Friday, May 29, 2015

Up Early and Out

Way too early. I have a busy morning, interviews to conduct for consultants, an exam to take, and not enough time. Late last night I decided to get out of the house early and get close to the exam and conduct the interviews in town. About 5am, I realized that I hadn't plugged my laptop in yesterday after a bunch of remote work, so I got up, found my laptop from downstairs, and plugged it in.

I also realized my 7:15 alarm was too late. I ended up getting up at 6:50, showering, and then getting out of the house, racing to a Starbucks near the exam and plugging in (in the car) to do some Skype interviews.

It's a crazy day. Still need to find time to get Delaney to do some job applications and then meet a friend for a drink.

Plus actually do some work. Yikes.

This getting up early every day in the summer is not much fun.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Running with the Boys

Delaney’s in the beginning of summer cross country training. His coach has gotten more mature, and started 3 days a week practicing across the summer. We went Tuesday, but I had calls yesterday, so Delaney said we could do a long run last night.

Kyle joined us, and we walked up the driveway and then started up the road. I got left behind immediately.

My hamstring is still slightly tight and I’m afraid of hurting it. I’m pushing a little more each day, and this was the hardest I’d pushed in two weeks, but definitely not trying to find limits.
Tia came home as we were going and the boys stopped for a minute. I took advantage of that to pass them and grab a picture of me in front.

They passed me again and as I got near the 1mi point, I saw Kyle start walking and Delaney just keep going. He’s strong and it’s neat to see.
After Tuesday’s practice, he told me he could run slow with me. He said his 7:23 mile was slow. I’m not sure I could get close to that if I was healthy.
Looking forward to some running with the kids this summer. Even Kendall. She was running on the treadmill the other night, and I was pleased to see her motivated to get strong.

Passed 70-461

I had a friend that noted Microsoft was offering a second shot offer on their exams through May 31. I've been meaning to take a couple this year and update my certifications, but haven't scheduled anything. There hasn't been a lot of time to study, so I've been hesitant to study. With the second shot, however, I decided to just go for it. On the phone Wednesday, I looked and saw I could schedule an exam today, so I did it.

I went at lunch and took the 70-461 cold. No studying the last few days, just hoping I know enough. I'd think that I should be able to pass it and I could. I got a 785/1000, which passed me. There weren't many things I wasn't sure of, though I'm sure I missed something I thought I knew. I made a few notes when I got in the car, and I have 4-5 things to look up and write about.

However I was slightly annoyed as well. I know I took 761 and 762 as beta exams (along with 764) and I'm sure I passed them. Of course I'm sure I don't have paperwork, so I'll need to write them again, as my British friends say. Not a big deal, but slightly annoying. I've been wanting to study for 763 and take that, so this is the impetus to get me moving slightly.

I also think that I should have taken 763 today. 761 was too easy and I should have taken advantage of the second shot on that one.

Oh well. still moving forward.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Anniversary

It’s been 17 wonderful years of marriage to Tia. We’ve had some downs, but mostly an amazing series of ups in our lives with kids, pets, careers, and a series of homes. I really have no regrets about my life and as I’ve said to a few people, I have no real problems.

The traditional gift for 17 years is furniture, so we went out and bought ourselves a new couch.

Photo May 26, 3 05 40 PM

To carry it around, we got a living quarters horse trailer. A new Lakota Charger, 10 foot short wall, the aforementioned couch, 6cu ft fridge, separate bathroom with shower and sink, and 4 stalls. It has a generator inside, which means we will still have AC and a microwave in the middle of nowhere.

Photo May 26, 5 06 42 PM

The bathroom is a touch small, but that’s OK.

Photo May 26, 5 06 17 PM

We wanted a dinette in the slide, but this one worked better overall, with more space inside, so we got the couch.

Photo May 26, 5 06 30 PM

This one was a breeze for Tia to park as well.

Photo May 26, 5 05 01 PM

This is our second trailer, and a slightly belated present. We actually when looking last week and saw a really nice Trails West trailer. It was bit, but we thought it would work. Saturday, in the rain, with Tia feeling a bit sick, we went and picked it up.

However it was a mistake. Almost as soon as we got on the highway, we were worried. It was a heavy pull, jerking the truck a bit with the weight and hard to maneuver. Getting home, Tia struggled to back it up by the house. That worried me. Tia’s much better at driving trailers around than I am and if she has a hard time, I probably can’t drive it.

At 29’ 9” in floor length, it was really, really long.

Photo May 23, 5 00 52 PM

We debated, hemmed and hawed over the holiday weekend and decided to take it back today. The salesman had told us we had about a week to decide and he was happy to make time for us today. A long, 1:45 drive back up, but he understood and when he parked the trailer, he could feel the weight.

He showed us a few more, and we talked about the differences with the one we picked out. Eventually we loaded this Lakota up on the truck and drove around the area. Almost as soon as we were on the road, Tia said it drove differently. Not a lot shorter, about 26’, but about a ton less weight. Plus a generator on it.

This one was a few hundred dollars more than the other one, but the salesman matched it and we signed new paperwork. A much smoother ride home, with me able to work a bit and type this. Something I couldn’t really do when we drove up this morning with the Trails West.

Now Tia’s ready to schedule some trips and get out camping. I’ve got work and travel, but have booked a 10 day stretch in July where we’ll head up north to Glacier National Park and let the kids seem some of the west before they’re too old and out of the house.

It’s Like School Again

It’s the first day of summer cross country practice, so I was up at 6:50 to take Delaney. He wasn’t thrilled, but not too upset either. He got up and appeared downstairs with running shorts, shoes, and a bar in the office door as I was answering some emails.

I may run with him, but they started with a meeting, so I decided to get started with coffee.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Before and After


Photo May 25, 5 53 57 PM


Photo May 25, 8 02 27 PM

She’s a cutie

Yard Day

We finally had sun today. A nice day, not too warm, and so I got outside to cut some grass. Delaney agreed to do some, and we tried to get the riding mower to start, but it wouldn’t.

So we got the tractor out and I let him go. He did well, and got quite a bit cut, spending hours out there in the yard.

Photo May 25, 2 57 00 PM

I worked on the front and dog area, using the push mower and getting quite a bit done. Not as slow as I thought, and the yard looks much better. It’s been a jungle, and I had to use the highest settings on the mower. It will need cutting again later this week at a lower setting, but hopefully the riding mower works by then.

Photo May 25, 2 56 54 PM

I also cleaned the dog yard, picked up some cuttings, and tried to remove all the dirt from the garage and front cement. It’s baked itself onto the cement after snow and this was the first time I got a shovel out and scraped the ground.

A productive day and glad I spent time out there as it was raining later in the day.



Daddy Daughter Morning

Kendall and I went to the gym last night, and had a good workout, but I asked if she’d want to hit a class today. She’s been wanting to, but our schedule has been a mess. She wanted to, but since it’s a holiday, only morning classes. We decided to try a 9:30 circuit class.

She was up and ready, and we headed out early. We go there, walking around a bit to warm up and then got ready. 10 rows of stations in the gym, and a fairly full class with 50+ people. We did almost a full circuit, 9 exercises before Kendall said her wrist was sore. She didn’t want to press, so we walked out.

We hit the cardio for a bit, getting some good elliptical time for me, and biking for her. Then she wanted to learn some basketball, so we went down for about 30-45 minutes and I worked with her, teaching her to shoot a bit and letting her practice. She picked up some things well and started to get lots of her shots near the rim.

A fun morning for the two of us.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Book #35 - The Cabinet of Curiosities

After reading the Blue Labyrinth, I had to go back and look through some of the older ones. Since I'd read Relic and Reliquary a few times, I decided to start with the Cabinet of Curiosities. It reads like less of a mature and smooth book like the later ones, but still great. It starts with a discovery of an old charnel, full of bones. Pendergast is there, pulling in Nora Kelly right away to investigate. She's upset with a loss of museum funding and the job she needs, but she can't turn away. Slowly she and Pendergast investigate what appears to be a serial killer from the late 1800s in NYC.

When a copycat appears now, the city is terrified, and of course, we have the impulsive Smithback writing stories and trying to stay a step ahead of everyone. He gets Nora in trouble, and is wary of Pendergast, but he knows there's something here.

The book is interesting, because we know little of Pendergast at this point. In fact, until this book, I wasn't sure who the main character was in this series. It almost seemed like D'Agnosta in the first two. However it's Pendergast and his mysterious investigation is finally revealed a little over halfway through. He suspects the killer is his great-uncle, who found a way to extend his life from the 1870s to the 1980s.

It's a wild ride, with us getting glimpses of the killer's mind (he gets a few chapters throughout) and Pendergast, as well as the continuation of Nora from the Thunderhead novel, and more of Smithback from the Relic and Thunderhead tales.

A good beginning to the later novels that reveal more about Pendergast, slowly over time.

The Pay Gap

I saw this posted by a friend and decided to write a few notes.

Some Companies Fight Pay Gap by Eliminating Negotiations

I think the negotiation has encouraged a dog eat dog world where we have people that earn more, not because they know more, do a better job, but because they can argue better. I think I'd struggle to see where negotiation (outside of sales or someone that closes deals) is a measure of merit in most positions.

I also think that having flexible ranges encourages hiring managers, consciously or unconsciously, to favor certain candidates over others. Could be men over women (or vice versa). could be one white over black, or Chinese over Latino, or even the person I know over the person I don't.

Personally, I think setting a series of titles and salaries makes sense. You pay people for the job they do. If they're a doctor or a programmer or a retail clerk, pay them for the work. Certainly some people are more productive and do better work, so have a Doctor I, Doctor II, Programmer III, Clerk II/III/IV/V and give them incentive to work better and earn a promotion of sorts.

We want to incent people to move forward and drive their career. However we also want to remove some of the friction and bias that slows our companies down. I think negotiation is one of those areas that creates problems. We try to hide salaries to avoid hurting feelings. We don't want to justify how little or much we pay anyone.

I say make it transparent and move on. Focus on what you do well, which is run the business, and let salary and reviews be less of a distraction or focus. Plenty of managers and people making decisions in this area aren't competent at it. They decide on pay, bonuses, etc. without any real data or decision making. Ultimately many people go on gut, which I would say is a poor way of running a business. Whether you're a first line manager or VP.

I'll also say that it's easy to look at the flip side, that the better people are held back. Perhaps, but I've rarely seen the successful and highly sought after employees worried about a little money in their position. They are usually productive because they enjoy what they do.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Book #34 - The Blue Labyrinth

blueI have always enjoyed the Pedergast series of books from Preston and Child. Blue Labyrinth is book #14, though I think I missed one somewhere. I'll have to go look and catch up.

In this book, a body is left on Pendergast's doorstep. It's actually his son, the one from Brazil, and he's dead. Pendergast pursues a car but loses it. As you might suspect, he investigates, trying to determine who was responsible. At the same time, the NYPD thinks he might be involved and we have another overzealous detective looking at Pendergast.

We also have the return of Margo Green, dragged into the story by Pendergast, and struggling with her demons from the Relic time period of the museum. She assists, but we know this is hard.

The book devotes a lot of time to Constance Green, who takes over the investigation when Pendergast is a bit incapacitated. We learn more about her character, which perhaps is more ruthless than Pendergast.

All in all an exciting book, with references to previous books that made it hard to read at times I've read most, but I think I've missed one or two. However this did get me excited to go back and re-read some of the others.

Back on the Bike

It's been driving me slightly crazy to not exercise. The rain certainly hasn't helped, but it's better today. It was actually sunny this morning, which was nice after far, far too many rainy days.

Photo May 21, 9 59 31 AM

I decided at lunch to try and get on the bike, a light ride. Ended up on L6, which is easy work, and did 30 minutes without any leg issues.

2015 - Book #33 - Almost Dead

almostdeadAfter reading the other four books, I got Almost Dead, excited to continue the story. This picks up weeks after the wedding day, with Jared in a coma and Lizzy living with her sister. She has to get out of there, with her brother in law fighting with her sister.

She decides to focus on work, and drives forward, but in a somewhat reckless way. Her two employees worry about her. Meanwhile, we have a killer that's taking revenge on former high school bullies almost two decades later. Since the killings are staged as accidents, which seems a bit outrageous, the police don't understand they're related. In fact, it takes Lizzy awhile to get there.

It was a sad beginning, with Jared gone and Lizzy struggling, but it grows into quite a story, including an ending I didn't expect.

The Helpful Girl

It's been a crazy day so far. No school for anyone, everyone sleeping in, except me. I had an early call for work to talk about a presentation, and had to get up and move. I got up early, and went to get coffee and cream, since we were out of the latter. I returned, got set up, and started my call at 8.

It was a long call, going until nearly 10, however I had to interrupt a few times. Uma ran away as Tia was trying to get something done, so I had to pause, drive to the neighbors, and pick her up. Then I Was back on the call and Tia texted from the other neighbors. Could I bring her helmet up since she'd forgotten it.

I was trying to find a place to pause again as we were in a detailed discussion about some code and it was hard to stop. I was almost ready to just say let's break and then decided to text and see if Kendall was up. She was, so I asked her to take it up. I said she could drive the BMW, which she hadn't driven.

She agreed and when I looked outside, the truck was gone. I'd never explained how to work it, but she figured it out. She's driven the Prius to to the neighbors and back, so I wasn't too worried.

I met her coming back and wanted to see if she liked the truck. However she was tired after our late night movie and dinner and wasn't in a good mood. Sad smile

It's still nice that she's so helpful. Nice that all our kids are and we can trust them to do things like this, even at 14.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Book #32 - A Dark Mind

darkmindThe third book in the Lizzy Gardner series, we have a killer going after couples in A Dark Mind. He's an organized, smart killer and quite a few of the killings aren't quite linked as he's changed his mode of operation.

The book jumps back in time, to earlier abductions and killings by the Lovebird killer. At the same time we are inside his head for brief periods, we have to deal with Lizzy and her challenges of running her business, which mostly revolves around a workman's comp claim in this book.

It's a good read, and reminds me of some of the earlier Stephanie Plum series where we have some side plot that's a bit humorous and silly, but relates to the main story near the end.

We have Lizzy's fiance, Jared, working the serial killer, and eventually realizing the cases are related. However that doesn't stop the action and even makes the story more interesting from outside, because we can see the connections long before the characters. It had me wondering how the story I could see would actually unfold. A good read.

Fan Problems

I've had this noise in the office the last day or so. At first I thought I had a sleeping Uma, but then realized it was the fan on my PC.

Computer Sound

One more thing to deal with.

Monday, May 18, 2015


A late night flight back from Seattle Saturday night had me crawling into bed around 11:45 at night. Tia was asleep and feeling sick, so I moved slow, and was quiet when I got up at 6:45 for baseball.

I was looking forward to the game, having not played for two weeks. I was feeling good, the left elbow doing well, though I decided not to bat at the beginning of the game. I wonder if that was good. Given the way the day turned out, probably.

We opened with a mini rally, loading the bases and scoring a run the top of the first. I took the field at first base, making a few catches, including a deep stretch in the 2nd for an out. I was feeling good.

The team struggled, giving up some hits and going down a bunch of runs. Mindful of the fact I’ll miss some games, I switched to right to get someone else on first for a bit. I’m out there for 1 out, 4-5 batters, and the catcher throws back to first after a pitch. I could see a bad throw in the dirt, so I start running towards first from right. The ball gets through and I’m coming up on it. As the runner takes off (relatively a take off at 50+ years old) I think I can get him at second. I’m slowing to the ball and feel my left hamstring pull. Not a pop, but a painful pull.

I can’t quite bend to the ball, so I stop, lean over, watching the runner and pick up the ball. Not hurrying now, just trying to be sure he doesn’t head for third. I start back to my position, but our coach decides to pull the pitcher and give me a rest since I tend to play all the time.

I limp in, stretch, walk around for a few innings, decline to bat and change out of the uniform. It’s tight, it’s stiffening and anything past a slow walk is painful. I take a few light swings and I can swing with the left elbow, but as I turn, 3/4 of the way into the swing and push off the left leg, it hurts.

I’m done. In fact, I’m probably done doing much of anything for a week at least, maybe longer. I’m glad we don’t play for 13 days, as I need to heal.

I put ice on it for the long drive home and then lay in bed with Tia and an ice pack for awhile. She’s got a cold, my leg aches. Ice on and off, including my ice machine, which was nice.

Photo May 17, 3 04 42 PM

It still hurt last night, but better. I tried to move slow and not work. Still managed 7000 steps for the day, though most of that was before 10am.

Going to try some rubs and some ice again today. Sleeping wasn’t bad, but it reminds me with a slight nagging pain as I move around that I’m old and hurt.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sunny In Seattle

I landed in Seattle and was surprised to see this.

Photo May 14, 7 28 46 PM

What’s more, it’s sunny today and I had a nice, short walk outside as well as a short jog this am

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2015 Book #31 - ®evolution

The ®evolution is coming in June as the official release, but as part of Amazon Prime, I get it a month early. It's a science fiction book and one that grabbed me from the beginning. A terrorist event at a large media convention in Las Vegas. Hundreds killed somehow, and as we follow one of the idealists along, she realizes her co-conspirators have been killed.

We then cut to Peter Bernhardt, genius biotechnologist and nano-engineer that's just sold his company. However nanobots are suspected in the attack and immediately he's under seige, being questioned by the government, and about to lose everything (Along with his wife). Fortunately a friend helps him get through it and introduces him to The Phoenix Club.

As you can guess, a shadowy group of rich people helping to control the US. He's shocked and eventually betrayed by them. The whole book is a series of thriller style betrayals, but most of them could be guessed by readers. It's not great plotting and drags on. There are three parts of the book, and each could probably be its own story here. They're together, but a bit long.

The story includes lots of science fiction, but starts to go too far at the end. It's a world similar to 2015, but more advanced in ways, however the leaps across the year or so in the book are a bit much for me. Even for the suspension of disbelief for the story, it starts to stretch the limits.

An exciting read, somewhat predictable, but most enjoyable.

Last Concert

At least the last for 11th grade. Delaney asked if I had a red shirt for him yesterday. I went out and got one during the day since I wanted him to look good. He did.

Photo May 12, 5 45 46 PM

I had him try it on after school and he came down like this.

Photo May 12, 5 46 39 PM

We were a touch late walking in and didn't seem him by the entrance. My video was a bit far away, which I didn't like, but thought he did well and loved the selection. They orchestra teacher experimented and worked them in small ensembles, 2-6 people, though this meant Delaney only got one song in.

The various musical groups (jazz, percussion, etc.) sound really good overall. The violins are still shaky, but I think that might be the hardest to learn. It was neat to have them do "Cole's Song" last night with jazz and have a singer come out.

Photo May 12, 8 06 20 PM

It was also cool to have the seniors lined up on stage and each announce their plans for the future. About 15-20 of them, and amazing that they all have plans. A few military, one aspiring golfer, but mostly college and mostly with some idea of their future.

Photo May 12, 8 05 42 PM

Another year down, and looking forward to seeing Delaney play next year. Still amazed that he's been in orchestra for 6 years and has improved so much.


I found this quote disturbing. It was in a Reason article on Carly Fiorina.

"She [Fiorina] has no use for laws mandating "equal pay" or paid maternity leave or contraceptive coverage that movement feminists espouse and Clinton laps up—for the obvious reason that they'll backfire by making women more expensive and hence less employable. "

While I do agree that there are some issues with feminism, how is advocating for equal pay amongst workers doing equal work making "women more expensive"? Are they cheap labor now because we can underpay them and that's just dandy?

I don't know if Fiorina is a good candidate or not. Certainly she's not a professional politician, which is attractive to me. However, the author of the piece, in trying for a libertarian/freedom based approach seems to dismiss the idea that discrimination or blatant abuse of power to pay one group less is a good thing, disturbs me. While people should be free to negotiate, rarely is there an equal set of power, and plenty of companies and people take advantage of situations to pay less.

At the same time, I do think that some people are willing to work for less or work harder, and we can't discourage that. I guess I'm really not sure what I think is a solution, but that quote really disturbs me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Early Morning

I'm going to be tired tonight. Kendall has been struggling a bit to understand math. We hit the gym together and then were up late Sun night working on y=x^1/2 graphs with Kendall. I think I helped her understand how to calculate those out quickly and translate them. We'll see when she has her test.

Last night she had trig stuff, and was worried. I got back from the gym and we sat down to work through the sin(), cos(), and tan() stuff. We did some, but allergies are bothering her, so she decided to bail and get up early. She asked me to join her at 6am.

Not a lot earlier than I normally get up, but that 1/2 hour matters. However I got up and we worked through the problems, teaching her a few things. I think she started to get the hang of it, though it's boring, uninteresting work.

At least I made breakfast interesting

Photo May 11, 7 11 00 AM

New Shirt

I went online shopping recently. I saw a bunch of shirts on eBay, and was trying to decide what to do when I ran across this one.

Photo May 11, 11 08 22 AM

Hot Yoga

Felt good to move slow, work hard, but not impactful. Especially after last night's kickboxing class, which had lots of leg movements.

I did well in the class. Pretty much made it through the class, though I was uncoordinated at times. I tried weighted gloves, but they didn't stay on. I think too many uses and the Velcro was old. I may pick some up as it's good to add something to the efforts there. Certainly makes me want to get the heavy bag back up and really work.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Creamy Mushroom Mustard Chicken

I saw this recipe for a chicken and mushroom skillet and thought everyone would like it. I served it over pasta and it was a bit of a hit.

Worth trying again.

Slow Monday

Actually a slow Sunday and Monday. I ran some errands in the morning Sunday, getting more shavings and supplies for Tia. I also grabbed some groceries for dinner.

The middle of the day was quiet, not much happening, but I felt bored and couldn’t sit around too much. I started cutting some wood for a project, getting a few things jointed, but it got cold and I didn’t want to spend a bunch of time doing more setup, so that ended.

Kendall and I hit the gym, getting a bit of a workout before I called it a night and came home to cook. After dinner it was homework time, with me helping Kendall graph y=x^1/2 problems, which were interesting. Had to go back in my mind and remember this stuff and give her a few tricks. I think it helped, and she got things done.

Today was quiet. Kids in school, maid here, just working along.

Gym tonight.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Saturday in the Rain and Snow

It's been raining for over a week. We had some reprieves. Not much last Saturday, which let me play baseball Sunday. I was sure Sat morning we'd be cancelled Sunday. Then Wednesday some sunny weather for a bit.

However it's been bad, Seattle bad. If it bothers me, then it certainly bothers Tia. She's been a bit down, despite a busy week. We had planned to go out trailer shopping today, and Tia thought about bailing, but we decided to head up north.

We stopped for Starbucks a few times for sustenance on the way.

Photo May 09, 3 27 28 PM

We looked at trailers, and then headed back, needing to be in Castle Rock around 4:30 for Tia's Mounted Patrol meeting/party. It was pouring rain on the way down, and a mess. A good East Coast drenching, but we made it OK. A little cold (42ish) but not too windy. However Tia was worried about her horses, so we planned on leaving early to get back and feed.

As we left, things turned to snow. We raced back to Parker to pick up some shavings and buckets to manage the new horses. I grabbed a picture at 7:00 in town

Photo May 09, 6 53 52 PM

We loaded up and drove home, seeing worse weather as we got closer to the ranch. This was 7:30 at home.

Photo May 09, 7 27 29 PM

Friday, May 8, 2015


It's been three or four days of rain on and off. I tried to clean the car a bit yesterday, after picking up the kids, I wanted to rinse off the running boards since they catch my leg.

Photo May 07, 6 08 54 PM

I ended up taking a bucket and a little soap and working on the driver's side, mainly to get the running boards clean and remove some dirt from the body. I was happy with just 15 minutes of cleaning.

Photo May 07, 6 09 57 PM

However it's pouring again today. The car is a mess again, and I don't know how people in Seattle deal with this.

1000 Jacks

A somewhat busy day at work, and with Tia getting home late, I was on my own at the gym. Kendall had homework, so I packed up and was ready to go. As I walked outside and loaded my gym bag I realized I had a problem.

No dogs.

Grrrr. Quickly I grabbed the Suburban and drove down the road. Two dogs wandering at a neighbors and I managed to bring them home. Then I was racing to the gym, a bit worried I'd not get a spot in the No Limits Circuit class. They don't turn anyone away, but it sometimes gets crowded and I like to get a spot near a wall if I can.

I made it on time and when class opened, the girl running it said we were doing 1000 jumping jacks and 500 pushups. I was looking at the kettlebells, the bosa balls, the various equipment set up in stations and thought, how will we get to that?

Actually, we didn't. After a bit of warmup, everyone holding a straight bar (I had a 9lb), we were off, doing sets of 100 jacks and 50 pushups. With my elbow, I really had half pushups, and the class certainly doesn't stay together. I think I managed 95 half pushups through the first three sets.

Then we were outside. Jogging in a line down the road, a cool evening, each of us holding a bar. We jogged, but the last person in the line was supposed to run faster to the front. Repeat. I had a few stretches of getting to the front before we stopped about 3/4 mile from the gym. Then it was more jacks, and then some 100m sprints. We did lots more pushups on the way back, more running to the front of the line, and more jacks.

We ended up behind the gym, more sprints, and I was struggling to keep my bar up. Finally, the last 100 jacks in the room were hard, but I did them. Probably 350 half pushups, and I was beat.

Tired and sore this morning, but happy I made it to class and through it.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Movie Night

I didn't make the gym. Sad smile

Tia came in from work and was tired as well. She asked if I'd want to go have a drink and that was about all it took for me bail. We ended up asking the kids and they all wanted to go as well, so we had a fun Mexican dinner.

At dinner someone suggested seeing a movie. I don't think the five of us have been since American Sniper in January, and with a late start for the kids today, we decided to go see The Avengers. Everyone's been wanting to go, but we've been too busy.

It was good. Not great, but good, and sets up the next movie with less of the main characters. I guess that's how you deal with actors that may leave the franchise.

Tired this am. The gum will be hard today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I’m feeling a bit worn out this afternoon. That, along with sore muscles from the Tabata class last night, had me considering just relaxing in the house tonight. For some unknown reason, my left ankle was starting to ache a bit as the afternoon wore on.

I feel like this

Photo May 06, 4 06 09 PM

However I’m mentally chastising myself for thinking of skipping the gym. Even just sitting on a bike would be better than not doing anything.

There’s probably something wrong with that, but I feel like the last two years have had too many days off without exercise. I should do something.

I thought about taking a walk, but with a light rain falling, I bailed on that.

Ugh, what to do.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AP Week

Yesterday Delaney had his first AP test of the year: Chemistry. He said he spent all weekend studying in his room and skipped a review Saturday since said the review book I'd gotten him was comprehensive. I didn't bother him about it since it's his test and his accomplishment. It was hard to leave him alone and not try to help in some way, but I have to stop and realize that it was my responsibility when I was 16-1, and it's his now.

He was a bit stressed and tired yesterday am as he'd been cramming all day Sunday for Chem. Afterwards he said things went well, but he was still beat from the effort and trying to motivate himself to move back to calculus. He looked tired this morning again, and somewhat resigned, but I bet he feels a lot better after the exam.

He asked for an early pickup after the exam at noon, which seems reasonable after going through two exams. I have no idea what happened when I took them, but I suspect I went through the rest of the school day in a daze after each of the 3 I took senior year.

Good luck to him and hope it goes well.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A nice day

The morning at the field

Photo May 03, 7 52 59 AM

The afternoon at home

Photo May 03, 5 03 54 PM

Dark skies. I actually started to take the play set apart, but the wind started blowing and some rain fell, so I bailed. After being up at 5:15 to help Tia get ready to leave for her dressage competition, I was beat.

Ended up watching Serendipity with the Ks while Tia fell asleep early.

Photo May 03, 5 50 36 PM

Game 2

We won again yesterday, playing a baseball game that I expected to be cancelled. It was looking like rain Fri and Sat, and I was sure we'd be rained out again, but we ended up with a nice day. Not much wind, warm, but not too hot, and a good field.

We were missing some people, but still had 12. I wonder if that will be an issue as we move through the season. I don't like lots of people, but I ended up getting the entire game at first again. Not sure I solidified things. I caught some balls, a few stretches, and caught a foul pop up. I chased deep to help the catcher on a foul that I wasn't sure he'd seen.

However I a low through on a dribbler from the pitcher caught the bottom of my glove when I snapped it a bit quick. I also was playing deep on a grounder to second, and was late getting to the bag. The second baseman through a bit behind me and I was off balance and couldn't handle it.


Still, plenty of other infield issues, so I didn't stand out. At the end of the day, a decent outing.

I skipped batting. The left elbow was bugging me and we had enough people that I didn't want to press. I slightly regretted it as a former teammate was pitching for the other side and he laid some in there. I would have liked to hit against him.

We were behind most of the game. Down 2-0, we tied it on an interference play that I didn't like. Guy steals third on a pickoff attempt to second. A bad throw past third into the other teams' bags. The umpire called it dead, like a ball in the dugout and gave the runner home. Not great. We then went down again. However we came back in an inning where the other team made quite a few mistakes. A few misplays in the outfield, a good hit from us and we were up 7-4.

With 4 minutes before 3 hours, the umpire called the game rather than start an inning. As we were packing up, 5 minutes later, he reversed himself and put us back on the field. We were only semi-into it as our batters went down 1-2-3, with halfhearted effort. Their three went down quickly as well and that was the game.

A fun outing. Looking forward to getting out there after a couple weeks off. The right arm was OK, though I do need to find time to throw and get some batting in.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Healthy Week

Tired, but a healthy week. I made yoga on Monday and then got to classes at the gym on Tues and Wed nights. Insanity the first night, fairly hard, and No Limits last night, which was really tough. Still, I think I'm getting stronger.

Photo Apr 29, 8 43 40 PM

I also did an elliptical/run night myself on Wed and ran outside today. At the end of a few of these, I wasn't smiling.

Photo Apr 28, 8 49 43 PM

Tired, but stronger

Enjoying Colorado

Here I am after lunch, enjoying the X5

Photo Apr 30, 1 05 21 PM

Inside Volleyball

Tia volunteered our house for the end of year party for Kendall's volleyball team. As such, I had the need to get a court setup. We have plans for an outside court, but with the chance of rain still here, I decided I should plan on inside for now.

I had cemented a few posts in buckets a few years ago, but we found they weren't very stable. One actually broke and became a mailbox stand in Tia's horse playground. We had the other, though we needed something more stable. I planned on trying a combination of a tire and bucket a few weekends ago, but rain kept getting in the way.

Finally we had good weather this week and I got out there Tuesday at lunch. First I needed to get a tire.

Photo Apr 28, 2 49 49 PM

We've had a bunch in the yard from previous years of hay storage, and I got one of the thicker ones. Then I started to put some rebar around the poles. I drilled a few holes and put cross braces, as well as some angled ones in the post.

Photo Apr 29, 1 07 06 PM

I'd cut a piece of OSB for the base, and with that in, I added a few braces to support the pole and then started mixing cement. I'd bought 2 bags over the weekend and put them in, but realized I needed more. Fortunately I've had a spare bag in the garage, and ended up using that. 240lbs of cement + water in there.

Photo Apr 29, 4 02 50 PM

The pole sat for a couple days and dried. It's seemed really stable, and Kendall agreed to help me yesterday get the court set up. After school I grabbed the tractor

Photo Apr 30, 5 03 46 PM

I drove it over to pick up the pole, and had a hitchhiker jump on with me.

Photo Apr 30, 5 03 40 PM

We moved everything into the arena and started setting things up. We unrolled the net and started to measure things. The court needed to be bigger than I expected, and took up a lot of the middle of the arena.

Photo Apr 30, 5 18 45 PM

We tied the smaller pole to the frame and added the original poles that came with the net for some stiffness.

Photo Apr 30, 5 47 52 PM

Kendall then started to mark off a court space. As you can see, it's big.

Photo Apr 30, 5 53 09 PM

It ended up looking good and hopefully the girls enjoy it, and keep the ball low. The lights aren't well protected, so this can't be a regular thing we keep up there.

Photo Apr 30, 5 54 43 PM

However we are looking forward and a little motivated, to get the outside court going. Need to remove the playset, mark off a space, add some dirt to level it and then put down sand. The hardest part will be a fence to prevent the ball from leaving the area.