Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Fatherhood

Hockey Dad Hangover

My son recently finished another season of hockey. This year he was on one of the traveling Bantam B-teams of the Sioux Falls Flyers.  For those that don't know hockey, the "Bantam" means that he's playing with a team of 13 and 14 year old's. Some of his teammates he's played with since he was six years old (they were called Atoms back then).

When your child plays hockey you come to learn that hockey is more than rules of the game, but also embracing hockey culture and accepting every member of that team and their parents as part of your hockey family. For nearly a decade, the family has had a five month ritual where three evenings or mornings a week are dedicated to taking sons and daughters to practice. Weekends are for traveling to in-state or out-of-state hockey games and spending your nights in a Best Western. This is not only a significant time commitment for the young hockey player, but also the player's parents. Some parents love hockey more than others but all of us love our own kids equally.

I never once told my son he had to play hockey. My only requirements were that he did an activity that: got him off the couch; gave him exercise; had him working with others as a team; and most importantly something he would remain committed to for the season. Despite not being the most passionate or best hockey player on the ice, rarely did I hear my son complain on those days I knew he would rather be home. Given that I quit my second grade baseball team mid-season and never looked back, I can't help but think this young man is already on track to be a better person than I was when I was his age.

Wrong Turns Matter

Most people regret wrong turns. When my son was 20 months old we visited his grandparents in Kansas City. He was a great little traveler on the way there but on the way back he hit his limit to being "uncomfortable" in the back seat. When we saw a train on the tracks east of the Interstate, I decided to take the next turnoff in hopes the train would distract him for a few minutes. Unfortunately, once committed to the new highway there was no way to turn around for 18 miles. My 5 minute pause delay turned into a much longer detour. Worse, we failed to grab our prize as the train was long gone from our view. Eventually, I yielded to our fate and made another turn for the country roads. 

Sometimes you have to accept wrong turns as part of the journey. My son and I rode the Iowa county roads over rolling hills. We shouted "Up!" when we went up the hill and we shouted "Dooowwwwn!" when we went down the hills. We saw farms, we saw tractors, we saw cows, we saw horses, we saw dogs, and we saw each other laugh. Once we got back on the Interstate, my son lost his patience once again and the remainder of the trip was just as uncomfortable as the first half. But for that brief hour, Dad and son were able to relax and smile. Anyone with a small child, knows that such an hour is more precious than any fast but miserable trip home.

The next time work or life takes a wrong turn, you have a choice to fight it or accept it. Often we believe the heroic thing to do is to fight the wrong turn. Too often or not, heroes lose sight of the value in accepting wrong turns as an unexpected gift of the journey we take each day.

Technology Break 2012: Utilizing my new Jayco CMS

Long time readers of CMS Report may recall that each summer I plan a number of small vacations intended to reduce my technology usage as much as possible. I have a real need to unplug from my Internet connection, step away from the blogging of content management systems, and leave the computer screen behind. I don't always succeed at this endeavor so this year I'm deploying some new tools to assist me in making this year's Technology Break a success. I now introduce to you, the Jayco CMS.

The front-end of this Camping Management System sports the 2011 Jayco Jay Flight 26BH. Usability and user experience were well thought out in the design of this CMS with such comfort features as a microwave, fridge, and hot water tank. The "BH" in this official version stands for bunkhouse which is a specification that clearly defines user roles by allowing enough separation between parents and children. While the trailer is pre-wired for cable and satellite, the site administrator can set the UAC so no TV is included to maximize the camping management experience. This camping trailer not only has a 90 gallon fresh tank, but also a 32.5 gallon gray wastewater tank as well as a 32.5 gallon black wastewater tank. If I have to explain what the black wastewater tank is for, it's quite obvious to me that you're a newbie to camping management systems and best you stick with me on this story a little longer.

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut

This one is for Logan!

 

In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months SWU grew into a wild success. The creativity that poured into the project was unimaginable.

SWU has been featured in documentaries, news features and conferences around the world for its unique appeal. In 2010 we won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media.

Finally, the crowd-sourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure. The "Director's Cut" is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire StarWarsUncut.com collection.

Summer Technology Break Ends

This Labor Day marks the end of my Summer Technology Break, a self-imposed exile from spending too much time at the computer when instead I could be enjoying family, the great outdoors, and the real world.  How did I do?  Well, the family spent some time in Michigan visiting family, friends, and the fish.  My 4 1/2 year-old son caught his first trout on his first fishing trip (thanks to the patience of Jason and Jean Stephens from Head Hunter Guides).  We also spent a week camping and hiking in the Black Hills of South Dakota which included a family hike up Harney Peak.  For the most part, I would say my break from technology during my hours away from my "day job" was a success.

While I did manage to maintain CMS Report during the summer with a number of posts, I would say my Google PageRank and decrease in advertisement revenue shows that I was indeed on a technology break.  With the break over, I will now be tending to the posts in numbers and consistency with more tender loving care.  I also have some ideas for helping to take CMSReport.com up to the next level.  For better or for worse, you can expect some changes at this site in the months to follow.

We are Men!

My wife is away on an operational ready exercise for the Air National Guard. For two weeks it's just Logan and Dad. So far we've visited the annual Big Boy Toy Show in Sioux Falls, SD. We also have moved my son to his "big bed". What a great time just to be men. Still, Logan is counting on the days when his Mom will be back.

The Drupal Boys - A Drupal Song video

Dries Buytaert had mentioned that when the Drupal developers came together at the Open Source CMS Summit he hoped they could make a video using Jeff Robbin's catchy Drupal Song.  I'm not sure the status of that video by the developers, but as a fan of Drupal I decided to beat them to the punch.

My son and I have become addicted to The Drupal Song.  In fact, when the song is playing in my house we quickly become The Drupal Boys.