Monday, July 30, 2007

Home again, home again

We returned on Saturday after a nice but quieter day Friday of mini golf, lunch in Tahoe City and a little trip back to the beach. Yesterday I took the kids to the Simpsons movie while Dan got some work done. They thought it was pretty funny (even though they only got probably 40 percent of the jokes).

This week Owen is in a flag football camp from 9-12 daily. He had a great time today and thought it was lots of fun. There seem to be an awful lot of rules to learn. Later today they get to go to the dentist for a checkup, fun.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Squaw Valley

Yesterday we had our first opportunity to go swimming at 8200 feet, up at the High Camp at Squaw Valley.

Squaw is on the road between Truckee and Tahoe City and once you are up high, you have a view over the mountains down into the lake.

It was a little chilly up there for swimming, but the kids absolutely loved the spa, which was quite crowded.

We rode this cable car from the valley up to the High Camp. It takes about 8 minutes to go up 2000 vertical feet in elevation. The car is fairly large - probably 30 or so people can fit in it.

It was spectacular. There were wildflowers up there...

and fantastic views of the mountains and the lake.

We had a great time!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Straight Outta Tahoe

We had a fun, mostly quiet day in Tahoe today. We went to the beach in the morning - Owen really enjoyed playing with his new birthday boogie board, and he and I enjoyed a half hour attempting to kayak with a briefly rented sea kayak in the lake - and after a drive to Incline Village, NV and determining there didn't seem to be anywhere good to eat, we returned and had lunch across the street from the beach.

We mostly hung out in the afternoon and then played some baseball before dinner. After dinner we went to North Tahoe Regional Park and played a little more baseball, as well as going on a nature trail and playing at a playground.

It was beautiful there at the park. The park is on the edge of a mountain, with a filtered view down over the lake.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lake Tahoe ... day 1

We drove up to Lake Tahoe this morning/early afternoon.

The first place we stopped was Tahoe City, to pick up the key to the house we are staying in, where the kids played in a lovely playground right next to the lake.

Later on we went down to the Kings Beach recreation area. Here are a few pictures from today and this evening.

The boys loved jumping from the pier into the sand.

You can see the mountains surrounding the lake a little bit from this picture of Douglas running down the pier.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter

I raced through Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows this weekend and finished it last night. We took the kids to a Harry Potter release party on Friday night (just into the early evening, as we were on our bikes and wanted to get home before dark - plus midnight is a little late for them!).

As a result, Owen has become somewhat interested in reading HP, which previously he wasn't. Right now I'm loading the CDs of the first book into our iPod so he can listen to it on the drive up to Lake Tahoe tomorrow.

We had a pretty quiet weekend. It has started to warm up, after being beautiful (80s) for the past couple of weeks. We had one birthday party at a friend's, and Owen went to a friend's and had a swimming lesson - other than that we didn't do too much. We're looking forward to our trip!

We have also booked a week in Kauai at Thanksgiving which should really be great.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's started already

Douglas just asked me, "Why can't I have a tongue tattoo?"

Happy birthday Owen!

The birthday boy enjoying some pasta and pesto...

and the unbirthday boy with some Cheerios.

El raton

Here (finally) is a picture of the rat Violet treed, and a wider shot featuring her down below.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Birthday by the bay

Sadly, we forgot the camera so have no pictures of the birthday party on the beach in Alameda.

Everyone had a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day (70ish and sunny, with a bit of fog further out in the bay toward San Francisco). The kids had lots of fun playing in the sand and fooling around. We picked up pizza from a place called NY Pizza - inside there was a mural of the NYC skyline as seen from the east, but for some reason the Statue of Liberty was to the right (north) of the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, what do they know about it in Alameda. The cake was from Safeway there and was decorated to look like a baseball field. Green icing is a little yucky, but everyone seemed reasonably happy with it. Owen got some cool science-y presents which he has been enjoying, as well as a tent and some knight figurines.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lying Low

I just finished Lying Low, by Diane Johnson, who is more recently famous for Le Mariage, Le Divorce, L'Affaire, etc. Lying Low is set in Davis. I am not sure if she and her husband used to live here or not. It was published in 1978 and revolves around a woman who is on the lam for doing a politically-motivated bombing that killed someone during the '60s. It was interesting to read partly just to see what Davis must have been like during that time - actually seems pretty similar to today, and she even mentions several local streets and landmarks (for some reason she calls the town "Orris," but it quite transparently is Davis).

Sunday will be Owen's birthday party in Alameda at the beach. Should be fun.

Dan's work is starting to get busy again. The education committee is dropping dozens of bills on his desk to analyze. Whee.

I forgot to mention an amusing error on Douglas's part yesterday. Because he read the word in "Calvin and Hobbes," Owen said to Douglas yesterday, "Would you want to be a sharpshooter?"

Douglas said, "And shoot sharks with a gun?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rain in July?

We actually got a little tiny drizzle yesterday evening and last night, enough at least to dampen the deck. That is pretty rare here during the summer. I don't think we've seen rain since April or May and don't expect to see it again until October or November. It was nice and fairly cool yesterday and this morning, and overcast - definitely not a typical July day in Davis. I took the kids and one of Owen's friends to the park and Douglas and the friend putzed around in the sand while Owen and I played a game called Fireball, which involves bouncing a tennis ball against a wall and running to touch the wall if you drop the ball.

Meanwhile, the painters were here yesterday and again today to paint the trim on our house. Luckily there was not enough rain to interrupt their work. Their power washing the house seems to have freaked out Violet. She disappeared for most of the day yesterday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well, that was weird.

On Saturday evening I looked out the back window and noticed that Violet was sitting at the bottom of the badminton pole, looking up.

Then I noticed there was a gray thing sitting on top of the pole.

It was a rat. Violet somehow managed to chase it up the five-foot tall pole and tree it up there. Of course once it was there she couldn't get to it, so it was just sitting up there clinging to the pole.

I took a pic which I'll have to upload.

Later that night we noticed that the pole was knocked over, so I don't know whether she tried to run up it and knocked it down, if the wind blew it over, an owl swooped down to grab the rat and knocked it down or what. Nor do we have any idea what happened to the rat. I hope I'm not going to find a half-chewed rat in the back yard.

Yesterday we went to Berkeley/Oakland. Dan and Owen went and saw the A's lose to the Mariners. Douglas, Mom and I went shopping and got some really nice outdoor chairs at REI.

Next Sunday is Owen's birthday party in Alameda at the beach! Should be fun.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Here are some recent pics.

Left is Owen on first base during the All-Star game.

Dan by the pitching machine (that weird thing that looks like a brown tire on two sticks).

Nana reading with the boys.

Douglas watching the All-Star game.

Douglas cuddling with Helena on our family room floor.

Boys reading on the couch. Douglas loves it when Owen reads to him.


It was 108 in Sacramento yesterday and 106 in Davis. Yuck. When I got in my car about 4:45 after taking Douglas to soccer, the car thermometer read 120. It then eased on down to 111 by the time we got home. Hopefully it will be more tolerable this weekend or we'll mostly be hanging around the house and hoping for a breeze. I think the longer term forecast looks a little more tolerable (mid-90s).

The kids quite enjoyed the fireworks. While watching them Douglas said, "I tried to dream about the fireworks but I couldn't" [because he hadn't known what they'd look like until then].

Thursday, July 05, 2007


We had a nice 4th. Owen's game went well, although it was extremely hot (high was 102 yesterday in Davis - it was around 90 at noon when the game was being played). Dan and Owen got cooked out there in the sun - Dan was umpiring.

The annual 4th of July block party went well, except for one mishap. We have a neighbor who always brings firecrackers/fireworks to the party. That went fine, and the kids enjoyed sparklers, etc. But then another neighbor brought a few homemade fireworks. The last one made an incredibly loud BOOM. It was so loud that it broke the windshield on a minivan parked about 15 feet away. Luckily we were parked a little farther down the street! Some neighbors who were inside at the time of the BOOM said they saw their windows dip inwards. Everyone's ears were ringing and Owen said he could barely hear in his right ear. Luckily, it was fine by this morning.

Yikes. The neighbor disappeared for a while figuring the police would show up but they didn't.

At 9:30 pm we went over to the junior high to watch the city fireworks display. It was fun, and Douglas enjoyed seeing real fireworks for the first time. One of our neighbors said to another, "Remember when the Kiwanis club used to fund the Davis fireworks? They would have a brothel outside of town in a trailer that they used to raise the money. We used to have a great fireworks display because of it!" Seems hard to believe, and I have no idea whether this story was true or not, but she claimed it was true.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Things are busy. Work, preschool, camps, etc. Owen's in an Explorit Science Center camp this week studying rocketry. He had a scrimmage as his last practice before the July 4th game yesterday and then I went out in the evening to a meeting for a candidate for school board. Looks like I will probably help out some with her campaign. So far she looks like a significant improvement over the other currently known potential candidates. Filing deadline is Aug 20 so I guess we'll know by then what the slate is. There are two open seats.

Apparently working for the Legislature means you don't get paid until we have a budget. Bummer. Hopefully that'll happen in the next couple of weeks, though.