We have been enjoying our time in Taylor’s Falls Minnesota. We have settled into our seasonal spot in a great park. My days have amounted to chasing a toddler around the area. Corbin and I are having a fun time discovering the area around us. We take treks into the forest to poke frogs, we ride into the small town on my bike, and we play at the little park. So far it has been a low key summer.
About a year and half ago we built a startup that focused on a mobile platform for Political Candidates. It has been a nice little hobby. We have a great product but we haven’t done much marketing. Clients from across the world are finding us because we are one of the few companies offering the service to campaigns. Things have been going pretty steady and our client list has been growing. Bekki was invited to DC to speak at a conference for political campaign consultants. It was a surprise for us to be invited. It gave us an opportunity to share our product and do some networking. My sister took Corbin and we put the dogs in a Kennel. Our neighbor Lenny kept an eye on the coach. After living in the coach for three months it was strange to have to leave her. It was even harder to find business clothing to wear. I thought I had burned all my ties.
We left for our quick trip to DC on a stormy Saturday. We were delayed and diverted but finally made it to DC. I only had one stop on my list. Discovery Space Shuttle. I have been a Nasa geek my whole life. Even have the Spacecamp badge to prove it. I couldn’t pass up on seeing the shuttle in its new home in the Smithsonian Udvay Hazy Air and Space center. Bekki also didn’t want to pass up on the chance to see the shuttle so we took public transportation to the center.
The center is near Dulles Airport. Its about an hour from downtown DC. We took the bus out. The facility is a new addition to the National Air and Space Museum. I love aviation and this is the best Air and Space Museum I have ever been to. The facility is exceptional. We ran to see the shuttle and it took my breath away. Instead of looking like a pristine artifact it was a burnt beat-up looking hulk. Its like it just came back from space and the stresses of space flight are so evident. It looks like it has been strapped to a rocket, launched to 33k mph and returned against the friction of the atmosphere. Stunning. I spent some time just looking at it, just trying to take it all in. Its bigger in person and imposing in its hangar. I got goosebumps. This spacecraft nestled among the most important planes in our history has a key place. The Discovery launched the Hubble. It also went on the later repair and refurbishing missions. The engineering to make it work was staggering. Also part of the collection was the Enola Gay. The bomber clearly changed the world and saved many lives while destroying a city.
We rambled along the rest of the displays. The docents in the center were amazing as well. We listened to and then got a more private tour of a former Airforce engineers favorite planes. He also spent some time describing aviation during WW2 and not only the key airplanes but the people behind them. It was a history lesson all around. I could have spent days in the museum listening to the volunteers share their stories.
History in the Mall
Coming back into DC we decided to use Uber to catch a car. It was the most painless cab experience I have ever had. We spent the evening walking along the memorials. Its overwhelming to think about the sacrifices that the memorials represent. The three of us were silent for most of our walk. Our brains were mush and our legs were tired when we got back to the hotel.
Peak behind the curtain
The election conference was very interesting and worth while. I think most people would be surprised at the detail that the american voter is measured. Combined with the endless data is the actual “art” of campaigning. Campaigns are essentially startups that run for a short period of time. They either win or lose and don’t continue after the election. The Conference had attendees and speakers from the two main parties. It lead to some very humorous discussions. The industry was rocked with the recent loss of Eric Cantor. The campaigners were just as surprised as everyone else about the loss. But since it was their industry that should have been aware of the issues, everyone was sensitive to how they were being perceived. Bekki was on a featured panel of mobile experts. She knocked it out of the park. It feels great to have so many people positively validate the product you have been polishing for so long. We flew back to the rain in Minnesota. Corbin had grown over the four days and the dogs had gotten smaller.