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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