Monday, June 21, 2010


As we're saying goodnight tonight, Owen asks:

O: Mommy, can I tell you one last thing?
E: Sure.
O: Do you know that the silk worms start out as caterpillars?
E: Oh yeah?
O: Their poop looks like little black crumbs.
E: Wow!
O: And then they make a cocoon, and then they come out as moths.
E: That's amazing isn't it!??!
O: Do you know that moths from silkworms are called Vampire moths?
E: I didn't know that, I wonder why they got that name.
O: Me too. And Mommy, did you know that Rajan Rondo had a band-aid on his chin? Not his chin all the way, but his chin and neck. Can I do that, too?


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Owen L. Johnson: Clutch shooter

Owen is becoming somewhat of an athletic phenom. I honestly don't know where he gets it. When I was growing up we had a basketball hoop that my dad installed in our driveway. However, during the summers I'd spend my days playing with Legos in my room while the neighborhood kids would play 4-on-4 outside my window. They'd knock on the door, ask my dad if they could play, and see if I'd like to come join them. I always declined and I'm sure a little piece of my father's hopes would die each time :)

Owen on the other hand begs me to play "down-set-hike" every day in the yard. If it's not running post routes in the front yard, he wants to shoot hoops in the back yard with the volleyball and recycling bin. Every Saturday he plays soccer, and the coach gazes on with tears in his eyes as Owen out-sprints the other kids, slide tackles with abandon, and "sells out" for every loose ball.

Our latest bonding activity is going to the Caltech gym and shooting hoops on the "real basketball hoop." I use a regulation ball and Owen uses a volleyball. He can make about 1 out of every 3 shots these days. Here's a video of his second day on the court. His first day out, he was barely able to shoot the ball half way to the hoop. About an hour in he was reliably hitting the bottom of the net. By the time we left, he had sunk 8 shots in 30 minutes.

What's especially amazing to me about Owen is his persistence. His dedication to practice is something I didn't learn until I was in college. But he'll practice shooting hoops for an hour and a half, stopping only to catch his breath and grab some water from the fountain. Who's kid is this?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Julie on TV!

My former classmate, BADGrad mentee and good friend Julie Comerford was recently featured on a science special on blackholes. Check it out!

There are key milestones in one's astronomy research career. Your first first-author paper, hitting 100 citations on a single paper, membership in the National Academy of science, and having Morgan Freeman say your name in a science documentary. Congrats Julie!

Monday, June 14, 2010

1 Guitar

All this time I thought there were two guitars!

Jose Gonzales - Crosses

Oh, how I love this song!

Speaking of amazing Swedish musicians who sing better in English than most native English-speakers:

First Aid Kit - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (Cover of Fleet Foxes)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Erin and the boys on the Tonight Show

15 seconds of fame for the Johnsons at the 3:00 mark (2 minutes in).

Friday, June 11, 2010

A day at the Huntington Gardens

by Erin

Marcus and I spent the day at Huntington Gardens today as part of a field trip for the Caltech Women's club. It was my first visit in almost 10 years exactly (John took me there in June 2000 before we were married), and we had an awesome time exploring the gardens and meeting some new friends.

Marcus is a huge fan of opening & closing doors lately, so the gate in the children's garden was right up his ally! We had fun splashing in the water, running through tunnels and feeding the friendly ducks in the Chinese Gardens.

If you'd like to place a call...

...please hang up and try again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

On the way up to the trail head

Erin, the boys and I went up to the the Chantry Flats Pack Station for a hike to scout out a potential camp ground. Erin will post the pictures from the hike soon. I thought I'd share a video of our drive up to the trail head. I navigated while Erin drove:

Heh, just kidding. That's the late World Rally Champion Richard Burns driving briskly in his not-exactly-stock Subaru WRX. Watching in-car views of rally racing is one of my Youtube obsessions. The guy talking is the navigator reading the pacenotes. The hairpin turn near 1:10 is rather insane, no? "50 k-left to k-left to minus stone, to hairpin right. Very. Tight." I'd love to attend rally driving school one day...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mar: Breaking the Law

The door to Owen's room

A notice for Marcus reads, "Don't come [in] please." The grid in the lower left corner is for stickers that Mar can earn if he leaves Owen's stuff alone.

Mar: "I can't read and Owen isn't home..."
(That's yogurt on his face and a gogurt in his hand)

No stickers for Mar today...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Poll!

Check out the side bar for a new poll. Participate and tell your friends that you were a part of something big!