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Christmas Letters

2019 Christmas Letter

My favorite activity had to be the laser tag. I know that as a parent I should provide a helpful environment to allow my children to acquire new skills. However, I took this time to completely slaughter everyone at this game. The lesson I taught my kids is the old man isn’t going to go down in laser tag without a fight.

Welcome to my 2019 experience! A lot of “things” and “stuff” happened to me this year, and this is my attempt to project said events through the lens of my hopefully witty banter.

Emotionally speaking, I invested a large portion of my year applying for a contest to build a more efficient air conditioner. To be honest, a lot of people ask me why I’m trying to build a new type of heat pump. In either a dream or field trip to an alternate vertex of the multiverse I experienced a world where we sucked energy directly from the ground and oceans to power our society. I know, I know—I’m more than just a little bit crazy.

Ok, back to the Global Cooling Challenge. While it didn’t receive much attention in the main stream media Sir Richard Branson made a promotional Youtube video on the subject, and he was on The Simpsons, so it must be legit. I filed a provisional US patent and did my best to complete the application.

So did I win? The quantum goggles I am wearing say that both happened. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, was made aware of my idea, immediately flew to northern Colorado, confidently walked into the UPS center before all the drivers left for the morning, and carried me off just like Richard Gere retrieved Debra Winger in “An Officer and a Gentelman.”

Also, nobody seemed to care about my idea and I went back to cobbling together cheap Walmart mini-splits and one hundred gallon horse troughs in a continued attempt to show the world how we can save the planet.

Side note– explaining these events following a more Newtonian physics interpretation of cause and effect, I did not win the competition. This branch has been pruned from the time line tree and my eventual encounter with Elon will happen at an alternate set of time/space coordinates.

In less nerdy news, we spent a week this summer to go on a road trip through Colorado. With so much cool stuff in the world to see it can be hard to remember that we have an amazing backyard. By that I mean the state of Colorado– OUR backyard isn’t really anywhere you would want to spend an entire week. We mapped out our path on Google and it turned out to be exactly the same shape as the piece of the dolphin toy that we pulled out of our dog’s mouth before she could swallow it.

Our journey started in Canon City– home to the state’s largest population of incarcerated individuals and shady rafting companies. To be fair almost none of the rafting companies are run by prison inmates. Due to a large snow pack and warm spring weather we got to experience a record water level on the river. I spent the entire trip wondering how we all managed to stay in the raft. By some minor miracle everyone made it through the river safely.

For reasons that I don’t totally understand, the highlight of Montrose was the huge Russell Stover chocolate factory. Ok, I DO understand the need for chocolate, but from a business perspective putting this out in the middle of the western slope of Colorado seems a bit odd. While I did exactly zero research on the subject, I’m going to say that it was put there because someone lost a bet. Despite this, it was a fun place to visit and our kids were able to buy some high quality Halloween candy for 5 cents each– a good deal as long as the cost of getting there isn’t factored into the equation.

Our final destination was Glenwood Springs. I never knew this, but apparently there is an entire amusement park on a nearby mountain top. My favorite activity had to be the laser tag. I know that as a parent I should provide a helpful environment to allow my children to acquire new skills. However, I took this time to completely slaughter everyone at this game. The lesson I taught my kids is the old man isn’t going to go down in laser tag without a fight.

In pet news, we leveled up +1 in the dog department. While budget constraints prevented us from purchasing a new state of the art robotic canine, we did acquire a great used carbon based unit from the local Humane Society. As best we can tell, Mya is a mix between a whippet and a perpetual energy machine. She splits up her free time between sleeping on Kat’s lap and completely freaking out when I come into the house wearing my UPS clothes.

Being that 2020 is just around the corner, I feel an unexplained need to list some of my future sports predictions. This might have something to do with the fact that I’m writing this while watching a football game. Here are, in chronological order, things I believe will happen:

  • 2030: Computers will replace referees in the NFL
  • 2039: Robots will replace players in the NFL
  • 2041: Tom Brady will retire from the NFL shortly after undergoing painful and expensive robot conversion surgery.

To end this year, I thought I would make a list of things I would like to see get done in the future. I gave it the catchy title of “The exponentially increasing in difficulty to do list.” Each item is exactly 17.3 times more difficult than its predecessor.

  1. Blink my eyes
  2. Get the house cleaned up
  3. Build a revolutionary heat pump
  4. Transition the world off fossil fuels
  5. Rearrange the atoms of the earth and moon into a space craft to escape the eventual death of the sun
  6. Escape the prison dimension that we currently understand as “time”

Will any of these actually happen in 2020? Please make sure to take the leap day into consideration when setting up any calculations. I’ll finish things off with the most insightful comment I made all year. “Samantha, stop making now sad.”