Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mohican Trail Run

I met up with some new friends at Mohican State Park today for a long trail run through the hills: 

Nick, Luc, Kim, Rob, & Mark 

These runners are all "ultra runners" which means that they all run races that are more than the standard marathon distance (which is 26.2 miles). Each of them had run 100 mile races before and were planning to run various ultra endurance races this year too. I told them right up front about my running record and they were all very supportive and congratulated me on my new passion. Before today my longest run was 13.1 miles, but my longest trail run was 12.4 miles... and anybody who reads my blog knows that I almost died that day. :) To even consider a 100 mile trail race was beyond me... Even after todays run. 

Kim, Mark, and Nick were all doing 20 miles, Rob was doing 40 miles, and I agreed to do 15 miles with them. This was the longest I've ever done at once. We started off at the covered bridge @ 8AM and ran through some of the technical hiking trails along the "orange loop". This run was a blast!! We started off with a walk/run pace taking it easy up the hills and jogging through the flats and down the narrow paths. The crew I was running with had strategically placed water jugs along the course so we could refill our water bottles at mile 5 and mile 10. The stops were perfectly spaced apart, for my water bottle was just about empty by the time we got to them; apparently these guys knew what they were doing. :) We basically ran to the water jugs, filled up our bottles and got moving again. Good thing too because it was really cold and standing still with all that sweat was not fun. 

While we were running, I was asking Mark and Rob them what the longest distance they had ran and both Mark and Rob stated that the longest they had run were both 100 mile races. I'm still trying to comprehend how this is humanly possible. They both stated that it was all mental really. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to think about these types of distances... For now, I'm just going to focus on 26.2. :) 

My total run today was 15 miles and it took me right around  3 hours and 10 minutes (not counting water stops). At mile 10, I ran into a nasty patch of frosted thick gooey mud and my shoe got sucked up into it while I tried to run through it. In order to get my shoe back, I had to slosh back through it in my bare sock and this was pretty unpleasant. I basically wiped my sock off with my hand and slimed it back into my shoe. Luckily, my foot warmed up rather quickly and I ended up forgetting about it after about 5 minutes or so. Needless to say, my new Adidas Quatra Trail Shoes are pretty gross looking right now (both inside and out).

About 1 mile later, my legs pretty much locked up on me; I had some pretty uncomfortable cramping in my quads. It was hard to walk for a few hundred yards at one point. I've had calf cramps before and those hurt, however I'd never had quad cramps before; it just felt weird more than anything (not "painful" though). I think this was my body's way of yelling STOP!! Unfortunately (for my legs anyway) I still had 4 more miles of trails to go. These next 4 miles were the technical ones too. The trail ran right along side the river and there were all kinds of roots, rocks, mud slicks and just nasty terrain. 

I would like to thank Rob for staying with me through my cramps because I didn't know where I was, nor how to get past these nasty cramps. It seemed like every time I tried to run again, my legs would start to lock up again. Rob stayed back and gave me some tips on how to get past this so I don't have to go through them again for my next trail run. Our whole conversation could be summed up with two easy words: "slow" and "steady". Thanks again Rob!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grand Island Trail Marathon

Call me nuts, but I signed up for my first marathon tonight and the one I signed up for is quite a doozy... I'll be running the Grand Island Trail Marathon in Munising, Michigan (upper peninsula) on July 26th!

I stumbled upon this race online the night that I realized that I liked trail running so much. A while later, I saw it advertised in my RunnersWorld magazine (clip shown on the right). In the full list of all upcoming marathons for 2008, this is the one that sparked my interest the most. Oddly enough, it had the least amount of information associated with it though. I guess there really isn't much to say about it; there doesn't appear to be much crowd support, it's not a good race for a "BQ", and the terrain is insane. To me though, it looks like the coolest one of all of them and I'm damn excited to be running it. When I realized that I had to do this, I got all giddy and told Jennifer about it. We're probably going to make a weekend trip of it and take the girls camping up there that weekend; fun for the whole family!

Honestly, the amount of hills and overall terrain of the course makes it a bit intimidating for me, but I'm totally up for the challenge. The blurb indicates that "hills are constant" and even mentions some of the mile markers to watch out for. :) Sweet! This does not put any less attention on my upcoming Trail Marathon in April. However, the Grand Island Trail Marathon has a major"cool" factor to it since it is run on a remote island out in Lake Superior.
"The water of Lake Superior is as clear and aqua blue as the Caribbean, with the kind of crystalline quality that lures you to cleanse yourself in its frigid embrace. You imagine you could walk right in and just just keep walking along the rock-strewn bottom in a beautiful blue purity."

Well, that all sounds "good 'n' gay", but check out the topo map of the course and notice the steep climbs and drop-offs in the chart at the bottom:

Crazy huh? That kinda voids the whole 'crystalline quality' and 'beautiful blue purity' if you ask me...

Judging from my near death experience with 12.4 miles in Hocking Hills last September, these trail marathons are really going to push my limits! I'm totally out of shape for these races, yet totally excited to do them at the same time! Luckily, I have almost 8 months to train for this nasty one. I plan to train hard because I want to make this one count...

And... go!

Richard Campbell - The Real Alpha Geek

.NET Rocks!: Richard Campbell Tells All!

Carl interviews Richard, who tells many stories of his experiences in electronics and computers. Don't miss the funny stories! This guy is insanely geeky and I solute thee.

If you think you know anything about computer, listen to Richards story:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Late Night Running

I've found that I've been doing a lot more of it... I had to resort to running at night because I can't find any other time throughout the day to run. Between the short days, spending time with my family and work stuff, this is really the only time that I have available for "me time". I've just learned how to dodge headlights. Needless-to-say, it is very relaxing and, well it also fits well into my schedule.

Basically, I run while others sleep. I've done quite a bit of night running these last couple of weeks. The first time was the most awkward really, because I didn't know what to expect. After I realized how relaxing it was, I discovered that this is really the best time to run. Jen has a head light that she uses for working around the barn yard after dark and I strap that on my head and go. I try to wear as much white as possible so that people can see me and my shoes reflect pretty bright, so it's fairly safe. I've asked Santa for some reflective clothing this year, so we'll see...

Here is my favorite late night path:

Basically, I park at my friend's house (thanks Tyler) and just go... I showed up at his house tonight @ 10:15 and took off running. I got back around 11:15 and then came home. The night after my company Christmas dinner, I actually ran a longer version of this loop and didn't get back to my car until about 1 am. :)

It's funny because a lot of the cops doing their rounds at night probably all refer to me as "that crazy guy with the head light" on their radios. I just wave at them... :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've always kinda taken charge at setting up our travels at work. As embarrassing as it is, I have to admit that I've been using this whole time. It has always allowed me to book my flight, hotel, and car in one stop. Since it was all I knew, I was happy... Well, I have a new standard. I recently had to book a flight and Issam sent me a link that blew me away:

This single site ties together lots of sites into a single list to filter, sort, and flag. Using the controls on the left, it's so quick to search for the exact flight you want. For example, on this trip I was trying to avoid a certain airport. With a single click, I was able to exclude all results that had layovers at this particular airport. Using the flight time sliders allowed me to only show flights that left within my defined time range. There were 250+ possible routes to get to the destination I wanted. However, after some simple clicking and dragging, I had my results down to 20 or so. From there, I simply checked the details of some and remove the ones I didn't want. I placed a flag on the good ones until I got down to about 5, then I just picked one. Picking one spawned off multiple site queries from various sites (including Expedia, Priceline, CheapTickets, Hotwire, as well as all the major airline's sites). I ended up buying my tickets from The entire process was so painless and I got the exact flight I wanted.

Conclusion: Next time you book a flight, use

Oh yeah, Expedia called and they want their 56k modems back...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Trail Running

Pretty Trail Pic from OKTrailRunning.comI found my new passion. Yesterday, I had lunch with an old friend and had full intentions on going back to the office to work. However, after lunch I wanted to get in my run for the day while it was still light outside. I decided to go to Blendon Woods and run some of the trails. About 1 hour later I had ran every trail they had to offer and I wanted more. It was cold, my feet were soaked, my running pants were destroyed and coated in thick mud splat, my heart was thumping, and I was drenched in sweat... I loved it!

Since it was raining off and on yesterday, I decided to leave the iPod in the car and I just listened to my feet sloshing through the soupy grass. The whole time I ran, I was avoiding all of the roots, puddles, and mud slicks as much as possible. After about 45 minutes of this, I decided to just ignore the 3 inch deep puddles and I started sloshing through them... like a crazy man. It was in these moments that I decided road races were for the birds... I am a trail runner!

When I got home last night, I started looking up all the trail runs in this area. I was surprised to find that there really aren't a whole lot. The big ones around here are YUTC, Hocking Hills Indian Run, and the Mohican 100. I'm sure there are others, but I have yet to find them. I found quite a few in Michigan that I plan to sign up for, but not so many Ohio races for 2008.

The truth of the matter is that I should have known after the Indian Run that trail running was my true passion. When I did the Hocking Hills 20k Indian Run (my story) back in September, I admitted that it was the hardest thing I had ever done, physically. It really was! This is the race that I take the most pride in. Yeah, I did the Columbus 1/2 Marathon (my story) too which was longer in distance, but (like I stated before), it was easy compared to the 12.4 mile trail run. Next year I plan on signing up for the 40k (aka: 24.8 miles). In the meantime, I'm signing up for a full "trail marathon" in April called: The Trail Marathon (ironic?)

I am officially "in training" for my trail marathon (4 months away). When I told the wife about it, she threw her head back and told me that I'm crazy. I think she's right. :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

CodeMash Theme Song

There has been some discussion on the CodeMash discussion board about a jam session this year: Music at the conference?

After reading the thread, I saw where nobody had voluteered for drum-duty, so I did. I'm pretty excited about this, to say the least. I'm going to try and talk James into either singing or bringing his saxophone. :)

Flashback: Many years ago, Data Dynamics took a trip to San Fransisco and there was a band playing at one of the Microsoft after-hour events (making some pretty good money, I'm sure). We were all mingling about with our drinks in hand, and I went up to meet the band. I was talking to them (in between songs) and asked if I could sit in on the drums for one of their songs... surprisingly they let me! I'll never forget that. They announced my name and stated that I work for Data Dynamics (free publicity) before we played and then we ended up playing "Brown-Eyed Girl" for the crowd. The people I was traveling with (Tim & Ferhat, if I remember correctly) couldn't believe I even asked. :) I think Ferhat even took pictures (?). This was all before I was blogging of course, or this would have DEFINITELY made it on my blog.

Ok, back to present day... I'm hoping somebody will bring a digital camera and we could record the CodeMash theme song. :) If all goes well, we may end up travelling around the world opening for various pop stars... Ok, maybe not. Anyway, Scott is preparing a keynote presentation to tie many things together and he plans to stick around afterwards to talk to people and answer tough questions. This ought to be a great event. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

CodeMash 2008 - Spread the Word!

Data Dynamics is damn proud to be sponsoring CodeMash 2008! We sponsored (and attended) the event last year, and we'll be sponsoring (and attending) the event again this year. Last years event was a huge success for the entire development community around here. The crew that puts this event together is just "with it"... big time.

For example, last year, Scott Guthrie gave the keynote, and they had all kinds of high class speakers giving sessions on some pretty cutting edge technologies (ie. grid computing was pretty informative). I actually made "small talk" with Scott Guthrie in the hall (mono 'e' mono) before his keynote; he's pretty grounded for a man with such wisdom/respect. This year, the other Scott will be giving the keynote. That's right, Scott Hanselman! I just blogged about this guy the other day (Scott Hanselman - The Realtor) and I listen to his podcast (HanselMinutes) all the time. It will be great to see him face to face... who knows, maybe I'll bring the floor plans to my house and ask him to lunch for some Google Earth / SketchUp wizardry. :)

Last year I was able to take the family and we made a mini vacation out of the event:

CodeMash 2007 @ Kalahari Resort

This year, the family is staying at home, so I'll be in "full" nerd mode. It will just be James and I, and we'll be talking a lot about our latest products ddReports and ddAnalysis. We'll be giving lots of demos and plan to give a presentation of just how powerful and easy to use these products are. If you plan to attend CodeMash this year, please take time to visit our booth and attend our presentation.

It goes without saying (thanks Pilgrim) that the CodeMash agenda looks pretty stellar this year. I'm thinking that James and I might split up and check out some different sessions, then share knowledge over a beer afterward. We will be giving a presentation of our latest products in one of the side rooms (more details in a later post). We plan to create a compelling use case for analyzing data (source code included).

If you are reading this post, and haven't got a ticket for CodeMash, go do it! This is a high class event, put on by some high class people. The best part is that the organizers have made this event cheap to attend, with a list of speakers that are highly respected in the development community. CodeMash made the #1 Technorati search term last year (beating the iPhone)!! I gotta admit that the overall feel of CodeMash just makes being a geek "cool"! It's gonna be a fun one this year! I wonder if there will be more head shavings... Josh? :)

Oh yeah, if you didn't know this, the Kalahari Resort is a huge indoor water park! I do plan to bring my trunks... and about $20 extra for the massive arcade room as well.

Spread the word!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

O Sweet Static - CD's for Sale

The ever famous O Sweet Static CD's are in and available for purchase. :)

So if you don't already know, I was in a rock band for a few years and we did a bunch of gigs out at many of the local bar scenes in Columbus. We played at Whiskey Dicks, Little Brothers, Club 202, OldFields on High, just to name a few. We also played some private party's as well that were more low key unless you were in our "groupie" click. :)

Here's to all my peeps: Woody, Steve, Eric, Jay, Pete, Jon Chinn @ Workbook Studio, & Bonnie Young @ BYoungDesigns... It's done!

So basically, if you like rock and roll and you dig funky drumming, buy this CD. I'm trying to get $10 a pop out of them if possible. Of course, I've been selling them pretty cheap to my coworkers and those that were there for me when it was all going down (family & friends). Truth be told though, $10 isn't that bad for the quality of product that you would be buying. It comes shrink wrapped, it's all arted out, and has all the lyrics inside so you can sing along. I'd pay $10 for it... if I hadn't already spent @#$@#% on it already. Let's just say that it cost a hell of a lot more than $10 to make 'em! :)

As the drummer, my favorites are probably Love Drugs & Bombs, Anger Management, Hazy, & Summer Fun. Ok, I guess I forgot Tripping Along, Conversation 29, and Carnival. But then there's also Attitude, Beautiful Thing, Alcohol, & Mild Concussion, oh hell, they're all good! Honestly, they all have their own hook in them. The more you listen to them, the more you'll like them.

When we played at gigs, we did a couple of songs that aren't on the album. Therefore if we ever get together and do another album (very unlikely), you can expect to see songs like SoundCheck, Anthem, Ode to Fans, State Your Claim, and a few others. All of which are very fun songs that didn't make it on the album. I do have some studio clips of them in my iTunes that are un-mastered. If you're interested in these, let me know and I can post them on my site for you to listen to.

Ok, if you're interested in getting your hands on our CD, send me an email. I have tons! I'd be happy to get you hooked up with this disc (lucas (at) hardbarger (dot) com). We put a lot of time and effort into this thing and we are all real happy with how it turned out! Note that if the album artwork looks confusing and "dark", fear not, for it was intended to look this way. Always remember to "never judge a book by it's cover". Most all of our songs are actually bright and fun!!

Check out our GarageBand demos if you don't believe me:

My Desktop Backgound

I am using the following image as my desktop background image:

Just last week I was in a meeting at work and someone made mention of how cool of a picture it was. I actually took this picture on my hill the day after our bonfire. That next morning was beautiful and Jennifer and I had a mini picnic with the girls.

Check out some of the other photo's that were taken that day from my online photo album:

For instance, this one is pretty cool too showing the girls playing on the wood pile:

Anyway, I got lots of pictures in my album and so far, my current desktop background is the most professional looking one yet from my collection. :) The others are just "fun".

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ajax Gif Generator

I'm doing some black majik ajax stuff and was looking for an animated gif to load while waiting on the server calls in my web page. I did a google search for "ajax gif loader" and found this (among others of course):

Thought it was worthy of sharing since it basically shows every Ajax loader gif I've ever seen... Except for that damn dog wagging his tail!?

Friday, November 16, 2007

...For Pilgrim

Country boy can survive!

My dad built a custom "trucker radio" from a $20 Wal-mart toolbox using spare material. The overall idea is to allow him to carry a CB radio with him anywhere he goes and it has come in handy many times out here at our house (working on the tractor, camping in the middle of nowhere, our bonfire, etc...). It's basically just two used speakers, a CB, some bungy cords, crazy wiring, and a detatchable clamp welded to a huge antenna for hanging it on the truck mirrors. The box comes equipped with 3-4 car lighters, (handy for charging your phone, or actually heating up a... car lighter). He uses one of them to run his XM radio. It weighs about 30 lbs, but has a handle for carrying, and a wooden base for placing it anywhere you want... like on an uneven engine of a pick-up truck when hot-wiring it to a 12 volt battery. :)
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Cool Ruby Linq

... ok, the "q" was not necessary; I just thought it made my title look cool... Well?

Whatever, click this:

Scott Hanselman the Realtor

Wow! I was listening to episode 105 of Hanselminutes and Scott got me excited about planning my upcoming house projects. He discusses using along with Sketchup and Google Earth along with VirtualEarth to model a house that he and his wife are building. The best part is that he walks you through exactly what he did to make it work.

This could keep me up all night in the near future. :) Jennifer and I want to make a walk out basement, finish our basement, and build a deck on the front of our house that would connect the front of our house to the back of our house. After listening to Scott's podcast, I can see great value in modeling my house projects and landscape first in SketchUp... then getting the hammer and nails.

If any of this sounds cool to you too, then listen to Scott talk about it: Planning, Placing and Building a House Google Earth and Sketchup. He makes it sound much cooler! If he does decide to get into real-estate, I definitely want him as my Realtor!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gphone... really!

James sent me a link to a Scoble post about a rather boring (but exciting) new platform called Android from Google... Can you say Gphone?

Of course you should definitely read Scoble's post too since he adds a lot of extra talking points and sparks some pretty amazing comments on his blog.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gphone? This Monday? What?

Google to unveil 'Android' phone software | One More Thing - CNET "Can Google really be a mobile-software developer, search engine, application house, and wireless carrier? And will people actually want to use that? We might soon find out."

I did some link digging and saw that Google is amping up their mobile market since everybody has a cell phone these days. Why wouldn't Google get a piece of this? To be honest with you, I'm hope they do! I know I'm using the crap out of their services every single day. I haven't given them a penny out of my pocket. So it appears that "Corporate America" is floating the bill for my Gmail space, web space, this blog, Picasa, and everything else I use of theirs.

How cool would it be to just buy a phone (ie. a Gphone) and then never pay for phone service again? With the right device and an open wireless network this sounds not so far off. Basically, build a cheap device that would have Google Talk service for the speech capabilities to talk to other people with a Gphone. Preload a lightweight browser (ie. Firefox) for quick access to everything else "Google" (ie. maps, local search, ). Once you buy it, just keep it charged and take it with you.

The Safari & iPhone combo is a perfect example; Scott let me tinker on his iPhone one day and after about 5 minutes with it, I "got it". Ingenious! Now just take away the wireless service agreement and you've won.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see this as being that far off... I'd love to get away from sending money every month to Sprint for my cell phone service. I'm on my PC most of the time anyway.

Columbus 1/2 Marathon - My Goal Race

Mission Accomplished! I did it, damn it! I got the picture and medal the to prove it. :)

This really was my "goal race". Back in February 2007, I set a goal to run the Columbus Half Marathon this year. Well, I did. However, I gotta say that after the 20K Indian Trail Run last September, this race was (almost) a walk in the park. I didn't stop once from exhaustion and I held a damn strong pace the entire race.

I'll be totally honest, I wasn't nervous or worried about finishing the race, but I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do with my mindset. James and I were in Tulsa, OK for Tulsa TechFest 2007 (which was a blazing success by the way). We didn't back to Columbus until 7:30pm Saturday night. By the time I got back into Newark, it was almost 9pm and Jennifer talked me into stopping at my parents for a cookout. I had honestly wanted to just go home and go to bed because James and I were up all night Friday night posting Data Dynamics Analysis to the website. We ended up staying at my parents cookout until 10:30pm and by the time we got home and settled down, I didn't go to sleep until 1am!!

The Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon started together at 8:00am. Therefore, I had to get up at 5:30am to eat breakfast and get out of the door by 6:30 to beat the race traffic. I did. I got to the race around 7:30am and I had plenty of time before the race started. I decided to find the port-a-potties and take some pictures of the race crowd. As I made my way toward the port-a-potties with my camera in hand, I was met with a wall of people around the corner. I had no idea how many people were actually going to be at the event. It was amazing to see so many people in downtown Columbus at one time (besides Red, White, and Boom of course). It took me about 20 minutes to get through the bathroom line, but I got some (kinda) cool pictures during my wait. You can find them in my picture gallery here:
By the time I got done at the port-a-potties, the race was about to start. I literally ran back to my car to drop off the camera, took a bite of a protein bar and sprinted to the starting line. I didn't even have time to stretch... Believe it or not, I had to catch up to the police car that was following the "last person"... therefore, I was the last person to start the race. If you knew me, you would agree that this only makes sense, I'm late for most things. :)

The race environment was absolutely awesome. There were people on the side of the road every step of the way cheering the runners on. I heard "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes, I heard a high school drum line rocking out at a couple of spots along the way (that was really cool too btw), and there were many local musicians setup along side the road playing their instruments for the racers. Many of the local residents of Columbus sat out in their yards cheering on the runners too. It was simply awesome to be a part of this. I knew the race was going to be easy at about the 3 mile marker believe it or not... I was so in tuned with everything around me that I didn't even thing about the fact that my body only had 4.5 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. My senses were all on overdrive that I didn't even notice that my legs were moving at a 9 minute pace!

I met a lot of people on the course too. Lots of runners had little sayings on their shirts. For example, one lady had a shirt on and the back said "My name is Linda. I'm 50 years old today, and this is my first marathon!". So of course, as I passed her, I congratulated her and wished her a happy birthday. This was the whole race too, I talked to so many people and everybody was so nice.

The only downside to the race was my nipples... Yes, my nipples. At about the 7 mile marker my nipples hurt really bad from my shirt rubbing them over and over. I eventually looked looked down on my shirt and saw that my new white shirt now had a red patch of blood where my nipple had been rubbed raw. Needless-to-say, I still had 6 more miles to go. I was going to have to ignore this piercing pain and move on. Honestly though, this was easy to do; I was so high on energy and no sleep that my nipples didn't bother me that much. They just felt weird, but didn't really hurt at that point. However, as I ran past people on the sidelines, I found myself watching their eyes. I then knew what it was like to be a busty woman... Nobody was looking me in the face anymore; they were all looking at my (red) boobs. :)

The course finished on a slight uphill climb, but then turned a corner and the finish line was toward the bottom of a nice downhill slope. I finished the race with a 9:09 mile pace.

Going into the race, I told myself that I wanted to to have a sub 10 minute mile pace. I finished the 13.1 mile race in 2 hours 7 minutes 12 seconds. This calculates to a 9:43 pace!! Never would I have guessed that to be possible! Never!

There really isn't much more to say about my first 1/2 marathon experience other than it was a blast. I'm so happy that I did it. I'm already planning my 26.2 mile adventure for next spring. There are actually quite a few marathons in the spring, so I'm going to do my research before committing to one.

Oh yeah, to finish my story about my lack of sleep and overall body torture... I got home from the race, talked to Jen and my girls, and then crashed on the couch for about 3 hours. When I woke up, my dad and I went camping for 3 days. I slept in a tent for the next 2 nights. Yeah, my body still hates me for all of this. I figure I'll catch up on sleep over that next weekend... Wait I'm having a bonfire that next weekend... Crap!? :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hippie Daizi

Only a father could think this is adorable.

Others don't seem to think so though...(?)
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My Guitar Hero

I know I haven't blogged in a while, and that is about to change, cause I have a backlog of things that need blogged. However, this is very blog worthy post for a comeback.

Tonight, I logged in to do some PCing, and James sent me a link to his buddy's guitar hero video on YouTube. This guy's name is Adam and I've met him before. At that time I had no idea he had mad-jammin-chops. Well... I'll let the video speak for Adam now:

From now on, whenever I'm in the room with this guy, he will be known only as "Mr. Guitar Hero".

Rock on Adam!.. I mean... Mr Guitar Hero, sir.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Data Dynamics Analysis (public beta)

This post is a bit longer overdue than James' late announcement.

We, at Data Dynamics, have been very busy the last couple of years developing the next generation of analysis tools for .NET developers. We've just recently announced the beta release of our latest .NET component called Data Dynamics Analysis.

This is a new cutting edge visual analysis tool for developers that need to deliver analysis solutions to their end users. With a few configurations, developers are able to deliver business intelligence solutions to their end users through presentation quality charts requiring nothing more than simple drag and drop operations. In a nutshell, we will help you look like a rock star with this thing. If you don't believe me, just download it and give it 15 minutes of your time.

It really is amazing how basic charts can give a person a deep understanding of the same data. By simply visualizing the exact same data in a meaningful chart with easy colors, the user begins to make sense of the data at a deeper level. Though DynamiCube will always be my first love, Data Dynamics Analysis is my new tool for analyzing data.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Indian Run 20K - My Sixth Race

Animated Map OverviewThis post is very long overdue! I ran the Hocking Hills Indian Run 20K Trail Race back on September 22nd (almost 1 month ago). Honestly, I wasn't sure what I should write, so I procrastinated until it got ridiculously overdue. Now that I've reached this milestone (ridiculously overdue), I felt it was time to tell my story. The first thing I guess that I should say is that it was the hardest thing (physically) that I've ever done! This was the longest distance I've ever ran and it was also the toughest terrain I've ever run on. Here is my story...

The Night Before
I left my house around 6PM the night before so that I could setup camp at Caveman Retreats. By the time I got there, it was pushing 8PM and it was pretty dark. I basically setup my tent and laid down to sleep. Believe it or not, I was in my sleeping bag by 9PM and laid awake until about 10:30PM before actually falling asleep. It was a long night because I slept right on a root or something. I woke up every hour or so all night long shifting my body around this thing under my tent. Needless to say, I loved the whole experience. I was born for this crap! Everything about it was just great. Lying in my tent under the stars was very relaxing. I just listened to the crickets chirping and Sasquatch yelling...

The Morning Of
When morning broke, I literally woke up, packed my tent, paid my dues, and was on my way to the race. Notice I left out a few important steps: breakfast and water. That information plays an important part later... By the time I woke up at 8AM, to the time I was on the road 8:45AM, I was just focused on getting to the starting line. I knew I was in for a true test of endurance and focus that day and I just blocked out all common sense (food, water, stretching, etc..). The weather was pretty hot already and I had a long 2+ hour run through some nasty wooded trails and hills ahead of me.

The Race
My start time was at 9:30 exactly. I started with 2 other women, they had both ran the Indian Run before. However, this was the first time either of them had done the 20K. At this point I was questioning my sanity. Was I crazy to think I could do this my first time. Of course!! :) To set the stage for this race, I must say that while I was standing at the starting line ready to start, I realized that I hadn't done any stretching, I hadn't eaten anything, and had absolutely no fluids in me. This concludes the crazy factor. I'm nuts!

The first 3 - 4 miles was up a few hills, through some nature paths and along a very hilly road. So far so good; nothing too bad at this point. I felt great and had a good pace going. At about the 4 mile marker I was met with a hard left turn at the bottom of a huge hill. Once I made the turn, I looked up a hill that seemed to stretch all the way to Heaven. It was a dirt path that literally looked like it went for about 1/2 mile winding up through the woods. I decided that I was going to run/walk up this thing so that I didn't kill myself too early. I still had 8+ miles to go and didn't want to spend all of my energy on this thing. I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the stronger runners walking up this thing too. I didn't feel so... noob.

Once we got to the top of this hill my legs were burning so bad. There was the first water station setup that had water, power-aid, pretzels, fig newtons, and crackers. It was pretty crowded, but I squeezed over and took down 2 dixie cups of water. The pit stop lasted about 30 seconds for me and it helped a bit.

After the water stop, I got back into a nice pace and passed a few runners and I felt like I had gotten back into my rhythm. At this point, the course got very beautiful. We went back off of the road and wound through some dirt roads through the Hocking Forest. It felt very reminiscent of Blackhand Gorge (aka. My Park), only it was 10 time bigger in every aspect. I was in a zone for the next 4 miles and they went very quickly and very easily. Yes, I even went through some pretty treacherous parts, but I was in my element just by noticing the scenery and keeping pace with the runners around me. Nobody talked, we just panted and kept up with one another. I loved it!

About 8 miles into it, we met up with the 10K course and I was really looking forward to the finish line. I only had about 4+ miles to go and I think I got a bit cocky with myself. I picked up the pace a little bit and passed some runners thinking "I can do 4 miles in my sleep". The thing that I didn't take into consideration was my fuel tank was on empty. I was only running on water and a bad night's sleep. Luckily, there was another water station about this time, so I stopped and had 3 dixie cups of water and 2 fig newtons. I think the fig newtons helped a bit because I could feel myself coming out of a funk a bit. I probably should have taken a minute or two and eaten some more food for the remaining 4 miles, but I didn't.

After that pit stop, my race turned to shit! I found myself walking more and more up every little hill and only ran on the strait aways (which were few and far between). There were a couple of spots where I did some stomp-running where I just kept falling forward and allowing my legs to keep me upright. We ran through some nasty hiking trails that were just wide enough for one person and was inviting me to twist my ankle with every step. Much of this trail was along side a beautiful lake. I wanted to jump in that lake so bad and just float lifelessly for 10 minutes, but I still had 2 miles of hilly, wooded trails to go. Everybody that I had passed earlier was now passing me. Of course as they passed they would say words of encouragement for I guess my pain and fatigue was pretty noticeable. The support from these other selfless runners really did help me get through this part of the race. I'll remember this in my next race when I see people struggling.

The final stretch was the hardest mile (hands down) I've ever done. The course came out of the woods and onto the main road that led back up to the Lodge. Key word here is "up"... it was an uphill run. I actually stopped at one point and sat on a guard rail to give my legs a break. By this point, I was numb and completely exhausted. One runner came up and stood next to me and talked to me for a minute. He was spent too. We realized that we were crazy for running this thing then started inching toward the finish line. He pulled away from me after a while and I was struggling to put my feet in front of one another all the way to the finish line. Once I saw the finish line, I sucked it up and tried to run as fast as I could. The crowd was so motivating; everybody was cheering me on like I had won the race. It helped me finish strong.

The Result

My finish time was 2 hours 25 minutes and 30 seconds!!! :D

The After Math
Honestly, the moment I crossed the finish line, I knew it was worth all the sweat and pain. I stumbled over to the fruit and water table and couldn't sit down quick enough. My legs just hurt. Period. It was a "weird" kind of hurt that I had never experienced before; deep in my muscles. I sat at that table for about 20 minutes and got my sweat under control and let my body pull itself back together again. A lot of people stopped and talked to me and I realized that runners are very encouraging and supportive of other runners by nature. I didn't feel out of place at all. We had all just put ourselves through the same amount of torture and there was an odd bond by this point. I sat there until I got caught up on my food and water deprivation. I probably ate 3 apples, 2 bananas, a gatorade, and 2 water bottles. Once I got myself back together, I stood up and made the long walk to my car (~200 yards away... uphill).

Needless to say, when I got home I slept for 4 hours strait with my legs elevated and iced. The cool part about this killer race is that ever since that day, my training runs are MUCH easier and MUCH faster. :) It's amazing how much you can improve when you break yourself down to nothing. Next week is my Columbus 1/2 Marathon race. I'll be sure to post my race results a lot sooner than I did this one.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Moving - Phase 2

I finally moved my site over to Google Apps last night. I was unpleasantly surprised when I found out I had to pay $50 for every member in my family. This includes Jennifer, my Mom, my Dad, my Sister, and myself. Heaven forbid I want to add my cousins and other relatives. I thought I was going to be able to add as many users as I wanted, but this is not the case. :(

I'm in the process of getting my email's transferred over, but it looks like I might have to dish out a bit more money for this to be a complete port. I would have thought that as a Premier member, I could add "Standard" users with just email permissions... I spent some time in Google Groups and it appears that many other users are reporting the same problem.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Moving - Phase 1

Well I'm in the process of moving my site to Google Apps and the big chunk is finally out of the way. I still have to wait on a few things before I can actually sign off to the new site. Mainly because I'm hosting a couple of online photo albums for other people, and I want to give them a chance to relocate their pics.

Moving all of my photos was a huge step. Here is a link to my new photo album: Luc's Picasa Web Albums. And, yes, I'll try to keep this updated now that I have finally accepted how stupid-easy it is to do...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Word 2007 - From Scanner or Camera

Wow, Word 2007 doesn't offer this option. It only took me about 20 minutes of searching before I decided to press F1. I'm pretty stubborn sometimes I guess:

What happened to the From Scanner or Camera option for adding pictures to a document?

The From Scanner or Camera option for adding pictures to a document is not available in Microsoft Office Word 2007. Instead, you can add pictures from your camera or scanner by downloading the pictures to your computer first and then copying them from your computer into Word.

After you download a picture to your computer, do the following:

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Picture.
Locate the picture that you want to add to your document, and then click Insert.

This is a big change if you ask me... I used the crap out of this thing in earlier versions of Office.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What does your product do?

Issam turned me onto a great link: How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch That Will Land You Big Business

I thought it was very informative and should be read by anybody selling anything. I'm going to try it's methods to nail down some pitches I need to be working on. :) Thanks, Issam!

Do I look credible?

I'm renewing my passport, and this is what will be on it:

And, (for comic relief) here is my old one from when I was 16:

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Online Training Log for Runners

Just recently (ok, 3 days ago) I wrote a post about my "new online running tool". Well, I've flip-flopped to another tool since then. Yes, 3 days ago... :)

As I outlined in that post, there is a lot of competition out there and this is my final stop; I finally found the one that fits me. I'm a subscriber to RunnersWorld magazine and I read articles from my blog reader (none other than Google Reader of course). They've recently announced a new online training portal to their site for tracking your data. Needless-to-say, they offer the built-in Google maps tool to create, find, and share running routes as well.

The mapping utility appeared a bit flawed at first, but it was much better than the mapping utility that had (which was nothing). offered a full-fledge community feel to their site and had some pretty compelling features for us "tech nuts" including an add-on for finding runs directly from Google maps, various blogging links, and other cool things that had me convinced they were "the ones". What ended up selling me on was the fact that they had charts, in depth mileage tracking, very large online community, amazing articles, and they're improving their map sharing.

My only complaint with these training sites is that nobody has an "import" utility to import old data files. They all offer an "export" utility, which makes it easy to leave... but no "import". This seems like a "must have" if you ask me. Especially for, because they are the "new kids" in town with their training log. I've only been running for 8 months... I couldn't imagine the heaps of data that other runners must have.

I posted the discussion on both sites requesting this feature, so I guess you can say that I did my part in getting the ball rolling..? We'll see...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Extensive Examination of Data Structures

While I coding away and decided to try to implement my own binary tree last night (I know, but whatever...). So, of course, I did some Googling and found "the link of all links". I quickly got lost in all-goodness: An Extensive Examination of Data Structures

This post is more or less just a reference for me... for later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I've been spending a lot of time with some new (to me) tools for tracking my runs and so on. There are many tools out there that now offer mapping technology with their services. For the longest time, I've been using to track my progress, but the other sites offer a lot more features...

If you've ever read any of my posts, you know that I am a big fan of mapping technologies (who isn't?). Well all these other running sites allow me to create maps of all of my runs using customized Google maps embedded right in their site. Needless to say, it appealed to me immediately; integrating the Google Maps API into a running log just makes sense as far as I'm concerned. Just recently I've found quite a few that offer this feature:,,, etc...

What really sparked my interest about was that I actually found them while searching Google maps for something (don't remember what it was now). I was checking out some of the new add-ons and got stumbled upon their "Run Finder". I added it to my toolbox and started searching for runs.

I was surprised to see that there were no routs in my area (Newark, Ohio). There weren't any!! I then did a search for runs in Columbus, Ohio and found oodles... This led me to their site and I setup an account. Their site is easy to use, quick to update and very "tech savvy" for avid bloggers and online nuts (like myself). Needless to say, I've been hooked on it ever since.

If you like to run and would like to find runs when you travel (ie. 5 miler in Vegas or 10 miler in Denver), or wish to add your own runs for others to see, I highly recommend you check out Oh, and don't forget that the next time you are in Newark or Columbus, be sure to check out some of my maps: Lucas28

Update: 8/17/2007
I've changed this post to a testimonial of; however I removed all of the content describing how it is my new training tool. When I found their site, I focused on the enhanced mapping utility and the community based mapping service. I clearly overlooked the functionality that was most important to me which was the charts and analysis.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ouch! YouTube Just Crushed Me

I was setting up my YouTube account, and since it's my first time in here, all of my sections said:
  • You have no Channels
  • You have no Favorites
  • You have no Subscribers
  • You have no Videos
  • You have no Friends...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Now That's a Snake!

Jennifer found this snake on the road in front of our house. It was either coming into our yard or was leaving it; we couldn't tell which it was. Either way, I'm glad a passer-by killed it before one of the girls found it (alive). As you can see above, it was about as long as Lizzie is tall... Pretty big!
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Celtic Festival 5k - My Fifth Race

Ok, so I've kinda slacked a bit. Somebody asked me last week how my race went and I realized that I had not posted my results and overall thoughts to my blog (which I clearly stated I would here).

The race was "good". It was so hot that day. I think it was like 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity and there was no escaping the heat. Before the race, I did about 10 minutes of jogging and stretching hoping that I could do real good with this "new approach". I was already drenched in sweat by the time the race started, but I was convinced that I stayed very hydrated. I took a few drinks from Jen's warm bottles of water. I finished stretching and warming up about 5 minutes before the race started and I just stood there like an idiot shaking my legs and arms because I didn't know what else to do. :) I guess this is what runners do before races because everybody else was doing it too. So... yes, it's safe to say that we were all being idiots. :P

The race was an easy "out and back" course, meaning that it goes out for 1.55 miles and you have to turn around and cross the starting line to finish. I thought it sounded easy enough and I was ready to go. There were no clouds in the sky, the sun was right in front of us and the pavement was pulsating heat waves up in the distance. Hell, I can handle this!

When the race started, I kept up with the crowd pretty good. My first mile was 7 minutes and 20 seconds. This was really good and I was excited to try and do my "sub 25 minute" race, but the first mile really drained me. They had the water table right before the first mile and I didn't think I needed any so I just ran right past them thinking there would be another one up the road. About 50 yards from the water station I started to get cold chills and I could feel my skin get cold. I knew this wasn't good because (like I said) it was so hot that day. I realized I was in a bit of a pickle at this point. I decided to back off a bit and catch my breath and try to cool down.

My second mile was 8 minutes 44 seconds. This is much better than my training pace, but very slow for my race pace. What sucks is that my condition was getting worse. My mouth was all dry and my head started to hurt. I knew I was dehydrating fast and I was loosing steam even faster. My side hurt and my legs were starting to get stiff on me. I wanted to stop and walk the rest of the way so bad, but I just pushed through it. I could see the water table up in the distance, so that was my mental "check point". When I got up there, I grabbed the water and tried to drink it........... HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS!!! I basically got it all over my face, up my nose, and all down my shirt; I probably only got down like 2 drops. Even then it wasn't refreshing because I had to try and swallow it down between my compulsive gasping for air. Needless to say, it didn't help much. I was still ready to walk the rest of the way and I had about 1 more mile to go.

Stubborn as I am, I pushed through the 3rd mile as lots of people passed me. What was worse was that the race started (and therefore ended) with a bunch of up and down hills. The finish line was at the top of a huge hill and I probably could have crawled up it faster on a good day than I did running up it on this day. My last 1.1 mile was a stellar 10 minutes and 20 seconds. But hot damn, it was over.

My total time was 26 minutes and 24 seconds. I learned a lot from this race! The number one thing I learned is that I need to figure out how to drink and run for the next race. :) Which (BTW) I have 2 BIG races lined up for the fall: a 20K and a 1/2 Marathon. Those ought to be some interesting blog posts. :O

The Bourne Ultimatum

Jennifer and I had "hot date" night last night and went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. If you have not seen it... go see it now. No seriously, go. This was the best one yet. I won't spoil it, but I will say that there is a fight scene in here that destroys the any fight scene from the last two movies. Jason Bourne is a hillbilly bad-ass. After the movie I thought about jumping over the banister to the exit area and then just breaking someones arms with my wanna-be ninja skills and then busting some knee caps for no apparent reason. :) Just kidding! No seriously, I did... psych. What?

I sure hope that they have a 4th one: The Bourne Continuum or something silly. This story just keeps getting better!! I can honestly say that I now see Matt Damon as a super star. All of his other movies, he plays a good part, but I like him best as Jason Bourne! The last Bourne movies were better than "OK", but this one was just plain awesome! You know a movie is good when it is 2 hours of strait ass kicking and nobody gets up to go to the bathroom. Jen and I sat in the back row and didn't see too many people leaving during the movie. We were on the edge of our seats the whole time. Every now and then we would look at each other and laugh because Matt Damon busted out some sub-second jujitsu on like 5 people then walks away like it was nothing. I don't know... that just does something for me. :) I just wanted to stand up and yell "YEAH!!!", but fought the urge until I got back into the van.

Again, I stress... Go see this movie!

Friday, August 03, 2007

This is Absolutely Crazy

Jake Brown takes one for the team and scores my vote for President!

I'm sure he's pretty sore today... Nice 720 BTW!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

C'mon Bonds!! I mean, Dodgers!! I mean, Bonds!!!

I've recently started watching baseball again and last night I was watching the Giants vs. Dodgers game and was pretty upset with one of the decisions made by the Dodgers pitching staff to walk Barry Bonds in his last at bat.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you should know that Barry Bonds is the #1 MLB villain these days. Well, so far he's kicking butt this year, but his last two months have been pretty boring. Last night he was looking to tie Hank Aaron's home run record (still...), but came up short again. He didn't have one hit all night (0 - 4). In the last inning of the game the crowd got all rowdied up and gave their normal "motivating" boos. All of the sudden, the Dodgers catcher stands up with his arm out to intentionally walk him and the boo's got even louder!!?? The Dodgers then got "boo"ed on their own turf. :)

Talk about some bipolarity (is that a word?)!.. I mean do ya love him, or do ya hate him? Make up your minds.

I must admit that ol' Barry has it pretty hard these days... James and I went to a Colorado Rockies game vs. the San Francisco Giants in Colorado a couple of months ago and Barry got boo"ed every at bat and every time he took the field. Between all the cackling his un-fans and all the nasty press he gets, he is in dire need of a hug.

Of course, I don't care either way if (rather when) he breaks Hank Aaron's record... I mean it's inevitable (and yes, that is a word). Just quit making a big deal out of him... Let him play ball! I guess my blog post isn't helping the general consensus either, but whatever... Anyway, last nights bipolar crowd during the intentional walk was pretty funny to say the least.

P.S. This is my first (and probably last) blog post about baseball... Consider yourself lucky to be a part of this monumental moment in (my) blogging history.

Photograph Math & Extreme Genius

Well, I was catching up on my blog role today and found a really cool site: Grant Schindler

I've blogged about various software packages in the past that manipulate photo's and organize them in cool ways. For example, Microsoft is doing some pretty cool things with PhotoSynth, Google introduced street view, etc... Well today I found out exactly what goes into the math behind that rendering and... WOW!! Watch this quick (silent) video to see exactly how the to make a virtual 3d world using a set of photographs:

Now quit reading this and figure out how to write that code! Please do share when you figure it out. :) C# please.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Race Pace

Tomorrow evening I'm running in the Dayton Celtic Festival 5K Run in Dayton, Ohio. Jennifer and I take the girls to the Celtic Festival every year we have a blast. We basically walk around the streets of Dayton with a "pint of Guiness" and listen to Celtic music. They have all kinds of activities for the kids too. Lizzie and Jazzy always get their faces painted and play all the carnie-style games.

Well basically, the event always has a 5K and I decided to sign up for it this year since I'm a runner now. The goal is to finish under 25 minutes; it will be a tough one. I truly believe that I can because I know what I can dish out when I want to. Plus, all of my injuries are healed now and I'm ready to give my legs and feet a real good (and fast) pounding.

Lately I've been running a lot slower, but I've also been running a lot longer. It will be interesting to see if my longer runs have prepared me for the fast paced adrenaline rush of a 5K. has a cool graphing feature that lets you create all kinds of cool graphs based on the data that is entered each week. I decided to see my "race pace" for my last 4 races. I was surprised to see how fast I got in just a short period of time.

Luc's Average Race Pace

Week of

8:00 |

8:13 |

8:26 |

8:39 |

8:52 |

9:05 |
Mar 4, 2007 8:31
Mar 11, 2007 8:19
Apr 1, 2007 8:00
Apr 8, 2007 8:52

Of course the last race had a good excuse, so I don't get too down on myself about it; that race meant more to me than just the clock. Anyway, I'm fully healthy now and rather excited to see what I got. I'm sure I'll blog about my results.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cool Mouse

Innovation at its best: Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000

This mouse has all the utilities you need to be AFK and still manage your power point presentations. The only thing it is missing is the laser pointer... wait it has that too. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oklahoma Code Camp 2007 and More...

Data Dynamics is sponsoring the Oklahoma Code Camp 2007. James and I attended Tulsa TechFest last year and had a great time. We will be attending the Tulsa TechFest "2007" event as well. We have nothing but great things to say about the .NET Development community out there. Last years' event was a smash hit! It was also where I got interviewed by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell of .NET Rocks. I'm still elated about it...

This years event will be a tight squeeze for me, because I'm running my first half marathon that next morning. I hope to sleep on the plane on the way home and get ready for the big race. It should be an interesting weekend to say the least. :)

My fingers are cold right now.

Yes, I have blogger A.D.D.... Hey, it's my blog!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Class of 97 NHS Hottie

Jennifer is having her 10 year class reunion next month. The class put up a pretty cool webpage for the reunion and I checked it out. They put the hottest chick in the 97 class on their home page. See for yourself:

Hubba - hubba. :) It's funny that she is the one (of hundreds in her class) that has everybody guessing after all these years; a poster child for "where are they now". I'm sure she is going to have all kinds of questions at the reunion due to this picture. They should just update it with:

Mike Hinze - 2007: Teacher
Jen Goodin - 2007 : Mommy / Total Hottie

Friday, July 13, 2007

SubVersion and TortoiseSVN

James has posted a great article on how to setup and configure SubVersion and TortoiseSVN for file versioning. Check it out: 10 minute guide to starting with subversion and tortoisesvn « Mr. .NET

Fortunately, I had the luxury of a live chat window from the author himself. ;) Thanks James! It's working like a top...

Learn to Love Running

Ok, so I'm blogging away and I start following links to cool sites and I came across a whole bunch of cool running links. I read this one article and it just hit home for me: Learn to Love Running
"Hi, my name is Lucas Hardbarger and I'm addicted to running."

It really is how I feel these days; every where I go and everything I do, I'm thinking about running. I remember drinking beer with my buddy Corey on New Years Eve of 2007 and we talked about starting a running regiment (full story). Well... I've stuck with it and I'm damn glad I did. It's to a point now that I can't stop running. I did 4 miles yesterday, only because I got back to my car (I could've kept going). I actually have the urge right now to go run... I'm a freak, I know.

The other day, I set out to run 4 miles and ended up running 6, for no good reason. It took me 1 hour and 6 minutes to do it, but I didn't stop running that entire hour. I just chugged along and got lost in my own thoughts. I've noticed that, as I've started running more and more miles, I'm getting slower. Every now and then I'll set out and do a couple of 9 minute miles, but for now the 10:30 miles are fine with me. My 6 mile run ended up being something like 11 minute miles, but I felt great afterwards and could have kept going if I wanted to.

When I started running, I weighed in at 220lbs, today I'm down to 205lbs and still going (down that is). I'm continuing to drop pounds each week. My injury had me laid up for a while and (wow), it was way too easy to put the weight back on. I'm back to running now and I feel great! Something else that is cool: The wife is noticing. :)

Ok, that's it! I'll be back, gotta go get my shoes on...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sorting and Searching Algorithms

I found this link somehow and decided to post it for all to read:
Sorting and Searching Algorithms

The front page has a java applet on it that sorts a list of bars. If you click each one once real quick, you can sit back and see who wins everytime. It would be cool to show each algorithm like this to see how they perform. Anyway, it kept me busy reading and learning for over a half hour and I wanted to have a reference for later retrieval.

Enjoy... if you so choose to indulge. :P

Saturday, June 30, 2007

More Kid Talk...

Jennifer and I took the whole family to Toys R Us last night so that Jazzy could register stuff for her burpday poppy. Toys R Us has this cool feature that allowed us to walk around the store and scan all the items that Jazzy wanted for her birthday. Everytime we got to something cool (usually Barbie Faritopia stuff), Jazzy would say "Mommy, scram this". Where Scram = Scan.

Another good one sticks out in my mind too. The other day Lizzie and Jazzy were running around the house yelling "Pour the grass and the dirt and the gravel on me!" I asked them what they were talking about and asked why they were yelling that. They said it was a song. After I put it all together, I realized what they were trying to say
Where the (aka: Pour the) grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet (aka: on me). -- Keith Urban (Where the Blacktop Ends).

This is very reminiscent of the "cheese and 4-wheel drive" song.

Some others include:
  • B'guk - Eww, these fries are b'guk.
  • Blowy - Daddy, these glasses are all blowy.
  • Cryons - Lizzie won't share her cryons with me.
  • Guh-guh-papaw - Lizzie used to call Grandpa Hardbarger guh-guh-papaw when she was just learning how to talk. We still use it. :)
  • Hulip - I can't wait to wear my hulip skirt at my hulip party.
  • Jah - Look, it's a "jah" for "Jazzy".
  • Jumpolene - We just love our big jumpolene.
  • Maskez - Look at these pony's wearing their pretty maskez.
  • Memmems - Daddy, can you open this bag of memmems?
  • Nummy - Mmm, these cookies are nummy.
  • Pawn Trees - Mommy, can we get some pawn trees for my hulip party?
  • Perfect for Mando - aka: Perfectamundo
  • Queeze - Mommy, I can barely queeze into these pants.
  • More...
The last thing I'm gonna say in this post is this (I keep updating it compulsively as funny things happen)... The other day Lizzie and Jazzy were playing in the basement near my desk and Jazzy came over to my desk and started studdering and catching her breath trying to tell me this huuuuge story. Finally she took a deep breath and said "...oh whatever it is I'm trying to say!" and ran away from the desk to go play with Lizzie some more. I lost it! Three year olds aren't supposed to get this flustered and give up that easily with slap-stick sarcasm. It could be a case where you had to be there, but it still cracks me up whenever I think about it. :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

NPR : Nigerian Artist is a One-Man Body Beating Band

I'm an avid NPR podcast listener. Today they had a story about a One-Man Body Beating Band (~4 minutes). It was about a Nigerian Artist named Jojo Bodybeats who just makes funky beats all day long with his hands, mouth, feet, chest, throat, etc... Here is his website:

WoW!... and I thought I had rhythm.

I beat-box all day, everyday so I could really relate to this guy. I'm not as crazy about it as he is (sneezing to a beat, coughing to a beat, etc...), but I'm always finding myself tapping on stuff and beat-boxing as I walk around the house. I have cooler beats come from my mouth than I do my hands and feet, but I can do some pretty cool things just from being a drummer for so many years. Jennifer has actually started to get some pretty funky rhythms herself, and I (honestly) take all the credit for them. :) She has to listen to me everyday and I can tell that, over the years, she has begun doing it as well. She'll be picking up the kids stuff and she'll break out some funky lisps with her mouth.

Lizzie and Jazzy are always asking me:
Daddy, how you do dat?
My response is usually:
...they always buy it and just say:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface
I'll let the link speak for itself...

Update: 13 July 2007
This was an old post that I never "published". Since the announcement of Microsoft Surface, there has been all kinds of talk and web gossip.

Corey sent me a the best link the other day:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Game On!

A while back I said I switched map applications. Well since then, all the map sites have been fighting for my business... I know, you're welcome. :)

Two days ago, Microsoft Virtual Earth came out of no where and included some next level graphics and interaction into their maps web page. Check it out for yourself: Once you install the plug in you can pan, tilt, zoom, create paths, store locations, share locations, etc... anywhere in the world directly from your browser. The only downfall so far is that it takes a while to load, but once it's up and running it's pretty cool. I was able to zoom into my house and see the hill behind my house. I can't do that with Google Earth or Google Maps.

Soon after Microsoft released it's Virtual Earth plug in, Google introduces Google Street View. This is a cool new feature that let's you see pictures at various predefined locations in a 360 degree view. Again, directly inside your browser window. Here is a cool little video to show you what it's all about:

Needless to say, these are pretty fun times for the web! I can't wait to see what they come up with next...

My Stress Fracture

Well, I went to the foot doctor yesterday and he told me that my MRI came back indicating that I had a stress fracture on one of my ligaments that connects the inside of my foot to the outside of my shin. Apparently this is the best case scenario and my body will just heal itself over time. He told me to not run on it for 2 more weeks and then ease back into running on a soft track. As it turns out, he said that it usually happens when runners do too much "hill work". I didn't have the heart to tell him about my new sandals. I'm sure it was from me trying to stretch the 'toe' strap on my Chaco's all day long. I still wear my Chaco's, but I no longer stretch my toe strap all day...

So the bottom line is that it my injury should heal itself over time if I just take it easy for a little while longer. I totally expected to walk out in a boot, so I'm pretty happy with my visit.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Blake Lewis is Just Plain Funky

I can't wait until Blake to releases his first album. This dude's rendition of "You give love a bad name" is as good (if not better) than Bon Jovi's version. Blake added a whole new beat-box / laid back funk groove to it and made it into a totally new song. He has a very percussive approach to his music and (as a drummer) I like it a lot!

If you don't believe me, then just see for yourself (jump to 1:19):

Jennifer and I rewound American Idol so many times that night just to make sure we heard what we thought we heard. The drummer that played beside Blake was awesome too. If you have ever tried to play kick drum standing up, then you would have more appreciation for this drummer too. Blake did this song on the final show too and I thought he did it better on it, but it was just a few minor things. All in all, this version says enough...

We will be buying Blake Lewis' album when he releases one. I'm already a fan.