Maximum Nerdage

March 25, 2024 by Adam in Family

I had a very nerdy weekend with back-to-back D&D games.  It was great meeting Jordan's friend Sam and starting the new whimsical-yet-dark fairytale campaign The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.  They played as kids, sneaking into a carnival and all losing something important.  Next session they return eight years later as adults, looking for that missing something.

Sunday was the friend group, with a train heist and jail break combination.  I think it turned out well, moving quickly as they roamed between the rail cars as the train passed through various planes of existence.  After that was a "Lower Decks" style session with everyone playing crewmembers going on their own low-level adventure, starting with a game of poker and 3D printed gold, silver, and copper coins.  I think I ran out of funny voices by the end of the day and collapsed next to Emma on the couch after everyone left.

As for the rest of life, it's the start of spring break, which Jo pointed out was to give parents hope that summer vacation will one day arrive.  Jo painted their office.  Pizza was eaten.  Anime was watched.

In sad news, Jo's uncle Jay died over the weekend.  I met him and his French wife when we visited Cornwall many years ago.  Mostly I remember he was cheerful, with funny stories about the area and the Beatles recording in a little studio up the river we kayaked up.  Jo would like to attend the memorial service, though we're still sorting out the details.

Learning to Spell Albuquerque

March 22, 2024 by Adam in Family

It looks like our wayward son is settling into Albuquerque, at least for the time being.  Seraph's friends connected him with an artist hostel and he's staying in an actual camper with a very nice woman and her husband who uses welding to make art.  The thought is that our beamish boy could get a feel for the town, find some work and a more permanent place to live, then see if any of his friends want to join him on his new adventure.  He's really liking the people and the feel of the town, which warms my heart.

As for the rest of us, we enjoyed our few days of sunshine before the rains came again.  Emma's at the beach with Jamie after her final.  Duncan is done too, handing me a poster he made for a fictional movie for his final project.  I imagine it'll have to go on the fridge.  Ben's been having a harder time of it, much more tired than normal the last couple weeks.  Hopefully some doctor visits will help sort things out.  Our kitty Data got his belly shaved and an ultrasound to check out his kidneys - they look good, so hopefully this last vet visit was just a one-time thing.

Work is moving along relatively well, working with new technologies and mostly figuring it out.  I've got some nice new miniatures printed for my D&D groups this weekend, painted for the friend group.  They've got a clear coat drying at the moment - I'm excited to see the final version.

My foot is much better.  I ran four miles yesterday without any tendon pain while watching a comedy horror movie.  Maybe I just needed to switch genres.

Construction Complete!

March 18, 2024 by Adam in Family

Emma and I finished up the Little Free Library over the weekend and brought it over to Jamie's house for installation.  Emma's not quite sure where it will go, but I talked through the steps of getting a post in the ground and attaching the post to the library.  I imagine that will happen at some point.  Emma was very proud of her efforts.

It was also a warm, sunny weekend with sowing seeds in the garden and doing a bit of cleanup.  I somehow hurt one of the tendons in my foot on Friday, so I was limping around until recently.  Fortunately icing it down and taking it easy seemed to do the trick Sunday afternoon.  We also picked up a few games during the Steam sale, including dusting off the VR goggles to play the latest I Expect You To Die.  It's a great spy game where you solve puzzles and thwart villians while trying to avoid dying in entertaining ways.  Emma mostly played that while I played the cyberpunk survival-horror game Signalis.

Our wayward son continues to travel across the country, really enjoying Albuquerque and pondering hard about moving there.  He's currently in Dixon, Seraph and Robbie's stomping grounds.  Plans continue to be in flux, but he's having a great time exploring and trying to find a good place to settle down.

Next weekend is the start of some new D&D campaigns, so I'm printing out characters and getting things ready to go.  Should be exciting.

Mocha Friday

March 15, 2024 by Adam in Family

Yesterday was somewhat exciting, starting with a SpaceX rocket launch and ending with a pumpkin pie for Pi Day.  I had a long chat with my wayward son, who has left Austin and his friends there and was calling from the woods near Albuquerque.  He took a long hike through the White Sands dunes, a beetle the only animal he saw along the way.  Today he's spending the day at a hiking gym and generally checking out the town.  Next up is a couple days with friends of Seraph and then spending a week in Pheonix.  

The school term is winding down, with Emma and Duncan working on final projects.  Emma has been missing Russian Orthodox Easter, so she's convinced Seraph to team up and make it happen.  Jo and I might get away for a day or so over spring break, though we're not organized yet.  With the weather finally turning sunny and warm, I think we'll try to get some gardening done.  There's also a little free library to finish.  I'm also down to a week until the next round of D&D sessions and have some minis to print and sessions to prep for.

Little Free Libraries

March 13, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a dreary weekend after a sunny Friday, so we mostly stayed inside.  Friday was a library trip.  Saturday and Sunday Emma and I worked on a little Free Library for her mom's house.  We rooted around the storage area under the porch and found an old window that ended up working well for the front and back.  By the end of the weekend we finished most of it, though I think this weekend we'll finish the roof and keep applying layers of paint and varnish to preserve the wood.

The rest of the week is puttering along.  Work is wacky and I feel thwarted more than I'd like.  I'm preparing for the next D&D campaign and getting excited as I go.  Evenings are relatively quiet - cooking dinner, puttering a little on the computer, and watching tv with a kitty on my lap.  It's a pretty good life.


March 08, 2024 by Adam in Family

It's mocha Friday, something I'm thankful for on these last cold and wet days of winter.  The week has generally been uneventful.  I keep forging ahead at work, though I feel I'm pretty far into the unknown.  Jo had a sleep study Wednesday night.  Ben's slowly feeling better and back at school full time.

I made some trophies for the Tomb of Annihilation players, double sized miniatures that I'm spray painting a single color.  I'm happy with how they turned out and it seems a good way to say farewell to a two-year adventure.  Lately I've been turning my eyes to the next Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign.  It's far more whimsical and focused more on roleplaying than combat.  Jordan's friend Sam will be joining us, so it'll be a big group.  Plus I'm using some new software, which I think will end up working out well.

As for the weekend, I've promised Emma a library trip.  I'd love to get outside, but the dreary weather may make it another cozy one.  Maybe we'll try our hand at some more woodworking.

Endings and New Beginnings

March 04, 2024 by Adam in Family

The nearly two-year D&D campaign with the family ended on Saturday.  They tromped through the dinosaur-filled jungle, plundered ancient temples, and made their way through a trap-filled dungeon to face an evil wizard.  Seraph's character was turned into a goat-person.  The friends they made along the way were freed from evil hags.  The world was saved.

It was a little sad saying goodbye to that world, packing up the campaign book and miniatures.  Fortunately we've got the next campaign ready to go.  I've been reading it since last summer, printing and painting miniatures along the way.  The players are excited about their new characters.  I'm trying out some new software to help with maps and such.  Over the weekend I put together a sound board with fun noises like monster yells and sword clangs.  It's all about putting on a good performance, I suppose.

As for Sunday, it involved much puttering around.  Jo finished putting together an electric trike for Duncan so that he can get to his appointments without us.  Emma finished drawing a cathedral for her architecture class.  We spent a fair amount of time in the shop, cleaning up, sharpening my grandfather's old woodworking tools, and trying on the new dremel-like tool to finish sanding Emma's bowl.

Now it's back to work, getting ready for a release and trying to figure out the brave new world of application development with Databricks.  I keep making experimental thingies that kinda work, not yet brave enough to put it into the product.  This may be the month that all changes - we'll see how it goes.

Functioning Bathtub

March 01, 2024 by Adam in Family

Our bathtub was installed by the previous owner in such a way that it dripped down into Duncan's bedroom below.  After several years of a hole in the ceiling and tray to catch the drips, we finally got organized to get our shower replaced.  And by "we", I mean Jo, though I helped pick out tiles and open the door for the construction builders.  There was a week of tearing out tiles and the old tub, then putting in new tiles and the new tub.  Finally this week I tested out the new shower.  I was surprisingly excited as I'd been hauling clothes and toiletries up and down the stairs to the main floor shower.

Jo and I went to the Oregon Contemporary Theater to see Cyclone, a musical comedy about a bunch of teens killed on a roller coaster and having to compete to see who gets to return to life.  They were still working out some kinks of the production, but I had a good time going and felt very cultured seeing local plays two months in a row.

I feel I'm making progress at work, despite the overall disorganization.  Hopefully it still stays fun and we get a little more clarity in the weeks ahead.

Tomorrow is D&D with the family, perhaps the last session in a nearly two-year campaign.  Things don't look good for our heroes, but they've already saved the world, so just making it out of the dungeon alive is just icing on the cake.  There's probably a life lesson in there somewhere.

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