Batty Mid Week Update

September 13, 2017 by Adam in Family

Berry and Joanna are off at Canoe Island for the rest of the week.  I think they're all doing okay, though Joanna's sleeping arrangements aren't quite ideal.  In the meantime, Duncan, Sam and I are holding down the fort.  Yesterday Duncan arrived from school, made himself a snack, did his homework, and managed himself pretty much all the way through bedtime.  Sam and I went food shopping, made burritos, and played some video games before bedtime.

I did discover that this funny scratching noise wasn't a mouse as I suspected, but rather a bat that had ended up inside an empty cardboard box next to Joanna's desk.  No idea if it was the same one as before.  I set the box outside and tipped it so the bat could easily crawl out.  It was gone in the morning.

Monday Again

September 11, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's a pleasant Monday morning, though the smoke has returned somewhat after a couple wet days.  The kids all went off to school, other than Sam who went to work at my mom's this morning.  I'm stealing him away this afternoon for his first driving lesson in the parking lot of LCC.  It brings back memories of dad using his calm dentist voice with me when I learned to drive, his hand on the emergency brake the whole time.  Later I'm hoping we can go to a place called MultiVRse, which lets you rent VR hardware.  Sam's never really tried, and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not it's worth getting one eventually.

The weekend was generally pleasant.  Sam and Emma spent the night at Jamie's on Friday, leaving Joanna and I to go out to a new Indian food place.  It was the one that replaced Taste of India and had been open for four days.  The wait was pretty bad, but the food was good and the company was pleasant.

Saturday was the usual mix of doing house chores, playing games, and making pizza.  Sunday I helped Emma with homework, getting settled into her Honors English and computer class.  I also signed her up for a Geometry class through BYU, hoping it helps get her into Biology for winter term.  Sam, Emma, and I also headed to Mount Pisgah to walk around for a while.  The evening wrapped up with mom and Guillaume coming for dinner.  We played some Crawl afterward, a semi-coop dungeon crawl where you alternate being the hero and the monsters.

As for this week, Joanna and Berry leave early tomorrow morning for Canoe Island.  Hopefully I can keep Duncan, Sam, and I alive for five days.  Otherwise the week should be pretty quiet, though I need to help coordinate a washing machine replacement tomorrow.  I'll miss those two - hopefully they have a good time on their adventure.

Sick Mocha Friday

September 08, 2017 by Adam in Family

Both Joanna and I have been feeling under the weather lately.  Joanna's theory is that it's related to the fires, I'm leaning towards viral.  Regardless, we've both been dragging and I ended up napping for a couple hours this afternoon.  We finally got some rain which has cleared out most of the smoke.

The rest of the family seem to be doing well.  Sam continues to work away for my mom.  He got his school laptop and he's getting ready for school starting soon.  Emma's getting used to high school.  I rescued her from orientation, as they got out early and she missed the bus.  Sam's been great helping her settle into her classes - I think she's doing okay.  

Duncan and Berry are getting back into the swing of things.  Berry has Guillaume as their class intern.  He reports Berry's accent is very good.  Joanna and Berry are headed to Canoe Island next week - hopefully that's a fun adventure and I manage to hold down the fort while they're gone.

Life continues on.  I'm trying to find a good time to take Sam out to practice driving.  Guillaume has been coming over for dinner and we've played a lot of games afterward.  Joanna and I are going out for a date tonight, which I look forward to.

Weekend Wasteland

September 05, 2017 by Adam in Family

The nearby forest fires have been keeping Eugene full of smoke at hazardous levels.  It has a very post apocalyptic feel, with people wearing respirators when they head outside.  I shut myself indoors for the last couple days as I started getting asthma after the first day.  Sadly it doesn't look like the fires will end any time soon.

The last few days were generally fairly productive.  Friday night Joanna and I went out for dinner.  Saturday morning I fed everyone a hearty breakfast of vegan and non-vegan dutch babies.  Sam, Berry, and I rode down to the U of O campus so that Sam would get a feel as to where his classes are.  It was the first day I really noticed the smoke and started coughing a bit.

We spent the afternoon indoors, playing games and later eating pizza and watching Adam Ruins Everything.  Sam and I played a silly physics simulator called Human Fall Flat and we all played Overcooked at various times, honing our co-op cooking skills.  Sam and I did assemble a garden shed, but the smoke was pretty bad and it's not entirely finished.  Guillaume came over to enjoy our pizza culture in return for his help in Overcooked.

Sunday was more hang out time with the kids, making sure Emma was ready for school.  That evening we had a big family dinner, including Jamie, Jenny, Jordan, Yayoe, John, and my mom.  Afterwards most of us went to an engagement party for Bob's daughter Anna.  For whatever reason the smoke didn't seem so bad, despite the outdoor setting.

Monday had most of the younger kids departing.  Emma left for her mom's house for clothes shopping.  Duncan went to the beach with a friend.  Berry got her hair dyed rainbow colors and headed off into the wasteland for an overnight visit with a friend.  We invited Guillaume over again where the adults of the house chatted and managed to unlock more Overcooked levels.  With age comes responsibility.

Mocha Friday

September 01, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's Friday and it feels as if we're getting the gang back together again.  Duncan showed me his Minecraft map he worked on.  Emma was showing off her retainer-free mouth.  Berry has been spending quality time with her computer and working on painting her nails.  There's a lot more to clean and many more people to cook for, but it's certainly exciting.

Last night Guillaume came over for dinner.  He and Sam got the chance to talk about video games and after dinner we piled on the couch and played Tee K-O, then later Overcooked when the little kids got ready for bed.  Guillaume had never played, but quickly became a key person in our kitchen, running around delivering hamburger ingredients while our kitchen tilted, cracked, and moved around in unexpected ways.

Joanna and I are going out on a date tonight.  Emma is going to the beach with her mom overnight.  We need to get school supplies for Duncan and Berry, and Sam and I both need haircuts.  Still, I think we're mostly on track for the start of school.

Getting Ready

August 31, 2017 by Adam in Family

It feels like a bunch of things are about to happen.  Emma gets her retainer off today.  4J schools start next week, including Emma starting high school.  Sam got his driver's permit yesterday.  This weekend he's planning on riding down to campus and finding all his classes.  I started my new Slate project and apparently I'm the lead developer, whatever that means.

I'm trying to get Emma into Biology next term, something I didn't quite do with Sam.  I met with the head of the science department and got a likely okay if she's up for taking an online geometry class.  I think that might work out okay - I'm happy to help her and she's strangely enjoyed other online classes in the past (such as learning German).

Poor Joanna looked pretty worn out last night.  Duncan and Berry continue to get bigger and more capable, though they still require quite a bit of work.  I think we're going to go babysitter-free this upcoming date night, especially as Sam and Emma will be around.

Guillaume, the french intern staying with my mom, is coming over for dinner tonight.  We chatted over pizza when Joanna was away earlier this week.  Apparently he's really into video games and philosophy, so he and Sam should have much to talk about.

Life feels busy at the moment, but hopefully we'll settle into the new routine in a month or so.

Solo Monday

August 28, 2017 by Adam in Family

With Joanna off fetching the little kids, it was just Sam, Emma, and I this weekend.  Emma got her classes mostly sorted out on Friday, other than a Biology class she wants to take.  I just need to convince the teacher it's a good fit for her.  Sam's classes are similarly ready - philosophy and history for the most part.

Saturday we ran errands, going to the hardware store, bank, school supply shopping, and grocery shopping.  We returned home to collapse for a couple hours, then broke out Overcooked for some crazy cooking co-op gaming.  I snuck in some painting - the stuff I got generally seemed to match the walls.  The day ended in pizza and Rick and Morty episodes.

Sunday morning we headed to Shotgun Creek.  It was pretty empty, but we puttered around and hiked through the woods.  Emma was having issues with her jaw, not able to open her mouth wide, and was pretty unhappy about it.  Eventually it cleared up, but it's something I'd like to get looked at.  We returned home, ate lunch, and Jamie picked up the kids to take to the coast for a couple days.

I was briefly productive, doing laundry, dishes, and tidying up.  Eventually I wore myself out and just watched Netflix until bed.  I heard from Joanna that she'd made it to Niagra Falls with Duncan and Berry.  I think they're generally having a good time and I'll fetch them from the airport tomorrow night.

Mocha Friday

August 25, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively quiet week, likely the last of the summer.  Joanna left for Rochester yesterday to fetch Berry and Duncan.  Her trip was long, with an iffy hotel stay, but she reports that there's a gluten free crepe place nearby for breakfast.

Sam's been working away at mom's house, converting an old trunk to a planter box.  He's been returning with scrapes and smelling of metal, though strangely happy with his construct.  He and Isa broke up a few weeks ago, so I'm working on getting a box of miscellaneous stuff back to her.  Sam's been okay, I think, and is looking forward to the start of school.

Emma's classes were posted this week, generally looking good other than Freshman science instead of biology.  She's nervous about the start of school, wanting to get ready and try another bus trip before the first day.  I think she'll be okay after she settles in.

I spent this week on a different project - Leading Wisely instead of Mabel.  It took a frustrating day to figure out all the differences, and I made a bunch of structural updates nearly the first thing.  I kinda felt like I was invited over to dinner and immediately started rearranging furniture, but my coworkers are kind and understanding and I'm starting to make good progress.

Sam, Emma, and I made one of those Blue Apron-like meals last night: Jamacian Jerk chili.  We doubled the recipe and it turned it pretty well.  The most fun was getting everyone chopping and mixing along side me.  I think everyone had fun.

Eclipse Weekend

August 22, 2017 by Adam in Family

It was a quiet weekend, one of the last of the summer.  Friday night Joanna and I went out on a date night downtown.  They had an Art Without Walls event in an open city block.  Between the painters and sculpters they had some poeple bricking up big cubes of plexiglass and steel that were fascinating.  I'm not sure what it meant exactly, but I kept wanting to watch.

Saturday I picked up Emma and she, Sam, and I finished up our video game we've slowly been playing.  The best part was a glitch where spiders would burst from eggs and instead of attacking us would just follow us around until we fought back.  Emma declared them our "spider babies" and yelled at us if we tried to squish them.  The day wound down with pizza and watching Wil Wheaton play a Star Trek game on Tabletop.

Sunday I took the kids out for a hike.  Sam talked about his classes and possibly joining some clubs, scooping up a stick and whacking things like he was two.  Emma was a little reluctant about the hike, but thanked me for making her go after we returned.  She spent the afternoon cleaning her room.  Eventually I took both of them to their mom's house for an overnight eclipse party.

Joanna and I enjoyed our evening alone, continuing our Poldark binge and getting up early Monday morning.  We picked up mom and took back roads to Bellfountain Park, this little county park just within the totality.  The roads were clear and the drive through the country was lovely.  Mom made us stop for coffee and scones, which ended up working out quite well.  Eventually we made it to the park, which only hand a handful of other eclipse watchers.

The eclipse itself was pretty cool.  The temperature dropped as the sun vanished, and crescents appeared on the ground.  The holes in the tree cover acts like pinhole cameras, so it was a neat effect.  Totality was very brief where we were, but Venus appeared in the sky and we had a brilliant moment of seeing the corona around the black disk.  Joanna in particular was amazed at how cool it was.

We wound our way back home, with occasional bad spots in traffic.  I dropped off mom, got Sam from his mom's house, and went to work.  I've started helping another team, and I'm still getting up to speed.  Hopefully today I can actually do something useful.

Mocha Friday

August 18, 2017 by Adam in Family

I'm back from Salt Lake City.  It was a good trip, though I'm glad to be back home.  My lingering cough slowly improved, but I think I got a touch of high altitude sickness along with some of the other travelers from lower altitudes.  It also looks like I'll be shifting my work to another project, potentially a pretty critical one.  I guess that's the price of being useful.

Sam and Joanna managed without me, cooking dinners together.  Sam worked away at my mom's and Joanna pampered herself and hung out with friends.  Thursday had Emma come over and she and Sam made dinner by themselves, much to Joanna's excitement.

Eclipse madness is upon us.  I've got a bunch of viewing glasses ready and I think we're going to try to sneak up north to the full eclipse zone Monday morning.  I've already warned my coworkers that I may not be very available.  Hopefully the traffic isn't too crazy - we plan on sticking to back roads and not going into the full path of the eclipse.

Summer feels like it's winding down.  Joanna leaves next Thursday to Rochester.  I've got some last minute things to get kids ready for school.  The insanely hot weather is finally getting normal again.  All is well.

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