Google Glass

Google Glass

Google Glass is large, conspicuous, and expensive. It’s a bulky two-piece computer prominently clinging to the side of your face on a frame that is unfoldable and unpocketable. Unless you have a bag* with you, Glass pretty much forces you to wear it on your face — and this might be by design. It’s possible Google wants Glass to be a real-life viral marketing tool for itself, just by being an extremely visible head-mounted conversation starter: conversations that will probably start with mention of the $1,500 price tag (after the standard “are you recording me now?”)

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Miles O’Brien Loses an Arm

I’ve been a fan of journalist Miles O’Brien since his early days as a space reporter at CNN (following the untimely death of previous space reporter John Holliman). O’Brien recently lost his left arm to amputation, due to complications from acute compartment syndrome after a freak bag accident. He’s written a frank and moving piece in NYMag about his experiences post-amputation.

O’Brien was going to be the first journalist in space, but the fatal Columbia disaster cancelled that plan. He was later laid off from CNN. I can’t help but feel bad for the guy: he was a great journalist destined for awesome things, but fell prey over the years to a combination of factors outside his control. Despite all adversity I hope he gets to go into space eventually.

(Not to be confused with Starfleet officer Miles O’Brien — although the “O’Brien Must Suffer!” trend of Star Trek script tragedies might well apply here.)

Great Falls with Mom

Parent came to visit us in NoVA after Florida, so I took Mom out for a hike around the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls (Maryland side). With the river swollen from the previous week’s heavy rain, the falls raged higher than I had ever seen them before, and Sec. A of the trail was closed due to flooding. Sec. B was still open, though, and proved just as fun and challenging.

Great Falls (MD)
Potomac River below Great Falls (MD)
Billy Goat Trail Sec. B

We also spotted this rough green snake on the trail during the walk back.

Rough Green Snake

It was great having my parents over for a weekend. Mom’s fitter than I am.

Playalinda and Atlantis


I was in Orlando to meet up with my parents before a convention, but I had a day to myself before they arrived. The first thing I noticed after checking in to an old, threadbare room at the Best Western was that the tap water smelled funny, like sulfurous mud, and I thought as I lay down to sleep: I should get out of Orlando.

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Dulles Airport (Fisheye)

I was at Dulles for a while that Friday. I had come over early from work to enroll for TSA Precheck, and tried driving in via a back route called “Ariane Way” that skipped the Dulles Access Road and was frequented by airport workers and cargo delivery trucks. A wrong turn somehow trapped me in the taxi lot, where I managed to U-turn into a one way lane right into the headlights of a rental shuttle before finding my way out to the terminal ramp, much to the amusement of the entire Dulles taxi fleet.

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