Let’s see where things stand.
We did our first big trip with the family out west this summer to the Tetons, Dinosaur National Monument, and Yellowstone. I was initially worried about crowds at Yellowstone, but our trip was excellent. A totally, unmitigated success.
There are several new projects at work to stand up- two new Master’s programs, several smaller grants & stand alones, and a slightly higher degree of support for some existing programs (some instructor turn over and whatnot).
Bike projects about- I’m starting the long-term prep for a potential go at the D2R2 ride in August 2020. I’m currently considering the 100k option (which, like all the routes, is mostly unpaved, unmarked, and very hilly). The full-banana is a 180k option, but there’s an ungodly amount of climbing, and I’d rather start somewhat more conservatively on a first attempt. Anyway, that means the gravel bike (which has so far been mostly assembled as a proof-of-concept) will need to be brought up to full-spec. Drivetrain changes are sorted, but fenders, brakes, and rider fit need some ongoing refinement.
I’ve made some progress with the studio- though not as much as I’d like. Summer was, predictably, super busy, and there weren’t as many opportunities to invest large blocks of time as I might have hoped. Still- a bunch of stuff put into storage, some better organization, and I’ve opened up a good amount of floor space. I’m pleased it’s a much more efficient space to create in- that’s a major priority for me- but I think the next phase will further improve it’s function (and aesthetics)
I’ve been teaching myself to braze. Joining metal together is a powerful skill- it allows you to build things that mostly aren’t possible any other way, and brazing is (I think) the lowest cost entry into that world. I’ve brazed aluminum before, but that’s a much lower temperature (and much less strong) process, so I really wanted to get into brass brazing steel. It’s super fun, and I still have loads to learn, but it’s rewarding and maybe even useful.