Tuesday, December 26, 2006

happy holidays 2006

Welcome to our holiday letter. It’s in blog format, and includes some imbedded YouTube videos. It's so 2006 that it hurts. It is, in fact, one of the reasons that Time Magazine picked the Dessler family to be “persons of the year”.

Our boys, Alexander and Michael, are almost two years old now. Here they are about 10 seconds before they destroyed the Christmas tree.

Here's what they look like in action:

Susan tells Andy that Alex and Michael are about to enter the “terrific twos,” when they quickly mature to be little gentlemen. Gone will be the days of randomly wandering around the house increasing entropy. They will be replaced with polite, respectful, and generally angelic behavior. Andy is somewhat skeptical since Susan also told him in early '04 that having kids would not 1) cost any money or 2) take up any time.

Andy is still an associate professor in the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M. His research continues to focus on climate change. He is becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of climate change, and has spent much of the past year talking to the public about it. To that end, he's started blogging:

(From the 9/12 Houston Chronicle, click for a larger image)

You can find his blogs here or here (they are effectively mirrors of each other).

Andy also dipped his toe oh-so-briefly in the world of podcasting.

Susan has her hands full taking care of the kids and our weimaraners, Max and Kasper (see below). At any given moment, it is virtually certain that one of the four of them is destroying something, so eternal vigilance is her lot in life. When she's not watching the kids and dogs, she's commiserating with other members of the Brazos Valley Mother of Twins Club about how worthless their respective husbands are.

Andy's parents, Alex and Lorraine, recently moved to College Station and live about a 10 minute walk away from us. Susan's mother, Maureen, still lives with us. All three are of great help taking care of the kids and dogs.

Our weims, Max and Kasper, are doing great. Max is now three and Kasper is about 1.5.

(click on the picture for a larger version)

Click here for some pictures of Max and Kasper playing.

Kasper now weighs about 80 lbs, a little bigger than Max. When Kasper's not sleeping, he can usually be found counter surfing. He has an amazing ability to rapidly extract food from its packaging --- hot dog buns from plastic wrap, baked goods from those plastic molded clamshell containers, gravy from tupperware, pop tarts from cardboard boxes ... you get the picture. Andy is convinced that Kasper actually has a secret opposable thumb.

Kasper's had a bunch of medical problems over the past year, but one of the good things about College Station is that you can get really good medical care for your pets/farm animals at the A&M veterinary school. Click here to see some video of Kasper on a water treadmill --- it’s physical therapy for a hip problem. If only the human medical care in College Station was as good.

We really love College Station. It's a great college town and A&M is not nearly as bad as Andy thought it was when he was an undergrad at Rice. The school has more spirit than just about any place we've ever been. If you go out, at least 90% of the people you see are wearing some article of clothing with A&M on it. And except for football game days, parking is easy and traffic is light --- even at rush hour. There are some disadvantages, of course. Shopping for anything obscure (except obscure farm equipment) means driving to Houston. And there's not exactly a plethora of ethnic restaurants --- unless your definition of ethnic is Mexican and BBQ. Overall though, small-town life is good.

We hope you had a great 2006 and we wish you a joyous and prosperous 2007.

Andy, Susan, Alex, Michael (and Max and Kasper) Dessler
5110 Congressional Dr.
College Station, TX 77845