I’m learning a lot about Jessica

Someone on the GO train is talking very loudly at their phone. It sounds like there’s a disciplinary hearing perhaps involving the caller, and/or a Jessica and an Elaine. There are a Steve and a Val involved somehow, and the loud talker is discouraged. There are appeals and continuances, and Acts (non-biblical) are being cited. It’s all very interesting, in the way that spectacularly dull things are. I can’t wait to get off the train to MAKE IT ALL STOP – gahh!

“It will feel strange …”

Leo Marks, on hearing of an old couple who died within days of one another, and were buried together:

It will feel strange
Not to nudge you
Or to talk to you
Or keep you warm
When you’re lying there
Only a few feet away
Or perhaps even less
But we shall get used to it in time
Of which we’ll have plenty

We always treasured silences
In which we said everything
We shall continue to treasure them
And to say everything
Throughout the longest silence of all.

 — from Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker’s Story 1941-1945.


Took advantage of the holiday to scoot down to The 12th Fret to have my banjo looked at. I’d managed to do a bad thing to the tailpiece (which I’d rather not talk about, thank you), and had Grant fit capo spikes at 7, 9 & 10.

While working on the fretboard, Grant confirmed that these really were model railway track spikes — or more correctly, model railway enthusiasts use capo spikes to hold their rails down!

Free the Laserjet 4!

I love the HP LaserJet 4+. Built like a tank, good print quality, and now available used/refurb for pennies. Sure, they weight about as much as a Sherman, and suck power like there was no tomorrow, but one of my 4+s has nearly a million on the page count, yet prints crisp and clean.

Last weekend I scored a 4+ with built in duplexer from eBay for very little. It didn’t want to print at first (giving a cryptic 13 PAPER JAM error), but removing the rather beat-up full-ream paper tray fixed that. It may need a new cartridge (at almost twice what I paid for the printer), but I’m happy.

Wonder if I can direct-connect one of them to the ethernet port on Catherine’s eMac? I know my router won’t talk AppleTalk, so we can’t network just one printer.

IEEE Toronto Talk

Looks like I’m waving my hands in the air and talking to the IEEE Toronto Section on Thursday October 27, 2005, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. It’s in the Business Building, Room BUS 108 at Ryerson University.

They fed me an exceptionally keen meal on Saturday night in advance thanks, so it’d better be a good talk from me.

Update, October 27: the slides are here — scruss.com/talks/02005/ieee_toronto — still in a kind of draft state. I used Eric Meyer’s fabulous S5 again.

stewart speaks!

When: Thursday 10th March 2005, 6–7pm

Where: Bahen Centre BA 2179 (40 St George St., Toronto)

What: As part of the ESC/EWB Power Shift lecture series, I’m giving the following talk:

Stewart Russell currently works for Zephyr North, a wind energy consulting company. As an executive of Windshare, he contributed his years of experience in the Scottish wind industry to establishing the TREC wind turbine now installed at the CNE. His presentation will contrast the case of large, industrial wind farms with the technological solutions that are appropriate for developing countries. He will outline the special issues that arise when siting and designing modern wind farms in Ontario, and discuss the special challenges of creating simple, small wind turbines out of locally available materials.

Sustainable Energy Fair

I survived the University of Toronto First Sustainable Energy Fair. The weather was pretty grim, despite the cold and the rain. Maybe some of the solar cooking events didn’t happen, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of all involved.

There was a good crowd, and I talked myself hoarse on the WindShare stand. There were some interesting people there, including the irrepressible Tom Karmo, and UofT‘s own cyborg, Steve Mann. And yes, I am really responsible for getting Winton Dahlström into wind energy; mea maxima culpa.

I have pictures of the sustainable energy fair here.