Easter Weekend

April 22, 2019 by Adam in Family

I had a long, three day weekend, which was very much needed.  I perked right up after returning to the valley, with symptoms of high altitude sickness fading by the day after my return.  I went to have breakfast with Dave and Glen, my old coworkers from the PeaceHealth days.  It was a treat catching up and listening to their lives.  I always think of those two as my view of the future - they kept talking about their kids and grandkids, so presumably that's what I'll be doing for the next couple decades.

The rest of the weekend was generally pleasant.  I picked Emma up after cleaning my car Saturday morning.  Joanna and Benny worked on pruning trees after our winter storm.  Emma was in a cleaning mood, so we cleaned out the refrigerator.  The day wrapped up with Mythbusters Jr. and pizza, followed by a quick Jackbox game.

Sunday had Joanna and the little kids going to church in the morning while Emma swept me up in a spring cleaning frenzy.  We cleaned the fireplace mantle, boiling away wax from the candle sticks and using tarnish remover on the silver bases.  Later we moved to the mold on the bathroom ceiling, the side table in the dining room, and eventually wore ourselves out.

Joanna did a great easter egg hunt for the kids.  My favorite part was the jokes she'd put inside in addition to the usual candy.  We sat around the front yard, eating candy, reading jokes, and generally enjoying our company.  It was a highlight of the weekend.

We ended up having all the kids, Skye, and my mom for Easter dinner.  It's starting to feel like the end of an era is upon us and these moments will become increasingly rare.  We chatted and laughed and I hope those memories last a long while.


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Home Again

April 19, 2019 by Adam in Family

I'm back home, which is a lovely place to be.

This trip was physically rough on me - I suffered through headaches and threw up, though mostly recovering through the days.  The work events themselves were fine, a mix of bug fixing for a release, talking about team changes, saying farewell to Chris and Wade, and the occasional team bonding exercise.

We all went to a painting place, making mountains and happy trees on canvas.  Emma excitedly took it off my hands when I arrived home and proudly hung it in her room.  Afterwards we went to a place called Prohibition, which is modeled after a speak easy with the main room behind a secret door in a bookcase and the staff dressed in period costumes.  It was a good time.

I also got to see my old friends Maggie and Cory, chatting about their lives and work and technology.  I think Health Catalyst wants to lure Cory back as he's so darn talented.  It was also a little sad saying farewell to Chris, who was my one gaming buddy at Health Catalyst.  He was my kind of nerd.

As for today, I'm having breakfast with Glen and Dave - it's apparently keep-in-touch-with-ex-coworkers week.  Joanna and I are doing some sort of date night tonight.  Since I have the day off work, I'm hoping the two of us can go for a walk together sometime.   I also started playing Sunless Skies, realizing it's essentially the game that I was wanting to make myself.

We'll see if the weather holds this weekend.  My only real plans are to unpack after the trip and hang out with family.  Maybe we can have some outdoor expeditions too.

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April 16, 2019 by Adam in Benny

Ben turned twelve. They had a bunch of friends over for a Star Trek themed sleepover. It was a mix of watching the show, playing pretend, and playing board games. I brought croissants down in the morning and they seemed well behaved.

They had a good selection of crafty and dressy presents. I'm glad they liked the uv resin I got them - they were making jewelry all Sunday.

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Salt Lake City

April 16, 2019 by Adam in Family

Just landed. Up at 3:45, driving to work now. Other than spilling my tea, all went well.

It was a good weekend. Ben's birthday was a success. Emma and I went with Mom to the ballet. I must be getting older as I genuinely enjoyed it. Sam and Skye came for sushi dinner, which was a good time.

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Weekend Already

April 13, 2019 by Adam in Family

Benny's birthday is tomorrow and Joanna is working hard to get the Star Trek themed event ready to go.  The weekend already feels pretty busy, with lots of little projects on my to do list.  The worst I finished yesterday, cleaning out the sewage ejector pump.  It was exactly as horrible as you might imagine, and I've set a recurring calendar item to do it every quarter.  I think the clay comes in through the back drain and gums everything up, causing various small floods.  It's super annoying.

Work moved along at a fratic pace towards the end of the week.  We were getting everything ready for a possible release next week.  I'm also heading back to Salt Lake City, hopefully seeing my ex-coworkers Cory and Maggie for dinner one night.  Wade also gave his notice, so we're getting down to a small crew until we get some new hires.

I also discovered a newfound talent on Thursday.  Emma and I were cooking and Emma kept challenging me to make jokes on a particular topic.  So Emma would say "Peanut" for a topic.  I'd respond "What do you call a urology enthusiast?"  It was a good time.

Rainy Monday

April 08, 2019 by Adam in Family

The dreary weather continues. The flowers all seem to like it, but it makes going outside a little challenging.

Emma and I played through most of the Humble Monthly games, though nothing jumped out at us as things we'll play long-term.  I finished the Uncharted PS4 games, the last of which was excellent. 

Saturday was pretty low-key, with pizza and Our Planet rounding out the day.  Sunday started with a hearty breakfast.  Duncan and Ben had haircuts.  I walked down to 16 Tons through the rain with the older kids and we had a good time playing games. 

Eventually everyone arrived for family dinner, which I somehow managed to mostly cook while Joanna went food shopping.  Later I stuck Jenny in VR and made her play Beat Saber.  It was great fun.

Mocha Friday

April 05, 2019 by Adam in Family

I had a dream last night where I told a joke and it was so funny that I woke up.  The punchline was something like "the kids are so hungry they're drawing pictures of fruits and vegetables!"  I think you had to be there, as the kids didn't find it so funny at the breakfast table this morning.

It's been a generally okay week, if a little wet and stormy.  Joanna's had headaches quite a bit, which is a little worrisome.  At the same time, the kids have been generally doing well.  Emma's grades came in with all A's and two A+'s.  Sam's been having fun helping mom digitize old media.  I had a nice cup of tea with mom on Wednesday. 

Last night I hung out with Sam and Emma a fair amount.  Emma and I cooked a tasty tostada dinner.  Sam advised me as I played Victoria II and took parts of Africa while battling the Ottomans.  It was all very exciting.

As for this weekend, I'm not sure there's anything too exciting going on.  My enthusiasm to clean the basement is waning with this dreary weather.

Fake Night

April 03, 2019 by Adam in Family

Ben's been having a hard time with us going off for our usual date night, so Joanna's been calling our outings "Fake Night" instead.  I'll get take out and we'll go hide out in the shed and chat, after putting on the mood lighting Christmas lights of course.  

In general, though, life is doing okay.  The kids seem okay in their new classes.  Ben likes drama and was practicing their Puck lines.  Duncan ran into a wall in PE, but otherwise is intact.  Emma's new classes seem okay so far - I'll grill her in more detail tomorrow.

It was nice seeing dad Monday.  He seems a little better, mostly due to getting better medication for his leg.  We chatted about all our usual topics until he had to return home.

It's been a little wet this week, but the spring weather still makes me cheerful.  Work's going well, trying to get ready for a release.  Mostly I'm finding bugs in other people's code today after fixing a bunch of bugs yesterday.  I'm just excited that I get to wake up each morning and write a bunch of code.

End of Spring Break

April 01, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's the end of spring break.  Kids go to school tomorrow.  The coast was fun - hanging out with dad, boating around the bay, and wandering around the beach.  This weekend we had pizza and Mythbusters with Sam and Skye, Joanna and I gardened, and Emma and I walked to 16 Tons for coffee and card games.

Hopefully all the kids do okay at school tomorrow.

Back from the River

March 27, 2019 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I just got back from the McKenzie where we snuck away for a night.  We left Ben with Maddie overnight - they had a great time doing art together.  Joanna and I hiked and soaked in a hot tub and watched Netflix shows in a quiet cabin.  We were the only people staying there that night - I thanked Joanna for booking the entire place.

Hiking around the area was interesting.  There was still snow on the ground in a few places and quite a few trees down.  We passed several teams of people still working on trimming broken branches.  Still, the weather was good and getting away with Joanna was lovely.

Spring is Here

March 25, 2019 by Adam in Family

I love these three day weekends.  I suppose with unlimited PTO I could take them from time to time.  Friday I mostly hung out with Emma - I watched her play Cultist Simulator, we went for a long drive, and walked around Hendrick's Park.  It was nice to spend time with her before she went to the coast with Jamie Saturday morning.

Saturday Joanna went to a class for the spinning wheel I got her over Christmas, returning with small bits of yarn she spun from different fibers she gave her.  I worked on assembling Duncan's new desk, which took awhile but was strangely satisfying.  Ben had their friend Chloe over - at one point they were looking bored, so I broke out the card games and we played Exploding Kittens and Pirate Fluxx.  Eventually I left them with Mastermind and slowly worked on the game I'm kinda sorta making.  Kevin arrived that evening and took Duncan and Ben off for dinner.  We were joined by Sam and Skye, who were cheerful and entertaining.

Today was pretty low-key.  We set up Duncan's desk in his room and took Ben to hang out with their dad and play DnD.  Joanna and I picked up seeds at Down to Earth, visited a yarn store, and went for a hike - the view was amazing.  Eventually we went food shopping, picked up Ben, and returned home to collapse.

This upcoming week is a mix of trips and work.  Hopefully both are enjoyable.

Mocha Friday

March 22, 2019 by Adam in Family

I finished my mocha a couple hours ago - I'm taking the day off to hang out with kids.  Emma is going to the coast with Jamie tomorrow.  Duncan and Ben are going to hang out with their dad while he's here. Joanna and I are sneaking away for a night on the McKenzie river next week.  We're also planning to sneak away with the kids to the coast for a couple days too.

Ben's back in school.  They had an assessment done by an outside person to assure that all is well.  I think Ben didn't like being not allowed to go to school for a couple days, and their day back yesterday went well.  We had one of their friends drop off a vanilla candle and some honey sticks while they were home, wishing them well.  It was sweet.

We bought a car, a 2013 Subaru Outback from a private seller for a pretty good price.  It was fast and painless and hopefully ends up being a good fit for our family. We could almost get by with a single car, but it ended up being a coordinating challenge at times and taking the family on trips in my tiny car isn't the most comfortable thing.

Work's getting a little busy, the familiar tension between releasing code on a certain schedule and the developers' desires to have our code be high quality and well tested.  Hopefully those battles help us all do a better job.

All-in-all, life seems pretty good.  We've sorted out some of our bigger worries and I've got some cool things to look forward to next week.

Car Shopping

March 21, 2019 by Adam in Family

Things feel a little better midway through this week.  I've seemingly checked in with everyone with phone calls and emails and visits.  I still worry, though not as much as I was before.  Ben had their assessment today, which was the most informative document about their overall mental health that I've seen so far.  Hopefully that means they'll be returning to school tomorrow or shortly after spring break.

I had coffe with mom and Bob today, sneaking it in between meetings.  It was nice to see Bob, who seemed to be his normal snarky self.  Later in the afternoon Joanna and I started shopping for Subaru Outbacks.  I think we found one from a personal seller - the car itself looks okay other than a ding.  I think I'm going to stand clear of the haggling, as I'm not very good at it.  Mostly I'm hoping we get to drive a bigger car for our upcoming trips.

We continue to have amazing spring weather.  I might go back to shorts tomorrow, as the weather has been so nice.

Everyone Is On My Worry List

March 18, 2019 by Adam in Family

Life is far too exciting these days.  I sent a long email to my sisters, documenting all the things that are going on that I tend not to post here - health scares, school trouble, moves, and impending marriages, among other things.  It feels like it's one of those times where I hold my breath, hold on tight, and hope we make it through.  I'm trying hard to take care of myself through it all - I keep running each day, strength training in my little back office, and get out into the sunshine now that it's here.

There were some highlights over the weekend.  Sam and Skye came over for pizza and Mythbusters.  Emma and I walked over to get my hair cut and played games at Metropol.  Later we sat outside in the sun and she made a daisy catapillar.  Joanna keeps working on her quirky knitted blanket - she took it to a Dar Williams concert with me last night.  The concert was great and it felt good to get out with Joanna for a little while.  It was a good suggestion from mom.

Spring break plans are falling into place.  I think Joanna and I will try to get away for a night, having a babysitter watch Benny overnight.  It's been a long while since the two of us escaped anywhere.  Later in the week I think we'll try to take Emma, Duncan, and Ben with us to the coast for a few days, assuming it's still okay with dad for us to hang around.

There are still a lot of bright points along the journey.  I'm trying hard to focus on them through the bumpy parts.

Hints of Spring

March 15, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was warm enough to eat lunch on my front steps with just a t-shirt on, basking in the sun.  My tomato starts are popping up enthusiastically beside me in my office.  It looks like more blue skies today.  I'm really ready for spring.

Emma and Duncan were amusing me at the breakfast table, talking about starting a heavy metal milk band with Emma doing sign language interpretation.  I think it was mostly because "milk" was one of the few words they knew in sign language.  I told them these were the moments that made parenting worthwhile.

Ben's had a hard week with school and friends, with Joanna feeling stressed out.  Sam's off doing his own thing more and more.  I'm feeling much better from my Wednesday illness.

As for the impending weekend, we'll see how it goes.  Emma expressed a desire to drive to Silver Screen and rent a video, just like we used to do in ages past.  Maybe we can visit the last Blockbuster in the world the next time we're in Bend.  Duncan likely wants to work on his Geometry Dash level.  Emma's been having fun playing Cultist Simulator.  Ben has endless craft projects.  Joanna probably just wants some sleep.

Back From the Dead

March 13, 2019 by Adam in Family

I had a horrible headache this morning. Joanna would call it a migraine and I'm not sure I'd disagree. I was basically non-functional from 3 a.m. until noon, writhing and moaning in pain. Fortunately I feel much better now, a mild ache that I'm treating with tea and rest.

Duncan apparently woke up, waited a little, and then woke up Ben to tell them we'd slept in due to Daylight Savings Time. The two of them managed to feed themselves, Ben fed the cat and started a pot of tea for Joanna. When Joanna told me this as I was deathly ill, I replied "I guess I'm done now." She replied "no, don't leave us" which I thought was a fine example of gallows humor.

I may check in briefly with work and I managed to do some dishes, but otherwise I'm taking it really easy today.


March 11, 2019 by Adam in Family

It feels like we're at the tail end of winter, with snow still on the ground, hiding in the shadows, along with flowers ready to bloom.  I cleaned out my office and made room for tomato seedlings.  Shoving seeds in the wet dirt seems like a little ritual to bring the sun back.  Joanna's knitting a temperature blanket, representing the high and lows of each day, spiraling out from the center.  We've had a lot of dark purples lately - looking forward to the yellows appearing.

It was a pretty quiet weekend.  Chloe came over to hang out with Ben, who worked on various projects over the weekend.  Duncan was his usual avoid-wearing-pants self, playing Minecraft with his dad and working on his Geometry Dash levels.  Joanna was feeling pretty worn out and read a lot, at one point supervising Ben on a paid cleaning spree.  Emma played a bunch of Cultist Simulator, going on Lovecraftian voyages beyond the walls of sleep while building up her followers.  Sam was around and we had some good hang out times, building Magic decks and playing together like old times.  And of course the whole crew got together for pizza, Mythbusters, and Jackbox games.  It sometimes seems like it's the pillars that holds up our family.

We're slowly looking for a car, settling on a Subaru Outback.  Now we actually have to find one in our price/year/odometer range.  We can borderline get away with just one car, though it ends up making life a little stressful having to coordinate schedules.

I have a day of bug fixing ahead of me.  The one I spend Friday researching was really quirky but I think it's mostly resolved and doesn't actually impact clients.

Road to Recovery

March 08, 2019 by Adam in Family

We're all still slowly recovering from last week's snow.  Mom has power again.  The roads are clear.  Kids are getting back into the school routine.  The term was pushed out a week, ending right before spring break.

Tuesday was pancake day in England, so we celebrated by having Joanna pick up crepes at 16 Tons.  She and I hid in the shed and chatted for a little date night while the kids ate in the house.  I made the shed fancy by plugging in the christmas lights.

Emma and Duncan are picking their classes at South for next year.  There's a tiny chance they have some classes together.  Emma's still got a touch of a cold.

We're still looking for a Subaru Outback, though I fear most of them were snatched up during the snowy season.  Spring break is also a little up in the air, though we're hoping to get away for a little and later take kids to the beach.  Coordinating everyone's schedules is a bit of a challenge.

I'm working on my mocha, settling into bug fixing and adding features.  The weekend will likely be pretty quiet.

Still Surviving

March 04, 2019 by Adam in Family

The weekend was mostly low-key.  Duncan hung out with Rio.  Ben's Spark Academy was canceled due to network outages.  Joanna and I walked down to her work to water plants - it's quite the cozy little office.  I made various tasty breakfasts, including crepes with strawberries to ensure Joanna continues to love me forever.  Emma's snowman melted.  Humble Monthly games arrived - Emma liked the old school racing game.  Sam and I enjoyed Cultist Simulator.  Emma was pretty sick and mostly hung out in bed, though we managed a fair number of board games.

As for the rest of the crew, mom is still without power last I checked.  She might stay over here tonight in order not to wear out Bob's welcome.  

We're still a little worn out.  Life is never boring.  Tomorrow is pancake day, an English tradition where you make crepes.  We might head over to 16 Tons as they apparently have gluten-free versions we can make.

Snowy Mocha Friday

March 01, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's a school day!  The roads are generally clear, though the sidewalks still have a foot of snow.  Still, I'm hoping that this marks a general return to normalcy.  I got mom to Bob's house last night.  I'll probably pick her up to get her back to her car this afternoon.  I've got an all day security meeting today - hopefully it's interesting.  All-in-all work is coming along nicely, despite the wackiness of the work week.

Day 4 - We Have Begun Forming Tribes

March 01, 2019 by Adam in Family

The town isn't entirely feral, but some of the roads are iffy and everyone is still being a little wonky.  No school for the fourth day in a row - I can't remember the last time Duncan wore pants.  Yesterday afternoon I took Emma to her mom's house, loaded with DVDs to entertain them while their cable and Internet were out.  Driving back was a little exciting, getting briefly stuck on one of the side streets.

This afternoon I went over to Bob's to fetch mom.  We got her phone, which FedEx delivered to her doorstep.  EWEB left a note that the power line to her house was turned off.  Hopefully mom can line up an electrician to get power hooked up again, though I imagine those folks are really busy.  While she was gathering clothes, I shoveled the back driveway and got the Prius out to the front of the house.  It was a little exciting, and the ABS is pretty solid on that car.  I ended up sweaty but satisfied.

Joanna made bananna bread.  Mom's showering and charging all her devices.  I think I'll get her back to Bob's house before it gets too dark and cold.

No idea if kids will go back to school tomorrow, but we're surviving.  I think it'll be okay.

Too Damn Much Snow

February 27, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's getting annoying. I spent an hour this morning clearing snow and making it possible to get out of the driveway. I took mom over to Bob's house yesterday, but they lost power last night. I offered to bring things over if necessary.

Jamie's power was restored, but no cable or Internet yet. I may drive Emma over there as she misses her mom. We're in our third day of no school.

Snowpocalypse Now

February 25, 2019 by Adam in Family

It happened. No school. Kids rejoicing.

Okay - further update towards the end of the day.  I'm beat.  Between making Fort Awesome, shoveling the driveway, and rescuing mom from her powerless house, it was a pretty wearying day.  I managed a bit of work, though only a few hours.  Too many responsibilities.

Duncan and Ben wandered out into the world after Joanna pried them from their computers.  They went over to a friend's house and hung out there for hours, eventually returning after Joanna found them.  They sledded and made syrup snowcones.  A good time was had by all.

Jamie's out of power, as is mom.  Dad's car got stuck at work.  Some big tree branches fell at mom's house and damaged the electrical box and power line.  I set up a cot in the basement for mom.  We'll all survive.  Likely no school tomorrow.

Mocha Friday

February 23, 2019 by Adam in Family

Man, the week has just zipped by.  Work's good - fixing bugs and adding new security features.  Joanna and Ben both have colds.  Emma is forecasting for next year's classes and getting ready for her AP classes.  I got to see mom and dad this week, at coffee and dinner respectively.  No new crises - just the usual slow moving ones.

Long Weekend

February 20, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant three day weekend, full of games and hanging out and teaching Emma to drive.  

I had a nice note from someone who played my old Neverwinter Night games so long ago, a belated thank you from a nostalgic time.  I do sometimes miss those days.  Maybe eventually I'll manage to make games again.  I enjoyed telling stories, hopefully provoking a bit of thought while entertaining along the way.

We're still a little worn out.  Joanna's cold continues - she watched five movies over the weekend.  I had a coffee and Advil day, but soon recovered.

Mocha Friday

February 15, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's late Friday afternoon before a long weekend.  The week slowly improved - we were all a little sick and my mood improved with my health.  Yesterday we passed around Valentine's goodies.  I got flowers for Joanna.  She got cards and candy for the kids and I.  I think we also sorted out some insurance issues, Joanna doing battle to figure out if they'd cover something.  I think the end result is we probably can afford buying a second car - I suspect a Subaru Outback is in our future, but we'll see.

Kate Weaver was let go from Health Catalyst today, which is sad.  I've known her since middle school, working together at PeaceHealth for a long while too.

Last night I was so sleepy.  Emma was playing an old Lucasarts point-and-click adventure next to me and I closed my eyes and conked out.  Eventually she sent me to bed, where I napped, woke up to watch a show with Joanna, and conked out again.

My work projects are coming along nicely.  From time to time I feel like I might be a comptent developer.

Worn Out

February 12, 2019 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I are both a little worn out.  Ben hasn't been in school for the last couple days, reporting that their legs are hurting.  They hung out in my office for most of yesterday, drawing and listening to music as I went through my day's meetings.  I've also had headaches the last couple of days, though I'm not sure it's stress or a cold.  Plus the cat woke me up at four this morning.

That being said, we're all alive and well.  I managed some good hang out time with the kids over the weekend.  Emma and I played through a couple artsy games - Doughnut County and one that was hand drawn that I can't pronounce.  Mom came over Sunday and my dad came over last night.  Joanna was teaching a class last night, so I appreciated Sam stepping up and helping Duncan with his vision therapy.  I spent the time chatting with my dad about replacement vehicles for the minivan.  I suspect an Outback may be in our future.

Work is moving at a steady pace.  I break things.  I fix things.  The cycle of life continues.

Hoping for Springtime

February 08, 2019 by Adam in Family

I have some bulbs popping up next my office - I secretly root for them every time I walk by.

It's been an occasionally exhausing week.  Things with Ben have been a bit rough.  Joanna and I went on a date and I noticed the tire was flat on our way out.  Sam continues to be swollen and achy from his wisdom teeth removal.  I've had a few headaches.

That being said, we're all alive and generally hanging in there.  My latest complicated work project is getting in front of people to start poking at.  Health Catalyst is officially a "unicorn" company, valued at more than a billion dollars.  Hopefully that means things will continue to go well.

Tomorrow is mocha Friday and I'm hoping to have coffee with mom to boot.  Hopefully we have a quiet weekend after that.

Not So Wise

February 06, 2019 by Adam in Sam

Sam had his wisdom teeth taken out today.  We took him to the oral surgeon first thing in the morning.  He remembers getting a shot of medication in his IV and then nothing until I met him in the recovery room.  He was pretty groggy and I had to help him put his shirt on like when he was little.  I got him settled down watching Netflix, sipping water and taking it easy.

Jamie came over, bringing a basket of assorted foods, Emma's favorite stuffed animal, and a get well card that Emma made.  I think Sam appreciated the company, as he was feeling pretty lousy.

He moved from Austin Powers to World War 2 documentaries.  Towards the evening Skye came over to keep him company.  I made him a peanut butter milkshake and applesauce for dinner.  We asserted that our good smelling solid food was actually terrible and chastised Joanna for her terrible cooking.

He's working to stay on top of his pain meds.  Tomorrow is warm soup and scrambled eggs.  Hopefully he can work back to normal food soon enough.

Snowy Monday

February 04, 2019 by Adam in Family

It snowed last night, blanketing our little town in white.  We still have school, to the kids' dismay - the roads are fine and nothing is sticking to the concrete.  Sure looks pretty, though.

We had a generally good weekend.  Sam was around, which was a treat.  Emma is still recovering from being sick, so Saturday was low-key with the usual Mythbusters and Adam Ruins Everything.  Joanna went to talk at a service, getting all gussied up in a dress and makeup, which she seemed vaguely resigned to do in order to be presentable.

Sunday was the usual big breakfast, followed by a trip to get a battery for Sam's van.  He put it on Craigslist for sale, a mixture of not needing a vehicle and the cost of fueling up the van.  We went to Lowe's to get a new kitchen sink faucet, which Sam mostly installed for me while I offered advice and handed him parts.  For our reward, Sam, Emma, and I walked over to 16 Tons for coffee and lunch, playing Magic the Gathering, Give me the Brain, and Coop.  I really enjoyed it.

The day wound down with laundry, video games, and Joanna going off to get her office put together.  Emma broke her phone screen, which made her feel sad and guilty.  We'll fix it next weekend.  Skye returned from their mom's house, so Sam wandered over.

I've got some interesting work queued up for me at work - it'll probably take most of the week to truly finish up my big security switchover, but it's getting closer.

Mochaless Friday

February 01, 2019 by Adam in Family

I didn't manage a mocha today.  I couldn't eat or drink before a blood test - the usual work-recommended one that gives me an insurance break.  Afterward I got together with coworkers for breakfast and scarfed down an omelette and coffee.

It's a no-school day.  Joanna's been running Benny around to appointments and Duncan has a friend over.  Emma's been sick the last couple days, which makes her a little anxious as she missed midterms.  Hopefully she feels better by Monday.

Not much excitement these days.  Work is going along nicely.  I'm playing and really enjoying God of War.  The usual dishes, laundry, and feeding children keep me busy.  Joanna and Benny are going to a concert tonight.  Emma might come over.  Hopefully I see Sam a bit over the weekend - he's off and about more and more.

Mid-winter updates

January 31, 2019 by Seraph in Cortez


Just a couple of updates on the Cortez household. Isabell has enrolled at Fort Lewis College in Colorado next fall. A friend of hers is also going and they are hoping to be dorm mates. Her senior year is dwindling away, and she's added a job with the school's history department a few days each week.

Robbie's year has been busy. His class has finished their winter testing and he's getting a new student tomorrow. He's been having fun reading a lot of books about Alaska and wants to add a trip to his bucket list.

I head back to work on Friday, and I'm already dreading the endless paperwork to catch up on. I am looking forward to hugs from all my students. I also had the first of two basal cell carcinomas removed today. The other surgery will be next week. This first one is at my hairline and I'm not allowed to wash my hair for a 2 days. I hope the world is ready for crazy hair days! The second one is right under my eye. I think I'll wear a pirate eye patch for a few days so my students chalk it up to the usual Mrs. Cortez looney behavior, instead of my slow morph into Frankinstein.

We've had a real winter this year and stay warm under the piles of our furry animals (cats, dogs, and now a rabbit). I'm definitely looking forward to spring!

Midweek Update

January 30, 2019 by Adam in Family

The week has been somewhat uneventful.  Duncan's started working with robots in his Bits, Beats, and Bots class.  Hopefully they don't become self-aware and take over the world.  Ben has been sick and watching a lot of Star Trek, occasionally doing homework.  Joanna looks a little worn out between getting her office ready and taking care of Ben.  

I had fun chatting with my dad, though it was a little shorter than usual as I helped Duncan with his vision exercises.  We were both a little bored, so I had him balance on the exercise ball while reading letters from a piece of paper I whirled about.  I should make an 80's training montage out of it.

I finished my Spiderman game and started God of War.  It's a story about fathers and sons, with fighting monsters.  I keep thinking of Sam when we would go to Spencer's Butte and I'd pretend there were orcs hiding in the bushes to try to get him to hike along with me.

Monday, Monday

January 28, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend.  Sam and Skye hung out with us for a couple dinners.  Emma played way too much Spiderman on the PS4.  Duncan played a ton of Minecraft and hung out with his friend.  Ben went to a Spark academy thing and later worked on building some machine using their hand-held 3D printer.  Joanna dutifully went food shopping and cleaned her office.

There were some fun highlights this weekend.  I got everyone to play One Night Ultimate Alien, which ended up being lots of fun.  Emma and I went down into the basement and played some of our classic games we played as kids - radioactive ball, obstacle course, jumping on the foof, and she even gave me a brief airplane ride.  Later on Sunday Emma drove around, still remembering her driving skills.  My mom came over for dinner and we chatted about her parents while studying for Emma's AP US History class.

Mocha Friday

January 25, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's the end of the work week.  Somehow I managed to scoop out our old security system and mostly replace it with a new one that's a lot more complicated.  Hopefully it'll be worth it.  My mocha waits patiently beside me, ready to be imbibed.

It's been a generally okay week.  Sam and Skye came over for dinner a couple nights, which was nice.  Ben had some anxiety issues and was picked up from school early.  Duncan is his usual funny, cheerful self.  He's been dutifully doing his eye exercises in hopes of fixing some focus issues that were pointed out by Dr. Arbow.  Emma arrived in the afternoon, declaring that she'll walk home from school despite the hill - she'd been calling and asking for a ride most weeks.  Joanna was asked to speak at a service the Saturday after next, which she looks forward to. 

We're still using the one car, generally pretty well.  Between taxes and some of our medical expenses, we're not quite sure how much cash we have on hand.  Our neighborhood is filled with Priuses and Outbacks and we might just get one to blend in properly.

Joanna Birthday

January 23, 2019 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna made herself a delicious low-carb cheesecake.  Everyone had seconds.  It's been a pretty hard week, but between the cake and kids being generally funny and pleasant her mood picked up.  We led Duncan through his first eye exercises, some of which involving an eye patch.  The pirate jokes flowed like rum.

Half Birthdays

January 23, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was a long, quiet weekend with Sam and Emma at the beach with Jamie.  I power washed and listened to audiobooks, in between playing Spiderman on the PS4.  Joanna and I hauled Duncan and Ben for a hike.  Occasionally the rain would drown out the complaining, leaving me to contemplate a beautiful, soggy landscape.

It was also my half-birthday on the 19th and Duncan's on the 20th.  We celebrated with some cake and song.

Mocha Friday

January 18, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's the end of a week, slogging through work and life and such.  My mocha is a memory as I get through my morning work meetings.  I've been given a hard security problem at work, and it's that fun mix of frustrating followed by deep satisfaction when I finally get things working.  Sam would be proud to hear that Dark Souls prepared me for moments like this.

We continue to work through the things going on with Ben.  Joanna reminded me that every kid had middle school challenges.  Joanna continues to sort out the minivan issues.  She bid a final farewell to Fleur at the towing lot.  The insurance should cut us a $3K check relatively soon.  The debates about what car we should get to replace it continue.

Emma got contacts this week and generally likes them.  She's enjoying all the contact benefits - peripheral vision, no rain on lenses, and being able to watch tv while laying down.

Sam and Skye came over for lunch and dinner yesterday.  It was fun chatting with those two - they seem happy.  Sam's still jumping through hoops trying to get the job building server farms in Pendleton.

It's a three day weekend, with Sam and Emma off to the coast.  I have a long list of house projects I want to think about tackling.  Maybe I can sneak in some downtime too.

Pleasant Weekend

January 14, 2019 by Adam in Family

We generally had a good weekend, still getting used to being a one car family until we sort out what's going on with the car accident.  We still haven't heard from the insurance company about our minivan yet.  Emma and I went for a walk both days, going down to Woodfield Station on 29th to visit the bank, drop off prescriptions, and stop by 16 Tons to drink coffee and hot chocolate and play games.  Since Emma is off to the coast next weekend, we tried to get some quality kid time in.

Joanna braved Costco and took Ben to Oregon Art Supply.  We did our usual pizza and Mythbusters on Saturday, with Sam and Skye coming along.  Duncan managed to avoid getting dressed both days, recording gameplay videos for YouTube.

I managed to do a few small house projects like replacing our magnetic knife rack with something more significant.  I continued playing PS4 games, slowly approaching the end of Horizon Zero Dawn.  But most of all I enjoyed hanging out with all the kids, chatting with everyone over breakfast, watching Sam guide Emma in her continued conquest of Europe, and discussing the effectiveness of cannons after watching Mythbusters.

Mocha Friday

January 11, 2019 by Adam in Family

The week is wrapping up and my Friday mocha is down to a few last gulps.  Joanna and I have been juggling having a single vehicle, which is a little challenging on occasion.  I think we're both getting back into the swing of things after the start of the week.

Last night Emma went over to her friend Tevi's house for the first time - making cookies, holding her snake and listening to One Direction.  She went out to dinner with Tevi's family and had a good time.  Joanna took Duncan to his band concert, reporting they were much improved from sixth grade.  Sam, Benny, and I made dinner together and chatted.  Sam and I then played Europa Universalis IV a little, getting into a couple wars and generally consolidating power in Europe.

I think we have a pretty quiet weekend planned.  We've got a few lingering things from Christmas to put away and the usual house projects to juggle.  Still, there should be time for some R&R in there too.


January 11, 2019 by Adam in Adam's Games

I bought myself a PlayStation 4 for Christmas and have been cheerfully going through the "best of" backlog for the last couple weeks.  I picked up the exclusives that I'd been wanting to play, but couldn't get on PC.

The Last of Us is a gritty post-apocalyptic game with fungal-induced zombies roaming the countryside.  It's also a game about fathers and daughters, and surprisingly touching.

I'm getting towards the end of Horizon Zero Dawn, which is also post-apocalyptic, but set hundreds of years after the fall of civilization.  I play as a semi-primitive person who explores the ruins, fighting giant robotic dinosaurs along the way.

I also picked up Peggle 2 in hopes that Emma would enjoy it, but sadly it's not as cool to her as the original.

I still have a pretty huge backlog to go through, not to mention my other PC games, and VR games I've yet to finish.  Such is the life of a grown-up gamer.


January 10, 2019 by Adam in Family

Life continues.  Sam and I went to the oral surgeon to to prep for his wisdom teeth removal.  They took x-rays when we went for our checkup on Monday and clearly were tilted 90 degrees.  Hopefully we can get that resolved relatively soon.

Mom headed to the coast, so no coffee date today.  Joanna continues to recover, seeing her doctor and getting a massage yesterday.  She seems more chipper today than she has in awhile.  Emma lost her wallet, which isn't immediately necessary but is starting to have important things and significant cash in there.  Hopefully it turns up soon.

As for me, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things at work.  I felt relatively productive today, fixing bugs and adding a few small features.

Back Into the Fray

January 08, 2019 by Adam in Family

Joanna got hit by a car today - a woman just back from maternity leave drove through a stop sign and hit the side of the minivan.  She got checked out by the paramedics, exchanged information with the other driver, and had the police guide traffic until tow trucks arrived.  I showed up to help move the minivan's contents into the car and drove Joanna home.  We then sat down and went through the insurance claim process as we unfortunately have gotten pretty good at the drill at this point.

Dad came over for dinner and we chatted about cars and such.  Between Joanna really not wanting a minivan and the kids getting older, I think we'll end up buying something newer and smaller. We don't have a ton in savings, but should be able to afford something more recent.  Lots of unexpected expenses these days.

It was also my first day back at work, mostly filled with meetings and interruptions, and trying to get properly setup in the new payroll system.  I didn't really accomplish all that much today, though I suspect most everyone else is in the same boat.

The kids have school tomorrow - hopefully they remember how to dress and can function at a reasonable hour.  Sam and Emma hung out and continued their global conquest.

As for me, I miss vacation already.

Off to the Snow

January 02, 2019 by Adam in Family

I worked for a couple hours yesterday, getting my timesheet and expense report in, along with finishing up a pull request.  I sorta remembered how all this work thing works - hopefully next Monday isn't too overwhelming a change.  I'm not sure I've had two full weeks off of work without it being part of a vacation in decades.

We're heading off to Hoodoo with Jenny and Jordan, sadly without Sam.  The plan is to go tubing, or at least see what it's like and play in the snow.  None of us have gone before, so it'll be an adventure.

New Year's Eve

January 01, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's the day before 2019. Time for watching Japanese boy bands as is our way.

We've been having a lovely vacation. Lots of video games, hanging out, and generally having a good time. We all went to an escape room nearby, getting through in forty minutes and a couple clues. It's was surprisingly fun.

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