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.

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