Thursday, December 29, 2005


We're in SF and Val was wondering how anybody had time to blog. This is a response to that.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Star Wars is everywhere!

We can't escape it.

We're 3000 miles from the Museum of Science Star Wars exhibit, about the same distance from Hollywood, and at least that far from the English studios where Empire Strikes Back was made.

We're in Sint Maarten, on the streets of Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island and we see the storefront:

YodaGuy? Yodaguy.

Turns out one of the guys who was instrumental in the creation of Yoda, Nick Maley, "traded his Ferrari for a sail boat, cruised the Caribbean for almost a year and established a base" on Antigua. He paints and draws and has galleries on that island and on Saint Martin/Sint Maarten.

Unfortunately, Austin was asleep in the stroller but Mari got to see the shop:

The website is amusing, with stories of how Yoda and other creatures were built. The story of nailing a guy to the floor also has its moments. And, from his bio, I found out that Maley also directed the video for Duran Duran's "Wild Boys."

Duran Duran is everywhere!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Scared of Santa

This is a good time waster. Pictures of kids scared of Santa. The captions occasionally add humor, and are occasionally totally superfluous.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Favorite song

I'm eventually going to write something about our week in St. Martin, but until I do, an anecdote from the trip.

We were driving along the wild roads when Austin started singing "Twinkle Star." Then he interrupted himself to tell us that was his favorite song. In the quiet, we heard dozens of chirping insects and then he asked, what's that noise?

Julie told him, those are insects.

"They're singing Twinkle Star with me!"


Monday, December 12, 2005

Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Pictures

Here're some photos, not in any particular order:

Austin on the beach (Dawn Beach).Stop! In the name of love! Dawn Beach.
People on stilts, Front Street, Philipsburg. No idea why was happening, but I just managed to get a shot of them before they walked off.
Austin is a Bob Marley fan. Trying on a hat at the Marigot Wednesday market.
Santa Claus on the beach (Baie Oriental).
Splashing with Nana at the pool at the Villa Robinson.
The kids on the beach (Baie Oriental)
From the pool deck of the Villa Robinson, looking east.
Austin climbs a tree at Mullet Bay Beach (a "sea grape" tree).

Villa Robinson again.

Rosemary takes Mari in for a wade. She loves to splash (Mari, not Rose).

Okay, I took a lot of pictures from the Villa looking east (toward St Bart's). But can you blame me?

Thursday, December 01, 2005


We had a singalong the day after Thanksgiving.

It happened rather casually -- probably about the dozenth (is that a word?) time we passed some neighbors with similarly aged kids, we said, hey yeah, we should get together and play some guitar some time. And then it happened. I said to Julie, how about the morning after Thanksgiving? And the invites went out (along with some mix cds and song lyrics to try to build up a common repertoire) and the neighbors came over.

Chris on the right there, came with guitar in hand, wife and children in tow. I was impressed by the whole family: by his playing, by how well behaved their three sons are and by the fact that Judy (who sings quite well) knew all the words to the Bob the Builder theme song.

JB, Susan and Julia came over, too. There's Julia on drums. More great singing! Amy said she only wished she heard more of JB's great deep voice. The effort to actually schedule the singalong can be credited to Susan who got us to go see Dan Zanes -- his love of playing music with his family is infectious. (Oh and I should point out that JB now thinks that we have fires in our house all the time. No! Just when we have guests. Thanks, by the way, for helping with lunch JB!)

Andrew, Julide and Hector brought uncle Jonathan along and I immediately handed him a guitar (he's in the first picture up there). Jonathan is a natural for this kind of thing, no doubt honed from years of hanging out before Dead concerts.

Hermana Amy sang along too and miraculously John and Lucia slept through all the racket! That's good sleeping, kid.

It was fun, a casual gathering that had some weight, if that makes any sense. I guess what I mean is, it was memorable and we hope to do it again sometime soon.

Here's one of the songs we sang:

Study War No More (Down by the riverside)

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield, Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside, Down by the riverside
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield, Down by the riverside
I ain't gonna study war no more.
E | B7 E | E | B7 E

I ain't gonna study war, I ain't gonna study war
I ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war, I ain't gonna study war
I ain't gonna study war no more
A E | B7 E |A E | B7 E

I'm gonna put on my long white robe, Down by....

I'm gonna put on that starry crown, Down by...

I'm gonna shake hands with all the world, Down by...