Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's on my mind

I was planning to write about my computer Go project, but tonight I just feel like letting out some random thoughts.

I'm listening to Radio Zero again (that is, the Zero Hedge podcast). Because of RZ, I got interested in trance, which is a style of techno dance music. No, I am not dancing. Get that out of your head! I have discovered that trance is good for programming. I can't explain why, yet, but it's good to have the trance stuff going in the background while I work. I'm starting to appreciate a good mix, too. A seamless flow, smoothly transitioning from one tune to the next.

On a sidenote, I used to listen to Rush a lot. It's amazing how Red Barchetta gets you fired up. It's good driving music, funnily enough. I prefer the era prior to Hold Your Fire. With few exceptions, I'm just not thrilled by the later material.

The biggest reason I got into programming is that it's a way for me to create things. We can debate how tangible a program is. I'm not good mechanically, or artistically, or any number of other ways that one might build things. But I do have a bit of a knack for programming, so that's what I do.

Maintaining other people's software can be a chore, sometimes downright painful. I strongly resist the urge to rewrite it all, because I know that's a crutch. When there are other stakeholders involved, such as at my employer, rewrites are not usually an option anyway.

Last random thought for now. People with blogs, especially my friends, should keep writing. Yeah, OK, you might not think your day was interesting. Or maybe you don't think you have anything to say. You should take a risk anyway, get something written down, and let it go.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's workout

I have been remiss in posting my workout results. Today, our warmup was to alternate 200m rowing and 1 minute of double-unders, for 5 rounds. Danielle and I got there a little late, so I ended up only doing three rounds. But it was a good start. Rowing is one of my strengths, and I'm getting better and better at double-unders.

The WOD was called Eva, and it was 5 rounds of:
  • 800m run
  • 30 kettle bell swings (75lbs was prescribed, ha ha)
  • 30 pullups
I learned first-hand why this WOD is considered really tough. I scaled the kb swings to 35lbs and then dropped down to 26lbs. And I am still doing jumping pullups. My time was 46:30 (plus or minus some seconds, I didn't write my time down before I left -- /me dummy). It felt really good to finish!

The exact time is not actually the main thing for me right now. My goal in the near term is to get to the point where I don't have to be taking breaks in between sets, and more importantly, to not be the last or next to last in results every workout. If I can solve that, then I'll know I've reached the next level.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's workout

Today we had to do 5 rounds of the following:

- 10 Ring Pushups
- 5 Squat Cleans
- 250 m Row

I got mine done in 15:09, and was exhausted at the end, although my squat cleans were just using the 40lb bar. I haven't quite got the hang of the squat cleans yet, but I'm getting closer. Practice, practice, practice. Then we worked on ring dips and renegade rows.

I am happy to say that I am up-to-date with my burpees for the burpee challenge. We have to do an ever increasing number, increasing by one each day, until Jan 8th when a total of 100 burpees will be required. But for tomorrow, it's just 16 of them. I think doing them in the morning before I head out is working pretty well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today's workout

Today at the gym, Robyn had us do the "Filthy Fifty". Don't you love all these nifty CrossFit named workouts? In this case, you are asked to do 50 reps each of:

- Box Jump 24"/20"
- Jumping Pullup
- KB Swing 1 pood
- Walking Lunge 50 steps
- Push Press 45#
- Back Ext.
- Wall Ball 20#/14#
- Burpee
- Double Under

What is a "pood", you ask? The main CrossFit site says it is a "Russian measure used for kettlebells; common ones: 1 pood =36 lbs; 1.5 pood = 54 lbs; 2 pood = 72 lbs. Approx db equivalents are 35, 55, 70". I chose a half-pood, or 18lbs.

KTE stands for "knees to elbows," and as Robyn said today, "from the bar is preferred." But some of us (i.e., me) had to substitute with a few crunches on the floor on our backs. The Back Extension is supposed to be done with weight, but I had to scale down to a very light bar because I don't yet have the flexibility to get my arms back enough to have the bar resting on my back muscles. I had to substitute a bunch of push-ups for half of my burpees. And finally, I substituted x3 single-unders for the double-under jump roping. And then I tossed in a run around the building, which is not quite 400m unless you keep going to the next warehouse entrance and come back.

And that's not counting the 25 burpees I did this morning (with real push-ups) to stay up-to-date with the burpee challenge! Man, I am wiped out now, but feeling good.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random incoherent thoughts

Had another kick-ass workout at the gym today, but I'm too tired to write about it much. Plus I need to get back to debugging some stuff for work. I was at work by 7:15am today and yet I still need to put more time into the project. I will be joining a number of my co-workers in presenting our projects company-wide tomorrow in the early afternoon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Well, that wasn't so good

I got a little carried away (heh heh) with my deadlift weight today, and strained my back a bit. I did 21 reps @ 160lbs, then 21 kettle bell snatches on each arm, and 21 box jumps. I started the next round which was going to be 15 reps, but had to quit early because of my back and I don't think I'll be doing my burpees for the day. Darn it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Today's workout

Robyn held her Saturday workout in the usual place today, Parfet Park in Golden, CO. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. We had to start with 50 kettle bell swings and 10 ball slams, followed by 50m of burpee broad-jumps, then 40 kb swings and 20 ball slams, another 50m of burpee broad-jumps, and so on until we finished with 10 kb swings and 50 ball slams. I was not in the best place mentally for this -- I hate burpees. But Danielle and the other folks provided lots of encouragement, and helped me get through it. Thanks you guys!

And Robyn is challenging us to do burpees every day -- 1 on Oct. 1st, 2 on Oct. 2nd, and so on. I missed the first couple days worth, so I have to do 6 today, and then it will be 4 tomorrow, 5 on Monday, etc. The end goal is to do 100 burpees for time on Jan 8th. Oh man, that's gonna suck.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today's workout

The workout at the gym today was called "The Bear". You had to do the following:

- Power Clean
- Front Squat
- Push Press
- Back Squat
- Push Press

7 times to count as one round, without putting the bar down. Then you could rest as much as you wanted before starting the next round. And you had to do a total of 5 rounds. And it was hard. I started with a 40lb bar and then added 10lbs for subsequent rounds, and it was still hard. I don't even want to say how long it took me to get through it (hint: more than 45 minutes). Part of the challenge is I'm still working on my form, but most of it is that I have a lot of work to do yet to get strong. It was a great workout even so.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today's workout

Rowing: 6525 meters in 30 minutes

Monday, September 28, 2009

Today's workout

The workout today at the gym was:

1 mile run
100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats
1 mile run

I substituted jumping pullups, and half-pushups plus kettle bell swings. My total time was 52:08. I got the first mile done in 8:48 which is pretty good for me at this point.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fight Gone Bad results

Fight Gone Bad is one of the standard named workouts in CrossFit, and today's workout at my gym was part of a fundraising event that lots of gyms participated in. You spend one minute at each of five stations after which you get a one-minute break, and then you go again. The stations are:

   1. Wall-ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
   2. Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps)
   3. Box jump (Reps)
   4. Push-press (Reps)
   5. Row (Calories)

You have to do three rounds and the clock does not stop until the three rounds are done. Then you add up your reps (and calories from the rowing machine), and that's your score. There are four divisions, and I was in the one called "Class B: Modified Men/Standard Women" which means that the weights are lower than in Class A.

I got a score of 206. I anticipate moving up to class A next time, but until then I need to work on having perfect form at each station and be able to keep going without any short breathers. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, especially that so many people showed up to participate!

Edit: full disclosure -- I only did step-ups for the box jump (20") so that means my score was in reality lower, but I don't know what the proper scaling factor would be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

unboxing videos

I'm wondering who it is that actually likes watching "unboxing" videos? E.g., 5 minutes of someone tearing the packaging off their new iPhone or whatever. There are hundreds of them on YouTube. Is it living vicariously, or do people just really enjoy new product packaging?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What am I getting myself into?

I'm joining a CrossFit gym. I went to a free workout yesterday with my wife Danielle to check out the gym I will be joining. She has taken me to Saturday workouts at the gym she goes to. I like her gym, but MBS is closer both to home and to work, so it's more practical for me to get there regularly. This is the start of some really tough workouts for me, but if I can make it through the first month, I'll be OK.

8/28/09 Update: I moved to the gym Danielle has been going to after all. MBS is great, but for various reasons I like Foothills Crossfit better. And I signed up for the Fight Gone Bad IV fundraiser that will happen in late September.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First day of summer

Smells like it's going to rain, again. We can't seem to get out of this weather pattern. In recent years, it had become common for June in Colorado to be hot, hot, hot, and everything not getting regular watering would already be turning brown. Not this year, and the constant rain has had its pluses. But the tornadoes and hail definitely fall on the minus side. This is coming from someone who lives west of I-25 in Colorado snuggled right up against the Front Range, which is to say that we don't have near as much 'fun' as people east of I-25 have, where the real bad stuff comes out of the sky with alarming regularity.

Man, our lawn needs a whole lotta work.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A quick message

If you really want something from me, please try being more direct.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Net profiles

From time to time, I indulge in a little bit of ego-surfing to see what other people see if they search for me. Of course, many of the results reflect my involvement in programming projects on the Net. But I also have noticed various social networking sites that have a default profile set up for me. These sites seem to spring up like mushrooms. It's funny to see what little snippets of my Net presence each of these sites picked up.

I never felt very motivated to go around and update these profiles until recently, but I did a little of that today -- ZoomInfo, Spoke, LinkedIn. And I updated my Google Profile.

9/12/09 update: I'm on Facebook now, if you couldn't already guess.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Here's a completely random thought. Is a ladder in Go an instance of Irrational Escalation? They are considered to be easily read out, so what is gained by even playing one more stone? I wonder if experienced players quickly recognize the development of a ladder before it gets past even a couple stones.

And then, what implications are there, if any, for a strong Go program? I mean, as far as dispensing with the play-out, if that's what good players do?