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.

Snowy Colorado

I’m in Jerusalem right now. It’s a beautiful city and rich in history / culture. I want to post about that, but I promised myself that I’d get up some photos of Boulder in winter before any other blog posts, so here goes.

As you may imagine, Colorado gets a lot of snow. I’m not a big fan of cold or ice, but I do love being outside. This means I need snow shoes! Around Christmas I traded two homemade pies (pecan and apple) for some snow shoes. I think both parties were happy with the result.

As it turns out, sunny but cold days are really pleasant, especially if you’re moving around. It’s easy to get hot and sweat if you overdress. The sun is your best friend, and this is the primary difference between the sunny cold winters of Colorado and the cloudy cold winters of the north east. Plus we have better beer.

Without further ado, some pictures of snowshoeing in Boulder in winter. As you can see, it’s really pretty.

And a view from the pond next to my apartment.

Independence Pass and Aspen

This weekend I took the motorcycle out to Aspen to look at the fall colors. I was recommended Independence Pass as one of the premier places in Colorado and was not disappointed.

The ride out there was fairly quick, and after Fresno, there was a lot of new territory to cover. This took me through Lakes County and then over the pass, which is still open but not for long.

The trees along the way were nice, but nothing compared to turning west from Leadville near Mt. Elbert and riding past Twin Lakes. It only got better from there. Unfortunately, many of the campgrounds at that elevation are already closed for the year, but it was easy enough to find a good spot away from the road.  It was a great spot, actually, and I’ll consider gong back to camp another time.

Friday evening was wet, and I arrived late, but Saturday morning was spectacular. It was warm, the sky was clear, and the trees were out in force. I took too many pictures to post, but here are a few of my favorites.

Click on the photos to see bigger pictures.

It was a spectacular weekend.  I’m already planning to go back in a year.

Again, the rest of the photos are here.

14er!

We hiked/climbed Ellingwood Peak this weekend. It was not easy. Of the 7 that went, it was a first only for me. Several others had done more than 20, and one Glen, our leader, has climbed more than 30. All agreed that this was an especially hard climb.

I was invited by Than, my coworker and boss. We met his family at Zapata Falls campground just outside of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I love camping and have done a decent amount alone since moving to Boulder. This was the first time I went with a group, and it was a lot of fun. I hope they invite me to join them again. I’ll learn some new jokes if so.

Some photos:

Slightly inaccurate cell phone GPS.

 

Left to right: Andrea, Don, Albert (sitting), Glen, Donnie, Than, Isaac

The way up: Yes, that is a very steep slope!

View from the top:


We almost went to the second peak. I would have gone, but it ended up best. I was completely exhausted by the time we got back.

The rest of the photos can be seen here.