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Pics from Dec 2014

979 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 61. Second cut down to the required 31 for December. Here we go…


2014-12-01 02:47 UTC – Alex shows that he knows how to use chopsticks.


2014-12-05 23:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy installed a brand new sink!


2014-12-07 20:32 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Roscoe is pretty sure he is much smaller than he really is. He is the right size for a lap dog, right?


2014-12-07 20:38 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Of course, there was one person who noticed they were not in the picture, and they felt they needed to be. So we made room.


2014-12-08 00:30 UTC (posted earlier) – Alex celebrates the picking of the Christmas tree.


2014-12-08 16:51 – Alex watching Roscoe as Roscoe contemplates if he should get out while the getting is good.


2014-12-09 06:39 UTC – This IS what stockings are for, aren’t they?


2014-12-09 20:39 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara posed by some of my mom’s Christmas decorations


2014-12-10 01:17 UTC – Alex kicking back in my home office.


2014-12-11 04:02 UTC – And in the lobby during one of Amy’s performances for school.


2014-12-12 06:09 UTC – A Lego creation by Alex.


2014-12-17 04:19 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy took Alex to the bookstore. He got mad at her about something. He decided to sit at his own table. Then he fell asleep with his head down on the table.


2014-12-20 01:20 UTC – Alex in my office playing Minecraft… which in December was rapidly on the way to displacing Portal 2 and Trainz Driver for the “favorite computer game” crown.


2014-12-21 01:59 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara and Alex playing at Grandma Ruth’s house.


2014-12-21 03:27 UTC – Alex gets into giggle fits when Sara licks him.


2014-12-24 05:49 UTC – Excitement builds! Christmas approaches!


2014-12-24 13:05 UTC – Regardless of the excitement, I’m not sure I would choose to sleep with my head by this part of the dog. But it was just fine for Alex!


2014-12-24 20:12 UTC (picture by my mom) – Sara got a new bed as an early Christmas present. She liked it!


2014-12-25 05:56 UTC – For the first time this year we put lights on the outside of the house!


2014-12-25 05:56 UTC – The lights were color shifting, so there were different colors and patterns every few seconds.


2014-12-25 08:11 UTC – As he prepares for bed on Christmas eve, Alex surveys the presents. In our family, everybody opens one present on Christmas eve. Here Alex has picked the one for me to open… one of his gifts for me of course. (It was candy.)


2014-12-25 15:55 UTC (posted earlier) – In the morning, not a creature was stirring, not even a dog…


2014-12-25 16:00 UTC – The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…


2014-12-25 18:49 UTC – In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there! (OK, some sort of photographic accident, but it could be St. Nick, right? :-) )


2014-12-25 18:49 UTC – Soon the presents were flowing. Here is Grandma Ruth in the wonderful vest Alex bought for her! I’m sure she’ll be wearing it all over town!


2014-12-25 19:18 UTC – Amy and Alex worked together opening some presents.


2014-12-25 19:20 UTC (picture by my mom) – I relax and observe the activities while Alex attacks Amy in the background.


2014-12-26 00:10 UTC – Christmas over, Alex was very insistent that we take a picture of this mutant potato chip.


2014-12-28 01:37 UTC – Then Brandy broke her phone.


2014-12-30 04:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – We go out for the evening and Amy and Alex enjoy some pizza. Yes, Alex is wearing pants on his head. As he does.


2014-12-31 06:34 UTC – As New Year’s approached, time for one last snuggle on the couch to watch TV

Pics from Nov 2014

937 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 50. Second cut got it to the required 1 per day 30 for the month of November.


2014-11-01 01:13 UTC – Remember I divide things based on Universal time, so in Seattle Trick or Treat is early on November 1st and that is how we start the month. For the second year running, Brandy made Alex a train as his costume. He also wore a conductor-like outfit.


2014-11-01 02:08 UTC – The train leaves the station with Grandma Ruth right behind.


2014-11-01 02:14 UTC (picture by Grandma Ruth) – At first, all the stops were like this. Alex insisting on hiding in the train while begging me to do the doorbell ringing to collect his candy.


2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – Later, after a bit of coaxing, we got him to actually go up and ring the bell.


2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – After which he would immediately turn and run. He would then hide in the train again.


2014-11-01 02:56 UTC (Picture by Grandma Ruth) – Eventually toward the end, he finally (reluctantly) did the whole thing himself a couple of times.


2014-11-01 03:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – This was Amy’s first outfit for Freaknight.


2014-11-01 04:04 UTC – Trick or Treating over, Alex wants us to inspect some food he found.


2014-11-02 01:1? UTC (picture by Brandy) – Amy was going to be Chell (from Portal and Portal 2) for her second costume for Freaknight, but it was canceled for this evening. Amy was sad.


2014-11-02 01:14 UTC – Amy was not the only one in the family into Portal though, and Alex wanted a turn at the Portal Device.


2014-11-04 20:35 UTC – Alex was working hard in his workshop on new train layouts, but it wouldn’t do quite what he wanted, so he was getting very frustrated. Not much later, this particular layout was no more.


2014-11-07 00:54 UTC – I got a pic of a nice sunset in Lynnwood, WA.


2014-11-08 20:23 UTC – Roscoe wants to know why I am taking his picture.


2014-11-13 21:59 UTC – Alex had a trip to the dentist that required him to be asleep via anesthesia. This was right afterwards. He had roused enough that they were OK sending him home, but he was still basically asleep.


2014-11-13 22:19 UTC – Once he woke up his first request was McDonald’s. We had to tell him he wasn’t supposed to eat for another hour or so. He was very unhappy about this. He really wanted McDonald’s.


2014-11-15 21:52 UTC – A few days later though it was all forgotten. He wandered the aisles of a drug store choosing things he wanted, including the hat, glasses and brush, and asked to pose with his loot. (Which he did get to have.)


2014-11-17 22:42 UTC (Picture by Amy) – Um, then Amy totaled her car. Nobody was hurt except the car.


2014-11-17 22:?? UTC (Picture by Amy) – Amy was very sad though. Poor car.


2014-11-20 22:39 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy got to go with Alex to a Thanksgiving thing at his school. Alex made faces while he ate.


2014-11-22 01:56 UTC – I’ve got Alex pumping gas for me.


2014-11-23 04:58 UTC – Alex decided that to be warm he needed to join me inside my sweater.


2014-11-23 18:37 UTC – Alex is starting to REALLY get into Lego. Usually it is vehicles of one sort or another, but this time he made this, which he said was “a dog in his yard”.


2014-11-27 03:16 UTC – And when he visits Grandma Ruth, he plays with MY old Lego from when I was a kid. You can also see the Mr. Potato Head that was modified to look like my High School Physics teacher Mr. Posa as part of a Rube Goldberg project my senior year of high school.


2014-11-28 01:45 UTC – Amy is not amused as I attempt to take pictures of her as we get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.


2014-11-28 01:50 UTC – A few minutes later, Alex elaborates on a story he wanted to tell before dinner.


2014-11-28 05:49 UTC – Later in the evening, food cleared away, Alex starts on some crafts.


2014-11-28 21:00 UTC – Pair of pants on head as a hat? Check! Second pair of pants in case you lose the first hat? Check! Blanket? Check! One of mommy’s purses? Check! Lets go on an adventure!


2014-11-29 16:26 UTC – Alex and Roscoe check out the first snowfall of the season.


2014-11-29 18:24 UTC – Daddy is just cold.


2014-11-29 18:36 UTC – There wasn’t that much snow, and it wasn’t very good for packing, but this was our pitiful attempt at a snowman. It was about 4 to 5 inches tall.

And thus ends November.

Pics from Sep 2014

1076 pictures for the month.  First pass narrowed to 70. These are the 30 that best represent September.


2014-09-01 06:39 UTC (Picture by Amy) – An Amy Selfie to start the month. (Yeah, yeah, I already used this one on her birthday post.)


2014-09-01 21:44 UTC – Alex chases after Amy at Bumbershoot


2014-09-02 02:19 UTC – Alex and me joining the family after a quick romp through the fountain at Bumbershoot


2014-09-02 04:36 UTC – Amy comforts Alex after he tripped and took a bad spill while running after her to get into the EDM venue at Bumbershoot. After this he was done for the night.


2014-09-03 16:58 UTC – First day of school for Alex


2014-09-05 01:19 UTC – We didn’t even know we had an apple tree, but one day we noticed this hanging off a tree in our front yard. We think it is the tree’s very first apple. Awww…


2014-09-07 19:44 UTC – Brandy accidentally made a sculpture out of frosting.


2014-09-11 21:53 UTC – Alex plays in a balloon room at a local mall. (Posted before as part of Alex through the Years.)


2014-09-11 22:13 UTC – Alex and I built a robot! He knocked it over seconds later of course.


2014-09-12 20:28 UTC – Alex’s class at school prepares for his birthday ceremony, where the birthday kid circles a candle representing the sun once for each year of their lives, while the parents show pictures of them from each year and say something brief about what the kid was like each year. Brandy and I were participating, so no pictures of the actual event.


2014-09-12 22:21 UTC – Once we were home, it was time for our own birthday celebrations, and Roscoe got to wear the birthday hat from school.


2014-09-12 22:22 UTC – Grandma Ruth got to wear the hat too.


2014-09-12 22:48 UTC – Brandy made a train cake for Alex.


2014-09-12 23:11 UTC – Alex with a present from Grandma Ruth.


2014-09-12 23:14 UTC – Alex opening a present from Amy.


2014-09-14 05:27 UTC – One of Alex’s presents was a lego set from Papa Bill and Grandma Cathy. Alex has been getting more into Lego lately. Here he diligently follows the instructions to assemble this set.


2014-09-14 05:45 UTC – And here is the final product. Alex assembled it almost entirely himself, following the instructions in the booklet. He only asked for help on one or two of the many steps in the process. In the following days, he did several other lego sets too.


2014-09-16 23:48 UTC – A few days later, it was time for my birthday. Alex wanted Brandy to make me a train cake too, but Brandy was sick at the time, so instead Amy and Alex went to the store. Alex picked this hamburger and fries cake for me instead.


2014-09-17 00:19 UTC – Amy presents me with my biggest present, from her and Brandy. Can you guess what it is? (It was a much needed new chair for my home office.)


2014-09-20 22:31 UTC – Grandma Ruth took Alex, Roscoe and me on an adventure in a nearby park. This was the start of our hike.


2014-09-20 23:22 UTC – The destination of the hike was a little area on the shore of Lake Washington. Roscoe and Alex spent a few minutes playing in the water!


2014-09-20 23:34 UTC – After the hike and playing a bit, Roscoe was ready for a bit of a rest. We had a picnic. Roscoe patiently waited to share.


2014-09-21 00:02 UTC – Alex and I climb up on a large tree that had fallen over and leaned over the lake


2014-09-21 00:04 UTC – Alex does not seem impressed as he dismounts from the fallen tree.


2014-09-21 00:07 UTC – After the tree, there is some time for some more splashing at the edge of the lake.


2014-09-21 00:18 UTC – Then it was time for the hike back to the car. Everybody was a little tired by this point. But we had to keep going.


2014-09-21 01:50 to 01:56 UTC – Once back in the car, a certain someone couldn’t quite manage to stay awake.


2014-09-23 01:11 UTC – Uh, he is not supposed to climb up there.


2014-09-26 00:31 UTC – My mom and Sara. A good team.


2014-09-27 22:24 UTC – Alex told Brandy that he wanted some fresh paper and markers and such. Brandy got him this new art desk thing. Since then Alex has been “art-ing” every chance he gets, producing many many pages of drawings and paintings and other things. He uses that desk almost every day now!

And that wraps up September…

Less Eventful 6th (UTC)

The day began with intense lego concentration:


Brandy played with Bananagrams:


Amy was more educational with the letter tiles:


Alex was still all about the Lego though:






Before leaving my office, we needed to take a mugshot:


Then we finally left the office and headed for the traditional trains. Alex saw the monorail:


But first we waited for the Seattle Streecar (previously known as the South Lake Union Trolley”):


Which was ridden with varying levels of interest:



We got off the train to look at a fountain:




If you look carefully, you’ll notice we left Alex’s backpack on the train.

Brandy called to make sure they knew it wasn’t a bomb. Then we made sure to catch the same train to go back, and retrieved the bag from the driver.


Then it was time to eat:


And monorail:


And running with sister at Seattle Center:


And there is the Space Needle!:


(Picture by Amy)

But eventually, kicking and screaming, it is time to start heading home:


One more monorail ride first of course:



And a trip to the bookstore:


Alex of course fell asleep on the car ride home. He almost made it. But not quite. Fell asleep and was sleep eating a rice crispy treat for awhile.

Then I put together my post about the 5th:


Later, once everyone was up again, Alex watched a portal walkthrough video while I got ready for my day:


A couple hours later he was still watching it. He had switched to the iPad, and hadn’t watched straight through, instead watching and re-watching parts he really liked. I’m not sure he has made it all the way through, but I know he has watched the ending a few times, and many of the parts in between. :-) He studies it very intently.


Finally, we headed out to the Apple store, because Amy’s phone had recently been acting up… and as she was getting ready to go to the Apple store for her genius appointment, she dropped the phone magnificently, and smashed its front, back and sides as bad as any smashed iPhone I’ve ever seen in person. So any chance of getting it replaced under warrantee because it was just acting odd went out the window. :-)

Anyway, on the way there, Alex fell asleep in the car…


And thus I spent the last couple hours of the 6th (and another hour or so of the 7th) sitting in the car with a sleeping Alex while Brandy and Amy took care of Amy’s phone and a few other things. Can’t say I was totally thrilled by this time in the car. But I did listen to a few podcasts and read a bit of my twitter and news feeds, so I guess that was OK.

Anyway, thus ended our two days of holiday fun.

Eventful 5th (UTC)


(Picture by Amy)

As we usually do, we went to the Bellevue Family Fourth.


This time my mom joined us.


Alex was ready for fireworks.


If only they weren’t so loud!


Pretty though.


Then after the fireworks, while driving home, Amy saw a loose dog running in the road.  A 30 minute pursuit followed, first in the car, then on foot, first on big roads with plenty of traffic, then onto a small residential street.  Toward the end we were joined by the people in a second car.  After much skittishness and running, the dog finally climbed into Amy’s car.  It had no collar or tags.  We ended up taking it to a 24 hour vet recommended by the people at the non-emergency police line.  They confirmed it had no chip identifying it either.  For now they are keeping it, and it will be on all the appropriate lists of missing pets in the morning if the owners call in for it.  We’ll check in on her too to make sure her people find her.  (Roscoe would NOT have been pleased if we had brought her home. :-) )


In the morning, I assembled the weekly podcast, sometimes with Alex’s help.

After that, we went out for some late breakfast, then headed to my office.  The first stop was the cafe area, where Amy and Alex immediately found Lego…


This was good, because the original plan to look down from the 9th and 11th floors at construction underway didn’t work out, because apparently the construction folks had the 5th off…


The Lego building lasted a long time…


As the 5th ended, Amy and Alex were still playing with Lego.

The usual adventure of train riding was still yet to come.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Lego in Space

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Travel Agents
  • Debt Ceiling Deal
  • Credit Downgrade
  • Eurocrisis
  • Econ Outlook
  • Juno

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 7 Aug 2011″]


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