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Showing posts from March, 2011

Another Year, Another Post

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Do Mom and Dad Make You Run?

I know of a lot of middle-aged running friends who are motivated by their parents to run. Their mother or father was in poor health for many years and it ultimately cost them their lives (or at least a higher quality of it), and so one reason they initially put on a pair of running shoes was to avoid the same fate. However, that's not the sort of parental connection outlined in a provacative post about the link between exercise and genetics in this morning's Daily Beast. It reflects a couple of scientific studies that show we may be genetically encoded to favor workouts. That means some of us will never enjoy exercising like others, nor will our children. If this is true, then those of us modeling good behaviors by eating well and exercising in moderation may merely be passing along the endorphin baton to those with our "exercise gene." And that might also explain why some parents who push their kids into sports end up disappointed that their child never "take

Somewhere In Between

I knew March would be a struggle because of an unusually heavy workload. But I didn’t expect it to gain the upper hand with such veracity, and not with two weeks still to go. Sisters are not supposed to call and say, “It’s stage 2” and then act like they have a cold, not cancer. Friends are not supposed to invite you to birthday celebrations you can't attend. Freelance clients are not supposed to forget the work will be late, and only because you’ve doubled hours at your “real job.” For now I live for the reprieves, like this morning’s particularly picturesque group run along the coast. It was high tide and cloudy with no chance of meatballs. The plan called for 8 to 12 miles, and I was fine for the first 4 from Solana Beach to Torrey Pines, but then came “the hill” – locals know which one – and I began to falter. By the return to Del Mar, I just wanted it to end. It did at somewhere in between: 10 miles. Months like this, I approach early morning runs as a grace period befor

Wordless Wednesday

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Angry Oceans to Calmer Seas

Running this morning along Carlsbad State Beach, it was impossible not to consider the devastation playing out across the Pacific this week. Japan holds a special place in our family, and like everyone else, I watched (and watched and watched) videos of the tsunami and the damage in its wake. For once, I was grateful we all now live under surveillance so we could witness the natural disaster from the vantage point of well-positioned, well-secured cameras. This 10-mile route follows the best part of the Carlsbad full and half marathons, and it’s a favorite with the locals. As Angela said about a half mile into it, “This is why we live here, so we have mornings like this one.” There was nothing to complain about, especially after a front-desk angel named Sharon at the Best Western let us use a restroom upon us finding the public one closed. The temperature was 57 degrees and the clouds soon made themselves scarce as we watched well-behaved waves rush the shore below. And yet I strugg

Wordless Wednesday

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To All You Apple Lovers

Please read this: Hackers Who Hack with White Hats (I promise to return to running stuff. Right now, though, this is far more important.)

How They Worm Their Way In

In my last post, I related how the other week I was infected by a particularly insidious computer worm. I can’t be certain how it got into my machine, but I have some well-sourced* theories. Computer viruses or worms can be sophisticatedly coded, but they normally still need a clueless human to assist – much like a cold virus is dependent on sick people coming to work or school to spread. It's called social engineering, and here are some common ploys to get you (and me, sad to say) to do the dirty work. Google Images I periodically download images from Google Images to serve as art placeholders in brochures or to augment blog posts. Some of these images are embedded with malicious code, typically Trojans that work without you noticing. My AV software noticed when I tried to pull down one such image and quarantined the bugger; but Trojans are tweaked continually to stay ahead of AV updates. And Bing and Yahoo are not any less risky. Twitter It used to be if you looked closely a

I've Been 0wned(!)

Had I known what was coming, I would have saved my previous pessimistic post for this week, when it was well warranted. I fielded a number of distressful phone calls from close family, and I fell off the wagon in terms of diet and exercise. But what I want to share with you today is how being ‘social’ turned me into a zombie. At some point last month I opened a malicious file and it went to work decimating my desktop. I knew almost immediately that I was infected with a worm or virus when I typed a keyword into a search engine and was redirected to another fake directory. I never clicked on any of the links, but I did something just a stupid: I clicked the red box in the top right corner to close it, thereby allowing the malware to zoom zoom zoom through my previously pristine circuitry, leaving bits of bad code in its wake. I continually ran what is supposed to be superior antivirus software, but the malware seemed to always be one step ahead. I now know that’s because it was disa

The Price of Paradise

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(Taken yesterday a couple of blocks from my workplace, in case you were wondering.)