Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

19Mar/200

Our truly lucky engineer

Talk about being in the right places at the right times: Henry’s recently reaped a double windfall of great train gear needing a good home. First our fellow train club member Les (who’s moving to Wisconsin) provided Hen with a great set of buildings that he added to his existing layout:

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And then, when we were attending a club meeting, a gentleman named Mack called in from Gilroy saying that his family was moving & they needed to find a new home for their giant (8’ x 4’!) old train table. After Hen & I drove down to take a look, we rented a U-Haul and spent an entire evening getting it home. Mack & his family could not have been more gracious, and we’re thrilled to give the layout a place of honor in our garage. Check out our photo album plus this quick tour from Hen:

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27Feb/200

Hen’s Haul

On Saturday Hen & I checked out the Great Train Show in San Jose—something of an annual tradition for us. He’d been saving his money for months & months, and he was delighted to make some great buys of vintage cars & buildings. Here’s a taste he put together for his YouTube channel:

For a fun throwback, check out the tour Hen presented following the show three years ago:

23Feb/200

Gotcha Day!

What a difference a year makes! Friday marked exactly a year since we picked up Mr. Seamus Murdog Nack from the airport (video), and my how he’s grown (both literally and on us):

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We celebrated the occasion by getting him dolled up with a fresh haircut & his Christmas bandana, then serving up a delicious (and instantly consumed!) cookie:

We hope that this is just the first of many happy returns for Mr. S in our fam. Check out the whole Seamus category for some fun memories from our first year together.

27Jan/200

Dropping Some Science

It's Willow Glen Elementary Science Fair time again, so you know what that means...Time to drop some science in the backyard! Henry and his friend Esteban teamed up to do some experimentation with Mentos and Diet Coke, to see if increasing the number of Mentos dropped into the Coke would make the soda geyser higher.

Here's a little online album documenting their experimentation. We all had a ton of fun! Spoiler alert, the geysers get pretty high! We had an interesting result when we got up to 10 Mentos - the first Mento started fizzing and blew the remaining 9 Mentos completely out of the bottle!

18Jan/200

Henry vs. Aliens!

See, this is what happens when one works with a special FX ninja & a guy who has a farm on the side: combine the two for some Henry-powered hilarity! 😂🔥

@billyfx

*sees ufos once* #vfx #edits #area51 #ufo #aftereffects

♬ оригинальный звук - faceless600

12Dec/190

All Aboard The Jingle Bell Express

Awaiting Christmas Day loot is a delightful burden, but sometimes one just has to jump the gun (or is it tracks?) a bit. Mom-O found a great little HO-scale engine & cars for Henry, and we surprised him with the gift a bit early so that it could liven up our tree for the next few weeks. Check out this quick tour Hen made to celebrate its inaugural run:

6Oct/190

Henry & the ‘Vettes

G-Man & I recently enjoyed a double bonanza of vintage vehicles. While Mom-O, Finn, & Seamus were off exploring on-street chalk art in San Jose, Hen & I headed first to Los Altos to walk among 100+ Corvettes. After getting our fill, we cruised over to San Jose’s History Park to see a huge number of even older cars, ride the trolly, and even operate an old railroad hand car! Hen did his best to channel Uncle Ted’s bus-wrangling skills.

Check out our photos plus some videos of the action:

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3Oct/190

All The Young Doods

Having heard about it from a lady passing by with her poodles, we headed down to Carmel last weekend to check out the crazy Poodle Day parade—and to let Mr. Seamus ("See-muhs," according to the MC 🙄😌) strut his stuff on the cat (er, dog) walk. The event drew multi-colored pups & humans from all over the country, and we were treated to a truly rich cast of characters. Check out our photo gallery plus this view of our man in motion:

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23Sep/190

¡Meteorólogo Hen!

Much like his big bro did last year (see below), Hen stepped up to el micrófono to tell tales of meteorological mayhem. Check it out!

A quick peek behind the scenes:

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14Sep/190

Double Wings of Adventure!

As it was in ’91, so it was in ’19: Having been treated to an incredibly memorable biplane ride in Minnesota for my 16th birthday, I thought it’d be great to share the experience with Margot & the lads to celebrate my 44th. We were treated to an absolutely perfect day, and after some trepidation (saying his final goodbyes, thanking us for having had a nice life 🙄😌), even Finn joined us in flight. Our pilot Jeff (a retired Air Force tanker flyer) couldn’t have been nicer, putting everyone at ease as he took us aloft in the 80-year-old Stearman.

Check out our photos plus this video montage from the flights:

Bonus for history-loving Hen: the old WWII-era Willys Jeep remains in loyal service, and G-Man got to serve as co-pilot while it pushed the plane back to its hangar, then help tuck it in for the night.

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17Aug/190

Jet Ski Jamboree

What’s got eight arms, eight legs, and four mouths being blown into wide, windy grins? Our fam on jet skis!

During our marvelous Minnesota visit last week, we took advantage of having lakeside digs (more on all that soon!) in order to rent a pair of jet skis for the day. Though no Nacks had ridden before, we were in good hands: Maria & her brothers grew up spending summers on the lake, tearing up the waves, so she got us right in business. Before the lads could drive, she required that they pass “The Brenny Driving Test,” which consisted mainly of jumping off the vehicle & finding one’s way back aboard. From there we were off to the races, sandbar, and more.

After a couple of hours of relatively sedate motoring (in which we’d focused on not killing anyone), Maria got a little restless and asked to take the controls. “And that,” as the boys would quote a comedy bit saying,”is when the day went from good to great.” Turns out we’d had no idea what the machines are capable of, and as you can see in the video below, Maria delighted in (safely) scaring the wits out of each of us! Not pictured: her getting extra rowdy with Dad-O aboard, launching him into the lake—and then subsequently launching off both riders!

Check out our photo gallery (including delightfully wind-swept hair!), and click below to get a taste of the action.

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29Jul/190

Lowrider Hen!

“Invest in experiences, not in things,” they say, and we’ve always regarded the Westy as a catalyst to making great memories (beating the heck out of staying at some random hotel!). Our trip to Legoland delivered on that promise in spades: the campsite Margot found (an out-of-the-way vineyard) happened to feature a young guy named Max who was delighted to show us the old cars he restores & even let Henry drive his ’52 lowrider Chevy!

Check out this gallery of both dudes getting a tour—and in the vid below see Henry getting behind the wheel:

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I made a little logo to commemorate the event:

And lastly, here’s an interactive 360º panorama of the grounds, as captured via my drone:

14Jul/190

11,000ft. of Adventure!

This year’s July 4th was truly one for the history books. Having celebrated his 80th birthday zip lining with Patrick & Charlie, Grandpa Liggett figured what the heck, let’s get the whole fam involved this time. As you can see in our big photo gallery and in the vids below, our trip to Leadville’s Top Of The Rockies was a scream—quite literally. Check it out:

Figuring he’d spice things up with some friendly wagering, Finn bet me (some video game tokens vs. a nice drawing of Seamus) that he’d beat me down the lines each time. And sure he enough he was right—until the old man came from behind! Check out this Finn's-Eye View:

And from my perspective, behold The Revenge! 😌

3Jul/190

Rollin’ on the River

What a different three years makes: when last we took the boys & their cousins whitewater rafting (gallery), ol’ Hen (then not quite age 7) hunkered down in the bottom of the raft, earning the name “The Turtle” as his hat & life preserver pretty well entombed him for the whole ride. But check out a side-by-side of how he looked then (left) vs. during yesterday’s trip (right):

We had a blast zooming along the very full and fast-moving Arkansas River yesterday (128 tons of water flowing by every second!), as you can see in our photo gallery and in the vid below. Patrick & Charlie stepped up to the front this time, forming quite handy human shields while the rest of us paddled from behind. Finn was the model of quietly focused efficiency you'd expect, and Henry gave some good pulls when not being distracted by sunken park benches & whatnot.

Turn up your speakers for the vid & you’ll catch some fun dialog, including Hen’s signature mix of grousing & celebration. 😛💦

29Jun/190

‘Alo, ELO!

To celebrate Margot's birthday this year, I figured I'd spring for tickets for the two of us to see the great 70's British band ELO during their visit to San Jose. Happily, I found tickets that weren't an arm and a leg (just an arm!), so the dudes were able to join us. Nostalgic, music-loving Hen was particularly enthralled, as you can see in this quick little pastiche of moments from Monday night's adventure:

19May/190

Train Trip vol. 2: Milling Around the Museum

Following the Big Boy’s arrival, Hen & I again grabbed a bite at the Zephyr Cafe, then joined the throngs of people exploring the neighboring Utah State Railroad Museum.

Located in the city’s old Union Station, the museum is home to UP 833, the sister engine to the one accompanying the Big Boy, as well as to extensive model railroads and an old automobile museum. (Could this place be designed any better for Henry?!) Other highlights included seeing one of the train cars featured in the 2002 Olympic Torch relay as well as a car from the Golden Spike centennial 50 years ago. Hen narrated plenty of footage for his YouTube channel while wrestling his own furious (and highly verboten) desire to climb all over the engines. Oh—and the museum featured a live countdown until the Golden Spike ceremony, by then just over 22 hours away!

Check out some photos from our visit, as well as a quick video tour of the grounds. (“That kid does not know a thing about trains,” Hen remarked more than once.)

19May/190

Train Trip vol. 1: Big Boy Bash

Man, it's taken a full week for Henry & me to decompress from our trip and to just start sharing our adventures. To make things manageable, I've opted to break our epic into sections. So... here we go!

Flying into Salt Lake on Wednesday afternoon, we bumped into some fellow railfans who were already prepping their period garb for the celebrations. After landing we grabbed our car & headed up to Ogden, UT, where the famous Big Boy steam engine—the world's largest at 1.2 million pounds (!), and newly restored after years of work—was due to make its triumphant return. Hen & I found shelter from the blustery evening in the trackside Zephyr Cafe, constructed from an old railcar!

And then, the next morning—it was time. Hen was, of course, practically vibrating with excitement, and he wasn't let down. Union Pacific & the state of Utah put on quite a show—bringing in the governor & other speakers, and shutting down streets to host numerous pop-up shops. After much excited waiting, we finally saw the old gal pull in & get reunited with UP's other working steam engine, the 844. Making up with sneakiness what he lacks in height, Hen was able to make his way to near the front of the crowd to capture some shots.

Check out those images & more in our gallery!

5May/190

Hot roddin’ with Hen

G-Man might forget a thing or three, but not when it comes to vital details like when local car shows are taking place. 😌 On Friday he & I checked out San Jose show we attended last year, this time bringing along my drone. Happily he shares my interest in photography, so the two of us captured a bunch of details large & small. Here’s a little gallery from our evening out plus a 360º drone pano. (Click & drag it, mom. 🙃)

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21Apr/190

Moose of the Sea

 We spent a wonderful (if salty, sandy, and tiring) Easter Sunday enjoying the beach & giving Mr. Seamus his first taste of the sea—making him at last the long-prophesied Sea Moose. 😌 Besides play-battling other dogs & digging well into the earth’s crust, Seamus enjoyed crashing out next to our little shade tent & standing dutiful, excitable watch against marauding seagulls. Check out a little gallery of photos, plus this vid of his seaside stylings:

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10Apr/190

Hot-rodded cars & pups

We had a busy weekend with Grandma & Grandpa Nack. While Grandma braved the long lines of La Villa to score us some raviolis, Henry got up close with a beautifully hot-rodded Model T:

The next day, it was a posse of puppies that got all spun up. Check out Seamus's first puppy social: