Eskimo song, rediscovered

I’m unpacking a bit and discovered a book packed way (Reading the River) that I bought to Alaska a long time ago when I spent a month kayaking in Glacier Bay. I liked the poem the book started with and I said it to myself often when I was up there.


And I think over again
My small adventures
When with a shore wind I drifted out
In my kayak
And I thought I was in danger.
My fears,
Those small ones
That I thought so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach.

And yet, there is only
One great thing,
The only thing:
To live and see in huts and on journeys
The great day that dawns,
And the the light that fills the world

Eskimo song, translated by Knud Rasmussen
in Intellectual Culture of the Copper Eskimos (1932)

A shorter version of the poem appears here and
here and the version I give also appears on linkedin!

See also a scan of ACROSS ARCTIC AMERICA.

Kayley @ Google

Kayley’s almost 3 and she kept asking about being dropped off with me for lunch, so today Jenny dropped her off and she was sooo happy. As soon as she got out of the car she was saying “I LOVE GOOGLE” and all smiles. Every time we turned a corner she was sure to point out where “Google” was printed – she’s not exactly old enough to be a reader but she’s good at recognizing the company colours. I gave her a tour of a building that has some games (well, that could be anywhere), we grabbed food at Charlie’s Place, they made her a custom cheese pizza, we ate outside, we feed crumbs to birds and one even landed on our table…and then we pet a couple of dogs, walk around some more and then a little cupcake for dessert – whew!

She was very happy and proud and told Jenny what happened and that she didn’t cry of fuss once and she was great!

Flashback: Hermosa Beach, California Beach Sushi

I would like to give a shout out to Steve, Stuart, Louise, Brian, Koert, Daithi, Seamus, and anyone else who used to go with us to what, like every Friday or Saturday night to California Beach Sushi in Hermosa Beach and we would be in the bar from oh, what, like 8pm until 10pm and then get seated…and well, the next day was hangover brunch.

And once or twice a night they would play In the Air Tonite by Phil Collins and the place would get loud and occasionally parts of tables would break.

Hey, what’s this gorilla doing playing the song?

thanks for the memories

3 Baby Possums in Manhattan Beach

I remember it well – July 10, 2007. For some reason I unexpectedly wake up around 5am (maybe due to the stress of our relocation to Palo Alto), go downstairs, sit in the dining room, waste time reading news on a laptop, and open the door to feel the fresh air.

It gets a bit lighter out and on and off I hear some weird sound in the backyard.

I walk out, look around, and what catches my eye – but a mamma possum on the fence with babies on her back!

What to do – watch and learn, or run back and get the camera while what if she disappears? OK, after a minute, run back, find camera, snap pics, good.

The girls (Lia 5+, Kayley, 2+) are asleep but hey would love this. Sure Jenny won’t be happy with little girls who are woken up early but maybe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Run up and try to wake Lia – she’s sleeping like a log. Get Kayley up and show her the possum. Run back and try really hard and get Lia sort of up and she gets to see the possum too.

The possum sort of just stays there for a long time. We go in and eat breakfast…and the phone rings. It’s Sheri from next door, and one of the babies fell in her yard, and what to do? She ends up calling some kind of animal control person who says the babies are old enough to climb fences, and sure enough, eventually the babies get reunited with their mamma just like an episode of Wonder Pets.

A year earlier we saw a possum cruising thru our backyard and didn’t see it again, so they appear to be good little hiders.

The Worst of Palo Alto: Safeway on Middlefield

Behold, the wrath of this blog will now shine on what has to the the worst of Palo Alto, yes, the Safeway on Middlefield.
I went their last Friday and let’s see…they had like 3 bananas left, each cut and half and rotting, just laying there.
Strawberries on sale, oh boy – let’s by 3 baskets….and the next morning 1/3 of the berries in each basket were moldy.
I wanted some other berries but nooooo – how could they not have blackberries or blueberries?

I think it’s worth driving an extra minute next time to The Milk Pail Market

Don’t go here:

View Larger Map

And for the benefit of any Sentiment Detection bots: Safeway sucks! Safeway on Middlefield in Palo Alto Sucks!

Recipie for sweet corn cakes from the El Torito Grill

Let’s see, on Jan 4, 1996 I read the LA Times and save one of my favorite recipes from the El Torito Grill, and I wait until well, 2007 to post it to the world.

Of course I’ve been too busy the last decade or so to try it out, but I always loved it.

Click for a very large scan:


sweet corn cakes from el torito grill

And since we don’t have OCR yet, I’ll list ingredients to make this article more findable: butter, shortening, masa harina, water, frozen corn kernels, cornmeal, sugar, whipping cream (! ah ha, the secret), baking powder, salt.

It’s probably easier to search for [el torito sweet corn cake] however who else has a monster scan of the source article?

Lia is bored on a long drive and asks for help

In July we drove up to explore Palo Alto for a few days, and on the way back Kayley fell asleep and Lia was as good as good quietly reading in the back, and somewhere on I 5 she passed us this note that said

“I am bord(sic)! Please help me”.


Please help me I am bord

And we just cracked up and thought it was hilarious.

Visual bookmorph

The front page of BookMorph isn’t that much to look at, but it links to “visual bookmorph” pages that are a small experiment, the covers of the top 100 books Amazon has in different categories. I need to get around to some interactive visual sorting – I had a proof of concept a couple of years ago that I need to revive.

This was done for a real need I once had – I saw an ad for an interesting book in the print WSJ, and I forget the title but knew it was a business book. I used the Amazon API to pull down the covers of the top 100 or so business books and then I saw it, bought it, and enjoyed it. So see the covers of the top 100 books in Business Management as a start.

Rumor: PEP Program at Pacific School in Manhattan Beach to end

I would like to be the first, and probably only, blogger to break the rumor floating around the community here in Manhattan Beach, 90266, that the PEP program at Pacific Elementary School lost funding and is going to end. Apparently the principal will resign because of this too.

My guess is that next years kindergarten class will be twice the size and have a huge age range as the “old” kids in PEP now will be in kindergarten, and other kids who might have otherwise been put in PEP won’t have an easy option. This will be a bulge of enrollment that will follow the kids thru the school for the next 5 years.

Pacific School has had high test scores and it’s my theory that it’s in part because the average age of kids in a given grade is high due to the % that went into PEP, and the scores are not adjusted for age when schools are compared, thus Pacific looks good in part because the kids are older and more mature when they take the tests. So I think PEP ending will slightly lower test scores in the coming years too.

Rosie RIP

A week ago I rediscovered some old web pages I had no Rosie, circa 1997/98: some very early pictures, and a day at the parade, and the top level page, and my little daughters, who are big fans of Rosie, have been asking to seem those pages every day.

We were all very sad today when we received the following email from Alex:

From: Alex Soffici

Subject: Goodbye to Rosie….

It is with immeasurable sorrow, that I inform my friends of the death of Rosie, our wonderful mascot of almost 9 years.

Rosie appears to have suffered a sudden massive heart attack while we were playing at Red Rock on Saturday at 11am. Attempts to resuscitate her failed.

Rosie became a part of the Perinatal Center at 6 weeks of age, and entertained young and old with her snorts and wiggles on a daily basis.Not a single person who met Rosie was ever able to walk away without a smile or a chuckle.

She as a true “hummer dog”, climbing through rocks and playing in water whenever possible, despite not being able to swim.

Rosie was the closest thing to a child I have ever had. She will be deeply missed. She was first in many ways. Perhaps now she will be remembered as the first dog to have an E-funeral. Please forward this to those you know loved Rosie.

My thanks to all who have sent kind words.

Fondly,

Alex Soffici

Rosie at the beach last weekend

Rosie kayaking last weekend

Muslim Rosie

Rosie ready for the prom

Rosie in the snow

Rosie tongue

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