Tag Archives: Paul

Easter Egg Hunt 2015


Yesterday morning was our annual backyard Easter Egg Hunt – a very popular event among our friends, family, and neighbors. Children ages 9 months to 20 years joined the search for hundreds of plastic eggs filled with chocolate candies. For the adults, there were two specially hidden eggs: gold and silver. Only the following poems gave clues to their locations:

Silver Egg
(buried in the dirt under a stepping stone of the steps up the riverbank)

The stone above me keeps me in the dark.
I would glow like moonlight if I could be
found. But long you’ll search in vain to find me,
because no single quality in your
thub-thubbing heart will guide you to my home:
a canine drive to find me in the ground;
a gardener’s love of dirt; you can possess
no loathing of Jerusalem Crickets’
shy heads; you must be brave to stoop to find
me here. Small hunters may contain within
themselves advantage for they are quite close
to where I make my hidey-home. But look—
you’ll find me if you search closely and dare,
to seek by bark if you would find my lair.

Gold Egg
(tied to a young palm tree frond about ten feet above the ground)

Surrounding me is evidence of past
strong growth, for when my home came here it was
a child, with slender fronds and coiled roots.
But now! My home is tall and casts a shade
quite deeply on the stones beneath my feet.
They do not reach the kennel or the bank
for my tall perch is not yet fully grown.
A teenager provides me with both shade
and shelter from the never-ending drought.
My home is safe from desiccating years
for she was bred from stock that has survived
millennia on California’s dry shores.

Desiree and Dan found the Gold and Silver eggs eventually.  eleaThanks to the Associate Easter Bunny, my daughter Jessica for the poems (composed in Washington State), and thanks to Paul and John for helping create the festivities!  I love watching the children finding eggs in the garden to fill their baskets, then re-hiding eggs for each other after most of the eggs have been collected. A delightful celebration of new life and renewal!









Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Home Winemaking


Our friend Murf just held one of his home winemaking parties in Boulder Creek, California. John, Paul, and I got together with a group of family and friends in Murf’s combination HO scale model train layout and winemaking room to help clean equipment, roll barrels, fill and cork bottles, and taste some chemistry. The Cabernet Franc from the last party and the Merlot bottles from yesterday are delicious and will keep this group in table wine until the next party. We are discussing Zinfandel and Barbera grapes for the next buy.









Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher

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21 Years at the Lair of the Bear – Camp Blue


Last night, we celebrated Paul’s 22nd birthday at the University of California’s Lair of the Golden Bear Camp Blue. We have been Lair campers since before Paul could walk! We started in 12th Week and have slowly moved to earlier weeks as school start dates crept back into August. This is our second year as 9th Week campers. My niece and nephew start classes on Monday. Paul starts at San Jose State University in a few weeks.

My brother Pete, sister-in-law Julie and kids, with friends Steve and Olivia and their son are also with us. This week, other members of the family have been going on hikes, running, and swimming in Pinecrest Lake. We also went rafting on the Stanislaus River out of Knights Ferry. Our immediate family has mostly been playing board games and enjoying Advanced Lounging with Electronics. Jessica and Matthew celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary with pinatas full of candy and little plastic dinosaurs.

Jessica and I have been in email communication from Camp Blue Lodge with Susan Rodger (Professor, Computer Science at Duke University), collaborating on the design and content of our Notable Women in Computer Science and Wikipedia poster for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, to be held in October 2014. GHC14 is almost sold out – as it has been every year since at least 2009.

P1240667 . P1240674






Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Moby Dick, or, the card game


This week my family has been playing “Moby Dick, or, the card game” almost daily at the University of California at Berkeley’s Lair of the Golden Bear Camp Blue. This game was a Kickstarter project by King Post that I invested in last year. I gave it to my son-in-law Matthew, who loves games of all kinds. “Moby Dick” is great fun – we plan to buy more copies! The card graphics are interesting and well-executed. The game play is fast and dependent on both luck and strategy. An added benefit is that the classic 1851 whaling story Moby Dick by Herman Melville is one of my favorite novels.

Matthew, Jessica, Paul and I made some rule changes to improve play:

  • You cannot progress past the first chapter until a whale has been fought (this allows players to get some oil – so that more sailors can be hired).
  • Any time there is an uneven number to be distributed, we roll a die to see which player got more.
  • We designated any sailor without a specific name as a forecastle sailor.

Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Watching New Cities Grow


I grew up in San Francisco and live in San Jose, California, two relatively-old cities – for the American west. SF was founded in 1776; SJ was founded in 1777. Both were incorporated in 1850. I have recently returned from an Everwise business trip to run a Mentoring Design Workshop in Brasilia (Brazil).  Brasilia was founded in 1960 and had a population of 2.8 million in 2013. A few years ago, I worked for Huawei in Shenzhen (China).  Shenzhen was founded in 1979 and had a population of 10.4 million in 2010.

Besides being new cities, Brasilia and Shenzhen have in common that their quick creation is associated with a great leader. I was last in Shenzhen in 2010, the 30th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. During that time, there was much honoring of Deng Xiaoping. Deng lead China 1978-1992. In Brasilia, we stayed at the Kubitschek Plaza hotel – whose name honors Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, Brazil’s President 1956-1961.

Both Brasilia and Shenzhen are still in a skeletal stage of civic development. That is, I saw big buildings and well-developed districts like good bones providing form and identity but also large areas of open land that were marked with actual or virtual/mental “Under Development” signs.

My son and son-in-law like to play the virtual land development game Minecraft together. Minecraft in multi-player survival mode has the concept of identification/ownership “waypoints” to mark areas someone plans to build on – even if nothing is there now. I think Brasilia and Shenzhen are full of waypoints where development is under long-term consideration. It will be fascinating to watch the flesh of mature cities grow up over the coming decades around their lovely young bones.



Images Copyright Katy Dickinson 2010-2014

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Long Time Lady Friends


Theresa Halula and I have been friends since our early twenties – some time ago (ahem). We worked together at Sun Microsystems and our kids have grown up together. We are both dedicated gardeners – and Theresa has a second (third?) career as a certified horticulturalist. It was a delight for Theresa, Dan, Thomas, and Clara to be part of my son Paul’s college graduation celebration this weekend.


Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher

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Paul’s Graduation


My son Paul has graduated from Foothill College! Hooray! We are so proud!

On Friday evening, he walked with his fellow Studio Art graduates, then we celebrated with a wonderful late dinner at Sienna Bistro in Willow Glen. On Saturday, Paul enjoyed a day of video and board games and BarBQ with friends and family at home. Paul starts his studies again in August at San Jose State University where he wants to earn a degree in studio art with a teaching credential.




Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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