Last Day of Vacation

December 30, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's late on a Sunday and I return to work tomorrow.  It's been a whirlwind vacation, with lots of visiting with family, playing games, and eating massive meals.  Joanna and I hosted a Boxing Day meal that started at two and continued late.  Joanna was amazing with organizing everything and we had about fourteen people around the table.  The next morning I made breakfast for the same crew, plus Seraph and Robbie who flew in the night before.  Skye picked up Sam and they flew back to Austin the next day.  The weekend was otherwise pretty quiet - playing board and video games with Ben and Emma, going to the library, and taking them both to redeem their Oregon Art Supply gift certificates.

Hopefully I remember how to work tomorrow morning.

Merry Christmas

December 26, 2019 by Adam in Family

I got out of bed fairly early, with Sam and Emma emerging from their bedrooms about the same time.  We went through stockings pretty quickly, getting out the puzzles and quirky Asian candies, much to everyone's amusement.  We played a little more Trine 4 until Joanna texted, asking for tea, then eventually got up and woke Ben up.  I'd made cinnamon rolls the day before and had them ready, along with Joanna's slightly more healthy oatmeal dish.  

We all had a pretty good time.  Sam got pants and wads of cash.  Ben ended up with various art supplies.  Emma got much of the same.  Joanna got a bunch of puzzle and cooking related gifts.  I ended up with clothes and books.  I may have had something to do with a bunch of board games surrounding our tree.

I whipped together a hearty breakfast of eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon, and sausages.  After a quick shower we played Photosynthesis - a game about growing trees.  Ben won soundly, mostly through some daring opening moves that none of us were brave enough to try.

Eventually Sam and Emma wandered over to their mom's house.  Joanna and I went for a walk.  We managed to video chat with Duncan a little.  Now we're calling assorted Chinese restaruants, looking for some place to pick up dinner.

All-in-all it was quite the successful Christmas.

Christmas Week

December 24, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's New Year's Eve.  I've been having a great time hanging out with kids, playing games, hanging out with Joanna, and generally enjoying myself.  There's a lot of running about.  Sam and Emma went up to Corvallis on Saturday to see Jamie's side of the family.  The kids have been splitting their time between the two households, spending the night there last night.  At other times we've been playing Trine 4, a cooperative physics puzzler for three players.  Yesterday we roped in Ben and played a really hard "Escape the Room" boardgame you can only play once.  Emma was pretty burned out after we escaped, some two hours after starting play.  The unique part was tearing up the game in the process of solving clues - we ended up using a fair number of hints, though we solved quite a few on our own.

In my brief downtimes, I've been playing Disco Elysium, an amazing dialog-heavy game with immense humor and style.  It makes me long to make a text-based adventure of my own one of these days.  We'll see if I actually follow through.

This morning I made a hearty breakfast for Joanna, Ben, and I, then slowly started in on the baking for the next couple days.  Tomorrow morning we have Sam and Emma for Christmas and the next day we're hosting everyone for Boxing Day dinner.  I think we'll try to do a Friday morning breakfast, in part to try and get Sam, Seraph, and Robbie together before Sam returns to Portland for his flight out.  I'm mostly playing it all by ear.

It's been a great vacation so far and I'm hoping to briefly escape to Portland with Joanna before my Salt Lake City trip.  We haven't had time to vacation with just the two of us and a small getaway sounds lovely.

Under the Weather

December 21, 2019 by Adam in Family

Sam and Emma made a great dinner last night, whipping up two of our Sunbasket meals that were delivered slightly late.  Mom came over and we ate, then chatted together while Sam and Emma worked on homework.  After mom left, Sam and Emma and I played Trine 4, laughing at the antics of our characters trying to solve physics puzzles.  It usually devolved into Emma summoning a box and Sam attaching a rope to use it as an elevator.  

I was a little sick last night and throughout the day. We got Ben and Emma off to school.  Sam played Boneworks, a fairly intense VR game while I watched him from the couch.  Eventually he took a break and I had a nap on the couch until he was whisked away by Jamie to go to Corvallis.  I stumbled up to bed to sleep until a coworker paged us with news that I had to fill out some survey.  In any case, I felt well enough to start a new game called Disco Elysium, which is hysterical and surreal.

Joanna picked up Ben's friend and the two of them have been watching anime in the basement all day.  Joanna and I watched the Downton Abbey movie as the DVD finally arrived.  I think we're doing takeout and maybe a puzzle for our date night as I'm still not quite up to par.

Swapping Children

December 19, 2019 by Adam in Family

Duncan made it safe and sound to Rochester with Kevin last night.  Apparently there was a medical emergency and Kevin ended up assisting, with a $100 flying voucher as a reward.  I wonder if they scale it up for different procedures, say $500 for a heart transplant and $1000 for brain surgery.

I made the long drive up to Portland, with the last 20 miles taking an hour and a half.  Fortunately I'd left what I thought was really early and pulled up to Arrivals just as Sam was leaving.  We stopped at Chipolte's for a quick meal and then drove home, barely getting Sam in bed before he collapsed.

This morning I made dutch babies and bacon for Ben and Sam, the latter sleeping in until pretty late considering the time difference.  We headed out for a hike in the rain, followed by coffee and goodies at Hideaway Bakery where we talked about science fiction and politics.  Now he's off having lunch with his mom and I'm in a briefly quiet house.  Maybe I'll go for a run while I can.

Comings and Goings

December 18, 2019 by Adam in Family

There's a bunch of running around today.  Kevin is taking Duncan to the Portland airport this morning, with Duncan returning early next year.  Sam's flight today was slightly delayed, but I'm picking him up from Portland this afternoon and returning late tonight.  There was a mixup and he and Skye ended up flying over on different days, but hopefully they all make it okay.

I'm wrapping up work today, returning the last few days this year.  Rumor has it we'll be getting a little bonus, which is nice.  I'll strangely miss my work and coworkers, though hanging out with family and playing games sounds quite nice too.

Taming of the Shrew

December 18, 2019 by Adam in Ben

We just got back from Taming of the Shrew, put on at Roosevelt for our entertainment.  While it wasn't as polished as A Midsummer Night's Dream, it was still pretty entertaining.  Ben had a good time and was pretty amusing waving a rubber chicken around (swords weren't allowed).  It was the slapstick comedy version of the play, so it ended with a pie in the face.

Stumbling Towards the Holidays

December 16, 2019 by Adam in Family

I think things are okay, more or less, as we continue to stumble towards the holidays.  Friday was filled with work and interesting quirky bugs, then picking up Emma afterwards. Saturday had a couple last minute shopping outings, with Emma driving for the first time in a long while.  Joanna and I took another trip to the Asian food store, picking up quirky things for stocking stuffers.  The day wrapped up with pizza and science, followed by a couple amusing rounds of Jackbox games.

This morning I finished my zombie video game, saving the day once again, and cooked a hearty breakfast of waffles, poached eggs, bacon, veggie sausages, various fruit and yoghurt, not to mention espresso.  I spoil my family.

Eventually I coaxed Emma to walk over so I could get a hair cut, promising a lemon poppyseed scone and card games as her reward for patiently waiting.  She's been dutifully doing homework non-stop all weekend, so it was a nice treat.

Kevin's in town, chatting with Duncan about Minecraft.  The plan is that he'll take Duncan away this Wednesday until early next year.  I talked with Sam and I picking him up at the airport on Wednesday.  Theoretically Seraph and Robbie arrive the Thursday after Christmas.  Life is full of rushing about these days, but hopefully we'll all survive.

Doing All the Things

December 11, 2019 by Adam in Family

There are far too many things going on for it to fit into my little brain.  I rely on my various reminder systems to keep me on track.  Here's a random assortment of weird events and occurences in no particular order:

  • I'm going to Salt Lake City in January

  • Sam arrives in town late next week

  • Emma did well on her PSAT - 80th percentile math, 99th percentile reading

  • I took mom to a procedure to get some cancerous cells removed from her leg (the kind of cancer that doesn't kill you, fortunately)

  • Duncan is 6' 1"

  • Joanna made good chili last night

  • The cat kept waking me up with loud meowing last night

Eating Christmas

December 09, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was a busy weekend, full of shopping trips and setting up Christmas decorations.  Emma had endless homework and Duncan woke up in the middle of the night with a cold.  We managed a bit of downtime, and I played some recently purchased Resident Evil 2 for some seasonal zombie fighting fun.  It felt good to get the lights up and the kids are amused with our Christmas laser display thingie.

Joanna picked up a gingerbread house making kit which the kids enjoyed making and later that day, devouring.  Mom came for dinner.  The neightbors appreciated our outdoor lights.  More presents were purchased.  All is well.

More Hawaii Adventures

December 09, 2019 by Adam in Lohring

Hula dancers at the luau (stop looking at the coconuts)

Ana and her sister with the Samoan fire dancer

Ana swimming with the fish (and turtles)

Mocha Friday

December 06, 2019 by Adam in Family

My mocha is ready to be made.  The kids are getting ready for school, more or less, and Joanna is slowly waking up.  It's another cold misty day, winter slowly sneaking up on us.  

The week has generally gone well, kids getting good grades this term, Joanna feeling increasingly perky, and we had a virtual face-to-face at work.  The only challenging thing was a particularly tricky technical issue that I finally figured out towards the end of the day, though it took days to finally isolate the problem.

I need to hunker down and prepare for Christmas - the Amazon boxes have started to arrive, but we don't have any decorations yet.  Maybe I can make some progress this weekend.

Virtual Face to Face

December 04, 2019 by Adam in Adam

Instead of traveling to Salt Lake City this week, we've been having a virtual face-to-face.  It's worked relatively well and I appreciate being at home.  This morning I was tasked with hosting a Jackbox session, so we played Bracketeering and TKO.  They both worked out quite well and the winning t-shirt used my art.

Slay the Spire

December 03, 2019 by Adam in Adam's Games

One of my favorite games is Slay the Spire, which is a card building computer game that has huge amounts of replayability.  It reminds me a little of Magic the Gathering, except cards are assigned randomly as rewards and the things you fight just have powers instead of cards themselves.

I got Emma playing the other day, which made me want to play more, and so I've been going against increasingly difficult challenges.  I usually fail horribly, but occasionally get the right combination of cards.  Today was one of those days and my win against the final boss was especially decisive.


December 02, 2019 by Adam in Lohring

Dad and Ana are in Hawaii and he just sent along some photos.  The following captions are his alone.

Ana's sister and niece on the beach
Ana on the beach at sunset
The King with a few of his 30+ wives
A beautiful valley

Thanksgiving Vacation Ends

December 02, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's the end of my week-long Thanksgiving break - tomorrow I return to work and hopefully become a productive developer again.  We're trying out a virtual face to face, meeting over video chat instead of flying to Salt Lake City.  That'll happen in early January most likely.

It was a good vacation overall.  I spent a lot of time hanging out with kids and family.  I managed a few projects, from pruning back the butterfly bush to getting a better display for the PIPBoy 3000 my dad made me.  I played a fair bit of computer games, finishing my cowboy game, playing Slay the Spire with Emma, and trying out the local coop sharing with Sam today.

I wished Sam a happy 21st birthday and he finally got all his presents.  Hopefully they're well appreciated.

Thanksgiving dinner at mom's was pretty small and quiet.  Yayoe had to leave early.  Jenny and her kids were there.  Emma helped cook and Joanna made assorted goodies to take over.  I think this was the first Thanksgiving without Sam.

Of course, now Christmas is right around the corner and I'm feeling entirely unprepared for the experience.

Red Dead Redemption 2

December 02, 2019 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished my cowboy game yesterday, Red Dead Redemption 2.  It was one of the longest games I've played, a lengthy tale of change, both personal and as a nation.  Pretty much everyone got a redemption arc of some kind, though not everyone made it to the end.  My favorite part about the game was spending time with my gang of outlaws, hunting for meat to throw in the stew, chatting with everyone, and singing songs after our various exploits.

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