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2004/03/28 Weekend in Tahoe
π 2004-03-28 23:17 by Merlin in Snow

Current Music: Armin Van Buuren - A State of Trance 138 - 2004-03-04
Current Mood: Fairly Good

So, since it snowed a foot or so on thursday, there was just no excuse not to go to Tahoe. The good thing is that it coincided with the trip a coworker had organized. So, the 7 of us ended up in a cabin in South Lake, and went to Kirkwood on Saturday.
The part that you had to be there for, is when the 3 early risers in the cabin all managed to fit in a (quite nice) mini cooper S, along with 2 snowboards (mine is 163cm), a pair of skis, and lots of other gear. That was quite fun ;)

The snow was reasonable considering, but for a change, I didn't disappear the whole day in a quest to get every inch of fresh powder, and ended up snowboarding with everyone in the group (in turns, since they had different levels and went to different places on the mountain).
The highlight was definitely when I managed to fall off the lift, something I hadn't done once the whole season, in an attempt not to be in front of my friends (both on my left and right). Unfortunately, the exit being a bit icy, this interesting maneuver ended up with me rolling over my head, and Bryan more or less riding against/over my head (thank god for the helmet).
No real harm done, except for screwing up my neck, yet again :(

A big after our late lunch, I went over to Palisades to meet the two bunnies in the group and ride with them until the end of the day. They did quite well considering the snow condition (it was becoming icy because the sun was too low), and it was too hard for me to manage any good faky riding (almost ate it 3 times, but somehow managed to save it each time)

Fun was had the evening after that, first by kicking butt at foosball (scored 10 goals, including 2 against myself which caused me to barely lose in the end :). We then almost won at pictionary, if it weren't for the winning team that was cheating, the judges not accepting answers in French (how dare they?), and my teammate being creative at choosing other words on the card ;)
The funny part is that I was so far gone sleep-wise that I was actually one of the few who was ok around 03:00, as my body had just given up on seeing any sleep anytime soon, but the other folks bailed, so I never got to see the end of strange brew, which is quite unfortunate as it seemed to be a fine piece of cinematography :) (no matter, I just started downloading it)

My only regret (kinda) was not being able to ride on sunday, but than again, I think I never hurt so much after so little snowboarding (not counting a bad calf cramp that woke me up during the night. WTF, I've never ever had a cramp from snowboarding before, and I usually ride a lot harder than I did saturday). I can't even recall really falling and hurting myself outside of that one lift incident.

Some of the pictures can be found here

Anyway, we ended up getting home, and beating the other tahoe bus, because Brian thought he should listen to bad advise about a "shortcut" :)
I got home around 18:00 and started working on hooking up the new AV system I had just received friday.
4 hours later, risking my life in precarious balance situations on a chair behind my TV, some of it is hooked up, but there is still work to be done. At least I can hear my music through the 6 speaker surround system again. Yeah!
2004/03/25 TV and remotes with linux
π 2004-03-25 00:13 by Merlin in Linux, Linuxha, Public

Current Music: DJ Tiësto - Live At Innercity - Norefjell
Current Mood: Yeah another long time project finally completed

So, those who've visited my house know that I have a sick system where I use
X10 wireless remotes, that get picked up by a receiver in the wall, which
transforms the signals from RF to electrical signals, which then get picked up
by a receiver in my linen^H^H^H^H^Hcomputer closet, which transforms this into a command for my serial port, which is read by a linux daemon, which in turn runs commands of my choosing, like changing the music or the volume (it's especially awesome under the shower, because I can use a throwaway wireless remote, and still control the music. I'm sure you'll agree that it is very important to be able to do so ;-)

Anyway, I also have another PC that is my video server, and plays files from another server (my disk server), and sends the video in a S-Video cable that goes under the house and reaches my TV.
So far, so good, except that I had to use my laptop on my couch to control the video and pause it or whatever (this turned out not to be a great problem since my laptop is always on my couch, but I digress).

So, I have some TV capture card with an IR receiver, and an IR remote. With a little work, I found and setup some linux software to receive the IR codes from the remote, and pass them on as commands to mplayer, a video player on linux.
This wasn't bad, except that I have to point the IR remote in my back, towards the PC, which is nowhere near the TV, and it wouldn't even work at all if I can see the TV but I'm a place in the room where my IR remote can't reach the IR receiver.
So, I had that working a couple of years ago, but I never really used it because it was a clearly inferior and imperfect solution that no self respecting geek would bring himself down to using :)

That's where my mouseremote comes in. This handy little sucker looks like a 5 way learning remote, also supports sending X10 events (i.e. to control my lights, and also my music from the closet), and then it also sends two more sets of RF signals that get picked up by another computer. The first set allows me to move the mouse on my TV screen for the PC I use to play videos, and the second set allows me to send random keys from the remote and have them used by the PC.
This is where the interesting part comes in: using those keys to do interesting stuff, like controlling the video so that I can just use my mouseremote like a regular remote, except that I'm talking to a PC that's not even within line of sight.
I wouldn't want to further bore you with technical details, and you can find them here should you really be curious (considering that it took me a little while to get it working, I documented it so that the next guy who tries this doesn't have to spend as much time than me). I'll just leave you with the (admittedly somewhat insane) list of things that happens in real life when you press play:
  1. the mouseremote sends an RF signal with the key I pressed
  2. multimoused on linux reads from the serial port and receives a translation of the RF signal
  3. it generates mouse events into the /dev/mumse fifo
  4. it separates and sends keypresses (like DVD+1) to /dev/x10fifo
  5. MouseRemote reads from the fifo and executes commands as directed in MouseRemote.conf
  6. MouseRemote.conf calls irsend, like so ' irsend SEND_RELAY "0000000000001005 00 5" Hauppauge ', which tricks the patches lircd to think I used my IR remote to send this code
  7. I'm running a patched lircd that understand this special trick, and relays it to its fifo as if it were coming from the infrared remote
  8. mplayer, running in lirc mode, reads from the lircd fifo, parses ~/.lircrc, receives the fake IR code, and pauses or resumes the video

See, it's really simple :)
I only got that working last night once I got the special evil trick to generate fake IR events in lircd, as if I were using my IR remote. We'll put aside the fact that I've owned the remote for mmmh, 4 years now :-)
Eh, at least I get points for documenting all this , so as to make it easier for the next guy...

Anyway, that's when you get to witness someone next to me in my couch, me pressing play or pause on my remote, the video stopping or starting as appropriate, me displaying a huge grin on my face, and the person next to me wondering "what's up with him, he pressed pause, the video paused, what's so special about that?".
If they only knew ;-)))

This is where I also get to say a few words about linux vs windows.
With windows, I would definitely have spent less time on all this: either I would have found some complex software that someone wrote and that happened to do what I needed, or I would have been entirely out of luck.
With linux, it took me a fair number of hours to make this all work (10 or so), but once I found that the main pieces existed (IR and RF readers) I knew that I could write the missing glue to make it all work together. In its own way, if you are into this, it's really rewarding to not only know it all works, but to have been able to make it work and piece it up together...

Eh, everyone needs a hobby, or two, or three, or... Oh, whatever, just let it be :)

Actually, if I get really bored, I'll have to setup freevo and MythTV on one, or several of my PCs, to turn them into more tivos (although that would probably also mean that I'd have to shell out some bucks to buy a small and quiet computer, and I have that stupid bet with myself that I have so much hardware already that I don't need to buy more computers (and I haven't bought a computer in more than 5 years, everything I have is from excess spare parts that I put together).
Anyway, I already have a Tivo and ReplayTV, and I don't *really* need to be watching more TV, and I don't really have the time to get bored, but you never know :)
2004/03/21 Mountain Biking in the mountains this time.
π 2004-03-21 17:46 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: Paul Oakenfold - Great Wall / Jon B - Mercury Skies
Current Mood: Exercised out :)

So, that was it, I just had to go try out that new mountain bike, where it was meant to be used: a mountain (MonteBello off Skyline et Page Mill, where Xav took me most times we went together).
I got (drove that is) to the top around 09:30 and realized that I had forgotten to take my biking gloves (helps quite a bit when you are rushing downhill in stones and dirt: the bike shakes a lot and your palms get all of it). Oh well, at least I had plenty of water and advil ;)

Anyway, I went down the rather steep incline filled with sand and stones, where the trail begins, and about 20secs later, I had flown over the bike and ended up in some bushes (this so sounds like a blog I read recently, not even funny...).
That was kind of vexing since I had never fallen from any of my bikes, but the good things is that due to the terrain, I was going really slowly (it's hard enough to stay in control as is), and I ended up with minor injury to my left knee (the one not protected by the light brace I wear, go figure...)

I realized right away that my seat was just too high for the terrain and the slope, causing my center of gravity to be way too high (gee, funny how physics works).
After lowering my seat (and being very happy that being a good engineer, I had brought my tools with me), I went back onto the trail.
My first path up just didn't work as I found out that my chain would wedge itself if I downshifted from 3rd to 1st on my front gear (and this repeatedly, which made taking paths up a bitch. I'll have to get that fixed)

I was a bit leery of what was going to happen because of how poorly I performed last time I went with Xav (many months ago, in the middle of my 1 year exercising break, and ouch, did I suck), but I was feeling great, if not a bit apprehensive of the new bike, and its handling in turns and terrain with minimal traction, and its brakes.
So, while I didn't have what it took to go balls out on the way down, it was just as well considering and I got to the creek at the bottom in one piece. Crossing it was fun considering the water level, but somehow, I didn't end up in the water (I even managed to make every single turn on the twisty slope down, without setting my foot down once).


After that, was grizzly flat (BTW, if I ever catch the sick bastard who named a 4km 330m (1000-foot) climb a 'flat', I'll make sure to convey my appreciation to him). I knew that I had my shi^H^H^Hstuff together when I got to the top after 26mn, a bit tired, but without having stopped once, or even lost my balance or traction in the couple of dicy places on the way up (if your gear is too low, you get too much torque and your back wheel spins in the dirt, you stop, you set your foot down, and you lose, and if your gear is too high for your leg muscles, you can't pedal up, and you stop and lose too :)
Heart rate on the way up was 165 to 175 sustained, not too bad.


After crossing skyline, and going down, a moment of panic took me when I arrived at a crossroad: left or right? Xav was saved by the fact that I had just lost my last bar of cell reception, so I didn't get to call him and wake him up to ask him :)
(ok, turns out he was actually road biking at that time, so I wouldn't have gotten him anyway)
Then something miraculous happened: I took the map I had stashed in my backback and found in the parking lot I started from, found the trail names, and actually found the right direction by using the map (I was also happy to have that compass on my keychain :)
Miracles happen every day, I tell you ;-)
Later, I found another cross road where the trail was clearly marked as being on the left, but my intuition told me to take the wide dirt road on the right, and it just so happened to indeed be the way I used to take with my friend (no idea what taking the other side would have led me :)
The cool part is that I got to see 5 deer while on that road, and after that, things were mostly uneventful, and I ended up at my car after a bit more than 90mn (not counting a little sprint where I reached 52.6kph)


Total Time: 1:32:03
Distance: 18.8km
Speed: 12.3kph avg / 52.6kph max (woot!)

you can find the rest of the pictures here

After that, I had way too much fun driving down pagemill in my poor little mazda protege, its crappy tires and regular brakes (the Audi TT convertible that was driving a good pace in front of me, pulled over to let me go after a while :)
Good thing I strap down the bike very carefully, one wouldn't want it to go flying in some turn ;-)
2004/03/20 Painful Rollerblading
π 2004-03-20 16:18 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: DJ Tiësto - Live At Revolution - Amsterdam
Current Mood: Much better after a few litres of shake in my belly :)

So, after an hour of step, icing up my knees while doing a little Email, and some coding for work, I headed outside for rollerblading (I had just replaced my worn wheels with brand new ones. I had cleaned up my apec 5 bearings (technically good stuff) with the proper bearing cleaner after coming back from Australia in January, however, due to weather and snow season, I had never gotten the chance to go out with them until today.
Anyway, I headed out around 12:08, for a 45mn ride to the trail, and then the expected 90mn or so for the 26km on the stevens creek trail (Mountain View to East Palo Alto).
I was in decent shape, and energized after step, so with the new wheels and cleaned up bearings, I had hopes to shatter my trail record of 89:32s (17kph, which isn't too shaby for rollerblades). However, while riding to the trail (I usually drive because it's a little ways from where I live), I noticed that I had to apply more effort than I was used to, but maybe it was just because of the pavement, and my memory.
Yet, when I finally hit the beginning of the trail 45mn later, I got to my first checkpoint 3mn late, my second one 11mn late, my 3rd one 13.5mn late, and my half way point 25mn late.
In the end, after much effort, as it felt that I was really dragging dead weight (other than my own I mean :), and a forced stop to buy a died coke with lemonade as one litre of water was a completely insufficient for the heat and the lenght of the whole ride (almost 4H), I finally got home...

When I removed my rollerblades, I saw the 2 huge blisters on the inside of my ankles, which I usually end up with (although usually smaller), and realized that I wasn't walking really straight, or that for that matter my legs were barely supporting me ;)
So, it was time for a killer 'marc special' potluck shake in the mixer (ingredients: ice cream, no water or ice, frozen fruits, frozen juice extract, and water else may come in handy in the freezer or fridge, mix and adjust until a spoon almost stands upright (but not quite, or the mixer can't stir it)).
I feel much better after having re-hydrated a little bit (1.5 litre or so :), and I guess about 5H of aerobic exercise will do for today and will make up for the days I didn't do any this week and the boring and uneventful mexican food (as always for mexican food) that I had to eat last night

I was good exercise, but excrutiatingly slow and painful, if I had had a little less determination and common sense, I'd have turned around instead of insisting on doing the whole ride as planned.
Anyway, those wheels and bearings are coming out. At this point, I do not even care which one slowed me down if it's not a combination of both. I'll just get some bad ass abec 7 rated bearings this time, never clean them again (just buy new ones) and see if I can score some better wheels than the crappy ones I ended up with (kinda sad as they looked ok from their big size (76) and index (82A))
That's too bad, I've usually had good luck with the wheel specials at big5 in the past (actually my last two pairs were terrific), but just as I buy two new sets, I apparently got a really crappy kind. Funny, I can already hear M.E. telling me that I got what I pay for. I just hate it when other people are right :)

Total time roller blading: 3H50
Time On trail: 2:16:25 (a full 47mn slower than my best time, and my worst time ever :( )
Heart Rate: 145bpm avg / 176bpm max
Water consumed on trail: 1.5l
Weight lost (mostly water): 6 pounds (2.7kg) (not counting water consumed while I was on the road)
Resulting Body Weight: 156.2 pounds (it's been about a year since I reached that after exercise, yoohoo)

At least I know better than dealing with my blisters before taking a shower (or the water gets in there, which is quite painful), but that doesn't quite solve the attrocious pain (for about 5-10s) of putting alcohol on them to disinfect before putting a band-aid. Maybe alcohol just isn't the way to go (but then again, I kind of knew that ;)

I was planning to go mountain biking tomorrow, but my mountain bike buddy swiched to road biking, so I'll have to find someone new to go with. Of course, I could just go by myself, but considering the trails, it's not an extremely wise thing to do (not as bad as scuba diving by yourself, but you get the idea). Mmmh, I may just go for it anyway, I need to go back and see how I fare...
2004/03/16 New bike shakeout / Visiting an old step class
π 2004-03-16 20:25 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: Trance Nation 2002
Current Mood: Burning Calories feels good sometimes

So, I recovered my mountain bike from the store after they installed a brand new shifter, anti-thorn tubes, tuffies (protection between the tube and the tire), and did a full tuneup.
While it's a mountain bike, and I can't expect road bike-like performance on it, I was able to tell on my ride to work that I was definitely getting faster on it (not that much its weight in my opinion, but the fact that it had less overal drag and friction in its moving parts).
It was $230 (ugh!), but considering that I paid zilch for it, it's not a bad price of a good mountain bike like this (it's the red one )

Stats going to work:
Heart rate 162bpm avg / 198bpm max
Distance: 9.3km
Speed: 26.5kph avg / 43.8kph max
Time: 20:06s
(that included jumping a fence that was put in the middle of the west entrance I usually take, but I was probably also in better physical shape this morning)

Stats come back to work and riding directly to 24H fitness in sunnyvale (on Lawrence):
Heart rate 156bpm avg / 178bpm max
Distance: 12.3km
Speed: 28.4kph avg (woot!)/ 39.6kph max
Time: 26:23s

Step Class:
Heart Rate: 165bpm avg / 190bpm max
Time: 1H

I'm still not getting over that step class. It was my (somewhat distant) second preferred class from a while ago (like more than a year), and I got right back into it, did all my double spins, and other modifications on top of the teacher's routine, as if I had never left.
However, the 30mn intense bike ride from work, plus the high temperature in the room, and probably the fact that I just don't do 4H of step a week anymore, made it so that I started to struggle a bit 30mn into the class and while I was still nailing quadruple jump rotating V-steps, I could tell that I was barely making them (then again, I've never seen anyone try to follow me and do them too, so... ;-D), and 40mn into the class, I just had to stop and drink, I was sooo dehydrated (usually, I can finish the class on my before the class drink).
But seriously, I have no right to complain, I did quite well considering that I hadn't done that class for more than a year, and astonishingly, while I did all the bad rotating steps that got me in trouble in the first place, my knee (which I'm icing up anyway as I'm typing this) isn't in pain. I know I wouldn't get away with 4H of this per week, but this is still great news.

Also, while waiting for the class, I tried a few chin ups to see if I could still do them, and I managed 8, one more than I've ever done (and the last time I tried was probably 18 months ago). Schweet ;-)
2004/03/14 Bikes...
π 2004-03-14 23:31 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: Paul Van Dyk - Live at Loveparade 2003
Current Mood: Ouch, Sunburned a bit

So, I picked up two abandoned bikes at work, one of which is a very
nice mountain bike (dual suspension), which now gives me a total of 3 (my original mountain bike, which will probably be a road bike which just won't go as fast, a bare basic mountain bike, which will make a great burning man bike , and my new mountain bike). You can see them all here
In order to beat the heat, I had planned to leave at 08:30, but I still needed to mount the speedo on the new mountain bike, as well as a stupid-ass!@#$%! bike pump which had a mount designed by an absolute idiot who wasted more than one hour of my time with something that just didn't fit together and that I ended up using superglue on.


So, I left slightly late, around 10:00 (doh!), and then came back less than 20mn later because the tubes weren't holding air properly (they did during my short test saturday, but apparently, that wasn't good enough), so I had to go home and get my old bike (double Doh). It's only around 10:30 that I left my old mountain bike (which I can now tell drags and is definitely heavier), but I still took it for 54km or 3H15mn.
Good distance, not great time, since I stopped to take pictures, and had a few issues with the water level being way too high, and making the path I wanted to take, increasingly dicy

So, I have that thing where I don't like to turn around, and I was taking a path which I remember jogging on one time, and ended up with mud all the way to my lower knee because I had refused to backtrack. Well, someone smart would have learned, but here, I knew the path had to be somewhere on the other side, except that I never found it, and on my way back, drowned my front tire in mud.


Damnit, my brand new shiny cross traning shoes!!!

Anyway, after reaching University Avenue, jumping a fence that was about my height (ok, that's fun, I locked the bike in the up position on one tire, escalated it, and caught a tree branch that allowed me to clear the fence, but not as much fun as trying the lift the bike over afterwards when you're by yourself, very heavy and hard...). Sure, I could have backtracked through the freeway onramp I took to get there (please, don't ask :-D), but I don't like to admit defeat :)

You can find the pictures from the ride here . It was good exercise, and while I got ligthly sunburned (made it home by 13:30, which was a bit late), I found out that I could do 30 straight pushups again while stretching (yoohoo)

I went to the bike shop afterwards and found out that it'll cost $200 for a full tuneup, changing the tubes with real thorn resistant ones, and changing the 24 speed shifter to a real one ($100, ouch!).
I should get a killer mountain bike after that, though.
2004/03/09 Random Rant of the Day
π 2004-03-09 20:07 by Merlin in Public

Current Music: Armin Van Buuren - Sensation White Live - 2003-06-07
Current Mood: A bit tired, probably lost 5 pounds of water :)

Do you care about other people's rants? No? Great, you came to the right place then ;)

So, DST sucks (no, not la "Direction de Surveillance du Territoire", but Daylight Savings Time).
Actually DST is fine, it's regular time that sucks.
Since I biked to work, a logical step after that was to bike home. Ok, it's not like my legs were actually begging for it after an hour of boot camp, but I've managed to do it before, so I could certainly do it again. For that matter, I got home in 23:30 (10km course on the way home), including one red light, which was an average time for me, and decent when just coming out of boot camp (I'm icing up my knee though. Yep, unlike some other people *cough* I do ice up my knee :-D)
But, it's annoying to go home at 19:30 and have everything be pitch black. Daylight savings Time is of course a complete waste of time (no honestly, I don't really care that much about the few farmers who milk their pigs and feed their cows at 05:30 and would rather have daylight out, especially when it means that the 99.9% of the other people have to use up electricity one hour earlier in the evening as a result), but actually I believe we should be on
DST time all year round (as in 19:00 being an hour earlier so that it's still daylight outside).

Sure, you'll tell me that the sun would rise at 07:00 instead of 06:00. So what? Big deal... You should be in bed at that time anyway ;)
2004/03/09 Finally biked to work
π 2004-03-09 11:37 by Merlin in Exercising

Current Music: Dave Pearse - Some Mix (I was watching the road, not the player)

After working a few hours and feeling sleepy (no idea why :), I courageously went to bed again around 9:30, and almost got 45mn of sleep. I felt much better after that, to the point that I realized that it was nice outside (might have something to do with why I was so warm in my nice clothes yesterday), and I also celebrated my 7th pound shedded this morning, so I decided "WTH, let's bike to work today".
It's cool because I actually get to wear my bootcamp clothes (with just a short on top, trust me, it's better that way ;-D), so that's less stuff to worry about, and 20mn later, I was on my way.

End result:
Heart rate: 151bpm min / 159bpm avg / 171bpm max
Time/Speed: 22mn15s for 9.2 km or 25km/h
Not too bad for a heavy mountain bike, and me not having biked for 4 months.
(note that 25km/h includes slowing down for lights and so forth, but I was able to get
all of them green or more or less run them this morning. Usually I have to wait for 2 or so).
It doesn't yet beat my 22mn flat for 10.1km (return trip from my old building), but
it's a decent start.
2004/03/09 7H/night
π 2004-03-09 06:34 by Merlin in Osa

This is a resurrected post I made years ago, which was probably my first indication that I wasn't sleeping well. At the time I had no idea why I wasn't sleeping well. The sleep regimen below ended up being a futile effort but I guess my doctor back then didn't know about/think about sleep apnea and sending me for a sleep study.

Current Music: Not Yet
Current Mood: Too early...

So, I had issues with having bad sleep, where I'd wake up after 9 hours and still be tired.
My doctor helped me fix that by getting on a 7H/night sleep regimen, which forced my body to actually sleep when I was in bed.
Overall, it's worked fine, except that when I get behind on sleep, I'm now more or less unable to sleep more than 7H/night (which ended up being the case for the last 2 nights even though I was completely exhausted and even took an ambian to hopefully help, except that it didn't).

I'm kind of ticked that I first woke up around 05:30 and got up less than an hour later considering how tired I was yesterday (and that's an understatement), as I had gone to bed around 11:15, but I'll see how today pans out...

Oh, I'm secondary oncall this week, so any page my oncall buddy doesn't get will wake me up (yeepee), but in better news I finally got my old trusty thinkpad back from IBM with a brand new plastic shell to replace the half cracked one that I used to have.

2004/03/07 Tahoe, again, and again :)
π 2004-03-07 22:22 by Merlin in Snow

Current Music: Armin Van Buuren - Live At Eilat Israel
Current Mood: Must... get... sleep...

I usually don't sleep well while I'm in Tahoe, and this weekend wasn't an exception. Sure, I could take ambiant, but I'd rather not take more than I really have too.
The weekend went fine, I went to Diamond Peak and Sugarbowl for a change. The weather was too nice though, and snow quickly got slushy, to the point that you'd be hurling down the mountain, and almost hit a dead stop when you got in the slushy snow, and got thrown forward if you didn't expect it and didn't keep all your weight back.
Anyway, my friend was nice enough to drive to Tahoe and back (in my car) so that I could check up on mail and all the other stuff I need to catch up on. Funny thing is that for the first time in a long while, I was able to go through my random pictures/videos/jokes attachment list, and found a few funny ones there. I can't really post much of them here, but I might share a few with you if you ask me :)

While this weekend wasn't a stellar ski weekend, we still had a good time, and my friend and I took videos of one another.
What's funny is that I cleared a lot of jumps this weekend, and ate it on every single one that he filmed me on. Funny how that works :)

Anyway, you might enjoy this picture (I did land that one since it was not a video :)

As well as this small video (needs the divx5 codec if you don't have it)
2004/03/05 Why hasn't the hellmouth opened in San Francisco?
π 2004-03-05 14:34 by Merlin in Public

Current Music: DJ Tiesto - Magik 1 / Qattara - The Truth -Coufsat Mix
Current Mood: TGIF / 'nuff said :)

Ok, so I don't usually post links, but this one, I just can't help myself.
I don't usually do religion bashing, not only because it's too easy :) but also because honestly, I believe people should be able to believe in what they want as long as they don't come to my house and try to tell me all about it on a sunday morning.

But guess what? I didn't have to do it, this article does an awesome job of it. I'm still laughing at the irony of it. Do check it out
2004/03/04 Step
π 2004-03-04 20:48 by Merlin in Exercising

Boot camp was a bit boring today, I'm just not a fan of cardio kickboxing (and our teacher is a karate teacher, so it's obviously easy for him to wing a class by doing cardio kickboxing when he runs out of material for a class).
Anyway, I got home a bit bored, so I put on some good techno (incidently what you'll hear during most high impact step classes as there is nothing better to put in the mood and give the correct beat) and went stepping on my home step for 30-40mn, to actually sweat a little and make my shower worth my time.

Incidently, I got a bit melancholic as I realized that I've now forgotten most of the steps that I used to do
with Eric, the best high impact teacher ever IMO, at 24H fitness. Since not only my knee is blown (I had
to ice it again as it just will not stand the rotations that I do anymore), but Eric stopped teaching step after 20 years, I've come again to the painful realization that I'll most likely never be able to do those insane step classes that I, and my peers there, enjoyed so much. Every other class I've gone to, is just very pale in comparison :(
I did enjoy every single minute of it, but now I wish that I had taken a few videos of the best classes that
we took, and the insane steps and combos that we built on the fly on top of the regular class. Where am I ever going to find that again? (assuming my knee would be capable of withstanding it, which it probably won't)
Sigh, it's sometimes hard to admit that your best days of something are behind you for good...
2004/03/01 Kirkwood, again :)
π 2004-03-01 08:42 by Merlin in Snow

Current Music: DJ Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 2
Current Mood: Tired, even exhausted, but still happy :)

Ok, I admit, if there is anything resembling fresh snow, I'm there.
This was a good weekend overall, I was able to do a few sweet moves that I don't think I'd have been able do to before. Ok, eventually I pushed my luck a bit too much when I tried to jump a 2 foot pine tree on my way down of a goalie that I was riding like a half pipe, but I almost made it (even if almost doesn't count :-D)
In other news, while going doing a very narrow shute between two rock walls, I was jumping over rocks under my board so as not to further damage it, and I messed up one of the jumps and ended up head first agains the rock wall on my right.
Since I was wearing my helmet, I just got up and laughed it off. Without it, it would have been very ugly...

Bad points:
  • People I went with are more party folks and we started on the slopes at 11:00 instead of 09:00 on saturday, on this perfect blue bird day :-(
  • Got home past midnight last night because of how late my ride left and a food stop that just put us further behind (I could have gone to bed at 22:00 instead of 01:00)
  • Rode in the back of a beat up truck with suspension that was so bad that the whole thing would rock left and right in resonnance around 70mph until it was apparently ready to topple over. Ugh...
  • I'm usually way too trusting of other drivers as a passenger (I should know better, but I'm usually relaxed anyway, maybe because I'm a fatalist, and being all worried won't help :), but I wasn't happy with the fact that the driver was drinking beers on the way (both ways), even if it was not enough to get impaired (not that I would know)
  • on top of that, he drove too fast for the weight and braking power (or lack thereof) of his truck, and we did a 180 and hit a snowbank to avoid re-ending the car in front of us. No harm done, but still...
  • I missed friday, an epic 5 foot powder day

In a nutshell, I should have driven by myself thrusday night and gone there alone. It sucks a bit, but overall, I think it would have been a better plan.

Oh well, next time maybe

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