Happy New Year!

Sooner or later everything breaks, disintegrates, fades, whatever. Take our septic system: it failed suddenly about one day before Master ‘n Mom were scheduled to fly to a conference in Hawaii. Master was co-author on a paper and various members of the lab were chairing a session on computational biology. Fun stuff. Manually draining a septic tank into the drain field at midnight, at zero degrees, not so much. The second the high water alarm went off I knew it was trouble – the pump fiercely driving gallons of water into the drain pipe, which had broken, meaning the water went right back in the tank, triggering the high water alarm, triggering the pump, etc. Like a bad relationship an awful infinite loop from which nothing can escape. Most notably putrid septic water.

Once the manual draining part was over it was time for New Years Eve! Mom got an early start (note the getting ready cocktail still in hand).

Early New Years day the uprights jetted off to Hawaii leaving Lucy and me in the capable hands of our usual house sitter, along with a bold caution to minimize water usage. No problems occurred the entire eleven days they were gone but sure enough the night they got back it took only two short showers before bedtime to exceed the high water mark. Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! the alarm went. Flashing orange light. Warning Will Robinson! Warning! Back into the infinite loop Master went, hose and assorted tools in hand, near midnight again in sub-freezing cold to perform a manual drain.

The conference venue in the antipodes. I’m tellin’ ya, the sacrifices needed for the cause of science.

Venue by night.

Sunsets were ceremonially announced by the conch blower. (Blogger not responsible for misspellings).

Base tans were shown off. Tans that are now freeze dried. Things fade, told you so.

Whale watching!

Mom caught Master at the beach side bar just after the game ending interception made by the Packers. Tata Eagles, maybe next year. Besides, Vick’s an asshole.

Wasn’t all whales and games. This was a scientific conference after all. Okay, the poster session was a tad informal (note the beer-in-hand aplomb with which Parminder pitches her science).

By the end of the trip they were weaving baskets. Well, sort of. Mom weaved a turtle. Top of her class. No surprises there.

Onward and upward in 2011. For those of you who missed our 2010 wrap up, you’re in luck, it is here.

Ciao baby.

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