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Nik & Whitney, 2008
On belay, while rock-climbing in Laos.

New Zealand, 2012
The Skytower looms over the Auckland skyline.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
$5 motos and Christmas Day in Bali, Indonesia.

Whitney, 2011
More critters in the Amazon rain forest.
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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.)
Urbanathlon, Where You Been All My Life?!

I admit I was at first a little apprehensive about an obstacle race. I mean, I guess it always sounded fun in theory, kind of like when the office coworker you hardly know suggests a play date for your dogs.

"Yeah! That sounds fun, we should do that sometime ... "

But the truth is, I don't like being constantly interrupted when I run. I get irritated when I have to maneuver around casual walkers monopolizing the whole width of the trail, or slow my pace to duck under a low hanging tree branch.

This one was Brad's idea. Although he doesn't much care for running, he was willing to forgive the Urbanathlon for serving up 11 miles of it, since there would be plenty of obstacles and strength challenges to keep him entertained. I, on the other hand, was less confident about my abilities to navigate through an obstructed race course.

Once upon a playground, I was master of the monkey bars, and a habitual climber of fences and trees (usually in my fanciest dresses, much to my parents' bewilderment).

But those days have long since passed, and I have now developed an irrational fear of heights, or perhaps more specifically, a fear of gravity. My adult attempts at reliving my grade school glory on the jungle gym have been thwarted by a disturbing awareness that I could easily dislocate a shoulder or throw out my back with the most basic of acrobatics.

Most of my training leading up to this event was simply focused on all-around functional strength, and a fairly traditional gym regimen, despite Brad's insistence that I learn to do 30 consecutive pull-ups, so that I could be strong like him.

In the final week before the race, we devised a practice course at a local playground -- a training circuit that included running, pull-ups, monkey bars, stair climb repeats, army crawling under the swing set, and of course hurdling over the 5 foot fence surrounding the playground (rather than walking through the gate like normal people).

This dress rehearsal was a huge confidence builder for me, and it turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. I finally got my groove back on the monkey bars, zipping back and forth effortlessly. I definitely need more monkey bars in my life.

Race day I was pumped and ready. I knew I could manage all the obstacles, and I figured the running in between would be my chance to rest.

Posted by Kimberly 11/25/2015
Like Ripping off a BandAid

Well we managed to extricate ourselves from Koh Tao last week. The trick is to do it fast and with no warning. We went down to check on tickets to Chiang Mai and found that it was either leave the next day or wait another week for availability, so we booked it and got the next boat off.

Goodells Rule!

Posted by nik 10/21/2008, revised 11/05/2008
Part 3: Volleyball playoffs

For the past 3 months, our Flogging Molly volleyball 4's team has played every Friday night, fighting to get into the end-of-season playoffs. Well, we did it. We've worked hard, and this past Friday evening, we came into the playoff games in 4th place, the lowest position for playoffs. We beat the 3rd place team in a solid, close game, and then an hour later beat the 2nd place team by a Golden Point! It was off to the Saturday Championship game with us!

Saturday evening, 5:15pm, we faced the Yellow Tails, the #1 team all season. Games against them are always my favorite - they're a good team that plays the game well and enjoys the sport, and we always play a close game against them. We came out pumped, and I could feel my competitive side really coming through. The whole season has always been about fun and recreation, and it still was all the way through, but this was the Championship game - this was my arena, and it felt GOOD.

The game was tight, and we fought hard, but the Yellow Tails are a good team, and in the end they got the win they deserved. I could feel my competitive side get a bit frustrated with the loss for a moment - I really don't like losing. But very quickly, I remembered the whole reason behind the league: this was a fun thing to do with a great group of friends, and the 4 of us (roommates Scott and Crystal and our friend Hugo) have really come together over the season to create a fun team to play on.

We never would've thought that our scraggly crew, who came into the season late, losing all of our first games, wildly scampering all over the court for out-of-control balls, would ever make it to being the Runners Up of the league. But we did it, and we had a fantastic time doing so. Now, each one of us has a great glass-framed "trophy" sitting on our desks, reminding us of the great time we had this season.

Our trophy for 2nd place - Hugo, me, Crystal, and Scott. Yay Flogging Molly!

Posted by Whitney 06/15/2008, revised 06/19/2008

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