Santas go Surfing

Santas go Surfing on Coronado Beach

Santas go Surfing on Coronado Beach

Part of why this is so strange is that it’s my first Christmas in paradise and seeing people surf on Christmas Eve day is still novel. Trained beach lifeguards gather at 9:00 AM and hit the water in waves. That it’s not so notable to the locals goes to show you how new we are to the area because the surfing crowd easily outnumbered the spectators.

However, you too can gawk with us here.  Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

SxSW Finally

IMG_4529

Covering SxSW Interactive in one day is craziness. Frankly, not only is it impossible, it shouldn’t be tried because you end up making too many sacrifices. Even with the app they provided (see above) I couldn’t begin to discern a path through the vastness that would give me good coverage. At a certain point you just give in, do your best, and appreciate the richness of what SxSW offers.

Why one day? Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Underground Waterfall

Today was the 84th anniversary of the day Rudy Falls was discovered, hence 84 candles.

Today was the 84th anniversary of the day Rudy Falls was discovered, hence 84 candles.

A theme of this road trip is caving with such wonders as Carlsbad and Kerchner caverns on the agenda. So if we drive by another highly rated cave then we’re easily swayed. In many ways this accidentally discovered cave is standard faire. What sets it apart is the longest, deepest waterfall available for touring. At 125 feet in length, Ruby Falls stands out and takes your breath away.

Besides, I wanted an excuse to show Kelsey my favorite Tennissee town: Chattanooga.

Choo choo!
Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Last Moments at Home

20121229-112048.jpg

Old chapters end and new begin. After 12 years of living on Lake Audubon we’re moving to Coronado, CA. While Beth and I still have time and process in front of us to sell the Reston home, Kelsey has no such luxury. Today, as we set off to drive across the country, is the day when Kelsey has her last moments in the place she called home for so many years.

It was has been an excellent chapter in our lives.

linkedinmailby feather

Move West?

Cups of yum on Coronado as we work our way down the coast.

Moving East was never in the cards but now we’ve lived in the D.C. metro area for over 20 years. Not planned but it happened. Not since Courtney was six weeks old have we lived in the West. Not since 1990 have we called California home. Not throughout our daughters’ entire childhoods did we call any place other than Maryland or Virginia “home”. Now that the nest is empty Beth and I are considering a move to better living out west.
Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Visiting Art’s Cabin in Big Bear

Viewing Big Bear Lake from a perch high up on his property.

Kelsey and I were scurrying from a week in Yosemite to meet Beth’s flight from D.C. when we chose to route through Big Bear Lake. Why? My uncle has a cabin in Big Bear, holds an annual JazzTrax festival there, and has had a relationship with the area for 40 years. My thought was I’d show Kelsey his place but little did I know it would be a soup-to-nuts tour!

Thinking he was at his Palm Springs home we called to ask a question about the lake. “Why is the tributary lake almost empty and is that a reason for concern?” Don’t remember the answer he gave but do remember the happy surprise to learn that he was in his cabin. We dropped by, toured his home and property, exchanged stories and had a great visit. Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Red Rock Sprint to Yosemite

First hike after Art's was up San Jacinto, first by way of one of the world's longest tram rides and then by foot. We were shooting for the peak but ran out of time.

After Art’s in Palm Springs we climbed San Jacinto, first by way of one of the world’s longest tram rides and then by foot. We were shooting for the peak but even with long days we ran out of time.

What to do between visiting Art in Palm Springs and climbing Half Dome in Yosemite?
Why not sprint through a stretch of Red Rock Country? Book ends to the sprint could include epic hikes. And why not? This was trip with my road-ravaging, outdoor-trekking, college-bound super daughter Kelsey! Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Library Makerspace Tour

“What next?” cringed the librarian.

As lending books becomes a less dominant theme within libraries, the question asked is “What next?” I took a cross-country tour visiting a variety of libraries which have expressed interest in makerspaces to learn what they’re planning. My goal was to gain a little insight to help advance the aspiration of having more libraries offer making programs and more maker spaces. I will be sharing my learnings with the library and maker communities through MAKE and American Libraries, the journal of the American Libraries Association.

There were ten libraries I visited and spoke with from which I drew a few conclusions.
Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Makerspaces: 12 more to 61

HackPittsburgh

First on the list and extraordinarily welcoming for a Saturday morning with little forewarning, the HackPitsburgh crew was decked out in their official uniform. This space is legendary for being early, being active, and having a great spirit. Touring HackPittsburgh reinforced that there is a rhythm to the lifecycle of spaces (accumulate and purge), consistency of layout (clean shop, dirty shop) and a good esprit de corps.

Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather

Great Rail Stations of the Midwest

Opulence on a scale that brings awe to mere mortals: Union Station in St. Louis.

There was a time which I’m sure I romanticize but which I sense was a golden age of transportation where powerful machines hauled long trains of passengers across the landscape of our still-young country. When all the disparate rail lines with separate terminals finally matured and agreed to co-terminate in major cities for customer convenience, the concept of a Union Station was born.

I’ve been to many and most leave you feeling small, emotionally affected by their scale and beauty. The three I visited on this trip were exceptional. For what ever reason (and they each had different stories) they were saved, brought back to life after they grew unused and neglected after passenger rail slowed to a crawl. Thankfully, money brought them back to life and these three example are a real joy to have visited.  Continue reading

linkedinmailby feather