Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
The last two years have been more challenging than usual for us, particularly a formidable transition time during the last half of 2016, which is why we never finished our endofyear letter last year. So this illustrated message reviews both 2016 and 2017. We certainly look forward to a much better, spectacular 2018 for ourselves and everyone else!
Clark officially retired on Asteroid Day (June 30th) of 2016, while he and Y were in San Francisco. Clark, as the first inplace retiree (and “canaryinthemineshaft”) from his Boulder office, endured age discrimination. Also, he was moved to a smaller office in the same building, where working parttime as a ManPower Inc. temp he finished leading and submitting the crateringofMercury chapter for the forthcoming MESSENGER book about Mercury and is engaging in other planetary research.
Meanwhile, also in June 2016, Y was injured by a Kaiser Permanente surgeon so she suffered from severe pain for six months, which indirectly resulted in total loss of Y’s dreamcar Lexus, although its numerous airbags protected her from injury. (Insurance reimbursement for the Lexus paid for a brandnew 2017, black, topoftheline Subaru Outback, which Y has named “Darth Vader”.) Y had a longdelayed but highly successful knee replacement by Dr. Sobky a year ago. So we both look forward to downhill skiing again next month.
Our manx feline, Rocko, has become high maintenance. For nearly a year, he was taking only 1/5th of his prescribed medication for IDB, due to a mixup between the veterinarian and pharmacy. This was remedied last month, and Rocko is feeling fine now, enjoying the catvideo he received for Christmas. In July 2016, we were evacuated under mandatory orders as the Cold Spring wildfire threatened to jump across Boulder Canyon into our neighborhood, which it didn’t, but we were glad that we had completed extensive fire mitigation measures the previous year. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service finalized decisions that almost totally ignore citizen input; they approved plans to cut down much of our neighborhood forest and to undertake just two miles from us the largest construction project in the history of Boulder County: to triple the volume of Gross Reservoir and steal yet more water from the Colorado River to wastefully water bluegrass lawns in Denver. We still hope that Boulder County officials and/or a lawsuit by “Save the Colorado” (savethecolorado.org) will stop this environmental travesty.
The depressing nightmare of national politics, of course, affects us all. Science and objectivity (e.g. concerning climate change) seem undercut by prevaricators and ignorant people who think that *opinions* can substitute for facts and objective analysis. And, while the #MeToo movement addresses a serious, longoverlooked social issue, the resulting moral panic seems to have overlooked due process in assuming that all accusations are valid and merit automatic destruction of careers, reputations, and contributions to culture.
We have traveled more than ever before in our twentyfive years of marriage. This is partly because Clark has a bit more time (though less income) in his retirement, opening opportunities to visit or trade our timeshares in Kauai and Breckenridge. Many trips are centered on professional scientific meetings, for which Clark used to be reimbursed, but generally no longer. Other travel goals were to partake of scenery and activities in the great American southwest. The summer of 2017 provided exceptional opportunities to match southwestern cartrips with scientific meetings or events that usually require airtrips: while half of the Meteoritical Society annual meetings are overseas, in 2017 it was in Santa Fe; annual meetings of the Division for Planetary Sciences (Clark has always attended since the first one in Austin, TX, in the late 1960s) are all over the U.S. and sometimes in Europe, but this year was in Provo, Utah, just a 7hour drive from Rancho Europa; and Nature provided the marvelous total solar eclipse in Wyoming, where Y witnessed two marvelous “diamond rings.”
In calendar years 2016 and 2017 we averaged a trip a month (counting Clark’s two “commute to San Francisco” trips for meetings of the Board of the B612 Foundation). These included three foreign trips: our circumNewfoundland cruise; a trip to Montevideo, Uruguay; and Clark’s birthday/Planetary Defense Conference trip to Tokyo this past May. One trip that didn’t happen in 2017 was our Alaskan cruise: the brandnew National Geographic ship (the “Quest”) was damaged during launch a couple weeks before our trip. However, we are rescheduled for our Alaskan cruise this coming July.
Our motion picture hobby centers on the annual Telluride Film Festivals, where we not only have the opportunity to see and listen to famous actors and directors, but also to view many Oscarcandidate films that don’t open publicly for months afterwards, as well as wonderful independent films and documentaries. In 2016, we saw “Moonlight,” “Arrival”, “La La Land”, “Hidden Figures,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Sully”, and some important documentaries like “The Ivory Game.” We also watched as Carrie Fisher (and her brother and her canine) were interviewed on stage, with her mother (Debbie Reynolds) phoning in, less than three months before mother and daughter passed away; Carrie had just finished filming her final role in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” In 2017, we had early viewings of “The Shape of Water” (our favorite), “The Darkest Hour,” “Lady Bird”, as well as some smaller movies and documentaries like “Eating Animals” and “The Insult”. We watched onstage interviews with such folk as Angelina Jolie, Greta Gerwig, Eroll Morris, Christian Bale, Guillermo del Toro, Gary Oldman, and Ai Weiwei.
Please enjoy our photos from the last two years! With cosmic hugs for all and best wishes for 2018 from Y (LMC), Clark, and Rocko!
Pictures from Y & Clark follow in chronological order 2016 through 2017: start here, scroll down, then scroll down left column, finally down right column.
Last MESSENGER meeting at Carnegie Institution. 4/16
Snowy deck at Rancho Europa.
Pine siskin visits Rancho Europa. 6/16
Pasques blooming at Rancho Europa.
Visiting S.F. Museum of Modern Art.
Smoke rises NW of Rancho Europa, Cold Spring fire. 7/16
Father's Day hike with Ginette in Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Colorado River west of State Bridge, CO. 8/16
View along Last Dollar Rd. near Telluride.
SaintPierre, France: an island off Newfoundland. 9/16
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
Eagle flying in from Alexander Graham Bell's mansion.
Robert "Robin" MacNeil talking about Nova Scotia history on our cruise.
Cormorants spreading their wings atop red cliffs on Iles delaMadaleine, Quebec.
Moose in Gros Morne National Park.
Recreation of Viking village with Natl. Geo. Explorer in background.
Easterly point of North America.
Great room of our North Carolina B&B. 10/16
Wedding of niece Hazel and Jeremy near Asheville.
Niece Bonnie lifts granddaughter Camille in the air during reception.
Sharing Hawaiian cocktails at Poipu Beach, Kauai. 12/16
Feral parakeets return to roost in Lawai Beach palms.
Birds at feeder on our deck. 4/17
Buenos Aires skyscrapers viewed across Rio de la Plata, 45 km from Colonia del Sacremento, Uruguay.
Typical scene in Uruguay: bovine animals.
Downtown Montevideo, Uruguay.
March for Science, 4/22/17, downtown Denver.
Tokyo Bay viewed from Grand Nikko hotel. 5/17
Flame of Liberty between hotel and Marikan Museum.
Clark moving last things from his old office to new, smaller office. 7/17
Y in front of La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe.
Field trip to volcanic plug Cerro de Guadalupe, N.M.: leaders Larry Crumpler & Jayne Aubele.
Dancers, Spanish Market, Santa Fe.
Canyonlands, view from Needles Overlook in what *was* Bears Ears Natl. Monument. 8/17
Clark in Colorado National Monument. 8/17
Insects by the Colorado River, Fruita, CO.
Clark preparing to watch eclipse with eclipse glasses.
Y with eclipse glasses, as Sun becomes a crescent, Miller Park, Jackson, WY.
Total eclipse (closeup).
Picnic in Grand Teton National Park.
Red Mountain, south of Ouray, CO.
Telluride Film Festival audience.
Guillermo del Toro receiving Golden Globe for Best Director (TV screenshot).
Ai Weiwei at Telluride.
Y's birthday dessert at Splendido, Beaver Creek, CO. 9/17
Autumn colors, Lime Creek Gorge, CO.
Brigham Young statue in front of Provo Public Library. 10/17
Bridal Veil Falls, Provo, Utah.
Painting class at Sundance.
Sunset on Y Mountain, Provo.
Windmills near Spanish Fork, Utah.
Y's godson Yigitcan and younger brother Taylan.
Red Rock State Park, near Sedona, AZ. 11/17
Early celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, Enchanted Resort, Sedona. 12/17
Clark at Enchanted Resort, Sedona.
View from our ColoradoRiverside patio, Red Cliffs Lodge, Utah.
Our manx feline, Rocko.