Four years and a pandemic

It's been four years. Not exactly a great record, but it's… something?

Well, in December of 2017, we learned that Kyle had some major developmental delays. That started us down the path towards a full Autism diagnosis a month later. He's started very young with therapy, and has progressed quite a lot. He's still barely starting to talk, and he's definitely autistic. I was quite distraught at first… but eventually I came to realize he's still the same kid I love, and nothing's really changed.

So, he's been getting therapy to help him develop better social skills, and is otherwise a holy terror.

2020 was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I've been working from home for over a year now. I like the commute. I also took up an old hobby: Rocketry. I built a semi-scale AIM-54 Phoenix rocket. The difference versus the one I had as a child is that this one is over four feet long, and weighs about four kg. It's a much bigger rocket. I joined the local high power rocket club, (UROC), and we had a launch out in the Black Rock desert in September of 2020. Its first flight was poetic in a way: It came off the rail clean and straight, flew up to apogee, and then pitched over… and started heading back to the ground. About 200 feet above the ground, the ejection charge finally fired, and then the real fun began: I learned that I packed my 'chute incorrectly by forgetting to remove the tape that was reefing my 'chute.

Clunk! The rocket bounced. It was pretty much undamaged - there are some cracks in the body filler I need to fix. It survived because I had one overarching goal: The rocket has to be tough enough to survive my son playing with it. And it worked. I 'glassed the body tube, the fins, and did all I could to make the thing a tank.

As a result, a few minutes later, I put in a new (and bigger) motor, and the Phoenix rose from its crash, and flew perfectly. I got my Tripoli Level 1 certification with that flight. It was followed shortly after that with a flight which I certified as level 2.

So that's been fun.