If you haven’t heard me say it before, I like twitter. There are times where I really think that a look at twitter’s trending topics is like having your finger on the pulse of the world (though I’ll be the first to admit that some trends are monumentally stupid). To anyone that thinks that Twitter is comprised of complete pointlessness, they must be unaware to the fact that I landed my first job out of college, where I’ve been working for nearly 3 years now, due to twitter. After months of sending out resumes with not a single response, an agency recruiter found me via twitter. A quick whirlwind of events happened over the next weeks – I had my first interview, and from there landed my job. And if you want to stretch it a bit, I probably never would have even started this blog if it hadn’t been for twitter, as that job led to me becoming a regular rider of the Harlem Line.

Recently, however, twitter has landed me a new adventure. I really hate the term bucket list – I prefer to just say “crap I want to do before I die.” The majority of things on my list are not really activities, but places I’d love to see. I want to go to every continent, even Antarctica. Keeping with my desire to see strange places, I’d really love to see Pripyat, Ukraine. But there was one thing that I had always wanted to see, that I resigned myself to accepting I wouldn’t see. And that was a space shuttle launch. With NASA’s space shuttle program in its waning days, I figured I wouldn’t get the chance to see a launch. That’s where I was wrong. Enter twitter…

NASA, as well as many folks involved in the space shuttle program, are quite active on twitter. NASA has a dedicated account for arranging tweetups with followers as well. A tweetup was going to be held for Endeavour’s final flight, STS-134 – and 150 of NASA’s followers would be accepted to see the launch. I entered, and like the 4000+ people that also entered, really hoped to win. On the day that the winners were to be announced I found that I had not won, but had made it to the waiting list. If a winner could not make it or did not accept their invitation in time, people on the waiting list would be notified to take their place. The days I spent on the waiting list were like a terrible state of purgatory. I was excited to not have been outright denied, but the thought of being so close and not be chosen off the waiting list would be that much harder.

Fortunately, on Friday I was notified that I had been accepted to the group of people that will be attending the tweetup. I am absolutely ecstatic. This will be my second visit to Kennedy Space Center, and my first shuttle launch. If you have a twitter account and don’t currently follow me, you can find me under the name @mtaHarlemLine. Although the main subject of this blog is trains, I do use it to feature some of my other more interesting adventures, and this will certainly be one of them. Be sure to look for my shuttle launch photos in a few weeks!

4 Responses

  1. Al Cyone says:


    I’m old enough to have seen John Glenn in a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan (back when there was still real ticker-tape!) but never had the opportunity to see a launch. Of course you’ll take pictures but don’t forget to “be there” . . . in the moment.

  2. vito says:

    Congratulations! What a great opportunity. I don’t have a twitter account – but I will be looking for your write-up of the launch. Brilliant.

  3. Hank says:

    Hey that’s great – looking forward to your pictures!

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