April 12th, 2012

Recent Activities include: a visit from Grandma, T. on the bicycle

R.'s mother came for a nice long visit. We put her up in the Residence Inn a couple towns over because the kids just get a little nutty when there is someone still in the house when their bedtime rolls around. The hotel has a pool, and somewhere along the line, A. (shockingly) decided it would be fun to dig out her swimsuits from my closet and start lobbying to go to a pool. So C., T., A. and I all went to the hotel in C.'s car, because the kids seemed to think that would also be part of the fun. But C. didn't want to drive with all the distractions so that became my job. But it all worked out; for three days in a row we went and played in an otherwise completely empty pool (and hot tub). A. sat on the steps and splashed. T. jumped in and treaded water. C. and I swam back and forth and tried out the hot tub when we got cold. T. has a really regular pattern for using the facilities and that pattern was squarely during the time we were in the pool, but he was A-OK with C. taking him to the bathroom down the hall.

C. went home today, so we can't do go to the hotel this afternoon. I've told the kids that we can go to the gym's pool instead and they seem interested in that idea. Today is also T.'s first gymnastics lesson, so it will be a busy afternoon.

T. had his first "share" in kindergarten and we forgot it of course, but his aide had him talk about his bicycle, which is funny because he's categorically refused to get on it for months now. However, after that "share", he went to the basement and extracted the old and new balance bikes and has been using them both. This is a ton of fun, however, it's less compatible with having both kids out, because A. is really, really slow on her balance bike. She'd gotten pretty fast on the scooter and we could do joint outings; I'm not sure what we'll do with no one here in the afternoon to help her out while T. and I ride our bikes.

I also took T. down to the model railroading place in West Acton for the first time in a long while and having been there once, the second and third visits have been eagerly anticipated. Their schedule is limited, so we can't do that every day either.

I used part of my 2 years worth of dividend check from REI to buy A. a bicycle with training wheels (an Electra, of course!); it should be ready for pick-up in the next few days.

parking lot in SF to become spec office tower

Sample coverage here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/09/BUET1O0RN2.DTL&type=tech

Translation: someone with deep pockets bought a parking lot in San Francisco. They intend to build an office tower in that space. They have not yet signed any tenants for this tower. They are not borrowing money to build this tower.

I initially read this or similar coverage on my iPhone while out on the bikes with my son T. He was playing down a cul-de-sac and I was waiting at the intersection with the slightly busier through street, reading news. When I saw this, I started doing a happy-dance-on-bicycle (mostly riding around in tight circles), because this piece of news fits in with so very many of my research themes AND is a fantastically good Sign in general. If you're thinking, those people are crazy things are still tough all over did you see that jobs report and blah blah bleeping blah, well, _yeah_. These things happen in stages, and CRE in SF is what we call a "leading indicator". Especially when it's CRE aimed at tech companies.

More coverage here, with more context for the SF CRE market, and the participants in the deal:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-07/tishman-plans-san-francisco-offices-as-tech-firm-demand-surges.html