Very good paddle yesterday

Yesterday I went out with Coach Dan on the canal at his home. It was a beautiful crisp fall day, brilliantly sunny and about 50 degrees F. I was thankful for my farmer john wetsuit and thermal shirt, even if Dan mocked them when I first showed up.

To give you an idea of how far I’ve progressed this year, we paddled a mile just for the warm up. We did a number of technique drills, adding one more element to my technique each time. Meanwhile, since all my paddling in this boat before has been in races, group work-outs, and leisurely paddles with my family, I was getting more confident in allowing the boat to move around me. I’ve read, and Dan has mentioned, that one major difference between a sea kayaker and a racer is that a sea kayaker locks into his foot pegs and thigh braces and uses his hips to rock the boat, while a racer tries to stay disconnected from the boat and lets it rock on its own. So one thing Dan encourages is to put a plastic bag on your seat so that when you push on the foot pegs on the power side of the stroke, your whole body rotates freely. It actually made a big difference – afterwards my legs were more tired than they’ve ever been in a work out.

So anyway, we were paddling along, adding new items to my technique at each drill, going slow to emphasize the item, then doing a “pick up” – paddling about 200 metres increasing the speed every 10 paddle strokes until I got up to past race pace. Dan watches and every time I mess up and forget the new item, we stop and recover and try again. It was very effective, and by the end of it I felt like my stoke was really starting to look and feel like some of the really best racers I’ve seen. I’m sure that just means that the things I need to fix are increasingly small and subtle, but I can really feel the difference, even over the course of one workout.

At the end, we practiced a bouy turn around a large piling. I was going to approach it about 2 boat lengths away, which would put the center of the turn right on the piling itself. But Dan pointed out that the water on the other side of the piling was shallow and the shore was near, so he showed me how to take it further out, so instead of turning around the piling, you come out of the turn just a metre or two away from it in the deepest possible water. So I was doing my turn, and as I started to straighten out Dan yelled “now accelerate out of the turn”. I put on a bit of speed, and suddenly I felt the most amazing thing ever, as my technique was good, I was getting a good recovery, and the boat was absolutely flying. It was like a “Rode Super Blue” day in cross country skiing. I love that feeling.

Great Big Sea hove in German House

Last time we saw Great Big Sea, it was at the Molson Amphitheatre at Ontario Place in Toronto, and it kind of sucked because the venue was so huge and impersonal and there wasn’t much room to get up and bop around. The previous times, we’d seen them in the Water Street Music Hall here in Rochester, a small venue ideally suited for such a high energy band. But I’d emailed Water Street to see if they were planning to have GBS back again, and they said they doubted that GBS would ever play such a small venue again. So we were surprised and pleased to find that they were going to play the German House here in Rochester as the first gig of their fall tour. We’d never been to the German House before, but just like Water Street it had about a standing room only floor below holding about 750 people, and seats in the balcony above for cripples like me.

They came out and told a great story about how they almost didn’t make it to the gig on time, but we’re really glad they did. As always, they did a high energy show and did a great mix of traditional and new stuff. I’m a tiny bit disappointed they didn’t do “Captain Kid”, but they did to Mari Mac and Patty Murphy, of course, and Charley Horse. And “Walk On the Moon” is really starting to grow on me.

Funny thing – because Vicki and I sat up in the balcony in Water Street and again at German House, we were able to do a bit of people watching. Back at Water Street, we were amused by this one woman who spent the entire show trying to come on to the band, especially Allan. She even bought the whole band a shot of scotch, which is probably the worse thing to drink when you’re trying to sing, but they acted appreciative. And this show, there she was again, front and center. She didn’t buy them scotch this time.

One thing I’ve noticed in the last couple of times I’ve gone to see them – they don’t take a real break in the middle of the show any more, except for this one bit where they get the audience singing random rock songs. But they’re all on stage and playing their instruments and stuff during it, so it doesn’t seem like much of a break.

Anyway, I’ll stop babbling now. It was a great concert, and it’s great to see them back at a perfect sized venue again.

Maybe I’m a little stressed out

My impending job change has me stressed out so much that I’m having trouble sleeping. But maybe I’m letting it get to me more than I should. Today I used the word “asshat” in a problem report resolution. Mind you, I was referring to whoever at Sun is responsible for changing the name of the Java Runtime Engine from jre to j2re and then back to jre (and a whole bunch of other gratuitous naming convention and numbering scheme changes), so it’s a very appropriate adjective, but in retrospect I don’t think my cow orkers would quite understand my sentiment.

Why did I do that?

Gallery 2.3 just came out, and I made the mistake of upgrading instead of waiting for it to shake out a bit. And of course, things are slightly broken. Everything works, but at the end of every page is this:

Database Error
An error has occurred while interacting with the database.

The exact nature of database errors is not captured unless Gallery debug mode is enabled in config.php. Before seeking support for this error please enable buffered debug output and retry the operation. Look near the bottom of the lengthy debug output to find error details.
Back to the Gallery

Error Detail –
in modules/core/classes/GalleryStorage/GalleryStorageExtras.class at line 1007 (gallerycoreapi::error)
in modules/core/classes/GalleryStorage.class at line 521 (gallerystorageextras::addmapentry)
in modules/core/classes/GalleryCoreApi.class at line 2955 (postgresqlstorage::addmapentry)
in modules/core/classes/GalleryDataCache.class at line 692 (gallerycoreapi::addmapentry)
in main.php at line 594 (gallerydatacache::putpagedata)
in main.php at line 104
in main.php at line 88
System Information
Gallery version 2.3
PHP version 4.4.4-8+etch6 apache2handler
Webserver Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/4.4.4-8+etch6 mod_perl/2.0.2 Perl/v5.8.8
Database postgres7
Operating system Linux 2.6.18-3-xen-686 #1 SMP Mon Dec 4 20:48:20 UTC 2006 i686
Browser Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_5; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Safari/525.20.1

The weird thing is that it was happening almost everywhere, and now it’s only some pages.

Probably should have been paying attention

I just noticed that the upstairs TiVo hasn’t recorded anything since Tuesday, not even the manual recordings of the Daily Show. I tried rebooting it, and the “ToDo List” still shows “No shows pending” for every entry in the Season Pass list, even the manual recordings. So now I’ve got a call into tech support, which at 6pm on a Friday, I’m not expecting a quick callback.

Update: an hour after rebooting, the ToDo List has finally been populated.