What's New? 2002-08-01

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What's New? 2002-08-01

 Sat 31 August 2002
  Well, I'm back from Burning Man 2002! It was another amazing trek into the desert, perhaps my best ever. You'll find my report online shortly, recompression from civilization to population is taking its toll. Sorry.
 Thu 22 August 2002
  With the delightful assistance (and worried looks) of my first-born, under the watchful gaze of my second-born, with documentary videography of my darling wife, I applied my traditional Burning Man haircut this afternoon.

Just what's needed in the [presumably] sweltering days and nights in the Black Rock Desert.

The Budda mentioned the dangers of getting into a rut and of attachments to things. My hair was looking just right, but with Rose's permission I those locks were shorn, making a statement about the impermanence of all things.

 Mon 19 August 2002
  Spent much of the early morning hours in my basement 'workshop' debugging a flaw in my EL wire rig. It turns out there was a break in a connecting wire, inside the insulation. I wonder whether it was manufactured that way or whether I was able to cause such a thing. But the whole thing works (again), and the assembly is looking fine within the RubberMaid butter dish. I even put a rubber grommet into the hole I drilled, so the wire is cushioned on its way out (and looks good too :-)
 Sun 18 August 2002
  Electroluminescent (EL) wire day! First spotted at Burning Man 2000, EL wire has been high on my list of things to buy for my night-time Ranger patrols. To be seen from a distance, especially by those yahoos driving those annoying little scooters...

Anyway, today I headed over the Bay Bridge to Funhouse Productions, where I bought a lot of EL wire, drivers, battery packs, and extra connectors. Then I headed home and soldered the EL wire to plug-and-play connectors, so I can move them around, drive them as a group, and generally have as much flexibility in arranging the EL wire. Since the soldering involves two hair-thin wires, it took a bit of thought before diving in with soldering iron blazing :-)

Now I have to figure out which alkaline batteries are the best bang for the buck [UPDATE: none, went with 2000 MaH NiMH], and pack my gear. No problem; I have over a week to go, and it'll only take me a day or three, I think.


While in Oakland we visited Children's Fairyland and the Holy Land Restaurant. The kids didn't care much about the latter, but they both had a great time at the former. Lila is bemused by everything, but Isaac really likes the goings-on, especially the train (of course) and the Ferris wheel. I like the bamboo.

 Sat 17 August 2002
  As we're lying in the family bed, drifting off to sleep...

Isaac: Papa, how do babies come out of the womb?
Mickey: Through the vagina, Isaac. They leave the womb room through the vagina tunnel.
Isaac: Not through the penis?
Mickey: No, Isaac. Boys have a penis and testes, and when they're men they help make a baby, but it's the women who have the womb, in which the baby grows.
Isaac: Oh. Okay. Does the baby sit up in the womb when it grows? [Sits up.]
Mickey: Uh, something like that. And when it's big enough, and ready to be born, it comes through the vagina tunnel into the world.
Isaac: Okay. [Cuddles the Papa and falls asleep.]

I wonder what got him onto that train of thought. Never a dull moment here at Chez Sattler.

 Fri 16 August 2002
  hampelmännchen Yet another in a short string of days where Isaac is just full of challenging energy. Testing everything. It's exhausting. After a day of wearing down the 'rents we headed over to the in-laws, where we trimmed the hedges and several bushes. No nap, but the boy kept going until all hours. I have no idea how.

Lila, on the other hand, has been doing some more precise babbling, if you pardon the oxymoron. She's got a multi-syllabic bable for 'hampelmännchen' (a German hanging pull-string doll). When she wants to yank the strings on the four we have hanging in the kitchen she points and babbles. Oh, and she's been dragging me out of the house at every possible occasion, either to toddle up to the peppermint sage and mimic our rub-leaves-and-smell-our-fingers motion or to touch the hose faucet that she sees Isaac turn when it's time to water the garden.

 Thu 15 August 2002
We, and Rose's parents, went to the San Francisco Zoo today. They've just opened a new entrance along the Pacific Ocean, along with a $4 fee per car for the new parking lot. Of course, one can still park for free around the corner. The new feel is cheap, like an amusement park in the middle of nowhere, but once inside things get better, especially as the natural flow brings one quickly to the new lemur exhibit. (John Cleese was on hand for the unveiling, but of course I found out about it the following day. Grrr.)

Lila took five steps. What a grin on that girl :-)


This evening Ranger Lefty came by to finalize our plans for Burning Man 2002. More, of course, as it happens.

 Tue 13 August 2002
  Lila is one year old today!

I just can't believe it. This is a grand trip! Thank you, family.

I love you, Rose! I love you, Isaac!

And, of course, I love you, Lila!

This is the very-girly cake we made for you: I picked the key lime pie (none of that sickly-sweet poor-quality sugar sludge this year :-) and Rose picked petals and blooms from our garden. There are classic and antique roses, Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), and California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica). Luckily we didn't make a loquat cake :-) And, yes, that's a Chanukah candle atop the cake. At the last minute we realized that we couldn't find the birthday candles anywhere.

 Sun 11 August 2002
  We went to Nihon Machi (Japantown) to see the Bon (ancestor-veneration) Dance. It was later in the day than last year, so we were satisfied with the hour-long Taiko Dojo performance (at which Isaac was, once again, able to play).
 Fri 9 August 2002
  I've been catching up on my finances. I've spent five hours each night of each of the last few days reconciling, filing, and organizing our checking, savings, retirement, and college accounts. Wow. I hadn't really realized how bad a hit the stock market took. I'm way behind on my sleep, and I have depressing news to show for it.
 Tue 6 August 2002
  While visiting Felicia and family in Alameda, we supped at Asena Restaurant. We noticed, and asked to be seated, in the alley adjoining the restaurant. Sheltered by two different colors of bougainvillea, we delighted in the Mediterranean-inspired California cuisine. Our host, Muy-Tin (no, I don't know how it's really spelled), made all the difference.

One of the dishes we ordered was lamb. My darling wife offered our mostly-vegetarian boy some:

Rose: Do you want some lamb?
Isaac: I want some sheep!


Lila is getting another tooth, number four!


Á propos nothing at all, I've updated my Greenwich Observatory Shepherd Gate Clock web page. Now you can gaze upon this beautiful 24-hour clock and learn more than you ever wanted about this glavano-magnetic timepiece, the one which ushered in Railway Time (and made possible much of the modern time-centric hustle and bustle).

 Mon 5 August 2002
  Now that Isaac is all over his fever, Lila sucumbs. She betters his temperature of 103.0 F: at 0200 she's at 103.8 F, before we give her acetaminophen. She's sleeping well now.

I'm picking up Mom & Emil from SFO in a few hours. They're staying with Felicia & Adam for a few weeks. What a beautiful, sunny day. Not like the cool overcast weather we've had for the last two days.

 Sun 4 August 2002
  I've had to skip parts of our Germany trip until I retrieve some travel information stored in our basement, so I've moved on to our London leg of the journey.

 Sat 3 August 2002
  Isaac is all better. No fever. Good cheer. Great appetite. Perhaps it wasn't a viral thing, but food poisoning? When was it that we had sushi in Union City? Yesterday? The evening before that? Hmmmm.


For the first time, Lila began "cruising" along the perimeter of her crib. Yesterday she was taking two- and three-step trips between Rose and me. We're getting close to have a house with two ambulatories. Lila never crawled; seeing Isaac (the most important star in her sky) and us walking upright seems to have left here with a disdain for it.


The next leg of our journey, our visit to Münster, Germany is being worked on now.

 Fri 2 August 2002
  I'm happy to say that I just finished our Amsterdam leg of the journey.


It was slow going. Isaac is sporting a 103 F fever and of course nothing goes well when a child is sick. Hopefully we're close to the mid-point. (Written at around 23:30.)

 Thu 1 August 2002
  Oh my goodness, August? Already? Lila will be a year old this month. (Shakes head.) Wow.

This month I'll try to provide you with a different panoramic image each day. We'll see how well that works out. Here's the first one:


Lately on my mind has been the travelogue for our 2000 trans-Europe trip. Isaac, Rose, I, and sister-in-law Pamela took high-speed trains to London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Munster (Germany), and back. I have the photos, but I never set them down as I have done with so many other trips of ours. So now I'm trying to remedy the situation.

Join me as we visit one leg of the trip, Paris.

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