Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Busy month, changing gears

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Now that I’ve updated this blog to the latest software and ironed out all the wrinkles, it’s very apparent how little I posted in July: Just six articles prior to today, and five of them work-related and one blog-software-related.

Partly, work has been very busy and we accomplished quite a bit in the last couple of weeks

  • YouTube
  • Product Purchase
  • Launched in Australia
  • Major web site update
  • New software release for Series3 and HD units
  • A bunch of other internal stuff that I can’t put here

I’ve been using FriendFeed quite a bit, sharing a few articles and comments there, and that’s the other part of why I haven’t posted here as much.

That means I didn’t write up anything at all about our trip to Pine Mountain Lake for the Fourth of July, or about Sammy’s and Sophie’s battles with impetigo (warning: Wikipeida always chooses horrific photos to accompany their disease articles; that link is not for the weak-stomached), or about our staying with three different families during our house remodeling, which is now stretching into the fifteenth week. Or even about having sushi on Friday with Steve and Andrea and Isaac, and learning their exciting news.

We’re definitely grateful to the Vallone family and to Garry & Marilyn’s family and now to my brother Rob and sister-in-law Kelly. Their hospitality is very generous, and we endlessly appreciate not having to stay in a hotel. But we’re so homesick it’s driving us all crazy.

So today we’re hoping to verify that Wednesday is our move-back-in day (when the chaos REALLY begins). And lo and behold, I’m posting here again.

The theme of my posts here this week will be “changing gears.” More on that idea to come.

Variegated miscellany

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Today I attended Jack and Andy’s fifth birthday party at Hoover park, and watched Bob get pelted by water balloons and shaving-cream-filled sponges by ten ecstatic kids. (How I escaped that fate, given I’m a co-godparent? Dunno! But I am oh so grateful.) Aunt Beth made two cakes, one a race car, and the other a chocolate volcano with lava made from melted orange lifesavers. Amazingly beautiful cakes.

* * *

While I was feting twins, Kimi took Sammy and Sophie to the Hiller Airplane Museum, which never gets old for Sammy.

Me: Sammy, what did you see at the airplane museum today?
Sammy: Airplanes.
Me: What kind of airplanes?
Sammy: Old airplanes. With wings!

* * *

Yesterday was Sophie’s eight month birthday. She babbles incessantly now, has the tiniest of teeth buds coming in, gives a smile to everyone, likes to wave somewhat erratically at people, and can roll over, but seems to show no interest in crawling. We’ve started the ferberizing to break her of her 3 a.m. feedings, and so far so good; she slept through the night for the last two nights.

* * *

Yesterday was also photo day at Sammy and Sophie’s school, and in addition, teachers’ lunch out for Sophie’s class. This semi-annual event asks the parents to donate their time and a little money for the teachers to get an escape, while parents come in during the lunch hour to watch the kids. There are eight kids in Sophie’s class, ranging from four months to almost a year old. For the noon to 1 shift where I helped out, we had five parents. When we first started our shift, the teachers had left us well-fed, happy, clean-diapered kids. Within about, oh, ten minutes, half of the kids were bawling, and most had dirty diapers. We parents just looked at each other and laughed. What a profoundly difficult job. The two teachers handle four infants each, with aplomb. We parents were having difficulty with less than two each. Things soon settled down though, and the hour ended up flying by.

* * *

While the photographers set up outside the school and we lined the kids up to have their individual and class photos taken, smoke and haze filled the sky from the nearby Santa Cruz mountains fire. Yesterday morning over 3,400 acres had burned, dozens of homes were destroyed, and the fire was less than 1% contained. Even though we were fifty miles away, kids rubbed their eyes and coughed; and the strange air reminded me of a smell from my childhood, in London: walking down the street in winter evenings, with seemingly every house having a fireplace with a blazing wood fire, smoke pouring out of chimneys, getting on your clothes.

Chim chimminee, chim chiminee, chim chim cheroo.

I was very glad to see the unexpected and unseasonable light rain today, giving the firefighters the break they needed to control the mountain blaze. The dull weather was not so much fun for five-year-olds attending a birthday party, but everything in life is a trade-off.

* * *

Earlier in the week, I caught Speed Racer and then snuck in to a showing of Prince Caspian. It took me about thirty minutes to catch on to Speed Racer’s vibe, but once I did, I loved it. I think this is a vastly underrated movie. The critical smackdown is somewhat intense; I guess most of the critics never watched the original cartoon, because I think the movie catches the goofy tone of the movie pretty much perfectly. And the visuals do not disappoint, exceeding even the hype.

Prince Caspian, on the other hand, is a dreadful bore, missing all spark of charm and whimsy of the first Narnia movie, laying the religious theme on over-thick, and really missing the point of the book (which I read probably twenty times before I was 12).

Speed Racer is over two hours but feels like 60 minutes. Prince Caspian is over two hours but feels like three or four.

* * *

Rob and I have been playing a new card game, Race for the Galaxy (which Steve and Larry introduced me to when they visited a couple of months ago). We play whenever we get a chance. I love this game. It’s a bit fiddly to learn, and the fact that you’re not directly interacting with your opponents takes a few plays before you understand how you can actually have a huge effect on your opponents’ play — but it’s such a short and intense game, I find myself even dreaming about it. Get this game!

* * *

Kimi gave me the new Flight of the Conchords CD for my birthday (among a lot of other CDs, thanks sweetie!). Although I loved the first season of the HBO show, I had thought some of the songs were hit or miss. But I was able to really listen to the lyrics (thanks to the iPhone making it easier for me to carry around music), and now I love all the songs. Buy this CD. Please mister, you won’t regret it.

* * *

There’s a friends-and-family deal at TiVo right now for a TiVo HD. If you’re a friend or family and want a new HD DVR, drop me an e-mail.

* * *

While I do aim to generate content, rather than pass along content from elsewhere, here’s a link. I have to say I applaud these two for their convictions and avocation.
* * *

Kimi: “Your blog is so random. No one likes all the content. No one!”

Guilty — variegated miscellany is what this is. I do tend to be all over the place. Everything’s connected, somehow. Just think though — there are half of the categories listed on the right not even touched by this post. But comments are what I like best, so let me know what you’d like to see more of, and less of.

Welcome to the world, Logan Chachere

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

At 1:50am today, Logan Chachere entered the world, weighing in at (if I remember correctly) 7 pounds 9 ounces, and 19 inches tall.

Kimi picked up an Applewood pizza and she and I were able to pay a brief visit to proud parents John and Yvonne and meet Logan this evening, over at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital next to Stanford. (Their patient board showed them to be amazingly busy, I have to say.)

Everyone was doing very well, although the first taste of sleep deprivation was starting to set in for the parents. Welcome to parenthood!

Logan is an adorable baby:

Logan Chachere on day one, born March 19, 2008, Stanford, CA

John and Yvonne are very happy.

Yvonne, Logan, and John Chachere, March 19, 2008, Stanford CA

Having a ball

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Sammy Mack in his bedroom, reading a Richard Scarry book...to his ball, Mountain View, CA, February 2, 20088

While John and Yvonne were over for dinner (and to catch up on The Sarah Connor Chronicles with me), Sammy decided he was tired of grown-ups talking, and wanted to read a book. But what was a bit mystifying to me is that he wanted to read to his ball, telling us the ball wanted to know how bread was made.

Valentine’s party

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Taylor and Jack exchanging raspberries, with Andy in the background, at the St. Valentine's Day Party, Mountain View, CA, February 2, 2008

We had Andy, Jack, Kyrie, Jen, Talia and Taylor over on Saturday to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day (a bit early). Pictures are up at our Shutterfly site.

Le Zoo de San Francisco

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Saturday was Zoo day. Bob and his son Nico, Kyrie and her twins Andy and Jack, as well as Sammy and me, made our way up. I’d actually never been there before; it’s an interesting zoo, with a strange mixture between brand new exhibits and things that look like they’re thirty years old, like the abandoned Pachyderm house.

We all had a great time. Nico took pictures on my camera. Not bad for an eight-year-old.

If you go, don’t forget (as Kyrie did) that even when it’s 90 degrees on the Peninsula, it’ll be fifty or lower in SF.

Kyrie, Andy, Sammy, Stephen, and Bob at the San Francisco Zoo, SF, CA, August 5, 2007; photo by Nico Vallone

Giraffe, San Francisco Zoo, August 5, 2007

andy-jack-zoo-small.jpg

Sammy goes on and on about this dikdik, a tiny deer relative; dikdik, San Francisco Zoo, August 5, 2007; photo by Nico Vallone

disappearing ostritch trick; ostritch, San Francisco Zoo, August 5, 2007; photo by Nico Vallone

Grats to slacy and aklein!

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

I’m slow to blog it, but I’m very impressed by Isaac Klein Lacy, brought into the world on May 26 by proud parents Steve and Andrea. Save one, this is the cutest newborn baby I’ve ever seen.

I can tell they’re proud parents because Slacy, usually a ruthless editor of his photo galleries who can distill 400 shots down to the best 20 that he wants to share, has seemingly published just about ever picture he’s taken since May 26…