The Rocket Trip


The Rocket

The Rocket

Contrary to what I want to believe and what any reader of this blog might mistakenly think, we are not still on vacation in California. Anne and I returned from LA, early, early Monday morning. She somehow dragged herself into school later that morning, still too early, and successfully concluded her three-month stint as a long-term substitute for the second grade. This was a major achievement that she threw her heart and soul into. She deserves all the kudos that she has already received and more. Congratulations to Anne!

Even before we landed, I was already feeling under the weather. I missed some work, but then soldiered on. On Thursday, at uh-oh dark-thirty I blasted off to Dayton for a business trip. We actually flew into Cincinnati, because the flights were better. While Cincy is in Ohio, its airport is across the river in Kentucky. Walking through the airport I noticed a banner proclaiming that this airport had been named best regional airport in North America, five years in a row. To my colleagues, I suggested that Saint Louis compete for this honor too, but then thought no, still too soon, still too much pride there.

We drove north to Dayton, past the old GE aircraft engine plant, whose parking lots looked way more full than the ones in Saint Louis. I also saw a certain statue. Is the new statue called Big Butter Jesus and the old one called Touchdown Jesus or what? Their relative appearances would suggest this name change. It is hard to keep your idolatry straight, especially, when the finger of God occasionally lances down from the heavens and changes things.

The meeting was three-hours long, of which my part was only half-an-hour and near then end. So, thirteen-hours of travel for half-an hour of meeting, but like with Anne earlier this week that meeting put paid for my last three-months of work too. It made for a very long day. On the way back to the airport, traffic caused us to detour around downtown. We ended up going into Indiana on our way from Ohio to Kentucky. It was quite the rocket trip, out and back in a day.

The photo with this post is of the Rocket a locomotive designed by Robert Stephenson in 1829. While not the first steam locomotive, the Rocket was the first to bring together several innovations that produced the most advanced locomotive of its day. It is the most famous example of an evolving design of locomotives by Stephenson that became the template for most steam engines for the next 150 years. Pictured is a contemporary replica of the Rocket, also made by Stephenson. It can be seen at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

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