Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Long Day

With Delaney being a patrol leader, we have to be at Scouts at 6pm most weeks, which means a crunched night. We dropped him off at 6 and did a little grocery shopping before returning to let Kendall do homework during his meeting. I hope to not take Kendall most weeks, but Tia left this morning for Dallas for a couple days.

So my day started with Tia leaving for the airport as I got Delaney up. He made the bus, and then Kendall got ready and made school. I had a 9am meeting, which slightly throws off my days since my production is much higher in the morning. However before my meeting, I had to go throw hay for horses, and fill water, so I was later than expected getting to actual work.

With a compressed day, I tried to be efficient, a little writing, a little admin, and then some podcasting. I’ve gotten into a bit of a routine with podcasting on Tues for the rest of the week and the next Monday. I’m hoping to actually take a few days off next week, so maybe I’ll actually be ahead the following week (fingers crossed).

In the afternoon I slowed down, as expected, and had to deal with a new boarder. The lady came around 3:30 and I met her, but her horse didn’t come until almost 4. It wasn’t much to get them settled, but it was time and distraction. Then the kids were home and I needed to make sure Delaney got homework done, cook some food and then we were out.

In the middle of all of this, I have cats to deal with. Milky Way is in heat in the house, and Louie keeps coming over from the barn. I put him back outside once today, but he got back in and hid in the basement. He’s in there now, and I can’t coax him out, which is very annoying. At this point he’ll spend the night there with a litter box and water and I’ll deal with it in the morning.

Not the day I wanted, and with some travel coming up, I feel a little stressed trying to get work done ahead of time. I thought about taking next week off, but I’m not sure if I can now. Maybe a day or two, but we’ll see.

Life has gotten crazy again at the ranch, and we still have mosquitos. Grrrrr

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to the ranch

This afternoon I was all set to do some chores, but I’d asked Delaney to play tennis and Tia wanted to go. I thought chores could wait, actually was avoiding them, so we went and hit balls for an hour, but we were all tired. It was hot (90F+) and we gave up, coming home after a bit.

Then it was chore time. Or I was about to go weed whack some tumbleweeds, but Tia wanted to get her batteries cleaned in her truck. They’ve been draining and we think there’s something wrong with the electrical system. There was corrosion on the terminals, so we cleaned those batteries first, and then I went to cut some weeds down. I got the culvert and the gate cleared up, which was something I’ve let bother me for a month and a half without dragging the weed whacker down there to cut them down.

Mission accomplished and now I won’t be annoyed with myself every time I go through the gate.

I took the tractor down, after first pushing some hay bales that Tia needed moved. Surprisingly easy, though I was worried about lifting two at once. Fortunately they were angled and balanced on the other bales, so I wasn’t lifting them completely with the bucket. Still, moving slow to make sure I didn’t tip over.

Cut some grass for a few minutes, tied down some tarps better, and I’m done. It’s been a long day and time to chill out with a little Halo 2 with Delaney.

Back Home

Flew back this am on a 9:45am flight from OKC. Upgraded to first class, which was nice, but it's such a short flight, I'm not sure it mattered that much. Still it was nice to get a mug of coffee, and a refill on the flight as I read.

That gives me 30k miles for the year with trips to Austin, London, Seattle, LA, and Las Vegas still to go. Gonna be close to 50k and might need to take a mileage run at some point to try and get there for next year. Then I ought to get quite a few upgrades next year if I fly anywhere near as much.

Now to do a few chores and then some tennis with D and Tia since Kendall's away at a birthday party.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I wish I was here


This day hasn’t started well. First I struggle to get out of bed this morning. For some reason I fell asleep at 10:22 tired turning off the TV, having had Tia drift off at 9:30, almost in the middle of a conversation. I locked up the cats, watched a little TV and then went down myself. However I woke up at 3:00am or so and struggled to go back to sleep.

At least until about 6:00 when I was definitely asleep because at 6:05, the alarm was a surprise. I pulled myself out of bed and went to pull Delaney up. He was struggling to get going, and as he started to get dressed at 6:25, he asked if I could drive him or did he need to hurry. I had a 9am call, I was tired, and agreed.

We drove to school, dropped him off, laughing at some Michael Winslow on the way.

I went to the gas station, got a cup of coffee, still tired, and got back in the car. I was checking an email when a guy walked up, knocked on the window and pointed to my rear tire.


That didn’t worry me and I drove across the parking area to the air pump. I inserted by $0.75, and started filling the tire. It was slow, but I got to about 30 lbs and I heard a creak. I stopped and looked at the tire, which had a small bulge on it. As I watched, the tire below the bulge expanded and it looked like it might have gotten crimped when it ran flat. 30lbs is a little low, so I added about 2-3 more seconds of air, thinking I’d get to 35lbs and stop when


The tire exploded, fortunately out the back. It was loud and my ears rang for a minute, but everything was fine. I got in the car, sat there for a minute, and sipped some coffee while my chest stopped vibrating from the compression wave. It wasn’t a big deal overall, but it was piling on a day that was a struggle to start.

I got out the jack and wrench, and jacked up the car and pulled off the tire.


It only took about 10 minutes to change it, and then I was back in the car and heading home. Now I need to get it fixed because the spare is a mini-spare. These tires aren’t that old, so I’m not sure what went wrong, but probably just some defect in the tire.

I looked at the tire when I got home and it split along the back, similar to the one from the Porsche last week. Two tires in two weeks. Not a good trend.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Feeling Good

I had a great run today, the best one since the knee wiggled a couple weeks ago at baseball. I got up to 6.6 mph without any pain at all, stretching the legs out well.

Before that I needed some food since I had some podcasting and work to do. I could have grabbed a bar, or even something less healthy, but I went with this:


I’ve been trying to work some more fruits into the diet, do a better job of watching what I eat and I’ve added some smoothies. Blueberries, banana and apple juice, in a thick blend that puts away some hunger.

I’m proud myself, because these were on the counter near me:


Now if I can just get that doctor’s visit scheduled for a checkup….

The Tire Adventure

I’d never taken the Porsche into the mountains until last week. Kendall and I were going to Winter Park for the day and I asked if she’d like to take the Porsche. She said yes and we zoomed through the mountains, enjoying some of the curves as I goosed the throttle around them.

All was well until the way back.


I felt a couple bumps, and then saw smoke coming from the rear of the car as it rumbled down I-70 near Evergreen. I managed to pull over, but by the the tire was shredded. On the side of a 65mph highway, trucks and cars coming down, I managed to loosen the wheel and jack the car up. I’d never needed the tools in the car, and was glad they were all there.

Then the spare was an inflatable spare, which I’ve never seen. It folds in on itself a bit and there’s an air compressor in the car. 15 minutes later, it’s inflated on the car and we test it by rolling down the slight hill for 100 ft to be sure it’s holding the car’s weight. It does and I drive to the Tires Plus near us, 41.3 miles, going 55mph with a close eye on the odometer to keep it under 50 miles.


Here’s the tire next to Kendall, which is shredded. I guess high speed and blown tires don’t work out well.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I hit the ball hard, a nice line drive in between the first and second baseman into right field. It's a little pathetic, but I actually worried about getting to first base. So head down, I start to run.

As I'm building up speed, I try to push off on the right knee and it pains me. I feel a sharp pain and jerk a little, pulling my groin on the left side. On top of a knee and elbow that annoyingly sting from a slide earlier, I'm now struggling to run a bit.

I make it and get a pinch runner right away. We go on to win on a walk off single from the guy batting ahead of me so I don't have to test my health again.

It's been fun and the last two weeks with close games have been a lot of fun, even in the losses. However I am ready for the season to be done and let the body heal.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mountain Climber

Delaney had the actual climbing portion of his Climbing merit badge this morning for Scouts. He had done the prep work in April for the badge, and today we had scheduled the rest. We were late, as usual, and had trouble finding the right spot, but we managed to get there.


Despite getting up early, Delaney was fairly excited to get going. Because we were late, it took awhile for him to get geared up, and when he finally did, he started with rapelling.


The first time he went down, he was hyper-ventilating a bit and was definitely scared. But he made it down, and then had to go to two more.

I was watching from below, but Kendall and Deuce were up top, about 50-60 ft in the air, checking out Delaney’s progress from the top.


I watched from below, and then walked back up with Delaney for his third rappel. By that time he was scared, but managing it well and happy to go down again.

Delaney rappelling down Castlewood Canyon

By this time it was close to lunch, so Kendall and I went to get some subs for everyone while Delaney did his climbs and belays. He needed three of everything, and when we got back he was working on them, but he was tired and hungry. He ate, but was too tired to do more, which I understand. Climbing is hard.


He did manage to get his 3 rappels, 2 of his 3 climbs, and 2 of his 3 belays. We’ll schedule the rest sometime in the future, but glad that he got most of it done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All Together

Last night I skipped karate, trying to let the knee heal more, and we all went out to meet Kyle for dinner. He bussed down to Southlands, and we packed up the kids, with no real plans, and drove out for a quick dinner with Kyle to spend some time and see how he’s doing.

He looks good, growing up, and seems excited about the next year of college. It seems that we did a good job raising him and he’s grown into a confident, relaxed, happy adult.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School

Delaney started today, as an 8th grader. Amazing to think of him as an 8th grader, the top of middle school this year. Next stop, high school.

Kendall goes to “back to school” tonight, then assessments tomorrow for her to place into math/reading for the year, and she officially starts on Thur.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Win

I could see it happening in my mind. Two steps to the left, reaching out with my glove, picking the ball out of the air between bounces, taking two more steps as I transfer the ball to my right hand and start the double play with a straight throw to second base.

That might have been the play ten years ago, or even five, but that’s not what happened today. Today was completely different.

It was slow motion, but my feet didn’t move quickly, fighting through the inch or two of sandy dirt that surrounded third base today. The ball was skimming the surface, barely rising two or three inches above the ground. Knowing I wouldn’t get ahead of the ball in time, and with no chance to bend over that far at a run, I dove. Slow motion again, but this time it was more a slow motion, controlled crash to the ground in an attempt to knock the ball down and prevent it from reaching the outfield.

I missed, but the shortstop was there to end the play without any damage.

However I was proud of myself. Over the last few year I’ve learned to respect the limits of my body, and not push myself too far. With shaky legs at times, I’ve avoided sprints and learned to turn and move before running, trying to avoid the lateral pushes off my knee. Last week I did something to wiggle the knee, and it hurt to even walk on Monday. I suspect I’ve done something to one of the ligaments in there, but I’m not sure if I want to pursue any work on it. Some rest, some ice, and care has managed to work over the last 7-8 years.

Even though I didn’t make the play, I did play within my limits, doing the best I could without injuring myself, and that’s all I can do these days. I did make two plays, coming up to get bouncy balls that might have short-hopped me if I hadn’t moved and threw the runners out at first. I did realize I’m planting hard on the right knee when I come to a stop and I need to watch that.

I didn’t hit today, trying to avoid the stepping sideways. My leg was a little sore yesterday and I didn’t want to push it again. The rest of the team played well, getting ahead 2-0, going down 7-2, and then coming back to win 9-7 in 7 or 8 innings. We even had a home run, hit to deep left center, which I think is the first of the year for our team. Good for everyone’s spirits after we’ve played well the last two games, only to lose in the last inning.

I haven’t hit one out this year, and it might not be the year for me. One more game next week, and I’m not sure I’ll hit, have to see how the knee does this week with some lighter running.


I think the baseball team is cursed. I can’t believe we lost yesterday, up by 10 runs at one point and leading by 6 in the top of the 9th. We just lost it, giving up 7 runs without an out on a combination of good hits, a few walks, and a couple hit batters. Add to that a few errors, and it was hard.

I didn’t get much of anything at third, no fielding plays, a pop-up the pitcher got, and a couple throws from outfield to me to try and catch runners. The only close one was a throw from center that was low, coming in on a few low bounces and the runner sliding, obscuring dust. The ball bounced off my shin, which is still sore today.

At the place I walked the first two times without swinging, then walked after a few foul balls, and got a K and a grounder to first. The K came when I swung at a high pitch for the third strike, but I’d let a  high one go earlier that was called, so I had to swing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Crazy Weekend

I am actually looking forward to baseball ending. Tomorrow I have a 4:00 game, so I’m leaving the house at 2:30-ish. The downside of that is that Tia is leaving at 7:00-ish to go ride with a friend and returning around 1:30-2:00. So we’ll barely see each other.

However we do have a date night planned tomorrow night, so that will help.

Sunday it’s the same. She has a training ride with a friend for their race next weekend. I have a game at 3:30, so I’m leaving when she gets back. Again.

Fortunately I’m down to one weekend of baseball on the 21st and she has her ride on the 20th. After that things will slightly ease up.

Halo 2

Delaney and I were talking about video games and books yesterday while driving to the water park and I realized that I didn’t understand the Halo universe as well as I thought I did. I hadn’t played much Halo 3 with him, and apparently we never finished Halo 2 either. He offered to help me understand better by playing some games.

So when we got home last night, we sat down in his room and ran through a bit of Halo 2, me getting the chance to practice my skills and him having the chance to explain things to me. It was a good time, with Kendall providing some “color commentary” and helping explain some things to me as well. Apparently she’s played a bit with Delaney and knew a few things I didn’t.

It was a good end to a kid day.


Almost back to normal running speed. I started at 5.6mph today, after 5.4 seemed OK yesterday. It felt easy, so I went to 5.8mph. However that was as far as I went. It felt OK, but I didn’t want to push things, and might stay at this speed for a few days.

The knee did fine at the water park yesterday, though I was careful with it. A slightly twinge a few times while walking and extending it too far, so I think I’ll be taking it easy for another week or two and try to heal it more.

However once again I’m amazed how much better it’s gotten, while I continue to run.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kid Day

Another kid day, the last hurrah before school starts next week. I’m taking the kids to Pirate’s Cove, a water park in Englewood to the west to have some fun today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We need more nerds

This is just sad, seeing a quote like this: “...in the heart of hard economic times, 33 of 50 states increased the amount spent on prisons while decreasing dollars spent on K-12 and higher education...”

It speaks to the fear driven culture we have, and the lack of appreciation for education (parents and non-parents) and a lack of trust in our education system. I’ve seen debates in my area about the budget crisis and services, and I’m happy to see our high school is stepping up to drop “easier” classes and pushing "harder” ones.

I love sports, and I think they not only teach us something about life and ourselves, but they are important for our health. However they aren’t the end-all, be-all, and while I wish my kids played more sports, I don’t regret them being more academic oriented than sports oriented.

Apparenty LZ Granderson feels the same way as that quote above comes from his piece: Why I'm raising my son to be a nerd. It’s an interesting note that his son is athletic, and he likes that, but he has learned to praise the academic achievements more. He sees that as a culture, we have our priorities out of whack, and I think he’s spot on.

There’s nothing wrong with cheering for a sports team, but that shouldn’t prevent us from cheering for the kids that do well in school. We’ve grown from a blue collar economy built on manufacturing to a mostly white collar one built on knowledge, but the education system, and the cultural values haven’t caught up with that change.

As much as I like lots of the liberal changes in our schools, that have brought increased tolerance, less bullying, and more of a caring, sharing environment to our education system, we haven’t brought along the push to excellence, and we instead accept mediocrity all too often. We have removed some of the stigma of failure, but not replaced it with intolerance of laziness or a lack of effort. We celebrate participation, but don’t require effort. We reward superficiality in excess of it’s value, often because of a few dollars.

We’ve built a lottery mentality that is hurting ourselves, and it’s amazing how it’s sold from all sides. From sports to politics to education, we seem to all think we can be the winners on top of the pyramid, forgetting there’s only room for a few. And yet we somehow cheer on those few, sacrificing, and even encouraging behavior and policies that benefit those few, and not the majority, because we have been sold on the belief that any of us can be the few. That is a possibility, but far from a probability.

It’s not all bad.There are pockets of good ideas, and lots of people trying to make a difference, and make the world better. Culturally we need to come together, finding and embracing good ideas because they make the country a better place, not because they align with your political party, or keep someone employed, or because they fit in some loophole.

I faith that the US will survive and prosper, but I’m not sure if we will still lead the world, or if it will happen in my lifetime.

Book #38 - Helfort’s Way Book 3: The Battle of Devesation Reef

51IT5cZ8Q7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_The third book in the Helfort series, continuing on the battle between the Federation Worlds and the Hammer empire. In Helfort's War Book 3: The Battle of Devastation Reef Helfort is pulled away from his ship, assigned to the special projects division of the Federation Space Navy. As with many military book, politics come into play.

Helfort is pulled into a new ship, built to be run by a crew of 10, and their AIs, in an almost un-manned fashion. It’s the only way that one admiral thinks the Hammer’s new anti-matter missiles can be handled in battle. A grueling set of training simulations get Helfort down, but he manages to survive, determined to destroy the Hammer empire.

However much of the Navy dosen’t like the idea of un-manned ships, or this dreadnought force and undermines them. Despite Helfort’s few successes in training, they do not accept the concept.

Meanwhile the Hammers are trying to press home the attack. Polk is pushing to destroy the Federation and is only held back when a few salvaged anti-matter missiles are detonated in Hammer space. He thinks that the Federation might have the same weapon and is unsure of how to proceed.

When the Federation discovers the Hammer anti-matter lab at Devastation Reef, a huge operation is planned. Helfort manages to lead his squad to a victory, but in the process he disobeys a direct order from an admiral. On top of that, they escape in a small lander with about 200 survivors and can only get to an independent planet, though one that is under Hammer vassal status.

The book wanders between space and land, with Helfort once again the target of Hammer politics. His girlfriend is captured when her ship is destroyed, most of the Federation Navy wants him court martialed, and the Hammer worlds continue to brutally oppress their people. All in a day in the future.

Not as good as the first two books, but still a good continuation of the saga.

Smart Cars

An interesting read. Instead of, or in addition to, a smart grid, what about smart charging items? In this blog, they talk about smart electric cars. I like the idea, distribute intelligence, collect some data, and then allow the grid to react.

This is a good way of working with supply and demand. Give out the information, let users decide if they want to pay more or less, based on the supply at different times. If we add in wind and solar power, perhaps we might get more charging and other work done during light periods in the US. I would certainly be willing to program my washer, dryer, dishwasher to work this way.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gary Johnson - Republican for President

I like this guy, at least according to this interview. I think his Libertarian roots stand out, and he has the compassion and understanding on the social side that I find refreshing. I don’t know how far he will progress, but we’ll see as 2012 rolls around if he survives the right wing, conservative, GOP nonsense that seems to be dominating the party.


No more eye infection!

At least not any that’s visible, but the optometrist said to stay out of contacts for another week and see how things heal. That’s fine with me. I’ve been in glasses for about 3 weeks and it’s gone fine. Other than a few runs, and some struggles at karate a few times, I haven’t minded it too much. Baseball was a little struggle as I get better sun coverage from sunglasses, but for now I’m doing OK and I don’t want this infection coming back.

Book #37 - Helfort’s War Book 2: The Battle of the Hammer Worlds

51dzXV9tnoL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_After finishing Book 1 of Helfort’s War, I jumped right into Book 2: The Battle of the Hammer Worlds. The book starts out with a bang, having Helfort being charged with mutiny.

Actually that’s a trait of these books, a few paragraphs at the beginning that are from a later chapter, but they shock you. In this case Helfort is back to a Lt, after having to captain his last ship. It was damaged by the Hammer patrol and eventually scrapped. Now he’s on a new ship, with a captain that won’t listen to him, or much of anyone, and miserable. Tasked with patrols, he’s struggling to survive. After he sets up a simulation the captain fails, he’s charged with mutiny and under arrest on his own ship.

Meanwhile the Hammer Worlds have another plot. The old chief councilor is dead and the new one, Polk, is even more brutal. He has converted merchant ships firing on and killing Federation merchant ships. When Helfort’s Issaq wanders into the killing field, they are destroyed, but Helfort and much of the crew escape in life pods and are captured.

Much of this book is Helfort’s time in captivity. He manages to get some respect from the Hammer ship, though he’s beaten badly. Since he was a Federation hero, he’s taken by Doctrinal Security when the rest of his crew is put in a prison camp. They beat him, then heal him and want a confession. He refuses and bluffs them into thinking his neuronics can put him in a coma. He then reunites with the rest and they escape from the camp, hiking over the wintery mountains.

The book is exciting, with a look back at technology from the Hammer worlds, which seems more normal, while the Federation technology seems amazing. There are harrowing thrills, and moral issues with the decisions Helfort must go through to escape and get back to Federation space. He does, and with the amazing new anti-matter weapons the Hammer have, the book ends with an amazing destruction of much of the Federation fleet.

A great read, and if you enjoy book 1, you will like this one.

Still Sore But Better

The knee is still sore, and definitely not supporting much in the way of movement, but I was able to walk much easier today and could go down stairs without the handrail. Ice and rest have helped.

Just did an easy treadmill jog, very slow. I started at 4, but that was uncomfortable. Too fast to walk, too slow to jog, so I upped to 4.6, which was OK. I tried 4.8 at a minute, but immediately I had pain from bending the knee too much and had to slow down to catch myself. I stuck with my 4.6 for the remainder of the run, and then walked a bit at 3.3mph, which was a comfortable pace.

I was ready to not run last night, after starting to strike and almost hitting the ground from the knee in pain and starting to collapse. I started to walk after that, just about giving up on running, but then decided to try the old man, slow shuffle/jog and that worked. It was a "run" as well, with both feet off the ground on most strides, and managed to go along with Delaney pacing me on his bike.

I'm going to go slow for a week and see. If it's still painful, I think a doctor visit is in order, but I've had similar pain before and a week later it's mostly gone.

Fingers are crossed this time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lucky Me, Unlucky Team

Once again I made a lucky decision. I ran after I got home from the airport, but before baseball. Since I did something to my knee on the first play, I’m glad I did. I couldn’t have run after, and I’m not sure I can run today. Iced the knee last night and today, and I’ll try later, but if it hurts, I’ll bail. It’s been a good run and I can’t complain, but the run isn’t more important than health.

Our baseball game was something. We were playing a good team, a team that should have killed us, but we played well. It was an excellent game overall.

Once again we were worried about having enough people, but we had 9 show up, and one guy called a friend to give us 10 for the game. I started at 3rd, getting a slow grounder halfway to me on the first play. I ran up, planted to pick up the ball quickly, and threw to get an out at first. With my so-so arm, that was a good play for me. However I stepped on some uneven ground and the knee wiggled, giving me some pain when I bent it and pushed off. Fine while standing, hurting while jogging/running.

Running is a huge overstatement as I got a hit later in the game and hobbled/limped to first. I couldn’t really move right, and hugged the line a bit. I got two more hard grounders to me, which fortunately got to me, and didn’t require me to move and so I ended up with three good plays at third. I managed to pick up a steal throw from home and an outfield throw as well without moving much, and with no chance to catch the guy.

For the team, we hit well, quite a few fly balls caught, but also some good hits that had us leading the game 4-1 or 4-2 or most of the game. We were aggressive, with two people getting caught at home. One was a tag on a throw from center, which was just a good throw. The other was a guy going 2nd to home on a deep hit, again, a great throw. We had a guy caught stealing as well, but even if we had those three runs, we would have lost. The final score was 10-4, so we definitely were beat.

However we didn’t make any errors in the field and had 3 or 4 1-2-3 innings. We played well and until the 8th inning, we were looking good. Then they other team woke up. With 2 outs, we walked a couple guys, then they got some good hits. Two line drives over short to drive in runs and then our pitching struggled. We changed pitchers, walked a couple more, a few more hits before ending the inning. We got people to 1st and 2nd, but then a grounder to third ended the game.

For me, I hit the ball well. 6 swings, 6 contacts. I fouled one the first at-bat before lifting a long fly to right that the fielder caught while running back. Then a walk with no swings, a foul and a hard grounder up the middle for a single, and then another great hard swing that drove a ball to deep right, but the fielder was playing deep. The Rebels know me well and play me deep, but they were good hits. If I’d been able to step with my knee, I’d have hit them better. Not sure about out, but they definitely felt like I was lacking power with the swings.

Another disappointing loss, but we played much better and looked good. Having 2-3 more of our good players there might have made the difference.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back Home

And glad. My whirlwind trip is done, and another early flight this morning out of New Orleans to head back to Denver. Now a couple hours at home and then baseball.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book #36 - Helfort’s War Book 1 - The Battle at The Moons of Hell

helfort1A re-read for me, but when I bought book 4 before my last trip and started it, I realized I wasn’t sure what was going on. So I stopped and went back to read Helfort’s War Book 1: The Battle at the Moons of Hell.

The book follow Michael Helfort, newly graduated Jr Lt in the space Navy of the Federation Worlds. It’s split between following Helfort, a talented young man with a bit of a tempter, and the Hammer Worlds, a Soviet style empire that brutally oppresses it’s citizens, but based on a religion.

The Hammer worlds disdain the use of AIs, which are key to the Federation Worlds, but are wracked from within by economic issues. When the current leader of the Hammer worlds hatches a plot to hijack a terraforming ship and use it on one of their planets, things break loose. Helfort’s mother and sister are on the ship, and his ship is tasked to provide some intelligence to get them back.

In the deep space scout DSL-387, Helfort learns to be part of a team, and work together. He grows as a young soldier, while shouldering the burdens of his family being in danger. When the Federation attacks, it’s Helfort’s ship that is providing advance intelligence and intercepts a small force of much larger Hammer ships to distract the patrol from the Federation ships.

It’s an exciting space military opera, full of action, adventure, and lots of politics, particularly in the brutal Hammer worlds. I enjoyed the re-read and am looking forward to getting to book 4.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Tough Run

And a hot one in Baton Rouge. After a smooth flight from Denver, despite a 4:30am wake up, I grabbed a Dodge Charger for my rental and drove towards Baton Rouge. I had hoped to have lunch with a friend in New Orleans, but the timing got messed up and he had plans earlier than expected, I arrived later than I had thought when we made plans (confusing this trip with OKC in 3 weeks) and so I stopped for some New Orleans BBQ on the way.

Great BBQ, but my stomach wasn’t happy. So I worked a bit in the hotel before heading out to University Lake for a run. I’ve run here for the last two years, and enjoy it. Nice houses and fraternity/sorority houses line the two sides of the lake, and I’ve run around most of it.

But never around it. I’ve always started down one side and then turned around. Today it didn’t feel too hot, I’m in better shape, and was thinking to go 15 minutes and turn around. However I was feeling good at 12 min and thought I was nearly halfway. So I kept going, thinking I’d go 20 minutes and see. At that point I thought I was over halfway, so I kept going.

I was over halfway, in more ways than one. I was wiped out, and at about 30 min I had to walk for a minute. I kept going, and the lake seemed to keep stretching, and I ended up walking probably 1/4 of it, or nearly a mile. I alternated walking with jogging, and was soaked with sweat and struggling a bit in the 101F heat (according to my Charger). I certainly didn’t finish strong, and I needed to sip water for an hour after to feel better.

But I was proud. Almost 4 mi in 43:00 in hot weather.

A good run, but tomorrow’s will be closed to a mile, and early (7am) to avoid some heat.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Busy Day

After taking yesterday off to hang with the kids before school starts, today was back to the grind, trying to close down the week. I leave for New Orleans at 7am (leaving the house at 5) and then drive to Baton Rouge for SQL Saturday #64. It will be a whirlwind weekend of a couple hours in N.O., driving to Baton Rouge and spending about 27 hours there before driving back to NO and flying home early Sun morning.

Today was getting Kendall to camp, then working to get a podcast done, a touch of writing, and then going over my presentation again, checking demos and fixing some (more) typos. This is now 4 rehearsals in a week, so I think I’m getting it down.

There was a run in there, and also getting Delaney registered for school. Then more presentation work before racing to karate, and being a minute late to step on the mat. Fortunately the class was singing “Happy Birthday” to the instructor, so I slipped in. Then grocery shopping before heading some to finalize a couple things I wanted to change in the presentation. I thought of them while driving around.

Somewhere in there I packed, going for the no checked bags route, which I hope works out OK for me on this trip. I wanted to get down to a smaller bag, and think I did fine, with plenty of space left. I’m thinking that I’ll aim for this mini bag for the rest of my trips this year, and see if I can manage to avoid the delays of checking bags.

Feeling Good

After an indulgent day at the amusement park with the kids, hanging out, drinking too much sugar, and laying around, I was tired. Came home, ate, watched some TV and fell asleep early. Up to get Kendall to her last day of day camp this summer and then working a bit before a run.

Which I pushed, harder than normal, but after a lazy day yesterday, I felt like going. Had a good run, which was nice. Tomorrow I’ll be running in Baton Rouge, around University Lake where it will be a bit warmer than CO, I suspect. Looking forward to running in the heat and humidity the next two days.

I graphed July’s runs recently using MapMyrun, which is where I store a copy of my runs, and noticed something:


Without meaning to, I’ve been running almost in a pyramid pattern across the weeks. It’s 7-8 days between the pattern, which is completely unconscious. I don’t track the miles across days very often. But listening to my body, I’ve run this way.



and May


are similar, though not as much of a pyramid. However June and July were definitely months were I was trying to run more, get above a 2mi/day average to make it for the year.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Day Off

I took today off, with the plans of taking the kids to Elitch Gardens. They’re still asleep, and I got my run in, so we’ll see if I can motivate them to move down the road.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Me Struggling, Kendall Learning

Last night was the first night of volleyball camp at a local high school. I ran Kendall down there since the fall season starts soon and we both think getting the chance for a little extra practice is good. She ran through lots of drills, with a wide range of girls, but mostly older, so they worked on more advanced skills like setting and spiking, which she hasn’t done with her team. Near the end I could see she was getting tired, but it was a good night of camp, and we’ll repeat again tonight.

However then I went to karate, sans Kendall who Tia picked up. I was looking forward to going, and feeling more motivated for some reason now that I have the black belt. As some have quoted, the black belt is just the first step on the journey, and surprisingly that’s how I feel now.

The body didn’t agree. In the warm ups, where I was trying to focus, I struggled with a little balance, and the ankle was a little shaky. Not hurting, but didn’t want to give me great support on kicks. Then while doing the boxing drills, the right shoulder was sore, so I slowed down quite a bit, not putting power or a lot of speed into the hits. About the only thing that felt good was the ab workout at the end.