Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This is a picture of my dad, Fields Willie Cannick. He's been gone for a while now. Couldn't have gotten this far without him and few days go by when I don't wish I could pick up the phone and ask "What do you think about this?"

He was strong, opinionated, political, tough as nails, and could be known to be "difficult" on occasion. He's alive and well and living in the body of my eldest daughter, Jasmyne.

He was also, at the end of the day, the best supporter I could have asked for and he had my back even when he disagreed with what I was doing. Again, alive and well and in Jasmyne.

Even though he didn't play an instrument himself, Dad introduced me to music, in general, and to jazz, in particular. I discovered the music of Eddie Harris and Don Ellis during the summer of '68 working in my dad's shop.

Working on and off for Dad over the years I got a real sense of how much he was respected as a business man in the community and also as a man. I've sought to be as respectable as a man but was always intimidated by the businessman part. I thought I'd stay safe and cozy in academic settings for my career. Yet here I am launching ComputeSpace, LLC this year along with a lot of support from some very cool partners. Dad always said he thought I could be a better businessman than him. Doubtful, but we're about to find out.

Wherever you are, Dad, Happy Father's Day! And thanks for all the cash, drum and arranging lessons, Beaulieu cameras, cars, letting me turn the garage into a studio for the summer, and showing up to my lectures on space colonization and dragging your friends with you! I'm still the same old kid but, with each passing year, you seem to become a cooler guy!
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P.S. -- Happy Father's Day to John Allan, Robin Hau, Aaron Arutunian, Roberto Almodobar, Jon Chu, Pat Morrissey, Werner Cruz, Kevin Douglas, Dan Werthimer, Dave Anderson, Dave Fleming, big brother Jim, nephews Kano and Kelby, cousin Shavoree, Dr. Cortada, Rich Quistgard, Hao Tranh, and Werner Cruz.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Talking Astronomy


Lately I've been doing my part in the International Year of Astronomy by giving presentations on the contributions to modern astronomy by lots of rural astronomers. Seems right to point it out when you live up here in the Redwood country.

It's a challenge to go to some remote places or find auditoriums ( and insurance) for these talks but, when I give them, people seem to be really excited about them.

Anybody out there who thinks this is a good thing (as I do), I'd appreciate any help you can give by contributing to the Rural Astronomy Talk Fund I've set up on Paypal.

Thanks and, as my cousin Spike says, "Do the Right Thing!"