Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/16 - Running, dongles, and The Thief and the Cobbler


Today's image is not the continuation of my Blender adventures. Instead, I'm sharing the first page of a  treatise on running created by the author of The Oatmeal (a favored Web Comic). You can find the entirety of the work here. Go read it. Trust me, if that's all the time you have, his work is a far better use of your time than mine.

I'm training for my first marathon, and have for at least the last year known I will at some point run an Ultra. I am well familiar with The Oatmeal's Blerch, having one of my own. I do not treat my body, as the author claims, "like a fast-moving dumpster," but that's only because I fight that part of myself. I like vegetables and salads, but I also like pizza, and cookies, and chocolate.

Why do I run? In part because I have already eaten the pizza and cookies and chocolate. I run because I want to lose weight. I also run because, like the Oatmeal, it makes me feel I've accomplished something that day. I run because it makes me feel strong, and because it's more healthy to move than not. I run because it's the only form of exercise I've found with a tangible goal I can regularly make myself work toward. I run because I define myself as a person who runs, and I like that about myself. It's important to acknowledge and further the things you like about yourself.

Today I ran because I didn't run yesterday, and it's in my plan to run 3 short runs a week. I went to bed late and did not sleep well, so did not get up when I wanted. When I did get up, my hamstrings were very tight (part of why I didn't sleep well). The fact my hamstrings are tight is a good thing, an indication I'm getting stronger and improving since I'm actually using that portion of my legs on my runs.

I decided I had time for at least one mile, to loosen things up. A mile in the morning to loosen things up might have to happen every day, even on non-running days. It worked, and I was for the most part not stiff again until I had to sit through a 3 and a half hour class this afternoon. The periodic stretching throughout the day may also have had something to do with that....

I ran part of that mile at a less-than-10-minute-mile pace. This is very fast for me, but it felt sustainable. Unfortunately I did not have time for more than one mile this morning. By the time I got on the treadmill this evening to finish out the day's mileage, my entire body had tightened up again and I was back to +12-minute-miles. I know I have those 10-minute-miles in me, though. They're planned for on my training calendar. 4 mile days, until I get to where I can run them at 10-minute-mile pace. Then up the distance to 5 miles on those days.
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Today I learned about the program I'll be developing for. I planned to explore by seeing how many of the issues on the board I could recreate. Issues on the board are what the developers either are or will be working on. Recreating them would give me experience finding and deciphering the issue criteria, as well as navigating around the program. You have to be able to recreate the problem to know what you are fixing, and to know you are fixing the correct thing.

When I suggested this little game of mine during our morning meeting, I was directed to several training videos I'd not yet watched. The bit I had watched consisted of "this is how you enter your user name..." Apparently Issues Scavenger Hunt is a game for another day. I made it about halfway through the Overview video this morning, and still have 12 other videos to look through. Hopefully they are not all as lengthy, as I'm starting to feel impatient. I want to get into the program and actually get some work done.

Today I also had a class on relational databases. This turned out to be a refresher class on SQL, but was not in any way boring or redundant. The class was fast paced and I learned new things even as we went over the basics for SQL syntax. The instructor answered questions I'd had for a while, for which I'd never got around to looking up the answers. He also made things I thought I understood more clear. The homework assignment is a little daunting, which means I'll be challenged... not a bad thing.
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Today I learned I can connect to my laptop with a bluetooth headset. This is accomplished with a Bluetooth Dongle (love that word!) that cost me all of $15 at Microcenter. It's a tiny thing that plugs into a USB port:
I already have a bluetooth headset, one of many I've run through the washing machine. This one, I can hear just fine but the microphone no longer works. Perfect for this situation! Now I'll be able to listen to the training videos without being literally chained to my laptop by my headphone cord.
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Today I was thrilled to find this:


Ninja and Monkey Boy will appreciate this movie, The Thief and the Cobbler, which was a family favorite. I've looked for a copy of it off and on for years, and today found the full length version on YouTube. I love the optical illusions in the artwork. We all loved the jokes and play on words throughout. This movie was played over and over in our house, worn out, and is still quoted to this day.

Finding this = Made. My. Day.
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