Happy Mother's Day!

1 minute read Published:

Today was Mother’s day. The other day I came home from Costco with 10lbs of ribs. I handed them to my wife and told her “I’d thought you would like these better than roses”. She laughed and cradled them for a bit in her arms like they were a box of long stems. I started prepping the ribs at 9am and smoked them low and slow all day. Finally, around 5pm we sat down to dinner.

Mowing Lawn, Installing Sconces

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Today I mowed the lawn. We have nine acres, but fortunately only about two or three of the acres need mowing. I have a wagon that hooks to the riding mower where I can pull the kids behind while I mow. I had two kids in the cart and one on my lap. Multitasking for the win! Afterwards, I installed new sconces on our front porch. They were always a little wonky, but one quit working and the other fell off during an especially violent storm we had several weeks ago.

Embrace Discomfort

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I’ve been taking cold showers for a while and even, on occasion, taken ice baths. I first learned about this when I was reading about Wim Hof and his work. I’ve heard that after doing this for a while, the cold doesn’t bother you anymore. I’ve been doing it for well over a year, but I still dislike it every time I step into the cold water. However, I keep doing it, because it builds the mental strength I need.

Bloody Nose, Bruises, and Sparring

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Evey week, I try to get together with someone at work to spar. I’ve taken Muay Thai and Kali/self defense classes, but I had to stop when my schedule got too busy. In an effort to keep some of my skills, and to practice self defense situations, I spar whenever I get the chance. It helps expose weak spots and train in a semi-realistic (but still friendly) environment. One of my weak spots is my defense.

Java Fixed Work Pool

4 minute read Published:

At work I needed to create a fixed Java work pool. By “fixed”, I mean a pool that has no queue: it has a maximum number of workers, and it should not store work if it has no capacity to immediately process. Introducing the Players To accomplish this, I used the following classes: ThreadPoolExecutor – Executes work jobs LinkedBlockingQueue – Passes jobs to the thread pool ExecutorCompletionService – Gets results back from thread pool executions, and provides synchronization Instantiation I created the main thread pool using the following code:

Lessons Learned from a Failure

2 minute read Published:

At work, am known as someone who gets things done. Even when problems seem insurmountable, I eagerly tackle them and come up with novel out-of-the-box solutions. However, recently, I was in charge of delivering a portion of the product, and it did not go well. I had to get things done by mid-April. However, it wasn’t until early May that the work was complete. Unfortunately, for a significant portion of this time, I was blocked by an external contractor.

Chicken Obedience Training

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Since the bad day I had with the chickens, I have been working on training them to come when I call. I take some chicken scratch with me and call “Gee Gee Gee” (this is how you say “Chicken” in Chinese), giving a treat to those who came over. After consistantly training this way, the majority will come to me when I call. Now, in the mornings, I go into the coop and call the chickens.

Chicken Coop Windows, Part 2

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I continued replacing the coop windows. I built a wooden frame around each window and then joined the two frames together. Thanks Dad for the table saw, I put it to good use :) Then I installed the windows, framing the space around the windows as these are smaller than the ones they are replacing. At this point, I'm feeling good about the project Things were really starting to come together, but the project started to derail when I installed the plywood.

Chicken Coop Windows, Part 1

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I started working on replacing the coop windows today. The several panes were broken and covered with bits of packing tape. The new windows are a bit smaller (but they didn’t cost of a fortune, either), so it will take a bit of finagling. However, the new windows have tempered glass, so they should be more resistant to breakage. The first step was to rip all the old windows. I was surprised how quickly they came out.

Bad Day for Chickens

2 minute read Published:

The chicks are getting larger, so I’ve been letting them totally free-range (outside of the chicken tractor). It’s been working well and they really enjoy the freedom to go wherever they want. A hawk tried to grab one today, but they all hid and we were able to scare the hawk away. I’m glad the chickens flee from a hawk, but rounding them up is really tough. At first it was a fun challenge, but they are getting so fast it is really frustrating.