What's New? 2003-09

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What's New? 2003-09

 Monday 29 September 2003
  For no reason other than it pleases me, I'm considering writing a book about kilts. The first sentences have come to me:
The wearing of the kilt, the national dress of Scotland, has been almost wholly abandoned by the Scots. Rented by the masses only rarely during a lifetime, usually for the occasion of matrimony, the kilt is in danger of becoming a forgotten relic of a time long past.
We'll see how it goes.


In other news, Dziadziu is in Malmö, Sweden.


At first I thought this email, received today, was a hoax. But I know Robert "Bobby" Dourandish, so I read the whole thing:

This was sent to me. Out of curiosity I did a search and came up with a Bobby Dourandish, with whom you used to work. If you could get in touch with his family as to his last know location as far as you know, they would probably appreciate it.

===== Original Message =====

From: Behnam Dourandish <behnamdourandish@yahoo.com>;
Subject: Please help me find my brother

Dear Sirs:

Having been introduced to you, we kindly request your advice regarding the following matter:

We are at the moment in search of our elder brother "Bahman Dourandish" (or perhaps spelled Doorandish), born in January 1959. He entered the U.S.A. in September 1977 with his educational visa, and started his higher education at Boston University in the field of computer science. We are aware of his becoming a U.S. citizen and changing his name. (Prabably to :Robert dourandish). (and probably he live at now in california ).

He lost all his contacts with his family in Iran, and since then we have not heard from him. His father passed away a few years ago and his mother is ill. We are in desperate need of finding him for the purpose of some legal procedures set by the iranian government according to legacy acts.

You are kindly requested to advise us our eventual actions appropriate to be taken in this regard and possible sources we can contact for receiving response and help to our request.

Your help would bring about a great relief to his worried family, so please give us your advice.

You are kindly requested to advise us our eventual actions appropriate to be taken in this regard and possible sources we can contact for receiving response and help to our request.

And If you have eny information about this person kindly please send me a note to me.

If there is any charges must be paid for your servises , it,s impossible to send dollars through bank systems from Iran.

But I can send books , timbers , handicrafts , rugs, carpet ,... If you do me a favor and agree.

Yours truely,
Behnam Dourandish
Postal Address:
P.O. Box: 17445-344
Tehran, Iran
E-mail: Behnam Dourandish <behnamdourandish@yahoo.com>;

* for more information please refer to : www.pcpages.com/dourandish/index.htm

Robert (Bobby) Dourandish Robert (Bobby) Dourandish So I started searching the 'net. The URL noted points to two photos of Bobby. The funny thing is that I remember when he shaved his beard; before and after, so to speak. I also found two variations of his family's plea, both from October 2002; one in a thread of people asking favors of Rosie O'Donnell (of TV talk show fame) and the other to the Iranian Satellite Information Center.

Getting back to Bobby, though. I searched for only a few seconds before I came up with the name of a computer scientist whom I suspect is Bobby. I'll call him tomorrow to confirm. I haven't heard from Bobby in years, and certanly haven't broken bread with him since we shared a beer at The Dugout, a Boston University hangout in the 1980s. Interesting.

 Friday 26 September 2003
  rosh hashana shofar Rosh Hashanah 5764 - Happy Jewish New Year to you all!

Sadly, we missed this evening's service and seder (most excellent after-service meal of Sephardic food). The kids were wiped out, Isaac especially (from yet another great day at the preschool), and we, the parents, weren't much better. We had a wonderful family get-together at Bubbie and Zadie and Pookie Pam's house, with extended family; that's the vital part of any holiday.

rosh hashana siddur 1766 Prayers for Sabbath, Rosh-Hashanah and Kippur, translated by Isaac Pinto, New York, 5526 (1766). Rare Book and Special Collections Division, United States Library of Congress.
 Thursday 25 September 2003
  For the longest time I've had a site standard maximum picture width of 486 pixels. Now I'm wondering whether this is too narrow, what with the ever-increasing size of monitors and screen resolution. That explains the following :-)





It's really more of an issue when looking at pages with some of the space taken up by left-side navigation elements. Based upon looking at some of those pages, to which you can find links from my Travel overview, I think I can jump up to 640 pixels + a border. Cool.

I also widened the "my web browser's window is open at least this wide" arrow graphic, and added a link from that graphic to the "About this site" page.

 Wednesday 24 September 2003
  I'm writing this at the preschool. Isaac is playing "tire" with the collection of used tires lying around the two play areas surrounding the sandy play-space. He just saw a tire fall and spin and roll back to him. He's pretty impressed.


Today we added the smaller Israeli parachute as an additional shade structure. The cut-out in the middle makes pretty shadows. Juggy asked me to take some photos during science time, so I have some hi-resolution pictures of the days goings-on.

 Tuesday 23 September 2003
  School started yesterday. Today was the first business meeting; mandatory attendance. I was placed in the Information Technology committee. We'll see :-)

Isaac participated a bit more in the sing-along circle time, and played a bit more with kids, and even ventured more than ten feet away from me. Progress.

Lila has been chattering so much that I can't begin to figure out what I should be documenting.

Lila: I was waiting for you, Papa. I wanted to see you. We were at Bubbie and Zadie's house. The TV was scary to me. I give a ball to you and a ball to me. I'm a big keiki (Hawai'ian: child); Mama is a big keiki, Papa is a big keiki, I-gee is a big keiki. I can do it all by myself. It's a good game.

 Monday 22 September 2003
  Today is Isaac's first day of preschool.

Last week we decided that we wanted Isaac to have more play-time with his peers. We'd checked out a local co-op nursery school in our neighborhood but there was only one 4.75-year-old. Friends of ours recommended their school, which we'd visited twice for their son's graduations. So a few phone calls and one tuberculosis test later, Isaac is in school and I'm doing my parent "work day". Here's what the Big Room looks like:


It's a whole new world, punctuated with a bit of schedule and other authority figures. Isaac has been hanging back today, and being clingy (as he's been since sometime in our summertime trip. Still, I think it's been fun for him; exhausting for me.

It's been hot and sunny here, and so we brought and set up our shade structure from our "2003 Burning Man" trip. Now a 35-foot olive-drab military parachute covers about a quarter of the playground. Photos to follow. Isaac had fun explaining the desert and the event.

He's also proud of his new Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox and the cubby-hole assigned to him by the school.

 Thursday 18 September 2003
  Enrolled Isaac in the Playmates Co-operative Nursery School; friends of ours love it there.

School is the next big step in our family's evolution. We did infant, we did toddler, we did young'un, and now we're school-age. Weird.


The DVD is finished. I used iMovie to add a bunch of the third tape, added transitions and titles, and now iDVD is encoding the movie. We burn disks tomorrow. One in NTSC for Omi Marga.

 Wednesday 17 September 2003
  "But Michael", you ask, "what have you been doing for the last ten days? We know you're back home, but the web pages haven't been updated."

True, so true. I've been busy with the glorious trioka of the family, spring cleaning (in the autumn), and making our first DVD from three 60-minute DV tapes. That's right, I'm about to put finishing touches on my first DVD, entitled BM2K3. This near-90-minute wonder documents our time at Burning Man 2003.


I still have nine DV tapes from our 2003 Scotland & Germany trip, stills from which will be used on those still-empty web pages.

 Sunday 7 September 2003
  Today we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the California Academy of Science / Steinhart Aquarium in Golden Gate Park. There was great music in the band shell, and the Presidio Children's Dance Ensemble, and acrobats and big cats [which we didn't see]. The Old World Beer Garden wasn't any of those, but some of the food offered was great. Bubbie and Zadie came with us; the highlight was probably the Ferris Wheel, upon which they saw us.

I heard from a visitor that the Conservatory of Flowers, closed since the El Niño storms of 1997, will be re-opening in a few days. Yeah!

conservatory of flowers

Dziadziu and Zosia came by for a spell before heading on to Seakor (to buy Polish food) and Armenian dinner at a house of a friend.

I'm starting to feel like I'm coming down with the cold Rose and the kids have had since the end of this year's Burning Man festival.

 Saturday 6 September 2003
  Yee hah! We're back on the website live, so to speak. Since returning from Burning Man 2003 I've been busy with lots of tidying up the van, the house, the laundry, the kids, and the bills. I've finished transcribing my notebook journal and am just getting back to updating this chronological entry.

(NOTE: there have been no daily updates visible on the website since Saturday 14 June 2003, when last-minute preparations for our 2003 Scotland & Germany trip went into high gear (when Omi Marga called me to say that she was in fact planning on joining us on the trip). Since then I've been busy taking photos and notes, the results of which you'll begin to see.


Dziadziu saw a house on Twin Peaks (a few moments drive up the hill from us which he and Zofia liked enough that they told the landlord they'd sign a lease. Should have happened a few hours ago. This is really great for us: they'll be close by, and we can see them as frequently as we wanted. Travelling to Alameda takes only about a half-hour, but two minutes is better :-)

Here's a pointer to information about his new digs.

 Monday 1 September 2003 - Labor Day
Ranger Mickey 2002 Burning Man 2003: Journal p. 1, an excerpt: Vacuum, dust, wipe, and scrub the van inside and out, to where it was as we got it. Return to the rental agency. Meet two neighbors who also were on the playa. Plan a neighborhood decompression before we go to the big [decompression party].

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