Back and Forward Again

Sure, sure. Every year I do this little ritual of looking back over the past year to reflect on what was good, bad, interesting, boring, useful, or somewhat less than useful. After that I look forward to pick out a few things to focus on for the coming year. It’s not the most exciting ritual, but it’s mentally necessary.

Looking Back – 2014

2014 was generally a good year. Let’s take a look.

  • I kept the same good job for the full year, making two years straight at the same company. As volatile as the job market has been, I’m happy with this.
  • I finished up teaching at FRCC. I’ve been teaching there for about 8 years I think – Game Design, 3D Animation, Photoshop, Capstone. I’ve had great students and learned a ton, but it’s time to get back to doing some things. Time is never our friend, is it. I’ll still be on the advisement board and help out when I can with mentoring my replacements, but I won’t be actively teaching for a while.
  • Reading more was important to me this year and I was able to read more for recreation than I have in the past. Not a ton, and a lot of sci-fi and cyber books. I left out the software manuals and blog series. They don’t really have interesting titles. I also left out the real paper and binding books that I’ve read and that don’t show up in my Kindle app. I tend to give them away and forget I’ve read them.
    • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (In progress, good but slow.)
    • Relativity: Special and General Theory (In progress, good but denser)
    • Post Human Series Books 1-4
    • Enders Game
    • Speaker for the Dead
    • Xenocide
    • The Sirens of Titan
    • Dune
    • Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware…
    • Freedom
    • Mona Lisa Overdrive
    • How the Scots Invented the Modern World
    • Ready Player One
    • Sword of Fire and Sea
    • Rocket Surgery Made Easy
    • The War of the Worlds
    • The Time Machine
    • The Information: A History, Theory, Flood
    • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    • Sherlock Holmes: Complete Collection
    • Neuromancer
  • Not as many movies this year, even though LilF is getting older and interested in more movies. I’ve missed a ton that I’d love to see, but here are a few I’ve seen, some with LilF, some with the beautiful Aimee:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Big Hero Six
    • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    • Captain America: Winter Soldier
    • Xmen: Days of future past
    • Lego Movie
    • The Nut Job
    • Horns
    • Pompeii
    • Rio 2
    • Maleficent
    • Video Games: The Movie
    • BoxTrolls
  • We were able to go to ComiCon in Denver this year which was a blast!
  • Watching the World Cup this year was amazing.
  • I was able to travel some this year, but again, not nearly as much as I’d like. Aimee had a ton of trips this year, but me not as much.
    • Company retreat to Berekley, CA
    • Family weekend to Seattle, WA
    • Conference in DC
    • Los Angeles
    • Snow Mountain Ranch
    • Dreamforce in San Francisco, CA
  • Concerts – There have been a bunch of great shows and festivals this year including Tellerpalooza, UMS, Westword Music, Higher Ground, FoCoMX, Bohemian Nights, and Riot Fest. I haven’t kept track of all of them this year, tho. Check on for photos of the ones that I’ve been to as well as the ones Aimee as been able to shoot.
  • What else, what else… There’s been a lot going on here at home and around our family, but it’s tough to keep it all in mind for the full year. Which brings us too…

Looking Ahead – 2015

I’m looking forward to 2015. It should be a good year. A lot of the craziness of the last few years with health and work has seemed to stabilize, so we are ready to mix things up again this year! There’s a razor’s edge between comfort and terror that is fun to glide.

Some random goals in no particular order:

  • Help LilF and Aimee find the direction and people they want to be. They are both in amazing times of change and growth. I’m here for them.
  • Figure out  how to cook more, both by making time and learning how to cook things. It really shouldn’t be that difficult. LilF wants to cook more too, so I can rely on him for encouragement too.
  • Take advantage of work flexibility. Travel more, see more, do more. Not expensive stuff, but just see and experience more. The world is out there, and cries out to be revealed.
  • Keep getting more and more input from more places. Reading, movies, music, lectures, events, podcasts. I always need more input.
  • Output – Create and build. Tired of having so many ideas that grow fungus. Fanplan, BandBeef, Pick the Weather, Live Streaming, Unity games, my music.
  • Support local music more this year. I didn’t get out to see nearly as many gigs as I wanted. We have a great scene in Denver that is well worth getting out for. I also want to do more to help the SpokesBuzz crew and other such entities. I don’t have to start from scratch for everything, do I? Most things, but not everything. 🙂
  • Be physical. Skateboard, bike, run, ski, wrestle, box, something, anything. I’m getting rounder by the second.
  • Drink good whiskey. Drink less, learn more. Denver Whiskey Club FTW.

And one of the most important things I need to do is make sure the people I care about know about it. Family, friends, bar buddies, concert crew, and more. All you wonderful people are the ones that I learn from and grow with. I look forward to another year with you all!

table press test

Red Devil Magic2014-06-26 20:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernnone21+
Sid Pink (Emcee)2014-06-26 20:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernsid_pink21+
the Kinky Fingers2014-06-26 20:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Vanish2014-06-26 20:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_djvanish21+
The Patti Fiasco2014-06-26 20:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonepattifiasco21+
Go Star2014-06-26 20:00:00GOZOnonenone21+
Andy Sydow2014-06-26 20:00:00HornethornetdenvernoneAll
PrettyMouth2014-06-26 20:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_prettymouthcdAll
Dead Pay Rent2014-06-26 20:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
Carmelita's Lovers2014-06-26 20:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Andy Thomas' Dust Heart2014-06-26 20:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
DJ Dave Wilkinson2014-06-26 20:00:00Sputniknonenone21+
The Wales2014-06-26 20:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divenone21+
Residual Kid2014-06-26 21:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernresidualkid21+
kitty crimes2014-06-26 21:00:00Blue IcenoneKittyCrimes21+
The Matildas2014-06-26 21:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Keepers2014-06-26 21:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
Saturn Cowboys2014-06-26 21:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
CC/NN2014-06-26 21:00:00GOZOnoneccnnmusic21+
Tyler Lee Holter2014-06-26 21:00:00HornethornetdenverthejekyllsAll
The Jekylls2014-06-26 21:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_noneAll
Calders Revolvers2014-06-26 21:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
LSD Bags2014-06-26 21:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Mega Gem2014-06-26 21:00:00Skylark Loungenonemegagemdenver21+
Speedy Ortiz2014-06-26 21:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divenone21+
Joy Subtraction2014-06-26 22:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernjoy_subtraction21+
ssssnake2014-06-26 22:00:00Blue Icenonessssnake_inc21+
Blood Boilers2014-06-26 22:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Uncle Buck2014-06-26 22:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
The Ghost of Joseph Buck2014-06-26 22:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
StaG2014-06-26 22:00:00GOZOnoneheyitsstag21+
Andy Palmer2014-06-26 22:00:00HornethornetdenverandypalmermusicAll
The Shilohs2014-06-26 22:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_shilohsbandAll
Colfax Speed Queen2014-06-26 22:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
Lionized2014-06-26 22:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Phox2014-06-26 22:00:00Skylark Loungenonephoxband21+
Varlet2014-06-26 22:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divewearevarlet21+
Mountain and the Hound2014-06-26 23:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernnone21+
BLKHRTS2014-06-26 23:00:00Blue IcenoneBLKHRTS21+
Bud Bronson & The Good Timers2014-06-26 23:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
option42014-06-26 23:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
Grant Sabin2014-06-26 23:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
PRISMWAVES2014-06-26 23:00:00GOZOnonenone21+
Vikesh Kapoor2014-06-26 23:00:00HornethornetdenvernoneAll
Bonnie and the Beard2014-06-26 23:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_bonnieandbeardAll
MF RUCKUS2014-06-26 23:00:00Irish Rovernonemfruckustheband21+
Aspen Hourglass2014-06-26 23:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Blake Brown & American Dust Choir2014-06-26 23:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
megan burtt (? listed on Sat)2014-06-26 23:00:00Skylark Loungenonemeganburtt21+
South of France2014-06-26 23:00:00The Hi-Divehi_dives_o_f_music21+
Native Daughters2014-06-27 0:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernNativeDaughters21+
Fat Tony2014-06-27 0:00:00Blue Icenonefattonyrap21+
Warhawk2014-06-27 0:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
ROGUE VOGUE2014-06-27 0:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_roguevoguemusic21+
help is on the way2014-06-27 0:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
Mombi2014-06-27 0:00:00GOZOnonemombi_music21+
Sam Lee2014-06-27 0:00:00HornethornetdenverSamLeeRockAll
The Denver City Saltlicks2014-06-27 0:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_noneAll
The West Water Outlaws2014-06-27 1:00:00Irish Rovernonewestwateroutlaw21+
Green River Vibe2014-06-27 1:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvergreenrivervibeAll
eye and the arrow2014-06-27 1:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
the Centennial2014-06-27 1:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divethe_centennial21+

New Year for the Frogs

It’s the end and beginning of yet another year, and not to seem non creative, but it’s time yet again to reflect and plan on appropriate sides of this annual stick in the ground.
First, for the reflecting. This year has been a definite upswing over the last few.
Family healthy
LilF changing from elementary to middle school
New job
Teaching new classes

Now how about some of the ol’ look forward, eh? What do I want to be able to put here next year?
More family focus time – recovering for the last few years took some extra time and effort away from us
Game project – I’ve planned for it for a while, and know what it should be, I just need to do it. It seems I can find the time to commit to an extra class, but for bad reasons, this one falls out of the priority list.
Pick the Weather – another suffering project that I want to work on
Fix the house – home maintenance needs to be done
Audio streaming – last year I worked on live video streaming for Tellerpalooza and it was fun. But mobile broadband is still crappy. I want to experiment with live audio only at bars this year. I think it could be a great way for people to get a taste of the great live music available.

Blog posts not posting to LinkedIn properly

This has been driving me crazy for a while. I have several blogs that I run and work on to varying degrees. I noticed one day that when I try to share a post through LinkedIn, none of the image and meta data would come in. I would only get the blog name.


When I set them up, one of the first things I do is set up security plugins to keep them clean from the very beginning. I noticed that on a few of my personal blogs that used to work fine aren’t anymore. Very frustrating.

After much deep thought and testing, I narrowed it down to something to do with the Better WordPress Security Plugin, I just couldn’t find out what part of it was causing the problem. This is one of the important plugins that I always install as soon as I start working on a site ever since having to rebuild ones that have been hacked.

Finally, Nathan Brauer figured out what the issue was. One of the banned list rules was blocking any user agent that starts with Link, which is of course LinkedIn. DOH!

Here’s the fix Nathan posted. I’ve done it and so far it is working. I’ll post here if it isn’t the full fix. Keep in mind that if you try to post a link and LinkedIn scrapes the info, it will be at least a week before LinkedIn will scrape it again. Seems you can’t force it any sooner.

Let me know if it works for you.

Ark Update and Official Log: Day 33

Thankfully, the mood on board has lifted a bit. Most have accepted that we can only wait out the storm and then rebuild after. Some are taking it worse than others, but we are pulling together and will get through.

Other developments and updates:

  • The last hold out in the “I would never eat a rat” competition finally did. Angus from Deck 32 is the winner of the pool, and gets an extra serving of rice.
  • Cheese is no longer allowed anywhere below Deck 10.
  • Decks 35 to 42 have seceded from the ark and formed their own country. The security crew have decided to wait them out. There are no bathrooms on decks 35 to 42.
  • Deck 17’s “Kung Pao Luau” was quite successful, although there was some damage from the bonfire. We’ve agreed that future Luau’s will be announced to the crew in advance, and held on the outside decks.
  • We also agreed to only eat spare animals next time, although the mammoth steaks will last quite a while. Predictably, the Future Cannibals of Ameriark Association have disbanded, so that issue was resolved without conflict.
  • The Future Historical Philosophers Union has changed their name again to the Democratic People’s Union of the Future Historical Philosophers and Professors Organization, LLC.
  • We now have 424 rabbits and 693 rodents, and many more of the crew understand why I call all rodents tribbles, and wanted them in individual cages.
  • There have been some arguments about why we needed to bring 2 of each kind of tiger. A compromise was reached to put them closer to the rabbits to ease tensions.
  • Submissions for the “What did it feel like to be dry” essay contest have been robust, but most are grammatically poor at best. Writing classes start next week.
  • The Pessimist Club voted to change their name to Smuge Geniuses Guild and are having their weekly rush party on Monday.
  • There is still no suspect in the Lizarding Events on Deck 9, so investigators are expanding the investigation beyond the Reptile Enthusiast Club’s members.
  • All our stored raisins have re-plumped. We are planning a wine tasting as soon as possible.
  • No one can agree on what a cubit is yet. Meetings will still be held on Tuesdays, but will be moved to the deck 15 cubits above waterline until situation is resolved. See you there. 😉
  • We’ve determined that it takes on average 12 cow-a-bungie drops to break a rope. Additional cow-a-bungie events have been halted until we can ensure the safety of the cows and jockeys.
  • The Ewe Are So Beautiful competition on Deck 47 is taking entries now. Submit the name of your favorite sheep before Friday. It is suggested to submit unsigned nominations.

Generally, things are going ok. There are still complaints and issues, but we are managing to keep things civil. While life on board can be challenging, we all realize that we are in this together, and as illustrated by Mr. Fitzgerald, those who feel otherwise are welcome to find their own accommodations. Related: the recall election for Ark Captain has lost momentum and has been postponed.

Open .XPS file on a Mac?

I swear people do this shit just to be annoying. Let’s have open document types so that we can all communicate, but I have my own open document format that not everybody can read.

The point is, if you need to open a .XPS file on a Mac, use your Gmail account (or someone elses) to make it happen. View it through Gmail, and then you can print/save as a PDF.

Here’ where I found my answer:

You may notice that the answer is from 2006 so several questions come to mind.

  1. Why have I never had this issue before? Honestly I’m not even sure where an .XPS document comes from. Maybe I just don’t deal with “those types” of people enough.
  2. More importantly, why is this still an issue to be had? In 2006 this was something that happened, but that was way back when we were young and stupid! Aren’t we all grown up and have learned how to play nice?

No matter. Google saves me this time. Again. Sometimes I’m less worried about my privacy if I can at least get something done.


Private viewing on LinkedIn

I found this the other day, and based on the number of times I’ve emailed it out this week, it seems not so many people are aware of it.

When you are logged in to LinkedIn and looking at people’s profiles, by default they can see that you have been there. You may have seen it with your profile that the following people have looked at you.

This can be sort of creepy if you think about it, especially if you are just browsing.

You can change this setting if you want.

Change your LinkedIn Viewing privacy.

This is helpful if you are searching through linked in looking for a contact or resource, or many other reasons I’m sure people have. I usually let everyone see what I do because I am comfortable with that. If you are not, change the setting and you’ll be more private.

Customize ShareThis URL and Title

Here’s the problem. I’m putting on a webinar and I wanted to increase the social reach, so on the landing page for the webinar, I used the ShareThis tools to create share buttons. No problem so far.

After people go through the GoToWebinar registration steps, they get redirected to a page that I specify, which I made as a great Thank you page. On this page I provide links to some other resources that are related to the webinar, constantly adding value every step of the way.

Clearly, when someone gets to this Thank You page, they are going to say “WOW! I didn’t do it before, but I really need to share this webinar with my friends.” And of course I want them to be able to do it. This is where things get sticky. When I put the ShareThis code on the page, it shares the Thank You page, not the landing page where people can register. This is no good. I could rewrite the Thank You page so that it makes sense to someone who hasn’t registered yet. Or do some fancy detection to see their referrer and redirect them if not the actual registration page. There’s got to be an easier way.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. ShareThis allows you to pass a series of values to the tool so that you can specify the URL, Title, Image, and description of the page that you WANT them to share. Very cool and helpful, and as a bonus, very easy. A lot easier than the custom redirect based on referrer approach for sure.

Here is a link to all the details directly from ShareThis. GO THERE >>

Hope you find this helpful. Have fun!