Today wasn’t the day I was hoping it would be. But it was good, nonetheless. I’ve been trying to have a meeting between two of my advisors – two that have never met, even though they are in the same time. I want them to work on something together. We just can’t seem to sync our schedules for it. It’s pushed back to Wednesday next week. This is the 3rd reschedule. That is always a little frustrating.
I guess that means I’ll be super-prepared for the meeting when it finally happens. The funny thing about this is that there is very little that I have to do. They either like each other, and the project, and want to work on it together… or they don’t.
In other news, we worked on the robot design a little today. Nothing significant to report, yet.
Because I had time to kill, waiting for the meeting that was originally postponed, and then ultimately cancelled, I simply poked around on my laptop for a couple hours. I spent quite a while working on email, our mail server, and both of our webservers. In short, none of these basic infrastructure assets are where I’d like them to be.
Josh is taking point on getting this stuff organized. I’ve asked if we can have our updated database up and running this weekend. He thinks he can. If that happens, then I’ll begin the next phase of the communications re-start: surveys of the $100+ backers.
A couple folks asked about more information regarding the Technical Advisor Council. Put bluntly, I rely on folks a lot smarter than me to figure out certain aspects of this project. This ad hoc / volunteer community has been mostly stagnant for the past year. My goal in re-activating them is to receive a formalized commitment regarding their role on this project. I’m developing a contract, organizing their contact information, and collecting their bio, resume/cv, any papers they may have written which relate to this project, and any social media information they are willing to share.
Later, as capital is available, I’ll assign works-for-hire research contracts for specific problems that need to be resolved. Obvious problems include: ‘How long is the Ribbon?’, ‘What is the Ribbon made of?, ‘How do we anchor to the surface of the Moon? Non-obvious issues might be: “What are the historic, cultural and theological implications of harvesting lunar regolith?”, “Who ‘owns’ the system we’re building, once it touches down on the Lunar surface?”, “How – specifically – do we pay for this thing?”
Each of these questions, and thousands more, need answers. Fortunately, this project attracts some very very smart people, and in most cases, we’ve got experts who can begin to tackle these Challenges. I continue to recruit more experts.
Take care, mjl
Today Austin, Michael, Gwen, and I set up the exhibit we laid out the day before. It began by bringing the laid out pieces to the building our gallery was at. We were given 6 walls by the Spaceworks Tacoma people, which turned out to perfectly fit all the work we brought. It was only when I got there I realized we had to decide how and where to put our work on the blank walls; previously we had just laid them into groups on the floor.
The pieces were split between printed posters and hand drawn sketches made by the old LiftPort artist Nyien. We started off hanging the large posters and objects with frames. Originally the plan was to use pushpins and we were being very exact and ensuring everything was hung straight. Then we moved on to the sketches, again being very careful to keep them straight and use pushpins. But after we had laid out how it would look, the walls with hand drawn sketches seemed wanting for something. So Michael suggested we tape up the sketches with black electrical tape, and put them up haphazardly at all kinds of angles and heights. The tape was also used to frame posters and captions. When we finished, it looked like a wall from an inventor’s workshop. Gwen said that earlier the sketches were trying to be something they weren’t, which was probably the best way to put it.
The outer wall had a huge collage of all kinds of space related stickers, quotes, graphics, event ads, and documents. Then there were two inside walls for posters and some sketches that showed the progression of work (and some awesome doodles courtesy of Nyien), as well as two inside walls for all of the concept drawings. The final wall was in the very back, a large brown brainstorming sheet from years ago that to me looked the most like modern art. Once the art was on the walls, we put a table with all kinds of robots, microchips, motors, and other engineering paraphernalia in the middle of the room. Perhaps the coolest part was a tiny fraction of a string of Dyneema suspending a 20 lb. anvil in the air. All in all it ended up being a pretty cool looking gallery, I’m sorely upset at myself for not taking any pictures of it.
- Darius Tamboli
I have a feeling that most interns never see the inside of their supervisor’s apartment, and for good reason. It helps to separate work relationships from personal ones. But of course this is unavoidable when the company has no office and all their assets are at the founder’s house. Three days after meeting my new boss in person, I’m in his (quite large) apartment putting all relevant materials and future office supplies into boxes to move into the new office. I imagine his girlfriend is super stoked to have all that “junk” gone.
The new office space is in downtown Tacoma, right on “Pac Ave”, the local name for Pacific Avenue. It’s an open space layout, with us on the 2nd floor, and another company below. Both of us can hear everything the other says, so it’s a good thing they’re an ally and not a competitor. Once we packed up everything from the apartment into the new office, we begin sorting all the stuff we brought and laying out artwork for a Space Elevator exhibit we’re putting on this Saturday.
Michael is a kid in a candy store as we sort through a whole plethora of work from his past. He is overjoyed at finding all kinds of interesting sketches and illustrations from his old artist, the best of which contain captions like “more scantily clad space maidens!!!”, “world domination!” and “Ariel’s mom = totally hot”. We find all kinds of old memorabilia and artifacts from the original LiftPort projects, and lay out the coolest ones for the exhibit as Michael waxes poetic and Austin types. As the day ends we have a full exhibit but the office is still a bombsite. This is the first time I've written a blog post, guess that's crossed off some non-existent bucket list.
- Darius Tamboli