Goodbye Reservoir

May 31, 2024 by Adam in Family

We tromped up to the top of College Hill last night to say farewell to the reservoir.  It's nearly a hundred years old and not up to earthquake code, so EWEB is going to demolish it and put in new tanks.  It was fun seeing so many people up there, with food trucks, roller bladers and music.  I took Sam and Emma up there to practice bike riding many years ago and watched fireworks from there at least once.

School is wrapping up at a rapid pace, with one more week of "real" school, then finals and summertime.  Already it's starting to feel busy.

We also got news of the loggers finally finishing their cleanup.  With fire season approaching soon, we have a small window to get people in to burn a couple piles - we'll see if we can get it arranged in time.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend we can go survey things and come up with a firm plan.

As for this weekend, Emma wants to do some post-birthday present stuff, printing out a solo RPG and hopefully get her registered for a pottery class.   The garden is coming along nicely, though there's always more to do.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend - I could get used to having three days off.  Jeaux and I put in a bunch of time doing yardwork.  The beds are looking really nice - Jeaux put down weed blocker and I spread mulch between the beds.

Emma's birthday was fun, with tasty food and good presents.  She was a great Dungeon Master and put on a good show.  The next day she went off with her mom to have her first legal drink at the neighborhood bar and play pool with Jamie's bar friends.

I finally finished my DM screen - hopefully it'll work well for my next session.  I continue to print and paint more minis and get ready for the next sessions.

I've also been practicing my algorithm skills, jumping on leetcode to work through some of those problems.  It's weirdly fun, though occasionally my brain melts and I have to stop.

We'll see what happens this week.  Work is weird and wacky, as always.  The summer schedule is starting to get packed with trips, visitors, and other activities.  Busy, busy.

Birthday Girl

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Emma

Emma had her birthday celebrations over the weekend, which started with crepes and ended with Sweet Life cake and Tasty Thai dinner.  She got quite the fun haul of gifts, a good mix of practical and whimsical.  Hopefully she feels well appreciated.

She also decided she wanted to try out being a Dungeon Master and invited a few of the regular players for a one-shot birthday themed game.  Emma went all-out with the ambiance, from serving tea to hand-drawn portraits.  I loved being a player too, keeping a silly voice consistent throughout the game and breaking out the ukulele for some fun bardic improvisation.

DM Screen with Monitor

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I keep tweaking my D&D setup.  I started with a laptop for myself, attached to a tv laid flat for maps, and another monitor to display monster pictures or whatever.  I got rid of the second monitor recently, just displaying pictures over the maps themselves, but I didn't like how it was upside down for half the players and how it covered up the maps.  I saw someone turn a cheap monitor into a DM screen and knew I had to have one.

I'm not completely finished with it, but it's at least workable.  The design had lots of flat pieces to cut out and glue together, which ended up being somewhat annoying.  Still, I'm mostly happy with the end result and am already scheming various updates to make it even better.

Memorial Day Mocha Friday

May 24, 2024 by Adam in Family

I'm excited to have a three day weekend coming up.  Not only is it Emma's birthday, but she's running a D&D one-shot where I get to be a player for a change.  I made my fun gnome bard and whipped up a mini, mostly because I wanted the full player experience.

Ben survived nearly six hours taking his AP French test yesterday.  I suspect he did very well and when combined with his IB Economics test, he should end up with a bit of college credit.  He's still trying to figure out next year, but currently he's thinking about AP Chemistry in part because the teacher is so great.

Not sure anything particularly exciting happened this week.  My work continues to slog along.  Meals are cooked, laundry folded, and dishes washed.  I continue listening to podcasts and painting minis for the new campaign.  It's nice to both have D&D to play and all the fun prep along the way.

Monday will likely be my house project day.  Our dryer is noisy and I've got new rollers that hopefully fixes it.  There's soil to move and gardening to do.  One of these days I need to patch the hole in Duncan's ceiling.  I need a vacation just to get all my work done.

House of Records

May 20, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a fun weekend, full of D&D, projects, and feeling cool at House of Records.

Friday had Emma and I heading to the library to scoop up some holds and pick up new books.  I'd reserved the comic Something Is Killing the Children, which was a fun and fast read - reminded me of a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stranger Things.

Saturday was the family group.  Emma made bread and doughnuts, which were well recieved.  They had their first fight, breaking out the mine cart minis and Seraph saving the day by cooking a spider.  I worked more on the DM screen with the monitor afterwards, finishing up the side pieces.  I think I just have some hinges to add and it should be good to go.

Sunday was the friend group with the great heist wrapping up.  My friend Jason had an incident a few days earlier, so he's off driving for a month and I picked him up.  I think all is well, though he has a better appreciation of the issues with not taking his meds.  The heist itself ended amazingly, with a lion and baboons running rampant throughout the casino and our heros walking out in their disguises.  I also got to break out new props, including the ring with the magnet that triggers the magnetic switches in the lamp, which produces a UV light that shows the secret writing on the tarot cards.  Whew!

Work continues to be strange - mostly just waiting for people to get back to me.  Emma's birthday is coming up next weekend, so I've got to get ready for that.  Jo's also done a great job getting our garden ready to go and was giving out tomato seedlings to passers by.  I'm hoping I can help move things along - exciting to see everything growing and tasty looking.

Double-D&D Weekend

May 17, 2024 by Adam in Family

It's back-to-back D&D days this weekend after a fairly long delay.  Hopefully I'm prepared enough and if not I'll just keep breaking out funny voices and show off some more minis.  Continuing the nerdy news, my new DM screen with a monitor built-in continues to be constructed.  The gluing steps are slow-going and trying to get everything nicely lined up and perfect is a little tricky.  Hopefully the end result is cool.

Work continues to be weird and wacky, pulled away to a secret project again.  It's fun, as I get to do a lot of different things, but the whiplash is occasionally exhausting.

The rest of the fam seems to be doing well.  Ben had two days of IB economy tests, which he weirdly enjoyed even though it was a bit of a slog.  Duncan is winding down his first year of school, earning a bit of cash with his side gigs at school and making intro videos for other YouTubers.  Emma's also winding things down - she signed up for her driver's test, though the first available slot was in July.  Jo's getting ready for their MFA program, feeling too busy at work, and getting our seedlings moved from the greenhouse to the new garden beds.

I'm loving the warm weather, well into the shorts-and-t-shirt phase of the year.  I took down the air conditioner from my shed storage area, but have yet to set it up.  Looking forward to getting in some hiking or kayaking in the weeks ahead.

Mother's Day and Aurora Borealis

May 13, 2024 by Adam in Family

Having never seen the northern lights, I was bummed out I missed them on Friday.  I think I caught a glimmer Saturday night, mostly just a greenish purple tint to the north, but my camera seemed to pick it up on a long exposure.

It was a generally quiet weekend.  Emma and I did a library run on Saturday and worked on various projects throughout the day.  I'm working on a new DM screen with a monitor built in and cut out most of the pieces.  Now it's on to the tedious gluing and making sure things fit phase.  Hopefully I didn't mess up the measurements too badly.

Jo put in a bunch of work on the garden.  We had a post-breakfast team assembled to lift the garden bed into place on top of the blocks.  I shoved a bunch of soil.  Ben helped plant flowers and clean up the new part of the garden.  It was nice having such great weather after the dreary months.

Sunday was the mother's day tour, visiting with my mom and Yayoe and delivering little presents.  It was nice to catch up.

Sunny Days Are Here Again

May 10, 2024 by Adam in Family

It looks like we have a week of sunny, warm weather.  The garden is growing enthusiastically, one of the beds being taken over by greens.  Already my lunchtime salads are getting tasty radishes and greens that we grew.

Work is moving along.  Though the thing I'm building feels overly complicated, it's been educational and I'm slowly figuring it out.

I decided on a whim to treat myself to a new DM screen for my D&D games.  Someone made one with a built-in monitor, so that may be my weekend project.  Emma said she'd give me a hand.

Mothers' Day is around the corner.  Hopefully I can find a way to say hello to all the various moms in my life.

Easter Weekend

May 08, 2024 by Adam in Family

It's a belated posting of the weekend festivities.  Perhaps it was that annual shot of vodka that caused the delay.

Easter was fun - the company was good and the food was delicious.  Kudos to Seraph for making it happen, along with all her helpers.  I went over early in the day but mostly stood around looking pretty.  My reward was my own potato chocolate cake that I've been slowly eating as snacks all week.  I'm reminded once again why it's my favorite cake ever.

Sunday was very low-key, rainy with Emma in a very worn-out state.  We had a nice call with the wayward boy in Albuquerque.  He's gainfully employed doing residential construction, checking out local music shows, climbing with his gym buddies and looking to buy some plants for his apartment.

As for the week so far, it's been slogging away.  Some of the work weirdness has faded a bit.  The rain has eased up and it's bright and sunny at the moment.  The new D&D campaign book is out and I'm frantically printing miniatures in hopes to get things ready.  Emma found a cozy fantasy book at the school - I picked up the audiobook awhile back, so we're doing an accidental book club.

Wacky Work Time

May 03, 2024 by Adam in Family

I seem to be riling people up at work lately.  Hopefully I can find some sort of Buddist-like detachment from outcomes.  At least it's been educational.  And today is a mocha day, which is always nice.

Tomorrow is Russian Orthodox Easter.  When I stopped by to get mom for tea this week, I ran into Seraph and Emma working away.  Seraph forced me to eat some delicious potato chocolate cake, promising me more to take home after Easter.  I'm excited to see everyone, especially Jenny who I haven't seen in far too long.

Emma got herself a thesis advisor yesterday.  She'd been nervous about imposing on anyone and has put it off for awhile.  Fortunately she has a good forest biology professor and after chatting with him about the farm for a long while, popped the question and he said yes.

Otherwise the week has been pretty low-key, a little dreary with occasional bursts of sunshine.  Hopefully the loggers will finally be done at the farm sometime this month.  D&D starts up in a couple weeks - I've been printing minis in preparation for future games.  Jo and I had fun playing Cat Quest 2 after returning from our date night.  I'm sure Emma and I will hit up the library later today.

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