Desierto norte de Chile

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Spring is here

Happy April 1st - spring is here. That means warmer weather, longer days, and lots and lots of pollen! It also means that spring break has come and gone, and that the academic year is rapidly coming to a close. Additionally, spring is the peak of the U.S. severe weather season, and so a daily query of SPC and the various NWP models usually brings some excitement.

Since it's been an entire *month* since I last posted (I blame Facebook, although I'm on there far less than I used to be), here are some updates from my world.

1. One month ago the U.S. was in the grips of a tornado outbreak in the Midwest (IN/OH/KY/TN). Today the weather is fairly benign, although tomorrow will be interesting with the approach of a closing-off low over OK/TX coupled with moisture & instability.

2. The past 6 days have been hard - a nice combination of sore throat, dry cough, diarrhea, fever, chills, sweats, and general malaise! Fortunately I'm on the mend, but still have the cough & sore throat. I'm settling on heartburn as the cause, although it could be anything from allergies (no other symptoms for that, though) to a cold/flu/virus (also no other symptoms). Regardless I will be very ready to put this behind me!

3. Classes. Being sick last week, class content essentially got glossed over. This week will have to make up & put in extra time to (re)cover the topics lost (or poorly explained in the fever-induced delirium). My capstone students are staring down the barrel at their paper due-date, which is Wed 11 Mar. I look forward to reading & seeing the presentations of their final products.

4. SWIT. The now-annual juant to the plains with USNA students is coming up very soon. We leave in less than 6 weeks. It's a little weird that this year we've had trouble keeping all of our 10 participants, but the group we've got looks to be great!

5. Chile. I had the great chance to lead 4 students back to Chile 3 weeks ago. We got to visit with Francisco & Araceli, go to church at Comunidad Cristiana de Santiago, tour the US Embassy and Chilean Naval Academy, visit Punta de Choros, and experience lots of great Chilean food & hospitality. This Tuesday, God-willing (with this sickness & sore throat!), I'm the guest of the USNA Superintendent, Admiral Miller, as he hosts the Chilean Superintendent in Annapolis. I look forward to hablando mas Chileno :)

6. Ecuador. The students and I left Chile and immediately went to Ecuador for 4 days, where we visited an Ecuadorian Naval Base, toured an Oceanographic survey ship, visited the U.S. Embassy in Quito, and had a great time in Mindo National Reserve forest.

7. Easter. I plan to head south in 5 days to spend the Easter holiday with my family. Hopefully Mike, Kendra, Rhett, and Axel can join us on Saturday. Maybe some of my friends from small group here (Factor, Jose, Casimiro, and/or Baltazar). Probably a pretty low chance that even one of them would be able to come, but still hoping that they might be able to! Best chance is if the forecast is for a lot of rain.

8. Speaking of rain, this winter, while being warm, was pretty below-normal w.r.t. precipitation here in the mid-Atlantic. Not complaining one bit, because we get plenty of rainfall here anyway (50"+ per year, so even a 10" deficit isn't bad).

I'll try to put up some pictures of Spring, of Spring Break, and the like in the coming days.

PS: Today being April 1st, April Fool's Day, Google showed what its maps might look like on the Nintendo system (similar to the original Legend of Zelda maps!!) Here's a screen capture of the USA in "8-bit".

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