Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas gift shopping

I watched Rocket Boys the other night, a movie I really love, and Calista was really taken with it. That kids--high school students, granted--could teach themselves rocketry that advanced made a big impression on her. I'd been considering getting her an Estes model rocket for Christmas, but that cinched the deal. Last week I scouted out the local Hobby Lobby, and yes, they had some decent starter kits that wouldn't break the bank. I knew I'd have a few extra dollars this week, so I put off the purchase until today.

Talk about fortuitous circumstance. Hobby Lobby is running a 50 percent off sale on all model rocketry products this week! So I was able to pick up the $22 Alpha III Starter Set, which includes a 12-inch Alpha II rocket, launch pad, launcher and two engines, for a mere $11:

I chose the Alpha III over the other kits because it requires some minimal construction before flying (a little bit of gluing, nothing too dramatic), whereas the other starter kits were complete and ready to fly. From my brief fling with model rocketry back in the day, it's my belief that the building aspect is just as important to the rocket experience as actually flying. So all in all, it's a good starter set. But I wanted Calista to be able to get even more involved with the process, so thanks to the sale, I added this little rocket to the my purchase for less than $2:

The "220 Swift" is a mini-rocket that measures just 4.5 inches long, with die-cut balsa fins. It's so light that it doesn't even have a parachute--it just tumbles back to earth. A very simple rocket, easy to put together. But one of the main selling points to me is that it comes unpainted, allowing Calista to splash whatever wild, colorful designs over it she chooses. It will be indelibly stamped with her personality, and as far as I'm concerned, that's what this gift is all about (don't worry--she's got some Barbie dolls under the tree, so she's not totally losing her girlish identity).

To top it off, when I was checking out they informed me that the extra rocket engines I'd picked up were also half off, even though they weren't included as being reduced on the sale signage. So ultimately, I got two rockets, a launch kit and extra rocket motors for $5 less than the starter kit alone would've cost me had I bought it last week. Sometimes, procrastination pays off.

Now Playing: Panndora Pink Floyd radio

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