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.


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.

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