Mad Skillz

September 30, 2013 by Adam in Emma

Emma has developed all sorts of useful skills over the years.  She writes Teen Titan fan fiction, draws anime inspired art, and as of this weekend mastered one of the more important and difficult skills of all.

Yes, she made my mocha this morning, steaming the milk, making the espresso, and mixing it all up.  She was nervous, and Joanna supervised, but it turned out delicious and brought a smile to my face all day.


September 27, 2013 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna ran a 5K last weekend, and just found a photo today.  None of us managed to get out to cheer her on, but she powered through and made it to the end with only slightly sore legs for a couple days.

Now that school has started, she's managed to get back into the exercise routine, watching The Americans on the exerpod in the basement.

Good job, sweetie!

Mocha Friday

September 27, 2013 by Adam in Family

My mocha is long gone, but I'm cheerfully energetic still.  Work continues to be nutty, but I'm getting things done despite the vendor that never showed to the call he scheduled. 

The kids were all strangely funny and pleasant this morning.  Sam was briefly trapped in the basement with Emma and Berry playing with him while he held a single slice of bread.  I've learned not to ask.

Emma's school is launching a rocket today, and Joanna was going to take Berry and Duncan to watch.  I think tonight will be quiet, as Sam and Emma go to their mom's overnight.  I'll collect Emma in the morning and we'll get up to some sort of mischief.  That night Nick and Rob come over to spend time with Duncan.  Should be exciting.

C class sailing

September 27, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

The C class has come a long way since I raced. All the boats have full wing sails and the fastest boats have hydrofoils as well. The Europeans have become the leaders in high tech sailing. A look at the two boats contesting for the trophy is at

It's also interesting to look at the fleet racing for the other boats that didn't make the final match race. Currently the older non foiled boats are winning. There's clearly a lot to be learned. As a side note, the skipper of the French Groupama boat, Franck Cammas, is expected to head a French Challenge for the America's Cup.

The second place skipper in the 2010 C class championships did a little better last week. Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA's skipper, pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of all sporting events. Below is a preview from the 2010 class C championships that includes Jimmy and crew Glen Ashby (crew on Emirates New Zealand in this year's big America's Cup) winning the first start in the 2010 C class race at the New York Yacht Club. There's also a brief comment by Dave Hubbard.

A longer interview with Dave in 2010 is below. He discusses the problems with foils and thoughts on the big America's Cup past and future.


September 27, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

Somehow this has turned into a crazy week!  Last Sunday on my way home from work, another epic storm decided to hit our area.  I had to drive through very deep water to get home, and consequently my car wouldn't start Monday morning.  Monday was spent in a crazy fog (luckily I wasn't scheduled to work).  Between the cold/sore throat setting in and working to get a car loan, it was quite a day.  

On Wednesday, I dragged Hanni around to dealerships and the bank, finally driving home in a 2009 Toyota Yaris (yet to be named).  
Just when the week was looking up, Thursday afternoon happened.  While walking to the bus stop after school, Isabell tripped on a curb and broke her right wrist.  Oh, and scrapped her head, which was very small but bled like crazy.  I know, you're all thinking, wait!  we've read this post before.  Yes, this is the second time Isabell has broken a wrist (last time on her left hand), and the second break on her right arm (last time the shoulder).  I promise we feed her vitamins and make her drink her milk!
Finally the Tylenol kicked in and she's sleeping.  Now it's my turn...  

Edgewood Open House

September 27, 2013 by Adam in Emma

Emma took me to her school's open house.  It was cool, seeing where she spends most of her days. I think Sam had Emma's teacher back at Crest, at least occasionally.  She seemed quite nice.

Emma showed me her desk and the owl pellets they were looking at under a microscope.  We went through her various projects that were displayed on the wall.  Emma apparently has a job at morning meeting, and showed me the book she uses to explain tasks to the other kids.

We wandered out to the playground and through the gym.  Eventually we returned home.  It was all quite cool, especially with Emma being so enthusiastic about school.


September 26, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

I've been wasting my time watching sailing. The America's Cup was the most exciting ever, even for non sailors. The reruns and highlights are on youtube. Feel free to skip the introductions.
Start with this:
Proceed to this:
And then look at the last races when Oracle dominated:

Then if you haven't completely OD'd on sailing look at the C class "Little America's Cup" racing going on now:

The coverage is a lot lower tech, but the boats are not.

Where Did the Week Go?

September 26, 2013 by Adam in Family

I was interviewed for some hospital journal today due to work stuff.  Basically I do some simple math on some complicated patient tracking systems and display the average wait time for the emergency department.  Everyone thinks it's amazing, even though it was surprisingly simple.

The weekend was good, if uneventful.  It seemed terribly short.

I'm a little frazzled with work.  Time to watch mindless t.v. with Sam and Joanna.

Mocha Friday

September 20, 2013 by Adam in Family

Emma has requested that I say, "I am a natural born wonder child."  Now she's doing a funny dance and smacking her butt.  Such is my life in the mornings before school.

It's been a fine week.  Homework is done.  Joanna went off to the kids' school for curriculum night.  They generally behaved, though it's always a mad house getting four kids through homework and bedtime.

All is well.

Quiet Weekend, Quiet Week

September 17, 2013 by Adam in Family

School continues and we all are getting into the groove of things.  Berry slept through the night last night, which was great.  She's been getting up at weird hours.  I think the start of school has been hardest for her.

Sam played Ultimate Frisbee yesterday, which he seemed to somewhat enjoy.  He likes his science teacher.  He's also quite driven in his computer class, deciding to use Unity to build a full game for his final project.  I was a little nervous until I saw the beautiful islands he was creating.

Date night was last night.  We walked over to Holy Cow and returned home a little early.  We snuck past the house and hung out in the shed to chat and wind down our babysitter time.  I keep wanting to do things with the shed, that childhood fort building impulse still strong.

Joanna got her blood drawn this morning by a guy who served in Vietnam, part of a life insurance plan thingie.  He had great banter, especially at seven in the morning.  Now I have to get Sam to put his lunch together and drive off to work.


September 15, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

We've had crazy Oregon style rain for the last week.  Here that means a lot of flooding and water-logged roads.  We've been loving in, but my poor garden is drowning.  I'm not sure what this means our winter will be like, but we've got the first load of firewood stacked, and contractors bidding on the attic insulation.  At least we'll be warm and cozy whatever comes our way.

Mocha Friday

September 13, 2013 by Adam in Family

I'm getting ready to run to work, my sweet mocha awaiting my arrival.

It's been a good week all around.  Sam managed to find his way around the first week of school.  He seems to like his classes well enough, and he's looking into the game making option in his computer class.  I think he'll be fairly successful in the rest of his classes - this first term is relatively light.

Emma likes her teacher and enjoys being in class with Kate once again.  Duncan seems cheerful, and he's had his teacher once before.  Berry's a little iffy, reporting her days as being terrible.  I think the adjustment is a little harder for her.

We've got all the kids for the next few nights, so we may try pizza and Mythbusters tonight.  This weekend we've got to get Sam some appropriate Ultimate Frisbee clothes for his PE class, but otherwise we should be able to hang out a bit.

Gone Home

September 10, 2013 by Adam in Adam's Games

It's always a treat to veer away from the polished big-budget games towards an interesting indie game with a novel concept.  Gone Home starts with the player coming home to their family house, strangely empty, after a long trip to Europe.  It's up to the player to discover what happened, slowly unraveling the story as they look about.

I like how the storytelling is implied to a large degree.  There are the traditional notes and letters, but also receipts and book reviews and scribbled cheat codes for video games.  After awhile you get a sense of the people and the tensions in the house, and this forced voyeurism is somehow acceptable because of the situation.

It's also set in Portland in 1995, which has considerable nostalgia for me.  I wasn't quite so young at the time, but I wasn't quite as ancient as I am these days.

I bought it for Joanna as her first Steam game.  Hopefully she'll get around to playing it soon. 

Almost School

September 09, 2013 by Adam in Family

The kids start school tomorrow.  I think they're all pretty well settled, with new clothes and school supplies.  Sam technically has orientation tomorrow, with classes starting in earnest on Wednesday.  Joanna seems excited to have some time to herself and focusing on work again.

We made a big, hearty breakfast Sunday morning.  Once Joanna and Duncan went to church, the rest of us played goofy games in the basement.  Eventually Jamie came to get Sam and Emma, and Berry and I went to the library.  It was nice just hanging out with one kid for a change, and we returned with a huge pile of books for everyone.

I spent a couple hours outside working on yardwork - mowing, weed eating, fixing the hose, sweeping the driveway, and putting down a brick border.  It felt good to get to things that had been languishing for many weeks.  Eventually I got to play video games uninterrupted for an hour or so, which was a rare treat.

The kids returned for family dinner.  We called Duncan in from his lemonade stand.  Emma started reading a chapter book that she was excited about.  Mom, Jenny, and Jordan arrived for a tasty spread and good conversation.  Life's good.

San Diego

September 08, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

We've been having fin in the Sun. The first day we walked around Balboa Park.

Ana in front of the "Lath Palace"

Ana discovers the art and crafts area.

The next day we went to the famous San Diego zoo.  It's one of the first zoos to display animals in their natural habitat. 

Notice the Jaguar observing the human.

The giraffe family is expecting a baby

Lemurs and koalas are cute, but mother and baby pandas are over the top.

Mocha . . . Saturday?

September 08, 2013 by Adam in Family

Okay, I forgot my typical Friday update.  I was actually working at home that day, as I took Sam to the doctor around nine.  As expected, Sam is really big - 6' 1ΒΌ" tall.  The appointment went well, with all the usual reminders about exercise and eating well.  I worked away for the rest of the day until my boss got online and told me to stop working. 

I woke up early and played on the computer for a bit, stopping when Emma awoke.  We made a diorama out of cardboard, paper, and clay.  I think it involved babies at the park.  Breakfast was the usual over-the-top affair with crepes, bacon, sausages, strawberries, and mocha.  It was good, despite all the dishes it created.

The three little kids all played cheerfully together.  Emma has gotten Duncan and Berry into Teen Titans, and Joanna finally gave the okay to watch it.  Eventually it was time for Emma to try on all her clothes to see what didn't fit.  After lunch I took Emma and Sam to Old Navy to load up on jeans.  We puttered around this afternoon.  I played War Thunder with Sam, flying WW II planes about fairly badly.  Emma and I went to Amazon park to release the fish we caught a couple weeks ago.  The evening wrapped itself up with Bang Goes the Theory and pizza.

High School

September 04, 2013 by Adam in Sam

Sam registered for classes yesterday, returning with a student body card sporting his usual quizzical expression.  I think all went well, walking down to school, passing out checks and forms, then returning home.  The only issue that needs to be sorted out is an online honors computer science class.  I think I've sorted it out, but as the class starts today, I'd like to get that finalized soon.

Back From the Beach

September 03, 2013 by Adam in Family

We had a great time at dad's house, hanging out at the beach and enjoying the amazing weather.

I eagerly got home from work and we had our traditional pizza and Bang Goes the Theory.  The next morning we loaded up kids and supplies, then headed up the road.  Since it was game day in Eugene and Corvallis, we passed trucks heading south with U of O flags and trucks with OSU flags passed us going north.  The entire town of Corvallis was wearing orange shirts, sadly not creating enough juju to make them win.  We found a good vegetarian breakfast place to eat lunch, and then continued on our journey.

The was a kerfuffle involving angry neighbors and newly sealed pavement, but otherwise the first day was calm and pleasant.  I took the kids for a swamp walk, with Sam stealing my phone to take pictures.  My dad arrived after dinner to chat, having just driven from Longview after winning second place in a model boat contest.

Sunday we broke out the board games in earnest, with multiple rounds of Cosmic Encounter.  Emma and I won the first game in tandem.  Duncan even got in on the action and played quite well.

There was also a beach trip in between, finding tiny crabs, making sand castles, and generally enjoying the amazingly warm weather.  That night Anna managed to come over for dinner.

Today was pretty busy, starting with Joanna making breakfast for everyone once again.  We hit the road, stopping in Newport at an Irish pub and getting stuffed with good food.  We made it home and spent an hour unpacking.  Joanna took Duncan for a sleepover and we threw together random food for dinner.

Emma's in the same class as Kate, her best friend.  Sam's going to be taking a Java programming class online.  He goes to registration tomorrow with assorted checks and forms.  I sewed up the rip in his backpack.  Hopefully it'll all work out.

Time to move on

September 01, 2013 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Tomorrow, we move to my twelfth apartment in the last ten years (South, Hoxsey, Spring, Linden, twice on Hall St, Dexter, Appleton, Oak, Daniel Shays, High, and finally Churchill). We're both looking forward to staying put for a bit. Greg's job is fantastic,  and I'm looking forward to spending more time in HQ. Here's to a new year!

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