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Becoming a Roller Derby addict

March 11th, 2014

This post was going to be about my 2013 however really all it can be is about one thing that started in 2013 and seems to have taken over my life. I never have been a sporty person and I have been over weight for a lot of my life. I have, however, always loved skating. I used to skate as a kid and as a teenager. I’ve roller skated, ice skated and skateboarded however I haven’t done any of them for a long while. In September I started skating again and a month later joined Leeds Roller Dolls. Now I’m completely addicted and working really hard to lose weight, get fit, and become the best skater I can be at my age.

What is Roller Derby you say. Here are the rules!

I’ve always been a skater although taken long rests. I learnt to roller skate as a child, then ice skated, then as a teenager went to roller discos and skate boarded, then at University went to the ice rink to skate, but as an adult I skated infrequently. The a few years ago I heard about Leeds Roller Dolls (“LRD”) and joined their Rag Dolls which was their Freshmeat class. The idea was that it was a crash course teaching you the basics before you join the main league. The problem was I was too fat and too unfit to keep up. I became despondent and gave up.

Then last year I decided to try again. I started walking to get a bit fitter. Also I searched online for somewhere I could skate without pressure and I found that LRD had an open skate night, “Wednesday Skate”, which anyone could go to and do as little or much skating as required. I was dreadful when I first went and could just about manage 3 laps before needing a rest. But gradually I remembered what I’d forgotten. After a month I was encouraged to join Wrecking Brawls.

Wrecking Brawls is LRDs recreational league. Since my last attempt at Roller Derby LRD had become a member league of WFTDA, the World Flat Track Derby Association. Basically they are the association that manages flat track Roller Derby and defines the rules. Part of their requirements is that you cannot play or scrimmage until you have passed a set of minimum basic skills (“mins”). Over the years these have got harder and the Rag Dolls concept just doesn’t work any more. So the recreational league allows skaters to learn the skills at their own rate without pressure and women can either stay with that league or once they become sufficiently skilled try out for the main league and potentially join the travel teams.

Wrecking Brawls are a great bunch of girls. The following photo was taken to show our support of diversity in sport!

Wrecking Brawls

LRD follows the tradition of “By the skater, for the skater”. The skaters run the league. Bouts do not happen without the referees, the non skating officials and other helpers all of whom are volunteers and many are members of the league themselves. So in addition to the skating I am now on a couple of committees and I am an NSO. This takes more time up. Some weeks I can be doing Derby related activity four days a week. My poor partner is becoming a Derby Widow although I am trying to manage that.

But Roller Derby is an addiction. I do want to become a good skater. This means I need to lose a lot weight. I need to get fitter. And I need to learn my skills. Just skating isn’t good enough you have to cross train. So I’m trying to learn to run. I also spend some Saturdays training in the mud in a local park. I lay in the mud. I squat in the mud. I burpee in the mud. I get tired. I hurt. And I get muddy!

I have set myself the following goals for this year:

  • Lose 4 stone (56lbs / 25kg)
  • Run 5Km in under 50 mins by June 30
  • Run 10Km (in any time) by Dec 31
  • Pass minimum skills

Whether I achieve them we shall see. I will blog my progress here.

Finally I will leave you with my league’s promotional video for 2014. I think its awesome!

What not do to in customer service

October 2nd, 2013

So I upgraded my iPad to iOS7 and had a hick up. It reset my iTunes library. When I tried to restore some of the content by re downloading it some was missing. This isn’t the issue. The issue is what happened when I queried this with Apple…
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Wuthering Bytes 2013 Talk – A Basic Introduction to Interfacing for the Hardware Curious

September 14th, 2013

Hardware_Curious

Here are the slides to the talk I gave at Wuthering Bytes 2013 at Hebden Bridge, here in the UK.

http://www.cyberspice.org.uk/downloads/HardwareCurious.pdf

Apple bluetooth keyboard and iPad

December 29th, 2012

For Christmas my partner bought me an Apple bluetooth keyboard to go with my iPad Mini together with my other Apple devices (I am such a fan-girl). Since then I’ve been playing with it and finding out just how much I can control with it.

iPad Mini and Apple Bluetooth keyboard

iPad Mini and Apple Bluetooth keyboard


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Changing the IP address for OS X’s shared network

September 26th, 2012

When I’m developing software on small and embedded devices I tend to network them by using a CAT-6 cable between a network port on my Mac and the device and enable Internet Sharing via System Preferences. Unfortunately OS X always selects 192.168.2.0 as the network address and this may class with other networks on your network. Recently I found out how to change this. Read the rest of this entry »

OSH Camp 2012 – Flickr Group

September 20th, 2012

There is a Flickr group for the Open Source Hardware User Group (OSHUG) and photos from this years camp have been uploaded to it. The photos below are courtesy of Carrier Detect. The group can be found at http://www.flickr.com/groups/oshug/pool/.


Me speaking


Hippiegunnut interfacing to her Pi

OSHCamp 2012 Talk – Developing Linux on Embedded Devices Slides

September 15th, 2012

Here are the slides to the talk I gave at Open Source Hardware Camp 2012 here in the UK.

http://www.cyberspice.org.uk/downloads/EmbeddedLinux.pdf

Setting up a GIT server on OSX using the Command Line

August 27th, 2012

I do a lot of my development these days in VMs (various OSes), one for each project. I have two different physical machines I work on, my iMac and my MacBook. Today I finally got around to setting up a git server on the iMac (its backed up with Timemachine) to make code sharing across machines, virtual and real, easier. Since I’m in the office at work I did it all remotely on the command line over ssh. Read the rest of this entry »

Release script for SVN

June 8th, 2012

I am currently working on a project that comprises several components individually managed in SVN. These components are built and then linked in to the final binary. To makes things easier I wrote a release script that creates an editable commit message with the SVN revisions of the components and commits the final binary. I thought it might be useful to others so generalised it.
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The Sleeper Awakens

May 1st, 2012

This will be my first blog post in a very long time. Life has been busy and, in my day job, productive. Unfortunately this has meant that activities outside of work have been somewhat curtailed. But today I am ‘bunking off’ early as it is the monthly PHP NW meeting in Manchester so I am on a train heading across the country to it. This is giving me a chance to write this! Read the rest of this entry »