My Let It Ride Experience

On Friday, September 19th, I had the opportunity to see DJ Hish, Brian Davis, Chase Bryant, Aaron Lewis and Brantley Gilbert at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas as the “Let It Ride” tour rolled through Austin.

I absolutely love Brantley Gilbert’s songs–the attitude, the sincerity, and the energy reminds me of home in rural NC. His opening acts are country boys who I swear remind me any number of the people I grew up with.

Having the opportunity to listen to Brian Davis sing and tell the story of how he ended up on stage in the spotlight with his guitar sharing music that he and Brantley wrote was amazing. When he sang, “Hell yeah, I earned this beer” and dedicated it to all the farmers, steel workers, truck drivers and soldiers I just wanted to hug him. Brian told the crowd,  “I’ll be out by the merchandise booth until the last fan leaves” and he was.  What a down to earth just all around good guy.

Chase Bryant and Aaron Lewis were just as awesome. They all reminded me of normal guys who you could hang out with or drink beer, share laughs and few “hey, y’all watch this” moments.  As an Army veteran, who is married to an Army veteran and who has a daughter in the military, I appreciate Brian, Chase, Aaron and Brantley’s shared respect for our military.  It just makes their music sound sweeter to my ears.

Then there was DJ Hish who was mixing and mashing the music before the show started and between sets as the already excited crowd waited for BG to take the stage.  He had the crowd on their feet singing and dancing. There was never a dull moment at this concert.

Brantley took the stage with new music, new sets, and more energy.  It was, as always a great show. Brantley not only tells his stories through his music he also takes time to impart wisdom on the crowd when people make an unwise decision.  Like when security breaks up a fight and has to escort those individuals outside.  Brantley reminds the crowd to “Take It Outside” not only through his song, but through his story telling abilities which are just as impressive.

After the concert, I got the opportunity to meet Brantley.  My daughter and I met him a few years ago when he was in SC, but what was different about this meeting was his dad was there.  His dad is hilarious.  For me,  hanging out with BG’s dad  was the highlight of the evening.  The conversation was real and full of laughs.  I enjoyed the conversation so much that when the time came to have my picture taken with Brantley I asked if his dad could be in the picture too.

It was an awesome ending to a great concert. If you like Brantley and his music then check out the “Let It Ride” Tour when it comes to a town in near or around where you live.  From the openers to the main event it’s all high energy, full of laughs, toe-tapping, hand-clapping, grab your partner, and sing-a-along energy.

More pictures from the concert can be found here.

With a Grateful Heart

We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. ~John F. Kennedy

Thanksgiving as a holiday is but single day in time, where most people pause and give thanks and take an inventory of their blessings, but the spirt of Thanksgiving should be practiced daily.

I try to let those people who are important to me know they are throughout the year and often.  Whether through a note, a gift, a phone call, etc.  However, no matter how silly or sappy my friends and family think I am when I remind them they are special, I don’t think I’ll ever change.

Today I say, “Thank you” to all the people who cause me to be a better me. For those family and friends who love me for who I am, no matter how frustrated I make them. For those who understand that being my friend requires a little patience, a lot of laughter, and an open mind.

Today, I am thankful that I have a job I absolutely love and co-workers who are just are as amazing as our project is awesome. I can’t name everyone, but I will say – Cole, Frank, Stephanie, Charlie, JK, Michael and the project leads cause me to strive toward an excellence that is so worth it. It’s awesome to work with people who value your contributions and seek your council. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the team.

Today, I have a roof over my head.  3 years ago I didn’t.  I am thankful for the lessons learned and the strength gained throughout the experience of dealing with a house fire. I hope one day I can pay forward and pass along to others what the open source communities, family, and friends shared with us during that time.  I will never be able to say “Thank you” enough or express my appreciation to you all, but I will always remember you and count you among my blessings. Forever!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.  ~Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


Talking OCP on the APAC Virtualization Podcast

I had this awesome podcast experience this morning. I was invited to talk about the Open Compute Project (OCP) and our Community on the APAC Virtualization Podcast. The host Craig Waters invited myself and Mark Temple to talk about what is OCP, how you can get involved and more.

Many thanks to Craig and Mark for making the experience a great one. Warning my accent at 5am (or anytime for that matter) is not nearly as cool as theirs, but I hope you enjoy the podcast.


Episode 83 – Open Compute Project – show notes

Podcast  – Audio

Find out more about OCP and how you can get involved at:


Finding the Open Waters of Accomplishment and Success

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” ~James Neil Hollingworth

There are days when I over-think things and it seems like nothing gets done; well nothing does because I am too busy over-thinking.  We’ve all been there, but how do you get around that? More importantly, in my mind anyway, is why we over-think things.

When I find myself on the USS Over-Thinking boat it’s usually because I’ve ended up on the seas of self-doubt and fear, but the good thing is when I’m there I’m never without sails and oars. The important thing is how quickly I set my sails toward success and use the oars of opportunity to gain control of the boat.

Last week I had a discussion with my boss about how perfection is the enemy of good enough and how sometimes we just have to get something out there and fix it as we go, but fixing stuff in the open can often be an intimating place, but if we stay focused on our goals, communicate our intent, and work on things in a systematic manner things will get done and pretty soon the horizon of the next project is in site.

Sometimes fear of imperfection keeps us from just doing things. Trying to bring perfection to a process can often paralyze both the person and the progress they are making. Has that happened to you or a project you’ve been working on?

I think this happens more often in open source based communities, especially when people aren’t used to doing stuff in an open and transparent manner.  It takes time, reassurance, and the right tools to over-come this fear. We also have to remind each other it’s OK and  we’re all in this together.  Someone helped you get started, someone helped me and in turn we help others.  I have yet to see where someone got flamed on an open mailing list for a dangling modifier or apostrophe abuse (though I know a few editors of mine who want to kick kittens when I’ve done that in the past), so don’t worry so much about if your email, or IRC chat, or comment is perfect, just jump in there and start communicating, collaborating and contributing. The only way to get better and make progress is by just doing it.

Whether it is getting back into the gym, starting a new job, trying something new, getting involved in a new project or more – just do it – and pretty soon you’ll find yourself on the open waters of accomplishments and success with new adventures on your horizon.



My First OCP Engineering Workshop – Awesome Doesn’t Begin to Describe it!

View from in front of the Goldman Sachs building.

The Open Compute Project (OCP) Compliance and Interoperability (C&I) focused Engineering Workshop was held on 1 October 2013 at the Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City, NJ. This was the first engineering workshop I’ve attended since being hired as the OCP Community Manager. I learned that I still get nervous when I speak and that the hardware, its processes, personalities and organizations involved in, near, or around OCP are fascinating and to say I am excited about OCP in 2014 would be an understatement.

Frank Frankovsky of Facebook, Eric Wells of Fidelity, Matthew Liste of Goldman Sachs

Just a little about OCP and its projects.  Currently, there are seven projects for individuals and organizations to get involved with and participate in. Those projects include: server, storage, motherboard, open rack, networking, data center design, compliance and interoperability. The specs and more information can be found here.

Charlie Manese of Facebook, Thao Nguyen of Facebook and Brian Obernesser of Fidelity

We are working hard on making the paths for communicating, collaborating, and contributing clearer and lowering the barrier to entry. If you want to get involved be sure to follow OCP on Twitter, like OCP on Facebook, and add OCP to your circles on Google+. Of course you can always contact me as well and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction as well.

If you want to know more about OCP events please visit our events page.