The past few days have been quite enjoyable and filled with an interesting array of activities. Erik
drove down from Alexandria, Virginia on Thursday so he could attend the Southeast Regional Society for Photographic Education
conference. Staying with me along with them is Duchamp
, possibly the world's most relaxed dog.
I worked on Friday but we met up for lunch at Essence of India
. After work, we got together with Erik's brother Thomas
and his girlfriend Alice
to check out the opening reception for HyperReal world: landscape as commodity
at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts
The exhibition featured some nice photographs and as an added bonus, we arrived early enough for the wine. It also gave Erik and Lauren a chance to chat with some art school professors they know. Afterward, we went to Wells Brothers Bar and Grill
) and enjoyed beer and dinner on their back patio.
Saturday morning, we all met up again for breakfast at The Lunchbox
(formerly Jenny's Lunchbox
) before driving to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
(NHMFL or Mag Lab) for our private tour. I have twice attended and enjoyed the annual open house the Mag Lab holds. However, the popular event draws large crowds and decent photography is near impossible.
Since Thomas works at the Mag Lab, he was able to provide us with a customized walk-through highlighting his own workspaces and some of the laboratory's more interesting equipment. There were no other people at the Shaw Building
, our first stop and home to the NHMFL Applied Superconductivity Center
The ASC conducts focused research in the areas of bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide
(BSCCO) high-temperature superconductors, coated conductors
, grain boundaries
, low temperature superconductivity
and the recently discovered magnesium diboride
superconductor. It was interesting to see the work Thomas and the ASC are doing, even if much of it is over my head.
We then drove to the main Mag Lab building, a 370,000-square-foot complex housing the 45 Tesla Hybrid
, 900 MHz NMR
and four other large-scale magnets
. Passing through offices and pipe-filled corridors along the way, we encountered a few scientists working on projects as we surveyed the site. It was a lot of fun to be able to shoot the laboratories, equipment, signs and control panels with hardly anyone around.
In the evening, we went downtown to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science
and the opening reception for APPETITE: Expressions of the Politics Encircling Food
. There were many more pieces than the MFA show but like it, this exhibition featured some cool work. Although there was no wine, there were 50 pizzas plus salad and vegetable trays on hand for the event.
Before visiting with Claire
, Lauren, Erik and I took Duchamp to San Luis Mission Park
just north of the Mission
. I have always enjoyed this place and the wooded trails available right in the middle of the west side. We were surprised to see the extremely low water level of the nearby lake, over which you can walk on a wooden boardwalk. Right now the boardwalk is over dry land, the edge of the water some twenty feet away.
In the end, the past four days can be summarized thusly: great friends, fun activities and perfect weather—what more can you ask for?