Monday, August 17, 2009

NASA assembles new rocket

This week NASA completed assembly of the Ares 1-X test rocket.

This is a key component of the Constellation program that will NASA is developing to eventually take astronauts beyond low earth orbit.

It is always exciting when a new program like this gets to the testing stage with real hardware.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guitar legend dies

Electric guitar legend and innovator Les Paul has died.

I remember seeing Les Paul at a rock concert once. I can't even remember now who the band was that brought him on stage as a surprise guest. He played an instrumental with a special guitar with a record-playback feature. He played one track, then played another track over it, then another. Before long he was performing a very complex multi-track overdubbed guitar piece. Live. It was very cool. And pure fun.

I also like the fact that Paul continued playing guitar well into his 90s. I hope I can still enjoy playing guitar at that age.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Driving happy

I am a happy driver this week because the road construction on the Duvall Ave/Coal Creek Parkway corridor through Renton and Newcastle is finally finishing up. For over a year the corridor has been under construction as two new lanes and a bridge were added. The project has been officially done for a few weeks now, but there have been some minor lane restrictions for cleanup that also appear to be winding down.

Now my commute is only thirty minutes each way. Also the drive is less stressful and unpredictable than taking I-405 every day. I was concerned that at some point we might have to move closer to my job in order for my commute stress to be manageable. Now I don't think that will be necessary. What a relief.