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__—— December 2012  WOT CoversFingers, toes, legs... everything crossed!  January 8th is the official release date for the final book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series (  W.O.T. ).  The Publisher has announced that the e-book version will NOT be released until May... so I will be forced to read the dead-tree version and add to our planet’s destruction!  Many trees will die to make enough paper for 4 million very large books – that’s how many they are expecting to sell of this ONE final book in the series.  The e-book version uses no paper at all, but Publishers still see e-book sales as an evil threat to their traditional business models, trading methods and profits.  I wonder if there was a species of Dinosaur that tended to bury its head in the sand when threatened?  All that will happen is that Pirate e-book versions will become available a few days after the first p-book is sold, and the official Publisher will simply miss out on all those sales anyway.  Stupid!

__—— December 2012  I have been forced to buy a new coffee grinder.  This was top-priority news in this household when it happened, because I suddenly couldn’t make coffee!  But the sheer, blind panic is subsiding now that I have a replacement grinder for the one that broke, so this item has now been added to the existing ‘making coffee’ page under the Sidebar’s Sundry Stuff! menu.

__—— December 2012  BRPI wrote a critical item about the brilliantly-successful French-Canadian firm BRP, who manufactures the Can-Am Spyder that I ride, but also has strict ideas about how customers should pronounce their name.  The item just got longer and longer as I dug further into the background.  So I have now moved it to its own page under the Sidebar’s Bike Stuff! menu.

__—— November 2012  Ouch!  I developed an abscess under one of my teeth and I was dimly aware that it was slowly getting more uncomfortable, without being quite sure what it was.  A club ride over bumpy back roads was just enough to turn it into a full-blown face-numbing episode, and it became fairly obvious what was wrong.  So off to the dentist I went, to receive the news that I needed root-canal work to drain the abscess, followed by a massive filling job.  Except that the tooth broke off completely while they were exploring the root canal.  So now it just has to come out...  and that has just happened. I’ll have to learn how to work the expression “H’yuck!” into conversations, now, to go with my new hayseed look.  Bummer!

__—— November 2012  Now I don’t know whether we’re coming or going!  The weather-forecasting ‘Experts’ have been assuring us all year that the La Niña weather pattern that has been giving us floods and torrential rain for the past couple of years was about to end, thankfully, but that an El Niño pattern was about to start in its place.  So we were expecting to change from very wet to very dry!  They had been tracking the large pool of warm surface water in the Pacific that causes the phenomenon as it drifts back and forth between South America and the Indian Ocean.  It seemed to be migrating from the South American side of the Pacific, back to the north of Australia, exactly as expected.  That’s the normal way the system vaccilates between the two extremes – it migrates all the way to the Indian Ocean before swinging around again.  While it is over on this western side of the Pacific we have an El Niño pattern, with dry weather here – in Chile they get cold, wet weather with fantastic ocean upwelling.  They love that!
That would mean that this summer would be dry and hot, and we could expect high bush-fire risk and about 7 years of drought conditions before the warm pool once again migrated east, out into the Pacific and over towards Chile... but no!  The experts are now saying that the warm pool has inexplicably stopped... it seems to have changed its mind, and is now heading back towards South America, instead.  So the latest theory is that we won’t be going back into El Niño after all.  We will be stuck in an extended La Niña with more persistent rain and flooding, while Chile will get more hot, dry weather.  Bummer!

__—— October 2012  Using Latitude & Longitude in a GPS.  This item was really a bit too big for this News page, and has now been moved to its own page under the Sidebar’s Bike Stuff! menu.

__—— October 2012  Some things just get under my skin and won’t stop irritating.  I met a local biker recently who strongly disapproved of me riding a Spyder.  He personally rode an off-road style Beemer and had no problem accepting other people riding Sports bikes, Tourers or Cruisers but, as far as he was concerned, Spyders have 3 wheels, so are therefore specifically for octogenarians or invalids – using them for anything else is evil.  The fact that they perform as well as sports bikes, corner as well as sports bikes ( way better than ANY Cruiser ), are more comfortable than most bikes, have a reverse gear, are far more stable than ‘tweelers’, are impossible to ‘drop’... none of that mattered at all.  I was simply letting the side down, insulting all ‘proper bikers’ by riding a ‘Motorized Walking-frame’ while I still had all my limbs and faculties.  He just couldn’t believe that somebody might actually like them!
Perhaps he worried that some faceless official might think that they made good sense, and then ‘proper bikers’ like HIM might be forced to ride one?... what a dreadful prospect!  I suppose that I should have been able to take a philosophical view about this, just shrug it off, but somehow... Grrrrr.

__—— October 2012  Newsflash!  If you are reading this, you will know that my little website is back up and running.  After working with Fiona on yet another website ( this time for Deloraine Creative Studios, where she rents a studio for her art work and sells directly to the public ), discussion turned to cheap site hosting.  Alister chipped in to recommend freehosting.com and they proved to be a reasonable choice.  I was able to register the domain name of www.lindsayroland.com with them and they charge a lot less for domain rental ( only US$13 / year ) than other ISPs with whom I have dealt.  The actual site hosting is completely free!  Image loading is a little slow, so the bandwidth is probably lower than other ISPs, and the whole site seems to be inexplicably offline from time to time, with very slow technical support, but it should still be quite good enough for this little site.

__—— September 2012gif  Novel #10 is finished!  Sometime in the next few weeks I will finish proof-reading the e-book and upload it to Amazon to join the other 9 already there.  Shadow Hacker was the first one written entirely as an e-book, so the production phase was a lot smoother than all the previous ones.  Not needing to satisfy a traditional publisher, I made no attempt to ‘format’ the content... each chapter was just a continuous stream.  The actual formatting happened at the HTML stage, using the CSS style framework that had been laboriously developed for all the earlier books.
You can see more details about this novel under the Books page.

__—— August 2012  My second winter in Maleny is just about over, thank goodness.  It’s quite windy at times up here, and the house is perched just on the northern side of an east-west ridge at 440m elevation, so I get plenty of sun with the northerly house aspect, but the prevailing south-westerlies tend to howl over the house at times.  A tree right on the ridge was blown down recently.  I attached a rope to the remaining branches and pulled them over completely with the ride-on mower, so at least that’ll be enough firewood to last until next winter, because the tree was completely dead.  By the time next winter comes along I hope to have acclimatized a bit!  At least the Pacific currents associated with the La Niña that Australia has been caught in for the past few years, causing very wet weather and flooding, are finally changing direction.  We are now expecting to go back into an El Niño pattern, which means that we will experience drought conditions for the next 7 years instead of floods!  It seems we have to have one or the other...

__—— April 2012  logo More practice at writing html, now with integrated StyleSheets as required by modern websites.  Fiona has designed the art for a personal website hosted in Deloraine, Tasmania, to showcase her art skills.  I wrote the code for the site, since I had updated my html skills during the e-book experience.  It’s been rewarding to watch the site grow and finally go online.  I really should do something about getting my own site ( this one ) back online... but I am stuck with BigPond for an ISP, because mobile reception in rural Maleny is awful.  BigPond has better phone coverage here than other providers and ISPs.  However, they do not allow html sites, only pre-formatted blog pages.  No, thank you.  I’ll wait until I find an ISP offering cheap hosting for small html sites.
Take a look at Fiona’s site at: http://www.fionafrancoisart.info.

__—— November 2011  photo At last!  I’ve coveted one of these ever since they were first introduced.  Traded the yellow Yamaha TMax on a Can-Am Spyder, because one came along at the right price.  A good price, despite it having only 6k on the clock, because it is a manual, and the semi-auto models ( push-button clutchless gear-changes ) are proving more popular than the manuals.  photoIt’s been a blast from the past learning how to ride a manual all over again!  A Spyder ain’t a bike, because it doesn’t lean into corners, but it ain’t a car, either... it’s a bit like a quad-bike on steroids.  Very different, demanding quite different riding techniques, and it takes a while to get used to it!  BRP, who manufactures it, is working on a leaning version... that would be fantastic, but it’s years away, yet.
Of course, Spyder owners like to customize their rides, and I am no exception.  Mine is the RS ( sports ) model, so I immediately bought 3rd-party accessories to allow me to sit up straighter... bar risers, mirror extenders and a taller screen.  Much more comfy than riding hunched over, especially for highway cruising.  To hell with looking ‘sporty!’  But it hasn’t stopped there.  All sorts of extras have now been bolted on.  I designed some ‘tats’ and had them printed on car-wrap film by a Sunshine Coast sign firm, and these give the bike a distinctive appearance.

__—— July 2011  gifAfter more than 20 years, the first nine of my novels ( well, one is just a novella ) have been converted into e-books and listed on Amazon.  Although the decision to abandon the prospect of getting them published as p-books was easy enough, it was a hard slog doing the conversion.  Even though I am comfortable writing html ( e-books all have html core documents ) I discovered that my knowledge of it was woefully out of date!  So it’s been a case of learning about StyleSheets, since that is the main difference between modern code and the old stuff I used to write for websites.  However, it is finally done, and any future books will be converted much more easily now that I have a style framework suited to the job.  Just as well, since novel #10 is now under way.
See: Roland Lindsay on Amazon to see the books listed.

__—— February 2011  photoJust in time!  I finally bought a car again.  Having just a scooter is not really enough for those times that I need to carry something bigger than a couple of small shopping-bags.  So I now have a Proton Savvy, and it’s a real Noddy Car.  Positively tiny!  However, it is quite big enough for my village needs, and also very timely, since I finally get my hernia repaired this month.  Driving a car to Brisbane and back again after the op will be much easier than riding there and back on a scooter.

__—— January 2011  photo Whoopee!  Moved into the new house over the Xmas period and I am getting settled in, despite the constant rain... that’ll end soon, I hope.  Well, it’s always cooler and wetter up here on the Blackall Range than down on the flat in Brisbane, but the rain is not usually like this!  Maleny had more than 1.5 METERS of rain in 2010, most of it during November and December.  It’s all related to the huge weather fronts that have caused such extensive flooding throughout southern Queensland this year, with whole towns going under.
photoIt’s so wet!  Last week I bought some new riding gloves and they are now spotted with mould!  But, in the longer term, Maleny ( I think it should be renamed Mareny! ) is perched on a ridge of the Blackall Range, so is not a flood candidate... but we sure get our share of rain, up here with our heads in the clouds.

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