Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a crock!

My friend Ian Henderson, who just finished the Penland core fellowship, spent quite a bit of the winter designing, making molds for, casting, decorating, and firing these beautiful, slip-cast porcelain fermentation crocks. They have an integral airlock and perfectly-fitted weights.

Tonight I'm inaugurating mine with this bowl of cabbage (soon to be kraut).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pendulum Waves, pt. 1

Instigated by Jeff Goodman and executed by many, this is the Celo Bowling Ball Pendulum Wave. The structure was built on February 25 above the soccer field.


Here it is from the side. You can see that it is a series of successively longer pendulums. If you are not familiar with pendulum waves, take a look at this beautiful video of a tabletop version.

Here's another view.

Here's the attachment system. The eyebolts are going into a threaded anchor, which became very useful as micro-adjusters as the balls got tuned closer and closer to the exact right length to make the wave patterns appear.

The balls all have to be released at the same moment for the effect to work--hence this device.

Release the Kraken!

Here's the initial wave pattern from above. This part worked almost from the beginning. The trick is getting the later patterns to appear, which only happens if the relative speeds of all the different pendulum cycles are in the proper relationship--which is a matter of getting the length of each pendulum exactly correct. Lots of trial; lots of error.

Chief co-conspirators Matt, Jeff, and Eric, making some adjustments late on Sunday.

Celo Bowling Ball Pendulum Waves, getting there from Robin Dreyer on Vimeo.

We'll depend on Jeff to put up a nice video once it's working perfectly, but meanwhile, this one shows the release and the initial wave pattern followed by a pattern formed later in the cycle.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Potato Hill in Margot's Window

Potato Hill, Cattail Peak and Deep Gap reflected in the window of Margot Rossi's office at the Celo Health Center.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ice teeth

The spring on Grindstaff Road mysteriously produced this set of ice incisors last night. There are forces in the world that just defy comprehension.

Easier to understand but no less impressive is this ice-encased leaf that was almost under the stream of water coming from the spring.

Last night's fun

Gene Joule and Jim Zitney in the final match of the 2012 Mao Tse-Tung Ping-Pong Tournament. Jim, a first-time contestant, was the winner. Now in its umpteenth year, the tournament is one of the great ongoing Cabin Fever events. Thanks to Steve and Beverly Hill for generously organizing and hosting year after year. (Long-time followers of the tourney might like to know that Bobby and John were beaten in the semis by Jim and Gene, respectively.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Marvin Gardens

We've been spending some of our Thursday evenings at The Pizza Shop in Spruce Pine playing Quizzo--a team trivia game written and hosted by Alan and Wendi Gratz.

One of this week's questions was, "Two of the yellow spaces on the Monopoly board are Atlantic Avenue and Ventnor Avenue. What is the name of the third yellow space?" Our team member John Geci eventually came up with the correct answer, Marvin Gardens, with the help of many incorrect suggestions from his team and this diagram. I was happy we got the point, but even happier with this drawing.

If you are interested in playing Quizzo, it happens every Thursday at The Pizza Shop. Maximum team size is six. Reservations are recommended (765-4583). This isn't a beat-the-buzzer game; answers are written down.