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2018/08/26 IFR-like Flight to Burning Man and Back
π 2018-08-26 01:01 in Bm, Flying
On the flight up, we happened to fly by the Delta where we had ephemerisle a few weeks prior



By the time we go to pyramid lake, the visibility was pretty terrible due to fires in the area and if I weren't for GPS, I wouldn't have gotten to Burning Man. It was very hard to see even when I got there. It took several passes until I was finally able to find the runway and keep it in view long enough to get aligned with it



once on the ground you could see, but in the air, not so much
once on the ground you could see, but in the air, not so much

As usual, we taped the plane carefully:


The flight back was slightly nicer. The plane was packed with luggage we had to bring back. It was monday by then, so many people had left already:


still some car pulsing
still some car pulsing

city looks more thin by then
city looks more thin by then


both the man and temple had burned by then
both the man and temple had burned by then




The flight back was pretty uneventful:


Moffett
Moffett


2018/08/26 Burning Man 2018, I Robot
π 2018-08-26 00:00 in Bm
Like the previous years, it was a lot of work to process/fix/sort all the pictures and write this summary report (Over 4000 pictures this year, trimmed down to 2600, and 274 selected as the better ones sorted in different categories, 191 are in this page because I'm not good at picking :) ). All pictures are geotagged, so you can click on them to see where they were.
As a way to say thanks if you enjoy the report, share it with your fellow burners, or friends who might be interested in burning man.

If you'd like to see reports from previous years, you can go to my main BM page, and especially if you don't know burning man, you should read my 2002 page which has more of an introduction.

If you'd like to use my pictures in a commercial setting, drop me a line to discuss and I can give you full resolution pictures (marc<at>merlins.org).
If you'd like to say thanks with cash, please donate money to one of the many camps and art installations that are often out of pocket after burning man.

Summary:

  • Flight and Airport (summary in this page) or open a tab to Flight and Airport (picture album)
  • Black Rock City (summary in this page) or open a tab to Black Rock City (google photos) Black Rock City (local picture album)
  • Art (summary in this page) or open a tab to Art (google photos) Art (local picture album)
  • Camps (summary in this page) or open a tab to Camps (google photos) Camps (local picture album)
  • People (summary in this page) or open a tab to People (google photos) People (local picture album)
  • Fire (summary in this page) or open a tab to Fire (google photos) Vehicles (local picture album)
  • Vehicles (summary in this page) or open a tab to Vehicles (google photos) Fire (local picture album)
  • Temple (summary in this page) or open a tab to Temple (google photos) Temple (local picture album)
  • The Man (summary in this page) or open a tab to The Man (google photos) The Man (local picture album)
  • Conclusion
  • Tips
  • Thanks
  • Can't believe it's been 16 years since my first burning man, and the 10th year for me. This was my first time arriving on sunday, giving us more time to see things without having to race around.
    I got a burner's license to celebrate:


    I again tried to enjoy the moments and interactions more than bike every last street, but I still covered a lot of ground. I biked 318km/197 miles in 7.5 days, which is a record for me. It is half the distance from San Francisco to LA on playa dust with a not so good bike. I did not have to worry about RC flying this year, unlike 2016



    I did have a projet this year, a giant (well, giant for home) 3.5ftx3.5ft Neopixel panel with 4096 LEDs which was on display at DustFish:



    my hastily built electronics somehow survived the playa dust
    my hastily built electronics somehow survived the playa dust

    Speaking of which, got many great comments on my shirt, including someone who said "Everyone stop! This guy won burning man" ;-)
    If you want to learn more about how my shirt was made, you can go to this page.

    While I had a high tech shirt with both front and back LED panels (1728 LEDs total), I was not the only one with a lit shirt:





    my friend Chad Steinglass from the FastLED group I've been hanging out at while writing my shirt code
    my friend Chad Steinglass from the FastLED group I've been hanging out at while writing my shirt code





    Black Rock City

    The flight in was tricky to say the least, smoke and high winds with close to 0 viz when we arrived. It was my first time flying into burning man and virtually seeing none of the city, and definitely not the man. Seeing the runway was very hard, but we eventually found it long enough to land. Flight pictures here

    The wind and viz were bad enough that there was a bus at the airport that did not want to leave because the driver said she couldn't see anything. So, we walked towards town, eventually got a ride close to esplanade and given that it was still sunday, we found some green playa bikes that were barely good enough to get us to camp (they were hard to ride, especially with luggage).

    I'm not sure when BAIT, Burn Area Imprecise Transit, started, but cool to see it:



    Anyway, after going through customs, we eventually found a ride to our camp (very long walk from the airport if you have luggage). For the rest of BRC, I've given many pictures of the essentials in my prior reports, I therefore refer you to them for more pictures I don't need to repeat here. Of course, it was a robot theme this year





    this RC washing machine was really cool
    this RC washing machine was really cool

    Camps

    This got us to Dustfish who was nice enough to host us again this year. Thanks Opal!

    Opal giving us a welcome briefing
    Opal giving us a welcome briefing

    Like my first year, nothing fancy for our home, just a tent, although I brought enough tarps to make shade for it:


    brought 40W of solar panels
    brought 40W of solar panels

    which helped charge all the electronics
    which helped charge all the electronics

    sadly the panels weren't enough, I was using about twice as much as I was producing (top right)
    sadly the panels weren't enough, I was using about twice as much as I was producing (top right)

    Outside of Jennifer who was able to join this year, my two other passengers, JT and Joyce, were at Camp Soft Landing, so we went to visit several times to say hi and attend some of the talks:

    the teahouse was popular as usual
    the teahouse was popular as usual


    Rick Doblin, director of MAPS
    Rick Doblin, director of MAPS

    This year, Jennifer was with me to go visit all the theme camps that were there. I think we probably found 95% of them:


    some people tried unnecessary high five really hard, throwing people in the air to catch the higher ones
    some people tried unnecessary high five really hard, throwing people in the air to catch the higher ones




    uuum, ok :)
    uuum, ok :)



    the obstacle bike course was fun again
    the obstacle bike course was fun again


    viewing platforms were very welcome
    viewing platforms were very welcome

    despite the lack of water, things grow on the playa
    despite the lack of water, things grow on the playa









    man museum is still fun to see
    man museum is still fun to see





    awesome giant size 3d printed rotating heart. i have a small version of it
    awesome giant size 3d printed rotating heart. i have a small version of it


    I took Jennifer to the Black Rock Wine Cellar
    I took Jennifer to the Black Rock Wine Cellar




    I'm assuming this is part of one of the races they have around the playa
    I'm assuming this is part of one of the races they have around the playa

    baby cheetah camp was replaced with Nicolas Cage camp :)
    baby cheetah camp was replaced with Nicolas Cage camp :)



    Thank you to all the camps that were offering yummy food and drinks


    grilled cheese is a BM specialty
    grilled cheese is a BM specialty


    champagne, sure thank you :)
    champagne, sure thank you :)


    yummy steak
    yummy steak

    these guys came equipped. Thank you!
    these guys came equipped. Thank you!


    ice cream too
    ice cream too

    fondue was awesome
    fondue was awesome



    Then, there is the issue of cookie cutter camps that are sold to pay and arrive folks. Many burners don't really love this, then again BM is about radical inclusion. Is there a right answer?



    while others are likely just people who brought the same tents, literally :)
    while others are likely just people who brought the same tents, literally :)

    A few more funny signs from this year:



    Some Camps are also interesting to visit at night of course:



















    My friend Tinic still had Duck Pond, with good music and a stocked bar:


    Tinic and I go back 20 years, funny to run back into him on the playa
    Tinic and I go back 20 years, funny to run back into him on the playa

    One camp had 4 decked out tents available to win for the night:





    This leaves us with sound camps. Opulent Temple was a clear winner this year. They put out a great show with a solid lineup, including trance (thanks guys!). Listen to the video summary






    But they were not the only ones:







    awesome fire effect in this one
    awesome fire effect in this one




    And then, there was the 747, the biggest one yet. It cost more to move to the playa, than to purchase and deck out. It was crowdfunded and was a labour of love. Well done guys:








    I got a tour during the day on sunday, nice of them to give guided tours most of that day:





    People

    Of course Burning Man is is nothing without its people, here are some shots:





    ran into the french maid parade again. I used to try and find where they started from. No need, easier to let them find me :)
    ran into the french maid parade again. I used to try and find where they started from. No need, easier to let them find me :)


    Of course, even cooler at night:




    And I ran into friends of course:

    Scott
    Scott

    Afik
    Afik

    Fixit
    Fixit


    Jennifer had fun exploring BM again:



    And then there is the billion bunny march:








    Critical tits, a few pictures only given that it's difficult to ask for permission





    I also caught a few people biking by as part of critical dicks:



    The last day, I found this on a playa, a human wrecking ball:




    Art

    Didn't quite make it for an art tour this year but did my own :)





    The Orb was "interesting". It was used to display laser movies at night:




    As always, as we reach sunset, things got better again:



    some people got to climb it before it was banned as the structure was not very sound
    some people got to climb it before it was banned as the structure was not very sound









    I went back to Sonic Runway, quite cool as always:



    Hexatron was also quite cool:




    I'm told I blent in quite well :)
    I'm told I blent in quite well :)

    Paraluna was a new one, nice too:


    The color wheels were quite nice, and it was quite cool how they could stack up and climb:



    Great to get some elevated night views:



    A Dutch university team brought a lot of hardware to do a drone show. The lowlight was the posted times that were confusing got pepole to come and wait for a show that wasn't happening, as well as terrible perimeter control (they wanted to do their own with volunteers and it wasted 30-45mn per show as a result, a damn shame when the artery was ready to give them experienced perimeter folks that would have done this properly). People pointed out to me that I shouldn't complain about a free show, but waiting a combined 3H+ there took a lot of time away from other nice things I could have seen.
    All that said, the show was interesting. It was a flying swarm. I personally prefered intel-like shows where the drones drew shapes and letters, but that's just a matter of preference:

    peek into the base they setup. No small feat...
    peek into the base they setup. No small feat...

    hello world test to check the wind
    hello world test to check the wind



    Another one was the Rainbow Bridge that had very cool patterns on display, including pacman:





    Sextant had its Tesla Coil again:



    and when I was able to be up all night, sunrise is even better:


    someone made a cloud machine
    someone made a cloud machine

    don't even ask me how this bird got here
    don't even ask me how this bird got here

    Jaguara eating the sun
    Jaguara eating the sun

    Vehicles

    As usual, I enjoyed all the crazy vehicles, art carts, and bike-like constructions :)







    Of course, it gets even better at night:
















    Some coworkers built some very cool LED surfboards



    Jaguara was new and super pretty. Close 2nd to Mayan Warrior:



    The winner was still Mayan Warrior though:



    And of course you had bikes too:

    many bikes for rent
    many bikes for rent

    nice to see neopixels on a bike
    nice to see neopixels on a bike

    and more
    and more

    Many camps were nice enought to offer bike repair services and help. Thank you:


    Fire

    Besides the main man burn, there were lots of other burns and fire dancing
    Remember to stop by the Artery for daily burns:


    the size of perimeter around a burn gives you a clue of how nice it may be
    the size of perimeter around a burn gives you a clue of how nice it may be




    the train burn had many fireworks
    the train burn had many fireworks

    eventually the 2 trains collided and burnt
    eventually the 2 trains collided and burnt

    Big Polinator also had nice fireworks
    Big Polinator also had nice fireworks



    Then came worm watch
    Then came worm watch


    The Man

    Turns out they still had some kind of man like statue in the middle, and I don't want to spoil the end, but it got burnt :)


    waiting for the burn
    waiting for the burn

    the pre-burn show was excellent as usual
    the pre-burn show was excellent as usual





    Pony!
    Pony!


    After the burn was well over, the BBQ crew was back:


    by sunrise, it was edible, well done.
    by sunrise, it was edible, well done.

    Temple

    This year, I decided to make BM a full experience, so I elected to stay for the temple burn. The temple was very nice again:







    There was a really cool silent piano you could listen to with headphones. Very cool idea and setup:



    Speaking of pianos, William Cenote had his LED Grand Piano at Dustfish:


    Then came the temple burn:



    My friends Joyce and JT
    My friends Joyce and JT




    Conclusion

    This was my second burn where I was able to enjoy it the new way, and be up all night. Lots of things to see, great night. It feels that the night went by quickly despite the time distortion. Weather was much better than my last burn where we had a heavy dust storm during the night and I literally had to bike blind using my GPS, hoping not to run over someone laying across the playa.

    The temple burn night was interesting to see again after so many years. Much more low key party-wise given that many people are already gone, and people have to strike the next morning, but still worth seeing for sure. The next morning, after getting up and packing up our own stuff, blondie was super nice, gave us a ride back to the airport in our boat art car, and we flew home:


    I hope you enjoyed this report. Feel free to say thanks to me by simply sharing it with your friends, and see you on the playa in the future (or you'll see me at night with my lights).

    Tips

  • My 2002 report has a bit more of an introduction: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/bm/2002
  • My 2014 has more up to date tips, have a look at them: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/bm/2014/#Tips
  • http://www.burningman.com/media/doc/preparation/tip_sheets/bm08_tipsheet.pdf
  • http://overyonderlust.com/must-know-burning-man-tips-for-newbies
  • http://sfist.com/2012/08/27/bay_area_burners_bestow_burning_man.php
  • http://www.anybodyburns.com/bmhintstips.htm
  • Thanks

    Thank you to everyone who contributed to burning man by:
  • designing/bringing/building art installations, as well as art cars
  • building camps that were offering music, drinks, fries, crepes, brownies magic or not :), or anything else
  • volunteering anywhere
  • sharing with others in any other way. This page was my way to share back with you, please share and enjoy :)
  • See more images for Burning Man 2018, I Robot
    2018/08/20 Bill Graham Dreamstate SF
    π 2018-08-20 01:01 in Clubbing
    It's been a year since the last Dreamstate in San Francisco. I couldn't wait... Jennifer was able to join me on the 2nd day, hopefully it was fun enough for her too:


    TF represent, as always
    TF represent, as always



    The lineup was solid, with two rooms even. Day #1:

















    Day #2:












    As always, it's about the people:


    my friend Aaron
    my friend Aaron















    Very nice neopixel backpack, based on my code. Well done:



    It was a great time, 'till next time.

    See more images for Bill Graham Dreamstate SF
    2018/08/10 Trance Family SF evening at Mezzanine
    π 2018-08-10 01:01 in Clubbing
    It was supposed to be Paul Oakenfold playing for us, but sadly he called in sick that day, so a few local DJs stepped in for us, and DJ Mars took over the lead spot for the night. While I didn't love what he played, it was nice to see my friends and DJ Blur playing the 2 hours before that.






    While it was not the night it was supposed to be, it was still good times.

    2018/08/07 Anniversary Dinner Meadowood
    π 2018-08-07 01:01 in Dining
    Jennifer booked us a table at Meadowood 3 months early when their calendar opened up. It's a competitor to French Laundry in Napa, which features Californian food instead of French food.

    It was a fancy 10 course menu, well presented, and not as much food as French Laundry (both good or bad depending on how you look at it).
    The food itself was good, including a nice helping of good tasting caviar, but the French person in me was disappointed at the total lack of any bread, and when I asked about some, all they had to offer was sourdough, which I politely declined :)

    The desserts were ok, but not to the same level as a French restaurant like French Laundry, but I'm obviously biased :)

    All in all, it was still a good meal which we quite enjoyed, and their reservations were easier to get than French Laundry, so that's also a plus. A few pictures:















    See more images for Anniversary Dinner Meadowood

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