Dog walk after burn-off

Dog walk after burn-off

At the end of April (2022) there was a burn-off in Gandy’s Gully. A few weeks after, I walked through with Bear and took some photos. I was surprised to find some trees still smouldering. I suspect the burn-off got a bit hotter than expected thanks to a surprise change in wind direction during the burn-off.

XL biking Kickstarter

XL biking Kickstarter

Every body is a cycling body.

“Every body is a cycling body.”

The benefits of bike riding are enormous. I rely on it pretty heavily for the health and fitness benefits, along with the mental health benefits. BetterHealth, a branch of the Victorian Government, lists the following benefits to regular cycling:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Read the entire article here.

For many years, I didn’t really think that there was any benefit to cycling-specific clothing, but I am absolutely a convert. But this is where the problems start.

People who ride bikes are all skinny whippety mountain goats, right? It would certainly seem that way if you look at the clothes available for bike riders. Me, a verified “big-fella” who normally wears XL clothing, has to go and hunt through the slim pickings in the XXXL section at the bike shop to find bib-shorts that fit – and I feel lucky if I find something that fits. And there are many people bigger than me out there.

The problems for bigger bike riders don’t stop there, though. Bike frames and bike wheels are designed to a weight limit. A weight limit I’ve been close to hitting, at times – which is particularly scary when it’s a carbon frame. And again, there are many people out there who are bigger than me.

The solution here is having a positive, noisy, inspiring person to advocate for us fat cyclists. Someone who can convince the bike industry that they need to start being inclusive. Bigger clothes. Stronger frames. Stronger wheels. All bodies on bikes.

This positive, noisy, and inspiring person is Ebbe Silva, and his brand XL biking.

Ebbe has been selling jerseys on his website for quite some time, but wants to expand the range to include more sizes (S-10XL). He is also going to design larger cycling bibs, a gravel collection, and a road cycling collection. But all this design takes time, and costs money. Which is why Ebbe has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Read all about it here:, and if you’re able to, throw some money his way.

We need Ebbe’s advocacy for an inclusive cycling industry!



Pioneer Women’s Trail

Pioneer Women’s Trail

If you’re looking for a moderately long hike with gorgeous views that’s also very dogs-off-lead friendly, give the Pioneer Women’s Trail from Beaumont up to Mt. Osmond a go. It’s a winding 7.2 km out-and-back walk with about 180 metres of elevation change. At a brisk pace it takes about 80 minutes for me, but it’s worth slowing down for the views of the city, suburbs, coast, and airport.

Start at Brock Reserve (///moving.dangerously.deeply, OpenStreetMap) on Dashwood Road, then follow the signs until you get to the top. If you’re walking next to the golf course, you’ve gone too far. There are plenty of shortcuts if you want to go for a steeper, but shorter variant of the walk – you’ll probably see plenty of people coming up Bayview Track, Centre Track, and Travers Track when you’re out there.

Here’s the map.
And here’s the view from the top.

Self-hosted Evernote Alternative

Self-hosted Evernote Alternative

I think I installed ownCloud in 2014 when v6 was the latest. It’s not perfect, but considering I have access to a virtual machine host for no cost, it’s pretty good value, and I’m willing to overlook the small issues I have with it.

I used Evernote for a while, and quite liked it, but fell further and further out of like with it as the features of the free version were stripped back, and the cost of the basic paid tier increased. $10 a month is pretty steep. I tried Google Keep for a while, but I didn’t like it at all. And do I trust my thoughts with Google? Yeah, kinda, but not completely.

In comes Joplin. A FOSS (free, open source software) note taking application that works with WebDAV (amongst other platforms/protocols).

ownCloud is fully conversant with WebDAV, which means that you can keep your notes safely stowed away on your ownCloud server, which is handy. I created a folder called Joplin in my ownCloud folder, then configured the software with the following settings, consistent across every platform (Android, Windows, and Ubuntu):

Synchronisation target: WebDAV
WebDAV URL: https://yourdomain.example/remote.php/webdav/Joplin (replace Joplin with the name of the folder your chose)
You also need to set your username and password, but they’re self-explanatory.

Installing Joplin on Ubuntu gave me a nice surprise. I ran “sudo snap install joplin” and it went through the motions of installing the software. But I couldn’t find it in the GUI to launch it. So I typed “joplin” at the terminal and a text-only version of Joplin appeared in terminal. Very good! I ran “sudo snap install joplin-desktop” and that installed the graphical version of the software and I was good to go.

Configuring the text only version of Joplin isn’t quite as easy as the graphical one. It’s a bit vi-y, which means that any commands you want to run are preceeded by a semi-colon. So, if you want to see the current configuration, type :config and press enter.

To configure the text version of Joplin to use WebDAV, first run

:config 6
to set the target to WebDAV, followed by

:config sync.6.path https://yourdomain.example/remote.php/webdav/Joplin
:config sync.6.username yourusername
:config sync.6.password yourpassword

The .6. in the config commands refers to target id of 6, which is what was set in the first command.

Run :sync to manually sync this instance to your server.

Bonus: in the ownCloud desktop application, untick the Joplin folder. This will remove it from your ownCloud folder on your local machine, but it will still exist on the server, which is where the Joplin applications will read it from directly. It will stop you from accidentally making a mess of the folder structure.

Reading Log

Reading Log

This is going to look like it’s a New Year’s Resolution thing, but it isn’t.

I’m currently reading Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.

I was lead to it, maybe embarrassingly, by a mention in the previous novel I read: The One Impossible Labyrinth by Matthew Reilly. Would I recommend the Jack West Junior series of books? No. Are they good? No. Are they enjoyable in the same way as The Expendables series of movies are? Yes. They’re ridiculous, have illustrations to help visualise the ridiculously over the top scenarios, and just never stop.

Foundation was published in 1951, and is the fourth book in the series, with three prequels written much later. Much like Star Wars. It’s set many thousands of years into the future, and, if I’ve understood it correctly, is about the prediction of the fall of the Galactic Empire by a mathematician, and his plan to prevent a 30,000 year dark age. We’ll see.

Foundation (Foundation, #1) by Isaac Asimov