Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Meteorite Stuff

When I started this blog last year I had only planned to make entries about chess, mainly my own games but also other chess topics that might be of interest to local chess players. Over the course of time I only made a couple of exceptions. The first time was last November when I saw the sky light up when the meteor streaked across the sky above Lloydminster, and the second time was last Friday when I went on a meteorite search for pieces of that same meteor, and I guess this will be the third time.

Today I joined my second search party with the University of Calgary group. It was much busier today, mainly because it was a weekend. Last time I searched was on a Friday and there were only 5 of us trampling through the fields. Today Buzzard Coulee was teeming with activity. The U of C group itself had 15 searchers and other organized search groups, who had apparently made an agreement with a different land owner, were searching nearby. I also saw a couple of other searchers who looked like they were walking along the roadways or tracks. I’m not positive of the legalities, but it’s my understanding that: if it’s a public road, you can keep anything you find; if it’s a private road or property, it belongs to the land owner; if it’s train tracks I believe it belongs to the railroad company. I don’t think I would have searched with any other group than the U of C because a university institution has a level of status and a reputation for doing scientific research. They are not in it to make money.

Today I was only available to search in the morning because I had to be back in Lloyd in the afternoon for my son’s birthday party. The field chosen for us this morning was farther along the trajectory and as such was expected to produce fewer, but larger pieces. We split into two groups and proceeded to inspect every inch of the stubble field. Our determined efforts went completely unrewarded as both groups were unable to locate even one meteorite. I was a little disappointed as I headed back to town but I have another couple of days this month that I might be able to search so maybe next time will be better.

Later in the day my wife was telling me she was talking to a friend who asked her about our meteorite hunt. Initially she was confused about how this person knew we had gone searching, until they told her we were in today’s paper. Sure enough when we looked on the front page of the local paper there was a story about the meteorite search and my name and parts of my comments from last weeks blog were included. Here is a link to the web version of the paper.

While there was a comment after my previous blog from the reporter saying he was looking for my thoughts, comments and pictures, I hadn’t seen them right away because I was in Calgary this week for meetings. After seeing his comment, I hadn’t replied yet, mainly because the Wednesday deadline he had mentioned had already passed and partly because I was reluctant to be in the paper. I mistakenly assumed that before my name and thoughts were used somebody would contact me. It’s a lesson for me that what I put on the web is no longer in my control.

I am now feeling a higher level of responsibility when I write something and am even more reluctant to express opinions that might be misconstrued. But hey, I am not a journalist and shouldn’t be held to that level of accountability. I just write what I see from my own perspective and I don’t necessarily verify every fact. In the past I have deleted posts after having second thoughts and my wife and kids have requested that I not write anything about them without their consent.

So take what I write for what it is, a blog, and I hope I haven’t offended anybody I have mentioned in any of my previous posts.

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