Archive: May 2, 2010

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breathless agony

Sunday,  05/02/10  05:26 PM

Yesterday I rode the 2010 edition of the famous Breathless Agony, "the hardest century in Southern California", and man is it a killer.  Seems harder every year.  You have 112 miles, 12,000' of climbing, and the summit is the 8,400' Onyx Pass above Big Bear Lake.  Not to mention heat in the lowlands and freezing breeze near the top, where the mountains are covered with snow.  My favorite part is the climb from checkpoint 2 to checkpoint 3, where you go from 3,000' to 6,000' in 11 miles in one long unremitting ascent, two hours at 7%.  Yikes!

Anyway it was great fun - now that it's over - and the scenery was *amazing* as always.  And yes, I took a few pictures:

the route: 112 miles, 12,000' of climbing, with the summit at 8,400'
the real killer is that steep section between miles 44 and 55
the descent is pretty wild - 35 miles of downhill

the flat early sections in the morning light
not too much traffic out here

Jack Rabbit trail - the first summit - features some nasty sections of road
note the snow off in the distance - that's where we're headed later

Oak Glen - the second summit - as the sun starts beating down...

and on to the third summit - 11 miles straight uphill at 7% - yikes

checkpoint 3 - smiling because I made it this far, and there's only 20 miles and 2,500' left

more and more and more climbing - the last 10 miles seem to take forever
also where - gasp! - are the oxygen masks

final straight up to the summit! - yay - 8,400'

the hills up here are covered with snow
makes for a nice icy breeze

For the record it took me 6:32 to reach the summit - pretty good.  Every year after I finish I say it's the last time, but already by the next day I'm less sore and the hard parts are forgotten...  onward!


Sunday,  05/02/10  06:31 PM

Quiet little Sunday... still in recovery from the ride yesterday... we did a little shopping (that was fun) and I got caught up on email and status and so on from last week.  I find I fall behind when I travel, and it takes time to catch up.  Have a busy week ahead, too; will be on the road *again* and next weekend I will no doubt be blogging about having fallen behind and catching up...

So... can you even believe it is May already?  May!  I must admit as I look back on this year a lot has happened, but it is *really* hard to comprehend that 1/3 of 2010 has already passed by.

You already know the United Nations is beyond parody, but this is incredible: U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women's Rights.  "Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged 'immodest.'"  I can't think of *anything* which could top this for sheer lunacy.  If I were king I would stop U.S. support for the U.N. immediately. 

This is correct: 'Immigration' isn't the problem.  "Very few Americans, on the other hand, are inherently opposed to immigration.  For the most part, the controversy we face isn't about immigration at all. It's about the systematic failure of federal government to enforce the law or offer rational policy.  There's a difference."  Indeed. 

I'm linking this just for the excellent use of the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime: iPad 3G jailbroken: same as it ever was

And you may ask yourself, what it is good for?  I found a pretty good use for the iPad last night – reading and replying to email while soaking in the bath.  Of course you have to be careful not to drop the iPad into the water, and it is kind of heavy.  Other than that, I put it firmly in the dancing bear category, cool but not useful.

BTW we can put the consistently clueless Leander Kahney in the "I'm confused about Flash" category. 

Here we have the Palm Pilots that never were.  In some cases there are interesting ideas, others, not so much.  My favorite is the folding screen; the tradeoff between big screen and small device remains unsolved. 

Just in case you're as much of a geek as I am, and so I can find it later: Sed: An introduction and tutorial.  The best reference I've found for this amazingly powerful and infuriating tool :)



Midway Checkup

Sunday,  05/02/10  10:25 PM

Last September I posted Midway, revisited, a rather depressed take on the preceding 12 months in which I wrote:

Has it been a good year?  No.  It has been a tough year; the first year of my second half (if so it will become) did not go as planned.  My family are great, Aperio is doing great, all the "big important things" are great, but my head is not.

It does not feel, in retrospect, like the Midway was in any sense an inflection point.  I didn't do anything differently, and nothing happened differently as a result.  I am still midway to figuring it all out.  It is ironic that the Midway has a banner saying "Welcome Home"; of course it is intended for seaman returning from war in the middle east, but for me it has another meaning; do I really live "midway"?  Perhaps I do.

Revisiting the Midway gives me an opportunity to rededicate myself to changing.  I strongly hope that when I ride by it again next year, I'll feel that this year was really a turning point.

And so what has happened since?


My family are still great, Aperio is still doing great, all the "big important things" are still great.  But in the past 6 months my head has changed a lot.

Maybe it was the realization that I wanted to change that did it.  I gave myself permission. 

If you didn't know me then and met me, and met me again right now, you probably wouldn't see the difference.  But if you read my blog then and read it now, I believe you'll see it.  I just checked all posts in September 2009, and compared them to all posts in April 2010, and they just feel different.  Can you tell?

Anyway it has been quite a period of change, good change, and I am confident that when I ride by the Midway at this years' Pathology Visions conference (and I definitely plan to do so!) I will *not* conclude that I am still midway to figuring it all out.

I am probably midway to somewhere else, but I definitely took off from where I was last fall :)  Onward!



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