Launch Time

108078-nasa-space-shuttle-atlantis-sits-on-launch-padLaunch preparation

One of the advantages of moving to Central Florida almost seven years ago is the proximity of the Kennedy Space Center. While I may not be as big of a fan of the space program as my wife Karen, it was still neat to know that people and satellites left for the far reaches of space just a few miles down the road. We could even see the launch trails from home when there were not too many clouds. Sadly, this week will be the last week to visit the Vehicle Assembly Building before they begin its transformation for the new launch systems.

Launch Experience

Seeing a line of smoke in the sky from 50+ miles away, even if impressive, is no where near the thrill and excitement of actually going out to Titusville to see a launch. Attending a launch meant leaving several hours in advance with lots of waiting in a crowded park. Eventually, there would be a few minutes of excitement when you could not just see the shuttle launch, but eventually hear and feel it too! Then it was back to being patient again as we took one of the two options for returning to Orlando from the coast – the local road or the highway – neither one of which moved much more than at a snail’s pace because of the high volume of cars.

FlatStanleyNightLaunchNight Launch

Once when we participated in my cousin’s Flat Stanley project, we went out for a night time launch. As you can see in the picture (iPhone pre-flash photo), it became as bright as day when the shuttle took off. Even if the traffic was particularly bad that evening, it was worth the effort. The marvels of science, the creativity and inventiveness of humankind using the resources of the world around us and less computing power than I had in my iPhone sent people off the earth (to the moon!) and brightened the night time sky. While I can’t currently afford to book my flight to space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, I do hope that I live to see the day when space travel becomes a regular occurrence.

New Web Sites

While I don’t expect to be traveling into space any time soon, I do have a couple of websites rolling out on the launch platform that you can begin to explore. First up is Here is information on improvising at the organ. While I intend to offer some instructional support for those who would like to master the skill, right now the website mostly contains information about other well-known improvisers with links to their performances on YouTube or resources that they have available.

The second site I just began to set up yesterday. Consider it still in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Audubon Park Music is the name I registered as publisher of my music when I joined ASCAP this week. My plan is eventually to move all the sales of my compositions over to so that can focus more on upcoming performances. Have a look at both of the websites and let me know what I could add that would be of value to you. While they may not be ready for take off, this is your chance for a pre-launch tour.

Wishing you all the best,


Newsletter Issue 15 – 2014 02 18
See the complete list of newsletter issues here.