A trip to Steamboat Springs

Weekends are always too short when you’re having fun!  I had the pleasure of hanging out in Steamboat Springs for the first time just this last weekend.  Five of us got together to celebrate 3 of our birthdays and enjoy the wonderful town of Steamboat springs. 

We rented a super awesome 3 bedroom Vacation Rental at the Pines at Orehouse Plaza. I really enjoy how neat most vacation rentals are.  All you need to do is show up and stock the place with food, drinks and friends and the perfect jump-off is ready!   Starting with breakfast, it’s wicked easy to rally the troops when you’ve got cheesy scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, quiche and waffles with strawberries, peaches, syrup and readi-whip! 

MMmm... Steve
Even our favorite Muffin Bunny gets up early for this! 

Mimosas for breakfast =)
Mimosas for breakfast!

After breakfast we hit the streets in the wonderful town of Steamboat springs.   Even though we were met with steady precipitation (mostly rain, we were anticipating snow) it was an enjoyable experience hopping from shop to shop down main street.  They have quite a few art galleries there that caught our attention. 

Fresh out of our mexican meal
And we’re OFF like a herd of turtles!

I really liked the Jewelry and Fossil shop.  It warranted a couple tours through.  I also really enjoyed the tin signs for sale at Rocket Fizz.  I need to get some minimally offensive tin signs for my office. ^_^
Mmm.. Fuzzy
Mmm. Fuzzy purple fur at Overland Sheepskin Co.

After eating at the lovely Cantina restaurant on main street in Steamboat Springs we headed back to our rental to relax before heading back out to Strawberry Park Hot Springs.  We found the hot springs at Strawberry park to be an awesome relaxing experience enjoyed by a whole lot of friendly people.  I will definitely be returning here for a visit in the morning.  We were on our way out when it got dark when we realized there are no lights there at all which would have been cool if the sky wasn’t so full of clouds!  Also, the place gets pretty busy after dark when clothing becomes optional. ^_^


As I said at the start of this post, weekends are far too short when you’re having fun.   It was time to thank everyone for cooperatively pitching in to make our wonderful weekend happen and say goodbye to our lovely rental.

The view from our patio
The view from our patio


Changing leaves on the drive home
Despite being sad about leaving, the drive home from Steamboat springs was nothing short of beautiful.  In Colorado, the changing of the leaves has got to be one of the most picturesque times of the year.


Thank you Laila for making this wonderful little getaway happen!

Thank you Steve & Minka for an awesome weekend!

and last but surely not least, Thank you Z for the lovely birthday sentiments and for making another weekend extraordinary!

Here’s our Steamboat Springs Birthday Celebration album on Flickr

Books I read in 2016

Thanks to my sister in law I really picked up reading books this year.   As most people do I read a whole lot of the internet content and as most programmers do I tends to google solutions to my problems so I learn a fair bit from sites like Stack Overflow.  This year though I broke that loop and read read books.  I know, crazy right?   Here’s the list books I read (in the order I read them) and my synopsis of each. ^_^

Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell was suggested to me by my sister in law, Laila as a good read about what some of the most successful people in the world have in common.  This book coins the notion that 10,000 hours of practice is what it takes to reach expert level at something.  It pins down the fact that being the greatest of the great relies on a lot of factors from a persons birth date, the environment they were raised in, the resources available to them, their personal drive to become great and even explains how luck can a factor.
Overall, I found Outliers to be a pretty good read.  It gets a little slow at times late in each chapter as Malcom Gladwell digs in to the details of the examples provided but that aside it’s pretty engaging and interesting.

The Pragmatic Programmer

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master 1st Edition

Code Complete

Good to Great

How To Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a great.  The art of successfully negotiating is based on your ability to allow everyone involved to understand your reasoning and this book definitely teaches you how to approach people and situations in such a way to achieve this success. I think everyone should own and study this book.

The Clean Coder

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers (Robert C. Martin Series) 1st Edition by Robert Cecil Martin is an awesome book that very clearly explains why (in general) programmers are not seen as professionals.  We simply don’t act like professionals on so many levels and although writing that almost feels like an attack on myself this book lays the problem and solution out in a clear and inoffensive way.  I definitely suggest this book to anyone who’s making a career out of software development. 

Clean Code

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship 1st Edition by Robert Cecil Martin is another great book and although it’s core crowd is definitely Java developers, most of the information in the book can be taken away by those who knows a couple other programming languages.  The big takeaway (to me) is learning how to write code that can be easily read and understood at first glance.  Learning to write elegant code makes everyone’s life easier. I would suggest this book to anyone who’s making a career out of software development.

The Mythical Man-Month

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition) Anniversary Edition by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. has a lot of great content although I found it a little difficult to read.  The information is extremely relevant for the book being so dated. Operating System/360 is referenced a lot and although it’s only referenced as a project Frederick P. Brooks was a part of, it made the reading easier when learned more about it.   The two big takeaways from this book (for me) are (1) that adding men to an active project doesn’t help speed the project up and (2) that there are no silver bullets to software development efficiency.  Bottom line, your software development practice needs to be sharp and your team needs to communicate well.  This is a good book and it’s definitely worth reading, especially if you find yourself responsible for large projects. 

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software 1st Edition


A TMTorn Adventure!

I had the pleasure of taking a 4 day mancation hosted by TMTorn Adventures.  It was wildly educational and intense fun in a relaxed and super safe atmosphere.  I learned effective combat techniques, shot lots of guns, rode ATVs & dirt bikes and enjoyed great food and drinks during the all inclusive getaway at their camp. Read more

Pro Tips for Road Trips

As Z and I are cruising along I-80 West on our way back from Wisconsin I figured I would share some of our tips and tricks for road tripping.  We like to enjoy the trip just as much (if not more) than the destination.  We don’t spend much money and we always have a great time!

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What I Love about Denver

I have lived in and around Denver for a few years now and have really come to love it.  Z and I intend on settling down here eventually after we explore some other places the world has to offer but before I moved away I figured a short post about what I love about Denver is in order. 

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40th Anniversary Renaissance Festival

40th Anniversary Colorado Renaissance Festival

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Camping at Eleven Mile State Park

Camping at Eleven Mile State Park is awesome!  There’s lots to do and see but be prepared for the wind! Here’s my takeaway of 11 mile State Park.

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Camping at Lake Pueblo State Park

And the camping season begins!   I’m excited to make an effort to visit as many of the Colorado state parks as we can this year.  We started with Lake Pueblo State Park Camp Ground.

The Great Candy Run 2015

Laila coordinated and sponsored our Team Super Geeks for The Great Candy Run of 2015!  We had a GREAT time!  From left to right on the picture below our team are the adults in costume!

  • Josh (Super Banana)
  • Z (Boba Fett)
  • Loli (was the mascott for the run, he wasn’t on our team persay. lol)
  • Laila (Super Women)
  • Crystal (Sugar Rush)

The Great Candy Run 2015


We even entered in the Costume contest and the banana suit won best adult costume! Our team was in the contest for best team costumes but we cheered louder for the kids in the same competition so they won. It was rated by loudness of cheers. lol. ^_^


A slideshow of the photos I took at the event: The Great Candy Run 2015

Cuban Burger

Paleo Cuban Burger
Serves 6
This Paleo Cuban Burger recipe adapted by Z is nothing short of amazing. It's a wonderful blend of flavors that everyone in our family thoroughly enjoys.
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
820 calories
56 g
187 g
43 g
56 g
19 g
382 g
417 g
24 g
0 g
20 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 820
Calories from Fat 386
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 43g
Saturated Fat 19g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 187mg
Sodium 417mg
Total Carbohydrates 56g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 24g
Protein 56g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 5 Green Plantains
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. 2 Pounds ground pork
  4. 3 Tablespoons onion powder
  5. 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  6. 3 Teaspoons garlic powder
  7. 1 Lime - Juiced
  8. Shaved deli ham
  9. Dijon Mustard
  10. Dill Pickles (sliced)
  11. Swiss Cheese (optional)
For the buns
  1. Peel the plantains and slice into 2-inch-thick rounds.
  2. Boil plantain rounds until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Smash the plantains flat.
  4. In a skillet, melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Fry flattened plantains until brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side.
For the burgers
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly.
  3. Form the burgers roughly the same size as the plantain buns.
  4. Cook the burgers in the skillet, adding more oil if needed, about 5 minutes per side.
  5. (For a smoky and vibrant flavor, grill the patties over an open flame instead of in the skillet.)
  6. To assemble, place a bun on a plate, top with a burger patty, shaved deli ham, pickles, mustard and cap off with another plantain bun.
Adapted from Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made paleo
Interfacing Josh Houghtelin http://burnmytime.com/
Paleo Cuban Burger