austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I'll always behave like a satellite and the reason's not hard to explain

After finishing off with the presentation and leaving the boss safely in place, I didn't have anything particular to do or anywhere to be, which is a pretty rare state. All the more rare these days with two jobs pulling on me, actually. But I thought of something grand: there's a hobby store not too far from work, but always closed by the time I get out of the office these days, and too far to just visit on a weekend without something else drawing me out there. This would be a great chance to visit it.

I suspect there's something invariably ominous about hobby stores these days, since they're probably all on the brink of closing. This one even had a sign out front saying they were looking for new owners. So besides all the prospects that I might only make a few more visits to this shop --- after all, how often will I be free before they close, before Michigan? --- the store might not be there much longer.

Or maybe it will. The guy there, solicitous and enthusiastic, certainly talked like an owner who figures to be there through the end of time. He pointed out things based on the models I was interested in, and reminded me of something I'd forgotten, that I hadn't any glue, and talked up about how the hobby sections of Wal-Mart or the equivalent just aren't any good for the hobbyist. If he's not figuring to be in business indefinitely he's certainly not acting like he figures to be replaced anytime soon.

What I did find was a bounty of space history kits, though: the old Revell/Monogram 1:200 scale ``Men In Space'' kit --- Mercury/Redstone, Mercury/Atlas, Gemini/Titan, Apollo/Saturn I-B, Apollo/Saturn V --- as well as a 1:48 Mercury-Redstone stack, plus a space clipper from 2001: A Space Odyssey (the box doesn't show Pan Am livery; maybe it's inside the box), and the ``Pilgrim Observer Space Station''. I can't find diagrams or proposals for this from Actual NASA --- the model kit links have flooded it --- but it's so wonderfully, richly Early Space Race in its styling and even its markings that I'm in love with it. I can't wait to not build it.

Trivia: As of late 2000, Florida had five different automated toll collection systems: O-Pass, C Pass, Lee Way, EPass, and SunPass. Source: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: The ``Lomokome'' Papers, Herman Wouk. Surely there's no warning signs in this book being published 18 years after its original writing, back when Wouk was one of the anonymous writers for Fred Allen, even though it talks about a flight to the Moon and was published just as Gemini concluded and Apollo had (planned) to have its first flights, and is a venture into science fiction by the author of such great science fiction tales as. Actually, it's rather enjoyable, presented as ``found documents'' from a crashed secret Naval space expedition, and is fundamentally a Tour Of Utopia, or at least an Ambiguous Utopia, from a narrator who logically must have been writing while under mild oxygen-deprived hallucinations.

PS: What Can One Week Prove? Can it distinguish clearly between five and seven, for example?


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