Archive for the 'Berkeley' Category

Last Day of Crime Science Camp

For the past two weeks I’ve been going to Crime Camp at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley Hills. We started out with fingerprinting and invisible ink, but quickly got into blowing things up. One of the best things we did was fill a balloon with hydrogen and put a candle under it to make it explode. We also took a field trip to the Cal campus police station. On our last day we worked on codes and ciphers. We ended the day by throwing cabbages that had been frozen with liquid nitrogen off the top of the museum. They shattered like glass when they hit the cement. In this picture I’m putting a marshmallow that’s been frozen by liquid hydrogen in my mouth and breathing out. The three other people in the picture are our awesome teachers/camp counselors – Randal, Justine and Wes. Wes, in the yellow shirt, plays the drums in the Cal marching band!

Fireworks from our roof

This was our first July 4th in our new home and thanks to the clear weather we were able to watch fireworks from all over the Bay area. Even from a distance, the San Francisco fireworks were spectacular.

Pumpkins picked

We made our annual trek to Monterey Market to pick our Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins. Nettie and Peabody scored some nice 20-pounders. We’ll be getting to work on them tomorrow after we spend some time on costumes. Annabelle and I are going to try our hands at paper mache masks. Wish us luck!

Into the Hills

After years of searching for a new home and headquarters for the Derringdos, we finally discovered it this winter in the Berkeley Hills. Peabody and Nettie now have their own rooms. Annabelle has studio with a swing chair. And I have an office with a display case for relics and mementos from our adventures. Our neighborhood’s “sidewalks” are paths that take us by waterfalls and deer. From our home, we have an incredible view of Berkeley and the Bay. Flying outside our windows are turkey vultures, falcons, and the America’s only working zeppelin. Even though we’ve only been here a couple months, it already feels like home.


After Pippin by Emu Pics
After Pippin, a photo by Emu Pics on Flickr.

Last weekend I was in a production of Pippin, put on by the Berkeley Playhouse Youth/Teen company. For the past two and a half months we’ve had rehearsals three times a week, so it’s been a big part of my life lately. Pippin is a very ensemble-based show, so the whole cast was in most of the songs, which was really fun! I was also a Newscaster and I did hula hoop tricks in our first number. The costumes and makeup were really fun too! Glitter, green mascara and orange eyeshadow was liberally applied to everyone’s face. Our set and cast actually came on stage on a moving “cart” which was set on a part of the stage that can move back and forth. I had so much fun doing this musical, and I’ll miss everything about it: the amazing cast, the fun singing and dancing, hanging out backstage, and finally performing!

Nettie in Pippin this weekend

The Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory for Teens is presenting the 70’s rock musical Pippin May 14 and 15 at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts in Berkeley. Tickets are on sale at Nettie has been coming home from the theatre late, exhausted, but enthusiastic!  Look for her as the Newscaster, Kind of Woman Woman, and a hoolahooping Circus Performer. We can’t wait to see the results of the their hard work!

Mrs. Peel, we’re needed

If there wasn’t an Avenger’s scene set in the storage warehouse of an old theatre, there should have been. We spent a recent Saturday morning going through the remains of the Berkeley Rep’s garage sale. Not much was left when we arrived, but Nettie did find a pair of fancy blue shoes for a dollar. Nearby, we ate outside at Farley’s Emeryville cafe. They’ve got great sandwiches and soup, nice staff, and a cool magazine selection. Their web site says the sillouette on the logo is Jack Farley, the owner’s grandfather “who disappeared without a trace in 1921.” We think he looks like John Steed!

Peabody on 510families

This picture of Peabody is being used on 510families to illustrate this week’s calendar of events for East Bay families. And a great week it is including our favorite, Cal Day. Hopefully we’ll get to do some more crawfish hunting in Strawberry Creek! Nettie’s story of last year’s visit is here.

Math Night at TBS

The Berkeley School held its annual Math Night yesterday. The students train parents and siblings on different math materials and ask them to solve problems. Peabody taught us Magic Squares and Balance Tiles but my favorite is the abacus-like Bead Frame. He also created a 100-count project. “I used pot holder loops to make ten groups of ten. Each group is a different color. If you stretch the whole thing it is 253.375 inches or 21.114 feet long.”

Trip to Sibley Park

Peabody’s class made a trip to Sibley Park in the East Bay hills. They did a bit of role-playing, imagining themselves as refugees from a flooded village. They scouted for food, shelter and water. After a lunch of berries and bugs sandwiches and iced tea, we visited the labyrinth in the bottom of the remains of an ancient volcano. This was our first trip to Sibley and we can’t wait to go back.