Staying Focused – Mostly

Over the past couple months, I have been keeping a weekly goal of doing a triathlon each weekend, as part of the Ironman Virtual Club. It’s helping me to keep focused on small goals. So far I have completed 9 virtual triathlons, planning to do my first real triathlon in the middle of July. I am currently competing in the championship series, and will run another 70.3 this weekend. For a whole host of reasons, I have decided to set some new goals for the rest of the year, and into next year. I am starting to train for a full Ironman, and plan to compete in 2021.

I have been fortunate to do some actual driving recently, spending two days out at the Rally Ranch with Rob, Dave, and Jordan, I learned a lot, and got comfortable with the beginnings of learning to stage rally. I would love to set my sites on pre-running a long stage rally sometime in the near future, think Baja 1000. Coming up, I am looking forward to finally getting to drive the Spec MX5 that Brian at Winding Road has been building. I have decided to not compete in the championship this year, and will instead focus on learning the platform, and getting used to the vehicle dynamics.

Rally Ready Driving School - Dale, Texas | Facebook

Regarding the startup, I have put it on hold, to focus on my family, being with my two boys and working with them on their schooling. We had a great time learning math, science, and spending lots of time outdoors over the school year.

Keeping My Goals

I am staying focused on my goals, and practicing atomic habits something that my trainer, and I discussed a while back. (thanks Phil!). To that end, I got an email from the Austin Triathlon Club last week about Ironman VR, and decided to sign-up, so far this weekend, I did the 10K run, and 40K bike, so one session left! I wanted a goal that would keep me focused, and give myself a reward along the way.

IronMan VR

Other goals related to Marketing, I am taking a back to basics approach with my learning, went back, reviewed, and certified myself with Google’s Digital Marketing courses, they have some great materials, and references, namely this great trend analysis tool, which I am using to do some more market research. I am revisiting both Segment, and Google analytics academy courses.

Having fun working with Hasura.io, integrating it into Firebase Auth, and Functions, they have some great tutorials to get started, I am working my way through the front-end tutorial with Vue. On the machine learning front, I have been going through a bunch of the presentations posted during the virtual NVIDIA GTC event.

Firebase: Thousands of apps leak user data - Avira Blog

As far as goals with my creative projects, I have been playing with some really great free plugins, and packs from Ableton, and PureMagnetik. Have continued to work my way through Houdini Foundations, the Unreal Engine integration/plugin is incredibly good, super easy to use, was able to build a really fun VR app, in a very short amount of time.

How I am Using My Time

Kids at home (going to home school math/science using scratch.mit.edu, and Lego Boost). The school sent us some great suggestions for a schedule, and activities so will make sure to balance out the screen time with outside time, and other types of learning.

Image result for lego boost

Meanwhile, I launched the motorsports.ai website, will have the platform hosted there. Getting the beta ready, planning to use Hasura.io (GraphQL), and Vue for the backend/frontend.

Image result for hasura

The marketing stack will be Clearbrain/Amplitude/Segment, with BigQuery as the backend, and Datastudio for reporting visualization,

On the racing front I am working on VIR for May (hope it still happens), using VRS/iRacing, and Racer360

Continuing to make investments into improving my the platform, building out some customization for FogLamp to manage Driver/Suspension/Balance. Utilizing AI Platform Pipelines with my GKE/KubeFlow cluster to get everything organized.

Image result for cloud-ai-platform-pipelines

On the more creative side, I am having fun working through some cool plug-ins in Ableton, and doing a Houdini/SideFX Foundations Tutorial.

Recently upgrade my DonkeyCar with a new diff, and a Raspberry Pi 4. Got it all set up with a cool retro bluetooth controller, really fun to drive, and train

To keep myself active, I have been biking, and running quite a bit, still able to get some private training in, and hope to get to a pool this coming week. Also, looking into a wetsuit for some open water swimming, looks like Austin Tri Cyclist has some for rental.

I’ve been enjoying the switch to eSports, and iRacing with both IMSA, and NASCAR this weekend, great coverage, and adaptability by everyone involved.

165, How I Cut Myself in Half

A little more than two years ago in November of 2017, I weighed 330Lbs, and wanted to be a racecar driver. This is the story of what it took for me to get there. Yesterday, Friday February 7th 2020, I stood on the scale and achieved one of the harder goals, I have set for myself, 165Lbs, 10% Body Fat. I feel incredible, relieved, and ready for the next goal.

My journey toward a complete lifestyle transformation started, while I was working with my dad on the 1974 911 that he was graciously helping me restore. He noticed that I was struggling with my weight, and suggested I look into getting some type of gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. I explored the options, and discovered that most of them started with some type of liquid diet, I then found Nestle Health Science Optifast program, which then led me to a local clinic, the Oakhill Wellness Center. After consulting at length with Dr. Vinay, we both agreed Optifast would be a good fit, my goal was to move from food as pleasure, to food as fuel. After 6 months, and working down to 800 calories a day, just Optifast, water, and regular exercise at my local YMCA, I lost 98Lbs by April of 2018. On the advice of Dr. Vinay, I started working with a nutritionist who help me move slowly back onto solid foods. Over the course of the proceeding 6 months, I got my body into homeostasis,

226Lbs December, 2018 to 165Lbs February 2020.

By the end of December 2018, I decided to work with a trainer, and was kindly referred to Phil Gephart, in my initial assessment I weighed in at 226Lbs, and 31.7% body fat. Over the course of 2019 I continually made progress every month focusing on my macro-nutrients, and an undulating periodization program based on the Poliquin method. In November of 2019 I decided to set my sites on working down to 165Lbs, half of my starting weight. Starting at 176Lbs. I knew the last 11 pounds was going to be difficult, so this is what I did to get there. I started an auto-immune protocol, and picked up my activity level significantly, working up to two-a-days, 7-days a week. After completing nearly 4-months of a restrictive diet, and extreme activity level, I am both proud, and relieved to have made it to my goal. Thank you Phil, I would not have been able to get here without you!

From 330Lbs June 2017, to 165Lbs February 2020.

So… what’s next, it has always been my dream to do a triathlon, I am going to work through the reintroduction phase of the auto-immune protocol, get back into homeostasis, and will keep you posted with more to come.

Goals for 2020

Had a very relaxing holiday break, lots of time with family, and a little travel, it was great to disconnect for a little bit, reflect, and plan the new year.

Driving – Rally, Spec MX5, TC, and GT4 in short, I am going to get a bunch of seat time in a bunch of different cars, I am going to sign up for Rally Ready Driving School, I am building a Spec MX5 and plan to run that in a bunch of different series, and will see if I can rent a seat in one of the new Honda TC cars, and find a ride in a GT4 car (ideally a Porsche).

Startup – 30 Customers, find a Co-Founder, working on both have a really exciting opportunity that will hopefully land, and have started talking to potential people that I can share the business, and workload with, I am really looking forward to it!

Health – Cut (Half), Body Composition, I almost hit my goal of cutting myself in half before the new year, when I started my weight loss journey with OptiFast I weighed in at 330Lbs, I am now 170Lbs, and am on pace to get to 165Lbs (or half my body weight) over the next month. From there I will focus on my body fat percentage, and work on my body composition.

Thanksgiving Break

Looking forward to a hopefully relaxing week, spending time with my family, and working on pushing some of my projects forward. Here are some of the things I have on my list.

Road Surface Detection
I have been working on a real-time AI/ML solution for predicting coefficient of friction based on the input from an optical camera. I am using an NVIDIA Jetson Xavier AGX (thank you ADLinkTech) , I have trained a SSD_mobilenet, and but would like to see if I can get some better performance (lower latency), and improved accuracy, so I am porting it over to the Google Cloud AutoML Vision Edge, this will allow me to test a bunch of different ML models automatically without having to run it through my ML pipeline based on Kubeflow, I am excited to see the results.

CAN bus CDDS, and FogLamp
Part of the solution I have been developing uses CAN bus data to do validation, and verification. I’ve been using FogLamp to help manage the data streams, as part of this solution, I am going to continue work with Eclipse Cyclone DDS, and the ROS2 implementation, the plan is to get all of the sensor data from CAN bus to CDDS, then use FogLamp to send everything northbound.

Cyclone DDS is a standard-based
technology for ubiquitous, interoperable,
secure, platform independent, and real-
time dat...

Simulation Environments
A lot of my testing happens in simulation, I started out with IPG which I am very happy with in terms of performance, and accuracy, however, I like to keep my options open, and have been working on porting my base model to the Simulink Vehicle Dynamics Blockset, while I was at it I decide to survey the landscape a bit more, and see what other platforms are available, it looks like some of the game engines are starting to provide robust simulation environments, so I am also testing Unity3d Simulation.

Radar and ground truth

Spec MX5
Going to start working on the build sheet for my spec MX5, found a really nice donor down in San Antonio. I am going to drive her as a street car for a couple more weeks, hoping to get out to Harris Hill Raceway once or twice, to work on my heel-toe.