Casper's best friend Kadin couldn't make it to Casper's birthday, and we made up for that with a sleepover. During which the boys colored their hair with Henna.

Hair dyeing with Henna.

Soon after, Casper had to stay in bed for a couple days weathering a flue.

Casper sick in bed. Not fun. Made tolerable with a laptop and a snack.

At school, Casper and his classmates performed Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver for the parents during a get together to celebrate the beginning of spring.

Pioneer Academy students perform Take Me Home Country Roads.

Later that month we had a Parent/Child/Teacher conference where Casper walked us through his teacher evaluations. Once again, Casper made us proud parents. Way to go, Casper!

Casper's basketball skills continue to develop too. His shots at the hoop are getting better.

Casper's hoop shot during practice at the Santa Cruz Boys and Girls Club.

We attended a Pacific Collegiate School (PCS) lottery meeting at the end of February in order to enter the lottery. Casper's current school, Pioneer Academy, is closing next year and we're hoping he can get in to PCS. 🤞

🗑 Illegal dumping

Why someone would dump trash in a creek is beyond me. One morning, I found a poof, a mattress and a muffler off the side of the road. Immediately snapped some pictures and reported it to the county with the My Santa Cruz County app. A few days later, county workers has cleared the trash. This system works well. Issues I've reported have been handled promptly. Kudos!

Illegal trash dumping in our creek

♻️ Clean up

There was plenty to clean up on our property. A few Cypress branches snapped in the recent storms and fell onto our deer fence, damaging the gate. Fortunately, the gate's latch broke off protecting the gate from more extensive damage. I could repair the damage to the gate easily.

Fallen Cypress tree branches damaged our gate

Our mailbox threatened to fall over in the wet soil. The post is in the middle of a gutter which means that the soil around the post is saturated in the winter. I secured the post with some cement.

Securing the mailbox in place

The bottom strip on the right rear door of the Subaru kept popping out. Time to clean that up by gluing it in place.

And lastly, we sold the futon on Craigslist to make room for an upgrade.

📸 Photo management

I worked on several photo projects in February:

  • I backed all of my dad's photos on Flickr up to STACK storage. Flickr had announced that:

    Free accounts will soon be limited to 1,000 photos or videos. Flickr isn't Flickr without the contributions and participation of our free members, and we remain committed to a vibrant, free offering.

    And I didn't want to put my dad's photo legacy at risk.
  • Moved Tatyanna's Flickr photos to Google Photos to bring all her photos together in a single location.
  • Migrated Tatyanna's photos from her MacBook to Google Photos to free up space on the laptop's drive.
  • Started scanning my slides from the early '90s. A slow process as each slide takes several minutes.

⌚ Lost Fitbit

Within a month, I lost my new Fitbit. Like before, I lost the Fitbit on the Boys and Girls Club parking lot where I get on the shuttle to work. Never felt the watch falling of my wrist. By the time I noticed that the Fitbit was gone, I was in the bus riding to work. No remains of a Fitbit upon my return that evening. And no one had brought it to lost and found of the Boys and Girls Club.

I think the Fitbit came off when the tracker got stuck behind the backpack shoulder strap as I put my arm through. Perhaps I didn't properly clip the strap to the tracker. Perhaps the clip has an issue like the Charge 2. Tried to argue the latter, but Fitbit would not replace the lost Charge 3. Sad I lost it so soon. We'll see how long I can hold out replacing it.

🔨 DIY

We got one step closer to a working gate opener. I plumbed the post the gate swings from. Though set in concrete, the weight of the gate had pulled the post out of plumb. I straightened it out and poured ample concrete around the existing concrete so it will not sag again.

Plumbing the gatepost

To better protect the indoor Nest cam on top of the gatepost, I started building a housing for it. Thus far, I'd protected it with an upside down can with a hole in it. It was a fun little project. Build from scraps in the workshop.

Building housing for the Nest cam at the gate

Our kitchen floor gets the most foot traffic in our home by far. We put oak hardwood flooring in when we bought the house in 2006. By now, the kitchen floor has bare spots that turned a horrible gray color. Time to refinish the kitchen floor!

Refinishing the kitchen floor

We love this Oak butcher block, made by Ron, but it is also heavy, making it harder to move. At times we move the butcher block to accommodate the extended kitchen table. We have to extend the table when we have guests over to give everyone a seat at the table.

So I gave it 4 locking casters and shortened the legs by the height of the casters to keep the work surface at the same height (flush with the adjacent counter). The butcher block now rolls out of the way effortlessly.

🐅 Land of the Jaguars: Wild Wetlands of South America

After years of living in Santa Cruz, I finally attended a presentation by Frans Lanting, a much more famous fellow Dutch countryman living in Santa Cruz. Frans Lanting presented Land of the Jaguars: Wild Wetlands of South America with his partner Chris Eckstrom at the Rio Theater.

Land of the Jaguars: Wild Wetlands of South America. Copyright: Frans Lanting.

Beautifull images from Fans Lanting, as always. But I found the presentation less impressive. Not as immersive as the images. Still made for a lovely date night though.