After yet another security breach on my Wordpress blog, this time one that all the great security tools didn’t catch, I’ve decided to migrate to a static page hosting solution.
At the Erlang User Conference 2017 (EUC17) in Stockholm Sweden, I presented our experience of how Alert Logic moved to a new micro-services architecture using our preferred programming language: Erlang.
As I described in Part 1, I am using MacroFab for rapid prototyping of my jeepbot concept project. In this post, I’ll describe the next phase of my project and how MacroFab has made it easy to get there.
As part of my jeepbot project, I wanted to build some printed circuit boards (PCBs) to test the concept, try out different designs, and generally just have a real solution. I learned quickly that going from LEGO-style building blocks based on Arduino boards to my own PCB was another learning curve with a lot of unknowns. There are certainly plenty of tutorials online for designing boards, board houses for building them, etc., but it certainly wasn’t an easy or inexpensive job for those learning how to build. As a result, my project languished a bit as both my day job became more demanding (and amazing, rewarding) and the work effort for this project began to look larger and more complicated than I had anticipated.
In December of 2013, I published a set of videos on YouTube discussing how to do CAN bus hacking using an Arduino and/or Raspberry Pi. These videos were made in conjunction with my Jeep hacking projects.
I biked up Corona Pass on 1/1/2016.
If you saw my post about hacking the CAN-Interior bus of a JK, you noticed my comments about building an intelligent accessory switching system. I’m pretty far along with that, and would love to get some feedback from the community on features they’d like to see.
I finished the 1st proof-of-concept for using the CAN-Bus data to control auxiliary relays. It worked great. Attached is a block diagram of what I used, and a longish video of how the testing went.
[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”384”] The Jeep’s Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) Displays a Custom Message[/caption]
Today I’m releasing version 1.0.0 of URLKit, a library to find and shorten URLs for Mac OS X and iOS applications.
I have read a lot of how-to guides on blogs over the past few years on how to set it up Xcode sub-projects so you can build your project, a dependent sub-project, and have all the header files and libraries be found. Invariably, this involves changing Xcode project settings both in your main application, and in the sub-project so that everything works out. This is wrong!
Over the past six-months, my team at Alert Logic started and deployed a project where we made heavy use of the Chef infrastructure automation tool. We decided to use Chef from the ground up in our development cycle, from initial coding and testing all the way through final production deployment. Here are some important lessons we learned from the experience.
I used to host this blog at http://blog.nuclearbunny.org but decided to make it more personal. The new home is now at http://chadgibbons.com - for those of you who have re-found me or are new to the blog, welcome!
In August of 2011 I raced my first Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike event. I was lucky enough to get past the lottery system in February, and spent most of the rest of the spring and summer preparing for the event. This is the story of my training leading up to the actual event and the details of the event itself.
I managed to take a picture of the Taylor Reservoir this June in almost the same place as when I took a picture in June 2009. Both pictures were taken while riding on bicycle tours, but the results are very different.
About the time I crossed the Oklahoma border I knew my Colorado vacation was officially over. The temperature gauge in the truck said 105 degrees, and it got worse by the time I reached DFW (thankfully it was a bit cooler once I reached the coast). One day prior, I was standing on top of Berthoud Pass shivering in the ~40 degree temperatures after a nice climb up the pass.
Today was the ‘easy’ day of this year’s Ride the Rockies. A relatively easy 50-mile loop in the Steamboat Springs area, or if you were so inclined, a nice day off to relax without having to relocate. A two-night stays in a single place is a great thing for riders on a long bicycle tour.
I wouldn’t have guessed from looking at the official route profile for the Edwards to Steamboat Springs ride that it would turn out to be my hardest day of the tour. Sure, the length of the route is 5 miles longer than the previous 2 days, but there were only two relatively small climbs shown on the profile, and a long downhill into Steamboat itself. A piece of cake, especially when compared to the Cottonwood Pass climb we did on day 1, right?
Day 2 started out a bit nicer than day 1 – it was 10 degrees or so warmer in Buena Vista than Crested Butte, making getting ready a whole lot more enjoyable.
Today was the day I was looking forward to the most during this year’s Ride the Rockies. I’ve ridden up Cottonwood Pass before, but never got a chance to descend.
When I finally made it to 12,000 ft elevation, I thought for sure I’d feel better than I had in the past. After all, I live at sea level, and any additional time at high elevation should help my acclimation quite a bit. This year, I’ve been in Colorado exploring and training for almost a full month before the Ride the Rockies begins - I should be getting somewhat used to the higher altitudes by now. But that climb up to 12,000 ft reminded me how foolish I was to think it would come so easy. It was easy to get out of breath just doing a normal pace walk, even after all the time here.
A month ago, in April 2011, I took a trip to Munich, Germany and the surrounding area. One of the must-see sights there is the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, just outside of Munich and near the village of Dachau.
I’ve been catching up on technology news this week, after a few months of completely ignoring it. One of my favorites so far has been Netflix’s brief post on 5 Lessons We’ve Learned Using AWS. Within, they discuss the importance of testing your systems ability to survive failure in a infrastructure that is inherently chaotic and prone to failure (a fundamental characteristic of massively scalable clouds).
In January of 2011 I took a deliberate break from my high-information diet. No news, television or on-line, no blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter for a whole month. It was awesome, and highly effective at completely breaking my high-information diet habit.
Today I ran the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon and set a new personal record (PR) of 1:59:18. Not only did I beat my goal of 2 hours, I bested my previous PR by 10:17.
In July, 2009 I started using a Garmin Forerunner 310XT
T to keep track of my workouts. At first I just used the running features of the device, but shortly after I started using it for my cycling workouts as well. Previously I had been using a Polar system for cycling data capture, and soon I found the ForeRunner 310XT to be a better solution by far than the Polar one (see my previous review of the ForeRunner 310XT for more details).
A couple of weeks ago, registration opened for the big BP MS150 charity bicycling event between Houston and Austin, Texas. This particular MS 150 is one of the largest organized rides in the country with approximately 13,000 riders each year. It’s a two-day ride with options from 75 to 100 miles on the first day, and around 65 to 80 miles the second day.
From June 13th through 19th I rode in the 25th anniversary edition of the Ride the Rockies bike tour. I had planned on doing either this ride or the Bicycle Tour of Colorado again, but since I made it past the lottery for Ride the Rockies I picked that one for a slightly different experience. I had briefly flirted with the idea of doing both rides back-to-back, but was talked out of that after realizing how difficult it would be to enjoy both weeks with such high fatigue levels.
Adobe’s Flash has a lot of uses, but one of the most impressive to me has been the the creation of interactive graphs on a web page. One just has to visit Google Finance to see a great example of this in action; it’s fast, effective and fits seemlessly within the rest of the page.
I’ve been using the iPad heavily for 2 days now. There is an awful lot of potential in this device, ands there is no doubt that the best is yet to come.
New BMW 5-series Gran Turismo = stunner, inside & out. Was happy to see roof-rack slots are back for the 5-series (presumably the new sedan out later this year will have them as well).
The end of the year is always a good time for reflection. One of the things I always do is look at how much time and distance I’ve spent in a car or on a bicycle.
In Part 1 of this series we discussed getting an initial Zenoss environment checked out and running on a Mac OS Xor Ubuntu system. In Part 2 we discussed how to configure Eclipse to use the Zenoss source. In this part, we’ll discuss how to handle day-to-day operations such as branch management and working with multiple versions.
In Part 1 of this series we discussed getting an initial Zenoss environment checked out and running on a Mac OS Xor Ubuntu system. In this part, we’ll discuss configuring Eclipse to use this environment.
Over the past 18 months the developers at Zenoss have used a variety of development environments and methods to productively work with Zenoss, but there are a lot of best practices that have emerged out of this diversity.
I have two different late model (a 2006 and a 2007) GM vehicles with satellite navigation systems. Both are manufactured for GM by Denso, although they clearly have different implementations and features. The one thing they both share, however, is blatant stupidity when calculating routes.
The IcyBee project is a client for the ICB chat network with a graphical user interface and written in the Java language for cross-platform portability. The current version of the software has several years of stability behind it and few user requests, but there is always more work to do. The project is currently hosted on SourceForge and all of the source is already available.
I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 310XT training device for use while running, cycling, and hopefully swimming. The Forerunner 310XT is a new device from Garmin, and their first multi-sport device that is waterproof and can be used for swimming, and thus triathlons.
During the week of June 21st I participated in the 2009 Bicycle Tour of Colorado. This was my first true bicycle tour, having previously only ridden in two-day events. We rode in a loop around the Gunnison National Forest in central Colorado and put in approximately 500 miles in 6 days of riding. The tour was brutal, difficult, treacherous and totally awesome.
One of the exciting features of the upcoming iPhone 3.0 operating system is the ability for a device to receive a notification message from your own application that is relayed by Apple’s network cloud. This feature allows the iPhone to channel all out-of-band communication into a narrow channel that is low impact on the device from a power, security and usability point-of-view.
Due to recent negative events with XM Radio’s customer service, I no longer have an XM subscription in any of my vehicles. In the truck there is an auxiliary input jack, so feeding music from an iPod is a no-brainer. But in the Corvette, there was no such option. GM never really provided a great solution for it, but luckily the aftermarket came to the rescue.
The weekend of April 18th & 19th, 2009, was the 25th annual MS 150 ride from Houston to Austin. This year’s ride promised to be a great one, but unfortuantely mother nature threw a kink in all of the plans.
Yesterday marked my one-year anniversary at Zenoss. When I decided to take the job at Zenoss I knew it would be a challenging position, and time has proven this assumption correct. The new (to me, anyway) technology, the remote work environment and the realities of a startup company with limited resources have all added their own challenges to the job.
Starting with version 2.3.x, Zenoss can monitor computers running Microsoft Windows with a variety of data collection protocols: SNMP, WMI over DCOM/MS-RPC and Perfmon over MS-RPC.
Zenoss uses the Python programming language for the vast majority of its code, and all of the daemons and commands that run are Python scripts. Several daemons also make use of native code (i.e. code written in languages like C or C++ that must be compiled into object files and organized into libraries) to perform functions such as remote Windows and SNMP connectivity.
I bought another Mac today, a nice 2.4 GHz 13-inch unibody MacBook. I had planned on buying a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, and very nearly did, but luckily sanity won out and I remembered how much of a hassle it was to carry around those giant things, even if they are only “only” 6.6 lbs.
The Kindle 2 I bought arrived today and I have spent the evening playing with the new gadget. I haven’t had very much time for some serious reading with it yet, but there are some fairly clear early impressions that can be drawn.
At Zenoss we do quite a bit of remote monitoring of computers running Windows. In the Enterprise edition of the product, we collect raw performance counter data using the conventional remote Windows Registry APIs.
When the XM PCR radio came out in 2003 I immediately bought one so I could use it at the office. The computer controlled aspect of the radio was great and less messy than some of the other XM radio options available at the time.
A previous post discussed using an Intel D945GCLF2 Atom-based mainboard for a little mini server setup. It’s been working great, except for that damn fan for the memory controller. It was pretty noisy at first, but quickly degraded into a crunching worthless disaster.
In 2000 I began work on a client application for the ICB chat system. At the time, the best client for the system was the old-school UNIX client that worked using a terminal interface. For things like chat, terminal interfaces are fantastic but at some point they began to stop keeping pace with the rest of technology. For example, a common activity in any chat system is the sharing of URLs for other users to view. Most terminal applications at the time (many of the Linux-based terminal applications have since improved upon this) did not support this, so users were forced to cut & paste URLs - not a fun process.
Yesterday I took the mountain bike down Old Ore Road in Big Bend National Park. The park’s website calls this route the premier ride in the park so I just had to try it.
Today I took my road bike on a trip from the Chisos Basin down to the Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park. This is a 30 mile one-way route that is almost entirely downhill.
Zenoss is an open-source infrastructure management product. Normally used by institutions to watch their networking and server infrastructure, it also is used in smaller, less mission-critical scenarios. Scenarios like mine: I want to monitor my home & home office infrastructure since it has grown over time to contain a fair number of devices.
It is hard to believe but week # 20 of marathon training has come and gone. We capped the week with our longest run yet of the season at 16 miles. It was a great run, and one of my fastest long runs of the season with a 9:44 minute/mile average pace. It was also the coldest weather so far this year, with temperatures in the upper 40s throughout the run.
When we last heard about the Dell Saga I expected to have a credit from Dell a day or two after I made the post. As it turned out, it didn’t quite turn out that way.
I am, quite simply put, addicted to shiny new cars.
On October 15th registration opened for the 2009 BP MS 150 ride from Houston to Austin. The event filled up in record time, only about 7 hours, compared to 11 days last year. This will be my 5th year to ride in the event; when I first started, I missed signing up several years in a row because I never really thought about it until it was too late. It’s clear those days are over. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lottery style system brought into play at some point.
Today I ran the half-marathon course of the 2008 Duke City Marathon event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was my first organized half event and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I followed the advice of my running group back home and treated it just like a training run.
This weekend is one of our pilgramilage trips back to Albuquerque. We try and make it back at least once a year to visit Lori’s parents and to partake in local flavors. I always try and work in some outdoor fun while I’m here too.
The strange things you see out in the world every day… take, for instance, this duck plush toy. Someone loved this thing intensely, and then just left it to rot in the middle of a parking lot. Or perhaps, did it escape from home during Hurricane Ike? We’ll never know.
Week 11 was capped off with a 12 mile run this morning at Sugar Land Memorial Park. My pace group’s run had has go north out of the park along University Blvd, turning into the University of Houston @ Sugar Land campus and running around the parking lot twice, and then returning to the park via University again. From there we turned east onto Commonwealth Blvd and followed that all the way to Oilfield Rd before turning once again to the park. Once back at the park we then ran both loops of the park to finish.
We still have power but we’re clearly one of the lucky ones in the area. The last news report says only 122,000 total households out of the 2 million that lost power have had it restored.
While taking the previous pictures, I also took a few video clips of the damage in Oyster Creek Park and along the trail. These videos just show some of the same damage as the pictures in the previous entry but just give it a bit more context.
As of 7:30 pm our local power came on. We’re hoping that it stays on through the night at a minimum, and really hopeful it is back on permanently. I spoke with my parents in the Houston Heights area of town and they said power is not back on in their section of the neighborhood, but it is a few blocks over, so hopefully power will be restored in most parts of the “city” areas that are away from the coast in short-order. Right now, CenterPoint Energy is saying power will take 2 to 3 weeks to be fully restored, but given the damage to the coastal areas this is not too much of a surprise.
Damage to trees and fences in the area much more extensive than in our neighborhood. Still no major structural damage seen except from downed trees. Power is still out but generator still running well. Power flickered on around 5pm so maybe we’ll get lucky.
It is around 9:30am and we are still experiencing storm conditions here. We have occasional tropical storm strength gusts and some light rain. The bulk of the storm is north of us now so conditions should continue to improve from here on out.
It is just about 3am and we are seeing hurricane force conditions here in Sugar Land. The sustained winds are strong enough that the whole house is groaning and any tiny gap in weatherstripping is acting like a flute. We’ve had at least tropical storm force conditions for the past 6 hours. Rain really did not arrive until 3 hours ago.
Today Dell contacted me four times - twice by e-mail and twice by phone - to inform me that a credit has been issued by them for the laptop that was stolen in transit. It took 8 business days after they said they would issue a credit and 13 business days after the laptop was originally estimated to be delivered.
A friend came across this blog entry on the Consumerist that details another saga of pain and suffering caused by the wonderful ability to Dell customer service to screw up. Given it’s another issue with the interaction between Dell and DHL it really makes you go “hmmm…”
Sunday was the annual Tour de Pink bicycle ride, starting out of Prairie View A&M University. This ride supports the Pink Ribbons Project charity, which raises awareness for fighting breast cancer. This ride is always one I look forward to given it effectively kicks off the fall cycling season, and is the first big ride after the summertime lull.
Saturday finished up week # 9 of my marathon training program. Week # 9 followed a light week # 8 where we only ran 6 miles; we had 9 miles in the pipe for the Saturday long run. From what I understand, the light weeks are key in letting your body recover its strength for pushing further ahead so at first I was looking forward to the next long run.
I didn’t expect a clean resolution to my Dell issue, given it wasn’t done yet, but I had more of the same when I called DHL and Dell back on Tuesday.
I’ve been a happy consumer of Dell products for at least a decade, both at home and the office. Outside of the office, I’ve purchased at least a half-dozen systems from them and so when it was time to replace Lori’s 4 year old Dell, they were my first choice.
I donated a unit of whole blood today, which I try and do as often as I am able. It used to never bother me, but the combination of being smaller and older appear to be taking its toll. After today’s donation I have been pretty loopy for the rest of the day. Way loopy, like I shouldn’t be driving or using a computer loopy.
Lori and I joined the iPhone cult this weekend. We had ordered our phones from an AT&T store the week before, mostly because I simply can’t stand to wait in line. It only took 5 days for one, and 6 days for the second phone to show up, and there was no stress. And the AT&T store was much better at handling the porting of two phone numbers from one carrier to another.
Saturday finished up my 5th week of marathon training. We had a 6 mile run scheduled, which matches the longest run I’ve yet done.
Sunday I took another stab at biking from the house to Brazos Bend state park. As before, I foolishly waited until it was too hot before I left and was amply punished for it.
Saturday I ran in my first organized 5K event. It was the Maribelle’s On the Bay 5K hosted by the folks at On The Run. The course was out from Maribelle’s pub in Seabrook to the middle of town and back. Unfortunately being along the water there was little to block the morning sun’s full intensity so it was one hell of a hot run.
This past weekend Lori and I visited Fredericksburg, Texas for some rest and relaxation. I of course took my bike and hoped to squeeze in a couple of rides while there given the natural beauty of the area. I was not disappointed.
I just finished reading Heft On Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing A 180, by Mike Magnuson. Magnuson gives us a pretty deep glimpse into himself has he rapidily transforms himself from a fat, drunken slob into a highly active road bicycle junkie.
I’ve been pondering the idea of getting a second set of wheels for my bike for a while now. Since I’ve been occasionally racing, it is convenient to have a set of wheels with the the race tires and tubes already installed. I didn’t necessarily want to spend the bucks on a set of carbon fiber wheels, at least not yet, so I thought about getting a second Bontrager Race Lite wheel-set; these came with the bike and I’ve been really pleased with them. They are only 1660g for the set so I’m not saving a ton of weight if I upgrade.
Yesterday I capped off my first official week of marathon training with the Fort Bend Fit training group. Their training plan have 3 runs during the week with a long run every Saturday morning. I’m in the Red group, for those with a 10 to 12 minute per mile pace over 5K. I’m presently running closer to a 9 minute mile which would place me in the Yellow group, but I want to see if I can maintain my pace over longer distances before I change running groups.
Tonight I raced in my second bicycle criterium at the crit series held every Wednesday night in Memorial Park. This was week 6 of the series this summer and the first chance I had to race; I had been out during week 4 but I forgot my cycling license that day so I just watched.
This morning I finished reading Blood Canticle, another of Anne Rice’s vampire universe novels. This book is set immediately after the Blackwood Farm novel that I read a couple of months ago. It continues the integration of the vampire and witch storylines that Rice has cultivated, and this time thoroughly mixes in the Taltos portion of the witches story as well.
I finally got around to reading Smart & Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide To Finding The Best Technical Talent which came out a little over a year ago. The title pretty much hits the point of the book on the head.
Today a guy at the grocery store gave Lori & I a coupon for 10% off our entire grocery bill (for bills over $140; ours was over $200). We didn’t realize what he had given us until he had left the store, but regardless it was quite a gesture.
Tonight we watched Disturbia, a story about a suburban kid who suspects his neighbor is a serial killer.
Originally uploaded by blunck2
Yesterday was the annual Paws and Puddles charity bike ride, hosted and benefiting the Animal Alliance of Galveston County. This is one of the few organized rides here in the midst of the summer heat, but an important training opportunity for those of us planning to do the Hotter’N Hell 100 in August.
This morning I finished reading Category 7, a thriller about a monster hurricane that destroys much of coastal New York City.
I just ordered several books from Amazon for work-related reading over the summer. All of these are highly recommended so hopefully they won’t be too boring.
I’ve had my 2008 Madone 5.2 Pro bike for almost a month now and I just crossed the 300 mile mark on the odometer. I’ve had a chance to ride it 8 times so far with a short ride of 21 miles and a long ride of 67 miles.
On Sunday, June 8th, the 2008 Tour de Braz bicycle event in Alvin, Texas was held. This ride goes through Brazoria County which is extremely flat and this normally makes for a good, fast ride. Of course since it is coastal Texas it also means there will be some wind to contend with at some point in the ride.
Saturday night we saw the latest Indiana Jones movie. As with most movies I avoided learning anything about it before I saw it just to make sure I didn’t have any preconceived notions.
This past weekend I finished reading Under the Wire, a book by William Ash that details his travels from an American drifter to a Spitfire pilot in the British Royal Air Force to an eventual prisoner of war in WWII occupied Europe.
I was recently testing Zenoss on a CentOS 5 system when I discovered that the
snmpdcomponent of net-snmp would not start. There were no error messages in
/var/log/snmpd.logso this made diagnosis a bit tricky given I had never used the tool before. :-)
Running the daemon manually with
snmpd -fshowed the following error:
snmpd: symbol lookup error: snmpd: undefined symbol: smux_snmp_select_list_get_length
A quick Google search found the following bug based upon that error: http://bugs.centos.org/view.php?id=2700
This bug indicates that the
net-snmp-libspackage was not being updated when the
net-snmppackage was updated using CentOS's built-in update manager. A quick check validated this:
[root@cgibbons-dev CentOS]# rpm --query net-snmp net-snmp-5.3.1-19.el5_1.4 [root@cgibbons-dev CentOS]# rpm --query net-snmp-libs net-snmp-libs-5.3.1-14.el5
And then a quick update of the
net-snmp-libspackage solved the issue:
[root@cgibbons-dev ~]# yum update net-snmp-libs Loading "installonlyn" plugin Setting up Update Process Setting up repositories base 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00 updates 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00 addons 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00 extras 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00 Reading repository metadata in from local files Resolving Dependencies --> Populating transaction set with selected packages. Please wait. ---> Downloading header for net-snmp-libs to pack into transaction set. net-snmp-libs-5.3.1-19.el 100% |=========================| 27 kB 00:00 --- \> Package net-snmp-libs.i386 1:5.3.1-19.el5\_1.4 set to be updated --\> Running transaction check Dependencies Resolved ============================================================================= Package Arch Version Repository Size ============================================================================= Updating: net-snmp-libs i386 1:5.3.1-19.el5\_1.4 updates 1.2 M Transaction Summary ============================================================================= Install 0 Package(s) Update 1 Package(s) Remove 0 Package(s) Total download size: 1.2 M Is this ok [y/N]: Y Downloading Packages: (1/1): net-snmp-libs-5.3. 100% |=========================| 1.2 MB 00:00 Running Transaction Test Finished Transaction Test Transaction Test Succeeded Running Transaction Updating : net-snmp-libs ######################### [1/2] Cleanup : net-snmp-libs ######################### [2/2] Updated: net-snmp-libs.i386 1:5.3.1-19.el5\_1.4 Complete!
Last night my friend Matt and I saw The Cure perform at the Houston Toyota Center. It was a great, and very long, show. They took the stage around 8:30 pm and didn’t finish up until just before midnight after their 3rd encore.
Today we watched Evan Almighty. In this movie, God, played again by Morgan Freeman, has Evan Baxter, played by Steve Carell, build a great Ark in the spirit of Noah.
Today I bought a 2008 Trek Madone 5.2 Pro road bike. This is Trek’s mid-level full carbon fiber frame with Shamino Ultegra SL components.
Tonight we watched Superman Returns. I was not expecting much from a sequel like this, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Tonight we watched The Good Shepherd again. I wanted to watch this movie twice since it was so long (just under 3 hours) and deep enough that it warranted a closer look.
Today was the annual Bear Creek Criterium. This is a short 0.8 mile flat loop through the middle of a heavily forested park. The course is non-technical, with really only one corner that requires any skill and the rest being wide open.
Tonight we watched Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. If you’ve ever seen a Will Ferrell movie then you’d have a good idea of what to expect from this one, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed in that respect.
Tonight we saw Iron Man with friends. My self-imposed media blackout meant I had no idea what the movie was. In fact, until a week or so before it came out I hadn’t even heard of it! I’ve found this makes for a much better movie…
Tonight I finished reading Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice. It is another book in The Vampire Chronicles and marks my return to her work after a very long hiatius. After her horrible book Violin, I effectively swore off her works for over a decade. I was reluctant to return but at the same time I always enjoyed The Vampire Chronicles enough that I finally gave in.
Today was the Sugar Land Criterium bicycle races in Sugar Land Town Square. This event was hosted by Sugar Cycles, a bike store local to the Sugar Land area.
On Saturday we watched the movie Holes. A surprisingly good film from Disney, Holes is about a teenage boy who is wrongly accused of a crime and is sent to a juvenile work camp instead of prison. The camp is run by some shady characters and then the plot explores from there.
Nothing like an early morning laugh from the crew over at I Can Has A Cheezeburger?
This week I went swimming laps two times. The first time was a rude awakening. Not only did the swim kick my ass, it was distressing just how poor I was swimming in otherwise good condition. I realized later I started way too fast, and went too early in the morning, before I had eaten anything.
Yesterday was another run, but unfortunately resulted in an injury. My left knee was a bit sore from wearing some ill-fitting boots the day before, and I wrongly assumed that the run would help it out rather than hurt it more.
We watched The Guardian today, a movie about US Coast Guard rescue swimmers. Kevin Costner plays a Senior Master Chief that, even in middle age, remains one of the best rescue swimmers in the service. After an accident where all of his crew dies, his commanding officer forces him to take on an instructor job for rescue swimmers.
Yesterday I did the Rosharon Loop again, but I had a little treat. A spring cold front hit about the same time I made it to FM 521. It made for a very fast (~ 24-25 MPH) sprint down 521 in light rain. I got to try out my Fox rain jacket for the first time and it did its job well enough. I still got soaked but my core stayed somewhat dry and I didn’t get chilled.
Today was my second training run of the year. I was able to run the entire Oyster Creek Trail without stopping, plus a quarter-mile walk on either side. The running pace was a pretty consistent 10:30 minute/mile, with the overall pace including the walking at 11:06 minute/mile. Total distance was 5.6 miles; average heart rate of 150 bpm; 728 calories burned.
Ever year after the MS150 I take up running. Last year I had the wrong kind of shoes and I stopped after only a few weeks for fear of hurting my achilles tendon. This year I went to my local Fleet Feet who hooked me up with a new pair of Mizuno running shoes that felt great and gave me some extra support for my slight pronation.
I’ve been a GPS user since the system was first available and one thing I have always wanted was the ability for navigation software to take additional factors into account when planning a route. Most systems just offer you the ability to build routes based upon road speeds, road types (highways, toll-roads, off-road, etc.), and a choice of speed or distance goals. That’s OK, but any seasoned travel knows there’s more to it than that.
My work environment at Zenoss involves working out of my home part of the time, and then spending a week or so a month at our Austin office.
Today I tried a new bicycle route. A local bike store, Sugar Cycles, has a club ride every Saturday that goes from the store out to Rosharon and back. I followed the same route they use with a few extra legs to get from my house to Riverstone Blvd.
The Houston Chronicle posted an article (one of several) about this year’s MS150. One of the statements in the article is worth discussing further:
Between January and April every year, thousands of cyclists train for the MS150 held in April. Almost every weekend has two organized charity rides that provide a great training ground for riders preparing for the big ride in April. Many of the teams also organize their own training series separately as well.
April 12th and 13th was the weekend for the Sun and Ski team this year after riding three years with the BMC Software team. BMC cancelled their support of a cycling team which left all of us on it looking for a new home. Sun and Ski is one of the largest teams in the event which gives them great perks for the start of the event. We started from Tully Stadium in Houston.
Today was The Space Race, a ride starting from Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas. La Marque is between Houston and Galveston, but closer overall to Galveston. The ride is usually the last large organized ride before the annual BP MS150 in mid-April and is always one of my favorites.
The last week of March brought about some major changes in my life. They were planned transitions, although the exact timing just happened to work out to be the same week.
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