2014.11.29 – Birthday Celebration for Alice

I woke up early and felt somewhat motivated to go for a run/walk. Andrew was just about to head out the door for his run so I asked Wayne if he wanted to join me. He did and we also brought Penny, the dog we are caring for. It was pretty cold outside but nice and it wasn’t supposed to rain. We decided to go out to the bluff and back. It was coooooold so I wanted to run. I am so out of shape so I ended up doing more walking than running. It started to sprinkle just as we were getting back home so it was perfect!

I sat around and caught my breath and then showered and dressed. I didn’t do a whole lot of anything important for most of the morning. Jason came over in the afternoon and asked us to help decide what to do for Alice’s birthday celebration that evening. We decided to make her Tiramisu and order pizza. We had a very brief flurry of snow while we were talking and then the clouds went away and the sky was clear blue. I just love it here!

We needed vegan whipped cream so Wayne and I ran out to Whole Foods and got what we needed. When we returned I made the vegan marscapone and had Jayde make a yellow cake baked extra long in a think layer as a substitute for the lady fingers.

I watched a few episodes of Big Bang Theory, drank some hot, white tea and then took a nap with the cat curled up on my chest. It was an awesome lazy afternoon! Jason, Alice and Laura came over and told us the pizza place was closed. Oops! I think I knew that at some point but totally forgot. We ended up ordering several dishes from Mee Dee Thai around the corner.

After dinner Jason gave Alice her gift of a new Macbook Air. We had Tiramisu and then headed over to their house to watch Evolution. I remembered it being a lot better than it actually was. I’d say it was slightly better than Ghostbusters and that movie sucked.

Today I learned that dying underarm hair is a thing.

2014.11.28 – Insomnia

I rarely have trouble sleeping but last night I didn’t get much at all. I made up for it by sleeping late into the morning. I exercised, dressed and had a small breakfast before digging in to the next Air Mozilla bug. It’s definitely going to be more work than any of the other bugs I have worked on and I can’t wait to struggle through it. I found the models.py and views.py files I need to modify to begin with and read them over for quite some time to try and get an idea of how they currently work.

I took a break from reading code and ordered some gifts for the two youngest ones. I went back and forth on what to buy exactly and then finally decided and got everything ordered. I also looked at Andrew’s wish list so I could decide what to get for him. I want to get him everything! I’ll eventually narrow it down.

Jayde was wanting to make iced christmas cookies and wanted to make a test batch of both the cookie dough and the colored icing so we talked about recipes for both. She would search and then come check with me to see what I thought. She is 12 and has become such a great baker. Once she found some recipes we talked about modifying the ingredient amounts so that it would be a test batch and then she went off to do the math.

She was still working on the cookie math when I had to head to the Alphabet District to meet Amanda and a friend of hers who might want to hire the two of us to do some web development on the side. We met at a really busy coffee shop on NW 23rd. I guess everywhere was probably busy since it was the day after Thanksgiving but we managed to find decent seating. He went over the basics of what he was looking for but is not a developer himself and is kind of a middle man for the people who want the work done. He wasn’t completely sure what was needed of us besides a phone app that utilizes Phonegap and Django so that was a little confusing but he said he’d send us more info and put us in touch with the actual people who are heading this up.

He left and Amanda, her little one and I sat and talked for a bit before heading across the street so I could buy more of my favorite Earl Grey tea from Tea Chai Te. We talked a bit more and then each headed home. Jayde had baked and frosted her cookies so I tried one. They were SO good! She will definitely have to make more 🙂

We scrounged for dinner since we have a ton of leftovers and then had a relaxing evening reading.

Today I learned about github3.py

2014.11.27 – Thanksgiving 2014

A rare short and sweet post.

We were hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I told Wayne I was really glad we practice for this every Tuesday! Alice and her sister, Laura were going to bring the candied yams, mushrooms, a veggie dish and salad. Taylor made three kinds of mac ‘n cheese, jalapeno, mushroom and peas, and plain. We provided vegan turkey rolls, a smoked hyam, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin and apple pie. We had a LOT of food as is typical for Thanksgiving. Spencer and John didn’t want a vegan Thanksgiving so they didn’t join us but we had the five of us, Taylor, Delaney, Alice, Jason, Laura, Lauren, Sean, Alena, Tiberias, Rialla and Anya so it was pretty much a dinner night but with like ten times the food.

Today I learned to write a short blog post and leave it at that.

2014.11.26 – Happy Birthday to Me

Another birthday?! They are seriously coming too fast these days and how the heck did I get this old already? My mom warned me that the older one gets the faster time goes by. It’s so true! Oh well.

I had submitted a pull request the night before with everything the way Peter had asked but I forgot that he prefers the commits to be one large commit so he asked me to rebase. I got that done, submitted again and this time all was well! Finally that one was done. I really struggled with the form validation stuff but I learned a lot. I told Peter I would try to work on the next bug but with UA coming up it would have to be nights and weekends. I think he thought I was joking.

Alena came over with Tiberias, Rialla and Anya. I miss them so much and they live fairly close now. I definitely need to schedule more time to be with them. We played a lot and then walked over to La Bonita for some lunch. They make a really good vegan fajita burrito. After lunch we stopped in to Blend and got some drinks. I got a spicy soy chai, Alena got a coffee and the kids had hot chocolate. We walked back home and Tiberias wanted to watch something so he watched several episodes of Curious George. The kids were getting tired and it was getting late so Alena packed them up and headed home.

Thanksgiving was the next day and since my mom is far away in Arizona it was going to be up to me to make the pumpkin pie. It’s one of my favorite things and something I always wanted for my birthday instead of a cake. She would always make me four of them! I really don’t like making the crust at all but a friend of mine shared her video in which she uses a food processor to make it. It couldn’t hurt to try so I did it her way and it was a breeze! Thanks, Frankie!

The two pies were in the oven when Taylor and Delaney came over to make an apple pie. Wayne helped Delaney and made more crust. It worked just as well again. I guess the real test will be when we eat it but the dough was nice and very easy to work with so I think it will be ok. UPS showed up with a huge pile of boxes from ThinkGeek and I assumed some of it was for me from Andrew but what the heck did he buy, all of ThinkGeek?? There were at least seven boxes. It would have to wait until after dinner.

We ordered a few pizzas from Handsome since nobody really wanted to cook. They only had a tiny bit of kale so used that on one. They made us three really good pizzas! One had a butternut squash sauce, caramelized onion, pepitas, and some sort of greens. Yum!

We were just finishing up when Jason and Alice came over. We were going to watch Galaxy Quest. Alice handed me a card she made and it was so sweet!

2014-11-26 20.34.29

Alice was happy she hadn’t missed me opening all of the boxes. Andrew brought them over and handed me his knife. They were all pretty light and he was also confused about why there were so many. I opened the first one and there was some sort of liquid filled bag inside. I had no idea what it was but then he showed me the most amazing thing. He clicked this little metal disk inside the liquid and it immediately started to crystallize and heat up. It was a reusable heat pack! Cool! That kind of explained the multiple boxes. He ordered me three sets of ten and it seems they are only allowed to put five per box. He also got me some Star Trek knee socks and a 3″ micro usb cable.

We watched the movie while I read all about these reusable heat packs. They contain super saturated sodium acetate liquid. It remains a liquid until the small metal disk inside is “clicked” by bending it back and forth. This creates a metal on metal reaction that causes one or more tiny particles of the metal to break off. These particles of metal generate nucleation centers which are like tiny nests where a crystal can form. Once this happens the solution crystallizes into tiny needles of sodium acetate. Heat was required to dissolve the crystals so this heat is released during the exothermic crystallization reaction and there you go, instant hand warmer! Fascinating!

Today I learned about exothermic crystallization of sodium acetate.

2014.11.25 – Tea Time

My day started extra early. Our friends were flying back east with their new baby and I offered to take them to the airport. Turns out their flight was at 06:20 so I’d have to leave the house at 04:30 to get them and drop them off in plenty of time so they wouldn’t worry about rushing. Wayne is wonderful and got up to go with me!

We walked out to the car and it was SO strange outside. It was not even slightly cold. I could have worn a tshirt and been fine. I could also hear the wind blowing and I could see the tops of the trees waving madly but I barely felt a thing on the ground. I stood there a while taking this in and it was fascinating. The drive to their house was really nice since we barely saw another car on the road. They were ready to go but still seemed a bit anxious. Our airport is seriously the best though so I knew it would be no trouble. We dropped them off, hugged goodbye and drove their car back to their house. We headed home and I felt wide awake so I made some tea and sat down to read with their dog Penny Loafer curled up by my side. Wayne went back to bed and Andrew would be getting up soon to start making morning espresso and cappuccino. He came downstairs and kissed me good morning. Shortly afterward I felt my eyes getting heavy so headed upstairs to see if I could get in a bit more sleep.

I dozed for an hour or so and then got up and dressed. I checked my email and saw some things Peter wanted changed on the bug so I made the changes and resubmitted my pull request. I caught up on my email and then did a whole lot of nothing the rest of the morning. Wayne and I went over what stuff we were going to need and what things we were going to cook for Thanksgiving and then I spent some time watching more Big Bang Theory.

Amanda and her little one came over to visit. Amanda brought some special tea to make for us. She made us a couple of varieties of Pu Erh. It’s a fermented earthy tea that can take some getting used to. I loved the first variety she brought. The second one had a bit of a fishy overtone so I didn’t really care for it after the second steep. We drank a LOT of tea! It was dinner night so she and her daughter stayed and joined us. We had not-beef stew, salad and bread. Taylor, Delaney, Spencer, John, Alice, Jason, Amanda, little one, and the five of us all ate too much. There was a Ferguson demonstration going on downtown and at times it got a little intense. We were following the happenings via Twitter. The freeways and public transit were disrupted at times so we were not sure Amanda would be able to safely get home. We planned for them to stay but as it got later things calmed down. The police didn’t disrupt the protestors and only handled anything that was dangerous. I am glad in that moment at least the police seemed to do the right thing. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about things but putting them into words is proving to be very difficult.

Today I learned that there are some really high-paying internships out there.


2014.11.24 – Lunch with a Friend

I was up early, exercised, showered and dressed so I could get on with my day. I hurried downstairs so I could try and get my pull request submitted for this bug. I messaged Peter in IRC and asked him about some wording. He wanted me to ask about it in my PR so that meant it would probably need to be changed and resubmitted. I was hoping to get it right the first time but really I need to get over that. I submitted the PR and then watched Travis run the tests. What did I see? A big old “F”! Huh…tests passed for me on my local machine. Weird. I went back and…….ah crap! I was testing on the wrong branch! I guess I get to make all of the newbie mistakes. This should make for a fun future because I have SO very many more I haven’t even made yet. I found the test file and started looking over where I needed to possibly modify or add a test. I messed with the code a bit but it was time to go pick up a friend for lunch.

Christopher was in my cohort at PDX Code Guild and his mom is the director. He has stayed on at the school to help teach and do network support. He’s super smart and I loved working with him in class. He had treated me to lunch the last time we went so it was my turn today. I swung by the school and picked him up and we decided to go to Los Gorditos! I was happy about that for sure. Even though it was lunch time the place wasn’t too busy so we found a decent table and had some great conversation while we ate. I told him all about my upcoming internships with Urban Airship and Mozilla and he caught me up on how the school is doing. He and I were in the very first cohort there and they were learning as they went. It seems they have changed and improved things a LOT. I was really happy to hear that they were doing well.

After lunch we drove out to Clackamas so I could exchange a gift for someone. That gave us plenty of time to talk about life in general. When we were done with that we still had more talking to do so we headed to a comfy coffee shop and parked ourselves on a couch. We talked and talked while we drank our tea and coffee. It was getting dark and he had an evening class to teach so I dropped him off and headed home. All was well until I got off I-5 at Greeley. It seriously took me 30 minutes to get the final 1.5 miles home!

I kissed my guys hello and told them about my day and then checked my email. I had comments from Peter regarding my PR. He wanted a couple of things changed that I honestly went back and forth on so many times before submitting. This was really funny to me because I had a 50/50 chance of getting each one the way he might want it and was wrong on both! He also was unsure about the way I implemented a the validator and wanted to know why I didn’t do it a different way. I thought I had tried the different way and it didn’t work. I commented back about it but he was already gone for the day so I would have to learn the proper way to do it tomorrow.

I turned on the TV so I could watch what was happening in Ferguson. Would Darren Wilson be indicted? Highly doubtful and it was really heartbreaking to know that but I was still hopeful that maybe, just maybe with all of America watching, the right thing would be done. Taylor and Delaney stopped over so Delaney could use a computer. Taylor sat down to watch with me. Alice showed up to start on dinner with Wayne but also sat down to watch. We all just stopped everything and watched.  The prosecuting attorney began talking and it was pretty clear from his long drawn out speech that there would be no indictment. Ugh 🙁 He stood there talking and it all just sounded like a bunch of ridiculous excuses and justifications. Are we really supposed to believe this was in any way, shape or form objective and fair? Bleh.

Today I learned that black people don’t matter.


2014.11.23 – Downtime

The sun was shining through huge, grey clouds when I woke up. After I was up and had breakfast I splurged by watching a few episodes of Big Bang Theory season 6. I am quite behind due to moving and then being really busy to the point that the show is pretty much at the bottom of my list. I think living in Portland even for less than two years has really changed the way I view it though. I still like it but I definitely see a lot of things that I wouldn’t mind the writers leaving out.

Our friends Roberto and Frankie will be moving here in a mere few days and they still do not have a place to rent so Roberto asked if Wayne and I could go look at an apartment for them. The open house had a one hour window so we quickly drove out to NE 32nd. The apartment was tiiiiiiiiiny and they wanted $750 per month. What?! It was also a basement apartment and the agent said she already has four applications turned in. We thanked her and left then told Roberto it was a negative. I told him that he and Frankie could temporarily rent a room from us. I think they need to be here to find a place really.

Since we were right by a different New Seasons I suggested we stop there and get stuff for dinner and some things for Thanksgiving as well. It was starting to rain pretty hard now so finding parking was interesting. We hurried through the store and got our things. We splurged and grabbed some wild chanterelle mushrooms to have with an upcoming dinner. We have never purchased them before so had to ask how to choose and prepare them.

We drove home in fairly heavy rain which I have found to be unusual here. It was nice! As we were driving home I saw a message from Andrew saying something about lightning and thunder and that it seemed a good time to shut down and move the server closet. I didn’t know this was an upcoming project but I guess this was as good a time as any. I knew there would be no internet for a while so bonus pointless tv shows for me! When I got home Lauren said there was one really bright flash of lightning and a loooooooong loud rolling thunder. Lightning and thunder are very unusual here for sure. So unusual that my Facebook and Twitter feed was full of comments about it. Wayne and I saw and heard nothing but I am guessing it was because we were fairly far east of home and inside of a very busy store.

I had lunch and did nothing useful for the remainder of the afternoon and then it was time to get dinner going. We were making breakfast for dinner. I was in charge of making sourdough pancakes and tofu scramble. There would also be roasted potatoes but that’s Wayne’s thing. I got the sourdough starter poured into the bowl and then realized I only had enough flour to feed them so off Wayne went to the store. Meanwhile Alice came over and started washing and cutting potatoes. Wayne made it back and shortly afterward Amanda and her little one showed up. Little one was quite excited about all of the cooking and wanted to help me make pancakes. I let her stir for a while and she seemed pretty happy about that. Wayne was nice and took over the cooking of the pancakes!

Andrew came up from the basement and looked really unhappy which is pretty unusual for him. He had our AP in hand and said it wouldn’t light up anymore. Uh oh! He said it was working after the lightning. I took it and messed with it a bit, looked up some info online and had him try connecting to it. It was getting warm but the light was not coming on. He was able to ping it but something was definitely wrong and we didn’t have a spare! This was so weird to me because we ran a WISP for years and always had a spare everything. Lightning was common there so this kind of stuff was a regular occurrence. Jason said he had an old Apple Airport Express which reminded Andrew that we had one as well. Off he went to dig that up and soon enough we had temporary internet. Yay! He wouldn’t have to go to Collective Agency to work 🙂

Dinner was ready so we all piled up our plates. Everything was amazing! I have gotten really good at making tofu scramble that anyone would like and the pancakes are always good. We had maple syrup and homemade marionberry jam. Yum! Alice made the most wonderful roasted potatoes and onions. I couldn’t stop eating them. Such a good dinner!

Today I learned about race condition exploits.

2014.11.22 – Interstellar Finally

With a little over a week to go before I begin the Urban Airship internship I figured I would try and do some fun things I know I won’t be doing while working. I had been wanting to see Interstellar at the IMAX theater so I told Andrew and Wayne we were going at 15:00. They were agreeable and Kronda wanted to join as well. Great! I also Asked Alice and Jason.

Wayne made me some breakfast and as we were eating I got a message from Jordan. It seems he and his girlfriend were having a bad time again. This time they couldn’t agree on having children. He was telling me how important it is for him to have biological children but she doesn’t want any. In talking about it he sort of had an epiphany and asked if he could just stay in Portland when he came to visit in January. I told him that of course he could. One thing led to another and the next thing I know I was buying him a plane ticket to Portland for a flight less than two weeks away! I can’t wait! I think he will love it here and I hope he can find someone who loves and appreciates the kind man that he is.

We were leaving early for the movie and it was about time to go. Kronda had some boots to pick up at REI so I suggested we grab her and go get them before the movie so we picked her up, headed downtown and REI was a madhouse! We weren’t even inside and the traffic was ridiculous. She ran in while we waited in the car but our mission was successful and her boots are great!

We headed to the theater and ended up being veeeeeery early. That’s ok though because we got to pick the very best seats and save a few for Alice, Jason and Natale who was riding down with them. We sat through a crapton of commercials and previews but finally the movie started. I LOVED it! It was really loud during some parts. Loud enough that I had to plug my ears but it was really great. There was enough action that it kept me engaged the entire time. I was surprised to find out afterward that it was a three hour movie. It sure didn’t seem like it!

After the movie Wayne went with Alice, Jason and Natale so Alice and Wayne could get dinner started. We dropped Kronda off and then headed home as well. Wayne and Alice cooked while Andrew and I stood around and talked with them. We always have such a nice time and laugh a lot. They made an excellent dinner by combining stuff from each of our homes. It was mostly stuff we had to cook or throw out soon. Then we all settled in to watch a documentary called The Corporation. It was frightening but made me feel pretty powerless against huge corporations.

Today I learned that Snow Peak titanium mugs were used as props in Interstellar. I have a set and use mine every day.

2014.11.21 – It Does Actually Rain Here Sometimes

And today it was raining. Not a lot though. Either we have been experiencing unusual weather since we move here or people in Portland LIE! Spencer messaged to see what I was doing and I hadn’t really started doing much other than getting up and dressed.

Spencer picked me up and we went to SE Portland for his haircut. The place was right out of the 50’s. Little old ladies sitting under hair dryers, massive amounts of talking and laughing, and then Spencer and his gay hairdresser in the corner. That part wasn’t so much out of the 50’s. It was a great place! I read a bit of Red Mars until he was done and then we headed to the Apple Store downtown. His laptop was broken again. The third time with the same issue since June. They decided to replace more parts but I butted in and asked if they would just replace the thing if it breaks again. He said that didn’t sound unreasonable. Good!

We walked up to Veggie Grill and had a tasty lunch while we people watched. Neither of us had anything else we needed to do so he dropped me off at home. I messaged a bit with Peter to get more clarification on this frustrating bug of mine and then headed up to Cup Coffee where I was going to meet Kronda and do some co-working. It’s an adorable coffee shop in a house right on Interstate. I have gone past it many times and have always wanted to stop in. Kronda was just getting there and was stripping off her rain gear. She is not a wimp like me. Rain or shine she bikes.

It was really nice hanging out with her again. We talked a bit here and there but not enough that we didn’t accomplish anything. Ok I didn’t really accomplish much more than staring in frustration at Django code. I had written, with a lot of help, a new data validator but it was never getting called. Why???? I couldn’t figure it out. Ah well, the coffee shop was closing so we said goodbye and I headed home.

We were scrounging for dinner but I wasn’t hungry so I sat and looked over my code some more. Finally, completely frustrated, I asked Andrew to come look at it again. He figured out that the validator needed to be initialized. This was never really clear to me when reading the documentation. Andrew agreed the documentation wasn’t the best but it was working and it makes complete sense after the fact of course. Grrr that was frustrating. I learned a lot though!

Today I learned that Django validators need to be initialized.

2014.11.20 – Pajamas All Day!

Yup I definitely stayed in my pajamas all day. I knew I didn’t need to go anywhere so I settled myself on the couch and dug back into this pesky bug. I don’t know why I am having such a hard time figuring out Django ModelForm validation. This is marked as a “Good first bug” but man it was bending my brain for sure.

I pinged Lukas on IRC and asked if she had heard anything from Marina. She hadn’t so said she would message her. About twenty minutes later I had my answer. OPW was willing to defer my Mozilla internship until the conclusion of the UA internship so I was going to be able to do both! Unbelievable! I quickly signed the UA internship contracts and got them back to them. I also let them know the 12/1 start date was going to be fine.

I thanked Lukas and Marina for everything and then thanked Peter for being so understanding. I told him I felt the UA internship would make me a better Mozilla intern and he agreed. We still planned to meet during the Mozilla party at the Portland Art Museum and possibly fit in a dinner with just Peter, Richard and I so we can talk about what my work will be.

I spent a good part of the morning/afternoon reading form validation stuff over and over but it was just frustrating. I took a break to get my sourdough ready for the second rise and then spent some time reading Red Mars. Soon enough it was time to get dinner going. Wayne got a fire going while I made a creamy pumpkin almond pasta sauce and got the bread baking. Wayne made sauteed Brussels sprouts and onions and sauteed mushrooms. Alice made our salad as always. Dinner was extra good! I don’t know why I don’t make the sauce more often. It’s delicious and super easy.

We were just finishing up when Jason messaged to say his train was just about to Portland. Alice and I left to get him and we took Ladybug along for the ride so she could welcome him home. Alice also brought him a nice slice of buttered sourdough. He said he had a wonderful trip so that was good!

We came back home and talked a bit while Jason enjoyed the fire and some cornbread. We watched a couple of movie trailers and decided on the next movie we would all watch together. It was a productive yet lazy day.

Today I learned that an all day pajama day is nice every now and then