I didn’t work on Friday, as I get ready for my new assignment on Monday, but nonetheless these were a busy three days. For much of Friday I was sending e-mails back and forth to company management working out the details on the new assignment. Though I’ve done this sort of work before, it’s never been on a permanent basis, so there are still some details with which I wasn’t familiar. Among other things I got my first four workplace assignments, all are within about 20 miles and none should involve excessive traffic issues.
Later on Friday afternoon I went to the gym. I started out with leg presses, using the Hoist moveable-seat machine that I’ve come to like. It wasn’t a bad session: 8 x 370, 8 x 390, 2 x 8 x 410, 2 x 8 x 430, 8 x 450. This puts me within hailing distance of the machine’s maximum setting of 490. Next, keeping with my decision to do dips in place of bench presses, I did 5 x 8 x bodyweight. I’d really like to start adding some weight, so I’m hoping that the missing weight belt turns up sometime soon.
Friday night offered a special treat. I went to a beachfront park in Patchogue, hoping to get a glimpse of the LADES lunar probe being launched from Virginia around 11:30. It was supposed to be visible all along the Atlantic coast as it headed east from the launching pad, but I was rather skeptical, the launch site being around 200 miles away. Still, maybe I’d get lucky. I chose this view spot because it offered a largely unobstructed view to the south over the ocean. Fire Island was in the way, but as a low and narrow barrier island it wouldn’t block the view except for just a few degrees above the horizon. As the launch time approached I noticed that at least 15 other people were gathering in the park.
To say that I saw more than expected would be a major understatment. As the rocket headed on an upward trajectory it was brighter than any star, at least as bright as Venus, and I actually could make out the fiery exhaust tail. As it got higher it briefly dimmed, but then there was a bright burst as it jettisoned one of the stages. What surprised me the most, however, was the faint but distinct smoke trail that was visible for several degrees of arc behind the rocket. It seemed impossible that it could be visible from such a long distance, but it was.
I took Saturday off from the gym – in truth, I was more than a little achy – but Saturday night was also something special. We went to a coffeehouse in downtown Patchogue for a poetry and prose reading, at which my stepdaughter was the co-feature. An open-mike session followed her reading, and we ended up staying for four hours. It was all quite impressive, and I’m considering – nothing final yet, understand – coming up with a prose piece for next month’s reading. On a side note, I was quite surprised at what a hopping sort of place downtown Patchogue has become, at least on weekend nights. Just a few years ago it was quite rundown, but today it’s really moving up.
On Sunday I made a very quick gym session, this time doing nothing except dips. I did 6 x 8 x bodyweight, and on my way out I spotted the long-missing weight belt. This means I’ll be adding weight next time.