Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm baaack

Had a good road trip.  No breakdowns or even near misses.  It was cloudy and chilly but I didn't drive in rain.  Gas prices are keeping many off the road--cars are unusually rare on the freeways.  I am still learning my GPS.  It is a remarkable invention.  Imagine telling the guys who figured out the sextant and chronometer that one day, there would be a navigation device that knew what lane you needed to be in while moving at 70 mph.  They would have wept in sheer joy at the prospect.

Saw a lot of interesting things.  Last year, I tried to be useful around Tony's booth. This year, I was a bum who spent most of the time wandering around with a video camera listening to the purest Producer types explain their thought processes while making things.  My favorite was the guy who has discovered the definitive history of the USS Monitor by constructing a scale model from designer John Ericsson's drawings and making it run.  He is a perfect example of how Producers uncover facts and how tenaciously they will defend those facts when proven by experimental means.

Got a tour of the back operations of Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  Last was there the summer I turned 14.  It was a peak experience then so it was extra fun to meet some of the folks who make the place work.  Visited the shop where the 26 Model Ts that are driven around the Village are perfectly maintained in like-new condition.  It's an amazing world when funds are found for maintenance.

I got quite a bit of video and will soon see what I have actually captured.  It's really hard to mike up anyone under casual situations so I just got the camera as close to the speaker as I could and still get a video shot.  I am sure I got something.  I am just as sure it won't win any awards for excellence in videography.

It was a good time to be away from what passes for news.  Between the modern Tories going "Goo" over the British Royals and the wargasm over the Bin Laden assassination, the reminders that the pirates are still firmly in charge of the agenda were all over the place.  We couldn't have a serious discussion of energy or climate change, you know.  I mean, the implications of $5 gasoline or the largest outbreak of tornados in history are so ugly compared to Will and Kate and the Navy Seals.

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