Saturday, December 16, 2017

2017 Year in Review

2017 has been a tough year full of changes. There was a lot of action in the middle of the year, and despite the shit show of a world we currently live in, it is wrapping up pretty nicely.

The overall theme for 2017 was Creekend.

This is the life. #creekend

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We continued to enjoy the glory that is "winter" in Austin.

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On the 20th, we cried.

And then the next day, while everyone else marched, Sara...

However, it was my last frat party ever, because...

That was the best news of the whole year for Sara. After an eight-month career detour that was pretty painful, I accepted a new role as the Grants Manager for United Way for Greater Austin (please forgive me as I wander back and forth between first and third person in this blog post).

There were three key themes to February.
  1. The weather is better in Texas
  2. New job, new job, new job.
  3. Resist. Persist.
First, our weather is better than your weather.

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Which leads into the new job!

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But it wasn't all roses, because a monster was in the White House and both my national and state houses of representatives were doing their best to be giant ass hats. Words were said.

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March was a more relaxed month. The weather was still glorious.

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And it was our favorite Austin festival.

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Sara still had things to say.

Though fall is typically Cale's conference season, he had an anomalous spring conference in April. He presented "Path-Based Neighborhood Identification: An Application in Agent-Based Modeling of Residential Solar PV Adoption" at the conference on Complexity-Based Analytics and Policies for Social Good (CAPS) in D.C.

Cale and Sara both got in on the UWATX Ruthless Good. Cale competed on a team.

And Sara volunteered.

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United Way raised $100,000 to fight poverty.

April also started the weddings. #DonsandHans tied the knot in Miami.


Kasie and Louis-Marie got married in Austin.

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And of course, there were things to say.

The weddings continued with Jacob's marriage to Rebecca in Estes Park in Colorado.


In May, Sara got word United Way received the MIECHV grant they'd applied for not long after she started.

We got to enjoy Philanthropitch from the audience since Sara didn't run it anymore.

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And, as usual, Sara had something to say.

It was family time with Marian and Andrew!

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But at the end of June, Sara felt very far away from her family when her brother-in-law had a life-threatening accident.

And, she had things to say

Spoiler alert. At the end of July, we went back to Samoa. However, we're just at the beginning of July here, when Cale published “Evolution of consumer information preferences with market maturity in solar PV adoption"in Environmental Research Letters. And Sara celebrated her mom's 60th birthday with a surprise party.

Barbs 60th

Some asshats defaced the Butter Half mural on the United Way building in June. So we fixed it.

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We sat in a lake and watched Jaws.

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And then, for the first time in eight years, we were back in Samoa. A time in which Cale and Sara saw RPCVs they haven't seen in years, hiked all the waterfalls, drank all the Vailima, enjoyed all the sunsets, and watched the brand new US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa make a complete ass out of himself at the official Peace Corps Samoa 50th Anniversary celebration.

Samoa 2017

At the beginning of August, we were still in Samoa. At the end of August, there was a hurricane. Though we were not hit in Austin, the UWATX 2-1-1 Navigation Center ramped up to 24-7 to take calls from Houston (where the 2-1-1 center was underwater). Sara volunteered over the weekend.

*Side note: Many people are unfamiliar with 2-1-1. You have one in your community. 9-1-1 is for emergencies. 4-1-1 is for information (phone numbers and addresses). 3-1-1 is for government information. And 2-1-1 is for social services information. If you ever have a question about social services available in your community, just call 2-1-1
*Side, side note: All the -1-1s are a thing and they are some sort of information line.

September was pretty nondescript. Though you may note that Sara has had fewer things to say. It was just so much, every day. What do you write about? What affect would it have?

This is when conference season started. Cale had two conferences in October.

Cale presented at Behavior Energy and Climate Change in Sacramento on "Making Decisions While the Sun Shines: Savvy Consumers and Strategic Technology Adoption Timing" and presented a poster at Computational Social Science Society of the Americas in Santa Fe on "The Forest and the Trees: The Choice of Theoretical Lens in Agent-Based Model Rule Formulation."

Sara's sister also had her baby shower.

Chosillow Shower

And Cale and Sara saw the Flaming Lips at the Moody Theater.

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Cale had two more conferences: Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in Chicago where he presented on "Subsidy Policy and Rate of Technology Adoption: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the California Solar Initiative" and United States Association for Energy Economics/International Association for Energy Economics in Houston where he participated in the PhD session.

Did anything else happen in November? Oh, wait, yeah. Sara's sister Teresa had a baby!

It was Thanksgiving. Cale made a turkey bug, and Annette was in town

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And this happened.

We made tamales.

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And got all dressed up.

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And bullshit fell from the sky.

It was ugly holiday sweater day at UWATX, but the Resource Development team didn't settle for just sweaters.

Stay tuned for updates on a Very Carusillo Christmas.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Maps Are Back...Sort Of

We're on the road again, and it's time for the maps to be back. However, I no longer have Illustrator on my computer, so the maps are going to be a little low tech this time around.

Monday, July 17, 2017

T-Minus One Week?

It's Monday and in seven days I'll be in Samoa...on Tuesday. Important travel situation here people! How do you do a countdown and cross the international dateline?

Samoa hasn't always been a day ahead of the US. When we were there a decade ago, Samoa was on our side of the dateline. It actually had the distinction of sitting smack dab on the dateline and celebrating the last sunset of every year at its westernmost edge. When I provided people directions to come visit us, I'd tell them to take the equator west to the international dateline and turn left, you'd find us after 12 degrees of latitude. Those directions still hold, but now, after switching sides of the dateline, Samoa sees the first sunrise of every year - rather than the last sunset.

Samoa is very fond of switching sides of things. While we were in country as volunteers, they switched the side of the road they drove on. The switch actually went off without much of a hitch. Thanks to this switch, I have had the joy of driving a left-hand drive car on the right side of the road AND a right-hand drive car on the left side of the road. Driving on the side of the road you are used to is way easier regardless of where the steering wheel is located, imho.

Anyway, in prepping for our trip, it's time for another flashback. So what were we up to nine years ago today? Well, it appears someone had left most of a dead cow in our neighbor's driveway.  I don't want to surprise people with this image, so I am not posting it here. Check out the cow on the flickr.

And what were we up to eight years ago today? As it turns out, we were on vacation and I wouldn't blog for another four days. We beach vacationing where we took a pretty iconic photo from our time in Samoa.

FaoFao Vacation

From the blog though on July 15, I was taking note of the interchange of letters and the prevalence of gangsta culture in Samoa.

One more week...ish!