The House

A few months after starting this blog, I wrote about The Cabin. I grew up in a the cabin in the backwoods of Montana, with no electricity and no running water. I lived there for 16 years before moving to Oregon for my last two years of high school. As you can imagine, this makes for a good story now that I'm a programmer by trade.

Since I'm between clients right now, I decided to head back to the cabin to see my parents for a bit. My Dad retired in 2009 and my Mom in 2010. They started building their retirement home just up the hill from the cabin in 2004. My parents moved in two years ago and completed enough of it to show it off at a big party before Trish and my wedding last year.

The House is a majestic building, hand-built and beautifully crafted. Both the interior and exterior are amazing, with gorgeous trim and a wonderful attention to detail. The porch is possibly the best in the world, high and mighty with a great view of the cabin and garden below.

The House Front Door

The Porch Sweet Railings

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Posted in General at Nov 16 2014, 09:09:20 AM MST Add a Comment

Happy Birthday Abbie!

Abbie with Medallion It's hard to believe that my daughter, Abbie, is now 12 years old. She's in 6th grade now, attending middle school and loving that she gets to choose her classes. I'm particularly happy to see her studying video game design and programming simple games. The picture on the right is of Abbie and her horse, Medallion. Unfortunately, he had to be put down the very next day because of colic. Trish and Abbie were leasing him, but were planning on buying him. It was a very sad day in the Raible household.

Abbie is still taking horseback riding lessons and might start participating in horse shows next year. For the ski season, we got her the 6th-Grade Passport. For $100, she can ski a few days at all the resorts in Colorado. We don't plan to travel as much as we did last year, but we do plan on skiing a bunch.

Happy Birthday Abbie! You're an awesome 12-year-old and we had a great time celebrating your birthday with you tonight. :)

Abbie and Jack - Halloween 2014

Posted in General at Nov 05 2014, 09:56:34 PM MST Add a Comment

Devoxx4Kids - Denver: Introduction to Hardware Concepts with littleBits

Devoxx4Kids I'm pleased to announce the second meeting of the Denver Chapter of Devoxx4Kids is now open for registration. It's a two hour class titled Introduction to Hardware Concepts with littleBits and will be taught by Denver's own Tack Mobile. To learn more about littleBits, see http://littlebits.cc. If you or your company would like help by donating a Workshop Set, please contact me.

The class will be held on Saturday, November 22nd, from 10am - 12pm at Assembly Workspace. Cost is $10, but you'll get that back in the form of a t-shirt. Age requirement is 9-18 and kids should have basic computer skills (copy/paste, opening applications, etc.).

I'd like to thank Juan Sanchez for reaching out to me about this class and inspiring his company (and workspace) to make it all happen. It's been great working with you and your team Juan!

When I started Devoxx4Kids Denver, I was hoping to host a class or two per year. Our first meetup in May was a wild success. After taking the summer off to relax, I started looking for more speakers in early October. The response has been great and we'll have another class about GreenFoot on December 13th. We're even in the planning stages for another session on NAO Humanoid Robot programming in Q1 2015.

If you'd like to get involved with Denver's Devoxx4Kids, please join our meetup group.

Posted in General at Oct 30 2014, 08:17:21 AM MDT 1 Comment

The 21-Day Sugar Detox

For the past 21-days, I've been on a sugar detox. Becky Reece, a long-time friend of Trish's, inspired us to do it. Becky is a nutritionist and we've always admired how fit she is. Becky challenged a bunch of her friends to do it, and Trish signed up. I told Trish I'd do it with her to make things easier from a cooking perspective.

To be honest, we really didn't know what we were getting into when we started it. Trish ordered the book the week before we started and it arrived a couple days before things kicked off. Trish started reading the book the night before we started. That's when we realized we should've prepared more. The book had all kinds of things you were supposed to do the week before you started the detox. Most things involved shopping and cooking, so you were prepared with pre-made snacks and weren't too stressed out.

We started the detox on Monday, September 22, 2014. That's when we first realized there was no alcohol (we both love craft beer). Trish shopped and cooked like a madwoman that first week. I think we spent somewhere around $600 on groceries. Trish wrote about our first week on her blog.

We are on Sunday Day-7 and made it through the first week with two birthday parties and a nice dinner out eating well and staying on track. I'm not weighing myself until the end, but my face looks a little slimmer, my skin feels smoother and my wedding ring is not as tight as it used to be. I feel great and have started to believe this is the last detox, diet or cleanse I will ever need. Cleansing my life of sugar could be a life changer especially when an Avo-Coconana Smoothie with Almond Butter Pad Thai becomes my new favorite meal.

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Posted in General at Oct 13 2014, 01:05:00 PM MDT 5 Comments

Rafting the Green River through Desolation Canyon

After rafting the Yampa in June, we knew we'd experienced a once-in-a-lifetime kinda trip. We never expected to have two in one summer. When we got an invite to raft Desolation Canyon over Labor Day weekend, we jumped at the opportunity.

The trip started on Jack's birthday: Thursday, August 28th. We drove from Denver to Green River, Utah the night before, and had some adventures along the way. As we were heading down Vail Pass, our trailer started to swing from side to side, almost whiplashing us off the road. We quickly slowed down and didn't go over 65 MPH for the rest of the trip. I figured this was caused by the rear spring spacers we added to the Syncro. The heightened rear caused the raft trailer to be out of balance, and we needed a new hitch to drop it down.

We arrived around 1:30am, popped the top on our camper and went to sleep. The next morning, we woke up and met some of our fellow floaters for the first time. An hour later, were were getting ready to leave and I was inspecting our trailer. That's when I noticed one of the wheels was about to fall off. The bearings were shot and the wheel was barely hanging on.

Luckily, one of the guys we just met had replaced all his trailer's bearings the week before and was on it. He knew exactly what to do and went to work. There was a Napa Auto Parts store a mile away. Two hours and several trips to Napa later, we were back in business and on the road.

We celebrated Jack's 10th birthday while driving to the put in, opening presents and having a good ol' time. We also had some cupcakes to celebrate with everyone once we arrived. Jack was especially pumped for the huckleberries my Mom overnighted.

Happy 10th Bithday Jack! YAY Huckleberries from Mimi and Baba in Montana

We launched with five families total, 10 adults and 10 kids. We had five rafts, a duckey, an inner tube and two motors to get us through the flat water. We didn't get on the river until 6pm that first day, and only made it seven miles before dark.

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Posted in General at Sep 20 2014, 05:11:17 PM MDT 2 Comments

The First Day of School

Another school year is upon us! This year brings a big change: Abbie is now a middle schooler! I missed blogging about the beginning of school last year because Trish and I were honeymooning in Ireland, Italy, Thailand and Fiji. For fall activities, Abbie and Trish are leasing a horse, so they'll be doing lots of riding. Jack is inspired to learn how to program, but I can't help but think some outdoor activities will be more fun. I hope to keep him interested in programming by organizing a fall Devoxx4Kids Denver.

First Day of School 2014

Personally, I'm not quite ready to start thinking about the fall. With a 6-day rafting trip down Desolation Canyon over Labor Day weekend, we hope to squeeze the last little bit out of summer before it's over. We'll be taking both kids and driving our Syncro with its new engine.

H6 Engine Conversion by RMW Solar Panel Installed. Thanks Dad! Nicer stance with spacers

Reunited and it feels so good!

When we get back, it's time for football/tailgating season, leaves changing and the finishing of the '66 Dream Bus. With the interior getting painted soon, I believe the final push is right around the corner!

Related: The First Day of School 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Posted in General at Aug 18 2014, 04:05:34 PM MDT Add a Comment

The Scenic Way to Santa Fe

After having a successful run at ski season with our VW Syncro, Trish and I figured we'd see how it performed in the summer. We took it 4x4ing in Moab, rafting in Dinosaur National Monument and camping for Father's Day Weekend. It was a trusty steed for our kids, dogs, skis and raft. Earlier this month, we planned a week-long road trip to Santa Fe to see one of my old college roommates. Because of the holiday weekend, it turned into a 10-day road trip. We left Denver in style on the morning of the 4th.

Happy 4th from our Red, White and Blues!

The motorcycle on the back didn't seem to slow us down much. We drove from Denver to Winter Park, taking the long way over Squaw Pass to avoid traffic.

The Scenic Route over Squaw Pass Colorado High Country

When we arrived at our Ski Shack, the engine was making a loud knocking sound. We dismissed it as a random occurrence. When I drove to the gas station 45 minutes later, the knocking was loud enough that heads turned when I drove past. After fueling up, I started the van and began driving back to our condo. The engine sputtered, the tires screeched and then the engine died. I pulled to the side, conveniently still in the gas station's parking lot. The engine would no longer turn over.

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Posted in General at Jul 27 2014, 11:56:52 AM MDT 2 Comments

McGinity Photo on the cover of Whisky Magazine!

A couple years ago, my dad and I were driving to get some materials for a home improvement project we were working on. It was during a gorgeous Colorado sunset, one so beautiful that I called Trish and told her "You have to go outside and see it!" Not only did she capture the sunset that day, but she shot one of her favorite pictures of all time. She calls that photo "Stranahan's Truck" and its been one of her best sellers. In fact, this month it's featured on the cover of Whisky Magazine!

The original version of this photo is available on her website. Her description:

I love this photo I took of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Truck and Distillery last spring. Rob Dietrich is the head distiller of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey and this is his 1938 Dodge that John "the Duke" Wayne used to drive when he stayed in Aspen, Colorado.

I love this photo I took of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Truck and Distillery last spring.  Rob Dietrich is the head distiller of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey and this is his 1938 Dodge that John Wayne used to drive when he stayed in Aspen, Colorado.

Way to go baby! You're awesome! :)

Posted in General at Jul 26 2014, 10:24:00 AM MDT 1 Comment

Father's Day Weekend on The Arkansas River

I really enjoy being a father. I consider it one of my greatest responsibilities, one that has many rewards. There's nothing like hearing your son say "Dad, I'm really glad you made me go on this trip" (on our Yampa trip) or your daughter making you a Happy Father's Day book that says "you invented FUN!" Like many years in the past, we celebrated Father's Day Weekend with a camping trip.

Trish and I both invited our Dad's to join us, and they delightfully agreed. Trish transported her Dad to Denver by flying to Pennsylvania last Wednesday and road-tripping back with him. I flew my Dad in and picked him up from the airport Friday afternoon. We had a bit of road-tripping ourselves, with a drive to Fort Collins (to pick up our enhanced Syncro), then to Winter Park (to pick up our raft), then back to Denver.

Saturday morning, we packed up our sleeping bags, life jackets and border collies and drove to the Cotopaxi KOA on the Arkansas River. We arrived late afternoon, and were quickly impressed with the KOA's glamping attributes. We had an excellent riverside spot, with RV hookups for the van and a sweet concrete patio. We enjoyed a wagon ride, frisbee, fishing, and marshmallows by the fire before retiring for the night.

Dad at Cotopaxi KOA New bumpers and RV hookups Frisbee! Banjo Happiness

Crazies on the wagon ride

Nice spot to wake up Let's Go!

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Posted in General at Jun 19 2014, 08:53:10 AM MDT Add a Comment

Rafting the Yampa through Dinosaur National Monument

In January, my friend Brice sent out an email to a bunch of folks asking us to apply for a river permit lottery. He sent us links to lotteries for Dinosaur National Monument - Yampa River and Desolation Gray - Green River. There were 10 of us on the email and we all applied for both permits. In mid-February, I found out I won the Yampa permit and the trip planning began. This was a huge deal for some since they'd been trying to get this permit for 10 years.

When we got all the details worked out, we were scheduled to launch on Saturday, May 31 and take out on Wednesday, June 4. Our put-in was Deerlodge Park and take-out, Split Mountain. If you're interested, you can see a map.

Over the next four months, many emails flew between us (33 pages if printed out) and much planning ensued. We had a planning BBQ, endured a permit-award-never-sent-fiasco and I tried to back out for Abbie's 5th grade continuation ceremony. Since I was the permit holder (and had to go), the crew convinced me it was a trip of a lifetime. We left Abbie in Denver for her ceremony and took Jack with us. When we launched on May 31, we had 21 people, 8 rafts and one inflatable kayak. Of the crew, 6 were children (aged 6 - 11).

Eddy... Set... Go!

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Posted in General at Jun 11 2014, 10:30:23 PM MDT 1 Comment