Friday, September 24, 2010

fly low, fly fast, turn left

Reno Air Races last weekend with Will, Nate, and Bill. Stayed at Nate's cabin and drove in to Reno for the fun. Some highlights:

* another bear intrusion - Nate was the one to find it this time. The bear managed to turn on the stove, which is a scary thought...luckily the burner actually stayed lit until Nate got there, rather than snuffing out and spewing gas into the place. Another piece of luck: there was a wooden cutting board over the burner...the flame burned a hole right through it, but the rest of the board stayed unburned.

* anti-bear efforts - Nate installed a crazy strong steel storm door, boarded up the other door, set ammonia containers around the cabin, and came up with a Macguyver-worthy trick of splicing an extension cord into a motion-sensor, then plugging aquarium pumps into the cord and feeding the attached tubes to a few ammonia containers. acrid burst to hopefully turn away a nose-sensitive bear. Add to all of that a removal of all food items, pulling the blinds all the way closed to hopefully disguise a large picture window, and leaving a radio on at high volume, and hopefully the bear is discouraged from trying again.

* good times - dinners with the gang at PF Chang's and Samurai Sushi...tasty food and fun company.

* the Snowbirds - Canada's precision flying jet team. Much like the Blue Angels, though they flew a bit slower and held their formations for much longer [through approach, loops/turns, and exit]. Some beautiful formations like the Maple Leaf and a crossover [where one plane flew in a figure-eight around and through the others arrayed at four corners] were goosebump-inducing.

* the pit pass - if you ever go, I highly recommend getting the pit pass for a get to go into an area that isn't open to the general public, walking around seeing all classes of planes parked and ready to be ogled. You also get access to some awesome standing room right at the edge of the tarmac, with great views of taxiing aircraft.

* the military section - an incredible selection of aircraft, seen up close and could even walk into/through some of them.

* the crash - the winds got ridiculous on Sunday, and sadly caused one of the pilots to tumble his sport-class plane as he was trying to land [after pulling out of the race for reasons we didn't catch]. His plane was a mess, with tail and engine gone, wings missing, but he escaped with bumps and bruises...the plane took the damage so he didn't have to. They scrubbed the remaining race of the day...a pity they didn't call it a day a bit sooner.

* Nate hanging out in the Valley of Speed - he didn't get access to the vendors, the porta-potties, or the loudspeakers for the play-by-play, but he got to stand pretty much directly under the planes as they zoomed around the back of the course. Crazy.

So there it was: my first Reno Air Race. Definitely cool, if time, I would get a room actually in Reno to save the hours of driving daily, and I would definitely check out the Valley of Speed; I would still get the pit pass for a day, for the awesomeness of seeing a lot of the planes up close. I didn't indulge in the vendor fun the way I would have liked...there were funnel cakes and teriyaki chicken that didn't get purchased [sadness], so that would have to be remedied. All in all, though, a good time with some good friends...not a bad weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


A rough night. One of those 'can't sleep, every frickin' sound burrows into your brain and bounces around mercilessly, swearing under your breath, so frustrated/tired/angry that you are nearly in tears' nights. One of those nights where you lie there, desperately needing peace and quiet and the rest it would give, but the bastard night conspires against you. So you sit, you lie, you toss, you turn, you fume and fuss and fidget, jamming pillows tightly over your head and eyes and ears, pulling the blankets up, then kicking them off, then dragging them back up again, until hallelujah, miracle of miracles, you start drifting off and drifting away...only to be jolted back again by some mumblegrumble or other, and it starts




Monday, September 13, 2010

adding to my kellett collection

My Artist's Editions of Dave Kellett's latest books "Drive" [his new SF series] and "Literature" [the latest Sheldon book] came excited. When Dave publishes a new book, he makes a limited number of special editions available [usually 250 or 300] that he stamps with a custom design for the book, numbers, draws a sketch on the inside front cover, and signs. I can't imagine the time it takes for him to do this, and I love that he does.

And how awesome is this?? Number two...w00t!!

[that's Dave's "woo-hoo" on there :^) ]

I've got AEs of all of his books except his first two, and those he signed and sketched in for me when I saw him at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum ages ago]. So now my Kellett collection consists of eleven of his books [which I think is all of them], two originals of his Sheldon strip, and the two sketches that he made for me at the Cartoon Art Museum.

Here is my collection, all in one place:

I didn't intend to become a collector...I just really liked the comic and wanted the books. But when I saw that he was going to be in San Francisco, I jumped at the opportunity...and came home with autographed books and personalized sketches. When I got the chance to get the originals of some of his strips that meant a lot to me, I snagged them. And I couldn't pass up the Artist's Editions of his books...if I'm going to buy them anyway, why *wouldn't* I get the signed and sketched in ones??

So there you have it: a full-blown collection that started a bit at a time. Guess that how most collections isn't until you look back that you realize you've gotten hooked. Many thanks, Dave, for something so awesome to be hooked on.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a couple books to read...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

creativity and criticism

A while back, I was goofing around on my iPad, playing with a drawing program...nothing fancy, just random doodles, playing with patterns and colors, drawing random things like houses and boats and skulls and abstract shapes. Showed some of them to Will, to show him what the program could do [it was a free app, so it was pretty cool that it was as full-featured as it was], and he said very nice things about my scribbles. I blushed, smiled, stammered, and just assumed he was being kind.

Fast forward a while: the two of us have been playing a goofy little game [another freebie] where you populate a kingdom with buildings and businesses and trees and whatever else is available [kind of like a much smaller SimCity]. It's a good timekiller [though bad if you have even a hint of OCD], and we've been having fun with it. The other day, Will looked at what I had made and told me that he really liked it, and that he wished he "was as creative" as I was.

It really meant a lot to me for him to say that out of the blue. In the past, I had someone in my life who was a bit more critical of things I did. If I sang around the house, he told me that I "could be good if I got some singing lessons". When I wrote stories and poems, he read them, then would say things like "it seems like you are trying too hard" and "you should think more about the structure and less about the imagery". Nothing that was really horrible if you only heard it once in a while, but sadly it was an ongoing pattern...and every time he gave me his "helpful" criticism, I would cringe inside and eventually just stop doing whatever it was he was picking apart. It was a subtle process, and it was only much later that I even realized what was happening.

I look back now, and I don't like that I let it affect me the way it did. But when you are sharing life with someone, their opinion matters; if they tend towards negativity, it does have an impact. If you receive more negative feedback than positive, more criticism than encouragement, then you eventually stop sharing what you do with that person. The positive side of going through all of that is becoming aware of it happening...I will never again let myself be in the position that gives someone else that power to take away what I enjoy doing, or to bring me down with their negativity...if I see it happening, I will call them on it, and if that doesn't work, then I know I deserve better and can walk away [which is what I eventually had to do in that was a hard decision, but ultimately the right one for both of us].

So it means a lot to me that Will said what he's flattering and very sweet. And even though I've learned not to let someone else keep me from doing something I like to do, it's good to have someone in my life that I can share myself with. It's much nicer that way.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

pumpkin spice latte

Comfort in a cup.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


...hell of a show.

green day frickin' rock

At Shoreline watching them now...hell of a show. :^)