Megnut

Happenings

I made a new About page. In case somehow you've been reading this blog and have no idea who I am.

Not quite in the saddle again

A slight little tweak to the design -- removing the foodness of the site -- and I may just be back to blogging here again. Shortly after Ollie was born in July, 2007, I kind of abruptly abandoned this site. And it took me a while to realize the reason: I wasn't so interested in writing about food. My life had expanded quite beyond food, but the site was limited to that one topic. And so everything here just stopped.

Removing the constraint of 'food', I now hope to find some time to write here again. Not as much as in the past certainly, and probably not as linky as it's been. I don't spend a whole lot of time online anymore, at least compared to the ten-plus hours a day I used to.

So what's that mean? First, don't get your hopes up, this might be one of my (many) projects that I want to do (ahem, like the violin lessons I undertook back in January) but don't really have the time for. Second, there are probably lots of things broken around here.

I really rushed this "redesign" so that I could just get writing. That was supposed to the point all along, wasn't it?

A serious return to blogging

I want to avoid any bold proclamations here, in case I totally find that I don't want to be blogging again after all, but I will go so far as to say: I'm back! I missed relaunching by my blog's birthday (11 years!) on May 2 but this is pretty close. The site's been moved to a new host, a new design's been applied, and I feel like it's a fresh start. That's what I've needed. At least, that's what I've told myself. We'll see if that was really the case.

Also there are some new posts below that you won't have seen because I was kind of secretly blogging there for a while as I got the site fixed up and moved. So yeah. Don't wanna get too meta so that's it for now.

Welcome whoever wants non-food

Welcome to the new old megnut.com, now located at meg.hourihan.com. Some day I'll update the design so it looks like the new site that it is. For now I've just lopped the "nut" off the banner and started to remove the cooking posts. More to come eventually.

For those that want it, the feed for this is http://meg.hourihan.com/index.xml

Happy birthday dear megnut!

Today megnut.com is seven years old. It's hard to believe, actually impossible almost to believe it's been going for so long. This site has seen me through singledom, coupledom, engageddom and now marrieddom. It's seen me through tech start-up entreprenuer times, unemployed times, working as an independent consultant, more entreprenuer times, more unemployed times, and then a shift to restaurant and kitchen work, and now a more food-focused life. When it started, it was one blog among maybe a hundred. Now it's one in a sea of millions of blogs. Nearly every friend I have, including my husband, can be traced in some way to this site.

For a long time, it was just something this site was just something I had or did. I didn't put too much thought into what it was supposed to be or what it meant to me. But you can't do something for seven years and not realize, "Wait! This is really meaningful to me, and special, and I'd be really sad if it went away." As you may have noticed by the recent volume of postings, it's not going away anytime soon. In fact, I'm feeling a new-found excitement about blogging and this site and its potential. Seven blog years is like twenty dog years, which is like 80 human years, but don't worry, this old blog has a little life in her yet. Happy birthday megnut.com, old girl!

A very megnut.com birthday

Today is the sixth birthday of this site. Sixth! It's hard to believe it's been going for so long (and by "going" I mean "hanging on by a thread for weeks on end when I barely bother to update"). I've -- really I'm not lying -- been working on a redesign for the past two weeks, and I'd hoped to launch it today for a birthday present. But as these things go, it's not done, and I now actually don't like the design anymore. But I do have changes planned, and will probably roll things out gradually. For now, let's just all sing "Happy Birthday megnut.com!" and I'll get started baking the cake.

Links from Day 2 of ETech

This is a dump of lnks of interest to me that come up during talks during the second day at Etech. Newest at top. Late start because I was running in the AM.

Ta-da Lists
Really simple to-do list management.

Cory Doctorow's notes
Cory's notes from James Surowiecki's talk, "Independent Individuals and Wise Crowds, or Is It Possible to Be Too Connected?"

The SchoolTool Project
"SchoolTool is a project to develop a common global school administration infrastructure that is freely available under an Open Source licence."

Instiki
"Instiki is a Wiki Clone (What is a wiki?) that’s so easy to set up and so pretty to look at, you’ll be wondering whether this is a real wiki at all...Instiki only relies on Ruby—no Apache, no MySQL, or other dependencies(yay!). Instiki runs on Windows, Linux, OSX, and any other platform where Ruby does."

Dodgeball
"A service which aims to coordinate social interactions between mobile users"

Pac-Manhattan
"Pac-Manhattan is a large-scale urban game that utilizes the New York City grid to recreate the 1980's video game sensation Pac-Man. This analog version of Pac-man is being developed in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications graduate program, in order to explore what happens when games are removed from their 'little world' of tabletops, televisions and computers and placed in the larger 'real world' of street corners, and cities."

Links from Day 3 of ETech

This is a dump of lnks of interest to me that come up during talks during the third day at Etech. Newest at top.

An Intimate History of Humanity by Theodore Zeldin
Matt Webb says this is one of his favorite books from 2004.

Dwindling Etech links

As you can see by the number of links posted over the course of three days, Etech kicked my butt and exhaustion took hold. By the end just being able to follow a talk was about all I could muster. Dare I say I'll write up my thoughts about the conference in the next few days and post something about my experience? A wiser woman would not, but I still dream of the day when I actually take the time to summarize a conference.

The very long half-marathon

Saturday morning I ran the Brooklyn Half-Marathon, a supposed final "tune-up" before the Paris Marathon which looms before me on April 10th. Since I've been skiing a lot more than I should be, and running a lot less (with the slim hope that all the skiing will be close enough to running to "count"), I'd lowered my goal for Paris from Sub 4:30 Marathon to Just Finish and Have Fun. Judging by my performance on Saturday, Just Finish will be a challenge, and Have Fun will be unachievable.

Guh! Who would have thought 13.1 miles could be sooooo looooong? Perhaps it was because I skied for nearly seven straight days, then headed to San Diego where I barely got any rest and conferenced up a storm, then flew the red-eye back to NY and two nights before the race had only 4 hours sleep? Perhaps it's because I just haven't done the work. Either way, my legs felt like lead, and I had to coax them through the flats of Brooklyn and then plead with them through the rolling hills of Prospect Park. Final result? 2:18:52. I'm really beginning to dread Paris.

Paris Marathon training plan

I've begun my training for the Paris Marathon though I haven't really been running much yet. I've been doing some swimming, a lot of downhill skiing, ice skating/hockey, and some snowshoeing. I guess you'd call that cross-training, wouldn't you?

When I trained last year for the New York City Marathon, I followed this Marathon Training for Beginners program from Runner's World. It worked great and I felt 100% prepared when I got to the start. But when I looked at their Intermediate Program, it seemed awful long for someone who was already in marathon shape, especially since I was hoping to give my body a little time to recover from NYC.

After talking with some more experienced marathoners (including a sub three hour runner), I gravitated towards a shorter program that encourages less running per week but stresses higher mileage. I'm using Hal Higdon's Senior Marathon Training Program. It has three major benefits for me right now:

1. It's only eight weeks long, meaning I don't have to really start running regularly until the week of February 13th. That gives me a little more recovery time for my achy hip and lets me do more fun outdoor activities. Otherwise I'd be using up nearly all my energy running, and that wouldn't be much fun!

2. It (hopefully) gives New Hampshire some time to warm up! It's been brutally cold here, around -10° F (-23° C) at my usual morning running time. I don't mind running in the cold, but -10° is a little too cold.

3. With only three days of running, I have time for cross-training. For the two Stretch & Strengthen (S & S) days, I'm going to a Masters swim team program (no racing, just good organized swim workouts) and doing weights when I get home.

Will the less is more approach work? A big test will be the NYRR Brooklyn Half-Marathon on March 19th. My goal for Paris is 4:30, which means I need to do 2:15 or better in Brooklyn. That's less than two months from now, so I guess I'll find out soon enough!

Marathon is less than a week away

There is some great advice in the comments of my post Marathon training advice. I realize it's more marathon race running advice than training advice, but still, close enough. Also, for those still paying attention to that thread, I posted a new comment asking about the use of petroleum jelly. Thanks to everyone for their advice and encouragement!

Hopefully this won't be the case

But if we wake up tomorrow and history repeats itself, the BBC addresses some basic questions with, Q&A: What if there is no clear winner? I hopeful that this year the election will be decided by the voters and not the Supreme Court, but after the 2000 debacle (and reading about electronic voting machines throwing errors), I'm not so optimistic.

48 hours till M-Day

The marathon is looming on the horizon. I've been eating lots of carbs and went for my final short run this morning. I feel ready! And I can't wait to just get out there and run and have it done with. One of my running mates David has created a course map in Flickr for folks to annotate with their location. If you'll be cheering and have a Flickr account, please post your location on the Marathon Course Map. If you don't have a Flickr account and plan on watching and cheering, tell me your location in the comments so I can listen/look for you. I'll need all the support I can get, especially in the Bronx around mile 20. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of what I plan to wear so you can pick me out of the crowd. Thanks for all your support, it really means a lot and will help me get through the hard times knowing folks are thinking of me and cheering me on.

Done and done!

I've survived the NYC Marathon and actually had a pretty smooth time running it. More later, now I'm just recovering on the sofa. Also later a photo of my medal.

Highlights from the Marathon

photo by Jason Kottke
photo by Jason Kottke, www.kottke.org

It was a bit weird this morning to wake up and not have to worry about the marathon. It was also a bit weird to wake up and not be able to bend my knees. I'm sure they'll recover with time though. Jason snapped the above photo early in the race in Brooklyn, around mile 4. You can still see the Verrazano Bridge in the distance. I had lots of energy at this point and you can see all of us smiling as we spotted our first cheering friends.

Additional marathon photos can be found all over. Gina, who waited for us in Brooklyn at Fourth Avenue and 14th Street, captured a lot of nice shots of the day, and also my favorite photo of us racing. So artsy!

You can peruse all the Flickr photos with the tag "nycmarathon" and see the few I managed to snap before I gave up trying. The sun was too bright to see the screen and after a while I just wanted to run.

Photographer Rion Nakaya captured Faces of the Marathon for the Morning News. And there are plenty more photos of Marathon finishers on her site that are worth checking out.

All in all, it was a glorious day for running. Thanks to everyone for coming out and cheering us on.

Crossing the finish line

In what will hopefully be last NYC Marathon-related post for a while, here's a photo of me finishing the race. Unfortunately at the end there I got jammed up with that older gentleman in blue, so they didn't get a very clear shot of my triumphant completion of the course. I look very serious. I think that's because I didn't see that words "FINISH" on the banner and wasn't 100% the thing was finally, really, actually, over!

Digital Lifestyle Day

Digital Lifestyle Day 05 is underway here in Munich and happily my panel was not only the very first one, but I was the first speaker. So now my work is done and I can enjoy the conference and the mingling and the snacks and coffee! It's been very interesting so far and fun to share the stage with people like Caterina (from flickr.com) and Michael (from last.fm). My brain's bubbling with lots of thoughts, most of which would be clearer if I weren't quite so tired. Still, the conference is fun so far. Check out the website for more information, I believe they're putting up streams of the presentations so you can see what's going on.

Soon I'll be in San Diego

You may have noticed over on the sidebar (unless you're an RSS reader, in which case here's a special message for you (non-RSS readers, feel free to skip ahead): you're missing new content that I don't syndicate! I put little messages and pictures in the sidebar! Come back to the lovely old HTML megnut.com!) that I'll be attending the 4th Annual O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference later this month in San Diego. I've been to every Emerging Tech conference and am once again looking forward to the trip and the experience.

I'm especially looking forward to hearing New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki speak (Independent Individuals and Wise Crowds, or Is It Possible to Be Too Connected?), as he's one of my favs from the magazine. And there's a hardware hacks (Hardware Hacks from the Far Side) session that piques my interest as well. I always find I go to the sessions about hardware and then envision myself soldering things and building my own army of robots once I get home. Alas, I have yet to build one robot arm or leg, so there's nothing even close to a company or regiment of robots in my apartment. But maybe this is the year! Of course, my army of robots would be a peace-loving type of army, tasked with feeding the cat while I'm out of town and emptying his kitty litter. Maybe they'd do some dishes too.

In summary, in case you had trouble following that crazy post: I'm going to the Emerging Technology Conference. And: yay!

Get yer free land!

Please note: this is only a link to an article about free land. I do not know anything about getting free land so please don't email me asking how to do so. Thanks.

The Mid-West is offering free land! To stem the exodus of its populations to cities, many small midwestern towns are offering incentives to folks who'd be willing to move there, according to this New York Times article, Empty House on the Prairie. As a fan of the Little House on the Prairie, I must admit I'm tempted. On my one visit to rural Nebraska, I was stuck by the beauty of the prairie landscape. And then there's this:

In some of these towns, a commute to work is four minutes; crime is all but nonexistent; at night you half-believe you can look toward the soundless sky and see the outskirts of heaven. And isolation, in our age of 500 channels, of easy Internet access and e-mail, does not mean the same thing it did to generations past.

Perhaps I'll load the covered wagon, hitch up the team, and hit the trail. When you next see me, I'll be running down a hill in my calico dress, my arms outstretched at my sides, my bonnet flapping in the wind.

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