Snow Day

December 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

My vacation is slowly wrapping up.  There's been quite a bit of hanging-out-with-kids time, along with the dishes, laundry, and the like.  Sam and I managed to clean out the fireplace and keep the annoying noises to a minimum.  Today I'm hoping to get the door to our little free library fixed.


Yesterday the whole family went to the snow, Isa in tow.  They were all generally well behaved and we stayed until dark.  The sledding hill was packed with people, so after a few runs we went for a very slow walk through the woods.  It was quiet and peaceful away from the crowds - as quiet as hanging out with nine to eighteen year old kids can be, anyway.




Boxing Day

December 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

Christmas has come and gone, now a pleasant memory and a recycle bin full of wrapping paper.  As life is never boring, Christmas Eve had two priority 2 incidents that kept me busy for a few hours.  Fortunately I didn't get any calls Christmas day itself.


Joanna's been working a fair amount, writing copy for a Singapore bank.  Duncan and Berry bid farewell to their dad on Friday - Duncan's been having fun with his new Minecraft-themed drone.  Sam and I have been making significant improvements to his game - I've been practicing my coding skills along the way.


Christmas itself was pretty cool and I think everyone enjoyed their presents.  I got some badly needed new shoes, some nice clothes, and a Joanna certificate promising to coordinate house maintenance tasks.  Berry got a new bike which she loves, Duncan got a Minecraft modding class, Emma was showered with art supplies, and Sam got computer equipment.  Joanna got kitchen gadgets and music.  I ended up getting tons of board games for the family, which we've been slowly working our way through.


I've been learning fancy new web technologies, trying to keep up with a quickly changing field, and listening to CISSP study guides at the same time.  I think I've reached the age where playing games seems less interesting than learning real-world skills.  We'll see if it lasts.


We're puttering around this morning and then heading to Jenny's where my dad will be visiting.  I got Sam a copy of Car Wars which I hope we can sucker him into playing. 






Merry Christmas

December 26, 2016 by Adam in Lohring

We don't have a partridge in the pear tree, but we do have a cockatiel in the Christmas tree.




Christmas Miracle Mocha Friday

December 23, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm sipping my mocha in a quiet office - most people are taking the day off.  The crises in my life are slowly being resolved, one after the other.  Yesterday I had a hot shower in my own home.  Sam's deleted game he's been working on for months was recovered and he's working on it again.  Joanna's migranes seem much improved.  Emma's very expensive braces recommendation has been re-evaluated into something less intrusive and less expensive.  To top it off, HR reevaluated my position and I got a little pay bump right before Christmas.  


I've got some last minute Christmas planning to do today and tomorrow, picking things up, wrapping things, and making a few online purchases.  Emma's in Corvallis with her mom tomorrow and the little kids are having a final breakfast with their dad before he goes home.  We should have a low-key evening tomorrow before all waking up Sunday morning for the festivities.  Having a week off work after that will be heavenly.



Hot Water!

December 21, 2016 by Adam in Family

The last of the crises of the ice storm appear to have been resolved.  The plumber showed up today, turned on the tankless hot water heater, and everything was working.  No idea why - maybe it was simply running water through it for a couple days.


Sam and I worked really hard on that thing, so it was great to hear that it's working properly again.  I suspect it saved us a thousand bucks or so, which makes for a small Christmas miracle.  My thanks go out to Sam and J-B Weld, with dad providing guidance and moral support.



Fun in the Sun

December 21, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

This is an amazing place, with three feet of snow and a bright sunny day.


The trip east was just fine. We had a forty five minute delay in Minneapolis, but the rest of the connections were fine. Meg and Dick weren't so lucky, and their 6:00 pm arrival actually was midnight. We drove to Normal the next day, though the predicted ice storm didn't really materialize and it was a fine trip. We got to do lots of visiting, and Meg, Betsy and I had lots of fun drinking gin and giggling. The dinner was good, and gave me a chance to catch up with cousins I hadn't seen for a long time, and with their very cute kids. On Sunday, I went back into Chicago with my cousin Alan.  In spite of the cold - it was 2 degrees Sunday morning -  my flight to Boston was without incident, and Sadie was waiting to pick me up. 


And of course, the best part of the trip has been spending time with Sadie, Greg, and Simon. He's a little terrible, but really very little. Mostly he just talks a blue streak, and like all my grandkids, is funny and smart. Lucky grandma...



Survived the Storm

December 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

We survived the ice storm, if just barely.  We lost power Wednesday night and only just got power back.  The hot water is still out - we had to patch a broken pipe inside the thing.  The patch worked great, but the gas isn't igniting properly.  It got too dark to continue, so we gave up for the time being.


We've been staying at my mom's house, which I'm grateful for.  Not knowing when the power would come on was frustrating, and having most of our things at our actual house was challenging.  Sam slept most nights at home.  Duncan spent most nights with the neighbor's. 


At one point I was standing on the porch and a giant limb fell on the road.  I grabbed the chainsaw I got Joanna, one neighbor got an extension cord, and two boys and another neighbor hauled pieces away as I chopped them up.  The road was cleared in a couple minutes.


Sam was great with the hot water, though it's frustratingly not working yet.  Joanna has been moving food back and forth.  We're at home, working on cleaning up, though it's incredibly chaotic with things piled everywhere.  To top it off, I got a text from Jamie saying the orthodontist is recommending thousands of dollars worth of dental care. 


Stress levels are high.




2 Hour Delays

December 14, 2016 by Adam in Family

Eugene is not a regular snow city - it's one of the things I like about living here.  Looking at the window this morning, we have a mix of rain and frozen rain coming down, delaying schools by a couple hours.  I'll probably work from home at least until the weather clears.


All is generally well these days.  I'm slowly getting ready for Christmas, swinging by the art supply store to pick up some sundries for Emma.  There are some other things I'd like to take the kids to, but I'm not sure I can manage. 


Work is doing pretty well.  We may hire another security engineer.  There's also talk of having us work in an office, mostly so the people around us can't hear us talk about confidential things.  Not sure what I'll do with all the stuff on my walls.




Video Game Round Up

December 14, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been slowly playing Witcher 3, which is slowly wrapping up.  It's generally been pretty great, and I'm sad to see the series finally end.  Still, it's a good send-off, and I'm savoring it while it lasts.


The Jackbox games are a mainstay at our house.  Sam continues to work on his own video game, which is fun to help him with.


I've been spending a fair amount of free time learning things - Angular 2, advanced security concepts, and so on.  My brain does get full and need distractions occasionally.




Chilly Mocha Friday

December 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

Life is moving along at a steady clip it seems.  Christmas is right around the corner and I feel woefully unprepared.  Presents must be purchased soon. 


I spent yesterday working from home and the kids were out of school.  I did manage to get Emma to her concert last night, which was fun.  All the kids have started their new term, though only Sam has significantly newer classes.  His class load seems a little light, but he says he's enjoying what he's taking.  I caught him doing precalculus in his room the other day for his game, so maybe some education is rubbing off on him.


Joanna's still on the mend from her fall in soccer.  Duncan was sick last night.  Berry still has her cough.  We'll all somehow survive the winter.




Sick Weekend

December 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

So I think I had a three day weekend - it's a little hard to tell.  Saturday was generally pretty good.  I made a hearty breakfast for all, started to help Joanna and Berry assemble the new basketball hoop, then ran off to pick up Emma.  Jamie had some computer woes that I helped with, and we returned for lunch, with the basketball hoop being magically finished by the time returned.  The day wrapped up with pizza and Adam Ruins Everything, as is the way of our people.


Sunday was a blur, as I was hit with a headache that just didn't stop.  I stumbled down for breakfast, didn't eat anything, and stumbled back up.  Most of the day I spent thankfully unconscious as it was all pretty bad.  I managed to recover somewhat by late afternoon, eating a little, spending time with everyone, and perking up in time for family dinner.  We met Isa's grandma Edlet, who chatted with mom over pecan pie.


I took today off, though I was a little busier than I would have liked.  I did manage to keep my headaches at bay with pain killers and mochas, putting Joanna's anniversary present to good use.  Berry was sick today too, though she's mostly recovered as well.


Tomorrow I'm back to work and some semblance of normalcy.  I got a very nice personal thank you email from our CEO for the security incident response last Friday.  It made for an interesting contrast with some of the other responses.  These days I'm looking for some sort of stability in life, however elusive it may be.





Mocha Friday

December 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

Chrismas has come in earnest.  We put up the advent calendars and I'm guaranteed two chocolate covered espresso beans each morning.  Last night Joanna was playing with her new Christmas laser, shining colorful lights on the trees - it was surprisingly bright.


Most of the kids are out of school today and Monday.  I'm taking Monday off to extend my hang-out-with-kids time as long as possible.  They all seem to generally be doing well.  Sam says his Calculus final was easy, which is the one class I worry about.  He and I have been working on his video game together - it's actually coming along surprisingly well and his enthusiasm is showing.  Emma finished her presentation and continues to be obsessed with the musical Hamilton.  Last night she and Berry were talking all about it, and Emma made Sam and I listen to some of the songs.  Duncan is working away at his Minecraft server modding, writing Java code with great enthusiasm.  Berry was telling me all about the book they're reading in class - there was lots of kidnapping and intrigue.


Work life has its ups and downs.  I think on the whole I've reached the conclusion that it'll all work out and I should just be open to the possibilities of whatever comes next.  I still wake up early in the morning pondering things, but I find myself more cheerful than I was.



End of the Weekend

November 28, 2016 by Adam in Family

The lovely four day weekend is wrapping up.  It was good and productive, with lots of visiting with family, house projects, and hanging out with kids.


I took Emma to the art store on Friday for her half-birthday present.  She loaded up on supplies and proceeded to make clay sculptures and watercolor paintings for the next few days.  Later that night Joanna and I went out for our "kissaversary" which was quite pleasant.  It's been a lovely seven years.


I set up a little lab and hacked my WiFi, just to prove that I could do it after reading about the theoretical vulnerabilities for my test.  Don't use WEP, kids - someone can crack it in a few hours.


Saturday morning I ran to Metropol before I showered and put together a birthday breakfast for Sam.  He's been slowly getting used to his new phone, which seems to work a lot better than the old cracked phone.  During the day we all went for a mall run - Sam and Isa went shopping, the little kids went to Pixel Battles and played in virtual reality, and Emma, Joanna, and I went for a walk by the river.  Eventually we made it home, Sam and Isa made cheesecake, Joanna and I made pizza, and the day wrapped up with Adam Ruins Everything.


Today had a lot of laundry and yard work.  Berry, Joanna, and I alternated power washing the front driveway.  Duncan played with Flynn.  Sam and Emma spent some time with their mom.  As the day wound down, Sam and I spent some time working on his Unity game.  My favorite part was the bug where giant pants got stuck on everyone's head.


Work starts up tomorrow.  I strangely look forward to getting back into the swing of things.





Sam's 18th Birthday

November 26, 2016 by Adam in Sam

We threw a birthday breakfast for Sam this morning.  I snuck out of the house to get various goodies for his 18th birthday and Emma's half birthday.  We sung songs and then they blew out candles.


I think Sam liked his presents.  The big one was  a new phone from Joanna and I, an Isa collage from Berry, a BBQ making kit from Emma, and a dream journal from Duncan.


It's a little weird having an adult child, hitting yet another of life's milestones.




Thanksgiving

November 25, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's the day after Thanksgiving, a whirlwind of cooking and eating that has come to an end.  Soon we'll get ready for a hopefully lazy day, hanging out with kids while we've still got them.  Tonight Joanna and I are going on a "kissaversary" date night, with Emma promising to get the littler kids through the bath and bed routine.


Thanksgiving was generally pleasant.  We had a short outing to Wayne Morris Ranch to wander the woods and drink cocoa by a roaring fire.  Joanna made pies and some other sundries, before heading over to mom's for dinner.  It was great seeing everyone, and my favorite part was when Emma asked Joanna if we could do the same "giving thanks" routine we did last year.  This time I got it on video - it was very sweet.





Dinner Menu

November 23, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

Turkey, Stuffing - gluten and non, Cranberry sauce, cornbread, pecan pie, creamed (non-gluten) peas   Bob Wine   Yayoe Martinelli's, Kale salad, SomethingTofu (sounds like an upscale restaurant) Adam and Joanna World Famous Sweet Potato Casserole, Non-salted pumpkin pie   Jenny, Destin and Jordan Salad and mashersWhat did I forget?


Love you all, Fam. You are what I am most grateful for.


 


 


 



Passed the Test

November 22, 2016 by Adam in Adam

I drove up to Linn-Benton Community College this morning, listening to myself read off various security acronyms.  I got settled and reviewed everything again for an hour, stopping for coffee towards the end.  Eventually I checked into the test, getting rid of all my electronics, showing ID, signing things, and getting my picture taken.  The test itself was somewhat challenging, a mix of simple facts and applied knowledge questions.  An hour and a half later I walked out and ended up with 859 out of 950 points, with 750 needed to pass.


Hopefully it gives me a little more street cred, though it's really just the start of the endless certification cycle.




Walking the Ridgeline Trail

November 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

Sunday morning already.  I finished the dishes, made some tea, and need to start with breakfast soon.  Emma and I plan on seeing the new Doctor Strange movie this morning.


It's been a generally good weekend so far.  I signed up for a Tuesday test, which unfortunately involves driving to Albany.  The next few days I'll be cramming facts into my brain and taking practice tests.


Sam started making games in Unity again.  He's working on procedurally generated dungeons - it's been fun watching him put something together.  I like watching that rush of success each time he implements a new feature.


Emma started a new art project involving teenagers playing D&D.  Berry went to her soccer celebration last night with Joanna, leaving the rest of us to make pizza and watch Adam Ruins Everything.  Duncan continues to be a social butterfly, hanging out with Flynn and going to a birthday party this afternoon.


We all managed a hike yesterday, which mostly turned out okay.  It's hard coordinating everyone at the same time, but the weather was great and the fall trees were pretty.




Mocha Friday

November 18, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a pretty typical week.  Joanna and I had a nice date night, running into mom and Dez at Whirled Peas where they were apparently getting pizza.  I took Sam and Isa to a lecture on quantum computing last night.  Duncan and Emma played a little duet after some coaxing.  I've spent my week studying - I'll finish my note-taking pass this morning and be ready for the test early next week.  



As for the weekend, I've promised Emma to take her to Doctor Strange after failing to take her to X-Men earlier in the year.  I must atone for my failings.  Duncan wants to play more Jackbox Party Pack games, which have become a popular post-dinner activity.  I'd like to lure everyone to an outdoor hike.


Berry is out of school all next week.  I'm taking the last couple days off.  Hopefully we can desend on mom's house for Thanksgiving and celebrate Sam's birthday around there somewhere too.



Study, Study

November 16, 2016 by Adam in Adam

I'm spending my days at work studying for my Security+ exam. It's both interesting and occasionally tedious. My brain is full of port numbers and encryption algorithms. Progress is going pretty well - I finished the 250+ videos and am halfway through a series of PowerPoint slides that covers the material. I've been taking the end-of-chapter quizzes and getting in the 85% to 90% range.


I'm going to see how far I can get over the next couple days. If I feel pretty confident and continue to do well on the practice tests, I'll shoot for taking the actual exam on Friday otherwise I'll schedule it for next week.


Hopefully having the certification gives me an air of authority. It's been fun digging a little deeper into things I kinda knew already. The details of encryption are kinda fascinating - basically our entire information age economy is based on math.



Spencer's Butte

November 14, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up - Sam, Emma, and Isa laughing away in the living room beside me playing Superfight.  All-in-all, it's been a good weekend.  I managed two full nights of sleep, which surely is a good sign.


The morning started with a hearty breakfast and getting Joanna and the little kids off to church.  Next was running Isa to campus to turn in her math homework, then off to Supercuts to get Sam and I looking pretty again.  Everyone returned for lunch before scattering again to the winds.


Duncan hung out with Flynn all day.  Joanna and Berry went to basketball camp.  The rest of us hiked Spencer's Butte, with Emma skeptical but still making it to the top.  We returned sore but generally happy, taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon.




Jackbox Games

November 13, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

We continue to play the Jackbox Party Pack 3 games, often bringing in various hangers on like Isa and Flynn.  This is probably the best of the party packs, as all the games are well polished and high quality.  My favorite is still Tee KO, but Fakin' It turned out to be well loved by the kids.  I had fun playing Trivia Murder Party, though I have an unfair advantage against the kids with my wealth of pointless knowledge.



I keep working through the Witcher 3 DLC. As Sam pointed out, it's mostly an interactive story with some light combat and roleplaying, but the stories are generally compelling. I think I have a little more time with the first DLC and then it's off to the next one which is considered the best of the two.




Middle of a Three Day Weekend

November 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

I think life is doing okay after a tough few weeks.  The kids are all home and we're getting ready to sit down to pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.  I got a full night's sleep last night, the first in a long while.


Friday morning started with a hearty pancake breakfast.  Joanna was working, so I took Emma, Duncan, and Berry to pick up Jamie and head to Pisgah (I asked Joanna's permission first).  It was actually fairly nice - Jamie and Emma led us around the park and Jamie and I chatted about my work craziness and she updated me on her family.  Duncan and Berry mostly had a good time, though Duncan wasn't as excited about walking around in nature as everyone else. 



Emma went to her mom's house, Berry had a sleepover, Duncan went to a birthday party, and Sam was left to make dinner for Isa.  Joanna and I went out to dinner at Wildcraft Ciderworks and had another tasty meal.


Today started with dutch babies, followed with Joanna going off to an expo.  I took Duncan and the neighbor boy Flynn to the library. Emma returned and I offered to take her to a movie with Sam and I.  She declined, as she had a Starbound game playing date with her friend.  Sam and I saw The Arrival, which we both generally enjoyed, though it turns out we'd both read the short story first.Looking forward to my last day of the weekend.  Hopefully I can get the kids outside a little.




Happy Birthday Seraph!

November 10, 2016 by Adam in Cortez

Happy birthday sweet sister.  I still remember when Jenny and I pushed you around in your "moon buggy" all those years ago.  I suppose you've grown up since then, but that's how I still think of you.


Dad was looking at Emma with all her curly blond hair and remarking how much she looks like you when you were a kid.  She has the same kind disposition too, which I'm ever grateful for.



So That Just Happened

November 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

Joanna's been looking somewhat dispondent this morning, glad she became an American citizen a few years ago.  


Dad came over for dinner last night - the first time I'd seen him since summer.  We chatted about my work woes, which was nice.  I tend to think out loud and bounce ideas off of people.  I think that in general I'm making good decisions and laying plans for whatever future should befall me.


I worked from home yesterday, feeling a little down about work.  My manager called to check in - it was a mix of commiserating and half-hearted pep talk.  I think the craziness extends up the food chain pretty far.


In the meantime, I have Joanna and the kids who have been great emotional supports for me.  I appreciate them more than words can say.



Family Dinner

November 07, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up, the horde of family now headed home.  It felt really good to talk to everyone about my work woe's (in vague terms).  I really appreciate people who absolutely have my back.


The weekend started pretty rough - I had bad headaches on Friday and Saturday, though I managed to be somewhat functional.  I talked to Sam about his plans - he's going to work on applying to the U of O.  I got the new web site setup.  Emma and I watched X-Men Apocalypse.  Berry's team got second place at her tournament.  The ceiling started leaking again - I bet we need to get our roof looked at.


Sunday was better - my headache improved and I managed to get out and do a fair bit of yardwork.  It felt good to be outside.  I added more polish to the site, though there's always more to go.  Lots of laundry got folded.


Best was seeing everyone again for dinner.  It was nice to have my people around me.  Things will be okay.




Emma's Artwork

November 07, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma's amazing artwork continues to be amazing. This is one of Isa that she whipped up after dinner tonight.




More Tee KO

November 06, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

We played more Tee KO tonight after dinner with the kids.  My shirt won - the art was Duncan's and the phrase was Joanna's.




Fully Deployed

November 06, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The new web site has been generally cleaned up, moved to new hardware, and ready to go.  There are likely some hidden bugs I need to sort through still, but all-in-all, it seems to be working.


It's a culmination of a big skill refresh - there are lots of fancy new technologies humming under the hood.  It feels good to get it finally ready to go after all these months.



Bad Week

November 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been high on my list of lousy weeks at work. Not quite sure if I want to continue doing what I've been doing. I'm starting to miss Karl's ability to isolate us from the madness above.


My long term co-worker and friend finally started he was retiring, with February as the final month. There's hardly anyone left from the good old days. We had lunch with Glen, which was really good from a mental health perspective. It's always nice to be certain someone has your back.


Joanna wore herself out this week with classes and events. Berry's hip has been bothering her.  The kids are generally doing okay otherwise. I'm taking Sam and Isa out to dinner tomorrow to try and figure out Sam's plan. It's been hard getting him to articulate it.


After dinner tonight we all played Tee KO. This was the timely winner.




Happy Halloween

November 01, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend wound itself down, generally getting calmer.  Berry won her soccer game and is going to the championships.  Our costumes were put together.  I managed to wrangle Windows 10 Pro on the new server.  Emma and I went for a lovely walk at Hendrick's park in the rain.  It was quite nice.


The kids all got their costumes ready this morning, I in my Mister Robot outfit.  Emma was pretty stoked about her 80's outfit - it was totally wicked to the max.


I was one of four people who dressed up in our department at work today.  I think the insanity of the last few days is finally getting resolved.  At this point it's out of my hands, though I may need to do some follow-up.  Soon I'll be off with kids, roaming about in search of candy.




Jackbox Party Pack 3

October 31, 2016 by Adam in Family

The Jackbox games have been a go-to for our family for a couple years now.  We tend to play games like Drawful and Quiplash.  Today I picked up the latest in the serious.  It came with Quiplash 2, which was basically the same as Quiplash but with slight improvements.

The best new game was Tee K.O., which is a quirky t-shirt drawing game.  We all collaborated on different aspects of each t-shirt and then they did battle against each other (with everyone voting for the best each round).  This was tonight's winner - it was Joanna's shirt though the artwork was mine.  Here are the rest.



Still Witchy

October 31, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

In between the usual housework and family activities, I played a little more Witcher 3.  It's generally been pretty good, with interesting stories leading me through the DLC.  I just stepped into a painting, which seems to be a recurring theme with computer role playing games.  This marks the third time I've done it.  Still pretty, though.




Finally Calming Down

October 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

Life's been a little exciting lately.  We had a security incident at work - my first week on call as a security engineer.  The next couple days were a blur, but I think most of the excitement is over.  I can't really talk about it, but I did have a few sleepless nights.  I'm looking forward going going back to my more typical security work.


Joanna and I went out Friday night to the gluten-free place next to Roosevelt where Duncan had an Activity Night.  The cider was good and it was nice to unwind after work's insanity.


We're halfway through the weekend - yesterday was a blur of kids going to birthday parties, soccer games, and Joanna driving to Corvallis for a paid gig.  I wrestled with my web server and drive kids around.  I did managed to hang out with Sam a little, who was looking a little forlorn until Isa arrived for pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.  Afterward we all played Drawful 2.


I'm hoping to get Sam's application to the U of O moving along, as deadlines are coming up.  Hopefully Isa can use her wiles on Sam.  I'm enlisting all the help I can get.  I'd also like to get everyone outside, maybe to roam around Hendrick's Park with the leaves all turning color.  Emma and I walked around the block last night, which was quite pleasant.


Tomorrow I dress up as Mr Robot and head off to work.  The worst part is not shaving for three days to get the appropriate levels of stubble.




People of San Antonio

October 30, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

The populatiom here is at least 1/2 Latino. This picture shows everyone having a good time.



And More

October 30, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring



More dead

October 30, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring



Day of the Dead

October 30, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

They're dying in San Antonio. Some pictures from the Day of the Dead/Halloween celebrations. It was a lot of fun.



Rube Goldberg Device

October 27, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry is in the Talented and Gifted program at school, which generally doesn't mean all that much.  Mostly her teacher gives her extra work or some harder problems to work on.  Occasionally, though, she gets something interesting to work on.  She wrote an essay on Rube Goldberg and built a machine in the basement to demonstrate her understanding.


I think this was try #3, which wasn't as successful as try #1, but it showed a lot of heart.




New Web Site

October 26, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I continue to very slowly move towards going live with the new web site.  You can take a peek here, if you're brave.  I think it generally works and all your changes and posts should appear at both old and new locations.


I'm sure I'll still tinker, though I'm generally happy with the way it turned out.  The main thing is that it proves to myself that I can master an entirely new way of doing web development.  The front end is AngularJS with a Material Design UI, coupled with a C# .NET web API backend.  I nerded out pretty hard making it all happen.


The new web site is running on my personal computer - I've got to keep it up and running until I get the old server reinstalled and ready to go.  So far, so good.



Halloween Prep Weekend

October 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was generally a good weekend, if somewhat low key.  Most everyone was at least a little sick, primarily Sam and Berry towards the end.  Sam and Isa hung out Saturday, emerging to eat pizza and watch Adam Ruins Everything, along with playing Drawful.  We took everyone else out to Lonepine Farms to ride the tractor out to the pumpkin patch.  I made a little pumpkin television, complete with a slot for me to put my old cell phone into.

Joanna drove Berry around to soccer games and apparently had a good ukulele session at church on Sunday.  Her writing projects continue and she spent a good chunk of time proofreading away.

The kids' grades arrived and were generally good.  Emma got all A's and A+'s.  Sam got one B.  Duncan got a C in science due to some missing work.  Otherwise it looks like we'll keep them.

I nearly transferred over the web site to the new version, but there were some issues and I decided to just switch back.  I'm getting pretty ready to be done, though.

I'm starting to get used to the world of viruses and worms at work.  I'm on call for the first time this week and the incidents kept pouring in.  None of them were really security issues, though - they were all weird things that had little to do with security work.  I did manage to get a bunch of devices kicked off the network today.  I'm slowly making things better, one worm at a time.



Mocha Friday

October 21, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's another day where I'm excited to go to work.  I found some cool new tools yesterday and I can't wait to dig into them.  Poor Joanna is lamenting that I don't send my usual morning emails - I'll start digging into an issue and before I know it it's time to hit the gym.

All the kids and Joanna seem to be doing well, which makes it easy to be generally cheerful.  Sam did his English class switcharoo, dropping AP Comp for his science fiction class next term.  Emma is doing an art project for Speak, which is a both funny and painful book about sexual assault.  I read half of it last night as it was so compelling.  Berry and Duncan continue to be sweet and funny, and it's fun watching their banter with Emma around the dinner table.

Berry has a couple soccer games this weekend.  I need to take Sam to the bank, and help him fill out his senior project paperwork.  I keep finding little things to fix for the new web site, but maybe that'll be ready soon.  I might even play some video games, though I find it takes a back seat to family and projects more and more these days.



Halfway to the Weekend

October 19, 2016 by Adam in Family

I continue to putter with the new web site, polishing and fixing things.  I'd still like to do some more work before I make the big switch.

Work continues to be interesting.  I'm coming to the realization that we've got to automate and integrate a lot of our security tools in order to really get some value out of them.  I have years of work ahead of me.

The kids all seem generally cheerful.  Sam's dropping his AP comp class after this term and taking a science fiction class instead, which I suspect he'll really enjoy.  I helped Duncan keep on task with homework yesterday - the lure of YouTube is strong for that boy.  Berry is spending her afternoons playing soccer in the rain and her evenings wearing bear footie pajamas.  Emma and I have exchanged funny texts, but she seems to be doing well.

Joanna is sore from two days of soccer games.  I've been rubbing her feet when she returns home.



Three Day Weekend

October 17, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was  a great weekend.

I took Friday off to hang out with the kids, and that night Joanna and I went to my 20 year anniversary at work event.  Some of it was a little dull, with Rich Wood fortunately keeping me company with work talk.  I enjoyed taking Joanna out to a work event like old times, and there were a few people who had been at PeaceHealth for over 45 years that were really impressive.  My favorite was the ex food services woman who survived WWII, emigrated to Eugene, and if patients complained about the food, she'd suggest it was better than the food in Siberia.

I managed to accomplish a bunch of projects.  The website redesign is almost finished and working pretty well.  I fixed the treadmill, creating a bracket for a key component out of a building set Sam got when he was a kid - I've used them in 5-10 different projects over the years.  We had some roof damage in the living room during the storm - that got jury rigged with nails and spackle.  I replaced some of the living room lights with LEDs.  I built a Kali Linux USB key and dug out an old laptop so I can do some forensics on an infected computer at work.  I was searching for programming terms so much that Google popped up a weird game-like challenge that I think leads to a suggestion I apply for a job there.

The kids were generally pretty awesome.  Sam hung out with Isa most of the time, though I spent some time watching him do Isaac runs.  I took Emma and Berry to the bookstore where they returned with goodies - Emma bought Outsiders after reading it at school.  Both girls drew and painted and sewed their way through various projects.  Duncan had Flynn over and was generally cheerful.

Joanna had her book signing event on Saturday during the storm and had a remarkable number of people attend.  Berry really stole the show, answering questions and reading from her book.  It was all a good time.



Now I'm off to work, officially fully transferred to the security team.  I'm excited to set up honeypots, do some forensics on an infected device, and talk about biomedical devices.



Half Birthday Girl

October 14, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry celebrated her half birthday yesterday, though it's technically today.  She got a rainbow bike helmet and bike gloves, both of which she wore all day today, even when we went to the store.

She's really matured this last half year, becoming far more polite and sweet.  Occasionally Berry gets a little sad or overly frustrated with things, but I very much appreciate how far she's come since the screaming and flailing around days.  It's hard being the littlest one in the family.

I'm also impressed at her intellectual pursuits, from science to obsessive reading.  I'm glad I'm her poppy.




Free Money!

October 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

I had fun last night going through the State of Oregon unclaimed property site, finding hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars for various friends and family.  There are similar sites for each state - most are for very low dollar amounts, but some might be worth pursuing.

This week has flown by.  Work continues to be a blur, jumping from one crisis to the next.  It's a weird, slow-motion sort of thing - gathering evidence and trying to decide if what I see is normal.  Facinating work, though.

Duncan doesn't have school today, though I forgot and made him breakfast anyway.  Everyone else is off school tomorrow, though I'm hoping to bring Sam to work with me for his senior project.  Emma is going to a friend's birthday party.  Joanna and I are going out to dinner as part of my twenty years at PeaceHealth.  Hope it's fun.



Monday

October 12, 2016 by Adam in Family

Another Monday comes to a close.

I continue to enjoy my job.  It's a mix of detective and therapist.  I find myself both freaking out and reassuring people.  The hardest part so far is trying to decide if something is an issue or not.  I pour over logs, looking for patterns, playing cat and mouse with mysterious foes.  It's fascinating.

I had a good chat with Sam, sorting out some school stuff he's working out.  I think he's going to drop his AP English comp class that ended up not being fun and switch to another English class.  I think we also got his senior project sorted out.  The plan is to bring him to work this Friday to study my cool hacking skills.

Joanna's off for a second night at her soccer games.  She returned sweaty and sore yesterday, so I'm proud of her for going at it once again. The little kids are doing well - they continue to seem grown up and responsible.  Berry in particular has been sweet these days.

Still working on the new web site - I've got a few bells and whistles to add, but I'm slowly getting there.  I need to rebuild my web site too.  Even though I'm not doing development at work, my home projects keep me on my toes.




The Floor is Zombies

October 12, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I played the latest zombie game Dying Light together over the weekend.  It's a lot like Dead Island, but with some added parkour where you can run around on rooftops.  It was kinda cool, but both of us came to the realization that the co-op wasn't very good and it wasn't enough to maintain our attention.  We gave up after a couple hours and asked Steam for a refund.



Sunny Sunday.

October 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

We're back to a more typical fall day after a rather dreary week. 

Saturday began with the usual massive breakfast - dutch babies, bacon, veggie sausages, french pressed coffee, and eggs for Sam.  We slathered on yoghurt and fruit and covered them with syrup.  Though it's a lot of work, it's still one of my favorite parts about the weekend.

I took Berry and Emma downtown, first to the art store to replace the sketch books that Emma keeps filling up with beautiful sketches.  I foresee Copic markers for future gifts.  Next was Saint Vinnie's to shop for items for Emma's 80's Halloween costume.  We got a lacy white jacket with shoulder pads that fit the bill, along with a white belt.  Berry really wanted a white fur coat, but sadly had no money.  I assuaged all hurt feelings by taking them to Full City Coffee to spend an old gift certificate from Yayoe.  It was tasty and invigorating.

With Emma off to Corvallis for the afternoon, Sam downstairs in the basement playing video games, Duncan at a friend's house, and Joanna taking Berry to a soccer game, I had an afternoon free.  While much of it was spent folding clothes, I did manage to play a little more Witcher 3 DLC and put up antique looking LED lights in the garage.  Now it's both energy efficient and fashionable.

As for today, Sam wants to play video games with me, which I'm using as an excuse for father-son bonding.  Berry and Emma are huddled in the bathroom putting on 80's makeup.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.



Genetic Mocha Friday

October 07, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm having way too much fun in my job, which unfortunately means I'm neglecting posting more than usual.


 

I've finished my mocha, chasing down weird issues and chatting with a coworker.  There are a lot of strange things out there and it's hard to know what's a false positive and what's real.

 

The week has generally been good.  Berry is a little sick today.  I battled a headache yesterday.  Had a nice date with Joanna at the cider place - good music, food, and company.  Emma was tromping through the rain this morning as part of a fundraiser.  I worry a little about Sam and next year - he's still having a hard time talking about his plans.

 

I finally got the results of Duncan and Berry's DNA.  They're both western European, which isn't a huge surprise.  They also have lots of good genes for intelligence and longevity.  Berry had some repeats of the warrior gene, which suggested a certain amount of fierceness - no surprise there.  Duncan had some increased chances of attention-deficit.  I explained to them both that these things were just tiny pieces of everything that made them, and we could overcome these various tendencies.  

 

They both were carriers of a rare genetic disease that impacts their cornea when they were 50 or 60.  I can't tell which parent they got it from, but it may need follow-up.  The good news is that it's treatable - either with a cornea transplant or some less intrusive approaches.  There were also some promising upcoming treatments.

 

What Duncan was most excited about was a reduced chance of getting a prion disease caught by cannibals.  The description says "So eat all the brains you want!"  He couldn't wait to tell all his classmates at school today.



Hackin' Monday

October 04, 2016 by Adam in Family

I disassembled some weird old computer thingie, digging out the infected hard drive to take an image and do some analysis.  I go to work excited and have to pull myself away as I just want to do one more scan of something weird.  I'm really happy with the switch.

We had a good weekend, overall.  Nothing too exciting.  Joanna and I had a fun date Friday in the Whit.  We passed someone in a truck wearing an evil clown mask.  After picking up some burgers from a street vendor next to the tattoo parlor playing Latino music, we drank cider at the brewery and ended up at Vanilla Jill's.  There we ate ice cream and watched some funky electronica by a guy with pink hair and a trippy screensaver-like-thing projected on a back wall.  It was an experience.

The rest of the weekend was full of soccer games, house projects, laundry, pizza, Adam Ruins Everything, and hanging out with kids.  Isa came over and we managed an epic Drawful and Quiplash session.  Sam spent Saturday morning at the SATs. Sunday night we had family dinner with mom, Bob, Yayoe, John, Jenny, and Jordan.  It was a good time.



Mocha Friday

September 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm heading into work soon, skipping my usual jeans and nerdy shirt and going for more professional attire.  I'm heading over to the hospital this morning to try and clean up a piece of medical equipment and copy the hard drive over to look for weird stuff.  I'm bringing my Raspberry Pi along for forensic work, as I don't want to plug a possibly infected hard drive into my main computer.  It's fascinating work, and I never seem to have enough time to do it all.

The week has been relatively uneventful otherwise.  The kids seem to be doing fairly well, with some good grades so far in their grade books.  I suspect the weekend will be relatively typical.  I have lots of little house projects, laundry, and cleanup to do.  We're pretty ready for the rainy fall weather, but there are a few more things I could put away.



Crazy Wednesday

September 28, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a wild and wacky day.


I wandered over to the hospital to talk to the vendor of this piece of lab equipment we took off the network after I discovered it was infected.  I think they appreciated my presence, where I tried to be official.  This whole hacking threat is new to everyone.  I also got a new badge with my new title, so I'm extra official.

My old girlfriend (and Joanna's soccer teammate) Allison wandered past my cubicle today as she went off to training.  It was nice to catch up and we discussed the benefits of having an English spouse.  She has a two year-old at home and a nineteen year-old in college.  Zany.

We had a humorous moment when my coworker Daniel's device showed as being infected.  He was investigating a server for weird behavior and apparently his antivirus freaked out and deleted the file.  I saw the event show up and we spent a frantic hour making sure that everything was fine.

As for real life, it's been a good couple days.  Joanna brought home tasty desserts and we ate ratatouille for her mum's birthday.  I recalled my favorite Collette stories, such as when she locked herself out of her house and lifted Berry through a window to unlock the door.



Fall Weekend

September 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's definitely starting to feel like fall has come.  The leaves are turning colors, the weather is occasionally chilly, and I put away the air conditioners and took down the pool.  Sam, Emma, and I went for a walk at Hendrick's park, which was warm and pleasant, though there seemed a certain urgency before the weather changed.

The weekend has generally been pleasant.  Joanna and I went out to dinner Friday, a pleasant meal at Ambrosia where she politely listened to excited job stories.  It's a nostalgic place for me to eat, steeped in the decades I've spent eating there.

Saturday Sam played a lot of Dark Souls II.  I worked on house projects, hung out with kids, and we wrapped up the day with pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.  Today was more of the same, though Joanna and the kids were off and about quite a bit.  I took the older kids hiking and helped Duncan with his French homework.  One of the highlights was watching Sam and Emma make hot sauce, which was quite funny to watch.



Drawful 2

September 26, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

We have such a good time playing Drawful, that I picked up Drawful 2.  It's basically the same game, though you can use two colors and the interface is a little more polished.  There are quite a few more social features, though most don't really matter to me.  The one cool thing is that it's easy to show off the drawings from a game, such as those we played here.

Emma is particularly good at this game, and her sketches are always well-done and hysterical.



Hot Sauce

September 25, 2016 by Adam in Sam

Emma got Sam a hot sauce making kit for Christmas and we rediscovered it when cleaning up the kitchen this weekend.  Both Sam and Emma were enthusiastic about making some, so they worked away for an hour with the end result being three bottles labeled "Please Help Me God."  I was part of the tasting process and can attest to the validity of the labeling.



Wyrmslayer

September 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a crazy week.

We activated the Incident Response Team, called up a team of people at IBM, and slowly came to the conclusion that everything was fine and we weren't being slowly encrypted by ransomware. 

And that was one of the more boring things that happened today.

I've been learning the tools, slowly getting comfortable with my new vast powers of observation and analysis.  I got my first infected machine yanked from our network, an ancient unpatched vendor thing that succumbed to one of the many threat vectors that roam our network.  It's exhilarating, terrifying, and I can't wait to get back to work each day.

As for family life, all is well.  Joanna and I spent Tuesday and Thursday nights each going to different schools.  I generally liked Sam's teachers as I roamed the nostalgic halls of South Eugene.  Emma's teachers are mostly pretty good, though they seem exceptionally young.  All the kids seem to be adjusting well to school, which is nice.  Emma had picture day today and participated in a mock trial.  Berry is excited to start some special projects as part of her TAG project.  Sam's enjoying calculus.

Joanna and I had a nice date night at Ambrosia.  She told me about her assorted projects.  I excitedly told her about Russian hackers and obfuscated command lines.  She listened politely.



Cyber Security Monday

September 19, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm having way too much fun in my new job, getting computers yanked off the network and investigating weird things.  I actually dialed in to poke around this weekend, which is pretty unusual for me.  It's fun and terrifying and gets my adrenaline up.


The weekend was pretty quiet.  Sam hung out with Isa a lot or worked on his game.  I spent a fair amount of time with Emma, going for walks, doing art together, going shopping, and just hanging out.  Duncan mostly hung out, with a birthday on Sunday and last minute homework that night.  Joanna took Berry to various events - four soccer games and a bike safety workshop.  She returned home tired, cheerful, and muddy.  Joanna mostly rested as she wasn't feeling very well for most of the weekend.

I played a little Starbound, got the new web site ever closer to being ready, and took care of the usual house maintenance.   The only annoying thing was being stung by a wasp when picking up Duncan from a birthday party.  Apparently some boys were throwing rocks at them, and I was collateral damage.

Joanna and I are spending this week splitting up and going to various curriculum nights.  Busy, busy.



Mocha Friday

September 16, 2016 by Adam in Family

The end of the week was a little bumpy, mostly in that I started fretting about everything.  Fortunately I got a solid night's sleep, despite the power going out at 2:30 a.m.


My new work continues to be fascinating - it's starting to dawn on me just how much work we have to do.  I brought my big security book home to study and impressed the children with its massiveness.

It was nice having Emma home last night.  We watched a little Captain America, did homework together, and chatted away.  I'm hoping this weekend I can get her running around with me outside somewhere.

I helped Sam a little with his game, incorporating trig functions into the dodge mechanic.  It's always nice to demonstrate the true value of mathematics to children - designing video games.

Duncan and Berry seem generally fine.  Duncan continues to enjoy drawing, with his second favorite class being writing.  Joanna got a sassy haircut and has been fighting some headaches the last couple days.

I played a little Starbound in my downtime and worked more on the new version of the web site.  I can't stop doing development entirely, so it's nice to have some outlets.



Mid-Week Already

September 14, 2016 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along at a steady clip.  I continue to try and figure out my job - now I'm making long lists of risks and possible mitigation strategies.  I think half of sounding like a security professional is having the right vocabulary.


Sam dropped his computer class so he can have the time to get all his homework done.  Duncan's favorite class is drawing.  Emma likes band and art.  Berry's doing fine in school and having a good time with soccer.

All is well.



Flying Memories

September 13, 2016 by Danica in Danica Miller


I got sucked into a box of memories and mementos tonight and discovered that 76 years ago on September 13, 1940, Dorothy Brennen was certified as a pilot after 20.55 hours of flying time. Impressive! Hope everyone has a good week 'winging it'!





The Art Dresser Is Fully Functional

September 12, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I rallied Joanna and the kids to finish the art dresser, a project that has been ongoing for the entire summer.  Duncan had me print out Billy the Kitten pictures and glue them on.  Joanna attached odd things she'd found while cleaning up the basement.  I put some maps on top.  The whole thing got many layers of enamel spray.


I moved a bunch of things into the drawers, though I think we can likely purge some of them.  Joanna was skeptical about my organization technique, though it made perfect sense to me.  Science related things go in the Star Wars drawer.  The Bob Ross drawer gets painting supplies.  Duncan's cat drawer gets all the glitter.  Or maybe my brain just doesn't work like everyone else's.



Full Weekend

September 12, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend, full of activities and accomplishments.


Friday night Joanna and I went on our date - a quick bite and then off to a book signing for people she knew somewhat.  Since it was an anthology with lots of speakers, it was a little meandering, but Joanna said I was well behaved.

Saturday morning the entire family plus Isa went to the library.  Sam needed a book for school and Duncan was out of books to read.  Berry ended up with a stack of books about periods and dating, which she entertained Emma by reading out loud to her.  We're slowly turning into a household of teenagers.

We rallied together to work on the art dresser, which finished up nicely.  Duncan had a friend over.  Sam and Isa worked on homework non-stop.  Sam's three AP classes are generating a ton of homework.  Emma's cold annoyed her.  Assorted household projects were accomplished and Joanna and I tidied up.  The evening ended with pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.

Sunday morning I took Duncan, Berry, and Emma to the art museum on campus.  I think everyone enjoyed running around the open spaces, and they appreciated some of the new art exhibits.  I was fond of the giant communist era posters from China, which made me want to go out and take control of the means of production.  The afternoon was pretty low-key in comparison.  Joanna and Berry went for a bike ride.  I played a little Starbound.  I moved some art supplies into the finished art dresser.  For dinner we had Isa and my mom, with a tasty spread from Joanna.



Sam's School Photo

September 10, 2016 by Adam in Sam

Joanna wrangled Sam's school picture off the Lifetouch web site and sent it my way. 

He's doing a little better with school, though the homework is somewhat crushing.  I think he's going to drop his computer class so he can keep up with all his AP classes.



Mocha Friday

September 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a week of transitions in the Miller-Bartlett-Gustina household.  


Berry has been doing soccer practice for a while now, with Joanna returning her home late a couple days each week.  Duncan walks to Roosevelt and back, somewhat excited about his newfound freedom.  Emma enjoys her teachers and classes, though she's finding her friend group somewhat taxing emotionally.  Sam was strangely hit the worst of the kids, the shock of his final year of high school dawning on him, plus a deluge of homework from his assorted AP classes.  Hopefully we all make it okay.

Emma and I walked down to the new Roosevelt for an ice cream social last night, though we were only allowed into the cafeteria.  It all looks so bright and shiny.  Jason, Bridget, and their kids were there - apparently Riley and Duncan are in the same class.  We met up with Joanna and the little kids and returned home for a late dinner.

I continue to try and figure out my new job, though it's starting to dawn on me that I may be able to define it to some degree.  I have a lengthy "to do" list for once I actually transition in a month.  Hopefully I can get it somewhat more organized while I wrap up my career as a developer at PeaceHealth.  I met with my new manager, Tom, in person yesterday.  I've known him for nearly twenty years, but got to know him better and really appreciate his candor.

I'm working away at the new web site, trying to get everything up to modern standards.  Last night I enabled SSL support on this site, which probably only excites super nerdy people.  It does make things more secure, which is a plus.

Looking forward to a date night with Joanna and hanging out with the kids this weekend.  We're all doing a library run on Saturday morning.  Assorted house projects clamor for our attention.  I'm hoping to finish the art dresser, which looks pretty cool.



First Day of School - Part 2

September 08, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma's first day of school is today.  She decided to continue at Spencer Butte Middle School instead of Roosevelt.  This is her last year before high school and she's off to South Eugene after this.  



First Day of School

September 07, 2016 by Adam in Family

Joanna dutifully snapped pictures of the kids heading off to school this morning.  Emma starts tomorrow.  Hopefully they all get properly oriented and ready to go.  I'm excited to hear about what Duncan thinks about the new Roosevelt.



Labor Day

September 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a great weekend.

Not only has it been three days long, but it's been full of productive projects, hanging out with kids, and pleasant weather.  Joanna was in a cleaning frenzy and made a huge dent purging weird stuff from Duncan's room, including finding two long-lost library books.  I installed my new web server and made good progress on my web site rewrite.  Everyone got together to work on the art dresser - the first layer of paint went down and I glued some fantasy maps on the top.  We ran around Hendrick's park playing Frisbee.  It was wonderful.

Tomorrow I officially start my new job, though I'll still be transitioning the old one - training coworkers and writing documentation.  I think I get to take my time getting up to speed in my new job.  I keep thinking of all sorts of things I want to do, which seems like a good sign.

The kids start school in a couple days.  They all have supplies, but I'm not sure they're completely ready yet.  Duncan was practicing locking and unlocking the front door - something he hasn't had to know until now.

Joanna grilled hamburgers and made corn and potato salad.  She feels obligated to do so every summer holiday in order to maintain her American standing.  Fortunately it was all pretty tasty.




Oh - I totally forgot about Friday night and seeing Jason and Colin and their respective families. We met up at Jason's new house, which is relatively close. Colin, his wife Susanna, and his two kids were visiting from Germany. We chatted and played board games. Once again I was reminded how much I appreciate having good friends.



New Web Server

September 04, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

It was a bit of effort, but I've updated the hardware and software that runs this site.  I think the old server is at least ten years old at this point, but it's hard to say for sure.  I jumped from Windows 2000 to 2016, which probably gives a sense as to how long the old server has been chugging away in the basement.  The server software is still in beta, but hopefully it'll get finalized soon.  I need to sort out backups and some other things, but at least all the quirky things I've built over the years are working.



Art Dresser

September 04, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The last drawer of the art dresser was finished tonight. Duncan decided his would have a Battle Cats theme. We managed to put all the pictures on upside down at first, but managed to turn then over without spreading too much glue around.



Mocha Friday

September 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

Life is never boring.


I continue to transition into my new job, training people and writing documentation.  I get little tidbits of my new job, which is both fascinating and terrifying.  Security work is going to be fun.

The kids are slowly getting ready for school, enjoying their last days of freedom.  I signed Sam up for the SATs in October, though I'll probably try to get him to take it a second time due to the scholarship money on the line.  Emma assembled her school notebook last night and was cleaning her room this morning.  I think sometimes she feels her life is a little overwhelming, so she's doing what she can to make the things she can control a little better.

Colin sent me a message last night.  He's traveling here from Germany and wants to get together tonight with Jason and his family for a night of pizza and board games.  Should be fun.

Duncan and Berry seem to be doing well.  Duncan may have a special lady friend, though he's pretty low-key about it.  Berry was working out with Joanna in the basement this morning.  Emma gets a little anxious about life sometimes, but she's self-aware enough to talk things through.  Sam occasionally gets overwhelmed by everything as well.  I try to impart sagely advice, which I think helps a little, and I'd like to make sure he has someone to talk to when life gets a little rough.

I continue to have fun redoing this web site.  It's slowly looking prettier and stable, though there's lots to do.  I think my new computer hardware arrives today.  Hopefully I can start getting things set up and running soon.



Pleasant Weekend

August 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a nice weekend, all around. 

Saturday I bid farewell to Emma as she went off with her mom to Seattle for the weekend.  Duncan had friends over, excited to see him after being gone for so long.  Berry mostly hung out with them.  Sam continued working on his game, pulling me in to troubleshoot coding bugs.  I managed to fix some of my new web site issues, so progress is slowly moving forward.  We watched Adam Ruins Everything and ate pizza for dinner, which is not quite the same as Mythbusters, but the little kids like the humor.

Sunday Joanna was off for most of the day.  I took Berry with Sam to run three different errands - fortunately both were in good moods.  Plants were watered and tables were moved.  I returned to bid farewell to Duncan's sleepover buddy.  Since he was on the computer so long, I cajoled him into playing a Minecraft card game and Superfight, then fed everyone dinner.  Eventually Joanna returned and we had mom over for dinner.

Work was fun today, learning cool new security tools and freaking out my coworkers with security holes I was aware of.  The best part was seeing this list of "threat actors" (outside hacking groups) and that they'd each been given a code name and supervillain comic picture.



Secure Mocha Friday

August 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm feeling a little giddy these days, nervous still, but it feels like things are moving in the right direction.  My new manager Tom gave a funny announcement to the department and a couple dozen congratulations poured in.  I've been helpful already to my new team, which makes me feel like maybe I can actually do this thing.  All work has been cleared from my plate and I'm in more of a consulting/transition phase at the moment.


Joanna, Duncan, and Berry are settling into life at home again.  Joanna had a couple days of being jet lagged, and the kids are occasionally a little wonky, but it's nice to have everyone home again.  Last night we had the full contingent of six around the dinner table, and we chatted and laughed away.

Sam has definitely got the programming bug, along with the family blessing/curse to focus on a task for hours.  He continues to work on his Unity game, adding complex rules and AI, along with adding better artwork so it's not stark-white figures whacking each other with stark-white swords.  Yesterday he texted me "I like refactoring code."  He also did the messy work of cleaning out the sewage ejector last night.  I think I'll keep him.

Emma continues to be sweet, artistic, and full of funny teen angst.  She's self-aware enough that she recognizes it's all a little ridiculous, but it's all real enough.  She's off getting her hair cut today and then going to Seattle with her mom for the weekend.

Joanna is overextended, as always, keeping us fed and happy.  She's driving kids around quite a bit today, preparing for school, practicing songs, and somehow getting some "real" work done for her various jobs.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and catching up with some house projects.  I've got to fix the door of the little free library.  I bought a cheap, used Dell to replace this ten year-old web server.  Time to install a bunch of software and get things moved over.




Cha-cha-cha-changes

August 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a weird and wacky week.

Joanna and the little kids arrived last night, with Joanna pretty worn out from her journey.  Berry was extremely perky, assembling a small planetarium from LEDs and optical fiber from one of her maker kits that arrived while she was gone.  Duncan lept onto his computer, catching up on Minecraft Story Mode episodes.  I fed them a small dinner upon their arrival, Joanna got them to bed, and the pre-trip routine fell into place.

Sam has been frantically working on his game, having more fun making a game than playing those from other people.  It's somewhat incredibly how many details he's added on his own.  He modeled a person and sword, animated the sword thrusts and various movements.  Now the other people in his game will fight him and often win, dodging and attacking.  Sam was thrilled.

Work has been pretty quirky.  Word is slowly getting out there.  I think Karl's been somewhat (understandably) grumpy.  Ironically the email that said I was leaving also said they'd be hiring three new developers, so apparently my worth has been measured.  Karl's pushing for a hard cut-off in development at some point, which is a little frustrating.  I'd like to use all the tools in my toolkit.  I keep tossing and turning and not sleeping well, thinking about it all.  We'll see how it really goes.

I'm in learning mode, both at home and at work.  There's a security certificate called the CISSP and I have a thousand plus page book on my desk.  It's somewhat daunting, though I'm somewhat familiar with the technology.  At home I continue to learn new web development technologies.  I still want to redo this blog, and who knows where my career will lead.

I think Emma's coming over today to hang out with us for a couple days before she goes to Seattle with Jamie this weekend.  School is right around the corner - Sam's schedule was just posted and looks pretty tough.  Things will change once again once school starts up.  Change just keeps happening.



Hot Weekend

August 21, 2016 by Adam in Family

It got over a hundred degrees this weekend, though it was merely in the nineties today.  It's been really quiet - just Sam and I on Friday and Emma added to the mix on Saturday.  Joanna missed a bunch of flights, but I think she's doing generally okay in Rochester, and she got to see the kids yesterday.

Friday night Sam and I ate dinner with Joanna, then played games together after she hit the road.  Saturday I watered a ton, cleaned a bit, and picked up Emma.  We worked on art together - Emma with her paintings and I continued finishing up my England trip scrapbook.  I took them to the bank to cash checks, and took Emma to Oregon Art Supply.  I lured Emma into the pool, which was quite warm, though she seemed skeptical of the cloudiness.    Sam periodically stole me away to play games, and I drove him over to Isa's house to water plants.  That night we made pizza and watched Voltron, which Emma claimed was good.  It was a little too kid-like for Sam and I unfortunately.

Today began with buttermilk pancakes and sausages, more watering, and laundry.  I cleaned the basement, mostly tidying up after Joanna's great purge over the last couple weeks.  Emma went with her mom and Meg to Fern Ridge for an hour or two.  Sam and I worked on his game, adding health and stamina bars.  I took Emma to the library.  Now the day is wrapping up, which makes me a little sad.

Tomorrow I'm driving to Vancouver.  Gotta talk to my manager about job transition stuff, and there's a standing meeting where I show off some Visio documents.  Should be interesting.



Co-op!

August 21, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam has been pulling me into assorted co-op games lately.  First it was Rust, where we roamed the desolate countryside as naked people, being repeatedly killed by bandits.  Now it's Divinity: Original Sin, which we played about a year ago but he's developed a taste for again.

Somewhere in there was Lethal League, which is a lot like pong with more crazy characters.  Emma ended up being surprisingly good - she won more games than she lost, I think, though she eventually got bored of it all.



Hot Mocha Friday

August 19, 2016 by Adam in Family

So it's apparently going to get over a hundred degrees in our little valley.  I'm watering the plants like crazy so they don't burst into flames.  Joanna flies out late tonight to Rochester to fetch the little kids.  It'll be nice to have them scurrying about again.

I'm slowly settling into the idea of a shift of roles.  There's still a lot of uncertainty ahead, but the possibilities are intriguing.  I'm slowly starting to sleep better, though this whole thing has been surprisingly stressful.  Joanna's been a great listener, as have various friends and coworkers.

I'm looking forward to hanging out with Sam and Emma.  With Emma I'm hoping for swimming, art, and old movies.  Sam and I have been playing a tactical fantasy RPG together, having a great time.  I also have a ton of new games from the last two humble bundles - Emma and I were moving Octodad around a house, trying to accomplish normal tasks with comically flailing tentacles.

Time to get ready for work and get that mocha that awaits me.



Mr. Security Engineer

August 18, 2016 by Adam in Adam

I've formally accepted the security engineer position after a lot of heartache and soul searching.  Switching jobs is painful and I had many nights tossing and turning this week.  I'm still not entirely certain what awaits me, but there's a certain type of peace in knowing what awaits me.


My manager is out this week, which is unfortunate.  I feel vaguely guilty not talking to him, but I wasn't sure I was really going to get the job for a long time.  Not having switched positions for 18 years, I'd forgotten how long things take sometimes.

I'm hoping I get to hold on to the security-related work I currently do, and start getting up to speed on the exciting world of security.  I keep thinking of security issues we need to fix and different types of things I want to look for.  There's also a desire for us to all get a certain security certificate, so I'll be spending some time studying up on various security concepts.

Yesterday news came out that a group called the Shadow Brokers, likely backed the Russians, had stolen NSA's hacking tools and released them.  Now we're trying to get things patched to prevent people from using them against us.

It's all exciting and terrifying and fascinating.



Rafting Away

August 15, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a relatively quiet weekend, hanging out with the kids.  Joanna was gone to her writer's conference and the little kids are off in Rochester for another week and a half.  I think they're camping at the moment - looking forward to their return.


Friday and Saturday were pretty quiet.  I improvised meals for the kids, doing okay without Joanna's expert touch.  Isa was over much of the time, which made Sam happy.  I worked on various house projects, gardening and watering everything through the blazing heat.  Emma worked on art projects.  Sam showed Isa all the cool PC games, as she's getting her first PC this Wednesday.  I bought the bomb defusing game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.  It's crazy stressful fun.  Saturday night I took the kids to Angie's wedding.  I worked a little more on the new web site, finally getting to the point where someone can click a button, type in some test, and a post appears.  Still lots of work to do.

Sunday I fed the kids a tasty breakfast of vegetarian sausages and buttermilk pancakes.  Mine had blueberries, coupled with a delicious mocha.  Eventually we got packed and ready to go, drove out to the coast, and kayaked down the Siltcoos River to the ocean.  It was a fun trip, the same one Joanna and I took before.  As we got to the ocean the wind picked up, the sky turned gray, and we all got cold.  Eventually we saw the beach and turned back.

It's a quiet week at work so far.  I have lots to do.  Instead of patching the broken server tonight, I was instructed to rewrite my code to fix the problem.  Once again the burden is on me.  Swell.




Sam's First Words

August 13, 2016 by Adam in Sam

This old page of Sam's first words somehow got lost in the shuffle a few site upgrades ago.  I found an old backup and recreated it.  Sam and Isa had a good time listening to each of them this morning.  Afterwards they moved on to baby videos.



Mocha Friday

August 12, 2016 by Adam in Family

No job news.  I got a message from the hiring manager saying he was still working on it.  At this point I'm achieving some sort of peace with whatever happens.  I get the impression that high-level discussions are happening at the moment, trying to figure out how critical I am in my current position.  I guess we'll see what happens.  I did have a coworker I hadn't seen for a long while stop by and ask about the job - apparently she reads it to keep up on my life.


Joanna is off to Portland, leaving cute notes for me to find in funny places.  The kids and I improvised a pesto pasta meal last night that turned out okay.  Emma spent the evening drawing and watching videos.  Sam roped me into playing more Rust, in which we finally made a friend before being brutally murdered by random strangers.  I'm calling it Griefer Simulator 2016 these days.

We're going Kayaking this Sunday.  I was trying to convince Sam to go to the new escape room that opened in Eugene recently.  Emma's going to Angie's wedding Saturday night.

Now it's time to finish my mocha and write some code.



Quiet Weekend, Exciting Week

August 10, 2016 by Adam in Family

Last weekend is a bit of a blur.  It was pleasant, with some gardening and family dinner and hanging out with kids.  Mostly Joanna and I recovered from jet lag, which has been especially rough coming back from England.


I had my first interview in 18 years yesterday.  This is for the security engineer job.  I knew my interviewers very well and I think I generally impressed them with my answers.  I'm still nervous as hell making the leap into a new job/career, but I made a pro/con list and I think it makes sense.

Joanna and I went out for sushi last night, which was nice.  I miss our England trip and having so much time to adventure around together.

Sam roped me into a playing a new game called Rust.  You start off in a shared world, absolutely naked and trying to survive.  We managed to build a little house after dying to random strangers multiple times.  Things generally ended badly and our biggest success was crafting some pants to wear.

Ah, if only real life were so simple.



Mocha Friday

August 05, 2016 by Adam in Family

Well, the jet lag has been more noticeable going this direction.  Yesterday Joanna and I started to get pretty wonky in the afternoon, drinking tea and eating chocolate covered espresso beans to stay up until 9:30 p.m.  I was up at 2 a.m., and again at 4 a.m., lightly snoozing until 5:30 a.m.  Today is a mocha Friday day for me, so hopefully I can stay upright throughout the day.

It was nice coming home to Sam and Emma.  They enjoyed their antique boxes we got for them in the quirky antique store.  I was grabbed and told to play video games with them, which I cheerfully obliged.  Joanna kindly did the shopping.  I managed to do a bit of laundry and unpack.  Sam and my mom generally kept the house intact, though we had to do a bit of work on the pool to get the green out.

I'm somewhat dreading work today.  Nine days away is quite a long time, and I'm the only one who really can fix certain things.  I guess we'll see if it's still standing.



Home Again

August 04, 2016 by Adam in Family

We're back home.

We woke up in our 80's retro hotel by the airport, heading into Portland proper for breakfast.  We ate at Fuel, which was next to an insanely popular breakfast place next door.  What was funny is that the food was great and the service was great, so it seemed a much better choice overall.

The drive home was uneventful, with Sam and Emma excitedly greeting us.  They liked their presents, old boxes we picked up at an antique store, and immediately wanted to play video games together.



Homeward Bound

August 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

We're saying farewell to our London flat, heading to the airport relatively soon.


Yesterday we went to the British Museum, seeing the Egyptian and Greek exhibits. Christopher and kids arrived, we saw a few more collections, and then we were off to Covent Gardens for the shouted and shopping.

Joanna and I split off to find some gluten free pizza, then wandered down to the Thames to stroll about. We stood under the eye, hopped a metro to see Saint Paul's Cathedral and staggered home.



Raining in London

August 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

We had a grand adventure in the Kew Gardens yesterday. I loved the glass houses and lily ponds. We ate vegetarian food in Campton and explored the shops, then went home for a quiet night.


This morning we went out around Islington shopping, cleaning out an antique shop along the way. Soon we head out to the British Museum, hopefully meeting up with Christopher and company.






London!

July 31, 2016 by Adam in Family

We took the train into London and settled into our airbnb flat. It's cozy and close to the tube. We headed out to go food shopping, ate some snacks at a church, and shopped around the neighborhood. Joanna found an old brass bell like the kind they rang at her school. She couldn't resist getting it.


I followed her home as she occasionally rang the thing cheerfully. Joanna cooked up a tasty dinner and we put on nice clothes to go out. A short tube ride away and we were at the Dutchess Theater seeing The Play Where Everything Goes Wrong. It was a play about a murder mystery play and it was hysterical. The set disintegrated around them and the female lead kept getting knocked out and replaced by assorted stage crew. Just fabulous.

Later we wandered around London at night, seeing the sights. Joanna reported great success at catching pokemon.

Tomorrow is the Kew gardens and shopping. Bed time for now.




Last Day at The Great House

July 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

We had a good time in Sonning today.  We awoke in our hotel and wandered leisurely down for breakfast.  I had a mocha and some very spicy eggs, while Joanna had a more traditional breakfast.  Afterward we walked down the Thames and wandered into The Old Mill, which has since been renovated as a bar and theater.  It turns out there were a few tickets left right up next to the stage.  It was an Agatha Christie book called The Hallow, which sounded both interesting, funny, and very British.  


We had some time before lunch, so we walked downstream to the tea house at the lock, watching the boats go through and peering around their little garden.  It wasn't tea time, so we kept going downriver looking at the scenery and people out with their dogs, returned to the hotel, changed, and went to lunch at the Old Mill.

The food was pretty good, with both vegetarian and gluten-free options.  We split a cider and made sure to duck under the short ceiling and beams.  The interior was clearly redone, but the ancient floors weren't quite level and some of the wait staff seemed perpetually stooped over as they navigated the narrow spots.

The play started, and I immediately recognized some of the actors as being in various BBC television shows and a few movies.  The writing was funny, with some great characters along the way.  The detective was clever and the murderer was surprisingly stupid considering they almost got away with it.  It made for a fun afternoon and we scurried back to the hotel in time for Joanna's father and Christa arrived.

We all assembled, eating and chatting our way through dinner.  Joanna's dad seemed tired, having his pacemaker installed not four weeks ago.  Still, he was clearly pleased to see everyone and I suspect his recent brush with mortality focused his mind keenly.  I was generally polite and well behaved and went off to watch Arthur and Fin play outside.  Joanna tells me her father said that she'd done all right, which I'm going to take as a round about compliment.

Tomorrow we head into London, taking the train and then tube into our airbnb in Islington.  We have another play we're planning on seeing tomorrow night, ironically about a murder mystery, though the twist is that the play is about a murder mystery play that goes horribly wrong.  The plan is to see the British Museum on Tuesday with Christopher and company.  Monday we might see the Kew gardens, or whatever strikes our fancy.






At Sonning by the Thames

July 29, 2016 by Adam in Family

We packed up our cottage in Cornwall and hopped on the ferry to Fowey then a taxi to Par and the train to Reading. The seats were nearly all reserved so we hopped about as people boarded and left, somehow remaining seated the entire time. Then it was a mix of buses and walking as we revisited Joanna's childhood locations.


The Abbey was her first school, bringing up memories of playground mischief and her mom picking her up. It was closed but we chatted with a couple people who worked there and peeked over the fence. Next was the hospital where she was born, almost by accident. Next was her childhood home, her mom's home, and the corner market. Sadly the sweet shop hasn't survived the thirty year absence.

Another bus ride and lots more walking brought us to the Great House where we're staying the night. Christopher picked up his girlfriend Ines while the boys played on the lawn. We drank cider, ate good food, and retired to our room.




Last Night in Polrun

July 28, 2016 by Adam in Family

We're back home, watching the Tumblyboos on the Night Garden. It's a kids' show that Finn adores. Soon Jay and Kiki are coming for dinner and then we prepare for our morning's departure. We take the train to Reading and visit Joanna's old home and school. Eventually we make it to the Great House in Sonning.


As for today, we did some laundry and carried the kayak down to the river. We wound our way past the ship refitter's and into a relatively empty river. After an hour or so we made our way to a little village called Pont, which is basically a half dozen buildings by a bridge over the footpath. The old buildings were rented out to tourists. We ate lunch in some old ruins and rowed back home.  After a little lay down we took the pokemon tour of town, visiting the three Pokestops. 

Time to prepare for dinner and pack a little for tomorrow.





Fowey River Adventures

July 28, 2016 by Adam in Family

We roamed the countryside yesterday morning, taking a long path by the ocean, through farms, and back along public footpaths back home. We met a number of cows and an old world war 2 bunker along the way. That night Joanna's uncle went across the river to return with Indian food, which we devoured cheerfully.


Joanna is making gluten free bread from a mix she found. After we finish laundry we'll carry the kayak down to the docks and had upriver to explore the area by boat. Hopefully we stay somewhat dry.




Crumpets

July 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

The view out the window is of a little bakery, promising tasty crumpets.  It's terribly English here. Finn is watching Thomas the Tank Engine. The kids had Shreddies for breakfast. Soon we'll go tour the village. We were promised a sixteenth century castle, despite being very small.



England!

July 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

We're about halfway through our journey, on the train to Paddington station. Hopefully we'll make it to Polruan by nightfall. Long train to Cornwall ahead of us.


Somehow got some sleep on the plane. It helped there was an empty seat next to us.

Update: We're on the train for Penzance, fortunately I'm wearing my pirate shirt. We're only going as far as Par, where a taxi ride and ferry await us. It's been a long day, but I finished my mocha and Joanna is setting up our English cell phone so we can communicate with the world.

Update 2: The train was long but we made it to Par, where Christopher had ordered a taxi for us.  The driver zipped us down narrow roads and then we boarded a tiny orange boat to get across the river. Christopher was waiting and made us a tasty meal. I met Joanna's aunt and uncle and saw her grown up nephews. Now I'm worn out and ready for bed soon.




To England!

July 25, 2016 by Adam in Family

Friday night was just Sam and I.  There were a few nights of just the two of us hanging out, which was pretty fun.  We played a lot of Warframe together, along with finishing the great 80's nostalgia Stranger Things.

It was a weekend of scrambling about, trying to get organized, while still hanging out with kids as best I can.  The kids and I played video games, tossed a frisbee around at the park, and managed to mostly make pizza by ourselves.  Joanna returned from her east coast trip and we fed her pizza while watching Adam Ruins Everything.

And mom - I totally forgot to wish you happy birthday.  It felt like I saw you practically every day this last week, but I think I absolutely missed your actual birthday.  Thanks for being in our lives and keeping an eye on everyone.

Sunday was packing, walking Sam through the house care routine, and spending more time with the kids.  Joanna was busy with work, coming up with assorted quizzes for a content marketing company.  Sam, Emma, and I played Starbound, having a good time saving the galaxy and farming crops on an alien world.  Isa came over for a while to hang out with Sam, which I think he appreciated.  Emma and I went a little crazy with the art projects, putting together an activity book for the England trip.  Mom came over and we had a big dinner I threw together from my repertoire of a dozen meals.

Now we're ready to head off to Portland.  Joanna has physical therapy and I have a few last minute things to track down.  Hopefully I can find someone with a power converter to handle 230 volts.



Happy Birthday

July 24, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy birthday Mom! I'm hoping the fact that I can't reach you on the phone means that you're out partying it up in style! 



Mocha Friday

July 22, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm heading off to work momentarily.  Sam is still in bed and Emma is cheerful and funny, planning a day of video games and hanging out.  I, on the other hand, am off to work.  At least I'll have a mocha.

We've had a series of computer issues the last few days, some of which aren't quite fixed yet.  I managed to diagnose the problem - an obscure issue with patch levels of a .dll and new SSL certificates on a remote server.  Yes, it seems magical to me too.  Today I'm going to try to put nothing into live and keep the lights on another day.  I've heard we might get a new developer FTE, which is exciting.  Maybe I might not be quite so alone.

Tonight I may just be hanging out with Sam, watching the last of Stranger Things.  Tomorrow I presume I'll be getting Emma sometime - we've got some food shopping to do, but otherwise the day is pretty open.  Joanna arrives in the evening and then we get ready for England.



Birthdays Galore!

July 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

Today is Duncan's official birthday - he's turning 11.  He woke up in Rochester this morning, along with Berry and Joanna.  Apparently their trip went relatively well, with the only issue being Maisie bear being left behind.  Apparently we need to send a package to Rochester soon.  I had my birthday yesterday as well, turning 47.  Everyone in the family is officially odd now.

It's been relatively uneventful other than all the trip planning.  Sam and Emma returned from their Bend trip.  Emma showed me her pictures of lava fields and sheepishly apologized for using so much data playing Pokemon Go.  The feeling was short lived, as she then proceeded to excitedly show off all the Pokemon she caught.  I think Sam had a good time hanging out with Isa.

I returned from work yesterday to find assorted birthday cards left for me.  Many thanks to Yayoe and the family.  We went to Cafe Yumm for a simple birthday dinner, with my mom coming along.  Afterwards the kids and I played Metal Slug 3, which greatly amused Sam.  Later we tucked in Emma and Sam and I watched a couple episodes of Stranger Things, which was very nostalgic with the 80's vibe.



Birthday Weekend

July 18, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a weekend of birthdays.  Friday night mom and Isa both came over for the exciting double-birthday of Duncan and myself.  Joanna wore herself out making birthday cakes and getting things ready.  Fortunately the cakes were delicious and we were happy with all our loot.  I ended up with some nice work clothes, a handmade plate, and some camping gear that earned Sam's respect.  Sam filmed it all, and only recorded Isa a couple minutes at the beginning.



The rest of the weekend was pretty busy.  I wandered around outside with Emma, playing Pokemon Go and visiting nearby Pokestops.  Saturday was Duncan's party with his friends where they played Minecraft and ate cake.  Mom took Emma to an art gallery, which had tiny cream puffs (and hopefully some art, but Emma mentioned the cream puffs twice).  The day wrapped up with pizza and an episode of Adam Ruins Everything that was all about sex.  Good times.

Sunday was a little more quiet.  Joanna took the little kids off to church and then Berry to a birthday.  I took Sam, Isa, and Emma to Jamie's house as they're going to Bend for a few days.  I spent time working on the new version of the web site, playing video games, mowing the lawn, and getting all the electronics ready for everyone's trips.  I'm pretty happy with how the new web site is coming along, learning as I go.

Tomorrow Joanna packs up the kids.  Tuesday is my birthday, with Joanna, Duncan, and Berry leaving for Rochester.  I'll miss them all.  I'm getting Sam and Emma for a birthday dinner out on the town.  Then the house should be pretty quiet until next Saturday when Joanna arrives and we scramble for our trip to England.  Exciting times.



DOOM

July 18, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

I have fond memories of DOOM from back in the day.  I used to haul my computer over to my friend's house to hook up our coax network and play multiplayer DOOM.  Later when I was teaching at Omnitek, we pushed out the game to all the computers in the classroom and I'd play with the other instructors at lunch. 

So, when the sequel was released, I was pleasantly surprised that it maintained that sense of crazy, chaotic fun.  The start of the game immediately drops you into the demon-slaying action and it doesn't let up for any length of time.  The best parts were the giant arena fights, facing wave after wave of enemies, running low on ammo and health and trying to survive until the end.  I finished the shortish campaign today, enjoying it immensely.



Art Dresser

July 18, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

We had an old dresser in the house that was a little rickety and didn't really fit anywhere.  I decided to turn it into an art dresser, enlisting the kids to decorate the drawers.  It's been a very slow-motion art project - it's challenging motivating their creative talents at times.  Berry and Emma are the only ones that have contributed so far, though Joanna wants to do a drawer.  I'm hoping I can convince Duncan and Sam to do the top or sides.

So far, I'm pretty happy with the end result.  I'm looking forward to loading it up with my old video game DVDs or board games.



Birthday Mocha Friday

July 15, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's a mocha Friday today.  A whole lot of travel and changes are right around the corner.  Duncan and I have a birthday party tonight.  Sam and Emma go to Eagle Crest on Sunday.  Duncan, Berry, and Joanna to to Rochester on Tuesday.  I'm not sure I'll be by myself much as Sam is at my house most nights, but it'll sure be quiet.


I heard a little more about the security job.  I don't think it's as sure a thing as it was before, but I'll at least get an interview.  The manager and his reports all like me, of course, so maybe that'll make a difference.  The security teams are in a bit of disarray at the moment, so perhaps it's a blessing in disguise.  In the meantime, I keep working on learning new web technologies and honing my development skills.

Joanna also had her first book published, with a box of books delivered to our doorstep.  She has some book signings lined up for Rochester and Portland.  I'm still not quite sure how I managed to marry a lovely English author.



What A Strange Future We Live In

July 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

Last night at dinner I was talking about my coworker who excitedly got new computing hardware so he could mine bitcoins faster.  After dinner, Joanna took the little kids out looking for Pokemon using the new augmented reality game.  It's pretty wild.


The week has been moving along at a steady pace. Sam's been working for my mom, doing yardwork and assorted tasks.  Emma was sick with a cold when she went to her mom's on Monday.  Hopefully it's a little better.

This Friday we have a birthday dinner for Duncan and I, as Joanna and the little kids are heading to Rochester on my actual birthday.  We're going to England in less than two weeks, which seems pretty crazy.  Hopefully we have a good time.

Sam's been working on his video game, making some good progress.  It's fun watching him learn things I never figured out.  I continue to work on a new version of this web site - trying to make it all fancy and learn things along the way.



Back to Work

July 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm heading out the door momentarily.  I have assorted go-lives and a vast quantity of work waiting to be assigned to me.  It's weird having it lurk on the horizon - I'm working on fostering a healthy sense of apathy about such things.

The weekend was generally good.  Joanna and I went out Friday night, thanks to Sam stepping in as a babysitter after our normal one got sick.  We went to 5th Street Market and listened to a violinist and had a polenta dish improvised for us on the spot.

I hung out with Sam quite a bit on Saturday.  He managed to get his 3d human model animated and in-game.  It's something I've never done, so I was quite impressed.  Emma went to see Finding Dory with her mom and Meg in the afternoon.  Joanna took the little kids to a soccer team party at Fern Ridge (my ex-girlfriend and Joanna's teammate Allison said hello).  That night was pizza and Mythbusters, wrapping up the day.

Sunday I mostly hung out with a sick Emma as Sam went off with Isa much of the day.  We went to the library, did art, and played Munchkin.  I'm halfway done with another drawer in my arty dresser project.  Joanna worked away on her new book.  The kids played a lot of video games.  I worked on rewriting this web site into the latest and trendiest web technologies.  Eventually we all got together for dinner with Isa and my mom.



Firewatch

July 09, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been slowly working through my steam summer sale games.  I got stuck at a giant robot demon in my Doom game, so I switched over to the indie game Firewatch.  It was short and very story-driven - you play a troubled man who goes to man a fire watch tower for a summer.  It's pretty good and the artistic style is very pretty.  You get a disposable camera and see at the pictures you took at the end of the game when the credits roll.



Mocha Friday

July 08, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's a quiet summer morning, raining away outside.  I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, thankful the short week is nearly over. The security position was posted and I applied.  I'm not sure I'll actually get it - apparently there's more change coming and the person that asked if I was interested may not actually be that involved with the hiring process.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

The family have all been doing relatively well.  Duncan has been hanging out with friends.  Sam reunited with Isa and they've been hanging out.  Berry built a weird and cool lava lamp out of a "build a thing" catered box I got her for her birthday.  Jamie had the kids last night, so it's been pretty quiet lately.

I keep meaning to do a recap of the vacation, but I'm not sure I can encompass it all.  Below is a video I put together on the trip - it's only lightly edited and pretty long.  Mostly it covers the things I liked best - not the places we went or things we'd seen, but hanging out with family and having a good time.




Back Home

July 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

We drove nearly nine hours, unpacked, ate, had Jamie pick up Sam and Emma, and I've finally collapsed with a few moments to spare.  We had a great time hanging out with everyone, soaking in the hot springs, going on hikes, playing board games, or just chatting away while eating smores.  I can't wait to see everyone again next year.



Yeah!

June 29, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

I get to see you all today!!!!



Wonky Weekend

June 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, if perhaps a little wonky.  Sam got sick and stayed home, missing the Ashland trip.  I think he also misses Isa, which doesn't help.  Yesterday he fainted after a night of little sleep and no breakfast.  It was a little freaky and we made him sit down and eat.  He's been okay since then.


I haven't heard from Emma, other than the place they're staying is very nice.  Joanna, the little kids, and I all went to the Black Sheep gathering in the morning, though Duncan and his buddy got bored after a half hour or so.  We had our usual pizza and science that night.  

Sunday was pretty low-key.  Sam played on my computer (his video card died) and I managed some yard work and projects.  I attempted and failed to fix a leaky bathtub faucet - Joanna is scheduling actual plumbers to repair it.  Duncan, Joanna, and I played in the pool for a bit.  I managed to pack a little for our upcoming trip.  Hopefully we all have a good time.



Brexit Friday

June 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

The Brexit thing has thrown us all for a loop.  On the plus side, it means that our dollar will be worth more when we visit.  On the down side, if Joanna ever inherits anything from her dad, it might be worth less.


Sam's sick today.  He wasn't sure he would be up for going to Ashland with Jamie and Emma.  I left him playing Pokemon in the basement, full of painkillers and tea.

Joanna and the kids are back home.  I think everyone was a little worn out, but had a good time.  This weekend hopefully will be pretty low-key.  I really need to fix some plumbing issues, but otherwise it's pretty wide-open.

Work's doing okay.  I'm just trying not to let the craziness get to me.



Quiet Wednesday

June 22, 2016 by Adam in Family

I spent the night by myself in the house last night.  Sam was at Isa's, Emma was at her mom's, and Joanna took the little kids camping.

I realize that sounds sad, but as anyone with a large family can tell you, it's absolutely wonderful if done in moderation.  The best part was strangely that anything I cleaned or tidied up stayed that way.  There were no weird kid projects appearing sprawled across the table.  I'm never sure what to do with the artistic masterpieces of cardboard and pipe cleaners.  It was nice cleaning the kitchen and realizing it would stay that way for at least 48 hours.

I hopped on Netflix and watched Kung Fury, which is absolutely ridiculous.  I spent a long while researching web technologies and trying to put together the next version of this web site (I realized my database software is from the year 2000, and barely compatible with anything modern).  I turned in to bed early, woke up leisurely, and made myself french toast and a mocha.  It was lovely.

I have started to miss the family again.  Hopefully Sam's around tonight to hang out - Isa leaves tomorrow for her Europe trip.  I'll see Emma tomorrow for dinner and then both kids are off to Ashland for the weekend.  Joanna returns with the critters tomorrow too.  They're enjoying their camping adventures, I suspect.

Off to work, which has been strangely cheerful this week.  I honestly do enjoy the actual work aspects of my job.  I'd still love to be a developer.  I just want to be supported by my leadership, fairly compensated, and given the opportunity to do my job.  I hear the security position is going to be posted soon.  We'll see what happens.



Finishing Up Dark Souls 3

June 22, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

Well, I finished the last of the Dark Souls games.  The end was kinda interesting, if terribly mysterious.  Some game endings are an accumulation of all your decisions throughout the game.  Others are a "pick the good/evil/neutral ending" sort of thing.  This one was more of a "fumble randomly into a choice" kinda thing.  I beat the final boss of the game, noticed an option to summon the Fire Keeper, clicked it, and that was the end.

It was a pretty game, and there were some cool aspects, but I think I'm ready to move on to something else.



Solstice Anniversary

June 21, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been an exciting last few days as we move into summer.

Saturday was relatively uneventful.  Emma and I walked down for a haircut and got caught in the rain.  It continued to pour even after we ducked into Metropol for goodies, so Joanna had to come rescue us.  I managed to do a few projects like getting the apple tree slightly less tippy through a series of wedges and ropes.  Eventually we ate pizza and watched Adam Ruins Everything. 

Sunday was Father's Day and Joanna orchestrated her usual series of presents and goodies.  The little kids made slightly terrifying cards.  Emma rickrolled me in her card, but then presented me with a pretty cool Jesus, Dad hand-drawn cartoon, complete with various scenarios like Jesus and his daughter at the pool (he just walked on the water while the kid says "Jesus, dad.").  The kids and I played board games and later walked down to the park to play Frisbee.

Monday was somewhat more cheerful at work, though I spent more time than I would have liked managing people and projects.  I took Emma to the orthodontist, where we learned her teeth are just slowly coming in.  Dad called me dentally retarded for the same reasons, so it apparently runs in the family.  Sam hung out with Isa for most of the day - apparently they went to clean one of their teacher's houses for some spending money.  Isa's off to Europe this Thursday. 

Joanna and I spent our anniversary going out to Belly's for dinner.  We chatted about kids and our upcoming trip to England.  I do like her.



Father's Day

June 19, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Daddio Day to all the clan!



Question:

June 18, 2016 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Do we need passports for our adventure?



Summertime!

June 17, 2016 by Adam in Family

All the kids were super excited yesterday.  They all slipped easily into summer mode.  Duncan and Berry were reading or on their computers.  Emma was working on her drawing and listening to music.  Sam played video games quite a bit yesterday and Isa came over to hang out today.  Joanna is the one feeling a little trapped at home, but at least Mattie is coming over to watch the little kids and give her some time to work.  I think she also enjoyed sleeping in this morning.  As for me, I only made breakfast for myself and Joanna.  I chatted with Emma with my free time.


My week of training Chris ended and he returned to Vancouver last night.  He's generally enthusiastic and generally competent.  I do feel that I'm supporting a huge amount of things on my own, with not much leadership support.  Still pondering options.  We did spend some time looking at new technical frameworks - something that's fun and fascinating.

I did get called twice in the middle of the night, which wasn't fun.  Apparently I'm listed as the emergency contact for dad's alarm service.  The first time I hung up from an unknown caller from Utah at 1 a.m.  The second time I got called at 2 a.m., I talked to the guy and told him to take me off the list.  When he said he couldn't, I blocked the call.  Time to send dad a stern email.  Thank god it's Mocha Friday.



Wednesday Already

June 15, 2016 by Adam in Family

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  Saturday I threw a successful D&D game some nerd buddies.  Sam played too, and I think the combination of TableTop Simulator, some custom cards for props, and a decent story ended up being amusing for all.

Sunday I ended up getting really sick first thing in the morning, and spent the day throwing up or in bed.  Joanna's theory is lack of sleep and work stress.  It certainly could be.

I worked from home on Monday, mostly recovered by the end of the day.  The new guy Chris arrived in town yesterday, so I organized talks on certain topics and pulled people together.  Somewhere in there I attempted to troubleshoot some weird computer problems and generally keep things from falling apart.

For lunch I went out and met my old PeaceHealth buddies, most of whom work at Health Catalyst these days.  They made a soft recruiting speech, but it was their general happiness that was enticing.  We'll see how this security job goes and look harder at Health Catalyst.

Date night tonight.  Life feel busy.



5th Grade Graduation

June 15, 2016 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan graduated from elementary school last night.  It was quite the crowd, with my mom showing up too.  There was the reflective speeches by teachers and the principal.  I think the best part was hearing the little poems that each kid wrote for the kid ahead of him.  My main takeaway from the poem someone wrote for Duncan is that he's a potato.



Mocha Friday

June 10, 2016 by Adam in Family

Well, my mocha isn't ready quite yet.  Within the hour I shall be partaking of that delicious beverage.  It's high on my list of things to look forward to.

The little kids don't have school today, so they and Joanna are sleeping in.  Emma is going to watch the rodeo in Bend with her mom over the weekend, so I gave her extra hugs to last until Sunday.  Sam's off to a party tonight. 

I finished my final preparations for hosting a D&D campaign with some friends tomorrow.  The props are printed, maps in Tabletop Simulator created, and the campaign is written up and on my tablet.  Hopefully it's fun.



Crazy Week

June 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a nutty week.

We had a big town hall meeting at work, with our senior vice president talking to everyone in a big room, and everyone on the call.  For some weird reason I got singled out in a joking way. "And I like all of you . . . except for you, Adam."  Later he was asked a question about whether PeaceHealth should buy or build software and the response was that PeaceHealth shouldn't do development.  Apparently my fidgeting was obvious, as he called on me and I responded as to how I'm the last developer supporting 200 applications and there's no plan to replace them all.

It was surprising how many people stopped by afterward to see if I was okay.  Both my manager and director chatted with me, I think to get a sense as to whether or not I was going to quit.  At this point, I think I'll apply for the security engineering job when it appears and chat with my ex-coworkers when I have lunch with all the Health Catalyst people next week.

On the plus side, the kids are all wrapping up school.  Joanna's moving her books forward.  She and I might be going to England late July to visit her brother and dad.  We also had a great date night last night, drinking cider and eating hipster food, then visiting the rose gardens.



Birthday Wishes!

June 09, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy birthday Sadie! Soon we can all have s'mores together?



Crazy Hot Weekend

June 05, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been insanely hot the last couple days, though we've managed to stay cool.  I set up the air conditioners Friday night and the family pitched in to set up the pool.  Between the two things we've kept ourselves alive, but it hit 96 degrees today.

I managed a hardware store run and I took the girls to Oregon Art Supply.  We had pizza and science.  I generally hung out with kids, played on the computer some, and did a few house projects.  It was really nice to recharge after work has been somewhat grueling the last week.





The Souls . . . So Dark

June 05, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been playing Dark Souls 3, the last of the series.  The plot tends to be somewhat vague, more of a dream-like exploration with very tough enemies and lore hidden in the descriptions of items.  It's known for being exceptionally difficult. 

I've been playing a sorcerer, which is quite different than the typical knight.  Initially it was tough, but once I got the spell to make myself invisible, most fights became incredibly easy as enemies flailed about unsure of where I was.  Boss fights are still the exception, as they can apparently see through my invisibility.  Still, I'm towards the end of the game and feeling exceptionally formidable.  I think I have a couple more boss fights and then I'm done with the game.

The scenery is exceptionally pretty at times, if a little on the bleak Gothic side.  Once I finish this up, I have some short narrative games I'd like to play that I picked up at the latest Humble Bundle: Her Story, Cibele, and Read Only Memories.  It's a good time to be a gamer.



Self portrait of the artist

June 05, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma picked up some new supplies at the art supply store today. She's been trying owl drawing from a photograph, in this case a self portrait.

The left is mid-way and right is the finished product.



Mocha Friday

June 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm heading to work soon where that delicious elixir awaits me.  I had a bit of a rough night, tossing and turning and thinking about work.  I ended up sleeping in the shed on the pull-out couch.  I started a deer when I stumbled back inside.

Kate Weaver gave her notice at PeaceHealth yesterday.  She's one of my ex-teammates from the Web Services days.  I also knew her from my childhood, as she was Kai's sister and they were friends with Seraph.  Kate is going to Health Catalyst like most of the old team.  She's very excited.

I heard back from the manager of the security team, and it sounds like that job will be posted soon.  I think I'll apply and see what happens.

Berry's a little under the weather with a cough.  Emma is excited there are only ten more days of school.  I think Sam wishes school would just continue forever as he's really into learning interesting things lately.  We were debating whether or not 1984 was a good book, or just the first in its dystopian genre.

The weather is supposed to get into the upper 90's this weekend, so I setup all the air conditioners last night.  I also need to fix a leaky tub and prep for my D&D game next weekend.  Such is the life of a domestic nerd.



Back from Vancouver

June 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

I had a long drive yesterday, going up to Vancouver to start on-boarding the new developer.  I hope it works out.  He seems generally competent.  It's taking a while to get him all the security and software he needs to do his job.


Emma hit the data plan limit, likely while traveling to Ashland yesterday.  I need to sit down with her and give her the "responsible cell phone user" talk.  I can also make some configuration changes to prevent it in the future.

I think the kids are generally doing well.  Joanna's busy with her assorted different jobs.  Everyone survived yesterday without me.  All is generally okay.



Memorial Day

May 31, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend is winding down.  I could really get used to three days off of work, especially if they're warm and pleasant and full of generally cheerful children.

Friday night was Emma's birthday night, and we met up with Jamie and the big kids for an Ambrosia feast.  Saturday I picked them up in the morning.  Our big adventure was to the Verizon store where mom got a phone for Emma and transferred Sam over to her account.  Emma was very excited and has got her phone set up just how she wants it.  Later I helped Sam finish setting up his bank account and debit card.  That night Sam went to a party at a friend's house.  It seemed like a day of moving everyone towards adulthood.

Sunday morning Emma and I walked down to Hirons to get a present for Jenny.  Later we tried to go to Oregon Art Supply, but it was strangely closed.  Those artists.  Eventually we went over to Jenny's to hang out, eat food, and watch Age of Ultron.  Jenny talked a little about meeting her cousin through genetic testing and learning more about her biological family.  Crazy what science makes happen sometimes.

Today I managed some assorted housework, some boring and some fun like turning one of the old dresser drawers into a Star Wars themed drawer with Lego drawer pulls.  It made me feel like a little kid.  We went for a walk at Hendrick's Park - the woods seemed magical and I wish I had more time there.  The afternoon was pretty quiet.  Emma's been furiously making artwork with her new pens.  Berry worked on Bob Ross style painting, made clay, and is currently making a diorama.  Duncan returned from his friend's house and showed me some Minecraft mod's.  Joanna is all ready to publish her first book through the publishing company she made.  It's a small project, but cool.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind, and Wednesday I head to Vancouver for the day.  I'll have the memories of these days to sustain me.



Stardew Valley

May 30, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma has been playing Stardew Valley.  She's been really enjoying it and using her new Copic markers to good effect to draw her character.



Birthday Dinner

May 28, 2016 by Adam in Emma

We just got back from a nice dinner at Ambrosia for Emma.  Our usual crew was there, along with Jamie and my mom.  The conversation was pleasant and Emma was happy to have everyone around.  She seemed to really like her presents.  I'm hoping that she puts her new Copic markers to good use.



Mocha Friday

May 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's never boring in our household.  Birthday girl Emma is sick and home from school today, like she was yesterday.  Berry was claiming to also be ill, but I suspect she was sent off to school as she seems to have selective pre-school symptoms of late.  Joanna continues her physical therapy.  Sam stayed up nearly until midnight working on school work.  Hopefully things calm down a little for summer.


Work continues to be nutty.  We had a few people laid off yesterday, though to be honest there aren't many more positions that can be cut.  I'm strangely having fun finding ways to save money on Microsoft licensing.  Not sure why I'm the only person who seems to be able to do it.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend and hanging out with everyone.  I've got a few boring house projects like recaulking the tub that I need to do, but hopefully we can sneak in some fun things in there too.



Birthday Teen

May 27, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma is officially thirteen today, making me the parent of two teenagers.  She's unfortunately sick today and not going to school, though Emma still hopes to make it to her birthday dinner tonight at Ambrosia.


It's been great fun watching her grow up and see her musical and artistic talents bloom.  I love hearing her improvise songs on her ukulele, her quirky humor shining through.

I think life at thirteen is pretty challenging - social issues at school and being hit by the puberty stick can be tricky.  Still, I appreciate her general cheerfulness and sweet demeanor.  I'm looking forward to the next six years of teenagerhood.  At least the dinner table conversations get increasingly amusing.



Happy birthday!

May 27, 2016 by Robbie in Cortez

Happy birthday Jenny & Emma! I foresee giant hugs in your future!



The Chicken Dance

May 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

The last couple days have been generally good, if the usual level of wackiness.  I gave a presentation on all our licensing woes to IT leadership and should have a plan to save hundreds of thousands or maybe a million dollars annually, depending on what they go for.  Ironically today they're going to be laying at least one person off to save money.  Perhaps I can save some future jobs.

I went to Duncan and Berry's talent show last night.  They did the chicken dance, which involved dancing around, throwing a chicken in the air, and tossing pieces of paper with a chicken in a sombrero into the audience.




I Live

May 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm back to functioning again.  My boss told me to take the day off when I suggested I'd try working from home.  I took his advice and immediately slept for two hours, followed by a couple hours of doing the old man shuffle around the house and then a relatively normal afternoon.  I managed to do a little gardening and go get Emma's birthday presents.  By the time the evening came around, I felt pretty normal.  My only challenge was getting back to a regular sleep routine after sleeping so much the last few days.



Sick Weekend

May 23, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend was a blur - it seems I was either writhing around in pain or asleep for much of it.  I'm still not feeling super and am working from home today, but at least I'm not completely dysfunctional.

I started feeling iffy Saturday morning, ending up going to lie down for several hours in the morning.  Joanna and Duncan left, and Emma got picked up around ten.  I managed to get out of bed around eleven and I took Sam and Berry to the bank to open an account for Sam, followed by a trip to True Value and Metropol.  When we got home we made lunch, planted in the garden, and made ourselves dinner.  I was in pretty good shape until Sunday morning. 

Unfortunately Sunday I started feeling really horrible, put Sam in charge, and stayed in bed until the afternoon.  Sam really stepped up, making crepes for Berry for breakfast, playing board games, and generally keeping her entertained.  My mom took Berry to a birthday party, which apparently didn't go well.  There was also an issue of Berry's tablet being stepped on and broken.  Late afternoon I returned to life and directed Sam and Emma making enchiladas.  We enjoyed our meal and played a little Quiplash and Drawful until it was time to get Berry into bed.  Eventually Joanna and Duncan returned - they both enjoyed their respective adventures, though I think they were glad to sleep in their own beds last night.



Mocha Friday

May 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

I just finished my delicious beverage and life feels pretty good.  Work is admittedly nutty - our 3rd developer position was axed.  The security job sounds more appealing by the minute.


The news about Jenny's DNA test is very exciting.  I want to organize the results for everyone a bit more, and I'm still waiting for Seraph and family to send their DNA to me to play with.  Who knows what strange mutations lurk in their genetic code?  I'd also like to re-download mom's DNA, as currently her report says she's a man.  I think I mixed them up with Sam's DNA.

The weekend looks to be relatively quiet.  Emma's hanging out with me tonight, then going off to Corvallis Saturday night.  Joanna and Duncan are headed to Portland at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  I'm taking Berry to a Sunday birthday party.  Hopefully in between the running around we can set up a bank account for Sam, do some gardening, and maybe a little crazy science along the way.

I'm starting to think about summer more and more, hoping to get the kids a little more coordinated.  My mom wants to put Sam and Emma to work.  Duncan and Berry are spending a bunch of the summer with their dad.  I'd like to see Emma taking some classes - she seemed interested in a sailing and kayaking one, and my mom threatened to take an art class with her.  She drew this great portrait of me last night.  I love it.



Jenny's Bio Family Connections!

May 19, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

You kids are all aware that I've badgered most of you into having your DNA tested - some for fun and some to look for any scary medical stuff, like my heart stuff.

Anyhow, the company will let you know if you are related to anyone else who took the DNA test. Jenny's came up with a very close relationship to a woman who'd taken the test and has a family tree on Ancestry.com, which I belong to. Jenny works in her Dad's dental office with a good friend Angela, and together with another good friend Jeannie, they took a look at her family (her first name is Destiny, and I'm adding that information is because of the coincidence of Jenny choosing Destin as a name for her first son.)

Jenny sent Destiny a message with her phone number and Destiny called yesterday. Jenny called me after the conversation, just bubbling.  Destiny is in the Navy, stationed in Orlando, and Jenny was planning to take Jordan to Disneyworld for his birthday, and I think they are hoping to meet.

I can't describe how happy and excited Jenny is. It's making water fill up my eyes and dribble. Please send prayers, meditations, good thoughts, or whatever you believe in, that this will be a loving and fulfilling relationship for Jenny and the boys.




Mid-Week Update

May 18, 2016 by Adam in Family

No exciting news.  Work is fine - I continue to do the work that's assigned to me and learn some new technologies while I'm waiting for things to be slowly pulled from our massive backlog. 

This weekend Joanna goes off to a writer's conference, taking Duncan to visit a friend.  Emma is going to Corvallis Saturday night to visit Jamie's mom.  Sam, Berry, and I will hopefully get up to some mischief - probably science related.  I'd also like to do some shopping for Emma's birthday.  The plan is to meet at Ambrosia for dinner on the 27th.  Soon I'll officially have two teenagers in the house.



Rainy Weekend

May 16, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant, relatively calm weekend, if a little soggy.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to a new gluten-free restaurant where she excitedly exclaimed she could eat anything.  Joanna ordered fish and chips, as it had been many years since she last had it.  Later we walked over to Roosevelt and bid on a couple old cabinets at their auction.  It was strange walking the halls of my old middle school.  At least I finally got to kiss a girl there.

Saturday we scooped up Emma in the morning and made a run to the library.  I worked on my Raspberry Pi picture frame, finally getting it setup.  It's a little awkward and looking like a monitor, but I like the fact that it regularly refreshes pictures off the Internet.  The evening wrapped up with science and pizza, as is the way of our people.

Sunday we went for a couple walks.  First I took Sam and Emma down towards Roosevelt to return home with Isa.  Later Sam and I took Joanna and Berry through the rainy alleyways.  Duncan returned to us exhausted after a sleepover.  My mom came for dinner.  It was quite nice.

I've also been working on analyzing the DNA of Jenny and her kids.  Jenny's results came in - she's mostly European with about 40% west African.  There was also a possible relative she could reach out to - it's pretty wild that you can do that these days.

Back to work for me.  We'll see what I end up doing today.



Happy Birthday Danica

May 15, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

Happy 71



Mocha Friday

May 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

I made it to Friday.  The week has been strangely relaxing and generally uneventful.  I've spent much of this week at work making a new programming framework, researching new approaches to things.  We have a huge amount of things to do, but not much is assigned to me, which makes for a pretty low-key week.  Still no word on a potential job change - apparently the job is going to be posted one day and then we'll see what happens.

Wednesday night I watched Joanna, Duncan, and Berry sing at an interfaith thing at the First Christian church.  It was interesting hearing the readings from the Islamic girl about kindness to animals and the Hindu boy on how great mothers are.  There was an Israeli girl with an amazing voice singing about everyone getting along.  Duncan and Berry were very cute singing their Abba song, of course.

Sam went off with my mom to learn about the Antikythera mechanism and have dinner with filmmakers and archeologists.  The DNA data for Jenny, her kids, and myself have all been coming in.  I amused Sam by telling him, "hold on - let me download my DNA."

The weekend looks relatively low-key.  Joanna and I are trying out a new gluten-free place next to Roosevelt and then walking over to visit the Roosevelt Showcase fundraiser.  Emma's still thinking about going there next year, pondering her options.



Cool Kicks

May 13, 2016 by Danica in Danica Miller

This story about some local students and their painted sneakers caught my eye in the local paper last week. Makes me think of all the creative young gals in the family. Nice to have young artists promoting more art in the schools. Looking forward to seeing everyone next month!




Wednesday Update

May 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's Wednesday already.  The kids all seem to be doing well.  Sam needs to job shadow someone this summer and is having a hard time picking.  Emma had a great day yesterday where they apparently did nothing at school except hang out and have parties with doughnuts.  Duncan and Berry got new glasses.

My illness over the weekend continued a little, but I feel pretty normal today.  Joanna has a touch of a headache, possibly related.  My mom keeps coming over to steal laundry away and return it clean and neatly pressed.  We all have to have our hobbies, I guess.

The most mysterious thing this week was a note written on the back of a tarot card left in our little free library.  It reads "Fear the lords who are secret among us."  I would have built the library sooner if I'd known it would bring such excitement to our lives.



DrawBot

May 11, 2016 by Adam in Benny

One of Berry's birthday presents was a subscription to to a maker's box.  Every month something arrives for her to build.  Last month it was this quirky drawing robot.  I think she enjoyed it.




Hands Across the Sea, Dammit

May 10, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

You may remember that last spring  I hosted an archeologist from Pakistan for the Archeology film  festival. I offered to host him again this year; the festival gets going with a banquet on Wednesday night. I hadn't heard anything about an arrival date, and expected him on Tuesday afternoon, leaving me plenty of time to clean up the mounds of dirty dishes, ironing hung about the living room. and dining room table strewn with undone paperwork. Ho! As in ho, ho, ho. At 7:30 this morning I had nearly finished my coffee and the comics when I got a phone call from the Director of the event, sounding a bit non-plussed and telling me Mr. Kakaputo was at the Eugene Airport and had been there since last night. I ignored the mess, except for the dishes, which had begun to mutate into strange shapes. I wrangled them into the dishwashes, took a Vicodan, and lurched forward, into the new day.



Mother's Day Weekend

May 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

Mother's Day has come and gone.  It was generally successful, if a bit exhausting.  I was under the weather for much of it, as was Joanna and mom as well.  Fortunately we all survived.


Friday night we got Sam, as he wanted to hang out with Isa, and I picked up Emma a little late as she wanted to hang out with her mom.  The Trump rally was going on and traffic was a little weird, but we survived.

Saturday morning we went to see Captain America, generally enjoying it.  I started feeling poorly, but managed to get presents wrapped and the little free library ready to be stuck on a post the next day.  Berry had her last game.  Pizza was made for dinner.  We watched a show about robots, which people seemed generally okay with.  I tried to stay up, but went to bed a little after eight and slept for ten hours.

Sunday was the extravaganza.  Berry and Emma helped make breakfast, which was really helpful.  Sam and Emma went off to hang out with their mom for a few hours in the afternoon.  I had a brief moment of quiet which was nice, followed by having coffee and tea and with mom in the afternoon (which was also nice).  That night we had a mostly-not-cooked-by-Joanna dinner, followed by generally collapsing and getting some sleep.

Success!





Little Library

May 09, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

One of the things popping up in our neighborhood are the little free libraries.  People walk by, pick up a book and leave a book behind.  The theory is that it's a good way to share physical books and foster your local community.


Joanna asked for one, and after some hemming and hawing on my part, I finally started getting the parts together.  My initial prototype was done in cardboard, which turned out to be smaller than what Joanna wanted.  I increased the height and got to cutting.  Unfortunately my available wood got pretty tight and I had to compromise a little - that's where the multiple pieces in the front came from.

Still, it came together relatively well.  I screwed and glued and sealed it all.  The door itself was the hardest, especially without a good table saw.  I ended up getting lucky and the door opens and closes relatively well.  There are some gaps, though, and I may go back through with some weather stripping to seal it up better.

Last weekend Emma and I poured concrete, with Emma adding a smiley face permanently in the stone.  She also drew the library sign, which turned out pretty well.

Yesterday for Mother's Day I went out with Berry to screw it in.  Unfortunately I immediately stripped the screw and was stuck balancing it, halfway attached and unable to leave.  After some failed attempts at gracefully removing it, Berry fetched a hack saw and we cut through the screw.  Later Sam came out to help and we got it nicely attached.  Berry and Joanna did the honors of putting in books, and now it's good to go.



Happy Mother's Day

May 08, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

A quick note to say Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely caretakers in the family. I can't wait to see you all this summer!



Mocha Friday

May 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's a relatively quiet Friday.  Joanna and the kids are sleeping in, with only Sam and I needing to rush off.  Sam has a half day, followed by his AP European test.  I think he'll do well, though I think he's unsure of his abilities.

Yesterday Berry had her last soccer practice, followed by a "kids versus parents" match.  Joanna had such a good time that she wants to start playing soccer again herself.  It seems like a good sign that she's finally feeling pretty recovered from her accident.

Jenny wants to take Emma to see the new Civil War movie today, though I'd be taking her again tomorrow along with everyone but Duncan.  I've got some last minute Mother's Day things to do, but hopefully I can manage them all.

Work has been relatively uneventful.  The last of the go-live issues are fading.  No news about any possible new job.  I'm slowly training up Jeremy, who is a good guy if still new to all of this.

Looking forward to the weekend.



May the Fourth Be With You

May 04, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's that Star Wars themed holiday once again.  I made BB-8 shaped pancakes for the little kids this morning and Berry is dressing up as Princess Leia.  Berry didn't feel like she was a main character and that she kept getting captured.  I countered with Leia's leading the rebels, flying a spaceship, shooting a blaster, and being strong in the force.  Fortunately this new crop of Star Wars movies has clearly strong women leads.

The week has been relatively uneventful.  No news about the new job.  The big go-live was on Sunday and I've been putting out a few fires as they arise.

Tonight is pretty busy.  Joanna and I have a short date, then we go to Emma's concert at her school, followed by a shindig at the Jazz Station related to onboarding 5th graders at Roosevelt.  Plus Emma has a doctor's appointment.  Hopefully we all survive.  At least the force will be with us.



Easter Weekend

May 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend was jammed-packed, with Sunday the pinnacle of eating, drinking, and conversation at mom's traditional Russian Orthodox Easter bash.

Friday night Joanna and I went out to Pizza Research Institute for food and jazz music.  I always enjoy a little time without kids to have a conversation.  Saturday morning I picked up Sam and Emma while Joanna took the little kids to a series of soccer games, play dates, and birthday parties.  Emma went to help my mom with Easter.  Sam went to help his mom with planting potatoes.  I put the hinges on the little free library and added shelves, including a secret shelf at the very top.  Emma and I managed to sink the post for the little free library in concrete, complete with a smiley face forever etched into the base.  Eventually everyone returned for pizza.  I took Emma to a sleepover at Kate's.  Joanna headed for a book trivia dinner with some friends.

Sunday was equally busy.  Sam's video card died in his computer, so I had to fiddle around to get him functioning.  I took everyone over at noon to my mom's to help set up for Easter.  After a short break at home to recover my strength I headed into the party, bringing Joanna's delicious cake with me.

Everyone in the world was there.  Sam brought Isa.  Cecilia walked over from her latest family's house on 22nd and Jefferson.  Jamie and her friend Deb arrived and everyone wanted to catch up with her.  Yayoe and John made it.  Jenny and her kids made it.  Bob was there, along with Marsha and Steve.  Mom was happy and we ate, drank, and chatted until dusk.







Happy Easter

May 01, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

I wasn't planning on doing anything this yeas, then Robbie and Isabell said they missed perogies.....then chocolate potatoe cake.....before you know it we're cooking up Easter!



Mocha Friday

April 29, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm heading in to enjoy my mocha in an hour or so.  No one is quite up and about yet, so I'm enjoying a brief moment of quiet.

My mom came over and seems cheerful - it was nice to see her and we have to catch up sometime.  I saw dad earlier in the week.  He brought over a little computer that needed to be brought back to life.  Fortunately he left happy.

Emma is under the weather and Berry has been complaining about not feeling very well this week.  One of the more challenging parenting tasks is to evaluate just how sick someone is.  Sam enjoyed the Portland art museum, especially some of the modern art.  Duncan is his usual cheerful self, continuing to work on Scratch games and animations.

Possible work changes continue.  I got a more relevant resume together and it turns out I actually know how to do a lot of things.  I need to tell my manager about it relatively soon, as word is getting out.  I haven't slept great all week, as I keep thinking about things.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, despite a big work go-live on Sunday.  Hopefully I can sneak out and enjoy the weather a little.



Mid-Week Update

April 28, 2016 by Adam in Family

I continue to move towards switching jobs, despite feeling nervous about the change.  I need to rewrite my resume and get it security-focused.

Sam's off to Portland for a field trip to the art museum.  I told him he couldn't compare it to the museums of Europe, at least out loud.  Berry says she feels poorly.  Emma stayed home yesterday.  Duncan's fine and making Scratch programs.  Joanna seems increasingly normal, which I'm thankful for.

The little lending library continues to come together.  I continue to apply layers of paint and stain some wood.  I need to put in a shelf, mount it to a post, and put it in some concrete in the ground.  If only all problems were so easily fixed.



Wonderful vacation!

April 27, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

What a great time I had with Sadie, Greg and Simon! In spite of the fact that I took my heavy raincoat with the winter lining, there was nooo snow! In fact, I think it was warm every day I was there. Simon is fun to play with, and is talking up a storm. We went out to the farm of their friends, Isaac and Sorrel, who have a little boy about Simon's  age. And Simon and I walked all over the place,  stopping to inspect every piece of construction equipment in Greenfield. You are all going to enjoy him so much at the family get together!
On Saturday I took the train from New Haven to Washington, where Anna and her boyfriend Jimmy picked me up. I had a very nice time with them; I hadn't met her boyfriend before, and I thought he was really a nice fellow. I got to go to the Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Natural History, and stopped at the Art Museum.
But it was nice to pull in to the good old Eugene Airport and see Bob patiently waiting.
Remember that Russian Easter is this Sunday. I think I need some grandkid help on Saturday, but I'll contact you.





Rainy Weekend

April 25, 2016 by Adam in Family

It got cold and wet this weekend and we mostly huddled inside.  Emma was feeling a little down - she continues to wrestle as to whether or not she should switch schools.  In the meantime I continue to debate whether or not to take another job at PeaceHealth.  It's a security related role, which intrigues me.  Plus the pay range is better, which means I could get a raise again.


Emma and I worked on the little free library thing, which continues to look fancy and big.  Emma made cute bear pancakes for breakfast.  Isa came to visit.  We ate pizza and watched Adam Ruins Everything Saturday night.  I played some Dark Souls III.  Emma still feels under the weather.  Duncan had birthday parties.  Berry had soccer games.  Sam and Berry made mac and cheese for Sunday dinner, which was very nice.

Life's okay.



Early Morning Friday

April 22, 2016 by Adam in Family

I was up early this morning.  One of the managers at PeaceHealth called and offered me a job.  There's a bump in the salary range, which would be nice, and learning new things.  I do wonder what would happen if every developer vanished.  I was up at 4 a.m. listening to the thunder storm and pondering options.

The week has been generally uneventful.  Joanna seems a little better every day.  I had a cold for most of the week, though I'm mostly better.  Emma's had it hard this week too.  Sam is preparing for his AP classes.  We watched Fargo a few times this week, and I watched him play Isaac as we often do.  Duncan has been getting back into Scratch and making cool and funny games.  Berry continues soccer and presented her mint and soda science experiment at school.  Emma continues to ponder whether or not she wants to go to Roosevelt next year.

Joanna and I had a date night in, putting the kids in the basement with a movie while we chatted with takeout around the kitchen table.  It was actually rather nice.

Hopefully we can get some down time this weekend.  I'd love to continue working on the little library, which ended up pretty big.



Sunny Springtime Weekend

April 18, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a beautiful weekend, with temperatures in the 80's today.  Emma is getting anxious for summer.

Friday night Joanna and I dropped Duncan and Berry off at Bounce and then we went to a Charlemagne fundraiser.  We bid on assorted nick-knacks, ate little hors d'oeuvres, and chatted with parents and teachers.

Saturday morning started with Sam joining us for breakfast, which was a rarity - he usually sleeps in.  We also had him Friday night as Jamie was sick.  Later we picked up Emma and Isa came over for a while.  Berry had her birthday.  Pizza and science happened later that night.  Play dates occurred.  Laundry was done.

Today Sam and Emma went to Jamie's after breakfast, as she was feeling better after being sick.  I swung by the hardware store and spent the next few hours constructing a little library as requested by Joanna.  I was happy with how it turned out.  Next weekend I need to sand and paint it, then mount it to a post near the street. 

Tomorrow is work and school.  My mind is still working on trying to figure out this bug I left broken Friday afternoon.



Berry Birthday #2

April 18, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry got together with her friends at Putter's, mostly for the laser tag.  They had a good time and Joanna managed it well.  We showed up late after making pizza for dinner, recorded the festivities, and snuck out when the children moved on to play video games.



Mocha Friday

April 15, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's the usual rushing about here at work.  I've got a a couple junior programmers who need some attention.  My mocha is long gone.  I'd like to spend some time doing "nice to do" work, though I'm not sure when.


Emma is apparently under the weather, though my parental senses were somewhat skeptical.  Yesterday was filled with Berry's birthday.  Joanna's schedule is really busy, with an article for the Register Guard due today.  Tonight we go out to a Charlemagne event - not sure if I have to dress up a bit.

Otherwise life is generally pretty normal.  Laundry and dishes are punctuated by occasionally hanging out with kids or playing a little Dark Souls.  The back shed (a.k.a. "The Dragonfly Room") is slowly coming together.  We added some shelving this morning.

We heard from Honoka, who has entered junior college.  Her family also was impacted by the earthquake yesterday.  It was mild where she lives, but her family slept on the main floor just in case and her cousin relocated to a shelter after plates were knocked down.  Fortunately everyone was okay.



Berry's Birthday

April 15, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry turned nine yesterday.  It was a little emotional, if ultimately good.  Joanna had been rushing about all week, trying to put together a Barbie cake.  Apparently the Barbie was supposed to be an Elsa Barbie, so Berry was somewhat miffed.  She was also initially quite skeptical of Duncan's present being cool if it only existed on an USB key.  Once he showed her the custom Berry-themed Minecraft mod he made for her, all was forgiven.  She was also pretty excited about having a dress-maker's manikin, surprisingly enough.  We also have a maker-themed monthly subscription box - this month is building a robot.  Should be a fun weekend activity.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARRY

April 14, 2016 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Thursday is Barry's birthday! Happy special day Barry...!!!



My surgery went very well

April 12, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

My surgery went very well.  I'm having very little post op pain as long as I'm careful sitting and walking.  I plan to take advantage of lying down and catching up on movies.



Weekend of Housework

April 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a full weekend, full of laundry, dishes, yard work, and the occasional moment sitting in the hammock.  I put a little more work into the shed, running an extension cord to the other side.  I put down new mulch around the beds, weeded, and amended it with steer manure.  I opted for black mulch, which ended up looking a little stark.  


Isa hung out with us for a while, drawing with Sam and Emma.  Duncan had a friend over for much of Sunday.  I played Sundew Valley more, building up my little farm in between real-life chores.  Joanna seems a little more cheerful, though it comes and goes.  The MRI results come in today.



Emma's DNA

April 11, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma's DNA results are in.  She's mostly English, with a smattering of other places.  I think the Irish came through Jamie's mother while the Scandinavian was through Jamie's father.  There's a tiny bit of eastern Europe and Greece/Italy, which is interesting.


It also decided that Samuel Miller was immediate family and Sue Wielesek was close family, which eliminates the possibility of her being a goblin baby, switched at birth. 





Mocha Friday

April 08, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm at work, just finished my mocha.  I'm trying hard to keep the place from falling apart, with mixed success.  I appreciate Joanna and the kids for making home a pleasant, funny place to return to each day.


Nothing too exciting this week.  Joanna and I had a nice Wednesday date night, strolling around downtown in the warm spring weather.  Emma is cheerful and artistic.  Sam finished Candide, which he really enjoyed.  Duncan is working on a custom Minecraft mod for Berry's birthday next week.  Berry continues soccer practice.  Joanna still has aches and pains, but is usually cheerful.



Back from Vancouver

April 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively uneventful week.  Monday night Sam and I had an evening springtime walk where he talked about Hitler.  He's enjoying his AP European class quite a bit.  Yesterday I was on the road for five hours, back and forth to Vancouver.  We interviewed a few candidates, a couple of which might work out.  No one's a perfect fit, but they seemed like they should be able to do the job.


I picked up Berry from soccer practice and Sam from his mom's house.  Emma was very cheerful and showered me with hugs.  I'm glad she was in a good mood.

Joanna is getting an MRI and seeing a neurologist.  Her annoying issues continue, though she seemed in a somewhat better mood yesterday.  We're doing date night tonight, so hopefully she's up for it.



Death in the Family

April 04, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

I just got word that my cousin Mark, my aunt Alice's youngest son, died.  He had a massive heart attack on Easter Sunday and died while driving.  I believe he was in his 50s.
 



Winding Down the Weekend

April 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's late Sunday, with my family arriving soon for family dinner.  It's been the first warm and sunny weekend of the year, though admittedly full of allergies as well.

Friday night was exceptionally quiet - no Emma or going out on a date.  Saturday morning I picked up Emma and we puttered around the house for most of the day, doing chores and getting ready for Jade's birthday party.  Her masterpiece was a box of memes for her friend, with Sam helping with the Illuminati sculpture.  I ran her over to her friend's house, though she returned after dinner.  Isa came over for a few hours and ate pizza with us.  It was all rather pleasant.

Joanna went shopping and Craigslisting, returning with supplies for the shed.  She's still feeling pretty bad, which is worrisome.  She did manage to take the kids to church.  I worked on putting the shed together for her new work space.  It's not quite done, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Otherwise we've been hanging out and enjoying the weather.  Emma and Berry painted more drawers of the dresser.  Sam hiked with his mom and played Isaac.  Duncan had a play date.  Life goes on.



Portrait of an Artist

April 03, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma's art projects continue.  For her friend Jade's birthday present, she made clay representations of dank memes.  When Emma went to get my hair cut, she made her hand all fancy and kissed me.




Mocha Friday

April 01, 2016 by Adam in Family

Another Mocha Friday has begun.  I bought our new consultant Jeremy coffee this morning - he seems like a good guy and I'm hoping it all works out.


Emma's art is being displayed at the regional art show at North Eugene this Saturday.  It's an art book titled "Bird Man", which came from one of Sam's dreams.  It's rather surreal.  Emma also has a birthday party she's going to this weekend - her social life is rather exciting these days.

The kids all seem to be doing well these days.  Berry had fun at soccer practice yet again.  Duncan is his usual goofy self.  Sam and Isa are doing well and he seems pretty cheerful.  He was extolling the virtues of the book Candide last night.

Joanna continues to work through the insurance process.  I think she continues to improve, despite some lingering weird issues like tingly arms.  Hopefully we can get her ship shape and Bristol fashion relatively soon.

We also saw the International Space Station zip by the sky last night.  It was right over the horizon at 8:10, crossing the sky over five minutes.  I think tonight around 8:53 it'll zip overhead.  The key is to have it well lit by the setting sun.  The kids were excited to wave to the astronauts and wish them safe passage.



Wednesday

March 30, 2016 by Adam in Family

Just a quick mid-week update.


I'm driving my old car again, with a very shiny bumper.  It felt good and familiar, and I didn't miss the weird buttons of all the rentals.

Berry started soccer, with Joanna taking Berry to practice last night.  My dad came over for dinner which was fun and pleasant.  Sam and Isa continue to hang out whenever possible.  Sam also started his new classes, which he's generally enjoyed despite over fifty kids in his AP European history class.  Joanna's health issues continue, though perhaps improving somewhat.

The new consultant arrives today.  He seemed enthusiastic, and fortunately just about anyone would be better than Dennis.  Karl's also lining up a bunch of interviews, so perhaps my lone developer status with eventually be over.



Happy Easter

March 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

The kids have been served chocolate bunnies, with an afternoon egg hunt ready to go.

It's been a fairly exciting week, so much so that I haven't posted for a while.  Between work, dealing with Joanna's accident, and vacations, it seems like there's always something going on.

We had a good visit to the coast, which miraculously had nice weather the full day we were there.  The day before we stopped by Lincoln City beach and it was wet, windy, and crowded.  The second day we headed south to a small park which was very cool.  The kids collected weird beach things.  I took Google Cardboard images.

It was nice seeing my dad and Ana.  We chatted about networking and technology.  He watched us play a bunch of Drawful. 




This weekend I've been recovering from vacation and doing a few house projects.  We returned the rental, discovered the auto repair place broke something during their repair, and picked up a new one until they fix it on Tuesday.  The sleeper sofa was delivered and Sam and I barely squeezed it into the shed.  I continue to tinker with the Raspberry Pi - the latest project is to turn it into a picture frame that downloads new photos from Reddit.  I think I've got the tech part sorted out and just need to make a wood frame for my old monitor.

Sam and Isa appear to be dating again.  She was over this weekend, which made Emma quite happy - the three of them were furiously working on art in the basement all day yesterday after walking down to the art supply store.

Emma's been cheerful, spending a couple hours with her friend Baily at the park.  Duncan has had various friends over to play.  Berry has spent her hours alternately playing video games and reading.

As for poor Joanna, her injuries continue to bother her.  She's had headaches and weird numbness in her hands, though she seems less tired and fuzzy.  Ironically when picking up the new rental yesterday, we witnessed another rear-end collision.  It's a dangerous world out there.



Crazy Week

March 21, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a weird and crazy week.


Joanna steadily improves.  Her headaches have mostly faded, as well as most of the fuzzy/tired feelings.  She drove around the block yesterday and has been seeing various healthcare people off and on.  I think she'll be better by the time we go to the coast.

Emma went to the coast with her mom over the last few days.  I tidied up her room and moved the desk in from the shed.  Now she has a cute little writing area if she ever wants to hide away from everyone and draw.

Sam played D&D with friends on Friday, but otherwise has been hanging out with me.  We've played a ton of Isaac and watched some Always Sunny.  He seems a little mopey and misses Emma strangely enough.  He also helped make pizza Saturday night and we watched a science show on quantum mechanics, which was pretty cool.

Duncan and Berry have been hanging out with their dad while he's in town.  They've generally had a good time and Kevin seems a bit more mellow than usual.  There were a couple Berry meltdowns, but nothing too major.

I'm back at work, with the usual craziness.  A new consultant starts next Monday.  I've got tons to do and little time to work on it.  Looking for my next five-day vacation in a couple days.



Wednesday Update

March 17, 2016 by Adam in Family

Dennis is no more.  There was a day he didn't show, along with an odd email to my boss. To be honest, it was a relief.  A couple of my coworkers are lending a hand with coding and testing, which has been handy.

Joanna slowly improves.  She's yet to drive and has had headaches the last couple days.  Lots of people have offered help, such as our neighbor Victoria coming over to help fold laundry and Yayoe coming by with honey.  I'm home for the next four days, and went grocery shopping after dinner, so she's in good hands.

Sam and Emma arrive tomorrow morning and Duncan and Berry go off with their dad.  Emma's off to the coast with Jamie for a few days.  Sam's playing D&D with friends and recovering from a bad cold and finals.  I have a few house projects I'd like to get around to, but just taking it easy for a few days sounds nice too.



Another Exciting Weekend

March 14, 2016 by Adam in Family

I could get used to calm and boring weekends, I think.


Saturday morning Joanna got rear ended while stopped at an intersection.  Duncan was in the back, but seems generally okay.  Joanna got bumped up a bit, though nothing externally obvious.  The car's bumper got scraped and the muffler was pried downward a bit.  The other driver apologized and they exchanged insurance information.

The next couple days were a little rough for Joanna.  She went to urgent care where they diagnosed a concussion.  She had some neck soreness, headaches, nausea, and general fuzziness.  Sunday late morning the symptoms got worse, so I took her to the ER.  There was a lot of waiting around, mom thankfully relieved me mid afternoon, and she returned home later that night.  The CT scan was okay and by that evening Joanna seemed a little sharper than before.  

As for the rest of the clan, Duncan played his last basketball game, scoring a basket and bringing home the MVP ball.  He was proud of no fouls and perfect attendance as well.

Sam studied for finals and entertained Emma and I with his musical tastes and Isaac playing.  Emma drew tentacles on her folder.  Berry made strange creatures of of clay.  I was thankful to all of them for being calm and helping each other out as we dealt with car accident issues.

The car was towed away this morning.  My mom is getting kids from school this afternoon after I dropped them off.  Hopefully all will work out soon enough.



Where have I been for the last four months?

March 14, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

I went to the Coast with my book club over the weekend, which was very much fun. Very very stormy though. We were in Yachats, and I remembered a nice weekend when Mom and Dad came to visit and we rented cabins in Yachats with all you kids and maybe some camp followers.

When I came back, Joanna's concussion had not improved and Adam had taken her to the ER. He and I switched places, and eventually she got a cat scan. She does have a concussion and all the crappy stuff that goes along with it, but not anything worse. Ie, her brain isn't bruised, and it's not bleeding. When the doc told her not to do things which might tax her brain, like watching TV, texting, or reading, she wailed, "Well, what will I dooo?" I tried to explain to him that for Joanna, not thinking was just not an option! Too many of you smart people in this family!




Mocha Friday

March 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

Well, my mocha is done, but the memories linger.


It's been a generally good week.  Berry was up before me this morning, putting away dishes and getting breakfast ready.  Emma was visited by "Krampus" last night, and as I left the house Joanna was helping her find a period tracking app for her tablet.  I also found Emma's glasses finally, squished in the couch cushions.  And to think I cleaned her room for no reason.

Joanna and I had a fun date night on Wednesday, drinking cider at Wildcraft Cider and listening to an Americana band.  Sam has finals next week, with lots of studying over the weekend.  We're also gearing up for spring break and a trip to the beach.  It'll be nice to see my dad - I'll be sure to bring lots of board games.

As for work, Dennis wasn't here yesterday and hasn't arrived today.  I suspect it may be time for a new consultant, but I'm really hoping we get an actual hire soon.  Josh's resume arrived yesterday, and it was actually pretty good.  He'd be in a junior position obviously, but I'm really hoping he'd be a good fit in terms of being hard working and showing up on time.

No exciting weekend plans.  Emma wants to learn programming and make a video game.  Sam has a lot of studying.  I'm sure Emma and I will play more Never Alone - she made a great drawing inspired by it.  I'll try to sneak some science in there somewhere.



Halfway to the Weekend

March 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

The week has been relatively uneventful so far.  Joanna and my mom nailed down the last of the plans for summer vacation.  It looks like we'll be staying at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.  Getting rooms and campsites for everyone is tricky, but hopefully we can cram everyone in.  I bought a third hammock in case we sleep in the trees.

Work continues to be weird.  It was a no-Dennis day yesterday - he emailed that he was sick.  I got a ton done and am waiting for more work to be assigned to me.

Joanna was off last night at a children's stories writers' group.  I hauled the little kids over to pick up Sam.  Apparently he and Emma made themselves vegetarian burritos for dinner.  Later Sam wrote an essay on the nature of man just for fun.



Science Filled Weekend

March 07, 2016 by Adam in Family

We had another weekend full of science and hanging out, mostly staying indoors out of the rain.


Friday night Joanna and I went out to sushi and to listen to a writer's talk at the U of O.  It's always interesting to hear about the professions of others, so I had a good time.

Saturday morning Joanna left for an all-day writer's conference.  I took Duncan and Berry to the library and store to get dry ice.  They were generally cheerful, which was fortunate as I was battling a headache all day.  Emma went to Kate's house, and Duncan played with Flynn, but Berry, Sam, and I had a good time doing science for a couple hours.




Sam and Emma are both trying a vegetarian diet, so there was no Pac Man pizza.  Instead Sam chose a mushroom pizza and the rest was cheese.  I made a palatable gluten-free pizza for Joanna and we settled into the second to the last Mythbusters.

Sunday was pretty low-key.  Emma and I played Never Alone together, with me being the spirit fox.  Sam and I played more Child of Light.  I hacked my way through if else.heartbreak() some more, which continued to be quirky.

In the afternoon we played Dixit, Emma and I went for a walk, I watched Sam play more Isaac, and we had a bunch of people over for my dad's birthday dinner.  Good times.



Happy Birthday Dad

March 07, 2016 by Adam in Lohring

My dad got together with his ex-wives and some of his children for a birthday bash at our house.  Joanna made her usual amazing meal with cake and we spent the evening chatting away.  He and Sam spent a long while talking about science and the various world wars while discussing school.  We also managed some practical conversations about the summer family reunion and I got a will update, as I'm the trustee on both my parents' wills.


It was a fine family dinner, with good conversation and good food.  Sam and Emma are trying a vegetarian diet, so it's been interesting watching them choose different food to eat the last week or so.  We'll see if it lasts.




Mocha Friday

March 04, 2016 by Adam in Family

Spring seems to have arrived, early as usual these days.  My mocha is gone and it's time for me to hunker down and help manage our new consultant.  I'd love to get back to writing code, but we'll see how much I can manage.


The last few days have been relatively uneventful.  Emma's still sniffly, but was cheerfully playing me goodbye songs on her ukulele this morning.  She's also into Elvis, which is hysterical.  Sam and I played some Child of Light last night, with Berry looking on.  Duncan had a basketball game and Joanna went to a writer's workshop.

I'm hoping we can do some science this weekend.  I'm scoping out places for dry ice, which is a central ingredient in various experiments.



March Game Update

March 02, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

I seem to have one or two games I'm playing in the background.  I finished up the latest Tomb Raider, which was technically solid if a bit uninspired.  I've been playing Child of Light with Sam, which has beautiful watercolor backgrounds and excellent art.  With Emma I've been playing Never Alone, with her as the little Inuit girl and I'm the spirit fox.  They're both fun coop experiences.

As for me, I'm playing a quirky Swedish game where you can write code and hack any object.  Last night I was trying to hack a door combination by trying every possible combination.  Sadly it didn't work, but I'd like to try some other commands and see if I can sneak into forbidden places.



Wednesday

March 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's the middle of another week.

Sam seemed a little down last night.  My guess is relationship issues.  Emma's been sick the last couple days, with Jamie swearing today was a school day.  Joanna's done writing hotel descriptions, which I think is a mix of relief and sadness at the loss of income.  We've had a friend of Joanna's staying here the last few nights.  Andi has been a polite and helpful house guest, which is much appreciated.

As for me, I handed a project to Dennis with some general instructions and decided to get some work done.  It's deeply satisfying - I really enjoy my job when I'm able to do it.  We've also sat through a couple interviews - I suspect this is going to be a lengthy process.



Science Filled Weekend

February 29, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm back at working, with Dennis back at work and doing useful things.  Hopefully it works out.


We had a generally pleasant weekend.  Friday night Joanna and I took all the kids but Sam to Whirled Pies to eat pizza, draw and listen to music.  I think everyone had a good time.  In the morning Emma and I played Never Alone, a fun game about an Inuit girl and her spirit fox friend.  We ran from polar bears and walked across spirit animals until it was time for her to go to the coast with Jamie.  She was unfortunately sick the whole time, returning late Sunday and missing school today.

Sam and I hung out quite a bit over the weekend.  We played Child of Light, which had great watercolor painted backgrounds.  I managed to mow the lawn, as spring is slowly appearing.  Sam worked on homework.  The day wound down with pizza and Mythbusters, 

Sunday was Science Sunday.  We burned, microwaved, and dissolved some heart-shaped peeps that my mom brought us.  Later we made a robot, built a PirateBox, and Sam made a little lamp out of a small glass bottle, a wick, and some old charcoal lighter fluid.   It was all pretty awesome.



Mocha Friday

February 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a quirky work week.  Our new consultant didn't show up after a day of training, so it may be that we're going to try some different options.  I'm hoping I can get Josh in for an interview, though technically we don't have a junior developer position open yet.  I just want someone who's willing to learn and will stick around at this point.


Emma was amusing me again this morning with improvised ukulele songs.  There was the Mocha Friday one about being addicted to caffeine, the Green Book one about avoiding racist Southern places in the early 1900's, and the one with random Alaska facts.  Emma's art continues to improve - here's the drawing she's most proud of at the moment.

Sam showed me the classes he wanted to take next year - it was a pretty impressive load: Calculus, Physics, Japanese 4, AP English Composition, and a variety of electives.  It's cool that he's self-motivated to challenge himself.

My mocha is almost finished and I'll be back to coding shortly.  It's strangely relaxing not having to train up someone new and I can focus on making things.

Tonight we're going to Whirled Pies for music, art, and hanging out with the kids.  Should be fun.



Date Night at Home

February 25, 2016 by Adam in Family

I missed my usual update yesterday, though I'm not sure there's much going on.


Joanna's finishing her last week of writing hotel descriptions.  Fortunately she does three or four different things, so she'll probably just do more personal writing.  Her Register Guard gig continues, though the pay is iffy.

Emma's sorting out friendship issues at school, trying out different social groups and chatting with Sam about it all.  It's very sweet how close they are these days.

Berry continues helping me with breakfast in the mornings.  She said I was "technically her dad" when talking about ear wiggling and genetics this morning, which was sweet.  I do hope I manage to be a good parental people to all the kids who have wandered through our home.

As for me, we have a new guy at work who I keep hoping will be okay.  Unfortunately he's been late every time, so I'm somewhat worried.

Joanna and I had a nice date night at home due to babysitter issues.  We sent Duncan and Berry to the basement to watch Uncle Grandpa while Joanna and I ate takeout Thai food by candlelight.  I put some old music on my phone and poured some of Joanna's home brew cider.  It was quite romantic.



Sickly Weekend

February 22, 2016 by Adam in Family

I was pretty under the weather yesterday, though I think I'm finally feeling better.  It was a good, if quiet weekend all-in-all.


Friday night Joanna and I went to Whirled Pies (which used to be Cosmic Pizza) and had fun watching Hawaiian dancers and chatting away.  Saturday had Sam going to see The Revenant with my mom and I took Emma, Berry, and Duncan to the Asian Celebration.  We had a pretty typical experience - Duncan and Berry bought stuff, we drew with Copic markers, wandered into the video game room briefly, and then went home.

Sunday Emma had lunch with her mom while Sam and I hung out playing video games.  I got a pretty bad headache, so I ended up doing very little all day other than popping Advil and chewing chocolate covered espresso beans.  The day wound down and I fortunately feel better today.




Conference

February 20, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

Good Morning from Albuquerque! Isabell and I are gearing up for the day with a little hotel coffee. 

I'm here for a conference on dyslexia and Isabell is hoping to enjoy the day hanging out at the fancy resort where it's being held. I'm hoping to pick up some good tools for helping out my unusually large group of dyslexic students this year. 
Hugs to all!



Mocha Friday

February 19, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's Friday, which I'm thankful for.  My mocha is slowly being worked on as I settle into the day.

Emma was entertaining me this morning with improvised songs on the ukulele.  My favorite was the one about pretending to be sick and staying at home, which I think may have been speaking from her personal experience.  It was quite hysterical.

Berry has been helpful all week, waking up when I do the dishes in the morning and cooking Duncan's breakfast.  She still has her occasional moments, but I keep seeing her post-childhood form emerging.

Duncan reported that there's a fist fight at basketball practice most days, apparently with the same kid.  He fortunately hasn't been involved with it, but it is pretty weird.

Sam has been somewhat more cheerful lately.  I think his relationship with Isa may be over - at least he isn't writing text messages every few minutes throughout the evening.  I've spent most nights this week helping him with math, chatting, and watching him do Isaac runs (it's a computer thing).

Joanna's been her usual sweet self.  Her hotel description job is wrapping up, so she's looking for more work.  It's tax season, and I think we get some back, which is nice.  Tonight is a hot date night - I think we're going to Cosmic pizza and I'm hoping we'll see Yayoe play.

No exciting weekend plans.  I'd love to get outside and wander around the wilderness if the weather is nice.



Three Day Weekend

February 16, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a generally pleasant three day weekend, though poor Joanna was pretty sick until the end.  Sam was also a little down, something going on with Isa that he didn't want to talk about, though I did my best to cheer him up with games and chatting.  There was a lot of King of Tokyo with Berry and I, and I watched Sam play a lot of Isaac.

The big event of the weekend was the murder mystery dinner.  It started a little awkwardly as we figured things out, but it quickly became hysterical with funny accents and sordid relationships.  I had fun being the German with a shady past and endless womanizing.  It turns out Emma was the murderer, which she secretly hoped to be.  Joanna went all out with the food, especially considering how poorly she was feeling.  It was nice seeing Cecilia again and mom and Bob were pretty funny.

Monday was pleasant and warm, leading us to putter around outside a bit.  I had Emma work off some art supply debt by fixing the little greenhouse.  We ended up sewing a new plastic cover around the frame, which was both practical and artistic.  Listening to Elvis and the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack was just a bonus.

Now it's off to work, where I'm officially the last web developer.



Back From Vancouver

February 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's Saturday and I'm hanging out with Emma on the couch, theoretically helping her with homework. I spent much of yesterday on the road, saying farewell to Jonathan and meeting with various people.


I met Dennis in person, a consultant that hopefully will work out and become an employee. I had a good lunch and meeting with Digital Strategy, which includes three of the remaining members. It's strange how many people have left - it was a fairly emotional day.

With Monday off, we have a lengthy hang out weekend with the kids. Joanna is under the weather a little, but is still managing to do taxes. Emma cancelled D&D due to a friend illness. We might try a library expedition later.



Mid Week Update

February 10, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively uneventful week.  Sam is being inundated with college applications.  Duncan has been doing science experiments with magnetism.  Berry was up early the last couple days, cheerfully assisting me with breakfast.  Our colds are slowly vanishing, which is nice.


We've got Valentine's Day coming up, with a Host a Murder Mystery thing everyone is excited about.  I'm taking the 15th off for President's Day.  Friday I drive to Vancouver to say farewell to Jonathan.



Monday Again

February 08, 2016 by Adam in Family

Well, my car is repaired and back to normal.  Hopefully the woman who ran into it will pay the bill and the cycle of car repair is completed.


We had a pretty busy weekend.  Friday night Joanna and I went to 16 Tons while the babysitter took the kids to Mardi Gras as school.  Saturday was endless laundry and hanging out with kids, followed by pizza and Mythbusters.  Isa came over, much to the enthusiasm of Emma, Berry, and of course Sam.  Sunday I continued the D&D campaign for Emma's friends.  Joanna stayed in bed, feeling under the weather.  Eventually the day wore down to family dinner and enthusiastic conversation.

Life moves on.



Mocha Friday

February 05, 2016 by Adam in Family

Sickness has spread to our household.  Sam and Joanna appear to have been hit particularly hard and were both dragging themselves around a bit today.  Everyone else seems to have milder symptoms - hopefully we'll be better by the end of the weekend.


Isa has been over the last few nights.  She and Sam are pretty funny together - studiously working on homework side-by-side.  I'd help Sam with complicated trigonometry and then switch to calculus with Isa.  My higher math skills are really rusty, but I think I was helpful. 



Work continues to be nutty.  We're not getting many applicants.  I think we'll bring in a consultant, at least for a little while, but even then they'll need to be trained up.  I really want a long-term person who's going to stick around for a while.  We'll see.  I did manage to repair my tail light with office supplies, which was fun.  



Emma was her usual funny self last night, singing Adventure Time songs on her ukulele.  The little kids Minecraft away until dinner.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and hanging out with everyone.  Emma wants me to host another D&D session for her friends.  Yayoe is coming for dinner on superbowl Sunday.  Tonight is date night.  

Fun, fun.



Rear Ended

February 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

Well, I was rear ended in the parking lot today by a coworker.  She was apologetic and the security person who was with her was very serious.  I took a look and think the issue is mostly cosmetic.  The light seemed to work, which is a good sign.  I think I'll take it to Wayne's Garage and have them take care of it.


The week has been relatively uneventful, if pretty busy at work.  We finally got an interview with someone that sounds pretty promising.  Hopefully we can get that started.  It's weird working with Jonathan on his final days, trying to get everything done.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick around PeaceHealth - I need the stability at the moment.

We're planning on doing a Host a Murder Mystery game for Valentine's Day.  I think I'm playing the bad boy - I've been instructed not to shave for a couple days before the dinner.  Should be interesting.



Canadians!

February 01, 2016 by Adam in Family

We just got news that Sam and Emma are officially Canadian.  All the passports and documentation I sent (and resent) have finally returned with their citizenship documentation.


What they'll want to do with it, I have no idea.  I suppose they now have a reason to celebrate Canada Day and can head north for free healthcare if they need to.



Monday

February 01, 2016 by Adam in Family

Emma and Berry both were complaining of stomach issues this morning.  Emma went off to school, looking forlorn, while I think Berry is staying.  One of the things that's hard about parenting is deciding whether or not children are truly sick or playing up slight discomforts.


The weekend was generally pretty good.  Emma played a lot of ukulele and drew endlessly, mostly while listening to the Grease soundtrack.  Sam did his best to hang out with Isa as much as possible - going to see Hamlet with her and my mom and bringing Isa over for pizza and Mythbusters.  Duncan is bolder with his basketball playing, making his first basket on Sunday.  Berry was her usual self, occasionally grumpy and occasionally sweet.  Emma did her up in makeup and was generally a cheerful older sister.  Berry also had a great time hanging out with Sam and Isa.  

Joanna and I generally kept everyone on track, feeding the horde and entertaining them.  I did endless laundry and dishes, as always.  I fixed the lights in the basement, replacing the fluorescent tubes.  Somewhere in there I managed to play the latest Tomb Raider game, jumping and crafting as I adventure through an old snowy Soviet installation.

Everyone but Sam and Isa went to Mount Pisgah Sunday afternoon.  It was warm and sunny for the middle of winter, and it raised my spirits to see all the flowers about to bloom.  I took a bunch of 3D 360 degree pictures with my camera and showed them to mom on my Viewmaster Google Cardboard viewer.  She was pretty blown away.

Work continues to be busy, though I'm generally staying on top of things.  More interviews today.



Mocha Friday

January 29, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm doing strangely okay.  I think I've passed through the stress and insanity of being the last developer and achieved some sort degree of euphoric insanity.  Jonathan's here for a couple more weeks - he's going live with a bunch of different things over the next week and then hopefully fixing bugs that pop up the following one.  

All the kids are generally doing okay, though I think moving into puberty and adulthood is always a tricky process.  Emma and I had a good chat last night, and Sam keeps me updated on the latest with Isa.  I'm proud of their ability to talk things through.  Duncan continues to hone his sense of humor and continues to enjoy basketball.  Berry started counseling this week and seemed to really enjoy it.  She was funny and sweet last night, entertaining Sam and I.

Joanna finally got her interview with Lettuce, the funk band - you should be able to read her story in the Register Guard next week.  She continues to juggle her various jobs in addition to moving kids about and keeping us fed.  I do appreciate her.

I keep hoping we'll get a break from the rains and spend some time outside.  In the meantime we'll probably have a weekend of pizza, Mythbusters, and Drawful.  Presumably I can sneak in a little time with the latest Tomb Raider game, which is installed but untouched.  

Life is never boring.



Wednesday

January 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

Halfway to the weekend.

Work has gotten pretty crazy.  It turns out I can't really function at my job these days.  Pretty soon I'll be training people up and then I really won't be able to function at my job.  I've been debriefing with Jonathan, the last web developer.  The more I see all the great stuff he's built over the years, the more I miss him already.

Everyone else is going pretty well.  Joanna's interviewing a band for the Register Guard.  Duncan has been enjoying basketball.  The other day I helped him debug an issue with his Minecraft mod after a day of coding. 

Last night I came home from work, watched Sam play some Binding of Isaac, and we piled on the couch to watch funny shows.



8 Hours of Sleep

January 25, 2016 by Adam in Family

I got a full eight hours of sleep last night, which was heavenly.  With all the work stress, I'd been sleeping poorly and having headaches.  For whatever reason, the combination of doing nerd things with Emma and her friends, playing Zelda, or hanging out with my family cured my ills.  I'm still pensive and weighing options, but it doesn't seem as catastrophic.


The weekend was busy, but fun.  Emma asked me to host a D&D session for her friends, so I spent the morning getting ready, picking up and wrapping presents for Joanna, and doing the usual laundry, breakfast, and dishes.  There was a mixup with the cake, but I finally sorted it out and picked it up in time.  Sam, Emma, and Isa came over and my mom arrived in time for cake, presents, games, pizza, and Mythbusters.  It was a fun shindig.

Sunday morning I did some more nerdy preparations.  Berry and I played with electronics, flinging a spinning propeller into the ceiling with Snap Circuits.  Emma hung out with her friends, making D&D characters, and then I spent the afternoon leading them on an adventure and trying not to kill them all off.  I think it went well.

Sunday night had the "core" six members of our family all together.  We played a little too much Drawful that night, I tucked Emma to bed, Sam played Binding of Isaac while I watched, and then the evening wrapped up with the new X-Files.  It was unfortunately pretty bad in terms of the writing, but I've heard the third episode is relatively good.

Life is okay.



Birthday Girl

January 25, 2016 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna celebrated her thirty something birthday over the weekend.  There were a ton of people who showed and it was followed by Bidiot and other silly computer games.  We had a great time.



Half Birthday Girl

January 25, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma's half birthday was back in November, but we completely forgot about it. We finally made up for our forgetful parenting and she got a little pen thingie that she's been putting to good use making new tablet drawings.





Half Birthday Boys

January 25, 2016 by Adam in Duncan

Last week Duncan and I celebrated our half birthdays.  I got a cool ViewMaster version of Google Cardboard and Duncan got Joanna's old tablet.





Pensive Mocha Friday

January 22, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's Joanna's birthday today.  We're going out to dinner tonight and tomorrow we've got tea, cake, and presents played in the afternoon.  I think we're getting Cecilia and Isa as well, so we should have a good crew for our amusing games like Earwax and Bidiots.


We also celebrated half birthdays for Duncan and I.  Joanna got me an updated ViewMaster virtual reality thing - it was quite nostalgic.  Duncan got Joanna's old tablet, which made him happy.  Emma had her half birthday celebrated last night as we missed it late last year.  Her gift was a pen for her tablet, which she's been using to draw amazing things - her artistic skills continue to grow.

I've been crazy stressed out with work, trying to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do now that everyone else has quit.  My brain won't stop churning and I keep waking up early.

Emma has declared that she's getting a bunch of her friends together to play D&D and that I'll be the dungeon master.  I'm left a little speechless, but hopefully I can turn it into an amusing little adventure.  I'm a bit beyond overwhelmed these days, so what's a little more insanity.

At least I had a mocha this morning and perhaps I can get a little work done.  This afternoon I'm debriefing with Jonathan to go over some of the projects he's working on.  Being responsible for 150+ web applications and being effectively on call forever isn't my favorite thought.

Anyway, just trying to do what's best for the family. 



And Then There Was One

January 20, 2016 by Adam in Adam

I just heard that Jonathan gave his notice today.  He's going to Health Catalyst, like so many other ex-PeaceHealth developers.  Jonathan got a raise and will lead a team building web applications, which sounds like a great opportunity.  Of course, that leaves me as the last remaining developer, maintaining 150+ web applications developed by ten different people over the last couple decades.


I stumbled down to get myself a mocha, half joking with the barista that she could slip something stronger in there.  I had a nice chat with Dave, who I've worked with for a long time.  My old boss Glen, who works for Health Catalyst now, sent me a "hey, think about working here" email.  I responded, expressing an interest in at least figuring out what my options are.

While I'm still in a bit of a daze, I think I'm going to ask for a raise (I didn't get one last year).  I'll also see what Health Catalyst comes back in terms of job opportunities.  Assuming I stick around at PeaceHealth, I'll need to go into emergency mode, taking care of the most critical issues while training up a new web development team.  I do occasionally think about how devastating my departure would be to PeaceHealth.  My company hasn't exactly treated us well the last few years, so I have mixed feelings about how that would turn out.  Seeing something I had such a big hand in creating fall apart seems a little sad.

Anyway, I'm going to keep pondering options and talking to people.  We'll see how it goes.



Quick Wednesday Update

January 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

There's a brief moment of silence this morning, the fire going and Duncan's breakfast cooling to room temperature at the table, just the way he likes it.  It was a pretty quiet night last night, coming home from work and helping Joanna with dinner.  I got a Loot Crate, which was momentarily exciting until it turned out to be a "thanks for signing up for a year" Loot Crate shirt.  At least the real one is coming soon.

I picked up Sam from his mom's house.  Joanna bought Jamie a vegetable peeler after hearing from Emma they didn't have one.  Emma read Joanna's note while Jamie expressed thanks.  It was pretty funny.

I hung out with Sam, watching him play the Binding of Isaac.  When Joanna went to fetch Duncan from basketball practice, Berry and I read Archie comics, doing silly voices (I did the women's voices while Berry did the men).  Eventually Sam came upstairs and watched me play a little Zelda.  Eventually the kids went to bed and the three of us watched a zany episode of Limitless.

Soon I'm off to work.  My sleepy brain was designing computer logic while I was slowly waking up this morning.  Hopefully I can actually implement the thing after a cup of coffee.  The new developer position is supposed to be posted today too.  Hopefully I can find someone good for the job.



Long Rainy Weekend

January 19, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a long quiet weekend.  At one point Emma and I went outside into the rain to walk around the block, returning home soaked.  Most of the weekend went this way, so we spent a lot of time indoors, playing video games and puttering about.

Saturday I bought Jackbox Party Pack 2, spending a fair amount of time questioning why we let the children play in between laughing hysterically.  Joanna gave Duncan rainbow hair.  I watched the latest SpaceX rocket sadly crash.  I took Emma and Isa to Oregon Art Supply, after which they drew cool little pictures.  Sam stayed the night at Isa's, so we postponed Mythbusters until the next day.  Duncan had a friend over on Sunday, and a second later that night.  Emma and Berry hung out a bunch, either drawing or having Emma dress up Berry like a girl from the 50's.  Duncan had some basketball games, and last night Joanna went to a soccer match.

Isa came over for Mythbusters on Sunday and we had a great time playing the new Jackbox games.  Eventually she returned home and Monday I watched the kids while Joanna worked.  There was more game playing, in between laundry and cleaning.  Jamie got the kids at two.  I played a bunch of Zelda: Skyward Sword to wrap up the afternoon.

While it was generally pleasant, I'm starting to get a little stir crazy for sunny days again.  At least I see the sun when I leave work these days.



Fallout 4's End

January 16, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

Well, I won the game, or at least finished the main quest line.  Fallout 4 is an interesting creature - doing some parts wonderfully and failing at others.  It really isn't a role playing game, but more of a story that you shoot your way through.  I suppose the Bioshock games were similar, with few opportunities for choice along the way.  Still, the exploration was wonderful, especially in the early parts of the game.  Two thirds of the way through the game I felt pretty invulnerable, which I think is part of the design.

There were also a few too many auto-generated quests, which ended up being boring after the first couple.  The irony is that during the dramatic end sequence, I got another one given to me.  It was awkward.

I've got a few side quests I'll be finishing up, and then move on to Undertale, which some people absolutely adore.  I've played a little of the indie pixel game, but haven't quite decided how I feel about it.  In a little over a week, the next Tomb Raider game arrives, which I'm hearing good things about.



Sweet Mocha Friday

January 15, 2016 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along, exciting as always.


There's more gossip of layoffs at work, and the real reason our last CEO left.  At this point I think my job is pretty solid, so I'm not too worried about it.  Today is Keith's last day, the third developer who came on a little over a year ago.  It's going to be just Jonathan and I, holding down the fort.

Joanna and I went out to Tacovore on Wednesday, briefly meeting a late Cecilia.  Hopefully she's doing okay - it's hard to tell.  Isa and her mom continue to have issues, but hopefully things are moving in a positive direction.

Colin sent us the card game he and his friends published from Germany - 8*28.  Sam and I played and had a pretty good time.  This weekend we'll try to play with a bigger crowd.

Duncan has been enjoying basketball practice.  Berry dressed up in her Asian-style outfit for her field trip to the art museum.  Emma has been playing music on the ukulele and flute for us.  Sam's become a full teenager - talking about emotions and hanging out with Isa as much as possible.

Joanna is cheerful and wonderful, as always.  She made a great dinner for the whole crew last night.  Somehow she juggles moving kids from place to place, along with doing her various jobs.  The Register-Guard keeps sending her to do interviews with different bands for their Lifestyle section.  I think she likes the gig, even though the pay is a little iffy.



Life is Never Boring

January 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

Life continues to be interesting, with people coming and going and the household continuing on.  My mom came for dinner Monday night and my dad showed up Tuesday after my dental appointment.  It was a treat to have them both and we chatted away while they helped me do dishes after dinner.


I continue to fret about Sam and Isa and try to support them as best we can.  I'm trying hard to point Isa towards some counseling, which I think everyone agreed was a good idea.

Work is doing its usual bouncing around.  Keith's last day is this Friday and it's basically impossible to accomplish everything I'm being asked to accomplish.  

Joanna and I have a semi-date night tonight.  Cecilia's Amity program is pulling together the old and new host families for a dinner at Tacovore.  They have pretty good food, as I recall, so it should be a pleasant evening.



Another Exciting Weekend

January 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

Weekends always seem full of excitement here - people coming and going, with games and hanging out in between.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to Ciderworks, eating quirky hipster food and enjoying a variety of ciders.  I think I picked Krampus for its name, though it ended up being pretty tasty.


Saturday morning I took Duncan and Berry off to do secret things for Joanna's birthday present. It should theoretically be ready in time - it's actually next Friday but we're celebrating on Saturday.  I still have to get a cake ready too.

Sam and Emma arrived in the afternoon.  We hung out at the house, got our hair cut, played Drawful, and enjoyed pizza and Mythbusters.  Sam practiced a little Rocksmith.  Duncan had basketball games much of the day, with Joanna off watching him.

Sunday had a library trip with Emma, Cecilia coming over to visit and play more Drawful, Sam fetching Isa later in the day, and a big dinner for all.  Joanna drilled holes in Christmas trees, turning them into mushroom farms.  I love that quirky woman.



Drawful

January 10, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

In contrast to Fallout 4, the other game that's getting a lot of play in our house is Drawful.  It's a quirky game played with phones and tablets and the computer.  Basically people get a short phrase, draw it, other people type in what they think it is, and then they vote among everyone's choices.  The best part is trying to interpret these crazy drawings, poorly rendered on tiny screens, and see what people come up with.



Fallout 4 and Red Dresses

January 09, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Games

It turns out that while a red dress is great for convincing others, it's not so super when it comes to battling the creatures of the wasteland.




I'm generally enjoying Fallout 4, though it's pretty light on the "roleplaying" in an RPG.  The best part is really exploring a quirky post-apocalyptic world and seeing the sights.  There's not that much in terms of deciding how the story turns out so far.  There are some classic RPGs coming out in the months ahead, so I'll make due until then.



Mocha Friday

January 08, 2016 by Adam in Family

My mocha is complete for the day, my tummy bubbling with that magical elixir.  It's been a week of transitions, returning to school and work, along with Cecilia's departure.


The latter was fairly sudden.  We knew she was theoretically staying half a year with us.  Cecilia asked for a place with easier access to a bathroom, which the little outdoor house doesn't have.  Things went very quickly from there and we found out she was leaving two days ago, with her departure happening before dinner last night.  Fortunately we found a couple socks in the laundry, so she'll be forced to return at least briefly.

It took a couple days for Joanna and the little kids to adjust to Eugene.  Joanna was really groggy Wednesday, taking several naps.  I think Duncan and Berry were excited to return to their computers, which they've been playing on pretty regularly.  Duncan started up basketball last night, which he seems to enjoy.  Berry had fun playing Drawful with Emma and I last night while I kept an eye on them.

Sam continues to hang out with Isa and talk pretty honestly about his life and challenges.  He's been hitting the math pretty hard and has a test today.  We had a brief moment last night to play some GTA V together, taking turns driving the getaway car.  It's been quirky but kinda fun.

Emma's life is all about drawing and listening to music.  Her latest love is the Grease soundtrack, which probably makes her aunt Jenny proud.  She played that record non-stop for an entire summer as I recall.

It's a date night tonight.  No idea where we're going.  Sam and Emma return to me tomorrow afternoon.  I'm going to try to steal Duncan and Berry away tomorrow morning to work on secret projects.  Fun times.



Mid Week Excitement

January 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's the first day back to school for the kids, though I returned to work a couple days ago.  The adjustment was relatively smooth - I'm getting things done and preparing for the departure of one of our developers.  If any of you know a good developer, let me know.


Joanna was supposed to return to Eugene last night with the kids, but her flight from San Francisco was canceled due to weather.  They just took off and should land in Eugene around 9:30 a.m.  Hopefully they can return home and get settled, though I think the little kids will miss the first day of school.

Last night I had a fun work-related dinner.  Karl invited a bunch of coworkers and my previous manager Glen to Ambrosia.  We told stories of times gone by and ate good food.  Nice things were said about me, which was strangely rewarding.  I also have a little packet where I can pick out my 20 year anniversary present.  There are weird things in there, like a popcorn maker and leaf blower.  I'm currently leaning towards the bike, as we have a lot of kids moving up into bigger bikes.

I chatted with Cecilia about her trip before picking up Sam and helping him with math homework.  I think she had a good time on her trip - the highlights seemed to be her walks in the wilderness and doing young adult things with her cousin, her cousin's brother, and their family's Spanish exchange student.  They bowled at the arcade and drove around playing music loudly.  I'm glad she's gotten the full American experience.

The rest of the week should be relatively routine.  It'll be nice to have things settle down again.



More Snow

January 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

Emma and I ran around in the newly fallen snow.  There wasn't much of it, and it was more ice balls than actual snowflakes, but that didn't deter us very much.  Later we took the drone down to the park and flew around.  I actually did fly through the cheese sculpture, but I didn't catch it on video.


Sam woke up close to noon.  I made him breakfast and he worked on learning how to play his new electric guitar using Rocksmith.  It worked pretty well, though he obviously needs more time.  Sam then helped me replace the sewage ejector, which went pretty quickly and I think is working okay now.  He did most of the work and rewarded himself with a shower in his own bathroom.

Isa stole Sam away for the rest of the day.  Emma's working on a birthday card for Isa.  I've got some outdoor chores I could do, but the cold is making me reticent. 



Snow!

January 03, 2016 by Adam in Family

There's a sprinkle of snow all around the house today.  Not enough to play with, unfortunately, but it does make everything pretty.  Maybe I can pry kids off their electronic devices long enough to tromp around outside before it melts.

New Year's Eve was fun.  Joanna made virgin piƱa coladas and we watched the ball drop in the New York time zone. Before that we watched the Johnny's Countdown, which involves Japanese boy bands wearing sparkly outfits and dancing in unison.  Joanna left early in the morning - I got up to make tea and carry luggage before stumbling back to bed.  She's been doing fine in Rochester, hanging out with Danica and visiting with the kids and assorted friends.

Sam went over to Isa's Friday most of the day, leaving Emma and I to hang out.  She did some soldering for me, trying to repair an old tablet we're using as a picture frame.  I took down all the Christmas decorations, which took all morning.  We invited my mom to come over and play Betrayal at House on the Hill, barely avoiding being eaten by monsters controlled by grandma Sue.  Eventually Sam and Isa came over and we played a bunch of Drawful.



Saturday was house project day.  Emma and I hung up her bulletin board and cleaned her room while listening to jazz music.  The sewage injector died, which means Sam's bathroom is non-functional.  Yesterday Sam and I pulled out the old one.  The new one arrived late afternoon, though we'll install it today.  Sam and I picked up pizza and we watched a very old Mythbusters.  Eventually we got Emma to bed and Sam and I watched some shows that Joanna wouldn't want to watch (Ash versus the Evil Dead).

As for today, the sewage injector looms high on the list.  Sam has to work more on homework.  Later today we have an Isa birthday related activity.  Tomorrow my vacation ends and I'm back to work.  Cecilia returns tomorrow.  Joanna and the kids arrive late Tuesday.  The other day Sam said he likes having lots of people around, which is likely the closest I'll hear that he misses everyone.  Me too.



Happy New Year

January 01, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of 2015 and we're back home.  Other than missing the Mystery Spot, the last day was uneventful.  We hung out in downtown Santa Cruz before heading to the airport.

It's been a mixed day.  The sewage injection pump died, so I ordered parts and Sam and I are going to try and fix it this weekend.  Joanna mostly worked, washed clothes, and packed for her trip tomorrow.  Isa came over and hung out with Sam.  Emma hung out on the couch all day.  The three of them are all pretty sniffly.

I went food shopping and went to the library, but otherwise hung out with everyone else and tended to house issues.  The kids and I played Betrayal at House on the Hill - Isa ended up the traitor and the rest of us defeated her. 

Joanna's making a tasty dinner and pie for dessert.  We're staying up until nine o'clock to celebrate New Year's in New York.  Tomorrow Joanna leaves crazy early in the morning.  I'll be hanging out with kids all weekend.  Wish me luck.

Here are a few video highlights of the trip:



Older Posts