Monday, June 25, 2007

Belgian Bunsen Burners and the Richmonds

Today our buddies over at (Tim, Mindy, and Mia) fly out to Belgium for a year-long post-doc in the european land of waffles!

Tim got the opportunity to do a post-doc after graduating from PhD school and he's going to work with some of the Sweedler group associates in Beligum. The difference from my post doc is though that he's taking his family and staying for a full year. After he gets back from that he's going to be starting his chemistry professorship at a college in Kansas. I'd tell you the name of the college but I already forgot what it was due to my short attention span and self-absorbed nature. In any case, Tim's well on the science path to professorship!

Tim's a guy I started and made it through grad school with, and he and I had some glorious adventures during our tenure in Champaign, IL. He's the guy that introduced me to my future lifting partner and fellow Horror-movie watching compatriot Muncher, as well as taught me a number of automotive skills. (Speaking of which, changing oil by myself is no fun.) Tim was also an avid supporter of the 4th-of-July firework-extravaganza that was Captain Blazin' Freedom's Patriotism Challenge.

Tim masterminded the Biodiesel Reactor and owned the garage that housed the contraption. He and I weathered many an interested truck driver's questions and newspaper interviewer misquotes and even gave a joint talk at the Indiana Alternative Energy Conference about it.

Of course, Tim and Mindy had a kid along the way; Mia. She's pretty cute. I saw Mia go from stationary yet squirmy little worm-thing wrapped in a blanket to a full-fledged ambulatory clothes-wearing mini-human with speaking abilities over a course of only two years! That was pretty strange. I'm pretty sure we should keep an eye on any creature that can self-evolve to look like us so quickly.

Tim never got into DnD like this prestigious blogposter, though he did go through an Atari 2600 phase (lasted about 20 minutes) and an 8-bit NES phase. We played through Contra approximately 341 times. Sometimes the waterfall stage would test our friendship, but we weathered the storm (and the alien syndicate Red Falcon's attempts to colonize Earth), and saved the Earth repeatedly. Tim would come over and we'd go through Contra after work, or I'd go over to his place and we'd play Super Mario Bros. 3 or Friday the 13th on his NES (I think Muncher ended up actually beating Friday the 13th at a party at Tim's).

All in all, it was a good 5.5 years with the Richmond's. Even though Mary and I left in December we'll still miss the Richmonds when they go off to Belgium, because they won't be in the US of A anymore, and true patriots can sense the loss to the country. Fortunately its only temporary and Tim will be teaching Kansas science students about the wonders of electron orbitals and energy equals mass times the speed of light squared in no time. Have a safe trip kids!