December 18, 2018: Down in Friendswood

Our first full day in Friendswood (Houston) for the holiday season.  The Grices all still have school and work so it is mostly just us here. I woke up on the floor this morning at eight thirty.  It has been a while since I have slept on the floor all night, but thank goodness I am still able to do it and my back did not hurt or anything.  I was certainly feeling the floor by the time that I got up, but once I was up I felt fine.  Not bruised, or twisted, or sore.  Liesl did fine sleeping on the floor as well and was awake around nine.  Dominica had gotten up long before me, her back really hurting from having stayed in the bed.  Luciana is the only one that stayed asleep for any length of time.

We hung out with Dominica’s parents this morning.  I took my Dell laptop and set up at the kitchen table for the morning.  Today was mostly web work, working on fixing customer web sites, migrating sites, and so forth.  More testing with MeshCentral today, too.

Lots of work today, especially being out of the office most of the day yesterday.  So I was super busy all day.

By the afternoon, I was set up in the dining room with my twenty four inch monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse.  That makes working a lot more comfortable and I am out of most everyone’s way.

Madeline and Emily both had to work today.  But there is only one car.  Do Madeline took our minivan today to work.  

When Madeline got home from work, she took Liesl and Luciana back with her to Justice to go shopping since Justice has a big sale on, plus they get Madeline’s work discount off on top of that.  So pretty serious discounts.  Both girls took their own money and went shopping for their own stuff and had loads of fun and both came back with lots of new stuff that they are very excited about.  Very fun outing.

This evening we had veggie BLTs for dinner.  And then celebrated Bennie’s forty seventh birthday.  He had a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Today in history: In 2012, Liesl watched The Goonies for the first time.  She was only four years old.  Dominica’s very Liesl quote from the evening was “I hope my potty never does that!” in reference to Troy on the toilet geyser.  Sadly, Liesl does not remember the movie at all at this point and Luciana has never seen it.  But we do not have it anywhere that they could watch it.  So they have no chance to see it currently.

The kids played like maniacs for the small amount of time that they all got with each other.  The Grice kids needed to be in bed around nine because they still have school tomorrow.  They are all so happy to be together.

Dominica and I did some work on the GroveSocial website which is getting pretty close to being ready to do a “go live”.  Then I did a little more web work, some blogging on SGL, and Dominica worked on feeding the kids their late night meal.

Emily got home a little after ten and Luciana wanted a snack.  So we hung out for about an hour.  Then I went to the car and brought in the air mattress so that Dominica could try sleeping on that tonight.  Garrett’s bed, even without me in it, she cannot handle.  And because she needs to sleep on her side she cannot sleep on the floor like I can.  So Liesl and Luciana are planning to sleep on the floor with me tonight, and Dominica will be next to us on the air mattress and the only real bed in the room will be empty because there isn’t a single person that wants to sleep on it over being just on the floor.

I stayed up a bit longer taking care of some more web work that really needs my attention and getting a little more blogging out of the way.  It has been such a hard year, I want to avoid getting too far behind.  Now that we are in Houston, it is easier for me to keep up, so I intend to do so.

Heading to bed myself around one in the morning.  Dominica went to bed more like eleven thirty.

December 17, 2018: Driving to Houston for the Holidays

Monday.  Dominica was up very early this morning to try to get everything packed and loaded into the car so that we can drive today.  I got up at the normal time and worked all morning.  Of course, because we are trying to travel today, the day was just insanely busy.  I was running from thing to thing like mad.

We discovered MeshCentral today and got it installed on Vultr and up and running before leaving the office.  Finally a remote control system that actually works for Fedora with Cinnamon!  I am so excited about this one.  It is up and working already with Deepin, Windows, and Fedora.

Paul and I loaded Francesca’s “new” furniture into the bed of his Ford F150 for him to bring down to Friendswood with him on Wednesday or Thursday.  He is planning on coming down on Wednesday, but I think that it is much more likely that he will not be making it down until Thursday.  There are presents and stuff still being shipped to the house until Wednesday afternoon and it is a long, annoying trip to do in the evening, but only five hours so he might decide to do it anyway.

We loaded the Nissan Quest pretty thoroughly and got onto the road around one.  Due to traffic in Dallas, we were routed down the Dallas North Tollway, so we stopped by at the Taco Bell on Marsh and got lunch for everyone.  Liesl and I had waited to eat anything all morning knowing that we would get Taco Bell on the drive.  We’ve settled into a pattern for Liesl, she does three cheesy bean and rice burritos, and a caramel apple empanada every time.  Luciana generally is not that into Taco Bell and just got cinnamon twists.  Dominica is able to eat the same thing as Liesl, but sans spicy cheese sauce, and she gets tostitos.  

The drive went just fine.  There was some traffic but nothing major.  A few hours south of Dallas we stopped for McDonald’s coffee and got an Egg McMuffin (without the meat) for Luciana who says that an “Egg McMuffin is the closest thing to an hamburger that I can eat.”  She is so funny.  

Overall the drive was fine and we got to Friendswood at seven.  Dominica’s dad, sister, Madeline, Garrett, and Clara had all gone to the movies about fifteen minutes before we arrived.  So we had a quiet couple of hours at the house with Dominica’s mom and Bennie before anyone else arrived.  The girls disappeared.  Liesl went to the upstairs couch to be alone.  And Luciana went into our (Garrett’s) room and hung out in the bed for a while.  They were looking to just get some quiet time alone.

Once everyone was back from the movies the kids all hung out together until it was time for bed.  Once the adults turned in, Dominica and I hooked up our gaming laptop to the TV in our room and watched several episodes of the second season of Fear the Walking Dead before going to bed a little before one in the morning.  

The show has improved quite a bit.  In the first season I was pretty ready to give up on it as it was just so boring.  But the story is improving.  Still a bit too repeated from the original series, but decent.  Although I feel that they continue to fail to make a solid protagonist that you can hope survives.  I’m still mostly rooting for the undead as they seem more together.  I do enjoy seeing a show shot in Baja California in the wine country.  It looks so nice there.

The bed in Garrett’s room is just awful, to the point that I cannot sleep on it.  And the room is very warm and the bed is incredibly warm beyond that.  So I grabbed a few blankets and moved to the floor which was much more comfortable than the bed, by a long shot.  We slept with the window open to make it bearable.  

After twenty minutes, Liesl came in and said that she had insomnia and asked if she could sleep in our room so that she could fall asleep.  So Liesl slept on the floor with me, which made her very happy.  And minutes later Luciana came in and decided to sleep in our room, too.  She slept in the bed because her leg was hurting and she thought that that might make it feel better.  This was probably not good for Dominica, though, since having two people in that bed makes the broken frame so much worse.

Rachel is still in Austin and not getting back until tomorrow at the earliest.  So who knows if she is going to get to the house before even Paul has left.  We talked for an hour or so tonight on text.  We won’t be able to get back to watching our show, The Haunting of Hill House until after New Year’s.  

Dominica was very glad that I skipped work all afternoon and drove the family down so that she did not have to worry.  We don’t know how long we will be staying.  Paul has to be back in Dallas to make a flight to Wisconsin on December 27th.  We may or may not go back at that time.  We might stay until after New Year’s.  Or we might leave the kids for a week and go back up to Dallas for a bit and then come back to get them.  We will see.

We remembered to bring my new portable work rig with my two laptops, my big twenty four inch monitor, wireless keyboard, and mouse.  That will make this a lot easier to work for a couple of weeks.

And the holidays have officially begun.  This is why we don’t have a Christmas tree or anything at our house ever, and no decorations.  Technically we do have some this year, there is a tiny tree with lights, and some wall clings in the hallway, but that is it.  But the last day that we were at our house was the sixteenth, so doing any decorating of our own just doesn’t make any sense.  So this is what we do.

December 16, 2018: Binge Watching Fear the Walking Dead

Sunday.  Today is mostly packing, because we are leaving for Houston tomorrow morning, and some art work as the kids prepare for Christmas, and some general cleaning around the house.  Dominica has asked me to leave Dallas most of a week early so that I can drive her and the girls to Houston tomorrow.  A friend of ours had a major car accident about two weeks ago having hit a semi on the highway and it has Dominica rather shaken up and driving worries her more than normal, so I am going to do the driving.

There is a lot of suitcases getting ready to go tomorrow.  The girls spent the day playing video games.  They took over the living room for the entire day.  Lots of Roblox, Fortnite, etc.  They played with their cousins much of the day.  Paul spent most of the day camped out in his office, a major day of Clash of Clans.

Dominica decided that she wanted to watch Shaun of the Dead, too.  And then it turned out that Paul had never seen it at all.  So the three of us watched it again from the beginning this morning.  Such a good movie.  I know that Hot Fuzz, the sequel movie from the Cornetto Trilogy is also on Netflix.   I have not noticed World’s End in the line up so not sure if that is there now or not.

Dominica and I binge watched Fear the Walking Dead for most of the day.  We finished the first season and got solidly into the second season today.  By later in the day it was starting to get pretty interesting and we are actually interested in it now.  Dominica had watched the first season years ago without me, so we had rewatched it together so that I would be caught up.  So early on today we got into the second season which Dominica has never seen, either, so we are both watching it for the first time together.

Both girls took showers later in the day.  They both wanted me to read to them today, but we are busy getting the house ready (and watching our show.)

It was a pretty relaxing day.  We watched in our bedroom on the loveseat all day since the girls had taken over the living room.

December 15, 2018: Finishing Fuller House

Saturday.  I tried to get up and play some video games this morning but ended up working on installing Tropico 5 onto my Fedora 29 desktop in my office as I need a keyboard and mouse in order to play it.  But good news is that Steam and Tropico 5 installed, no issues, onto Fedora.  Good deal.

We got Paul set up with GOG today, too.  He installed one of the Rollercoaster Tycoon games on his Windows laptop in his office so that he has something else to play in addition to his daily addiction to Clash of Clans.

By the time that I got partway through the tutorial I ended up watching some of The Golden Girls until the girls got up, and then they spent some time playing video games together and with their cousins.  They are really loving all of these online games that they are able to play now.  Fortnite has really ignited their love of online games all together, finally giving them something other than Roblox for them to all play together.

Dominica and I started watching Fear the Walking Dead today.  She watched the first season years ago, but I have never seen it at all.  We watched three or four episodes today while the girls were playing in their rooms.  I have to say that at least the early episodes are painfully boring and I am not convinced that the series is worth watching.  This is seriously snore-able.

Once the girls were done with their gaming, we all watched Fuller House together as a family and completed the fourth season.  We successfully binge watched the entire fourth season in just two days.  We are dedicated Fuller House fans around here.

Liesl and I then watched some more Family Matters together, too.  She really loves that show and I am so glad that we found it again.  That was one of the best sitcoms of the tail end of the 1980s.  ABC’s Miller – Boyett line up through the mid to late 1980s and into the 1990s was the ultimate era for quality family sitcoms and I have missed watching so many of them and there really isn’t very much like that made any longer.

Once everyone went to bed, I stayed up late and watched the first two thirds of one of my all time favourite movies Shaun of the Dead which only recently has come to Netflix.  It has been a really long time since I have seen this movie, but it is so good.  I am so excited that it is on Netflix now.

I was too tired before I could finish the movie, though.  So I am saving the rest of it for tomorrow.

December 14, 2018: Fuller House Season Four

Friday.  Today is the release of season four of Fuller House.  Luciana has been obsessing about this for weeks and is so excited that it is finally out.  She has asked for weeks on a status every day.  

I had to be up really early this morning to do some work.  So I started my day before six in the morning.  I worked for a few hours and had originally thought that I was going to take a nap after some work, but the work ended up going on for so long that I decided that I might as well just stay up and work.

Today, Valentina made a new drawing of me riding a unicorn farting a rainbow for an advertising campaign.  Luciana says that she wants a poster of it for her bedroom.  I love it, it is so cool.  It got a lot of love on Instagram, too.

But we could not drop everything and spend the day watching Netflix.  It was a work day first.

GOG’s Winter Sale gave away Full Throttle Remastered for free today which is amazing, because this was one of my absolutely most desired games to get on my wishlist this year and I totally got it for free!  GOG is the best.

I managed to work through a couple more boxes today of stuff that moved down from New York.  The progress on all of that is very slow, but at least there is progress.  Once we head down to Houston there is going to be a lot more space in the garage to move around and get things sorted and cleaned because Francesca has three large pieces of furniture at the end of the garage that is in the way.  Paul is going to drive that all down in his truck.  So that will make cleaning up the garage so much easier.

Paul has gotten everything that we need to use the shelves that we currently have now, so that is going to accelerate things quite a lot as we can put books and such onto shelves now.  We had only been able to use half of our shelving capacity since getting down from New York because the little nubs that hold up the shelves have been missing.  And now that some desks have been moved in and assembled in the dining room we already have a bit more room.  Paul is thinking that two more, large metal racks will go into the garage along the inside wall towards my office and once we do that we should be in good shape.

We are already getting to the point where we are just about to need to start the process of converting the DVDs that are in boxes.  The game plan is to go DVD by DVD and get it moved over to the NAS.  Then put the DVD itself onto a spindle to compress the physical space that it takes up and to throw out the plastic box that they are all in.  That, alone, might clear out a quarter of the garage and make all of the extra space just “go away.”  That is a year long project at least.  

Once the DVDs are completed, then the same thing needs to happen with CDs.  Only we don’t plan on throwing out the cases.  Those, we think, will move up to the attic into deep storage.  Then the kids can deal with them sometime in the indefinite future when they have to clean out our house after we have gone.

I got my office cleaned up a bit today.  It has been a bit hard to work in there as it was so crowded.  It is still a mess, but far better now.  I can walk to my desk, at least, now.

This evening Dominica made muzi muzi for dinner and the family settled in to all watch the fourth season of Fuller House together.  We’ve all been waiting a long time for this.  So we did that until it was time for bed.  I needed to go to bed on the early side tonight as I was pretty tired after only getting a few hours last night and working a very long day.

Once the kids went to bed, Dominica and I watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix which just released recently.  It was well shot and has some amazing acting and footage.  But, overall, it was not very interesting.  Most of the stories were overly predictable, gory, and depressing.  It is six short stories, but almost no story is really ever told.  It was a selection of quality cinema vignettes, but it lacked real substance.  If you are really into film as a study, it is pretty good quality.  But as something to watch for enjoyment, it’s just lacking.