CMXtraneous: Midnite Madness

Right on the edge of useful

Getting around

Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2005 11:19:38 PM by Big John

Big John

Steve Fossett is now passing to the north of Hawaii, and is only a few hours away from landfall on the continental US. Then it's just an "easy" 1000 miles or so to where he took off, over 50 hours ago.

Okay, so this attempt ultimately means nothing, and yes it may be a "guy thing." I just admire any human being who prefers spending three days without much sleep (if any) in a tiny, lonely cabin, for the purpose of doing what has never been done, rather than enjoying that chateau in the south of France. Steve knows that creature comforts are for creatures, and a thinking human wants a little more.

Sure, Steve is a bit mad, but it's a divine madness, one that no single "record" can ever satisfy. He is doomed to press against barriers, one after another, until circumstance or old age finally defeat him. He will never surrender though.

Our dreams always exceed our reach; That is what makes us human. When one of us cheats the odds even a little, many feel that tingle of hope we need to keep going. Thanks Steve.

Category tags: Community MX, Midnite Madness, On the Personal Side, This and That

Lindbergh would be proud

Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2005 2:06:04 AM by Big John

Big John

As these words are being written, Steve Fossett, the man who would break all avation records, is crossing India, and is approaching Calcutta at 300 knots. Altitude is 46,801 feet, and just now the crawl announced that Steve has reached the halfway point in his quest to fly 'round the world in 80 hours, alone.

I'm following along, courtesy of the world wide web:

http://www.virginatlanticglobalflyer.com/MissionControl/Tracking/

I grew up on science fiction many many moons ago, but I never dreamed the future would be this cool! The same people who made Steve's airplane are currently taking reservations for the first sub-orbital tourist trips. They have over 100 customers already lined up. Good luck getting insurance, guys!

By the time you read this, Steve may be far out over the Pacific Ocean, feeling pretty groggy no doubt. Still, it's a heck of a lot faster than his balloon circumnavigation, even if that ended up only 19,000 miles long. Hard to steer those balloons, y'know.

It's noon in India right now, so at his altitude the Himalayan wall, 300 miles to the north, must be clearly visible above the horizon as a pure white jagged line. The intense flat green of the lower Ganges is spread before him, and soon he will cross southeast Asia, heading for Japan. Ah, I see he has now reached Calcutta. (slow typist)

I live in Arizona, which could easily fall under Steve's flight path. Perhaps sometime Thursday afternoon, I will spot a tiny contrail high up in a clear blue Arizona sky. Sure hope so.

Category tags: Community MX, Midnite Madness, On the Personal Side, This and That