Lots of changes...

VBS was good, the small break was great, the last of the summer was full, and then yesterday Jet got his braces off for the last time (he'd had two sets of them, poor kid) and today he went to high school.


Off to School


I still remember when he went off to Kindergarten, as John says. *laughs* He's got the same smile, and a lot of the same personality, really. The backpack fits better, now. He didn't look back either time. Jet made his own lunch, scheduled himself, including getting to bed early so that he could handle the 6:00 awakening time to get in his bike to get to school by 7:30. He was all ready to make his own breakfast, but I think John helped out this morning.

I got up just to see him off. I'm not a morning person, and Jet really didn't expect it of me, but... there's old expectations on my part about what I 'should' be doing. *laughs* Not that he has them.

But we wished him well, and he took off on his bike and he didn't look back. Just like when we took him to the bus stop for his first day of kindergarten, and when the bus came, he trooped up onto the bus, and never looked back. He's good to go, which is its own blessing.

We'd gone to the high school Monday to straighten out a few of his scheduling issues, and that worked out well, because he'd done his homework on what he wanted to do, and which classes he wanted to take. He'd also found out that he had to have one empty slot so that the Universal High School (UHS) counselors could work with him on things, including possible independent studies. High school is different then when I was growing up, and he's navigating it all pretty smoothly.

The last few weeks were also pretty occupied with his marching band practices. There's a game the second week of school, and the marching band is supposed to be playing at the game, so they had to learn the music, learn how to march together, and figure a lot of stuff out. The band director wrote John and I to tell us that Jet was a pleasure to have in the band and that he thought Jet would fit in really well to that particular group of crazy people. *laughs* So he has a tribe already and that's important.

UHS is another tribe. He officially belongs to that program, but is going to Silvercreek as his main high school. So it's going to be interesting, all in all, as to how it works out. The UHS counselors had a picnic a week or two ago, for all the parents and the kids that could make it. It's really a way for students who don't quite fit the usual school program to make high school work, in a way, there's room for all kinds of independent study, ways to go to the various local colleges for classes once they've outstripped the St. Vrain School District's given system. So there are a few kids in there who are taking college level math classes their sophomore year.

Some of the kids have life situations or health issues that make it difficult to conform to the normal schedule and classes setup, so they use UHS to take online classes. Or the teachers in the schools give up their lunch once a week to craft an independent study system for the kid if they're not working well with the traditional structure. One mom we talked to has a daughter who didn't do well in traditional history, but with independent study and once a week meetings with a teacher, they crafted their own history class for her that she excelled at learning and doing.

It's an interesting bunch and almost the opposite of the intensely competitive Baccalaureate program. I think Jet chose well for himself.

So it's a big step for him, and it's a good one.

The braces were a big deal too, as he's had them on and off for nearly four years all together, so he finally got them off for the last time yesterday. It feels odd for him. *laughs* He has retainers, and he's very conscientious with them, and he laughed at his prize of a drink cup filled with snacks that he wasn't supposed to have been eating with his braces. I'll admit we'd been sneaking them all along, as he was careful, and we never broke anything on a forbidden food. It was always something else.

It's going to be a bit of wrench for me to give up our summer schedule which mostly consisted of finding some breakfast, watching some Minecraft youtubers, and then playing a bit of Minecraft together. Then lunch and something outdoors to stretch our visual horizons. Or we'd work on a house or our church for the morning, and game for the afternoon. There's half a dozen different world between the two of us, that we each have built up pretty well.

Charlie, the kid I took took care of for a week, was really impressed with my Regrowth world. Regrowth's one of the Feed The Beast Third Party packs, and it's still in alpha, but it starts with a completely barren world with no ores, at all, and you have to rebuild it. The end game doesn't seem to be that well defined, yet, and there's still steps missing to actually redoing the whole world, but if it tells you anything, defeating the Wither and going to the End are more mid-game attainments than late game... it's kind of crazy the kind of power I'm getting into between Thaumcraft, Botania, and Witchery.

Jet and I have really been enjoying DireWolf20's mod packs, too, especially his Season 6 pack. The Season 7 pack slowed Jet's machine down to such a crawl he got killed multiple times by mobs while he was lagged. No fun. And even on my machine, which is the monster of our household, it was laggy and slow. So we went back to Season 6 and found that if I ran the server for Jet, we could play together, and it was pretty smooth for both of us.

Now Jet wants me to write him a mod that can do ballistics. It's going to be really interesting because there are methods in the classes for the trajectories of objects (items versus entities and then there's the blocks that can fall (like sand and gravel and anvils (which makes me laugh and laugh)) and those that don't usually fall (like most things you build with) versus things like arrows which are made to be shot) and the math is going to be intriguing to research. It's modeling the world as closely as one wishes to... and always reminds me of Douglas Adams' talk about how computers are actually modelers.

It's something that the Minecraft generation knows intrinsically in a way my generation has a hard time even imagining, and I want to see where this goes.

And mods are way too easy using Forge. *laughs* I *love* the Eclipse IDE, how the code just flies, and how beautifully they've partitioned things, and many of the classes are elegant in how open they are for modification for people who understand the game even if they don't really "get" code [Jet instantly understood the difference between the class functions for items that fall and those that don't and he looked for the anvil to confirm what he knew was true in the game's physics]. The possible collisions between a multitude of mods is pretty amazing horrendous, but managed in an intriguingly open way that is easily communicated. It's fascinating for me to watch all this code being created by all these unconnected people that still managed to hook up and work in the long term. Mostly. *laughs* It's fun watching some of the Forgecraft 2 Twitch and Youtubing to see when the experimental code still crashes things for people.

So, yeah... lots of Minecraft lately.

The church things are going along steadily. Our senior pastor is back, the associate's last day was last Sunday and we had a big send off, and he was off to Chicago the next morning. Our Fellowship hall is still being rebuilt, and there's still demolition to be done, but two classrooms and the main hall are all very close to being finished, which are the biggest pieces. I have a Cabinet meeting tonight, a consultant coming in in September to help us set our direction, next year's budget process starts now, and we're finding the people that need to be at the direction meeting. I'm going to be done at the end of January, and am planning on disappearing for a little while after that.
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Eclipse is pretty awesome; I use it at work. The ability to refactor -- moving and renaming classes, methods, or just about anything -- makes it worth giving up some of my favorite Emacs tweaks. (I still use Emacs for almost everything that isn't Java.)
Yes!! I'm so glad that someone who uses it professionally agrees with me. I've been so impressed compared to the old C++ IDEs I used to use. Emacs is still awesome. *laughs* Heck, I still use VI for some things that are just easier that way, but the Eclipse IDE manages Java so well.

Oh my goodness! Time has flown, hasn't it? He's adorable in a different (taller) way, now. :)

And yay alternative schooling and bonus band geeks!
I love those pictures! Sniff! He's so big now. And yay for marching band! Josh had two weeks-ish of band camp before school started so he was pretty well moved in by the first day of school.

Isn't amazing how fast time flies?
Wow, yeah, it's nice having those before-school actually getting to know cool people thing... and it's nice having kids that can be social.

And, yes, it is utterly amazing.
I'm afraid I kept feeding mine. *laughs*

It is pretty crazy. Jet slouches next to the other moms, since he's now taller than they are. It's pretty funny. He's still getting used to his new bones, and he talks about how weird it is to know that his bones have stretched and that his other bits are catching up... wow.

But, yeah. So tall!
Where are you disappearing to in January, Phyllis? You will have earned a well deserved rest; a lot of things going on during your term as moderator. I think I will hibernate in January, also. I took on the job of Fitness chair for a year; that hasn't been a problem but, having to attend two monthly association meetings a month, plus extra ones called frequently because of changes being made here, has been a challenge and a burden. I don't like being involved in politics, and business decisions. Where are you going? Maybe I will join you (just kidding!) Hope you enjoying a great fall. Our tomatoes, especially the sun golds you recommended, have been delicious. Love, Isabel
I hope you're having a wonderful fall, too, Isabel!

I'm contemplating the Shambala Meditation Center's Lodge accommodations, since it includes meals and I love the area and the walk to the shrine, and there's plenty to paint there. The other possibility was the Peaceful Valley Retreat center. The last was some kind of monastery out on the Western Slope, but after having just had a taste of a Catholic Abbeys retreat center, I think I need something with a few more amenities and fewer set times for prayer.