Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Return from Sea: Back From The Cruiseship

I've had one full day back on land, having worked a cruiseship for 13 days. It was 11 work days and two of travel. The company I worked for updated and installed new theatrical lighting systems aboard the ship. No better way to keep me off-line than charging 75 cents a minute for Internet access, ,.

It was the hardest work I've done in years, consecutive 14-hours days with a 21-hour day the second to last night worked. Grueling to be sure, but the final installation was a sight to behold, a beautiful collection of high-tech lighting features with not a cable to be seen. Its a tough thing to make such a complex installation look simple. But that's the job. It did suck much being atop a ladder, reaching overhead while on at sea under power. Coupldn't be happier now that I'm home.

Now I am here, blogging, uploading pictures to the computer and recuperating. A much needed massage was had earlier in the day, and a visit to the chiropractor tomorrow will sort my back out some more.

I return to an Atlanta in full bloom and pollinating like crazy. Its nice to see trees and animals, things not seen on a ship.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Red-Blooded American Museum

National Museum of Patriotism - a photoset on Flickr

Last week I visited the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta. It was a museum I often passed but had never visited. This will be a brief post about the museum which is deserving of a longer entry.

First thoughts: patriotism = enlisting in the military/supporting the military. All the armed services were represented, with high tech displays. Formed Tuskegee Airman Charles W. Dryden (USAF - Retired) explained in documentary why a black man would risk life and limb in a time of segregation. The collection of trench art from the museums founder.

A museum dedicated to the heartfelt belief that the US is the greatest country in the world, and should be celebrated as such. Fairly uncritical, but I can't argue with the basic starting point. There is no greater country then ours.

More on that later.

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U have to be up in 4 hours. Hating insomnia right now.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Museums, Rollergirls, Cruiseships and Internet Overload

In brief:

Visited the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta on Wednesday. Pictures were taken (not posted yet) and some audio recorded in hopes of a podcast on the Georgia Podcast Network. Thanks to Rusty and Amber for the audio recorder, I'll try get my ass in gear and get a podcast ready before my ship sails.

I will be missing the next two months worth of Atlanta Rollergirls rollerderby because of work on cruiseships. So, please go people, these girls do the derby out of love and it shows. Not happy about missing the derby bouts, but very happy about the paychecks. Soon I will be spending 13 days installing high-tech lighting systems on board a cruiseship. This time it will be at sea and not at drydock like the last one. So the conditions will improve, but I will lose most communication with my sweetie. No cell phone reception, expensive internet, and $7.98 per minute from guest rooms. Notes in bottles, maybe?

I will hate to be unable to not hear her voice on a daily basis, but being away from the internet may be a needed interruption. I'm constantly surfing my usual sites, not out of any real need, but almost compulsive action. I was net-free on the first ship, and found nothing really important/interesting when I resumed surfing again.

And now to finish writing and continue my search for the end of the internet...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Other Georgia Stonehenge: I Went There So You Never Have To

Few things disappoint like an interesting theme poorly explored. Take the idea of naming a neighborhood Stonehenge ( Google Maps), in Athens, GA. Even at the height of the 70's this could not have sounded like a wise choice for community development: druids, strange street names like Salsbury Plain Dr., Sersen Cir., and Heelstone Ave., the hope/fear of human sacrifices. So, the likelihood of an interesting spectacle is always something to be hoped for, and the reason for a trip. At the best it could be a fantastic recreation in stone, honoring the spirit of the original and infused with something additional from the new place it was built. If nothing else, it might look funny, like the scene in "Spinaltap." ( tiny audio file)

All I knew was there was a recreation of the Druid's monument there, courtesy of someone on Virtual Globetrotting. Armed with a map, we headed out. Little did I know when my wife and I ventured out to Athens, Georgia in search of this local stonehenge that we would be seeing the least-interesting Stonehenge ever. We've seen stonehenges made out of cars, and one in North Georgia dedicated to population control and insulting politicians. There are loads of amazing stonhenges that populate the US. This was not one of them.

If I sound disappointed, it's because so many of the other roadside attractions I've visited have been interesting in at least one way. So many of them have been kitschy, well-made, historically interesting, etc. The Stonehenge of Athens was a complete letdown, however. Barely henge-like. And the neighborhood that was behind the shrine, boring. Just regular house, some with cars being worked on in front and no sacrificial alters.

But a trip into Athens proper, and the sweet shoes and wallet found on sale at Junkman's Daughter helped ease the "pain". There are many times that I hope people go where I got a chance to visit. This isn't one of those times.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Christmas Comes Late: New Book

I finally have the Little Nemo in Slumberland book I've been wanting since last year.

This huge book comes as a result of Christmas giftcards and my wife pointing out a good sale on Amazon.

The laptop gives an idea of its size, but it really is a different thing to read a book this big. From 1905 to 1914 illustrator Winsor McCay created these color Sunday comics, and this book recreates the comics in the size they were first published in. Its such a big book, I have to make a plan before looking at it. Clear a large area of table and make sure cat is nowhere nearby. She has a tendency like most cats to sit on whatever we read.

Its just gorgeous.

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Also see:

"Gertie on tour--excerpts" / Winsor McCay - 1921 Quicktime movie from the Origins of American Animation, 1900-1921 at American Memory from the Library of Congress.