April 19th, 2005

Angel, graffiti

Taking the bus

Traveling on the bus is not all negative. One of the thing I do like is I have this hour of having to sit down. While the bus winds its way towards where I work.

Its been very nice to just read for that time, of late I've found it hard to set aside time in the evening, I'm either tired and just want to sleep, on the way out the door or work on a little project. These last two days I've found I'm more awake when I get to the office, more ready to work. I don't think having to walk to and from the bus stop is having a bad effect either.

Now my problem is how to combine these changes into my daily routine when I get my car back (of which I still have on news)?

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Angel, graffiti

More on being green (or at least trying to be)

Some more background on why I feel so bad about not using public transport. Until I came to Bristol I did not own a car, I walked most places (to/from work, the supermarket, to the pub (but shambled back sometimes)) or took the train for longer journeys. This was partly for environmental reasons, partly just being practical, most of my friends were nearby as was work and the shops.

Then I got a job in Bristol and I got warned my some friends that it was a very car centered city, so I got a car. I ended up with a Mini for many reasons, cheap to run, small and maneuverable on the roads here and that I had wanted one since before I started infant school plus with it good fuel economy and small engine it could be seen as being at least semi-green.

Now I drive to and from work everyday noticing all the other cars with just a single person in them just like mine. At weekends I do better, I tend not to use my car much still walking most places. Of course I recycle my stuff, which is one thing Bristol does very well, we have a box for all the paper/cans/bottles which is collected once a week.

So with my car being ill I have been thinking about replacing it (whenever I talk about no longer owning a mini people seem to always tell me I can't do that, which I do find strange, next time it happens I must ask why they see it as such a bad thing), and so thinking all green. I thought about the Toyota Primus, then I looked at the cost, £17,545.00 for the base model to £20,045.00 for the top of the range, plus any options you want. I was a little shocked, I thought they would be more than a normal family hatchback but only by 1-2 grand not being nice sport cars money (MR2 start at £17,150.00), so it was a nice idea but its not going to happen, maybe the price will have come down by the next time I'm looking.

Angel, graffiti

Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book

Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book Cover

So like I said earlier, I have been reading on the bus and today I finished 'Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book', which is based on the website Real Ultimate Power.

The whole thing is written from the viewpoint of a eight year old, and reminds me more than I wish it did of me at that age, it had me smiling all the time and thinking back to something similar I did at school. Those feeling were amplified by the school kids of that sort of age on the bus acting very much like the author, Robert Hamburger. Sometimes it was very hard not to laugh at them.

the book does get a little silly in places and has numerous asides and footnotes but for me that was part of the charm. At the end of the day it was a worthwhile purchase.

Now all I need to sort out is what to read next.

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Angel, graffiti

Weekly tag Perl script (Version 0.1)

Update 2005-04-20: Newer version here.

When I was first working on the daily links script, I thought it would be interesting to see what tags I was using most in a particular week, so I would have some way of tracking what memes I focused on. My first thought was just to code up a simple (and very boring) top ten list.

After thinking about that I could do and being inspired by the del.icio.us and Flickr tag walls and the header at the top of near near future, I came up with the current tag list, last week was not the best to show off the output but when I was testing using other dates it did show more interesting patterns. The fun bit will be to look back in a few months and see how my focus has changed.

Most of the todo list right now is the same as the daily links script (which this script share most of its code with , code reuse yeah) but I'm, sure over time they will become more and more distinct.

  • Make sure it follows the rules on del.icio.us/doc/api. The biggest problem right now is I don't check that a minute has passed between each request, which is very naughty, hopefully I'll get that sort in the next few days.
  • Check the del.icio.us accounts last updated date before going off to grab the links, so I don't go asking for nonexistent links.
  • Replace the header and footer with a templating system. Making this change is easier in this script than in the daily links one, as no links count needs doing. I should just be able to output an xml file and apply a XSLT stylesheet to that then post to LJ.
  • Error checking. Boring to code but would be a good idea.
  • Use LWP instead of Curl to get the links from del.icio.us. This is mostly so I can User-Agent to something identifiable.

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