Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Hunt Valley Towne Center

Today is Marten Luther King Day. It was very cold today, with a strong wind, so went to a shopping mall.

We had lunch at Panera and afterwards did grocery shopping for the week at Wegmans.



Yesterday we had a nice long chat in the kitchen and we made krentenbollen dough at the same time. Just took it out of the oven, they smell great.

The kids helped putting the egg-wash on. That means they aren't quite evenly colored, but that's okay.


A long overdue upgrade

I upgraded my website over the past few weeks, and it's in better shape than it has been in years.

No more server in the attic

The biggest change was moving to Amazon AWS. After many years of hosting a physical server in the Netherlands in my parent's house, I decided to make the switch. Primarily because I wanted to get some hands-on experience with AWS -- I've learned some good things -- but also because the physical server is getting due for a replacement.

Drupal and CiviCRM upgrades

I removed Drupal modules I no longer needed, upgraded CiviCRM to version 5.9, and finally fixed a lot of bugs. Restored the Birthday block, restored the breadcrumbs. Finally, I set up a way to upload images through the browser and have to resized, renamed and sharpened the way I like it. This was something I missed when we were in St Maarten; it was tricky to add photo's to articles.

Server stuff

For my database I now use Amazon RDS -- no more messing around with MariaDB upgrades, and database backups are trivial. I'm using Let's Encrypt for HTTPS certificates and tweaked my favicon settings for Android and Apple products.


I've spent quite a few evenings fixing and patching things. It's very rewarding and I love having my own website and blog. To look back at all the years is awe inspiring. Using Drupal also allows me to track things like my running mileage or books that I've read, all in one place.


A late start


There was some snow yesterday evening and the schools start with a delay. The boys start at 9.45 am, Nora's bus is at 10.36 am.


Back to gymnastics


Adrian and Leo went to gymnastics today, the first time since the winter break. They were looking forward to it and had a great time.

When we arrived, I got Adrian ready first and asked him if he wanted to walk to the room by himself -- no, he'd rather wait for Leo. The two of them walked hand-in-hand to the teacher, so cute. They sat down on the bench and one of the first assignments was to run to the other side with the whole group. All that time they kept holding hands.

While they were doing their thing I went for a run, which was awesome. I figured out a better route than last time and ran on the Custis trail, which is so much nicer than in the neighborhood there. Lots of other runners on the trail, including at least three groups. I was faster than most of them, a good feeling.

We went to Heidelberg and bought three large breads and some turkey; the boys got a cookie. Adrian was already a little tired and cried when he "only" got one cookie and not something to try from the tasting table. We were discussing that outside, when an elderly couple passed by and asked what was going on. I explained it, "he wanted two cookies but we had agreed, only one" and they laughed. The man replied: "sometimes life if is just a one-cookie situation", haha.

For lunch I made a groentesoep -- I had sliced and frozen some vegetables earlier in the week, so this was easy to make. In the U.S. it's pretty rare for pret-cut "soup vegetables" to be sold in the grocery store, I've found. Over lunch with talked with the kids about several things. "Waarom zijn er piraten?" and "Papa wie heeft het geld uitgevonden". Good times.


A new front door

A new front door was installed today! We're very happy with it.

The door we had until today was the original 1967 one, and it was at the end of its useful live. Very drafty and it made the downstairs cold. Because our thermostat isn't too far from the door, it would make the rest of the house overly warm. The new door has glass windows, with privacy glass, which gives a little more light in our hallway. And no more noisy and cold mail slot.

The installers came at 10.00 am, and they took about 4 hours to do the full install. At the end I discovered some concrete that needed to be repaired, so I drove to Home Depot to get a patch and they used that to finalize the step.

It was great working with these guys; a marked difference compared to the previous project five years ago.

Leo and Adrian were quite excited to see all the machines and instruments. When they got home from AMH they could hardly wait to get changed and check it all out. The contractors had a power cable going through the window to the front yard, that was interesting for them to see.

After the work was done, the contractor's car didn't start. I helped try to kick-start, but that didn't work either so they had to call their boss.


Ten years of running

Now 2018 is behind us I have 10 full years of data on my running.

I started tracking my mileage and speeds in January 2009 and have been faithfully recording my runs since then: a combined 3,737 miles during 804 runs. In an average year I ran 80 times, with an average length of 4.7 miles.

Some observations:

  • My average mileage is 374 miles per year, so 7.2 miles per week or 31 miles per month. Or 1.02 miles per day.
  • The years after Nora was born, I ran more than average. Even in the year after the boys were born, in 2016, I ran a lot, but things have been slower since then. 2017 in particular was tough, with only 5 runs per month.
  • Thing were getting better last year. Even though I started doing more Pilates, which lowered my 2018 miles, I still made it to 339 miles.
  • My longest run ever was from the Dijkgatsbos to Middenmeer, 16 miles. My shortest run was 0 miles.
  • My average run is 4.7 miles. This make sense, since for years my training runs have been between 4 and 4.5 miles.
  • July through November is clearly the best period for running for me. December and February the worst -- funny enough January isn't too bad, the New Year's resolution effect I guess.
  • So in the average month I run 6 to 7 times -- in my top months sometimes up to 13 times a month. That might be a cool record to try to break.
  • Before 2009 I don't have as thorough data, but I do remember running in Haarlem and of course my first attempts in Durham, NC
  • Running brought me in some beautiful places. Some highlights? I ran with Gerben in Leeuwarden, many runs in the awesome William Umstead Park in North Carolina, on St Maarten, in Holland and Bulgaria, beautiful races in San Diego and Hickory -- too many to name. I ran with Nora in the stroller and later with the boys. I ran with the Raritan Valley Road Runners and the North Carolina Roadrunners Club. I ran races together with Sasha -- great times.

Great Saturday morning

That vacation did us great and we're still kind of in a holiday mood. No gymnastics this weekend either, so we slept in until 8.00 am today.

Around 10.30 am we went to buy bread and turkey from Heidelberg, and then I took the kids to Hayes Park for a bit. They love that place. There were a few sticks that resembled a fireplace, so they were pretending to warm their hands and they added more wood "to the fire".

On the way back we looked the trucks and diggers at Science Focus that are installing new turf.

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