A lot happens in 10 years.
Lived in 7 different cities
Worked at 4 different companies
Visited the emergency room 3 times
Said goodbye to 3 wonderful pets, all of them broke my heart
Taught two kids to ride a bike
Taught one kid to
DRIVE Read 97 eBooks
Read countless comic books
Got 2 tattoos
Gained ~50 glorious pounds
Joined the “1000 lbs club”
This is a lengthy post with a lot of pictures. My process for exporting and converting to webp got some of them a little out of order. I tried my best to keep them chronologically ordered.
Just adorable! These kids were so cute
One of my favorite pictures of Owen. The sheer joy he had at the Exploratorium was infectious
Caralyne and Owen sharing a moment
Michele would say this was the begining of the end. Their love for the computer has outpaced even mine
One of the many trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Caralyne being silly
Michele and I went to New York City, this is a pidgen at the top of the Empire State Building
My successful hike up to Rose Peak with my co-workers
That time I went to see Marc Maron in San Francisco and he was so nice. He took pictures with everyone that came up to him and handed out stickers. Boomer lives!
Coal being Coal. A few years after he died, Michele had a local artist paint a picture of him. I cried like a little baby when I opened it up and saw it. Loosing him was very hard
Roger Waters The Wall at the Oakland Coliseum
San Jose Childrens Museum
Going on a bike ride! The nice thing about having a truck was being able to toss a couple bikes in the back and drive to a nicer trail. We rode the canal trails next to my parents house in Knightsen
Caralyne at the Chabot Space and Science Center. We did a night walk there, and spent the night in the Cafeteria. It was a miserable night honestly, they left the lights on and we all slept on the hard floor
One of Owens many hospital trips. This was when he got his ear tubes put in
Poor Zoey. She had cardiomyopathy, and it all happened quickly
Me with my Wushu West buddies, Mark, James and not shown is Pierre. Mark was visitng from Hong Kong I think? He was recording us talking to help teach folks english. This was at Red Star Pizza, a Chicago style pizza place north of Berkeley. I would find excuses to drive all the way up there when I could
Owen loved cars and trucks. He's pretending he is about to haul his Papa's trailer away
Vale Colorado. I was a presenter at NLIT. I had a nice time
This may have been taken at Bodega Bay, we always seem to find an ocean spot to hang out at
This was close to when we moved out of Antioch. We were enjoying a warm September evening out front. I think I had just come home from work, everyone was outside already
The first time I got to see Buckethead. This was at the Great Amaerican Music Hall in San Francisco
Owen being silly. Look at him, PJ's all messed up a missing sock, wearing Caralyne's hat, hogging the recliner. This was roughly when we first moved to Felton
Owen and his other Grandpa, 'Bumpa' as we call him now. I thought it was cute Owen was mirroring him. One of my greatest regrets is moving away from them. Owen has always enjoyed hanging out with Big Mike in the garage and outside
Moving to Santa Cruz was amazing. Bay Photo was close to West Cliff Drive. I would jog all the way down West Cliff at lunch, past the Boardwalk, to the room I rented, and then back. Bay Photo was not a perfect company to work for, and cost of living was pretty high there, with all of that it did have some great moments like this
We rented a big bouncey house for Owen's birthday. I had a lot of fun with him in there
We had this cool hand drawn map of the Santa Cruz mountains in the garage at our Ben Lomond house. The house was fully furnished, so we had to keep our furniture in the garage. It was a huge garage though, so I still had room to do stuff
Owen and I building the first fire in Ben Lomond. I loved that house, it was too bad the owners were planning on moving back in. It also would have been out of our budget anyway
Mini B. She has been with us all this time and is still a trooper. She sleeps, a lot
Wonderful picture of these two appreciating the sunset at the beach
Owen and Papa
We took Owen to see the Christmas Lights in Los Gatos, just over the hill from us
My good buddy Glenn. I met up with him when he was house sitting a farm in Aromas. We stayed up, talked the evening away, and woke up to feed the animals
Caralyne learning to ride her bike. It was unfortunate that everywhere we lived in the Santa Cruz area was not bike friendly at all
Owen dropping me off at work. I love getting me some hugs in
Making mugs and stuff at Petroglyph in downtown Santa Cruz. That Buckethead shirt makes a few appearences on this post
Caralyne and Maiya at Wilder Ranch
First real Chicago Pizza! Michele and I went to Chicago for The Magic Foundation conference. It was a very informative conference, and I got to eat a lot of pizza
Enjoying Loch Lomond when it was open. We had a few years of a terrible drought and it was closed for a while
Don't be fooled, they are outside sure but they are both looking at a Nintendo DS. I was just glad they were together and hanging out
Birthday celebration at Cafe Limelight in downtown Santa Cruz. Very tasty food
Back at Wilder Ranch. I love this picture of Owen trying to eat a mini donut off a string. It cracks me up every time I look at it
Cleaning up my 2000 Dodge Dakota before selling it. It was time, the list of repairs was pilling up and I didn't want to re-register knowing it was going to cost a lot in the next year. I had already bought a Mazda Cx-5, and I was driving the truck once a week just to keep it running. It had over 250k miles on it, and a lot of memories. We all shed a few tears when it drove off
Oh look, Mini B again!
We just signed the papers for our Boulder Creek house. The next two years would be a LOT of repairs and making it a nicer place. When we moved, I swore I would never get another fixer upper
Caralyne and I at SkeptiCAL! I wish we could have found something similar up here in Portland, but so far nothing
Our Boulder Creek home in the beautiful redwoods. This was shortly after we moved in. As you can see, we've already begun work. Fixing the railing here
Shed built! California Shed Company came out, and a small team got this built in a full workday. Amazing work
We drove up to Alturas, CA for a wedding. It was hot there, but we got to see an amazing sunset
Oh look, Mini B again. Now shes getting to be Biggie B, or Mega B
Litte Sage! She was a sweet kitty, and dare I say she adored me as much as I did her. She always slept with me like then when I was reading. I was again, crushed, when she was killed by a mountain lion. There were a handful of missing animals in our neighborhood when it was spotting hanging around. I hate letting my cat outside now, I never want them to get hurt again
Field trip to Alemeda. I love being a Chaperone, and my good friend David was another one on this trip so we got to hang out as well
I always have a FreeBSD server at home. Now it always seesm to be in close proximity to my TV
Fun times! This was the first time I had to give Owen a emergency cortisol shot. He got hit with the flu and it REALLY takes it out of him. We have always been told to give a shot and then take him to the emergency room. He checked out fine, just a bit dehydrated
Bear Creek by our house in Boulder Creek
Painting this ceiling was super hard. Hours of holding a paint sprayer is super taxing
I had a lot of problems with our spetic system in the begining. The person who replaced our septic tanks when we first bought the house possibly damaged the pipe to the leech field. See, the leech field was up hill, across the street on our neighbors propery. We noticed effluent was leaking in his drive way after we had our tanks pumped out for the third time in a row. The pipe was broken, and it was letting small rocks was back down into the pump, which caused it to lock up. I had to go to city hall and pull up permit recoreds to find out where it was all located
After a long day at work, these two kept me company while it was cold and lonely at home. Michele and the kids spent the weekend in Antioch with her parents, so I got to cuddle with my cats
Yay! Scoliosis! My kids have had some rough luck with the draw of genetics
I had a lenghty post back in 2015 about installing this pump. Like every project at that house, it was a new adventure every time
One Christmas, Caralyne got this little rubberband craft set. Owen dumped them all out at once. I spent a good hour re-sorting them
Campfire at a state park in Capitola. It felt weird camping so close to home. I read The Martian that weekend
I have never had a reaction to poison oak, and I am still awful at spotting it. I don't think Owen gets a reaction either. There was plenty around our house in Boulder Creek
This is when we first got little Olive. We couldn't have any dogs at the other places we lived, but we also barely had a yard in Boulder Creek. Michele and I leveled this area off and put on a kennel. She never really used it, man was she terrible in there. Owen probably played in it more than she did
This was our second trip up to Portland. This was 2015, we went up there to check places out and do a bit of sight seeing
Owen playing in the Columbia River. It was August and we had a nice picnic before making our way to the water
The Bay Photo picnic. Caralyne and Paige (Paigey-Pants as we called her) photo bombed us
Merry Christmas! Every year we hang less lights. Owen looks great in his hat
Our white gas heater in Boulder Creek. The shed we built was still cold in the winter, so this heater really came in handy
Olive getting bigger. She loves to snuggle, she's super snuggly
This was effectively my yard. We had fun with what was available. This was the weekend I dug a trench to wire the shed up
Field trip time! We picked up garbage on the beach
After a heavy rain, Bear Creek really swelled in size
Owen and I got a fire pit. We would burn little branches here and there. He still loves a good campfire
My last day at Bay Photo. That was a big long table of some great people to work with. This was at Beer 30 in Soquel
So this was fun... Part of our deck collapsed. The week I took off in between leaving Bay Photo and started at Stanford was used up by repairing this deck. I think someone installed a spa here many years ago and didn't do a great job patching the hole. Thankfully my father in law came down that week and helped us get it fixed
Caralyne and I back at SkeptiCAL. This time with my new hair cut. I recieved many comments on it, someone asked if I was a cop
Stanford! My lunch walk to the gym provided many great photo moments
We had a couple girls from Brazil stay with us through the local church we helped out at. They were really nice, it was a neat experience for us
Taken at SLAC, this NeXT Station was either Tim Berners-Lee's web server, or a mock up since his was at CERN
This was when we put our Boulder Creek place up on the market. It sold instantly. I still miss that place, and everything we did to it. I mostly miss the community there though. Everyone there was so helpful and nice I still look back with the thought 'What were we thinking?!'
Last lunch at Stanford. It was hard to leave, its not like I didn't love working there and the people were great. It was just tough to live in the area
We try to get the kids out as much as possible. You have to get these moments in as much as you can before the weather turns on you
Ghost! Great show, I had a crazy time getting back home that night. I didn't realize the Red line stopped at 11pm. I got out of the show just at 11, and waiting 45 minutes for a train that never came at the super sketchy Skidmore Fountain stop. I ended up hopping on the Blue line as a fight was breaking out, and got an Uber at 1:30am to my car. My phone was dying, it was raining and cold, and two Uber drivers cancelled on me. I have sinced learned to park at the next major train stop when I go to a show now
This confetti was everywhere
Owen was in the cub scouts for a bit. Both in Boulder Creek and up here in Camas. We did a hike together
Yeah, pretty much this. I ran across this on the steel brigde days after Trump won the election
Back home visiting! The kids are gathering in the very room Michele grew up in
Big man David's birthday!
Owen showing me his new digs! We moved in this place a few months after we came up here. In hindsight we probably should have been a little more selective and found a place with a bigger yard. Oh well, it is decently built and new. No repairs required
Owen and Olive on the stairs
Snow! Holy crap I moved to a place that gets a little snow. It happens maybe once or twice a year, shuts down the entire Portland metro area, and then melts away in a few days. Just enough to be fun
Oh boy! A new kitty! This is Levi
Owen loves plants. He's back at his Nana and Papas in Antioch
Visiting our friends in February. In the background is the Palo Alto cement ship. It used to be a restaurant. It turns out ocean water corrodes cement and this ship was never a good idea in the first place
Work photo! I went to Chicago to help rack 150 new servers. Unboxing and cleaning up took longer than the actual racking
Levi and Mini B. I dare say I love this cat more than anything, Sometimes I wisper to him 'If I could have done it all over, it would just be with you'. And then Caralyne smacks me
Beacon Rock! Its a good hike, takes less than an hour
Caralyne and I getting a selfie in at the Rose Garden
I made a light funnel so I could view the eclipse safely
Here it is in action. It worked out fantastically, and Camas almost got a full eclipse
Owen's Halloween costum. He was a pea shooter from Plants vs Zombies
After moving up north, we still try and visit our favorite family. Here we are gathering around the Instagram fire
My first Tattoo. I read a lot of cosmic horror and weird fiction, most of it is heavily inspired by HP Lovecraft. I found a local artists representation of Cthulhu and I asked them if I could get a tattoo of it
Look at this great kids. We don't get to see my sisters boys too often since she moved back east. Here we are though, at my parents place in Knightsen
Michele thought it was hilarious I had to improvise to move this dogwood tree around. She jokingly tells me I don't have real muscles because I don't do real labor for work. Well, that tree in the pot weighed a few hundred pounds. That was damn heavy
At OMSI with the kids. We were waiting in line for the planetarium show, which made me motion sick.
The famous Unipiper! I spot him occasionally on my way to the train
Field trip to Mount St Helens
First day of school!
First day of school!
My friend Glenn's wedding invitation. I did not make it, he's in Germany now, but I kept the card
One of my personal goals were met. First time I deadlifted 405lbs. I went from 355 all the way up to 435lbs in about a year. It required picking up heavy things and putting them back down. Oh, and eating. I eat a lot more now than I did 10 years ago. Probably not for the best, but I get to enjoy two things now (eating and lifting)
St Johns bridge in Portland
Leavenworth, Washington. A great fun little Bavarian town. This was the view we had from our little house rental
Despite swearing off getting another animal, I couldn't help myself. During our trip to Leavenworth we saw a sweet little aussie walking around. Caralyne and I both said 'We should get another aussie!' That evening while still in Leavenworth, Michele had scheduled appointments with breeders along the drive back home. A few weeks later, we drove out to eastern Washington to pick up little Rey. It was the day before Halloween, we had to trade off taking Owen out and keeping an unvaccinated puppy at home and out of trouble. Michele almost snapped and drowned all of us in the bath tub those first few months. It was rough but we made it though
Protest in Portland. The peaceful kind, not the kind where white nationalists show up inciting violence and packing heat
Since I love Levi so much, I made him a cat door and ruined our garage door. He immediately appreciated the handiwork
Second Tattoo. Sif the great wolf from Dark Souls. From Software's games have become my all time favorite games, and Dark Souls hit me at just the right time. I had pretty much stopped playing games and enjoying things after work. I was getting really burnt out and depressed over everything. This rekindled my hobby and made me less focused on the dysfunction at work
Man do I miss taco's from the east bay. Portland has a lot of great food, but Mexican is not one of them. Nothing beats cheap street tacos. I insist on getting these and burritos when I visit my parents
Yeah, this happened. Caralyne drives now. She still has a learners permit
This is her picture of a sunset
I like to razz Michele with some of her alternate food choices
We got a hedgehog. Her name is Poppy, and she has a smooth brain. That means she doesn't learn, she just reacts. She's still very entertaining
Caralyne got her back fixed. It went well
Archery with the kids
Another field trip! We planted saplings at a local wildlife refuge. It will help rebuild the natural environment and help support the local wildlife
Our Thanksgiving family photo
Back in the Santa Cruz Mountains to visit out friends we miss so much up here
Well that was fun right? A lot changes in 10 years.
I will never know if I made the right choices. It feels like I haven’t to be honest.
We should have stayed in the East Bay, so the kids could have continued to have a lasting relationship with our family. A lot of anxiety, socialization issues and even eating habits would be less of an issue if we would have stayed around and continued to have dinner with our parents and gone out and did things with them.
Even selling our Antioch home was probably a mistake. Antioch is still pretty sketchy, don’t get me wrong. Having the kids in the San Lorenzo Valley school district was really nice. Owen probably would have had more access to services in the East Bay, compared to driving all around Santa Cruz or over the hill to San Jose and Palo Alto. The price of the house eventually recovered, so we basically lost about 7 years worth of equity when it was all said and done.
That is not to say we didn’t have some great times and memories in Santa Cruz. That was really tough to leave. We had our friends there, we were close to the beautiful ocean and lived literally in one of the best places on earth. I had redwood trees in my front yard! Yet again though, we found ourselves moving away from those we loved.
Moving up to Portland was an attempt to find a place that was a bit more affordable. We bought a brand new home with more space than we know what to do with, for a lot less than our small 2 bedroom Boulder Creek home sold for. We have things like sanitation services, natural gas, and sidewalks. There is so much to do in Portland, like concerts, comedy shoes, places to eat, etc… We also felt the kids would have more opportunities here, and with it being more affordable, perhaps they wouldn’t have to struggle as much when they are establishing their own roots.
Yet every time I visit my family, I get homesick. I don’t have any friends up here, and neither do my kids or Michele. We’ve all dove into our computers and devices, but whenever I look at home prices back there I get sad all over again.
I’m not sure where the next 10 years will lead us. I wouldn’t have expected to be up here 10 years ago. Despite having regrets about moving around in the first place, I do appreciate that I have been able to experience more places and communities. It helps give me perspective and deepens my empathy for others. We make it a priority to see friends and family, and sometimes they even come up and visit us.
I would like to blog more though. Part of the decline was moving towards a static site generator like Hugo. I like being able to write posts in Markdown and Vim, but organizing photos for a post is still a pain. Also, I find it hard to write about work related content. I felt I had some freedom to do that when I worked at LLNL. I’m pretty sure some of the managers at Bay Photo would have disapproved of me writing as much as I did. They would view it as leaking trade secrets. What I would like to do though is focus less on social media (like my
Instagram profile) and reclaim my digital identification.
This has been a long and rambly post that wondered off into the morose a bit.
I’ll do better next decade