Project Day Part 2

August 31, 2015 by Adam in Adam

Sunday was a slightly subdued version of Saturday, accomplishing all manner of tasks while Joanna and the kids were away.  First off I had a nice visit with my mom at the Glenwood, stocking up on pancakes for the day's efforts.

Laundry was a steady constant, taking care of things that were rarely washed such as Sam's comforter and clothes stuffed at the bottom of his piles.  I spent much of the morning cleaning his room and putting things away, something I do on an annual basis when I can't stand it anymore.  You can actually sit on the nice couch that Yayoe kindly gave us - all the piles of clothes are now put away or hanging up.

After lunch I headed outside to clean the back porch and spray paint the railings.  There was compost to toss, containers to tidy up, and miscellaneous junk to toss.  Eventually I got to power washing the patio, though I eventually stopped when the downpour hit.

I retreated inside to fold clothes and watch 1920's Australian Lady Detective shows on Netflix, along with drinking a little too much cider and munching on nachos.

Today I'm off to work, though likely getting to more cleaning tasks tonight.  I need to sweep and tidy our guest room before our French intern arrives.  And there's always more laundry.

Project Day

August 30, 2015 by Adam in Adam

It's been a long day and I'm absolutely beat.  I took Joanna to the airport, waking up at 4:30.  She's been giving me updates as she flies across the country and I've been sending her pictures of my assorted efforts.

Today is one of those rare days with no one in the house, and I started in on my absolutely massive list of projects.  Mostly I did just one - cleaning up the front yard.  I pruned and dug up sod and put up the new trellis.  It was exhausting work and I spent hours doing it.  Eventually I stopped to go to the grocery store and pick up more bark o mulch.  It all looks pretty good now.

As for tomorrow, I'm having breakfast with mom and then working away at the rest of the things on my list.  I suspect it'll rain, so my outside painting projects will have to wait until next time.

New Orleans

August 29, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

We've been having a great time in New Orleans. It's the 10th anniversary of Katrina, so everyone is remembering that including presidents. The weather has been perfect, unlike 10 years ago. We took tours, visited the WW II Museum, took a steam boat ride, listened to Dixieland jazz, and wondered through the French Quarter. What a fascinating place.

Mocha Friday

August 28, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week has been generally pleasant and low-key.  Joanna and I worked all day yesterday.  Sam and Emma were excited to see me, so I played and chatted all night.  Sam reassembled the video card we cooked in the oven, which miraculously fixed the problem of lines on the screen.  Emma showed off her new glasses, reporting that she could see detail at distance that she couldn't see before.  Joanna made us a tasty dinner and bottled a new round of cider.  Later she walked down to the Vet's Club to listen to a band she's writing about for the Register Guard.

Sam, Emma, and I ended up sword fighting in the basement for a while, and then migrated to Creationary.  Even though it was Emma's idea, Sam got really into it.  I could see his childhood love of Lego building spring up once again - we used to spend hours with Legos when he was little.  I got Emma got to bed, Joanna made delicious custard, and we settled in to a little 30 Rock on Netflix.

Sam and Emma go off to their mom's for a six day trip to Bend, Sunriver, and Corvallis.  Joanna leaves tomorrow morning to get Duncan and Berry.  Tonight we're going to a winery for a friend's going away party.  I'm having breakfast with mom sometime over the weekend.  The plan is to cram in as many house projects as I can manage while everyone is away, though the first rains of fall may thwart me.

Beach Adventure

August 26, 2015 by Adam in Family

Monday morning rolled around and Joanna discovered that she got the job doing "travel and leisure writing for a tech giant," which is apparently all she can say while under a non-disclosure agreement.  It's part time, and hopefully it supplements our income nicely without driving her too crazy.  It's all new, so we'll see if it works out.

We left Eugene early afternoon and headed to Florence, checking in at The Edwin K Bed and Breakfast.  It was a neat old house that was ordered from a Sears catalog a century ago.  As it was right next to Old Town Florence, we wandered around and ate at the Bridgewater Fish House and Zebra Bar.  Sadly we didn't see any zebras, though on our stroll back we spotted a Blue Heron and three otters playing in the river. 

This morning we were fed a massive breakfast, stuffed to the gills, and listened to tales of the house and Old Town Florence by the man who owned the B&B.  Eventually we bid farewell to our fellow guests and headed to Silcoos Lake to meet our river guide.

The trip down the river was amazing, with lots of wildlife and a generally tranquil journey.  The river was still and full of herons, Canada Geese, a Bald Eagle, and countless other birds.  There was a fantastic quality to the river, with sandy slopes and mossy logs poking up from the murky depths.  We carried our kayak over a small dam and down through the Plover nesting grounds to the ocean.  Unfortunately the tide was so low that the river turned into a thin sheen of water on the sand and you couldn't actually reach the ocean itself.

We turned around and returned to the boat ramp, sore and tired after our seven mile journey.  Both of us are wiped out, despite our stop for espresso and steamed Chai.  I'm not sure we'll make it to dance class tonight.  Hopefully we'll recover for a final day of vacation tomorrow, perhaps riding bikes down to the river for a picnic.

Vacation Time

August 24, 2015 by Adam in Family

We had a fun, low-key weekend with lots of Sam and Emma play time.  They arrived home Friday afternoon and we celebrated with an early pizza and Mythbusters.  I played a little too much Metal Gear Solid under Sam's supervision.  Saturday we woke up and went to the library, with Joanna picking up goodies at Saturday Market.  We headed over to Jenny's for Jordan's birthday party.  It seemed like everyone was there, and the kids and I swam and chatted.  Sunday we mostly hung out at home, with Emma helping with house maintenance projects.  Emma and I watched more RPGs with Wil Wheaton - it's inspiring her to get into board games. 

Sam and I worked on getting Linux installed on his machine as a dual-boot device.  His school elective is computers, and he's thinking about taking an online Linux class.  We've been both watching Mr. Robot and I think he's inspired.  I ended up purchasing a Raspberry Pi for him to use, though I may steal it away when he's done.  In a pinch, I can configure it to run a Minecraft server that Duncan can play with.

I'm also doing computer rearranging, trying to get a computer for Sam's use at Jamie's house as his laptop is crumbling a bit.  I came across an old video of a race I did - the little kids were super cute.

The kids are both off at Jamie's.  Joanna and I are spending the night at the coast.  Next weekend Joanna flies off to fetch the kids and I've got a weekend of house projects waiting for me.

Jordan's Birthday

August 24, 2015 by Adam in Jenny

We had a great time at Jordan's birthday party.  Water balloons were thrown.  Cake was eaten.  We all had a good time.

Mocha Friday

August 21, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's Friday.  A sleepy Emma is up, listening to music, but otherwise everyone is fast asleep.  It was nice having the kids around and we spent a bunch of time chatting and laughing through an amazing dinner that Joanna put together.  I might have spent a little too much time playing Metal Gear Solid under Sam's supervision.  Eventually Emma came down to look at me with puppy-dog eyes until I tucked her into bed.

We have an exciting weekend ahead of us.  Tonight the thermal paste should arrive, so I can reassemble the old video card I cooked in the oven.  Theoretically it fixes the issue with red lines on the screen, due to cracked solder.  We'll see if it worked tonight.

I think Sam is going to my mom's to work, and tonight is pizza and Mythubsters.  Tomorrow is a library run and Jordan's birthday.  I may have also ordered a couple foam swords for an occasional duel with the kids.

Off to work soon, then my delicious mocha.

Mid-Week Update

August 19, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively low-key week so far. 

Monday my mom came over to do some DNA analysis and chat.  She has both recessive genes for a particular metabolic disease that makes it hard for her to exert herself.  Sam has one of the genes, and it's likely I have one as well.  It's hard to say what the issue is if we just have one - it's likely neither of us will be super athletes, though one of the best long-distance runners has the same one-off mutation.  Genes are tricky things.

Yesterday some of my old coworkers came over for lunch - Darin, Glen, and Mike - and we chatted about family and work and such.  It was nice to see the old crew - fewer and fewer are around these days.

Last night Joanna and I put on our dancing shoes and went to our Lindy Hop dance class.  I'm slowly getting the hang of things, but stumble on my footwork more than I'd like.  With more practice, I'm hoping I can figure it out.  Hopefully Joanna and I can cut a rug on future date nights.

There's an old computer that I'm slowly trying to resurrect, but it has weird lines on the screen.  Though I have a backup video card, it's weak and flabby compared to my old, more powerful one.  The apparent solution is to cook it in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, which apparently fixes issues with soldered connections.  I'm going to buy some replacement thermal paste and give it a try.

Sam and Emma arrive tomorrow.  It'll be nice to see them again.  We got our first letter from South Eugene High School, listing all the expenses Sam has to pay for school.  It's hard to believe it's just around the corner.

Farewell Weekend

August 17, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm sadly heading into work shortly.  It was a good weekend, all around - over far too quickly.  Saturday afternoon we wandered down to the park to play frisbee and fly drones.  That night was the usual pizza and Mythbusters.  Over night I analyzed her DNA, with somewhat interesting results when I woke up in the morning.

Sunday morning I scooped up Emma and we went to the hardware store to pick up a new light fixture for the shed and a dimmer switch for the dining room.  We replaced both - hopefully some of the electrical work will rub off on her for future projects.

The afternoon was pretty low-key.  Emma worked on a drawing of a house and watched Pitch Perfect.  Joanna had various computer projects she worked on.  I tried to resurrect the black computer, but it's still having issues.  We had delicious lasagna for dinner and the kids and I walked around the neighborhood afterward, stopping to gaze at the rubble of civic stadium.  The evening wrapped up with D&D Clue, as is the way of our people.

Saturday Already

August 16, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a pretty low-key week, accomplishing assorted tasks such as getting the air bag replaced and taking everyone to the eye doctor.  Emma's getting slightly nearsighted in one eye and getting glasses just in case.  Friday night Joanna and I walked down to eat at La Oficina, which was tasty.  This morning I slept in until almost seven and ran around mowing the lawn and fixing things.

Sam and Emma arrived around eleven and we went down to the park to have Sam fly the drone.  He did pretty well for his first time.  Later we played Frisbee until exhausted and hung out for the rest of the day.  Emma and I did art and watched Wil Wheaton playing RPG with funny attractive people, much to Joanna's amusement.  The day wrapped up with a visit from my mom and pizza and Mythbusters for all.

Mid-Week Update

August 12, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along, with the usual excitement.  Joanna's work is picking up again.  I'm in the post go-live lull at work, which means I can put some effort into back-burner efforts.  Joanna and I have been enjoying our quiet evenings - last night was dance class where we learned the basics of lindy hop.  Somewhere in there we also managed to fix the dilapidated Target shelves that have been slowly falling apart.

We heard a little from Duncan and Berry this week, and on Monday Berry and Emma got to chat for a long while.  Berry twisted her ankle, but it seems to be slowly getting better.  They're both having adventures and visiting east coast family - it reminds me a little of my childhood summers.

This week I'm replacing the passenger airbag due to the big recall, getting a pesky mole removed, and going to the optometrist. Busy, busy.

The only troublesome thing is that Sam apparently had a funny dizzy spell where he was sitting on the couch with Emma, and fell over into her lap after fading out for a moment.  He thinks he may have stretched strangely or something, but we're keeping an eye on it.


August 12, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

We had some renters staying at the Siletz house this summer. They were very cute, but messy. Ana says they left yesterday, I'll miss them.

Into The Woods

August 10, 2015 by Adam in Family

While Joanna went up to Portland to attend her writer's conference, the kids and I drove out to Sister's Wilderness.  The day was hot and dry, and Emma was dragging a bit, but after a couple hours we got to the end of the forest and beginning of the lava fields.  We set up camp and checked out the amazing view from a nearby outcropping.  Dinner consisted of bagels and mac and cheese, which the kids claimed was excellent, though I was somewhat skeptical.  After setting up camp, we watched a couple TableTop episodes with Wil Wheaton, all huddled in one tent.

Sam went to bed early in his hammock, while Emma watched a little Into The Woods.  I watched the sunset for a while and returned to my tent to bed.  Emma and I were pretty cold and miserable, with the inflatable pillow giving me a pain in my neck all night long.  Sam slept the best of us, other than being a little cool.  We all woke up at five, watched more TableTop, and made breakfast.

We explored a little, broke camp and headed back down the hill.  The journey home was quick and cheerful.  I cleaned up and tool a nap, then played video games with Sam a bit.  We welcomed Joanna from her conference, coming in a little late to my dinner of burgers and fries.  Her conference was pretty good, and she has a few agents interested in her memoir.

It was a good weekend adventure.  I think I'm ready for a few quiet days at work to recover.

Genetic Mocha Friday

August 07, 2015 by Adam in Family

Sam and my mom arrived from Istanbul yesterday afternoon, safe and sound.  It was a bit of a madhouse, as Emma and Kate were dropped off at the same time, and Joanna was heading out the door to her writer's conference.  Fortunately my meeting was canceled as my boss didn't show and the rest of the afternoon was relatively calm.

I still haven't gone through Sam's pictures and stories yet.  Last night we did pizza and Mythbusters and then looked through Sam's genetic profile.  Basically he's western European with traces from other parts of the world (including Senegal, strangely enough) and  related to some Mellor Mormons who uploaded their genetic data to  Sam was increasingly exhausted and barely made it to 9 p.m. last night.

I uploaded the raw data to Promethease and it spend the night grinding through all the different variations.  This morning the children leaped out of bed, demanding pancakes and data analysis. There weren't any huge surprises - some genetic tendencies to hypertension and obesity, some mixed positive and negative genes associated with schizophrenia, plus he almost certainly has blue eyes, blond hair, and can digest milk.  Some of the more interesting ones were specific to certain drugs or diseases.  If he got HIV, he'd have 60% viral load.  Methamphetamine is more effective while his risk of becoming addicted to cocaine is reduced.  Basically science studies weird things.

I'm working in the office for only a couple hours this morning and then finishing the day up at home to keep an eye on the kids.  We've got to pack for our hiking trip - I know we're missing a bunch of things, from clothes to matches to a full propane tank.  Water is also going to be critical, as I think all the creeks and lakes are dry. 

Mid Week Update

August 05, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a quiet week with the kids all away.  I think they're all well, scattered to the various parts of the world.  Sam returns from Istanbul tomorrow.  Emma arrives about the same time from Jamie's house.  I've seen pictures of Duncan and Berry, but sadly haven't managed to chat over video yet.  

Monday night Joanna and I ended up having a quiet dinner and watching Mansfield Park, which I somehow missed.  I read a graphic novel - Saga - in preparation for reading the new William Gibson novel.  I rarely get dedicated time to read, so it's been a treat.

Last night we went to our first Lindy Hop lesson.  I think my previous swing dance lessons got me in trouble, as I stumbled more than I'd like to admit.  Still it was fun and our instructors are generally amusing and enthusiastic.  Tonight we're taking Joanna's friend Jennifer to a song circle.  Hopefully we can sing a few sea shanties.  Tomorrow Joanna is off to her writer's conference.

Farewell Istanbul

August 05, 2015 by Adam in Sam

I Skyped with Sam this morning, late in the day Istanbul time.  He and my mom and returning home tomorrow, waking up at 3 a.m. and arriving in Portland around noon.

It sounds like they finally got the hang of Turkey over the last few days.  After seeing the sights of Istanbul, they flew to a coastal town to visit an old Roman city and swim in the Aegean sea.  Sam reports that he swam with fish and found a sealed package of cookies in the ocean, which was exceedingly tasty.  I think the two of them had a great time.

Hello from Selcuc

August 04, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

It's about 8 in the morning. Sam is checking in with his phone, a system which has worked really well for him. I'm looking out the window of our lovely little hotel, at the very edge of the town, over fields of fruit trees. I'm also about ten feet away from a marble statue of a young Roman man, which, along with eight or nine similar statues, adorn the exterior of the hotel. Almost anywhere else in the world, I'd say these were very carefully done reproductions. Here, I think they have been taken over the last fifteen centuries from the amazing ruins of the Roman city of Ephesus, about two miles from here. Ephesus is definitely worth a Google, and we spent three times as long as we expected yesterday walking around. It is so complete that it's easy to imagine what the town must have been like. Actually, city - there were about 250,000 inhabitants at its peak. Sam and I have a "free day" and I think we'll go down to the beach. Our room has a sauna, and Sam and I tried it yesterday.  Tomorrow we fly back to Istanbul and stay near the airport tomorrow night. I think Sam has been having a good time, and we've had good conversations. He has been regularly complimented for taking care of his Grandmother, and he's been managing money, holding tickets, etc. Sorry not to have posted more.

Sam In Istanbul

August 03, 2015 by Adam in Sam

I haven't heard much from Sam and mom in Turkey the last couple days.  I presume all is generally well.  They were talking about taking a flight to a nearby town for a few days.  Either way, they should be flying back Thursday assuming all goes well.

Weekend With An Only Child

August 03, 2015 by Adam in Family

Emma has enjoyed being our only child this weekend.  It was crazy hot Friday night - we went out to Tasty Thai for dinner, keeping the outdoor visits to a minimum.  The three of us enjoyed chatting away in between the Pad Thai.

Saturday morning was a leisurely breakfast and then off to various errands.  The first was the music store where Emma returned with a ukulele.  Next was REI, with Joanna bringing home new hiking boots and walking sticks.  Finally we headed to Saturday Market for lunch and fresh vegetables, then returned home to collapse.  Emma practiced her ukulele, I played Life is Strange on the computer, and Joanna worked on brewing projects.  I gathered up the camping supplies and am mostly packed for next weekend's hike.  Eventually we ate pizza and watched science shows, as is the way of our people even with fewer kids.

This morning was dutch babies and a tasty mocha.  Joanna went off to church while Emma and I got an old rotary phone working in her room.  I had to fiddle with the wiring to the phone jack in weird ways, but it worked like a charm and Emma was very excited to have a phone in her room.  Later we did art while watching Wil Wheaton play role playing games with attractive funny people.  It was highly entertaining.

The weather had turned cool and cloudy for a change and Joanna wanted to try out her new boots.  We hit the Ridgeline Trail at Hendrick's Park and chatted away, snacking on blackberries along the way.  Eventually we turned around and returned home.  I puttered more on the computer and played with walkie talkies with Emma.  Emma continued her Supernatural binge watching.  Joanna made cute labels for her cider.  Now she's working on a delicious pasta sauce made entirely of local vegetables.

I haven't had any calls from work, so presumably the go-live went well.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.


August 02, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Joanna showed Emma her ukulele the other day and she was so taken with the instrument that we went to the music store and she bought one. We happened to shore up right before a free ukulele lesson, which we all enjoyed.

Since then, she's been practicing different songs and chords. My favorite so far is a song from Adventure Time which was both cheerful and funny.

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