A friend of mine from work, Larry, let Owen have his son's LikeAbike that he had outgrown. LikeAbikes are great: they don't have pedals or training wheels, and they're made out of a relatively light-weight wood. They're simple, strong and excellent for learning balance. Owen first rode his "Running Bike" last Wednesday. The video is below (and here ) where you can see that even though he's a bit wobbly, he's able to ride down the small hill in our driveway without trouble. The second video below (and here ) shows Owen this past Saturday at the Punahou playground. He rode his bike the half-mile there, and immediately started attacking the hills, which probably have a 60-70% grade in some places (the neighborhood kids sled down the hills on pieces of cardboard). Owen loves his running-bike so much that he even rides it from the living room to the bathroom. We have a feeling the training wheels on his Gary Fischer will be coming off soon!
I have a night scheduled on the Keck Telescope starting Monday evening. I try not to sweat the weather before I begin observing because there's the temptation to slack off if the weather looks bad. This can be a very bad thing to do in the event that the weather unexpectedly clears, leaving you unprepared for the night ("It's clear, whoohoo! OMG, what's my first target?!"). I had my target list finished well in advance, so I decided to check in with the Mauna Kea Weather Center . The forecast looks good, which is great. However, I noticed clouds in the webcam views. Booo! I then checked the time-lapse movie from the previous night, which looked pretty cool. I downloaded the mp4 file, uploaded it to Youtube and did an audio-swap using one of Youtube's cool new features to add a little background music. The resulting vid clip is below (and here ). The night starts on Thursday, May 7 just before midnight, and continues until midnight the following night. The v
I think Auto-Tune ushered in the demise of true vocal talent in modern pop music (see e.g. Ashlee Simpson), but it has lead to some fun side effects! It turns out that when normal speech is fed into Auto-Tune, it gets confused and tries to automatically tune it as if it were a song. Hence the unlikely singing careers of T-pain, and perhaps most recently, Kanye West . But so far, my favorite application is this video of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream speech":
Last night at dinner Owen enumerated his list of "safety tapes" (safety tips). Here's the video, along with the official list so you can follow along at home. Be careful with those pennies! Do not try to eat all the pennies Do not try to knock the ice cream cones down Do not try to hit people Do not try to pour all the stuff out Do not try to pour all the cards out when Marcus is awake Do not try to knock the bottles down when you're drinking it Do not try to eat all the ice cream because that will make your tummy ache Do not try to break the camera Do not try to hit or scratch Do not try to eat all that food
The Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pasadena, CA Erin and I have been trying to clear out some time to sit down and recount all of the exciting things that went down over the past two months. But for some reason the writing muses have managed to miss our house for a while. It's probably in part due to the technical-writing muses that have been kind enough to hang out with me for the past 6 months or so. It's been their territory around here for a while now. So at long last, here it is: When I accepted my current job in Hawaii, we knew it was a temporary position. Erin once said, "I recently realized that the friend who understands me the most here in Hawaii is the one who is a military wife, just because of all the job uncertainty." Yes, we've been wandering souls. Fortunately, I knew if I played my cards right, we could achieve a permanent post relatively quickly. If not, then it would be off to the next postdoc after three years here in Hawaii
This is Owen's second self portrait. He first used TextEdit to type out the names of his family members. I helped a little, for example with the second "m" and the "y" in mommy, but he's been getting good at sounding things out. Also, he insists on having his middle name last. Says Owen of his color choices, "Light blue is my favorite color, and purple is Mommy's favorite color, and dark blue is Daddy's favorite color and Marcus likes orange." We printed out the text file and Erin gave him his Crayons and let him go at it. To our surprise, he came into the living room and showed us an amazingly detailed self portrait. His teacher, Mrs. Fake, taught us to ask him to tell us about his art, instead of saying "What is this?" because art doesn't always have to be something concrete. So Erin asked, "Owen, can you tell us about your drawing?" Owen replied, "This is the head, this is the lips, this is the neck, this i