Category Archives: Recreation

Web Frameworks Jam Wrap-Up

The last day consisted of a steady morning of TurboGears activity followed by lunch, a great hike, and wrapping up with a podcast that summarized our experiences in the different areas. I’ll add a link as that becomes available. I didn’t get into the testing capabilities bundled with TurboGears to the degree I had wanted, so I’ll have to do that later and blog about it.

We also rented bikes for hitting the Lower Loop at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow; I eneded up with a Gary Fisher Piranha from The Alpineer. It’s not quite my Hoo Koo E Koo, but at least it has the same Genesis geometry; that Specialized bike I rode on Monday was a dog, though that was mostly due to it being horribly unmaintained. The geometry on it was really awkward for me as well.

Wednesday in Oaxtepec

I was too sick to go on the day trip for DebConf, but staying at the conference location had its benefits. After visiting the doctor and getting a prescription, I headed in to town to get the medicine. I ended up discovering the building known as Ex-Convento, a former Catholic convent next to our conference center. It has a quaint little museum and the local public library. I recommend taking a visit if you’re here for DebConf6; it can be a welcome break for the proceedings. A walkthrough of my visit can be found in my flickr set titled Wednesday in Oaxtepec.

I ran into Micah, Matt, and the rest of the HP posse on their way to the market. We had a most enjoyable lunch together, plus a little bit of discussion about the thread on debian-devel in response to the announcement message yesterday.

Hanging with the guys for a bit

Today I spent some time hanging with my friends Tom and Adam over in Decatur. Lunch at The Brick Store Pub followed by a long talk in the park and coffee at Java Monkey. It’s great to unwind, but I am so behind in my Debian work. I needed to be around some of my non-software-development friends for a while after my much-enjoyed immersion in last week’s conference.

I say immersion, but it was actually the most balanced conference experience I have ever had. Skiing in between sessions really cleared my head and made me feel fresh for the afternoon sessions; something I can’t say for any conference in which I have participated. I miss those guys.

So this is what snow skiing is like

Today I finally pulled out of my loss-of-expensive-phone stupor, and Laura and I went skiing. We actually took lessons; I am a beginner, but Laura skiied lots years ago. Instead of a beginner class I took a Turning Skills workshop. It was amazing; the biomechanics of skiing are nothing like I imagined. My instructor Tom was great; he really pushed me to get into the zen of turning. Supposedly getting that right will make my advancement much greater down the road. It really felt good to get out into the mountains, moving through those snow-covered runs, surrounded by evergreens.

Why selling our house is so much fun

So it was a great weekend of doing some Debian work, getting out and riding my mountain bike, and slogging through some intense yardwork. I was looking forward to writing about that in a witty and concise fashion. However, the ongoing saga of trying to have a normal experience in selling our house has required that I spend that writing time on another task. In light of that, I decided to post that writing task as a subtitute, with a picture included. For those who know about the saga of our real estate sign, this is the latest update.

Hi, wanted to drop you a line regarding the last sign installation.
Since this sign has only been up for ~1 week or so, I thought you guys
might not have had a chance to see it yet. I have included a picture of
each side of the sign for you guys to check out. I have a couple of
questions about this sign once you have had a chance to look at the

1.) Did this sign have a bad experience at a past assignment? It seems
to have been smeared with a great deal of mud.

2.) Did you guys know that the sign reads “Excusively Marketed” instead
of “Exclusively Marketed”?

3.) Do you guys feel satisfied with the appearance of this sign? From a
distance it looks like maybe it has some exquisite antique finish, but
then you get a bit closer and can tell it’s just smeared with mud.

The saga of the sign has become the stuff of legend. Also, by now
my neighbor’s grass is pretty damaged from the installation, removal,
and resintallation, as you can probably see at the bottom of the
pictures. Please don’t attempt to remediate this with any swift action;
each successive step has shown me that things can indeed get worse. Get
back to me on your impressions from the pictures and my questions above,
and we will figure out what will hopefully be the last thing we do with
the sign before hanging an “Under Contract” shingle on it.
Late for work, gotta run. During the 9:00 – 5:00 period, my desk
phone 555-555-5555 generally works better than my mobile number.

The latest incarnation of our real estate sign


Barry Hawkins

Chicopee Woods with Amy

Amy at Chicopee Woods
Once again my sister Amy teamed up with me for a mountain bike ride, this time to Chicopee Woods in Hall County, Georgia. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and we managed to cover about 9 miles, although the last 2 miles involved a Amy mostly walking after a couple of accidents. One was running into a tree, but the other was when a root stopped her and I ran up on the back of her. I have found that coaching someone from behind is a challenge.

I have been truly impressed out how quickly she has gotten the hang of serious mountain biking. What’s even funnier is that she is doing so well on bike with no suspension whatsoever.

Amy coming off of Champain Hill at Chicopee Woods

Biking with little sister

So it turns out that my sister Amy was available to go mountain biking with me on Saturday. We went to Dawson Forest north of Atlanta not far from where we grew up. It is a nice area, even though you have to share it with horseback riders. My sister made it through a fairly tough 10-mile ride with me. It was only the second time she has been on a mountain bike, so I was pretty impressed.

She actually fell down a stone waterfall at one point but managed to keep going. Here’s the proof:

Amy's first Georgia mountain bike ride

Shimano steps up to the plate

My fears were confirmed when I took my bike in for the guys at Outback Bikes to see it. The rear derailleur is toast. Apparently, the brand new Shimano chain snapped at the assembly link in such a way that the link end came through the chain drive path like a grappling hook and ripped by rear derailleur to shreds. They say they are going after Shimano for the warranty. I will need a new Deore XT rear derailleur and, obviously, a new chain, which will be a Sachs chain. Avoid Shimano chains. The service manager at the shop has actually seen this same thing before, and refuses to ride with Shimano chains. I think his own personal episode of being stranded by a Shimano chain may play into that.