pregnant hummingbird bests seagull in WiFi root canal move


Tiger and Arrow August 2018

What ‘feels’ longer — Melika’s pregnancy or Nazy and Dan’s house move? Is there anything Dan likes less than a root canal? Should we put sundry and knick-knacks in the same closet as miscellaneous and various? Will the WiFi ever work? (Will insulting the technician speed things up?) Are hummingbirds the appropriate response when seagulls (or crows) mistake your mailbox for an outhouse?

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Rusty Mailbox fills my heart with joy and rocks my unpacked boxes

Melika, Tom and Arrow August 2018


Does order really follow chaos? Before answering, note that the chaos was caused by a house move. And, if your answer is ‘Yes”, how long does it take? Is there a use for unpacked moving boxes? Does a ventriloquist dummy bring ‘joy to your heart’? Why should you care? Can a wonderful new home be spoiled by a rusty, dented mailbox? Where was Dan’s “WE WILL ROCK YOU” shirt hiding? Is he brave enough to wear it outdoors? Read More...
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tiger helps rocking horse (2nd) birthday with rabbit cake

naz mel, the boys 2nd bd arrow


Will the big, bold, beautiful behemoth of a unused rocking horse survive the forthcoming Martin Family move? How did Arrow and Tiger conspire to tip the decision-making scales? How did Nazy react? (Hint: Does the phrase ‘I told you so’ spring to mind?) Why is Tiger happy to have his little brother join him at pre-school? And why is Arrow happy that his big brother is with him at school? What do rabbits have to do with a two year old’s birthday? Will Tiger, willing to help blow out the candles, dance at Arrow’s birthday? And, finally, what calamity befell Dan during exercise class? Read More...
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fireworks and clowns, circus and congress, boxes and helicopters


Nazy with the boys July 2018

Who turned off Santa Barbara’s natural and environmentally friendly air conditioner: the Pacific Ocean breeze? What is a ‘sundowner’? (Hint: It’s not cool.) Where did the circus find the loaner clowns? Who thinks that July 4th fireworks look like airplanes? Can The Martin Family use a helicopter to assist its move toward the ocean? What algorithm is used to put Dan on so many inappropriate postal mailing lists? (Hint: Dan is not interested in going to college.) How did Arrow and Tiger welcome Nazy’s return to Santa Barbara? Read More...
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Tiger measures Alphabetical Wurlitzer sliding cardboard


Peace Bro (Dan)

What does Tiger want to measure with his ‘measurer’? Hint: if it has dimensions, Tiger wants to measure it. Does Arrow find anything more interesting than the bubbling Wurlitzer jukebox? (Can anyone find anything more interesting that said jukebox?) How do Tiger and Arrow compare (style-wise) on their grass boards? (Think snowboard on grassy, short hills.) Who’s first two word phrase is “EXIT sign”. What is the image on the World’s Most Difficult Jigsaw puzzle?
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clueless swim teacher focus: fact free parrot menagerie


nazy, boys and parrot


Has Tiger become the master of conversational repartee? Why did he tell Arrow to focus? (And did 1 year old Arrow comprehend the nature and importance of the request?) How did Tiger characterize the performance of the substitute swimming teacher? (And how did it compare with the substitute’s analysis of Tiger?) Who has learned all of the letters of the alphabet — thereby becoming the newest abecedarian in the family? Where can you find ‘bad boy’ cockatiels? (And why are they in the penalty box?) Where is the best place to employ a bricklaying butterfly?
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Bicycling ocean tides deposit crowds at local zoo


nazy and arrow on train at zoo April 2018

Can Tiger master a (Pedal-less) two-wheeler? Can Nazy befuddle, bewilder and bedazzle a feckless parking lot attendant who is convinced that his parking lot is ‘FULL’? More accurately: How did Nazy find a parking spot? When is it safe for a husband to complain about the old saying: What goes up must come down? Or, in this case: he who walks down must eventually climb up. Have you ever turned your back on the ocean? Read More...
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Get me out — poking dentist, jabbing doctor, punctured tire


Darius entertaining Leandra April 2018

Who scheduled a day featuring medical personnel poking and jabbing? Why was the process contagious? Who knew that Volvo cars could contract medical conditions from the driver? Ever had nightmares when you were little? Did they go away when you grew up? (Hint: consider the results of the last presidential election before answering.) How do you treat a grandson’s high fever? And, will Tiger and Arrow cooperate as to finish the puzzle? Will juggling keep the lovely Leandra happy?







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Southern California Rain Storms stream extra shopping orchids


Naz and Arrow Orchids March 9 2018

Who said “it never rains in Southern California”? (Okay, okay! Who sang “it never rains in Southern California?”). What’s stranger than stormy weather in Santa Barbara? When does “an extra 45% off of entire purchase” mean …, well… nothing? (Hint: Nazy was in Nieman-Marcus.) What attracted Arrow’s attention at the Santa Barbara Orchid show? Before answering you should know that the show had a waterfall. Read More...
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Birthday paintings stream, holding hands, through Mars


arrow and Tiger in car holding hands March 2018

Has sibling rivalry vanished as Arrow and Tiger grow? Or, more reasonably, has sibling rivalry lessened as the boys grow? What toys will never be shareable? (Would Dan share his car?) Can anything go wrong when we switch from standard, overpriced (Cox) cable to modern, sleek streaming services? More to the point: can Dan figure out how to watch the Oscars after attempting to make the switch? What did Nazy produce when she resumed her painting? Read More...
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Arithmetic Fingers can paint rainbows (and throw-up) shunning responsibility


Nazy and Arrow, Yellow bird Feb 2018

What can you do when a subtraction problem requires more digits than fingers? (Pretend that you’re three years old.) How would you do it if you didn’t have a calculator? (Assume simple subtraction.) How important is creativity when it comes to naming your (finger) painting? Will Arrow remember who took his red ball at music class? And, if so, what will he do about it? How much progress has been made in cleaning up the mudslide? Note: Astonishingly, Dan has something good to say about the Federal Government. (Clearly some staff members are holdovers from the previous administration.) And why did a deranged pair of doves set up a nest at our front door? Read More...
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FISA-enabled rainless season feeds vegetarian giraffe named Michael


arrow feeds the giraffe

What do adult giraffes eat? And who feeds them? How does the Santa Barbara Farmers market add protein to lettuce? Do the suppliers at the market really grow or make everything that they sell? (Does anyone need a gluten-free piston for a 57’ Chevy?) How can Santa Barbara County be in the midst of a severe drought after devastating mudslides caused by excessive rain? More importantly, who is to blame for the rainless ‘rainy season’? Have the cranes come back to Mission Park? Read More...
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Plotless threaded phantoms cling to couturier dinner dance


selfie at zoo 2 Jan 2018

Who clings to Dan like saran wrap clings to itself? How can a baby make a bad cold feel even worse? (Hint: think teeth.) What should you call a Christmas Party that is rescheduled to occur (well) after New Year? Will Dan fit into his tux? Will Nazy dazzle the crowd in her red dress? What is phantom about the Phantom Thread? (Hint: think plot.) And why did Dan recommend seeing it? Read More...
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broccoli juice floats in big-brimmed, well-goggled, swimming hula hoop

mirror at music class Nov 2017


Does the dire condition, “Hat Brim Envy” afflict every member of The Martin Family? If your hat has a propellor on the top, does that qualify as a ‘cool’ brim? What plan did Dan follow that led to a goggle wearing Tiger? How many parts does a cold juicer have? Why does it matter. What is stronger: the strong nuclear force or the gritty stickiness of nanometer sized particles of spinach? Who is the family hula hoop champion? (Hint: the finalists were Tiger and Arrow.)
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17 pound jackfruit early sunset lights beach walk


dan and Nazy at beach togetther Nov 2017

Why do we ‘save daylight’ during the summer when we already have plenty of daylight? How do Dan and Nazy commiserate with East Coast friends suffering frigid temperatures? Hint: There is a nearby beach. Can the grand(est)dad turn a tour of the vegetable and fruit store into an adventure? By the way, what is a jackfruit? And how much does it weigh? Who would tell the very independent Arrow to take his pacifier out of his mouth before he (tries) to shove oatmeal into it?
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Apple downgrades while moron seethes and Arrow taxe$

arrow music class Oct 2017

What happens when you ‘upgrade’ the operating system on your iPhone? (And your iPad?) Why did the Apple Helpdesk tell Dan that his birthday wasn’t correct. (And, as a result, is Dan younger or older?) Would you be prepared to take a 18 hour flight with a 5 month old? What would you do if your 12 month old baby threw the last pacifier into the toilet 20 minutes into a 10 hour flight? Will Nazy’s simple solution to financial challenges work? Read More...
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first class pole vaulter arrives in thundering illegality

dan, arrow and Tiger Sept 2017 rain


Why go to Burning Man to suffer in the heat when it’s 100 degrees right here at home? But, wait! Don’t answer yet! Rain? Thunder? In September in Santa Barbara? Isn’t that as likely as it is that Dan qualifies for the Olympic pole vaulting finals? Who tried to sneak out of Lebanon without an entry stamp on her passport? And, is a birth certificate satisfactory arrival documentation?


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hotel sleeplessness totally (~63%) eclipses wildfire battle stroller

dan and nazy at beach August 2017


What do you do if the weather forecast indicates a 67% chance that the 63% eclipsed sun will be positioned behind a thick layer of clouds? Would you conclude that you have a 100% chance of missing everything? Will you be disappointed when you discover that you weren’t the only one who saw the event? Do Eclipse Viewers make you look cool? As cool as Maui Jim sunglasses? And, by the way, does Dan still have his Maui Jim’s? Is it possible to transport two young boys on an umbrella stroller? And, if so, why would you try?
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United telephones Emirates upgrade on confetti-filled seaplane


dan and Tiger at Fiesta August 2017

Was a business class upgrade (on a 16 hour flight) enough to charm Nazy on her wedding anniversary? And, could Dan swing it without a mortgage? How did United Airlines' transcontinental trip rate compared to business class on Emirates? Hint: It is like comparing the attention span of a humming bird (or the longevity of a White House aide) with the life span of the typical continent. Why would anyone let Dan buy a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses? Did you know that Congress members have the uncanny ability to stand up for an interview even though they have no backbone?
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Coke Zeros (again) as The Prophet (and Arrow) walk

dan, leadra winery background dar and Chiristiane


Did you know that Mount Lebanon is a mountain range and not a mountain? Did you know that there is a 10,000 foot high mountain in Lebanon? What is easier to replace: a transmission or brakes? (And why did the subject arise?) What corporation took advantage of Dan’s time outside of the country? (And how gargantuan was their blunder?) Hint: Not quite as bad as the April 23,1985 disaster.) Did you know that in addition to poetry, Kahlil Gibran was a painter — from Lebanon?
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smoke and ash, butterfly balloons and toys thrill birthday boy


nazy and arrow with arrow shirt

Has Dan found an appropriate use for the clown horn ringtone? Does anyone need to have an Australian accented female announce iPhone callers? And, thinking about that, why do we say the phone ‘rings’ when, in fact, ringing is not what it does? How did the nearby wildfire remind Dan of a snowy night in New Hampshire? Did the music school recycle Tiger’s birthday party hat on Arrow’s first birthday? Who popped the butterfly balloon? And how is the youngest, but grandest daughter sleeping? (And notice that Arrow is wearing an 'arrow' shirt.) Read More...
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software (down) grades Dan’s pretty French (or Farsi) skills

annotated May music school


Who (mindlessly) thought that accepting a software upgrade would be a good idea? How did Tiger foil Dan’s claims of linguistic superiority? And, did it replicate the victory that Mitra achieved a couple of decades earlier? On the subject of speech, is it proper to say “The baby shakes the shakers?”. What about punctuation of the previous sentence? How did a cranberry bagel (with cream cheese) and a pretty French lady feature into martial harmony?
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heavy, salty old ladies softens most orange bulldozer passport


Mitra, Stefan, Tiger and Arrow April 2017

Why, in a checkout queue, is Dan always behind the slowest person on the planet? And, related, why is the stupid one’s mother always pregnant? How did a 40 pound bag of salt and a 15 cent Teddy Bear impact the checkout? If you wanted to keep your PIN code secret — would you choose ‘1234’? (And, if you did, wouldn’t you be able to remember it?) Will the orange one throw a doltish executive order into Nazy’s passport renewal process? Would Tiger rather play with a toy bulldozer in a sandbox or get a haircut? And why does Arrow keeping practicing to master the world’s best face plant? Read More...
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Whales crawl, BMWs talk, Arrows dance and Tigers confuse

music class yellow bird arrow April 2017


Is Coachella simply Woodstock without the rain and counterculture? How did emergency services handle the hijack of Dan’s car? Did matter that a two-year old had seized control of the panic button? How did Tiger deploy a well-placed ‘Excuse me’ in lieu of tears or a tantrum? Can Arrow find a dignified way to crawl? (Hint: dignified = do not put your knees on the ground.) Did anyone tell the whales that we were going to be watching? And, why was Arrow clowning around with percussion instruments?
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verizon’s event horizon breaks kumquats and hearts in lotusland


dan and arrow March 2017 lotusland

Who’s palate is so ‘sophisticated’ that he likes the taste of kumquats? How did Verizon’s customer ‘service’ vanish into the event horizon of a nearby black hole? (This was the Verizon Event Horizon.) Would ATT or Sprint have been better? Would you trust FedEx to deliver the heart being used for your transplant surgery? Where did we learn that Spanish Moss isn’t Spanish and isn’t Moss? Read More...
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Daylight saving grace at New Year derrières with blue M&M

Arrow on table March 2017


Is there any advantage of daylight savings time? (Or ‘summer time’ as they call it in Europe?) Can The Arrow fly? (Hint: he has a walker.) How can literal translations of traditional Persian greetings make you the butt of jokes? How can a shortage of blue
M&Ms create a two year old meltdown? When is stopping for coffee a really dumb idea? Read More...
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equinox blue spectacles and gray wildflowers replace granite


Tiger and Nazy at Lake March 2017

Why must the vernal equinox arrived at 3:28 Pacific Daylight Time? It’s not daylight at 3:28AM. And is it too late for Nazy to stay up or too early for Dan to get up? And why does it matter anyway? Who is wearing new blue spectacles? Hint: It is his favorite color — along with yellow. Are the fabled orange poppies blooming after epic winter rains. Or is a Heimlich Maneuver required to kickstart the flowers? And who is sporting a handlebar mustache? (Or, perhaps, a handlebar pacifier?) Finally, now that it’s been moved outside, does any life remain in the fable Martin Family dining room table? Read More...
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Longer hour hand, lower weight, bigger train & (ampersand) peas


Tiger chasing Nazy March 2017

How did a simple observation about Spring (‘the days are getting longer”) devolve into a two-year old’s observation about time-(space) relativity? How did Dan astonish his doctor during his annual physical? (How did Dan create the illusion that he had followed his physician’s advice?) How did Dr. Bernstein regain the upper hand? Did you know that mashed peas are related to Mt. Saint Helens? How did the peas introduce volcanic concepts to 7 month-old Arrow? And who got to ride on a double-decker train? Read More...
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