Happy Halloween, y’all. Ed sent me this spectacghoular video from The Nightmare Before Xmas, covered my Marilyn Manson, “This is Halloween“. Got to love Marilyn. SFW, but it may give you nightmares …
I’ve been a busy little bee, and haven’t posted much. My bad. In the interests of catching you up, here’s a condensed version of what happened this October:
I took a few exams and got some perfects and some wow-less-than-perfects. I railed around Pocono on my last track day of the season with the Hooligang. I tagged along with Red to meet some of her family and with her grandparents a happy 65th anniversary, in the picturesque mountains of Tennessee. Jeff came up to NYC to deliver my fantastic new commuter, the 2008 Specialized Langster New York. That weekend Red and I painted a school for New York Cares Day on Saturday, and Jeff and I rode the Tour de Bronx on Sunday. This year’s TdB blew in comparison to last year. There were more people, and they held us caged like animals in the rest stops, waiting for the slow folks, and the police escort was non-existant. Of course, I became a slow folk by the end of the day since I’m so out of shape. Thus the Langster, for keeping in shape via commuting. Anyhoo. The following weekend (this past), my Pop came to visit from FLA and saw my house for the first time. We tried a few new restaurants (avoid Jake’s BBQ, be sure to visit Nonna on the UWS, and brunch at FADA in Willyburg was amazing), we hit the ANHS to wait in line and not see mermaids, and I cooked a bit. In the past few weeks we’ve made our share of eggs (fritatta’d and not), banana walnut pancakes, pan-seared blackened tilapia, braised salmon filets in a tomato-dill sauce, grilled teriyaki pork loin, and more. I’m also still trying to figure out how to shop from Fresh Direct without throwing out too much produce ‘cos I don’t have a lot of time to eat it. Right now, I’m sitting in Physics class and freaking out about my upcoming Orgo exam. It’s been made a little better because (a) my house is now clean, since I’ve had so many guests, (b) I’m eating better, (c) I rode my single-speed for some loops around Prospect Park in today’s 60 degree sunshine, and (d) I’ve got an amazing girlfriend in Red.
So that’s where we are. Coming soon: more pictures, exam lamentation, the NYC Marathon, more riding, hopefully some new toys for the Langster, and a new messenger bag from Timbuk2.
Fun fun fun … something I’ve been putting off for months finally happened this week. Yep, I finally overhauled the email systems over here at icebrrrg.com. That means I switched from sendmail to postfix, which enabled me to use dovecot properly, which enabled me to start using pop3s for secure email retrieval from this domain into my Gmail account (so I get it all in one GUI with the best search capabilities on the planet, and don’t give out me passw0rds in pla1nt3xt), which required me to get some SSL server certs (yeah, https://www.icebrrrg.com works now), and I finished off by using this sweet tool called gExodus to migrate my old emails into Gmail … years worth of them. There’s another tool (Mark Lyon’s Gmail Loader, GML), but that didn’t work for me and the mbox-format files I exported from Horde, the webmail client I was using before.
It was such a simple, easy process that I’m surprised I hadn’t gotten it done before.
Actually, let me just say that Fedora Core 3 is a b!tch to wrassle with when your Linux security skillz are rusty. I spent a lot of time working with the internal firewalls, trying to open ports, and finagling dovecot (the newer versions of which don’t work with FC3). In the end, I got it all to work, locked down dovecot so it only worked with pop3s (secure POP3 over SSL).
If you’re trying to do the same and got lost like I did … well, let me just say that Google is your friend. There was no one source which gave me all the answers. In the end it was a blend of 100 sources.
But it is sooooo worth it to have all my email in Gmail, and to be able to reply as from within this domain, or Gmail, as I choose, and do it all securely.
What a great day. Aside from the fog in the morning (which made the 2 hour drive at 5:30am rather … challenging, and kept the choppers from coming directly to the track in the AM), the weather was perfect. Warm and clear — hot, even, in the afternoon, which kept the tires nice and warm on the track. I pulled in around 7:45, and Mike, Maria, Larry and Ralph had a spot saved for me. Jimmy was already there, teching folks in, and Dan and Sharad joined us shortly after in the pits. I couldn’t miss Jimmy, what with his huuuge All-State pavilion set up.
The CBR was running very well, though I have to say I noticed the bumps and ripples on PIR East more than ever before. And the Red group seemed so slow … maybe everyone was taking it easy after a few nasty crashes in the AM, or maybe Ralph was right and we’re just moving faster now than before. I don’t know, on the lap that Jimmy followed me I was reassured that I still need to “twist the facking throttle, you poooooosie”.
Mike’s right, he and I had a blast tearing around the track after each other. I would follow him for a session, then he’d follow me, occasionally passing each other, and passing some of the others in the group. I got off a great pass between turn 5 off the NASCAR straight and the kink before the double-apex, as Mike was coming off the straight a bit easily … it’s an awesome place to gain some ground. I only saw Dan when he passed me on the brakes on the NASCAR banking. And Jimmy, when he followed us for a bit, passed me like I was in reverse. Man, it’s good to be a coach!
I spent a lot of time working on my STAR School body positioning (versus my previous horny-monkey knees-out a-flailin’ style), which works very well for me. But it turns out it hurts my left knee for some reason, perhaps because my inside knee is bent more than I’m used to and PIR East is all lefts. By the end of the day I found a compromise position which worked well for me. And Ralph gave us some great advice on a turn-in spot for turn 4, which set me up for the straight very well.
I had some more contact lens problems, which led to me (a) throwing a hand up on the straight as I couldn’t see, blinking madly to try to fix them, (b) blowing turn 5 and continuing on the NASCAR straight, turning around (safely) and getting waved back on by a corner worker, and (c) continuing down the track slowly but predictably with one eye, and coming off to fix the eyes. I have made up my mind, this has happened too often, I’m getting LASIK in the off season. I get really focused and blink less than I should on some laps, which dries out the contacts and causes problems.
After the day we shot the sh!t at Woody’s over burgers, ribs and buffalo chicken. A great way to unwind before a long drive home.
As you may know (since I never shut up about it), the 5th annual Braking the Cycle AIDS ride came and went this past weekend. As with every year before, it was an amazing experience, a “traveling bubble” of personal excellence, of striving, of kindness. A roving caravan of humanity, stretched out a hundred miles at a time, over three days.
They rode from Gettysburg to PA on their bicycles, and we MotoSafety folk rode in front of them to get to and block the next intersection. We rode behind them when it got dark so our headlights could show the way. We rode next to them and cheered them on (or scolded them for not riding single-file). And I, personally, got sick and couldn’t sleep all that well at night. Sigh. Still, the fatigue and up-before-dawnity and the long hours were worth all of the smiles, and the tears, and the wonder. I can’t wait for next year.
If you’ve got some time, come check out the 118 or so pictures I took along the way. They don’t capture the personal element as well as being there, or the fisty pride, but if you want to see that in person then you’ll have to register for next year!