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A snapshot without pictures

Posted by joeabbott on July 20, 2014

The thing I like best about Suzy’s blog is the pictures.

She crafts a wonderful bit of telling through lots of candid snapshots of family members, our pets, and flowers. Yes, in Suzy’s blog, flowers will feature prominently. And can you really think of a better way to spend a bit of time than looking over shots of blossoms and blooms? Some meticulous and close up, others calling in a field of flora, and the vast majority from our backyard. It’s very pleasant.

And then there’s my site site where, even when I make and attempt to scale back my blabbing, I typically fail. Well, today I have no pictures to share so read on if you have the stomach: here’s what I’ve been up to for the past couple weeks.


I typically do not talk about work here. I don’t dislike my job, to the contrary, I’m having some of the best fun I’ve had in all my time at Microsoft. But, this is a blog of leisure and so there’s not much room for pulling in the specifics of my employment. But, I have been spending a lot of time there. A lot.

For those watching the news, you may have heard Microsoft pared 15,000 jobs; I was fortunate enough to not be part of those losses. The cuts were made as part of company-wide restructuring and strategic bets; these were positions that were eliminated … and, very unfortunately, individuals were impacted. I personally knew over a half-dozen people affected and it’s hard to see talented and committed people in this situation. The Company has given them as good a deal as they can in these situations (pay for the next couple month on top of a severance package and assistance in job searching) but it’s a cool exchange for fulltime employment.

So it seems odd that we’re letting folks go when I’m putting in my usual long days, extra long days here and there, evening work, and now a bit of time on the weekends. But, strategy at a corporate level and execution at an individual level will sometimes seem disjointed. I’m busy, I’m challenged but I’m having fun.

Now, let’s talk about something else.


Every year I get out on a few hikes and this year I’m starting to train for my first outing. Typically Pete and I have gone later in the year but my calendar is full of another wedding, outings with Suz, or other hikes, so we are targeting end of July for our annual get-out.

Last year we got the snot kicked out of us. We saw a lot of beauty but we hiked in low clouds for long distances and just weren’t ready for that hike. This year I’m taking a different approach, planning on a far shorter hike with less elevation. We’re heading to Mt. Adams and I’ll cover that in a later post but for warm-ups this year we did a quick hike up Rattlesnake Ledge last weekend and Mt. Si this weekend. Neither are challenging but Mt. Si was a kicker.

I don’t know if we’re ready … likely not … but at the end of this week I’ll pop on my pack, put my feet on a trail about three-hours-drive from here, and walk into the wilderness for a long weekend of communing with Pete and the wilderness. Physically I could be in better shape, but otherwise  I have to say that, yes, I am ready.


I picked up playing a game called Dishonored. It’s a 2012 release and I’d popped it in months ago and played a bit but came back to it after that hiatus. And what a smashing time I’m having with it! The game is near-genius and high quality … none of this Nier or Space Monkey goo I’d had in the Xbox! I’m having a lot of fun and will likely play it a second time.

In the game you are a body guard framed for a killing and sentence to death. You’re broken out of prison on the evening of your execution by those who believe in your innocence and are now out to find the real killer and save one of the royal family who was abducted. The game sprawls on with an otherwordly character, The Outsider, who intervenes and gives you some mystic powers, with a betrayal, and a great steam punk city to explore. Again, great stuff.

What I like most is that you can play the game either “low chaos” or “high chaos” … meaning either stealthily sneaking past and knocking out enemies, or putting them to the sword and leaving a trail of blood. I’m choosing low chaos, avoiding deaths and remaining unseen. It’s suspenseful fun and is making for a great break when I get home.

Time with Suz

Unfortunately, there’s been less of this than I typically enjoy.

The above work and training schedules have bitten into things a bit, Seattle’s unseasonably hot weather has kept home projects to a minimum, and Suzy has had a few Master Gardener obligations pulling her away yet other times. But, we do find time here and there.

When we’re home for dinners we set the table and enjoy a meal across from each other, when the sun drops behind some trees in the west we’ll pull our chairs out on the deck and enjoy chatting, and we have small outings that we partake together. Today we’re heading out on a few errands and then to a walk in the Rhoddie Garden down south. It’s good stuff, just not enough of it.

Home Projects

Today I plan on playing games less and knocking out a project or two around the house that I have on hold. I haven’t gotten to them for all the reasons above but it’s time I do. More on these when I knock a couple out but, first up, I think, should be a handhold or two Suzy’s asked for near the steps we put in out back.

The stone step project left big steps on steep terrain, so she’d like something to keep her balance while treading up and down them. I have a plan in mind … time to move that plan to action!


Sorry for the lack of pictures. I like them and they break things up a lot, For those who have ever gone out to my Flickr site, check again! I just uploaded a half year’s worth of snaps and there’s bound to be something fun to see. It’s the antithesis of this post: all pictures, no words! And with that, I wish you good day.

Thanks for stopping by.


2 Responses to “A snapshot without pictures”

  1. momma said

    When you get out here in a week or two, show me how to get to your Flicker site. Momma

  2. joeabbott said

    I can tell you here! On the left side-bar of this page, there’s a section titled “My Stuff” and under that title is the link named “My Pictures”. If you click the link “My Pictures”, it will take you to my Flickr site! Easy! 🙂

    I can show you in person when we get back for the wedding!

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