Friday, March 26, 2010

First Big Training Ride and Request for Advice

Last Sunday, 1/2 of Team Salty Dawgs (plus a bonus rider) headed out on our first big training ride in preparation for my first century: 58 miles! We started in Mountain View (though one rider started in Sunnyvale...), headed up the bay shore trail to the Sun's Menlo Park campus, and made a right turn onto the Dumbarton Bridge. After we got over the bridge, we continued on beautiful bicycle trails through Alameda County until we found ourselves at Niles, where we had a delightful lunch at a little cafe (complete with cafe lattes!) and watched the steam trains go by.

After lunch, we reversed our route, pushing hard against the head winds that had come in since the morning. My dear friend Eileen had only ridden 11 miles previously this year, so I was very proud of how she stuck with the group and had no complaints (other than dreaming about a warm bath and cookies back at her own home).

We jokingly called it the Tour de Toilettes, as it seemed one of us always needed to stop every time we came across one. Fortunately, all of them, except one dreadful port-a-potty, were well maintained and clean. :-)

We did this in 4 hours and 19 minutes of ride time - it was mostly flat, though, so this weekend we'll have to start on the hills!

My only complaint, though, which is one I seem to have after every long ride (greater than 3 hours) is a headache and a stomach ache. My stomach seems to get incredibly filled with air during a ride - like I'm swallowing air or something? It's sort of like drinking a couple of Diet Cokes or beers really fast. That full feeling that, I'm sorry to say, does come with burps and nausea.

I'm certainly not drinking soda during a ride like this. I was also not eating, except for my lunch stop. I drank water pretty continuously from my Camel Bak.

So, any ideas? Anyone else have this problem of stomach ache on a long ride?

One of my team mates, Bryn, thinks the headache might be from lack of electrolytes and has suggested Cytomax. What do you think?

I've also been focusing on my speed - I want to finish these 100 miles in less than 24 hours :) My normal average speed on a ride like that is 12.5 mph, I've got to do better. That was my normal speed into work, but with all the riding I've been doing lately, I've gotten that up to around 15 mph (no hills).

btw, I'm still looking for folks to join our team! The ride is in Sonoma area, 65 or 100 miles, on June 26. You can find information on our team page. If you can't ride, please support us with a financial donation! Thank you!

Enjoyed Sheherezade: Year in Review!

Mark & I made it up to San Francisco last night for the Playwrights' Center's annual fund raising presentation of 8 short works, Sheherezade; Year in Review! My friend Phil was in the show again, which is a great motivator for getting me up to the city for theater :-)

You know what I love about short works? It gives the authors a chance to explore some really bizarre topic, but not for very long - so before you realize how ridiculous this is. Like, Fara Fawcette and Michael Jackson meeting in a hair salon in heaven. :-)

Each of the pieces deals with some big event from last year. In addition to the deaths of those two beloved celebrities, they covered the Muni problems, H1N1, trouble in Tehran, gay politicians, Bernie Madoff, a 14 year-old's discovery of a new type of supernova, and... a cult of transvestite Radha worshipers.

My favorite had to be Muni Aphrodite, by Bob Hayden. I loved how straight both actors (Phil Goleman and Cory Tallman) played what could've been just a silly story. Of course, they brought humour into it as well. While I don't live in SF, so couldn't fully relate to the Muni problems of 2009, it was obvious that most of the audience was right there with those actors.

They have two more performances - tonight & tomorrow. It's for a good cause and lots of fun, too, so go check them out. I'm also hoping to catch Sweet Charity with West Valley Light Opera this weekend, which I hear is great!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day: Women Who Inspire Me

There's about an hour left of Ada Lovelace Day - a day we can all write about women in technology that we've found to be inspiring or in some way encouraging...

I've been mulling over this all day, trying to think of a woman mentor from my past that inspired me to continue in computing, before it finally hit me that I'm actually inspired every day by two very cool (and younger than I am!) women I got to know last year at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing - Ed & Ashley!

These two fun loving former college roommates have a zest for all things techy and geeky unmatched by almost anyone I've ever met. They both actively reach out to other women (and men) in technology with their twitter accounts (Ed's / Ashley's), their blogs and their 5-minute shows on technology.

I was even part of a webinar today with Ed, sponsored by Microsoft, where we talked to high school and college students about our careers (so far) and was amazed at how Ed's love for computing was totally palpable over the phone!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OpenSolaris Constitution passed, new OGB voted in... and thanks!

I am so happy to be able to write that the new OpenSolaris constitution has received a strong majority of votes and was ratified by the community! While I was still frustrated that we didn't get closer to 90% turnout, since becoming a member of the electorate is voluntary and comes with only one responsibility: voting, but I was thrilled to hit a new high for OpenSolaris elections of 71% voter turnout!

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time out of your schedule to participate and make this happen. I am happy for the entire 2010/2011 OGB:

  • Dennis Clarke
  • Moinak Ghosh
  • Teresa Giacomini
  • Simon Phipps
  • John Plocher
  • Joerg Schilling
  • Peter Tribble

I think they'll all do a great job, especially under the terms of the new constitution!

It was with great pleasure I was able to serve on the board for this past year. I learned many things about myself, some good - some bad, and how better to work with others, when we are not necessarily seeking a common goal. I loved meeting community members, working to fix our problems, identifying things for future OGBs and shaping our community. I feel I have grown and matured in ways I could've never imagined and thank all of you for letting me participate so closely in the governance of your community.

While time commitments didn't let me re-run for the OGB, I am excited about the new board and wish them all luck! I'm sure they'll do a great job.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

OpenSolaris Election for new OGB and New Constitution is going on now!

The OpenSolaris community elections are well underway, yet we are still very low (in my opinion) with the number of people that have actually cast ballots! Everyone who has accepted a core contributor grant is expected to cast a ballot, though it is not required that you vote for both the candidates and the constitution in order to have a valid ballot. Out of the 428 eligible voters, only 270 have cast a vote.

The out going OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) worked very hard on the new constitution which requires a majority of the eligible voters to approve it in order to pass. While more than a majority have logged in a cast a ballot, we missed passing last years constitution by only a handful of votes, so I'd really like to see our number of voters hitting 300-350. Really, there's not much else a core contributor grant gives you, right now, in the community other than the right to vote in the annual election.

So, if you are a core contributor (or not sure if you are or not), please hop on over to the polling place and cast your ballot in this critical election. (if you're not eligible, the system won't let you vote ;)

Thank you! Valerie

Friday, March 12, 2010

Loved reading the Lion's Game

The Lion's Game The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I love how DeMille can write many different characters as if he really is in their shoes. You can feel the exhaustion of the agents, and he conviction of the jihadist, with every page.

I love when fiction can make you think - I really felt like I could understand *why* Asad Khalil hated America so much. I could feel his grief at the premature death of his loved ones. Don't get me wrong, I could never condone what this character does, but DeMille did give me Asad's perspective.

I understand this was a sequel to another book, Plum Island, but I haven't read that one and had no problem with this book.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dan Roberts on OpenSolaris ... or Something Useful in our meeting!

As part of the existing OpenSolaris constitution, we (the OpenSolaris Governing Board) are required to hold an annual "meeting" before the election in order for the election to be valid. While, generally, this involves a fetch a rock exercise of core contributors (aka "members") logging into the forum, announcing themselves, then logging off, we do occasionally have useful and interesting conversations here. (and before you comment how silly that requirement is, please note that we have a new proposed constitution at this year's election that removes the annual meeting requirement).

Peter Tribble invited Dan Roberts to our virtual meeting the day after it started, and he joined and was very forthcoming about Oracle and their thoughts on OpenSolaris and Solaris:

"Oracle is investing more in Solaris than Sun did prior to the acquisition, and will continue to contribute technologies to OpenSolaris, as Oracle already does for many other open source projects."

While not all questions could be answered at that time, I was very pleased to see the community being engaged and concerns listened to.