I suddenly have the urge to get onto an old style airship and fly off to other lands. Not too surprising as my feet itch a little thanks to the Romanian part of my blood.
Airships make so much sense for long-distance travel and are so much more elegant than jets.
I’m sure I’ve posted it before but a member of the Brass Goggles forums and I once speculated that you could actually make an electric powered airship using steam as the lifting medium with a very low rate of loss. I think we decided the inside of the lifting bag had to be completely sealed and constructed so that the condensation rolled back down to the heater assembly instead of venting.
And from what I remember it wouldn’t have taken a lot of water to do just a fair amount of heat that was finely controlled.
That particular person is brilliant. I think he goes by the username HAK and was an actual steam engineer (in the design sense) for many years.
I’m envious of his, and other peoples’, ability to just run numbers in their heads. I understand many things, flows, logic, art, inspiration, but not math. That’s always been a barrier for me that I’m hoping to fix soon. (That and foreign languages.)
You’d think that would preclude me from designing anything but it really doesn’t. There are enough tools out there I can use to cross-check my ideas and enough people I can contact who know certain subjects much better than myself. I’m one hell of a data aggregator. ;-)
The problem a lot of times is I forget where I put it. ^_^
I was talking to my friend from Florida when we was visiting and he said that he memory (or problem with thereof) would be the one thing he’d fix immediately if he could. And I concur wholeheartedly. I’ve forgotten a good chunk of stuff that I really would like back. That and the whole “What did I come into this room for??” thing bothers me a bit.
My paternal grandmother had dementia and very likely Alzheimer's so there’s at least some genetic pre-disposition for these problems. On the other hand my maternal grandmother lived into her 90’s and was quite alert for the majority of those years so there is some hope.
It was strange to watch her age. I watched her slowly become more and more concentrated as a person. More and more “herself” as she got older and things like concerns for how society saw her burned away so to speak. It came to the forefront of my attention one day years ago when she and I were talking and I mentioned Hungarians (something she had always told us we were genetically) and she stopped and said that we were actually Romanian and was most emphatic that we were NOT Hungarian.
She specifically told me at that time that when she was growing up it was not good to be known as a Romanian lest they be thought of as a thieving gypsy. She never apologized for doing so either and it really didn’t mean a thing to me at that time. Though to this day I so wish I’d asked her more about our family history back then.
If it’s one thing that technology has given us it’s the ability to record those stories and that history before those people are gone. It’s physically possible at this time to sit and record someone with an unobtrusive micro camera and a digital recorder on their person. I’m not one for invading privacy but some stories your elders tell you might not come again and it’s worth catching them because they are often priceless.
I think that’s in part why I’m trying to write so much down now. I know that while my words may be horribly banal and uninteresting now my daughter may be interested in knowing them later when I’m not around.
I’ve always wanted to create great tomes of blank parchment and record my thoughts on them for posterity. And I’m working my way towards that but as with everything else it takes time. I really need to make a book press but work and home take obvious priority.
I think that’s something I worry about - living long enough to get all my projects done and all my ideas at least out there. I know conceptually that that’s impossible but it doesn’t stop me from trying.
And as my wife is fond of note I can be trying indeed... ;-)