October 17, 2017: New Tires

DuoLingo Streak: 45 Days

I was up early this morning.  I did some work and while the kids were still sleeping I took a little chance to play an hour or two of XCOM.  Then Liesl woke up and came to join me.  It was a tough session, though, and I had to roll back everything that I did today as I was unable to beat any missions at all.

Dominica was up early today talking to a client for a while this morning.  We are slowly getting our schedules onto a more normal time zone equivalent.  We’ve been skewed horribly late with Luciana sometimes not getting to fall asleep until the sun was starting to come up!

The kids had school today.

Yesterday Dominica made an appointment for me to go to Discount Tire in The Colony today at three in the afternoon to get new tires put on to the Nissan Quest.  Our old ones are essentially thread bare and have to be replaced before we use the car for anything and certainly before we have any chance of managing to get it inspected, which has to be done this month!  So at two thirty I drove up to The Colony and waited about an hour as all four tires got replaced.

While I was waiting at Discount Tire, I got about an hour in on DuoLingo and Mango Languages.  A good use of my time.

The car was handling better on the way home.  You know the tires are in bad shape when you can instantly feel the improvement in how the car drives.

For dinner this evening Dominica made samosa pie.  It was really good, but the kids were not into it.

We watched Blacklist this evening, we are on the third season, now.  Netflix only has four seasons, I think, so we will have to wait a while for the fifth season.

We read more of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban tonight and are ready to start the fourth chapter tomorrow with the girls.  For the first time since I have been back from Phoenix, the girls slept in their own room tonight.

October 16, 2017: Library, Denny’s & HP3

DuoLingo Streak: 44 Days

Monday.  Have to actually get into a work routine now, I guess.  The traveling and conference weeks are over and there is stuff to be done.  I did a bit of work logistics this morning, still have paperwork and what not to get wrapped up.

I worked most of the day, but was able to knock off early and spend some time with Dominica.  Then, this evening, we had to go to the Carrollton Public Library to drop off some books.

The girls always love going to the library.  They discovered more computer and tablet games available there today.  There are lots of kids activities, it is really well done.  We got a stack of new books, too.

Liesl at the Carrollton Library

After the library, both girls had requested that we go out to Denny’s.  Dominica and I had already planned on that, but it was good that both kids requested it without us prompting for it.  Kids eat free there in the evenings, which makes it that much easier for us to go.

Liesl & Her Snowman Milkshake at Denny’s

Luciana tried my grilled salmon skillet and decided that next time, that is what she wants to get when we go out.  She loves grilled salmon.  She went on and on about it.

Once home, Dominica and I watched Blacklist for a while, and the girls played video games for a while.  Luciana was in the middle of a game of The Sims 3 when we had left, so she came back to finish that.

At around midnight, both girls asked me to make them scrambled eggs for “dinner.”  At least it is something healthy.  I was a bit surprised to be cooking scrambled eggs at that time of the night, though!

This evening we started reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for our night time reading.  We got through two chapters and called it a night.

October 15, 2017: Restarting XCOM

DuoLingo Streak: 43 Days

I was up long before anyone else this morning.  I have been playing XCOM for a while and am not doing so well at it.  I have identified some places where I really messed up in my original run through of the game and feel that because I screwed it up so badly that I need to go back and do it all again to get it right this time.  So this morning, while everyone was sleeping, I fired it up and began another play through of XCOM: Enemy Within.

I got in several hours of gaming today and, in many respects, my new game is already way ahead of the other game that I have put nearly sixty hours into!  Liesl did eventually come out and hang out with me in the living room so that she could watch me play.

After the kids were up for a while, the kids wanted to use the Steam laptop.  So Luciana, who had waited better, got to go first and played Slime Rancher.

Later in the evening, Liesl played some games on line with Garrett.  They got several hours in on Age of Empires 2 HD.  Such a great game for them to be playing.

While the kids were video gaming, Dominica and I got back into Blacklist.  We are plowing through that with reckless abandon.  We will be done with the second season very soon.

Tonight, at bed time, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in the series.  The girls are loving it.  They are so into the story and the universe.  And they are loving our night time reading time.

October 14, 2017: Another New Project?

DuoLingo Streak: 42 Days

Saturday.  We have nothing planned for this weekend.  In theory I am supposed to be flying out to Phoenix late tomorrow night, but nothing about the flight plans or schedule has been discussed yet and I am still awaiting information on other things from earlier in the week.  So, it seems rather unlikely that I will be flying out all that soon.

My morning started with me getting out of bed to news that I need to help with looking into the development of some new banking systems in central Africa.  Some extremely interesting stuff.  I was involved with that for much of the morning.

So that was exciting way to start the day.  Not at all what I was expecting.

By mid-afternoon I was no longer needed at my desk, so I watched Blacklist with Dominica for much of the afternoon and evening.  We are addicted to it now.  Thankfully it is on Netflix so we are able to just binge watch it.

This evening we continued reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and got through about one chapter and then Luciana said that it was too scary and that we need to read it during the day, not at night time because it is so scary that she is not able to sleep after we are done reading it.  So we wrapped it up on the early side tonight and are saving the conclusion of the book for tomorrow night’s reading.

October 13, 2017: Decompression Day

DuoLingo Streak: 41 Days

Friday.  Finally, a day at home with the family.  We took today as a very quiet day.  I’m pretty tired from weeks of traveling and events.  I need a few days to just hide and adjust back.

I did some gaming with the girls today.  And Dominica and I have really gotten into the NBC drama Blacklist which we have been watching heavily.  We had to go back and watch some of the first episodes again because it has been so long since we have seen them that we had forgotton who some of the characters are.

October 12, 2017: Back Home in Dallas, Again

DuoLingo Streak: 40 Days

Thursday.  I’m still in Austin today so that I can meet with Spiceworks this afternoon.  I skipped breakfast this morning, sleeping in a bit.  I waited to shower and stuff until Tracy had gotten ready and headed off to the airport.  Then I got ready and Andrew picked me up and we drove out to Spiceworks headquarters and got lunch across the street while we waited for my meeting this afternoon.

We had lunch at a place called Jade.  I had shrimp fried rice, it was good.

We put in maybe two hours over at Spiceworks headquarters.  This is the first that I have seen of the new building.  “New” meaning over a year.  Not so many familiar faces any longer.  Several, but nothing like there used to be.

Scott at Spiceworks HQ

After Spiceworks it was time to drive back to Dallas.  We got on the road and were home in the early evening before dinner time.  Andrew came in and said “hi” and continued on home.

Andrew at Spiceworks HQ

Hung out with the family this evening.  Once the kids decided to do their own thing, Dominica and I started watching Blacklist.

October 11, 2017: Scale Boat

DuoLingo Streak: 39 Days

Last day of SpiceWorld 2017.  Tracy and I both felt awful this morning.  He is convinced that he came down with something as he did not feel like he drank that much last night (hint: he did.)  So maybe it is a combination of the alcohol and something going around.

I have nowhere that I need to be today, so I decided that the best option would be to get some serious rest and not puch myself.  Just no need.  My first real commitment of the day is the Scale Boat tour this evening at five thirty near the hotel.  Going to the convention center, which I’ve already seen everything there that I want to see, would just be walking away from where I need to be later.  So I decided to nap, shower, and chill at the hotel.

As often happens when I drink too much, my CPAP got slightly askew during the night (this causes the air to not blow quite right into my nose) and I get sinus irritation which leads to insane levels of sneezing which easily turns into sinucitis.

Andrew, who is my ride home tomorrow afternoon, got into town way too early and wanted to hang out, but I was resting for a while.  Finally around three we went to the “Yeti Bar”, which is a bar at the Yeti store across the street, for some drinks.  I kept to just water myself.  I’ve not seen Andrew in nearly a year.

From the bar I ran back to the hotel and bought Claritin, which I had not thought of earlier, and started feeling better very quickly.  Andrew and I walked to the river and were among the first few to be ready for the boat.

Another great year on the Scale Boat.  We had a nice ride with great weather, not too hot, for a change.

After the boat trip, we hit the hotel to freshen up, and then we walked to Touche for the evening.

Last Night at Touche with Jo, Hutch, Tracy & Scott

We shut things down again tonight, getting back around three or four. On the way back we stopped and got falafel.  Tracy had never had falafel before and while messy, this was some of the best that I had ever had.

Tracy’s First Falafel