Monday, July 29, 2013

Muir Woods

I've been 3 or 4 times, and always enjoyed it. For some reason, I was thinking there was a huge redwood there, something like 15' in diameter. I was wrong, and Kendall was slightly disappointed. She enjoyed it, but her "mind wasn't blown", according to her.

We ate breakfast, and then drove up mid morning. Our first stop was the Golden Gate bridge, where we got some fun pictures, though it was cold. Kendall fell asleep as we drove up, and I got her up when we arrived, fortunately with a hoodie. It was foggy, but we should just see the city.

We posed for a few pictures, enjoying the view, and then started to walk out to the bridge.

We almost stopped as we got near the bridge, since it was windy and cold. I convinced Kendall to go further, and as we got closer to the bridge, and the road narrowed on the west side, the wind died down. 

We walked out to the first tower, and looked a bit before heading back. We got one good picture of Kendall in front, with my lying on the sidewalk.

Then it was up to Muir woods after a short lunch. It's a beautiful drive, though with lots of people visiting. We managed to park quickly and then headed into the park.

As we walked, we reached a split and decided to head up to the Ocean View trail. It was quite a walk, 2.6mi, and a climb of about 600+ feet. Not too tough for me, but a little tough for Kendall. We made it up, but as we started down the looping trail, she needed a couple rest stops.

At one point, we got out picture together, and I managed to get Kendall in front of one of the big trees.

A good day for us, but a long one. We stopped back in Frisco for ice cream, then drove back across the San Mateo bridge to the East Bay and our hotel.

It's been a fun trip, and I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Back in Sacramento for work. This time a day early, flying into San Francisco this morning with Kendall. This is her birthday trip vacation for the year, spending 5 days on the road with Dad.

We were up early, getting to the airport and flying through security. With my PRE status, we walked into a line with zero people in it. The Premier line had 30-40 and the regular line hundreds. Kendall thought it was good I had status.

We made it to the gate with about 5 minutes before boarding and got on right away. It was an easy flight, Kendall dozing and listening to music, reading a bit. She didn't have the book she'd been reading, and wanted to hit a bookstore when we arrived.
We drove up to Berkeley, stopping for lunch at North Beach Pizza. Pasta for both of us and Kendall loved it, wanting to go back sometime before we left. From there she napped while I got us up to Sacramento. After checking in, she immediately wanted to hit a bookstore, so I took her over.
She had a book in mind, and we found it, but I convinced her to browse and enjoy the bookstore. I picked out some books, and got her in the habit of wandering the aisles, grabbing something interesting and reading about it. She ended up with a pile of 8 or 9 books.

I told her I'd buy 3, so she whittled  her pile down to 6, giving me the 3 most expensive and purchasing the other 3 herself. Money well spent, I told her, if she reads them and enjoys them.

She got started right away. We got back to the room and she didn't pick up her ipod or laptop, grabbing an apple and reading.

It was 100F in Sacramento and she was going to workout with me on the bike while I hit the treadmill, but with only 2 treadmills and an elliptical, she bailed. Understandable.

I had a good run. Now time to end day 1 with dinner, and some work for me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book #43–Cyberstorm

51hYQxXiw1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_A somewhat haunting book. Cyberstorm was under the sci-fi area, and well rated, so I borrowed it from Amazon. It was chilling, scary, and worrisome. It also made me glad I don’t live in a big city.

A technical guy, well off, lives in Manhattan. His neighbor is a restauranteur that worries about large scale disaster issues, which is a good thing. When a cyber attack appears to hit the US, cutting power and water, along with a super winter blizzard, the apartment building becomes a nightmare for a number of families as they struggle to help others while surviving. As days turn into weeks, and Manhattan slowly goes back in time as people become tribal, it’s a scary, riveting tale.

At the end it pulls together well, but I could see someone falling into the same patterns, practices, and feelings the writer goes through. Rather amazing.

Winter Park

A day in Winter Park with grandma and the kids. We packed up this morning and headed out, getting up to Winter Park around noon.

It was a nice day, cool, but not too cold, and the kids had fun. Kendall, especially, upside down in the bungee harness.


A fun day,  but a lot of car time.


Afterwards we watched Tia teach a bit before calling it a day.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Parker Family 5K

I've been wanting to run a 5k with Delaney, but keep putting it off and haven't wanted to drive all over Denver early in the morning. I get few enough days to sleep in. However when I saw the flyer at Yoga, I decided this was a good one for Delaney and I.

We were up early, ate, and drove down. I wasn't sure how big or busy this would be, so I wanted to be a little early. I know parking can be a hassle at some races, so I didn't want us to be walking too far. As it was, things were quiet and we parked close, sitting on a bench sipping water after we registered.

After a short walk/jog, we were ready to go.

We both felt pretty good, and when they called the start, we headed off. I fell behind Delaney for the first half mile, as my legs felt a little tight. Delaney was looking good, and at a nice pace. His long legs were pushing him faster than me. I think if he learned to stretch them out and get in shape, he'd be a sub 20 minute 5k person.

I passed him slowly, and when I hit the turnaround, he was only 30 or so yards behind me. We slapped hands and kept going.

Hot and dry, and just after the 2 mi mark, there was a water station and I stopped for 10s to get some water. Then I headed out, struggling. That 2mi mark was strong, but I now know I'm not really in shape to press through a 5k. Two times on the way back I walked for 5 and 10 breaths respectively as I was struggling. I pushed a faster pace for the last 100m, but it certainly wasn't a sprint of any sort. A slow 28:50 for me as I finished, and I was hurting. Walking slowly, sipping water, struggling to relax for 3-4 minutes.

Then I saw Delaney coming. He looked pretty good, though tired.

He finished strong, pushing himself for the last section, and tired when he finished. 33:00, not too far behind me, especially considering he was up until 3:00am.

Looking forward to see how we do on Aug 17 for the Elizabeth 5K.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Volleyball Camp

This week has been volleyball camp for Kendall at the Middle School. It’s 3rd-8th grades, and with the 7th and 8th grade coaches, so it was a good chance for her to get exposure to her fall coaches.

It started slow on Monday, though she worked hard and was sweating. Tuesday was better, and yesterday she looked good. They were finally playing some games and Kendall moved well. I caught her making a few nice blocks.

First they practiced:


Then in the game, I saw Kendall really get up there. If the other kids could spike (then usually hit it high), she would have gotten some contact.


Today they did some diving stuff and more game play. Kendall moved well, and made an effort to play.


At one point she caught a short hit near the net and dinked it right back over. The return was soft and she jumped up and hit it hard back down. She really looked good and I wish I’d had a camera then.

Now I’m excited to see how she does tonight at the church and really excited for fall.

Book #42–Choke Point

51Golbr0zuL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I grabbed Choke Point from the library as I was walking by. I’ve enjoyed Ridley Pearson’s series on Lou Boldt and Walter Fleming. This was a Risk Agent novel, and I got through it, but didn’t love it.

I’m not sure why. It’s a thriller, a spy that’s freelance, hired to close down a slave labor ring in Amsterdam. He works with a Chinese hacker. On the surface it sounds great.

It must be the writing. Not sure what was wrong, but I didn’t like it, and struggled to read it. Even in places where the story got interesting, the writing was hard for me. It’s obtuse, obscure, almost implying more than it tells me.

This is the second book in the series, but I’m not sure I’ll read the first one. I need to think about it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Planning for the Year

Last night was the annual Scout planning meeting. Delaney went as a senior leader, and was the only kid with 8 adults as we worked through a month by month plan of activities and events. We got a lot of stuff on the agenda, which kids and parents will vote on next week. I was proud to have Delaney speaking up and participating with everyone else.

Should be a good year.

Monday, July 15, 2013


A good time the last two nights, playing spades with the kids.


Once Kendall made face, everyone joined in


Book #41–The Fall of Hyperion

A re-read, and I’m glad I did. I’d forgotten how much happens in this one as the pilgrims take a backseat to the second Keats Cybrid that relives some of his destiny and follows along the collapse of the Hegemony.

Volleyball Camp

First day for Kendall of camp at her middle school. It’s a 4 day camp with the coaches of the 7th and 8th grade teams. There aren’t a lot of skills for her to learn, but she will get practice, and more importantly, exposure to the coaches, their style, and they’ll see her play.

So far she looks good, one of the most talented players there, though with lots of 3rd-6th grade girls, that’s not surprising. She was the second tallest.

Looking forward to how tomorrow goes. Her first day had her and another girl getting 30 bumps in a row, with good control as they passed back and forth. She worked up a good sweat as well, which I like to see.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Half a day off

We planned to go to Winter Park again today, but with thunderstorms in the forecast, we decided against it. Instead I worked half a day and then we go kids up to play some games. We had a fun Jenga and dominos afternoon before Tia went to teach.

A walk with Uma for me and we're about to head out to mini golf. If it doesn't rain here.

I'll need to work a bit tomorrow when Tia takes the kids to a movie, but it was a nice quiet day here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hot Stone

I booked a hot stone massage today. It’s been too long and it felt good to take a break and get a massage. Especially after baseball last night.

We had a rare makeup game, and Wed is definitely better than Saturday. However this did mean it was a night game. We had 11, so I skipped batting. The left elbow is still sore, and I can’t generate a lot of power from the right side. I’ve been batting right, and it’s been going OK, but not great.

I played short the entire game, and it start great. First batter lined one to me and I caught it. The second batter bounced one past the pitcher on my side. I ran up, scooped  it on a bounce and then fumbled it in my glove. I couldn’t get it out and the guy was safe. We gave up a few runs, but got a few back.

It was a decent game. Close, until we lost one inning, giving up 7 or 8. I had a bouncer that got past me on the right, and then a low grounder that I got to, but it scooted under my glove. When I’m running, I just can’t reach the ground and need just a little bounce. I also had a hard grounder come to me and it jumped up, hitting my glove and arm. I picked it up, but then didn’t get it to first in time. I felt bad about that one. There was also a low pop fly behind third. We both chased it and almost collided. I should have called him off. I almost got to a short blooper on the line behind third and was about 10 ft short on one in short center field. I felt good that I got that close. I did pick up a hard grounder late in the game for a third out in the inning.

It was a long game, until 10:30 and I didn’t get home until after 11. It’s hard to see the ball when the lights come on and that’s an area I struggle in. It’s also tiring, but I do think that if we’re going to have two games in a week, Wed/Sun is better than Sat/Sun.

Book #41–Wonderland

51Gvg1ILRhL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Spenser is back. I was at the library and walked by Wonderland on a display. When Robert Parker died, I thought I’d never read another Spenser novel, but here one was. An estate approved author, Ace Atkins, wrote the book, his second. Apparently I have another book to read.

It’s Spenser, though a little different. It felt long, and some of the writing was slightly off, but it’s close. I really enjoyed it and the book pulled me in, thought I was disappointed there was no Hawk.

Spenser has a new apprentice, Z, which may be from the first book. Henry Cimoli asks for help, and Spenser gets involved. The plot has lots of twists and seems more intricate than some of the Parker novels. It’s based on the idea that gambling is coming to Boston.

Worth the read.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Scouting Trail

Last night was the first Scout meeting we’ve made in weeks. With Delaney at camp, then holidays, it felt strange. We had lots of kids out at summer activities, and lots of leaders gone. I ended up helping run a knife sharpening session for 5 or 6 kids. A few were interested, a few not.

All in all, a quiet meeting.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


A day of little chores, and little getting done. I got a few things done, but it feels like I went backwards. Carpet needs to be replaced because of pets. I moved off lots of the furniture, but it's a chore. I fed horses, and watered trees, but after coming home I banged the car into the house. Not sure if I slipped or the car failed, but I ended up hitting the garage, so another repair there.

No work on the 911, still not sure where the alarm is preventing it from turning over.

A little turning for a pen, but it's not going to get done today.

All in all, it felt like a bust of a day.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Book #40–Hyperion

51zwyTJNlWL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_A re-read, but Hyperion is still a fantastic book. Slow to start, but keep with it. The series gets better with the next 3 as well.

Bad Things Come in Twelve's?

Yesterday the Jones family decided to spend the day in Winter Park. We’d talked about it Wednesday, and we had a plan. After feeding horses, I went to the store to gas up the truck and get cat food, arriving back to find Tia chatting with a friend who’d come to visit. Because of that, we left late (1).

On the drive to the mountains, we hit a lot of traffic (2), I guess because of the tunnel work. We were delayed quite some time, moving at 11mph for about 9 miles, according to the info sign. Tia was hungry with the delays, and we pulled off in Idaho Springs, thinking to grab food. With the holiday, however, every place was too crowded (3), with longs waits, and we decided to go one more exit for Subway. We get to Subway, and go in, waiting in line at the gas station branch next to the Breeze ski rental. Kendall finds out as she orders there’s no white bread (4) and no cucumbers (5, Tia took the last ones), but we all make do, get food and head to Winter Park.


We arrive and get tickets for mini-golf, which Tia can do, and the Alpine slide for Kendall. As she gets in line and we sit under a sail, it starts raining and they cancel sliding (6). We sit for a few minutes and then Kendall sees kids bungee jumping and wants to do that. We get get tickets, walk back to the line and lightning flashes. The ride closes (7).


We laugh a little, and eventually things close as it’s after 5. We pack up and head to the park in Frasier where there are cookouts and fireworks planned. Driving up we see no fireworks because it’s dry (8). We decided to head back to Denver, play some golf there and watch fireworks. On the way through Winter Park, I want to stop for coffee since I’m tired. We park and Kendall and I walk up to Starbucks at 6:05. It’s closed (9). No coffee.


We drive back to Park Meadows. We pull up at the mini golf place, where people are playing. We get out, walk up and it’s 8:02. They closed at 8:00 (10). We drive over to the mall, where the kids have been wanting to go for a few days. It’s closed (11). At this point we aren’t sure what to do, but think, let’s just see a movie. Delaney pulls up the Despicable Me 2 times for Park Meadows and the theater near our house. 8:10 and 8:15, last showings. It’s 8:15 (12).

We almost bail and go home, but decide to get get some dinner and see a later one at the theater further from the house. We get dinner, everyone gets their first choice, and see the movie.

I guess bad things are limited to 3 per person, even in groups.

On His Own

Delaney left this morning for Seattle, to go to the My Little Pony conference near the airport up there. He's been asking to go for months, and Tia was supposed to go with him, but with her injury, we decided to send Delaney alone. He's spending the weekend with Kyle, and hopefully they'll have a good time.

This is the first time Delaney's flown alone, with no chaperone. We've paid for flight attendants to watch him in the past, but this time he's alone. I got him up and packed, and we drove to the airport. After a quick breakfast, he went through security alone. I watched, but he was doing fine, using the mobile boarding pass on his phone from my account.

I felt anxious, even though I shouldn't be. He's flown lots, he's smart, and he should be able to figure things out. I watched him go through security, and as he was putting his belt back on, I got a thumbs up.
Hopefully a fun weekend for those two.

Monday, July 1, 2013


It was Monday for sure. Nothing going on, but busy. The kids got up and did hay this morning, whcih was nice. One less thing I had to worry about. No sneezing and no Benedryl, which almost ruined by Friday.

It was busy at work. Lots of stuff to catch up on that I hadn't completed last week. I spent most of the day at the computer, working on various items and trying to ensure I have everything prepped for this week. I had scheduled things through today, but needed to get ahead a bit, especially as this is a four day week.

I am tech reviewing a set of video lessons, supposedly due today, and I'm short a few. I did a bit after work, but then needed a run. Now need to finish the last 3 tonight.