Sunday, February 07, 2016

A 12-Mile Journey - 2/6/16

It's been too long since I last posted anything. How many times has a blog post begun with that sentence? It probably numbers in the thousands, maybe even millions. Regardless, I am back. Since my last entry from November, much has happened. The holidays rolled in and dominated the calendar as they do every year, but the bigger event was we moved to a new place. It's not far from the old place geographically, but the difference in lifestyle is huge. We went from a little beach bungalow to a high-rise condo on the fifteenth floor. I'll save the details of all the differences between the two places and how I felt about moving for another time.

Today I want to share with you a twelve-mile hike I did from my new address on Saturday, February 6, 2016. I decided to document my journey by shooting a photo every mile as I did last August in a post called, "My Eight Mile". My new location is prefect for hiking as there's a variety of environments to explore from the beach out front to the forest in First Landing State Park. My training will also benefit from living on the fifteenth floor, as I will take the stairs down and up when I go out for a hike. You can check out this outings stats and see it plotted on a map here on Endomondo. I've been using Endomondo for a couple of years now and have found it to be easy to use and reliable. If you're on there too, feel free to connect with me. It's fun to encourage each other and see what hikes and runs other folks are doing.

On to yesterday's 12-mile journey. It was a cold and clear day, perfect for hiking, so I filled my CamelBak and headed out...

Mile Zero - Heading down the stairs from the fifteenth floor.
Mile One - The Cape Henry Bike Path looking east.
Mile Two - Still on the Cape Henry Bike Path heading east.
Mile Three - First Landing State Park on the Long Creek Trail. There's lots of Spanish Moss in the park.
Mile Four - There is no shortage of Pine Cones here.
Mile Five - Alone on the White Hill Lake Trail. I only saw two other people on this trail.
Mile Six - Where the White Hill Lake Trail meets the Cape Henry Bike Path.
Mile Seven - A always feel better walking in the woods.
Mile Eight - Found art - This dead, graffiti covered tree looks like modern art to me.
Mile Nine - More nature-based abstract art.
Mile Ten - This house along the Cape Henry Bike Path has some cool sculptures. I always love to see this skeleton and the flying man in the trees to the left.
Mile Eleven - I started the hike with long pants, but it warmed-up enough for me to convert to shorts.
Mile Twelve - Heading back up the stairs. This was from the fifth floor stairwell window.
The End - My front door.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Necklace of the Gods... Lo-Fi-Gods that is -- 11/12/15

A friend of mine suggested that my Lo-Fi-Ga miniature woodcarvings would make a cool necklace, so I have created a prototype. What do you think? I've already made a couple of pairs of earrings for my wife, but haven't shown them off yet. This isn't my first experience in the jewelry making world. Many years ago I worked part-time at "Gypsy D's", one of the cornerstone small businesses in the 1980s and 90s in the Ghent area of Norfolk. We handmade much of the jewelry that was sold there back then, so I know my way around a ring mandrel and round-tipped pliers. It may be time to dust off those old skills.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

A NASA Photo Op One Hundred Years In the Making - 10/31/15

I've been working as a contractor at NASA Langley for ten years, which is exactly one tenth the time that NASA Langley, well Langley airfield has existed. The official anniversary date is July 17, 2017 and according to this article on "On that day, one hundred years earlier, construction began on the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. It was the nation’s first civilian aeronautics research facility."
Can you see me now?

I feel fortunate to work in such an amazing place full of history and hope for the future. The researchers and scientist I've had the pleasure to work with (I'm a multimedia specialist in the video department, so we get to work with a wide range of people) are as passionate and dedicated a group as you'll ever find anywhere. It's quite common to see a researcher retire, only to show up the following week to continue work on their project because they want to solve the BIG PROBLEM. Not because they'll get rich or famous, just because they can't quit until they figured it out, whatever "it" is. And the things they figure out advance the quality of human life, whether it's safer airplanes or satellite tech that gives us cell phones and accurate weather forecasts or creating spacecraft that allows us to explore our universe. All of those incredible achievements come down to a person applying their brain and heart to finding smarter, better ways to do things.
The obligatory selfie

So, on a drizzly Tuesday in October, we all took a break from the routine and stood together to mark this moment in time and recognize that the people make the place. I'm proud to have been a part of it.


Here are a couple "behind-the-scenes" photos as everyone gathered together in front of the hanger.

The official photo was taken from a hovering helicopter from the Air Force Base next door. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

It Always Looks Better In Print...

You can find an article on my neo-primitive, miniature woodcarvings in the October issue of VEER Magazine. The piece is called, "Unmasking Small Works of Hal Weaver" and ties in with the "Small Works" Exhibition at the Charles H. Taylor Art Center in Hampton. The article is online, but I always like to see ink on paper, which is quickly becoming a rare thing. 

Full disclosure, the publisher/owner of VEER Magazine, Jeff Maisey is an old friend and longtime supporter of my art and the arts in general here in Tidewater.


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Black Stallion - 10/23/15

Another day, another strange sighting on the drive home. This time I came upon this weird tri-wheeled vehicle that reminded me of cheesy sci-fi action flicks from the 1980s. I caught the name across the rear, a "Stallion". Apparently the base model is only $33,995.00. That's a lot of money to get rained on.  

This guy was towing a little matching trailer that must have been empty because it was bouncing all over the place. Here's a shot of the back and if you look closely, you'll spot the trailer hitch. If I had one of these, I'd wear a Batman outfit when I drove around town.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Shotgun - 10/21/15

My intentions were good. I started the year off declaring I'd post an "image-a-day" and after an enthusiastic launch, was quickly overcome by all the usual suspects and then the shame hammer stopped me cold. But today, while driving home from work, I glanced to the vehicle to my left and saw a human skeleton riding shotgun and immediately recognized the manna that had been laid at my feet. Here was my chance to jump back into the "image-a-day" blog post, so here we are.

I love Halloween, mostly because I love the horror and monster genres. The candy ain't bad either....


Monday, September 28, 2015

It Ain't Easy Being Green - 9/28/15

This morning I found this Green Tree Frog resting comfortable on the roof of my car. He was a tiny little guy and I'm glad I noticed him before jumping in and driving off, otherwise he may have wound up in the middle of the road. I carefully picked him up and he grabbed onto my hand with his little grippy fingers. I walked him over and set him down on a bush, I guess I should have found a tree. I'd never seen a frog like this in the yard and it made me happy to know that green little fellow is out there.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

On the Cover of the Rolling Hampton Arts Magazine! - 9/27/15

Last Saturday I went to the mailbox and was pleasantly surprised to find one of my woodcarvings on the cover of "Diversions - Hampton Arts" magazine. The reason why it has taken a week for me to write about it here on the blog, is that I posted this photo on Facebook last weekend and all the "Likes" and comments there satisfied my never-ending hunger for social media attention. So why bother writing about it here on a blog that few people actually read? Because the blog is better equipped to function as a chronicle, because of the hashtags and easier time-specific navigation. I also feel more comfortable rambling on at length here, as opposed to Facebooklandia where the short post seems a better fit.

"American Tiki" made the cover  because the "Small Works" show is coming up next month at the Charles H. Taylor Center and I've been asked to be a part of it again for the third year in a row. I'll always be grateful to James Warwick Jones for introducing me to the "Small Works" exhibition as it has led me to working in miniature, which I find is a good fit for the limited amount of time and space I currently have for making art. I hope to one day return to making bigger pieces, but for now I'm enjoying "getting small".