Terrierists gonna terrier

Martha had an infusion today (Go keytruda, go!). With the kids on spring break, I had to work from home

There are few things like a limp, soggy, dead animal in your hand.


Failed Resolution: #PlayThemAll2015

At the beginning of 2015, I chose a somewhat ambitious New Year’s resolution. I set out to play every game in my family’s collection by the end of the year.

I came up short. :/

I played a lot of games, but going into December (the busiest month of the year), I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I had too many games left that I couldn’t knock off the list w/ my kids (who were heroes and helped me get the majority of the games played). There were several I just ran out of time for and a couple I didn’t want to play and couldn’t get rid of before the end of the year (I’m looking at you Descent). Oh well.

So, here’s what I’m going to do for 2016: I’m going to get the remaining games played by the end of 2016.


  1. Ticket to Ride (US) Played 2016!
  2. Warhammer: Invasion
  3. Android Netrunner
  4. Descent Sold!
  5. Ground Floor
  6. Zeppelin Attack Played 2016!
  7. Machine of Death
  8. Epic Spell Wars: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre
  9. Pint Craft Played 2016! Bound for Bookmans
  10. ROFL Sold!
  11. Coup G54 Rebellion Played 2016!
  12. Bomb Squad Played 2016!

It’s certainly a much shorter list this year. Though, I think I may still have to plan some game-specific nights/sessions in order to pull this resolution off. By all means, if you see a game you want to be in on, let me know!


Smile – Eric Hamilton

It seems fitting that I ran into this man today – the last day of 2015.

As I was leaving a coffee shop this morning, he called out to me to get my attention and then promised he wasn’t the neighborhood bandit. I knew he wanted to sell something to me or ask for a donation. And yet, I walked over anyway and joked about the two of us finding the bandit together and putting an end to his mischief. We laughed.

He introduced himself as a vet that’s been denied assistance by the VA. To try making ends meet he sells his poetry. Without waiting for me to object, he handed me a piece of paper and launched into reciting the first of 4 short poems.


by Eric Hamilton

If we all smile more this world be a better place.

And if we all smiled more they’d be so much more laughter, happiness instead of hate.

So, if we all try a bit harder to put a smile on someone’s face

Imagine the love and power when these smiles meet face to face.

I couldn’t help but smile.

He smiled back and began reciting the rest. I’ll admit, I could’ve been a better listener for the rest of the poems, but his first poem stuck with me. It’s not the most amazing poem I’ve read, but it’s the first poem in a long time that I experienced.

His recitation was a smile for me. As awkward as it was to stand in a public place and have a man recite poetry to me, it was an incredibly pleasant, comforting experience.

I told him I imagined he was selling his printed poems. After he confirmed, I told him that I had a small amount of cash in my wallet and I wanted to give it to him as payment – not for the paper, but for the experience he gave me. Maybe by letting him keep the piece of paper he would give me, he’d be able to make one more ‘sale’ later today? In hindsight, I’ve realized my request may have been unintentionally rude – I didn’t ask how much he thought his work was worth. I just made an offer.

All the same, he smiled at me and insisted I take his poem with me. I wished him many more smiles in 2016 than he’s had this year and I wish the same for you.


On Working Late

Today in ‘people telling you what you should probably already know’, working late is a terrible idea and you should never do it. Unless you have to, in which case: you have to.

via Versioning #222


Inspiration – Chris Coyier

Wow! I saw this link go by on Twitter this morning before I was headed to work and made a mental note to take a peek during my lunch break. I’m so glad I did.

Chris Coyier is someone I’ve been following around the internet for several years. His CSS-Tricks site, and CodePen tool have been extremely valuable to me over the years and the ShopTalk Show podcast he hosts with Dave Rupert is one of the few I’ve remained subscribed to for any length of time.

In Envato’s latest “Made By:” episode, we feature web designer and author Chris Coyier, best known for CSS-Tricks, CodePen and the Shop Talk Show podcast. Now living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chris gives us a unique look into his life.

It’s so cool to get to peek into the day-to-day life of someone I have a ton of respect for.

Nice work, Chris & Envato!


Breaker 1-9

Back in November, both kids had a sudden urge to start riding their bikes a ton. I say sudden because it felt really strange. They’d both learned to ride bikes years ago, but due to a horribly negligent father «ahem» that hadn’t fixed some flat tires, they hadn’t ridden in at least a year and a half. My wife contributed to their cause reminding me that her tires were flat, too. Knowing the tubes were bad several tires, I headed to the bike store and bought brand new tubes for every bike wheel in our garage.

After a couple days of getting their confidence up, Martha and I had the sweat-inducing pleasure of practicing ‘fretting go’. You know? That part of parenthood where you give your children permission to ride around the neighborhood without you – then wander around the house pretending to get stuff done yet all the while the inside of your heart and soul is A FIRESTORM OF FEAR AND DOUBT THAT PUTS MT. DOOM TO SHAME!

Thankfully, they did really well checking in on-time and seemed to thrive with their new freedom.

My son was the recipient of two different sets of walkie talkies for Christmas. One set is a spy-themed toy that fit around the neck and have a small earbud. The set bragged of ‘whisper sensitivity’… but really seems to require whispering loud enough to be heard across the house sans walkie talkie. The other set is an actual set of real radios… supposedly with ~32 miles of range1.

The other day, while Martha and I were preparing dinner, the kids asked to ride their bikes. On a whim, I suggested they take one of the radios and we could keep in touch while I made dinner.

About ten minutes later, we volleyed radio messages back and forth discussing where they were and how far much longer it’d take to finish preparing dinner.

All of the sudden, our conversation is interrupted by another group of people that seemed to be travelling down the nearby interstate and discussing rest stop options. It was tough to understand at first and totally harmless, but then there it was—clear as day—some strangers talking with my children and I on our walkie talkies.


Maybe it’s not a big deal? Obviously, at first, I was really uncomfortable with the idea of someone else stumbling into what we thought was a private conversation. I suppose it was a good lesson we could learn without anything bad happening.

I guess my biggest question is… How careful do we really need to be with the radios? Is it conceivable that some horrible person could listen in and use our conversation to track down a couple vulnerable kids? Is that overly pessimistic? Perhaps this is a golden opportunity to have the kids practice using some sort of code system to describe their location and direction?

Have you run into situations like this? How have you handled it?

  1. providing the transmission is occuring across flat, uninterrupted terrain 

Proof you need math after high school

See kids?

Better keep studyin’.


Play Them All in 2015!

As the new year starts, I’ve decided to commit to a couple resolutions. Most of them are fairly personal. But one… while admittedly very geeky, I’m comfortable sharing with you.

I’m going to play every single board game in my family’s collection at least once before the end of the year.

My grand plan is to record the games as they get played in a list below. I’ll probably throw them up on Twitter & Instagram (#playthemall2015) as they get played, and then update the list in batches… when I remember. 😉

Yes, the links below are Amazon affiliate links.

The List

  1. Flash Point: Fire Rescue 1/1/2015
  2. Planes 1/3/2015
  3. Power Grid 1/3/2015
  4. Yardmaster Express 1/7/2015
  5. Ticket to Ride: Europe + 1912 exp. 1/11/2015
  6. Sushi Go! 1/14/2015
  7. Tokaido 1/31/2015
  8. Escape 2/6/2015
  9. Mice & Mystics 4/2/2015 (Chapter 11, finally!)
  10. Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game 4/7/2015
  11. Dragon Slayer 4/9/2015
  12. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game 4/11/2015
  13. Terror in Meeple City 4/11/2015
  14. Love Letter: The Hobbit Edition 4/25/2015
  15. Eminent Domain: Microcosm5/15/2015
  16. Smash Up 5/17/2015
  17. Hobbit Tales: From the Green Dragon Inn 5/29/2015
  18. Dominion 5/31/2015
  19. Takenoko 6/21/2015
  20. Eminent Domain 6/27/2015
  21. Belle of the Ball 6/27/2015
  22. Space Hulk: Death Angel 6/28/2015
  23. Monopoly: Millenium Edition 7/4/2015
  24. Cornerstone7/4/2015
  25. Avalon 7/17/2015
  26. Age of War 7/17/2015
  27. Cypher 7/18/2015
  28. Survive: Escape from Atlantis 8/1/2015 #GenCant
  29. Lords of Waterdeep 8/1/2015 #GenCant
  30. King of Tokyo 8/1/2015 #GenCant
  31. Exploding Kittens8/4/2015
  32. Tsuro 8/9/2015
  33. Hot Rod Creeps 8/9/2015
  34. Mouse Guard: Swords & Strongholds8/10/2015
  35. Skyline 8/29/2015
  36. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival 11/14/2015
  37. Portal – The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game 11/14/2015
  38. Bomb Squad Academy 11/15/2015

Sure, the future is attractive…

November has always been a reflective month for me. It hosts my birthday, my wife’s, and good ol’ Thanksgiving. For the past several years, it’s also hosted the annual melanoma walk at The University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Our team this year

Another year has gone by. I don’t say that sentence without considering the weight of it.

This year, Team ¡Mela-NO-MAS! didn’t push for a huge team or make new t-shirts. Instead, Martha had the idea to make ‘race bibs’ for folks to wear and declare who they walk in honor or memory of. It turned out to be a great way to connect with other participants as they left the registration tables.

I was caught off guard by a woman that stopped to write a name on a bib for herself. As she talked with Martha about her husband that’d passed away only two months before, she was overcome and began to cry. Her story began to eat at my heart… That could have been me telling some woman at an event table that I’d lost my love to melanoma. As I looked back on some of the more dire days we’ve seen over the last five years, I hid behind my sunglasses and wept. In that moment I was an ugly mess of mourning and relief… I whispered “no mas” and mentally added another name to the already-too-long list pinned to Martha’s back.

That first part of the event is always the toughest. Meeting up with folks you saw at last year’s walk. Catching up on how they’re doing. Being confronted with bad news and good news.

But then we move into the staging area in the parking lot and you can feel the mood change. We mingle with other melanoma warriors, our friends and family, the Walgreens pharmacy staff, our oncologists, nurses, and local vendors that come out in support of the fight. As we set off out of the parking lot, there’s this feeling of significant purpose. And even though we know the money has already been donated — the job is done — it’s as though each step we take is physically getting us closer to even better treatments than we have today and possibly even the c-word… a cure!

This amazing woman

As the walk drew to a close, I couldn’t help but thank God for where we’ve been and what we’ve come through. As attractive as the future is… right now is beautiful.

We were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset


iOS 8 Could Save Your Life

With the recent release of iOS 8, Apple is using a different data provider for its built-in Weather app. Next time you pop it open, scroll down to the bottom of the details and take a look at the current UV index for your area. Use this to avoid sunburns — even if it’s cloudy!

Our family knows the hell that melanoma is all too well. Use this tool, know when to slap on the sunscreen, and reduce the risk of melanoma in your family!

Here’s a guide for interpreting UV levels duplicated from the’s Sunwise site for your convenience:

2 or less: Low

A UV Index reading of 2 or less means low danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person:

  • Wear sunglasses on bright days. In winter, reflection off snow can nearly double UV strength.
  • If you burn easily, cover up and use sunscreen.

Look Out Below

Snow and water can reflect the sun’s rays. Skiers and swimmers should take special care. Wear sunglasses or goggles, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to protect areas that could be exposed to UV rays by the sun’s reflection, including under the chin and nose.

3-5: Moderate

A UV Index reading of 3 to 5 means moderate risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.

  • Take precautions, such as covering up, if you will be outside.
  • Stay in shade near midday when the sun is strongest.

Me and My Shadow

An easy way to tell how much UV exposure you are getting is to look for your shadow:

If your shadow is taller than you are (in the early morning and late afternoon), your UV exposure is likely to be low.
If your shadow is shorter than you are (around midday), you are being exposed to high levels of UV radiation. Seek shade and protect your skin and eyes.

6-7: High

A UV Index reading of 6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Apply a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. Wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes.

  • Protection against sunburn is needed.
  • Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.

Made in the Shades

Wearing sunglasses protects the lids of your eyes as well as the lens.

8 – 10: Very High

A UV Index reading of 8 to 10 means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Minimize sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Protect yourself by liberally applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses to protect the eyes.

  • Take extra precautions. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.
  • Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.

Stay in the Game

Be careful during routine outdoor activities such as gardening or playing sports. Remember that UV exposure is especially strong if you are working or playing between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Don’t forget that spectators, as well as participants, need to wear sunscreen and eye protection to avoid too much sun.

11+: Extreme

A UV Index reading of 11 or higher means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Try to avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 liberally every 2 hours.

  • Take all precautions. Unprotected skin can burn in minutes. Beachgoers should know that white sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV and will increase UV exposure.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.

Beat the Heat

It is possible to go outside when the UV Index is 11 or higher. Make sure you always seek shade, wear a hat, cover up, wear 99-100% UV-blocking sunglasses, and use sunscreen. Or you can opt to stay indoors and take the opportunity to relax with a good book rather than risk dangerous levels of sun exposure.

What about you?

Have you ever been burned when you didn’t expect it? Need sunscreen advice?