Friday, March 23, 2007

Cold Season

Well, we thought we’d mostly escaped, but apparently the little virus floating around had other plans. Grrr. In honor of Andy’s 34th birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY!) Heather is in bed with a fever. On the plus side, Andy gets to spend the day playing with his favorite little girl (“I’m not a yittle girl, I’m a BIG girl”). On the minus side, It’s doubtful we’ll be able to take Cousin Geetha up on her offer to stay with Elise tonight while we head out on the town for a birthday dinner. Bummer. We’ll do our best to send Geetha back to New Zealand without this cold, we promise!

(The picture above was taken along the Pacific Coast Highway. Kinda pretty, eh?)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Back on March 6 we posted an entry about our experience modeling for a photography workshop. Today, we received a CD with a whopping thirty pictures to do with as we will. We are mightily impressed. And yes, Elise’s eyes are really that blue. Click on the link to the “Modeling” page and enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shiny but Stupid

In our defense, we had no idea that refrigerators have been breeding with Daleks. All of the inane product warnings about not licking the wire baskets in the freezer are clearly meant to distract from the larger issue at hand.

An suspected user error led to the freezer door remaining open overnight. This is simple to fix-the food is still frozen so we’ll just empty the fancy ice maker thing, close the door, and all will be well.

Hmmm, still not getting colder, and it’s been an hour. Luckily, the landlord left us the owner’s manual, so we read that in case we’ve missed something. Ah-perhaps it needs to be unplugged for 9 minutes and then plugged back in. Okay! OOh-look, the the temperature has dropped by two degrees. Whew-we didn’t break it!

Wait a minute-it’s not getting any colder. Crap. All of the food has melted. We just went to Costco, too! Double crap. Remain calm, call refrigerator manufacturer. Whoops, wrong one. Look up manufacturer website.

“Demo Mode”?! DEMO MODE?! This is not funny. If a major appliance has a “mode” in which it is in all other ways operational except for, you know, its primary function, shouldn’t that be in the owner’s manual?!

So, to summarize, we have been vanquished by our refrigerator. After simultaneously pushing two little buttons until it beeped, our freezer is back to its normal self. Shiny, but stupid.

An Update:
We have learned that “Demo Mode” is a magical mode in which the refrigerator’s happy temperature display shows the temperature at which the interior ~should~ remain, rather than the actual temperature. After purging the freezer AND the refrigerator, we’re not entirely sure that the food we bought for breakfast will still be good by then. It’s all an adventure. In the mean time, it’s safe to say that Samsung may well make the worst refrigerator EVER.

Fun With Cousin Geetha

Heather’s cousin Geetha is visiting us from New Zealand!

This is even more exciting than it sounds. Lovely and talented gal that she is, Geetha gets to pick between Stanford and Harvard for grad school, and our loyal readers are invited to guess which one we here at Steingruebl World Enterprises prefer. California’s bizarre standardized testing for teachers necessitated this visit, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Plans for tomorrow’s sales pitch include a trip to Santa Cruz and a drive along Hwy 1. (We’re feeling very competitive-top that, Harvard.) We’ll post pictures when we have ‘em.

Happy Fenceaversary

A year ago on this date, the Schmiedesgruebls were off in London. One of the highlights of the trip was an evening spent with friends brought together by things locked to a fence. The photo above was taken at the BBC club after a tasty dinner at an Indian restaurant. (Yes, we did this all on St. Pats day, with an Irishman in our midst, no less.) Cheers, Fencefriends-here’s to another great year.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Model Model

First of all, we’d like to call your attention to the fact that on March 5th Elise was wearing shorts! Can you believe it?! We’re impressed by the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having here.

Today, Elise and Heather headed for Scotts Valley so that Elise could be a “model” for a photography workshop. This consisted of gaggles of photographers chasing kids around and through a playground to take pictures of them. This mostly worked until Elise realized that there was sand all over this playground, and found a random piece of plastic to use as a tool for digging. She ended the day absolutely filthy, but absolutely happy as well.

It was interesting to see the styles of the different photographers we met. One woman sat around and waited for shots to come to her. Another suggested different venues and wasn’t quite sure what to do when Elise wanted to just continue playing in sand. Still another had some assumptions about what little girls like which put Elise off in about 30 seconds, after which Elise mostly ignored her. That was a truly fascinating interaction to watch-who knew that a three year old can give the cold shoulder so effectively? The fourth photographer got into what Elise was doing by playing alongside and asking questions about how to join the game. She was by far the most successful in her interactions with Elise. Here’s hoping she got some of the best pictures!

Of course, the photographer Mommy liked most was the one who repeatedly commented on how beautiful Elise is. (awwwwwwww) She took pictures of Elise asleep in her carseat when we arrived and raved about her blue eyes and brown hair and the expressions on her face.

We’re headed back tomorrow for mommy/daughter portraits. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon than frolicking amongst the redwoods...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Monday, Monday

After a beautiful, sunny weekend throughout which one third of the Steingruebls had a raging cold, we’re off and running on Monday morning. Andy’s fever is mostly gone, so he’s back to work. Elise and Heather are looking forward to a bike ride in the sun with some new friends from up the street. Huzzah!

It’s hard to believe that March is already upon us. It’s also hard to believe that we’re about to head out for a bike ride wearing light jackets. Hopefully, spring is sproinging wherever you are as well.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Our First Earthquake

This evening we felt our first real California earthquake. Does that make us Real Californians now? The happy picture above is meant to reassure any jumpy family members or friends that might be worried.

According to the USGS, the quake happened pretty far from here, but it was a 4.2 so it’s interesting to know what one of those feels like from a distance. One can even subscribe to an RSS feed of the latest tectonic action.

Maybe we should get that earthquake preparedness kit together, eh?

Marching Along

Happy March, Gentle Reader! Here in San Jose it’s a little cooler than it had been, and the distant hills have snow on them. Elise is alternately happy and weepy, Andy is sick with an impressive fever and Heather pretty much just doing the mommy-taking-care-of-business thing. We’re exciting, aren’t we?

Later this month, Cousin Geetha will be flying in from New Zealand to stay with us for a few days. We hope this means she’ll be starting at Stanford this summer!
Thanks for sticking with us through this relatively dry spell. We’ll try to do something really interesting soon!