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Saturday, January 31, 2009


@ Pump-It-Up w/kids for a bday party. Hope they sleep well tonight.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

I love my truck

Went furniture shopping in SF tonight. It took me a while to figure out how to tie the dresser on the motorcycle, but it worked. This load handled like pushing the broad side of a barn through the wind. Thanks Craiglist! Thanks Jennifer and good luck in Texas!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Big Game

Joined Gilbert family on Jan. 18th to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Oakland Coliseum. It was, as it always is, the game of the century against the Washington Generals. It was silly but the kids had a good time.

Sunrise, Sunset

Jan. 3rd was a big day for the Gilbert family (my in-laws). I have a new nephew: Zane Stephen Elie was born late at night on Jan 2nd, and the next day we had a 100th birthday party for my wife's grandmother. Seeing both ends of the spectrum of life in such a short time frame put me in a contemplative mood.

Slot Track

Another project with the kids: I hopped up the track by mounting it to a board and 'foaming' a landscape with "Great Stuff" expanding spray insulation. The process is a little messy but the results are good. The racing billboards are Google Images downloaded graphics, printed in Word on photo paper and laminated. The traffic light works- scavenged from an old battery operated water fountain LED setup, and LED flex-neck pocket flashlights make good streetlights for the track. I've invited the kids to paint the landscape to mimic a desert or jungle. Initially this Disney-Pixar 'Cars' track was powered by 4 D-cell batteries, but we've switched it out to an AFX Tri-Power AC adaptor providing 8, 12 or 22 Volts. The kids love it, and the cars really haul now. A little steel wool polishing on the track cleans up the oxidation on the rails after it's been unused for a bit. Note the tunnels under the track. I glued down empty cardboard tubes before foaming so Ben could use his HotWheels cars on the same board. It was a fun project and the kids learned a lot about electricity doing it. I did spend way too much time on this though and obsessed a bit over it. I'm glad it's done!

Two up

All right, so I haven't posted in a while. Here's a few new things for all my 'cyber-stalkers'. On January 2nd I took the kids out kayaking, this time with the newish solo boat. They did pretty well, and everybody got a turn to paddle the little one. The next day we went to the Chabot Space Science Museum for a grand day out. The movies and exhibits were good; the food not so much.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bold Explorers

My brother Kirk and I followed in the tradition of our Viking ancestors and braved the icy waters of the San Francisco Bay yesterday. It was foggy, as you can see in the pics. Launching near Fort Point was a pretty good idea, but the bumbling surf launch off the rocks wasn't. Casualties included wet socks and pants plus a couple gallons of bay water in the bottom of the kayak.
We had company on the water: a stand-up paddlboarder who was surfing the curl off the fort. Fortunately the cameras stayed dry.