Phase 2 of floor refinishing is done: Dining room, kitchen, and stairs were done while we vacationed up at the lake cabin. Now we just have to put all the stuff backk into this rooms.

Captain Amy drives to pontoon with first mate Juju

Juju the Frenchie helps drive the boat

The Minnesota River has risen so high - This is at the Old Cedar Avenue bridge in Bloomington.

Water over the Old Cedar Avenue bridge

Phase 1 of wood floor refinishing is done. Now we wait for 1 more day before we can move furniture back. Then it’s time to move more furniture in preparation for phase 2 next week.

Refinished living room floor

I don’t normally work outside on the balcony, but when the house stinks of polyurethane…

I can’t speak to the specifics of the DMA, but the very nature of regulation that leaves anything open to interpretation is risky for a regulated entity. As a developer of regulated software, I would be flummoxed with a request (a) make sure I comply with the law, (b) account for the fact that the law leaves sone things open to interpretation, © I am expected to use my understanding of the law’s intent when interpreting the law, and (d) if I fail to correctly account for the intent of the law, then I will be heavily fined.

This weekend included a 9 mile training hike with a relative humidity near 95%. Definitely a sticky one.

Farewell Paxlovid, my Covid-fighting companion. While I hope we never meet again, I am comforted by knowing I can call on you again if needed.

Today I attended an interesting panel discussion about AI in healthcare settings, with a particular focus on the patient perspective.

Clinicians have grown used to patients who have self-diagnosed after a few Google searches. A large percentage of those diagnoses can be safely dismissed. After all, even the best search engine results are rarely a match for the training and experience of a good medical professional.

But what happens as AI increases the quality of patient research and self diagnosis? There is still significant value in medical expertise, but AI-savvy patients and their advocates can now do things like scan all available research and summarize in language that is understandable to a lay person. They can ask LLMs to suggest possible diagnoses for hard-to-diagnose conditions that general practitioners might miss.

Medical professionals are going to have to adapt to patients that may be more well-informed about conditions and treatment options than ever before.

McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota is such a great venue for small conferences. But I forget how sunny it gets in here. Should have brought my sunglasses.

The 2024 HL7 FHIR Dev Days conference starts tomorrow. It’s a really valuable event for those working in Healthcare tech. It alternates between the US and Amsterdam, and when in the US it moves around to different cities. Thankful that they chose Minneapolis for 2024 - No need to travel anywhere!

Made a quick visit to Minneopa falls during a break in the softball tournament action. Beautiful.

Minneopa Falls in Mankato MN

It was a happy ending to a tough week for my wife and the non-profit she founded. Great customer service is alive and well and companies like Nocs Provisions. If you are in the market for quality binoculars or monoculars, give Nocs a look. They are good people.

This past weekend’s training hike was a muddy mess at Richardson Nature Center, but we got through it.

Feeling a little nostalgic after watching “The Warriors” on Amazon Prime. “Warriors, cone out and play-ay” 🍿

Inaugural game of E’s final season playing softball was a bust due to rain-soaked fields. Sigh… Hopefully tomorrow’s weather will cooperate a bit more.

Congratulations to the PWHL Minnesota hockey team for claiming the inaugural Walter Cup last night. Women’s sports are thriving in Minnesota, and it makes me love my adopted home state a little bit more.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Minneapolis - Got out for a 5 mile training hike with a few other Ultimate Hikers. Lebanon Hills is such a gem for Twin Cities folks to get out in nature.

5 mile hike route at Lebanon Hills in Eagan, MNSome of the Ultimate Hike gang out on the trailBeautiful swans on Jensen Lake

I’ve spent the better part of the last 2 work weeks experimenting with Azure’s OpenAI services. Trying to figure out how well GenAI can understand clinical notes from a doctor and extract structured data. So far the results are … meh.

So close and yet so far away.

My first hill training of the season is in the books: Walking up and down one of the hills at Hyland Hills ski area. It’s relatively small as ski hills go, but it really works the climbing muscles and challenges the cardio. Started today with 2 laps - need to get to at least 10 by August.

Attending “MJ the Musical” in Minneapolis this week has rekindled my interest in Michael Jackson’s music. What a musical and entertainment genius he was.

My first group training hike of the season, preparing for my 5th consecutive Ultimate Hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. At Whitetail Woods Regional Park in Farmington, MN

SHT Ultimate Hikers first training hike

I’ve lived in Minnesota for nearly 30 years, and despite many attempts to see the Aurora Borealis I had never seen them. Until tonight. I drove up to our cabin to improve my odds. Turns out they were visible from home in Minneapolis, but the view over the lake was spectacular.

Aurora Borealis over lake near Brainerd, MN

If you are an NFL Draft fan, this time of year is very exciting. I like to keep track of the players who I hope get picked. That’s tough this year: I’m hoping for one of the top OTs and 3 of the top five this year are Fuaga, Fautanu, and Fashanu. Those names are way too similar for me! 🏈

My new (to me) desk sure looks spiffy. It’s been in my father-in-law’s office for decades and there was no room for it when we moved them into assisted living. I feel a little guilty for taking it but they are just happy it’s staying in the family.

Beautiful solid wood desk inherited from the in-laws

I finally watched the full second season of Foundation on Apple TV+ - I had been underwhelmed by season 1 and season 2 was no better.

As a big fan of Asimov’s original trilogy, I remain disappointed. I don’t mind that they changed the story, but this feels like a completely different story. 📺

We took a road trip to go see Book of Mormon at the Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Beautiful Theater.

Found this box while cleaning out Amy’s parents house - They’ve been using it to store cleaning supplies, likely since the 80s.

Old Apple box from a IIc monitor stand

Back side of the yew - Where the house eaves rain down and the freeze, and where thw sunlight doesn’t reach in to melt.

Ice formations hang off the shady side of a yew bush

Nothing like awaking to an awful smell coming from our basement laundry room, and eventually coming to the realization that a chipmunk had crawled into the exterior dryer vent, fallen down the shaft, and died in the back of our dryer. Ick.

It’s been a crazy week for Steelers fans. Bringing in not 1 but 2 high profile QB’s? Trading away last year’s QB and #1 receiver? This is not the way we are used to things working.

I had an interesting conversation with my 16-year-old kid about the potential banning of TikTok. She pointed out that her generation isn’t naive about the propaganda and manipulation that could come from Chinese influence over the platform. The problem for her and those she knows is that the propaganda and manipulation from American companies seems \just as bad, if not worse.

Our house got egged last night - ick…

Any recommendations for how to get egg stains off of stucco would be greatly appreciated.

Going through my in-laws old tech gear now that they’ve moved into an assisted living facility. I’ve now got a functional but slow iMac from 2012. Any ideas what it might be useful for?

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear Donald Trump’s claims of immunity, despite the fact that most legal experts seem to agree that his claims are dubious at best.

The Roberts court will go down in history as the point where the Supreme Court lost all credibility. Today’s news accelerates our legal system’s descent into madness.

I am really struggling to understand how pro-choice absolutists can turn around and say they support IVF treatment. It seems that the Alabama Supreme Court’s comments about IVF are perfectly consistent with the belief that life begins at conception, and that all human life has God-given rights that need to be protected.

Is there any reasonable explanation for the apparent inconsistency between pro-choice and pro-IVF positions, other than the obvious desire for pro-choice politicians to avoid the unpopular position of being against IVF?

I’m not looking for the typical left-vs-right talking points either for or against abortion. I get enough of that from everywhere else. I am, however, looking for a rationale explanation of how one might align these seemingly incompatible beliefs.

No matter how low my expectations are for dealing with Comcast Xfinity customer support, they never fail to fall short. They seem to find new ways to treat customers with hostility every year. I guess that is how they choose to innovate.

COVID has once again made its appearance in our house. No fun. On the plus side, we’ve gotten really good at isolating one or another of us within the house.

Kid #2 passed her driving test today, so the wife and I are officially out of the chauffeuring business. As much as I have enjoyed the dad life for these past years and as much as I will continue to enjoy it for years to come, I will not miss the job of driving kids and their friends everywhere.

I wonder if all of these dudes who complain about seeing Taylor Swift at NFL games are equally offended every time the TV shows Jack Nicholson or other celebs at a Laker game.

TV broadcasts like to show celebrities in the audience. Always have, always will. Get over it.

Love the way the frost looks on the white pines at our cabin near Brainerd, MN

Multiple clusters of frost-covered white pine needles, next to a red cabin in wintry Minnesota

Very proud of my wife, who now officially runs a nonprofit organization called MYBirdClub. She’s always had a passion for bird-watching, and when our kids were younger she started a bird club at their school. She’s been taking kids out ever since, and now she can grow the organization bigger

The Netflix series “Queer Eye” is one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not a fan of some aspects, and it can sometimes be downright problematic. But its focus on the importance of self-care hits home for me. I need that reminder to take better care of myself from time to time.

I just went into an Xfinity store to return cable equipment for my elderly in-laws, who recently canceled their cable after moving.

I don’t like to stereotype, but I will: That place was filled with “tech bro” employees and it reeked of strong colognes. Very testosterone-ey. Kind of gross.

I just watched the movie CODA on Apple TV+, probably for the 5th or 6th time. It never fails to make me tear up - in a good way. All the feels, every time. 🍿

Watching the Chiefs vs. Bills game right now, and I’m reminded how much I prefer games that actually exhibit some defense. This back and forth scoring with neither team able to stop the other is so boring to me. 🏈

I’m glad to see Ron DeSantis end his campaign for the presidency. I’ve always seen DeSantis as being a more competent version of Donald Trump. They both are cruel and dishonest bullies. But DeSantis actually knows how to use the machinery of government to effectively implement his vision.

I’ve spent the last couple of years not making significant progress on a software application hobby project. The main reason for delays has been my lack of skills/experience on front-end development. I wonder if it is time to use AI tools that will generate a UI that I can modify as needed.

It’s that time of time of the year where my interest in NFL football is over. Still a few weeks left for some fans, but the teams I pay attention to have all been eliminated.

Now entering the “what will I do with all the time suddenly freed up” phase. That will only last a couple of weeks, but it’s always a strange feeling while it lasts.

We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we got more than 110 to join the Steelers Fans of Minnesota in Saint Paul for today’s playoff game. Time to start thinking about next season. 🏈

Glad we finally got a competitive game last night between Detroit and LA. It’s so much more interesting to watch when the result hasn’t been essentially decided by half time🏈

So far the NFL can’t be happy with the product on the field for “Super Wildcard Weekend”. Two games that weren’t particularly competitive, and one postponement so far. Hopefully tomorrow’s games will be a little more compelling to watch. 🏈

After postponing the Steelers/Bills game until Monday due to weather, there is talk of possible further delays. If it comes down to it, the NFL should move the game beforee delaying again: You can’t ask the team who eventually wins to play next week’s game on such short turnaround. 🏈

NFL playoffs are here today. Time to get all my other chores done do I can sit and watch multiple games this weekend. 🏈

Struggling with a Vizio TV that has a missing remote. It can be controlled via iPhone app, but I need to get it on the WiFi first. Unfortunately the 4 physical buttons provide no way to get to setup menu, and hooking up a USB keyboard didn’t work.

What better way to watch a Steelers win than with my kiddo - and gnomes! 🏈

Today we move my wife’s parents out of their home for more than 50 years, into assisted living. The new apartment is lovely, and I’m sure they will be happy there once they settle in. But today will be hard for them and the family.

Happy new year to all. Wishing everyone peace and prosperity in 2024

A little pre-New Year’s Eve fun with Steelers Fans of Minnesota at Patrick McGovern’s. Got the wife, both kiddos, and 2 nieces to join me. 🏈

View from the rooftop, made possible by our new third-floor deck. I love being surrounded by the century-old oak trees.

Someone needs to invent smoke/CO alarms that only make non-emergency chirps during daytime. If my living room CO detector needed to inform me that it was at end off life, surely that could have waited until morning?

It’s not often that I root for the Jets - Growing up around a lot of Jets obnoxious fans in NJ gave me a bad taste for the team. But I’ll root for them tonight to beat up on the Browns! J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! 🏈

Me and more than 50 of my friends from Steelers Fans of Minnesota invaded Tailgate Sports Cafe for today’s game.

One of my daughter’s college friends had to swing by our house to pick something up. This friend has lived her entire life in rural Minnesota, and was raised to believe that the city is scary and dangerous. We live in the city.

This girl was so afraid that she brought a friend and made her walk from the car up to our front door, even in broad daylight. She was too scared to leave her car.

I get that city life isn’t for everyone, but the level of irrational fear of cities astounds me.

A little masking can’t ruin date night: Dinner at Murray’s followed by a night at the theater.

My wife’s 90-year-old father just tested positive for COVID. Let’s hope his updated boosters help keep this to a mild case.

Interested to see what happens when Trump’s Colorado ballot access goes to the Supreme Court. My understanding is that Supremes are unlikely to override the basic finding of fact - that Trump is guilty of participating in an insurrection. But it’s less clear if that disqualifies him from the ballot.

6 AM is way too early for a PT appointment. I will never understand “morning people”

Out to dinner at Red Cow with whole fam now that E is back home from her first semester of college.

Am I the only one who has to look up their own contact information on a regular basis? Online forms that require a work phone and/or work address - information that I rarely use - are such a pet peeve of mine.

I woke up this morning with unexplained knee pain that wasn’t there when I went to bed. I’ve heard of sleep walking, but is it possible I’ve begun done kind of sleep dancing to trigger this new pain?

Getting ready to sign up for my 5th Ultimate Hike and I’m torn on which one. I could stick with my usual August event on the Superior Hiking Trail, or I could try the September event near Jackson Hole. Decisions, decisions…

It’s hard to get up and be productive when this guy parks himself on your lap.

Even 20+ years after I discovered them, I continue to be amazed by Steger mukluks. Hours out in snow and subzero weather, and my feet still feel like I’m walking around in cozy warm slippers.

There is something immensely satisfying about working up a sweat while the temps are below 5 degrees F (-25 with windchill) outside.

Sad news for NFL fans, and for Steeler fans in particular. Franco was known for making the most iconic play in NFL history, but he was so much more than “The Immaculate Reception”

RIP Franco Harris

Headed to a family Christmas gathering that had been going on for over 100 years annually until COVID shut it down for 2 years. A lot of people are still being cautious and staying away, and we might be the only ones attending that aren’t part of the anti-vax wing of the family.

My first thought this morning was “Oh my, how beautiful.” My next thought was “Oh my, how heavy this is going to be to clean up.”

Amy and I watched “Bullet Train” last night and it was delightful. Lots of grotesque comic book violence, so avoid if that’s not your thing. But it was incredibly funny, and the story was very well written.

I think the woman in front of me in line at the BK just ordered like 6 whoppers, each with different combinations of options. This could take a while.

Just finished watching The Peripheral - I liked it but think I need to rewatch to really understand all the bits I didn’t catch the first time through.

Our youngest Steeler fan at today’s Steeler Fans of Minnesota gathering in Saint Paul

As much as I dislike Ted Cruz as a senator, my heart goes out to him and his family as they care for their teenage daughter through difficult times. We can all put politics aside when the health of innocent loved ones are at risk.

Glad that Warnock won in Georgia, but terrified that there were enough Walker supporters to make it close. The number of people willing to vote for such a grossly unqualified candidate astounds me.

Went into the office today for what has become a monthly in-person team meeting. And while I value the face-to-face connection, I am so glad to work for a group that remains primarily remote. Personal connection is important, and sometimes business-critical. But not always.

Tree is up and lights are on. Decorations will have to wait until tonight or tomorrow.

The traditional meet-up with Santa as we pick out our Christmas tree. It was delayed by a week due to flu in the house, but better late than never.

With the Republican Party splintering on who to support as Speaker of the House, I would love to see Liz Cheney floated as a candidate. She’d probably get votes from a lot of Republicans and most of the Democrats.

The holiday yard decorations look so much nicer with a fresh blanket of snow.

The US healthcare insurance system is a joke. Getting a COVID booster at a clinic associated with my primary care doctor is considered in-network preventative care. But add a flu shot during the same visit, and that makes it an out of network office visit. Makes sense, right?

Day 8 and I appear to be finally free of influenza. As much as I enjoy laying around watching TV all day, I’m glad to be done with this one.

One benefit of being down with the flu is catching up on TV shows I had fallen behind on. Just binged House of the Dragon

When my youngest child was 11, they had a pretty bad case of pneumonia. We gave them a stuffed unicorn to cheer them up.

Years later, it has been named “the magical unicorn of healing.” It is handed off to any family member who is sick.


Grrr. My cold has lingered for weeks, slowly getting better. Now that we’ve got a holiday week upon us, it has gotten worse. Fever, aces, and possibly flu.

Bad timing sucks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating it.

The face I see when I am sitting on the couch where JuJu wants to be, followed by his satisfaction when I give him that spot.

The wild turkeys are out, wandering the streets of South Minneapolis and showing no fear of the cars wanting to drive past.

I’ve seen more than a few Elon Musk apologists pointing out that Twitter seems to be working just fine, so obviously the firings were justified. These people have no idea what it takes to maintain a reliable service at scale. Wait a few months before passing judgement.

Best place on a day when it’s 17 F outside? How about a dog bed right by the radiator?

JuJu has no interest in a dog walk when it’s below freezing outside. Curling up in the sun is much more enjoyable on days like today.

Last week: One child and one dog diagnosed with ear infections. This week: Other child diagnosed with Influenza A and other dog diagnosed with anaplasma. I have no more children and no more dogs, so let’s hope next week has no more diagnoses

A lot of people in shitty jobs are now thinking “It could be worse… I could work for Elon Musk”

Sad that my daughter’s college search process now needs to assess whether each college is in a state that will protect her rights to bodily autonomy. Those rights used to be guaranteed but are no longer.

Spotify announced that they will post content warning labels for any podcast episode discussing COVID-19. What they don’t say is that they would distinguish between content that lies about COVID vs those that are factual.

Not good enough, Spotify.

I’ve accepted a new job working at Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital. So happy to be going someplace whose values are better aligned with mine.

Lonely pontoon, after it’s dock was put away for the winter

Chilly mornings are perfect for warm blankets and puppy cuddles

Just went through my first job interviews in about 10 years. I used to be so much better at interviewing but I am definitely out of practice.

Minnesota friends: Interested in taking a long walk for a good cause? Consider joining the 11th Annual Ultimate Hike in 2021. Hike 25.5 miles in 1 day. Raise money for CureSearch to end childhood cancer. Register for info session at…

Our newest family member: An 8-week-old French Bulldog. Name has not yet been settled.

Republicans Will Get What They Deserve

At some point in the future — perhaps as soon as next January — the Democrats will control the presidency and both houses of Congress. When that time comes, it seems likely that the Democrats will use their power to remake government in a way that is structurally advantageous to the Democratic Party. Whether by ending the filibuster, granting statehood to Washington DC and Puerto Rico, or stacking the Supreme Court, the Democrats will do things that Republicans feel are unfair. Democrats will bend the rules, they will ignore historical norms, and they will demonstrate extreme partisanship in everything they do. The Democrats will use every tool at their disposal to destroy whatever structural advantages Republicans have given themselves over the past 12 years.

And Republicans will deserve every bit of it.

The filibuster was commonly used until the Democratic-led Senate invoked the “nuclear option” in 2013 to limit its use against judicial nominees, excluding the Supreme Court. The Republican-led Senate further weakened the filibuster in 2017 by disallowing it for Supreme Court nominations. The next logical step in this progression is to eliminate the filibuster altogether. A Democrat-controlled Senate is likely to take that step if necessary to prevent a Republican minority from holding up key Democratic priorities. The Democrats will claim that the filibuster is anti-democratic, which is true. Republicans will complain that abolishing the filibuster is politically motivated, which will also be true. In the end, Republicans will lose significant legislative ground through the Democratic party’s use of ethically-questionable tactics.

And Republicans will deserve every bit of ground they lose.

Both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have held referendums where overwhelming majorities of residents — all of them US citizens — have expressed support for statehood. With control of both houses of Congress as well as the presidency, Democrats will have the power to admit both as new states. The two new states would be granted four new Senate seats, as well as House of Representative seats proportional to their populations. These seats would likely be controlled by Democrats, significantly decreasing the Republican party’s influence for years to come. The Democrats will claim that denying statehood to these citizens is unfair and a violation of their rights to congressional representation, which is true. Republicans will complain that admitting two new states is a political act that unfairly stacks the deck against future Republican legislative priorities, which may also be true. In the end, Republicans will lose legislative power for a generation or more.

And Republicans will deserve every bit of power they lose.

It is very likely that Republicans will ram through Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court before Democrats have a way to stop them. Republicans may think that a 6-3 conservative majority for years to come will provide them with opportunities to create sweeping new judicial precedents that align with conservative ideology. But Democrats can, and probably will, prevent this future by legislatively expanding the Supreme Court with any number of new seats on the bench, all of which would be filled with far-left ideologues. This move would be blatantly partisan, it would diminish the credibility of the court in the minds of the American people, and it could lead to future Republican countermoves that further de-legitimize the judicial branch of government. But Republicans will be blamed for the inevitable destruction of judicial legitimacy.

And Republicans will deserve every bit of the blame they receive.

Republicans deserve to lose legislative tools like the filibuster because they were unable to use this tool responsibly when they were the minority party in the Senate under President Obama. Instead of using the filibuster as an occasional check against far-left overreach, they used it routinely to prevent any Obama appointees from getting approved or even getting a vote.

Republicans deserve to lose legislative power because they were unwilling to live with the structural anti-democratic advantages that the Senate already gives them: They had to push for even greater advantage. They fought for policies that suppress voter turnout among under-represented communities, because they know that increased voter turnout hurts Republicans. They resisted every effort to address gerrymandering, because they know that it helps Republicans far more often than it helps Democrats. And worst of all, they systematically destroyed confidence in our elections by making blatantly false mail-in voter fraud claims during a pandemic, when we should be encouraging more people to vote by mail rather than fewer.

Republicans deserve the blame for de-legitimizing the courts because they conjured a new precedent out of thin air to deny Merrick Garland a vote when he was nominated by President Obama. The rage this created among Democrats and many independents was absolutely predictable and absolutely appropriate. Then Republicans fanned the flames of that rage by backtracking on their new precedent just four years later to push through a vote on President Trump’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Republicans have blatantly lied and cheated the system to steal a Supreme Court seat. They have sacrificed any claim to the moral high ground if and when the Democrats try to steal one or more seats in return.

Republicans will deserve everything the Democrats do to them as retribution for the past 12 years. When that happens, I fully expect Republicans to play the victim card, and to accuse the Democrats of foul play. Their complaints will fall on deaf ears, and they will only have themselves to blame.

They will only be getting what they deserve.

Thank you, NFL Players

People who booed last night during a moment of silent unity, and the people nationwide who support those who were booing, need to look in the mirror at what they have become.

Your complaints have never been about respecting the flag. Your complaints have never been about the national anthem or supporting the troops. Your complaints have never been about anything worth defending.

Your complaints have been because you don’t like the fact that these young men are raising uncomfortable truths. You want to be entertained, and you don’t like it when your entertainers express their not-so-entertaining opinions.

You are of course entitled to your opinions. If you are so turned off by NFL players taking a stand. please turn off the TV and walk away. The league will be temporarily hurt by the loss of TV revenue, but that pain will pass as a newer, more socially-aware generation becomes fans.

Bravo, NFL teams and players for everything you are doing now to keep raising awareness. I will enthusiastically watch more games, spend more money on your products, and pass on my love of the game to my daughters so that the next generation of fans is bigger, and better, than the current one.

Black Lives Matter - If you can’t get behind that sentiment, then the NFL is better without you as a fan.

I completed my first Ultimate Hike event for CureSearch this weekend. It was such a fabulous experience, raising money for a good cause (pediatric cancer research). I strongly recommend joining a future event if you can.

T takes in the Cascade River trail, near Lake Superior in MN

Gooseberry Falls - Always a family favorite when we’re up on the North Shore

Heading up to the North Shore of Lake Superior tomorrow. It’s a magical place.

In 5 days I will be departing at 4:15 AM on a 25.5 mile hike along Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail. I hope my knees survive through the day.

Kellyanne Conway - coiner of the “alternative facts” white house defense - is leaving the administration. Hard to tell if that is a sign of continued implosion of this administration, or if it is something less consequential.

Sad to learn that the cute little chipmunk that had fallen into our clothes dryer vent got stranded there and died. We had dropped a rope down, hoping it would be able to climb out and escape, but our olfactory systems informed us this morning that it hadn’t.

This girl got her driving permit today: It was a little nerve-wracking being in the car with her, especially as she navigated her first roundabout. But she made it through without hitting anything, and I guess you’ve got to start somewhere.

Hiked 18 miles (29 km) yesterday, working my way up to 25.5 miles (41 km) at the CureSearch Ultimate Hike on the Superior Hiking Trail August 29.

Looking forward to the big day, but dang my feet and knees are not happy with all of this work.

Struggling a bit here on mb to find the kinds of posts/discussion I am really looking for in social media. Facebook and Twitter have their flaws, to be sure. But at least I know how to find discussions of relevant topics - mostly those topics categorized as “political”

Glad that Biden picked Kamala Harris. As much as I would love to see a more progressive choice, I do believe that this ticket provides the best chances of defeating Trump. And that is what really matters the most.

If Ilhan Omar loses the Democratic primary in Minnesota’s 5th tomorrow, be prepared for months or more of Trump gloating and taking credit for her loss. I like much of what Melton-Meaux (Omar’s opponent) has to say, but not sure I can handle the Trump revelry if Omar goes down.

My penultimate long-distance training hike in preparation for the “Ultimate Hike” weekend later this month. Next week is an 18 mile training hike, then a couple down weeks to recuperate before doing 25.5 miles on Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail.

If Trump wants to ban TikTok in the US unless it can be sold to an American company, does that it means it is OK for other governments to demand the same for US companies trying to do business abroad?

I have to say that I am getting a little tired of the critiques of Ilhan Omar here in Minnesota’s fifth district that focus on her “celebrity” as a bad thing that should be held against her.

I disagree with Omar on many things. And I agree that she has made some mistakes that she needs to learn from. She needs to improve at her job, as most of us do.

But let’s be clear on one thing: She is a celebrity for one and only reason. Donald Trump chose to make her a celebrity by singling her out with his blatant racism and his anti-Muslim bigotry. Were it not for Trump, Omar would still be one of the most liberal members of Congress, but she would not be a celebrity.

To my friends who are supporting Antone in the primary: I hear what you are saying, and I sympathize with the ideals of a more pragmatic representative who is less likely to make news on a regular basis. If you truly believe Antone will do a better job than Omar has done, then I completely respect your decision.

But please, please, please - STOP using Omar’s position as one of Trump’s most well-known punching bags as an excuse to go a different direction. Her celebrity status will end when we have a less bigoted president.

Omar can be fairly criticized for many things, but her celebrity status should not be one of them.

Voted by mail for the first time today. I don’t typically vote in primaries, but this year has been anything but typical.

🏈 If the NFL does have games this year then there is going to be a huge increase in demand for live streaming. I wonder if DirectTV will remain the exclusive provider or if they will make more options available due to COVID-19.

Back to after more than a year away. Hopefully I’m back to stay this time…

I only got up for a few minutes, but it was plenty of time for this little devil to steal my spot on the couch.

Taking in a show at The Orpheum in Minneapolis. This was great family fun for any Twin Cities folks looking for a good laugh.

Just happened to throw on a Star Wars t-shirt today, without realizing it was May the 4th…

Nothing like an unexpected $2000 bill for my wife’s allergy treatments to remind me of how screwed up the US healthcare system is.

This red-winged blackbird has been looking at his own reflection all day. I think I will name him Narcissus. F2E75F6D-0629-4558-BDFE-A7ED05367CB4.jpg

No matter how many times I “thumbs down” his songs, Pandora seems to never learn that I don’t like ANY Neil Young.

Today I had a co-worker tell me “I think in PowerPoint”. I don’t think I’d be telling people if I was burdened with such an affliction.

Record cold snap is hitting much of the US. I wonder how long it will take before Trump cites it as proof that climate change is a hoax.

Finally got to try out the battery-powered snowblower I got for Christmas. So nice to come in after clearing the driveway not stinking of oil and gas.

25 people sitting in a room for 2 days of product planning meetings. At least 10 of those people really like to hear themselves talk. I strongly suspect that we will be officially behind schedule within the hour.

I’d be more sympathetic to critiques of Democrats in the government funding debate if Senate leadership would allow votes on the bills presented by House leadership. McConnell is too afraid of his base to be a real leader.

Ugh… So sick of the Patriots making it to (at least) the AFC championship game every flippin’ year.

This girl is making over her room, and doing the IKEA furniture assembly herself. The Vittsjö shelves are coming along nicely. F84BF35C-0C77-4261-870B-37BA28D6195F.jpg

Looks like Bitsy has been snacking on puzzle pieces. Apparently the red ones are the tastiest. 88E83C28-E960-4702-8F9C-AC15F7BAD67E.jpg

I’ve been watching Pine Gap on Netflix, and finding it a bit weird because I spent some time working in that facility back in the 90s. Brings back a lot of memories from my time lurking around in Alice Springs.

I grew up in an area of New Jersey where you could find a Dunkin Donuts at almost any corner. I was very excited when they opened one near me in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, this is not the DD I was looking for. Nostalgia denied…

As I try to reduce my use of Facebook, I am struck by how addicted I’ve become to the notifications I get when something I post is liked. I like that m.b. doesn’t feed my addiction, but I feel a bit like a smoker having a nicotine craving.

Our next-door neighbor passed away sometime in the past few days. He lived alone and wasn’t found until a police check-in after a relative reported their concern. We didn’t know him too well, but I am always saddened when someone is alone through their final hours.

I’m thinking that 2019 is the year to kick my Facebook habit. Not sure how successful I will be, but it’s worth a try.

If you are more concerned about the (roughly) 5% of sexual assault accusations that turn out to be false, than about the (roughly) 65% of sexual assault victims who never report, then you are part of the problem.

I think it is time to seriously consider putting term limits and/or age limits on US Supreme Court judges.

New rule: Americans who supported the Republican refusal to give Merrick Garland a hearing until after the 2016 election are not allowed to criticize Democratic efforts to delay a vote on Brett Kavanuagh until after the 2018 election.

Just found out that our boiler needs to be replaced if we expect heat this winter. That is going to cost a pretty penny ☹️

Ready for that elusive first victory of the season: Go Steelers! 🏈

The fly in my house tormenting me for the last couple of days is finally dead. Maybe now I can relax a bit.

The amount of rainfall in Minneapolis today has been impressive. Lots of localized flooding, so I’m glad that I live at the top of a hill.

Can’t believe my Steelers only managed to tie the lowly Cleveland Browns. Not a good start to my NFL season. 🏈

I’ve lived in Minnesota for 20+ years and somehow never made it to Fort Snelling State Park. Today was the perfect day for a hike there.

Unfortunately, this cute little bat might have bitten my daughter. Glad we caught him so he can be tested for rabies, but sad for the sacrifice he’ll have to make for that testing. D0709D77-2059-4BB7-B715-D5C6E80013FC.jpg

Hamilton has arrived in Minneapolis. The big night has finally arrived! The smallest child is particularly excited.

Nothing like visiting a customer site for a software installation because they insist you be there rather than doing it remotely, only to sit around while they try to figure out their own VM infrastructure.

Very proud of my wife Amy: One of her bird watching programs for kids just got covered in Birder’s Guide Magazine. Her program starts at the bottom of page 7 for anyone who is interested.

With all the high-tech gadgetry my kids are accustomed to, it was entertaining to watch Ellery being flummoxed by the magic of copy paper. Filling out a form on paper, and then getting the yellow copy to keep for herself blew her mind.

I am delighted that former Trump associates are being held accountable for their illegal actions. But I am saddened by my suspicions that these convictions will have zero impact on the voters who support the despicable human being they elected.

I’ve been playing around with GraphQL for an API design. It seems to have a lot of nice advantages over traditional REST, but I’m really frustrated by some of its limitations. Mutating APIs are particularly frustrating.

So with breaking news that Paul Manafort is guilty on 8 counts, and Michael Cohen is turning himself in as part of a criminal plea deal, Fox News finds it more newsworthy that the suspect in the Molly Tibbetts murder is an illegal alien.

Just discovered a major security flaw in our software, right as we’re trying to get a release out. Not fun.

It’s just pre-season but I’m ready to watch some football. Go Steelers! 371DB7EF-CFCE-4C45-9F7C-77164812C3D8.jpg

Re-watched Avengers: Infinity War with the family last night. We had to pause every 15 minutes or so to discuss/debate the back story for each infinity stone. It is all so confusing!

After a short walk in the Minneapolis heat, Boomer chooses a resting spot where his face is right on the air conditioning vent. I think I need to do the same!

Tonight is the first Steelers pre-season game. In other words, this marks the beginning of a 20+ week period where I become an obsessed fan with a one-track mind.

Ready for our 17 hour drive to upstate NY. Wish us luck!

For the last year I’ve been driving a car that starts without removing the key from my pocket. I just ran errands with my wife’s car and actually had to find the keys to unlock, and wow was that annoying! How did I live that way for so long?

Watched “The Bleeding Edge” on Netflix last night. It was very critical of the medical device industry, which I happen to work for. It is unfortunately biased and doesn’t tell the whole story. However, it does raise some valid concerns. It’s worth a watch.

Just watched “The Bleeding Edge” on Netflix. It’s a pretty harsh takedown of the medical device industry that I work in. There’s definitely an unfair negative bias in their perspective but there is a lot of truth as well. It’s worth a watch.

Just completed my first escape room with my daughter and 4 of her friends. The 13-year-olds solved a lot more of it than I did, but I did make at least one contribution to our success.

Getting whipped at Pinochle, sitting at the Mall of America while the birthday girl and her friends ride the rides.

When I was younger I always loved The Kinks song “Art Lover”. Just listened to it for the first tine in many years, and holy crap is it creepy.

Yesterday my car’s dashboard messaging system told me that it needed to run the gas engine for a few minutes for maintenance, all due to lack of use. It’s a nice reminder of all the gas I haven’t been using since getting my Volt.

Just upgraded my daughter from an iPhone SE to an iPhone 8 for her 13th birthday. I may come to regret this.

This is how Boomer likes to spend his Saturday afternoons

Feeling very angry right now: One of our company’s VPs is circulating a “how dumb were you to use Nginx in our product” email. His only reason for concern seems to be that it was originally created by Russians, and therefore it is a security risk.

The product I am currently working on uses Nginx as its web server and reverse proxy. I’m hearing vague rumblings that one of our large customers is raising security concerns about that. Has anyone heard of serious security concerns with Nginx that I have somehow missed?

To any of you in the Twin Cities who appreciate good authentic Mexican food: My friend Lorenzo has just opened his third Catrina‘s Mexican Restaurant in the area, this one in St. Paul. Stop in and give it a try!

Last night I watched the extended cut version of “Stripes” on Amazon Prime. I can say with confidence that all the extra scenes were best left on the cutting room floor.

I think Thea wants to be a lumberjack when she grows up

Ready for fireworks on the fourth: Brainerd, MN

Big storm overnight took down 2 trees, plus our power lines

Heading out of town for a week of vacation. A perfect time to achieve Inbox Zero at work.

My recent despair over the future of the United States, paired with the strong urge to try living somewhere else, has me wondering: What is keeping me where I am, other than the discomfort that comes from change. Having my kids live near their grandparents while they are still alive is one factor, but I’m not sure how important that is in the grand scheme of things.

My 2017 Chevy Volt - aka “Lord Volt-e-mort” - reached 10,000 miles today. I hope the next 10k will be as enjoyable as the first 10k have been.

Seeking Server-side Swift Advice

I am considering a new hobby development project. It is likely to be primarily server-side code - an API with some kind of persistent storage, a web app that interacts with the API to get data, etc.

I’d like to do the server-side code in Swift if possible, probably using a web framework like Vapor or something similar if anything similar exists. Any advice or experiences you’d care to share about my options?

I’ve done lots of REST APIs so I am pretty competent in that area, but I am considering the idea of a GraphQL interface rather than traditional REST calls. Please chime in if you have any experience, positive or negative, on that front.

I’m also looking for ideas about the persistent storage layer. I’ve got loads of experience with RDBS-based persistence so I could certainly use SQLite or PostgreSQL. I’ve also done some ElasticSearch work but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea for a Swift-based project. Are there other persistence solutions that you developers out there recommend I consider? Any specific NoSQL technologies that you’ve had some success with?

No right or wrong answers here - just looking for ideas and feedback before I get too attached to any one approach.

I went to my daughter’s dance recital a couple of days ago. There were dozens of girls ranging in age from about 4 through 17. There were also 4 or 5 boys performing. I found the difference in costumes between boys and girls to be telling: In general, the girls wore heavy makeup and tight form-fitting costumes. The boys wore little to no makeup and loose-fitting long pants and shirts.

My 10-year-old daughter made me a mother board cake for father’s day. I’m a lucky dad.

Just binge watched “The Staircase” : It really shows how flawed the US justice system can be sometimes. Powerful stuff.

Installing OmniFocus 3 has inspired me to get all my “to do“ things in order again. I was well organized until about a year ago, but somehow I lapsed into chaos. Here’s hoping I can get organized and stay that way this tine.

Just walked the 2.5 mikes from my hotel to the office I’m visiting on Waterloo, Ontario. Such a lovely walkable town, and so much better than sitting in the car on a beautiful sunny day.

Am I the only one who can’t fly into YYZ without breaking into a little air guitar riff?

Long lines at MSP airport security checkpoints this morning. Fun!

And just like that, 5 months of beard growth is gone.

My youngest never liked the beard, so she jumped at the chance to shave it off for me.

A mustache-trimming mishap today means the end of my beard growing experiment.

Just finished my second weekend of softball tournament parenting in 3 weeks. All told I’ve watched my daughter play in 9 games, all losses. Tough to see them go through the constant losing, but glad to see them getting better all the time.

Forgot my AirPods at home today so I’m using my backup Apple ear buds. I’ve gotten the wire caught up 4 times in the past 2 hours. How did I manage to live with this annoyance for so long before AirPods came along?

I think all puppies are cute, but bullmastiff puppies are probably the cutest.

Last night I used an iPhone app called SpotHero to find parking in St. Paul. It’s one of those apps that I rarely need, but when I do I am so thankful it exists. This app does one thing extremely well, and is a pleasure to use. I highly recommend it.

After watching Cantare at the Ordway tonight, I am reminded that America is at its best when it honors and embraces other cultures rather than vilifying those cultures and trying to keep them away.

Tonight I saw hundreds of kids with different ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds on stage together. Those kids were all enjoying their part in a show that celebrates the music and culture of Mexico. I suspect that not one of those kids was worried that honoring Mexican culture would diminish the value of their own culture in some way.

Tonight I saw hundreds of kids singing songs in Spanish without any fear of being told that “We speak English in this country.” These kids seem to innately understand that we can respect those who speak another language, and don’t need to lash out at others who either can’t or don’t speak English at all times.

This kind of thing is truly “Making America Great Again”. It is the polar opposite of what Trump and his supporters mean when they say MAGA.

At The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota for the VocalEssence ¡Cantare! 10th Anniversary Community Concert. My 5th-grader’s class will be making their Ordway debut during this show.

Freddy the Guinea Pig meets Sergeant Pepper the Foster Bunny

This little fella was sitting in the pond by our office parking lot. Muskrats are so adorable.

It’s been over 30 years since I graduated high school. In those 30 years I’ve sometimes regretted choosing the school that I did. Not that it was a bad school, but I feel like I would have been more social and made lasting friendships had I chosen the alternate school I was considering at the time.

This regret has now gotten more serious: The school I could (should) have gone to was Delbarton in Morristown, NJ. I would have graduated in 1987. That means I would have been in the same graduating class as one Peter Hayden Dinklage. Peter f’ing Dinklage!

Maybe that would have given me a reason to go to more of my class reunions.

So a remote co-worker who I only interact with occasionally is in the office this week. Before this office visit began, we were informed that this co-worker has begun the process of gender transition (male to female). And while I’ve always been 100% supportive of trans rights from afar, this is the first in-person encounter for me that I am aware of.

Since I only work with her occasionally, there is very little chance that I would happen to run into her this week unless I make an effort to find her. I’m trying to decide if I should go out of my way to see her and express my support in some way, or if I should avoid making a big deal out of it and do/say nothing.

I am sure that there is no right answer here, and that every trans person has different preferences. But I am curious about what people here think.

I was awakened 30 minutes before my alarm this morning by a ruckus somewhere in the house. Turns out that Sergeant Pepper, the bunny we are fostering, decided it was time to rearrange his furniture. Bad bunny!

And so the annual process begins anew: School administrators send out reminders about dress codes now that warmer weather is here. Large numbers of parents get upset at the gender inequality of those dress codes and take to PTA meetings (and to Facebook) to complain. People who express any form of disagreement with those parents are accused of gender shaming, and are forced to crawl back under the rocks from whence they came. In the end a lot of people get angry, a lot of kids get confused, but nothing changes. Rinse and repeat…

So Trump is complaining about the White House correspondents dinner being an embarrassment to the country, and referring to Michelle Wolf as a “filthy” comedian? This is coming from the guy who said “Grab ‘em by the pussy”, right?

Just watched the new Netflix documentary “Bobby Kennedy for President” and found it fascinating. I’ve always had an interest in American history but I know so little about this particular chapter. I have a lot to learn.

A lovely (but chilly) evening at Target Field. Go Twins!

I’ve been catching up on my podcasts and just listened to Core Intuition Episode 321. @danielpunkass and @manton had interesting points about Apple’s place in education, but I find myself wondering: Does Google’s dominance in that market really matter to Apple? I’m not sure that it does (or that it should).

I am thinking about finally publishing an occasional long-form post hosted on I don’t have a WordPress blog or anything like it. What tool(s) do people recommend for creating long-form posts? Do I need to invest in MarsEdit or something else?

The B.O.S.S. team is ready for the 2018 Destination Imagination Minnesota state tournament.

Destination Imagination, Minnesota state tournament day

NFL schedule is out: I guess it’s tine to start making plans to see my Steelers play somewhere.

Why is it that policy disconnects between Trump and his administration members are routinely clarified or walked back, yet when it happens with Nikki Haley the explanation is “she got confused” ? Sexism is alive and well in this administration.

I just came back from 2 weeks in Hawaii, hoping that I had missed the last of the Minneapolis snow. I guess I should have stayed a few more days: The 2 days of blizzard conditions have started!

Black-crowned night heron, Kealia Coastal Boardwalk, Maui

A fabulous day swimming with dolphins and snorkeling around a coral reef. Our last day on the Big Island with these wonderful friends. Next, we move on to Maui.

Normally I advise my children to avoid strange men in back alleys wielding machetes. But this guy in Kona was using said machete to carve up this supply of fresh coconut milk.

For those of you who always wondered how many children can fit in the back of a Jeep Patriot: Four. The answer is four.

Enjoying a sunset stroll with good friends who are also vacationing in Hawaii.

My diminutive 10-year-old got sick while hiking the Kīlauea Iki crater trail today. I am split between the sadness of seeing my daughter puking every 20 minutes, and the amusement at the irony that Kīlauea Iki translates to “little spewer”

Overlooking the Kīlauea Iki trail at Volcanos National Park.

Had a fabulous time touring the Kanaloa octopus farm today. These animals are so fascinating. If you happen to visit the Kona, HI area I highly recommend it!

2+ weeks of vacation starts now. I wish I had gotten more done at work before leaving, but won’t lose any sleep over that.

Ellery, Avery, and Elly are all smiles as they prepare for their History Day competition performance. They didn’t make it to the state finals but we are so proud of how hard these girls worked to get this far.

My daughter got a prescription from the doctor that turned out to cost $200. After asking about alternatives, we were told that a $9 generic would be just as good. What a screwed up country we Americans live in.

Yesterday morning I woke up my daughter my having Alexa (loudly) play “Baba O’Riley” by The Who. Last night I heard her telling a friend about it, saying “He played some really old song from the 90s”.

I bought a new Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle last May. Part of the justification for buying new instead of used was the $7500 tax credit for new electric vehicles. Our new accountant managed to miss that detail when preparing our return. I’m really glad I caught his mistake!

For those of you working on large-scale server software development projects that manage data workflows, take a look at the Apache NiFi project. I’ve been really impressed with its power, flexibility, and extensibility.

At this time next week I will be on a plane headed for Hawaii. I’m very excited, but holy crap do I have a lot to do before I leave.

Just 1 last work week before my 2-week vacation: I have a sneaking suspicion that my co-workers will suddenly need help from me before I leave. It is going to be a busy week.

Bitsy and Boomer sure do love to lounge in front of the fireplace

Are there any other developers out there who are eager to do more iOS development, but who absolutely hate using XCode? I hear lots of seasoned Mac/iOS developers sing the praises of XCode, but personally I find it to be so much worse than other IDEs I have used.

Getting ready for a math coaching session with 4 10-year-old girls. Love seeing young girls get excited about math.

I’m fed up with adults who criticize students that choose to march in support of gun policy changes. We “adults” in America have failed to lead on this issue. We need to get the hell out of the way, and allow our children to do what we have failed to do.

I am constantly hearing from critics of too much “screen time” for children. I’m all for limiting my kids’ time spent on YouTube and other forms of media consumption, but want to encourage use of screen time for creative endeavors. Am I wrong for making this distinction?

Bold prediction: No matter what happens in today’s special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Trump will tout the results as proof of how popular he is.

As a new micro blogger (of any kind), I could use a primer covering the do’s and don’ts. I’d appreciate links to any recommended resources.

I have no preference between daylight savings time and standard time. I just wish we would pick one and stick with it. So tired of this “spring forward, fall back” crap.