Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Went for a walk today, with a short jog (1/4 mile) and did OK. Walked more, turned around, walked most of the way back and started a short jog. This time I felt a good pull in my calf.


For some reason my left leg is really struggling this summer. Not sure what to do, but I'm guessing I need a month of just walking/elliptical and no jogging, and lots of stretching.

At least I enjoyed National Coffee Day

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Amazing. Makes me wish I was in a band again

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Yesterday was the first time I got to see one of Kendall's JV matches. I was at Delaney's meet last week on Tues and out of town Thur. With Tia camping, I got a ride for Delaney and then headed up to Fort Lupton yesterday afternoon.

I got there early, sitting in the stands with my laptop, working as I watched the D team win 2/3. They're bad, and almost worse than middle school without Kendall playing. However some of the girls are improving.

Kendall's match was second. She walked over with the other setter as captains for the team. Kendall is the only freshman among sophomores, but they voted her captain. She's clearly the best player there, and it's near to see.

Warmups went well, with good sets from Kendall. When the other girl took over, there's a definite dropoff.

 The girls don't get announced at the JV level, but they line up and shake hands, with the rest of the teams along the side to slap hands.

 The first set went quick. Kendall started as setter, getting some good ones out to the girls, who hit well. The other team could return serves, but not many spikes. Overall they were outmatched, and we won 25-13. Six or seven of the points for Fort Lupton were bad serves from us, including one in the net from Kendall

 When she wasn't setting, Kendall had a couple great saves, diving to get a ball up in the air. She also slammed a spike down on an errant pass from the other team that just got over the net, and Kendall timed it beautifully for a point.

The second match wasn't much better, 24-14, with a few more mistakes as most of our B team came in to play. Kendall still handled most setting and things were over quick.

While varsity was warming up, Kendall went to talk to their coach, who likes her. We'd talked with her club coach, who told her to offer to help the team however she can. He loved that as a high school coach, so she did. The varsity coach said she'd get Kendall more time with the varsity in practice, so we'll see if she can get in games, maybe as defense. She's certainly as good as a few of their defenders.

Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Book #65 - A Small Colonial War

The third Warspite book. A Small Colonial War picks up where the last one ends, with India gambling. They move their super carrier into the Pegasus system, taking over the small colony on the moon the Warspite helped set up. With Britian battered after the war, India makes a move to be recognized as a great power.

While India establishes itself, the British fleet readies a task force, including Warspite, to try and dislodge them. We see the preparations, and the writing really shows the agony of war. There's a long build up, a slow movement, where Warspite spies and gathers information, slowly building to a battle.

This one was more enjoyable, and covers lots of the issues of trying to avert war between countries, and lots of the political maneuvering. We have the characters from previous books growing and maturing, and it's a good read. I hope more books come from this series, even if it evolves into new plotlines.

2015 Book #64 - A Savage War of Peacehttp://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pwOD4vIZL._AC_UL480_SR300,480_.jpg

The Ark Royal series, really the Warspite series, continues in a Savage War of Peace. There are really two stories going on here. The first is Percy Schnieder, left alone on the alien planet, trying to survive. The second is Warspite, having returned to Earth, is sent back o the Vesy system in hopes that they can broker some sort of agreement with other nations to leave Vesy alone. They depart after six months, with an ambassador.

The book is really an international relations story. Certainly this is set in a sci fi era, with space ships and future technology, but various nations are trying to gain control and build alliances with the aliens. The Indians especially have a plan to set up their own base and try to create a treaty, happy to give away weapons.

We see the ambassadors struggling, mostly the British as they try to out maneuver the Indians, but they're struggling. Eventually the base is overrun by aliens and they must retreat, with the Indians firmly in control of the planet thanks to their treaty. The book ends unfinished, and I was looking forward to the next one immediately.

It's not great writing, but it is enjoyable.

2015 Book #63 - Evil Never Dies

The 6th book in the series, and probably last one I'll read. The series is petering out a bit, and I think this is the end. In Evil Never Dies, we have another serial killer, we have Lizzy still upset and angry about the world, and her assistants framing rapists.

The story seems to be an extension of the previous books, but it seems to drag along. We can predict everything, the characters don't develop more, it just isn't a good ending.

There are some resolutions near the end, but they just kind of wind down each character (somewhat).

2015 Book #62 - Echo Burning

I'm on a Reacher kick. My 5th in a row, Echo Burning gets back to the formula we know. Reacher meets someone in trouble and helps out. Here he's in Texas, trying to avoid the cops after he knocked out an off-duty cop. A woman picks him up and he's taken to her house, a compound in the middle of S Texas. She wants him to kill her husband, who she says abuses her.

Reacher wants her to leave, but she won't. He gets hired on as a ranch hand, and as we might expect, the other hands can't chase him off. The brother doesn't intimidate him, and he's unsure of what's going on. As he tries to work through the situation, we also see there are three killers on the loose in the area.

When the woman kills her husband and is arrested, Reacher is thrown off the property, but he continues to investigate. I couldn't remember what happened, and enjoyed the story as it unfolded. Not a great one, but enjoyable.

2015 Book #61 - Running Blind

Another re-read. Running Blind is the second of two books with Jodie Garber. In this one, Reacher owns a house, and he starts the book intervening with some tough kids in NYC that are asking a new restaurant to pay protection. Reacher doesn't like that and takes them out.

However he's seen and arrested by the FBI, them claiming he's involved with a mob. They also think he might be involved in a series of serial murders, with some of the FBI Behaviorial Science people having built a profile that fits Reacher.

He thinks they're wrong, and convinces them, but they lean on him to help. With a threat against Jodie, he helps them, reluctantly, with their murders where no one can determine the cause of death. As the investigation proceeds, we see the introspective Reacher, thinking about life, about settling down, and the anxiety it causes him.

IT's quite a ride, one of my favorite Reacher books, and a good one to read after Tripwire.

2015 Book #60 - TripWire

After getting through Make Me, I grabbed Tripwire from the library. I started here because that was the first book available. It’s early in the Reacher series, #3, and it’s a re-read. Reacher chasing down Hook Hobie, learning Garber is dead, and dealing with the realization that he might need to settle down.

2015 Book #59 - Make Me

The latest from Lee Child starring Jack Reacher, Make Me is an interesting story. In this one we have Reacher arriving in Mother’s Rest, a tiny town north of Oklahoma City. He notices a lady waiting for someone at the tiny train station. Later they meet and he learns she’s ex-FBI, a PI that’s looking for a fellow investigator that called her. He appears to have disappeared, but we know he’s been killed from the opening chapter.

The book is really a strange investigation as Reacher and Chang (the PI) search for clues as to what happened and what’s worth protecting with multiple people involved in the town that run them off. It follows a predictable Reacher script, but it also shows his age. Reacher gets hit a few times early and he’s struggling with a concussion throughout the book.

It’s also a view at the incredibly sick people that live in the world. I hope this was completely made up, but it’s probably not.

Fort Morgan

I like the Fort Morgan cross country course. The route crosses itself and makes for good pictures in a few places. The kids like it as well as the elevation is in the low 4000s and it's a flat course. Friday was Delaney's meet there and Tia had planned on going. We couldn't both go since someone needed to get Kendall, so that was my job. However Tia pinged me at 3:30 and said she couldn't make it. I packed up from the workshop I was in and raced up there.

It's 2 hours from the house, 90 minutes from where I was and I got there just as Delaney and his team were warming up.

I watched Delaney set his PR of 21:00 here last year and I was hoping he'd do well. He was sick last week, and missed Fri/Mon, as well as skipping the meet on Tues, so I wasn't sure how he'd do. I was gone Wed/Thur, so I didn't know how he was feeling. He looked OK, and waved before the meet.

He started out well, getting going, but I saw him running steady, not pressing as they went around the corner. He tends to start slow and I wasn't sure if there was anyone he'd be trying to pace here. As he came back along the edge of the park, he was looking OK, but using small steps.

A bit over the 2 mile mark they come by again, and I caught him coming around the corner. Back in the number of runners, but probably near the middle of the Open racers.

As they got near the finish, another parent was cheering for her kid, saying to catch Elizabeth. That was Delaney, and he got motivated, running hard and sprinting to the finish to stay ahead of the kid.

He ran a 23:44, which is his best this year, but perhaps slower than he should run. However he's been sick, so we can ignore that. He was beat afterwards and ready to go home, so we made the long trek back, getting home around 10.

I'm glad I went up there. It was a lot of car time, and no workout for me Fri, but I'm glad Delaney got to run and I saw it.

Hard Hits for K

I tried to spend most of yesterday relaxing and continuing to recover from my cold. I lay in bed, sipping coffee and watching football most of the morning and early afternoon before getting up to help Tia change her wipers and air filter in the truck. She was packing for a 3 day camping trip, and needed help.

Since I was up, I decided to wash my car as it's been dirty. I spent about an hour cleaning it before Kendall came out for her private lesson. We headed down to Rocky Select, where I warmed up with her a bit, getting the chance to move a bit more than usual, chasing balls. That was fun, and when she started her lesson, I watched, listening to the coach and watching for changes. I didn't have the iPad yesterday, and didn't record video, but she looked much better. Better control, squaring up nicely, and hitting the ball evenly most times with both hands.

Setting is an interesting, and complex position. Kendall is getting better, but lacks consistency. It will be interesting to see what happens in the season over the winter. Right now she's a rock star with the JV team, but not sure how well she compares with Varsity, or her main club setter. However she's getting better and the coach said she doesn't need to keep coming. She knows what to do and just needs touches. Kendall really enjoys the lessons, and we'll keep investing in her.

Afterwards we drove home, where I had 20 or 30 bugs splattering on my newly cleaned windshield. I spent 10 minutes recleaning it before heading out to the barn with Tia and fixing her hay wagon by removing the lag screws and using bolts to reattach the sides. We'll see if that holds up better.

Still a touch sick, but much better. As hard as it was to sit in bed and not do anything, I'm glad I spent the time doing it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Home Meet

Today was Delaney's home meet for his team. And he was sick. I went to school, asked for his shoes, but was beat and decided not to run. He didn't sound good in the am, so I understand. I had agreed to help out, so I went at 3 to watch with Delaney and hear his senior recognition.

We were both a bit sick, him getting better, me feeling run down. We watched his teammates run well, and 5 of the girls finish in the top 10-12, which was neat.

Afterwards they called all the seniors up one at a time, talked about their favorite moment and presented them with a picture and balloons, all of them standing with parents.

It was a neat moment, even if Delaney didn't run.

School Board

Last night we went to watch the end of Kendall's practice and as we pulled up, my alarm went off notifying me of  the school board meeting. I had planned on going, but it meant getting Kendall, going home and then heading back.

We saw her playing, doing well, but obviously tired and still fighting illness. We got done and headed home. I'd cooked some chicken at lunch and gotten things ready, which was good as I could assemble dinner right away and then head back out.

The meeting was small, only 4 parents, with a few updates from the district. A few projects, which I can't decide if I think are good or bad ideas. I did see one interesting thing which was podcasting some of the information from the meetings.

I said my peace, which was promoting the rodeo and asking that the board consider moving graduation since there are some sports tournaments that day. No response, but that's the way it goes.

I did chat with one of the members later, going back and forth on a few items. At some point he said I should run. It's something I thought about, but it's a big commitment. We'll see. Maybe at some point.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Chore Day

Chore day today. Up late, after a late night, then doing some laundry and cleaning up the linens a bit to make space.

With that, I spent a few minutes on my Python work before going out to unload feed and then cut the grass in the back. It's gotten really long, so it was a bit of cutting, raking it up, cleaning some dog poop, repeat.

The afternoon had me taking a couple hours to run to the grocery store and help set up the cross country course at the high school. Delaney was supposed to have practice, but he was still sick, so it was just me.

A left turn

Tia got us tickets to Patton Oswalt for my birthday, and we were looking forward to a night out last night. We were worried about getting downtown with kids' sports, but since both were sick, we didn't have that issue. We got ready and left, heading downtown.

Traffic was light, and we made good time. We parked, pleased that the tickets provided for parking and then grabbed a quick meal at The Protein Bar. A nice place, and I'll have to try and duplicate some of their recipes. When we were done, we walked over to the Paramount.

 We got the disappointing news. No show, and no real reason. We'll have to follow up and find out when the show is coming, but we stood there, trying to decide what to do.

A movie theater is just on the next block, so we walked over and saw Straight Outta Compton was showing. We've been wanting to go, so we grabbed tickets and headed in.

An amazing movie. Mostly about Easy-E, but plenty of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube as well, with the rise, split, and failure to get together of NWA. It's an iconic time in music, and in my life. I remember the controvery's about NWA, but wondered why they split. I've really enjoyed rap for a long time, and this was a great look at the hard, thugish world of music.

Ice Cube's son was amazing, playing his dad. We really liked it, and walked out to see Jazz at Jack's next door. We went to their old location years ago, and Tia had a phase where she listened to jazz all the time. We decided to have a drink and sit for awhile, watching Dotsero play. They even managed to get us out there for a dance, before we finally called it a late night.

Not what we expected, but a great night for Tia and me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fourteen Years Ago

I've probably written this sometime, but a friend inspired me to relive it.

Fourteen years ago I lived on the other side of Denver. I had three kids, including a four month old infant, all sleeping early on the morning of September 11. My daughter, and maybe my middle kid, were in bed with my wife. My oldest had probably gotten on the bus early and left for school, but that day is a blur.  At least one, maybe two, of my sister-in-laws were also sleeping.

I remember sitting on the floor, starting to stretch as I had some water and breakfast in the morning. At that time I worked about 10 mi from work and rode my bike to work every day, M-F. My truck was at work this Tues morning, having been left there the day before. I'd leave it Monday and drive home Friday, using my bicycle the other days.

The previous night had been MNF in Denver, with Ed McCaffrey breaking his leg against the Giants. Not a good start. However I turned on ESPN, not to see about the Broncos, but to see about Michael Jordan. This was the day he was supposed to announce his return to the NBA. However ESPN wasn't showing an MJ press conference.

Instead it was showing the scene in NYC. A plane had hit one of the towers and smoke was pouring out. I thought it was an accident, maybe terrorism, but at that point I didn't think much of it. I assumed this was like the attack years before and was contained. I got on my bike and sweated through the 10 miles to work.

I arrived to find a crowd of people around one of the few (tube) TVs in the office. We had a couple for some reason, but everyone was in shock. I don't think I changed, dropping stuff on my desk and crowding around with others. We speculated as poorly as the announcers on TV, everyone seemingly in shock.

When  we saw the second plane hit, the whole scene was surreal. I know plenty of people think this is a conspiracy of some sort, but I'm sure I saw a plane on TV. Whether there is anything more, I don't know, but shortly thereafter we closed for the day, just sending everyone home.

I rode my bike some, somewhat in shock. The scene at my house was oddly just like work. Everyone crowded around and watching on TV. I couldn't even imagine what happened the rest of the day, but our world in the US certainly changed. I know I was angry and wanted revenge, like many others. I was happy to have us invade Afghanistan.

Since that day, I'm sad to think of all the people affected, but proud at how NYC responded and pulled together.


If this weren't so sad, it would be amusing. I find it more and more amazing this Mr. Huckabee was the governor of a state:http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/253292-huckabee-says-dred-scott-still-law-of-land

Two Sick Kids

Delaney said he struggled at practice yesterday. He was tired and feeling a bit ill. We got stuff for dinner and I made enchiladas. Kendall came down to get some and still looked sick, so I was pretty sure she wasn't going to school today. Delaney was feeling worse after dinner, started to do homework, and took medicine, but we sent him to bed.

At least I got him to send out his Eagle project plan to the district. Moving forward slowly.

I was right. She woke at 6 with her alarm and sent a text to me. I went back to sleep and then was struggling to get up at 6:45 and went I went to see D, he looked OK, but run down. He said his nose was bothering him and wanted to sleep, so I let him.

A cold is going around. Tia's feeling a bit sick too, but she headed off to work. I'm OK, but worried with everyone else sick that I'm going to try to fight this off.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Sign

Tia had a sign printed last year for the parade and had some kids carry it. After that it languished in our office until about a month ago when her employee hung it on the fence with twine. I didn't think it would last, nor did it look good, so I spent part of the last two weekends working on things.

 I first measured things and then cut some plywood from an old piece. I also cut some trim to go around the edges and laid things out. It looked OK, so I took it apart and spent the last week putting two coats of paint on everything.

Yesterday I finally got it re-assembled and added legs. I spent a couple hours digging holes by the gate and will hopefully get it in the ground tonight.

2015 Book #58 - Warspite

I actually got this one when looking for some new sci fi and realized I couldn't remember what happened in book 3, so I re-read that. When that ended, with the Ark Royal destroyed, I wondered where the series would go.

Warspite is a new ship. Not a huge carrier, but not a stealth ship. A compromise after the bombardment of Earth. The captain is a young man that survived the war and has an untested XO as they head out to explore and ensure that colonies that have dropped out of site are OK.

We have some characters from the first book, notably Percy, son of the hero pilot Kurt. He's a Marine, on board to help. The ship struggles to get going as it escorts a colony ship out, and discovers problems with other colonies after disasters.

It's a slow moving book, not great writing, but one that was fun. It even ends with an interesting twist as renegade Russians have discovered another race of aliens. The ending was enough to hook me and get me to grab book #5.

Sick Girl

:(, Kendall isn't feeling well. She's home from school after being basically knocked down all weekend. She spent the night with a friend Friday and went to the football game, but apparently wasn't feeling well. A cold of some sort. She texted while we were at Delaney's meet and said she was going home to sleep.

We got back and she was OK, but definitely sick.  Sunday she didn't do much until the late afternoon when she and I went to a movie. We saw Ricki and the Flash, which was OK. Good, but predictable. An enjoyable night before Kendall went to sleep.

Monday she stayed in most of the day before she spent an hour outside crushing the family in Boccie ball.

She had a private lesson last night, but it was a slow one. She was working hard, and sweating, even though she moved slow and mostly just worked on technique.

This morning she sounded bad, so we had her stay home. Hopefully she'll feel better soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beaver Creek

Cross country meet in the mountains

Friday, September 4, 2015

Off to Vail

Delaney runs tomorrow morning in Vail, so we're leaving tonight and spending the night in a hotel.

Kendall wanted to go to the football game, her first one, so she's spending the night with a friend and going. Hopefully things will go well, but I suspect the three freshman will keep each other in line.

New Keyboard

My old keyboard died the other day. It was really, really frustrating as I depend on a good keyboard. I managed to switch out for an old one, but then I had this

I ordered a replacement from Amazon right away, but it still took a couple days. I was out most of yesterday, so I wasn't sure it was worth one day shipping.
It arrived just after my run today and it's really, really nice to have a good keyboard again. I'm not sure I should be this happy, but I am.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Swimming Outside

It's been a long week, so I decided to get some different exercise this week. I've run a few times and didn't want to wear out my legs, so I hit the gym today and swam.


I've neglected swimming all summer, and it showed. The pool at the gym is OK, but it gets crowded. However they have a large outdoor area, including a lap section. I went out in the September sun and spent 30 minutes going back and forth. It was tough, and I'm definitely out of swimming shape, but I held my breathing to every third stroke for the entire 1200yds.

Felt good. Not sure I'll get to go again before they close for the winter, but I want to try. Maybe I'll be able to sneak over early Sun morning.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Broken Streak

I've been walking lots the last month, trying to stay in shape, but also trying to heal a nagging calf injury. I had a good streak going with the FitBit, but broke that yesterday.

This was the last month or so, and  as you can see, I've had 12 days of 10,000+ steps. I was planning on getting there yesterday. I had a short walk, and at about 4000 steps in the afternoon, I left to run a bit during Kendall's practice.

Unfortunately, there was a thunderstorm, lightning, and some drizzle. I almost walked onto the track, but decided not to and worked instead. When we got done, and after my long, Cardinal Club meeting, I got home at 8:30 with 5k steps. I hit the treadmill for 30 minutes, 2.5mi, but ended up at 9k steps, but stopped there.

At least I worked a bit.

We'll see if I can stick to this a bit more moving forward.