2014.08.19 – Dinner Night

We’ve been hosting a dinner night at our house for at least ten years now. We hosted it in Arizona and now in Oregon. It was a fantastic way to really get to know our neighbors and to kind of bring us all together. We love the way we get to reconnect each week. The attendance varies from week to week but our friends, Spencer and John (who also packed up their lives and moved here to be close to us), are here every week. Alice and Jason are here just about every week as well.

Today, Jason had to go to Florence for a meeting so couldn’t join us and our house is a mess due to some remodeling for a tv in the living room/dining room so Alice was nice enough to have it at her house. Everyone showed up for this one! We had Alice, Wayne, Andrew, Natale, Jayde, me, Taylor, Delaney, Randy, Roger, Barbara, Joanne, Leonard, Miri, and Dale. Glenn even stopped by before dinner to say hello. It was also Sean’s birthday so between Wayne, Joanne and I we made a couple of delicious apple jalapeño pies. This may sound like a strange pie but it’s amazing.

I worked with Shanna this afternoon before I drove Joanne out to Sauvie Island for produce and before all of the cooking happened. We made more progress on our IOS tutorial and it’s pretty fun and interesting. We are hoping to get through the tutorial in a week or so and then develop our own app that we can release in the app store.

Today I learned that there is a method to making an incredible pie crust. I just don’t know what it is but Joanne does!

2014.08.18 – A Productive Day

Today my friend Shanna and I worked on some IOS tutorials. At first things were kind of confusing and we both ran into some issues. She was able to help me through mine and I was able to help her through hers and then we both learned enough to work through other issues on our own. All in all it is pretty easy and I think we can have our own app built in a couple of weeks.

Our living room wall is all torn up because the guys are installing a tv mount that vanishes into the arch between the living and dining rooms. Wayne worked on it all day and then the two of them got the mount semi-installed tonight. This house is going to be one big construction zone for years to come.

Today I learned that the word blanch also means “make white or pale by extracting color; bleach” and “(of a person) grow pale from shock, fear, or a similar emotion”. Alice was referring to what needs to be done to grow celery so it doesn’t turn dark green like parsley leaves. I had no idea!


2014.08.17 – Fitbit Fail

I had my best run in a very long time which is saying a lot because I really dislike running and I don’t really think I’m cut out for it. I usually run for a bit and then feel like I might die, walk a bit and repeat over and over until I finally get to stop. Running has never felt good. I’ve never, ever experienced a runner’s high. I typically experience a stopper’s high though! Nothing feels better than stopping except maybe not starting in the first place. Anyway, I had a really great run today. I still had to walk but I ran a fairly long distance before that happened and the thing that was different about it was that I was talking to Andrew while we were running. I wasn’t distracted because I definitely thought about how far I was going and how good I still felt so I am guessing my breathing is possibly part of the issue. We also ran some hills at Overlook Park and did some stairs at Beach Elementary and then I realized I wasn’t wearing my Fitbit. Goddammit! Andrew offered to do the entire thing all over with me but that sounded like the worst idea ever so here I sit, well below my daily step goal, knowing I really exceeded it. Boo!

I’m guessing there are those that think gadgets like the Fitbit are ridiculous and a waste. Everything seems to be gamified these days and I’m not saying it’s all good but the Fitbit really does seem to motivate me to move a bit more than usual. I’m also trying to work out some sort of schedule so that I can fit in various things I should be doing (practicing drums, yoga, vitamins…) or want to be doing (juicing, blogging…) but I’ve historically been just awful with any sort of schedule. I’m going to give it a shot though and see if I can form some new habits.

Today I learned that Taskwarrior allows for recurring tasks.

2014.08.16 – Razors, Drones, and Robots

I was able to attend some talks at Tech Fest Northwest today. The founder of Dollar Shave Club spoke first and while his talk was quite funny and engaging it was really just a long advertisement for his company. Justin Ferrell gave a great talk about Stanford’s d.school and referenced the book Make Space which I ordered while he was still talking. I think it might provide some great kitchen ideas and general use of space ideas for the house. Tad McGeer spoke about his company and the drones they are developing. He touched on privacy and danger related to drones and strongly feels they pose no danger at all. He mentioned that we have had piloted aircraft with cameras on them for a very long time so doesn’t understand the uproar over unmanned aircraft having them. Genevieve Bell from Intel gave the final, very interesting, talk about the prehistory of robots. She covered a lot of stuff but one thing that stood out was the fact that up to the 1980’s only one African American and only three women robots were made. The rest were modeled after white men. It’s just another example of the people running things modeling the things they make to look just like themselves.

Today I learned that in 1914 The Colorado National Guard massacred men, women and children because of a miner’s strike over unfair wages and an unsafe workplace. http://www.umwa.org/?q=content/ludlow-massacre

2014.08.15 – I’m still not the cool kid

Tech Fest North West is going on in Portland. I love that I live in a city that hosts so many tech conferences. I don’t like that I still feel so out of place at some events. I loved OS Bridge and enjoyed volunteering at OSCON but I feel so out of place at TFNW. A few of us decided to check out an after party so we wandered downtown,  got our wristbands and into the venue we went.
Awkward! Totally not my crowd at all. I’m having a bit of trouble navigating this new community but I’m hoping I’ll have more skills or insight once I complete the Ascend Project.

What I learned today. Silverware was used because it didn’t impart any flavors into the food.

2014.08.14 – Tech Crawl PDX

Tonight Andrew and I went to a tech crawl. Basically you walk from tech company to tech company where they provide beer and food. It’s a time to socialize, network, see the company’s space and drink beer. We aren’t the best socializers I guess so we pretty much walked from place to place and quickly left the ones that were too crowded/loud. It was interesting to see the offices of some companies we had only heard and even though we kind of rushed through some of them we still ran out of time to see the last few. The view from the NewRelic offices was amazing though. Hmmm I should go check out their job openings…..

Today I learned that hot, moist, lavender scented towels are wonderful and that a massage dentist chair does not suck.

2014.08.14 – Something in the Air

I’ve never liked any sort of so-called domestic work. My mom loves to cook, bake, and sew. She tried to pass on the love of these things to me with no luck at all. She once gave me a sewing machine and after unsuccessfully trying to thread the thing I gave up and gave it to my little brother since he was actually interested and knew how to use it. But now things are different. We’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest and people just do stuff here like it’s no big thing. The day we showed up here from Arizona with our giant caravan of trucks, trailer and very helpful friends, all of our new neighbors came to welcome us with open arms. Our amazing gardener neighbor, Alice, had a garden all planted and producing a dizzying number of fruits, vegetables and herbs in our front yard. All for us. Just because. I had to ask her over and over to identify what was what. “Is this food or decoration?” Another neighbor, Mary, casually handed me a freshly canned jar of strawberry jam, made from strawberries right out of her yard. “You made this? Today? In your house?”. Mind blown.

Well we’ve been here just over a year now and I’ve canned strawberry jam, peach jam, peach jalapeño jam, marionberry jam, plum apricot jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, so.much.jam, pickles, and beets. Just about all of the stuff came from our yard or one of the other three I now help garden in on our block. I have a sourdough starter I made on a whim nearly a year ago, that I use to make wonderful sourdough bread, pancakes, and waffles. I’ve even shared it with a few people who now make their own sourdough bread. I picked currants from one neighbor’s yard and blackberries from Spencer and John’s yard and made delicious syrup. I was winging it without a recipe and ended up over-boiling it which caused it to turn into jam in the bottle but it was easy enough to fix.  I used a boatload of tomatoes I picked along with a variety of, fresh from the yard, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley and garlic to make an amazing spaghetti sauce. I have made several batches of kombucha flavored with whatever fruit happens to be growing in the neighborhood. Kombucha SCOBY is the craziest thing! Look it up.

What the heck has happened to me? My mom can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. But living here makes it so easy to do all of these sorts of things. There are so many people willing to help. Not only that, willing to just give of themselves and the things they produce. It kind of makes a person want to return the favor. Not because one has to but because it just feels right and good. All of these things that felt like chores have become a pleasure and no amount of cooking and sharing I do will ever be thanks enough.

I still hate sewing though!

Today I learned about Taskwarrior, Mirakel, that you can cat a cert file and see the contents, and that :r in vim cuts from a file and pastes it into whatever you are editing. Nifty!

2014.08.14 – Beginning again, again.

I’m about to embark on my next adventure. I’m on a quest to become a software developer and I’ll be starting Lukas Blakk’s Ascend Project in September. I feel extremely lucky to be one of 20 people selected for this first cohort in my new hometown of Portland, Oregon. I also feel a little scared.

The Ascend Project is a six week, full time program, created by Lukas and funded by Mozilla. We’ll not only be learning to program but will have help with other things like resume writing and how to deal with impostor syndrome.

Do I really deserve this opportunity? I know I can do really well in this program but surely there must be a ton of people more qualified than I. I don’t think I’m the oldest and I’m certainly not the only woman so that’s good. I just hope someone actually wants to give me a chance and will hire me when I’m all done. I’d be thrilled with a paid internship to begin with just to prove my worth.

Even with all of my doubts and fears, I’m very excited to get started. Onward!

Today I learned that blogging probably isn’t that bad.