An especially good e-mail recently came my way; it's by a Haitian, about my videos and wesclark.com website - 2/29/12 e-mail. I'm always cheered when I get something like this.
Reminder: All sorts of japes and larks on my Picasa photo albums pages.
I am now playing a heartless video game on my iPhone, "Butterflies." Click here and check out the three screen grabs. I am seriously considering getting Angry Birds in Space.
Cari and I are seriously considering driving down to the Highland County, Virginia Maple Festival as an extended Empty Nester date thing. Not this weekend, but next. It's kind of nice, just the two of us in a car, driving. It reminds me of our early days, driving from Southern California to Utah and back... Anyway, I've never seen this part of the state, nor have I ever seen any maple gathering taking place. I need to, since Mom was from New Hampshire and that's a big deal up there.
I am halfway though an entertaining German film, The Harmonists (1997). Based on a true story, it's about a German male singing sextet in the 1930's. The first half is mostly comedy, but three of the group are Jews, so I'm sure the second half won't be comedic at all... That's the original group above, by the way. I like the guy with the monocle.
Have you ever looked at the NASA Image of the Day site? I have the app loaded onto my iPhone. It's pretty cool. The photos of guys sitting around in space-related meetings is a colossal bore, of course, but the space images are usually amazing.
The East Coast of the United States at night - Stunning! Look at that line of cities, from New York on the right to Norfolk on the left.
Martian landscape - As a kid I had always hoped to see images like this, but never really expected to. I think one of my grandfatherly retirement activities is going to be to construct an indoor rocket ship, with a computer screen showing images like this from a "window."
The Eagle Nebula - There are a lot of images like this, very colorful and, to me, somewhat mysterious. But this image is a cheat - the nebula doesn't really look like this. This is a composite image of x-rays and near infrared - we wouldn't see these smeary colors with our eyes.
Jupiter and Io - Another image for the Grandchild Spacecraft. Look... a volcanic plume on Io, in blue.
John Young, Apollo 16, April 1972. If this were me I've have a huge picture of this framed somewhere in my house; every time I'd walk by it I'd look at it and go, "Wow. Is that really me?"
Bruce McCandless, 1984 - Ditto. Do these guys have any idea how lucky they were?
All this writing about space makes me hunger to once again hear the world's only space opera, Aniara (1959) by Karl-Birger Blomdahl. (Well, at least I think it's the only space opera. Perhaps now there are others. I'm pretty sure it was the first.) I heard it back in 1973; one of the local libraries had the Columbia Lp set. The cover was an excellent example of Columbia's modern style. I would really, really like to find this Lp somewhere... Mainly to own it as a work of art, but also to see if it's as good as I thought it was when I was seventeen.
You can't always be sure. I once heard a spacey piece by another Scandinavian, Music of the Spheres by Rued Langgaard, on the radio when I was eighteen. "That's great!" I thought, "Where can I find it?" Twenty years later I finally obtained a recording of it on CD - and found that it was embarrassingly bad. There's one part where a chorus repeatedly sings, "Do re me fa so la!" Sheesh.
I went to my piano lesson last night. My teacher assigned me two difficult pieces, but I'm almost done with Book Two of my classical collection, so there's some motivation. One of the pieces is mostly arpeggiated fifths on the left hand... not too difficult. I add in the right hand notes later.
I lost only a pound last week, mostly, I think, because I ate like a pig Friday and Monday nights. Fell off the wagon, hard. That's sixteen pounds lost in eight weeks. I'll take it.
Have a great weekend!
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