#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…

I need to be at work earlier this week than normal. We’re giving training on Docker and Kubernetes, and the first class session starts at 8. The classroom needs to be open earlier than that, and I want to be in and settled before the first student arrives.

That’s meant that I’ve set up a whole system of wakeup alarms, between my phone and my alarm clock.   The phone has multiple staggered times, and the clock has another one.  That’s to handle the challenge of sleeping through or turning off an alarm and remaining in bed.  But that means that once I’m up and moving, there can be multiple alarms that still go off. Did I mention that my husband _doesn’t_ need to get up earlier this week?

I’m now thinking through my optimum user interface to let me say, I’m up, keep the rest of the alarms from going off.  Is it: no more alarms at all today?  Is it: no more alarms within the next two hours?  Is it: show me a table of the alarms yet to go off this morning and let me turn them all off in one quick move?  Is it: here are my wakeup alarms – turn them all off, yet leave reminder alarms for later in the day?

Oh, and I’m hunting for the source code for the existing Alarm clock app and widget.  The app has an option to let me see its open-source licenses (Apache, MIT).  That bodes good things for getting to try something out..  I’ve only done minimal Android development before, just enough to make a UI to control a Furby.  I like the idea of solving a personal concern and getting to play in geekery.  Now we’ll see if liking the idea actually translates into hours spent sometime.

Passwords seem to me to mostly be a muscle memory thing.  I’m reminded of this every time I’m at a keypad with a different layout, or whenever I have to enter in a password into my phone or iPad.  My head knows the phrase that generated the password.  But my hands know which elements are numbers, which are capitalized, and whether there are any punctuation symbols in the mix.  They only know it, though, when they’re on a QWERTY keyboard.  Working through a touch screen interface just doesn’t cut it.  Half the time, to enter a password on a mobile device, I first have to turn to a computer, log out of whatever it is I’m seeking a password for, and then log in and see where my fingers “talked”.  In light of this, I’ve completely switched over to fingerprint and pin codes on my phone for getting into the device itself, but that doesn’t help me a whit when it comes to accessing other sites.

And in other news, I’ve now got a Samsung S8, hence my futzing with passwords this evening.  Discovery: the S8 uses a nano SIM, whereas the S5 used a larger form factor.  Ergo, a trip to the TMobile store or a session on the phone with TMobile is in my near future to resolve a phone number conversion onto the new SIM card.

“Hi, Raju. Thanks for thinking of me – these are exactly the sort of technical skills I’m using now. However, I have NO interest in commuting to McLean. The DC Beltway is a life-sucking endeavor. Good luck in your recruiting efforts!”

The above was my response to a recruiter who was looking for someone with microservices, Docker, and Kubernetes experience.  I fit all of that.  But he specified a job in McLean, VA.  For those of you who don’t live in the DC area, to get to McLean, VA, I’d have to go around the DC Beltway.  And, per my note back to poor Raju, “the DC Beltway is a life-sucking endeavor”.  The image that comes to mind is from The Princess Bride, where our hero Wesley is strapped into a machine that’s supposed to suck the life-force right out of him.  (For anyone not familiar with the scene, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbgyppGqBgg.)

For the record for any recruiter that may catch wind of this post, the Baltimore Beltway is only slighter better.  I’m not interested in traveling either of them, just as a matter of quality of life.  And yes, I’ve tried Metro and MARC.  No, your commuter benefits package to pay for those don’t interest me.  I’ll keep my career path nicely tucked away between the two circles of traffic hell, thank you very much.  But good luck in your recruiting!