Happy Pi Day

3/14 at 1:59AM

I once memorized pi to 100 decimal places to prove that I could. I used to repeat it while walking my dogs when I lived in Atlanta. It took me no time to forget most of it!

I have always been fascinated by geometry, much more so than math itself which I have always found difficult. Geometry, on the other hand, seems so intuitive to me, probably because it’s very visual. Trigonometry, where geometry and math more or less intersect, took a while but has also become very intuitive to me.

I remember watching Dad work on the TV when we were young. He had an instrument called an Oscilloscope. He taught me how to use it by showing me a sine wave. It was the coolest thing this little dude had experienced so far!

Sinusoidal motion

It all came together for me when I saw something like this for the first time. Sinusoidal motion. Over time I could start to see it everywhere. In graduate school and for the first ten years or so of my professional life I became a subject matter expert on it with my work at Boeing and Hewlett-Packard.

As I got older I developed a fascination with numbers. There is nothing more fascinating than the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. A number that goes on forever and never falls into a repeating pattern. A number that you can literally see when the sun rises every morning or watching the orbit of the moon over a period of time. Watching the waves break at the beach or a bird flap its wings. Nothing but a moving circle.

Hewlett-Packard 5451C Fourier Analyzer

Things really got interesting when I learned about Monsieur Fourier. He was an 18th-century French mathematician who developed a magic trick called a Fourier transform. This trick allows you to essentially create any arbitrary waveform (for example your favorite song) from a summation of a whole bunch of these beautiful sinusoids. Later some really smart people figured out how to do this very quickly with machines like the Fourier Analyzer I worked with in my early career. There was something almost Existential about it. At one point I thought it might be the hand of some creator. Now I think it’s more the nature of the universe.

Whatever it is, it’s truly beautiful and very, very cosmic ๐Ÿคฉ.

The astounding Kate Bush sings pi

3 . 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 9 7 9 3 2 3 8 4 6 2 6 4 3 3 8 3 2 7 9 5 0 2 8 8 4 1 9 7 1 6 9 3 9 9 3 7 5 1 0 5 8 2 0 9 7 4 9 4 4 5 9 2 3 0 7 8 1 6 4 0 6 2 8 6 2 0 8 9 9 8 6 2 8 0 3 4 8 2 5 3 4 2 1 1 7 0 6 7 9


Lark’s Tounge in Aspic turns 50

As discussed elsewhere, modern music has long been a passion for me. Early on I was drawn to artists and bands that were unusual. Fancying myself a musician of sorts (aka a drummer!), I was also intrigued by the technical mastery of the musicians playing.

In The Court of the Crimson King

I was fascinated with King Crimson’s first album In The Court of Crimson King – especially the song 21st Century Schizoid Man. I had never heard anything like it. Led by guitar player Robert Fripp, the band had a broad musical palette and excellent musicianship. The album cover also stood out with the 21st Schizoid Man himself making an appearance. I remember bringing the album into school for a class where the teacher let us play songs we liked (it was a civics class!). The teacher – Coach Kelley – couldn’t get over the album cover ๐Ÿคฉ.

After that Fripp & his varied band members produced several good albums including In the Wake of Poseidon, Islands, and Lizard.

After Yes’ legendary Close to the Edge was released in 1972, drummer Bill Bruford left for King Crimson. He joined King Crimson together with an amazing percussionist and Buddhist monk Jamie Muir, a violinist David Cross and an amazing bass player and singer John Wetton. I was a huge Yes fan and disappointed he left Yes, but he more than made up for it with what he did in King Crimson from that point forward.

Muir, Fripp, Cross, and Buford recording Lark’s Tongue in Aspic. Check out Jamie Muir’s eclectic set on the left with a big sheet of metal as a hi-hat!

They released Lark’s Tongue in Aspic in 1973 about the time I graduated from high school. At that point, I was very heavily influenced by progressive rock and jazz fusion. I was a purveyor of unusual-sounding instruments, complex compositions, and highly skilled musicianship. This album fits the bill nicely!

Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, Part I

I was also struck by the name and album artwork. Lark’s Tongue in Aspic is a legendary culinary delicacy with the added aspect of requiring an untold number of beautiful, delicate songbirds to sacrifice their fucking tongues. It was apparently invented by the Romans – or at least as myths would tell. Can you imagine?

Please pass the Lark’s Tounge, my dear!

In my mind, as well as others, it represents obscene excess. Stories are told about how courtiers would sit for hours watching French royalty eat meals like this prepared to try and impress them. Like some kind of really fucked up circus.

Sort of reminds me of what internet billionaires are doing now. The ultimate in excess and instant gratification, without anything but token regard as to environmental and societal consequences. At the same time, social media ready to spew vitriol to secure the spot for the next generation of influencers ๐Ÿคก. 21st Century Schizoid Man and Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, indeed.

The Excellent Adventure
The Excellent Adventure

In stark contrast to this is the gorgeous album artwork. In my mind, it brings together humanity and nature in a powerful way. It has always been a favorite up there with Yes’ Fragile. When I moved back to Florida ten years ago I quickly landed on this becoming my own personal sigil.

Brother Sun and Sister Moon.

Kitchen upgrade

After my knee diagnosis last year, I decided to move forward with renovating the kitchen.

I replaced 33 doors using hickory frames and different veneers for the panels (cherry, bubinga, padauk). I used bubinga, cherry, and hickory for the other trim pieces. I trimmed the sink area and added a printed roller blind with a sunset scene. I upgraded all the lighting and replaced and added trim to the lighting. I added a cup holder for my coffee mug collection. I replaced the granite countertop and large cabinet with a high-top table previously featured. I finished all the cabinet ends and where the bar was removed. Finally, I painted the kitchen and added some new artwork.

Winter Projects

Mahogany Hightop Table

I designed and built this table to replace the bar I had in the kitchen area. The table leg design and construction was my design based on other projects I had done. I used AutoCAD to design and lay out the legs. the stretcher pieces on the bottom were fit in by hand and involved some compound cuts. One of my more ambitious builds. Very happy with the way it came out!

The leg shape was created with two radii resulting in a curved taper. I used AutoCAD to determine the angle to tilt the legs and rotate them outward. The bottom of the legs is just slightly smaller than the table’s footprint.
The detail shows leg attachments to the table and stretcher between the two legs. The legs are held in place by bolts. the upper stretcher was fit with a compound cut. Both stretchers are held in place with mortise and tenon joints.
The long stretcher between the table assemblies is held in place with a mortise and tenon joint. The two stretchers are glued to the legs.
The stretcher between the two leg assemblies is held in place with a dowel
Final assembly before finishing. The table top uses bubinga and maple trim pieces with a wood banding strip running lengthwise down the middle.
The table replaces the granite bar and cabinet. It opens the kitchen up better than I expected. My bar stool from an artisan in Argentina I got earlier looks excellent with it.

Dining Room Lamp

I replaced the dining room lamp shortly after moving in with a temporary fixture until I could find something nice! I finally found a unique wooden lamp by an artisan in Greece that fit my aesthetic. It is made from a mango wood veneer. I built a cherry, walnut, and maple ceiling panel similar to those in the bar area for the finishing touch. Very happy with how it came out.

Dining Room Light @ 25 turns 25 this year. Here is a bit of the history of how it got here.

I was working at the time providing marketing support to the third-party resellers of our software product IronCAD. The IT department had set me up to publish a secure portal on our corporate website to provide them with news and information about our product. I used the now-notorious FrontPage to do the authoring.

The notorious Microsoft FrontPage. It used tables to do web layouts which fell apart once browsers improved.

I decided to look into getting my own website – whatever that meant! I checked for but, alas, it was unavailable already. however was not. At that time Yahoo was the top dog in the internet world. I set up a hosting service with them that lasted over twenty years before switching to GoDaddy a couple of years ago. V1 – Built on Microsoft FrontPage

I really liked the fact that I had an email address that was essentially my name. I used FrontPage to build a site to put my photos on and share personal news.

In 2008 when I got laid off for the last time, I decided to make the web my profession. I had been doing interface design at the time and discovered a career in user experience design just waiting for me! V2 – Built using Dreamweaver but not very responsive for different screen sizes

I taught myself HTML and CSS and learned how to use Adobe Dreamweaver and multimedia tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premier Pro. I rebuilt my website using Dreamweaver and built other sites to develop my skills.

Other sites

At about that time, I landed a job at a firm contracting to IBM as a User Experience Designer. Their third-party group was interested in my skills and experience in software marketing for their web group. I ended up working as a web designer for over 8 years with this group before retiring in 2018.

IBM Business Partner Portal – Text heavy and old school to start

I became interested in WordPress a couple of years into my stint with IBM. I used it to develop a website for a non-profit with the idea they could learn how to use it (they didn’t). I decided to switch my own site over around the same time. HTML coding was fine – for a while! WordPress also provided functionality it would be hard to develop on my own. This would be the third – lost – version of!

V3 – The lost version – no good backups ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

I was still using Yahoo’s web hosting service which was sold in the mid-2010s to another company. At that time the quality of the hosting service really sucked and there were frequent problems. I had hoped the new company would improve but that did not materialize. It all came to a head when I lost the site in 2020 with no good backups.

I switched services and am now publishing with GoDaddy. What an improvement that was over the Yahoo crap!

V4 – The Excellent Adventure! is officially in its fourth incarnation now. I have been building it out with content from the huge photo library I amassed over the years. I have published two of my Excellent Adventure trips so far and looking forward to a great trip in the spring of this year.

Goodbye City Hall

They are tearing down city hall. It’s been there all my life (that I remember) although it has changed over the years. I got my first speeding ticket shortly after learning how to drive and had to go to court there. I bailed out my friend Bill when he got busted for reckless driving!

After 60 years they are tearing down the old city buildings on the corner of Minuteman and Orlando

The corner of Minuteman and Orlando is the heart of the true Cocoa Beach. Compared to Tourist Cocoa Beach whose city hall is Ron Jon’s Sufshop. World’s Largest Surfshop and Cocoa Beach Eye-sore. Don’t even get me started.

The Silver Surfer at Cocoa Beach’s finest parking garage!

They have been slowly replacing the city offices. first was the Fire Station. Then we got a three-story parking garage and the silver surfer ๐Ÿ˜Ž. Then a new cop shop ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ. Then and giant cell tower ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ.

Conceptual design for new City Hall, green space, and parking garage. The new Fire department is in the lower left.

Now we get a new city hall and what they are calling a community greenspace. Likely they will set this up for street festivals with food vendors and places to buy T-Shirts. Finally, another parking garage because as my hero Joni says:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Joni Mitchell

Falcon Heavy ๐Ÿš€

SpaceX fired off its 5th Falcon Heavy yesterday evening. It had been cold with very low humidity the past few days. Together with the sunset this made for mind-numbingly spectacular views of the launch. Particularly, the separation of the side boosters and their descent back to a near-simultaneous landing at the cape. My photo above – photos below courtesy of SpaceX ๐Ÿš€.

๐ŸŒœDear Moon*

What’s not to love about Peter? He takes his time but nobody can craft songs like this guy…

โ€˜Some of what Iโ€™m writing about this time is the idea that we seem incredibly capable of destroying the planet that gave us birth and that unless we find ways to reconnect ourselves to nature and to the natural world we are going to lose a lot. A simple way of thinking about where we fit in to all of this is looking up at the skyโ€ฆ and the moon has always drawn me to it.โ€™

Peter Gabriel – New Release 2023

Check this out:


* This is also fucking awesome: dearMoon Project


I live on a pretty famous road. Mostly it’s renowned because of Jimmy Buffet. I was a Parrot Head from the early 80s and knew all of his best songs by heart. A misplaced Florida boy living in dreary Seattle!

Jimmy Buffett A1A

If you leave my house and head south (which is the only way you can turn because it is a one-way road at this point) you will eventually end up in Key West. It also happens to be the singular path south through Cocoa Beach. You cannot often get a selfie standing in the middle of the road!

South A1A
South A1A

It’s been a foggy couple of mornings so there is no sunrise this new year. Looking forward to a healthy one if possible and the third installment of ‘Excellent Adventure – The Left Coast’ come spring.

4th Street overpass to Mother Ocean

Peace out โœŒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿถโ˜ฎ

Winter Solstice 2022

Another year has gone by, and time seemly speeds up with every passing year!

Tis the Reason for the Season

Since we have now entered a post-fact era, I decided it makes much more sense for today to be the last day of the year as well as the celebration of last year’s trip around the Sun. It makes a lot more sense in light of the fact that it is the shortest day of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere where thing count ๐Ÿ˜‚) and it’s all uphill from here. Plus it gets rid of all of those other wanna-be celebrations that are, in fact, all derived from the Solstice.

Mother Earth

So in our little corner of the space-time continuum, tomorrow will be New Year’s Day and 2023 will begin! And since we’re at it we should really append the age of the earth onto the date too.

Happy New Year 4543002023*!

*Plus or Minus 50 Million Years ๐Ÿคฉ

Jake ๐Ÿถ and Grogu ๐Ÿธ