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2 Years

2 years ago today, the pandemic officially started for me. We had just gotten home from Disney. Today, much like then, I have just gotten home from Disney, and while not everything has returned to normal yet, it’s getting closer and closer every day.

There are a number of things I could reflect on over these last 2 years.

I could talk about how I have streamed on http://twitch.tv/jjdb210 every single day since then… No matter where I was. that has been an experience. I have gotten to know a lot of cool people online. The group has turned into a community of sorts on Discord. It’s nice to know, that even when we are stuck at home, there are people out there to communicate with. It’s also been nice to be able to document my life in a way that way.

I could talk about the Disney trips I’ve taken since the pandemic started… I’ve had at least 3 now since then… 1 in November to see Christmas again with the family. 1 with Cheppy, which was an epic tour of all 4 parks in 3 days. and now, a spring break trip to visit my parents with the family last week. The more I visit, the slower it seems to change. That said, I still end up doing a few new things every trip, which is awesome for me… some of those things include:

  • Getting to board the 2nd level of the ferry using the new gang planks that come out when they are busy.
  • Getting to see all the 50th statues (and take photos of them)
  • Getting to collect all the 50th golden coins.
  • Riding Ratatouille and Astro Orbiter for the first time (and possibly the Rocking Roller Coaster, I can’t recall when I had been on it before)
  • Getting to see the “Beacons”
  • Having Eloise start the show on the carosel of progress
  • Getting the latest Super Zoom Photos (and numerous other disney photos)
  • Spending times with friends in the park

Disney is my home away from home. I love the flexibility of being able to get down there.

I could talk about how my kids have aged… Link will be attending MSA next year. Life has come full circle. Eloise has become a smarty pants. Both kids are becoming their own persons. Link with love for art. Eloise with a love for Dance. Both love their technology… but maybe not like dad :-).

I could talk about covid, politics, war, etc… However, that’s stuff that is always around… and really my views on things in this case aren’t all that interesting.

I’m not sure what will all happen between now and my next blog post… But here’s to things slowly getting better.


Disney Goals Part 2 – A Park in Transition

It’s been been a weird year so far. One that is deserving of multiple posts. But I’m going to start where my last written post left off… I had set a goal to set foot in a Walt Disney World park, a total of 30 days from June 21st, 2019 to June 21st, 2020. You can read about the first 20 days of this goal by clicking here.

The question is, did I get those last 10 days? I did, and they were a turning point in our world.

I landed in Orlando late on March 4th for a spring break trip. Not enough time to go to a park, but my parents picked me up from the Airport, and we went and found me some Domino’s. It was delicious.

Day 21 – Thursday, March 5th, I spent most of the morning working. Vacation mode hadn’t quite kicked in. I did however make it to 2 parks. Epcot in the afternoon for a quick bite to eat, and then we took a quick trip late in the evening to run into the Clappier’s at Animal Kingdom. I know I must be doing something right when Lucy thought I was someone who worked at Disney. High praise!

Day 22 – March 6th was similar to the 5th. I still had work to do most of the morning, but by the afternoon I found myself at Hollywood Studios. We spent the afternoon running into the Clappiers – Watching Lucy do Jedi Training or John interact with Chewbacca was the highlight of the day. This is also the first time I’m really paying any attention to Covid, as Minnesota gets it’s first case, and my family isn’t yet in Florida. My parents and I also got on the brand new Mickey’s Runaway Railway for the first time. Very cool ride.

Day 23 – This will be a day I won’t forget. 4 Parks, 50 Characters, 40k+ steps, More photos than I can count. Twitter has 1 of each. If I can remember how to posts photos I would… Oh… and This was the first day I rode rise of the resistance… The only ride I got on all day. Interestingly enough, I probably could have gotten 52 characters if I had NOT got on this ride… oh well. Not bad at all though for no bonus hours.

Day 24 – We went out to Hollywood Studios in the morning. I think we had hoped to pick up some stuff for the Clappier’s as their vacation had an interesting hiccup at that point. We didn’t stay long though, as we had some preparations to make for the kids arrival, who arrived later that day.

Day 25 – March 9th – Another day I won’t soon forget. We met up with the Clappier’s in the Magic Kingdom. Lots of shared rides. Lots of fun. An amazing Waldo photo that stressed me out because it didn’t show up until like a month after it was taken in our photos. Meeting friends in Disney is going to be something that I’m going to try to do more and more now, as it adds a lot of fun getting to share in the experiences. They had also started painting the castle at this point. A project that wouldn’t be completed before we left, but was looking pretty cool.

Day 26 – March 10th – The whole family headed up to Hollywood Studios. The first time for most of the family on Rise of the Resistance. However, for me, this will be the day that I remember as the day I finally made it on stage for the Indiana Jones show. We also got to build our droids and light sabers. Very cool items and a very cool experience.

Day 27- March 11 – An early morning breakfast at Epcot’s the Land start off the day. If I remember correctly, We ended up hitting 3 or 4 rides before heading home a little bit earlier. I don’t think we made it to the fireworks show sadly, but sometimes the kids need their rest.

Day 28 – March 12 – We have some of the best friends! Bennet’s family, Eloise’s best friend from preschool, was in Florida, and happened to be on a VIP tour through the parks. They let us join up for the last leg of their tour at the Magic Kingdom, something I had never done. We did more rides in about 2 hours with the park almost full than I think I had ever done. There were lots of conversations about Covid popping up, and the one that we had been dreading came down. Disney World would be closing on March 15th. Luckily for us, the kids were going home March 16th (the last day of spring break for them). I had a flight out early on the 17th (I had planned on staying one more day). Back at home, even though everyone was on spring break, there were rumors that announcements would be hitting the schools as well.

Day 29 – March 13 – We pulled out Eloise’s recently redone light up dress for the first time on this trip as we went to Animal Kingdom… and man did it look good. So many compliments! We even got to sit in the front row for River’s of Light. I was enjoying watching her almost more than the show!

Day 30 – March 14 – GOAL ACHIEVED! Another Trip to Hollywood Studios. Attendance was starting to shirk due to Covid. You could see people actively cleaning the parks. We got to see Equity Ben on stage and in the process I’m pretty sure his counterpart kept telling me to take off my EquityBen t-shirt. However, this will always be the moment that I remember as the mood in the parks completely shifted. It was Equity Ben‘s last show of the day, and as it turns out, I believe last show before the parks would close. More importantly, and we didn’t know this at the time, the announcement that all the Disney College Program employee’s were being sent home due to Covid. I will always remember there was who I assume was a DCP standing at the exit of the ride clearly holding back tears as the show was ending. Ben noticed her, and during the finale made a heart sign to her. You could tell he was holding back tears as well. From this point forward, while everyone was still delivering the magic, you could tell that something horrible had crossed the land.

Afterwards, I would read articles of people who were alive and at Disney Land and at Disney World, and they would describe it to be similar to the day Walt Disney died. Very… Somber.

Day 31 – March 15 – One last day in the Magic Kingdom. The park was more empty than it had been the entire trip… And the people it was full of was no longer tourists. The parks were suddenly full of DCP’s who no longer had a job hugging one another, saying their goodbyes. The sidewalk painters were writing on the sidewalk “See You Real Soon”. The parade’s closing banner said “See You Real Soon”, and had a send off as it left the park for the last time that was just amazing to witness. DCP’s all trailing behind waiving to their friends. Lots of clapping and cheering.

We sadly didn’t stay for the shutdown of the park. We knew it would be crazy, with all the locals coming in to say goodbye, and news of what Disneyland had done to say goodbye. It was interesting though, as we left the park that day, there were still clearly more people coming in to get their one last fix before the parks closed for covid. That night, I watched the all the activities in the park on the facebook group from just a few miles away, wishing I had 1 more day to visit the parks.

I was luckily able to move my flight up, and got to fly home the next morning with the family. That was a blessing, as preparations needed to be made for all the school’s as they headed into Covid. At the time, we didn’t know what was coming, and were all charting new territory.


Lego Christmas Village 2019 (Merry Christmas)

Here is this year’s Lego Winter Village Video – Hope you enjoy!


Disney Goals

Journaling my thoughts on a daily basis has long gone by the wayside, as many people who used to read this regularly know. Tumbledry may be the last of group of blogs from the blogging cohort of the 2000’s.

But It’s something I should do more of. And I will keep starting every post like this until it probably becomes a reality.

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a Goal-driven kick. Some of the goals have been entirely silly, some have had unexpected outcomes. Others seem to be driving me towards something. Let’s take one of the current in progress larger goals and document it’s progress so far:

Goal: Set foot in Walt Disney World park a total of 30 days from June 21, 2019 to June 21nd, 2020.

Progress: I’ve been in at least 1 park a total of 20 days:

  • 1 – June 21 – Hollywood Studios – Got into the park, a picture taken, and back out, before my mom got into the park, which lead to some hilarity. Also – Disney springs/Boardwalk meals.
  • 2 – June 22 – Magic Kingdom – Part of Micro Goal “Be in the park by myself”.
  • 3 – June 23 – Epcot – Another round of be alone in the park. Great Breakfast at the land!
  • 4 – June 24 – Hollywood Studios – Dining in cars for the first time.
  • 5 – June 25 – Animal Kingdom – Just for the breakfast empty park to complete the micro goal.
  • 6 – June 26 – Magic Kingdom Date Night!
  • 7 – June 27 – Magic Kindom – Dress and then Villians Night! Villians = Awesome.
  • 8 – June 28 – Hollywood + Animal Kingdom – Met our Star Wars Catina Hero, Plus Eloise’s dress glows with the night show.
  • 9 – June 29 – Magic Kingdom – Played the card game with Link… all day long…
  • 10 – October 31st – Epcot – Dad and I do a little food and wine after a long drive.
  • 11 – November 1st – Magic Kingdom – Dad and I check out the remaining Halloween decorations.
  • 12 – November 4th – Epcot + Hollywood Studios to see Galaxy’s Edge.
  • 13 – November 5th – Magic Kingdom – Justin getting photos of the kids photos.
  • 14 – November 6th – Epcot + Magic Kingdom – Beat the card game again.
  • 15 – November 7th – Hollywood Studios – Filming the Disney Christmas Specials with Pentatonix.
  • 16 – November 8th – Magic Kingdom + Epcot – Riding the rides Amber won’t, followed by Amber arriving for our vacation.
  • 17 – November 9th – Hollywood Studios – Lightsaber debates (I didn’t get one). Seeing Frozen multiple times for the multiplyth time with my wife.
  • 18 – November 10th – Animal Kingdom – Amber and I see the Christmas lights in Dinoland for the first time.
  • 19 – November 11th – Magic Kingdom – Amber and I spend 18 hours in the park celebrating Christmas (8:45AM to 12:45AM)
  • 20 – November 12th – Magic Kingdom – Saying Goodbye to the parks one more time before Amber and I have to catch a flight home.

So I just need to find 10 more days in the park in the next 218 days. Doable.

The best part is bringing the magic home… This weekend, that meant putting up as many Christmas lights as I could.

There are a whole bunch of micro goals I have on these trips… and I always come home with a dozen stories it seems. I think the real question is: when can we do this again.


Summertime Begins – And So Does Minecraft With Dad

School’s out for summer, which with my kids means we give them a slightly later bedtime. It allows for more late night activities like bon fires, etc. and helps keep them on a more regular schedule through vacations.

With summer though also comes one of the most rewarding things for me with my children – “Minecraft with Dad”. Last summer, sort of by accident, I asked Link if he wanted to stream with me. At the time, I had been on a kick of streaming Overwatch I think, and he had somehow caught onto it. He said yes, and for an evening, we streamed Minecraft together. People started watching and playing with us, which was fun.

We did that pretty much all summer long… First on a self hosted world, then as we grew, we improved both our setup, as well as moved to a realm. But it was fun to see Link get involved with it. Eloise eventually joined us… and by the end of the summer, we had gone for almost 50 episodes of playing together.

So when this summer rolled around, Link was asking “When are we going to do Minecraft with Dad again?”… and this time, so was his sister. We started up again on Saturday on a new world and within minutes we had all of our old friends back again. If you want to check it out, go follow


The Importance Of Backups

I felt a need to dump this morning out on paper… It’s been quite a morning, one that was made much better by backups that we don’t always think to make.

It started with my phone waking me up by ringing off the hook at 7:15AM. I answered the first call, and it was from a teacher at one of the schools I work for. She was calling me to let me know the internet had gone done at school #1. This happens sometimes. 90% of the time it’s the internet provider(s). 9% of the time it’s a box that needs to be rebooted or something caused by a power outage. At that point, it was looking like just a rather rough start to the morning.

Upon hanging up, my phone rang again, this time from a number I didn’t have saved. I answered it, and it was a parent from another school, letting me know their child was sick today. This isn’t normally a call that gets to me. In fact, it’s only a call that comes my way if their phone system is entirely offline, and the first cell phone call failed (call to the school cell). I quickly jotted down the note, and then darted down stairs to my computer. Two shells fly open and I begin testing connections at both schools. While doing this, my phone continues to ring from teachers (and or parents) that were calling.

School #2 thankfully was easy. They had a brief outage, and thankfully it all came back online and things were back to normal by 7:35 for them. School #1 though was looking like it wasn’t the internet provider and that a box was going to need to be rebooted. I quickly sent a message off to my employees who cover that school before it starts and said it looks like “server a” needs a reboot… They would get to that when they got in, so I went and took a shower and prepared to head up to the school as quickly as time would allow for.

When I got out of the shower, I had a note on my screen that simply said, “It won’t boot”. We were no longer in the 99% of cases, but now the 1%.

This particular server is actually the linchpin if you will for the entire network setup. It acts as the router for 2 networks and handles the primary networks DHCP. When it’s offline, nothing is able to communicate with anything else… so having it offline is bad. Having it not boot is a setup for a really bad day.

My daughter is currently home ill, so my amazing, awesome mother was already scheduled to come to our house this morning. That allowed me to leave 45 minutes earlier than I normally would have. I got up to the school and walked in to see the machine giving the dreaded no system disk error. Why we don’t have raid in this machine, I’m not quite sure… I blame cheap hardware… Regardless…

My guys and I grab an SSD off the parts shelf (we have a bunch), throw it in the machine, and download the latest version of the PFSense (the OS that runs on this particular box.) PFSense on the whole is a very very quick install. In fact, it took longer to download as I had to do some magic to get online than it did to install it. Once installed though, there is quite a bit of configuration that needs to be done for our setup to work right. Static IPs, routing tables, filters, snort, vlans, dhcp, dhcp reservations, dns, etc. all need to be configured. Typically, when I do it by hand, it can be a multi-hour job to get right. This particular school though would probably take closer to a full day due to the complexity.

Luckily – I had a backup of the config (something the OS provides) saved in the server room from just last week. This is something that I try to do pretty much every time I make a change to this device. Occasionally I forget if it’s a small change, but in this particular case, I had made one just last Thursday after making changes to the network config. That backup meant that internet was up and running by the time teachers had to take attendance, as opposed to a full day later.

Moral of the story – Backups are king. Only way today could have gone smoother is if I had a hot spare of this particular server… Sadly, that costs money :-).