Yep - it's time for yet another annual "Alek's Ramblings" email with a
bunch of misc. links and pics at the bottom.
Some items of possible interest in random order:
- First up is a blast from the past that features yours truly from over 20 years ago with
a video segment about telecommuting - complete with dial-up modem and "office attire" of PJ's ;-)
- I had a bit more wrinkles and grey hair when
I made a presentation to almost a thousand people at Boulder Ignite about 10+ years of the incredibly exciting Watching-Grass-Grow.com website
got an upgraded webcam in 2018 so the Internet can now see my front lawn in Hi-Def ... ;-)
- Bummer I didn't have that webcam in the heyday of my "Clark Griswold Controllable Christmas Lights" as
that is just virtual now.
- I mentioned last year traveling to Alaska to see the
Katmai Brown Bears
up close. I had a great time going back to Alaska almost exactly a year
later for my brother's 40th birthday. Super time seeing my siblings and
doing a fly-in fishing trip, plus doing the
"vertical mile" with them up Pioneer Ridge ... albeit much slower.
- I flew directly from Alaska for California where I met Wendy & Kyle at
the San Jose airport - Dirk had an internship there at Cisco this
summer. We did
a fun two day rafting trip down the Tuolumne River with OARS.
We had then planned to spend a couple of days in nearby Yosemite, but it was
closed due to the fires. Ended up going to lesser known
Pinnacles National Park which was a real treat - highly recommended.
- Wendy continues to be the Travel Queen as her job takes her literally
around the world ... in 2018, it was Panama & Costa Rica (with Kyle) and
She also had a fun bike trip with her childhood friend Nancy in Nova Scotia.
Closer to home, she'll again hit 100 days of biking to work - pretty
darn impressive! Even more impressive is that at 50+, she continues to
race down the ski slopes in all conditions - fun trying to keep up with her.
- Our two peaches trees continue their every couple of years of monster harvests
as 2018 yielded over a 1,000 peaches - our freezer is still packed. This is even after losing limbs and (for the
first time) peach devouring raccoons.
- Last year, Wendy and I were chaperones at our younger son Kyle's high
school Prom. This year, we volunteered at the "After Prom" ... which
runs until 4:00AM. Cool to see all the young kids having a great time
... although a bit sad since with Kyle graduating from High School this
year, it will be the end of an era for us. Along those lines, after 20+
years in our neighborhood, we "passed the torch" a while ago to the next
generation of families growing up here. But still fun to get involved
and contribute to the community ... so I dusted off, patched, and pumped
up the giant inflatable HULK for our neighborhood July 4th Parade - the
Jolly Green Giant has been there 7 times in 15 years.
- Another semi-notable volunteer effort is I've enjoyed
helping people with their taxes as part of the AARP tax-aide program.
- We have also volunteered to raise/train a puppy for Guide Dogs for the
click here to see wayyyyy too many pics of our super-duper-cute Yellow Lab Puppy named Bliss.
It has been a LOT of work ... but also a LOT of fun. The majority of
puppies don't make it through the program (odds are even less for
first-time raisers) and we've been told we have a "very tough puppy"
... so we are getting training help from more experienced raisers. It's
been challenging, but regardless of how it turns out, it has been a
wonderful experience. Check out the recently released
documentary movie called "Pick of the Litter."
- Dirk is in his second year at the University of Washington - looks
like he'll graduate in three with a Math Major and Minors in Physics ...
and ... Slavic Literature - perhaps appropriate for someone with a last
name of Komarnitsky?
- As mentioned, Kyle is in his last year at Fairview High School and
will almost certainly attend CU-Boulder next year studying Aerospace
- So 9 months from now, Wendy and I will be empty nesters ... be curious
to see how the transition to that next stage of life goes! ;-)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
P.S. If for any reason you'd rather not get my annual "mail-all's",
please just let me know - happy to remove 'ya from my address book.
FYI FWIW that the response to that is suprisingly consistent every year.
I'll get a couple dozen requests which I always reply to and mention the
Email conversation (sometimes from years ago) how they got in my address
book ... plus thanking for letting me know and have removed their
address. The majority of people will then write back:
"oh yea, you were
really helpful and/or I loved your pictures ... please KEEP me on your
annual Email list" ;-)