April, 2004

Apr 04

SC3 core

I’ve finally got back into coding mode for SC3, after doing the Wind Things team site and generally messing about.

At the last meeting it was agreed that the posts should all be single page afairs, even if they are very long. This is the internet, and people are used to scrolling down. Thankfully, this makes life much easier coding wise!

Right now we’re working on the ‘SC3 core’, which consists of the posts, the categories and area tagging system and the gallery. The true core of the site is just the posts, but we feel that the gallery is such an important part of the site that we need to develop it at the same time. We have designed the site to be modular – new route facilities, winter conditions, personal profiles, event lists etc can all be bolted onto the site.

Apr 04

Quality quotes

Here are a some of the best quotes I’ve seen on the net recently.

  • From a mountain biking forum:

    “I don’t think you truly know the meaning of freedom until you have pissed yourself in front of your girlfriends parents.”

  • From the SC rant of the year:

    “If Rankin touched the pure line out of The Pit in the last 4 years then I’m fuckin Sadam. Those holds had seen no more action than Mother Thereasas front bum till I got there!!”

  • From ukbouldering:

    “I read planetfear like someone who gets off on car crashes!”

Apr 04

My new Cotic Soul

My £200 bike refurbishment that I started well over a month ago has very nearly turned into a full-scale build from scratch after my old bike died.

As I mentioned, I went for a Cotic Soul – a steel hardtail that is adjusted for longer travel forks. To save cash I initially opted for the Pace rigid fork option, but this didn’t work out as Pace couldn’t supply Cotic the forks until the end of May so I decided to bite the bullet and get some suspension forks. I figured if I was spending lots of money I only sort of have, I might as well spend loads. This is the sort of logic that can get me in serious poo, but it does mean I get some nice new bits.

So, after spending God know how many times the estimated initial cost, my bike is pretty much sorted and is what can only be described as a wet dream. Back when we were at school we used to draw up bike specs of our dream bikes when we should have been studying so, just for kicks and because I didn’t have a website back then, I’ve done it here for my new baby:

Cotic Soul
Fox Talas RLC
XT vees (survived from the Orange!)
Mavic 717s
Seatpin, stem, bars
Easton EA70, Race Face Evolve, Salsa Pro Moto flat bars
Saddle, headset, tyres
Flite ti, Hope, Panaracer Fire XC Pros

REQUEST: bit of a long shot, but worth a go. If anyone knows where you can get Ritchey True Grip IIIs I would be most grateful. Also if anyone knows of any good ski style bar ends I’d be interested – the only ones that look any good just now are the X-Lite ones (didn’t there used to be a better set they did?), but I was never that keen on them (especially when they used to cost £40! Although I bought Onza Chill Pills (remember them?) back in the day, so I’m not sure what I’m complaining about).

Apr 04


The “Adventures of Coinbird” is an extremely random and very strange, bordering on disturbing, collection of flash animations about a species (there is more than one, isn’t there?) of bird that likes children and coins. Well, most of the time – sometimes they only seem to like coins and end up killing children. I think it depends who has the coins.

Check out CB1, CB2 (they should probably be watched in order) and some strange pictures and MP3s. Allegedly Coinbird 4 will elaborate on the Franco-German-Ninja-Scottish-pirate in CB3. Uh-oh. If you can work it all out you’re a cleverer person than I.

Here’s a page about a Random6 Comments

Apr 04

Personal danger and the implications

There seems to have been a lot of comments on forums recently that go along the lines of

What are you thinking about? You’re giving our sport a bad name and making it look dangerous!

The comments are usually in response to somebody saying they’ve been tethered flying, flying a 10.5m Blade in 90mph wind or trying a quadruple backloop double kiteloop.

I am as keen as everyone else to see the sport progress well and gain the status and reputation it deserves, but this paranoid approach is not what’s needed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting dangerous kiting, but we need to realise this is a sport where people are going to push it, and sometimes people will get hurt. However, as long as something is only dangerous to whoever is flying, it really isn’t a problem (OK, it could be a big problem for the flyer, but not in the context I’m talking about). I don’t think that either the public or the councils are ignorant of the fact that kiting is dangerous, nor do I think they would differentiate that much between someone breaking their legs in a buggy in 10mph and someone snapping himself doing a quaruple backloop double kiteloop.

Telling people not to try dangerous tricks or fly really powered up is not the answer, it just doesn’t work like that. It’s hard to deny that jumping 20ft (proper 20ft!) on land is very dangerous, but everyone likes to jump so where do we draw the line? 10ft? 5ft? It’s just not happening.

What we should be doing is making sure that everyone knows the risks involved, both to themselves and, importantly, the others around them. This is what’s really important in my mind. Although we’re fortunate enough to live in Scotland where it’s not hard to find plenty of space all to yourself, even some of the popular spots up this way are starting to fill up and, as anyone who’s been to St Andrews on a bank holiday weekend in summer will tell you, it’s starting to get a little scary! Everyone should know to get insurance.

When people are as aware as possible about the dangers they can make educated decisions about their kiting and if they want to be a lemming they can do so without endangering anyone but themselves.

Flying powerful kites, on water or land, can lead to trouble. It’s a dangerous sport – get over it.

This has also been posted on the Wind Things team site. Comments have been disabled on this post, you can comment on the same post on the team site.

Apr 04

Four ball Mill’s Mess


Apr 04

Visual Output web design

I don’t write anything for two weeks, then two new sites are out on the same day!

Mike and I have finally got a website sorted for Visual Output, our web design and development outfit. There’s not much there until we have time to get some more stuff written, but it’ll do for now. If anyone spots any problems or errors, please let me know!

If anyone’s interested we can design and develop most sites, whether they are small or very large with complicated data structuring and user interaction. We aim for clean, accessible sites that are easy to navigate and develop mainly using XHTML, CSS, PHP and databases when required. We don’t create Flash-only websites but we do work closely with another small company to provide Flash and printing services.

Visual Output, VO, seems to work really well. Mike and I both quite like working on the data structuring and usability side of things and tend to come up with some good ideas. I’m a coder and lack the creative design skills needed to make things look pretty. Give me a Photoshop file and I love turning out some well structured code to make it work, but ask me to design a site and you’ll get something geeky like this blog. Mike, on the other hand, couldn’t code his way out of a paper bag, but saves us both by coming up with some wicked ideas as well as being an arty type and damn hawdy at the ol’ Photoshop.

Apr 04

Useful links for me



http://www.rousette.org.uk/blog/archives/2004/04/11/why-wordpress/ – nice way of doing comments

Apr 04

New Wind Things team website

Some of the crew!It’s been a bit of a web development frenzy recently, and I’m finally getting some time to write something for my site.

I’ve just finished off the Wind Things team site. Basically it’s a Movable Type powered site for the six members of the squad to post their thoughts and ideas abouts kiting and whatever else seems appropriate. I think we’re all quite hyped about it and I don’t think any other kite team has done anything similar as yet – wahay! You also get to find out what those South Park characters from a couple of months ago are all about. Check it out, let me know what you think and tell me if anything seems pretty wrong!

I’m not exactly sure how my kite postings here will interact with the new site as I obviously want kite related stuff on both. Perhaps some fancyness using trackbacks or web services is called for, we’ll see.

Geek stuff: the site should all be valid XHTML 1.0 strict and CSS. Sometimes I’m sure someone will write some invalid code, but I’ll fix that as soon as I notice it. There is one true validation error which I can’t work out because I can’t figure what to do with the Movable Type templates for that situation. No bonus points for finding it! The site isn’t displaying exactly as planned in IE5.0, but is bearable enough and generally degrades not too badly from IE6 downwards.

Apr 04

Funny story

Adventures on Speedway Boulevard is well written and made me laugh.