The Transit of Mercury

You know, I was feeling fairly decent today.  That was the case this morning, at least.  Woke up earlier than usual, was cleaned, dressed, and on my way almost 15 minutes ahead of schedule.  Seemed like this was going to be a great day.

And why not?  The skies were clear, science was in the news, and it was my last full day of the term.  Traffic was light, and I was making great time on the highway, too.  Made a quick stop at Walmart only to find that some items I’d wanted – things that were outside of my financial comfort zone – were sitting in the Clearance area, more than 50% off.  Heck, yeah, baby!

But . . . slow down.  There was something inside – can’t quite explain it – that just wouldn’t let me make this purchase.  We’re only talking about $25, yet I simply could not reconcile myself to doing this.  After a few minutes of pacing back and forth, in hopes that my mind might change, it didn’t.  This was stuff that I’d have half killed for (okay, not really, but you get the idea) six months ago, but now at a point when I could actually afford it, I just wasn’t interested.

I left disappointed, but I don’t know why.  Was it because I didn’t feel the same way about something that I really didn’t need (it’s been over six months, remember)?  Or was it because I didn’t get to spend money that I don’t really have?  I’m not asking this to be facetious; I’m genuinely curious as to how someone could be upset that they didn’t spend the last of their money.  Sounds stupid when I say it like that, but this is what happened.

Work went well (for the most part), but what I really wanted to do was to go online and follow the transit of Mercury across the Sun.  I’m sure that there’s information (and photos) online, but it would have been nice to witness it (via NASA) first hand.  I missed the transit of Venus a few years back, and only heard about Mercury’s trip last week.  I’m starting to regret – somewhat – having abandoned my childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut, and while I certainly can’t do anything about that now, I do wonder if I’m not too old to look into some aspect of astrophysics as a career change.  Teaching in this country has taken such a hit that I don’t know that it’ll ever recover in my lifetime.  (Don’t get me started on this topic – it pisses me off just to think on it.)  But with space . . . there are new developments happening in astronomical fields almost daily.  If I were seriously able to make a change, that’s where I’d look.

My day was fine until I got home.  The Little Woman‘s isn’t doing well health-wise, again, and there seems to be no solution to her problem(s) in sight.  Physicians are experts and near-gods – until you call them out on their BS, that is – and then they’re afraid that you’ll sue their pants off.  Oh, well.  It’s like anything else in this world: Sometimes you have to shop around until you find ‘The One.’  So that’s what we’ll do.



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