Holiday Game Sales

December 30, 2012 by Adam in Adam's Games

This is the traditional time of year for game sales.  Sam and I have been salivating, picking up all sort of games for a pittance.  We both got a mix of indie games, mainstream blockbusters, and some oddities here and there.  So far my favorite is Sleeping Dogs, which makes me feel like I'm in some asian action movie.  It's essentially Grand Theft Auto in Hong Kong, with the atmosphere to go with it.  As usual with the genre, I can run around in silly outfits if I want to.  Sam and I also picked up some 4X space games, and played a bit.  Sam got an interesting indie game that involves exploring an island and researching plants for a plague cure.  I think he likes the realism.




Wonderful vacation

December 30, 2012 by Sue in Wielesek

I posted a big long message about our trip, but somehow also made it disappear. We had a delightful vacation. We got to see Robbie, Isa, and Seraph's school, the winery where Seraph works, and go shopping in Santa Fe. We got to see Hanni's very pretty apartment and spend Christmas Eve with her. We got to meet Chester, the new dog, and snuggle with the kitties and Shiloh, the ever patient pup. We got to eat one of Seraph's wonderful dinners with Hanni and the gang on Christmas day. On the 26th, we had a wonderful soak at a hot springs resort called Ojo Caliente, followed by a tasty dinner at the resort restaurant. All in all, it was a most satisfying time!




More Jan

December 28, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

I couldn't add this in comments.



There's more about Jan here:http://sailinganarchy.com/?s=jan+gougeon  I especially liked the "lessons from Jan" post.




End of the Year Mocha Friday

December 28, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'm not at work yet, so I only have a cup of tea next to me.  The chocolate covered espresso beans are just a pleasant memory of Christmas.  Sam and Emma return tonight for a weekend of family and continued playing with presents.  I really need to get those kids running around after all the chocolate of the last few days.



Joanna and I went out last night on our hot date, beginning with sushi and sorting out our insurance.  I think we're going with Allstate, which was slightly cheaper.  Next we were off to get a leather jacket, my Christmas present from Joanna.  I suddenly became 50% cooler once I put it on, plus all their leather jackets were on sale.



As for the weekend, I continue to have a bunch of house projects to work on.  I'm unfortunately getting quite good at recaulking the tub.  Sam and I have been blowing our Christmas money during the video game sales.  Hopefully the two of us can play a little.



Oh, and I finally uploaded our video from Christmas morning.  I liked Emma's reaction to Sam's present.




Jan Gougeon

December 27, 2012 by Lohring in Lohring

I was shocked to learn that Jan Gugeon died.  He was only 67 but had respiratory problems.  His memorial service is today.  See http://www.mlive.com/business/mid-michigan/index.ssf/2012/12/bay_city_boat_builder_sailor_j.html for details.  For you younger readers, Jan was the brother of Mead Gougeon, friends of the Steane family.  We were racing with them on the day Adam was born.  They built Bill Steans trimaran that he and Edna saild for years in their retirement.  Mead attended Betsy's wedding and gave me a signed copy of their boatbuilding bible.  I remember talking to him about innovative sailboat designs.  He was an impressive person.




Emma's New Bow

December 26, 2012 by Adam in Emma

Sam got Emma a new bow for Christmas.  She was very excited to give it a try, though it's right on the edge of her ability to pull it back.






Post Christmas Cleanup

December 26, 2012 by Adam in Family

Okay, I just ate half a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans.  While it does indeed give me the mental fortitude of a thousand men, it admittedly makes me slightly scattered with my focus.  I ended up redoing the web site's editor, for example.  I figure I should refresh it every few years to keep up with the latest standards.  I suspect there are some kinks to work out, though.



Sam and Joanna continue to sleep away, staying up late watching the Doctor Who Christmas special.  I'm hanging out with the little kids who are dutifully playing with Minecraft and Christmas presents.  It was funny yesterday how they all opened a huge pile of presents and then went back to playing on their computers.



Christmas went well, other than an annoying headache on my part.  Before Sam awoke, Joanna played Christmas music on the ukelele.  Joanna made delicious scones, and the kids ate goodies through the endless unwrapping of presents, skipping breakfast entirely.  I think I finally ate some eggs in order to ingest something not chocolate or butter based.  Berry loved her She-Ra shirt and action figure.  Duncan loved his pillow pet.  Emma loved her compound bow.  Sam loved his money.  Joanna loved everyone's happiness.  I loved my chocolate covered espresso beans.



Emma and I went out shooting her bow in the back yard later that day.  Both Sam and Emma really got into the new Zelda game.  Sam was showing how he could leap left and right in order to have his character jump.  The sword controls are quite impressive as well.  I think he's opted to do that instead of the treadmill for exercise.  Joanna finished book four of Game of Thrones and has started in on the fifth, Sam's present for her.  I keep eyeing various video game sales and succumbed to a couple.



Dad, Jenny, Jordan, Destin, and his girlfriend Brandi came over for Christmas dinner.  Joanna made all sorts of delicious food, which was cheerfully eaten.  We Skyped with Seraph, mom, Bob, Hanni, Isa, and Robbie.  The connection was poor so mostly we made faces at each other.  Eventually I said my farwells and laid down for a nap.  The rest of the evening was fairly low-key.



Emma really wants to use my gift to her today, PF Changs and a shopping trip for pants.  I'm feeling a little better after my latest dose of espresso and chocolate, so we'll see if I can manage.  Hopefully Sam and Joanna will wake up soon for breakfast.





Christmas Eve

December 24, 2012 by Adam in Family

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone.  I'm hanging out with Berry and Duncan early this morning - they're Minecrafting away, sending notes to each other between computers and building massive structures.  They've been trying to convince me I should let them open one present early, and then debated which present they should get.  I informed them they have to wait, as Joanna and I need to discuss our early present tradition.


Sam and Emma went off to Portland on Saturday.  It's been relatively quiet since then.  There seems to be a critical number of kids between a sit down meal and random snacks throughout the day.  I did manage a number of errands and projects.


The upstairs shower is leaking again, so cut open Duncan's bedroom ceiling and started with the grout/sealant/caulk process for the tub.  I covered the chicken coop with more plastic sheeting.  Joanna finished the last of the present wrapping and put up some more lights outside.  I think we're good to go.


Last night we took the younger kids around to see Christmas lights.  I admitted upon our return that in comparison, ours were understated.



Too Much Coffee Friday

December 22, 2012 by Adam in Family

We went out to Berry's performance at the Little French School last night.  It was wonderful madness, with tons of kids running about giggling. Emma ran into her old teacher, Sierra, who used to watch her after school.  She's married with a kid now.  Still, Emma remembered her and they had a nice chat for awhile.


Work was relatively short and completely full of meetings.  I've had some nice recognition lately for my work getting the SouthWest integration working properly.  I basically dropped everything and went outside my normal job to make sure these new employees could sign up for benefits.  It was crazy and rewarding, though I don't think I want to be the password reset king in the future.


Sam and Emma should be arriving shortly for a pizza and Bang Goes the Theory evening (Mythbusters is on hiatus).  It's a cool science show that everyone enjoys, plus it's English which makes it cooler.  Sam and Emma head to Portland for a couple days, leaving the rest of us to make our final Christmas plans.  I'm getting increasingly excited for the days off work and spending time with my family.












Not Much Further

December 19, 2012 by Adam in Family

I passed out the last of the Christmas cards to my coworkers.  Hopefully they enjoy our MadLibs inspired humor.  Joanna's been furiously wrapping presents.  I still have a fair number that I plan on wrapping this Saturday.  My mom has been dropping off presents for various people as she left this morning to go visit Seraph, Robbie, and Isa.  All-in-all, I think we're relatively well prepared.


Berry's had a bad cold all week, which finally spread to me yesterday and now it seems Joanna's feeling under the weather.  I cured mine with a mocha and Advil, as usual.


Joanna and I are going out for a date night today, probably checking out the new waffle place downtown.  There's a winter thing Thursday night at Berry's school.  Friday we'll do Mythbusters before they go to Portland for Jamie's family Christmas.  Then our little bit of madness begins.


Good times.



Cirque de Noel

December 18, 2012 by Adam in Family

I took the younger kids to school this morning and all they could talk about was Cirque de Noel.  My mom bought tickets and after some shuffling, it turns out that we could make it.  The kids weren't sure what to expect, but once they saw a woman hoisted high above the floor, swinging from long ribbons, they watched with rapt attention.  It was a fun adventure and I'm glad we could do it.


The rest of the weekend was relatively uneventful.  We went out Friday night for sushi.  Saturday morning we gathered up the kids to continue our decorating.  At one point Joanna looked up at the glittering streamers and muttered, "It's still understated."  I laughed hysterically.


Sunday morning was a little exhausting, starting at 4:30 when the chickens woke up.  Clearly the raccoons were back, though I couldn't see anything.  I tried to go back to sleep, but was woken up again.  This time I found the door slightly ajar, one of the chicken's heads pulled through the opening.  I opened it up and it shot out into the yard.  Eventually the chickens calmed down and I got them back in.


Emma went out with me the next morning and we started with our fortifications.  I had some latches handy, which I installed on both the door and the nesting box.  I also covered the nesting box with plexiglass, envisioning comical raccoons sliding off with a satisfying thud.  I wasn't woken up this morning, so hopefully it was successful.


There were other events, mostly hanging out with kids and playing.  Sam and I managed a bit of Arma II, mostly involving ejecting out of helicopters.  He also continued berating my skills at Dark Souls, yet strangely couldn't stop watching me.  Ah, the joys of parenting a teen.











Sad Friday

December 15, 2012 by Adam in Family

With the news today, I'm too sad to post.



Christmas Approaches

December 13, 2012 by Adam in Family

Joanna is tiredly filling out Christmas cards as I type this.  I think we're down to under 30 at this point.  Pretty much all presents have been purchased, if not wrapped.  Seeing as we only have a couple weeks to go, I think we're in a relatively good state.


Work has been particularly crazy and sad lately.  We're integrating with another group, and it became obvious last week that nothing was ready.  I stepped in to fill the void and think things are more on track, though it became apparent quite quickly that no one was in charge of the process.  We also got news that my manager of 17 years wasn't going to be my manager anymore.  The reorg is going to force out some really good people, I'm afraid.



Getting Ready for Christmas

December 10, 2012 by Adam in Family

We're slowly getting ready for Christmas.  We tromped out to mom's tree farm on Saturday where we cut down a huge, misshapen tree and used the top half. We returned to civilization for lunch with my mom, and then home to decorate it.  Sadly the stability was off, making Joanna extremely nervous about all the ornaments until I sorted it out the next day.  Clearly my Christmas tree stability sense is way off.


There was present wrapping, card filling out, and general preparatory work.  I think we're generally doing okay.  In the afternoon we saw part of Joanna's holiday show at church, which was quite nice.


Sunday was pretty lazy, at least as much as we could manage.  I did a couple quick shopping trips, but otherwise hung out with kids.



Patient Mocha Friday

December 07, 2012 by Adam in Family

I think I'm still five hours away from a mocha, as it's crazy early o'clock in the morning.  I was woken up by Duncan around midnight, as there was an incident and he needed his sheets changed.  Some time before five I swear some other kid was crying, but I couldn't get back to sleep after that.


I'm meeting Jason Riedburger and Jason Kronholm for coffee this morning.  I used to work with the first Jason and he was wanting to stay in touch.  The other Jason I've known since I was 18, and it'll be nice to catch up with him.  Plus coffee.  Let's see if I can wait that long or I end up getting two.


The week has chugged along.  It looks like Berry is going to be in the TAG program.  We were discussing her intelligence over dinner has she tried to stick a chopstick in her mouth and touch Emma's finger with the tip.  She excused herself in caveman talk as well.  Admittedly Berry made a pretty sweet cardboard spaceship, complete with pipecleaner controls.


Sam had his choir event this Wednesday.  Joanna and I went down with Berry and Duncan to watch him.  The little kids made it a few songs before they had to go run in the hallways.  Sam did a pretty good job, and I verified that his lips moved for all of the songs.  The music was great and full of various sea shanties.











(Sam's the kid in the back, slightly right of center)


We've got a hot date night lined up tonight, eating at the Zenon.  I'm hoping we can go out to the farm to get a Christmas tree  tomorrow.  I'd love to relax a bit, though we have a ton of presents to wrap.  I think Amazon chould save some money by building a pneumatic tube straight to our house.



Dark Souls

December 05, 2012 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been playing a variety of games lately, as has Sam.  First off was finishing up X-Com, which was quite satisfying.  The original is always a classic, but this one had greatly improved graphics and the gameplay felt pretty well streamlined.  My favorite part was the stories that came out of the game, and how I could name and customize my troops.  Because of this, Denziel Washington saved the planet.  Thanks, Denziel.



I also finished up the Walking Dead, and had Sam play it too.  I hesitate to call it an adventure game, though I guess that's what it technically is.  The main strength is how it draws you into the game, and the intensity of the difficult choices you have to make.  The main character ends up having to take care of a nine year-old girl.  Even Sam got choked up and emotional at the very end.


My latest obsession is Dark Souls, which I've played far less than Sam, but still continue to sink tons of time into.  It's incredibly hard and long-ranging.  Sam's finished it multiple times, and likes to watch me play, berating my sad skills as I go.  I'm getting better, though some of the fights continue to be incredibly hard.  Never have I had so much fun playing such a brutal game.  It can be quite pretty sometimes, though.




Tuesday Already?

December 05, 2012 by Adam in Family

It somehow became Tuesday, and late at night at that.  I had a wonderful, lazy three day weekend, full of hanging out with kids and doing very little.  Emma was off in Bend with her mom, so Sam and I spent an awful amount playing video games.  He somehow got me hooked on a game called Dark Souls, which is one of the more challenging games I've ever played.


We did some practical things along the way.  Sam and I went out and work on the chicken coop, reinforcing the places where the racoons clawed through the chicken wire.  I haven't been woken up by squawking in days, so I think everything's okay.


Saturday afternoon I took the little kids to Fifth Street Market to pick up pizza.  They loved the Christmas lights that had gone up, and had a great time in the glass elevator.  Joanna was off at a gala for work.  She bought some raffle tickets to support the cause and ended up winning a couple baskets of goodies.  Plus she had pictures of herself in a pirate hat, which somehow supported healthcare.


Monday came and went, the usual work madness continuing on.  Poor Duncan came down with something and Joanna picked him up from school.  Emma returned that night, and I had a wonderful time just hanging out with her after a weekend without her.


Today Duncan was sick again, but seemed much better tonight.  I had a headache all day, cured by my usual Cafe Madvil remedy.  Berry got the results of her Talented and Gifted test, scoring in the 99th percentile.  We have proof that she's a big smarty pants.



Happy Birthday Robbie!!!!

December 01, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

Lordy, Lordy, Rob is 40!


 (And better than ever!)



Mocha Friday

December 01, 2012 by Adam in Family

It was an exceptionally lazy day.  I took the day off, hung out with Sam, and played far too many video games.  My biggest accomplishment was hanging a heater on the wall.  It was glorious.



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