Today's Mighty Oak

Today wraps up my first week of training for the GAP Relay, I’ll be keeping track of my training through the Gayt Analysis blog.  And also in good news, it looks like I’ll be able to get my photo galleries up sooner than I thought.  It will still take some time to get that all sorted out, so probably not by the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m still excited about that!

Otherwise, this has just been a weekend of adulting, lots of laundry, work around the house, and some relaxing on the deck.  I did however, get supplies to make dairy free root beer floats, so that will be happening tonight, and I’m very excited for it!

Another quick update, from my phone (I’m so excited I can do that!)

Enjoying the weather this weekend with a lovely run at Open Streets Pittsburgh, and then also bottles the beer I brewed, so in two weeks, just in time for the Ultra Team Meetup, I’ll have a Scottish Ale!

Just a quick note, today was another one of those ‘behind the scenes’ days.  I did some updates that were more involved than I thought, but should be working fine!  When I add things to the portfolio section (or others in the future), they won’t show up on the main page, leaving that just for announcements and blog posts.

I also added a sticky post directing anyone to the three main parts of the site, now the last piece of the puzzle is getting the photo galleries up and going, but that still maybe be a few weeks due to APIs and development of plugins and whatnot.  But overall, I’m really happy with where I’ve gotten the site in this month, so I’m calling Camp NaNoWriMo a success!





(Coming soon)

Part of my Camp NaNoWriMo project has been working on this site, so doing a lot of behind the scenes work as well as getting some public pages finally up and sorted.  I have two projects left for that.  The first is a minor change, but will take a bit of work to future-proof it.

The second, was what I was working on yesterday, so I want to take a minute to write about it, because, it’s a story.

So, one area I’d like to include is photo galleries.  I tend to take a lot of pictures (especially of signs) and I do enough interesting things that I have a sizable photo library.  Years ago, on an older version of this site, I uploaded them into galleries, but then I realized that I didn’t want to deal with server space and manually uploading everything.

Enter Picasa.  I was able to upload images to it and quickly and easily create shareable galleries.  Worked great (and I do still like the, no unsupported, desktop client), but eventually Google moved to Google Photos.

Here’s what I’ve found out in the last few days: they didn’t make a Google Photos API, meaning, there was no way for other websites to communicate with Google Photos.  The Picasa API still exists, it just hasn’t been updated in the last two years (and my galleries are still out there, thank goodness).  So while there are plenty of plugins to make image galleries easy for Picasa, all my photos which are now automatically uploaded to Google Photos, had no where to go.

There are workarounds, but it takes quite a bit of know how, and I stumbled my way through about half of it, but I”m still working on getting things how I actually want them to be.

But all of that changed a few weeks ago!  Google released an API for Google Photos and now extensions are being updated and added.  So while I won’t have the galleries up for July, it will still, finally, be a thing!  So look for that sometime soonish, I hope!

Alright, let’s see what we have today.  A bit of a shorter update, but still some fun things to pass along.

Downton Abbey is officially returning with a movie!

In case you haven’t seen Randy Rainbow’s latest, it’s genius:

An important read about how Aquaman represents fans of color.

Like I said, short update today, but I’ll be back with more soon.  Just a busy week with the start of my training plan and a team meeting for the GAP relay.

Today marks the official start to my next running training plan for what has become my sort of A race for the fall: the GAP Trail Relay.  Our team, Pace Oddity, is there to have fun and go on an adventure!  We’re not looking to set any records (although being part of the inaugural running of this race is pretty awesome).

To mark this occasion, I’ve made a new category: Gayt Analysis.  Disclaimer: I’m a dirty, dirty overstrider, but I”m working on it!  The name was actually what I came up with to name a podcast, but that hasn’t materialized, and since I tend to do a lot of writing about my running and run with the Frontrunners, I’m not going to let a good name go to waste!

I’ve written a lot in the past about running, but I don’t think I’ll go back to recategorize anything, I’ll just use this going forward.

Anyway, I’m a much more consistent runner when I’m on a plan, so I’m looking forward to getting back to that.  The prepare, I’m taking Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Intermediate 2 plan and throwing in the Ragnar suggested two-a-days and night runs from their Zero to Hero and Hero to God plans.

I’m very excited to be doing speedwork again, specifically track repeats, as they really are some of my favorite things to run.  My schedule always gets condensed as I have to fit life in around my running, and I still have the rest of this  month to keep writing every day, so it will be a challenge, but as I’ve discovered many times, running is a huge help to my mental health.

So, off we go, I’ll check in with how training is going and see what else about the sport I can write about.

I have a hard time deciding what is my actual favorite musical. I have a top five:

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Hamilton
  • American Idiot
  • Avenue Q
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Some of it may be determined by when I last saw or listened to something, but usually, Hunchback is at the top of that list. And after this last weekend’s performance, it is cemented in that place.

Hunchback has always been special and my favorite Disney animated movie. The stage production is even darker and really expands on quite a bit. I was able to see it performed here by a community theater group, and while it was good, the professional touring company blew me away.

Hunchback is one of those shows that really does benefit from having a bigger budget for sets and lighting. The way this product has moving pieces, from the opening number when my jaw dropped as the curtains did, revealing what Quasimodo and the gargoyles and statues would be climbing on, to the spinning stage that let Quasi transform from actor into himself, I could not believe how amazing the set itself looked.

Divine is the only thing I can think of to describe the lighting. When the rose window was revealed on the back way behind the choir, the light from it seemed to change with the setting sun and the arches of the theater itself lit up in reflected light, and it was nothing short of dazzling.

The actors were amazing (I didn’t care for this Esmeralda, mainly she kept changing the rhythm of the songs, but she could dance like no other) and the choir was massive.

Hunchback is unique in that is not only has a (seated) choir on stage, but that they sing the entr’acte, albeit in Latin. The show also leans into the fact that it is a morality play, and we first see the actor playing Quasimodo as himself, before he puts on his costume on stage, transforming before our eyes into the stooped character, before changing back at the end of the show.

It’s a rare show to be produced, but if you ever get the chance, go see it. The cast album is amazing (staring Michael Arden as Quasimodo) and many times when I listen to it, and each time I’ve seen it performed, I cry during the finale.

Of course, there is also a blanket recommendation to go to live theater, it’s a wonderful, immersive experience and a wonderful way to give back to the community through the many outreach programs theaters do. The Fulton Theater in Lancaster was really a hidden gem and I’m so glad I got to go there!

I’ll leave you with a few lines from the Finale:

The world is cruel
The world is ugly
But there are times
And there are people
When the world is not
And at its cruelest
It’s still the only world we’ve got

Life will be kinder
Love will be blinder

Alright, let’s see how this works! I’m attempting to post this from my phone, so far seems good!

I volunteered at the Liberty Mile last night, then drove to Harrisburg to stay with a friend to see a show tomorrow.

Got in a wonderful five Mile run with a member of the PRorER Ultra Team this morning and currently I’m enjoying some delicious cold brew coffee, reading a magazine and just living my best life, as the kids say! Also, trying mobile image upload for the first time too!

I’ll be back to some more regular writing next week, but this weekend I’ll be trying a bit of an experiment.  I have a half day vacation from work this afternoon, so aside from being an adult and taking care of a few things, I’m heading downtown to volunteer at the Liberty Mile (and avoid the crowds at Picklesburgh).

From there, I’m driving to Harrisburg!  I’m staying with a friend and seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Fulton Theater nearby and meeting a friend from my ultra team to run with Saturday morning!

I think I’ve gotten my phone setup to be able to submit posts from there, so I’m going to see if I can do a bit of remote writing this weekend!  At least that’s the plan, we’ll see if it work!

A great thing I’ve worked on this month has been finally getting this site up to where I’d like it to be after the migration from Joomla.  Hopefully I’ll be getting the last two bits of the puzzle in this last week of Camp (at least the last two that I can do, some of the dates got messed up from Metblogs and I don’t have a way to know the correct dates to fix them).  If all goes well, I’ll be adding back in photo galleries as well as a small behind the scenes change to finally get the homepage how I’d like it!

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