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.


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.


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.

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