This was the last year for the Dam to Dam race that concludes in Des Moines and starts on scenic dam nearly due north of the city. It has a certain reputation as an iconic Iowa running event in no small part due to the cash purses available for the winners. Many people I know have run this race. Last fall my good friend Dave challenged me to run it – if I did, he would too. I took him up on it. What follows is the uncut experience that I had.
IT WENT GREAT.
My overall goal was to finish in less than 2:50, which was a repeat of my goal from 2016 which I missed my just over three minutes.
The weather for the day was awesome. Very calm, neutral wind and the temperature (61 degrees with a 3MPH wind out of the south, which happened to be back to the beach) was ideal for a high level of exertion. By 9:50 at the start of the run it had only climbed to 66 degrees with a 4 MPH wind.
Today I completed my first ever triathlon…
June 22nd, 2015 I bought a bike, a Trek FX 7.3. This changed my life. This neon green chariot of awesome, which I was eventually riding about 100 miles a week, culminated in riding in the Saint Paul Classic where I road it 50 miles in one go. While on one of my rides in late August (which I thought of in my head at that time as bombing runs, an hour of fun exercise outside, zipping around curves and always pushing for more speed) I wondered what I should do next. I considered actual bike racing but quickly discarded that idea. Competing against single sport athletes was likely going to be a source of frustration, plus looking online didn’t turn up many local newbie friendly events. What else then? A triathlon. I had never swum any distance ever. I despised running at that point. What do you do when you are only passable at one sport? Do three at once.
About six months ago, we ran out of bisquick but we still wanted to make pancakes. I looked online and found a very good recipe, and we have since stopped using bisquick for pancakes!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup general purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 (generous) tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (+) fruit, optional (blueberries, etc.)
Start heating up your griddle.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
After beating these items together, make a indent in the center and add the egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
Mix until smooth.
Fold in fruit/chocolate as desired. Personally, I add these things to each pancake individually to spread out the awesome consistently.
Using a spoon or measuring cup, put about 1/4 cup out for each pancake.
Let brown, flip, brown, serve!
Results in 12-14 pancakes.
We’ve been rocking this recipe with Blueberries and Apples for a bit now – its delicious! A very moist muffin recipe.
1 1/4 cups Uncooked quick oatmeal OR 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal 1 1/4 cups flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk 1 egg 1/4 oil 1 cup fresh OR frozen blueberries
Granulated Sugar (Sugar In The Raw) to taste. I put a healthy amount on each muffin. Start with 1 Tablespoon for the pan and adjust from there.
- Preheat Oven to 425
- Combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- In separate bowl, combine milk, egg and oil.
- Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist only.
- DO NOT BEAT.
- Fold in Blueberries.
- Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
- Sprinkle topping sugar over muffins evenly.
- Bake 20-25 minutes.
A while back, maybe a few years back, Kristin said that I should convert our tapes to DVDs and get rid of them.
She may have said this a few times.
Then it made it onto my official “to-do” list, and I am pleased to say that I am now taking this seriously and have acquired the means to do so.
At one point I thought I would just use Windows Media Center and record from the TV setting. This seemed simple and genius – I have TV tuners to spare.
It also doesn’t work. Sigh. Some technical reasons that I don’t really get prevent this from happening.
From there I was stuck, but the Internet is full of information. I found this article and promptly picked the worst, cheapest converter on the list. Reviews at both Amazon and NewEgg convinced me that with a little perseverance I could make this work. I’ve modified drivers, spun up Linux VMs to repackage installers, etc. so I hoped that I could make it work.
Turns out I didn’t need to hope. This Kworld USB converter works fine with Windows 7.
The important bits were covered by this NewEgg review:
Here’s how it works. You plug the USB into your computer. You plug the audio cable into your computer input as well. You install the driver from the driver disk, then you install the two porgrams from the program disk which are both included in the box. You then hook your VCR up to the RCA or S-Video jack. You attach your audio cable from the VCR to the RCA Jacks. If you only have one audio cable, use the left channel. Open the Power Director program and use the capture tab on the upper left side of the screen. It should then look for the signal, and then show you what your VCR is doing on the little screen. To record, DO NOT use the red button on the program. I keep getting copyright protected errors. Instead, press the button on the kworld device (it’s oval and should have a green light lit next to it). It will start recording the video. Make sure you have it going into the file you want and in the proper format. It works, but could use much better instructions.
One brief stumbling block that I had was that I wasn’t getting any video. Messing with the VCR, it appears that the front outputs are no longer working – ore are secretly inputs? No idea, but plugging the cables into the back of the VCR brought up the image fine. Issue number two is that there wasn’t any audio during the capture so the only way I could judge audio sync was by stopping the recording and watching the preview. Not good. Googling it led me to this forum entry and this answer:
You can always monitor the output audio of your VCR (headphone) or video camera speaker while playing back the video to be captured, or also use the windows recording mixer to monitor, so you can know if your material have audio or your audio channel is having any problem. But if you can find out how to monitor the audio level during capturing on PD9, please let me know.
It was really that easy, I opened up the “Recording Devices” control panel by right clicking on the little speaker system icon by the clock. Then I checked this box:
Now I can hear the capture audio while it is in flight over my PC speakers and have a good idea of the incoming volume.
Next up – re-encoding the files in Handbrake for portability.
This is about feeling better about eating “bad” food by making some “good” food.
As I ate leftovers for lunch last Saturday – delicious reheated take out Chinese – I got into a bit of a funk. What is in that food? How much MSG had I just eaten for the second day in a row?
So I decided to make some muffins. Apple muffins, made from things in the fridge and the pantry. I won’t claim that they are “healthy” as they are made with whole milk and butter, but at least I know what’s going on.
There is also a loaf of Honey Wheat bread made from my recipe doing its thing in the bread maker. I feel a little better now…
And I really hope that Gabe enjoys his afternoon snack!
2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt --- 1 cup milk 1 egg 1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter, melted --- 1 cup sweet-tart medium to large apple, cored, peeled and chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or use paper liners. With a wire whisk combine first set of ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add chopped apple and wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir only until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tested done with tester. Credit goes to baking.about.com for having this simple recipe that had a lot less going on than many of the others I looked at.
I added 1/8 tsp course “in the raw” sugar to each muffin before baking. I think I’ll double that for the next batch. Added a good touch of sweetness and little desirable texture. I also used whole wheat flour – today I bought some non-bread white flour for another go at these and will probably do one cup wheat, one cup white to “lighten” them up a bit.
We’ve been trying to make Magento perform better – and one of the most simple things to do is have your php code cached. APC is a package that does this…
Since Ubuntu VM is of an ancient distribution (8.04LTS) I couldn’t do it the super easy Zend Framework way, but this blog got me through.
Down in the comments there is a helpful post about using wget and compiling it – worked like a charm! Then just move the apc.php file into your wordpress directory and bam, off you go!
Probably should secure that somehow…
We are doing some “Gabifying” of the basement and need an 8′ long barrier and toy holder.
Thinking of this:
Painted like this:
might be a good fit.
Any thoughts out there?
I’ve recently started to use Crashplan to back up a rather large file server. It was crashing repeatedly around ~1.1TB and ~300k files.
The error message we were seeing on our remote host was “target lost” which led us to many hours troubleshooting disk performance and network connectivity. After attaching a “local” disk to the VM for local backups, waiting the ~12-14 hours for the initial backup to get to the same spot – and then fail – it appeared that it was something more systemic.
Contacting Crashplan support yielded this very helpful response:
Crashplan Rep Response:
It appears that the CrashPlan backup engine is running out of memory.
Running Notepad or any other text-editor as an Admin, edit the CrashPlan engine’s CrashPlanService.ini file to allow it to use more java memory:
1. Stop the backup engine: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/how_to/stop_and_start_engine
2. Locate the Notepad program, right-click and Launch as Administrator
3. Go to File > Open, and navigate to C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\CrashPlanService.ini
4. Find the following line in the file:
5. Edit to something larger such as 640, 768, 896, or 1024. E.g.:
This sets the maximum amount of memory that CrashPlan can use. CrashPlan will not use that much until it needs it. I would recommend starting out setting it to 768, and go higher only if you continue experiencing problems. You can set it as high as 2048 on 32-bit systems, or even higher on 64-bit systems.
6. Start the backup engine.
We set it to -Xmx1024m after increasing the memory allocation by 1GB as well. The server is running like a top and backups are consistently running successfully.
Troubleshooting backups, especially mulit-TB datasets, can be a huge pain as they take so long to redo and reproduce. Props to Crashplan for getting back to me within two hours on our free trial, which has since been converted to their family unlimited plan for two years. *thumbs up*