Dan and Nazy 2021

Thrust into the cosmos by an exhausted, pandemic-wielding 2020, the New Year, 2021, was welcomed with high hopes and great expectations. And, easily surpassing the disaster of its predecessor — admittedly an exceptionally low bar — 2021 delivered. Nazy and I enjoyed a wonderfully happy and healthy year.

Pandemic panic subsided somewhat as vaccines became available. During one particularly well-timed session on the web, Dan was able to schedule vaccination appointments at Dodger Stadium. The resulting mass vaccination process was, unlike the baseball Dodger’s performance, done superbly. By early March, both Dan and Nazy were fully vaccinated. As the year progressed, the brand value of ‘fully vaccinated’ depreciated, so we were boosted. And, given the various variants, a boosted booster future is a good bet.

Our grandchildren had an equally exciting year. Tiger (7), who spent most of his first grade with Zoom-enabled remote learning, returned to live, second grade, sessions at the beginning of the year. Arrow (5), started in-person Kindergarten in the fall, Leandra (4) began Pre-Kindergarten at the same time and Azelle (3) started pre-pre Kindergarten. Auriane (2) is still too young. Experience with remote learning made it clear that children enjoy, and need, the social activities that take place in (what used to be) a normal school environment. They have all made friends and have all become more self-confident as they returned or began classes.

The family now resides in the same time zone. Nevertheless, we discovered that there are major weather differences between the northern and southern parts of the ‘same time zone’. On a visit to Washington State to see Darius and his family we saw…

“… water falling out of the sky, Dan!”: Nazy exclaimed.

“There is, I believe, a word for that,” I replied. “I’ll ask Siri or Google.”

Amazingly, a few weeks later, rain, in fact substantial rain, fell in Santa Barbara. This unusual event was caused by an ‘Atmospheric River’ which was explained by the Chief Meteorologist on the local news:

“An atmospheric river occurs because there is a lot of moisture in the ocean.”

Getting a degree in meteorology should be simple,” I thought.

At the end of the summer, Nazy and I flew Delta to Alaska taking care to arrive before Omicron. We explored Alaska on a float plane, by scenic train, tourist bus, hearty boat and even on foot. We saw giant mountains, including Denali, the Alaska pipeline, glaciers, Aurora Borealis, whales, seals, caribou, bear, otters and, surprisingly, lots of flowers. Nazy’s charm landed us an ‘impossible’ sunset viewing seat at the Crow’s Nest Restaurant in Anchorage. (A feat that I had been working on, via the web, for two months.) We met helpful and pleasant people as well as the occasionally science-challenged taxi driver. One cab driver was convinced, simultaneously, that
COVID was a myth, that COVID was a disease created by Bill Gates, that ‘big pharma’ vaccines were actually microchips and that vaccinations caused sterility. But, he added, “My wife works at the university so she got vaccinated.”

As the year draws to a close, the entire family has assembled in the same city within our favored time zone. We’re enjoying each other’s company.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2022 — a very special year for Nazy and me.

For the previous issue, please click here


Tiger with soap beard


Arrow for XMAS letter


Leandra Nov 26 evening hat 2021


Azelle for XMAS Letter


Auriane Oct 2021


Flamingo and Skunk, Christmas sweaters with fondue and Katy Perry

xmas 2020 picture 1 copy

Who was unable to find the Pacific Ocean while driving to Los Angeles? Isn’t just drive West until you hit the water and then turn left? And who’s idea was it to hide the Pacific Coast Highway? What’s the downside of having an avocado tree outside of your bedroom window? Hint: The local Skunk likes avocados — and not every local predator knows what a skunk can do. How was Dan able to get Katy Perry’s address? What did the toy flamingo Christmas gift do? And what was the theme for the annual family photo? Read More...

Hawk watches Liquid Plumber vaccinate swimming naturalist

Nirvana Dec 18 2020 with lights

Why is there a local shortage of Drano and Liquid Plumber? What was different about this holiday season? Were the presents wrapped before Christmas? Were sugar cookies prepared. (Was it a double batch?} Why couldn’t all the important people come? Who commissioned a mask for their Christmas Tree? What do you do when blackout curtains don’t? Where did the family of red tail hawks relocate? Who is still swimming in outdoor pools? In December? Read More...

The Martin Family 2019

dan and nazy and grandchildren outdoors

The Martin Family in 2019… thrills and travel, a new baby (realizing, of course, that all babies are new), official immigration status approval, retirement, entrepreneurship, Christening, reunions Five Grandchildren… AND, under Dan's direction, the draught ended.

white belted advent calendar tumbles into cardboard furnace

Arrow at mesa cafe

Can Azelle open the tiny doors on The Martin Family advent calendar? More specifically, can she do it without destroying anything?) Why do we hide the ladders? How do Tiger and Arrow handle the martial art class? Hint: they got belts. What kind of craftsman would install a cardboard ‘door’ to the furnace room? (And outside door?)


Wicked weather romantically perfumes in double Labyrinth

family push

Will Dan’s romantic Christmas present take the cake? (Or was the cake left out in the rain?) Would it have been more well-received if it had arrived on time? Why did the postal authorities take a delivery route that featured a double labyrinth? Why did Dan think it was a Wicked(ly) good idea? Has the rainy season come to Santa Barbara? Why do they call it a ‘forehead’ if you only have one of them? Why does it take three people to push Azelle’s stroller? Read More...

Needlepoint Hot Air Balloons wear alarming stockings

on the Balloon

Will Dan’s acquisition of red velvet, personalized — but non-hand needlepointed Christmas stockings past muster with Nazy? Hint: It’s about as likely as a parakeet successfully operating the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Beep. Did you know that all of The Martin Family Christmas stockings have a toe that points to the left? (Neither did Dan.) Beep! Does a Hot Air Balloon ride include turbulence? Beep! Who thinks that a Hot Air Balloon journey is ‘very high and very fast’?How long will it take to find the battery-challenged defective smoke detector? Beep!! Read More...

The Martin Family 2018

dan and nazy at mountains in Washington

The Martin Family in 2018: an endless supply of material for The Weekly Letter? Plots, settings and characters for epic poems? (Why does Dan think he’s got Odysseus genes?) Does anyone remember VHS? (And why didn’t Betamax prevail?) Who wanted NASA to paint the moon pink (or blue) as part of a spectacular gender reveal party? Where is Trickle Creek Boulevard? Would you work in a lab to get answers? (Answers about tango?)

Merry Christmas from The Martin Family

family Nov 2017 2

2017 has been a year filled with Family Events of cosmological impact. For example, we validated the Big Bang theory and can predict an eventual Big Crunch. How did we do that? How would you cope with a new job, a new baby, a new home, a new country? What is a Tango Hatchery? What would you do when the view from your house — the beautiful mountains around Santa Barbara, turned smokey? Who would take his wife to Death Valley to celebrate her birthday? (Hint: It’s the same person who gave her a Shingles vaccination the year before.) Read More...

Mandatory Fires Evacuate Christmas Cheer with Ashy Trees

nazy Dec 12 2017

If a fireman knocks at your door in the middle of a wildfire and tells you ‘I don’t want you to be alarmed’, what do you do? (Hint: I was alarmed. Especially alarmed when he told me that he had parked his fire truck in my driveway…and suggested that I leave said driveway open.) Why did it take 18 only minutes to shift our residence from ‘voluntary’ evacuation to ‘mandatory’ evacuation. If the evacuation zone ends on the South side of your street, and you live on the North size, can you evacuate by merely walking across the street? What do you do about Christmas if the local authorities won’t let you back in your house and credible medical advice recommends that you not bring a Christmas Tree home? Can Nazy come up with a way to restore Christmas Cheer, or is she more of a party girl?


Missing shoes sail by needle-less trees on wind-less day

children and grandchildren 2016 Jan

Who can negotiate a gift exchange when their son forgot to bring the item being exchanged? What does the grand(est)son say when the Christmas Tree is banished to the side of the road? Can young Tiger handle a backpack and the first day of school with calm aplomb? What causes the wind to change whenever Dan tacks or jibs? Why can’t a civilization that has conquered faster than light travel manage to paint a robot’s arm. Read More...

T-Mobile Pepper Tree felled by 3-D Elephant cookie car

family cropped Jan 2016

How is using a T-Mobile cell phone like flying a kite? Why did T-Mobile technical support work best at a nearby department store? Why did Mitra bring 3-D glasses to The Martin Family’s belated Christmas celebration? How did pink elephants and cookies figure into the festivities? Did one of Dan’s investments really increase by $100,000,000 overnight? (Hint; Think ‘Power’, ‘Ball’ and ‘Lottery’.) Read More...

mea cookie, culpa campaign and fraught snow in sparkling party

New Years party dan nazy melika tom

How many people in Costa Rica were on TV cheering while Dan ate a sugar cookie? How did that celebration fully qualify Dan to run for President of the United States? Why is the photo of Christmas snow in Santa Barbara so very clean? Who wanted sympathy for an airline glitch that involved a business class upgrade on a 16 hour flight? What would the reaction be from someone who is usually downgraded to last class? Was the New Year sparkly enough for Dan and Nazy?

Darth Cookie lures Luke Rainbow to Leia Solo Photo loss

bubble family 1 copy

Who ate the last Sugar Cookie? (Hint: the first couple of letter of the culprit’s name are ‘D’,’A’ and ‘R’ as in Darth Vader. And why didn’t we make more for this year? (Hint: It had something to do with the Dark Side.) Why is there an encore presentation of The Martin Family photo in this edition of The Weekly Letter? (Hint: Dan Solo couldn’t harness The Force.) Who got the most Christmas presents? (Hint: Someone about as tall as R2-D2.) How did California weather respond to the traditional White Christmas theme?

Roof-top camera found on La Cumbra New Year Lemon

Family 2 2015

What happens to a digital camera that is left on the roof of a car that is accelerating onto the freeway (in sport mode)? (And who left it there?) If you’re ready for sold food, does that mean you’re ready to taste lemons? What is more photogenic: the first set of (McDonalds) Golden Arches or the Golden Gate Bridge? Can Dan and Nazy convince the grand(est)son that it’s New Year in California when the Ball comes down in Times Square in New York? Read More...

Mr. Treehead frosts lost sugar luggage in backgammon Win

tiger and Tom Dec 24 2014

Can Darius outsmart the airlines and avoid excess baggage fees? Will Nazy and Dan find him at the airport? Can Dan reign victorious in the family backgammon championship. Will the baby like mashed apples? Will Monster the cat like his reindeer antler hat? And will a new Christmas decoration idea spread like wildfire? Read More...

Victorian photos Electrify Freedom stamped Sugar cookies

aa family best

Does delayed sugar cookie baking destroy the Christmas Spirit? Why does Melika think that Dan and Nazy’s home is filled with Victorian era artifacts? Are biplane pilot googles Victorian? Will two Ph.D.-wielding Martin Men be able to assemble an electric train? And - whatever else you do - don’t share Darius’ description of the University administration.

Butterfly Eucalyptus cookies with Addams Family commercials

XMAS Square Croped

Would laundry detergent in the dishwasher create a white Christmas? Where do you go to see 50,000 hibernating monarch butterflies? Will anyone listen to Miss Madeline, the non-sentient navigation computer? And what does Dan think about TV commercials in America? Read More...

Holiday Greetings

bubble family 1 copy

Dan brings his corporate experience (downsizing) into the family arena. Can expense reduction, outsourcing, consolidation and relocation make family relocation easier? Why are bubbles featured in The Martin Family Christmas photo? How does Dan weave a Saturn V and a sinking, sticker bedecked, container ship into the review of last year? Read More...

Red Vests, Ticking Ice and Bloke-Totes

Who would give Dan a ‘purse’, eh “Bloke-Tote” for Christmas? Is ticking ice a threat to family sanity? Would ‘bubbles’ be a good idea for the official 2011 Martin Family photo?


Supersonic sleds looking good

Should you be worried when your sled generates a sonic boom? What is stronger: gravity or momentum? Who looked good?  Read More...

Miracles, dumpsters, towers and toes

sunset 3 jan 4 2012

Darius and Melika arrived in Zurich on the same day. Was it a miracle? Was it a cheap parlor trick? Are you ready to see the sights of Moutier, Switzerland? What does Dan have in common with Ibsen¹s The Master Builder? 


The Martin Family Holiday Letter

Oxygen tango family 2010

A report on the comings and goings of The Martin Family through the years in the (much anticipated) annual holiday letter. The Family photo from the previous Christmas is included. A special photo exhibition is also available (see end of posting),


Toe-Tapping finger-painted angels

What is stronger: Dan’s toe or a coffee-table? What is bigger: Dan’s toe or a championship watermelon?  Can Mitra replicate her Montessori School Artistry? Can Dan still finger paint?  And will the dastardly garage seek revenge?  Read More...

Heart-felt voucher Trees

holiday ornament

What company refuses to do the “intangibly impossible”? Is elimination of all heart disease risk factors worth the price? Is The Martin Family Christmas Tree as straight and symmetrical as the Washington Monument?