Desierto norte de Chile

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baltazar's Birthday

Yesterday, 28 Oct 2009, was the birthday of my friend Baltazar. Balta is of mixed Mixtec-Mexican heritage (his mom is Mixteca, his dad Mexicano), from Oaxaca. Last night was his birthday and he invited me to join his brother, sister-in-law, and niece for a dinner at TGI Fridays. I was very honored to be invited to celebrate with just he and his family. I was a little surprised when he told me that he hadn't really ever celebrated his birthday before. So I might have overdone it by my gifts (paying for dinner, a card, and some candy), but I figure that everyone likes - and deserves - to be celebrated on their birthday, no matter how they might play it off.

Here are a few pics.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Zoo and July 4th in Annapolis

At the beginning of summer I got to go fishing out on Sandy Point State Park with Baltazar and Daniel. They actually did the fishing, while I chatted with my friends Zach and Lindsay while sitting out on the rock jetty. One of the guys nearby caught a rather large (catfish?) and gave it to Balta to clean and eat. I thoroughly enjoyed the tranquility of it all, even though I slipped on a rock and fell into the Chesapeake Bay (up to my knees) right after we got out there.

In late June I went to the National Zoo in Washington with my friends Baltazar, Jose Luis, and Lepo. We wandered through the big mammals exhibit (tigers, lions, and primates) as well as the reptile exhibit (alligators, snakes, lizards). We had a great time but were pretty tired when we left.

On July 4th, Daniel, Baltazar, and Raphael joined me here at the Naval Academy to view the City of Annapolis's fireworks display out over the mouth of the Severn River. We wandered around the Academy after the fireworks and ended up in the Rotunda part of Bancroft Hall.

Here is a selection of pictures.

Visiting Mee and Por in Holland, MI

In June, I had the great priviledge of going to visit my good friends Mee and Por before they flew back to Thailand. I flew into Lansing, MI on Saturday morning June 20th, after a very heavy rain (5" in 24 hrs), but the clouds quickly cleared and gave us a spectacular two day period. After we cooked a scrumptuous Thai lunch, we went jogging and exploring Holland. We had plans to eat dinner at a famous lake-side seafood restaurant, but the flood did a number on the restaurant (put several inches of water in it's main dining area and cut the power), so we opted instead for Chinese take-out and a picnic dinner and sunset at the junction of the Macatawa River and Lake Michigan. On Sunday we ate pancakes and went to the Lao Church service. Afterwards, Mee played soccer and said goodbye to his soccer team, Los Bandidos (he and Por were leaving Holland in just a few days to begin their cross-US journey back to Thailand).

It was an excellent - and encouraging - time with two dear friends of mine. Enjoy these selected photos of our weekend together!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Upcoming items

Here are a few things I'm excited / thinking about:

1- This weekend is the Red River Rivalry, and Texas is supposed to win. All the more reason to cheer hard for Oklahoma! Comparing QBs, I think OU is better - although McCoy has better guys to catch whatever he's throwing up. I think OU has had some injuries, but hopefully they'll be ready to push through and win it again -- Texas has taken 3 of the last 4 meetings and that needs to stop!

2- Continuing settling into my new townhome. I'm slowly taking off wall paper, painting, getting the front door replaced, etc. I'm debating what to do with the kitchen, as it's not super functional (although I'm getting by okay now). I read online that the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit is now taking avg of 20 weeks (5 months) to arrive. So my application from 28 August will not likely arrive before 2010. We'll see.

3- Work. I really like this year's students, and feel like I'm a part of them as they go through their academic careers (having taught them sophomore year intro and two courses junior year). Will definitely have to plan on going to graduation in 2011.

4- Possible chasing next year. A colleague and I are trying to organize a USNA-sponsored field classroom that involves visits to NOAA/DOD labs, forecasting, and storm observations. It's an exciting possibility and I hope the students are also interested.

5- Chile trip. I've asked USNA for money to take 4 students to Chile next March to observe first-hand the incredible meteorological diversity: strong gradients in precipitation exist in the north-south, east-west, and vertical directions.

6- NSF grant. I've asked NSF for funding to continue research in Chile and Andean region. We'll see how it goes; expect to hear response in about 4 more months.

7- Holidays. The semester is nearly 1/2 over and I'm ready for some significant down time. Both days off this year (Labor Day, Columbus Day) I was occupied: painting and getting settled during LD, and in Boulder CO during CD. I'm ready to just chill at home without much to do... hence this weekend should be good!

Lots and lots of ... rain!

Hello again after some time en absencia. I'm doing well, just really busy. I owe photos from my homeowners bar-b-que, trip to Salt Lake City in late August, and details about the start of classes. I guess I'm more reluctant to post because of my job - and because how connected everyone is via Google. A simple search brings up all of these posts and all the photos, etc. However I've got a lot of interesting things going on that I want to dialogue about, so hopefully more posts will be coming.

Here's a post for today: the last few runs of NCEP NWP models have been hinting at a deluge of precip for the upper Chesapeake Bay this weekend. If the NAM/WRF is correct, Annapolis and surroundings could be looking at receiving upwards of 10% of our annual precip in just the next 72 hours, somewhere between 3-4" of precip (average of 35-40" per annum). See attached figure. The GFS is much less bullish, and I'm curious why the difference: less latent heat release feedback, weaker microphysical parameterization, lower horizontal resolution, or some combination of the three? GFS has about 1/3 to 1/2 of the total precip (a still-healthy 1.5"-2"; see second attached figure). We will see what falls.

    Newer›  ‹Older