Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Launch

My participation in the home buying purchase was as active as possible from 8,000 miles away. My wife was in Orlando for less than a week to meet her new team and start the process. By keeping me out of it (I didn't even see pictures before we made our first offer), she did an excellent job. One of the unplanned benefits is that our backyard (i.e., our pool area) faces east. I thought the primary benefit of this was that it's shaded in the afternoons which, I'm going to have to guess, can only make the humid summers somewhat more bearable.

While we were at dinner last weekend with our new neighbors, they mentioned that it was unfortunate that the shuttle program had ended because there were perfect views of launches from the back of the houses on our side of the street. I'm sure we could hold a grand debate over the viability of the shuttle program, but just about everyone has to admit; seeing a launch from your house would have been pretty cool.

Earlier tonight that same neighbor texted Lindsay saying there was a planned rocket launch from Cape Canaveral at 7:38pm. Since Lindsay was sitting at another aeronautical landmark, O'Hare International Airport, I decided to look into the eastward sky from the back deck, knowing neither where the rocket may emerge from the horizon nor how large it would look.

Sure enough, shortly after 8:38pm a small fireball appeared directly east out from my patio, slowly climbing up through the night sky. Since we're approximately 40 miles east of the site, it was a relatively small in the context of the entire horizon but still large enough that you weren't going to miss it. I tried to take pictures but was on an AUTO setting and taking them at night while holding the camera. The results weren't pretty and not to be published. Perhaps I'll consult with my trusty photography coach, Colin Howe, and see what I might be able to do for future opportunities (though something tells me it's going to involve the purchase of a rather expensive lens that I'm just not prepared to make at this time).

Chalk this up as one of the unexpected benefits of the move; at some point I'll need to get over to the cape.

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