Gratitude (Feb. 10 – 23)

Since I didn’t publish one last week, this is a double-length edition

  1. Homemade chili from one of our graduate students
  2. Lunch with colleagues at Mongolian Grill (Feb. 10)
  3. The many thank-you cards we received from the students at Corral Drive Elementary, especially their praise for the “laser ball” (plasma globe)
  4. The LIGO gravitational wave discovery.
  5. Successfully testing one of our demonstrations for Mines Myth Busters & Super Science.
  6. My student was able to successfully align and point the department’s telescope using the hand controller
  7. The cord we need to operate the telescope with a laptop has arrived
  8. Finding a tailor to fix the zipper on one of my winter coat pockets
  9. The warm weather this week has meant I haven’t needed the coat while it is being fixed
  10. We finalized the title transfer for our new vehicle
  11. We received license plates for our new vehicle
  12. I found (after 20 min. of searching and testing) the correct screws to attach the license plates for our new vehicle
  13. We had the new vehicle detailed and cleaned, including removal of all the previous owners’ stickers
  14. Laughter with a group of students practicing improvisational humor
  15. Making time to care for our Dracena plant
  16. Dinner and discussion at The Well (Feb. 14)
  17. Learning Mahjong the Game Night social event in the Physics Dept. (Feb. 12)
  18. Lots of good food at the game night
  19. My wife and I had a lot of fun a game night
  20. Appearing on local news talking about gravitational waves.
  21. Invitation to be interviewed on Dakota Midday: Innovation about gravitational waves on Feb. 26
  22. Interesting presentation on craters from the Black Hills Astronomical Society (Feb. 15)
  23. Making a pot roast (Feb. 15)
  24. HB 1076, which would have required drug testing of state assistance applicants, has been defeated. A similar law in Florida, which required drug testing for applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, was struck down by a federal appeals court in 2014.  They concluded:

    First, no concrete danger exists as a theoretical matter: we have no reason to think impoverished individuals are necessarily and inherently prone to drug use, or, for that matter, are more prone to drug use than the general population. Nor does the State give a reason to think that, if TANF applicants use drugs, that use is somehow different from drug use by the general population. Without an obvious and palpable danger, the State makes an empirical claim that a drug-use problem exists among Florida TANF applicants…however, the district court found an absence of any showing of pervasive drug use among the Florida TANF population

  25. My wife bringing something into work that I forgot.
  26. My colloquium on active learning went well, and I have even received requests for my slides
  27. A walk in unseasonably warm weather with my wife (Feb. 19)
  28. Discovering the sound of playing a tuba with a trumpet mouthpiece
  29. I was able to help my wife talk through a problem she wants to use in the next lab in her class.
  30. Some of my students signed up to donate blood after a representative spoke in my class
  31. Conversation with a friend via Skype (Feb. 19)
  32. Good discussion, friendship, and chai latte at a men’s group (Feb. 19)
  33. Biking to our friends’ new house
  34. Dinner with our friends and their extended family in their new home
  35. A hug from their 2-year-old daughter
  36. The daughter’s good reflexes when a chair almost feel on her.
  37. Good weather for the bike ride
  38. Participating in the “Legislative Cracker Barrel” (Feb. 20)
  39. Good food and friends at the “Waffle Night” we hosted
  40. Activated my new cell phone
  41. My wife leading our discussion at The Well (Feb. 21)
  42. Found buffalo broth and stew meat in freezer for a minestrone recipe
  43. My minestrone in the crock pot turned out very well
  44. Productive meetings with my graduate students
  45. Dinner with my wife before band rehearsal
  46. Making progress on telescope problems
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