Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Xmas Letter

Two big news stories for the year: Chris and Lucia are getting married. The date was originally planned for summer, 2009, but we have decided to postpone, and of course will be putting out the word when we finally pick a date. And Allison has been accepted to the College of Her Choice, Emerson in Boston. She is working hard on being a costume designer; she's sewing like crazy and also getting lots of backstage experience. I am really pleased with her focus and energy, and when we visited the school in June, I was impressed with the breadth and depth of their program. Emerson and Allison will fit well together.

Two trips to Guatemala for Chris, and four for Lucia. Plus Chris's trips to Boston, Portland, Yosemite, Washington D.C., Utah, Arizona, and Grand Traverse Michigan made this a pretty busy year. The photo trip isn't comprehensive, but I hope will give a flavor of what the year was like.

Allison posing outside Emerson College. The College main entrance is in this cul-de-sac walkway across the street from the Boston Gardens, about 1/4 mile from Cheers. It is RIGHT in the middle of the city. Boston seems like a great town, and I am really pleased that Allison is going to be going to school there.

Another college visit with Allison: this one is in Seattle, which you might have guessed if you noticed the Space Needle outside the window.

Got to go to Utah and Arizona on a fabulous mountain biking adventure.

The weather was not great for May, with snow at the higher elevations.

So we got to sample a beautiful location near St. George, Utah,


Gooseberry Mesa is an absolutely amazing place to ride a mountain bike, with trails that flow smoothly from uphill to downhill, around trees, and over boulders. I think it is better riding than the famous slickrock trail of Moab. I can't wait to go back.

We finally did make it to the Grand Canyon, and got to ride along the rim. Amazing.

Allison really wanted to give motorcycle riding a try. So here she is on my Hawk at the local community college parking lot. She did pretty well, only dropping the bike once. But I didn't do as well -- I don't remember not knowing how to ride a motorcycle, and am terrible at trying to tell someone how to ride one.

Another trip: this time a short flight northward to Portland for a professional conference. Got to see RS and Annie Soppe there. We spent a lot of time together in High School, and we blinked, then we all have kids in high school ourselves. Man it goes fast.

A group of folks gathering on the dam crest at Sisk Dam, near Los Banos, California. The dam has some stability issues in a really large earthquake, and we're discussing what to do about it.

Lucia's niece Ana had a beautiful baby this year; Sebastian.

Wildflowers had a good season in southern California this year. These are at Diamond Valley Lake, near Hemet. Our photo club was invited to make some photos of the flowers in full bloom.

The photos our club got from Diamond Valley Lake were displayed at the visitors center there.

We had a number of presentations raising consciousness about the situation for women in Guatemala. This presentation was in Orange, California, with the National Organization for Women.

On a local bike ride, I rode up Black Star canyon, near Silverado, to this ruin, built and still owned by a local family, the Beeks. The cabin is known as Beeks Place.

One of the recurring themes at work this year was Security. This was a visit by Homeland Security to one of our reservoirs (I could tell you which one, but then I'd have to kill you, haha), and they got a comprehensive view of all aspects of the reservoir.

The Raconteurs at Coachella. Why was I at Coachella, you might ask? Allison wanted to go, and her mom wouldn't let her go without an adult. So I volunteered. It was an experience.

The lights at Coachella.

Swift No. 2 powerplant. The embankment I'm standing on to get this photo failed a couple years ago, and was rebuilt.

Forest glade along the Columbia gorge. This area is spectacularly beautiful.

Waterfall along the Columbia gorge.

Sequim, Northern Washington State.

Sequim, Northern Washington State.

Also on the beach at Sequim.

Umpqua River, OR.

Covered bridge near the Umpqua River, OR.

small-3017I worked on an early design of this reservoir early in my career. Finally got back to the site and saw the finished product. I hope the owners don't get too much trouble from those "reglators".

A different Washington.

Our photo club at work put on a show in July.

During a conference in Indian Wells in September, I stayed at Mom and Dad's house. Unfortunately, they were still in their summer location near the beach.

Huntington Beach pier just after sunset.

The beautiful side of Guatemala, the side the tourists get to see. Antigua, only 40 minutes from the capital, with it's amazing surroundings and cobble streets.

More Antigua.

A less scenic part of Guatemala; the main city dump at Guatemala City, on one of our Delegations to Guatemala. We visited a group there that provides a really high-end day care experience for the children of the dump-dwelling families.

A visit to Sobrevivientes, a survivor's refuge and resource center in the capital.

I'm not sure the grafitti refers to the little girl, but maybe.

Our delegates on the No Violence Against Women march in November.

Bianca, a survivor we work with.

Wishing you and yours all the best for the holidays and for the coming year...

Chris and Lucia

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