Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category


Phil and Greg’s Excellent Adventure: the final chapter

June 13, 2012

In the last social stop of our road trip, we visited the McCoubreys in Ketchum, Idaho. Phil especially enjoyed playing Legos and a Lego Star Wars video game with 8-year-old Shaw. He also really liked the McCoubreys’ “log house.” I forgot to get a picture of the giant beams, but here are a few other pics.

Phil on the slack line
[Phil crossing the slack line with ski poles.]

Adams Gulch trail run
[Scott and me after a casual trail run at Adams Gulch.]

hot spring
[Phil at a hot spring (whose heat was overshadowed by the cold river water flowing above it).]

hot spring
[Wading into the not-so-hot spring.]

Scott and Shaw
[Scott and Shaw dry off and warm up.]

After the boys went to sleep, the adults watched Bridesmaids, which I liked for its dialogue and Wilson Phillips cameo, though the film was also more vulgar, and Kristen Wiig’s character less likeable, than I’d have preferred.

The drive from Ketchum back to Seattle was pretty smooth, thanks in part to navigational tips from my recently acquired smartphone (though it insisted on pronouncing “Ave B” in Boise as “Ah-Vay Bee”).

Phil said some memorable things along the way, such as, “I’m invincible! … What does ‘invincible’ mean?”

He also confirmed his fondness for my friends’ children.

“I like Trey, Zane, and Shaw a hundred and forty. That’s how much I like them,” he said.

“What’s the most you can like someone?” I asked, unsure of his scale.

“A hundred.”

I considered suggesting an alternative quantitation scheme, but thought better of it.


Phil and Greg’s Non-Bogus Journey

June 11, 2012

We spent the weekend with the Kempers and the Harbisons, whose patriarchs went to school with me back in the ’90s.

Activities and destinations included short hikes at the Foothills Learning Center and Table Rock (from which Bogus Basin can be seen), swimming and water-sliding at the West Boise YMCA, soccer and tag at a local park, foozball and kickball at home, and eating a bunch of great home-cooked meals.

On the whole, the Harbison kids were more boisterous than the Kempers, though they consistently addressed me as “Dr. Crowther” (until I asked them not to). Family conversations often concerned acquaintances such as “Dr. Cole” and “Dr. Zuckerman” (who are actual physicians).

As usual, it has been instructive to observe thoughtful friends navigating the highs and lows of parenting.

Bedtime stories have been an especially interesting part of the trip. At the Kempers’ house, Phil and I enjoyed Daphne’s reading of The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters (expertly illustrated by our friend Erik Brooks). At the Harbisons’, Trey (age 7.5) and I had the following exchange.

Trey: “I don’t think Phil would like the bedtime book we’re reading right now.”

Me: “Really? What book is that?”

Trey: “A Brief History of Time.”

And now for some pictures….

[Phil with the Huang/Kemper family, affectionately known to some as the Huampers.]

How to earn money
[The Huamper children don’t simply receive an allowance; they are instructed in the five basic ways to earn money: service, make things, buy low/sell high, gamble, and invest.]

Story Trail
[The Foothills Learning Center outside of Boise features a Story Trail with a children’s book serialized into eight or so weather-protected stations. Its creation was an Eagle Scout project in 2010.]

[After the Titus Van Rijn One-Hour Classic at the Boise High School track.]

Phil and Perry
[Phil and Perry.]

Noe and Phil with Legos
[If I had to pick a single word to summarize the forces that bring young boys together and drive them apart, that word would be “Legos.”]

Table Rock 1
[At the entrance to Table Rock.]

Table Rock 2
[Atop a boulder at Table Rock.]

What Now?
[What now?]


Phil and Greg’s Excellent Adventure

June 9, 2012

Phil and I are on a road trip to visit friends in Idaho.

The first day, we left Seattle in rush-hour traffic and got off “like a herd of turtles,” as my family likes to say. We finally stopped for dinner in Snoqualmie, where I had won a gift card to a local restaurant at a 5K three-plus years ago. Sadly, Mike’s Cascade Grill is now Mabel’s On The Ridge, and Mabel is not honoring Mike’s long-forgotten commitments to former road-race victors.

[Phil enjoying a full-price beverage at Mabel’s On The Ridge.]

Phil did well during the 9 or so hours of driving to Boise, only complaining of boredom a couple of times. One of our monotony-combating activities was to make up stories about a police dog named Lucky. (One or more of those will be posted separately.) He also had some fun making pictures with a set of magnetized shapes called Imaginets.

Phil playing with Imaginets

Motel 6
[Motel beds are extra-fun to jump on.]

After a reasonably restful night at the Motel 6 in Ellensburg, we continued on to Interstate 84 in Oregon. Its smooth surface, lack of traffic, and pleasantly undulating hills were wonderful; never in my life have I felt so fond of a highway. Below are a couple of photos taken by Phil along the way.

eastern Oregon countryside photo by Phil

the view from the carseat

Oregon must have seemed like a foreign country to Phil. Even before we had crossed the state line, he asked, “What language do they speak there?” The state’s prohibition on self-serve gas pumps also inspired numerous questions, most asked from the perspective of someone convinced that such a strange law must have loopholes. “What if all the gas station workers were at lunch when you came?” “What if they all were sick?” And so forth.

After transferring to I-82, we stopped for lunch at Sumpter Junction, a locomotive-themed restaurant featuring a working electric train that circles the perimeter of the dining area. The restaurant seems to attract an improbable mix of (A) families with small boys and (B) Hell’s Angels (who may be partial to the “Hell Yeah” breakfast special).

sitting here watching the wheels go round and round

After lunch, I felt unacceptably sleepy at the wheel until I blasted Matthew Morrison’s self-titled debut album, which got us to Boise safe and sound.


The immediate future

May 28, 2012

As far as I can tell, Habitat for Humanity does great work in the Seattle area and elsewhere. A vivid example came at this weekend’s Northwest Folklife Festival, where, in a brilliantly simple activity, the Seattle Habitat group helped festival-goers make bricks to be used in the construction of a “House of the Immediate Future.” Below is Phil doing his part.

Phil working on a non-Lego brick

I love the phrase “House of the Immediate Future,” which seems to poke fun at the “…of the Future” items often touted by world’s fairs and science fiction. (Folklife is held in the shadow of Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum and the Space Needle; the latter was created for the 1962 World’s Fair, whose 50th anniversary we are celebrating this year.) I imagine the underlying sentiment to be, “Yeah, all of that futuristic stuff is cool, but we have serious housing problems right now that can be addressed with current technology, a little bit of money, and some elbow grease.”

The reference to the “Immediate Future” was also amusing in reminding me of the film Time Chasers, which was filmed in the Rutland, Vermont area, where I grew up. I saw an early cut of it (at a point when it was still known as Tangents) at “First Night Rutland” back in the early ’90s. Much more recently, Joe Creighton lent me the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 DVD in which Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo ridicule this low-budget time-travel adventure. “Oh my gosh — they’ve transported themselves THREE YEARS into the future!” exclaims one of them in mock astonishment as the circa-1991 scenery of Rutland, VT is replaced by a circa-1991 mall in Burlington, VT.

The immediate future may not be as exciting to contemplate as the distant future, but it’s more recognizable, more certain, and more directly moldable. Kudos to Habitat for working on the here-and-now, one non-futuristic house at a time.


A zooey dejeuner

January 16, 2012

Yesterday’s weather was unusually cold and snowy for Seattle, but we packed a lunch and headed to the zoo anyway.

monkeying around at the zoo

We mostly stayed in the Zoomazium, a semi-educational indoor play area.

To be honest, that’s what we usually do at the zoo on nice days, too.


Guess who’s about to turn 5?

October 18, 2011


Another great Phil pic from Aunt Beverly

September 24, 2011



September 16, 2011

This is what I look like today.



September 10, 2011

…two men clean the tub.


Now THAT’S tired

August 20, 2011

Phil actually falls asleep in this position sometimes. It never ceases to amaze me.

asleep in the kitchen