First Quarter Moon

First Quarter Moon

Last Saturday, was the first day of Fall, which coincides with the autumnal equinox. It was also when the first quarter moon last occurred. Last Saturday, was part of a dark and stormy weekend in Ann Arbor, but it did clear for a while on Saturday night. This was fortunate, because our 40th high school reunion was held then, in an open air venue.

Next time, at our 50th reunion, our class will have mostly morphed from working adults to retired seniors, except for a few holdouts. These superannuated workers may want to continue to work, but most will do so, because they have to. The Great Recession will ensured that more than otherwise will continue to hold jobs ten years from now.

Most of our classmates had children, but I was surprised at how few of them spoke of grandchildren. I didn’t see a single baby picture. Maybe Anne has a different take?

The airs of pretentiousness have faded with each decade’s reunion. With the passage of time the need to impress former classmates continues to recede. Combining all of the city’s schools into one reunion ensured a good turnout. Future reunions will have no such expediencies to arrest the declining classmate population.

First Date

In 1972, some thirty-eight years ago today or yesterday, we’re not quite sure, Anne and I went out on our first date.  We were seniors in high school, so the venue is not so surprising, but the acts were.  We went to our high school, Pioneer High, in Ann Arbor, Michigan to hear Bob Seger and the MC5 play live in the high school auditorium.  In 1972 Bob Seger had yet to achieve the fame that he later garnered.  Later in 1972 the MC5 disbanded.  The band later reformed, but with new members.  So on that night, we saw one-act on the way up and one-act on the way down.

In researching this post (i.e. typing Bob Seger into Google), I discovered that Mr. Seger was an alumnus of Pioneer, class of 1963.  I was further amazed to discover that Pioneer High School has its own Wiki page.  My amazement dimmed some what when the guy sitting next to me brought up his own high school’s Wiki page.  Other famous alumni include Iggy Pop, rock star, class of 1965 and Ken Burns, documentary film maker, class of 1971.  The most infamous former student would be Charles J. Guiteau.  He attended school in 1859, although he did not graduate.  He later went on to assassinate President James A. Garfield and was hung for his crime.

The picture displayed with this post in not contemporary with the subject of this post.  In high school, Anne wore her hair longer.  She also was still wearing braces on our first date.  We don’t have any pictures from that night.  Don’t you think that it would have been a little weird on a first date, to be taking pictures of your date?  Anyway, I like this picture of her and after some begging she allowed me to use it in this post.

Our friend Peter Chase emailed us a video on Thursday.  I later found it here, on YouTube.  It is almost unbelievable.   It was accompanied by the following description:

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University Of Iowa.  Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft, Iowa.  Yes, farm equipment!   It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see, it was well worth the effort.  It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.

The video is amazing, no question, but the “fantastic machine” depicted wasn’t built out of farm equipment parts at the University of Iowa.  It’s an example, rather, of the incredible 3D computer animation created by Wayne Lytle and his team at Animusic in Austin, Texas.  No such machine exists in the real world.  Nor, for the record, is there a “Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory,” a “Sharon Wick School of Engineering,” nor a “Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall” at the University of Iowa.  The caption accompanying the video in emails circulating since November 2006 is entirely fictitious, authored by an anonymous prankster.  You can view the video in its proper context here.  It is called Pipe Dream.  Like today’s header, I was just playing koi.  🙄