2015.04.30 – BSD Pizza Night

I had the pleasure of accompanying Jayde’s class downtown to see Cyrano at the Armory. I knew the basic idea of the play but hadn’t ever read or watched it. There were, I think four classes in total going and each class is about 20 children. We were taking the Max and I was wondering how this would be with that many middle-schoolers but it was great. They were all really good. When we got downtown ( I guess it wasn’t technically downtown but I call anything within the circle bordered by I-5 on the east and I-405 on the west downtown. Whatever) we went to a park and ate the lunches we brought. The kids ran straight for the playground and worked off some energy and then we made our way up to the Armory. Jayde’s class and another had the entire upper balcony which had a great view! I was worried that the kids would get restless during the two hour play but they were all so good. I was impressed. The play was fantastic! It was funny and touching. I really loved going.

After the play I checked on Andrew’s status since he was working at the co-working space. He said he was about done so met us all at the train. The giant group of us piled on and made our way home. Jayde went back to school for a while to hang out with her friends so Andrew and I went home.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon and early evening panicking about my interviews tomorrow. I had to stop doing that though so we could head to BSD Pizza Night. We were meeting at Sizzle Pie on the east side of the river. The pizza was good but too spicy for me. We had a great time talking about all sorts of random stuff. Lots of it I don’t even understand but Wayne said he’d explain it to me later. Heh 🙂

Today I learned about ECC memory and bit-flipping. Fascinating!

2015.04.29 – Drummer Town!

Today I went and hung out with my friend Shanna at her new drum school/shop in St. Johns. I brought us sandwiches from East Side Deli. Yum! Her place is great and I think she will have a ton of fun running it. I can’t wait to go back for the grand opening. A friend of her’s, Thea, stopped by and the three of us talked and talked. It was a really nice morning/afternoon and I miss spending lots of time with Shanna but I needed to get myself home and be productive.

I checked my mail and Peter had given me an r+ on my pull request so all I needed to do was squash my commits and resubmit it. I got it done and pushed up and really for the first time ever felt like what I did was not a huge deal but just a bit of work that needed to be done so bring on the next task. It was nice to feel so comfortable finally! After that was taken care of I started messing with exercism.io. I heard about it after listening to a podcast on the Lady Loves Code website. It’s a great way to practice various coding skills and help others. I highly recommend trying it out.

Today I learned about William Kentridge. He came up while I was talking with Thea about Platonic Idealism.

2015.04.28 – Back at Mozilla

I headed down to Ristretto Roasters to meet Rachel. This time I ordered some tea and it was great! Rachel showed up right on time and wow, she was so nice. We talked and talked and talked and I could have stayed there all day hanging out with her. She was funny and smart. She told me about her path and about the position. It sounds like a fantastic place to work and I am excited to meet the rest of the team.

Jim from Mozilla had invited me to lunch so I made my way to the office and I haven’t been gone long enough for it to feel odd. We had a nice talk over some pizza and salad, I submitted a pull request and then asked Wayne to come and get me because it was looking pretty stormy out and I am still too new to Portland to have been prepared. I really need to figure that out.

It was also dinner night. Jason was gone so we made a meal I thought he wouldn’t care much for. It was SO good. Quinoa, chickpeas, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli with a lemon, garlic, basil dressing. I think I could eat it every day. We had the six of us, Alice, John, Spencer, Dale, Miri, baby Michael, and Frankie and Roberto showed up after everyone else had gone.

Today I learned about Platonic Idealism.

2015.04.27 – Not Nervous at All

Ok I’m kind of nervous! I have a coffee meeting with a potential employer and my last coffee meeting was really weird. Rob seems really nice though so I don’t think it will be weird. I’m just nervous.

That’s how my morning went but as soon as I met Rob I was fine. He was so nice and I really enjoyed just talking to him. He told me about the company he works for and I talked about my background. He told me his story too. I always find it so interesting to learn the path people took to get where they are. We talked for quite some time before he had to get going but he wanted me to come in and meet the team later this week.

I spent the rest of the day working on more Air Mozilla stuff. It feels good to be making progress even if it’s slow. I got an email from Rob suggesting I meet with Rachel, the person transitioning out of the position they are hiring for, either tomorrow or the next day so we have it set up for tomorrow at the same coffee shop.

Today I learned not to order the chai at Ristretto Roasters.

2015.04.26 – Oregon Symphony

It was a pretty quiet day today. We didn’t have any plans until the evening so I was able to work on fixing a test for my Air Mozilla feature. I keep pushing work for it aside because I’m making the job hunt my priority but I still want these things fixed up so they kind of nag at me. It was nice to just sit and work on that with nothing very pressing going on and because I could just dedicate my time to it with zero pressure it made it easier to finish.

We had tickets to go see the Oregon Symphony playing the music of Led Zeppelin. We were going with John and Spencer so they picked us up around 17:00 and we went to dinner first. Being in Portland I don’t really like to eat at chain restaurants very often since we have so many more choices but we were kind of limited to places near they symphony hall and they aren’t vegan. I searched for a place that seemed great for all of us and ended up finding The Yard House. We had never been but they had a selection of Gardein items they served so it seemed perfect. They weren’t too busy with it being fairly early on a Sunday. Our server was great, drinks were great, and the food was ok. None of us were wild about it but it wasn’t bad.

After dinner we walked over to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and there were a LOT of people in line. Luckily we had our tickets mailed to us so we didn’t have to wait. By the time I purchased our tickets there weren’t a ton of seats left so we were way up in the upper balcony. The woman I spoke with when I purchased them said there wasn’t really a bad seat in the house though so I wasn’t terribly worried about it. Wow, it is a beautiful concert hall! The place was packed with very excited people, some dressed all fancy and some not so much and I love that! Portland seems to be very ‘come as you are’ and nobody looks twice.

The symphony began and it was great! I do think it would have sounded a bit better had we sat lower but it was still really, really good. We had a gentleman in front of us who was totally rocking out and that only improved the whole experience. I will definitely be looking for more events like that!

Today I learned that the concert hall was originally named the Portland Publix Theatre and was built in 1928.

2015.04.25 – Olympia, Washington

Andrew and I were going to go to LinuxFest Northwest this weekend but we really didn’t want to leave again after just getting home from a two week trip so we canceled but I had found a super cool medicine cabinet on Craigslist and it was up in Seattle. The plan was to pick it up while we were up at the conference. That wasn’t going to work now and Seattle was a pretty far drive just to get a medicine cabinet.  The seller was headed to the coast on Saturday though and was willing to meet us near Olympia. That sounded perfect as that would only be a 1.5 hour drive. Wayne and I could just run up there and come right back home. Andrew had a doctor’s appointment so he stayed home and we hit the road. It was a beautiful drive up. We had moments of fog, rain and bright sunshine over and over as we made our way there. We met the seller and loved the cabinet. We decided to drive into Olympia and get some breakfast. We had never been so it would be fun to check out a new city. I found a nice cooperative cafe with lots of vegan options. They weren’t too busy so we got a table right away. I think we got there just in time though because soon they had a bunch of people waiting. The food came quickly and it was tasty. As we were eating Wayne suggested we go antique shopping. What a great idea! It seemed like a good place to do that and when I looked for nearby antique stores there were several.

We went to the closest one and immediately saw two slipper light fixtures we just loved. The woman who owned the store said they were on commission from a man named Jerry who has a store of his own as well as antiques at a few other vendors. She suggested we go look at all of his fixtures. We went up to his shop which was just a block away. His grumpy old father was manning the shop when we got there and didn’t give us the time of day but Jerry soon showed up and was really nice. We looked at all of the lighting in his store but didn’t see anything we liked as much as the others so he told us where he had more stuff. We made our way down to the other places and found some other inexpensive things we liked but didn’t really find any lights we liked as much. Each time we would go to another store Jerry was either there or showed up shortly after. Apparently we were there during the annual Olympia Art Walk and Jerry is very involved in it so was going from shop to shop all day long. It was nice to have him wherever we went so we could ask him questions! We still didn’t like anything as much as the first two lights though so went back to the first store where we negotiated an excellent price for both fixtures and no tax since we are from Oregon. Jerry was happy and we were happy. We will definitely go back up to Olympia when we are looking for other vintage items for the house.

Wayne and I had been there for the better part of the day and really needed to be heading home so we got on our way but both realized we should go to the bathroom before we got too far down the road. We spotted a Fred Meyer so pulled off the freeway but then saw a Costco where we needed to go anyway. We figured that would save us a Costco trip later. It was an excellent idea. They had everything we were looking for including the two pack of large bottles of Cholula! We loaded up our purchases and continued home. It was a successful day for sure.

Today I learned that Olympia is a really cute city. We will definitely go back and spend more time checking out more than antique stores.

2015.04.24 – Tea at the Chinese Gardens

I woke up to an overcast day and the possibility of rain. I was hoping it would hold off as I was meeting a friend for tea at the Chinese Gardens. I hadn’t been before so was extra excited about this new adventure. I was really looking forward to having tea with Sam. I met him during Ascend when he came to help our class. I had messed something up in Git and he knew how to fix it so I pretty much commandeered his time and he helped me through it. He also taught me a lot! Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing him again and getting to know him outside of the class.

The rain held off on my walk to the Max which was nice and I arrived at the gardens a bit early. Sam showed up shortly afterward and the gardens opened up. I had no idea how beautiful they were. Wow! I’ve walked past them many times but they are behind a wall so who knew?? We wandered around while we chatted. I couldn’t get over everything there was to see. It began to lightly rain as we walked up to the tea house. We sat down and looked over the menu. They have a ton of choices! We narrowed down our choices and chatted while we waited for our ea to arrive. My tea was delicious but I don’t remember what it was called. We sat and talked for quite some time. It dumped rain at some point while we were there and I think we both wondered how long that might last. I was having such a nice time and could have stayed there for hours more but I also thought I might be talking a lot.

We finished up our tea and said goodbye. I had to get home for a phone call with a potential employer. Things hadn’t been going very smoothly with this company though so I wasn’t getting my hopes up. I walked to the Max and JUST missed a yellow train. Oh well, one would be along in another 15 minutes. That would be perfect timing. Any later and I would not get home in time. I waited and waited though and no yellow train showed up. It was too late now but I was outside in the rain next to a noisy street. Not ideal for a phone call at all. Luckily I was near Andrew’s co-working space and I knew the door code so I let myself in and sat on the stairs. Andrew wasn’t working there this day but I was only going to sit on the stairs in the lobby so nobody would even know I was there. Except Andrew’s co-workers happened to wander downstairs to head to lunch. They thought it was really random that I was there so I explained what was going on. Matthew suggested I just go upstairs and go in an empty room. He said to tell them I was his guest if anyone complained. They seem really nice there though so I wasn’t too worried.

I went upstairs, found a room and the call soon came through. It was really weird and I have no idea how it went. Oh well I just need to move on and try somewhere else. I decided I would just take a bus home since it stops much closer to the house. It was raining so it seemed like a good idea to minimize the distance I had to walk. That was another lousy idea as I waited about 45 minutes for a bus. Oh well again. I finally made it home and decided to spend the rest of the day reading a book.

Today I learned that Sam has a really great website for anyone wanting a better understanding of Git.

2015.04.23 – What a Day

Wayne and I were up early so we could run Alice to the airport. She’s meeting Jason there for a short vacation. After she was safely dropped off Wayne and I went to Junior’s Cafe for some vegan French toast. It was pretty good but they changed their menu and didn’t have the potatoes with fennel that I really like. I will have to figure out a new favorite thing there I guess 🙂

I had a doctor appointment after breakfast and then we headed back home. I worked on my programming test for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go to Trillium for Natale’s parent/teacher conference. Natale, Wayne and I met with his advisor, Ken. We were shocked to find that Natale was only passing ONE class. He has always been a top student so this was quite alarming! We had a really long talk about things though and a lot of this stems from his fear of the future. He fears everything but right now he feels like adulthood is coming up too quickly and he doesn’t feel even close to prepared. We just have to spend a lot of extra time reassuring him that we aren’t booting him out when he turns 18. He should know that based on the other grown children still living with us but I am happy to reassure him as much as he needs. Luckily his school uses competency based grading and he’s very close to passing in the other classes so I think he will be able to pull out of this. He’s an awesome kid and deserves to feel safe and successful.

Today I learned that DRY carbonated beverages from Fred Meyer are delicious. Especially the cucumber soda.

2015.04.22 – Not So Sick

I thought I’d feel awful today but I woke up feeling surprisingly well except for a cough. I stayed home anyway because how annoying would I be coughing through talks? I’m thankful all of the talks were recorded and uploaded pretty much the same day but I would have loved to talk to the other attendees. Oh well.

I spent the day working on a programming challenge for a job opportunity. Parts of it were really easy and parts were really frustrating. I guess that’s how it goes. I had trouble dealing with some special characters and punctuation. I know if I were working with another person or a team I’d be able to ask someone for some tips and guidance and I wouldn’t have struggled as much or for as long. I still have more work to do and a meeting with someone Monday.

Today I learned that deploying a Flask app to Heroku is pretty darned easy.

2015.04.21 – Sick

Yep, I woke up most definitely sick. I was SO bummed to have to stay home and miss Clojure West. Based on how I felt I’d be missing tomorrow as well. Grrr! I mostly spent the day doing a whole lot of nothing. We canceled dinner night so I wouldn’t share this with everyone.

Today I learned that the Flask framework is pretty simple and easy to use.