Earth Day Part Deux

A Little Bit of Lunacy

We revisited the Earth Day festival today, the largest in the Midwest. Crystal blue skies and a wee bit more warmth successfully brought the throngs out. We bicycled today, which was a good thing, because parking would have been impossible. There was such a long line of bikes waiting to cross Skinker and enter the park that we had to go with the flow and run the red, just to make that light cycle. I’m sure that played well with the endless line of cars that were backed up all along Skinker, but they weren’t going anywhere anyway, at least anytime soon. I’m seen here sporting the latest fashion in bike lids, a waxing crescent moon helmet. If I turn my head and give you the other profile then you can see the waning crescent. Creator Lynn Herzberger fitted it and snapped the photo. It was tough to balance it on top of my head. He was supporting ISDC 2017, the International Space Development Conference, which occurs next month, here in Saint Louis. As part of their promotional effort they were touting Saint Louis engineering firsts: The Eads Bridge First bridge across the Mississippi; The Spirit of Saint Louis First nonstop transatlantic flight; Fabrication of the Mercury space capsules – First US manned spaceship. I’m not sure how much all of this has to do with Earth Day, but it was a lot of fun posing as a moon man and it has to be more relevant than rain gutters and replacement windows.

The Tate

What I liked best about the Tate Modern, was its top floor, which afforded an excellent view of London. It has a 360º field-of-view. I was fascinated by the adjoining apartment buildings, with their open floor plan and modern look. A place to be seen as well as see. There were signs at the Tate, asking visitors not to annoy the neighbors, but on this day they were nowhere to be seen.

My Dad who lives in Monterey claims that he ended California’s drought, when he installed solar panels on his house. Soon after they became operational, the clouds moved in and the rain began. I warned him not to install a geo-thermal system, because, well it’s California. Dad, don’t tempt the fates. In other Monterey news, one of Chris’s Bixby Bridge pics was green screen paired with Nicole Kidman in a promo still for the HBO series, Big Little Lies. 🙂

Saint Peter’s Church Leuven, Belgium

Meanwhile, David has completed his visit with his colleagues in Leuven and is now spending a few days there sightseeing. He has visited both Brussels and Bruges. I think that he is ready to make a decision, Boston or Belgium. The church is in the background on the right. That is a hotel on the left and in the foreground is an underground, bicycle parking garage, with a glass front. Why do I persist in bicycling in America?

Cool Cars

Forest Park Easter Car Show

I got out on Easter Sunday and made it over to the car shows in Forest Park. In the past, I have treated these two distinct car shows as one, but in reality they are separate. On the upper Muny lot all the beautifully restored antique cars are displayed and judged. On the lower Muny lot you have the equally beautiful customized cars. What separates these two shows are the dueling disciplines of restoration versus customization, because never the tween shall meet. Pictured above is a rather colorful selection from the lower Muny custom lot.

In other news, Dave landed in Belgium, the second leg of his post-doc world survey tour. He took a day off to acclimate, before he meets with his colleagues and visited lots of churches. It being the day after Easter, they might have been the only thing open? Many Europeans take the Monday after Easter off.

Maisie Dobbs

Reading Circle

Maisie Dobbs is a Jacqueline Winspear novel. The first in a series of now thirteen novels. This series is set in the inter-war years, but this first novel includes lengthy background that begins before the Great War and covers Maisie’s childhood. The story is a first person narrative, giving the reader an unfettered view of the titular character’s mind. Hers is a sober intellect that hints of a past. We begin with her first day on the job. It is 1929 and Maisie has opened shop as a psychologist / investigator in London’s fashionable west-end. Her first client is a well-to-do husband who suspects his wife of infidelity. It all sounds rather tawdry and droll, but before taking the case she extracts several promises to ensure that no matter the outcome some good will come of her efforts. As the investigation progresses we learn more about Maisie. She was a nurse during the war and the caretaker of her office building was a wounded soldier whom she helped by saving his leg. Theirs is a friendship that has sidekick written all over it. She quickly solves the question of the man’s wife, only to reveal a greater mystery. I dare not say much more, for fear of revealing too much and spoiling the story. I love stories from this period, in-between the two world wars. The characters have already endured horrible tragedies, but find themselves inexorably driven towards something much worse. In this first novel we don’t get there, but simply by reading the titles of subsequent stories in the series you know that is where we are all heading. I look forward to a lovely summer of beach reading.