Live Launch Off the Bucket List!

I don’t know if you all know I keep my bucket list online.  I haven’t updated it in ages, but at one point it was a publicly editable wiki (I know Ferf knew… nothing like putting things on someone else’s bucket list, is there?).  Now I lock it down a bit just to avoid putting temptation out to the rest of the world.

On Dec. 5th, 2006 (12 years ago!), I added “Watch a shuttle launch” to the list, where it lingered until Feb. 2012, when, due to the retirement of the Space Shuttle, I marked the Bucket List item forever “Failed”.

This past weekend Mary Ann and I got to watch the SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite, near Vandenberg Air Force Base. and I have now crossed watching a launch off of the bucket list!  (Also, I belatedly crossed off writing a novel, which I did for NaNoWriMo a while back).

Here’s the teaser pic:

Awesome atmospheric effect of the M-Vac firing into the atmosphere.

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Magic, Dolphins, Astronauts, Stars, and birthdays and things…

So the last couple of weeks were pretty epic. Li’l Bro Joe came out to visit for his birthday, we used tickets Mary Ann got for the Magic Castle, which is pretty cool by itself, but we also went on a whale-watching boat… er… didn’t see any whales, but the dolphins were great and I got one of my new favorite pictures… also the Perseid meteor shower was up so we went with a bunch of SpaceX people… I got to meet the astronauts we’re sending on our first crew missions… So many ellipses! I’ll let the pictures do the work:


Awesome Dolphin Jump Zoom

We got to meet Astronauts and ask them questions! And this very clear photo made it to Ars Technica –

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Falcon 9 Block 5 Flight 2 and Star Wars

There’s a passing comment in the San Francisco Chronicle’s original review – on May 27, 1977 – of Star Wars, that quips:

spaceships are beat-up and dirty (the nearest garage is light years away?)

I don’t remember when I first heard about why this was, but George Lucas apparently coined the term “Used Universe” when describing the decision. Many movies set in space have pristine looking spaceships that are brand-new looking even after zooming from planet to planet all the time. The Star Wars Prequels did this to a crazy degree.

This ship actually gets dirty. Weird how travel and space battles will do that to something.

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Birthday (and a Conference) in Seattle

Who am I to turn down a trip to Seattle for a Microsoft Conference on my birthday weekend when someone gives us a free pass? No one, that’s right, which is why we went!

Seattle is gorgeous — Paradise on Mt. Rainier, and Coldwater Lake near Mt. St. Helens are two of my new favorite places in the world. The ridiculous amount of photos we took are more easily consumed on Google here: (Most everything) and here: (the Chihuly glass museum, which got it’s own folder just because).

But here are a few highlights:

2018 Aerospace Games (aka Working Here Month 6)

Some pics from the 2018 Aerospace Games — Go SpaceX! Of note, half of these images are what happen when you accidentally forget that you set your camera on insane-ISO and Manual Focus last time you used it. But eventually the issue was identified and resolved! I’m not sure we won this year, but we had the best shirts unquestionably.

Anyway… I got the camera working for the pyramid competition and then sort of zonked out, but it was a blast! Great job everyone!