Rancho Color Fun Run

April 30, 2022 10:55 am

The girls' school had a fundraiser event on April 15 of wearing white t-shirts and running through clouds of chalk being thrown at them. The fundraising aspect was "please give us money while kids run in circles" I guess. Some of the pictures look like a mustard-gas attack, but they had fun. The older grades were running around the track. The younger grades were on the blacktop.

First Day of School 2021

August 24, 2021 5:03 pm

The school year is under way!

Oddly, Heather's and Corinne's classrooms are next to each other. Which turns out to be pretty convenient because parents aren't allowed inside the fence right now as a Covid precaution, so Heather can drop Corinne off on her way to class.

They eat lunch outside at picnic tables under the solar panels. Which seems like a super California thing to do.

They both survived the day. That, uh, has a much grimmer tone to it than I meant considering the number of kids around the country catching Covid in their schools right now :-/.

COVID-19: Part 56

March 27, 2021 9:38 am
  • Quarantine Day 376
  • Livermore cases: 4,107
  • Alameda County cases: 79,488; deaths: 1,359
  • U.S. cases: 29,903,000+; deaths: 543,000+

The girls went back to in-person school this week. First time at school in just a bit over a year. Their options were to stay remote, go in person, or stay with their teacher regardless of which style that meant. We opted for them to both stay with their teachers which resulted in them both going back in person.

They're only on campus for 2.75 hours M, T, Th, F (at-home only on Wednesdays). Everyone wearing masks, and maintaining 6-feet of separation. No food served, so no communal dining setting. They can eat a small snack during recess if they want, but have to sit apart and still be outside. The rest of the day is at-home assignments.

Heather has class in the morning, Corinne has class in the afternoon. This makes lunch time a bit cramped as there's only 50 minutes between Heather's pick-up time and Corinne's drop-off time. But it also means that Jess can focus on them one at a time to complete their at-home assignments.

They both said they liked being in school. Corinne, in particular, was excited to see the classroom and meet the class guinea pig, Tigger.

First Day of School 2020

August 25, 2020 5:36 pm

School started today for the girls. From home via computers. They both had a morning check-in meeting starting at 8am and then a break.

Heather then had more class time of some kind, I'm not sure since I was working. She says they were learning about the stuff in their supplies box (they went and picked up materials from their teachers yesterday) and the teacher read a story and watched a video about kindness.

We set up a desk under Heather's lofted bed. I zip-tied some Ikea LED strip lights to the underside of her bed to light up her space and she's using a Chromebook we bought last month. So far so good.

Corinne was very excited about everything. Her teacher is doing one-on-one assessments throughout the week so she had some independent (meaning Jess-led) activities but was otherwise done for the day after the morning meeting.

But being excited also means burning through a lot of energy. 90 minutes after her morning meeting she was exhausted.

COVID-19: Part 39

July 17, 2020 3:12 pm
  • Quarantine Day 123
  • Livermore cases: 349
  • Alameda County cases: 8,556; deaths: 160
  • U.S. cases: 3,555,000+; deaths: 137,000+

A triple quarantine. Ugh.

The school system sent out a notice that school will be either fully remote or as a hybrid model with limited on-campus time each week in smaller groups with the option to dynamically switch between modes depending on conditions. Given the data trends, I'm expecting things will start fully remote at this point, unless things really turn around in the next four weeks.

So Jess ordered a desk and chair we can put in Heather's room under her loft-bed so she has a dedicated school-work station. I'm setting up deal alerts on Chromebooks so we have a dedicated computer available for her (the school system has Chromebooks available, but I'm guessing we can get something better and also ease the demand on their supply for others who can't afford to just go buy one right now). I'm expecting we'll see a run on Chromebooks as the school year approaches (since many district use them) so I'm hoping to grab one before that happens.

How remote Kindergarten will work for Corinne is a mystery. She really needs the hands-on, in-person experience. So it's sad she won't get to have that. But we are fully in support of following the best available medical advice on how to do schooling safely.


I interviewed for a "Group Leader" position at the Lab today. It's basically the bottom rung of the management ladder. It's only funded at 5% so you still do a regular technical job 95% of the time. Mostly it's handling performance appraisals and career development type activities for a group of 10-20 people.


Last night my friends played the Gambler's Pass adventure in our campaign. One of them used a flying spell to fly across the Red River and avoid falling in when the bridge was destroyed. So that was unexpected. I'll have to do a little re-writing for the next adventure to account for that.


More and more states are enacting mandatory mask regulations. But then you have Georgia whose governor passed an executive order banning mask mandates in the state that had been enacted at the city level.


I finally got my hands on "Ring Fit Adventure" a fitness game for the Nintendo Switch. They've been completely sold out since March and any time they are in stock they sell out again within minutes.

We've all been playing that this week (except Corinne who isn't strong enough to squeeze or stretch the resistance band). It's pretty fun.

It's a great evolution on the Wii Fit concept. In Wii Fit they created a bunch of minigames where you exercise to play the games. But they had no overarching narrative so it was interesting but you still had to have the base motivation to do exercise since the minigames lost their novelty fairly quickly.

In Ring Fit Adventure they built the overarching narrative and exercise is the medium of fighting enemies and advancing the story. So while the actual exercise is still repetitive (repetition is rather the point) there is a developing story line and your character's strength and abilities level up so it's much more engaging.

Consequently we've all had sore muscles all week.