Day 4 – April 8, 2014

The car is packed. The house is clean. I handed a set of keys to the new tenant Chris. I said goodbye to the plants and dinosaurs. I type anxiously.

I’m minutes away from hitting the road on the great American adventure. I started reading again Jack Kerouac’s famous “On the Road.” I find exhausting and lonely his hitchhiking and sleeping in flophouses. Small town Wyoming seems so far away and isolating.

We denizens of the Bay are told that San Francisco is quite the cultural bubble. I leave San Francisco for events, like festivals, attended by other San Franciscans. After six year here, I feel normal in this city, but will my strange habits “fly” in the rest of the country? Can I chit-chat with farmers, veterans, insurance salesmen, hunters, housewives, and mechanics? Have I become too weird?

At least the previous year of chaos and soul-searching instilled confidence for my eccentricities. I roar at people. They roar back. I find that many cherish the unusual more than they care to admit. Furthermore, doing your own thing gives others license to do their own thing.

I bought years ago a bunch of high-intensity LED lights that hook up by phone cord to a control panel. I installed the lights in white, plastic IKEA lamps that resembled flowers. The flower project was annoying to assemble and take apart. Weary friends spent hours digging frustrated trenches to lay the hookup wiring.

Last fall, I changed the configuration to put six lights on the faces of a one-foot cube. From each cube face pokes out a 2-foot tall white cone. I programmed a microcontroller to flash patterns around the cube.

With the cube finished, I tackled the other four platonic solids. There be a tetrahedron (4), octahedron (8), dodecahedron (12), and icosahedron (20). This spring, I built the remaining platonic solids, except for the largest of icosahedron. As with the cube, each solid is stellated with 2-foot white cones. An inflatable sphere within each solid forces the structure into regular geometry. The dodecahedron is 7-feet tall.

On a trip across the country, who needs a tire jack, road flares, and tent? I packed my platonic solids. I plan to unpack, install, and light up these spiky contraptions at each major stop on my journey. My brother and I can throw a party in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I can teach my nieces in New York basic geometry. I can show kids why to sew and solder. I can hang the platonic solids at three upcoming festivals: Beltane in Tennesee, Firefly in Vermont, and Mutek in Montreal.