Saturday, September 29, 2012

Catching Up

The plane landed last night and when I turned on my phone, I had a text from Delaney. He'd broken 30 minutes at the meet, finishing the 5k in 29:25.

That's so cool, half his first time at the scrimmage in August and a nice improvement. He said it was hard, but he pressed on. I'm proud of him.

Now I wonder how long until he's outrunning me.

I made it home

For awhile I was wondering if I would. I left before 5, stuck in lots of traffic, but after a cab driver off duty decided to pick me up (took like 15 minutes to get a cab on Third Ave), he managed to get us across the bridge and race through Queens. On the way there I got a note that my flight was delayed, delayed a lot. It was landing in DC less than 15 minutes before my flight to Denver.

Trying to remain calm, I walked up to the United desk when I got in the airport, trying to patiently wait in line. At the desk the agent looked around and said I would never make the flight in DC unless it was delayed, which wasn't likely. I could chance or, or I could stay in NY and get a morning flight. Not what I wanted to hear when I have to turn around and go to Austin on Sunday. However it seemed better to just deal with one flight, get a hotel early, and try to relax than going to DC and trying to get a hotel late at night. I walked away, bracing myself for the challenge of finding a close hotel and called Tia.

As I chatted with Tia, I went downstairs, walking to the taxi area and looked up to see the young lady from the United desk jogging after me. She said the 5:30pm to Denver had been delayed, but it hadn't boarded. It was listed at 6:15, and when I was up there, her display showed it as closed. However she had managed to reach the gate and there was a seat on the flight. She gave me a gate pass and told me to hurry.

It's been a few years since I ran through and airport, and fortunately it was relatively quiet at 6:10pm. I jogged to security, cut in front of a guy that was taking too long to unload his stuff, and managed to slip through security quickly. As I was taking off my belt, the other agent walked up with a boarding pass and gave it to me.

I jogged to the gate, seeing people still getting on the plane, and managed to get my belt on before my pants slipped down. On the flight a short moment of panic as my seat was also assigned to another lady, but there was an open spot and she moved. An easy flight to Denver, with me arriving at 8:45 instead of the 11:00 I was expecting.

I have had issues with United, and at times I've felt they haven't taken care of their frequent flyers, but this was a huge help for me with agents going out of their way to get me home. I really appreciate that and owe them a letter of thanks.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back in Central Park

New York City. Central Park. A nice, relatively short loop today after getting into the city. It took longer than expected, almost an hour at 2:00pm to get into midtown from LaGuardia.

It was an easy flight, but a nauseous cab ride. The driver had two speeds, stop and full bore. I guess we coasted a few times, but he wasn't making any effort to save gas.

Now time to clean up and go to work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This cold/virus has been nagging me for a few weeks, and once again I feel better. Hopefully I can get some sleep and shake this thing, even as I head out on the road for a bunch of trips in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Hay

Rain in the forecast has Tia and I out there today to cover more hay. We were hoping to do it yesterday, but it was a busy day, up until bedtime. After a morning of work for me and chores for Tia, we went and loaded up on tires from the local shop.


Photo Sep 25, 12 55 29 PM


It was a trip that included bringing home the ATV, which mysteriously works now. Likely a stuck relay. Need to research how to fix that. Once the tires were home, we unloaded.


Photo Sep 25, 12 55 04 PM


Oscar narrowly missed being bumped as I rolled them over to the hay. That was the easy part. Next we had to unroll the tarp. We bought two old billboard vinyl’s, 60’x16’ and spread them out. We actually spread them yesterday, but had to re-line them up today.


Photo Sep 24, 9 35 57 AM

Then it was time to get tires up


Photo Sep 25, 1 09 17 PM


It’s quite high, and even though the bales are 3’x8’, you have to be careful where you step. It’s a nice view. and I can see the top of the tractor.


Photo Sep 24, 9 36 01 AM


We tied the tarps to the hay, and then used tires on top of that, tying everything down.

Photo Sep 25, 1 24 58 PM

While Tia tied, I took a short break. Trying hard to shake this illness.

Photo Sep 25, 1 41 30 PM

A couple hours and things were covered, which is good since we expect rain tonight. We’ll see.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

My Little Helper

I guess my helper is not so little anymore. We needed to cover the hay today and Kendall agreed to help. I got tires yesterday morning and in the afternoon we loaded then up on the tractor with tarps and headed over.

Photo Sep 23, 4 38 32 PM

Kendall was a big help, loading and unloading tires, and getting them on top of our pile of hay, which is 3 big bales tall. About 12 ft in the air.

Photo Sep 23, 2 54 07 PM

We used the tractor to load them up there and then spread tarps, dropping tires on top

Photo Sep 23, 2 54 12 PM

We got the pile by the house covered, then left the other one as the day got away from us.

Photo Sep 23, 4 46 58 PM

In between all this we did a little work on the shelter. Not much, but enough to move it along.

Photo Sep 23, 4 19 54 PM

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two More Down

All day yesterday at SQL Saturday #169 in Denver where I delivered two talks and came closer to being done for the year. Earlier in the week I was at the user group in Colorado Springs talking to them, which was the start of my fall efforts. I had scheduled
  • 12 events
  • 21 talks
  • 10 cities and 1 remote talk
All before Thanksgiving. Two events, three talks, and 2 cities down. Now I get a short break before I have to head out on the road Thursday for the SQL in the City tour.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I get it, wait, I don’t

I saw today that Senator Marco Rubio said that Rand Paul’s bill calling for a cessation of aid to Pakiston, Libya, and Egypt doesn’t make sense because we can’t lump all those countries together. We ought to keep sending some of them aid, so this bill should be voted down. We shouldn’t lump countries together. Rubio makes some sense, and he’s joined by Senator McCain in saying this isn’t a good bill.
I get it.
Wait, I don’t. Perhaps I don’t understand politics, or large scale government, or perhaps much of anything, but how does voting to cut off aid to these countries preclude either of these gentleman from introducing a new bill to give them back aid?
I like both Senator McCain and Senator Rubio. I like what they have to say often, but I find myself concerned here that they are unwilling to send a message to these countries and then based on the individual merits, vote for aid individually to each country. I think this is a mistake by both of them.
Right now, the latest numbers for 2012 show:
  • Egypt - $1.5b
  • Libya - $5.7mm
  • Pakistan - $3.1b
Meanwhile, we voted to not spend $1B on veterans benefits because, well, we want to be fiscally responsible and reduce the deficit.
I get it.
Wait, I don’t. We want to reduce the deficit, an admirable decision in my opinion, but at the expense of veterans benefits not three countries that haven’t exactly been on the side of the US.
I know the GOP doesn’t like the veterans bill and wants changes. I think the Dems are wrong to not consider amendments or work out changes to the bill that can limit the addition it adds to the debt, but I also don’t understand voting to continue aid to foreign nations while not helping our soldiers.
I can make this reduce the deficit. Fuck those three countries and spend $1b on our veterans. We can then take the other $4.6+b and not spend it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Night Rider

After getting home last night, Kendall and I walked over to the barn where Tia was finishing a lesson. Kendall wanted to ride, and she jumped on Starlet, who’d been the horse for this latest lesson.


Neat seeing her get on and ride a bit. She’s been a little scared after her last race, so this was good. Then she wanted a short lesson from Tia on Rain as I came in to check on Delaney and do a little work.

Still amazed my little girl can just get on a horse and ride whenever she wants. Glad she wants to and lucky we can let her.


Delaney called me yesterday and said he’d forgotten his shorts for cross country. He had a meet in Kiowa (E of here), and wanted me to meet him. A bit of a pain, but I encouraged him to run and I grabbed my laptop and headed over there.

We warmed up in his long uniform, and then changed. A warm day, too warm for him, but he got started with everyone else.


Most of the kids finished and I was getting worried about him. I thought he might have twisted an ankle since he was slower than any of his recent times. Finally he came chugging up.


Tired, slow, but persevering and still going, he came running up.


Proud to see him still going. He said afterwards that there was a bunch of water they ran through early and that bothered him. Even today, his shoes are still a little wet.

Glad to see him still pushing, and looking forward to his improving his strength, stamina, and speed over the next month.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney’s Secret Video

I saw the news break on Mother Jones’ secret video about Romney’s speech at a campaign fundraiser. I saw the various liberal news Tweeters and RSS feeds go a little crazy, and surprisingly the conservative ones go quiet. Today, after a note from Romney that we hadn’t seen the whole video, Mother Jones released the full video.

I was surprised at the lack of conservative because I a) think Romney pandered to his audience and b)he’s right about a few things. I’ll say he is out of touch with most Americans, but so is Obama. You don’t get to Congress or the White House as an average person. You’ve got to be in your own world.

I wouldn’t say video shows exactly what Romney thinks, though my opinion is it’s not completely off base. If he’s really a devout Mormon and one that donates and gives a lot to others, he knows that 47% of the country that is able to work isn’t sitting idly by avoiding work. He knows that there are lots of people, especially Republicans in red states, that don’t make enough money, or they are retired or something else. However some of the comments, the gaffes in Israel, about Libya, the Olympics (twice), they show a person that isn’t empathizing with Americans. In my mind, he’s practicing the reverse class warfare from the Democrats, especially after reading a bit about his history with Milken.

I do think, however, that a lot of people expect a certain amount of help from the government on things, even though they don’t think they get it when polled or asked. We all get a lot of help in various ways, various services, and not the least of which is stability. We pay a lot of money in taxes over our lives, and some of that comes back to us in social security, health care, etc. That makes some sense, though you can argue that perhaps we should be taking that responsibility on ourselves, rather than having the government do it for us.

Romney’s talks about the Middle East and a “soft” Obama make sense to me. I think that our President has shown a lot of inexperience and naivety in how he deals with other countries and with Congress. He hasn’t been strong, and those are fair criticisms.

The issues of the recession over four years are fair targets. Obama said numerous times that unemployment needs to go down and the debt and deficit needs to be reduced. Those things didn’t happen. Could they have been under different policies? Sure, though I don’t know that the GOP ideas would help more. Maybe, maybe not.

Ultimately it’s sad and stunning that this guy, who was a centrist, who has a record of changing positions radically, who speaks poorly and not very thoughtfully at times, is running for President of the US. It shows the sad state of the GOP party.

It does give me hope that perhaps the splintering of conservatives with the Tea Party and the Libertarians will start to move us forward towards a more centrist solution rather than the far right conservative direction the GOP has gone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

To Effect Change, You Must Lose

I've had a number of debates over the last few months with friends, most of whom are conservative and Republican leaning. I’ve had less debates with liberals, though still a few. In most cases, I’ve tried to get people to think more about their choices in this election year. I don’t really care about whether you choose to vote for Obama, or Romney, though I’d like you to think about why, and think about Gary Johnson and other Libertarians in the various election contests. I firmly believe that a Libertarian leaning government will do us all much better in the future.

If you’re worried, know this. We won’t get a strict Libertarian set of laws and framework. It’s an ideal, and we have lots of baggage to deal with in terms of social security, defense, wars, EPA, FDA, OSHA, and more. I think having some people that actual stand for individual freedoms and rights will help us steer in the right direction.

However making a change to a more Libertarian view means standing up for those views. It also means losing this election, and the next, and maybe the next 10. But it also means standing up for what you believe in and want to see happen in the future.

Standing up for what you believe means doing so even if you lose. People stood up to unfair taxation and representation in this country, and for a long time lost. People stood up to slavery for a long time and lost. People stood up for women to be allowed the right to vote and lost. People stood up against segregation and lost.

Until they won.

Vote for whomever you choose, but if you choose someone just so you win, or just to try and ensure someone else loses, I’m not sure you’re really standing up for what you believe.


Once again we went down on Sunday night to the rec center for Sunday night pick up volleyball. Tia was out of town, but both kids went and we had fun. Not great players with us, but still fun to hit some balls, serve a few, and laugh.

Afterwards Delaney wanted to go to Freddies again. Tia took us there last week and he loved it, so we went again. On the way we were talking to Tia on her way back from Grand Junction when I saw a police officer behind me turn on lights. I was wondering if me being on the phone was the issue and CO law had changed, but it was expired tags on the Suburban. From April (whoops!).

We got our ticket and then had a good dinner before heading home.

Tired today, too much work this weekend, but the shelter is coming along.

Photo Sep 16, 3 57 34 PM

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Late Morning

With Tia out of town, I decided to go out last night. A friend sent an email Fri night that his band was playing in Aurora close to the house. After volleyball, I worked outside a bit, setting the last two posts in the ground for the shed and asked the kids if they wanted to go out. Both declined, and wanted to watch a movie, so I showered and went out by myself.

It was a nice quiet dinner for me at this wine bar. A salad, some cheese and fruit, and some good wine. I watched the band a bit, chatted with a few people, and at 10:30 called it a night. I must have been tired because I didn't get up until 9am. Out feeding horses was a chore, and I finally got back in at 10:30 for some coffee and breakfast.

Still tired, I watched a little football while starting on chores by fixing Kendall's screen. Then it was out to work on the shelter, getting the main braces up and the poles cut to size. I realized that I needed a few bolts to add anchor strength to the braces and when I sliced the knuckle of a finger open, I called it a morning and came back inside. Still 5 of the 6 braces are up and I can start doing cross braces once I get the bolts in. From there it should go fairly quickly to get things finished, though it will take some time to add the metal on and get it ordered.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Not the morning I expected on this day, but not bad. Asleep early, tired, and then up at 8. I was hoping to sleep in, but it didn’t work well. Watched a little TV as I brushed, dressed, and prepared for the day. Kendall then asked for some help with her game and that was that.

Then it was out to feed horses, with Tia hosting her first clinic out in Grand Junction. Hay, water, manure, chores that I’ve gotten used to and am still surprised at that.

Now a short run and then coach Dad off to volleyball.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book #69 - The Unincorporated Future

51GP9OAsr2L._AA115_The continuation, and end, of a fantastic series.  This one starts just after the end of the last book, where Omad’s ship crashed onto Earth.

I wondered what would happen in The Unincorporated Future. I kept thinking that we’d find Justin somehow and he’d return, but that’s not what happens. More moral and philosophical twists as Sandra must find a way to win a war that seems to be going the other way. At the same time the avatars must find a way to win theirs.

I don’t want to talk much about the story, since it’s a good one and one worth reading. You need to read the other three books first, and if the first one hooks you, you’ll enjoy these. I like this sci-fi because the writing and premise is interesting. It made me think about religion, and commerce, and money.

It made me question the way I view the world, and think about what parts of this future I wouldn’t want, and what parts I would, and at the same time, compare them to the current world.

It didn’t end as I thought, and there were some good twists, but I think the authors did a great job.

I ran a 5K

Not an official one, and actually slower than Delaney's time at his meet, but I jogged up to the ATV shop to get the ATV this afternoon. A few of the hills were tough, but I managed to slog through. I was trying to hurry and get back in time to pick up Kendall from the bus.

I made it as she was getting to the gate.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book #68 - The Black List

41FjWkCin5L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I read a number of the Brad Thor/Scott Harvath books a few years back, but dropped out of the series. This one is much later than the last one I read, but The Black List grabbed my attention right away. It’s a technology thrilled, where total surveillance by a government agency has gotten out of hand and they’re tracking Harvath and his boss to try and terminate them. The Black List is a reference to the list of people the government has sanctioned to be killed.

It’s an action packed book, with Harvath surviving an attempted assassination at the very beginning and more as the book proceeds. The writing is easy to read and fast paced, running through a relatively short time as we jump from Harvath, his boss, and Nicholas, the diminuative troll from previous books.

I enjoyed this over a few nice fall afternoons while waiting for kids. I’ll have to go pick up the other books in the series at some point.

Book #67 - The Unincorporated Woman

A re-read, since I bought Delaney the next book in the series and I couldn’t completely remember what happened in this one.

It’s about business, not taxes

This piece about Michael Bloomberg’s speech is true. I’ve worked with lots of businesses over the years and while they would like lower taxes, they don’t spend a lot of time worrying about taxes. They worry about their businesses, and how to grow them. They worry about finding employees, or coming up with new products, promotions, or something else.
Now they do worry about regulations, and those are a hassle, but you learn to comply quickly and get past that. Not that we shouldn’t simplify or minimize regulations, but let’s not get too caught up in this.
Business is about business, not taxes. Bloomberg is right. If our politicians spent more time talking about getting a good environment for US business, preventing dumping or foreign issues, we’d be in better shape.
Instead we have the average person listening to media and politicians obsessing about taxes because it sounds good. Stop for a minute and think about what you’d worry about if you were starting a business today. Taxes would be way, way down on the list.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Prediction

My prediction: This election has nothing to do with Mitt Romney. It is a vote/debate/referendum on whether you like or hate President Obama. LZ Granderson captures this well and brings up good points in this piece.

Ultimately if you are concerned about the country and want reforms and change don't vote to "win" with the Democrats or GOP. Make your vote a statement and stand on beliefs and take a look at Gary Johnson and other libertarians in Congress, where it's more important to vote change.

As a country, we can begin to send a statement to the Federal government that we want changes to help the citizens of the US, not the corporations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In the thirties

Tia and I went and helped out at Delaney's cross country meet today. It was his home school match and we helped set up and get ready and then I stayed to help kids cross the one road they need to on the course.

Delaney chugged along, steady in the boys JV division and finished with a 31:12. Quite impressive since his first time was in the upper 40s. Good to see him doing well and enjoying things.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Volleyball Practice

Last night we were aiming for an informal volleyball practice for our adult team.  After last Thursday when we got blown out, Tia and I talked about a few things that we didn’t do well. Some was us, some was the team, and we decided to try and practice during open gym on Sunday. Most of our team couldn’t, but a few could and we decided to meet at 5.

Kendall said her ankle wasn’t doing well and didn’t come, but Tia, Delaney, and I went down there and ended up practicing ourselves with a few other people. We did some serving to start and then played some pick up games.

Most of the rest of our teammates weren’t good, but there were a few good servers and I had the chance to see and respond to some really good diving serves. I think I’ll be better next week. Tia and I also got to serve a bunch and we both did well.

Looking forward to Thur now.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Four Years

Today completes four years of running every day at least a mile. Tomorrow starts year 5.

End of the Season

The playoffs started and ended for me today in baseball. We had an early morning game, which was good for me. I was hoping it would be cool, and it wasn’t bad, but it warmed up quite a bit.

Not a great game for me, but not a horrible one. I played mostly 2nd and an inning at short, picking up a ball at second and throwing for an out, picking one up at short, hurrying and pulling the first baseman off for an error. I missed a popup behind second that I thought was going to be on the dirt, but ended up 10 feet in the grass and I misjudged it. I did get a throw from the pitcher and turned a double play,  so about even in the field. At the plate I had 3 flies (right center, left center, left center) and a strikeout on a curve that fooled me nicely. Not a great day, though I saw the ball well.

The team didn’t bat well, only getting 4 runs and giving up 10, pitching a problem again. Not too many errors, but a few and enough to let a few inning extend.

Now a little break before ski season.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

A great recipe I found that Tia and Delaney love: Salsa verde enchiladas. I made some chipotle brown rice with them, somewhat experimenting with brown rice, cilantro, lime, and a little salt.

Photo Sep 05, 5 49 03 PM

Excellent and we enjoyed them for a couple days. Kendall doesn’t love the salsa verde, so she got trotellini alfredo and homemade strawberry lemonade.

Photo Sep 05, 6 02 26 PM

GOP v Dems on Jobs

Apparently former President Clinton’s claim on jobs is true. In his speech at the DNC on Wednesday (I missed it, watching Cowboys v Giants), he said that under Democratic Presidents since 1961 we have seen more growth in private sector jobs than under GOP Presidents. To be (semi-)accurate, the numbers are

  • Democratic Presidents: 42mm
  • Republican Presidents: 24mm

That’s quite a difference, and not even close. Given that during the last two Presidents we averaged per month:

  • former President George W. Bush’s terms - 63,500 jobs
  • current President Obama’s first term - 62,500 jobs

Those aren’t great numbers, though to be fair, the first Bush term had negative job growth overall.

Does this mean we should have more Democratic Presidents?  No.

To me it means we should continue to have parties alternate in power. It’s arguable that the job growths experienced by Democratic Presidents isn’t just due to them, or that the lack of jobs from the GOP is based on lack of business policies enacted by the preceding administration.

The thing this says to me is that we should have change, and regular change, more than anything. A constant stream of either liberal or conservative policies would lead us too far in one direction.

Now Libertarians might be good for the long term. Slight changes to correct course, but overall a “we make of it what we will” philosophy for the citizenship.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book #66 - Bangkok Burn

A mafia/criminial/gangster book set in Thailand. I’m not sure why I thought I’d enjoy Bangkok Burn, but I did and glad I grabbed it. This one is packed with action from the get go and I enjoyed the read.

A Farang, foreigner who was adopted by one of the gang leaders in Bangkok at a young age goes to meet his father. A bomb explodes and he survives. At the same time his Uncle, another Farong and associate of the family is kidnapped.

The book races through a few days of time as our Farang, Samuel, has his plans to leave the family business ruined. His alternate identity is exposed, he must deal with potential incursions from other gangs as his father heals, and he must try to get his Uncle Mike back.

I’m not normally a fan of gangster writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. The mix of Asian and western influences makes for fascinating reading.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Scout Project

Now this looks like something I should build and use.


Measuring Happiness

An excellent talk, one that makes me think about things. It feels like this has been Tia’s and my plan all along, aiming for happiness more than anything else.


Monday, September 3, 2012


But still sick. Chest is tight and I was coughing at night.

I did manage a few chores yesterday, getting the holes drilled and posts in them. Now I need to line them up and cement them. I want to take my time, so I'm guessing that will be a Tues/Wed slow process.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book #65 - The Goal

A business book about how you might get better production, written about a manufacturing plant. Ordinarily this seems like something I wouldn’t be interested in, but for some reason I picked up The Goal. This is the third edition, with the first having been written twenty years ago.

And I was hooked. It’s written as a novel, with the main character being in charge of a manufacturing plant (we never get specifics), and with only three months to show improvement or he will be fired and the plant closed. Once he gets back the panic, he starts to examine what he can do differently, and remembers a conversation with a former teacher that intrigued him.

The book wanders through is his thoughts as he learns to rethink how he does business in manufacturing. He gets hints from his mentor, pressure from his boss, and resistance from his staff, but with the help of his Boy Scout troop, he has a revelation.

I really enjoyed this book, and I think it somehow relates to other operations, including software, but I’m not sure. It definitely has some lessons in management, and while I’m not completely sure I understand them, I’ll keep this book handy.

I Wore a Tie

Yesterday I got dressed up in a suit and tie. It’s been a year since I did that, and once again it sucked.

Not the clothes, though those sucked for sure. Getting constricted into a suit is never enjoyable. However I’ve definitely lost some weight since things fit better.

Photo Sep 01, 12 47 15 PM

The sucky part was another friend died last week and the funeral was yesterday. Tia and I spent the afternoon in church and then a reception. Loaded up on medicine and then a couple bourbon and cokes helped, but I was both worn out emotionally and physically by evening and glad to get home and crash.

The downside of getting older is more of our friends are passing away. It doesn’t seem right that this is happening in our 40s, but it is. That’s 3 people in a year.