Sunday, March 07, 2010

EMPS: Let's Look at the Numbers

For Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #79: Numbers, Carly wants to see "the numbers in our lives." This week I will have a few shots that take this literally, but some of the others might be a bit on the symbolic side. Still, numbers are symbols, so a symbolic representation of a symbolic representation is...well, conceptually interesting, anyway.

Let's start with her "Extra Credit," to find shapes of numerals in nature. I found a crude 8, at least one tilted 7 and a tilted 9 in these trees at Agua Caliente Park. Can you spot them?

When driving to California, as I did a week ago Thursday to Friday, I often stop at the Wheel Inn restaurant in Cabezon, CA, adjacent to the dinosaurs. Since I usually drive overnight and sleep in the car, the fact that it's "Open 24 Hours" is quite helpful. Too bad the "Robotic Dinosaur Exhibit" they recently opened behind the restaurant isn't so accommodating!

This Cabezon dinosaur seems quite happy about the "$75,000 CASH GIVEAWAY" advertised on a nearby billboard.

From Gallifrey One: Blackjack 21
Last weekend, of course, was my drive to California for the Gallifrey One: Blackjack 21 convention. The convention logo with its neon style 21 was in evidence in the main programming room. Here, former Doctor Who companion Deborah Watling (who played Victoria Waterfield in the 1960s) describes screaming for charity as her co-star Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) looks on.

Here's where we start to get less literal. From November 1963 to present, eleven actors have played the Doctor in Doctor Who on tv, each with his own unique costume. The semi-official name for each "regeneration" of the character is the ordinal number, e.g. "the Fourth Doctor," "the Tenth Doctor" and so on. Recently, however, there's been a tendency to call them "Ten" or "Eleven" (the new guy) etc. for short. Fans love to dress up as all of them at the conventions, but especially the most recent ones. Here we see a Seven, a Ten, an Eleven, a female interpretation of Ten, and another Ten. What does that add up to? Sorry about the blurring of Eleven's face. I was too low on batteries to use flash, and he moved!

Finally, back here in Tucson, I deal with numbers at St. Michael's all week long. A photo of a spreadsheet would be pretty boring, so let's have a look at this. This is the "Book of Pipes," a fundraising project of the church and a way to honor or remember someone by "buying" a pipe in that person's name. The church's  Æolian-Skinner Pipe Organ, built in 1959, has several thousand pipes. Each is defined by a section (Great, Swell, etc.), a type, a numerical length (are the 16' Contra Violone pipes, all 61 of them, really sixteen feet high, or does the apostrophe mean something else when discussing organs?) and so on. A person honored with a pipe gets a certificate stating exactly which pipe will forever be played in the person's name. This info is also recorded in the Book of Pipes, the large, handwritten book in the glass case seen here.

So a lot of numbers are written in that book, but that's just the beginning. The idea behind the Book of Pipes is to raise money to pay off the loans the church took out to buy the organ. The Book of Pipes donations are administered through the "Peace Fund" - as in peace of mind, not peace on Earth, although we're in favor of that, too. Accounting for the breakdown of money coming into the Peace Fund from the Graveyard Fund (to honor the deceased with a pipe), and from the Peace Fund and General Fund to pay for principal and interest on the Antiphonal organ loan is the trickiest, most time consuming thing I do as St. Michael's bookkeeeper-accountant. So you may not see any giant numerals in this photo (it actually says Opus 1352, or maybe Opus 135Z, on the second line below the SOLI DEO GLORIA bit; but that's hard to see here), but trust me, it's all about the numbers for me!



Carly said...

Hi Karen

Nice collection of numbers, and a varied way to find them. I like the "Find the numbers" game with the first pic. I found other stuff in there as well!


Jama said...

I see the numbers! love your collection of photos here.

Alan said...

Have you noticed much change in the type of people who are attending the convention from when you first attended? They look younger, and there seems to be more women. Do the new fans have any interest in the old classic series?


Mike said...

Maybe the dinosaur won the prize. That's why he's so happy. :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Alan, I saw fans who ranged in age from kids through seniors, with lots of people in their twenties or thirties. Sure, many of them were dressed as Ten or other 2005-present characters, but there were also people in that age group dressed as earlier Doctors, or the Brig, Zoe, etc. And the panels involving Frazer Hines, John Levene et al were VERY well attended. It looked to me like most fans appreciate the entire 1963-present run, to one degree or another. That says a lot for the future of the show and the conventions as well.

maryt/theteach said...

Karen, thanks for commenting at my post of the little red lighthouse. Yes I did add the light flare for the Round Robin Photo challenge. :)