Andy's January 1, 2012
9:15 AM: Woke up
9:18 AM: Suddenly remembered that I forgot to do the family year-end holiday message
9:20 AM: Sit down at computer
9:21 AM: Get distracted by TMZ article about Snookie
8:32 PM: Remember again year-end holiday message
8:34 PM: Sit down at computer again; promise not to get distracted this time
8:35 PM: Try to think of something interesting to say about 2011
8:37 PM: Now that the kids are in 1st grade, suddenly realize there's not a lot interesting that you can say about being in 1st grade—they go to school in the morning, come back in the afternoon much dirtier than they left, and seem to have learned stuff (about 20% of which is stuff we wish they had not learned). One consequence of the kids getting smarter: it is becoming progressively harder for me and Susan to communicate in secret by spelling words out.
8:40 PM: Mention that they played T-ball and soccer
Don't pitch inside to these guys
8:42 PM: They also learned to swim
Michael takes off
8:45 PM: Mention our two dogs, Max and Kasper, are both doing great. Max remains the Dessler-family Alpha dog, while Kasper refers to himself as the “assistant Alpha dog.” Max, however, insists that Kasper is actually the “assistant to the Alpha dog.”
Max (L) and Kasper (R) doing what they do best
8:57 PM: Susan claims nothing interesting happened to her. I tell her that life begins at 40, so great things are in store for her.
9:04 PM: Mention my pick for the coolest new technology of the year: the Mint robot sweeper. It certainly looks like one of those things that wouldn't work, but amazingly it does. And the best part is that, while you are taking a nap with the dogs, you can think to yourself, “I'm also cleaning the floors.”
9:12 PM: Finally, mention that 2011 was a particularly interesting year for those of us studying climate change. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called climate change “a contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight” while campaigning for President. At the same time, the state was setting a record for heat and drought—and there were so many forest fires that on many days I could literally walk outside your house and smell smoke. Because of the weather and the fact that Perry is an A&M alum, reporters were very interested in getting my Department's opinion of the reality of climate change. This gave me some opportunities for op-ed's and other things.
9:15 PM: I also got a fellowship from Google for science communication (little-known perk of that award: Google set it up so that a web search for the term “stud muffin” now returns my homepage as the top hit). Also, my new textbook on climate change is now out.
9:20 PM: Try to remember password for blogspot account. Spend 45 minutes trying to "recover" password.
10:05 PM: Add photo of family at Disney World for the sign-off
10:15 PM: Remember to write: "I hope that all of you had a great 2011 and have an even better 2012."
Andy, Susan, Michael, Alex
(and Max and Kasper)