My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


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    17 Dec 2009

    Why is the MTA's budget each year referred to as a "doomsday" budget? They vote on it every year, and every year it's approved, and every year they get subsidised by the tax payers and toll payers. So why is it a "doomsday" budget? They're not going out of business, although it sure seems their worker's union would like to see that happen given their demands.

    [/politics] [permanent link]

    16 Dec 2009

    Don't they have better things to do?
    It has come to my attention that Congress, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to write legislation against television commercial advertisements having a louder perceived volume than the actual programming.

    While I do sometimes find this annoying, do we really need an act of congress to outlaw this? Shouldn't our representatives be doing something better with their time, like repealing hundreds of laws that hinder the free market economy and trample the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens?

    Of course not, that would threaten their power.

    [/politics] [permanent link]

    09 Dec 2009

    Who... What are you?
    I was running earlier tonight and around mile 7 I was going up a steep, winding, dark hill. Near the top a couple was walking their dog. They saw the flashing lights on my shoes and wrists and, when I got close to them, the woman said, "We were trying to figure out what you were."

    "I'm a runner."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    05 Dec 2009

    Hibachi in Ballston. People in VA are still afraid of snow.

    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    01 Dec 2009

    It's amazing how a simple email containing only a smiley emoticon can brighten one's day.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    30 Nov 2009

    Product Review: ASICS Cumulus-11
    This is the third installment of my running product reviews. Last time I said I'd discuss my "current running shoe" but my again I'm a liar. I'm still going to discuss the ASICS Cumulus-11, but it is no longer my current running shoe.

    I purchased the Cumulus-11 based on my love of the Cumulus-10, without really trying them. This turned out to be a mistake. The Cumulus-11 is a fine update to the Cumulus-10; however, the changes are better for some runners than others.

    The heel of the Cumulus-11 is noticeably firmer than that of the 10. Because of this change, I no longer get adequate compression and cushioning from these shoes. These shoes are not as firm as the Tailwinds previously reviewed either and are closer to the Cumulus-10 than to the Tailwinds. I never had the feeling of running in clogs with the Cumulus-11, but they were firm enough that old injuries were aggravated.

    The Cumulus-11 is still on store shelves (at least it was at Fleet Feet this past weekend) and should also be available on-line through retailers such as EastBay. I recommend this shoe to a runner who liked the feel of the Cumulus-10 but had issues with it being too soft.

    Next time, we'll discuss my current running shoe, the Nike Vomero+ 4. No really, I have three pairs of these to burn through, I'll be using them for a while.

    [/running/reviews] [permanent link]

    23 Nov 2009

    The night before I woke up every hour, looked at the clock, said "I have N hours before I need to get up" and went back to sleep.

    I lost a lot of fluids because I couldn't turn the temperature in the room down and spent the night sweating. When I got up I drank a lot of water and GuBrew, but as it turns out, not enough.

    The weather was good, about 46 at the start. It was sunny, which was quite a problem when I got a migraine at mile 8. It took me about a mile to get my imitrex out of my pocket and actually take it. At the half I was still close to the 3:20 pacer and I considered taking the turn for the finish line, but decided to keep going.

    As the nausea from the migraine subsided, I started getting a stomach cramp. At mile 17 I stopped at medical. After some back and forth the decided the cramp was likely due to dehydration and they made me sit and drink in front of them for 15 to 20 minutes before they cleared me to continue.

    After that I went on my way at a much slower pace. At about mile 24 one of my teammates, Tom, caught up to me (this was his 19th race at marathon or greater distance). He paced me and got me through to the end.

    I ended up finishing at 3:55:46, far off from my goal. But now I know I can finish the distance so it's just a matter of doing it faster. I'd like to get two more in before New York next November.

    Right now, I feel much better than I thought I would. It was weird, when I woke up this morning, I was walking around the hotel room for a half hour feeling just fine. Then I put my shoes on and everything from my feet to my shoulders started hurting. That's more-or-less subsided now, thankfully.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    18 Nov 2009

    SATA Weirdness update
    A BIOS update from Intel corrected this issue.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    08 Nov 2009

    Beavertown Fall Classic 5K
    Saturday morning was the third(?) annual Beavertown 5K. I had been training with a group of people for the two months leading up to the race. We registered as a team for the event, the Beavertown Runners.

    I set out with the goal of finally breaking 20 minutes. With Philly so close I decided the PR wasn't worth risking an injury and I'd slow down if something felt off.

    I didn't slow down. I finished in 6th place overall with a new PR of 19:51. The team rankings were determined by each team's top 3 finishers and, in our category, the Beavertown Runners took first.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    02 Nov 2009

    19 days 23 hours...
    Just under 20 days remain until the start of the Philadelphia Marathon. Last week I ran 60 miles and felt pretty good; my hamstring and iliotibial band are healing nicely.

    I've gotten some advice from some people who have run Philly before and I'm thankful for that. Among other things, they stressed the importance of tapering. It's going to be difficult to run less when I feel so good.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    31 Oct 2009

    NJ Governor Endorsement
    I officially endorse anyone who is not Jon Corzine.

    [/politics] [permanent link]

    29 Oct 2009

    Last night I ran...
    15 miles because I felt like it, again.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Oct 2009

    I just ran...
    15 miles because I felt like it.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    23 Oct 2009

    Android Lust Resolution
    Excellent music. Go check out Android Lust now.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    19 Oct 2009

    C#, XNA, and 8 Queens
    I spent some time this weekend learning some C# and getting working a bit with the XNA framework. I implemented a solution for the 8 Queens problem in C++, then ported that class to C#. After getting that working in Windows, I started moving it to the Xbox.

    It works there with little issue, but, as expected, writing to system.console doesn't produce useful output. My next step is to get some sort of graphical representation of the chessboard displayed with the solution set.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    17 Oct 2009

    As of this morning, I am now a member of the XNA Creators Club.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    14 Oct 2009

    Staten Island Half Marathon
    Sunday was the Staten Island Half Marathon. I've been dealing with overuse injuries as of late, my IT-band has been acting up and I strained my right hamstring.

    I wasn't sure if I'd be running or not, and the temperature was predicted to be in the low- to mid-50's, so I wore my coldgear; I didn't want to end up with hypothermia again if I was standing around for 2 hours in shorts.

    It turned out that one of my teammates, Liz, wasn't sure if she'd be able to finish. We decided to run together. And we did. We finished with the exact same time of 2:34:00. I kept her from stopping and she kept me from going to fast and re-injuring myself.

    It took me an hour longer to finish the race than it normally would, but I think it went quite well. My hamstring actually felt better after the run. My IT-band was a little sore the next day, but it was better by Tuesday.

    Running at the slower pace, I was able to actually look around and enjoy the scenery. The shores Staten Island were not as bad as I was expecting. Over all, it was a good recovery run. A 13.1 mile recovery run.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    It has come to my attention that searching bing for pictures of closed doors yields pictures of my DeLorean.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    Self Documenting Code
    Despite what you think about your code, it is not self documenting. When writing code add comments, describe what a function does, explain why you're using that convoluted pointer arithmetic and bit shifting. I'm sure it makes sense now, but someday you'll have to go back and look at it and figure out what the hell you were doing. Or worse, I'll have to go back and look at it and figure out what the hell you were doing.

    Sometimes it is important to have some sort of separate documentation for the code; maybe some UML or ER diagrams, maybe some English text. Use what ever it takes to explain what you were doing. Do not paste snippets of your code into the text and call it documentation.That is not documentation, that is code.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    11 Oct 2009

    AFI: Starland Ballroom, October 10, 2009
    Show was great last night. Here's the setlist from the show:

    • Torch Song
    • Leaving Song Pt. II
    • Veronica Sawyer Smokes
    • Ever and a Day
    • Kill Caustic (With Lou Koller of Sick of It All)
    • End Transmission
    • Love is a Many Splendored Thing
    • Beautiful Thieves
    • Dancing Through Sunday
    • Leaving Song
    • On the Arrow
    • Death of Seasons
    • Medicate
    • Love Like Winter
    • Just Like Heaven
    • Miss Murder
    • Silver and Cold

    I'll write more later, now it's time to get ready for the Staten Island Half Marathon.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    04 Oct 2009

    It exists
    As part of the DeLorean's restoration, I've been considering a backlit dash. I had considered sticking with the stock dash with the white light bulb in front of the gauges, but I thought a red backlit display would be better for night vision.

    Then came the issue of whether or not something like that exists. Turns out it does. Speed Hut carries a line of customizable gauges for the DMC-12 as part of the EL-Glo line.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    02 Oct 2009

    Gmail and mutt
    I like mutt. Of all the mail clients I've used over the years, it sucks the least. It works well with my mail server.

    Despite having my own domain and mail server, I still use gmail for certain things; things I don't mind being retained for 3 years after I delete them, or more specifically, things I want retained for 3 years after I delete them.

    I don't like the gmail web interface. I find checking my gmail to be annoying because of this. I remembered gmail offering POP and IMAP. I figured I could use that to get my gmail. Shouldn't be too hard right?

    A quick search of Mr. Yahoo and Mr. Google gave me two good starting points: Lifehacker.com and MattCutts.com.

    I read the sites and the getmail man page and figured out what I needed to do. First I enabled IMAP for my gmail account. Next, I created the .getmail directory in my home directory then created a getmailrc file there. I want all gmail mail to be delivered to a specific mbox file without going through my normal mail delivery channels. The contents of the getmailrc file are quite simple:

    type = SimpleIMAPSSLRetriever
    server = imap.gmail.com
    username = username@gmail.com
    password = usernamespasswordgoeshere
    mailboxes = ("inbox",)
    type = Mboxrd
    path = /usr/home/mforde/Mail/GMAIL
    The retriever section defines how getmail will retrieve the mail. In this case it uses IMAP over SSL to connect to imap.gmail.com. The mailboxes setting can be used to specify only certain gmail labels to retrieve, but I want anything in the inbox.

    The destination section tells getmail what to do with the mail once it has grabbed it from gmail. This configuration dumps it into an mbox file I've named GMAIL.

    I chose IMAP over POP because of the slightly-less-than-documented "feature" of gmail only allowing 99 messages at a time over POP.

    So to get the initial batch of 7000+ emails, I ran
    > getmail -vvv -l 
    to get verbose output and to leave messages on the gmail server. When that was done I pointed mutt at the GMAIL mbox and like magic, there was my gmail, organized nicely in my terminal.

    Now, I want to check to get the latest mail fairly often, and I don't want to download messages already copied over. To accomplish this, I added a crontab to run every 10 minutes and invoke
    getmail -l -n -q
    This tells getmail to leave copies on the server, only get new messages it hasn't already retrieved, and be quiet about it.

    This has worked out well for me. If you're interested in setting up something like this, I highly recommend reading the article at matcutts.com. That article also links to several sample getmailrc files.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    Happy Anniversary
    The Twilight Zone premiered 50 years ago tonight. Slashdot has a bit about it.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    01 Oct 2009

    Marathon Tune-UP
    This past Sunday was the Marathon Tune-Up, an 18 mile run through Central Park. My goal was to run it maintaining roughly a 7:30/mile pace. I had set a range of 135 to 140 minutes for myself. I would have been satisfied with any finish time in that five minute span.

    At the 10 mile mark, I was averaging 7:27/mile. During that 11th mile, I decided to use a Gu energy gel. I was still feeling pretty good at that pace and I was hoping to time the gel right so as to not "hit the wall" at mile 14 or 15.

    Instead, the gel started giving me stomach cramps. At mile 12 I was still well under an 8 minute pace and at the half-marathon mark, I was a minute off my best official half. I was clearly slowing down as the stomach pain increased.

    I struggled through miles 14 and 15, alternating running and walking every quarter mile. By mile 16, I could not run. The pain was almost unbearable. I ended up walking the last two miles, in the rain, with all my blood concentrated in my core, dealing with the Gu in my stomach. By time I crossed the finish line, I was a half over my 135 minute goal and had almost no feeling in my hands or feet.

    I went to the medical tent and told the volunteer that I had severe stomach cramps and I was so cold that I couldn't feel my hands. He responded, "We don't got no blankets or nuthin' so we can't do nuthin' for ya." So I walked away.

    I went to the tables where volunteers were handing out gatorade and pretzels. I stood there, shaking, until another runner came up to me and asked if I was okay. Before I knew it, another runner was keeping me from falling over while the first runner was coming back with two NYRR volunteers. One of them wrapped me in a plastic bag to keep the rain off while the other went for help. I explained what happened at the medical tent.

    Two more people from medial came back and put me on a gurney and took me back to the tent. I told them what had happened at the tent and explained what I was feeling. At the tent I removed my soaked shirts and was wrapped in a mylar sheet and two blankets. I pointed out the guy who told me they couldn't do anything for me.

    I managed to get in touch with my fellow Giraffe who ran back to our car to get my dry clothes. After about a half hour or so, I was feeling much better and feeling had returned to my extremities. I got in my dry clothes and my teammate and I walked back to the car.

    So taking a Gu ended up with me being treated for hypothermia. I had had mild stomach irritation when using Gu in training, but never this bad. I'm glad I found out now instead of next month in Philadelphia.

    during my 22 mile training run at the Tourne, I used prepared bottles of GuBrew and Gu2O. These liquids never caused the irritation that the gel did, so I should be okay using them during the race.

    I've purchased a bottle that gets strapped to your hand for the purpose of carrying the GuBrew with me. I filled it with water and ran with it on the treadmill last night. It seems a little awkward, but it shouldn't be too bad. I'll use it to carry the GuBrew with me during the Staten Island Half Marathon on the 11th and see how that works out.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Sep 2009

    Fifth Avenue Mile
    The results are in. I did the mile in 5:34, three seconds faster than I had ever done in training. One mile down, 18 more to go tomorrow morning.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    25 Sep 2009

    A Weekend at the Races
    Tomorrow is the Fifth Avenue Mile and Sunday is the Marathon Tune-Up. I'm looking forward to both. If all goes well, I should be done with tomorrow's race in under six minutes. Sunday's race I'm aiming for a time between 135 and 140 minutes. We'll see what happens...

    [/running] [permanent link]

    21 Sep 2009

    Hope Chest
    A conversation I had while helping some friends move:

    me: So what do they keep in this hope chest?
    Jaxon: Hope.
    me: So that's why it's so light.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    18 Sep 2009

    Product Review: ASICS Cumulus-10
    This is the second installment of my running product reviews. Last time I said I'd discuss my "current running shoe" but my training has turned me into a liar. I'm still going to discuss the ASICS Cumulus-10, but it is no longer my current running shoe.

    At this point, the Cumulus-10 can still be found, although supplies are limited. I recently tried to purchase a second pair of these and was unable to find them in my size. I could have had a 9.5 or a 12, but not the 10.5 I needed.

    When the Nike Tailwinds no longer provided adequate cushioning, I had to find a new shoe, one that would work for a lighter runner. After reading reviews online and in magazines, particularly Runner's World, I went over to Fleet Feet in Montclair and talked to the sales staff there.

    After trying on a few pairs, I decided on the Cumulus-10 but wanted to wait until after the Brooklyn Half Marathon, a week away, before breaking in new shoes. This is not what happened. Because of the lack of cushioning in the Tailwinds, I ended up with horrible shin splints during my lunch time run the day before Brooklyn. I called up fleet feet, asked them to hold a pair of the Cumulus-10s for me and I picked them up that evening. I ran in them for the first time the next morning in the Brooklyn Half.

    Those shoes were amazing. They were soft enough to provide the compression needed for good cushioning at my weight. And while they were soft, they weren't mushy either. The ASICS GEL cushioning system is in place in both the heel and the forefoot, providing ample shock absorption for heel strikes and mid- to fore-foot strikes.

    The toe box was slightly narrow, but starting the laces one hole up from the bottom provided enough extra space while keeping my foot firmly in place.

    The sole in the forefoot is wide; wider than the sole in the Tailwinds. This provides support for the foot during the toe-off portion of the stride.

    The Cumulus-10 served me well until I had put just under 600 miles on them. At that point the cushioning was worn down and not as effective as it once was. I retired them about a week after the NYC Half Marathon in August giving me about 12 weeks worth of running. In actuality, I should have retired them after about 10 weeks.

    I recommend the ASICS Cumulus-10 for lighter runners with normal to low arches. Left over stock of the Cumulus-10 can be found at EastBay's website for $69.99 (both men's and women's), although many sizes are unavailable at this time.

    Next time, we'll discuss my current running shoe, the ASICS Cumulus-11. I've been slacking a bit so I only have about 250 miles on this pair so far. Hopefully I'll post the review before I hit 500 miles and retire these.

    [/running/reviews] [permanent link]

    17 Sep 2009

    Can't Argue with That...
    Well, I have to admit it; there's one issue I agree with Obama on: Kayne West is a jackass.

    [/politics] [permanent link]

    16 Sep 2009

    The Biggest Loser
    Last night was supposed to be my night off. My IT-band and my hamstring in my left leg have been tight the last few days so I spent some time stretching, but that was to be the extent of my workout.

    I started watching the season premier of The Biggest Loser. After about a half hour of that, I felt "motivated" and I spent an hour core training. Watching those contestants at such an early stage of the game made me remember what I have accomplished, how hard I worked for it, and that it will be a never ending battle.

    Sure I'm running 50 to 60 miles a week now. Sure I'm spending hours weight lifting and core training every week. I've taken my BMI from 36.5 to 20.0, and now begins the next phase, keeping the weight off. I can't become complacent. If I do, I will have lost.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    11 Sep 2009

    TBMChicago has some live footage of The Birthday Massacre as well as galleries of photographs taken during performances and after shows hanging out with fans.

    I'm a little shocked that it's taken me this long to find this site. But then again, I'm usually out of the loop on things so maybe it shouldn't be too surprising.

    I'm waiting for the DVD release of Show and Tell. I haven't found a release date yet, but I could just be out of the loop yet again.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    26 Aug 2009

    Product Review: Nike Tailwind 2008
    Welcome to a new feature on this blog. I'm going spend some time writing what I think of various running related items such as shoes, clothes, and energy gels.

    My first review is the Nike Tailwind 2008 running shoe. At this point, they're a little hard to find as they have been replaced by the Tailwind 2009. From what I've read about the 2009 edition, not much has changed so much of this should still be relevant.

    What first drew me to this running shoe was the Air Max cushioning. Like many Nikes, the heel contained the Air pockets. Unlike many other Nikes, these also had the Air Max cushioning in the forefoot.

    I tried them on and they were snug, but not too tight. Perfect. They were already on sale by time I was buying them. Even better.

    I ran about 400 miles in my first pair in about six months time, and replaced them with another pair which lasted about another four months. During this time the shoes served me well on treadmills as well as road and trail courses.

    These shoes, however, are best for heavier runners. The cushioning is very firm and needs extra weight to compress properly for maximum impact absorption. When I first started wearing the Tailwinds, I was about two months into my training and was about 210lbs. As I ran more, I lost more weight. At 180lbs the shoes were still quite good. At 160lbs they still provided adequate cushioning, although I started to feel my runs more.

    The Tailwinds served me well until I was under 140lbs. Below that and they feel like running in clogs.

    I recommend the Nike Tailwinds for heavier runners with normal to low arches. The men's Tailwind 2009 can be found on the EastBay website for $79.99 (99.99 for women's) as of this writing, making them a relatively affordable running shoe.

    Next time, we'll discuss my current running shoe, the ASICS Cumulus-10.

    [/running/reviews] [permanent link]

    25 Aug 2009

    FreeBSD 8 Beta 3 Available
    FreeBSD 8.0 Beta 3 is now available for download. The final release is expected in about a month.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    Getting closer...
    Only 89 days remain until the Philadelphia Marathon.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    17 Aug 2009

    NYC Half Marathon
    Yesterday was my worst half marathon yet. While standing in the corral for almost an hour before the race start, I developed a migraine which became progressively worse as the day went on.

    Around 6:30am, I saw some flashing white lights out of the corner of my eye. Figuring it was someone with a camera, I looked over only to see that there was no one with a camera standing there or walking away. Then I realized the flashes were the aura. At that point I knew it would be a bad day.

    My split times illustrate the progression of the migraine including the nausea, blurred vision, and dizziness:

    5K: 0:23:42 (not too bad)
    10K: 0:47:32 (still okay)
    15K: 1:14:45 (feeling nauseated)
    20K: 1:46:09 (trying hard not to vomit in front of officials that will pull me from the race)
    final: 1:51:49 (I'm not dead yet!)

    Out of about 15 to 16 thousand people that signed up, about 10 thousand finished.

    Yesterday was apparently day 1 of a heat wave, and the humidity was quite high. At the start of the race, the air temperature (in Fahrenheit) plus the humidity percentage number was 151. At 152 and higher the risk of heat stroke increases significantly, or so I read in Running Times.

    Only one member of the Giraffes met her goal. We're really proud of her. Not only did she meet her goal, but this was her first half marathon.

    All four members of our team that ran finished, but we all agreed on a new rule: no summer races longer than 10K.

    Despite the horrible weather conditions, and other problems, I'm glad I ran this race. My time was far from my best, but now I can say I ran through Central Park, down 7th Ave to 42nd, through Times Square and out to the West Side Highway and down to Battery Park. Seriously, how cool is that?

    ABC had a special broadcast last night at 11:35PM recapping the race. I recorded it and am looking forward to watching it sometime today.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    13 Aug 2009

    Removing Windows 7 Boot Loader
    Removing the Windows7 boot loader is just like removing the Vista boot loader. The key being running the command

    \boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force
    from the Win7 install DVD. More info at this site.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    11 Aug 2009

    I want to believe
    Running never takes more than it gives back.
    Believe in the run.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    08 Aug 2009

    Windows 7
    I installed the Release Candidate (build 7100) of Windows 7 on my workstation today. I'm using it as I write this post. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be using it. I suppose I'll be using it at least until FreeBSD 8.0 is released.

    The Aero interface seems to have been polished a bit since Vista. This is both good and bad. It's good in that I've been able to customize it to be almost as usable as the XP and "classic" UIs. Almost.

    It's bad in that it's too user friendly. It's as though the designers have such a low opinion of the users' intelligence that they went out of their way to hide how the system works. It's like Microsoft wants to be Apple.
    Don't be Apple. You're better than that.

    Parts of the UI seem to get in the way. The window decoration draws much attention away from the actual task at hand. Moving the mouse pointer out of your way can lead to more things in your way. Hovering over the wrong spot leads to pop-up thumbnails of open applications. Or all the windows become transparent hiding you task and showing you the desktop.

    I'll try it out some more, but I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to the "classic" Win95-Win2000 UI. Even in that mode, the explorer shell is just different enough to be annoying.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    04 Aug 2009

    Race Against Crime and Drugs
    The Hoboken Race Against Crime and Drugs was last night. The Giraffes were split into three three-person teams. Unfortunately, two members were unable to run last night. However, two of the more recent additions to the Giraffes stepped up and joined the race.

    My right calf was still sore at the start of the race, but felt better after about a mile. By that point it was too late and I knew I wouldn't PR, but I did fairly well keeping my time under 21 minutes and finishing number 79 of 609.

    The team consisting of Brian, Liz, and me did fairly well and placed 7th in overall team competitions with a combined time of 1:13:46. Had our second team not been a runner short, they likely would have done well enough for 8th or 9th place.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    03 Aug 2009

    Race Against Crime and Drugs
    The Hoboken Race Against Crime and Drugs is tonight. Online entry is closed but race day registration should be open this evening for anyone who wants to run and hasn't signed up. The race starts at 7PM on Pier A.

    The Giraffes are splitting into three subspecies for tonight's race. We have three three-person teams running with a little friendly competition going on. I hope I don't let my sub-team down tonight.

    I'm not feeling very fast. In fact, my right calf is still sore from the speed work I did at the track yesterday. I ended up doing about seven and a half miles of intervals and sprints over the course of about an hour.

    Hopefully it won't be too bad once I get warmed up. The 5K course in Hoboken is fairly fun; flat and alongside the Hudson River for most of the way.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    27 Jul 2009

    Epic Failure
    I started out in the Tourne on Saturday morning and ran the first five loops pretty well. The hilly 13.5 miles went fairly smoothly and I felt like I had a lot left in me.

    Around mile 16, the hills started to take their toll and I noticed I was slowing down. At about mile 18 my calves were on fire and "Killer Hill" reclaimed its title.

    I completed 21.6 miles and had only two loops left to reach the goal; however, a quarter mile down the first hill was more than I could take. At the bottom of the hill, mere feet from the first uphill, I stopped, turned around, and walked back up to my car.

    My right calf was still sore yesterday and is a little tight today.

    With only 117 days until Philadelphia, I'm starting to get nervous.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    24 Jul 2009

    Only 23 days remain until the New York City Half Marathon. Much like every other race, I don't feel prepared for it. But the race I feel the most unprepared for are usualy the ones I get a PR.

    I feel like I should be training harder. I'm averaging between 50 and 60 miles per week and I don't think it's enough. The Philadelphia Marathon is only 120 days away. And as of today I still haven't run anything over 20 miles.

    So the plan for tomorrow morning is to run more than that. I decided months ago that I'd run at least a marathon distance by the end of July. Tomorrow I plan run 27 miles. I have a 2.7 mile loop planned out and I'm going to run it 10 times. I imagine it will quite boring for a while in the middle, but it will certainly be a challenge by the end.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    DMC Houston
    It looks like the DeLorean needs some non-trivial work done on it. The mechanic I had taken it to found an issue he's not equipped to deal with. My first call was to DMC Houston where I talked to Stephen.

    He was friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. He said he'd work with me and Dave at their facility in Chicago to figure out what the extent of the work would be and the best way to approach it. Odds are the car is going to have to be shipped to Chicago for a few weeks.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    23 Jul 2009

    Highway driving
    On the way to the mechanic yesterday, I had the DeLorean out on 287 South. Near one of the Boonton exits, a guy in old Stingray pulled up next to me on my right. I looked over, he looked at me, and we gave each other a nod. I sped up a bit to keep with the flow of traffic and he moved as if exiting soon thereafter.

    This was my longest trip with the DeLorean thus far, and also the fastest I've ever driven it. And no, I still haven't gotten it to 88mph.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    22 Jul 2009

    Verizon Wireless Classic Update
    All of the results are in and the team rankings have been calculated. We ranked 12th of 144 men's teams putting us in the top 8% for the day. The rankings were determined by the top three runners for each team. I was the second runner from my team that night.

    My disappointing time of 20:48 put me in at number 108 of 3451 which means I finished in the top 3%.

    Maybe it wasn't as disappointing as I initially thought.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    17 Jul 2009

    July Update
    Tuesday night was the Party with Purpose 5K in Hoboken. I did much better than last year, but I'm a little disappointed. They only had it set up to record gun time rather than net time. The actual start line wasn't marked very clearly either. Officially my time was 20:20 but if it took me more than 4 seconds to cross the start line, then I got a PR. But the world will never know.

    Last night was the Verizon Wireless Classic 5K corporate challenge race in Morristown. They calculated net time, but rather than reading the RFID tag as you cross the finish line, there was a guy about 10 to 15 feet past the line waving an RFID reader wand over your tag. So you cross the line... and stop running... and walk a bit... and then your finish time is recorded. Other than that, it was a decent run. I was again disappointed in the results, finishing in 20:48.

    I may try the Teterboro 5K at the airport tomorrow, or I may just do a 20 mile training run. I haven't decided yet.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    It's like I'm 16 again
    You'd think I would have learned to drive by now. I've had the DeLorean for a month now and I'm still a little shaky coming off stop lights and signs but over all I'm better. I've only driven it a handful of times and I should really be driving it more often if I want to get better.

    I'm thinking of adding a separate section to the site dedicated to the DeLorean and every step in the process of acquiring it. I found a lot of useful information on the websites of other owners that helped a lot.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    I think I'll take the DeLorean today...
    After taking the Pontiac to inspection this morning, I got the urge to drive the DeLorean. I need to drive it more anyway so I think it may be joining me on some errands this morning.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    11 Jul 2009

    I Survived Julyapalooza!
    My friend had his annual Julyapalooza Barbecue in Brick today. This time I made it through the day without any near-death experiences!

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    09 Jul 2009

    "Why the hell don't the plugins have proper documentation"
    I had to pick up something in Fair Lawn for a friend this evening. It was later in the evening, well after rush hour but there was still a good amount of time before the sun went down so I decided to take the DeLorean out.

    I got her out on Rt 80 and she handled beautifully. The turns on the entrance and exit ramps felt better than in my Pontiac. I was a little nervous about over-steering because of the rear mounted engine, but it wasn't an issue.

    When I arrived at my destination, I got some looks from a woman walking her dog and some guys across the street working on something in their garage/driveway. I had a bit of an issue getting back on to 80 due to a construction vehicle and an a-hole in a BMW, but everything else was fine. I'm getting much better at driving it.

    On the way home at the 80/23/46 interchange a minivan pulled up beside me and beeped their horn. I looked over and they gave me a thumbs up.

    It was most triumphant.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    07 Jul 2009

    Dommin's new EP is out now. You can find it at your nearest Hot Topic. It's 4 songs and only $1.99. They have a full length album due out in a couple of months. In the meantime you can support them by buying EP and seeing them on tour.

    I was fortunate enough to see them back in April with The Birthday Massacre, and talk with some members of the band after their set. Not only are they a great band, but they're actually pretty cool people too.

    And while you're at Hot Topic purchasing the EP make a donation to the hot topic foundation. The proceeds go to fund music and art programs in schools. If you ask me, and by reading this blog you have implicitly asked me, it's a worthy cause.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    01 Jul 2009

    Countdown to Philly
    Only 144 days remain before the Philadelphia Marathon. There's still plenty of time to sign up though.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    27 Jun 2009

    "Because you will be approached by people with questions and stupid jokes."
    I took the DeLorean when I went to the bank this morning. I pulled into the parking lot and found a space. As I got out of the car a guy around my age came running over before I could shut the door.

    He said, "I can't believe it, this amazing. I've always wanted to see one of these. Man, I was just watching the movie last night. Can I take a picture?"

    I said, "sure" and let him know that it still needed some work so it doesn't look as good as it could. He said, "It doesn't matter; it's a DeLorean."

    Later in the afternoon I went to get some more gas. I pulled into the station, shut off the car, got out and opened the hood to get to the gas cap. Neither of the attendants on duty had seen one before and both came over to see the car. They had some questions about the body construction and the engine.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    26 Jun 2009

    Sunset Classic 5M
    I got to meet Bill Rodgers tonight after the Sunset Classic 5M in Bloomfield. He was signing autographs after the race and actually spedning time talking to people. He spent a good 5 to 10 minutes with everyone, answering questions, giving advice, and just talking about running in general. He signed my race bib and we talked about the course and his diet. He really did put mayo on pizza. Hellman's. Had to be Hellman's. As he put it, "When you're burning 5000 calories a day, you're hungry." It was a pretty good race, I kept pace with the second place female finisher for almost the whole race, with number 3 not far behind. In the last 200 meters or so they both took off and I finshed a few seconds behind them. After the race I thanked the girl I had been running with for making me push myself a little harder than I planned, and congratulated her on her placing. I also made some new friends from work. I met most of the company's running team after the race and we talked about running and stuff. Most of them are in other divisions of the company so I had never seen them before tonight.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    24 Jun 2009

    "I figured I'm getting too old to run, I might as well get married."

    Acquaintance on missing a race to meet with caterers for his upcoming wedding.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    14 Jun 2009

    The new phone book is here!
    I am now officially 5% rockstar. At least I am according to the New York Times. I am now the proud owner of DeLorean #6291 manufactured in November of 1981.

doors open

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    09 Jun 2009

    On June 6th, I attended the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction concert in Holmdel, NJ held at the Arts Center. I think I enjoyed it.

    I ordered a pair of tickets through nin.com during the presale. I managed to get through shortly after they went on sale and ended up with two tickets for Section 104, Row S. This time I went with my friend from college who now lives in Virginia. He drove up for the day and had to head back down to VA the next morning.

    As per the terms of the nin.com presale, we had to pick up the tickets at the venue, just as we did for the show at the Meadowlands last Summer. We arrived shortly before the gates opened, but were allowed in immediately after picking up the tickets.

    I stopped and purchased an overpriced souvenir t-shirt at one of the merchandise stands. This time I was smarter and got a small. It fits much better than the XL I picked up in August.

    At 7:30 the opening act, Street Sweeper Social Club, took the stage. They were pretty good. Let me clarify that. The guys with instruments were good. Tom Morello was close to awesome and the other musicians were good. I wished the vocalist would have just shut up.

    At 8:15 Nine Inch Nails took the stage as Pinion played. As soon as it ended, they immediately went into Wish, quickly followed by Last. After Discipline, the band tore into March of the Pigs. The crowd exploded.

    The 19 song set, was about an hour and a half. It was an amazing show. The stage show was incredibly stripped down compared to the previous show, utilizing only lights and fog machines. It was also far more aggressive.

    At 10:00 Jane's Addiction took the stage. Unfortunately, because my friend had to leave for VA the next morning we only stayed for the first half of their hour long set. Dave Navarro was rather amazing. Eric Avery was great. Stephen Perkins was really good. Perry Farrel was certainly a good showman, but I found his voice a bit grating at times. If I have the chance, I would like to see them again.

    NIN Setlist:

    • Pinion
    • Wish
    • Last
    • Discipline
    • March Of The Pigs
    • Reptile
    • Meet Your Master
    • Gave Up
    • La Mer
    • Non-Entity
    • The Way Out Is Through
    • Mr. Self Destruct
    • 1,000,000
    • Echoplex
    • Survivalism
    • The Good Soldier
    • The Hand That Feeds
    • Head Like A Hole
    • Hurt

    Jane's Addiction Setlist:
    • Three Days
    • Whores
    • Ain't No Right
    • Pigs In Zen
    • Then She Did...
    • Up The Beach
    • Mountain Song
    • Been Caught Stealing
    • Obvious
    • Ocean Size
    • Ted, Just Admit it...
    • Summertime Rolls
    • Stop!
    • Jane Says

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    03 Jun 2009

    National Running Day part 4
    I did another 10K this evening after work. That brings my National Running Day total to 13.6 miles over 3 runs. I hope everyone was able to run today. You still have some time if you haven't yet. Happy National Running Day!

    [/running] [permanent link]

    National Running Day part 3
    Did a little over 4 miles on my lunch break at a slightly faster pace than the run this morning. Looking forward to this evening.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    National Running Day part 2
    That was fun! I got my first run completed, just over 5K. Now it's time to get ready and get off to work.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    National Running Day part 1
    Here I am ready for my first run of the day and there's a thunderstorm about to roll through. The RADAR shows it moving pretty fast. If it hasn't passed by in the next 15 to 20 minutes, I'm getting on the treadmill.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    01 Jun 2009

    National Running Day
    Wednesday June 3, 2009 is the inaugural National Running Day. I encourage everyone to get out and run. Whether your a seasoned athlete or a couch potato, lace up your sneakers and get out there this Wednesday.

    For the runners out there, make sure you run on Wednesday and try to drag some people along with you. For those of of you who aren't runners, Wednesday is a perfect day to start.

    The National Running Day website has more information about the day, and tips for people who are new to running.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    31 May 2009

    A Day at the Races... In Brooklyn
    Yesterday was the Brooklyn Half Marathon. It started in Prospect Park and made 2 loops around the park before exiting and getting on to Ocean Parkway at the 7 mile. From there it was straight to Coney Island where the race finished on the boardwalk near Keyspan Park. Approximately 12,000 people entered the race, and 9,415 people finished within the three hour time limit.

    I was aiming for a pace between 7:30 and 7:45 per mile and ended up with a 7:33 pace for the day finishing in 1:39:07, ten minutes faster than my time for the Manhattan Half. While not my best pace ever, it is a half marathon PR for me.

    Team Giraffes had a good showing. Four of the seven runners we entered finished in under 2 hours, and all finished in under 2:30. Four members of the team have completed their qualifiers for the 2010 NYC Marathon now, and another is one race away from completion.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    19 May 2009

    Random Running Related Updates
    I ran in another 10K in Central Park this past weekend. I took it a little easy but still managed to take a minute per mile off my time from the Homecoming Scotland 10K last month. It's funny how much better you can perform without food poisoning.

    I have a 3 mile race in the Financial District tonight. It was supposed to be a 5K, but the course was changed due to construction. I'd like to finish in under 20 minutes, but we'll see how it goes. I'm feeling a little sluggish today.

    The Brooklyn Half is coming up on the 30th. It starts in Prospect Park and ends at Coney Island. I'm just shooting for a better time than the Manhattan Half. The weather should be about 50 to 60 degrees warmer for Brooklyn so I shouldn't really have to worry about freezing sweat this time. My pace at shorter distances has improved quite a bit since January so I have that working in my favor as well.

    The running team is expanding. We have a new member for the Giraffes. Hopefully we'll be able to get five men and five women for each NYRR race so we can be ranked in the club standings. I don't expect we'd do very well against teams like NYAC or TRD, they seem to be fairly large teams with a lot of good runners, but it would be nice to see the Giraffes in the rankings.

    Two of The Giraffes (Liz and I) have finished our 9+1 qualification races and are guaranteed entry in the 2010 NYC Marathon. Two more will complete their 9+1 at the Brooklyn Half.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    14 May 2009

    Awesome News
    As of today I am qualified for the 2010 New York City Marathon.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    05 May 2009

    Show and Tell
    The Birthday Massacre's new live album Show and Tell is out today. Go get it! I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at their concert last weekend. It's pretty awesome.

    If you're a fan of TBM it's definitely worth adding to your collection. If you've never heard of them, the best way I've heard their sound described is as "a combination of synth-pop, black metal, and 80's new wave."

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    26 Apr 2009

    Happy Birthday

    Last night I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Hackensack. The show was at the School of Rock which is a rather small, intimate venue.

    The first act was September Mourning. I thought they were pretty good. I got to speak to Emily and Chris from the band later in the evening and they seemed like pretty cool people.

    Dommin was the next band up. The singer's got a pretty good voice and the bassist was really good. They played a cover of Depeche Mode's "People are People" and it was pretty good.

    I was a little less than impressed with I Am Ghost. They weren't bad, but I couldn't get into them.

    Early in the evening, before Dommin's set I went to the merchandise table and picked up two new shirts. Now I have TBM shirts that fit! I also picked up a copy of the new live album Show and Tell. Zimmy couldn't make it this tour, but Michelle, the girl who took his place, was just as awesome as he was.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix from their albums including songs from their three albums and the Looking Glass EP.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Red Stars
    • Goodnight
    • Falling Down
    • Play Dead
    • Weekend
    • Shiver
    • To Die For
    • Lovers End
    • Remember Me
    • Video Kid
    • Violet
    • Looking Glass
    • I Think We're Alone Now
    • Walking With Strangers
    • Blue
    • Happy Birthday
    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all.

    After the show they came out to meet the fans. I was able to get their new live album signed by Falcore, Oen, Rainbow, and Chibi. The latter three also autographed the photos I had taken with them last year and they were pretty nice about it.

    Not that anyone really cares, but these are the photos my friend took. If you view the full version, be warned that I'm in the photos too.

    M. Falcore Chibi

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    Happy Birthday

    Last night I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Hackensack. The show was at the School of Rock which is a rather small, intimate venue.

    The first act was September Mourning. I thought they were pretty good. I got to speak to Emily and Chris from the band later in the evening and they seemed like pretty cool people.

    Dommin was the next band up. The singer's got a pretty good voice and the bassist was really good. They played a cover of Depeche Mode's "People are People" and it was pretty good.

    I was a little less than impressed with I Am Ghost. They weren't bad, but I couldn't get into them.

    Early in the evening, before Dommin's set I went to the merchandise table and picked up two new shirts. Now I have TBM shirts that fit! I also picked up a copy of the new live album Show and Tell. Zimmy couldn't make it this tour, but Michelle, the girl who took his place, was just as awesome as he was.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix from their albums including songs from their three albums and the Looking Glass EP.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Red Stars
    • Goodnight
    • Falling Down
    • Play Dead
    • Weekend
    • Shiver
    • To Die For
    • Lovers End
    • Remember Me
    • Video Kid
    • Violet
    • Looking Glass
    • I Think We're Alone Now
    • Walking With Strangers
    • Blue
    • Happy Birthday
    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all.

    After the show they came out to meet the fans. I was able to get their new live album signed by Falcore, Oen, Rainbow, and Chibi. The latter three also autographed the photos I had taken with them last year and they were pretty nice about it.

    Not that anyone really cares, but these are the photos my friend took. If you view the full version, be warned that I'm in the photos too.

    M. Falcore Chibi

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    Lincoln Tunnel Challenge
    Today was the 2009 Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K run to benefit the Special Olympics. Last year's was my first race. It took me 35:51 to complete it last year ( an 11:32/mile pace). Today I went in with something to prove to myself. I came out of the tunnel with a new PR of 20:16 (6:31 pace).

    [/running] [permanent link]

    19 Apr 2009

    Run as One 4M
    This was an awesome day!

    Last week's Scotland 10K went horribly wrong due to a bit of poisoning at the hands of Macaroni Grill (40% of our team got sick!).

    Today, however, was awesome!

    Today's course was the same as the Run for the Parks which was my personal record... Until today! I finished in 26:55, shaving 26 seconds off my previous best.

    My new best pace is 6:43/mile with an AG performance of 62.6%.

    After the race we ran into Mr. G! We talked to him and he said he'd talk about the race (and mention our team) on the radio tomorrow morning! (How cool is that?!)

    This evening I registered for my volunteer duties with the NYRR, which will complete my qualification for the NYC 2010 marathon. After that I registered for Philadelphia 2009 which will be my first marathon.

    Today was pretty good.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    05 Apr 2009

    Run for the Parks 4M
    This was an awesome day!

    I ran in the New York Run for the Parks 4M this morning in Central Park. My last four mile race was the Grid Iron Classic back in February where I finished with a time of 29:12 and an AG Performance % of 57.7. (I'm at that age where my actual time is the same as my AG time).

    I really wanted to try and beat that but my IT-band had been acting up earlier in the week so I was pretty nervous and sure it wouldn't happen. I woke up this morning and felt pretty good. I did some core training and light weight lifting and then left for the race with my teammates, feeling a little more optimistic.

    I ended up having a really good first mile, running about a 7:09 pace. I picked it up a bit and ended up finishing in 27:21 and achieved an AG performance of 61.6%, beating my last 4M by 1:51.

    My new best pace is 6:50/mile, down from 7:05, and I've reached the "local class" achievement level.

    It feels so good and I have my friends to thank for this. They convinced me to run with them last year and my life has been completely transformed since then. I've thanked them multiple times for what they did, but I don't know if they'll ever know how much it really means to me.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    21 Mar 2009

    It's Saturday Night
    And where is the mikeforde? He's at home! Washing his tights!

    15K in Central Park tomorrow morning; qualifier number 6.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    09 Mar 2009

    Lincoln Tunnel Challenge
    Last year some friends convinced me to run in the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge and it changed my life. It was an amazing day and we exceeded our fund raising goal.

    This year we're doing it again. You can help support the Special Olympics (and team giraffes!) at this site.

    Any contribution is greatly appreciated.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    Yesterday I ran my best mile ever... Until...
    Saturday morning I did a half-marathon-length training run and I didn't do so well. I hit a wall at about the 15K mark and by ten and a half miles, I had some pretty bad cramps.

    Normally, I take a day off after a long run like that, but I needed to do something to feel a little better. Yesterday I set out for a 5 mile run to get ready for the 8K coming up. I thought I'd keep pace with some music and started with NIN's "Burn." My first mile was a 6:11 pace. It was my best mile ever... Until today.

    Tonight I set out for a 5K and in my first mile I broke six, finishing the first mile in 5:57. While the next 2.1 miles weren't quite as good a pace, I did break 20 minutes for the 5K.

    I want you to trip like me I want you to have fun.
    I want you to trip like I do

    [/running] [permanent link]

    01 Mar 2009 24 Feb 2009

    Can't you trip like I do?
    I got home a little early (read: on time) from work today so I was able to start running a little earlier than I have been lately. I just kept running until the runner's high kicked in, then I kept running until it started to wear off, then I ran another two miles back home.

    I ended up doing about twelve miles tonight and it felt so good. I had almost forgotten what that high felt like. Between the weather and work, my runs were averaging 3 to 5 miles and that doesn't do much for me anymore. But tonight I was able to get that feeling again.

    Oh my God, it's the best.

    [/running] [permanent link]


    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


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    12 Dec 2011

    Happy Birthday

    Last night, as an end to my 30th birthday weekend, I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Teaneck. The show was at the Mexicali Live which is a rather small, intimate venue with full table service for dining, and a bar with some really good microbrews on tap.

    The first act was A Verbal Equinox. I thought they were pretty good, especially considering they all seemed to be still in high school. Their set was pretty tight, with mostly original songs and a My Chemical Romance cover. Frankly, I think they did the MCR song just as well, if not better, than MCR. They definitely had a good rhythm section.

    The next band, who shall remain nameless, was described by some as "Armenian Industrial." I thought the music was good, but I wished the singer would just shut up. No singing, no talking to the crowd. Just. Shut. Up. Their set would have been awesome as an instrumental.

    During their set they had two "gothy cheerleaders" on stage. It turned out that one of them was my friend's niece. Kinda random.

    After their set, I ran into a couple of the kids from the first band and talked to them a bit. I told them I liked what I heard and they thanked me and gave me a CD-R labeled with sharpie containing their first recorded single. Something about that is just awesome.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Pins and Needles
    • Control
    • Happy Birthday
    • Forever
    • Burn Away
    • Shallow Grave
    • Always
    • Weekend
    • Video kid
    • Blue
    • Looking Glass
    • Lover's End
    • In the Dark
    • Horror Show
    • Red Stars
    • -- Encore --
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight

    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all. After they finished, Rainbow was on stage for a bit talking with people from the crowd. I told him it was a great show and asked if they'd be playing "Broken" at tonight's show with Dir En Grey. He said it wouldn't be in the set, but he loves that song and they'd rehearse it for their next tour.

    The Birthday Massacre on stage at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ
    A rather blurry picture of The Birthday Massacre from the show.

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    Happy Birthday

    Last night, as an end to my 30th birthday weekend, I went to see The Birthday Massacre in Teaneck. The show was at the Mexicali Live which is a rather small, intimate venue with full table service for dining, and a bar with some really good microbrews on tap.

    The first act was A Verbal Equinox. I thought they were pretty good, especially considering they all seemed to be still in high school. Their set was pretty tight, with mostly original songs and a My Chemical Romance cover. Frankly, I think they did the MCR song just as well, if not better, than MCR. They definitely had a good rhythm section.

    The next band, who shall remain nameless, was described by some as "Armenian Industrial." I thought the music was good, but I wished the singer would just shut up. No singing, no talking to the crowd. Just. Shut. Up. Their set would have been awesome as an instrumental.

    During their set they had two "gothy cheerleaders" on stage. It turned out that one of them was my friend's niece. Kinda random.

    After their set, I ran into a couple of the kids from the first band and talked to them a bit. I told them I liked what I heard and they thanked me and gave me a CD-R labeled with sharpie containing their first recorded single. Something about that is just awesome.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Pins and Needles
    • Control
    • Happy Birthday
    • Forever
    • Burn Away
    • Shallow Grave
    • Always
    • Weekend
    • Video kid
    • Blue
    • Looking Glass
    • Lover's End
    • In the Dark
    • Horror Show
    • Red Stars
    • -- Encore --
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight

    They didn't play my favorite song, "Broken," but I was not disappointed in the set at all. After they finished, Rainbow was on stage for a bit talking with people from the crowd. I told him it was a great show and asked if they'd be playing "Broken" at tonight's show with Dir En Grey. He said it wouldn't be in the set, but he loves that song and they'd rehearse it for their next tour.

    The Birthday Massacre on stage at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ
    A rather blurry picture of The Birthday Massacre from the show.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    22 Sep 2011

    When will I realize...
    I've been running for 3 years 6 months and 9 days. I've been 100 pounds lighter* for 2 years 9 months and 3 days. And I still don't feel like this is my body.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    19 Sep 2011

    I realized I haven't updated this section of my blog (that no one reads anyway) in over a year. A lot has happened since then.

    I sent my DeLorean (#6291) to DMC Houston to have the frame replaced. (A quick note to anyone buying a DeLorean from a private owner: Have a mechanic you trust get the car on a lift before you buy it). The guys at DMC found a lot more wrong with the car that had been covered up. After many conversations with Steve Wynne about the car, I decided to cut my losses and sell it for parts. I tried to live the dream, and it turned into a small nightmare.

    It was then that Steve told me about a DeLorean they had just taken in from an owner in Indiana. This DeLorean was a month older than mine (built in October of 81) and had the grey interior and 5-speed manual transmission just like mine. Everything was in great condition and it only had about 9,900 miles on it. He offered me a trade-in value for my car, far more than I thought it would be given its condition.

    After some deliberation I decided if I didn't take it, I'd never have the car and my childhood dream would be dead. I agreed to the trade-in and then I began working with James Espy about all of the details of the purchase. I continued working with Steve in regard to the work being done on the car.

    They replaced the leather on the seats. While the original leather was not cracked, it was almost 30 years old and a bit dry. They replaced the headliners and the radio, and performed a full maintenance on it. They even took it to some local car shows.

    When I took delivery of the car in early September, it had just over 10,000 miles on it.

    After a year of owning the vehicle, I've put about 1000 miles on it. And I've enjoyed every one of them.

    DMC-12 at DMC Houston DMC-12 door open at 80's Night Party DMC-12 door open night time wooded area
    DMC-12 doors closed night time wooded area DMC-12 doors open front view DMC-12 doors open rear view

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    15 Sep 2011

    The Big 4: Metallica Setlist

    • Creeping Death
    • For Whom the Bell Tolls
    • Fuel
    • Ride the Lightning
    • Fade to Black
    • Cyanide
    • All Nightmare Long
    • Sad But True
    • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
    • Orion
    • One
    • Master of Puppets
    • Blackened
    • Nothing Else Matters
    • Enter Sandman
    • ---
    • Overkill (with Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer)
    • Battery
    • Seek and Destroy

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    The Big 4: Megadeth Setlist

    • Trust
    • Hangar 18
    • She-Wolf
    • Public Enemy #1
    • Head Crusher
    • A Tout Le Monde
    • Sweating Bullets
    • Symphony of Destruction
    • Peace Sells
    • Holy Wars... The Punishment Due

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    22 Apr 2011

    This makes me sick...
    This is why I was fat. I can't believe I used to eat this way... Although the Guinness Chocolate Pudding does sound good.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    19 Apr 2011

    It's not magic, it's C.
    I love reading comments like

    /* These defined magically in the linker script. */
    I found that in the GNU Standard C Library implementation when GCC told me the the variables to which the comment referred were undefined. I guess that linker script isn't magic after all...

    [/code] [permanent link]

    18 Apr 2011

    25th Anniversary Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K
    Yesterday the Giraffes ran the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey. It was the events 25th anniversary and the Giraffes' third anniversary.

    The weather was much nicer than the previous two years with far less rain than last year and a much milder temperature than the 90+ degrees of two years ago. In fact, the weather outside was ideal for running. The weather inside the tunnel was a few degrees warmer, but still in that ideal range.

    Before the race, I met up with my friend Bobby. He's an athlete who competes in the Special Olympics. We went to school together and were on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams in high school. Back then, he and I were almost always the last two runners to finish at the Cross Country meets. The difference between us was that I was a quitter and he never gave up.

    That first time I ran this race in 2008, I failed to meet my goal 31:26. When I saw Bobby after that race, it made me think back to Cross Country. His determination to never quit was one of the influences that kept me running after that day.

    Back to this year's race...
    After talking to Bobby, I met some other friends from my town who were running (but decided not to register as Giraffes... grrr...). They, as well as the other Giraffes, were running in the second wave at 8:45. It was getting close to the start of the 8:00AM wave, so I parted ways with them and took my place in the starting area. After the standard pre-race speeches, including the announcement that this year's race raised almost $180,000 for SONJ, the gun went off and the race began.

    After a few seconds in the tunnel, my watch lost satellite reception and continued using the footpod while searching for satellites. Because it went back into the open sky search mode, I couldn't see any sort of timing or pacing information on the display. I was running blind, so to speak. Having set a PR of 19:08 in the 5K last month and a previous best of 20:16 for this course, I was hoping to just break 20 minutes. The Lincoln Tunnel is essentially a "V" shape with the second and fourth quarters of the race being uphill.

    During the second half I caught up to another runner I had seen in Weehawken prior to the start of the race. As I approached, he sped up. I said to him, "You're going to make me work for this, aren't you?"

    He replied, "I don't like people passing me. And I'm trying to catch that guy," gesturing to another runner about 50 feet ahead of us.

    I said, "Okay" and started picking up the pace a bit, overtaking the runner who had been in front of us. And I kept going. I started to feel the lactic acid in my left calf. I decided to ignore it. The feeling subsided. As I neared the end of the tunnel, I could hear the announcer calling out the finishing times. I gave it everything I had left, and cross the finish line.

    I stopped my watch and saw my time at 18:57. I knew then there was the possibility I had broken 19 minutes, but it would be close. I'd have to wait for official results. But I was too excited, I had tell someone, so I text'ed a few friends.

    I reconnected with my friends from town and the other giraffes, and told them all to kick ass and chew bubblegum. I watched as their heat started and they all entered the tunnel. I went and picked up my blanket from the registration table and tried to keep warm while I waited and watched my friends finish. It brought a huge smile to my face to see each of them, and especially Bobby, cross the line.

    The Giraffes celebrated another race and another year with our traditional post-race brunch. And the waiting continued...

    The official results were posted late in the afternoon, while I was helping a friend prepare for the flooding we're experiencing for the second time in two months. A friend text'ed just before 5:00PM with

    It was two seconds faster than I thought. It was 13 seconds faster than my previous PR set only last month. I finally broke 19 minutes, and I did it on the same course on which I ran my first race three years ago. I took 16:56 off my time in those three years. I finished 9th in my age group and 33rd overall, and for the seventh time in nine races this year, I set a new PR.

    Damn, it feels good.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    10 Apr 2011

    Acceptance, or lack thereof...
    A few days ago I picked up some dumbbells that had been left out, they were 40lbs each and I lifted them with one hand each. Three years ago the most I could lift, with both arms combined and "lifting with the legs," was 43lbs (the weight of my computer).

    Last month, I ran a 5K in 19:08. Yesterday during a speed workout I ran my two fastest 100m ever, 17.9 seconds and 17.87 seconds. Today I ran a 10K at a 6:24 pace, finishing in under 40 minutes. I've set a new PR in every distance I've raced this year except the half marathon, and that race I set a new record for myself on that particular course.

    I've put lost 126 pounds of fat and gained 36 pounds of bone and muscle. My body keeps getting stronger and faster.

    And I still can't accept my body for what it is....

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    Scotland 10K 2011
    This morning I ran the NYRR Scotland 10K for the third year in a row. The first time it was cold and raining, and I had food poisoning from eating at the Macaroni Grill the night before. (The Giraffes had a team dinner the night before and 40% of us got sick.) I ran that race at a slower pace than the 15K race a few weeks prior.

    Last year, the morning of the race was unseasonably hot and I was dealing with an ITBS flare-up. I ran that one almost as slowly as the previous year.

    All of the other 10K's I've run were always sub-par compared to my 5K and 15K times. I had never felt like I had a good 10K race. I always felt like I let myself down; like I should be doing better.

    Until today...

    Today's Scotland 10K was the first time I had a good run at this distance. When I set out this morning, my goal was a 6:56 pace, one second per mile better than my PR. Central Park was a bit chilly at about 52 degrees with an overcast sky.

    My team made our plans for meeting afterward and we took our places in the corrals. The gun went off and I started running. As soon as I crossed the starting line I decided I wanted to see how fast I could do this, how fast I could run a 10K. I wanted to see if I could break 40.

    So I ran fast and hard, watching my pace a little too closely at times. After the first mile I was warm and debating whether or not to take off the arm warmers. I decided to wait until later in the race, as one side of the park is usually warmer than the other. At about 2.5 miles I had a weird cramping feeling in the ball of my right foot, but within a few hundred meters the high kicked in and the pain went away. At the halfway point I knew I'd be close to a 40 minute finish if I kept up the pace.

    I kept up the pace until the last mile, then I sped up. I was close to the goal. I was going to make it or die trying. Well, probably not die. More likely vomit or pull a muscle or re-injure the IT-band. But not one of those problems happened. What did happen was I crossed the finish line less than 40 minutes from the time I crossed the starting line.

    For the first time, I had felt good during and after a 10K. I ran the race I wanted and the race I needed. I accomplished what I set out to do and it felt awesome.

    The official results posted a few hours later put me at 39:46, a 6:24/mile pace. This is a faster pace than my current 5 mile and 4 mile PRs. I ran at a 67.5% AG performance rating and finished 318 of 8491.

    I'm pretty pleased with myself...

    [/running] [permanent link]

    08 Apr 2011

    Why do I run?

    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    23 Mar 2011

    Lincoln Park Triathlon
    This Summer Lincoln Park will hold its first triathlon. More information can be found at www.lincolnparktriathlon.com.

    If you're not quite interested in racing it, we're looking for volunteers to help out that day.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    22 Mar 2011

    WPLJ's NYC Half Marathon Themed Phone Scam
    Yesterday Scott and Todd aired a phone scam related to the NYC Half Marathon. It's available here for now if you haven't heard it.

    I was a little disappointed in the way the guy from the running store responded. He struck me as the kind of guy that looks down on the back-of-the-pack plodders. They're out there doing their best just like the elites and everyone in between; they deserve respect too.

    Other than that, it was a rather funny phone scam; one of the best I've heard in a while.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    17 Mar 2011

    I wasn't born this way; I made myself.
    I heard that Lady Gaga song on the radio the other day, you know the one that sounds like the Madonna song, and it got me thinking. On the surface it seems to contain a very positive message about accepting yourself because you were "Born This Way." You were born like this, you were made this way, there's nothing you can do about it so be happy with it.

    I disagree. Sure, when we're born we're stuck with the genetic material passed on to us by our lineage. But we're more than that, what we are, what we become, is so much more than how we were born. And this made me think about the Incubus song, "Make Yourself." I find the message of that song to be much more positive. While the song has an overt "them vs. you" context, the general theme is one of taking responsibility for yourself and what you become.

    Was I born the way I am today? Judging from the direction my life took in the first twenty-six years, and comparing it to the last three years, the answer is no. I was born heavy, weighing in over nine pounds. I grew into a heavy kid. I was always sad and lonely as a kid. I had few friends. I rarely went outside. I never played sports. I watched a lot of TV. I ate a lot. I got heavier. I got sadder. I got lonelier. But I was born this way, right? I should have just accepted it, right?

    While I was born heavy, I didn't have to stay that way. It was my own choices that made me into the depressed, obese misanthrope I was. Despite my claims that I was born that way, genetically predisposed to those conditions, I really made myself that way.

    And then I decided to change that. I took responsibility for my life. I started exercising. I ran. I ate healthier. I lost weight. I had better relationships with my friends. I started making new friends. I became happier.

    Just as I had made myself into what I was, I made myself into what I am today. The key to this change was taking personal responsibility for myself. No longer did I use the excuse of being born that way. I knew I was like that because of my decisions and my actions. I knew through my decisions and my actions I could change. And I did. I made myself.

    "If you really want to live, why not try and make yourself?"

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    27 Feb 2011

    Why does tomorrow have to be Monday?
    Today I decided to be awesome. My friends decided to be awesome too. It was awesome.

    We packed up and drove down to Westfield and ran the CJRRC Hangover 5K. It was supposed to be held January 1, but was rescheduled multiple times due to the weather.

    I ran a PR today finishing in 19:22. I was 4th in my age group and 15th over all.

    My friends ran the race too, all except one who has a broken toe. Everyone was happy with their time and met their goals for the day, ranging from sub-25 to "eh, taking it easy, seeing how it goes..."

    After the race we went cycling. This was my first bike ride outside. I've been working with an indoor trainer for the last few weeks and this was the first time I had been on a bicycle, outside, actually moving, in about 16 or 17 years. My friends have been cycling longer and more recently than I have, so today's 17 mile ride was rather easy for them.

    I was freaking out quite a bit, but they calmed me down, gave me pointers, and just helped me out in general.

    As we rode, I got more comfortable with the bike and I realized comparing this bicycle to my last bicycle is like comparing my DeLorean to my old Mercury Sable. It takes a while to get used to the differences, but once you do it handles far better and offers more control.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    07 Feb 2011

    Look How Far We've Come
    Just under 3 years ago, I started training. That first 5K took about 53 minutes and change. My first race was the 2008 Lincoln Tunnel Challenge, about 6 weeks after I first stepped on the treadmill. My time in that 5K was 35:51, about 11:32 per mile.

    Yesterday I ran the NYRR Gridiron 4 Mile. I finished in 25:47 (6:26 pace), a full ten minutes faster than that first 3.1 miles.

    Last month, I ran the Fred Lebow Classic 5 Mile race in Central Park. I finished that race in 33:09 (6:37 pace), over two minutes faster than that first 5K race.

    I hope this achievement will serve as a testament to the fact that with determination and hard work, anything is possible.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    13 Jan 2011

    Given the infinitesimally small reader base of this weblog, and the fact that most, if not all, of those readers know me personally, there's a good chance that you know I've fairly recently gotten a pair of tattoos.

    The first tattoo, on my right arm, is a "26.2" in a giraffe print. That number, of course, is the distance of a Marathon in miles. Approximately one tenth of one percent of the population has ever completed a Marathon. I am one of those individuals and it is because of the Giraffes, the running team my friends started and pulled me into, that I was able to accomplish this feat.

    The second tattoo, on my left arm, is a 6x8 grid of binary digits which spell out my first initial and last name in ASCII. Beneath the binary grid is a "v3.1" in a more stylized font. I was named after my father who had been named after his father, making me the third, version 3.0 if you will. In the last few years I've "upgraded." I'm smaller, faster, stronger, kinder, more extroverted and more optimistic than I was, but I am not an entirely new person. Hence v3.1.

    There's more to the meaning of these tattoos than the explanations above. They represent the duality of myself. One represents the decidedly geeky nature that has been a part of me for almost my entire life. The other represents a newer aspect of myself, the endurance athlete.

    It has been difficult for me to resolve these aspects. You were a nerd or a jock. There was a perceived inherent conflict between the two. You could be one or the other, not both. I was a nerd. I was never a jock. Now I'm both.

    And I can be both. There is no reason can't, because this is what I've become; this is what I am.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    Eponymous http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner en 1702672835 http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2023/12/15#1702672835 ---boundaryRMS123



    One last try
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    http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2022/10/07#20221007 I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota Fireside Chat http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2021/12/29#fireside

    Tonight I signed up for the Fireside beta. They asked for all my social media accounts to prove I'm a human. The problem is, I don't have a twitter account, a facebook account, instagram, etc. Years ago I took the advice of numerous psychology studies and my own therapist's advice and got off the social media platforms. It was one of the best things I've ever done for my mental health.

    So hopefully this blog, though infrequently updated (and slightly broken since the last major perl update), will serve as proof to the people at Fireside that I am human and not a bot.

    It was the Astonishing Legends Podcast that led me to Fireside. It would be nice to use it for one of their interactive live chats sometime.

    Bill Gates is Satan's Minion http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2020/05/07#satan Bill Gates was Satan's minion, is Satan's minion, and always will be Satan's minion. Tenth Runniversary http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2018/03/13#runniversary10 Today is my tenth runniversary. It's been a decade since I first stepped on that treadmill. Like my first day running, I ran on the treadmill while listening to br\oken. I've had some set backs in my recovery. Not properly rehabilitating the atrophy in the left leg has caused some problems with the muscles around my hip. Listening to my trainer only made it worse. But now I'm taking care of it properly. Like that first day ten years ago, I have a goal I am working toward. This time it is the Dublin Marathon in October. This will be marathon number 13. I don't expect to PR. I think 10 minute miles are a much more reasonable goal at this point, but frankly I'll be happy just to cross that finish line. It's been a long, hard road out of Hell, but God has been by my side and put some amazing people in my life to help me along the way. I have to thank the Giraffes for today. I have to thank the Giraffes for much of my life this last decade. I was heading for an early grave, and they changed that. Giraffes, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I look forward to running the LTC and many other races with you in the next decade. Take back your privacy http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2018/03/12#takebackyourprivacy Recent surveys have found that 76% of [the most visited] websites in the world cotain trackers from google and 24% contain trackers from facebook. This has been reported by CNBC, PC World, The Verge, Fortune, and Breitbart.

    Almost anywhere you go on the internet, they are following you, building a profile on you, and selling that information, your information, to the highest bidder. Even if you don't have a user account for google or facebook "services," they've built a profile of you using this surreptitiously collected data.

    It turns out there are some steps one can take to prevent these companies from following you wherever you go. It's not perfect, but it helps a lot. First, don't use Chrome. Second, install ad-blocker plugins for your browser. Third, use your firewall.

    It turns out Google and Facebook are large enough that they have their own Autonomous Systems (AS) composed of numerous subnets. Google owns AS 15169, while Facebook owns AS 32934. Using a little bit of shell, it's relatively easy to look up all the subnets owned by these companies.

    whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS32934' | grep "^route:" | awk '{print $2;}'
    whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS15169' | grep "^route:" | awk '{print $2;}'

    That's a lot of subnets. Because I have different operating systems on different computers and still want to block traffic to and from all those IP addresses, I've written some simple scripts to add rules to various firewalls. I have scripts for IPFW on FreeBSD, IPTables on Linux, and the Windows Firewall that should work from XP SP3 through Windows 10. I've only tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 10, and it worked in those.

    All of these scripts can be found in this directory. The IPFW and IPTables scripts are self-contained. For the Windows command shell batch files, the *ips.txt files are also needed.

    I have to say, the internet looks very different with these firewall rules in place. There are noticeably fewer advertisements and pages load faster. Embedded YouTube videos and Instagram photos don't appear. Sometimes the frame disappears, sometimes you get a "failed to connect" page appearing in a frame in the middle of a page. (Yes, these rules block YouTube and Instagram; they are owned by google and facebook and reside in the subnets owned by those companies.) On a relatively rare occasion, I come across a site using some sort of javascript or css or something hosted by a machine in one of those ASs and that will be blocked. Sometimes the site handles that gracefully, sometimes it stops being functional. A small price to take back your life.

    Update: Twitter has trackers on a decent amount of sites out there too, so I've added scripts to block Twitter's AS 13414 as well. Those scripts are in the same directories as the others.

    St Michael, defend us in battle http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/10/17#defendusinbattle Crisis Magazine has a great piece about St Michael and the ongoing spiritual warfare in the world.
    New PGP Key! http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/10/12#pgpkey So apparently Evil32 happened. Approximately 24,000 PGP keys were generated that had collisions with the 32-bit short IDs of existing keys. Then someone decided to use those conflicting keys to generate revocation certificates and upload them to the keyservers. Joy.

    Though my old keys still work, they were affected by this mass revocation of collsions. I have created a new key which can be found at http://skinnymf.com/~mforde/mforde.asc.

    On a related note, if anyone is interested in Key Signing Party, shoot me an email. I haven't been to one of those since college.
    Time Travel? http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/09/30#oldtimey A few months ago I happened to snap a photo of the DeLorean on Main Street in Boonton near the Darress Theatre. It's probably one of my favorite photographs of the car and certainly one of the best I've ever taken.
    The theatre was built in 1919 and has remained largely unchanged since then. A lot of Boonton still has a very old "look and feel" to it, and this section of Main Street served as a perfect backdrop for the DeLorean.

    DeLorean DMC-12 Darress
Theatre Boonton
    How to Drive a Classic Rolls-Royce, or a DeLorean, Any Time You Want http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/24#howtodrive Bloomberg has posted an article entitled How to Drive a Classic Rolls-Royce, or a DeLorean, Any Time You Want. It's really quite simple, actually. You take your keys, go out the the garage, and you drive the DeLorean any time you want. This ends tonight... http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/16#theend Sometimes... http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/16#sometimes Sometimes it's dificult to find a reason to continue. Ninth Runniversary http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/03/14#runniversary9 Yesterday was my ninth runniversary. Like my first day running, I ran on the treadmill while listening to Broken. Unlike the first time, I only listened to it once, and covered 4.48 miles during the duration of the EP, thanking God every step of the way.

    I'm confident in knowing that the bone in my ankle has healed completely now; however, I'm still rebuilding the muscle in that ankle and the rest of that leg. There was significant atrophy during the early phases of recovery. Slowly as it may be, I am making progress, and I am thankful for that.
    Merry Christmas http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/12/24#holidays_ While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, I know and understand how hard they can be for some people. If you're having a rough time over the next week or so and need someone to talk to, feel free to message me. If you're reading this blog, you likely know my email address or phone number. Aisling at 35 http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/10/28#aislingat35 She's still looking good at 35....
    DeLorean DMC-12 with
gullwing doors open
    Happy Birthday Aisling!!!! http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/10/02#happybirthday My DeLorean, #5333, was built in October of 1981. This month, the car will be 35 years old and she looks and handles like the day she came off the assembly line. Don't Call it a Comeback http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/09/26#mamasaidknockyouout On June fourth, I was running in the Tourne on a trail I first ran twenty years ago, a trail I've run hundreds if not thousands of times before. On that morning, my foot came down on a wet rock at just the wrong angle, slipped just enough and I rolled my ankle. Not only did I roll the joint, I came down on it with enough force to break it; a fact I would learn when I final saw a doctor about it on June ninth.

    No surgery was required, but I was unable to run for three months. I was finally cleared to run. The plan was to start with short distances, about a quarter mile, on a rubberized track then build up from there, moving on to treadmills and eventually roads and trails. I was instructed to spend six months rebuilding my 60 mile per week base.

    On the morning of September 11 (a day I will never forget and a morning that will always make me feel a bit uneasy), I took to the track for the first time. I started by walking a mile. As I finished the fourth lap, I said a prayer, asking God to give me the run I needed and the wisdom to know when to stop. I queued up my playlist: AC\DC's "Back in Black" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." I took my first stride.

    I've been progressing well in the last two weeks; pushing it on some days, resting when necessary. Though the short, slow distances have been frustrating, it feel good to be running again. Every stride I take I'm reminded of everything I love about the sport.

    It's good to be back.

    Fun Conversations http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/09/18#insuranceagent The DeLorean often leads to conversations one wouldn't normally expect. Case in point: today I had to call my auto insurance provider for an issue with my daily driver. After taking some info to pull up my account the conversation went something like this:

    Agent: Which car is this?
    Me: The Pontiac.
    Agent: Am I reading this right?
    Me: Reading what?
    Agent: I'm sorry, do you have a DeLorean?
    Me: Yes.
    Agent: I never thought I'd see someone with a policy on a DeLorean.
    Me: Well, you've insured both of mine...
    Agent: You've had two DeLoreans?
    Me: Yes.

    At that point there were a few more questions and then we got back to the issue which my phone call had been about originally.

    An Observation http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/24#observation There is something satisfying about driving in a DeLorean while listening to The Clash's Live: From Here to Eternity. What Year is This?! http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/13#whatyearisthis So this was my Saturday night....
    A bottle of Crystal Pepsi with Metallica's Ride the Lightning and
Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures vinyl records sitting on the hood of a
DeLorean Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures on a record player
    He's Not Wrong... http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/09#hesnotwrong Over at Net Meister there's a nice peice entitled Things They Don't Teach You in School". A lot of what Jan has to say is spot-on observation and good advice.

    It's definitely worth a read.
    Trouble opening aterm in FreeBSD? http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/07/20#aterm Here's a soltuion! https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/44941/ X11 Mouse Cursor Themes http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/07/08#mousecursor Starting after installimg the binary nvidia drivers on both my laptop (Quadro K1100M) and my workstation (GeForce GT 630) Blackbox was defaulting to a mouse cursor that was suboptimal, a black, notched triangle.

    The settings in the Xresources for the mouse cursor theme are honored by XDM at the graphical log in, but when Blackbox or Fluxbox start, the cursor would change to the black notched triangle. TWM honors the settings in Xresources, but TWM is just a little too minimalist, even for me.

    But there's a simple fix!

    Create a file in your home directory (if it doesn't already exist) .icons/default/index.theme. In this file, add the following lines:
    [Icon Theme]
    Inherits = polarblue

    where polarblue is the name of the X11 mouse cursor theme you wish to use. FreeBSD installs many of the X11 cursor sets into /usr/local/lib/X11/icons/, your Unix flavor may be different. In theory, you can also install new themes of your choosing into ~/.icons/ and use those without the need for any elevated privileges.

    Additionally, there's the option of creating a .Xdefaults file in the home directory and adding the line
    Xcursor.theme: polarblue

    Again, where polarblue is the name of theme you want to use.
    FreeBSD Unix on Dell Precision M4800 http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/06/18#m4800 I installed FreeBSD 10.3 on the laptop I recently acquired and almost eveything worked out of the box. The gigabit ethernet and wi-fi coards worked fine and by setting the BIOS to discrete graphics only, the nVidia Quadro was recognized.

    I installed the binary driver from nVidia, because they support FreeBSD because they're awesome like that. The nvidia-xconfig(1) program was useful to streamline the process of getting X.org to use the Quadro.

    There were a few things that did need some tewaking though. First there's the sound card. Because the quadro supports HDMI (in addition to VGA and DisplayPort), it includes an HDA-compliant sound card. This card is recognized before the primary HDA-compliant sound card in the machine, the one that's actually connected to the speakers.

    I did some research and there were some suggestions about using sysctl(8) to control soundcard GPIO pins to connect the nVidia sound device to the speackers but what ultimately worked was using sysctl(8) to change the default primary sound device to the dedicated card. There were a few ways to make this happen but the one I found that actually worked was to place sysctl(8) command lines in /etc/rc.local.

    First I found the device I wanted as the default:
    mforde@gaz:~> cat /dev/sndstat 
    Installed devices:
    pcm0:  (play) default
    pcm1:  (play)
    pcm2:  (play) 
    pcm3:  (play)

    Device pcm2 was the one I wanted so I added the following lines to /etc/rc.local
    sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=2
    sysctl hw.snd.default_auto=2

    Now when boot completes pcm2 is set to my default and sound "just works" and sndstat shows pcm2 as the default.

    I found ACPI support has some weirdness as ACPI support often does. What I found was that Suspend works from console, but resume doesn't... HOWEVER After I start X ACPI suspend and resume work just fine. Normally I prefer to boot into a console and only start X if I really need it, but because I want suspend and resume to work "by default" I've enabled X to start at boot by allowing the xdm console in /etc/ttys.

    But this had one last issue. See, when manually starting X, I added the -dpi 143 option to get graphics and text to be appropriately sized for my screen. XDM needed to know about this.

    This probably wasn't the best place to do it, but I edited /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm/XServers and modified the call to X(7) to add the -dpi 143 option. Now when Xdm loads at start up, the DPI is set correctly.

    The function keys for adjusting the screen brightness don't work; however, xbacklight(1) works just fine. Similarly the volume keys don't work but I can adjust the volume quite easily with aumix(1).

    I've submitted my dmesg output to NYCBUG's dmesgd repository.

    I suppose I've posted this for two reasons. The first is so I have a record of how I eventually got these little things working in case I have to do it again. The second is in case anyone has similar issues with their hardware; if they happen to stumble upon this, it might give them some hints.
    Megapath sucks http://rainysoul.net/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/06/08#megapathsucks Speakeasy was by far the best ISP I ever dealt with. Freindly, and above all, knowledgeable. Since they have been purchased by Megapath then merged into Global Capacity, their tech support has been, frankly a bunch of idiots. Furthermore, their website routinely has "Service failed" errors that prevent you from logging in, changing passwords, and viewing account information.

    Today, after being unable to log in to the website due to "service failed" the tech support rep on the phoned didn't understand what a subnet mask or gateway address were. Eventually I just got her to read me "all three IP addresses" on the screen in front of her.

    But at this point my only other option is Verizon. So I'm sticking with Megapath.