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.

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