Intel MacBook, Parallels & Garmin GPS

Just a few days ago, I replaced my four year old white 500 Mhz G3 iBook with a shiny widescreen white 1.83 Ghz Intel Core Duo MacBook (the black one seemed altogether silly to spend extra money on). The laptop is a very nice machine. My home machine is a 20" iMac G5 with a widescreen, and I've gotten used to the extra real estate, so I like the fact that the MacBook has one too. Really, the main reason I bought it is because my iBook had decayed to the point that it was only good for websurfing. I wanted a machine I could use at school, and the iBook just couldn't cut it (I definitely tried to make the iBook work!).

Tour de France

Since Apple is switching to Intel chips, the world of Windows is now available using either Boot Camp or Parallels. I have a copy of Windows 2000, and since I believe that Boot Camp only works with Windows XP, I am not going to try that out. Also, Boot Camp makes your machine dual-boot, which means only one OS at a time and no interaction between the two. Parallels is the more attractive option, it allows you to run Windows along with Mac OS X. The Windows world lives inside of an application that runs on Mac OS X. Choosing to interact with Windows is no more difficult that switching applications. Also, Parallels works with basically any Intel-compatible operating system, so I could use my Win2000 install disk.

After much trial and tribulation (mainly related to the fact that my Win2000 is an upgrade version, not full install) I got Win2000 installed using Parallels on my MacBook. After installing the myriad of security updates, I installed the softwares for my Garmin Forerunner 301. You see, Garmin (right now) only makes software for their gadgets for Windows. They've promised to make a Mac OS X verison of the software I use by Spring 2006 (they have two and a half weeks). Obviously, waiting around for that to be relased will just waste my time, so I was hoping that I could use this whole setup to run the Windows software on my MacBook to talk to my GPS. However, sadly, it doesn't work. It's clear it almost works, since Win2000 notices when I plug in the GPS, but the Garmin stuff can't quite talk to the GPS. The situation seems exactly the same as when I tried using Virtual PC on my G5 over a year ago.

All in all, I like the laptop, I like Parallels, and I'm displeased with Garmin. I'm using a beta 30-day activation key with Parallels, and I'm unsure if I'll buy the full version ($40 for pre-ordering). I really try to stay away from Windows applications. Right now the only app I do want to run is the Garmin stuff, and it doesn't look like that's going to work.

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Balboa Park Flowers

Tour de France

Today Melissa and I went down to Balboa Park to spend a very nice day outside. We went to the rose garden, the desert garden, and walked through the museum area. We also walked to an off-park deli (therefore it didn't cost too much), and had a bit of a picnic under a tree. Mainly I took lots of pictures of the roses.

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Sim City 4

About a month ago I received my iPod settlement gift certificate worth $50. The money was only good at the Apple store. As you can find out for yourself, there's not much for $50 on the Apple store, save for a few iPod accessories. I didn't really want any iPod accessories, and besides, most wouldn't fit my second generation iPod. Of course Apple was hoping that I'd just go ahead and use the $50 as an excuse to by a quad-G5 desktop system for $3,300 (make that $3,250).

Sim City 4

Look for the one-way streets, wide boulevards, and train tracks.

Above the iPod accessories, the lowest price items are software titles. I browsed through them and discovered that there was a Mac OS X version of Sim City 4. I've always liked the Sim City series, starting with the orginal Sim City. I like the planning of a citys infrastructure. As the "mayor" of the city, the player has to lay roads, freeways, railways, subways, power lines and water pipes. The mayor has to also balance a budget of expedatures and taxes (more on that later). The goal of the game can be as simple as building the largest city possible, or the most asthetically pleasing, or one with the "happiest" residents, or one with the best finances. My goal has usually been to have a high population combined with a happy population.

Sim City 4

Look for the railroad crossing guards, various species of trees and the accurate railroad "Y".

The newest version has many improvements over the previous versions, Sim City 2000 and Sim City 3000. For one, this version supports regions, whereby you can build dozens of cities that are neighbors on one big map. Each city is independent in that you can only edit one at a time, but cities influence neighbors by way of jobs & trade. One of the biggest improvements has been in the graphics. This new game has beautiful graphics with very high level of detail. There are something like six levels of zoom. The closest one is so close you can see individual "sims" (people) on the streets (look for them on the above image of the train station).

Sim City 4

See if you can find the county fair & golf course.

Sim City 4

One of the keys to a well-functioning city is the transportation system. Sims are very touchy about how long it takes to drive to their job. Sim City 4 introduces a very useful tool that allows you to see what kind of traffic goes where through your transportation system. In the picture linked on the right, you can see all the commute traffic that goes through a train station in the center of town (in the lower-left of the picture). You can trace foot traffic onto a passenger train, which gets off at a different station and walks to a jobsite.

I must admit that one key element of Sim City, collecting taxes and balancing a budget, I've never really liked. I either cheat to get the cash to run the town, or find some other way to make money, like building a magic building found on the internet. I'm no libertarian -- I just don't really care too much about the fiscal part of the game. If I were really going to play the game for real, I would not cheat. But I don't want to play it for real, so I feel no guilt.

One nice thing about this game is there is no death & violence, no princess to save, and I can stop the game at any time without losing my progress.

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Snake Path

Continuing my Stuart Collection, err, collection, I've posted photos of Snake Path (1992) by Alexis Smith. Snake Path is located on a hillside just east of Giesel Library. It's made up of hundreds of shaped pieces of various kinds of stone.

Snake Path

The snake loops over itself and inside the loop there is a bench with a quote from Milton's Paradise Lost. The biblical touches nonwithstanding, I like the path. It begs you to walk its full length like a British garden maze. The path has a definite central crown, like a road, which emphasizes that a real snake is three dimensional. It makes the walk down the hill slighty precarious, making the walk a bit more like an adventure.

Snake Path

Snake Path

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HD TV and Radio

Presidential Seal

This is less of an executive order and more of a rant, really. Over the weekend I listened to a segment of On the Media in which they discussed HD Radio. It is a new technology that allows stations to broadcast up to three free digital channels (two CD-quality, one voice-quality) in the space of one analog station. And the broadcast is backwards comptatible so old radios still work. A really excellent thing is in order to entice people to buy radios the stations are broadcasting without commercials until 2007.

All of these things got me interested enough to investigate this. The first thing I checked out was the list of local stations that offer HD radio. As you can see below, only three stations in San Diego have adopted this technology. Fresno has six. America's Finest City beat out by Fresno. Excellent.

I also checked out the various HD radios available for purchase. The radios are expensive and small in variety. If I could find one for around $100 would consider one, but the cheapest ones are $300 and the shelf-type. I'm looking for a component-type since I already have a set of nice speakers and an amplifier.

A bigger and better-known problem like this is the implementation of HD TV services. And, surprise, San Diego lags behind there, too. San Diego has six HD broadcast stations, while Fresno has 11. San Diego is the 28th largest market in the US, while Fresno is the 58th. Ron Burgundy would be ashamed.

Why do I compare San Diego with Fresno? Have you been to Fresno? I guess it's more natural that Fresno has better radio and TV, what else is there to do there? Seriously, San Diego better get it's act together, or else I'm really gonna have to issue an excecutive order. I want my HD services.

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Cal Poly Pomona

Epic: Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size; Heroic and impressive in quality.
From Dictonary.com.

It's amazing this drug called cycling. The forecast for this weekend foretold homeric conditions -- wind, rain, and even snow or hail. I knew what was in store for me, and I raced anyway. But now, I can brag that I raced up a hill as fast as I could go, in the frickin' snow! Can you say that? That's right, you can't. Well maybe you can, but probably not.

There's not much to say about a ~15 minute effort up a hill except that if I did the climb again, I could do it at least thirty seconds faster. I did scout the climb in the car before the race, but the finish line was moved about 1/2 mile farther up the road, so I had no idea quite where to do a "finishing effort." I'm not saying I wasn't hurting, but I could have hurt more, especially more intelligently. At this moment I'm not sure of my finishing order, I think it was sixth or seventh.

Tour de France

What I'll remember about this race was the fact that the weather was terrible. It rained on us while we were preparing & warming up. We luckily had a pop-up tent that covered us, but not completely. The wind was strong enough for the rain to come in the sides at times. Going up the hill, only a few minutes into my race it started snowing. And I mean for real snowing, something this city-boy from coastal California doesn't often see. The visibility went down to roughly 100 feet. Luckily for my traction the snow wasn't sticking to the ground, but for most the climb there was snow from overnight storms on the trees and hillsides.

Right about when I crossed the finish line, the snow stopped falling and the view was incredible. The climb raised us over 300 meters above the valley floor, so there was quite a view. Even though I was rapidly getting cold, I pedaled up the road a bit farther just to see what there was to see. If it wasn't two hours away across the expanse of L.A. suburbs, I would like to climb this road again, but perhaps when it's a bit warmer.

Tour de France

Zapp Brannigan: Kif, I have the captain's itch.
Kif: I'll get the powder sir.
Zapp Brannigan: No, the itch for adventure!

Before the parking lot crit on Sunday, Chris Nekarda and I rode through the Cal Poly Pomona campus to open our legs up a bit and discuss the tatics for the race. We decided that Chris would go for all the primes except the first one, while I would see what I could do if people were feeling frisky.

From the gun a UCSB rider took off and his two teammates were in the front blocking. After a couple laps I bridged up to the UCSB rider and we worked well together, holding off the peloton. As the first prime came, Steve Sperling from UCSC went for the third place prime points and manged to get away from the pack, and bridged up to us. For the next fifteen laps or so, we traded off pulling, but it was clear that the UCSB rider was suffering more than Steve or I. Mainly through a series of hard pulls Steve and I dropped the UCSB rider.

In the closing laps we could see we were close to lapping the field, which is something I've always wanted to do (I'm sure Steve wanted to do it too). With four laps to go I took the sketchy turn a bit too hot and slipped onto my left side. I wasn't hurt badly, and I could have jumped right up and rejoined Steve, but I dropped my chain and that took some precious seconds to fix. By the time I got my chain fixed and was rolling again, I was in third place as the UCSB rider had passed me. However, he was hurting more than me and over the next four laps I caught him and passed him. I didn't even have to attack him to keep him off my wheel as I went by him.

Second place isn't as nice as first place, of course, but I'll take it. It was cool to attack the field and have some genuine race tatics happen behind us, as all of our teammates blocked for us. It wasn't so cool to crash myself out, losing the possibility at first place. It was cool to get back up again, catch and pass the UCSB rider to reclaim the second spot I had earned before my crash.

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UCSB Road Races

After my less than stellar performance at the UCLA road race three weeks ago, I was determined to regain at least some endurance. Combined with being healthy, riding lots, and doing Swami's the two weekends between races has brought me a bit of form, I think. I'm at least encouraged by this weekends results.

It was an inauspicious beginning to my weekend when I missed the start for my Mens Bs criterium on Saturday morning. It's not completely my fault -- the UCSB announcer said that the races were starting 10 minutes late during the first race. However, subsequent races, including mine, were brought back on schedule. No one bothered to let the people know in the parking lot that was out of ear- and eye-shot of the course. But I should know better than to believe what someone unofficial says.

Anyway, I rolled up to the start line about 10 seconds late, saw the pack sprint off, and did my best to chase them down. I looked at my heart rate monitor, and I did about four laps chasing at about 187 b.p.m., which is not a pace I can hold for very long. I never caught the pack and I was pulled. What I should have done was concede defeat and entered the pack on the backside -- away from where the officials could pull me. So many rookie mistakes in such a short period!

Redemption for the day would have to be in the 4/5 UCSF crit, which I quickly signed up for after I left the Mens Bs race. Between races I ate lunch and took a bunch of pictures, some of which came out nicely. I still need to learn how to take good photographs of a moving subject with a telephoto lens.

Isla Vista

It's interesting that my tracks are offset slightly to the west. I think it's Google Earth's mistake, not my GPS. The track in red is mainly triangles because the GPS only stores positions every few seconds, and so straight lines are drawn across the course. I also think that trees affected my GPS differentially around the course.

The 4/5 crit was my first USCF race in about three years. In that time I've become a much better racer in terms of fitness and skill. I was definitely sketched out by other riders during this race, but perhaps the velodrome has spoiled me. I started in the far back, a bad place to be, so I spent the first few laps moving up as aggressively as possible. I spent most of the rest of race in the top twenty, staying out of trouble. A few times a couple of the local teams tried to get a break off -- and they all were brought back. I thought I saw one I liked with about 8 minutes to go (the race was timed) so I chased it down. I liked it because it had five guys in it, two of which from the same team (some local team). That team also had two guys at the front ready to do some blocking. When I got to the group I yelled "Hey you guys. There are two of you. You need to work. You've got blocking in the peleton, work!" They spent about 1/2 a lap with their thumbs up their rears while I jabbered at them. We almost got a rotation going, but the pack caught us.

The remainder of the race I just basically tried to keep too many people from passing me, and managed to stay up near the front pretty well. Jon Lim, also of UCSD, made an ill-advised attack with one lap to go, but besides that it was a straight shot into the final laps. I sprinted for the line on the inside, which had some unfortunate bumps in the pavement from tree roots. I think the bumps disrupted me enough that I fell from lofty 7th place to 8th place. It's a decent result considering the pack size was over 60, and I managed to stay away from the three or so crashes.

The highlight from the rest of day was my experience in the Jack in the Box on Main St. in Santa Maria, down the block from our hotel. We got to the hotel too early for dinner, but I was hungry, so I wanted a milkshake. While I waited for it to be brought out, I surveyed the makeup of customers in the restaurant. Besides the largely harmless Latino families, there were three mangy white men. The first was a homeless man, who seemed a bit drunk, who haggled with the cashier seeing what he could get for two bucks. The second guy was dead-on for Richard Kiel (except in height), the guy in Happy Gilmore with the shirt that says, "Guns don't kill people, I kill people." And the third white guy had two baseball caps on, one on top of the other with both hats on forwards. The top one said "Jesus Bless You." I guess he didn't want his head to touch his holy hat, or something.

Sourdine

That night at the hotel, we learned what sourdine means. Just ask Zack. We also watched Smokey and the Bandit on the Country Music Channel. That was probably the most time I've ever spent watching that channel. Breaker one, breaker one has entered my vocabulary.

Sunday was the Santa Maria road race. On Friday before I got in the car, I spent some time looking at the race course using Google Earth, tracing the altitudes at various points along the course. I wanted to have a good idea of the course before I rode it. I didn't realize until about 10 minutes into the race that I had already done this race course before, four years earlier.

There were five of us from UCSD starting the road race, Chris Nekarda, Dickson Fong, Byron Ho, myself and, new to the team but not collegiate racing, Brian Clement. We didn't really have a plan other than to go the first three or four laps (of a total six) and see where we stood. Each lap was eleven miles long, with a headwind section up a false flat, a two-minute climb, a fast descent with long sight lines, and a drop-your-chain dip and rise.

The first few laps were fairly unremarkable except for the breaks that tried to get off. I mostly ignored them, guessing (correctly) that they would be brought back in due time. There was one break I decided to chase down steady enough to bring the whole pack with me, because I didn't want a break to go off then. If it did go I would have to be in it, and I didn't want to be in a break. It was also the best time to chase a break down, on the main hill, where effort and speed are more linearly related.

On lap three or so, as I was going up the climb I saw Brian slipping backwards through the pack. I said casually "how's it going?" and he replied "horribly." It seems his crash from the day before hurt his back enough that he couldn't put out enough power to get up the hill. On lap four, I think, Chris Nekarda crossed wheels and crashed, not badly, but badly enough to not make it back into the pack. Byron and Dickson had simply fallen off the pace along the way, leaving me all by my lonesome, the sole UCSD survivor. So much for the two laps to go UCSD team strategy meeting.

The last lap and a half before the climb were pretty darned lazy, as everyone had figured out that the last climb would be the place where the fireworks went off. In fact, lap four took only 28 minutes, while lap five took 35 minutes. The average lap took a little under 31 minutes.

I made the mistake of being at the back of the pack going into the main climb. This meant that during the main climb, while I was weaving my way between riders going backwards, two riders snuck off the front, from Cal Tech and Stanford. By the time I got to the front group, I didn't realize there were riders away until it was too late to chase them down. Rob Dahl (from Berkeley) and I gave it a shot and got a gap on the field, but it was clear we wouldn't be able to chase down the pair. Going into the finish line I stayed at the back of the small pack (about 12 guys) and recovered for the sprint. I knew that the finish line was at a left turn lane, so if I stayed on the left side of the road, new space would open up for me to go through during the sprint.

The sprint was very fast, almost 70 kph, because it was at the bottom of a descent. I managed to weave my way up and got third in the field sprint, for fifth overall. This is a much better result than three weeks ago. Of course, the two courses are very different, but I felt completely different in these two races. Before I just simply got dropped. This race, I was going by people getting dropped and I had more to give. Yay me!

The main thing about this course is it offers ample recovery time, if you're in the pack. Looking at my HR data below (my HR monitior didn't mess up once during this race! Huzzah!), even as late as the sixth lap, I was dropping below zone 1, which I consider a great recovery HR. Also, all my forays into the pain box were short, meaning my legs were relatively fresh for the final climb & sprint at the end.

Heart Rate

The highlight of the trip back was a stop in a Ventura sandwich and burger joint that Zack directed us to. There really is something they put in the water in Ventura, at least for the waitresses there.

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Photo Mosaics

Lately I've been playing with a cool Mac OS X application called MacOSaiX. You give the application a photograph and a collection of photos, and it recreates the main photo using small photo tiles from the collection. The effect is at least somewhat artistic, and definitely cool.

Here's one I made using pretty much every photo I've ever taken. It's of me at Collegiate Track Nationals, 2005, during the points race qualifying race. I think it came out pretty good, except for the white barrier in the background, which is kind of dirty in the mosaic because I have taken very few photos of only white things.

Photo

Photo

The program can also scour Google Images for photos, using search terms I provide. Pictured below is Chris Nekarda (closest to the camera), Tona Rodriguez-Nikl (with the red jersey), Tyler Ofstad (on the right) and me riding a few warm-up laps. For this mosaic, I put in a few dozen cycling-related search terms, netting over 30,000 images returned. Not all the photos are cycling-related, which is the main problem using Google Images, but at least no porn snuck into the mosaic. I think this one has a more artistic quality than the one above, especially in the red jersey that Tona's wearing. I think this is due to the larger library of photos searched and the wider variety of photos -- I tend to take my photos in one way and of similar things.

Photo

Photo

A third mode of the program is "Glyph" mode, whereby instead of photos, glyphs are made at random and fit to the photo. I also chose the hexagon mode, rather than the rectangle mode of the above two mosaics. The program chooses two colors at random, and also a random character from a random font on my computer. It makes one color the background of the glyph, and the character the other color in the foreground. This technique provides a nearly limitless number of glyphs -- I esitmate nearly 1019 different glyphs are possible. This is not neccessarily a good thing -- the program will pick color combinations that do not exist in nature, and it will throw out that glyph. The photo below ran for about 200,000 glyphs, and I would argue that it doesn't have the same level of detail replicated as the photo-based mosaics. This could partly be because I used an older version of MacOSaiX which could have poorer matching algorithms, or a result of the limited complexity and too big color space of glyphs. Of course, to make the best comparison I need to make a mosaic of the same photo using Glyphs and photos with the same version of the program.

Photo

Photo

I have some quibbles about the program. First off, it's not a team player. It's a serious resource hog and the computer is almost unusable for other tasks while it's running. This means if I want to run it I've got to leave my computer alone for several hours. iDVD, for instance, will happily encode a DVD in the background while I use the computer for other things, and I would argue that that is no less computationally intenstive. Also, I wish I could go to a particular grid square and tell the application that I don't like the image it put there, and it would put the second best image from the library in that square. The user can place images by hand on the mosaic, but I'm not nearly as skilled at photo matching as the computer. What I am better at is having an opinion whether or not that photo is good for the mosaic.

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Timekeeping

Presidential Seal

When I become president I will mandate through Executive Order that all electronics that include a clock have some sort of mechanism to keep the clock accurate. There are many ways to do this already. Computers that connect to the internet can use Network Time Protocol (NTP). Cars and anything else that will be outside on a daily basis can use the Global Positioning Service (GPS). Anything within the lower 48 states, and much of Canada and Mexico, can use the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) time broadcast out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Cell phones also keep very accurate time because they're in constant contact with the towers.

Sure, there are devices that may not ever go outside (GPS), won't be hooked up to the internet (NTP) and can't receive the NIST or cell tower broadcasts because they're in the basement. But there are ways around this. Put micro-repeaters on powerlines so anything within a neighborhood that is plugged in can receive the time. With careful engineering, even a battery-operated wall clock in the deepest basement could tune into the subtle signal that pulses in the wall circuitry. Put bluetooth in wrist-watches (cell phones already have it!) and create a kind of NTP for timekeeping devices. Just as long as the deeply buried gadget comes in contact with an approved wristwatch often enough, things should work out.

Atomic Watch

I don't think I'm the only one with this dream. This last weekend I purchased at a local Target a Casio WVA105HA-1AV Waveceptor Wristwatch for about $55. Every evening it tunes into the NIST broadcast to keep the clock milisecond accurate. A quick comparison with other Casio models tells me I paid about a 100% premium for the Waveceptor functionality, but that cost would go down with all the volume following my executive order.

Remember, if you want this to be reality, vote for me! And do try not to forget, because I'm not even eligible to run for president for nine years.

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UCLA Road Race

On Sunday, February 12, I raced the 2006 UCLA Road Race held in the Mojave desert, northeast of Los Angeles. Two years ago I got third in this event (in Mens Bs), but this time, I had no such luck. Unfortunately, prior to this race, it had been probably three weeks since I went for a ride as long as the race, due to sickness & other distractions. I simply don't have the endurance right now that I need to have. I ended up getting dropped a couple times, chasing back on, but finally getting dropped for good and doing the final lap alone. I got 20th place, which wasn't last place, but it is a regression from the 3rd I got before.

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Terrace

Terrace

There are only two items from the Stuart Collection located in the UCSD School of Medicine, one of which I've already profiled. The other is Terrace by Jackie Ferrara (1991). At first glance, this might seem to be a courtyard, but I think courtyards have many entrances to it, and this has only one side open. Is it a patio or a terrace, then? When I think of a terrace, it's high above things, perhaps on the top of a tall building in New York City. This is more of a patio -- there are buildings surrounding it on all but one side. Perhaps when it was built 15 years ago there were fewer buildings around it; it is no longer a terrace in my opinion. It's hard to take photos of it now because the trees have grown large and wide. I suggest looking at the official site for photos when the trees were much smaller.

I have to admit I don't particularly like this item, or at least its location. It's off in a corner of the medical school that few people ever go. When I visited it I realized that I had walked by it a few times without even noticing it was there. It would have been better if this had been built where more people would notice it and use it. Since it does have benches and shade trees, it's meant to be used, and somehow I get the feeling that it is underused.

I do like the geometries of the bricks, and it looks like it would be a nice place to eat a lunch on a sunny day. Perhaps I should go visit it during some lunchtime and see whether or not it is being used by the medicine folks.

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Panoramic Photos

I recently took the time to stitch together a few panoramic photos, which I wanted to highlight. The first one I took over winter break from Indian Rock in Berkeley. The clear and crisp air which follows a winter storm gives excellent views.

Indian Rock

Here are some impressive thunderheads over the mountains east of San Diego.

Thunderheads

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Palomar Mountain

A week ago Tyler Ofstad and I rode up Palomar Mountain, twice. Starting at the corner of Valley Center Road and CA 76, at the mexican restaurant there, we climbed up 76 to South Grade Road. At the top, we descended down East Grade Road, and rode 76 a bit south for another climb on Mesa Grande. At the top of that we turned around and went back the way we came. The total climbing came out to over 2,500 meters, or about 8,300 feet. The only time I have climbed more than this was at the Everest Challenge, which has 15,465 and 13,570 feet of climbing in its two days.

Palomar Mountain is a popular destination for Southern California cyclists, as well as for motorcyclists, who roar up and down the mountain on any dry day. The constant buzzing of motorcycles gets a bit old over the course of South Grade Road. Thankfully, motorcyclists don't drive so much on East Grade Road, due to its near lack of hairpin turns. Mesa Grande is a short and steep; it climbs about 250 meters in about 2 kilometers.

If you look closely at the elevation versus distance graph below, you'll see sharp, jagged edges on the descents. This is due to trees blocking the signal to my GPS, degrading its 3D resolution. 2D degrades much less in trees, so the GPS measures my distance, but doesn't update my altitude. I'm moving so fast decending that by the time the 3D resolution comes back, I've dropped a fair amount.

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La Jolla Project

La Jolla Project

Often called "Stonehenge," for obvious reasons, perhaps the heaviest item in the Stuart collection is La Jolla Project by Richard Fleischner, installed in 1984. It is a grouping of solid granite columns and beams which form mostly asymmetric shapes over a Revelle college lawn. Most of the parts are centered in one area, but a few are scattered over the entire lawn. Most of the shapes are tall, but there are some squat pieces, probably meant to be sat upon. Some granite pieces are laid to suggest decay, littered below tall, naked columns.

To me this art speaks about time. The granite was cut very recently (geologically) by a machine, so the cuts are very clean. However, parts have been arranged like they were broken to suggest the passage of time. But these fallen pieces still have sharp, clean corners that don't look old at all. La Jolla Project reminds me of Stonehenge, which was built based on the celestial calendar. This one should last longer than any other Stuart collection item.

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Applescripted Phratry Nexus

Although it is still a work in progress (see forward parenthetical note), the "Phratry Nexus" has been greatly improved today. (I don't know about you, but I remember some years ago when "Work In Progress" or "Under Construction" images were common on webpages. I don't see them so much anymore because I figure people finally figured out that all web pages are always "Under Construction" by definition.)

Back to my main point. If you look at the Phratry Nexus you'll see thumbnail sized screenshots of the various Phratry.net webpages (four as of this writing). Due to the already mentioned fluid nature of the web, keeping those thumbnails current would be pretty tedious if done by hand. That's where Applescript comes in. Ideally, I would have liked to write some kind of script and put it in crontab on the webserver, but doing screenshots is difficult from the command line. The Applescript I wrote (along with some help from my father, Mike) uses four apps, which either come with Mac OS X or are free: Cyberduck (for FTPing to the server), Freesnap (screencapture utility), Applescript Image Events (image editing) and OmniWeb (web browsing). OmniWeb isn't free, actually. Firefox would work too, but I got the script to work better with OmniWeb.

The specifics of the script aren't important, but the cool thing is Applescript allows me to do a 15-minute process of screenshot editing and uploading with just one double-click. It still takes about a minute for the whole thing to work (most of the time is from built-in delays in case of slow webpage loads), but that's still fifteen times better than before, and it's done right every time.

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