Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yesterday was a day of firsts for Dane: he finally successfully tied and double-knotted his shoes several times and he successfully rode his bike without training wheels for several periods of a few minutes. Why has it taken so long to get those things accomplished? you may ask. Well, something finally clicked with the shoe-tying efforts, and let's just say I finally looked for and found the right tools to take the trainers off. They were up off the ground at a ridiculous angle prior to that. I kept thinking Mick would get around to the wheels on a mini-break, but the project got sidelined with wall anchors for the bookcase and a visit to the Bay Model. (Yes, Uncle Rod, those are still sidelined--but at least we're a little bit closer now, right? Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Yeah, I'll probably have to search for the drill and stud-finder and get out a stool...)

Today Mick submitted a twelve tooth case presentation. Now he has a Physio test on Friday and then he heads into Finals next week. Six more days of school before we're FINISHED WITH THE FIRST YEAR!!! But who's counting?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day
Just spent about fifteen bucks and two hours at the laundromat with the kids. Mick dropped us off, but, since he took the van in to spend Memorial Day prepping teeth in the lab, we walked back with our three huge canvas bags of laundry in the double jogger. Felt a little bit like a bag lady with a couple of strays tagging along but didn't bother being too proud. I think that's my "practical" gene in action. Of course there are other things I'm too proud about: for instance, I'd never go out in public with a Danielle Steele book (let alone read one, for heaven's sake!). Obviously, though, that has nothing to do with practicality, but is simply pure snobbery. She, of course, gets the last laugh when I walk by her mansion in downtown San Francisco with my two strays in tow.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Above is Lola, by our friend Eric Friesen. Lola is now featured in Bellingham's Big Rock Garden and won the Juror's Award and was voted People's Choice "Best in Show" on May 15th this year. This is Eric's first sculpture, I believe, but one of his other great works of art is a handmade cedar strip kayak that Mick drools over.

Our friend Andrew Schneidler just earned his Law degree from Seattle University while functioning as a stay-at-home dad. His zippy wife Michele brought home the bacon and is ready to retire for a while now. (I stole this picture from his evite photo album, so I'm afraid it might have to stay puny.)

Mick's cousin Kate Reynolds, pictured here with Uncle Rod and Aunt Susie, just earned her BA in Biology from St. Mary's in Maryland. As far as I know, she's debating her next step: Med School? Hospital Administration? (Is that right, Kate? Anyway, we can figure it out on the Inside Passage Cruise next month...)

My friend Karen Urlie, soprano, recently competed as a finalist in the NATSAA Regional Competition held in Washington state after earning First Place in the Western Washington District Competition. She has also recently sung as a soloist in a Tacoma performance of Mozart's Requiem, and as a soloist in Viva, Mozart! with the Bellevue Chamber Chorus. On Sunday she wrapped up shows in the chorus of The Seattle Opera's MacBeth and will perform in upcoming operas there as a permanent chorus member. If you want to hear an exquisite voice, listen to her on her website.

[Photo Insert: Buff Stud Cousin Andrew]
Mick's li'l cousin Andrew Reynolds, State Champ Swimmer, graduated from Episcopal of Acadiana and received a scholarship to swim for LSU.

My friend Jeff Koehler, from Anchorage tour guide days, now lives in Barcelona and recently published La Paella: Deliciously Authentic Rice Dishes from Spain's Mediterranean Coast. He's also the photographer for the Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook. Find his books at

On June 19, 2006, Mick's brother, Kai Reynolds, DDS, will begin the University of Washington's two-year Endodontics program.

*Note: Perhaps you feel you've been overlooked in this first edition of Netty's Brag Page. Send a photo and the details of your accomplishment and I'll consider publishing it. News from any decade is welcome.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Frank Lloyd Wright
Marin County Civic Center
We went to the Marin County Civic Center, a renowned Frank Lloyd Wright building, after our walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a Saturday, so the only open area inside was the library. We entered the lobby through a tall wroughtiron gate to take the elevator up to the library; in that lobby were concrete tiers with plantbeds, a roped off escalator, and this old-time looking ticket booth. I felt like I was in a funky time warp: it felt simultaneously out-of-date and hip.

It was interesting to see all the functional, practical parts of the structure offset with strange, surprising ornamentation (see above gold globes, for instance--way too many to count). I wish I knew more about architecture to understand Wright's choices. I pretty much only have Ayn Rand's Howard Roark as my model from The Fountainhead. Mike, though, silently strolled the halls, leaned over ledges, hiked out to overlooks and read the building with his camera in hand. He'd seen other Wright buildings (in Pennsylvania? Illinois?) as an Architecture student at Washington University in St. Louis and was curious to take in this one. (To his credit, he explained concepts to me, but I've managed to forget the details. Should've written them down!)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

During Mick's Spring Break, Mike and Jan (Grandad and Grammy) came to town. Mike stayed for 5 days, Jan for 14. Since we got sick at the tail end of Jan's visit (note the whiny Sick City entry below somewhere), it's taken some time to put together an entry reflecting on their time here. Here's a photo diary. (Photos courtesy of Mike and Jan)

Day 1, March 21
Mike and Jan arrive at Oakland Airport
and take Aubrey to Ballet Lesson

Day 2, March 22
Pre-school, burrito lunches
and the Marin Headlands Golden Gate Bridge overlook

Day 3, March 23
Big Dino Exhibit at Lawrence Hall of Science,
including talk with "paleantologist"
(not quite, but that's what the brochure said),
and dinner at The Outback

Day 5, March 25
Walking the Golden Gate Bridge,
San Rafael's Civic Center Frank Lloyd Wright Building
(Will add a separate entry for more pix of FLWright building.)

Day 6, March 26
Mick, Mike, Dane & Aubrey hit downtown San Francisco
before dropping Mike off at Oakland Airport

Will make a separate entry for
the remainder of the visit, March 27-April 4 with Jan.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


The MOSAIC club at Pacific (basically a diversity club) put on a Cinco de Mayo party at the Post Apartments in downtown San Francisco last night. The Post Apartments are for Pacific DDS students--no kids allowed as residents; however, we brought Dane and Aubrey along for the party.

We did the usual Cinco de Mayo celebrating: ate tacos--well, Aubrey ate a big bowl of grated cheese and a tortilla; does that count?--and cookies, and drank grape sodas and other festive bevies. Although Dane and Aubrey were the only kids, people were great about letting them hang out and participate. Dane played a lot of fussball, Aubrey collected tissue paper fiesta flowers. Mick and I even got to play several games of cut-throat pool with fellow students Ryan and Pete. It was a really fun, low stress night.

Around 10 we started wrapping up to go home, but first we went up to Pete's place on the fourth floor so Dane could check out Pete's light saber, which actually lights up and makes light saber sounds when it makes contact. We also got to see his $1500 custom-made Bobofat costume (I have no idea if that's anywhere close to how to write/say that character's name, but perhaps you're getting the picture that Pete's a Star Wars fanatic; he's also a big video gamer). Dane started telling Pete about the (much smaller) light saber he made at home with his K'Nex set, and Pete said K'Nex were after his time, but he knew about Legos and told Dane it was good for him to build as much and as often as he could. On our way out, Pete showed us some jump-dive-and-roll karate moves he knew. Dane showed him a series of cartwheels.

All the way home (and this morning, and today), Dane's been reminding us to call Pete so we can "set up another play date." He's even designed and set out the specific items he'll bring to Pete's house--his K'Nex light saber and two K'Nex bows and arrows (one for Pete, of course).

We're working on scheduling another playdate.

This morning Mick got up and went mountain bike riding with some guys from school at China Camp, just 15 minutes north in San Rafael. He came home while the kids and I were at the Sausalito Street Faire (yes, that's Fair with an -e) and then he got caught up on some much-needed sleep after his rigorous two-week Endo block (I think he made it home before 10pm one night during that time frame) and a tough Physio exam. The kids napped too after their Cinco de Mayo late night.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Local Paleantology

If you ask Dane, he's already a paleantologist. He takes it as a personal affront if one assumes he is simply going to be one. As a result, he loves everything dinosaur and knows more than anyone I've ever met. Admittedly, I don't know any other paleantologists and I don't know very many other 5-year-old boys intimately; nonetheless, I'm impressed with his knowledge.

Aubrey has climbed aboard the dinotrain too, and together they work to recall which dinosaurs lived in specific eras (Triassic, Jurassic or Cretaceous); almost daily they categorize their plastic dinosaurs into carnivores, herbivores and omnivores; and they try to memorize sizes and speeds. In addition to being able to name/identify about thirty of them they're also intrigued by other prehistoric creatures as well. (The first mammal, anyone? The kids are sleeping now, so I can't ask them--but it would take about one second to find out, trust me.)

Their favorite resources: the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs DVD narrated by Kenneth Brannaugh, the kids version of that with Ben Stiller narrating the show as Prehistoric Planet, their LeapPad dinosaur booklet, and about twenty books from the library over the past few months--serious books. We also visited UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science for their Big Dino exhibit, which has life-size robot dinosaurs that'll curl your blood. (In fact, the Ceolophysus did just about that--just ask Aubrey.)

Their favorite stories: Sid and Marty Kroft's Land of the Lost series on DVD (1970s), Syd Hof's Danny and the Dinosaur (the book and the Scholastic DVD), The Magic School Bus "Dinosaur Detectives" chapter book (and, well, anything Magic School Bus really), Dinosailors, All Aboard the Dinotrain, and the How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night series.

Some favorite games: "Dinosaur Bingo" and "Dinosaur Excavation." (Remember the old "Operation" game? Think T. Rex fossils and a roar instead of a buzzer. It still takes a very steady hand...)

In the photos here, the kids are excavating two different dinosaur fossils, a T. Rex and a Velociraptor each, which they then assembled.