Category Archives: Life

The End of 2012 – Notes

Happy New Year! While posts remain few and far between on this blog the end of year post feels like it could become a ‘regular’ thing…

Running and getting outside were ‘the things’ this year! My 2012 Collection on flickr has over 60 sets (mostly of hikes/runs/outside), more than any other year (so far) – this is partly because I take more pictures than I did years ago (and maybe use sets slightly differently), but without school and contract work (I am still working hard at the Summit Hut!) I was able to get outside more and had a GREAT time doing it!

I have been riding my bike quite a bit less this year, I am starting to miss it but I just can not seem to find time for everything… This is the first time in years when I made more trips to work in the car than by bike – in part because the car lends itself to leaving work slightly early and getting in an hour or two on the trails! – a new site to experiment with! To complement my time (physically) outside I started putting together a site with trail descriptions and information for the Santa Catalina Mountains. I am using MediaWiki – progress is slow but steady and I am having a good time. Who knows what will become of this – hopefully I will try some new things with this in 2013 – nothing like actually just jumping in and doing something as a way to learn! – I started this blog in 2011 to write about/record/remember what I am reading/watching/listening to and had fairly regular postings all year! It seems like a bad idea to try to predict how long personal blog projects will last – but I think I will continue to write during 2013! It has already been fun/useful to look up books that I can not quite remember… – in 2011 I started writing for the Summit Hut blog and I continued this year – 2012 Fleet Feet Arizona Trail Race Report, 2012 Mesquite Canyon 1/2 Marathon Race Report, Pusch Peak, 2012 Cave Creek Thriller and McDowell Mountain Frenzy and Review: Inov-8 Trailroc 235, 245, 255. I already have a post scheduled for 2013 and more ideas that I am excited about! I did more race reports and gear reviews this year – I hope to change that a little in 2013 and do more trail related posts.

School – this has been my first full year without taking a class in quite awhile and for most of the year I did not miss it at all – but I have started to think about maybe signing up for a math class or maybe… But if I sign up for a class it will not be until Fall 2013 – or maybe 2014.

Programming – I finished some projects Q1 this year that have been very productive/useful. I had a chance to use some of what I learned about importing data in a previous project to really get a few touches in that I like. The rest of the year has been quiet – off and on I have chipped away at another project (and, of course, done maintenance/bug fixes/etc.) – but I just never found a rhythm to make anything non-critical/interesting happen – hoping for better flow in 2013! WPF/C# are still my main focus – I don’t think I will try to deliberately shift that in 2013.

Spike! Our bird Spike passed away this year. He had lived with Alison, Beaker and I for over 10 years and had been Alison’s bird since middle school! We always joked that he came to Tucson to retire. He had been sick with a mystery illness for sometime so I suppose his death was not a complete surprise, but that doesn’t really matter and it was, and is, very very sad. He was a good friend and we miss him quite a bit.


I would really like to continue to get outside and hike/run/bird/…! Every time I get outside I feel better and it seems like there is always something amazing to see. A simple goal I guess – but it worked well for me in 2012!

Hope everyone has a great year! See you on the trails!

The End of 2011 – Notes

Happy New Year! I thought it might be fun to write a few notes about 2011…

New Blog – consuming – I have been using this blog to post and record info about media that I have been watching/reading/listening to (and I like it!).

New Blogging – In the second half of 2011 I started contributing to Trail Talk – the Summit Hut blog, writing posts on both hikes (Airmen Peak, Rosewood Point and North Rosewood Point, Palisade Trailhead to the Sabino Canyon Tram and Buster Mountain, Buster Spring, Montrose Canyon) and about gear (Review: F-Lite 195 & F-Lite 230, First Impressions – Inov-8 Men’s Evoskin™ and Fall 2011 – Jackets with Synthetic Insulation!). Writing these posts has been a fun way to share some of the hikes, destinations and gear that I love.

Hiking/Outdoors – While my Flickr pictures are about any number of things I have more pictures of hikes/outdoor adventures than anything else – and my 2011 Collection has 30 sets of pictures – more than any other year I have on Flickr! I made more time for hiking than any previous year and am excited about getting outside in 2012!

School – I have been taking a variety of classes at Pima Community College for years as a way to keep learning new skills. But this Fall, with the combination of subject matter (diagrams, system planning, …), being busy at work and wanting to get outside I failed to finish my class for the first time in years… I am going to take a (brief?) break from classes at this point and focus on some programming projects at work that I am excited about as a way to keep learning, but classes are such a great way to learn/expand that I am sure I will be back for more at some point…

Rides/Runs – In the past I never felt all that excited about organized races – but I got the bug in 2011 (likely from ADT!) and did The Tour of the Tucson Mountains, El Tour de Tucson (60 miles), Catalina State Park Trail Run (5.1), Urban Assualt Ride and Arizona Distance Classic (1/4). I did not have specific goals (other than finish) for any of these events – and I like it that way – but the experience of seeing and being with so many other cyclists and runners is really inspiring!


In the first part of 2012, if I can stay healthy, I plan on doing Fleet Feet Arizona Trail Race, Mesquite Canyon (1/2 Marathon), Tour of the Tucson Mountains and the Catalina State Park Trail Run (10.2).

These events are a fun way to get outside – and I think my only goal in 2012 is to get outside more!

Hope everyone has a great year!

Google Reader Shared Items -> Pinboard, FeedDemon, Send to Pinboard…

I have enjoyed and used Google Reader’s Shared items for years and I was sad to see that feature removed in recent updates… There were very few people that followed my feed, but I enjoy sharing and it was an easy way to record interesting links for reference.

Thankfully a few quick adjustments and my ‘sharing’ workflow was restored! Some notes…

Google Reader Shared Item Feed discovery features: not important to me so I don’t care about ‘replacing’ these features.

Storing Links: Pinboard! I have been using Pinboard (moved from Delicious a few months ago) to save links and I love it – so I signed up for another account to keep shared links (I could have used my current account but wanted to keep these separately).

Old Shared Items: Google offers your Shared/Starred items as JSON exports – Pinboard can import this format so moving your items items over is just a matter of exporting/saving from Google (under settings) and importing in Pinboard (settings, import). Pinboard added a number of ‘stray’ tags during the import, a little messy – but it really didn’t bother me (although maybe I will do some clean up in the future).

Sharing/RSS Feed: Pinboard offers an RSS feed of your links. You can filter your feed by tags, so I decided on two tags (‘general’ and ‘retail’) to mark articles with. My two RSS feeds – and – nice!

Saving Links – Desktop: FeedDemon is a great Windows desktop RSS reader. It offers a customizable ‘Sharing’ feature that you can take advantage of to easily save links to Pinboard. To add Pinboard to the Sharing menu you need to add a new XML file to the FeedDemon\Data\SendTo\ folder (found in Program Files or Program Files (x86) – under C:\ on my setup). There are already a number of files (for delicious, Digg, Facebook…) in the SentTo folder that you can use as a template – and after a quick look at the Pinboard API Documentation this is what I am using for the links that I want tagged ‘general’:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> 
 <fdsendto service="Pinboard - General" useInternalHttp="false" template="{url} 

This is not quite as smooth in FeedDemon as it was in Google Reader – but close enough for me! Note – this nice post (including Pinboard Information) on using the Google Reader Send To settings to add Pinboard support to the web interface.

Saving Links – Mobile: I was concerned that I would have trouble finding an easy way to save links on my Android phone – but Save to Pinboard adds an option to the ‘Send To’ menu making Pinboard is available from both of the RSS Readers that I have used – NewsRob and gReader Pro. Again, not quite as smooth as sharing in Google Reader, but pretty close.

The extra software, configuration and extra clicks are clearly not as easy/clean/elegant as the Google Reader sharing – the +1/Google Plus options in Google Reader might be the better way to go?!? But lately I have been willing to do a little more work if my best guess is that it will allow me to easily save my data, the way I want it, in a way I believe may be accessible for many years – with links from 2006 saved in Pinboard the method above seems like it has a chance to meet that goal! (A post about saving personal data on my other blog.)