Chicken Attack!

January 31, 2021 by Adam in Family

Our neighbors have free-range chickens.  I'm not sure it's entirely legal, but they wander around, pecking at yards, and today decided to cross the street and hang out in our yard a little.  Data thought it was the coolest thing ever and watched intently out the front window.

We talked to Duncan yesterday after a couple hours of parent meetings and the like.  He sound okay, though okay has a fair range from really bad to getting by.  Most of the kids there have tested positive for covid at this point.  Because he's been in quarantine after his roommate tested positive, he seems to have missed it so far.  There's been a little too much drama over the last couple weeks and I'm hoping he's developing some resilience, though this wouldn't have been my preferred way to do it.

Today had a lot of helping Ben and Emma with math, as well as hauling buckets of soil up to the balcony by rope.  The giant troughs are slowly filling up for Joanna to use.  We have a lot of yard projects going on in preparation for spring.

Tomorrow work begins again.  I've got to tweak our notification system to do more complicated things.  I keep pondering the best option at weird hours of the night.

Quiet Week

January 29, 2021 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively quiet week, at least as quiet as it gets these days.  Ben was making a science video about plate tectonics and used Joanna and I as props.  Work's moving along nicely towards a release.  Emma finished her mittens and has moved on to a hat, having learned enough about knitting to improvise a design.  Joanna's been enjoying her new Switch in between gardening projects - the troughs are on the balcony waiting for more soil.

My life is pretty routine. I wake up and make coffee and tea while listening to NPR, have some oatmeal and read the paper, then deliver morning beverages and head to the backyard to work.  At lunch I run and watch a show.  Then it's helping with dinner, usually assisting with Ben math, and sneaking in some video games before settling in to watch a show or two before bed.

There's enough novelty sprinkled in there to keep us on our toes.  Data terrorizes and amuses us with his hijinx.  We're usually celebrating some holiday, birthday, or half birthday most weeks.  Wednesday has become the de facto date night with takeout and puzzles.  It's a pretty good life.

Tromping Around In the Woods

January 25, 2021 by Adam in Family

Saturday was my running-around-everywhere day.  I picked up library books, got a COVID test, picked up groceries, helped move some garden project stuff around, and later that afternoon went out to the farm to help Joanna clear brush.  The COVID test was due to a mild cough and headache - I'll find out Tuesday, though I suspect it's just a cold.  The farm is coming along nicely and Joanna continues to get more equipment to get things ready.  I was a little worried when she started looking at portable sawmills, which are apparently a thing.

Ben enjoyed chopping things with an axe.  Emma liked looking at mushrooms. I took them down to the hay barn to explore the garbage in there.  Apparently there's a magazine from the 80's slowly decomposing.  I bet that place could be cleaned out and turned into a cool and useful structure.

Sunday was more low-key.  Since Joanna had a birthday on Friday, we all got to play with her main gift, which was a Nintendo Switch.  Everyone played a little Animal Crossing before the end of the weekend.

Cyberpunk 2077 Endings

January 25, 2021 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished Cyberpunk 2077, which was high on my list of games I was looking forward to.  It was a good game that didn't quite live up to the hype.  I loved the world and some of the storylines, which felt very much like my vision of cyberpunk in the 80's.  The endings weren't quite as satisfying as I'd like, but they wrapped things up nicely and I can appreciate bittersweet finales.

Birthday Mocha Friday

January 22, 2021 by Adam in Family

It's Joanna's birthday today.  Ben's making a cake.  We're getting Thai for takeout this evening.  I've got presents squirreled away and ready to go.

For whatever reason, it feels like things are actually okay at the moment.  While not all the kids are okay, things continue to improve.  Joanna is having a great time planning a little cabin in the woods, working with builders, clearing brush, and tromping around the property.  We've also got some home gardening projects, with garden beds to build and troughs to put on the balcony.  We're all looking forward to spring.

Quiet Weekend

January 19, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was a quiet three-day weekend.  Joanna left for a getaway Saturday after some zoom parent support groups through the place Duncan is staying.  Emma, Ben, and I settled in for a couple days of eating goodies, watching shows, playing video and board games, and occasionally catching up on homework.  The most exciting thing we did was take Data outside to explore our backyard.  Later he knocked over a bunch of plants to get a better view of the squirrel feeder, so I'm not sure it improved his demeanor at all.

Joanna came back for dinner with plans for a little writer's cabin in the woods.  There are decisions to make and things to coordinate, so I think it'll be awhile yet.

Back to work for me.  I suspect bug fixes and table sorting await me.

Sea Shanty Mocha Friday

January 15, 2021 by Adam in Family

I'm greatly heartened that sea shanties are back in style, with the Wellerman going viral on TikTok.  These are the things that are keeping me going through the rainy days of winter.  I've been spending my days writing code and moving data around, while the evenings are spent helping Ben with homework, doing chores, and watching shows.  Ben's been on a dessert-making spree, treating us yesterday with a tasty chocolate dish and later custard pie.  Plus he made dinner and caught up with math, all of which are appreciated.

We've got a three day weekend coming up.  Joanna's spending a couple nights in a cabin by herself to get away for a little.  I'll be wrangling Ben and Emma, probably through video games, movies, and generally hanging out.  Should be fun.


January 12, 2021 by Seraph in Cortez

Our bunny Luna died this morning. We could tell she was sick when we got up this morning, but it progressed quickly. It's been tough for all of us. Even the dogs were uneasy all day. Isa and I filled a box with cedar, and Robbie and I burried her under an apple tree on the farm. 

Garden Beds

January 12, 2021 by Adam in Adam's Projects

Last weekend, Joanna put in a bunch of work getting the garden beds in.  We hauled dirt, spread sand from the old sandbox, and generally got things ready for planting again.  It was satisfying, one of those small victories in an otherwise hard year.  The beds have a gap of a foot or so of air between the beds and the ground, hopefully preventing roots from getting in and choking out the vegetables.  Here's hoping for the best.


January 08, 2021 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I asked for a Raspberry Pi for Christmas, which is a low-cost tiny computer that runs Linux and is used for all sorts of interesting projects, from weather stations to garden watering systems.  One thing people do with it is run old video games using emulators, and there's a well-known community to support it.  After mulling over options, I also bought a lift-top coffee table.  It took the duration of Monty Python's Holy Grail to assemble the thing, but it worked pretty well and nicely fit the old monitor and speakers I had laying around.

Yesterday I finally drilled holes for cables and finished putting it together.  Ben was my beta tester, playing old Atari games and a little Sonic before we had to stop and make dinner.

Back to Work

January 06, 2021 by Adam in Family

The kids went back to school yesterday and I had the day off.  I responsibly spent much of it doing practical things like taking down the Christmas ornaments and moving dirt into garden beds.  I still managed some video game time, playing through Cyberpunk 2077 and enjoying myself.  Ben made cream puffs, much to our enjoyment.  Data alternated mischeviously eating things he wasn't supposed to and sleeping in cute positions.  I'm a little envious.

New Year

January 04, 2021 by Adam in Family

After working for a couple days, my second big vacation of the season kicked off again.  For New Year's Eve we did our usual watching of Japanese boy bands and commercials, along with drinking virgin Piña Coladas.  Since then we've mostly been hanging out, occasionally accomplishing something useful.  Joanna continues putting in the new garden beds, with occasional help from myself and the neighbors.  Otherwise it's been lots of watching Star Trek DS9, video games, and the like.  Other than the final touches, I put together a video game coffee table for playing old video games.  Ben and Emma did a bit of homework.  Joanna survived another Costco run.

So far, 2021 is doing okay.

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