June 24, 2019 by Adam in Family

I tell the kids that adventures aren't fun, but rather an experience that has the right mix of fascination and terror.  If you're not a little bit afraid of death, you're not actually having an adventure.

We hit the road yesterday after a hearty breakfast, driving an hour to McKenzie bridge.  Sam was driving my car and I was driving the Subaru.  We ate at the general store, playing cornhole and listening to country versions of Pink Floyd songs.  We'd been warned that we'd be going on the trip with a bunch of soccer players and they weren't initially sure they could fit us in.  Fortunately all the soccer players turned out to be ten year-old girls and a handful of parents.

The river trip was good, with even Ben smiling.  Every raft got stuck on a rock at one point, one of which required rescue rope deployment after stranding an adult and teen on a rock in the middle of the river.  Our raft fared somewhat better - we were pretty good at swaying back and forth and hopping up and down until we got free.  Sam "rode the bull" on the front for awhile.  Our toes lost their feeling, but eventually we made it off the river and headed to Black Butte Ranch.

We made it late, unloading the car as Joanna cooked burritos an impressively short period of time.  Everyone ran around, amazed at the size of the house and picking out bedrooms.  We scarfed down dinner and then collapsed to bed.

This morning started with everyone waking up with the bright lights and we put together a tasty breakfast of waffles, eggs, bacon, and sausages.  We looked at the various adventure literature and picked out the Skylight Caverns which seemed close by.  As we got ready, we got the news that someone broke into Sam's van and after looking at the photos our neighbors took, stole some of Sam's tools as well.  That put a cloud over things as we headed out on back roads to get to the caves.

We followed the directions, taking increasingly rough roads as we got closer.  We passed through some narrow roads which scraped up our cars and eventually realized we couldn't go any further, backing up to park in a turn off.  The kids were skeptical, but we hiked another mile until we got to the cave entrance, carefully going down a metal ladder into the hole below.

We first took one path, going down until the cavern grew hard to navigate.  It was cool, but there was no skylight to be seen.  Eventually it got too narrow and far and we turned back, ready to leave.  Sam and Joanna suggested taking the other path and after a short distance we found this amazing beam of light from the ceiling.  It was awe inspiring, just like the movies, and we all took turns basking in the beam of light from the heavens.

We made it back, carefully avoiding the rough spots, and washed off our now scratched-up cars to little avail.  After changing clothes and a bit of pizza, we decided it was time to take it easy for awhile.  Kids are on the computers.  Emma wants to learn to code more.

And such goes the adventure.

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Bloody Mocha Friday

June 22, 2019 by Adam in Family

It was a busy morning of features and bugs and meetings, sipping my mocha and chatting with Emma before she headed to her mom's for the day.  Late morning I headed to donate blood with local coworkers, chatting at lunch before returning to wrap things up before my little vacation.  I event went for a leisurely run on the treadmill, which was fine though I'm feeling a little worn out now.

The kids are easing into Summer, hanging out with friends, occasionally doing useful work, and learning how to feed themselves.  Ben had a friend over today.  Duncan played a lot of Minecraft.  Theoretically Sam is packing, though I haven't seen him lately.

We're off to Sisters in a couple days to hike, play board games, and probably some other summertime things.  After that Sam heads to Texas, I have a week off work for house projects, and summer begins in earnest.

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Father's Day

June 17, 2019 by Adam in Family

Today was a great day.

The day started with some slow waking up, a cup of tea, and playing a little Darkest Dungeon.  Emma woke up and offered to help make breakfast, joined by Joanna a bit later.  We ended up with a good spread of crepes and assorted goodies, including some raspberries freshly picked from our garden.  Presents and cards were open, much appreciated.  We got the kids together for a late morning expedition to Hendrick's Park where we looked at flowers and threw a frisbee around. 

We heated up some pizza for lunch and I helped Joanna do some gardening.  Duncan got me a VR game called Vacation Simulator which I played until Emma couldn't contain herself and she had a turn while I read The Player of Games which I'd picked up at the library the day before.  Sam returned from Portland and we watched They Shall Not Grow Old.  Mom came for dinner, which was delicious and included fava beans that Joanna worked on harvesting, preparing, and cooking for an hour today. 

After dinner Sam and I finished the movie, Joanna went shopping, Emma helped Duncan with vision therapy, and then Sam, Emma, and I played some Coup where I managed to win twice.

All of this was after another great day.  Saturday Joanna took Ben and their friend Jaiden to a play.   Emma and I practiced driving and watched yet more of The Dragon Prince.  I spent a fair amount of time doing some outdoor projects, including painting various worn spots on railings and doorframes, and stained the roof of our little free library.  The day wrapped up with pizza and a science show.

This was one of those weekends that made me feel like maybe I've done something worthwile with my life.

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Too Darn Hot Mocha Friday

June 14, 2019 by Adam in Family

It's been a hot week, hitting 100 degrees in our car's thermometer when we went out to eat on Wednesday night.  It's cooled down a little, but I very much appreciate our heat pump.

The week has generally been okay.  Joanna's working through some health issues that are frustratingly slow sorting out.  The kids are excited and nervous about the end of school - only a couple days more to go.  We need to start getting the summer routine sorted out.

Work continues to be good.  I had fun wrapping up my last feature and have been working on bug fixing the last couple days.

As for the weekend, I think we'll try to stay inside where it's cool, though I'd love to do some gardening.  Father's Day is coming up, so I'm hoping I can leverage that for some board games and a hike in the woods.

Beautiful Weekend

June 11, 2019 by Adam in Family

The days were as beautiful as the allergies were terrible.  We spent a fair amount of time outside doing gardening projects, though I'd have to scurry inside to let my allergies settle down again.  Joanna, Ben, and I picked up quite a few new plants at Down to Earth Saturday morning.  I put a little mint in the planter boxes near my office - they always remind me of making mint tea with my grandmother.  Ben and Joanna put in the front yard flowers.  I put in the peppers, tomato, and edamame in the back with Emma's help.

We all went to Ben's play on Saturday, picking up mom along the way.  Emma and I got into a new cartoon series called The Dragon Prince - it was strangely fun to hang out and watch cartoons on a lazy afternoon.  Sam was around some, and brought Sky over on Sunday where we all ate outside on the patio.  It was quite lovely.

Rainy Friday

June 07, 2019 by Adam in Family

The week moves along, a little cool and rainy today.  

I had some moles removed on Wednesday and made the dermatologist laugh talking about my previously removed "kill dad button" mole that Emma liked to push.  Emma wasn't very happy with my mole removal in general and asked how she was supposed to identify me at a swimming pool . . . or in a morgue, she quietly added.

Ben had their hair colored bright green, which I think she likes.  Duncan is running off to his last band concert at his old elementary school today.  Sam, Emma, and I played board games last night and had a great time.  Joanna took the cat to the vet and hopefully we'll address some of her health issues.

I interviewed mom during our usual tea time, which was somewhat fascinating.  There's so much about my early childhood that was vague.  Eventually I want to turn it all into a biography of sorts, though we'll see when I have time.

I had a great time doing some map visualizations as a semi-work related thing.  You can see my work here (for now at least).  There's been some loose talk about a contest and I'm tempted to throw my hat in the ring, though my coworkers and I all agree that contests are a bad way to extract work from employees.

It's date night tonight and Ben has their play this weekend.  

Single Parent Weekend

June 04, 2019 by Adam in Family

Joanna was off at her retreat all weekend, returning Sunday afternoon.  I had the kids Friday night onward.  They were all well behaved, and Sam was around to boot, so it made for a pretty good weekend.

Friday night was just Duncan and I for dinner.  He started up a Minecraft server, so he spent every moment with his friends playing on it.  There was a short break when he ran around University park to play capture the flag with friends.  Saturday morning Ben and I spread mulch over the garden, making it look much prettier. Later they worked on various projects and had their friend Jaiden over on Sunday.  

Saturday night we watched a new show about the planets and ate pizza. Sam and Emma chatted quite a bit and in the morning I fed everyone a hearty breakfast followed by a couple rounds of One Night Ultimate Werewolf.  I hung out with Emma and went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Joanna returned exhausted from her trip and napped on the couch.  I somehow managed to mostly make dinner, though Joanna had to intervene with my chicken cooking and turn it upside down.

After dinner Sam, Emma, and I played Rise of Augustus and Carcasonne, both great board games.  It was cool to hang out with them, especially as I know it won't be for a lot longer.

Throughout the weekend I worked on a new version of this blog using the latest cutting edge technologies.  It basically looks and works the same, though it's prettier under the hood.

Impending Summer

May 31, 2019 by Adam in Family

June is right around the corner and summer plans are slowly coming together.  It looks like Seraph and Robbie will briefly come out in a few weeks to look at the farm and have a quick visit.  Late June we're going with Sam and Skye for a farewell vacation near Sisters.  Duncan heads to Rochester late July.  I've got a work trip at the end of July.  Towards the end of August Joanna and I are taking Ben to Rochester to visit family, have a quick vacation with the two of us, and return with Duncan to Eugene.  Whew.

Joanna's away the next few days on a retreat, so it'll probably be a mellow weekend.  I've got some bark-o-mulch to spread, but I expect to mostly be managing kids and keeping the house from falling down.  I'm hoping we finally found the cause of the basement leak - a stopped up pipe that was causing water to flow from the washing machine drain to the floor.  Unfortunately there's a fair amount of water damage and dealing with it will likely be expensive and/or a hassle.

The weather is lovely.  Our garden is growing.  Work is good.  The kids are all generally okay.  All-in-all, I can't complain much.

Mid Week Update

May 29, 2019 by Adam in Family

The plumber is here, which makes me quite happy.  It's Snyder Plumbing, who have been my favorite people since forever.  We've got warped floors in the basement that we finally tracked down to a plugged pipe and not the sewage ejector pump which is the typical culprit.  Hopefully the ongoing damage will stop and we can decide if and how we want to fix the basement floor.

Work's been going well.  Clients like the kiosk mode thingie I built.  Now we're doing upgrades, which are always a little bumpy.

Last night we headed down to Roosevelt for Duncan's last concert.  He's not doing band in high school, though I think he learned quite a bit over the last few years.  He was moving from drum set to drum set as they did different pieces and he seemed surprisingly competent.  Mom came to watch too, along with Ben, so it was a good final send-off.

It's date night tonight, as Joanna is out of town this Friday through Sunday.  The kids are typically pretty easy these days, so hopefully it all goes smoothly.

Prerelease Mocha Friday

May 24, 2019 by Adam in Family

We're scrambling to fix bugs before our go/no-go decision this afternoon.  I was feeling pretty pessimistic this morning after I ended up rewriting big chunks of code yesterday.  Jacquie and Nick lept in to help and I'm feeling more confident that we can actually pull it off.  I still need to work on the installer, but I can hopefully find some time later todya.

As for my non-work life, things move along.  We're throwing a birthday party this Sunday for Jenny and Emma, which should be fun.  I've got some presents to wrap tomorrow.  Sam's looking for boxes, making his impending move all the more real.  Ben asked me for some gold foil to make steampunk goggles - fortunately I had quite a bit from my steampunk phase many years ago.  I helped Emma study for a Chemistry test and we launched a couple more kerbals into space.  Duncan wants some help setting up a Minecraft server this weekend.  I walked through all of mom's house projects - hopefully they're not too daunting.

Joanna and I had a lovely date night this week, walking down to 1960 Cocina.  It serves great authentic Mexican food and is apparently owned by the family of one of Emma's friends.

I started looking through all of mom's digitized stuff that Sam worked on, making backups and seeing what's there - so far it's mostly weddings and documents and such.  I'm sure I'll find a few gems.

As for the summer, it's looking like the general plan is a trip to Black Butte Ranch in late June.  Everyone wants Emma to work for them.  Duncan is getting picked up by Kevin mid-July.  In late August, Joanna and I will take Ben to Rochester to hang out with their dad while Joanna and I have a little vacation together.

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