Porcupyn's Blog

August 14, 2013

A Tale … of two kids

Filed under: Family,Parenting — Porcupyn @ 1:02 pm

He was scared of his naughty nephew, who was prone to have ‘accidents’ with household objects (especially toys) that led to the decimation of said object. So, he would always keep nephew at arm’s length.

Then one day, he fell off the stairs* and hurt his back. He needed hugs from his little daughter for comfort; however, daughter being the diva that she is, refused to give him one (after her tolerance limit was reached).

Seeing him pleading with his daughter thus, naughty nephew said to him, “You can hug me whenever you want!” and won him over!

* – only three steps and all is well now 🙂

Katya and Tennis …

Filed under: Family,Tennis — Porcupyn @ 12:34 pm

So I was at the doctor’s waiting to be called in for my back to be checked up. Because of the logistics involved, I had taken Katya from her daycare and brought her with me to the doctor’s office. Bad move – the office TV had a talk show going with Ellen Degeneres. Let me tell you folks – you do not want to have this show on if you have kids around you.

Anyway, I tried to distract Katya. DIdn’t work. So, I had to be more forceful and ask her to read a magazine or at least look through some photos. When she did not demonstrate an inclination to do so, I picked up a tennis magazine and asked her to thumb through it.

Today, as we were driving in to her day care, we come across a advertisement board for a dance class by Some Murray. She glances it and reads it and exclaims, “Murray! I know that name.”

I was thinking that it was the name of some classmate of hers or something, when she explained, “I saw the name in the tennis magazine yesterday – Andy Murray!”

Looks like we have a new Tennis fan in the family 🙂

August 8, 2013

To California … and back – Part 3 (Day 2 of travel – Kettleman City to Sequoia National Park)

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 11:41 am

From Kettelman City, we drove up to Sequoia National Park. Enroute, we stopped by to get some munchies to make sure that the kids were not shortchanged :-). Even before we got to the main entrance of the park, we spotted a beautiful lake with scenic mountains in the background and decided to make a small stop. Everyone in the party got to wet his or her feet (except the one person who was wearing his shoes and was too lazy to remove them, aka yours truly). Katya fell in love with the lake because the water temperature was just right. However, we had to move along and so left the lake behind after a few minutes.




At the park entrance, after purchasing an annual pass to the National parks, we got to interact with folks who were taking a survey aimed at improving the customer service. We got out of our car, and got photos with the Sequoia chief’s signpost. Also, got a good look at the stream flowing right by the road and the mountains surrounding the park.



The giant sequoias are the most massive trees on the planet and among the oldest as well. Some of them are estimated to be over 2000 years old. Can you imagine seeing trees that were just starting to sprout from seeds in the years of Alexander the Great?!

The unique environment of this area of the country lends itself to these trees. According to the guides and the signs all over the park, though the Redwood trees elsewhere in the state are taller, in terms of overall volume, nothing beats the giant sequoias. Many of the trees have been given names after hardy American generals of the past. The most famous among them is General Sherman (most massive of them all) and General Grant (most wide at the base). Tourists typically spend time walking around the Sequoia groves marvelling at these giants that dwarf the humans. What is really surprising is that apparently the roots of these trees extend only a few feet (or a couple of metres) underground. On the other hand, they do spread wide – as wide as an acre, we were informed – and the reason they go straight up is to quickly gain access to the sunlight in competition with their neighbouring sequoias.





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