End of Monday
Travelling is a pain in the butt. The first time I was on a jet airliner forty-six years ago it was an adventure. They served us a meal with real metal silverware! Ah well… I am here and safe, And after a good night’s rest, I will be ready to be infused and energized with new astronomical vigor.
The opening ceremony this afternoon was long but very satisfying. I have a new respect for the I.A.U. Though they may have trod upon my favorite little planets Pluto, nine years ago, they remain the guardians of the craft of astronomy on this planet. I was particularly impressed with the frequent emphasis on the need to educate and inspire the next generation. Among the sessions I am most looking forward to attending are the ones concerned with saving the dark sky. I worry for young people who do not know the stars because they have no chance to see them.
I could write a bit more tonight, but the bed is beckoning, and I need to be well rested for the marathon of the next ten days.
Here I am on the adventure, part Deux. I should be in Honolulu right now but my plane broke yesterday and they had to fix the engine That put us more than an hour behind schedule, and, of course, I missed my connection. Spent a lovely night in Tempe Arizona at the Sheraton, compliments of U.S. Airways.
Hopefully this Boeing 757 will work and I will be on the Island in about six hours. I have had enough excitement in the last 24 hours and am really looking forward to getting into astronomer mode at the I.A.U. meeting.
On this flight, I get to be in the exit row. No window, no table, but lots of legroom! I stand ready to man the lifeboat if necessary.
Now at 30,000 feet above the Pacific. I have a chance to catch up on some of the story so far. I am no stranger to flying, but there have been a couple of new twists so far this trip. I have made connecting flights before, but never missed one. As we pulled away from the gate at Detroit Metro Airport, the Airbus 310 that was about to fly us to Phoenix sat for a very long time before the announcement came over the intercom informing us that there was some sort of engine problem that needed to be corrected and that we were going to have to pull back to the gate. We all stayed on the plane for an hour as the maintenance was performed.
We finally left the runway about an hour and twenty minutes behind schedule. So much for making the connection.
To their credit, U.S. Airways had a new flight arranged for me and the appropriate boarding pass ready as I deplaned in Phoenix. They gave me a voucher for a night at the Sheraton Airport in Tempe Arizona, a somewhat non-descript hotel much like thousands of others near just about every airport around the world.
I slept fairly well in a nice comfy king bed, but, as is my wont, I woke every ninety minutes or so, worried that I would sleep through the alarms.
Which brings me back over the Pacific.
I have been looking through the various sessions that I hope to attend and there is more than enough to keep me busy and informed. I just hope I can absorb and record as much as possible. I do want to incorporate as much as I can into this coming year’s curriculum.