The Ducati Multistrada

This is the model that I have my eyes on for Shannon and I. There are other Ducati’s I would buy from a looks standpoint, but this one makes for a versatile tourer and two-up machine that would take us comfortably over highway, bi-way, and dirt track. Nothing too adventurous off road mind you – this is a bike that leans more to the blacktop than the dirt, but it can handle the light stuff just fine. The Multistrada won Cycle Words ‘best sports tourer’ for 2005.

The Ducati Multistrada

“Cycle World Magazine, the world’s largest circulating monthly motorcycle publication, awarded the Ducati Multistrada 1000S with one of their prestigious “Ten Best Bikes” awards this month. The editors voted the Multistrada the best Sport-Touring bike of 2005, citing it as the perfect combination of high-performance sport riding with the comfort and accessories of a capable distance bike.

The Cycle World “Ten Best” awards have been a staple in the motorcycle industry for the past 30 years and Ducati is honored to have the Multistrada included with such landmark motorcycles as the Ducati 916, Supersport 900, and Monster 900, all previous “Ten Best” award winners. Considering that for 2005 there are over 500 competing motorcycles from 36 manufacturers, this award is coveted among OEMs.

The improvements made on the 2005 Multistrada line, including the award winning 1000S version, impressed the Cycle World editors. “While revisiting the drawing
board, Ducati created the 1000S, an even sportier Multistrada with race-quality Ohlins suspension, carbon-fiber front fender, and an attractive tapered handlebar,”
said Cycle World editors.”

Our New Address

We’re moving Saturday July 15, 2006

We’re very excited to be in an old historic Spanish style house (1930) in the El Cid neighborhood just north of where we used to live in Prospect Park when we were on Westminster Rd. We’re about 1/4 mile from downtown West Palm Beach and just a block away from our beloved Intracoastal waterway. House has a lot of similarities to Pat’s old house in Alameda which makes it quite comfy. Mum and Neil will be helping us move before pushing off on the next leg of their world journey. At least they get 5 days in the new place to know what that’s like before they take off.

net2ftp.com a good thing

Just a quick word about a nice web tool that Shannon found recently.  In our business projects for EXCELER8, especially when supporting business blogging, we come across the need to have simple web-based applications to support various end-user blog editing.  Picture editing, image optimization, ftp, etc. You’d be surprised to see how hard it is to find some applications in a web-based thin client. net2ftp web based ftp programOne of the things we needed for a recent project for business blogging at a large company was a web-based FTP tool. Why would you need a free web-based FTP tool when your client is a major international company? Because getting the access permissions to install an FTP client on your client’s computer requires a trip to the dark side (The IT department).  In this case it would have meant letting IT in on the secret project. And that just couldn’t happen because it would mean a multi-month delay.  Yes, I do hate self important, big company IT people who have the need to control everything despite lacking the business acumen to accompany their technical skill-set. But never mind that.

Here’s a link to the FTP tool, net2ftp.com

Florida + Summer + Run + Heat = Kill Julian

I love to run and rather than succumb to the monotony of the gym I like to run varied routes around my house. My favorite is one I call the ‘Powerline’ which is a 5 mile trek that switches between sidewalk, road running and cross country (that’s the powerline part where my dirt trail follows a huge highway of powerlines connecting two major roads). It’s always a challenge to run here in South Florida in the summer given the heat index that we experience. Even at night it’s really warm – though the absence of the glaring sun is literally the difference between night and day as far as running endurance and difficulty go.

How to oool down quickly
Cooling down. credit: Nigel Holmes

Like any runner, I’ve become pretty familiar with my endurance and energy and I like to monitor the factors that influence the overall quality and difficulty of my run. What’s the biggest influencer? In practical terms, time-of-day, because that’s what drives the temperature and the amount of direct sun I’m running in. What I’m amazed by is JUST how much difference the direct sun and temperature have on my level of exertion and endurance. During the winter where we see temps in the 70’s I can run at a pretty fast clip and reel out a 45 minute run without tremendous strain. I’ve come to adjust my expectations to run around 30 minutes before taking a break during the summer, and then I can usually only take another 10 minute stretch. During the heat of the day in the summer (vs. an early morning run), I’ll find myself really struggling to make even 25 minutes before stopping for a rest. On a percentage basis that’s a huge performance gap.

I came across a recent article in Spirit Magazine, Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine, about a couple of Stanford University researchers who came up with a way to rapidly cool an athletes body down. It’s called CoreControl RTX, for rapid thermal exchange aka ‘the glove’. Two Stanford biologists, H. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn invented the device a few years ago and have now licensed the technology to a Michigan company called AVACore Technologies, a company that they are both major stakeholders in. The company they formed is charged with making the device commercially viable.

“The device invented by Grahn and his colleague, Stanford biology professor, H. Craig Heller, makes it possible to markedly enhance human physical performance by cooling the body core quickly, in 10 or 20 minutes. This temperature regulation allows athletes to recover from intense training and to increase their strength and endurance without using questionable supplements or anabolic steroids.” — author Heather Millar, Spirit Magazine

coreControl device by AVACore
coreControl device by AVACore

Professional sports teams like the Oakland Raiders and fellow athletes all over the world are now using AVACore technology to give them an edge.

Robert Weir, head coach of men’s track and field, gets ready for his strength-training regime by loading hundreds of pounds of weights onto both ends of a bar that rests in brackets at shoulder height. Weir moves under the bar, hoists it across his shoulders and does squats. With each repetition, his knees and hips fold until his thighs are parallel to the ground, then straighten—rep after rep with the equivalent of a baby elephant draped around his shoulders.

Like any athlete, Weir is well acquainted with his normal performance range. Like any athlete, Weir looks for an edge. A few years ago, he was intrigued when he heard about a device—that has been called at various times the RTX, Core Control or simply The Glove—invented by a pair of Stanford biologists. Using the device to lower his core body temperature between sets, he was able to lift 495 pounds in four sets of squats instead of his normal two. He usually does squats only on Mondays, but he decided to try a second series a few days later. That Friday, he was able to increase the weight to 545 pounds. “I was surprised the sets felt so good,” he says, but adds that the real test came the following Monday. Weir, 44, expected to see significant performance degradation due to the extra Friday workout. Not only did he not see the decay, he increased weight with every set. The RTX—for rapid thermal exchange—cooling device “is a very serious piece of equipment,” he says. “At my age, you don’t expect to be setting personal bests during workouts.” He trained with the cooling equipment for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and placed third in the discus. His oldest competitor was 15 years younger.” — author Eva Ciabattoni, Stanford Magazine

If you’re interested read more about their research here. 

My next move? Hand in ice bucket between laps or sets. Must try.

When I’m Sixty-four

My Mum recently turned 64 and as I was thinking about her on her Birthday this year I did the normal calculation that you invariably do when we think of someone turning a year older. I realized that this was her 64th Birthday. As soon as that occurred to me Paul McCartney’s voice rang out in my head to the famous Beatles tune “When I’m Sixty-four.”

Fast forward a couple of weeks or so to today. As I opened up the Lifestyle section of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this morning I saw a picture of the aging Beatle on the front page with the headline “McCartney’s ‘many years from now’ is now. In an article written by Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune he wrote:

“Yes, the cultural alarm clock that Paul McCartney set 39 years ago is ringing. The man who sang When I’m Sixty-Four in 1967 turns 64 on Sunday” June 17, 2006. According to the article Paul actually wrote the song when he was about 16 years old – placing the date he penned the musical ditty in the 50’s.

Lately I’ve been listening to songs on VH1 and the realization of the songs being over 20 years old has made ME feel old. I wonder what I’ll feel like at 64? I hope I make it that long. Since my mum will be here on June 30th with my stepdad Neil I shall ask her how it feels 🙂

Peace out.

Addicted to WordPress! Argh!

I can’t seem to stop myself from trying to figure out how all the themes and plugins work for WordPress. I’ve completely forgotten the most important part…The content stupid!
Julian the Bozo
It’s 4:57AM and I still haven’t gone to bed. There’s something seriously wrong with this picture.