Overdid it a bit. Or maybe a lot.

I was waiting on some information at work, and kind of stuck until I got it, so I headed off to meet up with Stephen and Jim for their regular 1:30 paddle starting at the Black Creek access. I got there just before 1:30, and there was no sign of them. I paddled a 10 minute warm up, and still no sign of them. So fine, I thought, I’d head up stream at a moderate pace, and either I’d get a nice long paddle at my own pace, or they’d catch me up. Usually when I paddle with those two, they end up going hard so I end up in the 150-165 heart rate zone, but on my own I tried to keep it down in the high 130s or low 140s. I wasn’t entirely successful at that.

As I reached about the 2 mile point the river turns, and I took one last chance to paddle out into the middle to look downstream, but I didn’t see them. Ok, long slow paddle it is. I decided to see if I could reach the 6 mile point before I turned around. Since I’d done about .75 miles in my warm-up, that would leave me 5.25 miles to return, and put me over 10 miles on the day. Mental arithmetic isn’t my strong point – I really should have aimed for a turnaround at the 4.7 mile point to reach the 10 mile goal. But I wanted a bit of a cushion because on the way up you’re following the banks pretty closely and ferrying across the river to keep out of the current, but on the way back you blast down the middle.

The current was strong, and the wind was also strong in places, but at least they were going the same direction. The current swirled and eddied, and a couple of times I found myself having to brace to avoid dumping. As I got higher and higher up the river, I was getting slower and slower. Once I decided not to ferry across the river to get on the inside because I didn’t want to be so exposed to the wind, and that was a big mistake because not only was it slow on the outside of the bend, but it was also more roiled up with eddies and swirls and other challenges. I wasn’t sure if I was getting slower and having to brace more because the current and wind were getting stronger, or if I was getting fatigued and making mistakes because of that, and I was a little worried about being out here alone if I was making mistakes. After one really hard brace, I decided I’d had enough and turned around at the 5.6 mile point.

Turning downstream, my speed immediately went up into the low 9s. I don’t think I’ve ever paddled that fast before. I was just flying down. And I was starting to think my problems before were really problems with the river, not my own fatigue. After 6.7 miles (1.1 miles after I turned around), I met Jim coming upstream. That was good, that meant I’d have company when I was most tired. Not too much later, we met Stephen and Julia coming upstream as well. Stephen wanted to go as far as the RIT dock before he turned downstream, so I turned upstream again and went with him. That added another half mile of upstream to my total.

Going downstream was uneventful except when Stephen and Jim did their inevitable sprint for the bridge at the end, I didn’t have the energy to raise my speed even an iota to try to catch one of their wakes. But the worst was yet to come. Where Black Creek comes out into the Genesee there is a hellacious eddy. Last time I hit it just right and it spun my boat and accelerated me into Black Creek. This time, I hit it wrong and dumped. With about 10 yards left to go, I dumped into the freezing cold water. I walked up onto the bank, and slipped in the clay mud and fell back into the water. But I got my stuff semi-organized, and Julia jumped out of her boat to help me wrangle my stuff on the shore, while Jim paddled over and helped me dump out the water. Fortunately the air was wonderfully warm, so I wasn’t too chilled.

I just checked my blog, and the first time I paddled 10 miles last year was May 30th, the weekend before the Tupper Lake 9 miler. I’d say I’m a bit ahead of that schedule this year.

Total miles: 11.16
Total time: 2:09
Year to date: 83 miles!

Why I hate Sprint, reason #4523

I was on a conference call, and I had to switch from my cell phone to Skype because the call was breaking up too much on the cell call. Yes, it’s a pretty incredibly sad state of affairs when Skype provides a clearer, less broken up signal than your cell phone!

Only 1 year and 6 months until this contract is over and we can switch to back to AT&T or over to Verizon.

Casting off the fetters

Yesterday I went paddling with Jim and Stephen and Julia. It was warm and brilliantly sunny, and so I was able to paddle without a wet suit for the first time this year. What a difference it makes! I felt like I was getting 20 degrees more rotation on every stroke, and consequently a couple of inches more pull, and a couple of inches more glide. The Genesee River was still high and a bit swirly, but it wasn’t windy so we didn’t have the waves to contend with like we did on Saturday.

Jim was content to paddle along with us for a while, but then he decided to school us in how to use the current and the debris sticking out of the bank to our advantage. He took off, I tried to follow a few boat lengths behind, and Stephen held onto my wake. A couple of times Jim took a line right in close to shore over logs that were a little below the water line, because he had no rudder, whereas I took a line further out in the current around the end of the log because I have an under-stern rudder. I was surprised that Stephen didn’t take Jim’s line with his kick-up rudder because he probably could have gained on me, but maybe he didn’t want to lose my wake and have to pull on his own.

After a while we realized that we’d left Julia all alone and out of sight behind us, so we turned and went downstream with her. With the huge current behind us, I was paddling with long, long pauses and getting huge glide and still making 8mph. When we got back to Black Creek, Julia left us while we paddled up the creek a bit (to the bridge where the water was too high to go under) and back, then Stephen left and Jim and I paddled upstream and back a short way.

I recorded 8.15 miles on my GPS. Didn’t feel all that tired – I would have gone further but I have to work some time.

Today’s rather inconvenient discovery

If you use rsync to backup your system, and the system you’re backing up to has different uids for some userids, it converts them as it stores! I just found this out because after restoring my xen1 backup, I’ve discovered that all my postgres files belong to 114, which is the uid of postgres on my home server, not on xen1.

This is going to make restoring all the xen backups a royal pain in the ass.

More server setup crapola

I tried disabling the RAID controller, and when I go to boot it tells me that I don’t have any drives. So I re-enabled it, and it told me I didn’t have any logical drives. Also, sometimes when I boot the RAID controller BIOS tells me there are no drives, and sometimes it shows me the drives. I tried yanking the RAID daughter card entirely, but it’s got a couple of plastic offsets that it doesn’t want to come off of, and I’m reluctant to try anything that I can’t undo at this point. So I’m using the RAID controller to create 4 “Arrays” of 1 disk each. We’ll see how that goes.