adventures


24
Nov 22

Happy Thanksgiving

We didn’t make much, but we were left with plenty. And when it came time to consider all of the many things for which I am thankful, I made sure to tally the list twice, just to be sure. It left me with plenty.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and to your loved ones.


23
Nov 22

More from Newfields

As promised, here’s a bit more from yesterday’s adventures. These are the first 90 seconds of the Monet at The LUME exhibit. You cover a fair amount of ground with the impressionists in the next hour or so. It’s a fine presentation. Go see this when it gets near you.

The giant image of an aging Claude Monet near the end of the exhibit, and before the gift shop.

Try as we might, and we tried mightily, we could not talk the folks into buying a beret.

We went back to Newfields after dinner to see the Winterlights demo. Much better weather this year. A lot of smiles, a lot of happy children. A lot of adults looking with the eyes of a child. (Just imagine if they’d seen someone wandering around in a beret.)

Had a nice bike ride today, I put 40 more miles in the books. That’s almost four loops on this specific Zwift course.

Someone decided two circuits, 21.50 miles, should be a Strava segment. Strava tells me I’ve done that segment seven times. And, today, I shaved two minutes off my best time.

Not bad for being under-caloried.


22
Nov 22

Claude Monet at the LUME

This is Camille Pissarro’s “The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning.” Or part of that 1897 work, anyway. Circumstances, and shooting from the hip, and just trying to get the part I wanted. And the point is to say, guess what we saw today?

That’s the clue, and so was the headline, I guess. But the answer is, the impressionists!

Here’s part of Monet’s “Water Lily Pond.”

But the museum trip wasn’t about paintings directly, but rather a digital introduction and interpretation. Art in the 21st century, remixing the old masters. (More on that tomorrow.) And getting photobombed in the transitional elements of the show.

There’s a part where you can take your picture on an iPad, and select a filter — a big hit pre-Instagram, I’m sure — and then have it displayed on the art wall. Here we are.

This is a small work of Paul Cezanne, “Landscape at Auvers.”

Cézanne was an innovator and influenced countless modern artists as he sought to both reflect nature and show his own response to it, whatever that meant at the time. His mentor was Pissarro, but he would eventually move away from the impressionist movement.

Edgar Degas is also an impressionist, but he also worked in sculptures, and this one is on display at the LUME. The one on the right, I mean.

This is “Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised” which was found in Degas’ studio and cast in bronze in 1920, a few years after his death.

Here’s another painting of Camille Pissarro’s. This is an oil on canvas, circa 1865. Pissarro is sort of the elder statesman of the impressionists, and the neo-impressionist movement. Oh, and also post-impressionism. Talent, longevity and a willingness to grow allowed him to cover a lot of 19th century bases. Now, if you aren’t particularly an art connoisseur, you might not be familiar with Pissarro, so let’s just say this. Over the course of four-plus decades, all of the artists of the era — Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Seurat, van Gogh — were all influenced by the man.

Pissarro was a contemporary of Armand Guillaumin, and this is one of his works, the 1877 “Quai d’Austerlitz.” It shows the left bank of the Seine River in Paris where Guillaumin worked nights for the Bridges and Roads Department. Later he won the lottery, and decided to spend his time on landscape paintings. Excellent choice, moving on to things you love.

And this is Pierre-August Renoir’s “Bouquet in a Vase.” Big broad, rapid strokes. I wonder how long this sort of canvas took to complete in the hands of a master.

And since Claude Monet is the name on the event, here’s a Monet. This is “Charing Cross Bridge, London” a turn-of-the-century oil on canvas. You can tell without even reading the placard that this is Monet’s London.

He spent the Franco-Prussian War there, and he painted almost 100 paintings of the Thames during his time in smoggy London Town. Monet spent a lot of time playing with the light and the smoke and fog that gave the Big Smoke its reputation.

Group picture time! (This is just before the gift shop. Every thing in its place.)

I’ll have more from this fun Newfields exhibit tomorrow.

After dinner we went back to Newfields for Winterlights, and a quick walk through of the famous Lilly House. I was surprised to see this part of the house. They lifted this idea directly from my Pinterest page.

Here are some of the Winterlights. The big blue tunnel near the grand finale.

The weather was perfect. Everyone at Newfields was having a great time and full of the initial holiday cheer of the season. There will be a video or two from the lights show tomorrow, too. But it’s late, and, for now, I want to leave you with one final impression.


10
Nov 22

Snow enters the forecast – the season cometh

The wind is harder. The leaves have lost their color and grown crunchy. The mornings have a chill. The evenings, on the quiet ones, you can almost hear the thermometer giving a great sigh. It gets dark early, so a quick walk right after work looks like this.

It’ll get worse for another month and change, but then the solstice brings the first hint of a distant reprieve. The next day is longer! By a minute! And 10 days later the coldest month begins. It’ll already be cold, and dark, and gray, though. In truth, while something on me — my toes or ears or fingers — will always be cold, the actual temps will rightfully be considered mild by some. Winter is relative, but it is a constant, much like my whining about it. And it’ll stay that way until April.

My electric blanket is ready.

I will keep it out of the snow, which is due in on Saturday morning.

All of the signs suggest a hard winter, he said, writing on one of the last two days of wonderful, mild weather. The caterpillars with seasonal setae are suggesting it — because caterpillars know things. Even social media is suggesting it. As if you needed another reason to put a pause on social media.

Anyway, we went on a little walk into the gloaming, which ended in the proper darkness. You’d think that this would change the sort of conversation that you have with someone — like it’d be more whimsical or unguarded or dreamlike — but not really. It was the usual normal of nerdy.

The real difference is that we had our first instance of “How is it only nine o’clock?”

Six months ago, and six months hence, it’ll just be getting dark about that time. But, for a time, I can reacquaint myself with more indoor hobbies.

They’ve really been piling up.


8
Nov 22

We voted hard

We voted this morning. Took a quick trip to the local middle school where all of the sign holders were sunny and pleasant and one of the men running for local office was out greeting people at the 50-foot line. By the time we got our ballots I’d forgotten about them entirely. After walking 50 feet and then waiting 30 seconds to get my ballot, I’d forgotten all about those people.

The ballot here was front and back. One school funding referendum, one Senate and one House seat. There were a lot of local seats for council this, commission that. The jobs you seldom see campaigned for, because the campaign budget isn’t there, but the people in them impact the day-to-day business of this in a direct way.

We also had the opportunity to vote on whether two judges should be retained. It’s a system this state has used for a half century.

Once appointed, a judge must stand for retention at the first statewide general election after the judge has served for two full years. If retained, the judge is on the retention ballot every 10 years. The retention system is designed to allow appellate judges to decide cases fairly and impartially, free from campaign finance considerations, and without influence by partisan politics.

Everything is a tryout, I guess.

Tonight, the student-journalists are trying a new thing. The students from the television station presented a long collaboration with the newspaper students and the campus radio station. They covered the location elections from multiple locations, aired a special on the FM station and streamed live results and news on the web.

This is a big collaboration for them. It happened organically and, I think, that’s the best way. I’m very excited for what they’ve undertaken here, how it has played out and, mostly, for how I’ll get to brag on them after the fact.

Someone gets to be the cheerleader, and that person is me.

More on all of this tomorrow, though.

If you don’t want still more election stuff … here’s some more cycling stuff.

Yesterday we were talking about Major Taylor, the turn-of-the-century world champion. Early in his career he took part in a six-day race. I found this little package from ESPN which talked about what, for many, was a career-defining event.

The six day races are primarily European these days, and soon after Taylor’s, they were reimagined as team events. (If you ever see mention of a Madison, that’s what they’re talking about.) These days, they aren’t even racing 24 hours a day. But way back when, they were a solitary, continual, brutal war of attrition. In the U.S. the six-day races took place in Atlantic City, which saw two, in 1909 and 1932. In Boston, 13 such races took place between 1901 and 1933. Buffalo had 16 races starting in 1910, wrapping up in 1948. There were four in Newark in the early 19-teens. Chicago hosted 50 six-day races between 1915 and 1957, but Six Days of New York was, by far, the most popular American version. There were 70 installments, starting in 1899 and wrapping up in 1961. Taylor’s participation was in a predecessor to even that one.

Two guys — the Italian Olympic champion Franco_Giorgetti and the Australian world record holder Alf Goullet — won eight of those each, in The Big Apple. Both of those were of the relay variety, but still. One of the records Goullet set was at New York, in his 1914 victory,still stands. He and his teammate, Alfred Grenda, covered 2,759.2 miles.

If you rode a bicycle from Madison Square Garden to Las Vegas, Nevada, Google Maps tells me you’d do almost that exact same distance, except these masochists were doing that on a track, where the scenery seldom changes — but the hallucinations might!

The following photos are from last night. Don’t run, we are your friends.

Except we did run. The Yankee had her second post-op checkup and her surgeon gave her the green light to run, a little bit, when she felt like it. She felt like it, so we ran a little bit. Just a mile or so, being conscious of the jarring and vibration that comes with running.

I think, more than the run, she simply liked being able to do one more thing that was normal. It’s a big step, followed by another one at a brisk clip.

There’s a 10K to do next month. Plenty of time to ease into that, and then back into off-season base miles. One more thing that’s normal.