Saturday, November 29, 2014

For Sale

I put it up on Facebook and have one friend that's seriously interested. Maybe more coming.

Photo Nov 29, 11 22 59 AM

Time to think about something else for the future.

The short list:

  • GMC Yukon (The Suburban is sooooo comfortable)
  • Lexus RX 330/350
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • BMW X5 (need to give this another chance)
  • Audi Q5
  • VW Toureg
  • Infiniti FX45


Today was a quiet day, and beautiful in the 60s, so I asked Delaney to head out to work on his Eagle project. After taking my car out for a drive and taking pictures, we headed North to Loveland, with Delaney driving.

Photo Nov 29, 12 45 31 PM (1)

He did well, getting us onto the highway. He tends to let his speed drift up, so that's something he needs to watch, but he did well getting us up E-470, to I-70, even handling the high overpass and some construction easily. We made it onto I-270, and he needed a break after an hour of driving, so we got off and stopped a Chipotle for lunch. We had a nice 30 min break, and then got back on the highway.

We made it onto I-25 and were heading North when traffic slowed above 120th and then we saw emergency vehicles coming up. We were in the center lane, with Delaney not minding it and managed to slide over to let ambulances and police cars by. We then followed some cars off the side of the highway, through a ditch, onto a side road. Not the best example of highway driving, but we were far from the first and didn't want to get there too late.

Photo Nov 29, 2 38 43 PM

Another 15-20 minutes and Delaney needed to stop. He pulled over just before Loveland on the highway and we switched. Then I drove out to Loveland and West to the Bobcar Ridge Open Space where we found the handicapped ramp and also a ranger who chatted with us a bit. We then took lots of pictures, and examine the way it was built.

Photo Nov 29, 3 48 00 PM

It was good to see it and realize that this isn't going to be that hard a project. Once he raises money, we'll build it at home, laying out and cutting pieces, and then putting it together for a delivery onsite at Hidden Mesa.

I think 2 hours of driving was a lot for Delaney and he had me drive home, which was much less stressful for me. He did really well, but I had to watch him a bit as he's still learning.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Trot

We were thinking there might be a crowd of six of us for the Parker Turkey Trot, but it ended up being just three. Tia's sick, Kyle worked late, and Marla didn't want to go. So I got up Delaney and Kendall, and we drove out at 7am to Parker.

I registered us and we warmed up a bit, getting ready. Delaney hasn't run much since cross country, but we knew he'd be faster than us, so he went in one of the early waves. Kendall wanted me to do it with her, so we stood back, just ahead of the walkers.

Photo Nov 27, 7 44 17 AM

We started out jogging, getting a bit down the road, but not too far before Kendall needed to walk. She's not much of a runner, mostly doing 1-2 minutes at a time and walking some stretches. That was our race, and it was fine. We passed Delaney about 1.2 miles or so in, when he was heading back.

We then chatted and jogged/walked our way through.

Kendall did well, finishing strong, even with some sore legs and feet. Still smiling at the end.

Photo Nov 27, 8 56 52 AM

Just another day for Delaney

Photo Nov 27, 8 56 53 AM

Afterwards it was breakfast burrito time.

Photo Nov 27, 8 56 44 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Measuring and Stacking

I picked up the metal for Tia's sheds last weekend, but hadn't done anything. I was going to work on things today, but Tia wants her helper to do it, so Kendall and I just got things ready.


We pulled each piece out of the trailer and measured it. Then based on my diagrams, we noted the measurement and gave it a letter. My diagrams were like this one:



All in all, we had 30 pieces to stack into two piles (one for each shed) and then re-stack back into one pile to put on the tractor and store until tomorrow or Friday. A decent amount of work, but we had some fun chatting and getting things done.


Monday, November 24, 2014


We left this morning at the normal time, but instead of school, I took Delaney to the DMV. There was a line waiting to get in when we got there, and we took our place in line. After about 30 minutes, we were called and walked up to fill out forms and pay. They took Delaney's picture, and he'll get a permit in a few days, but for now, he's a licensed permit holder.

He immediately wanted to drive to school, but the roads were bad, so I declined. Plus it's a busy road in from town.

However when we picked him up at the bus stop, he wanted to drive. He drove all of us to the gas station for a snack and then back again.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A New Driver

Sort of.

Delaney went through the four hour Colorado driver awareness class today and passed the test for his permit.Hurray!

Now we need to take this stuff down to the DMV and get his license permit and start his year of driving.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book #49 - The Last Town

pines3The third book in the Wayward Pines series, but I didn't want it to end with The Last Town. I'd like to read something else on this.

The book starts minutes after book 2 ends. It's a crisis and Ethan must deal with it. This is more Crouch, with horror in there as people die. Ethan gets his family out, with others, but they're in a tough spot and are sieged by the Abbies.

When Ethan splits up to go confront Daniel and try to save the town, his wife and son must fend for themselves.

This is the action book of the three and I'm sure it's exciting as a show. Lots happens, and it ends in a way I didn't expect. I wouldn't look for more from Crouch, but it was an exciting finish, with lots of different characters having chapters in this book from their perspectives. It's a wild ride.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Down to 1

Last night I drove down to the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group meeting and presented a talk. I try to go down there at least once a year and this was my trip.

It also  was the second to the last event for me. I have just a couple talks in DC next month and I'm done for the year. Done until February for now, though 2015 starts with a bang. Germany in Feb and London in Mar.

Book #48 - Wayward

pines2This is the second book in the trilogy and it starts where the other one left off. Wayward has Ethan as the Sheriff of the town, and things are slow. He's conflicted on how to proceed and struggles to fit in. A murder and the assignment to investigate from Daniel gives him something to do, but it also means he has to think about compromising who he is.

We start to see more about how the town was built and the struggles inside of it. This was, I have to say, disturbing to me. On one hand, I thought I could fit in, but the more I read, the more I'd prefer to have just lived my life.

You'll have to read the book to understand that.

The end is a climax, but more of a screenplay, TV series one. Ethan reveals things to the town and a crisis starts as the book ends.

Got me to get book 3 though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book #47 - The Pines

pines1I picked up The Pines as part of my Kindle Unlimited, and because I've enjoyed a few strange, Blake Crouch, stories. However this one was really strange.

The book starts with Ethan, a Secret Service agent, waking up in Wayward Pines, an Idaho town. He remembers being sent here to search for two agents that disappeared, one a former mistress. He remembers a car accident and that's it.

The town is strange. People are somewhat helpful, but distant. The hospital is odd, with few patients and the sheriff isn't helpful. The book drags a bit as Ethan has a few strange days, including not being able to get a phone call out, contact his boss, get money, or really function as anything more than an indigent.

It gets crazier. I won't reveal it, but about halfway through the book, it gets really strange and I got caught up in it. The last part of the book is absolutely mind boggling. Makes me want to watch the show.

It's tough to get going, but good at the end. I picked up #2 right away.

States I've Visited

In keeping with my piece on data, here's a Create Your Own Visited States Map'>map of states I've visited:


In terms of countries:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • St Martin
  • Bahamas
  • UK (England, Ireland, Scotland)
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Switzerland

Run Streaks

I took Delaney out yesterday for his birthday. I'd spent all day at Copper, grabbed new shoes on the way home, and then went to get him after his Knowledge Bowl practice. Tia was with Kendall at her practice, so Delaney and I got some lunch.

As we were chatting, I mentioned that day 1531 was two years ago. He asked me if I missed it, and I said I did. I'd tried to get going a few times, though surgery certainly slowed things. However I didn't make enough of an effort, though since I'm on day 103 of mixed exercise, I'm getting something done.

We chatted and he thought about trying it himself. Something short, simple, just a mile to a mile and a half, and just to keep strong. We looked at his pace, and his final race was a 6:46 pace. To get below 20 minutes, he'd need to get down near 6:20, and could he do it. I think he can and we'll see.

I asked him what he thought he'd do in just a mile. He said around 5 minutes.

Wow. I couldn't imagine going that fast. One of these days I'm going to see if I can time him and see.

Sand in the Snow

Saturday Kendall was supposed to go to a sand volleyball clinic. There are a few facilities in Denver, and as we drove out early in the am, it was cold, around 6F and snowing. As you can see, we were bundled up with coffee.

Photo Nov 15, 9 43 53 AM

A minor fiasco, as neither Tia nor I had read the email closely. The facility we went to, where Kendall had gone a few times, wasn’t the right one. When no one showed up, we realized and raced up to the other one in Broomfield. About 30 minutes late, but we got going.

Photo Nov 15, 10 39 52 AM

It was surprisingly warm in there, though it wasn’t close to anything, so I read and watched while Kendall played. There was one other high schooler, but otherwise all adults. Kendall did well, though she has a lot to learn, and she was intimidated. However she worked hard, coming over to get water during breaks. She was sweating a lot, and tired, but smiling and loving it.

Photo Nov 15, 10 38 59 AM


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 1

Day 1 of the ski season for me. I've been wanting to go for a few weeks, but travel and then house stuff got in the way. There was weather as well. We were going to go Sunday with the kids, but it was supposed to be 0F in the morning, so we called it off. That's too cold to even ski and makes for a miserable time, especially in early season.

However I booked a few days off, and today was one, so I headed out after dropping off kids and hit Copper Mountain. A good day, not too windy, though a bit chilly. Trying to text a few people and post pictures had my hands really cold.

Slightly disappointed that only the middle section was open, but it was still fun, with a little over two hours of me going up and down, getting in about 10-11 runs before calling it a day as the temperature dropped fast in the afternoon.

One good thing:the knee held up. I actually was so excited, I went out and up the lift without my brace. I started down, being careful, and realized as I was going that I didn't have my brace. That made me nervous and I took it easy coming down the first run. When I got to the bottom, I took the bus back to the truck and got my brace and strapped it on. It was the old one, and it' bulkier, but it has the metal on the sides and made me feel much better.

No wrecks today, though one slip on an icy area where I slid on my butt a bit. I went fast, but didn't press too much. I felt good and am looking forward to the season.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Mallet

The newest project in wood class is a mallet. I'm hoping this is the last one, because we spent entirely too much time in class seeing things demo'd and then working on it. Fortunately I wasn't messing around and as soon as we got the wood and the first demo, I flattened the board and went back to working on my project.


We started with that big block of hickory. It's dense and heavy, and I flattened mine easily. Not sure why it takes others so long, but it went quick for me.

Next we had to cut angles out in the middle with the table saw. It's good to see how this works with a wedge, and I learned a few things that will help me later in my own work. It's so nice to have space and things set up already, and I need to consider that for my own shop at some point.


With both sides cut a bit, I used a chisel to get rid of most of the wood. Not something I'd have done at home, but I can see why the chisel works out well. Project for this week, get my sharpening stuff ready to take to class in some plastic.

The next step had me and a few others at advantages. We'd used router planes before, and I grabbed one ASAP to get mine cleaned up.


Both sides done, and looking good. Back to my project, where I managed to get all my boards cut to the right sizes.


Once we had things lined up, it was about time to glue, but first, the handle.


I wasn't sure how we'd do this, but again, we used the wedge. In fact, we used the same wedge that we'd used earlier to cut the faces. I lined things up on the bandsaw, and managed to cut the pieces down. Of course, it wasn't a great fit, but I could use the jointer to clean up my handle slightly (And a little sandpaper.


I glued things up and that was it for this part. I unclamped it before I left and left it there to dry and cure. It as looking OK, not great, but I'm anxious to see how it does next week when I shape the handle and get things together.


I spent the last part of the night cutting dovetails. The instructor showed me how quickly (amazing how he does) and I went to work. With a chisel and a small saw, I managed to get a few cut. You can see here I have the middle partially chiseled out.

Photo Nov 14, 8 32 01 PM

After cutting two, I learned that my main problem is that I can't cut quite square. I'm tilting the saw. The instructor told me to practice vertical cuts, and that's on my list for this week. I'm thinking to take a little time if there's a warm day this week, and cut a few notches and see how I do.

Book #46 - Dead or Alive

deadaliveI've loved the Jack Ryan, John Clark series, going back to Red October and Red Storm Rising. I dropped off the series for a bit, but come back once in awhile. I've read one or two of the books after this one, but I grabbed Dead or Alive recently and dug in.

This is after Ryan Jr. has accidently killed someone as part of The Campus, but before he gets more assignments. He's still an analyst and working with his cousins. Clark and Chavez are trying to leave Rainbow and come home, but events conspire to keep everyone in the action.

Ryan's cousins suffer a setback, with one being killed, even as he asks to take on field work in pursuit of the Emir. If all this doesn't make sense, you really need to back up and read some others. Actually, I'd go through the whole series, but this one can stand alone, even with all the references to past events.

It's a typical Clancy story, though I think the writing definitely lacks some of the excitement that his early books do. The new author (Blackwood) is true to the spirit and it's a fun thriller.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book #45 - Reamde

I thought this book was Readme for years until I actually got it from the library. Stephenson has been up and down for me, as I don't love the Victorian era, and set in the past books, but I've enjoyed the sci-fi stuff. Reamde is the current age, built around a multi-player online game, but it devolves quickly into a farce of a kidnapping and business deal gone wrong.

I enjoyed it at first, but when the story turned, I really became entranced by the large number of characters and scenes, along with the subplots, that take place in the US, China, Philippines and of course, online. It's a wild ride, with characters separating, coincidences that pop up, and thrilling action.

Recommended. One of Stephenson's books I've enjoyed the most.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book #44 - The Synchronicity War - Part 4

part4The last book in the series, and I'm glad. I wanted to get through it to understand what happened, but I'm glad it's over. The series devolved into a strange, time travel possibilities.

Part 4 really covers more of the sentient AIs that must manage the war, sending themselves back in time to try and manage things in different ways. I'm sure this was fun to write, trying to keep track of all the ways that the admiral must have to behave in different timelines.

It's wraps up the series, though I'm not sure I love it. There's a chance for a 5th, but I won't be looking for it. I enjoyed the series, but it dragged on a bit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It's a cold day. Kendall and I were outside Sunday working on sheds.


Monday it was almost 50F when I took the kids to school, but it started dropping, with snow in the afternoon and in the 17F range when Tia and I went out to her talk.

Yesterday was 12F on the ride to take kids, and about 10F when they got back.

This morning it's -4F, and rising to 4F today.

Supposed to be 40F Friday.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Challenges at work

Photo Nov 11, 8 58 15 AM

A few times in the last day, the kitten has climbed up my leg, and hip, to my chest, and onto my shoulder.

By herself. While I'm working.

Glad I am in winter mode with jeans and thick shirts.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Million Years Ago


Back to school, and back to the routine

Monday morning, Kids up and ready for school, me back at work. It's been a tumultuous life, so it's good to get back to routine, but it hasn't settled in.

In related new, this was me last year, so maybe yesterday was a sign of "some things never change"


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Storm Prep

A Storm is supposed to come tomorrow, so we were out today working on some shed prep. Tia had a couple shed built by her employee, but I hadn't gotten them measured and metal ordered. She was concerned, so I headed out this am to get wood and then work. I got a helper along the way.


We had two sheds to do, and didn't start until around 12:30 with building, after assembling parts and tools. Kendall helped me cut and measure, and while she didn't do a lot at times, it makes a bit difference to how fast we can go if she's measuring while I'm cutting.

We started here, working the back and west (close) side.


We moved well, getting things measured, including a few angles from the roof


By 2:30, we were almost done.


We got the first one done, including the small triangles near the top around 3, packed up, and then took a break to get some subs. After a 10 minute meal, we went back to work on the second one.



One done, the second covered on the west, north, and partial east sides. Tia's guy can finish those, and add the bracing inside, which we couldn't add as we ran out of light.

Friday, November 7, 2014


And glad to be back. Arrived around 1am, and a slow work day today before I head to class.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hiding Out

Last night was time to hide out for me. After giving 4 lightning talks and having lots of people want pictures or handshakes, I was beat. I had to go to the hotel, and if they’d had room service, I would have been done. Instead, I grabbed my wallet (forgot it multiple times) and then walked back downtown to grab a bite to eat from a restaurant by myself.
About 45 minutes to eat, have a drink, and read a bit to unwind before going back and falling asleep at 10.
Today is a long day. First, in costume, which I’m happy to do as we raised over $12k for Doctors without Borders. That means I dress like this today
Photo Nov 06, 10 06 00 AM
A few talks this afternoon and then my one large talk, being broadcast on PASSTV before I head to the airport and call it a week.
It’s been long, and tough, and I think I’m done with multi-day conferences for the most part. They’re far too draining for me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Busy, busy, busy

Yesterday was a day of pre-cons and today was completely different. I was up at 5:30, heading out for a 3 mile run with friends. It was nice, and good weather, but a little quick. I found myself slightly sore all day.

Then it was off to live blog the keynote, becoming late to get set up a I glad handed and chatted with lots of friends on the way. The keynote was disappointing, but what more can I expect. I keep hoping for better from Microsoft, but it wasn’t to be.

Then I had excitement. After a meeting with my boss, I was supposed to do a series of short lightning talks at our booth. However my laptop doesn’t have HDMI, and they didn’t have any adapters. An almost disaster, but I managed to salvage things with some quick thinking and some transferring things to the demo laptop that Red Gate has.

I did 3 of those and was somewhat wiped out. But I wasn’t done. Lunch with a friend (more talking), then back to the booth. Fortunately no one was there in the afternoon, so I didn’t have another one, and managed to get back to the hotel.

However I have 4 more tonight, after meeting a friend for a drink. I am going to be glad when this day is over.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Busy Days in Seattle

It’s been a crazy week, and one that’s about to get crazier for me. At least as long as I’m in Seattle.

I arrived Sat night, late, and almost immediately went to bed. A full day Sunday of things out of my control, so I needed sleep. Not much to say about Sunday, but it was an interesting day. However Monday really started the craziness.

My employer had their SQL in the City event in Seattle, meeting customers and potential customers with a full, one day conference. I had to arrive early at the McCaw Hall near the Space Needle to practice the keynote and get set up for the day. The keynote went well, better than London, IMHO, but I didn’t have time to relax. Five minutes after the keynote I was delivering my first of three hour-long sessions.

All the sessions went well, but with a 15 minute break between 1 and 2, and then lunch before 3, I felt like I’d been teaching for a long time. By 3:00, when I was done, my voice was sore, and I was ready to call it a day. However I had to stick around and schmooze people before a short chat with my boss.

Then it was a race over to our networking event at night. I got there to find a snafu, the restaurant full and unable to take us. Fortunately someone found another place and we shuttled people over there. However that meant about 90 minutes of me standing outside in the Seattle drizzle, greeting people and sending them down the street in groups before I had the chance to sit down and eat.

I made my way down to the other place for about 30 minutes, but I was beat and had to call it a night around 10.

Today was all day in a learning session, which was a good chance to relax, but no shortage of people wanting to say hi and chat. I almost feel like I should have worn a hat and sat off to the side to avoid people.

A long year, and a long stretch the last month. Two days left, packed with about 6-8 short sessions each day and then a long one Thur afternoon before I head home late thur night.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


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