edschweppe: (summer house)
As threatened promised earlier, I've put some of my photos from this year's Star Island trip up on Flickr:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edmundschweppe/sets/72157655684432790
edschweppe: (summer house)
I'm back from another fun week on Star Island. Had some fun singing, had some fun dancing, had a lot of good food and some good conversation. I even had the chance to do a bit of photography and will hopefully have links in the near future.

And, unlike last year, I made it through without rupturing any tendons! (Star is wonderful for many things, but is not a fun place to find oneself suddenly on crutches.) My knee held up quite well, despite the seriously uneven terrain of the island (and my room being on the second floor of Gosport House, which meant many more stairs than I would have preferred).

Now it's time for laundry, grocery shopping, showers, and other bits of domesticity before returning to work on Monday ...
edschweppe: (summer house)
Unwinding at home after a good week at the All Star II conference on Star Island. Many humid days, which weren't always fun - although the fog Thursday was impressive. But I did get to do quite a bit of singing, both in the chorus and as the leader of the Chanticleers. The latter are the motley band of Shoalers who promenade around the island every morning, rousing their fellows from slumber and urging them to break their fast with such timeless classics as:

We have pancakes! We have pancakes!
Syrup, too! Syrup, too!
Lot of melted butter! Lots of melted butter!
Yum, yum, yum! Yum, yum, yum!

Okay, I'll admit that the lyrics are ... not quite Grammy caliber, perhaps. But they do amuse folks, including the official Star Island Twitterperson:
We Have Pancakes!
edschweppe: (summer house)
I'm back from another wonderful week on Star Island. The weather was nearly perfect, with enough of an overcast on the boat days to keep from frying on the docks, and with near-constant sunshine during the week itself.

My volunteer job was to lead the "Chanticleers" - a self-selecting and quite motley crew of conferees who parade throughout the hotels and cottages of Star every morning, rousing their fellow Shoalers with a brief weather report and a summons to breakfast in song. (For certain values of "song", at least; I think we did awfully darn good for that early in the morning!)

Photos are up[1] on Flickr in the unimaginatively named All Star II 2012 photo set. Alas, the one thing I neglected to bring along was my tripod. Between that and the surprising sunburn I picked up Sunday, I didn't spend much time playing with my new camera.

[1] Or at least they're on their way up; iPhoto is taking its own sweet time to update Flickr, for reasons I cannot fathom.

Brrr-idge

Feb. 12th, 2012 08:31 pm
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Plenty of cold today. No snow, mind; apart from a few remnant plow-berms, the only snow to be seen is the artificial stuff at Nashoba Valley. Ground this bare in February just ain't right.

I drove up to Portsmouth (NH) this afternoon to see the partially-dismantled Memorial Bridge, which I'm used to seeing from below as the boats head out to Star Island. The bridge hadn't been given anywhere near enough maintenance - the amount of rust on that thing was frightening - and the states of New Hampshire and Maine have finally given up and agreed to replace it. Last week, the lift span was cut away and placed on a barge, which is currently tied up at Prescott Park:
pic behind the cut )
In related news, the Star Island "blue book" (conference catalog) arrived the other day, so it's time to sign up for this year.
edschweppe: (summer house)
For those who might be interested, here are a few pictures that I took last week at Star Island:
we cut because we care )
They were taken with my Adorable Overhyped MP3 Player (also known as an iPod Touch), but came out okay nonetheless.

(The "full" photostream is here on Flickr; more Star photos are available here.)
edschweppe: (summer house)
Fun was had by all. Especially me.

Now commenceth the grocery shopping, laundry, catching up on various and sundry online communities, etc. Photos still need to be weeded through prior to inflicting them on an unsuspecting universe.
edschweppe: (summer house)
I've made it back home from a wonderful week on Star Island. I managed to do very little and enjoyed almost all of it. The food was good, the speaker decent, and the weather was mostly great. (The excessive heat on Tuesday being the exception.) The ocean was cold, which was a good thing on the hot days. I reconnected with folks from previous years, and started on new connections. The closest thing to work that I ever did was to help pour beer at the evening social hours. Next year, I'll try for something different, though; I couldn't participate in most of the adult chorus rehearsals because I had to set up the beer tables at the same time.

Now it's time for showers, and Internet, and other bits and pieces of mainland life.

Back to work Monday, alas.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Well, let's see:

1) We finally got a snowstorm to leave some of the white stuff around here (instead of continuing to dump on Baltimore and DC). Much prettier looking than the combination of grimy plow leavings and bare patches that I've had for the last few weeks.

2) Season 3 of Shadow Unit is underway.

3) I've put in my request for this year's Amplifying Your Effectiveness conference. I missed last year's conference due to the unhappy timing of certain events at the Current Paying Gig; however, those events are not going to recur this year. The Great And Powerful Oz Has Spoken.

4) I've also mailed off my registration for the All-Star II conference on Star Island. Between Star and 4th Street Fantasy, the summer should get started with a bang.

...

Hmm. Looks like four things make a post. Or at least this post. Works for me!
edschweppe: (summer house)
I finally went through the pictures I took last week on Star Island, and some of them came out pretty good - at least, for the pocket-sized camera I was using:
cut because we care! )

Flickr photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24829405@N00/sets/72157621357577675/ for those who might be interested
edschweppe: (summer house)
... having had a wonderful week at Star Island.

Alas, now things like laundry and grocery shopping await. As well as going through pictures to see which ones are most worthy of sharing with the Interneti ...
edschweppe: (UU chalice)
I'm back from my vacation on Star Island, a conference center run jointly by the UUA and the UCC off the New Hampshire coast. The weather was beautiful - no rain (except for the briefest of sprinkles on Wednesday), easterly winds the first few days (which brought fog, but also let the harbor warm up all the way to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and westerlies the last few (which brought low humidity and tremendous visibility).

There's a lot of music at All-Star II. Many of the conferees bring guitars and other instruments. Two folks (one a player with the Boston Pops, if I heard right; the other a member of the Marine Corps Band) brought trombones. We also had a fiddler (who also brought a set of harmonicas), a ukulele, a couple of flutes, and a lot of singers. So there were lots of impromptu singalongs on the rocks, or on the Oceanic Hotel porch, or in one or another of the smaller buildings - in addition to the "organized" singing as part of chapel services and the various talent shows. Not to mention the many musical talents among the summer staff, affectionately known as "Pelicans" or "Pels."

Another highlight, for me, was a tour of neighboring Appledore Island, home of the Shoals Marine Laboratory. The tour was led by Sarah O'Connor, the curator of the Vaughn Museum (a small museum on Star) - who, it appears, is better known to the LJ world as [livejournal.com profile] hakerh. (waves)

The downside, alas, was that I knew almost nobody in the conference. This was my first time at All-Star II, and most of the other folks there had been going for years if not generations. However, those same folks know full well how out-of-place "new Shoalers" can feel, and several folks made sure they took me under their wings (so to speak).

One of the traditions that all Star conferences have is an one-size-fits-all-occasions chant. You hear it as the first boat arrives at the island dock; you hear it when the conferees beat the Pels at softball (or the other way around), you hear it whenever the spirit calls forth the need to cheer. The first three lines are always the same - the last line varies to fit the occasion. The last time you'll hear it - as the boat pulls away from the pier, taking the conferees back to the mainland - it goes like this:

S-T-A-R! S-T-A-R!
Oceanic! Oceanic!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
You will come back! You will come back! You will come back!

I'm thinking there's some truth in that last line ...

ABVND

Jul. 4th, 2008 09:47 pm
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Back in the days when I hung around alt.callahans (before AOL! became a synonym for "Me, too!", but after the Net was no longer flat), folks who were going to be offline for an extended period would announce the fact by posting a message with either the ABEND (Absent By Enforced Net Deprivation) or ABVND (Absent By Voluntary Net Deprivation) keywords. Generally, if you were doing something you wanted to do, but it caused you to be offline, you chose ABVND; if you were doing something that you were required to do, ABEND was the term of art.

I'm about to go ABVND for a week.

Tomorrow morning, I'm off for a week-long conference on Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I'm looking forward to it - this will be the first really vacationy vacation I've taken in I don't know how long - but Star is Off The Net. Electricity and water are generated on-island. While you might be able to get a cell signal, you shouldn't count on it.

And no Internet access for the conferees. Which makes a lot of sense; a big reason to go to Star is to get away from the modern hyperworld for a while, and get back in touch with reality.

However, this will be the first time that I've spent a week completely offline since there was offline to completely spend a week. Back in my submarining days, of course, we'd spend weeks or months at a time under radio silence. But that was in the pre-Internet era of human history.

So ... if you don't hear from me next week, it's not anything you said. Play nice while I'm gone, now!

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edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

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