As one of the most experienced members of the team, part of what I have to do is be on the lookout for the things I’ve seen burn myself or others in the past. And they frequently show up again, no matter how good the team is.
There are always problems. Your job is to see if you can spot them before they hurt someone.
Shoes packed. Spare shoes packed. Running gear packed. Cold/wet weather running gear packed. Food packed. Off to bed now.
Our flight is planned to take of for Bucharest OTP tomorrow morning at 10:40 from Charleroi, which puts us in Bucharest around 14:25 local time.
I’m looking forward to landing at OTP, to driving to Viscri. And to spending time there with my Mom, who’s only been there once.
And I’m really looking forward to being greeted by these 2: Goofy and Sissy :). Eventhough we’re only in Viscri for a couple of days each year, they know and recognize us everytime we arrive back there. They make it feel like home.
I’m hoping to keep you posted on our travels and on the race once we’re there so be sure to check back here 🙂
While packing my kit for Saturday’s race, I stumbled across my iPod shuffle. I almost only use it during races and well, it’s probably been laying around since 2013. Luckily, I packed the charging cable with it so I plugged it into my MacBook to charge it.
And low and behold, the playlist I listened to during my London mararthon was still on there 🙂 But since I’m on a different computer now then I was back then, I couldn’t sync the iPod without whiping out the excising playlists. So I just charged it, I’m probably not going to use it during this race anyway.
But you’re probably wondering what was on that playlist right? Here goes.
By the end of a race some of these get skipped and/or repeated more then others, I especially remember starting off with Florence + The Machine and crossing the finish line with Jimmy Eat World’s Pain.
After a year of intermission, we headed back to Leiden for the second GeeUp conference.
In 2014, 4 of us from work attended both the conference and the workshop. Back then, there was a big focus on Expression Engine (we follow the workshop on EE plugin development), bringing in mostly people from the EE scene. The conference itself covered much broader topics and it was definitely worthwhile for us.
Today, in 2016, the conference focused on Craft CMS and ExpressionEngine, drawing much of the same crowd as it did 2 years ago. And while we don’t actively build new projects with Expression Engine these days nor have we gotten into Craft, 2 of us from work, Wietse and myself, wanted to attend the conference anyway. Getting to know other systems and taking inspiration from those is always valuable.
We left for Leiden on Wednesday evening by train, making a quick stop over in Rotterdam for burgers and drinks. We checked into our hotel, dropped of our stuff and went for another drink in town.
On Thursday we attended a full day workshop on Craft Commerce, the e-commerce add-on for Craft CMS that was released about 6 months ago. The day was led by Luke Holder, the lead-developer for Commerce over at Pixel & Tonic. We started off with general settings and principals and quickly got into some code after that: hooks, events and how plugins can use them. In the afternoon we went over a new plugin P&T is releasing this week: Digital Products for Craft Commerce. Think WordPress EDD but for Craft CMS. After some Q&A we called it a day but stuck around the venue to work out some ideas for plugins we could build for Craft CMS.
The day ended with a couple of beers in the sun at Annie’s, Thai food and then cocktails with the other GeeUp folks at Bon Vivant (that last one is worth checking out if you’re ever in Leiden, best whiskey sour I’ve ever had).
Friday morning we headed back to Scheltema for day 2, the conference itself. We had a cup (or 2) of coffee, chatted with some of the other attendees and then got settled in for the talks. Attendance seemed to be down from 2014, making it very small and intimate conference. That fitted the venue and the speakers perfectly and I quite liked the smaller group.
Talks this year ranged from inspirational on adaptive design, automated testing, technical debt, ethics in web development and how to survive doing customer support all day. Lots of interesting and engaging topics that left me asking questions and wondering how I/we can do things differently, both at the office and in my freelance work.
After the last talk we hung around for a drink and it was off to the station to catch the train home via Rotterdam (above) and Antwerp.
In his closing remarks, Low (from gotolow EE fame, he makes this conference happen) said that this was probably the last time he was going to organize. While I can certainly understand that (loads of work and staying break-even on such a small conference is very hard), it would be great to have the conference again next year or in a year or 2 🙂 Either way, I should plan a trip to Leiden sometime because I also really like the city.
2 weeks to go until race day, so I wan’t to post a little update on how my preparations are going.
The race has a strict set of items that all participants are required to carry at all times during the event. A compass, a waterproof map pocket, a waterproof jacket, a head torch, etc… The only thing missing from my arsenal up to now was the waterproof jacket. I have a bunch of jackets for running, but they are either too heavy to carry the whole way or not really waterproof. So I asked
around on Twitter and decided to go for a Salomon BONATTI jacket. Expansive yes, but I’ve been through a couple of rainy runs in it by now and it’s pretty great: breathable, really waterproof and fit for running. Waterproof jacket: check.
Apart from that, I’m expecting one more package with some last bits and bods (a cap to wear during the race, some extra nutrition stuff, some socks) from Bike24(I get most of my gear here, their prices are ok, they ship fast and are very responsive to questions).
That’s it gear-wise. But how am I doing?
Somewhere last week I caught a nasty stomach bug that has kept me in bed for the better part of Friday and this weekend. Not seeing up improvement so probably not going back to work tomorrow. But I should be able to sleep this off and hopefully my stomach will be back to normal when it’s time to run. (I got sick during my Amsterdam marathon, around the 30km mark. Not cool.)
Running-wise, it’s all systems go. My knee has been ok for the last couple of weeks so that should be ok. Running wise I’m feeling good as well, I’ve been doing lost of uphill work and repeats this last month and my conditioning feels good.
With my stomach acting up and the 2 days I’ll be away for a conference next week, taper time will start right now 🙂
Closing out with this semi-running related tidbit: while strolling around the local bookshop last week I came across “The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running” by Adharanand Finn. Only 80 pages in so far, I’ll post about it again if I think it’s worth it :).
Docville, the yearly documentary film festival in Leuven, is coming up next month and the film closing the festival will be “Where to invade next” by American filmmaker Michael Moore. While I was in Rotterdam for a couple of days of downtime last week, I saw they already had the film in the theater and decided to go to the late showing of it at Cinerama.
The film starts out a bit too tacky for my taste, with Moore’s “official” mission to “invade” these other countries. But once that’s out of the way, what follows is are a bunch of sincere stories from Italy, France, Norway, etc. Each perfectly contrasted against their counterpart in the United States, eg: payed holidays, food in public schools, the prison system, free education, … the list goes on. Moore takes the ideas from these places back to America, ideas that we consider basic rights and welfare.
The premise of the movie is quiet predictable but that doesn’t take away from it. The best part of the movie for me was the focus on education, on kids and on humanity. The film closes by asking the question “Knowing all this, would you want to move, live and work in the United States” – And the answer spells out loud and clear: “No”.
I’m not sure how it happened but around May of 2014, I stopped doing Crossfit. Not that I had lost interest in training, the methodology or the people at the gym. I guess I just needed a break and try some new things, and new things that turned out to be old things, like starting badminton again.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been struggling with some minor injuries and aches here and there, and training hasn’t been going the way I’d like it to. So I decided to add Crossfit back in, to make sure I have some strength work on the schedule too.
The box I used to go to relocated further from the city and going there wasn’t very practical for me. Meanwhile, a box had opened up right around the corner from our office (which is a 5 minute bike ride from home, so still very close by). I emailed the owner, jumped in on a class and enrolled right away.
So far, I’m really happy to be back at it. And it’ cool to see that I’ve still got some of the movements (squats and deadlifts for days) while other movements seem to be lost forever (medicine ball to the face, 4 times in a workout :)). Good times.