Archive for May, 2011

Maker Faire 2011

Despite the crowds, the trip to Maker Faire was fun and inspirational. Nettie enjoyed the felt and jewelry crafts and Peabody liked the Lego and miniature steam trains. While Annabelle took in a couple lectures, we watched RC warships fight in the battle pool. After we get through the bedroom re-making project, we’ll need to get to some serious making this summer.

Bedroom wall restoration

We’ve started repairing some of the walls in our 120 year old cottage. The bedroom has some nasty bulges where the plaster has separated from the wooden lathe. Annabelle started stripping the walls this week. Peabody and I joined her for a full day of work on Saturday while Nettie organized her room. We had to break through two layers of paint and five layers of wallpaper to find the plaster beneath. Here is some of Peabody’s handiwork. We still have a bit more stripping to do before we begin repairing the walls later this week.


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!

Ace of Aces

Back in the 80s, before the age of HD, virtual dogfighting, my brother and I would take to the sky in Ace of Aces. The game plays a bit like a cooperative choose your own adventure novel. Each page shows your position from a first person cockpit view. The players choose their maneuver and a quick calculation sends them to a new page with a new view (ideally behind your opponent’s plane). I pulled my old copy out this week to play with Peabody. He picked it up rather quickly and seemed to like it. The game is out of print, but if you come a cross it at a used book sale, pick it up and take to the sky!

May the Fourth be with you

Happy Star Wars Day! This is the Yoda fountain outside of Building B at the Lucasfilm offices. I have meetings here pretty regularly and it always makes me happy to see the Jedi master.


During a whirlwind European business trip, I found myself with some spare time in London after a day of meetings. My first priority was finding some gifts for the Derringdos at home. VV Rouleaux, a ribbon and trimmings shop in Sloane Square, was my first stop. Annabelle took me to their Marylebone location ten years ago. She could spend hours. I found her some ribbon and for Nettie, some big pink hoop earnings and a butterfly hair clip. Nearby is one of the most beautiful buildings in London, Michelin House (pictured above). I had a great meal here years ago at Bibendum, a French resteraunt named after the rotund tire mascot. Not forgetting Peabody, I stopped into Foyles and picked up Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air. It’s a new cross section book following fourteen historic journeys. My brief journey came to an end with a walk around some of the city’s parks and a Tube ride back to my hotel. I feel like we might need to return this summer!