Saturday, December 29, 2012

The 2012 Blichmann / Bond Family Holiday Newsletter

Welcome to a novel edition of the Blichmann / Bond Holiday Newsletter – one actually published before Christmas.  How about that? And yes, Christmas Eve is technically “before Christmas”.

Bob:  Bob is still doing the super-commute thing, working with Caterpillar in Sumter, SC during the week and spending weekends back at home. 
This year he took on the project of digitizing all the historic Blichmann family slides, figuring that should be done before time faded them any further, as some were over 50 years old.  He unearthed lots of good memories in those 4000+ photos.  Next up: the Bond family collection, which will be even bigger.  Both fathers were avid Leica shutterbugs.  The Bob & Betsy slide collection will be child’s play by comparison. 
It was a quiet year in both his music and bicycling worlds, with the exception of some late-season track cycling at the new Giordana Velodrome that opened up across the border in Rock Hill, SC.

Betsy and the rabbits:  No major career changes for Betsy, either, this year. But...
She did mastermind the total renovation of our kitchen and master bathroom.  This included lots of demolition, so she was kind of “camping out” at home for the summer. That means sleeping in a guest room (the Fabulous Flamingo Room!), cooking out of an old microwave in the garage, etc.  But both rooms turned out great, and now we have the world’s most strangely shaped hall closet.
She had success with surgery on her bad thumb/wrist -  for De Quervain's tenosynovitus -  and is now back knitting in earnest.  So that’s a nice life improvement. “Knit smarter, not harder.” 
Paul:  Paul graduated from Clemson with his Masters Degree in August.  He’s currently working down in Charleston, SC, doing nephrology research at the USC School of Medicine. Recent interests seem to include giant TV sets, old school hip hop, and beer brewing.
Nathaniel (for those in the know. AKA Bart, Nart, etc) Now a senior at UNC Chapel Hill, studying biology, chemistry, and environmental types of things while working as a Zone Manager at the student athletic complex.  Summer was spent up on Cape Cod, working with the Harwich Conservation Trust to improve trails and wipe out nasty invasive species.  A couple of solo backpack trips rounded out an adventuresome year. The picture is with one of the new, giant, fungus things that popped up in the yard. Nart was, needless to say, fascinated.

Travels  Fresh ski tracks, or ski tracks of any flavor, were NOT cut in 2012.  Maybe in 2013…     We did spend a week up on Cape Cod in June, staying a great Irish B&B.   It was nice to experience temperatures in the 60’s for a bit in the midst of a hot NC summer. 
We made several trips to visit family in MI, including one road trip where Bob’s car blew up in Charleston, WV.  The good news was that we got to ride in a big white tow truck, a big bright pink taxicab, and a little black rental car. The other great thing was having Moses fix the car. Really, the place was run by Moses. He sells cars too.

Parents:  Bob’s mom got moved into a very nice apartment at a place called Victorian Pines. Betsy and I are jealous. She even managed to sell both her houses - no mean feat in the current economy of the Far North. 
Betsy’s mom is still in Michigan keeping busy with the AAUW, book clubs and cooking clubs.
Here’s to a great New Year!  Hope to see you all sometime in 2013.

Bob and Betsy

Contact info and other stuff
  • Emails:
  • Betsy’s knitting in chronicled on Ravelry: Her username is Knitbert
  • Bob has a bunch of videos up on YouTube.  Some are better than others. Search for “Bob Blichmann” or go to
  • Don’t forget the sometimes neglected BlichBlog at
  • And I think we’re all on the ubiquitous Facebook in some form or another. 

In the spirit of the giant fungus mentioned above, we continue on the "Stuff found in our yard this summer" theme.  I couldn't get a good photo of he weird mushrooms we found growing in one of the compost drums.

A cool tiny immature milk snake on the back deck. 
That's a standard size brick.

A six foot tall weed, right in front of the house.

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