Monday, 30 March 2015

People In Paradise


You meet the nicest people in paradise.

Last night I was sitting with some others waiting for the sun to set when a guy sat next to me. I smiled, he smiled, and I stuck out my hand and said "Ken". He shook my hand and told me his name was Steve. I am not generally very good with names, but "Steve" is one of those that I never forget. Steve was my first playmate, my tormentor and my only brother. When you meet someone in paradise one of the first questions you ask is "Where are you from?”

It turns out that Steve and his wife are from Denver and they have been coming to Sugar Beach for about six years now. The winter in Denver was just as mild as the one we had in Calgary and we both agreed that although pleasant to live through it probably isn't the best thing for the planet. I mentioned that I was a retired postal worker and he told me he was looking forward to retirement. I mentioned that retirement isn't for everyone and if he happened to be one of the lucky ones with a job that made him smile and that he couldn't wait to get back to, then he may have trouble with the whole inactivity of retirement.

Steve did fall into that category, he is a scientist. In fact, he is the curator of Planetary Science with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We talked a little about global warming and how the scientific community made the mistake of calling it global warming and not global change which is the more accurate terminology. He is currently working on photographing the surface of Mars. Yes, that's right he is in charge of cameras on a Mars orbital vehicle that is and will continue to snap pictures of the planet to study the weather patterns. Pretty heady stuff.

He has also been involved with the Hubble telescope from its inception. He didn't go into detail, I suspect he dumbs things down for beach bums, grade school dropouts and Canadians. He took his girlfriend to the launch of the Hubble telescope and that girl is now his wife. Louise asked him how long the telescope will last and he said its mission was for ten years, but that has been passed due to repair missions and hopefully it will continue to function as long as nothing major craps out.

He talked of the museum and the innovative programs they have. The state gives a small fraction of a percent of taxes for museums and other like attractions which enables them to provide a wonderful learning tool for kids. Steve talked of a few of the programs which are designed to get people through the doors and educated about things scientific. He is a very interesting fellow and I hope that we get to talk again tonight.

These interesting people are all around, but it seems they are easier to talk to in paradise.

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