Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cycling in Melbourne

Melbourne is a wonderful city. It has great coffee, god pubs, lovely gardens... But I wouldn't consider it to be great if you want to have cycling as a lifestyle choice and you don't live in the Central Business District. The city suffers from a great deal of urban sprawl, so if you live in the suburbs you may have a long way to travel.

The other problem is that here, cycling is still very much seen as a sport. Most cyclist wear lycra. Lots and lots of lycra. It just doesn't seem to occur to people that you might not want to wear lycra to cycle in, let alone something like a skirt.

I want to be able to cycle in a skirt. I don't want to risk it getting caught in my spokes. I know of exactly one shop in Melbourne which sells skirt guards, and they can't guarantee that those will fit my bike.

So, in the interests of safety and versatility and cheapness, I made my own!

Monday, April 25, 2011

No post today

It's a public holiday and I'm still on my honeymoon (though flying back home this afternoon), so no post today :-)

Hope everyone in Australia is having a great long weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A minor thing that people get wrong (and really shouldn't!)

There are some fairly minor things people don't do for reaons which are not really particularly good reasons, and can result in social inadeuqacy.

The first one of these which I'm going to comment on is not knowing how to make coffee.

Someone I knew, lets call him Bob, was once asked for a coffee, and professed to having no idea how to make one because he doesn't drink it. Another person in attendance at the time also didn't drink coffee, but showed Bob how to make coffee anyway and told him that he had no excuse for not knowing. And she was right.

At some point in your life, you will have someone in your house who is a coffee drinker. You don't have to have the finest quality roast on hand or know how to operate a fancy machine, but you should at least know how to stir some hot water into instant coffe and to add some milk.

Similarly, if you don't drink tea, you should still have some plain old black teabags in the house, just in case someone comes along who does drink the stuff.

But in all seriousness - what kind of idiot can't figure out how to make instant coffee???

Monday, April 18, 2011

ADD-er's Guide to Planning Weddings

If you are an adder, you'll have problems with executive functioning and what's known as working memory. According to Wikipedia, working memory is:

"the ability to actively hold information in the mind needed to do complex tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning. Working memory tasks are those that require the goal-oriented active monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors in the face of interfering processes and distractions."

Yep, that sounds about right.

Now, weddings are complicated things. You need to work with a lot of information at once and there are lots of things that need to happen at the same time and be co-ordinated and by the time you've sorted out the venue, the catering, the flowers, the cake, the timing, the celebrant  and OH MY GOD SO MUCY STUFF HOW CAN IT EVER ACTUALLY WORK GNYAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!

Even NTs have trouble coping coping with a lot of info, but when you have ADHD it's nearly impossible. It's hard enough trying to hold on to one thought, let alone juggle 7.

So, here is my main piece of advice for planning something like a wedding (but it applies to any big event):


I mean it. Seriously. Get other people to do stuff. For instance:

Get a venue that also does catering. Suddenly, you don't hvave to think about how long the caterers will be there, how much they charge per hour, whether you can afford to have them there for most of the party and whether you can afford to let your guests have no food for that first or last hour (I don't recommend ever having hungry guests, especially if they're European; you'll never et invited to anything ever again).

Get someone else to the decorating. If the venue does it, brilliant! If not, then ask either family or the bridal party to be responsible for it, just make sure you give them a colour guide and a budget.

Get someone to drive you around. If you can get someone to drive you to hair and make-up and all that stuff, then so much the better, because trying to figure out how to get your car home after you've gone to the honeymoon is the kind of information overlaoad that had me wanting to curl up into a ball in the corner.

So yes. Very defintely, make this your mantra for organising anything more complicated than a movie night:


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Though I tend to be a big proponent of stupidity as a selection pressure on the human race, there are areas where I really think that preventing such stupidity resulting in death and dismemberment is A Good Thing.

For instance, I'm getting the impression that I'm unusual when it comes to cyclists and helmet laws. I'm all for them, and I think that making it compulsory for people of all ages to wear helmets is a damned good thing.

I think that a lot of people who oppose helmet laws are the kind of adults who are intelligent enough to think for themselves and capable of making their own decisions in life, but they are forgetting one crucial fact:

Most people are really not that smart.

Seriously, work at Kmart for a month and you'll realise just how stupid and unobservant most of the world's population is, and this includes both cyclists and drivers.

As most people realise, helmets are not there to prevent accidents. Helmets, like seatbelts, are there to keep you from dying if you are in an accident. Unfortunately, no matter how intelligent and observant and conscientious a cyclist you are, you're no match for the idiot driver who was texting his work colleague, or doing her make-up, or just plain distracted by the fluffy puppy on the other side of the road. Or who doesn't think you count as a vehicle in a roundabout and so didn't give way to you.

The helmet is there to protect the cyclist from hazards that they can't control, even more so than to protect them from themselves! A lot of the people protesting against mandatory helmet laws forget this, and take helmet laws as a personal insult to their intelligence/abilities, when that's not entirely what it's about.

I have a friend who cycles constantly and is very good on the roads, but the car driver wasn't. He was stationary when she bumped him from behind and he flew off the bike. His helmet save his life when, according to him, it cracked from the absorbed impact and a chunk of it fell off.

Helmets save lives. Most adults are not smart enough to be able to accurately choose when it is safe to wear a helmet and when it isn't, and I'll be damned if anyone out there is good at predicting whether the idiot driver will be on the road that day. Helmets aren't all THAT great a burden when compared to the burden of being hit by a car. And I'm not just thinking of "saving lives" in the sense of people dying in bike accident; I'm thinking of it in terms of lives being permanently altered due to severe brain injury that the cyclist survives. The cost to the cyclist's family and the extra burden that this places on the health care system is huge and best prevented if at all possible.

A government making adults do something that might save their lives and their cognitive abilities isn't an evil thing to do and does not make it a "nanny state", whatever that is.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Change in scheduling

I think I'll update twice/week for the forseeable future on Mondays and Thursdays, starting in May. Mainly because I'm finding it difficult to find time to write stuff!

With any luck, I'll be back to my old schedule before too long :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011


First thing's first: Happy Birthday, Oolon!!! XD You totally rock!!!

We're just over a week out from the wedding. There has been a LOT of work going into getting Oolon moved in with me. Back at the end of March, we spent an entire Sunday morning working on getting my room tidied. Here are some pictures of what it looked like afterward (I was too ashamed to take "before" pictures):

Freshly-emptied shelves! In a new location!

Sorry it's a bit dark. The wardrobe on the right is where the shelves used to be, and the wardrobe was at the foot of the bed. there's a lot more space this way!

Slightly different angle so you can see the details. That wardrobe is currently for Oolon's things.

The tallboy is finally neat!!!

The wall you can't see is a wardrobe with mirrors as sliding doors. So, this is what I've been up to! :-) Very productive, very tiring, and very satisfying work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Um. Oops.

So, my bike went in for servicing last week. I brought it in to have my front wheel aligned properly, and it ended up in hospital.

I'd somehow managed to bend both wheels (not visibly, but enough that that it was a problem) and all the bolts needed tightening as well. Apparently it was a bit wobbly...

As it turned out, the reason the back wheel was so bent was that I'd broken a spoke. I have no idea how I managed that, but there it is. I really ought to be more careful :-p

So, this has me wondering: Aanyone who cycles and reads and wants to comment, how often do you find your bike needs to have things tightened and checked and generally fixed up?