Drone II

June 24, 2015 by Adam in Adam

In which I almost land on the neighbor's roof.

Hi, guys

June 23, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

Thanks to all the wonderful planners in the family.

I'm using  this vacation to get rid of all the leftover bits of food in my house. Anything which hasn't been eaten is going home with someone other than me. Sadie and Seraph, think: big bag of pancake mix in your luggage. Yayoe, fattening sausage. Lohring and Anna, shredded coconut. So all should eat accordingly.

Jenny says that I can come over with her. (Seraph and Robbie have the Honda, and will go straight from Ashland to the coast on Wednesday.)

 I'm hoping Honoka will help me bake a nice gluten free cake on Thursday and we can have a little birthday party for Simon on Thursday evening, which will be the only evening other than Wednesday when all of us will be there.

Des can get Wednesday and Thursday night off, but will come back to Eugene with Jenny and Jordan on Friday. Jenny and Jordan will come back to the coast on Sunday, but Des will need to stay in Eugene and work. (Adulthood; it sneaks right up on you, doesn't it?!)

 Lohring, I'll bring a casserole of dressing to have with the turkey on Wednesday. Joanna and Adam, if you want to leave Eugene earlier but leave stuff at my house to take in Jenny's car, she thinks she won't leave until noonish on Wednesday since Des will have to work until 1:00 am Tuesday night and will probably need to sleep late on Wednesday morning.

I sent some breakfast and lunch stuff (potato soup with a side of sausage and biscuits) with Seraph and Robbie so Joanna and Seraph don't have to get organized with shopping right away.

 I can't remember who cooks Thursday evening. It's probably the best photo op time. Are the only people in the Fam who are missing Hanni and Danica? Or am I forgetting someone? Maybe next year?

Friday night and Saturday night I'll be rattling around in Lohring and Anna's house by myself, but Jenny and Jordan will be back on Sunday. Bob will come over on Thursday and stay through Friday. He's excited to see you all and especially Jethro.

Only specific goal I have is to decide on a where and when for next year. Hawaii is a priority for Adam and his family, and I agree that would be a good adventure, particularly if we can find a way to include Simon in a way that's easy for him and his parental unit.

I love you all, and am so grateful for the effort y'all have made to put this together. Special thanks to Anna and Lohring.


June 21, 2015 by Adam in Adam

Joanna organized some great presents for me.  I got all manner of nifty ceramic goodies, hand painted by assorted family members.  Chocolate covered espresso beans were tucked away inside of one.  Sam and Emma picked out a drone for me, which has the capacity of recording video.  It's somewhat tricky to fly, but I'm getting the hang of it.  Eventually I'll get some additional batteries as well so I can get some good practice time in.

Happy Father's Day!

June 21, 2015 by Adam in Family

Happy Father's Day dad and all you other dad-like people out there.  Joanna woke up early and made pancakes, filled with blueberries from our balcony that Berry picked.  It was delicious.

Yesterday was pretty entertaining - we took kids to the Black Sheep gathering at the fairgrounds.  Joanna returned with alpaca fiber and Berry with an alpaca stuffie.  Honoka enjoyed herself, as did Emma.  We swung by the library where Honoka got her free book and I loaded up for the beach trip. 

In the afternoon Sam and I played Goat Simulator, which is ridiculous fun.  I turned into a demon goat with telekinetic powers.  At one point we had turned into giraffes and got to space.  It's crazy.

Eventually we piled into the pool and hung out there for an hour or two.  We need to get some more pool toys, I think.  Joanna worked away in the garden, getting a nasty blackberry scrape in the process.

As the evening rolled around, I got pizza for the kids and Joanna and I went off to dinner at Belly's.  The dessert was absolutely delicious and Joanna got me a great wedding book for our anniversary.  We finally have the vows written down somewhere, so I can refer to it and see if letting Joanna eat the last bite of ice cream was really in the vows somewhere.  We returned home to find Emma putting the kids through the evening routine nicely.  Honoka had made us a beautiful 3rd anniversary cake, which was much appreciated.

Life is good.

Mocha Friday

June 19, 2015 by Adam in Family

Joanna cooked up a storm last night - lasagna and a tasty apple tart for dessert.  Mom, Seraph, Robbie, and Isa all arrived for dinner, bringing bread and a salad, and we added Joanna's pomegranate cider for a delicious meal.

Isa and Emma discovered a shared love of Supernatural, and chatted away with a steady stream of "shipping" this and "cosplay" that.  When it came time to go, Emma begged me to go stay with Isa, which was very sweet.  I think she'll end up following her around all day.

It was great to see Seraph and Robbie.  The great thing about family is just starting up where you last left off.  We chatted about raising chickens and the womenfolk got together with Jenny about vacation plans.  I've decided I'm going to just go with the flow.  We'll see which door at the rental has my name sticky-noted on it.

I'm heading into work shortly.  I'm trying really hard not to make any dramatic changes before I go, but we keep having crises pop up.  Hopefully the doctors will get paid right while I'm away.

More Reunion Thoughts

June 18, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

I am thinking that I will cook a turkey dinner on Wednesday.  I'll be mostly hanging around waiting for everyone to arrive, so watching the turkey cook will give me something to do.  I'll also cook the standard mashed potatoes and vegetables.  Yayoe volunteered to bring tofu as well.  I'll be sure there are eggs and pancake mix for breakfast on Thursday.  After that you are on your own for organizing shopping and meals.

I'm excited to see everyone.

Vancouver Run

June 17, 2015 by Adam in Adam

It was an exhausting day yesterday.  I drove up to the system office in Vancouver for a three hour meeting.  I'm glad I was there - a consulting group was brought in to replace something I've spent the last 18 years making.  Of course, they didn't really know what it does, and at this point I hope I've struck the fear of god into them.  We'll see what happens.

Joanna is awesome, as always, greeting my late return with hugs and dinner.

I'm missing Sam and Emma a bit more than usual this week.  Sam's been in Summer mode, and I haven't hung out with him as much as I'd like. Emma's been generally entertaining over the summer - we'll play Superfight or do art projects together.  Duncan and Berry have been plenty entertaining while the bigger kids are away - I've had fun telling them about Microsoft's Hololens and showing  them the latest E3 videos.

The transition to summer is always a little bumpy, and I miss the certainty of the school schedule.  Still, I really look forward to seeing everyone soon.  Rumor has it that Seraph, Robbie, and Isa are in town already.  Can't wait to see everyone.

Some initial organizing details:I think we sh...

June 17, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

Some initial organizing details:

I think we should all plan to meet at the Bella Beach house on
Wednesday.  We can have dinner there and sort out who will be staying
where.  The addresses are:

Bella Beach house - Spy Hopper (house name)
Bella Beach Drive, the first left off Ocean Drive
Drive straight - the house is on the corner where the road turns toward the beach

To get there from the north on 101:

  • Continue through Lincoln City and, two miles past Salishan
    Lodge the one lane road turns into two.

  • Keep your eyes open for Oceanview on the right hand.

  • Turn right onto Oceanview and left on Bella Beach Dr.

From the South on 101:
  • App 2 miles north of Depoe Bay, look for the Thriftway grocery
    store on the right.

  • One (1) mile past the Thriftway grocery store is a turn-around
    to go back south.

  • Use the turn-around and make your first right onto Oceanview
    and left on Bella Beach Dr.

Our Seletz
Keys house - 9123 Keys Place, Gleneden Beach

Made it!

June 16, 2015 by Seraph in Cortez

We made it in to Portland last night. Our trip was surprisingly smooth and hassle free. Anymore, we just let Is take the lead in airports, while we tag along like lost puppies.
I'm getting some school work done this morning, sipping on so-so hotel coffee. Mom will. E picking us up later and spending the day puttering around The Pearl checking out our old haunts. Our schedule is pretty booked up this first week, but hopefully we can tuck in a little pre-coast visit with everyone.

First Weekend of Summer

June 15, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a warm, quiet weekend.  Friday night Sam and Emma came over and we proceeded to do much of our usual routine.  Emma was happy to get a free book from the library - she chose Lord of the Flies.

Saturday we went to a picnic at Armitage Park.  Theoretically we were meeting with Honoka's exchange student comrades, but the event was canceled.  Fortunately I ended up buying way too much food on a Humble Bagel run, so we ate well.   We threw around the frisbee and I made two short trips down the river in a slowly deflating raft.  Eventually we packed it in and headed home.

I didn't see much of Sam over the weekend.  He was either playing with friends online or working for my mom.  We did manage to play a little Nidhogg together - a crazy pixelated sword dueling game.  I was happy that I managed to beat him twice after much effort.

Emma broke out the watercolors and did a bunch of art.  She also gleefully finished Broken Age, a point-and-click adventure like those of my childhood.  I left her playing Sam and Max as I left to work.

I spent much of Sunday afternoon DMing a D&D game with Emma, Duncan, and Berry.  Unfortunately they were all knocked out - I'm going to have to find a way to get them back into the action, as I don't really want to kill them off.  It might stunt their development as nerdlings.

As for the upcoming week, my mom is putting Emma, Sam, and Honoka to work today.  Duncan and Berry are going off to camp.  Joanna is working away.  I've got a work trip to Vancouver tomorrow where I'm going to try and reign in crazy management decisions.  Should be entertaining.

I was quoted in an article about workplace monitoring recently.  I posted a comment in a Reddit thread and got a call from a nice English journalist.   Since my Fitbit died for a week, I don't feel particularly guilty when Emma wants to shake it about for a while.

The gadgets are also easy to game. Adam Miller’s employer gives him cash rewards if his Fitbit shows he has taken a certain number of steps a day. But it registers “steps” when jolted, so if he has not met his daily target, “I might watch TV and wave my arm around or my kids will grab it and start shaking it to see what the numbers get to.”

Mocha Friday

June 12, 2015 by Adam in Family

The transition to summer has gone relatively well.  Sam's school had a lockdown triggered by a SWAT guy in camo dropping his kid off at the YMCA and a 4J staff person reporting an armed man at the school.  It disrupted finals, but otherwise was uneventful.

Joanna took Duncan, Berry, and Honoka camping at the beach.  I think they've generally enjoyed themselves and will return home at noon today.

I had Sam and Emma last night, which was a fun and low-key experience.  Sam wants to just veg out for a week, while his friends want to play games and mom wants to put him to work.  Emma is happy doing art and playing games.  Last night we played Superfight together, making up crazy rules.  I left her at home this morning, engrossed in Broken Age.  Presumably Jamie will pick her up one day.

As for this weekend, I'm hoping to take everyone hiking as the weather will be great.  Emma really wants to go to the library for her free book.  Otherwise it's more of the usual.  

Last Day of School

June 10, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of school today.  Duncan was going to take a camera to document the day.  I helped Sam put together a little Japanese book for his class.  I think everyone is ready for the start of summer.  Duncan and Berry have several camps.  Emma has her list of daily goals.  Sam just wants to do nothing for a week.

The last couple days have been crazy hot, well into the 90's.  Berry even lured Honoka into the pool on Monday.  The little kids have spent a lot of time swimming and have been skipping track due to the heat.  

Joanna and I have a date tonight, with Brenna babysitting one last time before she leaves forever for California.  The plan is to take a picnic to Hendrick's park and enjoy the weather while it lasts.

I'm excited to see everyone in just a couple weeks.  Can't wait.

Witcher 3 & Babies

June 10, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

Fortunately Sam never reads my blog, as there are definitely spoilers below.  I continue to have fun playing Witcher 3.  In my latest adventures I defeat a couple monsters, toss an (illusory) baby in an oven to break a curse, and dispel a wish made by a djinn.  The last one made a somewhat devious sorceress sad, but that's what happens when you mess with dark magic.


Happy Birthday

June 09, 2015 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

My computer informs me that it's your birthday today, and I've yet to automate personalized birthday greetings to my family members.  My plan is to get all of that set up before I slip into senility so that no one notices.  Anyway, I'll have to go with a handcrafted, free-range, birthday greeting:

Happy birthday, Sadie.  I see so much of you in Emma, compulsively drawing on every scrap of paper that crosses her path.  Thanks for being awesome.

Solo Parent Weekend

June 08, 2015 by Adam in Family

Joanna left Friday afternoon for a women's retreat at McKenzie Bridge.  She did art, workshops, and hiked in the hot sun.  Berry was fairly grumpy before her departure, but ended up being just fine.  I took Berry to a birthday party in between working help desk incidents.

Saturday morning I made dutch babies for Duncan and Berry, fetched Emma, and then got her to an art supply shopping spree with Yayoe.  The little kids and I made a library run, where they were pleasantly surprised by free books at the summer reading program.  Emma returned with fancy watercolor art supplies.  Everyone hung out in the pool and took it easy for the rest of the day.  Sam returned.  Pizza and science videos were watched.  It was all good.

Sunday morning was equally low-key.  I made a hearty breakfast for all the kids, even Sam, and we migrated to the pool to cool off from the heat.  Somewhere in there we played Dixit and Emma and I worked on art.  Flynn came over at some point, and Joanna returned for a little to then go off to a music performance.

All-in-all, it was a very pleasant weekend.  I want to have more of them.

Mocha Friday

June 05, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm heading into work soon.  Duncan and Berry have no school, Sam and Honoka have a half day, and poor Emma goes all day.  It's been a generally good week, with a bump here and there.

Wednesday night was a combination date night and listening to Emma's concert.  We ordered pizza, which we had to take in a "to go" box, arriving at Emma's concert just in time to hear her.  After she was done we ran off and hid on the patio to eat dinner, slinking in when our babysitter was done.

I've been fretting a little over finances after learning of yet another car repair expense ($1K for a broken A/C).  I think it's all okay, but we've managed to spend $4K in car repairs over the last few months.  The bills for Sam's knee continue to trickle in too.

Still, we have a pleasant weekend ahead.  Joanna is going to a women's retreat.  I've made a list of all the things I want to do, from playing board games to building weird things in the garage to finally trying out the pool.  Fun times.

My mocha awaits.  Time to get ready to go.

Mid-Week Update

June 03, 2015 by Adam in Family

The school year is drawing to a close, with drizzly weather all week.  Honoka made incredible cookies for her senior friends in her catering class.  I think that one ended up being her favorite.

Joanna and I are off to a date night and then listening to Emma's last concert of the year.  It feels like everything is wrapping up and getting ready for summer.

I'm also pondering things to do while we're at the beach in a few weeks.  Here are some highlights:
Can't wait to see everyone there!

Still Witchy

June 03, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

I continue to play Witcher 3 somewhat obsessively.  Yesterday I romanced a sorceress, went to a masquerade ball, won a card game, killed a vampire, escaped through the sewers, and confessed my undying love.

There were a few amusing bugs, such as when my NPC companion got stuck in a doorway, or when she perpetually got attacked by rats.  Still, it's one of my favorite games in a long while.


June 03, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

The vacation rental is ready.  Start thinking about who is staying in each location.  The last thought I heard was the old people could stay in our Siletz Keys house and the children could stay in the Bella Beach house.  The parents of the children need to decide if they want to chaperone children or vacation from them.  Maybe the grandparents would be willing to take over chaperoning.  Main meals (dinner) probably should be in the Bella Beach house.  A sandwich buffet could be setup in both houses for in between.  We still need to decide on side trips.  I'll research suggestions.  Driving directions are:

If you are visiting Bella Beach from out of state, Portland's PDX airport is the best to fly into when visiting us.

We recommend the following path to the beach!

  • From PDX, follow hwy 205 to I-5 (app 25 miles) and head South towards Salem (app 30 miles).

  • Take the Salem Parkway exit just past the baseball field and follow it into Salem

  • Turn right onto the Marion St bridge towards West Salem and Ocean Beaches, staying in the left lane.

  • It is app 60 miles to Lincoln City

  • Continue through Lincoln City and, two miles past Salishan Lodge the one lane road turns into two.

  • Keep your eyes open for Oceanview on the right hand.

  • Turn right onto Oceanview and left on Bella Beach Dr.

  • The office is on the left hand side.

Arriving from the South:

  • Follow Highway 101 through Newport and through Depoe Bay.

  • App 2 miles north of Depoe Bay, look for the Thriftway grocery store on the right.

  • One (1) mile past the Thriftway grocery store is a turn-around to go back south.

  • Use the turn-around and make your first right onto Oceanview and left on Bella Beach Dr.

  • The office is on the left hand side.

Now With More Witchiness

June 02, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I both continue to play Witcher 3, and it continues to be excellent.  The depth of the game and the choices you have to make are fairly incredible.  In this particular instance, I was supposed to have my ally get tortured while I bartered with the villain.  I decided I was having none of that and we torched the place.

Birthday Weekend

June 01, 2015 by Adam in Family

It seemed to be a weekend of perpetual birthday, with Emma getting some sort of cake or treat every day.  Friday night she had friends over, she went over to a friend's house Saturday night, and hung out with us in between.

As for the rest of the crew, it was generally a pleasant weekend.  Joanna and I finished Wild on Friday, which made me want to get out hiking more.  Saturday after the birthday party I took Emma and Duncan to the library.  Sam and I continued to play Witcher 3 and compare notes.    Honoka went out with some friends to hang out at the mall. 

Sunday morning I prepared for summer while everyone was off or in their rooms.  I set up the air conditioners, took down the storm cover from the side door, and started setting up the pool.  Eventually Joanna returned to help finish the assembly, and we began the slow filling of the pool.  Sam joined Emma and I, splashing our toes in the filling pool.  Duncan and Berry both had friends over - Duncan and Flynn played on the slip and slide in front and Berry and Daisy played in the shallow pool.  Honoka spent the afternoon making cookies for departing seniors.

It's the last full week of school.  Joanna leaves on a women's retreat next weekend - not sure what I'm going to do with all the kids.  I'm sure I'll think of something.

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