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Living a life of small adventures

... punctuated by moments of unpredictable chaos and grand exploits

Phelonius Friar
This is important to me, although it's more of an inkblot that maybe gives a hint about who I am (copied from one of my posts a while back)... the remainder of what one might cursorily want to know about me is the importance of music in my life (a few of my compositions are here).

A Saucer of Loneliness:

It always breaks my heart to read these sorts of things... but not broken in a sad way, broken in an overwhelmed way... overwhelmed at what can be accomplished by determination and overwhelmed by the transformation it must have on the person going through it. Do they remain human? I've have met, shaken the hand of, and talked to people that have been in space, and they were not of the same psychological species as I was. They had been changed by what they had experienced, and I could see in their eyes that they were truly not human anymore. Most would be profoundly disturbed to make that realization because of what it implies about what could happen to any of us, but for me, it fills me with a sense of peace and happiness and hope.
I am at 103,000 feet, looking out over a very beautiful, beautiful world. As you look up, it is a hostile sky. As I sit here and wait, I have realized that man will never conquer space. We will learn to live with it, but we will never conquer it. I can see for over 400 miles. Beneath me I can see the clouds... looking through my mirror, the sky is absolutely black. Devoid of anything. I can see the beautiful blue of the sky and above that it goes into a deep, deep, dark, indescribable blue which no artist could ever capture. It's fantastic.

— Joseph Kittinger, Radio communication, August 16, 1960
He staggered to the edge of the gondola — due to the decrease in gravity at that height, he actually weighed three pounds less than he had on the ground — and positioned himself with the toes of his boots protruding slightly beyond the edge of the floor piece, then took a deep breath of pure oxygen and held it. A sign printed at the base of the door, inches below his toes, read "HIGHEST STEP IN THE WORLD". He turned and pushed the button that activated all twelve cameras simultaneously; even inside his helmet he could plainly hear the clicking whir of all the tiny motors. Then he tried to grasp the familiar lanyard with his swollen, ice-cold right hand, exposed as it was to the vacuum of space from the glove malfunction, and realized immediately that there was no way he could grip the lanyard, much less pull it. He let it drop. He would have to trust his weight to pull it and arm the timing knob on the harness as he fell. Kittinger fell forward as he had done on the two previous flights, but it was different this time. This time he was convinced he was going to die. He was out. He was floating. It was like before: no rush of wind, no sensation of falling, no perception of movement at all. He hung suspended in this calm universe. His pulse was 156 beats per minute and he had not taken a breath since leaving the gondola — not even his own respiration intruded on the astonishing emptiness. It was all impossibly beautiful.

(italicized text adapted from The Pre-Astronauts: Manned Ballooning on the Threshold of Space by Craig Ryan)

A beautiful video done by "Area51" and set to U.N.K.L.E. f/ Moby's track "God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters" captures the moment better than any words I could possibly write. Full screen if you can, and crank the volume (similarly, if you can)! Besides the monologue, taken from the movie "Alive" about the 1972 crash of a Fairchild FH-227D in the Andes, I am deeply touched by the film looking across the horizon... where the blue of the Earth's atmophere is very obviously below him. Such stark poetry.

acoustic guitar, aircraft, airplanes, akira kurosawa, amino acids, animation, anime, anthropology, anything angry, applied murphology, asian americans, asian films, asterix et obelix, aviation, backrubs, bearded dragons, bento boxes, björk, boa constrictors, bollywood, bugs bunny, building forts, calculus, canadian films, cards, cartoons, cats, cherry blosoms (the chocolate), chickpeas, ckcu, climbing trees, clouds, cold weather, condensed matter physics, constitutional law, cooking, cosmology, cowboy who?, dim sum, dr. seuss, dreams, electronic music, electronica, electronics, epicanthic folds, eye contact, fetish photography, film noire, fireflies, fishing, flamenco, flight simulators, flying, forth, fractals, full moons, gastropods, good food, good storytelling, graphic art, hand drumming, herbology, hiking, hindi, human rights, independent filmmaking, indian food, industrial music, intelligent conversation, intj, inventing, japanese movies, jeff green, john carpenter, johnny cash, kissing, languages, linux, magnetic poetry, manga, manhattan project, marzipan, masala chai, meg davis, mei kuei lu chiew, moon shining on water, movies, mudpuppies, music, music videos, nerdcore, objective c, orang-utans, other people's piercings, other people's tatoos, parenting, people-watching, peppermint, piloting, politics, pretzels, psychology, quantum physics, radio drama, rand corporation, reading, reptiles, rocket science, russian music, samhain, science fiction, shamanism, snakes, snow forts, space, speculative fiction, spelunking, spicy chocolate, spicy food, stargazing, stratospheric balloons, superstring theory, sushi, synaesthesia, synthesizers, the word uvula, thunderstorms, tin ape, tom lehrer, topology, tortoises, turtles, unibroue beers, walking, wile e. coyote, women wearing bowler hats, x-prize, yoga, zippy the pinhead