Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Serious History Our Kids need to know

29 Years

January 28, 1986 around 10:40 AM CST?

Do you know where you were? I do, the exact spot I was standing.

Working at the Michoud Assembly Facility supporting the Space Shuttle Program, It was a habit to go to the nearest television monitor and watch the launches. We all held our breath until the Shuttle was inserted into orbit, then returned to our desks to resume our work.

Launches were "textbook" by 1986, everyone knowing what came when the bird blasted off.

Here's a script of the communications between the astronauts and command center.

When the words "go with throttle up" everything for the Space Shuttle Program changed.

In this photo from Jan. 9, 1986, the Challenger crew takes a break during countdown training at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Left to right are Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.

Image Credit: NASA

The Program went through so many changes from January 1986 until September 1988, when the redesigned system launched again.

After we started launching again, I cringed every time the "go for throttle up" command was given, right down to the last launch in 2011.

The Space Shuttle Program history, with new programs gearing up for launches to Mars and beyond.

A huge thank you to ALL of us who were part of this awesome, exciting 30 year ride.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I don't know how it happened, but I'm and elderly person at the age of 60. I agree with all of the advice from this video. All of you younger persons: please keep this in mind. At 60 it means a lot:


Resolution evokes good memories.

My New Years resolution is to walk my Deuce every day. (Deuce is a labrador).

Here's a picture of us at Dauphin Island

I've been doing great, only missed two days so far!

Our 2 mile trek takes us through the neighborhood where there is hardly any traffic and everyone waves to us. I've taken to carrying small dog bicuits with me to throw to the dogs along the route. Sort of like a puppy mardi gras parade.

As long as Deuce is mellow, this walk gives me time to think about things or think about nothing. It's very carthartic for me. There are certain areas that
remind me from my childhood:
This picture of pine needles on the side of the road brings me way back.

My cousins lived way back in the woods on a few acres on Hunt Road in Kingston, New Hampshire. It was such a wonderful place to be as a young child: plenty of land to explore, a fantastic swing in "the grove" and it was far away from the world. I'm sure it's a huge subdivision now, but back in the 1960's it was sooo wonderful. The smell of pine was everywhere! I will never forget our times there.

My first communion with my older brother and sister

I think that my New Years resolution was one I'll stick to.