Last Mocha Friday of the Year

December 29, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm a little worn out, but fortunately it's Friday in between a couple long stretches of time off.  Hopefully I remember how to work again once things start in earnest after the New Year's break.

Christmas went well and the flight back to Chicago went well for our wayward son.  We had a great time hanging out with him and the rest of the family over the last few days.

While there have been a few rough spots in this last year, it's been reassuring to have all the kids progressively doing better.  And while my work has been bumpy, I feel like my career overall continues to do well.  My day-to-day life is pretty good - I feel like I've figured out how to keep myself entertained with podcasts even when taking out the trash, doing dishes, or cooking meals.  Each day I run at lunch and watch a show.  After dinner I get a couple hours to putter around before watching a show with Jeaux (oh - new name spelling) with a kitty on my lap.  Weekends are filled with hanging out with Emma and D&D sessions, sprinkled with hikes, library trips, gardening, and various projects.  It's a good life.

I'm curious what the next year holds.  I imagine I'll need to decide if the farm is my new hobby and how much effort I want to spend on maintaining a bit of land.  It's exciting, but potentially a lot of time.  I'm sure I'll visit our wayward son wherever he ends up.  I'm sure being a dad will continue to be a big focus and I'll keep helping this gaggle of children move closer to being responsible adults.

At least life is never boring.

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's been a fairly eventful week, heading out to the farm to look at the latest from the logging.  Big chunks of the property has been cleared, which has the people who lived there a little sad.  I think we're all trying to look forward five or ten years and make sure it doesn't get taken over by blackberries.

It's been great having our Chicago son back again.  We've had lots of hang out time, such as Jenny's lasagna bash last night.  It was packed with people and conversation and the white elephant gift exchange was weirdly amusing.

As for me, all my presents are wrapped, I'm on my fifth day off work, and I'm puttering around the house until everyone returns for a night's rest before stockings and presents.  Ben's doing midnight mass this evening, though we'll hopefully be tucked in bed with sugarplums dancing in our heads.  Jamie's doing her family Christmas shindig this afternoon, taking the older two kids with her.  Jo's working on last minute present wrapping and Duncan's doing the usual video editing projects.

Time to down some coffee and indulge myself in some video game playing while I can.

Empty Lap

December 18, 2023 by Adam in Family

At the end of the day Jo and I plonk down on the couch and watch an episode of whatever show we're watching, sipping mint tea once it has cooled down.  Data finds his way on to my lap during this ritual, expecting pets and scratches before having a nice nap.

Last night my lap was empty as he was at the emergency vet hospital out in Springfield.  He kept visiting the litter box and Jo's kitty-in-trouble senses kicked into high gear.  It looks like he has a UTI of some kind and his kidneys aren't working very well.  They took some x-rays and they started him on IV antibiotics and will retest his blood later tonight.  It's also Data's four-year birthday today, so I feel bad he's spending it mostly away.  Hopefully he's back home tonight, oblivious to the fact that we've spent $2000 so he can pee again.

Christmas was activated in earnest last weekend.  The tree is up and decorated, lights adorn our yard for the amusement of our neighbors.  Some of the presents have been wrapped, though I've got more to do yet.  Emma and I spent far too long at Hirons getting wrapping paper, coming out with $100 in stocking stuffers as well.  Hopefully they're amusing and a little practical for all the stocking openers.

I did manage some downtime here and there, playing games with Emma and chatting.  I chatted with dad for the first time in awhile, which was nice.  I'm getting excited for the return of the prodigal son in a couple days, along with taking some time off work.  I may end up in an engineering lead position over our teams despite my trepidation - hopefully it ends up being positive.

Mocha Friday

December 15, 2023 by Adam in Family

We've somehow survived the week.  Jo's got end-of-year giving stuff and it's all a bit of a madhouse.  Our team is trying to get a release ready, scrambling more than I'd like so we can do some testing with the wider team.  I only have a handful of days I'm working until January's release, so we're all trying to get done early.

We had the big farm shindig, which generally went well.  It was fun talking to all the forest management experts and I think we have a plan to make a plan with a lot more information than before.  I think we're leaning towards planting mixed conifers where the bulk of the trees were cut down, then more hardwood along the stream and pond.  Controlling blackberries is going to be the hard thing until we get a denser canopy, which might take quite a few years.  It's hard starting something that will go on past my lifetime.

The farm itself is a total wreck at the moment, with trees down everywhere and things behind schedule.  I'm trying hard to think past all that - we'll see if I'm successful.

I can't wait to see our Chicago son next week.  Ben has a friend visiting for the next few days.  School's over for everyone after today, and I think just Jo is going to be busy with work.  We've got a lot of Christmas stuff to put up this weekend and endless presents to wrap, but hopefully we'll get there.

Dungeons and Dragons and Christmas Carols

December 12, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was good to see the family D&D group on Saturday, along with rescuing Jordan from the mirror.  I got to impress everyone by whipping out a small minotaur miniature that someone disguised themselves to.  I'd just made it for fun a couple weeks ago.

We had a bit of a mixup on Sunday and Marty didn't show for Sunday D&D, but we had a nice nerd chat, lunch, and went our separate ways.  For the afternoon I got together with mom, Jamie, and Emma to go to the Hult Center for a English Christmas Carols.  It was a fun seasonal thing to do.

As for this week, I've been wading back into work and trying to get things done.  Tomorrow I'm meeting a bunch of forest management experts to come up with a plan for the farm.  I'm secretly hoping I can ply them with coffee and pastries and they'll turn it into a firm forest management plan.

Mocha Friday

December 08, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm finally feeling mostly better after a week of this mild cold. It's been a generally good week - getting things done at work, going out for foot massages and pizza with Jo, organizing the forest restoration people in more detail, and slowly getting ready for Christmas.  It's a back-to-back D&D weekend and I'm looking forward to hanging out with everyone again.

The pile of flat pack furniture in the living room has vanished.  The desk is in Jo's office, the love seat is upstairs, and the fold-out bed is in the basement waiting to be moved out to the cabin.

Emma and Duncan are done with school, their last projects turned in.  Poor Ben continues to work away, staying late after school yesterday to hang out with her teacher and do Calculus problems.  He seems to be generally enjoying his new basement bedroom and the cats have both found their way down there.

I met my new manager yesterday, though I suspect he'll be spread too thin to be particularly present.  I'm hoping to get an old coworker working with the team again after Jess' departure.  Life moves on.

Worn out Weekend

December 05, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's actually Tuesday morning, but the sentiment is the same.  I finally came down with Emma's cold and while the symptoms aren't too bad, I do feel pretty tired all around.  I did take some time to finish Baldur's Gate 3, which was loads of fun.  Sunday afternoon I watched Emma play Unpacking while halfway finishing Jo's new desk.  Yesterday I left work a little early and spent another few hours finishing it.  After this piece of flat pack furniture, there's a love seat for the upstairs.  Jo is taking another one out to the shed.  So many boxes have arrived lately.

Work's been a little busy with a priority one ticket that came in, but I think I finally have it sorted out and hotfixed.  My two coworkers and I are doing pretty well with setting up bug testing and release planning.  As there's lots of time off in the next few weeks we're trying to get ready early.

It's finals week for Duncan and Emma, though I think Emma just had to turn in a paper on Monday and she's out.

Hopefully I perk up in the next few days - sadly there are limits as to what cafe mochas and cereal can do.

Baldur's Gate 3

December 02, 2023 by Adam in Adam's Games

I have fond memories of Sam sitting on my lap when he was a baby, playing the first of the Baldur's Gate games up in my office in the Friendly street house.  Twenty years later they came out with a sequel to those games and did an amazing job.  There was so much high-quality content, fun gameplay, good graphics, and wonderful voice acting.  It was bittersweet to finally get to the end of it all.

End Times

December 01, 2023 by Adam in Family

I downed my mocha quickly so that I might join the final work get together with our old team.  We played a game called Wavelength and chatted, which was a good time as usual.  Yesterday we learned who we reported to - I've worked with the new manager in the past and he seems like a decent choice.

Emma stopped by to visit, making sure to give Data lots of hugs.  Her cough continues to linger, likely for weeks yet, and was a little loopy on cough suppresants.

The week has generally been good and low-key.  I fixed a jammed 3D printer, dodging the cleaning robot along the way, and felt like I was living in the future.  Jo and I played video games on date night.  I keep printing and painting minis.  Mom and I had a nice chat about the farm when we went out for tea.

It's back to work for me.  My computer is demanding it be rebooted.

Busy, Busy

November 29, 2023 by Adam in Family

Somehow I missed my usual Monday update - such is the life of a jetsetter like myself.  Work continues to be a worker's collective in the absence of a manager.  It's actually going fine and I feel like I'm at my usual level of productiveness.  Hopefully we'll get some details about the new org structure soon.  Our client support person gave her notice yesterday - this is Jess that I met in Chicago.  I'm happy for her and she will be missed.  I think this is the last week for many of my coworkers.

Emma's been sick this week, the second one this term.  She had a bit of a cough when we tromped around the farm over the weekend.  The farm was cold and the pond had frozen over, though I don't think that's what caused it.  We made two big loops around the property, surveying some of the logging, and headed back to warm ourselves as Jo worked on putting up the shed walls.

I keep reaching out to various resources on the farm plan - it's looking like December 14th may be a big get together between various governmental and non-governmental agencies.  There's a brand new Oak Savannah forest management plan template that I'm hoping to get my hands on.  I think the next big challenges will be around controlling blackberries and potentially planting a lot of trees.  Hopefully we can get some good advice on both those things.

Planning a Future for the Farm

November 22, 2023 by Adam in Family

I picked up Emma and mom to head out to the farm to meet with Matt the stewie (aka Stewardship Forester).  We picked up some great information and talked about various approaches to take care of the land, along with our legal requirements if the property continues to be zoned as a forest.  I wish I had more time as logging on the northern side of the property was wrapping up, but I suppose everything should be done in just a few weeks.

Our Chicago kid called up - he's going solo camping in the upper peninsula for a few days.  Duncan's sweetie Jace arrived from Florida.  Ben has his friend Charlie over where they're enjoying the basement hangout zone.

As for me, my first day of vacation was a little exhausting, driving people around followed by keeping an eye on the Hunter Communication people as they installed the new Internet service.  It's date night, so limited cooking and cleaning responsibilities for me.  Hopefully I can get some downtime tomorrow before the various social events.

Power Level Over 9000!

November 22, 2023 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The Hunter Communication people just left after installing 2.5 Gb fiber Internet to the house.  So far I have only one computer hooked up and it's technically only getting 1 Gb through the port on the router, but it seems plenty fast so far.  I need to upgrade some network infrastructure and move things over, then I'll make sure everything is stable before ditching Xfinitity, which is slower, more expensive, and the data caps are annoying.

Mocha Tuesday

November 21, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of the work week for me, so I'm treating myself to a mocha.  The last few days have felt fairly busy and productive, along with a dash of fun.  Hopefully the upcoming five days off are equally entertaining.

Saturday was the family D&D game, with the party somehow avoiding sudden death and limb removal despite their best efforts.  Things ended on a cliffhanger, with Jordan's character stuck inside a mirror while summoned velociraptors kept jumping in and pushing out the things trapped within.  It's hard to explain, but it was a good plan from the players.

Sunday morning Emma and I picked up mom to have a farm meeting.  I was the assistant while the two of them talked, picking up coffee and pastries and promising to setup meetings with various government agencies.  Yesterday I followed up with a bunch of people and have a meeting with our forest steward (aka "stewie") tomorrow morning.  It sounds like it's possible to turn the forest into a white oak savannah as long as we jump through the right hoops and work with the right people.

Ben and Jo are switching rooms, with Ben's bedroom going to the basement and Jo's office going to the main floor.  It was hard work, but Ben's appreciation and enthusiasm drove us onward.  He's been in his one room since he was three, so it's quite the change.  Hopefully the kitties find him down there.

Work continues to be weird, with many coworkers on vacation or taking things easy.  I keep getting things done, maybe out of habit.  Hopefully I can figure out what to do next.

Tomorrow's a busy day with Duncan's sweetie coming to visit, Emma, mom and I going to the farm to meet with the forester, and Hunter Communications installing fiber at our house.  Hopefully I can find some time to relax in there too.

Mocha Friday

November 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm sleeping better this week, which is a relief after all the tossing and turning of the week before.  Work continues to be weird without a manager, but the three of us keep working away and getting things done.  Rumor has it our application is still appreciated by our clients, so hopefully that means I'll continue to have a job for a long while if I want it.

Ben and Emma both seem to have recovered from their COVID boosters after a couple days of feeling wiped out.  I took mom out to tea on Wednesday - she has a new pickup now and the logging at the farm should start soon.  Emma continues to be excited to use the farm for her thesis, and maybe do some actual work helping restore the white oak savannah there.  Ben wants to move into the basement bedroom where Jo currently has an office, so there's a slow migration that's begun.  I still have things from my old office in there, so I'll need to find a place for that too.

As for me, I continue to do the usual fun things - watching shows while running on the treadmill, painting miniatures and listening to podcasts, playing Baldur's Gate 3 when I have a moment.  We've got a D&D session with the family tomorrow which I'm excited for.  Emma will want to go to the library.  I'm sure we'll have some hearty breakfasts along the way too.

Tromping About the Farm

November 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

Emma started getting excited about the farm this weekend, spending hours making maps, looking up topography and thinking about savannah restoration.  At a minimum I think she'll try to turn it into her thesis project.  She'd also love to get all the cousins involved in a cousin cooperative of some kind, seeing if they can all get more involved in the land management somehow.  As to what that means I'm not quite sure, but her enthusiasm was contagous.  Saturday we wandered around mapping streams and trees and such, picking apples while we were there.  Eventually we returned home tired and soggy but enthused, then headed off to get our COVID shots and the flu shot for Emma.  We were both sore and sickish the next day, Emma more than me, but it was hopefully much better than the real thing.

Sunday was D&D day with my friends.  I was excited to hear that Jason will be able to drive again soon, though I'll miss our hang out times.  It was a very old-school module - I had the original which I picked up as a teenager from Endgames, which no longer exists.  Now I'm running a far more modern version and entertaining the players with some classic "the wizard made a weird dungeon" puzzles.

Sadly we've got plumbing problems this morning - the classic clog in a weird place problem.  And I'm back to the weird state of work, with meetings disappearing off my schedule as the people running them have gone.  I did write a nice LinkedIn recommendation for my old manager, which was bittersweet.  Hopefully things settle down as I've got code to write and features to work on.

Survivor Mocha Friday

November 10, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's been a weird and rough week at work - lots of layoffs and figuring out what happens next.  Still not sure who we'll report to, but Jacquie, Corinne and I are muddling forward as we have in the past after losing a manager.  We pulled off a solid release, the last until next year, and we're all feeling good about that.  I've been trying to write LinkedIn recommendations to all my past and current co-workers in hopes that helps with their journey to their next jobs.

As for me, I'm trying hard to find the time to carve out time for training and taking certifications.  I'd much rather just get on with things and keep on working, but preparing for any eventuality just takes a lot of time.

The rest of my life is generally good.  I probably spend an hour or two doing kitchen stuff while listening to podcasts every day, toss in work and running at lunch, followed by an evening of cereal, miniature painting, video games, and/or watching tv.   It's a pretty good life, though sneaking in extra time for things is sometimes challenging.

I'm excited to hang out with my sisters at Hideaway Bakery later this morning and celebrate Seraph's birthday along the way.  Then it's a weird day at work doing whatever I want, then hanging out with Emma and a touch of D&D this Sunday.  We might go out to the farm to see it before logging begins, which is bittersweet for all of us.

Ah, Corporations

November 07, 2023 by Adam in Adam

Work had layoffs yesterday.  I still have my job, though a number of my coworkers were not as lucky.  Not sure who I'll be reporting to starting today or what we'll be working on.  Having done this before, I'm feeling the expected survivor's guilt and trying to figure out my next steps.

Walks in the Woods and Other Sensible Things

November 06, 2023 by Adam in Family

Our bosses' boss told us to play hooky on Friday after our morning meetings, so I headed off to Ridgeline Trail to enjoy the beauty of the turning leaves while listening to my Giantslayer podcast.  It was a funny mix of serene and exciting, and I felt better upon returning home.  I picked up Emma late in the day, who showed off her beautiful Book of Hours project for school, an illuminated page that looks like it was made in an medieval monestary.

Saturday was a fun D&D with family, almost killing Jordan's character through the hijinx of Francis and their urge to grab everything not nailed down.  Emma's been perfecting her sourdough bread, which we all enjoyed at lunch.  The afternoon was low-key, with a productive library trip and a couple new Goes Wrong Show episodes that made me laugh until my stomach hurt.

Sunday morning started with crepes and whip cream, watching the fall leaves and their colors as I slowly sipped my mocha.  Emma and I played a bunch of Baldur's Gate 3 and stopped for a couple hours for a long chat with the Chicago boy.  The day wrapped up with some pewter metalworking, pouring hot metal into the molds for the pilgrim badges.  It was surprisingly tricky getting them just right, but we got a few good ones in there.

Now it's off to work shortly.  Hopefully the day goes well.

Mocha Friday

November 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

Work continues to be somewhat stressful, in between organization changes and the latest go-live.  Hopefully I can get through the churn relatively intact, though it's currently more bumpy than I'd like it to be.

The week was mostly uneventful.  Halloween came and went, with fewer trick or treaters than in years past.  Ben continues to expand the number of aquariums in his room - all the fish have French names.  Emma's been working on a Book of Hours project for school, complete with calligraphy and funny animals from medieval texts.  Dad came over for dinner and we caught up on his trip and boat race.

I look forward to the weekend - D&D with family, doing some pewter casting, and generally hanging out.

Busy Weekend

October 30, 2023 by Adam in Family

For a theoretical hang out weekend, it was a little on the busy side.  There was harvesting cherry tomatoes and drying them.  There was peeling and coring and drying apples.  Emma restored an old lamp and put it in her room.  We went to the library.  Ben and Emma carved pumpkins.  I helped mom send an email and fill out a form to get her heat pump installation going.  Somewhere in there I was cleaning clogged pipes, making meals, and doing single parent things while Jo was out at a writer's retreat.

Still, it was fun to watch the kids carve pumpkins, which both had Latin on them.  Sadly the pewter cloak pin got melted in my attempts to fuse the pieces together, so we switched to pilgrim's badges.  While I'm not sure Emma's planning on traveling by foot to a holy site, they 3D printed well and I'm hoping they'll cast just fine as a single piece.

Work's frantic before our go-live on Wednesday.  Lots of little bugs to fix.

Mocha Friday

October 27, 2023 by Adam in Family

Work's been a little rough lately - more change, trying to get a release out the door, and so on.  Fortunately home is generally good and steady, so that's comforting.  I feel like I've figured out the right mix of miniature painting, podcasts, exercise, and hanging out with friends and family to keep my mental health steady.

Jo's off at a writer's retreat this weekend, so I've been mostly holding down the fort.  Fortunately Ben's here to pill the cat, so the rest of it is relatively easy.  Getting Ben ready for school just involves delivering pills and coffee, the breakfast of rockstars, and watching him head off to school.  It's magical.

The kids' weeks have gone well.  Emma was let into the library's special collections room and got to hold a 14th century book of hours.  Her plan is to work it into a project for her book class.

It's a quiet weekend of house projects and hanging out.  I think we'll finish the pewter cloak pin and maybe start looking at belt buckles next.  We'll see if I manage to get around to fixing the leaky faucet - it's far less exciting.

Activity-Filled Weekend

October 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

There was a lot that happened last weekend.  Saturday morning started early with the family D&D session.  I was presented Dungeon Master gifts, which were well-recieved.  I have a new favorite coffee mug while playing.  The session went well and more of the mysteries were revealed.

After everyone cleared out we switched to pewter casting with Ben, Emma and I.  My coin failed horribly and Ben wasn't entirely happy with his, but the 10th century Celtic cloak pin turned out really well.  Getting the weld right was tricky and we've got some sanding to do, but I think we can get it working nicely next weekend.  The day wrapped up with watching quite a bit of the Goes Wrong Show, which is hysterical even when watched again.

Sunday morning was the friend D&D group, the culmination of a nearly two-year campaign - The Ghosts of Saltmarsh.  There was an epic battle and some near-death experiences, but the party defeated the final foe and returned to their life as smugglers.  I had fun breaking out the Sphere of Annihilation, which had a little UV light inside that made the florescent ink painted surface glow with a strange light.  I've got some planning for next session, but most of the miniatures are printed and painted already, so hopefully it'll be a fun romp through an old school dungeon.

It's back to school and the routine of work.  I've been feeling a little under the weather, so I treated myself to a mocha and am going a little slow today.

Mocha Friday

October 20, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's a back-to-back D&D weekend and I'm getting a little excited.  The friend group is wrapping up a campaign after nearly two years.  It's the longest I've ever been a Dungeon Master and it's given me quite a bit of entertainment both running the game and in preparing for it.  The best part is getting together with everyone and watching the hijinx unfold in all the unexpected ways.

As for the rest of this week, it's been relatively uneventful.  I keep getting things done at work, which is satisfying.  Emma's back in school after being sick, catching up and settling back into the routine.  I've been watching The Fall of the House of Usher during my runs, which is a wonderful, creepy Poe anthology, modernized and squished together.  I keep listening to my Pathfinder podcast, though I worry I'll run out of miniatures to paint while I do so.  I'll eventually get through Baldur's Gate 3, though it's hard to find long stretches of time along the way.

Along with D&D I think we've got some assorted projects going on with the kids.  Ben was working on making concrete flagstones for a footpath.  Emma and Ben both have pewter projects.  Jo's been harvesting leaves and mushrooms for dying projects, assorted jars of extracted substances around the basement.  We seem to be a creative folk.

Cloudy Eclipse

October 16, 2023 by Adam in Family

The eclipse was sadly covered in clouds except for 30 seconds when the clouds briefly parted to show a crescent sun.  Mostly it was fun to hang out with everyone who came out and we met our next door neighbors who are a young couple with a new baby.

I also spent some time hanging out with Makayla and their partner Callie, catching up over Saturday brunch.  As someone who doesn't know his cousins very well, it was a treat to spend some time with a relative outside of the immediate family.

The rest of the weekend was generally low-key, spending lots of time with Emma hanging out.  I read Legends and Lattes, a cozy fantasy book that I got for Emma awhile back.  Emma and I chatted with our wayward Chicago son.  Ben, Emma and I went to Down to Earth to return with soap and plants.

We tried to do a pewtersmithing project involving taking a 3d model a museum scanned of a 10th century celtic brooch, 3d printing it, and making a mold to pour molten pewter into.  Unfortunately the mold material was super thick and hard to use.  I ordered more - hopefully it'll work better next weekend.  Still cool that it was all possible.

Now it's back to work, getting through features faster than my coworkers are reviewing them.  Busy, busy.

It's Always Darkest Before It Goes Totally Black

October 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

At least, that's the hope with the eclipse tomorrow.  It seems more likely that it'll be cloudy, but I may trudge up to the reservoir and try to see something happen anyway.

It's been a generally uneventful week.  I've been working faster than my coworkers can approve my changes.  I'm running out of miniatures to paint.  Jo and I finished this coop game we've been playing together the last couple years off and on.  Baldur's Gate 3 continues to be great fun.  Ben had PSATs yesterday, a little worried the math seemed so easy.  I texted dad who was touring the rocket museum a the time.

Emma's finally starting to feel better.  I stopped by for a walk and board games yesterday just to spend some time with her.  My cousin Mikayla is coming to town with their partner - I should be able to see them today.

Well, that's the news for the week - time to finish my mocha and find some code to write.

Rainy Days Come Again

October 09, 2023 by Adam in Family

It promises to be wet and cool and soggy the next few days - I was hoping for clear skies for the eclipse next Saturday but it seems sadly unlikely.

Emma's been reporting her time at the coast, filled with sniffles and coughs and Nyquil, but at least the weather is good and she's on the mend.  We'll see if she makes it back for classes today - I think she'd like to go, but she still sounds cruddy.

Saturday started with a typical hearty breakfast, after which I tried to turn my mocha buzz into something productive.  Soon enough I was taking all these herbs that Jo was drying in dehumidifiers and turning them into italian seasoning.  Next up was peeling, coring, and slicing dozens of apples using my favorite tool, then putting those in the newly emptied dehumidifiers.  Hopefully our future selves appreciate it.  There was miniature painting, Baldur's Gate 3 playing too, just so you don't think I was a teeny bit of a slacker.

Unfortunately Sunday began with trying to clear a clogged basement drain and it never quite stopped until mid afternoon.  There were gallons of boiling soapy water involved, snaking three different cut-offs, enzymatic cleaner, and a wet-dry vac involved.  The latter proved to be the most useful tool, with the key moment being plugging the washing machine drain hole and using the "blow" setting on the vaccuum cleaner to blow the goopy plug away.  It was deeply satisfying, with Jo and I working together to go through various wacky ideas, one of them finally doing the trick.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur, cleaning the sewage ejector pump and the wreck of the basement.  Fortunately it's back to work today where I get to take it easy and sit behind a desk, hopefully remaining clean and stench-free.

Mocha Friday

October 06, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's a foggy fall morning, my mocha fortifying me for the day ahead.  Work's been a little stressful lately - you'd think I'd be used to turmoil at this point but ah well.  I'll just paint a few more miniatures to keep me sane.

Emma's off to the coast this weekend, a somewhat last minute decision.  I'll push off D&D until the following weekend and likely look for some house projects to work on.

As for the rest of the crew, our poor kitty Leiah has been more vomity than usual.  Duncan's classes seem to be going well, covering familiar territory with the Adobe suite of tools.  Ben's getting into physics and economics, which was last night's dinner conversation.  Jo was out at the shed yesterday, getting scratched up by blackberries.

Life moves on.

Working the Tomato Fields

October 04, 2023 by Adam in Joanna

Our weird experiment of letting the tomato seeds that ended up where the chicken coop used to be has finally come to fruition.  The plants are tangled and ungainly and we have far too many tomatoes appearing all at once.  Jo was out picking them this morning to take them to a neighborhood food pantry as we already have tomato sauce and dried tomatoes that will keep us well stocked for the months ahead.  While it was fun, I'll probably stick to more normal gardening techniques in the future.

Driving the Tesla to Alabama

October 03, 2023 by Adam in Lohring

Dad decided to take his Tesla to the boat races in Alabama.  I just talked to him, four days since he set out, and he made it mostly intact.  Four days of audiobooks is a lot of audiobooks and fortunately the Tesla mostly drove itself.  Unfortunately some construction likely threw up some debris and caused some damage to the underpart of the car, though he fortunately found a place that would quickly replace screws and fix a panel that was falling off.  Hopefully his boats race well and the drive back is less eventful.

Fun and Productive Weekend

October 02, 2023 by Adam in Family

I like those weekends that have a nice mix of practical and whimsical.  Saturday morning started with dutch babies, bacon, and mochas, followed by the family D&D game.  The players spent the entire session fighting a beholder, which I'd painted months ago.  It's such a classic D&D monster that I was secretly glad they fought it, amazingly avoiding being disintegrated along the way.  In the afternoon Emma and I headed to the hardware store to get supplies for making furniture, followed by a trip to a frame store to frame the art Emma got at Chicago's intitute of art, frame Danica's artwork, and fix a broken frame.

At the start of the year Emma picked up a few pieces of timber cast-offs from the farm that Sam cut to size and spent the summer in Bend to dry in the desert sun.  Saturday morning we started turning them into shelves, which went fairly quickly and was stained and drying by the afternoon.  Emma was happy with the outcome and excited to get it into her room next weekend.

It's back at work for me this morning.  I should keep testing and looking for show-stopping bugs, but while I keep finding minor things I haven't found anything too serious.  Ah, the joys of professional software development.

Mocha Friday

September 29, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's a wet mocha Friday - it's very much feeling like fall more and more.  Duncan and Emma wrap up their first week of college.  Emma generally likes her classes and is hoping to cajole her sustainable agriculture professor to be her thesis advisor.  Duncan's been doing video production, which is already his jam.  I think he's generally liking his classes too.

As for me, it's been a pretty typical week of work, dishes, laundry, cooking, a run at lunch and a t.v. show at night.  Here and there I've been listening to podcasts and painting miniatures, or playing a bit of Baldur's Gate 3.  The evenings have been a little funky with Duncan's late classes and Jo's work events, but I keep myself entertained.

Work's been the final slog to this next release, finding and fixing bugs.  I think we're nearing completion with the new release going out next week.  It'll be nice to switch back to working on cool new things again.

Matriculating into Fall

September 26, 2023 by Adam in Family

Duncan just headed to the bus stop, heading over the hill for his first day of school at Lane.  It's Emma's first day of classes as well.  Ben started over a week ago, so he's a grizzled veteran at this point.  The wayward Chicago son in the meantime got a raise, some stitches from a work accident, and spent the weekend in Detroit at a dance contest and car show.  Ah, how they all grow up.

It was a big D&D weekend, with back-to-back days.  The family group got up to the usual hijinx and avoided death.  Jason broke out his fun polymorph spell, having secretly printed out a t-rex, and pretty soon Emma's character was polymorphed into a t-rex on top of the enemy pirate ship.  Needless to say, all my plans went out the window after that, but everyone had a great time.

Mocha Friday

September 22, 2023 by Adam in Family

I've got a delicious mocha in front of me and an all team meeting coming up in a few minutes.  Normally it would be somewhat boring talks from leadership, but since I've learned to bring in miniatures to paint it's become far more entertaining.  I've already started preparing for the next campaign, somewhat optimistically that the family group will finish up eventually.  I just can't help making some of these wild miniatures for the Wild Beyond the Witchlight.  I also made little butterfly wings for the player's miniatures as a key plot point, which look extremely pretty.

It's been a good week, the air turning crisp with fall weather.  It's the last week of summer vacation for Emma and Duncan.   Jo and I tried to see a poetry reading at the library for date night, but it was so packed they had a librarian standing guard outside the door.  We left with a couple conciliatory books.

Tomorrow starts a back-and-back D&D weekend with both groups.  I'm excited to see everyone again, especially the friend group that hasn't gotten together for a couple months.


September 18, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a quiet weekend as expected, with the highlight being making applesauce with Jo.  I love the little machine that cores, peels, and slices the apples in seconds.  We also stuck some in the humidifier and soon will join the dried figs I've been working my way through.

I've been slowly printing miniatures for the next campaign, listening to Pathfinder podcasts, and playing Baldur's Gate 3.  The table saw that's been taking up space in our garage has finally been returned to the neighbors'.  It's the last week before school for Emma and Duncan.  The seasons continue marching on.

Mocha Friday

September 15, 2023 by Adam in Family

The end of summer is creeping up, though we continue to get the occasional 90 degree days.  Emma's off to Bend for the final trip of the season tomorrow.    The two of us went for a Hideaway coffee and game run yesterday just to hang out for a little.  Ben's already knee-deep in high school, mostly adjusting to his first week.  Duncan's school starts right around the corner.

As for me I've been puttering along.  I had a physical and flu shot, both of which went fine.  I've started a new podcast of people playing Pathfinder that keeps me entertained as I do dishes and make dinners.  At lunch I run and watch One Piece, which is full of silly pirate action.  Baldur's Gate 3 continues to entertain.  I've started printing miniatures for the next family D&D game.  My nerdy life continues on in joyous revelry.

Low-Key Weekend

September 11, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend, D&D on Saturday and hanging out on Sunday.  Seeing the family group again after a couple weeks away was a treat - their adventuring party managed to stay alive another day.  Sunday Jo and I managed some dirty home maintenance tasks - they disassembled and cleaned the heat pump heads while I cleaned the sewage ejector pump.  Emma and I went to the library with her driving.  The afternoon felt like one of those lazy summer days, puttering in the garden, doing some art, and playing video games.  It was lovely.

Now I'm back to work, fixing bugs and getting things done.

First Day of School

September 07, 2023 by Adam in Ben

Ben started his junior year this morning.  He was cheerful and got himself ready to go with plenty of time to walk down the hill to school, stopping by the neighbor's house to take care of their cat.

Emma and Duncan start in a couple more weeks.  It's strange being down to just one kid in high school.

Home Sweet Home

September 06, 2023 by Adam in Family

Our last day in Chicago was low-key, hanging out in a coffee shop for a couple hours before the comic book store open.  The owner was great and chatty and we ended up buying a new D&D campaign that Emma said she's play solo with me.  Next up was a cute little bookstore that was fun to browse though we returned with just a little present for Jo.  Then the blue line to the airport, followed by lots of wandering through the terminals until we found our gate and waited the hours until our departure.

Emma was a great traveler, all the planes were on time, and I managed a little shut eye on the last leg so the drive home at midnight wasn't too bad.  Sleeping in a quiet, comfortable bed was lovely.  Now I'm wading through the vast quantity of emails at work - hopefully I get through them before too long.

Heading Home

September 05, 2023 by Adam in Family

We're wrapping up our whirlwind Chicago trip, about to leave our Airbnb.  It seemed a bit on the expensive side, but it's served us well and was generally comfortable and close to the train station.

The last couple days we'd meet up with our Chicago son to have breakfast and then head downtown. Sunday was the Art Institute, which had an amazing selection of medieval armor, weapons, and art.  Seeing things in person that I'd only seen in pictures was cool.  The miniature rooms in the basement were remarkable as well.  Monday we went to the aquarium where they had a huge tank of beluga whales.  Passing through the Pacific Northwest exhibit was amusing - the pine trees and ferns looked a little worse for wear.  We didn't stay too long and headed home for an afternoon of two Fast and Furious movies.  After picking up dinner and chatting a bit, we said our final farewells and turned in for the night.

We have a day of puttering around as our flight doesn't leave until after dinner.  Mostly we plan on staying in cafes and bookstores as long as they'll let us.  We may be forced to keep ordering mochas as payment.  

Hopefully all goes well and we'll return home a bit after midnight.  Theoretically I work tomorrow but we'll see how functional I actually am.

Architectural River Tour

September 02, 2023 by Adam in Family

We headed out again for our regularly scheduled tourist attraction, making our way by train and bus to Navy Pier.  It was pretty quiet - we wandered around the pier and picked up a Chicago hat for Emma.  The tour was entertaining, more educational than expected.  Our Chicago son pointed out the buildings he'd worked in and took us down to the sub-level below the main street where the workers keep the skyscrapers running.  Now we're back at the Airbnb hanging out.  I think we'll try the board game and food place for dinner down the street for dinner.

Field Museum

September 01, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was off to the Field Museum this morning, the three of us taking the blue line into the Loop, the bus running late, and a long walk down to the lakefront.  We started somewhat worn out and Emma didn't sleep great, so we had an early lunch and cup of coffee before beginning the epic journey through as many exhibits as we could manage by the end of the day.

We spent quite a bit of time in the archeology exhibits - The early kings of Europe, Mezoamerica, North America, China, Egypt and Africa.  They were generally excellent, with a surprising range of artifacts.  Eventually we made it to the dinosaur exhibit, the plants, and animals.  There was far too much to see in a single day but we got pretty far, especially through the excellent exhibits.

Eventually we called it a day and took the bus and an overflowing train back to our stop, squeezing out slowly through the mass of bodies.  Then it was dinner and winding down with a show, preparing for an architectural boat tour tomorrow.  The fun never ends!


August 31, 2023 by Adam in Family

Emma and I woke up early yesterday to hop on the airplane to Chicago. All our flights went well and we slowly made our way to the train station. Our only hiccup was the vending machine that sold train passes was out of order but we figured it out and took the blue line to our Airbnb. The boy met us and we had an evening of poke bowls, grocery shopping and catching up. Eventually he left and Emma and I conked out in our respective rooms.

This morning Emma made pancakes for everyone after not quite enough sleep. Soon the three of us were playing various RPGs and doing funny voices. We took a break to go on a long walk to get train cards and meet up with my coworker Jess for lunch. We chatted away mostly not about work and gobbled delicious vegetarian quesadillas.

Now we're crashing back at our place in a food coma. Time to schedule our touristy things soon.

Old Friends

August 29, 2023 by Adam in Adam

It was the late 80's and I was living with my girlfriend Rachel and our mutual friend BJ in a house by the fairgrounds.  We'd collectively hang out with Rachel's brother Jason, her friend Bridget, and a family friend Colin as we were all roughly the same age.  Though Rachel and I broke up, I kept her brother - Jason, Colin and I swam at Fall Creek, played Car Wars and Cyberpunk 2020, saw Akira in the theater, played early PC games, and generally had a great time.

Now Jason and Bridget are married with two girls.  Colin and his wife Suzanna live in Germany with their two boys.  Last night we descended on the Beer Stein for Colin's birthday to celebrate and wax nostalgic for old times.  Jo came along and patiently listened to our in jokes and references to mischief we got up to long ago.  Colin and BJ's parents were there too, the generation ahead of us, slowly getting older.  Some of them I haven't seen in thirty years.  It was a lovely, wistful night.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

August 28, 2023 by Adam in Family

Emma and I are heading to Chicago in a couple days, hanging out and going to a bunch of museums and touristy things.  We're both excited and nervous, but feel more confident after doing a fair amount of trip planning over the weekend.

We also had our family D&D group after a long hiatus, which was great fun.  I think Seraph wanted to keep playing past our usual cut-off.  I think I said "okay, so you're splitting the party" at least twice.  We'll play again in a couple week after Francis recovers and we get back from Chicago.  I'm excited to see how it goes.

Emma and I also finished fixing the sink the plumbers broke.  The last push went quickly, just adding a pipe and sticking everything together.  No leaks the first time we turned it on, which is a first for me.

Jo's back from their writer's retreat, which I think went well despite the smoke in the air.  The kids had a good low-key weekend.  Emma drove me around a bunch.  The fish got her medicine.  Kitties were petted.  All is well.

Mocha Friday

August 25, 2023 by Adam in Family

Jo's off at a writer's retreat for the next few days, so I'm doing the relatively easy kid and kitty care.  I'm currently enjoying the warm morning breeze through my open shed door.  It's been a long while since I've had to drive into work and I sure appreciate working from home these days.  We've got another release coming up next week, hopefully a more stable version after the big changes of the last.  Making software is a lot like raising children, both going through difficult changes usually followed by smooth sailing.

The Chicago trip is coming up, with Emma and I having a few last minute planning things to take care of.  It's also a D&D weekend after a long hiatus with Francis in Germany.  I'm excited to see what hijinx the adventurers get up to this time.

Life seems good these days.  Hopefully the transition into fall and school will go relatively smoothly.  More and more it feels like the last hurrah of summer is right around the corner.

Burst Eardrum

August 22, 2023 by Adam in Ben

Poor Ben's had a somewhat rough last few weeks.  I took him to urgent care where he was diagnosed with a bad ear infection.  After a few days of antibiotics he was feeling much better, though his other ear got plugged up too.  The second urgent care visit was an "everything is fine - keep taking antibiotics".  Last night was the third visit where he was diagnosed with a ruptured ear drum and given a different type of antibiotics.  Here's hoping that's the last of the visits to urgent care.  I think he mostly feels okay other than not hearing well.  The ear drum should heal by itself and hopefully the new antibiotics kill off whatever rugged bacteria decided to hang out in his ears.

Old Friends

August 21, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a weekend of spontaneity.  Friday night Jo's friend Jennifer invited us to hang out with her and her husband Rett.  We walked over to 16 Tons and chatted until closing time, which is apparently a little after 9 pm at a place like that.  Rett's in IT, so we chatted about computer stuff and the larger group chatted about the joys of home ownership.

Saturday I headed to the coast and met up with Colin and his family, chatting away and then going for a hike.  Colin is essentially the same as he was when he was 16, if perhaps a little more settled and having teenage boys.  Colin's brother Miles was more of a surprise as I knew him at 14 and he's now an adult man with a beard.  The hike was good and Colin's older son Finn chatted with me about video games and D&D.  Since Emma was already at the coast, Jamie drove her down to Yachats and we made the long drive home.

Sunday was our project day.  Emma drove us to get her a new passport photo for her renewal, another mugshot where she looks like Russian mafia.  Then it was to Home Depot to pick up a toilet seat cover and new sink to replace the one the plumbers broke.  The toilet seat cover took a couple minutes to replace but the sink was a larger project and I stopped when I realized I needed a slightly longer pipe from True Value.  Almost done, though.

The afternoon was spent playing Baldur's Gate 3 in coop mode with Emma, fighting a giant spider and unlocking a scary book of necromancy.  It was super fun.

Mocha Friday

August 18, 2023 by Adam in Family

The air is clearing and we're supposed to get down to a chilly 85 degrees.  It was a somewhat busy work week, being on call and that annoying sense of responsibility to fix problems.  Fortunately my on-call rotation ended this morning and I'm footloose and fancy free again.  I had dinner this week with dad who I hadn't seen in a long while.  Ben's ear infection is much better after antibiotics.  Duncan and Jo are back from their Washington trip.  Emma's been staying at the beach for the last few days with her mom and grandma.  Hard to believe that a Chicago trip is right around the corner.

Not sure what I'm up to this weekend.  My old friend Colin is theoretically in town from Germany with his family.  I've got endless house projects to work on.  I made a cool spell effect miniature using a UV LED and transparent filament that I can't wait to show my players.  Baldur's Gate 3 continues to be highly amusing.  We'll see which shiny thing ends up getting most of my attention.

Infection Time

August 15, 2023 by Adam in Ben

Poor Ben had an ear ache that kept getting worse.  He was a trooper for a long while, but yesterday got to the point where he couldn't really do much and we started the Urgent Care journey.  It took a couple hours before we could get seen, so we left and came back. The nurse took a quick look, saw a completely blocked ear canal, and sent us home with a prescription for antibiotics.  Hopefully he starts feeling better today.

I pumped him full of pain meds when we got home and was feeling more hopeful and less in pain, so when I asked him what food sounded good, we ended up making sweet potato hash browns together.  Tasty!

Everything is On Fire

August 14, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's supposed to be 108 degrees today - not sure the AC in my little shed can handle it.  There's also smoke in the air from wildfires around Fall Creek.  I still have fond memories of driving out there in the summer with Colin and Jason, windows down and t-shirts on our heads to go swim in the creek.  

Work was exciting last week with a security incident.  I forgot that the first step of a security incident was to have everyone get excited and talk excitedly.  After everyone left work I hunkered down in the shed with some coding music and found and fixed the issue within an hour.  It ended up not being a particularly big deal, and we opted not to hotfix the next day though we'll get it patched today.

Jo and Duncan are up in Washington for a Newport Academy reunion where Duncan had his residental care.  Today they're visiting with some staff and some of the places they took Duncan for visits.  It seems to be going well, though Jo spent time in a Safeway parking lot charging the electric car they rented.  The car is apparently great, though the hotel's infrastructure was lacking.

The weekend was pretty quiet - Emma and I had a long chat with the Chicago fam, planning the trip a bit.  Baldur's Gate 3 was played.  Miniatures were painted.  The big social moment was going to see Yayoe and her band play, which was great. Jamie, Meg, Seraph, Emma and mom were all there to cheer her on in a loving, rowdy way.

Soap and Library Weekend

August 07, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a generally fun weekend, mostly dominated by Baldur's Gate 3, but Emma and I also pried ourselves away to do some slightly more practical things.  The little free library is finally done after months of work.  It was a group effort, with Jo doing the design and getting the supplies, along with the initial woodworking last year.  Emma painted the front floral pattern.  As life got busy, Emma and I ended up finishing up the painting and door assembly.  This weekend we put the roof on and mounted it on the post.  We got a text from our neighbors saying how nice it looked this morning, so I suppose we can declare the project a success.

Emma also worked on making soap, using callendula oil she'd made herself.  I helped gather supplies, but it was all her work to make it happen.  It's been cool seeing Emma becoming increasingly competent.  She drove us to the library and drove to her mom's house, increasingly ready to get her license.

We also played way too much Baldur's Gate 3, which is likely the best D&D game I've played on the computer.  Emma and I have mostly figured out how to play co-op too, resulting in some classic D&D hijinks.  My favorite fight we were in involved opening a door to cast spells on the enemies on the other side.  Then we'd close it before it was their turn.  We ran out of spells, but kept throwing weird things to make the floor acid and another thing to suck them all into the center.  Classic D&D wackiness.

Baldur's Gate Mocha Friday

August 04, 2023 by Adam in Family

Nearly a quarter of a century ago I propped baby Sam on my lap and played the first Baldur's Gate game, a computer version of Dungeons and Dragons that caught my attention and had me playing through twice.  Yesterday the third in the series appeared, with rules and graphics updated and already getting rave reviews.  Emma tells me we'll be playing in co-op mode until we both suffer from the Tetris effect, visions of the game haunting our dreams.

Work had some fairly significant stresses this week, though I think I've sorted them out.  I was on call, we had a new version we're deploying, and we have a new deployment process as well.  Things went horribly wrong along the way, leading to a couple stressful moments, but we got the deployments working and as of this morning I'm no longer on call.

The weather has become lovely the last week, with our garden in bloom.  I need to pick more blueberries and soon the tomato forest out my window will start producing.  I'll never get to all the greens.  Ben's aquaponics class resulted in his ownership of a fish whose wastes get used as fertilizer, so I enjoyed the fruit of that labor as well.  Plus the sunflowers - they make me happy.

Weekend of Activities

July 31, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend, full of fun activities.  With her permit in hand, Emma decided she wanted to practice driving.  We headed up to the LCC parking lot and drove around - she did great and I didn't have to provide much guidance.  Sunday was the D&D friend group, which seemed to go well.  We've got a long stretch before either of our D&D groups meet, but fortunately Baldur's Gate 3 comes out to satisfy our D&D itch.  There was also a fair amount of time spent getting the little free library ready.  Next up is a roof and putting it out, though we may need some extra support as it's so heavy.

Mocha Friday

July 28, 2023 by Adam in Family

I can't quite figure out what happened to this week - it seems to have vanished in a cloud of errands, watering the garden, and the usual cooking dinner and winding down after work.  I did finish the last Expanse audiobook, which was quite satisfying after years of working through the series.  I also did some prep for the friend D&D session coming up, the last module in a long campaign that started early last year.  At work we finally have a solid version of our application that's going out to clients next week, something that's taken eight long months to do.

As for other news, Emma braved the DMV to get her driver's permit.  Jo's cough lingers - hopefully that improves soon.  Ben's teacher was impressed by his aquaponics science experiment and I've enjoyed the radish greens he's been growing.  Duncan managed to get his Minecraft video application submitted as an application to a competition.  Now he's working on a new project.

I think this weekend I'll take Emma back to the LCC parking lot to drive around and hopefully remember those skills again.

Weekend Gatherings

July 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, hanging out with Emma, working on projects, and getting together with much of the family for a combined mom and I birthday.  Emma went to a memorial service for Jim on Saturday, so I was mostly left to my own devices.  It was Jo's half birthday and they had a sinus infection, so I ended up making bananna muffins for a goodie, building a side table from a flat pack that was on their wish list, and driving around town moving around paper prescriptions and turning them into good drugs.  Though the muffin and furniture were appreciated, I think the antibiotics ended up being the best half-birthday gift.

Sunday morning had Ben and Jo going to church after breakfast, so Emma and I did a mix of playing around with Eldritch Foundry, creating custom miniatures to print along with continuing the little free library project that I think was started a year and a half ago at this point.  The miniature projects were highly entertaining - Emma painted some great new characters and I made a couple fire elementals using transparent filament and some clearance tea lights from my earlier Hirons' trip.  The little free library is looking great too - the door is mounted with the plexiglass screwed and clamped on.  All that's left is a roof and putting it on the post.

As for work, I'm hoping Friday's fix works as expected and we can roll it out to real clients today.  It's been going on for weeks and is the last of the big conversion issues that has been giving us trouble.


July 21, 2023 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan's been adulting lately, quite literally as of yesterday, though even more before then.  Jo and I went off for a vacation, leaving him alone with cats and enough frozen burritos to survive a couple nights.  All went well and seems promising for the days to come.

His birthday was a pretty low-key affair, cake and gaming online with friends.  It was the kind of thing he wanted, plus he's getting over his second bout of COVID, extremely mild like the time before.

Mocha Friday

July 21, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, trying to remember how to do all the things.  I also had a birthday in there, which was cool - the cake was delicious and hanging out on the patio opening presents and chatting with folks was fun. We also had a Duncan birthday, so I've officially brought 75% of my children to adulthood.  Having people in the house be able to generally feed themselves and mostly do laundry is a game changer.

I also moved up the miniature cabinet I've been working on the last few weeks.  While I can always find issues with different parts of the design, I'm generally happy with how it turned out and it certainly serves the function of storing miniatures.  I do find I still have a huge number of big miniatures that don't fit in the drawers, so I've been tucking them away in giant plastic bins here and there.

The weekend rolls around soon.  Emma's going to Jim's memorial service tomorrow.  My mom and I have a shared birthday shindig at Jenny's on Sunday.  I'll try to catch up on chores and home repair somewhere in there.

Columbia River Hangout

July 18, 2023 by Adam in Family

We're heading out of our little cabin soon, having enjoyed our stay in Stevenson Washington on the Columbia Gorge. We drove up Sunday, getting into town around dinner time, and settled into our new, if quirky, cabin. The river is cool and we had a long walk through the fairgrounds and off to a bay that rises and lowers based on electricity needs of the dam. The forest across the river is still recovering from the fires of 2017, but it's all beautiful in a way.

Soon we'll cross the Bridge of the Gods back to Oregon, have a little hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, and fetch Ben from the airport. He's been back to see Kevin in New York, having a good time and exploring the world. 

Tomorrow it's back to work and my birthday. I'm thankful Buzz Aldrin always has a little celebration for the moon landing and my birthday. It's a good way to double check how old I am.

Physically Distant D&D

July 16, 2023 by Adam in Family

We all seem to generally be doing okay or getting better, COVIDly speaking.  Duncan just has a mild sore throat.  Jo's improving.  I seem fine still.

We managed to play D&D yesterday, outside on the patio at the request of the players.  I swept the patio, put up shade cloth, and set up tables and technology outside.  It generally went really well, though I'd occasionally lose the mouse cursor in the bright light.  It was great to see the family group, especially since we'll be on hiatus for a month as Francis is in Germany.

Emma only stayed for the game, in between going to the beach and helping her mom at her house.  I puttered around the house otherwise, working on my weird piece of furniture, painting miniatures, watering the garden and listening to my audiobook.

Today Jo and I are off on a small vacation, picking Ben up from the airport on the way home.  I hear he's having a good time on the trip, helping out and feeling increasingly grown up.

It looks like Duncan has been trained how to cook a frozen pizza and he's good with microwaving frozen burritos, so it looks like we're doing two nights away for the first getaway in a long while.  We'll probably just hang out and take it easy for a couple days, but I'll take my adventures when I can.

Blah Mocha Friday

July 14, 2023 by Adam in Family

I personally feel physically okay, though the uncertainties of life are getting me down.  I'll take another COVID test here in a little and then try and figure out if Emma's coming over or D&D is happening tomorrow.  Mostly I worry about Francis and their trip.  If I knew whether or not I had COVID for the last D&D session it would make this decision easier, but I sadly never got a positive test there.

The household is disrupted, with Jo sleeping in the basement (thanks CDC guidelines) and I ate alone on the patio last night.  I've been having fun painting miniatures and listening to The Expanse audiobooks, and slowly gluing over flaws in the cabinet I'm working on.  It might be ready for final assembly soon.

Work is nutty and frustrating, challenging technical issues and feeling like everyone assumes I'm going to just fix things.  I probably can, but it may involve doing naughty things to diagnose and fix the issue.

Jo and I may or may not go on a trip this Sunday up to the gorge.  I guess it depends on test results, how everyone is feeling, and if anyone wants to feed the cats in a house with a kid with COVID.

I Hate COVID Math

July 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

I keep testing negative for COVID, but Duncan just tested positive.  I'll test myself again tomorrow and figure out whether or not we should do D&D or have Emma come over.

Love in the Time of Covid

July 09, 2023 by Adam in Family

Yes, this post's title is a cheeky riff on Love in the Time of Cholera, which I vaguely remember reading in high school.  Mostly I'm referencing the fact that Jo tested positive today after coming down with cold symptoms while in Florida with Duncan.  Jo feels lousy but are doing their best to take it easy.  It seems likely that I had COVID last weekend when I had my "cold".  I had a couple days of Advil, mochas, and taking it easy, but felt week enough to do D&D for the family and generally take care of things.  My test was negative at the time but now I suspect otherwise.

I had a much better weekend, which wasn't hard to do.  It was back-to-back D&D days and hanging out with Emma at other times.  We'd take walks, fiddle in the garden, go to the library, and watch silly YouTube channels.  Little did I know what strange and terrible thing Monster Factory was.  Strange cats visited us as we watered plants.  We also worked on the lower piece of the cabinet for my D&D books and miniatures.  Getting it all glued together properly has been tricky and I wish we had more clamps, but I think it will work well enough.  Hopefully no one looks too closely when it's done.

As for the D&D games, they went really well and I got to break out all sorts of fun miniatures.  Releasing the kraken was a personal favorite moment for me.

Oh, and I also just finished a big boy book - 400 pages and everything.  Sure it had video games as a major theme, but Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow was named after a Shakespeare line so it must have been literature.

Tomorrow it's back to work - my enthusiasm is low at the moment but I imagine it will pick up once I start making things.  That's my favorite part.

Last Weekend of Vacation

July 08, 2023 by Adam in Family

I've been surprisingly busy this theoretical week off work.  Tuesday I took Jo, Duncan, and Ben to Portland for their plane rides.  There were delays, but it worked out okay and I made it home the evening of the fourth.  I noticed the tire was flat, so I spent a chunk of time the next day getting on a spare and taking it to Les Schwab's to remove the screw and fix the tire.  I've been moving along various projects - D&D, booking flights to Chicago, and doing some carpentry to make a miniature holder thingie.  It's all been coming together, though everything takes longer than planned. 

Plus there's the usual house maintenance - watering plants, cleaning up, feeding cats, grocery shopping, and the like.  I have managed to play the occasional video game and am nearly done reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.  Plus I've been listening to an Expanse book, which made assembling the flatpack end table for Ben's room much more enjoyable.

I've been connecting to everyone a surprising amount - nice to know how many people like me still.  Jo's in Tampa with a cold.  Sadie's at the beach with Simon.  Jenny's enjoying her new pool deck.  Mom cut some flowers from her garden for me as a belated Father's Day present.  It's nice to hear everyone's doing okay.

I've got two days of D&D ahead of me, excited to see what mischief the players get up to this time.  Then it's back to work, which I'm hoping hasn't caught on fire while I was away.

Sniffly Monday

July 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

I've had a cold the last few days that ebbs and flows in severity.  Mostly it's just annoying and I'll get tired.  Not COVID according to the test I took the other day, but it's still lame on the first day of vacation.

I'm taking Emma to Seraph's this morning for her pseudo-landscape architecture internship.  It'll be nice to see what they've been doing and say hello along the way.  Tomorrow Jo, Duncan, and Ben head to Portland so I imagine there's some preparation needed.  Tomorrow I'll be driving them to the airport and then my days of freedom will begin.

It was a generally good weekend despite the sniffles.  D&D with family was really fun, despite Robbie's comments about attuning his magical staff.  Somehow they avoided the most deadly of traps, though they've only just begun.  Sunday was "arts and crafts" day according to Emma.  She finished painting the front of the new little free library, which I think has been a year in the making.  I cut out felt for my new miniature drawers and glued a couple of them together.  A 3d printed drill guide and drill stop made it go quickly and line up the holes really well.  The hardest part was cutting down the dowels which had to be much shorter as the drill depth was so small.  I'm excited to work on it this week.

Mocha Friday Updates

June 30, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's one of those cool summer mornings before the heat of the day becomes oppressive.  I'm trying to water what I can, even the weird patch of grass and tomato plants that used to house the chicken coop.  The grass seeds we sowed on purpose, but who knows how the tomatoes got there.  Hopefully my whim to spare in mowing them will result in tasty tomatoes down the road.

It's the last day of work before nine days off.  The first three days off next week are a company-wide holiday and I decided to take the next two since Jo, Ben, and Duncan are out of town.  I've got a long and semi-mysterious list of house projects.  We'll see how much I actually get to.

It's been a good news and bad news week at work.  I found a security issue in some software (not mine), which resulted in some mild excitement and congratulations.  One of our clients is having weird bugs in the new version of our software that I don't understand yet.  Mostly I feel bad suggesting one of our more engaged customers go first.  Hopefully I can figure it out today before vanishing.

I've been printing out miniatures and preparing for D&D.  The family group is this weekend and they're finally going into the famed tomb after months of jungle exploring.  Hopefully they survive the process or at least have some fun new characters ready to play when things go horribly wrong.

Secret Tomato Grove

June 26, 2023 by Adam in Family

Saturday morning had a hearty breakfast of waffles and dutch babies, followed by D&D with the family.  No one was eaten by a t-rex, though I tried my best.  I think they're headed into the tomb next weekend, where everything starts getting even deadlier.  Should be fun!

I've come up with a plan to turn the cute little miniature drawers I got for my anniversary into a D&D cabinet of sorts, full of shelves for books and places to put big miniatures.  I have all the material, I think, but have some cutting and assembly to do.  Maybe for the 4th of July week when everyone is away.

We chatted with our wayward Chicago child for a long while Saturday afternoon, catching up on the ins and outs of how garbage chutes and trash compactors work in big high rises.  As with most things, there's more to it than you'd think. Emma and I are excited to visit later in the summer.

Sunday was Awesome Parent Day for Jo.  Presents were wrapped and we ran to the store for whip cream.  There were crepes for all the sleepy children we pried out of bed.  I think it turned out okay.

Otherwise it was a quiet day.  We ran to the hardware store.  Emma and I chatted and played in the garden, discovering a bay tree starting to grow in our bushes.  Emma put it in a pot and I think it's going to Seraph's house.  We took Data outside on a leash, which blew his mind as an indoor-only cat.  Life springs eternal.

Summer Mocha Friday

June 23, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's summer for realsies, with long days and kids sleeping in.  Our raspberries and strawberries are ripening faster that we can eat them.  Flowers are blooming in earnest.  Summer trips are getting booked.  It's all very exciting.

Duncan's been showing off the Minecraft creature he made for his next video project.  It's this bizarre thing with a beating exposed heart and lungs that move.  It's impressive.  Ben continues to write and work on art.  Emma sent pictures of the raised beds she and Seraph built.

We had our anniversary on Tuesday - Jo and I went for a hike, made strawberry jam, and went to a secretly gluten-free place called Jazzy Ladies.  With the U of O graduation they were low on quite a bit of things, but we opened presents and had a nice stroll around the ever-changing 5th street area.

Yesterday Jo, Ben, Duncan, and I went to see the new Spiderman movie, which had great animation and humor.  Work pays for a "take your family to the movies" afternoon, which is a weird but fun benefit.  Tonight we're headed to Shakespeare in the park where they're putting on Julius Caesar.  This Saturday is D&D and an awesome parent day for Jo on Sunday.  After the endless homebound days of COVID, it's nice to have so much going on.

Work has been fine - I keep doing awesome, complicated things.  Hopefully someone appreciates it.  I'm nearly done with my great audiobook.  I'll need to find something else to listen to while I paint miniatures.

First Day of (No-School) Summer

June 16, 2023 by Adam in Family

We have a few more days until true summer hits, along with our anniversary on the solstace.  But in terms of my day-to-day schedule, the three younger kids are done with school and presumably sleeping in.  I made coffee as usual, but it may be some time before it's actually imbibed by sleepy children.

I think I finally figured out the last big bug keeping us from releasing, though I'll feel better once more people have used and tested it.  I'm hoping to be able to get back to working on real features again - the one I've got at the moment is a cool one and I'm excited to get it in front of people.

As for the rest of the week, Ben and Emma's finals went well.  I interviewed mom on her childhood and I learned a few things I didn't know.  I briefly chatted with dad - hopefully we can get together for dinner soon.  He works a lot for an 80 year old.  I've been painting miniatures and listening to podcasts of people playing D&D - it's amazing how popular it is these days.  Though it's always a bit of work I can't wait for the next session.

We've got Father's Day this weekend, getting a new refrigerator to replace our aging one, and possibly helping Seraph to unpack the pod coming in from Danica's house.  I'm going to try hard to take it easy too - some downtime seems nice.

Infinity Switch

June 12, 2023 by Adam in Family

We've been having a series of home ownership challenges lately, though one got crossed off the list yesterday.  The front right burner of the stove broke, which apparently is fixed by replacing a thing called an infinity switch.  It arrived Saturday and the next day Emma and I popped off the back panel of the stove and got it working soon enough.  I expected more from something called an infinity switch - cooking an infinite amount of breakfast sausages or getting hotter than the surface of the sun.  But no, it just works properly now.

The weekend was a good one, with beautiful weather and flowers all in bloom.  After graduation on Saturday, Emma and I had a long library trip followed by pizza and anime.  We also picked up a couple bags of ice for the refrigerator which isn't cooling very well. After some investigation I think the refrigerant leaked out so it's not getting cold enough, and fixing a ten year-old refrigerator probably isn't worth it.  Hopefully a new one can be arranged soon.

We had a D&D session on Sunday with the friend group.  It went slower than expected, but the fights went far better for the party than I thought they would.  We'll meet up again in a few weeks.  Jason had to leave early for his daughter's graduation.  It sometimes seems like all us parents are graduating to a new phase of our lives.

French Immersion

June 12, 2023 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan, Jo, and I went back to Charlemagne school for the French Immersion graduation.  It was surprisingly emotional, seeing these kids who for the most part grew up together, along with the parents who were our comrades-in-arms.  Hearing about each of the kids' favorite memories along with what they're doing in the fall was a highlight.  Apparently sliding down the hill in pizza boxes was a favorite pastime for many.

Getting Duncan to this point has been a struggle, but he's gotten into a groove the last few months.  He seems excited about the fall and numerous adults talked about the quality of the media program at LCC.  Jo and I are certainly relieved, but proud of him too.  Each of our kids had challenges making it through high school and it was good seeing another one make it there, whether by luck or effort or the support of everyone around him. 

Duncan visited with friends and teachers.  After the ceremony we went out to the playground where we'd rustled up Duncan and Ben countless afternoons.  I kept thinking about all the kids' and their destinations in a few months, some near and some far away, dandelion seeds scattered to the wind.  I hope they all find fertile soil and sunny days ahead.

Trials and Tribulations

June 09, 2023 by Adam in Family

Home ownership comes with a variety of challenges.  One of the oven's burners can only be on high heat.  The upstairs refridgerator's freezer doesn't get to freezing temperatures.  The basement sink is cracked and needs to be replaced after plumbers came to fix an unrelated problem.

But it's also Mocha Friday.  It's Duncan's last day of high school - he's registered for classes at LCC in the fall.  The days are beautiful and the flowers are all in bloom.  I figured out my challenging work problem.  We've got some summer trips coming up.  The friend group comes for D&D this weekend.

So we muddle by.  It may be time to look at replacing some appliances if we can't fix it ourselves.  We'll see what the Internet has for advice.

Otherwise the week continues to move along.  I've been spending more time watering the garden, which is strangely peaceful.  I finished Going Postal last night, which was a fun read, if slow with my schedule.  Progress towards my next Microsoft certification continues.  Life moves on.

Sunny Weekend

June 05, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was another lovely spring morning, as long as the allergy meds flowed freely.  Saturday was a library trip followed by power washing the driveway and weeding, with ample video games and miniature painting throughout.  Sunday had Emma and I going for a long walk around Pre's Trail at Alton Baker park.  Emma was taking picture of various plants along the way, stumbling across a Dragon Arum Lilly which has this giant purple flower that was a first for her botany class.

Summer is slowly coming together, with the kids going to New York or Florida.  Jo and I are planning a Washington getaway for a few days.  It also looks like we're going to Chicago to hang out with those folks for a long weekend.  After so many years of staying at home or doing short trips it's exciting to think about getting away for awhile.

As for the week ahead, it's Duncan's last week and the other kids are wrapping things up.  I'm back to working on features again at work, plus starting to study for my next certification exam.  I'll likely continue listening to Not Another D&D Podcast and painting miniatures so I don't have nerd withdrawl before the next D&D game.

Testing Day, Take 2

June 02, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm off to my certification test in a couple hours.  Hopefully they'll accept me for who I am and I'll endevor to be Geoffrey for the duration of the experience.  It's all been highly annoying but hopefully the test itself goes well.

It's been a lovely week of sunlight and plants in bloom, with only a little bit of allergy issues.  Man I love the modern allergy medication.  School is on the way out and Duncan graduates next week, with Emma and Ben halfway through their respective schools right after that.  Summer schedules tend to be far more relaxed, though the madness of getting kids to school has generally improved over the decades.

I spent this week at work getting our release fixed.  Occasionally I do things and wonder who else could figure things out - there were certainly some weird problems where I had to earn my keep.  Still, I think things are functioning and now we need some real clients to test things out.  I've gone back to the feature I put on hold six months ago.  It's been fun doing my "real" job again.

Yesterday was Open Space, so I spent the afternoon painting miniatures and listening to a review of my certification test material.  It was productive in many senses of the word.

Lovely Three-Day Weekend

May 30, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a great weekend.

The D&D family group went well, doing unexpected things as usual.  There was a chase through the streets of Omu where Francis' character was followed by The King of Feathers, a giant t-rex, in an attempt to make it fight the evil snake people.  While things didn't go as expected, they all survived and are soon headed to the tomb.

Sunday was a trip to the library and a bit of gardening, putting in more tomatoes on the balcony.  After Emma returned to her mom's house I ended up finishing Sleeper Citizen, which had a satisfying ending of fighting corporate greed as a robot and its friends.  Monday I did some more gardening, went for a run followed by a long walk with Jenny, and collapsed at home for some downtime.  I've been running the 3D printer non-stop in preparation for the next set of D&D sessions.  Unfortunately they could run into a bunch of different creatures so I want to get them all ready early on.

Now it's back at work.  We managed to cut a release late Friday so I imagine we'll be planning deployments fairly soon.  I dusted off some really old code that I put on hold and have it working again.  I'm excited to get this feature out there as it's been one of the most requested ones for a long while.  I hope I finally sorted out the test name issue and will try to get that sorted out soon - it's been one of the worst customer service experiences in recent memory.

No Longer a Teenager

May 30, 2023 by Adam in Emma

Emma had her birthday over the weekend, a session of D&D with the family, followed by cake and presents.  It's been great watching her grow up and become a full and happy person.  We stopped by the library the next day and I suggested she press her face against the glass of the newly walled-off teen section since she's no longer allowed in there.

She got a watch, some overalls, the kind of shoes all her botany classmates wear, and a nice big backpack.  I think she's all ready to tromp off into the woods.

Lovely Weekend

May 22, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was an all-around lovely weekend.  Saturday morning began with a hearty breakfast with Emma and an early-rising and chatty Ben.  Emma had a botany assignment where she had to go into the field to identify and take pictures of plants, so we went off to explore Moon Mountain.  The opposite side where I tromped around as a kid is full of rough county-owned areas full of wildflowers and blackberries.  She ended up with a bunch of great photos and I managed to avoid getting poison oak while taking the occasional tricky shot as her photography assistant.

We came home and I watched Danica's memorial service online.  Dad, Seraph and Sadie were especially great - I loved hearing about dad and Danica's childhood, some stories of which I didn't know.  Ben is such a great person, along with being a talented pianist which I also discovered.  The afternoon took us to the library, followed by pizza and anime, as is our way.

Sunday was D&D with the friend group.  I spent the morning setting up and preparing for the activities ahead.  Jason drove himself over, which seems a great sign of recovery, though I did miss chatting with him about his life and times.  The session went well as the adventurers moved through a Lovecraftian town of decay, trying to uncover the evil beneath the murders.  It was great fun!

Single Parent Time

May 19, 2023 by Adam in Family

Jo's off to Rochester for Danica's memorial service, so I'm doing all the parenting until the middle of next week.  I put my faith in the calendar, sticky notes, and various systems of lunch preparation and pill dispensing that we've built up over the years.  I think everyone will survive.

It was a somewhat frustrating week dealing with systems - being turned away from the testing center due to my first name not matching what's on my driver's license has been frustrating.  Even worse, there's no way to see what name Microsoft thinks I have due to only errors showing up and having to get things fixed via Internet forms.  Hopefully I'll sort it out soon, but it took down my faith in humanity a couple notches.

This weekend is D&D with friends.  All the maps are prepared, the miniatures painted, and the module reviewed.  There's just one more module after this, so we'll likely need to decide on a new course of action this summer.  I still have to plan out the grand finale, but we'll see how it goes.

We've also been doing a ton of gardening this week.  Fresh grass is popping up where the chicken coop was.  Jo and I planted the tomatoes and miner's lettuce that Emma and I started months ago.  The roses are in bloom and everything seems to have sprung to life once again.


May 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm off to take a certification test in a few minutes, driving down to campus and hopefully returning with a Microsoft exam.  I think I'll do well - I got a 96% on the practice test yesterday and I feel pretty good about the real thing.  It's not a hard one, though I learned a thing or two studying for it.  I suspect my biggest challenge will be finding parking.

I like to bring another form of ID just in case, so I was rooting around our fire safe for my passport.  I grabbed one and thought "Is this my US passport?" as I have a Canadian one in there too.  Made me feel like a superspy.

Hot Weekend

May 15, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was up into the 90s this weekend - I finally broke out the air conditioner for my office this morning, which I think is a record as to how early that happened.  I did love the sunny weather and running around early in the day was nice.

Emma wore herself out Saturday on her botany field trip to the mountains.  I mowed the lawn, did some yardwork, played some video games, and Jo and I worked on the new little free library.  I also managed to paint some miniatures and do a little D&D prep for this upcoming weekend.  Sunday was the tour of mothers, going to Down to Earth for prezzies and plants, visiting the library where Ben stocked up on French language books, and visiting with mom and Yayoe, along with a text to Ana.  By the end of the day I was worn out too, sitting down to obsessively play my new Lovecraftian fishing simulator, Dredge.

Mocha Friday

May 12, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's the end of the week, my mocha finished and the sun-drenched garden peeking through my backyard shed's window.  Somehow it's getting into the 90s this weekend, which seems wild.  Emma's got a field trip tomorrow, driving up to the mountains to look at the plants there.  I'm hoping to make a dent on the long list of house and garden projects.

It was a generally successful week.  We had a flaky garbage disposal switch that finally got stuck on after weeks of wiggling around.  Fortunately we had a bunch of spares handy, so it was a fifteen minute swap.  I also put in the basement utility sink replacement in, which was weirdly a nice break between writing code.

I had a couple short computer classes during work this week, getting ready for a certification test next week.  It was fairly straightforward as I've been doing things with the Microsoft cloud for years now, but it's always nice to brush up on the things I don't use very often.  I'm also very excited to get a release out after six months of this big conversion.  Almost there!

Super Nerdy Weekend

May 08, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's hard to describe just how wonderfully nerdy this weekend was.  Saturday was the family D&D group, solving puzzles in ancient temples.  Sunday was Blades in the Dark with the Chicago people, pulling off ghost heists and swaying smugglers to do our bidding.  In the afternoon we watched the D&D movie where I proudly watched Emma identify most of the monsters and spells they showed.

We managed a few practical things, such as spreading soil and seeds over the brown patch where the chicken coop was.  I didn't quite manage to get to replacing the basement sink, though I managed to clean the drain so it doesn't overflow when we run the washing machine.  Jo was off at the farm Friday night, putting up more walls in the shed and spending a quiet the night in the woods.

I've got some online classes in the middle of the week and I signed up for a certification test the following week.  Hopefully that gives enough motivation to actually take and pass the test.

Summer is starting to fill up with trips and activities.  It feels like the first real post-pandemic summer.

Mocha Friday

May 05, 2023 by Adam in Family

There was a bomb threat at the kids' high school on Wednesday, which ended up being more annoying than anything else.  Ben's backpack got stuck at the school overnight, but we sorted it out in the end.  What's really wild to think about is that Duncan's last day of high school is a month away.  We're getting things sorted out for Lane in the fall.  It's deeply reassuring to get kids through these big milestones.

The week has otherwise been mostly uneventful.  I'm starting to prep for the next round of D&D sessions, warming up the 3d printer and getting my maps ready to go.  Tomorrow is the family group, which was delayed a bit.  It'll be nice to see everyone and roll some dice.  Jo is off to the writing shack tonight.  I'm hoping to do some gaming with the Chicago people this Sunday.  The endless house chores nip at my feet - we've got some plumbing in our future at some point, replacing a basement faucet.

Work's been fine - we're in the home stretch of testing and getting things ready for a release.  I'm taking some classes next week in hopes of getting some certifications lined up.  Ah, the joys of professional development.

Yardwork and Dragons

May 01, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a surprisingly full weekend.  Saturday morning I took Emma off to her botanical field trip to the beach, where she didn't return until later that day.  I spent the day mostly doing chores - putting away lumber from the chicken coop and cleaning out the straw, mowing the lawn, cleaning the sewage ejector pump, picking up a comfy chair for Emma's reading nook, power washing the patio and furniture, and eventually collapsing briefly before starting in on pizza for dinner.

Sunday was DMing a Dungeons and Dragons session with my friend group after a long delay.  I was somewhat nervous as it was a module of my own making.  Fortunately it turned out relatively well, perhaps in part due to all the props I'd put together.  Plus everyone loves a good heist, and I think I managed to hit most of the narrative beats I wanted to.

Now I'm back to a day of meetings, with barely a break.  I suspect I'll be running late in the afternoon.  I'm weirdly excited to try out some new running shoes which hopefully are easier on my ankles.


April 28, 2023 by Adam in Family

It certainly feels like spring has arrived after all the rainy weeks.  The sun is out, flowers blooming, and I've worn nothing but shorts and t-shirts all week.  Yesterday I cleaned my office shed which perked me right up.

I'm hoping my work struggles with memory and performance are over for now and we're in the final stretch of getting things ready for release.  The last few months have felt somewhat of a burden, but hopefully most of the heavy lifting will be over soon.  Still have to do some serious testing so we'll see what we discover.

After a number of little delays we have D&D this weekend, this time with the friend group.  I'm going off book and doing a combat-light heist session, led by a telepathic lobster.  It weirdly all makes sense within the narrative and should produce a nice bridge to the next module.  I can tell I'm a little nervous about pulling it off as I keep making random props in hopes everyone will forgive any storytelling gaps on my part.

The sunshine has been great for my mood this week - there's nothing like seeing the world burst to life to lift one's spirits.

Comings and Goings

April 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

I cancelled our Netflix DVD subscription, another technological era ending.  The chickens have also been returned to Seraph, so we're back to store-bought eggs like philistines.  Emma and I hung out quite a bit over the weekend, though I'm not sure we did anything terribly important.  I helped with flash cards for plant scientific names.  Emma also painted her ukelele and I helped cut some old cherry tree branches into a wall holder.  I do love making things, especially that mix of practical and artistic.

Duncan worked on videos, apparently using a Chat GPT prompt to coordinate players.  Now begins the long editing process.  Ben mostly did art - it's nice to see him using the drawing tablet we got him for Christmas so much.  We also said hello to the Chicago people, messing around with D20 so we can play games over the Internet.  Should be fun.

Now it's back to work for me, slogging through memory issues.  Hopefully I don't go mad with this final push towards a release.

Slogging into Springtime

April 21, 2023 by Adam in Family

The rain continues to pour down, somewhat reflective of a somewhat dreary week.  We're in the final slog at work, getting down to the hard and vague problems that I'm not quite sure how to fix.  There were some bright points this week - Jo and I going out on our date night to Wildcraft Cider, followed by some co-op video game playing when we got home.  The SpaceX launch was exciting, if a little overly destructive.  I'm looking forward to this weekend and hanging out with Emma.

Well, time to finish my mocha and get back to troubleshooting computer problems.

Glimpses of Springtime

April 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a whirlwind weekend.  Emma and I hiked around Pisgah where she showed off all the wildflowers she'd seen with her class the week before.  Fairy slipper orchid was our favorite flower, though just walking through the cedar and listening to the rushing streams was a close second for me.

Next up was checking on mom's various chairs, deciding to think about it more in the end.  We may end up trying for the big comfy one, though it will involve girding our loins before moving. 

On Sunday Emma, Jo and I drove down to see Seraph's new house.  I loved the quirky architecture of something over a hundred years old and the walkability to the quaint Creswell downtown.  The garden was generally unkept, so Seraph was excited to start whipping it into shape.  Emma was enlisted as both an expert and enthusiastic participant.  A spot was designated for the chickens, so they may be leaving us before too long.  I left with a dinosaur-themed fantasy book from Robbie and some of Danica's photos from my childhood, both of which were much appreciated.

Now it's back to work, memory leak hopefully fixed and time to get deployment pipelines sorted out.  Almost done.

Mocha Friday

April 14, 2023 by Adam in Family

My mocha is long gone and I'm knee-deep in memory dump files trying to find an annoying memory leak.  I really hope I can get this giant migration behind us soon.

It's Ben's birthday today - I've heard rumors we're having sushi and cake.  I've got a few presents I need to wrap before day's end.  It's wild thinking that my youngest kid is sixteen.  Funny how time passes.

I chatted with Sadie for a bit, which was a treat.  Hopefully her work gets less busy soon.  Emma's been tromping around town identifying plants for her class, which is one of her favorite things to do.  She also had a day at the Urban Farm, which is smaller due to the Phil Knight building going up and construction equipment parking space.  We might head out to Pisgah tomorrow and enjoy the sunshine.

Jo did our taxes and we're thankfully getting a little back.  We continue to juggle date nights, raising children, maintaining the house, and taking care of cats and chickens.  Life goes on.

Spring is Here

April 09, 2023 by Adam in Family

Flowers are blooming and the seeds in the greenhouse are popping up. Next weekend is supposed to get into the 70s. I can't wait to wear shorts again.

My work week was relatively unexciting, slowly finishing up our great conversation project. I also gave a presentation on web security that went reasonably well. Sadly I'm on call next week so hopefully it's not too annoying.

Friday was a no work day. I got a bunch of house projects done, played more Pathfinder, and went with mom to the Lane County Land Use Planning office. It looks like demolishing the existing house and building a new one is relatively straightforward.

Today is Easter and our nearly adult children still want an Easter egg hunt. Jo and I assembled eggs with chocolate and funny sayings. Soon the hunt will begin.

Safe and Sound

April 04, 2023 by Adam in Family

I heard through the grapevine that our Chicago travellers made it to their new apartment and are busy unpacking.

Full Weekend

April 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a surprisingly full weekend, busy though packed with generally fun things.  Saturday Emma and I tromped up to my mom's house to say farewell to the Chicago-goers.  They were packing up the farm and heading through the gorge to avoid the snowstorm.  It's been great to visit with them and sad we won't be able to just hang out every weekend.

Emma and I worked on getting her room generally ready to go, putting away the painting supplies and cleaning things up.  There are still a few things we need to finish, but the list is pretty short.  I'm amazed at how well it all turned out.

Sunday was D&D with friends, so I picked up Jason and the party battled their way through the Final Encounter module.  I think every big bad guy was defeated - so many giant miniatures I'd painted along the way.  It was very combat heavy, so I tried to mix it up a little with a one-on-one duel and a nautical chase that was hopefully cinematic.

Jo made it home safe and sound.  Emma headed to Jamie's house to start the new term today.  I whipped up pizza, calzone, and other goodies for our weekly anime that Duncan selected.  Now I'm off to work to sort out url redirection.

Mocha Friday

March 31, 2023 by Adam in Family

I finished up my mocha and started my work day in earnest.  Jo took Ben and a friend to the coast for a visit to the aquarium and is off to the coast again today for a Science Fiction writer's workshop.

Saturday we bid our farewells to the Chicago-bound people.  Hopefully Emma and I can work on her room some more, including putting up the 3D printed curtain rod replacing the original one we lost.  I forgot we had this magical replicator and Emma suggested we just print up a new one.

We visited the farm on Wednesday and got the tour of the property, along with long lists of things that should be done.  It sounds like the house is in a pretty rough state, from the rotting and sinking foundation to the perpetually leaky roof.  The trees have all been cut back 100 feet, hopefully making the insurance company happy.  It was neat seeing some old oak trees seeing the light again.

Emma picked up some cool wood scraps to be turned into a future plant shelf.  It's fun seeing her room come together with a style loosely described as medieval botanist.

Halfway Through Spring Break

March 29, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's my last day off after several days off. It's been spent just how I wanted - fixing up Emma's room and hanging out with the zany farm people before they leave for Chicago. Emma's room looks great with the walls and trim painted. Furniture has been moved around and an ungrounded outlet replaced with a GFCI one. She slept great last night - apparently not having a hole in the ceiling is an effective sleep aid.

Joanna and Ben are visiting the aquarium in Newport this afternoon, along with a friend of Ben's. Emma and I are going to the farm to look for woodworking wood as she'd like to build a plant shelf for her room.  Plus hang out with the farm people as they pack.

Later today Emma goes to her mom's and tomorrow is back to work. We've got friends D&D this weekend, hopefully wrapping up a big chunk of the campaign.

Really happy with the way the room turned out. Here's a before and after shot of the same area.

Project Weekend

March 27, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a fairly exciting weekend. Emma, her big brother and his girlfriend went camping. It was cold and wet and beautiful, visiting the southern Oregon coast and the redwoods further south. Since they're off to Chicago in a week it made for a fun final hurrah.

Joanna and their friend worked on the shed, putting up plywood on the interior walls. I sanded and spackled Emma's ceiling in between playing the latest Pathfinder computer game.

Since I'm taking three days off this week, Emma came over and we started painting. In a few short hours the walls were Cottage Hill green. Now we're working on the baseboards. We won't quite finish tonight but it's almost done. Emma decided to keep the heart Sam painted on the wall when he was little.

Moving Along

March 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along, mostly uneventfully.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel for this grand conversion we're doing at work.  Since I'm taking the first half of next week off, I'm hoping I can wrap up this big chunk I'm nearly done with.

Duncan and Ben have their first week of the new term.  Ben's enjoying chemistry.  It's strange to think this is Duncan's last term of high school.  So glad he's made it to the end.  Emma's final week was very light.  She's off camping at the coast with her big brother for a few days, which hopefully isn't too soggy.

Jo's staying the night in the cabin tonight, so I'll be home with the younger kids and kitties.  Tomorrow I'll be rolling up my sleeves to work on Emma's room.  I've got some sanding and texturing, and possibly a little more patching.  It should go smoothly.  The plan is to paint and finish the rest starting Monday.

Hanging drywall

March 21, 2023 by Adam in Family

Emma and I hung drywall yesterday. It went amazing well and we both got it up and plastered the joints. Next up is sanding and texturing, then finally painting.

We also opened up an old air vent and discovered two Reader's Digests and a bunch of peanut shells. So much for lost treasures.

Games and demolition

March 20, 2023 by Adam in Family

Saturday was the family D&D group, with Seraph returning to take up the mantle of the flame-loving cleric.  They moved through a shocking amount of content, to the point where I'm thinking large amounts of this chapter may go by quickly.  I'm enjoying the puzzle-heavy portions of the adventure, which is a nice break from the typical combat.

Sunday morning Emma, Jo, and I headed to Home Depot for the usual epic adventure spending over a thousand dollars and returning with a trailer full of drywall, plywood, and assorted supplies for two different projects.  Emma picked out her paint color, a lovely green that everyone likes.  After a break for lunch I worked on demolishing part of Emma's ceiling.  Joanna suggested I used the multitool for cutting along the edges, which worked beautifully.  It was dirty, dusty work but after an hour or so I had it all down.

Today the plan is to put up the drywall and then break around lunch to play some more Blades in the Dark.  Having a three day weekend is certainly a treat, as is the mocha I'm sipping as I type this.

St. Patrick's Mocha Day

March 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

I accidentally wore green today, apparently making myself pinch-proof.  It's been a fine mocha day so far, fixing some vaguely embarrassing things I broke at work.  The other most exciting thing we did this week was pi day where I made quiche for dinner and Jo made apple pie for dessert.  It's been my delicious snack the last couple days.

I'm excited to hear that Jenny got a job at a dental office she seems to like.  Yayoe's nephew Sayer is getting some more feeling and mobility, heading home soon.  Seraph is back after her trip to Rochester.  Mom and Bob headed to Albania to see Bob's daughter and grandson.  Duncan and Ben's term ended so they've been out of school for a couple days.

My sisters and I are worried about mom's fall on the stairs this week.  She was looking pretty rough with her bruised nose at tea.

Though not unexpected, Danica passed away late last Friday.  I've been thinking of her off and on this week.  She will be missed.

The Sky is Falling

March 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

Well, the whole sky didn't fall, but a chunk of the ceiling in Emma's bedroom fell down while we were standing a few feet away.  It was both dramatic and messy, and the dust kept me coughing occasionally for the rest of the day despite wearing N95 masks for the cleanup.  Emma took it all in stride and we have a plan to patch and paint the ceiling.  As our house approaches 100 years old the original lathe-and-plaster doesn't hold up as well.

Jo's back from their writing conference, luring passers by to their table with swag bags full of stickers and marketing material.  I think they had a good time hanging out with fellow writers despite the long drive to Seattle.  I sure appreciate the help at home again, especially with pilling Leiah.

Emma and I had some quality hangout time on Saturday, planting some arugula and radhishes in the garden, watching a video on mega earthquakes for her geology class, going for a walk and catching up on video games. 

Sunday was equally fun with the farm people coming over to play Blades in the Dark.  It's kinda like D&D but more of a cooperative storytelling.  Our three characters pulled off a casino heist in a dark, steampunk world - there were disguises, rigged slot machines, summoning ghosts, and a frantic escape into the cobblestones below.  It was great.

Rainy Mocha Friday

March 10, 2023 by Adam in Family

Thunder is rolling across the sky as the atmospheric river dumps rain and snow down on our little valley.  Since Jo is still away I'm working from the dining room table as Ben gets ready for school and the kitties nap on their perches around the window.

I've generally been doing well this week.  Work's a little less frantic, even though I've been on call and doing additional kid & kitty care.  Maybe I'm just more used to things.  I impressed myself yesterday by tracking down an email problem with an old decryption library that wasn't reading the entire API key because Microsoft decided to change how things work in the newer version.

Dad came over for dinner last night, which was a treat.  I was scurrying around trying to get bro night together for Duncan, Ben, and his friend Charlie.  They watched YouTube in the basement over onigiri while dad and I ate a Northern African dish at the dining room table.  Needless to say, I now know much more about the latest at Tesla.

The weekend ahead promises to be somewhat quiet.  The farm people are coming over to play Blades in the Dark on Sunday, which looks to be a fun RPG set in a haunted steampunk world involving heists.  Emma and I will likely get some quality video games in there too.  Plus lots of kitty petting, which seems to be a constant in my life these days.

Games and Snowy Weekend

March 06, 2023 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend.  Saturday had the family D&D group, with Emma getting her older brother to sub in for Seraph.  It was full of hijinx and near-death failures, but they all managed to make it through to the end. 

Jo and I put together a sleep bag full of white noise generator, sleep mask, and a diffuser with some aromatherapy oils for Emma, who reports sleeping somewhat better that night.  The next morning we had a blanket of snow everywhere, and I dutifully let Emma throw a snowball at me.

Sunday involved a trip to the library, reading books, video games, looking at Emma's practice thesis, and generally hanging out.  It was a good time.

Mocha Friday

March 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

I think the week's mild illness is winding down, whatever it was.  We're all a little somber this week with Danica in her last days and Sayer's long road to recovery.  Life always seems a strange mix of horrible and wonderful.

Yesterday I met up with Emma to see the Magic in Medieval Europe exhibit at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.  It was a fun treat to just hang out together, plus we learned about "the butter cat" and decided Data probably snuck around stealing the neighbor's butter too.

I started my on call rotation this morning, which tends to make work less fun.  I got a bunch done this week so far - maybe this grand conversion will finally get finished one day.

It's a D&D weekend with family, somehow muddling through Seraph's absence as she's back in Rochester.  I look forward to some fun and play sprinkled around my life


Snow and Sniffles

March 01, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's been snowy the last few days and I've had a touch of headaches and sniffles recently too.  I'm feeling mostly better today after a strict regimen of cafe mochas and Advil, as is the way of my people.  I heard news about Danica from dad - it sounds like she doesn't have long to live.  I also heard from Yayoe's nephew Sayer that he has bruising of his spinal cord after his fall.  He's working on regaining upper body mobility and won't know his long-term status for a year or so.  All this somber news makes me appreciate all the good things in my life.

Looking forward to tea with mom today - I'm being tech support for her and have a laptop switcharoo to coordinate.  Plus it's date night tonight - not sure if we're doing murdery mystery or video games.  I'm excited either way.

D&D Weekend

February 27, 2023 by Adam in Family

Emma came over Saturday and we caught up on all our favorite father/daughter activities.  We went to the library, played video games, went for a walk, planted seeds in the greenhouse, and chatted away.  I'm glad to be back out in the world again and it was lots of fun catching up.

I also got together with my D&D friend group and despite minimal planning on my part, we ended up with a memorable and amusing adventure.  It was full of hijinks, difficult decisions and being forced to sneak around instead of the usual "kill everything" approach that they usually take.  I finally got to break out some of the more memorable miniatures, with the two-headed shark god being passed around the table with oohs and aahs.

Work is moving along at a steady pace and generally seems okay.  It probably helps that I'm not on call.

Mocha Friday

February 24, 2023 by Adam in Family

I could get used to these four-day weeks.  Work went by quickly, I felt especially productive, and now it's time for the weekend again.  I'm especially excited to hang out with Emma this weekend - we've missed our usual weekend hangout time for awhile now.  Plus I've got D&D this Sunday with my friend group.  Should be some fun, nerdy times.

Jo and I played video games for our date night last night.  I started watching House of Dragons as I run each day.  We survived the snowy day without incident.  Data demands pets each night when I'm on the couch watching tv, as usual.  Life goes on.

Snow Day!

February 22, 2023 by Adam in Family

It snowed a little this morning, still seeming fresh and wonderful before the likely freeze the next few days.  I also broke isolation last Sunday with a final negative COVID test and celebrated with a board game session at Hideaway Bakery with the older kids.  It was great to hang out, catch up, and grow our cardboard trees as the cardboard sun rotated around the board.

I think we're all generally doing okay.  Emma's excited to come over this weekend to see the cats, play video games and hang out after two weeks away.  I've been playing way too much Midnight Suns and listening to the Alice Isn't Dead podcast.  I also managed a bunch of car, yard and house maintenance over the three day weekend.  It felt good to prune, change oil, replace tires and the like.  

Work has settled down a little, or at least I feel less anxious about it.  I feel like I'm making progress even though I'm unsure about the end state of things.

Mocha Friday

February 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

I think we're approaching the end of our week with COVID.  I feel pretty good.  Ben still tested positive yesterday but he's on the mend as well.  According to the CDC guidelines I can test again Sunday and if it's still negative I can be around other people unmasked.  

It does mean that I cancelled tomorrow's D&D and will probably only see Emma for a little on Sunday.  I'm guessing Duncan and Ben will return to school this Monday.

Work's been driving me a little bonkers, so I'm back to wearing my night guard again.  I picked up the game Midnight Suns and played it a little last night for some silly escapism.  There are also miniatures to paint and the Discworld book Emma got me to read.

I suspect Jo and I will do some pruning and maybe work on the revised version of the little free library.  I'm amazed at how many people stop by and it's weirdly kept well-stocked by various people in the neighborhood.  It's been a fun project.

Quarantine Protocol Weekend

February 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

With Ben testing positive for COVID, it's been a fun-filled weekend of setting up air filters, air humidifiers, moving into Emma's room, wearing masks, and daily COVID tests.  I've had these mild symptoms of goopy sinuses and fatigue, but I keep testing negative and not getting worse.  Maybe all that time spent standing in vaccination lines was worth it.  The harder part is knowing what social events to cancel at what distance from the onset of symptoms.  I'm still hoping to get together for D&D this Saturday but I'm playing everything by ear. 

Ben is out of school until Thursday.  He's doing relatively well - just a cough and sniffle.  We let him out of his room to watch Star Trek Into Darkness with us, all masked and roughly six feet apart.

As for my weekend it was generally quiet.  I ate in my room, listened to podcasts, painted miniatures, worked on solving programming algorithm puzzles, and did a bunch of yardwork.  I've loved the sunny weather and it felt good to prepare the beds for springtime planting.  Plus finishing painting the horde of Velociraptors for Emma's Summon Animal spell was weirdly satisfying.


February 11, 2023 by Adam in Family

Ben just tested positive for COVID.  His symptoms started yesterday and apparently will be out of school for awhile now. No one else is testing positive, though I'm worried I'm next after spending time around Ben the last few days.

Mocha Friday

February 10, 2023 by Adam in Family

Life is always more cheerful with a full mug of cafe mocha beside me.  Being a single parent the last couple days has gone well - kids got to school and appointments on time, chickens had eggs collected, and the household has been running relatively smoothly.  My biggest challenge has been pilling Leia, which I admittedly skipped this morning.  Soon I'll get Ben to school and ease into a day of writing code and dealing with tickets since I started my on call rotation.

I had a good chat with my director yesterday and hopefully some of the trickier parts of my job will improve.  I do miss being able to focus on writing code, which is what I'm good at and enjoy.

Duncan's Minecraft video is bringing in about a thousand views per day.  It's impressive how much effort he put into it - configuring mods, designing levels, and editing down the multiple videos to tell a story.  Apparently the rest of the Minecraft loving world agrees.

I stopped Jamie's house yesterday to visit everyone for a little before they left for Bend.  Everyone seemed cheerful - the farm people were cutting down trees and Emma was learning about Crater Lake in her geology class.  It'll be a relatively quiet weekend for me - I may end up doing some long-needed yardwork if the weather continues to be so nice.

Striving for calm

February 07, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's hard to find those moments of peace throughout my day.  So much is tightly scheduled, with priority lists and trade-offs and dropping everything to fix the latest crisis.  I've been spending my free time reading professional books or writing code.  Work has felt more disorganized than usual - yesterday I didn't get to write any code, just attend meetings and troubleshoot bugs.  I went to the dentist yesterday and got the advice to start wearing my night guard again.

It doesn't help that Danica is on hospice now.  Yayoe's nephew Sayer fell and has some degree of paralysis.  Sadness for all the things washes over me like waves.

But spring is around the corner, planting seeds in the earth once again.  Jo and I metaphorically dance through the routine of the day, stopping for the occasional kiss.  Kids go off to school, cats lay on laps for pets, chickens excitedly await my arrival to deliver table scraps.  I run at lunch, paint miniatures, chat with Emma on her daily call.  These things sustain me.

Cough syrup Mocha Friday

February 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

I had enough of a cough last night that I woke up every time I tried to get back to sleep.  Eventually I bit the bullet, downed some cough syrup, got some solid sleep, and now I'm paying the price of being extra spacey the next day.  I'll eventually feel normal again and fortunately all the code I write gets reviewed by hopefully competent coworkers.

Last night we celebrated Candlemas and/or Imbalc, depending on where you land on the Catholic/Pagan scale.  Ben learned about it in his French class but couldn't eat the crepes as they weren't gluten-free.  He put in a request to celebrate at home, so I made a big batch of crepes and whip cream for dinner last night.  Needless to say, it was well received.  We're pretty good at covering all the food-related holidays throughout the year.

Nerdy Weekend

January 30, 2023 by Adam in Family

We had back-to-back roleplaying games over the weekend.  Saturday was getting together with Seraph, Robbie, Francis, Jordan, and Emma for our jungle adventure.  They finally made it to the lost city of Omu and found their first shrine, battling a giant Froghemoth and generally strutting around like mighty heros.  Sunday was with the farm people, our "escape the ancient ruins" game turning more into a murder mystery.  It's interesting seeing where the game is going as it's much more improvised and fun to experience as a player instead of a DM.

When I wasn't playing roleplaying games I tried to get some quality time with Emma.  We broke out some new humble bundle games - the new favorite being a skate game called Ollie Ollie.  It's really tough, Emma testing her skater reflexes in order to unlock the fresh skater outfits.  These things are important.

Mocha Friday

January 27, 2023 by Adam in Family

I'm feeling chipper this fine Mocha Friday.  Perhaps it's the chickens cheerfully clucking away as I walk to my shed, eager to see if I brought any scraps for them to eat.  With the price of eggs being what they are these days, their output is quite valuable.  Emma came up with the phrase "Corn Again Christian" during a phone call the other day.  I apparently thought it was so funny that I dreamt about telling Jerry Seinfeld about it and he thought it was hysterical too.

I feel like I was productive at work this week.  I'm still reading my computer science books and listening to podcasts about it.  It's funny learning about some of the underlying parts of what I've been doing professionally for decades.

I've also been frantically preparing for D&D this weekend, slapping together maps and getting miniatures ready.  It's one of those wide-open areas where the players could end up lots of different places doing lots of different things.  Very exciting!

A Week Has Passed!

January 26, 2023 by Adam in Family

Life must be generally okay these days as I keep forgetting to post anything.  Life continues - meals are made, laundry done, I go to work, run at lunch, and so on.  The weekend was filled with roleplaying games and Joanna's birthday.  Presents were opened and delicious cake was eaten.

Our heat pump was icing up and we spent $200 to have someone show up to move a sensor into place.  There's more D&D this weekend and I'm furiously planning.  Joanna's been getting the new robot to clean various parts of the house, so they've been putting up robot barricades from boxes, recycle bins, and laundry baskets.  I'll come in to the house and find RoboVac pushing pointlessly against the cardboard in hopes of escaping to freedom.

Mocha Friday

January 20, 2023 by Adam in Family

It's a pleasant day so far, my tasty mocha slowly being sipped beside me.  NPR has a story about Chat GPT and the end of homework.  I got breakfast and coffee ready this morning while listening to a podcast about software engineering.  I snuck in a few minutes to start painting one of my D&D miniatures, though I'm still not sure when it will actually appear.  Pretty soon I'll start reviewing PRs and writing software to start the day in earnest.

It's been a generally good week, though with moments of being overly busy.  I managed to see dad last night for dinner, finally handing over his Christmas present.  I drove kids to various appointments, upgraded my PC to Windows 11, and kept up my usual lunchtime runs.  When I've had a few moments to focus on writing code it's been very satisfying.

As for the weekend, Joanna's birthday is this Sunday.  I've got some presents to wrap and a cake to pick up.  I think we'll see the farm people for gaming tomorrow.  Life's okay.

Long Weekend

January 17, 2023 by Adam in Family

Joanna was off in the woods for much of the weekend, so it was just the three kids and I, doing our usual things.  Saturday had the farm people coming over with loads of baked goods from Metropol to hang out and play roleplaying games.  The evening wrapped up with pizza and a robotic engineering video, which Ben enjoyed and Duncan slipped away.

Sunday was our friend D&D game.  I picked up Jason who is doing amazingly well - he's back to doing so many things from watching t.v., playing video games, and reading long blocks of text.  Seeing Marty and Cory again was equally fun.  As for the game itself, they spent an incredibly long period of time figuring out how to get through the front door.  Fortunately Jason's bard instinct for hijinx is still intact and he managed to talk his way in.  Emma's character broke out a well-placed Cloudkill against the big group that had assembled and things went well after that.  I'm just glad I painted four boxes of miniatures in the last few months as they're all coming in handy.

Yesterday was low-key.  I helped Emma update her laptop.  I took the younger kids to an appointment.  Video games were played.  Cats were petted.  I keep burning through coding books, feeling increasingly competent about fancy-pants terminology that real programmers use.  Life continues.

Mocha Friday

January 13, 2023 by Adam in Family

It somehow became Friday when I wasn't looking.  The week has been a bit of a blur.  I go to work, run at lunch, make dinner, and do a little miniature painting or game playing until it's time to watch a show with Joanna.  I'm almost done with Pentiment, which has been one of the more compelling games I've played lately - who thought medival murder point-and-click adventures would be so much fun.  Jo and I continue working through our murder mystery subscription box during our date nights, closing in on the killer.  I'm starting to prep for the next phase of the jungle D&D adventure, moving on to painting tons of new miniatures.  I've also been reading and listening to computer books, filling in gaps in my professional knowledge.

The weekend should be somewhat exciting.  Tomorrow Joanna goes off to a forestry thing for a couple days.  The farm people are coming to hang out.  Sunday my D&D friend group is getting together - everyone's excited to spend some time with Jason who continues to report improvement.  Plus we have Monday off work for a little extra day of downtime.

Life Continues

January 10, 2023 by Adam in Family

I had a good time playing D&D with the fam over the weekend.  We've shifted to a new phase of the game so I'm frantically reading up and getting miniatures ready.  Now it's back to the work week.  Emma started school.  I'm back to writing code and hopefully being useful again.  Life is full of laundry, chores, dishes, and the like, though I manage to play some games or watch a show from time to time.  Life's okay.


January 03, 2023 by Adam in Family

I suppose I should be thankful that I only write a check once in a blue moon as it was always a struggle to remember to update the year.  So far the new year has been treating us well.  It's Duncan and Ben's last day of school.  Emma's been hanging out here this week - yesterday we went to the library and Oregon Art Supply.  I've got D&D the next couple weekends, so I've got a little preparation to do.  I'm also on a learning kick, studying design patterns, algorithmic complexity, and other computer science things.  It's been interesting learning some theory and terminology as I've always felt myself a practical software engineer.

Work begins again for me in a couple days, though I've made myself a lengthy to do list.  Jo and I got a bunch of organizing and cleaning done over the weekend.  Christmas is mostly put away.  The basement is less chaotic.  Hopefully it's a good start to the new year.

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