sunset bears rain on mechanically drawn tiled do

Cooking an acceptable, indeed, a delicious pizza in the outdoor, homemade pizza oven was not enough for The Adams Family — especially as they heard Mitra describe potential next steps. It was time for …

“…. decorative touches. Another layer of adobe and colorful
tiles,” she explained.

“How do we…” Tom began.

“We need more sand, more dirt and finely chopped straw.”

“That sounds simple enough,” I interjected.
“I’ll just drive to the nearest chopped straw store,” I thought, imagining the dome of the mosque Nazy and I saw in Isfahan. “Should we add a minaret?” I asked.

“We’ve got some iridescent tiles downstairs,” Melika noted.
blue mosque in Isafahan 1974_edited-1

Why are we going to chop up the straws,” Tiger thought.

“What kind of sand do we need?” I asked, aware that spherical sand grains had not worked earlier.

It turns out that we’re still working out the details. In the interim, we drove Mitra back to Los Angeles. She had been staying with us since late December. It was great fun to be with her — especially since Covid made it so tricky to visit that last year

Mitra brought a lot of stuff with her on her visit. Among the ‘treasures’ was my metal mechanical drawing kit from an early year at Georgia Tech.

“I thought you might like to have it back, Dad.” Mitra explained. “Or maybe Tiger and Arrow would enjoy it. Does it bring back memories?”

“Memories? Yes.” I replied. “
Fond memories? No.” I thought.

“What kind of memories, Dad?”
mechanical drawing box

“I hated that class,” I replied. “I dropped it three times and switched my undergraduate major from Aerospace Engineering to Mathematics just so that I wouldn’t have to take that course. Before I took Mechanical Drawing for the third time, I memorized all of the solutions — only to discover, during the second class, that they had subtly changed the assignments.”
“So it wasn’t your favorite class?”

“I loathed that class. I disliked that class almost as much as I disliked my last boss at Shell — Bob Stevenson, a truly evil man.”

This week was quite unusual for Santa Barbara. We had 3 successive days of steady rain. Luckily, although steady, it wasn’t too heavy here in southern California. It was messy north of here — in fact, around Big Sur, a signifiant portion of the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), washed away. Here, after several days, I was ..

“… beginning to get cabin fever, Nazy. I’m looking forward to the return of sunshine so the we can get out.”
The Martin Family sunset Feb 5 2021 from house

“Get out?” To do what, Dan? We can’t gp tp a restaurant, we can’t see a movie, we can’t go shopping, we can’t visit friends, we can’t..”

“… avoid cabin fever?” I asked. “Maybe we can stand in line for a vaccination.”

The good news is that the county, for COVID purposes, has moved out of the mandatory lockdown tier and into the
Purple Tier. For non-Californians, purple is not good — it’s worse than red. But restaurants now can serve outside meals. Nazy and I continue to walk, masked, along the beach and to enjoy sunsets from our home.

We also see Tiger and Arrow frequently. Right now, Arrow is really attached to his two Teddy Bears.
Arrow spent so much time with his Teddy Bears that they needed to be washed. Nazy handled the formalities — and Arrow waited patiently.

Arrow and his teddies Jan 30 2021

all three

Recently, Arrow has gotten very interested in time and clocks. He wants to know when (
exactly) something will happen, and he loves watching Digital Clocks. I took the opportunity to explain time and calendars to both Arrow and Tiger..

“To explain, Dan?” Nazy asked. “I don’t think that turned out so well.”

mitra at oven with pizza first two Jan 2021

Nazy is, as always, right. While describing calendars, I noted that in the 1751, the first day of the year had been March 25 — so there was no January or February or most of March. And the next year, they skipped from September 2 until September 14 to fix another problem.

“I’m glad my birthday was’t between September 2 and September 14,” I said. “Or I wouldn’t have had a birthday that year.”

“Why did they change the calendar?” Tiger asked.

“They didn’t understand how the years worked, “ I explained. “So, as time passed, the seasons were all mixed up. They had winter in July.”

“That’s a mess.”

“Right. To make the calendar work, they had to precisely determine exactly how many days there were in a year. That’s not easy. How would you do it?”

“I’d ask my Grandpa,” Tiger responded.

And, finally, because I’ve heard that food pictures are very popular on social media (and in paper publications, an image of the first pizzas from the clay oven.

For last week's letter, please click here

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