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Archive: April 27, 2008

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contemplating breathless agony

Sunday,  04/27/08  09:52 PM

This Sunday night finds me contemplating Breathless Agony, a century in which I plan to ride next Saturday.  This appropriately named ride features 12,000 feet of climbing in 114 miles, and reaches 8,443' at the Onyx summit above Big Bear Lake.  Here's what the route profile looks like:

Breathless Agony route profile

Here's the route map as plotted on Google Maps:

Breathless Agony route map

There are four main passes, the Jack Rabbit is 4 miles at 4% (max 8%), the Oak Glen is 5 miles at 6.7% (max 16%), the Damnation Alley is 11 miles at 5.2% (max 10%), and the Onyx Summit is 9 miles at 4.4% (max 10%).  That is two Cat 2s and two Cat 1s.  In fact Damnation Alley could be an HC.  This could be a Tour stage, it is that tough.

Extreme rides require extreme measures, I am considering removing my aero bars for this ride.  I won't need them, and they're just another pound to lug up the hills.  That will require rewiring my computer, but so be it.  Another key decision is whether to use bottles or a camelback; bottles are lighter, but with a camelback it is easier to drink continuously.  There are SAG stops at the top of each climb, so some don't take water at all.  I think I'll stick with my trusty camelback, this is no place to bonk.

Should be fun!


Sunday,  04/27/08  10:27 PM

Had a great weekend; we went wine tasting with friends in the Temecula area, north east of San Diego.  The wine was unremarkable and the area seems more focused on tourism than winemaking, but we had a great time anyway, capped by a wonderful dinner at the South Coast Winery Resort (I will confess, we had Heitz Cabernet with dinner [from Napa]; it put the Temcula reds in their place).

Okay, so back to the real world, let's see what's happening...

More interesting than Microsoft's bid to acquire Yahoo is Microsoft's struggle to figure out what to do about Windows XP.  Of course they had previously announced XP would no longer be sold after June 30, but millions of their customers would rather keep buying XP than switch to Vista.  In fact Dell, HP, and Lenovo have all listened to their customers and are planning to ship machines "downgraded" to XP after June 30, exploiting a loophole in their license agreements with Microsoft.  This situation pits Microsoft against their customers, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft blinks.  I think how they handle this is more important to their future than the Yahoo deal.

[ Update: Eric Sink thinks it might be the most arrogant corporate decision in history. ]

Here's what happens when you don't listen to your customers: Firefox market share climbs higher.  Safari is also doing well.  Perhaps by the time IE 9 comes out, nobody will care.

slide ruleScientific American: When slide rules ruled.  I am old enough to remember this - barely.  I definitely remember getting my first HP electronic calculator when I was in college, must have been 1977 or so...  what a breakthrough!

In the same vein, my friend Craig points out the Curta calculator, a mechanical marvel.

Probably the biggest weakness of the iPhone is the keyboard, and the biggest reason is the lack of tactile feedback.  Now C|Net rumors Apple to add tactile feedback to iPhone.  "An anonymous Apple employee says company executives are in talks with Immersion to license its haptic technology for use in the iPhone, according to a report at"  That would be cool.

Pininfarina dreamTTAC reports on a rumored relationship between Tata, the new owners of Jaguar, and Pininfarina, ace designers for Ferrari and Maserati.  Yes, please!





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