Monday, December 04, 2006

Back at Novell

 Rob and Calvin on Calvin's last day

Last Friday was my last day working for the FCH (Family and Church History) department of The LDS Church. Back in June, I was contacted by the FCH department wondering if I was interested in starting an open source successor for PAF. It was an amazing opportunity and an exciting open source project to be working on. My current position at Novell was being done away with so I left what had been a great experience at Novell to start this new project.

I worked my tail off getting the data and information needed to start the successor to PAF. Rob Lyon joined me and we built up story boards of what this new project would look like. After a month and a half of work we presented it and it was received very well. We were both very excited although there was a strange and unexpected comment at the end of our presentation. One of the product managers made the comment: "I know what you guys are capable of building and after seeing this, I'm worried that it's going to hurt our partners to put this out for free as an open source project". Afterwards, Rob and I talked about how strange that comment was and how of all the responses we could think of, that was not one of them.

Two weeks later the development manager of our team announced to us that product management had told him to halt all development on the client. "We are not going to produce a client" were the words he said they used. I was a little more than stunned. Leaving Novell was not an easy decision and now the only reason I had left was being cancelled? Even worse than that, for the next two months, there was nothing for me to do. I would meet with my development manager and when he would ask how things are going I would tell him I had nothing to do, that I came in to work every day and had no clue was I was supposed to be doing. He told me he knew and that he was working on it. I eventually wrote some client code to help flush out some web services that were being developed.

Calvin in his office at Novell

Several weeks after I left Novell I learned that most of my old team was transitioned to work on SLED. I contacted Jared Allen and he said he had an opening on the the SLED team. I interviewed and was a fit for the job. I'm thrilled to be back at Novell and a part of this team. I enjoy working on gui applications and there are opportunities for that kind of work all over the desktop.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

...must be November

New Track Layout

On Saturday the boys remembered that when November comes, the race track is supposed to be set up. That's about all the hint I need that it's time and the track goes up. I wanted a track with a section of long straight track. Because I don't have a lot of track, a long straight section is tough but we pulled it off! This new layout has been more fun than the previous tracks.

Ninco Porsche 911 SC

We also got a new car, the Ninco Porsche 911 SC. Everyone wants to race this car. It's fast, it's smooth, and personally I love the look of the older 911 Porsches.

I've got some major changes coming my way so I'm going to enjoy this weekend and start it now! I think I'll go race...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This doesn't suck

Provo, UT on my Treo 700p

Google released their Google Maps for the Palm Treo on Friday. I just downloaded it and combined with my EvDO network access, it works so well and so fast that I had to post a picture. This makes me like my Treo 700p even more.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Winterizing the Jeep

About this time of year it gets cold enough that having a soft top on a Jeep is of no advantage. This morning I removed the soft top and replaced it with the hard top. It's not a trivial process so I took pictures...

Jeep with the soft top on

Windows are removed

Top is folded down

The soft top and door frames removed

Hard Top stored in the garage

Jeep under the hard top

Hard Top lowered on to the Jeep

Winterized Jeep with Hard Top

The Jeep actually looks smaller in person with the hard top on probably because it's a little shorter. The bars have to stick up a little on the soft top to tighten the material. The process took about 45 minutes from start to end. Luckily I only do this twice a year!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wiring my house

Pulled Wires in Basement

This weekend I re-wired my house. The house had some old CAT5 cable that connected up several of the rooms.

Old Wiring

Return air duct

There were a lot of problems with the old wires but here are the main ones:
#1- The old wiring was quick and dirty. There were no faceplates or jacks installed, the cables just hung out of the wall. This room used to be the computer room and all of that was behind a desk so it was fine. Now this room is the guest bedroom and it's NOT fine.
#2- Ironically the new computer room is not wired into this room so most of the other rooms are connected via wire but the computer room is connected using wireless. When one person is streaming video from TiVo or downloading from the internet, that wireless gateway gets saturated quickly!
#3- The guest bedroom (former computer room) is the only room with a live phone jack so the DSL modem is there and the base for the wireless phones. Not a good place for anything when guests are staying with you!
#4- The cables for the downstairs got there using the return air vent. For two or three cables that may be ok but I was going to pull a lot more than two or three.

The plan was to run 2" flexible conduit from the attic to the basement furnace room. The only place I could run the conduit was through the flume space. My house has a rectangle flume that runs from the attic to the basement and has the furnace vent, return air, and air ducts running through it. There is plenty of space there for a 2" conduit. The furnace vent is shielded and doesn't get hotter than what you can touch so the conduit will be safe there.

Location for 2" flexible conduit

The attic

Conduit location

Originally I had wanted to run the conduit through the walls. You can see in the picture above a spot where I cleared away the insulation. I drilled a hole through what I thought was the drywall nailer and it turned out to not be that! The top of the wall I wanted to use was under the support structure of the roof and I was not about to drill a 2" hole through that! I ended up cutting a hole in the tin covering the open ducting space in my house.

My son's bedroom

In order to feed the conduit through two floors, I was going to need access not only to feed it but to cut another hold in the tin plates that hold the ducts in place. I chose my son's bedroom because it was behind a door. My other choice would have been the dining room and I think my wife would not have liked that. Did I mention that my wife didn't know I was doing this because she was out of town?

Now that I knew where I was going to run everything I was ready to start cutting holes.

Finding a stud

Marking and starting the hole

Finished hole

There are two reasons that hole is that large. I needed room to pull the conduit and I wanted to cut clean between two studs to make the patch easier. To patch this I cut another 2x4 the width of the hole and screwed it to the two studs. That created a nice board to mount my drywall to when I was done. I forgot to take pictures of the 2x4 I installed but below you can see the patched wall. I also found an old Pepsi can that was left in there when the house was built.

Hole for conduit

Looking up space to the attic

The conduit was a pain to install. I actually had to do it twice. My brother stopped by and helped me pull it once and after he left I found that the conduit had looped in the flume space. Not only would it be a pain to pull wires through (if even possible), the conduit was resting against the flume. I didn't like either of those problems so I pulled it out. With the help of my 7 year old son (he helped quite a bit on this project) we re-installed the conduit.

Conduit installed from the attic to the basement

The next step was to pull the wire. The conduit came with some very nice pull string in it but it all fell out the first time we installed it. I had to use fishtape to get the first wire installed. A very wise man told me to pull a string with each cable I pull so I would be ready for the next pull. The first cable was easy to pull.

The first cable pulled from the basement to the new computer room

I also had to locate the wall in the computer room and drill a hole in the attic to fish the cables down the wall. I only used conduit for the big pull to the basement. Out of the conduit the cables run in the attic to the wall and down the wall to the hole I cut out. Because it's low voltage, I used these nice "mudder frames" rather than electrical boxes. They are much easier to work with and your cables don't get all bent up in a box.

I also ran one coax cable to each room. Pulling the coax was much more difficult. The cable is heavier and has to come off a spool rather than out of a box. I pulled 5 CAT5e cables and one coax cable to the computer room. I have two servers, my computer, and a switch that I wanted home runs for. The fifth CAT5e cable is for phone.

Finished job in the computer room

The old computer room had the only working phone line in the house. I ran new CAT5e cable to the source of the phone line and then ran a home run to the basement for phone. That allowed me to remove the old phone lines from the walls and replace the old jacks with a modular system that has phone, Ethernet, and cable all in one jack. I forgot to get a blank faceplate so I put the old phone jack faceplate over the old cable hole in the guest bedroom.

Wires pulled and jacks punched down

Finished guest bedroom

Finally the job is done. Eventually I will purchase a wall mount rack to hold punchdown blocks and a patch board to connect everything. For now I just put connectors on the cables and ran them to my switch. It feels good to have my house wired correctly with the ability to pull more cables any time I need.

The attic

The rough patched wall

This winter I'll paint my son's room and do some finish work on that patch. With some sanding, texture work, and paint, you won't be able to tell there was a hole there.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Parking Lot Damage

Damage to our Honda Odyssey

My wife's minivan was hit today in the parking lot of the Orem Super Target store and nobody owned up to it. It's obvious from the photos that the person knew they hit us because they stopped and backed away. If you can't see it... notice how the damage eases in from the right side until it ubruptly stops. They must have felt the hit and then backed away because the damage doesn't continue to ease off to the left.


Better than drugs

Since I left Novell I have managed to put on 20 lbs! I fell into the trap of "I can eat this... I ran 5 miles today". Well, bad habits come back quickly and since I'm really a recovering fat man, bad things happened.

This morning I was running and really needing something to help me keep moving. I ran through my iPod play lists and right at the top was AC/DC Live. I fired it up and when Angus started in on Thunderstruck it was like I was on speed (not that I really know what that feels like). Finishing a 6 mile run was easy after that!

I'm back on The Man Diet and plan on sticking to it. My goal is to make it back down under 200 lbs before my birthday in November.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Calvin's New Digs

Calvin's Cubicle

It's only been three weeks and I've already moved. Monday we started working in Orem, Utah. For some reason this post was sitting in draft mode and I never published it... well, here it is!

Friday, June 30, 2006

First week at the Family History Department

Calvin in front of Utah Capital Building

I've only been gone from Novell a week and it feels like much longer. The first week working in the Family History Department has been amazing. Having never worked for an organization this big, my first day was overwhelming. I always felt like Novell was a large organization (which it is) but I believe there are more employees that work in the The Church Office Building than all of Novell. Monday morning there was a sea of people flowing into the building and I had to quickly move to one side of the flow to get oriented and figure out where to go. The human resources department deals with thousands and thousands of employees so there is a lot of process to everything.

View of Downtown from The Church Office Building

Today I had a break at lunch so I walked over to The Church Office Building to pick up my badge (yes, it took 4 days to get it). Since I now had clearance, I decided to go up to the 26th floor and check out the view. I only had my Treo with me so the resolution on the photos isn't that great. Having grown up in Salt Lake City, it's pretty sad that this was the my first trip to the top of that building!

Joseph Smith Memorial Building Lobby

My office is in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. That building used to be the old Hotel Utah. In fact, when I was a senior in High School, I had my senior dance in the Hotel Utah. I don't remember much about the building back then other than it always looked run down. The Church did a lot of restoration on the building and it looks fantastic now. One of the strangest things about working there is it's a public building. There is always a flood of people (mostly tourists) walking through the lobby and taking the elevators to the top floor for lunch (there are two fantastic places to eat on the top floor; The Garden and The Roof). Yesterday Kevin Ward and I got on the elevator and right after us a bride and groom got on with their photographer. We had to squeeze to the edges of the elevator because the bride's dress filled the elevator. It was very funny. We got off on the fourth floor and they went on to the top. I had been to the building before working there and when people got off on any floor besides the top and lobby I always wondered what they did there... now I know.

The project I am working on is not public so I won't go into the details. I will say that it's a lot of fun. I've been involved in a lot of projects in the early stages but I really enjoy it when I'm involved from the very beginning... the blank sheet of paper stage. The intent is to open source the project and run it as an open source project so I'll be able to share more details about it later.

One other note for those that have made it this far, I really miss the iFolder3 server at Novell! When I first started, people started wanting to give me documents and I had several I had created. We kept mailing them back and forth and I was frustrated with such a primitive method of collaboration. At Novell we just threw everything into the team's metaverse iFolder and we all had access to the latest versions of the documents. It was perfect! Finally I discovered a department Wiki server that I've been able to use for creating and sharing data. In the end the Wiki will work better because I want all of these documents to be public when we go open with it. Still, I had my moments of frustration without iFolder!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Last Day at Novell

Brady and Calvin in the iFolder Lounge

Today was my last day at Novell. There is no question I am going to miss working day to day with the iFolder team. It's too bad Brady and I were not able to pull off one more crazy trip somewhere before it all had to end. I was going to write a long story about the first Cambridge trip we took when I passed out on the plane, but I'll tell that some other time. Leaving Novell was different from what I expected. I couldn't be more thrilled with the opportunity I have, but Novell is a great place to work. I wish Novell and the people I've worked with at Novell all the success they deserve.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hobble Creek Canyon

Camping in Hobble Creek Canyon

Apple figured out how they could renew my .mac account. My credit card information was incorrect in their system and they informed me multiple times that my account was going to be canceled. I didn't fix it but several days after my account was canceled they figured out a way to charge me and renew my account. I noticed all of my blog photos were back so I quickly copied all of my photos off their site (which I thought I had lost) and updated my blog to point to the new location. I think I'll call Apple to cancel my .mac account this time.

We went up the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon and camped Friday night. It was a blast!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

( .mac | !.mac )

Today my .mac account expired and I lost all of the images that were hosted for my blog (don't even say it Boyd). I don't think I'm going to renew that account so I'm assuming the pictures will all be deleted eventually. The worst part is that some of the pictures were only stored there. I've begun the process of relocating the pictures I have to a different and more permanant solution but you might find some of my blog entries having missing pictures... I'm not sure I'm going to fix them all.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

All good things...

Last thursday I put in my official resignation from Novell. I am leaving Novell to work for the LDS Church on their Family Search software. They are starting an open source project to build a cross platform genealogy client to front their Family Search site. I'll be the engineering lead and architect of that project. The work is facinating, its significance is deep, and its relevance is enormous. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm humbled to be a part of it.

My last day at Novell will be June 23rd. I've been there since 1992 and have worked with a lot of people on a lot of projects. I am going to miss the great people I have worked with on the iFolder team and the other people I have worked with previously at Novell.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Better than a Treo 650

Certain events in my life have forced me to switch my phone plan. After Brady Anderson showed me his EvDO access through Sprint I decided to look into it. At the same time I realized I could get the new Palm Treo 700p (yes that's p for Palm OS).

Palm Treo 700p

I've only had the device for a couple of days but so far it appears to be a very nice upgrade from the Palm Treo 650. The other day I went to look up showtimes for the movie "Cars". I went to Fandango to look up the times and the network access speed was so blazing fast it felt like all of the data was local on my Palm. I am very impressed.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Calvin's Quest

In my continuing quest to find the perfect gadget to meet all of my needs, I have gone back to my previous device and feel as if I have come home.

Palm Treo 650: The best device I've ever used

Several months ago I began a personal project to port some software from the Palm OS to Microsoft's WinCE OS (now labeled by Microsoft as Windows Mobile). I had a large number of requests for the software to be ported and calculated that the number of people asking for it justified the cost of porting it. In doing so I decided I would once again try to make the switch from a Palm OS based device to a WinCE based device. This was not an easy thing for me to do, the Treo 650 is by far the best device I have ever used. I naively wanted the software to look and feel like other software on the device so I figured I should switch and get used to the device. After using a Treo 650, I couldn't imagine having both a phone and a PDA (actually I could and tried it but that's another story) so I wanted a PocketPC based phone. My wireless service is with Cingular so I selected the Cingular 8125. After using the 8125 now for several months, I can no longer endure the frustrations of the device.

The problems of the 8125 (and other HTC based devices) are mostly in the software. Microsoft has been through at least five if not six full releases of it's WinCE operating system and it still suffers from the same design flaws it has always had. Microsoft's apps on the Windows CE devices are designed for users that live in Microsoft Outlook. If you do not live in Microsoft Outlook (or some other system like GroupWise) and want to use your device as the primary source of data (both input and output), you (IMHO) will not be happy. The number of steps it takes and the number of dialogs and prompts you must pass through to perform simple tasks is mind boggling. Let's examine two basic everyday tasks that you might encounter on these devices and compare them.

Task 1: Changing a todo item's due date
On the Palm I click on the current due date and I am given a menu with 10 choices that includes today, the next six days, 1 week from now, no date, or "Choose Date". If I pick one of those days I am done with the task in two clicks. Most of the time, I don't move my tasks more than seven days out so most of the time I can move a task in two clicks. If not I can click "Choose Date" and a calendar is shown with the current due date selected and I can pick a new date. That would require three clicks. This can also all be done using the thumb pad so I don't actually have to use the stylus on the screen.
On the WinCE device I have to click the task at which point I am taken to the details of the task which shows me less information about the task than the task list showed. I have to click the double arrows on the details screen to show me the details. To make a change to the task I have to select the edit menu. I am taken to the task edit screen where I can now see all of the details of the task and edit them. If I click on the Due: field, I am finally given a calendar with the current due date selected and I can select a new due date. After I select the new due date I am taken back to the edit screen and I have to select OK to save the changes.

Task 2: Creating a new appointment
Now there are a lot of types of appointments but let's go with the one that happens most often when I am not sitting in front of a computer and cannot enter it using Outlook (or GroupWise). I want to invite my wife (or some other person) to lunch.
On the Palm I click on the time slot in which to make a new appointment and it visibly changes with a cursor letting me know it's ready to enter the appointment information. I enter "Lunch with Wife". Task completed.
On the WinCE device when I click the free time slot it only selects it even though there is nothing there. I have to either select Menu and then select Edit or I can "click and hold" and wait for a little timer to count of some time before then showing me a context menu that has "New Appointment" in it. If I select "New Appointment" I am taken to the calendar edit screen where the Subject field is selected and I can enter text. I of course have no way to enter text because I need to also select the keyboard from the menu bar so I can actually enter text. I enter the text "Lunch with Wife" (ignoring a bunch of popup text suggestions which are all wrong until I have completed the full word) and click ok to save the event. I admit that I could have used the built in keyboard on the device and avoided the step of clicking on the keyboard from the menu bar. In that case I would have had to slide the keyboard out and then wait for Windows CE to realize the screen needed to rotate and redraw the screen in the rotated state. Most of the time that is very quick but it always seems like when I NEED it to be quick, it takes up to five seconds. Once the screen is redrawn, the Subject: field is no longer selected and has the text "No subject" in it and I have to click the subject to then use the keyboard and enter the text. I then click OK and I am returned to the calendar. I then close the keyboard and wait for the screen to rotate and redraw (with the same unpredictable speed).

I could continue with many other examples but this is only a blog entry and you are probably wondering when it will end. Here are some quick summaries of other problems I had in Windows CE and don't have on my Treo 650:

- When the phone rings I expect the device to instantly switch to some kind of phone answer screen and allow me to answer or ignore the call. On the 8125 I would often get an hourglass while it was preparing to switch to the answer dialog. I would frantically press the answer button but because the device was not quite ready, the button would activate whatever app was previously using the button and jump to some other function while I would miss the call. I felt like an idiot explaining to people that I couldn't get my phone to answer their call when I called them back.

- When I set an alarm I expect it to go off at the time I set it. On the 8125 I would often wake up (late) and turn on the device only to suddenly get an alarm for something that was supposed go off several hours earlier.

- If I don't make a single phone call all day, I would not expect my phone battery to be mostly used at the end of the day. My Treo will last two days easily with moderate use. The 8125 is lucky to make it 15 hours with no use at all.

- I expect a handheld device to work like a flashlight. When I need to see in the dark, I don't have to wait for the light to hit the wall, it's instant. When I am at some service desk and they ask me for some obscure information that I can't remember and need to look it up in my device, I want don't want to stand there looking like an idiot that doesn't know how to use my device while I wait for apps to load, screens to draw, menus to appear, and hourglasses to go away. I want the information NOW! The response time of the 8125 is never consistent and is always slow when I need it to be fast. My Treo is consistently fast.

- I want to turn the phone on and off using a hardware button, not a menu. There are times I want the PDA to stay on but the phone radio to be disabled. On my Treo I can hold down the red phone button (like every other mobile phone ever created on this earth) and it will turn off the phone portion of the device. On the 8125, to turn off the phone radio, I have to select the radio indicator in the menu bar to pop open a menu that let's menu turn on "flight mode"... that makes sense doesn't it?

- I want to turn off my phone's volume by reaching in my pocket and flipping the "sound off" button. On the 8125 I have to turn on the device, select the speaker icon from the menu bar which pops open a menu and let's me choose on, vibrate, or off".

Finally, I have to add one more story to this blog entry. When I turned on my 8125 to get the exact steps needed for the tasks above, I had it completely turned off so I needed to wait for it to "boot". I have had the device off for several days and as it booted it began to sound alarms for every event I had set since I turned it off. At the same time the alarm clock was letting me know it's time to "wake up" since it couldn't do that this morning. I had to sit and endure about 45 seconds of alarms and noises going off because I had no way of responding to them while the system was booting up. The only thing I could do was squeeze my hands over the speakers to mute the mix of alarms, notifications, and "wake up" music.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ogden Half Marathon

The first race I've ever run

Yesterday I finished the first race I have ever entered. The Ogden Half Marathon starts in Eden,UT near the Pineview Reservoir and ends 13.1 miles later in downtown Ogden, UT. The route is mostly downhill which makes the race very fast. I was worried that all of that downhill would be difficult on my knees and ankles but turned out just fine. There were only a couple of steeper grades and even those weren't that bad.

I was very anxious about the race the night before and didn't end up with a good rest. We had to be up at 4:30am to catch the buses that take the runners up to the start of the race. Randy Cook and I got on a bus at about 5:00am and arrived at the starting area around 6:00am. It was very cold and we had to wait for over an hour to start. They had a full first aid station there (it's the halfway mark for the full marathon) with fruit, water, and PowerBars. They also had fires going to keep the runners warm. Most of the race runs down the Ogden canyon and they had half of the road closed off for the race. I was surprised at how well organized the event was and how many volunteers they had. Every mile they had first aid stations filled with people screaming out words of encouragement and holding out cups of water, Powerade (I only had water), PowerBars, fruit, and some of that sports GU stuff (I didn't have any of that either).
You can click the above map to see the race results from my Garmin 305. I forgot to turn it off as I passed the finish line so the numbers aren't exact. I pushed my body harder in this race than I've ever pushed it before. I must have been full of adrenalin because I ran for over an hour in zone 4 of my heart rate (80%-90% of max) and 23 minutes in zone 5 (90%-100% of max). I ran the first mile and a half at a very slow pace. This being my first race, I was nervous and didn't know what to expect. I felt very good after that and stepped it up a bit. I mentally divided the race up into 5 mile blocks (that's how far I run each morning) and was surprised how fast it passed and how soon I was at my last 3 miles.

My goal was to finish the race under two hours and after ten miles I changed that goal to be under 1:45. I started to push and decided I could run the last three miles with a heart rate between 160 and 170 bpm. I turned the last corner in Ogden and could see the finish line with only a half mile to go. I was already at 170 and decided there was just a little more I could push. The last block of the race I broke out in a sprint... well, it felt like a sprint but I'm sure it was little more than a fast jog. There were a lot of people screaming as we came in but just as I broke out in my "sprint" some guy on the side screamed out "yeah dude, go for it" and kept screaming it as he ran along the side of the race at my pace. I'm not sure if his intention was to mock me or encourage me but I have to thank him for it because it gave me a rush of adrenaline that kept me running full speed until the end. I could see I wasn't going to make it under 1:45 but I thought if I pushed as hard as I could, I would still make it under 1:50. I ended up crossing at 1:49:59.9. My net time (from the time I crossed the start line to finish was 1:49:09.9. It took me 50 seconds to cross the start line from the race start (there were a lot of people).

When I crossed the finish line there was a sea of people in yellow shirts (volunteers) helping the racers and I was very disoriented because I had to suddenly stop running (there was no room to continue even if I wanted to). Two volunteers came rushing up to me to stop me. The girl volunteer said she needed my timing chip (it was on my left ankle) and the the guy stood there like he was going to catch me when I collapsed. I can't remember a time in my life when I have wanted air in my lungs as much as I wanted it then and for the first time I think I caught a glimpse of what it is like to have asthma. My lungs felt thick and I could not get air in and out no matter how hard I tried. I could only imagine a thick swelling in all of my airways that was slowing everything down. After about 30 seconds of that I recovered and could breathe deep full breaths and finally recovered.

My family was there to watch me cross the finish line despite the delayed start in the race. They were very supportive and it was great to have them there. My oldest boy (6 years old) told me that next year he wanted me to run the "big" race (meaning the full marathon). My good friend Randy Cook who invited me to run the race made sure that at registration I was entered in the "clydesdale" category. That's a special class for people over 200 lbs. He said it would help my race results to be in that class. It turns out he was right. I ended up taking first place in my class. I checked and according to the race stats, I would have taken 10th place had I been in the normal Male 35-39 class. I hope to be in that class next year so I better work on my time.

My first race ended up being a very positive experience and I look forward to having many more!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Accidents will happen

I can't believe they cut my jersey

On Wednesday April 26th, the iFolder bike team went out for our normal lunchtime training ride. It just happened to be the first day I had my Garmin Forerunner so I have all of the details of the ride. After 17.9 miles we were on our way back and Brady had just pulled off to the back of the pace line (I was in front of him). We came to some railroad tracks and I crossed them faster than normal and heard a hard smash and thought "Wow, Brady went over that track harder than I have ever heard". I then heard Brady yell so I looked back and only saw his wheels. I stopped and ran back and Brady was not getting up.

I'll spare you the details of everything after that, but as you can see, Brady was taken to the hospital and it turns out he broke his collar bone. I was paniced I had done something to cause his fall (being the new rider) but he assures me he was about ten feet off my wheel when it happened.

If you click on the map of the ride, you can import the ride data into Google Earth and see right where the tracks are and the abrupt end to our lunch training ride. Brady is still at home recovering and we all wish him well. I went over to his house yesterday and helped him take care of some very important business... I got him all signed up for the 2006 LOTOJA Classic! He is doing well and knowing Brady, he will be hacking and back on his bike soon.

Get well Brady, we need your hacking skills on iFolder, your legs on our rides, and we miss you here at work!

Fitness and Training

Map of my run this morning
In the past month I have drastically modified my excercise routine. I had a routine that worked very well for me and I've been able to loose 55 lbs using it. Since then, members of the iFolder team at Novell (Brady, Mike, and Russ) convinced me to go out biking with them. We're talking road biking where you ride in a pace line and draft off one another. I've been going with them for just over three weeks and of course like the sucker that I have become for physical activity, I signed up to ride the 2006 LOTOJA with them in September. For those that chose not to follow that link, LOTOJA is a 206 mile race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY and it's done in one day. We are not even going to do the relay, we are doing the full 206 miles together.

I should mention that at the same time I've started biking with them, I am also maintaining my running. Another friend of mine, Randy Cook, asked me to go and run the Ogden Half Marathon with him on May 6th. This will be the first race I have ever run in my life. To get ready for all of this activity, I do what I always do, I purchased a new gadget! I've upgraded my Polar F11 heart rate monitor to the Garmin Forerunner 305.

My new training "toy"

I've only used it three times and I like it more each time I use it. The Motion Based website has a web service to upload the data from the 305 and analyze the data. You can see the data from my run this morning by clicking on the map above.

Wake Up Alarms (part 2)

Back in January of 2013 I wrote about wakeup alarms and compared the difference between Android and iOS.  That was back on an iPhone 5 and a...