Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Summer flashback–DC

So, I’m sitting here with Pixie draped across my battered arms. Certain animals needed to go see the doctor today and had objections to being put in their crates for the short trip. I swear… I’d give anything to know what it was we did, so many years ago, to teach our old cats Misty and Ramses to get in and out of their crates so easily. It’s not like they did anything fun in them. Ramses was even dumped down the luggage carousel in Atlanta by the Delta baggage handlers once. Those two always got in and out of the crate just easy peasy. These new cats … I could probably bathe them easier than to box them up! Well, we won, and they got their vet visit in fine. Pixie has been snuggly too, so I guess that I am forgiven.

Anyway, here are some photos from our trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia this summer. We only has a short weekend in DC, and we visited with a bunch of good friends too, but didn’t take a lot of photos of anyone! We highly recommend the museum though. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and included an Imax movie of the Hubble Space telescope as part of our tour. Tonight, Honor and I were scanning through photos from the Andromeda Galaxy looking for star clusters and galaxies – part of the Andromeda Project – and her comment? “The Hubble Telescope is COOL!” I love having science loving kids!!

”Star clusters are collections of hundreds to millions of stars that were born at the same time from the same cloud of gas. This shared origin makes star clusters unique tools for understanding how stars form and evolve. Additionally, they are useful for studying the major chapters in the history of galaxies. But before Andromeda's star clusters can unlock these secrets, we need the help of Citizen Scientists to find the clusters. Not just the big bright ones, but the small faint ones as well. This is the goal of the Andromeda Project.

Star clusters vary greatly in terms of mass, size, age, and local environment. As a result, star clusters can appear quite different from one another depending on the properties of the clusters and where they are located in the galaxy. This makes the process of identifying clusters tricky and difficult to automate.”

When we arrived in DC, it was RAINING! Such a relief after hot Kuwaiti summer weather, It’s cooled off here, but still no rain in the desert.



First thing that we found at the museum, was Honor’s wall. She loves to find her name on things!


And we stopped to appreciate the sculpture.


Inside was amazing! You do not have to be knowledgeable about aircraft to be blown away by the history contained in this exhibit.

This is one of Honor’s favorite.


And Brian’s favorite too. Yea… I agree. Totally cool!




Wooden propellers!


The Enola Gay – which of course, led to a discussion about it’s part in WWII. As a total coincidence, we also watched the movie “The Wolverine” over this R&R which included this part of history.


Lufthansa! How cool is this?


There were at least three levels of aircraft displayed here.



The Concorde!


and the Blackbird.


And the main reason why I wanted to visit. I wanted to meet a space shuttle!

Hello Discovery!




Honor wants a jetpack!


My awesome family!


We highly recommend a visit to this museum!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hopeless, Maine Vol. 2: Inheritance

Book two is on it’s way!! I've talked up this series before, and I’m doing it again! Of course I am! We’ve been looking forward to this book and I have actually been trying to avoid (not very successfully) reading it online because I want to hold the book itself in my hands when I read it as a whole. Volume 1 was available online first, and while I truly enjoyed it in that format, and despite already having seen the art and read the story, we found the ‘real’ book to be an honest treat. I know this one will not disappoint!  


What is this book? Does it look a little dark and scary? It is gothic, and it is a horror story. It’s not your average coming of age story, that’s for sure. Despite the tentacles and teethy bits tough, at the heart of it, it’s a story of a young girl finding her way. I desperately don’t want to give anything away that I shouldn’t give away, so let me share the link to the Archaia Website: 

From their synopsis:

”Hopeless is also about who you choose to be. The tale is a protest against apathy, and against the small evils that everyone takes for granted. The worst monsters frequently aren’t the ones with the obvious teeth – who are merely dangerous by nature – but the apparently ordinary people who choose to do hideous things.”

Book 1 - Hopeless Maine, Personal Demons - Made the list of Great Graphic Novels for 2013 and I have high hopes for Book 2 as well!

Who are these people? Tom & Nimue Brown? Well, Nimue has been an online friend of mine for… years?? ages?? I honestly do not know how long! And I was lucky enough to gain Tom when the two of them joined forces creatively and … nicely enough .. were married as well. And no. They are not paying me for a write up. I am simply a honestly pleased consumer of their goods and so I leapt at the chance to be able to promote something I like, that they just happen to be responsible for.

Nimue is the author in this team-up and she blogs at Druid Life. There is a link on her blog where you can find other books by this insightful and lovely lady -

Tom is responsible for giving her words physical form and the both of them have shared with me, to share with you, the following selections from their newest project, “Hopeless, Maine Vol 2 Inheritance” – which is due out within mere days(!) – available at the Archaia Webstore.

You can find more about Tom at his blog: Moth Festival and you can give yourself the treat of exploring more of his artwork at: Copperage - Deviant Art website (I love the “Great Wave Off Hopeless, Maine”!)  

Frampton Jones – Editor in Chief of the local newsletter
2 page spread - Frampton Jones

The main character – Salamandra – Harvesting for Founder’s Day Feast

Sal page one

A couple of family portraits – The Frog Family

Frog family

The Family Jones

Jones Family

And of course, a little something about Miss Salamandra’s family, which she wants absolutely nothing to do with… well, not at first…

Page seven

Stunning, right? I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Although I might have to wrestle the kids for it first…

Good Luck Nimue and Tom! May your new book be very successful!