Zooming with Family

March 27, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's a Mocha Friday, my mocha long gone.  I'm Zooming away with my family, catching up on everyone and how they're doing.  I think everyone is doing okay and it was nice to hear their voices.

I'm finally starting to feel better.  Yesterday I ran my full four miles and later went for a walk with Emma.  I was pretty worn out by the end of the day.  My new computer parts have been coming in and I was too tuckered out to try and assemble anything.

Emma's off with her mom this weekend. I'm hoping to get my new computer assembled and play the new Half Life game.  Somewhere in there I'd like to tidy up the house.

Sam likely has COVID-19 with a bad cough and brief fever.  Dad's manufacturing personal protective equipment.  Mom's still sick but feeling better.  John and Yayoe seem okay.  Hopefully we all pull through this.

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The Spread Continues

March 26, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I continue to be sick, though I think we might be getting a little bit better.  I talked to Sam today, who had a horrible cough and just started a low grade fever.  Ben's stomach hurt today, but not too bad.  Mom says she's doing better.

I drove over to see Emma and we had a pleasant walk while social distancing, blowing kisses at the end.  Joanna and I had a nice date with takeout and puzzles in the basement.  I chatted with dad, who's manufacturing masks and face shields in his garage.  Work was good, with Jackbox games with my coworkers.  I'll be working on another project for a few months, though fortunately with a couple developers I like working with.

Other than worrying about Sam, all is mostly okay.

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Just Another Pandemic Monday

March 24, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I have come to the conclusion that we probably have COVID-19.  We've had the occasional stomach issues, I've had a regular cough, and we've both had reduced lung function.  It hasn't been too bad - more annoying that truly debilitating.  Of course, we can't confirm that's what we have as no one is doing testing except for the most severe cases.  In any case, we're hunkering down still.  Joanna asked her friend Jen to go food shopping for us, which she very nicely agreed to.

We had a fairly pleasant weekend otherwise.  The day of sun and walking through the meadow was wonderful.  Sunday afternoon I mowed the lawn and put in some work outside.  Allergies were quite high, managing to get me sniffling. 

Today was another hearty breakfast of poached eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausages, grits, and of course a cafe mocha.  I wore myself out and Joanna kindly cleaned up the dishes.  Late morning we started up another Pandemic: Legacy game, with Joanna helping with the rules I forgot.  New York is rioting too now and things looked pretty bleak for a few turns there.  Fortunately we turned it around and the end and won our second game, moving the timeline into March.  The game plays through December and is over one way or another.  Hopefully we'll finish before the real pandemic is over.

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Hat Time!

March 24, 2020 by Adam in Emma

Joanna taught Emma and I to knit.  I managed a small rectangle, but Emma went on to make a square and over the weekend finished her first piece of actual attire - a hat.  She worked hard on it, listening to audio books or watching Star Trek and knitting away.  With a bit of help from Joanna she finished it off and showed it off.

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State of Emergency, Bro!

March 22, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

We've been playing quite a few games with the kids, with Ben and Emma being the most enthusiastic about such things.  We dusted off TKO, a t-shirt making game where you have to make drawings and logos and then other players put them together.  This was the winner of our most recent game.

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Clinging to Normality

March 22, 2020 by Adam in Family

These are indeed strange times.

Joanna and I have been sick off and on this weekend, though I'm actually feeling relatively chipper today.  Neither of us have had a fever - it's hard to tell if this is a lingering cough or the Coronavirus.  Testing continues to be generally unavailable.

In the meantime, we've been hanging out with kids and took advantage of the nice weather.  Ben and Emma have been playing video games and watching Star Trek.  We did our usual pizza and science related shows.  Saturday morning Emma decided to schedule a school for herself, breaking out the grid paper and setting up days and activities.

One of the more wonderful activities was heading out to the South Eugene Meadow park to wander the rough paths and collect flower samples and pond water as part of Emma's self-created science curriculum.  It was so warm that I took my shirt off at one point - I think I ended up with a touch too much sun and lay down for a nap afterward.  Emma broke out the microscope and I helped her identify plants as she scribbled things down in her new notebook.

We're still figuring out quite a bit.  SATs have been canceled and the AP tests are online only.  Distance learning for the kids starts April 1st.  Duncan has been forced to go for walks each day, but otherwise is making videos and playing on his computer.  Ben occasionally works on clothing projects.  Emma is knitting a hat.  Joanna's giving live concerts on Facebook.  I bought myself a bunch of new computer parts from the small profits I made selling stock a couple weeks back on the perfect day.  

It's hard to know what comes next.  I'm thankful my job seems relatively stable so far.  I'm excited to keep working on things that actually help hospitals cope with what's coming.  Hello to everyone out there - hope you're all okay.

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Holding My Breath

March 20, 2020 by Adam in Family

I'm feeling pretty good today, having just finished my tasty mocha and my long-running cough seems pretty much gone.  

Mom reported she was feeling sick yesterday with a headache, cough, and upset stomach.  I'm going to check in later this morning and see if we need to escalate anything.  I think it's still hard to get tested, but maybe things are improving.  Joanna was also feeling bad yesterday with an upset stomach and occasional cough, though fortunately no fever.  It turns out Joanna knew the woman who died of a heart attack last week and later tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Other than the pandemic and stock market crash, life's doing okay.  I hear that at least high school will try to reopen using distance learning.  We may need to scrounge around to get Emma a computer for her mom's house.  Kevin opted not to come to Oregon, poor guy.  Duncan arranged a get-together in Minecraft.  I've been putting in some extra time after work to do things that might be helpful.  Our entire company is shifting to try and find ways to help.

If there's any bright spot in this mess, the late night comedians have put out some great shows at home, complete with interrupting kids and improvised laugh tracks.

Life Goes On

March 19, 2020 by Adam in Family

We continue to ride the churn that's our day-to-day life.  Last night was the first I got a good night's sleep in quite awhile.  Joanna and I had a date night last night, walking down to get takeout from one of our favorite local restaurants, then retiring to the basement to eat, chat, and puzzle.  Ben walked down to South during their free lunch, saying hi to friends while practicing social distancing.  Jamie's cut back work, so she and Emma have been hanging out - Emma's honing her cooking skills.  Duncan is in 24x7 vacation mode, making videos, playing video games, and hanging out with friends online.

The manager for the local Nissan dealership called, asking if I needed anything and apologizing for the situation.  I appreciated the gesture and I said I was fine with the loaner and hoping to eventually get my car back.

Hopefully everyone is at home and settling in.  My cousin Ben was apparently in Italy but made it back in time.  Bob's son is stuck in Washington DC and can't return to China.  Even if he could go back, I think he'd be quarantined there for a couple weeks.

What strange times we live in.

Tales from the Hot Zone

March 17, 2020 by Adam in Family

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Eugene/Springfield was announced today - a 69 year old man.  They're apparently notifying people he came into contact with.  They think it was community spread - symptoms started March 1st, so it's been around for awhile.

The car saga continues.  It looks like they were acting on a recall service I didn't know about or approve when the ECM died.  I think "shorted out" isn't as accurate as a plain old software update failure.  The letter I sent got everyone's attention - Nissan and the local deal both called back.  It feels like they both feel the other is responsible and are duking it out.  On the plus side, I finally got a loaner car, a very nice 2020 sedan that's in the driveway.  No idea if I'll actually drive it much or how long I'll have it.

Everyone is generally doing okay.  Joanna cleared out the tea and biscuits from the store today, proving that she's the lovely English person I married.  Still no word about Kevin and if he's coming to visit.  I keep checking in with various family members.  Jenny probably has the most challenging job, figuring out which patients to see each day.  Dad's staying at home for the foreseeable future.

I keep trying to balance keeping my spirits up while frantically searching for the latest updates and making plans to shelter in place.  Hope you're all doing the same.  Be safe.

Pandemic Outbreak

March 16, 2020 by Adam in Family

The world seemed to lock itself down over the weekend, with the stock market crashing even further this morning.  I had a brief moment of panic when I took my temperature after having a headache this morning along with my ongoing cough.  It was over 100 degrees, which put Joanna in "calm but firm" mode, checking my vitals and telling me to test myself again in ten minutes.  I waited, thinking about where in the house to self-quarantine, then tested again only to have it be normal.  I sheepishly admitted to Joanna that I'd just had a cup of tea, who chastised me slightly as I slunk off to my shed.

I played video games with the kids, in between working on a GIS skunkworks project at work.  Jacquie and I decided to make a map chart type on our own, in part to have something useful to do that we're both passionate about.  She made way more progress than I did, but I did manage to write a script that downloads the daily Coronavirus stats as test data.  Grim, but real data is always more useful.

Joanna, Emma, Ben, and I also all played Pandemic Legacy in the afternoon.  It's weird in that you draw on the board, change rules permanently, rip up character cards when they die, and every game changes how the game is played. Johannesburg is rioting and Ben's character was scarred for life, but we did get cures for them all.  I suspect the strains mutate and we play again - every game takes a month to play.  We'll see if we finish before the current pandemic ends.

Pandemic Pie Day

March 15, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's March 14th, or 3.14 in math nerd speak, so Joanna made us a delicious pumpkin pie to go with our pizza tonight.  I think we're all finally starting to feel somewhat settled after an off-the-rails crazy week.

I spent this morning writing a long, detailed letter to the Nissan people and late today I got a call from John at Lithia Nissan letting me know that the car wasn't totaled and they'd try to fix it.  This is a different story from what I was told earlier in the week, so we'll see if they actually manage to get the part and repair it.

Joanna braved the store while Ben, Emma, and I played board games, video games, and generally hung out.  It was actually quite nice, though we'll see if we all feel the same after several weeks of the same.  I have my work to keep me busy, but we may need to find things for the kids to do.

I've talked to nearly everyone - I think they're all doing okay.  Jenny let me know that she's forbid my dad from working at the office for a month.  It's probably a reasonable precaution, especially as Ana works with so many sick people.

I heard through Emma that Sam has a cough and is staying home.  I worry about him and hope he's okay, though I know the young and healthy generally do just fine.

Mocha Pandemic Friday

March 13, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're all hunkering down.

Oregon schools closed until April 1st, Isa postponed her trip next week, Ben's office visits are going remote where possible, and we're all making plans to stay home and generally take it easy.  I've been sleeping very poorly, in part because Nissan apparently isn't going to do anything about my broken car and the local dealership isn't returning my calls.  I think I get to write them both an email explaining the legal action I plan on taking and see if that generates any movement.

I think we have all the medication, food, and entertainment we need to get through weeks of being at home.  Working from home is my normal thing anyway, so there's no risk to my income.  Joanna and I are still getting over a cold, so I've got a bit of a cough and Joanna has some sinus pain.  Weirdly we're happy our noses are running, as that indicates it probably isn't the Coronavirus.

Joanna is an awesome Pandemic Pal, getting everything ready for a potentially long stay at home.  She's cancelling all her one-on-one meetings with clients.  Duncan was pretty happy about no school, and hanging out with friends online is how they usually interact.  Ben seems okay with things, though he's more social than the rest of us.  Emma is okay, glad there's not a week of next trimester followed by a week off for spring break.  She's been positive and cheerful, which is wonderful.

So, we're keeping our spirits up.  I'm taking the day off work to get to all the things that are making me anxious that I can do something about.  Joanna's got a follow up procedure from her last one today.  Hopefully we can have a quiet, hang-out weekend which is fortunately pretty close to self-quarantining anyway.

NM Updates

March 13, 2020 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm sitting in bed wide awake at 3:45am, so I thought I should post an update and say hello. We have been on our spring break this week with lots of yard work, paperwork, and errands. Alex and Anne flew in last night, and we'll get to visit with them today and tomorrow.

New Mexico has been very proactive on the COVID19 front. There have been 6 positive cases in the state state (please remember we have a very small state population), and the governor declared a state of emergency on Wednesday. Shortly after that events around the state started to be canceled, including the high school basketball championships (which trumps all in NM). Yesterday the public education secretary had a conference call with all the school superintendents and told them schools would be closed for three weeks starting next Monday. The extra days will be added to the end of the school year.

That announcement really brought it home for Robbie and I. I'm not yet sure how my feelings are about it. Part of me is happy to have more time in the garden, and part of me is worried sick for my students, many of whom rely on free breakfast, and lunch, and the safety and love from school. Our district will be sending us more information today, so I'm hoping that will settle my mind.

Isa has decided to postpone her trip to Eugene for now. She's sad not to get to see everyone, but it didn't feel like the responsible thing to do right now. Alex and Anne have also canceled their international business travel for next week, which makes us happy.

I recommend lots of reading, puzzles, and spring gardening to get us all through. Help your neighbors when possible and don't hoard toilet paper.

Pandemic Time

March 12, 2020 by Adam in Family

Well, a pandemic was declared today, Nissan still hasn't replaced my car, and the cat has started licking the butter.  Truly these are the end times.

I declared at work that I hit my stress point, in between team rearranging, car issues, and the impending apocalpyse.  I think they believed me as several team members recommended I take some time off soon.  I've got a Print to PDF demo for some clients, but I may take it easy after that.

Joanna and I continue to make plans, picking out our favorite places in the house to self-quarantine.  The basement has a nice TV, spare bathroom, lots of food, and all the puzzles.  We'll probably be fighting over it before too long.  Tonight we opted to get takeout instead of going to a restaurant.  I had tea with mom today too.  Both seemed to be thinning out like most public gatherings.

I texted Sam today, who passed along some reassuring words.  He and Skye are young, healthy, and have a good friend group.  It was nice to hear from him, even in text form.

As for me, I'm stressed out, have a touch of a cough and an occasional headache.  I suspect it's mostly just residiual fury towards Nissan, but it's hard to be sure.

A Time of Small Disasters

March 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

My cold continues, more annoying than anything else.  I think I'm on the final legs where my sinuses are goopy but otherwise I'm fine.  The kids are somehow just fine, though Joanna has a touch of the sniffles as well.

I had Joanna take me into the local Nissan dealer to do some "final remedy" for my airbag.  They'd replaced it once already, but I guess this time it'll be even less explody than ever.  Unfortunately they texted to say they fried something while upgrading the onboard computer, so it seems I'm out of a car for awhile.  I guess it's a good week to self-quarantine anyway.

Catastrophe of the Week

March 09, 2020 by Adam in Family

Well, I'm glad I sold stocks when I did as the stock market seems to be crashing this morning.  We're staying home more than usual, with this last Sunday being the second that I shooed mom away as we had a cold going around.  I feel much better today, but I was pretty sniffly over the weekend.

The kids generally seemed to entertain themselves, between VR and dissassembling hard drives to get to the juicy magnets inside.  Emma studied for finals this week.  We all watched science shows, including Adam Savage and his one day builds, while eating pizza.  Things are okay.

The New VR Gods

March 09, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

One of the games Duncan and Ben play all the time is Roblox, which apparently just got improved VR support.  It's more of a game ecosystem where people can make their own games.  In this case, the game was really a series of geometric platforms where players could spawn in and move around, but the game play was completely different depending on whether or not you had a VR headset.

Normal players could walk around, talk with little speech bubbles, perform a few animations, jump between places, and that's about it.  VR players could make themselves giant, fly around the map, and pick up other non-VR players and move them around.

This led to an immediate divinity imparted on VR players.  They were either benevolent or vengeful gods, able to move people to isolated platforms which Ben called his "colony" where only the chosen people would live.  Other VR players would fling the little people far into the sky or push them into the raging sea below to certain death.

Both Ben and Duncan played for a surprising amount of time over the weekend.  There wasn't really any rules to this game, but different behaviors popped up and quickly Ben developed favorites for the little people.  It was fascinating.

Tales from the Plague Lands

March 06, 2020 by Adam in Family

Everyone's been a little wonky this week.  We wash our hands and sing happy birthday.  Emma's recovered from her cold.  Every time I get a little cough, I wonder if this is it.  Various tech conferences have canceled. The kids report Coronavirus posters all over school.

On the up side, mortgage rates have gone down, so I'm thinking about doing some adulting today and see if I can refinance.  Weird days.

Tea at the Bank

March 04, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been an odd week.

Politics switched last night, which meant that healthcare stocks went up this morning, so I went ahead and sold some of the stocks I'd purchased with my salary last year.  I made enough money to buy a new computer for myself, but the real lesson is that watching stocks go up and down makes me an emotional train wreck when I have to do something about it.

I went to the doctor today for my annual checkup.  I'm getting the fun tests that come with turning fifty, but it generally went well.  I got some sudafed to try on my next Salt Lake City trip, after they filled out paperwork to ensure I'm not trying to make meth with it.  I've got some bloodwork to do soon too - those results are always entertaining.

Work is doing well - I'm on the last of the PDF features (hopefully).  Emma's back in school, though maybe still feeling a little iffy.  Mom wants to take me to a bank to talk about construction loans instead of having tea today.  Maybe I'll bring a thermos of tea so I don't miss out.

Tuesday Already

March 03, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're all muddling through - Emma was sick all weekend with a sore throat and Joanna and I had a touch of something.  I managed to make an outing with Emma to the library, Duncan had some wacky designer shoe-buying scheme with a group of friends, Ben had Isabell over on Friday, and we did our usual pizza and science on Saturday night.

Joanna's been  playing lots of Stardew Valley.  I started a Baldur's Gate like game called Pathfinder: Kingmaker.  The most productive thing beyond the usual was assembling a new tv stand from pieces.  It took the entire duration of the Clue movie.  When it was done, Emma helped me put the tv on top of it.

We're all a little worried about the Coronavirus, though trying to be only the appropriate amount of worried.  Joanna stocked up on drugs to help with cold and sore throat symptoms.  We're making kids wash their hands while singing happy birthday.  I stocked up on a little extra food at the store this week.  I've been watching our stock price go up and down during our two weeks of being able to sell it.  Hopefully we survive all the excitement.

Mocha Friday Outbreak

February 28, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been quite a week - between layoffs at work and Coronavirus fears, I think everyone is a little on edge.  The window where we can sell stocks opens up next month - weirdly our stock is up after going down for awhile.  My theory is that people are shifting money into healthcare related industries due to the virus outbreak.  We've talked to the kids about post-school handwashing protocol.  I suspect we'll double-check to make sure we have enough medication and cereal to survive any disruptions, but otherwise I think all is well.

I'm finally getting towards the end of the magic PDF features.  I'm working on some performance improvements, but I'm hoping this ends up being well received.  It's always a treat to see things I worked on in action at a client location, which I got to do today.  Real data is always so cool looking.

The kids are generally all okay.  Spring is on the way and flowers are popping up.  Something is making nests in our compost pile - I think I get to do some repair this weekend if the weather's nice.  How I long for spring.

Pancake Day

February 26, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was the day before Lent yesterday, and my English coworker reminded me that that means it was pancake day.  One of the traditions Joanna brought with her is to make crepes for dinner once a year.  We made a huge batch of whip cream, assorted berries, and the kids devoured them in vast quantities.  It was quite the spectacle.

Work had some layoffs on Monday, including my friend Andy that started the same day at Health Catalyst almost three years ago.  There are certainly some upset people and a realization that the company isn't the tech utopia some thought it might be.  For me personally, all is well and I still enjoy my job and the people I work with.  I guess I've been around the block enough times to realize that these things happen.

Emma had her day of tests, orthodontist visit, and wellness check.  I think it all went really well and was a relief after being nervous about it.  She decribed her doctor as "super fun," which seemed a good sign.  I imagine party hats and confetti were employed.

Ben, Joanna, and I piled on the couch last night to watch Doctor Who.  Ben and I have been comparing Slay the Spire notes, as I got him into playing it endlessly.  Sorry but not sorry.

Pleasant Weekend

February 24, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was generally a good weekend.  The antibiotics kept my face from being eaten from the inside,  the kids were generally entertaining, and I accomplished a few things along the way.

Emma and I had some father-daughter bonding Saturday, going to the library, off to get my haircut, and finally some coffee and board games at Metropol.  Ben had Isabel over and they watched anime in the basement.  Duncan had his friend Ash who moved to Portland stop by for a few hours - it's funny watching all these kids grow up and turn into almost adult looking like people.  Joanna and I managed some weeding and gardening.  I planted peas, which made me happy.

Emma also picked up a book on knitting and Joanna supervised the two of us to put together a few rows.  Emma took it from there and actually finished a square and started what I think will be a hat.  I decided I probably don't have hours of free time, or at least I prioritize things over knitting.  It was fun to learn a new thing, though.

Antibiotic Friday Mocha

February 21, 2020 by Adam in Family

I've been having stuffed up ears and nasal pain the last few days.  After a couple days of non-stop painkillers I decided to bite the bullet and see a doctor.  Sure enough, I had a nasal infection and was prescribed antibiotics.  This morning I'm feeling much improved now that my face isn't being eaten from the inside.  

It's been a generally good week other than that.  Kids have been pretty good.  Joanna and I had a nice date night on Wednesday, followed by puzzle time.  Emma was here last night to play a little Stardew Valley with everyone and then we worked on circuit design for her physics homework.  Had a nice tea with mom yesterday morning, who suggested a doctor visit was something to consider.

As for me, I'm finally making PDFs at work, though they still need a bit of work.  Now that this blog is mostly functional, I started tiptoeing into making a game for fun.  We'll see if it turns into anything or is just an educational thing.

I heard about Isa and college and wish her the best.  That's such a hard time for everyone and I fret about all our generation of kids making their way into the wide world.  I shall endeavor to be a place of solace for all that need one.

New Blog

February 19, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The previous version of this blog was written about three years ago, which is ancient in dog and Internet years.  While I'm still somewhat embarrassed by this new version (my first post failed horribly), I think it's ready enough to see the light of day.

If you're feeling brave, take a look here.

Three Day Weekend

February 17, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been a lovely, three day weekend.  We've all been hanging out in earnest.  Joanna took Ben, his friend Isabell, and Duncan to see the new Sonic movie.  I raise the parenting glass to Joanna for doing that.  Emma and I went to the library and returned with assorted treasures.  I got a couple books on game design, the Stumptown graphic novel, a book about explorers for Emma and a knitting book for Joanna.

We've also all really gotten into playing Stardew Valley and so we spent a few hours today tending farm, exploring the mines, and hanging out with the townsfolk.  I did make a short break to fix mom's oven, which had a melty bit I had to run to the hardware store to replace.

I've also been working hard at replacing this blog with a new one which generally looks the same.  It's all new under the hood, but it uses the same stuff I use at work.  Let's see what happens when I click the Save button . . . 

Sadly not much.  I had to switch back to the old blog software.  Back to the drawing board.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 14, 2020 by Adam in Family

Happy Valentine's Day!  It's been a slow, low-key week, with Joanna playing lots of Stardew Valley and recovering from the cold.  The kids have all been doing well.  Ben and I have been playing lots of Slay the Spire and praising its awesomeness.  Emma was over last night and we started looking at college stuff and volunteer opportunities.  Occasionally she gets a little excited, which gives me hope that the transition to college will go okay.

Otherwise life is generally doing okay.  I'm cranking out PDFs at work after quite a bit of effort.  It's funny how I keep working on printing stuff, over a quarter of a century since my first web application.

Healthy Monday

February 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

I started to feel better late on Saturday and by Sunday I was feeling like a million bucks.  Going from miserable to normal was really uplifting and I spent the day doing little projects that I'd neglected for a long while.  The new version of this blog is getting nearly ready to go, though there are still a few little tweaks I want to make.  My reward for getting it done is to start a game project, though we'll see if that ever becomes more than a thing to mess around with.

Emma and Joanna got the Stardew Valley bug, with Emma playing every possible moment and then Joanna picking it up for mobile.  Emma was having fun taking care of her chickens and puppy in between fishing.  She did manage to get her homework done and went off to see a play with Jordan one day and shopping with her mom the next.

Unfortunately Joanna got the cold and has been sniffling and taking it easy the last couple days.  Hopefully it doesn't last long.

Sick Mocha Friday

February 07, 2020 by Adam in Family

Ben's been sick off and on this week and last night it made its way to me.  I was pretty low-key last night and generally useless today.  I worked a little this morning, slept and took it easy for a few hours, and went back to work in the afternoon.  I did manage to setup the new t.v. that arrived today, under the less-than-approving eyes of Joanna.

I'll work on my work printing thing for a couple hours and ease into the weekend.

Snowing in Texas

February 06, 2020 by Adam in Family

Sam texted this morning, reporting that it snowed last night.  I think it was just a dusting, but it's such an unusual event that I think everyone got pretty excited.

The week has been pretty quiet.  Emma's been taking junior tests in English and keeping her phone off.  Somehow mom and I missed each other yesterday for our usual tea date.  Joanna and I did manage toget out last night, though our neighborhood Mexican food place is getting too popular so we were bumped over to Cafe Yumm.  There was this guy leading a table full of little girls on a mini-RPG adventure.  He'd have them pick a number between one and ten, and played a Lord of the Rings song on his ocorina.  I told Joanna it was a gateway adventure for more hard-core fare such as Dungeons and Dragons, but I secretly wanted to sign up and join them next week.

As for work, I live and breathe printing to PDF.  One of these days I'll hopefully get to do something different.  I managed to read a little more of Winter Tide, which is a surprisingly good mashup of the cold war and Lovecraftian mythos.  And then there's Slay the Spire, which I can't stop playing.  I'm in the middle of a run where I can occasionally pull off infinite damage if I'm lucky, followed by a rush of seratonin in my brain.  Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Another Hanging Out Weekend

February 03, 2020 by Adam in Family

It snowed the tiniest amount last night.  I managed to scrape a little snowball together and flick it at Emma, though I think it turned to water before actually hitting her body.

It was a pretty low-key weekend.  Ben had has friend Isabell over.  Emma went to lunch with Yayoe.  Duncan played video games and made videos of it, though I can't exactly complain as I did the same.  We chatted with Sam which was a treat, followed by playing various video games.

Soon I'm heading out to the shed to work on printing some more, this time with a plan that's crazy enough it just might work.

Slaying It

February 03, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

I continue to play Slay the Spire a little obsessively.  Yesterday I had the perfect run, generating infinite energy and damage with a relic that let me draw a card if my hand was empty.  I managed to get a hand full of zero cost cards and a card that gave me energy, meaning I could kill anything before my opponent took a turn.  I managed to unlock three different achievements that run.  It was a thing of beauty.

Seeing Visions

February 01, 2020 by Adam in Family

I saw Dr. Arbow last week, who as always enjoys experimenting on his patients.  I had mentioned my challenges seeing things up close and he lept into action, giving me one contact for distance and a bifocal one for close up.  It's led to a weird week of having great up close vision but somewhat lousy mid range vision.  Essentially it felt like I was wearing an eye patch, though made from some sort of gauzy film.  We'll see if I last the three weeks until my next appointment.

Otherwise life has been the usual mix of tricky, weird, and wonderful.  I spent way too much time dealing with printing over the last week at work.  It turns out making PDFs look nice is an impossible task.  Joanna was feeling kinda lousy this week, but hopefully is a little better today.  The kids are all their usual quirky selves.

Rainy Weekend

January 27, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was a lazy, quiet weekend.  Joanna was feeling under the weather, so there was quite a bit of time spent knitting, reading, and taking it easy.  I managed to drag Joanna along to Down to Earth, getting dirt and seeds and preparing for springtime.

Jamie returned from Hawaii, much to Emma's excitement.  They hung out on Sunday for a little, otherwise Emma spent her time split between cooking videos and homework.  I did convince her to play the Arkham Horror card game with me - both our investigators survived, though I was mentally scarred at the end.

Duncan played endless video games.  Ben had Morgan over to hang out.  I did quite a bit of laundry, dishes, and cooking, though managed to play video games a fair amount and did a little yardwork.  I finally finished Outer Wilds, which was oddly sad and philosophical.  I also can't stop playing Slay the Spire, which haunts my dreams.

Mom came over for dinner last night and I grilled her about the farm plans.  It sounds like they're getting firmer and Seraph is thinking about coming next year.  Building a house is quite a bit of work and I think mom would appreciate the assistance.

Now it's work time - lots of little things to cleanup before our next release, but I think we're on the right track.

Mocha Friday

January 24, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been mostly quiet this week - kids going to school, celebrating Joanna's birthday, and the usual endless dishes and laundry.  Emma's been here all week, so my nights are filled with homework and the occasional video game.  I think work is stressing me out a little as I've woken up in the middle of the night the last couple nights, thinking about problems I need to solve.  Hopefully that sense of responsibility will fade after we get this next release out the door.

Joanna Birthday

January 24, 2020 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna celebrated her birthday this week, treating herself to some time in a sensory deprivation tank.  I think she was less than impressed, mostly finding she focused on the small aches and pains in her body instead of having a trancendental experience.  Still, the cake she made for herself turned out well and I think she enjoyed her birthday presents.  This year she told the kids to be more lively, which they may have taken the wrong way.

Half Birthdays

January 21, 2020 by Adam in Family

Duncan and I both had half birthdays over the weekend, a tradition invented entirely by Joanna.  She has a birthday coming up in a few days too, so the celebrations continue.

Emma's around this week as Jamie and Meg are in Hawaii for their honeymoon.  Emma and Ben have been hanging out quite a bit, watching weird anime about blood cells.  I took the two of them to Oregon Art Supply to continue spending their Christmas gift certificates.  Otherwise it was a pretty low-key weekend.  Mom came for dinner Sunday and dad last night. 

Slaying the Spire Again

January 18, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

Slay the Spire is one of my favorite games - a well-crafted deck building roguelike game where you take one of four characters and build a deck as you slowly climb this spire until you reach the final boss.  They added a new character last week and I've been trying to beat the boss with it.  This morning I succeeded with the Watcher with a slow burn deck that had to hold on long enough to deal massive damage in a couple turns.  It was pretty fun, though I think I need a little Spire break.

The good news is that I have two other excellent games I'm slowly wrapping up.  I think we're approaching the end of Outer Wilds, down to one or two more mysteries to resolve.  Emma and I are also playing Return of the Obra Dinn, which we refer to as the murder scrapbook game.  Basically you revisit various scenes on a ship and try to piece together who died in what way.  With Emma's knowledge of shipboard life, it feels like I have an unfair advantage.  She knows all about where midshipmen would be bunked, the parts of the ship and all the titles of the crewmembers.  It's cool seeing her quirky nautical trivia become relevant.

Mocha Friday

January 17, 2020 by Adam in Family

We just shipped a release at work, so we have a brief lull where we can work more experimental features for a little, assuming Chris doesn't discover more bugs for us to fix.  I'm working on a slightly crazy thing that theoretically works, but I guess we won't find out until we do it.

Everyone is generally doing well.  Emma was over last night and we played a lot of Outer Wilds, flying around our little solar system. With Jamie on vacation, she'll be around for the upcoming week.

I spent some time yesterday getting the new version of this website ready to go.  It should generally work the same, though it's using newer technology under the hood.  Hopefully I can bring it up in parallel for everyone to try out.  I also fixed some old embedded videos that weren't always working, as YouTube used to use Shockwave Flash to embed things.  I'm now using a more modern way of linking videos in.

It looks like another low-key weekend for us all.  I'd love to get some starter seeds going, sort of a promise that spring is coming.

Rainy Wednesday

January 16, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I went through the cold rainy night to have our date night at the Springfield Cornbread Cafe, which had just opened up.  It was a similar menu to the Eugene location, though with quirky kitch decor.  We read each other questions from the Trivia Pursuit cards left on the table and chatted about life.

Work's been good - I'm in the final stretch of a two month project I've been working on.  The kids all seem to be doing okay.  I had my teeth cleaned and Jenny showed me her new car.  Sadie sent me a link to a bad pun t-shirt.  I chatted with mom in New Mexico.  I read a little more of my Autonomous book.  Life's good.

Another Fine Weekend

January 14, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's Monday already - work was generally satisfying and I think I'm nearly done with a somewhat complicated feature I've been fiddling with for a couple months now.  Now that Christmas break is done, it's gotten pretty quiet.  Mom's still away in New Mexico.  Dad's not working this week and is at the coast.  I spent the weekend hanging out with the kids, playing video games, and doing a bit of yardwork so I didn't consider myself incredibly lazy.

No big news - just the little things of life.  Ben and Emma watched a lot of Star Trek when I was away.  Joanna's been fermenting apples and cauliflower with her Christmas presents.  Sam, Emma, and I played some video games over the Internet over the weekend - he had the flu but is on the mend.  Sadie sent me a bunch of pictures she dug up from her middle school years.  All is well.

Outer Wilds

January 14, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

I'm working my way through the award-winning games of 2019 - Disco Elysium was a quirky dialog-heavy detective game.  Now I'm playing through Outer Wilds, which is an exploration game where you explore the mysteries of your solar system and try to piece together another mystery.  They're both excellent and I find I'm becoming jaded and unwilling to play less engaging games.

Emma's been playing with me on occasion, taking the controls and flying our little spaceship through weird and bizarre worlds.

There and Back Again

January 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

After a lovely weekend with the kids, I headed to the airport Monday morning and started my quarterly trip to Salt Lake City.  All went generally okay, with my usual routine being wake up, run four miles, eat oatmeal in the hotel, walk across the parking lot for meetings, have dinner with coworkers, and play Slay the Spire until bedtime.  There were some variations - one day we went to a stained glass place and made little stained glass things.  They did real work there, elaborate stained glass windows for churches, and we admired the cool machinery.

Yesterday Tim and I left around noon to wade through the long security line and make our way home.  I ran into an old PeaceHealth friend, Steve Long, on the flight to Eugene.  It was great being home again and sleeping well last night.

I still struggled with the altitude and dry air.  A nettie pot, nasal spray, and Advil generally helped, and I felt pretty normal the last day.  It always feels good to return home to the valley.

Joanna managed the kids generally okay.  Apparently the routine was to watch Star Trek after dinner every night.  Hopefully I can wrest my computer back again now that I've returned.

I'm working today, back to my routine.  Tonight Joanna and I are going to hang out and play games with other grown ups, which is a treat.

Cocaine Fueled Karaoke

January 04, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're slowly walking up in Portland, looking out over the city from our hotel room.

It's our second stay in the Hotel deLuxe as years ago we also saw a play nearby. Yesterday morning we packed for our journey, waited for Mattie to come and watch Ben, and took Emma to her mom's. Then it was driving through country roads to reach Silver Falls. For some reason I'd never gone there. It was lovely, trails through tall trees and wet cool air. We hiked behind two falls, tons of water crashing over basaltic lava flows. We took our tired bodies back to the cabins, admiring their depression era construction. After some coffee and lentil soup we continued on to Portland.

After settling into our rooms we changed into city clothes, which were only slightly more formal versions of our normal attire. Powell's books was nearby, so we picked up a few treasures and ate veggie pot pie and a cherry peach pie for dinner at a vegan, gluten free place. The play was held in a conference room in the Tiffany building, decked out to look like a Scottish pub. The play happened all around us, a bizarre and hysterical modern day retelling of a Scottish ballad involving a love story with the devil and cocaine fueled karaoke. It was quite memorable, especially the actors in their underwear jumping on tables.

Soon we're off to Fuel for breakfast, then fetching Duncan from the airport. It's been a lovely getaway.

Disco Elysium

January 02, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've always been a fan of the text-heavy philosophical games like Planescape: Torment.  Disco Elysium is a weird game where you play a detective in a worn-down world similar to ours, solving small mysteries in the most bizarre way possible.  I had fun playing as an occasionally psychic, slightly communist detective.  Many of the main quests were bumbled through, though I did manage to make it to the end and generally solve the case.  The end was sad and whistful in a way, the end of some great writing and storytelling.  While I'm not sure I'll ever manage myself, I'd love to play around with making a similarly thoughtful game.

I did manage to sing a really sad karaoke song before solving the case with my trusty sidekick Kim, so that's a plus.


January 02, 2020 by Adam in Family

I got a little mixed up with my various vacations and it turns out I had New Year's Day through the end of the week off.  In our traditional fashion, Ben, Joanna, and I drank virgin pina coladas and watched the Japanese Jonny's Countdown, followed by a quick switch over to watch the Times Square ball drop.  We watched random Japanese commercials until it was time for bed - a fine way to ring in the new year.

Today was pretty low-key.  I finished Disco Elysium, which was a great detective game.  Ben played assorted video games.  Joanna and I went for a long hike.  I ran and watched The Witcher on Netflix.  It was all quite lovely.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind week.  I worked a couple days, had dinner at Jenny's, and managed to go have tea with Seraph and Robbie before they left.  Mom's in New Mexico for a couple weeks.  Jamie took Emma to the beach.  Joanna and I will be having a night in Portland this weekend, catching a play, and then getting Duncan from the airport.  Next Monday I'm off to Salt Lake City.  Hopefully life quiets down a bit after that.

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