Monday, December 29, 2008

Catch-Up, Adding to Blogroll

This is a general catch-up post, with no great science, surprise endings, or clever tangents.

On The Home Front

IMG_7724 We had a nice holiday break. No travel, or extended family stuff, just a nice few days off together. The break included skiing with the Trifecta, a nice Christmas dinner feast with friends, and a day out backcountry skiing with Organic Chemistry Rick (guy who never reads my blog).

Tangent: Speaking of backcountry skiing, check out this article in the Salt Lake Tribune. The hero of this story- let’s call him “Tom Diegel”- is a long-time friend with whom I’ve mtn biked, and occasionally skied, for many years. (He’s also the brother of Rainbow-Spirit-Paul.) He’s a great guy- strong, smart, reliable and competent. Exactly the kind of guy you’d want with you if you got into trouble in the backcountry, and it’s no surprise to any of us who know him how smoothly he handled the situation. Way to go, Tom.

NJO Fish Tahoe So here’s the best Trifecta Christmas story. Years ago, when Bird Whisperer (pic left, this past summer in Tahoe) was just learning how to talk, Awesome Wife and I had one of our few parenting disagreements. AW wanted to tell him the whole “Santa” story. I disagreed. My reasoning was that if we told him this whole phony-baloney story early on, then when he eventually found out the truth, he’d be forever skeptical of other “parental truths” and ignore us when we told him not to smoke pot or drink & drive or vote Republican.

IMG_7774 Of course, AW (pic right) prevailed, and we duly propagated the Santa-Myth to yet another gullible generation. When Bird Whisperer received his “Santa” gift, a Nintendo DS (see video here) he was thrilled. The next day AW overheard him talking to his Uncle- let’s call him “Phil”- on the phone, and he said, “Yeah Uncle Phil, I believe in Santa, because there’s no way my Mom would ever buy me a DS.” As I told AW, this is our payback for telling fibs.

Bonus Video: Here’s Bird Whisperer skiing with his friend Arden. I should point out that this isn’t like anywhere near the best skiing the kid can do; he’s already a little bump-fiend. It’s simply the best filming his dad can do while skiing one-handed with a video-camera.

SuitsThe long weekend also included the wedding of my good friend Clean Colin to a wonderful woman we’ve all known and loved for a long time, and who comes from the Smartest Family Ever. Seriously, this bride, her sister, her mother, her father, her brother-in-law and now her husband, are all Phd/scientist/ brainiacs who do things like work with particle accelerators on a daily basis. If Clean Colin and his new bride ever have a baby, I fully expect the kid to have telekinetic powers and conquer the planet.

The wedding was also notable in that it’s the first time I ever saw my core mountain-biking buddies in suits, which I am including a photo of here (above, left), for no other reason than I told them I would.

Adding to Blogroll

I’ve added 3 new blogs to the blogroll.

Damsel1 First is Catalogue of Organisms, a fascinating biology blog written by an Australian doing his Phd in Arachnid Systematics. His posts cover an amazing range of topics, from nematodes to angiosperms, and each posts actually includes references, like a mini-scientific-journal-paper. Seriously, this guy is so smart I swear he must be related to Colin’s wife. Check out his recent post on Strep for some seasonal reading.

myrm cropped Second is Myrmecos, by U. Illinois biologist and photographer Alex Wild. Know how I’m always going on about how I want to do a Bug Blog? This guy’s already got it, and his posts feature (his own) fabulous photos.

KK cropped Third, on the biking side of things, is KanyonKris, whom I’ve never met but consider a kindred spirit. KanyonKris is another Utah mountain biker with similarly aged kids and some of the same interests (particularly astronomy) as me. He lives down in Utah Valley (Note for non-Utah readers: Utah Valley is the valley immediately South of Salt Lake Valley. Similar landscape, but more dramatic) and so his ride write-ups tend to feature a similar but different set of trails than mine. Kris has been a frequent, constructive and welcome commenter on this blog, and his blog often features practical reviews and advice from everything from economical night-riding lighting systems to Sonic Hiker Warning Devices (bells.)

OK, all caught up. Back to serious blogging.


Jodie said...

I cant believe you are a Republican. How did I miss that before?

Watcher said...

Yo Jodie- don't be starting rumors about me! I listed that (voting republican) as an example of things we would tell him NOT to do... in fact I was wearing my Obama tee when I typed that.

Note to Rebublican readers: I'm just kidding of course; we'll encourage our kids to vote for whomever they wish- even if it's Senator-For-Life Orrin Hatch (who will no doubt still be our senator when our kids reach voting age...)

KanyonKris said...

Thank you for the kind comments - I'm honored.

One of my goals for 2009 will be to do at least one bike ride with you. I think you'll agree we need to meet and a bike ride makes it double fun.

I've always had an interest in science and learning, but your blog has inspired me to dig deeper - thanks.

Watcher said...

KanyonKris- absolutely! That'll be a goal of mine as well, and yet another reason to look forward to Spring (or at least a ride-able break in this succession of storms...)

Christopher Taylor said...

My thanks as well, though I can assure that I'm not really that smart at all - I'm sure that my partner's sisters would be more than happy to list my shortcomings at length.