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Moorea, 2012
In Tahiti, when you hide cell towers in fake trees they have to be fake palm trees.

Whitney, 2016
Whitney spotted this lionfish off Vilankulos, Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Lionfish spotted while Nik and Whit were diving off Flores Island, Indonesia.

Whitney, 2011
Low tides on Ecuador's coast.
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The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.

Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.

Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Below are some highlights from past posts.)
The Things We Deserve

Winter for me means a lot of training, but there isn't much to talk about in the way of races. However, an incident in December got me thinking about how people treat each other, and some of the common attitudes within the triathlon community, but also in society in general. Admittedly, I can't keep pace with Twitter, so this commentary would have been a lot more relevant three months ago, but sometimes it seems like the immediate and impulsive nature of social media doesn't really allow for deeper introspection. I hesitated for a long time before posting this because the story was no longer current, but as time went by, the themes stayed with me. I became more aware of my own tendency towards quick judgment, and I observed all around me the persistent habit of categorizing strangers as The Deserving or The Undeserving, usually based on completely arbitrary distinctions or inaccurate perceptions.

Here is what went down in December:

Danielle Dingman, a talented young athlete who is relatively new to triathlon, qualified for her pro license last season. Faced with typical financial barriers as an unsponsored rookie, she opted to launch a GoFundMe page where friends, family and perhaps even anonymous donors could help her pursue her dream of a career in triathlon racing.

Apparently, this rubbed some people the wrong way.

Brad Culp, a writer and former Editor in Chief for Triathlon Magazine, was quick to condemn this move with the sarcastic tweet "Go Fund Yourself." He pointed to prominent athletes whose early years were consumed by long hours devoted to (high wage) careers that ultimately enabled financial freedom without the help of a "handout." He further expanded on his rejection of Dingman in an article on the TRS website, and other pro athletes chimed in, affirming his stance.

There was a compelling element to Culp's argument, as he presented Dingman as a self-absorbed, dreamy millennial who hoped success would land in her lap. His stereotype appealed to the part of the psyche that says, "Yeah, you know what? I've had to make sacrifices. Why should you get anything for free?" By leaning on that American cliché of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps," he taps into the familiar tendency to indulge in moral superiority, looking down upon the lazy and undeserving. Indeed, I've observed that often when people debate, they seem more preoccupied with attempting to prove "how hard I've had to work," than they are with actually making a salient point. In some convoluted way, invoking hard work is universally expected to lend credibility to your opinions.

Posted by Kimberly 03/06/2018
Nik's Final RoadRace Weekend

Went to watch Nik in his final road race with the Cal Poly team. Since he'll graduate in the Fall, he'll be able to race the Fall Mountain Bike season but won't be around for next year's Spring RoadRace season.

This one was a criterium--a fast, multi-lap race around a short, flat course on paved city streets. Although hosted by Stanford University, the course was a five-cornered, half-mile loop in Morgan Hill, adjacent to the headquarters of Specialized Bicycle Components (who just happen to be one of the most popular makers of racing bicycles in the world).

Stanford Criterium
Nik, in Cal Poly green, racing in the Stanford Criterium, the final race of the RoadRace season.

Posted by Dan 04/25/2011
Bouldering trip

This past Sunday, I went on a day trip to go bouldering with the JCU rock climbing club. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that generally involves shorter ascents - like on boulders instead of large rock faces. Ropes and harnesses are not used, just mats below the climber, so bouldering trips are much easier for the climbing club to organize - less hassle.

Grandma mentioned that she couldn't really picture what the activity and the terrain would look like, and I'm sure she's not the only one, so below is a picture of some of the climbing that was going on this trip. If it helps you understand what's going on a little better, we're focusing on tiny little features in the granite that we can get a foot (essentially a toe) or some fingers on. There were some great photo opportunities later in the day (and an incredibly beautiful GINORMOUS boulder), but my camera battery died early, and I foolishly left my spare at home.

Bouldering on granite boulders with the JCU climbing club

Posted by Whitney 03/17/2008
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