Spring trees wearing bandaids tie traditions in knots

Mel and tiger and bunnies April 2018

Your grandson asks: Why does that tree have a bandaid? Do you explain tree grafts? Do you pretend that he’s speaking into the ‘bad’ ear? Do you say: “Yes, that tree has a boo boo.”? Were you afraid of the Easter Bunny when you were 1 (and a half) years old? Were you still afraid even it was your Daddy inside the costume? Can Dan master streaming TV? And what will Tiger do as he begins collecting royalties on his likeness?

no miniBBQ vans surprise Nazy in Santa Barbara (but Sister Does)

Martin siblings March 2018

Who ordered ‘soul food’ for a party of 250 when they meant to order for a group of 25? Was Dan able to fix the problem with gargantuan BBQ rib consumption? More to the point, why wasn’t the cake similarly sized? How do you change a birthday celebration into a birthday jubilee? Hint: Lots of rolling thunder surprises can help. Where does ‘freeway free’ really mean ‘traffic light enabled’? What color was the vanity license-plated VAN-GO minivan? And will Dan ever get another one?

Surprise! Clues Candles Minivans Cakes Grandkids and Hi Tech Loos

mitra, Nazy, Shahrzad March 2018

Will Nazy be surprised? (Can Dan and 25 other guests keep the secret?) Who said the ‘M-word’? Repeatedly? Hint: The word in question is ‘Minivan’. Who created a great Riff on a Hamilton song? And why? How did sleight of hand (and prestidigitation) keep secrets intact? How did Arrow react when it turned out that he was no longer the youngest baby in the house? Would you know how to use a joystick controller for the toilet? (Could you do it without reading chapter 28 in the instruction manual?)

shower curtains in Katmandu lock bathroom Cherries Jubilee

nazy and Tiger school Oct 2017

Will Nazy insist on a lettuce soufflé for dessert on Dan’s birthday? (Or will Cherries Jubilee make a fiery entrance?) Have you thought about how much ‘stuff’ is needed to set up a new home? And where can you find all of that ‘stuff’? Does Dan or Tiger have the best grasp of dinosaur names? (Hint: Do you know the difference between a Spinosaurus and a Stegosaurus?) Is superglue appropriate in a shower curtain installation project? Will duct tape suffice?


Post Office tables and gargantuan desk wins twister party in LA

Mitra's house Sept 2017

Who uses the postal service to transport a table across a sea (The Mediterranean) an ocean (The Atlantic) and a continent (North America)? And how many stamps did that take? And, on the subject of tables: who constructed a beautiful hardwood dining table without using a single screw, nail, dab of glue or even duct tape? (Hint: It’s not me. My entire repertoire of tools contains only two items: WD-40 (to make things go) and Duct Tape (to hold things together.) Why was the surprise birthday in Los Angeles such a complete and total surprise? Do you remember playing Twister? (With a three year old?) Read More...

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...

Neon graveyard in Death Valley presages Mojave campout

nazy and Dan on neon museum

Who would propose a romantic trip to Death Valley as a birthday gift? (Hint: the person celebrating her birthday gave the proposer a colonoscopy for his birthday.) Where is the hottest, the driest and the lowest US National Park? Would you want to visit a tacky, neon lit cemetery? (Well, we were in Las Vegas.) Should you listen to a navigation computer that recommends a route that is 75 miles longer? And, related: Is there anything to do when you’re completely stopped, between Mojave desert exits, on the I-15? Read More...

Birthday body glitters with Beatles red sole sales

dan and Nazy April 2017 Wynn

Who had an April Fool’s Day birthday in Las Vegas? How did Dan get body paint and glitter dabbed into his beard? Why would anyone want $hoe
$ with red soles? Was Cirque du Solei able to resurrect The Beatles or was it all a Mirage? Where can you see a giant statue of Popeye? What did Dan do when reminded to use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’? Read More...

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...

Dolly lures sliding carousel socks in sleepless birthday ritual

Melika, Tiger, Dan on Merry go round Sept 2016

Will Tiger succumb to peer-pressure and ritual by taking an actual nap? (How did ritual fail in the case of Darius?) Did Tiger insist that Dan celebrate his birthday on the Carousel and the Spiral Slide? Did Dolly Parton sing ‘Happy Birthday, Dan?’ What was Nazy thinking when she gave Dan a pair of socks for this birthday? Or did she lure him into drawing an astronomically unlikely conclusion. And, would the birthday celebration interfere with Jeopardy? Read More...

polarized flamingos pull wisdom teeth with Maui iPhone

Tiger and his blue car Sept 2016

What would you do if your dentist, Dr. Vladamir Throb (nicknamed Vlad the Impaler) recommended a wisdom tooth extraction? What if your wife said: “He’ll have to go deep if he’s looking for wisdom”? What do you think about when someone asks for help with a citation? Why did Maui Jim relocate the Hawaiian Islands to Peoria, Illinois? When will Dan and Nazy discover the ‘catch’ in ATT’s latest ‘deal’? Where are the flamencos gray? Read More...

Butterfly Museum in Firefly City excites birthday Tiger

Tiger blowing candles june 2016

Is Tiger ready to interact with a tent full of fluttering butterflies? Or will he find a T-Rex exhibit, a Blue Whale sculpture or a live barn owl more exciting? Did a cosmic ray cause a mutation that made caterpillars create butterflies that morphed into fireflies? (It must be true, what else could have started the local fire?) And who told Dan that “You have to catch me!”? Read More...

Toys R Us archeological find chalks up Birthday Car

parents asking babies to smile

Was it Nazy or Dan that was brave enough to venture into The Storage. Did that certain someone actually find something useful in The Storage? What toy store’s financials were impacted by the huge magnitude of the find? Who arranged the entirely appropriate chalk drawing at the annual I Madonnari exhibit by the Old Mission? (And why was it appropriate?) How did young Tiger, the grand(est)son celebrate his second birthday?

drought tweets picnic basket birthday swim with goggles

mitra mel tiger and birthday cake May 2016

What occasion was so important that The Martin Family picnic basket had to be deployed? (I can’t share the initials of the birthday girl, but her name was ‘Mitra’.) How often was the picnic basket — complete with wine glasses and corkscrew — ever used during our twelve year stay in Switzerland? Which Presidential candidate can’t tell the difference between a lake, a river, a creek and a dessert? (Hint: He went to a ‘university’.) Will the grand(est)son swim with goggles before his 2nd birthday? Read More...

romantic shingles ram and juice nazy’s birthday celebration

better naz and wardrove

Why wasn’t Nazy impressed with Dan’s birthday gift? After all, isn’t it true that the family that gets vaccinated together, stays together? And, do you think that a cold juicer is, well, utilitarian rather than romantic? Was it possible that Dan missed subtle hints about alternatives. (BTW: when you think ‘subtle’, think of elephants stampeding or Presidential candidates ‘debating’ or fireworks factories exploding.) Did Nazy forget that her birthday is on April Fool’s Day? What did she do with Elmer’s glue and a bottle of sand? And, were Dan and Nazy able to avoid the woodlands police while following an ancient Persian tradition? Read More...

Siamese business fish duel for new year easter egg birthday

Melika, Tom, Tiger and Easter Buny

The Persian new year celebration traditionally needs a goldfish. How did Nazy explain the use of a Siamese fighting fish instead? Young tiger found the gold Easter egg — so why was Dan disappointed. (Hint: we didn’t win the Lamborghini.) How is El Nino like the loudest Presidential candidate? And what happened the last time we had a businessman as President? Finally: Happy Birthday Darius; can’t wait to see you get married next month. Read More...

Zuni necklace? Tee-Shirt? While Bison Dan blocks the road

Western Belle

If you’re making a vintage western photograph, would Dan be The Good? The Bad? or The Ugly? *(Hint: Nazy said he could assume ‘The Good.’) Who, when they can’t decide on a tee-shirt color, compromises by buying a necklace? And a pair of boots? And a vest? And a hat?Where can you see a landscape that reminds you of Io? Read More...

Sainted United Air chooses Delta for Teton Birthday trip

dan and nazy in jackson

How did United Airlines finally deliver a perfect flight experience? (Hint: it involved another airline.) Where do bugs hitting the windshield sound like hail-sized baseballs? Is it a sheer coincidence that the Pope visited and the moon was eclipsed on Dan’s birthday weekend? Why are they renaming the street where we live? What led to a Grand visit to the Tetons? Read More...

Swimming, dancing, walking tiger babbles epithets at Skype

Family all on Tigers birthday

Can Skype bring a baby to tears? What does Dan have in common with the graduation speaker at the American University of Beirut? The grand(est)son’s dancing genes are shared by Mitra, but where did he get his babbling genes? Who gets his comeuppance - and why? And, didn’t someone, a grand(est) someone have a birthday party? Read More...