You gotta admit, the Honda Ridgeline *is* a roomy truck.
Anyone that follows this blog probably knows me and my projects pretty well, but you'll probably learn something new and/or get a kick out of something I've said in recent interviews. I was on the BoingBoing podcast a couple weeks ago, with the last 20 minutes or so devoted to talking about how I run MetaFilter. Bren from Slackermanager caught up with me for his new Yamhill.tv project, a video interview site/podcast devoted to residents of the small county in Oregon where I live.
This week I'm running again after a nearly two year hiatus. What finally motivated me to get off the couch and start running was the Nike+ system. I've written my own exercise tracking apps in the past and it required that I manually enter details about each run, then I would write my own visualization apps. After I saw how the Nike iPod thing records and uploads your data with no intervention needed and then spits out nice graphs with goals and group activities, I knew I had to try it. When Nike finally came out with some stability shoes for fat guys like me (the Air Equalon, which I can't link to in their Flash interface), I pulled the trigger and got the whole setup.
I took my first jog today and it worked great. I like that you can run for a set time, a set distance, or to burn a set number of calories. I also like that your iPod tells you when you're half done and counts down the minutes as you get close to your goal. I noticed the system reminded me at the same intervals I would have checked my watch myself, so it works really well.
The kicker on the whole Nike+ thing was something I've never seen online before: Hatphones. It's a flexible beanie with embedded headphones and a pocket for a iPod nano complete with a nano wheel cut-out. It's perfect for winter here in Oregon and I don't have to have wires running down my shirts. I must admit it's a bit weird to push on your head when you want to change songs, but otherwise it's a clever little package.
I'll post an update in a few months after I've used this a while to track my running progress. My hope is to get back up to running 15-20 miles a week and doing 5k and 10k runs for fun. If anyone knows of a nike+ widget I could run on my site to show miles/runs, leave a link in the comments -- one of the best motivations to exercise or lose weight is good old public shaming.
I've been meaning to write up each and every one of these tips for weeks now, but I'll never get around to fully fleshing them out so instead here's a bunch of things I've learned over the past few months that might help you as well:
When I was a kid, the future was filled with optimism. The year 2000 was 10-20 years away and it was this magical goal we were working towards. I was obsessed with astronauts, especially those in NASA that got to ride in the space shuttle. While I never made it to spacecamp, I envied the kids that did.
Then the shuttle blew up, the year 2000 passed without flying cars, and 9/11 sparked another world war. Leaders talked about the past, not the future. Optimism was dead.
I never stopped looking for that optimistic future. It's something every tech nerd craves and I think that's why we got into the technology field to start with: to make the world better. Anyway, today I realized why I transformed from longtime skeptic of Apple computer to total fanboy in the past three years.
Apple creates technology that makes things better. Portable music, wireless networking, laptops, photos on your digital camera, video on your camcorder, movies on your TV, and now the dreaded cellphone. These are all things that have been a hassle for some time.
I don't know a single person that likes the phone they have. Everyone feels like a victim of both their phone plan and their phone hardware. Cellphones seem to be one of those things that barely works given all the drawbacks. The iPhone isn't just a new gadget. It looks like something that will transform the way we think about cellphones.
Today I realized the feeling of optimism that I held dear when I was a kid -- that everything was going to work out and be better for everyone when I got older -- isn't captured by the folks at NASA anymore. It's the people at Apple that provide that.
I've long been a fan of Heifer International and suggested it to others as a charity, but I never read the small print. Philip Greenspun and Michael Stillwell did and both noticed their marketing is fairly misleading -- you're not really buying a water buffalo or a cow, but simply contributing to a general fund that someday may result in animals getting to families. It's not entirely dishonest but it sure feels like something different than what their site describes when you give money.