The Colonel's Blog Just Some Crazy Thoughts and (hopefully) Some Interesting Photos

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Straight To Ale

Filed under: Blog — Tags: — cotaroba @ 1852

I’m enjoying American Craft Beer Week at Stem & Stein. Straight To Ale has taken over the taps!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Updated Server

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 1853

I just went through a pretty neat learning event.  I had to upgrade my server from an older CentOS version to a new CentOS version.  But to do that, my hosting company required me to order a completely new server.  I did that, but didn’t realise until it was too late that I would be charged for another whole year of web-hosting.  The kinda good news is that the new server has 60GB more space, more RAM, and two core processors.  The better news is it is $100 less than I was paying for the older, slower, and less capable server.  I suppose the neutral news is that I will have nearly a year credit on my account so I won’t have to pay for renting a server until sometime in 2014 (or late 2013).

The learning part was great though.  I installed a CentOS on a virtual machine on one of my laptops.  I really like the Linux operating system.  I’ve already loaded a bunch of software and programs on the CentOS VM and it is still under 7GB.  Compare that to my Windows XP Pro VM with SQL Server installed which hogs about 28GB of space.  Windows is a resource HOG.  CentOS is the free, community edition of Red Hat Linux.  I’m thinking about installing it as the core system on an older computer and then using that computer to be a local webserver/file server here at my house.  The cool thing is that I can play around with linux and make changes and stuff and it won’t affect anything I’m doing with web server I’m renting.  If I end up finding something I cool, like adding a SubVersion Server to my build, then I could do that in the VM, work the kinks out, then port it over to the live server.

On another note… Things have been really quite around my house.  Teresa got mad at me yesterday because she says I complain too much.  So now I’m not complaining, which really means that I’m not talking.

I think I’m going to get some yogurt at Zen Berry.

//UPDATE// Zen Berry doesn’t open until Thursday… We went to 32° Yogurt instead…

Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 2124

Merry Christmas from the Cota-Robles Family. Drop me a line when you have time… (502) 403-8355…

Saturday 14 November 2009

My Blog

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 1325

Well, I found this app for the iPhone and decided to give it a try. Maybe I’ll start blogging again… Who knows…

Sunday 01 February 2009

Happy Birthday Kat

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 1703

Katherine's 7th Birthday Celebration

Katherine turns seven tomorrow, 02 FEB 2009… Ground Hog Day.  She has one of the coolest birthdates ever: 02/02/02… what makes that even cooler is that she is in the Class of 2020… there are a lot of twos in her life, but thankfully no tutus… Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for everyone… Kat has gymnastics for two hours and the other kids haven’t been to school for six days, so we celebrated her birthday today.

Anyhow, the Superbowl is about to start…

Sunday 18 January 2009

Phase 10

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 2154

My wife beats me at Phase 10 (it’s a card game).  I used to win all of the time.  She is good. We went bowling today.  She won once and I won thrice.  It was a thrill.  I rarely beat her at anything, ever…

Tomorrow is a national holiday.  I spent the weekend organizing my photos. I took over 8,700 in 2008.  I’ve cut that down to 8,500.  I’m cutting deep and getting rid of the bad pics.

Arizona is going to the Super Bowl… who would have thought.

I like beer, a lot.  I don’t like Bud Light or any American mass market beer.  I’m a beer snob.  I don’t drink beer very much, but I like it a lot.  I stopped drinking beer for about six years (from 1999 to about 2005).  I started drinking beer again when I went to Europe.  Beer there is good.  Most of my friends would say that you can’t be a Christian and drink beer, but I wasn’t getting drunk, just enjoying a good German beer with a meal.  I’ve met a lot of mean Christians.  We’re going to go to church next week.  We decided to go where are friends are going, that way we know someone.  It doesn’t matter if it sucks or not.  My friend drinks beer.  We sometimes drink beer together.  Now we will go to church together.  Of course, they won’t let us drink beer at church.  At this particular church, they give away free doughnuts.  So, we’ll eat doughnuts at church.  It’s okay to be a fatso and a Christian as long as you don’t drink beer.  In fact, it’s okay to be mean and be a Christian as long as you don’t drink beer.

Wow, that was kinda random.

Monday 05 January 2009


Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — cotaroba @ 1407

I think we (me and my family) may be destined to be nomads… wanderers… I’ve essentially been a nomad for 24+ years…

I grew up in same house in Tucson, Arizona from age two until I left for college in 1984. When I was in college in Alabama, my parents moved, but I found them. I was forever displaced. They moved to a new city where I was nothing more than a visitor.  I didn’t even have a room or anything…  Since then, my mom and siblings have moved as far away from Arizona as you can get (Pennsylvania and North Carolina)… I am a man without a hometown, just moving around every few years, satisfying the needs of the Army…

I bought a house once, in good old St. Joe, MO… It was supposed to be my retirement house… I was supposed to live there, well, forever… I made St. Joe my new hometown… I loved that place, the town, my church, my friends… it was hard for me to be sent on another assignment, but we’ve made the best of it… When I think of my hometown, I think of St. Joseph and not Tucson…

I thought that someday I would return to St. Joe, but my wife hates Missouri. She calls it “Misery”. She wants to live somewhere warm. This is her claim, “I love moving around.  Why, I’ve never lived anywhere for more than four years.”  While her claims may be true, she has never moved more than twenty miles in any one direction when she was growing up (she’s moved a lot farther than that since I’ve been in the Army).  What is different is that all of her family is still in the same area. She has a place to call home. My family moved to a different city from the place I grew up in… then they moved again, to a different state. I don’t have a place to call home anymore. If I were to go back to Tucson, it would just be a strange city, not my home town.

So I must be a nomad… a man with no hometown… If we’re going to be nomads, we might as well be nomads all the way. Maybe when I retire, we will live someplace warm and tropical for a while… someplace like Hawaii. Why not? It won’t be permanent, just a place to plop down for a few years. I don’t have any ambition other than to take pictures and play cards. Nomads don’t need much. Whenever I get island fever, I’ll move someplace else… maybe southern Florida or maybe even Savannah, GA… who knows…

Anyhow, it’s just an idea that’s been floating around in my head.

Monday 29 December 2008

Five O’Clock Shadow

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 0842

Five O'Clock ShadowI’m not allowed to have this much facial hair. It sure grows fast. I wanted to see how long it would take to grow a beard.  This is after four days (I shaved immediately after this photo because I had to go to work).  Maybe once I retire I’ll grow a beard.  There sure is a lot of gray in it.

Strobist: 580EXII camera left with diffuser 1/4 power; 580EXII behind subject #381 Baldassari Blue gel 1/2 power; both fired with ST-E2 wirelessly.

Sunday 28 December 2008

After Christmas with the In-Laws

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 1957

We drove to Alabama the day after Christmas to spend time with Teresa’s mom.  Teresa’s mom was really upset because Daisy, their 12-year-old Dachshund, was really sick and they thought she was going to die any minute.  When we got there, everyone was really happy and Daisy looked sick but alive. They took her to the vet and found out she had pneumonia. They spent $250 on vet bills and medicine.  Teresa’s mom has dinner waiting for us: pork chops, okra, stewed potatoes, corn, pinto beans, corn bread, and rolls. We ate some dinner and talked.  Daisy made the rounds sniffing everyone, she walked around the living, then she died.  No one noticed right away because it looked like she was just laying down.

I was going to take a picture of her when she was still alive, but we hadn’t unloaded the van yet and my camera was still in the van.  Death is like that… sometimes death is expected yet when it happens, it’s unexpected… of course, the dog just got back from the vet and my mother-in-law just gave her the medicine, so her death at this point was totally unexpected.  Either way, I missed my opportunity to create an enduring memory of a living dog and wouldn’t make any reminders of a dead one.  I helped dig a grave in the backyard  and we helped clean the kitchen and stuff.  It was a sad night for my in-laws.

8-Track Tape DeckLatter on that night, we tried to listened to music on their 8-track stereo.  My kids don’t remember cassette tapes let alone 8-track tapes.  We finally got it working the next day.  I took a picture to remember. We played some Phase 10 (I won).  Life goes on.

VikingsThe next day, Teresa and I went shopping for some University of Alabama hoodies (Roll Tide).  We had to have something to wear on Friday, 02 JAN 2009 for the Sugar Bowl (Alabama versus Utah).  I’m watching the game at my boss’ house.  He was the Professor of Military Science at Auburn University.  Everyone from Alabama knows about the rivavly between Alabama and Auburn.  Every year these two schools face off on the gridiron in a game called “The Iron Bowl”.  Families are divided during this game as some root for Alabama and some root for that other team.  Anyhow, some obnoxious Alabama hoodies are going to be mandatory attire at his house.  While we were gone,  Teresa’s mom pulled out Teresa’s old cheerleading outfit from 1974.  She was a cheerleader for the Vikings.  Katherine tried it on and performed some cheers and tumbling for us.   We play Phase 10 again, and I won again.  Life is good.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Christmas 2008

Filed under: Blog — cotaroba @ 1907

Merry Christmas!!

This was Sean’s last Christmas living with us… he will be going to college somewhere this fall.  Tina will be the next out the door and after she leaves, I may retire from the Army.  I have no clue where my new career path will take me and I am seriously considering a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.  I think I would do well managing shopping carts and checking bags. As long as I’m not working on the day after Thanksgiving, it should be a pretty safe job.

On Christmas Eve, we made homemade tacos, beans, Spanish rice, and salsa. It is our new tradition.  For our Christmas dinner, we made Chicken Breast Supreme.  It was a dish my dad invented and is partially responsible for his early death:  It’s made with a stick of butter and a pint of heavy whipping cream.  There’s a reason we only eat it once a year. Actually, the fried tacos are pretty heart clogging too.  Oh well, you only live once.  Maybe I’ll go to the gym on the 26th to get rid of this holiday excess.

Funny story interlude:  Back in 1989 we were visiting my father-in-law’s in Alabama and Teresa wanted me to make him my dad’s Chicken Breast Supreme meal.  So, she called my dad and got the recipe and we were off to Winn Dixie to buy the stuff to make the dish. But things at Winn Dixie didn’t go so well and we spent hours looking for a key ingredient: “saltdeta”. We searched every aisle and even asked the manger to help us find it.  Unsuccessful, we just figured that the hicktown of Scottboro, Alabama didn’t carry something as exotic as “saltdeta”.  We decided to make the chicken without it, and surprisingly enough, it turned out perfect, even without “saltdeta”.  My dad wanted feedback and we told him that it was great, but we didn’t use and “saltdeta”… he started laughing and said, “I told her ‘salt to taste’.”

Anyhow, we had a fun Christmas and didn’t spend nearly as much as we did last year (last year: 2 x laptops, Canon EOS 40D, electric Jeep). While we had fun as a family, the whole Christmas holiday this year seemed strangely different for us.  My friend Steven summed up some of that in his blog – link here. Thanks for listening… it’s my turn on the American Idol game… “it’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A”…. woohoo!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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