Origami For Children

It’s that time again. For the third year in a row the kids folded models to submit to Origami USA’s Origami By Children exhibition. This year Lizzy took an interest in modular boxes. This is outside my sphere of interest, so Jeannie went ahead and showed her some basic modules and how to put them together. Lizzy also folded a cute panda but preferred the box and made a few of them. Meanwhile Michelle had no problem with the units but couldn’t get the assembly part of it together. So she folded a few things, and finally settled on a traditional Candy Dish nicely folded from some printed Washi paper. With her the main thing is always encouraging her to be slow and careful and make sharp creases, especially with the first few steps of the model. She also folded a Star from John Montroll’s Teach Yourself Origami. This is a pretty advanced model which uses sinks, petal folds and rabbit ears. We decided not to submit it to OFC, however, cuz I helped her a bit with neatening up and completing the sink. Interestingly, the kids are not really into folding representational subjects like animals, but mostly prefer thinks like boxes and vases.

MTV Music

Some of the people in my new group at work came from the team that built the site mtvmusic.com.  It’s basically a video player with a library of thousands and thousands of music videos.  We had fun playing with it one night last weekend when Jeannie wanted to show our kids the original version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, the Cindy Lauper hit from the 80’s recently covered by one of those modern teenybopper acts.  Once the video was over the site presented a list of related videos.  This led to a sort of scavenger hunt.  Jeannie and I spent hours clicking on links and touring videos from the early 1980’s.  Sort of an eclectic mix, and many things not in my usual listening genres these days, but it made sense in context.  David Lee Roth, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Cars, Duran Duran, The Clash, Tom Petty, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Stevie Nicks, Wang Chung, A-Ha, and on and on.  (No Prince, BTW.)  By the time we were thru, I remembered why watching music videos felt alot like drugs.

Skating Season Start

Another sign that spring is approaching is that the other day I was able to go out on my rollerblades after work, marking the official start of skating season.  The earlier shift to daylight saving time is good for something after all, allowing me to take advantage of a mild day.  Felt great after a whole winter of the Nordic Track. But I need new wheels and my skates are more than 15 years old and pretty beat up, so this spring might be time get new skates.

The next day it was cold and rainy. Lousy Smarch weather.

Update: the next day, today, the eve of the equinox, we had a freak but intense snow flurry.  Giant fluffy flakes.  I had to brush an inch or two of rapidly melting slush of my car this morning!

The Lamb Lies Down

You can forget what I said about forgetting what I said about spring coming.  This weekend it was unseasonably warm and mild.  Saturday I went ice skating with the girls and their scout troop, out on the rink in shirtsleeves.  Sunday was the official start of yard work season.  I took down the last of the Christmas lights, uncovered the fig tree, and raked the yard clear of old leaves, branches and debris.

Enter The Lion

You can forget what I said about spring being in hoping distance. We got walloped with an unseasonably late snowstorm yesterday. The endless winter continues.

Ironically, Sunday, the day before the storm, we went skiing. It had been a bit warm last week, so we were keeping an eye on the weather report, figuring this would probably be our last opportunity for the season. It was our third time this year, which is pretty good. We took the kids and everyone did a good job of getting up early, so we were at the mountain by 9:00. We put the girls in a lesson so Jeannie and I got the morning to ski on our own. It was a bit icy but not too bad. The girls both did great in their lessons. Lizzy is now skiing blue trails with confidence, although her style is not super aggressive. Michelle can make it down the bunny hill under good balance with control over her speed and direction. She’s ready to go up on the lift next time out.

It was a good time and we were glad we went. But Sunday evening we were checking the weather again and saw a major snowstorm was on the way that was not in the forecast the night before. Kind of late in the year for this sort of thing, and by morning the whole city was under a good 6″. School was cancelled and alot of people didn’t come into the office, so all my meetings were cancelled too and I might’ve just as well worked from home. Had we known, it would have been the perfect day to hit the slopes. Ah well.

Photo Gallery Update 2

It was nice to finally have a weekend to relax and catch up on things with no major projects underway. I completed my photo gallery updates, brining us up to date thru the new year.  Now that I’ve finished moving all my pictures into my new computer, the process for these has become more streamlined, so hopefully I’ll be doing updates more often than once a year going forward.  As usual they are password protected so contact me if you are friends and family.

http://zingman.com/fotooz/index.html
http://zingman.com/fotooz/2008-06/index.html
http://zingman.com/fotooz/2008-07/index.html

A Trip To The Aquarium

Last week the kids had a four-day weekend, so I took a day off from work to take the girls on a special outing.  We went to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.  They had a bunch of cool stuff there including seals, sharks, sea turtles, lionfish, flounder, crabs, jellyfish, and an octopus.  Also some cool models of sailing ships, and a whole room full of frogs and amphibians, including a tank of rare axolotls.  (My friend Seth once had these cool creatures as pets.)

Lizzy took a ton of pictures and I made them into a gallery.  Also the girls are guest bloggers tonight, telling about it in their own words.

Hello my name is Elizabeth.  Or you can call me Lizzy.  I also like Liz.  Or Eliz.  I love chipmunks.  CHIPMUNKS!  I know they don’t even swim.  But I love them…  Right fish hahaha bing bam bang buuuuurp.  Excuse me. The seals were SOOOOO cute.  The turtles with human heads were also pretty cool.  We got to touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays and starfish.  The sharks were amazing.  Michelle loved them.  They have new African penguins that were SOOOOO cute.  There was a giant sea turtle there.  It was HUUUUUUGE!!!  I told Chippy all about it.  Thank you Daddy for taking a day to take us to the aquarium.  I know how busy you are.    : – )

Hello my name is Michelle.  I hate the sharks.  I love the African Penguins.  The Jellyfish didn’t sting me.  Did you know that I watched the seals and I’ve seen what they eat?  It’s fish.

Photo Galleries Update

One of things I like to do in the wintertime is update my photo galleries.  This year it’s taken a bit longer than usual because of moving into my new computer.  Here are three Family and Friends Foto galleries, going back all the way to last spring and bringing us up to date thru the first half of the summer.  As usual they are password protected, so if you are friends and family and need the password, please contact me.

http://zingman.com/fotooz/index.html
http://zingman.com/fotooz/2008-03/index.html
http://zingman.com/fotooz/2008-04/index.html
http://zingman.com/fotooz/2008-05/index.html