Well, Saturday, for a Christmas present, a little more for Martin than for me, Richard took the two of us and spazzychic to the Planetary Society's little soiree called Wild About Mars. There wasn't quite as much info or booths as I expected, but I got to see a lot more celebrities up close than I expected, so it all balanced out.
Firstly, we saw Ray Bradbury getting interviewed. I was able to snap a couple pics, too. As he was being interviewed there was this little circle of people around him listening, and you can see Martin in the picture below standing behind him.
Right after this, I joined Martin and got to hear much goodly speaking. On the down side, Ray had to leave early. Also, his wife has died recently. Most long married couples don't usually have more than a year between their deaths, so I'm afraid this may well be the year we lose Ray. Let's hope not, though.
Not long after, we saw John Rhys-Davies, which just tickled the heck outta me, he was one person not listed as attending, it was a real surprise. Most of you know him as Gimli from that Ring Trilogy Movie thing, but I know him better as Professor Arturo from Sliders. I thought he was really cool. He didn't look so great, though, and I couldn't help but p-shop the picture a little to make him look better just outta sheer respect. I got to talk to him and shake his hand and EVERYTHING!
One person who was supposed to be there, but we never got to see do any of the programmed stuff, unfortunately, was Bill Nye the Science Guy. He was in the middle of a conversation and looking rather bored when I took this, but he okayed me to take a pic and just flipped right on the TV Persona of Friendly Cool Guy Who Likes Kids. I p-shopped this a little, too, because Bill Nye is Eternally Young in my mind.
One thing that I personally found to be a huge highlight was John Rhys-Davies and Robert Picardo performing an excerpt from Ray Bradbury's Leviathan. Mr. Rhys-Davies was a bit over the top but he was playing an over the top character, so that's all right then. The performance was a LOT of fun. Once again, I was tickled pink to see Robert Picardo there (you know him as The Doctor, from Voyager). He was at the last Mars Planetary Society thing we attended although we didn't see him that time. This time he walked around a LOT and I was able to get a picture. Just like Bill Nye, he was mildly going about his business till the camera came out and he just flipped on the ol' charm like a real pro.
I think he's cool. ^_^
And lastly, what we actually WENT for was to see if the lander Spirit would land on Mars okay and if we could get pictures and see a part of Mars no one had seen before. Spirit landed almost supernaturally text-book, even to the point where it landed upright and didn't need it's "petals" to right it. We stayed long enough to see pictures actually come in and the JPL people jump up and down and hug and point at their little screen where the pictures were shown.
I know, it's small, but we were way back when Martin took this shot. We actually COULD see the shots pretty well from back there.
Overall it was very neat and we all went to Shakers for dinner-ish after (it was midnight) which postrophe was also kind enough to spring for.