All posts by Rob's Surf Report

Rob lives near the geographical center of the North American continent with his wife, daughters, and (unfortunately) two cats. Most days he's a member of the law enforcement community, and tries to keep himself sane by making himself both stronger and more creative. His big plan is to find a way back to the coast and to stay there for good so he surf the livelong day.

>Wicked Wednesday

>     This has been one tiring day. I didn’t get a chance to run this morning because it’s Wednesday, and on Wednesday I start work two hours earlier than usual. Karisa didn’t feel well – grumpy stomach, possibly due to the tuscani pasta from Pizza Hut last night – and I let her stay home instead of taking me to work because we have her Mom’s van for the time being and I wanted to drive the Saturn anyway to check my suspicion that it still has a coolant leak.
     I was right. Although the coolant reservoir was full when I left the house, when I checked it at lunch time, it was nearly empty. Go figure, right? The chumps at Cenex replaced the water pump and didn’t fix the coolant leak. I had to call them and make an appointment for them to “look at it” tomorrow; I dropped it off after work at the Cenex, where Karisa was waiting for me in the van.
     On the upside, I got a really sweet Fender lunchbox at work today, with a little thermos and everything. We got ten of them because all of our stores are switching over from loose guitar picks to pick packs, and so we had to order a ton of picks for seven different locations. I also picked up some cool Ernie Ball stickers from an order that came in today, which was a nice surprise. Usually Ernie Ball sends us guitar cables and picks as promos, which I usually throw in the marketing area for giveaways and door prizes.
     Also, the weather here was nicer than expected today – very sunny, high in the mid-fifties, which was supposed to be in the high forties. . . so that was great, and we’ve opened up the windows in the apartment for the first time since last Fall, when we moved in. The air coming in is a tad cooler than I would prefer, but it’s fresh air, after all, and I totally approve.
     But work was definitely busy. It’s about that time of year that I stop having an excuse to slack off, and products will begin to arrive with increasing frequency. Today I received two pallets of snare/bell kits and pad/bell kits. Forty-seven pieces in all, each one serialized and kind of heavy. I didn’t have this problem with them last year. . . but then again, I was less out-of-shape last year; I’m tackling that one.
     I’m ready to rest, but it’s going to have to wait a little bit longer. The Zunited podcast has a dearth of email for the next show (which is on April 6) and they requested on air that I write a thought-provoking email. Let’s see how that goes!

>Back to shape, day 1

>     Today, I started my jogging regimen again. Since moving to North Dakota, I have gained at least forty pounds, and my clothing has been shrinking at an alarming rate; at this point, there is quite a bit in my wardrobe that I am unhappy about. I have resolved to change this by getting back into my exercise habit. Unfortunately, I have no bicycle, which is not only a good workout, but fun; and it’s less of a chore than running.
     I decided, after looking at at eight o’ clock this morning, that if I were to wait for the morning temps to hit fifty degrees, I’d be waiting a while yet. No more waiting! I threw on my sweatpants (or rather, I slid them on like you slide on socks,) put on my hoodie, threw on my Skullcandy Lowriders (red, white, and chrome, thank you so much,) and stalked stealthily down the mile of stairs to the door outside – creaking all the while. The stairs, I mean.
     Once outside, I put on Huey Lewis and the News – Greatest Hits. In retrospect, a great choice for jogging, but I didn’t feel nearly as peppy as the music sounded. At 8:12 I started jogging. At 8:18 or so, I had to slow down to a power-walk. I had trouble catching my breath, which seemed unusual to me. I was going to the gym a few months ago, and didn’t have this trouble breathing on either the elliptical or treadmill, but jogging always seemed tougher and more strenuous to me (although once you get used to it, it’s highly addictive.) I kept going, resolving to stay out until about 8:30; that was a good goal for day 1.
     About 8:25 I found myself about the distance of three blocks away from home (I was weaving around the different streets in my area,) and although I still could not catch my breath, I told myself I would jog the distance. About twenty seconds in, I had this sensation of being suffocated, and told myself to get past it. Either I sink or swim, I thought. I was breathing, after all. . . why did it have to be so hard? I forced myself to breathe harder, deeper, faster, until I realized that even though it felt like I couldn’t breathe, I was indeed going to make it. No problem.
     I made it home and climbed up the first flight of stairs, and unlocked the door while wishing I didn’t have another flight of stairs to go; while they look like simple stairs, easy enough to climb, they are steep and a royal pain when carrying in groceries or moving. The clock said it was just past 8:30 and that meant the alarm had gone up and Karisa had shut it off and gone back to bed. Good! That means I get the first shower! I forgot about my breathing problem after about ten minutes in the shower.
     I’m never getting any heavier than this, I’m back at my high school high, which is around 225 lb. and that’s already too heavy. Either I’ve become so out of shape that I just can’t breathe, or being sick so much this year has really taken a toll on my lungs. I’m hoping for the former, because I’m more familiar with fixing that problem.

>Free Software and G.I. Joe


The following is a post that I made on the discussion forum for my Linux Fundamentals class this morning. The topic was whether or not the issue of KDE, a free software desktop environment, using Qt, a (formerly) proprietary GUI toolkit, was a big deal and why. I hope this helps to inform people as to my opinion toward the now-dead KDE/Qt controversy (I removed all of the links.)

software           Katie (last name omitted)                                                          
2/25/2010 8:24:05 AM
I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about with KDE, Qt and the 

develoment of free software. If companies are out to make a persons job 
such as the software developer less stressful by writing less code and 
creating more and in turn making it available for others then it should 
make everyone happy right!? As I research more about the Qt tool kit or 
GNOME, I have to say I am in more favor of GNOME. But I still am getting 
use to the different kinds of options available, nonetheless I am always for 
free software!

RE: software    Robert Ross                                                                            
2/27/2010 9:45:29 AM
Well, Katie – the way I see it – the fuss is all about KDE relying on Qt for its 

sizzle; it’s like finding out that the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) is 
financed by Cobra (the world domination-seeking military organization, 
not the health insurance extension legislation.)

So you’re like, “aww, that’s great, the CCF saves starving children in third-
world countries!” and you start sending them your money.  But then one day 
you read about how the CCF gets a sizeable charitable donation from 
Destro every year (can we say “tax break?”,) and you’re like, “what-what, 
but he’s a thug!  He just blew up an offshore oil rig the other day!” and then 
you feel cheated and even a little dirty for sending in your twenty cents a 
day, or whatever it is. You suddenly don’t know if your money is going to 
feed starving children, or Sally Struthers, or if it’s going to buy laserguns and 
hand grenades for Cobra’s fight against G.I. Joe.  So what do you do?  
What do you do, Katie?