Fall Starts in Earnest

September 27, 2021 by Adam in Family

Fall technically started almost a week ago, but today feels like the true start of fall.  We've got a day of serious rain, continuing on tomorrow.  The temperature is cooling down and I decided I should probably switch from shorts to pants.  Emma starts her first day of school at the U of O and has found a way to cover herself, her backpack, and everything else in waterproof attire.  

As for the weekend, it was generally good.  It was nice having Emma around after missing her last weekend.  She and Ben got some good hangout time together, in between Hotshot Racing and more Deep Space 9.  Joanna continues to move their office downstairs and clean up the old office area in preparation to move the bed.  We took out shelves, the desk I made, and various odds and ends so we could spackle in preparation for painting.  I think the painting happens today.

Duncan recorded videos with friends.  Ben played Jackbox with friends.  Emma and I picked up school supplies and searched around the Internet for decent prices on used textbooks.  It's wild how $100+ textbooks can be found for a tenth of that used.  Hopefully the previous owners were good at highlighting the right things.

I'll be taking Emma to school shortly.  She's nervous/excited, but I think after all her preparation she'll do just fine.

Mocha Friday

September 24, 2021 by Adam in Family

I'm slowly finishing my Friday mocha, trying to get the most of what's left.  We're mostly doing okay today, though we keep working through transitions.  Joanna's in the hospital for one of those fun procedures I had last year - mostly annoying more than anything else.  I dropped them off an hour ago and will pick them up around noon.  Duncan had a hard night last night and is resting in bed this morning.  School has felt a little overwhelming, so we're taking it easy.  Ben's doing really well academically so far, proudly showing off 100% in all his classes.  Today is Emma's last day of summer before classes start on Monday.

As for me, I spent my work week in online conferences.  It was okay, with the occasional industry speaker that was really good.  Learning about teaching robots how to detect emotions in facial expressions was interesting.  I welcome our future empathetic robot overlords.

Joanna's been moving their office into the basement.  Leia has been meowing way too much lately.  I continue the road to recovery with nightly physical therapy and was excited to discover I can put both my hands on my hips now.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2021 by Adam in Family

Ahoy, me hearties!  It be one of the best days o' the year, where landlubbers and salty sea dogs alike are allowed to talk like a pirate.  I hoisted the pirate flag on our house, earning the praise and admiration of our neighbors.  Some pirate games were played.  It was all good fun.

The rains came last night, overflowing our back stairwell and making me wish for a bilge pump.  I soaked my boots and got out as much water as I could, then used a toilet plunger on the drain until it flowed freely.  The rain is most welcome, and the air smells wonderful, though I need to remember how to deal with it properly.

Today has been surprisingly productive.  I reassembled the old brass and wood computer with the guts from Ben's computer.  I've got a bit of hardware tweaking to make it look pretty, then I've got to figure out what to do with the thing.  I loaded Windows, which was shockingly simple, and I'm thinking of turning it into a backup server of some kind or another.

Joanna's also been thinking of moving their office to the basement, so we did some cleanup and getting rid of books and games that are collecting dust.  The little free libraries in the neighborhood will be well stocked for the months ahead.


September 18, 2021 by Adam in Adam's Games

I continue to be enamored of deck builder games.  I beat the final difficulty level of Monster Train a couple weeks ago.  I picked up Griftlands, which is a mix of deck building and story, with three different characters to play.  I beat them all on the easiest difficulty just today, though the game is crying out for replays.

I must have a knack for these kind of games.  My first run ended with an untimely death, but I finished the next three to completion.

Mocha Friday

September 17, 2021 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively quiet week and I think the kids are both settling into school.  Ben's more enthusiastic than Duncan, but I think the latter has reached the right level of resigned to get him through the term.  Emma's off crabbing today, hanging out with Jamie and her parents for a few days.  I'm nearly done with the computer switcharoo, giving the bulk of Duncan's old computer to Ben which should make it snappier.

Joanna continues the cabin projects, getting a functional sink with a foot pump.  Lights are next on the agenda.  Work's been a little frustrating of late - I've got a weird, poorly-defined project and I'm not getting the help I need to accomplish it.  The plan is to whine harder today and see if that does the trick.

As for this weekend, I might try and resurrect the Fossil computer.  There's also a book sale at the library tomorrow that sounds fun.  Finally, the rains are coming again, so I may just read a book by the window and listen to the gentle patter of raindrops.


September 15, 2021 by Adam in Family

The week moves along.  We met with Duncan's school support team and are working on getting him an EAP.  Ben seems to be generally enthusiastic about school.  Emma's heading to the coast today for a crabbing trip.  The rains are supposed to return later this week, which are most welcome.

NASA was testing some of their new spacesuit designs around Oregon, as apparently it's a good analogy for the moon.  They wanted to try them out in caves and picked Skylight Cave where we went a few years ago.  We all decided that was very cool.

Birthdays, Campus Tours and Wasps

September 13, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, with the occasional excitement sprinkled here and there.  Saturday was our usual library trip for Emma and I.  Later Ben and I went to Home Depot for spacesuit cosplay gear.  After a short break it was off to Bob's for birthday festivities, then running back home to throw pizza in the oven and watch Sword Art Online.

Sunday after a hearty breakfast Emma and I went off to campus to walk between the buildings where she had classes.  There were roaming packs of older adults on a scavenger hunt of some sort.  A couple groups asked me things like "where's the fountain?" and "what's the name of that sculpture?"  I could answer the first question, which was rewarded with a follow-up request to take a group picture in front of it.  Sadly I didn't know the name of the wind sculpture behind the business building.

After lunch we went to the farm with Ben and Joanna.  We visited with chickens, dogs, Seraph and Robbie.  Unfortunately wasps came to visit us as well, stinging Joanna and Ben and cutting our trip short.  The rest of the afternoon was spent taking it easy, followed by dad coming over for dinner.

Now it's back to work.  We're trying hard to ease the transition to school for Duncan and Ben.  Emma's off crabbing with Jamie next weekend.  Joanna has assorted cabin projects.  Never a dull moment.

First Day of School

September 10, 2021 by Adam in Family

Duncan and Ben went off to school this morning.  Ben's orientation yesterday went well.  He found a skateboard in his locker, which he dutifully took to the office.  I also get the impression that all the kids are having problems recognizing each other, between the masks, fashion changes, and a year away during puberty times.  Ben mentioned one kid wasn't recognizable because they'd gone "full goth" in the last year.  Interesting times.

Work is doing presentations to customers today.  I was briefly roped in to talk about what I'm working on, though it was a very small group.  Still doing mostly bug fixes.

I suspect we'll have a relativley low-key weekend.  Emma wants to show me her four-year plan.  I was excited to hear that Anthropology of Pirates was on Emma's tentative schedule for third term.  I need to finish getting the kids' computers ready.  Duncan seems pretty happy with the performance of his new one, and the adapter for his second monitor should arrive tomorrow.

Mostly I'm crossing my fingers that the first day of school goes well for everyone.  I suspect it'll be interesting at a minimum.

Last Days of Summer

September 09, 2021 by Adam in Family

Ben starts high school today, going to ninth grade orientation.  Duncan starts tomorrow - after visiting with his counselor yesterday things feel pretty sorted out.  I get the impression that everyone is holding their breath, wanting kids back in school and hoping for the best.  There was an elaborate check-in system at the office for contact tracing, so I think they're at least doing their best.

As an aside, I don't have COVID, as expected.  The test I took last week came back negative.  Hopefully that's the last time I'll be doing that.  I've also been feeling better - maybe it was the fires and lousy air quality.

Yesterday was pretty busy, between Duncan and Ben appointments, tea with mom, date night with Joanna, and getting Duncan's new computer ready.  I need to merge Duncan's old computer with Ben's current computer next - hopefully that goes smoothly as well.

Listening to coffee house music, finishing a bear claw, and hunkering down to get some work done.  Looking forward to it.

Labor Day Weekend

September 07, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, perhaps with a little too much laboring for my taste.  As soon as the kids arrived on Friday from Portland, Duncan announced his computer didn't turn on.  That started a chain of events that included discovering water damage in his PC, failed attempts at saving the video card, ordering a new computer, and re-caulking the upstairs tub that had dripped down through the ceiling.  We've been slowly working the problem, but it ended up occupying more of my time than I'd like.

Other than the increased workload from cooking, dishes, and the like, it was nice having Duncan and Ben back.  Ben was cheerful and funny, playing boardgames with Emma and I and teaching Emma how to play Among Us to be cool like the other kids.  Duncan limped by with an old video card until a replacement could be found.  Emma and Ben made dinner for us, which helped lift the load.

Emma and I went to Valley River to exchange some pants ordered online.  It was a strange throwback as apparently it's still a cool hangout place for many people, not to mention a place for young parents to go to escape the heat and smoke.  Emma remembered going there long ago to have Jamie run them around the big spaces in winter.  As a treat, we escaped to the bookstore across the road and picked up a book about pirates.

Ben was itching to go out to the farm, so the two of us jumped in the car, chatting about SCP along the way.  Seraph, Robbie, dogs, and chickens were there to greet us.  Ben helped pick blackberries, turning them over to Seraph to eventually turn into jam.  We nibbled on grapes for sustenence, then tromped up to the old hay barn.  I sat and took a rest while Ben tromped through the woods like Sam used to do long ago.  Eventually we looped up and around to check out the writing shack, then back home, our zeal for the outdoors satisfied for the moment.

Now I'm back at work and we're trying to get the kids to try a dry run for the school schedule, which seems overly early for their tastes.  I miss summer already.

Mocha Friday

September 03, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was quiet last night, just the cats and I as Joanna drove to Portland to get the kids.  Because of the flooding in New York, a last minute decision was made to instead drive to Pittsburg and go through Seattle.  All went well and they should be heading home soon.

I've had some mild respiratory symptoms the last couple weeks with the occasional headache.  Nothing particularly bad, but I started getting an annoying cough and decided to get a covid test.  This one was my fourth, I think, though the first self-service one where I stick it up my own nose.  It seems more likely it's allergies, the smoke in the air, or a cold, but it'll be nice to sort it out.

It was nice to chat with mom and catch up.  It sounds like the farm remodel project is coming along nicely and they somehow lined up an architect and contractor.  Joanna's building a composting toilet and having way too much fun with a borrowed jigsaw.  I'm running out of jokes about finding a crappy new hobby, but I'm sure I can think of a few more.

It's wild that high school starts next week and the U of O a few weeks later.  The sun surprised me with how early it set last night, a sure sign that fall is right around the corner.

Kinda Sorta Making Games

September 01, 2021 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I sometimes miss making games and telling stories.  For about a year now I'll occasionally break out a little web-based game project and tinker with it.  I had a little time over my beach vacation to play around with it.  I got to the point where I could make a grid of walls and floors and put a little robot on it that would jump from square to square, pathfinding as expected.  I'm never sure if it'll turn into a functioning final product, but it's been fun to play around with things.

Older Posts