Last week was again a (relatively) light riding week between the storms that were rolling through the area as well as wanting to take part in the various SDM business trip activities. So I was pretty glad that the weather for the weekend looked pretty good. So woke up on Saturday morning and went out on the Quad ride. Although I was hanging just fine, my legs felt somewhat leaden. Figured it was mostly an effect of a light few weeks of riding and made it more of a point to spin rather than hammer in the big gear. Then, Kara and I headed down to her parents' as her dad's birthday was last week — ended up running a couple of errands and also having dinner before heading back home.
Yesterday, woke up and again headed out on the Quad ride. A group was planning to do Westford and Groton, so went out with them. Luckily, legs were feeling quite a bit better and so the longer ride felt less strenuous. Definitely think that things are “back” and so I'm looking forward to doing a race this weekend, although I need to decide if I'm going to head up to New Hampshire for the Bow Road Race or just do Wells Ave. Each has their upsides. Oh well, as long as I figure it out by the end of the week, I'm good. Then, I spent some time tidying up the house and just lazing about playing video games before settling in and trying to knock out the majority of the Systems Engineering homework which is due in the morning. Mostly succeeded, although I need to go over it and make sure it looks okay this evening.
Today is an in the office day and I biked in. Legs started out a little sluggish, but warmed up pretty quick. I think that the sluggishness might just have even been the whole “being on the heavy bike” after riding the nice bike all weekend and also adding to that, carrying in a bit more than I usually do in the pannier.
The day has been fairly productive, although some things haven't been where I've wanted them to be. But one by one getting some of the things taken care of for the Fedora 10 Alpha. For various reasons, the whole non-blocking freeze seems to not work so well. But so it goes. Also fixed up some kernel things for rawhide and have also been trying to make things work a bit nicer on a new piece of hardware. But more on that later.
I rode in this year's Seacoast Safari over the weekend. As with last year the route was gorgeous. The rest stops were also well stocked although I didn't take much advantage of them. This year, Kara also helped out by staffing two rest stops.
All in all a good, if slightly tiring, weekend. Good to get back into riding though after my crash a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully I can get back to a semi-normal riding and training schedule this week or next. And I may race the Norwell circuit race on Sunday although that depends on how my legs feel over the next couple of days.
FIOS install today went okay, although it took waaayyyy too long for the cable cards with the Tivo. For some reason, they weren't getting signal at all at first. But eventually got things straightened out. The process was a lot like that of a cable install, but just a bit more involved and with more steps. Installer was nice, though. And thus far, connection speed and the like seems reasonable.
Tomorrow is the Seacoast Safari. And it looks like tomorrow is going to be a scorcher. Temperatures in the mid-90s, heat index of around 100. So the key will be to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Luckily, the ride starts nice and early so that we beat some of the traffic. Unfortunately, it leaves nice and early and I still need to finish packing. So now, to go do that 🙂
Lots of things to update on, so it's probably just easiest to do a list-style update ala my good friend SPAM
- System dynamics continues to be a great class. I can actually see myself using it some to try to justify my intuition on what the outcome of changes will be and then maybe have more effective arguments against (or for) various things. Also the Beer Game was a lot of fun last week. To be fair, some of it is supply chain-y, but that just seems like it's because it's the easy examples, not because of any inherent flaw in the modeling approach.
- SDM business trip is next week. Will be good to see folks again. Will likely be a busy week though. I should actually look at what is planned
- Kara's sister's wedding was on Saturday so we went down for that. Was nice although I was tired by the end of the evening.
- Then on Sunday, Kara and I stood in line for iPhones. Line wasn't too bad but we then had extra time due to the first phone they opened for me had a bad screen. And they were good about just taking care of right away, no questions asked.
Yes, by getting an iPhone, I'm somewhat of a sellout. But it's a pretty nice phone. Although i've crashed Safari a couple of times. But having a web browser that's actually sane for, say, browsing the web is good and HSDPA is the upgrade I had hoped over edge. And realistically, it's not like the Blackberry is more open, or Symbian (although it may someday be) and Android is a farce of openness at present. I'll save my Android rant for another day, though.
- Took last week easy on the bike to let my injuries recover. But everything's feeling pretty good and the healing seems to be coming along pretty well. This weekend is the Seacoast Safari
- Need to figure out a good vacation for the break between summer classes and the fall semester
- Err, I had more to say, but I've forgotten it now. Suffice it to say that I'm sure it was interesting and would have been incredibly enlightening.
This year, I am again riding in the Seacoast Safari to help raise money to support the Cycstic Fibrosis Foundation in their efforts. Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects children and young adults. Advances continue to be made in finding a cure, but your help is needed now—more than ever—to help keep up the momentum of this life-saving research. Too many young lives depend on this vital research to let it go unfunded!
Please help me meet my fund-raising goal by sponsoring me. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively—nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education. And, it's tax-deductible. The research being done by the CF Foundation is both important and making great strides — not too long ago, the average life expectancy of a child with CF was 20. But today, one of the people that I regularly ride with has CF and yet he continues to ride on (strong!) in this as well as a couple of other events, including most recently a trip across the Canadian Rockies by bike.
The Seacoast Safari ride is a two-day ride up along the coasts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Each day is 75 (or so) miles of coastal scenery. The ride was beautiful last year and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
Making a donation is easy and secure! Just click on the link below to make a donation to my fund-raising page where your donation will be credited to my fund-raising efforts. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated!
Donating is such a simple and effective way for you to show your support for this important cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF. Once again, thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation!
If you'd like to help, you can easily donate online at http://www.cff.org/LWC/JeremyKatz7945
In addition to my racing fun yesterday, had a pretty good and full weekend. My parents were up and so on Thursday after class, I headed down to South Station to meet them. We grabbed lunch and then headed back to Arlington. From there, my dad and I headed down to the bike shop so that we could pick up a bike for him to ride on Friday. Thursday evening, we went down to Tanjore for dinner and mostly avoided getting soaked. Given the rain and everyone being kind of tired, we decided not to go down and watch the Pops rehearse and instead just headed back to the house and watched Michael Clayton
Friday morning, woke up and went out with my dad in the drizzle on the Quad ride. He did pretty well and we got in a nice 40 mile ride. By the time we got to Starbuck's at the end, the rain had stopped and it looked like it was going to be a nice day. Go figure. Then, headed down to Braintree and met up with Kara's parents for dinner. We then ended up going and watching the Get Smart movie. I was somewhat unsure how it would be as the reviews were somewhat mixed, but I really enjoyed it as did everyone else. I watched Get Smart a lot on Nick at Nite as I was growing up and so it was enjoyable a lot of the things that they pulled in. It was also good that they modernized it and tried to give some backstory. And I also thought that Steve Carrell made a really good Maxwell Smart and put his own little bits on the part rather than just trying to imitate Don Adams.
On Saturday, we took a day trip up to Vermont to visit the Ben and Jerry's factory as well as a few other things. Vermont was pretty and the Ben and Jerry's tour was cool I guess. But lots and lots of driving. I'd like to go back to Vermont, though, to spend some more time. Seems like it could be pretty relaxing and also have some good biking 😉 When we got home, spent some time watching the end of the first stage of the Tour de France.
Yesterday, my parents headed back home and I raced. After the race, came home and made some lunch and then watched the second stage of the Tour. Spent the evening between catching up on some email for work and getting started on the System Dynamics assignment for the week.
All in all, a good weekend. The next few weeks are pretty busy for me, but busy in a good way.
Raced this morning in the Wells Ave C race. After sitting in the car a good chunk of the day yesterday, my legs needed some stretching, but I felt pretty warmed up by the time we lined up on the line. We had 4 Quad riders in the group — myself, Matthew, Jim Smith and Kenton. There were also two guys from the MIT team that I knew were pretty strong. The initial strategy that Matthew, Kenton and I had was to try to get to where on the last lap, they could give me a lead-out for the sprint.
The race started out relatively sedately — the first lap was only about 22 mph but it looked like there were a few pretty strong riders within the pack. I made it a point to again stay up in the front third and decided that I'd stick with the MIT guys for a bit. By the 4th lap, things were heating up significantly and we had a very quick lap. I was working hard, but managing to stay in the front part of the pack. The preems began to be called and had the usual impact that they have at Wells — they broke things up briefly, but then things would slow down afterwards and there'd be a regroup. About halfway through, I wasn't sure how much more I had and so I sat back a bit more and tried to recover while remaining near the front of group which was up to about 24 mph at this point. I also continued to look for the rest of the team so that we could try to get organized, but the pace wasn't entirely conducive to the others getting up to the front.
With three laps to go, there was an attack by some of the stronger riders and to avoid them getting away entirely, I tried to hang on. And, for the most part, I did. Unfortunately, the remaining three laps continued at the high 26-27 mph pace. Coming around the back side of the course on the last lap, one of the other teams launched an attack sending one guy off the front and leaving another guy back to block a bit. This was more successful than usual in the C race since the front group had been riding a reasonable pace line for a couple of laps. Eventually got around him and sprinted hard, but got swallowed by the front of the chase group with about 50-100 yards to go. Placement ended up being about 10th of the 40 or so people out today and had an average over the entire race of 24.9. So not too bad, but could have been better. I need to get a better feel for when to actually jump for my sprint at the end of a race — I do well on the normal club ride, but part of that is that I know the route very very well. So it's just a matter of being able to apply that to different situations. Also, working on how to better get everyone else into position so that we can work together at the end rather than being spread throughout the field would be good as well.
Unfortunately, after going over the finish line, I hit something on the road and my bike went skidding out from under me, leaving me with some nice road rash to remember today's race by. Nothing major, but it's definitely something that I'm feeling now and will likely continue to feel over the next few days. So I'll probably try to take it a little easy so that I can heal and then, in two weeks, I'll be doing the Seacoast Safari charity ride for cystic fybrosis. And then, I think my next race is likely to be the circuit race in Norwell on the 27th, assuming I can talk a sufficient number of Quad riders into going. Having a hill on the course should be good for changing things up 🙂
With the 4th being tomorrow, this is something of a short week for most people in the US. For me, my parents are coming up to visit, so mine is even a little shorter. While they're up, we're going to try to get out and do some different things. For one thing, we're going to try to catch part of the rehearsal by the Boston Pops later on this evening rather than fighting the full crowds for the real deal tomorrow. Then, tomorrow, we're going to try to avoid crowds — I'm going to take my dad out on a bike ride with the Quad folks and then we're hoping to watch the Get Smart movie later in the day. Then, Saturday we're headed to Vermont for the Ben and Jerry's factory and a few other things. Then, they fly back on Sunday and I'm intending to race at Wells Ave. So it should be a pretty good weekend.
Got out and had a couple of nice, fast rides this weekend. Saturday was a double dinosaur for a metric century and then about fifty miles yesterday. And I'm doing pretty well at getting my speed up while still being able to do some sprinting from there. Should help a bit when racing. My original plan for the weekend had been to do the Wells Ave training race on Sunday, but it ended up being cancelled for various reasons. But, the intense training rides were a good substitute. And then hopefully I'll get down to Wells Ave this Sunday instead.
Otherwise, a pretty uneventful and low key weekend.
Then, spent today in the office taking care of a few things. Ended up spending a lot of time talking with people about various things and made little progress on my attempt to get us down to one set of keyboard data. I think that the quickest route to actually making this happen is going to be to take the Debian ckbcomp perl script and just pre-run it against the xkeyboard-config data into a package for the “primary” keyboard maps. And then if you want to generate your own for an abnormal case, you can. Eventually it would be nice, though, to get ckbcomp written in C and do the xkb -> console keyboard mapping done at boot-time (or even within loadkeys directly). If it's something you're interested in working on, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.
Unlike many Sundays, today was actually pretty productive. I woke up this morning with the intention of getting in a good ride and I succeeded in doing so. I met up with the Quad crowd down at the shop and went out for a good, relatively high intensity ride. Kept it on the shorter side (45-ish miles), though given all of the other things that were on my plate for the day. After the ride, I picked up some Cytomax quickly at the shop and then headed home. Took a quick shower and then popped over next door for the birthday party for our neighbor's one year old. Talked with people and then bowed out so that I could spend some time working on getting the homework that had piled up done.
This was where I expected to need to spend a lot more time today and really, I'm pretty happy with what the time requirement actually ended up being. The biggest problem with the System Dynamics homework was getting VenSim working. Unfortunately, wine seems to not want to work for some reason now and thus I had to fall back to doing a full machine emulation of Windows 98 (I knew I kept that CD around for something :-). But kvm running Windows 98 seems to hit some bad code paths, so eventually, I ended up using just bare qemu. Which mostly worked, although I still had to deal with a litany of Windows being stupid. But eventually I got things up and running enough that I could install VenSim and do the homework set. Seemed pretty straight-forward and I think that thus far, I “get” what we've covered in the class.
The Systems Engineering homework I had started on some over the past couple of days in short little spurts just gathering my thoughts for the questions. So it was only a small matter of putting everything together to finish that up.
This puts me in a much better place for tomorrow than I expected as I should be able to head into work and get a good day's worth of work in without having to cut out early to finish things up. There will be some final touches to put on things, but it should be reasonable enough to do them instead when I get home rather than having to do them earlier in the day. Now, on to the folding of laundry…