Friday, August 1, 2014

ryan buyssens

Crafted from 3D printed, CNC machined and laser-cut parts; "resistance" is time-based, interactive, mechatronic sculpture that emulates the articulated flapping of bird's wings. Several sets of these mechanical birds are mounted to a wall and, through various intensities of flapping, respond to the viewer's movements within the space. The objects simultaneously invite and intimidate with their graceful, fluid motion contrasted by the direct reactivity of their activation. This experience between the viewer and the piece translates a sense of separation - the birdlike machines act in opposition to the viewer's perceived freedom within the space. 

beemer goodness

random goodness

first solo ride

We went to my parents house in the afternoon on Monday before the visitation. My Dad mentioned that a high school friend of mine had dropped off his son's Honda Z50R for my Dad to look at. It didn't run and he was wondering if my Dad would be able to take a look at it and see what was wrong. Even though I only had an hour or so to spare, I decided that I would help Dad out and see if I could get it going. I took the carb off and cleaned out the varnish and gunk inside, and then my Dad made a new air filter element as the old element was disintegrating. We push fresh fuel in the tank, fired the little Z50 up after a few kicks, and Dad tuned the carb settings. Noah came out to the garage and took his first solo motorcycle ride to test the bike. Judging by his smile, I think that he was hooked. I have to admit, I even took it for a spin and it was a blast; even with the short turning radius caused by my knees hitting the handlebars. With only a few minutes to spare, Noah and I headed to Jill's parents to clean-up, wash off the gasoline smell away, and get changed for the visitation. My Dad adjusted the valves on the Honda and then before we left for Milwaukee on Wednesday, the Flood family (minus Jill) took a ride on the Z50, one at a time; except for Livvie who road "two-up". Of coarse, now the consensus in the Flood household is, that we need one of these machines. Keep in mind that three kids and a Dad outnumber one Mom


one wheel garden tractor

My Dad just finished restoring this one wheel garden tractor. We used to see these at engine shows from time to time. Before I left he had the hand cable hooked up for the clutch and was fine tuning the belt size. It ran like a top. Maybe he'll be able to find some attachments for this so Mom can put him to work in the garden. OR on second thought maybe he had better sell it at the next engine show!

friends from home and japan

I had the great fortune of being home at the time that one of my very good friends happened to be home from Japan. Kenny was one of my long time hockey teammates as well being one of the guys that stood in my wedding. We used to drive all over, hauling hockey gear, and going to and from games. He was an intense player and always a blast to have around, not to mention he was very intelligent and driven. He went to Japan nine years ago to teach and he only makes it back to the States from time to time when he brings a large group of  his Japanese students back, to his childhood home, to visit the US. Kenny called me when he found out we were both in town (thanks to his Mom seeing Jill at the visitation). I don't believe I have seen Kenny for probably ten years or more. It was so good to visit with him and to meet all of his students. It was so gracious of his Mother to host us as well and to see to it that our kids had fun playing with their new friends from Japan. I'm glad to see that Kenny's mother's profession rubbed off on him and that he is such a dedicated teacher. I could tell that he loves his life in Japan and that he is doing something truly special and meaningful. I am simply amazed at what Kenny has gone on to accomplish, yet not surprised at all. He always was a great person; glad to see somethings don't change.

Sidenote: I wasn't sure we were going to get Maya out of that car. At first her new friend was not eager to stay in the car with her after experiencing her first driving lesson. Eventually, she gave Maya's driving a second chance. Maya seemed to be a little "possessed" while driving the car. Sign of things to come...? Noah played baseball with the rest of Kenny's students and we found that baseball has no language barrier.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

covered bridge

We stopped at the covered bridge outside of Greenup before we headed for Milwaukee. I always enjoy the incredible smell of the wood used in the construction of this large bridge. It was constructed when I was a teenager and I remember the giant beams being hoisted into place at the start of it's construction. This bridge was along one of the two main route options for leaving Greenup in order to get to my childhood home outside of Woodbury, (along State Route 40 and Interstate 70). I remember taking the covered bridge road that ran along the county fair grounds many many times when going home from work. I thought maybe the kids would enjoy walking around the bridge before we hopped in the car for our typical 5-6 hour car ride home.