Career Update

I got my first promotion at work, from Technical Writer II to Technical Writer III. I value this not only as an acknowledgement of my skill growth, but because my boss uses promotions very sparingly. They only go to people he considers both technically competent and personally a good role model for others to follow. I really appreciate the vote of confidence, but also feel there’s more to live up to. I need to rise to the occasion.

I’ve known my boss was pushing for this for quite a while; he had to do some politicking to get it through because of budget issues, but fortunately for me he’s good at that kind of maneuvering. Continue Reading >>

Fabulous All Round

Yesterday Benji brought home a packet from school that he’d completed. It had all sorts of prompts, like “Here is a picture of my family,” and “I am X years old,” etc. Among this standard fare came a page with this prompt: “This year, I want to learn…”

His answer: “Chemistry, but water was the easiest to draw.”

I really wish I’d gotten to see his teacher’s face when she read that. I’m also very curious what other kids wrote. Continue Reading >>

Talapus Lake Hike

Yesterday Dad and I took Benji for his first hike to an alpine lake in the Cascades: Talapus Lake, about 20 miles past Snoqualmie, just off I-90.

Benji had no trouble with the distance — just shy of 2 miles each way — and overall he handled the climbing with reasonable stoicism. It was much hillier than any hike he’s done to date. Although… I doubt stoics talked nonstop for hours on end. In any case, there were about as many meltdowns as I expected, but not more, which I consider a win. Continue Reading >>

Recent Reading List

As part of this year’s 10 to Try reading challenge, I recently read a Pulitzer Prize-winning book called The Sympathizer, telling the story of a communist sympathizer spying among exiled Republic of Vietnamese officers in America. As you’d expect from a Pulitzer Prize book, the author brings you into the time and place, the culture, and most of all, the protagonist’s mind deeply and thoroughly — which gets difficult to stomach when the protagonist gets captured and tortured by his own side in the latter quarter of the book. Continue Reading >>

Humming and Strumming

Today I feel like an accomplished homeowner: Gary, my father-in-law, taught me how to replace our old, non-working faucet. Here’s the new one, happily not leaking anywhere and with a working, not loose cartridge.

I got what is apparently the full plumbing experience, with water dripping all the way down my arm into my armpit.

I’m actually pretty well suited to plumbing: small, but with long arms. If I ever need a career change, I’ll keep it in mind.

Seaside Vacation 2019

This week we’ve enjoyed our annual trip to Seaside, Oregon. As Benji has gotten older, we’ve been able to do more and more fun activities, including things that involve staying up late.

Beach fire and s’mores: It doesn’t get much better than this.
Benji is apparently impervious to icy water straight from Alaska.
Benji also flew a kite for the first time. The hardest part was not letting go.
On vacation we eat ice cream every day. Benji always orders something chocolate.
At Oswald West, Ian and I built a dam that kind of worked. Benji sat in the freezing water and played with wet sand.

I don’t want to give the impression that every day was glorious weather — in fact, on Wednesday, it rained steadily all day. We spent most of the day inside, but did take an excursion to the Tillamook Creamery, where (surprise!) we had more ice cream. On Wednesday we also played hide and seek, which is WAY more fun in the large and complicated Seaside house. It has a zillion nooks to hide in, perfect for hide and seek. Continue Reading >>