One of these days, I’ll… (fill in the blank)

There was a total solar eclipse visible in the continental US on Sunday.  A rare event.  I almost flew to Albuquerque  to watch it!  I have never seen a total solar eclipse, and one of these days, I will.

I have seen a near-total eclipse only once, and it was a memorable experience.  It was in the mid-90’s, and after looking at Wikipedia, I am certain it was the annular eclipse on Tuesday, May 10, 1994.  I was at Sprint in Kansas City “pitching” a product to network planning and engineering executive staff that day – this was the final round of presentations before a competitive award was to be made.  We had Director and Vice President-level staff attending from both companies – this was a critical day.

In the middle of my presentation, I stopped to the horror of my manager, and I asked the Sprint staff if we could take a five-minute break to step outside and observe the eclipse.  I put up a PowerPoint slide of the eclipse path, and I pointed out that this was almost the most opportune moment to step outside.  I had a Welder’s glass for almost everyone (I had a box or 24 2″x4″ glass inserts), and I passed them around.  Someone said that this would eat into our presentation time, but the Sprint VP responsible for the award decision said, “I want to see this eclipse – let’s all go outside.  Fujitsu will just have to wait until we get back into the room and Alcatel finishes.  I want to see the eclipse, too.”  So, with that, we all walked outside and spent the next 20 minutes or so experiencing the eclipse.

The sunlight got noticeably dim.  Through the welder’s glass, you could see a slim crescent of the sun.  Shadows cast by tree leaves had unusual distinctive curls to their edges.  Insects stopped flying around.  It was a marvelous experience.  And, we got the contract award for the network expansion we proposed!  Maybe observing the eclipse was what tipped the balance.

But, I have yet to observe a total eclipse.  One of these days, I will…

One of these days, I will also:

  • See Machu Picchu – Wonder how the Inca’s precisely-fitted stone walls were made?
  • See Nazca Lines – from the ground and from the air.
  • Set Foot on Antarctica – just to do it.
  • Watch Whales Swimming in the Ocean – In their natural habitat and up close enough to hear and feel their breath.
  • See a Space  Launch – Close enough to feel the rumble of the engines!
  • Go Skydiving – Free fall for at least 2500 meters.
  • Meet Aliens from another World – Yes, this is still on my list…

This is what remains from my “bucket list” that I made when I was about 10 years old.  A few things have dropped off that list such as going into space – to the Moon and to Mars was the bullet point.  But from a 2-page list of things to do, the above is all that remains.

My original two-page list has long since been lost – a pity.  I spent months in 5th grade researching for this list.  I split the list into

  1. Natural Phenomenon;
  2. Evidence of Man and Animal Life;
  3. Other Experiential.

I am doing pretty well on my “bucket list”.

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