Danny Dowd here. I write to wish you all a happy almost New Year's Eve and to give you an update on the status of the "Desert Dowds". We're having a marvelous time, and though it is unusually cold here (below freezing all the time), we remain active. Dad is planning some big westward jaunt to celebrate the new year, accompanied, of course, by a hike. As of now, I am the only one up, though I suspect Mom and Dad aren't too far off (Drew is waiting for the next ice age to arise.) The morning quiet is wonderful, and though I'm listening to my iPod on and off, it feels very peaceful. The sun rises at about seven thirty here, which is really throwing off my internal clock. I must echo my paternal progenitor and encourage all to contribute to this blog/website thing. I love you all, and hope to see you all soon. Granddad, how's it feel to be approaching octogenarianhood? With myself just into my twenties, I feel some odd sort of kinship, though I realize we are in slightly different situations. Daniel Osborne Dowd now signs off and hopes for great things for the new year for all concerned.