Assorted Updates

March 31, 2020 by Adam in Family

Just a quick update for all.

I chatted with Sam yesterday, who ended up getting tested for COVID-19.  He described driving up to a series of temporary tents, being met by people in masks and gloves, then getting a large swab stuck way up his nasal cavity.

Both my mom and Joanna seem to be improving considerably.  I feel pretty awesome and all but the slighist hint of lung tightness remains.  I've been running again and generally doing all the things I normally do.  I really look forward to seeing Emma next weekend as we've only gone on social distancing walks together.

My coworker Jacquie and I caused a bit of a kerfuffle around mapping visualizations that we'd been working on after hours.  I think there's a bit of territorial feelings with some other teams.  Hopefully that'll all get sorted out, though I may spend my free time playing video games on my new computer instead.

Joanna also got interviewed by KLCC yesterday.  She's been doing a great job organizing the neighbors, live streaming playing music, and generally being a great Pandemic Pal.  I'm lucky to have her.

Fully Operational

March 31, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I took some of the money I got selling stocks in the brief window before everything fell apart and used it to buy a bunch of computer parts for myself.  Yesterday the last thing appeared, a massive CPU fan, and I finished the assembly that I'd started a few days ago.

As is often the case, things didn't go smoothly at first. The fans turned on, but there was no video or sound (since my motherboard didn't have a speaker).  After a tense few minutes, I figured out that the memory sticks weren't properly seated.  Finally I got video out and pretty soon I was tossing in the hard drive from my old computer and things were booting up magically.

I did a little testing with the VR game The Lab and it was amazingly smooth.  Hopefully it helps with some of the nausea I'd get when VR games would get choppy.  I've got Half Life: Alyx all ready to go, which has been getting amazing reviews.

I also copied my hard drive over to the new and faster M.2 drive.  The only annoying thing was that my Windows Activation decided my license was invalid, but fortunately I have tons through my job's subscription.  I've got a bit of cleanup yet, but it actually all went pretty well and I overclocked the cpu a touch to get a little performance boost.

The next step is to put Duncan's old hard drive in my old computer, then take Duncan's old computer, slap in some old hard drives, and get that to Jamie's house for Emma's distance learning computer.

Stumbling Towards Recovery

March 29, 2020 by Adam in Family

Every time I say it I knock on wood, but I think I'm finally starting to get better.  Yesterday I felt great and spent three hours cleaning the house, followed by a four mile run in the afternoon.  This morning, though, I woke up with a headache and have taken it much easier.  Now that the day is fading, I'm actually feeling relatively good, though I think I'll pass on running today.

Emma hung out with her mom at the coast this weekend, returning home tonight.  We miss each other and are also trying to be careful not to pass anything around.  I think we'll have a nice social distancing walk tomorrow afternoon.

Sam's the sickest of us all, sporting a 101 degree fever and coughing quite a bit.  He hasn't been able to get through to talk to anyone about testing, as I suspect Texas is in the same boat as everyone else.  A friend of Joanna's went to the ER this morning and they sent her back with a vague diagnosis despite having the usual set of COVID-19 symptoms.  

As for the four of us, we're doing our usual hunkering down.  Joanna's done a great job getting food flowing onto our doorstep.  She's on a call with our neighbors about emergency preparedness right now.  I sure picked a great Pandemic Pal in that one.  I managed a little bit of work, unfortunately deleting and quickly restoring a somewhat important database.  There's a moral in there somewhere.

My new computer is almost completely assembled, the parts trickling in.  As it's been five years since my last one, it should be quite a bit faster and I'm excited to play the new Half Life VR game.

Joanna and I managed an outing into the neighborhood, despite going fairly slowly.  The flowers are beautiful and it's reassuring that nature will go on just fine without us.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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