Biking Milestones, and why Guy Kawasaki is partly wrong

Yeah, this blog post is going to be non-sequitur. Bear with me, the first part is short, and I want to brag.

About a month and a half ago, we bought bikes.  I’ve been commuting by bike to work averaging about once a week – it definitely takes a while to get into the rhythm of things.  From the previous post, you can see that there’s a crazy huge (well, I’m call it crazy huge) at the 3.4 mile marker.  The first few time we it the hill, we took two mini-rest breaks.  The second time, and subsequent times, I’ve taken one mini-rest break (walking the bike a short distance, along with a few other people that poop out around the same point).  I’ve been getting farther and farther up the hill before the rest break, though, until yesterday… when I made it the whole way sans stopping.  Yay!  Here’s the problem: now that I know it can be done, I no longer have excuses to stop.

Ok, that was longer than anticipated, and many people that ride bikes will say “wow, he’s pathetically out of shape” – they’d be right, but I guess I’m working on fixing that, and that counts for something.

So, back to Guy Kawasaki.  A month or two ago I read Presentation Zen, an excellent book that I recommend people read.  I liked his section on prototyping presentations using paper, pen, tape, and a wall, and I’ve done that when putting together the last few presentations I’ve done.  Where’d Guy go wrong?  Well, he says that slideware (e.g., PowerPoint and Keynote) isn’t usable as a presentation design program.  I think I’ve just come to realize why.

I was putting together a quick & dirty presentation for my homeowner’s association the other day, and I did it directly in PowerPoint.  It worked fine to mock things up, but I found myself doing exactly what you shouldn’t be doing when drafting a presentation: I’d throw text on a slide, and immediately start putting graphics in, figuring out the right formatting, etc.  That doesn’t go in a mock-up, and that’s where Guy is right.  But, if you can ignore the formatting/etc. in your slideware app, I think it’s a perfectly fine spot to put together presentations.

Where’s Marius been?

ok, so my last post was about two weeks ago… I’ve been busy, honestly.  Let me summarize:

Attempt at stargazing on June 14.  Clouds were supposed to clear away, but never really did.  No new Messiers off my list, but I did get to re-visit a few globulars and a few galaxies (M81/M82, in particular).  Watched the moon and Saturn a lot, as well. Met a few new stargazers that night: Nick, in particular, with a brand-new first-light Televue refractor.  Beautiful scope, and nice views.  No stargazing since then, but the forecast for this weekend looks promising.  *fingers crossed*

Diann & I bought bikes last weekend (Trek 7.3FX bikes, for those of you that care or are in-the-know about all things bike), and have done a bit of riding.  I’ve been updating my Facebook and Twitter statuses to reflect my rides so far, but, here they are:

  • Ride 1 on the bike: from home, to my office, to REI (to buy some bike clothes), and back home.  Around 15.9 miles.
  • Ride 2 on the bike: commute from home to my office, and back again.  Around 11.5 miles.
  • Ride 3 on the bike: from home, up the Lake Sammamish Trail, and up to Red Hook brewery.  A beer and a burger, and then back home.  20.9 miles.
  • Ride 4 on the bike (today): commute from home to my office.  Will go back home tonight.

I hope to keep up riding to the office a couple times a week, and maybe even riding to/from work daily.  We’ll see how that holds up when the weather starts turning bad again, but that’s the plan for now.  The only problem with my commute to work is a crazy hill just before my office:

Home to RedWest via 40th

Granted, I’m not in the greatest shape now, but the first 3.4 miles of that ride took me around 15 minutes this morning.  Climbing that !#@%$ hill for the next 1.5 miles took me another 20 minutes.  Stupid hill.  Stumbled across, which is a great mashup of Google Maps and some elevation data to give you distance and elevation maps (just like the one above).

Oh, and speaking of !#@%$, I was saddened to see that George Carlin passed away this weekend. 

Anyhow, that’s all.  More later.