What's New? 2006-06-01

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What's New? 2006-06-01

 Sunday 11 June 2006
  An overcast Sunday in Golden Gate Park is still a damn good day. We meet some friends to give the kids some bike time.

Here's Isaac in front of the Conservatory of Flowers. That's his birthday bicycle he's holding. The rainy season started just after he got it and this may be only his third time on the new, "big boy bike". He's unbelievably good at it, especially considering how much bigger it is than his first bike.

Isaac, bike, Golden Gate Park

Self-portrait amidst the flowers.

Papa, Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory of Flowers building, recently restored, in the fog.

Conservatory of Flowers

Isaac, ever the excellent baby-sitter, is spending a bit of time with Mir-Mir (who is sitting on Isaac & Lila's baby tricycle, a hand-me-down they delivered. That's Lila and Belle (Mir-Mir's big sister) riding on their bicycles, training wheels a-squealing.

Isaac, Mir-Mir, Lila, Belle; Golden Gate Park

The things that Isaac learns at school never ceases to amaze me. Today he's blowing our minds with his most excellent mastery of the hula-hoop.

Isaac hula-hoop; Golden Gate Park

That much expended energy requires refuelling, which we accomplish at Kitaro Sushi, Geary Blvd., the sister restaurant of Kiki Sushi, 9th Ave. Both have the same inexpensive, competently made fare. Kid-friendly and recommended.

Kitaro Sushi, Geary Blvd.

At home Lila shows off her recently made bear mask, with a pair of kid chopsticks for an added bit of terror. Scared yet?

Lila's bear mask
 Saturday 10 June 2006
  We head out into the Outer Sunset to a kids-oriented crafts fair. (All photos taken with my cell phone, sorry for the poor quality.)

A big hit was the balloon guy. He had a really amazing repitoire, from the simple swords to incredibly complex Nemo (clown fish).

kids fair: balloon guy

The Native American dancer was wonderful, and did a good explanation for those who hadn't before seen such things. I was reminded of good times in Arizona.

kids fair: Native American dancer

Three young girls did an unbelievable interpretive dance. Mesmerizing, with cool gossamar costumes.

kids fair: girl dancers

Later in the afternoon the kids wandered around the grounds bandishing their swords. I think that was after their chow-down of too many hot dogs (for charity).

kids fair: kids with swords

Around the corner we saw another bad parking moment: the broken bus stop glass impressed the kids.

smashed bus stop

Late at night, on the way home, we stopped by the Kaleo Café for dinner and hula.

Kaleo Café hula dancers
 Friday 9 June 2006
  Master Jino Kang watches Isaac and his peers doing their Hapkido pinans.

Master Jino Kang watches Isaac and peers, Hapkido

The kids revere Master Kang. They love the other instructors, but when the Master is on the mat they're all eyes and attention. It's pretty funny to see.

Master Jino Kang watches Isaac and peers, Hapkido

We've just donned our sparring gear in the dressing room and returned to the mat. This is our very first sparring picture: Lila in her "tiger pink" gear, me in the middle, and Jacob Mazzullo at right.

first sparring picture, Hapkido. Jacob Mazzullo at right

Here's Lila whipping a round kick on teaching assistant Miles Ceralde, who survives.

Lila spars Miles Ceralde, Hapkido

Bubbie got tickets for a concert series presented in the Park Presidio (in the old officers' club, IIRC). This was four singers doing classical opera and modern musicals; a lot of fun. Even the kids sat through it, and that's saying something.

Presidio: concert series
 Thursday 8 June 2006
  After Isaac's school the kids get some gambling training, umm, playing Go Fish with Bubbie & Zadie.

Go Fish w/ Bubbie & Zadie

Here's Lila sipping from my coconut tapioca bubble tea, which I've learned may be a spectacularly unhealthy treat. From what I can discover on the 'net, 7 bubbles = 100 calories, with 30 in a regular-sized drink, for about 430 calories, plus the drink and the added sugar. This might be more than a quarter of the daily recommended calories! Argh!

Lila's tapioca drink, Hapkido

Assistant instructor Miles Ceralde coaches Isaac and Mio in the wrist break-out technique.

Isaac & Mio with Miles Ceralde

That's me holding out my right hand to Brian, to sucker him into reaching for it. Then BAM; my circular immobilization takes him down. (I'll be tested on this in a couple of weeks.)

Papa & Brian, Hapkido

Isaac figures how to get a mirror to make some interesting illusions.

Isaac japes with mirror, Hapkido

We head over to Pasquale's Pizza (Irving @ 8th) for Dziazdiu to present a surprise to new orange-belt Lila. Here's the box opening with a dull knife. The excitement mounts...

Dziadziu opens box of Hapkido sparring gear

It's pink Hapkido sparring gear! With tiger stripes! Lila is thrilled, and is very reluctant to take off the gloves and helmet when the pizza arrives. Never a dull moment over here. Tomorrow we spar!

Lila & Dziadziu with new sparring gear
 Wednesday 7 June 2006

It's evening, and the kids decide to do a "sleep-over" in Lila's bottom bunk. Of course, all the stuffed animals need to join the party...

Isaac & Lila in bottom bunk

Everyone in bed, I turn to answering some questions about the Ranger patch I had made last year, and how the ordering of the Ranger jackets worked out.

Ranger jacket
 Tuesday 6 June 2006
  I'm job-hunting. The last two contracts have finished, one by change of plans, the other by corporate purchase. I'm still working on getting paid. I'm also watching "Our Mrs. Reynolds", an episode of Firefly. (The best damned science-fiction serious I even had the pleasure of seeing. It's a complete travesty that it was cancelled.)


'twas fifty-two years ago today that Operation Overlord was launched, and my Dad was that much closer to liberation from Auschwitz. I particularly like the following map because it shows a much more coöperative, international perspective than the typical American map.

Operation Overlord map

At the crack of dawn on 6 June 1944, under continuous heavy air bombardment on the already weak German defensive positions of Hitler's touted "Atlantic Wall", the Anglo-American landing in Normandy - "Operation Overlord" - begins. From the air three divisions are dropped into the interior of the country to secure river crossings and important crossroads.

The largest accumulation of ships in history closed ranks off the French coast: Seven battle ships, 23 cruisers, 105 destroyers, 1,073 smaller warships and 4,126 landing craft - protected and supported from the air by 13,000 planes. The Wehrmacht has only two infantry divisions and a dozen airplanes to counter this contingent. By evening, the Allies are able to land five divisions, and 78 others stand ready in England. The liberation of western Europe from Nazi domination has begun.

Operation Overlord beach landing

A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of the U.S. Army's First Division on the morning of 6 June 1944 (D-Day) at Omaha Beach. Public domain photo.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be 19, being ferried towards the beach, under fire? The courage required to exert one's strength of character and wade into the surf! My mind reels.

 Monday 5 June 2006
  A quiet, warm day. Work. Hapkido; Jacob Mazzullo is my training partner. We have so much fun that we don't want it to end. Jacob comes with us to the S&E Café to enjoy a scaldingly hot Coke with ginger and lemon. Mmmmm.

Jacob Mazzullo @ S&E Café

We head back to the Castro, taking Jacob to Hot Cookie and then Naia Gelateria. At home Lila teaches Jacob how to play Cootie Bug; we chat about military times while they juggle antennae, eyes, and bug torsos.

Lila & Jacob Mazzullo play Cootie Bug
 Sunday 4 June 2006
  Lila and Isaac arrive at the breakfast table both dressed as Mama. Isaac later returned as Ranger Mickey.

Lila & Isaac play dress-up

We head down to Yerba Buena Gardens for another Israel Day. We start out by making shofarim with Rabbi Ahron Hecht (of the Lubavitcher Chassidic Richmond Torah Center in SF).

Israel day, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

Here's a view of the goings-on from atop the waterfalls at the south end of the gardens.

Israel day, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

And another view from the middle of the crowd, looking towards the waterfall.

Israel day, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

A blast from the past: as Isaac and I are finishing up our day I'm recognised by Joseph Pred, with whom I did Burning Man 1996 (and a few more besides). He was on duty, with his company, MARS (Mutual Aid Response Services) Medical. It's been a long time, and it was just great seeing Joseph.

Joseph Pred, MARS Medical, San Francisco

We head over to Buca de Beppo for some savory Italian food. The extended family has been here before, so we knew there'd be something for everyone. As we arrive Lila and Isaac spot a DVD player at a near-by table, and adopt that family for a time.

Buca de Beppo, San Francisco
 Saturday 3 June 2006
  Good morning. We start the day at May's Coffee Shop, in Japantown. Lila's SPAM musube only gets nibbled, but she dives into my three-meat omelette (SPAM, Portugese sausage, and bacon). The coffee is the best Sanka money can buy, but it tastes just like what we had on the islands. Yeah, that's the Nichi Bei Times on the table; I like to keep up with the local goings-on.

Lila @ May's Coffee Shop

We deliver several bags of cooked corn on the cob to the homeless in the area. Afterwards Lila poses with the car. There were lots of photos in this series... :-)

Lila poses with convertible

We head over to the Hapkido dojang for two classes: first Isaac's white/yellow belt class, then our own orange/green class. Here's Jacob Mazzullo whipping a round-kick into the bag held by Mr. Lei.

Jacob Mazzullo's Hapkido round-kick to Mr. Lei

The weather is stunning: hot, dry, without a cloud in the sky. Jacob Mazzullo talks us into a beach trip. We pick up some refreshments and sunscreen and head down Taraval to the ocean.

The kids played with their huge flying disc, and inviting and playing with near-by kids; Jacob and I enjoyed some Jamaican beer.

Lila & Isaac @ Ocean Beach

On the way back home the kids wanted to drive with Jacob. They're in the car behind me.

Jacob's car, behind me

We were having so much fun that we invited Jacob to come over for a barbeque; a quick stop by Safeway netted us a big salmon, portobellos, and charcoal. In a fit of inspiration, we invited auntie Pamela, Dziadziu, and Zofia over too.

The feast was great, the Smoking Loon cabernet was divine, and the mini marshmallows we cooked in the weber was a grand dessert.

marshmallows in the barbeque

You would think that'd be enough for one day, but of course it wasn't. After we tossed everything into the dishwasher (thanks be!) we headed out to the Kaleo Café for some really great Hawai'ian ukelele and hula (seen here).

Kaleo Café hula
 Friday 2 June 2006
  Oh, a splendid day! The weather was warm before breakfast, wonderful mid-morning, and just glorious mid-day. Strolling to the Castro was a summertime joy.

It's Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish arbor day, and in celebration we head over to Bubbie & Zadie for a milchig (dairy-based, without any meat (fleishedik)). The blintzes are so tasty...

Bubbie, Zadie, and Isaac

Lila & Papa share an "eskimo kiss".

Lila & Papa eskimo kiss

In Bubbie's vast stores of brick-a-brack Lila finds a generic rip-off of the game Simon, which she plays to great abandon.

Lila plays a Simon rip-off

We head to the Presidio; Bubbie made reservations to a play shown at the officer's club. We're a week early, so I propose we bring everyone to Ft. Point, under the Golden Gate Bridge. The sounds of the foghorns is both eerie and invigorating. Seal lions swim near-by; the kids screaming with joy each time they surface.

Ft. Point, Golden Gaete Bridge

We head away from the bridge, to the first pier, to get another view of the bridge. We spy some fisherfolk on the pier.

fishing pier, Golden Gate Bridge

Crab are the catch of the day, with the dungeness being thrown back. (I think I got that right.) The kids are awestruck with the whole process of getting the crabs in the nets, pulling them out, sorting them, throwing some back. That the sea lions are cruising under pier, picking off some of the bait from the lines, just makes them giddier.

fisherfolk & dungeness crabs


I have been (appropriately) called a pedant; it's true that I do try to say what I mean and mean what I say. Today, on a Fark.com thread, there was a discussion of the proper terms "bullet" versus "cartridge" and "magazine" versus "clip". Here's what Drakkenmaw had to comment:

You may see it as a "display of knowledge." I see it the same way as arguing whether the Enterprise can beat the Death Star. It's a pointless gauge of exactly how anal the speaker is about completely silly and superfluous minutiae.

I didn't have any part in the thread, but I like his observation.

 Thursday 1 June 2006
  Whoo hooo! June is when school is over and summer gets into full swing. Isaac and I already have a long list of things we want to do!

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Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

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