Paul's Visit Oct. 2000

My friend, Paul Heckbert, came to visit in October with his two children, Julian and Olivia. We spent the afternoon at the San Francisco Exploratorium, the original and still the best interactive science museum.

Olivia and Julian cross the miniature arch bridge they constructed while Dad looks on.

Paul at lunch.

Olivia at lunch.

Julian at... something.

This display is a good example of the genius of this place. LED bars flicker in seemingly random patterns, until at some moment your eyes happen to sweep across the room, when suddenly, you see these flying figures! I had a difficult time capturing even a reasonable facsimile of this illusion with my camera, since I couldn't manage a steady sweep without a tripod, something your eyes do effortlessly.

One of Tessala's favorite attractions was the "spinner."

Alina liked the bubble dip.

Alina is the BIG sister.

Oh, wait....

Everyone seemed to really enjoy this one -- just a rotating table, but it was fun to make the various wheels and rings stay on. Sort of like a perpetual game of "Battling Tops."

A chick embryo -- too cool.

Tessala and Paul demonstrate the real reason computer graphics was invented -- to see what your face looks like under various spherical projections.

For dinner, we ordered Zachary's pizza and invited some friends Paul hadn't seen in a long time.

A scary close-up of me and Michele.

One scary close-up deserves another -- of the photographer!

I had some fun playing with the different camera modes -- this is professor Paul in "blackboard" mode.

Olivia in sepiatone.

Jim the blacksmith shown appropriately in black and white.

This is about as still as the kids got during the whole visit.

I sit in quiet panic as Julian takes a turn as photographer with my new digital camera...

The next morning, we had a birthday party for Alina at a nearby park. Paul and company had to leave to catch their flight halfway through, but everyone had fun while they could...

Alina's friends, Seraphina, Elena, and Anne.

That Sunday, a community group was putting in some new play equipment. Fortunately, they were OK with the kids pitching in a bit -- something that would have been difficult to keep them from doing.

The seesaw was a popular park attraction. Paul was the safety inspector.

Young mayhem at its finest. Paul and his kids had to go shortly after this was taken.

The game of tug-o-war gave way quickly to jump-rope.

Alina blowing out her 10 candles.

The Unwrapping.

At last, Dad remembers to get out the party favors he'd gone to some trouble and expense to purchase.

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