And you are…?

I was running some errands just now and stopped by Jimmy John’s to buy a cheap “freaky fast” sandwich for lunch. As I was ordering, one of the sandwich-making guys behind the counter called out, “Hey, Jeff, how’s it going?”

I looked at him but had absolutely no idea who he was. Sometimes people say hi to me and they seem familiar but I can’t quite come up with a name… maybe from ultimate? Church? A client from work? One of my kids’ teachers? Even then, I get a sense that I know them from somewhere. Not this time. It was weird.

Anyway, I played it cool and chatted with him for a few minutes. After leaving, I thought maybe he was the Jimmy John’s delivery guy who had dropped off a sandwich for me at my office on Tuesday. If so, do the delivery guys actually remember the names of people requesting delivery? That would be either creepy or really cool customer service.

This is going to keep me stymied for a while…


Today marks twenty-one years of legal partnership with the most amazing, gorgeous, thoughtful, kind, loving, patient wife I could ever hope for.

As John McClane said so famously, she’s “the best thing that ever happened to a bum like me.”

Ooh, choices

Laralee and I were out on a lunch date today, and stopped by Kohl’s because we’d heard from a friend they have some super sweet suit jackets in stock.

Indeed they do.

The question is which one looks better on me. La liked the flamingoes, although I think I preferred the crazy colored pattern.

In the end, we didn’t get either because they were $100 and I couldn’t think of an event other than an 80’s party where I’d honestly wear them. And we don’t have any outstanding invitations to 80’s parties.

Ahh, the joy of being a kid

In the photo below, #7 is Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Spanish national soccer team. Check out the kids.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could all feel that way about once a day?

Packrats? Who, us?

Today I had some free time this afternoon, and since spring is a few days away, I figured I might start on some “spring cleaning”. For a long time I’ve thought we could probably get rid of some stuff that’s been in our crawlspace for years.

I was right.

We tend to keep boxes for expensive electronics we buy (mainly computers, but also audio equipment and the like). I guess we figure when we move, we’ll want to use the original boxes with their padding or something. Well, about half of our crawlspace turned out to be comprised of such boxes. Many of them were for things we didn’t even own any more! (VCR, anyone?)

I tossed them out of the crawlspace into the basement, then up the basement stairs to Laralee, who tossed them out the side door into the driveway.

There, we removed three trash cans’ worth of styrofoam packing and crushed many of the older boxes. A friend of mine is getting ready to move, so I asked him if he’d like some of the nicer boxes. He said sure, so we managed to pass off many of these to him. Nice!

Oh, and let’s not forget things like 3.5″ floppy disks with video drivers that I found in one of the computer boxes. Yeah, that’s old school.

The rest of the crawlspace awaits another lazy afternoon when I have some time for more spring cleaning. I happen to know I have at least two big boxes of old college papers and assignments…

That’s customer service

A few days ago I ordered some power cords for my servers. Today they arrived, neatly packed in a box, along with a small bag of M&M’s.

Brilliant! It probably cost the guy less than fifty cents, and it made me extra happy. When I need more power cords, you’d better believe I’ll head his way so I can get more candy.

Deep thoughts

This was a conversation I had with Kyra yesterday.

Well, she’s doing it

I talked to Kyra for a bit today as I was navigating Denver traffic on I-25. She told me that it’s official: she’s decided to serve a mission for the church. Although it’s strongly encouraged for young men, missions are optional for young women. So this isn’t something she has to do, but rather that she wants to do.

She’ll start filling out paperwork in the next few weeks, and will be eligible to leave for the 18-month stint sometime after her 19th birthday in July. It’ll be interesting to see if she leaves before Alex comes home from his mission (sometime in October)… that would mean the two of them don’t see each other for three and a half years!

I’m really proud of her for deciding to do this. It’s going to be amazing.

Cross that one off my bucket list

Today I was playing ultimate at lunchtime, and I managed to score a callahan. BAM. That’s the first time I’ve done it– despite playing for almost 27 years– and definitely something I’ve wanted to cross off my bucket list.

(A callahan is when the opposing team is on offense, deep in your territory, and makes a pass that a defensive player– in this case, me– intercepts in the end zone for a score. It’s very rare. And also very awesome.)


Well, I can finally check “taxes” off my to-do list for the year. They actually went more smoothly than in years past, maybe because Laralee and I have been tracking our expenses in a better way. I ended up filing some extra paperwork to correct a tax mistake I made in 2014 (sigh) but I think everything is squared away and now I can sit back and wait for my refund…

Eso no es bueno


I’m doing some server work, and I accidentally reconfigured one of the servers to use Spanish. I set up the locale just as you’d expect:

locale-gen “es_US.UTF-8”

As anyone can see, there’s a typo in that command. “es” is the language code for Spanish… I meant “en” for English. It took me a few minutes to figure out why suddenly all of the text from commands was being shown in Spanish…

Ye Olde Days

Back in the Day (as in, before the internet), you could spout whatever “facts” you wanted, and people couldn’t prove you wrong without going to the library and checking out a book.


I’ve been trying to break Zaque of two bad habits for the past couple of months. One is that he takes off his shoes when coming in the front door after school, and just leaves them there until the next morning. The other is that when he’s working at his little computer desk, he often has snacks and leaves glasses, plates, and crumbs on Laralee’s desk (right beside him). In both cases, I’ve been nagging him but it hasn’t worked.

A few days ago I struck on an idea. I would charge him one cent for the first infraction, and then the price would double every time he forgot to put away his shoes or clean up his snack. On day one, he failed on both accounts, so he owed me $0.03. I mentioned to him that the power of doubling is amazing: after a month of not putting away his shoes, he would owe me a little over ten dollars.

Since then, he’s taken care of it every day. Apparently three cents was all it took to break him of his habits…

Stuff happens

So today I had planned to spend the morning installing some new hardware at BitRelay: a server, a switch, and a backup disk array. It was all pretty innocuous, and I figured I’d be home a little after lunchtime to hang out with Laralee and Zaque and enjoy the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Well, I forgot to bring the disk array with me, which meant I had to make another trip and basically spend three hours in the car (it’s a 45-minute drive each way to the datacenter).

And when I installed the new switch, for reasons unknown to me, my entire network stack went down. That meant all of the servers were running but couldn’t be reached from the internet, so for about 15 minutes a whole bunch of clients were calling and emailing me and my team asking why their web sites were down. Meanwhile, I was frantically plugging and unplugging things, hoping that I could fix whatever had happened and get everything running again. In the end, I really don’t know what happened because rebooting the network stack twice seemed to resolve it. Ugh.

By the time I was finished it was evening, and then I had to write an explanation (and apology) to my clients so they understood what had happened and how I’d keep it from happening again. That’s never a good conversation to have.

In a little ray of sunshine, one of my clients responded with this:

Stuff happens and we do not always know why. No worries.

Nice. That helped to remind me that despite my feeling that it had been a disaster of epic proportions, in the grand scheme of things, 15 minutes of downtime isn’t really all that big a deal.

My girl

I was looking through some photos and found this one of my beautiful girl.

I know she’s having a blast in college, but there are days when I miss her…

Ahh, contracts

One of my clients has prepared a rather extensive contract to cover the web site work that Zing does for them. We’ve been going back and forth for several months (yes, really) about some of the terms and clauses, and we think it’s finally in a place where it’s acceptable to both sides. So this afternoon I’m reviewing all 34 pages of legal language, which includes countless sentences like this:

To the extent that any Third Party Materials licensed by Developer from third parties are approved by Company and included in the Deliverables or otherwise necessary to use the Services, Developer shall be responsible for obtaining for Company and its affiliates at Developer’s sole cost and expense all rights, licenses, permits, authorizations, consents and releases necessary for Company and its affiliates to use such Third Party Materials on a perpetual basis without restriction, and Developer hereby grants to Company and its affiliates, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, paid-up, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, modify and prepare derivative works of such Third-Party Materials.

Wow. What a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon, huh?


Zaque thinks it would be great to open a mortuary whose slogan is

“We put the FUN in funeral!”

Caramel cupcakes

Yesterday I had a bit of a hankering for caramel cupcakes, my second-favorite dessert. Laralee and I went on a walk and stopped at the grocery store to pick up supplies, and I went to work.

Mmm, sugary deliciousness. Since I can’t really eat 24 cupcakes by myself, I’ll probably bring some of them to tonight’s Super Bowl party…

Before the internet

This is me.


Except for the arthritis and impaired vision, of course. I’m not that old.

Well, shoot

A few days ago Kyra called me because she was having a bit of a rough day. We talked for a while, and I did my best to remind her how awesome she is. Afterward I decided to order a big tub of Red Vines– her favorite candy– and ship it to her as a sort of “cheer-you-up” surprise. I hopped on Amazon and placed an order for a five-and-a-half-pound tub.

Fast forward to today, when a box shows up on our doorstep. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting any packages. I opened it and found the Red Vines. Dang it… I’d forgotten to change the shipping address from my house to hers!

So now I have five and a half pounds of candy that I don’t even like.


This stuff is made out of petroleum or something; I don’t know what substance it is, but it’s unnatural.

Realizing my mistake, I ordered another tub and double-checked the address. Hopefully Kyra will enjoy it sometime next week. In the meantime, I’ll probably bring this thing to seminary or something, where I’ll have seventeen half-asleep teenagers willing to help devour it.