Thursday, February 25, 2010

Merging collective experiences or Augmented-Reality demo from Blaise

Earlier I oohed and aahed over Blaise's 2007 TED talk about photosynth.  
Would you believe there is more?  Now we can merge our collective experiences live!  Hold onto your seat.

Daily Rituals or Off to School

In the morning, the girls pack their backpacks with school stuff (lunches, sweaters, sneakers) and after-school stuff (leotards, swim suits, snacks) and then head downstairs to say good morning to Kumar, Hamilton and/or Nelson running the building elevators and Michelle, Michael and Alex manning the security desk in the lobby.  

Sometimes they stop at Starbucks to order a coffee for me.

Michelle moves into high gear when the girls arrive and a good ten minutes goes by between songs, chasing, updates.  Simone and Naomi adore Michelle!  Oh what heaven it is for me to watch this interplay each morning. The before school ritual is so much fun!

Naomi is playing hide and seek with Michelle Coleman, head of Tower security.  

Usually we head to Evergreen School first. We got there a bit early on this particular day and Naomi and Simone decided to play in the mud a bit before school.

Simone's Kindergarten teachers are Eve Ingraham and Christine Burnett and in the photo above the class is celebrating Valentine's Day with a Disco dance party. Black lights, a mirrored ball and a break-dancing circle.  Naomi in pink and Simone in orange whooping it up to the Bee Gees, "Stayin' Alive."  

After dancing up a storm, Naomi and I headed to her school, Global Gardens, where she spends a few hours a couple days a week. She loves it and asks every morning, "Do I have Global Gardens today?"

After school and the many extracurricular activities...we sometimes can fit in a visit with Godfather William.  His office is just down the street and he often works late.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dinner with the Strains across the Square

Our neighbors, the Strains, live across Pioneer Square from us. We can wave or flashlight morse code from our windows. Annie Strain has a great blog about life in Pioneer Square.

Jackson Strain is the same age as Naomi. They are two. They had a great time riding around the kitchen while Jeff, Annie, David and I enjoyed a delicious lamb dinner. Jeff was one of the founders of ArenaNet in 2000 and in the Fall of 2009, he founded Undead Labs. Here is a speech of his about what it takes to create successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.

Another fun link is the story of when Annie, having just moments before given birth to Madeline, looked up to see Jeff feverishly tapped away at his keyboard, "Are you working on that damn game during the birth of our daughter?" Jeff answered sheepishly, "It's not 'that damn game' Annie, it's Starcraft!"

Annie Strain is on the Pioneer Square Revitalization Committee and is making sure our beautiful neighborhood continues to thrive. In the 12 years that I have lived in the Smith Tower, Pioneer Square has had opportunities to create a much needed playground in Occidental Square, an ice skating rink by the Pergola, and a grand structure to (sort of an Arc de Triomphe) replace the "sinking ship" garage that would still provide parking below ground but on the street level it would be a great archway framing the entrance to Occidental. I love all of these visionary ideas, but the Arc de Triomphe, an idea that William Justen dreamed up, is my personal favorite as it would connect 2nd Avenue to the heart of Pioneer Square with a vista into Occidential's green menagerie. Over Pioneer's Square 150 plus years, many new additions have kept the nation's best-preserved historical district authentic and relevant. The way I see it, a grand arch would become a new entrance to Seattle’s first – and liveliest – neighborhood.

Daniel Strain is 10 and introduced Simone and Naomi to his guinea pigs.

Madeline Strain, who is 12, and quite a rider herself, became a human "filly" for Simone to ride on. The kids were on a roll.

What amazing luck to have such a great urban family only a block away. I am in heaven.