September 8, 2018: Luciana’s Yoghurt Day

I am glad that I got to bed on the early side last night because this morning we were all woken up, even the girls because they have cell phones of their own, to Dallas area flood warning alerts.  Argh.  Flash flooding on the roads is not a good use of the emergency warning system because crap like that, instead of actual emergency warnings, is why everyone disables these alerts and doesn’t know when real dangers, like tornadoes, are coming.  Totally irresponsible to use it like they do.  We know that nine times out of ten it’s a warning for drivers and not one for normal people.  People driving already know that it is raining and have no need for a violent alert.  And people driving aren’t allowed to use their phones anyway, so who is the alert really for?  It’s basically like a fire drill – just designed to make you stop believing in fire alarms so that people burn to death.

Lots of rain this morning, right after waking up to the alarm.  Figured I would go to my desk and catch up a little on emails, posting, MangoLassi, etc. before really getting a jump on the day.  My morning is relatively short because I have a noon meeting in Garland and with the rain it is bound to be nearly an hour away.  At least the tires are topped up, now, so they will handle better in the rain and I don’t need to be looking for air while I drive.  But I need to leave the house at eleven to be sure that I can get there in time, which is annoying considering how close it is.

It was raining pretty steadily as I drove out to Garland, it took just as long as I had predicted to get out there.  No surprise that there are flood warnings.  We need the rain, though.  It’s been a long, dry summer.

The meeting went well and only took about forty five minutes.  We are trying to get together again in a few days.  Holds some promise.

I got home and immediately took Luciana out for her daddy – daughter special frozen yoghurt trip as a reward for completing her reading sheet at school, just like Liesl got when she did the same reading sheet.  Our old yoghurt place, Yogurtland was recently turned into a Yogurtti, so this is our first time trying it.  The girls really enjoy these special outings as a reward for doing school work quickly.

Luciana and I both really liked the new frozen yoghurt.  It’s the same building and they didn’t even redesign anything inside.  But the yoghurt is new and we both felt, better than before.  She got cake batter and cookies & cream; while I got cotton candy and pistachio.  It was still raining even as we left.  Lots of rain today.

Luciana had me read another chapter of Harry Potter while she was in the shower today. We are making good time going through the books again.  These remain her favourite books.

The girls are planning on being Harry Potter characters for Halloween.  Liesl is thinking that she will be Luna Lovegood.  And Luciana will probably be Ginny Weasley.  Luciana hopes that next year that they can go as forest animals.

I spoke with the lawyers today and found out that GroveSocial is free to be used.  I always loved that business name and was sad that it never got used properly.  I’m excited that it is eligible for use, now.  Now to get a new website made for it and stuff.  Lots to be done, but it is a big step that we have gotten clearance that it is not something that we have to throw away.  That would have really been crappy.  It is so hard to come up with good company branding and having to throw something we really like out because someone misused it would have been awful.

For dinner I just had the last of the salad in the house.  It was getting old and was just on the edge of still being good today.  Had to be eaten.  So that was my dinner.  I had a lot of froyo earlier so I was not incredibly hungry.

This evening I watched several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  It keeps getting better, for the most part.  The story is getting more and more intense.  Only one and a half seasons left to go at this point.  I really am starting to lean towards this possibly being the best of the Star Trek series, thus far.  TNG was more episodic than this.  DS9 really starting hinting at serious story arcs and less goofiness.

Dominica spent most of the day either building with her new Lego set, or working on some web site design.  She did some quick packing and cleaning this evening before bed.  The Legos are going to take forever to finish, but there is good progress.  I can’t believe how cool it looks.  This is, by far, the most detailed Lego set that I have ever seen.  They have come such a long way since I was young.

I put the girls to bed on the early side, as both really wanted to read some Harry Potter before going to sleep and if they stay up too late, we don’t manage to do it.  So I got them into bed and read one more chapter tonight.

Got to bed at a good time myself, tonight.  I had meant to read some in my own book tonight, but was tired and fell asleep pretty quickly.

September 7, 2018: Luciana’s First Eye Exam

It’s Friday!  And today was not to bad at work.  The day started off well.  I was able to wake up on my own, and no fires at work to deal with.  It was nice.  I was able to just work like normal for a change.

This morning, Dominica got the new Lego Hogwart’s Castle set with more than six thousand pieces.  It is a huge Lego set, the biggest that I have ever seen.  She is so excited.  She has been talking about it for a long time and it is what she wanted for Christmas, but prices will skyrocket close to the holidays as it sells out and people start buying them just to resell online.  So Paul decided to get it for her and give it to her early.  So that was first thing this morning and Dominica and the kids spent the entire morning trying to get started on it.  It is mammoth.

The Lego set comes with several fully bound books to help you put it together.  It’s insane.  And this matches several other Lego Harry Potter sets that Dominica has.  She has amassed white the Harry Potter Lego collection.  No idea where she is going to be able to store this thing once it is all assembled.

Had to shower at eleven and get out the door before noon so that Luciana and I could get our eyes examined.  We went to America’s Best which is just one block away on Trinity, so easy.  We did our exams together.  Luciana was pretty nervous, but she did great.

Luciana is definitely near sighted, like her parents.  And she has a tiny astigmatism like Dominica.  Luciana has around a -2.  Mine is pretty stable at a -3.75.  We both skipped the glaucoma tests, I just can’t do that and Luciana would never get her eyes examined if she had to do that.  They said that they don’t do those for kids under 13, though, so it was not a problem.  If only they had not done that to me when I was seven, I would not have hated getting glasses so much myself.

Luciana had great fun picking out glasses.  She spent a lot of time trying different ones on while we were waiting.  She doesn’t want to have to wear glasses in public, though, but the doctor told her that she needs to be wearing them all of the time.  She is not happy about that.

Overall, I think that Luciana had a fun time.  It’s not like a normal doctor where things might hurt.  And she got to go out and do something, just her, with Dominica and me.  She had lots of time to just run around the empty spaces and seemed very happy.

After the eye exams, we stopped by Taco Bueno, which is roughly on the way home if we avoid troublesome left hand turns, and got lunch.  This is our first time ever going there and I have to say the store we went to was really nice and the food was amazingly good.  The selection for us as vegetarians is limited, just bean burritos, black bean burritos, and cheese quesadillas, but we got all three and everyone loved their food.  I had the regular bean burritos and they were amazing.  The store is right on our block, it is so close.  I can’t believe that we have never eaten there before now.

Dominica ordered glasses once we got home.  Luciana got the kids’ deal at America’s Best and got two regular glasses there that will be in in about ten days.  Mine, though, we just ordered online to get me one pair of regular glasses and one pair of sun glasses.  Luciana also got a pair of sunglasses online, too.

This afternoon, storms returned, like yesterday.  Yesterday we lost power twice, once for a good ten minutes or more.  Nice to have it be much cooler out, and to get some rain.  We’ve been dry for a bit now.

Luciana did her math workbook with me in the office.  She is excited because she finished her workbook today.  She and I have to go out for reward frozen yoghurt this weekend because she earned it from doing so much reading recently.

I ended up having a meeting with Saul at Bombones this evening.  I had to leave right after work to get there, as it is only twenty five minutes away, except with Dallas traffic in the rain it is over an hour, even using the highway.  I have never lived anywhere that is so crippled by wet driving.

We tried to get there by six thirty, but it was more like seven when we both finally arrived.  We had a good meeting and shared some Pacifico, my favourite beer.  We made some good plans, made good progress.  And we have a meeting with a client set up for noon tomorrow.  We couldn’t stay for long, he has to get home to his wife and daughter.  Catalina is only seven months old.

On the way home I managed to find a gas station that had air for the tires as they needed to be topped up after the hot summer.  All the tires were just mildly soft.  I had tried two gas stations, with no luck, on the way to the bar.  What a pain.  It was raining, so I was soaked after filling up the tires.

I also stopped and got some late night burritos from Taco Bueno.  They were so good earlier that I just needed to get some again.  And so cheap.  A very full meal for just $2.98 plus tax!  Not many places can do that.

I got home and watched the rest of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Dominica and Paul.  But Luciana was wanting to go to bed early and read Harry Potter, so I put the girls to bed on the early side and read chapters seven and eight of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

September 6, 2018: Dominica’s Parents Visit

Dominica’s parents are coming over today around noon, so a lot of house cleaning and cooking and stuff going on before they get here.  From about eight until eleven, it was continuous house cleaning.  Then Dominica started baking apple dumplings.  So it was a very busy morning.

The girls are happy as visiting grandparents means no school for them today.  They slept in as long as they could and were still in bed at eleven when I made them get up and start brushing their hair.

I got right up and got back to building that server that I was working on last night.  That went smoothly this morning.

While cleaning in the kitchen, Dominica sliced her finger very badly on the new food processor blade which was sitting on the counter and she had not paid attention and crashed into it while scrubbing the counter.  And that was less than an hour after Paul had just given her a whole safety lesson on avoiding that because it was so sharp.

Dominica made apple dumplings this morning to have while her family is here.

Dominica’s parents were supposed to get here at noon, but did not arrive when expected.  They got stuck trying to get here, so didn’t arrive till after one, and were only able to stay a little under an hour.  Truman was very excited to be back at the house and to see everyone.

Paul made homemade potato chips and then did fried clams and shrimp for a late lunch, since we had all skipped breakfast today.  Having a fryer at home is the best.

Today was not nearly so crazy at work.  Finally the insanity is starting to break.  I hope.

Liesl showed me her library book today that she is starting to ready today, and I was amazed that she picked out one of my favourite books from around her age.  Dominica had no idea that I had read (or that we already owned a copy of) it.  So today Liesl starts The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

Luciana read her library book today, too.  Luciana keeps claiming that she cannot read.  But she read her “My First Little House on the Prairie” book today and knew every word, including loads that she’s not been taught how to sound out, without any help except for the word Wisconsin!  She read the entire book!  She is already a full reader.  She is so excited and plans to read a lot more books now.  Dominica is very excited too, being the reader of the family herself, she was hoping that at least one of the girls would be really into book.

Luciana’s new favourite thing is having me read to her while she is in the shower.  She also refuses to use the old shower, which was her favourite, because the new one is so much better.  Which is what I told Dominica (and the girls too) about getting a non-tub shower.  Dominica was convinced that Luciana at least, if not Liesl too, was young enough that she would want a bath tub for several more years and that having only a shower was only okay if the other bath remained a bath, rather than a shower only.  But as soon as we had a nice shower, that’s the only thing that the girls will consider.  They never liked the bath tub at all.  So we read chapter seven of the first Harry Potter book.

Once work was slow, I took some time to relax and watch Deep Space Nine.  I’m midway through the sixth season and it is quite good at this point.  The story is actually pretty complex.  Dominica will wander in and want it explained and she is always shocked by how much is going on and how little she has followed it thus far.

We all (the adults) watched another episode of Star Trek: Voyager, as well.

It’s sad to think that long ago there was a time when three series of Star Trek were all running at the same time, so three new episodes, in three different series, were coming out each week.  All three were great series.  There has never been anything like that before or since.  The three series were carefully synchronized and things happened across them and the universe was consistent between them.  And then it all went away, long ago.  And nothing like it has been done, since.  There is a little talk of something like that happening now, but we will see if it comes to fruition.  It’s been so long since the those were airing.

Dominica and Paul went to shoot some pool this evening.  The kids stayed with me, but they had a busy day and just wanted to do their own things.  So I was just in charge of making dinner and stuff, but we didn’t do anything together really.

Got the kids to bed rather late tonight.  Tomorrow Luciana and I are scheduled to have eye appointments at noon and twelve thirty.  Time for Luciana to get glasses, and for me to get new ones.  Mine are nearly a decade old and the glass is literally splitting down the middle, and has been for nearly a year now!  I can’t believe how well they have held up.  They are the same glasses that I wore when we first took the girls to Europe in 2012.  They are the only glasses that Luciana has ever seen me wear, and the only ones that Liesl could possibly remember.  I think that I got them in 2010 or 2011.  I know that I got them while in Texas and my pictures from my trip to Germany in 2009 were the glasses before them (which I’m sure that I had for at least five years.)  What’s amazing is that these never fit right at all.  They were crooked the day that I got them, and remain crooked today.  I just live with it.

Tonight I started reading East of Eden by Steinbeck.  It is considered his greatest work and one of the great American novels.  It is supposed to be better than The Grapes of Wrath, which I really did not like reading as a kid, or Of Mice and Men, which I also read when young.  I think that I would appreciate GoW much more now, as an adult, with more appreciation for the history and socio-economic situation at the time.

September 5, 2018: Book Club Resumes

Much cooler today, the weather is great.  Actually had a decent morning without too many fires at work.  My morning nine o’clock meeting was canceled again so I had a reprieve and time to make some coffee.

When the girls got up, Luciana was so excited that today was her homeschool book club at the library.  She has been looking forward to this for a while.

The girls left for their book club a little after noon.  They are both excited.

We got a little rain while the girls were at the library.  I tried to mow the lawn while they were gone, but had to wait for it to dry out some.

Dominica may have gotten volunteered to do some web design work for the homeschool book club.  She will find out soon, but it looks like she will be making their new site for them.

Today at work was a lot of dealing with Comcast and AT&T network outages (at the same place, no less) and communicating with everyone.  So much communications.

We got a new food processor today, and a new label maker because Dominica wants everything in the kitchen to be formally labeled.

We discovered today that Luciana cannot see very far, she can’t read any distance away and is sitting closer and closer to the television to read things.  She is clearly near sighted, so a trip to the eye doctor is coming up very soon.  She is very upset by this and was crying today because she doesn’t want to have to wear glasses.

We had salmon for dinner tonight.  Paul tried a new experiment with marinading it for a long time in a vacuum sealed bag.  It worked and the result was amazing.  Some of the best salmon ever.

The girls played more of Roblox and Portal Knights together tonight.

This evening, Saul, Cynthia, and their seven month old baby Catalina are going to come over to talk about work.  So we had some cleaning to do.  Dominica grabbed a mixed case of Mexican beer for the house.  So in addition to our Modelo that we have had, we have Carta Blanca, Tecate Light, XX, and Bohemia in the fridge.  We are ready to party.

They came by around eight and hung out till after ten.  We got some good work in.  Dominica and the girls had a great time playing with Catalina.  Dominica put on a puppet show for them.  Catalina thought that we were all great fun and just laughed and laughed.  This is the first time that I’ve seen Saul since before Catalina was born, so it has probably been about eight months!  What a busy year it has been, for all of us.

We are on chapter six tonight of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as I read it for the girls, again.  Who would have thought when Dominica introduced me to these books so many years ago that I would be reading them so many times, so many years later!  She made me start reading these when we were first dating and still living in Ithaca!

It worked out well that we had to do so much house cleaning today.  Dominica’s parents decided that they are coming up to see us and the house tomorrow, around noon, rather than having us go down to Arlington to see them.  It has been a long time since they have seen our house in Carrollton.  And they are bringing Truman, too.  So we have loads more cleaning to do tomorrow morning (and more lawn mowing.)  It is going to be a very busy morning.  But this saves us a lot of driving and makes it far easier for me to deal with work.

After getting the kids off to bed and tucked in, I had to stay up and work for a while longer.  Rodrigo was up working too.  So both of us pushed on into the early morning.  Always so much work today.  Plenty that can only be done during the day when everyone is in the office, and plenty that can only be done at night when no one is around.

At least the Internet that was down today appears to be back on again at this point.  So that is one thing that, hopefully, I do not have to worry about in the morning.

It was pretty late before I was able to get to bed.  But, important work being done.  It was good that I stayed up.  So a little after two, after getting in another couple old blog posts, I turned in for some sleep.

Luckily because I was up working late, I happen to catch that a drive had failed on our large production cluster in Los Angeles.  So I was able to reach out to the support team to get someone working on that right away.  There are benefits to being up late and trying to get things done.  That was pretty important to catch, I am glad that I saw it.

While I was up, I took the time while waiting on a Fedora 28 Server install to happen over a long, slow VPN WAN link, to install a new Deepin 15.7 remote access server.  I’ve discovered that Deepin’s unique DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment) is one of the absolute best in handling remote graphical needs.  For us, that means ScreenConnect.  Most Linux desktops either limp along like XFCE or Cinnamon with ScreenConnect, or outright fail like Gnome 3.  But DDE takes it in stride and works wonderfully.  So I am starting to roll Deepin out in more places.  Deepin is based on Debian, but with a ton of unique stuff.  It’s one of, if my not singular, favourite Linux desktop system.  It is just really impressive.

The remote server install failed on me before I was able to go to bed.  But I did not have the energy to set it all up to try again.  Going to tackle the next attempt first thing in the morning.  The Deepin install, however, was successful.

September 4, 2018: Taco Tuesday

Tuesday.  The first day of work this week, sort of.  I worked all day yesterday.

This morning, Paul had to go into the hospital for a procedure, so Dominica was his ride.  They had to leave very early in the morning.  I got to sleep in and work, instead.

So the kids basically got the day off from school.  Dominica had a lot of web design work to do once she was back from the long morning at the doctor’s, so she was focused on that, mostly.

It was a decently busy work day for me.  Loads of dealing with the minutia of desktop maintenance.  I did so much work on Sunday and Monday, though, that today was not all that bad.  Lots to do, but thankfully with Rodrigo, I do get breaks now.

This evening I got to watch a few episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  It’s getting really good.

I declared that it was Taco Tuesday, and Paul and Dominica ran out to get Fuzzy’s Tacos for the family.  I had my regular, enormous fish tempura burrito with cheese sauce.  So good.  Liesl decided to try the fish tempura tacos and loved them, she ate two, along with loads of rice.  Luciana declined tacos, but did eat left over pizza.

A successful Taco Tuesday at the Miller household.

The weather has broken and is relatively cool, now.  Summer is waning.  We were able to sit out for a long time in the atrium this evening, needing no fan or mister to stay comfortable.

The girls are super excited about tomorrow.  They have their homeschool book club at the Carrollton library in the afternoon.  They have both been looking forward to that for a while.  They love the book club, and doing activities with the other kids.  It’s totally their kind of thing.