We have two kittens in real life, as well as a cat. In my dream last night, I was in a house that was I think mine in the dream, but wasn’t my actual house… In the dream, I found a door to a new room, and opened it, and both of our kittens slipped into the room.

Inside the room, I found lots more kittens. They were all the same black and white colors as our two, and all very friendly. They start following me around getting attention, and I realize I can’t now pick out our original kittens. I find another door that leads into another part of the house, and open it up, and the kittens follow me out. Somewhere about this time, I realize two things. One is that the kitten room didn’t smell like a litter box, which struck me as odd. The second more terrifying thought is that these kittens have had some food source other than cat chow, since I didn’t know they were in the house. Suddenly I’m not so excited about being followed around.

I woke up from my dream to a kitten pawing at me, and now one of the little buggers is purring in my lap in the kitchen, occasionally gnawing on my fingers…

Last month was my one year anniversary with ClearEdge. I had the opportunity to drive our company Tesla for one day… and I passed it by because I was crazy-busy working on a proposal.

Sweet Tesla ride!

My chance came around earlier this month again, and I passed it by.. this time, I’d managed to lose my wallet and license while driving my motorcycle. Since I didn’t have a license to present for insurance purposes, I had to let my chance slide by.

This week, though – well, this week I had my license AND a new promotion to a director-level position. I didn’t let it pass me by. That Tesla and I drove to all the happening places: church for VBS, the Chic-Fil-A drive-through where my daughter was working, breakfast with my hubby for our anniversary (21!) AND the Bruster’s ice cream stand. Because the new cyber technical director needs to go out in style!

So, Tesla uniqueness… electric car, ridiculously good pickup : 0-60 in < 5 seconds. SO comfy inside.. Streaming music. Quiet ride. App that lets you make your passengers’ seats make fart noises. Automatic lights and windshield wipers. Self-driving.

Self-driving: As a parent who relatively recently had to ride with a new teenage driver, I have to confess feeling that same panic when auto-steering was on. As a software engineer, I never want to think about computers being in control. Watching Tesla think that the car next to me was shaking and pivoting 30 degrees back and forth into my lane did not give me confidence as I rode past a guy walking along the side of the road. And auto-steering did mean auto-braking on the highway as cars ahead of me slowed; it did not mean auto-braking at the red light in my neighborhood. Thankfully, I was watching and testing for that…

My twelve year old is convinced we should buy one. My frugalness suggests I’ll pass. That said, if ClearEdge were to pull my name from the hat in September as the winner, I’d be happy to use the fart app all the way down the highway…

Exemplars of search history on Google: “alternatives to Terraform”. “alternative to rubber chickens”. The things that software engineers who are also clowns search for.

Update!!!! Further down in my Google search result for rubber chickens I find a blog post that crosses rubber chickens and software development: Why rubber chickens make for better meetings! Hmmm – might be time to expense some rubber chickens!

I’ve spent the last few nights searching YouTube and Pinterest for designs for a wolf balloon animal. Thursday, Clementine is doing a Blue and Gold dinner, and while I had a tiger and bear design, I hadn’t found a wolf that worked for me. Meaning, I found _great_ wolves that were beyond the time and skill level I can use in a room filled with 25-40 kids. Plus, I wanted the visual wow factor of the wolf to be in line with that of the bear and the tiger.

Several nights spent looking, trying, even doing some attempts at designing on my own. Lots of balloon detritus, no wolf.

Skipping to the good part: I present to you – my wolf!

Single balloon design, imagine him in grey…    Notice the lower jaw forcing his head up in a howl, and then the tripod body.

Really happy with how he turned out…  now to just practice him 10 or 15 more times to make sure he consistently turns out well.  The cost of a balloon or two per kid isn’t expensive, but for me there are always a whole lot of balloons left around the house as I work to get ready for an event.

Earlier this year, after running into a friend who’d obviously gotten in a good bit better shape than she’d been, I joined her Crossfit gym. At first it was just as part of a 6 week challenge, but after seeing the results, I opted in for a membership. I’d lost > 10 lbs and a recognizable percent of body fat, neither of which come easily to me.

So I’m now three months in, which means that I still need to do a number of the exercises scaled down. I’ve never in my life been able to do a pull-up, for example, though I’m closer than I’ve ever been before.

My Crossfit “box” participates in what seems to be a Crossfit tradition: doing the “Murph” on Memorial Day. My box does it as a big event, starting at midnight on Memorial Day and going as long as it takes to complete the iteration. As I’m neither in fit enough shape to think I could complete it, nor a particular fan of doing much at midnight, I let the opportunity pass me by.  Next year, I thought, when I can do the workout better justice.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Monday morning’s 9:30 am class transformed from situps + power cleans to “the Murph”. Ah. I haven’t yet told you what “the Murph” is. It’s in honor of a Navy SEAL, Michael Murphy, whose heroism deserves to be told over and over again. In Navy SEAL style, he had a favorite workout that BEGINS with a one mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, followed by 200 pushups, followed by 300 air squats, rounded out with another mile run.  You know, your walk in the park sort of workout…

Well, I didn’t quite complete it.  My target was to keep moving for 60 minutes (the intended cap) and get as much in as I could, while finishing out with the final run.  I did 15 rounds of 5 ring rows (my scaled down pull-ups), 10 box pushups (scaled down pushups: I can do 100 regular through the course of a day, but thought 200 within an hour was well pushing it), and 15 air squats (those I just did).  So, 3/4 of a Murph, on a day where I didn’t expect to be doing one.  Right proud of myself, I am…

It’s not the heroism of Michael Murphy.  It was a stretch beyond myself, where I kept myself on the course by not wanting to let the workout and the man it symbolized down.  Next year, it’ll be a full..  next year, at midnight.  And next year, at least some of those pullups will be full scale.

Handy command for k8s pod status:

kubectl get pods –all-namespaces –field-selector=status.phase!=Running -o wide

May your list be empty.

(Decoding: find me all pods in all namespaces in my kubernetes cluster that are not running.  Note not running can mean: Completed.  Completed can be good.  Others are usually not.)

I’ve been seeing an overload of Facebook ads for something called HealthyWage. The premise is that you make a bet on your diet results. Pay in your bet amount, meet or exceed your weight loss goal, and get paid back your bet amount plus. I’d mostly ignored the ads until I went into my local kickboxing place to check out a “free” intro offer, and heard them make a pitch that over a 6 week period, I’d put up a (very large!) amount, and would then win it back if I achieved my goals. I walked out annoyed, and then checked into the HealthyWage thing again.

The premise of betting on yourself is one that I’ve seen listed before as a success tactic for weight loss.  Usually, the form has been, you put up an amount that you’ll contribute to some cause you otherwise would be strongly averse to supporting.  So, not only are you out money, but you’re mad at yourself.  I’m not going to give money to a cause I don’t find worthy, and we _do_ give money to causes we do find worthy, so that isn’t a good motivator for me.  But making some money?  Sure!

I ended up making a 6 month bet for a 25 pound weight loss.  I’d actually like to lose 30, but opted to give myself a 5 pound buffer.  I’d already signed up for a half-marathon in June – the running should help me lose the pounds, and losing the pounds should help me more readily get to the time goal I set for myself for the half- marathon.  Win win.  I’m paying in less money per month than I’d have been either as part of the kickbox gym “free” challenge or were I to pay for their monthly membership fees.  When (not if, when!) I win, I’ll collect a nice surplus to what I paid in, enough to let me feel richly rewarded for a bit, ready for a fun treat.

If all of that sounds good to you, too, use my referral link to HealthyWage.  You’ll get $40 added to your prize, and so will I.  More win win.  And then we can encourage each other through the weight loss journey.  I happen to have a “Black Card” membership to Planet Fitness, and would be happy to go with a workout buddy.

Life is busy. That seems to be a characteristic of how I do things, rather than a stage of life. In high school, I ended up taking a night class for typing, because it didn’t fit into the day’s schedule. Junior year, I convinced a teacher to give up her study period to teach me a math class that wouldn’t fit into my schedule any other way. In college, I at one point was a triple major, with a job, while captaining a rugby team, and fitting in some volunteering activities. Let’s just say I tend to fill the glass with _all_ the rocks.

The analogous activity of juggling is highly appealing to me. In juggling, everything gets held for just enough time to get something done, before moving to the next thing. It’s a game of synchronized holding: I can’t hold but so many things at a time, so the air holds the remainder until it’s those things turn. For Christmas, I received a set of spinning plates: there’s another saying beyond someone juggling – that they’ve got a lot of plates in the air. Right now, my set has three. I can get two spinning on sticks that I’m holding, and I can have the third on my head. That third spins when I do.

When I’m really on my game with those plates, I can throw them up in the air…. or both two spinning ones up in the air at a time… or once I even managed to throw between my two sticks and have them land and keep spinning… A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were passing spinning plates between us – timing and aiming our tosses so that the plates didn’t collide and could land solidly on our throwing partner’s stick.

It’s still a matter of synchronization. When I’m in control of all elements, the plates keep spinning. When I lose control, things drop. Or worse, things fly – traversing not just down but down and away, or down and oh my goodness AT. (I did just invest in some performer’s insurance, in case my things fly or fall in ways that might cause lawsuits.) . The dogs and cats are generally opting to be FAR away this evening. Thankfully, spinning plates are plastic.

I’m cheating and cross-posting my writeup of my KubeCon visit – hit my writeup on LinkedIn. Oh, and shoot me a message if you’d like to work for a company that sends folks to conferences – I was one of a group of 5 of us out there from ClearEdge. Never hurts to be able to compare notes with other folks from your company as to which sessions to catch the recording of and which ones to bypass.