07 July 2011

End of An Era...And Other Stuff...
Tomorrow will mark the final flight of our space shuttles, weather permitting (it doesn't appear all that promising right now), and it does indeed mark the end of an era in the history of our manned spaceflight program.
*** After the final journey of Shuttle Atlantis (mission STS-135) this last space craft will be decommissioned and sent to the Space Flight Museum in Florida, in a new facility that will open by 2013.
Then, we (the United States) start "hitching a ride" from (most likely) the Russians in order to get either TO or FROM the International Space Station.

NASA will continue to pursue UNmanned flights, including those to other planets, but for now, we're pretty much where we were PRIOR to 1961...
...when Alan Shepard became the first man Io make a suborbital spaceflight in the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule atop that Redstone booster.
Do I think we should continue manned flight into space?
Hell , yes.
We proved we could achieve goals laid down before us...the way America used to do.
But, it was not without sacrifice on the part of those brave men (and later women) who dared to "slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God".

When I was growing up, our space program was a pretty BIG deal...especially if a launch occurred while we were in school.
We were all taken to the auditorium and watched some way too small TV placed on the stage as the liftoff took place.
Or we got to watch the recovery of the capsules at sea.
When John Glenn became the first American astronaut to circle the earth, they made an LP RECORD of the flight you could purchase.
I STILL have that record.
We knew the names not only of the astronauts, but those on the ground that took us through the missions, like Jules Bergman, John (Shorty) Powers, Chris Kraft, Gene Krantz, and so on.
And, it was a great time to BE an American...
Now, with the final shuttle flight, how do we feel about it NOW?
Sure, the shuttle program was costly, and it did have it's share of bumps in the road, not the least of which were the shuttle disasters that claimed the lives of 2 crews, but in the end, did it do MORE for man's understanding of space and provide knowledge and insight into our universe?
It sure as hell DID.
(anyone remember something called HUBBLE?)
And it also provided quite a few THOUSAND jobs...jobs that will no longer be needed very soon.
That means more unemployment...just what this nation needs right now...NOT!
If we are to maintain a presence in outer space, then we need something ELSE to replace the space shuttle.
Maybe a new generation of reusable craft, perhaps not as large or as costly.
We've proven that the technology certainly exists, and that we CAN do what we set out to do.
There are already plans on drawing boards and mock-ups of potential craft designed to continue the mission that our shuttle fleet began.
We can make America the leader in space flight and exploration still...if we have the willingness to do so.
Or...we could always "call a cab" to get us to orbit.
The choice is up to us.
Meanwhile, back at the Fortress...
*** Yes friends, we're still hearing FIREWORKS around the ghettohood, and where all these mooks manage to GET this crap blows my mind.
I was doing some pricing online for some of the "items" they have been shooting off.
And let me say that they usually wait UNTIL after the time allotted for shooting them off to...well, shoot them off, which makes getting to sleep problematic at best.
Gee, be nice if the FWPD decided to ARREST some of these assholes, or at least CONFISCATE the "goods" from them and send them off to bed.
Anyway, the prices for this ordnance are not for the "financially-challenged", shall we say.
Just ONE aerial can cost anywhere from $24.99 up to close to $100...PER ITEM.
Now, let's do some math here, kids...get out those #2 pencils and some paper.
We have FIVE locations shooting off ONE aerial EVERY MINUTE over a period of FOUR HOURS (that's 60 per hour, in case someone didn't pay attention in math class).
Take the average cost of ONE aerial (let''s say somewhere in the middle range - about $40.00) and MULTIPLY that by ALL the locations for the time mentioned.
Yes, that IS some serious money being "blown away" (literally)
So how can people who claim "poverty", receive government assistance, and live off the fat of the taxpaying public AFFORD all this junk, anyway?
Oh, maybe that's not CLAIM poverty, but rather FEIGN poverty...yeah, that sounds much better.
Those houses around us have tossed out trashbags FULL of expended firework ordnance...and that's one helluva LOT of crap that cost a helluva LOT of moolah! You could think of it as YOUR contribution to THEIR entertainment, I suppose...
Even a "rock-bottom" prices, we're talking serious fireworks...like those 500 GRAM models (much like the type of weaponry the ARMY uses to blast Al Queda hideouts from a half mile away...we call them MORTARS).
And Indiana ALLOWS this to occur, not in rural areas where it's a lot safer to set them off, but right here in the second largest CITY in the damn state.
Sorry, but urban "warfare" isn't on MY top ten list for things to do this week...or ANY week.
Yet, these "people" are permitted to buy all this crap with money they seemingly pluck from thin air (when they're not in YOUR pockets, wallets, or purses) and are able to AFFORD so much of these fireworks...just so they can bug the hell out of the "normals" (who usually attend professional displays elsewhere).
Amazing that THEY can set THEIR fireworks off and yet I cannot set off MY fireworks (pistol or shotgun) to dissuade them from annoying others.
Technically-speaking, fireworks and firearms are NOT that far apart of the evolutionary scale of pyrotechnics.
They BOTH utilize a chemical reaction to achieve the noise and flash,
They BOTH expend projectiles.
But while there is no "license" required to not only possess but fire off fireworks, you DO need a license to carry a pistol off your property, and you NEED a background check to see if you're NON COMPOS MENTIS (or not) and can legally own a firearm.
Funny, by the manner in which most ALL our ghettohood "neighbors" perform, they certainly COULD be considered non compos mentis (not of sound mind), otherwise we'd have a lot LESS crime down here.
But THAT is another post for another day....
I will stay maintain that Indiana needs to change the laws regarding "explosive" devices...or ones that chemically expend a some sort of projectile.
And that's just for safety's sake...for everyone.
Maybe if all the money spent on fireworks BY these cretins were used to IMPROVE THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, this part of town would be viewed a lot differently, and perhaps these idiots might find out what the hell REAL PRIDE is...for once in their pathetic lives.
We can but hope.
*** Lastly today...are we doing what we can to improve ourselves?
I know that sounds a bit intimidating, but it's not that hard to do, really.
We might be working out, and that's only ONE way of personal improvement.
Actually, it's the most obvious way.
But how often do we engage in a form of improvement in our lives that is NOT as readily evidenced whenever we look in the mirror?
Are we doing what we can to become AS INFORMED as we need to be, especially in times such as these?
Are we practicing common sense, instead of trying to over think everything?
Are we making as good a choice with our finances as we should be doing?
Now we might not be able to do ALL these, and certainly not ALL AT ONCE, but we can take some moments here and there to "fine tune" some of the aspects I mentioned.
We might have to read just parts of our lives to accommodate frugality, but it's nothing new.
Our parents have done it, as did their parents before them...and so on.
Personal improvement can always begin with all the little things...never start big.
Improve the mind, and the body will follow has always been something I prefer to hang onto.
Our lives are like finely crafted artifacts...all one of a kind.
How we take care of them says much.
And how we ignore them says likewise.
There has to be balance...and commitment...and persistence.
THAT is how we get by every single day.
That is how we better ourselves so that others might see our example.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and... Stay safe out there, America.


CWMartin said...

I was telling Laurie back when the last Apollo went up, NBC (I think) advertised their coverage by playing Last Train To Clarksville while the voiceover said, "If You miss this one, you've missed it." That song will always be tied to that era, to Apollo, and to the gulf oil logo on a blue sky with puffy clouds (they were the main sponsors) for me.

BTW, your neighbors do NOT use government assistance to buy fireworks. The ones that aren't stolen are purchased with drug money. Free enterprise still works!

Bob G. said...

Yeah, NBC was the GULF tie-in...
ANd somehow along the way from Apollo until NOW, America took it's "eyes off the prize"...
Maybe it was something in the water, perhaps a good dose of ADHD...whatever.

Thanbks for clearing up my assumption about FIREWORKS and the WIC program...LOL.

BTW, I had a sneaking suspicion that those THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of nightly aerial "fun" was brought to us by the ghettohood's friendly, local street-corner pharmacy!

Money to burn, as it were?
(makes too much sense)
Wonder if the FWPD brass can make THAT connection here?
(I'm leaning toward the negative on that one)

Hey, thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe up there.

gadfly said...


The Apollo Space program (in 2010 dollars) cost taxpayers $209.1 Billion over 30 years. To date the payback is not apparent to this bean-counter. So I am unhappy that the now overgrown and outmoded bureaucracy that is NASA will continue to spend money with not the slightest plan as to what the goals and objectives will be in the future.

We do not need to continue to borrow from the Chi-coms just to keep the outmoded agency alive and the staff employed. The Fat Lady has sung.

Phil Marx said...

"Those houses around us have tossed out trashbags FULL of expended firework ordnance..."

They actually bag their trash now? Sounds like your neighborhood is actually beginning to improve a bit!

Bob G. said...

I think Nasa DID become bloated over time, but considering what they BEGAN with and what they accomplished when they were pretty much an adjunct of the USAF, they did well.
That $209.1 billion seems like a drop in the bucket now considering the TOTAL debt this nation has been racking up under both parties, though.
And that as OVER 30 years...not just in the last several years.

I think we recouped some of that mioney in the private sector, but then again, I'm a real science fiction buff...and would like nothing better to see the fiction BECOME REALITY.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

Bob G. said...

There are a few that actually DO, but the amount of trash they toss all over the place (and on ours and other's property) far OUTWEIGHS whatever "progress" on the evolutionary ladder they have made to date.

Yeah, they keep slipping DOWN a few rungs.

They must SHIP the damn trash INTO the area...no one can create THAT much, THAT fast!

Still having shots fired in YOUR 'hood I see, as well.

Nice to know some things just won't change.

Thanks a lot for stopping by today and commenting.

You stay safe up there.