3D Tech

February 25, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

I decided to waste the day looking at the Daytona 500 and the Oscars. To keep it from being a total loss I researched 3D printing and scanning. I was astonished at the low cost equipment now available. The Kinect can be used with http://3d-app-center.faro.com/index.php/stand-alone-apps-faro-scenect (free) to scan bigger things and even clothing http://www.continuumfashion.com/ (this is for you Seraph)is being printed. I was looking for ways to create wax patterns that can be burned out for lost wax casting. The good machines for this are still pretty expensive. PLA used by inexpensive machines may burn out but it expands and can break the investment.

Sunday Fort

February 25, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's been a beautiful, sunny day.  The girls spent virtually all day outside - I helped them put up a tarp in the backyard with rope and posts, which they decorated with tables, a recliner, and assorted natural accouterments.  It was quite the contrast from yesterday when I took the younger kids out to Hendrick's park in the rain.  Fortunately they played the "let's use bushes as homes" game until they were wet and tired and we headed to the library for books.

Sam's been sick since Thursday afternoon, but I think he's doing well enough to return to school tomorrow.  His cough is abating, and he did a bunch of homework today.

I expanded the home network yesterday, running cable from the basement hub, out through the garage, past the front door, and through the side of the house into the living room.  There I stuck another hub (I have four now) to supply a wired connection to Emma and Joanna's computers.  Fancy.

It's pizza and Bang Goes the Theory tonight, then work tomorrow.  I think next week they'll announce who's officially here or gone.  It's to the point where I just want to get on with things, despite good people having to leave.

Kerbal Space Program

February 21, 2013 by Adam in Adam's Games

This isn't actually my game - Sam had me buy it for him with his game money bank.  Still, I spent the first day he got it looking over his shoulder as he assembled rockets and tried to launch the little Kerbals into space.  It's essentially a sandbox space simulator, which lets you create rockets, space stations, and landers.  Each part you add to your rocket has drag, weight, and various functions. 

It took us a good hour to get into orbit, and we've crash landed on the moon a couple times after great effort.  At this point we're attempting to get an actual lander on the surface of the moon, though already our solar system is scattered with aborted attempts, flung off to orbit the sun.

Some of the failures are wonderfully spectacular, exploding dramatically or spinning out of control.  The game nicely displays the faces of the Kerbal astronauts, either cheerfully smiling as they successfully get into space or going wide-eyed as their spacecraft flies out of control into the ocean.

Sam's also learning orbital dynamics, getting a feel for increasing his orbit by doing burns at the right moment in the right direction.  I love it when games accidentally teach him things.

Dad - this is one I'd highly recommend for you.  You'd enjoy it immensely.

Late Mid-Week Update

February 21, 2013 by Adam in Family

This is a pretty late mid-week update.  It's been a pretty typical week - kids are doing homework, laundry is getting done, life goes on.  I think work is going to get exciting pretty soon.  Already we're seeing people let go from other teams, a few of which are very sad to me.  I wrote a letter of recommendation for Glen yesterday, as I fear he'll be one of those before the month is out.

I continue to work on our vast computer network at home.  The plan is to lay more network cable this weekend in order to get Joanna and the girl's computers wired.  The wireless network is a bit too flaky and low-bandwidth, so the plan is to run cable through floors, walls, and outdoors this weekend.

Looking forward to mocha Friday tomorrow.

Presidents' Day

February 18, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's still pretty darn early, with Emma and I the only people up.  I'll be dialing into work and starting in on the madness soon.

The weekend was pretty fun.  Saturday was the Asian Celebration - we left right after breakfast and met up with Jenny, Destin, and Jordan.  Emma, Berry, and Duncan made kitty ears and immediately made Joanna and I wear them.  The girls went on a shopping spree, getting clothes, fans, and other goodies.  It seemed a reasonable investment, as they wore their outfits for most of the weekend.

I picked up Sam in the afternoon and we worked on homework a bit.  Pizza and Bang Goes the Theory followed. 

Sunday morning had Duncan and Joanna going to church while the girls and I did science and crafts.  I had fun aging paper with tea.  Eventually Sam woke up and asked that I get him Kerbal Space Program.  It ended up being all sorts of crazy fun, and we built endless rockets, celebrating when we finally got one of our little Kerbals into orbit.

Good times.

Valentine's Day

February 14, 2013 by Adam in Family

I woke up this morning to a sea of Valentine's Day cards.  Joanna got chocolate for everyone, so Sam ate his waffles with big globs of chocolate on it.  He saved a few for his friend Evan, which was very sweet.  Duncan, Berry, Emma, and Joanna all got me Valentine's cards, which I cheerfully brought to work.

It does seem that this is the season for sad news.  Two of my coworkers have parents with terminal cancers.  I think we're going to start figuring out who gets to keep their jobs very soon. 

On the up side, we're all generally happy and healthy.  We're going to meet up with Jenny and Jordan at the Asian Celebration this Saturday.  I'm getting things done at work and helping make the world a slightly better place.

Sorry to add to the sadness

February 14, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

Things have been a little sad down here.  A school friend of Isabell's lost his mother, and Robbie and Isabell went to the funeral last weekend.  And, today we got news about a friend at work whose husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer today.  It feels like it will be a sad spring.

Hugs to everyone.  We miss and love you all. 

More bad news

February 12, 2013 by Sue in Wielesek

This has been a bad day for the family. I talked to my cousin Ann this afternoon to tell her about Bob's death. In turn, she said she had just talked with her brother, Alan. Alan said that his wife Jeannie died today of cancer.
She had seen a doctor in mid-December and was diagnosed then. Apparently she didn't want anyone other than Alan and their twins Andrew and Jessica to know, and not even her close friends knew she was ill.  She had radiation treatment, but it wasn't very helpful. Just a bad day all around.

Sad news from Ohio

February 12, 2013 by Sue in Wielesek

I wanted to let you all know that Betsy's partner, Bob, who has been fighting lung cancer for several years, died earlier this afternoon. He actually was doing pretty well though last Wednesday, when he drove himself from the farm, northeast of Columbus, into Columbus for lunch with his friends. His health failed rapidly after the trip, and when I spoke with Betsy yesterday evening, she was feeling as though he was close to the end. I gather that Patrick  has been a rock, but that Will has been very stressed by Bob's illness. Our condolences to Betsy and the boys.

Piratey Weekend

February 11, 2013 by Adam in Family

Emma and Berry put on several elaborate pirate-themed plays this weekend.  It was pretty cool seeing them play so well together.

In general, it was a low-key, kid-filled weekend.  Joanna and I watched Pitch Perfect Friday night, which was greatly amusing.  Saturday we did crafts at Ben Franklin and then got Emma some new shoes.  Sam appeared and we did our usual pizza and Bang Goes the Theory.

Emma, Duncan, and Berry all started playing Wizard 101, so we monitored computer time diligently.  The girls played outside after their time ran out, taking me with them.  Henny laid three eggs, perhaps picking up on our subtle body language that both chickens were on notice.  I think we may go chicken-free for awhile, as the hassle factor is fairly great.

Grandma sue called and invited kids to pick up nails for ten cents a pop.  She ended up passing out quite a bit of money, and the kids' eyes glowed with eager anticipation as they carefully counted them all out.  Her little back house is slowly approaching something that looks livable.  I suspect interior walls may happen soon.

Makeup Mocha Friday

February 08, 2013 by Adam in Family

Brenna picked up Emma from school successfully yesterday.  When they got home, Brenna, Berry, and Emma all did their hair and put on makeup.  Emma washed most of it off before dinner, but she kept the braids in her hair.  The two girls were pretty sweet together last night, with Emma helping Berry with her bath.

Sam and I started working on his science review.  It's pretty complicated stuff - high school level at a minimum.  We went over chemical reactions, different types of bonds, balancing reactants, endothermic and exothermic, and so on.  Hopefully he'll get ready for his test next week.

Berry evidently did so good at Math Madness that she's one of the chosen few who will be taken out to lunch by the principal.  Duncan was not happy with this turn of events, and spent some time sobbing about it this morning.  Ah, sibling rivalry.

I look forward to hanging out with everyone this weekend.  I think we'll do a shoe shopping and craft supply trip tomorrow.  Joanna has asked me to unstick the windows in the house.  I think we're pretty good with house projects, including taxes.  We're also getting data back from the car monitors our insurance company sent us.  As suspected, we're incredibly boring drivers who never speed, drive late at night, or brake uncontrollably.  I think that translates to a 17% discount.  Woo hoo.

Mid-Week Update

February 07, 2013 by Adam in Family

We went out on a date night last night to the fancy restaurant Marche for Joanna's belated birthday dinner.  It was pretty good, if spendy.  Ironically we ran into a bunch of PeaceHealth IST people, including some new managers and directors from Vancouver.  I promised Joanna I wouldn't talk shop, but I did introduce myself.

Work in general continues to be grim.  We lost more people yesterday and are still trying to figure out Tom's departure.  My workload is pretty daunting and it's clear some things are going to fall through the cracks.  I'm trying hard not to feel too personally responsible for everything, but I haven't been sleeping well this week.

Sam's been catching up in school, turning the Cs and one D into Bs.  Actually getting the work done makes a huge difference.

It's an Emma night tonight, and I'm excited to see her.  My favorite crazy show, Community, is starting tonight.  I missed those zany students.

squishy circuits

February 04, 2013 by Adam in Family

It was the usual zany weekend - productive, pleasant, and odd.  We had a hearty breakfast and then started in on the day.  Joanna went to church early for choir, taking Duncan with her.  I helped Sam with his Advanced Topics class, putting together a presentation on energy.  We eventually descended into the basement and ran around.  Sam dressed like a crazy person at one point.  We broke out Rock Band and played some Beatles.

After lunch Emma broke out Squishy Circuits.  We made conductive and non-conductive dough, attached batteries and hooked up lights and buzzers.  Joanna went shopping.  I unclogged a sink.  We had pizza and Bang Goes the Theory.  Joanna did our taxes, which looks like it's coming out slightly in the black.

Work is slowly getting resolved, one way or another.  I'm a bit stressed due to another developer leaving.  On the plus side, maybe we're going to be able to keep another person employed.  Hopefully by the end of the month I'll get that uncertainty sorted out.

Life is good.

Project Saturday

February 03, 2013 by Adam in Family

Friday night was pretty fun, especially watching Joanna play blackjack at our charity dinner thing.  She won over $200 in play money, which turned into raffle tickets.  Still, it was pretty entertaining overall and the dealer kept dropping hints as to the next card.

I was a bit of a maniac on Saturday, accomplishing projects and hanging out with kids.  I did my usual cleaning of the kitchen and dining room, folded laundry, fixed the dryer vent, cleaned the gunk out of the dishwasher nozzles, put air in the minivan's tires, turned in my rebates from the recent computer purchases, and so much more. 

It was also a beautiful day, and Emma and I spent much of it outside.  The chickens were fed and given some time out of their cage.  Emma rode the Razor "Big Wheel" tricycle thing around the block, though I helped push on the hill.

Emma joined in on the fun - she and I puttered in the garage for a bit and she discovered the old bike trailer.  She decided to put it together and clean it up, then she anxiously waited for Berry to return from Jessica's baby shower.  Duncan really wanted to join in, but it was a bit much.  Once we got to the park, I let him climb in and then he got a couple crazy rides down the hill.

The evening was fairly low-key.  Emma typed up her homework.  Berry wrote love letters to everyone and played the role of mail carrier.  It was very sweet.

Joanna's off to choir this morning, so I'll be kid wrangling.  I've got to get Sam working on his science presentation.  Monday he has another catch-up task.  Hopefully we'll get him back into A and B territory soon.

Mocha Friday

February 02, 2013 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty crazy day today.  We had one of our key developers give his notice today, so I was running around like a crazy person trying to figure out what to do.  The one good thing about this is that it may save someone else's job.  If I get my way, we'll take a technically minded person to get trained up, hopefully leaving room for someone else.

In any case, I worked from home until well past five, taking care of most of the technical issues I left dangling today.  I'm somewhat terrified that I'll end up supporting even more than I already do.

Life at home has been generally pretty good.  Sam got his midterm grades, which included a D.  That didn't make me happy and we're starting to take the steps to correct that.  It's made for some tense moments, but I think it'll all work out.

Berry got some flubber from school, which Emma and I had a great time playing with last night.  Berry's started piano lessons.  Joanna hit the gym every day this week and has been doing a surprising amount of running.  She's starting to push me these days, especially with her post-treadmill workout.

It's a hot date night today.  We're dressing up and going to some fake gambling fundraiser thing that's vaguely related to work.  I'm looking forward to hanging out with kids this weekend and hopefully getting some downtime.

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