Mocha Friday

July 28, 2017 by Adam in Family

We've been settling in after our anniversary trip, with our family reunion just around the corner.  Sam did a good job holding down the fort, though he did miss us and leftover levels were getting low.  Sam and Emma have been working at Jamie's, staining her fence.  Sam's also been teaching Emma programming skills, which I think they both generally enjoy doing.

Joanna misses the kiddos.  Unfortunately the computer we got for Duncan was damaged in transport, which has been frustrating for everyone.  It's gotten pretty quiet around here - I miss their goofy exuberance as well.

I hope the Portland trip goes well - it's the last vacation of summer for me, and I look forward to hanging out with everyone.  I've been stocking up on board games for Greg and Sadie's arrival.

There are a bunch of things we still need to do for school in the fall.  Sam wants to get in a harder computer class.  Emma wants to figure out how to take the bus from her mom's house.  All the kids need clothes and supplies.  The cycle of life continues.

Heading Home

July 25, 2017 by Adam in Family

We're leaving Astoria after breakfast, driving through Portland and then back home. It's been a pleasant trip, with the occasional quirky part. I amazingly managed to read all three books I got for my birthday.

We left Manzinita's up scale tourist shops and drove to Canon Beach. The parking was insane, with people from all over the world coming to visit. Joanna found a yarn shop with comfortable chairs so I could read. We walked down to the busy beach to watch the kite surfers and see Haystack Rock then drove north to Astoria.

It's a quirky town, both run down from recessions as well as having some beautifully refinished old houses. We decided it was like a pre gentrification San Francisco, complete with the steepest hill on the west coast.

My favorite part was the 100 year old trolley ride by the waterfront, manned by two retired guys with witty banter.

Beach Trip

July 23, 2017 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I are in Manzinita, slowly waking up to the day. It's been a wonderful trip so far, with the weather being the best I've ever seen.

Friday afternoon we left Eugene, stopping to watch whales in Depoe Bay. There were a number of them feeding on the kelp, entertaining the tourists.

Yesterday we left my dad's house after helping him install a new tv and headed north. We stopped for a long hike into the mist at Lookout Point. Next was Manzinita where we drank and ate cheese at a whiskey bar, owned by a literary agent Joanna knew.

Berry is having some challenges settling in to Rochester, Duncan wanted to talk about his new keyboard, and Sam is taking prerequisite math tests for his computer class. Hopefully Emma is well in Mexico.

We're off to Astoria today, home of the Goonies. Should be fun.

Mocha Friday

July 21, 2017 by Adam in Family

We celebrated Duncan's actual birthday yesterday.  Joanna has been giving him updates on exactly how pregnant she was feeling 12 years ago.  Kevin came over for dinner and presents, which ended up going really well.  I think kids of divorced parents appreciate when they all get together and are generally polite to each other.  This morning we woke up early, packed their bags, and sent them off on their journey to Rochester.  It's going to be quiet around here for a while.

I heard from Emma, who made it to her resort in Cabo.  She described everyone there as extroverted - I think she's a little nervous and just wanted to hide in her room when she first got there.  After a nap she seemed better.

Sam's in a cheerful mood, sorting through all the U of O things he needs to do for the fall.  He's gotten back into game development and is working on a fun little pixel battle game.  I think he learns a little more each time he makes a little project.

I'm working this morning, fixing more weird bugs that slipped into our little project accidentally.  Software development is challenging.  Gotta get my mocha soon.

This afternoon we'll be headed out on our anniversary trip, ending up at the coast tonight.  Should be fun for all.

Birthday Boy

July 19, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's my birthday today.  I'm enjoying the brief stillness of the morning before I feed kids and start into work.  It's nice to get back into the routine after the last two crazy orientation days at the U of O.  All the massive groups marching around pushed Sam past his "I'm done" point, but he had some great one-on-one advisors that met with him yesterday afternoon and he's signed up for classes in the fall.  Today he plans on biking over by himself to try and sign up for a more challenging computer class.  I'm proud of his resilience.

Duncan and Berry are in their final days before heading off to Rochester.  I just finished folding the last batch of clothes before they return.  They've both been a little sweeter than normal it seems, or I've been noticing it more as I prepare to miss them.  They seem to look forward to their trip, and I hope they have a great time with their east coast family.  Reminds me a little of my childhood trips.

Joanna and I have our trip in a couple days, with Sam holding down the fort.  It'll be nice to get away with my lovely wife.  For today, though, I'm looking forward to assorted people coming to dinner and being served one of my favorite desserts - chocolate potato cake.  It's been modified from the original Russian recipe to add chocolate covered espresso beans on top.  Can't wait.

U of O Orientation

July 18, 2017 by Adam in Sam

I just returned from the first day of orientation at the O of U, aptly named IntroDUCKtion.  The duck puns were flying fast and furious all day long.

It was relatively well done, considering we moved 400+ freshmen and their families through various presentations throughout the day.  I briefly returned home as Sam and Isa were taking Japanese placement tests.  They were both worn out after it all.  I'll scoop them up for dinner and a relatively normal evening.  Sam has a math placement test, but otherwise should be ready to get his classes tomorrow.

I've got a checklist of things that need to be done, but I think we can get both those kids settled into college in September.

Birthday Boy

July 18, 2017 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan had his first birthday celebration this weekend.  He and a bunch of his friends went to Pixel Battles, where Joanna had rented out the entire place.  I actually had a pretty good time, as I got to play with both the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR.  Virtual reality is pretty cool and I had a couple "wow" moments along the way.

Duncan was his usual funny self.  Joanna refreshed his rainbow hair for the occasion.  No one would stop playing video games, so presents were opened up later that day.

Mocha Saturday

July 15, 2017 by Adam in Family

We're getting ready for Duncan's birthday party today.  Soon we'll have a horde of pre-teens playing video games at Pixel Battles.  I'm hoping for five minutes in VR to decide how cool it is.

Various summer changes are in the air.  Duncan and Berry head out to Rochester next week.  Joanna and I are headed to the coast, while Emma goes to Cabo with her mom.  Sam was strangely excited to be the lone person in the house for a few days.  Monday Sam and I go to the U of O orientation.  Wednesday is my birthday.

The week has generally been good.  Joanna hosted an event that was well attended.  Between Cory and I at work, we squashed a huge number of bugs and my installer got a brief positive mention at the all team meeting.  Sam's been working hard for my mom, returning sore, scraped, and slightly sunburned each evening.

Life moves on.

Mid-Week Update

July 12, 2017 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along nicely.  Isa wandered over to hang out with Sam yesterday - the two of them went to work for my mom yesterday.  Berry continues going to her camp, which I think is somewhat better after a disappointing magician.  Joanna's been playing soccer the last couple nights, returning home sweaty but satisfied.  Duncan and Emma have been puttering around.  Emma worked on a painting of an Adventure Time scene yesterday and I drove her to her mom's house to water the garden while she's out in Virginia.

As for me, I've got back into the swing of things at work.  I made my installer even prettier yesterday and switched to bug fixing.  We might try some client site updates right around my birthday.

I'm also preparing for the birthday cluster coming up next week, turning Joanna's old desktop computer into one Duncan can take with him to Rochester.  I wouldn't want him to be deprived while he stays with his dad.

Back to Work

July 10, 2017 by Adam in Family

I'll be heading out into the backyard soon, fixing problems and adding features.  I do kinda miss it when I'm away for a while.

Saturday morning I convinced Sam and Emma to help me power wash and paint. The exterior retaining walls look shiny and new now, though the love seat is going to need more work.

Yesterday was generally entertaining.  After a tasty meal of crepes, sausages, and fresh fruit, Sam, Emma, and I played Aeon Altar.  It's a wacky new computer game that uses phones as controllers and gives secret information to each player in this role playing game.  The best part is everyone reading their lines, as well as keeping their individual goals secret from everyone else.

Berry has Camp Rigilio at her old school, cooking and speaking French.  Emma's around all week, and I'm hoping she and Duncan will manage to work together to stay off screens for at least some of the day.


July 08, 2017 by Adam in Family

I've been negligent and haven't posted in a week.  It's been tremendously busy and we only returned from Sunriver this afternoon.  Let me attempt a quick recap.

Last weekend before we left Joanna went on a cleaning and purging frenzy.  My anniversary chairs arrived, looking quite spiffy and matching.  I picked Sam and Isa up at the airport from their Hawaii trip on Sunday.  It was all quite pleasant.

I worked a little on Monday, cleaning up a few things that I'd been wanting to get to.  There's this concept called "technical debt," which is just a fancy way of doing code cleanup.  Anyway, I updated some package versions and declared success.

Tuesday we scooped up Emma and Isa and hit the road, loaded with luggage and two extra bikes.  Sam's favorite part of the trip occured just before we got to Sunriver.  Something punctured a tire and after a few wobbly moments the tire shredded and we pulled over to the side.  Fortunately changing the tire was easy, with Sam and Joanna doing much of the work.  We hit the road and made it to our rental house shortly.

The place was great, with plenty of room for everyone and a garage full of bikes and inflatable watercraft.  The kids played ping pong, ran around outside, and generally entertained themselves.  Joanna grilled us burgers for the Fourth of July, as is the way of our people.

The next day Joanna went into town to go food shopping and replace the back tires.  Duncan got moody, but I was able to entertain him with a dead mouse in a ziplock bag that Sam found dessicated in the garage.  Apparently such things are full of potential mischief, but Berry texted Joanna about it before things went too far.

I walked everyone 30 minutes through the paths to the water park.  It was a little huge and overwhelming.  Sam and Isa peeled off to return home.  Joanna arrived.  I hopped in the pool briefly with Emma.  Duncan and Berry had a great time, loving the water slide.  We all returned home for pasta and fresh bread.

Yesterday we started with a raft trip.  Unfortunately my planning was iffy, as was my estimate of river flow.  Sam and Isa went upstream a fair amount, everyone else tooled around the still part briefly and left for ice cream.  I took the raft looking for Sam and Isa, enjoying our brief float back to shore.

After a good long rest we hit the road again and went to the lava river cave.  That ended up being fun for everyone, though Sam was disappointed that it wasn't more like the time I took him when he was little.  Somehow we got in when no one was around and I led him through the caves with just the light of my hi 8 video recorder.  Still, I thought this time around was pretty cool.

This morning we packed up the house and stopped by the lava flows, walking up the desolate landscape to see the sights.  It was another well received adventure.  We drove into Sunriver one last time to eat at a Mexican food place.  Eventually we made it home and collapsed, with some minor driving Isa and Emma off to their respective mothers.

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