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New Server Rack UPSes

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  • Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:25 PM EST
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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Today I replaced the old UPSes that had been powering our server rack... well, I should say that I replaced the dead one as well as its brother who was still hanging on for dear life.

This is the vintage of old UPS I removed:



We replaced the old units with APC Smart-UPS 2200VA SUA2200RM2U. Each unit individually provides enough capacity to power the entire rack. All of our new servers have redundant power supplies, so we will split each server's power feed over two UPSes. Besides making battery maintenance easier, this arrangement reduces the impact of single power supply, UPS, or circuit failure.

Here is a picture of the freshly installed units at the bottom of our server rack:

Good Running Form video

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  • Tuesday, January 18 2011 @ 10:09 AM EST
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Running and Fitness

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A great video on running form / technique:



I first saw this video posted by the Learn to Run initiative: http://www.facebook.com/learntorun

* Update 1.20.2011 *

For me, "neutral hips" is not a sufficient cue... I have always tended to slouch so "neutral" to me would be too far back, even if I pulled my upper body into an upright position. I have to lift my hips up and push them forward (which by the way uses a whole bunch of new muscles if you have been a sloucher for 25 years) in order to get them into the proper position.

My visualization technique for folks who might be sitting back too far behind your center of gravity:

** Lift your hips as if you need to place your private parts up onto a table or counter. **

Then I proceed to straighten the upper torso, bend the knees, and lean at the ankles. This allows me to "fall forward" and run with far less effort.

It has come to this with my VFF

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  • Monday, January 17 2011 @ 07:23 PM EST
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Running and Fitness

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I love and hate my Vibram FiveFingers Bikila running shoes.

I love that I can wear them and have beautiful runs like today, where I had a segment that felt perfect and effortless. I love that they have great traction on wet surfaces (better than my bare feet). I love that I can wear them in the rain and not come home with stanky socks. I love that they protect my feet from sticks and stones and other pointy things.

I hate that I can no longer wear my VFF with only my bare feet inside. There is a seam on the insole along the inside arch area that rubs a raw spot after a few miles of running. Wearing Injinji toe socks eliminates this problem, but I only have a single pair of these socks.

* Update 5.11.2011 * The rubbing eventually went away, perhaps due to subtle change in my form, and I continued to run in my VFF for weeks after this rubbing incident. VFF became my highest mileage shoe until I received my Altra Running Instincts.

Today I used large bandaids and athletic / medical tape wrapped around my foot to prevent the rubbing. Pictured below is my VFF and foot with the quick bandaid / tape job:

Wireless Banana

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  • Monday, January 17 2011 @ 02:29 PM EST
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Silly or Interesting

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The last bunch of bananas we bought came with extra features.

This banana appears to have wireless capability. I have not yet figured out how to activate it, though.

Dad filming large gator at Alachua Sink

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  • Friday, January 14 2011 @ 07:29 PM EST
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Dan Stoner and Family

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This picture is from 2003 near the La Chua trail.

This is probably the biggest alligator with which we were able to get up close and personal:


Software to help you live longer

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  • Friday, January 14 2011 @ 06:04 PM EST
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Running and Fitness

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I read an article today that says "it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary." It goes on to say that people like me who sit in front of computers all day are doomed to an early death (ok, I'm exaggerating a little here). But the real takeaway for me was the idea that running 10 miles on Sunday or 30 miles per week may not make up for the fact that I sit in an office chair all day, 5 days a week.

I have found that there are some software tools which might help combat the sedentary work environment. Originally developed to reduce Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), Workrave software can be used to remind us to get off our butts. Stand up every so often, walk to the water cooler, do some light stretching, walk the stairs, do jumping jacks, push-ups, or whatever your office environment permits.

A standing treadmill workstation may not be an option for all of us, but integrating some non-sitting activity during the workday is probably possible for many people. Workrave or other similar software (there are many alternatives) can help with this.

Workrave is currently available for Windows and Linux. It's even in the Ubuntu Linux repositories.

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