Christmas, 2006

I don't think I need to tell you that we had a lot more fun adventures this year.

We saw some interesting exhibits this year. "It's Alive!" showcased animatronic models used in movies. Another movie-themed exhibit showed costumes used in 25 different films from 2005, including the dolls used in "The Corpse Bride". We visited two different science museums to see "Dogs" and "Superheroes". The dog exhibit included a dog stunt show and also therapy dogs used in hospitals. The superhero exhibit was used to teach basic science with examples drawn from superhero movies. We also saw some art this year. "Magritte: The Treachery of Images" showcased the surrealist paintings of Rene Magritte and other artists. "Of the Flesh" was an exhibit of artworks all made from human skin. Somewhat creepy, but that was the intention.

Our cultural adventures included the Los Angeles Gay Pride Festival, as well as Varla Jean Merman's latest show, "I'm Not Paying for This!". Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is an all-male comic ballet company. They are actual ballet dancers performing in drag and doing send-ups of classic ballet. Some non-gay-themed cultural events we attended included the Festival of the Spanish Horse, a comedy improv show performed by kids, and the Go-Go's 25th anniversary concert at the Greek Theater. We also attended a family workshop to learn circus skills with the Jumbo Shrimp Circus Academy. Stan also took Lucinda to see the Tour of California bicycle race, and also to see the National Track Cycling Championships. We took our regular trip to Lake Tahoe this summer. Along with our usual activities, Lucinda tried riding horses for the first time there. We also saw a bear outside our house one morning. The other part of our vacation was a side trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. We saw sulfur and boiling mud, and we all climbed the volcano.

One sad thing that happened this year was that we had to put Buddy to sleep. He bit a workman in our neighbor's yard. This was the fourth time he'd bitten, and we finally decided that we just couldn't deal with the liability risk.

On the other hand, we got a new puppy for Lucinda. Bella is a tiny little chihuahua-mix, and Lucinda is very happy with her.

Stan's job is still going well and is still great fun. The USGS Earthquake Notification System is no longer just his 'pet project'. It went live this year, and has almost 70,000 subscribers now.

Cathy is still doing the full-time Mom thing, although she did take off for a weekend so that she and her friend could play tourist in New York City. She also repainted our kitchen this year, which turned out nicely.

Lucinda liked the horses on vacation so much that we signed her up for riding lessons this fall. She is continuing with her weekly art lessons. Lucinda also started second grade this year, and her teacher says that she is a joy to have in class. We couldn't be happier about this.

It was our 18th anniversary this fall, and this year marks 20 years that we have been together. We can't quite believe that we're old enough to have been together for 20 years. Still, we marked the occasion by going to dinner at Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach, which was the site of our first date.

And as always, all of these adventures and pictures are available on our family web site: