SF Cable Car Route Llamas, Alpacas and Mutants Fall Colors Mardi Himal Trail Golden Gate Zabriskie Point Prayer Flags Sunset Chinchero at Sunset Annapurna South in the Early Morning Fish Market Cementerio de Trenes de Uyuni Night Cats Sunset From Moro Rock Very rare deserted street Half Dome at Sunset Machhapuchhre Sunset from Marshall Beach, SF Grafitti The Danube at Night Annapurna South Under the Stars Mardi Himal Trail Rolling Fog Prepping to FIght Boudhanath Stupa Sheepherders and Annapurna South Cumhuriyet Anıtı Phewa Boats Alamo Square Bluebird Skies Stars Over Annapurna South White Mountains Sunset Fog Rolling In Half Dome at Sunset Vocano Scarred Mountains The Golden Gate at Night Old Man in Siding Twilight Fog Market Flags Bodie Eastern Sierras Under Shadow Snow and Shadows Temple Statue Marin Headlands Sand Dunes Hong Kong from the Peak Bay Area Sunrise Yosemite Fall Leaves Monument Valley Green River Canyons at Sunrise The Blue Mosque Buildings and a Bridge Cropped Crosswalk Headfirst Pisac Hillside The Buttermilks Rooster Fights at Forest Camp Resting Zabriskie Point Photographers Annapurna South

Pictures From Alviso

June 30, 2009 —

Colorful Address Colorful Address

This past Sunday, a buddy and I met up to head out on a photo shoot. I've had a goal of trying to take more pictures and also to think more about the pictures I'm taking, and going on a trip with the explicit goal of taking pictures is exactly what I need to do. We did this once before at the Arastradero Open Space in Palo Alto.

So Wenzhe and I met up and drove to a place he had visited before, Alviso, CA. Alviso is on the South edge of the San Francisco Bay, situated between Moffett and Milpitas. There are a number of older buildings, some train tracks and promised to hold some interesting subjects near sunset. I ended up taking quite a few shots (180+ in total) and narrowed it down to 31 pictures that I found interesting. One of my goals this trip was to think about different ways that a scene could be cropped once the picture was taken. So I'd take a picture thinking that it might work one way, but a subset of the frame could work with a different crop. So I tried experimenting with that in mind a bit.

Check out the pictures and let me know your thoughts.

22nd Annual Tri For Fun #1

June 24, 2009 —

This past Saturday I did the first in the Tri for Fun series in Pleasanton. This was my first race since Wildflower, and my first race since getting injured. The race went well, and I felt pretty comfortable the whole time, though my legs were quite tired. Which is to be expected after not running for over 6 weeks.

In addition, this was the first triathlon for my friends Joe and Rachel. They absolutely killed it and did very well. After they came and watched me do Wildflower, they got motivated to try a triathlon themselves. I suggested the Tri for Fun series as those races are nearby, quite fun and an easy course that is great for beginners. Both of them finished strong and are planning on doing more triathlons in the future. Here's to the Wildflower Olympic race next year!

As this race doesn't collect splits, I collected them myself and posted them below.

SplitDistance (mi)Time (h:mm:ss.ms)Pace
Swim0.2277:2132:20 min/mi
Swim to Bike Transition2:37
Bike to Run Transition1:19.0
Run3.124:18.07:50 min/mi

Despite the year of experience since doing the exact same course, exercising more and, in general, being more prepared, I was slower in all three events. I wasn't too much slower in the run or bike, which is good considering that I was injured. But it is still disappointing. As usual, I passed a lot of people on the run, and got passed on the bike. However, I've been starting to look into improving my cycling legs. I've got another Tri for Fun in 2 months, so ...

read more


May 05, 2009 —

Wildflower: "The Woodstock of Triathlons". I can now say this seems like a very accurate description. This past weekend was the twenty-something-th running of the Wildflower Triathlon event at Lake San Antonio on the Central Coast.

Starting the Bike

I had first heard of Wildflower a few years back when my sister told me about an event she was going to where there was a giant party and, almost as an afterthought, a triathlon was held. As my interest in tri's increased, I of course heard more about Wildflower. I came to find out that there are 3 events: the long course (a half Ironman), an Olympic distance course and a mountain bike sprint.

Then, sometime in the last couple months, I decided to start my 2009 Olympic distance tri season with Wildflower. The first thing I did after signing up was to begin to round up a posse to join me at the event. I managed to convince my friends Dean, Joe and Rachel to come. My sister and her friend also decided to volunteer, so I'd be seeing them on the course somewhere. The plan was coming along beautifully. Until I realized the Olympic event was on Sunday, and the other two were on Saturday. This was a major bummer as I was hoping to totally enjoy the festival and relax and camp after my race. Instead, I had to go through another full day of anxiety as I watched the other races. I just hoped to find a camping spot that wasn't going to be too loud Saturday night.

So in the months leading up to the event my training consisted mostly of frequent CrossFitting, biking on some weekends, and when the event got closer, swimming a couple times a week. I really should have done more ...

read more

GMail IMAP Backup With mbsync on Ubuntu

April 30, 2009 —

Well, it sure has been a while since my last post on here. So I thought I'd kick it off with a discussion of how I went about getting my email backed up.

First, a description of my situation. I run all my email through GMail. I enjoy the interface and the fact that it is a cloud service; I can access my email seamlessly on my phone, my home computer, my work computer, some other computer, etc. However, I don't want to lose all that information. Google is great, but who is to say that something terrible won't happen and some (or all) of my mail is lost? So I wanted to setup some sort of backup. And then once I got that setup, make it automated.

At home, I run an Ubuntu box, that I just upgraded to 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope. This machine primarily serves as a media box, hosting video that streams to my Tivo off the 1.5TB RAID 5 array. I also use it as a network mounted TimeMachine box as well. Since I have extra storage on it, I figured I'd get something to sync my mail over IMAP periodically, and then I have a nice little backup.

After some searching, I came across two sites that had instructions using the utility mbsync (formerly isync). I found that following the instructions worked pretty well, though I had to customize the patch provided to get it to work with the version provided by Ubuntu. And then I thought I'd detail my steps here for others to see.

  1. First, enable IMAP in your GMail account.
  2. Install the dependencies for mbsync:

    sudo apt-get install libc6 libdb4.8 libdb-dev libdb4.8-dev libssl0.9.8 libssl-dev
  3. Get the source for mbsync on Ubuntu ...

read more

The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k

December 09, 2008 —

Over the weekend, I participated in a trail running 10k. I did the 10k distance, which turned out to be more difficult than my previous trail run. This course wasn't as aggressive as the Dip Sea trail, with a sloping 1000 foot elevation gain, followed by a steep downhill back to the start, where we also finished.

I opted to do the 10k distance, and convinced my sister to also do the race, which was her first race. And I was informed about the race by some CrossFit friends who all did the 50k distance. Saul, Samantha and Dustin are pretty crazy for doing it, but accomplished the monstrous achievement. Saul wrote up the summary from their race over at the Peninsula CrossFit site. He also has some great endurance training ideas there too. So congrats to them and to my sister.

I've done the 10k distance a number of times before, though this was my first 10k trail race (though the Stintson 12k pretty much counts). I really think that I wasn't as prepared physically as I should have been. My legs were still sore from my CrossFit workout the Wednesday before, where I did Barbara. So I ended up walking up the hill quite a bit more than I wanted to. But I'm pretty sure I made up some time on the downhill. The official results got posted, and my time was 55:53.7 minutes, for an average pace of 9:12 minutes /mile. This was good enough for 35th overall out of 255, 17th of 46 in my age division (ages 21-29), and 31st of 119 of all men in the 10k race. So I'm not fully happy with my result since I know I could have done better a day ...

read more

Stinson Beach Trail Run

November 17, 2008 —

Over the weekend, I participated in my first Pacific Coast Trail Runs event. I did the Stinson Beach 12kwhich turned out to be a more difficult event than I expected. The trail has a pretty aggressive elevation gain with just about all of the gain at the start of the trail. Starting from Stinson State Beach, we ran 4.9 km uphill, going about 1600 feet before running along the side of the mountain for a short distance before turning pretty much straight downhill to go back to the beach. The total elevation gain on the course was 1850 feet.

This was the second time I'd run a 12k distance race, with this one being decidedly harder than the bridge to bridge run in San Francisco I did last time. In the 12k overall, I got 13th place, and got second place in the age group results. My time of 1:18:14 got me an average of a 10:43 minutes / mile pace. Seeing as how challenging the course was, I'm not disappointed in my results, but am confident that on my next run in December, I can turn it up a notch to 11.

2008 Treasure Island Olympic Triathlon

November 09, 2008 —

A couple months ago I heard about the San Francisco Triathlon on Treasure Island. At the time, I knew there was a sprint and an Olympic distance, but relegated myself to the sprint distance. However, after the last triathlon I did, I just decided to try for the Olympic distance. Last year, in 2007, I made a personal goal to do an Olympic distance tri in 2008, and the SF Triathlon seemed to be my last chance.

Well, I signed up for the event, which occurred yesterday morning. The race took place on Treasure Island in the San Francisco bay. Treasure Island is part of the island the Bay Bridge passes through. I woke up at the super early hour of 5am to make it to the island by 6am so I could check in and prepare my transition area before the early race start at 7:15am.

Since the island isn't very big, the course was a series of loops. The first event, swimming was 1.5km, where I swam twice around a triangle with 250m sides. From there I jumped on my bike for a 40km bike course. The 40km course consisted of 6 laps of a ~6.66km circuit. After biking was the run, 3 laps at ~3.33km each, for a total of 10k. The distance are the same as the ones used in the Olympics, making this an Olympic triathlon, and thus, much harder than the previous sprint triathlons I've done.

My initial estimate for the course was to complete it all in about 3 1/2 hours, broken down as follows: 30min for the swim, 2 hours for the bike, and 1 hour for the run. The estimate for the bike was taken from a recent 25.4 mile ride that I ...

read more

2008 Fight Gone Bad

September 30, 2008 —

On Saturday, my local CrossFit affiliate had our Fight Gone Bad day. This was my first official FGB, and having only done it one other time, I decided to forgo the official men's weight, and do the intermediate weight (which also happened to be the women's weight). I did the exercises in the following order with the modified weight in parentheses:

I ended up doing the following reps for each exercise:

RoundPush PressRowWall BallSDLHPBox JumpTotal
Round 1251115202394
Round 2201016182084
Round 220815182081

For a total score of 259. I tried to be as consistent as I could between subsequent rounds, and I think I accomplished that goal pretty well. I also set the bar pretty high for the next time I do a FGB with men's weight. Especially considering that I felt like I had energy left over at the end of the workout. I was tired, but not lie down on the ground for 5 minutes tired.

The Quicksilver Challenge 5k / 10k / Half-Marathon

September 30, 2008 —

Over the weekend, I did my second 10k in 3 weeks. A running club in San Jose holds an annual trail running event with different distances. I chose to do the 10k distance as that is right now the longest distance I'm comfortable running.

The course was located in the hills south west of San Jose and the start was in a little valley at the edge of the Quicksilver park. The course description mentioned that there were going to be hills along the route, but I was not prepared for what the course actually consisted of. At the start was a topo of the route, and, being the map lover I am, I spent time reading the course layout. The starting line was somewhere around 600 feet. From there, the course would wind up a road to a single track trail, where it would continue to ascend. The ascent continued until about the 10k half-way point, where it then began the descent. In all, I read that there was about 1000 feet of elevation gain. Most of which was continuous. So it was quite difficult.

I didn't feel particularly confident in my run up the mountain, and went slightly slower down the second half since I didn't want to injure my knees. Somewhere in the last kilometer, a guy passed me, and actually scared me when he came up. I didn't think about it, but it turned out I had been in the lead, and this guy just overtook me for the lead. I followed him closely to the finish, finishing 7 seconds behind him. This put me in second place overall for the 10k! I could have won! Despite that stupid mistake, I did get second place and finished in 56 minutes, 58 seconds ...

read more

15th Annual Tri For Real

September 21, 2008 —

This morning I did my second triathlon of 2008. It was the 15th Annual Tri For Real. This is the triathlon which the Tri for Fun series is supposed to prepare you for. The race was good, and I felt decently comfortable for the swim and bike. As usual, the bike seemed to be a weak spot, as a lot of people gained and passed me, after I did really well on the swim. For the run, my legs were really tired, and my right leg started getting almost tight. It wasn't a cramp, more that the area below the calf was just tight and sore.

I kept track of my splits and posted them here as a record for myself.

SplitDistanceTime (h:mm:ss.ms)Pace
Swim700m12:27.5528:37 min/mi
Swim to Bike Transition1:48.0
Bike19mi54:1221.03 mph
Bike to Run Transition1:01
Run4mi30:41.567:40 min/mi

Comparing these results to my results from the last Pleasanton tri, I can see that I swam only slightly slower, biked faster, and ran a bit slower. I am stoked about the results, as it shows I'm making progress. The run should have been faster, and by next time, I'll have worked out the tightness / cramp issue. Again, without any practice, my swim is pretty good. Unfortunately, this race didn't have a timing chip, so I won't be able to compare my split with those of others; I'd be interested to see how my splits match up with others. My transition times also got a lot better. Some of the things I tried this time definitely helped out it seems.

The ...

read more