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Collected two more trains, 390-008 Virgin King and 390-003 Virgin Hero, for my collection-of-Pendolinos-I-have travelled-on-since-last-October, the 26th and 27th on the list. There are 52 Pendolinos in service (53 were built, 390 033 City of Glasgow was taken out of service after derailing at high speed), so these two take me over the half way point.
Call for Participation - ACCU 2009
April 22-25, 2009. Barcelo Oxford Hotel, Oxford, UK
Submission deadline: 20th of October 2008
Highlight: Special track on patterns, please read on
Email proposals to: Giovanni Asproni, email@example.com
We would like to invite you to present a session at this leading software development conference.
Leading a session is a highly rewarding experience: the lively and highly engaged atmosphere of the event means that, even as a speaker, you are likely to greatly enhance your understanding of the topic you are exploring.
We have a long tradition of high quality sessions covering many aspects of software development, from programming languages (e.g., C, C++, Java, C#, Ruby, Groovy, Python, Erlang, Haskell, etc.), and technologies (libraries, frameworks, databases, etc.) to subjects about the wider development environment such as development process, design, analysis, patterns, project management, and softer aspects such as team building, communication and leadership.
In particular, this year we are going to have a special track on patterns--design, organizational, etc., as long as they are related with software development. We are interested in experience reports, techniques, lessons learned, etc.
Sessions may be either tutorial-based, presentations of case studies, or take the form of interactive workshops. We are always open to novel formats, so please contact us with your idea. The standard length of a session is 90 minutes, with some exceptions. In order to allow less experienced speakers to speak at the conference without the pressure of filling a full 90 minutes, we reserve a number of shorter 45 minute sessions. This year we are going to have also some lightning talks, which are presentations of a maximum duration of 5 minutes (more information about this format at http://perl.plover.com/lt/osc2003/lightning-talks.html).
If you would like to run a session please let us know by emailing your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 20th of October 2008 at the latest.
Please include the following to support your proposal:
- Title (a working title if necessary)
- Type (tutorial, workshop, case study, etc.)
- Duration (45/90 min)
- Speaker name(s)
- Speaker biography (max 150 words)
- Description (approx 250 words)
If you are interested in knowing more about the conference you may like to consult the website for previous years' editions at http://www.accu.org/conference for background information.
Speakers running one or more full 90 minute sessions receive a special conference attendance package including free attendance, and assistance with their travel and accommodation costs. Speakers filling a 45 minute slot qualify for free conference attendance on the day of their session.
The conference has always benefited from the strength of its programme, making it the highlight of the year for many attendees. Please help us make 2009 another successful event.
I'm looking forward to seeing you there,
ACCU 2009 Conference Chair
I'm hardly an impartial commentator here, being ACCU Chair and everything, but the ACCU Conference is pretty damn brilliant. Assuming you're any kind of programmer and even vaguely interested in your practice, you should think pretty hard about going. Pretty hard indeed. Better yet, you should think about presenting. You've got something worth saying, even if you don't think you have. What you do on a daily basis might seem commonplace, but it's only commonplace to you. What you say doesn't have to be brand new, or earth shattering, or surprising, it just has to be something you know. There are people who will benefit from hearing what it is.
Poke through the conference website to get an idea of the what's in play (hint: more or less anything) and make a pitch. Once you come up with a good title, you'll find the talk description writes itself. Don't worry about filling the time, because you will. In fact, you have to be more conscious of overrunning. But don't worry about that yet either. Get the title down, and then email us your pitch.
Not long after I started my paper round, Mr Mobbs (I now remember his name being) took on another lad, Matthew, in the village to do a second round. He also delivered to about a dozen houses, again primarily News of the World. He was also paid a pound.
This was his route. When I started my round I did feel a pound was a little on the tight side, but I stuck at it because I didn't have any choice. When I found out what Matthew's route was, it compounded my feeling of injustice.
It's not immediately obvious, but this map is not at the same scale as the previous one. Hit the - box to get the comparison.
1983. Once I turned 14 I was "encouraged" to get a paper round. Our shop wasn't a newsagent, so if you wanted a paper, a chap from Tacolneston would deliver you the dailies, driving hither and yon in his Mini Metro. The Sundays were delivered by an old fellow who lived at the far end of the village.
He needed a lad to deliver to the outlying houses. I don't know why, I wasn't aware of anyone having the job before me, so perhaps he'd decided it wasn't worth his time. I delivered to about a dozen houses. The bag was mainly News of the World, which you could read on the crossbar, three or four Sunday Expresses, one of the still relatively new Mail On Sunday. My final delivery took both The Observer and The Sunday Times, the two heaviest papers in the world. They also had a tiny letterbox, and polished wood floor. I would post the papers a section at a time, and if I gave them a good shove I could hear them skating down the hall. After a few weeks, they started opening the door when they heard me scrunching on across their gravel.
I was paid a pound. I did the job for several months until I was sacked. I'd gone on a weekend thing with the Scouts, and there was a mix up with the lad who I'd asked to do the round for me. Post-sacking my Mum reinstated my pocket money. I got a pound.
Photo by Brett Wilde, who happened to be passing at the time.
I encountered a police man and a PCSO on bikes on Breedon Road, while out on my ride this morning. I was riding behind them as we approached the end of the road, where I was turning right onto the Pershore Road and assumed they were too.
Glancing briefly at the traffic, PC says Shall we go up on the pavement? to the PCSO and across the road they went, up the kerb, and on their slow wobbly way.
I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to get drawn into an extended discussion at the time, but perhaps I should have mentioned that putting a bit more air in their tyres and popping their seats up a touch might make everything a little more comfy.
Training must be provided for coppers on bikes, surely? I assume they aren't just told to hop on and get pedalling, but whatever training there is would appear to exclude both the Highway Code and simple bike maintenance.
I'm not suggesting a rigid adherence to the highway code, especially as some of it is silly verging on dangerous. When, however, professional cyclists, which what these two essentially are, decide that riding in 8am traffic isn't for them, it doesn't set a great example to anyone.
Surely not the bit about red lights, or stopping for predestrians?
I think your having me on, you'll be telling me next that BMW drivers are supposed to follow it too.
I always used to wonder what those blokes toting inch thick wallets or the women whose purses strained at the seams where carrying around. For years, I carried a debit card and nothing else. What was all that crap? Now, I'm beginning to understand. Other that the debit, JezUK, and swimming card, nearly everything else gets used from less than once a fortnight to (hopefully) never. I'm only carrying all this stuff around because it's credit card shaped and I've nowhere else obvious to keep it.
Been pedalling around on my (still feels like) shiny new bike for just over a year now. It's ace, and I love it, and you should all go and get one for yourself.
Recently, as I've started to do more miles more quickly, I've had one tiny doubt. At higher speeds, say over 20mph, there seemed to be a bit of a funny feeling in the back wheel. It was certainly something a bit odd going on at 30mph. But I didn't know what. At that kind of speed you can't been looking back under your leg at your wheel. I checked there wasn't a loose spoke. I confirmed the wheel wasn't buckled or distorted. I made sure the tyre was seated properly right round the rim. Everything was fine. I went over everything agin. And again. Everything was still fine, but there was still something odd going on at the back end.
Last night I did a bit work on the bike, fitting new brake blocks. Since I was at it, I had a good look at the chain, cassette and what-not, and checked the gears. I adjusted the front changer slightly, and to make sure it was ok I picked up the bike and turned the pedals by hand. I let go of the pedals to change the gear, and the bike suddenly started bucking in my hand. I cranked the pedals again, faster, and let them go. The whole thing was kicking like a mule, forwards and back and forwards and back. I'd been right, there was a wobble. A massive great wobble.
And then I had a vision. A vision of Judith Hann. She was telling me about a wheel balancing device designed for use on Army Land Rovers. Even a slight imbalance could cause a wheel to wobble, she explained. My wheel must be heavier on one side than the other.
I looked at the wheel again. I knew it was true and the tyre seated. The only asymmetry was in the reflector attached to one of the spokes. I took it off. I cranked the pedal, and could immediately feel the difference. When I let go of the pedals and let the wheel just spin, the bike was still and steady in my hand. It seemed amazing that a piece of plastic weighing only a few grams could make such a difference, but it clearly was. I whipped the reflector off the front wheel too.
Riding out this morning, the bike felt so much better at speed, smooth and stable. Hurrah!
So, if you have reflectors on your wheels you have three choices
Did everybody else know this already? Am I a twit for not realising sooner?
I'd heard of this and it does sound like fun, but it's slightly short notice. I'm thinking I might do a local 100km or 200km Audex in August or September. Or both.
Keep hassling me :)
Have just found a large puddle of frogspawn on my patio. I am thoroughly confused as, presumably, was the frog.
floortrack pump this morning. Am I real cyclist now, please?
permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "getClassLoader";to the security policy.
permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "createClassLoader";
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