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Scott Alan Miller :: A Life Online

December 20, 2014: Decompression

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is, without a doubt, our decompression day.  The stress of the last three to four months has been catching up with us.  So many unknowns.  Still many, but a general life framework is coming into focus.  It is such an emotional relief to have a plan now and know, more or less, what we are going to be doing in the future that the weight of the last few months has really caught up and we are really just feeling worn out.  Happy and excited, but exhausted and worn down.  And to add to that feeling, now we have relatively little time to begin gathering details, processing paperwork and going through a rather extensive planning process for going out to California with the family, getting the house in New York completely empty and turned over to our renters and getting housing lined up for our first tour of duty in Europe!  And there is this little Christmas holiday going on at roughly the same time too!  What a month this is going to be.

Today was also my day to catch up on SGL.  I mean really catch up.  Roughly two full months of posts were posted today!  The majority of the posts were written at the time that they occurred but because I was already so far behind I was unable to post them because of the gaps.  So today I did my best, which took about four or five hours, to get the gaps filled in and to get as many posts as I could posted.  Now, once again, the site is roughly up to date and people can follow along with everything that is happening.

It was much harder to have the site be up to date with all of the interviewing going on because you don’t want to make those kinds of things public while they are still happening but you don’t want to skip recording them.  So having a bit of a delay on the blog made that easier too.  I still have some older posts to deal with, mostly in September and October, which I will attempt to address as time allows.  But the most important stuff has been updated.

Today we are all over at Francesca’s house.  Dominica went over there very early in the morning to help out with baking and stuff.  I brought the girls over a bit later once they were up and dressed and ready to face the day.  That was well after ten.  Dominica and Francesca were out shopping when I got there and were gone for at least another hour yet.

Emily and I did our traditional walk down to the Donuts, Kolaches and Tacos store to pick up a late breakfast for everyone.  They have added croissants to their breakfast sandwich lineup now too.  But their breakfast tacos are still the mainstay.

The cousins played outside together most of the day.  It was so warm that they did not even need jackets.  It was slightly chilly if you were to just stand outside but if you were active it was perfect.  I definitely did not need a jacket when walking to the store with Emily.

Emily and I ended up making three trips down to the stores today, all on foot.  Once for breakfast.  Once for baking supplies for Dominica and Francesca.  And once to look for moustache wax because my moustache is getting pretty long and I wanted to give it a try and see how it would look with a handlebar.  We had to go to two stores before finding some wax at CVS.

The handlebar experiment was… interesting. Some people liked it, some did not.  It is clear that the moustache is not long enough yet to really do it.  It will need at least another month before it will work.  Probably a bit longer than that.

I worked much of the day from Francesca’s new HP Chromebook that I had talked her into getting.  It really is nice.  Works great.  They are loving it too.  She almost never gets to see it because Madeline likes to steal it.  The battery life on it is insane too.  Like nine hours or more!  I used it all day and never put a dent in the battery life and Madeline had been watching Netflix on it before I started using it.

Dinner was Mexican tonight.  Joe and Francesca ran out and picked it up.  Dominica and I both did fish tacos which were really good.

After dinner we were all kicked out of the house.  So nearly everyone went over to Joe’s where they all watched Guardians of the Galaxy while I worked in the kitchen.  I have plenty to do, no real time to just be relaxing.  I have to catch up with SGL and some other postings, need to make future plans, need to catch up with emails like you would not believe, have to be posting on MangoLassi and Spiceworks and I need to be studying up on Ruby, Rails and Chef.  Tons to do.

Luciana came back to the house from the theatre after about half an hour.  She asked me to set her up with an iPad in bed.  She was tired and not interested in the movie.  Liesl was having fun, though, and watched the whole thing.  So I put Luciana in my bed, where she wanted to be, for about half an hour.  Then she came downstairs and asked to be moved into her own bed.  She was asleep in no time after that.  I am sure that she was just exhausted from playing with her cousins all day.  She is so good about putting herself to bed when the time is right.  Liesl, not so much.

Brittany’s family came over while everyone was in the theatre.  I have not seen them in a while so we had a chance to catch up.  Then they all watched Home Alone while I continued to work in the kitchen.

After all of the movies were over, Liesl came back over and just sat with me.  All of the iPads were dead at that point and she did not want to use one plugged in in bed.  So she just sat at the table with me.  I talked with her about how she stays up so late and she told me “Well…. I never miss the best movies!”

Dominica did not get back to the house until about one in the morning.  I stayed up a little longer because I was getting so much done on SGL.  But my two everyone was in bed and asleep.

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December 19, 2014: Interview Day in Houston

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Thank goodness that I thought ahead and made Dominica set an alarm in addition to my own alarm because my phone, while plugged in, did not turn on and its alarm did not go off this morning!  But Dominica’s went off not that long after mine was supposed to have woken me up so not an issue.  I have a major interview this morning on the early side and then another one later in the afternoon.  So I had to be up pretty early to make sure that I was all set up and ready before the morning interview began.

Dominica got up with the girls and hung out with them upstairs to keep them quiet while I did the interview.  The one this morning felt like it went very well.  But, as always, you can never really tell with these things.

Right after my interview, Dominica and the girls came downstairs and were hanging out in the kitchen.  It was not long before something happened and Liesl fell from a tall bar stool and face planted onto the hard tile kitchen floor.  It was horrible.  I did not really get to see her fall but saw her seconds later when there was some serious screaming.  She had not managed to even get her hands out in front of her and she apparently impacted the tile floor with her teeth hitting it first.  She was in an incredible amount of pain.  Some of the worst pain that I have ever seen her in.  It was just awful.  She was screaming and screaming about how much her teeth hurt.

It took probably twenty minutes before we were really able to get to the bottom of Liesl’s situation as there was a bit of blood and she was in so much pain that she could not communicate.  Eventually she was able to tell us how scared she was because she could feel that a tooth or two were out of place!  Dominica was rapidly getting herself dressed and I worked to get Liesl ready so that they could run to a dentist to get her X-rayed as soon as possible to see what the teeth situation is.  The two teeth that she appears to have hit on the floor are her two adult teeth so this is a really big deal.

I had to stay behind because my second interview was coming up soon and there was not time to reschedule and there was nothing that I would be able to add to the situation.  Liesl was okay and just needed to see a dentist and Dominica was on top of that already.  So I stayed back with Luciana.

Before leaving Liesl actually said through her streaming tears “At least it wasn’t Luciana who fell and got hurt.”  Such a sweet girl our Liesl is!

The trip to the dentist went well. The X-rays appeared to show that Liesl’s adult teeth are okay although a follow up appointment was recommended in a few weeks to ensure that things were still okay.  There were definitely some teeth out of place and the dentist filed down at least one baby tooth to allow Liesl to be able to close her mouth properly again.  But everything will be fine.  No solid food for Liesl for a while now, though.  That is going to be really tough.  What a poor girl.  She was quite the trooper, though.

Dominica dropped Liesl off at Francesca’s house on the way back.  She came back and took her morning shower which she had had to skip because of the emergency.  While she was in the shower I had the start of my second interview.  While I was still in the Skype session Dominica got Luciana and they both went over to Francesca’s so that they could hang out with their cousins all day.

My second interview seemed to go really well.  I spoke to the recruiter and told him that I would really like to move things along and make a decision today.  He said that if my goal was to have a decision today that he would make sure that that happened.  So we spent the day awaiting news on an offer from them.  But we feel really good about the chances that there will be an offer and we are excited to be looking at the possibility of having some closure about things.

It has been more than four months at this point that our lives have been in complete and utter upheaval without knowing what is going on.  We have had absolutely no stability for so long now that even though everything has been financially okay.  Financially great, in fact, we have been struggling with the stress with having no way to make any plans at all.  And it is not just Dominica and I.  Everyone in the family has been eagerly awaiting some news.

Joe and Bennie came back over the house and we hung out for most of the afternoon.  We had originally thought that I was going to get an offer closer to two or three in the afternoon.  We spent the day waiting for information to come in about that.  That was stressful but I kept getting good reports about the situation, so we all remained hopeful.

It was late in the evening when I finally got the call and the initial offer.  We were pretty confident that one was going to come in today but it was getting so late, about a quarter till five Pacific time making it nearly seven o’clock here in Houston, that we were worried that things were going to run over the weekend and then hit all of the issues that you always have with the holiday week.  But finally the call came.

We spoke for a while but the money that they were offering was just not enough for us to really take it.  So they went back to talk about options.  While I was waiting for them to come back to me, the rest of the family came over to Joe’s house to have dinner.  They brought pizza.  So I was still waiting on pins and needles when they got there.

It was about an hour before they called back and offered the money that we needed to accept.  Much lower than we were hoping but pretty much what we were expecting.  This one is really about the job and the lifestyle changes and what it means for the family and much less about the money.  The benefits are outstanding and I think that our family is going to be much, much happier with this.

So the evening was mostly spent dealing with the realization that more than four months of stress are now over and that our decision is made.  There is a lot of stuff to do before I can start.  Paperwork with the non-compete, ugh.  But thankfully there is zero competition and the state of California does not recognize non-competes so it is null and void anyway.  But we want to go through the procedures.  No need to rock the boat at this stage.  And we need to arrange moving out to California and figure out exactly what the “being in California” situation will be like.

I have a lot of details but it is too late and we are too warn out to discuss them now.  I will do my best to fill everyone in as much as I can tomorrow.  This is a really awesome opportunity but it is extremely complicated to explain and there is a lot that we do not know ourselves yet.  Needless to say it is going to be some extreme upheaval.

Officially, we are now Texans again.  We are living here in Houston as our American base.  The only trip back to Peekskill is going to be Dominica and I making a trip just to pack everything up, get it cleaned out and to hand over the keys to the renters so that they can get into it as soon as we are done shipping everything out.  We have no idea when we will be doing that, though.

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December 18, 2014: Driving to Houston

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

We were up at a decent time this morning, like eight-ish.  Today is our all out driving day. Because I have an early interview tomorrow morning (via Skype) we need to make it all of the way to Houston tonight.  There really isn’t any option to cut it short this time.

It was probably no later than nine thirty before we were all loaded up and on the road.  That was a great start.  Although we started the day with a known major traffic jam out on Interstate 65.  So we took some backroads and worked around it from the beginning and actually did really well.

Overall, it was a great driving day.  We made really good time and managed to get down to Birmingham, Hattiesburg and across Louisiana without any issues.  Overall a great travel day.

The only real issue that we ran into the entire drive was on the outskirts of Houston we hit a pretty bad rain storm that probably cost us nearly an hour just inside of the Houston metro area.  And down on Interstate 45 we actually ended up in some mess with cops blocking the highway.  We were stuck there for quite a while.

I drove this entire trip.  Not just the sixteen or seventeen hours today but every mile that we have done over the past three days of driving.  Dominica did not need to take the wheel a single time!

It was well after one when we got to the house and unloaded the car.  We were off to bed almost immediately.  I need to get a few hours before my interview in the morning.

We got the bad news on the drive that Facebook, for whom I had gone to San Francisco on Sunday and Monday, decided to decline me for the position that I was looking at.  They liked me overall and invited me to apply again later but at this time, they were not going to make an offer.  Depressing but it will help with decision making if the job that I am talking to tomorrow makes an offer because before now we were torn as to which we were more interested in.  Both positions had lots of merits but were drastically different.  It could have been a really tough decision.  Now we are just hoping that the other one makes an offer.

Liesl and Luciana are staying in one room and Dominica and I are down the hallway in our own room.  This makes things much easier.

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December 17, 2014: Ohio

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

We got a pretty good night’s sleep last night at the Quality Inn where we stopped along our drive out to Ohio.  We are so glad that we did that.  The drive this morning was only about an hour and a half to get to grandma’s house.  That was really easy.  We got to her house around eleven thirty, just in time for me to get ready for a phone interview that I needed to do as a follow up to the secondary interview that I did on Monday evening.  It seemed to go well, but it is always very hard to really tell.

Most of the family made it out to grandma’s house shortly after we did to visit.  Unfortunately Gwen and Mike left for a vacation in Wisconsin during the night so we did not get to see them.  But everyone else was around.  Monica even managed to get out of work early so that she could come down and spend more time with the girls.  Liesl really misses Monica.

We hung out till about three thirty then went up to Louisville to get a late lunch at Grinders, the restaurant than everyone knows that Dominica and I love.  The food is just awesome.

We went back to grandma’s house and stayed until a few minutes after eight.  That was much later than we had wanted to stay today.  Our original plan was to be on the road by six.  This was much later.  But even Monica’s fiancee Joe, whom we have not had a chance to meet yet, was able to make it and he spent a lot of time playing with the girls.  They all had a great time.

We were not feeling much like driving once we finally got out the door.  We managed to make it all of the way past Louisville, Kentucky.  Rather apropos to go directly from Louisville, Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky this evening, I guess.  On the drive we listened to several chapters of The Cricket in Times Square for Liesl until she fell asleep.  Then Dominica and I listened to an hour or two of Eragon which both of us have read before but neither have read for a long time.

We stopped at an EconoLodge along the highway.  We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow but we are going to make it to Houston by the end of the day.

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December 16, 2014: Fast Turnaround

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is my total whirlwind day.  I am on the plane from San Francisco this morning.  It was the exhausting red eye flight.  I got to Chicago somewhere around six in the morning.  What a long night.

I had a bit of a layover in Chicago’s ORD and then flew on to White Plains on a super tiny little jet where there was no one in my row or any row near me so I could spread out and relax.  I got into White Plains at nine thirty in the morning.  Dominica and the girls picked me up at just past ten to take me back to the house.  I was really exhausted but so glad to be home.

At this point I am really confident in both of the places where I interviewed yesterday and am anticipating some tough decisions in the next few days.  But, as always, it is incredibly hard to read interviews and we will just have to see what happens.

We got home around eleven and I was straight off to bed to see how much sleep that I could get.  Luciana had a lot of energy and stayed up to go play on her own.  Liesl was so glad that I was home that even though she had a full night’s sleep she climbed right into bed with me and snuggled for a few hours.

Altogether I managed to only get two or three hours worth of nap in all day but at least it was something and I got more time than that of relaxing time just laying in bed attempting to charge up my batteries.  Dominica spent the day packing more in the house and getting the Acadia ready for the trip.

Our original plan was to go to dad’s house tonight, drop off some stuff including the Spark, and then drive to Ohio in the morning.  But Dominica was really tired and did not feel that she could drive up to dad’s house and the cars were not packed with all of the stuff that we wanted to take so the value of doing the trip was going to be very low, especially as we would be getting there very late and would not really get to see dad at all and it would add a ton of miles to the trip.

So the new plan is to drive directly on to Ohio tonight rather than going to dad’s house first.  So we got on the road in the early evening.  It was already dark and we stopped at the Dunkin Donuts on the circle on the way out of town.

I ended up doing all of the driving tonight even after having basically skipped a night of sleep.  Dominica had had insomnia last night and was not feeling very well.  We drove across Pennsylvania.  The trip went fine.  I was pretty tired by the time that we were approaching Youngstown so we decided that going all of the way too Alliance, where we normally go when going to visit my family in Ohio, did not make sense and that we could just stop sooner and drive a little more in the morning before going to my grandmother’s house.  So we stopped at a Quality Inn along the way in someplace like Barkeyville and crashed for the night.

Hotel was nothing special but it wasn’t too expensive and everything was fine.  It worked out really well and we were extremely happy that we had decided to spend the night.  This let us catch up on some of our missing sleep and we will be in far better shape for the rest of our driving.  We cannot be losing too much sleep now or we will be in terrible shape come tomorrow night.

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December 15, 2014: Interview Day

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is going to be just super busy.  I woke up at two in the morning and could not figure out what time it was.  Finally got back to sleep and was back up around four.  Fell asleep a little bit more but was finally up around five thirty and gave up on getting back to sleep.

I got up and started getting ready.  My interview is at ten thirty in Menlo Park which, I am told, is roughly ten to fifteen minutes away from the hotel so I do not need to leave the hotel until ten. That is more than four hours away.

I did some reading this morning.  And I spent a lot of time on the phone.  I talked to some recruiters about the status of a few companies that I am looking at on the east coast – one in NYC and one in Boston.

I got a chance to talk to my recruiters about the Barclays situation too.  I found out that that offer was official rescinded on the flight yesterday but I had not had an opportunity to actually talk to anyone to get the scoop to see what had happened.  We are happy to finally have closure on that, as depressing as it is.  Yesterday was two days short of four months since that entire process began.  It really put our lives onto an emotional roller coaster, one that has not stopped yet.  It is amazing how much change and upheaval was caused by that job offer!

So in the end, Barclays was unable to hire me without being attacked and they did not have the stomach for the court battle.  They feel terrible, both because it messed up our lives so much, but also because they are now stuck starting over on a process that has already taken them more than ten months.  It is a really awful situation for them as well.  It’s just bad for everyone.  We are very sad because there was just so much great potential there.

I got a little time to do more reading and to program for maybe an hour at most before I got the hotel room all packed up and went down to the lobby to check out and get a cab to go to Menlo Park.

I got to Menlo Park to the Facebook offices at a quarter after ten in the morning.  It is going to be a long day there today.  There was a light rain.

It was a good day. I was there until a quarter till five.  A very busy, fully packed day.  I felt good all day but by the time that we were wrapping things up for the day I was feeling pretty tired.  Having traveled all day yesterday and getting so little sleep and then many hours of intense interviews just left me ready for a rest.  But there is no time for that.

I grabbed a taxi and rode in heavy traffic up to San Francisco.  That took almost an hour and a half.  That added to my exhaustion.

It was after six when I got to Jeff’s office.  But one of the founders and the technical hiring guys stayed behind to make sure that they would get time with me.  I did several interviews while I was there.  We squeezed in a bit and stayed until nearly eight!

Sarah picked Jeff and I up and the two of them took me out to their local diner for dinner before taking me on to the airport.  It’s a “local” diner chain from Oregon famous for their pies and they really did have the best French Silk pie that I have ever had.

I got to the airport a bit on the early side.  My flight is at eleven thirty and we were there at a quarter after nine.  But best to just get to the gate and relax.  So they dropped me off and I went and camped out at a work station at the gate and got some writing done while I was there.  I love the San Francisco (SFO) airport.  It is the nicest airport that I have ever been in.  They had playground facilities for the little kids too.  And tons of power and work spaces for people to get things done.  And free WiFi.  And lots of great eateries.  I was quite impressed.

I had nearly two hours to kill.  Finally boarded the plane around eleven but due to a technical issue with the in flight entertainment system we did not manage to get off of the ground until nearly half past midnight!  I was really worried that I would not manage to make my connecting flight in Chicago in the morning.

I am flying a brand new American Airlines Boeing 737-800 from SFO to ORD.  This is the first flight that I have taken where there is a power supply for every seat on the plane.  I might have been able to use my CPAP but I did not try it.  I was fully charged up from the airport so did not need to use the power on the plane at all.  Very cool, though.

I had plenty of space on this flight.  It was very comfortable.  I read a little bit but not a lot.  I was pretty tired and spent a lot of time nodding off.

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December 14, 2014: Flying to San Francisco

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

It is quickly starting to feel like I fly all of the time!  This time I am off to San Francisco, California.  It has been about a year since I was last out there so this is about right for my pattern.  This is a quick one, though.  I will be out there this evening and leaving tomorrow evening.  I will be on the ground in the Bay Area for only twenty seven hours.

I got up at seven this morning so that I would have plenty of time to get ready and not have to rush or anything.  Pretty much all of the packing was done last night so there was little beyond shaving and showering to do for me today.  I shaved my head as my hair was getting a little long.

We were on the road at about nine forty.  Forty minutes later than we had originally said that we should leave but plenty of time considering that I am flying out of White Plains and not a major airport.  And it is a Sunday too.  We got to the airport just fine and I grabbed breakfast at Dunkin Donuts in the airport after kissing the girls goodbye.  This is a short trip, hopefully they will not miss me too much.  I am returning on the red eye tomorrow night.

I got right through security, no one in line, it was just me.  That only took five minutes or less.  So I got into the waiting area and had time to work on my laptop and charge it up some while waiting for me flight to be announced.

The first flight was incredibly cramped and I was a bit soar after it.  I was in the very first row in those extra small seats with no forward cargo room.  I had to lean into the isle the entire flight which was about an hour and a half.  Thankfully that was the shorter of the two legs.

I got the Charlotte at two and did not have to board my flight until after four and we were not to take off until nearly five.  So I had a lot of time to kill.  I went to the “Taste of the Carolinas” restaurant which, of course, was operated by the California Pizza Kitchen.  I got some beer and a tuna melt.  It was okay but nothing special (the food or the beer.)

I ended up making a friend at the bar and he and I talked for over an hour which made the time go a lot faster.  He is going out to San Francisco for an interview tomorrow too.

The flight from Charlotte to San Francisco was packed but it was a large Airbus A320 so there was enough room to be comfortable.  It was not a bad flight, just insanely long.  The longest flight that I have taken in a very long time.  There was no in-flight entertainment.  I tried to nap a little but that really didn’t work.  I read a lot on my iPad Mini which worked well.  At least that time was productive.

We landed a bit early, just before seven local time.  So between a five and a six hour flight.

I got a taxi after landing and headed over to Jeff Pierce’s house for pizza and to hang out for a little while.  We only get to see each other about once a year.

Jeff lives only about ten minutes from the airport.  Turns out there was a bit of a party at his house so I had people to hang out with for much of the evening.  We had a really good time hanging out.  We stayed until about ten then Zach and Doug drove me out to Palo Alto which was a rather long drive.

I am staying at the Sheraton Palo Alto tonight.  It was pretty nice.  I got checked in and relaxed for a little while.  It was probably around midnight when I got off to sleep.  I have a really long day tomorrow so am hoping to manage to get good sleep tonight which is always hard when on the west coast.  My body will make me get up far earlier than I would like.

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December 13, 2014: Travel Prep Day

December 21st, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today turned into a “panic” prep day for my interview in California tomorrow.  Originally we had been thinking that there would be a few days before I was going to go out there but at the last minute last evening they were able to schedule me for Monday morning which means that I need to fly out tomorrow morning so today is my only day to get everything ready to go now.

I slept in a little and got to get well rested.  I spent the first part of the day, till about two or three o’clock, with the girls allowed in the room with me.  They were mostly good and just played quietly, more or less, on their own.  I managed to do a little bit of prep work this morning, mostly working on my Python skills.  More than anything else just doing Python stuff to make sure that all of it stays current because I have to do so much of it under pressure on Monday again but I do so little of it in general.  Just keeping it all fresh is the most important thing.

By mid afternoon I ended up getting dragged into a support call with Art and Joe who are doing stuff in Manhattan.  I ended up putting in a couple of hours helping them out with what they were working on.

After that disruption I had to “lock myself in” so that I could work in the bedroom alone for most of the evening.

We got some new video games today in all of the sales.  I got the Prince of Persia series that Liesl asked for.  I got the first eight (out of nine) Leisure Suit Larry games for Dominica, which she has been wanting.  And I got Neverwinter Nights 2 for myself.  We also got the PC version of Dragon Age II so that Dominica can start playing that on her laptop.  We are planning on packing up the PS3 relatively soon and it would be annoying for her to start playing Dragon Age II on there and then have it unavailable for an indefinite amount of time.  So we bought the PC version and she was downloading that for much of the day.  She has been wanting to play that for a long time.  Dragon Age Origins is her favourite video game of all time so it is pretty surprising that she has never played the sequel which we have owned since it originally released around 2011.

By evening Dominica had DA2 downloaded and was playing it on her 4K resolution laptop which really pushes the game.  It runs okay but she has to turn all of the settings all of the way down and it is still a little jerky.  I am looking forward to playing it again once I have a real gaming machine on which to play it.  I want to play through Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age II completely on the new rig before looking into getting Dragon Age Inquisition sometime next year when the prices come down.  I figure that it will take me long enough to work through the two games (it is probably 150 hours of gaming in there) that there is plenty of time for the price to drop.  I am attempting to read the Dragon Age novels before then too so that I am completely up to date.  I learned what a good idea that that was from reading the Mass Effect novels in conjunction with playing those titles.

We managed to get everyone off to bed at a reasonable time.  We have an early start tomorrow and the girls are not known for wanting to get up early in the morning so we want them to get as much sleep as possible so that they are not too grumpy when we have to head off to the airport.

Dominica got me all packed for tomorrow.  We should be able to pretty much just get up and go.  I made a trip up to the attic and got down a ton of empty, collapsed boxes for her to assemble and start packing while I am gone.  We are thinking that we might begin our trek towards Texas as early as Tuesday evening after I return from California, nap and am ready to get into the car.  It is going to be one long, crazy week.  I might end up doing a continuous week of travel after having just done the crazy traveling the last two days!!

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