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Category “life”

Review: @ring door bell

I recently purchased a Ring door bell for the home and installed it last weekend:

I have to admit, I was worried this would be an @internetofshit type of experience:

However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with it and the install time event took less than an hour. The camera works great both in the day and during the night time. The speaker comes across loud and clear. The only downside right now is there is no API for the device.

On a related note, I’m also stoked that Ring recently announced an outdoor camera that integrates with the existing system:

I was in the market for an outdoor camera and this looks like it meets the majority of my needs. The only downside so far is the rechargeable battery, but it has a pretty long charge time (6-12 months) so you only have to fetch it once or twice a year to charge.

Anyways, I highly recommend the Ring doorbell for anyone that is looking for a home improvement upgrade.

#RagnarNapa 2015

Last weekend, I had a lot of fun running the Ragnar Napa relay for the first time. Outside the sleep deprivation being stuck in a van for ~30 hours, the run was very scenic. I started the relay by running the first two legs which surprised me with some sand running, along with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge:

After that, we had a brief lunch stop in Petaluma:

Next, I had some fun with night time running with running Leg 13 and 14 back to back:

I then enjoyed a sunrise view before starting my last leg (#28) which was an enjoyable short ~5k run to end my relay duties:

Overall, an amazing relay race, super well organized and highly recommended! I will definitely take a look at the other Ragnar relays out there.

Capt’n Karls: Pedernales Falls 2015

Last weekend, I had a lot of fun running in my favorite trail running series of the year: Capt’n Karl’s. The first race of four is in Pedernales Falls State Park which is just a beautiful part of the Texas hill country:

The scenery was beautiful minus having to run through some deep pockets of water and what seemed to be a river… my shoes were filthy afterwards! I opted to do the 10km this time around and finished in a decent time of 48:28 running about a 7:41 pace:

I even managed to get 5th place overall which came as a surprise since I wasn’t running as hard as I could be. I guess all the pros were running the 30k and 60k 🙂

Looking forward to the next race in Muleshoe Bend on July 18th, I’ll try harder this time around and see if I can crack the top 3 🙂

@RogueRunning Trail Series 2015: The Ranch

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to finish the Rogue Trail Series at the beautiful (but a little muddy from all the rain) Reveille Peak Ranch:

I finished in 02:58:58 with the first two 10K laps taking about 54 minutes each and the final painful lap taking about 70 minutes. I ended up fighting some stomach issues in the last few miles and just couldn’t keep my pace in check (hey it happens).

In the series, I finished 10th overall with a cumulative time of 08:26:23 which I’m happy with, definitely not my best but I’m getting back in the swing of things.

Next up is my favorite trail series of the year… Capt’n Karls! Nothing more fun than running races in the dark with your headlamp, who doesn’t love 7pm start times?

Protip: Airline Customer Service via Twitter DMs

Here’s a secret for those of you who travel a lot like me for business. Some airlines have fantastic customer service via Twitter Direct Messages (DMs), even better than using the phone for most issues in my experience!

Over the past several months, @AmericanAir has been a pleasure to work with over Twitter DMs for when travel issues unfortunately happened. I’ve shared this little secret with friends and they had similar success with other airlines like @VirginAmerica and @Jetblue, especially when phone wait times were atrocious. Also, I’m definitely not the only one who has noticed this.

In the end, I hope more airlines and businesses follow this customer service model, or at least offer it as an option. For most issues, it’s usually simpler to deal with things over direct message (text) than having to interact with someone over the phone, especially when you’re on the go. I even see a future where you can even automate most of these interactions so you may not need a human being for a good portion of customer service requests.

Anyways, happy and safe travels!

@RogueRunning Trail Series 2015: The Tangle

This morning I had the opportunity to take part in The Tangle 30km:

Besides getting rained on a couple times, it was a beautiful run in the hill country. It was my first time at Flat Creek Crossing Ranch and I enjoyed the wide open terrain and even a cave on the course. Time wise, I ended up finishing in about 2:43 which isn’t fantastic but I’ll take it given the course was challenging and new to me. I’ll be better equipped next year.

Anyways, next up is the last race of the series, Reveille Peak!

@Flight Conference 2014

I had a great time at @Flight, our first mobile developer conference at Twitter where we announced Fabric. As part of the conference, I helped organized a small run in the morning to start things off, it was nice to see about 20 people show up to run a 5K (ok, it was really more like an 8K with hills).

At the conference, I had the opportunity to talk briefly in the Lightning Theater about some of the open source technology behind tweets, in the context of what happens behind the scenes of a typical API call.

I hope the audience left with some new knowledge and appreciation of what helps power those tweets they see everyday. I posted the slides on Slideshare if anyone is interested. I look forward to us doing this next year, it’s about time that we do more developer focused events at Twitter.

#oscon 5K 2014

I’m getting in the habit of posting more of my race results so it guilts me into running faster in the future. Last week I had the opportunity to be at OSCON for work and ran in the wonderful 5K they put on:

I finished third in my age group and 6th overall with a 6:35/mi clip!

#CaptnKarls 2014: Muleshoe Bend

Yesterday I had the opportunity to run the second race in the Capt’n Karls trail series. It was beautiful a night:

There were two 15km loops and I had some trouble logging the first half of the race, however, I finished in around 1:28 for the first time and had a pretty hard fall that scratched up my phone. For the second loop, Strava started to behave and I was able to record my progress:

strava

Suffice to say the second loop was a lot more painful for me. I finished a bit over three hours which is OK but I was really shooting for a negative split to get me under 3 hours for the race.

#CaptnKarls 2014: Pedernales Falls State Park

Last Saturday evening, I had fun running the Captain Karls Pedernales Falls trail race, the first in the series for 2014. It was fairly hot and hillier than I expected:

However, it was absolutely beautiful chasing the sunset into the late evening:

I decided to do the 30k and finished the race in 2:56:

It was a crazy finish because I managed to chase down someone about a kilometer from the finish line and then he tried to catch me at the end so it was a full sprint the last 400 meters or so to the finish line. Not the way I wanted to end the race but I recall being 7th overall in the group so that’s not too bad!