Actually what happened was something screwed up with my blogger account, and I couldn't get it to work. After a while I gave up and... well I guess nearly a year passed. Wow.
Anyway, I've upgraded to the beta version blogger, and abandoned FTP-publishing for the time being, and it seems to be working again. So... a lightning tour of the last year:
- Went to London for New Year's Eve. This was my first visit to London, and I loved it. Our sight-seeing agenda was largely informed by my enthusiasm for the history of science. We visited the current site of the Royal Society, where they have a lock of Isaac Newton's hair (amongst other fascinating artifacts). They're not actually supposed to let random passersby in, but for some reason they let us in (we got little tags to wear and all - I kept mine!), and we spent a little while browsing their collection of esoteric volumes. We also visited the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where we straddled the Prime Meridian (longitude zero) and checked out the Harrison clocks. Let me pause for a moment to recommend Dava Sobel's Longitude. We also went to Cambridge, which I think I will save for another post. After attending evensong at Westminster Abbey, I stepped on Sir Charles Darwin's grave (and hissed "Jesus!" - which is wrong in more ways that I can adequately articulate). I am skipping over the friends and family part - we hung out with my brother-in-law, Trav, who was an excellent tour guide. I could go on forever - it was a great trip, and I'm excited to go back.
- Announced/Showed Mercs2 on the PlayStation 3 at the (now-defunct) E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in May.
- Went to Hawai'i for our fifth wedding anniversary. We stayed on the "Big Island", because that's where the active volcano is. We spent a night at the Volcano House, which overlooks the crater of one of the world's most active volcanoes. Walking around the crater is incredible - sulpherous fumes abound, and the landscape is unlike anywhere else I've been (jagged, black lava fields). We went up in a helicopter, and were able to witness active lava flows - an amazing sight. As luck would have it, our friends Eric and Angeline (subsequently engaged!) were on the Big Island at the same time, so we met up with them and paddled canoes to the James Cook memorial. We also had very charming and relaxing lunch at the Palace Theater in Hilo.
- I spent a couple of weeks in Australia renewing my visa. This was an unplanned trip where I literally had to be on the other side of the world with just a couple of days notice. Kind of stressful, but kind of funny too. As luck would have it, I had to wait for my visa in Perth - which meant spending time with my folks (GC and PT) at their property in West Swan. Highlights (apart from catching up with family, obviously): seeing a mob (20-30) of kangaroos in the neighbor's frontyard - I have video of this which I must youtube, actually. Interviewing my dad about his fully restored 1937 Jaguar SS Saloon - which I also have video of, now that I think of it. Visiting the Perth Mint and watching them pour a 200oz gold bar. I also spent time in Melbourne, where I was able to catch up with Harold and Ella, Lois (who left to visit me in LA while I went on to Perth... long story), the Brennemo clan, Angie, MattBJ, Ryan, Vaughn, Shane, Mark and Penny, Dr. Nick, and many others.
- Went to Burning Man. An experience that cannot be conveniently summarized.
- Moved house. We are now living in a weird little tree house just north of Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. I call it "Bel Air adjacent", because it makes it sound way fancier than it is =] This has been an inconvenient and annoying move - mainly because the new place is tiny and unergonomic, and most of our stuff doesn't fit. But it's riding distance to work, and makes up for inconvenience with charm - being surrounded by leafy green trees, with families of raccoon, squirrels and owls (not to mention bobcats and coyotes), while being five minutes from Westwood village is an interesting circumstance.
- Family Apocalypse. This year we've had Rosie and Jeff, Trav, Lois, and GC and PT all visit us here in LA for a couple of weeks. Everyone focused on relaxing and spending quality time together as opposed to hardcore sight-seeing (although there was a little of that too). Probably my favorite parts were taking the boys (GC, Jeff, Trav) to the Peterson Automotive Museum (in a rented H3, no less - it was an accident, I swear) and the La Brea Tar Pits. We also had a great time building a deck for the new house, and taking Lois with us to San Francisco to assist with Burning Man preparations was pretty awesome (although I abandoned her in the Haight, and freaked her out - sorry Lo!).
I must be nuts.