occult computing FTW!

I swear I’ll stop with The Laundry Files stuff at some point.

I comissioned a Field Notes leather notebook cover

Field Notes notebooks are among the best notebooks currently made. Good quality paper, fits in my pocket very well and are just a pleasure to write on. Sadly, the paper cover doesn’t stand up well to minor abuse. A cover is needed to give some protection.

Field Notes make a couple of leather products to fufill this requirement but given that they are at the $80+ price point I decided against one of those. Far too much money for a few bits of leather stitched together. Ebay was the same.

My buddy Drayygon has been doing a few bits of leatherwork for a couple years now so I asked about the possibility of commissioning him to make a cover. For the princely sum of £15 I am pleased.

It is a simple affair with 3 leather panels stitched together to hold the cover to the notebook. No faff, no extra guff.

wpid-wp-1399714689637.jpg wpid-wp-1399714703967.jpg wpid-wp-1399714718500.jpgEven still fits in the slot pockets on my TAD trousers. Little tight but will get in. Cheers Drayygon!


A few days ago my friend Scott and I made a couple of videos.

This one is about stoves and whatnot.

This one is about the fire kit I threw together the night before.

This will hopefully be a semi-intermittent thing, especially now that we have 2 cameras for capture. Recorded some stuff today so expect that in the near future.

When geeks and occultism collide

Yes, its a pentacle. Yes, he’s using a fifty kilovolt HT power supply and some mucking great capacitors to drive the laser. Yes, that’s a flayed goatskin on the coat rack and a half-eaten pizza whirling round at 33 rpm on the Linn Sondek turntable. This is what you get when you live with Pinky and the Brain: I said it was a geek house and we all work in the Laundry, so we are talking about geek houses for very esoteric – indeed, occult – values of geek.

– Charles Stross – The Atrocity Archives

I think I’m gonna like this book.

MOT Results

Yesterday, Serenity my Land Rover Defender went through her annual MOT test. I learned my lessons from the first time and made sure to check more thoroughly for failure items. I replaced 2 dust covers and fitted a nut which had gone AWOL due to not being torqued down sufficiently (my fault cause I couldn’t get the tools I had into place to tighten it down).

The first attempt on Saturday was a wash, the tester was off ill. The garage had tried to contact me to no avail. I did get booked for yesterday with no issues though. After an hour and a half of stressing out I gave the garage a call to see what was up (tests only take about an hour).


Cue jumping for joy.

There were a few advisories though. Nothing serious.

  • Nearside seat belt damaged but webbing not significantly weakened [5.2.2a]
  • Offside seat belt damaged but webbing not significantly weakened [5.2.2a]
  • Nearside rear shock absorber has a slightly worn bush [2.7.4]
  • Offside rear shock absorber has a slightly worn bush [2.7.4]
  • Nearside front drag link end ball joint dust cover deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt [2.2.C.1c]

The seatbelt damage is due to being repeatedly trapped in the door locks. The belts don’t retract quickly enough and tend to snag on the door latching post. Will have to replace the whole assemblies before the next MOT. In the meantime I will attempt to rig up something with shock cord to pull the belts out the way quicker.

Regarding the shock absorbers. Last test I had an advisory that one of the shocks was misting oil. So I replaced both just to be prudent. Sadly, I decided to do it based on cost which resulted in the parts being Britpart.

Those in Land Rover circles will know why they are dubbed Britpart Shitpart. Needless to say I am not surprised that they are wearing out. Quality parts my arse. Will be replaced with some proper gas shocks with proper polybushes at some point.

The dust cover issue isn’t as serious as the advisory makes out. The tester explained that the cover is missing its retaining clip but its being held in place due to friction and pressure from the bottom so its not allowing dust and dirt in. This was my fault. I managed to break the retaining spring when putting it on. Silly thing that it was. Will get a proper retaining clip at some point.

The tester also noted that Serenity “wasn’t leaking much oil”. He remarked that some of the newer Defenders can be a lot worse with regards to oil leaks so I’m pretty happy. The phrase “if its not leaking, you have no fluids” comes to mind.

I’m also happy to report that another advisory from last year got corrected. The exhaust was leaking slightly from one of the joints. Due to the sheer amount of rust on the bolts we opted to cut them off and bodge it back together with a gasket that I don’t remember ordering. Wasn’t in my eBay history and it fit perfectly. If you bought it for me, let me know so I can thank you.

Roadworthy for another year! Now, what else will break…