Sunday, August 30, 2015

TV dinner

Carrot rolls and videos; a fine way to end the weekend.

Crissy Field

That's a big crab, at least for the beach at Crissy Field—about six inches across.

Anders noticed that sometimes when a wave came in, a spout of water would erupt from a crack in this slab (which I think was once a seaplane ramp). So Anders and Soren stood patiently directly over the crack, hoping to be doused by the next spout. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for their parents), the tide had receded enough that there was no next spout.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Has the circus come to town?

No, the neighbors at the end of the block are just fumigating the house.

Mechanics' Institute Chess Club

The oldest chess club in the United States is right here in San Francisco, at the Mechanics' Institute. The club is open every Saturday for drop-in play for kids, so Anders and I hopped on Muni to check it out.

(With his hoodie on, Anders looks a bit like a boxer heading into the ring. But with chess.)

When we got there, there weren't many people there yet, so Anders and I played a couple of games of chess. In the second game, Anders checkmated me for the first time.

He played a couple of games with other kids, too.

There were maybe eight or ten kids there.

While we were there, we saw this interesting end game get diagrammed. Black forfeits a rook and a queen, all in the service of achieving mate in 6.

1. ... Re1+
2. Kg2 Rg1+
3. Kxg1 Qe1+
4. Kg2 Qf1+
5. Kxf1 Bh3+
6. Kg1 Re1#

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First day as a fox

The new preschoolers at the San Francisco School have staggered start dates, so that they don't get lost in the shuffle on their first day. Soren's start date is today, so by all rights it's his first day at the San Francisco School, and his first day as a fox, as the four-year-olds in the North Class are known. But because he came to the school's opening ceremony yesterday (or half of it, followed by reading two books with me in the library when he decided the ceremony was too boring), he insists it's his second day.

He was quieter than usual, and there was more fidgety playing with his shirt (like in this pic) than normal, but he seemed pretty happy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Spotted at a snooty Noe Valley corner store... $12 for a jar of anchovies! At least they come packaged with their own pick.

(Some web searches suggest that these are the finest anchovies around. Maybe so, but I can live with lesser anchovies.)

And so it begins...

A new school year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

LBJ Chicken

I grew up eating LBJ Chicken. And... the boys like it, too!

(They also like eating like cavemen.)

Barbecued Chicken (recipe courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson)

  • 2 broiler-fryer chickens, quartered
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. each butter, vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco
  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Broil about 5 inches from the heat, turning as necessary, for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is nicely browned.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in saucepan, and then mix in the other ingredients.
  4. Pour sauce over the chicken and bake at 350°F for about an hour, basting frequently.
(We skip the Tabasco, to keep it kid friendly. And we just use drumsticks instead of quartered chickens.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Soren is working on his "real" dives, by which I mean (in the language of his swim teacher) diving "head down" rather than feet first. Things move pretty fast in the pool, so it's hard to get a great pic; this fuzzy one will have to do.

The kids also love to do "silly jumps."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mom Camp - Day 3 - Lake Anza

Day 3 of the Second Annual Mom Camp, at Lake Anza.

Monday, August 03, 2015

hot rod

Soren built a hot rod from the Lego Technic series.

Here's the engine, with moving pistons.

This shows how the steering mechanism works.

And this is the drive train.

Finally, here's the finished hot rod in action.

(I remember building a car from one of the early Technic sets, in perhaps the late 1970s. It was less intricate than this hot rod, I think, but shared many of the same features. I think it was the 956 Auto Chassis set, which was released in 1978.)

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Let's go to Cabo!

It's only a 3 hour flight, but that's pretty much a day-long trip.

At the airport, some games of Uno made the time pass quicker.

(That's Anders's "save a wild card for last" trick.)

On the plane, it was Phineas and Ferb to the rescue.

Dinner was loud and crowded—as we later figured out, the Saturday night dinner at the resort is the big blow-out dinner. Anders was fascinated by the artist who was painting tiles. So fascinated that he bought his first piece of art.

By bedtime, the boys were a bit loopy, but we made it.


We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Rose resort. Rose, as in pink.

Our first morning was Sunday, and Sunday brunch is busy. So while waiting for a table, we went to the beach.

After brunch, we went to the pool.

It would be an understatement to say the boys liked the pool. Anders took to it immediately. Soren was a bit tentative at first, but quickly concluded, hey, he actually can swim.

They also loved the ocean. By the end of the stay, Anders was an expert body surfer, and even Soren was enjoying the surf, when it wasn't too rough.


Dylan, Misah, Isabel, Caden and I went parasailing. The outfit we signed up with was having some boat problems, so we had to wait a long time. The guy who eventually shuttled us out to the motorboat felt bad, so he took us out to Land's End so that we could see El Arco de Cabo San Lucas while we waited.

We got to ride around on the motor boat while some other customers parasailed.

Finally, it was Isabel and Misah's turn to go up.

And up they went!

And up they flew!

Coming back in...

My turn (I'm documenting the flight with a head-mounted GoPro).

Because I was flying solo, I flew higher.

Here's an edited version of 10+ minutes of flight, using GoPro footage plus a video from the boat of my landing.

And then it was Caden and Dylan's turn.

More weight, less height.