Monte Carlo Simulations for Ultramarathon Lotteries

I've entered the lotteries for both Hardrock 100 and Western States 100 for several years, without any luck so far. Both races hold lotteries in December to draw the "lucky" winners that get to run their races. Both end up posting the odds that everyone has based on how many tickets you have in the lottery. They do this by running a Monte Carlo simulation several thousand (or millions) of times. Out of curiosity, this year I decided to write a program to do the simulation myself. Now I can find out my odds before the races officially post them! But I didn't really do it for that but just as an exercise to do as programmers are wont to do.


TLDR is a great application that provides simplified versions of man pages for many commonly used command line applications. Just about any command that you can think of there is a TLDR for it: git, ack, jq, composer, vim, curl, wget, and many more. Instead of providing a verbose man page, it just has a simple description as to what the command does as well as a few common ways of using the command.

For an example, this is the result of tldr composer:

Daily Routine

I believe that making a daily routine can be helpful in keeping habits and being productive. I've tried various routines and have lately settled on this. Everyone is different, with different responsibilities, schedules, etc., so by no means do I think that this would work for everyone. But maybe it'll give you ideas on what you want to prioritize and how you can work it around your schedule. Even for me, I don't follow it to a tee every day, because not every day turns out the same. When my schedule varies, I try to adjust and still get in the important elements. You'll notice that I put times before each activity, but that is really just a rough estimate.

Wasatch 100 2019 Race Report

On September 6th, I took part in the Wasatch 100 as my fourth 100 mile attempt. It would become my third finish and best finishing time of 28:27:14. It was the hardest course that I've done, but things came together so well that I was able to get my best time and feel good doing it. That's why I want to document the race and point out what went well and what didn't.


Getting Started

Having a dotfiles repo can be a great way to have a central place to store configuration files that you may want to use across different computers. Also, when you get a new computer or change jobs, you can quickly get your system up to how your old one worked. I didn't use the idea until relatively recently, but I'm glad I started it.

Before I get into more details, I want to acknowledge that the following videos and dotfile repos helped me tremendously in getting started:
Thoughtbot Video on Dotfiles
Thoughtbot Dotfiles Repo
Chris Toomey Dotfiles Repo

Enforcing Coding Standards

As a developer, it can be helpful to get feedback on if something in your code is not correct before you submit it for code review, and definitely before it gets up to staging. I've written an article that shows a few different git pre-commit hooks that will check your code when you are making a commit. It is geared towards Drupal developers (following Drupal coding standards), but other PHP developers should be able to get some use out of it and modify the hooks where needed to make it useful in their workflow.

Check out the article here.

Pitcher Pump Hike and Bike Ranch

This is a bit different than my usual post, but I'm a runner, and have recently been doing trail runs. The Pitcher Pump Hike and Bike Ranch is a great place for trail runs or mountain biking. It has about 9-10 miles of trails of varying difficulty. Anyways, I haven't really seen anywhere where someone mapped out the trails so people can get an idea of what the layout of the trails is like. So I went on my own to explore the trails, then came back and mapped them on to Google maps. Here is the result: 

Pitcher Pump Hike & Bike Ranch