Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The great SLC UFO on 5/27!!

So... last night (5/27) I was taking my normal 10pm walk. My walk takes me through my neighborhood and I like to do it late at night when it's cool and quiet. My path involves me walking down a about four streets or so, and has a couple of annoying dogs along the way but otherwise is pretty uneventful.

The sky was crystal clear that night. I love the stars and space in general so often as I'm walking I'll have my IPod humming some tune and I'll be looking out at the sky in wonder. Of course all the street and house lighting really detracts from the view but what can you do? I'm also on the approach end of SLC 17, 16R and 16L... I need to go fly it someday, but I'm pretty sure the ILS to either 16R or 16L is smack dab over our house, as is an altitude step down. So we get a lot of aircraft traffic over the house as they approach the airport. The point is, I know what airplanes look like being a pilot and all that.

So last night I'm on the return leg to the house, almost done with my walk and I'm watching the sky when in the west I notice this VERY BRIGHT WHITE light in the sky. The light is moving from west to east at a fair clip, but I would not say it was the fastest thing I've ever seen. I'm telling you that an F-16 at the same altitude you are only maybe a mile away moves pretty darned fast.

So I'm watching this light move from West to kind of a South East trajectory. As I studied it I noticed there was no other lighting on whatever it was that I could see and it was quite high apparently.

My first thought was that it was a satellite being illuminated by the sky, but it seemed way to bright for that and it stayed lit for a long time. I've seen satellites in the sky before and they don't tend to stay lit up by the sun very long.

My second thought was that it might be a missile/rocket launch from CA. or somewhere in the Nevada desert. I've seen rocket engines lit up brightly, and this could have been a rocket engine. I also considered that it might have been some experimental aircraft (Aurora?), but then why would it be lit up so brightly.

The object disappeared into the horizon to the South East... what was truly interesting was just as the object was disappearing I saw another fast moving meteor fly in from the east to the west, seeming to converge with the bright which object. A truly fascinating show to watch in the sky.

So what was it I saw? I came home and did a bit of research. I looked to see if there were any rocket launches from Vandenberg AFB or anywhere, but saw nothing for that day. They mostly launch over the Pacific anyway I'm pretty sure. What I found was that the ISS (the International Space Station) was almost directly overhead at the time. So I'm like 99.99% sure that what I was was the ISS. The meteor was just a bonus object.

It was a fun experience.... I've always wanted to see some UFO before I die... a silent black triangle in the sky, or one of those glowing orbs that seem to float around in south Texas cities... but alas, I'm stuck with the ISS. Blasted Aliens!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well, I'm glad the place isn't on fire...

I'm in Cleveland this week for a conference. I'm staying at the Embassy Suites hotel in Downtown Cleveland....... Supposed to be a nice hotel (and the room is nice except for the Wasp that attacked me when I got in last night.... it lives no more).

I'm on the 12th floor. Just now, two very large men got into some kind of an altercation on the floor. It was loud, and I was watching them, it looked like it had the potential to turn into a fight.

So, I try to call the front desk to see if they think it might be a good idea to get security up here.... ring, ring, ring, ring, ring... no answer. I tried to call the operator, same thing. The General manager, same thing.... and it's getting louder and they are running all over the floor. Do they have guns? This is Detroit, who knows? There is also a poor maid up here... so finally I punch the emergency button.... Ring... Ring...

Click.. (oh thank goodness, a human being)

Thank you for calling the downtown Embassy suites..... If you know which extension you would like to dial...

Thank goodness it's not a fire or a shooting. I'd be dead by now as would half the floor before someone would find out. Somehow I'm thinking the EMERGENCY button ought to get answered.

Oh... did I mention that fire trucks have now showed up at the hotel three times in a row....Twice last night at 3am and about 3:45 am and then just now.... Fortunately they did not evacuate the hotel last night.

And then there were the very loud, obnoxious people outside yelling at each other at 2am... I could hear them from my 12th story, closed window.

Wow... what a city.... :-)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Collaborate 2009 - Hello Orlando

Greetings to you! I come to you from my University Session training room at Collaborate 2009 in Sunny (read hot and HUMID) Orlando, Florida!

I flew into Orlando last night. Lisa came with me but by way of a different airline. Somebody (who shall remain nameless) waited too long to buy her air and thus we ended up on different flights.

Flying from the West to the East is so painful. Changing two time zones, catching connections. I flew Delta from SLC to Atlanta, and then had all of 40... that's right, 4 - 0 minutes to catch my connection. Of course, I arrived in terminal A and had to catch my flight in terminal E. Of course my flights were at the far end of each concourse.

So my training class is on the 11g OCP. Today I realized that there might be a bit of a problem.... some in my class were expecting that the class would be on the 10g to 11g upgrade (1Z0-050) and some thought it was for the 10g OCP exam (1Z0-053). Oh boy..... So I'm scrambling to provide information to both groups. There is some cross over but then there is also a lot of basic stuff in the OCP that isn't in the Upgrade exam.

I still have not had time to do a proper post on Chile!! I had such a great time there and I really need to take the time and do a decent post on the experience. There were also some great pictures taken there.... The one you see attached to my blog now was taken by Hans Forbrich in Chile. He took some awesome pictures that I need to share with you all sometime soon.

While in Chile I got to meet so many new people for the first time. I met Hans of course, then there was Fernando (Ok... so his name is *really* Fransisco but for some reason I was calling him Fernando). I also met Daniel Morgan and Tim Hall for the first time, as well as Ben Prusinski and Graham Wood.... I'm sure I'm forgetting at least one or two others, so I hope you will forgive me!

Collaborate looks to be a great experience this week. I'll provide some more thoughts as the week progresses!
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