31 December 2017


Yes, it's that time of the year to make a bunch of promises that we won't be able to keep.  For shits and giggles, here are my 2018 Resolutions:

  • Make more money somehow as my son will start college in September.  Ask for a raise at work, find another better-paying job, sell a kidney...  I don't know, there must be a legal way to get it done.
  • Keep on running regularly, ideally everyday.  Recently I started to practice run-in-any-clothes.  As long as I have a pair of comfortable shoes on, I can run.  I do keep a pair of shoes in the car, so technically as long as I don't end up working long hours into the evening, or have something at home I need to rush home to take care of, I should be able to run everyday after work.
  • Better leverage my unique skill of "writing" while running.  Maybe there is some ad agency out there looking for such talent.  I should try to market myself better, who knows.  Think Humana, Runner's World magazine...
  • Less lurking on social media.  There is only so much usefulness, if any, to be extracted through looking at the "news" on social media.  This includes "planning" in CityStrides.  It is no use planning so much on where to run to hit the most number of nodes.  Just do it when you are physically in the area.
  • De-clutter a lot more.  With my recent experiments with Amiga emulation, I couldn't find the $70 disc containing KaraFonts I needed.  I was lucky that the fonts were available on Aminet, but with other things I wouldn't be so lucky.  It's been a few years now that many kinds of plastic are accepted for recycling in New York City, I should take advantage of that and recycle stuff without feeling guilt.


30 December 2017


At work I have no choice but work with Windows computers but at home I mostly compute with my MacBook Pro.  At one time years ago I actually got things done on an Amiga computer, or on various Amiga computers as I did go through a few of them over the few years.  It was fun and useful for a while but at the time when most people would easily get on the Internet to surf the web, with everything needed included on 3.5" floppy disks or CDs, all free, the Amiga platform would require so much more additional work.  You would have to buy the dialer, some TCP/IP stack, the web browser, the email client, argh, too much work.  I went Windows for a while, with its clunky Windows 95 and all, then went Mac, with a Wall Street Powerbook.

One thing I miss greatly, and not able to reproduce on Windows or Mac platform, animated text like the ones shown below.  They are made with the use of animfonts (animated fonts).  Based on a blog post of mine back in 2005 (http://www.qaptainqwerty.com/2005/11/amiga-forever.html ) I created some animated GIF (animgif or GIF for short), possibly on a Packard-Bell PC running Windows 95, via the Amiga Forever emulator software.  When I went over to the Mac platform, no more Amiga Forever.  Cloanto developed Amiga Forever only for the huge Windows market.  Sure Amiga Forever is based on the publicly available UAE (Ubiquitous Amiga Emulator) software but I don't have the time or willingness to muck around with Unix codes and such to make these things work on the Mac.  Every few months or years I would Google "Mac UAE" and probably tried to make MaxUAE work but failed.  Most recently I tried FS-UAE and that effort too got nowhere.  Luckily, while looking for ROM files on an Amiga Forever 2010 disc, to feed to FS-UAE, I came across E-UAE, some Amiga emulation software for the Mac, again based on UAE.  After a few hours of tweaking and configuring, I finally have the ability to generate animated text again.  Only twelve years since 2005!  Maybe someday I'll share my experience jumping through hoops to make E-UAE to run on my Mac.  In the mean time, enjoy the messages below.

29 December 2017


With Relive, I can playback my runs in all their glory.  With a premium account, you can keep all the videos in your account and do other things with them.  For me, I just share them to Facebook and Instagram, and occasionally here on Blogger.  Still, ain't technology great?  Click on the individual video to play it, there is an option to play at full-screen too.

Amy rules




28 December 2017


In 2017, I actually won a contest with my run-art/gwriting/StravaArt, did some special requests from fans, and saw my work went to the dogs, in a good way, and, last but not least, created a menorah.

Just donut {swoosh}

Some time in August I found out from my track club's Facebook group that there was a donut-themed contest.  Draw anything donut-inspired for a chance to win a dozen donuts and entries into the Montclair Bread Company 5K Doughnut Run.  I actually came up with two designs, one of a donut being dunked into a cup plus the "Just donut {swoosh}" above.  Supposedly competition was light but I won that's all that matters.

Amy rules

In November, I asked for suggestions of what to write during future runs and one of the response was "Amy rules".  What's interesting with this particular task was that on that day I went for an NYRR OpenRun at Cunningham Park.  I planned to get there ahead of time to gwrite "Amy rules" before OpenRun started.  However, I made the mistake of trusting my memory, instead of Google Maps, and ended up getting lost briefly. Not totally lost, mind you, I still know my Queens geography, just enough to lose time and not able to finish the gwriting prior to OpenRun.  I used Strava app to do the writing so I simply paused it when I was done with "Amy".  Went to do OpenRun with Runkeeper app, then returned to where I was and un-paused Strava and proceeded to finish the whole two-word sentence.  Oh yes, it was no coincidence that I made "Amy rules" in the borough of Queens.


Another suggestion came from the owner of a dog named Bergamot Grey, or Bergie for short.  Other dog names that I made in 2017 were Bandit and Beemer.  Just by coincidence that they all start with the letter B.  Yes, I am a dog person, but I do have a not-too-strict rule that dog names shouldn't be names normally reserved for people, such as Michael or Peter.

This Menorah Was Really Good

With the holiday season approaching, a Jewish friend asked if I could draw a dreidel.  Or a menorah.  Sure, I can.  New York City has many rectangular city blocks and a menorah with squarish branches could be drawn in many places.  But what if we want one that has nice, round branches?  As I reviewed the map for NYC, my first choice was the Mill Basin peninsula in Brooklyn.  However, unless I can walk on water (Jesus Christ!) or if Moses can part the water for me, there was no place draw the handle of the menorah.  A better choice was the crescent-shaped streets of Rego Park, Queens.  A few people were interested and we ended up having a small convoy of cars to make the trip from Prospect Park to Rego Park.  Shown above is my test run, during which I mistakenly lit the candles in the wrong spot.  I should know better that a few things in the Judaica world go from right to left, not unlike Chinese.  For the group run, we did it right to left but the flames didn't show that well.

27 December 2017


The first title I thought for this blog was “This Week In Gwriting”, which is a nod to Leo Laporte’s podcast "This Week In Tech". I didn’t get around to writing the blog post and the year 2017 is almost over, so without much further ado, let us review some of the Gwritings, or StravaArts, I made this soon-to-be-over year.


My most recent oeuvre, made just this Christmas Day.  It was not the first time I made a Linda route.  Back in August while vacationing in the exotic island of Aruba, one hot steamy morning I ran Linda but the non-grid streets threw me off.  It took a while before I found the chance to redo it, on the streets of un-exotic Brooklyn, New York.  While I can easily cut through a city block to make the middle section of the letter "a", I try to avoid relying on the trick.  While planning the run, I picked Flatlands Avenue as the street that will naturally provide the needed line.

Grab A Bite With Jimmy

"Grab A Bite With Jimmy" is another run-art that makes good use of the existing environment, i.e. no Dark Magic via the use of GPS app's pause function.  Well, to a certain extent.  Jimmy is this friend of mine who seems to have a very healthy appetite.  The quasi-roundabout near Zucker-Hillside Hospital provided the perfect round-ish food that Jimmy seems to eat a lot of.  However, to achieve the bite mark I did have to use Dark Magic.  While I have no plan of drawing offensive pictures any time soon, this was my early foray into drawing, not just writing.

Make Some Noises With Adam

I followed the success of "Grab A Bite With Jimmy" by making "Make Some Noises With Adam".  Adam won two awards earlier in the year from the track club.  Instead of wooden plaques or paper certificates, the prizes were cowbells.  Very useful for a cheerleader like Adam!  To get the trapezoidal shape of the cowbell I did have to resort to my special trick to make the slanting lines.

Resist With Lisa, Sort Of

Back in February, I made "resist" and dedicated to Lisa LMK and others who, duh, resist the current administration.  In November I wanted to make the both the fist and the word "Lisa" but I ran out of time.  Yes, these things take time.  Sorry, Lisa LMK!  I still have the area where "Lisa" would be, I'll return to the area some day to do it.  "Lisa" and fist will appear together in CityStrides, that web site that gives me so much joy and aggregation aggravation.

There are more but there are a few more days left of the old year.  I might make another post just yet!