Abandoned Places

I accidentally veered from studying into reading about abandoned places this evening. There was an abandoned asylum near where I grew up, and it was a popular destination for roaming teenagers. I never had the courage nor the desire to go, and with reason. Here are a few choice quotes about Forest Haven Asylum.

As the years rolled by things got progressively worse as the doctors, nurse, and caregivers began taking out their frustrations on the patients, many of whom were abused bodily and sexually, if they were given any attention at all.


As if the decaying remains of this horrific asylum did not give the site a haunting air, there have also been reports of the shallow graves of the carelessly buried inmates eroding to reveal the unfortunate corpses.


Don’t go after dark, as getting back out of the woods is extremely difficult.


It’s just an ok place to host your kid’s birthday party.


Coffee Shop Observations

I spent a fair bit of time studying today for that AWS exam. I’ve moved from “learn AWS” to “learn how to pass an AWS multiple choice test”, which represents a failure of standardized testing, but what can you do?

I arrived at a coffee shop on Hawthorne today, entering just as a man had removed his shoe, rolled up his pant leg and revealed to the room a tattered and bloody lower leg. He then hobbled past me and across the shop to the water dispenser, where he informed the staff that he was just cleaning his leg. The baristas were not thrilled to hear this. They banded together and requested the injured man leave the premises. The man said something about “you don’t have to call anyone”, but I wonder if he actually wanted the opposite. Maybe he thought that police medical staff would dress his leg wound as part of the arrest. I’m not sure why he made a show of it otherwise; he could’ve just used the bathroom.

If my reasoning was correct, he backed out of it and left the shop, maybe unsure of any further injury that would result from the arrest. Or maybe he had mental issues that prevented him from understanding that this was not an ok thing to do. I don’t know.

Study, buddy

I need to study for this pending AWS exam. I won’t delay it again, but I really need to hit the books over these next few days. I’ve done most of the other things I needed to do, many of which were lower in priority than studying. Now my schedule is clear for some truly acrobatic procrastination. Monica’s taking Zavian to Salem tomorrow, so I’ll use that time appropriately.

Today I worked and then took Zavian to the arcade to reward him for a consistent week without crying at morning drop-off. I actually remember crying a bunch when I was his age and in the same situation, and my mom bribing me with candy bars.

We ate at Kati for dinner. That place is simply phenomenal.

Another one of those

Another day when I don’t really know what to type. On these days, I’ll just write a journal entry describing what I did today. Hold onto your hats, we’re about to go full Live Journal.

Today I worked most of the day on a ticket I thought I mostly finished last night. Sweeping up the little things always takes the longest time. After work, I built a DIY squatty potty that turns out it’s a bit too high. Don’t ask me how I know. I walked to pick up Zavian, and I watched him sing Day-O with the rest of his class. Did you know there’s at least one person with an absurd conspiracy theory for the lyric about the black tarantula? I found that out while reading the “talk” Wikipedia discussion for this song, and it almost gave me another headache. I accidentally broke my Keyboard harness while assembling that squatty potty, and I spent the evening trying to fix it with some clumsy re-soldering. No dice. Another project for another day.

Eye Headache

Every 3 or 4 months I’ll get an intense headache that’s focused around my eye, usually my left. I think it has to do with how dry the air in our house is, and how I forget to blink when I use the computer. A nap will usually remedy the issue, but I’m can’t always drop everything to do so. I’m contemplating building a desk for our front porch so I can work out in the more humid air. I’ll have to build a portable frame so I can bring my monitor and laptop around with me so no one janks my computer from my front porch whenever I go inside to pee.

Usual Tuesday, Chrome Bag Provenance

Today was pretty standard. I worked until 4 and then walked to picked up Z around 4:30. We walked to New Seasons to pick up some groceries, and Monica met us there. We walked home, cooked dinner, and then put Z to bed. Monica and I both did some work, and now she’s asleep on the couch.

I have a large Chrome Industries single flap backpack that I purchased about 8 years ago. It’s made of vinyl tarp and so hardy; I use it for travel all the time. I wanted a smaller backpack to safely carry my laptop around in the Portland rain, and so I naturally turned to Chrome’s current offerings. I was disappointed to learn that Chrome no longer manufactures their bags in the United States. They do still make their custom bags here, but those are one-offs and much more expensive.

I turned to eBay and got a couple good deals on two Chrome backpacks: The Pawn and the Orlov 2.0. The Pawn is one of their vintage, USA-made backpacks and the Orlov 2.0, which (like any other bag labeled 2.0) is made in China. I get them next week, and I’ll happily lay out any differences I see.

Portland Day Off

Today Monica and I explored the neighborhoods of Portland that we’d yet to really visit: Multnomah Village, Lake Oswego, and St. John’s (actually a second visit for me). We started the day with a leisurely hike in Tyron Creek State Natural… Area (let’s just call it a park), drove through the above neighborhoods, and finished up at CloudForest Chocolate. We picked up Z at his usual time, and he suspected nothing. He did point out that there were far fewer kids in his class today, and he asked about Monica’s hiking boots on the drop off this morning, but his curiosity was in passing.

To Sonia, Pneumonia

More work on the rhyming algorithm in between family time. Monica and I are both off tomorrow for MLK day. We’re sending Zavian to school and having a parents skip day. We’ll go to a new park on in SW and check out the scene in that, our least visited quadrant.

It’s becoming apparent that this rhyme algorithm will need to make sugestions on the rhymes it recomments, because so many rhymes exist. So many rhymes exist.

Eighth Grade

Monica and I saw the movie Eighth Grade, and we both liked it. It was uncomfortable and heartwarming, sprinkled with those teenage truths we all strive to forget.

I learned today that all files on a file system take up at least 40KB of space, even if the file itself is not that large. This has thrown a pretty big wrench into the system I was working up, but it’s ok. I can pivot and make this happen differently. I just wish I could move faster on all of this. Work and family come first, and then I’d mostly be sleeping the rest of the time if I didn’t have this drive to see this project realized.

I can do this.

Partners in Rhyme

I spent 90% of my day at home, and I didn’t complete my lambda. Tests are in place, though, which is a necessary first step. I need to be better at using the time I have, however short, to move this forward. 

Today Monica and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary, but we’ve actually been together for over 7 years. The best advice I can give for a successful marriage is this. Choose your partner like a teammate: someone you can trust and count on, someone reliable, someone who you like to make out with.