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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Cleopatra’s Cowboy feathers Marc Antony’s Indians with Burning Man


naz and dan shreves party

Who wears the hats in the family? (Especially on Halloween.) Can Marc Dantony out-glam CleoNazy?How do cascading white feathers compared to fringed buckskin? Can anyone talk Dan into wearing a Burning Man costume to a Halloween party? How about Kinky Boots? Are they better on Broadway or on Nazy or, even (gasp!) on Dan? Why does jet lag make it impossible to fall asleep — except when the snooze button is pushed?


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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...
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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?


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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...
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Wedding music serenades planetarium art as banks and homes collide


The grandest children

How long did it take Nazy to get ready to attend a wedding? Hint: The wedding was on Saturday; At 3:15PM on The Saturday. Nazy was at the Santa Barbara airport baggage claim area. How many dumb things did Dan buy on the Internet while Nazy was traveling? What do you do if your bank has ‘no money’ after 2:00PM on a Friday afternoon? Would you be especially annoyed if your tax dollars had been used to bail out said bank? How can Arrow improve his cat feeding technique? And can Dan wrest control of ‘his’ iPad from a Tiger determined to get the high score? Read More...
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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.
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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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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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hidden sunglasses chalk up birthday cake kindness


Mitra and Arrow at Music May 2017

How did Nazy help Dan lose (another) pair of sunglasses? Although it will be left as an exercise for the reader to decide who is ultimately to blame, decades of husband experience suggests that the vast majority of fault will lie on the masculine side of the divide. Note: In the previous sentence: strike ‘vast majority’ and replace with ‘all’. Who wants to eat “all” of Mitra’s Birthday Cake? (Hint: It’s not Mitra; she was willing to share.) How did The Martin Family get out of the ensuing conundrum? Why are there ‘always’ chalk drawings at The Old Mission on Mitra’s birthday? Read More...
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Grand Mothers (to be) days balance please go now desk

Dan, Nazy, Tiger, Arrow Mothers day 2017


Where did the family’s Mother’s Day celebrants convene? Did we salute Grandmothers and Mother’s to Be as well? Why won’t 9 month old Arrow accept well-meaning and obviously accurate grandfatherly commentary? I’m talking about advice like: “You need a mastery of balance
before you try to walk”. Do you have to learn to read if you’ve already memorized all your books? Why (and how) did Dr. Seuss frighten young Tiger. (Hint: Tigers are orange.) Can Nazy do watercolors on a leather covered table? Read More...
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Glasses and bicycles foster insurance foibles and Jacaranda trees


Tiger and dan swimming no gravity April 2017

Are non-native invasive species subject to a Executive Order ban signed by the current (block) head of the executive branch? Can a tree — especially a beautiful Jacaranda Tree — be dangerous to domestic tranquility? (What about kudzu and fire ants?) Is there an “I hate eye glasses gene?” Why are we keeping Tiger away from row boats and canals? How many passion fruit does it take to balance a honeydew melon on a scale? What miracle did Dan need to perform in The Hague in order to get reimbursement from an insurance company?
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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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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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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?






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Valentine Champagne: Admirals, Judges and Chinese Apps


Tiger, nazy on tricycle

What advice did KLM have for Dan? And is it still applicable? Why did THE ADMIRAL claim that rain is the under-appreciated asset that makes America bountiful and rich. (And is it possible to be too bountiful and rich?) Will Dan need assistance from THE JUDGE over a never-ending license plate foible? Can THE PROFESSOR teach a two-year old keyboard basics? How about touchscreen etiquette? On a related note, did you know that a touchscreen chock-full of chocolate is responsively challenged? Read More...
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Mitra and electric Soul arrive as drought (almost) ends

mitra, Stefan and Soul


Why can a Santa Barbara project manager claim credit for ending the California drought? Hint: the desalination plant is about to come on-line. How will the local citizenry respond when green appears in the landscape? (What about wildflowers?) Why is the exact distance between Mitra’s home in Los Angeles and our home in Santa Barbara so very important? What drove Stefan to scale the challenging ravine next to our driveway? Can a 2 year old sum up soccer in a single sentence? And, what would Benjamin Franklin say?

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Fashion Guru to NYC Police; Great Comet and inane orders


arrow and Tiger


Why did a New York City policeman ask Dan to be his ‘fashion guru’? And was Dan riding a horse when it happened? Who are Natascha and Pierre (and Josh Groban)? Was the Great was the Comet of 1812 more impressive than Comet Hale-Bopp? Could it play an accordion? How did Dan get trapped talking with a person who ‘owned' two bed and breakfasts in Illinois, a fragrance business in New York, a race car engine factory in Chicago and had a monopoly on baggage carts at O’Hare? (She also had a reservation for a Motel 6.) Which one of (the many) ill-advised
executive actions had a personal impact on The Martin Family? And, if you read all the way to the end, you’ll see side-by-side (or top to bottom) photos of Tiger and Arrow at the same age, Read More...
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Gravity and Tiger’s cars; weather snarls (some) marching travel


Arrow and Tiger with cars copy

Are Dan’s ‘bad luck travel genes’ inheritable? it usually takes geologic forces to move mountains — so how did Mother Nature do with something as simple as water? Hint: it was lots of water. In an unprecedented (and totally unexpected) moment, Tiger shared his cars with Arrow. But, did Tiger know what six-month old and teething babies do to everything they pick up? Did anyone in The Martin Family join the Women’s March? Read More...
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Elvis, Yoda, test pilot and mime share sugar cookie photo op


Short family Dec 2016

Can holiday tradition (a double batch of sugar cookies) withstand challenge (a single batch)? Can sharing be taken a step too far? Will Melika’s costume closet, eh, room, eh, warehouse provide adequate inspiration for the annual Martin Family photo? Who gets to be Elvis? Will Tiger use The Force as Yoda or will force be needed to persuade Tiger to be Yoda? Can Nazy replicate a baby pose from the 70’s? Read More...
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unreflective rush hour freeway rains Christmas stocking shopping miscues


Chrisitiane and Darius funny faces dec 2016

Who thought that it would be a pleasant drive from LAX to Santa Barbara? Pleasant on the Friday before Christmas, at rush hour, in the rain, during construction season? Was the 405 freeway built before reflective paint was invented? Is Melika’s SUV bigger than the USS Nimitz, a nuclear powered air craft carrier? How did Tiger circumvent a promise to ‘not run away’ at the book store? Which tricycle company forgot to put all required parts in the box? (And who discovered that problem Christmas Eve, after the shops had closed?) If you had to choose between two different sized boxes of identical ziplock bags, would you select the 18 count box for $2.89 or the 38 count box for $3.29. Hint: your wife asked you to pick them up at the grocery store with no additional information. Read More...
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Amazon reigns on upside down graduation Christmas Tree light


Tiger at Swimming school graduation Dec 2016

Why didn’t the graduating Tiger wear a gown to go with his cap? Hint: He was also wearing a bathing suit at the time. Is it possible to string Christmas Tree lights the wrong way? Why is the obvious corrective move ‘illegal and dangerous’? (And why is explaining that to your wife equally dangerous?) Did Dan buy a Gulfstream 500 Jet on Amazon? Speaking of Amazon, what is two-step verification? Will Dan finish the annual Christmas Letter before Christmas. Read More...
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Hotel loses a pink elephant,10,000 pennies and a Wocket in my Pocket


dan and naz dec 10 2016

Is Dr. Seuss the greatest author to hit the literary scene since Bill Shakespeare? If you’re two years old and you’ve got a Wocket in your Pocket, then you know the answer. How did La Grande Hotel Intercontinental (Paris) deliver such abject disappointment? Who put the space-time continuum at risk? Does anyone know how much 10,000 pennies weighs? And why is Dan abandoning his quest for his own private jet? Read More...
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Danceless Dan’s Diary Dangles Dandy Dusky Dutch Doodles


Arrow holding head Nov 2016

Can (11 year old) Melika do the impossible? (Hint: The ‘impossible’ is to find a dancer who is ‘worse than Dad’.) What kind parent dips a pacifier in honey? (And feeds a rotund newborn sugar water?) How did Nazy discover that there is no Dutch word for ‘refund’? What would you do when discovering that the ‘milk white bread’ you bought was ‘double baked’ and looked to be chocolate milk white? What other wonders were found in the Martin Family archives? Read More...
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planes and cars — rams and tears — balls and fears — Docs and Jeers

bed selfie


Why did the youngest of the grandest sons refuse to get out of bed on Wednesday morning? What is larger: the number of little airplanes that Dan has? Or, the number of little cars that Tiger has? Is a Tiger stronger than Boeing 747 landing gear? (A model 747?) Why is this letter postmarked “Republic of California”? Can a Tiger, an Arrow, Dan and Nazy coexist, at 2:00AM on a Queen-sized bed? (And which subset is able to sleep regardless of the answer?) Is Los Angeles reconsidering the welcome extended when the Rams football team returned?
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Tarmac delays threatened aircraft evacuation on inactive taxiway

Arrow and Tiger on swing Nov 2016

Is it unreasonable to expect that your airline will find an open gate when your flight lands? Who waited more impatiently: Dan or Tiger? How did Nazy convey her ire? And why didn’t American Airlines react? Was Arrow happy when Tiger ‘shared’ his toy Humvee? Why didn’t Melika and Tom join the Halloween costume parade this year? How well are the grand(est)sons bonding? Read More...
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Tiger’s airport closes on upside down mountain SUV Arrow


Family (Martin, Adams) GC Oct 2016

What is a rolling thunder surprise birthday celebration? Is the thunder related to echoes from a truly grand canyon? Who booked a rental car for the wrong day at a small airport? Did they really turn off the airport lights before the taxi arrived? What’s worse: United Airlines flight delay ineptitude or American Airlines surly customer service? Why does a two year old believe that riding on a bus is more exciting than looking at The Grand Canyon? What is the best room decoration for a boy named ‘Arrow’? (Hint: There is a Hopi Village native crafts center nearby.) Read More...
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family tree wings toward Braniff birthday arrows and tigers


Dan and Arrow Sept 12 2016

Who has a family tree older than the petrified forest? Can Nazy paint the tree on acid-free and gluten-free paper. (Hey! We live in California.) Where can you find a smiling arrow? Why are colorful letter used to spell Braniff? Why is Nazy thinking about Nigeria while she looks for the perfect birthday present? What’s the difference between wrinkles and laugh lines? Read More...
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Conifers pine fir yew in New York musical museum fire engine


All in NYC sept 2016

Did yew know that some ‘pine cones’ haven’t fallen from pine trees? Where can you find a conifer connoisseur to spruce up the house? (And what would you need one fir?) Did Nazy let Tiger play in the sandbox at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)? Where did Tiger master pachinko? Who slept the best on the cross-country red-eye? And, remember the pre-mobility days when a baby who stays where you put him? Remember them fondly. Read More...
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Pithy update: Melika and Nazy’s iPhone soaked in Chateau Lafite

The Three kids 1983


Would you keep a bottle of Chateau
LAFITE (2000) in your storage for 16 years? Would the wine be drinkable after the storage in the wine attic? Where can you find a piece of Mars encased in plastic? (And what do you do with it?) Who and how were Melika and Nazy’s iPhone both submerged? Which one of them handled the ‘baptism’ with more aplomb? And: How did The Martin Family look in 1983? Read More...
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dregs, dross, debris and silver app store pink boyfriend

The Boy Friend, CHS


Who decided to empty
THE STORAGE(in Melika’s driveway)? What company built the first App Store, called SofStore, (before the internet and apps existed)? What should be done with an international collection of Monopoly games (from every European country)? What are the overdue charges on a Blockbuster 1 week rental initialed in 1995? Who was ‘a’ boyfriend in The Boyfriend during High School? Why did Le Grand Hotel Inter-Continental (Paris) deliver “such disappointing news” to Mitra? (Hint: It had something to do with pink stuffed elephants.) Would you like to enjoy the beautiful smile of six week old Arrow? (By the way, I am at the left, with a striped coat and a leg up.) Read More...
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sneaky chipmunks deal with rocking horse wagons and sideless cribs

nazy, tiger, mel and arrow August 2016


Do Santa Barbara chipmunks have bushy black tails? (Or was the home invader a baby skunk?) Why was the family pterodactyl pulling a little red wagon? What should be done with Darius’ third grade paint-by-numbers coloring book? Is Tiger’s appraisal of Arrow’s skill set (‘he can only cry, poop, eat and sleep’) accurate? And what crib structures do Baby Melika and two year old Tiger have in common? Finally, read about the Arrow welcome poem and paintings prepared by Mitra and Nazy.
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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?
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United Air flummoxed; anniversary luggage lost; tigers and arrows happy


tiger and arrow three weeks

Will United Airlines manage to complete a trifecta by stranding Dan in every city that connects to the Santa Barbara Airport. Hint:Will Dan ever learn to shun United Airlines? And, having seen Aladdin on Broadway, how would Dan use one of his wishes? (Hint: Think United Airlines.) Do Arrows and Tigers get along happily? Did Nazy share a (cheesecake) dessert with Dan on The Anniversary Dinner? Read More...
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I am asking you to have a baby, Melika. It’s been 9 Months


Adams family july 15 2016 at hospital

Why was Melika still pregnant after her due date passed? Or, as Tiger put it: “I am asking you, Mama, to have that baby.” Was monster (the cat) the only phlegmatic member of the waiting family? What comes to mind when the doctor says “… water broke…”? (For me, the vision included water balloons and balconies.) Did Melika (finally) take action after realizing that without movement, there would be a dearth of weekly letter material? Did the family pull together to deliver this baby or was it mainly Melika's pushing? Read More...
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Blue Jay flitches iPad contraction button at hatless carriage museum


Nazy and Tiger at Carriage Museum July 2016

The beginning: Does Apple believe that any music played with a violin is ‘classical’ music? Does it count if the violin is strung with barbed wire and played with a sandpaper bow? Can Dan and Nazy train a determined blue Jay? (More descriptively, how quickly did the Jay train Dan and Nazy?) Will an iPad work if the ‘BIG BUTTON’ is broken? Who noticed that carriage wheels from the 1800’s don’t have ‘tire inflation valves’? And, finally, has anyone noticed that random and irregular contractions have begun? Read More...
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greek pharaoh Korfu labors with car and vacationing doctor


nazy at solstice

Is Khufu a Greek Island or an Egyptian Pharaoh? And what does he (or it) have to do with Albania?) How would you feel if your obstetrician went on a two week holiday that ended on your due-date? Patient? Impressed with the confidence she has in her predictive capability? What is better than baby Motrin for baby fevers? (Hint: Tiger has his own, very clearly communicated, suggestion.) How has baby delivery changed over the past few decades? Read More...
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caesar trumps pregnant chocolate solstice donut and parading cupid


Tom, Melika, Dan, tiger Solstice 2016

Will the gods (Zeus. Aphrodite, Poseidon and Cupid) tolerate a ‘hanger-on’ Julius Caesar? And did Dan really think that Caesar was Greek? Would Aphrodite march in a solstice parade if she were eight and a half months pregnant while there was a full moon on a hot summer day? What will Tiger do when he realizes that his ‘Cupid’ wings make him look like a Victoria’s Secret model? How can a fire unburn 600 acres? And, finally, is Dan willing to ‘take one for the country’? Read More...
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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...
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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?
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Bronze common infrequent flyer meets no outlet antelope

nazy at antelope with car

Where are the antelopes in Antelope Valley, California? They can’t escape, the park signs clearly say: “NO OUTLET”. Why did Dan want to sack the navigation computer? How did Dan cope with the transition from “Platinum Elite Frequent Flyer” status to “Bronze Common Infrequent Cargo” status? And is Tiger, the grand(est)son, taller than the main landing gear of a B-24? Read More...
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Don’t forget: Kiss the bride, don’t order fried, Hope roads are wide

saying I

How did a crazed waiter and a flawless wedding hijack last week’s edition of The Weekly Letter? Was the wedding flawless? Did Darius remember to do everything in the plan? Did Christiane stumble on a word? Did the fireworks ignite at the right time? Where do they prepare fried shrimp in the shell? (With the heads and legs?) How did Christiane get The Martin Family to bypass the enormous lines at Beirut airport immigration? Read More...
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tiger selects somnolent sommelier, sees Jupiter in Cyprus wedding

thewedding party orchestrated by TigerIMG_3777

Did Dan read the ‘Remember to drive on the left side of the road’ sign in time? If the gearshift lever and the mirror are on the wrong side of the car, is it fair to blame the driver for small miscues? Is it possible to win an argument with a Cypriot waiter who insists on serving an anorexic full-bodied wine? How can Tiger’s desires (he wants to walk the bride down the aisle) be reconciled with the (he is supposed to walk down the aisle with balloons)? Will Darius remember his lines? Read More...
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Soggy flight, London night, car not right, see the sight


Everyone at the Stafford

How will Tiger cope on a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to London? More appropriately how will the accompanying adults (Tom, Melika, Nazy and Dan) cope? How will British Air cope? What about the poor guy from India who is assigned a middle seat between Nazy (with Tiger) and Dan? Who failed to appropriately secure the diaper before handing a satiated baby to Dan at the very beginning of the flight? Will the London Marathon foil the family sightseeing plans? Can Dan master a car with the steering wheel on the ‘wrong side’? How does Tom compare with the silicon-based navigation system? Read More...
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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...
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party line iPhone Bings flawed outlook account


dand and Tiger April 2016

How did Australia infiltrate the family iPhone network? And did Dan really drop Siri on the Barbie? Does anyone remember what a ‘party line’ means — relative to a telephone? How did Siri drag Microsoft into the fray? And is my call “important to anyone”? What drove Dan and Nazy to go walkabout? Can the damage done by a two year old with a remote be undone? Read More...
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hilly formal dining motions to moon for new year portrait


dan and Nazy formal good

How did Atlanta’s hills facilitate Dan’s courtship of Nazy? What does the Pacific Ocean have in common with the South African Karoo? And, how is formal dining involved? Why didn’t the grand(est)son’s airplane to Miami have a stopover on the moon? Would you hire a cruise-based portrait photographer who suffers from seasickness? Why did the vernal equinox/Persian new year necessitate an emergency trip to Saks?
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Jose Fettuccine tour guide overeats on Mexican porcelain


title slide

Where did they film ‘Night of the Iguana’? Can you see that setting without paying for a photo with a live iguana. (Hint: Does your tour guide have a brother with a pet iguana?] Will friends from Australia believe that the “only place to find opal” is Mexico? How does the “stick to the wall’ technique work for determining whether the pasta is ready? And how fast is a modern cruise ship? Read More...
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white buckskin shoes polish multiple bistros on-board the Crown Princess


at san pedro port LA

How would you feel if your Mother ‘polished’ your favorite white suede shoes with liquid shoe polish designed for ‘Baby’s first shoe’? Would the pain impact your wardrobe decades later? Would your wife understand? And on the subject of white shoes, does everyone on a ship need to wear white? Is it possible to trick a headstrong 20 month old boy into riding in a stroller? What is as heavy as the Empire State Building and as long as the Holland Tunnel? Read More...
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Wildflower smeller claims sole credit for birth. Did Not! Did So!

Tiger, Mel, Tom at Ultrasound Feb 2016

How does nature compete with Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars? Hint: wild flowers are very pretty. What is the grand(est)son’s reaction to an ultrasound view of a soon to arrive sibling? Did the reaction change when they turned on the real sound? Hint: It’s squishy and loud in there.) Does he believe that “there’s a baby in Mommy’s tummy”? Does he believe that he was in Mommy’s tummy?. Has the discussion prepared him for political debates? Read More...
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Super Tiger Producers West End My Gym Vermont Pope

naz, dan Tiger my gym 2016 Feb


Who booked his lovely spouse on (not so) EasyJet? (And why does she still remember it 10 years later?) Can the grend(est)son find time in his busy schedule for MyGym classes? (Hint: He’s having a ball.) What do you give to a horse named Piccolo? Would you change your mind if Piccolo tossed you onto your duff? Why does Dan think he can give flying lessons without an airplane?
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Valentine’s Day steering wheel stroller and El Nino miscue

Lucky's Valentine 2016

Why is local news running an El Nino disaster series when this year’s El Nino has been a flop? And what is La Nina? Can the grand(est)son be tricked by a stroller with a steering wheel? Why did Dan want to give corn flakes to a cereal killer? What role did Carol Burnett in Nazy and Dan’s Valentine Day dinner? Read More...
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Piano playing cat drops ball on crumbled iPhone car

_DSC0038


Why must Dan cope with probes and pokes? What do harpsichord playing felines have to do with balls? Why was the physician unimpressed with a digital clock? Is Mitra the master of nooks and crannies? (And rock and leaf?) The grand(est)son unwilling to ride in the rental car — could it be that he blames someone for breaking the red car? Read More...
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rainy seasons make nefarious degert tillers abnormal


dan and tiger on swing

Where is the ‘rainy season’ most predictably rainy? Is a ‘flash flood warning’ a good indicator? How does the sentence “Dinosour: The degert you a bed of fory hare” help Donald Trump’s election campaign? (And how is it related to Middle School Civics class?) Where is ‘average’ actually abnormal? And, if your sailboat is moving backwards, is throwing the tiller at the ‘Wind God’ a nautically approved reaction? Read More...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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?
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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?
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Full Moon sailing in a dark and rainy party habitat

dancing Tiger Dec 19 2015


Was a sailing instructor really willing to entrust a boat to Dan for a ‘solo’? (How did he hedge his bets?) How is a home renovation project like child birth? And why did I think of that analogy? And who, in addition to Mitra and Stefan, loves to dance? Hint: see the intro photo. How well can children remember events from the distant past? I’m talking about the Grand(est)son and ‘rain’ and the first daughter and … well, you have to read about it here.
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Platinium Elite Flyer morphs to Dirt COMMON NYC Sinterklaas trip

The Martin Family Christmas 2009

Will Dan be able to complain about a trip where flights that are on-time, serviced by pleasant staff and incredibly economical? Hint: Dan is no longer a Platinum Elite Frequent Flyer; Dirt Common Infrequent Trodden Class is not quite as nice. How was Dan able to morph a trouble-free flight to New York into a story about Cameroon? Who celebrated St. Nicolas Day at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral In Sidon? How did that illuminate memories of Sinterklaas Day fun in Holland? And what does the cover picture have to do with the letter contents? Read More...
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Butterfly migration delays plumbing tasks while Vancouver haircut genes dominate

mel in vancouver

Where can a thundering herd of migrating Monarch Butterflies close the US101 Highway? Hint: We live in California. Can Dan think of a way to use that natural event to shirk off a plumbing job? How will ‘genes’ and Vancouver history be applied to a ‘hair is in my eyes’ challenge? And why did Monster the Cat hide the gardening shears? Finally, reader advice is solicited about the identity of a giant insect discovered and ejected from The Martin Family residence. Read More...
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autumn’s thankful ducks build great wall of firewood


nazy and tiger nov 2015 cropped

Is autumn possible if the (palm) trees don’t change color? Does autumn begin when it becomes necessary to wear long pants instead of shorts? When Dan thinks of seasonal changes, why does The Great Wall of China come to mind? Who rode the Carousel? (But who picked the horse?) And how did we help the Ducks in Chase Palm Park celebrate Thanksgiving? Read More...
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International men’s orchid chandelier seats Patton’s tanks and toilets

dan at orchid show in SB Nov 2015

Is it a coincidence that International Men’s Day and World Toilet Day both occur on November 19? Will Nazy notice if irritability is a side-effect of Dan’s medication? Why does moving the dinning room table into the dinning room cause the Third Armored Battalion to park its tanks in front of our house? What do the neighbors think? Has the grand(est)son made the transition from ‘Baby’ to ‘Little Boy’? Read More...
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On the port (tick) tack with a Cornish Hen


Tiger on the parachute Nov 2015

Who put ‘sailing’ on the list of things that every gentleman should know how to do? Why did Dan read that list? Does gnawing the drumstick of a Cornish Hen equate to ‘being able to carve a turkey’? What is a boom vang and is it related to the gooseneck? Will eating Tic Tacs make Dan a better sailor? What prompts the grand(est)son to say: “Okay?”. Read More...
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KitchenDread, Kettle Red, Appliance Dead, Cat Well Fed

Tiger and Monster

When we were just married, Nazy wanted a massive KitchenAid mixer that cost about as much as my first car. Factual insert: My first car was a (well) used Austin Healy Sprite that didn’t have rollup windows or a self-canceling turn signal switch. Now, many years later, we bought a KitchenAid Proline device — a candy apple Red Tea Kettle. Pricewise, it is a flawless diamond in a sea of zirconium. In the looks category, it is a Rembrandt surrounded by unschooled doodles. Performance wise - well, you’ll just have to read about it. And, is Melika’s cat comfy staying with us? How is the grand(est)son doing with his swimming lessons? Read More...
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Unprepared Dan battles Diapers, The Donald and the Appliance Warrior

The family Halloween 2015

Nazy heads to San Francisco leaving Dan in charge of The Grand(est)son. Can he handle The Challenge? Can he handle the challenge? Ha! He’s protected his California home from floods for the last three years. Note: Readers are encouraged to forget the drought. If Halloween finds Tom and Melika in a connected western horse costume, why is young Tiger dressed like Donald Trump? No matter, he’ll be great: surrounded by great people with great ideas all wanting to make America great again. And, as a 16 month old baby, he’s ideally aged to imitate The Donald Read More...
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Eucalyptus attacks Trigger El Nino apocalyptic vest


nazy reading to Tiger

If the weather bureau can’t manage autumn (Who agreed to routinely permit Santa Barbara's October high temperatures to loiter in the 90’s?), then why should we listen to dire warnings about an El Nino winter? Who would go to a Halloween costume party dressed as Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger? (Hint: Trigger was a horse.) Assuming the context is ‘costume’ rather than ‘hunger’, would you choose a banana or a Lion? In a battle for survival, how can a ‘down on its luck’ Eucalyptus Tree seize an opportunity? Read More...
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Flat Beds Fly: Elite-less airlines Lie with immobile movers

nazy, dan and albert einstein

Why do airlines tout ‘flat beds’ while mattress companies promote beds that let you sit up? Can Dan cope with the loss of Elite Frequent Flyer Status? Is he willing to pay for an upgrade? Will he ‘go nuclear’ when given an invoice for checked baggage? How did a Burning Man U-Haul experience prepare Melika and Tom for a house move? And, in a home renovation project, what’s more important: the master bath toilet or the outdoor hot tube? (Hint: the ‘movees’ live in California.
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Disney lights heavy prowling tiger and happy goat

with mickey and yari

What is the best career for a baby that know how to say ‘No’, but has not mastered Yes’? How is the grand(est)son able to alter the Universal Gravitational constant discovered by Isaac Newton? While young Tiger be willing to pounce on a flying elephant named Dumbo? How will a youngster who’s almost first word was ‘light’ react to the Disneyland “Paint the Night parade? Where can you find a 1959 Rambler station wagon? (And why would you care?) Finally special thanks to Yari and Joe who helped show us around Disneyland - avoiding lines and getting discounts. Read More...
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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...
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A Real Analysis of The Buick Anniversary Celebration


Children and Nazy 1988 copy

When did Dan and Nazy celebrate their ‘Buick’ anniversary? (And where were they living at the time?) Was Nazy shocked to discover that Dan would be at home for his wedding anniversary? Why is a Santa Barbara celebration better than a Sicilian holiday? How is the grandspring doing? (What is a grandspring?) Did KLM actually help celebrate? Read More...
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Magic planet-wielding street dancing stroller-filled parade

Tiger, Dan and Mitra june 20 2015

How can the grand(est)son sleep next to a blaring 10,000 Watt speaker system when you want him to be awake? How can the grand(est)son wake up because he heard a bird feather fell in the driveway 800 meters away? Can Dan fumble a simple stroller-pushing task? The Music Man led 76 trombones in the Big Parade, but who led the 9 planets? If a Magician asked you to pick a big word, would you chose “drop” or “transcontinental”? (Hint: It’s amBIGuous.) Read More...
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awaiian Toyota drives to Helium-filled Jupiter on way to Moon


Family b4 parade

Can the family fortune be assured with Helium futures? (And what does that have to do with Zeppelins, World War I and the government?) Have Zombies invaded the family residence? Can Stefan’s Toyota make it to the moon? (And back?) Who will be doing the Hula on Jupiter? (And Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto)? Can Dan and Nazy navigate a stroller through the asteroid belt into Earth Orbit. Read More...
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percussion! talent! renovation & budget: tornado & Trailer park

May 2 Tiger and Nazy sunglasses


How did the Grand(est)son’s first music class work out? Hint: He like percussion. And, he’s big on cool sunglasses. Where are the music genes in the family: Mitra (Tango)? Darius (Bassoon)? Tom (Elvis)? Why does Dan (still) get shivers, panic attacks and uncontrollable laughter when someone mentions renovation and budget in the same sentence. And what does that have to do with his SAT (verbal) tests?

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KOI FEAST ON NEW YEAR EUCALYPTUS sEED POD


nazy with tiger at lotus land

Is it possible to celebrate Persian New Year with a yellow hyacinth instead of a gold fish? Do Koi and goldfish get along together? More precisely, would you rather be the Koi or the goldfish?). Who knows the half-life of toxic Eucalyptus saw dust? Can a baby outtalk a docent? And who is ‘an enemy of the average’? Read More...
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broken: exhibit, watch and tree. Missing: whales and ME


mitra, naz and Stefan in Hammer museum March 2015

Why does an expertly negotiated free replacement cost money? Why do Los Angeles museums go on alert when Dan is in the city? On a related note: Why is Dan unable to read the ‘do not touch’ sign? What color hyacinth has the most beautiful fragrance thereby making it the best choice for Persian New Year? How can anyone miss a whale boat? And, why does the homeowners association want to harpoon the Eucalyptus tree? Read More...
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Melika birthday colors crash eucalyptus branch and salmon


Tom and Tiger Swimming Feb 2015

Why did Melika push Ronnie off of the swing? (And how old was she when she did it?) What do Santa Barbara, San Diego, New Orleans and Miami have in common. (Hint: It’s not a Nittany Lion.) Can a 100 foot high Eucalyptus Tree mimic an earthquake? Will the local ecology police fine Dan for harboring undocumented flora? Finally, can Dan see with his new eyes and new color-correcting sunglasses? Read More...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Rainy season Eclipses talkative Banana Hat

baby by tree Oct 2014 Mitra, naz

Can Dan parlay his Nigeria rainy season experience into success with a partial eclipse? More importantly, does Dan remember any rainy experiences? Can looking straight at the sun during a partial eclipse damage a camera lens? Will readers of TWL be impressed with a a photo of an emaciated and desiccated sun? What is the child rearing secret to creating a business executive? Who turned a blanket into a hat? (And why?) Read More...
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Palm Springs Eternal Boy Scout Parking proposition

baby in car seat

Is it better for humanity if legislators don’t legislate? On a related topic, would anyone notice if Congress didn’t do anything?) How did Dan’s brother fill a gaping hole in Dan’s library? Is it too late for Dan to get his basket weaving merit badge? Can Nazy conquer the valet parking process in Palm Springs? And, where can you see the latest image of the grand(est)son? Read More...
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Green Geraniums offered grandest refuge in Death Valley

nazy and Jamsheed Sept 29

Who banished the geraniums to rocky, sunless, dry exile? (And why did Dan do it?) Who is watering the geraniums - and letting them get even with Dan? Did the flowers really break the garden trowel? How did Tango Music inspire the grand(est)son ever? And, do you know where you left your feet? And, finally, what personal characteristic is one most likely to find in Congress? (Hint: It’s a word invented by Dickens.)
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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...
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polo ponies in tanks assault francless bank account

IMG_6624

Who gets to replace divots at the Polo Grounds? What is the easiest job on the planet? (And why hasn’t it been outsourced?) Is there a simple solution to the ISIS insurgency? What have we done to make Darius feel at home during his visit? And how did the grandest son snap a selfie? Read More...
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TV monopoly rains on Feline monster world record


mel and baby July 1 2014

How does an 18 pound cat react to losing his place as ‘top dog’? What is Dan’s foolproof plan to eliminate the California draught problem with a simple use of Applied Mathematics? (Note: Dan has a degree in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech.) Have you ever had to deal with the barbarians on the customer ‘service’ desk? Were your ‘helpless’ agents named Attila and Genghis? Read More...
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Higgs Boson explained In painful IRS FBAR catastrophe

Dan and Baby Adams june 24 2014

Can the Santa Barbara Solstice parade outrun continental drift? Can Dan convince his pension provider to continue payments to a dead man? (Alternatively, can Dan convince them that he is not dead?) Will Dan refrain from insulting the taxation authorities? [Of course not, he just won’t do it to their face.] Who has proved the most famous open mathematics problem (Fermat’s Last Theorem) and why hasn’t it been published? Read More...
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Full moon lion king welcome for grandest baby Ever

tom and mel and TRA-4 and Cat

How can Dan, who ‘guaranteed’ a May girl, maintain his predictive accuracy in the face of a June boy? What was the lion doing at cottage hospital on June 13, 2014? How big is the “T&M Costumes” truck? When will the new arrival outweigh the cat? And why is Dan so good with babies? Read More...
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Friday the 13th Full moon accelerates Baby ArrivaL

Melika, Tom TRA IV

Don’t want to read another issue themed: “When is this baby going to arrive?” Well, this week’s edition will meet your needs. What did gravity, the full moon, Friday the 13th, the coming summer solstice and, oh yeah, Melika have to do with the birth of the first Martin (and Adams) grandchild? Was it a boy or a girl? And, who would go orchid hunting in the midst of all this activity? All is revealed in this issue of The Weekly Letter. Read More...
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Father’s Day baby and alcohol-free Persian Bar chalk wins


big hat 2

Who put the gopher snake in Melika’s driveway? (And who knew that a gopher snake could be five feet long?) Does it sound strange to hear: “Darius is safe and sound back in Beirut.”? (Does anybody know how to punctuate the previous sentence?) Why does Apple sponsor chalk paintings on asphalt during May? Where do we find ingenuity need to tackle idiot-proof construction projects? And, what makes a baby that is “perfectly happy where it is” decide that it is time to be born? Hint: The grandfather’s bet in the delivery date poll was insufficient incentive?) The photo is here because Nazy really likes that hat. Read More...
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Potted evergreen Lion befuddles dropped Dyson vacuum

nifty street in Montreal

Warlocks? Silversmiths? Dan’s lion ring? How will it all turn out? Is Dan, like an unemployed court jester, nobody’s fool? Do you push the red button or the silver button first? (If you chose wrong, you’ll be covered in dusty debris.) Who is Stan Nardon and why did he generate a false alarm? And why is there a photo from Isfahan, Iran in this week’s issue of The Weekly Letter? Read More...
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rental car immobilization leads to Ring ransom in New England

dab and nazy circque in Montreal

United Airlines delivers Dan and Nazy across the continent - on-time! (With some drama.) Dreadlocked warlocks demand ransom for Dan’s Lion Ring. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Bedlam Abode, The Martin Family residence in Hanover, NH (1986-1989; 1994-2001) is still standing. Nazy’s IWC in the Upper Valley celebrates 20 years with a huge prom party Read More...
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Dr. Seuss Writes Troll Stories on Dan’s Typewriter

nazy with rocking horse


Did Melika’s obstetrician formerly handle scheduling for United Airlines? Why does Dan believe that the TSA outsourced work to Malaysia? Who recused The Martin Family troll (and cabbage patch) collection? Did you know that Mark Twain was the first person to write a book on a typewriter? (Or, if you’re younger, do you know what a typewriter is.. eh, was?) Why does Dan believe that his typewriter’s age is Jurassic?

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You promised me an Iranian Hat box garden

HAT dan in Iceland

Does Dan have more hats than Nazy or does Nazy have more hat boxes than the Mad Hatter? How would you come down on the tradeoff between rose fragrance and cut rose longevity? What is commercially the most popular rose color? When it comes to customer friendliness, which embassy, Iranian or American, is the winner. How about if you measure effectiveness? And, finally, and easy one: Who is going to tour Iran in a few weeks? Read More...
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Giant hats fly United Rabbit-Ear cooking class

nazy and yellow hat

Who ‘needs’ a giant yellow hat? (And who makes the hat look great?) Do you recall rabbit-ear TV antennas? (And which airline still uses them on the inflight entertainment system?) What kind of recipes should you study if you’re about to go on maternity leave? And, why does Credit Suisse want to close Dan’s account? Read More...
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Beer Pong Baby Shower and birthing video cancelled By United

photo

Want to learn more about Melika’s experiences and preparation for the coming grandchild? Do you know the rules that govern a beer pong tournament? (Should these rules be adjusted if the tournament takes place during a baby shower?) Is your prescription medication insurance better than Dan’s? Why would anybody book United Airlines via Denver? Read More...
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Birthday with red cirque Slots and Chihuly Chandelier

sign to LV

Where should a high roller celebrate a birthday? (Does an $8.75 investment in the slot machine make you a ‘high roller’?) Where do you hang a $20,000,000 Chandelier that’s roughly the size of (and weight) of the Brooklyn Bridge? Who would go to Las Vegas in search of nature’s beauty? Can Dan safely photograph the illusive and dangerous stink bug in the wild?
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Stringless violins splash metaphorically in classical TSA Scam

Tom, Melika and Nazy March 27 2014

Who commissioned the millennium symphony, which was bug-free in release 5.2? What should one do when the E-String breaks during a solo performance? Does the 18th century Stradivarius replacement sound ‘dark’ - even when played by a master? What play are you watching if they give you a rain poncho before you’re seated? (Will Dan understand the metaphorical metaphors in the Santa Barbara production of Metamorphoses?) What exciting event will take place within the next 8 weeks? (Hint: see photo.) Read More...
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Sainted Blue Jay fowls orchid on New Year’s Day


nazy by ribbon store


What are the risks associated with living so close to the Santa Barbara Mission? Is it easier to eject a flustered Blue Jay or an enthusiastic Saint from The Martin Family kitchen? How would you deal with a ‘candy’ made from chickpeas? How might your approach change if the ‘candy’ is your wife’s favorite?

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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?

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Albert Schweitzer’s (wet) Olympic Tax-sheltered Crib

dan and melika 1981 memphis

Why did Albert Schweitzer call Dan a ‘truly wise person’? Will Dan’s Olympic plans impress the tax authorities? Can Nazy win gold in speed painting? Why does Melika need an indestructible crib? (Hint: Someone destroyed The Martin Family crib.) Will California showers bring flowers or mud? Did the computerized weather model actually work? Read More...
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Q-Tipped wreath stuck in classic Low-IQ Ear

nazy in Ojai


What did your mother say about putting things in your ear? (And, is a Q-Tip smaller than your elbow?) How would The Weekly Letter rate if they judged like figure skating: technical score and grade of execution? Would Shakespeare trump J.K. Rowling? What do Dan’s Blood Pressure and IQ have in common?



.

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Let’s deal curling Koalas in colorful pants

Tom, Melika and whoever LMD

What kind of tree explodes? (Hint: It was planted by Johnny Eucalyptus Seed.) Would you trade an off-kilter tree for what’s behind Door Number 3? And, before you answer, would you wear a giant fruit hat while making your choice? Did the Norwegian curling team hire Dan for sartorial advice? How heavy is the curling stone? Read More...
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Ballerina plots Fill creek with eclectic Sculpture

jack in venice
What is the strange liquid in the Santa Barbara creek? Who is not going bobsledding? Why would you put three bronze heads and a totem pole in your front yard? (And if you did, where would you be living?) Can Dan figure out the plot of Giselle - as presented by the Royal New Zealand Ballet company? (Would he be able to do it if the company performed in English?) Read More...
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Universal apples Remotely control stylish pregnant weather

Melika and ice cream


Can Dan successfully deploy a universal remote to replace 4 remote control devices for the ‘smart’ TV? Okay, that was too easy: can Dan, with Darius’ help, arrange a successful deployment? Why is US internet/cable TV service expensive and lower quality? (Note: This question is distinct from subjective observations about the quality of the TV programs themselves.) How will Martin Family intervention fix the California draught?

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sonar baby and dolphin trumps cosmic Microwave Background

mel at sonagram

Can you see migrating dolphins from the Pacific Coastal Highway? Can Melika find a human and practical use for cetacean echolocation on ‘hump’ day? What does the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and Dan’s colorblindness test have to do with Melika’s pregnancy? And can anyone surf near a waveless beach? Read More...
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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.
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Dan Queues to Mail Schrödinger’s holiday CAT

XMAS Tree 2013

Why would anyone name a dog ‘Schrödinger’? Why do postal clerks go ‘on break’ when Dan is ‘in queue’? Who’s lumbago was acting up? Will The Grinch derail California Christmas tree selection? And: Nazy has lots of party dresses and Nazy recently attended many parties. So.. where was Dan and what did he wear?




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16 third street ices Hi-tech mousetrap

sixteen third picture

Do rodent-repelling lessons learned at Dan’s (pre-Nazy) Georgia Tech residence (16 Third Street: The Elite Address in Atlanta) apply in Santa Barbara? How do locals react to (gasp!) windshield frost? And what is the worst way to remove driveway snow? How did Dan end upon the party’s cleanup committee? Read More...
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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...
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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?
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Puppet floods sun on videoed porsche Bed


sunset 6

Why does Melika’s car have a seat at skateboard height? Why does Dan need crampons to get into bed? Why are Mitra and Stefan Tangoing underwater? Can Nazy find a nearby kiln to fire a giant vase, eh, a ‘smallish umbrella stand’ that has been in storage since 1986? Can Tom’s team be the US champion? And does Darius, visiting Turkey, see a beautiful sunset like the one in Santa Barbara. (Almost) all is revealed in this issue of The Weekly Letter. Read More...
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Yellow Jacket Noises off(set) Nazlyn Monroe Congressman

nazlyn 1

If Nazy goes to a costume party as Nazlyn Monroe, what costume should Dan choose? If you wanted to scare the children on Halloween, you’d surely choose to be a Congressman - but what would you wear? (I thought of going as slime, but it was a dinner party.) Who decided that it would be a ‘good idea’ to attend a theatre event at the Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables (and dinner theatre)? What’s worse when you’re eating outside: Yellow Jackets? or Flies? Read More...
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Congress hikes on romantic Persian planetarium Mission

hollywood sign 3

How does the US Congress compare to the sophisticated dignity of a Miley Cyrus performance? Did the person who said: “As easy as taking candy from a baby” ever try to take candy from a baby? How did Dan’s birthday visit in Los Angeles rekindle memories of Dan’s invention of computer hacking. (Should he have patented the idea?) How has the time spent in ‘engagement status’ changed over the past decades? And why didn’t Dan stop in Westwood? Read More...
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Excavation in dewey Paducah requires Hi-Tech socks

Dan sneakers

Who is brave enough to ‘check out’ the storage closet that’s been undisturbed for 15 years? (Dan’s hope insured destruction hadn’t come to pass.) How did Dan put his knowledge of spherical coordinates and solid geometry to practical use? And why wasn’t Nazy practically thrilled by the results? Is there a word for gravity-immune, electrostatically-levitated moisture pellets? Is there, in fact, a way to measure rain that doesn’t hit the ground? Read More...
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Laotian tigers warm Vacuum packed NSA Fingerprints

sunsetting in SB

Would you classify a bicycle excursion through a tiger-infested jungle as safe? Where do unemployable physicists find jobs? (Think derivatives, homeland security and climate models.) Who discovered Humphrey Bogart’s fishing boat - vacuum packed in Santa Barbara? Where should you go if you have a desperate need for a menage de trois venue? And, finally, why does the NSA recommend that iPhone 5S? Read More...
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vitamin transplants tomato eating Japanese beetle

dan at market Sept 2010

Is it necessary to buy organic sneakers in California? (sneakers = trainers in the UK; sneakers = gympies in The Netherlands; sneakers = tennis shoes in 1954) Why does a New Jersey childhood trauma involving the state university of New Jersey and Japanese invaders still haunt Dan? Where do you find spices and bananas?

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Beirut burning man with high blood pre$$ure

nazy and sunflower vase

What is an Art-Car? (It’s not the 1952 Studebaker, with the hole in the floor, that I owned in High School.) Who would invent a festival sized for 68,000 participants without selling tee-shirts? Why has Dan’s doctor prescribed hemlock and banned grapes? Switzerland was expensive, but what is even more expensive (and much less fun) in California? How was Darius’ mini-holiday in Cyprus?

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Calculus Professors Prepare Challenging Tango program


image001

How much time does it take to develop a course or a new program? Is it easier to teach Calculus than Tango? Is it possible to compose Hip-Hop music in Sweden? Can Big Foot Dance? Read More...
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Charming policeman with Flea-powered car in Italy

church of the visitatio2n

Will Charm trump Principle? Can Dan find a way to get a speeding ticket while driving a car with less horsepower than a flea circus? Is there any need to go to Italy when you’ve seen the ‘Venice of France’? Can anybody read French road signs? Which designer has the gravitational clout to pull Nazy past the (sales) event horizon?

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Mayonnaise coated Krugerrand escapes Predictive Telephone

the cliffs


How can you hide the mayonnaise jar full of spare change from the tax authorities? Who is smarter (and more erudite)? Dan or his Nokia 920 “smart” phone? Does Nazy own a pair of walking shoes? Can Nazy, fresh from her success in finding the hidden closet, find an extra bedroom in Dan’s flat? And why do government regulations close the door after the horse has escaped?

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Regulatory compliance vacuums manure-spouting Telephone

heli 3

Why is a suctionless vacuum cleaner like a black hole? Which internship best prepares you for executive management? A Ranch? A Bank? (And - why?) Will Dan get his helicopter license while he’s living in Geneva? Finally: If Dan’s clothes don’t fit in the Geneva apartment, what’s he going to do when Nazy visits? (Next week!) Read More...
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Stockholm syndrome: persian water Jesuit Holiday statue

Geneva tower

Dan meets Whit Monday with witless weary wonderment. Who authorized snow in Geneva - in May? Will Dan’s multilingual skills save him at a Persian Restaurant? And what did Dan’s psychologist - Dr. Google - recommend?

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Simpson Ant dismembered left-handed Fencing spectacles

san ysidro 4

When it comes to eyeglasses: Is the postal service option (mail and wait) more economical than the “I want it now” alternative? Are you right-brained or left-brained? How far would you go to equalize the sides? Is an ant colony Simpsonly is an earthly example of The Borg? (And was that a spelling error in the previous sentence?)

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Rosy agoraphobic Fish Flub CVS Vitamin Sale

Rose 4

Can Dan teach Math to a drug store manager? Can the drug store manager explain the difference between a ‘buy 1, get 1 free’ and a ‘two for one’ sale? More importantly, what should be done if there is only one (1) item? Will the crows capture the New Year goldfish? Is an ugly address label with a ZIP-code better than a beautiful (fancy-dancy)address label that is sans-ZIP?

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Orchids Post Watercolor Butterflies on a Mission


jailhouse sb

What is easier to paint: a caterpillar or a butterfly? (And why choose the hard one?) Who was running the post office in 1770? (And how did he guarantee next day delivery between Philadelphia and Boston?) Can Nazy get California orchids to re-bloom? (Is that a good Mission?) Did Darius celebrate his birthday by appearing on an Iraqi news program? Read More...
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measured highlight (bulbs) don’t romantically Fit

Shanda leer

Is it reasonable to expect that all the shelves of a built-in bookcase will be the same length? What forms should be filled for the background check necessary to purchase a bayonet-mount, eh, light bulb? Is it necessary, in order to be environmentally friendly in California, to be able to read from the light of a carrot? What’s the backup plan if American lightbulbs don’t fit your European fixture?

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Earthquake Ginsu Labels vacuum Misplaced iPad


Family with birds Hawaii 2000

How did Dan use a Ginsu Knife to generate an earthquake? (How were Ginsu Blades used to construct the Chunnel?) Is it possible to mishandle an order for return address labels? Was it mishandled? (You decide.) Would anyone want to purchase a vacuum cleaner instead of a new iPad? Read More...
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Forgotten storage snows Beirut Tango movie

Darius in vancouver copy

Would you like to learn about Melika’s sure-fire business plan? (Why are Dan and Nazy ideal customers? Did Darius disprove the concept?) What would happen to Washington if arrogance and ignorance resulted in an uncontrolled chain reaction? Where can you read a journal page written by a five year old in 1985? Read More...
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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...
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missing recycled Keys and hidden heavily taxed Dirt

IMG_1007 copy

Can Dan successfully recycle dirt? (In Switzerland?) And why does he want to? (Need to?) Will Kate, the aggressive (some say ‘savage’) angelfish prevent family relocation? Who let the movers pack Dan’s favorite cowboy boots? Why did Dan and Nazy move so quickly? And, in a cliff hanger: how successful was the intervention by the taxation authority?

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Move relocate decamp box pack ship - and - shop

packing

Would you be comfortable with a 6:15AM taxi to catch a 7:10AM international flight - in Lebanon? Who could make that work? Have you ever fallen in love with a dining room table? (Or fallen ‘in hate’?) Is there a boat big enough to carry Nazy’s clothes to America?

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Camels Pyramids The Sphinx and Nihilism on the Nile

two large pyramids

What did Napoleon want to do with the Pyramids? Can an Egyptian artisan reproduce the ‘real, pure’ essence of Nazy’s Hermes perfume with locally marinated herbs? Is the Cairo Bazaar Grand? And, would you rather go on a boat trip down the Nile or bargain with the locals in a nearby (upscale) mall?

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Gasoline Prices Flummox Christian Pharaohs in Cairo

spinx and ph

When Darius said ‘gas is expensive’ did he really mean that petrol costs $21 a liter in Lebanon? How did the Pharaohs reverse the standard flow of time from past to present? (Why would they do it?) Would you rather have a 5000 year old Egyptian obelisk or a 200 year old French clock?

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Sidon Honey tYre harbor Old (and new) Ruins

hippodrome 2

The city was 9000 years old - Phoenician, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Crusader, Byzantine and more - so should you conclude that the best time to visit was 2000 years ago? Would you go there in the rain? How many different kinds of honey are available in the Souq in Sidon? Where are ancient ruins in better shape than modern ruins?

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flawed Homeland tangled wires In beirut

Harrii mosque with ruins in forground

Does anyone wear a hijab on Hamra Street in Beirut? Who would shoot a film that is set in Los Angeles on the streets of Teheran? (And why?) Is civilization possible in a country without Coke Zero? If you heard a loud boom in Beirut would you think ‘thunder’ or ...

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Dance with Lance snow the plants

trees in seegraben

Did the Seegraben Festival organizers base their Swimming Pumpkin sculpture on a photograph of Dan? Who decided to skip autumn - moving directly from summer to winter? Is there any rational reason for a trip to Beirut? Read More...
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Broccoli saves the Lebanese downsized Finger


temple of hera

How can a (taste-free) vegetable like broccoli save Nazy’s finger? Where do they take the term ‘down-size’ literally? What does the OJ trial have to do with a Zurich medical device? Read More...
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Flying Fingers Broken Mugs Fired Pottery


in castle

What does a shopping cart miscue in 2006 have to do with a kitchen disaster in 2012? Why did Nazy shatter Darius’ hand-made, ceramic mug? (Why was Dan brave enough to mention that?) Where would you put a lost finger?

Note: The photo is unrelated to the content of the letter.
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Butterfly robes until the Cows come home

nazy in albeuve

Who needs depth charges inn the swimming pool? How would you retrieve a Schmettering (butterfly) robe from the laundry? Why is the Swiss Bénichon Festival the best thing to do after you’ve been trapped in a dreadfully slow queue? Read More...
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Haughty waiters chase costumed Christmas fish


costume galore

What’s the best word to describe the Ribeauville waiter: Haughty? Rude? Slow? or Typical? Where are the most colorful tablecloths on sale? Where do the adults wear costumes on Dan’s birthday? Is Riquewihr “on the way home”? Read More...
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piddle paddling with putin and miserable haircuts


dan crawl 2 in lake

Can Jean Valjean find an affordable barber in Zürich? Why did Moby Dick guide a bleeding Dan to an ice berg in the middle of Lake Zürich? How do you get the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes when a tarantula scurries between your chest and teeshirt? Read More...
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Dimly Lit candidates and Persian exhibit in zug

zug old rest

Why are candles brighter than eco-friendly “light” bulbs? (Why are eco-friendly light bulbs brighter than politicians?) What would you do with a silver, chrome-plated Vespa motor scooter? Is there a pink house in Zug, Switzerland? Read More...
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Legitimate ponzi mullahs (sundial) shade solothurn

church solo

Does an investor’s body have ways to prevent financial loss from a legitimate Ponzi scheme? What is the minimum number of neurons required to be a member of Congress. (Is it less in Missouri?) How much would you pay to cut holes in a groom’s clothes? How much information should you share on a call reporting a painful dental emergency? Read More...
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Jet-lagged Butterfly packs (Street) Parade parking ticket

flutterby 2


How does the Zürich Street Parade differ from the Santa Barbara Fiesta? How many pairs of shoes can Nazy pack into a suitcase? (Will Dan be able to lift it?) What do butterflies have to do with Pelicans? Will Dan be able to foil the nefarious plans of Los Angeles parking police?
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Continent drifting Beets favor california Siesta


fiesta 2

Which is faster: Traffic on the 405? Continental Drift? Why is the Lebanese army burning villager crops? What is the Santa Barbara Fiesta? Are all beets the same color? And who is best with a cape? Read More...
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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?
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Magic (La) cage castles legally zoom and cirque


nazy at the redbury

How can you make the 40th wedding anniversary most magical? Who is Iris and why does she love the Circus? Who would want to legally zoom an IPO at 4:00AM? Find out in this, the California edition of The Weekly Letter. Read More...
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Once Upon an M&M anniversary New York Phase


a nazy and dan at wedding

Are ruby-red M&M’s the right gift for a 40th wedding anniversary celebration? Where is the best place to shop in the 21st Century in New York? Who was Intrepid enough to see Once but not Enterprising enough to see the shuttle? Read More...
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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?
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Independent stumbling hail hits dutch lime

along the Mauritskade


Did the departure of Barclay’s CEO cause hail in Switzerland? What does a Linden Tree (as in ‘Unter den Linden’) have to do with Great Britain? Why did Dan and Nazy fly to Holland? And: Who is Adele? Read More...
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Varnished Wine presages Engagement Drama

dan and bear darcy park dijon


Can Dan prove that Amy the Amaryllis was reincarnated in June? Is it wise to order a Burgundy wine in the Burgundy region of France? (If you think it’s a good idea, please send confirmation to my spouse: nazmartin@hotmail.com.) Is it true that the father always knows what will happen - first?

The photo was taken in Darcy Park in Dijon.
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Threaded mustard exhibit (Kelly) bags senator


cropped glove leather

What takes longer to produce: A Hermes Kelly Bag or a newborn baby? Which costs more? Where would you go to visit a Mustard Museum? Are US senators intellectually capable of questioning an internationally renowned bank executive? Read More...
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Waterfall Markets stāœ­ring socially insecure salads


waterfall panorama

You’re in a French gastronomical emporium and you want salad. Obviously your name is not Dan, but what do you do when the waitress says: “No”? How does algorithmic skill enable Dan to paint a masterpiece? What is the social insecurity penalty claws and how does it apply? Read More...
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Vulcanized Elvis chickens flying business Class


sunset 7

What color feet are mandatory for a Bresse Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) Chicken? What’s more likely to be the headline act in a Rural French Festival: (a) Wine-Tasting?(b) Elvis Impressions? (c) Cheese Sniffing? (d) Belly Dancing? (e) Worker striking? And what does Occam’s Razor tell us about risk management? Read More...
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retroactive exit-cats Watercolored by birthday Militia


Mitra at Tivoli 1993

Who would name a cat after himself? Who is on the A-Team? Nazy! or Dan? Is safer to dodge militias and roadblocks in Lebanon or traffic jams and homeland security in California? And will everyone celebrate Mitra’s Los Angeles birthday with the Tango Challenge?
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bank on ascending birth certificates hedged with snow plows


mountains from Rapperswil

Why did the Iranian embassy celebrate a Christian holiday? What do Massachusetts snowplows have to do with Dan’s swimming? Should Congressmen (who don’t know what they’re doing) pass laws to prevent bankers (who don’t know what they’re doing) from being egregiously stupid? Are the rhododendrons finally in bloom?
[Note: Photo is from Rapperswil along Lake Zurich.]
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Citizen Bachmann Eritrea Soulmate Bored Board

Board chairman

Is Switzerland ready for Michele Bachmann? (Does she speak German? English?) Why are the United States and Eritrea soul mates? What is more mature and professional: The HP Board of Directors? Or A pack of panicked penguins fleeing an Orca attack? Hint: The photo shows the Chairman of the HP Board. Read More...
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Silent Moorish frogs read best sellers in colorful pants

naz and yellow lily



Does Dan have time to solve the Riemann hypothesis and find the Higgs boson? Are fiddlehead ferns in the soggy moor an aphrodisiac for the local frogs? Is it possible that Nazy’s pants are more colorful than Dans? Have you bought Amazon best seller: Stumbling Through the Tulips?

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Stumbling through 650 sand-wielding, FöHn-filled,Tulips

B0009203


Will Dan’s book (Stumbling Through the Tulips) make the best seller list? Why is the Sahara the secret to spectacular sunsets? Is it possible for their to be a factual error on the Internet? How does narrative integrity impact newsworthy objectivity?

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Swans reflect retired overtaxed web weavers


swan


Will Dan’s cleverly diversified retirement plan provide perennial prosperity? How does the US government make it impossible for citizens to work abroad? Do you admire swooning swans reflected on a languid lake?

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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...
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pansies spring into detoxed defunct internet banks

pansy


Is there a “I don’t do windows” clause in Dan’s marital contract? What will win The Martin Family’s spring popularity contest: Pansy or Geranium? Could Darius be happy with his bank?  And would Melika’s diet be ruled cruel punishment if served to prisoners?
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Breathing meditated hope In counterfeit candidacies

naz and dan half seen


Is meditation a life-threatening activity? Are goldfish a protected species? How does media coaching force candidates to act like the electorate has a collectively negative IQ?
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Gladiators wielding penalties welcome to Milano


dumuo milano no scaffolding

Can Nazy foil a penalty-crazed gladiatorial transit trooper in Milan? Why do Italian toll booths reproduce faster than fruit flies in sugar factories? What is the best use of a wadded up €50 note? Read More...
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Obsolete sea-salty pomegranates nursing Licensed ladders

pomgrante



Can Dan get the ‘grocery’ certification on his official shopping license? Can factual accuracy (e.g. salt crystals are cubical) win rhetorical points? Will astronomical phenomena - the vernal equinox - cause The Martin Family to relocate? Will the latest issue of The Weekly Letter be published on iScroll?
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Sunny Gluon Apples iGrow perfect orchids


dans orchid


Does Nazy’s orchid garden mediate the strong nuclear force as a gauge boson? Why is Dan scanning the iStore for books written in Bulgarian? What are the most prevalent atomic particles: protons,neutrons, electrons or morons? And, was Western Union’s CEO able to find a company employee who cared about customers?
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Airliner Orville meets practically perfect Mary

Would you select United Airlines or Mary Poppins for your transatlantic flight? How many Q-Tip cotton balls does it take to stuff a pillow? Is red the only color needed to produce modern art? 

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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...
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socks of distinction create websites of wonderment

Did Dan start a fashion trend? Who has the predictive power of George Custer and the patience of a great white shark eying an injured sea lion? Can the words be pressed or should they be rapidly weavered? Read More...
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ICY WATER-COLORED RULE-BOUND CLOWNS

Can the European Deep Freeze solidify Nazy’s water-colors?  Will the vigilant Ms. Rule-Stickler discombobulate Darius? Who’s leading in the race for clown endorsements? Read More...
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Taxing HHorse-drawn Paris Mitts

Geographically speaking, is California ‘on to way’ for a trip to New York from Switzerland? Did you know that horse-drawn trams function during an electricity outage?  Who allowed an electricity failure (gasp!) in Zurich? And, is a private jet a tax-efficient investment? Read More...
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filter-free Odysseus trapped in Costa yogurt

Can Nazy reunite Odysseus and Penelope - using a yogurt container and a tea strainer? Is the family’s tax rate too high for a Presidential candidacy? How does the garage qualify Dan for a cruise ship captaincy? Read More...
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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?




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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...
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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? 

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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),

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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...
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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? 



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Bully Angelfish trapped at an Event Horizon in Lebanon

coke dan shirt



Can the retail price of coca cola replace a cost of living index? Will a Lebanese approach save the Euro? (Know any trillionaires?) Can a “75%-off” sale warp the time-space continuum by creating an event horizon?
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Lugged Luggage and a pointless st*r



give me your..

Was our return flight as problem-free as the Atlantic crossing of the Titanic?  Why did queuing for a coffee latte result in tooth enamel collecting on Dan’s tongue? (Would you stand in line behind someone with blue hair and a walker? See Photo of Dan by the TSA Queue. Read More...
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€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? 
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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...
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