30 August 2013


While I don't mind running a handful of routes different days of different weeks, or even up and down the same street to spell out a certain word, my son is pickier with walking routes.  He wants to discover new places and I try to comply.  Since last week's bike accident, he hasn't gotten on a bike, in the beginning it was just to take some time off, but then he started to depend on his cousin for fun in number, which I hate because then if the fickle cousin decides not to go, we ain't going anywhere.  Good thing with walking son doesn't mind going with only me.

Yesterday we drove to Kaiser Park to walk the beach of Coney Creek.  I recall the very first time I visited the beach, maybe six or seven years ago, I instantly thought of it as "The Poor Man's Beach."  It was a beach alright but it was so dirty.  Garbage almost everywhere.  Things got better later.  On a different visit, I went on the road but along the beach then discovered a path to the beach.  Toward the tip of Coney Island I encountered a fence that told beachcombers to turn around to avoid trespassing private property.  On yesterday's walk, I planned to take my son just as far, but we never saw any fence.  Only after seeing what appeared to be people's backyard that I decided to head back.  Getting back to the road, I saw that the fence was buried by sand deposited by Hurricane Sandy.  Or maybe it was the work of the Corps of Engineer or whoever responsible for re-creating the dunes of Coney Island.  I suspect it was Sandy.  The very first area we visited was what used to be a picnic area, around 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue.  There used to be some grass and if the Parks people didn't mow the place its entrance would be overrun with weed.  Now there is sand everywhere and only a handful hardy plants manage to survive.  A picnic table is still there, but the area is no longer well-shaded like before.

Maybe I'm a jaded visitor of the area.  I only took a few photos of the plants.  I wish I have a close-up photo of the spikes on the grass.  They cling to everything and were quite prickly.

I need a close-up of the spiky seed pod(?).

Only the top of the fence is seen here, the rest is buried.  The water is to the right.

27 August 2013


I am no fan of working under pressure but sometimes it's a great way to get things done.  Some weeks ago I was given the chance to decorate a storefront with my GPS art, or "gwriting" as I call it.  Partly because my mornings were not so free for a few weeks and partly because of other reasons, I didn't get around to making the phrase I had in mind.  Then I got around to contacting Garmin about the broken strap on my Forerunner 210 and they offer to replace it at no charge.  Now that's great customer service!  The only issue though is it will take x days to get the GPS watch back to me.  Only today I got around to making the third word of the three-word phrase I have in mind.  Part of the delay was that I contemplated about making the phrase in one bike ride.  It takes about an hour to make a four- or five-letter word via running, so doing the whole phrase in one run would take too many hours of the day.  Besides, the longer the phrase, the more likely I'll make a mistake.  I like running more than biking, so running it had to be.  I plan to do the phrase in three runs, one word per run, then digitally combine the words and print the final picture in poster mode, i.e. onto 8.5x11 pages and laboriously tape the pages together.  It didn't look so bad when I made the family tree so it should work.  Worst case scenario, I'll splurge and print at Staples, hope it won't cost much, as I'm doing this project expecting only fleeting fame and no fortune.  In the short term anyway.  We’ll see!

With the Garmin needing to be sent away soon, I'll be running every day for the next few days to make sure I have all the maps I need before I no longer have watch.  It may be possible to borrow a GPS watch from someone in a track club, but I'd rather not.

25 August 2013


I am your typical frustrated customer in today's global and automated economy.  I don't have a Discover credit card but their subway ads boasting human customer service rep makes me almost want to have one.  I have nothing against Discover, just that I already have a few credit cards and don't need another one.  When I hear the phrase "customer service", cynical me automatically think of auto-generated email as soon as you submit an electronic request, then not hear back from anyone for a long time, or if anything at all it would be some canned response that most likely doesn't solve my problem.  Also groan-inducing is the maze of voice menu, or someone who has a thick foreign accent and talks fast!  And what's with being passed from one person or system to another and having to provide the same info over and over?  More like Customer Disservice!

But let's be fair and acknowledge those instances when Customer Service actually provides the customer with a useful service.  Some months ago I had a bad subway car (NYC Transit MetroCard).  The local clerk was quick to give me an envelope to have the defective card mailed in.  I suspect that the clerk didn't want to be bothered with the work of trying to solve it there and then, but maybe it's just me.  Anyway, I filled out the form to the best of my knowledge.  It sure asked for a lot of information.  Just my luck even though I often save all the credit card receipts from the MetroCard vending machines, I didn't have this particular one I needed.  Still I sent in the bad card and expected it to be an exercise in futility.  I probably get back a form letter saying the card cannot be read and I didn't provide enough info.  Lo and behold, a few days ago I got back a replacement for almost $10.  Customer Service actually works!

Another personal experience of mine that shows Customer Service to be of assistance to the end-user is with CitiBike.  I love the idea of using a bike to go from Point A to Point B without having to lock it up.  Just check the bike out somewhere near your start point and return it somewhere near your destination.  Unfortunately, almost every time I return the bike something didn't work.  Sometimes the green light went on to show all was well, but when I checked record of my trips it would show that the bike was not returned where I did.  Worst instance was when the data claimed I took it out for about seven hours and returned it elsewhere.  It really stinks that once you tried to return and the thing locked up, whether with yellow, red, or green light, you cannot take it out again.  Luckily, each time I wrote to CitiBike customer service I got back a reply, something along the line that they fixed the error.  Maybe it's because the system is so notoriously buggy they are taking customers' words at face value.  Whatever.  This past Friday I could have used a bike but I didn't feel like putting up with having to write to customer service after making the trip, even though they are helpful.

It's almost Monday, time for the 120-point limit of My Cokes Reward to reset.  Then I'll be able to try to use the few codes I gave away this week, to see if anyone used them.  Just a little experiment I'm conducting.  Who reads blogs these days, right?  But it's a free MCR code, who can resist freebies?

Today's code is RRNF966 JKV6M7X.  It's from a Powerade Zero, so it may have double value if that promotion of no-sugar drinks is still in effect.  Happy Point-Collecting!

23 August 2013


My Vietnamese name, LONG, sounds the same as another Vietnamese word, LÔNG, which means "body hair".  (In the North of Viet Nam, the two words may be pronounced differently, but in the South they are all the same.)  In English, the little mark above the O is called a circumflex.  In Vietnamese, it's thought of as a head gear or hat, or nón, so that a fun name for someone named LONG would be "Long Đội Nón", meaning "the LONG with the HAT", or LÔNG.

I don't consider myself a hat person, but in reviewing my photo collection I noticed that I do have some photos with head gears.  Different head gears serve different purposes.  In these photos, can you tell what occasions the "hats" were for?  
Hint: Battle of Brooklyn 10-Mile/Relay, presented by Jack Rabbit Sports.
The abbreviation does have something to do with Brooklyn.
The T-shirt design may be too much of a hint.
Hint: I think a girl in the background was carrying a plastic pumpkin.
In case anyone is looking forward to the free My Coke Rewards code, here it is:

TMW5XB6 599N075

It's from a Minute Maid bottle, which I believe at this time counts as double, so you are looking at 6 points, not the usual 3 points.

22 August 2013


Some time ago, my #1 Blog Fan TOTA remarked that I haven't done a post about vanity plates in a while.  So here it is, for the viewing pleasure of TOTA and any who enjoy these witty license plates!

I suppose this person is the #1 fan of a certain baseball player with ROD in his nickname.  Hm, who could that be?  And is that adoration still there after the droid bust?

My first interpretation of this plate had to do with being happy or blissful.  My mind just automatically dropped the word TOP.  On second thought, I think it has to do with the car's retractable roof, not semi-nude beach.

I am sure we are talking about the King of Rock'n'Roll here, but I am not sure about the number 35.  Elvis was 42 years old when he died so that's not it.
In other news, did anyone use the My Coke Rewards I last posted?  I already maxed out for the week so I cannot check.  If anyone is interested, here's another code, also from a Powerade bottle:


Good news!  MCR re-introduced many gift cards, including Nike, Barnes & Noble, and Old Navy.  Hope the free code from me goes toward one of those cool stuff, or whatever you want.

20 August 2013


Google Auto Awesome is awesome but it has limits.  I already made a GIF animation by taking still shots of an object (CubeeCraft Hello Kitty) spinning around.  But what if I want to go around the object instead, like in that flying eagle kick in The Matrix?  On the first try, I had a CubeeCraft Walter White of Breaking Bad fame on a stool in my living room then I moved around it taking photos.  I discovered that doing so the object can appear at different distance from the camera.  Besides, my living room is shown in the background.  So for the second attempt I went to the backyard and have two stools side by side to eliminate the varying distance between Walter and the camera.  I only made eight or nine shots so the "animation" is in no way smooth.  The three-legged stools only butt against each other smoothly at certain angles and there is only so much room on my back porch.  Alas, Auto Awesome can only do animations when the foreground object moves and the background stays, or at least some reference points stay so.  I expected that to be the case but I wanted to confirm it and confirm I did.

To make the animation below, I first downloaded the photos from Google Photos, then upload them to GIFNINJA.COM.  The link to the anim on gifnina is http://gifninja.com/animated-gifs/690633/around-walter-white .  It is far from perfect but it's a start.

In other news, I have a surplus of My Coke Rewards (MCR) points and there is a 120-point cap for the week, so I'll give some away both to clear them out and to attract readers.  Free, come and get it!  Today's code is from a Powerade bottle I found during this morning's run to Coney Island's Riegelmann Boardwalk, where I saw that the Shark Bridge was already gone.  Drum rolls please!


It's possible that someone already used the code but it's unlikely.  I am sure some Coke drinkers don't even know that Powerade carry MCR points.  Of course, it's a good chance shortly after this blog post is published someone grabbed the code.  First come first served!  For tracking purpose, I'd appreciate a thank-you note in the Comments if you are the first to use the code.

Thanks go to GIFNinja.com for providing the tool to make the animation.

19 August 2013


This past weekend was a busy one for me.  Saturday was NYCRuns' debut Tortoise & Hare 10K in Van Cortlandt Park, first time the race management company did a cross-country (read: trail run) event.  For some people in the NYC metro area it must be difficult to travel all the way to the northernmost region of New York City, almost to the border between Yonker and the Bronx.  It didn't help that the 1 train didn't run all the way to its terminal as usual and was replaced by a shuttle bus.  Still, some 130+ people made it to the race, ran on the track, then the trail, then back to the track for one more loop, only slightly different from the first loop though.  Last time I ran Van Cortlandt, with the Holiday Marathons folks, I got lost somewhere and ended up running a shorter course.  This time I stayed at the Start/Finish line and got some photos every now and then.


The next day I was in Prospect Park for the Battle of Brooklyn 10M/Relay, presented by Jack Rabbit Sports.  In addition to a T-shirt and, in some case, tricorn hats, the volunteers were offered store credits with Jack Rabbits Sports.  Good way for the runners to support their destructive addiction, I think.  Just kidding!  I was at Water Station 1 and found some time to squeeze in a couple of photos.  The highlight of the event was when I was picking up discarded paper cups during a lull, a woman passed by and asked if I am Qaptain Qwerty and that she liked my pictures.  Since I haven't drawn that many cartoons lately, I suppose she meant the photos.  Or maybe the GPS arts.  Whatever the case, it was nice that my cyberspace name got matched to the meat-space person.


It was a busy weekend!  After supporting the two races back-to-back, I had the pleasure of playing tourist in Red Hook.  I was afraid that Fairway's parking lot would be too crowded but luckily I happened to see the overflow lot and found a spot.  I only visited Fairway for the deli and outdoor grill. We enjoyed our food under an overcast sky that did turn into a drizzle, even a light rain, but luckily nothing more.  In my last visit to the area, I thought the waterfront ended with Fairway, but this time I chanced upon an entrance to the waterfront beyond Fairway's overflow parking lot.  It didn't go too much further, but the view was still nice.  I wanted to visit that famous key lime pie place but didn't know where it was.  Luckily, as I purposely avoided getting back to Van Brunt Street, the main artery of Red Hook, just to wander a bit, I saw signs that led me right the place.  I have a sweet tooth but also love cold desserts.  I found Steve's Key Lime Pie delicious!  After the treat, we walked a bit in nearby Valentino Park and Pier.  Another gorgeous view of Statue of Liberty, even if she comes out small in photos!
Kayakers in Red Hook, Valentino Park's cove, with Statue of Liberty in the background.

I love public art! 
Corn on the Internet!

Key lime pie the authentic stuff from Steve's, yummy!

Lovely buildings, quaint beach...
The great day didn't end with the trip to Red Hook, as my son and I had our first bike trip together in Prospect Park.  We made only one loop of the park because it was getting dark, but it was great to spend some quality time together.

15 August 2013


What's up, pussycat?  Auto Awesome is up, that's what!  And CubeeCraft, too.  I love paper-folding and animation, so it's perfect to combine the power of Google Auto Awesome and CubeeCraft free paper toys.  If you have lots of free time, Google for "cubeecraft" and some fictional character's name, chances are there is a paper model for you to see.  Download the page to the computer then print it out on a color printer.  It's been a while since I got involved with making cubees, so the first one I printed I did so straight from the web browser and some parts of the page got cut off.  Use thick paper so that the pieces can withstand the frequent handling while you assemble the model.  Feed through the Manual slot, as the paper may be too heavy to be processed via the paper tray.  Cut the pieces with a scissor then make the slits with a hobby knife, which in my days of taking Career Drafting class was known as an X-Acto knife.  Lastly, fold the pieces and connect them, notches to slots etc.  Usually there's a head, a body, a pair of legs in one piece, and two arms.  Some characters may have something in their hands, like a lightsaber for Darth Vader.  Most have perfectly cubic head, but some are not and requires extra cutting and snipping.  I messed up a bit with the Hello Kitty model and had to use tape to re-attach some parts but by design you don't need to use glue or tape at all.  The models are made for viewing and not playing, so it's best to keep out of children's reach.  Good luck with that...


Stop-motion GIF of Hello Kitty spinning around and around.  With this post I discovered that to share the GIF in Blogger, you just insert the file made by Auto Awesome.  No need to download it and re-upload.  Cool!

14 August 2013


A few weeks ago I discovered Google Auto Awesome and loved it.  It is a bunch of tools for enhancing photos with Google.  My favorite tool is Motion.  It's really more of stop-motion or claymation.  The motion isn't smooth, in fact jerky, but it's unique and interesting.  Much as I love it, I couldn't easily share the "animation".  It appeared the only way to share the animation is through Google Plus.  Then one day I decided to download a single image out of the animation, or so I thought.  What was downloaded instead was an animated GIF (animGIF) file.  Some people hate animGIF but not me.  I love them!  Sure they are annoying with their repetition, but it's a cool way to get some movements out of a web experience.

To accompany my newly-declared love for My Coke Rewards, I decided to make my first stop-motion with Coke bottle caps.  Had I saved previous caps, I may have enough to spell "MY COKE REWARDS" but this time "MCR" will have to do.  It takes time to lay out the caps one by one and take a photo of them.  Note that I used some sonobes to establish frame of reference.  I sorta squatted to take the photos, which was a mistake.  Next time I'll find a low-chair to sit comfortably and maintain the same view.

I'm satisfied with my first animation made with Google Auto Awesome.  To celebrate the occasion, I'll give out some MCR points, maybe three 10-point codes, to anyone who leave a comment and ask for the free code.  Just leave a comment and ask for a code and I'll reply to the comment, no need to list your email address.  The risk is that anyone can grab the code, too, but that's life.  Leave an email address if you so wish, but you may get spam that way.  Happy Coke Drinking!  Or at least Point-Collecting!

13 August 2013


Did you miss my GPS arts ("gwriting" as I call it)?  Here are some I did in recent weeks but didn't get to post them.
Do yo no Bo?  ("Do you know Bo?")  As the name has only two letters, not too challenging, I tried to make it more challenging by giving it a bevel appearance.  I ran on both sides of the road, with diagonal lines at the corners.  Unfortunately, at the scale I ran at, the effect was not very visible.  Next time I'll use whole block instead of a street's width.

The exact opposite of "Bo", "Genevieve" has many letters and also that tricky positioning of "i" and "e".  I memorized the spelling by thinking "Gene" (as in Gene Kelly) + "vi" (the Unix text editor) + "eve" (the night before a major event)

"A rose by any other name..."

I thought I thaw Todd!

12 August 2013


At my last job, I once maintained a Lotus Notes database of tips and tricks.  Knowledgebase (KB) was the fancy name I used.  Whenever I came across some computing trick that would save me a minute or an hour I would create an entry in the KB.  Even though computer programs nowadays are powerful, much computer work is still repetitious.  Launch some program, click some button, check off some box, etc.  You end up doing the same sequence over and over.  Some of the tips I found have all these clicks and selections done once the program starts.  Some of my favorite tips are (1) opening certain databases as the Notes Client starts; (2) connect to the various Netware trees and NT domains while logging in via Netware client.  The KB was mostly text and as I created most of the entries, I mostly knew what keyword to search for.  When the transition to SharePoint happened, it was just not the same.  I never got around to getting warmed up to SharePoint.

Recently I discovered a useful tip in entering codes for My Coke Rewards (MCR).  MCR is that loyalty program whereby participants buy Coca Cola products and enter a lengthy code found on the products to accumulate points that can be traded in for merchandise etc.  After many years of collecting I finally "cashed in" for a $50 Nike gift card that shortly went toward a new pair of Nike running shoe.  It's appropriate use of the points, since I get them mostly by picking up bottle caps etc while out running.

I used to enter the codes on a laptop computer via a web browser.  Recently I started to use the iPhone app, just because it takes less time to get the iDevice and the app going.  The codes are automatically converted to uppercase too.  Unfortunately, the series of code involve letters and numbers, which means frequent switching of keyboard screen while using the iPhone app.  One day, after making some typo, I read the possible solutions and discovered that zero ("0") and oh ("O") can be used interchangeably.  For example, if the code is A1B2C4D56EF0HK, where the third number from the end is a zero.  If I was to religiously switch between letter keyboard and number keyboard, after F I would have switch to number, enter the zero, then switch to letter to enter the rest.  Instead, I can save a few nano-seconds by just entering FOHK.  "Oh" would be readily accepted as zero.  Just like all those seconds I saved with having programs opened the way I need them to, using zero and oh interchangeably with MCR does add up.  Or at least cut down on the frustration.

Now let's have some fun!  I am giving away three 10-point codes from fridge packs that I rescued off the street.  I currently have a surplus of codes and there's a 120-point limit per week that I will easily max out, so I'm giving the three 10-point codes.  Probably just a one-time deal.  Who knows?  In future weeks I may not have any codes for my own use.

To get a 10-point code, look up a post from my blog, in the year 2012, for some topic or some fact that is common to you and me.  Enter two comments for that blog entry, one explaining what's the common link between you and me, the second just your email address.  I will approve the first comment but not the second, so I will have your email address to send the code, but will not publish it for the public to see.  Disclaimer:  It is highly unlikely that these codes were used, but it's a possibility.  You've been warned.  Play the game at your own risk.

10 August 2013


My son is finally into cycling.  In recent days, he actually asked me when we would be going cycling.  Today, after tutoring class and lunch, instead of a walk in Forest Park, we rushed home to get ready for cycling.  Something else came up and I was not sure if I would be needed elsewhere but it all turned out in my favor and we did go cycling.

On a recent ride, I realized that in my neighborhood we actually have very few bike lanes.  When we made a big loop of the Coney Island Rail Yard, it was only on Neptune Avenue that we finally found a bike lane.  The rest of the way we just had to share the road with cars.  Luckily there was plenty of room for the cars to pass our short bike-train of three (me, son, and nephew).  To really enjoy cycling without the fear of being hit by cars, we would need to be on the waterfront by the Belt Parkway, or on the Riegelmann Boardwalk (aka Coney Island Boardwalk) between 5 AM and 10 AM, or start from Plum Beach toward Queens and the Fuhgeddaboutit sign.  Today, we checked the Belt Parkway waterfront off our to-do list.  We didn't go all the way to Owl's Head but instead turned around shortly after passing under the Verrazano Bridge.  It was a beautiful day, even if we sweated a bit.  I brought along a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies and two bottles of water.  We stopped for photo-op near the bridge, but the sun was not in our favor so we took better photos on the way back.  Along the way, I pointed out to son and nephew telltale signs of parked cars that might suddenly swerve into traffic (tail-light on), anglers who arch back to swing their baits out into the water, yapping cyclists traveling side-by-side, reckless children (isn't that an oxymoron?), accompanied by parents or not.  While not as bothersome as driving, cycling is still full of hassles.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ride.  On the way back, near home, I pointed out the triangular playground that mere weeks ago son and nephew were newbie cyclists limited within the fence of that very playground.  I am so happy.

Earlier in the day, I took a stroll in the Corona-Elmhurst area.  Years ago, the reason we moved from the Bronx to Elmhurst, Queens was partly because of my father's job at some box factory.  During a subway strike, he had to stay at a friend's apartment to be able to get to work.  Ironically, shortly after we moved to Elmhurst, he got laid off from the job.  Over the years, I am curious where this factory was.  I have a vague idea of where it was and today made the trip to find it.  Unfortunately, over the years things changed and I think the building now is some public school, namely Elmhurst Educational Campus.  The word "Campus" makes me think about schools, like Newtown High School nearby, that received failing grades year after year.  After unsuccessfully shutting down the school, the City tried to rename the schools and replace a big chunk of the personnel, coupled with renaming of the school.  Supposedly, the change qualifies as making the schools all-new again and qualified for federal money.  One of the shot below even has Newtown's tower.  The stairs are for traveling over some LIRR rails.  For a few years, each morning I would go straight from Denman Street to get to the footbridge and cross over to catch the B58 to get to school at JHS 73 in Maspeth.  The area was desolate back then.  Today it is well-developed, possibly with much manufacturing replaced by residential buildings.

07 August 2013


Tracing out phrases and words while out on a run is fun and all but I'm usually restricted to areas close to home.  Some such run may cover 10 km or more but in reality I would be just a few blocks from home.  One thing I like about running is getting to see different parts of my neighborhood.  I miss all that, so today I made a loop to include a part of the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, one which I haven't ran lately.  My original plan was to re-visit the AT&T StreetCharge to see if they would work with my Android phone now, which uses a micro-USB connection.  Last time I tried, there were some micro-USB cables but none of them work.  Today it was even worse!  Between the two charge stations there should be a few micro-USB cables but in reality there was only one.  Where there should be cables there was none.  I suspect it was a result of vandalism, sad.  The one micro-USB cable remained again didn't work, at least not with my phone.

Another unpleasant surprise I got was that the footbridge connecting the F train West 8th Station and the Boardwalk was closed permanently.  At first I thought it was just under construction, but the sign said "permanently".  I know certain section of it was under repair, as evidenced by the chain-link fence, but it seems the entire bridge will be taken down.  There goes my favorite way to cross Surf Avenue.  I wonder if it's just a bad wording of the construction.

I love footbridges in general, but this particular one is part of my mostly car-free route from home to the Boardwalk.  Starting at Stillwell Avenue and Avenue V, I mostly travel along the Coney Island Rail Yard and have to actually cross the street only once, at Neptune Avenue.  While running, the less I have to deal with cars the better.  In the future, I'll just have to cross Surf Avenue, not that it's that busy in the early morning when I run.  Of course, it takes only one bad driver to ruin the experience.  I know, I know, First World Problem, but it's still a problem.

There is juice in the station, as the green light is on, reflected on the platform, but cable didn't work.
The soon-to-be-demolished causeway?  In the back is the famed Cyclone roller coaster.
Access to the F train West 8th Station is blocked off by boards.

06 August 2013


Today I finally had a bike ride with my son on the street.  It took him a long time to finally master the bicycle and then only on a playground.  The heat wave arrived shortly afterward and that was good enough of an excuse not to go biking, even in the evening.  After much pleading and threatening, he recently finally resumed biking, moved up a notch to biking on the sidewalk on a large block that has few pedestrians.  I would prefer he rides on the road, but he was so unsteady and the typical driver in NYC are rude and uncaring, I didn't want to take the chance.  The first time he went around the block, I ran along with him.  He was slow and I could handle it, but it was still exhausting, so the second time I took out another bike and rode, on the road, with him.  He had some issues with making turns in the beginning but by the end of the second session, he was good enough.  Today, we took to the road.

It was not much of a ride, basically around a small park and a housing project, all right turns.  With a nephew of mine on the wife side, the three of us formed a bike train for safety in number.  I led, my son was in the middle, nephew covered the rear, since he's better than my son.  We first went around Scarangella Park, with one side bordered by the elevated track of the D train, the on-street columns creating somewhat of a protected bike lane.  Twice of that and we moved on to the housing project between Avenue V and Avenue W, as well as the block between Avenue W and Avenue X.  Most of the roads are wide and two-way.  A few times there was some vehicle double-parking and we had enough space to go around it.  Two loops of the big blocks and I considered that enough for the kids.  We accompanied nephew home then son and I actually pedaled home. 

I think the kids enjoyed the little outing.  There was little traffic but once some car slowly followed our bike train without honking, rare driver if I say so myself.  I made sure the children knew about "dooring", or being hit by a car door as a careless driver exits a parked car.  I used hand signal to let the back of the train know where to turn or stop.  We already agreed that before the end of summer we should ride all the way to Caesar's Bay to have a car-free trip along the waterfront to Owl's Head Pier.