What's New? 2007-01-01

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What's New? 2007-01-01

 Monday 15 January 2007
  Rose saw the kids having lots of fun with Magnatiles and asked me to find them online. We picked up a set of a hundred transparent tiles, which have been in almost constant use since they arrived. Good call, honey.

Isaac & Lila play with Magnatiles

Because we left for the Canaries before Chanukah, and we've not seen Dzidziu since, it's time for yet another Chanukah over at their house. The kids got gifts and presented some things we brought back. (Years ago we abolished most gifts for adults, preferring instead food-centric gettogethers and small gifts for the kids. Much, much better.)

another Chanukah with Dziadziu and Zofia

Gifts exchanged, we're all hungry. What a better choice than some sushi at Fune Ya? The kids get to be the bosses of their meals (after having the required amount of edamame).

family sushi time at Fune Ya
 Sunday 14 January 2007
  It's time for a family mass transit day. First, though, we need to charge up. Lila enjoys chocolate pancakes at Orphan Andy's.

Lila's chocolate pancakes at Orphan Andy's

On BART, Lila continues her unabashed acrobatic performances. Never a dull moment.

BART is Lila's playground

I don't know when Isaac took this photo, but it's certainly a "like Papa, like daughter" picture.

Lila & Papa read the papers

Isaac, being our trip leader, minds the BART map (while he takes a photo of his hand). We have a great time on these trips, especially when we're well-prepared with snacks and drinks and a bit of reading material.

Isaac minds the BART map
 Saturday 13 January 2007

It's another Saturday morning at the dojang. Here's Isaac practicing his pinans with Mr. Carlo Valero (3rd-degree black belt) making corrections.

Isaac @ Hapkido

Lila's practicing her front kicks with Chief Instructor Marco Magsaysay (4th-degree black belt) looking on.

Lila @ Hapkido

Later, in the afternoon, we head across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Children's Discovery Museum to meet some friends. The kids love the recently-remodeled playground and boat. Everyone spends a good amount of time in the art studio, doing those county fair spinning art.

Isaac & Lila @ Children's Discovery Museum
 Friday 12 January 2007
  It's the last day of the Macworld Expo, and Dziadziu returns for another visit and lunch at Buca di Beppo. I like the food-eating contest in the background.

Dziadziu @ Buca di Beppo
 Thursday 11 January 2007
  Devin McKinney, whom you may remember from our trip to Roma, comes down to Macworld Expo to hang out and check out the new technology. Here he's enjoying the eyeglass display (for your iPod).

Devin McKinney at Macworld Expo

We have lunch at Segafredo Café, a few blocks up Powell St. It's one of my favorite places to get coffee. It's really great spending time with an old friend.

Devin McKinney at Segafredo Café

Devin tells me a very bizarre story about a David Hockney print, Pearblossom Highway. A long time ago, when I was living in my Waller Street digs, I acquired a huge framed copy of this photomontage. (The following picture doesn't do justice to the original; you completely miss the creepy, disjointed feeling.)

Pearblossom Highway by David Hockney

That picture was (still is) a favorite of mine. At some time I passed it on to Devin, who kept it until he went on to Italy. When he returned he went apartment hunting. Frustrated by the expensive and depressing offerings, he kept on going until he came to one apartment which seemed reasonable. Then, hanging on the wall in this otherwise bare apartment, was the framed Hockney! He took the apartment and has been happy ever after.

 Wednesday 10 January 2007
  Here's my first chance to see one of the new iPhone prototypes up-close (albeit behind a bell jar, surrounded by a phlanx of security guards). Here's the phone showing a Google Map of our area. What's hard to convey is the richness and detail of the display. Unbelievably clear. (As usual, Steve Jobs & company have seen through the essence of the problem and have come up with an elegant (but pricey) solution. I'll probably miss the first few generations, what with the $600 price tag, but I'll be envious the whole time.)

iPhone prototype

Here's the iPhone being presented at the Apple booth. At a later part of the talk we got to see live video output from the phone in the speaker's hand. It was very, very fun to see. Dad wasn't impressed by the hype, but he stopped at the show and a few minutes later he was sold on the phone. I didn't tell him the price.

iPhone presentation
 Tuesday 9 January 2007
  I'm having lunch with R. Tyler Ballance, a net.acquaintance I've never met face-to-face. This is strange and fun both.

R. Tyler Ballance

Ranger Lefty invited me to the live podcast of MacBreak, with Leo Laporte and Manfrad Mann. It's at a bar near our old Organic Online offices, near South Park. (Lefty looks a bit sinister here, but it's mostly exhaustion after a day running around the show with me.)

Lefty and Mickey

Finally it's time for the Macworld special edition MacBreak podcast. Lefty's got a dark beer, I've got a good Cabernet Sauvignon in hand. We hoop and hollar and listen to the iPhone chatter.

MacBreak podcast @ Macworld
 Monday 8 January 2007
  Here I am at the Moscone Center, downtown San Francisco, registering for the show. I always head down on the Monday, so I can pick up my badge - avoid the crowds - and check out the pre-show artwork. (They're usually replaced by whatever secret product is announced by Steve Jobs at the Keynote. Here you see the Apple logo eclipsing the sun, which has been accompanied by the text "The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007" in other artwork. We're all abuzz with wonder what the announcement will be.

MacWorld Expo at Moscone Center, San Francisco
 Sunday 7 January 2007
  Here's Lila and Isaac in our garden as we head out to celebrate Family Appreciation Day.

Isaac & Lila in our garden

We're having breakfast out, but first we have to get there. (For Isaac the journey is the reward, especially on mass transit.) We've elected to take the F-line historic MUNI trolley cars past Fisherman's Wharf all the way to the terminus.

Isaac on MUNI

This morning we're breakfasting at The Fiddler's Green, one of our favorites. Here's the outside façade.

The Fiddler's Green

Our first stop is the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, where the kids really enjoyed seeing the figures. Here's Albert Einstein. He seems a bit tan for a geek, or maybe it's just the result of eating too many carrots.

Albert Einstein @ The Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf

Then we stroll down to Pier 39, where we queue up for the Aquarium by the Bay. Here are three photos I like.

Aquarium by the Bay

Aquarium by the Bay

Aquarium by the Bay

One of Lila's great joys in life is getting seafood from Sabella & LaTorre at Fisherman's Wharf and eating it on the near-by sidewalk. (It's one of my joys too.) After the aquarium Lila asks, and so we grant. Mmmmmm.

Lila eats seafood

Another near-by attraction is the new Boudin Bakery, which Isaac just loves. Today we spent time in the museum (upstairs) and watched the bakers bake (downstairs). Outside the kids frolic in the bread-scented steam blasted out of the bakery across the sidewalk.

Boudin Bakery
 Saturday 6 January 2007
  At Christmastide Japantown becomes festooned with lighted animals, trees, and arches. The kids love it. During a trip to May's Coffee Shop we take a moment to enjoy it all.

Isaac & Lila at Japantown

Lila demonstartes a round kick for Marco Magsaysay, 4th dan.

Lila's round kick

In the afternoon we head over to the Randall Museum to listen to a lecture about honey bees and then to help extract honey from the hives. Here Nancy - the director of the animal programs - tells us all about the hives on the roof of the museum.

Randall Museum: honey bees - lecture

Here is one of the hives, full of honey. We used a hot knife to remove some of the wax, tasted the honey, and extracted some with a hand-cranked centrifuge. It was grand fun.

Randall Museum: honey bees - hive

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