Archive: December 7, 2008

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Mugu's wild ride

Sunday,  12/07/08  09:25 AM

Yesterday I rode a 200k (that's 130 miles), my first long ride in two months, and survived!  Yay, me.  In fact, not only did I survive - completing the rather flat course from Moorpark to Ventura to Malibu to Point Mugu to Camarillo to Moorpark in 8:05 - but I was the first to finish!  How cool is that?  I have to confess, the usual hotshots were missing; it is December, and a lot of people [apparently] had other things to do on a winter's day than ride their bikes, but still...  it was an amazing feeling to pass the leader at 90 miles and ride for two hours knowing that I was tete de la course.  I kept thinking of pro races where the breakaways are often caught by the peloton with just a few miles to go, but of course in this kind of ride there is no peloton, just a bunch of people riding, and nobody has team cars or radios or anything like that.  I did get some cramps with about 15 miles to go, and stopped at a liquor store and bought a liter of Coke (!), and kept worrying that people would pass me while I was in the store.  But in the event I won by over ten minutes.

6:30AM - off we go

Grimes Canyon - a nice descent with a strong headwind

self-portrait riding through Ventura

Channel Islands Harbour

PCH - 40 miles down to Malibu, 30 back up

these guys better watch out for rogue waves!

California dreamin' - on such a winter's day

the sky starts closing in - beautiful

Mugu rock - the focal point of the ride... almost home!

It was a beautiful day, a rather balmy 60o at the 6:30AM start and it stayed in the 70s for most of the day, cooling down a bit as some cloud cover descended mid afternoon.  There was wind - in fact a rather stiff wind - and in the way of such winds it was a headwind in every direction...  but it wasn't that bad.  And at just the right moment, as I was riding down PCH my philosopher iPod began playing...

All the leaves aren't brown
and the sky ain't gray
I've been for a ride
on a winter's day

I've been safe and warm
since I live in L.A.
California riding
on such a winter's day

So, another day spent in the saddle, my last long ride of 2008.  I ended up doing 2 centuries (100 miles) and 11 super centuries (over 100 miles), including 6 doubles (200 miles).  Amazing, at the start of the year I would never have thought it.  Who knows what next year will bring?



have you been good?

Sunday,  12/07/08  10:16 AM


Oh please Santa, I've been good...



spam be gone

Sunday,  12/07/08  11:10 PM

An update on my great second-computer-as-a-spam-filter experiment...  it is working okay.  Not great, but okay.  I still haven't decided whether it is actually better.  The part that's really working is that when my laptop is not running, my phone doesn't get a ton of spam anymore, and gets all my personal email as well as my work email.  So the original goal of the experiment has been met.  But there are side effects which are annoying...

The most serious problem is that now that a second computer is my spam filter, I have to train and edit spam on that computer instead of my laptop.  The second is that the spam filter on the second computer isn't as thoroughly trained, so I have more false negatives and suspects.  And the third is that client-side rules on my laptop about distributing email no longer work - I think because all the email is marked "read" by the spam filter computer.

Plan B would be to run Outlook on the second computer only when I'm traveling, and use my laptop as the spam filter most of the time.  That might be the right answer, but the effort of swapping might be more than its worth.  If it were only just a matter of running Outlook and not running it, that would be okay, but if I have to do anything more than that...

Um, can I just say how annoying this is?  I can?  Okay, this is annoying!  I'm going to all this trouble just to keep the riff raff off my lawn.  Blech.  Stay tuned for more...



Sunday,  12/07/08  11:48 PM

And so ends my weekend...  it rained today, but it was nothing like as cold as Chicago and Pittsburgh and Baltimore, where I watched football being played; wow, talk about cold...  brrr... I can't imagine even being outside in 16o, let alone smashing into other people.  It was fun to watch from the comfort of my office, thank you Tivo and Slingbox...  I do now have the Sunday night blues, wherein I wish I had gotten more done over the weekend.  So be it.

Today is the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.  Wow.  Thinking about that vividly recalls my Midway experience (was that really six weeks ago already?)  It was the 9/11 of its day, exacerbated by the fact that we were already at war, and by the slower and more uncertain communications of that time...  imagine how it must have felt, sitting at home, and hearing about the attacks from a scratchy radio.  And looking outside at the sky, and wondering what would happen next.  Scary. 

The Tour of California route has been revealed, and as hoped for it includes the South Grade up Mount Palomar!  Yay.  You know where I'll be on Feb 22, at the top of that climb.  And the Solvang time trial remains of course, double yay.  You know where I'll be on Feb 20, too.  Can't wait! 

Bonus thing to wonder about: we know Levi will lead Astana, but will Lance ride for him?  Will Contador?  Will Kloden?  Could be an all-star team right at the start of the season...

Scott Adams (Dilbert) blogs Google is my Doctor.  "About a year ago I started using Google Alerts to tell me whenever someone mentioned Dilbert, me, or anything about Spasmodic Dysphonia on the Internet.  About six months ago I got an alert with a link to an obscure medical publication with a report about an even more obscure surgical procedure for fixing spasmodic dysphonia.  I took that information to my doctor, who referred me to an expert at Stanford University, who referred me to an expert surgeon at UCLA.  Long story short, the operation I read about wasn't as promising as the article suggested, but the final surgeon in my travels had his own version of surgery that had a good track record. I tried it, and now my voice is normal.  I never would have found that path without Google Alerts."  This is not an isolated story.  Increasingly people are taking their medical care into their own hands, and using Google and other online tools to find information and make contacts.  A major trend in health care. 

The Daily Galaxy asks what you think will be the population of the Earth in 2050.  The best guesses seems to be around 20B; see the chart at left for the trend.  An equally important question would be, what do you think will be the average IQ of the Earth in 2050?  Hint: it will be far below 100. 

So who thought of this?  An array of 500 clocks which spells a message every twelve hours.  Cool. 

Robert X. Cringley makes a case for Steve Jobs to take over General Motors.  Boy, I don't know...  the idea that one person could turn things around is such a silver bullet, the big three U.S. carmakers have so many interrelated problems.  Brand image, consumer demand, label relations, manufacturing, finance...  it is a horribly complicated problem that defies a simple solution.  An interesting suggestion nonetheless. 

Check out this ocean sunset.  Beautiful... looks like a rendering from Bryce3D, but it's real! 

Finally, here we have softwear by Microsoft (as in tee-shirts).  I am not making this up. 





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