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fun with gravity

Friday,  11/07/08  01:43 PM

This morning I emailed my friend Tim, asked him how he was doing (he has two new babies, a boy named Pi and a girl named Persiphone, how cool is that :), and he told me he was talking a little jaunt up La Tuna Canyon and asked would I like to join him?  Sure!  Nothing like 4 miles at 10%, that's what I always say, especially when there is a nice 15% section in the middle.

La Tuna Canyon

And so it was that I found myself having fun with gravity.  Of course the reward for climbing the hill is looking back down...

La Tuna Canyon looking down...

Bright clear day, you can see Palos Verdes peninsula, directly ahead, and to the right in the haze, Catalina Island.  You can also look up the hill to scare yourself...

La Tuna Canyon looking up...

On and on and one, at 10%+ it is...  a struggle where you peg your granny gear and just try to keep the pedals ticking over...

La Tuna Canyon - Tim climbs the steep section

Yep that is Tim in the middle of the 15% section, having fun with gravity...

La Tuna canyon view

And when finally you make it to Saddle Peak, you look back, and ... wow!  Amazing and beautiful. 

All the leaves are brown, on a winter's day, I'd be safe and warm, if I was in L.A., California dreaming, on such a winter's day...

La Tuna Canyon - looking back down

Of course the real fun with gravity starts on the descent, and because I wanted to live, I did not take any pictures.  However this YouTube video will give you a flavor for the descent.  Especially excellent is the fact that the street is one-way downhill, so that as you're descending at speed there are no oncoming cars...


Friday,  11/07/08  07:40 PM

I'm still basking in the glow of my perfect day yesterday.  Today wasn't perfect, but I still felt great feeding off the momentum.  My fun with gravity this morning didn't hurt either :)

One cool thing I did today was setup a new server in a datacenter, from the comfort of my chair in my office.  Thank you Rackspace.  Armed only with a web browser and a credit card, I was able to contract for a spiffy new 2x2 Opteron with 1GB RAM and 256GB of disk, running Win03.  Two hours later I was RDPed into the box, and four hours later I had a new test system up and running.  I love it.

It was not always so; I can remember in a previous life setting up my own datacenter, complete with raised floor, Halon fire protection, backup generator, network hardware, peering relationships with several network providers, and of course a bunch of servers which had to be babysat 24x7.  This is better :)

Curious about Windows 7?  Here's a guided tour of the Win7 taskbar from Microsoft...

Windows 7 taskbar

[ Update: This post was half-posted up to this point for a couple days while I flew to Brazil.  The full version and several other posts were trapped in the amber of my blogging tool, Citydesk.  All is now well :) ]

2001 Space Odyssey: Spaceship DiscoveryHere we have the five most scientifically plausible sci-fi movies...  2001 Space Odyssey heads the list (as it should!)

real-life Photoshop!Everybody has linked this but it is too cool not to mention; real-life Photoshop.  How excellent is that?  Very.

NewScientist reports Plucky Mars rovers on the move again.  "The arrival of spring in southern Mars is reviving NASA's two venerable Mars rovers as deepening autumn in the arctic north slowly freezes the Phoenix lander.  After hibernating for the winter on the northern edge of a plateau called Home Plate, the Spirit rover moved uphill in October to collect more sunlight.  On the other side of the planet, the Opportunity rover, which climbed out of a large crater called Victoria at the end of August, has completed the first month of a 12-kilometre trek towards an even bigger crater called Endeavour. That journey is expected to take more than two years."  How excellent, those robots are the Energizer bunnies of space exploration.

the Denon AVR-889 receiverFrom Wired: AV Receiver porn, the new Denon AVR-889.  "Denon delivers a lot to love at an excellent price. For well under a grand, you get features that just a few years ago were available only in flagship models. That includes 1080p upscaling from analog sources, Neural Surround for XM-HD radio, and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. And don't think Denon tacked on fancy formats at the expense of power: At 100 watts per channel, it manages to be Nascar-loud yet ballet-beautiful."  Fortunately they had the decency not to show the back panel :)

ACC boats racing!Wrapping up, I must note along with Scot Tempesta that the ACC boats are back!  There are of course the American's Cup Class boats in which the last America's Cup was sailed; the way things are going, it really will be the last one (the next one appears tied up in court) and it really doesn't appear that the ACC boats will ever be used in it again, whatever happens.  In the meantime they're gorgeous expensive awesome incredible machines, and it is nice to see them back on the water racing in the Trofeo Desafío Español.




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