this weekend in berlin

Posted in berlin, street art on July 24th, 2008 by fabienne

art and bike

just thought i’d post about a couple of nifty things to do this weekend in berlin. firstly, tomorrow starting at 18uhr is the monthly critical mass bike get-together meeting at Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg. saturday get your vegetable on with the yearly water gun fight between F’hain and X’berg on the Oberbaumbruecke. gather up some rotten veggies and lob them at the opposite neighborhood. waterproof camera gear is a prerequisite.

also on saturday i think i’ll go check out street artist xoooox’s exhibit. the show goes on until sept 10th. also showing right now is the paparazzi photo exhibit showcasing classic stolen shots of stars in the 60’s and 70’s. the helmut newton museum is free on thursday nights, so start your weekend this evening.

6.2137 miles

Posted in running on July 16th, 2008 by fabienne


[Photo by Tomas used under an Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Creative Commons license]

it’s been two months since i ran the avon frauenlauf, but i have managed to sporadically tie on the running shoes and get out of the house since. i didn’t beat my time from the last time i ran a 10k, but i almost tied it. the race i was trying to beat was the 10k new york run to liberty which i ran in 2002 in 57:24. at the avon frauenlauf two months ago i clocked in at 59:23. all in all, i started the race way too hot, hitting some sub 8 minute miles according to my garmin. by the time mile 4 came around there was no way i was keeping it up and i hit a big fat wall. i also forgot to drink my caffeine before the race (i had stopped drinking caffeinated drinks a few weeks before).

the race killed me a bit mentally, but since then i’ve had some time to reflect. i hadn’t run regularly since 2002 and the training schedule i started in march to train for the 10k drastically changed that. even though my race wasn’t a great success, the training meant i ran in some pretty awesome places and with some great people including: next to an agent from langley on a treadmill in vancouver while the snow was pouring down outside, a half dozen times around green lake in seattle, with melanie and her forerunner 205 while she was in berlin (run data), and my favorite, the johnstone trail. sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up by a goal. when other runners say the journey is the part that counts, try to listen.

today i managed to get myself outside to run for the second day in a row. my goal was to run longer than yesterday’s run (3.5 miles) and to run some negative splits (where the pace gets faster later in the run). i achieved both: 6.3 miles total distance, lap one pace at 9’55” minute miles, and lap two pace at 9’30” minute miles. to attempt to counteract my running plateau i’ve been trying some new things as well. firstly i’ve been drinking a sports drink while i run. i didn’t think i would like it, but after reading the evidence in Performance Nutrition for Runners, i thought i should at least give drinking while i run a try. based on the chart of pros and cons of sports drinks in the aforementioned book, i am drinking efs (no not the encrypting file system). efs comes in a few flavors; i’m using tangerine because it doesn’t contain sucralose. at first i found the taste really repulsive, but now i actually enjoy sipping it cold while i run. it hasn’t been enough time to see if it really is helping my runs, but i have been less sore after long runs where i’ve sipped along the way. the second change i’m making is to add in a bit of resistance training to my workouts — nothing drastic, just some basic crunches, squats, lunges and bicep/tricep curls.

right after my race two months ago i considered signing up for a half marathon sometime in october. i didn’t find any very local to me, so i may wait to see what my travel schedule dictates at that point. for now i’ll settle for running three to four times a week and increasing my distance. at least i can say with certainty that running is back in my life.

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e70 on the go

Posted in gadgets on July 7th, 2008 by fabienne


since i upgraded the firmware on my nokia e70 last week, i’ve been testing free phone apps. my favorite right now is talkonaut. talkonaut is a sip and chat client which i’m using as a jabber client. it’s clean and yet feature rich (various beep and vibrate profiles for when new chats arrive). it works splendidly over my 3g/umts data connection, and hands over seamlessly to gsm when the 3g drops out. the ui doesn’t really understand the e70’s portrait mode as far as menu button placement, and a joystick press is sometimes required to navigate between chat tabs, but it really is quite clean compared to anything else i’ve tried.

shozu is a bit of a mixed bag. it works well for cameraphone photo uploads, even with my photo site smugmug. at first i had a sort of kludge with emailing photos to smugmug, but it turns out that if you go to the shozu webpage (not on the phone) you can add a lot more available apps and services than just the default phone installation choices. tagging doesn’t stick with the shozu-smugmug system, but titles and uploads are fairly seamless in the nokia ui. the twitter part of shozu sucks, but it’s better than the dedicated twitter phone app twibble. i also tried out the symbian s60 jaiku app, but it’s not all that different or more feature rich than a basic twitter client.

since i still don’t have a way of sharing my 3g connection with my netbsd4 subcompact lappy from my e70, i want to try joikuspot lite. this app allows one to share a mobile connection over wifi. the newest version even includes wep if you want to be stingy (not that wep isn’t easily cracked, but whatever). where is the ubiquitous net? it’s not low-cost 3g data, but it’s the closest we have.

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bed project update

Posted in projects on July 6th, 2008 by fabienne

bed project

this bed, which i’ve aptly named the bed project, has been a LONG time in the making. it is only missing the last step: the upholstery of the topmost grey layer on the left half.

the purple satin tufted headboard is also a diy project of mine. the middle pillow cover was made by my mother. next up in the room decor queue are some bright purple acrylic diy lights to replace the grey ikea lamps.

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upgrading nokia e70

Posted in gadgets on July 3rd, 2008 by fabienne

not only is the nokia firmware upgrade for my e70 annoyingly windows-only, it didn’t exactly work on the first try. on nokia’s page it says “Windows 2000 (SP4 or later), Windows XP (SP1 or SP2), or Windows Vista”. well guess what, it didn’t really work:


then i tried downloading and running on xp, also a fail. the only thing that worked was using the nokia updater that someone already had installed on an xp machine and having it manually search for the e70’s firmware. luckily it managed to flash an english version on the phone (because i have a chinese branded qwerty e70).

since reflashing, i had some (non-nokia-related) issues with my 2gb minisd and ended up reformatting and losing all my contacts. other than that, things are looking great, the refresh rate on the flip screen is MUCH faster. hopefully i’ll get some happy web2.0 software installed now and email pushed to my phone again.

update: email works MUCH better now, but i think the phone didn’t really get updated to the newest firmware (3.0633.09.04) — right now it has 2.0618.07.10 for firmware. a friend mentioned that they had a properly working nokia pc suite to help me get it to upgrade. i’ll update as the situation gets fixed.

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updating my nokia e70 and — eek — joining twitter

Posted in blawging, gadgets on July 1st, 2008 by fabienne

phone on head

i held off joining twitter for a long time mostly because i felt a bit of social network fatigue after leaving the web2.0 world a year ago. now i need your recommendations for the best twittering tools: one for desktop use, one for my nokia e70. what i’m looking for:

– a desktop tool that pulls twitter messages in some sort of coherent fashion so i can see the difference between messages that are aimed @ me, in reply to me, private to me, and just general tweets. i hate that all those are just blobbed together into one big feed. yuck. the formatting should be different for these different types of messages so that i can easily reply to the ones i want to reply to. right now it feels like some sort of evil stream of consciousness. so what’s your favorite app for sorting out your tweets? it should be open source and *nix compatible and not a webapp. it can be a plugin for pidgin or a jabber client add on. i sifted through the twitter fan wiki list and couldn’t find a darn thing that fits what i’m looking for. suggestions? drop me an email or a tweet.

– a twitter client for my nokia e70 that rocks. i have an unlimited data plan. if i can find a winblows machine around somewhere i may even upgrade the firmware on my phone this week.

which brings me to my next project, integrating my e70’s voip over my cellular data plan with an asterisk system at home and my sip byod service with broadvoice. i have some friends that are already running similar scenarios and i am late to the party on this as well. more details on that when it’s up and running.

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