Monday, September 29, 2014

End of Middle School Volleyball

Today was the league tournament for Kendall’s volleyball team. Tia and I drove down to Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, a 09 minute commute, to cheer them on. We got there just in time and saw them play hard and dominate the first game. A few good hits for Kendall and when the other team almost caught up, Kendall served 5 to put them way ahead.

Photo Sep 29, 3 54 17 PM

We thought they were ready to move forward and get to the finals Wednesday. However they fell apart in the second game and it wasn’t close. Too many mistakes that were unforced.

Photo Sep 29, 3 53 00 PM

The third game was close at first, but the girls started to just hit the ball over on the first hit and the other team played well, setting things up and hitting them over. They dinked a lot over that we didn’t cover.

Photo Sep 29, 3 43 13 PM

The season is over, but a good one. Kendall played great and really showed the team how good a player she is.

Now on to club in a month.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Ball

When we got home, I asked Delaney to help me put a ball on top of the flagpole. I’d been meaning to do it, but we seem to be so busy. He said yes, so we loosened the bolts and pulled one out. Delaney helped lower it and then we got the ball on it.

Photo Sep 28, 3 53 59 PM

With that on it, Delaney started to lift

Photo Sep 28, 3 54 32 PM

And lift

Photo Sep 28, 3 54 36 PM

and lift

Photo Sep 28, 3 54 45 PM

We got it up, and he wiggled it up as I put the bottom bolt back in. We tightened things down, and it secured the rope. With a storm coming, we didn’t put the flag back up, but it looks good.

Photo Sep 28, 3 57 48 PM

Morning Yoga

I’ve been missing yoga. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone, and my body could use a slower workout. It’s feeling a bit tired. I planned on going to the 8:30 this morning and told Kendall. She said she wanted to go, so we planned on getting up at 7:30 and going. When I went out last night to get dog food, Kendall texted me that she wanted to sleep in, so she was skipping. No big deal, but I planned on going.

I woke up and checked the phone at 7:01, thinking I’d have 20min to sleep. Apparently when I set the alarm, it’s a weekday only one, so I got up at 8:06 and jumped up. Contacts in, heading downstairs and grabbing water. I’d loaded my mat and bag in the car, so I just left.

I made it in time, about 3 min to get setup on the floor and had a nice, hot, Hot Power Fusion class. It felt good, and a crick in my neck loosened up. Lots of sweat, good work, some heart racing, but not too much. All in all I’m glad I went.

I came home, did some work, and then had to take Delaney to the high school rodeo, where he’d volunteered to work the concession stand. I watched the rodeo a bit while he worked. Calf roping, goat tying, bull riding, kind of amazing.

Photo Sep 28, 2 44 39 PM

The girls did better than the boy, and rather than driving home and back, I relaxed in the sun

Photo Sep 28, 1 52 05 PM

Afterwards, home and hopefully no more driving.

Driver Driver

That was me yesterday. I think I had a 200mi day.

It started with me getting Delaney up early as he had a friend coming over to work on a project. Up at 8, then working a bit before leaving at 10:30 to take Delaney and his friend to Parker.

11 mi.

The boys needed to buy some clothes from Goodwill to use for a mini-movie they were shooting for their Language Arts class. We got clothes and then headed back E to Elbert, to some girl’s house where they were meeting her and another kid for the assignment as 12.

32 miles for that.

The boys were sure they’d be done in an hour or two. I was worried as Kyle was taking Kendall to the volleyball open gym for practice. However he had to go work at the school farm, so I needed to get her. They ended at 3 and there were no more classes, so I gave her money to walk to Wal-Mart or Sonic and get a soda to wait. I was worried so I went to Kiowa and ate lunch, working on some demos for a talk I need to record this week.

7 miles

While I was there, I heard from Delaney that they wouldn’t be done at 2:30. That wasn’t good. I told him to decide because if they weren’t done at 2:30, I’d need to get Kendall and they’d have to wait until 4 or so when I could get back. They said it would be longer, so I packed up and left to drive to 303 Volleyball.

42 miles.

I got there to watch Kendall practice. She did good, working hard with mostly 15 year olds on a number of drills. She looked good to me, and one of the other parents from last year’s team said she looked better than last year. I got to see about 40 minutes before they finished and we packed up. We stopped for a drink and headed to Elbert.

49 miles.

We got there and the high schoolers still weren’t done. We hung out, I chatted with parents and they finally finished. We left, dropping off Delaney’s friend, but taking a short cut back to Elizabeth.


We headed to Elizabeth, as Delaney was starving, having not eaten since 10:30.

3 miles.

We shopped at Wal-Mart and then headed home.

12 miles.

We get home and I see that there’s no dog food. We  were out in the am and I’d forgotten to buy more. Damn it.

It was late, but I’d been in a car all day. I figured I could get some exercise since either stores were closing at 6/7 or not and it was 7. I took the dogs for a 1.5mi walk and then headed to town.

12 mi

Murdochs was closed, so I hit Pet’s Mart, only to find them closed. I hit Safeway, getting some grain-free food for Uma and heading home.

14 mi.

All in all, a 151 mi day. Crazy.

Delaney and I watched some SNL, but I fell asleep.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Long Night

Actually a long day. I had early meetings, almost 3 hours worth, going over presentations and information for the fall events that I’ll be speaking at for Red Gate. Tia got the kids to school, and after I worked from 6:30-11:45, I took a brief break before driving her to the airport. She’s spending today in Idaho learning about hoof trimming and seeing a friend. She’s gone until tomorrow night, so I had to manage things.

I drove home, grabbed lunch, had a quick workout, and then it was time to get kids. I had to pick them up early from school activities so I could get to class. Kendall had pictures and then volleyball and Delaney had cross country, which was a bigger deal since he missed two practices this week (sick) and then had a rough race Thursday.

Kendall found a ride home, but I had to go get Delaney, so it was a quick pack up and go at 3:40. He was ready, I dropped him off at home and then drove out to Red Rocks Community College. I might have skipped it if I’d known, or just been later. Lucky traffic wasn’t bad, for once, and I made it to class just as they started.

Turning was on the agenda, but we’d been running slightly behind. As a result, we were continuing with carcass construction. We thought this would be half the class and half spent working on our projects. However no one, including me, had the project wood. I’ve been meaning to go over there, but I need to go during working hours and I’ve been buried. So that’s a high priority item for the coming week.

It was interesting. We built a small cabinet, 20”x18” high, I guess about 8” deep, but that wasn’t really important. We used the arbitrary width of one of the boards. We all know how to six-side face a board, getting all sides flat, square, and parallel, so we didn’t do that. however we did see how to make a rabbit for the bottom joints, miters for the top, why we do certain things, assembly tricks, routing a dado, and a few more things. All in all, I learned quite a few things, but I was tired of watching.

Everyone was and we knocked off an hour early, but 3 hours instead of 4, just watching, doesn’t seem like much. It was a tough night to get through and a long drive home. I really, really wish I’d gotten some wood that I could have started to joint and plane. I’ll need to do that and let it sit a week, so I’m thinking Tues or Wed I need to go get that done.

Home late, up early as Delaney had a friend coming over, I’m doing a bit of computer work today before the big kid shuffle. Delaney to a friend’s house for a project, Kendall to volleyball practice, and then collecting them all back home.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Picture

Photo Sep 23, 9 05 13 PM (1)

So much for getting some work done.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


After I got home, and after working a bit, I left early to get Delaney after practice and took my bike. I haven’t ridden outside on the road bike in years, but I decided to try it.

It was good, a nice hard ride and I worked. However the front tire went flat and I had to take the last half mile slow and careful. At least I did get back to the car.

And I looked good. Or at least like I was ready to ride.

Photo Sep 24, 6 13 23 PM (1)

My Month

I went to volunteer for Habitat, helping speak to Johnson and Wales students today. I didn’t have time, but I had committed, so I went. When I left, I was tired and hot, so I stopped at 7-11 for a drink. I stopped the car, left my phone and wallet on the floor, got out, walked in, walked to the soda machine, got a soda, put a lid on, opened a straw, threw away my wrapper, walked to pay, walked to the car and got in.

No keys.

Maybe they’re on the floor? Nope.

Maybe they’re in the console? Nope.

Maybe I left them inside. I walked in, checked the counter by the register, no keys. Checked the counter by the soda machine. No keys.

I asked the clerk, and no one had turned any in. I walk outside, look between the seats, get in from the back and look under the seats and in between again. I find some receipts, wrappers, bottle caps, and more. I clean things out and can’t find keys. I repeat this on the other side.

I know the keys are somewhere since I drove to 7-11, ten minutes ago at this point.

I go back in and look in the trash. I double check inside the console, above the sunvisors, in between the seats again. I check all my pockets again pulling out lip balm and bills. I am somewhat stunned. I’m actually about to call Tia and say I lost the keys, 2 minutes after stopping at 7-11.

It’s been 15 minutes, and I’m trying to figure things out when the clerk walks outside with my keys. Apparently I set them on some random counter in the store and a lady found them.

I felt like I should have hired her as my daily nanny.

That’s not what I needed. I had 3 events last week, in 3 cities, and I’ve got multiple presentations to still finish for two and three weeks from now. I’m semi-buried with editing and work, and I’m really struggling to keep up with life, much less work commitments. I’m actually buzzing with stress at some points, which isn’t good.

At least I got my keys back.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Back home

And glad, but off again soon. I got back from Vegas yesterday in time to pick Kendall up from practice and watch a bit of it. They really aren't putting together skills or a team. I'll be glad when she gets back to club.

Then I came home briefly before Tia and I went out to get Delaney from his meet. Not a good meet for him, with the temperature too hot. Back to 25: and he wasn't feeling well in the am. Hope it gets better next week. He's supposed to run tomorrow, so I think I'll go with him and see if I can keep up.

I was glad to get in my bed, and fell asleep as Tia and the boys were hanging out.

Now I'm off to class this afternoon and staying out at a hotel since I speak first thing in the morning at DU tomorrow. Don't want to drive home for 6 hours sleep before driving 35 minutes in the am, so once again, gone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Off to Vegas

A quick trip, but another one today. The second in two weeks. Vegas today, back Thur.

Monday, September 15, 2014


I started working on my flagpole on June 3, mainly by starting to build a jig. Across six weeks, I got the main flagpole done, but no base, and certainly no place to plant it. I’ve continued to work on it slowly, building the base and more painting and other work.

Today things finally came together.

Photo Sep 15, 6 31 39 PM

It’s a good day for me, one where I completed this project, one that I’ve wanted to work on for a few years, but haven’t taken the time.

After getting Delaney home and making dinner, I went outside before dusk and checked the base. It looks good, and I covered it with a bit of dirt, tamping it down with boots. Still more work to be done there, but once that was done, I get the flagpole ready to raise.

Photo Sep 15, 6 24 02 PM

There are two bolts that hold it in place. One is a pivot point, which you see above. The other is lower, and I had to raise the pole slowly, not let it tip in the other direction, which might have shattered the wood, and then get the bolt through. As you might expect with wood, things moved a bit, but it’s I used a hammer to tap through bolts and then tightened them.

Photo Sep 15, 6 31 24 PM

With the pole done, I unpacked my flag for the first time and attached it to the rings. A nice breeze made raising it and taking this picture interesting.

Photo Sep 15, 6 30 51 PM

It’s been a long summer, and a long project. I learned a few things, only messed up two boards, and had only minor issues. I didn’t learn a lot about woodworking that I didn’t know, but I did get to build some confidence on a project I wasn’t sure would turn out well.

I’d like to build another one, and there are a few things I’d do differently, but for now, I’ll enjoy this one.


Photo Sep 15, 6 31 39 PM


I managed to get a few things done yesterday on the flagpole. After I got up and flew home from Kansas City, I went to work. First, I dragged the flagpole base to the hole in the ground and measured things. It was close, but I needed to go down another 6-8" and widen it in places.

Photo Sep 14, 1 46 16 PM

Once that was done, I added some bracing. I was slightly worried about wind and the torque from the top, so I cut some braces and screwed those tightly to the base. With those done, I felt (more) confident this would hold up to weather.

Photo Sep 14, 2 20 05 PM

With the bracing added to both sides, I had to big a bit more, including putting some space below the wood for drainage, and then it was ready. I added some rocks at the bottom, hopefully to prevent rot.

Photo Sep 14, 2 26 40 PM

Now it was mixing time. I almost grabbed the ATV, or truck, but in the end decided to just be a man and carry 3 80lb bags of cement from the shed and barn to the flagpole base.

Photo Sep 14, 2 48 11 PM

I mixed them one at a time, and then put them in the hole. I ended up using all 3 bags, getting coverage about 24" up on the base, including covering the bottom brace completely in concrete.

Photo Sep 14, 3 24 13 PM

I let it dry and went on to other chores. Once I got to the late afternoon, I filled in some dirt, but wanted things to cure overnight and do more today.

I plan to get dirt on it, and then raise the pole and see. I may have to pull it down and tamp things down more later, but I at least want it up today.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book #42 - The Synchronicity War Part 4

51-CK1Y5YYL._AA160_The end, and I'm glad. The time travel and changes started to get a little weird for me. In Part 4, we find the timelines being altered more and more, as different strategies fail and the AIs go back to different times. They've built a much larger ship to do this. There's most time travel, but there's also a little more explanation of what happens as timelines change.

I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BBQ and Continuous Integration

Another weekend, another trip. This is the busy time of year for me, with lots of events bunched up. This time I've got a long week. I flew to Kansas City yesterday for SQL Saturday #300 and am going home early tomorrow. That's good as I only have  couple of days at home before I leave Tuesday for Las Vegas.

That's a short trip as well, coming home Thursday after 2 talks delivered there. Then a couple more days off, before I need to deliver two talks next Saturday in Denver at SQL Saturday #331. That's 5 talks in a week, though it's 4 different topics, so I'm trying to keep things straight. Someone asked me yesterday what I was talking about today and I wasn't sure. I'd practiced a couple of talks this past week, but I wasn't sure which of the two was today.

It was Continuous Integration for Databases, which went over really well. This was a 75 minute session, which seems to be rarer and rarer. I like the extra time as I can talk through concepts and show demos a little slower. The hour long sessions are tough.

Today everything went well. A nice change from my talk in England in July, where the VM and flow blew up. I struggled and it never showcased well. In this case, my demos all went smoothly, thanks to a few changes I learned needed to be made. I got up early, and after some elliptical time, I cleaned up the demos to get ready. Overall, one of my best deliveries.

This is a neat event. Hard to believe it's been 4 years since I was here, but back in this old riverside casino that a company turned into a training center is fun. Lots of people from the KC area, all nice, and all happy to have training as few events come through here. I also have a lot of friends that come here for the BBQ, which I sampled yesterday and today, and really enjoyed.

Now a little time meeting people at the after party before a quiet dinner, a good night's sleep, and an early flight home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Varsity Race #4

Today was Delaney's home cross country meet. A bit of rain came down and they were late starting, but the meet went off fine. Tia and I arrived to find Delaney warming up and hanging out with the team.

Photo Sep 09, 3 50 31 PM

Delaney ran with the varsity again, which makes his 4th race there. One more and he should letter, which is exciting for me since I never lettered in anything. He ran hard, and well, but was still 25:22. I think the hills (lots of them around our school) and wet weather slowed him down, though he looked good going through the course.

He finished, and then cooled down with the team.

Photo Sep 09, 4 48 07 PM

As it was a home meet, the kids are supposed to dress up. Kendall hates this part, but Delaney came downstairs looking sharp in the morning and again after the meet.

Photo Sep 09, 5 33 58 PM

Photo Sep 09, 5 33 59 PM

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cross Country Setup

Good Deed: volunteered to help pound in some t-posts and put in flags to mark the cross country course at the high school.

Cost: 14 mosquito bites

Net: Coach had a shorter day than he might have had otherwise and things are mostly ready for the high school meet tomorrow. Told Delaney to make sure he takes bug spray tomorrow. It’s a bit of a mess around the school with all the rain we had recently.

Sick Kid

Kendall's not feeling well today. She was starting to feel sick last night and looked bad this morning, so I sent her to bed. Sad she's missing her volleyball match tonight, but she needs the rest.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to Club

Kendall's been avoiding open gyms at club, but I managed to convince her to go today and she enjoyed it. She looked good as well, some good hits and sets.

The Wood Tour

I got up early Saturday to go tour a lumberyard. It was one of those "strongly recommended" items for my class. I wasn't sure I'd go, but then I wanted to get some more info about picking out wood, so I dragged myself over there at 8am.

There were about 40-50 students and a few instructors, and we got a tour of what this lumberyard does, how they get wood, why pricing changes, etc. Most of it was interesting and informative, but not tremendously useful. However I did learn a few things about picking plywood and choosing certain boards. A few things about making tabletops and surfaces as well that I wasn't thinking about. All in all, an interesting morning.

It was motivating after Fri night's class. The second one and we spent most of the time getting checked out on machines, having to straighten and square all six faces of a board. I did that quickly, then showed off my drawings and the instructor decided a tool tote was my best option. This is the picture of the one I'd sketched.


With time short in the class, I'm not sure I'll mess with the two types of wood inlaid, but I am thinking to follow the design fairly closely.

The second half of class was learning how to make a drawing, which I did in high school drafting, but not since, so I'll need to practice with that. I tried today to do it on the computer with SketchUp, but couldn't get it to move things as I wanted, so I'll do it by hand.

The rest of the day was mostly a variety of chores. I painted the trim on the shed, painted some of the back railing behind the house, then dug out part of the old flagpole, only to find a 2ft cube of concrete around the post. That stopped me until today. A trip to Home Depot had the guy convince me a sledgehammer would work to break it up.

I did that a big today and knocked off some pieces, but still lots to go. I also managed to get another coat of finish on the cutting board and today I put rubber mats on Tia's teeter totter.

Quite the weekend.

Book #40 - Reamde

41T01W-cWQL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I really enjoy Neal Stephenson and I have been thinking of reading this book for a long time. When I saw a friend post they'd read Reamde, I grabbed it. I wanted to call it ReadMe the entire time, but eventually got the name down right.

It's a wild ride, one with a large collection of characters that come together, separate, find new characters and all come together at the end. It's a mix of some technology, lots of thrilling action, and quite a few silly coincidences that result in humorous situations.

Basically a girl gets caught up in her boyfriend's criminal activity. When it goes awry, from a completely unrelated issue, she's kidnapped to China to find a hacker there. Along the way she must escape from Russian criminals, then avoid Chinese authorities while handcuffed to a Muslim terrorist. Her uncle back in the states tries to track her down, and eventually gets help from a British MI6 agent, an American special forces operator in the Philippines, one of the Russians, the Chinese and Hungarian hackers, and his own survivalist family.

It's a wild ride and one I really enjoyed.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back Home

A long trip back from SF. Longer than I expected. I left the conference a little early yesterday, trying to standby on an earlier flight, but traffic and the incredibly busy flights out of SFO prevented that. I wanted to work for a few hours, but wi-fi was flaky at SFO and as I tried to tether, a guy next to me wanted to chat. He was a part of the Wounded Warrior Project, and I couldn't brush him off.

This kid, well, a kid to me at 29, was heading to London. He'd been stuck in SFO (from OR) all day and was waiting on a flight, so I chatted with him. He's off for the Inaugural Courage Cup in London, a Ryder Cup like event for Wounded Warriors and their UK equivalents.

He was a nice young man and we had an interesting talk. I'll have to follow along and see how he does. Best of luck to the US team.

Two long days, long conference days and up early to exercise had me nodding off on the ride home and glad to finally crawl into bed around 11:45 last night.

A long day today, getting kids up and then woodworking class tonight. Boy. I',m tired.

Book #37 - The Synchronicity War

41fVDHcTSZL._AA160_The first book of the Synchronicity War starts out like many space operas. Humans are out in space, warships, though really explorers are looking for a missing ship. They are attacked by aliens, and only escape due to the forethought of one commander, Shiloh.

However it's not intuition, he gets a vision, a precognitive event that tells him to launch a probe. He does and they survive. The rest of the book goes into preparations for war back on Earth where the space force must convert to a more military like function. He receives other visions, and manages to survive as humanity continues to battle the aliens, who they can't communicate with.

He also begins to use and trust the AIs developed by Earth, realizing they're sentient.

The book ends with a cliffhanger, as it begins to evolve in the war. I enjoyed it and immediately bought the next book.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Off to Flowcon 2014

With all of the work on a deployment pipeline and Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) I've worked on, I thought it would be instructive to go see how the software developers build their product better. A few months ago I noticed that FlowCon 2014 was coming to San Francisco. It's a short, easy trip for me, a 2 day conference, and I thought it would be a good chance to interact with the Thoughtworks people, as well as others.

So I booked the trip. Even though I travel enough, I rarely go for me, and this is a good chance for me to learn. I leave this afternoon, no commitments, no presentations, just the chance for me to learn a bit.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mt Democrat

Today we planned to hike Mt Democrat. I had hoped to camp up there to avoid the drive, but when Tia checked the weather, it was supposed to be freezing, so we decided to drive up. At 5:00am, I was up, with everyone moving slowly after that. Except Kendall. She’s quite the morning person.

A long drive up, getting us to Kite Lake around 8:30. We packed up and started up the path. About 20 minutes up, Kendall was struggling with a headache. We were worried about altitude sickness, so she and Tia went back down. She was upset, hoping to summit another 14er today, but it wasn’t to be. We think it was dehydration later, but that didn’t help.

Kyle, Delaney, and I continued up, a short, but steep trail to the saddle between Mt. Democrat and Mt Lincoln. We decided on Democrat as it was shorter, but it was steep. Lots of stops as we went up.


Delaney was tired, but when we heard voices near the top of a steep section, he thought it was the summit and bounded up. It was a false summit, with a nice 200yd or so flat section before a short steep climb to the summit.


We ate lunch at the top but it was so  windy that we started down soon. Fairly sunny, and no rain, but it was way too cold with the wind and the boys wanted to just head down. I would have done Lincoln as well, but didn’t want to go without them and my knee was tired anyway, so I came down.

We got back early, about 1:00 and headed home.

A good day overall, with my 4th 14er.