In July 2006, CKL and I went to see a free taping of The Daily Show. We waited in line for about three hours to get in. The return on our investment was about 20 minutes of live show. Except for the fact that Jon Stewart and team were actually in front of us, it really wasn't much different from seeing the show on TV. In fact, we needed to watch the monitors if we wanted to see the on-screen graphics. I'm glad we went to see a taping of the The Daily Show, but I never want to do it again.
Today, CKL and I went to see the Discovery shuttle launch. Like The Daily Show experience, it was a three-hour, hot, humid and nasty wait. Unlike The Daily Show, we paid a good bit of money to get seats on a bus that took us to the causeway six miles from the launch pad. The time return on our investment was also much shorter. The launch lasted about three minutes.
As before, I'm glad we went to see the Discovery shuttle launch. But this time, I want to do it again. I wish I could do it again tomorrow. If it weren't for the fact that we moved all our stuff to Portland, I'd be giving some serious thought to moving to this nasty, hot, humid and foul-smelling place just so we can be close enough to see shuttle launches on a semi-regular basis.
The return on this investment is vastly different than seeing a launch on TV. Not because I was surrounded by the sheer sticky presence of Cape Canaveral, or because I could see the brightness and color of the fire, or because I could see the steam paint the sky, or even because I could feel the sonic boom resonate through my body--something you can barely even hear on TV. It's different because I got to be there while a miracle happened.
We sent people into space. Again. It's always a miracle. But this time, I got to be there.