Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowy in Salt Lake

I'm in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah for the Winter ESCC/Internet² Joint Tech Meeting. Fresh snow on the ground and temperatures right above freezing made for slow walking. The hotel is about 1½ miles from the student union where the meetings are being held. There are some evening meetings at the Marriot and I may just skip those due to the distance and the lack of transportation. The mountains surrounding the university campus look great with their fresh dusting of snow. One of the strangest things was the campus was absolutely deserted. On my walk this afternoon, I saw maybe 2 other people over a 45 minute period. Everything on campus is completely shut down. No food concessions open. This evening, I ended up having dinner at the student dining room (for dorm residents) as it was one of the few places available. The other choice was the hospital cafeteria. For some reason, hospital food didn't sound very appetizing. The dining hall was okay and it had a decent salad bar and offered quite a variety of food for $8.95.

I got very little sleep last night on the flight down so I think I will skip checking out the fitness center. Good night...

Monday evening - A pretty nice day today. Had a breakfast meeting with NOAA followed by the JT meeting until 4:00. I then took a tour of SCI, the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute here at the University of Utah. Interesting place and a couple of researchers talked about some of their projects. They also had a 4x6 HD tv array for displaying some of their visualization products.

Instead of going to the connector and gigapop geek meetings at the Marriot, I felt like I really needed some exercise so I went for a walk/run. Some outside and some on the treadmill. 9 miles tonight and 10¼ miles for the day. No sore knees (or any other joints). Much of the snow has melted but didn't feel like wandering around looking for dinner or going to the cafeteria again. Settled for an apple and a Glucerna bar. Not much of a dinner but I usually don't feel like eating after running.

Friday, January 29, 2010

221.78 Miles This Month (Not on the Bike)

I actually made my 200 mile goal (walking/running) for the month on the Nike+ site. I generally tend to slack off with the aerobic exercise in the winter but since I didn't have any significant work related travel this month, it was a good opportunity to try and get in a decent amount of exercise. This months total is still less than I occasionally manage in the summer since I really prefer to go for walks on the trails and roads instead of the treadmill. Today, it was significantly warmer at +16°F so I had a nice walk down to lower campus and back in addition to a morning jog on the treadmill. I may have to lay off the running a bit since I'm starting to feel aches in some of my joints. Even with all the aerobic exercise and strength training, I think I may have put on a few pounds this month. That isn't good. This is being made worse by a couple of work trips coming up. I hope there is some sort of workout facility where I'm staying at the University of Utah. I'm going down for the ESCC/Internet² Joint Tech meeting plus I'll be helping teach an IPv6 workshop after the regular meeting. Traditionally, this meeting is a wealth of information and well worth the time and effort.

Sunday afternoon - I updated the mileage in the title but didn't update the screen capture since I don't have the capture software on my netbook.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

High Mileage Week

This week was a high mileage week, especially for the winter. 70.4 miles is more common in the summer when there are places to go. I think the big reason is being able to run some on the treadmill. Lately, I've been able to run maybe half of the time usually doing intervals. Yesterday, the intervals were 10 min running and 5 min walking. Not bad considering that not to long ago, running 100 yards and walking a mile were real challenges. I haven't had a 200 mile month since Summer. Maybe this month. Only 40 miles to go...

Nike+ total just past 3500 miles. Ironically, this is probably about the same miles I've put on the bike during the same period.... I can't wait
'till summer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Still Winter

At -25°F, the temperature is still very "winter like" but warmer than it was last week. I'm still walking (some jogging) but not losing any weight. Kind of depressing. The Nike+ challenges have lost their motivational ability mostly due to people cheating the system and Nike not doing anything about it. On some challenges, there are people posting runs of 40 miles per day... every day. Or posting the same run 4 or 5 times in a row... every day. Kind of eliminates any desire to participate. I guess I'm the type of person that still needs motivation to exercise. On Monday, I ran intervals (2 min run followed by 2 min walk) for an hour then felt pretty good so I ran for another 45 minutes. I followed this with a full round of the weight machines and felt pretty good when I was done. Maybe I just need more days off. BTW, I don't think I ever got the memo that Monday was a university holiday. I showed up to an almost empty building on a deserted campus. But since I had plenty to do, I just stuck around and worked until mid-afternoon then went to the Alaska Club.

The new university sponsored program, WIN for Alaska Get the Point, starts up in a couple of weeks so maybe that'll help. I'm not sure what the awards will be this year but the last two were pretty good. A Garmim 305 gps one year and an 8 GB iPod Touch the next. Maybe this cold spell will let up for a while so I can start walking outside again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google -vs- China

A very interesting story was posted on the Official Google Blog about the Chinese government's attempt to access activist's Gmail accounts. Google may terminate all China operations and pull out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Believe It Or Not

It looks like winter is settling in for a while. January and February seem to be the hardest months to deal with around here. No big holidays nor cheery decorations to lift your spirits. But on the positive side, I noticed that sunrise is starting to get significantly earlier. Sunrise is now around 10:30 compared to after 11:00 around December 20th. While walking down to church yesterday around 9:00, you could already see a fair amount of red on the south-eastern horizon.

There is little, if any, heat from the sun this time of year. Late last night, it was -38°F, this morning -42°F and now that the sun has risen, it is -45°F. Temperatures are not headed in the right direction. There is a significant inversion now as it is over 20°F warmer at moderately higher elevations and coldest near the river. Temperatures on the weather sites are reported from the airport which is next to the river. Obviously, the lowest point in the valley.

Tuesday Morning - I don't think it is getting any better...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beginning of a New Year

During the very quiet New Years break, I finally did get to some of the tasks on my list. Of the nine wires in the loom to the left rear door of my truck, 6 were broken. I guess Dodge must use some pretty cheap wire. Or at least wire that doesn't do well in the cold. The only intact ones were the heavier gauge ones for the window motor. To simplify repair, I just cut them and spliced several inches into all of them then wrapped the whole thing in silicon tape. I'll see how long that repair lasts. On the bike, a 1983 BMW R100RT, I was dreading removing the exhaust nuts as they are aluminum and threaded onto the aluminum exhaust ports. If they don't come off easily, they need to be cut off to avoid damaging the aluminum threads on the head. Fortunately, the previous owner or whomever was doing the maintenance, used anti-sieze and they came right off. It is my intent to pull the heads to take a look at the valves. This year and model has a known problem with valve recession.

I also removed the rear wheel to get started on another maintenance item referred to as a "spline lube". The transmission needs to be pulled back a couple of inches to get a grease/moly mixture brushed onto the input shaft of the transmission. This would also be a great time to take a look at the clutch to see how it is wearing. I've only had the bike for two years but have very little information on the work that has been done to the bike. All I've done since owning it is replace all of the fluids (some several times), grease the rear drive spline, and replace a couple of lights and the starter relay. I'm thinking that I need to invest more time and $$ if I really want to start riding it long distances. For example, the stock charging system is only 240 watts @4000 rpm, so there really is a reason for my wanting to take the scenic ride home... I need to ride long enough to charge the battery. Speaking of the battery, it probably needs to be replaced as well since the sticker says 5/2003. Maybe I'll try one of the Odyssey dry cell ones. Perhaps I should have looked for a newer bike but one of the attractive features is the simplicity when compared to newer machines. No computer or other electronics, no cooling fluids, a simple dry clutch, shaft drive and a reputation for being long lived. It should last a long time with a little preventative maintenance. It is completely stock and the only farkle is a RAM mount for my gps.

After slacking off most of December, I've started to get more regular exercise. I'm trying to get to the Alaska Club at least three days per week to use their weight machines. I'm intimidated by the free weights so I haven't tried them at all. And also trying to get a fair amount of aerobic exercise. Usually the treadmill. It's easy, familiar and I have one that I can use at home. The ones at the Alaska Club are much easier to run on. Today, I actually tried running instead of just jogging but couldn't keep it up for more than a mile. Still, for me that is a real accomplishment. A year ago, I was walking about 8-10 miles per day but it was taking too much time. This year I'm trying to jog or run and that has dramatically cut down on the time as I just can't manage the same mileage.