Archive: May 9, 2009

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Saturday,  05/09/09  10:37 AM

Well I'm back after a whirlwind 24 hour visit to Washington DC and a meeting with the FDA.  All good.  Thank you Virgin America, as your on-board WiFi, laptop power, seatback entertainment, a la carte whenever munchies, nice staff, efficient terminals, and general air of getting it done in a casual way makes air travel better.  I was pretty toasted last night, but after a good night's sleep am ready for a weekend ... of nothing!  How nice, as is the weather, maybe a poolside drink is indicated...

Yesterday night vastly enjoyed dinner at 2941, on the ground floor of General Dynamics headquarters: ceviche, gnocci w morels, and Elysian Fields lamb, accompanied by a delightful Burgundy, and after a mille feuille and a glass of Banyuls, a French port made from grenache a delightful new introduction for me.  Life on the road :) 

The grounds feature beautiful waterfalls and exquisite sculpture; I had the pleasure of viewing the amazing piece at left while dining.  The photo doesn't do it justice (please click to enbiggen), there is something quite emotional about it, a sense of power.  Perhaps it was the fact that I was concurrently reading Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, or the Banyuls...

Upon landing last night I looked out my window and did a double-take, literally; there it was, a Quantas A380, the amazingly huge double-decker Airbus.  If you haven't see one yet, trust me, they are qualitatively larger than, well, anything.  How cool that we humans can make machines like that, and they fly...  (Please click for a bigger picture of a bigger plane :) 

Okay, meanwhile it's all happening...

The Santa Barbara Jesusita fire continues to threaten homes and evict people; Doc Searles posted a great report.  Seems the winds have died a bit and a marine layer has moved in, giving firefighters a chance, whew. 

Randall Parker aka the FuturePundit was one of those evacuated, and blogs about living like a refugee.  I've noticed in the past how hard it is to get map information like Doc Searles has posted; fire reports tend to be sensational rather than informational. 

Sounds like a plan: NASA approves partial privatization of space program

Stereo porn: the Audiophiliac on how to double your receiver's power (add a power amp!)  Not only does it improve the sound, it adds some blue LEDs, always a good thing. 

Guess what this is?  If you guessed a time-track from a Roomba cleaning a bedroom, you're right...  robot art!



still one of their kind

Saturday,  05/09/09  11:44 PM

A year ago today I was in Amsterdam, as my trusty this date in '08 link tells me; a great trip in which I celebrated my Mom's 75th birthday with our extended family there, made a number of important business contacts, and presented at and attended a Pathology conference in Toledo, Spain.  In between I did a great number of things; visited Eindhoven and Groningen and Berlin, on business, toured the Berlin wall (wow...), and while in Spain I ended up clubbing in church.  But the most interesting thing was that while in Holland I [re]discovered I am one of their kind.  Which brings me to this post.

I have thought about this idea (being one of the Dutch kind) often, since...  I'd been to the Netherlands any number of times in my life, and had always felt, well, comfortable there, but it wasn't until last years' trip that I realized why.  That land and society is of its people, it was created by them and for them, and suits them, and it makes sense that as one of them (at least genetically) it would suit me, too.  Multiculturism is all very exciting, but people are different, as are their societies, and people are generally most comfortable in their own element.  Perhaps not a revelation to you, but it was to me :)  Ik ben echt wel Nederlands.


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