The End of 2017

December 31, 2017 by Adam in Family

The year is wrapping up.  Joanna hopped on a flight to Rochester and made it there safe and sound.  It's crazy cold and snowy there, in sharp contrast to the warm and sunny weather.

I've mostly been hanging out with Sam and Emma.  I've had a touch of a headache, so I haven't been too enthusiastic today.  I keep fiddling with the Oculus sensors, trying to get tracking working better.  Eventually I'll get it working the way I want.  We did make a trip to House of Records this afternoon.  Nothing was purchased, but we had a good time browsing.  Sam knew the guy at the store, and attempted to get Emma to buy punk and heavy metal records.  I suggested sea chanties and the Miami Vice soundtrack, but we left empty handed.

Happy Boxing Day!

December 27, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's the day after Christmas, which went pretty well despite the occasional medical crisis.  I think I have a conjunctival cyst, which is basically a bubble on my eyeball.  I'm trying to get to see Dr. Arbow soon.  Emma thinks it's a xenomorph incubating.  I took Emma to the doctor today and the doctor thinks she has walking pneumonia - she's started an antibiotic treatment.

I think people liked their Christmas presents.  Emma got a record player, so she's a good recipient of old records people might have.  She also got a Polaroid camera to complete her retro presents.  I got some good exercise equipment in hopes of setting up a gym in the basement.  Sam got cash and a balaclava, which keeps him warm on his bike rides.  Joanna got a bunch of knitting related things.  Santa also got everyone some new board games and an Oculus Rift.

I didn't get a chance to try virtual reality in the Rift until a couple hours ago.  It was pretty amazing, wandering around imaginary places and giggling like a crazy person.  Sam spent a bunch of time in different games.  He likes Robo Recall quite a bit, which involves shooting and throwing evil robots around.  Emma played with the drawing and sculpting programs.  I've yet to get Joanna in there, but mom and Guillaume had a good time for their short tutorials.

We've been doing various meals with family members and are off to Jenny's in a short while.  I've got three days of work ahead of me.  Joanna leaves this Friday.  Hopefully Sam and Emma can entertain themselves until my short post-New Year vacation.

Quiet Saturday

December 23, 2017 by Adam in Family

Vacation continues, the house quieter than usual.  Thursday we had Sam and Emma - we managed to watch the latest Star Wars movie with Sam's friend Marcos, mom, and Dez.  Yesterday morning Sam rolled out of bed early to work out at the Y and then he and Emma went to Corvallis with Jamie to visit her mom.

Joanna and I enjoyed our day together.  We hiked Ridgeline Trail, stopped at Laughing Planet for lunch, and then gathered food supplies for Christmas dinner.  Our evening was filled with tasty grown-up food, doing a puzzle, and watching The Crown.  As for today, I made some pancakes, bacon, veggie sausage, poached eggs, and a mocha.  Though it was a bit of work for just the two of us, it was well received.  I've got a bit more present wrapping today and the kids arrive tonight.

Happy Solstice

December 21, 2017 by Adam in Family

The rest of the vacation wasn't entirely uneventful, though we generally enjoyed the experience.  Someone drove into a power pole, shutting off power to about 2,000 homes including ours.  Fortunately we were halfway through breakfast, so the coffee was made and we could boil water on the gas stove to give ourselves a pioneer wash.  We headed into Medford and the power returned by the time we came home.  Joanna picked up some yarn while we were around civilization, along with some wood for the fireplace.  The rest of the day was pleasant and uneventful.

Now we're back home, trying to get ready for Christmas with our people scattered about.  Duncan and Benny seem to be having a good time in Rochester.  Sam says he enjoyed his time in a quiet house.  We had his friend Markos over for dinner last night.  Now Sam's off to the gym, then working for my mom.  Emma comes soon - we'll probably watch the latest Runaways and go to the library.  Joanna's working this morning.

I checked in with my mom yesterday and it sounds like things are looking okay for Bob, Yayoe is up and moving around, and we're all hanging in there.  Tonight is the longest night of the year, so it's all sunnier days from here on out.

Cabin in the Woods

December 19, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's the end of our first full day in the cabin in the woods, a little south of Grants Pass.  The people who stayed before us apparently had a little too much fun.  We got a text from the owner that there had been a fire in the chimney and the kerosine heater was running low.  After some frantic back-and-forth, we decided to give Miles a chance and see if it worked out.  Fortunately, we managed to stay warm, the cabin was lovely, and the hot tub under the stars was very pleasant.

We've done virtually nothing today, which has been exactly as pleasant as it sounds.  Joanna made crepes for breakfast.  We took a walk up the road into the misty forest.  People came to fill the kerosene tank and clean the chimney.  We lazed about, worked on a puzzle, and took a fruitless drive to try and get some firewood.  I continued to work on the puzzle while Joanna practiced Christmas songs on the ukelele.  Now I type away while my lovely wife makes mushroom risotto.

Tomorrow there's a winter warning, with the possibility of snow.  With luck, it's not too much trouble and just ends up being a magical experience.  Sam apparently broke out the Lego bricks with Markos yesterday.  Hopefully, that's about as much mischief as he gets up to.  It'll be nice to see the kids for a day before they go off with Jamie to Corvallis, leaving mounds of presents for us to wrap.

Linux Rules, Windows Drools

December 17, 2017 by Adam in Adam's Projects

Yayoe's old computer, which runs Windows, updated itself and found itself in a death spiral.  I didn't quite get around to formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows 10 from scratch, but I did most everything else.  It just got stuck installing the patch, installing Windows, and eventually I gave up.

Fortunately installing Linux is pretty painless these days.  I made a bootable USB key with Linux Mint, plugged it in, installed Chrome, and now Duncan can watch YouTube, I can watch Netflix, and everyone is happy.

The End Is Neigh

December 16, 2017 by Adam in Family

Well, it sometimes feels that way.  I got really sick Friday afternoon, sleeping as much as possible.  Joanna rushed in to tell me the hot water heater was spewing water.  I stumbled about cursing and failing to shut things off, then left it in Sam's hands to deal with.  Between the two of them, Sam shut off power to the hot water heater and Joanna got the plumber to come fix the valve, which they did for free.

I'm on the mend today, though the sinus pain is pretty bad.  I've taken to heating up wash cloths and sticking them on my face.  I turn beet red and amuse my wife and children, but it feels so very nice.

Mom twisted her ankle.  Yayoe fell and has a compression fracture on her spine.  Emma's cough continues to keep her up.  Tomorrow morning Duncan and Benny go to their dad's house.  Joanna and I leave for the cabin.  Hopefully we all survive until spring.

Mocha Friday

December 15, 2017 by Adam in Family

We all somehow made it through the week.  Emma and I got pretty sick, with Emma actually taking a day off of school this week.  I think my cold is finally improving - I slept through the night and mostly feel okay.

We're moving into the eye of the Christmas hurricane momentarily.  I've at least opened the mountain of packages that have been arriving, though I've yet to wrap much of anything.  Duncan and Benny open their big presents today.  Joanna and I take a trip to southern Oregon for a few days starting Sunday.  Sam and Emma go to Corvallis next weekend.  Joanna is hosting Christmas dinner.  When everyone returns we'll do another small Christmas with the little kids.  Then we collapse.

Sam was planning on going to California to visit a friend, but things fell through and I think he's going to be around this weekend.  We might do a Star Wars run sometime, though coordinating everyone's schedules is non-trivial.  I'm going to declare success if everyone ends up well.  Sam seems mostly better and Joanna had a touch of energy yesterday.

Work's going pretty well. I'm creating and fixing complicated problems.  I've been focused full-time on my old team, which has been personally satisfying.  This funky marketplace thing we envisioned a few months back is finally coming together, though the details are always trickier than first imagined.

I hope all is well with the extended family.  I've been fretting about John and Bob and hope their procedures go well.  The general wellbeing of those around me is what I really want for Christmas (though more chocolate covered espresso beans would be swell too).

Sick Weekend

December 11, 2017 by Adam in Family

The cold finally caught up with me.  I'm coughing and sniffling away, taking Advil at a steady pace throughout the day.  Sam and Emma also seem under the weather, with Benny and Joanna finally seeming to start to improve.  Only Duncan seems immune, which he attributes to eating weird things over the years to toughen up his immune system.

Otherwise the weekend has been pretty low-key.  We threw the minimum necessary ornaments on the tree.  Benny's been excited and frustrated making a miniature doll house that Mattie her babysitter got them.  Duncan's friend came over and Joanna dyed his hair rainbow as well.  Sam's friends have mostly left for California, so he's been hanging out and doing things like playing Arma 3 with me.  Emma and I finished Silence, a video game we've been playing.  Mostly she stayed in bed and I chatted away with her.  I attempted to fix Joanna's broken phone, made it even worse, and realized there's a cheap place in town that will do it for me.  Hopefully that gets resolved soon.

One more week of school, then Duncan and Benny head to their dad's house, Joanna and I have a little vacation in the woods, and leave Sam in charge of the household.  Hopefully it all goes smoothly.

Mocha Friday

December 08, 2017 by Adam in Family

I'm somehow cheerful this week, despite the illnesses floating around and feeling woefully unprepared for Christmas.  Maybe it's that the kids made it through the first term of school generally intact.  Emma got 4 A+s and an A.  Sam has his last final today after feeling good about his two final essays.  I helped Duncan practice memorizing a French poem - his friend described his last recital as "Duncan terrible" but this one was just terrible.  We'll take what we can get, I suppose.

Emma chatted about her new classes this term.  She already knows her Ukulele chords, which they're apparently practicing - she looked like a traveling minstrel when she arrived in my office yesterday afternoon.  Emma rattled off the alphabet and a few phrases in French, along with saying she knows how to kiss people on the cheeks the proper French way.  Honors English is keeping her up late with essays.  She did say that two of her classmates in math talked about how smart she was and that Emma is now their friend, so that perked her up.

Joanna is still under the weather, though I occasionally see glimmers of her old self.  Mostly she's been taking it easy as the children allow her to.  We're going out tonight, so dancing the night away is likely off my list.

I did have a weird issue with my new contacts - my near vision suddenly got worse.  After a few days of deciding I had instantly become an old man, I switched back to my old brand and the world seems clearer again.

Hopefully this weekend we can get a little more Christmasy stuff in place.  Sam's busy endlessly - hopefully soon he can help repair some broken screens for Joanna and Gaullaume.  Duncan and Benny are off to their dad's in a week.  Life is never boring.

Finals Week

December 06, 2017 by Adam in Family

The term is wrapping up at a rapid pace.  Sam is finishing his final paper tonight and has a test on Friday.  Emma's been doing presentations.  Benny finished their diorama of Salt Lake City.

Joanna's been having a hard time this weekend.  I attempted to pick up the slack and do more cooking and grocery shopping.  I think she's on the mend a little bit.  Our neighbor fell and fractured her ankle, calling Joanna before her husband.  Joanna ran Victoria to urgent care and got her settled back at home.  I think playing super hero perked Joanna up a bit.

The weekend was pretty full.  I managed to hang out with Emma a fair amount.  I defeated a hard enemy in Fallout 4 for her and we watched another Runaways.  She helped cook a few meals, which I appreciate.

Sam went to a shaving party and is currently sporting a mohawk.  We'll see how long it lasts or if another style will emerge soon.  It's starting to get a little chilly to have short hair, so maybe he'll grow it out.

Under the Weather Mocha Friday

December 01, 2017 by Adam in Family

I've been a little under the weather the last couple days.  I made it through my morning meetings yesterday then went to lay down and didn't really return to work until 3 p.m.  I did manage to finally write some decent code, which made me happy.  I want to finish it up today so I can switch gears and make this marketplace thingie that everyone seems to be looking at me to design and build.

Christmas is looming on the horizon.  The boxes have started to arrive and we put up advent calendars last night.  Duncan and Benny are getting the usual chocolates, while I went high tech with Emma.  I'm making these pieces of paper with QR codes that play a song.  It's been a lot of work to set up and I've only got 5 days done out of the month.  Oh - and I forgot to get my chocolate covered espresso beans from my advent calendar.  Too much to do.

Sam's shaving his head this weekend, though doing a mohawk first.  I think it's in part because a friend of his is leaving school.  He may end up wearing a wool hat until it grows back - it's getting nippy outside.

I hung out with Emma last night and watched another episode of Runaways.  Maybe we can finally go see Thor.

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