Single-Sheet Stellated Icosahedron

Summer continues.  The weather’s been either really hot or really rainy, or sometimes both.  Been busy with things.

Last week I went into the the office pretty much every day for work, because it was the summer onsite for our research fellows.  This turned out to be alot of fun, because the fellows are smart and interesting people, plus I got to spend face time with the people on my team.  However, by the end of the week I was pretty fried.  I was able to keep my workout and music practice routine, but didn’t do any biking, partly due to commuting and partly because of the weather.

Saturday was a beautiful day and we went out the beach at Robert Moses State Park.  The waves were pretty rough but once you got out past the breakers it was okay, and I took a couple nice swims in the ocean.  Sunday it rained all day, so I ended up catching up on my rest and on some random tasks.  No mustang, no bike ride this weekend, but I finally got out on my bike again today.

I finished the updates to my music site, including the page for Spacecats, now featuring our new drummer Rick.  We’re starting to actively look for gigs, and to that end I’ve started recording our rehearsals, particularly a batch of new originals we’re working up.  Hopefully I’ll post some of these soon.

I’ve also been woodshedding the sax part to A Plague of Frogs.  I’ve been just laying down a take or two a couple times a week.  They started kinda rough but steadily improved.  I edited together a full track from all the takes, and it’s pretty much there.  Now that I understand the part, I’ve done a few more takes to hopefully bring it to the next level.

Another thing I got done was to take some pictures of my new origami models.  The most important of these is the Single-Sheet Stellated Icosahedron, which I’ve been working on since the wintertime, and debuted in my exhibit at the recent OUSA convention.  Shown here are two models, one made of 19″ elephant hide, and the other of 15″ skytone paper.  The next model is the Halloween Spider I folded to teach my class, made of a 10″ square of some nice tissue foil.  Lastly is a Dragon model I came up with as a kid, in third grade or so.  I remembered it all at once when a group of us were sitting around talking about early origami experiences and the first models we designed.  My brother and I used to fold dozens of them and have epic dragon battles.  

Summer Time

And the livin’ is easy.  Moving right on from the OUSA convention to the next adventure, with barely time to put down our bags.  We just got back from a trip up to Buffalo to visit family and friends.  Drank some beer, grilled some steaks and dogs and burgers, took some walks in the park, watched some fireworks.  Very languid, very relaxing.  I feel like it’s been one continuous spell of focus and getting things done since the new year, so it was a welcome stretching out of time.

On the trip up we stopped by Watkins Glen and hiked the trail up the canyon overlooking the river and rapids and waterfalls.  Very scenic, very impressive.  The next day we got together for a fancy dinner at a restaurant downtown with Lizzy, and with Larry and Jackie and three of their kids and Timothy’s girlfriend.  A great time, lots of catching up and storytelling.  After dinner we went to the bar around the corner where Lizzy plays trivia, and continued, and after that even lingered in the parking lot as everyone tried to get in one last story about camping and bears.  On the third Martin and his family came down and stayed for the fourth.  Beers, birthday cake, hanging out, rollerblading, fireworks.  Did I mention it was languid and relaxing?

On the way up there my car started having problems with the air conditioner.  This seemed to fix itself, but then there was a leak in the power steering.  On top of this, the car seems to have mysteriously acquired some scratches sometime in the last few weeks.  Ah well, I guess it’s getting to be kind of old.

Saturday we went to the Pleasantville Music Festival, a local outdoor rock show a few towns up from us.  We’ve been meaning to go and check it out for years.  It was a fun time, and the venue was very well run.  The festival featured a beer tent and food and a bunch of pretty good if rather low-imagination pop-punk bands on the secondary stage.  On the main stage we saw the Allman-Betts band, an Allman Brothers tribute band by two of the sons of members of the original group.  They played about half originals and half Allman Brothers classics, all very good.  There were some old guys in the band on Hammond organ and slide guitar, that were probably the glue holding the thing together.

The headliner was They Might Be Giants.  I haven’t seen them live in probably twenty years, last time being at a bandshell in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.  They put on a great show, having fun and mixing it up.  Their new songs sound great, and there’s always a twist on their classic hits.  The current touring lineup has a horn section of a trombone, tenor sax and trumpet, all also doubling on other horns such as the euphonium, bari sax and pocket trumpet.  Each of the them had an excellent featured solo.  The trumpet player in particular was amazing, and used to be part of Conon O’Brien’s TV show band.

Also this weekend we got back to doing bike rides.  Sunday I went for sixteen miles, and the girls for ten along the local trail.  On the return half of the ride, suddenly the sky opened up and we got drenched in the pouring rain.  Nothing for it but to keep on riding.  By the end of the trip the sun was coming out again.  We got home, only a ten-minute car ride away, and it hadn’t rained here at all.

While I was upstate, I came up with an album cover for my upcoming record Plutonium Dirigible, and a new web page to go with it, with the latest links to all the songs, as well as the lyrics and stories about writing and recording the various songs.  This led to an update of my whole music site, which will be finished soon.   Enjoy.