Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
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12 of 12, September 2014

This month’s 12th involved a day trip to Melbourne for an all-day meeting, which, despite the change of scenery, did not actually provide much scenery due to being stuck inside for most of the day.

To make matters worse, it involved a wake-up time that had a 4 in the time’s hour position, which was especially problematic since my going-to-sleep time had been on the a.m. side of midnight.

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The plane was delayed a little, which meant that the sun was well aloft by the time we took off. In the shot below you can see Maria Island. You can also see that plane windows are not ideal optical filters.

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Despite the delay I didn’t manage to get both sudokus done before take-off, which is my usual in-flight challenge. I managed the first, but the last part of it was a little trickier than is usual for the left-hand one, and in the second I had to resort to recording “possible numbers” when my current habit is to try to complete the puzzle without any additional annotations whatsoever. (I achieved both goals on this evening’s flight — which had a different in-flight magazine, I should point out (!) — successfully completing both puzzles with no extra marks prior to reaching the end of the run-way). I was pleased with my 9-letter word effort, however.

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Coming into Melbourne it was hazy and the sun was in an awkward direction too.

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I just had time before the meeting began to grab some toast and a hot chocolate in a side area off Bourke St.

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Since I was in Melbourne, the scenery is mainly buildings.

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There are, however, a few trees … and, of course, tram tracks … and people.

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Another building, this time on my way back to Southern Cross Station.

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I have to say I don’t miss Friday afternoon peak hour on the Tullamarine freeway.

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And before long it was time to head home (I took a break from the sukoku in order to take this photo!).

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And the final photo is of the Great September Aurora Non-Event. A day or so ago there was a big solar flare/magnetic storm from the sun, and so there was much excitement and anticipation that this might herald a spectacular aurora (aurorae are notoriously unpredictable, as is cloud cover). The expected peak was going to be while I was in flight, and the forecast was for overcast skies, but, since we were going to be flying above the clouds I arranged with a helpful lady on the Jetstar counter to have a window seat for the flight down. As far as I can tell, nothing happened, although the previously-mentioned low-quality window optics may not have helped. The red glow you might just be able to see in the photo below is just the reflection of the plane’s tail light on the wing. Back in Hobart, the clouds were pretty extensive and what I can gather from the reports I’ve seen so far – and the lack of photos from the aurora chasers — what little that occurred and was visible was definitely more of a whimper than a bang.

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