Author: shanmoon

The Story

Once upon a time,
there was a girl who loved dogs
and wanted to fly.
That was me.
The end.

Live to Fly! Fly to Live!

“Flight is freedom in its purest form,
To dance with the clouds which follow a storm;

To roll and glide, to wheel and spin,
To feel the joy that swells within;

To leave the earth with its troubles and fly,
And know the warmth of a clear spring sky;

Then back to earth at the end of a day,
Released from the tensions which melted away.

Should my end come while I am in flight,
Whether brightest day or darkest night;

Spare me your pity and shrug off the pain,
Secure in the knowledge that I’d do it again;

For each of us is created to die,
And within me I know,
I was born to fly.”

— Gary Claude Stoker

My Ukulele Wishlist

Just a wishlist of different ukuleles I would like to own if money was no object

  • Koaloha Red Label  or Black Label Concert Ukulele w/Lr Baggs 5.0 pickup
  • PIGEON TREE CUSTOM ADIRONDACK SPRUCE MACASSAR EBONY TENOR – this is a one of a kind, a real beauty
  • Rebel Livingston Tenor Uke – either the spruce top or cedar top version, no longer in production, only available used
  • Blackbird Clara eKoa Concert Ukulele with an Anuenue Air/Air pickup installed after the fact, strung high-G
  • Asonu Tahitian Whale 4-String (tahitian stringing)
  • aNueNue aNN-UC3K Bird Series Koa Concert Ukulele w/air air pickup
  • Petros Custom – Cedar Top, Macasser Ebony body, with the usual polynesian inlays. Unlikely to ever own one, though. I saw one for sale at HMS once, and it was $6K. Neck and neck for most beautiful sounding and looking uke I have ever seen/heard alongside the Pigeon Tree mentioned above.

Delighted to see my recent IEEE conference paper finally show up in Google Scholar and the IEEE Digital Library. I truly believe that the next wave of innovative technology solutions will embrace Affective Computing, i.e. computing systems that understand and adapt to human emotion.

S. M. Moon and Y. Qu, “A quantitative approach for determining pilot affective patterns during soaring flight simulation,” 2017 3rd IEEE International Conference on Computer and Communications (ICCC), Chengdu, 2017, pp. 2617-2624. doi: 10.1109/CompComm.2017.8323008

A Dream Realized

Dreams Do Come True
Dreams Do Come True

I walked outside this morning after the first good night’s sleep in years, and watched birds flit around the trees, singing on a beautiful sunny morning. My eye fell on the small dogwood tree in the front yard, where a colorful litle fabric airplane is hanging, its wind spinner turning in the breeze, and I started to cry.

You see, that little airplane has come a long, long way. Many many years ago, on the day I passed my private pilot check ride as a 17-year old high school senior, I flew from Gainesville to Cedar Key for my first flying adventure. Edna (the grizzled old crazy taxi lady) gave me a harrowing ride in her battered station wagon from the airport to the downtown Cedar Key area by the docks. While there I saw a little fabric plane sold by a local artist in a shop, and thought to myself “one day, when I have my own house on an airport and my own little seaplane, I will hang that little airplane in the yard and remember this day.” I knew the day that little airplane would commemorate would be a long time coming, and already I was worried how I would afford to continue flying.

For years I carried that little airplane with me in a box of precious things, and would take it out to look at it. There were some long dark years when I didn’t get to fly, and my whole world seemed awful, and I couldn’t even stand to look at the sky. That little airplane stayed hidden in a dark closet corner, buried, like I buried my memories of flight. And yet still I carried it with me everywhere I moved.

A few days ago, as I was looking through items stored away that I had not yet unpacked, I found the box with that little airplane, its colors still bright despite the long passage of the years. I hung it from a little tree in my yard, on the path to the hangar, and now every time I look out my office window, or step out the front door to go flying, it is there to remind me that sometimes dreams do come true.