Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Life Update: The Bus Project, New Gigs, New House and More

I've written a few Life Update blog posts in the past and it seems appropriate to write another one today. A lot has happened since I wrote about our trip to Syncro Solstice 2015 in Moab. First of all, let's talk about the most exciting one: The Bus Project.

The Bus Project
The last time I wrote about The Bus, it'd just arrived at Sewfine to have the interior installed. From the get-go, I knew this was going to be a good experience. I've been talking with the owners (Carol and Mike) for years about the project. Seeing the knowledge they had about VWs and knowing it was in good hands brought a sense of calmness over me. They estimated it'd take 4-8 weeks to finish and it ended up taking 12. I'm proud to say it left Sewfine yesterday with a completed interior.

Love the color scheme with chrome accents The cockpit

In mid-May, we took The Bus to its first show: VWs on the Green in Littleton. Sewfine had completed the driver's seat and ragtop. I got license plates and insurance and was planning on driving it to the show. However, Mike pointed out that the engine compartment wasn't sealed and the engine might get really hot on the 10-mile drive (because it's an air-cooled engine). I agreed to trailer it instead and rented a car hauler from U-Haul.

While driving it onto the trailer, and onto the grass at the show, I discovered several issues that needed fixed before I'd consider it road-worthy. First of all, the shifting was very sloppy and it was hard to find first gear. Third gear was easy to find and I ended up using that a few times, much to the chagrin of the clutch. I also found the air-bag suspension to extremely stiff. So stiff it seemed dangerous to drive over 20mph. Then there was the oil leak that left a trail behind us.

The good news is the guys who painted it have agreed to try and fix these issues and it's back in their good hands today. I don't know when it'll be done, but I've given up on trying to establish deadlines; especially since the largest VW show in Colorado is this weekend and it won't be done by then.

Below are some photos we took at the VWs on the Green Show.

The Dream Team

Happy Daze

Thing 1 Thing 2

Empty Interior Under Construction

66 VW Bus Front view on the Green

For more pictures, see Trish's VWs on the Green 2015 album on Flickr. I also published mine.

New Gigs
I started a new gig in March, slinging code for a fashion-industry startup in downtown Denver. The team is comprised of guys I've known for years and I've had a really great time. The project is led by James Goodwill, who I worked with at Virtuas, Overstock and Time Warner cable with. It's good to be working with him again. My good friend, The 'Fesser, just joined our team last week too! I'm writing JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS and we're using AngularJS and Bootstrap as our UI frameworks. There's also opportunities to do Python and iOS development. James and another friend/co-worker, Wes Matlock, recently published Beginning Swift Games Development for iOS.

Trish started a new gig with Tuliva this week and now has an office a block from mine (at Thrive Ballpark). Thrive's new space is awesome and I love that they have coffee, beer and kambucha on tap! I've been riding my bike to work (6 miles each way) most of the year. My client has an office five blocks from mine, so I tend to spend half my time there.

The JHipster Mini-Book
I wrote about my progress on the JHipster book at the end of June. Now that it's July, I'm working on Apache Camel and Java Web Security presentations for UberConf.

Selling our House
Last month, we found a house we loved near our kids' schools. It was on an acre of land in a prime part of DTC (near Cherry Creek High School). To make an offer, we had to put our house on the market. Unfortunately, our offer wasn't accepted, but now we're on the market and hope to move south soon. It's been an interesting experience polishing up our house and keeping it clean, especially in the midst of the torrential rain we've had lately.

Summer Vacations
Last week, we drove our Syncro to my parent's house in Montana. Trish took a gorgeous photo of the sunset in Wyoming on the way up.

A beautiful Wyoming sunset on our way to Montana in our Syncro Westy. Photo by the amazing Trish McGinity.

Posted by Matt Raible on Thursday, July 2, 2015

We had an amazing week with my parents, my sister and her wife, Mya, and many old friends. My uncle was in town for the first few days, so we played golf, hiked in Glacier Park, and spent quality time together. The kids had a great time throwing water balloons from the Syncro in the Swan Valley Parade and we admired the beauty of the Swan Valley Museum. We fished, swam, boated, picked huckleberries and played guitar on the front porch.

We drove back to Denver on the 5th of July in 16 hours. We stopped for an hour in Billings, and had good enough timing to watch the USA Women's soccer team win it all! Driving through the dark rain and fog in Wyoming wasn't fun, but we arrived safe and sound at 3am. We were very impressed with the Syncro's performance.

We have a raft trip scheduled next week, with the same friends from last year. This time, we're rafting the Green instead of the Yampa, starting at the Gates of Lodore. I love rafting and it's really fun to take my family on multi-day trips with epic people. I feel very fortunate. When the bus is done, I just might melt into a puddle of glee. :)

Posted in The Bus at Jul 08 2015, 10:14:56 PM MDT 1 Comment
Comments:

I really like the one-ball on the shifter on the van. My mom told my dad when I was a baby that if he didn't stop hustling pool that she would leave him. He did. He was a really good pool player. We had a 4.5' x 9' drop-pocket table when I was growing up.

Posted by David Whitehurst on July 09, 2015 at 03:11 PM MDT #

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