• Cleveland,  Family,  Home,  Politics

    Settling In

    COVID took my writing here in a weird direction. I wrote a series of methodical-yet-irregular diary posts about the details of what I was feeling and what was happening in our lives, but after a couple of months the importance of that writing fell away. I think I was using it as a tool to process my feelings about the world, and eventually moved to other approaches. So, an update. Everyone’s healthy and fine. Our girls have started the school year from home, and we’re having beautiful late-summer / early-fall weather in Cleveland. We’re all settling in to a schedule and a new set of expectations. Susan and I are…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 6

    Monday April 20 (Day 36): More 3D printing and processing orders for ear savers, at the expense of normal daily work. Tuesday April 21 (Day 37): Again, ear savers and some normal daily work. After the kids are in bed I process and bag ear savers while watching Tiger King and eating snacks. This is 100% OK. Wednesday April 22 (Day 38): Normal work stuff and 3D printing, which is settling into a normal routine. Susan’s birthday is tomorrow. The kids and I decorated their room because they are having a slumber party with mom tonight. Thursday April 23 (Day 39): Susan’s birthday. I cooked tri-tip steak with roasted potatoes.…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 5

    Thursday April 16 (Day 32): I’m not feeling the journaling this week. What was strange and scary is the new normal. We have routines, and they mostly work. The biggest challenges arise from failing to meet expectations, and setting realistic ones. My mother joined Susan’s family call this week, and it was lovely to have her as part of the group. The Tokar family reunion in Toledo, an important and long-running gathering for my wife’s family, is canceled this year. Many people report more time for connection with people by phone, mail, and video conference. We’re still connecting and building relationships, just mostly not in person. Friday April 17 (Day…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 4

    Monday April 6 (Day 22): Unlike last week, I had a strong desire to make sure the kids completed their assigned schoolwork today, and it resulted in a lot of tension between Amelie and I. She feels the workload is too high, and the days are too structured and she is clearly very frustrated. That impacts her desire to do the assignments that seem hard or uninteresting. So I end up giving her “well, if you don’t do X then you can’t have Y” consequences, which makes things worse instead of motivating her. I think it is also difficult because Camille has less or easier schoolwork assigned, and seems to…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 3

    Monday March 30 (Day 15): First day of “for real” school for the kids. Week 1 was a warmup, Week 2 was spring break (officially), this is Week 3 in which We Try To Get Real Work Done. It was also Susan’s first day back at work after ~1 week of mostly not working. She is stressed. There’s a whiteboard schedule in the dining room that Susan updates every morning. Thanks to this, we have a clear and agreed schedule for everybody, and we know who is on duty for helping the kids at various times. It’s a good system and it feels fair. Amelie lobbied for more unstructured free…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 2

    Monday March 23 (Day 8): Back on the work/school schedule today. Susan is taking vacation from work this week and doing more activities with the kids – mainly art projects. I felt better about work and being more productive, but still easily distracted by the news. I see lots of political outrage right now as the white house and supporters are starting to change their tune again, from focus on the epidemic to a focus on restoring the economy. Tonight the Ohio stay-at-home order takes effect, but it doesn’t change anything for us. We were already operating that way. Susan and I are both grateful we are weathering this storm…

  • Family,  Home

    COVID-19 Journal – 1

    This is a brief daily journal of thoughts during the time of COVID-19, from Cleveland Ohio. As of the latest update, neither I nor my family have the virus. Monday March 16 (Day 1): First day of kids home from school. All food and supplies good, spirits good. Susan went to the office but came back after 2 hours because she was there alone and getting paranoid about someone coughing in the hall. Kids are playing together and reworking the song “The Cat Came Back” to include more fart references.  Amelie’s laptop arrived today.  Generally peaceful day with some work accomplished.  Molly feels we shouldn’t visit Toledo as planned; to…

  • Home

    If You Like Dreamland (Utopia)

    One of my all-time favorite TV shows is an Australian series called “Utopia” (in the US: “Dreamland” on Netflix).  It’s a comedy centered around a government infrastructure planning and development office (the Nation Building Authority), and the frustrations of bureaucracy and incompetent colleagues.  Even if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I promise you the scenarios and characters are spot on, and the humor is quick, deadpan, hilarious. I am making my way through the recommendations, and here’s my breakdown so far. Love: The Thick of It (IMDB) The Hollowmen (IMDB) 2008, TV series by Working Dog The Games (IMDB) 1998-2000, TV series The Office (both UK and…

  • Cleveland,  Family,  Home

    Why I am Moving to Cleveland

    My wife and I are planning a family move in 2018, relocating from Denver to Cleveland.  There’s no one thing that’s pushing or pulling us, really.  Many things aligned to make this a good time to consider a move.  She went to college at Case Western Reserve University, so she has some familiarity with the city.  She’s always had good things to say about it.  Until recently though, I had the typical outsider attitude: “Rust Belt city? Why would I be interested in that?”  We weren’t planning a move from Denver, and even if we were — I wasn’t interested in any Midwest city. A musician friend from Denver moved…

  • Cleveland,  Family,  Home

    Why I Am Leaving Denver

    My wife and I are planning a family move in 2018, relocating from Denver to Cleveland.  There’s no one thing that’s pushing or pulling us, really.  Many things aligned to make this a good time to consider a move. There’s lot of great stuff happening in Denver, and it’s a neat place to be.  When I talk to people in other parts of the country, they often say “Oh, you’re lucky! I’d love to live out there.”  Intentionally giving it up seems odd.  Since people have been asking, I decided to provide some more detail why I’m ready to leave Denver.  (Why Cleveland? See here.) It’s Expensive It’s not San…