Saturday, February 28, 2009

Steven Seagal

I know there are a lot of tough dudes in the world, but Steven Seagal is still a hillbilly bad-ass in my book:

He makes kicking butt look easy and kinda fun actually.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Calling All Nerds

I am officially in the market for a new dev machine. :) My current machine is a 2.21 GHz AMD Athlon 64 (3400+) with 2.71 GB RAM, but it is slowing down and I cross my fingers every time it boots up. My hard drive is full and it just has too much crap on it. I always hibernate my machine because if I boot it up from scratch, it takes about 10 minutes before I can do anything with it. Yes, I admit, I miss my old DD MacBook Pro sometimes. :)

I'm considering reformatting this drive (my current dev machine), but instead of setting it back up as my main computer, I'd like to install Windows Server on it and run TeamCity and SubVersion and stick it in a corner. That way I can keep it running and develop from the laptop or the (new) desktop and check-in changes from either. Not only that, but Jen wants me to setup a place where we can store pictures on and access at anytime... easily. Currently, all of our pictures are on an external hard drive that is connected to my work machine. This means that I have a share on my work machine and she can only get to the pics when it's on. Even then, she has to go through hoops inside Picasa to get access to them (using a mapped drive).

The fact is that my machine is ~5 years old now (hard to believe), and I know there is a lot better hardware these days for a fairly small amount of money. I'm looking for a multi core machine with Vista (yes, I said it) that just screams and is built for a multi-tasking geek like myself. Any ideas?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook and FriendFeed

I did it. I broke down and signed up for Facebook. Here's my profile: Lucas Hardbarger

So many people have asked me if I had a Facebook account and I always said I'm not into all that; I just like blogging and sharing crap with friends. Honestly, I just didn't want to have one more thing to check online. Well, now I do. On Monday morning I woke up and was checking my email before starting the day, and my Mom had sent me a link where she joined Facebook. I clicked on it and just created an account to see what it's all about... that opened the flood gates, because immediately I got invites from oodles of people I haven't talked to in years. I'm totally amazed at how many people are on here. It's just a cool way to interact with people (friends or not) in a very "non schlont(?)" way. :)

So anyway, now that I've established a new web area, I went hunting for the best way to tie it all together. I have online areas all over now and want an easy way to tie them into a single cronological feed. It's crazy that now I have a problem wondering where to post a thought. What is the web coming to when this is a problem!? For example, I could be sitting at taco bell waiting on taco's or I could be sitting at the dining room table waiting for the girls to finish brushing their teeth. Should I post my thought on my twitter? Should I put it on my blog? LinkedIn? Facebook? FriendFeed? Google Share? etc...? I found the answer tonight... Any.

I'd always heard that FriendFeed was the way to go. Scott is a big user of FriendFeed, but I never really "got it" until tonight when I went digging for a solution to my madness. FriendFeed is the answer. It's the one place where all the services come together. Facebook is for more for interacting with friends with a feature which includes sharing online content. For example, I'll use Facebook to see what people are up to, who they become friends with, who's wall they wrote on, what application they installed, etc... Whereas FriendFeed is more for aggregating and sharing online content (photos, blog posts, twitter updates, etc.. (59+ different services)) with friends or anybody that wants to see. Here is a good definition of Facebook vs. FriendFeed: FriendFeed is For Sharing and Facebook Used to be About my Friends

The moral of my story: Facebook is fun. FriendFeed is necessary.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mohican Trail Run Report

It's official. I'll be running my first 50 miler this summer. I just signed up and I'm super excited. Now I just have to make sure I train smart and don't overdue it. Yesterday's run got me pumped up for the upcoming events at Mohican this spring and summer. I ran two new courses yesterday (the purple loop and a new section for the Forget the PR 50k. Both were absolutely beautiful.

I got up at 6am and got held up looking for my keys, I finally resorted to just taking the van instead. So already I was a bit late getting out the door, and then of course I got stuck behind a few Amish buggies on my way up. So, I arrived at the covered bridge at 8:02am and was officially late. When I parked the car, I saw everybody posing for the picture below. :) Immediately, I put on my gloves, taboggin, turned on my watch and started running.

We started off on the purple loop and climbed up little Lyon Falls. It was beautiful. After there, everybody kinda spread out and I found myself in the middle. After about a mile after the falls, I was officially lost. I must have turned up a deer path or something because I saw everybody way ahead of me on the road, but I was way up on a rock cliff and couldn't find my way down to them. Luckily, I saw Kim and Debbie running along the road and I yelled for "HELP!" :). Kim got a pretty good laugh out of it, and I did too. :)

I stuck with them for a good while until we got on a section of the run that Rob mapped out for the Forget the PR 50K. It was a nice section and was EXTREMELY muddy. I loved it! After I ran ahead of them for a while, I found that I was lost yet again. :) This time, I ran across Rob, Mike, and Michelle. Boy was I glad to see them. My instincts told me to just hang out for a minute and wait, glad I did because I would have wound up running all the way around the lake. :P

On the return leg, we followed the purple loop back around and then we ran into big Lyon Falls, and it was spectacular. I'd seen pictures of it on others blogs and after I ran past it I realized that I'd seen it before. However, it was from the other angle and on the last mile of a 20 mile training run with Rob (so, I was 1/2 out of it then). :) Regardless, it was really cool and I look forward to seeing it in the spring with all the colors. I may take the family here someday as it's actually a very small hike from the covered bridge.

Debbie, Kim, and I all got back to the covered bridge. Debbie headed on home while Kim and I trudged along to the orange loop. This is one of my favorites at Mohican, but probably because I've done it so many times. Each time I come to Mohican, I usually find myself treking down the Orange loop. It's long and it's really pretty. A few times I got ahead of Kim and when there was a cross road in the path I would hold up so I could ask her which way to go, she's been out here a lot more than me and knows them pretty well. About half way through, Kim and I decided it might be best to cut down a path to head back to the covered bridge. She was getting short of breath, and I was getting short of time to get back to my girls for Valentines day. It was already noon and we still had a few hilly miles to get back to the cars. This is where things got a little fun... :)

Kim thought she knew a shortcut down to the river, so we took a little few mud slide down some hills to a creek. That creek turned into another creek, and then another. :) We were climbing over and ducking under fallen trees and sloshing through freezing cold water for a few hundred yards. We were pretty wet by the time we got back to the main path. It was a lot of fun though. Kim sure knows how to make a trail run fun. :)

Here is an overview of my run yesterday. The first 1/2 mile didn't record due to clouds and all the trees. Remember, I was late and it didn't have time to find my location. :)

We got back to the cars around 1:15 or so and I headed home. This was a fun run and I can't wait to get back to Mo and try the Red/Green loop next. Rumor has it that it's got a few river crossings and pretty scenery. Fun times! I think I learned that I need to really learn the paths around Mo, because without the help of my running buddies, I'd probably still be out there looking for the covered bridge. :) Thanks guys!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blackhand Gorge Trails

As I promised in a previous posts, I'm posting my Blackhand Gorge Sunday map. Every path was accounted for, so if you ever wanted to visit the nature preserve, this map will give you an idea of how of the different paths look.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Warm Weather Wunning

Yeah, I am really digging this weather, even with the wind. Monday I didn't run. Tuesday, I was able to squeeze in a 4 miler and loved it. Wednesday I ran 6 miles down at Blackhand Gorge, and today I was able to get about 5.5 miles in before the girls got home from school. I'm taking a break tomorrow and might do a small hike with the family (weather permitting). This weekend will be lots of fun, as I'm meeting a bunch of my running buds up at Mohican State Park for about 18 miles of muddy trails. I can't wait... and yes, I know it's Valentines day; Jennifer already reminded me. :)

So far, my training for the Forget the PR 50K is going great and I can't wait to start off my 2009 running season with my first ultra belt buckle. Tonight I realized that I had better get my name on the list for the Mohican 50 miler or I will have to pay more after Sunday. Oh yeah, Kim just posted info about a new Trail Marathon in Ohio this fall that I will be signing up for as well. If you can't tell, I'm excited to have warmer days on the horizon. I'm getting stir crazy and can't wait for warm weather wunning (as Jazzy would say).

Oh yeah, and it's only fair to admit that Jazzy kicked my butt tonight in Wii Fit Distance Running. We worked up a pretty good sweat while Mommy, Lizzie, and Daizi all watched. :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My Distance Running Trick

Some days I really dread going out and getting my runs in. Once I get out and start moving, I'm always glad I follow through with it. This week, I realized that I have a little trick that I use (subconsciously) to break up my long runs into manageable distances. I might as well share it. I know, I know... you're welcome.

The Trick
I typically take whatever the mileage is and divide it by two. Then, I simply focus on that number during my run. This is very easy to do, and it makes an epic run seem much smaller and more enjoyable. It's easiest to appreciate this algorithm on the "out and back" runs. So on a 6 mile out and back run, I feel like I'm almost done with my run when I hit the 2 mile marker. I know that once I get to 3 miles I simply have to turn around and go back. It's that easy.

The beauty is that this doesn't just work on the out and backs either, I use this technique on my "city tour" runs too. Tonight I was scheduled for a 16 mile run. Rather than focusing on the number 16 and counting up mile by mile, I cut it into two small legs. One leg was going to a 9 mile leg (think 4.5), and the other half of my run was a 7 mile leg (think 3.5). Doing this makes it much easier for me to stay motivated during my run. Breaking it up into these small manageable numbers lets me trick myself into thinking such distances are "easy".

My first leg involved an out and back from the YMCA, almost to Granville, then turned around and come back. The second leg was a big 7 mile loop around west Newark. For me, it made my run very simple, I ran 4.5 miles toward Granville, and then turned around and headed back to the car. Once I got to the car, I resupplied and set a new goal of 3.5 miles, then took off running again with the 3.5 number in my head. When I got to the 3.5 mile marker (which was actually 12.5 miles at this point), I simply focused on shuffling my feet back to the car (which was (pause for calculation...) 3.5 miles away).

So there you have it, that's my trick. The next time you dread doing any run, just cut it in half and head out the door. Hope this helps somebody; it works very well for me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thank You, Tim Moffatt

I woke up this morning and heard the news that Tim Moffatt, the President of Data Dynamics, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Tim was the one that hired me at Data Dynamics, for he saw something in me during my interview that I didn't see at the time. I have forever been grateful for his belief in me. He helped me believe in myself, and even had a few heart-to-heart talks with me about how to be who I want to be. He always showed me a lot of respect... with the exceptions of his crazy and (sometimes) offensive humor. That was just Tim though. :) I was very sad to hear of the news this morning. 

Rest in peace, my friend.

Keith posted a nice tribute to his passing on Farpoint's blog: Component Industry Loses a Leader

Monday, February 02, 2009

Google Desktop (in your favorite browser)

Google is on top of it when it comes to using the browser as your work station. Google Gears is a big piece to their puzzle too. Here is a cool video that shows how using your Gmail account works when your internet is disconnected (Google Gears required of course).