CISSP, New Role, Rattly Exhaust, DDR still dumb

I took a class for the CISSP certification. Its a hell of a certification, honestly, and 5 days of cramming was not enough. This is ONE of the books.

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Its really intense. After the ITIL Foundations exam (which, honestly, is easy, and I’d be upset if you actually tried and failed), the CISSP harkens back to the old Apple cert exams, no brain dumps, just a bunch of knowledge that you have to know, intrinsically. The course was the first week of August, but they couldn’t get me into the test center until September 16. Thats really irritating. Here’s hoping. 

I got a new job (after being promoted), so thats a thing. Its some sort of project lead.

My car just dinged 175k, so thats a thing. Its got a rattly exhaust, and I’m going to get my spark plugs replaced for the first time. The place I take my car has this blind black lab named Beauty, she’s really awesome. Here she is, and I can hardly handle it:

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She might be blind, but every dog loves Uncle Jesse’s Patented Neck Scratch ™(r). Ugh, going there to get my car worked on is awesome but it’d be weird if i just hung out and played with the dog while they fix me car. I’ll just work from the mechanic’s shop. Thats not weird. Right?

I’ve played DDR for a long time, and recently Game Play upgraded their SN2 to 2014 and the back to X3. I finally got an actual machine AAA, even though its not really a AAA. I’LL TAKE IT.

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Lousy Smarch Weather

It’s March 20, and it snowed today. Thats horrible. I know I’m not the only one to post the image below. I don’t care.

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Dropbox recently reduced my “free” storage to 3 GB, which isn’t really acceptable. I saw a link on reddit that said you could get 100GB added to your free-tier account (already 15GB, so 5x my dropbox) for no cost for a year. Since they’ve got an iOS version, an OS X version, and a Windows version (obviously), it was really a no-brainer to give it a shot. I only used dropbox for, essentially, temporary file storage. I don’t trust their privacy policy (https://www.dropbox.com/privacy) because it says that they’ll basically hand over my stuff if anyone says boo. I use spider oak for my backups, since they’ll hand the data over too… But its encrypted, so good luck! I don’t have anything to hide, but if its all the same, I’ll keep to myself. Thanks!

I use use OneDrive for sending links to people (I used to use a transmit droplet to this site’s predecessor, but I find the ubiquity of the OneDrive folder across devices to be much easier to use) and store my encrypted password database (from http://www.keepassx.org/). It works well enough, and I can send a photoset to someone without stressing about it, or juggling. So far, so good. I’ve also started using Bing, because the “100GB for a year” promotion means that i have to search for 500 things, and i get that 100GB for my OneDrive, basically, in perpetuity. I like that. 

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Laura and I are trying to move on and heal from the loss of Ganon. Its very difficult. She’s crafted a shadowbox with his collar, and his ball, as well as a picture and a pintresty-but-adorable poem altered to match his life with us. It’s been difficult to process him being gone. Different things catch my eye funny… Walking out the door and not seeing him on the ottoman, looking at all the framed pictures. We still haven’t touched his toy box. Part of me feels like, I don’t know… If i move them, I’ll forget about him. I won’t, and i know I won’t, but it seems too final to put his stuff away. 

This weekend, for the second time, I’m escorting a dog named “Abbott” to an adoption event. He’s a sad soul, completely deaf, and visually impaired. He’s absolutely stunning, and very cuddly, regardless of his impairments. I’ll make no secret that I’ve become artificially attached to this dog as a coping mechanism. All of my friends dogs (and one friends cat) are getting extreme attention from me. I don’t know how long it’ll take me to think that getting another dog isn’t replacing Ganon. The ideal time for it is summer, when Laura is off, but this summer isn’t even a remote possibility. Here’s a picture of Abbott.

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Other than that, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a DDR machine. The financial stress that we incurred because of Ganon’s veterinary needs kinda pushed it out of the realm of possibility for a “new” machine (one from japan, real brand new style), but I’m keeping my eye out for a cheap one. There is a guy in California selling a Supernova 2 for more-than-I-want, but its not selling. Hopefully, he will accept my offer sooner, rather than later.

What happened to that guy?!

The bare doldrums of a blog… The times when the owner gets too busy to tell everyone what he’s doing!

A pretty thin excuse. I have an action-packed update!

In September, I ran a Ragnar relay race, which was an exceptional experience. I’ve never spent 34 hours in a van before, but I can say with certainty that, at the end, I smelled worse than I’ve ever smelled, ever, but wow… Running through farmland, in the pitch dark, with nothing but my headlamp and my thoughts was an experience I’ll not soon forget. At one point, I felt eyes on me… And I swung my head to the right, and there was a field full of cows staring at me. It was very unsettling, in an odd way. 

One thing that I was wholly not-in-any-way-prepared-for was the amount of hills in a Ragnar. We started in Cumberland, which is not classically known for its even and flat terrain. I ran leg 3 (which was deemed difficult enough to award me a belt buckle for accomplishing), and then 17 and 18 (the latter of which I liken to running up a mountain), followed by a bit of sleep, and then a 4.2 mile leg (leg 25) and an easy 2.8 miles (leg 26). Leg 25 felt reasonable… Leg 26 was torture. Not as bad as 18, mind you.

I have never actually felt, during any exercise, that I would be physically unable to carry on, not just with the exercise, mind you… But like death. Climbing the mountain in leg 18 was the closest I’ve been, in my life, to “NOPE”.

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That arrow points at a 500 foot elevation gain in less than a single mile. You might be better at hills than me, but I nearly died after already putting in ~16 miles. And this was in the dark, so, essentially… You can’t see the top of the hill. It was crazy, it was a test of my personal fortitude. I’ve never been happier to see a creamery (the end station), and that says a lot. Those of you that knew me when I was a bigger guy know I could knock over some ice cream. 

I ran the Baltimore Half Marathon, which I’ve a storied and miserable history with; mostly bad things, of course. In 2012, I ran the race with little training, with a big tear in my left meniscus (which I would later undergo a medical procedure to fix), and because of the lack of training, and the injury, I clocked in a 2:49-ish . In 2013, I registered, but hurt my neck pretty badly (so badly that I couldn’t move for a few days!), and it was too late to defer. This year, with no training (again), I ran this race, and 13.1 didn’t feel that long. It was probably ragnar and the eternal night-run that made it that way. I clocked in at 2:32, which I’m not PROUD OMG of, but its not that bad, all considered. Corrigan Sports puts on an awful post-race food area. Bananas, gross protein bars, bagels, and chips. Thats it! When Richmond has huge amounts of pizza, you roll into Baltimore’s sad food area and feel REALLY bad for the people who ran the full. Here’s the badge dealie:

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The Bay Bridge 10k is coming up, in November, and its been a disaster. They’re not providing cups, they’ve added a parking charge… Its pretty ridiculous. The whole thing smacks of a cash-grab, which is fine… I’m just upset I didn’t notice it earlier. Oh well… I’ll know to avoid that race promoter in the future. 

Brief Update

I’ve been pretty busy lately! I accomplished a Ragnar relay race. I should probably do a post detailing that experience. I’m currently jamming on a Monstercat song. Here it is!

Yoga is pretty neat

I just found this video again. Its years-old by now, but still really cool.

I think, though, that the doctors told him he wouldn’t walk again because the amount of work he put into his recovery is not common. Saying “You can walk again!” to most people doesn’t mean “if you follow an especially rigorous rehabilitation regime, you can walk again”. I don’t know.

Still a good video.