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.

add comment

June 02, 2023 11:55 AM by Adam
I passed my test and more importantly they accepted my name.

June 03, 2023 12:13 AM by oldmom
Who's this Adam person, anyhow?

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.

add comment

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.

add comment

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.

Older Posts