...and other misconceptions I made 07-4-20
2007 Apr 20

Archive for October, 2007

October 31st 2007
Another cupcake Halloween

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H2 and S2 as ladybug and dinosaurH2 and S2 as ladybug and dinosaur

I love these two pictures. Not that the girls are self conscious or anything – but it’s important to make sure that you look right before going out for your big evening of trick-or-treat-ing…

This year H2 was a ladybug and S2 dressed up as a dinosaur. You might think she’s a dragon, but you’d be wrong. And she’d tell you. Dinosaur.

S2, H2 and BingoWhile normally I don’t post pictures of the backside of people, with these costumes that’s almost mandatory so you can truly appreciate them. Even Bingo (Jaja’s Labradoodle) seems impressed.

S2 and H2 trick-or-treat-ingAnd of course dressed up twins walking up to the door and saying “trick-o-tree” are pretty darn cute… that is until H2 got scared by a masked adult opening the door after which she wasn’t having any of this “walking up to strangers’ doors” anymore. She wanted to be carried or else… poor thing.

Halloween also showed one of the things that I like about this neighborhood. In no time we were five families with kids from 3 to 8 walking around the neighborhood together. And almost every house was lighted and ready to receive kids. Nice.

The downside of Halloween became obvious back at home. By now the girls know exactly what candy is. And being told that they could have only one and then having to hand over the rest of their bounty was not what they had in mind. Let’s just say there was some expression of unhappiness before and during bed time. I gave up and let the professional handle things – K2 is so much better in getting them to calm down…

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October 30th 2007
For some, being cute comes naturally

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S2 and H2 arm in armI don’t know how they do it. But the number of times we look at them and they do something that is just too cute is simply not normal.

Or maybe it’s just because of the fact that 27 months of too little sleep have melted out brains. Either way.

Here they are sitting in front of the computer and looking at a little video that their speech pathologist made with them (so that they can repeat the exercises that help them with their vowels and some of the other sounds they have a hard time making – like eff). And they casually put their arms around each other.

Or the other morning, when they pretended to be in swimming class with their stuffed animals; they put plastic rings (from an old “stacking tower” toy) on the arms of “Bär” and “Big Puppy” and laid down with them on the floor as if they were in the water and then instructed the stuffed animals to do “kick-kick-kick” (just as their swimming teacher does with them). And when the stuffed animals got nervous they told them “it ok, you floaties” (verbs apparently cost extra). And after that, they decided to do the same with each other – once again pretending that the rings are floaties and one laying down on top of the other, pretending to receive swimming lessons.

The list goes on and on and on.

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October 29th 2007
Working public transport

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One of the things that are nice about traveling a lot is that you get to put stuff into perspective. The topic today: public transportation. Something that is rarely working well in the US. Even in Portland that claims to be the top of the crop, in all reality it’s pretty miserable. MAX (our lite rail) is so slow that I often think I’d be faster on a bike (which I guess is a reason while so many people in Portland are riding their bikes, now that I think about it). But the number of cities that have no light rail to the airport, the complete lack of a functional city-to-city rail service even in the more densely populated areas… I could go on for a while.

Then you come to Japan, take the fast express train from the airport to downtown Tokyo where you can transfer to fast rail service to basically every larger town in the country and of course to an extensive local train and subway system that reaches more or less anywhere in the greater Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area. Predictable schedules, trains that run on time, buses that are synced with the train service at the stations that they serve. Pretty nifty. In all my trips to Japan I never felt that I would want to rent a car. Besides maybe flying into SFO to go downtown San Francisco (and driving into Manhattan, where there’s no public transport to the airport, either, but renting a car is just completely ridiculous given the traffic and lack of parking), wherever I go in the US, I rent a car…

Pretty sad.

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October 28th 2007
What a cool run

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Morning run in TokyoI rarely ever post data about my runs as I don’t really want to give away in all detail where we live (and most runs start at home, obviously). But this here is a great chance to do it anyway – this is my run this morning… it starts and ends at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and loops once around the Imperial Palace grounds. A little less than 4 miles and one of the prettiest city runs I’ve ever made. You have the mound and the palace walls on one side of you for most of the run. Gorgeous.

The map was made from the track data in my Garmin Forerunner 305 using GPS Visualizer and Google Maps satellite images.

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