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.


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.


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. 


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:

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