February Part I

February, Part I

February…feels like a long time ago, but it’s really just barely less than a month ago, I guess (I’m writing this on the evening of March 31st).

The month started off pretty slow. We hosted a Super Bowl party. Chilkoot had his kindergarten tour (he decided he needed to wear a tie). We had a Daddy Daughter Day + Valentine’s Dance and a Mommy Son Day. Chilkat seems to have decided she likes root beer floats. For the 100th day of school, Chilkat’s school dressed up as 100 year old people (we went so far as to buy a real wooden cane and cut it down to Chilkat’s size). We had Valentine’s day and the associated lasagna (home made noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sausage, and sauce). Chilkoot gave me stroopwafels.

Things of course started getting truly busy in preparation for Chilkat’s birthday party. She wanted a Magic School Bus themed party, so she got it to the nines, naturally. Lots of people, lots of food (I think 73 individual dishes), lots of drinks, lots of presents. Incidentally, we are now hitting the age of drop-off parties — at least one kid was dropped off by parents who left. One of them thought to leave a cell phone number. Frightening times. It’s enough to make you think that some parents think these kids should be allowed outside of the house without constant supervision at some point in their lives.

I can’t believe Chilkat is 7 now.

The day after the party, we flew to California for our string of high-end kid activities for Chilkat’s “mid-winter break” (for those of us my age and older, interpret this as “we invented an excuse to dismiss school for an extra week in February and we call it mid-winter break”). We hopped through San Francisco (picking up Nana and Papa on the way). Rented a mini van (with some drama, since our rental company didn’t actually have the van we reserved). Went to an AirBnB place that was big and empty (it’s strange to see full sized domiciles that are fully furnished and so clearly not lived in). We went to a nearby In-n-Out for take-out dinner. While KrisDi and Big D waited in the surprisingly long line, I walked until I found a random liquor store and (1) Was too stupid to read the year in the date on bottles of beer and consequently bought 1+ year old IPAs, and (2) stumbled across Founders CBS, a beer I have been half-assed looking for/whole-assed hoping for since roughly six years ago (in a random liquor store walking distance from a random In-n-Out…life is weird).

The next day, we started our “mid-winter break” activities in earnest by going to Universal Studios. The crowds were medium sized (compared to Disney Land last year). Chilkat and Chilkoot both got magic wands in Harry Potter World. We spent a little time in The Simpsons world (and I got a beer at a Duff-themed bar). The studio tour was cheesy but neat.

KrisDi and I had previously decided that the MegaLens is useless if I don’t actually take it with us when we leave the house, despite the ass pain caused by taking it out of the house. So we brought it along. And I was amused in my fruitless attempts to take pictures of my family on roller coasters — even from afar, it’s too zoomful (I just made that word up and I like it). I’m very sure the lens is more capable than the photographer in this case. My highlight of the day I think was when we were waiting for the Waterworld show, and music was playing, and Chilkat noticed his shadow, and started to dance with it.

Edit: I forgot to mention that it was relatively cold. It rained on us a little, and it was chilly and quite breezy. Les, despite his Chicago conditioning, found himself shivering. Also, KrisDi got stung by a bee in Simpsons land.

In other news — I updated the tool that I use to create the photo albums (jAlbum) and the “skin” that I use (previous Turtle, now Tiger) in the hopes of being able to make albums that look better on mobile devices. After enough fiddling around, I’m somewhat satisfied with the results. Plus now I can upload videos without external hosting. I’m not sure that I couldn’t do that before, but I’m sure I didn’t know how to do that before.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

January Food

January 2018 Food

KrisDi made a lot of food in January.

Posted by snaotheus in Food, 0 comments


A couple days ago, Chilkat and Chilkoot were talking during breakfast. Chilkat told Chilkoot that someone at school told her Santa wasn’t real.

“But, I proved him wrong. Every Christmas, we get presents from Santa that are wrapped in Mickey Mouse wrapping paper, and Mommy and Daddy don’t have Mickey Mouse wrapping paper — so there!” Followed by an indignant ‘harrumph’.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, 1 comment


The last several months of last year, I started having increasing shoulder pain and neck pain and had to stop doing the pushups I’ve been doing for years to maintain my lower back. I finally went to neck/orthopedic doctor about it (my primary care doctor retired which complicated things). He sent me for another neck MRI (last one was two years ago, yes neck is worse now) and had me come back later for an ultrasound on my shoulder (no tears or anything, but thickening/stiffening of some tissues, noticeable ‘wear and tear’ on others, etc). He said, “Well, I’d recommend physical therapy, or a shot in the shoulder and then physical therapy.” I opted for the shot, and Dr’s eyes lit up and he called the assistant with the ultrasound back in. Three soap scrubs on the shoulder, two alcohol, one local anesthetic shot, and then an ultrasound-guided horse needle into the core of my shoulder — a bit more involved than your standard immunization.

I was slightly discomfited by the nonchalance (and/or the apparent glee) with which this preparation and execution occurred. I was more discomfited by having a large tube of metal jabbed into my shoulder socket.

My shoulder felt uncomfortable and touchy for about 24 hours, and since then has felt noticeably better. I’ve been to PT three times and have been doing my exercises at home pretty responsibly. Neck started flaring up again this week. Stay tuned for the next installment in the ongoing saga of snaotheus’ skeletal system’s attempts to wrest control of his body from his brain.

Chilkat’s school held a math and science open house. They had stations of various activities spread throughout a couple of rooms. Chilkat spent a bunch of time on the “build a bridge out of straws and tape” activity, and “build a tower out of blocks” activity, and sort of skipped around to the other ones. Chilkoot tagged along. I think they had a good time.

Kids have been playing pretend more, and often with more detailed and involved stories:

  • There’s a picture in there of Chilkat with a Captain America shield and a witch hat. She tells me she was pretending she was a super hero with a costume on so that her enemies wouldn’t kill her.
  • They were pretending to run a store (again). Cookie Monster was their customer. He seemed to need a lot of things and have a lot of money.
  • Chilkoot wanted to be an astronaut knight. We dressed him up. He refused to allow me to call him astroknight. I was disappointed.

I had a very hectic pair of weeks with guests from Japan. At least one of the groups of them had a rough trip out here. They had 20cm of snow drop on Narita (roughly the same or greater level of panic than would be introduced by 9-10″ dropping on SEATAC).

During their visit, we went for a big dinner at a local Chinese seafood restaurant. We ordered a lobster (we were introduced to the lobster before he was boiled). Not much of the lobster got eaten, and most of the leftovers ended up getting sent home with me. I didn’t know what the hell to do with it, so I had a giant lobster scramble for breakfast the next day. It was pretty good.

We took the kids ice skating. Chilkat’s second time, Chilkoot’s first. Chilkat was dramatically afraid, as she is wont to be, and Chilkat was falling down constantly. KrisDi hit on some key advice — just crouch. It keeps the kids from leaning back, and when a kid on ice skates leans back, it’s all over. But, it doesn’t solve the motion problem. I was able to address that with “Just sneak, Chilkoot.” With enough tiny little steps, he could get a little momentum going. But, the boy in particular loved skating, and wanted (at least for a day afterwards) to do nothing but skate some more.

False Alarm M (the older daughter) had her birthday party. She wanted to have a princess tea party, which led to the discovery of what appears to be a small local niche business: Princess day care. You can send your kids to a day care centered entirely around princesses. I winced when I entered the building. Anyway, they do hosted tea parties on the weekend. Chilkoot was the only boy, and he was pointedly ignored by the staff. To the point of serving all the little girls tea and cupcakes with gaudy ceramic dishes, while Chilkoot sat blithely on the other end of the table with nothing. I captured the employee who seemed to be running things to ask, “Are you going to serve my son?”

“Well, the reservation was only for nine.”

Well, the reservation was actually for seven, and they had no problem accommodating the addition of two girls to the party (at a likely materials cost of 75 cents total). But a boy? Nopers. I didn’t blow up. Maybe I should have. The depth of poorness of customer service is breathtaking.

False Alarm Mom harangued them into giving him a cupcake on a paper plate with a beverage in a paper cup. Later, she called to talk to the owner/manager, who had shitty excuses and I think gave her some money back or something.

They will receive none of my business (not that it was likely), and certainly no recommendations from me.

On the bright side — the young lady I talked to could have been a perfect young Angela — looks, manner, and attitude were all in perfect alignment. It was recognizable before the little conversation about my son.


Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

Haunted Home

Chilkat and Chilkoot decided they were going to build a haunted house. Chilkat even made herself a zombie costume. Today they asked me to take a video of my experience taking the tour.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, 1 comment