Ascent of Man

As a lover of retro-futurist illustration, I recently came across a presentation (via Boing Boing) by Illustrator/Artist Bruce McCall.  He does a great job of putting to words the reason I love retro-futurist art – the optimistic, over-the-top and sometimes ridiculous illustration like that found on the covers of Popular Mechanics in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  He’s also designed a few of the wittier New Yorker covers, one of which was put to animation by the talent at Smiley Guy Studios.  You can watch the presentation here.

Sailing the Ocean Blue

We take a trip just about every year with our friend Fred from back in Philly. Our birthdays are two days apart, so we always have an excuse to reconnect and visit someplace new. This year we decided to try a cruise. Rich and I have never been on one, and we worried we might spend the whole time sea sick or bored. But we had a great time!  We sailed with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas.

Grand Cayman was our first port, where we swam with stingrays. We took a boat out into the bay where they gather (for feeding by tourists) in about 3-4 feet of water. They’ll swim right up against your legs with the flaps, and are very friendly. You have to shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on them (and getting a stinger in your foot).

We spent the rest of the time checking out the jewelry and watches available (in abundance) in George Town. I’m not much of a jewelry person… though all the tanzanite was pretty, I couldn’t see myself wearing any of it.

Our second port was Cozumel, which my first visit to Mexico.  We tried helmet diving, which is diving with a air-filled helmet connected to a pressurized air hose.  We got to explore some pretty cool underwater wreckage, including a wrecked plane and a canon from some long-lost era.

And of course, more jewelry and watches. Though we didn’t get to check out downtown, which I hear has more shopping.

But there’s always next time.  We definitely plan on taking another cruise, maybe on the world’s largest passenger ship.

And I definitely recommend Royal Caribbean.

Returned From Breckenridge, Nothing Broken

We just returned from our annual ski trip, and everyone returned safe and sound with all limbs intact. It was our largest group yet with fifteen of us in one big house.   In the past we’ve rented a house on or near the slopes, but this year we opted for a place in town.  The French Street Inn was formerly a bed and breakfast and was located just a few blocks from the gondolas and the slopes.  With over 30 inches of snow in during the 6 days we were there, there was plenty of awesome skiing.

With a house in town, it was also easy for those of us who didn’t ski every day to explore some of the other activities like getting a much needed massage!

It was a much needed break, and I believe we may have brought the snow back with us.   We’ve received snow and ice twice this week here in the Dallas area!

You can see the rest of our photos here.

Another Amazing Year at DCI

Just got home from another amazing year at the DCI World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  I’m blown away every year by the level of marching skill and musicianship these kids show.  They give up their summer to travel the country performing in the sweltering heat at a level of professional athletes.  If you’re looking to support youth in music, check out Drum Corps International (DCI); we joined the Friends of DCI this year and plan to continue our support next year.  Though I support all the corps, I tip my hat to Carolina Crown (below) who had a performer injured during the show.  He broke his leg near the end of the show, which was heartbreaking to see.  But they finished their show, “A Second Chance”, and placed 4th with a score of 95.95.  Check out the entire set here.
DCI World Championships 2010