Tag Archives: kids

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.

K & J 818





Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Xmas 2017!

20171224_215452 copy

Ahh puppies!

20171224_215446 copy





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”.

20171224_215455 copy




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




Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 7.24.56 PM


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




Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 7.31.09 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 7.31.28 PM



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!







Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Of Cats and Kings

KING CATS.jpg“Well, it’s official: cats have taken over the internet.”

That opening line from an appropriately feline angled representative of the cat-weight of the web is just too appropriate not to pluck out to start today’s message.

Because one thing I’ve never done in my life is write or really in any way go on about cats. That’s probably just a function of my being allergic to them. I love cats, but am definitely not a “cat person”.

But I recently had a relationship with a cat in my neighborhood call me to arms–or to keyboard, anyway–on the occasion of his passing away a few months ago.

He lived next door to me, my kids and I had known him for years.

So, without further ado, this is for Taz.

Of Cats and Kings

I came across Taz a few days before my kids did, but they’re the ones who learned his name when they stopped on our walk up the block to pet him some summer day several years ago.

“Taz. Cool name,” I said. “This is the one I told you about who’s the king of the block.” This delighted them and they turned their attention back to him with even more of that particular brand of warmth and affection unique to little kids. But kings of all stripes behave, it turns out, much the same, and Taz had had his fill of the oblations of these three of his subjects.

I’m a history buff and know a decent amount about kings and potentates of yore. I’ve watched newsreels of kings, watched video of Queen Elizabeth II speak, but I’m an American and frankly have never seen a king in person. But I believe pretty firmly (the author says lightheartedly) that I learned much about how kings behave–both good and bad kings–from watching Taz; as much, I believe, as if I’d spent years in the court of one of the French Louis’s…or a Chinese emperor, or even…the kings whose kingly manner shaped for all time how we two-legged types think about rulers: the Pharaohs of oldest antiquity.

The reason I preferred calling Taz our “king” (instead of just mayor) was his demeanor: 100% absolute cool. Every other cat I’ve ever seen reacts, usually somewhat skittishly, when a sound punctuates their environment, such as when someone walking appears from around a corner. But Taz did so only rarely to my observation. I got to thinking: is he deaf? No, didn’t seem like it. I then figured by sitting outside so much he would have become familiar with the people who lived here on the block, versus the large numbers of others who were just “stopping by”; he’d have probably been able to distinguish our footsteps, maybe smells, certainly voices, possibly breathing rates, etc–all those animal things that people experience less of.

Anyhow, I saw that Taz indeed noticed everything. This became apparent when I was in a hurry one day and walked briskly past without saying hi and he turned to look at me, made eye contact and then turned away: the diss. Ouch. I’m not kidding when I say I felt it. Because as the subject of a king, you want to be in his favor, you need to be. So I made amends, stating clearly that I overlooked the acknowledgment. He was cool with that. (He was most decidedly a good king, and didn’t, it seemed, demand groveling from his subjects.)
It just so happens that the English word “cat”–and basically all other European languages’ words for them–is a borrowing from the Latin word for the adorable domesticated feline: catta (later “cattus”, replacing “feles”).

But the most amazing thing about the word we all use today is that it came to Latin from the source of not only our civilization, but more importantly, of the domestication of this animal to begin with:



was the Egyptian word for this amazing creature that they worshiped as long as 5,000


years ago.

And indeed, science chimes in with recent studies of the genes of domesticated cats confirming that the world’s population of them descends from libyca01wildcats from the Near East and Africa.

Some words take wild journeys through the mouths and minds of men andhqdefault.jpg women, bifurcating into a myriad related words that diverge so wildly as to confound us for generations. But not “cat”. We’re saying basically almost the same word as any Ramses II or Tutanhkaman or Cleopatra would have.

Taz was the–very simply & with as little extra mumbo jumbo as possible–the coolest cat I or my kids have come across, and we felt honored and privileged to live in his kingdom. He even came over a few times, and that felt–I kid not–truly like a visit from a king is supposed to: like a treat and blessing unlike any other.

I never knew why his name was Taz: the only derivations I know are 1) short for Tasmanian Devil, like the cartoon character, or 2) the abbreviation for Temporary Autonomous Zone, a byword for the teeny slivers of free will that exist in life.

Taz was such a cat that I and my kids will be but three in the legion of those of us outside your family who will all be like the young boy at the end of the movie Camelot who King Arthur bades: “tell it loud and clear” that once there was a cat…

And here are my top cat videos:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.15.27 PM


Henri – Le Chat Noir

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 5.53.31 PM





SloMo Guys: cat jumping

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

10, 9…

10514 3B

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! :-) )

10514 1A

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).

10514 5






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






10514 3B

10514 4A










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).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Catching Up Again!


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

p_01567 2

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

p_01566 2

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.

p_00222 2

                              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.

And…DSC00017 copy

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…”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hermione! Hufflepuff & Hogwarts, O, my!

Halloween part deux.

I love love love my hermione. :-)

More, featuring MY best boy, Sir Hufflepuffian:

and yet more…with…yes, someone you may know as … Snape!

more TK!


Filed under Uncategorized