Inspired by Quality

01Each of us has unique skills, knowledge, interests & experiences that define what we like. For Dave Taylor, diverse & broad are two adjectives I would use to describe the artistic influences of his life & his home. We share an appreciation for Frank Lloyd Wright as well as interests in perspectives of mass communication. I am glad to call him a friend.

02I first met Dave working on HBO Boxing sometime in the mid 90’s. He was one of the first “next-gens” that understood the mechanics of Remote Live TV. He had recently graduated from the ASU/Walter Cronkite school. Years later I found out he indeed met “Uncle Wally” He also had the digital perspective to quickly utilize a new tool called EVS. This Hard Drive Replay device would rapidly change the formatting of Live TV Remotes. The device picked up the nickname of ELVIS. Dave could make it sing.

03Unlike many mid-life singles, he has a keen sense for integrating style with function in his home. By his own admission, he’s an UberGeek. He is designing & building a programmable home theater. As an example, ifyou want to watch Kubrick’s film 2001 Space Odyssey…he likes Stanley as I do…he has programed a 20-minute mix of music from that era.  Monitors, mounted vertically, show posters of other films from 1968.  All of this is to set the mood while enjoying a cocktail. The Prairie style columns with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired inserts are a design touch that can’t be ignored.

04 copyThe sound system is tuned for the back 2 seats & the distance from the 102-inch screen is set for immersive panoramic viewing. As music from the era fades the lighting dips & the movie begins. If you want he can also program previews from other films from that year. It is still a work in progress because he realizes it takes time to achieve quality. His vision blends technology & style creating a unique media experience.

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His antique electronic toys are classic home Audio Video. The Philco Predicta Pedestal set is wired to show DVD’s so we watched an episode of the Twilight Zone. Since Dave is about a generation younger than me I asked him what influenced his style. He quickly replied that Mad Med influenced his appreciation for an old school perspective. He also appreciates any endeavor where people create quality.

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With more forethought than many, he decided to set himself up to be energy independent. He did his research & installed a solar farm to meet his needs. The land between the house & the panels has recently been planted with fruit trees that will soon block the view of the panels. Fluent with technology, he likes his toys & he knows how to plan for his future with an overall style. It’s easy for me to respect a person like that.

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This is a look inside the type of office he works in. Dave doesn’t sit at the helm of the WWE Star-ship but he and the other EVS operators keep the wheels turning while keeping the engines from falling off. I have tremendous respect for ALL the WWE crew! They create one of the most sophisticated Live TV Remotes I’ve ever experienced! And they do it over 100 times a year. Dave easily fits into this very talented crew.

08In his spare time while traveling, he edited a 52 episode series of music Mash-Ups under the moniker of the Forensic Editor on YouTube. Our musical tastes differ but I can easily follow his storytelling approach to music, which on Jumping Jack Flash spans 45 years & 15 performances. These “for-fun” productions are video time capsules weaving music into a different dimension. If you enjoy music check out his work with this link.

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I believe one of the roots of Dave’s many talents is music. He understands how all of the components come together in a way that tiny details become important to the story or the event. In my mind, he is a digital wizard with the understanding that every tale is analog with a beginning, a middle & an end. Oh yea…he has that left-handed creative thing happening. The places I visited on my road-trip were enjoyable. However, spending a day with a friend I don’t get to see often enough really added inspiration to my journey.

The Triple Play of Motivation

01I arrived before the doors opened at The Mystic Harbor Seaport Museum & saw bird activity in a rain garden. I noticed a frequent landing area & snapped off some decent images. Watching them fly on the breeze was a prelude for seeing some old sailboats.

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The signature exhibit is the Charles W. Morgan. Like most boats large or small they don’t make pretty pictures sitting at the dock. Built in 1841 she is the last wooden whaling ship. Voyages lasted from 9 months to 5 years during her 80 years of hunting whales. The Seaport took 3 years to make her seaworthy & she sailed on her 38th voyage to New England seaports in 2013. If I hear the Morgan is going to be setting sail, a repeat of my last road trip may be in order.

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Last Summer I made an unsuccessful attempt at getting images of the replica Norwegian Longship the Draken Harald sailing on the Great Lakes. With a symmetrical bow & stern powered by a single square sail, she is a style of a boat not seen on the water for hundreds of years. After taking the Erie Canal across New York last fall she ended up at Mystic for the winter. Images of her at the dock without a sail are blah. However, the detail of the craftsmanship put into the ornamented patterns is very impressive.

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Who doesn’t enjoy the sounds of a good sea shanty? The rhythm of the songs was used onboard ships to coordinate the hauling of the many lines for the sails. They were work songs where lyrics & tempo were customized for the task. I didn’t learn if the position of shanty-man was assigned or earned by a member of the crew. If I could go back in time I think that is a job for me.

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Using nothing but hand tools, barrel makers during the 1800’s are a testament to the ability of human craftsmanship. When these barrels were full of the oil processed from the blubber of whales the ship would return home. For some ships that would be 80,000 gallons. The discovery of less expensive petroleum in Titusville, PA replaced the markets for whale oil. Trying to comprehend how close we came to the extinction of whales just because we had to fill these barrels with oil makes me question the judgment & motivation of the industry surrounding this short-sighted business.

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I would occasionally get a call from a friend about producing a video that I would make enough money to buy “that wooden sailboat I had dreamed of.” He didn’t understand that the purchase price is only a small part of the equation. My respect & thanks go to all of those that routinely do the maintenance on these gorgeous yachts. During WWII the schooner Brilliant was a submarine patrol boat. Now she is an offshore classroom for teaching seamanship.

07The Seaport Museum is really a port village with shops, working craftsmen & displays of nautical history. I was anticipating seeing their collection of figureheads. I was less than thrilled with the lighting & the room but surprised at the diversity.

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I knew Mystic was a working shipyard but taken back when I saw the current project of rehabbing the Mayflower II. This 60-year-old replica of the boat that brought pilgrims to Plymouth almost 400 years ago is big. It is 106 feet long with a displacement of 236 tons. It is a unique opportunity for the 30 plus workers who are involved in making this vessel seaworthy. Sailboat, wood & history…yea this place is a three-fer for my inspiration. Maybe I will plan a return trip in 2019 when the Mayflower sails for Plymouth to get sunrise images of her on the water.

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Accurate time is something we take for granted. Long before GPS satellites, the only way to navigate at sea was by taking settings of the sun or stars with a sextant & plugging that info into an equation. Part of that equation requires using the precise time. Making accurate clocks that could work on land like this one were easy compared to the challenge of making a chronometer that would work aboard a ship sailing long distances. An Englishman, John Harrison was a self-educated watchmaker & carpenter who solved the problem of east/west navigation in the 1770’s by making a clock accurate to within a minute over 50 days. The cost of these devices was 30% of the cost of a boat. My time wandering through sailing history by was priceless.