Day 4 Sabbatical, Part Deux

I started the day cooking breakfast for my daughter again. I like doing this and she’s only home for another week. More homemade hash browns and eggs.


She asked about the sabbatical and I said I wasn’t getting enough done.

“Only you would say that, Dad.”

Perhaps, but I do want to accomplish something with this gift. I know I am, even if it’s only guitar, but I tend to be an overachiever.

Crappy weather today, 30+mph wind and cold, so an indoor day with a few things.


I did about 20 minutes in the am today, just a bit before I had a massage, so I had to take a break. No lessons, just working through some of the things I’d learned, just practicing some skills.

After some chores (below), I was a bit worn out. It’s cold and windy. Not the time to spend outside, or even in the garage. I decided to sit around and spend about an hour just practicing things. I watched a bit of “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”, which is a song I’ve wanted to learn. I sat in the foyer, on the stairs, practicing a bit and trying to work on fingering.

A good amount of practice, and my fingers hurt again.


My cutting board was looking OK, so I started the finishing process. Actually, I did a little sanding yesterday. I’d glued this up over the weekend, kind of a sabbatical prep project.


Today I started finishing, a first coat in the am with a food-safe finish.


It’s walnut, maple, purpleheart, and a strip of paduk in there. First coat here, and I got the second side at lunch.

A Break and Prep

I had a massage in the late morning, which was nice. I do get these once a month, but I’m trying to schedule more during this break. It’s a good self-care break in life. Just an hour, and it felt good.

I hit the gym after, trying to stick to somewhat of a routine. Weight lifting today, and it was a good workout.

After that, with poor weather, I decided to hit the hardware store and get some supplies. I got some wood to start some garage cleanup. I added in a blade for cutting metal and a router bit, which I’ll need for another minor project. More on those later.

The rest of the day was chores with my wife, guitar (above) and then dinner with friends. With this wind, I needed to secure one of the raised doors. I’d mounted a winch last week, but the handle hit a support and it didn’t quite secure things. With more wind coming Friday, I need to fix this.

My view this afternoon, trying to dismount and re-mount the winch.


It was cold (around 0C, 32F) and drafty in there. This metal is cold, so it’s not fun to try and get nuts on bolts in here. Gloves don’t work well here because I can’t feel things. Fortunately, this didn’t take more than about 20 minutes.

My wife was feeding horses when I got done, so I stuck around and filled water while she did that. Cold and windy out here, and I had to stay near the hose to be sure it didn’t flip out, and I was also pulling feed bags off some horses.


By the end of this, I was ready for a break. Coffee and guitar.

That was about it. After this, I went out with my wife and son to meet friends. A relatively quiet day, not a lot of productivity, but prepping for more work tomorrow.

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Day 3 Sabbatical, Part Deux

A relaxed start to day 3. I had some errands to do, volleyball practice, and still find time to accomplish something. First though, homemade hash browns for my daughter. I was hoping for eggs, but there weren’t any.


I decided to do some lessons first. I’d left the easy song lesson up on my computer, so I did the Linkin Park-esque song. If you’re interested, it’s a rock-y, Em, G, C, D progression. Very common, but working with some rhythm, I can hear a bit of Linkin Park in there.

2020-01-15 09_37_34-Easy Songs - GuitarJamz - Premium Lessons

Next, I started the beginner course. It’s below me, I’m more of a hack, advanced beginner, but I decided to see if I missed anything over the years. This basic, Em, Asus2 chords, adding in a D and working strumming, which is good to practice. I did two of these.

2020-01-15 10_57_11-Beginner Lessons - GuitarJamz - Premium Lessons
Slow, but as I listened to basic chord structure, I practiced some “I Walk the Line” by myself.

I also jumped around, starting a blues series.

2020-01-15 10_57_03-Blues Lessons - GuitarJamz - Premium Lessons

Not very organized, but I’m trying to just work through different things.


I’ve been building a loafing shed for the horses. I actually did this last summer, and I covered the roof, but with some cash flow struggles, I didn’t get the sides done. I ordered metal last week and it’s done today, so I had to go pick it up. The sheets are 5-10ft long, so I took the horse trailer.

Two and a half hours to get the metal back to the house. Not a lot of fun, but I needed to get this done.

I was hoping to actually start to put some up, but it was too windy outside. Handling 3×8 sheets of metal isn’t a good idea in the wind. Since wind is supposed to go until Saturday, this project is on hold.


Wednesdays are practice days for volleyball, so my normal routine takes over here. I got on the stationary bike for a bit of exercise and thought about practice a bit. After 30 minutes, I then sat down and wrote out a practice plan. These plans don’t always survive, but they give some focus to what I’m trying to do.

Today is the early practice, so I left with my wife and went to coach. The 12s coach was sick, so I spent half the practice working with them while my wife worked our team. Then a scrimmage, which didn’t go great, but it’s a learning experience.

Afterwards, my wife and I decided on dinner at a local brew house. We don’t really need the coaching pay, so we’re using it to enjoy some nights out, and Wednesday usually is one.

Not a lot accomplished, but setting the base for a few things.

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Day 2 Sabbatical Part Deux

A break from life today. I got up early and packed the car. I was hoping my wife would be joining me, but she’s been a bit ill, so off by myself today.


We have a place at Keystone, but it’s rented this week, so just a day trip for me. Things were looking good when I arrived, sunny, not too cold.


Tuesdays aren’t that busy, though there was a lot of traffic. It took almost 3 hours to get up here with rush hour and construction. However, I’ve only been once this year, so I was willing to brave the roads.


I like the backside of Keystone, and I headed over there. I used to come here regularly, but it’s been a few years since I’ve made it. This time, I warmed up on a few runs, then it was time for Oh, Bob. A fairly bumpy run on the far mountain.

I spent about an hour going up and down, alternating the smooth runs with Bob, then decided to give one of the black runs a go. Halfway down, I had a lot of bumps left.


I took a break for a few minutes, as I was going slow and burning lots of calories.


After about 3 hours, and 12 runs, I was tired.

It was a good day, a bit windy and chilly, but nice and peaceful. Lots of solo lift rides.


A nice, easy ride back to the car and then I packed up to come home. A stop at Beau Jo’s for Colorado Pizza on the way home.


A few errands on the way home, grabbing supplies for more work on the house this week. Then relaxing a bit, and handling some coaching duties. Planning practice and watching film.

Not a lot of guitar today, as my fingers hurt a bit, but I did spend about 30 minutes practicing “I Walk the Line”. That’s the song for the next day or two, as I hope to get a decent rendition of it down and then add it to a list of things to practice.

A good second day of a break.

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Day 1 Sabbatical, Part Deux

It’s day 1, which was off to a slow start. Yesterday was a long day coaching volleyball, and a long drive, so a slow start to today.

I actually started by fixing my last blog post for work, where I’d made a small error that a number of people pointed out. Easy to make mistakes, but with a cup of coffee this morning, I did a little web editing.

While I was sorting out this, I finished watching a video I’d started recently, a tutorial on playing Jack Johnson’s Better Together. It’s not a hard song, but it’s hard on the hands with the bar chords. I’ve been learning a bit with Marty Schwartz, and I continued with this one.

I decided to record a bit and see if I get better. Here I am getting ready, and if you really want to hear some tentative, iffy playing, here’s a link.


I then spent about an hour going through a few lessons from Guitar Jamz. I decided to do a few things from different courses, just practicing. First was strumming, going through some exercises. Then it was an easy song in the Johnny Cash style. I enjoyed practicing some strumming and chord changes.

After an hour, I decided to get some work done. I cleaned up a little around the house and sharpened a few knives. I’ve had my Tormek on the table for a few days, trying to find time to sharpen a few pocketknives that have dulled. I rewatched some instructions since I hadn’t used that jig in awhile and then handled those.

Basement Time

I decided to start in the basement, cleaning things up. There’s an area where I stored lots of SQLServerCentral stuff for years, and it’s a mess.


Lots of stuff just laying around this room, and piled up from various times in the SSC life.


I packed up and threw a bunch away. I also discovered some old signs, like this original podcast backdrop.


And v2.


I even found some books


I tossed a bunch in our dumpster, but it started to get full, so I’ll slow down and pile this stuff downstairs for a week until that gets emptied. I did manage to save some Redgate swag and SSC shirts, which I’ll go give away at some UG meetings or SQL Saturdays later this year.

My wife needed a little help, so I went out to get a battery back in an ATV and fix a little fence. Then it was a few errands, returning a cart to the volleyball gym and recycling some oil so I can change more oil in the UTV/ATVs.

Finally, a little workout time for me.


I came home and ended the day with a Greek meal.


Now, time to relax. I’ll likely play a little guitar in bed and visit with my wife.

A slow first day, but a good one. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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