bicycles torture while tide and time melt for no man

February is, by tradition, the rainiest month in Santa Barbara.

“There goes another tradition,” Nazy interrupts.

Nazy is right. The weather forecast is warning of ‘worrisome fire’ conditions — hardly a norrmal part of February. So, what do you do in California when there is no rain? The Beach calls: the Adams Family went to a beach house where they constructed sand sculptures while we watched Monster,

Sand works TWL Feb 21

Previous artistic efforts were transitory, so this time, Tiger proposed that they construct a strong rock barrier to protect their efforts from the power of the ocean. Had I been there, I would have offered strong support for this idea — things along the lines of

“If the ocean can cool hot lava, it can also flow past a rock dam.”

Alternatively, I could have relied on my knowledge of Chaucer: “Time and tide wait for no man.”

Darius and the girls snow Feb 13 2021

Alas, I wasn’t there. But, had I been, I would have proposed building a sand sculpture out of cement.

Meanwhile, up in Bellingham, Darius,
Christiane and the girls were not suffering from precipitation deficit. There, they build their snow sculpture, safe from the power of the tides.

Newsflash: The Sun also has a lot of power — especially on warm days.

Nazy and I are really looking forward to Darius and the family’s visit to Santa Barbara that is planned for next month. They were unable to come for Christmas (

For the last year, Darius has been teaching his classes remotely which, it turns out, does not simply …

“ … involve recording a standard in-person lecture.” Darius explained.

“It takes more time?” I asked.

“Yes,” Darius replied. “
A lot more time,” Darius thought.

“We’re looking forward to seeing you during the Spring Break,” I concluded.

Later this week, Azelle was on my lap; I was showing her a video of Zebras when..

“Tiger is an animal and my brother, Dan.” Azelle noted.

“Would you like to see a Tiger video?” I asked.

“I want an Azelle video.” She replied.

So, I did the obvious thing … I showed her a video on Gazelles — ‘it’s an Azelle, with a ‘G’,” I explained. “
And with impressive horns”, I thought.

And, on the subject of animals, while getting fish food at the local aquarium store, Nazy and I saw, and bought, a new fish.

Wanting to be sure that it wasn’t a ‘fin-nipper”, I asked about his ‘personality’. “And what is its name?”

“It’s a Badass.” the salesperson replied, making me worry.

“What!?” I asked, as I scanned the tank label. “
Ah, it is a badis,” I thought.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘badass’ in a tank full of bigger (and badder) fish.

As the weather improved, we took Tiger and Arrow to Shoreline Park to practice their bicycle riding. Arrow, still using training wheel, has mastered pedaling. Tiger is training wheel-free. It’s impressive because bicycle mastery is not a gene that they have inherited from me.

Flashback: (The Hague). In The Netherlands, where we had just moved to work on a project with
Shell. every one rides a bike. I saw a young mother, cycling a bike in the rain (it always rained in The Hague), while carrying a baby in a backpack, a child on the handlebars, with another child in a seat in the back. As she pedaled, she was holding a bag of groceries in one hand. Naturally, I wanted to cycle too. It didn’t take long before the tire on my nifty American Bike got stuck in a tram track. I fell and broke my left wrist. Dutch physicians, understanding, set the arm manually (i.e. they twisted back into place without resort to pain killers. The day the cast was removed, I got back into the saddle and, while standing still, with both feet on the ground, was astonished when the bike drifted sideways. Thinking rapidly, I broke my fall with my left hand. I also (re)broke my wrist. Dutch physicians told me that they didn’t need new X-Rays because they ‘already had plenty’. They requested medieval, instruments from the local torture museum, called the Prison Gate for use in setting my wrist. Shell, more understanding, sent me a contract addendum that precluded use of any transportation mechanism that had fewer than four wheels. They thoughtfully included a pair of training wheels for the bicycle that I was planning to dump into a canal as soon as I could move again.

Thg bosy and Nazy biking shoreline park

On our biking excursion, trying to be helpful, I agreed to work with Arrow, by providing an occasional shove while Nazy would focus on Tiger. It turns out that Tiger can bike very fast and Nazy is unwilling to let him get out of sight — so instead got herself out of breath chasing him. As a result, I’m not sure that she believes that I was ‘trying to be helpful’.

“Hrummpf.” Nazy interrupts, confirming my supposition.

Nazy and I are scheduled to get our second
COVID shot in early March, a couple of weeks before the Bellingham Martins arrive. As the vaccinations ramp up and the number of local cases nosedive, we are looking forward to coming social changes. It’s planned that Tiger will return to school in April; we expect schools and pre-schools, for all of the grandchildren (here and in Washington State) to be open for in-person learning in Fall. As our friends are vaccinated, we’ll resume social activities. We’re even doing preliminary thinking about an autumn vacation trip — someplace further away than the Whole Foods store.

For last week's letter, please click odgers Vaccination almost forgets Dan and Valentine Dinner">here.

Dan and Monster the cat

dan and cat

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