Proud, Happy and Thrilled

Jason Stanford is contemplating saying goodbye to his wife, Sonia Van Meter, forever. She's a semi-finalist for Mars One, and if she goes he'll stay behind. The odds are long -- but he writes about contemplating saying goodbye to his wife forever, and supporting her regardless. "We forget that our [wedding] vows are not lyrics to be recited for public enjoyment but promises to be kept," he writes, and I have enormous respect for that.

The attention Van Meter has got from the rest of the world has mostly been shallow and harsh:

Rarely does anyone engage her as a space geek to talk about what she hopes to find up there, but if someone did, he or she would open the discussion to Sonia's innate curiosity and her enthusiasm about humanity's drive to explore and expand our understanding of what is possible. She honestly does not understand why everyone does not want to go to Mars, though she knows I would last about half an hour before getting bored up there.

But that's not what people talk about when they comment about her on the Internet. No sooner had a story about my wife's astronautical ambition aired in Austin than strangers took it upon themselves to diagnose our obviously flawed marriage.

...which makes me think twice about writing about it here and joining the chorus (of people talking about this, I mean; her decision, their decisions, belong to them, and neither I nor anyone else have any business condemning it). But despite my reservations about Mars One, and for what little it's worth, I admire them both. Read the damn link.

In other news: this article makes me want to get my scope out and look at Mars. But the dark is coming on late these days thanks to DST, and I've been getting over a cold and need my beauty rest. Which is a damn shame, because it's been clear here for the first time in weeks. Oh well...soon, along with a trip to Boundary Bay to finally get the Virgo Messiers.

Today it's birthday party day for my youngest son; he's up already (it's 6.20am!) stalking the halls, waiting impatiently for things to get going. To keep him entertained until the party starts, we're going to the BC Gem Show in Abbotsford. The kids have a waxing-and-waning interest in rocks and minerals, and I suspect this'll wake it up again. Does it measure up to a party with your friends? No, it does not. But it'll keep the wolf from the door for a couple of hours, at least.