Sunday, December 16, 2007

Music for Families

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We spent a nice afternoon at the show Wrestling with Love, Struggling with Demons: Two Russian Masterpieces at Davies Symphony Hall. We enjoyed listening to Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 conducted by Timothy Muffitt.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Superstars Talent Show

Friday, December 7, 2007

An Evening with the Stars: Presented by the Lafayette Elementary Superstars

Syd played Toss the Feathers on violin as Megan joined in with Irish dancing.

Here is the same piece done at the Rowayton Elementary school talent show this past June with dancers Brooke, Heather and Catherine.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Haas Lilienthal House

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We started the season with a visit to the Haas-Lilienthal Holiday Open House in Pacific Heights. We got a mini-tour of this historic Queen-Anne style Victorian house built in 1886. It is one of the buildings that survived the earthquake-caused fires of 1906.

The most interesting room was the bathroom which still had the old fixtures and a hair curling iron contraption setup that looked dangerous.

Keith especially liked the standard gauge train set which was formerly setup in the attic now in the basement. It was a treat to see these bigger sized trains running around the track.

Syd liked the children's room. She got to see a phonograph player with an archaic record in place.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm into my 4th week of full time permanent work. Starting at the bottom of the rung and being in a lowliest of the low position is humbling. However, I'd like more pay. a-hem. So, the job search is going to continue for me on the side.

While walking to work, I've discovered some of the side streets with these horsies.

The office is located on the outskirts of North Beach. Chinatown, Financial District and Telegraph Hill are a few blocks away. It is a delight for foodies at lunch time because there is great grub within walking distance.

The famous Transamerica building is right down the road and can be seen from the office balcony.

The Transamerica courtyard is a nice spot for an outdoor lunch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Syd's Fall Music Recital

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Syd played a violin piece, Theme from Witches Dance by N. Paganini, at the Community Music Center Recital of the Richmond District. Lilia Zheltova was the piano accompanist. This was her first San Francisco performance with a new instructor.

Syd and violin instructor, Josie Fath.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kung Fu Gold Belt

In August, Syd started training at the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy. She started at the beginner level, Yellow Belt. However, she got accepted into the Black Belt club after a few weeks because she has the Jr. Black Belt Taekwondo standing.

Today, Syd moved into the second level -- Gold Belt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ocean Beach - Clean Up

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Last week's cargo ship crash into the San Francisco Bay Bridge has caused an oil spill that is said to be the bay's worst oil spill in nearly two decades. Before our local beach was closed, Keith and Syd saw the cleanup crew collecting oil globules on the sand and shoreline.

All entrances were gated or had some signage to prevent entry since last Tuesday.

After proper training, these volunteers gear up to go out on the beach to scan the beach for oil globules or unlucky sea creatures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Zoo Zoo Zoo

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We spent a nice Saturday at the San Francisco Zoo with our college buddy Christina and her daughter Sasha. It has surely changed from our last visit which was about 16 years ago. Renovations continue.

Keith and Syd go on a steam engine train ride with Christina and Sasha seated behind and Lexi, Julian and Lucas behind them.

A stowaway!

In honor of Syd's cousin Kate, we paid homage to the infamous Anteater.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween post Earthquake

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

After 15 years of being away from California, we were greeted with an earthquake (5.6 on the richter scale) last night! Not a biggee. Just some rattling in the buffet. Syd's first shake-up.

My Witchy-poo.

The renaissance trio.

Harry Potter Neighborhood

The tricks and treats begin...

The Monk shows us the way.

Miss Witch must utter the password to the Fat Lady portrait to get the treats!

A Viking discovers a secret in the Hall of Prophecy.

Headmistriss Dolores Umbridge at her desk with her infamous kitty-cat plates.

Filipino Mural

I do believe the location of my current temp work is in a Filipino neighborhood. Across the street from the building is a huge mural. Upon closer inspection, I found this notation:

Here's more details on the mural, which I got from another blogsite:

The naming of streets can be seen as merely symbolic, and even benign attempts at cultural and political activism. But the naming and dedication of these streets in 1979 also asserted a community’s presence, and a city’s official acknowledgment of this presence: Take a walk down 4th Street from Market, past the massive edifices of the Sony Metreon, and Moscone West Convention Center. Hang a left on Folsom Street, and your first right on Mabini Street. Intersecting Mabini is Bonifacio Street. If you turn right here, you will see Tandang Sora Street, but hang a left instead, and you will find, on the corner of Bonifacio and Lapu Lapu Streets, the Office of Community Development funded mural, Ang Lipi ni Lapu Lapu (the descendents of Lapu Lapu), painted by Johanna Poethig, with Vic Clemente and Presco Tabios, in 1984. The building on which this mural is painted is 50 Rizal Street, the San Lorenzo Ruiz Center, which was named after a Pilipino saint, and which houses primarily low income Pilipino seniors. This center, originally called the Dimasalang House, named after the fraternity of Pilipino workers formed in the 1920’s, the Caballero de Dimasalang, was built in 1978.

What’s represented in the mural: at the top, a legendary female warrior figure, perhaps the Princess Urduja of the northern province Pangasinan. She is astride the Banaue Rice Terraces, above a Philippine eagle, from whose left wing sprouts the Philippine Islands, painted a vivid green. The bayani (heroes) of the Philippine Revolution: Dr. Jose Rizal, known as the Philippines’ National Hero. Apolinario Mabini, the intellectual and revolutionary. Katipunan leader Andres Bonifacio, holding his bolo knife in the air in a war cry. Katipunera Melchiora Aquino, more commonly known as Tandang Sora, tending to those wounded in battle. And in the center of these figures: Senator Benigno Aquino, whose August 21, 1983 assassination fanned the fires of the 1986 People Power Revolution, in which the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown.

Farther down the mural are the Pin@y political and cultural heroes: Carlos Bulosan, whose well-revered novel America is in the Heart is required reading for all students of Asian American Studies in local colleges and universities. Victoria Manalo Draves, who grew up in South of Market, a U.S. Olympic diver and two-time gold medalist in the 1948 games. Francisco Guilledo, better known as Pancho Villa, the leader of the “Great Pinoy Boxing Era.” He was the World Flyweight Champion Boxer of 1924. Larry Itliong, founder of the Filipino Farm Labor Union in California. The masses: Pin@y medical professionals. Manangs and Manongs, the Pilipino migrants of the early twentieth century. U.S. Navy men. College graduates. Fishermen. Farm workers. Whole nuclear families, intact. The International Hotel, just outside SF Chinatown, which became a rallying cry of Pin@y activism after the San Francisco Police Department’s violent eviction of the building’s elderly tenants in 1977, and its subsequent demolition, just two years prior to the renaming of these streets.

At the mural’s bottom left corner, Datu Lapu Lapu, the legendary killer of Ferdinand Magellan. At the mural’s bottom right corner, the Manila Village, founded in 1565 by the “Manilamen” of the Spanish Galleon Trade between Mexico and the Philippines. These men who jumped ship and settled in Louisiana were the first Pilipinos in the Americas. To the left of the heroes and rice terraces are symbols of migration and settlement: Spanish galleons, and the Philippine eight-pointed star, which may represent the eight datus (tribal chieftains) whose bangkas (boatloads) of people are said to have populated the Philippine Islands. And THAT is history condensed on a single wall.


Lunch Haven

The Alice Community Garden is a nice spot to sit for an outdoor lunch at my recent temp location. It is one of those greenspace gems in the city. This is the last week of temp work for me. After 4 months on the job hunt, I received a job offer which I accepted. The "real" work begins next week.

Along with various flowers, veggies can be found in some of these garden boxes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Archery in the Park

We also came across the Archery field in the park. John, a passionate archer, introduced his set of bows.

Here's Jeff with the Long Bow.

With some instruction we got setup for a couple rounds of target practice.

Pipes and Drums

As we went through Golden Gate park on our way back home from watching a bit of the marathon, we came across the sounds of cats being tortured (as Keith would say). A pipes and drums band were setup along the runners path in the park. It was a treat to hear some of their tunes.

Nike Women's Marathon

Sunday, October 21, was busy with the Nike Women's Marathon running two blocks away along the Great Highway. What a wonderful view they had running along the coast from Union Square in downtown.

The George Washington High School cheerleaders provided their rah, rah, ree's.

Here is the turn off point. Left for the full marathoners and right for the half-marathoners.

Keith got out early enough to see the first place winner for the full marathon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sleeping Syd

The alarm goes off at 5:45am and this is where Syd is an half hour later. hmmmmm.

Moscone Center

Across the street from the Yerba Buena Gardens is Moscone Center. A site for expo events and conferences.

A Keith Haring sculpture at the corner of Moscone.

Car splat on the Moscone Parking garage.

Yerba Buena Gardens

I usually cut through Yerba Buena Gardens on my walk to work. This path is a nice one with relaxing views. In the morning, I see elderly Asian folks warming up before doing some Tai Chi in various locations about the park.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Going into my 4th week of temping downtown in SOMA - south of Market Street, I'll blog some sites on the walk to work.

The yellow restored old muni train is so retro. I see them along Market Street. The green/white convertible train, made-up as a boat is a cutie - ultimate tourist treat.

Cable cars are also a neat transportation vehicle downtown.

A lady lounging atop a building next to the MOMA.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On Assignment

I've been doing temp work at a location in SOMA - south of Market Street for the last 3 1/2 weeks. It's cubicle-land! My cube is at the corner of the bullpen. I constantly see tops of heads passing by. Sometimes a head will stop and actually talk to me. Being in cubicle-land sharpens the hearing. After awhile you can distinguish who is who by the sound of their walk. Also, nothing is secret unless you have mastered the whisper.

I'm sorta getting used to the work schedule of taking a 7am-ish bus to get to work by 8:30 and catching a 5pm-ish bus to get home. Boo-hoo, I'm forced to give up my night owl tendencies.

Here is great guide to crossing the street.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Willy Snooze

As Willy gets to lounge about the house, we're out and about.

Syd has school the first half of the day with either kung fu or violin in the afternoons. Keith has a morning class everyday with homework and housework in the afternoon. I've been out of the house on a temp assignment in downtown for the last 3 weeks. I've got 1 1/2 more weeks to go at this location. The days have been long. I don't mind the commute as I get to read on the bus when I can get a seat. I sure would like a Willy kinda day sometime soon though.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Soulsong Garden Harvest

Last weekend we were back in Westport, CA for some of the Soulsong harvest. We spent a wonderful day outdoors picking various berries, apples and pears from the Soulsong gardens. Some fruits were eaten on the spot, others were going to be canned, dried or put into pies by Donna. Thad is going to try his hand at making some cider. fyi: Thad's latest batch of Mead is delicious! It is made with chocolate, mmmm!

We also went into town, Fort Bragg, to run some errands. Here's a shot of the library where I setup my virtual office this summer.

Before leaving, Donna gave Syd flower seeds and plantings from the gardens. With Syd's drawing of our San Francisco backyard, they planned out the placement of the plants. Syd will be planting Shasta Daisies, Chicks and Hens, Poppies, Calendula, Rose, and Dill. Looking forward to Spring...

With a box full of apples, Keith will treat us to some home-made apple pies later in the week. First up, home-made raspberry pies!

Back at home, Syd found these Fuschias already in residency in our garden. She also found some Jade succulents. I saw one Naked Lady Flower pop up and fade from the garden. And, some other unidentifiables also reside.

After a trip to the local nursery for some organic planting mix and some garden prep work, Syd waters the lot.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Keith works on Latin while Syd works on Language Arts at the dinner table.

Here I be with freelance work in the home office.

I managed to get my first San Francisco job interview this week after sending out resumes since May! Let's hope for the best.

"A Jatukam Ramathep amulet is highly valued as a good luck charm during Thailand's time of economic and political troubles... Different variations of the Jatukam amulet focus on the promise of wealth and prosperity, such as the Super Rich, Immediately Rich, Rich Without Reason and Miracle Rich models." --SF Chronicle story

Maybe we ought to get one of these good luck charms. I'd settle for Super Rich.