A brief California whirlwind

On Friday I headed out to the West coast for a brief visit in order to surprise Aunt Linda on the occasion of her 60th birthday party. Well, she was surprised, thanks to some excellent planning, scheming, and misdirection. It was a really nice party.

On Saturday the out-of-town partygoers gathered at Strand Terrace for brunch.  I always love it when we host meals while I am in town because it is fun to cook together as a family.  Shaina made quiche, I chopped things and cooked up bacon, Mom made an apple cake, and Dad and Jess cooked as well as taking care of all the grocery shopping. The parents have redone their patio to give it more of an “outdoor living room” feel, and I think it really works — definitely a good fit for the California climate.

On Monday Jessica, Mom and I went paddle boarding in Newport Beach, which is fun once you recognize how absurd and inefficient it is.  The high winds kept pushing us back and threatening to topple us over, but we made it to our arbitrary goal (a bridge) and back without major incident.  In the morning Mom and I had also hiked at Santiago Oaks, so it was an active sort of day.

Throw in some family time, pool time, meal time, and beach time, and cap it with lunch at In-N-Out — a pretty good few days in the sun!  I’m sad that the trip is already over, but I’m spending a few days in Portland with Jessica before heading back home.

Triplog: Cardiff

We arrived amidst a sea of graduation gowns — Cardiff Uni was sending off its 2008 class. After a helpful stop at the visitors bureau for advice and bag storage, it was on to Cardiff Castle for grog and merriment. Well, not really, but this fortification is roughly two thousand years old (give or take a century), so no doubt it was host to some form of revelry at some point, perhaps when the Romans were in residence. They did say the Queen has visited, and she’s quite the dancer, or so the voices in my head tell me.

Anyway, big neat castle.

An interesting tour with no pictures allowed, although we were all taking them regardless.
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Triplog: Costa Rica (Part 3)

Yeah, I know the trip was in December and I’m posting the final penultimate update in April. Next maybe I’ll finally write about my trip to France in May…of 2006. Family is welcomed to comment with any CR details I’ve forgotten in the interim.

When last we spoke, we had concluded our time in Guanacasta and taken a treacherous(-ish) mountain journey to La Fortuna, around Lake Arenal, which looks (from afar, through the fog) sort of like this:

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Life update for May 2007

On campus things are winding down as finals end and summer begins. At Harvard I’m finishing up a big web project for the OpenNet Initiative today before I head out for vacation tomorrow. It’s also weird that fellows are slowly trickling out, because although I’ve only been here for two years in July, in that time I’ve seen tons of change at Berkman, including a tripling (or so) of our staff and the establishment of two major ongoing projects, a few shifts in focus, a move to a new building, and two batches of fellows (some of whom stay for only one year terms). And in a few weeks all of the summer interns are going to start pulling in, taking up every nook and cranny and making the Berkman atmosphere even more interesting. Oh, and also I joined the HLS softball team!

On the Northeastern front things wrapped up a few weeks back and Shaina is already home in California, working at Maintex and hanging out with her theater geek friends.

At Brandeis there was another brouhaha about another possibly racist/definitely offensive publication, which I got to watch from afar. Someone has learned something in the previous few “incidents,” but I’m not entirely sure what. Finals are happening there as well, which means my last major link to Brandeis, Aaron, is soon heading off to grad school at Rutgers (yay Aaron! but boo, far away :().

And in other happy news, Alwina got a much-deserved and long-overdue promotion to Assistan Provost in charge of unifying grad student services, a fun, interesting, and probably difficult task. We celebrated last week over Italian.

I’ve been enjoying the outdoors a lot, playing some frisbee (although it reveals how incredibly out of shape I am), going camping at IOCA’s trip to New Paltz, NY, and kayaking a couple times. On Saturday Jeremy persuaded me to skip out on some work and head off to Waltham to kayak at a place I never knew existed, and we went six miles round trip, headwind both ways, up to Moody street and back. It was fun. Soon the water will be warmer and there will be some swimming to be had as well.

On the home front the new washing machine is working great and I even installed it myself, things are generally clean and functional, I’m loving my Apple TV, and the only thing Igor and I are having trouble with is our wildly divergent conceptions of what temperature is habitable. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m off to Cancun for a few days, then to California to visit with family and watch Jessica walk at her theoretical graduation, and then back with Jess in tow for a bit of Northeast adventuring before returning to work in two weeks. I’ll take pictures, of course, and eventually post them. In the meantime below you can see a few kayaking shots and hopefuly today I’ll get up some old Berkman pics as well, a couple of which I’m somewhat proud of. So stay tuned, stay warm, and get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather!


Danny surfs, kindaToday was surfing day. Jessica, Shaina, and I were taught the ropes by Mikey of Goofy Foot Surf School, First round I got up and did alright, but nothing special. Second round I was all set and then got a really bad cramp in my right calf and fell into the water. On the way back to the group, I banged my left leg on a big rock. Third round I didn’t do very well because I was so worried about my painful right leg, not to mention my slightly less painful left leg, and I was getting pretty worried that the whole exercise would end up a failure.

On my fourth and final run I did all right and stood briefly, but even remembered to lean forward to try and speed up, but didn’t stay up very long. I was able to catch a last wave on my own and navigate in to shore, although I did not try to stand in the very shallow water. I never did get a chance to try turning and such, but all in all it was a productive and fun day, and now I can say that I’ve surfed. I’d like to do it again, but I’ll have to stretch my legs a lot beforehand, because it was really stupid to get all the way out there, be all set, and not be able to do anything because of my dumb leg.

I have pictures to prove that I did it, although Jessica posed a lot better then I and the swim shorts I was wearing look very, very geeky (thanks, Dad!). Ya know what else I want to do? Snow skiing. Guess that will have to wait until I get back to the other coast and, also, um, on the mainland.