Grandchildren

Princess Wildfire has allergy to Math Lab Costume


Dan and Melika prince Nov 2019

Does Nazy want Dan to wear a Princess Costume to a birthday party? How many Princesses showed up at the party? Will the Cave Fire threaten The Martin Family household in Santa Barbara? Why is it important to know who called the fire department? And, isn’t putting out the fire even more important? Who thinks Math Lab is more fun than coloring class? What is Arrow’s favorite color?

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Granville Island Marks Shannon Falls’ Costumed Termites

Dan, Nazy, Dar, Christiane and Leandra all at Shannon

Is it true that all Canadians are polite and patient? And, if so, does being patient preclude good driving manners? Or did we misunderstand an inflammatory hand gesture? Is Shannon Falls bigger than we remembered? How did Killer Whales feature in Dan’s decision to take a job in Vancouver? (And, oh how many years ago was that?) What makes Granville Island Grand? Did we see the old house, Gastown or Robson Street? How difficult was the border crossing? Read More...
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Azelle forks pizza at Hide and Seek MyGym music class


nazy and Azelle at light bright MOXI

Who mixes up ‘hide and go seek’ with the ‘ostrich pretend game’? How many one year olds insist on using a fork to eat pizza? [Observation: I’m far more than one year old and I don’t.] What is the official name of the ‘hacky sack’ launching system exhibit at the Santa Barbara children’s museum? Who likes the LiteBrite exhibit more — Nazy or Azelle?



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Zoo trains (Oktober)fest with Joe’s clear choice windows

dan and the boys zoo train Sept 2019


Will Arrow and Tiger get to ride on ‘The Blue Train’? How does Clear Choice Window Washing prove that they are clearly the wrong choice? (Especially for window washing.) Does the automatic iPhone update cause problems? Oops — too easy. How many ways does the automatic iPhone update cause problems? Who can surf down an Astroturf covered hill? Why did ATT block Dan’s phone? Hint: Dan stopped using ATT services several years ago — is it possible that a (gasp!) scam was involved.
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baby loves books (with salt) while Dan blows birthday fire


at Zaytoon Sept 2019

Who is into consuming literature? Hint: It’s a one-year old. Is she able to digest the concepts and hidden meanings associated with Unicorns? Who vetoed the ‘fire table’ celebration at Zaytoon Restaurant in Santa Barbara? Who got a gold star on his birthday cake? (Hint: It was my birthday cake.) Did Darius, Christiane and the young girls make it back home safely. More importantly did they arrive with aligned sleeping schedules. (I bet those with parental experience can guess the answer.) Read More...
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Sunset Crane corners autumn at Downton Beach walk

Dan and Nazy walking on beach Sept 2019


Does the Autumn equinox generate better sunsets? Where is the best place to scientifically examine the issue? Can colorblindness lead to inaccurate assessments? Who wanted to ‘buy CDs’? Who doesn’t know what a CD is? How does Arrow cope now that Tiger is at a different school?
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Burning Man fixes fountain foibles while kindergarten surfs

Tiger on the Surfboard

How would you prepare for and what would you wear to… Burning Man? How did gravitational anomalies screw up the cascade on The Martin Family fountain? (In fact, was a gravitation fault, an installation error or a maintenance flaw more likely. Hint: Dan was responsible for maintenance.) How will someone who doesn’t like the ocean (Tiger) because it’s ‘too wavey’ respond to surfing lessons? How did ‘Meet your Kindergarten Teacher’ go? How about the first day of pre-school without your big brother? And who wants to push big trucks around the living room? Read More...
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Labor (birth) Day scrapes meatball from Spaghetti


Azelle Bday cake at home

Why is Labor Day Dan’s favorite holiday? And how did Arrow’s first Tiger-free day of pre-school go? Did he miss his brother? Should Tiger’s landscape painting have a bulldozer? And what color is the watermelon? How will Tiger (Da Vinci) Adams and Arrow (Botticelli) Adams influence 21st century art? Who was ‘willing’ to ‘help’ Azelle blow our the candles on her (first) birthday cake and open her presents? Who’s favorite song is “On Top of Spaghetti’? Read More...
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water $’s float away on baptisms and birthday

nazy and azelle August 17 2019 at party


Water, water, everywhere — and not a drop for free. (Or even for a reasonable price.) Who turned a $ water bill into a $$$$ National Deficit? And, speaking of water, which six month old baby was unimpressed with the ‘water’ concept that is associated with Christening? What was the perfect occasion for Dan to wear his
harlequin shirt? What kind of bottles did Dan buy for a first birthday celebration? What can you do when ‘the children’ have no problems with jet lag, but ‘the parents’ are not so lucky?
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bionic beach bandaids baffle Bellingham babies


In Bellingham with Dar and Christiane

How close is Dan to becoming the six million dollar man? And how is that related to his (dismal) experience with a 1969 Austin Healy? (Hint: the car had buggy eyes.) Is there a downside to hearing from both sides? Why does Arrow want a bandaid and an ice pack? Will a simple kiss work just as well? Who volunteered to fly on a non-frills, no business class flight from LAX? And how is the astounding Auriane doing? Read More...
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Cheops celebrates birthday with blue cupcake car at Stonehenge


dan nazy arrow, tiger birthday July 2019

Did children have birthdays before Chuck E. Cheese existed? What kind of blue car did Arrow want for his birthday? Was it a big (outdoor) car or a little (indoor) car? When Dan failed, could Tiger get an answer? How does Tiger ‘help’ Arrow with the cupcake candles at pre-school? Did Arrow have more birthday parties than Dan has birthdays? How did Pharaoh Cheops and Stonehenge delay Nazy’s drive to Los Angeles? And — how does Disneyland compare to Chuck E. Cheese on the birthday celebration scale? Read More...
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Sunny dew on one-hand forehand word count birthday

four generations 1987


Why is it called a ‘fourhand’ stroke if you only use one hand? (In fact, why is it called tennis when only two people play? Shouldn’t it be ‘two-is’?) What is the best way to read 1000 pages before kindergarten starts? (Hint: choose pages with few words.) How often do you see a photograph with four generations? How successful was Mitra in her effort to introduce the concept of ‘early morning’ to Nazy? Is there a downside for a ‘big boy’ about to become three years old?

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bumbling bees order July 4th take-out on pine-cone slide

Azelle standing

Is it possible to get stung by bee — while you’re wearing a bee sting prevention suit? The answer is, of course, obvious, but how do you explain it to a five year old? If you got a text message [PICKUP in 20 minutes] from the restaurant where you placed your takeout order, would you be surprised to discover that the restaurant is closed? Would ‘bemused’ be a more descriptive characterization? ‘Shocked?’ ’Annoyed?’ ‘Livid?’ Who goes through a countdown before launching himself down a slide? Read More...
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Chuck’s Cheesy Tales of Oregon Whale Tails


All the Adams and dan and naz June 2019

What’s the best thing to do after a ten day swing through the East Coast? More to the point: Would you choose Chuck E. Cheese and dueling drives to LAX? What keeps the Moon up in the sky? Hint: “It can’t be gravity, Dan, because that pulls things down!” Will the family whale watching tour deliver Whale Tails or Whale Tales? Who wants his Mommy? (Now!!). Read More...
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Marie Antoinette crowns dentist with botanical cowboy hat


Nazy and Auriane May 2019

Who has more problems with a crown than Marie Antoinette? Did a dentist really play ‘kick the crown’ with a hand-crafted dental masterpiece? Who is known in his community as Mr. Grass (cutter)? Which grandchild has determined that anybody wearing a cowboy hat is ‘Dan’? How broadly does she define ‘anybody’? Why didn’t Dan realize that ‘the boys’, who happily walked down a path to Mission Creek would want to be carried back up? Read More...
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Orange Winter Storms Butterfly Birthday on Trampolin

mitras party 2019 b

What is the official name for a group of butterflies? Why do painted lady butterflies choose to migrate across the Pacific Coast Highway? At rush hour? Were any of them smart enough to seek refuge in the local museum’s live butterfly sanctuary? Did anyone in Santa Barbara know what to do about a ‘Winter Storm Warning’? (Did anyone recognize the word ‘Winter’?) How did Arrow deal with the ‘slow moving’ obstacles on his obstacle course run? Would you volunteer to chaperone a pre-school visit to the zoo if you knew the topic was ‘bugs’? (Hint: I’m a lion guy.) Who provided detailed specifications for her birthday cake (orange), menu and agenda? (By detailed, we’re thinking multi-volume.) Read More...
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iPhone crawls out of ranch dressing puddle

nazy, dan, mitra, stefan at Les Miserables


Is an iPhone that has been submerged in a bowl of ranch dressing covered under warranty? (Would it have been covered if the dressing was Bleu Cheese? How could a physician miss the difference between a nose and an ear? How can Arrow drive a car through a car wash at MyGym? Can Dan trick Tiger into a water safety course? Who enjoyed a great performance of Les Miserables?
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Earth Day Blue Chalk Surfs with Candles and Tennis

The children playing at Nirvana April 2019


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


dan and azelle in mirror

Would you let your pet porcupine play with your favorite balloon? What airline offers UPS-class service from Los Angeles to Bellingham? Is it possible for parents to survive while living with a two-year old? When do they stop measuring ‘length’ and move to ‘height’? And, can you join Dan in hoping that they never move to circumference when describing him? Where was Dan immune from a prodigious pile of pompous poppycock? Who was filmed at the Peach Arch — sneaking across the border? Read More...
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caps, hats and cool rules top Sydney exit

Bondi Beach and Nazy Australia


Will Dan look sufficiently ‘Manly’ at the beach outside of Sydney? Will it help if he’s wearing a Bondi Beach hat? How about a Kangaroo Hat? An All Blacks Hat? A Uluru hat? Will any hat fit when he gets home? Did Nazy find the right set of earrings? Where can you go shopping in a building that has the panache and glitz of the time it was constructed in the late 1890’s? Hint: Try the Strand Arcade. Is there anything
(anything?) to do at the Canberra Airport at midnight? Who was stuck there for an hour? Who has to follow the ironclad house rule to “Be Cool”? Read More...
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Auriane Lynn Martin rocks the stars with speedy Mom


The Expanded Bellingham Martin Family April 2019

Can anything make Dan change sequencing practices for The Weekly Letter? Or, more to the point, what can make Dan change sequencing practices? Where has the latest Rock Star been identified? And who made the identification. Where are the physicians (far) too slow? How will (the lovely) little girl respond to family changes? Who helped Nazy celebrate her birthday a few days early and 1200 miles from Dan? And why doesn’t the Santa Barbara Airbus pick up passengers at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal? Read More...
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Cat, eh, Koi, eh, Angelfish feeder carries ABC luggage

Family in Ojai


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


naz, tiger, arrow C E Cheese Feb 2019

What medical situation not only required ‘urgent care’, but was also a redux of a problem that occurred exactly five years ago? And, more importantly, since it was, eh, somewhat unusual, who was at fault? And why did Dan’s doctor giggle while he… well, don’t you think you should read about it? Have Dan and Nazy gotten all the paperwork needed for the trip down under? Does anyone know how to configure a Nokia Lumina telephone running Microsoft software? And why does it matter? Finally — was Chuck E. Cheese a hit with the grandchildren? Read More...
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trackless tunnels and pygmy mammoths sing to museum fish


Azelle as unicorn Feb 2019

Can Dan (with help from his sister, his wife, a professional aquarist, internet references, instructional videos, a Ph.D. in computer science and dedicated chanting) figure out how to program an automatic aquarium fish feeder? Hint: The instructions are printed in a six point font, with green ink on a red background. Dan is red/green colorblind.) How will two year old Arrow find a reference to a railroad tunnel (and track) at a pygmy mammoth museum exhibit? Was that as exciting as the fluorescent rocks? How does magic marker work as make-up? And why was Dan surprised by rain in the rainy season? (And who’s fault was that?) Read More...
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locusts flipflop through winter beach walks with fish tank

dan and Arrow Jan 2019 beach


How do know it’s winter in Santa Barbara? (Hint: It has to do with flip flops.) Does anyone know which counties were most impacted by the locust swarm of 1875? And why is that more important than the locust swarm of 1931 or the Egyptian one of 1400BC? How did the ‘professionals’ handle installation of Dan’s aquarium? Did Tiger really get a haircut? (And why?) Was the Wolf Blood Super Moon Eclipse worth the hype?
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Wicked weather romantically perfumes in double Labyrinth


family push

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

nazy azelle and tiger Nirvana Nov 2018


What does a Volvo sound like when the brakes are applied? How is the sound different if the brake pads on the left rear wheel are, eh, gone? What do you do if the Volvo dealer is inaccessible? (The freeway is closed by wildfires.) Who builds the best
marble maze constructs? How is ‘best’ defined? What is a pokey tree? Where will Dan and Nazy (and Tom and Melika and Tiger and Arrow and Azelle and Jackson and Reagan) be for Thanksgiving? Read More...
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Juvenile jokes, sleepless children, wine slush and flying pigs

Nazy by flying pigs and butterfly


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


Nazy and Azelle Oct 13 2018

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


dan and nazy seven gables salem


Which airline delayed a flight because “an overhead bin door won’t close”? How big was the tool box that the mechanic assigned to fix the door pulled into the (wide body) airplane? Hint: It would have been better if the aisle was wide-body. How did the expertise that Dan garnered at Georgia Tech solve the problem? Hint: A real engineer only needs two items: Duct Tape and WD-40. What is a gable and why does a Salem house have seven of them? Why doesn’t Tiger want to be suave, charming, sophisticated and debonair? How did (the lovely) Leandra react when she saw the (local) family after a summer in Beirut?
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Arrow can do it, Tiger waters it, Leandra walks to it, Azelle fits in it

The family at Melika's mitra, mel, dan, tiger, arrow september 2018


What’s the financial impact of a decades-long rainless ‘rainy’ season? Hint: the new house has an irrigation system and the new water bill has arrived. How long did Dan let the letter from the taxation authorities simmer on his desk before gathering enough courage to open it? Who has learned to say “
I CAN DO IT!”? Has Azelle learned to smile? Already? Who is very, very popular at the playground? Read More...
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Calvada detonation falls sideways on Maui security system

Stefan, Mitra and Azelle


Would you spend money for two acres of sand, eh, ‘land’ in Nevada? Would it matter if the ‘land’ had turned to glass because of a nearby nuclear weapon test site? Would the results of the nuclear test ban treaty have any impact on your decision? Why don’t things fall up? Can anything fall sideways? How did a life experience (and business decision) in Maui help prevent a bad family investment in Santa Barbara? Has (the amazing) Azelle mastered the skills necessary to be a beautiful baby?
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Refunds abound while BOBOLYNE Pilots stop for hamburgers

Arrow looking cool August 31 2018


How will Dan and Nazy spend the refund check that they received from the medication insurance plan? Hint: They are considering an option that involves splitting a low-dosage aspirin tablet. Has your flight ever been delayed because there was a “long line at McDonalds” where the pilots stopped to get a hamburger before sauntering to the gate? Who forgot to sign their passport before an international trip? (And how many times was it missed by heavy border security?) What is the name of the
dullest airport on the planet? Would you remove the training wheels on your bicycle before or after a collision with a (thorny) rose bush?
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Leandra christened, poltroons dither, Tiger cares and Arrow shares

Leandra Christening


How did two-year old Arrow attempt to endear himself to his new sister? Why were his Mom and grandparents far more impressed than the 1 week old baby? And did the new baby accelerate Tiger’s maturity process? Would any reader like to purchase a copy of the Los Angeles Times with the headline: “
On The Moon!”? What big event was celebrated, in Lebanon, by (the lovely) Leandra and her family? Is it necessary to neatly pack garbage? If you’re in pre-school, what’s cooler - a starfish or a dolphin? What is a paltroon? (And why are so many of them ‘serving’ in Congress?) Read More...
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Safety clothing and Volvo software swim with Beep Beep Arrow

luckys two

Where is there a park named after a person who’s last name is ‘Park’? How about — where is there a Chemistry Hall named after someone who’s last name is “Hall”? Hint: Dan still has frightening dreams of a cane-wielding Chemistry professor named A.C. Topp holding court in said Hall. How long should it take for ‘new software’ to be downloaded to a 2018 Volvo? Hint: The Cassini space probe, crushed by a deliberate dive into the planet Saturn is still capable of faster transmission. Is it possible to convince a three year old that ‘water safety class’ means swimming with your clothes on? Hint: The answer is ‘No!’ Would you even try to convince a one year old? Does “Mama Beep Beep” qualify as a ‘real two word sentence’? Read More...
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Scheduling miscues impact First Brother, Local Consultant and Best Wife


dan, tiger, Arrow at MOXI Feb 2018

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

family photo letter 2 (ok from Chrisitane?)


When was the last time that
everyone in The Martin Family was in the same place for Thanksgiving? (Don’t despair, we can’t remember either.] When was the first time that The Martin Family wasn’t in the same place for Thanksgiving? [We do remember this?] Have you ever been stuck in an airport with only a nickel? Who didn’t want to cooperate while we took, or more accurately, attempted to take the annual family photo? What exactly is paper art? 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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