Memories (or lack thereof)

Man, I ran across this post from 2011, and I don’t remember seeing that and I don’t remember posting about it, and if the comments didn’t reveal that it was a true story I wouldn’t have believed it myself.

Posted by snaotheus in Stuff I remember, 0 comments

Musical Preferences

I’ve written about the kids’ music playlist before. That has since split into three — there’s a playlist for music the kids agree on, a playlist for Chilkat, and a playlist for Chilkoot. Chilkat really likes the Wailin’ Jennys and Chilkoot doesn’t; Chilkoot tends to like heavier rock than Chilkat.

Edit: If I did write about the playlist before, I couldn’t find the post about it, so here’s the quick explanation: I got really tired of hearing J Geiles Band’s Centerfold and the Mad Caddies’ Down and Out over and over again, so I started a kids’ playlist and said we would listen to their playlist on the way to work and my playlist on the way home, and whenever they liked a song, we’d add it to their list. At this point, they have 200+ songs of wild style variation on their list, and I love listening to it.

Growth of the playlists (and interest therein) has slowed down quite a bit, since they don’t actually commute with me anymore. They have both started picking up songs from outside my list.

Anyway, on the way home from dinner the other day, Chilkat made a series of specific song requests as follows:

  • Callie’s Song by The Mad Caddies
    • To be honest, this was just playing and she wanted to finish it before moving on to her requests
  • You Belong to Me by Butch Walker
  • Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons
    • This also sparked a discussion about why the band decided to use a bad word word in the lyrics “I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear?” even though there are not-so-bad choices like “screwed” instead. The kids agreed they would use the word “screwed” but learned it doesn’t really fit very well in that place.
  • All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar
    • Edit: Originally mis-reported as Treehugger by Kimya Dawson
  • I’m a Mess by Bebe Rexha
    • This is a song I’d never heard of until Chilkat asked to listen to it one day
  • Moondance by Van Morrison

I’m still greatly amused by the variety.

Posted by snaotheus, 2 comments

February Part II

Pictures by clicking here or on the photo above…

Lots of stuff here, but it seems easier to me to make one big overwhelming post than to be considerate and split it into two.

For the kids’ “midwinter break,” we went to California, primarily to visit my brother and meet my new niece, the Mountain. We got first class tickets on Delta both ways when we realized that all things considered, it would cost us something like an extra $25/person.

We got up early and went to the airport. KrisDi and all associated travelers get TSA Pre Check because of her work, and flying first class means short lines, so it was an easy trip through the airport. They fed us and gave us bloody marys on the plane. The kids jabbed at huge first class touch screens mounted on the back of (possibly) annoyed travelers’ seats. Once we got there, we rented a small SUV and stayed in an AirBnB two blocks from Northwood’s place. This is super convenient for visiting family who have a baby!

When we arrived, we went to the Pruneyard and found lunch at Mendocino Farms and ate outside near a park with blue gorillas where the kids could run amok. After a little bit, we got some ice cream at Tin Pot. We really didn’t do much that day in California aside from meet The Mountain and hang out with family. We had dinner at the South Winchester BBQ — the food was pretty good and the beer was really good.

Next day we made our own breakfast at the BnB (french toast), lounged around for a while in the morning before finally taking a short walk to a nearby park. Then finally we all drove out along some crazy winding roads to take a five mile hike in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We grilled at Northwood’s for dinner. I wanted a big bone-in pork chop, but the best I could find was a tiny, thin, boneless pork chop and a weird cut of pork that was kind of shaped like a chop.

Breakfast the next day was at Uncle John’s Pancake House. Then we got to visit Northwood’s workplace, the NASA Ames facility, and walk through the big wind tunnel and shop at the gift shop. The kids enjoyed the elevator and the pallet jack at NASA. We brought the kids back to the blue gorilla park and had some beer at Out of the Barrel, burgers at the Burger Lounge, and bought books at Books, Inc. We made knoephle soup in the afternoon for dinner that evening.

Wednesday the 19th, we basically avoided Northwood and company. They were probably sick of us anyway. Breakfast was low-key, donuts and bagels or something, although I also had a half-coffee-mug of knoephle. We went to the Winchester Mystery House and The Children’s Discovery Museum, a brewery (Golden State) and a half (Lazy Dog), an In-n-Out (Chilkat and Chilkoot both still like it), and tolerated Disney on Ice.

The next day was Chilkat’s actual birthday. She picked breakfast: Uncle John’s again (apparently she loves the pancakes there). Northwood took Chilkat and Chilkoot (and me) on little rides around the block on his little motorcycle. We took a trip to a small zoo, had lunch at a fish place where Chilkoot could get clam chowder, went back to the blue gorillas, and had Chilkat’s choice of dinner: Korean Barbecue at Gen Korean. This was chaotic, noisy, stressful, and seemed to be a bit too much for Northwood’s family. The food was pretty tasty, but not great.

Friday morning we handed off most of our leftovers to Northwood and drove down to Aptos, where we were meeting up with KrisDi’s Mom Board friends in their “cabin” (a large luxurious house near a beach). We had lunch at the Sante Adairius brewery (after KrisDi made cupcakes at the house), which was really good beer and pretty good food.

The husband is a hunter of various animals and fed us interesting things like dove breast stuffed peppers, goose and duck prosciutto. It was interesting and I enjoyed it. We shared our leftover knoephle and KrisDi made chili. They loved it.

KrisDi’s friend is interested in starting a newborn photography business and had recently acquired a camera she didn’t understand (Canon EOS 80D). I let her play around with our travel kit (which, looking at it from the outside, is super nice, including her “dream lens,” which apparently cost them a fair chunk of money after she fell in love with it). I spent a little time teaching her the rudiments of how cameras work (which is the bulk of what I know about photography). It was fun.

One of the other moms had a craft activity set up, which occupied the kids on Saturday morning. I played with cameras and shot the shit with the hunter (and drank beer). Northwood biked over the mountains and met Aunt L and the Mountain and us at the house (they drove across), even after he broke the tensioner or something on his bike. LG, the aspiring photographer, borrowed our camera and took us to the beach to take family photos. It was fucking cold — fifties and windy as hell. Some of the pictures turned out OK. I can’t link them all so go browse through if you care. Northwood and crew departed before we made it to the beach.

Sunday morning was time to leave. We got up early (4 AM IIRC for the parents, and a bit before 5 for the kids). Chilkoot zonked on his mom at the airport. Les and D picked us up at the airport and we mostly chilled for the afternoon.

Conclusions:

  • I do not understand the attraction to the blue gorillas. I think we went three times, and we also had some arguments where we told the kids we weren’t going back.
  • The Mountain is eerily adorable. She rarely cries. She rarely laughs (unless her mom or dad is holding her). She stares. And judges. Chilkoot seemed to really, really like her. He let her pull his hair. Chilkat seemed to be a little jealous of the attention The Mountain got.
  • It’s nice (for me at least) to have a vacation where the primary agenda item is “hang out with people when possible”
  • I’m glad I don’t have a baby any more. So glad.
  • Apparently KrisDi’s internet friend NS likes some of the same beers we do. This surprises me. We have lots more interesting beers we could share with her.
  • Cameras are fun.

I don’t remember which day we were out there, but since the manager of the other development team that works on my project at my office announced he was leaving, our boss asked me to manage both our teams so we could hire a full time developer instead, and offered me a raise. With KrisDi’s encouragement, I managed to (sort of accidentally) turn that into a slightly bigger raise and a promotion. Effective in a couple weeks, I’ll be a Senior Manager, and have 16 positions reporting to me (likely the largest number of direct reports ever managed by one person at my company; whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen…).

Real life resumed the day after we got back.

Various things:

  • Chilkoot dressed up as a centenarian for his 100th day of school. He was suddenly and unusually reluctant to go to school in costume, because he was afraid he’d be the only one dressed up. In the end, he mostly complained about the hat.
  • In my ongoing quest to kill superfluous liquor bottles, KrisDi cooked with some sherry and killed one bottle.
  • KrisDi and I went to Hard liver Fest, ate “lightly” (a huge plate of frites and a couple croquettes); afterward we shared a delicious bowl of ramen.
  • Chilkat’s Girl Scout troop sold cookies in front of a local grocery store.
Posted by snaotheus, 1 comment

February 2020 Part I

Click here or on the photo above for the photo gallery…

I noticed squealing and a few other symptoms and realized that another 40k miles have passed and so have my brake pads. I considered it a stretch goal for my back, but I attempted and accomplished replacement of all four pads in one days. My back was completely spent by the end of it, and I was on the couch the rest of the day. Moving that last wheel around…I swear, it weighed like three hundred pounds.

I’m not sure why, but Chilkoot decided he needed to exercise. He invented his own routine, which included (I think) pushups, stretching, stationary bicycle, weightlifting, and boxing. Also that day, he decided for lunch to eat salmon and for dinner to eat steak, so apparently he was protein-loading. Seems like it was a one-day thing, though, because he hasn’t repeated it.

M False Alarm had her 9th birthday party at a trampoline place called Defy. It was Nightmare Before Christmas themed. Parties at this kind of location are kind of strange, because it basically encourages the kids to split off and do their own things until it’s time for cake and presents, which is usually really time-constrained. It was fun, and I got to play with camera equipment — low light, long distances, fast moving children.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I’m attempting to finish and get rid of some neglected liquors. During the first couple weeks of February, I was able to get through my Matcha Kahlua (purchased in Japan), a fancy sweet potato shochu (a gift from a Japanese executive), and a bottle of cheapish vodka. The shochu (I think named Katana) was mostly drunk on the rocks, but I tried a couple with lime juice, which were not bad. The Kahlua was completely used for “green Russians,” along with the vodka, which was also used for bloody maries and white Russians. This particular shochu is hard-liquor-strength, which is unusual. In Japan, with normal shochu, I mostly drink it on the rocks, but it’s usually in the vicinity of 25% abv.

The Washington Hop Mob was again hosted at Brouwer’s, and I attended again with Mr. JJ. Unlike previous years, the style was not limited to triple IPAs (IIIPAs), instead the idea was just plain “hop forward”. We tried a fair number of them, didn’t completely disagree with the judges’ winner (we would have placed it second), and generally had a good time. Although Mr. JJ completely spaced on it and showed up significantly late after I reminded him (when I was already there and waiting).

Our friends (the Weezy family) from Oregon visited, mostly for Chilkat’s birthday party. We went out for Japanese dinner the first night at a place close to us (pretty good, but definitely not to my standards of really good Japanese). We were able to find enough for the kids to eat, with a fair amount of argument.

The party itself was Pusheen themed. KrisDi made a Pusheen cake (and cake pops), found a ton of Pusheen decorations, acquired Pusheen cookies, Chilkat got a shit-ton of Pusheen gifts (and non-themed gifts), and I endured. Chilkat seems to have really enjoyed it, which is great.

Chilkat’s girl scout troop had a geodes and minerals outing which involved breaking open geodes. This went along with learning about minerals and rocks at school, so that tied in pretty nicely. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not.

Finally, Chilkat, KrisDi, and D went out for pedicures. I don’t remember if there was a specific purpose or not.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

January 2020 Part II

Click here or on the natural-actin’ blokes above for the rest of the photos

This is a pretty short one.

We drove down to Medford to visit the Os. We drank beer, got take-out food and went out to eat at a few places and visited a few breweries. Chilkat learned she likes coffee cake. As usual, it was fun, just a long drive.

Most years, my former boss at work organizes a big company lunch for Chinese New Year. KrisDi came up to join us. It’s a pretty cool event, because we often have former employees and spouses or friends come.

Chilkoot got a haircut..

Chilkoot also had his 1st grade concert and felt the need to wear a suit.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 3 comments