Monday, April 27, 2009

Coolest field trip, ever!

Late in February, I had the pleasure of chaperoning a field trip to Pop's Cave near Richland Center, WI, with Sparkly Seacow's 7th grade class. I've been meaning to get to putting these pictures up for some time, but, for some reason, I haven't had energy for blogging, or much else, in recent months.

First we had a 90 minute bus ride. Then it was over the "river"...

... and through the woods.
I got the sense that some of the kids on the trip had never been out of the city before. Several of them seemed a bit scared. Our family has done a lot of camping, hiking and things of that sort, so it was odd to witness the reactions of people that don't have that opportunity.

Down a hole into the cave.

This is a view of the hole as seen from the inside. Since I had to use a flash, most of the pictures won't actually show what it looked like while we were inside. Once we got away from the entrance, it was much darker with the only light coming from our flashlights and headlamps.

One of the walls in the first chamber.

More of the first chamber. Most of the parts of the cave had names, but I don't remember all of them.

A wee bat. We tried not to disturb them, but just imagine a bus-load of middle school kids coming into your bedroom while you're trying to sleep. Poor bats.

Some of the kids taking a rest. That's Sparkly Seacow in the green jacket.

One of the teachers waiting for the mob to pass through a part of the cave called "The Birth Canal." We had a couple of adults go first, then some kids, more adults, more kids, ending with adults.

That's me waiting for the mob to pass through the birth canal. I got to be last. Those helmets sure look dorky, but I would bet that there wasn't a single person who didn't clonk their head in that cave at least a few times.

The tail end of the mob heading for "The Birth Canal."

This is probably my favorite picture of the bunch. I think you know the name of this passage.

Some of the rocks were translucent and would glow if you put a light on them.

Sparkly Seacow crawling through "The Mole Hole." It leads into a small chamber big enough to seat about five people.

One of the other adult volunteers squeezing through a tight space.

What a great trip! It's not often one has the opportunity to see a cave like this. The cave is on private property and it's pretty amazing that the owners of the property allow schools to visit. I hope the kids appreciated it as much as I did.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wisconsin Film Festival

Ms. Geranium, Sparkly Seacow and I went to see a collection of short films as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival. The films were of varying lengths, but most were under ten minutes. I thought some were very good, some not so good, and some were just weird. We ended up sitting next to Hannah Dallman, the director, writer and producer of one of the films, "Small Comforts." She was there with her young daughter and other family members. I enjoyed her film.

Here's another good one that we saw called "This is Umberto" by Anna Krutzik.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A few more from SXSW

The "Artist Pass" that allowed me to, umm..., wear an "Artist Pass", I guess. I'm not entirely sure that it gave me any special privileges beyond the ability to say I have a pass and you don't.

The only live shot I've seen of us playing at the festival. Photo courtesy of Wendy Lynn Staats of the band Sunspot. Note the Artist Pass on my left leg. Really glad I had that pass.

Here's Jeff and me doing the stupid rock pose with the hired young women, just like you see in Billboard Magazine! They were good sports about posing with us middle-aged rockers.
I would guess they weren't much older than my oldest daughter. Note that the woman in the middle is holding a picture of.... The Motor Primitives! In case you're wondering why everyone is wearing a Broadjam shirt but me, Broadjam is the company that sponsored the stage we played on and they gave us all shirts, but I had worn mine the day before. Besides, I generally don't like being an advertisement while on stage. I guess I'm just funny that way.
Photo by Robin Davies.