Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

24Aug/200

To the castle!

I always used to joke that half the reason I wanted to have kids was so that I could go to the Lego store without feeling like quite such an old weirdo. 😌 Happily, the boys provided many years of Legonic enjoyment.

During the pandemic Hen has really applied himself to the task of "restoring your childhood," as he puts it. In addition to reconstructing some of my old train & boat sets, he's lately turned to one of my all-time favorite sets, the King's Castle from circa 1984. I have such strong, fond memories of asking for it at Christmas, thinking (based on box size as the pile of presents was dwindling) that I hadn't gotten it, and then GOING OUT OF MY MIND upon realizing that it was to be mine after all.

Check out this set of photos that Henry captured on his own, especially to show off to our cousin Tony (for whom he also narrated a private tour).

In recent days, Hen & our neighbor Nathan have also discovered a shared love of Legos & making stop-motion films. Check out how they put the new-old castle & knights to use this weekend:

1Aug/200

Road Trip Day 12: Wigginrafting

Figuring we'd make it three-for-three on aquatic fun, the guys and I (minus Mom & Seamus) headed to Buena Vista with the Wiggii to take on our old favorite rafting spot, Brown's Canyon (see semi-infamous 2016 outing 😛). While the moms biked on their own & the dogs held down their respective forts, the rest of us plowed right down the rapids, to everyone's delight—and we even had a guide named Margo! (We'll forgive the lack of "t.")

Check out our gallery (featuring clips of Finn & Cyrus plunging off the raft into the not-so-icy waves) plus the video below:

26Jul/200

Road Trip Day 2 Revisited: Tehachapi Loop

As noted in a previous post, our second day on the road provided Henry with one of his best "railfanning" experiences ever as we encountered an enormous train chugging its way up and over the Tehachapi Loop. Here's the video he shot that day, showing the train as first we trailed it, then watched it from a scenic overlook, trailed it again from the highway, and finally saw it up close coming through the town of Tehachapi. Enjoy!

12Jul/200

Road Trip Day 4: Cliffside Metropolis

One of my favorite childhood memories is that of taking the Amtrak out to Santa Fe, NM, with my parents & cousin Andy Stegman, and a particular highlight was visiting the cliffside dwellings of the indigenous people who'd dwelled in the area. Heading through the Southwest this year, we knew we'd like to introduce the boys to this culture if we could. Happily, Margot knew about Mesa Verde in Colorado.

In this year of Covid & quarantine, it's not possible to enter the buildings, but we still loved taking in the park's beauty as we drove among various overlooks from which we could view cliffside dwellings & poke into various excavated pits.

Check out a gallery from our visit.

And, because I can't resist such things, here's a crazy little fly-around I did showing Hen & me overlooking the dwellings:

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A quick spin around Mesa Verde

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1Jun/200

Beehive Bilingue

One of Henry's final assignments for the year was his 5th Grade State Report - which included research, a written report, and a very small "parade float" showcasing the information he learned about the state. Of course, our man chose his favorite state, Utah, meeting point of the Transcontinental Railroad. And, because he is in the bilingual program, all of his material was written and delivered in Spanish.

You'll see that he included a railroad car and tracks on top of his float, commemorating the link up of the Transcontinental Railroad, as well things like the state flag, seal, and information about wildlife and interesting Utah natives (including Butch Cassidy!).

Here's the video we recorded and turned in along with the written report.

24May/200

The Goooooooolden Gate Bridge

As we crossed the Golden Gate en route to Petaluma last weekend, my copilot Finn was game to stick my 360º camera out the window of the Westy. I inadvertently set the cam to time-lapse mode, but as luck would have it the results loop perfectly. Check it out!

9May/200

¡Mijo Bilingue!

Much like his big bro did a year earlier, Henry has been dutifully chugging along towards getting his 5th Grade Seal Of Biliteracy. Sadly, with all the quarantine-induced chaos this year, it seemed that that the program would be cancelled. Not to worry, though: Mom-O stepped right up and made Hen a great certificate to enjoy—and later the school reversed itself & said that the'd be giving out the awards after all!

Check out our hijo bilingue showing off his skills!

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! 😌