Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays 2008

As the end of another year approaches, it's time once again for another Dessler family holiday letter. As we look back over the past year, it's amazing how few things happened to us that could be categorized as “interesting.” However, tradition forces me to enumerate the things that did happen, with an eye toward making them at least sound exciting.

Andy is still working at Texas A&M in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. In the last holiday message, Andy talked about how worried he was about the issue of climate change. He's still worried about that, but now there's so much more to worry about. Luckily, change is indeed on the way. The Bush administration, much like Wile E. Coyote, spent eight years ignoring the fundamental laws of physics. And in the end it worked out about as well for the country as it did for Mr. Coyote. Andy expects much better things from the Obama administration, and is greatly encouraged by the strong science credentials of the cabinet nominees.

Coincidence update: in the mid-80s, Andy applied to work with Steven Chu, the nominee for Secretary of Energy, when he was a faculty member in the physics department at Stanford. Andy was not accepted and is still quite bitter about it. He plans to bring this up if he ever meets Professor Chu — and then give Chu a well-deserved wedgie.

Susan (left: photo with Michael) finally got fed up spending all day with the kids and got a job. She works in a psychiatrist’s office in College Station. Being a small town, it is now a virtually certainty that, anywhere we go, Susan will be able to point to someone and say, “He’s on wellbutrin.”

Alex and Michael are now almost four and are continuing to grow like weeds. They’ve recently realized they look like each other and now occasionally try to convince the rest of the family that they are each other — it’s a bit of a “parent trap” moment.

The highlight of the year was probably our trip to Disney World. The kids loved it and were not at all fearful when Mickey and friends walked up to us to hoover money out of Dad’s wallet.

Andy’s parents, Alex and Lorraine, are still enjoying College Station and going strong at 80. Alex has an adjunct appointment in Andy’s department, and enjoys showing up to seminars and hassling the speaker. Lorraine enjoys the shopping in College Station. Susan’s mother, Maureen Buersmeyer, splits her time between College Station and northern Virginia, where Susan’s brother Tim lives, and is also doing fine.

Max and Kasper, our two weimaraners, are doing great. They’ve enjoyed another fulfilling year of killing small animals that make the mistake of wandering through our yard, sleeping on the bed, and generally annoying everyone. Kasper still has allergies — he gets weekly shots and has been on special hypoallergenic food, which he claims tastes like sawdust. We hope to identify exactly what he’s allergic to soon, and get him on a more palatable food.

So our year was boring. But as we get older, we’ve realized that a boring year is not so bad. Many bad things could have happened that didn’t … We did not, for example, lose any money in Ponzi schemes. Nor did we go 0-16, like the Detroit Lions.

Here’s hoping you had a great 2008 and an even better 2009.

Andy, Susan, Michael, and Alexander (and Max and Kasper)
5110 Congressional Dr.
College Station, TX 77845
Susan: desslerfamily@hotmail.com
Andy: adessler@tamu.edu