Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Christmas Eve story

Not all that long ago, while returning from a training event, I stopped by at some relatives' to spend the night. It was near Christmas and early in the evening I was asked by my niece if I thought Santa Claus was a real person... or something close to a person.

We were near an airport so I came up with an idea which would give a six year-old at least a hint of something happening. I went out to my truck and pulled out a small 9 gigahertz radar and a 12 volt power supply.

We set up a step ladder in the back yard, mounted the radar scanner, made all the necessary connections to the display, added power and flashed it all up.

Within a few minutes I had a good picture and, with a little fine tuning, had picked up some aircraft on approach. Up on the screen, in one corner, was a series of about 8 to 10 blips all moving along in formation. I don't know what it was, but I pointed it out to my niece. "Santa Claus doing a test flight," I said.

She simply absorbed the information and didn't say much.

It was later that I had heard that she went to school the next day and announced, "Everyone can relax! My uncle had a radar out last night and we got a good look at Santa doing a test flight. Christmas is on schedule and Santa is out working. Everything is good!"

That was worth unpacking and repacking a radar system.

For those who don't have a radar handy, here's a link where the tracking of Santa is done for you.

Have fun with it, and Merry Christmas.

No comments: