October 22, 2019: More ND

Tuesday. Only ten days till we go to Nicaragua. That is coming up so quickly.

Today was another very busy day. I was on the phone pretty much all day, again. That is really exhausting. It is so hard for me to get anything done because people need me just all of the time.

I had some Big Fish Games credits to use and used them to get the girls some new video games today. Mostly hidden object games.

I was busily working, on the phone of course, well into the evening and Paul and Dominica ended up going to league night before I was even done!

I made pizza at home for Luciana tonight. Liesl and I wanted Chinese and so we ordered in from One China. That’s enough food to last us a few days, for sure. Liesl was very excited to get to order Chinese tonight. She wanted General Tso’s shrimp. I got the house tofu and some crab rangoons. As always, I stock her up on lo mein because she will happily eat that for days.

We ate dinner and played some Nancy Drew and the Silent Spy in the living room. We set up there so that Dominica and Kat could participate, too. Paul went to bed early as he is leaving to go to Wisconsin in the morning.

We got an hour or two in on the game but it was hard to keep people focused so our progress was very much slowed.

October 21, 2019: The Silent Spy

Monday. Lots of tree debris outside this morning from the storm. The ground is wet for the first time in a really long time. That was a lot of rain last night. There are still 50,000 without power in the area this morning.

Work was super busy today. I had phone meetings back to back this morning. Then just crazy amounts of normal work to do all day. It was exhausting. But we did get a lot done. The team is getting stronger, for sure.

Very little to report for the day. Just so tiring. I finished up around five, I just needed to be done. I was so tired.

The girls and I immediately set up in their room to relax and played some Nancy Drew. We tried an older title but Luciana was not happy with the “oldness” of the game. So we decided to start one of the more recent titles: Nancy Drew and the Silent Spy. In The Silent Spy we travel to Scotland where we investigate Nancy’s mother’s murder. This is the most recently released title of the Nancy Drew series that we have played yet. It’s still pre-widescreen and very old school, but not too bad compared to other ND titles.

We played all evening. We all enjoyed this one a bit. Liesl controlled the game most of the time tonight.

It was a very quiet night. I managed to relax with my laptop and do some light work while we played the game together. I’m doing some work with the Sunshine English Project in Esteli.

October 20, 2019: Dallas Tornadoes EF-3

Sunday. I slept in a lot this morning. Didn’t get up until easily nine thirty! The girls slept in, too. I got up and did a lot of work this morning. Pretty good day.

I managed to get out and go swim around three. Very late for going to swim. I had a lot of work to do and just could not get out until then.

I got in a short one thousand yards. Then showered and went to Burger King for an Impossible Whopper. Then back to the house.

I worked for another couple of hours. Then the girls and I set up to play Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes for the evening. We played for a couple of hours and then a huge storm descended on us here in Dallas. First it was just a bunch of rain, then hail. Getting around the size of a dime. We got a tornado watch pretty quickly.

We were playing our game when we heard the “shelter in place” sirens go off meaning that there was visual confirmation of a tornado in Carrollton or Farmer’s Branch. The girls knew what to do and ran into the bathroom for shelter. It was a massive 140MPH EF-3 that started right at I35 in Farmer’s Branch and worked its way into North Dallas, up to Richardson and on to the east, going all of the way to Arkansas! Twenty miles of massive destruction. We heard immediately that lots of buildings in Dallas were gone.

Turns out about 100,000 people went without power tonight! Multiple tornadoes ended up touching down in the area. It was a wild night. The storm was really intense and we got water in the walls again. But overall, we handled the storm pretty well. We did lose power, but only for a moment.

The girls and I played our Nancy Drew game until one in the morning. We beat Alibi in Ashes and hope to start another ND game tomorrow. This one was pretty good. Luciana especially liked it.

October 19, 2019: Finishing Trail of the Twister

Saturday. The sun is shining and it is a very nice day here in Dallas, today. I actually got up quite early, like just after seven, even though I didn’t go to bed until around one thirty last night. I just woke up and it felt like time to get up. Dominica was actually up before me, she said that I had been snoring.

Less than two weeks until we head down to Nicaragua! That’s crazy, I can’t believe that it is coming up so quickly. It is twelve days until Halloween, and thirteen days until we fly down to Managua! It felt like it was a ways away, but it isn’t at all.

I got up, made coffee, and got some work done in the office this morning. And got SGL posted for yesterday. I built some VDI systems. And a new server to deploy some code for testing. Talked to several clients. Closed some tickets. Pushed some other code out to staging and tested. Opened some tickets. It was rather busy. Plus plenty of posting on MangoLassi. I just figured out today that this is the week when my all time post count on MangoLassi is going to surpass the one on Spiceworks! Well over 135,000 posts on both. ML is actually way, way ahead of my SW activity because on SW I only ever had one account, but on ML I have a news posting account (with like eight thousand of its own posts), a admin account (with lots of its own), etc. But as myself, it’s about to surpass it.

Around eleven thirty the girls and I sat down and played Nancy Drew in the Trail of the Twister again. We are making good headway and hope to complete it today. This is title number twenty two in the Nancy Drew video game saga. We have hopped around a bit and this one is the prequel to the first game that the girls played in the series, Shadow at the Water’s Edge, which is number twenty three.

At one thirty I took a break from gaming with the kids and went to the natatorium to swim. I got in 2,000 yards. It was a good swim. I grabbed an Impossible Whopper on the drive back and ate it. Then went to Taco Bueno and got myself dinner to re-heat later so that I wouldn’t have to go out again. And the girls had requested Long John Silver’s, so I stopped there and then it was back to the house. Nearly five by the time that I got back.

I did a lot of work this afternoon. It was quite productive. All kinds of stuff.

This evening the girls and I settled in to playing Nancy Drew and the Trail of the Twister. It took several hours, but we finally completed it! It was a pretty good title in the series, although I think that the “mood” of it wasn’t as good as many others, but doing a weather related one was definitely a good change of pace.

We went back to working on Nancy Drews in an Alibi in Ashes, which is number twenty eight in the series and is the one where Nancy is in jail and you have to play as her friends to try to set her free.

October 18, 2019: Crazy Call Day

Friday. I got up, showered, and had my usual nine o’clock Friday meeting to start off the day. That went until about a quarter till ten. Then I had a two hour gap to get all of my morning work done before I had a noon meeting scheduled. It was a busy two hours.

At noon, we had a meeting that we thought was going to be ridiculously simple and straightforward. It was anything but that. It was a sales call that we had requested. So there was really nothing to do here. Just tell us about the feature (we are already big customers), give us a price, and tell us when we can try it out. But it didn’t go well, at all. It was a train wreck of terrible pricing, caused by non-obvious design decisions that led us to sticker shock and wondering why it would cost a large vendor ten to twenty times more to implement a feature than it currently takes us to do it ourselves. Trying to sell us on a twenty times increase in cost seemed ridiculous. When we questioned how this made sense, we got some made up, clearly fictionalized story that was really insulting. When we questioned further, it was clear that we hit a panicked fight or flight response from the guy trying to pull one over on us and he totally lost it on the call.

We ended up spending the entire afternoon dealing with the fall out. There were two follow up calls immediately following that one. Then about an hour break where our teams were discussing the calls. Then I spent nearly three hours on the phone with the CEO of the company! We ended up having a great meeting and got a lot of things worked out. It went really well. But what a crazy day.

Then I had about two hours to work and get caught up as much as I could given that I had lost nearly the entire day to meetings that I had not planned and a little to a meeting that was planned.

Around seven I managed to get “done” with work and had some dinner, Dominica’s pasta with veggie “meatballs” and we watched two episodes of Star Trek: Voyages. Then Dominica and I watched some Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Around ten or eleven, the girls and I settled in for an evening of playing Nancy Drew: The Trail of the Twister. We played until after one in the morning! We played through about half of the game. Got through a lot of tough puzzles. We had a good time. Going to try to play more tomorrow.