What's New? 2006-06-11

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What's New? 2006-06-11

 Wednesday 28 June 2006
  Gisela and Rainer, the proprieters of the Deutsche Gasthaus Atlantis, Playa del Inglés, have extended their trans-American trip to include a stop in San Francisco to visit with us.

We had such a grand time with them in "Gran Canaria", and we're absolutely thrilled to see them here. Isaac and Lila are also excited: their memories of working alongside Rainer in the kitchen are comforting and wonderful. A real restaurant kitchen!

You see us enjoying breakfast at May's Coffee Shop, in Japantown.

Japantown: Gisela & Rainer

What would a trip to Japantown (during the festivals) be like without posing as a samurai and geisha?

Japantown: Gisela & Rainer

This evening, after a rather exhausting Hapkido, Dziadziu and our family head down Taraval Street to enjoy some turkey. Here's Rose, out front, waiting for Isaac to follow.

Chick -n- Coop, Taraval St.
 Tuesday 27 June 2006
  If it's Tuesday it must be time to enjoy the trampoline set up by Coach Larry at Rochambeau playground. This is Lila's discovery, so she goes first.

Rochambeau playground trampoline: Lila

Isaac's been doing this only for a few weeks, but he's taken to the directed bouncing.

Rochambeau playground trampoline: Isaac

With the kids having such a fun time it's no surprise that they've asked me to join them. This is me in the middle of a "seat feet knees" direction from Coach Larry. Whereas the kids seem graceful, it looks as though I'm about to land in a merengue.

Rochambeau playground trampoline: Mickey

We headed out to the playground rather early (to fulfill our promise to Coach Larry to help him set up while his back recuperates) so we had only a snack breakfast and are hungry for an early lunch. We head around the corner to a cute near-by café for bagels, cream cheese, and a view of the locals.

near-by café

Circus arts, or try-outs for A Chorus Line? You decide.

Circus arts: Isaac
 Monday 26 June 2006
  A wonderfully hot day, complete with free mass transit courtesy of the state (via their Spare the Air day program). Here's the Bay Bridge from the Oakland-Alameda ferry.

Bay Bridge from the Oakland-Alameda ferry

I'll spare you all the mass transit details, save to share that we've enjoyed the ferries, MUNI, BART, and even CalTrain. In the evening, exhausted, we visit Il Fornio in Burlingame.

Il Fornio, Burlingame, CA

Keeping the kids happy and behaving in a restaurant is always a concern, especially when they're dog-tired. Luckily the restaurant has a novel solution to child management: they bring out balls of pizza dough for the kids to play with.

Il Fornio: Lila with dough

Even Isaac, who - like I did as a child - has "ants in his pants", had a great time with the dough. The kids were great, the food was great, and the company was great.

Il Fornio: Isaac with dough
 Sunday 25 June 2006
  Here's our view of the stage at the Sigmund Stern Grove concert festival. Our party is at left. Today we're here to enjoy Amadou and Mariam and Otis Taylor Band.

Sigmund Stern Grove

Here's what the parents look like to the kids. Not too bad.

I don't particularly care about seeing the performers, at least not for much of the time. I'm quite happy to lie down and quietly listen to their music. I'm amazed at how many people feel a need to sit (or, worse yet, stand). But that's just me.

Sigmund Stern Grove: Rose & Mickey
 Saturday 24 June 2006
  Today is a day for which the kids have long waited. Today we once again help with the installation of the Pink Triangle atop Twin Peaks (part of the Pink Saturday portion of the Gay Pride Parade weekend). We have to be there very, very early, so I opt to skip making breakfast for the treat of visiting Orphan Andy's, our 24-hour diner in the neighborhood.

Orphan Andy's, the Castro

It's a very thick fog which surrounds us as we clamber onto the hillside with our tarp, huge nails, gloves, and hammers. Here's Lila pounding a nail, securing the tarp.

Pink Triangle: Lila & Mickey

Isaac works near-by, placing a nail into a convenient grommet and getting ready for some pounding. Isaac is especially social during work events like this one.

Pink Triangle: Isaac

The coffee and donuts (graciously provided) having been enjoyed, the hard work having been done, it's time for the dignitaries to show up. The carpeting and podium are placed, and the arc of balloons is anchored. I think that's Patrick Carney, the founder of the event, behind the podium.

Pink Triangle: balloons and podium

Actor Leslie Jordan, from the television show "Will & Grace", gave a great speech entitled "History of the Pink Triangle".

Pink Triangle: Leslie Jordan, Will & Grace

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, State Senator Carol Migden, Assemblyman Mark Leno, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and Treasurer Jose Cisneros were among the guests.

Pink Triangle: dignitaries

As we drive away, exhausted, I'm amazed at how little the fog has burned away. On each of the previous years we've helped the fog has burned off before we leave. I hope the triangle is visible this weekend....

Pink Triangle: leaving

The 11th Pink Triangle installation is complete. We're satisfied. From our back-yard we gaze up with glee as we see the fog receding and the triangle peeking out in all its glory. I'm told it can be seen from twenty miles away on a clear day.

Pink Triangle: from our back-yard

The day is a blur of chores, laundry and tidying, until the evening. Then we connect with Alpha Ranger Domo and head to the western edge of the city to participate in the annual AARL Field Day Amateur (Ham) Radio exercise and potlatch.

Here's the kids inside the tent, with Isaac exploring one of the longer-range rigs; I'm a hand-held local kind of guy. It's hard to tell with the flash, but it was dark, and that's a glow-stick necklace atop Lila's head.

ARRL Field Day: Lila & Isaac in the tent

Here's Isaac, pulling at his lips in concentration, as he works the frequency controls. The goal of Field Day is to practice skills while racking up as many long-range contacts as possible. (The company and the potlatch were fun. It was a successful family day.)

ARRL Field Day: Isaac at the rig

It's now rather late evening. As we park we hear the roar of the crowds enjoying the Pink Saturday festivities. Lila wants to head into the mêlée; Isaac doesn't. We split up. Here's the dancing mob, enjoying the band playing on the stage set up in the middle of Market Street.

Pink Saturday: Castro crowd
 Friday 23 June 2006
  If it's a Spare the Air day it's time to be out on the open water, right? Here's Isaac screaming with joy in the strong wind pushing against the ferry as it heads toward Sausalito. That's the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Spare the Air day: Sausalito ferry

(I had to stay home and work. All pictures by Rose.) Here's the kids on the Sausalito waterside, checking out the local boat dock.

Sausalito waterfront Isaac & Lila

Bubbe and Zadie join the family. Here they are on the ferry.

Sausalito ferry: Bubbie & Zadie & Lila

Here's Lila sitting on the luggage rack of the CalTrain. On a free day we drop everything and range far and wide. We love the Bay Area!

CalTrain: Lila
 Wednesday 21 June 2006
  It's a really hot day, about 92° F (33° C), with clear skies and a bright sun. I call Omi Marga, in Munster, and she tells me that it's even hotter there! She's on the balcony, in a bathing suit, hosing down the plants and herself. Lila decides the right way to beat the hit is in our wading pool.

Lila in the wading pool

In the late afternoon, after the heat has broken, we head into the garden to harvest the plums from our tree. (You can see a few plums at the upper left of the photo.) Damn, they're tasty!

Lila & Mickey plum-picking
 Tuesday 20 June 2006
  Another beautiful morning at Rochambeau playground. We came for the trampoline but all the pictures I chose are from the other friends and activities; so it goes.

Here's Lila, with her lunch-box and water bottle, atop one of the two pillars in the playground. She figured it was a good vantage point for lunch.

Rochambeau playground: Lila

Isaac decided he'd rather watch (and then join) a family baseball event. (I'm amused when he's so extrovertedly social.) The game went on for a good long time; nobody wanted it to break up.

Rochambeau playground: Isaac

Lila, always social, wound up on the climbing structure with three other girls, and proceeded to have a quarter-hour of follow-the-leader, complete with laughing and screaming.

Rochambeau playground: Lila

Here's Isaac directing sand play with some kids I think we knew. I'm not sure. This, in turn with the swings, all kids taking turns, was the rest of the play-time.

Rochambeau playground: Isaac

Speaking of swings, here's Lila having her turn. She's getting (more) fearless day by day.

Rochambeau playground: Lila
 Monday 19 June 2006
  Lila is a fashion queen. Just as Isaac always loved jeans (at the expense of all other kinds of pants), Lila loves skirts and dresses. This one, with pink roses atop the shoulders, is a favorite. But what to do when there's a stain that just won't come out? Rose came up with a good solution: draw flowers to cover the stain. Pink flowers, so it was acceptable to Lila.

Lila's dress

For my dinner I rated a beautiful salad from Rose, who included a strawberry heart. Aww. The blueberry goat cheese was great.

Rose's salad

An urban vexation (of mine) is bad driving and worse parking. Here's the car which just recently started parking in spot 9, next to mine. Not only is she not even close to being centered in her spot, most of her right wheels are over the white line! I don't have much wiggle-room there; I have to make a very tight turn around the gate to get into 10. (Nobody wants our spot, so we get it cheaply from the agency. Spot 11 existed before they put up the gate.)

miserable parking
 Sunday 18 June 2006
  It's time for the annual Ranger Orientation Meeting, or ROM.

Before we head out to the Burning Man offices we need to eat, right? So a bunch of us head over to The Ramp, a near-by café right on an old boat dock with a working boat restoration yard next door. From left it's Ranger Tool, Dirtwitch, Dirtwitch again, and Tony Danza.

Rangers at The Ramp

Some of the Rangers have served for many years, and have gone through many ROMs. From left it's Tony Danza, daMongolian, and Tool.

ROM: Rangers listen

Here's Dirtwitch (our trainer) presenting, with LongPig (second from right) (our mentor leader) behind.

ROM: Rangers present

One of the most-remembered things at each ROM is the "change something" exercise. I won't spoil it for you, if you haven't been to a ROM, but if you have you'll get a chuckle from this photo (I hope).

ROM: change something
 Saturday 17 June 2006
  Unexpectedly, I attend the Burning Man newbies picnic in Sharon Meadows, Golden Gate Park. This was a very last-minute thing, but it was very worthwhile. Best of all because I got to meet an acquaintance who had someone walk out on her RV reservation and we were offered the chance to pick it up. (We'd talked about trying an RV last year but we didn't really follow up; this jut fell into our laps and I think we'll run with it.)

Burning Man newbies picnic, Sharon Meadows, Golden Gate Park
 Thursday 15 June 2006
  Here's how I fixed the Kenwood TH-78 antenna mount flaw that's plagued my ham radio for almost ten years. Now both of mine work! I can't believe how easy it was, albeit nervewracking.

Kenwood TH-78


Lila went shopping at Trader Joe's with Rose and dug into the spoils of her trip: cheddar popcorn, I think.

Lila eating 'hopcorn'
 Wednesday 14 June 2006
  Some of the Rangers - the non-confrontational force for good at Burning Man - meet at the Lanesplitter Pub in Berkeley (University at San Pablo Ave.).

Lanesplitter Pub, Berkeley

Our family has always enjoyed our "family bed". Now each of the kids has a bunk bed (at right) and sometimes I spend a few hours on the floor, after a child wakes. So what do I see upon my return?

all crashed
 Monday 12 June 2006
  After Hapkido Lila and Isaac head over to the grandparents. Here's Lila modelling her dress du jour....

Lila's dress

The g'rents ask to keep the kids for dinner, so Rose and I get to have an adult dinner with my Dad and Zofia (at Bursa Kebab, West Portal).

Dad & Zofia at Bursa Kebab

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