Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day!

We ate the whole thing!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

hair salon

Until today, I was the only one ever to have given either of the boys a haircut. But they've been on a mission to grow their hair out (exactly how much is unclear), and I wasn't sure my skills were up to the longer cuts, so we went to Great Clips in the Diamond Heights Shopping Center.

VoilĂ !

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

new fence

We (and our neighbor) got a new fence for the west side of our backyard. We're told the old fence lasted 25 years, and the design on the new one is a bit better, so hopefully it will last even longer!

Step one was taking down the old fence.

The new posts went in next

The old fence had used pressure-treated wood for the posts, because they went straight into the footings. The new design has metal brackets in the footings, so that the posts are above grade. This is the improvement I mentioned above, which hopefully will extend the life of the fence.

Here is the nearly completed fence. The change in grade between the two yards is addressed using 2 x 12 pressure-treated wood along the bottom of the fence.

The other notable design difference is that the fence is symmetrical, so we and our neighbor see the same pattern of overlapping boards (a "picture frame board-on-board" design).

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Bacon of the Month: Ozark Trails

This month's bacon selection from Zingerman's hails from Arkansas. It's wet-brined, peppered, and probably the lowest on the sugar (and salt) so far. It's also the thinnest cut, and the smallest package (12 oz. versus 16 and 14 in the previous two months). To me, it tastes the most "bacony" of the three varieties. The pepper kicks in slowly, with a delayed aftertaste that I noticed several seconds after my first bite. I'd have to do a side-by-side comparison to be sure, but I think I like this better than the Nueske's!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

bedtime reading

mathematical thinking

The fourth graders are sometimes given a "problem of the week," which this week asked them how many more minutes there are with at least one 5 in them than minutes with at least one 6 in them in a 12 hour period (using a digital clock with no seconds). They are allowed to have an adult help them work through the problem.

One notion I've been trying to work with Anders on is that for a problem like this, figuring out the answer is only part of the solution—you also need to be able to explain your reasoning. Anders quickly figured out that there are "matching" minutes for 5s and 6s. That is, just as there is a 1:05, there is a 1:06. Then we explored the 5 o'clock and 6 o'clock hours, where every minute has a 5 in one, and every minute has a 6 in the other. Finally, we talked about the minutes from :50 to :59, where every minute has a 5, but only one (:56) has a six.

After all of that, we figured out the answer (there are 99 more minutes with at least one 5 than with at least one 6)—in fact, we figured it out three times, using slightly different techniques (two of which are on the left page below). Finally, we worked out a way to express the solution (right page). Once we had hashed that out, Anders wrote up the answer himself.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Big White: Seattle detour, Saturday

And we're off! Oh, except the second leg of our flight has been canceled due to whiteout conditions in Kelowna. So... quick, book a hotel in Seattle!

The Hotel Max is super hip, with retro games like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

It's also right next to the United States District Court.

We arrived a bit before 4, and our room (which we had just reserved online) wasn't quite ready. We went down the street to a coffee shop. Let me tell you, Seattle hipsterism makes San Francisco look staid.

We were three blocks away from Seattle's Pacific Place Din Tai Fung... the boys (and Sigrid) tried xiao long bao for the first time...

...and some kimchi dumplings... orange juice with sprite...

...and some red bean buns to close dinner out.

Big White: Seattle detour, Sunday

We couldn't get rebooked to Kelowna until Monday, so we spent Sunday checking out Seattle. We started off by checking out the Pike Place Market.

Soren had two corn dogs for breakfast...

...while I went for the fried chicken hearts and gizzards.

After a more normal breakfast start, Anders joined Team Corn Dog.

Next, we went to the Space Needle. Sigrid is thinking that maybe we're done with tall towers with long lines. She and I went up the Eiffel Tower on our honeymoon; we went with the boys, Miran and Haraboji up the N Seoul Tower in 2016; and now the Space Needle. Whether it's because it came after the others or because it's under a lot of construction right now as they add a glass floor, we were underwhelmed...

...but we did get this fantastic souvenir pic. (For the record, I told everyone to make a funny face, but Soren seems to be the only one who did.)

After all the crazed travel and last minute arrangements on Saturday, we needed some downtime, so after lunch we went back to the hotel room, where Anders did some homework. He looked a lot like I suspect I do when I'm working from my hotel room while traveling.

While Anders was working on his homework, Soren and I went down to the lobby and played games...
...checked out the lobby art...

...and enjoyed the afternoon happy hour (well, I did).

We originally tried to come up with a cool dinner plan, but eventually decided that was too ambitious. Instead, we ended up going to an Il Fornaio, of all places. (There's an Il Fornaio in SF, and another in San Jose.)

Big White: Seattle detour, Monday

Alaska Airlines had rebooked us on a Monday evening flight with a layover in Vancouver. But Monday morning, I noticed that there were seats that morning on a direct flight to Kelowna, so I called the airline up. Unfortunately, there were only two seats, but there was another direct flight that evening with two seats. So we split up, with Sigrid and Anders going on the morning flight. Soren and I continued on with our Seattle adventure. We made it to the Crumpet Shop for breakfast. (We had tried to go there on Sunday, but it was too crowded.)

Soren had a nutella crumpet and a fancy hot chocolate.

After that, we went to a candy shop to buy some gum, so that we could go visit the gum wall. What's the gum wall? Well...

Soren's addition to the wall...

...and mine.

We spent a bit more time in the Pike Place Market, including visiting this nice viewpoint.

Then, we went to the Pacific Science Center. We got there around noon, and at first I thought it was just like visiting the Exploratorium, except that we didn't have a membership here, so had to pay to get in. But we had a great time, and stayed for over four hours!

Naked mole rats. They had a big habitrail-style burrow, but they seemed to like to hang out together all squished up.

There was a tropical butterfly room, but Soren didn't want to wait in line to get in, so I had to content myself with this pic that I took through a window.

After the science museum, we still had some time to kill before heading to the airport, so we went back to the Hotel Max (where we had our bags stowed). Soren worked played with the Jenga blocks...

...and I enjoyed another happy hour.

And then, it was back to the airport...

...and, finally, to Kelowna.