November 2019 Part II

Click here or on Mr. Turkey to see more pictures

A few weeks ago, the kids suddenly became interested in actually trying coffee. I never got an explanation of why. So, I brought home some decaf grounds from work and made them a cup. Each of them tried it black and with a spoonful of sugar. Chilkoot acted like he was being tortured for both of them. Chilkat said the sweetened one was OK. Neither of them finished their coffee.

KrisDi and I took a day to ourselves to make our Valentine’s day lasagna. Yes, it was about nine months late. We’ve had a lot going on.

It’s a full day ordeal. We make the mozzarella, ricotta, and noodles from scratch. Sauce is made from scratch, too (using canned crushed tomatoes as a base), and the sausage is made by seasoning ground pork. Over the course of the day, we also went out to breakfast at Issaquah Cafe, and lunch at Max’s World Cafe (which had really good sticky toffee pudding). The lasagna turned out fantastic as usual. Although the first serving, while still hot, turned out a bit messy (also as usual).

Mom came down for a weekend, and we had family night at the school. They served us smoked turkey legs and various sides. The next day, we all went to Charlie Brown XMas at the Moore Theater.

The kids decided they wanted to play Scrabble — Chilkat and KrisDi versus Chilkoot and snaotheus. KrisDi and I struggled to let the kids actually play, and I think we did OK, but they lost interest and wandered off so we finished without them.

We hosted Thanksgiving as usual. Mom came down, the Oregonians came up and occupied our ‘guest room’ (Chilkoot’s room when he stays with Chilkat), all my in-laws. Makes for a full house. KrisDi made a 23.5lb turkey and ~9 other dishes; P Dubs made desserts, Oregonians brought a squash dish, Mom brought cranberry salad (which only she and I love). Lots of eating, lots of beer, some tequila shots, some games. It was a good day. We used the carcass to make turkey stock, and then KrisDi made turkey tortilla soup the Saturday after.

That Saturday, we also bought a Christmas tree and a fancy new stand that makes it much, much easier to adjust to make the tree point up — but was barely big enough for the tree we bought.

KrisDi and the kids (him and her) decorated the tree, and I packed for Chicago. And that was the end of November.

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

November 2019 Part I

Click here or on the photo above for the rest of the photos

We got up early and drove to Portland with our friends from Medford. Weezy had a medical appointment with a specialist up there, and we got an AirBnB big enough for both families so we could hang out at breweries and restaurants together. My family showed up early enough on Friday to have breakfast at Screen Door; we met the Oregonians for beer shopping at Belmont Station (where I found some surprising and exciting beers, including De Garre). We had lunch at Horse Brass (they had Pliny the Elder on tap and I spilled ketchup in mine). We had dinner at the house — we got takeout Ethiopian or something, and accidentally ordered a TON of the spicy flatbread. Of course, we drank some beer (see above).

Saturday, we went out for breakfast at Jam (girl and boy), then visited Great Notion, Culmination, and Cascade (Chilkat and Chilkoot had root beer). Then we walked to a nearby Japanese place for dinner, and took two Ubers to Little Beast and then back to the house for just a little more beer before bed.

We had breakfast the next day at Besaws, went to a farmers’ market, then had beer and lunch at Zoiglhaus. At this point, the Oregonians went home, but we went on to Ruse. On our drive home, we stopped at a Korean barbecue place where the girl and the boy got to try some new things and cook some meat of their own.

Portland is turning into a place where we’ve tried enough things that we have favorites that we don’t want to miss if we visit, meaning we don’t necessarily try many new places when we visit. For this trip, “repeat visit”:”first time” = 6:6.

RepeatFirst Time
Screen DoorEthiopian Doordash
Belmont StationCulmination
Horse BrassJapanese place
JamLittle Beast
Great NotionZoiglhaus

When we got home Sunday, I packed again to fly to Japan on Monday. This was the introductory trip to headquarters for my two replacements. In addition to regular stuff (like Japanese beer, sake, ramen, etc), we got to do some unusual stuff, like participate in earthquake training, go out to lunch (at a Japanese Hawaiian-themed Italian restaurant), have dinner at their new employee club, and participate in Radio Taiso. On the last day, as I left the lobby, I also watched a ridiculous character try to board an elevator.

While I was gone, the showerhead broke, KrisDi finally wore out her 11-year-old stand mixer, and KrisDi let the kids sleep with her.

The day I returned, before picking me up at the airport, KrisDi took the kids to their first eye checkup. Both of them are slightly farsighted (+.50/+.50 for Chilkat, +.50/+.75 for Chilkoot), and we’ll probably get them glasses next year. Later that day, Chilkoot went to a classmate’s birthday party.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 0 comments

Solo (non) Daddery

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Aurora, IL, wearing slacks and a dress shirt, waiting for my 8:30 meet-up with colleagues to attend a training class at which I expect to learn little or nothing from the material — I’ll learn about what people learn about when attending this training.

KrisDi and the kids are at home. I took Monday off as a vacation day, and came in on an early flight on Sunday to give myself about a day and a half to putter about Chicagoland looking for beer and food.

First thing I did after leaving the airport was go to Portillo’s for an Italian beef sandwich. Then I went to Mikerphone and Une Année/Hubbard’s Cave, headed to my hotel, from which I Ubered to Off Color, then Half Acre, then walked to Spiteful, and Ubered back to the room. I texted Weesh updates periodically in case she felt like joining me for a beer (she didn’t).

The room was at Fieldhouse Jones, a strange, heavily sports-themed hotel. Aside from being poorly sound-insulated and having very noisy plumbing, it was a perfectly nice place to stay.

Monday morning, I woke up at 4 (not on purpose), checked out, and drove to Munster, Indiana, hoping to beat traffic. Mostly I did, except a tanker truck wrecked on the interstate just before the Indiana border, blocking all lanes of traffic. Myself and others got by on the shoulder. I have never seen a truck wrecked as badly as that one. I think it took out a quarter mile of guardrail.

At 5:45 AM in Munster, I didn’t have much to do. I checked email for a bit until the Riviera Restaurant opened. I very slowly ate way too much, and the local news told me that cleanup crews were going to have to close all lanes of the interstate (at least in one direction) for 10 hours to clear out the mess.

Then I had four hours to kill before Three Floyds opened. I drove around Munster and Dyer for a while, napped for a bit in a parking lot, got some coffee at a Dunkin Donuts, wandered around a couple liquor stores (and had a nice conversation about bourbon with the manager of the Cask and Cellar), then sat in the Three Floyds parking lot to read (finally finishing The Girl From The North, which I firmly do not recommend). I had a Scotch Egg (breakfast left me too full for a real lunch), went to Windmill and had a nice conversation with the server there (she got permission from the owner to sell me a four pack of Memes & Dreams straight off the canning line).

My next intended stop was One Trick Pony; Google said they opened at 3. I did the email thing for a while at a Dunkin Donuts. When I got to One Trick Pony, their door said they were closed. Their website said they opened at six. I gave up and headed to my hotel (it’s been a long time since I’ve had a long drive where the number of miles was pretty much equal to the number of minutes driving). I checked in, got some cold beer at a grocery store, picked up a pizza from Lou Malnati’s, and had dinner in the hotel. After confirming that I wasn’t going to meet up with colleagues, I visited Solemn Oath, and had a nice conversation with the bartender there, who was surprisingly familiar with my home town — she works for a logistics company that frequently uses some facility there when shipping things to and from Canada.

  • I was impressed with Une Année/Hubbard’s Cave. I really enjoyed the beer and the environment, and the other patrons brought out some impressive beers to share. The bartender was really excited about the beer, was engaged with customers (he seemed to know more than half of them). The people there were all beer people — you don’t stop in at this dingy looking place wedged into a strip mall between a dollar store and a Chinese restaurant because you want to look cool. I was horrified by the story the bartender was telling about one of the brewers having scalded himself by unknowingly opening a pressurized 180 degree water valve (sounds like he badly burned an arm, and I think he probably got lucky with that).
  • Off Color makes some interesting and good beer. I’m glad I stopped there. The vibe seemed more “downtown” — more crowds of young folks wanting a beer being tolerated by the staff (that’s actually a really good description of how I felt about the service).
  • I don’t think Windmill makes as good of beer (in general) as Half Acre or Three Floyds, but since I had never tried any of it and they had a couple beers that were really good, I really enjoyed this stop. The bartender was a young goofy girl who really liked the beer and was watching old sixties-era sci-fi/western TV). There were no other patrons.
  • Three Floyds still has some really good beer (Zombie Dust and Lazer Snake are my favorites right now), but doesn’t seem to have come up with anything new that is really interesting. It’s kind of a busy place.
  • Half Acre still has some good beer, but hasn’t wowed me with anything for a long time.
  • Solemn Oath makes solid beer, but nothing really impressed me. I liked the space and the vibe.
  • I liked Mikerphone, but wasn’t that impressed.
  • Spiteful was OK.

I had an interesting experience being on my own for a day and a half with no actual responsibilities besides deciding where to go next, when, and how to get there safely. I felt guilty — like I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing (or not doing something I was supposed to be doing), and someone was going to catch me and I was going to get in trouble.

I had a good time. I think I would have enjoyed it more with someone else (but I’m not totally sure, to be honest — I like spending time with people, but I really don’t feel like I get that much time to myself. It was nice to do what I wanted to do and not worry about what other people wanted. Selfish I suppose, or self-centered, or both, but still true.

Posted by snaotheus, 1 comment

Sippy Cup of Pencils

Chilkat came downstairs a minute ago, and when I asked her how she slept, she started telling me about a dream she had. This is one of the first times that she told me she remembered a dream, and seems to be the one she has remembered most clearly.

Here is her description:

I was playing Pictionary with Chilkoot. He was drawing a sippy cup. Then he drew a line in it. I asked him if it was a pencil in there. He said yes. Then, later, for no reason, I sat on my pillow in bed, and a sippy with a pencil in it shot out from under the pillow. It was a very confusing dream.

Posted by snaotheus in Dreams, Family, 1 comment

Technical Difficulties

I learned today that the direct links to photos I’ve been using in my posts don’t work. I’m pretty sure they worked before, so I think something changed, but I don’t know what. So, I’ll have to look into it. Which is annoying.

It appears to work as long as the filename doesn’t contain an apostrophe (like the first photo link in the last post) or parentheses (like the second photo in the last post). I would assume this extends to some set of special characters, which is annoying. I’m not going to worry about going back and fixing old ones, but I’ll get rid of special characters in file names for future posts.

Posted by snaotheus, 2 comments