Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Smithville - Aberdeen - Smithville

Day 3

I got up after it turned light outside. The bed is really comfortable here, so it took a while. It was still pretty early. My son was still soundly asleep and wasn’t going to get up. I didn’t blame him – he played pretty hard yesterday, and probably still needed some beauty sleep. Upstairs seemed deserted. My relatives are true morning people. While I may be at my best in the morning, they have already had a good head start on being productive and such by the time I get around to thinking about getting dressed.

Eventually, they noticed I was up and Atom, and I got some coffee made for me (yum!), talked about global warming deniers and the latest news about Palin, had a small very tasty cheesy-egg breakfast, went to the gym, jogged 3 miles with a few huff-and-puff walking breaks on a treadmill while listening to the beginning of Ayn Rand’s “The Art of Nonfiction”, came back home, took a shower, had lunch, got a tip about a document I need to read, checked in on the NEON/FFTW Google wave, headed out to visit more relatives, went to storage site where I’m supposed to pack up a bunch of stuff for the movers to take back to San Diego, packed up a bunch of old hardback science fiction from decades ago that my grandfather had collected as a science fiction book club member, had cheese and merlot for dinner, then talked about all sorts of things before settling into the first big book interview.

The task ahead is to gather, gather, gather information and then try and define, define, define the story for this project. There isn’t any way to really summarize the complexity of the engineering project that I’m trying to talk about. The most important thing, to me, is to try and make it possible for people to feel what it was like to work on a particular, large, complicated engineering project during the cold war, and to provide some understanding of how the context and justification for the project shifted over time.

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