Archive for the ‘Sammy’ Category

Happy Ninth Birthday, Samuel

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Sammy, Samuel, Sam —

I know you now wish to be called “Samuel,” and I’m trying, but it’s hard for me to get used to that particular change. I’m sorry in advance for the fact that I’m likely to call you “Sammy” basically for the rest of my life.

The last of your single-digit birthdays is today. In many ways, you’re already looking far ahead: Your reading level was assessed this week to be at the 10th grade level. The subjects you’re most interested in (biology, paleontology, astronomy, Lego construction) are advanced. But although you went through a phase where you were sure you already knew everything, you also are the same inquisitive four-year-old who asked “why” several hundred times a day. You’re not yet bored of asking your dad questions. That makes me profoundly happy. To be honest, I still catch myself staring at you sometimes when you’re talking, dumbstruck that you’re real.

You’re settling into yourself; you’re less moody and volatile. I’ve noticed this year in particular that you’ve become comfortable with what you WANT to do and what you CAN do — and you work each day to bridge the two.

My love for you grows endlessly each year. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I’m already proud of you.

Much love,
Your papa

Sammy in 2006, catching bubbles


Sammy in 2007, at the Children's Discovery Museum


Sammy in 2008, at a NASA display at the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival


Sammy in 2009, eating a smore at the Seascape beach


Sammy in 2010, at Big Basin Redwoods State Park


Sammy in 2011, at a birthday party in Mountain View


Sammy in 2012, at the Mountain View Farmer's Market


Sammy in 2013, holding a bead Shannon made


Sammy in 2014, at the Santa Clara County Fair with a snake around his neck


A Poem by Sammy (age 6.5)

Monday, June 18th, 2012

My son wrote this last night:

Be my friend
Please say it.
I love the world
And space —
A good place —
And Mars | stars,
And a song too.


Happy graduation, Sammy!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Sammy’s last real day of school was today. We had a nice ceremony this morning with strawberries and cake, and Teacher Hans presented each student with a lei. I have had some philosophical disagreements with the school, but Sammy has loved it, and there’s no denying it’s a beautiful place with caring staff. We will miss it.

Congratulations, Sammy! Now onto first grade!


I just might

Thursday, April 26th, 2012



Beach day #1, 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Last day of Spring Break = first day of Summer, right?




Welcome to Lego City

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Sammy holding up a Lego creation (Sophie in background); Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo of Sammy and Sophie's Lego creations; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another photo of Sammy with Lego; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Both Sophie and Sammy love building. The fun begins after the sets are broken up and they start getting creative.

I have to give Lego credit: The new “Friends” set aimed at girls has worked well for my daughter. She loves the fiddly pink accessories.

Happy Holidays from Sammy and Sophie and the gingerbread pod people

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

We celebrate the holidays by making people and then eating them. It’s a form of transubstantiation, I suppose. 20111223-101537.jpg





Friday, September 16th, 2011

My son,

You turn six today. How we’ve both grown over that time. I love seeing how fully you experience the world: An ice cream cone on a hot day or a fascinating creature at the aquarium can captivate you and fill you with joy. A 3am itch attack or finding a dead snail can overwhelm you. You are so interested in everything around you, so creative with stories and turns of phrase, and I admire how drawn you are to the sciences — geologist, paleontologist, biologist, and museum owner are all things you’ve said you want to be when you grow up.

We have rough waters ahead, but you say you’re ready to captain them, and I believe you. You make friends easily, you learned to read and write well ahead of your peers, you’re curious and adaptable. You’re well equipped to continue to explore and develop.

I love you, Sammy. I’m proud to be your father.

[Sammy, eating a cupcake, in Mountain View, Sunday, September 11, 2011


Friday, May 13th, 2011



Sunday, May 8th, 2011


Two Share

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Snow bubble, blueberry. A Mountain View afternoon warm enough to ditch the jackets. I love this.

The Castle in the Forest

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Spidersammy and Sophiepony ride again

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

In teaching Sammy and Sophie the value of coins and what money buys, it’s hard to come up with anything for the penny. (I’ve long advocated retiring one cent coins.). Fortunately, horsey rides at Lozano’s remain a penny. Hiho and away.

Happy 5, Sammy

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Dear Sammy,

Today you turn five. I can’t believe those words are true: It seems impossibly fast. As I type this, you’re building “a machine to blow out dust” using your new Tinkertoys, and you were thoughtful enough to make sure that we didn’t get dust on my phone. Earlier today, as we spent the day together with you home sick from school, you surprised me with your wide range of knowledge and interests, from Mickey Mouse to bugs to stars to sushi. You always make me proud.
Love eternally,
Your dad

“I’m making a snail museum”

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Rain + bushes => snails

Home for a sweet and smart cat (EDIT: no longer) needed

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Update: Our neighbor has adopted Stormy, which is the best solution I can imagine. Thanks Tony! Original post continues below.

Two Fridays ago I took Sammy in for an appointment with an allergist. His eczema was really bad and he was waking up frequently with itch attacks. We knew about his nut, peanut and salmon allergies (which I share), but wanted to find out what else was causing him trouble. He was very brave during the scratch test, which I’m sure was uncomfortable for him.

The results surprised me: Strong reactions to wheat, rice, corn, sesame, shrimp, cats, grass, and one of the tree groups.

On the doctor’s advice, we started an elimination diet, and for 11 days Sammy focused on avoiding the foods on the list, which meant he ate a lot of meat and potatoes and vegetables but not a lot of starch. (Breakfast was the hardest.)

Thing was, he was still breaking out. Kimi took him in today for a follow-up test, and the allergist suggested his reaction to these foods was mild. She suggested the most likely cause for his eczema flare-ups and midnight itch attacks was the cat.

Stormy is 9 years old and a beloved part of the family. But if it’s her or Sammy, there’s no choice. She has to go.

She’s soft, clean, sweet and patient, affectionate but independent, and (in my opinion) very beautiful. She loves being an indoor-outdoor cat but could probably adjust to one or the other. She used to have a brother, Mourny, who she would fight with a bit, so she’s probably happiest as a single cat. She’s also a bit of a genius: When she wants to come in, she rings the doorbell. (Video to follow.)

It breaks my heart to kick her out, but maybe we can find a home for her nearby. Anyone want a doorbell-ringing cat?

Halloween dry run

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Just a test.

First bicycle ride for Sammy

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Sam the Bear

Friday, July 10th, 2009

His aunt Erin gave Sammy this bear for Christmas in 2007, along with a book about him, confirming the bear in question really is Sam the Bear. Sammy the boy and Sam the Bear are inseparable. One time we went on a trip and didn’t bring Sam the Bear. There won’t be a second time.

A graph by Sammy

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

A graph by Sammy Mack