Yesterday was by design a pretty slow day. the_child was heading off for snowboarding at Mt. Hood, and I had planned only two things. One, to spend some time working on Their Currents Turn Awry; and two, to spend some time visiting lizzyshannon, who continues in the throes of post-operative recovery. After an almost too-solid night’s sleep, I made it so.
Plus as a bonus round, between writing time and Lizzy time, I threw in a quick trip to Powell’s Books. I wanted to pick up a birthday gift for tillyjane (a/k/a my mom), and the_child had asked me to score some Brent Weeks books for her. I signed stock while I was there, picked up a copy of the first volume of the A Game of Thrones graphic novelization [ Powells | BN ], and some brag copies of the April issue of Portland Monthly, wherein I penned a review of Mary Robinette Kowal‘s new novel, Glamour in Glass [ Powells | BN ] (first line thereof optional).
I left Lizzy’s place late yesterday afternoon feeling pretty tired. I just wanted to go home and go to bed early. (This happens sometimes after I’ve overslept significantly the night before.) I’d done everything I’d planned that day, the_child was away with friends, and, hey, it as Saturday. But I kept thinking about the Lyrid meteor shower due last night. And how clear and beautiful the sky was as I’d cruised around all day in the Genre Car with the top down. And how I wasn’t a sick man right now, and didn’t have to protect my sleep quite so ferociously. And how there would be meteor showers that night.
So I ate, shopped for groceries, then went home and brooded in my easy chair for a while about how tired I was. I then rattled up mlerules to see if she was free. We headed out to the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, overlooking the western end of the Columbia Gorge, to watch the skies for a while from the comfort of the Genre Car’s fully reclined seats with the top still down.
We were there perhaps an hour. Clouds were moving in and out from the east, which was annoying, as that horizon had been clear at sunset. The sky stayed mostly clear, with stars down to fourth or fifth magnitude easily visible, and perhaps a bit beyond that at a squint, so there must have been some haze at altitude. Still, we saw a ton of satellites, including one Iridium flare. mlerules spotted a meteor trail that I happened to be looking in the wrong direction to see. A bit later, we both spotted a long, bright meteor that trailed across the sky in two pulses. For the win!
Finally, my case of the tireds overtook me. We were there too early for the Lyrids’ peak, but we saw cool stuff. Well worth the extra couple of hours of awake time. And hey, who doesn’t like mysterious lights seen in the sky, flashing?