Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Adventures of the Rob of Ohio

My good friend Rob came to visit Paul and I for a leisurely weekend.

We went to an awesome art show on Friday night at the Lowe Mill on June 20th. I bought one of Corry's great infrared pieces which now proudly hangs on our black and white wall.

Corry and some of his phenomenal infrared photography. The piece I bought is the on on the bottom.

Saturday Paul, Rob Geoffery and I played a second round of frisbee disc golf at UAH (they'd played one round already while I was learning some basic epee fencing) Geoffery won and Paul and Rob tied for second.

You can see the coveted "Sty-ro-foam Playoff Cup" Geoffery took home as a prize and I'm sure it is now displayed above his fireplace.

Sunday we had lunch at Joe's pizza and then Paul took Rob and on a small tour of the NASA part of the arsenal.

Rob's trying to open a pair of small doors. This is actually where they stored some of the parts from the ISS.

Some of the older historical rockets on display on the arsenal:

The Saturn 1.

Hi Paul!

The main space shuttle engine.

A nice little detail shot.

Paul and Rob checking out the engines.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

4 Minute Passport

I was blown away by the first goofy dancing video Matthew Harding put out in 2006. His new video makes me feel the same way. It urges me to race to the nearest airport and hop the next flight to wherever - and be a part of the world. It made me miss things that I didn't even know I was missing. We are such a small part of this huge world. Our personal universe of daily life is so small, so very finite. Dust off that passport. Expand upon it.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Prepare to Make Mistakes

This excellent talk really made me think about the value modern society places on creativity. Sir Ken Robinson is right in that the way our educational system is structured - creative influences and opportunities are at the bottom of our educational barrel.

Personally, I have always had positive reinforcements with regards to my artistic skill, and as a result, they were nurtured into my current career as a graphic designer. But in throwing open my own small window of perspective onto the world I've never really felt smart. Creative yes, but not truly smart. I can say that I have always had good grades - consistently A/B throughout grade school, high school and college, with a couple Cs. Definitely not brilliant, but at least a bit above average. I think my natural talent and enjoyment I found in drawing, painting and other mediums allowed me to excel in art class; but educational convention only allowed them to visit at my window once a week. (This isn't a pity party folks - and feel I received a good early education. And truly believe life is learning. I don't think one should ever stop or even slow. I just enjoy theorizing about the "what ifs" hoping one day they will turn into "why not do it now's?")

But viewing Sir Ken Robinson's talk above, it makes me beg the question: If I'd been allowed the opportunity to specialize early on, would I be more accomplished in my creativity now, less afraid to cut my own path, smarter artistically, and as Sir Robison mentioned - more creative? Would children's future lives be more well-rounded, more innovative, with more opportunities for those that excel creatively? Would there be more brilliant minds because they were not afraid to be wrong once and a while - because we restructured our educational system to not tailor the children to the tests, but rather the tests to the children?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gallimaufry #3

More doors, more choices of where they will take you.

Door #1 - Orange is Never-Ending

Door #2 - Bunnies are fast

Door #3 - Got a Lite?

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lavender the Lovely Little Monster

Lavender hiding in the garden amongst her favorite purple vegetable: eggplant.

I'd read a great post/tutorial earlier in the week over at Lucky Beans - Simple Monster Softie and was inspired! I needed to make a monster. I chose a great 100% cotton bed spread my Mom had owned in her first apartment that had been reduced to a junk blanket for the main fabric. When I discovered it last year full of holes in my Dad's truck I pilfered it so I could salvage what was still ok. The woven pattern and great purple color was just too fun to not use. I cut out her general shape late last week, bought some felt, and stitched her up late Sunday. I decided I wanted two eyes, some fangs and a dark purple tongue and then decided to make Lavender the Lovely Little Monster a little skirt with the great woven border and used a small scrap to make the added pocket.

A little detail of her pocket. I think she turned out rather cute, don't you?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SSCi Annual Meeting & Icky Bugs

I'll never get tired of scenes like this.

This past Saturday I sat in on the 1pm SCCi board meeting at Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve. I've volunteered to help Jennifer on a pretty big undertaking - helping her redesign/improve on the SCCi website. She's got Dreamweaver down, and I'm going to do the graphics. Its going to take a while, but I think we'll do a nice job. We had hot dogs and burgers after the general meeting at 5:30.

Tommy, Jimmy and Nathan grilling it up.

Paul kicking back.

Dave and Brian, the SCCi chairman.

Folks chatting it up after the meeting.

Tommy, Jimmy and I ran into TR to help Nathan with some photos around 8pm. We made it to the Kings Shower in 30 minutes, and on toward the Inner Sanctum for some photos. The trip out was a bit slower, with TR spitting us back out around 12:30 am. Good times.

Sometime after the trip - I'm guessing while I was changing early Sunday morning in the changing room/old wooden garage - I got bit by some icky bugs - I'd place a bet on some sort of spider or something other than a mosquito - 5 times to be exact. I didn't realize I had the bites till Sunday evening when they really started itching - and when I went to work on Monday I swear I felt like I was getting a flu bug. Then my left leg started aching and I realized my lymph nodes were all swollen. (ow.) So I went to a little walk in clinic yesterday. They did blood work (woohoo!), gave me a steroid shot (yipee!), and two prescriptions (may cause dizziness); one of which actually says on the handy-dandy Target Info sheet attached to the bottle "Common Uses: Treating bacterial infections. It may also be used to prevent or slow anthrax after exposure." No Joke. Uh... Anthrax? Holy crap - how strong is this stuff?! I went to work for a few hours yesterday but I was falling asleep at my desk - so my boss let me to go home. Still felt puny this morning, so I stayed home and slept 1/2 the day away. I hate being sick.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Water, Earth & Time

One never really understands the satisfaction that comes with planting a garden until your sitting down for dinner with perfectly steamed snow peas that were clipped from the vine an hour ago. This year we had a few "volunteers" come out of the planter box we'd used for composting over the winter. We now have a beautiful crop of acorn squash, like the little one in the photo above, and some Idaho potatoes growing in the other corner. (I wonder if I'm still aloud to call them Idaho - even though they are growing in Alabama?)

This is the first year I've grown radishes. They're awfully speedy growers and critters seem to really enjoy the tops, but we've been able to keep them down with some organic bug repellent we found at Garden Cove - made up of 100% garlic and peppermint oil.

This is also the first year we've grown any kind of lettuce greens. They've done particularly well and are just begging for us to fix a great big salad with them in the next couple of days. We've also got eggplant, corn, five types of tomatoes, onions, sunflowers, okra and carrots in various stages of growth, along with a potted herb garden of basil, cilantro, oregano, spearmint, lavender, rosemary, and parsley on the porch.

Looks like I finally begged a few comments out of my readers. Wooohooo! Thank you!! Its always nice to meet new folks too - so very nice to meet you Shannon. I'm completely addicted to comments. Sometimes I honestly wonder if anyone is out there - so if you are - do speak up! Its very nice to hear from you.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Gallimaufry #2

Wow. What's a girl go to do to get someone to comment around here? Well I dug up some more fun links just for the curious of heart for your Friday afternoon viewing pleasure. Perhaps one of them will earn a comment.

Door #1: Just one sentence

Door #2: Who's Your Baby Daddy?

Door #3: Metabo

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gallimaufry #1


Door #2

Door #3

(now run to your nearest dictionary and look up gallimaufry)

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Blue Springs Grotto Trip

Everyone at the entrance to Blue Springs.

Some gypsum and a cute little cave cricket.

A beautiful section of gypsum. You should have seen the "tripod" I used for this... I think we had about four packs stacked on top of each other for this, so I could take it without a flash.

A nice little gypsum crystal curl.

The "cat" tracks.

A bit of coral, a bit of gypsum. Note the coral in the lower right, eroded flat and covered in the gypsum crystals.

Patrick and Jimmy somewhere in the ridiculously long crawl.... if I remember correctly you crawl the length fo 2 football fields. (two photos were stitched together for this one)

Me in the ridiculously long crawl.

Michelle coming up out of the entrance.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Spring Fling II (catch up)

Many weekends ago (April 4th-5th) we held a joint Dayton Underground Grotto/Huntsville Grotto campout - "Spring Fling II" at SCCi's newest acquisition - Tumbling Rock. Paul, Michelle and I drove over Friday afternoon, staked out the tent and tried to not get any soggier than we already were.

Here Michelle's playing in the swimming hole/fire pit.

Tommy, Michelle, Mark and I took a small group of DUG folks back to the King's Shower/Topless Dome Friday evening. I think they liked Tumbling Rock very much and were impressed with the size of the rooms and the formations.

Saturday Morning...

Roger's new headlamp.
Saturday for me consisted of a short trip back into TR with Nathan and Derek - resulting in these great photos of the "Saltpetre Works," "Dynamic Mysteries of Light" and "Beyond Sugarloaf Mountain" using various combinations of Nathan's SIT lights.

Derek, Michelle, Nathan and Jay

Saturday evening we grilled and visited long into the night around the campfire. The DUG crew fixed these awesome candy buckeyes to share with all of the Huntsville folks. A good time was had by all.

Tony, Tommy and Charlie grilling up the hotdogs and burgers for dinner.

And what's dinner without Avis' cookies!! Charley jumped at the chance to help with them...

Jennifer (who picked up another lost kitty when she drove home that night), Torode and Avis

Sunday Morning...
Paul in the "bathroom," brushing his teeth.

Toni and Nathan on the new couch Derek graciously donated to the SCCi for the house.

Tony and Paul closing the weekend by putting out the fire.

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