Some new things

Lately I’ve been pretty busy with work. Research is going well, and I’m knee deep in three manuscripts on top of my other job duties. I was also teaching until yesterday. I finally submitted grades, and this semester is over. I’ll miss teaching. Next semester was looking to be too busy applying for grants (and hopefully getting a job interview!), so I decided to not over stress myself. Of course I’m applying for jobs. This is one of the coolest of the year.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for that one, but it feels good even being qualified for a faculty job there!


I’ve also been skiing with Katie. This will be our third weekend in a row to go out We’re headed to Steamboat Springs. It’s supposed to be cold, but I invested a lot of money in this, and I want to maximize my experience. 🙂


Long time waiting for an update

I’ve been so neglectful here, but there is good reason. Since my last post (in Sicily!) I’ve been terribly busy. After Sicily I went to Rome for a week of work. Upon returning I immediately started prepping for my 5 day per week astronomy course at CU. That was a blast, but it consumed all of my free time. Then it was August, and August meant moving – both the office and the apartment. Than and I left SwRI to join PSI. PSI opened a new branch for us in Lakewood, CO, and it’s wonderful. I couldn’t be happier with the facility. The view from my office is fantastic, and my office itself is enormous!

I do miss working with a larger group of people. Hopefully one day this office grow.

So, August was a mess. Not only was I adapting to the new office (and commuting 40 minutes each way), I began packing and moved to Denver. Pictures of the new apartment are coming. I’m still trying to get it situated. Why, you might ask, haven’t I gotten it done? The end of August was more than 7 weeks ago. Well, I also ran a conference in Iceland! As soon as I got my furniture in place at the new apartment I flew to Iceland with Katie. We enjoyed some field trips (pictures to come), and I convened a conference with 102 people from 11 countries. It was an amazing experience, deserving of its own writeup.

Lately, I’ve been teaching at Regis again, and trying to catch up with the major changes at the new office. Currently we’re trying to get our servers and file systems to work again. They were moved from SwRI two weeks ago, and not everything is running yet.

Well, this is a fast update, but I feel better about getting something down.

Not much of an update

I don’t have a lot to update here from mid-October. Mostly I’ve been working, although I did travel to UCLA for an invited talk and to Austin to visit my family. I have a new niece named Josephine, and it was my dad’s birthday, so two great excuses to head home.

Right now I’m waiting to hear back from a paper I submitted, trying to get into gear to write and submit two more grant proposals, along with the MRO extended mission proposal that my boss is working on and asking for my help. I have two papers in prep that need to be finished, and the holidays are upon us. Also, I’ve applied for six jobs recently with nearly double that to go. Wish me luck in getting interviews.

All in all, things are going well and busy, so I haven’t done much outside of work. The weather has been iffy for motorcycle or mountain bike riding, but I did get a long snow shoe in this weekend with my friends. We were 6 in all, and it was the first time I filled my car with that many people. The car did great, which makes me happy. Of course snow shoeing is always a good time.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and I expect to entertain a few friends and my mom. She arrives tomorrow. It’s her first visit to Colorado since I moved here (actually since she was pregnant with me), so I’m looking forward to showing her around.

This is not a post

It is recognition of how seldom I post here.


Life is busy now. Work is good. I bought a mountain bike and use it often. The weather is changing fast and not in a good way.

I’m teaching again, but this time it’s physics labs. In general I like the experience, and working with students is very positive for me. The course is really basic, so most of what I learn is how to be a better teacher.

Looking forward to a camping trip next weekend in Aspen. Should have good fall colors like last year 🙂

Lunar Eclipse

There was a lunar eclipse on Saturday morning. I gave my students an opportunity to earn extra credit if they woke up and took a picture for me. I figured it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t do the same. Here are a couple of the eclipse just before totality. It set behind the Flatirons about 5 minutes before being fully engulfed in Earth’s shadow.

Click to enlarge

Things are really good

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way. For the last year I’ve had lots of things set me back. Finally, in the last month, I’ve put my life together the way I like. My new apartment is great, I love my jobs, and I’m financially ahead of the game.

For too long was I struggling with a comfortable place to live and managing all of the stuff coming at me. It seems like I can finally breath, finally enjoy myself. Like my mom taught me, hard work pays off. Put your head down and get through it, the other side is rewarding. I’m finally to the point where I can see the rewards.


I got my faculty ID this week. Now I’m a faculty member (adjunct) at Regis University teaching Astronomy. It’s a great feeling. 🙂  I do love astronomy, so it’s awesome to share this with students who are eager to learn.


I seem to ignore this blog when things are good, when they are bad, and when nothing is gong on – basically days that end in ‘y’.

Lots has happened since I moved to Boulder. The new job is great, and I love living near the mountains. My commute home can involve 1 hour of mountain riding if I am willing to extend it by 1 hour. Simply put, it takes me no time to get to the mountains, where motorcycle riding is therapeutic.

I’m living in a big house with two other guys. What I thought would happen, with the one bedroom apartment and a relationship didn’t work out. I think things will be better in the long run, but I’ll never understand what makes some people tick.

There is a lot to look forward to. My financial situation is looking much better after the changes; I’m basically spending one paycheck less per month. That money will be used for some fun hobbies instead of rent!

Peace for now.


I made it!

Last summer I went through the difficult decision to turn down or postpone my employment in Boulder as Southwest Research Institute and accept a Fulbright grant in Paris. At the time I thought this would mean forgoing the job in Boulder that I really wanted and gave a list of several reasons it made sense. Those reasons included continuing my research on the spiral troughs, bettering my French, more international experience, and of course the prestige of the Fulbright.

All of those things came true, especially on the research and French language side. I really did make some advancements on those fronts, and they are coming to fruition as I prepare papers and proposals based on the research. The language is more personal, but I feel a deep sense of accomplishment to have learned as much French as I did.

After all of that, including ~8 months in Paris (after the 3.5 from 2012) I was truly ready to return to the States, especially Boulder. Thankfully this opportunity came up again, and I was chosen for the job. There is a lot of work to do, and much of it along side my own goals, so I will definitely be busy here. This is good for my career and keeping me sane.

Some of the advantages of living in Boulder are already taking shape, even after less than a week of being here. Yesterday I saw a baseball game with my coworkers, and today I rode my bike to work.  The ride is easy, as it is downhill (this afternoon will be slower going), and it is quite beautiful to see the mountains at my side. I’m really going to like it here.

Paris had much to offer. Besides the things already mentioned I have developed an appreciation for museums and art, thanks to my friend Akili, and I was surrounded by good scientists, like Aymeric, with whom I hope to have a lifelong working partnership. I was also able to travel some, both in France in in Europe. I visited more of the south and west than I had before, and after my stay I was able to visit Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Athens.  I’ll always have those memories and photos to keep me going.

All in all, there have been some big changes, but I’m finally where I want to be. Let’s make the most of it!


I collected one of my last signatures for my PhD thesis.  I hope to get the next one in the coming week.  After that it there is just one signature left, that of my advisor, Jack Holt.  There is so much to do, I barely have time to write about it.  Mostly I’m worried about getting my house ready to rent.  That means cleaning and repairing some things.  Then there is a week of vacation, and I should avoid work that week….

These are just the big things.  So much to do.  Wish me luck.