Parental advantage

There are many things you can only do if you have a baby, just as there are many things you can’t do if you have a baby. I can no longer successfully sleep off a hangover, or watch violent action films without worrying that I may be adversely affecting the development of my daughter’s psyche. Well, the action films might have some impact. Having a hungover father is unlikely to cause Felicity too many problems later in life: she’s just so happy to see me when I’m half dead from alcohol poisoning.

One great advantage of small children is that you, not them, get to choose what clothes they wear. This presents only a short window of opportunity, but we’re milking it for all it’s worth. Today, because we were going somewhere cold, Felicity got dressed up in this drab green coat that makes her look like the youngest cadre in a unit of the Red Guards. The effect was either spoiled or heightened by her being dressed in her apple onesie, but you can’t see that in this photograph, which means it’s neither here nor there.
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Out among the redwoods

We got out of town today, up to Muir Woods, a national monument. (Which in this case seems to mean it’s got park rangers, but it isn’t big enough to be a national park.) Muir Woods was protected by the work and legislation of Theodore Roosevelt, a man who enjoyed hunting animals, so cynically I figured he was really interested in securing more space to shoot bears in. But we didn’t see any animals being hunted by mustachioed American presidents while we were there today.
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Things To See And Do In San Francisco

Today I took my wife and child to the Betabrand shop on Valencia, where we had a charming photo taken with Santa The Hutt. Betabrand is a clothing startup that uses the internet to sell you things like horizontal corduroy trousers and hoodies that have been designed using military technology. It’s an interesting collision of high tech and marginally superfluous underpants, and like a moth to a flame, I was drawn in by the lure of shiny mirrorball clothing. (That may be because of my vindictive nature; running shorts made from a highly reflective material aren’t just an advantage in Singaporean weather: they’re a weapon.) As well as various fashionable items of clothing, Betabrand gather weight on social media sites by getting people like me (or you) to be photographed next to such wonders as Santa The Hutt. It’s securing my place in history, I suppose.
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Watching The President

Today, Barack Obama drove past me. I was in San Francisco for lunch, he was in San Francisco for lunch. He was fundraising and giving a speech, I was trying to avoid dropping my grilled cheese sandwich on the top of my baby’s head. My friend and my wife were both with me; Barack had a bunch of motorcycle cops and some Secret Service agents. There was a small group of people with placards, protesting about the Keystone XL pipeline; we had a grumpy waiter who kept getting our orders slightly wrong, but with body language that suggested it was all our fault.
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