I’m on the Twitter!

OK. I’ve become just a tiny bit more stupid. I am now on the microblogs.

I was palying with Gwibber, which is a Linux Twitter client (among other things). Seems to work a lot better if you have an account for it to follow.

So I’m on the Twitter with ID Gomer_X. If you want to follow, whatever. I might say some interesting stuff, but I’m not one to let everyone know when I’m going to work or taking a crap.  🙂

OLF Podcasters talk audio

Well, I came back from OLF 2009 with a lot of audio and a lot of notes. I’m hoping to release at least most of the audio, but it might take a while.

I got a decent recording of the Friday night “podcasts! hosts and listeners unite!” talk. This is the one where Randy and Janet were supposed to get married. They did get married, but it didn’t happen until later. If you don’t know what that means, listen to the Tech Show, episode 316.

Anyway here’s the audio, which unfortunatley starts in the middle of 3thirty introducing himself. It’s only 5 minutes long, but as far as I know, nobody has any other OLF audio out yet. Enjoy.

Off to the Ohio LinuxFest

Wow. Time just slips away. I’d hoped to mention the Ohio LinuxFest before the day it starts, but I’m running a bit behind.

As I have since 2005 I’ll be at the show this year. I’m heading up today, hoping to catch some of the early talks or just hang out.

This year I’m bringing my new Tascam DR-07 and hoping to get some interviews. Every year I take a notebook to take notes at the talks hoping to do something with them. I’ve still got 4 years worth of notebooks laying there. I guess it’s nice to have a record of the talks, but I give up on the idea of transcribing them.

Anyway, if you’re going, look me up. Should be tons of fun, as always.

OMG! Donkies

So a little over a week ago I went hiking with my usual hiking partner to Quiet Trails State Nature Preserve in Kentucky. If you didn’t know it was there you’d probably drive by it and not notice. There’s a gravel parking lot that might hold 5 cars and a small sign, but that’s it. We stopped to ask directions at a gas station and the lady looked at someone else and said “ain’t that where they built that house?” We felt confident with these directions that we’d make it. Just look for where they “built that house” and we’d be sure to find it. 🙂

The trails themselves where as advertised: quiet. We saw no one the whole time we were there. There is a big green mailbox near the trailhead that holds maps, a clipboard to register your visit and lots of roaches! We did find one trail (the westernmost leg of the Deep Hollow trail) that was blocked by downed trees. We never found the trail again and wound up taking a compass bearing and hiking off trail until we got back to the truck since we were just 50 yards out. Otherwise the trails are clear and mostly well marked.

After hiking the main trails we decided to do the short out-and-back White Tail Rest trail. Near the end, my partner stopped me and whispered “hey look over there.” After a few seconds I made out a donkey through the trees. I’ve seen deer, rabbits, snakes and lots of other things on hikes, but never a donkey. I checked later and they’re not native to the forests of Kentucky, so this one must have gotten loose from a nearby farm. I tried to slowly move close enough to get off a couple pictures with my camera phone. When I got closer than 30 feet it started snorting, twitching its ears at me and eventually moved farther away. I had a spare apple in my pack so I tossed it in the donkey’s general direction and headed back.

Here’s the best shot of the 2 I took.

Wild donkey standing in the trees, broadside to me and looking curious.

The 4 mile barrier

In March I started running again after a 5 year break. It was a lot harder getting started this time, but I’m glad I did. Back then I trained for a 5K race and after I was successful I trained for another 5K. The training program I use builds you up slowly to running 3 miles. After the race I just kept going trying to build up my mileage. When I hit 3.5 miles it was much harder than I expected and I had to slow my pace just to finish the run.

I was discouraged because until then I had steadily built up my mileage and my pace week by week. I hadn’t expected to hit a wall and it shook me up. I backed off on my running, eventually got out of the habit and quit.

I’ve learned a lot since then and today I ran 4 miles. It’s an important goal for me because somewhere in the back of my mind I was afraid of hitting that wall again. It feels great to break the barrier and now I feel like there are no limits if I just keep at it.

What made the difference? I’ve got people involved this time. I’ve got a guy I run with once a week and people to pat me on the back and encourage me. I also realize you can’t expect to keep improving at a steady rate forever. Progress tapers off and sometimes you have setbacks. I’ve been reading Hal Higdon’s book “Run Fast” and have learned a lot about training. My long runs I do at a slower pace with a focus on just finishing, and I pick up the pace on the shorter runs through the week. I’ve also learned that my mood, the weather, my diet and how much sleep I’ve gotten really affect my performance. There’s no shame in slowing down or cutting a run short if I’m feeling tired.

It’s good to reach a goal I’ve been working towards for months. As I get older I realize that there are no shortcuts. Nothing happens without work, and no goal is achieved without discipline, hard work and putting in the time week after week.