Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TNT Coaching Disney 2011

I coached the Disney marathon and half-marathon for Team In Training (TNT) this year. Before the early-January trip to Orlando, I dyed my hair a brilliant shade of violet; Pimpin' Purple was the color name (kudos to Jenni @ Rock Paper Scissors Salon in Durham!). I thought it'd be fun, and might be a fun conversation starter with other TNT'ers and particularly with participants on course. Little did I know.

I coached / ran / walked both the Half and the Full, and loved the zone coaching plan; TNT assigned each of the 70-ish coaches a 4 mile 'zone' that they were to cover. I really think that I'm a more effective coach doing my thing in one place - where 'one place is my 4 mile zone - and having all the participants come by me. I know my run pace is such that I'd only see a small group of participants around my pace. So, I worked my zones Saturday and Sunday, and ran with whoever I could - fast and slow, those that looked like they needed it and those that looked like they didn't, from any and seemingly every chapter. I had some great conversations along the way, some mission based (Why TNT?) and some not (Running? Family? Job? etc.) - with way more participants than I can remember.

Jump forward a few hours to the victory celebration - with me still sporting the purple hair. I had a dozen (or so) participants from all over come up through the evening and thank me for running and/or walking them. "I wouldn't have made it through that part without you." "I was doing great, but thanks for running with me and talking to me." "Thanks for the encouragement." (and other similar sentiments). And this was on top of the gratitude and love I got from the utterly awesome NC crew I traveled down there with. I know it was the hair that had them remember me and that made me findable at the victory celebration, but I had no idea that there'd be this effect when I had it done. Those people taking the time to come up to me and thank me and share with me really made my coaching experience. And it guarantees I'll be doing the hair again for my next event coaching assignment. Nothing like direct feedback to have you get the difference you're making with people. I certainly got it that evening. In spades.

I love what LLS does for cancer research and for patients and their families. I love what TNT does for participants - enabling them to train for and finish their (for many, first) endurance event. And I love that I get to be involved in making this happen!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Proud to be an American

Today was the first day in a long time that I've been proud of my government and had some bit of hope that it's not just going completely to hell in a handbasket. I've been appalled at the number of civil liberties and basic constitutional rights that have gone by the wayside in the name of the "War on Terror".

One of the biggest ones of these was the revocation of habeas corpus, which allows people charged with a crime to face their accusers and see the evidence against them and contest charges. It's there in Article 1, section 9 of the US Constitution which says that "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

This administration has claimed enormous executive power under the war powers act. I think much of this has been wrong and illegal - don't you have to be at war with some other country to invoke war powers? The US has been in a "War on Drugs" for years, and presidents since have had the good sense not to try to invoke war powers on that. Isn't "terror" about as much of a concept as "drugs"? I know it sounds sexier, more macho and more action-y to declare war on something, or to go fight something, or to declare that we're winning the battle against something, but we're talking a concept here.

Back to my original point - a few days ago the US Supreme Court decided (for the third time) that the Guantanamo detainees did indeed have habeas corpus rights and that those really were irrevocable under the current conditions. After multiple attempts by Pres. Bush and his administration, it's great to see that the US Constitution still holds and that the system of checks and balances still works the way our forefathers intended. Bush had this to say of the decision:
"We'll abide by the court's decision. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it. It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented. . . . That dissent was based upon their serious concerns about U.S. national security."

- President G. W. Bush

I'm proud to be an American because the constitution our forefathers wrote is still standing the test of time. Its not subject to the whims and interpretations of a warmongering president in a time of artificially created crisis. May it keep doing so for many years to come.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Just say no.

From ThreatLevel over at Wired.com:

If elected president, Senator John McCain would reserve the right to run his own warrantless wiretapping program against Americans, based on the theory that the president's wartime powers trump federal criminal statutes and court oversight, according to a statement released by his campaign Monday.
We don't need 4 more years of Bush politics and tactics, and McCain taking this position is setting us up for exactly that. What ever happened to the Bill of Rights? What ever happened to checks and balances in government? Oh, yeah.... W happened.

I used to think McCain would be a decent alternative to the Dems, but the more he campaigns, the more traditional Republican positions he takes. Bah.... he's dead to me.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

From Linux to Vista

I'm a solid week into a switch from Linux to Windows Vista on my IBM / Lenovo T60 laptop and wanted to share my experiences.

I've been a linux user for years now - think slackware distributions on stacks of floppies. In fact, I've been pretty successful at using it for all my day-to-day tasks for several years now, although I'm forced to keep Windows around (on VMware, usually) to run the inevitable bit of software that's just not there for Linux - thinks like Quicken, TaxCut, and MS Access and Visio. Linux is great for geeks trying to get stuff done: coding, running web servers, finding all the phone numbers in 500 hmtl files, etc. It even does an acceptable job on communication tasks: running Lotus notes for work, Word and Excel documents, etc. Where it fell down for me, and had me recently move to Vista for my day to day use is how well it deals with hardware. A year-and-a-half ago I moved from coding to management (although I still find time to code. :-), and with that, I became more mobile and communication oriented. Linux on my laptop worked great - as long as I was sitting still. (At this point you ask yourself, why have a laptop if you have to sit still?)

One of my big gripes was that my laptop would only recognize monitors that were plugged in when it stared, which made hauling it down the hall and plugging into a projector or returning from a meeting and docking back to my desktop monitor problematic. Another is that due to some problem with the way ATI's video driver used SLUB memory management while the latest kernels used SLAB (or vice versa...) meant that my laptop couldn't sleep or hibernate - it was just on or off for me. I'd had enough when it took me 12 minutes to get up and running at a meeting: a few minutes to get linux started (of course it had to pick then to fsck a couple of partitions), then to restart because the projector wasn't on and recognized, then another few minutes to get VMware & Windows fired up, and another few for restarting that because it didn't suspend properly, then to get Visio launched and load the doc that we were editing at the meeting. I decided then and there that I'm tired of the compromises and don't have nearly the time and patience required to fix the problems - I could download and rebuild my kernel (I've done it before...) and solve the sleep problem, but I shouldn't have to do that. I have no idea if the monitor detection problem is solvable by me. It was a hassle on Linux to do things that involved the Enterprise active directory - all that's trivial now. All the fancy networked copiers / scanners / printers / faxes at work now just work.

After reading all the horror stories, Vista has all been a very pleasant surprise.

Anything's possible under Linux, if you have the time and patience to do what it takes to make it work - I have far less of both these days. I still love Linux: it's still my main machine at home, and it makes my MythTV (homebrew Tivo) possible. It just can't make my laptop do what I need it to do to be productive.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

DA does the Beach Boys

DA had their 5th and 6th grade choral and band concert Thursday (2/28/08) night and I captured this, their final (and best!) song of the band performance. Enjoy! (Be careful... if you turn it up the volume loud enough to hear Mr. Zentner, the conductor, then the volume will be way too loud for the actual song. You have been warned.)

For those of you looking for Bon, she's third row, just below where the left black vertical stripe hits the risers. Even if you could see the pixelated blob that is her, she'd be hiding behind her baritone anyway. Trust me - she's there.

The video quality on this is pretty poor. It's my first try at shooting and publishing with my Blackberry.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

All done!

This is my new pretty medal. The chip-timing email system died mid-race, so there's nothing after mile 10 or so.

Chip time was 5:27, gun time was 5:29, and I feel damn remarkable considering.

More updates when I make it back to a real keyboard.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Disney World Alert

WILLIAM HANSLEY, 01:57:30 @ 10 Mile: Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Kaiser Permanente, Disney Destinations LLC


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry