Eponymous
   



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


contact

Subscribe
Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

Flavors
There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavors on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.

  •        
    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]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



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


    contact

    Subscribe
    Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

    Flavors
    There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavors on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.

  •        
    07 Oct 2022


    I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    29 Dec 2021

    Fireside Chat


    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.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    07 May 2020

    Bill Gates is Satan's Minion
    Bill Gates was Satan's minion, is Satan's minion, and always will be Satan's minion.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    12 Mar 2018

    Take back your privacy
    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.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    17 Oct 2017

    St Michael, defend us in battle
    Crisis Magazine has a great piece about St Michael and the ongoing spiritual warfare in the world.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    12 Oct 2017

    New PGP Key!
    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.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    16 Aug 2017

    Sometimes...
    Sometimes it's dificult to find a reason to continue.

    [/musings/self] [permanent link]

    24 Dec 2016

    Merry Christmas
    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.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    13 Aug 2016

    What Year is This?!
    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

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    08 Jun 2016

    Megapath sucks
    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.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    25 May 2016

    Found this sitting in a tarball of my old home directory...

    
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
                  ..,,..  ..ttLLLLtt..  ..;;ii;;,,..;;ttGGLL;;....iiiiiiiiiiii..    ..iijjttttii..                                
          iiLLLLGGKKKKDDLLGG########GGLLDDWWWWWWKKKKKK######WWDDEEWW##WWWW##WWDDjjffDD##########LL..          ..;;..              
      ..ffWW########WWKK####KKjjttEE####WWGGGGEEGGDDDDGGjjttGGKKWWWWLLGGLLGG##########DDjjttttGG##GGffttiiiiffDDKKDDGGGGGGii      
      ff####GGffffttii;;ttLLiijjtt;;LLtt;;,,,,;;;;;;iittLLtt;;,,iiiiiitt;;;;ffGGGGLLtt;;iiii;;;;DDWW####WWWW####KKDDKKKKWWWWtt    
    ..EE##LL;;ttttLLttLLLLttff##WWGGjjffGGDDGGKKKKKKWW####WWDDGGDDDDWW##EEEEffttffLLffGGWWWWGG;;;;ttffjjffDDDDff;;;;;;iittKKWWii  
    ;;KKKKiittKK######WWWW######################################KKKKWW##WW##################WWKKDDffttjjjjiiiiiiLLEEGGDDiittWWLL  
    ..KK##ttGG######WWDDDDEEKKDDKKWWDDKKEEKKWWEEKKEEWW##WWKKWWEELLLLDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKK##########WW####KKWWKK########KKiiDDEEii
      DD##ffGG######EELLLLLLLLLLGGDDLLDDGGDDDDLLLLEE####WWGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK######WW####KKKKKKWWWWKKKKWW####ttLLWWLL
      GG##LLLL##KKKKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGWW####WWLLDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWW######EEEEDDLLLLLLDDEEEELLEE####ffLLWWGG
      LL##GGjj##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####WWLLEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGEEKK##WW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDLLKK##WWiiGGKKjj
      jj##GGiiWWWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####KKLLKKEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG##EEDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG;;KKDD;;
      ii##EE;;DDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKLLDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEE##ffWWKKEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWWiijj##ff  
      ;;WWWWiiGGKKLLLLLLLLGGLLDDEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKDDGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWttEEWWDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEKKiiKKWW;;  
      ;;WW##ttGGWWGGLLLLLLEEDDEE##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK######WWEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGGGDDKKWWiiLLWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKttWWLL    
      iiWWKKiiKK##DDLLLLLLEEEEWW##WWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWW######EELLLLLLLLLLDDEEEEWWWWKKKKWW####ii;;KKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWKKffWWtt    
      ii##WWttWW##EELLLLLLDDEE######EELLLLLLLLLLLLKKDDEE####KKLLLLLLLLLLEE##################ii..KKEELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDD##DDffWWii    
      ;;WW##ttLL##KKLLLLLLLLEE##KK##KKLLLLLLLLLLDD##LLLLEEWWKKLLLLLLLLLLKK####WWKKffLLKKWWGG;;..EEKKLLLLLLLLLLLLDDEE##LLLLWWii    
      ..EE##LLiiWWKKLLLLLLGGKK##LLKKKKGGLLLLLLDDWW##ff;;iiKKKKLLLLLLLLLLKK##WWLLffttiijjLLiiffttGG##DDLLLLLLLLDDEEKK##ffLLKKii    
        LL##KKiiKKWWGGLLLLLLKK##ttGGWWDDLLLLLLEE####tt;;,,EEKKDDLLLLLLLLEE##########WWWWWWttGGGGttWWWWDDLLLLLLGGGGKK##ffGGKK;;    
        iiWW##ttGGWWDDLLLLGGWWKK;;GGWWDDLLLLLLEE##KKiiGG;;KKKKDDLLLLLLLLGGEEWW##KKEEDDDDKKttKK##ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLGGWW##jjEEEE..    
          GG##GGttWWDDLLLLGGWWKKiiWWWWDDLLLLLLEE##GGttKKiiGG##EELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDDGGLLLLEEKKjjWW##ffLLWWGGLLLLLLLLGGWWWWjjKKGG      
          tt##EEttWWDDLLLLDDWW##WW####DDLLLLLLKK##ffLL##DDttWWWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKjj####jjGGKKLLGGLLLLLLDD##KKttWWLL      
          ii##KKttKKDDLLLLGGWW####WW##EELLLLLLEE##jjGG####ttDDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGWWEEtt####ttKKWWLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGffWWtt      
          iiWWKKttWWEELLLLLLEEKKKKEEEEDDLLLLLLEE##ttEE####jjKKWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDWWDDtt##WWttWW##DDLLLLLLLLEE##LLLLWWii      
          iiWWKKff##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEWWttKK##KKttWW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGtt##WWttWW##EELLLLLLLLEE##ttGGEE..      
          iiWWWWff##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWWttWW##KK;;EE##EELLLLLLLLLLGGGGGGGGEE##GGtt##WWttKK##EELLLLLLLLEEWWttEELL        
          ;;WWKKff##KKGGGGLLDDLLLLLLGGLLLLLLDDWWKKtt####WWiiLL##EELLLLLLDDKKWWWWKKWW####ffff##WWttEEWWDDLLLLLLLLEEKKiiEELL        
          ;;WWKKjjWWKKLLLLDDWWEEDDEEKKDDLLLLDDWWKKjj######jjLL##EELLLLLLEE##############jjLL####ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLKKKKiiKKff        
          ;;WWWWttKKEELLLLEE####WW####KKGGLLDDWWDDjj######ffGG##EELLLLLLEE##LLLLLLWWWWKKiiGG####LLjj##DDLLLLLLLLKKEEttWWff        
          ;;KKWWiiEEDDLLLLWW############DDLLGGWWDDjj######GGff##KKLLLLLLEE##ttiiiitttt,,;;KK####DDtt##EELLLLLLLLKKDDttWWtt        
          ;;KKWWiiDDDDLLLLWWWWffff######EELLDD##GGff######KKttWW##DDLLLLEE##ffGGKKjj;;iiDD######KKjj##KKLLLLLLLLKKGGffWWii        
          ,,KK##iiDDEELLLLWWGG  iiffffWWDDLLEE##GGff########ttGG##EELLLLEE##ttLL####WWWW########KKtt##KKLLLLLLGGWWLLLLKK;;        
          ..KK##ttLLKKLLLLKKGG......ttKKGGLLEE##LLLL########GGtt##KKLLLLEEKK;;LL########WWKKWW##KKttWWWWDDLLLLDD##ffLLGG..        
          ..KK##jjLLWWGGLLKKKK;;ttttff##DDLLDDWWttGG########KKttWWKKGGLLDDKKiiEE##ffttttii..ttWWWWttKK##EELLDDKK##ttGGGG          
          ;;KK##ffLLWWGGLLKKEE;;LLGGtt##KKLLGGKKjjKK########WWttKKWWDDLLDDKKttKKEE..          GG##ffff##WWDDWW##EEiiEELL          
          ..DD##GGttWWDDLLEEGG..LLWWttKKKKGGEEKKjjWW##########ttGG##KKDDDDWWttEEDD..          tt##KKiiWW##WW####GGtt##ff          
            ff##KKiiWWDDGGEEGGiiWW##ttDDKKDDWWKKjj############ffLL####WWKK##ttDDEE..          ;;KK##ttLL######WWttLL##ii          
            ;;WWWWttKKWWKKKKGGjj####ttGGWWEEWWGGtt############LLLL##########ttKKDD              GG##EEiiDD####LL;;KKEE..          
            ..EE##ffLL##WW##GGtt####jjLL######LLtt############LLttWWGGKK##LLttWWLL              iiWW##ffff####ttGG##ff            
              LL##EEttGGLL##GGtt####LLttWWKK##ffLL##EEttttKK##DD;;ff;;ttEE;;GG##tt                ff##DDiiKKLLiiWWKK;;            
              tt####ttii;;KKffff####KKiiii;;GG;;LL##ii    iiWW##LL::  ;;tttt##DD..                ;;KKWWiiffiiGG##ff              
              ..KK##GGttiiii;;GG######DDLLii;;;;KKEE..      ff####DDLLii;;GGWW;;                  ..DD##LL..tt##KK;;              
                jj######GG..jj############GGiiDD##ff        ..LL######WWKK##GG                      ff##WWDDWW##tt                
                ..LL####WWGGWWWWffiittGGWW##WW##DD::          ..ffKKWWWWWWKKtt                      ,,DD######ff..                
                  ..ttEEWWWWDDii        ttEEKKGG;;                ..;;;;ii;;                          ;;ttffii..                  
                      ..ii;;..            ..;;..                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
    

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    21 Apr 2016

    Prince
    I'll never forget the day I started liking Prince's music. I was with my friend in his car headed somewhere. We were listening to K-Rock and they had a "listener playlist" where for about an hour, all the music had been selected by a listener and this listener was on the phone, talking with the DJ about his selections and introducing songs.

    The guy announced that the next song was from Prince. The DJ questioned this selection and he said, "No, this dude can shred. Just listen."

    And we laughed.

    And we listened.

    And Prince shredded.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    20 Apr 2016

    It's been a while...
    It's been a while since I've had a substantial update here. I've been busy living life leaving little time to be writing about it; at least writing about it here.

    Work has been quite busy for a while now. Lots of projects, lots of deadlines, lots of extra hours. But there hasn't been any "mandatory seven day work weeks" like I had at that one job, and there isn't that expectation of "you can work from home so you are always expected to be working" I had at the last job. Plus, the work is a lot more interesting than anything I've done in years.

    Bernstein was right: money doesn't motivate me, interesting problems and the ability to tinker do.

    Yesterday the DeLorean rolled over to 16,000 miles. That's still about 1,000 miles a year I'm putting on it. I'd like to keep the mileage low, but she's just so much fun to drive. I've been asked by people at work to bring Aisling next week for Bring Your Child to Work Day. Apparently a lot of my co-workers have told their kids about the car and they want to see it.

    I ran my 29th half-marathon this past weekend. I'd like to get up to 32 this year. I'm also signed up for my 13th marathon this Autumn. I'm considering running number 14 a few weeks later.

    In addition to all of that taking up my time, I've also been volunteering with the Youth Ministry at a church in my diocese. That's been quite an amazing adventure. It's had a profound impact on my life and has certainly helped at least a few teens. It's been an honor to do the Lord's work. Maybe someday I'll publish some of the talks I've given. The In His Image talk seems to have resonated with a lot of people, certainly more so than some of the other talks.

    I guess that sums things up for now.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    16 Feb 2016

    On Content "Management" Systems
    Wordpress is the new Typo3.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    16 May 2015

    It was a good day...
    So today I woke up and watched an episode of Star Trek while I did some weight training and core work. Then I met my friend and her 5-month old baby for breakfast. That baby is so cute, and so happy too.

    After that I met another friend for a run in the Tourne where we met a fox on the Red Trail. When I got home from the run, I turned my lawn into an avant garde art installation and then took a shower.

    I took Ailsing out for a drive and on the way home she rolled over to 15,000 miles. I've had the DeLorean for about five years now, so I'm still averaging 1,000 miles per year. Not bad.

    A large part of a tree fell and missed my house by about 18 inches. So then I went and ran another Six miles during a National Weather Service tornado watch.

    Now I'm finishing up the day with a good movie and a glass of Monk's Blood.

    Today, I didn't even have to use my AK. It was a good day.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    08 Apr 2015

    Cast Yourself

    "Cast yourself upon Him and be not afraid; He will not draw away and let you fall. Cast yourself without fear, He will receive you and heal you."

    -- Saint Augustine, Confessions: Book 8, Chapter 11

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    10 Mar 2015

    It's not stupid, it's advanced
    I opened the Windows 10 settings app, not to be confused with the control panel, and I selected "Windows Update." Next, I chose the "Advanced Options" and was greeted with this mess. I hope the next build fixes this problem, as well as the myriad of other issues plaguing the current Windows 10 preview release.

    Windows 10 Settings App, Windows Update, Advanced Options,
unusable

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    24 Oct 2014

    Initial Thoughts on Windows 10 -- UPDATED!
    I'm done with Microsoft for any platform that is not a telephone. Windows 10 attempts to "fix" the abomination that was windows 8 on the desktop, but just makes things worse.

    The "search" "app" that replaces the previous existing search feature really only sends a query to bing. I'm looking for a file somewhere in a subdirectory on my hard drive. I didn't want to search the web for 20141020*.txt. The UI looks like crap. Slapping a titlebar on top of the "modern" "apps" does not make them usable on the desktop. The start menu has returned, but it has never been this useless. And the ability to revert to the "classic" start menu, the behavior introduced in windows 95, and refined in win98 and Windows 2000, has been removed. I shouldn't be surprised by that given that Windows 7 also lacked the "classic" start menu. At least Windows 7 allowed a "Windows Classic" theme for the rest of the UI.

    Ever since Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, MS has been slowly and surely trying to make things "easier." However, what they deem "easier" often means removing features and behaviors I relied on to get work done. Windows 10 continues this tradition.

    I never really had a problem with Microsoft, I never avoided their software for ideological reasons. I believe in using the right tool for the job. Windows 10 is the wrong tool for any job.

    UPDATE!!!

    Using the Windows Update mechanism, MS pushed out a new build of Windows 10. This upgraded the installation from build 9841 to build 9860. After a lengthy download, installation, and a very long reboot, I was able to log in again, Only to be greeted by this:

    Windows 10 build 9860 Update breaks Windows Defender causing error
code 0x80070241

    And this lovely error when I tried to open the new "Notification Center":

    Windows 10 build 9860 Update Notification Center cannot find
explorer.exe

    Now isn't that special?

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    07 Oct 2014

    The Truth is Out There
    Tonight, I had the great fortune of joining a person who means the world to me at a book signing by Gillian Anderson and her co-author Jeff Rovin. Jeff has ghost-written/co-written several novels for and with Tom Clancy, and Gillian is AGENT DANA SCULLY!!!

    Gillian indicated that she modeled the main character as someone she would play in a cinematic version of the story, and Jeff mentions that, while not required reading, the novel is a spiritual sequel to Edgar Allan Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

    I'm going to put The Crytptonomicon on the back burner and put Poe's work and this new novel, A Vision of Fire at the front of my priority queue. Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin
    Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    10 Oct 2013 15 Jul 2013

    Windows 8.1 in Virtual Box
    I was attempting to run the Windows 8.1 Preview in a VM using Sun's Oracle's Virtual Box on a Windows 7 host. I ran into a minor problem.

    The OS wouldn't boot. I received an error stating:

    Your computer needs to restart. Please hold down the power button. Error Code: 0x000000C4 Parameters: [redacted]

    Looking for the error code online led me to this article describing the issue and a fix. The key to fixing this was running the command:
    "c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" setextradata "" VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

    The CMPXCHG16B is an instruction in 64-bit X86 processors that allows for atomic operations on octal words.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    02 Apr 2013 02 Dec 2012

    Happy Birthday

    I'm starting to get used to celebrating my birthday at TBM concerts. This year it was about a week prior to my birthday at a show on December 1 held at New York's Gramercy Theatre.

    Along with the tickets, I had also purchased the "VIP package." This package included an autographed poster signed by all members of the band, a "VIP" laminate on a lanyard, and... the opportunity to meet the band prior to the show!

    You may be thinking, "But they stick around after shows and mingle with their fans anyway," and "You've already met them a few times!" Both are true. And even with this "VIP" package meet-and-greet, they still make time for all their fans after the show. What this provided was a somewhat quieter meeting in a more intimate setting.

    In fact the meeting was in a small lounge beneath the concert hall. Dim mood lighting, mirrors, and couches set the atmosphere. I spoke with Rainbow, Michael, and Nate first. Rainbow informed me his name was Michael also and made a joke about the "power of the three Mikes lighting the room." After a bit, they started moving me to Chibi who was sitting on a couch after injuring her knee during a show two nights prior. She tried to walk to me, but I told her not to. She said, "I'll meet you half way then."

    I gave her a get well card, knowing she had had surgery on her vocal chords about 8 weeks prior and recently injured her knee. Someone decided we needed a photo of that and she gave me the card back so I could give it back to her. I believe it was Owen who said, "Act natural and hold it for 30 seconds!"

    I asked Rainbow about writing "Unfamiliar" because both he and OE were given credit in the liner notes. He said it was mostly OE; OE started it and Rainbow had finished it. I said I wanted to thank them because it was a song that had taken on some greater meaning to me and I relayed a brief version of the story of the moment I recognized that. It turns out "Unfamiliar" is one of Chibi's favorite songs too.

    Every one of the bands that night were amazing. All, remarkably, were performing as duos. Creature Feature was a real fun band to see. Their music is heavily influenced by old horror movies which gives them a dark yet fun sound.

    Aesthetic Perfection put on a good performance. Their drummer is amazing and fun to watch. They heavily synth-based and while there was a dark tone to most of their songs, they still had fun and lightened things up with a Fine Young Cannibals cover.

    William Control was the only other act I had heard before the show (Thanks Last.fm!). He was great live and I'd love to see him again. He reminded me a little of Dommin in that Dean Martin meets Glen Danzig sort of way.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album. For most of the set Chibi was sitting on a speaker placed near center at the front of the stage, wearing a knee brace. She stood up and moved around occasionally, but not much. At one point Rainbow sat down on another speaker and stuck out one leg in a similar fashion to how Chibi was seated and laughed a little. It was easy to tell by their interaction here that Chibi and Rainbow are close.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Night Shift
    • Down
    • Control
    • Always
    • Red Stars
    • Video kid
    • Lover's End
    • Forever
    • Pins and Needles
    • Happy Birthday
    • Alibis
    • Calling
    • In the Dark
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight
    • -- Encore --
    • Leaving Tonight
    • The Long Way Home
    • Blue


    The band did not leave the stage prior to the encore as they normally would. Chibi said, "This is the part of the show where we say thank you and leave and you clap and we come back out and play some more. But I'm not going to walk down those stairs anymore than I have to, so do you want to hear three more songs?"

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    07 Oct 2012

    Signs of the Apocalypse
    A friend told me this was from Glee. I found it amusing; thought I'd share.

    It's a fact that the book of Revelations predicted Twitter. It's one of the seven signs of the apocalypse; Along with porn, unexplainable weather anomalies, martian rovers, Barney Frank, the middle east and MSNBC. It's like Kirk Cameron said, "It's never too late, until it's too late."

    [/musings] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



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


    contact

    Subscribe
    Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

    Flavors
    There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavors on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.

  •        
    13 Mar 2018

    Tenth Runniversary
    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.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    14 Mar 2017

    Ninth Runniversary
    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.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Sep 2016

    Don't Call it a Comeback
    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.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    03 Jun 2015

    National Running Day ... part 5
    This evening on my second run, I met up with one of the middle school kids I had coached on the cross country team. He was driving (because he's not in middle school anymore) and stopped at an intersection waiting for me to cross. He called out to me, I stopped, and we chatted briefly.

    Although the conversation was brief, I realized that I had left an impression on him, I had made a difference, however small, in his life. And no matter what else happens, nothing can change that.

    Happy National Running Day!

    [/running] [permanent link]

    09 Aug 2013

    chafing...
    WARNING: possible TMI

    I thought I had healed from the chafing left after Saturday's River to Sea Relay... Until I ran in the rain yesterday. To quote a friend, "It feels like someone took a cheese grater to my crotch."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    22 Jul 2013

    Why do I run?
    So, why do I run? Here's one reason:


    [/running] [permanent link]

    30 Apr 2013

    I LOL'ed

    PATIENT: "The problem is that obesity runs in my family."
    DOCTOR: "No, the problem is that no one runs in your family."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    17 Jan 2012

    Races, Races, Races
    I've been busy the last few weeks or so; I've done a few races.

    • On October 30, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA and Washington D.C.
    • On November 5, I ran the Beavertown Fall Classic 5K in my hometown.
    • On November 6, I ran the New York City Marathon for the second time.
    • On November 19, I ran the Knickerbocker 60K Ultramarathon in Central Park.
    • On December 3, I ran NJ Winter Trail Series Race #1 Half Marathon in Wayne.
    • On December 10, I ran the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park.
    • On January 7, I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, part one of Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge.
    • On January 8, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon, completing the Goofy Challenge.

    In 10 weeks I ran a 5K, a 6K, two Half Marathons, three Marathons, and an Ultramarathon, plus a few training runs in there...

    And last night Wii Fit called me a couch potato.

    In defense of the game, I hadn't used it in 547 days, and I'm now 11 pounds heavier than when I had last used it. It has no way of knowing that the vast majority of that weight gain was lean mass. It also has no way of taking into account all that I've done outside the game.
    Even with that in mind, it's still a little frustrating to be called a couch potato after running a marathon and a half last weekend.

    Each of these races were pretty special. I ran MCM alongside some fairly awesome people; people who I consider to be among my closest friends. In the Beavertown 5K, I somehow managed to take 12th overall and 5th in my age group without really trying.

    At NYC and then at the Knickerbocker, I ran with the friend who got me started running in the first place. I credit him with saving my life, and it was an honor and a pleasure to run with him.

    The trail half was my first trail race (not counting my time on the high school cross country team) and I ran that with a friend I hadn't seen since our days on the high school track & field team (she was a runner, I was thrower). We have both run full marathons in less time than it took us to complete this half.

    The Jingle Bell Jog was a fun race with bells and hot cocoa, and it was the first time I ran alongside my friend and former physics TA. And lastly, I ran the Goofy Challenge alongside another one of my close friends and training partners.

    These races were a lot of fun. Some of the courses were quite amazing to see, and these races were opportunities to spend time with some pretty awesome people.

    [/running] [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

    18.55
    congrats
    
    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

    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]

    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]

    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]

    14 Nov 2010

    2010 New York City Marathon
    One week ago, I ran the New York City Marathon. As noted many times throughout this blog, this race was something I've been working toward since December of 2008. This event was the culmination of nearly two years of hard work and dedication. And it was worth every single mile I've run over the last two years.

    At 9:40, the cannon was fired and the marathon started. Within minutes, I was crossing the starting line and running over the Verrazano Bridge. Not only was I running in the footsteps of the current world record holder and the first American to win New York in 27 years, I was running in the footsteps of legends.

    About three and half hours later, I entered Central Park for the last few miles of the race. I looked around and had the odd sensation that I was home.

    It's difficult to put into words the feelings of that day. Despite having completed three sanctioned marathons prior to this day, crossing the finish line was something I couldn't believe I was actually doing.

    It was absolutely amazing.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    13 Nov 2010

    Pre-Race Thoughts
    Last Saturday, I sent a letter to the Giraffes mailing list. I've decided to post here.

    In March of 2008, Brian told me I was running a 5K with The Giraffes. He didn't ask and he didn't give me a choice. Two days later I got off the couch, got on the treadmill, and started running. Six weeks later I ran my first race with this team. This team saved my life that day.

    Nine months later and a hundred and one pounds lighter, I got this crazy idea in my head. I decided I was going to run a marathon. I thought, if I'm going to run a marathon, I'm going to run the biggest marathon in the world. I'm going to run the New York City Marathon.

    I did some quick research about how to get in and found the 9+1 qualifying method. A couple of days later, I told Brian I was going to spend 2009 working toward guaranteed entry for the 2010 NYC Marathon. Almost immediately, he sent out an email to The Giraffes saying, "Mike and I are doing this and so are you." I'm paraphrasing, although it was quite close to that.

    So on January 10, 2009, five of us piled into the car and drove to Central Park on a frigid Saturday morning and began our journey with the Fred Lebow Classic.

    We continued to run, and picked up some new members along the way. Some with an impressive history of ultramarathons, and some just starting out.

    Those of us who first set out that day in January reached our goal and qualified for NYC 2010.

    At some point we decided we should run a marathon prior to NY, to get an idea of what we were really getting into. We chose Philadelphia, and for several Giraffes that day, it was our first. It was the day we joined the ranks of the one tenth of one percent of the population who can call themselves marathoners.

    While training for Philly, I fell in with a group of runners from my hometown and began running with them. At first it was short runs during a 5K training program they were running, but soon thereafter, they began including me in their longer training runs on the weekends. They introduced me to a number of other runners. Eventually I convinced (most of) them to sign up for the Giraffes mailing list.

    For the past two years, I've run with these people, the original Giraffes and the runners who have joined us along the way. And through it all, this team is what has kept me going. Through inspiration, through motivation, through friendships, through training runs and races, you've kept me going. You have been my support system.

    And now I sit here on the eve of the New York City Marathon, less than 24 hours from the start of the race, less than 24 hours from realizing our goal we set for ourselves so long ago.

    To all of you who have been with me for this journey in some way, shape or form... To those who got the team started and pulled me in, to those who saved my life... To those who persevered through qualifying races under grueling weather conditions with me... To those who got food poisoning with me from Macaroni Grill the night before the Scotland Run 10K... To those who got me through the last 5K of Philly... To those who made the 22+ mile training runs a little more bearable at the end... To those who have shown their support in any way they could...

    I offer you my eternal gratitude. I would not be where I am today without all of you. I love you all.

    One final note. To those of you joining me in tomorrow's running of the New York City Marathon... Kick ass and chew bubble gum.

    --
    M. Forde
    "Running never takes more than it gives back."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    30 Oct 2010

    It's been a while...
    I haven't updated this blog in quite some time. A lot has happened since the last post.

    First and foremost, I spent about two months volunteering as the Cross Country team's coach for the local Middle School. Due to budget cuts, all athletics programs were cut. The local Police Athletic League stepped up and volunteered to take over the programs. Many of the teachers who have coached in previous years did not want to do so now, so the PAL went looking for volunteers within the community.

    A friend of mine with whom I train put me in contact with the PAL and after an application and vetting process, I became a Rutgers Certified coach and began my duties.

    The team was relatively small, seventeen boys and six girls. Having never really worked with kids before, I was glad that this year's team was half the size of last year's; however I was still apprehensive about working twenty-three middle-schoolers. Thankfully, several parents helped me throughout the season. One in particular was there with me for almost every practice and every meet.

    I tried to emulate the aspects of my middle and high school coaches that I thought worked, and tried different approaches in an attempt to avoid the aspects I had never liked. I wanted to motivate and inspire these kids.

    I told them about my history as a runner: my experience in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade, my first 53-minute 5K on the treadmill in March of 2008, my marathons, my personal records, and my improvements over the last two years. I told them I would never make them do any thing I wouldn't do myself in training. And I ran with them. Whether the day's training was 100 and 200 meter repeats, running the course, "time on feet" running, or fartlek's, I ran along side them.

    During one session I was catching up to the lead group, the fastest of the 7th and 8th graders, and asked, "Are you really going to let an old man with bruised ribs keep up with you?" One of them turned and said, without breaking pace, "You're not that old and you run marathons."

    During the Cross Country season, in the last six weeks or so I've run a few races and set a few PRs. On September 19, I ran the Marathon Tune-Up 18 mile in Central Park. I set a new 18-mile PR at 2:27:34, taking 18:56 off my time from last year. Also of note, I didn't end up in medical being treated for hypothermia this year.

    The following week I ran the 5th Ave Mile. I shaved 9 seconds off from last year's race and 3 seconds off my previous best in training. My new mile PR is 5:25.

    About 2 weeks later I ran the Hartford Marathon. My friend and I got there very late the night before the race. Because we were stuck in traffic for about four and a half hours, my friend missed the on-site registration. He debated what to do while we went to dinner at a local tavern. I promptly felt sick after eating.

    The next morning we got and got ready to run. I still felt sick from the night before and threw up the previous night's meal shortly before we went to the registration packet pickup. I got my bib and timing chip and my friend failed to convince the race officials to let him enter. When he asked, "can I run unsanctioned?" the response of the somewhat sympathetic official was, "I can't tell you that you can." So my friend decided to run unsanctioned. After all, no one said he couldn't.

    We lined up in the corral. Despite the way I felt, I knew I had to go out there and run my best marathon. I had told the Cross Country team what Prefontaine had said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I had to go out there and try to PR. But as Yoda said, "Do or do not; there is no try."

    I started the race keeping the 3:45 pace group in my sights. My friend kept along side me for the first three miles then fell back a bit. I had some conversations with two runners in the pace group, Gavasker, the pacer, and Jen, a woman who was looking to BQ. I kept with them the whole way and finished in 3:43:32.

    Unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend dropped out at mile 8 and made his way back to the start/finish area. He was there at the finish line, waiting for me as I crossed the line just ahead of Jen who BQ'd with 2 minutes to spare.

    The next morning I went out with some other friends and ended up running another 24 miles putting me at 50 miles for the weekend. Monday evening I ran in a charity 5K with another friend, and then took a few days off.

    Since then, the Cross Country season has ended. They had their last meet, a few more days of practice, and then this past Wednesday they had team photos followed by an end-of-season pizza party.

    At the party the kids presented me with a plaque to say "thank you." I damn near cried when I unwrapped it and saw the photo taken at one of our practices. But if anyone asks, I'll deny that part.

    Plaque

    The 6th and 7th graders also asked me to come back and coach next year. During and since the season, I've run across some of the kids in town. Every time, they come up to me and say, "Hey coach!" And that means the world to me. It makes me think I've succeeded, that there's a possibility I've inspired them to keep running. Hopefully they'll love running as much as I do, if not more.

    I've encouraged the kids to enter our town's annual 5K next weekend and several of them have signed up. I'm looking forward to running with them again.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    31 Jul 2010

    If my calculations are correct...
    Over the course of the last two years and four months, I've changed considerably both mentally and physically. I lost 108lbs and then put on 6 while marathon training. This 6lbs was purely lean mass (muscle, bone density) and I'm now at about 6% body fat.

    Running is known to increase bone density, and the various forms of exercise I use in my training increased my muscle mass as well throughout this transformation. I've been curious to know just how much fat I lost.

    If my calculations are correct, throughout this process I lost 123.96 pounds of fat and gained 21.96 pounds of bone and muscle resulting in my current net loss of 102lbs.

    Why is this filed under the Running section? Because running was what enabled this transformation to happen.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Jul 2010

    Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta..
    After I finished my run tonight, still in my soaked running gear, I walked directly to local grocery store for chocolate syrup and had the following conversation with the woman at the check out counter.

    her: Over ice cream or chocolate milk.
    me: Chocolate milk.
    her: Nothing hits the spot like a cold glass of chocolate milk.
    me: Especially after a long run.
    her: How far did you run tonight?
    me: Half marathon. My third in three days.
    her: God bless you. God bless you.

    Then, as I walked away she said, "Nice legs."
    "Thanks. I've worked hard for those."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    02 May 2010

    2010 New Jersey Marathon
    I was registered for today's NJ Marathon in Long Branch. I lost a few weeks in training due to some IT-band issues, and earlier this week was stricken with a bout of bronchitis.

    I got down there today, and 30 minutes before the race start I did a quick quarter mile and decided I wasn't over the bronchitis enough to run a marathon today. It was difficult for me to be there as the race started, watching my chance at reaching my goals disappear. As the morning went on and clouds disappeared and the temperature rose, my thoughts changed.

    Not running today was probably the best and hardest decision I've made in a while. Often the right choices in life are not the easiest to choose, no matter the circumstances.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    22 Mar 2010

    2010 NYC Half Marathon
    Yesterday was my best half marathon yet. As I stood in the corral waiting for the race to start, the chill in the air was a welcome change from the heat and humidity of last year's race. The decision to move the race from August to March was a good one. The course is definitely a fun one. It starts with an 8 mile loop around Central Park before exiting onto 7th Avenue. From there, the route goes to 42nd street, through Times Square, and out to the West Side Highway where the course finishes near Battery Park.

    I started out with the goal of beating my time from last year. As long as I did better than 1:51:49, I'd be happy. I was hoping I'd finish within a minute or two of the half marathon PR I set back in January, but I wasn't counting on it.

    As I ran I looked at the split times, and roughly gauged how I was doing, trying to stay on target for something close to 1:37 finish, but primarily making sure I was doing better than last year's 1:51. At mile 8, just before exiting Central Park to head to Times Square, the clock time was about 59 minutes. I realized that the winner of the race was about to finish, if he hadn't already, and I hadn't even made it out of the park.

    This year's splits were much better than last year's.

    split20092010
    5K0:23:420:23:22
    10K0:47:320:46:09
    15K1:14:451:07:59
    20K1:46:091:29:28
    final1:51:491:33:26


    This is the first time I've run negative splits. What really amazes me is that not only was the second half faster, but every 5K split was faster than the previous. There was an excitement exiting the park. There was an amazing rush turning the corner onto 42nd street. The crowds were great, cheering every runner as we passed by.I remember around the mile 11 marker realizing I had a chance to PR, estimating my time at about 1:36, and picking up the pace a bit. I started passing people left and right. One runner saw me and yelled, "Go, man! Go!"

    Out of about 15 to 16 thousand people that signed up, 11,493 finished. I finished in 895th place; far, far, behind the winner who took home $20,000.

    Universal Sports had a live telecast of the event. I set the DVR to record it before I left, but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. It likely focused primarily on the professionals who ran, including the Marathon world record holder, Haile Gebrselassie.

    This was a great race on a great day.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    12 Mar 2010

    Coogan's 5K - Update
    Officially I ran my best 5K to date. I finished in 19:41 averaging 6:20 per mile.

    It was a rather hilly course, starting at 173rd and running up to the Cloisters. After circling the museum, the same route was taken back to 173rd.

    On Saturday I said I was going to PR. I was told that was a bit a of a lofty goal given how hilly the course was. Sunday morning I woke up with a bit of discomfort after gorging on sushi the night before and thought I might not do well.

    As I stood in the corral, those feelings changed. I knew I was going to PR. And I did.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    07 Mar 2010

    Coogan's 5K
    Unofficially I just PR'd at 19:44.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    21 Feb 2010

    Run for Haiti
    Yesterday I posted on the mobile section that I had finished the race coming in number 256 of 8704. The statistics have been updated and I need to post a correction. I finished number 266 of 9421 at a time of 27:17.

    This was of course about a minute slower than the Grid Iron classic where I PR'd, but I finished in the top 2.8% this time.

    Yesterday's race raised over $400,000 for the relief effort in Haiti, with over 10,000 people registering and making donations.

    Yesterday's race was also the first time I had run in a week. Last Saturday (February 13) I ran 31.73 miles. With the upcoming race schedule and training for the New Jersey and Pocono Marathons in May, I figured it would be best to actually rest.

    It felt good to run again. I missed it.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    02 Feb 2010

    On sunday I ran...
    27.22 miles because I felt like it.

    I woke up Sunday morning, ran some errands, and then met a friend for a run. While I was waiting for him, I ran a one mile warm-up. Then he and I set out and ran a half marathon.

    I felt pretty good afterward, so a little while later I set out to do another 10K. That 10K turned into an 8.4 mile hill work out.

    I realized I was only about four miles shy of a marathon at that point and I still felt really good. After a short break I went out one more time. Four and a half miles later, I was back home and had logged the most miles in a single day that I had ever done, breaking my previous record by a mile.

    It felt absolutely amazing.

    Can every body feel like I do? Can't you can't you trip like I do?

    [/running] [permanent link]