Sunday, December 31, 2006


Pronunciation: in-ur-shuh, i-nur-
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, lack of skill, from inert-, iners
1 a : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force b : an analogous property of other physical quantities (as electricity)
2 : indisposition to motion, exertion, or change : INERTNESS
(courtesy of

I lack momentum. Perhaps this is to be expected, in the slowness of the post-Christmas-season lull. The past two weeks have seen me leap into action for brief necessary intervals, and then I fall right back into idleness.

And this is not entirely by choice. I just lack momentum. I have never been happy being idle. I'm not always twitchy... well, uh... actually I generally am. But this is more than an untwitchiness. I have things I want to do. Multiple works-in-progress projects are sitting idly nearby just waiting for my attention. But I just can't seem to acquire the activation energy required to start. So instead, I'm going to grab a coffee (black no sugar), cuddle up with Kai on the couch, read my new book, and dream about all the baking that I'm going to do in 2007.

By the way, Ms. Jenn Foley - I think you would love this book. I'm hardly more than 10 pages in, and already I'm plotting out purchasing a kitchen scale. Or two. Oh, an aside: I posted a photo I took for you from my SF trip on my new flickr page. Yes. I'm a convert.

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone. May 2007 be good to you. And happy birthday to my cousin, Brian. You're still the only New Year's baby I know.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Déjà Vu

aka Snow Day! Isn't it pretty?

Looking out Kai's window.

Looking out our bedroom window. And Yes. For those of you who are familiar with this view, the mountains are indeed hiding.

And no - the pictures aren't black and white. The sky is almost the same colour as the ground, but maybe just a little more gray.

Since yesterday afternoon we've had about 14", in addition to the 6-8" still on the ground from last week - that's a first for us since we moved here. There are mixed reports about how much more we might get, ranging from "not much" to "some more". Being vague is apparently good, because then it's difficult to be wrong.

Kai and I are enjoying our day in the house so far (with the exception of the 45 minutes of shoveling that I did early this morning). I've had a day reprieve from work, as most of the businesses in town have been shut down for the storm. Perhaps we'll head outside this afternoon and play with his new sled again. Jake has already had a blast playing in the snow with his girlfriend Ruby, the dog next door.

I'm so happy we didn't need to go anywhere this holiday season.

Sending out warm thoughts to all of you...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

From our chaos to yours...
Excuse us while we dig out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

20" and counting

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Word is that it's going to be between 24 - 36" by the time it's done. That's more than we had ALL LAST YEAR.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pardon me while I step on my soapbox

...but Al told me to.

I started composing this blog entry on my way back from San Francisco where I spent last week for a conference. Many of you know that I’m a scientist and that I work in a research laboratory, and that it’s not exactly government and not exactly not-government. And I’m not just being ambiguous. The conference was the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, a 5-day meeting that is always held in SF during the first two weeks of December. The conference caters to a myriad of disciplines including my own little world in the atmospheric sciences. But it also includes biogeosciences, geophysics, volcanology, solar and heliospheric physics, ocean sciences, geochemistry, hydrology, seismology, education, paleosciences and a number of other sections between which I’m afraid I can’t even begin to explain the differences. This mega-meeting is notorious for growing each year by about 10%. This year there were on the order of 14000 people in attendance. The first meeting I attended, back in 2000, had a mere 6000 people.

The sheer magnitude of research presented at the meeting is staggering. In an attempt to make it less overwhelming, attendees tend to stay close to their own disciplines, but occasionally I find it worthwhile to explore the posters or attend a talk in another discipline, sometimes out of genuine interest, and sometimes just out of curiosity, as a feeble attempt to stay well-rounded. Or maybe it’s just a reminder that there is another world of data collection that I rarely encounter. For the most part, this past week I stayed close to my atmospheric colleagues and attempted to learn what I could about the measurements and techniques that are associated with what I know best.

In addition to individual disciplines, there is a section that attempts to incorporate all the geosciences called Union, and this year, the Union address was given by the former Vice President and 40+ year environmental advocate and climate change educator Al Gore. Gore readily explains that he is not a scientist, but rather a communicator. And he's very good at what he does. He told us a little about the history of why he’s interested in climate change, he smothered us in platitudes and told us that we’re doing very important work, he encouraged us not to be afraid to tell the truth, and he told us that we need to also communicate what we know with each other and, more importantly, with the public.

And then it was over.

Following his talk, I was left feeling a little flat. After speaking with some of my peers, I realized that although he was very complimentary regarding the importance of what we do, and that we not be held back by what is “convenient” but rather that we should feel compelled to do something. But he gave us a little too much credit. I was left feeling empowered: I can make a difference! But… how?

I felt a little like the Grinch before he got his wonderful, awful idea.

Only I don’t know that I’ve a wonderful idea, awful or otherwise.

Over the next couple days I was slowly reminded, mulling the talk over in my mind and rehashing it with my friends/colleagues/fellow scientists, of another talk that had impressed on me one of the biggest hurdles that communicators such as Gore are facing today. It was a talk that I heard over a year ago, at a much more intimate conference that I attended in September of 2005.

The talk was given by a woman who is serving as co-chair for one of the working groups on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She spoke about the difficulties that we as scientists face in communicating the severity and immediacy of climate change, and the issues surrounding gathering public support for energy reduction efforts.

It has to do with a hole in the ozone over the Antarctic.

Now I won’t take a show of hands, but consider, if you will, whether or not you relate the ozone hole with climate change/global warming. I’ll give you a second or two to think about it. Ponder it with a quick glimpse of the guy who “used to be the next president of the United States” (it's still a funny joke to me, especially with his little "I don't think that's funny" after the clapping and laughter. He's a funny guy.)

So… back on topic. For those of you who said “no", you get a prize. Thus, for those of you who did say "yes, they’re related”, I’m sorry, but they’re not. Not directly, at least. The ozone hole over the Antarctic is a phenomenon that occurs during the Austral spring over the South Pole. It is a natural phenomenon that was made much worse for a while by the presence of “manmade ozone-destroying CFCs” that collect over the Antarctic all winter long, and then when the sun comes up in the spring (remember it’s dark for months there… lots of time for gathering the weaponry) the sun busts the CFCs up into pieces, and one of the pieces eats up ozone in such a way that it regenerates itself and is free to eat up more ozone.) The issue: CFCs are bad. The plan: lets not use CFCs anymore. The solution: hey – this guy over here has HCFCs that work the same as CFCs and aren’t as harmful. Cool. Let’s use those.

So we were told there was a problem, and scientists had a solution, and it was implemented (the Montreal Protocol), and there you go. We’re all better.

Climate change is bigger. It’s MUCH bigger. Scientists are having a hard time nailing down exactly what is going to happen, but there are VERY strong indications that it won’t be good. But it is really BIG. It’s not going to be contained to one continent that a few species of birds and hearty humans live on. It’s affecting the whole planet. There is a dangerous sense of “it’s okay, because they figured out the ozone hole thing… they’ll come up with an alternative, and once it’s economically sound we’ll use it and everything will go back to normal. Just like that hole thing.” But it’s not that simple this time. Not even a tiny bit.

We need to do something.

But what, Al?

I'm going to start by encouraging you to find out more. And don't stop there.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All I want for Christmas

It was a little faster this year.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


It's warmer today than it has been for over a week, so with the snow melting all around us Kai and I took a walk to the "Rock Park" this afternoon. I'm sure we've mentioned it before, but it's the park with a small playground that also has a big rebar-structured rock cave that kids can climb on, under, around and through. It is very unique, and Kai loves it. He takes after his father.

Speaking of which, remember when we used to call him "Lit'ler [Keith]"? Look at this:

I didn't know Keith at age 3, but I've seen pictures. When Kai squints, he's the spitting image of his dad.

(Note the rally shirt: C'mon, guys... 6 losses in a row? Maybe tonight they will turn things around.)

This morning, after a quick trip to the post office, Kai and I went to the Children's Christmas party at my work. The highlight of the party is getting to sit on Santa's lap. This year he actually smiled for his picture, which we likely won't get a copy of until sometime in January or February. (It's apparently a long process.) Last year he looked petrified and refused to speak to Santa. This year he was prepared, and he asked Santa for a "little tiny house" for Christmas. "With snow on it." I think he wants a gingerbread house. He's not a hard kid to please.

Friday, December 08, 2006

gearing up and the bionic woman

another thanks to mom and wayne for my wonderful backpack. my new rei pack has a 60L capacity. it will make hiking and climbing much more comfortable.

on another note, my mom had spinal surgery on wednesday and is recovering well at sunnybrooke. she is expected to be moved from the i.c.u. to a ward room once one becomes available and could be home as early as sunday. but i'm sure another day at one of the best hospitals in the country won't hurt.

keep getting better mom. xoxoxoxoxo from all of us.


Thanks to my dear mother-in-law and her wonderful husband (Kai's Pop Pop), I am now the proud owner of the most wonderful tripod on earth. Maybe this seems like an exaggeration, but I take this claim very seriously. After all, it's going to make my photo-taking much more zen.

Since taking a picture of the tripod is a little counterintuitive, I give you this:

What IS intuitive is that I had to use it last night to redo the ornamental photographing that failed miserably a couple days ago. Voila:

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Deck the halls

Or maybe just the dining room and living room and lower bathroom.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Imported Goodness

I just finished off the second bag of Lay's Ketchup Chips that our friend Chris brought to us yesterday. As a kid, these were definitely a favourite of mine. He tried to find Hostess for me because they're, well, better... but as Shannon informed me recently, they are getting more and more scarce. Sad. The Lay's were sufficiently tasty, though.

As I was wandering around the internet, trying to find out whether or not Ketchup chips (and dill pickle chips?) are another of those "uniquely Canadian" treats, I found this little gem. I suppose that in a world where you can buy almost anything on e-bay, getting Canadianish items shipped to the US shouldn't be too surprising. Oh the nostalgia! Vector "meal replacement" cereal, Kraft peanut butter, Tim Horton's coffee, Chipits, Bick's relish, Malt bread... but wait. There are a lot of things that I can have shipped to me, for only the cost of shipping + $5 "handling" that I can get here in my local grocery store. Kraft Dinner? Not Canadian. Oreos? Pretty sure you can get those here. Reese peanut butter cups? Last time I checked, they're EVERYWHERE.

So these people are scamming us a little. Maybe the recipes for some of the items are just a little different. (Canadians aren't as addicted to high fructose corn syrup as the yanks.) Maybe some people really miss having French on their packaging. For now, we'll just sweetly ask our friends and family to bring us the many items that we miss from home.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Happy winter... I know it's only December 2, but we're getting a TON of snow here in the front range, and it's just so pretty and wintery. My spell checker doesn't recognize wintery as a word. Wintery wintery wintery. HA!

So I'm a little punchy. What of it? It's cold.

If I had my camera with me, I'd take some pictures and show you how lovely it is here. But since I don't, I'll show you pictures of trees from a hike we went on with Shannon when there wasn't any snow. Well, not much snow. That's the [continental] divide. It almost always has snow.

Jake is our new mule. Dog packs rock. Go Jake go. He loves me. I'm his favourite. Next to Kai. But for completely different reasons. Are you sick of the half-sentences? Tough.

Prepare for a complete non sequitur.

This is quite likely one of the funniest things I've ever read or seen. It's all in the commentary. If I'd been reading it in church or during a memorial service or a recital then it definitely would have qualified me for the "uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Been there, done that.

Our friend Andy posted this little meme about the "things we've done", and we thought it would be fun to do it jointly. The legend: Becky, Keith, Both of us, neither of us. Got it? OK - Here goes:

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (Manatee yes, dolphins, no.)
03. Climbed a mountain (Both of us have climbed a few... Keith a couple more than Becky.)

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelight bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it.
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise.
14. Seen the Northern Lights.
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (Definitely not enough.)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper (pretty unavoidable when you have your own child.)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (although that's not very loud for Becky.)
32. Held a lamb (been close to many, seen one just after birth, even. but never held.)
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (not nearly enough over the last 5 years.)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (Keith MUCH MORE than Becky.)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (like right now.)
40. Visited all 50 states (getting close, though. I'm around 38.)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country.
44. Watched wild whales (Bay of Fundy: Fin and Right Whales.)
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip (many.)
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (yes we're nerds, so?)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (haven't we all?)
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites (Ancient Roman ruins in Rome, Italy; Mayan ruins in Veracruz, Mexico; Puebloan Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde and Manitou Springs, Colorado)
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date (but not each other.)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (only in Monopoly)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship (a one-day cruise to the Bahamas.)
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (well, "child"... and its "in progess".)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. There is no 98. Let's add this: Spent more than two days completely alone
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (it was for a job, but it sort of counts.)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (maybe a wee part of it.)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery (mole removal?)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (scientific journals)
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (nose, collar bone)
114. Gone on an African photo safari (unless African Lion Safari counts)
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery (does a tonsillectomy count?)
120. Had a snake as a pet (caught more than i can count, though)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para sailed
132. Touched a cockroach (ick!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (well, some of the Iliad.)
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (we've each gone to one, dumb idea)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you (unless my high school principal counts. Technically, he knew who I was.)
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head

149. Caused a car accident (just a minor one)
150. Saved someone’s life

Sunday, November 26, 2006

the 100th post

Since there are officially two of us posting on this blog, I can't take the credit for all 99 preceding posts, but still... 100 posts is a milestone. (Or so I've been led to believe by reading others' 100th posts.)

And yet, I haven't got the time for doing the ol' 100 things about me for the 100th post, so instead, I'll show you some of the things that we've been up to for the last week or so.

First of all, my good friend Shannon is here visiting us. We have a fun tradition of going shopping shopping shopping on the weekend after American Thanksgiving. It used to happen in Buffalo/Niagara Falls, but last year and this year she's come out to Colorado, since really people, it beats Buffalo hands down. (I was going to say "no offence" to those of you who like Buffalo, but Keith says I don't have to, because even people from Buffalo should agree.)

This year Shannon came a little earlier so that we could go skiing. Now lets back up a little - I'm not a "skier". I have skied, but not since I was 13. That's a LONG time ago. (18 years!) Last year when Shannon came to visit us, I declined the suggestion to take her skiing (mostly financial, partially a fear of breaking/straining/otherwise injuring some important part of my body.) She was saddened, but we made the most of it and had a good time. This year, I got past my trepidation, gathered a couple local friends who are also good skiers and said "Why not!?"

And it was a blast....

And I didn't break or strain anything. I can't say I didn't injure anything: I have a bruise the size of an orange on my right elbow. (It's really lovely. I could do a-year-of-colour just in that one bruise.) BUT, I surprised myself as most of the teaching from my 13-year-old experience came back to me by the third run. I still fell at least twice per run, but that was just my own little subconscious method not to get too cocky. Lastly, I know it doesn't really have to be said, but skiing at Winter Park in Colorado beats Snow Valley (a bump on the landscape just north of Barrie) to a pulp. Teeny tiny pulp. Nearly microscopic pulp. Nanopulp.

(photos courtesy of Shannon-who-can-ski, rather than Becky-who-falls-a-lot-and-chose-to-not-endanger-her-camera)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving

from the mountain-hiking, taco-eating, premium-mint-chocolate-bark ice-cream making, early-to-bed early-to-rise (and go shopping) Canadians.

Enjoy your leftovers! G'night!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

hi, i'm keith and i'm a mountaineeringaholic

i know it has been far too long since i posted anything so i thought i would start back in the summer.

from left to right you see chris, me, ben, and scott. this picture is from our trip to grays and torreys peaks back on july 25th of this year. i posted something about this very briefly shortly after this trip. i have to tell you that of all the adventures i have had nothing really compares to standing at 14, 000 feet. the one unfortunate thing about hiking up these two mountains is that we shared the summit with at least thirty other people.

i must admit that i have mountaineering fever . over the last six months i have been taking courses, buying gear and reading everything i can about mountaineering. over the next two months i will be taking a courses in basic snow travel and avalanche awareness. in the spring i hope to take an intermediate snow travel course which will only deepen my skill set for more difficult summits. i'm sure my parents would rather not hear such things.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thought of the Day

I hate it when I make coffee and then an hour passes before I can sit down and have a cup.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I'm in a quandry. And I'm lazy (again). Actually, that's not entirely true. I have more faith in my readership to help me solve my problem... uh... wait a sec...


(thump thump)

(screechy feedback)

(peering blindly beyond the spotlight) is there anyone sitting out there? (a few waves)

I digress.

On a recent trip to the grocery store (ooh fun, yes) I happened to notice the "Holiday" Martha mag. And then yesterday I saw this post, and just now I saw this, all of which reminded me of a conversation that I had with my step-mother-in-law back in the summer. Yes, this is going somewhere. Both of us are subscribers to Martha's lovely little mag (me: recent, her: very long time/loyal) and both of us were under the impression that by being subscribers that we are entitled to "4 special editions". And yet... a year came and went, and I have no memory of said special editions, and neither did she.

And yet there it is. The "Holiday" edition. It sure seems special. And I've never received it.

Am I missing something? (I mean that literally.) Does anyone know?

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm guilty

because I didn't vote in the last federal election. No, not last Tuesday. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to vote in that one. (Kudos to the people who did, though.) I meant that I didn't vote in the last Canadian federal election. It was pure laziness, really, and maybe a lack of appropriate stamps. I'm usually very intent on voting, but the whole get-all-your-papers-together, send-in-this-form, receive-the-ballot-in-the-mail, send-back-the-ballot, and do this all by, say, last week kind of took me by surprise and it just didn't end up happening.

Aside: I also fully screwed up our Canadian taxes, and the Government of Canada is giving us WAY too much money right now. No worries, though. I'm on it. I just admit this to show that it's not exactly straight-forward to navigate this "living in another country" thing. It's often a bit of a pain.

But I do take full responsibility for not voting, and hence, our current predicament. It's hard to stay on top of things from afar, but thanks to the interweb (sigh... I miss Corner Gas), I can find out goodies like this on


Canada lags in climate fight
Sweden, Britain and Denmark doing most
Nov. 13, 2006. 03:21 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (CP) — Canada took its lumps at the UN climate conference Monday, tying with Australia in a “fossil of the day” award while being ranked near the bottom of an environmental group’s list for efforts to combat global warming.

...Sweden, Britain and Denmark won top ranking in the report, while Canada is among the bottom 10.

The only countries ranked below Canada are Kazakhstan, United States, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

...Canada, as a signatory to the treaty, promised to reduce emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. However, the Conservative government has said the country cannot meet Kyoto targets for pollution reduction — a position that critics see as a virtual abandonment of the treaty, even though Canada hasn’t formally pulled out. The Conservatives have opted to concentrate on clean air and smog reduction, rather than the wider problem of climate change. [Federal Environment Minister Rona] Ambrose has set a goal of cutting emissions by 45 to 65 per cent from 2003 levels — by the year 2050.


{blink blink} Wow. Good for us. We beat the U.S. for being only SLIGHTLY less concerned about climate change than Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan. Really? For Pete's sake, Iran is doing better than we are. What kind of legacy is this?

Okay, yes. I appreciate the fact that the government is sending me $100/month for childcare expenses, and I swear I'm not spending it on popcorn and beer (that's coming out of a separate fund), but come on: 51st out of 56? Surely we do better than that? Sheesh.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Monday, November 06, 2006

I am Becky, and I approve this blog entry.

A few random thoughts:

I can't wait until this election is over.

My 3 1/2 year old son, when given the choice, will ask for Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" or Cake's "The Distance" by name. He prefers these over, say, Sarah Harmer or Veggie Tales. I'm guessing this has something to do with driving around in the car with his stay-at-home dad. a. lot.

I know that it's like this every year, but I still can't get past it being pitch black at 5:30 PM.

Planning for (and getting into the mood for) Christmas is easier in Canada than it is here. There is this unwritten rule that you are supposed to wait until after (American) Thanksgiving to embrace the Christmas season. Yes, Costco still puts out their Christmas items in September, but I'm talking about personally. I'm not saying that I want to put up my tree already (maybe in a couple weeks), but I need to start getting psyched!

I'm not the only one. Keith already asked me if we should start listening to our Christmas CDs. I said "not yet", but then qualified that maybe the Chieftans' Christmas CD would be okay. It's my favourite Christmas CD ever.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ahrrr, matey!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...

Pardon the lack of pants. We weren't quite done the costume when the first photo was taken. And yeah, the eye patch and headscarf are plaid. Maybe he's a Scottish pirate.

True to form, upon readiness to go trick-or-treating, capturing the moment on film ("capturing the moment digitally" doesn't have quite the same ring) is all but impossible.

Pumpkin Carving 101

1. Draw faces on your pumpkins:

2. Cut a hole on the top of the pumpkin. Get someone else to scoop out the goop so that you don't get your hands dirty.

3. Have your dad cut out the faces. Watch him carefully. Supervision is key. Be willing to adjust the original cutting plan, particularly when the pumpkin is more than twice as thick as the original eye diameter.

4. Be sure to polish off the finished products. Remove any traces of marker or pumpkin slime.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday fun

It's Monday. The weekend went by rather quickly, although I don't feel like I did very much. I guess when I look back, there were a few things accomplished:

1) Purchased/installed/programmed a new 7-day programmable thermostat. Why on EARTH we didn't invest in one of these earlier is beyond me. Not only for the fact that we can select an actual numeric temperature setting and KNOW to what temperature it is set, but also because we can know the ACTUAL interior temperature! (What a concept.) Of course, it spent the last 24 hours OFF because it's been rather warm out, but I've just put it back on this evening because it's supposed to get cold again. And for those of you wondering about the whole "aren't they renting" question, the answer is "it's coming with us when we move."

2) Carved pumpkins. Nuff said.

3) Went swimming.

4) Walked the dog. Had my hand slammed into a signpost (the metal kind with the holes up the middle) when Jake spotted a squirrel off in the distance and decided that he needed to get all cozy with it. He was on one side of the sign, and I was on the other. You can imagine.

5) Baked "The Great Pumpkin". Yummy pumpkin loaf goodness. It's from the "Company's Coming Muffins and More" book. It's old, but I have yet to find a bad recipe in it. This one called for 4 oz. of cream cheese, a cup of pumpkin, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 eggs. (Not necessarily health food, people.) I make two at a time because it uses up an entire package of cream cheese and a whole can of pumpkin. (Aside: does it EVER make sense to make only one of anything? I fully prescribe to the mentality that when you're making one of something, you might as well make 2 or 3 and freeze the extras. It doesn't take a whole lot more effort, and it's double the productivity! why I didn't realize this years ago is also beyond me.)

6) Watched like 5 1/2 hours of House. (the TV show - not my home.) I've never seen it before, but I enjoyed it. (obviously). House (a doctor who specializes in hard-to-diagnose cases) has a really dry wit. Makes me laugh. It also makes me frequently writhe in disgust, but that's what happens when I watch any medical show. There's a reason I'm not in medicine. Okay, so this isn't overly "productive", but I was tired last night, and there was a 10-hour House marathon on USA.

So yeah, I guess I did stuff. I'm still recovering from the time change. Yeah. Time changes are great when you have little kids. For some reason they don't get really excited that they get to sleep in for an hour. I even kept Kai up for an extra hour or so on Saturday night, but he was still up at 0615 MST.

Speaking of sleep, I have bad news. It seems that we've finally, actually, really and truly lost our friend the regular-afternoon-nap. It has been great. You were around a lot longer than I could have hoped. You had the odd vacation, and you rarely followed us on our vacations, but on the whole you were very reliable here at home. Really. But I guess all good naps have to come to an end. Especially because you were starting to interfere with the somewhat-more-important regular-bedtime.

He's been replaced by his distant cousin, rare-and-unpredictable-nap. I'm guessing this new guy will only be visiting once in a while.

One last thing, here's one of my new favourite ad campaigns. I really like the one with the hamster. I don't even like the Element. They're just fun ads.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I'm procrastinating. I have been on the phone what seems like all evening, and although I really should work on the two papers I've just had returned to me from the reviewers, I'd rather post a couple pictures and catch up on the last week or so of life in our household.

First, late last week, this goodie arrived in the mail from sweet Sara + h:

and inside was this pretty little washcloth: (thanks!)

On Sunday, we went to a local pumpkin patch. Good fun all around. It was quite warm, and I almost regretted not wearing shorts.

Then today, Mother Nature remembered that it's supposed to be October, and made it possible for us to create this little friend for Kai. We actually made a second after I took this picture, but it was already very dark by the time we were done... I'm excited because I don't think we ever had a significant amount of packing snow last year, so this was a big treat! (Generally the snow here is either to sparse or too dry and fluffy to make anything.)

Thankfully, I had JUST YESTERDAY picked up a new pair of snowpants for Kai. Perfect timing!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I know. It's been over a week since I last posted. We won't talk about Keith... in his defense, he has been just as busy, if not more. In the lull of life returning to normal after my folks left, it has been difficult to come up with a reason to post. More importantly, it's been difficult to prioitize it. I don't know if it's a guilt thing, but for the similar reasons I have been unable to comtemplate sewing, knitting or even baking lately, and yet I can still find time to veg in front of the TV.

Well, I've been TRYING to veg in front of the TV. Is it just me, or is TV lacking this year? I'm down to only 2 shows that I feel like I really want to make time for (I'll give you a hint - they're both about being trapped on an island). Otherwise, it's flip-flip-flip... give up... power button...

So the guilt. Am I posting because I feel guilty NOT posting? Or should I feel guilty for not working?

... pause ...

Case in point. I wrote the above yesterday morning. It has taken until today to actually justify coming back and finishing the post. Evidently, the not-working guilt won over.

I have an incentive this time. Keith took some pictures yesterday, and I'm in love with a couple of them. I'll share them in a moment.

But first, how to break out of the funk. The tedium? The ennui? No... both words indicate a sense of boredom. This is more of an in-between-ness. A waiting... hopeful, but anxious.

Whatever. I think the problem is that I have too much to do to be introspective. I have a flow controller that I need to go callibrate, so that I can run my experiment at some seriously low NO/O2 ratios to determine what happens to the alpha values. Yeah. Super-interesting stuff, I know.

Okay. Yes. Here are the photos:

Friday, September 22, 2006

Day 7 = home

One last little tidbit from our trip...

We had a fairly uneventful trip home from the Grand Junction area, which is close to the western edge of CO on I-70. We did manage to get Kai some new shoes as well as some bright yellow rubber boots. Does anyone else know Big Sarah's Little Boots? - very good book. I recommend it. Same duo that write/illustrate the Franklin series. I digress... Naturally, we also found a few other things in the outlets (Old Navy outlet, Gap outlet, Carters outlet. we'd be lost without you! Well, naked rather.)

Here's a little glimpse of our trip home. This was 8000+ ft, but I hear there's going to be some of this white stuff around Boulder tonight.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trip Day 5 and 6... is this getting old?

Here we are on the last evening of our trip, and Kai is wondering who is going to bed at the same time as he. We often have to pretend to go to sleep to coax him into believing that there's nothing interesting going on anymore.

We're on that lull of the vacation where we're all looking forward to going home, although some of us are still excited about the part tomorrow where we're going to stop at the Silverthorne Outlet Mall. :) After all, baby needs new shoes. (Sadly, that's true... Kai desperately needs some new shoes, but I digress.)

At the risk of droning on and on about the last couple days' adventures, I'll just put up a couple pictures to sum up. Briefly, yesterday Mesa Verde National park and today Arches National Park - the former in southwestern CO and the latter in eastern UT. It's pretty spectacular, this country that we live in. I still can't get over how phenomenally different it can look from one area to the next.