Tag Archives: family

So Recently Summer

I’ve been playing a lot over the last year or so with the camera settings on my phone camera, things like the white balance, the shutter speed and the ISO (light sensitivity). 20180805_181606 copyMostly I’ve found a lot of interest with the white balance such that mostly the blue end of the spectrum shows in pictures.

Such as in this one.


However, these recent shots resulted when I switched to the other extreme of filtering out the blue end instead. 20180805_183406 copy 2






Me and the ever-steadily-ascending kidlings. Enjoy.

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Xmas 2017!

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Ahh puppies!

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And so here are shots of MY puppies from this recent Christmas.





It naturally always begins with the Christmas eve one-gift-each tradition. She (the elder) got kitty stuff–er, rather, a calendar and a book we’ve loved in bookstores for years called “I Could Pee on This”.

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He got the puppy iteration: “I Could Chew on This” with his calendar.




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Per the usual, we spend the winter holiday in Phoenix, Arizona, where I grew up and where my mom still lives.




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A chunk of our usual extended family wasn’t there this year, which made it a little different – they were missed –  but it was lovely all the same.

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In fact next year will be the 40th xmas together with the group that couldn’t make it this time around.

This is my mom. :-)

And of course, Santa Kylen Claus!







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10, 9…

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Why the beginning of a countdown for today’s post title? Eh, no reason, really, beyond I couldn’t think of anything better, since it’s almost coincident with the date, since one of the main reasons is posting pictures of my son’s 9th birthday (and he’ll too soon for JMC2014this father’s taste be 10, just as his sister is now 11!), and it’s an excuse to note (a few days late) my cousin’s birthday, which was 10/9 (Happy birthday, Julia! :-) )

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That said, these 1st pictures are the kids on Jolly’s *actual* birthday (Sunday, 10/5). One of his presents was yet another fantastic book from Klutz, the “Flying Dragons” book. It’s a collection of patterned, cut-out dragon-styled paper airplanes. But no dull and ordinary paper airplanes, these.KLUTZ DRAGONS




The geniuses at Klutz must have (so I marvelled to the kids that day as they spent a couple hours assembling them with the intent of technicians) some crazy software that analyzes the paper weight (heavy stock card, btw) and the shapes and curves for Prepaerodynamics kltz9780545449366_2cuz shazam! The things really fly beautifully. Or maybe they’re just designed to excel at falling…with style!


We practiced and had a mini-tourney inside diagonally across my tiny house, but the wild blue yonder beckoned.


A10514 2nd the ideal place to go was a vast cemetery where the little street that forms the backbone of my “village” (Piedmont Avenue) dead ends (honestly, no pun intended). It’s a spectacle in itself: Mountain View Cemetery. See footnote, below). There are great wide lawns there (not burial plots) and we started there. I must say my daughter and I were just not as good at throwing the things for their best flights (though she was better than I, I also must admit).

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The birthday boy was the master, and I am NOT just saying that. But then we saw a hill just before we were going to leave to meet their mom for ice cream, and that’s when these pix were shot, as they launched their dragons to coast on the air down the hill, all of us with a simply lovely view across the Bay from up there.10514 1B






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A second batch of pix are from the full-on birthday party he had the following Friday, that was a joint party with one of his best buds, a wonderful kid that for this blog we’ll call Goofy. Smart, free-spirited, funny, and a gentle, if zappingly energetic creature. The long-distant shots are of my son and three other of his buds (and a couple of my daughter, Silly) out wading in the Alameda beach as the tide went out…as another parent and I remarked together, they were totally seeming all Lord of the Flies out there. To be 9 to 11 years old. Truly, nothing is as pure, primal, innocent and yet ripe with capacity.

Happy birthday to you, my son…and my cousin (who’s just a weesnie bit older than I…heh heh, and who, like me, knows better at this age, but has also succeeded at hanging on to her inner Peter/Petra Pan & Wendy).

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More Recent (and, u-hem, some backlog…) Photos


Ah yes.

It was utter genius. Or perhaps I’m just not that hip when it comes to just how fun parties can be…ok, scratch that, but nonetheless, I learned something new about what sorts of things can be easily rented to enhance a party with sugar! And what does a kid birthday party need but that, eh? (:-o)

But seriously, if there’s gonna be sugar at the bday fest, might as well get cool with it. So this very nice and totally with-it dad rented a snow cone machine and a cotton candy machine for his son’s birthday that my kids and I attended a few months back. It was awesome! On-demand cotton candy?!!? On-demand snow cones…a-and where you get to pour your own syrup?!   It was great. We had fun. Above is a picture.




From a delightful li’lgift my daughter got for HER birthday, she learned how to make her thumb appear like a person hanging off a ledge.   Bwah ha ha ha.






And here we are AT my daughter’s birthday this summer. I’m in a toga (and everyone’s in purple) since this year’s theme was “Camp Jupiter”, a boarding-school and training camp for demi-gods born of the Roman pantheon from the Percey Jackson follow-up series of novels. Awesome, brilliant stuff.

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Catching Up Again!


Yes indeedy heeby do. I am, ummm, yeah, soooo…how are YOU?

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Yeah, ok, so I’m super behind on my posting. But it’s good stuff, and thus perhaps worth the weight…in gold. Har har…see, such puns are why I need an editor! lol

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more pictures of my little lovelies. And how about the Lego Movie?? Freakin’ totally fun, nifty, and made all the more amazing (and awesome) by its meta view of itself, framing itself as it did, umm, well, within..heck *you* the home audience know what I mean, right?


Tiny creations from clay by daughter; this tableaux is 2 inches across.

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                              This is a creature dreamed up by my son: a species of dragon known as “Odin Spearthrower”


Interior of daughter’s locker at school (winter decor, dontchya know)


                                             Another species of benevolent beasty my son’s created: A crazy powerful puff ball…

And with that, then was now was then again, and all very quickly

These crowd shots are from the excellent, thoughtful and not overly maudlin annual end-of-the-schoolyear ritual their school does called the “Crossing Over” ceremony, where each grade level group of kids forms a phalanx as you see, and then BANG! charges ahead to cross over to the launching pad of their next grade level; into their futuinto it2res. And parents, snap snap away the pictures, because if you blink ya miss it. Every minute that into itticks along also talks: “bye”, it says. I’m getting older and growing. The future has zoomed them into it almost as fast as they’ve smiled their speed of light way headlong into it.

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I’m also finishing preparing the short videos of them killing at their school talent show from the last part of last school year (ie, this recent spring). I’ll post them tonight or tomorrow I hope. They’re short. And sweet. And awesome.

Here’s a thought to chew on, and it’s something I put to a friend many years ago, a guy who is rarely without an answer or opinion on any sort of thing. But when I put this to him, he was actually caught having not thought this through, with an opinion that if you looked closely, you might just be able to actually see forming and “form of”…divided priorities. But I’m not pointing that out to single him out; it’s a genuine issue that we all as parents answer with our actions, with more or less ever detail of our lives.

Ok, here it is:

Do you want to conduct yourself so that your kids have all the chances to be great, or do you want to be great?

And while the clever little folkies out there will pipe-in with right about now, I have this pre-packaged response: just because it is possible (for some people) that the question won’t have any purchase because they are not, for them, mutually exclusive foci does not eliminate its relevance for a good many people who are parents as well. Basically, if the question resonates at all, then it’s one to chew on. If it doesn’t cuz you have your whole thing nicely dialed in (ie, you direct everything toward making sure your kids have all the chances to be great…hee hee lol! ;-) then just sit back & enjoy the pictures.

To your kids and my kids and their kids and our kids.

And btw, here’s a favorite song about kids. It sounds like vapid nonsense at first, but I assure you, that’s just the extremely clever packaging.

“Now if I had some children, they’d be some Chinese children…”

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This leads here.

In addition to being thanksgiving, today, it’s also the 149th anniversary of Lincoln’s delivering the Gettysburg Address.

A whole buncha love to all, ya turkies!

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My kids are cool. Me…?

Doing little art projects has been a source of great fun for me and the kids for years, now. Due to my tight circumstances — usually and trust me in most ways an “unfortunate” state of affairs — creating art out of what’s merely around has had the fantastic upside of making them impressively resourceful. And that even rubs off on me from time to time!

Like recently, being flush with cash one day, I actually did something that might at first almost seem counter to the found-art method I just described. I bought these little plain white mini-theatrically styled masks that come with paints (definitely aimed at kids), and you then decorate the masks — or help your kid(s) decorate them. (Maybe it doesn’t sound all that different, but rarely do we partake of pre-packaged things like this.)

So I purchased three, one for each of us. When we got home, after breaking out the scissors to get through the gnarly packaging (dontchya HATE packaging?!?) I discovered that the very packaging I was slicing into was contoured front and back around each mask! All we had to do was cut the contoured part free from the flat portion that formed the part where they put promo art and from which stores hang them on racks and viola! Three masks per package! (Not all such masks come in such packaging! Caveat emptor! Some wiley business folks have taken to putting them in boxes! Shop accordingly, parents. ;-)

So the kids’ masks are wild and cool. That’s part one on the link below.

Right around the same time they discovered the fun that’s possible with the effects on PhotoBooth, the cute li’l camera program attached to the built-in iSight cam top ‘n’ center of every iMac. And they went to town.

So the following art endeavors of my kids are ALL THEM. I really barely had any hand at all. The pictures really impressed me cuz they were eager and adamant about how each one was to be composed and look.

Without further ado, proof that my kids aren’t just alright, they’re awesome…but me? Eh, less so… ;-)

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