Climbing Mountains fitness blog – Guest Post

Me at Watson Mill Bridge State Park
Me at Watson Mill Bridge State Park

This was posted on the Climbing Mountains blog. Even though I blog, I usually avoid things that are more personal.

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

As a computer geek, I am a professional student of systems and processes. That brings a curiosity into how things work both individually and in the cascade of effects throughout the system. I mostly played soccer as a kid and was outside almost every day back then. And I did a couple years of Karate. As an adult, I was super sedentary in front of a computer 12-20 hours a day.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

Working out centers my mind and provides a calmness that I did not expect. I mean, I heard others talk about feeling good, but I suspected they were already happy people. Working in a stressful environment, fitness provides a place to change the brain chemistry. I definitely feel happier after a stressful day and even sense the need to get back to the gym when I have been away more than a few days.

How long have you been into fitness?

The weightlifting has been for the past three years. I also enjoy the occasional hike which has been for as long as I remember. I tried to get into jogging, but I despised it. That is how I tried weightlifting.

How did you get into fitness?

Really, I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic (type II) almost a decade before getting the really diabetic one over 3 years ago. My diet was terrible. My life mostly consisted of sedentary sitting in front of a computer both at work and home. My weight would swing from 275 to 315 and back.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Armed with the diagnosis, I had to start exercising more or the bad things would happen. My doctor wanted me being active 30 minutes a day, three days a week. I started walking / jogging up to about an hour, but that was killing my feet. My doctor recommended building muscle as they would drink up the sugar in my system. Fat also messes with the blood chemistry to resist insulin, making the insulin less effective. So I came to the gym looking to cut fat and gain strength.

How has fitness impacted your life?

My doctors are pleased with my medical status. The sugar level is where it ought to be. My heart and kidneys are fine. The damage to my eyes is reversing. I feel happy and less stressed all the time.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Find a friend who is serious about what you want to try doing. Tag along. Observe their form and ask questions. Make sure to get a number of perspectives. We each have our own goals and methods to get there, so feel free to pick and choose what works for you. Finally, if it hurts or you feel terrible about what you are doing, then do not beat yourself up about trying to fix the form or even trying something else.

Ezra Freelove (@sneezypb)

TED Talk: Beware neuro-bunk

In reading a recent article about the issue with #MeToo (a viral campaign where women posted about their experience with sexual harassment or abuse), I also read the Nature article by Dr. Molly Crockett Moral outrage in the digital age. It also led me to watch the below fascinating TED Talk.

If the above fails to load, then try Beware neuro-bunk. A guide to all the articles mentioned in the talk.

Unsticky Likes

Like Stamp 1
Credit: Joy Powers

Of late, I have been featured in some posts that generate many comments on Facebook. Naturally, I like these comments.

So when a new one comes in and old ones I thought I previously liked no longer show them being liked, it was noticeable. Over the past few months, I have seen the behavior over and over.

My primary hunch is that I am just a bad person and did not actually like them as I thought. Human memory is fallible. It is easily feasible that I in seeing them not liked assumed that I would have taken action to like them. The memory of having done so could actually be the recollection of doing so with others conflated to this incident.

Hypothetically, it is possible that I like a post and the action never gets updated in the database without telling me it failed. If the UI is designed to show the like whether or not the database took it, then I could see it liked and when I return later to see it not liked. Maybe because these posts have such a large dataset collected into a single place I more easily notice when this happens. It would be disturbing if we go to all the trouble of responding and others are never getting that feedback.

IPv6 Woes

Noticed one particular social media site was demonstrating slow performance. For the past week or so, it has been frustrating to use. And because it was only this one site, where I saw the issue, I figured it was them.

Slowness across all websites would indicate a problem on my end. Slowness on just one? It seems like their issue.

Only… There were no other people really complaining about their slowness. And it lasted far too long. So, I started picking at it.

I started with the Chrome DevTools and its Network tab to watch where there is slowness. It only presented in the images. The HTML, Cascade Style Sheets, and JavaScript all downloaded fast. The images were slow. And they came from a different server.

I started exploring under which circumstances they presented a problem by looking at the same content in different contexts. The breakthrough came from looking at the networking.

A traceroute to compare the main URL with the media URL were odd. The IP address for the main website came back with an IPv4 address while the media one was IPv6. The traceroute data showed the www site was relatively snappy while the media site timed out on most tests.

So, to verify the IPv6 was the problem, I went into adapter settings and turned it off. Then, I restarted the adapter. Now, the traceroute test looks fast for both addresses. And the page quickly loads.

This suggests either my ISP, router, modem, or computer have an issue with the IPv6. That is annoying, but I will just leave it off for now.

False Memories

Apparently, I never posted about my complaint that one cannot replace a compromised Social Security Number the same as you can a bank card. I was sure I had written about it.

One possibility is that I did write something, but I deleted the draft without posting. About two-thirds of what I write suffers that fate. Either I discover the idea was without merit (aka evidence contrary to what I initially thought) or the logic behind the idea too tenuous to support publishing it.

Another possibility is that I thought about writing something, but I never actually wrote it.

Who knows? Certainly not me.

Maybe I can fix the first one by leaving things in the draft state for longer? Or privately publish them with a note why I no longer claim it?

Resolution Progress 2017: Third Quarter

(Original ; First Quarter ; Half ; Third-Quarter ; Final)

For the third quarter, I should have progressed about 75%. So, let’s see where I am.