George's blog

Lists in LyX

In the LyX word processor, which I recommend highly for technical writing, the on-screen layout of lists is very spread out.

Comparative bad-assness

Yesterday I rode to the top of Flagstaff mountain again, and felt pretty good about it.

But my friend Chris made that accomplishment seem like a 12-ounce curl. Chris completed a half-Ironman triathlon, which required him to be on the move for 6 hours and 10 minutes. He swam for 45 minutes, biked for 2:51, and ran for 2:29. To give you an idea how hard that is, just during that event he burned 5450 calories. He’d dropped 20 pounds in the past several months training for this event. His wife says he’s not allowed to lose any more weight, yet he’s been eating cartons of ice cream between meals.

So congratulations to Chris!

Software architecture book -- draft of introduction

A little milestone today: I have completed a draft of the introduction. Big deal, it’s just 9 pages. I found it quite difficult to write because it needs to connect to a variety of readers and to motivate the book’s content, while basing itself on previous work. Many revisions are in its future. But I’ll gladly accept any comments any of you have on it to make it better.

2008-10-25: I’ve updated the link to point to the current book draft

I'm allergic to what?

I just got back from having my allergies tested here in Boulder. That’s the nice way of saying a nurse scratched my back with itchy stuff 60 times. Here are the top offenders, with severity:

17: Timothy
10: Maple
10: Orchard
10: Rye
10: Red Top grass
8: Bermuda grass
7: Alternaria
6: Blue Jane
6: Pigweed grass
6: Short ragweed

And some pretty much non-offenders:

2: Cat hair
2: Cat Pelt
1: Dog
2: AP Dog

So the moral of this story is that I’m allergic to Timothy Halloran.


I got my government stimulus check yesterday. It’s sitting in front of me under the monitor. But what I’m working on is a chapter for the architecture book I’m writing. As nice as a check is, it doesn’t make me smarter or help me get this book done faster.

Cheyenne Rodeo

Yesseree Bob, I went to the Cheynne Rodeo over the weekend. This included a number of firsts for me, listed in order of goodness:

  • First rodeo
  • First time in Wyoming (I think)
  • First time buying bed sheets at a carnival (I promise)
  • First visit to Sierra Trading Post outlet store (forgettable)
  • First attempt using cameraphone for Groupedia pics

Big Burrito card

Hey Pittsburghers! I have a gift card of indeterminate value for the Big Burrito restaurants. It goes home with the first Pittsburgher to visit me in Boulder.

11,000 foot Llama-Moose Redneck

We hiked up to Woodland Lake in Eldora yesterday, elevation 11,000 feet. I put on sunscreen but, as I’ve done before, forgot to put it on my neck so today I’m scorched. At the beginning of the 7-hour hike (11am to 6pm), we saw a female moose eating bushes (no Bullwinkle antlers though). Then later we came across a gaggle of hikers who were leading three llamas, each tied to the one in front of it, caravan-style. Llamas are surprisingly big.

Bargain battery hunter

Ok, I admit that I love a bargain. As most of you know, my T43 laptop was stolen from my car and I replaced it with an X61, which came with a small batter that lasts only 2.5-3 hours. The bigger battery is normally $170, but I took a chance ordering an “open box” customer return from for $100, and it turns out it’s never actually been opened (tape inside was uncut) and the battery had 0 cycles on it.

The new battery should give me about 6 hours of working time, and I can always bring along both batteries.

Mountain 2, George 1

Today I reached my goal of summiting Flagstaff Mountain on my bike. I’d told Cynthia that I wouldn’t go mountain biking with her until I was able to do that, and that I hoped to get into shape within a month. So I’m ahead of schedule. I’d tried two times before and got farther than halfway (hence the Mountain 2 bit) but not gotten to the top until today. I used to be able to get up that mountain pretty quickly, and if I keep training I’m sure I’ll get there again.

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