A much belated update and some new photos of Kyle

I guess I haven’t done any real update throughout the year so here is the year in brief.

Photos of Kyle:

  • January – April: 9th birthday party, Liberty Science Center, science fair, Rutgers Day
  • May – December: Beach, Wales, London, apple picking, Halloween, Christmas

We’ve done a bunch of things with Kyle’s Cub Scout pack including the Pinewood Derby in January (didn’t make district this year), an overnight at the Liberty Science Center in February, a campout in Watchung Reservation  in June, and the fall camporee on a cold night in October. Over the summer, Kyle had another good year at Watchung Cub Scout day camp with a few weeks at the YMCA day camp to round out the time.

Kyle and Lucy at our house in FanwoodKyle at the 2015 Coles science fair

Over the summer, Suzanne and I spent a long weekend, flew out Wednesday night and came back Sunday, in England to attend the black tie social event commemorating the 50th anniversary of my organization’s reason for being, the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD50). I then flew back the next Saturday for a week to attend the three day scientific symposium. We also managed to head out to Sandy Hook for a day at the beach in early August.


Travel picked up for me in mid-August, starting with most of a week in Boston for the American Chemical Society fall meeting followed almost immediately, two nights at home between, with three weeks in the UK. Two weeks were vacation after which Suzanne, Kyle, and my dad flew back while I stuck around for another week in the Cambridge office. The first week was in Snowdownia, Wales while the second was in London. We all had a really nice time. (See the posts below for more.)

Kyle, Suzanne, and Paul hiking along the Aberglaslyn GorgeKyle with Beefeater at the Tower of London

Just after our trip, Kyle started 4th grade, his last year at Coles as he moves to Terrill Middle School for 5th. I ended up doing a bunch of traveling for work later in the fall, doing a workshop at UMass-Dartmouth (near Fall River/New Bedford), doing a workshop and having some meetings in Santa Fe, New Mexico with an add-on to visit our good friend Paul Murphy in Carslbad, and then another week in Cambridge, UK just after Thanksgiving.

Kyle on his first day of 4th gradeKyle and Firetruck Santa at our house in Fanwood

An update and some photos

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done and update or published a batch of photos, so here they are. We hope things have been well with you in the meantime.

Here are links to the new photos of Kyle:

  • Jan & Feb: Some new photos from Kyle’s birthday party
  • Mar & Apr: USS Intrepid, Philly Brickfest, and Easter
  • May & Aug: Camporee and American Museum of Natural History

We have had a fairly busy few months. In late January, Kyle placed third in his group at the Pack 98’s Pinewood Derby. He was very excited as it meant he got to go on to the district race later in March. In early February we had a very nice birthday party for Kyle at the Trailside Nature Center in Watchung Reservation. We had some live turtles and snakes. Later in the month, Suzanne started a new job at Baron Environmental. She actually had two offers at the same time. While the other paid better, this job was more what she wanted and was only six miles from home. (The other would have been a 60+ minute commute.) Obviously our plans to move to Boston had shifted a bit. (More on that later.)

Kyle playing at Coles School

At Kyle's 8th Birthday Party at Trailside Nature Center in Watchung Reservation


The first weekend in March we had a wonderful overnight with Cub Scouts at the Philadelphia Zoo. We slept inside but did a nighttime tour, a talk by a snake handler, and a tour in the morning. I took some time off during Kyle’s spring break and we visited the USS Intrepid which Kyle had been wanting to do for some time. Seeing the space shuttle Enterprise was a real highlight. We spent a quiet Easter here at a home.

Kyle and the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City

Kyle doing an Easter egg hunt at our house in Fanwood


In early April, we headed down near Philly for the Lego Brickfest. Kyle absolutely loved seeing all the Lego creations and getting some special custom Lego stuff, including a Star Wars stormtrooper. In mid May, it was time for the Spring Cub Scout Camporee. They brought in a couple of vehicles from the Army National Guard which Kyle loved being able to climb in. It was also nice to camp again and we had good weather. The next weekend, we headed to NYC to visit the American Museum of Natural History, especially to see the dinosaurs. Suzanne and I had visited in 2004 (a friend’s wife worked there at the time, so we got the whole package for free), but Kyle had never been. He really liked it, especially the meteorites and other rocks and gems.

Kyle at Philly Brickfest 2014 in Oaks, PA

Kyle At the Spring Cub Scout Camporee at Winnebego Scout Reservation in Rockaway


Our big and absolutely great news came in late May. I was offered a position with the relatively newly opened (January of this year) NJ office of the Cambridge Crystallographic Centre (CCDC). They’re located on the Rutgers campus in Piscataway only 11 miles from our house, so I moved back to NJ in late June. (It’s quite close to where Suzanne used to work for her previous job before they moved her office.) CCDC, a registered charity based in Cambridge, UK, provides scientific data and software centered on small molecule crystallography. I’m providing a mix of software technical support, some scientific support, some development, and a bit of IT. Our office is only five people (just added our fifth this week), but there are plans to grow here. I actually had a lot of contact with CCDC when I was a post-doc in Marburg as they were a partner in the consortium I was involved in. The person I worked most closely with is now their deputy director. I was over there for a week a couple of weeks back and it was great to see Jason again and meet the new people I’ll be working with. Plans are for me to visit the home office two or three times a year.

As I said, I was in the UK for work, so I added a few nights in London over the adjoining weekends. I don’t have any photos posted yet (I did take ~1000), but I had a great time. I was in London most of Saturday after arriving at my hotel around 9:30 AM through Sunday about 3:15 when I grabbed the train to Cambridge (a bit under an hour) and then again Friday evening through very early Sunday morning the next weekend. During that time, I visited the area of Westminster, Big Ben, and Whitehall; visited the Churchill War Rooms; strolled around Piccadilly and Soho; did some shopping on Oxford and Regent Streets; hit the British Museum and the British Library (all Sat & Sun before Cambridge); toured St. Paul’s Cathedral; walked around the City, Covent Garden, and Hyde Park (Sat after). I also hit a few pubs here and there and had several evenings to walk around Cambridge. It was really jam-packed but really enjoyable. Our plans are to go as a family next year, perhaps daisy-chaining with a work trip.

Parliament and Big Ben from Westminster Bridge in London

Westminster in London

Kings College In Cambridge

Kings College Chapel in Cambridge


As for upcoming things, we have a few minor events here and there. Jack and Mary Lou will be up in a few weeks as Kyle’s camps, which he thoroughly enjoyed, especially Cub Scout Day Camp, end a week before school starts. Our big plans are a vacation to Washington, DC later in the fall.

Science Fair

Kyle participated in the Coles Science Fair again this year. His project this year was “Exploring how well
different brands of popcorn pop”. We had lots of fun counting and popping popcorn. We also ended up eating a lot of popcorn over the course of a week or so. If you’re interested, here’s an NJ.com article about it (alas, no photos of Kyle there). Here’s some of Suzanne’s photos:

Science Fair 2014Science Fair 2014

Pinewood Derby

His car did okay this year, coming in third in the Bear group (~12 cars), winning at least one heat, maybe two, and 6th in the overall (top three from each of the four groups). He was quite happy. He gets to go to the district race in March. Here’s a video of Kyle’s car being raced. His car is in the silver one in the nearest lane. (Skip to around 30 seconds for the action. I tried to edit it, but couldn’t get it in the right format.)

Here’s a couple of photos: Pinewood DerbyKyle's Pinewood Derby


Here’s a better photo of the car:
Kyle's Pinewood Derby Car

Update and Photos

We hope everyone had a good holiday and start to the new year.

Latest Kyle photos:

I also posted the trip report and photos from our Disney trip:

We have done a few things over the past few months. For Thanksgiving, Suzanne and Kyle came up to Boston on Wednesday and we headed up to Burlington, VT to visit with my dad and step-mom for the holiday. My aunt Lucy and uncle Ken came over as well. We had a very nice time. On the day after, we did Christmas early so they could get to see Kyle open his presents. We headed back to Boston on Saturday so Kyle and Suzanne could catch the late morning train back to NJ on Sunday. While they did a lot of traveling (4 hours by train each way to Boston and 3 1/2 hours each way from Boston to Burlington), we all had a nice time.
Kyle & GrandpaKyle & Nana

Of course, after that, was Christmas. We had the holiday at our house a couple of weekends before, so that was nice. On the Saturday before Christmas, we packed up the car and headed down to South Carolina. We had a wonderful time down there seeing everyone, though Kyle and Suzanne had just been down a bit over a month before. Ally has grown so much in the last year. (Of course, 6-18 months is a huge change.) On Christmas morning, Kyle and Ally opened their presents first thing in the morning while the rest of ended up doing so after breakfast. Santa brought Kyle a Wii which he loves. The rest of our time there was pretty quiet. We decided to head back home on Friday to have some time to ourselves as I was off through Jan 1st (Wednesday).
Kyle & Ally with Grandpa

First thing in January was my and Kyle’s birthday. I ended up driving to Boston on Wednesday Jan 1 only to have the university close early on Thursday and be closed Friday due to a serious snowstorm. It ended up being okay Friday afternoon, so, after stopping at a client site in Framingham, about 30 minutes west of Boston and on my way home, I made it home easily. Normally I wouldn’t spend only two days in Boston, but wanted to be home for our birthdays, which I did by working from home on Monday and taking Tuesday off to travel back. While we didn’t do much, aside from going out to dinner, it was nice to be there.
BirthdayPlaying Wii

Since then, nothing too exciting has happened. Kyle’s Cub Scout pack had their Pinewood Derby. Kyle came in 3rd (out of 10-12) in the Bear group and 6th in the “grand finale” round (all the cars that were in the top 3 in each of the four groups), so he was excited. He even gets to compete in the district race in March.
Pinewood DerbyKyle & Cicero

We do have a few things in the next little bit. Kyle’s having his birthday party at the Trailside Nature Center in a couple of weeks. They’re going to do a Reptile of NJ show, so that should be exciting. A bit after that, we got tickets for Kyle and I to see the Harlem Globetrotters play in Newark, so that should be fun. (As an aside, a member of the team used to be a parent at Kyle’s school.) In early March, Kyle’s pack is doing an overnight (indoor) camping trip to the Philadelphia Zoo, which should be very cool. I think that’s it for now.

Update and some new photos

We hope things are well with everyone.

I posted some photos of Kyle

We’re doing okay. In early August, we spent a day at the Red Mill Museum in Clinton (about 30 minutes west of us) during the Revolutionary Soldier encampment. A couple of weeks later, we spent a great day at the Greenwood Lake Airshow in West Milford. We got to see lots of stunt planes and some historic ones. Aside from them having to cancel most of the second flight session due to an nearby accident requiring medevac helicopters, it was very enjoyable.

Colonial KyleWith a B-25 at the Greenwood Lake Airshow

During the week before Labor Day, we spent a day in Philadelphia. Kyle is really into the Revolutionary War, so he enjoyed seeing the historic sites and getting another Junior Ranger badge. Aside from the rain, it was very nice. We even got to see them “ring” (really lightly tap) the Liberty Bell as it happened to be the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

With the Liberty BellAnother Junior Ranger

The weekend after Labor day, my family got together and rented a house in Newport (actually Middletown) RI to have a memorial for my Grandfather. We always like spending some time with family. We were also only a short walk to the beach, but it happened to be on the cool side that weekend, so it was a bit chilly. We also did our annual apple picking trip to Terhune Orchards in Princeton. The cider and donuts afterward are always a treat.

First Day of School

Our big thing in October was our trip to Disney World. We met up with my brother Allan and my mom (the latter for the first part of the week) and had an excellent time. I’m still working on photos, but will have them posted along with a trip report (hopefully) soon.

Suzanne and Kyle are currently visiting with her parents in South Carolina. I’ll be heading up to Berlin/Gorham to see some of my family while they’re down south. No big plans for the rest of the year. We’re planning to head to Vermont for Thanksgiving, but we don’t have further plans aside from continuing to get the house ready to sell.