DaVinci Days

This weekend Payton and I went to DaVinci Days, which is a really cool yearly event in Corvallis, Oregon that I had never heard of until late last year. It celebrates the art of Leonardo DaVinci, and people build his inventions and race them. Check out this year’s entries in my Flickr photo set. There’s a lot of earthy-type stuff there, such as alternative energies and random science exhibits. I also made a video of the sidewalk chalk art as we walked back to our car, which is below.

The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies played there on Friday, which I missed. They would have been fun to see. There was also a Geocaching booth, which I donated a bunch of buttons and my old GPS unit to. I volunteered at the booth, but they were overstaffed so I didn’t have to stick around. Instead Payton and I entered the geocaching competition, where we walked all over OSU’s campus, looking for caches. We found 3 before quitting and going to Circle K for lunch. The best one was at a bike rack, where we searched for 30 minutes and finally found it in a water bottle that was attached to a chained up bike on the rack.

I wore a sleeveless shirt, showing off my Bell tattoo, and some girl came up and asked if she could take a picture of it. She said her mom used to work for some phone company. Then she asked if I worked for a phone company and I replied, “No, I work against the phone companies.” That’s a standard reply I used to give to reps/operators at phone companies when they’d ask me that question after starting to wonder why I was asking them so many weird phone company-related questions.

My paid Flickr account expired, I just noticed. I guess they notified me by emailing me at my Yahoo email address, which is impossible to use because their spam filters suck so bad. One of the limitations of a non-paid account is that I can only have a certain number of pictures up. And from what I can tell, they just deleted all my old photos from the past 20 years instead of archiving them for me for when I pay again. So that sucks. Not that I actually lost anything, but I’m sure not going to pay and upload all that stuff again. I need to just set up a photo album on my homepage again. Screw paying $25/year for photo storage.

I wrote a song dedicated to Electric Dreams, which is a movie I loved in the 1980’s.

I set up a page for my music at notla.com/music/ and added that song to it. It’s the first non-parody song I’ve ever completed. I realize I can’t sing that great, but I love doing all this stuff and I’ve actually written quite a few songs in the past that I never got around to finishing. I have a bunch that were half-performed but I’d given up on because I hated how they sounded or it was just too difficult to create the music for them. But in May or June I discovered a program called Mixcraft that lets me easily record multiple tracks of music and makes creation with my Casio keyboard so incredibly easy. Looking back now, it’s insane, the lengths I went to to create those older songs using Cool Edit.

This month I’ve actually used Mixcraft to write and perform 2 songs for podcasts, which I’m not going to post anywhere until after they play them. And I put together music for a song that Spessa wrote and redid an older song of mine with it, which I’m still not completely happy with. And I’ve got a couple more ready to be started on AND I put together a few random beats/tunes to be used in future songs. So I’m expecting to do a lot with this. I’m even planning to pay for the software once I can afford it since it’s so reasonably priced. Well okay, it’s actually because I can’t find it on bittorrent. But it’s totally worth it – less than $100.

kids maps

A couple weeks ago I got sick of the kids not going outside all day, so I printed out a Google map of about a 1 mile diameter in our neighborhood and sent them on a mission. Which was to bike on every single street in the neighborhood, coloring in the street with a marker as they finished each one, and to take pictures of every interesting thing they saw. It took them over an hour and they came back with about 20 pictures. I need to think of more weird stuff like that for them.

Speaking of that, though, I love the way kids play today. I know it’s probably not good for them to sit in the house staring at LCDs all day, but it’s so cool, seeing the different games they come up with within these multiplayer games. It’s basically the same stuff we did as kids (tag, etc.), only they have heavy artillery to play with in games like Halo 3 and they’re playing with kids around the world instead of kids on the same block. Instead of exchanging phone numbers with each other like I did in school, they’re exchanging Xbox Live and YouTube IDs. A few months ago Payton pulled an orange peel out of his pocket, explaining that a girl had carved her Runescape ID into it with a fork. Ten years ago I never would have suspected that every grade schooler in America would be so computer savvy.

Several days later edit – Emily’s latest Halo video….

One last thing – I’ve been watching a lot of weird movies lately. Netflix is awesome at recommending weird movies to me based on other movies I watch, and I usually take its advice. This week it was Noise and Cashback, which were both really interesting and bizarre. I’m watching more independent movies than I ever have before. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m old or because Netflix makes me. I set up a page of movies I own awhile back, which is here. Actually owning a movie is so pointless these days, but I want to keep some sort of list of movies I’ve seen because I know I’m going to forget the names of some of these and it’ll drive me nuts in the future if I want to see them again. So that’s my half-hearted attempt at cataloging my movies. I’ll get around to making it better eventually.

One more last thing! Michael Jackson died last month and they’re still talking about it on the news and blogs. Seeing all this nonstop coverage about him makes me wonder why he’s the “king of pop” even. Sure he had some hits in the 80’s, but so did other people. What makes him so special? His music sucked in the 90’s and 2000’s, just like the other 80’s hasbeens. Some infomercial guy died too and I can’t understand how that was big news. Do people like infomercials that much?? And two other people died, who people claim were icons, but I know nothing about either of them. And oh yeah, we went to the moon 40 years ago this week. I’m having a hard time understanding what that accomplished other than, “Oh neat, we spent kabillions of dollars going to the moon instead of feeding starving children.”


  • Brad, you are totally a way cool parent! My kids are driving me CRAZY with the TV / computer thing. I think I’ll copy your map of the world idea.

    Too bad about your flickr account! That sucks!

  • I was wondering..what do you think about NASA? From your post, it looks like you aren’t too fond of them.

    Also, cool geocaching. Ive never done that before, but it actually sounds like a lot of fun. Clever hiding spot.

  • ahahaha love the leet captcha. that movie noise was pretty good. I also am liking the weird movies netshits recommends.

  • Eric – I’ve just never been able to get behind us going to other planets or the moon or anything. I know NASA does things that are important. Figuring out how to put satellites into space is a good thing, since they benefit us here on Earth.

    It just seems like such a waste to keep sending people into space to work on space stations and stuff. Or sending rovers to Mars to look for water. What are we really accomplishing out there? Do we really need to go to Mars? No, we don’t. Let’s spend those billions of dollars on things that matter. There’s too much that needs to be dealt with on our own planet to be worrying about dead planets that are absolutely no benefit to us.

    I know that it’s cool that we do this stuff. But we could be doing some pretty amazing things with that kind of money right here on Earth.

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