Up late … again.

So yeah, I’m up late again. I’ve just finished journalling in my notebook, and I’m still kind of awake. Of course, this is what happens when you drink soda late into the evening. I’ll get over it eventually. The only thing different about tonight is that I need to be up early in the morning to go to work tomorrow.

Yes, on Sunday.

We’re rolling out a new POS system this weekend, and we have to go update all the PIN pads at all the branches before the agents return on Monday. I went with Paul to the branch in SF Richmond district on Friday night. Yesterday I went to the Redwood City branch. Tomorrow (today, really), I’m going to one of the Oakland branches. Here’s hoping that things are working well after everything’s done. Yesterday’s visit was actually pretty easy. I’m hoping that today’s will be pretty good as well. I have things I’d like to do with my day – not the least of which is making myself available for more overtime at the office. I like overtime pay. 🙂

I’m typing this on one of my many mechanical keyboards. The one I’m using right now is my MiniVan44, a 40% form-factor keyboard. I’ve finally gotten a layout that I think I’ll like for it. I really like the sound of this keyboard. It’s one of the loudest keyboards I have, and the clack is just soooo very satisfying to hear.

MiniVan44 keyboard with stock keycaps.

The MiniVan with the stock keycaps at work.

This was actually not the first 40% keyboard I’ve ever built. That designation goes to my Atreus, as pictured here:

Atreus Keyboard

Atreus 40% Keyboard with Franklin-Christoph Model 45 XLV “IPO” fountain pen.

The keyboard I have found myself using the most is actually my Planck keyboard:

Planck Keyboard

Planck Keyboard with “Unicorn Puke” SA keycaps from the Pulse SA set

Yeah, I’ve really been bitten by the Mechanical keyboard bug, and it’s taken me HARD into its grasp. I’m not complaining. I’ve been typing on a mechanical keyboard in one form or another for the last 16 years or so, when I got my first Kinesis Contoured keyboard. And up until this past January, they were the only keyboard I’d ever consider using at all. But then both my home one and work one died within a week of each other and I was left scrambling for a keyboard that worked for me. I initially used the Keycool 87 keyboard I’d purchased about two and a half years ago, but I didn’t like the size of it. I then purchased a Pok3r 60% form-factor keyboard, which I liked for the most part. Work ended up replacing my mysteriously water-logged Advantage keyboard, but I received an Ergodox kit just a few weeks later. This became the first keyboard I’d ever built.

My custom keyboards

Some of the keyboards I’ve built

Above are five of the six keyboards I’ve built. Not pictured is the Preonic I’ve given to Seph. I have another keyboard in my possession right now that’s waiting to be built, and parts for another coming. I also have the design for yet another keyboard that I really want to build as a hand-wired custom keyboard. I really like building these things. I actually like the building more than the using, really.

Except for the Planck. That li’l guy has stolen my heart and is pushing the Kinesis keyboards off to the side. I don’t know why, but I really love typing on that thing. One of these days I’ll build a Dactyl keyboard and have the best of both worlds: a fully-custom fully-programmable keyboard with the ergonomics of the Kinesis contoured keyboards. At this point in time, I think that the Dactyl will be my end-game, but for now that title is still held by the Kinesis — if only barely.

Okay, I’ve been at this for a long time. I think it’s time for me to really give some serious consideration to going to bed. I now have only four hours in which to get some sleep before I have to be up again. If you’ve read this far, thanks for visiting. I’ll try to get this blog updated more often. Who knows – maybe it’ll become the habit that kills my Facebook usage. (After all, it was Facebook that killed my blogging…)

Good night, thanks for visiting, and Keep Coming Back!!!

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Holy crap, has it really been two years?

Actually, it’s been a lot longer than that since I’ve made a post to my website. I actually packed up my server and moved in with my beautiful fiancee. Life with him has been pretty awesome, I’ve gotta say. Eventually, I’ll pull my server back out and start finding places to put my data so I can retire it again… or repurpose it.

In the last two years I’ve found a boyfriend, moved to a new town, gotten a new job, and gotten engaged. I’ve participated in a week-long bicycle ride of 545 miles and spent 7 full months off the bicycle. I’ve rediscovered my love of fountain pens, and found a new love in mechanical keyboards – both of which have been the cause of my wallet being continuously empty.

It’s been fun, scary, awesome, and not-so-awesome all at the same time. I’m grateful for where I am today and am looking forward to what the future brings.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll start blogging more?

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Gearing up for the 2015 AIDS/LifeCycle event…

This post is a blatant attempt to solicit donations for my participation in the 2015 AIDS/LifeCycle event.

May 31st through June 6th of 2015, I’ll be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to support the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS services of the L. A. Gay & Lesbian Center. This bike ride means the world to those who receive treatment as a result of this event, and your support means the world to me.

To participate in the ride, I need to raise a minimum of $3,000 but I’ve set a personal fundraising goal of $5,000. Every little bit helps.

We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today?

You can make a donation using this offline donation form, or by visiting my personal fundraising page and clicking the green Donate button.

Thank you in advance!

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Throwback Thursday

I posted this to my Facebook, but decided I should go ahead and post it here as well.

For today’s throw-back Thursday, I’m going back to 2011, when I’d just finished my first ever ride up to the Lick Observatory, from home – six months ahead of my goal for that year! I would go on to ride up Mount Hamilton eight more times that year. I’m looking forward to trying to get 10 rides up this awesome mountain this year.

Me atop Mount Hamilton with the Trek

This was the first time I rode up Mount Hamilton.

My goals for that year were simple. In other for me to justify spending $1500 on a bicycle, I decided that I was going to try and ride 800 miles for the year. By the time March rolled around, I’d just kicked over the 800 mile mark. Then I made a personal goal of completing a ride up Hamilton by the end of summer, which I’d achieved by the beginning of May. Finally, without realizing it, I’d achieved my goal of riding a century by riding to Santa Cruz and back on my own one sunny spring day.

I only have two goals this year: finish Climb to Kaiser, and finish the ride I’d stayed back in July of last year when I got sideswiped by the RV.

This year will mark my third attempt at the Climb to Kaiser. The first year, I made it to the top, but didn’t have the energy to make it back down. I was pretty beat when I got there. Last year, I didn’t even make it to Shaver lake. With 100-pluss degree weather, once I got to the top of Old Tollhouse Road, I was done. I crossed the 4-lane road and made my way to the rest stop on the other side. During the last stretch back to the school, my Garmin Edge 500 had a temperature reading of 119°.

The heat was BRUTAL.

This year, I’ll have better gearing, and hopefully I’ll be in much better shape. I really want that damn finisher’s jersey!

As far as the route for the 2nd Annual Bay Area Cogal is concerned … I need to finish that route. I feel like I’m missing something by not completing that ride. Some day in the summer, I’m going to give that a try – solo or in a group – and I’m going to persist until I’ve finished!

Did I mention I have a new bicycle? Yeah, she’s sexy. She doesn’t have a name, but boy is she a nice ride:

Me and Mrs Volagi

Having just finished getting fitted, I decided I should get my photo taken with the new gal.

Mrs Volagi

There she is, just after getting a V-cog sticker attached.

Well … that’s all for me for today. Thanks for visiting and Keep Coming Back!!!

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Happy Holidays!

As 2013 draws to a close, I can’t help but be grateful for my health and my friends. It’s been a wild ride, that’s for sure.

  1. I started off the year unemployed and fat. I’m currently about 9 pounds heavier than I was last year at this time, but still 15 pounds lighter than my heaviest back in July.
  2. I got a job working for Mirantis. I started out as an OpenStack Support Engineer in March, and transferred to IT as sysadmin in October. (they gave me a raise with that, too!)
  3. I got to enjoy some very beautiful bike rides this year as well: Tierra Bella century, SLO Bicycle Club Wildflower Century, another attempt at the Climb to Kaiser, SLOBC Lighthouse Century. I also finally made it from my home to my folks place in Modesto – a 100-mile trip over Mount Hamilton.
  4. I managed to be able to walk away from not one, but TWO collisions with moving vehicles while riding my bike.
    • The first being July 20th on a semi-organized group ride from Palo Alto to Santa Cruz and back. I got sideswiped by an RV while riding down Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz, just south of Año Nuevo.
    • The second happened on Oct 2nd while commuting to work. This accident happened less than mile from home. I was cut off by a driver who decided to make a right-hand turn right in front of me. My bike is still out of comission.
  5. I got new hearing aides! Having medical benefits that cover hearing aides totally rocks.
  6. Having medical benefits! Thanks to my company-provided medical benefits, I’ve been able to take care of a lot of my health issues. I had melanomas removed from my right ear, and my right arm. I came down with a MAJOR sinus infection in October, and was able to seek and receive treatment.
  7. Still being alive after all my medical problems. This year has been very rough for me with regards to accidents and medical issues. I’m so very grateful to still be alive and kicking after everything that’s happened. Here’s hoping to many, many more years of health and wellness!

I hope that 2013 has been good for the rest of y’all. Here’s to the new year and all the wonder and joy it may bring!

Happy holidays, everybody!

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There’s a First Time for Everything, I Guess…

I got to experience a first this weekend. On my ride yesterday, as I was trudging up Soquel – San Jose Road, I felt something bounce off my helmet and into my arms.

Some a-hole in a jeep decided it would be funny to toss an empty drink bottle at me.

At first, I was shocked. Then I realized what had happened and screamed some choice (but very naughty) words at the guy. Then I saw a blonde passenger turn and look over her shoulder and LAUGH at me.

Yeah, I was pissed for a few minutes until I caught up with my riding buddies. They weren’t happy either. If we had caught up to that person, somebody was gonna get beat up. (we outnumbered them, 3 to 2!)

Eventually I was able to let go of that anger – in all reality, I’ll probably never see that person or vehicle again. I can live on and forget their miserable existence. One of these days, they’re toss something at the wrong person and end up in a world of trouble. I don’t need to that kind of stress in my life, so the only thing I can do is let it go.

Oh, and by the time I made it back to the car, that event was but a distant memory. There are more important things in life than dealing with a-holes like them. =)

In case you were wondering, here’s the Strava link for my ride.

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Has it been 19 years already?

19 years ago today, I walked – nervously and propelled by blackmail – into my first meeting of Narcotics Anonymous. If I’d known then how much it would change my life for the better, I think I would have found it easier to get and *stay* clean and sober. It took me a while to put a few days together, and even longer to decide that I wanted to stay clean, but eventually I was able to do it. Fortunately for me, I was able to come back the next day after relapses. (My clean date is 1/31/96)

I’m grateful to the ex who blackmailed me into NA. I’m grateful for my family for their understanding in my journey, I’m grateful for my higher power for being there for me, and I’m grateful for the fellowship of NA for making me feel welcome and at home.

I have my recovery story here

Thank you, everybody. It feels good to be clean today!

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Another Year, Another Lack of Posting…

Dammit, Facebook has stolen my desire to blog! So, for that matter, have Twitter and Google+. I don’t use the latter two nearly as much as the former, but the whole micro-blogging bit is just so darn convenient.

It has been a long year for me. I started cycling regularly in January of 2011. Then last November came along, complete with illness and cold weather, and general all-around laziness. It took me three months to really get back onto the bike again. I’ve still not been as active as I was last year. The last month has been really tough, with getting sick in the middle of the week and laid off that Friday. Between being sick and being depressed, I just haven’t felt much for riding this month.

That changed this week.

So far this week, I’ve ridden over 80 miles (145.8km – you do the math) this week (as of today), and will try to ride either Friday or Saturday, weather depending. Sunday, I’m going for a nice longish ride, regardless of the weather. If I can do 80 miles without much traffic, I will.

There are a lot of uncertainties in my future, but I can’t stop everything. I still have to make plans and get on with my life. I just have a new job — finding a job. It’s actually not a bad gig. I have the flexibility of being able to do what I want, when I want, so long as I make an effort each day to look for work.

It’s a good trade-off, and I can’t complain too much. The future looks good. I think this change is what I needed.

Thanks for visiting and Keep Coming Back!!!

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Rush Set List from the Clockwork Angels tour

1) Subdivisions
2) The Big Money
3) Force Ten
4) Grand Designs
5) The Body Electric
6) Territories
7) The Analog Kid
8) Presto
9) Where’s My Thing? / The Rhythm Method / Where’s My Thing? cont’d
10) A Far Cry


11) Caravan
12) Clockwork Angels
13) The Anarchist
14) Carnies
15) The Wreckers
16) Headlong Flight
17) Halo Effect
18) Seven Cities of Gold
19) The Garden
20) The Manhattan Project
21) More Rhythm Method
22) Red Sector A
23) YYZ
24) The Spirit of Radio

-= ENCORE =-

25) Tom Sawyer
26) 2112

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Welcome to MIA-ville, population: ME.

Yeah, I know I’ve not updated here in WELL over a year. I’ve been busy. For the last year, I’ve had a job and since January, I’ve been spending most of my free time on my bicycle. So far this year, I’ve logged about 2600 miles and 90,000 feet (elevation) on my trusty Trek 2.1 road bike. I’m hoping to increase that mileage figure to at least 4800 miles by the end of the year, but we’ll see. Weather’s always a factor.

I’d love to say I’m going to make more of an effort to post here, but the truth of the matter is that Facebook, Twitter, and other microblogging sites have pretty much captured my attention. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start normalblogging again soon when the social media outlets start losing their lustre. *shrug*

I got my CCNA back in June of 2010. Two weeks after I received my CCNA certs in the mail, I landed a job – another desktop support job. It’s been pretty cool though. The company I’m contracting for seems to like me and I should be (hopefully) getting converted to full-time soon. There’s room for advancement and movement in other directions there, and the team I’m a part of is awesome. We’ll see how it all plays out.

I signed up for classes at Mission College in the fall. I’m taking the next two Cisco classes, working toward my CCNP certification. I actually paid for it out of my own money this time. Such are the joys of being employed.

Those who’ve been to my site with any regularity may notice the Strava applet embedded in the menu on the right-hand side. It’s not an advert, it’s a widget from Strava (where I log my mileage on the bike) to show my weekly stats. Hopefully, I’ll keep it around 100 miles/week. Keep your eyes there for updates on my cycling progress.

Well, that’s all from me for now. Hope to see y’all again sometime within the next 14 months. Thanks for visiting and Keep Coming Back!!!

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