18 February 2019

Sixth week done. I'm still enjoying the time off but it is getting a little harder to find things that I want to do which aren't just video games. Nothing wrong with video games in moderation but I dont want to spend my entire sabbatical playing them.

  • Ran 28.81 miles! The average run so far this year has been just over 8.5 miles. I'll be hard-pressed to keep that up once I start working again, but I sure am enjoying it now.
  • Part of the above was a 5k event held on a very chilly morning. I don't normally run with a sweatshirt on but I did for this. Afterwards, I was steaming quite a bit -- literally.
  • Did what felt like 15 loads of laundry. Marisol has been hiding candy in her room and the ants found it, so we had to clear out her room and spray it -- and wash all her clothes. How does she have so many items of clothing??
  • Took the van in for some needed maintenance work. That's always fun, right?
  • My weekly lunch date with Cody coincided with Valentine's Day, so I brought him a special lunch (from McDonalds). His class party was just after lunch recess, so I stuck around to watch as the kids ate a ton of candy, played Bingo and admired the Valentines they'd received from each other. I feel sorry for the library teacher who had them right after the party...
  • On Friday, I did my workout and then gave myself permission to do nothing but watch Netflix until it was time to get Jake from school. It was a wonderful, lazy afternoon.

With President's Day today, the kids are all off from school. Here's what things look like on the kind of morning when the kids don't have to hurry anywhere. I love how the cat is sitting at the table... Kids and animals relaxing

11 February 2019

Fifth week done -- only three more left!

  • Ran 26.87 miles! Again that's something to be proud of since I spent one day this week caring for a sick child. She's better now.
  • All the kids had a 2-hr delay for school on Tuesday, due to icy road conditions. We were 'supposed' to get a big snowstorm over the weekend, but it seems to have hit east Portland rather than here, though we did some snow. Since our church building is in east Portland, we ended up not having church yesterday -- which gave me the opportunity to sleep in without having my alarm clock set. Oh how I enjoyed that. So did the rest of my family. When I did wake up, only Cody was already awake, happily reading.
  • Ran into some issues with the Raspberry pi when I was trying to test out some new HATs, so I ended up wiping the microSD card and installing all over again, but it seems to have cleared up some issues I saw late last week. And the HATs are pretty awesome too!
  • Had my weekly lunch date with Cody and his friends. There's starting to be quite a jostling for the seats around me when his class arrives and finds me there.
  • The big task of the week was purchasing and then installing blinds for the condo, something my brother has very much wanted. He's a bit of a hermit and wants his room as dark as possible...
  • I love the blackberries that grow on our property, but they are thriving a bit too much, so I spent some time whacking some of them. Still more to do but it's nice that I did enough that it is a noticeable improvement.
  • Our excitment with Hyrule Warriors continued as we atually went into "Adventure Mode" to see what it was. Like "Legend Mode", we can do it with two players. Basically, there are a number of 'worlds' which are laid out like a map. Only the first square is accessible, which provides some challenge to be done (like beating 300 enemies in 10 minutes). If done quickly enough and with little damage taken, the squares around it become available, each of which has their own challenge. And so on. We even discovered that this is where we can actually unlock the new characters and weapons for which we've been seeing placeholding slots. How fun!

We had a rather eventful evening tonight. Just as we were finishing up dinner, the lights all turned off for just a second and then came back on. So, we quickly made sure everyone had a flashlight, just in case. Then Marisol mentioned that she'd seen a flash outside and was seeing red sparks of some kind. Heading outside to investigate, we discovered (with the neighbor across the street) that a branch had fallen on the power lines over the driveway of the neighbor next to us and the branch was burning. Clearly the line was still live. Not long after, a series of bright flashes lit up the sky and our house went completely dark. I happened to catch some of the flashes on a video on my phone. Then, while trying to take a picture of the burning branch, I happened to get a photo of another bright burst. Needless to say, we were all watching (from a safe distance) and we took advantage of the opportunity to remind the kids to never approach a downed power line. We spent the rest of the evening alternating between watching the workers outside (Cody was really excited about the firemen) and reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The dog was terribly unhappy because, in the absence of power, two of the smoke detectors decided to yell about dying batteries. She wouldn't rest at all until she had dug herself a hole among Cody's stuffed animals and snuggled in, with her head on my lap, even after Fox removed the offending batteries.

Tree branch crackling with electricity Flash of light

3 February 2019

Fourth week down. What all did I do this week?

  • Ran 24.79 miles - which is awesome considering that two of those days involved watching kids who were out of school.
  • Spent $10 at a nickel arcade, playing a bunch of video games. There wasn't quite the variety I would have wanted but it was fun anyway.
  • Did some more experiments with my Instant Pot: steak and potatoes. Since I'm experimenting, I did them separately. The potatoes were perfect, the meat was a little overcooked. I'll have to drop the cook time on the steak next time.
  • Had lunch with Cody and his friends again. I laughed when one of Cody's friends picked a seat and then, upon noticing I was there, hurridly came over to sit next to me. :-)
  • Took advantage of a dry spell to burn a bunch of debris that has been piling up in our fire pit.
  • Played Hyrule Warrios with Cody. We managed to unlock Hero mode and realized that it can be multiplayer, meaning we can both play at the same time -- helping each other!!! Our enjoyment of this game has just shot sky high! Cody has been particularly excited when the Gold Skulltula appears and he can go and get it while I keep battling the bad guy. He also gets excited when there's one bad guy and we are both beating up on it.
  • Did some more tweaking with my Raspberry pi. I made an alias so that the kids will be able to play the math game that I wrote for them, which makes Cody quite happy. He keeps wanting to play it on my laptop but I'm usually on my laptop so that doesn't quite work...

    Cody playing math game

Both Marisol and Cody have really gotten into the Harry Potter books. Even though he's only in first grade, Cody has read his way through the first four books already, though I will point out that I did have the pleasure of reading a chapter or two here and there to him. Just before bedtime, we can all usually be found in Cody's room with me reading out loud, the kids listening, Dad doing whatever he's doing and the animals snoozing. It's good family time.

27 January 2019

Third week down.

  • Didn't run a single mile. Instead, I spent it fighting a cold. Such is life.
  • Launched the new design for this site!!
  • Did some more playing with my Raspberry pi, including getting VNC working so I can actually log in and work on it with my laptop. Perhaps this will end up being a 'headless' device (not connected to mouse, keyboard, or monitor).
  • Ate lunch with Cody again. It was funny in that several of his classmates were excited that "Cody's mom" was there. Cody, himself, was later than normal since he'd forgotten his lunch box in the classroom and had to go get it, but his friends were only too eager to keep me company until he came. And after he came too.
  • Went to Jake's concert. It had been scheduled for before Christmas but had to be rescheduled due to threats being sent to the district at the time. His choir teacher told us all to pretend it was Dec 19th as some Christmas songs were sung.
  • Experimented with cooking a chicken in my new Instant Pot. It was quite juicy and tender, though it could have used some more seasoning. The house smelled delicious too!
  • Finished another book on my Kindle -- kind of a weird one.
  • Finally got Cody's new fluoride prescription called in -- which seems hilarious in the timing since he ended up losing two teeth in the last two days! Obviously that's not from a lack of fluoride but still...
  • Cody missing two teeth

21 January 2019

Second week down.

  • Ran just over 30 miles, including a half marathon.
  • Ate lunch at school with Cody
  • Read a whole book on my Kindle!
  • Created the 2018 groups of pictures for the website
  • Played a fair amount of video games. Cody has taken a liking to playing Hyrule Warriors with me.
  • Did a LOT of playing with my Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi connected to breadboard

I got a surprise when I arrived for the Half Marathon and found out I was one of 20 "Runners of the Year" from Uberthons. It must be because I participate in a lot of their events. It's certainly not because I'm fast.

Runner of the Year plaque

12 January 2019

It's been a great week. The kids went back to school and I had the first official week of sabbatical. Technically my sabbatical started during Christmas break but for purposes of this blog, I'll call the first two weeks "vacation" and the following eight weeks "sabbatical". So, what did I do?

  • Ran 27.44 miles
  • Updated my recipe book with recipes I've used for years but never consolidated into one place
  • Set up savings accounts for the kids (which grandparents requested months ago...)
  • Actually went to a restarant that I've seen many times but is only open for breakfast and lunch. It was delicious.
  • Watched the two Fantastic Beasts movies, including the second one in the theater!
  • Got the new Super Mario Bros U game for the Switch the day it came out and played it without feeling guilty!
  • Super Mario Bros U

Yeah, it's safe to say I'm enjoying the time off.

2 January 2019

It's safe to say that 2018 did not "go as planned" for my family. We're continuing to do the best we can with some very hard situations. Hopefully 2019 will bring more answers than questions, more comfort than chaos, more peace than peril.

I was able to hit my goal of running 633 miles in 2018. :-) Looking for 650 or more in 2019.

Read the 2018 entries