Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Music

I haven't been very inspired to bake lately. Probably because I haven't had enough free time. So instead of sharing a tasty dessert with you, I'm going to share some new bands that I recently discovered. I hope you like them as much as I do.

1: Here Come The Mummies

I discovered this band last year at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They played at a costume party that had the opportunity to attend. Amazing. Great, high energy music coupled with a wonderfully entertaining show. Not to mention the countless number of double entendre's. If you have an opportunity to go see these guys, do it. Tickets are usually only $25-$35. Recommended Song: Freak Flag or Boom Boom Room... or Jailbait... or Pants (ugh I love them all). Recommended Album: Carnal Carnival.

2: Cowboy Mouth

Last night some friends of ours invited us to see this band at the House of Blues in Houston, TX. A rock and roll band from New Orleans, Cowboy Mouth has been around for over 15 years, with the same drummer and guitarist (from what I can tell, the other guitarist and bass player have changed over time). What makes this band unique is that the lead singer is the drummer. He sits front and center stage and comes out always wearing a cutoff shirt, shorts and barefooted. Like the above band, these guys are high energy and put on a great show. They just make you feel good, and tickets are usually only $25 - $30. Recommended Song: I believe. Recommended album: Fearless or Are You With Me?

3. Miggs

These guys have a lot of albums out, but from what I can tell they are still only an opening act. They opened last night for Cowboy Mouth. I put them in the same genre as Goo Goo Dolls, maybe that's just me though. I enjoyed them enough that I bought one album, though I may get more in the future. I can see these guys playing festivals like ACL and South by Southwest in Austin, TX. Recommended Song: Fairy Tales & Miracles. Recommended album: 15th and Hope.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Go Pro Hero2

Last week my new Go Pro arrived in the mail. With Jeremy away for a few days, I decided to take advantage of my weekend off and checkout the trails up at Memorial Park in Houston. I've never been mountain biking up that way, but as far as Houston goes, its about as good as you're gonna get.

I hooked up my helmet mount, clicked in the camera, and I was off. Since I hadn't been on the trails before I wasn't sure how their rating system would match what I had ridden in Austin, so I started easy.

Purple and Red are the easy trails, with Yellow at medium and Blue, Green and Orange at difficult. Purple is pretty much a carriage road, Red is an easy, flat single track. Yellow was riding very nicely with blue and green offering more roots and narrower trails but nothing much more in the way of difficulty. Orange was the only trail that I didn't try out, maybe next time.

After compiling all the video, here's a short movie that I made of the ride. I used the default settings on the Go Pro and used slightly less than high quality when exporting from iMovie to quicktime format. This allowed it to squeak by under the 500MB limit on free Vimeo. Not too bad, but some of it looks a bit blurry to me. Exporting at best quality looked great but produced a 900MB file. I'll have to switch to HD video on the Go Pro settings and perhaps upgrade my Vimeo account if I continue to use it a lot.

Here's an embedded version.

Mt Biking Memorial Park 9 12 from Shelley Rea on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Last Time

Last Wednesday the shuttle Endeavor flew over the Johnson Space Center one last time. It was another bitter sweet moment for the folks at JSC; home of manned space flight. So symbolic and so moving as it passed over Mission Control spending about 20 minutes circling the campus so everyone could come out for one final view.

I had never gotten to see a flyover before so for me it was very cool. Although as I stood there and listened to the folks around me, it gave me pause, realizing that I could never fully appreciate what those around me felt. To me it was a cool experience, but really, I'd never worked on the Shuttle program. And even still, it was only in 2005 when I first came to work at JSC. People around me had been working on the shuttle program since 1981, before I was even born. They remembered Challenger like I remembered Columbia. They remembered the sense of euphoria on that first Shuttle liftoff that I can only hope that I feel in my lifetime. With the current path that NASA is on, I can't say for sure that I will.

After the flyover the shuttle landed at Ellington Field just down the road from our house. After work we headed over with some friends to check her out up close. It was packed and hot. (September in Houston, go figure). The shuttle stayed for the night before flying out at sunrise to her final resting place in Los Angles. We were thankful for the stopover, but all secretly wishing it wouldn't take off again.

Trivia Question: Do you know who or what Endeavor is named after?