Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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.

New Life Begins

Friday, 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

Friday, 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!

Job, House, Dog, and Baby

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

So, as I alluded to in my last post, things they have been a-happenin’! Quick timeline: Beginning of February 2013 Megs gets a lawyer job at a small firm in Azusa doing family law. Family law sucks, but it’s a job and a start. Shortly after that we move to a rental house in Pasadena because it’s nice and it’s closer to her work and about the same distance from mine. It’s a nice little 3 bedroom 2-story built in the 50’s. In June 2013 we get a little corgi-shepherd mix named Maverick. He’s super-cute and orange. August 2013 I get Megs all knocked-up and we start the clock–nine months and counting! Time passes and last May 15th we had a little girl named Samantha Alice Brunner! She was 5 lbs., 1.5 oz., a tiny thing! She’s growing fast and on Thursday she’ll already be 6 weeks old and probably over 8 lbs.
Here’s some pictures:

Our rental house in Pasadena

Our rental house in Pasadena

Maverick sleeping

Maverick sleeping

Chris and Samantha

Chris and Samantha

Stuff Has Been Happening

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

So a few things have happened in my life since I last posted here. The four biggest are: Megs got her first lawyer job, we moved to a rental house in Pasadena, we got a dog, and we had a baby! The latter is why I’m posting here at 4:25 a.m. She’s being fussy next to me in a cradle as I try to write this. But I get ahead of myself…

Megan Passed The California Bar Exam!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The title says it all, but I’ll repeat here because it’s awesome: Megan passed the California Bar Exam!!! Some proof:

Screenshot of Megs on the pass list

I took this the night the results came back to send to Megs as proof that she had indeed passed the Bar Exam.

I’m so proud of my wife! I knew she could do it!

I went to a wedding

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I went to the wedding of my good friends Chris Gilmer and Megan Marsh last weekend! I posted pictures over on Google+, so check me out there if you wanna see.
I drove up to Sacramento for the event by myself, because Megan had to stay home to study. Today is Day One of the California State Bar Exam! Three grueling days of testing: today, tomorrow, and Thursday. They really don’t want any more lawyers here in California, but we’re going to convince them otherwise!
Chris B., Jacques, Matt C., and Matt B. at the wedding

Facebook Dump

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

I finally got the Facebook “download-your-data” thing to work, so here’s a compilation of what I’ve been up to for the past few months.

  • Venture Bros was renewed! I’m pretty happy about this, as it’s one of my favorite shows on TV.
  • I made a QR code for my contact information
  • I saw some ducks at work.
  • I went to a Marian Call house concert in Encino
  • Saw Paul & Storm at the Largo Theater
  • I fixed the power supply on Megs’ laptop
  • Caught “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” on TV
  • Got sunburned
  • This girl is my hero
  • Went to a sushi party at other Chris & Megan’s
  • Went ballroom dancing for Anna’s birthday and totally saw Bill Nye the Science Guy cutting a rug!
  • Went to Disneyland three more times over the course of six weeks
  • Played and completed Portal 2
  • Went to mom’s place in the mountains for Easter
  • Discovered “Nyan Cat
  • Osama bin Laden was killed
  • Found a new obnoxious font
  • Had drinks on the roof of a building downtown
  • Saw the movie “Thor”. It was all right.
  • Watched some more “Doctor Who” episodes. Still not current.
  • Went to a Memorial Day BBQ at Kim’s place
  • Went to a couple of awesome parties in Reseda 😉
  • Went to Rachelle and Geoff’s wedding in upstate New York
  • Once again, went to E3 downtown.
  • Learned how to drive a fork lift.
  • Megan got her degree from law school!
  • Caught a cold. Still suffering from it as I write this. 🙁

Warrior Dash Pictures

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

As promised, here are the pictures from the Warrior Dash mentioned in the previous post:

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash

Pictures taken by myself, Anna, Megan B., and Liz R. I make no apologies for my attire.