Archive for April, 2007

10 pounds, five weeks

That’s what I’ve lost. 10 pounds is also when I told myself I was going to start running instead of just walking. (Besides the couple of older posts I made about walking, I’ve done several more walks up to about 11 miles. Just didn’t post them.)

I actually jumped the gun a little bit, I’ve gone out running about four times in the last few weeks. But I figured since today I actually hit my original goal I really ought to run. I actually think I’m still getting more benefit from the really long walks than the really short runs right now, but each time I’ve gone running I’ve managed to run a little bit more and walk a little bit less. I have about a 1.5 mile route I take, and I just run until I start to feel winded or my legs start to hurt (first couple of times, it was the legs, now it’s the lungs, that’s good! But the legs are still not happy either.), then walk until I feel like I can run some more. I think the first time I went out, I probably didn’t even run a quarter mile of the whole thing. Today I managed about 2/3rds of a mile running. (Checked using http://beta.mapmyrun.com, a really great site for figuring out distances and speed).

My next goals are to work up to running the whole 1.5 miles, gradually, and to keep losing 2 pounds a week for at least another few months. I easily have that much excess weight. I met my first one essentially right on schedule (I never set a time table, but the 2 pounds per week has been pretty consistent) and I feel better than I have in a long time. Even if my legs are too stiff to stand up a few times a week (the 11 mile walks are way worse for that than the 1.5 mile half-runs though). If I do that run a couple of times a week, I think I can work up to running the whole thing in about a month, but I’m not going to force it. If I just keep doing what I’ve been doing, it’s going to keep getting easier no matter what. Just lugging around 10 fewer pounds helps all by itself.

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My phone is now an email notifier

If you send a mail to my “real” email address (not any of the ones I use for businesses and other non-people), it will now get sent to my mobile phone as an SMS. Unless it’s between 1AM and 8AM, then it won’t. Only the first few lines get sent, and it uses the sender’s email address as the sender for the SMS.

I use gmail to read all my mail these days, and I even have their mobile phone app on my phone, so in theory I can even reply from my phone. I set this up because GMail notifier on the Mac doesn’t work if the screensaver is active. Which is when I MOST want it to work. It’s really dumb. I could run Mail.app or some other pop mail program and let it notify me, but I don’t want to just on principle. I couldn’t find a simple pop notifier that worked with gmail.

Plus I figure it’ll be nice to get a notification of “real” email no matter where I am too. At least until I get tired of my phone beeping all the time. Before I switched to gmail, this would’ve been completely unreasonable, but gmail’s spam filter is excellent. I’m not worried about floods of spam making it to my phone.

Update: with a few more real world messages having passed through the system, something bizarre about my cell phone provider’s system emerged.  Any message that contains “href=” at all will not be forwarded to my phone.  “href” is fine, “foo=” is fine, URLs themselves are fine.  But  not “href=”.  So HTML email with links failed.  The fact that it was a spam that made it by GMail’s filter doesn’t mean I wasn’t annoyed that my system failed to work :).  I fixed it now, but I didn’t update the instructions.  That can’t possibly be true for everyone.  I just added a “| sed ‘s/href=/href:/'” into each procmail rule.

Read more for the full MacGyver details

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Guitar Hero 2

The XBox 360 version of Guitar Hero 2 is pure evil. I never went for high scores much on the PS2 version. The leaderboard has completely changed all that, and is sucking up way too much of my time. I am ranked in the top 5000 on career score as of this moment. My tag is Ogre36, feel free to send a friend request.

I only have a single song where my high score is on expert too. The rest are all medium or hard (mostly hard until the last couple of sets). So lots of room for improvement, but going for score on expert is a LOT harder than hard. Just passing the songs isn’t, but keeping streaks going is way more difficult.

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xkcd

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Name change

Blog now called Ogre.

Ogre Smash!

Puny human not complain name change, puny human get smash.

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Hitchcock knew

The birds are up to something. This guy flew up to my window and started pecking on it right after I got to work this morning. Lasted a couple of minutes. Then he showed up again after lunch for more of the same.

My office neighbor said he saw it carrying something to build a nest with (as it was pecking on his window too), he must be defending his territory.
04-09-07_1257.jpg

Sorry about the crappy quality. All I had was a cell phone.

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Puzzle Quest Solver

I figure it’s not cheating when I use this program to solve Puzzle Quest capture puzzles. But if you use it, you’re totally cheating. I wrote the code, that means I solved the puzzle. You, you’re scum.
pqsolver.exe (Get this if you just want to run it)

pqsolver.cpp (Source code, if you want to see how it works or don’t trust random executables off the internet. Builds on Mac, Linux, Windows, probably anything else with a C++ compiler)

Sample input files:

test2.pq (not a real puzzle, just an early test)

OrcLord.pq (Real)

Sandworm.pq (Real)

To run it:

pqsolver < file.pq

The magic values, straight from the code:
case red: c = 'r'; break;
case yellow: c = 'y'; break;
case green: c = 'g'; break;
case blue: c = 'b'; break;
case skull: c = 's'; break;
case skullx5: c = '5'; break;
case xp: c = 'x'; break;
case money: c = 'm'; break;
case empty: c = '.'; break;

The output has the first step at the bottom, last step at the top. Backwards, in other words. Harder to do it the right way around the way the algorithm works. The bottommost board displayed is the initial input, the topmost is the next to last state before winning. Above each board are the coordinates to move to get to the next step.

Updated 11/09/2007 : Thanks to Nige in the comments, the bug with skulls is fixed.  You Rock, Nige!

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9 miles

That was today’s total, 6 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon.

I figure if I can add 50% my total every other day, like I did today, I should be able to walk all the way to New York one day later this month. It’s good to set goals for yourself.

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