Jan 082014
 

So here it is…

Family/Housing:
———-
find a church
take Beth on a date at least 6 times.
observe a ‘no TV’ night every week
oversee the construction of our new house

Fitness:
———-
cycle with Beth 20-ish or more miles three or more times in 2014
run a sub-20 minute 5k
strength train at least 30 minutes 2 or 3 days every week.
take a few boxing lessons before beginning boxing related cross training workouts
get a heavy punching bag for our workout room at the new house
Look into cycle trainers  – use our own bikes on a stationary platform that provides [variable] resistance.

Diet:
———-
eat no desserts on nights Beth works.
drink no pop in January and February.

Hobby:
———-
earn 1 new NMRA AP certificate.
learn layout design software e.g. 3rd-Planit or similar
complete an HO Scale B30-7A project (BN 4009)

Comments:
———-
Dialing back my enthusiasm for structured model railroad hobby goals and marathoning.    I’m not saying I’m done with running marathons, I just want to have the time to commit to be sure I can break 4:00.  This year does not look like it will lend itself to that.  Also, treadmill boredom and a lifelong of curiosity have lead me to resolve to explore boxing.   As a late-30 something, this might well be called crazy, but so can be running 26.2 miles.

 

Apr 232013
 

I have been considering purchasing a smartphone for a long time.  In January 2013, our two year contract was ending with Sprint.  So we were free to make a decision regarding our wireless carrier and new phones.   I bought us a couple old used Motorola Razr flip phones.   These were at one time a big fashion statement but are now more of a status symbol of the notoriously frugal.

To make a long story short, we purchased an affordable Android device for my wife for use on our PagePlus Cellular plan.   We can pre-purchase air time and data.   The main rationale for this was her use of the texting features.  And we also have a trip planned to Colorado this summer, so having that as a navigation aide will also be nice.   I’ve decided to stick with my old RAZR for now, but have not ruled out a smartphone in the future.

There are a couple smartphone applications that apply to my leisure time interests.  Model Railroading, Cycling and Running.

Model Railroading

The first is a JMRI mobile interface application.  Java Model Railroad Interface is open-source software that allows pretty much any DCC system on the market today to be connected to a computer.  There is some cheap intermediate hardware needed, but the concept is that any computer can be connected to the command station.   One can do things like program decoders and operate locomotives from a computer without the DCC system’s throttle.

The JMRI people have extended the throttle piece to a mobile app.   The phone connects via WIFI to the computer that is connected to the DCC system.   Then the computer sends out signals out over the DCC command bus to the locomotive.    The result is that you can run trains from your phone.   Nevermind I already have two expensive Digitrax throttles.   But this isn’t such madness to the guys who don’t want to invest in a bunch of throttles for every one of 10 or 12 guys that come to operating sessions on their layouts.   It seems that smartphones are more prolific every day.  So this might work out for guys that operate regularly.

Running

The second application is in running.   A colleague recently demonstrated the MapMyRun.com application to me.   The app tracks your distance and pace by using built-in GPS.   It also has  a neat little feature that allows you to run out into an unfamiliar area.  When you are ready to turn around, it helps you get back to where you started.   Handy for those that want to put their long runs in when traveling in unfamiliar territory.  Of course the runs can be recorded on the user’s account on the MapMyRun.com website.

The GPS piece is a nice feature to have, but I live in residential area that is very close to some very neat and very dimensional mile roads.  It is easy for me to count miles without the aid of GPS.   Of course I am in the dark when it comes to speed and pace  but I wear a heart monitor, which probably is more important than pace anyway.  And my Polar RS300 does keep track of mile splits, so I know instantly at the end of mile, or within the mile where I’m at.

One big drawback I’ve heard from other runners about any GPS-enabled running aide-type device is that they are very hard on batteries.   I’d hate to miss a call because I’ve been on a run and I have a low battery b/c I forgot to charge my phone the night before!

Cycling

Same as running above, but substitute MapMyRide.com for MapMyRun.com.

Conclusion

I don’t really have time for some of the other stuff a smartphone offers, nor do I welcome the added expense.  And to think of running with an expensive phone tied to my arm isn’t exactly enticing either.  So for now, I’ll wait to see what else develops in the market.  It will be fun to find out what my wife thinks of her phone.

Oct 192012
 

Junior is just starting to walk. The Boy 14.75 mo. is taking a couple of steps at a time every other day or so.

I’m still cutting my teeth in WordPress customization and branding. I uploaded a handful of new header images, mostly shot with my old point and shoot camera. All of these models have some level of customization to them.

I was just telling someone the other day about how much of a blast the 2012 Mickelson Trail Trek was.   Yes, it is in the books.   I didn’t end up being cat food.   Some photos here.

Home » Late Fall 2012 » Mickelson Trail Trek 2012
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Starting to look forward to spring marathon season.  Not sure if I’ll have time to do one, but I’m riding a wave of enthusiasm from the ride on the Big Mick.   I’m sure that could easily translate to a good showing on the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon.   June 2013.   If you gave me a long run this weekend and three weeks of taper, I’m pretty sure I could do it if it were in November.

Right now, I’m just very thankful for my trusted Landice treadmill.

Thats it for now.   Maybe some modeling pics later.

Aug 212012
 

We’re right around 3 1/2 weeks to go until the annual Mickelson Trail Trek returns to South Dakota’s Black Hills region.  I have not pedaled more than about 16 miles in a weekend since my buddy and I agreed to go on this little misdirected adventure.   True enough, I am a two-time marathon runner, but I am just that.  I’ll be a cyclist trapped in a runner’s body at this event.   I hope my cardio training can carry me over the approximately 109 miles of former CB&Q Railroad right-of-way.

I’ve ridden a century one time in the past – the second South Dakota State Games in 1990, IIRC.   So here’s hoping 25-30 miles per week of running will be enough to carry me through a weekend of 109 miles cycling total.

On a related note, I am looking forward to seeing the former Q high line from end to end.   I’ve been over large parts of it in the past, but never the whole thing in one weekend.   It should be a lot of fun.