Pictures from Today

Here are a few pictures from today.

In the early part of today, once I got breakfast, I was focused on work, but at lunch I went out and took a few pictures. In the afternoon, I went back to working, but caught the Sox-Sox game, in which Wakefield got a no decision, several K's and a hit batsman. This latter accomplishment ties him all time with Joe "Iron Man" McGinnity (of 1905 NY Giants fame).

Then, shortly after the Sox-Sox game ended, the tornadoes started hitting MA. We don't normally get many of these, especially any that do serious building damage... but today we had many all over the state, with more to come tonight. This is *nothing* compared to Joplin, but it is much worse that we're accustomed to.

Here in Camelot, we were not in the path of anything really nasty, just rain, some wind, and lightning, and very odd looking clouds associated with down-drafts... so we hung out on Kathy and John's porch and chatted. There is just one very close lightning flash, but it was a doosie!  Not sure where it hit.
America, Politics

About Last Week

Here are a few pictures from last week, when I felt uninspired to take a lot of pictures.

There were probably great pictures outside when I was hunkering in the bunker waiting for the tornadoes to pass, but actually, I wasn't feeling all that great either... still I got a few shots of mild interest to me, and maybe you.


Good News and Bad News

First the Good News:
- I am back to health with almost no symptoms left as reminders
- I had a fun day yesterday thanks to Family, Camelot, Aneleda&Drew, and Cat-Preston-&-Mason
- The creative process I was concerned about a few days ago... going fine!
- Weather's nice.
- Upcoming work-schedule includes some time in the Metro-Boston area.
- I lost some needless fatty weight over the last several days.
- My younger brother's getting married in a few weeks, and my schedule will let me be there
- Upcoming family reunion-type party in Maine on July 2 to celebrate a first-cousin-once-removed heading into the Navy.
- I got the vellum I need for a special project.

Now the Bad News:
- Collapse ).

Very Strange Dream

I had a strange dream last night. It loosely involved my friend Thora (Caroline), but not in any drama-containing way, except that I didn't want to ruin a beautiful (non-fiber-arts) project of her's which might have had something to do with a 3D cosmology map representing differential flows and voids, and a clear but previously unknown relic of a singularly large post-big-bang event.

All the while I was dealing with some office party for contractors, in a far away city, and trying to pack up and get ready for Pennsic (next stop). As a consequence of the party, I had been loaned a large motorcycle, and given a pregnant Panda, that apparently some of the guys like to have sex with, but the idea just didn't appeal.

After quite a bit of riding around with the Panda and other gear, in the still of the night, I stopped at an arbor where vines that dripped honey had been spliced into carefully stunted Chestnut trees to form long honey arbors... which the Panda wouldn't touch. After this I returned the Panda and the motor-cycle, photographed my receipts, and accidentally touched Thora's 3D map moving the relic. She wasn't there to chastise me, so finished packing the car with my theatrical gear for Pennsic, (and woke up thinking maybe I should rent a motorcycle)

I don't usually remember so much of a dream, but I suspect recovering from illness and having many short sleeps, instead of one big long one facilitated this.
Space, Science


That planetary science mission I mentioned a couple days ago...

It is called OSIRIS-REx, and it will launch in 2016, and cruise for four years before rendezvousing with Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (which has a small chance of hitting the Earth in about 170 years). It will orbit, map, and take samples from this third-of-a-mile diameter asteroid for a year and a half, and then start its journey back to Earth, where the samples will be analyzed looking at the early-solar-system stuff this thing is made of.

Careful measurements made during the orbiting should give us a good sense of how this thing is held together, and what strategies we could use to make it less likely to hit the Earth.

In other news:
 - headed home soon
 - Piper tried the Wikipedia steps to Philosophy thing from Wednesday's XKCD. Head Cheese is 19 steps.
Graziano blue

Challenging Mental Task

I'm working on several challenging things right now, but one of them in particular is taking up my intellectual resources, just trying to organize to get the brilliant ideas. Sadly, since this is about a show, I can't really discuss this too broadly (i.e. here) in specific, but I can say something that has seemed kind of easy in the past is a lot harder now, either because I never really did it in the past (not true), or I am trying to do it much better than ever before (true), or this is a thing where being older and relatively happy are interfering with a certain kind of creativity (possible also true). It's far from hopeless, and I can get help from a few key people (e.g. SB & DP) (which will certainly make the whole thing better). One other thing, I think this kind of challenge is what makes life worth living for me.

The other challenges are related to calligraphy, video, and electronics (independently).

In other news:
- NASA is about to announce a new planetary exploration project. I don't know what it is.
- The team I am teaching this week are people I was made to get along with. The synergy is wonderful.
- A Wisconsin Judge struck down Walker's anti-Union law.
Space, Science

We set sail on this new sea...

Fifty years ago today, JFK announced that the US was committing itself to going to the Moon before the end of the 1960s. ... not because it is easy, but because it is hard. ... a project that would serve to organize the best of our energies, thoughts, and skills.

Generally speaking it worked, not just to get us to the Moon, but to put us on a road that made us proud of, rather than dismissive of our scientists and engineers, and what they were doing. Even though since then, many people have suggested worthy goals, none are so inspirational, and have such a measurable goal... curing cancer, curing AIDS, stopping hunger, world peace, balancing the budget. Plus Kennedy had the advantage of working in a naive time when the belief in American Exceptionalism(tm) was connected to a willingness to do exceptional work and pay exceptional prices to do the exceptional. Now AE is merely a nationalistic rallying cry to cloud serious issues.

In other news:
- Tornadoes did not get close to my hotel
- Beckett got the win, Lester goes this afternoon against a kid who's really clicked since being called up a week or so ago.
- I'm trying to come up with three brilliant ideas today... that's my goal.

Big Plans

I am working on the i Sebastiani shows for Pennsic, and am grateful to the friends and colleagues that have agreed to help.
The main public performance will be a little different in some respects than anything we've previously done, employing some interesting simulations of period stage-craft. The scenario is also something a bit different for us, coming from an appropriate, but different source than our previous work. A lot of talented people are contributing. Don't miss it.

 - I am in Overland Park KS, which is about 130 miles North of Joplin. I have no free time to try and help, and think it would be poor taste to drive down for disaster tourism. The news makes it look amazingly bad. Roughly three square miles of urban/suburban wreckage... not just a neighborhood.
 - The customer I am visiting has a very tightly controlled and narrow guest internet connection. My new procedures require a lot of communication, which this connection is making difficult. Always an adventure!
 - The Sox were five outs away from taking over first place, but Daniel Bard got beat. The Indians look good this year.
 - My travel schedule for the next few weeks is *unknown*. I likely will be going places, but there is no clue yet as to where. The week of May 29 looks like a stay-at-home week though. Time to get some things done!
Acme Rocket

Long Journey

Here are a few pictures from the last couple days. The picture to the right is one of several in the waiting area for the subterranean train in the Madrid Airport.

My plan had been to go from Madrid to Boston via JFK, but the flight from JFK to Boston got cancelled, making it impossible for me to get home, and back to the airport in time for my flight today to Kansas City. So I spent five hours in JFK trying to work out details. In the end it was settled that I should fly on a different airline from LaGuardia to Kansas City in the morning, and spend the night in a hotel. ... Except that the plane that we boarded had a maintenance issue, and we had to deplane, and wait yet more time.

The TSA decided to inspect my checked luggage a couple times, causing some minor mayhem. ... all in all a relatively stressful trip.

On the plus side, I had some great ideas and progress on three of my four big arty projects for this summer.