What's New? 2006-05-14

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What's New? 2006-05-14

 Wednesday 31 May 2006
  Isaac loves writing letters and posting them. Here Dziadziu and Isaac chat about his latest missive, which just arrived. Isaac is especially proud of the address, which he did, and which the post office grokked. (Isaac uses his very own return labels, courtesy of one charity or another.)

Isaac & Dziadziu talk letter-writing
 Tuesday 30 May 2006
  We're back at Rochambeau Playground, with Coach Larry. Here's Lila, about to practice her first belly bounce. This requires putting the hands across the upper chest, with elbows bent, to protect and to help with the rebound.

Lila on trampoline, Rochambeau Playground

Then Lila, tired from her turn, asks that I give it a try. With Coach Larry's blessing I do. Here you see my world-famous "seat". (I have to figure out how to tweak my digital camera's field of focus, to eliminate that irritating busy background of buildings. Meh.

Mickey on trampoline, Rochambeau Playground
 Monday 29 May 2006
  Because Lila is having a sleep-over with Dziadziu and Zofia, Isaac gets a bit of only-child quality time. I wake before the rest and make breakfast in bed. Rose gets Turkish coffee, waffle with Marionberries, and "ILY" (I Love You) cheese letters. Isaac gets milk, waffle with maple syrup, and string cheese cut into circles and formed into a "love heart". Orange juice for all.

Isaac & Rose - breakfast in bed

Without specific plans for the day, Isaac's wish to travel around on mass transit and explore is granted. Here we are leaving the Castro on a restored F-line Muni subway car. At right you can see the recently-planted Canary Island palm trees; in the background you can see the hill on which we help put the Pink Triangle.

Isaac on F Muni line

Eschewing Pier 39, Isaac selects Fisherman's Wharf as our first port of call. Here he's absolutely enchanted by the elevated basket conveyence in the new Boudin bakery. We've been running back and forth for a half-hour, watching the bakers bake, watching the bread travel above our heads from the bakery to the retail store, and checking out all the different breads. A baguette comes with us, as we continue our adventures.

Isaac @ Boudin Bakery, Fisherman's Wharf

Next Isaac wants a snack at the wharf. Since he and Lila have been wee ones we've been bringing them here to nibble on shrimp and crab at the outdoor stand run by Sabella and LaTorre. We sit on the sidewalk across the street, near the musicians' favorite spot. Today Isaac wants fish and chips.

Isaac w/ Dungeness crabs, Fisherman's Wharf

I get the idea to leave the Muni line and perhaps do a long walk across the city instead. We walk the length of Fisherman's Wharf, head through the Cannery, and stop for a big coffee (with whipped cream) at The Fiddler's Green. Isaac is proud of his big milk.

Isaac @ The Fiddler's Green

We head towards North Beach, stopping for a while at Washington Square Park. Here Isaac plays softball with a little kid (he's here on home plate) and some tag with me. It's really humid on the grass, so we march onwards (with Isaac doing much of the marching, which is a treat for me).

Isaac @ Washington Square Park, North Beach

I guess we're nibbling our way across the city! We stop for a teeny break at Caffe Greco, on Columbus Ave., in North Beach. Isaac is going through a chocolate gelatto; my caffe machiatto is in the foreground.

Isaac @ Caffe Greco, North Beach

Crossing Broadway, we're in Chinatown. Isaac's pretty happy about it; he keeps calling it "China". We stop at most every shop; today's big draw is postcards. Isaac spends some of his pocket money, a card here, another there, two over here.

Isaac @ Chinatown

At one of those stores which sells unbelievably tacky home furnishings Isaac poses with the three wise monkeys.

Isaac w/ three wise monkeys, Chinatown

Finally we make it to the Chinatown Gate, where an excited Isaac poses with a stone lion. I think you can see his very loose front tooth.

Isaac w/ stone lion, Chinatown Gate

We encourage the kids to spend a bit of their money on tzedakah, charity. Street performers are a favorite. Here Isaac dropped some change into the street musician's open case. (Check out the new flower baskets hung from the lamp poles at the Powell Street cable car turnaround; pretty!)

Isaac @ Powell Street cable car turnaround

Our travel day almost done, we take a late afternoon return trip on a modern Muni light rail car, first to the terminus at the baseball park, then in the other direction (to Naan & Curry, on Irving St., for an inexpensive and delicious dinner).

Isaac on Muni

Teeth brushed, pajamas donned, Isaac spends a few minutes dropping spinning tops atop another. Here's the evening's best: three tops!

Isaac spins tops
 Sunday 28 May 2006
  It's Carnaval, and Lila and I are heading into the Mission to enjoy the parade. (Isaac opted to stay at home with Rose.)

Just as we leave the house we pass a garage sale. Lila is given a red tiara by the seller. It goes perfectly with her red sparkle shoes. Here we stop for a snack at Katz Bagels, 16th near Valencia St.

Isaac @ Katz Bagels

At we pass the 16th St. BART station we run into Jaimi and her kids, Jesse and Mimi. I haven't seen her since we were pre-school parents together. We find a great spot for the kids and watch the parade together.

Taking good pictures of the Carnaval parade is really hard: the contrast between the bright sun and dark shadows is daunting, the cluttered background is too visible, and the dancers are fast. Here's an acceptable picture.

Carnaval parade

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) evidently has a Thomas the Tank Engine-like car they field in parades as a public relations gesture. The kids like it.

BART vehicle in parade

Hey, there's Miles Ceralde, waving. We knew he and his father (a musican and teacher of Samba) would be in the parade, and Lila spots him. Damn, that girl's got eagle eyes!

Miles Ceralde in Carnaval parade

The long parade done, and the kids hungry, we split up. They head out to a BBQ, Lila and I head over to Truly Mediterranean, 16th St. near Valencia. Lila loves the schwarma and even tastes the mint garlic yoghurt drink (which is a bit less loved by her).

Lila @ Truly Mediterranean

One way or another, Lila decides that she absolutely needs to have a sleep-over with Dziadziu and Zofia this evening. (It's the first time either kid asks to sleep over there.) I get their permission, drop her off, return with PJs, tooth brush, etc., and leave her. Sleep well little girl.

 Saturday 27 May 2006
  Siegmund, Felicia, Adam, Isaac, and Lila celebrating at the Toy Boat ice cream parlor (Clement St. at 5th Ave.). There was lots of haggling over whose quarter to use, what order to share time with "Ziggy", etc.

Siegmund, Felicia, Adam, &c. @ Toy Boat
 Friday 26 May 2006
  Today is the last of the three potlatch good-bye celebration at a playground in Golden Gate Park. The international breadth and the excellence of the cuisine brought by the families is just stunning.

Willa's potlatch playgroup

The last Saturday in the month is Family Folk Dancing, and this being May it's time for a maypole dance. It's really non-trivial: the mix of synchronized up and down weaving, plus the excitement of the childen, makes a tidy completion of the weave virtually impossible (but damn fun).

family folk-dancing
 Wednesday 24 May 2006
  It's another patlatch for Willa's playgroup. Here Lila is directing some play; coördinating a bunch of kids to do her bidding.

Willa's potlatch 2 of 3

Lila and Isaac on the dojang mat, learning a new technique.

Lila & Isaac @ Hapkido

Lila practices a backfist while Isaac holds the paddle somewhat steady.

Lila & Isaac @ Hapkido

A friend of ours, Una Chan, receives her orange belt. Congratulations, Una!

Una Chan gets her orange belt
 Monday 22 May 2006
  Today is the first of three potlatches in celebration of another successful year of Willa's CCSF child observation playgroup (held at Ebenezer Lutheran). My favorite treat was lumpia, a traditional Filipino appetizer, not unlike thinner eggrolls. There were lots of savory choices, and even more sweets.

Lila makes bubbles

Today Lila and I receive our orange belts! Here Lila receives her belt and certificate.

Lila gets her orange belt

Then it's my turn to get front and center: certificate time. Right hand shakes, left hand gets paper....

Mickey gets his orange belt

Assistant Instructor Miles Ceralde helps Lila tie her orange belt. It's stiff, and in any case she's not yet mastered tying.

Miles Ceralde ties Lila's belt

It's the end of class, and the two new orange belts move to the right side of the ranks.

Lila & Papa finish Hapkido class

Lila points out the finer points of the new belt.

Lila shows Isaac

Master Jino Kang, the head of the dojang, taught Lila a bit about his life in Korea as a child. What she's most thrilled to put into practice is his story of tying his gi (or, in Korean, dobuk) with the belt and carrying it over her shoulder.

Lila ties her dobuk
 Sunday 21 May 2006
  Lila and Isaac supervise Serafina's opening of the gifts they painstakingly wrapped for her. We were chased off the playground by rain shortly after this photo was taken; the ice cream parlor near-by was a good haven.

Lila and Isaac celebrate Serafina's birthday.
 Saturday 20 May 2006
  Burning Man Black Rock Arts Foundation Art on Fire!, day #3.

 Friday 19 May 2006
  Burning Man Black Rock Arts Foundation Art on Fire!, day #2.

 Thursday 18 May 2006
  Burning Man Black Rock Arts Foundation Art on Fire!, day #1.

 Tuesday 16 May 2006
  Thanks to the sharp eyes of my friend, Gabriel Morales, in Miami, I'm running on a just-released 160 GB perpendicular laptop hard drive. That's a very welcome jump from the already enhanced configuration with 80 GB, and not a moment too soon. (It had only a few gig free, causing "Mac OS X" some unhappiness.)

But that's not why I make mention of it. It's the horrid experience of having to remove 28 screws to gain access to the hard drive bay of my Aluminum PowerBook. That's completely unacceptable for a company which sells to ease-of-use and the importance of the customer. I used to joke about a portable Toshiba computer which required a dozen screws, but this is over a decade later and twice the pain. Apple Computer, be ashamed.

Apple Al PowerBook screws

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