October 2018, Part II

We went to Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin farm to buy pumpkins. Crowd was bigger than ever before. We brought Mom along. I waited 45 minutes for donuts. Everything was expensive. It was fine. I played with the camera, and got a couple pictures of an apple being fired out of the apple cannon.

We painted pumpkins. Chilkat painted Harry Potter, and Chilkoot painted Hedwig, and KrisDi painted Hermione, and I painted Ron Weasley. Can you guess what theme it was? My work had a jack-o-lantern contest; I waffled about for a bit before deciding to make a floating ghost pumpkin. Chilkoot helped me make a stand for the actual contest. For display at home, I hung it from the patio ceiling. The carving itself probably took 30 minutes, building the stand probably took an hour. Figuring out how to hang the pumpkin and implementing the idea probably took another 30 minutes.

KrisDi had a girls’ weekend in Hood River with three of her best friends from high school / college (celebrating ~40th birthday for everyone). They drank and ate and hiked. I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t tell you much about it. I was home with the kids.

The Popes’ eldest, Popita, had her 6th birthday party at Pump It Up. KrisDi and Chilkat left it early to go to another kids birthday party at a farm, with horses and cider making.

And of course Halloween. The kids decided to dress as Apple Bear. They actually enjoyed trick or treating this year (last year, they complained almost immediately that they wanted to go home) . There was a lull in the rain for almost the whole time we were out.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

October 2018, Part I

I started off the month in Japan. A supertyphoon arrived about midnight after I got to my hotel. It woke me up with debris thumping and wind shaking the hotel. Morning after was sunny and nice, just a little breezy (with a lot of branches and leaves all over the place and the trains staying closed early in the morning).

The first dinner was fun. My boss and I went to a restaurant we both know and love (nameless yakitori place), but we know the servers don’t speak English, they don’t have an English menu or a picture menu. So, between his and my broken Japanese, awkward gestures, and Google image searches, we had a delicious but somewhat disjointed dinner.

The second or third night, we had an earthquake. Something like a 4.1. It wouldn’t have woken me up, except that the public earthquake warning system woke me so I wouldn’t miss the experience.

The last night I was there, my Japanese friends took me out to dinner in a “normal” restaurant. Until this meal, I hadn’t noticed that 99% of my meals in Japan are in restaurants occupied solely by adults. This one was cheaper, louder, less tasteful, and filled with families. It was fun to be reminded that kids are kids and parents are parents no matter where you are or what language they speak. Kids were crawling over clench-jawed parents growling at them to sit the fuck down and eat their god damn sushi (however you say it in Japanese, I’m confident I got the translation correct). The restaurant also had a rewards system; after 5 small plates, you had a chance to win a prize. I got one tiny little toy sushi.

Meanwhile, KrisDi returned from California. Apparently, while they were there, Chilkoot contracted salmonella, most likely from a lizard encountered at a brewery. So, Chilkoot threw up in bed (which sent Chilkat scrambling for her own bed), rolled around in the vomit while KrisDi tried to clean him up, and proceeded to vomit periodically for the next 10-12 hours. Then he was fine.

I went to Guam after Japan. We went snorkeling twice, and on about a half dozen mild hikes. We drank a lot. We ate a lot. I slipped and hurt my knee (enough to ache and complain the rest of the day, but not seriously hurt). I really enjoyed my visit. I didn’t really enjoy the heat and humidity. It is really nice to get in the water on a sunny hot day out there. It doesn’t take anything more strenuous than breathing to start sweating. My favorite specific sights were the moray eel and the blue squamosa clam. I took a lot of pictures (when my lens wasn’t too foggy).

Les moved to Washington. E and P dubs traveled out to help him put things in a moving truck, and then helped him move stuff out. D still lives in the Chicago area (with her sister), working and trying to get a transfer and considering flat out retiring. They got everything out of their old house and completed its sale. Great Grandma moved into a Polish speaking assisted living place.

The Friday after I got back, we took Miss K out for dinner again. This time we went to La Isla followed by Molly Moon.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

September 2018, Part II

Cousins A & E Dubs had a birthday party. We went to it. Gifts, cake, running around, chaos, even a little beer. A’s theme was star wars, and E’s was…pink and colorful stuff?

KrisDi signed up for the “Summer’s End 5K”, and both the kids signed up for an associated kids’ 2K. The kids’ run was first. Chilkoot had been training with his mom beforehand — he’d go and run with her when she ran in the evenings or on the weekends. He did great — he ran the whole way. Chilkat’s strategy was to not run at all beforehand — to save her energy. She was by far the very last person done. I think she was lapped by a two year old. She whined and complained almost the whole way. She wouldn’t have finished if I hadn’t insisted (and walked with her the entire last lap). Chilkoot ran ~10:15 mile — personally, I think that’s pretty damn good for a five year old. KrisDi didn’t quite make the same speed (but she ran 2.5 times as far).

I had a business trip out to Phoenix. This is my once a year trip that is usually in July, but the company we visit didn’t exactly get their act together and consequently it was delayed a couple months. Anyway, the main interesting non-work-related part is that it rained pretty significantly. I walked around the giant hotel trying to get interesting pictures of rainy / wet cacti. I got desert mud on my shoes and pants.

Chilkat’s friend L had her 8th birthday party. It was Harry Potter themed. Costumes, decorations, snacks, the whole deal. It was fun to hang around with them in their own digs.

On the 27th, KrisDi took the kids on a plane to California for the weekend (which included another 5K for her), and on the 28th, I got on a plane to Japan. At least when I was leaving, a large typhoon was predicted to run over my airport in Japan within an hour of my plane landing there.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

September 2018, Part I

I’m not really sure why I like the wilted flower photo above.

On the first day of September, I returned from 2017’s first trip to Japan. Then we went to Wild Waves and did all the normal Wild Waves stuff; rides and overpriced garbage and whatnot. The kids had fun, and they bickered, and I moped and grumped about and probably ruined everyone’s day a little bit. This was the last weekend before school.

So school started. Chilkat’s now a second grader, and Chilkoot is now a kindergartner. We no longer have a day care bill, just a before-and-after-school care bill (substantially lower than day care). Chilkat is still an excellent student. Chilkoot seems to be doing very well, although I think he’s suffering from the cessation of afternoon naps.

We took the kids to the Puyallup Fair. We even paid godawful prices (actual money) for the kids to ride really boring rides. We saw animals and ate various unhealthy foodstuffs and wandered about.

After getting the Megalens last year and realizing that high quality lenses have a significant impact on photography, but also recognizing that a lens that can only shoot photos from a kilometer away is a bit unwieldy for daily usage, I wanted a high quality day-to-day kind of lens. Planning ahead for a trip to Guam, I wanted it in September. KrisDi got me a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, which is pretty darn cool. It’s my Christmas present, but it seems to have arrived early. I like it a lot. Although, I have learned that high quality lenses do not improve the quality of the photographer.

Our friend Mr O from Medford is a truck driver; lately, his company has been sending him up near my work, where he then has to spend the night alone and drive home the next day. Now that the kids are in school and I don’t have anyone close to me at work, I can, if I choose, not leave work immediately at 4 PM and drive directly home. Consequently, I can do evening things, like go out to dinner with friends. So I took Mr O to a beer place one night, which was nice. I also drove down to Seattle and met up with another friend for dinner, which was also nice. Grownup activities are fun.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment