What's New? 2008-04-14

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What's New? 2008-04-14

 30 April 2008
  Here's Mike, president of the model railroad club, using a dremel on a particularily stubborn track switch. There are some parts of the layout that are just not easy to reach.

GGMRC: Mike Stokinger
 28 April 2008
  Here we are in Japantown, enjoying zaru soba at Mifune. It's one of the kids' favorites, requested every few days. Tonight was on Dziadziu.

soba at Mifune
 27 April 2008
  The kids begged for a breakfast at May's Coffee Shop in Japantown, and so we go. Unfortunately, they've just revamed the menu and gotten rid of the most delightful three-meat omelet (SPAM, Portugese sausage, and bacon) with fried rice, so we're all a bit bummed. The freshly-made chocolate Taiyaki (fish) are still awesome.

May's Coffee Shop

Damn! That's one satisfied face on a little girl. We're just finishing up at Trader Joe's supermarket. We actually bought very little, topping up the weekend supplieds, and found some just-emptied cardboard boxes, which we might use to store trains and track. They'll fit under the bed, right?

Trader Joe's supermarket

As the kids and I washed the car a passer-by noticed a small snake having trouble heading uphill on the sidewalk. After our wee photo session is done it went across the street into the flowered hillside. Those glacier glasses I'm wearing? They're perfect for Burning Man.

Mickey with snake
 26 April 2008
  It's Bug Day at the near-by Randall Museum. The parking lot, which you can see through the window, is packed with cars. Thank goodness we walked. Here Lila is doing a smell guessing game while the volunteer helps them make clothespin bugs.

Randall Museum Bug Day

It's a bit hard to see, but that's a huge silkworm Lisa is holding. It's almost the width of her palm. The volunteer behind her has a box 'o silkworms.

Randall Museum Bug Day

Downstairs there's a model train auction in progress. Club president Mike is in green, capo di tutti capi John in blue. I handled the accounting, and Isaac was the runner, bringing lots to Mike. I think it was the first time the kids had experienced an auction.

The kids, John, and I have post-auction lunch at Pancho Villa's Taqueria. Afterwards we hook up with Rose at the near-by playground, where the kids always find locals with which to play. Today's no exception. I think we spent two hours watching this pack use everything in the playground.

Mission playground
 25 April 2008
  At Hebrew school Lila made this beautiful shabbat (sabbath) candlestick holder. So we use it. So nice.
Lila's shabbat candlestick
 25 April 2008
  Dziadziu & Lila eat Pasquale's pizza (at home. Yep, Lila is wearing her brand-new Disney Princess red eyeglasses (complete with tiny hearts made of tinier rhinestones. She's so thrilled with them!

Dziadziu & Lila eat pizza
 24 April 2008
  One of the things that happens to a papa when a child is seriously into model trains is that you spend time doing things like replacing knuckle couplers. Last week I had no idea what a knuckle coupler was.
replacing knuckle couplers
 21 April 2008
  Isaac has been talking about trying Bubbie's violin. Instead Rose brought him to a near-by music store on Clement Street, around the corner from his school, and he got to try it out. Thanks, Rose, for taking the picture. Thanks, Isaac, for emailing it to me.

Isaac tries the violin

This evening I helped Isaac make a Bachmann E-Z track layout in the front room. Two switches, two locomotives, freight and passenger cars.

Bachmann E-Z track layout
 20 April 2008
  Orphan Andy's ceiling, as taken by one of the kids during a breakfast out.

Orphan Andy's ceiling

After visiting Zadie at the hospital across the street, here's cousin Jessica holding court at the Duboce Park playground.

cousin Jessica at the Duboce Park playground
 19 April 2008
  We start off the morning at the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club. Isaac's at the main panel holding a throttle.

GGMRC: Isaac with throttle

Here's Isaac's Southern Pacific Daylight running on the GGMRC layout. My iPhone can't freeze the action; I'll bring my Pentax Optio W20 soon.

GGMRC: Isaac's daylighter

Popping out of an access port comes Isaac's head, jarring my sense of scale. He's fixing someone's train. When there's a problem anywhere on the layout my boy can fly under the layout faster than others can call out "what's wrong". It's blowing the older members' minds.

GGMRC: Isaac fixes a train

Heading across the San Francisco Bay Bridge that evening we spot High Wind on Bridge warnings. It didn't seem particularly bad, but it was interesting...

high wind on San Francisco Bay Bridge

Here's a panorama of Ken & Tamara's pesach (Passover) scene. Lots of family, friends, and fun. It's such a joy spending time over there; our kids play with their kids, I get to cook with Tamara, and the conversations are wonderful.

Passover at Ken & Tamara's
 17 April 2008
  At the Randall Museum, just above our house, I'm taking the Zen & Sawdust woodworking class. Here's our teacher, Tim O'Mahoney, a local building contractor, sharing the finer points of using the jointer.

Tim O'Mahoney

The planer, used for making parallel two faces of a piece of wood. These are all vintage machines, big and heavy and powerful and fun to use.

a woodworking planer
 16 April 2008
  Back at the GGMRC, Isaac lords over the train yard, assembling his Amtrak passenger train. A few years ago, on our family trip to Colorado, we tried to use Amtrak as an alternative to air travel. The latter was priced out at $180 round-trip per-person; Amtrak was about ten times as much. You can guess which one we chose.

GGMRC: Isaac @ train yard

As we leave the Randall Museum for the evening, we see fireworks over Pac Bell Park; I guess the Giants must have won the game. The whole family, plus train friends, stood on the grounds marvelling at the long show.

Randall Museum: fireworks
 15 April 2008
  As I'm heading over to the Hapkido dojang I follow my general mass transit philosophy of jumping outbound on the first train in case the system crashes. Well, today, as I got to West Portal station the system got all backed up. Train after train piled in and stopped.

MUNI all bunched up at West Portal

After Hapkido I meet up with the rest of the family at near-by Bubbie & Zadie's house. Zadie's still in the hospital, but (from left) Mindy (middle sister), Lila, Isaac, and Rose (eldest sister) hang out and tidy things up for Bubbie, who hasn't been spending much time here lately.

Bubbie & Zadie's house

Yes, this is a meta-picture: I'm taking a photo of Rose taking a photo...

 14 April 2008
  Just as I'm getting comfortable in my recently repaired chair the phone rings. It's Isaac's teacher, asking whether I can chaperone Isaac's field trip to the San Francisco Symphony. Of course I can; what an honor to be with kids while they're learning. Here's a panorama of Isaac's class in their most excellent Terrace seats: that's Isaac and Eugenia right above the musician standing in the pit. They're leaning over the railing; Isaac is wearing orange.

Isaac's field trip to the San Francisco Symphony

Lila gives Brianna a piggy-back ride around the school-yard; her dad watches the goings-on.'

Lila & Brianna

While Zadie is on the mend from some recent health issues the kids (and Bubbie) join him at the California Pacific Medical Center. (The kids are transfixed by the hospital television.)

Lila & Isaac with Zadie & Bubbie at CPMC

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