Thursday, February 28, 2008


The other night in the car on the way to the library, Douglas out of the blue said, "I know how to spell cutie. K-O-U."

Not right, obviously, but it seemed to me he was on the right track.

We are having nice weather this week after a lot of rain over the weekend. It's been sunny and near 70. Very pleasant. Owen and his friend went on a long bike ride with the friend's mother yesterday afternoon and then we went and got some bagels and sat outside of the bagel store in the sunshine.

The kids are really getting into AC/DC lately. Owen in particular is interested in listening to music and seeing whether he can identify the different instruments as it plays.

Next week are more of the big ugly school board budget cutting meetings. I hope they will find a way to preserve some of the programs that they are talking about cutting, but it is undoubtedly going to be unpleasant no matter what happens.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Baseball starts up

Despite a light drizzle, Owen's team had their first practice yesterday. The coach seems really good. He began by letting them toss the balls back and forth and was actually teaching them how to throw, which I'm not sure any of his previous coaches ever did so explicitly.

After a little tossing around they sat down for introductions and some discussion. The most amusing part was where the coach said, "I don't want to ever hear anyone saying negative things about their teammates. Who here has never made a mistake playing baseball?" The assistant coach's daughter, sitting in his lap, who looked like she was about 4 and has probably never played baseball, raised her hand. We got a chuckle out of that.

Douglas did pretty well during practice and enjoyed running down the tiny little grassy hill - about 5 feet high - next to the field. Even a 5 foot tall hill is a novelty in Davis.

We are supposed to get a big storm tomorrow - up to 70 mph winds. The paper said to tie down or bring inside anything outside that could blow around, and get supplies, food, batteries, etc as we could have more power outages. We may get a couple of inches of rain and the Sierra is supposed to get up to 2 feet of snow. Good thing we didn't plan to go to Tahoe this weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Owen's first baseball practice was supposed to be yesterday, but it was raining so it got cancelled. Maybe tomorrow, although while it is sunny now we are supposedly due for more rain in the next few days. So we shall see. We went shopping on Monday to get a bunch of stuff for the baseball season - a helmet with face guard (they require the guard now that the kids are pitching), a cup (also now required) which fits inside some sliding pants, new cleats because he had grown out of the old ones already ... etc. etc. It will be a nice day when his feet stop growing.

Douglas cracked us up on Sunday when we saw a plane with contrail in the sky. Dan pointed it out and Douglas looked at it and then said, "So the plane can find its way back, right Daddy?"

The school district has to make $4 million in cuts, thanks to a combination of declining enrollment and state budget cuts. It is going to be painful no matter what they decide. The staff wrote a list of recommended cuts that includes all elementary school science teachers, school librarians, some of the school secretaries, pay-to-play athletics, the music program, and quite a few other things. It is going to get ugly.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy valentine's day

and happy birthday to Dan!

The kids enjoyed passing out valentines to their classes. We are among the few resisters to the Wall of Sugar that seems to come taped to every incoming valentine. I just wonder if the other families think we are cheap for not attaching a piece of candy to the paper like everybody else does.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Growing pains? ... and baseball

Douglas woke up at 11 pm with severe pain in his right leg, along the shin. He was screaming and crying and saying "My leg hurts so bad!" Poor guy. I rubbed it and Dan gave him some Tylenol and he gradually calmed down. It seems fine this morning. I called the advice nurse and she thinks it is probably growing pains, but scheduled an appointment with our pediatrician for early March (the next time he is available). If things continue we are supposed to call back for an appointment in urgent care.

On Friday evening I got a phone call from a AA coach saying Owen was going to be on his team. He was very nice but the team was on the other side of town, with all kids he didn't know, so I was less than thrilled. Then Saturday I got another call from a different coach saying Owen would be on his team instead. I talked to that coach and he said he really wanted a team of North Davis kids and we're more east/central so he said he would try to get Owen on still a third team. I ended up calling the mother of a boy in Owen's class who is playing baseball, and she said he was on a neighborhood team but had just dropped out, so she thought there would be space on the team. I called that coach and it sounds like it will be all right for Owen to be on that team. They are the Giants and they will be practicing at the junior high that is only 3 blocks from us, so that would be really convenient. The final emails of approval I think have yet to go through, but it sounds like it will happen. The team meeting is tonight, so we should hopefully find out for sure very soon.

Owen had two birthday parties to go to this weekend - lots of cake and friends. Everyone he knows apparently was born in early February. There's another one on Wednesday. Today is a school holiday as well as a state one, but not a university one, so Dan is at home.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The youth vote

Yesterday at school pickup I walked into Owen's classroom with my "I voted" sticker on. Owen was sitting there eating some popcorn with his friend Max. Max asked who I voted for and I told him Barack Obama (which Owen said his classmates think is named Baracko Bama). Max said, "Aw, man, my mom voted for Hillary Clinton. I wanted her to vote for Barack Obama. He's cool!"

According to our small sample, Obama's got the youth vote. Unfortunately at age 8 he couldn't actually cast a ballot.

Tonight we are having 2 Chapel Hill-related families over to watch the Dook game at 6:00. Should be fun. One family has a child who is a friend of Douglas's and one is a classmate and friend of Owen's, so they will both be entertained if not by the TV.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Super Tuesday

Douglas and I went and voted this morning. Dan had already voted absentee. I was the 37th voter around 8:05 am... I'm not sure if that means heavy turnout or not.

<------ Dan Zanes
Sunday we went to see Dan Zanes at the Mondavi Center. It was a lot of fun. The kids saw friends and had fun dancing around. When we got back Dan and the boys started to watch the Super Bowl, which Dan had recorded - the show started at 3 pm which was around the same time the Super Bowl was supposed to begin. They watched for a while and then we took a break to have dinner, and upon returning and turning on the TV again it seemed the recording had somehow been deleted. Oops. However, Dan was able to catch the highlights on ESPN or wherever, although I'm sure that was still not quite adequate.

Owen and Jaden in his class are doing a report on Jimmy Carter. The class are all doing reports on presidents. He seemed to know that Carter was born on a Wednesday but was not entirely clear on what his last name was ("Errol or something like that" - his teacher I think got a little confused and wrote James Earl rather than James Earl Carter).

Friday, February 01, 2008


Yesterday as I walked to the car from dropping Owen off I noticed something was hanging off of the bottom. Ugh. The Subaru has not had any problems until now, so I guess we are lucky (5.5 years trouble-free). It turned out the cover that fits across the bottom of the engine, called the air dam, had split in half - maybe got bumped if I ran over something, although I can't remember running over anything recently. The shop is ordering the part and will replace it Monday morning. Luckily we can still drive it around until then, so not such a huge deal.

Owen will be attending four birthday parties in the next two weeks. Every boy he knows was apparently born at the beginning of February.

Last night Douglas and I dropped by the school to attend a welcome family chili supper for the new families who will be coming to Birch Lane School thanks to the boundary changes. (Owen and Dan were at guitar.) Some families from our neighborhood who are currently at the other school were there, so it was nice to chat with them a bit. Mostly they seemed reasonably satisfied with the situation, although one is hoping the charter school will happen. We'll see.

Guitar continues to go very well. The past couple of weeks the teacher had given Owen the Star Wars theme songs (there are two; one main one and one for the "dark side") and he enjoyed playing those.

The SacBee has an entertaining story today about the musical choices of various presidential candidates at their rallies.