If you’ve been to this blog before you might have noticed I changed the header image. Previously I was using an image of the space shuttle in orbit over earth to reflect the adventures I have experienced over the past few months.

After thinking through my options I remembered that in December 2001 I started working on a header design for a personal website I was thinking about launching, but never did.

But it never fully captured who I am. It was close in many ways, but not quite right.

Using Adobe Photoshop I scanned items and pictures while also finding various images online — merging them together in a cohesive digital illustration. I tinkered with the design on and off until July 2004 — three and one half years — until I got busy on other projects.

When I found the design I instantly knew it was the perfect fit — though it needed some polishing (a few things had changed in the nearly four years since I last worked on it).

Looking through the evolution of the designs was a bit like looking through a photo album — the core component did not change, but many of the details did.

The design itself is very similar to its original incarnation, but many of the specifc items changed to more accureately mirror changes in my life over the past few years.

For people who know me, the relevance of some of the images will quite clear. The meanings behind some of the other images is reasonably self-evident — even to individuals who have never met me.

Still others might be a bit less obvious. And, considering that the only constant is change, I am sure I will modify this collage over time. My goal is to make it as timely and relevant to who I am in the present moment.

I won’t actually go into detail about what the various parts of the header mean, but would be happy to answer any questions via e-mail at doctorious (at) generative (dot) com.

California: land of surf, sun, and… snow?

I took the photos below on the morning of Wednesday, January 23, 2008 between roughly 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. as I made my way North on Interstate 5 through the Grapevine portion of the freeway (the area between Gorman, CA and Lebec, CA). This was the start of what I believe was the first major storm of the season.

By 3 p.m. that same day, the California Highway Patrol closed the 5 between Castaic and the base of the Grapevine; it remained closed through a good portion of the following day. I had planned to stay in Bakersfield that night anyway so this development didn’t immediately affect me.

However, the continued closure of the 5 the next day, Thursday, January 24, 2008, necessitated my taking the “long way” home which I normally drove on Mondays to get to my class in Palmdale: the 58 Freeway East through Tehachapi — my “favorite” drive (the topography is beautiful; I feel as if I am driving through a train set!).

Here are pictures from my journey (click the image for a larger version):

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Once I cleared the Grapevine and began the descent into the valley below (the portion of the 5 just before the 5/99 split) I saw a full rainbow! It began roughly over the freeway a few miles ahead and actually seemed to end at an IKEA distribution warehouse!

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photo from the 5 North (the Grapevine) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I hope you enjoyed these photos — more to come soon!