/A/ /M/A/G/N/I/F/I/C/E/N/T/ /P/L/A/C/E/ 

January 2014

12:29 Thursday 30 January 2014

ContourHD 1080p DIY Mount

I had an idea for this write up that I would not say anything at all about this mount and would just present the photographs and a video or two. I would talk instead about a piece of software I've been developing for the past ten years called wcnt - Wav Composer Not Toilet.

The 25th March 2013 marked its tenth birthday. It passed by without me knowing the significance. In September 2013, after I fell off my mountain bike, I took a week off work for my right knee and face to recover (the right knee has actually, I realize, recovered now), during which time development of wcnt - Wav Composer Not Toilet began again for the first time in five years.

But enough about that, what about this mount?

The ContourHD 1080p video camera came with a flat-surface mount and a goggle-strap mount. The fitting which slides into the rails of the ContourHD body attaches to either of the two mounts but unfortunately it is poorly designed. The surface area of the fitting which slides along the rails is too small, and the fit into the rails is not snug enough and consequently the camera wobbles about on the fitting (and the mounts probably wobble about on whatever they're mounted upon too).

Over several years of owning the camera I've gone through two DIY mounting options. The first used the goggle mount attached to some bits of plastic with an old inner tube stretched taut and fixed by bolts (to the bits of plastic) with the bits of plastic vaguely curved enough to fit to various parts of a bike frame using velcro straps. Believe it or not this worked reasonably well until the velcro straps broke, though it was still a bit wobbly (not only because I used the supplied mount-fitting). And it was bulky and looked like bodge.

The second mounting option was electrical tape to my helmet (bicycle helmet). This was very secure provided I used enough tape (which I did). It was a bit tricky to not tape over the record slider, but possible. The amount of tape required meant the camera wasn't going to be removed easily. Sometimes it meant the SD card wasn't going to be removed quickly either. And of course your helmet wobbles around on your head doesn't it?

Then I broke my helmet to which the ContourHD fitted quite nicely and bought a new helmet which had different shapes making it a bit awkward to fit the ContourHD to.

Potato. So Wav Composer Not Toilet development. My false teeth sunk into it. Were they false teeth or not? They got stuck until Christmas. On the problem of optional items, with items being parameters - or - inputs. These items used to be handled seperately but I created a generic method to handle both types. It allowed me to try and group parameters with inputs where it made sense. But it didn't always make sense. Celeriac. Turnip.

I broke my false teeth (not that I have false teeth mind). I have a false-teeth mind. I can't chew on things very well. In my head. Of course I can! Just kidding! Can't eye? False teeth?

So I design a greenhouse for me to build from wood but the open source 2D CAD program I use (apparently to figure out how much material I might require) has a bug in the file import function and parts go missing.

Wav Composer Not Toilet - wcnt. Wcnt is ten years old! Development stalled at Christmas. Family matters and all that. Of course it does! It does! I've not yet managed to pick it up again. I don't remember where I was. The rear wheel on my full suspension mountain bike is untrue, a spoke broke, the freehub made grinding noises and inspection revealed a complete lack of grease as well as a slight wobbly feel. The shifter for the front deraillieur on my commuting MTB (hardtail) broke the other night so I removed it yesterday. Adjusted a screw so the front mech hovers over middle chainwheel but the chain rubs when in higher gears at back.

So lettuce descend into the #defines of the stairs. Carrots are good 
for insights into the self. Oh there's nothing here. Nothing to see 
hear. All the same old same old. Tried old broken cliches. They're up 
to no good.

Scattered approach currently. Not really working out to my satisfaction. Work is the problem. Work is a big problem. It is a nightmare of sorts. Stand at a machine all day in the same place doing the same thing every minute or so staring blankly at it relying on muscle-memory to do the job for you, not caring, not taking any pride in the job for there is no pride to take in putting handles on buckets. Atrophy. It saddens me to watch myself not able to find time so easily anymore to do the things I used to think would be my salvation from the factory/wharehouse work I've spent the last twelve years of my life doing since graduating with an Arts degree.

Scattered approach currently. Currently? Less scattered than it used to be. I spent three months after falling off my bike up to Christmas developing wcnt in my spare time. Here is where the hard work went I don't have time to do that and write about it here. No documentation. Made some small efforts since Christmass to resume development but not made any inroads. Can't really remember where I had left it. A memory leak in the command line help when showing a module or data object definition? The ui_random_access branch has the difficult problems faced, head on I think, which took all my energy and which now, just sits hidden in a branch, one of five, waiting...

So what to say about the mount? Its made from recycled material/parts. The aluminium I asked my Dad for. Who knows where it came from? He thought from the Golf Club he worked as a mower mechanic at several several years ago. He had other thicknesses but this was perfect and what I was hoping for. The small nuts, bolts, and washers, I bought several years ago for use in my (so-called) Drawing Board Project, I believe they were part of the sliding ruler mechanism somewhere. The clamp is from an old Shimano front derailleur mechanism, mech removed obviously.

Purple sprouting. Curly Kale. I stumbled across the bolts and just happened to think there were around the right size to fit into the ContourHD mounting rails. They required the heads to be filed flatter, and for opposite sides of the head to be filed away, but this didn't take long at all. The ali as it wasn't thick was easy to bend to roughly the right shape. The part I had the most trouble with was fixing it to the Shimano mech mount. I drilled two bolt holes but didn't invest enough effort into marking them out precisely and they didn't align. Drilled another pair the following day but their position meant I had to file part of the mount away to allow for stem/headset while adjusting the angle of the camera to the horizontal.

18:02 Thursday 23 January 2014

my job is so ******** ****

my job is so ******** ****, ********, ******** ****, **********.
******** ****. ****. ****. my job is so ****. ******** ****.


mountain bike, cycle to work, cycle home, 4 days out of 5, 45 miles
this week. get up at 4:45am, weary, tired, before i even started.
4.2 miles to work. tuesday, 16 minutes, yesterday 22 minutes, wind
difference. today 20 minutes, and for the first time in ages, i did not
have the energy to pedal hard enough to break out a sweat. cold. wet
weather gear. mtb gear. waterproof shorts, cycling leg warmers/tights.
waterproof jacket, jersey, gloves, helmet, any other day i would have
been sweltering, even though 4 degrees outside. dark.

monday, i dubbed 'Exploratory'. it's the winter here, but not yet
properly cold, no ice or frost in this seaside town yet, perhaps a
little further inland and rural yes, but not quite here yet. its a mix
of built-up area, town, run-down seaside towns, and farmland, and i've
been trying to make the most of it on my cycling commutes home, on the

there's some paths along farmland, to connect to mud splattered tarmac
cyclepaths running between fields. the off-road sections are muddy of
course, lots of puddles, the soil has a fairly clay constituent to it
round here, (in this county generally i think,) it's slippery and
doesn't drain well.

the new drive train i fitted - bottom-bracket (upgrade from internal
octalink to external bearings) + cranks + chain rings + chain + rear
cassette - is taking a hammering but the bike gets a quick wash when i
get home with a portable pressure washer i recently purchased for such

after monday's ride home (which, as at the start of the week, I had
loads of energy and enthusiasm for), i had been waiting all week to
re-trace the route to. i did a partial retrace of today, but due to
strong head winds along the last (rather mundane) cliff-top section I
avoided some of the detours taken to increase the distance over ten
miles, plus not enough speed to take on some of the drops-offs
utilizing some of the cliff-top coastal architecture ;-)

but going back further in the ride on Monday, there was a suburban
section I missed today. a short climb up and then along the main road to
drop back down through the outskirts of a pretty rough looking estate.
not sure what it is about rough-looking estates, perhaps it could be
stretched to say they have a certain un-pretentious charm about them, a
grittiness... i'm not sure if it's because it was one of those estates
which seems to mark a boundary between town and rural. why do they
plonk these places here? are the inhabitants of the roughest estates
most in need of rural countenance, more so than other townies? is the
countryside expected to pacify?

at the bottom of the council estate is a climb back up along a muddy
but firm track leading to a suburban park which has a smattering of
'single-track' (with some stretch of the imagination of course) and
from there it's too the cliffs.

usually along the cliffs i take the tarmac paths but as monday, i took
the paths through the grassland. there's nothing of much interest as
far as mountain biking goes, but with those strong head winds today,
it was quite slow going and wearying. there's nothing much of interest
at all in this area as far as mountain biking goes, but i have to make
the most of what is here. i wouldn't for example attempt to organise a
ride around here... but on the otherhand, everywhere is so muddy. 20
miles to the west is a very popular area for mountain bikers but it's
renowned for getting bogged down with large swathes of water covering
the trails. just isn't appealing to me much right now.

my car didn't pass its MOT a few months ago, but it didn't help that i
didn't actually put into an MOT test. so i've not been driving my car
since. it's saved me money getting to work, but the cost is lack of
energy despite a not great distance covered. mind you most days i push
myself to get to work as fast as possible, usually because i would
otherwise be late - and i have to get changed when i get there too.

so i don't get to drive to organized mountain bike rides much the past
few months. only if i can borrow my partners car if she doesn't need it.

00:39 Wednesday 15 January 2014

Proximity: Open Call

man 1:			ahoy there! you! come here!

stranger 1:		me?

man 1: 			no, him over there!

stranger 1: 		do you need help?

man 1: 			yes, please help!

man 1, stranger 1: 	ahoy there! come here!

woman 1: 		me?

man 1, stranger 1: 	no, not you, him over there!

woman 1: 		oh I see.... do you need help?

man 1, stranger 1: 	ooh we don't mind if you do, yes please,
			please help us call him over there.

woman 1: 		ok I will, ahoy there! you over there!
			come here!

man 1: 			ahoy there! come here!

stranger 1: 		oi you! are you deaf? come here!

child 1:	[stares at ground]

stranger 1: 		COME HERE!

child 1:	[stares at ground]


child 1:	[stares at ground]


stranger 1:		Aaaaahhhhhoooooyyyyyyyyy Tttthhhheeerrrreeee!

child 1: 	[Cycles off on BMX].

man 1: 			COME HERE!

woman 1: 		HERE! WE SAY! COME HERE!


man 2: 			I say, excuse me, but I think those
			people are calling you.

man 3: 		[pulls out chicken from beneath arm pits]

man 2: 		[Coughs loudly]

woman 1: 		Ahoy!

man 2:			I say, those people appear to be calling

man 1: 			You over there!

stranger 1: 		Come here!

child 1: 	[Does wheelie]

child 1:	[Does endo]


child 2:	[Lays on ground]

child 1:	[Bunnyhops over child 2]

man 3:		[Pokes man 2 in eye with chicken beak]

woman 1:		Ahoy there you over there come here!

chicken 1:		cluck cluck cluck

child 1:	[Picks up a collection of Italio Calvino short stories
		found discarded in gutter and re-discards over hedge
		into the vicarage garden]

child 2:	[Stares into a blue sky scattered with clouds passing
		by overhead]

man 3:		[Kicks chicken at man 2]

man 1:			I say, you over there! Stop that!

stranger 1:		Come here!

woman 1:		You over there come here this instant!

stranger 1:		Come here!

man 1:			Ahoy there come here!

man 2:		[Picks chicken up and walks toward woman 1]

chicken 1:		cluck cluck cluck

man 3:		[Follows man 2 from a distance of 3 feet (size
		10 euro)]

man 2:			Ahoy there! I don't know whats the matter
			with him, he doesn't seem quite the ticket!

man 1:			Ahoy! How is your eye!?!?


man 3:		[turns around and starts running]

man 1:			YOU! COME BACK!

man 3:		[jumps over hedge in the vicarage garden]

chicken 1:		cluck cluck cluck



A page detailing new stuff and other random noise.

The journal is a general place for writing about what I am doing, or for making more official announcements concerning the things I do. It's also a place where I can write freely about my ideas, or just play with words and language.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.

this page last updated:29th April 2013 (C) 2003 - 2017 James W. Morris

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