December 31, 2023: Another year is wrapping up, and here I am madly updating my blog before I miss 2023 completely!
This year brought much fun and adventure. Took our first big trip since the pandemic and went to Japan for a couple weeks! Tokyo, Disneyland, and Kyoto! About half of which was things Charlene and I had done our last visit there, and half was new. Overall a great trip! The monkey sanctuary and bamboo forest were pretty sweet (as was the very touristy ninja museum). In preparation I had been learning Japanese via Duolingo and have decided to continue on learning more even after my trip. Let me know if you need help translating something like "I eat breakfast every day around 7 o'clock"!
In order to go on this trip, I took a 7-week sabbatical from SpaceX. It was great! Didn't get everything checked off my to-do list, but it was very nice to have a break from work. Maybe too nice? A couple months after coming back I decided to switch jobs! I've been getting quite concerned about climate change (thanks to reading some of Greta Thunberg's books!) and I got a chance to join Commonwealth Fusion Systems and will help make nuclear fusion a reality (a virtually limitless (mostly) clean energy source). I started a couple weeks ago and am really enjoying learning about nuclear fusion.
We also just got back from a visit to Death Valley and it was super awesome! We were really lucky and there was even a small lake present (the last time was in 2005).
November 27, 2022: Looks like this will be my at-least-once-a-year update for 2022!
I'm still working on Starlink, now managing multiple teams and trying to squeeze in a little coding here and there. Pretty exciting times as always with lots of new things always being worked on!
This past summer we did our semi-regular roadtrip up through Portland, Seattle, and the San Juan Islands, except this time we kept going and spent a few days in Vancouver as well! Nice to be back in the land of Tim Horton's and poutine, even for just a few days.
Got in a couple more trips to Legoland -- stayed at the hotel, tried out the new Unikitty area, found a yummy ramen and cute bao bun restaurant, found Mr. Gold, and were even picked to open the park again!
On the outdoorsy front, we did our first (very short) family backpacking trip, got a second inflatable kayak, camped with friends, and got in some local rock climbing.
Over American Thanksgiving (this past week) we ordered some quality seafood from water2table had some fancy meals, did a day trip up to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area for some relaxing kayaking and gold panning, read, and relaxed. Tomorrow we're all headed back to work and school, at least for a few more weeks before the break for the Christmas holidays.
December 31, 2021: Yikes! Almost missed updating for the entire year of 2021! Let's see: COVID is still here (everyone being at home was a little crazy, but we survived), I'm working on Starlink now (amazing that we're already managing the world's largest satellite constellation). Hoping that 2022 will bring us closer to normalcy.
November 28, 2020: Whoa! Over a year since my last update -- sorry dear reader! A lot has happened this past year!
Early on in 2020 we went to Legoland, and the kids were super lucky to be picked to open the park gates one morning! This time we stayed at the new "castle hotel" which was cool, and we also got to meet up with friends who were there at the same time.
Of course, there is a global pandemic! Luckily we're all able to work/school from home (albeit with some adjustment as we're all at home at the same time), and have been mostly staying at home and staying safe. We even bought a giant castle to keep the kids occupied. At first I was a little skeptical, but it turned out to be a huge success. Grocery delivery is something I may consider doing more of even after this is all over. Pretty convenient, even if some of the substitutions the shoppers choose are unusual... at least then it forces me to try new things!
At work we successfully launched (and landed) Bob and Doug to the International Space Station. Since then we've started the "operational" mission, and have launched four more astronauts on the Crew-1 mission. The entire family eager watched the launches/landing together, and it was very exciting to be part of it.
Politics has been a much bigger part of our lives these past few years, and the recent presidential election was no exception. I'm glad of the (eventual) outcome, but still concerned about many things (reconciling the people in this country, averting climate change, equality for all, etc). At least it's now moving in the right direction.
(American) Thanksgiving was a couple days ago. While different, and smaller, than previous years we still managed to have a delicious, fancy dinner.
I hope everyone is able to stay safe and healthy!
October 15, 2019: Sorry for the enormous delay! I've been to update for months now... but you know how it is!
Anywho... had a fun 40th birthday! I'm so old now... almost forgot what I even did -- had a nice dinner with friends and went to do a cool escape room. And got a Nintendo Switch! Been meaning to show it to the kids and play Mario Kart with them... but instead I've been hogging it all to myself. Don't want them to get hooked too early!
Everyone else had fun birthdays as well: Marshall's was Octonaut themed, Ryan's was Dragons Love Tacos themed, and Char had some crafty days with friends.
We did a bunch of traveling so far this too: LA for work and Legoland, Portland for fun (I worked double-remote), and even Paris for 10 action-packed days! The kids did super well in Paris! Handled the jetlag, long days, and even longer museums with hardly any complaints. They even tried new foods like escargot! Disneyland Paris was a lot of fun, but so were the simple things like sailing little boats in Luxemburg Gardens. Found a bunch of carousels to ride, and some even had the rings to catch on the way around (I'd only ever heard of that before but hadn't actually seen it).