Voyager and Me Again – #SoCS

Journey with me, my friends. It’s time to head to the bar, where we will relax, try to avoid any leftover political discussion and work with Linda’s fun Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. This week, Linda gives us the opportunity for bonus points (already pocketed), with the following:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘jour.’ Find a word containing ‘jour’ or use it as is. Bonus points if you start or end your post with that word. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, we would be desperate for a topic that could not be related to the US election or its results.

“Hi Cheryl, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you, too, Dan. Searching for a cold adult beverage? I would suggest your journey is over. You have arrived at your destination.”

“And that is good news.”

“And, since you just celebrated a birthday, this beer and the others you plan to drink are on the house.”

“Awww, aren’t you sweet. Isn’t she sweet, David?”

“She didn’t say anything about my bourbon being free, Dan.”

“When’s your birthday?”

“Well, when it is, and when she does, then she will be sweet.”

“Should I take that to mean you don’t want any cherries in your John Howell’s Bourbon today, David?”

“No. I mean no, you should not take it to mean that. Of course, I think you’re sweet, Cheryl. You always are. I was just giving Dan a little grief.”

“I see. Well, here’s your bourbon, your snifter of seltzer and your glass of ice. I’ll see if I can scrounge up some cherries.”

“Aren’t you sweet. Thank you.”

“Cheers, my young friend. Happy birthday and all that.”

“All that?”

“Well, Dan, you know, at our age, birthdays aren’t the things they were thirty, or even fifteen years ago.”

“That’s true David. Still, it’s the end of my first year as a retired person. That’s something.”

“It is, and it’s a pleasure because it has nothing to do with the election. We need more things like that to talk about.”

“How about Voyager and Voyager.”

“Excuse me, Dan? Are you going on a voyage?”

“No, silly. Voyager and Voyager as in Voyagers One and Two.”

“The space crafts?”

“Precisely.”

“Why on earth would we want to talk about them, Dan?”

“Because we can, David. To be more specific, because NASA can.”

“I don’t follow you, but I’m not sure I want you to explain. It sounds like I’m about to journey into unknown and unnecessary technical details.”

“Would you rather talk about the election?”

“Say, Dan, what’s up with the Voyager spacecrafts?”

“Funny you should ask, David. About a week ago, NASA re-established contact with its Voyager-two spacecraft.”

“Re-established?”

“Yes, the transmitter had been shut down for repairs since March.”

“Everything in the world has been shut down since March, why should Voyager’s transmitter be any different, Dan?”

“No, David. NASA’s transmitter. Voyager is fine. Both Voyagers are fine.”

“No doubt, both Voyagers are happy to be sailing around whatever planet they’re exploring. I hope it’s one without a pandemic.”

“Before you guys get lost in space, and before I go check on the patio, would you like another round.”

“That sounds like a great idea, Cheryl. And, toss in an order of wings.”

“You got it Dan.”

“David, in answer to your question…”

“Statement, Dan. I made a statement. I didn’t ask a question.”

“Well, regarding the Voyager spacecrafts…”

“I didn’t ask a question, Dan, but feel free to answer.”

“Both spacecrafts are beyond the Heliosphere.”

“The helio-what?”

“Where no one has gone before, David. Here’s your bourbon. Dan, here’s another Corona. Don’t you have some kind of connection with Voyager-two?”

“I do Cheryl. I told you guys this story a long time ago, but…”

“But give him a free beer and he’ll gladly repeat it. A few more birthdays, he’ll repeat it twice in the same day.”

“David, do you want me to yank those cherries out of that bourbon?”

“No, Cheryl. Please, Dan, do explain the mystical connection between you and an antiquated spaceship.”

“Spacecraft, David, it’s not a ship. They started building Voyager-two as I was about to graduate from high school. Five years later, as I graduated from graduate school and was entering the workforce, they launched it into space. We began our journey at the same time.”

“And now you’re at your journey’s end and Voyager is drifting aimless toward. I’m sorry, Dan, what is Voyager drifting aimlessly toward?”

“The Oort Cloud.”

“The what? Is that where Mork was from?”

“No, David, that was Ork. The Oort cloud is a collection of small objects that are still under the influence of the sun’s gravity.”

“What does this have to do with beer, bourbon and…”

“Wings? Yep, here they are boys. You guys still out in space.”

“Cheryl. Dan is at the controls; we are way out in space.”

“I heard you mention the Oort Cloud, Dan. Isn’t that near the edge of the solar system?”

“It is, Cheryl. Very good.”

“Dan, how long will it take Voyager to get to Oort?”

“Three hundred years. Crossing it might take thirty-thousand years.”

“I guess this is where your and Voyager’s journeys go their separate ways, Dan.”

“Why’s that David?”

“I don’t know how old you are Dan, but I don’t think you’re going to be here in three-hundred, let alone thirty-thousand years.”

“Still, I think about the many ways in which Voyager’s mission has changed. It’s kind of inspiring.”

“I suppose.”

“David.”

“Yes, Cheryl?”

“Remember what Lao Tzu said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’.”

“Wise and timeless advice, Cheryl. I wish you dreamers the best on all of your journeys.”

66 comments

    1. They pick those bags up on Tuesday, Judy. I’ll probably have more by then. I like to keep them out of the rain, even though we haven’t seen any rain in a while. Maddie isn’t happy about them, but at least her “deck” is clear.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Extraordinary final photo! Thank you for the reminder about Veterans Day. In Branson, it is celebrated for a week, with a parade, special performances, veteran discounts, memorials…and thousands of veterans. I always find it very moving. Thank you to all who wear or have worn the uniform. 💚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the picture of the plane in the sun! And I enjoyed the Voyager talk. (My first thought was Star Trek, of course.) May I ask for a little clarification? One of the pictures of the two crafts says ‘Arrival dates – 2012 and 2018’. Arrive where? At the Helioshere?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those dates are their arrival dates in Interstellar Space, so just beyond the Heliosphere. It takes a while to cross the boundary. The Oort Cloud is the boundary at the edge of our solar system. If they get there (300 years) it might take 20-30,000 years to cross it. I hope they keep on chugging. Maybe one can become the craft that made it to Star Trek (I think that was supposed to be Voyager-6).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Voyager projects have been wonderfully successful. When they launched, I wondered if I’d ever see them get to any planet, but they are like the Eveready bunny – they keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Frank. Yes, I saw that movie in the theater with my college roommate. We went without our girlfriends because they weren’t excited enough about the movie. That was to be Voyager-6. Maybe they just got the number wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re talking about galaxies far away just when we all need some perspective. I liked Mork & Mindy, which wasn’t your point, but suddenly I miss that kind of madcap humor. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor David. He’s so used and abused!🙄 I’m with Ally Bean, I miss those innocent sit-coms like Mork & Mindy.

    LOVE the photo of Maddie with the sun highlighting her feathers. Women pay a small fortune in salons to get that look! The bunny is adorable….almost looks like a statue.

    So it seems MiMi would like less attention and MuMu would like more.

    The last photo is amazing. Looks like the plane is holding the sun up!

    🌭🍕🍟🍺 HAPPY BIRTHDAY and HAPPY FIRST YEAR OF RETIREMENT! Two events worth celebrating. Have a great weekend.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger – I love the way the sun does that to Maddie’s feathers. I keep taking that photo, but it’s mostly because she keeps walking in front of me. She stops to sniff. I bend down to get a picture. She’s done sniffing and poof, there goes my plan.

      MiMi wants attention, but when she wants the attention. Not before, and if you could hear her yell, not much after. MuMu can always be brushed. The C-130 in the sun is my favorite. I was out raking leaves. They are so loud, I could hear them coming for quite some time.

      Like

  6. 😊❤️I often feel like the Voyager, but I must say drifting aimlessly appeals to me much more these days since we have all finally seen that even the best laid plans can go awry and nothing in this life is permanent or always foreseeable. I always wanted to go into outer space since I was very small. Or deep into the ocean where no one has been. I’m a mermaid you know. 🧜🏻‍♀️😉
    Lao Tzu was a very wise teacher. Focusing on each step keeps us from tripping over our miracles or stomping on our dreams.
    😱I missed your birthday!? How could I? Happy Belated Birthday! What an otherworldly experience these past few months have been. 😞 I have felt like this is a living episode of Twilight Zone. I can hear Rod Serling’s voice…
    “Imagine if you will, a world taken to its proverbial knees by a microorganism, a virus so deadly it stopped everything from moving forward…enter the madness that is a world without smiles-here in ‘The Twilight Zone.’” (Cue theme music rift) PS I LOVE the last image. It evokes a sense of adventure and continuity, don’t you think? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. You are on time for the birthday greeting. The thing I like about Voyagers is the fact that they seem to have a mind of their own. It’s like they’ve decided not to stop exploring, even though we ran out of things for them to see. Spunky little spacecrafts ;-)

      This has been a strange year. I feel like Rod Serling would be right at home in 2020. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Like

  7. David warms my heart more and more each week. He was really in rare form today: “Statement, Dan. I made a statement. I didn’t ask a question.” My husband was watching something on TV where Capt Kirk was younger but in another galaxy….I don’t know. Anyway, we were at the store and he saw it on Blu-Ray. So now we have what he just watched on TV on a DVD and he is so happy. Happy Birthday and Happy One Year Retirement! Isn’t it great?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad David has his fans. He gets a raw deal sometimes. Not as bad as Skippy, but I leave it to him to be the bad guy. It’s funny. I’ll see an episode of Star Trek on BBC America and then, a few days later, I’ll see it on Hulu. My wife is like “didn’t you just watch that?” and I try to explain that the BBC version was cut, and…well, she knows.

      It has been a good year. Hopefully the next one will be better for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy birthday and happy one year of retirement, Dan!

    Thanks for the history and science lessons. I had forgotten about Voyager 1 and 2, so it was interesting to catch up on where they are in the solar system. Like David, I did not know about the Oort Cloud and other tidbits in your links. Fascinating.

    Have a wonderful Saturday and please get those bags of Maddie’s porch. What are you thinking? ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I didn’t know about the transmitter repairs, but I was glad to see they are still in contact with those two plucky spacecrafts. The bags need to stay dry. I don’t want to pick these leaves up twice ;-) Maddie will survive.

      Like

  9. This is a fun and interesting post, Dan. Thanks for letting us make this voyage with you. It’s not about the 30,000 years, it’s about the journey. (Tee-hee that’s me playing along with the prompt, corny and cliché as it may be.) Maddie is looking happy, Smokey is looking shiny, MiMi and MuMu are looking rather put-out with you! But beautiful. That silhouette shot of Jinx is terrific. It would make a good print for fabric too. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you could ride along, Teagan. The crows were very active (and very loud this week). There were three in that tree, but this guy was making all the noise, so I figured he was Jinx. MiMi and MuMu have their own agendas, but the seem to accept me, perhaps grudgingly, but as long as I brush MuMu and play little-foam-ball with MiMi, I guess I can stay.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely photos as always, Dan. I especially like the one of the flag. It’s transparent image seems so ewhat symbolic to me. So, did NASA say what they learned when communication was reinstated? There must have been a lot of data gathered in the interim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as I can tell, they only confirmed that Voyager received the test message they sent. The work on the transmitter won’t be complete until April. Some of the parts of the transmitter hadn’t been replaced since 1977! I don’t know what kind of data they are able to get from the spacecrafts at this point, but the mission is still considered to be active.

      I really like that flag. I was going to wait until Wednesday, but if they can already have Black Friday sales, I figured I could stretch Veterans Day out for a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy Belated Birthday, and retirement anniversary!

    I would like to know what it finds in the great beyond. I’m looking forward to the day we can speed up space travel like they do in movies via wormholes and starbursts.
    Hopefully, Maddie gets her porch back sans leaves soon. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. The full year of retirement feels good. I’ll get the leaf bags off the little porch, but she’s going to have to get used to them for a few weeks. It would be cool to make space travel easier. I hope I live to see that.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Birthday Dan. Had to finish reading about the DSN and repairs to the Canberra dish. Interesting that they decided to enlarge it when it was 17 years old. There is a pun there and saved for another trip to the bar. The whole line of sight thing making Canberra the only available transmitter puts a very interesting perspective on things. And makes for another reason for a Corona tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Birthday month!!! :) And many thanks for taking us away from the election to the stars and beyond. This is very cool stuff. To think what our ancestors will lean from all this. Mind boggling goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I rather felt as if I’d had a couple adult beverages by the time I got to the end of your post. :-) I’m quite looking forward to having an adult beverage again once I’m done with the antihistamines!! Congratulations on year one of retirement and may you enjoy many more!!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy Birthday, Dan! I still celebrate birthdays, maybe not as fervently, but it’s an opportunity to treat ourselves. Thanks very much for the V-ger updates. It feels good to know they are still out there going boldly… somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year, Roberta. I do feel a lot better about entering winter than I did a year ago. In a way, like the Voyager spacecrafts, I’m still figuring out some of this stuff as I go. Of course, the pandemic tossed a wrench into all of our plans this year. But, if two spacecrafts that were designed for a five-year mission are still functioning 43 years later, I think I can adapt to this.

      Liked by 1 person

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