Random Photos of Stuff (including a space launch)

Andrew Stephens, Wednesday the 27th of June, 2018 in Food and Recipes, Happening, Travel and Places

I haven't written much about my personal adventures for a while. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that I have just been too busy to actually have any. This year I have gotten married, a new house, and a new job. A more dedicated blogger would have spun these events into an entertaining narrative and a book deal but I am not that type of person.

So here are some random photos from the last few months.

I don't want to bury the lede, so first up is a photo I took from the observation deck at Kennedy Space Center.

TESS on the launchpad, way off in the distance. The outline of the space shuttle in the lawn is a running track
TESS on the launchpad, way off in the distance. The outline of the space shuttle in the lawn is a running track

I was lucky enough to attend the launch due to my wife working on the TESS projectTransiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. You don't just drive up to the exclusive VIP section of the Kennedy Space Center to due to security concerns. No, you hang around in the car park of a JC Pennys until they send a bus. We were less than whemed by this modest start to the day but couldn't really complain.

TESS was launched on a SpaceX rocket and the company put on a good show including a short video presentation telling us how great they were, glossy brochures, and some decent swag. I will certainly keep them in mind for all my future satellite launching needs.

The launch itself was delayed for 48 hours but we had planned for this and decamped to Disney World for a while. The second attempt went perfectly. One thing that you don't experience watching launches on TV is just how bright and loud they are - it really was an incredible thing to witness.

Its all over quickly. After 90 seconds or so the rocket is way out of sight. This being a SpaceX launch, we got to go inside and watch the first stage land on the barge on the big screen, which in many ways is even more impressive.


As I mentioned before, I now have acquired a house and a wife. Having a wife means having a mother-in-law, and having a house means inviting said mother-in-law around for a high tea, and having high tea means an excuse to try out a beetroot-cured salmon recipe I had my eye on for months.

Beetroot cured salmon with cream cheese and spring onion
Beetroot cured salmon with cream cheese and spring onion

Long story short, it was delicious and nobody died of salmonella.


The person I bought the house off was quite the gardener and we have reaped the unearned benefit of her efforts as summer finally arrived. Here is an iris from the front yard.

An iris, apropos of nothing
An iris, apropos of nothing