Wednesday, February 28, 2007

By Hand

Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.
–Hayao Miyazaki

Especially when using the computer. That's basically what I learned from my ingenious substitute teachers, Luong Tam and Toshie Neely, this week. Luong almost started crying when he found out that our professor had been teaching us to use Script Assist. Thank you Luong and Toshie, for opening up a whole new world for me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fun With Catalog Card Generator

You can make your own card here!

Winners, Claim Your Prizes

1. four official Dogbark coasters
2. four greeting cards (1 love card; 3 birthday cards) by the magnificent Marti McGinnis
3. Stained Glass coloring book including 12 markers & two windows by Linda Davick, famous artist
4. Sink strainer

There were 2 lucky prize winners instead of one. Congratuations! Marie chimed in first with "PURPLE." But Christer was a little more astute in his observation of the color, which he proclaimed to be "lilac."

So whoever gets here first gets first choice (leave a comment and let me know which prize to send you); whoever gets here second gets second choice.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Tom is right. This might look a little funny to his clients who slink through my studio on the way to the bathroom.

I was getting behind on my Under-$10-a-Bottle Wine Reviews and had resorted to scribbling notes directly on the labels. Then setting the bottles next to my computer so I would remember to write about them. But after a while I stopped seeing the bottles altogether.

When Tom and Spots (and Scott) set out on another wine shopping expedition yesterday, I knew the time had come to finish up reviewing the first case. Below are four mini-reviews:

1. Calderona Tinto Roble 04: Smooth
2. Dow Vale Do Bonfim 04: Gulped it down w/out tasting
3. Black Wing Shiraz 04: a favorite
4. Lyeth Sonoma Cabernet 04: Robust*

*I've noticed that successful people use this word often. Try it out today and notice the effect it has on your career.

for example, you might say:
• "The logo you chose is robust."
• "Your new campaign has legs, but in order for it to succeed, its rollout has got to be robust."
• "Not only does your boss have legs, but she is very robust." (don't really try this one.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Weirdo Disorder: A Remedy

Linda Davick (as if I really care)
Why are some days so weird in every single conceivable way? And then suddenly you find yourself–a perfectly normal person–turning into a gelatinous mass of weirdness?
Going for a walk helped, and running into Anne. And then practically plowing into Scott and Spots as it got dark.
But it was rediscovering Quasi at the Quackadero on YouTube that saved the day. Thank you, Katy. Watching it will make anyone feel healthy and well-adjusted.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What I Learned In School Today

"What did you learn in school today?"
How many times did I hear that when I was a kid?
And how many thousands of times did I answer (absolutely flat tone of voice):
Today when I was driving to class, I was crazed with excitement. I never felt this way about school before. Maybe you should be required to wait til you're 50–or at least 40–to be allowed to go to college.

Did I just hear you ask me what I learned in school today?
"The beginnings of a drop down menu!!!!!!!!!"
Here it is, in case you want to see it. Did you see it? Do you want to see it again? Go ahead. If you want to come back later and look at it again, it's OK. You can look at it again tomorrow, too.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Linda Davick
From the Coastal Trail this evening. It was getting dark and my flash went off.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blustery Evening

Linda Davick
It was the most beautiful day in history. After lunch I joined Tom on the back deck. He eats lunch outside. I can't bear to eat outside. But I actually fell asleep out there–I experienced siesta.

Late this afternoon when we went for a walk, it was clear and sunny. The beach was crowded. When we turned around to head back home, the weather turned too. The fog came in on the wind and the temperature dropped. Everyone fled to the hills except for a few hardcore beach bums. (You know who you are.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Photo Booth

photo by Lawrence's
MacBook Pro

From: Lawrence
Subject: macbook
Date: February 15, 2007 11:47:33 AM PST

hi linda

well, the department finally got the macbook pro recently so this weekend i was going to borrow it to familiarize myself with the operating system. are you going to be around on friday anytime so i can show it to you and maybe you could give some direction?

From: linda
Subject: macbook
Date: February 15, 2007 11:53:42 AM PST

Sure! I should be here after 2:00--I'd love to see it!

From: lawrence
Subject: macbook
Date: February 15, 2007 12:02:03 PM PST


i will call in advance of coming over.
it really looks elegant and from what i hear, very powerful.
i really want to be able to utilize its capability.

thanks again and regards,

After today, Lawrence will be able to utilize its capability to the fullest. I was able to show him not only how to use the power cord, but how to turn the computer off. Also, how to set it up so that the fortune cookie was the symbol for his account instead of the dog.

On the other hand, he introduced me to Google Earth. (God in heaven. Download it immediately.) SketchUp, too. Both are free. Also, we discovered Photo Booth as evidenced above.

I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!

Guest Writer

From: Sal
Subject: pipeline
Date: February 11, 2007 7:36:41 AM PST

Ceci n'est pas une pipe. C'est mon pal, Sal.

A story about Dad.

The techs at Dad’s nursing home would come and go. At first we tried to get to know all of them and remember their names, but then we realized that the three shifts of constantly overturning staff were simply too overwhelming. Some stayed for months, and we actually grew to love them, but many others just sort of blurred and overlapped in our minds.

There was one tech with whom I bonded early on (but who moved to another wing so that I seldom if ever saw her) and whose name I never remember (something vaguely like “Letitia” but without the L; she said no one ever remembered it correctly and so she would answer to whatever people called her). She told me the following story.

While working as a tech at the nursing home, she was studying nursing in Gallatin, and she was required to take a humanities elective, so she chose art appreciation. She was reading the textbook one night and became very frustrated over an image by Magritte, a painting of a pipe with the words below it “Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe.).” It was a sort of joke by Magritte about people wanting a picture to be an exact replication of an object when it was in fact only a representation of one and therefore was simply what it was, a painting, and not the object itself. She became quite disgusted and discouraged by this and thought, why do I have to take this stupid class?

Soon after this while at work at the nursing home she walked into Dad’s room and saw the pictures I had taped to his wall.

I had tried to find pictures that would remind him of his life and his former life; all family members and houses and cars and coworkers and friends and his pipe and his violin. In my frenzied Internet search for images of a pipe, the only good one I could find was this Magritte painting. (Dad had always smoked a pipe, and it seemed odd for him not to have one. We’d finally had to take them away from him when Mom discovered him one day trying to set his empty hand on fire with a lighter, thinking he was actually holding his pipe.) Dad seemed to enjoy looking at the pictures, and the pictures helped the employees learn all the family members’ names and gave them something to talk to him about.

So this tech walked into Dad’s room and saw this Magritte painting of the pipe on the wall, and thought it was divine revelation telling her that she was in fact in the very class she needed to be in.

I ran into her yesterday, two and a half weeks after Dad died, when I dropped something off at the nursing home. She reminded me of the story about seeing the pipe picture and said that she had decided right then that she must visit Dad often because he must have a direct pipeline to God. (I didn’t realize till I wrote this how funny her choice of words was.)

She told me what a sweetie he had been. “He was always such a sweetie,” she said. Then we both thought of those terrible sundowning moments of late-afternoon and early evening agitation, hallucinations, and combativeness that dementia patients can be so prone to. And she added, “Well, he had his moments, but always after dinner, before he fell asleep, he quieted down. I would talk to him and ask him questions about the pictures on his wall. When I got to the pictures of you and your mom, I would say to him, ‘I’ll bet you really miss them, don’t you?’ And then he would make the oddest sound, as if he were trying to say something. I always said, “I know for a fact that one of them will be coming to visit you tomorrow.” And then he would just peacefully go to sleep.”

I told her that I, too, thought he must have had a direct pipeline to God, because he took his last breaths just as the “Ave Maria” on the CD player came to its final “Amen.”

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What Not To Do On Valentine's Day

When I ask Tom what he wants for Valentine's Day there is no hesitation: Cherry pie.

Remember that old saying that carpenters use: Measure twice, cut once? It applies to pies too.

Say you're supposed to double the crust recipe so you can create a delicate basket weave on top of the pie. You'll need 3 cups of flour instead of 1 1/2. You look over your client's e-mail to make sure you didn't miss anything. She's really going to try to make the toy awards deadline? Oh God! The cup won't fit into the bag of flour, so you decide to use the smaller 1/2-cup cup to measure out the flour. You wonder why your application wouldn't work in class, and you prop your notebook on top of the cookbook. Maybe you simply forgot the save the file before you started? For some reason the crust mixture turns out a lot gummier than it should. You realize that you've measured out 3 scoops instead of 6. You still have 20 minutes before you have to leave for class.

You start over with the crust. There isn't enough butter. The dough is a bit dry. But you mold it into 2 balls and put it in the fridge, certain that it will congeal by the time you get back from class.

After class you're back in the kitchen reading the instructions that your sister e-mailed for the filling. Suddenly you get to a line that says: I felt miffed when Mom told me after years of making this pie that the original recipe was for a 8" pie. Nowadays I often use two cans of cherries but I don't really double the sugar or anything. (I haven't quite hit on how exactly how I want to handle the doubling.)

felt miffed! What about me! I'm in the middle of this pie, and it's 9:45 on Valentine's night! I run into the studio and find a ruler. Is my pie pan 8" or 9"? I double the amount of cherries and decide that if the filling starts to overflow when I'm pouring it in, I'll simply stop pouring and eat the rest with a spoon while the pie is baking. I boil and stir the juice and sugar and cornstarch and then add lemon juice and almond flavoring. Luci's box of spices arrived today and it's so mysterious. I glance at her note. She insists that Sayur Asam was her childhood favorite food and that she had it at least every other day, and no wonder she was such a skinny kid. What the heck is Sayur Asam? And if I eat it will it have the same effect on me? I wipe off my hands and Google Sayur Asam. Oh wait! Did I remember to double the cornstarch?

Valentine's Day:
the aftermath

After leaving her sweet comment, Luci can't resist firing off a stern e-mail: I am zealous regarding flour measurement. Everyone in the house knows that they cannot haphazardly scoop flours with the measuring cup itself. It is absolutely forbidden! They must first fluff the flour in the container, and then lightly spoon it into the measuring cup. When the cup is full, they can either use the back side of a knife or a chopstick to level off the excess flour.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Heaven Revisited

Linda Davick

This evening we visited heaven again. (That's twice in one week.) The wind was blowing like crazy on the beach, so we hit the Coastal Trail. Here, we're walking down the steps halfway between Eagle's Point Overlook and the Merrie Way parking lot, right above Louis' restaurant.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Visit Heaven

Linda Davick

If you feel compelled to buy a flower arrangement for Valentines Day, don't do it! Buy some gardenia blossoms instead. Float them in a little bowl. Give them to somebody, but make sure to keep three for yourself. If you'd like to visit heaven for a moment, close your eyes and inhale.
p.s. You can buy them here for a dollar apiece. They'll have a big box of fresh blossoms on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Notes On A Scandal Candle

One of the best things about Notes On A Scandal: If you see it at the Bridge and order a medium coke, the popcorn guy will say: "For 25 cents more you can get a large coke, plus a free scandal candle."

When you get home and tear open the box, you'll find a candle in the shape of an apple-for-the-teacher. (Fun!) Though Tom thought it was the apple from the Garden of Eden.
3 Things I Like About the Movie:
1. The boy who plays Sheba's son with Down Syndrome! All his scenes are full of life.
2. Great editing. The movie moves right along. For instance, only two seconds of her son's school play is shown. But it's a spectacular two seconds and it lends lots of color to the movie as a whole.
3. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

3 Things I Dislike About the Movie:
1. The girl who plays Sheba's daughter stands out as a mediocre actor.
2. OK, OK, so you fall in love with your 15-year-old student. But do you really lie down with him in a mud puddle by the train tracks? Where's your sense of decorum?
3. The way over-the-top melodrama where Judi's character emerges from the vet's office and runs into Sheba's family going to the play.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Guest Writer: The Incident at Cafe Lois

The E-mail of the Week Award goes to Jamie, who I had the good fortune of working with in Tennessee.
From: jamie
Subject: million
Date: February 6, 2007 4:22:56 AM PST

Photo: Jamie, circa 1987, sees his boss on the street and salutes, which is only fitting


I just read your last email to me again. It's the one where you responded to my struggle with my business partner, and told me that I could come to San Francisco to become an Anything. Near the bottom, you wrote something along the lines of, "You'll be a success at whatever you decide to do."

Do you know that you told me that about a million years ago? When I was your intern at Whittle, you said: "If you decided to be a doctor, you'd be the best doctor. And if you decide to be an art director, you'll be the best art director." Do you know how much something like that meant to a 22-year-old who was still trying to figure everything out? I never forgot it. And later I tried so hard to be that kind of boss-- the kind that you and Evie were-- when I had interns and young designers and other eager beavers to deal with. I think I was good at it.

It's cold and grey and beautiful here.


After his stint at the publishing company in TN, Jamie moved to New York and did tons of freelance for WWD and NY Times magazine. Then he became art director at Marie Claire, then Details; then he became creative director at Fitness.
But what's he doing now?
you might ask.

Dear Linda,

Because I now get to see what you look like on a regular
basis, I thought that it was about time I sent you a pic
as proof that I was actually living in Berlin and running
a kaffeehaus, like I said I was.

Some notes about this pic: It's from the summer before
last. I'm not nearly as blond* these days-- at the moment
I'm growing out of a 9mm buzz cut that I had all summer
and loved and loved. And my color is natural again. Well,
you know. I borrowed the pose, circa 1978, from Janice
Pennington, my favorite Price is Right model who was
force-retired in 2000. I had ALWAYS wanted to stand like
that. Look at my feet.

*(I think I may never be blond again after the incident at
cafe Lois that I will describe for you, below.)
A handsome new male customer arrives, takes a seat
directly in front of me at the bar, and stares and stares
and stares. We strike up a conversation. I feel good
vibrations all over the place. I think: THIS is why I
wanted to have a bar in Berlin. At some point, his stare
intensifies and he gets this peculiar look on his face.

Him: "You remind me of that guy. You know, the
entertainer... the celebrity. What's his name. Tom
something... Tom, Tom....?"

(I'm confused.)

Me: "Cruise?" I suggest, helpfully.

Him: "PETTY!", he half-shouts, happy to have remembered at last.

I buzzed the blond off a few days afterwards.

Miss you Linda,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lucky Winners, Choose Your Prizes

Waterfall, 'tude, & Dee: You may now claim your prize. Whoever arrives first gets first choice, whoever arrives second gets second choice, and–you guessed it–whoever arrives third gets third choice. Marie, the runner-up, collects the remains.

Strange: The pocket calendars were half price. And you're probably thinking that my New Years contest came a little late. But I think I got a great bargain being that the Chinese New Year doesn't even start until February 18. Plus, each calendar includes a full color subway map of Tokyo.

Some notes to help you make your decision:
1. Mixed Cats / Cats Know Various Things. The fine print: It is commonly believed that character is peculiar to humans. However, each cat has its own individuality.
2. Wanroom / Let's Enjoy Wanroom life! The fine print: Living Resort/Play Design/Relaxing Modernity/Feel Natural!
3. (Picture of Frog. Silver Raindrops) The fine print: kitto ashitawa tsuginohi kerori
4. Monokuro Boo The fine print: love enjoy? happy? boo! simple is best!

p.s. I don't want you to think I turned a deaf ear to your implorings for chocolate. I actually bought some, but by the time I got home, I discovered it had been tampered with.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

San Francisco Treat

One of my favorite places in San Francisco is Kinokuniya, the bookstore in Japantown. It's nothing less than spectacular. And happily, it was here that I ran across surrogate awards for the lucky prize winners. Finally I can get a good night's sleep.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Note To The Unlucky Winners

Dear Unlucky Winners Who Cracked the Code:
(Waterfall, 'tude, Dee, & Runner-up Marie)

After careening all over town, from Walgreens to Rite Aid to novelty store to mature toy store, I finally hit the internet. It was there I discovered the sad truth. When I try to add your prize to my shopping cart–no matter which web site, no matter which shopping cart–I get a message that says: Sorry, The Gold Circle Coins have been discontinued.

You don't have to tell me how every day for the past week you've been waiting outside by your mailbox for the mail carrier to deliver your prize. I'm here to tell you that your wait will not be in vain. Tomorrow I will go in search of a finer prize. One that, like the gold coin, addresses all seven wishes for 2007: Health, Joy, Laughs, Love, Sex, Wealth, and Peace.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Beach Find of the Day

Linda Davick
Today the Queen Mary 2 sailed by as we were out for a walk. The largest ship ever to pass through the Golden Gate.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Cosmetic Surgery: Worth the Risk?

Linda Davick

(Beach find of the day.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Guest Writer

The E-mail of the Week Award goes to Scott, who identifies with the guy at Pizzetta who refused to serve me.
From: Scott
Subject: More Bad Businesses
Date: January 31, 2007 9:35:18 AM PST

You expressed amazement at my report of a quirky building supply store run rather like my own business and the contrary little pizza parlor you patronize when they permit you to do so. In my comment on the pizza joint incident, the moral was something to the effect that it wasn’t so important that any particular customer be disappointed so long as, from time to time, some customers are disappointed.

But really the main point is to be clear about who is to be the beneficiary of one’s own business. I do not subscribe to either the exultation of customer satisfaction or to the notion that the principal objective of business is to make a bunch of money. Either or both of those things are fine, but should one risk going broke (or as likely, going crazy), to keep customers happy no matter what? Should one abandon all else (even, god forbid, customer satisfaction, not to mention health & socializing), to the single-minded pursuit of lucre? I think not –not me anyway.

Basically I think of owning a business as a way to make a living that enables me to do a lot of other things I like to do instead of, or think are more important than working –while I’m at work! I say: keep customers happy enough to keep ‘em as customers, but don’t be afraid to discipline ‘em every once in a while if they start overreaching, threatening to become an inconvenience. By the same token, you have to make enough money in business or you won’t have any business (or paycheck), at all, but please- there’s more to life, right?

…The Lumberman store, on Folsom at about 15th or 14th in the Mission, is evidently run by a man after my own heart, at least from the customer relations standpoint. It was impossible for me to conceal my admiration for this gentleman even as (or especially because?) he: a) frustrated me; b) refused to be swayed by arguments that were both eminently logical and financially remunerative; and c) metaphorically (and pret’ near literally), spat in the general direction of that “the customer is always right” crap.

The deal was this: My friend & biz partner Ksiel had purchased a cabinet for me on close-out that was a really good deal, and was helping me to install it. Actually, given my disability, it was me helping him to install it; anyway…

For the installation we needed two pieces of pre-primed 1”X 6” about 42” long. So we headed to the Lumberman store with the expectation of purchasing an eight footer which we would take home and cut to length. In the event, all that was to be had from stock that day was a twelve footer, which we were perfectly content to purchase, notwithstanding the surplus length, excepting that it was rather too long to be easily carried home in the car. So Ksiel & I were wondering aloud about getting it cut in half (one cut), or better yet, just getting two pieces cut to our desired length (two cuts). A passing and apparently regular customer overheard us and said “Ya’ wanna cut? Go see that guy over there,” indicating a fellow who at that moment was methodically sweeping a small quantity of dirt into a dust pan. He, overhearing the exchange, appeared to be amenable to helping us out, but as he put away broom and dust pan and gestured for us to follow him to the cut-off saw, the owner accosted us.

I will neither offend sensibilities nor disrespect the gentleman by attempting to phonetically replicate his end of the conversation. He is Asian, and while his English is immeasurably better than anything I could possibly offer in his native tongue, it’s probably safe to say that English wasn’t his first language. In any event, it quickly became apparent that we were not communicating with one another, the language barrier only adding an additional dimension to the unreality of “not understanding.”

After establishing that we needed merely an eight foot 1” X 6”, and not the twelve footer we were carrying around, the owner said his guy would cut it down to eight feet if there weren’t any eight footers in stock, and he’d charge us only for the eight footer. We said that was great, but as long as the guy was having to cut the board anyway, could he maybe just go ahead and cut us two 42” pieces while he was at it?

“No- no custom cuts.”
“We’ll pay you for the extra cut.”
“No- no custom cuts.”
“Well, what if we buy the whole twelve footer? Can he cut us the two pieces we want, and you keep the extra piece of plank?”
“No- no custom cuts.”
“What if we buy the twelve footer and pay you for the extra cut?
“How ‘bout we buy the twelve footer, and pay you for the extra cut, and leave you the extra four-odd feet of board?”
“No- I tell you: no custom cuts!”
“Why not? We’re happy to pay you!”
“No! Because then everybody wants custom cuts. Can’t make any money like that.”
"But you would make money if you charged for it! –and we’ll pay! You said you want to make money- here’s money to be made! Besides- we’re customers! Don’t you want to make your customers happy?”
“No! Then everybody want. Make no money like that”
“Look- we’ll pay, and we promise not to tell anyone. How ‘bout it?”
“No- no custom cuts. I cut that down to eight feet for you, and that’s it.”
“But…” And so on.

Truthfully, in the time we spent arguing with the owner, the saw man, who seemed willing enough and was just stranding around while this was going on, could have cut half a truck load of one-by-sixes, but there was no getting around it; the guy simply wasn’t going to allow it, and for absolutely no other reason than that was his policy and he wasn’t going to change it, and that was that.

At some point I’m beginning to see a glimmer of myself in this man, turn to Ksiel and say admiringly “See? He’s just like me! A policy is a policy and screw the customers. It’s his business and he doesn’t care, even if he can get paid, to do anything he doesn’t wanna do. ‘Cause he knows- soon as you satisfy one guy, the next one wants the same treatment, only it’ll be something different, and then there’s another somebody else with their something different and soon there’s just no end to it. I love this guy! He’s so me!”

But now the owner’s starting to get a little pissed off, which is perfectly understandable to me, and asks “You want eight foot board or not?” Yeah, okay, we want the eight footer, so he turns to the saw man and tells him to take our board and cut it down to eight feet.

By now I’m loving the guy so much that I just have to keep arguing with him, even after he turns around and passes himself through the little trap door to the space behind the counter and rings us up. “Why won’t you do this? What difference does it make?” I demand. “We’re gonna pay you! For the whole stinkin’ twelve feet and the extra cut too! You can re-sell the crummy four footer we’re leavin’ ya to somebody else! What’s the matter with you anyway?”

Ksiel, who cannot believe that he is suddenly in the presence of two such bull-headed people when he had believed me to be the only one such on the planet, tries to get me to leave off. But I’m not having it. “You’re just like me!” I yell at the guy who is retreating into the aisles of shelving behind the counter. “I do this all the time to our customers! You’re just as cranky and disagreeable as me! What’s the matter with you anyway?”

For a brief the moment the guy can’t quite figure out what I’m saying, exactly, and turns on me with the beginning of a nasty expression on his face. But before he can grab that 22 oz. Stanley framing hammer off the pegboard and chuck it at me he kind of gets what I just said and starts laughing. “Take your board and get outta here!”

So there you have it: another business that rates owner satisfaction on a par with customer satisfaction. I will always go there from now on.

On another subject, I found what is possibly a better deal than the Charumba. To wit: producer Folie a Deux’s Ménage a Trois ($7.50/btl @ Costco). Quoting the back label: “A delightful blend based on three varietals- Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet.” Absolutely a delicious wine with luscious zin fruit and a bit of both backbone and mellowness from the cab and merlot. Even comes in a classy, tapered Bordeaux bottle! Wow!. As you guys like zins a lot, I think you’d like this. A steal at the price; I got a case & will do so again. Think I’m going to enter a period of drinking mainly Charumba and this little wine as my dailies. Good drinking at an average cost of six and-a-quarter per bottle. Check it out!

Hope Tom has recovered from the crud. I’m off to visit friends up north to watch (or, often as not, we end up not watching) the Stupid Bowl. Good fun will be had by all.

Best wishes,


This Just In From Tennessee

photos by Tom van Dalen
Tom and Elaine live on Watts Bar Lake. Tom just sent these photos with the message: Finally. Snow at the lake.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Official Truth License

from keri smith's blog
What if everybody in the world printed this license, cut it out, filled it in and used it all day long today? What do you think would happen?

And Now: The Moment We've All Been Waiting For

There were 3 winners who cracked the code for The Seven Wishes for 2007: Waterfall, Platitudinal, and Dee. They came up with these answers for part 1:
As for part 2–why I was advised that it was not a family-suitable design–here were their correct responses:
Waterfall: I'm not sure why it's not family suitable. If it weren't for SEX, there would be no families! :D
Platitudinal: #5 is needed to make a family, but not a family safe word. :)
Dee: Ummmhm, you were advised it was not a family suitable design because Sam or other family children shouldn't be exposed to words such, NOOOoo let's make that S-E-X that may have been the problem. :-)
We had one runner-up:
The 3 winners will receive a very special award in the mail next week. An award that addresses all seven wishes for 2007. Our runner-up* will receive a very special award that addresses only the first 6 wishes for 2007.
*Marie, please e-mail me your address. I may have to get a note from your parents before I send your award.