Last weekend, three of my unrelated blog topics–violin, geocaching, and science–came together. It started when Nan, an online friend who administers a violin Facebook group I am in, sent me a request for a sticker for her violin case.
She was decorating the case of an awesome new fiddle she had just bought, and she wanted to collect stickers from the large, international group of adult students in the Facebook group to showcase its diversity. She said, it could be something from where you live, something music related, but it doesn’t have to be. Just something about you.
I still wasn’t sure. Since my kids have gotten older I don’t have much in the way of stickers lying around the house. And anyway my violin case has a canvas cover, and stickers wouldn’t stick. I put the request in the back of my mind for a while: maybe inspiration would strike.
A few days later I went to the Mountain View Public Library, the library in the town where I live, to turn in a form for permission to give a talk there. I had been invited to read my story, “Bobbing for Bob” out of the geocaching anthology, Geocaching GPS, published last year. The librarian and I had also been discussing having a short intro to geocaching itself as part of the talk–what they are, how to find one, etc. There is a geocache already hidden at the library, and I thought it would be good for me to find it first before I told anyone else about it, or gave a presentation.
It was a multicache, meaning that you find the first stage with your GPS (or the Geocaching app on your phone) and then receive a clue there about where the second stage is, which actually has the container (some multicaches have more than two stages, but this one has just two). The first stage of this cache was by the statues. I have to admit, I love library statues, and I think they are great places to bring people for geocaches. For example, I miss the little girl statue who reads outside of the library of the town in MA where I used to live. She’s probably covered in snow right about now . . .
Inside, after a couple of red herrings, I found the cache. It was a nice big container, with lots of kid-friendly swag, including stickers. Like this one:
I saw it, and immediately thought of Nan. Not far from this library, also in Mountain View, is Moffett Field, site of the NASA Ames Research Center, and Hangar One, an old Navy hangar built in the 1930s, originally to house dirigibles. NASA Ames acquired Moffett Field from the Navy in 1994. Visible from miles away, this is what the hangar looked like when I lived here in the 1990’s, in grad school:
This is what it looks like now, after the outer panels were removed as part of the hangar’s restoration. Google has taken over all three Moffett Field hangars and plans to renovate them for use as research laboratories for the testing and assembly of robots, space rovers and other emerging technologies.
The sticker is emblematic of all the high tech around here. And I think that learning to play the violin as an adult is something akin to rocket science!