Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy halloween!

The kids have decided to dress as "a guy with a black robe and a lot of blood and scars all over his face." Whatever.

Davis has no school today for elementary students. Dan is home trying to keep the kids occupied while it is sort of drizzling. Well, it was earlier, anyway. We need the rain but I wish it didn't have to rain on Halloween.

We have to carve the pumpkins this afternoon, and I may go vote early on the last day for early voting on campus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I checked out Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka from the library yesterday. Those of you with boys might want to check it out. It is a rather hilarious memoir from Jon Scieszka who also writes the Time Warp Trio books. He was the 2nd of 6 boys and the book is full of short chapters about their various antics. For example, one involved him and his older brother visiting their grandparents. Their grandmother used to keep a jar of hard candies on the coffee table. They always wanted to try them and the candies always ended up tasting like medicine. So he and his brother would always end up spitting them back into the dish. Eventually it turned into a giant hard clot of candy. There are various stories like that which Owen and Douglas found pretty funny.

This morning I helped take Douglas's class to the pumpkin patch. The kids were very cute. Dan left this a.m. for a couple of days in Oakland visiting Peralta Community College. Then Sunday he has to leave for Ventura County. If it's not one thing it's another.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Santa Cruz!

We returned from Santa Cruz this evening. To the left is the view we had out of our motel room window. We could not have been closer to the beach and the boardwalk.

We arrived Friday night. Saturday morning we went to Natural Bridges beach, which is in northern Santa Cruz. It has some sea stacks, one of which has a hole in it (visible at top left).

Owen had lots of fun playing on the beach.

Douglas did too, until he fell in and got soaked.

There were lots of pelicans on top of the sea stacks.

View across the beach. It was a really cool place.

Dan meandering

Next we went to Lighthouse Point, another coast spot in Santa Cruz.

It sits on the edge of some cliffs.

Owen and Douglas enjoyed walking along the path by the ocean.

We went to Lighthouse Point to catch some of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, a surfing competition. It was somewhat crowded and hard to see the surfers, but the parts we could see were cool.

After that we had lunch in downtown Santa Cruz (at Pizza My Heart), and then went to the Boardwalk and played mini golf at a super cheesy pirate themed mini golf place, complete with pirates, cannons, black lights and various other kitsch. It was fun.

Douglas likes mini golf too.

Owen sitting on a barrel

Saturday evening we ate at Kiantis pizza and pasta place in downtown Santa Cruz, where to our surprise the wait staff did an amazing dance routine in the middle of dinner.

The pizza tossers got in on the act as well - you can see two of them at left throwing the pizza dough around between their legs, along their backs, etc. They were pretty amazing.

We topped off the evening at Marianne's, and Dan had the Mexican chocolate ice cream.

Today we stopped on the way home at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. It has a very cool thing where you can design a roller coaster on the computer and then sit in a pretend roller coaster car and watch the ride you designed.

The kids loved it, as well as various other fun stuff they had there.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Santa Cruz

We're heading for Santa Cruz for the weekend after school today. Should be fun! The beach, the boardwalk, the sea lions, the cute downtown, and of course Marianne's Ice Cream. Yum.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dan's travel...

As part of his job, Dan gets the "opportunity" to "volunteer" for some tight state senate races. He's already done some phone banking but now he has learned he will get to go to Ventura county to help with the race down there right before and during election day. So he will miss being at home on election night. What a bummer!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hey you kids!

more animals

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin patch trip

We took the kids to a local pumpkin patch today, Impossible Acres, that has a petting zoo. The boys absolutely loved playing with and holding all the animals there. Owen in particular loved hanging out with the kittens. He couldn't be dragged away for almost 2 hours.

Shot of Impossible Acres...

Douglas with a cute orange kitty


Douglas petting another one of the kids. They were surprisingly soft.

Brushing a long-suffering pony

Owen's favorite kitty, a mellow gray one

Boys with some kittens

Friday, October 17, 2008

A plague is sweeping the classroom...

Head lice! (Scream!)

I heard several mothers of girls in Owen's class yesterday discussing the head lice and/or nits they had found on their daughters.

So far he seems to be clean and I haven't heard about any boys who have it yet ... keeping our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yes We Carve

Obama pumpkin carving site. I thought these ones were pretty awesome.

Dan is in San Jose on a site visit for a couple of days, gets back tonight.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy birthday UC Davis

UC Davis's freshman class this year are the centennial class. The university opened 100 years ago.

Back then, it was not a university, but rather a farm extension of UC Berkeley intended for training students on modern farming techniques. Students went here for a semester or so in their junior year. There was agriculture in Berkeley as well but the weather is so different here they wanted a Central Valley location for an extension station. They also wanted a location that was accessible by train from both Berkeley and Sacramento. The 780 acres of land they bought cost the state $104,000.

When the legislature picked what was then "Davisville" as the spot for the university, the people of nearby Woodland, our county seat 8 miles to the north, were horrified. Woodland was at the time a very prosperous town; in fact a San Francisco newspaper named Woodland the wealthiest town in the U.S., per capita. (It has some lovely Victorian architecture, but nowadays Woodland is not the highest-income part of Yolo County.)

Students completed a four year program at UCD starting in 1922, and it was separated from UC Berkeley in 1952. The '60s saw the graduate school, law school and med school established.

Yesterday there was a street fair as part of the celebration, which Douglas and I attended.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October pictures

Owen up at bat in his baseball game yesterday.

Douglas gets a little bored at Owen's games. Here he is attempting to climb the dugout fence, before I took him down.

And playing in the dirt behind the dugout.

Further goofing around...

Owen waiting for the ball to arrive.

Dan really didn't think the cotton candy at the zoo today would be all that big, but it was.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Owen made a movie!

Owen made this stop motion animation movie today at Explorit Science Center in Davis.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Curry village rock slide

Yikes. A rock slide destroyed seven cabins yesterday morning in the part of Yosemite where we stayed in June.

The rock face is nearly sheer and looms a couple thousand feet over Curry Village so I can definitely imagine how the slide could happen.

I guess we are lucky it didn't happen when we were there.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy birthday Eileen!

The Davis Song

Owen's class is singing this.

This morning as I left preschool after dropping off Douglas and was half a block down the street, his buddy Kagiso pulled up in a bike trailer being pulled by his mom and I could hear him yelling, "Hi Douglas's mom!"

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Macbeth & Harry Potter

This weekend I took a kids' version of Macbeth out of the library. I had forgotten some of the story so it was fun to read.

It occurred to me this morning that a major plot point in Macbeth is very similar to one in the Harry Potter books. In Macbeth, the whole reason Macbeth decides to murder King Duncan is that the Three Witches greet him with "Hail, Thane of Glamis! (which he already is), Hail, Thane of Cawdor! (which the king has just made him but he doesn't know it yet), and Hail, who shall be king hereafter!" Macbeth and his wife decide they must kill King Duncan because since the Cawdor prophecy came true, then the king one must also and they need to kill him in order to make the prophecy happen.

The same thing, more or less, happens in Harry Potter. In Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Trelawney, who is known for making more or less junk prophecies, makes a prophecy that for Voldemort to rule he will need to defeat a boy born in July to two who had previously gone against him (?I forget all the details exactly, but it's either Harry or Neville and for some reason Voldemort decides it must be Harry). Voldemort decides that the prophecy is true, that Harry is the boy and he then goes after him, thus making the prophecy come true.

A little search on the net reveals that in fact, Rowling was in fact referencing Macbeth.

Rowling references the Shakespearean play, Macbeth, as an example similar to what happens in the Harry Potter stories. In Macbeth, three witches deliver a series of prophecies, which become allegedly fulfilled only because Macbeth sought to try and undermine them. Rowling confirms her opinion about the mechanism behind the prophecy in an interview to TLC and MuggleNet:

"If Macbeth hadn't met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it have happened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen."
In other news ...

Owen's team lost again on Saturday, but it was very close, and he did better with the pitching. He seemed pretty happy about it, unlike the previous Saturday.

This afternoon after school the kids and I are going to Berkeley to see mom, Nina, Kathy & Violet; should be fun.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Science is fun

Owen gets to go to science every day now - their class walks over to the science teacher's room and he was telling me this morning how much he is enjoying it. Right now they are building a circuit with wires and making a little light bulb light up. He works with 3 other kids on it. They draw the circuit and all that good stuff. He is really enjoying it!

It's October and thus time to worry about what Halloween costume to wear. So far both kids want to be ninjas, as do several of their friends, but it seems to change by the day, with Star Wars characters being a close second. For some reason school is closed on Halloween this year, which I suppose will give us a whole day to make and put up decorations.