2013 was an amazing year: Trish and I got married, celebrated on a 'round-the-world honeymoon and invested in a new 4x4 VW Bus. I finally achieved my goal of vacationing 25% and I got to spend more than two months in the presence of my wonderful parents.
For the last few years, I've generally had one client per year. That changed this year when my contract with Oracle ended in May. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to develop a cool dashboard application before I finished. I wrote about it in a four-part series.
- Developing with AngularJS - Part I: The Basics
- Developing with AngularJS - Part II: Dialogs and Data
- Developing with AngularJS - Part III: Services
- Developing with AngularJS - Part IV: Making it Pop
I engaged in a month-long contract with Travelport to keep me busy in June. They hired me to develop a portal consolidation prototype, which I did with AngularJS, Grails and LDAP. I showcased that application at Devoxx in November.
In September, I started a new gig with John Muir Health. I was hired to help with their mobile architecture, and spent my first couple months doing front-end optimizing and helping get their MyJMH product released. Once the release was complete, I proposed a mobile architecture and started assisting with the development of their mobile application.
We're developing the Mobile API with Spring Boot. I wrote about my initial experience in A Webapp Makeover with Spring 4 and Spring Boot. My contract with John Muir Health is through the end of March and I hope to start something new shortly after.
- JavaOne 2013 Roundup: Java 8 is Revolutionary, Java is back
- Netty 4 Reduces GC Overhead by 5x at Twitter
- Spring 4 Enhances Support for Java 8, Java EE 7, REST and HTML5
I spoke at five events in 2013:
- Denver JUG on The Modern Java Web Developer and Java Web Security
- Devoxx France on Comparing JVM Web Frameworks and Play vs. Grails
- HTML5 Denver on Bootstrap
- JavaOne: I spoke for the first time and received a Rock Star Award
- Devoxx and a Nordic Countries Speaking Tour on The Modern Java Web Developer
It seems that folks liked my presentations since they were in the top 1% of most viewed on SlideShare in 2013.
Trish took many beautiful photos as part of our trip to Devoxx France.
We stopped in Iceland on the way home to see the Northern Lights.
AppFuse: I released AppFuse Light 2.2.1 in January and switched AppFuse from JSF's MyFaces to PrimeFaces in February. I blogged about AppFuse's GWT integration in March and celebrated the project's 10 year anniversary in April. AppFuse 3.0 was released just before Christmas.
Roller: I didn't contribute any code to the Roller project in 2013, but I did make this site responsive with CSS media queries.
Trish and I started our world travels in March with a trip to Magnificent Mexico. We had a wonderful time playing with old friends and renting a house on the beach.
Our trip to Paris and Iceland was a dream come true for Trish. Watching the Aurora Borealis dance in the sky is something I'll never forget.
To end the ski season in April, we completed the trifecta (3 ski resorts in 3 days) with a fun family weekend.
The last week of the ski season was epic, as I described in a life update.
The last week in Winter Park was the best skiing of the year. The first (Tuesday) afternoon, I started skiing around 1pm and it snowed all afternoon - resulting in several inches by the end of the day. The next day was smooth and empty, followed by a day of deep powder and knee-deep runs down Eagle Wind. I had one of the best runs of my life that day.
I wrote about the '66 Bus Project and how I removed it from Motorworks Restorations after six years.
We spent the first weekends in June on the Colorado River. One of the biggest highlights for me was catching a 16" Trout, right after Trish saw it jump and told me exactly where to cast my line. The fact that I was able to cast it to the precise spot was cool enough, but getting the fish on my line moments later was exhilarating. Shortly after, a majestic Bald Eagle flew over us and we all dropped our jaws in amazement.
Trish and I started a two month sabbatical in July to get married in proper fashion in the town I grew up in. She looked absolutely stunning.
During the ceremony, I surprised her with a 162-page book I built with my words and her pictures.
When asked if I'd take her as my lawfully-wedded wife, I shouted as "YES!" at the top of my lungs. Trish agreed enthusiastically and we were pronounced husband and wife.
Our wedding week was an unbelievably fun experience with many, many friends and family. We look forward to celebrating it over and over again as long as we live.
We had a day of rest following the wedding, then drove back to Denver to begin our 'round-the-world honeymoon without phones. We spent a month traveling to Ireland, Italy, Thailand and Fiji. It was a wonderful journey and we greatly enjoyed all the people, places and experiences.
We arrived back in the US at the end of August, just in time to celebrate Jack's 9th birthday.
In September, we got loud at the Broncos Home Opener, and experienced beautiful Colorado fall weather with trips to Estes Park and Aspen. In October, we traveled to Minnesota for a best friend's wedding. We also visited Pennsylvania to spend some time with Trish's parents.
In early December, we flew to Idaho to pickup our new Syncro. We anticipated a few VW Adventures when we bought the bus and haven't been disappointed.
The Syncro drove back to Denver just fine, but started experiencing cooling issues driving around town. We got it fixed and drove to Montana for Christmas. We broke down on Christmas Eve in Bozeman, tried to fix it, but eventually gave up and rented a car. Straightaway Motors replaced the thermostat over the next week and we were able to drive it back to Denver with no issues. It started overheating again a couple days later. We've only recently got it running smoothly, with help from Rocky Mountain Westy. You can read the full story on thesamba.com.
Christmas Vacation was spent at The Raible Homestead, enjoying my parents new retirement cabin and a sweet sledding hill.
We finished the year skiing at Big Mountain, where I learned how to downhill ski in grade school.
My goal for 2014 is singular: finish The Bus. I finally found the restoration shop I wish I would've found years ago. They're very quick and efficient, and send me daily (picture) updates of their progress. With any luck, it'll be done in a couple months (sound familiar?).
Last year, I wanted to slow down and I feel like I did that on our honeymoon. My wife scoffs at that notion. This year, I hope to simply take more time to do things, instead of trying to cram many things into tight timelines.
I plan to spend less time traveling and speaking at conferences and more time at Volkswagen shows. With our 4x4 VW Syncro, we hope to camp, raft and spend quite a bit of time in the Rocky Mountains. We also hope to take the busses to a few art shows to show off Trish's majestic photos.
Last year, and the year before, we watched the Broncos fail miserably in the NFL playoffs. This year, they're in the Super Bowl. With a kick-ass Ski Bus, a Porsche Bus on the way, awesome kids and a great wife - 2014 is destined to be spectacular. I hope the Broncos are too!