Saturday, August 3, 2013

August 2013 (updated)

You and your math-mommy are at dance class.  Your baby sister is with you.  Three weeks ago she took her first unaided steps.  Now she is walking up a storm.  Climbing staircases too.

We had a daddy-daughter date to Home Depot in early July and we made a toy car together.

You also had a fun face-painting.

You love "Rise of the Guardians" and wanted to look like The queen of the tooth fairies, Toothiana.  I think her name is meant to be a reference to Titania from A Midsummer Nights Dream, by Shakespeare, but am not sure.

Here is all of our math-family just outside the gown room at work.  It is quite cute.


Here is a picture of your little sis.  (If you look at the floor and background, this pic is also from work).

So we got to spend a day at Disneyland.  You met a bunch of princesses. First family vacation since 2003.  Lots of work.  Spent half my conscious time driving from point A to point B.  Crazy.

We first rode the train from the front to the back.  This enables us to miss crowds and get quickly to our destinations.  Here is a pic of  "micro" looking out the train window.  If you look out the window you can see the lines of thousands of people entering the park through dozens of gates.

Here is a picture of you and your sis looking out the window.  You spent a lot of the ride looking out - which is why the train has such big windows.  Things are meant to be seen.

You met princess Merida.  Asked her if she was real.  She told you that she told her story to a writer, then disney came and drew her.  The idea was that she was real before she was a cartoon.

I must say that I would like to enable scrubbing of metadata from pictures posted in the blog.  That is my paranoid self talking, though.

You went to the bibbity bobbity boutique and got pink hair and makeup.  You loved it.  You have longed for pink hair since you saw A Mermaids Tale.  You would NOT stop moving for the camera.  Too excited, I guess. This is the only not-motion-blurry picture that I have of you.

Mommy, however has the picture of when you first found you could get pink hair.

Snow whites mother was an amazing actress, and I sincerely wish I had the pictures to post of her here.  She deserves a raise.  She was off to the side, no official hubub, and what a character.  Telling gang-banger looking folks that they are trying to look more sinister than her.  Brassy and an incisive wit.  I admire her - surprisingly.  Her first question was "Is that a magic wand??"

To the yes she said "We don't want her having one of those." with a smile.  She then asked if you would like to look "regal" in the photo.  She asked if you fed micro apple juice, and when you said yes, she approved.

We went to submarines and the lines were waay long.  Data was getting "burn out" and a wonderful man said "this is a time for a magical moment" and moved us to the front of the line.  I don't think I am ever going to forget that.  What a wonderful gift - it really made the difference of that stay and like is the reason we are considering trying to go back toward the end of the year.

We tried to go to Pixie Hollow but the lines were over an hour.  When we got back later it was closed.  It should have been an early morning visit for us.

Here is a picture of you and Micro at a wall.

We met Mickey and Minie Mouse, and Woody and Jessie from toy story.

The lady in charge of the USS Victory sailing ship, when asked who was Captain, answered that you were.  You took it seriously and spent most of the trip driving the wheel of the ship.

Mommy got a pick of mathdad and girls on the deck of the ship.

We had a delicious dinner and got fairy LED straw light things.  You also got tired of the appliance in your hair and asked for it to be let down.  There was a LOT of hair-spray in that hair.

Micro had a ton of fun playing with Napkins.

You also enjoyed Tarzan's tree house quite a bit.  You and your math-mommy went twice through it.

I think we left the Disney card with links to the Disney pictures at my grandmothers house, so we may or may not ever see it.  It is easy to lose a card.

Lessons for next time:

  • going around back to avoid lines is good
  • see pixie hollow and princesses early
  • try to visit toontown.
  • the "natives" know good food.  Ask a princess or one of their courtiers where they eat in the park.
  • magical moments are the best and I should look for opportunities to grant them to others.
  • the disney app for android - I found it afterwards.  Will try to use it next time.  
  • the fairytale boat ride (with Monstro) was a much shorter wait than it looked like, and a good deal.
  • get the fastpass.  you don't have to pay more money for it.  get to the fastpass machine early is good.
  • next time we make sure to see tinker bell, ride the carousel, and maybe try driving the cars.
I deeply and sincerely wish that Disney had a "picture search" where I could put in a picture of you and get the pictures we likely are not going to find that are in their systems.

Update: Disney has an "I lost my photopass" website.  I sent them our information and was able to access it.  Now I wait for next payday when I can spend ~$1/picture to get the pics from the pass.

LA County Natural History Museum

We went to the LA county natural history museum.  Your delightful Auntie Mary arranged for us to get in free - what a wonderful gift to the little girl (you) who has all the species of the dinosaur train memorized.

We first saw their butterfly pavilion.  They have a larger number of species than the AZ botanical garden butterfly pavilion, and they try to replicate nature and model sustainability more aggressively as well.

We saw all the dinosaurs (but many pictures are on mommy and auntie cameras).  All the Mammals.

We saw a Stegosaurous

and I am convinced that the plates are thermal, not just color.  I wonder if, given the mass of the dinosaur and the estimated metabolism, the thermal engineering of the plates can tell us about the thermo-fluid properties of the stegosaurus environment.  Is dinosaur informed biomimetic thermal engineering possible?  useful?  It is certainly as marketable as denticles which are primarily thermal as well.

Although not clear what species this is, it certainly looks familiar and a bit fun-loving:

La Brea Tar Pit Museum

We saw the La Brea Tarpits museum.  It is in the middle of downtown and looks like you just drove by a tiny stretch of park - tall buildings all around.  It is very anachronistic, and not very museum of natural history-like.

Here is you near a model of a giant sloth.

Here is your sister there:

Here is you and your mathmommy posing for pictures.

Here is micro looking over a branch.

Here is you looking over that tree

Here is a pic of you near a wooly mammoth.

The official photo didn't account for the green in your shirt or your sisters binkey so they disappeared.  You looked like a floating head.

Here is you and your daddy being stone-age hunters:

Here is your daddy fending off a ferocious mini-moo math-girl-icus:


We went to Yosemite and saw Mariposa grove of Sequoias.  Largest living organisms in the history of the world .  Thousands of years old too, some of them.  The scale of these things is very hard to communicate.  They are phenomenally large.

What are those tiny specs at the bottom of this next tree?  Oh yeah!  They are people.

These things are easily 30 feet across and hundreds of feet tall.  You can drive an S-10 pickup through the gap in the tree pictured below.  It is just immense.

Here is you, me, and micro at a rest break.  You and I are showing a peace sign while the baby is signing "dada", I think.

This is us at a tunnel tree.  Ten people could stand shoulder to shoulder across the width of the square tunnel made in that tree. 

I really think that a good structural engineer in wood should look at the sharp square corners in this giant tree and suggest the radius that will reduce the stress concentration for it.

We saw bridal veil falls.  You tripped and fell on your butt and cried.  It hurt and you didn't want to be there.  I did not relent, and with help got you across the rocks.  I let you sit, and I patted and splashed in the (tiny, summer) stream coming from the falls with Micro.  She had fun and you eventually came to join us.  I want you to learn that sometimes good things hurt at the start, and instead of running in fear if you look at someone who is truly trustable, and who has walked end-to-end that path then maybe you can see something worth seeing that makes enduring that pain worth the effort.

Here is your mathmommy at the entrance to the Yosemite Valley:

There is Half-dome and kaitan - I think that is how it is spelled.

Here is your sister and I looking at the stream from Bridal Veil falls:

Here is me and my girls sitting together.

Here is you and I on a log, on the way out of this park.  We went home after this.

I want to upload your voice telling me about dinosaurs and singing dinosaur train songs.  We also have a video of you describing how you are a super-hero like catwoman and what your name and powers are.  I need to edit the video so we can post it online.


On the way home we stopped by CalTech.  I got a picture in a place where one of my heros, Charlie Eppes, walked.

If I was stunningly successful in life, then I would love to attend and study here.  If I became independently wealthy then maybe I could afford a second masters - possibly one in applied computational mathematics, or combinatorics.

And then we drove home.  ~2000 miles with kids in car-seats.  LA traffic going 8 miles per hour (average).  Those folks could learn a thing or two from Phoenix.  We go 80+ not 8+.  Crazy.

Afterward stuff

We should have had many more pictures with your great grandma, your anties and uncles, and more than our nuclear math-selves.  I miss not having that here.

I have to now go help my sis, your auntie B, move.  She is getting stuff from storage for her apartment.  Isaac and Allana are there too.  I wonder who Alan was to my mom.  It is where Allana gets her name.  Mom doesn't talk about him, though.  I suspect Alan was a decision that my mom made as a teen.

Time to go.  I love you so.  I want to empower you.  I hoped the trip would be great, but I don't think it was so valuable to you.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the good that we hoped.

How am I going to help empower you to make the most and most excellent of your life?  I would very much like to work out a good and appropriate answer to that question.

I love you.  I love your sister and mathmommy too.


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