Eponymous
   



About
My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


contact

Subscribe
Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

Flavours
There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavours on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.
  • Lord Omlette

  •        
    20 Jul 2016
       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


    contact

    Subscribe
    Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

    Flavours
    There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavours on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.
  • Lord Omlette

  •        
    02 Oct 2016

    Happy Birthday Aisling!!!!
    My DeLorean, #5333, was built in October of 1981. This month, the car will be 35 years old and she looks and handles like the day she came off the assembly line.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


    contact

    Subscribe
    Subscribe to a syndicated feed of my weblog, brought to you by the wonders of RSS.

    Flavours
    There's more than one way to view this weblog; try these flavours on for size.

  • index
  • circa 1993
  • Sections

  • main
  • musings
  • running
  • DeLorean
  • code
  • unix
  • album
  • TBM
  • Archives

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • Disclaimers, Copyrights, Privacy, Etc.

  • ToS
  • Copyrights
  • Links

  • olix0r.net
  • netmeister.org
  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.
  • Lord Omlette

  •        
    10 Dec 2010

    Hope
    'Cause your mornings will be brighter
    Break the line and tear up rules
    Make the most of a million times "no"

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    01 Dec 2010

    FreeBSD 6.4 EoL
    As of yesterday, FreeBSD 6.4, and with it the entire 6.x branch, has reached its End-of-Life. It's time to upgrade (or maybe upgrayedd, for a double dose of something-or-other).

    So herein lies the problems. Months (years?) ago, I attempted to upgrade tak to FreeBSD 7.2. I plugged in a SATA disk into my workstation, installed the OS, reconfigured all the daemons, services, and functionalities tak has running, copied over a snapshot of all the data, and then edited the fstab to match the device names as they'd exist on tak.

    I removed the IDE root disk and installed the new SATA disk and tak and watched the kernel fail to find the root disk. Or the other SATA disk in tak.

    Based on the bug reports in the FreeBSD Gnats system, and various conversations in the mailing list, it seems Asus, who made the motherboard in tak, used a slightly non-standard SATA implementation on this particular board. Between the 6.x and 7.x line, some work had been done on the SATA drivers in FreeBSD and mad them more standards-compliant (a good thing). This, however, broke SATA on this Asus board.

    Tak is about 6 years old now, and other than some over heating issues, serves its purpose well. So do upgrade to FreeBSD 8.x on an IDE disk and replace the other SATA disk with another ATA disk, or do I build a new, lower-power, higher-performance system?

    If anyone actually reads this, feel free to use the new comments feature to give me feedback. I think it's working.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    25 Nov 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving
    I'm thankful for my friends and the support structure they provide.
    I'm thankful for my family. While they're not always supportive* they're always accepting.
    I'm thankful for my freedom, and the men and women protect that freedom.
    I'm thankful for running, and the years it's added to my life.
    Every Thanksgiving old mike would consume 1350 calories worth of Cool Ranch Doritos for breakfast before gorging at the traditional dinner. I'm thankful old mike's dead.


    *Running 50 miles in a weekend is not "running too much."

    I felt the need to document all that I cooked today.

    • regular stuffing
    • stuffing with sausage
    • cornbread stuffing (made from corbread I baked early in the week)
    • carrots with brown sugar, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon (bake until awesome)
    • steamed broccoli
    • asparagus sauteed with garlic and lemon juice
    • baked sweet potatoes
    • mashed sweet potatoes
    • smashed potatoes
    • zucchini with pancetta, garlic, and onion
    • beer bread (oatmeal stout)
    • stuffed mushrooms
    • baked macaroni and cheese
    • mashed turnips
    • sauteed mushrooms
    • cheese lasagna
    • meat lasagna
    • roasted turkey

    I think that's everything.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    14 Nov 2010

    2010 New York City Marathon
    One week ago, I ran the New York City Marathon. As noted many times throughout this blog, this race was something I've been working toward since December of 2008. This event was the culmination of nearly two years of hard work and dedication. And it was worth every single mile I've run over the last two years.

    At 9:40, the cannon was fired and the marathon started. Within minutes, I was crossing the starting line and running over the Verrazano Bridge. Not only was I running in the footsteps of the current world record holder and the first American to win New York in 27 years, I was running in the footsteps of legends.

    About three and half hours later, I entered Central Park for the last few miles of the race. I looked around and had the odd sensation that I was home.

    It's difficult to put into words the feelings of that day. Despite having completed three sanctioned marathons prior to this day, crossing the finish line was something I couldn't believe I was actually doing.

    It was absolutely amazing.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    13 Nov 2010

    Pre-Race Thoughts
    Last Saturday, I sent a letter to the Giraffes mailing list. I've decided to post here.

    In March of 2008, Brian told me I was running a 5K with The Giraffes. He didn't ask and he didn't give me a choice. Two days later I got off the couch, got on the treadmill, and started running. Six weeks later I ran my first race with this team. This team saved my life that day.

    Nine months later and a hundred and one pounds lighter, I got this crazy idea in my head. I decided I was going to run a marathon. I thought, if I'm going to run a marathon, I'm going to run the biggest marathon in the world. I'm going to run the New York City Marathon.

    I did some quick research about how to get in and found the 9+1 qualifying method. A couple of days later, I told Brian I was going to spend 2009 working toward guaranteed entry for the 2010 NYC Marathon. Almost immediately, he sent out an email to The Giraffes saying, "Mike and I are doing this and so are you." I'm paraphrasing, although it was quite close to that.

    So on January 10, 2009, five of us piled into the car and drove to Central Park on a frigid Saturday morning and began our journey with the Fred Lebow Classic.

    We continued to run, and picked up some new members along the way. Some with an impressive history of ultramarathons, and some just starting out.

    Those of us who first set out that day in January reached our goal and qualified for NYC 2010.

    At some point we decided we should run a marathon prior to NY, to get an idea of what we were really getting into. We chose Philadelphia, and for several Giraffes that day, it was our first. It was the day we joined the ranks of the one tenth of one percent of the population who can call themselves marathoners.

    While training for Philly, I fell in with a group of runners from my hometown and began running with them. At first it was short runs during a 5K training program they were running, but soon thereafter, they began including me in their longer training runs on the weekends. They introduced me to a number of other runners. Eventually I convinced (most of) them to sign up for the Giraffes mailing list.

    For the past two years, I've run with these people, the original Giraffes and the runners who have joined us along the way. And through it all, this team is what has kept me going. Through inspiration, through motivation, through friendships, through training runs and races, you've kept me going. You have been my support system.

    And now I sit here on the eve of the New York City Marathon, less than 24 hours from the start of the race, less than 24 hours from realizing our goal we set for ourselves so long ago.

    To all of you who have been with me for this journey in some way, shape or form... To those who got the team started and pulled me in, to those who saved my life... To those who persevered through qualifying races under grueling weather conditions with me... To those who got food poisoning with me from Macaroni Grill the night before the Scotland Run 10K... To those who got me through the last 5K of Philly... To those who made the 22+ mile training runs a little more bearable at the end... To those who have shown their support in any way they could...

    I offer you my eternal gratitude. I would not be where I am today without all of you. I love you all.

    One final note. To those of you joining me in tomorrow's running of the New York City Marathon... Kick ass and chew bubble gum.

    --
    M. Forde
    "Running never takes more than it gives back."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    30 Oct 2010

    It's been a while...
    I haven't updated this blog in quite some time. A lot has happened since the last post.

    First and foremost, I spent about two months volunteering as the Cross Country team's coach for the local Middle School. Due to budget cuts, all athletics programs were cut. The local Police Athletic League stepped up and volunteered to take over the programs. Many of the teachers who have coached in previous years did not want to do so now, so the PAL went looking for volunteers within the community.

    A friend of mine with whom I train put me in contact with the PAL and after an application and vetting process, I became a Rutgers Certified coach and began my duties.

    The team was relatively small, seventeen boys and six girls. Having never really worked with kids before, I was glad that this year's team was half the size of last year's; however I was still apprehensive about working twenty-three middle-schoolers. Thankfully, several parents helped me throughout the season. One in particular was there with me for almost every practice and every meet.

    I tried to emulate the aspects of my middle and high school coaches that I thought worked, and tried different approaches in an attempt to avoid the aspects I had never liked. I wanted to motivate and inspire these kids.

    I told them about my history as a runner: my experience in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade, my first 53-minute 5K on the treadmill in March of 2008, my marathons, my personal records, and my improvements over the last two years. I told them I would never make them do any thing I wouldn't do myself in training. And I ran with them. Whether the day's training was 100 and 200 meter repeats, running the course, "time on feet" running, or fartlek's, I ran along side them.

    During one session I was catching up to the lead group, the fastest of the 7th and 8th graders, and asked, "Are you really going to let an old man with bruised ribs keep up with you?" One of them turned and said, without breaking pace, "You're not that old and you run marathons."

    During the Cross Country season, in the last six weeks or so I've run a few races and set a few PRs. On September 19, I ran the Marathon Tune-Up 18 mile in Central Park. I set a new 18-mile PR at 2:27:34, taking 18:56 off my time from last year. Also of note, I didn't end up in medical being treated for hypothermia this year.

    The following week I ran the 5th Ave Mile. I shaved 9 seconds off from last year's race and 3 seconds off my previous best in training. My new mile PR is 5:25.

    About 2 weeks later I ran the Hartford Marathon. My friend and I got there very late the night before the race. Because we were stuck in traffic for about four and a half hours, my friend missed the on-site registration. He debated what to do while we went to dinner at a local tavern. I promptly felt sick after eating.

    The next morning we got and got ready to run. I still felt sick from the night before and threw up the previous night's meal shortly before we went to the registration packet pickup. I got my bib and timing chip and my friend failed to convince the race officials to let him enter. When he asked, "can I run unsanctioned?" the response of the somewhat sympathetic official was, "I can't tell you that you can." So my friend decided to run unsanctioned. After all, no one said he couldn't.

    We lined up in the corral. Despite the way I felt, I knew I had to go out there and run my best marathon. I had told the Cross Country team what Prefontaine had said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I had to go out there and try to PR. But as Yoda said, "Do or do not; there is no try."

    I started the race keeping the 3:45 pace group in my sights. My friend kept along side me for the first three miles then fell back a bit. I had some conversations with two runners in the pace group, Gavasker, the pacer, and Jen, a woman who was looking to BQ. I kept with them the whole way and finished in 3:43:32.

    Unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend dropped out at mile 8 and made his way back to the start/finish area. He was there at the finish line, waiting for me as I crossed the line just ahead of Jen who BQ'd with 2 minutes to spare.

    The next morning I went out with some other friends and ended up running another 24 miles putting me at 50 miles for the weekend. Monday evening I ran in a charity 5K with another friend, and then took a few days off.

    Since then, the Cross Country season has ended. They had their last meet, a few more days of practice, and then this past Wednesday they had team photos followed by an end-of-season pizza party.

    At the party the kids presented me with a plaque to say "thank you." I damn near cried when I unwrapped it and saw the photo taken at one of our practices. But if anyone asks, I'll deny that part.

    Plaque

    The 6th and 7th graders also asked me to come back and coach next year. During and since the season, I've run across some of the kids in town. Every time, they come up to me and say, "Hey coach!" And that means the world to me. It makes me think I've succeeded, that there's a possibility I've inspired them to keep running. Hopefully they'll love running as much as I do, if not more.

    I've encouraged the kids to enter our town's annual 5K next weekend and several of them have signed up. I'm looking forward to running with them again.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    31 Jul 2010

    If my calculations are correct...
    Over the course of the last two years and four months, I've changed considerably both mentally and physically. I lost 108lbs and then put on 6 while marathon training. This 6lbs was purely lean mass (muscle, bone density) and I'm now at about 6% body fat.

    Running is known to increase bone density, and the various forms of exercise I use in my training increased my muscle mass as well throughout this transformation. I've been curious to know just how much fat I lost.

    If my calculations are correct, throughout this process I lost 123.96 pounds of fat and gained 21.96 pounds of bone and muscle resulting in my current net loss of 102lbs.

    Why is this filed under the Running section? Because running was what enabled this transformation to happen.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Jul 2010

    Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta..
    After I finished my run tonight, still in my soaked running gear, I walked directly to local grocery store for chocolate syrup and had the following conversation with the woman at the check out counter.

    her: Over ice cream or chocolate milk.
    me: Chocolate milk.
    her: Nothing hits the spot like a cold glass of chocolate milk.
    me: Especially after a long run.
    her: How far did you run tonight?
    me: Half marathon. My third in three days.
    her: God bless you. God bless you.

    Then, as I walked away she said, "Nice legs."
    "Thanks. I've worked hard for those."

    [/running] [permanent link]

    04 May 2010

    If all goes according to plan...
    This time tomorrow, my car should be on its way to Texas.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    02 May 2010

    2010 New Jersey Marathon
    I was registered for today's NJ Marathon in Long Branch. I lost a few weeks in training due to some IT-band issues, and earlier this week was stricken with a bout of bronchitis.

    I got down there today, and 30 minutes before the race start I did a quick quarter mile and decided I wasn't over the bronchitis enough to run a marathon today. It was difficult for me to be there as the race started, watching my chance at reaching my goals disappear. As the morning went on and clouds disappeared and the temperature rose, my thoughts changed.

    Not running today was probably the best and hardest decision I've made in a while. Often the right choices in life are not the easiest to choose, no matter the circumstances.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    26 Mar 2010

    Powergrabs
    Yay Socialism!
    That was sarcasm. Socialism is bad news. It leads to the government controlling every aspect of your lives. Take for example this story or a bit closer to home, this story.

    [/politics] [permanent link]

    22 Mar 2010

    2010 NYC Half Marathon
    Yesterday was my best half marathon yet. As I stood in the corral waiting for the race to start, the chill in the air was a welcome change from the heat and humidity of last year's race. The decision to move the race from August to March was a good one. The course is definitely a fun one. It starts with an 8 mile loop around Central Park before exiting onto 7th Avenue. From there, the route goes to 42nd street, through Times Square, and out to the West Side Highway where the course finishes near Battery Park.

    I started out with the goal of beating my time from last year. As long as I did better than 1:51:49, I'd be happy. I was hoping I'd finish within a minute or two of the half marathon PR I set back in January, but I wasn't counting on it.

    As I ran I looked at the split times, and roughly gauged how I was doing, trying to stay on target for something close to 1:37 finish, but primarily making sure I was doing better than last year's 1:51. At mile 8, just before exiting Central Park to head to Times Square, the clock time was about 59 minutes. I realized that the winner of the race was about to finish, if he hadn't already, and I hadn't even made it out of the park.

    This year's splits were much better than last year's.

    split20092010
    5K0:23:420:23:22
    10K0:47:320:46:09
    15K1:14:451:07:59
    20K1:46:091:29:28
    final1:51:491:33:26


    This is the first time I've run negative splits. What really amazes me is that not only was the second half faster, but every 5K split was faster than the previous. There was an excitement exiting the park. There was an amazing rush turning the corner onto 42nd street. The crowds were great, cheering every runner as we passed by.I remember around the mile 11 marker realizing I had a chance to PR, estimating my time at about 1:36, and picking up the pace a bit. I started passing people left and right. One runner saw me and yelled, "Go, man! Go!"

    Out of about 15 to 16 thousand people that signed up, 11,493 finished. I finished in 895th place; far, far, behind the winner who took home $20,000.

    Universal Sports had a live telecast of the event. I set the DVR to record it before I left, but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. It likely focused primarily on the professionals who ran, including the Marathon world record holder, Haile Gebrselassie.

    This was a great race on a great day.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    12 Mar 2010

    Not a Paper Cup
    I recently ordered the Not a Paper Cup from ThinkGeek. It looks like a paper coffee cup but is made of ceramic. The lid is silicone instead #6 plastic. It should be awesome. It's not.

    Advertised as 12 ounces, it actually only holds 8 ounces. Right there, it's at most 66% as awesome as it should be. As one friend put it, "That is significantly less awesome."

    Now that I've used it I'll say that it's about 0% awesome and 90% suck with 10% fail.

    The silicone lid tastes, well, like silicone. It adds this horrible flavor to every sip. I like my coffee to have a strong coffee flavor, not a strong coffee plus silicone flavor. Maybe that's just me...

    The double walled construction of the cup, in theory would add an insulating layer to keep the coffee warm longer than a regular paper cup. This was not the case and in a test yesterday, I found that the standard paper cup kept the coffee warm for about an hour and a half longer than the Not a Paper Cup.

    In summary:

    • Holds 8 ounces instead of 12 (as advertised).
    • Silicone lid adds odd and horrible taste to coffee.
    • Doesn't keep the coffee hot as long as regular paper cups.


    • Don't buy one. If some one gifts it to you, well then that person must hate you or not understand coffee.

      [/musings] [permanent link]

    Coogan's 5K - Update
    Officially I ran my best 5K to date. I finished in 19:41 averaging 6:20 per mile.

    It was a rather hilly course, starting at 173rd and running up to the Cloisters. After circling the museum, the same route was taken back to 173rd.

    On Saturday I said I was going to PR. I was told that was a bit a of a lofty goal given how hilly the course was. Sunday morning I woke up with a bit of discomfort after gorging on sushi the night before and thought I might not do well.

    As I stood in the corral, those feelings changed. I knew I was going to PR. And I did.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    07 Mar 2010

    Coogan's 5K
    Unofficially I just PR'd at 19:44.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    02 Mar 2010

    1267567528
    6790 test.

    --
    ==================================================================
    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    21 Feb 2010

    Run for Haiti
    Yesterday I posted on the mobile section that I had finished the race coming in number 256 of 8704. The statistics have been updated and I need to post a correction. I finished number 266 of 9421 at a time of 27:17.

    This was of course about a minute slower than the Grid Iron classic where I PR'd, but I finished in the top 2.8% this time.

    Yesterday's race raised over $400,000 for the relief effort in Haiti, with over 10,000 people registering and making donations.

    Yesterday's race was also the first time I had run in a week. Last Saturday (February 13) I ran 31.73 miles. With the upcoming race schedule and training for the New Jersey and Pocono Marathons in May, I figured it would be best to actually rest.

    It felt good to run again. I missed it.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    20 Feb 2010

    1266681322
    256/8704. Not a PR time, but not a bad showing.

    --
    ==================================================================
    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    07 Feb 2010

    1265591788
    Game's over! The Who just won!

    --
    ==================================================================
    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    04 Feb 2010

    A couple of things....
    First, am I the only one who gets freaked out when seeing a Toyota in my rear-view mirror?

    Second, google calculator has failed me. I keep trying to do conversions using Joules and it keeps giving me search results for physics forums with no calculator results. WTF google? WTF?

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    02 Feb 2010

    On sunday I ran...
    27.22 miles because I felt like it.

    I woke up Sunday morning, ran some errands, and then met a friend for a run. While I was waiting for him, I ran a one mile warm-up. Then he and I set out and ran a half marathon.

    I felt pretty good afterward, so a little while later I set out to do another 10K. That 10K turned into an 8.4 mile hill work out.

    I realized I was only about four miles shy of a marathon at that point and I still felt really good. After a short break I went out one more time. Four and a half miles later, I was back home and had logged the most miles in a single day that I had ever done, breaking my previous record by a mile.

    It felt absolutely amazing.

    Can every body feel like I do? Can't you can't you trip like I do?

    [/running] [permanent link]

    31 Jan 2010

    It's gotta be the shoes
    Yesterday I picked up the pair of shoes in which I will run the New York City Marathon.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    24 Jan 2010

    1264352606
    1:37:50. New half marathon PR.

    --
    ==================================================================
    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    10 Jan 2010

    Avatar
    Here's my review of the movie.

    There's something about the giraffes if you believe we're apples and oranges. I was disappointed by the ketchup, but the mustard was surprisingly good.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    09 Jan 2010

    1263048598
    Qualifier #1 done.

    --
    ==================================================================
    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    07 Jan 2010

    I Hate People
    http://www.wpix.com/news/wpix-dog-beaten-in-elevator,0,193301.story

    I saw that on the news last night and it made me sick. There is no reason for this. This is just senseless abuse.

    It'd be nice to see him in prison getting kicked around his cell by another inmate, but that likely won't happen. Under the current laws, he can only be charged with a misdemeanor.

    Haven't there been studies indicating a correlation between abusing animals and becoming a serial killer?

    [/musings] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner en Fireside Chat http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2021/12/29#fireside

    Tonight I signed up for the Fireside beta. They asked for all my social media accounts to prove I'm a human. The problem is, I don't have a twitter account, a facebook account, instagram, etc. Years ago I took the advice of numerous psychology studies and my own therapist's advice and got off the social media platforms. It was one of the best things I've ever done for my mental health.

    So hopefully this blog, though infrequently updated (and slightly broken since the last major perl update), will serve as proof to the people at Fireside that I am human and not a bot.

    It was Bill Gates was Satan's minion, is Satan's minion, and always will be Satan's minion.
    Tenth Runniversary http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2018/03/13#runniversary10 Today is my tenth runniversary. It's been a decade since I first stepped on that treadmill. Like my first day running, I ran on the treadmill while listening to br\oken. I've had some set backs in my recovery. Not properly rehabilitating the atrophy in the left leg has caused some problems with the muscles around my hip. Listening to my trainer only made it worse. But now I'm taking care of it properly. Like that first day ten years ago, I have a goal I am working toward. This time it is the Dublin Marathon in October. This will be marathon number 13. I don't expect to PR. I think 10 minute miles are a much more reasonable goal at this point, but frankly I'll be happy just to cross that finish line. It's been a long, hard road out of Hell, but God has been by my side and put some amazing people in my life to help me along the way. I have to thank the Giraffes for today. I have to thank the Giraffes for much of my life this last decade. I was heading for an early grave, and they changed that. Giraffes, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I look forward to running the LTC and many other races with you in the next decade. Take back your privacy http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2018/03/12#takebackyourprivacy Recent surveys have found that 76% of [the most visited] websites in the world cotain trackers from google and 24% contain trackers from facebook. This has been reported by CNBC, PC World, The Verge, Fortune, and Breitbart.

    Almost anywhere you go on the internet, they are following you, building a profile on you, and selling that information, your information, to the highest bidder. Even if you don't have a user account for google or facebook "services," they've built a profile of you using this surreptitiously collected data.

    It turns out there are some steps one can take to prevent these companies from following you wherever you go. It's not perfect, but it helps a lot. First, don't use Chrome. Second, install ad-blocker plugins for your browser. Third, use your firewall.

    It turns out Google and Facebook are large enough that they have their own Autonomous Systems (AS) composed of numerous subnets. Google owns AS 15169, while Facebook owns AS 32934. Using a little bit of shell, it's relatively easy to look up all the subnets owned by these companies.

    whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS32934' | grep "^route:" | awk '{print $2;}'
    whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS15169' | grep "^route:" | awk '{print $2;}'


    That's a lot of subnets. Because I have different operating systems on different computers and still want to block traffic to and from all those IP addresses, I've written some simple scripts to add rules to various firewalls. I have scripts for IPFW on FreeBSD, IPTables on Linux, and the Windows Firewall that should work from XP SP3 through Windows 10. I've only tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 10, and it worked in those.

    All of these scripts can be found in this directory. The IPFW and IPTables scripts are self-contained. For the Windows command shell batch files, the *ips.txt files are also needed.

    I have to say, the internet looks very different with these firewall rules in place. There are noticeably fewer advertisements and pages load faster. Embedded YouTube videos and Instagram photos don't appear. Sometimes the frame disappears, sometimes you get a "failed to connect" page appearing in a frame in the middle of a page. (Yes, these rules block YouTube and Instagram; they are owned by google and facebook and reside in the subnets owned by those companies.) On a relatively rare occasion, I come across a site using some sort of javascript or css or something hosted by a machine in one of those ASs and that will be blocked. Sometimes the site handles that gracefully, sometimes it stops being functional. A small price to take back your life.

    Update: Twitter has trackers on a decent amount of sites out there too, so I've added scripts to block Twitter's AS 13414 as well. Those scripts are in the same directories as the others.

    St Michael, defend us in battle http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/10/17#defendusinbattle Crisis Magazine has a great piece about St Michael and the ongoing spiritual warfare in the world.
    New PGP Key! http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/10/12#pgpkey So apparently Evil32 happened. Approximately 24,000 PGP keys were generated that had collisions with the 32-bit short IDs of existing keys. Then someone decided to use those conflicting keys to generate revocation certificates and upload them to the keyservers. Joy.

    Though my old keys still work, they were affected by this mass revocation of collsions. I have created a new key which can be found at http://skinnymf.com/~mforde/mforde.asc.

    On a related note, if anyone is interested in Key Signing Party, shoot me an email. I haven't been to one of those since college.
    Time Travel? http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/09/30#oldtimey A few months ago I happened to snap a photo of the DeLorean on Main Street in Boonton near the Darress Theatre. It's probably one of my favorite photographs of the car and certainly one of the best I've ever taken.
    The theatre was built in 1919 and has remained largely unchanged since then. A lot of Boonton still has a very old "look and feel" to it, and this section of Main Street served as a perfect backdrop for the DeLorean.

    DeLorean DMC-12 Darress
Theatre Boonton
    How to Drive a Classic Rolls-Royce, or a DeLorean, Any Time You Want http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/24#howtodrive Bloomberg has posted an article entitled How to Drive a Classic Rolls-Royce, or a DeLorean, Any Time You Want. It's really quite simple, actually. You take your keys, go out the the garage, and you drive the DeLorean any time you want. This ends tonight... http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/16#theend Sometimes... http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/08/16#sometimes Sometimes it's dificult to find a reason to continue. Ninth Runniversary http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2017/03/14#runniversary9 Yesterday was my ninth runniversary. Like my first day running, I ran on the treadmill while listening to Broken. Unlike the first time, I only listened to it once, and covered 4.48 miles during the duration of the EP, thanking God every step of the way.

    I'm confident in knowing that the bone in my ankle has healed completely now; however, I'm still rebuilding the muscle in that ankle and the rest of that leg. There was significant atrophy during the early phases of recovery. Slowly as it may be, I am making progress, and I am thankful for that.
    Merry Christmas http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/12/24#holidays_ While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, I know and understand how hard they can be for some people. If you're having a rough time over the next week or so and need someone to talk to, feel free to message me. If you're reading this blog, you likely know my email address or phone number. Aisling at 35 http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/10/28#aislingat35 She's still looking good at 35....
    DeLorean DMC-12 with
gullwing doors open
    Happy Birthday Aisling!!!! http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/10/02#happybirthday My DeLorean, #5333, was built in October of 1981. This month, the car will be 35 years old and she looks and handles like the day she came off the assembly line. Don't Call it a Comeback http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/09/26#mamasaidknockyouout On June fourth, I was running in the Tourne on a trail I first ran twenty years ago, a trail I've run hundreds if not thousands of times before. On that morning, my foot came down on a wet rock at just the wrong angle, slipped just enough and I rolled my ankle. Not only did I roll the joint, I came down on it with enough force to break it; a fact I would learn when I final saw a doctor about it on June ninth.

    No surgery was required, but I was unable to run for three months. I was finally cleared to run. The plan was to start with short distances, about a quarter mile, on a rubberized track then build up from there, moving on to treadmills and eventually roads and trails. I was instructed to spend six months rebuilding my 60 mile per week base.

    On the morning of September 11 (a day I will never forget and a morning that will always make me feel a bit uneasy), I took to the track for the first time. I started by walking a mile. As I finished the fourth lap, I said a prayer, asking God to give me the run I needed and the wisdom to know when to stop. I queued up my playlist: AC\DC's "Back in Black" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." I took my first stride.

    I've been progressing well in the last two weeks; pushing it on some days, resting when necessary. Though the short, slow distances have been frustrating, it feel good to be running again. Every stride I take I'm reminded of everything I love about the sport.

    It's good to be back.

    Fun Conversations http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/09/18#insuranceagent The DeLorean often leads to conversations one wouldn't normally expect. Case in point: today I had to call my auto insurance provider for an issue with my daily driver. After taking some info to pull up my account the conversation went something like this:

    Agent: Which car is this?
    Me: The Pontiac.
    Agent: Am I reading this right?
    Me: Reading what?
    Agent: I'm sorry, do you have a DeLorean?
    Me: Yes.
    Agent: I never thought I'd see someone with a policy on a DeLorean.
    Me: Well, you've insured both of mine...
    Agent: You've had two DeLoreans?
    Me: Yes.

    At that point there were a few more questions and then we got back to the issue which my phone call had been about originally.

    An Observation http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/24#observation There is something satisfying about driving in a DeLorean while listening to The Clash's Live: From Here to Eternity. What Year is This?! http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/13#whatyearisthis So this was my Saturday night....
    A bottle of Crystal Pepsi with Metallica's Ride the Lightning and
Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures vinyl records sitting on the hood of a
DeLorean Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures on a record player
    He's Not Wrong... http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/08/09#hesnotwrong Over at Net Meister there's a nice peice entitled Things They Don't Teach You in School". A lot of what Jan has to say is spot-on observation and good advice.

    It's definitely worth a read.
    Trouble opening aterm in FreeBSD? http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/07/20#aterm Here's a soltuion! https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/44941/ X11 Mouse Cursor Themes http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/07/08#mousecursor Starting after installimg the binary nvidia drivers on both my laptop (Quadro K1100M) and my workstation (GeForce GT 630) Blackbox was defaulting to a mouse cursor that was suboptimal, a black, notched triangle.

    The settings in the Xresources for the mouse cursor theme are honored by XDM at the graphical log in, but when Blackbox or Fluxbox start, the cursor would change to the black notched triangle. TWM honors the settings in Xresources, but TWM is just a little too minimalist, even for me.

    But there's a simple fix!

    Create a file in your home directory (if it doesn't already exist) .icons/default/index.theme. In this file, add the following lines:
    [Icon Theme]
    Inherits = polarblue
    

    where polarblue is the name of the X11 mouse cursor theme you wish to use. FreeBSD installs many of the X11 cursor sets into /usr/local/lib/X11/icons/, your Unix flavor may be different. In theory, you can also install new themes of your choosing into ~/.icons/ and use those without the need for any elevated privileges.

    Additionally, there's the option of creating a .Xdefaults file in the home directory and adding the line
    Xcursor.theme: polarblue
    

    Again, where polarblue is the name of theme you want to use.
    FreeBSD Unix on Dell Precision M4800 http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/06/18#m4800 I installed FreeBSD 10.3 on the laptop I recently acquired and almost eveything worked out of the box. The gigabit ethernet and wi-fi coards worked fine and by setting the BIOS to discrete graphics only, the nVidia Quadro was recognized.

    I installed the binary driver from nVidia, because they support FreeBSD because they're awesome like that. The nvidia-xconfig(1) program was useful to streamline the process of getting X.org to use the Quadro.

    There were a few things that did need some tewaking though. First there's the sound card. Because the quadro supports HDMI (in addition to VGA and DisplayPort), it includes an HDA-compliant sound card. This card is recognized before the primary HDA-compliant sound card in the machine, the one that's actually connected to the speakers.

    I did some research and there were some suggestions about using sysctl(8) to control soundcard GPIO pins to connect the nVidia sound device to the speackers but what ultimately worked was using sysctl(8) to change the default primary sound device to the dedicated card. There were a few ways to make this happen but the one I found that actually worked was to place sysctl(8) command lines in /etc/rc.local.

    First I found the device I wanted as the default:
    mforde@gaz:~> cat /dev/sndstat 
    Installed devices:
    pcm0:  (play) default
    pcm1:  (play)
    pcm2:  (play) 
    pcm3:  (play)
    


    Device pcm2 was the one I wanted so I added the following lines to /etc/rc.local
    sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=2
    sysctl hw.snd.default_auto=2
    


    Now when boot completes pcm2 is set to my default and sound "just works" and sndstat shows pcm2 as the default.

    I found ACPI support has some weirdness as ACPI support often does. What I found was that Suspend works from console, but resume doesn't... HOWEVER After I start X ACPI suspend and resume work just fine. Normally I prefer to boot into a console and only start X if I really need it, but because I want suspend and resume to work "by default" I've enabled X to start at boot by allowing the xdm console in /etc/ttys.

    But this had one last issue. See, when manually starting X, I added the -dpi 143 option to get graphics and text to be appropriately sized for my screen. XDM needed to know about this.

    This probably wasn't the best place to do it, but I edited /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm/XServers and modified the call to X(7) to add the -dpi 143 option. Now when Xdm loads at start up, the DPI is set correctly.

    The function keys for adjusting the screen brightness don't work; however, xbacklight(1) works just fine. Similarly the volume keys don't work but I can adjust the volume quite easily with aumix(1).

    I've submitted my dmesg output to NYCBUG's dmesgd repository.

    I suppose I've posted this for two reasons. The first is so I have a record of how I eventually got these little things working in case I have to do it again. The second is in case anyone has similar issues with their hardware; if they happen to stumble upon this, it might give them some hints.
    Megapath sucks http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/06/08#megapathsucks Speakeasy was by far the best ISP I ever dealt with. Freindly, and above all, knowledgeable. Since they have been purchased by Megapath then merged into Global Capacity, their tech support has been, frankly a bunch of idiots. Furthermore, their website routinely has "Service failed" errors that prevent you from logging in, changing passwords, and viewing account information.

    Today, after being unable to log in to the website due to "service failed" the tech support rep on the phoned didn't understand what a subnet mask or gateway address were. Eventually I just got her to read me "all three IP addresses" on the screen in front of her.

    But at this point my only other option is Verizon. So I'm sticking with Megapath.
    Found this sitting in a tarball of my old home directory... http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/05/25#afi
    
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
                  ..,,..  ..ttLLLLtt..  ..;;ii;;,,..;;ttGGLL;;....iiiiiiiiiiii..    ..iijjttttii..                                
          iiLLLLGGKKKKDDLLGG########GGLLDDWWWWWWKKKKKK######WWDDEEWW##WWWW##WWDDjjffDD##########LL..          ..;;..              
      ..ffWW########WWKK####KKjjttEE####WWGGGGEEGGDDDDGGjjttGGKKWWWWLLGGLLGG##########DDjjttttGG##GGffttiiiiffDDKKDDGGGGGGii      
      ff####GGffffttii;;ttLLiijjtt;;LLtt;;,,,,;;;;;;iittLLtt;;,,iiiiiitt;;;;ffGGGGLLtt;;iiii;;;;DDWW####WWWW####KKDDKKKKWWWWtt    
    ..EE##LL;;ttttLLttLLLLttff##WWGGjjffGGDDGGKKKKKKWW####WWDDGGDDDDWW##EEEEffttffLLffGGWWWWGG;;;;ttffjjffDDDDff;;;;;;iittKKWWii  
    ;;KKKKiittKK######WWWW######################################KKKKWW##WW##################WWKKDDffttjjjjiiiiiiLLEEGGDDiittWWLL  
    ..KK##ttGG######WWDDDDEEKKDDKKWWDDKKEEKKWWEEKKEEWW##WWKKWWEELLLLDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKK##########WW####KKWWKK########KKiiDDEEii
      DD##ffGG######EELLLLLLLLLLGGDDLLDDGGDDDDLLLLEE####WWGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK######WW####KKKKKKWWWWKKKKWW####ttLLWWLL
      GG##LLLL##KKKKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGWW####WWLLDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWW######EEEEDDLLLLLLDDEEEELLEE####ffLLWWGG
      LL##GGjj##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####WWLLEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGEEKK##WW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDLLKK##WWiiGGKKjj
      jj##GGiiWWWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####KKLLKKEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG##EEDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG;;KKDD;;
      ii##EE;;DDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKLLDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEE##ffWWKKEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWWiijj##ff  
      ;;WWWWiiGGKKLLLLLLLLGGLLDDEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKDDGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWttEEWWDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEKKiiKKWW;;  
      ;;WW##ttGGWWGGLLLLLLEEDDEE##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK######WWEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGGGDDKKWWiiLLWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKttWWLL    
      iiWWKKiiKK##DDLLLLLLEEEEWW##WWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWW######EELLLLLLLLLLDDEEEEWWWWKKKKWW####ii;;KKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWKKffWWtt    
      ii##WWttWW##EELLLLLLDDEE######EELLLLLLLLLLLLKKDDEE####KKLLLLLLLLLLEE##################ii..KKEELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDD##DDffWWii    
      ;;WW##ttLL##KKLLLLLLLLEE##KK##KKLLLLLLLLLLDD##LLLLEEWWKKLLLLLLLLLLKK####WWKKffLLKKWWGG;;..EEKKLLLLLLLLLLLLDDEE##LLLLWWii    
      ..EE##LLiiWWKKLLLLLLGGKK##LLKKKKGGLLLLLLDDWW##ff;;iiKKKKLLLLLLLLLLKK##WWLLffttiijjLLiiffttGG##DDLLLLLLLLDDEEKK##ffLLKKii    
        LL##KKiiKKWWGGLLLLLLKK##ttGGWWDDLLLLLLEE####tt;;,,EEKKDDLLLLLLLLEE##########WWWWWWttGGGGttWWWWDDLLLLLLGGGGKK##ffGGKK;;    
        iiWW##ttGGWWDDLLLLGGWWKK;;GGWWDDLLLLLLEE##KKiiGG;;KKKKDDLLLLLLLLGGEEWW##KKEEDDDDKKttKK##ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLGGWW##jjEEEE..    
          GG##GGttWWDDLLLLGGWWKKiiWWWWDDLLLLLLEE##GGttKKiiGG##EELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDDGGLLLLEEKKjjWW##ffLLWWGGLLLLLLLLGGWWWWjjKKGG      
          tt##EEttWWDDLLLLDDWW##WW####DDLLLLLLKK##ffLL##DDttWWWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKjj####jjGGKKLLGGLLLLLLDD##KKttWWLL      
          ii##KKttKKDDLLLLGGWW####WW##EELLLLLLEE##jjGG####ttDDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGWWEEtt####ttKKWWLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGffWWtt      
          iiWWKKttWWEELLLLLLEEKKKKEEEEDDLLLLLLEE##ttEE####jjKKWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDWWDDtt##WWttWW##DDLLLLLLLLEE##LLLLWWii      
          iiWWKKff##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEWWttKK##KKttWW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGtt##WWttWW##EELLLLLLLLEE##ttGGEE..      
          iiWWWWff##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWWttWW##KK;;EE##EELLLLLLLLLLGGGGGGGGEE##GGtt##WWttKK##EELLLLLLLLEEWWttEELL        
          ;;WWKKff##KKGGGGLLDDLLLLLLGGLLLLLLDDWWKKtt####WWiiLL##EELLLLLLDDKKWWWWKKWW####ffff##WWttEEWWDDLLLLLLLLEEKKiiEELL        
          ;;WWKKjjWWKKLLLLDDWWEEDDEEKKDDLLLLDDWWKKjj######jjLL##EELLLLLLEE##############jjLL####ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLKKKKiiKKff        
          ;;WWWWttKKEELLLLEE####WW####KKGGLLDDWWDDjj######ffGG##EELLLLLLEE##LLLLLLWWWWKKiiGG####LLjj##DDLLLLLLLLKKEEttWWff        
          ;;KKWWiiEEDDLLLLWW############DDLLGGWWDDjj######GGff##KKLLLLLLEE##ttiiiitttt,,;;KK####DDtt##EELLLLLLLLKKDDttWWtt        
          ;;KKWWiiDDDDLLLLWWWWffff######EELLDD##GGff######KKttWW##DDLLLLEE##ffGGKKjj;;iiDD######KKjj##KKLLLLLLLLKKGGffWWii        
          ,,KK##iiDDEELLLLWWGG  iiffffWWDDLLEE##GGff########ttGG##EELLLLEE##ttLL####WWWW########KKtt##KKLLLLLLGGWWLLLLKK;;        
          ..KK##ttLLKKLLLLKKGG......ttKKGGLLEE##LLLL########GGtt##KKLLLLEEKK;;LL########WWKKWW##KKttWWWWDDLLLLDD##ffLLGG..        
          ..KK##jjLLWWGGLLKKKK;;ttttff##DDLLDDWWttGG########KKttWWKKGGLLDDKKiiEE##ffttttii..ttWWWWttKK##EELLDDKK##ttGGGG          
          ;;KK##ffLLWWGGLLKKEE;;LLGGtt##KKLLGGKKjjKK########WWttKKWWDDLLDDKKttKKEE..          GG##ffff##WWDDWW##EEiiEELL          
          ..DD##GGttWWDDLLEEGG..LLWWttKKKKGGEEKKjjWW##########ttGG##KKDDDDWWttEEDD..          tt##KKiiWW##WW####GGtt##ff          
            ff##KKiiWWDDGGEEGGiiWW##ttDDKKDDWWKKjj############ffLL####WWKK##ttDDEE..          ;;KK##ttLL######WWttLL##ii          
            ;;WWWWttKKWWKKKKGGjj####ttGGWWEEWWGGtt############LLLL##########ttKKDD              GG##EEiiDD####LL;;KKEE..          
            ..EE##ffLL##WW##GGtt####jjLL######LLtt############LLttWWGGKK##LLttWWLL              iiWW##ffff####ttGG##ff            
              LL##EEttGGLL##GGtt####LLttWWKK##ffLL##EEttttKK##DD;;ff;;ttEE;;GG##tt                ff##DDiiKKLLiiWWKK;;            
              tt####ttii;;KKffff####KKiiii;;GG;;LL##ii    iiWW##LL::  ;;tttt##DD..                ;;KKWWiiffiiGG##ff              
              ..KK##GGttiiii;;GG######DDLLii;;;;KKEE..      ff####DDLLii;;GGWW;;                  ..DD##LL..tt##KK;;              
                jj######GG..jj############GGiiDD##ff        ..LL######WWKK##GG                      ff##WWDDWW##tt                
                ..LL####WWGGWWWWffiittGGWW##WW##DD::          ..ffKKWWWWWWKKtt                      ,,DD######ff..                
                  ..ttEEWWWWDDii        ttEEKKGG;;                ..;;;;ii;;                          ;;ttffii..                  
                      ..ii;;..            ..;;..                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
    
    Remapping Keys in Vim http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/blog/index.pl/2016/05/25#vimpaging While I love the keyboard on my relatively new Dell M4800, I'm not particularly fond of the placement of the Page Up and Page Down keys to the left and right of the Up arrow, and above the Left and Right arrow keys. I find myself accidently hitting those keys too frequently while editing code and jumping all over the file.

    So I remapped them. It was quite simple, because Vim is awesome. I added the following lines to my .vimrc file:

    map <PageUp> <Up>
    map <PageDown> <Down>


    This turns Page Up into a second Up arrow, and Page Down into a second Down arrow. For now, I'll leave it like that. I may remap them to the Left and Right arrows in the future. Or not.