Sunday, September 27, 2009

Family Rollerblading and the Space Station

We spent a nice day in the big city doing fun family stuff. R has been working furiously to collect data for a big meeting she has coming up, which entails working on some weekends. This is not a problem because it usually means a trip to the big city (Hanover) and dinner out, so it works. Also, we can hit the library, which we love. This time around she had a big chunk of time waiting for an incubation, so we packed up our roller blades and found a big empty parking lot and practiced our skating. It is a lot of fun, and good practice for ice skating come winter. Then again, blading is really nice because you can pretty much go anywhere, whereas with ice skating, you are, for the most part, relegated to going in circles around the rink.

When I lived in NYC, it was my primary mode of transport throughout the city. I used to blade everywhere, and when the weather is nice, you can stop in a cafe and get some refreshments and sit at an outside table. And, of course, there's Central Park. We took our blades to Cape Cod and rode the bike path, but when I needed to replace a part, I learned that rollerblading is no longer en vogue, so you can't find the parts. It's hard to imagine that people would give up rollerblading just because it wasn't trendy anymore, but such is the world we live in.

After blading, we hit the library and got our weekly allotment of books. It was quiet and nice, I'm guessing because people were out enjoying the beautiful day. For whatever reason, they are doing a bunch of programs on the Civil War, which just happens to be a topic we will be covering this year in homeschooling. Nice coincidence.

Also, the children's librarian told us about the space station and how you can see it pass by at night. It is apparently 120 miles above the earth's surface, and as it gets dark, it appears in the sky not unlike a satellite. Say no more.

We had pizza for dinner, then went home in time to see the space station. It was supposed to show around 7:12PM, and we had some time. We got home around 7:00, parked the car and walked across the street to the flower farm and kept our eyes peeled. It was slated to approach from the west, whichever way that was, and we stood in the field and waited. It was cold, and we weren't even sure if the sky was clear enough, but it was N who saw it. He called out and we looked up, and sure enough, we could see the light across the sky.

It was bigger, brighter and clearer than a satellite, if you've ever seen one of those. In fact, it was very clear, and there was no mistaking it for what it was. Kind of cool. Actually, really cool. If you are interested in checking it out, NASA's website that will tell you when it is going to fly over your house. Check it out if it interests you. And be patient, if you do.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to David Kirby and Marcin Rybarczyk for the pics.

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