Another 112km down…

By , April 25, 2009 3:50 pm

Another great ride this morning – the weather just about held and we even got some sun. I was quite pleased that I felt noticeably stronger than the monster 140km last week and managed to stay with the guys except for the end of the two brutal hills. Man, Cedric is fast.


View Tritons 112km in a larger map

That’s about 350km I’ve covered over the last 3 Saturdays, hope I can keep it up…

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Rhythms of the City playing the London Marathon

By , April 25, 2009 2:09 pm

After some hardcore training, am looking forward to watching the marathon tomorrow from the sidelines… not quite from the comfort of a sofa though as I’ll be playing with my band along the route just after the 14 mile marker (which is also a bit after mile 21). Good luck to all my friends doing it!

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Hacking Blogger templates

By , April 19, 2009 5:20 pm

The ultimate goal here was filtering of posts based on inclusion (or even better, exclusion) of posts with certain labels. (Read this post first for context.)

[Update: before you think about imitating the following approach, you should know that I gave up with Blogger and switched to WordPress which is far more flexible and easy to hack.]

Unfortunately it turns out that Blogger’s XML-based template layout system is not quite as flexible as it first seems. It’s almost superb, but has some key omissions:

  • Flow control is limited to <b:if>, <b:else>, and <b:loop>. Crucially, you can’t break out of a loop.
  • No writable variables of any kind.
  • Conditional testing via <b:cond> is extremely limited. I kept expecting to find some comprehensive documentation for the xmlns:expr namespace (which is used via things like <a expr:href='data:blog.homepageUrl + "search/label/foo"'>), but it doesn’t exist, simply because all you can really do is simple comparisons using a limited set of data and hardcoded strings.
  • There are no string-handling functions, and you can’t get access to the current QUERY_STRING to do any kind of parametrisation (for example, show some HTML saying which label you are currently viewing based on what comes after /search/label/ in the current URL).
  • The box generated by the status-message includable is hardcoded to either be invisible or say “Showing label foo. Show all posts”. It cannot be customised.

Continue reading 'Hacking Blogger templates'»

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Two blogs or not two blogs?

By , April 19, 2009 2:20 pm

I lead double lives. Most of my friends and family know I do “computer stuff”, but have little clue what that actually involves. I want to be able to blog not only about music, triathlon etc. but also about (often deeply technical) computer stuff without causing normal people to run away screaming. So the question is, should I set up two separate blogs, or do it all in one but use some Google Blogger hackery with labels and templates to hide the geek stuff from the default view?

Continue reading 'Two blogs or not two blogs?'»

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140km – ouch

By , April 18, 2009 5:50 pm

Tip for all you club riders out there – if, at the beginning of the ride, the leader happens to be an accomplished Ironman triathlete and asks what kind of ride you want, don’t say things like “long” or “I’d like to go some new places” unless you have a seriously masochistic streak!

It was Matt’s “taper ride” only 8 days before he runs the London marathon, so we thought it wouldn’t be too taxing (somehow we forgot he is hoping to run it in 2:40) – but 3 hours in, we started to see signs for places on the coast like Hastings, and then everyone was like “ummm… shit, where ARE we exactly!?” followed soon by a realisation that we were at least 3 hours away from home. On the plus side, I remember some truly beautiful scenery from the bits which weren’t blotted out by pain.

There’s a chunk missing because we were out for so long that my phone went into low battery mode and switched GPS tracking off…

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