December 17th
2007
written by Alonna

Christmas Letter
I decided that this year, instead of doing a Christmas letter, I’ll do a Christmas
blog.  Then nobody is obligated to read it and I’ll save on postage. Everybody
wins.  So, what should I tell you about this past year?  If you want to know
about any of me and Ben’s vacations this year, well, you can already find all
of that on the rest of this website.  So maybe I’ll tell you some other things
we’ve been doing.

Keeping Busy Outside of Work
Although I do my fair share of lounging, TV watching (Chuck is my new
favorite show this season), and gaming (Guitar Hero anyone?),  I also like to
keep busy with other activities.  I’ve been playing soccer and volleyball
almost continuously since coming to Boise.  My soccer team is a lot of fun;
the best thing about our team is that everyone tries really hard.  You wouldn’t
believe how much difference that makes in a game – we’ve beatan plenty of teams
who may outskill us, but we outplay them.  Volleyball is fun because a bunch of
my friends at work also play.  In the summer we play in the sand at HP on an
organized league, which is nice for getting out of the office for a couple
hours during the day.

Besides sports, I’ve also taken the role of President this year for our
local Society of Women Engineers section (Southwest Idaho SWE).
I’ve been involved with SWE since college because I enjoy networking with
other women engineers and encouraging young girls to consider engineering
for their career.  Unfortunately, I think there is a social pressure for
young girls to shy away from math and science. Until that changes, I think
it is important to provide positive role models for girls, tell them what
engineering is and encourage them to try it. I’m not in SWE because I think
women are better or worse engineers then men.  I just think that women bring
a diversity of ideas and skills to the workplace and they should not be
discouraged from entering a profession dominated by men. So, this year I’m
the section president and although it’s keeping me busy, I am really
enjoying it.

Ben has also been busy with side projects outside of work, which you would
know if you saw our living and dining room – currently full of wires, resistors,
and other miscellaneous electronics.  And, although mountain biking season is
over, we’re excited for the upcoming snowboarding season – let it snow, let it
snow, let it snow!

Ben’s New Job
This fall Ben took a new job with HP.  That’s right, now we both work at the
same company.  We work in different areas though – I do hardware design for
LaserJet printers, and he’s doing software design for a color and imaging
group.  Confused?  What I do is make the little black chip that goes inside
your printer.  Ben basically writes programs that run on that chip.  See,
totally different 🙂  Anyway, so far we’re both really happy with the move.
I like having a carpool companion, and he likes the challenges of his new job.

Happy Holidays
From traveling to my dream location of Machu Picchu, to spending holidays and
vacations with family and friends – Ben and I have had another amazing year.  I
hope that all of you are happy and in good health.  Have a Merry Christmas and
a very happy New Year!

With Love,
Alonna and Ben

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