Christmas, 2005

This has been another good year for us. We had lots of fun adventures.

We saw our usual share of interesting movies this year. We saw "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" and learned about the essential evil of the Wal-Mart corporation. We also saw "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and saw the largest corporate collapse in U.S. history. "Inside Deep Throat" told about the most successful pornographic movie of all time. And "Downfall" dramatized the last days of Hitler in his bunker.

Live theater this year included "Letting Go of God", in which Julia Sweeney told the story of her spiritual quest and how it led her to abandon belief in God. And Sandra Tsing Loh's "Mother on Fire" recounted the travails of finding a good school for her child. This was something we had personal experience with, so it really hit home for us.

Speaking of school, Lucinda started 1st grade this fall. She got a Spotlight Award for good behavior, so the school seems to be working out well for her.

We attended a few talks at Caltech this year. "Collapse" was Jared Diamond's take on how and why civilizations self-destruct. Al Franken gave  a talk about the current political situation and everything that's wrong with our country today. And Ken Deffeyes told us about why the world is going to start running out of oil by the time you read this.

We saw a number of good museum exhibits this year. "Body Worlds" showed us preserved human and animal bodies so that we could see all the internal structures. The Science of Magic showed how some magic illusions are done. We also saw an exhibit of costumes from all six "Star Wars" movies at the Fashion Institute. Finally, we saw a couple of exhibits at the Museum of Neon Art, and also the history of the porn industry at the Erotic Museum.

Lucinda had her 6th birthday this year. She went to both Legoland and Disneyland, the L.A. Zoo and Long Beach aquarium. She has lost three teeth so far, and she performed in her first piano recital. We took her to see "Lazer Vaudeville" at Caltech as well as the new Kidspace museum. Stan built her a play structure in the back yard, so she now has her own set of monkey bars to play on, and she also had her first sleepover at a friend's house.

In other news, we had to buy Cathy a new car this fall. The experience was not horrible, much to our surprise. We took our regular vacation to Lake Tahoe, and Cathy and Lucinda also took a trip to Texas to visit with Cathy's friends there. Stan's job is still going well after 10 years, and he even got a little bit of fame after being quoted in several newspaper articles about the USGS Internet response to the Yucaipa earthquake in June. And we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this fall.

Overall, it was a good year for us. As always, you can visit us on our family web site at