Archive for June, 2007

AT&T Customer Support Is Mostly Clueless

On the phone for the 7th time about activating my iPhone.  It’s the second time I’ve actually got someone to discover something wrong with my account.  And he basically told me the first person was lying (not in those words, just directly contradicted her).

I’ll post about (or from) the iPhone if they ever get it working.

Saturday, June 30th, 2007 Uncategorized 1 Comment

Week 1: All Green

Just finished the first long ride on my new schedule, 40 miles today. Rode the second half faster than the first too.

I will ride 10% farther every Saturday from now on up to 75 miles. Technically tomorrow is the last day of the week, but tomorrow’s 15 miles won’t be hard, Saturdays are the real test.

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Saturday, June 30th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

Cycling socks

The book I posted a few posts down has a lot of advice about various cycling gear.    I can’t say if any of it’s the best advice, I’ve basically got the one book and whatever I can Google to go on.   But it all sounds like it comes from experience.  One thing that’s been bothering me is socks.  No one has any advice on socks.  I’ve worn everything from thick hiking socks to thin running socks on my long rides, and it doesn’t seem to make much difference so far.  I may have a slight preference for the thicker socks.  I’ll grant you that shoes are probably more important than the socks that go in them, and that there’s plenty of advice on shoes all around, and that I think I did a decent job choosing the shoes I’m wearing now (They’re MTB shoes though, and I could see switching to real road bike shoes for the long rides and whatever event I do).  Nevertheless, I am CERTAIN that pro cyclists have preferences in socks too!  But the only advice I can find on the subject (with minimal effort expended – far more time was put into writing this snarky post than into actually looking up sock advice)  is for cold weather, which doesn’t concern me.  I live in Southern California.  Cold is anything under 65F.

WHAT KIND OF SOCKS SHOULD I BE WEARING?  My god, this could ruin my whole plan if I don’t figure it out.

Thursday, June 28th, 2007 Uncategorized 3 Comments

That was supposed to be hard?

I thought today’s “brisk” ride was going to be hard. It wasn’t. I can push harder on the next one, no problem. Saturday’s 40 miles will still be tough, but I’m ready.

Also, rather than the Tahoe-Sierra ride, the MS 150 benefit ride is a lot more convenient. It starts in Irvine, right by here. And it’s a few weeks later, even more time to train. I’m leaning towards that one now (Thanks, Jesse).  But I’ve got lots of time to “shop around”.

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

Century Training Plan

Here’s the basic plan. I’m keeping my notes on the private version of that too. Google Spreadsheets is neat.

“Easy”, “Pace”, and “Brisk” are actually about heart rate, not speed.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

35 miles * 2

I rode 35 miles yesterday. That’s my record distance (not for my whole life, but for this millenium at least).

Then I did it again today. So there.

I picked up this book this week, and finally sat down and finished it today.  From the looks of things, over the last six weeks, I’ve managed to blindly get myself to the point where I can start the “advanced” version of their 10 week century training program.  I’m already beyond the first few weeks of the “beginner” program.  The first week of the advanced program includes a 40 mile ride on Saturday, exactly what I’d planned, and less total miles than I put in this week.  The 14 mile “brisk” ride on Wednesday is going to be harder than the 40 miler.

So yeah.  I’m going to do their crazy 10 week program.  And now that I’ve blogged it, I have to do it.  Everyone on the internet has to do everything they say they’re going to do.  It’s the law.

Of course, if I do a 10 week century program, I’ve got to ride a century at the end of it, right?  The Tahoe Sierra Century is conveniently scheduled (actually 13 weeks away).  Good lord, did I just blog that too?

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Sunday, June 24th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

Language Benchmarks: Why Ruby Won’t Win

Benchmarking programming language performance is an imprecise exercise, but the Computer Language Benchmarks Game makes a pretty good go at it.  Ruby is next to last on the overall scores, and loses on pretty much every test to Python and Lua, the current kings of game scripting in general.  I still think Ruby is a fantastic language and wholly appropriate for a lot of tasks.  But general performance is a major consideration for use as an embedded game scripting language.  Until they get Ruby into the same performance class as Python and Lua, it’s not going to be a viable option for what I’ve been looking at it for.

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Thursday, June 21st, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

Disk Space

I remember the first time I had 1TB of storage online. I’d been thinking for several years before hand that anyone could easily build a single box with 1TB of storage. I didn’t hit it until I added a 500GB network drive. That drive is still online, mostly just holding backups of stuff from important drives. Everything else that made up that original 1TB is mostly offline (one machine is still hooked up and working, but almost never turned on)

I have 2TB online now. I didn’t even notice when that happened. It was less than two years after I hit 1TB, maybe less than one year. And I didn’t notice until someone else mentioned that they had 2TB online. Not only that, but half of it is free space. I have 1TB+ of free space and I didn’t even notice that.

Of course, not many people hook a 750GB firewire drive up to a Mac Mini and use it as their media center “PC”, but that’s just the kind of guy I am.

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Monday, June 18th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

My ship has come in

In the form of a frozen chicken breast. But not just any chicken breast. Oh no. Straight to eBay with this one, hello easy street!


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Sunday, June 17th, 2007 Uncategorized No Comments

Late to the party

I wrote a little program in Ruby (and I do mean little, Ruby continues to impress me with ease of getting things done) to get a semi-random picture from Flickr (checks for anything new from Stuck in Customs first, then gets a random picture tagged with “landscape” if there aren’t any), then set it as my desktop.  I set it to run every half hour as a cron job.  Then I set up GeekTool to get the current picture displayed (the ruby program writes it to a log file, I have GeekTool get the last line of that file) and display the title and user at the lower right of my desktop.

I figured there would already be several other programs way cooler than mine, but if there weren’t I figured I’d package it up with a few more options and release it.  Turns out, you can already do most of that without downloading any software at all.  You can subscribe to photo RSS feeds in iPhoto (news to me!) and you can then use photos from those feeds as desktop backgrounds directly from the Desktop preferences panel.  OS X and its packaged applications are just really impressive sometimes.

On the other hand, the randomly select a picture every X minutes feature doesn’t work with photo RSS feeds, so it doesn’t actually do everything my little program does.  I bet Leopard will.  But I’ve got at least a narrow window where I can release an app that does it and maybe someone will actually want it 🙂   Plus I can be a little more flexible – I don’t think you can do the trick I’m doing where a particular user’s pictures always go up when there’s a new one, but that depends more on how sophisticated you can get with Flickr’s RSS feeds.  I haven’t really looked at that.

It’s all mainly for my own education anyway, and I think I’m going to use it as an excuse to learn about RubyCocoa  and then maybe release something when I have a “real” standalone Mac app that normal Mac users can use.  (IE Requiring crontab editing is RIGHT OUT.) But if anyone reads this and wants the ruby script sooner than that, send me a note.  It was fun to write and fun to get all these great pictures on my desktop all the time!

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Monday, June 4th, 2007 Uncategorized 2 Comments