Friday, January 12, 2018

Book Report: Big Little Lies

January 12, 2018. My first book report of the year. I picked up this novel at the recommendation of a bookstore clerk and at first I thought it was going to be a pleasant little story about three women who have children going into their first year of school in a swanky suburb of Sydney, Australia. Secrets are slowly revealed and all is not as happy in the cceanside paradise. Eventually I was turning pages as quickly as possible. I stayed up until about 3:00 am on a work night to finish. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Astronaut Scott Kelly

January 11, 2018. I was able to hear Commander Scott Kelly speak tonight at Abravanel Hall. Kelly is famous for spending nearly a year in space on the International Space Station. He spoke about his experiences growing up, how he ended up as an astronaut, and his experiences on his one-year stint on the ISS. He did not grow up as a superstar student and in fact his talk focused on perseverance and learning to do hard things. I can barely give up chocolate for more than a day so I definitely found his comments inspiring. He also had amusing stories to tell of the differences between the Russian and American approaches to space travel. The Russians have a decidedly more casual/pragmatic view of things. I was able to attend a VIP session afterward to meet Kelly and get his book signed. I loved the blurry selfie we took. He was showing me how to use the volume key to take a picture on an iPhone and I ended up moving as he was taking the picture. I already know this about the iPhone, but I thought it was sweet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Getting More Exercise

January 10, 2018. Last year I got the least amount of exercise in my past 10 years of going to the gym. I'm making a concerted effort to get in exercise every day and when I can't physically get to the gym, I at least do an exercise video. The 2-mile walk shown below was actually quite strenuous. I love the title of the video selections- Walking Fit at 50. I bet some 20-something employee at Xfinity named this category. Might as well named it Walking for the Infirm

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Dirty Diet Coke

January 9, 2018. I've gotten in the habit of stopping by Sonic every morning on my way to work for the past week for a Dirty Diet Coke (which has limes and coconut flavoring - yummy). I do NOT want this to become a long-term habit since I'm trying to wean myself from Diet Coke. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

See You in 2019

January 8, 2018. It seems like all of my colleagues fell ill over the holidays. I wasn't feeling great either when it was time to return to work last week. One colleague has had an especially bad time of it and has provided daily notifications that she won't be in the office yet. One of the senior staff members, who is famous for his good-natured ribbing, sent this reply to her today. Made me laugh out loud. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bad Air

January 7, 2018. If there's one thing that would prompt me to away from Salt Lake City and my friends/family, it's the horrifically hideous winter air. Not exaggerating. Salt Lake City is completely surrounded by mountains and during the winter all the pollution is trapped in the valley by the cold air. The air is perpetually foggy and gray. It has seemed particularly bad this year, which is saying something. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Astronaut John Young

January 6, 2018. News reports today announced yesterday's passing of astronaut John Young- the most famous and accomplished astronaut you've probably never heard of. He had a career at NASA that spanned four decades and during that time he flew two Gemini missions, two Apollo missions, and two space shuttle missions. In 2008, I became obsessed with watching space documentaries and that was how I first became aware of him. I thought Young was fascinating and I Googled his name to learn everything I could about him. That was how I discovered Novaspace, the art gallery that hosts the annual Spacefest I attend. Sadly, I never got to meet him. I attended my first Spacefest in 2009 and Young attended his last Spacefest in 2007. For someone I've never met, he certainly changed my life profoundly. After attending my first Spacefest, I became hooked and over the course of nearly ten years I've met and interacted with almost every Apollo astronaut and a host of space shuttle astronauts and aviators. I have attended conferences, banquets, hall of fame celebrations, etc. I have formed lifelong relationships with people from all over the world. Attending that first conference literally opened up the world for me. I realized I could travel all over the country to pursue my interests and have amazing adventures.