Space Symposium

I’ve been meaning to work on finishing my organization of the pictures from our family trip to the UK but that still hasn’t happened. I’m finally stopping letting that keep me from posting, but hopefully I’ll finish that at some point.

Every year the Space Symposium is held at the Broodmoor in Colorado Springs. I’ve never managed to talk my way into being involved with the booth my company does (I’m a programmer, not a presenter), but I did manage to visit this year to wander the floor where all the booths are set up.

XCOR is a space tourism company that’s still building their craft. Their booth had a mockup of the vehicle. I didn’t get a great picture of the vehicle overall but I love the logo on the side of it. The person running the booth said the current target is to start flight tests this year.
Lynx Mockup

I was at the symposium the day after the CRS-6 first stage exploded on attempted landing on a barge in the Atlantic (video here), but at the time video and details hadn’t been released. I spent a while chatting with the lady in the SpaceX booth about the publicly released information at the time, and I even got to sit in the Dragon 2 control seat mockup:
Dragon 2 Controls Mockup

The Lockheed Martin booth had this on display:
EFT-1 Orion Back Shell
That’s part of the back shell of the Orion capsule flown on EFT-1. Despite being on the back of the capsule the heat was intense enough to damage the paint on the flag.

Polar Vortex

Monday morning when I left my house it was in the upper 60s (I probably left home around 9:45) and I considered not wearing a coat (totally didn’t check the weather). When I left work I was rather glad to have a coat because it was in the teens and snowing. Because it had been warm earlier in the day the roads were icy with snow that had melted and refrozen. I saw a snow plow on my way home, but I think it was just spreading grit because the snow wasn’t building up and still hasn’t really accumulated tonight (Thursday).

Monday night may have been the warmest temperature I’ve been out in since temperatures dropped. Tonight when I left work my car had a hard time starting (even with a battery that was new last spring), so when I got home I wasn’t surprised to see that the temperature was negative.

Terrible Weekend

Last night my phone died. I googled the symptoms after a factory reset didn’t stop it from locking up on boot and it sounds like a hardware problem. Fortunately, I saw some reports that people were able to send their phone in to be repaired, you just have to call the HTC support number. If only I had a working phone to make that call… I did use their contact page to attempt to send an email to support but still haven’t gotten a response or confirmation that I emailed them.

Today I decided to be productive (all I remember accomplishing yesterday was finishing my book), so I was going to install the bookcase doors that I got from Ikea last weekend. I got four doors to fit two bookcases and installed the first set last weekend, but I hadn’t bothered with the second set. I noticed the third door was sliding around in its package when I pulled it out to open it: turned out the gap that was allowing the door to slide was where it was missing the box of mounting hardware (hinges, screws, etc). I guess I’ll be making another trip up to Denver soon to get that exchanged. I did at least dust that bookshelf and install one door.

A couple weeks ago when I was downtown for jury duty I walked through the little park that surrounds the Pioneer Museum. Even though this squirrel had just nipped off a flower and was sitting in the tree eating it he cautiously let me get close in case I was going to offer better food. I didn’t, but I did get a couple of decent pictures before it fled to higher branches: