Wednesday What’s Up

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Reading

What I’m Playing

  • I found Exploding Kittens in a Target on our way to West Point and picked it up. Julie and I played a couple of times with Matthew over beers and enjoyed it. Very light game and will be even better with a larger group.

  • Julie and I played Lanterns: The Harvest Festival while enjoying a beer last week at Steuben Brewing just up the hill from us. Big fan of this for two or three players.
  • Julie and I played our staple Five Crowns last weekend. Julie won and is creeping back towards a 50/50 split lifetime.

What I’m Listening To

  • First Listen: Sugarland, ‘Bigger’ – Pretty country.
  • Spotify – What? I shut Spotify down about a year ago and switched to Amazon Music, mainly to see how it is and if the Echo integration was significantly better. Echo: better. Music: not better. I miss the social sharing, release radar, discover weekly, etc. Found a deal for returning members ($9.99 for 3 months) so I’m back in and shut down Amazon Music.

Congrats USMA Class Of 2018

Julie and I attended the graduation of West Point class of 2018, scouting for Matthew’s graduation next year. Very hot today – sunny and high 80s. Lots of good intelligence gathering for the big crowd we will have next year.

Wednesday What’s Up

What I’m Reading

  • Julie and I listened to Riders of the Purple Sage while roaming around southern Utah, a perfect place to take in this classic. I used to own the entire Zane Grey collection (gift from my paternal grandfather) but never got into the books and eventually let them go. No regrets on that front, but I was surprised at the quality of writing.
  • You can’t tour southern Utah without seeing copies of Desert Solitaire in just about every visitor center bookstore. The irony of course is that Abbey would want these centers destroyed and the parks returned to a wilderness state. The book was quite good if a bit rambling at times. I loved the story of his rafting adventure down the Colorado just before the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.
  • I listened to the Leonardo da Vinci biography. If Leonardo had only been a publisher / finisher he would have been credited for a great many more discoveries and inventions.
  • Julie and I wanted a long fiction book to listen to on our trip out to NY, so we re-listend to The Talisman by Stephen King. My first and only read was probably about 35 years ago and I don’t think it holds up very well. It is part of King’s world-building for sure (it meshes in, eventually, with The Dark Tower series) but I think there are too many holes to be “believable fantasy.”

What I’m Exploring

  • Packwood Lake – Julie and I met Jacob and Kaitlin half-way and hiked this nice 10 mile round-trip in the shadow of Mt Rainier. A good early season option – some trace of snow and a bit of mud, but in great shape and well trafficked.

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Listening To

  • Aquilo’s Silhouettes – Discovered this with Shazam app in a Panera and am enjoying it. Hints of Tears for Fears.

What I’m Playing

  • I taught Great War Commander to Doug and lost very badly.
  • I played Advanced Squad Leader online and in real life during the week we were in Oregon between our Utah trip and our drive to NY. I don’t expect any in-person play this summer but will get in a few VASL games.
  • Julie and I taught The Great Dalmuti to our family host in Broomfield, CO. Always a hit with larger groups.

NCWIT Summit 2018

I just finished up a visit to the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Summit, and the photo you see are my three colleagues and I who all teach computer science at Western Oregon University.

While I learned much from the summit and speakers, most valuable were the discussions and forward progress the four of us made in our specific plans for improving our recruiting and retention of women at WOU.