Friday, September 30, 2011

We Miss the Cabin Life

We're a month and a half back into school and report card grades were just submitted this week. Needless to say, it's been a busy couple weeks. Now that we're firmly back into the daily grind here, the carefree life we enjoyed at the cabin all summer long already seems like a lifetime ago. So, as Fall sets in, here in the city, we can only reminisce about the end of summer in the mountains as the wildflowers began to come up...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One of Those Days

It's been a hot week in S.F. so that means lots of parked cars around our place. On these hot days, the parking lots at Baker Beach fill up quick and cars end up parked along all roads in the area. It's nice to be able to walk down to the beach. While Ko played in and ate the sand, Rai got to know a group of 20-somethings who had all called in "sick" and spent the day recuperating at the beach.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Superheros, No Princesses

It turns out that many pre-schools these days have rules about what the kids wear to school. Specifically, there are to be no superheros and no princesses attending school. About 40% of Rai's t-shirts are superhero related so, all of a sudden, Rai went from having lots to wear to pre-school to having not so much to wear to pre-school. Pink dresses, tiaras, and magic wands were always a fallback for us, so it's too bad that those aren't welcome, either.
Now that Rai's personality has effectively been stifled (his liking Batman has nothing at all to do with me) we make sure to dress him in bat-gear all weekend long so that he can at least express himself while at home. Just like any dress code, however, there are ways around it for those willing to work a little. Rai still goes to school wearing his Lego Batman underwear a few times per week. Unless he strips down one day, we're pretty sure this one will remain under the radar of Big Brother.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Big Birthday Approaches

Ko's big first birthday is fast approaching. What is it that one is supposed to get for their one year old again? A first car? Or is that for sixteen year olds? I just can't keep these things straight. Being a parent is tougher than I thought.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pleasant Memories

Following Rai's less-than-spectacular experience with the Tilden Park Redwood Railway, we'll take the opportunity today to reminisce about a train that has always been good to Rai: the Little Puffer in the S.F. Zoo. This train never disappoints. It's never too noisy. There's never too much steam. And, it never rains in the zoo. Oh, and it's more likely that you'll run into friends from pre-school, too! It's a perfect ride every time! Maybe next time we'll call the Redwood Railway train the "Little Puffer" to help Rai enjoy the experience just a bit more. For now, below is our attempt to bring the Little Puffer experience to the web; a video of one full lap made by the Little Puffer. It may be one of our longer videos, but for those outside S.F., you can now say that you've done a lap on the Puffer!
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tilden Park

We always knew that just above Berkeley, right on the ridge, sits a giant park but, we've never gone there. That park is Tilden Park. Even more incredible than this 5-mile long forest preserve is the fact that it is part of a much, much longer network of parks known as the East Bay Regional Parks. This 30 or so mile stretch of parks forms an almost unbroken corridor of hilltop forest including several redwood groves. What a treasure.
Even as we celebrate this wonderful preservation of some of the Bay Area's best nature, we went up there today to enjoy a much more unnatural attraction: the Redwood Railway. We've sampled plenty of miniature railroads in the Bay Area already but this one, probably the best, remained unvisited on our list. So, on a damp and drizzly Sunday morning, we packed up the car, picked up Auntie Kate and Uncle Neil (yes, we know that our car doesn't have that many seats...), and took Grizzly Peak Road to the top of the Berkeley Hills. The combination of rain, loud train whistles, unexpected blasts of steam, and days of abbreviated naps at pre-school catching up with you made for this a less than happy experience for you, Rai but Ko sure enjoyed it, didn't he?! We've got our second roll of unused tickets so we'll have to take you up again on a day with less rain and when you feel more well rested.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Space and Time

With the announcement that neutrinos can possibly travel faster than the speed of light, our entire understanding of space and time may need to be readjusted. Good news: the distance from here to Winnipeg or from here to Hong Kong may, all of a sudden, not seem as far as it has until now, Rai!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Rai is 29 Months Old!

With Ko going through so many changes lately and approaching the big first birthday, we've kind of forgotten to recognize Rai's monthly "birthdays". We missed his 28-month birthday in August and his 29th almost slipped by without notice, as well. Well, Rai, Ko has been in the spotlight a bit lately, but don't ever think that you're forgotten! 29 months old -- wow! We're just one month away from a big one, aren't we. 2.5 years or 30 months is just around the corner, Rai! Keep making us proud and happy!


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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Indian Summer

Summer usually comes late to S.F. After typically foggy Augusts and Septembers, we usually get a few amazingly sunny and warm months before things cool down a bit for winter. In September, we often get a few weeks of incredible weather. We got some of those days this past week. Over the weekend, the road in front of our place was lined up with cars all day long. Hundreds came out to Baker Beach. It's great to just walk down the hill instead of worrying about parking.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back for the Future

Well, you missed your chance. Last night was the final night of bidding on eBay for the limited edition Nike MAGs. In case you somehow missed the phenomenon that was/is Back to the Future, Nike MAGs are the futuristic Nikes featured in Back to the Future II when Marty McFly jumped to the future, to 2015. The MAGs have a space boot look to them with Nike logo and heels lit up by LEDs.
At some point after the movie, Nike decided that they should produce some MAGs for the consumer market. It was finally decided that they would be released before 2015. Only 1,500 pairs were produced. Teaser adverts lured in retro-geeks from around the world.
The plan was to have all 1500 pairs auctioned off on eBay over a 10-day period, 150 pairs per day. Daily, each pair was offered at 99 cents. That price didn't last too long. The last day of the auction was yesterday so the numbers are now in. The cheapest any pair went for was $2300 for a size 7 on Day 6. The highest selling price was $9959 for a size 10 on Day 1. The full proceeds, $5,695,190 went to Parkinson's research.
Several thousand dollars may be a lot, but there are some things that you can't put a price on. Quality education, a honeymoon, healthy food for your family and.... collectible shoes. Rai fell in love with the shoes when he first saw them online so how could we refuse our son. The smile on his face when the shoes arrived is worth every cent of the $4100 that we bid!