Does Age Quash Our Spirit of Adventure?

from NPR:

Robert Sapolsky, a distinguished neuroscientist in his 40s, had a young assistant who played different music every day, from Sonic Youth to Minnie Pearl. That made Sapolsky crazy — and curious about why his aging ears still crave the music he loved in college. Is there a certain age when the typical American passes from the novelty stage to utter predictability?

A good, in-depth listen via Real Player.

New Blog Title

Grace helped me come up with a new title for my blog. It all started when she told me that Big Bloggy Blog was stupid. I have been playing with the idea of moving my blog to blogger hosting, and the name bigbloggy.blogspot.com was taken, so I’ve been thinking of changing my title anyway.

I listed off about 20-30 names and Grace thought they we all stupid. Most of them probably were (Bottom of the Chair, Hair on my Toe Knuckles, The Voice of Madness). When she showed me her papercut, I think we were both inspired.

After living with the name for a little while, I may either move my blog, or register a new URL and forward to it. I will keep my loyal readers posted.

Travelogue Day 10 (and Final)

This is the last day of our beach trip and my many-miled journey. We woke up early and finished packing up. After checking out of our condo, and breakfast at a local pancake house, we visited Fort Fisher, a Civil War fort at the end of Kure Beach. It was not on the way off the island, but Grace wanted to go, and the island is just not that big.

We read some history, walked around, visited the gift and hit the road. Grace rode with me, and we listened to Dr. Floyd, her favorite podcast. Other than the scattered heavy rain, and uneventful trip and the end of my travel for the time being. (Pictures still coming)

Drive: Kure Beach to Chapel Hill, NC (174 miles)
Total Miles: 2528

Travelogue Day 9

This was simple day with no travel. We spent some time on the beach, some time in the shade on the deck and some time napping. Ahhh, vacation. We even had pizza delivered for dinner. All the modern conveniences (but no internet).

Before breakfast I went to Port City Java, a Wilmington, NC based coffee house trying to take over the world, to check email. There were just things that I needed to check on.

Travelogue Day 8

Drive: Chapel Hill to Kure Beach, NC (174 miles)
Total Miles: 2354

I woke up and drove back to the beach. I left a little later than I was planning, and I got there after breakfast. We went out to the beach and played in the water. I tried Peter’s new skim board and fell smack on my back. That wasn’t even the one that hurt the most. It was actually the first one.

Skim board technique requires you to throw the flat board down in front of you to get it moving. Once it is moving, you need to jump on it to keep it moving. The first time I tried, only one leg got on and the other stayed in place, stretching it out. That hurt a lot.

A couple of hours on the beach wore out everyone. We all took naps in the afternoon, except Grace who watched Star Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope). In the late afternoon we visited the NC Aquarium, just down the road. Our favorite exhibits are the touch pool, the 285,000-gallon tank with multiple views in (where the lemon sharks and the sting rays swim with more than 450 other fish), and the storm surge marker (showing Hurricane Hazel with a surge 17 feet above sea level).


A fish just kissed Grace’s finger in the Aquarium touch pool

We had a busy evening. We had dinner at the Cottage, a real restaurant on the island. Meg had tuna, I had crab cakes, Grace had lamb lollipops and Peter had low country fried chicken. Everything was delicious. We walked down the street to the boardwalk and got some fudge for dessert. We also played putt putt on the boardwalk. All four of us got holes-in-one, and Peter got 3 in a row.

During the round of golf, the fireworks started. Every Thursday in the summer, they have fireworks. It was a pleasant evening, made more special by the bursts of color in the air. The kids were happy when the fireworks were over, as they wanted to finish playing mini-golf.

Travelogue Day 6

Fly: Grand Rapids, MI to Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC (663 miles)
Total Miles: 2161

Drive: Raleigh-Durham Airport to Chapel Hill, NC (19 miles)
Total Miles: 2180

Uneventful trip back. It turns out the suspected terrorists in Michigan were not planning on blowing up the bridge, but no one said what they were doing there.

Please note: If you are reading this travelogue, there will be some pictures posted. I probably won’t get to them until I return from the beach this weekend, and I will go back and put them in the appropriate posts. I will post a current entry when I have done that.

Travelogue Day 5

Drive: Chapel Hill to Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC (19 miles)
Total Miles: 835

Fly: Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC to Grand Rapids, MI (663 miles)
Total Miles: 1498

I flew to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a business meeting. This is my first trip after the liquid ban. I, like many other of my fellow passengers, had to either check my luggage or not travel with toothpaste, shampoo, etc. This adds a little more hassle to the arrival (standing around waiting for luggage), but makes the boarding of a plane much easier. There just was not as many people cramming oversized rolling luggage into the overhead compartments. On each flight it was a breeze putting my laptop case in the bin.

Due to the foiled terrorist attacks in the UK, the terrorist level has escalated from yellow to orange. This is defined on the airport sign as a high probability of a terrorist attack. While that may be true in a general sense, it really is not true in every airport where they have posted these signs.

Over the weekend, several suspected terrorists were arrested and it was thought they had targeted the bridge connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan. These Palestinian-Americans were from Texas and were riding around Michigan buying up pre-paid cell phones (there were reportedly 1000 in their van), and had pictures and video of the bridge.

All of these events made it an interesting time to fly to Michigan.