I was in California on business from January 26 to February 6. It was a pretty interesting trip which included a couple of weekends. I flew into Los Angeles where I rented a van for the annual international distributors' meeting (IDM) that I always help to host (and serve as a driver for the various events). Before driving to San Diego for the IDM kickoff events, I spent a few hours at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. This museum is now the home of the retired space shuttle Endeavour, which I last saw in person in 2007, when I visited Kennedy Space Center for the launch of STS-118. At that time I got to see a little bit of Endeavour on the pad during a pre-launch KSC tour (it was wrapped in the service structure so you couldn't see much). Then I got to see the launch, which of course was thrilling.
on Flickr, along with a couple of shots of the Apollo-Soyuz command module, Gemini 11 capsule, and the A-12 Blackbird "spy plane" that is displayed near the parking garage outdoors.
After the distributor meeting (which involves a lot of people, PowerPoint slides, and food), I flew up to San Francisco for the Photonics West conference. On the weekend, I got to spend some time with my wife's daughter, including a wonderful concert in Berkeley. It was a British Invasion tribute concert with a focus on Buddy Holly and his influence on the British bands of the 60's. Four local bands did cover versions of songs by such classic bands as the Yardbirds, along with Buddy Holly tunes, and a few originals. All four bands were great, but I especially liked Girl Named T, who performed with two different band line-ups. Their playing and harmonies were first-rate, and the few originals were intriguing, so I bought T's two CD's which were on sale at the merch table. An incredible find! Really great stuff! Check out her stuff at CD Baby or Amazon. I have also posted a 92 second YouTube clip of T and company doing a lovely version of John Lennon's "Because" - great harmonies! Check this out before YouTube's listening robot figures out it's a Beatles song and makes me take it down.