What's New? 2005-05-01

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What's New? 2005-05-01

 Sunday 15 May 2005
  Friends invited us to play at Crissy Field (near the Golden Gate Bridge) but as today is the Bay to Breakers footrace we decided to stay on this side of the city rather than be stuck in traffic. Our alternative venue was the children's playground at West Portal.

Here's James (great smile!), Adrienne nursing baby Declan, and Rose in front of the play structures. That's fog in the background, but it wasn't unpleasant at all. Rather warm.

We played for hours, and now we're exhausted. We take MUNI home - Isaac is thrilled - and have some quiet time before we reconnect for dinner at Zante Indian Pizza. Here's the crowd, this time with Cameron, Una, Isaac, and Lila. We shared a monster Indian pizza. Mmmmm.

The kids wanted dessert - the fennel candy wasn't enough - so we went the few blocks to Mitchell's Ice Cream. Here's Lila becomming one with the chocolate ice cream and rainbow sprinkles.

 Friday 13 May 2005
  The base amount of storage given to me by my website hosting service is over quota.

Part of the problem is that pictures have gotten much bigger over the years. Here's an image which shows the relative sizes of the images taken by the Digital Cameras I've owned over the years.

camera images compared

To use less space I've reprocessed all the images used by the largest sections of the web site, compressing them better, and providing bigger images instead of the thumbnail-points-to-big-picture paradigm that was necessary in 1996. The first sections I've done are Burning Man 1994 and Burning Man 1996.


Here's some images from our house: we start just after we wake. The kids show off their favorite totems du jour: Lila's been enjoying that little book. Isaac is showing off a BART pass, hoping we'll take him for another ride.

showing our favorite things

Our garden is in full bloom, with birds of paradise (at center) and a neighborhood's abandoned orchids (foreground).

our garden

Here's a view of the intersection of Castro and Market Streets, the heart of the Castro, from the parking platform of the Tropicana apartment building.

Castro from the Tropicana

At day's end, after her bath, Lila shows off wearing Papa's thermal shirt over her fancy dress. She's warm and happy.

Lila wearing Papa's shirt


I've mentioned my new contract in Oakland. Today's glimpse is our lunch place, the Hawaiian Walk In. Very authentic.

Hawaiian Walk In restaurant, Oakland, California
 Thursday 12 May 2005
  I took a few hours (literally) to detangle Lila's hair and then braid it. Several videos on the PowerBook. Then she got a hand-me-down dress from a friend, which occasioned this self-examination in the mirror corner. Isaac is looking on, in the background reflection. This became an Irish jig with the two kids.

 Wednesday 11 May 2005
  Today I've started a new contract, this one across the bay in Oakland. Luckily it's right by the 19th Street BART station, so it's an easy commute. For that I'm very, very thankful.

Instead of being a software architect, or even a programmer, I'm taking another path and documenting their existing systems and upcoming product releases. It seems that I'll be doing some white-papers (subject overviews), software user guides, and some application programing interfaces (APIs) documentation. Most excellent.

Details to follow.


Many, many years ago, thirteen to be exact, I met the niece and nephew of a woman I was dating; hi Kathryn! Today Jat, who lives in Western Australia and is on a world tour, came through San Francisco. Here is Jatinder Singh (google that, Jat :-) with me on Twin Peaks near day's end.

Jat had his fill of Mexican food (having been in Central America for the last few months) and he doesn't like fish so he asked for Korean food. Luckily I know about the King Charcoal BBQ on Geary Boulevard. If you have a chance... very tasty, and lots of intereting condiments.

 Sunday 8 May 2005
  Today my sister Felicia invited us over to Alameda to help with a garage sale. She was making a small breakfast but I'd already promised the kids a stop at Ole's Waffle Shop on Park Street.

As usual, the kids (and the parents) like sitting near the hustle and bustle of the short-order cooks. (Note the braid of the server in the middle of the panorama. In a few days I'll braid Lila's hair and she'll keep mentioning this woman's long hair...)

Here's another server, one we've known for a long time. The kids were pretty impressed with the number and weight of the dishes she's able to deliver at one time.

Zofia, Dziadziu, Felicia, and Adam at breakfast.

Adam is a music teacher. Here's the kids grooving on cousin Ziggy's drum set and piano. This wasn't too quiet a time :-)

It was a misty day, with big rolling clouds threatening, and we set up the things anyway. There's a Park Street festival going on a few blocks over, and they're hoping for some foot traffic. Ziggy has made some lemonade he's hoping to hawk to the passers-by.

Now the rain has just exploded, drowning out our little garage sale and even the festival, shown here after the management pulled the plug and the vendors went running.

Lila has decided it's time for naked drumming. I hope she uses this picture for the cover of her first album.

Back at at home Isaac is getting all jiggy with his rainbow building blocks. What a satisfied face.

 Saturday 7 May 2005
  No big plans for the day, but for some reason we're at The Pork Store Café in the Mission (16th and Valencia Streets). We must have been going *somewhere* but I can't remember where.

Mike - the owner - and I have know each other since Waller Street days, but this is the first time I've come here instead of the Haight-Ashbury original location.

Both of the kids wanted happy-face pancakes, which the chefs did. Here's Lila's, sans whipped cream...

...and Isaac's, with.

Zofia cooked us a delightful brisket dinner, which we all enjoyed. The kids try a bit of everything, and tonight was no exception. Thanks so much, Zofia.

 Saturday 6 May 2005
  We spent today at Bubbie and Zadie, over in West Portal. Isaac started making huge towers from all the videotape boxes. For a change, the excitement is erecting it, rather than toppling it.

Everyone taking a nap during quiet time. They look so harmless, don't they?

I love this photo of Isaac and Rose, especially as he's wearing a soccer team tee-shirt he discovered in his clothes pile. He loves it, and the shorts too.

 Friday 5 May 2005
  Again with Lila to her pre-school. Here she is with her best friend of the moment, Belle. Regardless of the weather, they just love to change into bathing suits and play in the sand and water.

Here's my sweetie mulling over which rubber stamp to use (on her arms and the paper). I get lots of good artwork to hang on the wall. I'll include some photos soon.

 Thursday 4 May 2005
  Took off the middle of the day to play with Lila at the pre-school. Very nice, even when it began drizzling.

Dziadziu came over for a continental dinner of smoked salmon, gruyére and grana padano, dark breads, etc.

In the evening I spend a minute to read the news (online). Here's what catches my eye:

"FORT HOOD, Texas - A military judge Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was not convinced the Army reservist who appeared in some of the most notorious photos in the scandal knew her actions were wrong at the time."

At the risk of sounding presumptious please let me comment: 'tis true that I've never been in charge of prisoners in a jail, overseas, during wartime, but it strikes me as ever so slightly obvious that pulling a naked man on a leash on the prison floor is wrong. There's no part of that which is right (by any definition of "right" with which I'm familiar).


I spend a morning at the pre-school. It's been a while. Here's a panorama of the main activity room, with Lila sitting to one of her "best friends", Serafina.

Here Lila is holding court in the playground. It was misting, some would call it raining, and so I draped that white towel over an arch so the girls could take turns having a court in which to rule. I have absolutely no idea what Lila's making that face for.

After noon I went home and Rose took the kids to the Exploratorium. Here they are with Hiromi, a friend from Isaac's last year at what is now Lila's preschool. We try to let the kids keep in touch, which is a challenge given their schedules (which, in turn, are much less filled than some of their peers).

 Tuesday 3 May 2005
  Today I opt to take BART to within two blocks of an interview, rather than drive to a part of Oakland - near Lake Merritt - where there's not a lot of free parking.

Convenient, I got a chance to walk, and whilst on the train I got to read Tony Hillerman's recently-released Skeleton Man. (The Sinister Pig isn't yet in my local library.)


Oh, and it seems they're doing something interesting over at London's Transport Museum:

 Monday 2 May 2005
  Another day of working on chores, bills, book proposal, sending out the résumé, etc. (I have a follow-up interview in Oakland tomorrow.)

Dziadziu and Zofia were over for dinner. This must have been a goofy-face contest.

Here's Zofia and her little cup of tea.

And my darling wife, Rose, doing who knows what.


Firefox 50,000,000 The Firefox browser hits 50,000,000 downloads. Just incredible. I stopped using the nightly builds in favor of 1.0.3 because I hated re-installing some of the more fragile extentions every day.

 Sunday 1 May 2005
  An absolutely beautiful day here in San Francisco! I celebrate by doing some serious gardening, especially on the tree which borders our property in front of our house. It takes a lot of the light from that corner, and the hedges are suffering. Every other month (or so) I trim a bit more of it back, trying to avoid shock. It's working. We spent much of the day cleaning up, gardening, and just enjoying the togetherness.

Before we left the house the kids each packed a case with vital items. Isaac was partial to his toy cars and mass transit tickets. Lila figured she could get by with some toy pasteries.

In the evening we did another BART run, with Pamela coming along. The kids loved having her at Pancho Villa (a tacqueria) and on the trains. She and Lila took MUNI home after about an hour, Isaac and I got home too late, around 22:30!

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