I know, there was no BumbleDad post last week; I’m sorry. There’s been an awful lot going on and it was one of the things that fell through the cracks.
This week hasn’t exactly slowed in pace either, but at least I’m not driving to Seguin and back.
Um, well actually, I am doing that again… Just not in one day this time. (I had a Shaw VR presentation to give at the Seguin Silver Center last week.)
Other than that things have been pretty status quo. Daphne and I are filling our days with walks…
Daphne’s version of Shadespire involves rolling for snuggle time
and, or course, our daily naps.
You know, that looks awful familiar…
About 2 1/2 years apart.
That’s just crazy…
Okay, I’ve gotta run for now. We’re taking Daph for some carousel time at the local
dirt mall Katy Mills. Hopefully I’ll find some time to post later this week with pictures from Seguin.
See you then.
Woodworkin’ ain’t easy.
I know enough about it to be aware of that fact, which is why I hired people to do it.
Very unprofessional people.
I won’t go into the litany of ridiculousness that has been our attempt to get our doors fixed, suffice to say that I hired Arborwood Construction 7 weeks ago and they’re here for only the second time today. I actually had to threaten to withhold their pay before they showed up to finish the job.
It also means that I have to lock Alex up in an upstairs bedroom while they’re here. Which means he cries and barks up there all day. Which in turn upsets Jib, who sits outside his brother’s door for reassurance.
Daphne was just picked up by her Gramps and taken to their house, so she could escape the drilling, sanding and barking.
And speaking of Gramps, it was his birthday on Monday. So we met up with him, and lots of his friends, at Braman brewery (obviously one of our favorite places) and Jen got to hold Daphne’s new cousin for a little while.
Although it occurs to me now that I’m unsure how comfortable her parents are with online posting of names and info… So for now we’re just going to leave it at a very cute picture of an aunt and her new niece.
Anyway, a good time was had by all. As per usual.
Daph’s school session went great this week. In fact, it was the first time she seemed like she was having fun. Every week is new, but hopefully that bodes well going forward.
“Sure, it was okay. We’re not going there today though, are we?”
Amazing 1970’s hair.
Also quite a few of you have commented on Daphne getting used to me being home with her every day, and have asked if it will be hard on her/me/us when I go back to work and am unable to cook, play, read, take walks, etc. with her in the morning.
Yes. Yes it will.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Looking for a job is…unpleasant.
I feel like all I’m doing is fielding a bunch of calls from some shady headhunters with even shadier “offers.”
I created a job huntin’ Gmail account (and a Google Voice number) to advertise on the myriad hiring sites out there. And as a result my phone is getting blown up with spam texts and emails all day, albeit none from places where I’m really hoping to land a position. Those places are all being rather coy…to put it lightly.
Had my second interview here today which went…okay.
Fortunately we’re still in a space where we can coast for another few months, financially speaking, before we have to start panicking. I’d just really rather get the ball rolling and get back to work so we won’t have tax our safety net too hard.
That and I can stop feeling like a deadbeat dad…
Speaking of being a dad, and of our favorite little girl, she’s had a pretty great week. Her therapy on Monday went very well (she’s started playing with the multi-colored soap bubbles, whereas a couple weeks ago she was utterly horrified by the idea of even touching them) and there’s been some word sightings here and there. A few “dada“s, a “mama,” a “pig,” and,on Wednesday morning she reached her arms around my neck and squeezed while, very clearly, saying “hug.”
This, obviously, made my entire day.
Daph is also paying a lot more attention to Jib these days. Things like rubbing him with her feet, petting him occasionally, and today she rested her hand on his back for a while during our afternoon walk.
She’s even sharing her woobie with him.
“Jib didn’t take it! She put it here! Promise!“
I actually have to bribe the big guy with treats to get him to leave her room at night so I can shut the door.
Best dog in the world.
Okay I’m off. See you next week.
So there is one fantastic thing about being sans employment. (Well, two if you count escaping the fear-fueled, soul-sucking mire that passes for a “company culture” at my former employer.)
Being able to spend more time just being Dad.
Daphne and I eat breakfast together every morning without my having to take meetings in the middle of our meal. I get to pick out her clothes for the day and brush her hair. I’ve taken on her daily speech therapy, coaxing her into non-preferred activities and structured play. In that vein, I’ve even started her on her very first board game.
We’re not quite to full on “Bingo” game play just yet; we’re starting things out by simply matching the tiles to the pictures and trying to say the words. But she’ll get there.
We also get to nap together in the afternoons, do our lunchy-snack thing afterward, and…we get to take walks.
Here she is casting Magic Missile at some geese.
“Praise the sun!”
And while I’m very focused on our three–ring fiscal acrobatics, finding a job, selling the house, and starting Shaw VR (yes, the website is essentially finished…I just have a few more tidbits left), I’m also reminding myself not to look past this moment, and bear in mind how lucky I am to get so spend this much time with my little girl.
And it seems like she doesn’t mind it either.
See you guys next week.
So after 6 weeks of job hunting, it became apparent that I need to do more than just sit on the couch with a laptop and grind away at sending out resumes all day. (Sure I’m also getting the house ready to sell and tinkering with my own startup…but the job hunt is the primary focus.) Being that sedentary is really not good for anyone.
So on Tuesday I started using the Nike NTC app…
The Nike+ Nike Training Club?
The plan was to do some yoga a few times a week, just to keep things from atrophying, you know? And my Day One yoga was great! Lots of stretching, interspersed with downward dogs, cat and cows, scorpions, and the rest of the Bikram barnyard.
It felt so great, in fact, that I followed it up with 20 minutes of meditation via the Headspace app. (Better living through iTunes!) Then slept like a baby.
The next day, the Nike app helpfully reminded me that I needed to do my second workout.
“Sure!” I thought. “That last one was awesome… OKAY PHONE, TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO!”
And the phone said, “You should do a thing called Floor to Core.”
“YES! OKAY PHONE! LET’S DO FLOOR TO-wait… That doesn’t sound like yoga.”
It wasn’t yoga.
It was 30 minutes of exercises that, if I were 22, I would’ve laughed about and effortlessly breezed through while smoking a cigarette and managing to look bored and aloof.
At 42…not so much.
Things like lunges and squats and planks and push-ups and not a single friendly farm animal anywhere. And I’m embarrassed to say that it beat the hell out of me. My butt cheeks currently feel like someone swapped them for a size too small.
But it didn’t stop me from doing my workout today, right before taking my calls with recruiters. And I’m quite glad no one was here for it, because I whined and wheezed like a rusty robot mule the entire time.
However if I’m going to have to keep doing these Daphne Horsey Curls (See? Farm animals! Is that so hard, Nike?) then I’m definitely going to require some continued exercise.
See you soon.
I’m juuust going to get this post in before the weekend…
Obviously my days have been filled with a lot of resume writing, job researching, house cleaning, business starting and Daphne watching, so there hasn’t been much in the way of free time to do a blog post.
But it’s Friday, and Daph is napping at her Gramps and Nana’s place, so I have a few minutes to catch up.
And I basically just did.
Aside from the above, we’ve had our weekly classes at the ECI which have been kind of hit or miss.
Daphne complies with nearly everything that we ask her to do, she’s just not happy about having to do so. And I say “nearly” because she staunchly refuses to put her hands in the cornmeal/PlayDoh buckets (otherwise known as “the sensory bin”) that they give her every week.
I can’t say as I blame her.
It’s pretty gross. I don’t like putting my hands in it either…
She’s doing well though. She’s only had 4 classes and she’s doing some of the things she’s learned in class at home. (For example, she’s bringing us pictures of the things she wants to play with and exchanges the picture for the toy.) She’s still non-verbal, of course, but I think we’re getting closer to hearing some words…
With the new schedule, however, there’s plenty of time for Daddy Grooming…
“Look at him…he’s a mess!”
“Let’s comb through this side a bit…”
“Press a few things back into place over here…”
“There. Much better.”
There’s also been a lot of playing with Officer Judy Hopps, who is rapidly becoming one of her favorites.
But it’s really fun when Daddy repeats what Judy is saying…
Okay, it’s Friday. And we haven’t been to Braman in almost a month. (I don’t think we’ve been there in 2018?) So, I think I’m going to take a break from all the things I’m doing that aren’t technically a “job,” and have a beer or two.
See you guys next week.
So we’ve been home for a bit now and I wish I could say things are settling down. But they really aren’t.
I’ve already been back out to Seguin once for testing of that startup thing I keep talking about.
You know what? I’ll just spill the beans a bit on it…
It’s called Shaw VR. (Caveat emptor: I’m still working on several pages of that site.)
The elevator pitch is that I’m trying to bring virtual reality to retirement and assisted living communities, and in doing so bring some semblance of travel back to those who might not be able to do so on their own. With the VR headset, I can bring up virtually any spot in the world, from the Eiffel Tower, to the Pyramids of Giza, to deserted beaches, to walking tours of Westminster Abbey, all the way down to old home addresses and schools.
And while it isn’t exactly like being there, it’s still a pretty very visceral and moving experience. I ran my first test of the process last weekend with my grandmother, who had always wanted to see the Greek islands and the Parthenon.
We also did an underwater diving experience.
The whole thing went better than I expected, and I was able to control quite a bit of the VR software even while not wearing the headset. (That was one of my biggest technical question marks, and while it isn’t perfect, I can do it.)
I don’t know whether this will become an actual business. I’ve gone through a lot of the inexpensive stuff so far, like getting an EIN number, registering with the Secretary of State, creating a website, and opening a business checking account.
Heck, I even have a P.O. box.
At some point, though, I’m going to have to either go all in on this idea, spend the money on a laptop that can run my headset (about a $2,500 venture), and start demoing the experience with activity directors…or simply set the whole thing aside. Obviously our lives are in a massive amount of upheaval right now, which means the timing for this is either terrible…or perfect.
That said, I have a proof of concept now. And given where VR is heading I feel like this is the right place and the right time. Not to mention I think it would be a huge help to a demographic that is almost always overlooked in developing technology.
And…it’s just fun.
BumbleGrandma slicing up strawberries and coconuts in Fruit Ninja
The question is, can I make it work?
I guess time will tell.
Meanwhile, back in our reality, Daphne had been a bit under the weather earlier this week, with a lot of sniffling and sneezing and generally feeling cruddy. Fortunately it was a short-lived cold, and she seems to be on the mend now.
Nothing that a little apple juice and Baby Bum while riding a zebra can’t cure.
In fact, she’s at the library today with her Grandma Sally…hopefully that’s going well.
And finally, last weekend my sister-in-law had her daughter.
Welcome to the world and to our family, little Rosalyn. It’s nice to meet you. I’ll be playing the part of your weird uncle.
See you soon.
Late post this week. There’s been an awful lot to do. Sorry.
So let’s go back to last weekend, which was our annual trip to PAX South in San Antonio. Yes, I know I didn’t mention it earlier, but I’ve made the conscious decision to NOT advertise on the internet when we’re leaving our house empty for 4 days.
We headed out to Seguin on Thursday evening, once Jen got off of work, and we had a pretty fantastic drive out there. (Heck, I even remembered the passes this time!) Jen and I got a chance to actually talk to one another for the entire 2 hours, while Daphne happily sang to herself and created Goldfish crumb sculptures on my back seat.
Friday was my solo day at PAX, which translates to “BumbleDad Does Panels…Lots of Panels.”
Good morning, San Antonio.
The opening one was at 10:30 (we are on gamer-time, after all) and it covered a lot of VR stuff, which is exactly what I went to learn about.
Things like proprioception and hand permanence and motion sickness variables…
Again, I have an idea for a tech startup, and these things would be very important to its function.
After that I walked the Expo Hall and checked out the usual suspects that come every year, browsed the new vendors, and marked a few that were notably absent. (Nintendo, GreyBox, Paizo… Where were you guys?)
Then I grabbed a quick bite to eat before my “Streaming 101” panel, which is a topic that I clearly needed help with after my last failed attempt. Unfortunately I left with the realization that I really don’t want to bother streaming games.
I do still want to broadcast a little with Daphne. And so I had the idea of doing a weekly kids’ book stream. Basically Daphne and I will sit down to read a couple of her books together, and we’ll stream it live on Facebook, Twitch, and/or YouTube, depending on which is easiest.
I’ll be sure to link us on the BumbleDad Facebook page when we go live, but I’ll probably need a few days to get it all set up properly first.
Anyway, the rest of the panels were pretty meh. I did get to see Patrick Rothfuss give another talk this year.
And somehow he was even surlier than last year. Which is saying something.
This is not the face of a happy man.
My brother-in-law and niece drove in with me on Saturday morning, and there was a lot of bouncing around with them to various tournaments and shops and snack bars the like. As such, I really didn’t have much time for pictures on Saturday.
Sundays are, hands down, my favorite PAX day. Because it’s the day that the crowds subside, and Daphne and Jen come with me.
I think it’s Daph’s favorite day too.
She really dug watching the Super Smash Bros. finals.
“Can you believe that guy chose to play Samus? Seriously, she’s like tier 3 in this meta.”
I came across some pretty decent stuff this year, as well.
One Deck Dungeon
I’ve had a ton of fun with this game so far, and it was easily my best purchase of the convention. It takes the perfect amount of time to finish, and each playthrough is wildly different. For those of us who are a bit too busy to make it out to our local gaming store with any regularity, this is an excellent solo game and one I very much recommend.
I watched a demo of this and came away very intrigued. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in any of the shops on the sales floor. It’s essentially a mystery/escape room style game, played out with cards. I’ll have to track down a copy and learn a bit more about it.
Star Wars: Legion
Warhammer, but streamlined and in the Star Wars universe.
Shut up and take my money.
There were also a LOT of clothing retailers this year, which is a trend that makes me smile. Sadly, I’m way too dadly (read as: old) to be wearing jerseys for any sports team, nevermind an e-sports one. (The Houston Outlaws Overwatch team have a particularly awesome logo, too…)
I was also almost sold on a beautiful long-sleeve design from Nations until they explained that the pattern on the sleeve was actually an AK-47. No, I simply cannot, in good conscience, walk around pimping automatic weaponry. Their designs are pretty awesome though, and we picked up one for Jen…
This one, as a matter of fact.
We headed back home early in the evening on Sunday, and got to Houston just in time for ice storms and temperatures in the teens and for the entire city to ostensibly shut down.
It’s been glorious.
Okay, I’m off. I’ll see you all soon.
The holidays have ended.
Jen is back to work, as are most of you.
And I’m… I’m doing things. Things like getting our carpets cleaned, and the woodwork repaired, and turning down an offer for a dream job in Seattle…
Yeah. It’s true.
But you know the trouble with “dream jobs?” They’re often a lot of other people’s dream jobs as well…
And as such, the pay isn’t exactly competitive. At least, not for a guy in his 40’s with a wife and child.
And Seattle is a very expensive city. I won’t go into specifics but, with adjustments for cost of living, I was looking at making about $500 a month over minimum wage.
As such, I will not be writing and editing Pathfinder manuals and novels. (Man, they’ve really got to do something about that website…)
This does make me a little sad. But there’s nothing I can do… So onward.
In brighter news, there’s been a lot of hanging out with Daphne this past week. And I took her to her first day of ECI school yesterday.
Ready for her “first day of school” pictures?
I know I’m a little biased, but seriously… Is that not the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?
Well what about this?
That’s right…I got a video of it.
I’ll will undoubtedly talk at length about what I thought of their curriculum, but for now, let’s leave it there.
Talk to you soon.
Well, we made it. That was a helluva thing.
I began this post by going into a brief overview of each challenge that the past year brought, but I’ve since deleted the whole thing and started over because, honestly, it was just depressing.
Suffice to say, 2017 can go suck eggs.
Just 4 days in, and 2018 is already starting on a much higher note. I’ve gotten a few nibbles, and one giant chomp, during my angling for a new job. And I began the very first steps of offloading our house today. (Regardless of whether we stay in Houston or not, we’re definitely leaving Fulshear.)
So, there is hope.
A Christmas gift from my wife and daughter. It sits on my nightstand as a reminder each morning.
Speaking of which, I briefly mentioned a doctor visit in my last post, didn’t I?
As my insurance winds down after the layoff, I thought it wise to get the hood popped, so to speak, and ensure that all my tubes, pumps and wires were still in some semblance of working order. So I went to my doctor for a check-up/blood work.
And all appears to be well, with the glaring exception of familial hypercholesterolemia.
Yes, it turns out I have a cholesterol of 360 , which I assume means that my blood samples had a layer of whipped cream on top.
Honestly, I’ve known about my high cholesterol for a while now. And because it’s inherited, there’s little I can do about it except take pills to keep it in check.
Thing is, I hate taking pills.
I don’t even like taking aspirin.
And I’ve never had to be prescribed a single medication (well, one that I was to take in perpetuity) until now.
So I’m having a harder time with it than most might feel is
within the bounds of rationality normal.
The face of irrational chemical aversion…under a silly hat.
Anyway, I’m taking medication now. Bleh. Moving on.
Daphne is still enjoying her big girl bed, which I feel like I should shorten to just BGB, given how often we’ve been talking about it lately.
In fact, when she woke up this morning she hopped out of bed, picked up her Nursery Rhymes book, then climbed right back under her covers to read for a while.
She has not, however, completely grasped the concept of napping in the BGB. She will do so, but it is an undertaking that requires no small amount of kicking and flailing first.
Or maybe there’s always been that amount of flailing, and it wasn’t an issue because we were in a queen-sized bed?
Okay, see you soon.