Spinning Burning Steel Wool

We did it! Inspired by this Mashable series, and using this tutorial, I built a little rig for spinning burning steel wool today, then took it out to the local park with Amy and Miles after dinner. Amy shot the images while Miles and I took turns spinning. Not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, but we still wore a protective hoodie and goggles, and brought along a gallon of water just in case (none of it needed).

These are all 30-second exposures. The hardest part is getting the distance right – tough to know in advance how far away the subject needs to be, so the tops/sides of several of these are off. More practice needed. Would also like to figure out how to change the color of the sparks. Any chemists in the house?

Flickr set

Heath Ceramics

On the way to a hike at Tennessee Cove today, stopped in at Heath Ceramics to find tile to cover an ugly old fireplace. Everything in that place is gorgeous. Starting with these vases.

At Heath Ceramics 
At Heath Ceramics

Edwardian Ball 2013

Awesome time last night at the Edwardian Ball in San Francisco. Have been meaning to go since forever, but finally made it happen, and so glad we did.

shacker as Sir Dragonfly

THE EDWARDIAN BALL is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey. Set in our own version of “Edwardian” times, this multi-media extravaganza has grown over the past decade from a small underground club night into an internationally recognized event, now operating with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

We’re not really dress-up people, but managed to pull some pretty good outfits together thanks to the charity of a few friends. And I sacrificed a perfectly good beard for the opportunity to wear a cartoonish fake mustache (still not sure what I was thinking, but it kinda worked).

Hard-core Gorey fans out-do themselves each year; some of the costumes are drop-dead gorgeous. My favorite (not pictured) was a full-on hard-hat diver complete with air hoses, weight belt and boots, accompanied by his lady-friend, who was being attacked by a giant squid. Astounding.

Maker Faire, Burning Man, and the Edwardian Ball – three totally different venues for creative group expression that had no analog 15 years ago. So glad they exist.

Scot and Amy - crazed couple

Full Flickr Set + slideshow (with a brief video)

Mission San Miguel

Stopped off with family at Mission San Miguel on the way home from the Central Coast last week – hadn’t been there for years. Caught this weird light glowing through a dusty old cow skin window.

Mission San Miguel 
Mission San Miguel


I’ve been been wracking my brain trying to figure who played Jane the Junkie’s dad on Breaking Bad. Looked so familiar but couldn’t put a finger on the actor. Turns out it was Q all along (TNG):

John de Lancie
John de Lancie was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Kent State University where he won a scholarship to Juilliard. John’s father was a professional oboist with the Philadelphia Sympho…

Thistle Fluff

Two hours of ukulele and another fantastic hike with family on the Havey Canyon Trail, El Cerrito Hills. Caught this amazing cluster of thistles trapping all of their own fluff, which had blown off in recent winds. The fluff glows when afternoon sun filters through it.

Two houses of ukulele and a great hike. Thistle fluff on a lovely Sunday. 
Two houses of ukulele and a great hike. Thistle fluff on a lovely Sunday.