Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Last Photos from St. John

Yes, it was 3 months ago. But we're already planning to go back! Here's the last group of photos.

We took a wonderful day sail on the Heron. Here she is at anchor:

We were a bit nervous about the little people, but they had a great time as well.

Brynna did get in her nap, thank goodness.

And Miss Maddie was quite at her leisure:

Here's a shot from the taxi on St. Thomas. Brynna is pretending to be asleep:

This is one of my favorite shots from the whole week:

 Our delightful companions for the week:

 The Moose Family in the water:

"Our" beach (Salt Pond Bay):

Me napping with Maddie, who woke up in her crib and didn't want to settle down without a snuggle:

The whole week was just delightful.

Rock N Race!

The Moose Family participated in the Rock 'N Race this evening: a yearly 5K fundraiser for the cancer center at the hospital.

Alex and I ran it as part of our training, and Brynna walked with some of my friends from work (thanks, Shauna and Tina!). It's quite the event: more than 6000 people, including some really fast ones—this year's winner ran 16 minutes and change.

We don't run 5Ks often (at least not 5Ks without a swim and a bike prior) but we both had goals for this race. Alex wanted to run less than 22 minutes—and ended up doing it in under 21:00! I was aiming for 25 minutes or so, and ended up well below that!

Here we are right afterward:

And then feasting on the nibblies (that's a brownie Brynna is swooning over):

This has been an awful year for cancer in the family and for my patients. We are thinking about you all tonight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marriage Equality, the Three Year Old Perspective

Brynna is in the twirly dress, pink-loving, sparkle princess phase. She continues to be wedding-obsessed (Aunt Martha, that one is still all because of you!), and we were getting into the car this morning when she announced, "I'm marrying a boy. And we're off to the marrying place!"

"A boy?" I asked. "Not a girl?"

"I can marry a GIRL?" Brynna said (we have men married to men in our family but no women married to women).

"Yes, you can marry whoever you want," I called back from the front seat. "A boy or a girl." (New Hampshire politics are driving me nuts these days, but the marrying bit is fabulous.)

"OK, well then NEXT time I'll marry a girl," came Brynna's chipper reply.

So glad to see that she's planning ahead.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Locker Room Conversations

Brynna and I were getting dressed after our swim at the Y this evening.

"Why is underwear different sizes?" she asked me.

"Because our butts are different sizes," I replied.

"Oh! Let me see!" she exclaimed, running around behind me. Followed by "oh, yeah. Yours is BIG. Like as big as a giant! Like as big as the locker! Like as big as your tummy!"

Um...honey...NOT HELPING. Keep digging, and maybe you'll end up in China.

At least she didn't say "as big as Jupiter," which is her favorite comparison these days. I suppose that would've been worse.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kickstarting Fireflies

If you aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it's a way to crowdsource funding for small-ish projects. For instance: a band wants to cut an album, but don't have the cash to get studio time. They put up a sampling of their music on Kickstarter and say "We need $X. If you pledge $Y towards our goal, we'll give you a band T-shirt. If you pledge $Z, we will give you a first-run CD when we finish it." Other kickstarter projects work along similar lines: soliciting pledges with various tiers of support.

Come to think of it, it's a lot like an NPR pledge drive. Like an NPR pledge drive, each project has a total dollar figure in mind ($X). Unlike NPR, if the goal isn't met within a specified time period (say, one month), no money changes hands and everyone walks away. Only if the pledge amount is met do credit cards get charged, and the entrepreneur gets their funding. Kickstarter takes a cut of a few percent.

Kickstarter is starting to make a splash. They've successfully funded some 20,000 projects to the tune of $200,000,000. They recently made a splash, covered in the new york times, when a project for a wireless watch shattered their initial goal of $100k by raising over $7 million. At the moment, with 10 days to go, that project has over $10 million committed.

There's no guarantee that you'll ever actually get your tchotchke, of course. This isn't venture capital, either - there are no ownership stakes involved. Some people just have bad business plans and fold before ever producing. Others drastically underestimate how much work there is in actually finishing something, and so instead of taking months it takes years. Some are just plain incompetent. A few might actually be scams. Caveat emptor.

As an engineer and occasional tinkerer, who happens to work with other engineers and tinkerers, and a follower of the maker movement, I've been following various projects on Kickstarter for a while. While the wireless watch seems neat, I'm not keen on dropping $115 on a watch I don't need, even if the project is really cool.

Instead, I've just made my first contribution to a more modest project: a circuit board with a solar cell that creates fireflies.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Springtime Update

Things are proceeding apace here in Concord (a fairly rapid pace, actually).

Brynna becomes taller, chattier, and more sophisticated by the day. She is riding a bike (yes, two wheels, no training wheels), sliding confidently down tall firemen's poles, and is starting to recognize a few written words and even sort of sound out very short words. She is currently VERY curious about planets and outer space and keeps asking why helicopters can just go straight up into the air but airplanes need a runway (I leave these explanations to Alex). We've also been swimming a lot at the Y, and B has progressed to swimming with only one "bubble" on her back, as well as jumping into the water on her own, and (with parental assistance for sinking) diving under the water to retrieve weighted objects from the bottom of the pool. Pink and princesses are IN for that of spring, so apparently my attempts to avoid that part of little girl-dom entirely have not been successful.

Here are a few recent photos:

I haven't written much about work this year, because I spend enough time there (and thinking about being there) that I don't usually have much extra energy for it once home. The quick update: my in-hospital call is OVER, which is delightful! I still have phone calls to take from home, and babies to catch, but it's still quite a milestone. Over the next few months, I will finish up the family medicine part of my training, and move toward full time preventive medicine--a little bit of clinic still, but mostly public health classes and work on my long-term project, which will be on smoking cessation in pregnancy. I'm taking one class up at Dartmouth right now, which means I get to go to the Co-op twice a week and bring home Red Hen ciabatta! In July, I will massively cut back the number of patients I'm responsible for, from about 550 to 100 or 150, and this will come with a big cut back in the amount of paperwork that I have to handle. (Paperwork, as all doctors will tell you, is the bane of our existence. The face-to-face with patients part, I absolutely love.)

Alex and I have also signed up for our first Olympic distance triathlon: 1500 meter swim (just under a mile), 40 K (25 mile) bike, and 10 K (6.2 mile) run. It's in July in Fairlee (yes, we thought this would be a great way to celebrate our wedding anniversary). This is twice the distance of our previous sprint triathlons, so it has us inspired (scared) to train hard! There is lots of swimming, biking, and running going on these days. This is going to be our fourth triathlon season, and it seems like we're in this crazy sport for the long haul, so we've joined the ranks of hard-core triathletes and purchased aero bikes. Here's mine (a Trek):

And Alex's (a Cervelo):

We have NOT purchased funny teardrop-shaped aero helmets, so there is an element of silliness that we are holding in reserve. Nonetheless, the bikes are AWESOME. And I feel like I have to train even harder to be deserving of such a cool set of wheels! Today, I even did some intervals on the track. It's a little sad, because when I get on the track I remember that I used to be able to run pretty fast, and now I'm just galumphing along.

Jasper is doing well. He's shorn for spring, and enjoying romping along as B rides her bike, or warming up/cooling down with us on our training runs. We all went for a hike at Oak Hill this past weekend, which left both Brynna and Jasper happily exhausted, though we had to turn around about a quarter mile short of the fire tower due to the late hour and B's fatigue.

So, that's a little recap of what's been going on. Coming up: a trip to the Cape, a midwestern swing to visit friends in Chicago and Wisconsin, the start of tri season, and then residency graduation at the end of June!