Meeting Ollie

Over the weekend, Pepper and I drove down to Utah to meet our grandson for the first time. He’s a cute little guy, and it was a lot of fun to remember how small babies are. We have a lot of photos like this:

And this:

Of course, being three weeks old, he did a lot of this:

Alex and Kaitlyn were good sports as we all vied for a chance to hold Ollie. I guess in some ways, it’s nice as a new parent to have a bunch of people willing to take the baby for a while.

Ollie’s pretty talented, too… here we are, singing a cover of Billy Joel’s Piano Man.

We also had a chance to see a bunch of family members who came out to attend our niece’s baby shower (Alex and I dodged that bullet and had lunch instead). It felt like a mini family reunion!

On Sunday morning we wandered around the BYU campus and took some great pictures:

We even played around with some of the experiments in the science building, including the Vortex Cannon (sounds cool, right?). I’m on the second floor, looking down at Kyra, and I can aim this big metal drum at her and then thump the black rubber membrane to throw a big poof of air right into her face. Isn’t science amazing?

After a great weekend and a long drive, it was nice to crest Polson Hill and see the Flathead Valley again:

We’re looking forward to seeing little Ollie become… well, bigger Ollie. These guys grow so fast…

Back on the water

With temperatures soaring into the 60’s and the bright sun shining down, it was time to get back out on the water. Although I enjoy the winter here, it’s hard to have a huge, beautiful lake right in front of us but not be able to spend time on it. So each spring, we wait eagerly for a day when it’s finally warm enough to brave the frigid water.

Yesterday we loaded up the kayaks and headed out to Loon Lake, which is a small lake (or large pond, depending on your definitions). It was great to have a leisurely paddle for a while. We saw geese, ducks, turtles, and probably a loon or two. A few logs in the water had lines of turtles on them, all sunning themselves and enjoying life until we came up to look at them, at which point they’d slip quietly into the water and then, a moment later, poke their little heads up to see if we were still there. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of them, because my camera was misbehaving.

Today we de-winterized (summer-ized?) the jet skis and headed down to Yellow Bay, our favorite put-in for Flathead Lake. I fired up my jet ski and zoomed out into the bay, but sadly, Pepper couldn’t follow because her jet ski had a rough go of it. Something wasn’t working quite right in the engine, and she could barely get up to 30mph… and couldn’t make any sudden stops or sharp turns, which are pretty much the best parts of riding jet skis. So she sadly putt-putted back to shore.

Although the air was a nice 60ish, the water temperature is still probably in the 40’s. It’s cold enough that when you step into it, you literally suck in your breath. And after a minute of walking around the shallows (to get the jet skis on and off the trailer), you can’t feel your toes any more. We always gear up in wetsuits, full water shoes, and neoprene gloves… here’s a view of my foot and the shallows.

But it’s still dang cold. It’ll be awesome to spend summer months back on the lakes again.

Unable to manage the sun

I’m setting up some “smart home” software so I can do fancy things with switches and plugs and cameras, and I was excited to see the Sun as one of the devices in my list. My excitement turned to disappointment, however, when I received the following error message:

I can’t control the Sun from this software. Dangit.