Power & Pathos Weekend

Some photos from the weekend when Jacquelyn came to visit:

Snowy Fields around Bolger Center, Potomac, MD
Bolger Center, Potomac, MD
Jacquelynn and Amy at Power and Pathos
I Like Cats
Irn Bru Selfie at Eamonn's

It was a singular joy to be able to see the NGA’s Power and Pathos bronzes with her expert perspective as a professional archaeologist on the Getty team that organized the exhibit. We also saw the art deco Bolger Center, and had fish and chips at Eamonn’s where I finally got to try some Irn Bru.

World’s First Crowd Sourced 3D-Printed QR Code Live Streamed Via Go Pro To A Smart Phone Or Tablet Device Drone Delivery Ticket System Project

At various times my job has involved editing motivational videos and interviews. To get a feel for the inspirational cadence of such videos my go-to reference is this satire of innovative cutting-edge gimmickry by Australian ad agency Creative Fuel in 2014:

Even two years later it hits all the right technological buzzword bullet points. Really a game-changer.

Update: On a related note, stock footage site Dissolve’s “Generic Brand Video” also works great:

Blizzard 2016

The January 2016 blizzard dumped 2 feet of blowing snow on us over the weekend, blanketing our world in white, canceling classes and delaying work for days afterward.

Fortunately water, power, gas, internet, and TV all stayed on, and we had lots of food and time to cook, so we lacked for no creature comforts through the storm. With Amy working on Project Wallaby I was on sole shovel duty and got a good workout clearing the stairs, walkway, deck, and local hydrant.

Cat and Storm Door Snow Buildup #snow #blizzard2016

The nearby marsh and forest turned picturesque.

Snowy Marsh #throughglass

Neighborhood snow banks piled up considerably with plowing and shoveling.

Stop Sign in Snowbank #throughglass

Based on an NPR story about eating snow I found a bit of powder to be a good addition to some Laphroaig.

In DC I lent my necktie to a snowman.

Snowman in necktie at US Capitol, Washington, DC #blizzard2016

Snow-related road backups made Metro parking a nightmare, and my video of the line to exit a Metro parking garage made it to WTOP and Washington Post.

The weather’s a lot warmer a week later, so the giant snow banks are melting, and the sunsets have been spectacular. There’s still a lot of winter left, so this may not be the last snowstorm we see before spring, even as warm as it’s been.

National Mall, Snowy Sunset #throughglass
Sunset in Snowy Woods
Amy at sunset by a snowy marsh

More photos from the January 2016 Blizzard in the Flickr photoset.

2015 in review (Baby Edition)

2015 was quite a year. Biggest news of the year first: we successfully formed a baby! Amy is dealing with pregnancy admirably, now with a definite bump. Sonograms show a boy, healthy and moving. While we don’t have a name picked yet, I have code-named him “Project Wallaby.” Tentative due date is June 2016.

babby20151120a

Other stuff that happened in 2015: in space, New Horizons flew by Pluto, while on Earth, Leonard Nimoy passed on.

We bought a townhouse, moved into it, and sold our old condo. (We did wish to wait till we were in a house before trying for a baby.) In the summer we visited Paris and Amsterdam. I was a creeper for Halloween. In December I went to Kennedy Space Center for work and visited the Atlas V launch pad, but I missed the launch itself.

Selfie with Dava Newman and Bill Ingalls at NASA HQ

Best selfie of the year: an impromptu NASA HQ shot with Deputy Admin Dava Newman and senior photographer Bill Ingalls.

First Artsy Weekend of 2016

Power and Pathos

Had a very artsy Saturday at the National Gallery to see a bunch of exhibitions and works that had recently piqued our interest:

Power and Pathos: a traveling collection of extremely rare Hellenistic bronzes from the 4th Century BC to the 1st Century AD.

The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.: collection of multi-part print series by 20th Century artists at the Los Angeles print studio Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited).

Louise Bourgeois: No Exit: the late Louise Bourgeois died in 2010 at the age of 99, leaving an amazing corpus of existentialist art. I also learned her marble sculpture Germinal was once redone in chocolate.

Celebrating Photography: recent acquisitions for the museum’s photography collection, including Richard Avedon’s The Family.

17th Century Dutch painter Jacob Ochtervelt’s A Nurse and a Child in the Foyer of an Elegant Townhouse. Yes, that’s a 5 year old boy in a dress, as was the style at the time.

Over in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum we checked out the Windland Smith Nature’s Best Photography exhibit. (I’d entered a few of my scuba photos into this juried show but ey obviously did not make the cut.)

On Sunday we also dropped by the National Geographic Explorers Hall to see Pristine Seas, photos from marine conservation expeditions led by NGS Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala around the world.

Turtle Back Zoo

Good way to spend a relatively warm (if somewhat drizzly) day after Christmas: a visit to New Jersey’s Turtle Back Zoo.

Happy Zoo Year, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

There was a komodo dragon.

There were penguins.

Penguins, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

There was a yawning fox.

Gray Fox, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

There were running wolves.

Wolf, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

There were pygmy goats.

Goats, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

And a nosy sheep.

Sheep, Turtle Back Zoo #NJ

More photos from the zoo and the long Christmas weekend in general here in the NJ Christmas 2015 photoset.

Music for Christmas

#Christmas in NJ 2015

We’re up in New Jersey to spend Christmas with Amy’s family this long weekend, and my mother-in-law asked me what my favorite Christmas carols were. This was my answer, although I guess none of these are really carols:

From American composer Morten Lauridsen, his Grammy-nominated setting of O Magnum Mysterium, which I sang for Candlelight Carols in 2006.

Somewhat less religious and much more forceful, Lauridsen’s setting of Robert Graves’s Lament for PasiphaĆ« — a melody I would love to see as a setting for “Silent Night”:

One of the songs we sang for this year’s Candlelight Carols was The Work of Christmas, Dan Forrest’s setting of a poem by Howard Thurman:

And from the mists of history, a medieval chant of a legend of Saint Nicholas, Reno Erat Rudolphus:

Merry Christmas!

Cloisters NYC

OA-4 Prelaunch

Me and the VAB (GoPro screenshot)

Early December I went down to Kennedy Space Center to shoot some video for work, and got a chance to do remote camera setup at the Atlas V launch pad for Orbital Cygnus CRS-4. (Unfortunately bad weather delayed the launch so much that I had to leave before the successful fourth attempt.) This was a replacement craft for the one that was lost in an explosion last year, launching on an Atlas V rocket while the Antares is redesigned with new engines.

Continue reading OA-4 Prelaunch

Thanksgiving Weekend 2015

Amy’s mom is having a lot of fun with her Cricut; here are some squirrel pilgrims (squilgrims).

Squirrel Pilgrims (squilgrims)

Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws was a feast as always, with all the standard classics, and also some very interesting sweet potatoes. I don’t normally like sweet potatoes but this recipe with vanilla and marshmallows (!) was amazing. Brussels sprouts were also a highlight, as was the day-after-Thanksgiving turkey carcass soup.

Thanksgiving Dinner

On Friday we went to upper Manhattan and walked around Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters, which we hadn’t visited for over a decade. It was a perfect day for it. For lunch, New Leaf in the park. Super-busy that day, with a long wait, but well worth it for a pork belly and fried egg sandwich.

Fort Tryon Park
Cloisters NYC

Medieval art at the Cloisters is always a treat: I’d been looking forward to the unicorn tapestries after seeing the ones at the Cluny.

Unicorn Tapestries, Cloisters NYC
Cloisters NYC
Cloisters NYC

In the late afternoon the gardens afforded a lovely view of a golden sunset over the Hudson.

George Washington Bridge Sunset Silhouette
Cloisters NYC

I also got to test out my “new” DSLR, a used Sony NEX-3N body, compatible with my current set of E-mount lenses. Other than that, I got to see more Leave It To Beaver than I have since childhood. Weekend was over far too soon.

First shot with NEX3N
Cloisters NYC

Full Thanksgiving 2015 weekend album here.