Positive / negative

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So, today is a day with occasional frustrations, and attempts to maintain optimism. I’m waiting for feedback from Cardiff U on my dissertation. The question of how to develop it into something that’ll pass hovers in my brain, especially since I realised that thanks to moving deadlines I’m now running one month short at the end, since we’ll be on holiday.

In the mean time I set up the database on my laptop to allow me to capture data for the audit, and then spent about an hour trying to work out how to get Excel to talk to mySQL. The answer? Not easily. There are a few hacks, but basically Excel 2011 won’t work properly with the mySQL ODBC stuff on Mac OS, which is ‘a pig’. In the end I found an application that will extract the data in the form of a nicely formatted spreadsheet, which should allow me to then dink with the data. Thus, data collection should be easy, and data analysis easy. All I need is data location and abstraction. I’ll be writing my audit proposal and submitting it to work today, at least, that’s the plan.

Having had a shuffle of my days off, meaning that I couldn’t collect the bike wheel when I’d arranged to, yesterday I rang them and asked if it was ready. They’d said it would probably be ready today, but I was meant to be at work today. When I rang, he said it was ‘already finished’. So I trundled through Bristol’s hideous traffic in the car, arrived to a very confused looking person who informed me that no, it wasn’t ready.

The person behind the counter admitted it was his fault and that he’d got mixed up… no offer of anything to recompense me for the hour wasted in the middle of a nice (and very warm) day though. I know they’re a co-op and I know they’re lovely, but at this moment, on top of the fiasco of not mentioning that spokes would more than double the cost of doing the wheels? I am feeling rather less fond of them at the moment.

However, I had one of those nice realisations – the Sturmey Archer hub is not merely easy to get spares for, but also, apparently you can just switch internals from a later AW hub into an early AW hub. So, a quick e-bay gandering later, and I’ve got a 5 quid bid on a working AW hub from 1987. That would give me a bike with working gears, for double plus awesome, and at some point later I can strip down the BSA hub and fix it :)

On the slightly frustrating side, I finally got around to checking the Minor and the battery was flat. Not a weeny teeny bit flat, but properly flat. Or at least, I thought it was. Having put it on charge, I’m surprised to find my charger thinks otherwise, which is perhaps even more concerning. Still, I’ll leave it on charge for a bit, check the voltage and then maybe pop it back into the minor. She’s in need of moving though, her paint’s starting to go matt on the bonnet, which is going to be a bollocks to fix because it’s two-pack. I think. I also finally got over myself and rang the engineering firm. I feel like I should be more certain about what I want, but frankly, I want to talk to someone who’s an engineer and say ‘will this work, am I insane (in a bad way)’.

Sadly, the bloke who I need to talk to is not there at the moment. And I’m at work tomorrow, so I’ll have to leave it ’til Monday. Having measured the engine, the motor is about 3cm longer than the distance from the backplate to the mount, which means that it may have to be a sort of U-shaped mount. Ideally I’d like to sketch it for them, and say “if that makes sense, please make a nice engineering diagram of it, and then if I’m happy please make it”. However, and slightly upsettingly, I’ve realised I don’t have any vector drawing packages installed on the Mac. The RiscPC, which has the most delightful of all vector drawing packages (well, when combined with the !DrawPlus enhancements) needs its battery checking before I dare plug it in. I may have to resort to the draw-photograph-send, which is pretty…cumbersome. But perhaps better than trying to explain what I’m after on the phone. I shall see what he says when I ring…


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at pyoor.org...