Sunday, July 24, 2016


Just keeping my hand in the game here...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I Have Trouble Letting Go, So Now I Say Nothing In Two Places

I will not be shutting this blog (or my original website) down, and I may actually post something here occasionally, but my new website, complete with new blog, can be found here.

I've had the new website for a while now, but it's been more a sandbox for experimenting than anything else, and may not contain much content for a while.

Just saying...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Like, When You Jump Down And Land On The Ground, And Your Legs Flex To Jump Again

Just about the bottom of the year, the solstice only days away -- official winter about to start, and already summer latent in the sky. (It's been freakishly warm lately by the way, but the colder weather has finally arrived, and it feels like Christmas at least, even if it doesn't look like it yet.)

Meanwhile, speaking of triggers being pulled...

Friday was my last work day of 2015, and it was the last day of a hectic, stressful week. There's a decision I/we made about two years ago, and the time we targeted is fast approaching: I'll be giving notice at work, in either the first or the second week of the new year, and my career will be done. This has been in the works for a while, and the target date has long been established; the events of the past year (slow ratcheting-up of the stress levels, increasingly hectic pace, increasing levels of bureaucratic/HR bullshit, and the loss of a bunch of vacation days and holidays, as we get integrated into the company that bought us), and then finally this past week, are not really why I made this decision, but they've certainly done nothing to make me change my mind.

I'm not sure what will come after, but the basic idea is "early retirement." We are now financially independent, if we live simply and sensibly (and maybe even if we don't), and though my original plan was for a career change, maybe some computer/web freelance work, we now are both ready to stop working, at least for a year or two -- until (perish the thought) we grow bored, and tired of "doing nothing."

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Trigger Pulled And Deed Is Done

I left my bike and shoes/helmet/pack/gloves out overnight Sunday, as well as a bunch of clothes I put on the line to dry, expecting yesterday to be sunny... I noticed a cloud on the way home, figured maybe a ride wouldn't be smart, then realized I might not even beat the rain home - almost made it built not quite. Anne had already grabbed my laundry and brought it in, but the bike stuff got a bit damp.

Either way, no ride yesterday, so last night was the night I installed Ubuntu on Anne's old MacBook Pro - it was so old it could no longer get any software upgrades, but the hardware itself still worked fine, and this was something we'd been planning for a while. She'd already backed up all of her files, so I basically overwrote the entire drive, no more Mac and hello Linux.
Looks good, though it will probably take a bunch of tweaks before everything's "just so." If I like what I see I might also upgrade my laptop.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Woo! Holiday Weekend!

Well that was a fun one!

I took off Friday and we had an afternoon pizza party (making our own pizza in the bread oven); Anne invited a bunch of her nieces and other friends with young children, and we had a bedlam-styled blast.

Saturday was the 4th, and unfortunately it rained - as in, it poured - in the morning, so we did not get in the ride we had planned, but we puttered around the house, and later in the afternoon we stopped in at Greg and Judy's BBQ before going up to Jim Thorpe.

We got in our bike ride yesterday morning: just over 32 miles, casual pace. Home, more easy living, then we went over to Steelstacks to watch the World Cup final. Awesome game! Awesome weekend.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

House Guest

We signed up for something called Warm Showers, where touring cyclists can arrange to stay with us overnight, and last night we had our first guest: a young Korean guy named DK Yu, who was passing through on his trip around the world - he'd started in Istanbul, had biked through Eastern Europe, Germany, Denmark and Iceland, and was now working his way to LA and then to Australia. Pretty cool! We had John and Donna over as well, so it was quite a dinner party...

Between his need for bike repairs, and the crazy weather blowing through, he'll be staying again tonight, so maybe we can get more of a chance to talk with him.

Monday, June 29, 2015

High Summer

Morning weigh-in: 196#, 10.5% BF

I had off Friday but took it easy, basically sitting on the porch and finishing Zero History by William Gibson, though we did ride over to Steelstacks to watch the USA-China soccer game (and check out the new elevated walkway through the steel mill), stopping at McShady's for some wings with Scott & Carrie and her friend.

Saturday was rainy so I took it easy some more, doing a bunch of coding and web browsing - we went out that night to see Spy.

Yesterday was a leisurely bike ride: we rode to Sals to watch the MTB race, then over to Emmaus for coffee. Saw Doug & Lori later that evening at Brew Works.

The living, as they say, is easy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Well, That Escalated

Though I can't say it escalated quickly... You might remember those programs I wrote a few weeks ago, to automate some task at work that I didn't really have to do more than once or twice (but it was a good, fun exercise). Well, I added some things to it, namely the ability to print output as an AutoCAD command script, to draw the defining lines and arcs of my tubes, and as an AutoLisp program, to generate a 3D model of the completed set of tubes. (See the picture below, where my program's results were run through AutoCAD: script on the left side, and lisp-based model on the right.) Anyway, that was an evening of coding here, a few hours on the weekend there...

After I got that working, I thought it would be a good idea if I could access the program via web browser, in other words turn my programs into a CGI script -- what I actually did was write a shell script to act as a "wrapper program " for my other programs, and accessed that via CGI. Some more weekend time burned, some learning curve here and there (I also cleaned up the programs themselves, added error checking and made them more robust in general), and my little extra project worked!

It is up and online, and you can check it out here --  though the input might not make sense if you're not familiar with the problem (which I've been deliberately vague about), and the results are not very useful without AutoCAD. But there it is, and I've been playing with it at work, just to watch how quickly it runs -- seconds, instead of half a day to do it "by hand" -- and how quickly the results draw themselves.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Another High Point

Morning weigh-in: 194#, 9.5% BF

Memorial Day Weekend just flew by in a blur: Friday night with friends in Southside, Saturday towpath group ride and long lunch in Easton, family picnic on Sunday (we took advantage of having cleaned the house for the previous weekend's party), then Monday we just sat in the backyard and read, and napped...

Monday, May 18, 2015

We Burned Through That Weekend

We had volunteered to host our friend John's surprise 50th birthday party, which was this last Sunday, so Friday was an enormous amount of yard work, along with a visit from the plumber around noon (which meant getting up early so we could do all of our weekend errands, running around and being back home before the plumber). We got a lot done, all in all, but it was a long whirlwind of a day.

Saturday was the second in the "Earn Your Beer" running race series, the Weyerbacher 5K. Pretty hilly course, and we kept it to just one beer after the race, but the event was a lot of fun and great people watching. I remembered the first race, where I came home after 7 miles and 3 beers and passed out, so that's why so many of our weekend chores were scheduled for Friday. (I actually did nap for a bit, but Anne got in some more gardening...) The afternoon and evening was spent cleaning and preparing the inside of the house.

Sunday was another early start, getting the last preparation done, and people starred coming over to help around 1:00; the party proper starred at 2:00, and John showed up at 2:30, and was properly surprised - or so we thought. He gets up to say thank you, but then adds "this is a surprise, but not the one you think: Donna and I planned this together, because we are getting married today, right now." And they did!

Most awesome surprise party ever.