For the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve attempted to keep fit over the winter by erging, but every year I get thwarted by a cold that turns into a cough that knocks me on my ass for 4-6 weeks right. One year I got the cough for 6 weeks, cured it, started to erg again, and two weeks later I got bloody whooping cough that stopped me for another three weeks or so, and by then it was paddling season again.
Over the summer, I’ve seen a allergist and a pulmonologist. Of course, it took 6+ months to get the first appointment with each of them so I wasn’t showing any symptoms. (By the way, anybody who says that only countries with full health coverage have waiting list problems can suck it.) But the allergist did a full panel and said I’ve got mild to moderate allergies to many types of dust and pollen and mites. So we took some steps to deal with mites, putting mite covers on the mattress, pillows and duvet, and some other stuff.
But when the erging season started in earnest, I immediately noticed that every time I erged I had a cough for a couple of days afterwards. It’s an unusual cough, because it doesn’t feel like it’s in my lungs or trachea, it’s more like I’ve got un-swallowed saliva at the back of my mouth. Ok, maybe it’s not related to the yearly “cold of death”, but it’s worth taking notice of. And my suspicions are pointing very strongly to how dusty my erg room is.
What clinched that diagnosis in my mind was Saturday, when I woke with a bit of one of those weird coughs from erging a few days previous, but then I went paddling outside, and that cleared the cough up! Absolutely no coughing on Saturday until this evening. Time to get serious about dust.
So I’ve revived the HEPA filter that we used to have in the bird room but stopped using because it would clog up so quickly with cockatiel dust that we couldn’t keep up with it. It’s now upstairs in the erg room, running at full blast hopefully clearing the air. I also tossed the old box fan I used to use to cool myself because the plastic grate on one side has completely disintegrated leaving a bare fan. I grabbed another box fan out of the upstairs guest room – it’s of similar vintage, but its plastic hasn’t completely deteriorated yet. And this evening I took the completely unprecedented step of vacuuming and throwing away a ton of junk. The room hasn’t looked so good since we moved in.
I guess now we wait to see if that helps. I’ve actually got a bit of the weird cough going on from stirring up all that dust while vacuuming. But tomorrow I’ll erg and see if it turns worse of stays the same. Fingers crossed.
My home linux box has been bugging me to upgrade from Kubuntu 19.04 to 19.10 for a while (Kubuntu version numbers are the last 2 digits of the year followed by the two digit month, so 19.10 is approximately 2 months old). Usually these upgrades go pretty smoothly so I fired it up and went away for lunch.
When I got back, it was complaining about something wrong with the MySQL upgrade. None of my MySQL based websites (this blog, my Drupal sites, and my old Gallery3 site). After rebooting, I couldn’t get MySQL to start up.
I removed and purged all the MySQL packages, and reinstalled it. When I attempted to restore my database from my backups, I discovered three things:
I’d done an old development project several years ago that had installed something for Paypal integration that the new version of MySQL didn’t like, and I basically had to edit it out of the database backup to get it to restore.
Restoring system tables that mysql_dump had dumped broke everything, because it installed a MySQL 5.7 version of the mysql.users table that had fewer columns than MySQL 8.0 expected. I had to manually edit all the system tables out of the database backup as well.
When I manually recreated the users that each of the websites required, it turns out that the default authentication method that MySQL 8 uses is not compatible with what PHP expects. I had to re-create the users specifying the older authentication method.
Drupal 7 is not officially compatible with MySQL 8, so I had to find and install a patch. I guess I’d better find the time to upgrade Drupal as well.
Other than that, my main worry is that it deleted a bazillion deb packages that it said it didn’t need any more. I didn’t look at them in detail, but one of them was PostGIS and I had to re-install it so my Navaid database would work again. I guess I’ll just keep an eye out for broken stuff and fix them as they show up.
Also, another paddler who makes YouTube race videos that I follow on social media goes by either “Szechung Kayaker” or “Chris Sze”. He lives in Bishops Stortford England, and I’m intensely jealous of how much racing they do there, even if it is on narrow canals in narrow little sprint boats. I was watching one of his recent videos and it suddenly struck me that
He’s paddling a pink KayakPro boat
One of Grayson’s videos is of a pink KayakPro boat in Bishops Stortford.
Hmmm. I wonder if Grayson just used on Chris’s video? I definitely had to try that route now. It’s only 5.6km, which means it’s pretty much an all-out sprint, but I did a couple of long distance workouts this weekend, so why not?
When I’m racing against my own videos, I’m the only person whose ever done them. Which is fine, but it takes out some of the competitive aspect. This one had a lot more people on it – I think it was 9? Certainly enough to make it a huge challenge.
Right off the gun, there were two people who jumped right out front – literally 100+ meters ahead before the first kilometer was over. There was one guy who was more like 20 meters ahead, and one guy who was 20 meters or so behind. Right, I thought, my work is cut out for me – just keep between these two guys and hope they tire before I do. Very much a familiar race tactic for me, except there was no wake to ride.
Like I said, I was treating this like a sprint, so instead of the 10.6-10.8 km/hr I usually make on the erg (and I don’t think it’s calibrated, because that’s on race courses where I usually average about 10.4-10.5 km/hr), I was making 12.2 km/hr. It was hard, but I was counting down the meters to the end, as well as watching those two names and the meters distance to each one. The guy ahead moved further out, reaching somewhere around 100 meters by the turn around, while the guy behind me got closer and closer, coming within 9 meters in the same distance.
But with about 3 km to go, the guy ahead of me must have slowed down to catch his breath or stopped to have a drink, because suddenly I was ahead of him, while the guy who was behind me dropped a bit further back to about 14 meters. I fooled myself into thinking they’d both gotten tired, but I was already giving it everything I could. The only thing that thought did was prevent me from slowing down, because I really wanted to slow down. But they both got their second wind or something and both of them passed me. I contested that sprint like I battling side-by-side with Dave W at a NYMCRA points race, but both of them beat me, the one who’d been behind most of the time beating me by 1 second.
I like this idea of doing shorter, harder sessions on the erg. I’ve heard there’s a way to use Kinomap for interval training, I’ll have to look into that as well. I know I work harder in intervals if there are other people with me, so maybe this will help.
Ok, I’m really confused about what’s going on. I’ve been bombarded all night by emails with yahoo verification codes from somebody attempting to log into my yahoo account (which I only have for testing email to my mailing list) from Minnesota.
I looked up my yahoo account on “have i been pwned” and it shows up on breaches of sites I am 100% sure I’ve never used my yahoo account on, like Evony and MySpace, as well as a bunch of hackers.
So I changed my password (which caused me to get another email to my real email address with a verification code, which interestingly was 4 characters instead of the 8 characters that the ones from Minnesota have had). But also interestingly, you only get the verification address after you’ve entered a correct password. Ok, maybe one of those breaches included the correct password. But I also checked my “account activity” and didn’t see any other logins.
So imagine my surprise when I continued to get verification codes. Somebody is still getting to that stage of the login even though I’ve changed my password? How?
I checked all my account settings. There are no other email addresses or phone numbers in the account, nor is my email being forwarded somewhere. The only weird thing is that there are absolutely no messages in the Archive or Spam or Inbox. Last time I logged into this account (many months ago), there were literally hundreds of spam messages. Also, there seems to be a very long delay between a test message being sent and it arriving in my yahoo mailbox.
I am completely baffled as to what’s happening. Is my yahoo account completely pwned and being used by somebody else, or the verification emails bogus and I’m concerned over nothing?