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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!