Lockdown Day 48: From Uranus to Venus / Encierro Día 48: Desde Urano a Venus

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

IN AUGUST 1984, SAN GERALDO and I joined his extended family on his father’s side for a get-together at a campground on Flathead Lake in northwest Montana, southwest of Glacier National Park. We drove more than 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from South Dakota to Montana in two vehicles, SG’s father’s pickup truck and his grandparents’ Buick (or maybe it was an Oldsmobile). Along the way, we stopped at the Badlands of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, and so many more amazing places. As you’ll see below, we also ate along the way.

San Geraldo’s father had two brothers, and each brother’s extended family had their own cabin. There were 26 of us in total. SG’s grandparents stayed with us (his parents, and his sisters and their families) in the largest cabin.

One night, SG and I and two others were sitting and playing Trivial Pursuit. The rest of the family, including SG’s grandparents (George and Hazel… oh how I adored George and Hazel) stood around us and watched. It was our turn to answer. Our opponents read the question: “What is the second-largest planet in our solar system?”

I was never much of a science student but I remembered this factoid from my first awe-inspiring childhood visit to the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History on Central Park. “Saturn,” I quietly said to SG while, at the same time, he said to me — not quietly, “How big is Uranus?”

Everyone burst out laughing, including George and Hazel. From somewhere in the background, SG’s sister Leann blurted out, “Well, you should know!”

After the laughter subsided enough for anyone to hear me, I repeated, this time loudly, “Saturn!” We won the night. [Uranus is third.]

Monday night, there was a great view of Venus (not Uranus … or anyone else’s as far as I know). I should have set up our telescope. It’s a birding scope, but I could have aligned my camera through its lens for a decent shot. Instead, I tried to get pictures while zooming in with my hand-held camera. I managed the moon, but Uranus… I mean VENUS… is a mess.

Click the images to enlarge. The moon and Uranus… I mean VENUS… are as big as they’re going to get.


EN AGOSTO DE 1984, SAN Geraldo y yo nos unimos a su extensa familia por parte de su padre para una reunión en un campamento en el lago Flathead en el noroeste de Montana, al suroeste del Parque Nacional Glacier. Conducimos más de 1.900 km (1.100 milas) desde Dakota del Sur a Montana en dos vehículos, el camioneta del padre de SG y el Buick (o tal vez era un Oldsmobile) de sus abuelos. En el camino, nos detuvimos en las Tierras Baldías (Badlands) de Dakota del Sur, el Monte Rushmore (Mount Rushmore), el Parque Nacional de Yellowstone (Yellowstone National Park), y muchos otros lugares increíbles. Como verá a continuación, comimos en el camino también.

El padre de San Geraldo tenía dos hermanos, y la familia extendida de cada hermano tenía su propia cabaña. Éramos 26 en total. Los abuelos de SG se quedaron con nosotros (sus padres, y sus hermanas y sus familias) en la cabaña más grande.

Una noche, SG y yo y otros dos estábamos sentados y jugando Trivial Pursuit. El resto de la familia, incluidos los abuelos de SG (George y Hazel … oh, cómo yo adoraba a George y Hazel) nos rodearon y observaron. Era nuestro turno de responder. Nuestros oponentes leen la pregunta: “¿Cuál es el segundo planeta más grande de nuestro sistema solar?”

Nunca fui un gran estudiante de ciencias, pero recordé este hecho de mi primera visita infantil al Planetario Haydn. “Saturno”, le dije en voz baja a SG mientras, al mismo tiempo, él me dijo, no en voz baja: “¿Qué tan grande es Urano?” (NOTA: En inglés, esa pregunta suena como ¿qué tan grande es tu ano?)

Todos se echaron a reír, incluidos George y Hazel. Desde algún lugar en el fondo, la hermana de SG, Leann, espetó: “¡Bueno, deberías saberlo!”

Después de que la risa se calmó lo suficiente como para que alguien me escuchara, repetí, esta vez en voz alta, “¡Saturno!” Ganamos la noche. [Urano es tercero.]

El lunes por la noche, había una gran vista de Venus (no Urano … ni nadie más que yo sepa). Debería haber instalado nuestro telescopio. Es un telescopio de observación de aves, pero podría haber alineado mi cámara a través de su lente para una foto decente. En cambio, traté de tomar fotos mientras hacía zoom con mi cámara de mano. Logré la luna, pero Urano … quiero decir VENUS … es un desastre.

Haz clic en las imágenes para ampliar. La luna y Urano … quiero decir, VENUS … son tan grandes como se van a poner.


Fashionable Friends / Amigos de Moda

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

MY PAL LUKE brought his parents over yesterday to spend the afternoon at our pool. Pedro was sporting the latest Fuengirola fashion and was happy to strike a pose (or three). Luke had a bit of Fuengirola style going on, as well, which resulted in father and son having a showdown in the pool. But I think Kathleen was the big winner of the fashion show.


MI COMPADRE LUKE trajo a sus padres ayer para pasar la tarde en nuestra piscina. Pedro lucía la última moda de Fuengirola y estaba feliz de hacer una pose (o tres). Luke también tenía un poco de estilo Fuengirola, lo que resultó en el padre y hijo teniendo un enfrentamiento en la piscina. Pero creo que Kathleen fue la gran ganadora en el desfile de modas.

“I can’t believe I have six more weeks!”
“¡No puedo creer que tengo seis semanas más!”


Every girl wants a man with a farmer’s tan (like Pedro’s).
Cada chica quiere un hombre con un bronceado de granjero (como Pedro).

Less Mess, More Memories

Since our return from New York late September, I’ve been trying to get the apartment more settled and organized. We finished most of our renovations months ago and never got around to putting things completely back together. Then My Mother The Dowager Duchess took her final bow and we returned with memories of her. What we carried home with us was followed months later by some furniture, art, and other things we didn’t have the heart to part with.

We also shipped back from South Dakota dozens of framed family photos we had left with Linda and Tom (Jerry’s sister and her husband) when we moved to Spain. About 10 boxes. They were supposed to go through the photos, keep what they wanted, share with the kids, and then get rid of the rest.

Somehow, in the emotions of our departure, Linda and Tom missed that point and thought they were simply storing boxes of papers! So, in September, we whittled the 10 boxes down to 4. We’ve now got a lot of framed photos and not a lot of wall space. I’m doing what I can, while turning what I had hoped would be a minimalist apartment into a Victorian-looking collection of clutter.

I’m trying to keep the clutter under control and, I must admit, we both love seeing so many family photos back on our walls (thanks, Linda and Tom) along with original artwork, including paintings and sculptures by The Dowager Duchess.

We used to have close to 200 photos lining a hallway or stairway in every one of our [more spacious] homes in the States, plus dozens displayed on tabletops. A few dozen is all this place can handle, I think. And each one requires me to drill a hole into the concrete wall. So, if I measure wrong, that’s where it stays! I still have to figure out permanent homes for all the additional sculptures and knick knacks that are strewn on most surfaces.

Mess makes me crazy.

(Click the images for a better look.)