What’s New? 2006-03

    What’s New? 2006-03

    What’s New? 2006-03

    Friday 24 March 2006

    Just as it feels as though the second half of my life started with the breath of fresh air that came with the 21st century, the significant second half of my computing world started with the release of a modern UNIX with a candy-coated user interface: . Happy Fifth Birthday! I’m so thankful for you; you make all my digital hours more pleasant.

    We’re enjoying the second family folk dance; here’s Lila mugging for the camera.

    Monday 20 March 2006

    Until I asked Master Kong to help me discover the whereabouts of the coffee maker, so that I could make him some decaf Vietnamese coffee, I was heading down the street to New Loi’s Mandarin-Style Restaurant to pick up some hot and sweet java. Here’s Lila watching the staff clean greens before the dinner-time rush.

    Often we hang out near the dojo between classes; having a tasty and healthy dinner with the kids can sometimes be a challenge. When I’m doing a late class by myself I usually head over to Safeway to pick up some soda water and two cups of tropical fruit salad. Mmmmmmmmm.

    Sunday 19 March 2006


    wanted to direct us on an adventure (which, to him, means to direct how we drive around the city). We do this from time to time, the goal of which is to discover some heretofore-unseen part of the city. The weather is just perfect today, so we pause our trek to stroll up and down the curvy part of Lombard Street.

    We also strolled around Coit Tower, and then to North Beach. Lunch at Pasta Rey and then dessert at Café Greco:

    The exploration continues, until we stumble upon the MUNI cable car museum. The kids squeal with pleasure, and so we find a parking space and enjoy an hour amidst the calming smell of machine oil.

    Sunday 12 March 2006

    This morning Lila & Isaac surprise us at breakfast by arriving clad in our clothes, mimicing our actions and words. Cheeky monkeys!

    Mid-day we head over to the Bill Graham Auditorium to see the Shao Lin (sometimes Shaolin) Monks show off some of their traditional exercises and modern showmanship. Since the kids saw a video of the child monks training early on in their martial arts experience, they wanted to see them in person. Having them come to

    made it all terrifyingly easy.

    Well, not that easy. MUNI can’t keep their fare change machines working. Here you see not one but both machines out of order. Sigh.

    We do finally make it downtown, not many thanks to MUNI. The monks are fun: perhaps not exactly like the

    Thursday 9 March 2006

    Here’s the fearsome foursome at : Isaac, Una, Lila, and Jana. They’re practicing their pinans (routines).

    Usually it’s Isaac hanging out with baby Declan, but Lila gets a turn. What an amazingly good-natured baby. And the attention he pays to the classes is unbelievable; that kid’ll be on the mat before he’s toilet trained.

    Wednesday 8 March 2006

    Spent the day getting ready to deploy a Docbook XML + Jade toolchain to generate documentation in both HTML and PDF. Not glamorous, but wanted by most of my clients.

    In the getting-back-in-shape arena, I took three Hapkido classes today. The last one, the adults-only class, included more strike variations than I’ve ever done in one class. A nice note: a fellow hapkidoka, with eyebrow studs and a very powerful punch, said he was happy whenever I was on the mat because he gets a real workout. Funny, I think the same of him. My arms are sore from holding the punching pads for him. I know his will be 🙂

    Monday 6 March 2006

    This evening in

    I did randori (two-person attacks) for the very first time. It was limited to four different kinds of attacks, but it was exhilarating! It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that

    whirling around vibe, but it was in full force this evening! Ahhhh!

    Sunday 5 March 2006


    Toys ‘R Us (among other locations) is closing down. How you can wind up being unprofitable in the middle of a large city, in an old building, with Chinese-made toys, is way beyond me. But they are, or claim to be, and the Bay Area is losing two stores.

    The kids have been tracking the ever-increasing markdowns. Today, as we stopped by, we saw the last gasp of the store: the remaining few toys tossed near the enteryway and a few staffers dismantling the shelves. Depressing in the extreme, but the kids don’t seem to mind at all. Just another adventure.

    Now only Mervyn’s is left; Best Buy left a few months ago. Such a primo location, right in the middle of the city, on Geary Boulevard at Masonic Avenue.

    Saturday 4 March 2006

    spends an afternoon with the maternal grandparents; in the kitchen with Bubbie & Zadie.

    Friday 3 March 2006


    yellow-belt test was such an ordeal: all went well except the specific technique upon which I was tested. I blanked out, forgetting what “one into two” means. I twice incorrectly tried a similar technique, which I might have pulled off with enough elán to pass. Who knows?

    Thursday 2 March 2006

    I spend the afternoon at Isaac’s school; it’s Reading Day. Bata’s uncle is reading a Dr. Seuss book. Did I mention that we cooked up and served green eggs and ham to all the students of the school. (It was only after the fact that I realized that our offering was neither Kosher nor Halal. Next year we’ll need to add green tofu for the observant Jews and Muslims.)

    Later in the day, after


    joins us at the S & E Café. If you’re ever near 19th at Taraval drop in to try the Cooked Coca-Cola with Ginger. Wonderful!

    Wednesday 1 March 2006

    I went to both the 4:15 and 7:15

    classes today. Got my blue stripe and permission to take the belt test this Friday.

    That will be a bit of a milestone: through all the years of Tae Kwon Do (in New Hampshire, early 1980s),

    (late 1980s, 1990s), and now Hapkido, I’ve never ever tested. I think it was my half-year on and off

    schedule, combined with the relaxed attitude the Japanese practitioners towards any sort of external badges of rank.

    It was Free Day, and the kids went to the Zoo (although I thought they’d be at the Exploratorium).

    came late to class, but she tested well enough to almost get her last stripe.

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