Another Sunny June

Summer has arrived in earnest.  I’m still busy with work and projects, but have been making time for some low-key relaxation and enjoyment.  This is important because I feel like I’ve been working since February on the same set of things, and while I’ve been making progress and getting things done, I’ve also been getting weary of the grind.

Michelle is home from school for the summer.  Today she started her new summer job, an internship for her study in civil engineering.  She’s very excited.  The work is mainly inspecting, reporting on and supporting repairs on train bridges in The Bronx.  It’s the kind of work where she needs safety boots and a laptop computer with AutoCad. Apparently steel-toed boots in women’s sizes are hard to find at shoe stores around here so she had to order them over the internet. The company provides the computer and software.  Rock on!

Meanwhile, Lizzy has enrolled in grad school to get her Master’s degree in Business.  This is a mainly online program she can do while continuing at her day job. A year ago she told me she had no interest in grad school.  I think she changed her mind because her boyfriend is pursuing a medical degree, but she says it’s to open up her carreer options going forward.  Either way, rock on!

In my own little scene, things are grinding along as I’ve said.  Things are getting done, but everything is harder and taking longer than one would hope.  My day job has entered an unusually chaotic phase, and I was temped to write in my weekly status update today “EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!!!” but instead wrote “repeated build failures; we are working with the enterprise team to resolve the issue,” which is really just the tip of the iceberg.   We’ve hired a new in-house engineer who will start in July, which should help things going forward.  Meanwhile the MVP for my more R&D-ish project moves ahead one obstacle at a time, when I have to time to work on it.

The Global Jukebox is approaching the release of version 3.1.0.  We’re in the final testing and bug fixing phase.  So stay tuned to this channel for future announcements.

The new album by my jazz group Spacecats has been mixed and mastered and ready to publish for a few weeks now.  All that remains is the album cover.  I put together a cover featuring images of the band members taken from video stills.  We all agreed the quality was not the best, so at rehearsal a week ago we took a bunch of new pics of the group as a whole, both playing music and posed at various spots around the studio.  I’ve gone thru the images and narrowed it down to a handful of semifinalists.  The next step is to drop them into to composition, see how they look, and play around with them until I get somewhere cool.

The OUSA convention is drawing near.  I’ve dusted off my list of ideas for models and begun folding, starting with creating exhibit-quality versions of models I’ve already done, then moving on to explore new territory.  This year the convention isn’t until late July, so I have a whole extra month to get it together.  I also need to decide what I’m going to teach.  Probably one of them will be my Spacecat, a variation on another cat, Sophie.  I’ve recently refined the Spacecat, changing the proportions and folding sequence, and the final model looks better.  Trying to work thru the final sculpting now and looking for the right paper.

I’ve been working out and biking alot, but it’s been a bit uneven as my energy level hasn’t always been the best I’m working thru so weird random pain in my shoulder.  I seem to be mainly over it and back up to full weights on everything the last week or two.  I still haven’t taken a ride with Jeannie on our local rail trail, but hope to this weekend.  I’ve been doing the local loop of my neighborhood (about 4 miles with hills and traffic) about three times a week, and have done the Nature Study woods (longer, no cars, some bumpy trail-ish hills) twice now.  We’ve only done one two hikes this spring too.  Need to get our into nature more.

We did do some fun things the last few weeks, and at least the major spring yardwork cycle got done, although next weekend starts a new round.  Memorial Day weekend I went to a Mets game with Jeannie and Michelle and Mary and Lou and their kids.  I don’t care that much about baseball but it was a fun hang, and our seats were in the shade.  Amazingly, the Mets rallied in the bottom of the ninth for a come-from-behind victory!  We’ve also been doing a bunch of barbecues and hanging out by the firepit in the backyard, listening to playlists from summers past.

Last weekend Jeannie and took a mini-vacation to wild and exotic Connecticut.  We went to Mystic, where they have the Seaport Museum featuring tall ships and lots of stuff related to ships and shipbuilding in the Age of Sail, including things like a blacksmith, cooper, printer and other 19th century shops, crafts and industries.  They’re also actively restoring several historic sailing ships.  There’s also an aquarium there, with penguins, sea lions, beluga whales, and all kinds of fish and even octopus.  After that we went out to sushi for lunch.  There’a cute little downtown a bunch or restaurants and shops, including a great seafood place.  There’s also an 80-foot sailboat parked right there, a three-masted schooner, so we did a two-hour sunset cruise of the sound out beyond the river.  The harbor is actually up the river a little bit, so first we had to navigate the channel out to sea.  We crossed past a swinging train bridge that seems like the perfect focal point for an action set piece in some adventure film.  There’s a train coming and there’s a tall ship coming, and the hero and the villain are fighting up in the control room, trying to gain control of the switch to swing the bridge open or closed.