More Posts!

May 22nd, 2020

It’s been over a month since my last post, so clearly I’m still bad at blogging, but I’m going to try to stop apologizing for that and just write more.

In site news, I’ve managed to dump all my Facebook content to local files, and then begin importing the data back here to ChrisWeb. Now if you go through the archives here, you’ll see all my Facebook text-only posts scatted throughout. I guess the idea here is to keep my life’s journal all in one place. I’ve started with just text posts, but I plan to also merge in links and photos as well. Just need to settle on a default formatting I like.

In other news, life on lockdown continues. We’re bored and it sucks, but the family is still in good health. We go on walks down our local bike path, where we see ducks and nutria, but I want to go camping something fierce!

Sammy had her 6th birthday, and we had our first guests of the quarantine for the party, such as it was. The local grandparents came by for a few hours, and it was very nice. We also had a Zoom call with some extended family and friends, although Sammy spent most of that playing with her new Legos.

A duck we saw on one of our walks

Bad at Blogging

April 16th, 2020

So, it’s been months since my last post here, which over the last few years is still not a bad average. At any rate, I’d like to write more here, especially with the world the way it is at the moment, so no time like the present!

In site news, I’ve migrated the whole thing from DreamHost to my own AWS EC2 instance. I’ve also moved the DNS from Hover to Google and all my email forwards to my gmail address now. Seems cleaner, but please let me know if you notice any odd behavior in the site.

But yeah. The world. If you’re reading this in the future, please note the date stamp: The entire world is dealing with Covid-19. I’ve been working from home and Sammy has been home from school for over a month. Like many states, Oregon is participating in “Social Distancing”, which means very little contact with the world and very little to do outside the house. We’re getting by OK, and generally it’s fine, but some days are harder than others. Most days it’s work (on weekdays), TV, video games, playing in the yard, cooking, cleaning, and reading. Sometimes we go for walks around the neighborhood. Most parks and hiking trails are closed. I go grocery shopping once a week. It’d be kind of nice if we weren’t forced into it, and there wasn’t an overshadowing cloud of a deadly pandemic.

Last post was in July? Real quick rundown of what’s happened since then: we’ve painted the inside of the house, unpacked our stuff, Sammy started kindergarten, I sold the Charger and got a Tacoma truck, we saw Saint Motel play the Roseland, Megs took the Oregon Bar exam (results pending), we made some new friends, and we had some visitors as well as a couple parties.

My new whip

Facebook Post

October 19th, 2019

Megs is playing Pokemon Go now. Anyone mind throwing her a friend request? 7090 5961 0660

Moving and Settling In

July 31st, 2019

Moving day was Saturday July 5th. Erv had borrowed a “box truck” from work, so Friday evening we loaded it up with most of the stuff from the garage that we had never unpacked in Sandy. We pretty much filled it, so we resigned ourselves to two trips, getting the remaining garage items and the stuff from inside the house on the second go-around.

Saturday morning we loaded a few more things into the truck, packed up most of the items from inside the house so as to be able to re-load the truck quickly for round two, and were about to leave when disaster struck: the cat had got out! In all the moving back and forth with boxes, I had propped the front door open “just for a minute” to get a few things out. But that “minute” lasted longer that originally planned and Isis went for a walk. I searched the house, thinking she was just hiding somewhere, but she was nowhere inside to be found, so we all took to the streets and fields (yes, fields!) around the house to look for her.

After much fretting, searching, and worrying… Maverick escaped. He’d managed to force open the side gate, so as I’m coming back to the house to check the bushes again, I see Maverick running by going the other way with folks chasing him. “Great. Just great.” I think. I sigh, and begin searching around the shrubbery again. Someone else will get the dog, I figure. But, I soon see him racing back towards the house, so I figure at least I can shut the gate behind him and solve one problem. However as I go to do so, I see the cat! Just right there in the open gate! So I herd the dog through, grab the cat, and call out that I have them both! Much happiness, and now our day can proceed.

We drove to the house and our good friends The Chorpennings meet us there to help with the unloading. We get everything off the truck and generally into the rooms the items/boxes go into in rapid time, and then it’s time to split up for lunch and return for the second load (as well as the pets!) Loading up the truck again went much smoother and no more pets were lost. Got the last of our stuff to the house, with all life forms accounted for, the Chorpennings again coming to our aid with unloading and even helped assemble our borrowed futon without any instructions!

By the end of Saturday we were tired, but officially in our new home!

Cat, kid, and futon
Cat, kid, and futon
Kid's bed, assembled
Kid’s bed, assembled
Obligatory post-move pizza
Obligatory post-move pizza

House Hunting

July 23rd, 2019

So, at this point I’ve started work at New Relic, Sammy has started at a new kindergarten in Fairview, and Megs has began studying for the July Oregon Bar Exam. And most importantly, we’re all living at Megs’ folks’ place in the sticks of Sandy, OR. It was time for us to find our own place, and we were sick of renting, so time to finally buy that house we’ve never been able to afford in Los Angeles.

We went about it straightforward enough–got a realtor, and started cruising Zillow, Redfin, and the rest. Now, I don’t know what it was like when/if y’all ever tried to buy a house, but these days the good ones go really fast. The first weekend we went out and looked at four houses, liked one enough, so we put an offer in the next day, and were promptly outbid. There’s no time to dwell on it. If you like it, you gotta move on it right away or it’s gone, which sucks. So yeah, first week was a bust.

The following Wednesday or Thursday we go out to look at three or four more houses with our realtor, one of which Megs and I particularly excited about, because it ticks just about all of our boxes, even stretch goals. We wanted to see that one ASAP, rather that wait for the weekend, since now we knew how quickly the good ones go away. We checked it out, as well as a couple others, and yeah, that one we were excited about was our favorite as we thought. There was an open house the following Saturday and they would be accepting offers then, so we gathered our paperwork.

That weekend, we went to see the house again, pretending to be first-time visitors at the open house. We’d gone with our mothers the first time and Megs’ dad wanted to see it, too. We still had a good feeling about it, so after checking it out a second time, our realtor sent over some digital papers to sign for an offer–We signed them with my laptop over lunch at the table in McMenamins.

After lunch we parted ways with Megs’ folks and went to go see Detective Pikachu with Sammy. Fun film! We all enjoyed it. Anyways, after the movie, we got a call from our realtor telling out we were massively outbid. That was very fast, and we were very crushed. We went home, dejected and frustrated at the modern housing market. Over the next week we had no choice but to continue our search, and went back to browsing the websites.

The following Friday (the last day in May), we were out getting pizza when we got a text from our realtor–the buyer on the house we loved had backed out, and we were in! The owners accepted our original bid and we were off to the races, thus beginning a long month of paperwork, frantic back and forth with various financial organizations, and some sleepless nights. There are too many various little issues to go into here, and this post is already super long, but tl;dr (too late!) everything came together and on July 3rd, Megan and I received keys and became homeowners!

Shortly after receiving keys and gift basket from the realtor

I was going to go on to talk about moving in, but this post is already much too long, so I’ll save that for later.

New Life Begins

July 19th, 2019

So, in my last post I left off with us arriving in Oregon on a Wednesday evening in April. After spending a few days getting acclimated, unpacking and setting up the few things we had brought in the cars, and generally settling in, it was time for me to start work on Monday!

New Relic, Inc. is in a building nicknamed “Big Pink” in downtown Portland. I’ll let you click the links to learn more about what New Relic does and what the building is like, but what I will say is that it’s an amazing place to work, and the people I work with are awesome! I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a new “work family” like I had at Disney, but it appears my fears were unfounded. Every is super cool and good at what they do. My title at New Relic is “Senior Software Engineer” and now after I’ve been there for a bit, I feel like I know where ~all~ most the systems are, and can contribute to my team.

Being downtown means a couple things: 1) lots of interesting, non-chain food options at lunch, including the famous Portland food carts, and 2) no parking. At least, no free parking. To save on time in traffic as well as parking fees, I’ve become a mass transit convert very quickly. When living in Sandy, OR, I would drive 15-20mins to the Gresham Park & Ride, then take the Blue Line MAX light rail train downtown (50 mins). Not a short commute, but the train was nice because I wasn’t driving anymore and it took me within a few blocks of my building.

Now, living with Megs’ folks was very pleasant, with no friction to speak of. We could not have asked for more in our temporary lodgings, but of course we wanted to find a place of our own reasonably soon. Especially once our moving POD caught up to us a week after we arrived. We needed a place for us and all our stuff. So we began looking for a house to buy…

Massive Life Changes

July 19th, 2019

Oh man, where to start? My last post was about pumpkins back in October, which was nine months ago. A major life event has happened since then, so let me fill you.

Most of the people who are likely to ever come across this ancient and oft-neglected blog will already know this, but I’ve left the Walt Disney Company and the whole family and I have moved to Portland, Oregon! Yes, we are back in the great Pacific Northwest once again! So long California, you’ve been great! Oregon, it’s nice to be back!

So, what brought all this about? Well, last summer Megs got let go from yet another lawyer job in Los Angeles, which makes twice in 2018. That was so disheartening that we took an impromptu road trip to Oregon the very next day. We quickly asked Kim to look after the cat, checked with friends and family up north, and hit the road! Maverick the dog came with us this time, and our route took us through San Francisco where we stayed a night with Jacques, Hanh, and Ellie. We got to see their new house and how much Ellie has grown! The next day we were off to Bend, OR, where we stayed two nights with Chris, Megan, and Hazel. Bend is a lovely town, if a little removed from the big city life. After that we drove to Sandy, OR, where Megs’ folks live about half an hour outside of Portland. We stayed the next week there, visiting with friends and family, seeing the sights, and generally falling in love with Oregon all over again.

The long and short of all this, is that somewhere in this trip we decided to actually move back to Oregon for real, not just talk about it like we’ve been doing for years. And thus vague plans began, with the promise to each other to make serious plans starting in early 2019. Well, 2019 came around and in February I started applying for jobs in Portland. I was cruising LinkedIn and saw a bunch of Software Engineer postings for a company called “New Relic”. I also saw that a friend of mine worked there, so I hit her up and asked if it was a good place to work, to which she replied in the strong affirmative! So I applied for six Senior Software Engineer jobs there on a Monday afternoon, and within a day I heard back from them to set up a screening call within another day! That Friday I had a video interview with an Engineering Manager, and the following Wednesday they said they were going to fly me up to Portland for an on-site interview the next Monday! To recap, I’d gone from applying online to an on-site interview in two weeks, which was much faster than I’d expected! Anyways, long story short (too late!) I flew up to Portland, had great interviews with a half dozen people, and by the end of the week I had a job offer! I gave my two-weeks notice at Disney and then the cat was out of the bag!

After getting a new job, everything was set into motion. We had to tell our awful landlord we were ending our lease two weeks early, and of course he had us pay out the rest of it and tried to stiff us on our security deposit–that’s another story, but it’s fine, whatever. We had to arrange movers, Megs gave notice at her job, we had to pack, we had to arrange with Megs’ folks to have us live there for a bit when we first landed, we had to arrange driving and drivers, etc. Lots to do and suddenly very little time to do it! We’d started this adventure in July 2018, and now we had four weeks to get to Portland, because I started work on April 29th and it was now the beginning of April!

I arranged for one of those PODS moving thingies, so I hired movers to just pack our stuff. Two problems there: one, the PODS people grossly overestimated how much stuff their biggest POD will hold! We ended up leaving a buncha stuff in L.A. due to lack of space. Second problem, movers/packers don’t know your stuff. Their jobs is to put all your stuff in boxes as fast as possible. We had each plate wrapped in many layers of paper. We had loaves of bread packed. Honest-to-God trash packed. It was a mess, and very expensive. As much as it sucks, you gotta pack your own stuff, guys. You’re the only ones who knows what you need and what you don’t.

PODS storage container
We had to put all our worldly possessions into this thing.

Anyways, we got our stuff (mostly) packed, and the next day we hit the road! Megs’ mom had come down to help, so it was Megs, her mom, and Maverick in Megs’ car, and me, Kim, Sammy, and the cat in mine. We caught a lucky break the previous weekend (Easter) when we went down to Long Beach for Easter at Grandpa’s, but we visited our friends Kyle and Liz at their place nearby. Kyle’s folks happened to be there, and they happen to live up in Redding, which happens to be about half way to Portland from Los Angeles. They kindly offered their home as a mid-trip stopover, and when we got there after a very long day that started with the tail end of packing, and ended with 10 hours in the car, it was a glorious oasis! So nice to not have to stay in a hotel and deal with the dog, cat, and kid there. Our eternal thanks to them for being a shining light in an otherwise fairly stressful time.

We rolled into Sandy, OR around sunset on April 24th. We were so tired, but Megs’ dad had already got the rooms ready for us, so we could just crash. It was great to be back in Oregon!

I’ll post more about the new job, our security deposit, and our current lodgings in a future post. This one is long enough, but stay tuned–there’s more story to tell!

Facebook Post

June 29th, 2019

Is there anyone out there who I’m not already friends with on Pokemon Go? I have a quest to make a new friend, so…

Facebook Post

June 11th, 2019

This is the first year I haven’t gone to E3 since 2004.

Facebook Post

May 25th, 2019

Got a bad case of FOMO as all my former Disney colleagues got to see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge today, a little over a month after I left the company. 🙁