Tia needed a 3mi walk today, and the kids all wanted to go with her. So they started out walking, and I jogged away, turning around at the 3mi mark and heading back. I got a 2mi run in and then walked with them a couple more. A nice day outside for a walk, 84F at our house.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Peaceful this morning when I went out to feed the horses.
Walking around, waking up in my own bed, seeing the kids and being back in Denver is nice. I had a good time waking up and running each morning with my friend Allen in Vegas, but glad to be back.
For two weeks, then it’s off to the UK.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Allen, my friend from Cleveland, and I have now run in Vegas three times, in Cleveland once, in Seattle, and also in Liverpool, UK. It's great to see him, and nice to be able to chat while we jog easy through the various locations. I rarely run with people, but it's nice to have Allen along, and make sure I get outside and up with the long conference days. After months inside, with cold and wind outside in CO, it's nice to get out in Vegas for a few runs.
The other thing Allen and I talked about this morning before we ran was that we much prefer getting up at 6:15 and spending an hour running over staying up and extra hour at night and partying with people. Last night was great for me, with an early 5:30-7:30 dinner, watching the fountains at the Bellagio, and then back in my room by 8:30, asleep by 10:00.
The older I get, the less I like being out too late, even with friends. I like having a few drinks, but around 10:00 every night, I find myself tired, and ready to go to sleep, the prospect of which is more interesting to me than more conversations, and definitely more interesting than more drinks.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Two sessions today, one of which I went through yesterday and one I'll go through today in between my talks. I don't expect a lot of people this morning, especially since there are a few other well known people talking on more interesting topics at the same time, so I think I'll have a few for a niche item. This afternoon might do better, with the security talk.
Monday, March 26, 2012
A few last minute prep items for DevConnections and I leave in a few hours for Las Vegas. My first trip since last November, and it’s been a welcome break from being on the road. I suspect that won’t last and I’ll be traveling to more spots in the future, but for now I only have a few things planned.
SQL Server Connections is a great conference, in a fun city, and I look forward to attending. Not as much social activity as the PASS Summit, but a more intimate feel, and a diverse audience, with the chance to see talks on Windows, Exchange, development topics, Sharepoint, and more.
I’m doing three talks this time:
Unstructured Data in SQL Server - a look at Filestream and Filetable
Contained Databases in SQL Server 2012 - as the name says, a look at partial containment.
An Encryption Primer - a basic look at encryption options and techniques in SQL Server.
If you’re at the show, please stop by and say hi, either around one of my sessions, or anytime you see me walking around in the cowboy hat.
If you’re a runner, we’ll likely be running each morning (Tue, Wed, and Thur) around the MGM at 6:45 or so. We should be in the lobby, and if you’re interested in joining us, feel free.
The court was in the greenbelt behind the house, and we spent an hour or so practicing before sitting down to a potluck cookout. The kids fun running around, and a few adult beverages were provided, which made the afternoon relaxing.
After we ate, Delaney wandered out and was practicing and soon the adults and kids were back out there. I didn't join them, but watched from the deck, chatting with a few friends. The girls were really moving, Delaney had some good hits, and I think the kids actually beat the adults.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Kendall had a friend over the other day, and they decided to go out and ride horses. She’s become quite accomplished, and as I walked out to work on fence, she had Rain out and was working on getting her ready. First picking hooves.
Then it was a little ride. Kendall showed off some of her stuff, before leading Vicki around the yard.
She walked Rain out easily,
And even got a kiss
Saturday, March 24, 2012
It looked bad in the first game, with us losing near the end 25-22, though I think we missed a point or two during the game due to poor scorekeeping. However the girls played well, hitting (I think) every ball on the serve, just not always getting a good hit or getting it over. They're playing better and moving more, which is great to see. The won the second game easily, and went up nicely in the third, going on to win.
Kendall, however, missed most of the games. In the warm-ups, she went to hit a ball, but it was coming to high and hit her in the eye and nose. She was hurt, and sat down watching for the first two games, not wanting to come in. For the third game, she felt better, and we rotated her in. No hits, but she did come up for the last serve to win the game. Very cool!
Friday, March 23, 2012
A great day yesterday skiing. It was warm again, almost 50, but the snow wasn’t too bad. A couple inches fell this week at Copper Mountain, and things were good. I took Delaney with me, and then grabbed a couple friends, meeting another friend of a friend up there.
Delaney’s grown so much, we needed to rent him boots. We went in Jan and they were tight, which is find. He’s had these for 2.5 seasons, and he’s grown into, and now out of them.
Our first run was a little rough. I took Delaney down a fairly easy blue, though still blue, from halfway up the mountain. He did OK in some spots, slide down slowly on his heels in others, and was struggling with confidence. I stayed with him, went slow, and we got down.
The next run we split up from the others and I tried something new. We went down about 20-40 feet at a time, making a sharp turn and then stopping. I really wanted him to not worry about where he’d turn, but rather concentrate on stopping. At over a mile run, it was slow, but we took our time and got down. Did that again and Delaney was doing much better.
The next few runs, we stuck to the same slope, but he got more and more confident. After about 6 or 7 times down, we went up to the top, and a shorter (1/2mi or so), but steeper blue section. I wanted to show him the windmills on top of the mountain. He did fine going down, following a Dean down the slope.
About 3 more runs from the top and Delaney was doing great, with the confidence he had 2 seasons ago and he was beating Dean down the mountain.
Lunch on the patio, outside in the 50F sun at Copper and then a race home to get to volleyball. A great day with my middle kid.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
As soon as I finished the Hunger Games, I grabbed this one from the pile on my dresser. The first book wraps up nicely, but you want to know what happens to Katniss. What’s life like back in District 12? Where does the story go?
I have to say that Catching Fire surprised me. I thought she might be a part of more uprising, but the twist with the Quarter Quell surprised me. I won’t give the story away, but despite a simple premise, easy reading, and simple characters, I found myself drawn into the story and struggling to put the book down.
This was a joy to read and it ends with a cliffhanger that had me looking for the third book as soon as I was done.
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small apple, chopped into small pieces
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup apple butter
caramel ice cream topping
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Oven to 400F
First I made the topping, softening the butter for 20 sec in the microwave. Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl, then use a fork to add in the butter. It should be a crumbly topping in chunks, but not too large chunks. This will go on top of the muffins.
For the muffins, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whip the egg, like for scrambled eggs. Then add the milk, oil, and apple butter and mix well. It doesn't look great, but just mix it up.
Once that's done, add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix it up well. It should be a fairly smooth batter. Once that's done, add the apple, which gives you a lumpy batter. Drop into the muffin cups and then add a spoon of the streusel topping to each.
Bake about 22 minutes, though if you're at a lower altitude, perhaps 20 is fine. When the toothpick comes out clean, they're done. I pulled them onto a plate to cool and drizzled some caramel on top.
The kids loved them.
From The New Junior Cookbook. Some great recipes in there the little ones enjoy.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
I was listening to the re-broadcast of Mike and Mike this morning while taking kids to school. They were talking about Manning still thinking of the Bronco’s, 49ers, and Titans. The thought was that the 49ers were the best choice, and overall I’d agree. Great defense, good running game, Moss, a great tight end. However there are the Packers, the Saints, and little brother Eli with the Giants. A tough road, probably tougher than the Patriots/Steelers/Ravens/Texans gauntlet in the AFC.
However the issue with Denver, and the Titans (to me), is that while they’re good teams, with good running games, they’re not quite contenders. I’d think that the Texans would be the best choice, with a fantastic defense and good offensive decisions. They could trade Shaub, and still have Yates as a backup getting groomed.
Denver does make a better choice than the Titans, only because you don’t face Houston twice a year. Better to face KC, Oakland, SD, which could be 3 easy games. I think the Chargers are declining, Oakland is Oakland, and KC is better, but not great.
Exciting times to be a Bronco fan.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
It's the future, the US is a wasteland of sorts, but you hear little about it. Instead the country is Pacem, which is ruled from the capital, with 12 districts set up around the area, each responsible for different products. District 12, where the main character, Katniss, is from, is responsible for mining coal. It's a poor community, with many people struggling to survive, and many dying. They live in a fenced in world, where Katniss sneaks outside to hunt animals to ensure her mother and sister can survive.
The premise is that the Hunger games take place each year, with each district sending 2 people (a boy and a girl), to the Capital City. They are filmed (like The Running Man) and must survive across days in a wilderness arena of sorts, and fight to the death. Only the last one survives and is rewarded with riches for life back in their district. 12 has only won once, and a drunken old man is the result. When Katniss' sister is chosen in the lottery, Katniss volunteers instead, and goes with a boy (who has a crush on her) to the Capital.
Most of the book is her wonderment at the strange ways of the rich in the Capital, the in fairness of the games, and then the actual game and the brutality that she endures. She's sure she won't last long, but slowly gains confidence and success. She isn't perfect, is injured a few times and only through the mercy of another does she survive.
It's exciting, and I expect that it will be a good movie. Can't wait for the second book.
In this world, nanotechnology abounds, but the richest, most interesting people have adapted it backwards to Victorian ages. In a world where materializers can make anything from matter, which must be recycled because the matter itself is limited, having original crafted items is desired.
In this world, one man is contracted to build a nanotechnology book that will help his daughter grow up and guide her with interactivity. He steals a copy of the book, and loses it, having it wind up in the hands of a poor girl.
The book goes in multiple areas, we follow young Nell as she runs away from her mother, she is taken into a Victorian society, and she grows in her schooling, using the Primer book as a way to gain an advantage over the others. We also follow the man who stole a copy of the book, as he falls from grace, is arrested, and eventually sent overseas to learn his sheltered world isn't as simple as he thought. The crime lord also isn't as bad as he seems, trying to prevent the death of many young Asian women. It seems the practice of killing infant females hasn't ended.
It's a wild book, one that describes an amazing world of the future, one that trusts and blends the past with the future. If you've enjoyed other Stephenson's books, you'll like this one. It's a great read, one that I really enjoyed.
The book twists and the assassin part is less of the book. He kills someone for a crime lord, then when he goes to collect his money, he finds that his boss was killed. He chases the assassin, only to find it's another human, a woman. They get involved and we see them learning to work together and try to find Earth.
The Jureans are still after them, and Riyad is still around, this time captured by humans and the Klin. However there appear to be two types of humans. There are those kidnapped from Earth, but also some born and raised in the alien galaxy. There is some type of disagreement between them, and we aren't sure what it is, but it's again a wild, funny ride.
Read the first book, but this one was great and I look forward to book 3 this summer.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
A few weeks ago, driving down a very bumpy, rutted country road, this happened:
I saw the mirror drop off, and stopped to grab it. I’ve been temped to replace it since it shakes, and this was the impetus to do so. As soon as I got home, I realized I needed the old mirror, so I put it back on:
The round tabs around the mirror didn’t hold well, so I needed to add tape. It didn’t look great, as you can see.
I ordered a new mirror online, and was surprised. The dealer wants like $400-500 for a power mirror with heat. I found a few parts warehouses selling one for $60. Amazing. It arrived yesterday, and today I want to install it.
My first stop was YouTube, where I found a great video on replacing the side mirror from 1auto.com. They have lots of parts, at great prices, so check them out. Their videos made it wasy for me to remove the old mirror confidently.
the first step is prying off the triangle trim piece. Use your fingers, pull steadily, and it pops off. You see this:
There are two tabs, and a lower hook on this, so pop the top off and then lift.
Once that’s done, pull out the foam piece and disconnect the old wiring harness. You can see it below:
It’s a tab that lifts and then you separate the pieces.
From there, you need a 10mm socket and extension to undo the three bolts/washers you see behind my hand above. Be careful, I dropped the first one down into the door. Taking apart the door panel is a pain, so be careful. Fortunately I had nuts with the new mirror, so I didn’t have to do that.
Two come off easy, then I needed to support the mirror to get the third one off. Lowering the window made it easier, but still slightly tricky. Once the third nut is off, and out, there are three tabs that hold the mirror in. You can see them around the wiring harness in my hand above, where it comes through the door. Your fingers should pop those loose and the mirror will come off. Don’t count on them supporting the mirror, and make sure you have a hand on the mirror from the time the last nut comes off. Once it’s off, you have this:
Slip the new mirror in there, and then pop the tabs in once the wiring harness is threaded through. It was a little tricky to do from inside and I had to stand outside the car, close the door, and then thread things through and give the new mirror a “whack” to get the tabs in. The newer foam padding is thicker.
Tighten the bolts, and once they’re tight, connect the wiring harness, and replace the foam piece. This took me about 3 minutes, and I had a new mirror. Putting in the keys let me test the power adjustment, which worked fine. I assume heat works, but I’ll see once it gets cold again.
There’s a white trim piece on my trick. I was able to work it loose from the old mirror, and it came out with 3 intact tabs. One was damaged, which was the one that was behind most of the old frame electronics. I don’t know if all are like this, but mine had some adhesive stickers in there, so as I loosened the tabs, I had to use a screwdriver to pry, carefully, the panel loose. Once it was out, I snapped it onto the new mirror (which came with a black one).
That’s it, and I have a new mirror. I still need to clean it, as you can see the duct tape adhesive still on there.
It's an interesting flow, as the beginning is from the perspective of a few freighter pilots that work the Fringe of the known galaxy. They scare off some pirates, hoping to salvage a vessel. Once they do, they fight off and manage to subdue a human, who is much stronger and tougher than they are. Adam Cain is his name, a Navy SEAL, and he was kidnapped from the mountains of Afghanistan. As far as he remembers, there was a light and then he woke up on the ship.
There's a race of larger creatures, the Jureans, that rules the galaxy, having wiped out the Klin and stolen their technology. "Standard" gravity is about 3/4 Earth's with many lighter worlds. There are all sorts of creatures and races, but most are don't combine the strength, speed, intelligence, and more that humans have. Adam realizes this when he kills two lizard men in a duel, men who are supposed to be some of the toughest species around.
The story is interesting, with the Jurean's pursuing the technology from the salvage, trying to determine if the Klin are still alive (They are) while the pirate leader, himself a kidnapped human, is also looking for the core and the potential coordinates of Earth, which he doesn't have. He's a former Al Quaida terrorist that wants to come back and rule the Earth. There's also Adam, searching for a way home.
It's almost a comedy at times, the situations that the humans find themselves in. Well written, few typos, and definitely full of pride for the human race. I enjoyed this one.
It was good to go sit on a patio, chat, laugh, and have a few drinks in the early evening. Back by 8:30, that's the way I'd like to do happy hour again. Hopefully we can get out a bit more and do that every few weeks.
A bit frustrating for the girls at times, but overall I think they had fun, which was good to see. Kendall did OK, serving was good for a couple and then she'd hit one low. She returned a few good hits, missed a few more, and hit one really hard and complained about a bruised thumb, which hopefully will heal by Thur.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Or at least my body does. Last night I dropped Delaney off at tennis, then headed to karate. I was running a touch late, just got changed, uniformed, and strapped on braces when we were lining up for class. As soon as the warmup started, I thought I’d made a mistake. Sore left arm and shoulder, aching ankle, it felt like I was unprepared for class.
I took it easy, moving slow, but it was a hard class. Lots of kata, and thankfully a decent amount of Sho-dan II, which allowed me to drop out a bit.
As I drove back to get Delaney, I realized my shoulder was sore, both from baseball and from pounding the sledgehammer into a t-post on Sunday. I also thought about my workout week:
Sun - Baseball and running
Mon - Karate and running
Tue - snowboarding and running
Wed - running
Thur - volleyball and running
Fri - Running
Sat - running
Sun - Baseball, running, and fencing.
A lot of activity in the 8 days leading up to last night. Took it easier today on my run and need a few easy days, I think.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Not the whole South, and not perhaps in a majority, but my eyebrows raise at this poll showing 45% of GOP voters polled in Alabama and 52% in Mississippi think President Obama is a Muslim. Over a third in each state also weren’t sure if he was a Christian.
I’m not surprised by the fact people think that someone with the name “Obama” and dark skin is a Muslim, given the climate in the country after 9/11 and with wars in the Middle East. Just a few weeks ago I walked into the batting cage looking like this:
One of my teammates jokingly called me “Osama” and said I needed to shave before I got into trouble. I know he was joking because he gave me a hug after he said it and we laughed. Or I hope he was joking.
Can you guess my religion from the picture? I hope not, but if you’re wondering, it’s “nunya”, as in “nun-ya-business”.
Religion is a deeply personal matter. The religion of our elected leaders shouldn’t come into play for the election. Ultimately one’s religion shouldn’t interfere with one’s decisions in government. It shouldn’t prevent one from carrying out one’s duties, nor should it be the basis for decisions. We are a nation of multiple religions, and yours may not be mine, so I would hope decisions came from a moral and ethical stance. Those might be based on religion, but we ought to know what those are, without knowing your religion.
She didn't get up again.
When the alarm went off at 6:00, I struggled to get up. I did manage, and then thought for a minute. Not a pressing day for anything to be done at work first thing, so I set the alarm for 7 and went back to sleep. Kendall had gone to sleep a little early, 8:15, so I thought she would be OK. Delaney, on the other hand, was struggling to go to bed, so I worried about him getting up.
Both kids up at 7:15 or so, and we got ready, heading out the door and getting them to school. Delaney was about 10 minutes late, but with PE first thing, I'm not overly concerned. Kendall was early.
Back home, feed horses, and now it's quiet. Dogs asleep, and Tia in SF. Very quiet.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
The second time I went with the 32" bat and it was better, having moved the cage back a bit, but there were lots of inside throws, so I didn't get a lot of good hits. Did get some good eye practice though.
Infield was short, just a few times around. I fielded well, picking up all the balls, but had trouble a couple times getting it out of my glove and had a couple errant throws. Overall, good to be back out there.
Only one more practice for me, before I miss three weeks, so I'm a little worried. I need to find some cage time, or some practice time at home.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I ended up chatting with the parents a bit about Scout stuff and politics, which was interesting. For a very conservative, GOP oriented area, they were pretty Libertarian over all.
Then back home, and taking Kendall to Girl scouts, chatting a bit with one of the parents about skiing and kids starting to grow up.
A quick run, now it's time to head back to get Delaney and before long, Kendall.
Too much driving today.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Last night was our first adult volleyball match. It was also Kendall’s first practice, and we all headed down after school for her practice, which went well. Good to see all the girls, and 8/10 on her team are returning.
My game was at 8:40, late for the kids, so I brought them home, get them ready for bed, and headed back. I called back at 8:30 to tell Kendall to hit the sack, and reminded Delaney to finish studying and then go to bed at 9. They were asleep when I got home around 9:50, so I think they complied.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. We are a collection of 40 year olds, that have gotten to know each other the last year or so with our girls playing, and just put this together. The other team we played were younger, mostly in their 20s, and had played.
Three 21 point games.
We scored 20 points total in three games.
It was somewhat ugly, but we got over it quickly and just laughed at ourselves. We lost 3 games in 25 minutes, then scrimmaged for another 20 minutes, laughing and just hitting the ball around.
I was pleasantly surprised to get a text from my wife at 7:50am this morning that she’d landed in Denver. She spent yesterday in Dallas for a meeting and I was thinking she wouldn’t be home until lunchtime. Instead my wife is home, and I have a smile on my face.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
A beautiful day, warm, a little icy, but not too bad. I did have one good fall on some ice, pulling something in my back, but it wasn't that bad. Managed to keep going and knocked out 11 runs on the mountain before coming home.
Running, however, was hard.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Our driveway is a mess. The constant snow, partial melts, and mud have resulted in deep ruts in places along with potholes and puddles. I tried cleaning things up last week, but it didn’t work well. Today, with 60F temperatures, I thought I’d try again. No go.
At this point, I’m not even sure how I’ll go along fixing things. I know we need to order a delivery of more material, and I suspect I’ll have to wait a few weeks to do so. Or at least week, depending on if we get more snow.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
We loaded up the ATV and drove to the far west, which still has a lot of snow. The ATV got stuck and I walked a bit, going through some places with a foot of snow and 3-4" of water in others. We managed to get the west outside fence fixed, using Gripples, which are totally worth the cost. They make fixing so much easier, and we managed to get all the strands repaired.
We finished early enough to go ahead and fix the track as well, getting the ribbon back up.
One pasture done. Now more to do when we have more good weather.
When we started playing, we did 6 outs on a side. I batted early, but the ball kept tailing away and I fouled one off and missed another for a third strike. The first pitch was the best, a little outside and a touch high, and I shouldn't have let it go. Two more at-bats had me ahead of the pitches, grounding out to first.
In the field, I got more comfortable. A fly ball in left drifted on me, but then fielded a couple grounders at third and felt good, throwing a few people out. No first base, but good to get out.
Hopefully two more practices for me, and then I'll miss the first two games in April, but the season should get moving after that.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Back to the Food Bank this morning, volunteering again. Kendall came along again, skipping the chance to hang with Tia and ride horses. It’s good to see her wanting to come, and Delaney not complaining. We got there and a few families showed up after we restocked the basement. Both kids were very helpful, working with the families to get their bags of groceries, leading them through the choices and process, and helping them load things into vehicles.
And they were excited and enthused. Nice to see the kids happy to help others.
Friday, March 2, 2012
I walked around town in a sweatshirt today, as the Prius was in for some work.
This afternoon, we went to take Deuce to Kendall’s school for show and tell at the end of the day, still in a sweatshirt, and while it was a little cold outside, it wasn’t too windy or cold. We got home, came inside.
Walked out 25 minutes later to get Delaney and it’s a snowstorm outside. A good 10mph wind blowing snow and I can barely see the gate now.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Delaney has been on a poetry unit in school, and had to write a number of poems. Last night he was going through them for a final project, and also had to include a critique of a poem. Kendall say it, liked it, and decided to write her own poem. I asked her to do her homework first, but she set that aside, saying she had to “get the poem out “ first.
Her first draft:
I was cooking, and after she finished this, she immediately set to recopy it neater.
But it didn’t fit.
So she made a nicer, final copy.
On the bed for me last night. I knew the puppy was spreading out a bit, and I had to fight for space and covers, but she wasn’t the only one:
This is what I woke up to, and you can see there is little room on my side.
Not quite as bad as Delaney’s situation
Nowhere to put one leg, and a few scratches left on his calf.
I don’t know if electric cars are the answer, but I do think electricity will play a larger part of how we move things around in the future. Overall it’s more efficient, if we can figure out how to generate it well, and also provide it to vehicles in an efficient manner.
This article on smart car charging is fascinating to me. It essentially moves the cost of the power from the owner of the outlet providing the power, to the person using the power. I don’t know how feasible this is, or how much it would cost to deploy this in the US, but it’s a good idea.
I am, however, concerned about the security implications. How many people will attempt to hack this and charge others? How much of a legal issue will we have with disputes?