Wednesday, October 31, 2007
We have a family/blog tradition: the Halloween pumpkin carving. The first time was within the first month of this blog. The second time was our first California Halloween (wow, I can't believe we are already thinking back to "last year in California...").
This time was quite the time crunch for us! We barely made it ... however, our Jack O'Lanterns are up to protect us from all the ghosts and ghoulies out tonight!
So, meet Sweet Pea, Jack O'Daniel and Spikey. Learn more about them in their feature flicker lack-o-motion pictures. Happy Halloween everyone!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Our first was 4.0
The next was 4.2
This one took a while. Sam was reading in his room and missed it. I was cooking up some lentils and just kind of went Zen (should have said, "Hey Sam - Earthquake, dude!).
I just spoke with Mary who is in the city and she is fine. So, we are all cool .. no need to call us at 3AM our time and check.
Let's hope they stop this steady increase ... or we may move next year!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Victory and a dorky face!
I had the great pleasure of attending the Niners vs. Saints game at Candlestick (Monster) Park with Herb today. We scored primo seats and had a great time. While I was hoping to root for the Niners at my first game, it was nice to enjoy the Saints victory while the Niners languished on the field. Also, we sat next to an LSU alum (from Thibadeaux)- WE ARE EVERYWHERE!
Flickr Football here.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Sam's 20,000 Leagues under the Sea game
There was a whole lot of another sort of gaming going on today at our home. Sam had an assignment to build a board game for his book report. (I liked this idea so much, I assigned it in one of my classes!)
We had a good time building the game. In the Flickr photo, you can click on the original size and read the whole board. Shoot, you can even play yourself ... although, you'll have to learn about the rule of the "Ocean's Mis-FOUR-tune"! If you roll a 4 you have to go backwards instead of forward, if you roll a 4 again on your next turn, you have to go to start! ... and if you have to go backwards, but there is no room because you are too close to Start, you get to go to the Giant Pearl! ... oh the sea, she is a tricky-hearted entity.
Wii will rock you
and that is why I waited for a Wii. Sam is not a total gamer, but he does enjoy playing video games like most 10-year old boys. He mostly plays on the computer, which has great strategy games, but the gaming is limited by your computer parts and most PC games aren't really two-player simultaneous, which stinks for interaction.
When I first heard about the Wii, I liked the idea. Sam had played LOTR and Star Wars games with interactive "wand" controls and it was fun, but again only one player at a time.
Long story short, we got a Wii yesterday. Mary and I boxed, played tennis and played baseball. Sam and I played ... a lot. My arm is actually sore. Sam said, "I am sweating like crazy" during one particularly long tennis game. It is good fun. Sam is playing Zelda now.
Thank you Mary, my love.
The last picture
We just got a little Canon for me to take city pics and other planning must-haves. Luckily, that meant we could pull off pics from the Ampuero visit. Despite the camera-drenching, the pics came out fine. It was good to see both Pablo and Mel. Pablo was my hero through my toughest, darkest of Austin days; I was incredibly lucky to have him as a friend, and will never forget that. Now if we could only get him out of Dallas, we'll be set! Anyone hiring hack-writers in SF, Seattle, Portland?
Friday, October 26, 2007
Sam recently flew through a book called Rare Beasts featuring the creepy, prankster twins Edgar and Ellen. The fact that it is so close to Halloween: coincidence. The fact that they are boy and girl twins (like our recent family addition): coincidence. However, I am glad he has discovered them. I just started reading the series myself (I love being a planner - reading popular stories is an occupational must) and find them quite fun.
While they look Addams Familyish, do not be fooled. These kids are nowhere near as benevolent. I appreciate this, it has become such a cliché to have the ghoulish and terrifying be endearing. And don't get me wrong, Edward Scissorhands and Iron Giant are as good as it gets. I am just glad to see that kids still get some truly creepy protagonists.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
On the right side of this photo, you can see Stinson Beach and Bolinas (where we were yesterday) Today, we took a look from above, as we hiked the western side of Mt. Tamalpais. It was an amazingly clear and cool day on the coast, perfect for seeing the full Bay Area from above. With eight loads of laundry and grocery shopping completed this morning, a hike this afternoon ... we are set to goof off completely for the evening!
We've been here a little over a year ... but Sam is learning the ways.
We actually have several pictures right before this of Sam smiling (but looking at the ground) ... plus this scowl is just hilarious.
Sam recently bought this wetsuit, gloves, boots and even sexwax... he is becoming a true skimboarder. How long until he is strapping a surfboard on the ole' Camry and riving himself to Santa Cruz? (More Flickr fun)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
comics + nature = smirk
As I read the recent manga articles in this month's (November's) WIRED and Fables, vol 1. I think about the structure of story.
Many Americans have been trained to read manga in the "backwards" fashion of right to left. This Fables includes a short text story at the end of the graphic story.
I sincerely hope (and believe) that I will look back at the traditional construct of story and laugh at how narrow-minded we have been. I think we will move beyond how do we creatively tell within the limits of a story and explore how we creatively alter the limits of story structure. Data, fiction, drawings, photographs, past, present, future, characters, setting ... all these things are going to be re-evaluated. I hope.
(Old picture... I'm still bearded.)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Well, the votes are in. Most people think we should take the Empire Builder, so we'll take ... the California Zephyr!
No, I am not just being a jerk. I did some additional research and it made some valid points. The first being - it will be winter on this train trip. The farther north we are, the less daylight we get. The less daylight, the less scenery.
I want to see Glacier National Park. And actually, I want to stay in Glacier. One day, the three of us may take the train to the park from SF during the summer and camp there. This will give us more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Montana.
Plus, Sam is really excited about all the tunnels along the Zephyr, including the Moffat Tunnel (over 6 miles long!).
Monday, October 15, 2007
Or across the top?
Sam, Mary and I are going to Chicago for New Years to visit Eric, Sarah, Avery and Ian. Mary is going to fly back while Sam and I take a train back. Now what should we do?
Should we take the California Zephyr across the middle of the country? or the Empire Builder across the top (and then a train down from Portland to SF)?
California Zephyr is a bit cheaper ($648, instead of $865 ... but it is a day longer and meals are included). CZ goes through the Rockies and Donner Pass (IN THE DEAD OF WINTER)... Empire Builder goes past Glacier National Park and some areas of the country I have not seen (whereas CZ goes close to the route we took from Chicago to SF when we moved), plus a bit of an afternoon in Portland...
I have always wanted to do the Empire Builder, but mainly in the summer when we could explore Glacier National Park. Sam is excited about the tunnels of CZ...
What do you think? Any suggestions?
Cam the Starer
This is truly remarkable. So many planners are becoming massively absorbed with the idea of shifting the business world into making the world a better place. It is as if we have spent so much time looking at information and seeking insights, that we can't help but look at the world and start thinking about how to make it better.
it is beautifully scary.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Happy Dance, full swing
Mary, Sam and I all needed a deep coastal breath this afternoon. We headed to one of our favorites, Rodeo Beach and took a stroll along the Coastal Trail. It hit the right spot. Photos are up here in Flickr. We also saw a coyote ... where we missed our old camera and its zoom.Have a wonderful week. We are thinking of you, Bill.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
first it was the little turtle wading pool
the brown, still Vermilion river
then our big swimming pool that could swallow me up for hours
the daylight darkness of the swamps
turtles in the coulee
the easy flowing bayous
the salty, choppy gulf in boat or white sand beaches
the days we slept on the Pacific
Old Man River rising up the levy
jogging around the lake after morning classes
the Colorado dammed to 3 urban lakes
White Rock Lake being the only option
the blue jewel of Lake Michigan
the crashing waves of my Pacific vistas and beaches
Not only did LSU beat Florida through some impressive gambles to become the unanimously top-ranked team in the nation ... an LSU alum, Paul Byrd, kicked the Yankees out of the playoffs. Thus making it possible for me to retain interest in who wins this year.
And good news Eric; Paul Byrd started at LSU before you did.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Monday, October 8, 2007
Ian and Avery B&W
Quick update: Eric called me this morning and Ian is in recovery. The procedure went well. This is all I know right now. phew.
I am sure Avery can't wait for her brother to come home. She must miss him.
I know I am missing them TONS! I am already anticipating my next trip...
Thanks for the time Eric, Sarah, Avery and Ian
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Little Ian (seen above) was just diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis. Learn more here (it answered many of my questions). Basically, food can't get out of his stomach into his small intestine, because of bulky muscle. The poor little guy was just vomiting after eating because the food couldn't go anywhere, having trouble putting on weight and getting a bit lethargic. Sarah and Eric took him in this morning, where the doctors wanted to run an ultrasound to confirm the diagnoses. It has check-out and now little Ian is admitted in the hospital for a surgery to happen either today or tomorrow. He's a tough little guy (he's doing great at the hospital) and we all expect him to be chugging milk again by Tuesday.
While Sarah and Kathy comfort Ian at the hospital, Eric and I are keeping Avery busy: her appetite has taken up for Ian's slack.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Eric and Ian
I made it to Chicago for a weekend of hanging with the double-sized Maddux family and some sports action (Comeback Cubs?)
Ian and Avery are amazing! Such complete joys and personalities. Eric and Sarah are doing a fabulous job of being new mommy and daddy.
It is so much fun having two to hold. More pictures to come. (When I am better rested ... that red-eye kicked me down.)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Obviously I've got sports on the brain, so I decided I would do a list of my current top 10 favorite athletes. Because that would be fun.
10. Earl Campbell - video - I didn't really "watch" Campbell in his prime. He was just the 70's sports presence in my life, thanks to Eric's sweatshirt. However, as I grew older and watched more highlights I became a fan. Seriously, this guy just destroyed defenders ... CAN'T TAKE ME DOWN. (Pablo, I know you loved that Earl Campbell Flash Intro.)
9. Warren Morris - Not much of a pro. But wow was that one hit ever cool.
8. Andre Agassi - I wore this incredibly ugly orange shirt for many high school moments because of Agassi. He owned the baseline. He's doing good things nowadays. Oh and we share the same birthday.
7. Aramis Ramirez - I've got to have a Cub, right? Aramis joined the Cubs shortly after I moved to Chicago. He's been on my fantasy team a lot. I just like the guy.
6. Hakeem Olajuwon - I worshiped at the altar of Akeem (as he was known at the time) as a high school player. I remember being at Eric's apartment the night before my AP exams at LSU ... staying up later than I should to watch Akeem get a ring. I spent WAY too much time working on my spinning fade-away jump-shot because of his "dream shot."
5. Babe Ruth - The most dominant athlete ever.
4. Joe Montana - He was the Superbowl MVP when I was 6, 9 and 14. Impressionable ages for sure. This guy defined Champion for me.
3. Nolan Ryan - As much credit as I give to my grand-daddy's love for him and the Astros. As much as I loved his 7th no-hitter overshadowing Ricky Henderson. As much as I appreciate his unbelievable #'s of Ks ... that pounding on Robin Ventura was just too cool.
2. Greg Maddux - "Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs said of Maddux, 'It seems like he's inside your mind with you. When he knows you're not going to swing, he throws a straight one. He sees into the future. It's like he has a crystal ball hidden inside his glove.'" Joe Morgan said, “Greg Maddux could put a baseball through a Life Saver if you asked him.” There is something great about knowing that people who look like this, this and this are scared of someone who looks like this. (Oh and how about them Gold Gloves!) Professor Maddux (the real one) gets second place.
1. Michael Jordan - As a teen, my room was wallpapered with Jordan posters. I couldn't wait to see Jordan: Come Fly with Me. I think Ted and I watched it three times in a row that afternoon. Seriously, he has a bit of the previous nine in him. As unstoppable as Campbell (seemed to feed off harder competition in fact). I loved Warren Morris' game-winning shot. But how many did Jordan have? Agassi - I wore that ugly orange shirt with a sweet pair of Jordans. I just liked Aramis, and Jordan was one of those guys you just like (and the Chicago connection). Akeem had the dream shot, Jordan had dream shots. Ruthian Dominance? check. Has more league and championship MVPs than Montana. Ryan #1 in K's. Jordan #1 in Scoring Average. Jordan didn't just play the game... like Maddux, he knows the game. Jordan was it for me. It is strange to pick an NBA player #1, because I couldn't care less about NBA now.