So Many Dungeons. So Many Dragons

February 26, 2024 by Adam in Family

Okay, there weren't any dragons, but I had back-to-back D&D games all weekend.  There were so many funny voices, epic battles, and wrapping up year-long campaigns.  The friend group escaped their dungeon with their loot, returning to their home base to find it all in flames.  Soon they'll move on to a train heist, though the train is flying and they're moving between planes of existence.  The family group finally ended the Death Curse and will soon face the great wizard who has caused all this trouble.  It seems unlikely they'll all survive the experience, but at least they saved the day.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key.  Emma and I visited the library on Friday.  Saturday afternoon we did some woodworking, carving out more of her bowl and starting to make some molds for making tiles.  Jo pruned the fig tree.  Duncan had a school event.  Pizza was eaten and anime watched.

Now it's back to work, fixing bugs and preparing for the future.  Still trying to figure out what that means.

Mocha Friday

February 23, 2024 by Adam in Family

My toothbrush has been perched on the main floor bathroom windowsill as the upstairs bathtub is replaced and the walls retiled.  They guys working on it have been great and accomodating, dealing with the weird surprises of the DIY previous installation.  The unsafe electrical outlet under the tub has been removed and the tub should no longer drip down into Duncan's room, so those things are a plus.

Otherwise I've kept forging ahead with work challenges, hopefully moving in the right direction despite the chaos.  It's a back-to-back D&D weekend, sneaking up on the end of one campaign and the beginning of another.

In terms of the farm, mom called the pump people to get the well fixed.  Jo and Abraham have been talking about remaining cleanup tasks.  They want to wait until March before doing some of the cleanup.  Hopefully we'll have some of the heavy slash removed and roads repaired soon.  I think we'll need to jump into blackberry control before they spring back to life.

Tromping around the Farm

February 19, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, if occasionally exhausting.  Saturday Emma and I went to the library and turned some scrap cherry wood into utensils - a butter knife, a spatula, and a spoon.  They all turned out a little rustic, but it was fun and Emma liked the end result.   We found some cherry trees down at the farm, so it's likely we'll have an endless supply for our projects.

Sunday we headed out to the farm in the afternoon.  It was the first time Ben had seen it, so he took a lot of pictures.  I helped Jo load supplies into their shed to finish up the loft, then followed Emma down to the spook y shack.  The goal was to cut some willow and plant it near the upper stream.  I think we ended up with a couple dozen stalks.  Theoretically they'll sprout and turn into new willow trees.  There's quite a bit of erosion in the upper stream, so hopefully it helps.

We also took a look at the pump house.  It had power, which is good.  The box covering the well head had been knocked over, so we put that back.  Water didn't really come out, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

This week we have people working on our bathroom, replacing tiles and hopefully installing the new tub properly.  The hope is that it stops leaking into Duncan's room below and I can finally close up the ceiling.

New Phone, Who Dis?

February 16, 2024 by Adam in Family

After a rough week of doing battle with Verizon, I have a new Pixel 8 Pro that generally seems to work.  Previously the SIM card would periodically die and after three trips to the Verizon store, they seemed unable to help me.  Fortunately I connected with a very nice tech support person and got that sorted out.

Work has been up and down quite a bit lately, but I'm hoping things are settling down.  I keep trying to drive things forward, come hell or high water, and mostly feel successful.  I also have a new manager - Tim - who I hope can help with some of the tricky things we need to work through.

Valentine's Day was low-key and nice - takeout and video games with Jo.  My toe is still healing from the tree planting.  I keep slathering on antibiotics and will likely need to cut back on running which seems to irritate it.  I also just finished a 300+ episode rpg podcast which has made my dish washing, cooking, and other mundane chores far more entertaining.  I have a couple audiobooks to listen to and then I'll start looking for another one.

As for the weekend, I'm excited to have some Emma hangout time.  We might do woodworking.  I'm sure we'll visit the library.  It would also be nice to visit the farm if my toe is up for it.

Gardening, Cherry Trees, and Spatulas

February 12, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a good, low-key weekend.  Emma was off at the beach, so I might have played a little too much of my new deck-building game.  I did manage to stop and do some gardening, joined by Jo after a little while.  We cleaned the beds and pruned the cherry tree, stacking wood beside the house.  I also puttered some more with D&D props, trying to create a bit of magic in the real world.

Sunday we were joined by Emma who (after petting Data enough times) went with Ben, Jo, and I to Down to Earth to pick up missing seeds.  She was great and organized them all by month so all we need to do is crack the envelopes open and start planting.

Emma had also picked up a book on whittling, and we had some cherry wood from the previous day, so soon enough we were making bowls and cutlery.  I stuck to power tools, realizing I needed bigger router bits, but we started in on the bowl.  The spoon didn't quite get finished either, but I grabbed some scraps and we made a nice wooden spatula.  I also got to try out the belt sander I bought the other day and it worked great, other than putting out way too much dust.

Now it's back to work where I get to try and figure out what we're doing next.  Another bumpy ride, I suspect.

Mocha Friday

February 09, 2024 by Adam in Family

My scrapes and blisters from planting a small forest are fading.  I'm generally pretty happy with how my body held up, especially my ankles which I was a little worried about.  Jo's been talking to our logging contact Abraham (who just had a baby) and the hope is that we can sort out the last of the cleanup and repair tasks relatively soon.  Emma wants to start in on stream restoration, getting the willow propagated around.  There are endless projects that remain, but we'll eventually get there.

Yesterday was a busy work day.  I gave a presentation on the cool thing I built.  We interviewed a possible engineering lead for our team.  I fixed a couple bugs that came in as tickets.  It was all a little exhausting.

I keep fiddling with my D&D props, trying to emulate magic with science.  It turns out that the magnet I was using didn't have a strong enough field, so I had to break out the really powerful ones I pulled out of an old hard drive.  Hopefully my players appreciate the weird things I do for them.

Emma's off to the beach with Jamie this evening.  Jo and I plan on doing some garden planning.  Duncan and Ben have their various projects they're working on.  Kitties keep demanding pets.  Life moves on.

Done Planting

February 06, 2024 by Adam in Family

Over the weekend we managed to get a bit over 200 trees planted, admittedly in one of the roughest parts of the property.  Just getting to it was exhausting and dangerous.  Unfortunately that left us around 250 trees to go, so Jo, Emma, and I went out at various times to get trees in the ground.

Yesterday I started after checking in with work and planted Ponderosa Pine along the south road.  Hopefully it'll be dry enough and the trees will get enough sunshine.  Emma also says they drop a fair number of needles to keep the blackberries down.  It was wet and muddy, but I turned on my Pathfinder RPG podcast and tuned out the aches and pains of my body.  The terrain was much better than the day before, but it still took some work to find patches of soil under all the slash.

Jo joined early afternoon and we kept planting and flagging down the hill from their shed.  I think we got 200 trees in that day, stopping right before dinner.  Today I picked up Emma and the three of us went at it again, getting trees a fair ways down the hill.  It's amazing how much land 500 trees will cover.

We're debating next projects - blackberry control and improving roads are high on the list.  It might be fun to put in some trails to make the property more walkable.  After the last few days of hard labor, doing some fun, low-key projects sounds lovely.

Trees and D&D

February 05, 2024 by Adam in Family

Saturday was the big tree planting day.  Emma and Jo were rockstars, heading out at the crack of dawn to go to the annual seedling sale.  We ended up with about 500 trees and shrubs, which was a pretty massive order.  Eventually we found ourselves at the farm, tromping up and down a muddy hill strewn with debris.  We planted one of the roughest corners of the property, which went way slower than planned.  We had Jamie, Emma, Jo, Seraph, Robbie, Dez, and myself and still only managed to plant about 250 trees.  Yesterday Jo went out to plant more.  I'm going to work for a couple hours and then head out to plant the rest.

Sunday was D&D day, where the players battled three hags nearly at the end of the campaign.  Emma pointed out that high level combats devolve into t-rex battles, and this one certainly did the same.  It was loads of fun and a nice break between tree planting.


February 02, 2024 by Adam in Family

Jo and I went to see Every Brilliant Thing at the Oregon Contemporary Theater.  It was a surprisingly funny performance about depression, with a lot of audience participation and an enthusiastic single actor.  It was fun to get out and about and do something different.

Tomorrow is the big tree planting day.  We've got checks and dibble bars and a trailer to haul things around.  The plan is to meet up at the farm Saturday at noon and see how many trees we can put in the ground.  I'm trying hard to keep my enthusiasm in check, leaning towards 500-600 trees rather than the thousand or so I was planning before.  The terrain is rough and muddy and we're not as young and spry as we used to be.

Work continues to be wacky, to the point where I'm not sure what products I'll be working on or what I'll be doing from day to day.  At least it's not boring.

I chatted with the wayward Chicago son yesterday.  He was suddenly laid off, but the timing is actually pretty good with his upcoming move to Wyoming.  Yayoe hooked him up with some people she knew, so hopefully he's not driving into town completely blind.  It was nice to hear his voice.

I also tinkered around with a new piece of "virtual tabletop" software for D&D games.  Basically it lets me setup a map for players and organize the campaign.  I think I'll do my next family campaign using it and I'm enjoying playing around with all the bells and whistles. 

I finished my mocha and will leap into the unknowns of work shortly.  At least there's some well-understood bugs I can start working on for today.

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