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Don, Version 2.0

Weightlifting, cooking, self improvement, and moral support for the Oxford comma.

Updated: 2018-03-06T03:48:09.795-05:00


Weight, Ageing, Testosterone


So I’m obese, according to my BMI. BMI is a ridiculously stupid way to measure your weight, health or body composition. It doesn’t take into account muscle mass versus fat.

Nonetheless, I do want to get more lean, back to a six pack instead of just barely making out some sort of abs.

I started with TestMax Nutrition last week, and so far it’s been terrific. The quality and quantity of information given is amazing. The recipes have been terrific. I’m pretty sure this will be easier to stick with than, say, Avatar Nutrition – where you have to keep track of macros. I KNOW counting macros works, but it’s a lot of effort and requires you to constantly be adding information to your phone app.

I got my T levels tested, and while I’m within the proper range, it’s not as high as I want it to be. This nutrition plan, TestMax, is advertised as being able to raise test levels. I’ll get tested again in May and I’ll post the results.

In the meantime, I feel fantastic. Age hasn’t quite caught up to me yet.

Workout Progress


Heading to the gym now. My goal today is to squat 250 pounds and bench press 205. I’m slowly moving down the comeback road. My goals for the end of 2018 are: Squat 400, Deadlift 400, and Bench 300. 1,100 pounds.

A picture test


Just testing how this Open Live Writer works for posting photos. Here is one of my favorite foods.

I do really like Fruit Loops.




I’m pretty sure I will avoid politics on this blog. No, scratch that; I definitely will avoid political discussion on this blog.

Open Live Writer Test


This is a test; I’ve downloaded and installed Open Live Writer (OLW). OLW started life as Microsoft’s Live Writer, but has since been made into open source software.

It’s a nice tool for creating blog posts on your PC instead of in your browser. Then, when you’re ready, you can simply publish the blog post to your blog.

I’m hoping this encourages me to blog on a regular basis.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what subject (or subjects) about which to write. My interests include weightlifting and nutrition, self-improvement (I’m just about finished a book!), technology, cooking (probably my number one passion) and H.O. scale slot cars.

Once I’ve picked a subject, I’ll get this blog rolling.

All The Best,

-- Don



I'm sharing this, not because of any gain, but because we love our wine -- we even make our own! -- and if you enjoy wine and the FUN of discovering wines, I highly recommend Naked Wines. It's fun getting a shipment of wine via FedEx :) We order every two or three months and all the wines have been very good to fantastic.

This like will get you $100 OFF your first order of $160 or more.

My Amazing Project at Red Hat


So here's the amazing project I'm building at Red Hat:

I'm putting together an end-to-end architecture guide for building Cloud Native applications the Red Hat Way.

It includes microservices running in Linux containers, Kubernetes, OpenShift, Ansible and many other technologies.
There will be associated code -- an online store -- to demonstrate the architecture. 

It will all be open source.

The first version of the project will be written in Java. After that, I'll add versions in the following languages (in order of appearance): Go, node, Python, .NET (C#, F# and VB).

This is a huge and very cool opportunity for me.

Why Doesn't This Work?


I have a bash script. Here's a portion:

pi=$(subscription-manager list --available | awk '/Pool ID/ {print $3}')
echo $pi
subscription-manager attach --pool=$pi

When I run it, it shows:

[vagrant@rhel-cdk shared]$ sudo ./
 could not be found.1564576f701564c87d8f9357e

Why is the pool id getting mangled??

Not Sure I Belong Here


I'm at a software development conference, and it's a fantastic conference.

But I'm possibly the oldest person here, and I feel very out of place. I'm not sure I belong in this environment any more. I see things so differently -- my experience of over 36 years in this field has me saying "That's a fad" and "Been there, done that" too often to endear me to the energetic young developers who think every framework or new technology is The Answer.

I have two choices:

1. Dial back -- *way* back -- my conference speaking and realize that I'm not nearly as relevant as I once was, or

2. Dial it up, embrace the wisdom of experience, and do more teaching and mentoring and "being a guru".

Decisions, decisions...

Where's The Renewal?


Typically, January 1 brings a new hope of renewal and growth for the coming year. I don't make resolutions, but I do set goals. Every year, I set lofty goals, believing I'll achieve them and perhaps knowing I won't reach all of them. Still, there's a sense of opportunity and excitement that accompanies the din of midnight, December 31.

This year, however, I feel nothing. I don't feel especially motivated, I don't feel optimistic, I have no aspirations of growth and achievement.

I don't feel depressed or defeated. I just feel ... nothing. A numbness toward the future, as though nothing really matters.

I hate this, and have many reasons why I should be excited. However, none of them are translating into any kind of emotions.

I guess I'll coast along on auto-pilot, doing what I know is right, until some sort of inspiration overcomes me.

So, "Happy New Year" and "Meh".

Europe's Immigration Crisis


The entire immigrant crisis in Europe is the result of MANY YEARS of Americans obsessed with owning THINGS and wild consumerism, needing more and more oil at the expense of any damn Middle Eastern company who dared to get in the way of Big Oil. We've bombed them and raped their land and pretty much did anything we wanted just so we can have bigger cars and bigger houses and shiny things. Meanwhile we have a domestic society based on violence: Movies, video games, sports, news reporting about "Shock And Awe" wars ... we eat up violence like it's a tasty morsel, puking out death and destruction when we've had too much, only to return to the table, demanding "More, Sir ... I want more!". We fight about abortion and border walls WHILE PEOPLE IN SERBIA CRAWL THROUGH FUCKING RAZOR WIRE to try to get freedom.

Disgusting. Fucking disgusting.

Goals for 2015


I don't make "resolutions", per se, but I do set goals for the year.Theme for 2015: Fix What’s BrokenSteps around pool: some are looseBuick: Repair or replaceStove: Burner doesn't always workWater Heater: Doesn't consistently workMaster Bathroom: RepaintOur mattress: ReplaceCrawl space: Add second sump pumpFront door screen: ReplaceFront windows on the house: ReplaceWhole-house fan: ReplaceCeiling in laundry room: PaintBathroom fan in downstairs bathroom: Needs finish sanding around itGoals for 2015Build the studio by the end of JanuaryHave my office organized by the end of JanuaryFinish writing my book by the end of FebruaryRepaint downstairs bathroom by the end of FebruaryBuy a new mattress by the end of May.Finish patio, including fence, by the end of MayReplace the water heater by the end of June.Fix crawl space sump pumps by the end of June.Scan all dad’s slide by the end of AugustFix or replace the Buick by the end of AugustHave 100 percent of my CDs available as computer music files, i.e. they will be in the cloud, by the end of September.Remodel Master Bathroom by the end of November.Read at least 12 books during 2015Increase my net worth by *redacted* during 2015Earn at least *redacted*Make and bottle 180 bottles of wineExercise on at least 156 daysTake four weeks (28 days) of vacationReduce bodyfat to ten percent or less[...]

Using PoshStack to spin up a server in OpenStack -- One Line


Creating a virtual machine, AKA "Spinning up a server", in OpenStack is a one-liner using PoshStack, the in-development PowerShell client for OpenStack. To wit:

New-CloudServer -Account demo -ServerName "foo" -FlavorID $flavors[0].id -ImageID $images[0].id 

Death, Grief, and Renewal


On October 28, at 10:32pm, my dear friend, Rick Shambaugh, passed away.

Funny; You tend to remember the date and exact time when you lose someone you love.

Rick carried liver disease for the past year, and it finally caught up with him. We -- his friends -- worried that he may some day succumb to the disease, all the time hoping he'd be fine. But five days prior to his passing, he suddenly lost consciousness.

I was fortunate to visit him Tuesday morning, 13 hours before his eventual passing. As Fate/God/Providence would have it, he woke up as I entered his hospital room. Just Rick and me.

I spoke, I encouraged him, and told him I loved him.

With all the strength he could muster, he whispered "I love you too, Don", then fell back into that sleep between this world and the next. Those were to be his final words.

Like most of his friends, I was in shock and disbelief. When I learned of his end that night, I was fine.  My son offered to fly back from Utah to comfort me. I would never say "No" to a visit from my son, so sure ... why not? But I was fine.

But Wednesday morning, it hit me. I cried -- finally -- that releasing weeping during which you pour out your anguish, your grief, your resignation to the fact that you'll never see your dear friend again.

Then, I wept again as I made a simple tribute to him.

I finally had to set aside my time and emotions to go to the train station to pick up Ian. Once I saw him, a cloud left me like I've never experienced. Suddenly, and finally, I wasn't grieving. I was happy.

I think, when you lose a loved one, somewhere in your subconscious mind you think life will never be the same again (which is true) and that it's somehow ruined.

But seeing my son renewed my life. I realized that I still have love to give and receive, laughs and tears to share, and memories to create. I'm not losing Rick so much; it's more as though he and I built our time together, our list of memories complete ... and now those memories will be sewn into the quilt of my life, a blanket of comfort in quiet times.

Rest In Peace my beloved friend.

Spanish Tortilla


I made a Spanish Tortilla for dinner tonight.

1 Russet potato

1 small onion\

3 eggs

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 375F – I used 350F in a convection oven.

Small dice the potato. Small dice the onion. Heat an 8-inch cast iron (or non-stick) pan. Put oil in pan, then add the potatoes and onion. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are soft. You may have to back off the heat in order to keep the onions from burning. I just kept the potatoes and onions moving.

While they’re cooking, mix up the three eggs in a bowl. Add the cheese to the eggs.

When the potatoes are about done, add the thyme, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and mix up.

Pour eggs and cheese mixture into the pan. You don’t need to stir it up; I tamped it down with my spatula to make it level and push the eggs down.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Take out and let sit for 10 minutes.

You should then be able to carefully remove the tortilla from the pan and cut it on a cutting board.

I serve topped with plain yogurt, homemade salsa and hot sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

31 Days, 31 Visions


I've decided on my next thought/life experiment.

For 31 days, I'm going to spend time every day meditating on visions of things I want to see come to pass in my life. Not just things as in material things, but also improvements in my personality or better health (i.e. losing body fat) or certain habits to drop or pick up, etc.

Of particular interest is a web site that I'm building and want to have launched by mid-August. So I'll spend time envision that being done and working well and drawing customers.

I'm not one to believe that merely *believing* something will make it come to pass. However, I'm anxious to see if the visioning process:

1. Gives me more motivation to act
2. Gives me better awareness of situations, people or things that can help me reach my goals

Those two points are what I actually think are the real "Secret", the real "Power of Intention" -- it merely dials you in to what you want, motivates you to move and act, and heightens your senses to be on the lookout for assistance.

My next blog post, in a few days, will list my Visions.

This should be pretty cool.

Regimented Life: Final Wrap-Up


What have I learned?

I learned that structure, or regimentation, is vital when traveling for business.

The experiment was a huge success, because as a result I'm much more conscious of what I'm eating, and I'm hitting the gym faithfully on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Huge, huge wins there.

I'm also taking the proper vitamins and other supplements as desired.

As a result, I'm losing body fat, my muscles are stronger (and bigger! *grin*), I have more energy, and I just generally feel much better, both physically and mentally.

I'm glad I undertook this experiment. I learned a lot about myself, about my tendencies, and where I can improve.

I also learned that scheduling your week, your diet, your day, etc., is a good idea, but you must remain flexible.

Now ... what can I do for my next experiment? Hmmmm....

Regimented Life: Days 11-23


That crashing sound is my "Regimented Life" colliding head-on with my need to travel.

In a word: Devastated.

What have I learned? Regimentation is necessary, yet almost impossible, while on business travel. Your time gets hijacked every day.

I injured my shoulder while working out on unfamiliar equipment -- Hammer Strength machines use a different range of motion.

I injured my back.

Down, but not out.

I'm back on the bandwagon tomorrow (Wednesday, June 25) with an early morning gym appointment.

Regimented Life: Day 10



Might just as well have Xeroxed Monday and posted it here.

Well …. no morning workout, but I did meet Joel Ogle for lunch. Okay, actually, Tuesday was not really scheduled, because I was preparing for an 11-day business trip, which included lunch with Joel Ogle, a stop at the grocery store, a hair cut, some maintenance around the house (including checking the pool for leaks – think about that one…), etc.

The day ended with a take-out dinner order from Jim & Nena’s and Patti and I watching the final episode of Cosmos (one of the best television shows ever!).

A PLUS ONE day, actually, because despite the disruptive travel preparations, I managed to stick to my eating and supplement schedule.

That brings us to 2/10, 20 percent.

Regimented Life: Day 9


Monday, June 9, 2014

This is beginning to be a broken record. Do well all day, crash in the evening.

To be honest, I had planned to relax and watch the Stanley Cup Finals Game 3, so I didn't really crash all that much.

But I'm still struggling in the evenings. The combination of fatigue from working all day plus warm weather plus the desire to just hang out with my dear bride makes it very difficult to "do" anything in the evenings.

I'm already seeing where the benefit is; It's from structuring my days. For the past 16+ years, I've been either self-employed or worked from home. As such, I didn't use an alarm clock and just went with the flow during the day. I was successful as far as work goes, but the lack of structure made it easy to skip out on things -- such as being faithful to work out at the gym.

The biggest improvement I've found is that by scheduling my week, I'm getting to the gym by 6:45 AM and hitting the weights. I've already lost some fat and my muscle memory is kicking in -- last night my wife said "Wow! I can see a difference already."

It's nice to feel bigger and stronger again, and I don't intend to let this end for a long time.

I'll continue my experiment, to be sure, but I think I've found the gem in the rough.

I'm scoring yesterday a zero; That puts me at 1/9, or 11 percent.

Regimented Life: Days 7 & 8


Saturday and Sunday.

On the one hand, my weekends will remain very loosely regimented, with large and broad times, filled out by a weekend to-do list.

This weekend was both a total bust and a total success. How is that??

I didn't make a list of things to do. On the other hand, I had a mental list of only two items: Cut the grass and spread the mulch.

I mowed the lawn Saturday, late morning, then went to work on cutting up some brush in the back yard. I completely ran out of muscle endurance in my legs right away and was very disappointed. How have I gotten so horribly out of shape that simply mowing the lawn wore me out?

Then I remembered: Friday was a "leg day" at the gym and I was beat. That explained it.

The remainder of Saturday included a short trip to the grocery store, some time in the pool and reading.

After a nice dinner -- red lentil curry and a steak -- I tried to watch hockey but fell asleep by 8 PM. I was truly spent...

Sunday was the opposite. My leg muscles now recovered, I buzzed through the mulch like a man on a mission. And with that mission accomplished, I relaxed ... floated around the pool, read two magazines cover to cover ("Men's Fitness" and "AARP" in case you're wondering), enjoyed a good cigar and waited for my dear bride to return from her weekend at the beach.

As far as "regimented", I failed. I didn't have a written To-Do List, and I failed to plan this coming week -- something I'll do Monday. I also did not achieve my Five Goals for last week and did not make up a Five Goals list for this week.

I'm scoring Saturday a -1 and Sunday a zero. That puts me at 1/8, or 12.5 percent. So far, this experiment is tilting away from living a highly-regimented life.

On the other hand, I've been faithful to my workouts at the gym and my diet has improved.

Regimented Life: Day 6



My schedule got hijacked, yet I was still successful in staying regimented. I was up early and had a very good lower body workout at the gym. Got home and had to take my dear bride to a friend's house; they were leaving for a Girls Weekend at the beach.

I got home and got right back on schedule. The workday went well, I stayed true to my schedule.

I made a delicious Paleo Thai dish for dinner, then realized Game Two is Saturday night, not Friday night.

But Friday evening isn't "scheduled" for me, so I built a fire in the fire pit and watched TED videos for three hours.

I'm award a +1 for the day, since I didn't let the hijacked schedule throw me off balance. Yay me! The score is 2/6, 33 percent.

By the way, if the month ends with the score under 50 percent, it will indicate to me that living a Regimented Life is a failure. On the other hand, if it scores high, then it'll become a permanent lifestyle.

Next week should be very interesting, as I begin some traveling. I'm going to have to carefully plan the days and adjust to different surroundings and conditions. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Regimented Life: Day 5


Thursday. No workout this morning, so the day was pretty easy. Basically, from rising in the morning until the end of my work day -- around 5PM -- the only "regiment" is a schedule: When I eat, when I have a snack, what supplements to take and when to take them, when I have my tea. Stuff like that.

Success. Then again, so easy.

The evening? I'm finding no will power to apply structure to my evenings, to be honest. The evening was spent by the fire. Our next-door neighbor, who has literally never come over to see us -- don't get me wrong, we're very friendly to each other and do talk -- came over and sat with us ... showed us the pictures of her new granddaughter. It wasn't planned, but sure was enjoyable.

I did keep to a schedule; At one point, I said "Ladies, it's 10 PM and I need to get to bed". So at least I didn't let the evening get away from me.

I'm scoring the day a zero. That puts me at 1/5, or 20 percent.

Regimented Life: Day 4


Pretty much went well, but then again, it was odd.
My eating and supplement schedule was spot on. But since I had to travel to Baltimore Thurgood Marshall Airport for an interview, the afternoon was taken up with that.
The evening was one of relaxing after an 11-hour workday, including watching hockey.
Score: Zero. Neither positive nor negative. That brings the score to 1/4 == 25 percent.

Regimented Life: Day 3


Started off great. Everything on schedule all day, like clockwork.

"Hey, this is pretty good. I can do this."

My evening schedule was to make dinner, then do some personal finance stuff and work on the book I'm writing and work on a web site I'm creating.

But life happened. Rather, my dear bride and I decided to have an adult beverage while I was cooking.

Before dinner.

On an empty stomach.

Which became three hours of us talking and eating dinner and sitting on the patio and talking some more and scheming our back yard plans and ...

So the day was terrific from a personal perspective, but as "The Regimented Life" goes, it was a major failure. A minus one.

Score is now 1/3 == 33 percent.

Takeaway -- what did I learn?

Alcohol can derail everything. Don't drink and derive.