The Bio Image Informatics 2006 meeting was a great meeting with lots of discussion, some really cool projects and interesting science. Some of the most notable projects even got me interested in examining a new model system (new to me), C. elegans to develop a new metabolomic atlas in a organism that we know the genetics of and including the lineage of all the cells in the organism. Additionally, there were some new software tools developed by the group at Janelia Farms that will simplify this work and decrease the size of the databases significantly. Fuhui from Janelia gave a great talk.

After the meeting, I had a little bit of time to get out. As I have said before, UCSB is a great place to simply walk around with so much to see and photograph. It was a little overcast, so many of the opportunities I was hoping for photography around the golden hour simply did not materialize and i had to satisfy myself with other shots.

Aside from the weather, it was also a treat to meet with my friends there, eat a tasty meal with Ken and Steve at Fresco’s in Santa Barbara (always a good experience) and spend some more time with some of the software engineers and developers. P.S. Ken, thanks for the chocolate mouse/truffle thing from Fresco. It was fabulous!

Fortunately, I also got some time this morning before flying out this morning to spend some time with Steve, his wife Dinah who incidentally is a fellow Texan who does some amazing glasswork and their pug Hercules before going for a walk with Ken and his Basenjis to do some birding around the North end of the UCSB campus.

The birding was great. Ken and I even saw what I initially thought was a red headed woodpecker, but turned out to be an acorn woodpecker. Who knew?

Herons were also present in abundance. Check out the almost dinosaur/raptor like appearance of this blue heron.

I’ll leave you with a selection of images taken from the plane of my trip out here to Santa Barbara and back starting with an image of Las Vegas and McCarran airport from 30,000 ft.

Jean, Nevada with an airstrip used for skydiving and such as well as a prison to the lower right of the airport.

I stopped by the Barstow Marine Corps logistics base back in 1990 where they have an astounding variety of equipment related to the Marine mission including M1 tanks and more Hummers than you could imagine. In the lower right portion of the image, you can see one of the solar tower energy facilities near Barstow, California. (OT story that I remembered flying over Barstow: My friend Bill and I got a ticket in the summer of 1988 by the CHP outside of Barstow for speeding. We were guilty as charged, but the police made us take everything out of the car and put it on the side of the freeway at 11:00 at night and then left us to pack everything back up in the pitch black dark….. Nice. Thanks guys.)

This is the Helendale radar cross sectional research facility operated by Lockheed Martin‘s Skunk Works, the folks that brought you the F-117 Stealth Fighter and the B-2 Stealth Bomber among many other historic vehicles like the U2 and SR-71 Blackbird. This facilities purpose is to test various electromagnetic spectrum properties of equipment and avionics on aircraft and spacecraft. It is most notably used to determine how “big” things appear when imaged by radar.

Edwards Air Force base, where the Air Force Flight Test Center calls home as well as the location of the West Coast Space Shuttle landing strip. The history of this place is thick with aircraft testing from the end of WWII with the P-59 to the Bell X-1, the first plane to break the supersonic speed barrier to the current F-35 and F-

An enormous wild fire was burning in the Los Padres National Forest to the West of Castaic lake.

Victorville airport, the former George Air Force Base. The square area off to the left of the runway is an aircraft storage area.

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