Focus for 2016 – Healthier Me

So this year I’m focusing on one thing, and that’s a healthier me.

I don’t have all the answers to what that entails quite yet, but I need to start feeling better myself, so I have more energy to accomplish other goals I have in 2016, that I need the energy to complete.

In 2014

Before getting into this year theme in detail let me reflect on my 2014 theme that was “FOCUS”,  since I never did one for 2015. 2014 was to be about focusing on different things for a month or two. This theme ended up being way too vague, which meant 2014 didn’t go according to plan since I never got past improving my writing.

I started out reading a few books on improving my writing that were:

The one that I found most useful was “The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment” by Susan Thurman.

To help improve my writing, I started paying more attention to my reading. To do this, I slowed down and re-read the words I wrote more to make sure things made sense. I started seeing some patterns in what I wrote and came up with ways to improve my writing.

I even started using two web-based applications to help with some of my grammar issues. Some of my issues were either adding too many commas or not having enough.

The main application I use is, which  Ella Waters (@nethermind) suggested I use. I signed up for the 14-day trial and after a few days, I happily signed up for the yearly plan. Currently, it’s $29.95/month or $139.95/year and well worth the money.

I use Grammarly a lot to check e-mails for work to make sure what I’m saying makes sense. There’s one file called, “Grammar Check,” which I drop in short bits of writing that I’m not worried about saving so I can check a sentence or a paragraph or two.

The other application I use is the Hemmingway application. Using this application shows you how many complex sentences you have written are by giving you and idea what grade school level the text was written.

So not getting everything done in 2014 was good and bad. It was good in that it got me to spend my time improving my writing. The sad part was I never did much with any of the other areas from 2014.

2016’s Theme

This year I need to work on getting healthy and here are a few ideas I have on how to get there:

  • Eat more nutritious/quality food and less non-healthy food, along with making better food choices starting with veggies and fruit.
  • More walking during work hours, after work, and on the weekends, which end up being my least amount of steps during a week.
  • Do more stretching using the back porch steps posts.
  • Start riding my bike for some different exercise.
  • Get at least one massage per month to make me feel less sore and stiff.

Ways to Tell I’M Healthier

Some of the easiest ways to tell I’m getting healthier are the following:

  • Work towards making it easy put on socks, shoes, etc. without feeling out of breath/shape when doing so.
  • My Achilles don’t get stiff and sore after sitting at my desk for a few hours.
  • It’s not painful for my Achilles and tendons in my knees when walking down stairs.
  • Be able not to need a seat-belt extension when flying.
  • My clothes fit better, along with moving down a few sizes in pants and shirts.

Helpful Articles

Here are a few helpful articles I read to start me thinking that this is a long-term way of living:

These two articles on losing weight took a long-term approach instead of a quick fix, which won’t last and is not good for your body.

Another two interesting articles are “50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms” by Benjamin Hardy and “Simple Rules for Healthy Eating” by Aaron E. Carroll of the New York Times.

Below is a short list from Aaron E. Carroll’s article:

  1. 1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.
  2. Eat lightly processed foods less often. You’re not going to make everything yourself.
  3. Eat heavily processed foods even less often.
  4. Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1.
  5. Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation.
  6. When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules.
  7. Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine.
  8. Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol.

Current Weight

As of yesterday morning (Monday, January 18, 2016), was 247.2 lbs. I started eating better and paying attention to what foods worked and made me feel better on August 10, 2015, where I was 262.2 lbs. So over those five or so months, I’m down 15 lbs so far, with a big folding pattern from about end of October until now.


In the end,  I would like to lose 100 to 125 lbs., over the next two years, but more importantly, I want to feel better. Doing this is a long term goal and not one to quickly lose a bunch of weight, but to change the way I eat, exercise, and live.

I’m going to leave you with this Michael Pollan quote:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Overview of What Happened at 8:15 PM for Me in 2015

Looking back at the year it’s been exciting and a bit more eventful than watching TV most nights. Which covers a majority of my nights, but the following are a few highlights from each month, along with a link to that month’s events. Some days include what else I had been up to during the day or what happened later in the evening.

A few months had more interesting things happen at night than others. Like the first two weeks of October had a bunch, since I was on a two week road trip to Austin, TX, for An Event Apart.


Jan 13 – Attended WordPress DC and listening to Anthony D Paul on “How to Create a Website Using WordPress on Your Cellphone”.

Jan 29 – Talking with the Army .MILers old and new at Refresh DC after listening to Megan Zlock talk about the differences between the CMS Craft and WordPress.


Feb 5 – Talking with Cory, Emily, and Marisa about the design after the Dribbble DC event were a guy from Gannett talked about using the Oculus Riff. Spent the day reviewing ODEP PDF and UX for APIv2.

Feb 27 – Flying to SFO for Bay Area Accessibility Camp at IinkedIn in Mountian View, CA. Currently, over middle America somewhere between the western side of Iowa and eastern side of Nebraska. I’m sitting next to Nguyet and Doug how are headed to Sonoma Valley for a few days.

Feb 28 – Sitting in Agave Mexican Bistro with a dozen or so accessibility people after a great day at Bay Area Accessibility Camp at LinkedIn in Mountview, CA.


Mar 5 – Sitting in the 30th Anniversary opening event for CSUN. Watching Geri Jewell and another comedian, along with Mark Goffeney playing the guitar with his feet. Then off to meet people for Ramen.

Mar 7 – Sitting with William, Elle, Glenda, Karl, Billy, Sina, and his girlfriend at the reception dinner for Sassy and Pratik after a long week of CSUN. A great way to unwind and spend more time with friends.

Mar 18 – Listening to “Stacking the Bricks” with Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman, while reading their answers to people questions about their product “30 X 500” – http://courses.30× Also updated my iPad to iOS 8.2. The day was spent finishing and adding accessibility issues to GitLab, along with closing out 12 issues and passing three back and creating a new one.

Mar 24 – Out wandering the neighborhood to get me to 12,000 steps for the day. I added about 3,000 in a slow, leisurely stroll. Spent most of day correcting TABLEs to make them more accessible in the newly updated developer portal.

Mar 26 – ENTERED 2015/03/27 – Was on a North American accessibility camp call with people in Canada as well as the United States. We were discussing how to make the camps better, easier to start a new event, how to help sponsors, etc. We had people Toronto, New York City, Boston (while in Pittsburgh for a conference), Louisville, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Austin, San Fransisco, Boulder/Denver, and me from DC. Not sure our focus yet, but we will need to work on that before our next calls. Think we need to gather everyone’s information in one place and then point to their individual websites and events pages. Next we should improve the information on how to start/run a monthly accessibility meeting, which may turn into a year camp. Once people are our ready for a yearly camp, we need to have a roadmap for people to follow and be willing to help run/schedule, etc. an event. More information to come in the future.


Apr 3 – Re-reading Elle Luna’s (@elleluna) blog post on Medium, called “The Crossroads of Should and Must”. Thought it made sense to re-read this post after reading the introduction to her new book by the same name before going any further with the book. Was listening to B.B. King’s “Live in Cook County Jail” while reading.  Once done heading over to District Taco to grab a few breakfast tacos (egg, cheese, and chorizo in a flour tortilla). Might even add a bit of the leftover hot green papaya salad to add a bit of flavor and punch.

Apr 6 – Opening up old paint tubes so I can start my 100-day project with paintings of wine bottles and food. First wine painting turned out okay after not painting for like six or eight years. The day was spent updating developer accessibility issues and CSS, plus testing VETS for accessibility issues.

Apr 11 – Sitting the car reading Twitter while friends and their kids go see Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and Korean Memorial. We spent the day wandering around National Zoo and then had dinner at 2 Amy’s. Best pizza in the area. We’re grabbing frozen custard again tonight at The Dairy Godmother once done.

Apr 23 – Sitting in the front row at iStrategyLabs listening to @moonstompnaggie and @elifitch talk about the project they did for Facebook’s F8 conference. In a short time, they built a 3D interactive experience using Three JS, with not much knowledge of either. Put accessibility issues into GitHub for URL shortener, along with finished testing iPhone application using VoiceOver in Spanish.


May 2 – Sitting outside on the 6th-floor patio at Lorien Hotel (Kimpton Hotel) as part of Mary Elizabeth Kamin and Kevin’s engagement party.  Went to Elmo’s and found out about the event. Went home and spent two hours cutting, raking, cleaning the front yard, then was down for a two-hour nap.

May 5 – It finally happened after four months. Today at 8:15 PM I was in my bathroom doing what I needed to do. I had finished reading some  Twitter, and my second version of Amy Hoy’s Just Fucking Ship eBook and heading to my spare bedroom to update my nephew’s soccer website with completed and upcoming soccer camps. My day was spent mostly reading and playing with the interactive examples from the website. Bought the book, but have found reading it online has been great, so I can run the examples, along with making updates and changes to see what will happen.

May 7 – Sitting in the Atrisphere in Roslyn eating two breakfast tacos with chorizo tacos and two shrimp tacos while DC Night Owls gets started. After introduces, Mathew Lesko (guys in question mark suit from 80s and 90s TV) talk about doing your own thing that makes you happy because otherwise you’re working for others and most likely not happy. Plus, he talked about he had businesses that failed, write 100 books, and was happiest when he started wearing the question mark suits. Helped VETS come up with a great solution on how to bake infographics accessible by adding off-screen text.

May 14 – ENTERED – 05/15/2015 – Driving from UPS after picking up my new 13″ Retina MacBook Pro to Five Guys to grab a cheeseburger and small fry. More work on making dataset pages responsive, so TABLEs only show on desktop.

May 24 – Unpacking the car after going out to Shen-Valley Flea Market in White Post, VA, with my co-worker, along with stopping for bake goods at Creekside Bakery and Deli inSperryville. Then we stopped at Heritage Hollow Farms for pig jowl bacon after doing the tour of Copper Fox Distillery. We made stops at Caresaul Ice Cream for custard and a quick stop at Wegmans for a few groceries.

May 31 – Driving home from DC with Henny Swan after taking her on a driving sightseeing tour of DC after having a steak dinner at Ray’s the Steak’s. Figured she needed a bit of time out of the hotel before spending the next two days there for the M-Enabling Conference in Crystal City, VA, after spending the day flying from England.


Jun 5 – Talking with G C Meyer about his new paintings at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. Ended up buying one of Gary’s smaller pieces with a red chair. Spent the day in Cabin John with most of the pig roast staff.

Jun 6 – Doing a bit of clean-up with Bev and Jeff before we headed home after we were done at the pig roast. Spent eleven hours in Cabin John working and attending the pig roast.

Jun 12 – Sitting in the Clarendon Apple Store as the third person in line to buy something. Never head to be put on the waiting list at a store to give them $500 – $600. After waiting ten minutes went up to ask how it was going, and they told me I still had two people aged if me. At that point, I was getting frustrated because I was paying for parking since they don’t validate irking anymore. Think one of the managers heard while walking by and had someone bring him a black 64 Gb iPad for more me.

Jun 16 – Checking my grammar using Grammarly for my responses to the three main questions asked by XOXO Festival to see if I can be part of the lottery to get a ticket for this September’s event. The three questions and answers are the following:

  • What do you do? Inform and teach people the importance of web accessibility as my day job at Department of Labor and whenever anyone asks outside out of work too. Along with spending time away from the computer with great friends over food and wine.
  • What are you working on right now? Getting monthly DC accessibility meeting back going and figuring out the best way to find more time to work on the side project of keeping track of places I want to eat when I travel. Plus, have been participating in the 100 Day Project. I’m on my 72 consecutive days of painting wine bottles on canvases.
  • What’s something you’ve made that you’re proud of? Starting so others will learn about accessibility, which is a free to attendees. Other’s have run events around the globe in the following cities: London, Tokyo, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angles,  Boston, Seattle, Guelph (Canada), Missoula, MT, and many more.

Jun 20 – ENTERED – 06/21/2015 – Driving to Manassas, VA, to drop off co-worker after our day trip to Philly. Prior to this, I drove through the worst thunder and lightning storm I have ever driven through. Since maybe the time bring my aunts car back up north from Florida with my father when I was a new driver in my mid teens.  Had a great day wandering around Reading Terminal Market trying a few different sandwiches from Di Nic’s (pork and sharp provolone, roast beef, and meatball with sharp provolone). Then it was a bit of shopping and off to Indy Hall to meet Sean and pick-up my art from my last trip. Sean had given my co-worker the ten cent tour before we each bought a JFDI print from the latest art show. Once done at Indy Hal we headed to South Philly to Di Bruno Brothers to get too much cheese and cured meats. The last stop before heading home was at Isgro’s for cannoli’s.


Jul 4 – ENTERED – 07/05/2015 – Walking from Go Fish in Rehoboth Beach, DE, towards my car after having fish and chips with a side of curry sauce. Was heading home so I would be home in time to do my 90th day in a row of painting wine bottles on canvas as part of my #100DayProject. Earlier in the day I had shrimp and large crabs at Crab Shack in Kent Narrows, MD. I followed crabs up with a trip to Ocean City, MD, for ice cream because I couldn’t find parking in Rehoboth for fish and chips, plus I wasn’t hungry enough yet for dinner.

Jul 5 – Watching the United States Women’s soccer team in the second half of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. U.S. Women’s team ended up winning 5 – 2. Slept in until 10 AM and then read for two hours or so in bed, and then headed to Wegmans for lunch, more reading, and a bit of grocery shopping. Came home, read, napped, and read some more.

Jul 7 – Laying in bed reading “Starting and Sustaining” by Garrett Dimon, which is a great book on what to think of when starting a company/web application. In this book, Garrett talks about creating the bug tracker “Sifter” from coming up with the idea of building the application to launching to using other services to speed things up. How using other services, so you don’t have to build them yourself can save time and money, plus a whole lot more. I’m reading the book for a second time, since I have been toying with the idea of building my own web application to store places I want to eat while traveling. I’m always asking people or watching TV about where to eat in different cities. The problem is I end up with answers in e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, text, etc. I want one place where I can search by city.

Jul 10 – ENTERED – 07/11/2015 – Finishing up wine bottle painting #96 of my 100 Day Project. Painted early so I could meet up with my buddy for a late dinner at Bonchon Chicken in Arlington, VA. DOL did an article on him as part of their blog post on people with disabilities prior to the 25th anniversary of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Jul 15 – Listening to  Yitzchok Willroth better known as @CodeRabbi  as part of his “Wisdom World Tour”. The talk was titled “Talmudic Maxims to Maximize Your Growth as a Developer” sub-titled “Everything I Learned About PHP I Learned at Rabbinical School”. Great talk on just start by doing something, being part of the community, learning, teaching, helping others, etc. The talk was the first time hearing Yiddish as part fo a tech talk or any other for that matter. At least Yitz translated everything so we all could understand what the Yiddish was.

Jul 22 – Sitting at Long View Gallery listening to Kelli Anderson talk about her personal projects at the Adobe Creative Jam event. She did a lot of creative work with paper from building a five-page book that you make other things from the pages like a planetarium, a guitar, and much more.  Most of the day was spent gathering information about how to test mobile websites and native applications besides using VoiceOver (iPhone) or TalkBack (Android) phones.

Jul 28 – Working on updating Trello board about the “Gotta Eat Here” website and web application, after writing bills to be mailed tomorrow. While this was happening, I’m updating my iPad mini to iOS 8.4. Always update the iPad before the phone to make sure there are no weird thing going on. Not sure If I’m going to update the old iPad 2 with the shattered screen or not.


Aug 2 – Creating new Trello board of blog post ideas for “Gotta Eat Here” from my larger list of issues for “Gotta Eat Here” website to help get people interested. Taking a list from the main board to and creating individual task outside of it so I can start outlining the posts. Which means adding a list of restaurants and other information about them like their location, along with what you should eat there, website, hours, etc. Met up with Matt Bowen and his wife Lauren for late lunch at Mandu in Adams Morgon. We all had bibim bop in a stone bowl that gives you crispy rice if you left it bake to the slides for a bit. We talked about food work, his weight loss of about 65 pounds over the last year or so, which is a great slow and healthy pace in my opinion. Afterward, we stopped at a high-end chocolate shop two blocks away. I picked up to 70% dark chocolate were they picked up two 90% bars, which I think is too dark for my tastes. Once home after a bit of reading ended up taking a couple hour nap, since I didn’t get one in yesterday.

Aug 8 – Sitting in row K seat 1 behind home plate at the Bowie Baysox game watching Joe Grunkel pitch a two-hitter up until the middle of the top of the sixth inning. I was there as his guest and my friend from North Carolina, his wife, son, daughter, and another friend. It was interesting getting to sit that close to watch a game. After the other team got a third hit and he only had 91 pitches he was taken out of the game after six and two-thirds innings and awarded the win.

Aug 13 – Adding places to eat in my Trello board about “Gotta Eat Here” blog posts. Changed the blog post titles from “Write about “XYZ City” to “XYZ City – meal”. The meal part was for some of the larger cities I have more locations to eat at like Washington, DC and New York City. Previously updated a few links on my slides and adding the event for Toronto to the accessibility camp website pages. Attended a few meetings today, along with testing a new API QA tool the tech team is working on.

Aug 14 – Sitting on the 7:10 PM train to New York City talking to a guy from Seattle about cyber security on his way to visit his parents and family in Philly. Today was an interesting day since I ended up breaking my glasses while outside during a fire drill at work. Had to leave work an hour and a half early go to my eye doctors in Crystal City to have them fix them. Got there in no time and they were able to fix my glasses easily. I made it to Union Station to catch my train to New York City for the weekend earlier than if I left directly from my office at 5:30 PM after work. DMd with Jimmy Chandler and Shawn Lauriat to see when they could both meet on Saturday to have a meal.

Aug 16 – ENTERED 12/27/2015 – Sitting on the Amtrak train back to DC from being in New York City for the weekend to see Penn and Teller’s live show earlier in the afternoon on Broadway. Ann Murray was sitting about eight seats away from me in the row in front of me to my right. Great show even though I had seen a lot of the trick before on other TV shows or more recently on “Fool Us”.

Aug 26 – Signing up for Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman’s online talk Monday afternoon called “Kick Procrastination’s Ass”. Did this while texting friend in Boston about accessibility camp, along with all the changes with her and her family in last two months. Busy Day at work with a bunch of meetings looking at responsive templates along with testing a few different new applications.


Sep 2 – In my spare bedroom watching the 12th episode of the third season of “Mind of a Chef” with Chef Magnus Nilsson which is about “Traditions”. It was great seeing how he and his family are keeping some of the old Swedish food traditions alive by teaching his kids who are around five years old. He had his mother and aunt there who taught him and they learned from his grandmothers. Another day spent reading about the Department of Homeland Securities Trusted Tester process. The rest of the day was spent looking into the newly updated enterprise scanning software after it has been unavailable for close to two months because of space, server, and other issues.

Sep 6 – Driving past the original Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehobeth Delaware. Had an interesting day traveling around Maryland and Delaware. First stop was for crabs at the Crab Deck then headed to Ocean City, MD, to drive around and kill some time so I could get fish and chips at Go Fish before heading home. Didn’t make it home until 12:05 AM, since I stopped at Hopkins Farm Creamery in Lewes, DE.

Sep 9 – Working on creating our first Accessibility DC event on EventBrite in over a year. Need to send out a notice to the person at the venue to make sure I have the information correctly before publishing and sending out invites. My day was spent re-working our enterprise scanning software that was having issues with old scheduled scans that used the old license. The rest was spent reviewing a new iPhone application for accessibility issues.

Sep 11 – Walking through the Tysons Galleria Mall on our way to the Ritz Carlton to have dinner at Jose Andres’s American Eats Tavern. Once my buddies and I got there, we ordered a whole bunch of food. We ordered bowls of summer corn soup, buffalo style chicken wings, Hoppin John with mushrooms,  finely chopped tomatoes, celery, carrots, and peppers, and a plate of five different thinly sliced country hams. The final dish we ordered was a large order of suckling pig jambalaya. Oh, almost forgot about the awesome biscuits with the fresh light fluffy butter with a touch of cinnamon. Those were the best biscuits I have ever had in my entire life, and I’m old.

Sep 23 – Driving up King St. and crossing Patrick St. after leaving Caphe Bahn Mi for dinner. I had summer rolls with mint, vermicelli noodles, shrimp, and a few other veggies with a great peanut dipping sauce. My main course was lemongrass chicken with vermicelli noodles, mint, pickled veggies, lettuce, crushed peanuts, and a sweet fish type sauce. Had a good day working at hoe, since the pope is in DC until Thursday night. Having the pope here allowed me to sleep in an extra 45 to an hour and still take a 25-minute walk, which is about the same amount of walking I do to get to my office. At lunch time took the same walk and then heated up some leftovers to eat at my desk while working. Around 3:00 PM went for my normal planned walk to stretch which ended up being around the block. Once I was done for the day at 5:30 PM I did a little bit of reading on Twitter then headed out for about a mile and a half or more walk. Doing this would be similar to my commute home. I enjoyed this day. Got a lot more done without all the distractions of the office, plus walked about 4,000 or so more steps than normal, which is over one and a half miles more walking.

Sep 26 – Standing around talking to people at the TEDxMidAtlantic closing party at the Sidney Harman Theater. Again another great day at TEDxMidAtlantic. It’s worth going year after year because I get to meet interesting people along with learn things I never knew existed.


Oct 1 – Sitting in the Ryman Auditorium listening to the live Opry Country Classics show hosted by Larry Gatlin with his brothers, Crystal Gayle, and others. Long day of driving to get here from DC. I stayed in the Tiny Red House, which was 200 square feet. Had plenty of room to sleep, even cook if you wanted. The place had a living room that could be used for reading and relaxing, but the bathroom could have used another eight or so inches to make easier for a slim guy like me get around. Taking that space from the kitchen wouldn’t matter much in my opinion. Adding pocket doors would be helpful too.

Oct 2 – Sitting in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel for the last half hour listening to an older gentleman play jazz tunes on the piano. While listening to the music, I was cleaning up a week’s worth of e-mail before heading over to Beale St. Had a nice day by starting the morning in the Hatch Show Print in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN. Great place to see how they are keeping letterpress printing alive by printing posters for music events. Had dinner at the Rendezvous which consisted of an order of smoked sausage and a dinner of lamb riblets. They were some of the best BBQ meat I’ve eaten.

Oct 5 – Waiting at “Moonshine” to get seated for dinner in Austin, TX, with two other people. We had to wait for about 45 minutes that wasn’t too bad because it gave us time to catch up since it’s been a while. Had a great day at An Event Apart and learned a lot. Guess you miss out on things when you skip a few years. I won the super bingo/coverall were you are networking to meet people and find out certain facts that are true about then and fill one of your spaces.

Oct 6 – Sitting at the Razorfish offices in Austin, TX, talking about accessibility. The talk I was giving was called, “Everything I Learned about Accessibility I Learned from Wine and Cheese”. The talk was about how it takes years to get knowledgeable about accessibility. Which is similar to learning about wine and cheese in that a person needs to figure out what grapes, blends, etc. they like and keeping mental notes. With accessibility, you need to learn things all the time and try things that make sense to improve the accessibility of an entire page or even a small piece of it. Today was another great day at An Event Apart and looking forward to the Workshop on Wednesday.

Oct 10 – Standing in line with two guys from Glasgow, Scotland, a couple from Chicago, and a few people from outside New Orleans to see The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Earlier in the day went to Port of call and had a  mushrooms cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickle’, and a baked potato. Then went to the Garden District to wander around. Ended up at the cemetery across the street from Commanders Palace. Once done their tits and wondering in the neighborhood. Then I headed back to the French quarter so I could go back to Jackson Square and look for more art. Ended up buying a slate roof tile painting of the jazz trombone player. Then I grabbed a guitar player photo for only 25 bucks even though it was a repainting on top of another. After the Presentation Hall JAZZ Band, I went to are nods and head alligator sausage with baked onions and spicy mustard. My entrée was crawfish O’Connor, which was crawfish, some spice in a tomato butter cream sauce. They had wonderful homemade bread and butter.Could have eaten more of it, but wanted to cut back a bit.

Oct 11 – ENTERED – 10/13/2105 – Driving to my rustic cabin AirBnB. Got of Interstate 95 and drove 13 miles down a two lane road with no street lights then turned right and drove another eight-plus miles. Turned right at the only place with a street light. A few turns later I’m on a dirt road fro over 1.7 miles, driving at five or ten miles an hour looking for a sign that says Cabin and garden in pick darkness. Once I found the sign and turned left as the email said. Another quarter mile I see a light in the distance, and there it was a two room cabin, which one room is the bathroom, with the internal, external lights on. Grabbed laptop bag along with my clothes and went in. To my right, there was a TV with Direct TV standing on a bunch old glass bottle milk crates with two leather chairs. In Theodore if the room there was a small wood burning stove. In the kitchen area was a fridge, gas stove, and on the sink was a bottle of Bourbon and another of Johnny Walker Black. The next thing in the room was the bathroom. The part of the cabin next to the bedroom area was in had a bunk bed, gun cabinet, and then a twin bed in a stand that you needed a step stool to get into. Also, over the fridge was a stuffed male turkey and raccoon on a log over the sink and a deer head over the main door. It was great to be able to use my Your Karma to check e-mail and others things in the middle of the Georgia mountainous back-country.

Oct 12 – ENTERED – 10/13/2105 – Having dinner at my friends house south of Raleigh with his wife talking about my travels the previous twelve days. We had a great dinner of strip steak, Brussel sprouts and bacon fat cooked in a cast iron skillet, along with homemade cornbread, German potato salad with bacon and some cooked mushrooms with onions. Spent the day driving from the rustic cabin in Hamilton, GA. Had great nights sleep in this wonderful place.

Oct 24 – Sitting at the dinner table at the Cedarville manner talking with friends at my friend Sarah and Mike’s wedding. Was waiting for the music is third so it wouldn’t get on the dance floor. Managed to sleep until only 7 AM realize they didn’t have my phone charger so I went out to my car use my catchers you’re going to read for an hour from 8 AM to 9 AM. The client went in to have breakfast with friends. Then we went to one of my buddies rooms had a little bit of wine they had some breakfast room. Once it got to be noon we went out to lunch and came back and nap for a short time. It’s 3 PM I left to go to Citizen Barber to have them clean up my beer to make sure it was Lacey shake for the wedding this evening.


Nov 6 – Sitting in Bangkok Golden with Eric, Sam, and Pratik to have some Loa food for the three week in a row. We ordered a bunch of different foods from two veggie crunchy rice salad, spicy duck lamb, roasted pork shoulder, and beef drunken noodles.

Nov 7 – Listening to the best man and brides made tell stories about the bride and groom or watching everyone on the dance floor, because I missed the time because I was having a good time. The best food at the event I had to be the chocolate cake which part of he larger wedding cake made by the bride’s sister who is a master baker from San Fransisco.

Nov 14 – ENTERED 11/16/2015 – Was eating the second third of my four meat grinder from Stachowski’s while flipping between college football and car building shows. Earlier in the day went to St. Elmo’s to talk with friends to see how everyone did after the wedding last weekend. Once that was done, I headed to the post office to mail bills and send my friends external hard drive that he let at my place to him. Then I was off to DC to get cupcakes at Baked and Wired, which was followed by a stop at Stachowski for their four meat grinder to be cut in thirds it’s so easier to eat. I had the first third while watching Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 28 – 7. Once I was done with all that and my second helping of sub I watched a bunch of different TV shows to keep myself distracted for no particular reason.

Nov 25 – Eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing covered with gravy while watching ‘American Pickers’. The government sent us home two hours early the day before Thanksgiving so I ended taking a two plus hour nap. Once I got up, I headed to “Unwined” to pick up some Pinot Noir and Syrah. I was greeted by the owner even though they had closed about 15 minutes earlier. They offered me some of the wine they had been tasting earlier in the day. The owner was tasting a Bourbon that someone brought in and offered me some if hers. TheBourbon and trying five reds was a bit much after waking up 20 minutes before and had not eaten anything in six hours. Ended up purchasing two bottles of private label Pinot Noir by Lanny from California, along with two bottles of 2003 J. J. Prum Riesling.

Nov 26 – Sitting at a small round kitchen table with friends and others invited to their house for a late Thanksgiving dinner. First reason dinner was late was because their eldest daughter had to work at the Army hospital as a nurse for the day, along with a few of her co-workers that came along too. The other reason was the main stoves oven decided not to work. We had a great time talking about a bunch different things, and we managed not talk politics or religion. My contribution to the meal was a nice bottle of Lanny Pinot Noir and a bottle of Shiraz from Two Hands winery.


Dec 2 – Sitting at iStrategy Labs listening to Chris Coyier and others talk/demo Pens at the Code Pen DC meet-up. Was interesting to see what kinds of things CodePen can do and what new features were coming out soon, along with some cool things people were working on or built using CodePen. Worked on reviewing the new ILAB ‘Sweat and Toil’ Android applications to see how much more accessible they made it. Now, for the most part, the issues seem to be with how Talkback (screen reader) does different things that I’m used to working in JAWS, NVDA, or even VoiceOver.

Dec 5 – ENTERED – 12/07/2015 – Sitting in St. Elmo’s listening to two musicians after dinner with a few friends at Pork Barrel (still now a fan). We had gathered earlier in the evening to see the Del Ray, VA,  tree lighting, along with a few of us going down the street to the Purple Goose consignment shop for a used babies crib. Earlier in the day met most of these friends at St. Elmo’s for coffee and our weekly gathering of the minds as we call it. Plus, to see how everyone’s week went and discussed the news. After that headed home to read for a bit, then went to Pho 75 for lunch, which was a small bowl of number 10 (rib eye and fatty brisket) with extra noodles. Then it was off to Java Hut in Arlington, VA, near the Whole Foods for hot cider while doing prep work Sunday’s mini Just-F’ing-Ship-athon, which was going to be doing research and reading about my web application idea I had for keeping track of places to eat. Posted a blog post about stopping work for now on my event registration application because it got too large for one person or, at least, me with what I know now, along with the first part of a post on Sunday morning about what I want to work on next.

Dec 6 – ENTERED – 12/07/2015 – Sitting on my sofa downloading food and restaurant related iPhone application that I wanted to see if they had any features I might want to have in my application or if they had anything like it at all. Started Googling information at 9:00 AM. Hit publish on my blog post of what this 12-hour sprint or hack-a-thon is about. Spent the majority of the morning Googling and then updating the blog post. Then at noon showered and headed to St. Elmo’s to do more work there to get out of the house. Spent two hours there and updated post before leaving. As I was walking out ran into a friend I had seen in close to a year so stood around and talked for about 30 minutes then it was off to a late lunch at 3:00 PM. Once lunch was done went to head to another coffee shop again near Whole Foods in Arlington, VA. Did a bunch of reading of articles and posts I found. Headed home around 7:00 PM to spend the last hour or so from 8:00 Pm to 9:00 PM or so downloading applications to my iPhone. Lots more to read and applications to try out, which will then require more digging.

Dec 14 -Watching Rev Run from Run DMC’s show on Travel Channel called “Rev Runs Around the World” in Tokyo. They are celebrating his oldest son’s birthday. They travel to a bunch of places and do different things. Completed the DHS Trusted Tester exam in about five and a half hours including about an hour for lunch and a few breaks. Managed to get through everything in six pages except the software part of the recipes pages by 12:30 PM. Came back to complete the software part. Once I was done, I went back through all the pages to double check my work because of they way DHS words the questions. By doing this, I found about four answers I had to correct but more importantly found four questions I never answered in the software section of the recipes page. Now we wait about four weeks because of the Christmas and New Years holiday.

Dec 15 – I was in Cabin John for Amiee’s coming home wine dinner homecoming from Afghanistan. It was great to see her home in one piece in the United States. She had a layover after getting here before heading to Indianapolis and then home in Chicago. From what she was saying we were the only ones that knew she was back in country as not to worry others if it took longer to get home than planned. We Skyped with another friend in Chicago that she knows for like 15 minutes before she wandered pas the camera when she thought our other friend distracted when her husband came home. When she saw her and realized what was going on she screamed “You B*itch” and then burst into tears of joy, which made most of the guys manly men start to cry or, at least, tear up.

Dec 18 – Sitting in wine friends kitchen at his holiday party talking with other friends who are mostly Republicans what they thought of the top candidates. For the most part, they agreed the top few were crazy and that the RNC must be having a cow/fit worrying that one of them could be the candidate for the party.

Dec 24 – Sitting at friends kitchen table with the young adults drinking a few wines (1983 Ridge York Creek Zinfandel, 2011 Piccolo Cru, and a 2013 Shotfire Shiraz) I brought with our Christmas Eve dinner. As usual, the food was beyond awesome. They had baked ham, prime rib, roasted pork, Mac and cheese, green beans, stuffing, and many more items that didn’t fit on my plate. Later in the evening, I had homemade pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream for dessert. I had a shortened four hour day at work. Managed to grab lunch with a few co-workers and then home for a couple hour nap.


Looking back at what I was doing most night’s this year wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be. Managed to write 28,000+ words about it and what happened during my days.

Next year I need to visit more with friends and family and do a lot more than watch TV to relax after a day of work. Need to do more reading and work on side proejcts so some day I can work when I want during the days.