snaotheus

September Part II

Zwanze day has come and gone. This year, the Slow Boat hosted again. They only sold 80 tickets instead of 100 this year, though, and they sold them all in one day. Last year, they sold 50 on one Saturday and the other 50 on the next Saturday. Last year, on both days, they lines were full to selling capacity by about 7:30 in the morning. So, to get tickets for KrisDi’s one must-have beer event of the year, I arrived at the line roughly 7 hours before ticket sales started. I had learned at this point that “waiting in line for some beer thing” is also a social event amongst those beer-nerdy enough to participate — people bring beer to share with each other, and spend the day BSing, mostly about beer. So, I remembered to bring beer, and anticipated sharing with others.

So, in essence, KrisDi selfishly took the kids out and ran errands while I selflessly read books, drank beer, and socialized with beer freaks — in the name of getting both of us tickets to a beer event both of us were excited about.

The event itself was also nice. We sat next to some people who were familiar from my line-sitting. There were only 80 people there, so lines were short. Mom watched the kids for us, so it was a quiet mom-and-dad event. And, we actually got to talking with the people next to us — a young, recently married couple that recently moved to Seattle area. About a week later, they invited us to their house for a “bottle share” (beer nerds get together and bring bottles of beer to share). There were several other people — and I was one of the less rabid beer people there. This is a little surreal for me.

I did think it was funny…this couple has lived in Seattle for a couple months, and I think they’ve made more friends than we have in ten years.

Some time ago, Chilkoot’s vacuum died. I diagnosed it as a battery pack failure, and was unable to obtain a replacement. So, I disemboweled the vacuum to salvage its motor, in the hopes of using it to make something move. I wanted to turn it into a number of lessons for the kids: Building things is fun; things don’t always work right the first time you try, but you can learn from them and improve based on what you learn; don’t get frustrated, think about what happened and what to do about it.

Anyway, the project was shelved for a while after the initial interest. The previous set of iterations had resulted in a car that could move, but not while carrying its own battery.

Recently, Chilkat saw it on the shelf and decided she was interested in resuming work on it, so we did. This time, I improved the “bearings” by using little eye-screws to hold the axles, which also gave the car a higher clearance and required relocating the motor (from the inside to the outside).

First test run had the belt slide quickly off the driveshaft, which is unsurprising. I coached Chilkat into the idea that we could put something on the end of the driveshaft to make sure the belt couldn’t come off.

So, as the video attests, we got the car moving under its own power, but the wheels come flying off after a little while. Then we had to go somewhere else.

Chilkat also learned what happens when you short a powerful battery with flimsy wires: The insulation melts and/or burns, things smell bad and get hot, and in this case, you leave permanent damage on the table top. This was my own fault for not warning her and for not disconnecting the wires from the battery while working on the car – but it was exciting. She felt really bad about it, and I had to work very hard to keep her focus on what she learned from the ordeal, instead of on the feeling that she ruined something.

KrisDi and I went to see Modest Mouse. Mom came down to watch the kids while we adulted. It was fun. For some reason, this show smelled like Amsterdam.

KrisDi let me go to the Fresh Hop Festival in Yakima with my friend and former co-worker, Mr. JJ. It was pretty fantastic, but also pretty dangerous. Most beer festival “samples” are 5 ounces on the top end — this was 8 ounces on the bottom end, with many places giving them away for “free”. It’s a long drive out there, and I didn’t feel particularly well the next morning, but it was fun. Mr. JJ and I have been out there the preceding two years, but not for the festival itself — just for the pre-festival proliferation of fresh hop beers about town. We also dragged his neighbor along with us for his first visit out there, and hit a couple breweries on the way out there and back.

Posted by snaotheus, 1 comment

Las Vegas is a scary place in my dreams

In my dreams last night…

My family and my older brother’s family were in Las Vegas, inside some building somewhere. There had been rumors of an attack of some sort being planned in Las Vegas, and suddenly those rumors became more serious, I guess. We decided we needed to get out of Las Vegas, and I don’t know what our plan for doing so was, but KrisDi took the kids and went one way while I went with my brother and his family another way.

While hurrying toward a parking garage, I saw an “Information” sign with a phone number on it, and thought it would be a good idea to call the number and see what was going on.

Turns out it was some random dude’s phone number. It sounded like Ossie Davis (in particular, as JFK in Bubba Ho Tep). Ossie was confused about why I was calling, I was trying to politely explain the situation and how I got his phone number while also following my brother. In the meantime, I looked back momentarily and saw the top of a building exploding. Around this time, Ossie, still confused, distrustfully asks if I’m selling stocks or bonds or something.

Still trying to politely get off the phone with Ossie, we start semi-running down stairs into an underground parking garage. As we’re running down the stairs, things get more crowded with other panicky people fleeing, I reach an amicable resolution with Ossie, and I lose track of my brother’s family.

I decide to just keep going down for a while, in the hopes that I’ll find my brother. Eventually, I decide to just start looking through one of the parking levels. As I’m leaving the stairs, I run into Wilmy. I’m delighted, I slap his back heartily, and he appears to recognize me but not particularly care that I’m there. I have the impression he’s pretty focused on getting the hell out of the Las Vegas war zone.

That’s about the time that I woke up.

Things I think likely influenced this dream:

  • I watched The Big Short recently
  • I was cleaning up some stuff in my blog, which triggered a lot of re-reading of old posts, like this one
  • I’m going to Japan tomorrow, and visiting my brother and his family in Guam on my way home next weekend
  • The recent Las Vegas shooting

I haven’t had a dream this clear in a long time. It was nice to see Wilmy, though!

Posted by snaotheus in Dreams, 3 comments

September Part I

False Alarm A had a birthday. KrisDi made her a cake using a new icing technique — “mirror glaze”. She also took her to a painting event and a for a pedicure. While she was gone, G False Alarm and I watched the four kids, and invented a new technique for coloring: We taped a un-colored picture on the outside of a window, and let the kids color the inside of the glass with white board markers.

The next day, we went to their house, where we mostly finished up their clusterfucked kitchen sink. When I left, everything was working, but the connections to the sink leaked a little bit.

Chilkat started first grade. She seems to be doing well. She seems to like the teacher, and there was (as far as I know) no crying on her first day.

Chilkat also lost her second tooth; her first permanent tooth has been named “Onesy” and the second one “Twinsy”.

Chilkat reached another pubescent milestone: She put up signs telling people to keep out of her room.

A & V Dubs both had birthdays and shared birthday parties. First was at a Pump It Up, the next weekend was at their house. They are now 4 and 2 respectively.

Not a lot else going on. Just life.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

So Many Words

So…two main things today. And surprisingly, no pictures of kids, food, or beer.

I discovered after I had kids that my quality of life is significantly affected by my ability to consume stories — TV, movies, or books. After Chilkat was born, the time when I could do this simply disappeared, which was miserable. After some time (I think after Chilkoot was born), I discovered Kindle (on my phone), and could suddenly start reading when I was sitting with a cranky child in the dark. And suddenly my life was better. Prior to this discovery, sitting in the dark with a screaming child was a grueling, tiresome chore. After this discovery, it was bearable — because I can read books on my phone in the dark!

Anyway, since that time, I’ve been reading consistently. Not as much as I used to, but so much more than the grim (in terms of story consumption) period after Chilkat was born. It’s nice.

Recently, I finished reading the entirety of HP Lovecraft‘s writings. I spend less time reading in the dark with my screaming children now, but still most of my reading is on a phone. I found many of the stories OK, a few bad, and a few very good. One of my standard frustrations with old (pre-40s) fiction is the collection of uninformed notions about health and science (yes, it’s because things were simply not known, not because the author or particular individuals were especially uninformed). One of the things I especially enjoyed about this was the vast collection of unfamiliar and/or archaic words or references — below, if you find yourself so inclined.

Continue reading →

Posted by snaotheus in Stuff I Looked Up, 1 comment

The Rest of August

A large amount of the pictures from the second half of August taken in the US were taken by Les and D. They took the kids to the zoo. The kids also had their piano recital, which I would have liked to see. Chilkoot does a lot better under pressure from someone besides his mom and dad. There’s really not a lot, overall.

There is also not much food. Aside from the fact that it was a busy month, we were out for a lot of it in Europe.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Food, Photo updates, 1 comment