Family Humor

four seasonal birthday luau @ LAX with Vaness

dan and nazy rincon Sept 2019

How many birthday celebrations will Dan be able to wrangle? What could Dan do that half of a horse (power) machine was unable to accomplish? Who invited Vanessa Williams to Dan’s birthday dinner? Did they tell Vanessa? Did Nazy know who Vanessa Williams is? How did Dan and Nazy escape attention from the paparazzi at the IVY in West Hollywood? Did Marilyn crash the party? Who helped celebrate with a great party in Santa Barbara? And what about that Rolls Royce? Read More...

Earth Day Blue Chalk Surfs with Candles and Tennis

The children playing at Nirvana April 2019

Who wants to blow out candles on Earth Day? Why is Earth Day the optimal place to recruit students for a surfing class? (Does living in Santa Barbara tilt the scale?) Who needs… really needs… blue chalk? What Tiger got taller while we weren’t looking? And how did we finally notice? Where did we go to celebrate Nazy’s brother’s birthday? (Hint: He lives in San Francisco).

Cat, eh, Koi, eh, Angelfish feeder carries ABC luggage

Family in Ojai

Can Dan, with help from an engineer-written instruction addendum, successfully configure an automatic and analog cat (and koi) feeder to work with his aquarium? Will the end product disrupt gray whale migration in the nearby Santa Barbara channel. How does two year old Arrow describe his Mom’s work? (His Mom is a lawyer.) Where did Tom and Melika celebrate Melika’s birthday? Why is there a suitcase issue as Nazy plans packing for our forthcoming trip to Australia?

Juvenile jokes, sleepless children, wine slush and flying pigs

Nazy by flying pigs and butterfly

Can Dan’s (juvenile) jokes — involving funny faces and bodily sounds — generate a chortle from (the amazing) Azelle? Do you think they’ll be too high brow for Tiger and Arrow? What is California’s answer to Gluehwein? (Remember that Gluehwein, a European Christmas season favorite, is a bad tasting wine served at the wrong temperature.) The title of this edition may give you an idea of the answer. Where can you find a herd of flying pigs? Where are Dan and Nazy planning to spend the weekend?

Azelle notes Musth Aromatics, Arrow’s six packs and Tiger’s Beard

Nazy and Azelle Oct 13 2018

How does Tiger look with a goatee? (And how did Johnson Baby Shampoo help him pull off the impersonation?) What did Arrow think of Baby Shampoo? Hint: He’s the one with the beautiful hair. And I speak as an expert in ‘hair’ (lose). If you gained weight at the same rate as Azelle, how long would it take before the planet started to orbit around you? What ‘sparkling wine’ tastes like aspirin dropped in a glass of Alka Seltzer? And why isn’t anyone embarrassed by the gargantuan increase in the annual deficit? Read More...

puzzling Vermont fares baffle algorithm as train wrecks birthday waiter

dan and tiger selfie

It turns out that loosing jigsaw puzzle pieces is a core family competency. So, who lost half (New Hampshire and Vermont) of New England? Who designed the airline pricing algorithm that proposed a ‘flexible economy’ ticket that cost 5 times more than an unrestricted business class ticket? How should you choose the celebrity to mimic when you’re taking a selfie with a three year old? (And how did we do?) Can Dan deal with an overly solicitous, hands-on, obsequious waiter? Read More...

Scheduling miscues impact First Brother, Local Consultant and Best Wife

dan, tiger, Arrow at MOXI Feb 2018

Why is it best to book the first flight out of small airport? Can anything go wrong when you follow this ‘best’ advice? What is the difference between being the ‘Big Brother’ and being the ‘First Brother’? Specifically, does this make Wednesday arrive before Tuesday? What’s the word for the slow-motion video exhibit at the Children’s Museum in Santa Barbara? And how does Arrow get the message across? What would you do if someone took your red ball?

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...

Languid Apple Bugs flourish on hydrant fire engine parade

leandra and our girls Nov 2017 for letter

Will anything exciting happen while Nazy is out of town? More to the creative point, will Dan be able to think of anything to write about in the latest issue of The Weekly Letter? Is it possible to compose an exciting narrative about a languid and lethargic week? And will a broken fire hydrant flush away the doldrums? Canl bug-generating Apple Computer corporation come to the rescue? (Hint: If you are dumb enough to keep your telephone updated with the latest software, then December 2nd was not a good day to have an iPhone 7.) Is Tiger ready to see Santa Claus? Read More...

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?


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...

basmati rice rescues soggy iPhone, but who is watching Arrow

dan and arrow trike July 2017

Who forgot Tiger’s swim suit — just as he began private lessons? Who turned off the pool heater — just as Tiger began private lessons? Who forgot to bring a bag of (basmati) rice to the swimming pool? And, why did it matter? Hint: Who forgot to take the iPhone out of his pocket before entering the swimming pool?) What is the exciting news associated with Emirates Air? And, who is patient about growing up? Read More...

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...

pneumatic sponge balls pixilate potholed (potted?) celebrity

tiger at Moxi long

Can a new museum recreate exciting times from Dan’s childhood? I.e. things like doors that open themselves and a pneumatic tube apparatus that shoots colorful sponge
balls into the air? Where can you see a pixelated photo of Dan and Nazy? How did Tiger’s decisions prove that he shares genes with Nazy? (Hint: He was shopping.] And what happens when you're out celebrity spotting in LA — but the celebrity spots you… or more disappointingly, bypasses you and flirts with your friend?


waiting time heals hidden license and tricycle steering foibles

nazy dan Tiger arrow mission walk jan 2017

Who managed to lose the front license plate before he could figure out how to install it? And, is THE LAW that mandates a front license plate actually enforced in California? What is a California Legacy License Plate? (And is it really Gluten-free?) Does the American Healthcare system offer a sure-fire, quick way to recover from the flu? Who chants the mantra: “Sit down and Wait?” In a contest for steering control of the tricycle would you support Tiger or Dan? Read More...

El Clásico cable service ties artsy Harley Davidson sculpture

Dan and Arrow Dec 1 2016

Did Dan’s toenail become ingrown while he waited on the helpless line with his local cable ‘service’ provider? Why did he consider learning Portuguese instead of waiting? What do you want to see in a sporting event? Why do children think that it’s fun to stay awake in the middle of the night? (And, in this case, in the middle of the bed?) Can young Arrow actually sit up? (Almost all by himself?)

California dishwasher steamrolls Finnish Family TV spin-off


Why is a local bird enamoured with The Martin Family water softener? Did you know that John Cleese can speak Portuguese? But why is he showing off during while Dan and Nazy are trying to watch “A Fish Called Wanda?”. How quickly can a defective dishwasher accelerate debris? (And does it matter if the debris is soaked in super glue?) Who designed a dishwasher with a spin cycle? And how applicable is business experience?

Bananas trump cowboys as pumpkins tout gatorade Jack-o-Lantern

At the winery October 2016

Who would prescribe that 16 eight ounce glasses of gatorade be consumed in 4 hours? (And did they know that gatorade tastes like bottled sweat?) What sacrifice did Dan make in order to get a pair of donuts? And who let the grand(est)son eat one of those donuts? Is Tiger aware of the Bugatti brand? And, if not, did Dan buy the model car for himself? Who sketched the concept design for The Martin Family jack-o-lantern? Will Dan and Nazy reuse their banana Halloween costumes? Read More...

smelly cows and racing pigs dominate pumpkin festival

naz pumpkin fingers

What do pigs and cows have to do with pumpkins and autumn? Where is there an international turnip festival? And how does it compare to the global onion jamboree? Who arranged a ride that was literally on a cattle car? How do the Swiss create the cow-filled, picturesque mountain glens? (Hint: think about the cattle car.) Is there a child on the planet that doesn’t like Cotton Candy? Read More...

Chockablock 101 extracts election wisdom and iPhone 7

Dan, nazy, Arrow, October 2016

How did United Airlines ruin Dan’s drive to Los Angeles? What major advantage, from a grandparental viewpoint, does Arrow have over Tiger? (Hint: He stays where you put him.) When did Tiger combine haughty accuracy with caring kindness in a single visit? What could possibly happen to make Dan’s wisdom tooth extraction seem pleasant by comparison? Will building bigger reservoirs solve California’s water shortage? And, finally, will Nazy’s iPhone remain functional long enough to trade it in? 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...

Hats off as equinox eclipse talks dumb, butts hatted heads



Why was is ‘hat’ one of the first words that the grand(est)son learned to speak? Who would store runoff rain water in the ocean? During a drought? Where would they turn a river into a concrete culvert in order to prevent rainwater from replenishing the aquifer? During a drought? When will the language teaching winner be crowned? Does next week’s lunar eclipse portend the end of the world? And, if so, did it have to happen on Dan’s birthday?


Burning Man invites nature indoors as RV morphs to U-Haul

Melika at burning man

Why is Melika no Fan of the Burning Man Plan? Burning Man: a chance to commune with nature — but what is you want nature to stay outside? Is really living off the land if you can’t get ‘the land’ off of you? (Is it fair to refer to ‘dust’ as ‘nature’?) Why was the cat miffed by a power failure? And a U-Haul? What’s that all about? Read More...

Stinky Arrival recalls haughty salmon haircut

Darius and tiger August 2015

Why was Darius met by “You Stink!” signs when he got back to Beirut? (And why didn’t he take it personally?) How old should you be before getting your passport? Why don’t they know how to spell ‘color’ in Vancouver? What were the results when a three year old acted as her own hairdresser? What was (one of) Dan’s early career miscues? Read More...

Watery first Persian word lights blue moon billionaire

at yellow bird music july 2015

Do some languages have intrinsically easier words? More specifically: why did the grand(est)son say the Persian word for ‘water’ before he said the English word for ‘Grandfather’? And, should Nazy gloat about this watery fact? Is it fun to hum ‘Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star’ with a baby? (Can you hear yourself hum over the din?) Who in family decided that the best way to enjoy California’s Mediterranean climate would be to move to the Mediterranean Sea? And, what is Richard Branson doing with a rubber ducky? Read More...

Beach Balls, Lost Marbles, Trampolines and the Matterhorn

smiling with properller hat

Why did the neighbor ask Dan about a trampoline purchase? What does a giant marble table have to do with lost marbles? Why are Dan’s socks getting lighter? Who would go to Greece when the banks have no money? (Hint: An economist.) Who, when presented with a ukulele, a tambourine and a drum, chose a beach ball as his favorite musical instrument? Read More...

Table Mountain transplants paper kidney to my chair

young tiger in the rose garden July 2015

Why does the surgical center think Dan should take kidney transplant medication before a laser eye treatment? If washing the car is illegal, what can possibly be done to end the California drought? Hint: The government is doing it, so it will be expensive. It also has something to do with the Pacific Ocean, mothballs and special taxes. Why does our dinning room set have 4 ‘normal’ chairs, one Captain’s chair and an Admiral’s chair? And does Nazy really want to move Mt. Fuji into our California residence? Read More...

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.)

Baby rides 1917 carosel while dan queues behind 1901 customer

jamsheed and Nazy at hotel

Did you know that there is a 1917 Carousel in Santa Barbara? Is it possible to sign your name with movements so slow that the continent drifts out of range before you finish? The answer of course is ‘Yes’. But why are the people doing that always queuing in front of me? And who would be dumb enough to stand in line behind someone older than the Carousel? Where would you wear baby blue shoes? (Would you still do it if you were an adult?) Read More...

telephone befriends car in taxing childcare dilemma

Tiger on Dan's shoulders April 2015

How did the family celebrate income tax day? (Hint it wasn’t by filing an income-tax return.) How do memories of his first tax audit still haunt Dan? What happens if a 10 month old baby takes a three hour nap - just before bedtime? Why would you let that happen if you were babysitting? When did Dagmar (the car’s navigation computer) begin having an affair with Nicholas (the Nokia mobile phone)? And what happened when Nicholas was replaced by Agnes, the Apple iPhone? Read More...

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...

birthday venus with surprised day-long spa in 1394

mitra stefan and tiger closeup

Was it a coincidence that there was a conjunction of Venus and the Moon on Nazy’s birthday? How did Nazy and Dan make appropriate arrangements for good luck in the year 1394? (Does retroactive good luck count?) Who parked next to a California Prickly Pear Cactus - and then watched his spouse attempt to get out of the car? What do spas, shoes, dinners and family all have in common?

baby grand(est)son uses duct tape to fix translucent eye

melika and standing baby

Was Dan’s surgeon really using duct tape? Why is a pirate eye patch not in the cards? Do you need two fully functional eyes in order to have adequate depth perception? How did Dan repurpose his thesis to a solve a practical problem? ’Who is “babying” the baby? (And Why?) Read More...

cupcake cups and draught conspiracy color- Correct the sunset

naz, jamsheed and balllon Feb 2015

Has someone in the locker room uncovered a draught conspiracy? Do you think aliens (either illegal or extraterrestrial) are stealing water from the Lake? What do you call the little things that cupcakes are baked in? And why do babies find those things so exciting? Special sunglasses correct Dan’s color vision - but won’t work in Zurich. Why? And what does that have to do with Mitra and Vancouver. Read More...

High surf Crashes HSBC SWIFT link At Rabbit Zoo with popcorn pigeons

dan, nazy and tiger at zoo Feb 2015

Does a ‘high surf advisory’ apply to a stroll along the beach? (And, on a related topic, can Dan and Nazy outrun a tidal wave?) What make us think that the grand(est)son is easily pleased? (Hint: His favorite zoo animal is the pigeon.) Why is HSBC, the megabuck that helps zillionaires avoid taxes, unable to handle a simple wire transfer? And, finally, what is Darius’ favorite flower color. (Hint: He, like the grand(est)son is easy to please.) Read More...

raincoats on Daniel & a Wife always right: a few of my favorite things


Can Dan find the Australian raincoat that he bought in Switzerland? Does he remember the purpose of a raincoat? If pharmacy said that your prescription would be ready in 15 minutes, would you wait? (Hint: It was a CVS pharmacy.) Who taught the grand(est)son to speak Chinese? How do you decide to switch from repair mode to replace mode? And is Nazy always right? Read More...

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?

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?

sledding Hamsters in ugly sweaters text the NSA

nazy at manhattan beach

In the area of abrasiveness does sand trump snow? More to the point: would you try to sled down a sand dune? Should hamsters attend a Yankee Swap? Why is the NSA listening to Nazy’s shampoo? And how does Apple discourage iPhone replacement. (Hint: do not send a text message to Dan’s Lumina phone.) And, finally, where can you buy the ugliest Christmas sweater on the planet? Read More...

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...

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...

early evening dino-Rooster Drives New car Mistake

dan and tiger November 14 2014

Where can you find a teak rooster that is the same size as a Tyrannosaurs Rex? (And why would you be looking for one?) Why didn’t High School experiences (“Don’t let me friends see me in ‘the VAN’, Dad.&rdquoWinking influence Melika’s selection of a new motor conveyance? And, on the topic of cars, did Dan and Nazy really down-size while the grand(est)son is upsizing? Why does the government want you to believe that they create an extra hour when they move to daylight savings time?

Vikings melt rusted TR7 losing iPhone Finding red Car

Baby and friends

Did the “Find my iPhone” App save Nazy’s bacon? Or, was it necessary to speak with a Scientology missionary first? Did Eric the Dead design and build The Martin Family refrigerator? (Which is also dead.) When is red really red? Hint: Dan’s Memphis-based TR7 that wouldn’t start, but would leak, was ‘not red’. And - why does it matter? Finally, who’s grand(est)son can sit up all by himself?

lion King TIGER Rains over Manipulated election Dancer

Lion family

Who chose Halloween night as the most appropriate time for the only rainstorm of the year? What is the best Halloween costume for a baby named ‘Tiger’? Does fracking in North Dakota cause drought in Southern California? Hint: It’s election season and it’s easier to against everything than it is to be for anything. Do you need to know how to walk before you learn how to dance? And why is The Martin Family automobile responsible for high invoices from AT&T? Read More...

Totally sitting Swimmer eclipses parrothead socks

jamshid swimming on back

What has Dan learned from the grand(est)son? And how did he apply the new knowledge in a realistic dental office setting? Is it possible to teach a 4 month old baby to swim? (Hint: He isn’t afraid of the ‘deep’ end because his feet don’t reach the bottom in the shallow end.) Who outgrew his swim suit while he was in the pool? And, finally, learn how Dan plans to address Nazy’s lunar eclipse concerns. Read More...

Totally eclipsed desitin tricks overnight baby


Who scheduled a 3:00
AM lunar eclipse?  Who mishandled the tube of Desitin?  And, how are these two events related?  Can a quality zoom feature trump trembling hands? How will Dan and Nazy handle and overnight baby sitting challenge? And, does a new computer solve all problems? Read More...

Oklahoma hats drive on dangerous Macbook Amateur

dan nazy and TRA IV 7ish weeks

Why were magnets and tractor beams needed on a simple holiday expedition? Will Darius be able to make friends with Madeline the navigation computer? Is Darius really teaching martial arts to his new nephew? And does everyone in the family like hats Read More...

monstrous maned pregnant lions dawdle with humpback whales

Mel and cat 3

How is home renovation related to Melika’s dawdling? Who is the ‘mane’ man? Why does Monster, Melika’s cat, refuse to look in the mirror. (Does it have something to do with his puffy tail?) When will the grand baby arrive? (Hint: you won’t find out by reading this week’s edition of The Weekly Letter.) Read More...

Work Life Balance with purple tomatoes

moon over sb harbor august 2012

Who is the pot and who is the kettle? In the field of work-life balance, is it better to work on spreadsheets at 3:00AM, to prepare codicils and appendices at 3:00AM or dance at 3:00AM? Can Dan still hit an 80MPH curveball? (Could Dan ever hit an 80MPH curveball?). Who would buy a purple tomato?