Saturday, September 29, 2007

For the last few autumns, we've hosted a party for Dave's department, to welcome in new students. It was last night, and here's some photo shots.

Dave fills up the water jug--an elegant glass version with a spigot that we borrowed from a friend.

The last few years we've had golden yellow tablecloths. Ta-da! A change to red.

Clipped a few greens in the yard to assemble these centerpieces, along with Target clearance candles.

Potluck! Last year we had over 20 desserts, tons of chips/dips, lots of bottles of soda and almost no main dish. So everyone "corrected" for that and this year lots of main dish, three desserts, no chips/dips or sodas.

We liked the Japanese paper lanterns we'd hung in the patio.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

From the 1947 Cookie Recipe Book, published by the California State Grange:

We may live without poetry, music and art,
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends, we may live without books
But a civilized man cannot live without cooks.

Today I made some Panna Cotta, which is an Italian version of Creme Brulee. And before that, for dinner, we had Panzanella, a tossing-together of roasted vegetables, homemade croutons, chickpeas, with a garlic-infused oil and caper dressing. I also added some grilled chicken, cut up into cubes.

It's nice to have some new recipes for a change.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I had to get up early to take Liz to a YW activity. I thought this was a perfect way to start the day.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm dreaming bookcases.

Our friend Roger came by tonight with a sketch of how our built-ins might look. I was ecstatic to see a dream on paper. He's really talented--an architect--who can always dream a way to make it better. We joke about that. (It always costs more money, that way, he says.)

While our bookcases aren't seasick like these, they are rather stuffed. And then there's the 16 boxes of books in the garage.

I'd better edit the collection.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Seventy-mile-an-hour photos are what happens when the driver holds up the camera, shoots randomly while driving, and later gets to see what comes out.

Interesting linear rainbow just outside of Kingman Arizona.

To the right, the golden landscape fronted by mountains in silhouette and ever-present telephone wires.

To the left pink diffused clouds, heavy with rain, blend into the rose-tinted landscape.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

User Manual

The gold-anodized aluminum case for the "Sound of Earth" recording illustrates how the record should be played.

from an editorial in the September 5th 2007 New York Times, the record's producer wrote:
"Over the past three decades, the gold record has become an article of international curiosity. Spirited discussions continue about what we might do differently if we were making it today. (Having produced the record, I answer that I wouldn’t change much.) At the time, though, the record almost didn’t make it.

NASA officials, worried that Congress would ridicule the record as a waste of public money, had tried to play it down. Press-release photos of the spacecraft almost invariably showed the side opposite to where the record was bolted on, literally hiding it from view.

And after the record was completed, NASA rejected it on technical grounds. Late one night in a New York sound studio, when we’d finished cutting the master, I inscribed the words, “To the makers of music — all worlds, all times,” in the “takeout grooves” next to the label. (The Voyager record is a metal version of the 33 1/3 vinyl records of the day, recorded at half-speed to double its data content. Etching an inscription between the takeout grooves was a trope I’d picked up from John Lennon.)

A NASA quality-control officer checked the record against specifications and found that while the record’s size, weight, composition and magnetic properties were all in order, its blueprints made no provision for an inscription.

So the record was rejected as a nonstandard part, and the space agency prepared to replace it with a blank disc. Sagan had to persuade the NASA administrator to sign a waiver before the record could fly."

---Timothy Ferris

Jupiter's Atmosphere

Voyager 1 reached Jupiter on March 5, 1979, but as early as January, its images exceeded the quality of anything ever taken from Earth. No terrestrial-based telescope could capture the subtle swirling atmosphere seen in this Voyager 1 image. The spacecraft recorded enormous lightning storms crackling in the high atmosphere.

The first spacecraft captured 19,000 images and many other scientific measurements of Jupiter. Voyager 2 brought the total to 33,000 images. In just a few months, the twin spacecraft overturned existing theories, and raised new questions about Jupiter and its moons.

Image: NASA

(text from WIRED magazine)

Thousands of Post-it notes were artfully placed around New York City this summer, with an invitation for onlookers to write what they had to do.

What is on your To Do list?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fly high.

Balloon Interior
Eden, Utah
August 2007
Happy Eighteenth Anniversary

We went to Mario's for dinner. My first course was a chilled yellow tomato gazpacho, with a garnish of julienned grilled vegetables. We always evaluate our meals out at new places, and this was pronounced the winner for that course.

When we were in Italy this summer, we tried a new dessert for us: panna cotta. That was on the menu as well. Yep. It was the winner for the dessert course.

We had a pleasant time, enjoying each other's company. There's a deepening of the friendship that happens over many years, an easiness that comes only with time. I can't really explain it, only to say that feels like wearing a favorite piece of clothing, all soft and malleable and familiar from time's effects. . . only a marriage of a lengthening duration is better.