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Space Shuttle Atlantis – STS-132

STS-132 mission patch

STS-132 mission patch

You can read all the facts you like about the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-132 at the Wikipedia page or elsewhere. But being there was a once-in-a-lifetime event for me, and for a whole bunch of other people who travelled from near (Florida, Georgia, Texas, etc.) and far (Australia, Sweden, Germany, etc.) to see the launch.

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Kennedy Space Center, day 1, part 1

Kennedy Space Centre Launch Complex 39

Kennedy Space Centre Launch Complex 39

After sampling a variety of lounges, my flying continued with the last leg from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I didn’t plan to take this routing for any reason except that the times were convenient. However, as we approached our destination, I was woken by the captain announcing that the Kennedy Space Center was visible to the right. Since the reason for my trip was to see the launch of the Space Shuttle, getting a preview from 37,000 feet was a real bonus. The photo at the right shows Launch Complex 39, with the Vehicle Assembly Building at the top, launch pad 39A (with the shuttle already on it) at the bottom, and pad 39B off to the right.

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Four lounges in one day

When I weighed myself this morning, I found I’d lost a kilogram over the past two days. While I’m in no danger of wasting (waisting?) away, a little weight loss one day should allow some weight gain the next, don’t you think? And what better way to achieve that than by visiting four airline lounges in one day!

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Climbing Mt Taranaki

Mt Taranaki from the North Egmont Visitor Centre

Mt Taranaki from the North Egmont Visitor Centre

Midway through a New Zealand road trip, I’ve set aside one day to climb Mt Taranaki, a 2518 metre volcanic peak. The mountain is also known as Mt Egmont, and is in Egmont National Park, south of New Plymouth in the North Island.

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Lightshows in Disney World

I wrote earlier about a crazy trip to Florida just for the purpose of  acquiring frequent flyer status credits. As it turns out, I converted it from a strict mileage run to a quick trip to Walt Disney World, specifically Epcot.

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The wonders of in-flight wi-fi

This post (and the previous one) was written and posted while flying at 33,000 feet on AA534 from PDX to DFW, thanks to GoGo Inflight Internet.

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DjangoCon 2009

DjangoCon in Portland, Oregon, is now over for 2009, bar the sprinting, which I’m not taking part in. It was a great conference, with generally excellent talks, and a great chance to meet some new people as well as see old faces from the last DjangoCon.

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Off to DjangoCon

I’m sitting here in the Qantas Pub, er, Club, lamenting the lack of cheese, and waiting for my flight to the US for DjangoCon.

And now I’m sitting here in Honolulu, waiting for my flight to Portland. The flight from Sydney was delayed about 40 minutes due to thunderstorms on the ground, and we continued to see lightning in the distance for some time after we took off.

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Planning a status run

A status run (also known as a mileage run) is when you take flights to places you don’t need to go to just to accumulate status credits in a frequent flyer program. Why would anyone fly when they didn’t need to? Flying is usually sufficiently uncomfortable that you’d have to be crazy to do it unnecessarily — or would you?

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Considering the Prius – Part 1b

Here’s a brief update on my recent post on the Prius, looking at fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and pollution as listed on the Australian government Green Vehicle Guide.

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