Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Slipping Away

This day is slipping away from me. I was hoping to spend all afternoon editing and writing, but I’ve yet to get to it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No More Drive Extender - Windows Home Server

I guess I might need to go back to RAID. From the Windows Team Blog, there is a decision to remove Drive Extender from the next version of Windows Home Server. Based on the comments, I’m not alone in thinking this is a stupid move.

The big challenge for me was automatically protecting the data on my various computers. Windows Home Server gave me an easy way to copy the data, and also have it on multiple drives, so it was safe in the event of a drive failure. The larger 1TB and 2TB drives are MORE likely to fail, so there’s more of an issue here.

Putting RAID together for small systems is a hassle, though perhaps R1 isn’t a big deal if you have 2TB drives. In any case, I’ll be thinking about whether I need to stick with WHS in the future or migrate to some other solution.


It is a nasty day outside. It’s windy, 20mph, and cold. The temperature measurement from my weather station says 28F, but Tia thinks it feels colder. Likely it’s humid.


This is out the bedroom window, and it just looks bleak and cold outside. I stopped by and got diesel after dropping off Kendall even though it shouldn’t be a problem. The tractor is low, but not a lot of snow is expected. However it’s not worth getting stuck if the weatherman should happen to be wrong.

What You Practice

37slogo-transI saw a very interesting blog at 37 Signals on the quote “the things you do more often are the things you get good at.” It’s more of a business post, but still interesting.

Life is short. Practice the things you enjoy, and learn to enjoy the things you practice. They might not be the things that you think are necessary, but if you enjoy them, then they are the things you love.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tractor Driver

Manure has been piling up in a couple corners as well as the lean to and we decided to try and clean things out today. It was a cool, and slightly windy day as I drove the tractor out. Delaney went to help, and first helped me get the doors back on the tractor. Then we went out and shoveled manure into the bucket from a corner and then spreading it in the field. I’d run the tractor backwards slowly while Delaney and Tia pulled the manure outside of the bucket with rakes. I was going really slow, and decided to see if Delaney wanted to try his hand at the tractor.

So I explained the controls and let him drive the tractor backwards while Tia and I shoveled. With the wind, I ended up with lots of dirt and manure in my face, and could taste it a little as well. Not exciting, but not horrible.

He did fine, so I let him also drive it forward and backward a little, only taking over when we needed to go close to fences or near poles. Not ready to let him go free, but nice that he’s gaining some skill with the tractor, and I can us him in places.

Boise St


Nothing else to be said. I was rooting for them to break into the top 2, but I’m sure with their loss to Nevada that the voters will knock them way down.

In another disappointing sports note, watching the Cowboys-Saints from Thurday. I taped it since we were skiing. I had seen the score, and knew they came back and then lost, but it’s a bad game in the first half for Dallas.

Home Sweet Home

I love coming home. Just being able to lay in my bed, my pillow, my sheets, next to Tia is one of the things I enjoy the most in life.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Book #74 - Crush

40825506[1] The next book starring Karen Vail, right after The 7th Victim. In Crush the time is immediately after the last book, with Karen and Robby taking a vacation in Napa Valley to work on their new romance.

However in the opening scene they discover a body in a wine cellar at one of the vineyards. A woman killed, with mutilation, making Karen thing serial killer. She annoys the local detective, but learns there is another body, and soon finds a third, making this something that a task force should be formed for.

Vacation out the window, Robby annoyed, but this is what Vail lives for. She alternatively drives the investigation forward with another female DA investigator on the task force, while making herself a target and upsetting the local officials.

It’s a more fast paced book, though not as suspenseful as the previous one. Still a good read on vacation.

Book #73 – The 7th Victim

 41595947[1] A serial killer story, this one from a killer that is called “Dead Eyes” due to the postmortem mutilation, including stabbing the victims through the eyes.

The 7th Victim starts off with two scenes. First an FBI officer foils a bank robbery, saving other officers, but losing some as well. Then years later, having transferred to the behavioral Analysis Unit, using practical knowledge to try and catch killers, is involved in another bank robbery attempt. This time because she’s in the bank when a robber pulls a gun. She’s a tough lady, and these scenes set the stage for a hard driving women agent.

From there the book moves into the chase-the-killer stage, where Karen Vail, our FBI agent, pursues the clues, of which there are few. The killer continues killing, and it’s a mystery thriller. However there are twists.

Vail’s family isn’t what she expected, she deals with an ex-husband that manipulates her into assaulting him, getting suspended, and even then she doesn’t listen to her boss. She has a conflict with another member of the task force, and the book ends violently with quite a few people killed.

It’s a near story if you like this genre, with a great twist at the end.

Book #72 - Daemon

44378989[1] Warning, this book is part 1 of a story and ends suddenly. If you enjoy it, be prepared to buy another book (Freedom) to finish the story.
Daemon was recommended to me and it’s a fantastic techno thriller. We have a genius game designer that’s died, but left behind a daemon that seems to live on in the Internet, on tons of hijacked machines in the world.
The book starts with two murders, first a programmer at the game company is seemingly killed when he rides his motorcycle beneath a wire stretched across the company’s property. Then another programmer, one that supposedly created the work order that killed the first one is electrocuted at the entrance to the data center. When police detectives try to serve a search warrant at the late Sobol’s house ( the game designer), an automated Humvee and numerous other traps kill a number of law officers.
The story then starts to degenerate into this amazing AI process that exists on the Internet and can slowly take control of a number of things in the real world. It hijacks networks from companies, it recruits human operatives, and thwarts the efforts of the US government to contain it. It’s a fantastic story, and one that while not likely true, does expose some fundamental problems in the highly computerized and connected world.
A great read for technological people.

Quiet Day

For me. Kendall’s foot  hurts and I think she was tired of skiing, so we stayed back today. It’s warmer, 23F, but not warm. She has been enjoying Netflix streaming all day while I read and relaxed, did a quick run, then hit the store for a few groceries.

It’s nice to relax, though I think I’d like to be out on the slopes. Hopefully a little slope time tomorrow before we head home.

Book #71 – The Checklist Manifesto

77693778[1] Andy Warren recommended The Checklist Manifesto to me and after seeing his review, I decided to grab it. It’s written by a surgeon, and starts with a few stories of how people were saved in the ER by some amazing teamwork.

The book then goes into a discussion on how complex the world is and how we have so much knowledge that we constantly struggle to apply it correctly. Many mistakes in medicine, law, and other fields are often the result of the inability of professionals to apply this knowledge at the right time. We have a data deluge, and he proposes a solution.

A checklist.

Not a step by step process, but more a few simple things that you should be sure to do when an event occurs. Using the complex processes of flying planes, building skyscrapers, and even investing, he shows that this doesn’t just apply to medicine, and really makes you rethink the way complex systems should be implemented.

It’s a great books, and one that I highly recommend you read, especially if you deal with complex systems.

Black Friday

Everyone is getting tired, up later this morning than usual, including me. Kendall is complaining a bit about her feet, which haven’t completely healed since volleyball, so she said that she’d like to stick to a half day. Since I get to ski a lot, I’ll hang out with her and have a quiet morning while the others ski.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Morning

This could be me: Thanksgiving Breakfast for Delaney

Thanksgiving morning, though we had our dinner last night. Tia and Kyle headed out early for lessons, wanting to improve their skills. I have a slightly sore neck and wasn’t in the mood to push kids to get ready quickly, especially as the Prius read 1F when I went to get some hot chocolate mix this morning.

So we’re relaxing, slowly getting ready. Delaney and I reading a bit, Kendall watching a movie on the iPad. Actually I was happy to go get hot chocolate for the kids since my iDevices where in use. Kendall on the iPad, Delaney wanting to read a book on the iPhone.

Now it’s time to bundle up and hit the slopes for a bit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winter park

It's time for our annual Thanksgiving vacation in the Colorado mountains. This year we headed back to Winter Park, and were hoping for snow. I had not skied at all this fall with a busy work schedule, and the mountain only opened last Wed, so i was worried. When we were up here a couple years ago, there was hardly any snow and only a few runs open.

Everyone else came up Sat night, and they went skiing on Sunday, saying the snow was great. I came back from new York and headed up on Sunday afternoon. Its cold up here, but the snow is great, with over 30 runs open. We hung out Sun night and then headed to the mountain Mon and Tues.

It was great, with lots of runs and good snow. Not much ice, and we did well cruising around the slopes, everyone doing well. We would take turns leading and following, kids in the middle with some good races down with Kendall and Kyle. It seems that Kendall and I had a lot of time together and Got separated from everyone else when they went to do a black and we setuck with green runs and a life closed. We had Kris, the soon-to-be uncle up Tuesday and he skied with us.

Today we took a day off with. Lots of wind and cold weather expected. We decided to do Thanksgiving today and Tia cooked a meal with a little help from Kendall. We had the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, etc.

A nice relaxing vacation, mostly unwired, and with good skiing. Looking forward to getting back on the slopes tomorrow after the break today

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Night in NYC

And for the most part I’m working. I got asked to actually do 4 things tomorrow:

  • early morning Wake-up session
  • Short keynote talk
  • My Modern Resume presentation
  • Red Gate demos at lunch

I had planned on spending part of this part week on my Wake Up talk, but got busy. In the past I’ve done a basic SQL Server presentation, and I have that, but I’ll have a few other things to talk about as well that I put together this afternoon and tonight.

I ended up working for a bit after my run, then wandered around town for about 30-45 minutes, looking at the sights near Times Square before stopping in a brewery bar for dinner. Then back to work again, trying to go over presentations and get them ready.

Now bed, and an early morning so I can enjoy the time tomorrow with people.

Down in NYC

After a long flight (it felt like) and a long wait for a car (grrrrr), I finally made the Warwick in midtown, near Central Park. Now time for a run.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Feel Like a Writer

I got my invite to writers.stackexchange.com today. I’d signed up for the beta, saying I’d support the site, and then forgot about it. However today the site reached enough of a critical mass and I got my invite.

It’s a writing site, the place where people that want to write better can go and get questions and answers. It’s based on the StackExchange framework, which I like in some ways. It facilitiates questions and answers, but not discussion. I’ll see how it goes with regular participation.

I asked a questions, about self-editing, which is a problem for me, and I answered and commented on a few others. I’m hoping that some participation here will actually inspire me to write a little more for myself, and not just for SQLServerCentral.

Scheduled Out

I’m all scheduled out for the next week with newsletters and content ready to go through Nov 29. I’m not sure I’ve ever been this far ahead, often counting on someone else to do a few things for me.

Hopefully this all works out with no phone calls from work next week.

Quite a Journey

Today was my 800th consecutive day of running at least a mile. When I started this over two years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d make a year, let alone two. However it’s become a habit, and something that I look forward to. I think I’m in good health, and I feel great most days. Even the days when I’m tired or feeling old, the run usually helps me perk up.

In two years there are only a half dozen days where I really struggled to run. Most of the time I don’t mind finding time to run, and I’m looking forward to doing Day 801 in Central Park tomorrow when I get to NY.

Only 48F there, so I need to pack some running clothes for the weather.

Back to School

Kendall was definitely better last night, but Tia and I let her sleep with us. I was worried about fever last night, but she never got one and woke up fine this morning. She tried to play sick and stay home, but her bouncing around the house and digging into candy convinced us her stomach was OK.

Good to see with vacation coming up this weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


A nap with Kendall and spending time with her hasn’t helped my week. I’m a day short, with a few things to finish before I leave for NY, as well as prep for next week when I’m gone.

Fortunately Kendall went back to sleep and let me continue to work, which I’ll probably do until we leave for karate. Delaney is handling food for himself, which is good. I’m getting things done, which I need to do since I’ll have a lot more to still do tomorrow.

Sick Girl

Kendall complained of a “burning stomach” in the night. I had her take some water, and she lay next to me, sleeping there most of the night. This morning she wasn’t much better, so we sent her back to bed and she stayed there all day. She watched some Netflix and then fell asleep for a bit.

I knew she woke up when I was in the basement and got a phone call from the house. She wanted someone to lay with her. So I went up, found her with a fever, gave her medicine, and lay next to her.

And fell asleep myself. Once her fever broke, she fell asleep, and then I did as well, waking up just in time to go get Delaney.

Hopefully she’ll be better soon as we plan to head to the mountains Sat or Sun for vacation.

Embracing Fair Trade

Most small businesses don’t have global supply chains, but they do consume products, and they are under pressures to compete effectively. As they grow up, some of them continue to grow with that same fire and competitiveness, forgetting that social responsibility is still important, and can exist alongside profits.

I saw the video above at TED, and it was amazing to me. There are human rights abuses all over the world, and it’s nothing new to many of us. Large companies have used sweatshops for years. What is amazing, is that President Clinton convened a summit with many large multi-national corporations when he was in office. They managed to get many companies to agree to write a code of conduct into their contracts with suppliers.

This results in many of these suppliers actually being able to enforce better human rights issues in the workplace than the local governments can. Private enterprise helps to enforce global rights; that's amazing to me. You can check on companies at Fairlabor.org.

I think this is something you should consider when you purchase products, and run your business. Embrace some social responsibility alongside your profit motive.

The Difference Between Male and Female

You’d think I’d know the difference. Heck, I thought I knew the difference.

Actually I think I do know the difference, I just don’t always pay attention. The other day Tia asked me to help her fix some extension cords, which we use for the water heaters in the winter. The horses need water, and it tends to freeze in CO if we don’t add some heat.

I went out, cut the end off the extension cord, which was damaged, and used a replacement from the store to fix it up. Here’s what I ended up with:


Here’s what I needed:


As you can see when they’re together, they’re different. Since this end of the extension cord needs to accept the plug from the water heater, I screwed up.


So I had to remove my plug, then wire up the new one. It wasn’t hard, but I had to strip out the insulation in the cold weather. It wasn’t windy, but it’s about 35F out there and since I move slow with my big clumsy hands, it got chilly quickly. Working with those small wires and tight screwdrivers is tough.

I managed to get two wires in, and then in trying to get the third screw loose, I pulled out all my wires. So I had to put all three wires back in, tighten them, test things with my tester (it worked!) and then close things up and re-attach the PVC to the barn wall that covers the cords as they come down from the roof.

At least I learned that it’s worth checking whether you need a male or female plug before you start attaching wires.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Class

Delaney officially passed the last two things for First Class Scout.

I’m very proud, and this was a big step towards Eagle. This was the rank with lots of requirements, lots of sign offs, and we’ve been struggling to knock things out for a year. Granted a busy year, but still it’s taken a lot longer than many of our scouts. Of course, many of those first class scouts are still stuck at that rank as well.

We were worried since Delaney didn’t have his Scoutmaster conference or Board of Review scheduled. He sent emails yesterday, but they came back today and said no promises since it wasn’t enough notice. However he managed to get things done, and he was announced as First Class during the meeting.

Along with the two merit badges he earned this past weekend (Citizenship in the World and Electricity), and two he’s earned in the last few months (truck transportation and carpentry), this will be a good Court of Honor for him in December.

It was cool to have him excited as well. He talked about his plans to move forward to Star scout and even made a few notes in his book on the way home. He’s growing up and that’s good to see.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy Morning, Busy Afternoon

We lay in bed, getting up slowly today. Tia and I talked a bit, then we watched a little TV. I finally got going around 10 and folder laundry before heading outside to do some chores. Life got busy. Back and forth to the barn as I tried to fix some electrical plugs, coming back in to run and then we raced off to catch a movie we’d promised the kids before shopping and home.

It started out as a slow day, but feels like it ended a very, very busy one.

Friday, November 12, 2010


And I am glad. Still catching up with work, and being gone for a week before that.

Unfortunately we have a Scout Merit Badge college that will have me up at 6:15am tomorrow. Ugh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book #70 - On the Wings of Habitat

5153f3txVbL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_ I was searching for books on community, and good karma, and ran across On the Wings of Habitat. I have always admired Habitat, and would like to work for them someday.

I knew Habitat for Humanity was basically a Christian organization, but I wasn’t expecting this story. It’s written by a painter/drywaller in Canada that’s a volunteer. He also has his own very strong, but not formal Christian religious beliefs. He’s a lapsed Catholic, as we find out.

The story is of a blitz build in Canada and this tradesman’s experience. It somewhat has a complaining nature about the blitz build, trying to get too much done with not enough time or volunteer help, and partially a religious book. It wanders through his interactions and spiritual conversations with others on this particular build, going back in time talking about his life or other experiences.

I was surprised how much spirituality there is, and it’s linked with, but radically different than most Christian religions. I almost had to put it down, but I worked through it slowly, thinking about the author’s thoughts. I don’t necessarily agree with the way he sees the world, but it was a thought provoking story.

Book #69 - Terminal Freeze

51SRBJ6boqL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_ I love the Pendergast/Relic series by Preston and Childs, and I’ve moved off to the other books by each author. I don’t think these are as good as the joint ones, but they’re not bad. I grabbed Terminal Freeze recently in an airport and have been reading it slowly during takeoffs and landings when I have to shut down my phone.

It’s an interesting story, a group of scientists studying global warming in Northern Alaska. They’re funded by a TV company that does documentaries. When they discover a frozen relic of what they think is a saber toothed tiger, things get crazy.

They’re at an old cold war base, minimally staffed, but suddenly overrun by a crew of TV people. Their plan is to melt the specimen and unveil it live to a large audience over TV. When the creature disappears, and people start dying, this is a perfect movie plot. Similar to Relic, we find there is a prehistoric creature of some sort that is killing people slowly.

Some leave with an ice trucker, bound for civilization, but some are trapped. As you can guess, it’s a fight for survival and full of all kinds of action and failed attempts to trap and kill the beast. Add in arrogant directors and pressure producers, and all kinds of bad decisions keep the story going. Not a great book, but an enjoyable read.

Book #68 - Battle Pod

41JJkSb-LBL._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-16,34_AA300_SH20_OU01_ Book 3 of the Doom Star series. Again, at $2.00, I grabbed Battle Pod before I was done with book 2. In this one Marten is heading for Mars, drifting slowly and trying to decide if he can make it to Jupiter. He can’t and when Omi recovers, they decide they must stop at Mars and try to bargain for fuel.

Meanwhile Social Unity has a last gamble, cyborgs from the Neptune station that are headed for Mars. Earth launches a massive supply convoy that manages to make it past the orbital Highborn defenses around Earth. The supreme commander of Social Unity is gambling and thinks it has paid off.

However the Highborn have anticipated it, and we see that they are expecting this to be a battle at Mars that will destroy the last Earth defenses. They send 3 battle stars, along with their own secret ship that is flung from an orbit around the Sun, out to Mars.

We jump around as Marten trains free Martian troops briefly before they are overwhelmed by the cyborgs. He’s almost killed, but one cyborg’s training and programming fails, and she joins them, helping them to escape. The great Mars battle takes place, with us being unsure who will win. The Social Unity battle fleet is decimated, but they destroy a Doom Star. The cyborgs are mostly destroyed, and we leave the story with Marten, Omi, and Osadar the renegade cyborg back in their shuttle heading for Jupiter. We don’t know who owns Mars, or what the Highborn will do. I can’t wait for the next book.b

Book #67 - Bio-Weapon

41XLgA8y3WL._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-7,34_AA300_SH20_OU01_ The second book of the Doom Star series, again selling for $2.99, and the excitement of Book 1, had me buying Bio-Weapon this on a recent trip to continue the story of the Highborn, Social Unity, and Marten Kluge.

In this story we again follow Marten, as well as the Supreme Commander of Social Unity (the faction defending Earth), the Highborn and a Training Master trying to whip Marten and his fellow shock troopers into shape. The story opens as Marten undergoes severe training at the Mercury Space Works station. It’s brutal, and Marten searches for a way to escape, readying a stealth ship that his parents prepared and never got to use.

Meanwhile the war continues, but Social Unity has a weapon, a ship that flew close to the sun for a sneak attack on the Mercury station. When it succeeds, Marten and his shock troopers are launched as human missiles to take over the ship. They do, but Social Unity seeks to destroy the ship and only Marten and Omi escape. They’re picked up by a Highborn shuttle. When Marten spaces the 3 Highborn in the shuttle with his quick thinking, he’s finally free as the book ends, with his own ship.

There’s more in the book, as the conflict between the oppressive, socialistic Social Unity has its own power struggles, and the arrogant Highborn continue to remind us of ancient Spartans. It’s a nice continuation of the story that I think I read in 2 days.

Book #66 - Star Soldier

I think Star Soldier was recommended to me by Amazon and I grabbed a sample. I liked it, and the discount as a $0.99 Kindle book convinced me to just grab it.

It’s not wonderful writing, but it’s an interesting story.51yRUBNJK4L__SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-12,34_AA300_SH20_OU01_ In the future Earth is overpopulate and people live in underground cities stretching 40 or more stories underground. They almost never see the sun as all land, as well as numerous orbital habitats are devoted to farming.

Marten, our hero, has escaped as a teen from Mercury where his parents were killed by the oppressive regime. He struggles to fit into a society that seems based on the communist regimes of the USSR and China. It’s a socialist group that heavily oppresses everyone and seeks to create social unity.

However in their quest to rule the solar system, the genetically engineered the Highborn, an elite group of soldiers close to 9 feet tall with enhanced abilities. They’ve rebelled and returned to attack Earth. Marten, captured by the secret police and down in the lowest levels of Earth is being punished and gets loose. The first part of the book is his efforts to thwart the secret police’s plan to destroy Sydney by sabotaging the deep core power station and unleashing lava to destroy the city.

In the next part, he’s required by the Highborn, seen as inferior and must unquestionably obey them. Disobedience is punishable by death. Marten and other free earth men fight to conquer Japan, in a tale that sounds like the problems on Iwo Jima by the US in WWII.

The book balances Marten’s story with that of the Social Unity’s leading general, Hawthorne, who must carefully plot strategy and manage the politics of a Politburo style government body. With the Highborn, an arrogant race of genetically mutated humans to add a third enemy for Marten, this is quite a tale.

Hot Coffee on a Col Day

With Tia out of town, it was a little quiet at the house. So in the afternoon I went out to lunch with my laptop in hand. I wanted to get a little time with white noise, people around, and get some writing done. I had a nice BBQ lunch, reading and researching a few things, and when I came outside, it was rather chilly. Another cold front moving in, so I decided to head over the Barnes and Noble for some coffee.

Grabbing a large latte, I sat down, read through a few links I’d saved, and then started writing. I sat at a table trying to finish a piece I’d started a few weeks ago, the coffee warming me up as I pecked along. It was as done as it was going to get today, so I knocked off that one and started to read another article I’d saved.

I had brought my tablet, which was nice, and so I folded it flat, flipped it to portrait mode, and then headed to comfortable armchair to finish reading and enjoying the last bit of my coffee. I finished and decided to make a few notes, outline an editorial on the tablet. I tried typing on the touch screen, but it was bad. Not as bad as the Android tablet I tried the other day, but worlds slower than my iPhone, and an iPad. I really am getting tempted to get one.

So I then opened it up, wrote most of an editorial that will need some polishing, but it’s mostly done. A good afternoon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back to Karate

Two weeks off, but back tonight. A junior teacher, and so we didn't go too hard, so everything felt OK. I tested the right knee, but it wasn't ready, so I didn't push it.

Enjoying the Snow

I didn't go to the kilt day in Seattle, but I wore my kilt

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It was relatively warm this morning, above 50F when I took Delaney to the bus. The sun was coming up with very few clouds in the sky. An hour later, I got a cup of coffee in a t-shirt and felt fine.

At noon I went to town for a massage and it was still sunny and I was still in a t-shirt. As I walked into Wal-Mart, I could see clouds starting to cover the sky and the temperature was dropping. It rained a touch on my way home, and started to turn to snow around 2:30. This is what it looked like:


This is about an hour later:


First real snow of the season for us, and it’s nice to see. We could use some, even though I have more chores to do and I’m not really prepped for a storm. The doors aren’t even on a tractor.

The kids are hoping for a snow day, but I’m not sure that will happen. I’d settle for remembering to set my clock back. I set my watch and phone, but forgot about the alarm clock when I got home from Seattle last night. I got Delaney up an hour early today, but fortunately he realized it quickly and went back to sleep.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back Home


And I am beat, but happy to be home.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quick Elevators

I’m at the Renaissance in Seattle for a couple days, stuck on the 14th floor. That’s higher than I normally like to stay, preferring low floors. However there is something that makes a huge difference here.

A fast elevator.

Traveling is often an inconvenience for me. It’s a hassle, it disrupts my schedule, and I feel like I waste a lot of time getting places. Last week I had a 10 minute walk from the convention center to my hotel room, and they were in essentially the same building! But they drag you through the casino, and it’s designed to tempt you on the way, so it ended up being around 1/2 mile. And I had a slow elevator.

Today I got up to run, and then fitness center is on the 28th floor, top of the building. My trip on the elevator, nonstop, was about 15 sec. That’s doors closing and all. Last week the doors would stay open for 10 sec or so, perhaps in expectation of people enjoying themselves a bit much in Vegas, but it was annoying. Here the doors open and almost immediately start to close if no one is there.

I noticed it because on the way back up from breakfast we stopped at floors 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and finally 14. I was starting to get annoyed, but it was almost as quick as my 1 to 4 to 5 trip last week because of the delays in the doors and the slower elevator.

Little things make a difference, and surprisingly to me, the fast elevator here makes a difference.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back on the road

Only for a couple days, but it felt like I was barely at home. I got home around 1:30 yesterday, then left for the airport at 1:45 today. Sitting in the hotel in Seattle now, and about to call it a day as I’m a bit worn out.

It was almost surreal, coming home yesterday, working for a couple hours, then getting kids from the bus. I had a bit of a quite afternoon, going out to try and fix fence. Kendall walked with me and we worked in the South pasture, trying to fix some of the vinyl wire. We got a few things done, but there’s more to do.

Then we had a date night. Tia and Delaney went their own way, heading to a movie, so Kendall and I went to trade in her skis. She needs new boots and skis, so we did that before heading to Dave and Busters. That was what she wanted to do, so we went.

On the way over, Kendall told me about the dream story she had. We lived in some wildlife preserve, our land adjacent to the national park. Delaney and I hunted, and apparently my cooking skills and Tia’s were switched (Kendall’s words) since Tia did the cooking.

Kendall loved animals, and if she looked right at an animal looking at her, it would like her and she could work with it. She found some wolves, and named them after street signs we saw as we were driving. She had this whole adventure about training the wolves, and how I was worried, but the animals loved her.

We played some games, won some tickets, and had a good time before heading home. Today we had a quiet day inside, moving slow and hanging out this morning before Delaney and I had a run at lunch. Then I packed and before I knew it I was back at the airport and heading to Seattle.

Planning on working, and I did a little, but I’m wiped. My head doesn’t want to think about computers, or careers, and I’m about to call it a night and try to get up early and hit it tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

24 Hours

Back home for 24 hours before heading to the airport again, but it’s good to be home.

The Tapestry

270px-ST-TNG_Tapestry[1] When I run on the treadmill, I have a TV and DVD player down there and have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation over the last few years on and off. I recently saw an episode called Tapestry and it really made me stop and think.

In this episode, Picard is killed, or dying at the beginning, pulled into Sick Bay. As he fades, we cut to a scene with Q where Picard is told he’s dead. The story goes on to give Picard a chance to change his life, taking him back to the time when he’s newly graduated and just before he’s stabbed in the heart. Picard shows some regret that he started a fight then, and had to receive an artificial heart. You can guess that he relives the scene, but doesn’t get stabbed, resulting in a history he doesn’t like.

As I watched this over a few days, I kept thinking about my life, and regrets. Would I want to go back, with different knowledge, and change anything? I know I have some regrets, some actions that I’m not proud of, but I wouldn’t change anything. The place that I am in today is because of all the choices I made in the past. The good ones, the bad ones, they’ve contributed to the person that I am today.

I’m not a fatalist, but I have an acceptance of life as it is. I strive to do good, to be better, but I understand I’ll make mistakes and I’m frail. I do the best I can at each moment, knowing that sometimes that isn’t my best, and that I might change how I view the world as I grow and learn.

The tapestry of my life is somewhat woven, with more being added each day, but I wouldn’t go back and change anything. If I died today, I would accept that I’ve lived a good life, without wishing for the chance to change my past.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Quite the view from on top of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay. A vendor party there tonight and it was nice. Not large, maybe 20 people, mostly friends that I know from the SQL world.

The view is amazing, with a glass wall that’s about 6’ tall open to the Las Vegas night, providing a great view down the strip.


It’s almost surreal to see everything spread out before you. Kind of amazing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back in Vegas

It’s 9pm and I’m done. Up early to run, flying to Las Vegas, all day at a conference with friends and a nice dinner catching up. Only 9pm,but most of us are tired and we’re calling it a day. I have a 7am run date set with a friend, so I’m thinking to watch a little sports and head to bed.

The idea of Vegas seems neat, but once I’m here, it’s just not me, and it’s not that exciting. Ready to get some rest and then plan for a long day tomorrow walking around and meeting new people.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quiet Halloween

I asked Delaney yesterday what he wanted to do last night and what kind of costume we ought to work on. He said that he wasn’t that interested in trick-or-treating and would just walk or hang out with Tia and I. That was kind of a shock, but not a lot. Delaney’s growing up and less interested in some of the kid stuff. My only worry was that Kendall wouldn’t want to go alone.

Fortunately Kendall had a sleepover Sat night with a friend and then ended up going over to her friend’s house and trick or treating with them. She had a great time while Tia, Delaney, and I hit the grocery store to stock up on things for the week. I leave tomorrow for Las Vegas, and so I wanted to leave Tia in good shape for the kids.

At one point we asked Delaney if we needed chili and he said he was OK. When I reminded him that Mom doesn’t necessarily want to deal with stuff that isn’t ready to eat or easily heated in the microwave he grabbed 5 or 6 cans. We had a good laugh over that. Tia can cook, and will make some things for the kids, but she doesn’t like it. I understand as there are other things I’m not big on.

We picked up Kendall, with a full plastic pumpkin of candy and she was happy. She had a great time and even brought me back some Nerds.