Thursday, December 24, 2009

Free Spirit!

I've been fascinated by the Mars rovers ever since the Number Five-looking things made it through Martian Civil Defense and landed on the red planet. I know the word "hero" gets tossed around a lot these days, but if these little robots aren't heroes then neither is the person who calls 911 when they see someone in danger.

The nerds at JPL couldn't be any happier than I am that the rovers have lasted this long, or more worried about little Spirit getting stuck. So I've been following the effort to free the little guy for the last couple of months, keeping up with the rovers on Twitter, and generally irritating the crap out of my wife by telling her how much the right front wheel rotated on the last test, or making her look at pictures of what look like random areas of New Mexico or Utah.

So, does she ignore me, or tell me to grow up or get aggravated because I spend so much of my attention focused literally millions of miles away? Well, maybe a little. Can you blame her? But mostly she listens patiently, and looks at the stupid pictures, and then buys me this for Christmas.

So boys and girls, my Christmas wish for you is that you have (or find) someone who will give you things that make you happy, even when they know that they will have to look at (if not step on) the little pieces all over the house for months afterward. That's a real hero. Did I mention that she bought me a telescope as an engagement present to reciprocate for her ring? To be fair, I think my ex-wife gave me potholders or something the last Christmas we were together, and I gave her an emerald ring. I guess things average out.

Merry Christmas to me! Oh, and to the rest of you too, I guess.


  1. That's the Spirit! Merry Christmas... and i'll have to add the JPL site to my reader, because it's pretty damn fascinating!

  2. Way cool. My Lenny would be trying to ride on it, though.....