It has been quite a year for me and I’d like to share with you the most memorable happenings and for the most part most enjoyable in 2014. This is meant to be personal though I hope it doesn’t seem like “too much sharing!”. These are in no particular order, just what came to me on a car trip yesterday.
- Moving to our new house – our family moved in February within Concord to a really nice house. It was designed and built by a highly regarded architect for her family in 1985, and features a passive solar design, beautiful views towards the Sudbury river, comfortable but not excessive living in an interesting floor plan, and a beautiful neighborhood with open space nearby. Andrea and I enjoyed the challenge of moving, which wasn’t so difficult since we hadn’t fully unpacked after being in Spain the year before. Establishing ourselves here has been a bit of work but also fun. We both wanted to be closer to town to be able to walk instead of drive. Contact us for our new address, and please stop by and say hello any time you are in the neighborhood.
- Going to California – my family went to California at the beginning of last summer, spending time with some of our closest friends that we don’t see much of. We went to Mt Lassen Volcanic Park where we did some awesome hikes, Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite where we spent a few days hiking between their high sierra huts, white water rafted through gold country on the S fork of the American River, and briefly visited Berkeley and San Francisco.
- Saying goodbye to Bjorn – Our beloved dog died peacefully in January after 16 years with us. What a great friend to all. Of course this was a sad occasion for our family, though our memories of him are happy ones.
- Taking online climate course – I took an edX online course from MIT entitled “Climate Change Science”, taught by Prof. Kerry Emanuel. It was really interesting and inspiring to me. It is amazing how the planet works and how much of it is readily understandable. I highly recommend taking the course to anyone with a background in science (requires calculus), and it will probably be taught again this spring. Find in on edx.org, course number 12.340x.
- Attending GFD (geophysical fluid dynamics) lectures at WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic) on Climate Dynamics. There were daily lectures through most of the summer, starting with two weeks by Kerry Emanuel and Geoff Vallis, followed by a wide variety topics around climate science by researchers in the field. Some of them went over my head not having the gfd background, but most were well presented and I understood what the burning issues were.
- Teaching a course – I taught a course entitled Earth Science and Climate Change through the Concord Carlisle Community Ed program. It was inspired by and based a bit on the online course I took, and I designed the syllabus from the ground up to an audience without a mathematical background. It went for 10 weeks, and you may find the lecture notes on my web site. I found the process of writing and presenting the lectures to be a lot of fun, and plan to do more next year. I learned that equations tend to turn many students off – for this audience better to do without.
- Sailing trips – I enjoyed sailing off Cape Cod, especially a couple memorable trips to Martha’s Vineyard with Andrea and the kids, and Cuttyhunk with a few close friends. Can never get enough sailing…
- Seeing Nate’s plays – My son acted in the fifth grade Halloween play Monster Madness, directed by Mr. Lemaire. It was great to see him shine as the Wolfman. He also was a caroler in A Christmas Carol this month.
- Seeing Linnea perform – My daughter was in several plays and musicals at CCHS and camp Encore/Coda which are a great joy to see. Especially liked Nation. Also some fantastic chorus concerts, including the senior district performance at Boston Latin.
- Big band gigs – Our Harvard Alumni band had a few gigs, which were a lot of fun. I really enjoy this group. I organized one of the concerts outside in front of the Science Center.
- Climbing Mt Hoffman – During our California trip, I got up early one morning and climbed this mountain by myself. Great views and didn’t see anyone but a couple of marmots on the excursion. Back for breakfast
- Biking to Ferry Beach – I biked to Ferry Beach in Maine with Jim Reynolds to our First Parish Memorial Day weekend excursion. It wasn’t a perfect day weather-wise but I felt good through the ride. We’d done it once before and I hope to again next year. The family met me there and had a very nice weekend with many enjoyable people.
- Playing at reunion party – I put together a small jazz group for our First Parish homecoming party. Thanks to Gail, Rob, Michael, John, Matt, Duncan, Linnea, Lauren and Rick. They want us again next year, save the date.
- Jam sessions – numerous enjoyable jam sessions (but never enough) with friends. Thanks to Ed, Glenway, John, EJ, Matt, Peter, Jeff, James, and others. See you next year for more I hope.
- Teaching Linnea driving – I have enjoyed driving with Linnea. It makes me proud to see her learning so fast.
- Peoples climate march – I organized two vans to bring people down to the march in NYC in September and drove one of them. Fantastic day, much bigger than anyone expected. Hopefully will have a lasting impact.
- Ski trip to Jackson Hole – Had a very nice ski trip to Wyoming with some close friends in January. Good snow, no one got hurt.
- Playing with brass group – Enjoyed practicing with a brass quintet. Sadly one of the members died suddenly (Charlie, glad to have met you, RIP) and we didn’t perform.
- ConcordCAN! work – It was a good experience to be involved with this progressive group working on local climate and sustainability issues. I have been serving as treasurer, working on the newsletter and wrote a couple of columns for the Concord Journal.
- Getting solar panels – We got a system of solar panels installed on our new house in November. Total of 6.5 kW capacity in 26 panels, by Astrum Solar. Good company, easy installation, please feel free to ask me about the experience. Covers most of our electric bill even in these winter months. Cant wait for the sun to shine next year.
- Playing with funk band – I enjoyed playing with the Little Big Band on Saturday evenings at the in Woods Hole during the summer. Nice dance scene, fun tunes.
Happy new year everyone! Hope 2015 is even better!