The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.
Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface
several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.
And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give.
I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total
eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.
Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here.
Below are some highlights from past posts.)
Capitol View Triathlon
Sunday's Capitol View Triathlon was a good way to start the season.
2 weeks ago Lake Mendota was a brain-freezing 56 degrees (so I'm told... Sunday was my first day back in open water this year!), but with the sweltering heat we had last week, the water warmed up nicely. After we got our worst weather (tornado warnings, temps in the 90's, withering humidity...) out of the way earlier in the week, Sunday rolled in like it was made for a triathlon: mild, breezy, mostly sunny.
The swim was great - smooth and clear. With only 20 or 30 people in the first wave, there was no crowding to worry about, so it was easy to get into a rhythm and just go. Towards the end though, I made the mistake of standing much too soon. The water is shallow a long ways out, but I know that swimming is much faster than water jogging... It was like those dreams that people have where they're sprinting top speed, and going nowhere. My feet were getting sucked into the mud with every step. With that final goofy, slow-motion slog through the water, the crowds along the beach must've felt like they were cheering for turtle races!
I was definitely looking forward to the bike. I'm familiar with the course, a scenic and moderately hilly route through farm country. There are some great stretches for hitting top speed, which is one of the highlights of race day! Out on the bike course, I'm often humbled by how lucky I am to be out there doing this at all, but also how lucky I am to be surrounded by beautiful scenery and open space. Being packed into a city like Chicago taught me to appreciate the freedom of being able to get out and really fly down those country roads.
The run was when things started to really get tough - a trail run, which I was in no way prepared for (other than knowing ahead of time that it was a trail run). All of my run training lately has been on solid surfaces, and I've come to love the reliabilty of some good firm asphalt underfoot. The course wound through shady forested areas of dirt & rock path, and emerged into open hilly, grassy fields where the trail was mown shorter, but still thick and spongy and uneven. I normally approach a speed run kind of like a machine - I just turn it on and let my legs take care of the rest while I focus on fending off any notions of stopping for a quick nap. A trail run engages the runner in a much different way - you have to be constantly alert, seeking the right placement for every step, darting, turning, climbing... I love a trail run as a faster version of hiking, but when it comes to pure speed, it's just not as satisfying!
I finished the race feeling solid, and earned myself a 2nd Place Overall commemorative lager glass, which I later filled with the appropriate victory treat.
Posted by kim 06/13/2011
Nik graduates from UTI
In December 2001, Nik graduated with honors from Universal Technical Institute
in Phoenix, Arizona, with a degree in Automotive and Truck Technology.
He made the Director's Honor List 13 times and was named Student of the
three times. His final GPA was 3.95.
Nik now works for a boat repair shop on the SF-Bay waterfront in Alameda.
He performs maintenance and repairs on all manner of recreational watercraft,
including fishing, power and sailboats.
Posted by Dan 01/07/2002
Impressions of Brazil
Here are some impressions that have developed thus far... It's hard to know what applies to brazilians as a whole, to the region, or just to the people I've been with over the past 2 weeks, but for now, I'm gonna let my experience shape my impression of 'Brazilians' in general:
- Brazilians are a very welcoming people. They are hosting the world right now, and they seem to really enjoy it, and want visitors to enjoy brazil.
- They eat a lot of cheese. Cheese with every meal.
- Their meat is quite good but, man, do they like their meat salty! Saaalty!
- Light on veggies, other than onions.
- Fruits are good.
- Food is expensive. Dining out seems common (i.e. daily) and I can eat cheaper in Honolulu. How do they pay for living?
Posted by Whitney 06/25/2014