Here are Amelia’s polydactyl paws all clustered together while she sits in an empty IKEA bookcase. More paw-age follows:
We drove up to New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with Amy’s family, leaving early Thanksgiving morning to be on the road behind the previous evening’s rush. The drive was mostly up I-95, arriving in time for the dog show and Thanksgiving dinner.
The next day we went in to New York City along with Amy’s brother’s fiancé, hopping galleries in Chelsea, checking out the High Line, and walking past the Rockefeller Center Tree (no lights yet) and up 5th Avenue, with a stopover at Sapporo for ramen.
Always a fun Thanksgiving weekend with Amy’s folks. Full photoset here.
The Washington Monument has been wrapped in scaffolding for repairs over the last couple years following the August 2011 Virginia earthquake. With the scaffolding due to come down, I dropped by the National Mall last weekend to get some photos, as the scaffolding itself does have its own visual charm.
As I walked east from Lincoln Memorial down the Reflecting Pool, the clouds and sun were both behind me, occasionally casting moody shadows on the Monument.
Down by the Monument itself, the Sylvan Theatre was right outside the fenced-off restricted zone, and I snuck through backstage to get a panorama from the stage.
Before the clouds got too thick I was also able to get a closeup shot of the scaffolded Monument with the daylight-visible moon, somewhat reminiscent of this photo I’d gotten in 2007.
At the time of this writing NPS is closing out repairs and has started to dismantle the scaffolding. It’s been an interesting visual treat but it’ll be nice to have the Monument back in its full naked glory. Some time I need to actually go up in there; I’ve lived in the area over a decade now and still haven’t been to the top.
Full photoset on Flickr: Washington Monument in Scaffolding.
Orbital Sciences launched a Minotaur 1 rocket from Wallops last night, carrying ORS-3: an Air Force satellite, two experimental payloads, and several small cubesats, including TJ3Sat, a small satellite developed by students at a local high school. We went up to the roof to watch the launch from Fairfax.
I made the mistake of using ISO 400 for a 165 second exposure in moonlit conditions with city glare reflecting off scattered clouds, causing overexposure. Some post-processing brought the rocket’s arc back into view, darker but higher and more rounded than the Minotaur V LADEE launch in September. This was a smaller, less powerful rocket, but still awe-inspiring to see, even from over a hundred miles away.
An email I sent for distribution at my church, First Baptist DC, answering queries about typhoon relief contribution opportunities for fellow Baptists here in the USA after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Following the call for donations I’ve also included a gallery of ships run aground during the typhoon, a display of the fury of the storm.
Typhoon Haiyan (PAGASA name Yolanda) struck the Philippines on November 7th, devastating islands in the Visayas, flattening whole towns and villages, and killing thousands. With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, it was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall.
Cinema-related reading (and related media) that has crossed my path in recent months:
Peter Jackson’s Violent Betrayal of Tolkien. Bad enough that they split the story into a triple-segment money-grab, but even worse was altering the Warg/forest chase scene into a trite action movie climax against an archnemesis who was barely even in the book.
Steven Soderbergh on why On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the best Bond film. I’ve also thought OHMSS and George Lazenby’s James Bond were greatly underappreciated, but the film is constantly at war with itself, vacillating between showing a sensitive Bond in a more realistic setting versus the classic 1960s alpha male Bond battling an outlandish supervillain plot. Lazenby quit the role after one film due to contract disputes and directorial conflict.
“It’s a miracle that Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits even got made.” Featuring a cast of little people alongside various Monty Python alumni, a child star, and Sean Connery, this film bothered me as a child just because of how it ended.
“Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How Clue Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph. Flames. On the side of my face.
What Superman III teaches us about computer programming. Apparently the specific command to salami slice a payroll is
"CHANNEL HALF CENTS INTO ACCOUNT."
10 remarkable things about Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The effects on this film were Super Sentai bad, but even worse was Superman suddenly and inexplicably gaining the power of “Instant Great Wall Repair Vision.”
8 Surprising Details About The Hellish Production Of The Super Mario Bros. Movie / Mario’s Film Folly: The True Story Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Gaming Blunder. I was only recently reminded of this by a couple of shmorky tweets: 1, 2. I haven’t seen the Super Mario Bros. movie yet but some time I’m going to have to try, just to see how bad it was. (Not to be confused with the Super Mario Brothers Super Show starring pro wrestler Captain Lou Albano.)
For the long, rainy mid-October weekend I took it into my head to try two local heritage railways: the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad out of Cumberland, MD and the Potomac Eagle out of Romney, WV. It made for a nice, calm weekend in the mountains with views of early fall color and local wildlife — and of course, historic trains.