Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2021 by Adam in Family

Ahoy, me hearties!  It be one of the best days o' the year, where landlubbers and salty sea dogs alike are allowed to talk like a pirate.  I hoisted the pirate flag on our house, earning the praise and admiration of our neighbors.  Some pirate games were played.  It was all good fun.

The rains came last night, overflowing our back stairwell and making me wish for a bilge pump.  I soaked my boots and got out as much water as I could, then used a toilet plunger on the drain until it flowed freely.  The rain is most welcome, and the air smells wonderful, though I need to remember how to deal with it properly.

Today has been surprisingly productive.  I reassembled the old brass and wood computer with the guts from Ben's computer.  I've got a bit of hardware tweaking to make it look pretty, then I've got to figure out what to do with the thing.  I loaded Windows, which was shockingly simple, and I'm thinking of turning it into a backup server of some kind or another.

Joanna's also been thinking of moving their office to the basement, so we did some cleanup and getting rid of books and games that are collecting dust.  The little free libraries in the neighborhood will be well stocked for the months ahead.

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Mocha Friday

September 17, 2021 by Adam in Family

It's been a relatively quiet week and I think the kids are both settling into school.  Ben's more enthusiastic than Duncan, but I think the latter has reached the right level of resigned to get him through the term.  Emma's off crabbing today, hanging out with Jamie and her parents for a few days.  I'm nearly done with the computer switcharoo, giving the bulk of Duncan's old computer to Ben which should make it snappier.

Joanna continues the cabin projects, getting a functional sink with a foot pump.  Lights are next on the agenda.  Work's been a little frustrating of late - I've got a weird, poorly-defined project and I'm not getting the help I need to accomplish it.  The plan is to whine harder today and see if that does the trick.

As for this weekend, I might try and resurrect the Fossil computer.  There's also a book sale at the library tomorrow that sounds fun.  Finally, the rains are coming again, so I may just read a book by the window and listen to the gentle patter of raindrops.

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September 15, 2021 by Adam in Family

The week moves along.  We met with Duncan's school support team and are working on getting him an EAP.  Ben seems to be generally enthusiastic about school.  Emma's heading to the coast today for a crabbing trip.  The rains are supposed to return later this week, which are most welcome.

NASA was testing some of their new spacesuit designs around Oregon, as apparently it's a good analogy for the moon.  They wanted to try them out in caves and picked Skylight Cave where we went a few years ago.  We all decided that was very cool.

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Birthdays, Campus Tours and Wasps

September 13, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, with the occasional excitement sprinkled here and there.  Saturday was our usual library trip for Emma and I.  Later Ben and I went to Home Depot for spacesuit cosplay gear.  After a short break it was off to Bob's for birthday festivities, then running back home to throw pizza in the oven and watch Sword Art Online.

Sunday after a hearty breakfast Emma and I went off to campus to walk between the buildings where she had classes.  There were roaming packs of older adults on a scavenger hunt of some sort.  A couple groups asked me things like "where's the fountain?" and "what's the name of that sculpture?"  I could answer the first question, which was rewarded with a follow-up request to take a group picture in front of it.  Sadly I didn't know the name of the wind sculpture behind the business building.

After lunch we went to the farm with Ben and Joanna.  We visited with chickens, dogs, Seraph and Robbie.  Unfortunately wasps came to visit us as well, stinging Joanna and Ben and cutting our trip short.  The rest of the afternoon was spent taking it easy, followed by dad coming over for dinner.

Now it's back to work.  We're trying hard to ease the transition to school for Duncan and Ben.  Emma's off crabbing with Jamie next weekend.  Joanna has assorted cabin projects.  Never a dull moment.

First Day of School

September 10, 2021 by Adam in Family

Duncan and Ben went off to school this morning.  Ben's orientation yesterday went well.  He found a skateboard in his locker, which he dutifully took to the office.  I also get the impression that all the kids are having problems recognizing each other, between the masks, fashion changes, and a year away during puberty times.  Ben mentioned one kid wasn't recognizable because they'd gone "full goth" in the last year.  Interesting times.

Work is doing presentations to customers today.  I was briefly roped in to talk about what I'm working on, though it was a very small group.  Still doing mostly bug fixes.

I suspect we'll have a relativley low-key weekend.  Emma wants to show me her four-year plan.  I was excited to hear that Anthropology of Pirates was on Emma's tentative schedule for third term.  I need to finish getting the kids' computers ready.  Duncan seems pretty happy with the performance of his new one, and the adapter for his second monitor should arrive tomorrow.

Mostly I'm crossing my fingers that the first day of school goes well for everyone.  I suspect it'll be interesting at a minimum.

Last Days of Summer

September 09, 2021 by Adam in Family

Ben starts high school today, going to ninth grade orientation.  Duncan starts tomorrow - after visiting with his counselor yesterday things feel pretty sorted out.  I get the impression that everyone is holding their breath, wanting kids back in school and hoping for the best.  There was an elaborate check-in system at the office for contact tracing, so I think they're at least doing their best.

As an aside, I don't have COVID, as expected.  The test I took last week came back negative.  Hopefully that's the last time I'll be doing that.  I've also been feeling better - maybe it was the fires and lousy air quality.

Yesterday was pretty busy, between Duncan and Ben appointments, tea with mom, date night with Joanna, and getting Duncan's new computer ready.  I need to merge Duncan's old computer with Ben's current computer next - hopefully that goes smoothly as well.

Listening to coffee house music, finishing a bear claw, and hunkering down to get some work done.  Looking forward to it.

Labor Day Weekend

September 07, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was a generally good weekend, perhaps with a little too much laboring for my taste.  As soon as the kids arrived on Friday from Portland, Duncan announced his computer didn't turn on.  That started a chain of events that included discovering water damage in his PC, failed attempts at saving the video card, ordering a new computer, and re-caulking the upstairs tub that had dripped down through the ceiling.  We've been slowly working the problem, but it ended up occupying more of my time than I'd like.

Other than the increased workload from cooking, dishes, and the like, it was nice having Duncan and Ben back.  Ben was cheerful and funny, playing boardgames with Emma and I and teaching Emma how to play Among Us to be cool like the other kids.  Duncan limped by with an old video card until a replacement could be found.  Emma and Ben made dinner for us, which helped lift the load.

Emma and I went to Valley River to exchange some pants ordered online.  It was a strange throwback as apparently it's still a cool hangout place for many people, not to mention a place for young parents to go to escape the heat and smoke.  Emma remembered going there long ago to have Jamie run them around the big spaces in winter.  As a treat, we escaped to the bookstore across the road and picked up a book about pirates.

Ben was itching to go out to the farm, so the two of us jumped in the car, chatting about SCP along the way.  Seraph, Robbie, dogs, and chickens were there to greet us.  Ben helped pick blackberries, turning them over to Seraph to eventually turn into jam.  We nibbled on grapes for sustenence, then tromped up to the old hay barn.  I sat and took a rest while Ben tromped through the woods like Sam used to do long ago.  Eventually we looped up and around to check out the writing shack, then back home, our zeal for the outdoors satisfied for the moment.

Now I'm back at work and we're trying to get the kids to try a dry run for the school schedule, which seems overly early for their tastes.  I miss summer already.

Mocha Friday

September 03, 2021 by Adam in Family

It was quiet last night, just the cats and I as Joanna drove to Portland to get the kids.  Because of the flooding in New York, a last minute decision was made to instead drive to Pittsburg and go through Seattle.  All went well and they should be heading home soon.

I've had some mild respiratory symptoms the last couple weeks with the occasional headache.  Nothing particularly bad, but I started getting an annoying cough and decided to get a covid test.  This one was my fourth, I think, though the first self-service one where I stick it up my own nose.  It seems more likely it's allergies, the smoke in the air, or a cold, but it'll be nice to sort it out.

It was nice to chat with mom and catch up.  It sounds like the farm remodel project is coming along nicely and they somehow lined up an architect and contractor.  Joanna's building a composting toilet and having way too much fun with a borrowed jigsaw.  I'm running out of jokes about finding a crappy new hobby, but I'm sure I can think of a few more.

It's wild that high school starts next week and the U of O a few weeks later.  The sun surprised me with how early it set last night, a sure sign that fall is right around the corner.

Beach Trip!

August 31, 2021 by Adam in Family

Emma and I are back from our beach trip, settling back into work and the summer routine.  Joanna had a good time at the writer's retreat, staying in a tipi and working on plotting.  Presumably it's writing-related and not a murder or heist sort of thing.

Emma and I were extremely efficient in our journey - Emma had planned it all out in the days before.  We started with lunch at Old Town in Florence, watching the crowds of people escaping from the sunny valley.  I wanted to break a $20 for the $5 day-use park fees, so we went next door to the bookstore.  It was full of fascinating treasures, including an old book on pirates with Emma's favorite ship inside.  After a long while we left and then headed to South Jetty to visit the beach.

It was incredibly windy, to the point where it felt like we were being sand blasted the entire time.  Occasionally people would walk up the steep dune, take a look, and turn back to their cars.  We wandered around a little, then returned back.  I led Emma slightly astray, passing a couple bird corpses into the tall beach grasses.  Eventually we sorted ourselves out and safely returned to the car.

The afternoon was spent playing board games, eating pizza, and watching The Bravest Warriors on my phone.  I had Spotify play rain noises all night and we conked out in our no-frills hotel.

Emma was up early and we feasted on single-size Rasin Bran and leftover pizza to fortify us for the day.  Packing up went quickly and we got to the Darlingtonia nature preserve, admiring the beautiful carnivorous plants.  Next stop was the Hobbit trail, which led to Hobbit beach.  It was a bit of a journey, full of hedge tunnels, mushrooms, and a weird passage through the sandstone with the walls lined with crab shells.  The beach itself was quiet and misty and nearly deserted.  We wandered through the fog to some tide pools, then returned past the sandstone cliffs where generations of teens carved names and symbols to mark their existence.

As were were done with our agenda and Emma was worn out, we listened to sea shanties and returned home.  The rest of the day was relatively quiet - Emma played I Expect You To Die 2 in VR.  Joanna returned from their writing retreat.  The last of my beach vacations were sadly over, though the memories continue to be lovely.

Mocha Friday

August 27, 2021 by Adam in Family

I'm getting back into the swing of things at home.  Joanna went off to a writer's retreat, sending pretty pictures from their tipi by the river out in Marcola.  Emma's hanging out with me - she cooked me dinner and we watched Legally Blonde together.  She's also been planning our beach trip, coming up with an itinerary that includes visits to botanical gardens and board games.

I'm a little whistful that my vacation is over, replaced by work and the responsibilities of home.  It was so nice to get away for a little while.

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