Saturday, June 26, 2010

...Invited Who To Where?

'Twas overheard At The Skunk Works -- heck, I was a party to the conversation and I'm still tryin' to make peace with it. --Also, you think some of your friends misjudge your taste? You have not seen anything yet!

One of the more famously buttoned-down[1] managers at The Workings admitted late Friday to havin' an open invite to Burning Man and upon getting quizzical looks from as many as half of my fellow boffins, spoke briefly of the whacked-out techno-art to be found there; he gave me a look and said, "Kind of reminds me of you." True enough, at least along those lines; I'm fascinated by infernal devices like Neverwas Haul, a self-propelled 19th-Century explorer's club (why leave the clubhouse behind?).

He decided not; it'd be a fly-in and that's not a terribly airplane-friendly environment. Still, I can't help but wonder if he was thinking of the same sort of accounts I've read -- this one, f'r'instance (NSFW unless they count body paint as clothing where you work, hippie[2]). The last couple of lines manage to combine everything I find off-putting about travel with everything I find off-putting about outsider art: loos should not be sand trenches and they'd better have walls around 'em and between the stalls. (As for the wild and weird personal lives some attendees live publicly, I go the .mil one better: Don't Know, Don't Care, Ain't Gonna Ask).

Until I gin up my own version of Neverwas Haul -- perhaps a nice airship complete with a handsome pilot to fly it, Senators to keep the gasbags filled and inside plumbing including a bathtub -- I 'spect I'm not goin', either.
1. That's praise from me, or next thing to it; most of what I know, I learned from suit-wearing guys with crewcut hair and hornrimmed glasses. Some of 'em even wore lab or shop coats to keep the solder, swarf, potter's clay or slide-rule oil from ruining yet another necktie.
(Just checked and neither Firefox nor Blogger knows from "swarf," spellcheck-wise. But you do, don'cha? And maybe even the diffo 'tween it and "fraze," I bet).

2. Though it can be argued that Ms. NSFW Body-Painted Physical-Fitness is precisely why some folk are ooo0tay with the primitive amenities. All right, not my cuppa' but it makes sense.


Rabbit said...

I'd go just to see something like this.


Get off my lawn!

Drang said...

neither Firefox nor Blogger knows from "swarf," spellcheck-wise. But you do, don'cha? Alas, no. "Fraze", neither. I am so unworthy of your blogs.

And now I'm off to Field Day.

Roberta X said...

One Field Day = three or four obscure words.

Data Viking said...

While I am familiar with 'swarf' (with lathes in the family much, much older than I am, how could I not?), you have me and the Interwebs with 'fraze'. Sounds like a word for the 2011 SATs or ACTs. Give.

Anonymous said...

If you get this airship together, I could lay up a carbon-fibre, form-fitted bathtub that you could fill adequately with a gallon of water.

It would be outrageously expensive of course, but thats aircraft parts for you.


Roberta X said...

Swarf is what falls off; fraze is what's still attached.

I named a pair of tomcat kittens that once -- their sisters were Woof and Warp, of course.

Jim, the bathtub sounds like a good idea even without an airship! The one I have now is too darned low and about a foot short. Form-fitted, carbon-fiber tubs, I can see a market for these, oh yes...

perlhaqr said...

I'm with Death Guild / Thunderdome. :D

Stranger said...

Field Day is indeed today. I think I may fire up and work as a "1D" station after a while and give the gang an extra point.

But back when I was a $2500 a year man at a big famous engineering company (about $60K Yr in Obamabux) "swarf" was the stuff that stuck to the work, and "frasch" was anything from filing size up to six foot long razor sharp curlicue chips that fell to the floor.

These days swarf is the crud that collects around work in progress, and frasch has become a hanger on.

Strange how the world changes things around.


The Jack said...

Hmm, do you mean Skunk Works or Bicycle Shop? Or perhaps a different kind of "Works"? Like near the Brass Plant?

sam said...

My big sister has attended "Burning Man" a few times. She likes it.

Last year she even came up a "mutant vehicle" to tool around on. She made it (with help from her auto-mechanic boyfriend) from a golf cart. It's basically rolling art.

Interestingly the "Playa" where it takes place straddles two Nevada counties. There is usually contingents of undercover and uniformed officers from both counties, and other LEOs, to try and control illicit substances.

She asked me if I wanted to go once. I replied "Not without a crew served weapon!"

When asked the same question, my nephew replied, "I don't to hang around with a bunch of damned hippies!"

I was so proud...

Justthisguy said...

Yup, field latrines should provide maximum privacy allowed by the available materials and tools, if only for practical reasons:

Consciousness of people looking at you makes you constipated, and you really need to get yer business done, and get back to work, or fightin'.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the A380 project has absorbed all the commercially available carbon fibre, the idea is growing a little.

Of course, making the original mould would be a slightly intimate experience, and that might make sales difficult.

Of course this all plays to an idea I wanted to try out on some honeycomb core material...


NMM1AFan said...

Swarf is also a term used in glass grinding. Hadn't heard of fraze before.

perlhaqr said...

Also, FWIW: The loos at Burning Man aren't sand trenches. They bring in truly astounding numbers of porta-potties, and have them serviced daily.

Roberta X said...


Still...bathtubs. Hallmark of a Bobbi-ready civilization. Look, if Mohenjo-Daro [sic] can do it...

John B said...

(shaking head to clear image of Bobbi, -and Tam- in body paint. Please Don't Shoot) I thought Burning Man might be fun. For about 30 minutes.

Even with their abilities to keep up the hot air supply, I can't fathom having politicians in a confined space with me.

And certainly not with you dear. One might go Teddy Kennedy on you?

Roberta X said...

- Please stop thinking so loudly. ;)

- The politicians wouldn't be allowed in the cabins! Only up among the gasbags, where they'd hardly notice the difference between that area and their usual hang-outs. So to speak.

- Perlhaqr's making a pretty good case for the event.

perlhaqr said...

We put up a big geodesic dome, hang bungie harnesses, strap hippies into them and hand them lightly padded sticks and play loud industrial music. I mean, someone has to teach them that violence can be fun. ;)

It's a strictly "Bring Your Own Colander" affair, though, and many of us eschew the body paint aesthetic.

Here's a pic of me at the event, up on said dome.

"0 days since last injury!"