A Variety of Topics

I have been a very busy Jason.

First, to answer the questions about why my name is included in the Android platform… I can’t tell you. Unless you buy me a beer. Actually, not even then. What I can say is this. “I helped.”

Next! Courtney, Jeff, Kathryn and I spent the weekend in the San Juan Islands. It was awesome! We stayed in a cabin in Friday Harbor, went wandering on Orcas and Mt. Constitution, went whale watching in the Straight, got to see lots of whales and even got to see the first gender identification of a new whale, and just generally had a wonderful time. 

Courtney took some pictures on Mt. Constitution and while we were whale watching. And Kathryn took a bunch too!


At some point a few weeks before that trip Courtney and I got serious about looking for a house to live in. We had been kinda sorta browsing for a while but we decided to really give it a go so I signed up on Lending Tree, applied for a loan, got a Realtor(tm)(R)(c)(beep) and we started looking at houses.

For a few weeks we looked in price range X and while we found some that would do we didn’t find anything that really got our attention. One of the main beefs was that we wanted a 3 car garage. There needed to be room for the motorcycle, waverunner, a car or three and some room to work. We were having real trouble finding a place with a 3 car garage in the areas we wanted to live in. 

I was fairly set on the Newcastle area, which is just about  15 minutes from downtown Seattle and has reasonable traffic. The thing is, we weren’t getting any listings in Newcastle that had 3 car garages.

So, we decided to try price range X + 25k. Viola! We put an offer on the first house we looked at!

So, a month later and many phone calls and signed papers and destruction of my bank account and bam! We owned a house! You can see pictures of it here.

Now we’re mostly moved in, and settling in and we love it. We have lots of room to move, a nice yard for Sonja, plenty of garage space, a nice neighborhood and everything. It’s great!

With a new house comes new projects! Since I finally have a good place to work again I’ve been doing some experimenting and bringing my old hobbies back to life. I finally decided to stop wasting time and money and had a PCB made professionally. I also decided that if I was going to have PCBs made I might as well try doing some surface mount work, so I did! I made a little 2×2 RGB LED light board that uses all surface mount components. I’ll be actually testing it for the first time tonight but you can see some pictures of it right over here. I’m pretty proud of it. Surface mount soldering turned out to be reasonably easy and the resulting work looks great. 

Oh, forgot to mention… we’ve started taking the bus to work. It’s about a 25 minute commute with traffic in the morning and it’s much nicer to sit back and read my Kindle than sit in stop and go traffic. And it saves the environment and the whales and polar bears and stuff.

And what else? Oh! I’ve started brewing again! I have a hard cider fermenting right now while I get all my brewing gear back in order and we made some cream soda to hold us over while the alcohol comes to life. Since I have lots of space now I’m planning to build out a permanent “brewery” in the garage. There’s a nice area that has power, gas, water and venting that would be perfect for a little half barrel brewery. So that’s going to be my winter project. I am thinking of using all electric and that’s been some interesting research.

And finally, next Wednesday we are going to Japan for 12 days! Our friends Ryan and Megan are there for a year to teach English and we’re going to go visit and explore.



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