Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Empire State Building 2009

The family (and Chinchilla) played tourist today as we finally got around to going to the top of the Empire State Building. Express tickets are *the* way to go. We bypassed three *long* lines and didn't have wait at all on our way to the top. Definitely worth the extra $$!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Hoboken 2009

Here's an album of our quiet but enjoyable Christmas. Unfortunately a persistent cold virus kept us away from our usual Christmas Eve children's service at the charming 150 year old St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and visits with friends. Click on the title below the photo to see the album and enjoy it virus free!

From X-mas'09

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from the Wall-Bonds!

Click on the image to enlarge. And if you are interested in how the card was created, here's an overview.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hoboken Dance Academy presents the Nutcracker

Despite an impending snowstorm (that has yet to materialize and I expect will not boo hoo) we headed out to see some of our friend's children (and some of our friends too) perform in the Nutcracker at the Hoboken High School. It was a great show and turnout was very good which is great as the performance was a benefit for the Hoboken Homeless Shelter. A very pleasant afternoon. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Building a Ginger Bread House with Pierce and Deirdre

Pierce and Deirdre build a Christmas ginger bread house - very quickly!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Music - A Christmas Choral Concert

More music! This evening we attended a concert by the perplexingly named "The Young New Yorkers' Chorus." I was expecting a children's chorus but the chorus members are singers between 20 and 40 years old. I guess 40 is the new 20! The concert was held in Hoboken's own Our Lady of Grace Church (Karl Malden's church in On the Waterfront) a huge old church with perfect acoustics for choral music. The other treat for the evening was the unveiling of the church's newly renovated organ which the organist and conductor Andrew Cyr enthusatically demonstrated for throngs of admirers during the intermission.

Music and Color at the Lincoln Center

Today's Young People's Concert at the Lincoln Center was more polished than the previous one that opened the new season. This concert deconstructed Debussy's beautiful La Mer highlighting Debussy's innovative use of timbre and harmony. There was also an interesting on-stage interview with composer Michael Torke discussing how his synesthesia affects his work. While he sees colors when he hears music he lamented that, for him, the opposite is not true otherwise he could visit the Metropolitan Museum and simply take dictation! The orchestra also played two of Torke's pieces including Bright Blue Music a piece in D major which the composer "sees" as the color blue.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Visit to the New Museum of Contemporary Art

We checked out the Urs Fischer exhibit at the New Museum today. It took over all 3 exhibition floors there. While it had its moments, overall I didn't find it very interesting. What we *did* find interesting was the sunset view from the top floor of the museum. The museum is located on Bowery in the East Village and the top floor balcony provides nice southwest views of the village towards the financial district.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Electrolysis of Water

Pierce and I successfully extracted hydrogen and oxygen from water although, to our disappointment, we we did not manage to get enough hydrogen for a satisfying puff of flame. As usual, Pierce embellishes my instructional diagrams. The video is rather long owing the in-depth explanation of the processes taking place, the time taken to embellish diagrams, and the fact that one of our electrodes broke about half-way through the experiment which went undetected for a while.

If you want to see some highlights:

2:50 the water molecule

12:10 the equipment

19:15 applying power

27:20 how salt dissolves

42:30 discovering the broken electrode

50:20 no explosion :-(

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ian, Sean, Dylan, Greg and Pierce Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Ian and his two sons, Sean and Dylan, spent a couple of nights with us in Hoboken at the beginning of their week-long visit to NYC and DC. It was a warm and sunny day so we took a ferry across the Hudson, had a picnic in the park outside the Rose Center for Earth and Space and then let Pierce guide the tour once inside the museum.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert

We attended the 1st of the Young People's Concert series with the New York Philharmonic for the new season (our third year). While we enjoyed listening to selections by Britten, Purcell, Copland and Beethoven we missed the previous conductor Delta David Gier. Gier's passion was contagious as he interacted with the audience while the new format has a host speaking between selections rather than the conductor. It's still a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon in NYC. We also enjoyed the new fountain at Lincoln Center which has been under construction forever but well worth the wait.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wallace School Halloween Parade

A video I took at the parade yesterday. There are a *lot* of kids. The parade circles the school two times and then the kids congregate in the play yard so that a photographer on the school's roof can take a picture of them all.

Pierce briefly appears in the video at the 2:46 mark. You can see a clearer picture of Pierce in his Sonic the Hedgehog costume below the video.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicago Fall 2009

Eric and I spent an afternoon in Chicago prior to attending a conference in the 'burbs. Click on the link below the picture to see the album.

From Chicago Fall 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kitties at the Javits

Pierce and I took the ferry over to see the dog and cat "Meet the Breeds" show at Javits Center this aft. It was a cold and blustery day which made crossing the Hudson more fun than usual. Click the pix to enlarge.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Bay of Fundy - in Hoboken!

Sighted on the side of a moving van in Hoboken. Click the image for a close-up.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Strawberry DNA Extraction

Pierce and I decided to extract DNA from strawberries today. It worked, but not as well as I had hoped. In any case we had fun. And by the end, Pierce had invented a new compound: SOHN. This video is long partially because Pierce was inspired to draw pictures as we went along. Skip to the 32 minute mark to see us grab the biggest glob of DNA. Actually, it's not all that exciting to see, but it was gratifying for us!

Monday, September 14, 2009

AMNH with Pierce and Peter

Pierce, Peter (visiting from Belgium) and I enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon after spending the better part of the day at the American Museum of Natural History. The stuffed guy is a Bush Baby from the Museum shop.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Geek Camp

Pierce just finished up his second of two one week "Geek Weeks" held in Hoboken. Basically, the Geek Weeks are day camp with geeky themes - right up Pierce's alley.

The first week was devoted to stop-motion animation. You can see the 3 minute movie Pierce and his team created, entitled "2030", here. Here's a still from the movie.

The second week was devoted to "potions" - various chemistry-oriented experiments. The pictures here show a selection of the results: green slime (borax, glue and food coloring), crystal growth (epsom salt crystals), and "tie dye" t-shirts (diffusing Sharpie ink with alcohol).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Weirdeverse

Here's the sketch and resultant painting of Pierce's "The Weirdeverse". He created it as part of his week-long painting class a couple of weeks ago. As to what the painting is about, according to Pierce: "A black hole has appeared and is sucking up the Weirdeverse." So there you have it. Click on the images for more detail.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

A beautiful July 4th this year. We had beer and pizza and D's patriotic cupcakes at some friend's and then proceeded to watch the fireworks on the Hudson from a fantastic vantage point at the Northern end of Hoboken. Click on the album link below to see all the pix.

From 4th of July 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hangin' at the Park

Pierce chillin' at Church Square Park in Hoboken yesterday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

World Science Festival June 10-14th NYC

We had a great week attending events from 2009 World Science Festival in NYC. It was a wonderful opportunity for Pierce and us to see some of our favourite science gods live. Thursday night night we saw an evening lecture at the Hayden Planetarium, Navigating the Cosmos, a three dimensional tour of the cosmos with theoretical physicists Jim Gates and Lawrence Krauss along with the ever delightful astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson. Today after a picnic in Washington Square Park we saw the Nobel prize winning physicist William Phillips speaking at Einstein, Time and Cool Stuff. It was very cool and Phillips had the children at the front and fully engaged. Pierce was right up there and during the Q&A asked if there was anything colder than absolute zero (the answer is no). After that we were off to Avian Einsteins which featured Snowball the dancing parrot in addition to a panel of distinguished bird scientists. It turns out being called a bird brain is a compliment. Enjoy the pictures and you can click on the album link to see our day.

From World Science Festival

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Devonian Period

Pierce's book, "The Devonian Period" was privately (self-)published a couple of months ago but recently we received a request to make it publicly available. Not that we were trying to hide it from the public but we didn't expect that anyone would shell out the cash to buy a hard copy (it's 64 pages and full color so it's not cheap). We were wrong! If you're curious you can download the PDF from the publisher site for free.

Pierce and I started work on it last summer during our visit to see Mom and Dad on the Island and continued to work on it from time to time on weekends. Here's the blurb from the back cover:

The Devonian Period describes a time in geological history that pre-dates the dinosaur periods. Animals and plants were beginning to emerge from the oceans to live on the land. The author, Pierce Bond, wrote this book to share his fascination with the amazing creatures of this period - some of which are our ancestors!

Click on the cover picture to go the publisher's site.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wallace School Field Day

All the student's at Pierce's school, Wallace School, took part in this year's annual field day at Hoboken's JFK Stadium. It was an overcast and cool field day this year. A welcome change after last year's heat. Unfortunately my camera and I were at odds for most of the day so I've only included a selection of the acceptable photos. Click on the image to see all the pix.

From Wallace School Field Day 2009

Duke Over Columbus Circle

Duke, the Java programming language mascot, surveys New York's Columbus Circle from a window at the Jazz at the Lincoln Center concert hall. We were there to see the final concert for kids; this one devoted to the big band music of Benny Goodman. I've been humming the tunes for days now. And Duke is a tchotchke I picked up for Pierce last week when I was at the massive JavaOne conference in San Francisco. I was so busy there that I only really took notice of the city for one evening when I had a pleasant meal with a colleague of mine at Greens restaurant.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Intrepid Afternoon

Last weekend it was model boats in Central Park so it was time for big boats. We took the ferry from Hoboken to midtown in NYC to visit the newly refurbished USS Intrepid air craft carrier which was a favourite haunt before it went off to Bayonne, NJ and Staten Island, NY for several years of refurbishment. Add the Concorde and a tour of the USS Growler submarine and you have a great afternoon even if your chromosome make-up is XX. The Intrepid is lobbying to add a decommissioned space shuttle to its collection in the future which would be fantastic. As usual click on the photo to enjoy the full album of our afternoon (remember Picassa has changed its format so you have to look in the right hand column for the album).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday in the City

We decided to combine art and Central Park on the Upper East Side today. It was a humid but quiet day in the city with most people away for the Memorial Day long weekend. We felt like we had the city to ourselves as much as one ever can. We visited two superb exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art. First, Claes Oldenburg: Early Sculpture, Drawings, and Happenings. Pierce was delighted with Oldenburg's collapsed toilet and the giant french fries and ketchup. We also enjoyed the 'company' of Woody Allen during our visit as he shuffled behind us through the exhibit.

We were quite mesmerized by the hypnotic LED political art of Jenny Holzer and her installation, Protect Protect.

After the Whitney Museum we headed into Central Park to the Boat Pond and rented a sailboat with a remote rudder and sail controls. We could have used a bit more wind but number 79 kept us entertained and Pierce loved the remote controls. Click on the photo and then click on the "belongs to" Boat Park for the album (you'll find it on the right hand side). No thanks to Picassa.

Nerd Kitchen

Deirdre's laptop on the kitchen counter simultaneously displaying a recipe for coleslaw and a live broadcast of the space shuttle Atlantis landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The shuttle landed safely and the slaw was delicious.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Peeps in Space

Pierce's Peeps in Space hat designed for Favourite/Silly Hat Day at school. Who knew stuffed Peeps and a stuffed space shuttle would be so useful. It was a hit! Coincidentally the space shuttle Atlantis was due to return today after completing repairs to the Hubble space telescope. Atlantis was waved-off today because of weather (not Pierce's hat) and is scheduled to land tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Natural History

We went to the American Museum of Natural History today where we saw the new "Extreme Mammals" exhibit and the IMAX movie "Dinosaurs Alive!" for the second time. The highlight of the exhibit was the extinct "Batodonoides Vanhouteni", the world's smallest mammal (picture courtesy of the AMNH Rotunda magazine).

On the return trip I also noticed a most curious striped tree growth.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day

Although it may read as though it was written under threat of waterboarding, we believe that Pierce is sincerely appreciative of his mother; particularly that she provides him with "food and water."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pierce's Spore Creations

Here is a live feed of Pierce's Spore creations - creations appear in the list when they're created. Spore is a video game that includes a sophisticated 3D modeling tool for creating creatures, buildings and vehicles to use in the game. Pierce eschews the game in favor of spending all of his time using the 3D modeler.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Awaiting the Mother Ship

Crowds gather eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Mother Ship at the Lincoln Center plaza today. We were there for a different reason though: the final concert in this season's Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. It was an excellent show as always, this concert highlighting the music of Mussorgsky and other Russian composers.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring has Sprung (Away!)

What happened to Spring? It was 90 F today! Fortunately the buildings, sidewalks and subway stations haven't heated up yet so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We decided today that we should finally get ourselves over to the Japan Society (right next to the UN) to see a manga and anime exhibit we've been meaning to see for quite a while. Coincidentally the exhibit was curated by the Vancouver Art Gallery. The show was pretty good. It focused on artists rather than history which was a little disappointing since we were hoping to see more breadth. But what we saw was impressive. The animation in particular was gorgeous (if not gory at times). In the spirit of gore, Pierce picked up a curious manga bear who is cute in the kawaii sense until you notice that its claws and mouth are dripping with blood.

Pierce running in an empty fountain in front of Hoboken train station. He's wearing his Murakami flower in tribute to the manga exhibit we were on our way to see.

Pierce's creepy/cute bear posing in front of the UN building. Flags were down as the UN was not in session.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eggapalooza '09

Pierce sprung out of bed for this... click on the photo to see more pictures of the fun!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Multi-Taskin' Mama!

Deirdre deftly wields an Aerolatte in one hand and pours stong coffee with the other at brunch earlier today.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Greg gets his first pair of glasses.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Police Kitty Lands An Oscar!

Police Kitty lands an Oscar for 'Best No-Motion Animated Short'! Click the pic to see the ceremony!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Critics Love Police Kitty!

Peter from Germany says Police Kitty is "very high art!"

Trevor from Toronto says Police Kitty is "Pure Genius. Gripping."

Irene and the boys from Hoboken were "crackin up!!"

Don't miss Police Kitty!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Police Kitty!

Pierce conceived this series featuring the unfortunate adventures of Police Kitty - in "No Motion Animation"! Click on the picture to see them all!