12 April 2012

OpenVPN on Ubuntu

Today I finally got around to setting up a VPN connection on my Ubuntu laptop. I was a little surprised when I opened my network manager and found that the OpenVPN option was not listed. This meant that I was missing a few packages. Installing these fixed the problem:

openvpn
bridge-utils
network-manager-openvpn-gnome

So, next I filled in the options for my specific VPN connection and then tried to fire it up. No luck: I got an error message saying that "The VPN connection 'XXX' failed because the VPN service failed to start." Bugger! I did a bit of searching and found the suggestion that unselecting the option "Available to all users" might fix the problem. It did! But then I got a new error message saying that the "Connection was not provided by any settings service". Bugger again! Oddly, after doing a few other things for a couple of minutes, I came back to this and tried it again. This time there was no error message and a dialog popped up asking me for my password. I entered it and then the little network icon started to do its thing... for quite some time. Eventually it stopped with an error message about a timeout. Well, I seem to be making some progress. The problem now seems to lie somewhere between my client and the server now.

Two Oceans Times

My dad suggested last night that I should consolidate my Two Oceans times somewhere.

28 km42 km56 km
200602:29:4903:49:5405:11:15
200802:30:1203:49:2605:10:02
200902:19:1603:32:2704:44:16
201205:16:55

06 April 2012

Two Oceans 2012: Pills for Everything

Tomorrow is the Two Oceans. Staying on UCT middle campus we have heard all of the action up there today for the trail run, fun run and kiddie races.

People have been muttering about the weather. This morning, while filling up the car, the pump attendant was very happy to tell me that it was going to rain tomorrow. But he also pointed out that Zola Budd was going to be running. I am not sure how those two facts are related.

The weather now is looking pretty dodgy: it is overcast and windy. But there are patches of blue sky. I don't know enough about the weather in the Cape to make a prediction,  but right now I reckon that there are even odds of kak weather. Having a look at the Meteosat image below shows that there is definitely a cold front on the way and what we are experiencing now is just the leading edge...

56 km is a long way under good conditions. In the wind and rain it is going to be a whole lot more challenging.


On a more personal level I have three major concerns leading up to the race:
  1. getting a good night's sleep;
  2. not getting a sore throat or any other type of URTI; and
  3. having a good crap before the start.
Luckily all of these can be addressed by a combination of nutrition and drugs:
  1. melatonin, Kyprodol and red wine (the proportion of the individual ingredients is a trade secret);
  2. ViralChoice and garlic (the latter not only serves to keep me healthy but also ensures that I don't get mobbed at the start); and
  3. Senokot (which I have been taking since the beginning of the week; it's kind of tricky knowing when to take the last dose, but I took a couple this morning).