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January 2, 2008

Ground Control to Major Tom

Santa brought Jennifer a rocket for Christmas and a couple of rocket engines. She is following a long and sordid tradition of model rocketry.

We used them to put lizards and frogs into low earth orbit. Once, when we got a rocket stuck in a tree, Will and I tried to shoot it down with two rifles and a 12 gauge shotgun. When that didn't work, we cut the tree down with a chainsaw. Don't think we didn't do it. We did.

Update: Jonathan points out that this rocket Will and I got stuck in a tree was, in fact, Jonathan's rocket. It was his Christmas present, apparently. Will and I took it and launched it and got it stuck in a tree, and then returned it to him, all shot it full of holes from the rifles and the 12 gauge16 gauge. I can't say that I recall that little detail - about the rocket belonging to Jonathan - but I'm certainly not in a position to deny it.

Update 2: Will says it was a 16 gauge, not a 12 gauge. I'm inclined to believe that it was Jonathan's rocket, because we spent a lot of effort retrieving the rocket. So, it would stand to reason that it wasn't ours hence the importance of retrieving the rocket.

Today, Jennifer assembled the rocket and we launched it in the neighbor's field because my place has too many trees. The rocket launches today were par for the course. I'd tell you how it turned out, but I'll let you watch the short video and see for yourself.

This slideshow is composed of a few original images I shot today with the new Canon EOS 40D and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/1:4-5.6 IS USM lens.

This slideshow (3:03) is an 18 Meg self-playing executable named rocket.exe created using Imagematics StillMotion PE. The soundtrack is Space Oddity by David Bowie, off of the Space Oddity album.

Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, or you're running Unix, or if you're nervous about running a .exe file from my site, then click here to download the Macromedia Flash version. The resolution is not quite as good on the Macromedia Flash version, and you can't pause and go backward and forward, but it loads faster, and it's a fairly decent presention. Click here if you need help.

To see all of the slideshows, click here.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

David Bowie - Space Oddity

Ground control to major tom
Ground control to major tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground control to major tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may gods love be with you

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five,
Four, three, two, one, liftoff

This is ground control to major tom
Youve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now its time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is major tom to ground control
Im stepping through the door
And Im floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do

Though Im past one hundred thousand miles
Im feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell me wife I love her very much she knows

Ground control to major tom
Your circuits dead, theres something wrong
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you....

Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 2, 2008 at 5:44 PM


okay i downloaded the slideshow at work to show my buds and when i went to run it the picture on my second (non-laptop) monitor flipped upside down! scary! it's okay now...

Posted by: Rosemary on January 3, 2008 at 7:41 AM

I dunno why it would do this. Freaky. Maybe try using the .swf version and view it in a browser window instead?

Posted by: Rob Kiser on January 3, 2008 at 9:19 AM

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