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Cycling

I survived “Climb Brutal”

Barely.

I had my baptism into what Dan calls “Climb Brutal“, one of the shorter routes to get from the El Cerrito to Tilden Park.

Climb Brutal kicks off with a pleasantly winding route through the Sunset View Cemetery, which I didn’t even know existed.

Once you pass the eastern gate of the cemetery, you’re on to Sunset Drive, a fairly mild incline at 11.2%, which will take you to Arlington.

http://app.strava.com/rides/370283#5914280

On Arlington, you have make a u-turn to get to the heart of Climb Brutal, Wellesley Drive, which kicks up to a gut-wrenching 17% grade for .2 miles, which doesn’t seem that long, but go climb it and it will seem like forever. I couldn’t make it and had to stop half-way.

After Wellesley, there’s a short chance to recover on Cambridge, but when you start climbing again after a left on Beloit and even though the grade is shy of 9%, I didn’t have anything left in the tank and I crawled up to Grizzly Peak.

Somehow I managed to recover from Climb Brutal and work my way around the Three Bears and then back home.

It was a shortish ride, but I felt I’d been through the ringer when it was over.

Thanks, Dan!

American Idle

Migration to WordPress

I just upgraded to Movable Type 5 less than a month ago and I’ve already ditched it and moved my blog to WordPress. Why? Well Movable Type seems to have lost its mojo. It just doesn’t have the same type of community support that WordPress engenders. Not even close. Roughly half of my plugins stopped working after I upgraded. There doesn’t seem to be any plans to fix them. WordPress, on the other hand, has a massive community of developers constantly churning out good plugins. You can basically do anything you want, provided you know a little PHP. which I sort of do.

I have a lot of time invested in Movable Type. I started my blog on it way back in 2003 and I’m very familiar with their proprietary markup language which was simply an extension of HTML. I knew the dashboard backwards and forwards. It was second nature. WordPress is a different animal. It’s all PHP. Blog templates are organized differently. It took some considerable work to convert my Movable Type style to a WordPress theme. It’s not perfect, but close enough, and I can continue to tweak it as I go forward.

I’m slowly getting used the backend interface. In many ways it’s more intuitive than Movable Type and I think it’ll be a good move for me.

Cycling, OYJ

OYJ Mt. Tam 2011 (preseason)

Miles: 49.1 mi
Ride Time: 3:49:29
MPH: 12.8 mph
Max Speed: 35.9 mph
Elevation Gain: 4,389 ft
Flats: 0

Cycling, OYJ

OYJ San Ramon 2011 (preseason)

Miles: 58.3 mi
Ride Time: 4:19:42
MPH: 13.5 mph
Max Speed: 41.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,507 ft
Flats: 0

Cycling, OYJ

OYJ Crockett 2011 (preseason)

Miles: 63.7 mi
Ride Time: 5:08:51
MPH: 12.4 mph
Max Speed: 42.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 5,563 ft
Flats: 0

Food

Roasted Corn Soup

Found this roasted corn soup recipe online and gave it shot last night. It was delicious.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. For one thing, corn is out of season, so instead of 3 ears of corn, I used two cans. I really need to make this again in the fall when fresh corn is available, but I had a corn craving. I also didn’t add the raw agave. Seemed unnecessary to me. I couldn’t find good heirlooms, so I used regular beefsteak tomatoes. Not sure how big of a difference it made. I didn’t use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. Not really necessary. I got a can of fire roasted tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. Instead of four roasted chilies, I roasted a single Anaheim. Gave just the right amount of heat. I also took about a pint and half of the soup, blended it and returned to the soup. Made for a much thicker, more chowder-like consistency. Worth the trouble, for sure.
If I make it again, I’d leave out the curry and bump up the cumin, swap out a Yukon Gold potato for the sweet potato and roast my own chicken.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry or chili powder or paste, mild or hot, to taste
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 ears of corn, roasted, kernels removed
1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 14-oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 cup seeded, chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes- I used yellow and pink
4 oz. chopped roasted green chiles
1 quart light vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 rounded cups torn cooked chicken pieces
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A quick drizzle of organic raw agave, to taste

To serve:
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh lime juice from 2 juicy limes

Continue reading Roasted Corn Soup …

Money

Kiva Update


Still making Kiva loans after all these years. I made my first loan back in 2006. Seems so long ago.
Here is my current portfolio:

Here’s are my stats:

Statistic Name Me Avg. Kiva User
Total Amount Loaned $1,300.00 $220.29
Total Amount Repaid $1,147.31 $175.25
Total Amount Lost $5.00 $1.74
Total Amount Refunded and Expired $0.00 $2.81
Outstanding Portfolio $147.69 $41.94
Default Rate 0.45% 1.04%
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 2.11%


You can compare these stats to where I was back in May 2008.

Kiva is currently funding a loan every 8 seconds, which is remarkable. They are changing lives all over the world, even in my neighborhood. Do yourself a favor and create a Kiva account and start loaning to some folks who really need the $$$$.

Life in General

Better Put Your Booties On..

Snow in San Francisco? Could happen late Friday

By Jason Samenow

Unusually cold storm impacting West Coast

Temperatures are on the upswing across the eastern third of the United States, but a very stormy and cold pattern is taking hold over the West Coast. A winter storm warning is in effect for Seattle, where three to six inches of snow is expected through Thursday (including potential snowfall rates of one inch per hour north of the city into this afternoon). The same storm will dive southward, impacting much of California, Thursday into Saturday (from north to south). In the San Francisco Bay Area, the potential for some very rare snowflakes is on the table.
The San Francisco National Weather Service Forecast office writes:
ON FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY A RECORD COLD AIRMASS IS FORECAST TO DROP OVER THE REGION WITH SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE VERY LOW ELEVATION SNOW SHOWERS BETWEEN 500 FEET AND SEA LEVEL.
Measurable snow is very rare in San Francisco, and has only occurred in the area 11 times since 1856 according to meteorologist Jan Null of Golden Gate Weather Services, who has compiled a record. The last measurable snow to occur in San Francisco occurred in 1976 when one inch fell.
As for the snow potential Friday into Saturday, Null wrote in an email to colleagues: “The toughest part of the equation is whether the precipitation will phase with the coldest air during the coldest time of day. Any of a number of subtle changes to the airmass and its trajectory over the ocean could make dramatic differences to the eventual outcome.”
In the North Bay Hills of San Francisco, at elevations above 1,000 feet, snow is a better bet than at sea level and a winter storm watch has already been issued for Thursday night and Friday:
ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL OF SEVERAL INCHES WILL BE LIKELY FOR ALL ELEVATIONS ABOVE 1500 FEET WITH A GOOD POSSIBILITY OF AT LEAST 1 INCH OF SNOW DOWN TO 1000 FEET.
As you head south toward Los Angeles, unseasonably cold temperatures are expected by Saturday with highs in the 50s and lows in the upper 30s Saturday night. Snow will be possible in its nearby hills. The National Weather Service notes model forecast “thicknesses” – a measure of how cold it is – are unusually low:
IF THESE VALUES VERIFY IT WILL BE THE LOWEST [COLDEST] THICKNESSES RECORDED IN AT LEAST THE LAST 10 TEN YEARS.

If this is true, we should get a nice dusting of snow in the Oakland Hills and, of course, on Diablo. I’m supposed to be riding my bike around 1000ft so I plan on bundling up.

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About

This is the blog of Andrew Hecht, web guy, photographer, traveler, cyclist, and cat owner.

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