Recently I have started running again. My wife has always been a strong runner. Her
high school college cross-country running team was undefeated and she ran on a scholarship.
I have never been much or a runner due to my weight and lack of fitness. The one exception to that was in high school when I actually started to enjoy running in PE class. Now that I have lost over 30 pounds I am able to enjoy running again.
Last week Penelope and I ran around Not a Cornfield. It felt great. Later in the week we ran from out loft up to the top of bunker hill and the Disney hall. To take a break from running we hiked Chantry Flats on Sunday.
The hike ended up being a fairly challenging six mile loop. The abundance of steep climbs and descents made it a good workout. Now that we're in better shape we powered through the whole hike without stopping.
Someday soon my goal is to run Chantry Flats, now that will be a workout!
Downtown Los Angeles as seen from a parking lot in an industrial area east of the LA River in this file photo from 2007.
off to see wall-e... just saw that metacritic gave it 93 points... most i've ever seen [5:16 pm]
just woke up from nap after chantry flats loop hike and massive dimsum breakfast at capital seafood. life is good. now whiskey + wall-e [3:26 pm]
going for a hike with @peneloper in chantry flats [7:40 am]
today I soldered together my bare bones arduino kit, it works. also got my new scintillator probe working. good fun day [10:15 pm]
Jott is a free transcription service that makes sending notes and reminders a phone call away. I signed up for their free service and verified my phone number a few months ago. All I have to do is call a toll-free number form my cell and talk. A few minutes later a full transcription of what I said is waiting in my inbox.
It helps to speak slowly and spell out any hard to understand or uncommon words. Jott doesn't use voice recognition software for the transcription, they have people doing the work. Due to that fact I don't use Jott for anything sensitive or secret.
I use Jott almost every day on my drive home from work. Writing while driving is somewhat inconvenient not to mention dangerous. I have Jott in my phone favorites and when I have an idea I just call the number and leave a message.
I also use Jott to message contacts in my address book. When I call in they ask me who I want to Jott. The message ends up being transcribed, then emailed and sms'ed to the contact.
Jott is a service that I have really learned to love. It is one of those rare things in life that are free and awesome. If it becomes a for-pay service I will still use it. Now that's a sign of a good thing.
A sculpture consisting of outdated telephone switch parts adorns the wall of the AT&T building in Downtown Los Angeles in this file photo from 2007. Modern day telephone systems use computers instead of physical switching relays.
just got back from great 40 minute run around not a cornfield [7:56 am]
Getting Things Done (GTD) literally changed my life 3 years ago. Growing up I had always been highly unorganized. After reading about GTD on the internet I ordered the book by David Allen and instantly started to change the way I worked.
GTD offers a pretty simple theory for organization: Collect every task and action you have in one trusted place. Instead of the dozens of lists I had spread throughout my computer for various projects, I funneled them all into several lists in one place. I collected every little nagging task my head and put them in those same lists.
Having all my actions in one place allowed me to easily keep track and review what I had to do. This simple change completely altered the way that I worked. I am now extremely productive and I love it.
A few weeks ago I reread GTD and implemented a number of things I had not done before. I created an orderly physical filing system for all my important papers. When I first started using GTD I tricked myself into thinking that I did everything on my computer. Once my filing system was setup I saw that was hardly the truth.
After creating my filing system I set up what David Allen calls a tickler file. A tickler file is a series of 43 folders, one for each month and 31 for each possible day of the month. When I have a physical item that requires my future attention I put it into either the month folder that it pertains to or the day if it happens to be in within the next 30 days. Every morning I check my tickler file to see if any paperwork is waiting for me.
Getting Things Done has change my life for the better. There is no way I could have accomplished what I have in the last 3 years without it. Thanks to GTD, I can finally say I truly am organized. Being organized is awesome.
Route 66 stretches out into the desert near Ludlow in this photo I took after a Desert Explorers Rendezvous in 2007.
upgrading apache 2.2.8 to 2.2.9 thanks to new vulnerability [5:41 am]
With fuel prices higher than ever, I've been driving 55 mph on the freeway to improve my gas mileage. For years I have always been one of those speed limit plus ten people. Only recently have I decided to slow down and take it easy.
My FJ Cruiser (below) normally gets around 15 mpg on the highway. I found out that if I keep the rpms below 2,000 my mileage increases to over 20 mpg. On roughly level ground that ends up being 55 mph in sixth gear.
I keep an eye on my gas mileage using my ScanGauge II. It's a handy little device that plugs into the FJ's ODBII port and gives information about everything from intake temperature to battery voltage. The ScanGauge allows to me see exactly how many miles I am getting to the gallon at any given moment as well as the average for the whole tank.
So far driving 55 on the Los Angeles freeways has been fun and cost effective. The funniest thing about driving in the slow lane is that people still tailgate!
My FJ Cruiser near Madrid, during our trip to New Mexico last near.
processing my 20 jotts from the drive home, getting ready to read in bed =] [9:13 pm]
you know you're a nerd when you're excited about cacti including plugin framework in next release [5:12 am]
I've been spending my free time over the last few weeks working on my new photography website. My good friend Cedrick Osborn did the graphic design. I did the XHTML/CSS and backend programming.
The site is pretty basic feature-wise, but gets the job done. It has about 200 of what I consider my best photos, some of which have never been published.
Take a few minutes and check out my new site: davebullock.com. Let me know what you think in the comments on this post. If you dig my new site, don't forget to tell your friends and blog/twitter about it!
ok so that piece about itching on KPCC made me itch [6:13 pm]
We had a great trip. Over 300 feet of technical ascent / descent. It was a good workout!
As you can tell from the photo I was having fun. The rappel is the easy part! Going up the rope is hard work.
good morning sleeping city. glad to be back on my schedule! [5:29 am]
The Library Tower (AKA the US Bank building) is showing its Lakers pride with a custom lighting job on their crown. I'm sure you know that the Lakers won tonight's game. Go Lakers!
I've been a Vonage subscribe for over 5 years now and I've been very happy with their internet based telephone system. Basically if you get Vonage you don't need a phone line, just an internet connection. When you sign up they send you a little box you plug in to your network to which you connect any standard telephone. Once you plug everything in you get nation-wide long distance for free for about $25 a month or you can get a 500 minute plan for $15 a month.
You can transfer your existing telephone number to it or get a new one. It's just like your normal phone service, but has some other cool features like the ability to simultaneously ring your cell phone and your home. You can also get a soft phone that you can use on your laptop from anywhere that has internet access. Right now they are offering 2 month of free service for both you and me if you sign up [click here to do so].
UCLA scientists are working hard to fight cancer and their latest creations could target tumors directly. I toured the labs making these new nanomachines called nanoimpellers and took photos for Wired. You can check out the photos along with a brief intro I wrote by clicking here or on the photo below:
On Sunday I shot some photos of the grand opening of Mister Cartoon's new shop in my building: The Last Laugh / Upper Playground. I just posted the photos over on blogdowntown:
Click here to see Upper Playground / Last Laugh Opening gallery.