Leandra’s elevator challenges rainy otter on Apple’s pointless (useless) cloud


mirror all of us again

Where does the grandest daughter in the whole wide world live now? And, did she bring her parents? How did Nazy arrange perfect weather in the Pacific Northwest?When did Apple Computer become vertically challenged? Who, in particular, is responsible for ‘upgrades’ that degrade services? Why are they unaware of a simple concept: airplanes can fly above, below and through the clouds, but that doesn’t mean that Dan can access ‘The Cloud’ from seat 26B? And speaking of vertically challenged — who designed the ‘elevator’ in Darius’ new building? Where can you see sea otters and deer during a mid-afternoon nature walk? Read More...
Comments

pumpkins patch watery ice cubes on gaviota coast egret-viewing hike

dan and arrow swmiming Oct 2017


Who was able to fly 13,000+ miles over a weekend? (Okay — it was a long weekend.) Did the 4 month old infant accompanying half of the trip appreciate the carefully negotiated bassinet-enabled seat? Will Dan’s ice cube travails ever end? Will he find a nearby glacier as a reliable source? Why did Tiger chose a yellow pumpkin at the annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch? Where is the biggest parcel of undeveloped coastal land between San Francisco and San Diego? How did Arrow manage to avoid drinking from the swimming pool when he swam underwater?
Read More...
Comments

Boxes assemble size 8 shoes as Arrow flies and Family Lebanon arrives

Dan and Arrow Oct 2016 APS


Who designed the system in which Dan and Tiger have the same size shoes? And would you be happy to be younger than your shoe size? Can you remember how it felt when you walked on grass, in your bare feet, for the first time? Arrow can! (And he found an interesting way to handle this strange situation.) Will young Leandra sleep in the skillfully negotiated Lufthansa bassinet on her long transatlantic journey? How many times do you need to read “Goodnight Moon” before you memorize it?




Read More...
Comments

Siri touts Portuguese Volvo sharing cupcake in Washington DC & State

Darius, Christiane, Leandra Sept 2017


If Siri says: “It’s too early to be up”, would you go back to sleep? How about if Siri is a guy speaking with a South African accent? BTWL ‘you’ are three years old and tasked with waking up Grandpa. Is The Martin Family cable TV system sophisticated enough to resist the probings of 13 month old Arrow? (Hint: at two years old, brother Tiger adjusted the system so that all movies had Portuguese sound tracks.) Did Dan get a new car discount because he has a single digit shoe size? And, finally, who booked Nazy and Darius on the same (United Airlines) flight from Washington DC to Washington State? Hint: Someone looking for material for The Weekly Letter comes to mind.
Read More...
Comments

academic shenanigans and father’s day follies on Tiger’s tricycle


Nazy and Arrow June 2017 at Hendry Beach

Pancakes or granola? Does the spousal mandate change on Father’s Day? What is going on when Nazy expresses concerns about being ‘on-time’? How is young Leandra adjusting to the new world? Or, more importantly, how are Darius and Christiane adjusting to young Leandra? What’s the deal with university politics? Surely it wasn’t that way in the good old days! What happens when Tiger notice that Arrow has been spending a lot of time on Tiger’s tricycle? (We don’t know and please don’t mention it to Tiger. Read More...
Comments

Contemporaneous accounts depict sleepless nights and birthday wonders


Nazy, Mel and boys tiger birthday June 2017

How do official documents from The Martin Family archives save the day? Or, if not completely saving the day, at least demonstrating grandfatherly wisdom? Who kept hourly and, timely, contemporaneous records of children’s sleep, eh, nocturnal, habits? Suppose it’s your birthday — number three — would you be willing to share your decorated ‘car-cake’? What do Monster (the cat), Arrow (the, almost toddling) toddler and Benji, the bluejay have in common? And, finally, who “did not have secretive relations with that country. Russia?” Read More...
Comments

understatement of the decade: a little (girl) busy right now

Leandra, Christiane and Darius June 2 2017


Why was Darius “a little busy” on May 31st — and, consequently unable to completely reply to Melika’s text message? Hint: Christiane was even busier. Who has more hair than Dan? (Who doesn’t?) Is it unusual for newborns to mix up day and night, or is that just a strategy for training new parents? How long does it take a Macbook Pro to empty the trash that has more than 5,000,000 files? (And how did that happen?) And, finally, forget about suspense and join me to welcome the arrival of Leandra Kinsley Martin, grandest daughter ever.
Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

Flooded meteor crater ruins tomatoes and slimy parakeet

nazy, Arrow, Dan mirror Feb 2017


Where is the sun in Southern California? Where are there potholes the size of meteor craters? How much did our creek contribute to the global rise in sea level? Is it really fun to help clean up? (What’s Tiger’s take?) Why did our pet slug say that the parakeet was slimy? Who can sit up and hold his own bottle?






.
Read More...
Comments

speechless incredulity stupefies Emirates blunder; United falls & cat meows

at fair nazy and tiger


What event generated unprecedented stupefaction and speechless incredulity for The Martin Family in Santa Barbara, California? What major international airline bases its entire disaster recovery ‘plan’ on yellow sticky pads and magic markers? Is the ineptitude sufficient to dislodge United Airlines from a well-deserved and firmly entrenched position at the cellar of The Martin Family quality list? Why does the whole situation depends on a meowing cat? Does this week’s edition of The Weekly Letter actually include a picture of Dan with a bowtie and sideburns?
Read More...
Comments

Fish fights wedding trip offspring memories in yellow dress

four genrations 1981

Should money be an object if life if threatened? Does it make a difference if the life in danger is that of a Siamese fighting fish? As we get ready for the Cyprus wedding next week, Dan waxes nostalgic with offspring observations and old photos. And what’s better: speaking French or being able to do a great French accent? Hiking in the Alps or hiking in the Carpathian (the Alps of Eastern Europe)? Moving to Iceland or moving to Houston? And, see a four-generation family photo that challenged Photoshop. Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

Uber wrecks old iron slides laptop crumble keys

mel, darria, tiger, nazy in Camerillo

A week of collisions — rattling laptops impacting the planet, sliding mud blocking the highway and Uber transports crinkling the car — generated excitement. Did Darius actually wield an iron on a shirt? And why did Dan want to use the iron on a foot? Hint: Is there a gene that causes variable foot size disorder? Does Uber really hire 90 year old drivers? Did United Airlines acquire the bus company that runs transport between LA and Santa Barbara? Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

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?
Read More...
Comments

stuff replicator swims In deficit stressed renovation


Tiger swimming July 2015

Did Dan actually manage an on-budget kitchen renovation project? (And why didn’t he learn anything from that success?) Who hid a ‘stuff-replicator’ in Dan and Nazy’s stuff? How do we know that it’s there? Did the replicator hide replicants of itself in Melika’s house? Why is silence the secret to a successful negotiation? And, finally how is the grand(est)son doing with his swimming? Read More...
Comments

Oui! Seamstress cuts talking hair in waterlogged drought


Christiane, Darius and Tiger August 2015

Who plans a proposal the day before his fiancee flies 7000+ miles away? (And is ‘plans’ the right verb?) Who writes a description of said event and forgets to convey the response? Why is Dan wary of haircuts? Who can say ‘bamboo’ while being stumped by ‘Mama’? And why have the water police surrounded The Martin Family estate in Santa Barbara? Read More...
Comments

Fiesta Courts Confetti-Strewn towering engagement


baby doing fiasta things August 2015

What is Santa Barbara’s most romantic place to propose? Will Darius find it? Will Christiane agree? Will The Martin Family turn Melika’s office into a stalker’s paradise? Does the telephone lens work after sunset? And, on different subjects: will the Grand(est)son smash a confetti-filled egg over Dan’s head? Who has the biggest hat?
Read More...
Comments

The Donald Duck Dreams Las Vegas on horseback

Darius and Christiane on horses


It is billionaire week - The Donald and Richard Branson make appearances at The Weekly Letter. Can Dan link them to the family collection of rubber duckies? Darius and Christiane arrive in America - and they’re: “Going to Disneyland!” Well, Disneyland and horseback riding in the California Mountains. Does Christiane have a cowboy hat? Does it matter? (Dan has enough western hats to outfit an entire 1800’s calvary battalion.) Read More...
Comments

Referee counts words while Nazy wears hats correctly

zEl encanto nazy birthday 2015 cropped copy

Should Darius call for a video review of a referee’s decision? Who has the best hats? Audrey Hepburn in Sound of Music? Or, Nazy in Life with the Family? And, speaking of hats, did Dan inherit a ‘wear your hat silly’ gene from his Dad? Who steers when the grand(est)son decides to push his own stroller? And - what would happen to the grand(est)son’s moniker if another grandson were to arrive? (The first(est) son wonders.)
Read More...
Comments

Red light cedar preserves Lebanon monastery traffic

cut off dar and Chrsitinae elephants

How did Lebanon’s cedars illuminate common approaches from Queen Victoria and Roman Emperor Hadrian? Where do New York City taxi drivers get trained? What promoted Darius to move into a really nice apartment? (Or, more accurately, Who promoted the move?) Where can you see the first printing press in the Middle East? Is there really a place called Deir Qozhaya? Read More...
Comments

pepsi zeros most wonderfully chaotic Sombrero shopping

dan, dar and Nazy lebanon


Middle East tragedy strikes: Pepsi seizes Lebanese soft drink concession from Coke
Zero. Why would anyone buy a Sombrero in Beirut? Where can you see a museum dedicated to the only domesticated insect on the planet? What city’s motto is: “The Most Wonderful Chaos?”. Finally, where can you buy an ice-cube tray to make non-cubical, trapezoidal ice? Read More...
Comments

Ink stained in Saskatchewan with exploding Gucci shoes


Darius and Christianne 1

How will Dan cope on an airplane now that his exalted Frequent Flyer status has vanished? Will he remember to pack trekking clothing for his change of planes in Montreal? Will an explosive ball-point pen get by a security check? Is Beirut still a bargain city? Read More...
Comments

sunny darius reigns economically in greece & Argentina


nazy and Dan in Memphis

Who would talk about economics in Greece and Argentina? (Right after his birthday?) Would the same person talk about the virtues of Democracy in North Korea? Was the sun really hiding? And why did it matter? When did the Budget Gourmet prepare a $10 Persian Meal? Read More...
Comments

prowling tiger pokes words into practiced focus

Melika and Tiger Feb 2015 outdoors

Why does eye doctor advise go in one ear and out the other? Why is Dan relearning how to read? Is the now very mobile grand(est)son clairvoyant? Does clairvoyance imply fine motor control? Will readers be surprised by the self-destruction of a paragraph in this week’s edition of The Weekly Letter? How long does it take the high-tech international banking system to clear an international check? Read More...
Comments

skid row’s falling branches vaccinate moon phase Watch

nazy and DArius Jan 20 hike

Who misplaced the passport office by 99 city blocks? (And who decided to drive those Wilshire Blvd blocks during rush hour?) Which illegal alien dropped branches on The Martin Family patio? Did Dan really replace the mechanical “watch of his dreams’ with an expensive quartz model? (And what does that have to do with buying a house?) And, how did Nazy contract Whooping Arm?
Read More...
Comments

paper writing wizard with heavy passport wants Whale House

Darius and his paper's one


Who is a paper-writing wizard? (And is he responsible for the papers scattered all over the house?) Who has a passport too thick to fit in the overhead compartment? Can anything take longer and move slower than a Friday morning rush hour drive into Los Angeles? (Hint: it involves interaction with a governmental agency.) Would you consider living in “The Whale House”? Would you reconsider if the real estate agent was named Jonah?
Read More...
Comments

Wildebeest with Glasses visits Mexico with mabel & Mortimer

mitra and Stefan again

Dan flew to Newark (as in New Jersey) voluntarily. Why? Can anything go wrong? (Hint: Dan flew on United Airlines.) Who booked the wildebeest in the economy seating section? Did the airline treat Mabel and Morty appropriately? Why did Darius need his passport for a trip to San Diego? And, Dan claimed: “Tijuana is boring!” What happened to prove his point? Read More...
Comments

Rain slides Candle Inferno to rescheduled holiday trip

The Martin Family 1983 copy

How can a open air vent ruin a table cloth, clog a salt shaker and fill a wine glass with wax? More to the point - who forgot to close the vent? [Nothing would have gone awry if electric lights rather than candles had been used.] Darius booked flights well in advance. Darius booked a simple, direct itinerary. Could anything go wrong? [This is, of course, a rhetorical question.] Why is it dangerous to leave a washing machine running during a dinner party? And, did California really ‘store’ the water from the only storm of the season in the ocean? Read More...
Comments

Thanksgiving Milk Popsicle & banana Mush miff Neighbor

Family Thanksgiving

How did the grand(est)son like his first solid food? (Would your opinion change if you knew that the ‘food’ contained rice and bananas?) And how did the banana gruel compare with a frozen milk popsicle? Can a California neighbor match the hospitality that we found in Zurich? Hint: he’s from Detroit and has the wrong name. What do the Baltic Republics have to do with Darius’ new wardrobe? Read More...
Comments

Joe’s Auto vacations on Wednesday flight to timbuktu

nazy and tiger in kitchen nov 20 2014

Did Nazy forget everything she learned in Switzerland? How did quantum mechanics apply to last Wednesday’s agenda? How well does a soft-bed handle on the highway? What does the new car have to do with Bob’s Tire and Battery Store? Where should Dan and Nazy plan their next vacation? (And, is Timbuktu on the way?) Read More...
Comments

Blue Suede Situations hoist Chopstick Lifesavers

dan and Jamsheed Sept 12

What do biceps have in common with chopsticks and candy lifesavers? Is it possible to polish blue suede shoes? Why does Dan think that Roentgen is responsible for the condition of Darius’ sneakers? Is it wise to consider a job offer from a university that has a ‘situation’? (Does any university not have a situation?) Read More...
Comments

Tale told by Friends Romans and candles strutting and fretting

family scared 2014

How does Dan weave Hamlet and MacBeth into a weekly letter celebrating the autumn equinox? And what were you dreaming about on a midsummer’s night? Did you know that midsummer - in fact all of summer - ended on September 1st? Why does Darius need designer shoes before he returns to Beirut? Read More...
Comments

Pacific Coast Mission rattles Redwood Earthquake

all family 9 week baby

Why did a missing Mission in Monterey allow Darius to drop Dan’s Popsicle in the mud? Does this letter really include a photograph of a ‘bump on a log’? (And, if so, who is the bump?) How can a herd of elephant seals disguise themselves on a California beach? And did you know that Redwood trees are actually chocolate brown? And, finally, how well did The Martin Family cope with the California earthquake? Read More...
Comments

Wells Fargo Studebaker delivers Contact Lens Flowers

NAZY AND BABY WITH COWBOY HAT


How does the world’s coolest grandson look in a cowboy hat? Who would buy a clutch-less Studebaker with a hole in the floor? And why is a Studebaker carriage the key exhibit in a Santa Barbara Museum? In fact, what is a Studebaker? What country makes it most difficult to replace a contact lens? (Hint: It is not Lebanon ?)
Read More...
Comments

Dancing baby tangos to last-place 5K Finish


mitra and stefan jamshid dance

Why does Darius want Dan to break an ankle? And, can you believe that the rationale was cleverly disguised as ‘good for you’? How can ‘third in your age class’ turn into (next to) last overall? What is the best age to learn to Tango? And an easy one: who is best qualified to teach Tango to a baby? Read More...
Comments

Dilapidated LAX Welcomes Darius from Crimean Wars


Darius and baby best

Will the Iran Visa in Darius’ passport cause him problems at the border? Will it increase the likelihood that he will be selected for a ‘random’ special security review? Who is reading a book that (purportedly) proves 2+2= ? Can Mitra, Darius and Stefan defend their championship position at The Meet in the Heat? How will Dan and Nazy celebrate their anniversary? Read More...
Comments

4-time half-full pharmacy visit with ground-level parking

dar and dan in popular estates pool


Who wants to divide the contents of a half-full glass by taking the bottom half? Why are American elevators so tricky? How many pharmacy visits does it take to fill a single prescription? (Hint: It’s an inept pharmacy attempting to fill a prescription that should be paid for by an insurance bureaucracy with the flexibility of a granite telephone pole.) And, why is this week’s letter full of photos of Darius?

Read More...
Comments

Gray Whales dance with tango challenged Chase Bank

whale all of it

Can Dan, by some fluke, get a photo of a sounding whale? What is the ocean equivalent of ‘fruits and vegetables’? Would you migrate from Alaska to Mexico to spawn? Can someone with musical ability of a mute barnacle learn to dance? And, finally, will Chase Bank pay the late fee assessed by Darius? Read More...
Comments

Soupy Keyboards foster aggressive competitive lucky Meditation

Dar and all

Why does Dan prefer carrot sticks to carrot soup? Will Darius make the family proud by winning the competitive meditation championship of Los Angeles? (Did Dan’s advice: “Meditate aggressively” help the cause?) What do soup, ice tea and hot tea have in common? And finally, what does the macroeconomist say about debt repayment? (And does the photo have anything to do with the letter content?) Read More...
Comments

wasta jet d’Eau shoots meditating brussel sprouts at Dan

darius and sunset

Why is Dan rinsing brussel sprouts out of his mustache? Hint: A plumber was visiting the house in Santa Barbara. Can meditation missteps ruin someone’s involuntary nervous system? Who is able to track oxygen molecules as they travel from nose to diaphragm and (yuck!) beyond? What is WASTA and why doesn’t Darius use his? Read More...
Comments

Pretty girls tempt great tenors hiking up pregnant hills

nazy on the boat

Would you rather be “great” or “grand”? How about “wonderful” - like the Wizard of Oz? How can Darius benefit from being one of only 4 tenors in Lebanon? Why does Dan want to change his name to Noah? (Hint: It has something to do with the ice-maker.) And did Dan and Nazy actually witness an escape from San Quentin? Read More...
Comments

Visualized Grandparents with 24-hour Electricity

Golden Gate from Shahriar's


Did Mitra’s ‘California Visualization’ cause Dan’s trouble-free cross-continent flight experience? Was Dan (gasp!) wrong to doubt the approach? Why do the ‘locals’ think that Darius directs US foreign policy decisions? And can Darius be happy in a new apartment that has 24 hour electricity? What life-form fails to understand the meaning of a hissing cat? And.. what is the ‘small challenge’ about Tom and Melika’s marriage celebration?
Read More...
Comments

wallet safer in explosive Beirut Than Tranquil Geneva


fify guilders

Did Dan foil a mugger in Geneva? (Or was Dan outsmarted by a trickster in Geneva?) Why are robberies in Europe so civilized? Which city is safer: Geneva? Beirut? Dan and Darius debate the subject. Is it possible to go wrong with a SmartCard?

Read More...
Comments

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...
Comments

McMurdo rental in Istanbul fixes neon screwdriver

statue of liberty


A miracle: All three offspring are in the same part of the world. How did that happen? Who would rent a car in Elko and return it to McMurdo? Why did Nazy break Dan’s handcrafted handy work? (Did she blame Dan for shoddy construction?) What does Barclay have to do with
Fukushima? And why is there a photo of the Statue of Liberty on this edition of The Weekly Letter?
Read More...
Comments

Nonagenarian nuns nix nazy’s nifty knots


eiger monck jungfrau

Can nine nonagenarian nuns nix Nazy’s nifty knots?  Will Darius’ optimism and Dan’s pragmatism banish her Majesty’s fog? Will Persian New Year wishes come true if the ritual is rushed? The Weekly Letter reveals all. Read More...
Comments

hatter paints three pairs of pants

Can a (mad) Santa Fe hatter sell Dan a beaver felt cowboy hat? Is an Ecuadorian-made Panama hat an economical alternative? How does Darius outsmart the (excess) baggage police? Why do honeybees love Nazy’s watercolors? Read More...
Comments

€uro-less and luggage-less inside the beltway

washington mon reflect 1



Traveling again, why did Dan choose US Air? What do America’s Presidential candidates have to do with a Swiss Court ruling about nude hiking? Who would think that a Lebanese ATM card would work in Germany? 
Read More...
Comments

Syrian Insight in mud


mudrace

Can Mitra’s broken Insight help Darius prepare a last-minute lecture series about the Syrian economy?  How will Melika’s sprint through the Muddy Malibu Obstacle Course increase the family IQ? Read More...
Comments