Attack Ships On Fire Off the Shoulder of Orion

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.”

 … “All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.”

Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi movie, “Blade Runner” was released in 1982, appreciated by an initially small but ever-growing audience.  In his memorable end-of-life soliloquy, Roy (Rutger Hauer) laments that his extraordinary  extraterrestrial experiences would be lost like tears in rain–a very human sentiment…especially for a replicant.

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A Taste For Adventure; Light on Common Sense

It all began with TOS, a commercial spaceship conceived in the Reagan era

Orbital Sciences Corporation was founded in 1982 by three young guys just out of business school with little experience, no money, a taste for adventure and an obvious lack of common sense.  They and the daredevils that joined them made a foolish, long-odds bet consistent with Bob Dylan’s lyric, “When you ain’t got nothin, you’ve got nothin to lose,”

Nevertheless, Orbital grew to become a pioneer of the commercial space age:  The company’s initial product, the Transfer Orbit Stage was the first space system funded by a Wall Street financial offering.  Pegasus was the world’s first commercially developed launch vehicle to reach orbit.  Orbital’s subsidiaries, ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE, pioneered the use of small, low-earth-orbit satellites for data communications and remote sensing.  Orbital’s Antares launcher and Cygnus autonomous cargo vehicle deliver supplies to the Space Station on a routine basis.  Its Ground-Based Missile Defense boosters are locked and loaded to swat down anything North Korea launches this direction.

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Sedona MOA Getaway

MOA = BWW Motorcycle Owners of America

The forecast said that rain was likely on both days of the Sedona MOA Getaway.  Long gray tendrils from five distinct showers filled the horizon ahead; an interesting sight characteristic of late summer in the southwest.  I rode toward them–east toward Sedona.  Patches of blue fueled hope that I might thread a dry–or mostly dry–path through.  On the Prescott side of Mingus Mountain, though, sprinkles turned into solid rain, forcing me to stop under a gas station awning to struggle into my rainsuit.

Naturally, the rain then soon stopped…and that was the end of it.  So eighty BMW riders from the western US and Canada enjoyed a weekend of marvelous scenery, great roads, interesting bikes and friendly companionship under a bright Arizona sun.

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