Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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We’re on a mission…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:37 pm

It’s time for the fourth-grade Mission project. This is apparently something that all fourth-graders in California do. For years, I’ve been seeing the models of the various missions displayed in the hallways outside the fourth-grade classrooms. And this year it was Lucinda’s turn. Her assignment was to do a report and make a model of the Mission San Antonio de Padua. And here is the result.


The Force is strong with this one

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

Tonight at dinner, Lucinda was showing me that she can pick up ice with her chopsticks. A long time ago, I’d told her that I used to do this for practice, and she wanted to show me that she’d mastered it.

I’m so proud of her.


Under the Sea and up on the rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 9:24 pm

This afternoon, Susan and I took Lucinda and her friend to the California Science Center IMAX theater to see “Under the Sea 3-D”. We’ve been fans of the 3-D IMAX movies since going to see “Sea Monsters” last year.

When we got there, Lucinda had to try lifting the truck at the lever demonstration exhibit in the parking lot. Today was the first time that she was big enough to be able to lift it.

The movie was good, although it was a bit odd, since it was narrated by Jim Carrey. I guess he’s trying to stretch his dramatic range a bit.

After the movie, we went into the museum. Lucinda and her friend wanted to try the rock climbing wall. Apparently, it’s harder than it looks, since they only made it about halfway up. We looked around the museum a bit more before they closed. Then we headed home, after the obligatory stop in the gift shop.

It was a nice afternoon, and marks the first time that Susan and I have taken Lucinda somewhere together.

Pictures are in her photo album.


Lucinda’s 10th birthday party

Filed under: — stan @ 9:35 pm

Today was Lucinda’s 10th birthday party. Her actual birthday was a few days ago, but we had the party today so she could have puppies there.

The kids started arriving at 11:30. I cooked up a giant batch of Pad Thai noodles with chicken for them. Everyone had lunch while waiting for the puppies to arrive. They showed up at 12:30 as scheduled. The kids all got to sit down in the pen and pet and hold the puppies. The puppies were a big hit with the kids.

After the puppies left, we went inside for cake and ice cream. As always, I made the cake, although the decoration was one I ordered from Gogo Cake in West Hollywood. Lucinda wanted a platypus on her cake, and they have an application that allows for uploading a picture that they print on a thin sheet of icing to be placed on the cake.

This year, the karaoke machine came out and actually got some good use. The first time Lucinda tried to have karaoke at her party it didn’t work out very well. That time the kids were too self-conscious to sing. But this time they got over it and had some fun doing it.

After everyone left, Lucinda opened her presents. She had a very fun day.

As always, the pictures are in her photo album.


Lucinda’s birthday

Filed under: — stan @ 10:33 pm

Today was Lucinda’s birthday, and she was going to be at my house, so I planned for a special dinner for her. I printed up a program for the occasion, announcing the special prix fixe menu for the evening:

After dinner, she got to open some presents. I got her another platypus shirt, along with a Wii controller and wheel. Susan gave her an iTunes gift card and a jewelry making kit. And after dinner we all went to the back and played Mario Kart.

It was a nice evening.


Yet another day at Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 12:03 am

I took Lucinda and her friend Claire to Disneyland today. I still think it’s a bit amazing that I’m willing to go to Disneyland, but in any event, we had a fun time. Most of the pictures are in Lucinda’s photo album.

We rode lots of rides, and it was actually a very fun day. And I got a big pickle.


Deck the home

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

Tonight, Lucinda and I got a Christmas tree for our house, and we decorated it. And we had some fun doing it.


Thanksgiving with Lucinda

Filed under: — stan @ 8:59 pm

Because our family is fragmented now, Lucinda wanted to do a Thanksgiving dinner with me here. So today was our day. I picked her up at 1:00 and we came home to make it. We made cornbread stuffing, snow-white potatoes au gratin, kale, and a cornish game hen. We also made a chocolate bundt cake with the recipe from the Hershey’s cookbook. It was all quite good.


Another house project

Filed under: — stan @ 7:04 pm

This week finds me with a lot more free time than usual, owing to the holiday yesterday and various other things. So over the weekend and yesterday I made the final push to the summit in my project to repaint the living room. This was the last room in the house that hasn’t been painted since we bought it in 1995.

I started this project back in April, and I’ve been slowing grinding along through it. And Saturday I decided to go for it. I painted the entire dining room, including moving the giant china cabinet. That was a big project.

Last night I finished touching up the yellow along the border where it meets the red and installed a molding along the transition. Then Lucinda and I hung the pictures back up on the walls.

And here is the result.


The first rain of the seaon

Filed under: — stan @ 7:27 pm

This afternoon we got some rain. The first rain of the season here in L.A. So Lucinda put on her coat and went outside to stand in it. Rain is a novelty around here.

It was gray and dreary all day, so it seemed like a good day to be cooking. I made short ribs with lentils and rice for dinner, and I also made an apple pie. It was an experiment, since I used Granny Smith apples this time, instead of the Fujis that I’ve used before. I think I like the texture of the Fuji apples better. I also tried making the crust in the food processor, instead of by hand with the pastry cutter. That was a whole lot easier. I also experimented with decorating the top of the pie with shapes cut from crust dough scraps. It was a good pie.

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