Example for all podcasters

Like me, Leo Notenboom is back. He has been gone for reasons of workload. I have been out for a few days because of illness. I have been pretty sick the last few days and have not felt like posting anything.

Leo on the other hand has started his podcast again regularly. He did something commendable when he was not going to be with us for a while…he told us beforehand. He did not simply podfade. He took about 2 months off and has been consistently back with us.

Not only is his a great podcast with good information, he is a great example from whom others should take note. I am sure he lost some listeners during this time, but not nearly as many as he would have had he simply disappeared for 2 months without telling the audience.

Great job Leo. Thanks for the show!

5K PR!

Two weeks ago I wrote about a 5K race that I did in 28:00:63. The race was actually .17 Km. too long. Which meant that my 5K time (based on total race pace) was 27:04.

Today I had another 5K race which I ran in 27:29:89. And it too was long by .12 Km. That meant my pacing for 5K would have been a 26:50 finish! I have had as a mini goal to get under 27 minutes. Next goal is 25 minutes and then I will shoot for 22.

The race was promoted very poorly. I did not know anything about it until yesterday (Friday). The poster said the events started at 7:00, but registration was at 6:30. That is somewhat normal for races longer than 5K here. Most 5Ks are done at 8:00. The idea is that the race would be over by 9:00. So the distance determines the start time.

I got there at 6:30. I stood in line with several other people. Registration was going very slowly. At 6:50 I knew I would not be up to the registration table by the 7:00 start time. Then I overheard a conversation that said the race started at 8:00. Everyone was a little befuddled at the change in time. Apparently it was planned that way the whole time, they just did not make it clear on the posters.

Well, I was easily registered before 8:00. With the change in start time it kinda messed up my “race day planning.” I drank enough water before I left the house for a 7:00 start. Waiting an hour killed my strategy on that. I was thirsty before the race started. Fortunately at the 2.5 Km. turn around there were bags of water waiting for us.

I had my eyes on one particular lady that I was going to try and beat. She stayed ahead of me the first 3.5 Km. till I finally caught her. We chatted a bit and then she picked up the pace. I could not keep up. She finished strong and I was starting to get side cramps from pushing so hard. She ended up finishing about 1 minute ahead of me. She won first place in her category. That made me at least feel good that I was running along side of a first place runner for a short time.

I took 45th place in my category which was all males that were not either students or faculty/staff of the state university. They were limiting the runners to 100 per category. I would guess there were probably about that many in my group. So, I was just ahead of the middle of the pack.

I was very pleased with the race overall. If I was not sick with a cold I might have been able to do better. But even with not being able to breath out of my nose and having to choke down nasal mucus, I did great. This just motivates me to think that I should be able to get another PR when I am feeling well.

Missionary Talks 07: Larry Allred

This week’s missionary is a co-worker here in town. Bro. Larry Allred has been here in Mérida for 6 1/2 years and has started a church here.

This was a fun episode. The plan is that he will be interviewing me in a few weeks. His wife is scheduled to be on the show next week. She will be our first wife on the show.

In this show I did something different to make the audio shorter. I had 25 minutes of audio to cut down to 15. In the first run through I knocked out all the “ums” and “ahs.” Also there were some repeated phrases that got thrown out. That brought it down 22 minutes. Next edit I got it down to 18. Then I got down to 16 finally.

In Audacity, there is a way to speed up the audio without changing the pitch. I sped the whole thing up 4% to get me under the 15 minutes. Even knowing that, you won’t be able to tell it is not normal speed. Very cool.

Still running

I have not posted much about my running lately, but I am still hitting the streets. I did 3 miles this morning. I am really just in maintenance mode and keeping up my fitness. I would like to work on my 5K times. With my race a week or so ago, I was very happy to see the time drop to the 27 minute range. That has been a goal for some time.

Monday I went out to do some track work and did not feel that great, but still did the workout. I ran a mile and a half warm up and then ran a pretty quick mile. I cooled off by walking another mile. I was too worn out to run my cool down. I really did not feel well.

I don’t know how far I will run tomorrow, probably just make it a 40-60 minute run. Then Saturday I will do 8 miles. My goal is to do 60 miles this month to round out a nice 600 mile year. This is my first year running and I did not start at the beginning of the year. So I should be able to do much better than this next year. But it is a start.

Move to Slackware

I have been a Mandrake/Mandriva user since 2000 or so. It has been my only system since 2002 on my desktop.

I have been very pleased with how smoothly things have gone. Of course this is helped by my friends at the Pensacola Linux Users Group. I have been in their IRC channel to get help on a few of the technical issues.

Someone asked why I chose Slackware. Really that was not as important as why move from Mandriva. I was getting frustrated with Mandriva. It used to be a very mainstream distro of Linux. Every time you went to install software you were able to download a Mandriva specific RPM and install it. But, those days are gone. When Mandrake merged with Conectiva, things tanked quickly. The community love towards Mandrake seemed to change.

Mandrake was always flaky (for me) on the package management. Sometimes urpmi would work. Sometimes not. Keeping my sources up to date seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. Early on I religiously used only packages in the sources. This made sure everything was tracked by the package manager. But then there was always a piece of software I wanted that was not in the repositories. So I would either have to wait, install an old version, or install and hope that I did not hose anything. I got more and more lax on that the last couple of years. Things also got less and less stable.

I have been upgrading the OS on this hard drive since 2002 without ever really wiping it and installing fresh. That is a definite death knell in Windows. Should not matter in Linux unless the distribution providers move the locations of important files from one version to the next. Well…Mandrake and Mandriva have not stayed consistent.

So, why then did I move to Slackware? Here are just a few of the reasons. The biggest is that I am a fan of KDE. Slackware pushes KDE as it’s desktop environment. Many of the really popular distros at the moment use GNOME. While GNOME has improved greatly over the last several years, so has KDE. I am familiar with KDE and there are just a few niggly things about GNOME that I have trouble working around. Though, I have to admit I have run it on my notebook recently and it is a very good desktop environment. I could get used to it. I just don’t chose to.

The second reason is that Slackware seems to hold to more of a standard way of doing things. When you go looking for help online you will find a default way of configuring and setting up software. Then there will be an endless list of “If you are using this distro, then do this. And this distro do this.” With Slackware it seems to follow the default more often. To me, that means I can more easily get help on line. This is another area where Mandriva seemed be be getting left behind. They do things in less standard ways. And, with the community ignoring them more, you get less personalized Mandriva help.

Finally, and this is probably the biggest, I have several friends in the LUG that use it. I have been playing with it off and on for well over a year through either dual boot or on my 20th century notebook that I bought used last year. It has been pretty good to me. And with colleague help, that makes it much better for me. I ran Linux alone from 1997 to 2000. When I fell in with the P’cola LUG, that helped define my distro choices. For a while several of us were running Mandrake. I was finally the last man standing. Though there are very strong opinions as to which distro each member believes is the best, there are several Slackware devotees.

I have played with Ubuntu and really like it. But, it comes with GNOME. KUbuntu was so awful when I last used it, I swore off of it. I have used Gentoo in the past, but only for more of an embedded type environment. I don’t think I could stand it for desktop use. Suse was an option, but I feel they are too much like Mandriva. Though they currently have more community love going their direction. Fedora Core is not an option. I swore off of Red Hat (Fedora Core’s roots) at version 9. Though I never liked it going back to the days when Red Hat 2.something was popular. I kept trying it each new version until they hit 9 and that was the last of the jankyness I could take.

So, there we are. The move from Mandriva to Slackware and the why behind it. I must say, I have been using Slackware for about 24 hours and I have yet to have a program crash. Firefox in Mandriva would crash every few hours on me. With certain games the whole system would go down. I have yet to get the games installed, but that should happen later tonight. We shall see.