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Welcome to WobNet

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(Also Check out our Blog, WobLog)

Last Updated February 02, 2012

ho am I? I'm a husband, uncle, friend, and now a dad!!! Before our kids came along, I was a singer in our church choir (at least the other tenors seemed to agree); I like to lift weights; and, oh yeah, I'm a plasma physicist working for the University of California. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1985. I received a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton University in 1987 and 1991.

y wife Lisa and I tied the knot on November 1, 1997. After two and a half years of marriage, we were happy to add a new member to our family! Here are pictures of our daughter, Sarah Elizabeth. Then, in 2003, with the birth of our son, Alexander James, we grew to a family of four. And in 2007, we added the fifth member of our family, our daughter Helen Marguerite.

Bryce_Canyon_DNL_2005_med.jpg Roberts_Family_Xmas_2006.jpg Halloween_2005_med.jpg
Don & Lisa at Bryce Canyon Christmas 2006 Happy Halloween
Sarah_Horses.jpg Neal_St_Xmas_2005.jpg Blacktie_Gladiator_Alex.jpg
Sarah with her Horses Merry Christmas! Blacktie Gladiator Alex

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Our house was built in 1959. It's about five blocks from downtown Pleasanton. Contrary to what we previously thought, the big tree in front of our house is a Bunya Bunya (Araucaria bidwillii), not a Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana).

So, who is this Don guy?

My family has always been fairly active, and I guess it's rubbed off. I have a wide variety of interests; my friend Claude once called me a "Renaissance Dude." I like the sound of that.

dbell.gif Hobbies & Interests
Down Syndrome
• A couple of years ago, I served on the Board of the Down Syndrome League of the Greater Bay Area. You can find info on the League, other Down Syndrome links, and more on Stevie & Jacob's Page
• Remember when you could collect all five?! My friends and family are snapped up Apple's fruit-colored iMac. Later there was the "Luxo Jr." model. And now, you buy the screen; you get the computer built-in. Have you got yours?
• Want the coolest laptop on the planet? My brother Dave did, so he bought a PowerBook...
• Want the fastest, most-affordable desktop on the planet? Buy a Power Macintosh.... Now with Unix!
• My wife Lisa and I used to sing in the Choir at St. Augustine Church (since re-styled "the Catholic Community of Pleasanton").
• We've since joined St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland. We sometimes attend the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin but prefer the Traditional Latin Mass according the to 1962 Roman Missal, as approved and encouraged by our local bishop, the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron.
• with my SIG P220
Recreational Bodybuilding
Water Skiing
Downhill Skiing
Scuba Diving
note_sm.gif Some of my favorite music
• The Beach Boys
Michael W. Smith
Steven Curtis Chapman
Michael Card
usa_new.gif Politics (Face it: political thought peaked around 1787...)
Less is More:
• Check out the Cato Institute.
The best people for the job (barely...):
• Check out the RNC.
Read them lately?
• Check out copies (and images!) of America's Founding Documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, at the Bill of Rights) at the National Archives.
Conservatism's Brain:
• Check out the Heritage Foundation.

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What's New

November 27, 2011
cross.gif Happy Thanksgiving, and Blessed Advent

We celebrated Thanksgiving this year with my brother Dave and our friend Michael from Church. Lisa prepared a wonderful feast, and we relaxed and enjoyed one another's company by the fire.

February 6, 2011
usa_new.gif Happy 100th Birthday, Gipper!

Today would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, and it kicks off a centennial celebration that will last the whole year.

April 4, 2010
cross.gif Happy Easter

Wow, no updates down here for 18 months! I once let my checking account go unbalanced for that long, but this is ridiculous. In my defense, there are more frequent updates on our blog. Friends and family can also find updates on facebook.

October 31, 2008
cross.gif Happy All Hallows E'en

Looks like tonight might be a bit soggy, but the kids are still plenty excited. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds broadcast, Lisa and I watched Mars Attacks! last night.

March 23, 2008
cross.gif Alleluia, He is Risen!

Happy Easter! Our family attended all of the Triduum services in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite again this year. Sarah and Alex were fairly attentive this year. They noticed a lot of the aspects of the liturgies that differed for a "normal" High Mass, and asked a lot of questions. Unlike her siblings when they were babies, Helen is a fairly light sleeper, so Lisa ended up participating in the Mass mostly while walking in the back of the church with Helen in a baby bjorn. Again this year, the ladies organized a reception in the church hall after Mass. Today, my mom and dad will join us for Easter Sunday High Mass.

February 6, 2008
usa_new.gif Happy Birthday, Gipper

Ronald Reagan would have been 97 today. His presence still casts a large shadow over politics, as can be seen by this year's nominating contests on both the Republican and Democrat sides.

December 2, 2007
cross.gif Blessed Advent

Seems like we just put the Halloween decorations away and it's already time to begin the preparations for Christmas. But what a joyous season of preparation this year! Sarah and Alex are at an age where the anticipation before Christmas is at its height. Lisa and I are still glowing from the excitement of adding a new member to our family.

Advent will pass quickly again this year. Because Christmas falls on a Tuesday, the Fourth Week of Advent will last only two days.

November 5, 2007
cross.gif Welcome Helen Marguerite Roberts!

On October 23, we welcomed the newest member of our family, our daughter Helen Marguerite. You can check out our blog for more photos and details.

May 27, 2007
cross.gif Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come, Holy Spirit!

Happy Birthday! Today, Pentecost, marks the establishments of God's Church among Christ's Apostles and disciples. In the new Roman calendar, Pentecost makes a big splash, but is gone just as quickly. In the traditional Roman calendar, all of the Sundays between today and the Feast of Christ the King, just before the beginning of Advent, are referred to as "Sundays after Pentecost."

May 22, 2007
usa_new.gif What kind of tree is that?

I found some new info on the Web about the bunya tree in our front yard, and have linked to it above. Sadly, bunya's are one of the few araucaria species that is monoecious (has both male and female parts). Our tree is alone in our neighborhood, so if it were dioecious, we wouldn't have to deal with the every-few-year cycle of producing cones (that can be up to 20 lbs). Last year, we cut the cones out of the tree when they were still developing, and I think that's the approach we'll take from now on. In the past, I had to wear a hardhat to mow the lawn. Those cones can be deadly!

April 8, 2007
cross.gif Alleluia, He is Risen!

Happy Easter! Our family attended all of the Triduum services in the Traditional Latin Rite this year. The kids were amazingly well behaved, given each liturgy lasts anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours (in Latin). This year they had an added incentive to behave at the Easter Vigil, since several of the ladies organized a reception in the church hall after Mass. Our kids love a good party!

April 6, 2007
cross.gif Consummatum Est

It is accomplished

A very good Good Friday to all.

March 18, 2007
cross.gif Laetare Jersusalem...

Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation (Is. 66:10,11). I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord (Is. 66:10,11).

Today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent ("Laetare Sunday," from the first word of the Introit, or Opening Prayer), marks the half-way point during our penitential journey in preparation for the joy of Easter. We pause to reflect on the Lord's coming glory. For one Sunday, the vestments change (rose instead of penitential violet), polyphony returns, and flowers return to the altar. I think the Church uses this Sunday, in part, to remind us that even in times of darkness, God is with us. He is our source of consolation and of joy. He is the source of our redemption.

February 21, 2007
cross.gif Memento, Homo, Quia Pulvis es....

Remember, man, that thou art dust...and unto dust thou shalt return. Today is Ash Wednsday, marking the beginning of the season of Lent. Calling ot mind Christ's forty days in the desert, we use this time to prepare ourselves through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to fittingly celebrate Easter.

February 7, 2007
usa_new.gif Happy Birthday, Gipper

Ronald Reagan would have been 96 today. We think of his family and keep them in our prayers. From time to time, Sarah still asks about President Reagan. Although not very clearly, she still remembers watching coverage of President Reagan's funeral with me, despite her being a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday at the time.

January 20, 2007
cross.gif Keeping Christmas almost until Candlemas

Traditionally, the Christmas season (aka "Christmastide") lasted until the Purification of Mary ("Candlemas"), which occurs 40 days after Christmas Day. We're doing our level best to revive the tradition this year. It helped that Lisa's parents weren't able to make it up for our Christmas gift exchange until this weekend. So, this morning, we finally opened the last gifts under the Christmas tree. How's that for "keeping Christmas all the year"?!

December 17, 2006
cross.gif Gaude, Gaude Emmanuel

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete (Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice).

Today, on the third Sunday or Advent, the Church takes a break from the mood of preparation and anticipation, to celebrate the imminent arrival of the Savior. Today flowers return to the altar, the organ is heard again, and the violet of Advent gives way to rose vestments.

November 26, 2006
cross.gif Blessed Advent

The Fall and Thanksgiving decorations are coming down and the Christmas decorations are going up. While we prepare our homes for Christmas, we sould take some time to prepare our hearts as well.

Advent will pass all too quickly this year. Because Christmas falls on a Monday, Sunday December 24 will be both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Vigil of Christmas. "Official" Advent will be only three weeks long. To get the full four weeks, I'm putting up each weeks advent candle on my home page one week early. I think we'll probably do the same wih the kids.

November 5, 2006
cross.gif Kings, Saints, Souls, and Veterans

Sarah made her First Holy Communion on Sunday, October 29 (the Feast of Christ the King in the Old Roman Calendar) You can see pictures on our blog.

The kids had a blast this year on Halloween. It was a beautiful, clear, cold autumn night. Just perfect. Especially compared to the warm, wet weather we've had every day since.

The entire family made it to Mass at St. Margaret Mary on All Saints' Day (including my Mom, who was visiting). We then went out for dinner afterward (Lisa and my wedding anniversary).

On All Souls Day, my mom watched the kids and Lisa and I attended the Third Requiem Mass (cool black requiem vestments!).

We finished with an All Saints' party at the Church today. Sarah dressed up as St. Margaret Mary and Alex dressed up as St. Anthony of Padua/St. Francis of Assisi (he couldn't decide).

Sadly, the All Saints' party was at the same time as the Pleasanton Veterans' Day parade. Maybe next year...

February 6, 2006
usa_new.gif Happy Birthday, Gipper

Ronald Reagan would have been 95 today. We think of his family and keep them in our prayers. Sarah still remembers watching coverage of President Reagan's funeral with me, despite her being a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday at the time.

December 25, 2005
cross.gif Merry Christmas!

This year, for Midnight Mass, we attended our Parish's Solemn High Mass (Priest, Deacon, sub-Deacon & Choir) celebrated by Fr. Michael Wiener at St. Margaret Mary Church. Lisa's Mom, Gloria, joined us.

usa_new.gif WobNet adds WobLog

Spurrend on by an article in Macworld, I decided to start a blog as a way of providing more regular updates. Welcome to the Future!

December 18, 2005
cross.gif One week until Christmas!

Sarah and Alex aren't the only ones getting excited. I've been remembering the last few Christmas mornings while seeting up some Photo Albums from past Christmases (and from our trip to Canyon Country).

December 9, 2005
cross.gif A visit with Santa

Sarah and Alex made their annual visit with Santa today. Sarah has always been very excited about seeing Santa, but this is the first year that she didn't panic at the last minute. Alex, who never gave any indication of being nervous, froze up once he came face to face with Santa. He didn't get upset, but he got very quiet.

December 4, 2005
cross.gif Blessed Advent

Hard to believe it's already the second Sunday of Advent. We're in the midst of preparing for Christmas, attending a few parties, and visiting friends and family. It's all made a bit more complicated by my travel schedule for work, but fortunately Lisa is great at keeping us on top of things.

April 19, 2005
cross.gif Habemus Papam!

Easter Joy! The Holy Spirit has shown mercy on His Church and given her a new Pope, Benedict XVI. Those who know him speak very highly of the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. I am thrilled!

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