Now up to two sets on the weights.

We kicked ass Saturday morning; over sixteen miles in two and a quarter hours, through the Dilworth area. I should be good for a 1:45 half-marathon at the March 11 Corporate Cup.

No racquetball today, but I welcomed the break.

I’ve been mostly vegetarian (no red meat or chicken, basically) for a few months. Never ate much beef, anyway. Currently undecided if it’s worth the incovenience of reduced variety at restaurants.

YMCA and crosstraining

I joined the local YMCA when I returned from my last snowboarding trip. In January they waived the joining fee, and a number of people from work were already members.

I am strength training again for the first time in years, and I can already feel the benefits. I’m still on one set of only six exercises two or three times a week, but I’m making steady progress. I also think it’s already helping with the sciatica that I’ve been enjoying for many years, now. The computerized FitLinks system makes keeping track of progress easy, and I rarely have to wait on machines.

I am almost back in line with my running goals for this year. Most days I’m grinding out a boring 30 treadmill minutes, but I’ve joined a running group at the Steele Creek YMCA that meets on Tuesday afternoons, and am already being challenged with both distance and pace. Last week three of us pushed a good many of the nine miles at under an eight minute pace. I also met up with a few people at the Dowd Y on Saturday for a ten miler through the beautiful neighborhoods around the Dilworth area. I’ll definitely be ready for a half marathon early next month at my old pace. A Fall marathon definitely won’t be out of the question, assuming I can continue my upper body progress and get a bit leaner.

Work folks have managed to get a weekly basketball group together, and while my vertical leap is even worse than it once was, I’m finally able to enjoy the sport. Last week was a bit rougher than most (a couple of us were on the floor a bit too often, and I even lost a contact after getting poked in the eye), but it will remain fun so long as folks don’t get too competitive. A few of us are also doing racketball every Sunday, which I would completely enjoy were it not making me yearn to get back on a tennis court so bad.

Simple C# and Flash interop

I’ve recently promised Larry I’d share new insights about interoperability between C# code and Flash 8.

Flash is often assumed to be only a toy for web designers, but it’s actually a very powerfully programmable visualization tool in the hands of a technically capable artist. In the not-quite-immediate future for Windows programmers, the Windows Presentation Foundation promises to obsolete Flash for most Windows-native applications, but WPF currently exists only as technology previews. You have plenty of time to get dangerous with a little Flash in your .NET before WPF is a viable alternative.

There are two primary strategies for interoperability with Flash, and the new External API is what I’ll show here (the alternative involving some simple socket communication between a .NET app and an out-of-process Flash player). Essentially, you can embed a ActiveX Flash player into a Windows form, load Flash code (“movies”) into the player, then set variables or invoke functions with single method calls in the flash code from C#. Hook up a delegate to one of the Flash player’s events, and you can receive communcation back from the Flash code. It’s that simple, as you can see in this post by Gabe Wishnie.

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