Celebrating Christmas with the Conquest of Sweden

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

Sam's been guiding Emma through the conquest of Sweden in Crusader Kings 2.  I think they've been having a really good time, as after opening presents they went downstairs for more conquest.  Emma's leader is an old man, but his bloodline is strong and his dynasty is assured.

As for the rest of Christmas, it began with a call from Emma at 6:30 in the morning.  Apparently she, Duncan, and Benny had been waiting for me to appear like I have every year in the past.  When I didn't awake, Emma texted and then phoned me.  I stumbled downstairs for the opening of stockings.

The gifts were opened, with Emma playing Santa and delivering things to people.  Sam ended up with a bunch of cash, Joanna got a new spinning wheel, I got clothes and a PS4 for myself, Duncan got games, Benny and Emma got books and art supplies.  Now we're cleaning things up and getting ready for a day of leisure.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Christmas Eve

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's Christmas Eve, a very relaxing Monday after a very relaxing weekend.  The last minute Christmas tasks are mostly completed - I wrapped all the presents and baked a couple pumpkin pies, one vegan and one normal.  Sam and Emma have been off a fair amount and I hung out with Joanna yesterday, going food shopping and decorating the Christmas tree.  Duncan and Benny have been reveling in computer games, occasionally switching it up to play a little virtual reality.

I'm pleasantly excited for tomorrow, mostly to see everyone's reaction to their gifts. I don't think there's anything really awesome, but hopefully they enjoy hanging out with everyone.

Back to Greece

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

I picked up Moss and Assassin's Creed Odyssey during the latest Steam sale.  Moss is a very cute VR platformer where you control a little mouse that jumps around pretty environments.  I've mostly been playing Odyssey, though.  I'm a mercenary in ancient Greece, occasionally running into events or people from my history classes.  It doesn't have the same awesome pirate factor as Black Flag, but it's still good and the environment is quite pretty.

Test Day

December 21, 2018 by Adam in Family

I wasn't able to get my morning mocha, as I was rushing out the door to get to our big certification test.  It's being presented at the moment - my team is doing a great job and all is doing well.  We still have another hour or so, but it's all looking good so far.

It's been a somewhat busy week before Christmas.  I had a good dinner with dad, coffee with mom, and got the kids through their various routines.  We had a bad storm, one of which led to a flooded basement at my mom's house.  Sam ran over to take care of it, fortunately. We had a drain spout spraying water as it poured off the roof, and a back stairwell drain clogged with leaves, but fortunately wasn't washed away.

The one amusing experiment I performed on the kids was feeding Duncan an increasing amount of french toast every morning.  I started with three big pieces on Monday, moved to four, then five (though each piece getting smaller).  I joked that I'd stop increasing by one each day and start doubling - sure enough he ate ten (very tiny) pieces of french toast on Thursday.  He was a little slow at the end but finished it all.  I think his goal is to get to six feet tall by the end of the year - he's currently a quarter inch shy.

Hopefully the test goes well and I take next week off.  I've got a handful of Christmas prep tasks, but otherwise feel pretty good about things.  We get all the kids this year, so that'll be a treat.


December 17, 2018 by Adam in Jenny

Jenny and Jordan were in Annie this year, Jenny playing the mean orphanage owner and Jordan the wealthy adopter of children.  They were great.

Christmas is Coming

December 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up, quiet after a frenzy of activity all weekend.  Sam and Emma were both around quite a bit, so we played a bunch of Peggle, Bookworm Adventures, and generally hung out.

Friday night we all gathered around to play Jackbox games - the one with rap battling robots and the game where we draw and pitch inventions.

Saturday Emma and I picked up mom and went to see Jenny and Jordan in the Annie musical.  We've seen Jordan most years now - he keeps improving and played the key role of Mr. Warbucks.  Jenny was Miss Hannigan, absolutely fabulous in the role of the bossy orphanage owner.  She sang and danced and, in my opinion, stole the show.  Dez and his girlfriend showed up too, so it was a fun get together.

Saturday night was pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.  Sam slept through dinner, which was strange for him, but I woke him up and we watched the key parts again.

Today we had our usual big breakfast, followed by a project to patch the ceiling.  It started by hanging plastic to keep the dust contained, followed by Sam and I sanding the ceiling.  I had to stop and get better sandpaper at one point.  It was grueling work, dust got everywhere, and my eyes were dusty too despite all the safety gear attached to my face.  Eventually I declared it good enough, took down everything, and spent an hour cleaning dust from everything.  I spent a little time with Emma before she went to dinner with Jamie at Angie's house.

The big news of the day was that Jamie and Meg plan to get married next August.  I wished them the best - I've always really liked Meg.  Hopefully it all goes well.

Mocha Friday

December 14, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's another Friday, my mocha slowly disappearing beside me as I run through various tests as part of a dry-run before our big work test next week.  Testing starts next Friday at 6:30 a.m. - hopefully I'll be semi-functional by then.  We had some rough bits this moment where our tests weren't passing, but I figured out the issue and got things working again.  If all goes well, I'll take a bunch of time off around Christmas.

I'm slowly getting ready for the holidays, getting presents and decorations put up.  The tree is still barely decorated, and I think Joanna wants to replace the hypno-lights we currently have.  We also have a hole in the plaster above the dining room table from the roof leaking.  Sam nicely offered to fix it with me.

The kids are generally doing okay.  Duncan has a project where we need to record him pointing out the water, gas, and electrical shut offs for the house - it's good reminders for everyone.  Sam's thinking about applying for an electrician's apprentice.  Emma's surviving her endless tests and quizzes.  This morning at breakfast she decided we should prepare for a possible "Freaky Friday" situation in case we switch bodies.  She then proceeded to tell me where her classes were and how to recognize her friends at lunch by their lunch box decorations.

Christmas is Coming

December 10, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're slowly getting ready for Christmas.  We have a tree, though it's not decorated yet.  I wrapped presents over the weekend, though I have a few more I'd like to get.  We gathered all the kids for a quick family photo, which is always quirky and interesting.

The weekend was generally good.  Saturday morning I picked up Emma after breakfast and she drove us home from her mom's house.  Later we went to the Beanery, drank coffee, and played Magic the Gathering.  As the day wound down, I got to chat with each kid a little.  Benny played a bunch of VR.  Sam and Skye played Kingdomino and 5 Minute Dungeon with me for a few hours. Duncan showed me his latest video.

Sunday was a little more busy.  The leak in Duncan's ceiling returned.  I ripped out the drooping part of the ceiling over the dining room table, getting it ready for patching.  I helped Emma study for her test.  There was lots of laundry to fold and dishes to wash.

The kids' grades came in, all pretty good.  Emma got all A's.  Ben had their usual good grades, with lots of nice notes.  Duncan's grades seem to be improving - I think he really likes science and did well in that class.

Street Tacos

December 06, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm back home, very sleepy after a delayed flight.  I climbed into bed around 1 a.m.

The trip was generally pretty good.  I got to hang out with my old work friends Maggie and Cory, who have since moved to other companies.  We made good progress on my project - managing to get both magic file types to pass the automated tests.  We might actually pull this crazy thing off.  We also did assorted team building exercises, including a cooking competition at a local culinary school where we competed to make street tacos.  I thought our team's vegetarian option was great, but sadly we came in last.  I also enjoyed just hanging out with my team mates - it turns out one is going vegan and another loves board games.  The weather was cold and snow was everywhere.  It's nice to be home.

The kids are all doing okay.  Benny burned off half an eyebrow working on a science kit - something about electricial sparks.  Fortunately the kit had safety glasses, and the next day in science they gave a short speech to their class about the importance of safety goggles.

Emma started new classes, fortunately still having three with her friend Tevi.  She's still withholding judgement about which ones she likes, though she seems excited about her Child Development class.  I think she's volunteering at some preschools and is excited to hang out with babies.

Joanna did a fine job holding down the fort while I was away.  The leak in the roof has been repaired - now I just need to fix the cosmetic issues in the living room.  Kids were fed.  Tea was made.  Life moves on.

Off and Away

December 03, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm packing up and heading to the airport shortly for a visit to Salt Lake City.  I hear it's cold, so I need to remember to pack a hat.

The weekend was good.  Emma and I hung out a bunch, getting her ready for school and stringing up Christmas lights outside.  We ended up playing a bunch of Peggle, and my old Peggle skills returned.  I kept surprising Emma with my ability to bounce balls around and make near-impossible shots.

Kevin hung out with Duncan and Benny.  Duncan had a good time.  Benny had a harder time with the visit, unfortunately and ended up back home a couple times.  Tonight Kevin's coming over for dinner, which hopefully is easier for Ben.

Sam hung out with friends most of the time, though he ate with us occasionally and played Duck Game and a board game with whoever was about.  Joanna got some gardening in.  I managed to get the advent calendars up in time, if just barely.

Mocha Friday

November 30, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm starting in on the work day as the kids go off to their last day of school. Emma survived her finals and has some new classes next term - Earth and Space Science, Child Development, and a few others.  Duncan's new class is Robotics.

I had a nice coffee with mom yesterday.  My heart calcium test returned - I'm just fine as I suspected.  Joanna gave notice at her office and is thinking through her business' next steps.  Work is coming along nicely - I passed one of the two certifications for the first time, though admittedly it was just a test run and the easier of the two.

I've got to get ready for my trip this weekend.  There are also endless Christmas decorations to put up.  Duncan and Benny are hanging out with their dad over this weekend, which hopefully goes well.  I'm hoping for some library runs and hang out time.

Into the Weekend

November 29, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's not quite Mocha Friday, though I'm heading out for coffee with mom this morning.  It's been a pretty quiet week.  I took dad's car to the car lot to be sold, freeing up some driveway space.  We had the leak in the roof looked at, and we'll hopefully get the roof vents replaced soon.  The main floor toilet and upstairs shower knobs were replaced.  Joanna's been doing a good job maintaining our lovely and historic home.

Work is chugging along - I'm trying not to get too attached on whether or not we'll actually make our deadlines.  I snuck in some work on my old project as I wait for data for my new one.

Jamie's on vacation this weekend so Emma's hanging out with us for the next few days as she finishes up the term.  Kevin is in town, so Duncan and Benny were likely spending a fair amount of time with them.  I'm hoping Joanna and I can have some hang out time, as our date night was thwarted last night.


November 29, 2018 by Adam in Sam

Sam turned twenty earlier this week.  There's something special about the two decade milestone, though we couldn't think of anything special about the age from a legal perspective.  I got him some clothes and camping gear, which seemed to be well received.  Long gone are the days when I could just get him video games and Legos.

Back to Work

November 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

I've returned to work after my week off.  I kinda remember how to type on the keyboard and make things happen.  I've got a full week, then I'm off to Salt Lake City again next week.  

Sam and mom made it back home, both seeming pretty wiped out.  Joanna and I had our kissaversary yesterday, where I gave her a book I made from scratch, complete with pictures of us together.  I think I scored bonus husband points for that one.  We took Emma, Duncan, and Benny off on a hike through brambles and mud around Moon Mountain.  I've been trying to explore new places more often these days.

Sam is officially 20 today, dropping us down to two teenagers in the house.  It's funny to think that two decades ago everyone was hanging out in the hospital waiting room, eating turkey and waiting for Sam to be born.

Black Friday

November 24, 2018 by Adam in Family

My week off work is coming to a close.  Thanksgiving was a small, but pleasant affair.  Joanna cooked up a storm, feeding Jenny and her family, along with Bob who seemed in good spirits.  We ate and chatted until people had to go to their next event.  Joanna went for a walk and visited friends.  Emma and I continued our Lord of the Rings marathon and finished the Two Towers.  I think Gimli has grown on her.

Today has been pretty low key.  Joanna tried to do her normal exercise and work routine.  I fed kids breakfast and generally moved them through the day's routine, getting them doing homework as much as I could manage.  Finals are next week for Emma, so she has her final art project and various tests to study for.  She's getting all A's, but her AP US History grade is a little on the low side.

We have a leak right over the living room table, likely due to some issue with the roof and the recent storm.  Hopefully it's an easy fix.

Tomorrow I go in for a calcium test for my heart, as my doctor wants to decide if I should go on statins or not.  Such is the result of higher than normal cholesterol scores at my advanced age.  Hopefully it's fine and I can do nothing.

Sam and mom are in Utah, heading back from Thanksgiving with Seraph and family.  I think they both had a good time.  Sam reports really enjoying the landscape.  As his longest driving before now was just an hour, this should be quite a bit of experience doing road trips.

Prepping for Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018 by Adam in Family

I made a pie today.  And played way too much Hollow Knight.  But the pie made it a productive day.

I've been doing a mix of house projects and video games the last couple days I've had off work.  The weekend was hanging out with Emma, watching yet more Lord of the Rings, and having her drive to her mom's house for the first time.  Duncan, Ben, Joanna, and I went for a hike on Ridgeline Trail late Sunday - it was good to get the stick blowed off us.  Both Joanna and I were feeling under the weather, though I'm starting to feel pretty good again.

In terms of house projects, it's been nice to accomplish all the little things I never have time for.  I changed the bulb in the driveway light.  I cleaned out the basement closet, producing three big tubs of electronics to donate.  I went through all the nerd stuff that accumulated from a year's worth of Loot Crate and got it ready to give to Jordan.  Hopefully he enjoys it.

But I made pie, so it's all okay.

Mocha Friday

November 16, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm working away at my morning mocha.  It's a short day for me - the Salt Lake City office shuts down and they're all going to the latest Harry Potter movie.  I could theoretically take anyone who wants to the movie, but enthusiasm seems to be low.  Maybe I'll go play cards with Emma in a coffee shop or something, as she gets out of school early too.  Next week I'm off work entirely, which will likely be a mix of house projects, video games, and hiking with Joanna.  Should be pleasant.

I talked to Sam last night.  He and mom and driving back after Thanksgiving.  Sam also accidentally dropped a pipe on his little toe, which he wasn't sure was broken - he may just tape it and do the usual ice/Ibuprophen route.  Otherwise he seems to be having a good time hanging out with Seraph and Isa and all.  He sleeps in a bed with assorted cats and dogs.  The door to the bathroom next to him apparently stops at his neck.  Apparently the houses they build a hundred years ago were all hobbit houses.

Ben and Emma were both working on homework until very late last night.  Joanna had a touch of a headache and I woke up at two with one as well and grabbed some Advil.  A week off work sounds lovely.

Veteran's Day

November 13, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's been a pretty quiet Veteran's Day.  Sam and mom arrived in New Mexico last night, thankfully pushing hard to make it in two days as they just barely got there before the snow hit.  The weekend was filled with miscellaneous odds and ends.  Benny and I painted some trim in the hallway, with plenty more to do. Benny, Duncan, and Joanna went to the Eugene Comicon and saw a Star Trek play with one of Benny's friends.  I cut down an old maple tree that wasn't getting enough light and we planted a new one on the edge of our property.  Emma and I took a long walk through the lovely fall weather.  Joanna went to the gym and met with a fitness instructor on what she can do while still being careful of her back.  

We did have a fun exploration of a new park - the South Eugene Meadows.  It was a semi-developed large meadow with lots of oak trees.  Benny and I wandered off and came across some rough terrain.  Joanna and Duncan took a more typical path.

A four day week awaits us, and then I have the next week off.  My house project list is already growing.  We'll see how much I actually manage.

Road Trip with Grandma

November 12, 2018 by Adam in Sam

Sam and mom headed out to visit Seraph last Friday.  About an hour out of Bend they got a flat in the new Prius.  It turns out the new car didn't have a spare, but instead had a repair kit that the manual didn't really explain properly.  After a tow truck ride to Burns and stop at Les Schwab's, they were on the road again.  I think they picked up a real spare in case too.  I think they made it to Boise before turning in.

Today they've made it through Utah, sending a picture from a little town called Green River, and last I heard they were in Colorado.  I think they'll get there tomorrow.  Sounds like an adventure.

Mocha Friday

November 09, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's another mocha Friday, the kids are off school and I have Monday off.  Sam leaves for New Mexico with mom on their grand road trip.  Hopefully it all goes well - I'm trying not to fret.  Sam and I are going to see Overlord in the theaters this afternoon, which I hear is good.  Tomorrow I'm feeding him an early breakfast and sending him off with a thermos of coffee.

Emma's hanging out in my office, entertaining me with southern accents.  She asked me what I was working on and after I responded she replied, "Whatever, city boy."  It cracked me up.

The younger kids are being lazy.  Joanna is going to the gym, then off to look at possible new offices.  The weekend is likely going to be pretty quiet.

Tesla Run

November 08, 2018 by Adam in Lohring

Dad and I drove up to the Tesla dealership in Portland to pick up his Model 3.  It was a fun roadtrip, and dad entertained me with his usual chatty banter as we headed up I-5 in the morning fog.  The Tesla dealership was tucked away in a quirky location down a steep hill and across railroad tracks, but the garage was clean and painted with bold white and red colors.  Eventually we handed over the check, got our key, and headed out to the car.

It took a few trys to figure out how to pair the phone with the car and where to press the key against the side of the car (below the camera, of course).  The interior was a minimalist's dream, with no dashboard controls and just a touchscreen monitor, a few buttons on the wheel, and turn signals as a nod to tradition.  We eventually figured out how to open the glovebox, play music from his phone, and how to switch driving mode from Performance to Chill (dad opted to keep it at Performance).

Soon we were off to lunch, carefully driving through Portland construction until we had a pizza and chatted a little more before returning to the dealership to pick up my car and part ways.

Happy Chaos

November 06, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good, happy chaos sort of weekend.  Emma came over Saturday and we did our usual mix of homework, driving around the neighborhood, and pizza and Mythbusters.  The post-dinner rap battles and drawn inventions were pretty amusing.

Sunday I gathered everyone up for a hike in the woods, this undeveloped place next to LCC.  We wandered past the clear cuts and cougar tracks, split up to cover more ground, and didn't get eaten before we returned for lunch and a lazy afternoon.  Sam and I played more EU4, conquering the world together.  Emma and I played Room II and some throwback Peggle levels.

Everyone is generally doing well.  Sam and mom may do a road trip to see Seraph, returning after Thanksgiving.  It depends whether or not he gets this job he applied for, and if he gets it whether he can take some time off.  Roadtrips with grandmas sound relatively safe and would make a good band name.

I had an epiphany at work yesterday and my death march project started making sense.  I think there's a chance I'll get my piece done, though other people are working on some very hard problems.  The deadline is looming and I still don't think we'll succeed, but at least I'm enjoying doing what I'm working on a little more.

Wednesday I drive to Portland with dad to pick up his shiny new Tesla.  I've got a Salt Lake City trip at the start of December.  Sam turns 20 in a few weeks, and Christmas is looming on the horizon.  I've got the week off Thanksgiving, which I'm hoping I can use to play through some of my video game backlog, mixed with enough house projects so Joanna doesn't look at me askew.

Mocha Friday

November 02, 2018 by Adam in Family

The kids are slowly getting ready for school.  My espresso machine is prepped and ready to make myself a mocha.  Joanna is still in bed, enjoying a brief respite before the day begins.

Life's generally okay.  My work project is fine once I let go of the outcome.  We hit some obstacles getting a server yesterday - I think we should roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves.  I think my development piece is nearly done - pretty soon I'll need to figure out what else I can do to help, or go back to my old project for awhile.

I'm looking forward to the weekend.  I picked up some new VR games that we're trying out.  The scary one is pretty scary, but Sam talked me into getting it.

The Day After

November 01, 2018 by Adam in Family

Halloween has come and gone.  I drove over to see Emma at her mom's house.  She was dressed up as Nancy Drew - apparently few people dressed up, but her outfit looks like something she'd wear normally.  Duncan dressed up as his Geometry Dash character and Benny dressed as a giant worm.  When they were kids, I'd stick on this giant blue tube and chase them around.  Joanna added eyes, teeth, and a tongue glove for Benny to grab candy with.  It worked out well.

The younger kids went off with friends, while Joanna knitted on the couch and passed out candy.  I watched Sam play some of the new VR games I got in the latest Steam sale.  One was this creepy game inspired by Silent Hill.  I started calling Sam "The Plumber" since he looked in every toilet after finding ammo in one once.  I've got some other VR games I haven't had a chance to play yet, but I wanted to stock up a little for my week off of work later in the month.

I'm off to have coffee with mom later this morning - we'll likely go over her will or something equally fun.  Work is pretty free-form today - people are doing presentations on various topics and we jump around listening to people talk about things.  My work project strangely became fun, despite my assessment that we're unlikely to be successful.  It still might end up being useful work, and I might as well enjoy the ride.

Halloween Eve

October 31, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's the night before Halloween.  I delivered Emma her pumpkin, which she began to design as I chatted away about school and life and such.  Sam went over to Jamie's for dinner.  Joanna went to teach her class and Duncan, Benny, and I carved our pumpkins.  I had this weird gray one with incredibly tough walls - I regretted wanting to be different.  Benny also decorated their skeleton model in pirate attire, I think because it was missing a leg.

Work is improving somewhat.  I think my project still has a small chance of success, but my part is vaguely interesting and I still get to play with computers all day long.

I bought a bunch of games with the latest Steam sale.  I played on VR horror game that made me nauseous mostly because of the motion controls.  Then I switched over to this cool VR rhythm game called Thumper that was pretty cool.

All is generally well.

Pre-Halloween Weekend

October 29, 2018 by Adam in Family

Friday night was activity night.  Duncan says he screamed a bunch.  I don't think either really danced, but I think they had a pretty good time.  Joanna was on refreshment duty, dressed in Duncan's cat pajamas.  She reported all the middle schoolers being crazy.  I had a relatively quiet evening with Emma playing video games.

Saturday morning was the usual hearty breakfast of french toast, vegan pancakes, bacon, vegan sausage and potatoes, gluten-free and keto waffles for Joanna, and a cafe mocha for myself.  Feeding our lot requires considerable planning, but it's usually well received.

Joanna taught an online class, Benny had a Spark Academy class, Duncan went to Rio's house, and we all gathered for pizza, Mythbusters, and Jackbox games as the day wound down.  I guided Emma on a drive through our neighborhood, her first time on city streets with lights and cars and everything, if only for a couple blocks.  She was very careful and did great, as always.

Torday we headed out before lunch to Thistledown Farms to ride the horse-drawn carriage out to the pumpkin patch.  Sam stayed behind, but everyone else seemed enthusiastic, muching a cider doughnut on the checkout line after getting drenched in the rain.

Emma rode the bus back to her mom's house, all by herself.  I served up leftover pizza for lunch and played Crusader Kings II with Sam for a little.  Sam showed me how I could murder off my brothers to gain their land, though when I died of old age, things didn't go so well for my son.  It was pretty brutal.

Sam, Benny, Joanna, and I went to the mushroom festival at Pisgah.  It was a little crowded and a little loud.  Mostly we hiked around like we'd normally do and Joanna checked out the mushrooms for a bit.  Now we're home, worn out and getting dinner ready.  Mom's coming for dinner.  I look forward to a little quiet time after the day's adventures.

Mocha Friday

October 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's been a tough work week.  This latest project has been stressing me out and making me loose sleep.  Last night I was barely awake trying to help Emma with her homework.  I finally got some rest last night and feel generally functional this morning.  It's probably my morning mocha doing its magic.

On the whole, everyone else is doing okay.  Sam's accumulated various scrapes and cuts from his usual manual labor.  Wednesday he drove up to LCC for his auto class, learning about coolant.  Last night he played music in the basement and gave Emma advice on her fake horror movie poster.

Duncan and Benny are going to activity night tonight.  I'm hoping for a quiet weekend.

Tuesday Already

October 23, 2018 by Adam in Family

Time just keeps zipping along.  Funny how that works.

It was a low-key weekend.  Joanna and I went to Benny's drama showcase where all the kids did improv for the audience.  It was incredibly funny and entertaining to see Benny in their natural habitat.

Saturday had Emma arrive, where we did a little homework and played video games together.  Everyone got together around pizza and Mythbusters to play more Jackbox games.  Emma's "Tushy Tissue" invention was fabulous.  More rap battles were entertaining.

Sunday morning Joanna took the younger kids to church, while I took Emma to the library and walking around Hendrick's Park.  The afternoon had a lot of hanging out and chores, but it was generally pleasant.

I've got a frustrating project at work that's keeping me busy.  The timeline is unrealistic, but we're starting to get more information on exactly why it's unrealistic, so I'm hoping reason will win out.  I didn't sleep until close to midnight, but hopefully that'll pass soon.

Fall Friday

October 19, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm fixing bugs and going to meetings today.  My mocha sits empty beside me.  I woke up early and got breakfast for the kids.  It was nice sitting around the table talking about silly things before running off for the day.  I did my usual wishing kids a good day and Emma walked me to my office before heading out into the fall morning.

It's been a generally good week.  Joanna's teaching classes and pondering joining a gym for some weight lifting.  We had a nice date night at Cornbread Cafe.  Benny has their drama showcase tonight.  Sam needs to know SQL for the job he's applying for, so he and I walked through creating a database in SQL Server, adding a table, and querying data.  It was fun and reminded me of the times we used to work on game programming together.

Sam and I had an eye appointment on Monday, got a new passport on Tuesday, and had coffee with mom on Wednesday.  Yesterday I visited my old PeaceHealth buddies Dave, Glen, and Mike where we chatted about our families and work and lives.  Apparently PeaceHealth turned off one of my big pieces of software I'd worked on and replaced it with a vendor product.  When it didn't do what they needed it to, they decided to hire a developer to start doing custom development again.  Glad I'm not part of that cycle of death and rebirth anymore.

Last night I bought the latest Jackbox game and got all the kids playing it.  I think the favorite is the rap battling robots one, which ended up being pretty amusing.  There are still a couple mini-games we haven't played yet.

No exciting weekend plans.  Taking it easy sounds very nice after my week of bug fixing.

Three Day Weekend

October 16, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant three day weekend, though I did get called in to work a little on Friday despite taking the day off.  Sam went to work and Emma hung out with her mom for some of the day, so I played games and did house work.  

Saturday Joanna went to a writer's conference, so it was mostly Benny, Emma, and I puttering around and working on homework.  That night was the usual pizza and Mythbusters.  Sunday was equally low-key.  I took Emma for a drive.  We played Jackbox games after celebrating Benny's half birthday.  Sam hung out with Marcos.  Mom was feeling tuckered out and skipped dinner.

The only real big news is that Sam has applied for a job and if he gets it, which seems likely, he plans on moving in with a friend of his.  I've been preparing myself for awhile now, though it does seem like the end of an era is neigh.

Finishing Games

October 15, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

Emma and I played and finished a bunch of games over the weekend.  Emma got to the end of Lone: Far Sails, reaching the end of post-apocalyptic wasteland in her land sailing machine.  When it broke in half at the end, she sadly commented that she'd never felt bad having a piece of machinery fail in a game.

We also finished Hidden Folks, a slightly maddening Where's Waldo type game.  Emma and I played Battle Chef Brigade against each other and puzzled throughthe first few levels of Tiny Brains as psychic lab animals.  I continued on with Pillars of Eternity 2, with all its piratey goodness.


October 10, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I don't really post my projects much anymore, even though I do all sorts of quirky things.  Most are exceedingly practical - upgrading the cable modem, putting in new plants, or resealing the shower tiles.

Tonight I took apples from our tree and threw them into the juicer, making some very tasty apple cider.  I had some for dinner, which was exceedingly sweet, and put the rest in a jam jar.  I'll have some tomorrow, warmed up, with a touch of cinnamon.  Can't wait.

Tuesday Update

October 09, 2018 by Adam in Family

The weekend came and went.  Friday after school Benny got a short haircut, which they really like.  Friday night Joanna and I had a pleasant night listening to music at the library, followed by a brief stroll downtown as part of the First Friday Art Walk, and dinner at a new place we'd never gone to.

Saturday we had our usual hearty breakfast and I picked up Emma from her mom's house late in the afternoon.  She's been sick, so we mostly worked on homework together all day.  Rio was over to hang out with Duncan all day.  Saturday night was the usual pizza and Mythbusters. 

Sunday Emma went off to her mom's.  Joanna and I did yardwork.  Sam and I went for a hike and I started asking about his short and long term plans.  He's asking for help putting together a resume to do tech support for an antivirus company.  Towards the end of the year he's thinking about moving out of town - I told him I'd be sad and also support his desire to explore and see the world.

Work assigned me a new project that I'm pretty nervous about.  It's outside of what our team typically does and I don't really understand it very well.  The deadlines are tight and I suspect it's not going to be successful.  We'll see how it goes.

We're all hanging in there, though this week does seem to have ramped up the difficulty a bit.

Mocha Friday

October 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

I spent yesterday fixing bugs and writing tests.  Today will likely be much of the same.  I also did my best to recover from sleep deprivation - I napped for an hour before bedtime, watched a show with Joanna, and then went to bed again.  I feel much more functional this morning.

Emma's under the weather.  I missed her, so I walked down to Les Schwab's to pick up my repaired flat tire (which they didn't charge me for), then headed over to visit with Emma.  She wanted company, as she'd be home all day with a cold.  I helped a little with her essay and generally chatted.

It was nice seeing Sam at dinner, however briefly.  He's been playing Hearts of Iron and taking over Europe as various countries.  Benny is getting their hair cut super short soon.  Duncan is his usual self, funny and pleasant.

All-in-all, I'm slowly getting back into the routine.  Next trip is a couple months out, which is a little sooner than I'd like, but I suppose I can manage.

Back Home

October 04, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm sleepy, coming home a little before midnight last night.  I ended up with a flat tire before I left, so Joanna drove me to the airport and I took a taxi back.  Getting a taxi around 11 p.m. is tricky, but worked out okay and I shared the ride with a nice woman who was coming from the east coast and missed her dog.

The work trip was fine.  One day we did a hackathon that was entertaining.  The next day was meetings, followed by Top Golf.  It was a bowling alley like experience for golf, with nature and physical exercise at a minimum.  Pretty quirky.  I played a bunch of Pillars of Eternity 2 in the evenings.

Joanna and the little kids survived without me, though there was quite a few laundry to fold upon my return.  Emma texted me that she was sick this morning.  It'll be nice to get back into the routine again.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

October 01, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm headed to Salt Lake City today.  I've got the routine down at this point, so I'm not as anxious as trips in the past.  I do miss the family and my daily routine.  I'm going to try to sneak a run in before I head to the airport and I'm optimistically bringing my running gear along.

It was a pretty low-key weekend.  I think everyone was watching videos or playing video games for half the time.  Benny went to a Spark Academy thing, but sadly didn't actually get to do anything hands-on due to broken equipment.  I think they get a free admission to the next one because of that. Duncan had friends over and went to a birthday party, his usual social butterfly self.  Sam worked Saturday helping someone move, then spent Sunday conquoring Europe as the Soviet Union in Hearts of Iron 3.

Joanna's been feeling poorly, likely the cold that started with Duncan last week.  Now Benny's a little sniffly.  Joanna spent Sunday in bed watching the last season of the Americans.  Apparently her life is empty and without meaning now.

Emma and I went to the library and art store. Emma's doing Inktober at the prompting of a friend, which apparently involves drawing once per day.  She also watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer because her friend Tevi is really into it.  To top it off, Emma's decided to take part in spirit week.  She's wearing denim-on-denim today and borrowed my Hawaiian shirt for Thursday.

Back To School

September 28, 2018 by Adam in Family

I wandered the halls of South Eugene last night, going to Emma's parent-teacher conference.  It was funny sitting in the French room where I used to sit thirty some years ago - the walls looked about the same.

Emma has a friend Tevi who is in every one of her classes.  I joked that I should find her parent and then follow them around so I didn't get lost.  Sure enough, a man introduced himself to me in second period "Hi, I'm Charlie, Teve's dad."  I informed him I was Emma's dad and we proceeded to become best friends forever.  It was pretty funny.

The week has generally been going well.  Joanna painted her new office in preparation for moving in next week, doing grief counseling a couple days a week.  All the kids have been chugging along.  Other than XFinity notifying me I was approaching my data limit, life has been relatively stress-free.

Joanna's working a bit over the weekend.  I'm hoping I can have some quality rest and relaxation, playing with kids and watching Young Frankenstein with Emma.  I've also got to pack for my trip to Salt Lake City on Monday.

We're scrambling to get a release of our software ready to go.  Hopefully we've found the last of the bugs.

New Job

September 26, 2018 by Adam in Sam

I was chatting with Sam, who was over at the house with mom.  She sadly said she was losing him soon.  Sam has a friend who was doing customer support for an antivirus company.  They apparently need some more people, so he's off to two weeks of training at a local office soon.  I think he's looking forward to leaving the world of manual labor and not being tired all the time.

He said he was basically going to be talking to confused old people most of the time.  He and mom shared a look and then started laughing.

Midweek Update

September 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

All is well.

Joanna taught her first grief recovery class last night and it apparently went well.  She'll have ongoing Tuesday classes for awhile, but getting the kids to bed is way easier these days.  A few reminders to pry them off the computer is all that's needed these days.

I helped Benny with math and French homework after school, and then helped Emma over the phone getting her classes sorted out.  Tomorrow is the South parent/teacher conference day, so I'm bracing for that marathon.

It's funny watching Sam drive off in his white van these days.  Last night he had dinner with Jamie.  He's often out and about.

Tonight is date night with Joanna.  Work is going well - bug fixing at the moment.

Weekend Projects

September 24, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty good weekend.  Saturday morning Joanna and I put in some serious gardening work.  I was the hole digger while Joanna planted things.  Our front yard is looking increasingly lush and pretty.  We also filled in a bed for our rasberry bushes, which are doing pretty well on the side of the house.

Sam was around and I watched him do some Isaac runs just like old times.  It was nice hanging out with him and I'm never quite sure when he'll wander off to explore the world.

Sunday morning Benny donned gloves and goggles and we applied acid to the sides of the shower to clean off the grout sealant.  Later I applied new sealant, which wore me out pretty well.  It was nice getting it done, though.

Duncan finished up a Minecraft-themed Blender animation he's been working on through a class that he won through a modding contest.  It turned out pretty well - I may have to ask him Blender questions when they come up.

Benny went to a birthday party escape room.  Duncan had a friend over.  Emma came in from Bend later in the afternoon and I helped her with homework all day.

Now I'm back at work, finishing up my feature and fixing bugs.  Next week I'm off to Salt Lake City, so I'm enjoying the routine while it lasts.

Mad Max

September 23, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

I haven't posted about the games I've been playing in ages.  Mostly I'm going through my backlog of Humble Bundle games.  I tried finishing Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but it turns out medieval combat is somewhat frustrating.  Lone: Far Sails ended up being a cool little indie game.  The Final Station started strong but ended somewhat disappointingly.  Now I've dug up Mad Max and started playing it today.  So far it's a brawler with driving and car upgrades with a brown, rusty color palette.  Good, though.

I had a funny moment where I punched someone so hard their head got stuck in the car.  Sorry, bro.

Mocha Friday

September 21, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's mocha Friday, my delicious beverage a distant memory.  Work is being busy, but cool.  I've spent the last few days working on a red circle with a number in it that shows up when someone has new notifications.  I have a newfound respect for all those developers who have worked on notification icons - it's a complicated problem.

Emma's off in Bend, presumably well.  Sam's insurance issues were sorted out, but he opted to stay in town.  Joanna and I went to Roosevent for parent-teacher night.  It was exhausting running from class to class, but nice to get a sense as to where our kids go to school.  The new Roosevelt is far nicer than the old, run-down school of my youth.  Lots of great views and big windows.

It's likely a quiet weekend.  We've got some gardening projects to finish up, but otherwise we're all getting into the groove.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2018 by Adam in Family

Yar!  It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, ye scurvy dogs.

Life continues to chug along, despite the occasional bump in the road.  Sam got a letter saying his insurance company wouldn't give him insurance.  It was weird and complicated and didn't make sense after verbally getting insurance and a temporary insurance card.  I suspect some sort of mixup - Joanna is nicely helping sort things out with her English voice of authority.  Unfortunately Sam and Skye were going to Bend for a few days in his van and now that's up in the air.

Joanna and I went out to dinner last night and walked around 5th street.  It's certainly starting to feel like fall these days with the early sunset and cooler weather.  I've been forced to don pants most days in my shed.

Emma's going to Bend with Jamie for the rest of the week and weekend, so it will likely be quiet the next few days.  Thursday is parent teacher night at Roosevelt, and Joanna and I are each taking a kid to sit in on classes.

I'm all booked up for my upcoming Salt Lake City trip.  I'm curious what zany activity we have planned.  Someone mentioned a hackathon, though I'm not quite sure what that means.

Another Weekend Come and Gone

September 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty low-key weekend.  Joanna and I did a fair bit of gardening Saturday morning.  The yard is looking increasingly pretty and full of flowers.  Benny and I both finished Virtual Virtual Reality, which was a short and fun comedic VR game.  Duncan had a horde of loud, game-playing boys over during the day.  Sam and Emma were over for pizza and Mythbusters.  I got Emma hooked on a monster cooking game called Battle Chef Brigade.

Life is generally doing okay.  Sam's taking his van in to get looked by a mechanic this morning.  The insurance company got back to him about the damage to the hardware store - it's more than he has in cash, but not a lot more.  Mom's trying to make sure the bill is reasonable and maybe get some of the frivilous looking things removed.  I think he's signing up for an auto repair class at LCC.  There's also a planned trip to Bend to visit Eagle Crest with Jamie.  I think it's the first long distance trip to see if the van is up for such adventures.

I've got another work trip coming up in a few weeks, so I've got to get tickets booked soon.  In general work is doing pretty well - I'm feeling like I've made decent progress and hopefully we can get things pretty and polished for another release soon.

Emma went out yesterday on another driving lesson, this time around my childhood neighborhood at Riverview and Augusta.  She successfully avoided the wheel from the scooter that crashed in front of us.  It rolled across the street in front of us as the boy and his mom looked on to see if we'd hit it.  Later we avoided a mom and baby deer.  It was good practice.

Mocha Friday

September 14, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's been a pretty typical school week.  Duncan and Benny have the routine down, doing homework after school and fiddling on their computers in the evenings.  Emma switched from Strength and Conditioning to Art.  She still doesn't know anyone in her class, but feels far more comfortable with the material.  As far as I know, Sam continues to spend his days working for mom - the white van comes and goes occasionally.

My allergies to the new cat have been pretty good.  Generally Princess Leia is mellow, except for her very vocal wanderings on occasion.  She also threw up on Benny's bed this morning.  Still, she's getting used to everyone and seems to mostly camp out on Benny's bed all the time.

Never A Dull Moment

September 11, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend.  Joanna and I walked over to Friendly Street Market to eat quirky food and listen to jazz.  Summer is fading and it got a little chilly as we walked home to our abandoned children.  We decided they didn't need a babysitter anymore and they usually figure out how to bathe themselves at night.

Saturday started with a hearty breakfast.  Joanna and I did some gardening.  Sam and I went for a drive in my car to get his sea legs back, then got his license plate attached.  We wrapped up the day with pizza and Mythbusters, as is the way of our people.

I ended up buying a Humble Bundle full of Unity assets, and I started working on a little VR game that I thought up in the middle of the night.  It's mostly a learning exercise at this point - I picked a VR tool kit and got it organized, then stuck a goblin in my game that currently doesn't do much.  We'll see if it turns into something real.

Emma arrived Sunday late morning.  She had lots of homework she wanted help with - Chemistry and English and writing an essay for AP US History.  We played a little video games together and chatted about her strength and conditioning class, which she really doesn't like.  She has a meeting with her counselor today, so we'll see if she can swap it out for something else.

Mom came over for dinner Sunday night and we had a nice meal out on the patio.  Sam drove his van over to his mom's house for dinner.  She'd bought a new Prius and let us give it a try.  It's really quiet and I appreciate all the safety features.

Monday afternoon Joanna texted, saying there was a cat available at Greenhill that was one of the low allergy breeds.  After some conversation, she went and picked up Princess Leia and brought her home.  She's a little older, but pretty and friendly.  My allergies are acting up a little, I think, but I'm crossing my fingers that it'll work out.

My dad over for dinner that night, and he showed off his 3D printed PIPBoy3000 prototype.  He has cool plans and I'm excited to get my hands on a functioning version.  Let's see if I can put together an interesting little app to make it do neat things.

Finally, to top off the last few days, Duncan woke us up in the middle of the night to inform us that a bat was flying around his room.  I enlisted Duncan and Joanna in bat hearding, holding up blankets and trying to get the bat out the front door.  After a long while the bat got tuckered out and hid in the curtains, which I took off the curtain rod and walked outside.  We woke up tired, but I got to call Duncan an official bat wrangler when I got him to the breakfast table.

Mocha Friday

September 07, 2018 by Adam in Family

Life's pretty busy with the start of school.  Emma and Benny's second days were better than their first ones.  Benny has some teachers they really like, and they're excited to talk about gender and sexuality in their health class.  Emma's getting into the groove of her classes, with her old friend Kate in a couple of them.  Emma also seems more okay with her weights class than the day before.  We've been hanging out in the evenings doing homework and playing the occasional video game.

I took Sam to the DMV yesterday and got my name on the title, while Joanna worked out insurance issues.  The van's battery was dead when we tried to start it, so we hooked it up to a trickle charger over night.  Sam cleaned out the glass and a license plate holder arrives tomorrow.  Slowly making progress.

The Internet has been super flaky at home, so I ended up buying a new cable modem and will likely upgrade our download speed soon.  Both Joanna and I rely on it more and more, so speed and reliability are a must.

Joanna taught her first Internet class yesterday.  She was worried she wouldn't get enough people, but she ended up with quite the crowd.  I think it went generally pretty well.

Tonight is date night.  I look forward to some quality hang out time with my lovely wife.

First Day of School

September 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

Benny and Emma started their first day of school today.  Duncan went as well, though as a guide for the 6th graders new to Roosevelt.  He came back early and starts officially tomorrow.

Joanna reports that Benny was less than enthusiastic as she walked them to school in the morning.  Hopefully their first day of school went well.  Emma was a little nervous, a little excited, and looking forward to seeing her friends again.  Emma said she might go to a coffee shop after school - let's see where she ended up.

Sam was going to go on a camping trip with Skye, but that apparently fell through.  Not sure if they have other plans.

Three Day Weekend

September 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend, all-in-all.  Joanna and I went a little crazy with gardening and I ended up sore the next day from digging and hauling buckets of dirt around.  Duncan and Benny seem to be settling back into Eugene life, with Joanna getting the kids' hair cut and dyed rainbow.  Emma returned from the coast, mostly hanging about and enjoying the last days of summer.  I hauled her off to LCC to drive around parking lots.  Sam worked a bit for mom and is heading out camping for the rest of the week.

As for me, I played a bit on my computer, including a fun little game called Far: Lone Sails, which was indie and atmospheric.  Joanna and I found a monitor with FREE taped on the front, so I set it up as Duncan's second monitor.  Benny and I chatted about D&D and splitting the party.  They've been burning through a book series and barely putting it down.

Mom's old car finally died with a cracked cylinder.  I'm hoping she gets something shiny and new and full of safety features.  We're working on getting Sam insurance and his van sorted out, hopefully within the next few weeks.  We still haven't heard anything from True Value's insurance.

Best wishes to Danica, who started her treatment today.  Hopefully things go smoothly.

Mocha Friday

August 31, 2018 by Adam in Family

I've had a touch of a headache the last couple days, so my mocha was semi-medicinal this morning.  I feel better than last night, so hopefully I'm on the mend.

It's been a quiet week.  Joanna's been working, Duncan and Benny have been on their computers, and Sam's been working away for my mom.  I've been making a scatter plot all week, finally getting things to the point where they're ready for review.  Emma's out crabbing at the coast, returning this weekend sometime.  Sam's been mostly around as Skye is on various trips.  

I finished playing Life is Strange; Before the Storm, which left me feeling funny inside for a few days.  I think it's the type of catharsis that's felt by angsty teens instead of greeks in togas.

Joanna continues to coordinate various house improvement efforts - bathroom fans and light switches.  

Joanna and I had a nice date night, leaving the kids at home without a babysitter for the first time.  They all survived.

I suspect our Labor Day weekend will be pretty quiet.  It'll be nice to see Emma after her trip to the coast.  Hopefully this annoying headache will improve.

Passport Photo

August 29, 2018 by Adam in Family

Sam's been in a weird holding pattern since he ran into the side of True Value in his new van.  The insurance company has yet to get back to him, so he's not sure if he'll be completely broke after settling.  In the meantime, he's been working away for mom and hanging out with Skye and his friends.

Last night I took him down to FedEx Office to get a well formatted picture so I can get him a new passport.  The woman there took a look at Sam and sadly declared that white shirts aren't allowed.  Sam looked at me and said, "Change shirts?"  That's how we ended up in the bathroom, laughing and switching shirts.  He'd worked all day out in the hot sun and dust, so it was pretty rank.  As soon as the photo was over, we quickly switched back.

I carry the kids' passport pictures around in my wallet, and I was showing Sam the difference in the last five years.  "Harrier and happier," Sam declared.  I think that's okay.

Back In Town

August 27, 2018 by Adam in Family

Friday was pretty quiet, with Emma going to her mom's house for the day while I worked.  Emma returned for a night of hanging out and Twilight Zone.  She was feeling under the weather for most of the weekend, so we didn't do anything too exciting.

Saturday morning I made pancakes and sausages, followed by mowing the lawn.  Emma was itching to play another Hidden Object game, so I took pity on her sickly self and bought her one that looked good.  While she played her game, I played Before the Storm, which is good and angsty fun.  Eventually I dragged her out of bed and we walked around Hendrick's Park for awhile.  Sam was home for pizza and more Twilight Zone that night.

Sunday morning I made breakfast for the three of us.  Joanna made it to Portland the night before and drove into town early afternoon.  Sam visited friends and Emma went to her mom's.  Joanna and I chatted and unpacked, with the kids excited to be reunited with their computers.  I fed the kids lunch and got their top three summer experiences. Both had good camp experiences and liked driving go carts around.  

The evening wound down with the kids getting shuffled to bed and Joanna collapsing with exhaustion.  Everyone is still asleep.  I'll need to head out to the shed and work on my scatter plot today.

Running Around

August 23, 2018 by Adam in Family

Despite Joanna and the younger kids being away, it's been a pretty busy week.

Monday night Emma, Sam, dad, and I had dinner together.  Emma cooked the salmon while Sam and I made tofu and roasted vegetables.  Dad talked about the PIPBoy3000 he's planning on making for me on his 3D printer.  I'm going to be super nerdy and probably have to go to cons or something.

Tuesday Sam was home.  When I got off work I sealed the grout in the shower while he regailed me with his guitar.  Afterwards he had a desire for falafel, so we made some and added some lettuce and tomatoes from our garden.  Quite tasty.

Last night Sam was around again.  After burritos and some video game playing, we went to see Sorry to Bother You, which is a fine anti-capitalist movie.

Emma comes over this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning we get her registered for school and return with a class schedule.  Saturday she'll probably want to drive more.  It's been a treat to hang out with her lately.

Joanna and the kids return to Portland late Saturday and get into town on Sunday.  She's been hanging out with Benny quite a bit and really enjoying their adventures together.  I've missed everyone, so it'll be nice when they're home.

Monday Again

August 20, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna headed off to Rochester early Saturday morning.  The flight went well and the only hiccup is that she only booked a room for two nights instead of three.  I'm sure something will be figured out.  The plan is that she returns with Duncan and Benny next Sunday afternoon, breaking the trip in half with an overnight stop in Portland.

It's mostly been a dad and Emma weekend, which she's very much appreciated.  Emma and I went to the library, I gave her driving lessons both days, we binge watched Disenchanted and made art projects, went school shopping, and bought some school clothes at Target.  At the end of the weekend she said "You made my dreams come true!"

I've also been working on house projects over the weekend.  Saturday I prepped the ceiling of Duncan's room for painting, sanding the drywall patch we took down to check for bathtub leaks.  Sunday morning I rolled out of bed and painted, which continued off and on until the evening.  This morning I started cleaning up and hopefully I can put the room back together in a day or two, then move on to tub repair.  Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Emma's off to work this morning.  At my work we're doing sprint planning, so new and exciting tasks will be coming my way.  I'm trying hard to get my code reviewed and moved into our dev branch.  Modern software development is never boring.

Driving Around The Parking Lot

August 18, 2018 by Adam in Emma

Emma passed her driver's permit last week and we finally got out to the LCC parking lot to practice.  Pretty soon she was driving along, spending an hour and a half turning left and right and learning which pedal did what.  She was careful and attentive and did really well.

I think her comment on the way home was something like "It's just like a racing game except instead of the thrill of speed you have a terrible dread of crashing into something."

Mocha Friday

August 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

I escorted another bat out of the house this morning.  Joanna and I were watching Battlestar Galactica while a bat tried to scrape its way past the tape around the fireplace.  Apparently it made it through this morning.

Joanna's been working away this week, trying to finish up house projects before she leaves for Rochester tomorrow.  We spent our date night shopping at Home Depot, returning with a new Dremel and assorted supplies.  The upstairs tub seems to be properly sealed now, but Joanna's moved on to the main floor shower.  Removing grout is grueling work, but she finished it up last night and hopes to regrout today.

Emma came over yesterday afternoon, showing off her new driver's permit.  It'll likely just be the two of us over the weekend.  The plan is to do art and watch a Miyazaki movie, shop for school supplies, visit the library, and give Emma a first driving lesson.

Work's been pretty challenging lately - finding and fixing bugs like a maniac.  I think my big security feature is done, so I'll probably spend my morning running final tests before asking coworkers to take a look.


August 15, 2018 by Adam in Family

We've had bats in our house again.  They snuck down through the chimney, we think.  Joanna finally got so fed up that someone is coming to help, though apparently we can't take any action until they migrate away in September.  We had a really shrieky one yesterday.  After encouraging them to leave the fireplace, they ended up in the curtains which I took outside.  They were gone by morning.

All else is generally well.  Joanna continues working away at house projects.  The tub seems to not be leaking anymore.  Sam's been working away in the heat for my mom, returning with blisters and worn out.  Emma worked away for my dad - I think that's been a good experience for her.  My work is going well - I'm itching to wrap up a neat feature I've been working on.

Joanna leaves this weekend to fetch Duncan and Benny.  It'll be nice to return to normalcy after the chaotic summer schedule. 

Monday Again

August 14, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, with a touch of house maintenance thrown in for good measure.  Joanna's frenzy of activity continued with removing grout and resealing the upstairs tub in hopes of stopping the leaking.  The main floor shower is leaking too.  Fortunately they guy we brought in to take a look thinks that the wood is fine and we just need to reseal things carefully, so that's a plus.

We hauled yard debris to get recycled and took a trip to Oregon Art Supply.  Joanna got paint for her rocks she's been hiding on walks.  I bought some book making material.  Emma used her new debit card for the first time and bought a blank drawing book.

Sunday night we had the first family dinner for a few months.  Bob and John came along too, which was nice.  They both look a little weary - getting old is a drag.  It was fun chatting with everyone.  Jamie and Jenny and Jordan came along too, with Jamie bringing pickled preserves and home made pita bread.  Sam ate well and then went over to visit with Skye.

Today Emma worked away, excited to get more money into her new checking account.  My dad came over for dinner and talked about everything from politics to 3D printing.  Apparently he was looking for an excuse to making a working PIPBoy3000 and I enthusiastically said I wanted one.  Should be cool.

Mocha Friday

August 10, 2018 by Adam in Family

The week has moved along, with everyone generally doing okay.  Joanna continues her house project frenzy - lots of front yard pruning and trimming and generally tidying up.  Some of the inside projects have finished up, such as refinishing the tub and fixing some of the door latches, but we've got a long list to go.  I think Joanna is trying to accomplish as much as she can manage before heading to Rochester in a little over a week.

Bob's back in town and continues to settle in.  Sam's spending his days working away in the heat at the 4th Street house.  Emma's going in for her driver's permit today.  We chatted with Duncan and Benny on the phone for awhile yesterday, which was nice.

Work is going well - I've finished up my big feature and am finding new work for myself.  I'm in a weird video game lull, instead spending my time reading.  How very old school of me.

Rollin' Down the River

August 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna continues her writer's conference today, returning home for dinner.  I've been missing her between our two trips - it's like I'm fond of her or something.

Emma and I drove out past Florence to go to the Siltcoos River.  This is the third trip for me and the second for Emma.  We threw the kayaks in and started paddling down towards the ocean.  It was beautiful weather, warm and sunny.  We entertained ourselves by finding various animals - birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish.  Sadly the only mammals were humans, which were out in number.  We only went a little ways past the dam as the tide was out and the water was low, but we returned home tuckered out and cheerful.

That night we made pizza, along with some for Sam who snuck in a little later before going to Skye's house to watch her cats.  Emma and I watched Captain America and puttered around for the rest of the night.

Now we're full of pancakes and ready to go to the library.  I mowed the lawn and replaced the photos in my kitchen tablet-turned-picture-frame.  It's the first on my list of weird house projects.

Mocha Friday

August 03, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's the end of a busy couple weeks.  Joanna is off to a writer's conference in Portland.  Emma came over after lunch with Yayoe and we had a quiet dinner and evening to ourselves.  Soon I'll be making myself a mocha and trying to get some work done.

The rest of the face-to-face meeting in Salt Lake City went well.  The highlight was traveling home with Dorian, who suggested we spend our dinner money in the Delta lounge.  It was fairly magical, and we ran into who we think was Foreigner, the rock band from back in the day.

Axe Throwing

July 31, 2018 by Adam in Family

Today we talked about software development and threw axes around.

Play ball

July 31, 2018 by Adam in Family

Made it to Salt Lake City. Ate burgers with coworkers. Now at a ball game. We'll work eventually.

Off Again

July 30, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm boarding a plane to Salt Lake City in a couple hours.  We'll be getting the team together to chat about how things are going, plan for the future, and do some social axe throwing.  I gave my teammates $1 each of Motivosity money, along with the message that I was worth more to them alive.

I was deathly ill from Saturday night through Monday morning, full of vomiting and headaches.  I'm mostly functional today, though maybe running a little slow.  Joanna and Emma were great at taking care of me.  I finally ate some dinner after not eating much all day and it was the best tofu and carrots I'd ever eaten.

I continue to fret about Sam, though it sounds like there's not much that has to happen right away.  We moved the van into the driveway to get it off the street.  Sam was over for dinner Saturday night and has otherwise been working for mom or staying over at Skye's house.

Dad wanted Emma to work today, so I dropped her off at the office this morning.  She's been really enjoying joining the working world, making noises about getting a driver's permit next.  I think she doesn't like sitting around all summer doing nothing, so work feels meaningful.  She even made a comment about looking forward to school again.

Joanna's been great these last couple weeks.  She's had a ton of energy lately, working away in the gardens and accomplishing various house projects.  She leaves for a writer's conference right around when I come back.  Hopefully I see her a little before she goes.  I'm missing her already.

We haven't heard much from Duncan and Benny.  I think their camps all went well and they're doing okay.

Time to start packing up and getting ready to go.  My weird eye bump returned after sleeping in a smoky cabin and hiking dusty trails, so Tim Arbow sent me off with a bunch of prescriptions to fill.  It looks like an allergic reaction and nothing too serious.  It still adds a stop at RiteAid before I head to the airport.

See you all in a few days!

Coming home

July 27, 2018 by Adam in Family

We had a great day of hiking and rafting yesterday. One of the raft passengers was a teacher with Jamie's brother Brant. Small world.

We're heading home, helping sort out some excitement with Sam and getting ready for my work trip next week.

McKenzie River Adventures

July 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're here at Belknap hot springs, briefly at the lodge to check the outside world. Yesterday was our first full day, filled with kayaking at Clear Lake and hiking around the falls. We returned home to cook dinner and work on a puzzle. 

Today we hike some more and read down the river. Should be a fun adventure.

Into The Woods

July 24, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I are heading out into the woods for a few days, leaving the house in Sam's hands.  The plan is to stay in a cabin at Belknap, then go for day hikes and kayak trips around the area.  Should be lovely.

The weekend was hot, but generally pleasant.  Saturday we wore ourselves out fixing the fence.  A tree root had pushed a post an inch in one direction.  After removing the root a few weeks ago, we slowly dug, hammered, and wiggled it mostly back into place.  After screwing the broken parts back together we painted it.  The end result was quite lovely.

Saturday night mom came over for dinner, followed by a concert at the Cuthbert ampitheater.  I was worn out and a little grumpy at myself for bringing the wrong chairs, but the music was good and it was fun seeing half of Eugene out on a summer night.

Sunday was more subdued.  Joanna went to church.  Emma and I went for a haircut.  We threw mom a little birthday.  I finished my Mechwarrior game.  Joanna, Emma, and I finished watching Thor: Ragnarok.  It was quite pleasant.

Monday Emma returned to work, which she's slowly getting used to.  I did a bit of work, chatting with security auditors and writing tests.  We were assigned some reading before our Salt Lake City meeting next week, which I strangely enjoyed and am eager to talk about.  Funny how things like DevOps becomes interesting over a few decades at my career.

Happy Birthday Mom!

July 23, 2018 by Adam in Wielesek

It's officially mom's birthday today.  We had her over last night where I stuck a candle in a slice of my birthday cake.  Happy Birthday was sung.  I found a book on neandertals and wrapped it up, thus completing the birthday experience.

Birthday Boy

July 20, 2018 by Adam in Adam

I turned a bit older than the kids today.  There was a moon landing involved when I was born - you can do the math.

My mom, Sam, and Emma showed up for dinner - I requested soup, salad, and bread, which Joanna made wonderfully for me.  Prezzies appeared - gift certificates, cell phone case, plants, kayak stuff, board games, and more.  Emma pained me a ship on the sea.  Even Jamie game me some pickles that she and Emma worked on.  It was all very nice, topped off by my favorite chocolate coffee potato cake that I get once a year.

Happy Birthday, Moon Boy!

July 19, 2018 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

You're still my favorite brother. Have a super day!

Quiet House

July 18, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a whirlwind weekend, followed by a very quiet start of the week. 

I went with a bunch of people to Jordan's Star Wars themed performance.  It was pretty funny at times, with the little kids in Yoda hats and a nearly all-female cast playing all the male characters, coupled with male voiceover.  Still, it worked and we were generally entertained.

The next morning I was up before dawn to send Duncan and Benny to Rochester.  I was mostly worried about Benny, who had some reservations, but they've generally been doing okay.  I remember going back east as a kid and it always took a bit of adjustment.

Saturday was pretty quiet, with Emma declaring herself our only child.  My mom and Isa came over for pizza and Mythbusters, a final hurrah before Isa headed home.  Sunday morning Emma went to her mom's house to pickle things.  Joanna and I went to the country fair, which seems increasingly well managed as the years go on, a hippie Disneyland of sorts.  We saw a few old guys in thongs - Duncan said he was glad he missed it.  After people watching and listening to music, we headed back to beat the heat.

The rest of the week has been pretty quiet, watering the garden, watching shows, and Joanna playing Beat Saber on occasion.  Sam stepped on a nail, which he says is fine.  He's been working pretty hard for my mom apparently.  Sam showed off his guitar playing skills, which are getting pretty good these days.

Work is doing okay, though I'm sad my work BFF Cory is leaving for another job.  I continue to feel like a real developer more and more these days.

Mocha Friday

July 13, 2018 by Adam in Family

Summer seems to be full of non-stop changes.  Already I miss the routine of school days.

Sam's been working for my mom some, and off and away most nights.  He says he's been learning guitar and playing music, hanging out with friends.  There's also some tentative move out plans, though they're not quite ready to go.  He seems happy and well, which is the most important thing for me.

Emma's been working away for my dad, which I think she enjoys.  She's been cheerful and funny, hanging around our house quite a bit.  Tomorrow we're playing D&D with the usual crowd.  I met up with Jamie this morning to get Emma a new passport.  Soon I'd like to get her driver's permit too.  With Duncan and Benny heading out tomorrow and Sam rarely around, she's going to be our lone kid soon.  Hopefully she's okay with extra hugs.

Duncan has been computing and hanging out with friends quite a bit.  Benny's been mostly doing the same.  There was a brief moment at dinner last night where Chloe's mom came and we couldn't find them.  I started driving around and eventually we discovered they'd walked to Hiron's where I picked them up.  Needless to say, we had a chat about communication.  Benny's also been binge watching Star Trek and learning Klingon, both things which I can support.

Kevin is coming to hang out with the kids in an an hour or so.  After a quick dinner, Emma and I are going to watch Jordan's dance performance.  Tomorrow has Duncan and Benny leaving at the crack of dawn, followed by D&D. Sunday Joanna and I are going to the country fair.  Busy, busy.


July 13, 2018 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan technically doesn't turn 13 for another week, but as he's heading out to Rochester tomorrow, we've been throwing various celebrations for him this last week.  First up was a gathering of other teenage boys.  They went to VR, played a ton of Jackbox games, ran around the park and ate pizza, and eventually got to sleep sometime after 1 a.m. in the morning.  I think he had a great time.

Last night we had a family gathering, with Sam coming over for dinner.  Duncan got some computer and video related goodies - a green screen holder and custom filters, a copy of Jackbox to play with his Rochester crowd, and Emma swapped her new monitor with Duncan's.

Duncan's been really great this year and I try to tell him how much I appreciate how good natured and funny he's become.

Working Girl

July 12, 2018 by Adam in Emma

Emma went to her first day on the job today, working as a sterilization tech for my dad.  She said she spent the day mostly watching procedures, but did some cleanup as well.  At one point she went and got Pepsi from the store.

Her feet got a little sore, so we'll need to get some better shoes.  She did manage to get some scrubs after work.

Next up is getting a new passport on Friday and hopefully getting a driver's permit soon too.  All these kids are growing up.

Driving Man

July 10, 2018 by Adam in Sam

Sam is officially a driver. 

He's been off in the woods for a week, measuring trees and taking pictures of wildlife.  He returned ready for a shower and some sleep, along with knowing how to play the guitar a bit more.  This morning he got up early and we practiced driving around the DMV.  Somehow I managed to remember the course from when I took my driver's test thirty years ago.  I think it helped immensely as he passed with a higher score than mine.

Sam's moving out plans keep shifting, though it may be sooner rather than later.  I think he's going to do some work for my mom relatively soon, fixing up the 4th street house.  

Home Again, Home Again

July 10, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're back home, with Isa hanging out another week and Sam returned from the woods yesterday.  Duncan and Benny are off to their dad's on Saturday.  Duncan has his friend birthday party today.  We'll briefly have 3 teenagers in the house.  Life is pretty busy.

The trip was good, especially hanging out with my sisters and their families.  The kids were all great, funny and mellow.  I'll never forget Duncan's newfound spelling abilities.  I'll write more later, as I've got to get ready for a driver's test with Sam and a shopping spree for Isa and Emma today.

Family Reunion

July 02, 2018 by Adam in Family

I dropped Sam off at his friend's house and presumably he's up in Washington today.  Everyone else trickled in Saturday and Sunday we moved into the massive villa where we're staying.  It's the usual family chaos, though we did a pretty good job feeding everyone last night.  All other meals are loosely coordinated at best.  Seraph, Isa, and Sadie went to Hendrick's Park.  Later I took Isa and Emma over to Allan Brother's Coffee to hang out.  Later I think we'll head to 5th Street Market.

It's been fun watching everyone hang out.  Isa went around and gave everyone Sharpie tattoos,  which turned out pretty well.

Mocha Friday

June 29, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's been a good second half of the week.  Work is winding things down before our release.  We had another reorg announced, basically moving things back to where they were, more or less.  I'm just excited to work more directly with Cory again, who is incredibly smart and funny.

Bob's having his second and final surgery today - everyone thinks it should go well.  Sam heads off Saturday morning, likely off the grid for a couple weeks.  Emma and Jamie have been at the coast, returning Saturday afternoon.  We pick up Seraph, Robbie, and Isa from the airport later that day, with dad getting the rest of the crew from Portland.

Joanna and I tried out our new kayaks yesterday afternoon.  Apparently I've never taken Joanna to the mill race, though I've hauled the kids on endless trips.  Other than the snake slithering through the water, Joanna seemed to have a good time and impressed me by holding the front of both boats while I picked up the other end and we carried them around.  I look forward to a longer trip soon.

After that we picked up Benny from the last day of their Spark Academy.  I think they enjoyed both weeks.  They showed off their home made Operation game, which involved a custom USB controller, a sound generator program, and a cardboard, tinfoil, and playdough.  It was pretty cool.

Guillaume came over with another Blue Apron box for dinner - those will end soon once mom returns.  He played a bunch of VR games, likely the last before he returns to France.  Sam and I played Carly and the Reaper Man until he headed off into the night, already looking a little tired.

Family Reunion at T - 4 Days

June 27, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're slowly getting organized for the family reunion.  Joanna and I sat down and came up with a list of dinners.  The plan is to turn that into a shopping list which my lovely wife offered to turn into food for the trip.

I'm still slightly sad and grumpy that Sam will likely miss the reunion.  We had a good night last night, chatting about programming and playing video games with Guillaume.  I think his moving out in September is looming in his mind.  He heads off to parts unknown tomorrow, likely returning in three weeks or so.

Benny's enjoying their camp, creating a custom USB game/music input with playdough and human beings.  Duncan works really hard to stay in his PJs and play video games.  Emma's having some quiet days with her mom.  I've been reading a bunch lately.  Workers installed a new heat pump head in the basement.  All is generally well.

Hot Summer Weekend

June 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was pretty warm all weekend - we mostly stayed inside with the occasional yardwork done earlier in the day.  Joanna hired Sebastion from across the street to dig up roots, I think to spare me the hassle.  Unfortunately I had to intervene with a chainsaw after a pipe was broken.  Our garden is producing rasberries and peas quite nicely.  It feels good to slowly take care of these things.

We went to Pisgah Saturday morning, grabbing Guillaume along for the trip.  It was beautiful out there, with more frogs than I've ever seen in the pond.  Benny kept wandering ahead.  Emma looked at everything with her new binoculars.  Joanna enjoyed the tunnel of sticks that leads to a little exhibit tucked in the wetlands.

Emma's going back to her mom's house today, likely for the rest of the week before hanging out with everyone at the family vaction.  Sam's vanishing Tuesday, likely for a few weeks.  I'm having a bit of a hard time with him missing the reunion - trying to be philosophical about it but not quite managing.  Benny's back to their science/art/engineering camp this week.  Duncan's playing computer games non-stop, which is probably his version of heaven.

The whole family played various computer games over the weekend - more jackbox and a fun insult simulator.  Emma and I both played Fallout 4, trying to get to the new DLC I purchased.  I played Carly and the Reaperman with both Sam and Duncan - a fun VR coop game where one person controls a little person and the other is a giant skeleton who builds bridges for them.

It's strange to think the house will quiet down soon.  I do look forward to hanging out with my lovely wife.

Mocha Friday

June 22, 2018 by Adam in Family

I somehow missed posting about my anniversary outing on Wednesday.  Joanna and I bought each other kayaks, ate sushi, and then had our feet rubbed at Footwise.  It was very pleasant.

Duncan has been playing video games until his eyes bleed most days.  Occasionally a friend comes over so they can play video games together.  Joanna makes him go for walks or read a book when the dazed look gets too much.

Emma's been mostly in her room and drawing or playing with her tablet, continuing the adolescent traditions.  She's been lifting weights with me at lunch, which she's gotten in to.  Occasionally she'll visit me out in the shed.

Benny's at a class where she sits in front of a computer most of the day.  She's been learning Blender and making a 3D Monkey Man.  I'm not sure it'll ever be printed out - she returned with a wagon to show off last night.

Sam's been house sitting for Jamie, playing EU4, and watching Stephen Universe.  He let me know that his plan is to go off into the woods for a couple weeks, which sadly means he'll miss much of the family reunion and his DMV test.  He seems to be in itching-to-break-free mode, with plans forming to move out in September.

Work's been all about bug fixing.  At times I feel somewhat amazed that people ever thought something worked, because it clearly never did.  I've also been cleaning up messes that other team's make, trying to be understanding.  I figure if I don't screw up at least once per week, I'm not working hard enough.

Joanna's getting a ton of house projects done these days.  I hung up some blinds yesterday so our bedroom is reasonably dark in the morning.  A new heat pump head goes into the basement soon.  The scratched up bathtub is getting repaired and we'll finally stop using a rubber ball to plug the drain.  I guess that means we've hit the big times.

Happy Father's Day

June 18, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's a stormy summer night after a hot couple days.  I was a little out of breath the day after giving blood on Friday, but still managed to spread a bunch of mulch and do some gardening. Joanna and I are slowly whipping the yard into shape.

Saturday morning we headed out to the library, dropping Guillaume and Joanna off at Saturday market.  Duncan, Benny, and I picked up books at the library, then met up and I gave Guillaume a tour of our library.  I made pizza and picked up Sam, followed by some old Mythbusters.

Father's Day was pretty lazy after a typical breakfast.  Emma and I played some of our old NWN modules and a card game.  Benny, who'd been waiting for a friend to come over to have a water balloon war, made due with Duncan and Joanna.  They all came in for dinner very wet.  Sam came over, along with Guillaume.  There was a tasty dinner, presents, and playing new Jackbox games.  There was a dating app for monsters game that ended up with some really inappropriate and funny text messages.

The first week of summer starts tomorrow.  Duncan and Emma don't really have plans, but Benny's off to camp for most of the day.  I have bugs to fix for our application, which is strangely fun.  Hopefully we adjust to the change.

Neverwinter Nights

June 16, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

Emma asked if I wanted to play Neverwinter Nights last night, so I broke out the old campaign I wrote for it a couple decades ago.  The graphics were very much rooted in the late 90's - full of sharp edges and flat colors - but the writing is good.  I did notice the one bug where the waitress follows the player out of the bar and wanders around with you, which wasn't my intent.  Emma seemed pretty enthusiastic, though we stopped before things got too exciting.  Hopefully we can pick it up again and play the campaign over the summer.

Last Day of School Mocha Friday

June 15, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of school.  Benny is playing outdoor games, with Joanna lending a hand.  Emma and I went out to Hideaway Bakery to help her study for her Biology class.  Sam's watching Jamie's house still.  Duncan informs me that he's not accomplishing much of anything these final days of school, other than a presentation in health he's giving today.

The transition to summer is always a little bumpy.  There's been a fair amount of scrambling to take care of things, plus we've got assorted odds and ends like getting Benny a functioning phone and getting new water faucets added to the balcony and patio.  Next week Benny starts camp.  Emma's coming up with a plan - I want to get her a one pass which gives her a bus pass and access to pools and such.  Duncan's plan is to play video games until his eyes pop out.

We're hearing good news from Bob - he's at home with Meg and Dick after being discharged from the VA.  Apparently he didn't need any physical therapy.  The plan is one more small procedure on the 29th and then he can come home.

I'm mostly not working today.  I've got a "day of caring" thing going on, giving blood in a half hour and listening to an all team meeting at Glen's house.  Joanna's got an event tonight, so I'll be entertaining whoever is around.  I got a new VR game - Budget Cuts - but the allure of Skyrim VR is strong.  Hopefully this weekend I can get some more yard work sorted out.  I'm also hoping to get kids settled into the summer routine a little more.

Mid Week Already

June 13, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's the end of the school year, with the usual scramble to the end.  Sam's house sitting at Jamie's, so there's been a fair amount of back-and-forth.  Emma's been picking and choosing where to stay - I think they had a good time making dinner together and watching Steven Universe last night.  Tonight she's studying biology with me.

Joanna's feeling a little overwhelmed with getting everything ready before the kids leave for Kevin's.  It looks like Benny's getting braces, so that process is starting.  I got a new phone over the weekend, and the plan was to give my old phone to Benny, but something went horribly wrong with my old phone.  I'm going to see if I can flash a new operating system on the phone, otherwise we'll give up and buy a refurb.

Guillaume is looking increasingly cheerful as the school year winds down.  He won't miss the teaching, but I think he really enjoyed the kids.  He's looking forward to seeing his family again - his brother has a pencil and paper roleplaying game waiting for his arrival.

We keep hearing good news about Bob, who was discharged from the hospital to go to the VA for physical therapy.  The VA decided he didn't need any, so he's discharged again.  The plan is to go in for a final minor procedure at the end of the month and then hopefully he's good to go.

It's date night tonight.  The plan is to get a quick bite and then check out some kayaks for mutual anniversary presents.  I'm pretty sure six years is the watercraft anniversary.

I've been slowly getting used to my new phone.  My new favorite feature is turning a selfie into an emoji.  What a bizarre future we live in.

Graduation Ceremony

June 13, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Last night we pulled Benny away from their room, despite protestations that they weren't ready, and headed to Charlemagne for 5th grade graduation ceremonies.  They sang, told poems of each other, and shook the principal's hand.  Later they ate pizza and roamed the playground.  Benny and some friends jumped the fence to run around in the big field nearby, yelling at cars and getting up to minor mischief.  Benny's the last of the kids in elementary school, making it 14 years of elementary kids in the house.  At least everyone gets my slightly inappropriate jokes now.

Benny's also going to get braces, the clear ones that don't clash with the MRIs in the study they're a part of.  I was a little skeptical after Emma's brush with an aggressive and unnecessary ortho treatment plan, but dad gives his thumbs up.

As part of their graduation ceremony, Benny was putting together a collage of old photos and I started to get a little teary eyed.  All my kiddos are getting so big.

Batty Mocha Friday

June 08, 2018 by Adam in Family

We made it through another week, bat attacks and all.

Joanna and I were talking on the couch when we heard scraping noises from inside the fireplace.  I thought it might be the bat and sure enough, out it popped from the side of the fireplace.  Joanna started screaming and the bat started flying around the room.  Joanna tried to cover herself up with her half-knitted sweater, which was clearly inadequate, and yelled to be covered with a blanket.  After complying, I texted Sam to come upstairs with a blanket.  He knew exactly what was going on, having done this before.  We cornered the bat in the kitchen, who refused to go out any of the open doors, but eventually it grew tired and landed on my blanket.  I set it outside and the bat was gone in the morning.

Then there was picking up Emma from school yesterday, which was apparently the last day for seniors.  They released three goats into the school labeled 1, 2, and 4.  There was no 3, which caused the desired confusion when people went to look for the nonexistent third goat.

Benny has no school today and is going to a birthday party.  Jamie leaves on a long vacation tomorrow, with Sam house sitting.  Life's never boring.

Mid-Week Update

June 07, 2018 by Adam in Family

My cold continues to linger, more annoying than painful at this point.  Joanna has been giving me cheek kisses since her return from Bend yesterday.  All is generally okay.  Benny is launching a ballista in the living room that they built, trying to determine the optimal angle/distance amount.  Sam is off somewhere.  Emma is at Jamie's.  Duncan is glued to his computer screen.

Work has been making progress.  After a frustrating day of flailing around, I think I have something that's actually working and much speedier than before.  Hopefully I can get it wrapped up in a day or two and move on to something else.

Bob's Recovery

June 05, 2018 by Adam in Wielesek

Sadie sent along some pictures of Bob recovering from his heart surgery.  After a couple weeks of being heavily medicated and a brush with pneumonia, having him up and chatting is a relief to everyone.  He still has a few weeks of physical therapy ahead, but it's nice to see him on the road to recovery.

Sniffly Weekend

June 04, 2018 by Adam in Family

I had a cold all weekend, which fortunately is fading this Monday morning.  Painkillers and caffiene kept me upright and functional, though it did put a damper on an otherwise good weekend.

Mom didn't cancel her Blue Apron subscription, so Guillaume has been bringing them over and I've been making meals from what's inside.  Sam and Emma have been helping out, which is great.  With Joanna away at her class, there's a fair amount of work around mealtime.  After dinner the kids clean up and sometimes we'll play Jackbox games.  It turns out that Trivia Murder Party is Guillaume's favorite.

Saturday after a hearty breakfast I shoveled bark-o-mulch on the front bed, with Emma helping at the end.  I wore myself out, but we managed a trip to the library where the summer reading program started.  Benny and Duncan picked out a couple free books and we ate bagels while enjoying our loot.  The day rounded itself out with pizza and Mythbusters.  Guillaume hung out enjoying vr.  I fought giant robots playing Battletech.

Sunday we had a hearty breakfast, went to the park, and I ran Benny to the hairdresser where they got their hair colored as part of the hairdresser's project.  It turned out really well.  Duncan and I hung out in the afternoon, playing games, while Sam was away and Emma was at her mom's.  I scooped Emma up later and went on a shopping trip for essentials.  That night Emma and I made stir fry for dinner, which turned out well.  Afterward Emma and Duncan had the longest talk I remember about school and life and such.  Guillaume played I Expect You to Die in vr, which he declared his favorite game.  Sam returned, ate dinner, and we played a little Enter the Gungeon.

Now I have to start making kid breakfast and getting Benny ready for school.  The fun never stops.

Single Dad Mocha Friday

June 01, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna left for her class yesterday, leaving me to be the parent for the next few days.  I managed to cook steak out of mom's Blue Apron meals that Guillaume keeps bringing over, though we supplemented it with tofu for Sam, Benny, and I.  Afterwards everyone but Duncan played Jackbox games, followed by Sam and I playing some Enter the Gungeon.  Duncan and Benny managed to bathe and get themselves ready for bed with very little prompting.

I'm off to take Benny to school, stopping by Hideaway Bakery for a mocha and almond croissant on the way back.  I'm itching to work on this performance improvement pass for our application.  I got the 17+ second load times down to 2 seconds, so I'm feeling pretty good about my approach.

As for the weekend, I'm hoping to do a library trip, get outside a little, and play a lot of games with kids.  Sam says he'll be busy all weekend, so I'm not sure how much I'll see him.  We've been playing co-op games all week in the evenings, which has been a treat.  He also signed up for a driver's test in early July, so hopefully he'll get that taken care of soon.

Emma finished her presentation on Versaille yesterday and has another on the housing bubble of 2008.  Benny has a sub today.  I think we're all okay.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 29, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend.

Friday night Joanna and I went out to eat at a new restaraunt, taking a quick trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some new drinking glasses.  The kids thought it was funny that we had our date there.

Saturday morning Sam drove me over to get Emma.  The day was relatively uneventful - she and Sam made brownies together.  Pizza and Mythbusters was watched.  Benny went over to their friend Brittney's house where they went kayaking and almost slept in a tree house until it got too cold.

Sunday was Emma's birthday and D&D day.  Emma and I descended into the basement with Marty, Cory, Shannon, BJ, and Jason to battle assorted foes and wrap up our adventure.  They're a funny group and we laughed our way to retrieve the fabled Goblet of Fireflies.  Joanna dyed her hair as well as Duncan's friend's hair, not to mention keeping the house relatively intact.

We picked up Tasty Thai for Emma, opened presents, and played Jackbox games where she was the answer to every question.  It was a good birthday.

Monday had Sam and Emma going off to Jamie's for birthday events.  Joanna and I gardened for a long while, mowing, preparing garden beds, and planting seeds.  My baby tomatoes and peppers are all grown up now.  Sam and I played Enter the Gungeon, which is a fun couch coop game.  We hadn't done that for a long while, so it was a fun treat.

Fifteen Years Old

May 28, 2018 by Adam in Emma

Emma turned fifteen today.  She had takeout from Tasty Thai, cheesecake from Metropol, followed by presents and playing Jackbox games where all our answers were related to Emma.  This is after a day playing Dungeons and Dragons, making it a birthday to remember.

Sleepy Mocha Friday

May 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

My lack of sleep caught up with me and I took a couple naps yesterday.  Today I feel a little off, but hopefully the mocha sitting beside me will help reset my internal clocks.

We had another bat incident yesterday, this time one was found inside the bathroom window.  We're not sure how it got in there - maybe the lure of the fruit flies filling our kitchen.  In any case we left the other window open in hopes it would leave in the middle of the night, but no luck yet.

There's the usual mix of issues and concerns going on.  We're worrying about Bob.  Sam and Emma are house sitting at Jamie's while she's away on a long road trip.  I'm hearing of issues at the house where Destin is staying from the next door neighbor - not quite sure how to sort those out.  Joanna is off on a several day trip in a couple weeks.  School is almost over.  Emma turns 15 this weekend.

For now I'm going to enjoy my mocha and start in on work.

Home Soon

May 23, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm still in Salt Lake City, wrapping up the day and heading to the airport soon.  My flight is at 10 p.m. and I land a couple hours later, so I'll be pretty worn out when I crawl into bed.

It's been a good trip, with lots of visiting with old friends and coworkers.  The first day went well, other than waking up at 4:15 a.m.  The plane was fine and I managed to use Uber all by myself.  Then it was security meetings and a presentation on security, followed by team meetings and dinner with my new team.  Tuesday was meetings, dinner, and drinks.  It was cool to run into the Bellingham ex-PeaceHealth crew and Kate Weaver who I knew when I was a kid.  Somehow I managed to run both yesterday and today after rolling out of bed.  I still notice the high altitude but have mostly been headache free.

It'll be nice to be home tonight.  I miss all my people.

Accidental Festival Going

May 20, 2018 by Adam in Family

We just got back from Mount Pisgah where we didn't realize the annual wildflower festival was happening.  We parked in a weird spot, took an old school bus to the main entrance, and snuck around the food booths and music to go on a hike.  It turned out pretty good.  Though most of the kids were hesitant to leave their computers behind, the weather was good and everyone's spirits rose as we found hidden secret places far from the populated areas.  It was neat hearing the kids chat with each other about strange things on the Internet.  Emma picked up a slug.  Sam found some forgotten sunglasses.  Spit bugs were everywhere.

Yesterday we mostly stayed at home, working on the garden.  We weeded and put wayward strawberries back into pots.  New flowers were planted and things were spruced up.  Sam arrived from his camping trip, earlier than expected.  He was nibbled on by ants, which probably made him miss the comforts of home and modern medicine.

I'm hopping on a plane in the morning, getting up at 4 a.m.  After my flight I have to take an Uber on my own, sit through a security meeting, and then give a presentation about security.  Hopefully I don't collapse along the way.

Mocha Friday

May 18, 2018 by Adam in Family

Sam headed out last night to California, though he wasn't entirely recovered.  I dropped him off on campus with a full backpack and a request to let me know if he was heading further south to visit friends afterwards.  Hopefully all goes well on his adventure.

Emma stayed home from school with stomach issues.  Poor kid.

Benny played a new VR game last night called Rescuties that involved kissing babies.  It was free and apparently is awesome, though I haven't tried it.  Joanna played a bunch of Beat Saber and is going to try Rescuties next after Benny's high praise.

Joanna is taking care of all the little things, lining up plumbers and electricians, doing assorted home repair, and making sure mom's house is intact when she returns.

I'm working on bugs at work, heading out to Salt Lake City on Monday for a few days.  Hopefully we can sneak in some game playing and maybe a clothes shopping trip for Emma over the weekend.

Cloudy Wednesday

May 16, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm reveling in my ability to work from home today.  The door of my little garden shed is open and the sounds of spring are in the air.  I got a ton of work done today, cleaning up every little mess I could find, and rewarded myself by mowing the lawn.  Now I'm back, getting my little web server back and functional after a Windows update left it less than functional.

Sam is still under the weather, as am I.  He's still hoping to get to his California adventure, though it's probably going to be delayed a day or two.  I'm mostly better, back to a fairly normal workout routine.  Joanna finally got into VR and has been playing a fair amount of Beat Saber.  Duncan, Benny, and Emma all seem to be doing fairly well.  Joanna and I are going out to dinner tonight on our weekly date.

I keep holding my breath about Bob.  I've been chatting with mom regularly, who I think appreciates everyone at the hospital but is starting to get a little impatient.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 13, 2018 by Adam in Family

I've been rushing about this weekend, trying to fulfill all my mother's day obligations to my bio mom and two step mothers, as well as helping kids get things for Joanna and Jamie.  Emma and I dropped off a card and gift certificate for Yayoe yesterday as it was her birthday as well.  I'm trying to give mom a call, though she's pretty busy at the moment.  Emma wrapped the framed photo of her and Sam, and headed off with Jamie for the day.  Poor Sam is sick in bed, hopefully recovering enough to go on a camping trip tomorrow.  Joanna has opened her presents and had her usual Sunday breakfast made for her.  After lunch the plan is to go hiking on this incredibly beautiful day.

I'm sore from playing Beat Saber, which lives up to it's block-chopping-with-music hype.  Joanna went out to volunteer Duncan's activity night, leaving Sam, Benny, and I to trade off playing.  It's a surprisingly good workout, and crazy fun.

Saturday Sam and I drove over to get Emma, with Sam going up on the freeway for the first time.  When asked how it was, he replied "fast."  The rest of the day was pretty low-key, with Sam and Emma hanging out and chatting, Duncan having friends over, and the usual pizza and Mythbusters wrapping up the day.  Sam and I did manage to dig up our little free library and put it more securely in the ground with new concrete.  Hopefully it doesn't tip over like the old one.

Holding Our Breath

May 11, 2018 by Adam in Family

Bob started surgery 45 minutes ago, with the expected surgery length at 7 hours long.  Sadie is hanging out with mom - I'm glad someone is keeping her company.  We're all a little nervous, but hoping for the best.

We had a "Benny had their name changed" party last night, singing a slightly modified happy birthday song.  Then we all played One Night Ultimate Werewolf, trying to deceive each other and figure out who the werewolf is.  It was all a good time.

We've got a fair bit of running around this weekend.  Joanna is volunteering at Duncan's Activity Night tonight.  I have some mother's day organization to sort out.  I'm sure there are other odds and ends I need to take care of.  Maybe Sam and I can go for another drive, though his weekends tend to be busy.


May 10, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Joanna took Benny down to the court house yesterday to officially change their name to Ben Yvonne Gustina Bartlett.  The only gotcha was the gender change to "non-binary".  The judge felt the law wasn't clear, though some people in Portland had changed to non-binary - Joanna's working with an advocacy group to help sort things out.  Apparently the DMV will make the gender change and Joanna drove up to Junction City yesterday to made it happen.  There's a whole list of name changes that need to happen, and gender changes where it can happen.

I need to track down everywhere it says "Berry" on this website and make the change.  I think there's one or two left to go.

All-in-all, things have generally been moving along nicely.  Benny's classmates have been supportive of the gender change, giving the gym teacher a hard time when they divide the class up into boys and girls.  I think we'll be celebrating with a cake tonight after dinner.

Growing Up

May 10, 2018 by Adam in Sam

Sam's in that phase of life where he's trying to figure out what he wants to do and who he wants to be.  Every few months there's a new change - I'm learning to let go of expectations and be generally supportive however I can.

It looks like his plan is to move out with some friends over the summer.  The mix of people seems to keep changing and there isn't something lined up quite yet.  The younger kids feel a little funny about it, as do I.  I'm glad he's moving on and being more independant, though I admittedly will miss him being around.

Sam's also not planning on taking classes next year, and instead just wants to work.  Thankfully mom has been throwing meaningful work his way, hopefully enough to pay for rent and food and such.  I just want him to be happy and eventually figure out how to support himself.

We've been practicing driving quite a bit.  My hope is that we can get his license by summer.  After that it'll be trying to figure out how to drive mom's manual transmission car around.  We've done it a little, though it's like playing a video game in hard mode.


May 08, 2018 by Adam in Family

Saturday night brought thunderstorms, waking most of us up - I thought a big truck was driving by.  The weekend was relatively uneventful.  Sam was gone most of the time taking a first aid class.  Benny went swimming with Britney.  Duncan hung out with friends and went for a hike with Joanna and I.  Emma visited her mom's to plant peas.

Otherwise the weekend was pretty quiet, pizza and Adam Ruins Everything, playing VR, and going for walks.

Long Weekend

May 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

A lot has happened in this last week.  Annoyingly, the site has been down due to lots of Internet outages and router reboots.  I've fallen behind on taking care of this little web site - I should fix that someday soon.

The week has been somewhat uneventful.  None of the kids had school on Friday.  Sam, Emma, and I went to help dad move.  We earned our keep with sweat and tired muscles, but returned with some ancient treasures.  Emma picked up an old radio from the 50's with vacuum tubes, along with a film camera.  Sam has an old toolbox full of odd tools.  I returned with a couple scifi books I remember from my childhood.

My mom got off safe and sound.  One of her tenants losing her key and Sam remembered the spare attached to the pink detergent bottle.

Benny was sick one day and made a cool picture frame for Joanna out of plastic beads melted together with an iron.  Duncan has become increasingly obsessed with Overwatch.  Sam and I continued to practice our driving.  He's off to a first aid class all weekend.  The rest of us are going to see the new Avengers movie.  Otherwise it should be pretty quiet.

Quiet Weekend

April 30, 2018 by Adam in Family

We didn't do anything particularly exciting this weekend, which was nice after our Friday adventures.  We went down to Roosevelt to watch Duncan play assorted percussion instruments, which he did with grace and honor.  Or at least with rhythm.  Then it got a little Lord of the Flies with kids running around in packs, with the usual screaming, cake throwing, and general mischief.  I did run into my old friend Jason, which was nice, and it was neat to see the new school which I hadn't been into until then.

We accomplished a few things over the weekend.  Joanna and I did a big cleaning of the craft closet and the downstairs craft dresser.  I think Joanna just kept going until she collapsed, though she still wants to clean off her desk for Guillaume to use.  I did manage to convince Guillaume to play Skyrim VR for a long while, which he assured me would make his brother jealous for a change.

Saturday was a hang-out day.  Benny had a friend spend the night.  Duncan had Flynn over Sunday.  I took Sam for a drive around the DMV.  I was feeling a little poorly Sunday morning, so I ended up taking Advil and playing a lot of my new Mechwarrior game and having robots fight it out.

I have some interesting things to work on at work today.  Sam's working at my mom's house, presumably getting her ready for her trip.  Everything is generally doing okay.

Zipping Through The Week

April 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

The weather continues to be beautiful, with everything in bloom.  We've resorted to turning on air conditioning a few times, despite it still being April.  I think we're all generally doing okay.  Mom graciously cosigned Sam's rental agreement, so he's on track for moving out late summer.  Emma finished her class planning for next year - we encouraged somewhat challenging classes, as I think she's smarter than she gives herself credit for.  Summer trip planning is coming together for Duncan and Benny, though I think Benny feels it's longer than they want.  Hopefully it all works out.

Joanna and I went out last night and after a few mixups, ended up having a pleasant meal in a quiet Sam Bond's Garage - the new brewery and not the old place in the Whitaker neighborhood.

Sam and I went for a few drives this week, including a very long drive in the country out to mom's farm.  I think he liked the long open road, which is often easier than driving around in traffic.

I got a new board game for our next family board game night - Forbidden Desert.  I've also been playing Skyrim VR and a new Mechwarrior game.  I do manage to entertain myself a fair amount.

Mocha Friday

April 20, 2018 by Adam in Family

I just finished my last gulp of mocha, a bright spring day peeking through my office window.  Life's pretty good.  Various small crises keep coming up, but I feel like I'm surrounded by a veteran support team, helping us get through the trials and tribulations of life.  There's something vaguely miraculous about competent people taking care of business and getting through problems.  This morning I'm heading down to South Eugene to talk to Emma's counselor and hopefully get her in the right classes for next year.  Benny's name issues are getting sorted out.  Sam and Guillaume's housing situation is on the way to being fixed.

Work's going along nicely.  We're dedicating a two-week sprint to getting our code cleaned up and putting automated testing in place.  It's like when I drink a lot of coffee and go on a cleaning spree.  The end result is very satisfying.

I'm slowly hardening off my tomato seedlings, putting them on my shed porch for a couple hours to harden them off.  If the weather holds I'll move them under the cloche pretty soon.  I predict some yardwork in my future too - the sunny weather has me enthusiastic.

They Go To Eleven

April 17, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Benny turned eleven.  We saw Ready Player One, they opened lots of presents, and ate pie.

Russian Orthodox Weekend

April 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

I slept ten hours last night, something that never happens.  I had been going non-stop without a break from the time I woke up until after I delivered Emma back to Jamie's house.  My body decided that was enough and I lay down in bed and conked out around eight.  Now everything this morning has a bit of a dreamy feel, though I feel much better.

Joanna and I went out for dinner at Laughing Planet last Friday and then used the Onsen's hot tub gift certificate I gave Jenny for her birthday over a decade ago.  The person behind the counter didn't blink an eye.

Saturday was Benny's birthday, complete with Off the Waffle takeout for the birthday kid.  I went with a horde of people to see Ready Player One in the afternoon, followed by cooking pizzas I made earlier in the day and watching Adam Ruins Everything.  Benny really enjoyed the pile of prezzies they got afterward.

Sunday had Kevin arrive, whisking Duncan and Benny away for a day of VR and escape rooms.  I think they generally had a good time.  Sam and Emma went over to my mom's to help setup and cook, along with Jamie who assisted and ate with us.  I helped Joanna make delicious cake and ran errands, then the Easter festivities began in earnest.

Monday was fairly busy, with work being interesting.  I ended up driving Sam to a thing and getting Emma so she could hang out with my dad for dinner.  Cooking was a little frantic and dinner was late, but it turned out pretty well.  Kevin had a final hang out with the kids.

Now it's back into the normal routine, as least as normal as it gets these days.

Mocha Friday

April 13, 2018 by Adam in Family

I finished my mocha and am working away in my little backyard shed, reflecting on life.  I feel very fortunate to have such a great family, good health, and interesting work.  There are so many wonderful things in my life.  Thank you all for making it happen.

We've all had a bit of a cold this week.  Sam was sick, asking for movie recommendations.  I suggested Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Benny finished Ready Player One in time for the movie tomorrow, along with Jenny, Jordan, and assorted family friends.  Poor Guillaume had his big paper rejected, the one he's been working on all year.  I feel really bad for him as he's poured all his free time into it - he's meeting with his professor to see if it can be salvaged.  Emma's enjoying her cooking class and they're making pizza today.  Joanna and I have date night tonight - I think we're going to see if we can use a gift certificate from over a decade ago that I originally gave Jenny for her birthday.

Lots of fun things coming up for the weekend, including Russian Orthodox Easter.  Emma wants to help cook.  I'm sure the rest of us will cheerfully eat our way through the afternoon.

Middle of the Week

April 11, 2018 by Adam in Family

The rain in Spain falls mainly in Oregon, apparently.  It's wet here, though the plants all love it.

The week has been moving along at a steady pace.  There's a cold going around, with Emma missing Monday's school.  I'm trying to sort out Sam's online class - apparently everyone was having problems logging in, so he wasn't alone.  He drove over to his meeting last night, feeling a little rusty.  We need to get more practice in.  My dad came over on Monday and chatted with Sam about manufacturing, which I think inspired him some.

Benny's been reading Ready Player One so that we can all go to the movie for their birthday weekend.  It's going to be quite the crew, with Guillaume, one of Duncan's friends, and Jenny and Jordan.

As for me, work is moving along nicely.  Our QA guy is taking a job as a cryptocurrency developer, so we're focusing on automating our various tests before he leaves.  I'm also spending my free time in virtual Skyrim.  I finally scraped together enough money to buy a horse, so I'm galloping around the snowy plains doing assorted quests.  Eventually I want to build a house to stash all my loot. Occasionally I come out of VR long enough to kiss my real wife and children.

Windy Weekend

April 09, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a wet and windy weekend, the last hurrah of winter before spring appears in full force.  It was a good weekend, all-in-all, playing Dixit with the kids, several rounds of Jackbox, and playing Magic the Gathering with Sam and Emma.  I snuck in a lot of Skyrim VR time, which after some serious modding is starting to look and feel pretty amazing. I'm playing an archer, plundering ancient ruins and exploring the world.

Joanna and Benny made a birthday cake, and then went to lazer tag with some of their friends.  Joanna was worn out by the experience, but Benny had a great time and told me all about her lazer prowess.  Emma was feeling sick, so we watched the latest Thor movie.  It ended up being really funny.

Sunday we all went for a walk in the woods near Hendrick's park and ate at Humble Bagel like old times.  Sam was with us, more of a rarity these days, and it was nice to visit.

Spring Time

April 08, 2018 by Seraph in Cortez

Spring winds swept through Chimayo last night, picking up the large umbrella from our back patio and carrying it over our house! Unfortunately, it landed on my car and cracked my windsheild pretty badly. Fortunately, it didn't hit anything else, or do any other damage (and the umbrella is alright too!). I guess this is what we get for wishing for a little spring time weather to come our way!

Mocha Friday

April 06, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's a wet spring morning, with kids just starting to get out of bed.  I await my mocha - I haven't decided if I'm going to "take the kids to school" (a.k.a. swing by Hideaway Bakery for a mocha and almond croissant), or make my mocha at home myself.  I'm strangely excited to get started with work this morning - I have some interesting problems to solve today.

Emma's feeling under the weather, likely a cold, though allergy season has started as well.  Benny's doing their first birthday events, lazer tag with friends tomorrow.  Joanna went to the Willamette Wordcrafter's group last night, which I think reinvigorated her desire to write more.  Sam's taking another martial arts class after talking to the instructor.

I broke down and bought the VR version of Skyrim.  Fortunately it's an older game, so it runs decently with the more demanding VR requirements.  There are also a ton of mods for it that people have made over the years, so I was adding better looking trees, improved sound, and other non-official things.  It looks pretty good at the moment and I haven't played it for years so much of it is still new.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, hanging out with kids.  We have Thor: Ragnarok to watch, it's board game night tonight, and we're all muddling through this zany thing called life.

Date Night

April 04, 2018 by Adam in Family

Every week, Joanna nicely schedules a sitter so we can go out, followed by a last minute discussion as to where we're going to go.  Sometimes it's sushi related.  Other times we go somewhere they make cider.  If the meal goes quickly, we'll go for a walk or sneak over to Sweet Life for dessert.  It's been a great tradition and something I appreciate about my lovely wife.

Everyone's doing well as the week moves along.  Sam drove over to his meeting last night, his first time doing it at night.  Emma's making cookies in her International Foods class this week.  Benny is reading like a maniac, as always.  Work's doing fine - I'm fixing bugs and cleaning things up.  All is well.

Springtime Tuesday

April 03, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's a little cool after our semi-warm weekend.  Sam and I drove around a bunch, both in my automatic and with mom's manual up at LCC.  Yesterday we drove over to Jamie's house after work.  Mostly I'm trying to get him as much practice as I can manage.  Sam's also kinda sorta setup for classes, just one at the U of O and an online one at LCC.  There are still a few hoops to jump through, but hopefully we can get them sorted out.

Joanna helped coordinate Easter festivities with the Easter bunny, and Duncan, Benny, and Emma ran around looking for eggs.  I ate way too much Easter chocolate and chocolate covered espresso beans, once again proving to myself that I have little self control if something's right in front of me.

Emma returned Sunday, bringing stories of her trip to the beach and some of her art and photographs.  We played a bunch of Terraria, which I think she was missing out on.  Duncan played a bunch of video games.  Benny hung out with friends.  Joanna kept working away at writing projects.

Sunday night was family dinner, with mom, Bob, Guillaume, Jenny, Jordan, and Yayoe showing up.  We ate delicious food and chatted through the night.  Jordan's lost a bunch of weight.  I managed to get Yayoe in VR for a little, with Bob promising to come back with Eric to try it out.  Emma chatted with Jenny and Jordan for a long while.  

As for me, the weekend was generally quite pleasant.  I mowed the yard, played various video games, and started in on a new book.  Now I'm working away, generally enjoying getting things taken care of and cleaned up.

Driving Mocha Day

March 31, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's late, my morning mocha long gone.  It's been a pretty busy week at work - we didn't quite get ready for release, but I fixed a ton of bugs and found a few more.  Hopefully early next week we'll be good to go.

We all had work off today.  I took Sam with me to get eggs from Pam and then we drove around the roundabouts.  We came home for a little while, picked up my mom's car, and headed to LCC.  There Sam got oriented at LCC and afterward drove around the parking lot, slowly figuring out how a manual transmission worked.  I think we'll drive around more tomorrow morning.

Emma's still at the beach in Washington one more day.  She's been good about texting and calling.  She was a little homesick at the beginning, and I think she looks forward to coming home, but she's enjoyed being around the ocean.  Last I heard she'd taken most of her color Polaroids, painted quite a few portraits, and started reading her latest pirate book.

Joanna and I just got back from a pleasant date night at Falling Skies brewery, swinging by Sweet Life to bring some gluten free pie home.  After the kids get to bed we'll cuddle up with tea and a show to wind down the day.

Back from the Beach

March 28, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're back from the beach, with Joanna, Guillaume, Duncan, Benny, and I piling into the minivan Sunday afternoon.  Saturday came and went, hanging out with Emma before she headed to Orcus island with Jamie for the week.  Sam held down the fort while we were gone, occasionally speaking to other human beings and getting some computer gaming time in.  I took him driving Sunday before we left, driving around LCC and going in circles in our old Riverview neighborhood.  I thought it would be quiet, but between the turkeys, dogs, runners, and multiple cars, it ended up being an exciting choice.

The beach was pretty entertaining.  We got there while the sun was setting and the weather mostly warm.  Guillaume enjoyed the sea air as it reminded him of home.  Benny grabbed a log and dragged it around.  I liked watching the seals across the bay's opening.

The rest of the trip was pretty soggy and cold.  We visited the Newport aquarium, then returned home for some Call of Cthulu roleplaying.  We all had a surprisingly fun time, with Guillaume leading us on a creepy adventure that seemed vaguely like a Scooby Doo episode.  We all barely survived, unlike many of the townsfolk, mostly because Joanna was suspicious of everyone and Duncan got very lucky with a final role.

We finished the game the next day, cleaned and packed, then drove home.  We're all a little wiped out, somewhat sad that our days of leisure are behind us.  I think Joanna and I are secretly excited to work again too, writing books and code respectively.

Mocha Friday

March 23, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's a soggy spring morning and I'm safe and warm in my little garden shed, getting ready to spend the day coding.  It's a dream come true to my fifteen year old self.  Work's actually been going pretty well lately - interesting problems and feeling appreciated by coworkers.

Emma came over last night and Sam was around for dinner.  Benny's had spirit week at school, so they've been wearing an old tie of mine and dressing up in pjs.  This morning Emma and Duncan had a long discussion about memes.  Sam's done with finals and has been hanging out with friends.

Tonight is board game night, which likely means more One Night Ultimate Alien.  Everyone likes the lies and cow tipping.

Thursday Already?

March 22, 2018 by Adam in Family

Apparently I've been busy this week.  Nothing bad, just work being filling and my evenings being filled by various activities.  I'm sneaking in a few minutes before work instead of looking for beach houses for the family reunion.

It was a good weekend all-in-all, if a bit of a blur.  I can hardly remember Saturday, other than the pizza finished cooking late and we all played Drawful 2 while we waited.  Sunday Emma and I played D&D with Jason, BJ, Marty, and a couple new people.  A really good time was had by all and we're planning on finishing up the adventure April 1st if we can navigate around everyone's Easter plans.

Work is coming along nicely - the new security aspect of my job is sorting itself out a little more.  Emma's grades came in - two A+'s and the rest A's.  Duncan's grades improved as well, in part due to Joanna and I being more diligent with checking homework and making sure assignments are turned in.  I remember doing that with Sam at that age, so I suspect Duncan will eventually figure it out himself.

Spring break starts this weekend.  Emma's off with Jamie, though I'll see her a little on both weekends.  Joanna, Guillaume, the little kids, and I are going to the coast for a couple days.  I think we'll do some touristy things, though I'm secretly most excited about Guillaume leading us on a Lovcraftian adventure using the Call of Cthulu RPG.

Home Phone

March 19, 2018 by Seraph in Cortez

Hello all! Our house phone is down right now and won't be fixed until later this week (we hope). If you need to reach us, try our cellphones, but please be patient as we don't have service in our house (darn those 21" thick walls!).

Hugs all around!!

Mocha Friday

March 16, 2018 by Adam in Family

I took yesterday off to hang out with Emma.  I took Benny to school, got Emma, had coffee with mom, went to the art supply store and antique store, then briefly headed home for lunch and a break.  After lunch Sam, Emma, and I played a little in VR, then we headed out again to see Black Panther and eat dinner at Pizza Research Institute.  I was pretty beat at the end of the day, not helped by the hour wait for dinner, but the kids were generally cheerful and Emma appreciated having a day to hang out together.  Joanna and the little kids ate meaty things for dinner and survived our absence.

I'll make myself a mocha shortly and head into my little work shed.  My kinda sorta project manager was encouraging us to take the afternoon off, though we'll see how much work I generate for myself this morning.  I've got several security related plans I want to start pushing forward, plus a second project I want to get working on my PC.  I continue to try to understand how everything works and be as useful as possible.

Saturday is relatively low-key, and Sunday I've got a bunch of friends and a couple new people coming over to play D&D.  I think we'll play in the basement for the full nerd experience.

Pi Day

March 15, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's March the 14th, which is Pi Day to all the people who like to eat tasty pies.  Joanna made a pumpkin pie for us, which is one of the many things I appreciate about my lovely wife.  Benny and I have been pestering her all evening and the time of eating is almost upon us.

Work is moving along nicely.  I'm doing security stuff, getting one of our products ready for shipping, and generally figuring out my new role.  I'm taking tomorrow off, mostly to hang out with Emma and see the new Black Panther movie.

All is generally well.  Sam's friend got a job so Sam's workout time is later in the day.  We don't see him much for dinner, unfortunately.  The days are getting quieter.  Emma finished with her finals.  Duncan and Benny went along with the national walkout during school.

Sunny Weekend

March 12, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend, warm and sunny.  I spent part of Sunday outside in shorts and a t-shirt, gardening with Emma and painting with Benny.  Joanna weeded our old wildflower bed and turned it into a strawberry bed.  Emma mowed the backyard for the first time this year, not to mention moving a bunch of tomato seedlings into peat pots that Joanna picked up for me.  Spring is coming together nicely.

We also managed to play a lot of games, with One Night Ultimate Alien being introduced to Duncan and Benny.  Benny and I had a fairly epic run through 5 Minute Dungeon, finally being eaten by a Freakin' Dragon (from the actual title).  I finished some VR games, and Benny and Duncan spent a fair bit of time playing Lone Echo and Roblox.  It apparently made an impression on Benny as they were talking about avoiding the biomass on the way into school this morning.

We had Guillaume and Benny's friend Zoe over for pizza and Mythbusters, and my mom over for dinner Sunday.  Sam was around for some of the weekend, working on papers and playing games with us.  It turns out Guillaume is an excellent liar, doing quite well at One Night Ultimate Alien.

One of my favorite things I did was when Emma taught me how to play a few chords on her ukulele.  While it probably wasn't particularly exciting to anyone listening, I had a great time wandering the house and strumming the three chords I knew.

Mocha Friday

March 09, 2018 by Adam in Family

I made myself a mocha this morning, along with Emma's assistance.  The week has been moving along without too much trouble.  I still have some transition anxiety, but appreciate having work to keep myself occupied.  Joanna continues to be on the mend.  The kids are all keeping busy, with Duncan having his band concert last night.  Hopefully this weekend is pleasant - I'm hoping to get my seedlings in some bigger pots.  I'm excited for spring.

Dinner and a Movie

March 07, 2018 by Adam in Family

Last night I left work a little early and went with Sam to see Annihilation.  It was pretty good sci-fi fare, surreal and thoughtful.  Afterward we went to Cornbread Cafe for vegan food, which was tasty.  It was good to just chat for a bit.  He wants to go to LCC's electrician apprenticeship program next year.  I told him I didn't expect him to be a doctor or lawyer and just wanted him to be happy, which I think was what he was looking for.

We also got back the results of Joanna's biopsy, which was fine as expected.  Her weird surgery scar issue is likely okay too, with some just-in-case checking soon.  Both things had me feeling somewhat anxious, so it was nice to be reassured.

Joanna reports Duncan's grades are doing better, which we've been slowly working on.  I've been reviewing math and Joanna is making sure assignments are complete and turned in.  Showing up and doing the work is the secret there.

Work's been doing somewhat better after the weird lull, though I continue to define what I'm doing during this quirky transition.  Yesterday I went through one project's code base and updated a bunch of software package versions.  It's complicated work, and I probably broke some things, but it should improve performance and security.  I think I get to add some features today.

I continue to look forward to the spring and putting plants in the ground.  My seedlings are growing into good sized plants, but it's still a little chilly outside.

Birthday Boy

March 06, 2018 by Adam in Lohring

Dad came over for dinner and we fed him his third chocolate cake of the day, followed by chatting about everything under the sun until he had to go.  It was great.

Happy 75th Birthday!

March 05, 2018 by Adam in Lohring

Happy birthday, dad.  Danica nicely sent along all these great pictures of you as a kid.  I'm hoping I age as well as you and run around as much as you do when I'm your age.

End of the Weekend

March 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm not sure exactly what I did this weekend.  I took care of Joanna and the kids and managed a shopping trip in there, running into Tom Brase, one of Emma's friend's dad.  Sam was off and about, though we all got together for pizza and Mythbusters.  Emma and I played a fair bit of Terraria, it's steady progress strangely calming.  Sam and Emma made brownies Saturday morning which ended up being pretty tasty.  I continue to fret, though I managed eight hours of sleep last night.

Mochaless Friday

March 02, 2018 by Adam in Family

I haven't had a mocha today which makes me a little sad.  The morning has been a bit of a whirlwind, though I'm finally settling down at work.  I'm craving a bit of routine after the last few days of travel.  Joanna has some health issues she's sorting through, and I fret about Bob and Danica and Yayoe.  Apparently I'm a fretter.

It's date night tonight and hopefully we can get some quiet hang out time this weekend.  The weather is good and I'm hoping we can sneak outside a little.

Back from Salt Lake City

March 01, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm pretty worn out, having landed at around 11 o'clock in Eugene from my whirlwind trip to Salt Lake City.  We played One Night Werewolf where we voted who to kill in our little village.  Later in the afternoon we all went to laser tag, running around and shooting our coworkers.  There was quite a bit of meeting new people as we're merging with another team.  We also had a somewhat sad retrospective with the old Mabel team, talking about what worked and what didn't work in hopes we can bring that to our next endevor.

More importantly I have some more clarity as to what I'm doing next.  I'll be working with Jonathan to get another product's release ready to go in the short term.  I'm also back in the security role, looking for vulnerabilities in our software and implementing security related features.  Hopefully it's interesting without the craziness of front line incident response at a hospital system.

In terms of the rest of the family, I think everyone is doing okay.  Joanna somehow held everyone together and even got the garbage out to the curb last night.

Off to Salt Lake City

February 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna sent me this lovely photo of her hike in the woods this morning.  We're still getting a little snow apparently.  My tray of tomato and pepper starts will have to wait a little longer before I put them outside in their protective cloches.

I've got a book and some security videos to watch on the plane, so hopefully that part will go smoothly.  Some of my coworkers are trying to schedule a dinner together - it'll be nice to see some of the out-of-town folks I rarely see.

Quiet Weekend

February 26, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a relatively quiet weekend.  Emma and I hung out a fair amount, when she wasn't power washing the patio.  She decided she wanted to clean it up and then started listening to an audiobook she couldn't put down.  The end result was a beautifully sparkly patio and a very wet Emma.

Duncan and Benny went to a skate birthday party.  Sam went to a self defense class and made burritos for the hungry.  I did laundry, made breakfasts and played assorted VR games.  Joanna's been working away to the point where she tuckered herself out this afternoon.  I read more of A Wizard of Earthsea at a coffee shop with Emma.  Mom and Guillaume came over for dinner.  All is going relatively well.

I'm off to Salt Lake City tomorrow for a couple of days.  The first involves chatting about team changes along with lazer tag.  Wednesday we're doing a retrospective on our old project and I'm meeting with some other teams about security stuff.  I've been pondering getting a new security certificate, though it's a fairly long road to get it.  Hopefully the trip itself goes well and I'm hoping staying hydrated helps with the altitude sickness.

Snow Day

February 22, 2018 by Adam in Family

The snow came down pretty hard last night.  Schools were on a two hour delay, which generally excited the kids.  Sam dutifully headed to the gym for his usual two hours, walking instead of taking his bike.

I discovered through various updates in automated interfaces that I have a new manager.  I now report to my old coworker Jonathan who used to report to me.  Fortunately he's a good guy, and though I have some reservations about the new team structure, I'm hopeful that it'll work out.  The worst part is that my BFF Cory is on another team - I've grown to appreciate his wit and overall excellence.

It looks like all bugs have been fixed with our project and we're finishing up a final few things.  I checked with Jonathan to let him know that I know before the official announcement.  He may pass some work my way if we get into too much of a lull.

Joanna and I had a pleasant night out.  I told her I thought all the kids were generally doing okay, though I worry about all my parents and their generation.  I ran into Yayoe's friend Ruth in the store and said hello.  When I asked how she was, she replied in a frustrated voice, "Getting old."

At least I have a lovely view out my office window today.

Virtual Gaming

February 20, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finally cancelled my Humble Monthly subscription.  The monthly batch of indie games weren't being played very much as I'm spending all my gaming time in virtual reality.

I finished up Wilson's Heart, a campy horror puzzle game.  It's black and white and you do battle with traditional monsters like vampires and the like in a 40s insane asylum.  It was generally enjoyable, with some weirdly visceral moments in vr like cutting your prosthetic arm off with a saw.

I played and enjoyed Forgotten Realms, which was a cartoonish adventure game through caves and forests, fighting skeletons.  Then there was the first chapter of Call of the Starseed, another puzzle solving game - I've yet to start the sequel.  I got through all the missions of Robo Recall, which was extremely well polished and fun.

At the moment I'm slowly working my way through House of the Dying Sun, a space dogfighting game with great music and tension.  The kids are playing Job Simulator, which I occasionally jump in and mess around with.  Sam wanted me to get Hotdogs, Horseshoes, and Hand Grenades, which is basically a gun range with lots of extras (such as a haunted house being chased around by evil hot dogs).  Yesterday I started up Arizona Sunshine, which is a fairly traditional zombie game.  Someone also made a mod of Doom 3 for vr.  Unfortunately the control scheme let you rotate with a joystick which made me nauseous for the afternoon.  

All-in-all it's increasingly obvious that virtual reality is going to be the next big thing for games.  There's a sense of immersion and emotional connection that just isn't present when playing traditional 2D games.  Hand controls in particular make a big difference, as everyone knows how to pick up, grab, and manipulate things.

There are some quirky benefits to vr.  My contacts give me good distance vision in one eye and close vision in the other.  Both work equally well at about 2 meters out, which is about where the focal point of the vr headset lies.  That essentially gives me better binocular vision at any distance in vr compared to real life.

There are still rough parts around the edges.  Some games give me headaches after playing for a long time.  Others have weird control systems or marginal graphics.  The first batch of vr games tend to be short and made by small indie groups trying to figure it out.  Still, once I spent some time in vr, it's hard to go back.

Snowy Weekend

February 20, 2018 by Adam in Family

Another weekend come and gone, this time with a bonus day.  I mostly managed to avoid doing anything particular challenging and spent quite a bit of time hanging out with kids and enjoying myself.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to dinner - sushi at 5th street.  Saturday morning I made pancakes with Sam, which is a regular occurence on the weekends.  He's become pretty useful these days and I'll miss him when he moves out this summer.

I picked up Emma from her mom's house and we had a leisurely hang out over the next few days, including a brief expedition into the snowy outside to walk around the neighborhood.  Monday we went to Tsunami books where I felt compelled to pick up A Wizard of Earthsea and stop by Metropol to use up one of my mom's free coffee cards she collected from her regular visits.

Duncan and Benny went to the Asian celebration.  Emma and I prepared our D&D characters for an upcoming nerd day with my old friend Jason and a few others.  Sam was mostly absent, making burritos for the hungry and spending yesterday at school.  Joanna helped with some assorted cleaning projects.  Emma had a frantic cleaning session in the kitchen where she declared this cleaning product her new BFF.

I've got a short week at work getting our product ready for release, and then adding some features we think we'll need in the future.  I suspect I'll be helping some of the other teams in the near future, but the future is still a little vague.  Next week I'm flying to Salt Lake City.  Hopefully I can keep the altitude sickness at bay with good hydration.

Mocha Friday

February 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday has come and gone.  It's actually nearly dinner, with Joanna and I still trying to decide where we're going to eat tonight.  Sam is here, running around doing projects for mom.  Emma is at her mom's house.

In terms of weekly news, it sounds like Bob has the green light for his surgery in Philadelphia.  Mom is understandably nervous, though I think gallows humor is getting her through.  She said the only remaining question was whether or not to buy a round trip ticket for Bob.  Hopefully they get the surgery scheduled soon.

Emma and I had a good time last night, playing Magic the Gathering and watching an episode of The Gifted.  I've promised her more games this weekend.  She seems somewhat more cheerful than at the start of the year.  Biology is easy.  French is doing well.  Ukulele is unfortunately kinda boring and she's left to do her own thing most of the time.

Sam's camping trip was canceled.  Joanna is hunkering down and getting some writing done.  I fixed the last of the bugs before our team's final release of our product.  We'll see what the future holds.  I'm off to Salt Lake City in a little over a week.  I also figured out that if I record all my exercises, I get this weird Motivosity money that I can turn into Steam gift cards.  Needless to say, a bunch of new VR games magically appeared thanks to running on the treadmill and eating 4 servings of vegetables each day.

Now it's a three day weekend.  If the weather holds I'll try to do some painting and garden planning.  If not, I'll probably hang out with kids and enjoy myself.

Monday Already

February 12, 2018 by Adam in Family

Somehow Friday came and went.  I drove Emma and Benny to school and pondered work changes.  Our project is shifting to another team and it's not entirely certain what happens next.  Odds are we'll need to wrap things up, help out some other teams for awhile, and maybe work on our own project for awhile.  The uncertainty has everyone a little on edge, but I'm hopeful it'll sort itself out.

The weekend was generally pretty good.  Sam was off with friends much of the time.  Benny played a lot of Lone Echo.  Duncan hung out with friends, occasionally doing useful yardwork for money in order to feed their Pirate 101 card buying habit.  Emma and I hung out a fair amount, going out for coffee, reading Choose Your Own Adventure books, and playing Magic the Gathering.

Saturday morning Sam, Emma, and I went over to Jenny's house to help her move.  I think we were generally helpful, though we left some leaky plumbing in our wake.  I was thankful Sam was hitting the gym as much as he is these days - that washer and dryer was heavy.

We had family dinner last night and mom, Bob, and Yayoe all showed up.  I've been fretting about all my people, so it was nice to see them all.

I've had this old INXS song stuck in my head all weekend - Don't Change.  It's perky and positive, so I'm letting it stay.

Driving to Mars

February 07, 2018 by Adam in Family

Sadie excitedly texted me and we watched the SpaceX launch together.  It was pretty darn' cool, both in catching up on Simon's love of Chris Hatfield and watching our universe's version of Tony Stark launch his car towards Mars.  The present is stranger than my childhood's science fiction could predict.

Work is moving along at a rapid pace.  We've got a code freeze tomorrow, so I'm frantically trying to get everything polished and ready to go.  I think we're down to the weird bugs, which are unfortunately somewhat challenging to fix.  Flights are booked - Monday through Wednesday at the end of the month.  Hopefully it all goes well and I can Uber with my fellow travellers and avoid ordering one myself.

Sam's been doing well, feeding vegan burritos to people.  He left at the crack of dawn to work out for two hours with his friend as he does nearly every day.  I need to round up Duncan and Benny to get them to the table momentarily.  Joanna seems a little more perky than last week, which is promising.

As for my random projects, the tomato sprouts are growing well in my office.  I finished up Forgotten Realms, another VR game.  I've been enjoying watching Altered Carbon on Netflix at lunch while I run.  Hopefully this weekend I can do some garden planning as the weather has me excited.

Early Spring

February 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

We had a beautiful day yesterday.  I wore t-shirts and worked in the yard along side Joanna, Duncan, and Benny.  The yard was raked, surfaces swept, and plants trimmed.  I made a little grow area on a timer in the shed so I can better take care of the tomatoes that sprouted a few days ago.  I'm very excited for spring.

I got Emma late yesterday after she spent the weekend at the beach with her mom.  We watched a little Gifted, the X-Men tv show.  Hopefully next weekend we can hang out more.  Joanna made it to church for the first time in weeks.  Sam fed people burriots at First Christian Church yesterday.  He's been playing a fair amount of GTA V - any kind of video game playing is a rarity these days.  Benny had a friend over and Duncan spent a fair amount of time with Flynn.

Mom and Guillaume came over for dinner last night, and mom's headed to Portland with Bob today.  We're all fretting about Bob's surgery and hopefully we jump through all of the VA's hoops.

As for me, I need to decide if my new contacts are going to work well enough - I'm leaning towards yes, though there are some trade offs.  I need to also start planning my Salt Lake City trip at the end of the month.

Negligent Blogger

February 04, 2018 by Adam in Family

Once again I haven't posted in forever.  Things have actually been doing relatively well for a change.  I had a good time hanging out with my dad on Monday and had breakfast with mom Tuesday morning.  Wednesday night Joanna and I went out to dinner at the Curry Bowl, the new Indian food place near Humble Bagel.  The kids have all been generally doing well.  We all had a touch of headaches one day, but I think we're all finally on the mend.

Emma came over Thursday night, so I told Maggie I'd miss standup and I fed everyone a hearty breakfast.  Eventually Emma went with her mom to the coast for a couple days and I returned to the shed to write database scripts.  Joanna had an event that night, which went pretty well.  I entertained the kids at bedtime by reading an old Choose Your Own Adventure book.

Today has been pretty low-key.  I endeavored to finish up some VR games.  This morning I got to the end of Lone Echo, which was a great space adventure.  I played through Accounting, which was salty but entertaining.  I managed some more Forgotten Realms, fighting assorted skeletons and collecting gold.  I eventually got to The Climb, which Benny played a ton.  I climbed to the top of the easiest first cliff, only falling to my death a handful of times.

Eventually I decided I should do somethign vaguely useful and Sam was up for a hike.  We made it to the top of Spencer's Butte along with half of Eugene.  The view was great and the weather amazing, plus it's a treat to just chat with Sam for awhile.

I also got to try out my new contact lenses.  The new pair has a stronger right eye and a weaker left eye, the idea being that I can see well at a range of distances with at least one eye.  I think this is generally okay, though I'm curious how working on my work's computer monitors will do.

Sunday Morning

January 28, 2018 by Adam in Family

I somehow missed my mocha Friday, perhaps because a made myself two and got overly excited.  Life seems pretty busy these days, though I've managed some fun events here and there.  Sam and I both have colds, and Joanna continues to be really tired.  We played a new game, Avalon, for board game night.  The good team won their quests, but Sam and I correctly identified Merlin as Joanna and our assassin got him, winning the game.  Yesterday Sam and I played a couple games of Dominion in between his essay writing, along with a handful of Coup rounds.

With Joanna taking it easy, I've been doing the cooking and cleaning and such, but I managed a little bit of VR time.  I spent some time with Duncan, hopefully getting his grades up.  Benny cleaned their room.  Emma hung out with her mom for a few hours.  We watched more of The Gifted, played some Terraria, and went through her old sketch books.  Emma's wanting to go outside and get some biological samples for sketching purposes, and I'm hoping I can help make that happen.

Tuesday Update

January 23, 2018 by Adam in Family

The weekend has already come and gone.  It was a little rough around the edges, but we all survived.  Joanna is still feeling pretty exhausted and isn't able to do much.  Duncan and Benny went to the Women's March on Saturday with some friends, as did Sam with his group of people.  

Emma wasn't over very much, though while she was we had a pretty good time - we visited an antique store and got some art supplies.  Sunday we picked up some books at the library and paid off my fines.  Sam was around some, though his social life is far more full than mine.

I continue to strive to keep the house running - dishes, laundry, meals, and all that.  I got some good VR time, playing more Lone Echo and finishing up Super Hot.  Duncan and Benny keep bringing over friends to try out VR.  This time is was our neighbor Flynn, who though it suitably awesome.

It's been nice seeing mom and dad more these days - they've started a steady visitation schedule for various meals.  I fret about them all, though my dad in particular seems to be in good shape, building cabinets and running a dental office.  We need to organize a family reunion soon - there's been some loose talk of doing it in Eugene, though I'm still hoping for some feedback.  I should ask around, I suppose.


January 23, 2018 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna celebrated her birthday today.  She liked the milk steamer and the carrot cake was pretty tasty.

Mocha Friday

January 19, 2018 by Adam in Family

Work has been quiet the last couple days.  All the Salt Lake City developers are at a conference, so I've been working solo.  Yesterday I got an impressive ten pull requests done.  Unfortunately today has been bug fixing and cleanup, so I haven't been quite so productive.  I did take Emma and Benny to school, stopping by Hideaway Bakery for a mocha and almond croissant.

I think everyone is generally doing okay.  Benny has a friend over.  One of Sam's groups is being part of a documentary.  He's been asking me questions about technical ways to get latitude and longitude from an address, but I think he figured it all out.  Emma's writing skills are improving, as shown by some of her essays she wrote for Honors English.  Joanna got six vials of blood drawn this morning - hopefully we can figure out why she's being so tired.

I'm hoping the weekend is generally quiet and pleasant.  I'm itching to get back to virtual reality, though we'll see if the kids let me play.

Quirky Mid Week

January 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

We were just told that the project I'm working on is going to be called "Measures Manual".  In theory it's not supposed to be abbreviated, but the design team gave us some MM icons, which reminded me of the real MM, the D&D Monster Manual from years gone by.  I do enjoy working with fellow nerds.

The week is moving along mostly uneventfully.  Emma and I went for a tromp through Hendrick's Park on Monday, enjoying the misty trees.  Emma took a bunch of pictures of plants and fungi, then we retired to Humble Bagel for lunch like in times past.  Sam returned from his camping trip, where he and his friends had a good time.  I think he feels somewhat resourceful, making a fire despite the damp weather, and enjoying the high forest.

Duncan had his friend Ash down and we put him in VR for a long while in the afternoon.  Ash's dad is a fellow computer guy, so he was grilling me on the Oculus Rift.  Emma, Benny, and I all had different turns playing in VR.  I finished I Expect You To Die, which was tremendous fun.  Benny's been enjoying The Climb, excited to unlock hard mode where it's set at night and you have a head lamp.

Joanna's been somewhat on the mend, perkier than last week.  She's been working more and setting up various events for the weeks ahead.

I heard that work is doing a get together at the end of February.  Hopefully I can beat altitude sickness and hydrate properly.  I'm slowly getting the hang of all this travel stuff.

Quiet Weekend

January 15, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna continues to be pretty exhausted, though she's a little perkier this morning.  We've been mostly hanging out this weekend.  I managed to put away the last of the Christmas stuff.  I took Benny shoe shopping, returning empty handed, though with a shoe order hopefully bringing it home soon.  Duncan went to the beach with his friend, strangely running into his kinda girlfriend while he was there.  Benny and Emma played a lot of VR.  Pizza was made.  Mom and Guillaume came over for dinner last night.  I did a lot of laundry.

As for today, I'm hoping to get outside.  Theoretically Sam returns from Waldo lake, though he's out again tonight.  Tomorrow I need to remember what complicated thing I need to do to make the chicklets show up properly (yes, we're calling this graphical element thing a chicklet).

Mocha Friday

January 12, 2018 by Adam in Family

It was a fairly exciting evening, getting all the kids ready for the day.  Emma has projects due and an essay in Honors she has to write, so she was fretting away.  She had me printing out pictures of assorted people for her French class project and has to respond to questions about her family in French today.  Sam was digging through all the camping gear, trying to get he and his friends ready for a trip up to Waldo Lake.  Hopefully they have a good time.

It was nice having Emma around last night.  We chatted and she played more of the VR game I Expect You To Die, managing to survive an ascent in a mini-sub to the surface.  I finally finished setting up the Rift sensors the way I wanted, so I'm excited to try some of the better VR games soon.

Joanna is still feeling pretty wiped out, and she has a fair number of things to do today.  Hopefully she can sleep in this weekend.  I think we're mostly taking it easy, though I need to take Emma clothes shopping and Duncan needs a backup.  Joanna's birthday is looming in ten days, so I have to get cracking on that soon.

Mid-Week Update

January 11, 2018 by Adam in Family

Nothing too exciting to report.  Sam's been busy with classes.  I got kinda sick last night, but perked up by the morning.  Joanna and I are going out on a date tonight.

I had another boss added to the list of people I kinda report to, though Health Catalyst's organizational structure is always pretty flexible.  We had our first meeting today, which went well.  I think he wants to pick my brain about some security stuff he worries about.

Looking forward to the three day weekend.  Sam's off hiking with friends, so it'll probably be kinda low-key.

Sick Sunday

January 07, 2018 by Adam in Family

Joanna seems to have acquired the cold that's been going around endlessly.  I left her in bed surrounded by a pile of tissues.  The weekend has been pretty low-key.  We applied some motivation to get Duncan to finish his missing school assignments.  The Christmas tree came down.  Emma arrived later in the day.  Sam went out to hang out with friends until late last night.  I played some more of the VR games I hadn't tried.

Emma and I walked over to mom's to steal away some of her records from her collection, while secretly checking up on her.  She seems in good spirits, though her foot apparently pains her more than expected.  4-6 weeks until the brace comes off, apparently.

We had a big, tasty breakfast this morning - pancakes, bacon, sausages, hash browns, grits, assorted fruit, and a mocha for me.  Sam and Emma helped, which made it slightly less crazy.  I must have good memories of big breakfasts on the weekend as a child, as I feel obligated to continue the trend.

Emma and I are walking down to get my hair cut, with promises of a Metropol treat at the end.  Sam's off with friends again.  Duncan and Benny are Minecrafting with friends.  It should be another low-key day.

Mocha Friday Health Update

January 05, 2018 by Adam in Family

This seems like a "Year Two of the Darkest Timeline" post, but Sadie complained that she didn't know what was going on with everyone.  I'll try to do a quick update to the best of my knowledge in bullet point form:

  • Danica's benign mass behind her eye was discovered to be malignant and they weren't able to remove it during surgery last night.  Radiation and chemotherapy are the recommended treatment options.

  • Yayoe fell and fractured her spine.  She's on a lot of pain meds and slowly recovering.  Her hope is that she'll return to yoga and normal activities in a few more weeks.

  • Mom twisted her ankle and her sprain turned out to be some broken bones.  She's in a brace, though she reports she isn't in any pain.

  • John's surgery on his pacemaker went well, though his ongoing issues continue.

  • Bob's surgery to repair his artery patch is coming up.  After some exploratory surgery the doctors felt the outcome was good.

  • Joanna and Duncan both have coughs.  Benny and Emma's are slowly fading. 

  • Emma has stomach pain, probably from taking antibiotics.  Her jaw issues continue where the TMJ will "lock up" until she does this certain twist and push move.

  • Joanna's fatigue levels continue to be high these last few months.

  • My eye cyst is apparently gone after a week of treatment.  I bought reading glasses and occasionally use them, though I'm hoping I can get my contact lenses sorted out - I think the ones I got a couple months ago are the wrong prescription.

I'm obviously fretting the most about Danica today, though the sheer number of health issues in the family are feeling a little overwhelming.  I think we're all treating what can be treated, though these virus outbreaks are really starting to wear me down.

As for everything else in life, it's generally doing okay.  The kids are settling into school, with Sam starting classes next week.  It turns out he got A-'s in all his classes last term.  Work is going well for me - I optimized an extremely slow process from an hour down to a little over a minute.  Joanna and I are doing a date night, though with a sick babysitter we'll likely do an in-house one with kids watching a show in the basement.

May we all make it to spring.

Last Day of Vacation

January 04, 2018 by Adam in Family

I return to work tomorrow, back to a technical problem I set aside before New Year's break.  It's been great fun hanging out with Sam and Emma, playing games, going for hikes, and hanging out.  Poor Joanna had a rough time flying back from Rochester - they got into Eugene late, minus their luggage.  Fortunately there was an exceptional airline employee who helped guide them home the same day - Joanna called her back and got enough information to write a nice note to the airline.

Tuesday morning was a small Christmas for Duncan and Benny.  They all missed their computers, so they spent most of the day checking videos and playing games.  I got them both into VR.  Benny's new favorite game is I Expect You To Die, where you play a super spy getting out of impossible situations.  I think they enjoyed dying horribly in multiple ways.  All the kids but Sam started school today, which they mostly survived.  Duncan started getting the cough, poor kid.  My mom let us know she actually broke her foot, which apparently doesn't hurt too much but is annoying.

Sam and I spent today running errands, depositing money, buying exercise clothes, and getting flu shots.  I finally picked out some reading glasses, attempting to embrace my age.  We're slowly picking up from Christmas - the tree is still up for a few days.  

I hope we all survive to Spring.  If not, there's always virtual reality.

Happy New Year

January 02, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's been a good, if quiet, last few days.  Joanna and the little kids are stumbling back home.  Their flights were canceled, but the managed to find a way to get to Eugene by 10 p.m. tonight.  It'll be nice to have everyone around again - I'm looking forward to showing the kids VR tomorrow.

It's been a nice few days with Sam and Emma.  We played a lot of board games, hiked at Pisgah yesterday, made dinner together, and watched an old episode of Mythbusters we'd missed.  Out-of-school Emma seems much more relaxed, despite her cough still lingering.  We've been chatting, looking at pond scum in my dad's old microscope, and generally having a good time.  Sam hung out with friends some and we played a bunch with VR today.  I think he's starting to realize that school and social obligations will soon eat up all his free time.  It's nice to spend time with him while he's around.

I think I'll do a quick store run to get some things I missed food shopping yesterday, eat some dinner, play some VR games, and then get everyone from the airport.

Virtual Explorations

January 02, 2018 by Adam in Family

I've finally had a chance to play with the Oculus Rift, usually alternating with Sam as we try out different experiences.  We're saving the best games a little, waiting for the setup to be finalized and perfected.

The intro games for both Steam VR and Oculus are pretty darn good in themselves, short but providing a taste for different experiences.  In terms of full games, I've enjoyed the psychological horror/puzzler Wilson's Heart, though I occasionally get stuck on puzzles.  Robo Recall is great, disassembling robots in a variety of ways.  Both Sam and I really enjoyed that one.  Sam played The Climb, which looks really pretty and strangely a good upper body workout.  You climb various cliffs, leaping and strategizing your way to the top.

The hardware issues occasionally drive me bonkers, and I've ordered a few cables to get ready.  The sensors are a bit of a hassle and right now they're duct taped to the walls, looking pretty ugly.  Once I get things settled down, I'm really looking forward to Echo Arena, which is a story-driven space game that's been ranked the best of the year.

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