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Moorea, 2012
In Tahiti, when you hide cell towers in fake trees they have to be fake palm trees.

Whitney, 2016

Kimberly, 2011
Kim defending her title at Wisconsin's Pleasant Prairie Triathlon.

Whitney, 2011
Low tides on Ecuador's coast.
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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.)
The Things We Deserve

Winter for me means a lot of training, but there isn't much to talk about in the way of races. However, an incident in December got me thinking about how people treat each other, and some of the common attitudes within the triathlon community, but also in society in general. Admittedly, I can't keep pace with Twitter, so this commentary would have been a lot more relevant three months ago, but sometimes it seems like the immediate and impulsive nature of social media doesn't really allow for deeper introspection. I hesitated for a long time before posting this because the story was no longer current, but as time went by, the themes stayed with me. I became more aware of my own tendency towards quick judgment, and I observed all around me the persistent habit of categorizing strangers as The Deserving or The Undeserving, usually based on completely arbitrary distinctions or inaccurate perceptions.

Here is what went down in December:

Danielle Dingman, a talented young athlete who is relatively new to triathlon, qualified for her pro license last season. Faced with typical financial barriers as an unsponsored rookie, she opted to launch a GoFundMe page where friends, family and perhaps even anonymous donors could help her pursue her dream of a career in triathlon racing.

Apparently, this rubbed some people the wrong way.

Brad Culp, a writer and former Editor in Chief for Triathlon Magazine, was quick to condemn this move with the sarcastic tweet "Go Fund Yourself." He pointed to prominent athletes whose early years were consumed by long hours devoted to (high wage) careers that ultimately enabled financial freedom without the help of a "handout." He further expanded on his rejection of Dingman in an article on the TRS website, and other pro athletes chimed in, affirming his stance.

There was a compelling element to Culp's argument, as he presented Dingman as a self-absorbed, dreamy millennial who hoped success would land in her lap. His stereotype appealed to the part of the psyche that says, "Yeah, you know what? I've had to make sacrifices. Why should you get anything for free?" By leaning on that American cliché of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps," he taps into the familiar tendency to indulge in moral superiority, looking down upon the lazy and undeserving. Indeed, I've observed that often when people debate, they seem more preoccupied with attempting to prove "how hard I've had to work," than they are with actually making a salient point. In some convoluted way, invoking hard work is universally expected to lend credibility to your opinions.

Posted by Kimberly 03/06/2018
My Blog Now!!!

Yup, I'm taking over my page now! Since 2003 i haven't done anything except a trip on my bike last summer. Well, I guess that about brings us up to date. Moving on.

My summer was spent in the wonderful little village of San Luis Obispo, nestled against the California coastal range, where i participated in an internship at the 'we're too good for Nik' Cal Poly University. Let me just say, SLO rocks! As do all the wonderful people i met there this summer, and I can't wait to return next year.

We'll cut into this little reminiscion with a recount of my last mini-backpacking trip near Sequoia National Park, so i can put in some cool pictures.

A friend from the internship and I headed out after work on friday for a weekend backpacking trip in the Sierra's. We got in late and stayed at a little walk in camp that was tucked waaay up a small winding backroad near the trailhead. This was also the only bear sighting on our trip. We awoke early to find a black bear not more than 50 yards off in the camp area. He wasn't interested in our food though, just beating up the trees around there.

Backpacking in the High Sierras

Posted by nik 08/22/2008, revised 08/22/2008
Snippets of Life: Part 3 - Las flores y los pájaros de Mindo

When you are new in a country or area or city, there are always the locations/ attractions that people ask you, "Have you seen this yet? Have you done that yet? Have you gone there?" Well I have finally gone to one such place that I've been hearing about since my arrival in Quito. Mindo is a beautiful escape for those who love the natural world. It is located in the cloud forests of Ecuador, about 3 hours outside of Quito. These are high-elevation forests that are fed by the rains that precipitate out of clouds rising up the flanks of the Andes. With hundreds of species of birds, flowers of every color of the rainbow, and crisp, clean, refreshing rivers, it is quite a weekend treat.

I got to see a toucan! I took this photo with my friend Heather's SLR camera... and now I'm hooked.

It should be noted that due to this trip, I am now resigned to the fact that my next earned income will be going towards a nice SLR camera and lenses with which to capture the incredible and colorful life of the world around me! But for now, I just make do with the camera I have, and capture the wildlife that comes close enough for the capability of my lens.

Have a peek at some of the birds my lens and I saw!
(the pictures at the beginning of this album are not from Mindo)

Photo album: Birds and flowers and smiles in Mindo

Posted by Whitney 04/07/2011, revised 04/07/2011

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