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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 tinyurl.com/gtmdshtin…

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 Micro.blog 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 Micro.blog. 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.