I got the invite from my Skilletation Nation friends to come up for the Purple Pig Music Festival in Naples, New York. It was in the backyard of my amigos from the North, though it was a good five hour drive for me. Totally worth it.
It was bitterly cold those nights, or maybe I just forgot that it was late September and didn’t pack accordingly. I chose to forgo the tent and camp in my (aptly named) Mini, and every bone in my spine regretted that choice. Still, for as cold as it was (and as under-prepared as I happened to be), I was thankful for the option to start the car up every once in a while and blast some heat.
You have to make time to get away every once in a while.
We go to the Lone Pine at least once a summer for a weekend every year, and it’s a good opportunity to get the camera out.
Typically a cabin trip consists of a wild party on Saturday evening, and a refreshing dip in Blue Hole on the following morning. We did all of that, but since we had nothing but big pickup trucks with us, we did a little exploring through Forbes State Forest afterwards. We explored a few waterfalls and back roads.
My eyes close, bathed in the pallid orange glow of sodium-vapor street lamps outside of my apartment. Strings of thought dissolve in to threads of memories, like nerves that can be plucked and awakened by my transient state as I begin to pass through the chasm in time between here and those nights.
Another great festival year came and went, and consistent with every prior year, it just keeps getting better and better. As usual, Nathan and I committed the entire week leading up to the festival to helping prepare for the flood of thousands of people. Our main projects were mostly lighting-focused, and included adding illumination to Dragon Run. Work commenced on Sunday before the festival, as we accomplished a variety of tasks. Weather was a problem all week for the lighting guys, as you might expect. We made some very cool looking lanterns for the entrance of Dragon Run that melted in Thursday’s rain, and we had to quickly assemble the tapestry fixture to hang in its place. It looked decent, but it will be an area of focus for us next year. Rain and humidity also ruined our plaster layer on the Dragon sculpture, so time and finances permitting, Nate and I will have to overhaul it for next year. We brought our own work truck up for the pre-week, so we didn’t have to use any golf carts until festival time, which was a great relief. I bought the red Chevy (affectionately named Roxanne), and she was a real savior all week. I kept her so we can use her next year.
I always look forward to the May Day celebrations at the Heron. It’s a great waypoint on the way to summer, as the snow thaws and the land turns green again. This year was a special year, as we celebrated the life of Alicia Passamonte, a past Heron volunteer coordinator. Though I never got to meet her, the impact that her life had on all of the Heron elders was monumental. Just as Alicia had requested, the Heron family held a candlelight vigil to light up the hill on Saturday night.
Go ahead, feel free to accuse me of collecting too many odd hobbies… But in my defense, it’s pretty fun to (safely) blow things up.
Last weekend, I participated in a training course provided by hometown pyro-gurus, Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA. They offer this free-of-charge class to aspiring pyrotechnicians to train them on the operation and safety skills needed to handle high-explosives.
I was elected by my company to represent our product at Hannovermesse in Hannover, Germany. Siemens and other industrial companies participate in fairs like Hannovermesse to promote their products, their services, and their company values to prospective customers. Since I’ve been begging my management for the chance to travel to Germany (a primary reason for me to work at Siemens), they finally heard my calls and sent me on a trip full of hard work and hard play.
Back when we were still assembling the yearly Great Blue Heron flyers by hand, we always threw a yearly party between winter and spring to get together and produce the mailer. Even though we now started outsourcing the mailer, we still get together around the same period for some social time, and what better holiday to do it then St. Patty’s Day?
I got the invite to go hang out with my Blue Heron friends up in Canandaigua, and dropped in on their snowboarding event, the Sean Slayer Showdown. I really never tried a snowboard before, and it gave me some motivation to learn next year, but in the mean time, I shot some footage of the stunts they were doing, and was blown away by their dexterity and skill:
I got the invite from my Blue Heron friend Barry to attend one of his infamous Barn Dances. Some of you may know Barry as the mother-pluckin’ banjo player from the Tiger Maple String Band. So Saturday night, me, Camelia and Beth loaded up the Mini and headed north.