New Site Features

Today I have done some refining to the site, primarily a lot of neat little features. The one that is the neatest is on my about page. It shows a list of the most recently played iTunes songs. There is an application called Kung Tunes that parses your iTunes XML file for the appropriate information and formats it into whatever HTML you have described.

I had a little help from Todd Dominey in the form of a blog entry on his site that answered my question “how do I link directly into the iTunes music store?”. This is really a superfluous feature because a lot of the music that I listen to is not in the store yet. Other than that the application is fairly simple to understand. The developer has a good bit of documentation included, and a lot more on his blog.

I also spent some time with iTunes Catalog, this is a really cool sharaware app that will pull (rather accurately) song lyrics and cover art from the web. It is just a drag and drop into iTunes to get your very own cover art collection. It does seem to take up more drive space, but with the size and price of drives lately that is not a big deal. Definitely worth checking out if you use iTunes.

UPDATE: I also have gotten the shadows around the images working again. There were a few problems that I had to work around, including some really irritating problems with everyone’s favorite browser. I will be sorting out the display issues for that very same browser with the CSS over the next few days. I also have completly updated my corporate web-page, Innovative Aspects

The Abitaman Results

My race number.

Well I did ok, a bit worse than I expected, but ok comparatively. Anyone interested can view the results for them selves. I also have mirrored the results on my site. I didn’t get a DFL but closer than I ever have been.

I hate to dwell in my past achievements, but here it goes anyway… I have never scored out of the top 5 in any race that I have done. This race followed my typical pattern: top 10 swim time, descent bike time (pass a couple of people), and terrible run time (everybody passes me).

I had a couple of complaints about the race. I don’t mean to blame my scoring on these issues, but I could have done better, so could everyone else. Before I start my list I want to say that I did not prepare enough during the last 2 weeks before the race. I had back pain followed by a cold. Now for the complaints about the race.

  1. The Swim – it was a pool swim, and they tried to start everyone according to the time they estimated on their entry form. This would have been great if some of these people really knew how fast they could swim 400 meters at race pace. I (an many others I’m sure) kept getting bunched up behind other slower swimmers. Especially frusterating was when I would get to a wall and there would be several (3-5) people there waiting to push off. Come on people, what ever happened to flip turns? Or even just keeping moving?
  2. The course map

    The Bike – it was really a nice easy course on mainly flat (poorly maintained) roads allong the New Orleans lakefront area. There were several gentle bridges over some canals. My complaint for this part is that the course was poorly marked, actually almost not marked at all. One part in particular the road split and I was not familiar enough with the map to know that I was supposed to follow the bike path on the right and not the road that we were riding on to begin with. I had made it several hundred yards down the road when I heard someone yelling behind me, only to turn and see all the riders behind me disappearing down the trail to my left. I was not the only one to make this mistake, there were 2 other poor guys behind me. If I were further down the overall pacement this might not have been such an issue as I would have had someone to follow, but I was not and it is.

  3. The Run – nothing really to complain about, for me anyway. some people apparently tried to run out of the bike exit from the transition area. The course used seperate entries and exits for each leg of the race. The thing that may have made it confusing was that the run turn-around was right at the end of the bike course.
  4. Also – something got messed up with my bike/run split/transition time. The overall time is right, but it is just annoying that I don’t get to see what the system timed me at. And… For some unexplained reason my Polar S720i HRM wouldn’t work while I was on my bike. I still cannot figgure it out, but it started working as soon as I started running. I will have to train with switching from stopwatch while swimming to HRM and cyclo-computer on the bike

That is really about it, overall a really fun race. I didn’t have to swim in the wretched Lake Ponchatrain, so that is a good thing. I don’t know if I will do this race again, just because of the hastle involved in traveling with my bike. Any all that being said, I think it was a fun race to kick off my first season back in several years. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.

Triathlon Checklist

In light of my up-coming race season this summer I have revisited a checklist that I had made several years ago. It is fairly inclusive and useful, if you are a list type person. I have decided to put it up here so that anyone can both contribute to it and prospher from it’s existence.
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Triathlete Basic Info

This is an article from I chose to copy it over here because it (their site) is not very easy to navigate, nor do I think that the article will remain where it is now. So here it is forever on my site with appropriate links and credits.

3 days till the AbitaMan race!! I am looking forward to the race, but not expecting to post a very good time as I have had a bout with back pain followed by a cold that would not leave me alone.
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my 4 leaf clovers

Many years ago, while growing up in the suburbs of New Orleans, Metairie to be specific, I found a patch of 4 leaf clovers growing in my backyard.

You can only imagine how excited a 12 year-old boy would have been to discover an entire patch of four-leaf-clovers in his very own backyard!. I am only glad to have had the forsight to have saved several of these in the pages of an old dicitionary.

Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia…