Hey Everyone,

Hope all is going well for you.  Please do keep in touch!

Chinese fortune cookie say “man who run in front of car get tired”

Desert drought (can you say redundant) update:  current  =  3.3″ normal  =  8″  If you ask me that is not a big difference total wise, percentage wise yes.

While neither Kara or I are big college football fans, UNM is making it tough to be interested in them.  UNM recently lost to TCU 69-0.

The first weekend in Oct in ABQ is the balloon festival.  For about a week they have a ton of hot air balloons taking off every morning.  Very colorful!  Some odd shapes, they had a cow (with legs), a bee (small wings).  It was interesting to see.  Quechee VT has a very similar event every summer which I have seen.  I would not traverse the country to see either but it is a neat event.  I suspect many of the ballon operators like it out here, if you are not over town it is not like there are many hazards, there are no trees!

Soon there after, we had our annual gather of college friends in early Oct.  We meet up every year, of late usually near Purdue.  We did have one year when a few of the couples went to Hawaii.  We are hoping to have another special outting in a couple years, we might go back to Mich Tech country, the Upper Peninsula of MIch (U P) or maybe Alaska or MAYBE both.  There are about seven couples that attend this event every year.  It is very nice everyone has made the effort to keep in touch and continue the friendships.

As many of you know it is the year end for the gov.  That caused even more paper work to be filled out by Kara.  Year end review, completing travel forms etc.  She is waiting to hear how congress irons out the funding for her lab.  There are 2 versions of bills covering this topic.  One has about a 40% cut the other almost none.  She has been told that it matters little to her job security but more how much if any she will get to travel this year is the queston.  She is not yet past her 1 year anniversary which we believe is the “probationary” period for her since she is a veteran.  Her first boss, remember how much we liked him???  He insisted that the probation was 3 years.  We have information to the contrary because of the veteran status.  Hopefully none of that will ever matter!

I have still been doing a few small consulting jobs.  Got paid, that certainly feels good!

Kara and I had the opportunity to have lunch with an uppity up from the lab last week.  We have occasionally feasted with her in the past.  She is an interesting person, always has interesting stories and usually good info.  We happened to ask her of the 150 or so people that moved with the lab how many spouses did she no of that had found a job here.  Her answer;  none she knew of.  We also got some speculation about the future financial situation of the lab.  Nothing of major concern.  It does reinforce the decision we made for Kara to take the Gov position.  There is some talk eliminating the contractor positions.  This would have affected Kara had she not taken the gov job.
We are still tweaking our TV experience a bit.  During our ten years in NH, our TV viewing habits got us used to taping with the DVR and watching later.  We have decided to try to reproduce that experience here in NM  We likely are going to get an Elgato EyeTV.  It lets you use a computer as a DVR, in this case taping shows we can receiver over the air.  They do offer one for cable / satellite but since we have neither that is not our target at this time.  We are still utilizing the option of online tv shows mostly.  While we have two apple TV’s, they can not play much of the content you find on websites.  So we are starting to watch Craig list for an older computer (mac mini type thing) to put near one of the TVs to improve our viewing options.  We are still resisting the monthly cable / satellite bills!!!  One last option we are considering is buying something called a “Slingbox”.  It is a box that sits “at home” and lets you watch shows you have taped while you are traveling.  In this case “home” for us might be my mothers house so we could watch taped Red Wings games or a long time friend, Chris in FL, offered to host a Slingbox for us so we can see Thurs and Mon night football, which we don’t get to see at the moment.  The later being the biggest hole in our TV viewing world again because of no cable / satellite.  Admittedly, buying all this hardware is not free but monthly cable bills add up to more than the cost of the hardware in just a few months and it feels better to NOT pay the man!I have updated Kara’s blog to have all the newsletters, so if you feel you need catching up, just check there.  http://www.thespacedr.com
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