March 13, 2015

Workin’ Hard

Friday’s are different at the Smithsonian.  A lot of people work a compressed work schedule.  Most people take Friday off.  My schedule allows me to have every other Friday off.  That means that when you do work on Friday there aren’t a lot of people around.  

Today I was able to get a lot of things crossed off my list.  Yes, I have a list that I am constantly adding to and crossing things off of.  Seems like a lot more adding to than crossing off.  Last week my list was longer than my tablet.  Today I got it down to about 10 different items.  

I also went with a couple coworkers to the Department of Education for lunch (still think they should limit lunch times there to 15 minutes), then went over to the Botanical Gardens to scout a future shoot.  We are hoping to film a segment there for our upcoming Earth Day show.  

Cocoa Beans
Botanical Gardens

I also took time to go out to our observatory to take a look at the sun.  Right now there are some HUGE sunspots.

Smithsonian 16" Telescope

I finished off the day by talking with the owner of an aerial imagery company who will be launching a balloon for our show next week that works as an aircraft carrier for drones.  

The best part of the day by far was knowing that tomorrow Sarah and the kids get here!

March 11, 2015

Upcoming Show: Hot Air Balloons

Next week we have next show.  The topic is hot air balloons.  I’m not the main host on this show but I will be launching a hot air balloon with students (inside the Udvar-Hazy center), hosting a game show, and talking with a guy who is bringing in a gas balloon with a drone attached to it.  He will actually be flying the balloon and we will be using the cameras on the drone to show the museum.  The drone normally detaches from the balloon - kind of like an aircraft carrier - but we can’t detach in the museum.  

For all my teacher peeps, I have a favor to ask.  If this fits your curriculum (buoyancy, lighter than air travel, history of hot air balloons, you know the host, etc.) and you are planning on watching the show (10 and noon Central Time) can you let me know?  We are sending out a survey after the show to get some feedback before we start planning shows for next season.  If you are a teacher and don’t watch with a class but see the show, we would still like your feedback.  

Also, I don’t know if you will see them or not but Sarah, Bryce and Sadie will be in town and watching the filming.  Can’t wait for them to get here.  Three more days until they arrive!  Woo Hoo!

Yeah, I actually made this . . . and it flies!

March 6, 2015


Yup, they have taken to skiing on the National Mall. That's the Air and Space building behind him.

Update: Later in the day I also saw a dude jogging with no shirt on.  

March 5, 2015

Random Boredom Post

Today was a snow day and I'm off tomorrow so I'm looking at a super long weekend stuck inside. I'm pretty sure tomorrow I'm strapping on the snow shoes and doing something. In the meantime here are a few random pictures. 

View out my door today. 

Reptile day at school this week. 

Yes, I was wearing two headsets. 

Talking with the kids. 

March 4, 2015

NACA Conference

The last two days I have been running tech support for the NACA conference.  My jobs have included switching a couple of the panels that went out to NASA TV and moderating the Q&A at the end of the session.  Today on one of the Q&A panels the guy was asking a very detailed question that he was really into.  As he used his hands to talk one of the guys said in my ear (I was wearing a headset) “It’s Thriller.”  That was when I just about lost it.  This is a screenshot, but if you go to the video you can actually see my jaw shaking as I try to keep from laughing.  

At the 2:09 mark I ask the online question, then at 2:12, Thriller starts.

March 3, 2015

Normal Day Part 2

The longer I work at this job, the more I’m realizing there may be no such thing as a normal day.  Here are a few of the things I’ve done so far this week.  

Wrote script for a show about WWI and worked on getting airplane models that are currently on display on the staff floor to use in the show.

Came in to work two hours late on Monday because of a late start due to the freezing rain we had on Sunday.  By the time I went in there were still a few slick spots but for the most part it was all melted.  

Found a great clip of video taken from an airship flying over battlefields from WWI.  Then began researching French copyright laws.

Helped moderate questions for the NACA (precursor to NASA) conference.  Got a couple cameos on NASA TV.  Also switched for part of one of the sessions that was on NASA TV.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden speaking at the conference.

Spent a half hour talking to an astronaut about the picture of him doing a spacewalk on display above the gallery.  He looked at the model of the EVA spacesuit we have in the museum and pointed out all of the things that weren't right.  For the most part the suit is a really good model.

Lunch at the Department of Education.  Their cafeteria is called “Ed-ibles.”  I thought it would be fitting if they had cafeteria tables and forced everyone eating there to finish up in 15 minutes.  

Was told by a curator that she had watched the space junk show and really enjoyed it.  

Seriously kicked around the idea of going to the Paris Air Show next year.

Had to give the wrap up symbol to a moderator of a panel discussion, which he ignored, twice, so one of our guys literally started dimming the lights.  

Worked on dates and back up dates for our hot air balloon shoot.  Next week we are filming a segment for the upcoming show in a hot air balloon.  I don’t think I’m flying.  Since I’m the only one in the crew who has already flown in a hot air balloon I’m staying on the ground filming.

Prepared for a meeting on Thursday with a senior curator.

Tried to figure out how to write into the script for the WWI show a segment that Sarah and the kids can be in since they will be into town in 11 days (not that I’m counting. . . okay, yes I am counting, and I can’t wait.)