Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

31Oct/180

Horzing Around

Lately we’ve been trying to get our screen-obsessed lads out from behind their devices & out of the house. If we can’t quite pry them off the screens, we can at least get them outside & onto the other side of the device.

Behold the weird tales of “Horz” and his associates “Gophie” and “Doggo” (“a couple of nose-picking morons he found online,” Finn informs me) featuring the acting & filmmaking talents of our dudes plus neighbors Henry D & Sadie. Behold the magic below—and soon you’ll have as little idea what’s going on as we do. 🤷🏻 ♂️😌

27Oct/180

Best night ever? 🚂

Lately Hen has quite reasonably bemoaned the fact that few kids share his passion for old cars, coins, and trains. Well, I told him, in a city of nearly a million souls, we must be able to find your people somewhere, right? And so we have!

Last night we dropped in on Silicon Valley Lines, the local model railroad club that turns out to be located just a mile or so from our house. All the guys we met (including a German Googler named Bernard, who spent ages letting Hen drive a train) couldn’t have been nicer, and of course I needed a crowbar to pry our man out of there—even after two hours. And today he’s raring to go back, hoping to meet another kid who might be dropping by.

“On a scale of 1 to 10,” says Henry, “I’d rate it a billion.” ☺️ Check out a little gallery plus this vid of our budding engineer in action:

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23Oct/180

Niles Canyon 2018

On Sunday we took our budding engineer & his long-suffering (but not excessively suffering :-)) big brother up to the Niles Canyon Railway for an afternoon of riding the rails and—in Dad-O’s case—flying over them. In addition to the gallery of photos we snapped (featuring Hen mugging with innumerable old cars), you can check out this little installment of Henry Nack Model Train Central…

…as well as some Johnny Cash-flavored touring from the air…

…and a 360º panorama from above.

All in all, a solid outing!

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16Oct/181

Postin’ from the Pool

Not content (finally!) just to sit & watch YouTube, both of the dudes are becoming rather avid creators. The last few nights have seen the lads filming up a storm with Henry D. & his sister Sadie (stay tuned for that horse-mask-clad craziness 😌), and meanwhile Hen has turned from posting about trains & currency (see previous) to posting from the pool in Cabo. (His mortification at the sound of his own voice reminds me of when I got a tape recorder at age 5 or so from my Aunt Dolores. I told him that we all hate our voices. 🤷‍♂️)

10Oct/180

Farm boys, now & then

Our flight from Cabo gave me a chance at last to edit some photos & vids from our August trip to Galena. The dudes loved visiting our friend Tom’s farm—driving tractors and scaling silos (file that one under “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”!). Tom’s brother Jerry was a great host, while Maria & Bert (the Buffalo) were good-natured passengers.

Check out a gallery from the day (including vertiginous 360º shot from atop the silo!) and watch the budding “Uber drivers” in action:

I love comparing this to how the dudes looked while visiting the farm with Uncle Ted back in 2011...

…and in 2014 (when they made “corn angels” in the silo):

Lastly, here’s a 360º overhead shot of the farm that you can click & drag:

26Sep/180

Here Come The Irish! ☘️

A couple of weeks ago my teammate Buck’s wedding gave us a perfect excuse to visit South Bend with the whole fam. We got to explore campus (including my old dorm) ahead of the Vanderbilt game; grab lunch at the Morris Inn; and attend Mass on Sunday morning. The guys got some new perspective looking up from under the Golden Dome, and we enjoyed watching the marching band step off en route to the stadium. Check out the little gallery from our days on campus.

25Sep/180

¡Una Gran Tormenta!

Ay, Dios Mío—meteorologist Finn is here to warn us of a giant inbound storm, español! Aaaaah!!

6Sep/180

Riders In The Sky

On Monday evening the dudes accompanied me to my friend Luke’s ultra scenic abode, which features a mile-long mountain biking trail and a pretty nifty pool. Here’s a taste of the two-wheeled & aquatic mayhem we got into:

4Sep/180

Midnight Train to Big G

Driving back into Galena the night of my birthday, Hen was thrilled to keep the top down on the MZ—but that was nothing compared to his reaction when, from the highway, we heard the rumble of a distant freight train. I immediately turned off the road and made a beeline down the hill, whipping out my phone on the way. Check out our close encounter with the iron horse. 🚂☺️

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30Jul/180

Rawhide!!

We had a ball (as usual) dropping in on our friends Matthias & Samantha at their newly expanded farm this past Saturday. Highlights included milking the new goat, meeting the bulls, riding on the four wheeler, and checking out “Henry’s” tractors (abandoned farm equipment that Hen now officially “owns" but thankfully can’t move back to our place!).

Check out this vid from the day, featuring the Rawhide performance from one of the boys' favorite movies, Blues Brothers:

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26Jul/180

Railroad men, young & old

These days (evenings, specifically) G-Man is fond of asking that we grab our bikes, hit the streets, and head out for some quality trainspotting. His friend Damien, whose grandma's backyard abuts the tracks, has suggested that she build a rooftop deck just so that Hen can come over & watch the iron horses go by. 😌 Last night we took my drone with us & were rewarded with a great moment!

From a bit earlier, here's an unplanned abstract shot of Mini-Me & Me awaiting the train:

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And ultimately we were rewarded with a wave from the Caltrain engineer:

16Jul/180

Bricks By The Bay 2018

As we’ve done a couple of past years, on Sunday we made the pilgrimage to Bricks By The Bay, a ginormous gathering of fellow Lego nerds & their bonkers creations. The dudes were happy to score a few vintage bricks to take home—and Henry even found a set of tiny Lego currency! 🤑 Here’s a quick tour of some of what we saw.

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5Jul/180

Happy Birthday, America!

Greetings from 10,000ft.! As we’ve gotten to do in many past years, we checked in on America’s highest Fourth of July parade—this year complete with vintage fire trucks, marching lions, hailstorms of thrown candy, and more. Afterwards Henry went BERSERK over his new metal detector (more on that later!) and the whole fam journeyed to a nearby campground to picnic. Here’s a little gallery & some quick video highlights:

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4Jul/180

Riding the Rockies!

We’ve taken the boys on the Leadville & Colorado Southern scenic railroad a number of times since they were teeny. This year’s ride was more special than the rest. Grandpa Liggett treated each guy to a trip that included riding in the caboose and in the engine! Needless to say, Henry was beside himself with excitement, and Finn was pretty jazzed, too. The engine pushes the train up the mountains from behind, so the caboose is in the lead on the way up. The boys loved sitting high in the cupola and enjoyed the 360-degree scenic view from the top. The brakeman, Jason, let us ride on the outer deck of the caboose and take in the scenery from there.

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When the train made a brief stop at the top, Henry hopped off solo (against the advice of the brakeman) in hopes of finding a stray railroad spike. Just as Henry found one and put his foot back on the step of the caboose, the horn blew and the train started rolling again! On the way back down to the depot all four of us sat in the huge diesel engine and chatted extensively with the railroad owner & engineer, Derek, who’s been manning the controls since he was a teenager (supervised by his own dad back in the day). All in all the day was a blast, and one we hope will provide some happy core memories for both guys.

Here’s a gallery from the adventure, and you can watch the highlights below:

Being a nostalgic guy, I can’t resist posting a vid of the first time the lads rode the train, all the way back in 2011:

That’s the day they got to explore a whole fleet of motorcars with Patrick & Charlie; see gallery & video here:

30Jun/180

Buffalo nickels, won’t you come out tonight…

We’ve always known that on some level, Henry’s always been something of a 65-year-old man 😌. Therefore it’s no surprise that he loved spending the afternoon in the company of such guys, nerding out about all things currency at the Modesto Coin Show. Sticking out so clearly from most of the attendees, Hen was kind of charming & fascinating to them, and folks treated him so kindly, offering all kinds of little goodies. Below you can see the short “haul vid” he recorded after we got home, as well as a handful a photos I snapped during the show.

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26May/180

Take Your Kids To Work Day 2018

From our first outing in 2015 through installments in 2016 and 2017, Google’s annual Take Your Kids To Work Day has provided unique adventures each time. This year both guys joined me and enjoyed a parrot show, performed some ostensibly scientific explorations with slime, tried their hand at drawing Google Doodles, grabbed stickers & Android figurines at the company store, and wrapped up with hot dogs at The Sports Page. Here’s a quick peek at our day:

22May/180

A Van Down By The River

Chris Farley was a prophet. 🚐💦😝 Check out a few sights captured around our campsite last weekend.

24Apr/181

Best. Night. Ever?

With Mom-O off to NYC & Finn tucked firmly into a Harry Potter adventure, Henry proposed that he & I set off for a little bike adventure last night. To his absolute delight, we were treated to not one, not two, but THREE trains barreling past in quick succession. Watch this and tell me: Happy kid, or happiest kid? 🙂

21Apr/180

G-Man Ahoy — Port of Call: Point Reyes

During last week’s Westy excursion, Hen & I explored the famous (and now sadly half-burnt) Point Reyes shipwreck while Mom-O & Finn read in the van. Hen was eager to keep hopping over the little creek & scrambling around (as you can see in last week’s gallery) and watching windsurfers, while I happily tried my hand at capturing him & the boat from above. Check out the resulting short vid:

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29Mar/180

The Pearly Whites Emerge!

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The time has come! Our man Henry got his braces off after 15 months. He was a complete orthodontic champ for the entire duration of brace-wearing. He was always on top of wearing the required rubber bands, and he never complained about tooth or mouth pain - kind of miraculous for our little grump! He was pretty nervous about how painful it might be to get them removed, and also anticipating how weird it would feel to not have them on his teeth anymore!

Happily the removal was no big deal, and he is getting used to having more room in his mouth and beautifully-aligned pearly whites. To celebrate the braces' removal, we gave Henry two more of his dad's old Lionel train cars - a flatbed and a crane car, so he was immediately off to the basement to add them to his rig!