Saturday, January 31, 2015

Today's run

My wife and I started a running training regimen this past December. This was a preemptive move, as we both realized that between Thanksgiving and the end of winter in general we were not likely to eat as properly as we should. We managed to get 10 runs done in December and 13 in January. Despite these efforts, I still gained at least 4 pounds (and none of it muscle).

But I digress... The point of today's blog was to talk about today's run. We ran at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, and it was our furthest yet. We ran for 70 minutes in heart zone 2 (136 - 149 bpm for me), covering a distance of 5.15 miles (8.29 km). The most notable facts coming out of this run were:

  • This was the longest distance I've ever run continually, including running track and cross country in high school.
  • This was the longest amount of time I've spent running, although not as long as I've spent bicycling.
  • Neither of my sons even realized we were gone.
I'm not quite sure what to make of that third point. They both claimed to be awake before we left, although neither came downstairs. Likewise, neither came down after we got back nor asked where we'd gone. Maybe they took it for granted that we were running, or maybe it simply never entered their minds to ask at all. 

The first two points are remarkable to me. I'm not a young man anymore, and yet I find myself doing physical things that I thought were beyond me as a teenager. How can a guy that's 24 years older and 75 pounds heavier than that teenager manage to move continually for 70 minutes, much less run the entire time (an activity that I tolerate but don't take joy in)?

I hope it has something to do with staying young at heart. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

And now a word from a sponsor

<Note: reposted from Facebook>

I haven't publicized it much yet, but I recently became a Patron for an author/friend of mine via a service called Patreon ( Matt's a fantastic writer that wants the opportunity to do what he's passionate about -- writing fiction -- for a living.

I would love to see Matt be able to write professionally for completely selfish reasons. The first is that I want to read more of his stuff. The only way that's possible is if he's got the support he needs to write full-time. The second is that I gain GREAT satisfaction and fulfillment from helping people achieve their dreams. Patreon makes this a breeze while still remaining meaningful.

So far, I'm Matt's only Patron. For those of you with the means and a desire for more great sci-fi/fantasy in the world, I *strongly* encourage you become a Patron as well. For as little as $1/month, you can help Matt attain a life-long goal *and* reap the benefit of having a fantastic writer doing his thing all the time!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Credit where credit is due

I do not consider myself a shill for Google. I've never warmed to their social implementation (+Rusty hasn't been touched in at least 2 year at this point), and I take most of their tooling and search platforms for granted. I also tend to be critical of apps they produce that aren't perfect, regardless of the complexity (Google Hangouts, most recently).

With that said, let me now spend a moment telling you how dreadfully simple it was to get a website up and running, backed by Google. My original intent was to register a domain, get some free hosting from heroku, and create a blog site using octopress or something similar.

Using Google's search engine, I had found several pages that detail the process for getting up and running. When I searched for domain registration, I was surprised to find that Google offered a registration service (note that I used "best domain registrar" as my search criteria). The service is currently in beta, but seems really stable and fully functional. Within a few minutes I'd registered my vanity domain (for $12, paid from Google Wallet) and set up email forwarding.

I was next presented with some options for hosting/powering my site. At this point, I asked myself a critical question: am I going to be doing more in-depth stuff than blogging? The answer was "no" in the relatively short term. Google offered several choices for website engines, including Weebly (which I've used before and like). I decided to use Blogger (also owned by Google) as my site's engine. Blogger offers free hosting and services for simple sites like this one. Weebly has a small monthly fee, but at this point Blogger does everything I need.

After that, all that was left was customization and content. Within half an hour, I had a fully armed and operational website, and it was mostly thanks to Google (and their wholly-owned subsidiaries). This was a great experience, and for once I have nothing but good things to say about Google. Nice work, evil empire! :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

First post

Sunday morning finds me trying to avoid digitizing some receipts for tax purposes. So what do I do instead? Register a vanity domain (using Google's Domain service at $12/year) and set up a blog. That painless process is worth a blog entry, but I won't waste this first precious slot on it.

WARNING! Those of you that are familiar with my prior blog work know that I am notoriously flakey about the things. I can't even keep my social media property fed -- what makes me think I'll do better with a full-on blog?

Eh, it's worth a try. Maybe I'll find myself with interesting things to say... or at least to keep track of.

News of the day: #2 son was diagnosed with the flu. His mother took him to the doctor's office yesterday. When he got there, two interesting things happened.

  1. Representatives from the CDC game in wearing masks and asked if they could take swab samples. Apparently it's for a survey of some kind, because they aren't going to contact him -- he has to ASK for the results.
  2. The doctor wanted to do a meningitis test. #2 son had been running a very high fever (104-105F) and mentioned neck pain in the office. As it turns out, there have been a couple of meningitis cases in the county recently. The tests were motor and sensory (no blood work), and were negative. However, we're supposed to be on the lookout for symptoms. Hopefully his fever will be lower today.
Never a dull moment with teenagers, even when they're not purposefully dramatic.