Thursday, December 11, 2008

RKCP vs the van

Around 2 o'clock this afternoon, I got a call from a panicing, upset RKCP. She needed me to pick the kids up from school because SHE RAN OUT OF GAS.

Please, feel free to ridicule her in the comments...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Skgp was in a gymnastics meet. DH did very well and was clearly the best floor routine.
Skgp went to a fancy restaurant with her teacher for winning a reading lottery.
Ejp speaks much better Spanish than me.
I interviewed with my friend Andrew's company Proofpoint for a QA job. I should hear back this week.
Rcp is over-scheduled butthe kids and I are lucky to have her.
Skgp has a piano recital this Saturday. She has picked it up quickly.
Lots of bad news with the economy and especially real estate.
Disneyland trip on January 23.
See Skgp gymnastics videos on you tube.
I finally watched the first lord of re rings movie. It was pretty good.
Being sick stinks. Ask anyone in my family. We've had all kinds of symptoms among us.
Ejp was Boba Fett and skgp was Hannah Montana for Halloween. I had a rat on my shoulder.
Skgp passed a multiplication test three times, so now she's working on division. Great for a third grader.
Ejp calls older kids "graders". He's a kinder.
Ejp likes to collect stuff. Like trash and pencils and money. Another kid gave him a dollar for a lollipop. (not a linder, a grader)
I am a girl scout now. All finger printed and forms submitted. They say I can't wear a sash.
I have done some volunteering at skgp's school, trying to wrangle traffic.
Ejp has a ton of homewrok each week I'm both languages. It's way too much.


Ejp went over to a friend's house for the first time
Today. Apparantly he had a good time an was a good boy. His friend is James from his class.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Offense of Marriage Act

(The time for defense is over -- take it on the offensive)

Marriage shall be defined as between a man and a woman, joined until parted by death.

Defense of Language Act

Aardvark shall be defined as a large burrowing nocturnal animal.
Aba shall be defned as a course felted fabric woven of camel or goat hair.
Aback shall be defined as toward the back.

The Defense of Sandwich Act

(Wraps are not sandwiches.)

A sandwich shall be defined as ingredients between two pieces of bread.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Vids Galore

This post is probably mostly for grandparents and other family members who want minutae about the kids...

I take a lot of pictures.  I've got nearly 20,000 in my pictures folder.  Its hard to organize this many photos, but for the most part, Google's Picasa is doing a good job.  I wish I could share them all, but online sites don't make it easy to deal with that many photos.  I'm using Picasa's web site now for most (especially the "Starred Photos"), although pictures taken from my phone go to Flickr.  Both sites have RSS feeds, if you'd like to stay up-to-the-minute current.

However, neither of those sites deals with videos, which my camera also can create.  So, I've turned to YouTube (which also has an RSS feed).  I currently have almost 50 uploaded, with another 150 or so to go.  I need to label and categorize and delete some of them still, which I'm working on.  Feel free (please!) to add comments on what the videos contain to help me get the titles and such correct.

If you spend much time watching the videos, you will learn the value of the steady cam feature, which I don't have.  Sorry if I make anyone carsick -- I tend to move around a lot.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Brief History of My Grandfather

Last night on our way to Gonzales, the radio in Dad's car stopped working.  So, I learned some of my grandfather's life story.  The brief version I got goes something like this:

Born in 1897, Eric Pace was the son of a butcher in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He dropped out of school in 8th grade to help with the family business.  He would drive cattle, run meat to the city, and all the other stuff involved in meat.  Sometime in his twenties, he moved to Boston and got a job as a meat cutter for a hospital in Waltham, MA, a Boston suburb.

In the hospital's freezer, he got pneumonia, so he returned to Nova Scotia to die.  Then he got better.

Using saved money from the Boston days, he bought a grocery store in Hackett's Cove in the early 1930's, where he worked for many years, with his sister Rae helping run the business.  He was dating someone for many years, but he dumped her when my grandmother, Louise ("Grammy") Ayers, from Newfoundland came to visit her sister, Elizabeth.

Years and a couple kids later, he sold the grocery store in Hacketts Cove (6 miles from famous Peggys Cove) and bought another one in nearby Seabright.  Then, in the early 1950's, after a couple heart attacks, Eric sold that store and moved to a house on MacDonald Street in Halifax, the big city.

He got a job as a government inspector, checking immigrants to ensure they did not illegally import merchandise.  He rented out the lower part of the house.

Then, he sold that house and bought a house on Walnut Street in Halifax, where they lived at least until my father graduated college and got married in 1962.

Eric was also, at various times, an alderman and a coroner.  He did not drink or smoke, and wouldn't play cards.

He passed away in 1994, at the age of 97.

Please add comments to correct or add to this post, people who know.  Yes, this means you.
Thanks to GMP for his corrections.

Monday, September 22, 2008


A week or so ago (the day before picture day, of course), EJP was in the family room arguing with RCP.  When she asked him to do something, he ran away to escape her.  He misjudged his exit and fell into the corner of the fireplace and whacked his forehead pretty hard.

The wound has healed, but there is a noticable hole.  I think there is a good chance it is going to be there for the rest of his life.

So, E, when you are at a party some day, and someone asks you where that scar came from, you can find out here.

[As always, RCP, you are welcome to revise this post to more accurately reflect reality.  What was the fight about?, I could see future E wondering.]

EJP on bass

Ethan on bass
Originally uploaded by PaceHouse
EJP and I ended up at Uncle DMP's place after watching Return of the Jedi and having a corn dog. DMP is learning how to play bass.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Letter to Mom and Dad

September 16, 2008
Dear Mom and Dad,
I love my new school and I like it so much that I'm going to tell you about what we have done in school so far.  We have been doing a lot of cool stuff in math and writing.  The cool things that we have been doing in math are story problums and just a little moltiplacation time tables.  And the cool things that we have been doing in writing are trying to make your writing intrasting so that people will want to listen to your letter.  Well, now you know all of the exciting stuff we have done in school so far.

Talk Like A Pirate Day

It's a little late in the day for you to do anything about it, but if you aren't aware, today is Talk Like A Pirate Day.  So, to you I say, ahoy!  Arrrr!

EJP wore his Pirates of the Carribean shirt, and SKGP wore pantaloons, leather boots, a puffy shirt, a bandana, and an gold hoop earring.
Holy cow, I'm on a lot of social networks. Let's see how I like what does. (Arrr!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I heart Ken Jennings

Everyone should get hip to Ken Jennings.  He's kind of like me, but smarter, richer, and funnier, plus he watches more TV and movies that I do.  (And he's the guy who won 74 or so games of Jeopardy!)

He has a weekly trivia contest that you can sign up for.  The questions are hard, but interesting and often quirky.  From the answers to one of last week's questions:
5.  Who dated Iola Morton and Callie Shaw?  The Hardy Boys.  Did you know Iola was killed by terrorists in 1987?  No kidding.  Car bomb.  I think that officially ended my childhood.
 Check out  His blog is good. To get on the trivia mailing list, go there, select "About Ken", and scroll down to see the box on the left side.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school.  I took SKGP to her school out in the country, and RCP took EJP to his shiny new school near the house.  She's in the third grade GATE program, and he's in the Kindergarten Dual Immersion program.

They both seemed to have fine days.  SKGP knew several people in her class and at the school, and she seems to have enjoyed it.  She took a math test, and was taken down a peg by the speed of some of the other kids.  I think this will be good for her; it took me to my first calculus in college to realize that there were people much, much smarter than me around.

EJP says he likes his teacher.  I don't think he met anyone, but he seemed to know a couple kids.  He told RCP that he didn't finish his lunch because someone sat down at the table with him.  By the end of the day, he'd lost his lunch box, and missed the bus.  I believe the latter was the teacher's fault.

We took them out to dinner to celebrate their accomplishments.

Today is his first day in Spanish.

PS. We locked him out of the house for about 45 minutes last evening, because he consistently acts like a monster.  He still acted like a beast this morning.  He did get to ride the bus this morning, which he was disappointed about missing yesterday.


Our house is chirping with Ned's food.  A bunch of little crickets make a lot of noise.  But Ned sure loves to eat them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Good News

I let Garbanzo out on Sunday night, and a while later we smelled some skunkiness.  I went outside and found the cat and he hadn't been re-sprayed. Yay!

Also, I got a call from Yosemite, and they had my wedding ring.  They FedEx'd it and it got here today, and is now back safely on my finger.  Double yay!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure

I've been reading some of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from my childhood with the kids. As I'm reading them, Ive been wondering if it is possible to get to every page and if there are any interesting properties, such as loops, in them. Today, using the magic of AT&T's Graphviz, I generated digraphs of two of the books.Behold, House of Danger:
And here is Space And Beyond by R.A. Montgomery:

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Last night, Garbanzo ran outside around our bedtime. We didn't worry about it too much, as he'll come meowing to the door in a few minutes to be let back in. This time, he didn't.

Around midnight, I woke up and saw him at the door, so I let him in. I vaguely noticed a smell, but I let him in. Then the smell hit me, and I realized we had a skunk problem on our hands. I corralled Garbanzo to the laundry room, to minimize contamination and come up with a plan. I noticed he was wet when I pet him, so I grabbed some paper towels to squeegee him off.

Then the smell kept getting worse. I moved him out to the garage. Very quickly, the garage became foul. R suggested that he needed to get outside ASAP, but he was hiding under the van. I opened the side door, and open the garage opener to scare him out and to get some fresh air in there. He ran for it.

I did some other tidying up, left the garage door open, and went back to bed soon enough. Clearly, this was not a problem I could deal well with in the middle of the night.

For the rest of the night, he sat outside our bedroom and howled. And stank.

We spent this morning trying to eradicate the smell from the house. Amazing stuff, skunk spray. A little goes a long way. We are making good progress, but it still persists around the house. From his short time in the garage, both of our sealed cars became rank.

R found the Mythbusters' approved anti-stink solution, and Garbanzo was freaked out enough to let her clean him without much complaint. He smells much better, but I think he got hit in the face, and it was hard to wash there.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Ed is the last surviving tadpole. Ned didn't survive the shock of moving to the new tank, I think.

PS. It turns out that Ned survived, and Fred and Ed didn't. Title updated.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fred, Ed, and Ned

Today is EJP's birthday. He's 5 now.

Aunt E sent him a unique birthday gift that is prefect for his creature loving mind. Bull frog tadpoles. They arrived in the mail last night. E named them Fred, Ed, and Ned.

Unfortunately, Fred didn't survive the night.

RCP has now bought supplies, such as a tank and food, and is putting together their environment now, in hopes of saving Ed and Ned. If all goes well, we'll have a couple bull frogs for a couple years.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Gilroy Unified School District has a couple programs to be proud of. One is the Dual Immersion program at Las Animas Elementary, which over the course of 5 years, teaches both English and Spanish. We are very excited that EJP will be one of the participants in the fall as a kindergartener.

Another program is the GATE program at Rucker Elementary. This is a 3 year program that focuses on challenging the best students to learn more depth and better study skills than the traditional education. We had hoped that SKGP would be a part of the program, but she was denied. However, we have a chance to appeal the decision. Basically, they want to know why they should re-look at their decision.

It occurred to me that with the help of my very smart, well spoken readers, we could write the best darn appeal they've ever seen. If you'd like to help, I've created a Google Doc, and spent 3 minutes writing some thoughts. You should be able to edit it by clicking on:

(Let me know if that doesn't work!)

Friday, May 30, 2008

That's our bee

Articulate Solutions received three top honors at the 2008 Communicator Awards


GILROY, CA, May 28, 2008 – Gilroy's distinguished marketing and design firm, Articulate Solutions, is proud to announce it has received three top honors at the 2008 Communicator Awards, the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. The awards competition, now in its 14th year, is sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an exclusive organization of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, advertising and marketing firms.

"Receiving these awards is a true testimony to the level of work my team strives to achieve every day with each client," said Articulate Solutions creative director Katherine Filice.

From an incredible pool of more than 8,500 entries, Articulate Solutions scored two prestigious Communicator Awards of Excellence, for its Rancho Abeja logo for local developer Wellington Corporation, and for its book cover design for Tarawa's Gravediggers. The company also took home an Award of Distinction for the City of Morgan Hill's recycling program illustrations.

Tawara's Gravediggers Book Cover

Tarawa's Gravediggers author William L. Niven commented, "I have been unexpectedly honored to have associated with such a fine firm as Articulate Solutions. Their contribution to the creation of my book has been significant and profound."

Rancho Abeja logo

"With the Rancho Abeja mark, the team at Articulate Solutions has brought together a concept which combines the worlds of corporate branding and intricate design in an aesthetically arresting way," said David Pace, Director of Acquisitions & Sales for Wellington Corporation. "Congratulations to Katherine Filice and the talented members of her team by earning yet another design award for their marketing efforts on behalf of the Wellington Corporation."

For more information on the Communicator Awards, visit

About Articulate Solutions

Articulate Solutions Inc. has helped businesses successfully develop effective communication and design strategies since 1991. Helmed by Filice, the firm has garnered numerous awards including gold medal honors at the International Davey Awards and the Summit International Awards for its creative accomplishments. Whether it is a strategically planned communications campaign or a simple brochure design, the award-winning team at Articulate Solutions will make sure your creative work, works for you.

To obtain information on the services provided by Articulate Solutions, visit or contact Katherine Filice at (408) 852-3510 or

Performance Art

Thursday, May 29, 2008


We got the letter from the school district yesterday. EJP has made it into the Dual Immersion program. Hooray! So, for the next 5+ years, half of everything he does will be in Spanish. Reading, math, social studies, PE (a joke, I think.). The program has teachers that only speak each language to the kids (and parents).

Luckily for him, RCP has picked up some conversational Spanish in her career. If he just relied on me for help, he'd be in deep trouble.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Tonight we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's still a great movie, and I think the kids mostly enjoyed it. However, I expect that EJP is going to be completely freaked out tonight. The melting Nazis got to him, just like they did for many of us a generation ago.

Last weekend, EJP and I watched Spiderman. He really enjoyed it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm in the paper

Dave Randall, City of Madera director of planning, left, answers questions from residents Jeanie Carigan and Marion Kerswell as developer James Pace looks on at the General Plan update meeting Monday.
Photo by: D.J. Becker / The Madera Tribune

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Even More Pictures of Seattle

Hmm... Picasa isn't letting me post a bunch of pix at once. So here are some more pictures. This is two coffee shops in the same block.

Look, the Space Needle.

Pace t-shirts.

The Science Fiction Museum building is neat-o looking.
Posted by Picasa

More Seattle Pictures

Posted by Picasa

Weekend in Seattle

Two weeks ago, RCP and I took a weekend jaunt to Seattle without the kids. We chose Seattle since we could use a free Southwest airlines pass. We walked around a lot. We went to the Science Fiction Museum (next to the Space Needle), and it was cool. We went to Pike's Market. We went to see the band the Presidents of the United States of America, which was fun. And the Seattle Library is incredible.
Posted by Picasa

The Open Space


Andrew and I went hiking in the open space behind my house last weekend. We climbed from about 400' to about 1800' in two hours, encountered an enormous amount of poison oak, and had a great time. There were no real trails, so it was fun to trailblaze. If there had been no fog, we might have been able to see the ocean from the top. Instead, we scared some cows.
Posted by Picasa

Nice Boy


"Dad, I love you."

He made similar signs for SKGP and RCP.
Posted by Picasa

Math Whiz

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Boy

I just got a text message:

[The] Boy found [his] pocket knife... and slashed his thumb. Waiting to have it looked at. Don't freak out, he'll be fine.

Status update: He's getting 3 stitches.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Last weekend, we took the kids to experience snow for the first time. RCP booked a "cabin" in Curry Village (with heater!), and I scoured the South Bay to find snow chains that fit the Hyundai. We got in the car on Saturday morning, put in an audio book of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and off we went. We had some good burgers in Mariposa, and reached Yosemite mid-afternoon.

We lugged our bags to the cabin, and put on our "snow clothes." We ran around in the snow and threw a few snowballs. We took the shuttle around the park, visited the Ahwanee, and eventually had dinner near the Yosemite Lodge. Unfortunately, sometime on the excursion, my wedding ring fell off, and disappeared. (DAMNIT! -- That was the new one!)

Since our cabin had no bathroom, we were disappointed when SKGP had to go in the middle of the night. All in all, it was a pretty restless sleep, but not too bad.

The next morning, we suited up, got some hot coco and breakfast, and played in the snow. We made a snowman, we had a snowball fight, we made snow angels, and we admired the incredible beauty all around. Yosemite in white is amazing.

Then we packed up and drove home with little trouble. We had lunch in downtown Merced.

I was very nervous about driving in snow, since I have no experience with it. And I wasn't certain I could figure out how to put on the chains if I needed to. Luckily, apart from the lake that formed in the parking lot, there were no troubles with driving, and I didn't have to deal with the chains. It appears that I broke a thermometer in the car, since it now says the temperature is 140 degrees outside.

Pictures of our expedition are available.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Year of the Rat

We got a rat. She's cute.

We're looking for a name; your suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chance of a lifetime

From an auction booklet...

San Francisco Bay. 2.2 acres. OWN A PIECE OF THE BAY! This underwater parcel consists of 20 lots just off the coast in San Francisco Bay! The property is located near Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Candlestick Park. The property is approximately 100 feet from the shoreline. This historic area is being redeveloped into possible new sports venue, retails space and housing units. They bay area provides many opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, water sports, and private fishing. The possibilities are endless. Contract County Planning for permitted uses and bid accordingly. This property lacks road access.

Starting bid $500.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

JEP, Mechanic

I successfully changed the windshield wipers on the van this morning.

We bought the blades at Costco yesterday, so I think this job saved us a bunch of money. It was harder than you'd think -- I had to try to figure out the geometry of the slots and tabs. The internet saved me (again).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pineapple Rings

The other night at dinner, we had pineapple rings as our side vegetable(?). When EJP opened the can, he remembered about eating pineapple rings at the hotel. Pineapple rings were often the best thing available for dinner.

That was 3 years ago, making EJP 1.5 at the time. That's a pretty impressive memory.

Dream about jaking

Another dream. This one was complicated. But one of the the interesting parts was when I ran into my friend Andrew. He told me that he was changing one class for another, and he was really excited about this other computer class that he would know be taking.

I looked at him and told him that he was "Jaking on me." He instantly knew what I meant...

Our freshman year of college, Andrew, Jake, and I were all in the same program. The three of us sat together in the back of the various classes, and often weren't the most attentive students in lecture. In fact, Andrew and Jake met when Andrew noticed that Jake was the only person who slept more than him in class. (Don't get the impression that we were complete losers. Jake would finish any test at least 10 minutes before anyone else, and always got good grades. Most of you know how Andrew and I turned out.)

Then one day, in our junior year, Jake started to pay attention during our Electricity and Magnetism class. He stopped reading the newspaper, bought a 4 color clicky pen and took copious multi-colored notes, and sat in the front of the class. He went on to become a very good radio engineer. Something pretty early in that class grabbed him.

If I recall correctly, the non-dream Andrew jaked when he took the Computer Architecture class, which he followed up with the graduate level course.

I don't know if I ever jaked. Perhaps in the OS class, or working at Tandem. I know at some point I became a filesystem geek and a Unix afficianado.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It is Girl Scout Cookie time. SKGP is happily pushing her wares on everyone. She is doing pretty well; Uncle DMP have her some sales tips.

If you want any cookies, let me know. (Yummy yummy thin mints!)

Bet On It!

I was driving EJP home from Morgan Hill to Gilroy the other night, when the Girl Scouts went to see the Harlem Globetrotters, and he made us listen to the song Bet On It from the High School Musical II soundtrack the entire way home. We easily heard it 7 times.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tooth Fairy

SKGP lost her upper left next-to-the-front tooth today at church. That's her fifth.

Saturday, January 5, 2008