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The Duluth Fall Festival 5K

Today I ran the Duluth Fall Festival 5k. Not a bad day for it – it was overcast and around 70 at race time. I’m not sure how many people ran, but it was quite a large crowd. No – I did not see Jennifer Wilbanks (the infamous “runaway bride”) there (not that I looked for her) although someone did mention her name while we were lining up.
My time? 33:49. I was shooting to be under 30 minutes, but running with a crowd is different than running from home. First, when the timer starts, you haven’t started (unless you’re keeping a 5 min mile pace and are on the starting line). Second, depending on the width of the course, you are going to lose a little pace. Third, if you take water, that is going to slow you down. My first two mile splits were just under 10 minutes each. I took water at mile 2 (against my better judgment) and that killed a little time when I inhaled it into my lungs instead of drinking it. And then there was that hill just .3 mile past there. Oh well – it was a learning experience to say the least.
For those of you who like to see the course route ahead of time (nice to pick out landmarks), here is a map of the course my Forerunner captured. I’m also including the elevation chart, although it is deceiving. I’m not sure why the elevation is screwed up right at the end unless it was the trees at mile 3. It should have returned back to the 1050 ft elevation. Oh well. Turn by turn directions are below the charts.

Route Elevation
Duluth Fall Festival 5K Route Duluth Fall Festival 5K Elevation

Turn By Turn
Start on Hill St directly behind ampitheater. Head up hill and turn left on W Lawrenceville St. This becomes McClure Bridge Rd. Turn Right on Howell Springs Rd (1 mile mark right at the turn). Follow this until right before it ends, turn right on Howell Mead Drive. Follow this road around, it will change names to Irvindale Rd after it goes around a 90 degree bend. After the bend, it’s a short distance to mile 2. Then up a hill, down a hill, and then the road will dump you back out at W Lawrenceville St right by Joan Glancy Hospital. Hang a left here to head back to the start finish line. Yes, it’s up hill here, but you’re almost there, so kick it in!

Priorities

An article in the WSJ “Personal Journal” section today talked about different gadgets for recharging your vital gadgets in cases of emergency. It reviewed various types of chargers for cell phones and weather radios – even devices with a hand crank on them. What got me was included in this review of ’emergency kit’ chargers was a device to recharge your iPod mini. C’mon… your iPod mini is part of your emergency kit?
Me: “Sweetie – where’s the flashlight? I can’t find it in our emergency kit.”
Tammy: “Oh, I took it out so I could stick my iPod in there.”
Note to self: check emergency kit when I get home.

Seeking Balance

I spend some weeks going 100 miles an hour down various technology paths in an attempt to enrich my life and my company’s bottom line. This week it seems like I’m spending time taking an inventory of the disruptions that technology has introduced in my life.
Current Example
Delicious. You know – your centralized repository for remembering, categorizing, and sharing links (can you believe they are 2 yrs old? Seems like only yesterday). When I create web pages, I put an extended title in the tag. It is fairly well known that search engines cross-reference the title of the page to the text on it for the purposes of scoring the relevancies of various words and phrases. Browsers only show the first 100 characters or so.
But when you tag my site with del.icio.us, you get a lot more. And it is more oriented toward marketing ME than it is to telling you what my site is about and why you should visit it regularly. Ideally, I want del.icio.us users to see “Mike Schubert – Software Development, Finance, and more!” or something to that effect, while the title browser is still the long-winded thing for the search engines. I want to have my cake and eat it, too (why buy cake if you’re not going to eat it?).
So to everyone that sees my long-winded title bar show up in your del.icio.us links, I apologize. I am aware. And it is on my @Thinkaboutit sheet of issues that deserve thought. It would be really nice if we could embed an alternate title tag for del.icio.us to read, but this isn’t really their problem and that seems a little hokey to ask for. Ok – it’s still on @Thinkaboutit.

Project Scheduling

Bob Lewis has an interesting column up this week over on IS Survivor on the process for bypassing projects. The topic fit in pretty well with my rants this week, so I thought I’d send you over that way.
I have long thought that your project backlog should be treated like an investment portfolio. Rate the risks, returns, and effort and you should be able to choose the next project to work on with the resources you currently have. Why is that not ubiquitous? Have I been studying Finance for too long now?
In the end, transparency will win. One day, I will prove it.

Grasping the Concepts and Benefits of the Wiki

I immediately grasped the full potential of wikis many years ago. Fred Wilson admits it took him a little longer but he is completely on board now. In his evangelism, he points out the many characteristics that make wikis great in society and busienss. What I would like to know is what finally did it for him. Was repeated exposure to Wikipedia the entry drug?
Several months ago, I blogged about wikis and even co-presented a proposal at work that we use a wiki as our intranet. The presentation was to a group of technology professionals and I thought for sure our demonstration showed the benefits of turning the intranet (currently just a bunch of links that no one really uses) over to end users. We showed how sales folks could post competitive information, proposal templates, and success stories; engineers could post configurations and schedules; and anyone who wanted to stick a personal page or a team page out there could do that as well. We were going to decentralize the intranet and provide a framework so that if the users wanted to arrange it in a manner that made sense to them, they could.
But alas, only a couple of people bought into our vision. For some, I’m sure it was a first exposure to wikis. How could I have better sold this idea? I’m not sure. I believe the communication strategy was appropriate and the audience was definitely ready to hear this message. The hardware requirements were nil and the software was free (MediaWiki on top of LAMP). I refrained from showing Wikipedia in our presentation because it is seemed a little too abstract from our business to make that leap.
So I’ll put this question out to you – as always, you can contact me directly if you don’t feel like doing the typing in the small comments box below – how did you introduce the disruptive wiki into your organization? What made it ‘click’ for your company?

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