It's been a bit of a crazy week, compounded b...

January 30, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's been a bit of a crazy week, compounded by the weather. This morning I got a call from a horribly excited Emma, letting me know they couldn't go to school because the car wouldn't start. Ironically, today is the day Jamie was going to take it in to get the starter rebuilt.

Things seem very busy. I woke up early, went to work, came home, took Sam to fencing while entertaining Emma, helped Sam with homework, ate, took a bath, and collapsed to sleep. At least work is becoming a little less crazy after some of the insanely busy days of weeks gone by.



It didn't snow much last night, but the roads...

January 29, 2008 by Adam in Family

It didn't snow much last night, but the roads were icy this morning and school was closed. I worked from home and tried to help some with the kids. Now that it's the end of the day, Jamie looks pretty tuckered out and I best go help soon.

The neighbor boys continued to build up the fort. Hopefully these pictures give a good feel for the relative size. The one with Emma climbing the hill behind the fort makes it look massive, but the walls are really only three or so feet high. In the afternoon, we had six kids running around throwing snowballs in all directions. A good time was had by all.

Jamie took Emma on a long walk to Metropol for bread. I've pretty much stayed at home for the last couple days. Tomorrow I'm going to try and brave the weather to head in to work. Wish me luck.



Not much to report

January 27, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

Not much to report. I've been playing Guitar Hero 3 and pretending I'm a rock star. It's surprisingly fun, especially when you get to yell out "Rock and Roll!" at the end of a song. Jamie just looks at me funny.

I've also been playing Crysis, which is a standard shooter with a few twists. You have a special suit which you can set for speed, strength, armor, or stealth. I'm partial to stealth, it turns out. The other fun thing is that it's pretty beautiful to look at. It's set in a tropical island, with gorgeous trees all around. As a bonus, you can shoot at them and make them fall over, along with buildings that often get blown to pieces.



It's snowing! I woke up this morning to a ...

January 27, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's snowing!

I woke up this morning to a thin blanket of snow, which turned into a thick blanket of snow and constant, fluffy snowfall. I don't think I've seen this much snow in Eugene for a long while. Sam's been outside all morning, forgoing breakfast so he can play outside.

I spent an hour or so this morning assisting Sam, Ben, and Sebastian with a snow fortress. It's pretty gargantuan, complete with a window made from a big circle of ice. Initially it was Sam versus the neighbor boys, but building the fortress became a common good that they could all pitch in with.

In terms of the rest of the weekend, I took Emma swimming Friday night. Sam was tired and grouchy, and didn't want to go. Emma's been sniffly, but was still up to a swim with her dad. Saturday I did a library run and Jamie went to the gym. Later in the evening we had dinner with Barbara and Zoltan. Barbara observed a unique quality about the English language - we have a ton of different words for "butt". I guess we're like Eskimos and snow or something.



It's a Mocha Madness Friday

January 25, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's a Mocha Madness Friday. My coworker Summer came down from Bellingham for SharePoint training and she got me a second mocha after I finished my first. I expect I'll soon need a shot of adreneline to the heart, just like Pulp Fiction. I can already hear the angels singing and hope to be speaking to God at any moment now.

It's been a bit of a rough week, with me under the weather for a couple days there. I'd head home early from work, take a nap, pop some Advil, and try to feel semi-normal. Yesterday I felt much better and today I feel perfectly fine. Emma's been complaining about being ill as well, though I suspect that may be a school avoidance technique.

The kids and I continue to play our little games after work. Last night Emma and I played Guitar Hero. She made some pretty good progress at actually playing notes, though she ended up putting on rock star makeup instead. Later on the three of us disassembled the great Lego city that's been sitting on the play table for days. Emma and Sam worked on destruction while I sorted by color. Now Sam's making a moon base, as he explained that the Lego city technology has improved considerably.

Sam did his presentation on Degas yesterday. Jamie and Emma snuck in quietly to watch. They said it went well and Sam pronounced his name perfectly. He also pointed out that Degas and I share the same birthday.

Tonight I'm hoping to take the kids swimming. Tomorrow we have dinner with Barbara, Zoltan, and family. Hopefully the icy cold weather will improve somewhat and we can run around outside a little.



We all had a nice weekend celebrating Isa's 7...

January 23, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

We all had a nice weekend celebrating Isa's 7th birthday! On Monday we had a group of her friends over for pizza making and general merryment. Hanni surprised her by sneaking up on Tuesday afternoon.
I took Monday & Tuesday off of work, and it was nice to get a jump start on spring cleaning. I've decided I need to take a day off each month simply to get caught up!



I've noticed that I seem to be posting in my ...

January 23, 2008 by Adam in Adam

I've noticed that I seem to be posting in my little section of the site only when I'm really sick. Perhaps it'll become part of my medical record or something.

At the moment, I actually feel kind of okay, though the last couple days have been rough. Yesterday towards the end of work I started getting a headache that wouldn't stop. I came home early and took a nap. Jamie had to go off to a birthday party, but she was so distraught that she called a bunch of people looking for a babysitter. Unfortunately no one panned out and I ended up watching the kids while rubbing my head.

About a half an hour later, my mom called, arriving with food and kid watching. I took a bath, which hit the spot, and was so effusively nice to everyone that they all looked at me funny. Not being in pain paints the world in bright, happy colors.

I had a slight repeat again today. I left work a bit after noon after a non-stop server install session. Same headache. A bath and long nap later, I feel pretty good again. Jamie gave up her gym time and took Sam to fencing.

What a nice family I have.



I don't normally post gaming things on the ma...

January 20, 2008 by Adam in Family

I don't normally post gaming things on the main page, but this video pretty much sums up a big chunk of what we did yesterday. Judy instructed me to buy Guitar Hero III for the Wii. It arrived Friday and everyone took turns playing. Sam in particular really loves it, and we're having to carefully monitor his video game time. It's pretty funny watching him intently play, frozen in concentration.

I, on the other hand, see the game as a full body workout. I tend to prance around and taunt my foes. It's pretty sweet.

We did some other things, of course. I took the kids to the park, despite their complaining. I told them they only had to stay for ten minutes. Two hours later, we went home. There was tag, climbing downed trees, digging in mud, and generally having a great time.

Today Sam and I are off to see Cloverfield. It's a monster movie and supposedly getting good reviews. I'm pretty excited as I haven't seen a movie in the theater for ages. Jamie is graciously watching Emma while we boys play.



Just a quick hello to all

January 19, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Just a quick hello to all. I spent Thursday and Friday taking things to the dump, Goodwill, South Eugene (purple and white ribbons, which you know will turn up as decorations at some Prom), and the computer recycling place, etc. with the help of a CentroLatino worker guy. The office is almost completely cleaned out, and I feel a certain calmness; it hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected. My closet at home is full of pictures which need to be hung up and miscellaneous things which need to be repaired, as well as all the Memory Box stuff to be organized and photos to be labeled, but that's not too bad either. I also took everything from the Museum of Ancient Word Processing Equipment to the computer recycling place except the Smith Corona Electric Typewriter,
Dick's manual typewriter, which needs repaired, and the CPT,
which is complete, and which, the last time I tried it, worked (and for which I have the manual, the big floppy disks, etc.). When you sell it for $20,000 on e-Bay, then you'll be sorry you laughed at me! Amazing to think that it cost $15,000 in 1979 dollars and does much less than my $700 laptop.



It's Mocha Friday and I just finished up with...

January 18, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and I just finished up with that delicious elixir. Plus it's casual day, so I get to wear jeans and a black t-shirt to work. It puts me in a "l33t programmer" mood.

Work has been crazy busy as of late. There's a lot of high-profile projects related to the new hospital at Riverbend that seem to be falling to me. I suppose it means people recognize I'm a capable worker, though I could probably do with more praise. Perhaps I can arrange for my coworkers to carry me around on their shoulders through the cubicles while cheerleaders shout out my name.

Emma continues to be as cute as a button. She made a snowman (L'Homme de neige) puppet at school. We took turns hiding behind the chair and putting on shows. Even Sam thought it was pretty cool. Last night I arrived home to find her wrapped up in a shawl, along with an umbrella. I wasn't aware of the storm warning for our living room, but it's good to be prepared.

Sam is his usual self. He finished Super Mario Galaxy, is reading a spy novel, and built a weird contraption out of Legos last night. It started out as a gatling gun powered by a Lego motor. Later it turned into a massage/tickle device that he kept trying to get us to try out.

Jamie's been pretty busy all week, going to dinner at Barbara's house, heading to the gym, and going for a hike with Pat tomorrow. She made some pretty great soup last night, which I'm eager to eat for lunch.

In terms of the weekend, Jamie and I have date night tonight. Tomorrow is the usual library visit. I'm going to see if Sam and I can see the monster movie Cloverfield tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.



Mom, that sounds like a wonderful next step i...

January 17, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Mom, that sounds like a wonderful next step in your life. I'm going to start sending my files off to smart women. Actually, I sort of am- I'm doing my best to have all my files online for the folks who come after me.

Currently, I'm eating and sleeping this Austin meeting; it kills me to think that I've spent four months on four days that will arrive in nine. It's ridiculous how I put my hopes in tiny things like bringing people together in the same hotel to talk to each other. My old supervisor would say that introducing people to each other is the most radical thing we can do... so either I'm about to bring on a brilliant revolution or tumble into civil war. Hey, it's not my job to define what kind of change we'll bring about. I'm just a VISTA.



Ha, easy for you to say

January 16, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Ha, easy for you to say...! But thanks for the reassurance. Now, if you'll only tell me it's again fashionable to have the components of one's attire match, I'll have a goal in life.



Mom - Take a deep breath

January 16, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Mom - Take a deep breath. It sounds like you've handed your friends over to a very intellegent woman!



SHE'S GOING TO TAKE MY FILES!!! The woman I'm...

January 16, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

SHE'S GOING TO TAKE MY FILES!!! The woman I'm selling my practice to made a correct assessment that I would never quit if I still had files here at the office, and yesterday told me, very gently, that she thought she should take them to her office. I spent a sleepless night. They are my FRIENDS!! How can I retire and leave my friends?? I'll be reduced to shopping for matching clothing....



Almost finished! I toured the school dental ...

January 15, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

Almost finished! I toured the school dental clinics here and talked to a lot of the people involved. It's strange to think that the school I visited and its dental clinic date to the mid 1900s. Until the 1990s school children here got dental checkups twice a year. Now it has been reduced to once a year and the old clinics are being replaced by mobile vans. The picture is of me with two of the dental therapists and their assistant.



I am back into the routine of daily life

January 15, 2008 by Jamie in Jamie

I am back into the routine of daily life. Having some time to sit and think during the morning makes a huge difference to the psyche. I am filling my social calendar with long neglected friends and a few trips to the longer neglected gym. I am looking out the front window from my warm living room at a blue sky and ice frosted vegetation...very peaceful. Time to decide what to make for dinner for this family plus Dave and Josh. If only I could send them out hunting like in the olden days ;-)



I made it back to New Zealand and actually ma...

January 14, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I made it back to New Zealand and actually managed to drive on the wrong side of the road through construction areas and around rotaries the wrong way for the hour and 1/2 it took to get to Hamilton. There I met another "retired" dentist as well as a children's dentist and her American trained assistant. So far New Zealand dentistry seems very relazed by my standards. I'm recovering after several beers at a bar owned by still another dentist. Tomorrow I visit the dental clinic.



Sam and I just finished a bike ride and now h...

January 13, 2008 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I just finished a bike ride and now he's across the street playing with Ben and Sebastian. He loves riding his new bike, and it was his idea to ride when Jamie announced she needed us to go to pick things up from some stores. We took a detour on the Amazon path past Roosevelt Middle school. It was kind of fun riding around the part of town, as I have fond memories of going over there when I was a kid. Maybe I'll take him to Riverview street for the full nostalgia effect.

As an aside, I found an online retailer that was selling Guitar Hero at a reasonable price, so it should be heading our way soon.



I'm spending a beautiful Sunday morning finis...

January 13, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm spending a beautiful Sunday morning finishing the agenda and briefing book for the VISTA meeting at the end of the month. Work has been fantastic and frantic as I iron out the final details for Austin. Tomorrow I'm heading out the Williamstown to facilitate a community partnership development workshop, then to Smith to be on a "women's narratives of success" panel. The coordinators of the panel are obvioulsy looking for alternative narratives of success, for when I let them know that I'm still hovering at the poverty line, they said that they wanted me anyway. Hey, I'll get fed and boarded at the Hotel Northampton, which is good enough for me!



The boat racing was great as well

January 13, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

The boat racing was great as well. Several people helped be get my electric mono running to the point where I took third in that class. Here Al Hobbs from Montana launches my gas mono.



Rafting was a real kick, especially since the...

January 13, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

Rafting was a real kick, especially since the water was really warm. We fell in on purpose. I star in the video of the trip, but I won't show you it before I get back.



The reason everyone wears these funny suits o...

January 13, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

The reason everyone wears these funny suits on the Great Barrier Reef is these pretty jelly fish. Their stings can be very serious and some are fatal. Parrot fish are much prettier in person than in the picture.



I'm finally back to the internet at the Sydne...

January 13, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I'm finally back to the internet at the Sydney airport. Let's see if I can send some pictures.

Yeah! What does the dog whisperer do when a crock eats his dog? He becomes the croc whisperer.



Over the break, we played a lot of Bookworm A...

January 11, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

Over the break, we played a lot of Bookworm Adventures. My favorite moments were when I helped supply words, Sam would spell them, and Emma would click on the letters. It was a group effort and even Jamie would come by on occasion to pitch in some suggestions.

Since we've been back, Sam's working through Super Mario Galaxy. Last night Emma did a bit of online web games, mostly Barbie and Polly Pocket themed. Needless to say, multiple pages of cartoonish characters and animals were printed out.



Jamie got Sam a reading chair for his bed

January 11, 2008 by Adam in Sam

Jamie got Sam a reading chair for his bed. The really weird thing are the built-in speakers and side pocket for an MP3 player. While I might have rolled my eyes a bit, Sam decided it was awesome. And yes, that's Iron Man playing in the background.

On a related note, Judy directed me to purchase Guitar Hero with a bit of her "mad money" in hopes she could play when she was in town. Unfortunately it's very hard to get unless you pay an extra $50 over the list value, so I think I'll wait awhile yet. In the meantime, you can watch these two grown men play Iron Man to get a feel for what will likely be happening in the Miller-Mellor household in the future.



It's Mocha Friday and for once I'm still sipp...

January 11, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and for once I'm still sipping away as I post. It's been a whirlwind week, returning from Bend, readjusting to ordinary life, and trying to catch up with work.

Nothing much exciting has been happening lately. Jamie got Sam a reading pillow with speakers that he loves. Emma wanted to rough-house with Sam and me last night and she ended up bonking her nose. She's quick to say "I'm okay!" but I still feel guilty anyway.

For the first time in a long while, there's nothing exciting planned this weekend. I'd love to take the kids swimming, go to the library, and do ordinary things. Maybe Sam can do some bike riding and Emma can play at the park. We'll see how it goes.



We're at Eagle Crest, getting ready to head home

January 08, 2008 by Adam in Family

We're at Eagle Crest, getting ready to head home. I've got a mocha beside me and the girls are checking out. The snow is coming down hard and our neighbors mentioned an avalanche in the pass. Looking at Trip Check, it looks like we can make it over, though I suspect we'll be going pretty slowly. If we don't make it back, well, it's been good knowing you all.

Our little trip has been pretty fun. We played a lot of Bookworm Adventures, frolicked in the snow at Sunriver, saw Brant's new house, and visited the swimming pool a bunch. Sam and I watched School of Rock last night, which was sort of awesome by definition.

Tomorrow brings school, work, and the routine of life again. I think we're done with most of our vacations for awhile. A bit of normality sounds pretty good, though.

Update: We took a wrong turn, but made it home. We're all exhausted after being in the car for so many hours.



It keeps raining here! Although there has be...

January 08, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

It keeps raining here! Although there has been some snow at the higher elevations, there has been none in the city. We're gearing up for a busy month. I have a few comp days, due to my December trip, and we're planning to get out of town some.
For Isa's birthday we'll be heading towards snow. The cabin we stayed at last year was booked, but she still wants to go sleding!
Robbie and I are heading up to Vancouver, BC at the end of the month. Isa stated quite clearly that she was not interested in joining us! Darn, an weekend by ourselves.



It's Honolulu in the "winter" time

January 05, 2008 by Yayoe in Yayoe

It's Honolulu in the "winter" time...which means it cool but muggy in the morning and raining. The days have been perfect with bright sun and breezes. My friends are wearing long sleeve shirts and flannel nightgowns!Weird huh. I'm glad I brought a sweater and a fleece jacket to keep me warm in the mornings. Little Rob is as cute as ever..he's trying to walk at 8 months and yesterday I taught him how to drink from a cup! He had his first sip of water! Amazing huh. The papayas as so lucious that I've gone crazy eating them. I may be orange by the time I get back. Aloha for now!



Happy Mocha Friday to all

January 04, 2008 by Adam in Family

Happy Mocha Friday to all. I actually didn't have a mocha this morning, as I'm working from home. Jamie did fix up a pot of coffee, however, and I indulged myself thoroughly. Josh is in tow with me, supposedly learning how to become a web developer. He did put together a rather snazzy online game with Scratch.

We're getting ready for our big Bend trip tomorrow. I'm strangely excited to play in the snow and generally hang out. I realized I actually don't take that much time off from work the other day, so I don't feel too bad playing hooky a little longer.



Crocadiles are protected in Australia so they...

January 04, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

Crocadiles are protected in Australia so they follow tourist boats around hoping someone will fall in.



The internet connection here seems not like t...

January 03, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

The internet connection here seems not like to send pictures. I'll try to send more later.



My first day was spent traveling through the ...

January 03, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

My first day was spent traveling through the rain forest, first on a train, then on a cable car.



I've been away from the Internet for a few days

January 03, 2008 by Lohring in Lohring

I've been away from the Internet for a few days. I flew into Cairns New Year's eve with explosions en golfing the city. I found out in the morning it was the Japanese invasion, and that Cairns had been occupied. Fortunately it was only the holiday wave of tourists. I miss you all and hope you are having a good new year.



The new year brought a cold snap to the ocean...

January 03, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The new year brought a cold snap to the ocean state, and I could just barely fight my way to work this morning. Fortunately, I still have Dick's Polish army jacket, lovingly re-lined by Seraph for my first New England winter at Smith five years ago. To think that I sent in my graduate school application to Minnesota yesterday. On a cheerier note, the mileage reimbursement rate has increased by two cents, so I'm planning a cross-country VISTA tour in my final months here. I'll keep you posted on my progress.



I've been playing odd games off and on over t...

January 02, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been playing odd games off and on over the last few weeks. I finished up Call of Duty 4, re-evaluating it from a fairly standard shooter to an extremely high-production, varied shooter. It was short, but very well done, which is something I can appreciate.

I continue to have fun playing Super Mario Galaxy with Sam. It feels like I'm his little helper, contributing somewhat, though the real success is his. Since the gameplay is so varied, the real trick is figuring out what each area is asking you to do.

I also bought Bookworm Adventures, as they had a half-off sale. I played the free version and loved it. It's strange how simply spelling words can be so compellingly fun. Hopefully I can get Sam playing it and boost his spelling skills a bit more.



Happy New Year, everyone

January 01, 2008 by Adam in Family

Happy New Year, everyone. Evidently mom read my last posting and decided I had to get out of the house. We went to the Hult Center to see the Magic Flute, staying out until fairly late. The production was good, though the story was somewhat obscure. The comedic sidekick saved the show, and people watching was always fun.

I'm busy taking care of all the things I promised Jamie I'd do while she was out. Emma's doll's leg has been reattached with thread and bathtub caulk. The recycling was taken out. Laundry has been done. Now I'm off to do some shopping and fill up the fridge.



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