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Friday, 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.

Duck
A duck we saw on one of our walks

Moving and Settling In

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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.

Sammy Pics and Pumpkins

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

I started using Instagram almost exclusively as a place for Sammy pictures, because I didn’t want to clog up Facebook with them. If folks were interested, then they could go there. Anyways here’s the link here. It’s a private account, obviously, so request access if you like. Most recently, we went to a local farm to get pumpkins, so all that and 690 other photos are there.

Sammy with a pumpkin

Sammy with a pumpkin

Paternity Leave: Final Day

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

I know I still have the weekend, but today is the official end of my paternity leave. As I’ve said before, each week has gone faster than the previous, and this one was no exception. Excluding being rear-ended by another car yesterday, it wasn’t a bad week.
Matt and Skye came over this evening, and in fact just now left at 1:30 a.m. Matt made us stir fry and we’ve spent the last few hours playing Magic cards. We got a new box of booster packs and we all had fun with a draft round as well as just some regular opening and sharing of cards. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it. What matters is that we all had a lovely evening.
Samantha went to bed a few hours ago and has been sleeping soundly. She was very well-behaved for most of the week, in fact.
I don’t know exactly what the future of this blog will be, but I do plan to keep posting here. Hopefully more than annually this time. The subject will probably return to more general “Life of Chris” stuff, but to be sure Samantha will always feature. I was able to fill the column inches the past few weeks because unlike more normal workday stuff, paternity leave isn’t full of Disney secrets. When I blog in a normal work week, all I can usually say is “I went to work and did amazing cool stuff that I can’t go into detail on, or I might get fired.” Gets repetitive after a while. I’ll probably at least give further details on the saga of my poor car and her busted up rear end for while. And always pictures of Samantha!
To conclude, here’s me sans daughter, but there’s sure to be a nearly inexhaustible supply of photos in the days, weeks, and years to come.

Just me

Just me

Paternity Leave: Day 32

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Today was probably the worst. Started off normal enough, although I didn’t sleep great. Also found out Disney didn’t pay me this week, which I am looking into. After some phone calls to HR and Payroll, Sam and I went out for lunch, I ran a couple errands, and then BAM! Got rear-ended by another car when I was stopped to make a left turn. Wasn’t high-speed and everyone is fine, but this sucks. Now the back end of my car’s all f*cked up and I’ve just run out of time to deal with that fact. The other vehicle was a City of Pasadena vehicle for the Rose Bowl. One of those cars with a license plate that never expires and is all numbers? Yeah, that. Anyways, after exchanging information, I took Samantha to the pediatrician to check her out. Doctor said she’s “perfect”, (well, duh, I knew that, but thanks!), so we went home. Never did make it to Vons.
Here’s some pictures of my poor car:
20140904_150921
20140904_153738
Here’s a couple of much nicer pictures of Sammy:

At the pediatrician's waiting for the doctor

At the pediatrician’s waiting for the doctor

SOCKS!!!

SOCKS!!!

And to top it off, Megs also had a shitty day. It’s almost 9 p.m. and she’s still not home from work! I’m glad we’re all fine, but I need a hug.

Paternity Leave: Day 31

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Holy crap, we’re nearing the end! Only two more days left, not counting the weekend. Each week went by faster than the previous.
Today was nice; Samantha and I went out to Fry’s and stopped at Panera on the way, only to run into Mikey and Scott from work. What a pleasant surprise! We had a nice lunch, and Sammy and I continued on to Fry’s where I got a faster network switch for the living room, some more solder, and an empty project box for a speaker wiring thing I’m planning on doing. See, the surround sound is great for the living room, but the kitchen is just a splice off the left and right speakers, and anything that’s more than 2.0 sound (e.g. 5.1 surround) typically has the dialog on the center channel. This means no dialog in the kitchen. I’m trying to come up with a box that takes the L/R/C output from the stereo in, and has jacks for the L/R/C speakers in the living room and the L/R speakers in the kitchen with everything properly patched inside. I had to order some speaker jacks online (Fry’s didn’t have what I wanted), so I’ll finish this project later.
Shortly after I got home, I fed Sam and managed to get her down for a nap. A little after that, Kim arrived to do her laundry and have me fix her microwave. I am best brother today! We had a nice time hanging out this afternoon and eventually Megs got home, Sam woke up, and we all had dinner. I had prepared some white chili in the crock pot in the morning and it finished its long journey to delicious-ness at 7:00.
I know you’re not here for dinner talk. You’re here for baby pictures, so here they are!

She's taken to sticking out her tongue lately.

She’s taken to sticking out her tongue lately.

Kim got one of her sticking her tongue out while playing with her little elephant thing.

Kim got one of her sticking her tongue out while playing with her little elephant thing.

Here's Kim and Sammy

Here’s Kim and Sammy

Sam looking thoughtfully happy while Kim holds her

Sam looking thoughtfully happy while Kim holds her

Paternity Leave: Day 30

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Today was pretty chill after the weird hours of the weekend. After my last post at 5:00 a.m., I went back to sleep until noon. Good baby! I actually got up before she really demanded my presence, but I figure upwards of 16 hours of sleep was enough for any one man. I think I may have be suffering from some kinda illness, because even for me, that’s a lot of sleep! At any rate, I feel good now.
Today we did our usual trip to Philly’s Best, even though it’s Tuesday, because yesterday was a holiday. Went grocery shopping after that, and then went home. Adventure!
After feeding her and hanging out for a bit, Sammy went down for a nap for a few hours, which was very nice of her. I managed a few chores around the house like dishes, laundry, etc. Also, my guv’ment money finally came in the mail today! Yay for paid family bonding time! Now it’s just another couple days for Bank of America (the government’s choice in debit provider in this case) to transfer it to my credit union where it will do some good. A load off my mind, believe me!
Here’s a picture of the dog, Sammy, and Megs from the other day:

Maverick, Samantha, and Megan.

Maverick, Samantha, and Megan.

And here’s proof that I was able to get Samantha to take a nap this afternoon!
She naps!

She naps!

And lastly here’s me and Maverick hanging out front while Samantha naps:
Me and Maverick out front just hanging out

Me and Maverick out front just hanging out

Paternity Leave: Day 29

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

It’s 4:45 a.m. I’ve been sleeping since 8 p.m., so I guess I was tired! I wonder if I might have some kind of intestinal parasite, cuz I’ve been losing weight and I’m tired a lot. Also, I’ve been waking up with stomach discomfort more often than usual. I further wonder if Samantha has the same thing, as her symptoms are similar: slower-than-we-would-like weight gain, stomach discomfort, etc. Idle thoughts. I plan on calling the pediatrician’s office later today.
In what-we-did-today news, Megan, Samantha, and I all went down to Uncle John’s house in Long Beach to have a Labor Day BBQ with John and dad. We had chicken, salad, and Spanish rice, all of which were excellent. We also had a nice time watching Sammy on her little play mat thing that we brought with us. I spent a few minutes trying to get a Verizon modem to act like a bridge, but it wasn’t being very cooperative, despite my serious attempts:

Serious computing

Serious computing

Oh well. I was more successful at calming Samantha down, but only just.
Samantha in her natural state

Samantha in her natural state

We said our goodbyes and headed back home to Pasadena around 5:30. Got home, took a nap, helped with the baby a bit, then went to bed. See paragraph one for more on that one.

Paternity Leave: Day 28

Monday, September 1st, 2014

This post is coming rather late, but I’ll explain why later. Let’s go through things chronologically.
Got up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. The day began with a trip to the optometrist for Megan to get her prescription updated and pick out some new frames. Pics of that when they’re done in a couple weeks. The whole ordeal took about two and a half hours, so the three of us went for a late lunch afterwards.

Chris and Sammy at Denny's

Chris and Sammy at Denny’s

We went back home after lunch and Megs went for a bike ride to break in her new bike. After she got back, I dragged my bike out for a ride. We can’t ride together without arranging for a baby sitter, so we each did solo tours.
For dinner we had some lovely chicken soup from the freezer that our friends Angela and Austin had given us some time back. It was delicious!
So, why am I posting this on the afternoon of Day 29? Because after dinner, Megs took the reigns of baby-guarding, and I went out for Karaoke with Mikey, Asia, Neil, and Amanda! I did four songs over the course of the night: Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out, Cake – Never There, Frank Sinatra – My Way, and Cake – I Will Survive. Didn’t do too well at the Franz Ferdinand, but the others I was passable at.
After last call at the bar, we went back to Mikey’s to hang out and play party games. Suddenly it was 4 a.m. and I really figured I should head home. This is why I didn’t blog last night. It’s my blog and I’ll be tardy if I want to! Here’s me and Mikey back at his place:
Buddies!

Buddies!

I’ll post a proper Day 29 later tonight.