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.

4th of July Adventures in Montana

Montana is one of my favorite places on earth, especially the The Cabin. Like last year and the year before, I spent a couple weeks at the cabin for this year's 4th of July. Last year was interesting because I met Trish two days before my vacation. This year, she joined me for the 2nd week, along with her Dad. It was also the "90s Reunion" for the Seeley Swan High School, which I attended my freshman and sophomore year.

My parents have lived at the cabin for a little over a year now, having retired there last year. It now looks like it did when we were kids. That is, it feels like home rather than just a cabin in the woods. Their retirement cabin is coming along nicely and the finished bathroom with a toilet + shower provides a nice break from the outhouse and sauna. It was interesting to see all the logging being done on The Homestead. My parents hired someone to clean things up and it looks great so far. They're not clear-cutting, just thinning the forest to reduce fire danger and give more resources to the big trees.

Abbie, Mimi, Jack and Joleen The Logging Operation Happy Kids at Seeley Lake Lookout at Sunset

There were several highlights of the trip, but one of my favorites was our Float in the Swan Valley Parade. Abbie came up with the idea (Happy Birthday America) and we decorated an old trailer with streamers, balloons and a birthday cake to celebrate. Abbie made up a song and sang it throughout the entire parade (with a portable microphone and amp). We all got dunked afterwards, drank some cheap beer and had lots of fun fiddlin' and swinging. The fireworks that night were epic and Trish and I were amazed late night when we smiled on a crowded campfire with many of my parents' old friends.

Abbie singing "Happy Birthday America" Abbie before getting dunked Jack and Joe Fiddlin' Trish

The next day, we woke up, recovered a bit and then headed for Glacier National Park. We spent the afternoon at Big Sky Waterpark and had a great night's rest at Glacier Mountain Lodge. Trish woke up early the next morning for some sunrise shots at Lake McDonald and we enjoyed a short hike to Avalanche Lake that afternoon. Unfortunately, Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed due to snow so we were unable to drive to the top. 2011 is the latest they've ever opened.

Happy Abbie Thirsty Boy Paddleboating Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

The rest of our vacation was spent doing early morning airport runs, riding the 4-wheeler, golfing and hanging out with old friends. For the trip home, we took the scenic route, driving through Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We stopped along the way to spend the night at Jackson Lake Lodge, shortly after marveling at a Grizzly Bear and her two cubs along the highway. Trish snapped some some magnificent sunset and sunrise photos and we packed up the car for the final journey home. After being gone for 3 weeks, I've never seen the kids happier to cross the Colorado State Line.

As far as vacation destinations go, Montana is one of my favorites. This year was special because I had the pleasure of sharing it with Trish. She's always wanted to photograph Glacier National Park and the Grand Tetons and we were lucky enough to visit both. I also got to share a lot of smiles and memories with old classmates and friends. I experienced the joy of seeing my parents back home, living as Montanans once again and loving every minute of it. I smiled proudly as Abbie thought up the "Happy Birthday America" float and then sang on it the whole way through the parade. I simply loved spending so much time with my family in such a beautiful place.

Finally, I'd like to share a picture montage that Trish put together of the trip. Below that are some of her best shots from our adventures. As always, you can find see my latest photos on Flickr.

The Raible Cabin

Sunrise at Jackson Lake by Trish McGinity Abbie at The Tetons by Trish McGinity

Path to Tetons with wildflowers

Posted in General at Jul 19 2011, 09:24:54 AM MDT 2 Comments

Good Times on The Annual Father's Day Camping Trip

Four years ago, I started an annual tradition with my kids: The Father's Day Camping Trip. The last two, I've flown my Dad in and we've journeyed to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This year, we decided to stay a little closer to home and head up to Lake Granby. Both my parents flew in again, the kids returned from a month in Florida, and Trish and I packed up her puppies for a wonderful weekend.

When we arrived, the weather wasn't great. We showed up an hour before sunset and had just enough time to setup our tents before the rain started. It proceeded to rain throughout the night, but our tent help up nicely and we never got wet.

Lake Grandby Sunset Kids on the Beach

Mom and Dad - Fishing Preparations Stillwater Campground Rocks!

On Saturday, we did some fishing, hiked along the East Shore Trail, rode our bikes, and had a great time relaxing and enjoying each other's company. It only rained for a bit in the afternoon, the rest of the time we sat back and enjoyed beautiful views.

Beautiful Colorado Abbie on the shores of Lake Grandby

Happy Jack Mama Moose and Babies in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Sunday, we drove back through Rocky Mountain National Park, saw a moose and her two calves and enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. I really enjoyed spending so much time with my family this weekend. The good news is we get to do it again when I meet them at The Cabin in Montana next week. In the meantime, Trish and I are off to Jazoon for a few days of fun in Switzerland.

If you'd like to see more pictures from our Father's Day Camping Adventure, please see my Father's Day at Lake Granby album on Flickr.

Posted in General at Jun 20 2011, 10:38:01 PM MDT Add a Comment

Abbie's 8th Birthday and Other Happenings

This past weekend, we celebrated Abbie's 8th birthday. In the wee hours of the morning on November 5, 2002, I became a father for the first time. It's hard to believe my little girl has grown up so fast. As a 2nd grader, Abbie is into singing in the shower, playing piano, anything pet-related and teasing her brother. She also excels at school where's she's won a couple awards and recently got published in a book of poems.

Happy 8 yr old

In addition to last weekend being a wonderful weekend of celebration, it was a weekend of introductions. You might remember my "super-fun friend Trish" from the Epic Weekend in Estes Park. Superheroes Trish is an Amazing Woman I met this summer and someone I've nicknamed my Double Rainbow because I've been so mesmerized with her. Yeah, it might sound a bit over-the-top, but that's somewhat the mantra of our relationship. ;-) This weekend was the first time I introduced Trish to Abbie and Jack. The meeting went smooth as butter and I'm relieved to say everyone got along great.

In other news, Jack recently lost his first teeth the same way Abbie did, by getting them yanked. He had his first adult tooth coming in and had 4 baby teeth that were getting in the way. Before and after pictures are below:

Jack with all his teeth Ready to lose first teeth After pulling 4 teeth

Coincidentally, when I wrote about Abbie getting her first tooth, I spoke at the Colorado Springs Open Source User Group and visited The Bus. Just over two years later, Jack got his first tooth and I spoke again in the Springs. I tried to visit The Bus on that same trip, but ran out of time. To make up for it, I drove down last weekend, met with Motorworks Restorations and formulated a plan (911 engine, airbags, 5 speed tranny, Porsche wheels and brakes) for finishing the restoration. With any luck, I'll be driving it next summer.

On the work side of things, my co-workers and I recently moved to a new office in LoDo. The new space has been awesome so far. Next week, I'll be traveling to Devoxx with Trish. The following week, I'll be at The Cabin. Then it's off to The Rich Web Experience in Florida. If you happen to be in Antwerp, Northwest Montana or Fort Lauderdale in the next few weeks, maybe I'll see you along the way.

Posted in General at Nov 10 2010, 06:45:30 AM MST Add a Comment

An Epic Weekend in Estes Park

A couple years ago, a good friend and I headed up to Estes Park for a day at the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Festival. I was so impressed with the venue, views and music that I vowed to return. Last weekend, I invited my super-fun friend Trish for a party in the hills. I'm happy to report it was once again an awesome festival, with perfect weather.

Back to the Future Beautiful View Plane in Sky Nice Backdrop

Happy Refreshing Ride to Stanley Hotel View from The Stanley Hotel

Highlights of the weekend included: dining at The Rock Inn, the parade, riding bikes around town, lunch at The Stanley Hotel, fly fishing along the river, Ed's Cantina and many hours of excellent Celtic music. For more pictures, checkout the full set on Flickr.

After leaving Estes Park on Sunday, we drove back to Denver, hoping to watch the Broncos game in LoDo. At one point, I thought I'd have to listen to the whole game on the radio. Luckily, we got hooked up and got to watch the 4th quarter. My sadness over the Broncos loss was erased within a couple hours as we celebrated Jason Giambi's walk-off home run at the Rockies game. You gotta love that it's already been documented on WikiPedia.

In other news, Jack's turned 6 a couple weeks ago. He's in 1st grade now and currently into Super Mario on Wii, Bakugans, and Transformers. He also seems to have an intense addiction to Angry Birds on my iPhone. We had a blast celebrating his birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese and the Broncos game.

Watch out!

As summer fades and fall starts to kick in, I'll be attending the Great American Beer Festival, the Denver Broncos home opener with my sister, training for ski season and (hopefully) enjoying Rocktober. I love fall in Denver.

Posted in General at Sep 15 2010, 12:13:38 AM MDT Add a Comment

The First Day of School

Summer isn't over, but my kids' summer vacation is. Today, Abbie and Jack went to their first day of school for the year. I've never seen them more excited, except maybe on Christmas or their birthdays. While taking pictures this morning, I told Jack to smile like he was playing Wii. I was expecting a huge smile, but instead got the pose below. :)

Pretend like you're playing Wii Jack!

I remember loving the first day of school when I was a kid. It's great to see Abbie and Jack doing the same.

Abbie and Jack, entering 1st and 2nd grade

I especially like the thought of the things that follow the beginning of the school year: Broncos Football, DU Hockey and (my favorite) Ski Season. It's gonna be a great year.

Related: The First Day of School, 3 years ago.

Posted in General at Aug 16 2010, 11:05:19 PM MDT 2 Comments

Happy 8th Birthday to this blog!

Eight years ago today, this blog was born in the wee hours of the morning. I was inspired to start it after reading Dave Johnson's article on Roller. I have to say, it's been a great ride and I remember the early days like they were yesterday. Many of the Java bloggers wrote daily and shared short tips, tricks and snippets on their blogs; much in the same way we do on Twitter today.

A lot has happened in my life since this blog was started: Abbie was born, Jack was born, I started AppFuse, wrote Spring Live, had some really cool gigs and gained a whole new perspective on my life.

For those long time readers, you might've noticed the vacation posts have picked up recently and the technology posts have subsided somewhat. The good news is this indicates I'm having a lot of fun; the bad news is I'm not learning as much as I'd like. Hopefully that'll change soon and I'll be writing about developing apps for the online video space in the near future. There's a good chance the posts about my life and how much fun I'm having will continue, especially as Abbie and Jack continue to grow into world-class skiers.

As usual, I have many ambitions for this fall, including helping Apache Roller, finishing AppFuse 2.1 and learning how to play the guitar. Along the way, I'll be helping build/release some kick-ass software for a major cable provider, building a sauna in my basement and enjoying the hell out of Devoxx 2010. You can sure I'll be blogging about these along the way, as well as many years into the future.

Thanks for reading all these years, it's been a fantastic experience. :)

Posted in Roller at Aug 01 2010, 03:48:38 PM MDT 10 Comments

My Summer Vacation in Montana

My favorite time of year is summertime. My favorite place to spend it is in Montana, often called "The Last Best Place" by natives. This year was no different and I spent the last two weeks at my family's cabin celebrating the 4th of July. Shortly after returning from our Father's Day Camping Trip, my parents packed up Abbie and Jack and headed on a 3-day road trip through Wyoming and Montana, camping and sight-seeing along the way. I followed them a few days later and made the 950-mile drive in just over 14 hours. With scenes like the one below, the trip was very enjoyable, despite it being so long.

Big Sky Country

The first week I was there, I worked remotely. It's always fun to tell people The Cabin has no electricity or running water, but it does have DSL. To be fair, it does have electricity, but it's not "on the grid" electricity - it's my Dad's concoction of generators, batteries and inverters. While I worked most of the week, I did manage to get a nice mountain bike ride in along the Foothills Trail to Holland Lake.

My real vacation began on the 4th of July weekend and we did it up right with the Swan Valley Parade and lots of big fireworks I picked up in Wyoming. The kids dressed up as Woody and Jesse (from Toy Story) and walked in the parade all by themselves (first time w/o me). They were especially excited when their pictures appeared in the local paper the following week.

Ready for the Parade Tossing Candy in the Parade Woddy and Jesse in the 4th of July Parade

Last week was spent hiking to Glacier Lake in the rain, golfing in Seeley Lake and Columbia Falls and hanging out with my good friend Owen Conley and his family.

Made it to Glacier Lake Chris Auchenbach Meadow Lake Golf Course in Columbia Falls Sunset from The Conley's

The kids and I drove home last Sunday and it only took us 15 minutes longer than it did for me solo. I think they're quickly becoming road-tripping professionals. :-)

My favorite part of this year's trip to The Cabin was seeing it as a home again. My Mom retired in April and my parents moved back to Montana shortly after. Seeing how happy they are there is truly magical. I especially enjoy the thought of visiting them and all the wonderful folks in the Swan Valley many, many times in the future.

To see all the pictures I took on this trip, check out the slideshow below.

P.S. An interesting note about all the pictures I took - they're all from my iPhone 4. I forgot my camera's battery at home and it seemed like a good experiment.

Posted in General at Jul 13 2010, 08:12:02 AM MDT Add a Comment

Another Fun Father's Day at The Great Sand Dunes

For this year's Father's Day Camping trip, my parents drove down from Montana and we headed to the Great Sand Dunes (like last year). My friend Jason and his Dad joined us, as well as my co-worker Noah and his family. The weather was beautiful, the sand was hot and we had a blast flying kites while admiring the Medano Fire.

Friday Breakfast Hot, hot, hot! Aaaahhhhhh!! Fire in Background, 100 foot tall flames

Nice Grill At the Top Dillon Colors

On Saturday, we spent several hours on "the beach" watching the kids play, flying kites and sipping on cold ones. A good time was had by all.

Inventing Stuff Where did Jack go? Push me again! Smile!

Ela and Jack Abbie and Mimi Sweet Sunset

To see all the pictures I took on this trip, see my Great Sand Dunes 2010 set on Flickr.

Posted in General at Jun 25 2010, 04:22:36 PM MDT Add a Comment

Abbie and Jack's Field Days

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending my kids' field days. For those who aren't familiar with field days, it's basically a sports day for elementary schools. The best part of this year's field days was seeing my kids have so much fun with their classmates. Of course, it didn't hurt that their teachers were also smitten with the thought of the school year coming to a close.

I took a few pictures and shot a bunch of video to remember how much fun they had. I know most readers won't enjoy these as much as I do, but I always like posting fond memories on this blog. Below are a couple videos I compiled and enhanced with appropriate music.

I especially like Jack's friend's dance moves at the end of the video below. ;-)

If you have trouble viewing either video here, check them out on my YouTube channel.

Posted in General at May 26 2010, 06:49:39 AM MDT 1 Comment

Celebrating My Mom's Retirement

A couple of weeks ago, after attending Abbie's Talent Show, the kids and I packed up and headed to Oregon for a weekend. This weekend marked a special weekend for my parents. When we arrived, my Mom had a week left of work before she retired from the Bureau of Land Management. You might've read about my Mom in the past. And you might know that my Dad retired last year.

My Mom has always enjoyed her career and I like to think I get a lot of enthusiasm for my own career from her. She taught me to love what you do for a living. When we lived at The Cabin, she had the drive and ambition to go back to school to get her degree in Forestry. Upon graduation, she got a job with the BLM and we moved to Oregon. My parents have lived there since 1990.

The weekend we spent in Oregon was somewhat magical. My parent's house sold in March after being on the market for only two weeks. They had a week left before they packed up and moved back to The Cabin. This meant the outside was pristine (because they fixed it up for the new buyers) and the inside was mostly packed. It was a sunny 3 days that weekend (which is rare in Oregon) and we had a blast at the Oregon Garden Brewfest, enjoyed a sunny BBQ with old friends and shared many memories derived from their 20 years in Oregon.

Huckleberry Aficionado Jack and Mimi The Crew Fountain at The Oregon Garden

It was a somewhat bittersweet experience, meeting with all their friends and talking about their move to Montana. Many expressed sadness that they were leaving, but that didn't stop my parents from grinning ear-to-ear. You could see the excitement of moving back home sparkle in their eyes.

Oregon Garden Brewfest Happy Beer Drinkers Old Friends

They have a huge challenge ahead of them and it seems they couldn't be happier. They'll be working on The New Cabin many long days and expect it to take a year or two.

I think my Mom said it best in an email she sent my sister and I a few days ago:

It's 9:30 and we are at Quinn's Hot Springs. Your father is snoring, he didn't last long when his head hit the pillow. We got here about 3, had a glass of wine and then soaked in the pools for an hour. Had a good dinner (I had buffalo short ribs -- mmm delicious) . They have a network, so I'm using my ipod for email.

I was crying when I drove across the state line because it felt so good to be home!

We are having a very nice drive home!! We love you!!!

Congratulations on Retiring Mom! You deserve it more than anyone else I know.

Abbie and Mimi Abbie and Mimi

Enhanced Version » My Mothers Day Card

Posted in General at May 07 2010, 12:18:24 AM MDT Add a Comment