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Jul 29, 2020

Speaking of NASA
last update: 07/29 @ 18:52

I managed to get a short video of Robert practicing his presentation for the Virginia Space Coast Program (on his birthday).

The week was long, with 12 hours days — with meal breaks.

And not at all what we expected since it was all virtual.


Jul 26, 2020

Another Coronavirus Birthday
last update: 07/26 @ 13:57

Robert invited a couple friends over to play video games. We’re sorry that Will was under the weather and missed out.

It’s early yet, but possible that there will be some of the sub sandwhich left by the end of the day.

The kids seems to happy to have a chance to meet in person, even in masks.

And the gaming is going well.

Maybe Robert will leave a comment here about who was the overall winner…


Jul 22, 2020

Happy Birthday Robert!!!
last update: 07/22 @ 21:42

Robert is 16 now!!!

It’s crazy!!!

And this week he’s in a virtual program with NASA Wallops that is running about 12 hours a day. So he was still a bit groggy this morning as he was unwrapping his presents.

You may notice that we had more of the huge balloons. But fewer than for Sarah’s birthday.

Teenagers stay up later than moms (often), and so I missed his help inflating the balloons (after he’d gone to bed) last night.

And with the 12 hour days of his schedule this week, our celebratory Los Tios dinner was carry out rather than at the restaurant.

We have been there to eat outside, but Robert was short on time tonight. Maybe he’ll get to wear the hat later…


Wrong Way
last update: 07/22 @ 21:31

We seemed to be doing really well and then…

I know, it’s still noisy data. But still.

I’d really like to see it at least flat if not going down. That current trend is clearly the wrong way.


Jul 18, 2020

Summer School
last update: 07/18 @ 18:56

TC requires all graduates to have taken Economics and Personal Finance. That’s a good thing for folks joining adulthood and having to manage their own finances, bills and savings.

But it’s not a super hard class.

And it does take some time.

So Robert, and many of this friends, have decided to take it on-line during the summer school session. That will free up a slot for a more interesting and fun elective (Robert — and his parents — is hoping for culinary arts).

And he’s working through the class extra fast in order to have next week free for the NASA / Wallops internship.

But, as Sarah was out running an errand, he decided to get fully geared up while taking the class to check out her reaction to his new look. No, this is not really a reaction to coronavirus; just a way to make a less interesting class a little more interesting.


Jul 05, 2020

Porch Portraits
last update: 07/05 @ 11:14

Sarah saw that Joseph Edwards, Single Eye, was doing Porch Portraits as a way to document these crazy, coronavirus times.

He came by Friday evening and we had fun posing for the camera.

But we really enjoyed visiting after the pictures were in can.

Joseph was Robert’s sixth grade teacher so there was a lot of catching up to do.

We got the scoop on how Burgundy is doing with remote education and what their plans are for the coming school year.

And, as Joseph has kids younger and older than Robert, his parental percpective was also fun to plug into.

In these socially distant times it really was a treat to sit and talk with someone outside our “pod” about how the world looks from a different perspective.

I don’t think we realized (I know I didn’t realize) how visitor starved we were. It was great fun to have Joseph stop by. I know we will enjoy the photos for years (expect to see some of his work in next year’s tax day letter), but the immediate time spent chatting was an excellent break from our lock-in norm.

Not total lock-in…

Robert enjoyed a birthday party yesterday (Khaleel has the best birthday for a party). And then he joined his friend Will on their family’s boat to watch the fireworks last night.

He said it was a great day!

Sarah and I enjoyed a dinner outside of Theisman’s, which seems to be getting better after the change in ownership a year or so ago.


Jul 02, 2020

Currently looking good…
last update: 07/02 @ 23:12

This looks good today (and for the last couple days).

I continue to be impressed with how Alexandria and Virginia have done with the crisis. I expect to see that average go up a bit more, but I hope not like it was a couple months or so ago.


More crazy times…
last update: 07/02 @ 17:19

Alexandria, along with the Commonwealth of Virginia, has moved into phase 3 of the post Covid-19 world. Things are opening a bit more but folks are still generally on edge.

The Federal government, OPM, is still strongly urging telework for all who can. PTO has started to ease the mandate for telework and is allowing some folks, with good reason, back into the building.

I made the case that I have a good reason and was allowed in this week (my request for next week was approved too late so I expect to be teleworking next week).

They have said the building could have up to 25% of normal staff provided no shared work spaces. We’re fortunate to generally have more offices than cubicles.

But it’s pretty eerie to be in that big a building with so few other folks.

I saw one worker bee on my floor, and I only saw him on Monday.

I’ve seen the guards both at the entrances and walking their rounds.

And I appreciate seeing the custodial staff on their rounds as well.

Clearly nothing like 25% occupancy this past week — of course with the holiday weekend, it would be more lightly staffed anyway.

There are signs up all over the place: the entrance doors note masks are required, the elevator lobbies have footprints 6 feet apart and reminders not to touch the buttons, the stairwell doors remind you to keep 6 feet apart and note that the handrails get disinfected daily. And the pantries have a full set of what to look out for, how to wear a mask and how to wash your hands.

It is going to seem really odd when the atrium is full and loud again.


Jun 28, 2020

Back to the river
last update: 06/28 @ 11:08

We went back to Violette’s Lock yesterday to get out of the house, on the water, and remain socially distant.

There were some folks swimming where the rope swing used to be — note the steps up the tree. And they took this great photo. Thank you!

Sarah elected to go with a kayak for this trip because we start on the Maryland side and paddle across the river to the Virginia side above the dam and then back to the Maryland side below the rapids. A fair amount of a cross current ferry moves.

The weather was hot, but it was much cooler on the river, especially when the cool front/storm clouds blew over. We made it back home before the rains started.

The storm clouds are behind the camera for this timer picture on our way back to the Maryland side to paddle up the canal to our car.

A very nice summer outing.


Jun 21, 2020

Look what I got for Father’s Day!!!
last update: 06/21 @ 14:04

I have a new tea pot, Rare Tea tea to go in it, a new shirt, and…

More wooden train track!!!

Now we have enough to go all the way up to the table (and we had one ramp to spare).

It was a pretty awesome collaboration between Robert and me (I did the ramp).

But, alas, I wanted to get one more picture and hooked my ankle on the tracks and brought most of it down.

But not before several round trips proving it was stable and actually workable. I’m sure there will be future versions…

Yes some of those wooden blocks were mine several decades ago (and my brothers’ before that). The core trains and track came from cousin Aaron.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.



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