Winter 2010

Winter so far has been pretty exciting. I finished my PhD, and we all moved to Tennessee!

It took AT&T almost 2 weeks to fix our phone line so that we could have phone and internet. It was worse for K, as we only have one car so she was trapped at home without much to do.

I was getting in touch with my Pennsylvania German roots and was helping K make pretzels. Blame all of the poorly twisted ones on me:

We are running out of things to unpack. I undertook the tricky step of hanging up the clock. It's mostly level; the clock, wall studs, nearby doorway, and a plumb line all disagree about what true vertical is. It seems to be keeping proper time though:

For the first time in almost 10 years we have a TV that gets useful channels, so we thought we'd watch the superbowl. I live in football country now so I guess I am obligated. (From the window of my office I can see a road called "Peyton Manning Pass", no joke).

Nothing says superbowl snack like 3-liters of strawberry soda (at $.50 it was hard to resist):

Some pictures from UTK. The campus here is very hilly. It's even worse than Cornell. Cornell has one major upward slope you have to worry about. Here there are lots of major hills everywhere. There's a series of pedestrian bridges that will take you from hill to hill. It causes odd things though; for example, my building, depending on what side you enter, you come in on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd floors. The engineering building you enter on one side on the 4th floor but exit the other side on the 1st.

Here is the football stadium that's right outside my building. It's the 5th largest in the US if you believe Wikipedia, and the largest in the southeast. Some departments have their offices under the stadium. (Though that's not as weird as the parking permit office, which is in the bowling alley for some reason).

You'll notice it's raining in the pictures. This is the same storm that gave Maryland its first 2 feet of snow. We're only getting cold rain here.

On the other side of my building is the library, which has a cool boxy shape:

I finally am important enough to rate my own office. Here it is, if you're curious:

We obtained an indoor TV antenna, allowing us to use the HDTV converter box that never got any channels in Ithaca. We get many channels now; we wasted some time watching "New Scandanavian Cooking with Klaus" on PBS. I guess we weren't missing much.
The move down went well. Unloading the truck was an adventure, as the truck got stuck trying to get up our steep driveway. Lots of friendly people stopped by to say hi; one lady helped unload the truck for a while, and a guy with a truck helped pull our truck loose.

You know you are far south when the crocuses are blooming and it isn't even February yet:

We just got moved in before a "major" (for Tennessee) snow storm was predicted to hit. In the end it wasn't too bad.

We went to the grocery store, forgetting about the coming snow. The store was full of people stocking up, similar to what they do in Maryland. It's always disconcerting shopping at a new place, with odd new foods. What is even weirder is the "Food City" here has exactly the same "Food Club" generic brand as the sadly about to become defunct "P&C" in Ithaca.

Here's our humongous moving truck. You can't see but it has a big picture of a Saskatchewan moose on it:

We had a lot of help from our friends in the move, for which we are thankful. It only took one day to load up.
Mid-January we went down to Tennessee to try to find a place to live. Luckily the weatehr cleared in Ithaca for the first time in weeks so we made good time. Here's a blurry pictur of my car hitting 99,999 miles when we were 300+ miles into never-ending Virginia. (It's over 11 hours from Ithaca to Tennessee).

We had left the baby with her Nona, and when we got back, every single one of us caught a stomach virus, which made for a sad week.
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