Friday, March 26, 2010

Our last hurrah in Hawaii

I know this is all out of sequence, but the day before we left Hawaii, we took a whale watching tour. Here's Leo driving the boat. Unfortunately, Leo managed to lose his cookies halfway through the tour, and right before we finally saw the whale.
Last Wed, Leo managed to lock Por-por out of her bedroom so that she had no access to her wallet, keys, etc. So he didn't go to school that day. They went to the library instead. On the way home, Leo got tired so he told Por-por his batteries were dead and he stopped walking and became unresponsive. It freaked Por-por out and she was unable to get him to respond. She considered calling 911. A nice passerby took them home in his car and Paul came home and I guess Leo finally got "his batteries changed" and all was well.

When they explained the story to me, Por-por told Leo she didn't understand what was going on and why he wouldn't answer her or move. She didn't know he "had batteries". Leo replied, "I'm a complicated boy".

A couple days ago, Paul was remarking about Leo's abilities to do all kinds of grown-up stuff. Paul asked Leo what he wasn't good at. Leo replied, "I'm not good at working a computer or driving a car."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

IEA meeting in the news

Today we were featured in the ABC and Tribunal newspapers and this blurb from the Governor's website: and a little video at

President Barreda today received a delegation of representatives of the IEA


The encounter of the IEA in Toledo supposes a recognition to the autonomic power model, based on the development of the renewable energies and the extension of the infrastructures that allow that development. Representatives of the Agency the International of Energía (AIE) today indicated their satisfaction to the power to celebrate in Castilla-La Mancha, concretely in Toledo, his 9º Scientific Encuentro that he will allow them, according to said the coordinator of the group, the Finnish Hannele Holttinen, to know the production systems of wind energy developed in the Independent Community and to try to advance thus in this field.

“Spain interests to us particularly since we know that it has a high level of penetration concerning the production of wind energy, therefore hoped that this encounter is very fruitful, because it does not give the opportunity to come and to work with the systems that already exist here”, indicated Holttinen after the encounter that the representatives of the IEA maintained with the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Jose Maria Barreda, in Toledo.

Indeed, Barreda remembered that, within Spain, Castilla-La Mancha is Community Independent pioneering in which to production of energies clean refers, while it remembered that the objective of the regional Government is to be able to produce, in 2012, more renewable energies of the consumed amount.

“And we are going to continue working in that direction, because we think that it is the suitable way”, among others pointed president Barreda, who did not want to take leave without before giving the welcome to Castilla-La Mancha to the delegation formed by 25 participants coming from 14 countries worldwide like Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Spain, the United States or Norway.

Against this background, Barreda explained to the representatives of the IEA the important effort that Castilla-La Mancha is also realising in the development the dependent clean energies of the sun, like photovoltaic and termosolar, while it remembered that it is being experienced with biomass to give value to forest products “and of having in better conditions our mounts and to agriculture”

“But of course we are developing and much the Aeolian energy because it has a great potential”, it pointed the president, who hoped that the encounter of the IEA in Toledo concludes successfully “because without a doubt it is important to improve the systems of wind energy so that it is still more efficient”.

Recognition to the autonomic power model

The encounter of the Agency the International of the Energy in Castilla-La Mancha supposes a recognition to the autonomic power model, based on the development of the renewable energies and the extension of the infrastructures that allow that development. The Agency the International of the Energy is an international organization created by the Organization for the Cooperation and the Economic Development (the OECD) after the crisis of the petroleum of 1973, that it looks for to coordinate the political energetics of his Member States in order to assure reliable energy, purchasable and clean one. Its initial objective era to coordinate the measures that will be necessary to assure the supplying petroleum, particularly in emergencia situations, with the purpose of to sustain the economic growth of their members. At present, after the changes undergone in the markets of the energy, the Agency worries about the three more excellent aspects of the political energetics: security energetics, economic development and protection of the environment.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Take me back to Toledo

After 24 hours of travel, we have arrived in Toledo, Spain. It was two flights (with nearly 5 hour layover), a taxi ride, another 5hr layover as we waited for a train, another taxi ride and we are in this famed fortress town with tiny windy streets on a hillside surrounded by a river. Its incredibly beautiful and worth the long haul to get here. The train station is incredibly intricate and glorious - fancier than a nice church. I'm beat from little sleep on the killer European red-eye, but time ticks on and soon enough I'll get some sleep.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stunt your growth

Paul just got back from Hawaii last night. Today we took a family hike since we haven't spent time as a family for 2 weeks and I leave tomorrow for Spain. Paul told Leo - "you're not going to grow up are you? You're such a perfect size now", and cuddled Leo.

Leo relied, "If you don't want to make me grow up, you have to give me CAFFEINE!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

The candy factory

Today we went to the candy factory with Leo's friend Sami. They took the tour and then walked into the obligatory store at the end of the tour. They were SO excited, running about like kids in a candy store.
Leo: "We could just take the whole store. Wow - Giant Lollipops (they are 1 lb, $20 lollies)! Now this is what I call LIFE!"

Tonight we were doing some art. Leo's sleeve narrowly missed a blob of paint. I pointed it out to him. He replied, "Yeah, I know it. I see it. Do you think I'm blind or something?" The attitude can't get worse than this.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Team of entymologists

Today Leo brought in a spider for show and tell. I asked if the other kids liked it and if they liked to catch bugs too. In Hawaii, Leo and 3 or 4 other kids spent a lot of time catching bugs. Leo even drew a picture of them all catching a slug one day. Leo said "No, I don't have a team here. They don't like to catch bugs". I told him maybe he could tell the other kids how much fun it was to catch bugs and he could teach them how. He seemed weary - "yeah, maybe".

Monday, March 8, 2010

I got a new treat!

Tonight Leo took four bunny grahams and put them in a cup with some water and put it in the freezer. He said, "I call it: the four bunny liquid treats". When I asked if they were liquid or solid, he said they were solid but that he had put liquid in the freezer. Then he said "psst - hello! It's working! I planned my treat to be easy to cut. It's easy to cut. I think its because its only a little bit frozen".

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Leo and I were reading a book from Mari - "The Way Things Work". We went through paper making, amplifiers, lenses, and then he asked if we could do 'forgetting'. I said that was a complicated subject and that we actually don't know much about why we forget things. He said, "Why don't we go into Firefox and type in 'why we remember and why we forget' and look it up on the web?" Umm, yeah, good idea!

He also had his first ski lesson today. My Hawaiian colleagues were here for work so I took them snowboarding and put Leo in ski school. He did GREAT! He went down the gently sloped kid area (with the magic carpet) 15-20 times. He didn't know how to stop so on his first run, he ran right into the fence. My dad has video of him trying to figure out how to turn around (he steps on his ski and then his boot comes out of the ski, then he takes off the other ski to fix them, then he lines them up along the fall line and attempts to get into his skis but every time he tries to get the second ski on, he starts sliding down the fall line). He was so excited about skiing and said he wants to go on the ski lift next and that he wants to come back. He also told me that when he carried his skis back to the lodge that he was even faster than the teacher. It was a great experience.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Whole house skyscraper

Tonight Leo got a cup of Haagen Dazs plus some of Porpor's. He said "do you know how big a sugar buzz I'm going to have tonight? As big as a whole house skyscraper!" I think we're getting bigger and bigger here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Leo's new school

Today Leo got to spend one hour by himself at the new preschool. I asked him about it. He acted like an older sibling who was disgusted with a younger sibling: "Some of these kids are just like little babies. They suck their thumbs! They pick their noses." He then proceeded to explain one of the Montessori learning games, "They have this game that is SO BORING! All you do is pour beads from one cup into another". I explained to Leo that he had once wanted to be a teacher of one-year-olds and that this would be good practice for him. Hopefully that will help him with the attitude adjustment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Schools

Leo and I moved back to Boulder for good Saturday. Luckily my parents are here this month so they can help with his transition to the new school, which goes like this:
Monday - can't start on a Monday
Tuesday - come in for one hour with parents
Wed - come in for one hour by himself
Thurs - come in for two hours
Fri - three hours, etc

So Leo did one hour today and loved it. He immediately got along with a boy and a girl his age and was explaining to them that the picture of a clam in an ocean book was a kind of flatworm. I asked him later what he thought of the new school and he said he liked it and that when he went back to Hawaii, he wanted to take this new school with him. I asked him what he liked about the new school. He said it was more challenging. They have moon sand.

I'm so glad he is doing well with the transition. Of course he has his Poppop and Porpor to take him around to all the museums while this transition is happening. Meanwhile, I'm trying to rewrite the executive summary for my three year study, give incoherent presentations on it nearly every day, prepare three presentations for a DOE peer review next week, run a solar meeting with another lab tomorrow, and have the Hawaii guys up to our lab on Monday all day for more meetings, and deal with movers and meetings at Leo's new school before heading to Spain in a couple weeks. I'll be lucky to escape the next month unscathed.