I heard from my brother today. It’s rare and typically unpleasant when I hear from him. Today’s messages: “I see that you are a messenger contact with my boys. Leave them be. They have enough bad influence from their mother. No response necessary or appreciated.”

I am Facebook friends with one of his sons. I think I friended him a few years ago, mostly to let him know that even though his family life was falling apart (mom took the boys, dad has a host of issues), that his dad’s family wasn’t abandoning him, too. I don’t think we’ve ever chatted, and he’s not a prolific Facebook poster. So, the whole leave him be thing is pretty well covered. Per the bad influence thing, I’m mostly amused by my brother’s perception of me as a bad influence. Annoyed to be compared to his ex-wife, but amused at the irony of the comparison.

After stewing and thinking to myself ‘How dare he?’, I realized I didn’t need to respond. Not just because he said ‘no response necessary’, but because I don’t need to care about his opinion. And that realization is a gift. I thought about blocking him on Facebook. And then thought that it was a better gift to both him and me to turn the other cheek. His insults don’t hurt: they’re immaterial. Responding to him would cause him and me to spend energy. I can think of much more positive ways to do so.

Merry Christmas, brother. You’ve given me a gift: the ability to turn the other cheek to you and other a**hole folks. May your Christmas be filled with positivity, with people you find inspiring, with ideas you find aspirational. I’m apparently not that for you, and neither are you that for me, but I hope you find it this holiday season.

Our oldest starts driver’s education tomorrow. In our state, you can get your learner’s permit at 15 and 9 months, assuming you pass a written exam. Possession of that permit gives you the opportunity to be behind the wheel, assuming that an adult is in the car with you supervising your driving. Wowser. This is a big thing. It’s not yet the ‘toss her the keys’ thing, but it’s a big thing none-the-less.

Our oldest is also making dinner tomorrow. This is part of a project for an advanced program she’s a part of. Don’t worry – this interest in covering the dinner shift is only for a week. As she’s a vegetarian, it also means that her family gets to experience vegetarianism for a week. We’ll survive, and I guess a cow and a few chickens might, too. Her duties include planning the menu, shopping for the supplies, and prepping the meals. They don’t, apparently, include cleaning up the kitchen if tonight’s taste of the project provides any guide. They do include making a dessert, so there’s that benefit.

It’s odd having teens in the house. Our oldest is near 16, our middle is 14, and our youngest is 11. He’s not technically a teen, but has done his level best to try to get every privilege afforded his older siblings. My hubby and I don’t think of ourselves as old enough to have kids this old, but evidence indicates otherwise.

I’m really enjoying this show called ‘The Good Place’, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, as well as a cast of other characters whose actors I hadn’t seen before, but who _really_ make this show.

Catch the trolley episode in season 2 if you’ve ever had to suffer through a philosophy course. That’s all I’ll say.  Oh, and “I hear windchimes!”

#MeToo.  It’s a meme going ’round of folks (ladies mostly, I assume) indicating whether they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. The idea is that by raising visibility on how many women this affects, it’ll spark a discussion that may lead to change.  I’m a fan of change for the better, of believing that things can and should be made better.  But I’m not a fan of just stopping at a tag.

I have two daughters and a son who I need to teach how to live in this world.  I believe strongly in

– treating folks as people, rather than genders.  It doesn’t matter whether someone is one gender or another or is non-binary or presents as the opposite of their birth binary.  We are people, with gifts, talents, and flaws.  Categorizing someone as some [thing], where [thing] is based on gender (or race or …) discounts the breadth of creativity in our Maker.  “Nope, I can’t give that one strength or confidence or … because I gave them a gender ‘foo'” strikes me as well beyond the pale.

– developing and recognizing folks’ talents, gifts, and interests.  Like sports?  Do sports.  Like art?  Do art.  Show an aptitude for nurturing and caregiving?  Use it.  Oh, you’re male / female / trans / non-binary…?  Doesn’t change any of the above.

– NOT assuming that the rest of the world works this way.   Learn to speak up for yourself.  Learn to defend yourself physically, if required.  Make it clear that you have these skills and more and aren’t afraid to use them.

– setting up situations where you gain power, not give it away.  Many of the situations where folks are harassed / assaulted / you name it involve instances where folks feel like they don’t have a choice but to go along or need to keep quiet to avoid suffering the fallout of being impacted by someone more powerful.  (Try to) always have an out, and make it clear you can and will take it.  Save money in the bank to quit the job without another one lined up.  Build a strong reputation to help provide more than one career path option other than the one that involves the Weinstein-like creepster.

– sympathizing, empathizing, and fighting for the rights of #metoos.  Life isn’t fair, becoming a #metoo isn’t fair, and having more folks in #metoo’s corner at least helps avoid some of the additional pain and sting of feeling isolated or blamed.

None of the above are guarantees to avoid being a #metoo.  Some of the above are easier to implement than others, and/or may be more challenging to implement in various life situations.  Until folks aren’t attracted by sex and power, though (meaning, likely not ever in my future until there’s a full wipeaway of all sin), I’ll equip my kids and myself with as much armor and defensive weaponry as I can.

Oh, and yes, #metoo.  Harassed, yes.  Assaulted – thankfully, unsuccessful attempt.  Now scheduled to take a women’s self-defense class in early November with my oldest daughter to help add to her armor.

I’m working on a tech talk for my company on Kubernetes. I use Kubernetes on a customer system every day. I wrote and delivered a half day training class on it, help customers understand how to use it and then help them work through any hiccups they run into in deploying their own systems to it.

So, you’d think I’d be in good shape for a 45 minute tech talk which gives an overview and shows a little bit of stuff running.  If I were just talking, I’d be fine: I can talk about why k8s, where it came from, key concepts and benefits in it, how to deploy and monitor things within it, how to figure out what’s wrong with your system running on it… What I hadn’t had to do was deploy my own Kubernetes installation: there are a few to work with in our customer environment, which each have their own quirks.  If a particular quirk is getting in my way, I jump to a different cluster assuming there’s no other constraint preventing me from doing so.  That helps me and my team keep abreast of things our clients will run into, and we share that guidance with them.

Last night I started to set up my company laptop, the one I’ll use for the presentation next week, to have a single node Kubernetes implementation via minikube. I’d looked through the tutorials, everything seemed straightforward. Very straightforward: either install it via curl or via a brew cask install.  Minikube downloaded, I started my cluster, and pointed kubectl at that cluster. Very neat and tidy.  But I spent a few hours last night trying to figure out why it would neither finalize my deployments (and thus give me running pods) nor let me delete an existing deployment. Nor why the minikube dashboard wasn’t available. The dashboard used to be, when I’d done a fabric8 installation that itself bundled a minikube… When I tore that down to install from scratch to give tested instructions for the tutorial, though, the dashboard stopped working. (I’ll take a guess that it’s because the pod used to satisfy the service that provides the dashboard endpoints isn’t deploying – seems logical given other evidence.)

Tonight I’ll spin up a Google Container Engine small cluster to let me have an alternate path for my talk, rather than continue to beat my head. That’ll also let me demonstrate multi-node interactions and seeing pods jump from one node to another. Critical path is the talk, not the talk running off an environment on my laptop.  But having a hard time taking my brain away from debugging why minikube isn’t working.  When I figure it out (after the tech talk’s written), I’ll come back and see if I can leave a tracer here for some other stuck soul.

I’m in a beach house in North Carolina, relaxing on the computer with some homework after a busy day at the beach and boardwalk. There are 10 of us in a massive beach house that’s only a few hundred feet from a beach that’s private to the community. It’s my 3 kids and hubby, his parents, his brother and wife and niece. We’ve just been chilling here since Tuesday, enjoying the beach, the house pool, the whirlpool, and an amazing amount of space and comfort.

Growing up, vacations were at best an over the weekend camping trip with my mom and grandpa. Dad would usually stay home to take care of the pooches. We didn’t go out of state, much less do the out of the country thing we plan for our vacation next year. I don’t have many memories of those vacations, though am hoping for grander ones in my kids’ brains from this one and the other ones we’ve taken. These opportunities to hang out as a family, particularly with the larger family, are things I love to give them, and memories I love to make for myself.

We’re here courtesy of the generosity of my employer. She owns this house and allows employees to have a week’s stay for the cost of the house cleaning and a fee for pool cleaning/electricity/water, etc. All a heck of lot less expensive than renting something down here in the summer. My hubby and I have at various points thought about purchasing a vacation home to let us do a similar thing, albeit with less employee motivation motives. We’ve assumed that if we bought a vacation home, it’d have a significant usage for friends, family, church members, etc… On our walk yesterday, we talked about it a bit more. I’m not sure we’d ever get more than two weeks, max, of use on a vacation property. And the idea of tying ourselves down to another property beyond our primary home doesn’t make sense to us. So, we’ll have to let the vacation home idea pass by and enjoy the largesse of my employer. And/or, work with the vacation resorts of the world to craft our vacation. Send us your deals! We’ll have to find ways to extend hospitality and generosity through means other than loaning out our vacation home. The Coleman’s have vacation memories to make!

“It really seems like everyone is turning 25 this summer.” So said a former youth group teen of mine on the occasion of her birthday. My first reaction was “I wish!”. I turn 43 later this week, and 25 is a full adult-sized gap behind me. But then I rethought that.

At 25, I had been married a year, but we didn’t yet have kids. We had just bought a house, and saw the long tail of debt that that involved. At 43, we’re still in that house, but the mortgage no longer seems so large nor so long – by shortly after 46, it’ll in fact be paid. And it doesn’t hurt that the salary of the 43 year old me beats tail the salary of the 25 year old me.

At 25, I wanted to run a marathon. In my 30s, I did it. And then did it again. And ran some half marathons in there, as well.

At 25, I think I had given up playing rugby. I’d played in college and played after college, but just couldn’t make it all fit in schedule wise. In my late 30s, I took up rugby again (oldest player on the team by far) and went to the national championships twice. I hung up my cleats for good just shy of my 40th birthday, and now I’m amused at the players on my previous team who retire in their late 20s because they feel “too old” to keep playing. (For the record, the recent Olympics had rugby, and one of my former teammates played in it. I think she was the second oldest player on the team, which put her in her 30s when she went to Rio.)

At 25, I wanted a motorcycle. For my 41st birthday, I took the motorcycle safety class, and then crashed the bike on the course, failing the test. Later that week I screwed up my courage and went and retook the test, got my license, and a few weeks later, bought my motorcycle.

In my twenties, I quit my software development career and contemplated potential careers as a financial planner, a decorative furniture painter, a children’s clown, or a full-time volunteer. I returned to software development fairly quickly, but just a year ago, began clowning for fun after the encouragement I received at a Christian retreat.

So, I’m not turning 25 this summer. I’m having a heck of a lot more fun than that!

Realized my last post was almost two months ago! It’s been a bit of a busy period.

Clementine shared balloons and fun with kids at a community festival, marched in a parade, and served as a entertainment on the midway. Oh, and got herself a new pair of polka dotted oversize Converse sneakers!

I bought, built, and directed the decorations for vacation bible school, led games for vacation bible school, and went with a group of youth (including both of my daughters) on a week long mission trip. I even got to use one of my clown magic tricks for the VBS kids… that was my excuse to buy the requisite parts, so good to use it at least once or twice.

In between, I’ve also been working my way through a Coursera multi-class specialization on strategic leadership, and gotten to help bring a few candidates into our company. A bit more learning on Kubernetes, Gitlab, and ELK as part of the day job, too.

Oh, and we got a kitten! Strategy suggests I should keep up with my daily allergy pills. Miso (kitten’s name) is cute, but he makes ‘me so’ sneezy

Clementine the Clown makes her professional debut at a local community fair this upcoming Saturday.  She’s been a long time evolving.  As a kid, I remember being a clown for a younger sibling’s birthday party.  As a young twenty-something, I was a clown for a church event.  I think I’ve always wanted to have a comic alter ego to let me express the silly side that perhaps hides a bit in day-to-day life.  That, and that opportunity to help someone find their smile?  Amazing.  There’s so much muck in the world…  any chance I get to spread a bit of positive-ness is my own little jab at sin and evil.

At one point, I quit software development and strongly considered being a children’s clown as my living.  Reality struck quickly: I had left software because it was consuming all of my time, including time I’d rather have been spending with my hubby (we had no kids at the time).  Children’s clowning would likely consume the weekends and evenings..  the very hours my hubby would be off of work.  I’ve since realized that school and library gigs might have been a way to make a path, but that’s come with further exploration into the clowning world.

About a year ago, I was at a Christian retreat with a group of total strangers, and confessed a dream I had to build a clown troupe as a ministry offering of our church.  Focus a group of folks on bringing joy and laughter into the world and go to places that need more joy and laughter: hospitals, nursing homes, church preschools, church itself, just about everywhere!  My retreat partners encouraged me, and I sought out a local clown alley as soon as I made it home.  That alley has helped connect me with a local clowning community and given me chances to perform in parades and other events, as well as learn at a regional clowning convention.

So Saturday, Clementine with her shoes of number 9, well below my actual shoe size as a person, much less a clown…  well, she’ll be engaging the kids in our community at the local fair.  A bit of tomfoolery and a bit of balloon twisting for the day.  I’ve set up a Facebook page to highlight her shenanigans, as well as her own email address.  We’ll see if Clementine can flap her wings / clown shoes a bit and fly.  With a bit of luck and a whole lot of practice and determination, Clementine might get to come out and play more often.

A friend just posted her ‘movie list’ results on Facebook – how many of some 150+ movies she’d seen. She commented that the quiz oughta be: ‘how many of these movies have you seen more than once’. Wow, I’d score really badly. I’m not a movie person. I like to go see the occasional movie, but I have no problem at all letting them pass by. And once they’ve passed by, no amount of shaming ‘you haven’t seen? You gotta see!!’ will make it change.

My hubby (to be at the time) kept a list of movies that he thought I oughta see. The guys at work keep mentioning movies that I’ve gotta see. Hey, they’re available on Netflix or Amazon or … just sit down and watch it. It’s a classic.

A movie’s 1-2 hours or more. Even if I sit there with my laptop or iPad and multi-task, that’s still a few hours on my rear. I work a desk job. I don’t need more hours on my rear. If I’m going to spend multiple hours on my rear, it’ll be listening to a great live concert. Or reading a great book. Or writing a blog post or two with a beer in my hand…