Ashitey's already seen the IMAX movie -- he saw it this weekend. "It was okay," is his review, though he's more enthusiastic later when discussing it with Squyres. They both got to see it because they helped -- Steve, by being in it; Ashitey, by running the testbed's RAT and PMA actuators so that the movie could use realistic sounds.
Opportunity (I'm back to the other side of the planet) doesn't have much to do today. We're not driving yet; that gets pushed back about two weeks every two weeks. No real science-related IDD work, either, though we're doing a miniature version of the "Martian tai-chi" IDD recalibration. Not because we really think we're out of calibration, but because people keep asking Ashitey about it at the IDD anomaly meetings, and he wants to have something to tell them.
So it's a pretty easy day on Mars.
Before leaving, I get into a discussion with Chris Leger about the Spirit driving plan. We've been trying out these two-sol drives with an autonav-only drive on the second sol, but they haven't been working out too well, and he's worried that the time we spend on them gains us little and costs us a lot of attention that would be better spent on the first sol's drive. I don't quite disagree with this, but I think he's a little too pessimistic. All of our techniques start off with large investments and little initial return, but we rarely regret developing them. I see this as being another instance of the same deal. He doesn't quite disagree with that, but we both have the "I don't disagree, but let's both agree that I'm right" disease, so the conversation limps along a lot longer than it should.
Fortunately, it's interrupted by a phone call from my parents, telling me excitedly that they just saw me on the CBS Evening News. (It still hasn't aired out here, so they also want to let me know so that I can catch it.) I filmed an interview with a news crew last week, and I was just going to record it on the TiVo and send DVDs to the family as an FYI. But it turns out they caught it when it aired. Funny thing: when I'm on the phone with Dad and Trish, Roxanne calls to tell me the same thing. Who knew that many people watched the CBS Evening News? Apparently, it's some kind of big deal or something.
When I get a chance to see the interview myself, I'm relieved. I didn't really feel that it went all that well, but the piece came out great, and I even look like I know what I'm talking about. Good editing, I assure you. I expected the two-and-a-half minute piece to be two minutes and fifteen seconds of Squyres, then ten seconds of Nicole (whom they interviewed about naming science targets) and one shot of me saying "It's great!" It turns out to have less of Squyres, more of me, and -- erk -- no Nicole. Well, that sucks, but it's America's loss.
[Next post: sol 722 (Opportunity sol 701), January 13.]
 My then-mother-in-law.