Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just Boo...

The End.

Several years ago my son reached out to another friend's friend, Paul Dye. The 6th graders had been told to pick a topic related to flight for their science reports.

My son has not always had the best self esteem. Hearing impaired, stuttering, fatherless he always felt a little "less" because of those things. He'd been all over the world by the age of 12, seen shuttle launches, been in the Tampa Tribune when a reporter and photographer found us touring the memorial site for the Challenger (the only ship to have disintegrated at that time, Columbia came later) but his confidence languished.

So, the boys in his room picked planes they liked, one picked his father who owned a Cessna, another one picked his dad who flew for Northwest - believe the 757.

My son kept his secret. His person *owns* the International Space Station, and ANYTHING and everything that leaves a launch pad courtesy of NASA. Paul Dye is the lead flight director for all things space bound. He knows the astronauts by name, they know him. He knew the Challenger and Columbia fearless 14, he knows the Atlantis crew today. 

We thought of Paul today.  We thought of him every time a launch occurred, and especially when the two orbiters did not land safely.  Because of Paul, my son swaggered a little more the day of the presentation, because of Paul and NASA and the astronauts we've met, my son never stopped looking up.

My son, like me, has always been interested in "what's out there" and hence, we often watched the NASA channel on DirecTV. We've owned telescopes, and watched the shuttles from the ground. At the right angles and right time, you can see which moving "white spot" is a shuttle or a star or an asteroid.

We won't be able to do that anymore.

For all those who have seen a launch, you know it is beyond spectacular, emotional, and awe inspiring. For all those who have seen a landing, you know the relief in getting another crew down safely.

We won't be able to do that anymore either.

These events will never happen again. I'm not sure when I got so old as to remembering Apollo's launches, the decision to scrub going to the moon again, the building of the shuttle fleet, but I remember the sadness when it happened.

(Picture courtesy of

Just as I do today at the end of the shuttles' runs.

I don't blame Obama or Bush for the end of the runs; I think plans to get to Mars and asteroids are a joke, something to quell the minds of those who want to go where no man has gone before... but I don't think it will happen...too many politics getting in the way (both sides), too many conflicting interests now (both sides), too little money for too many causes (both sides)...

I will miss being in KSC for a launch, I will miss watching video of the shuttle (orbiter actually) in space. I will miss hearing the "boom" of the launch, and the "wheels down" call of the commander. I will miss the pictures from space of our marble we all call home, and I will miss the "what's out there now" feeling everytime humans went to space.

I watched Atlantis' launch and sadly wondered, when.

So, one final entry for NASA:

Thank you, Job well done!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Down & Out?

Over almost four years, people have come into and out of my life for various reasons.  Some wanted and tried to help, others just simply disappeared, others yet, I axed.  The old adage: if you can't say something nice then keep your damn fool mouth shut comes to mind, or at least phrase your damn fool mind so that it is not so overtly offensive.  Some people never learn.  I culled them.

Some people wanted the Ad2b who had great parties on the deck replete with steaks and beer, still others wanted Ad2b to help them out despite the situation on hand, and others yet, just wanted to make a really bad situation much, much worse.  Then there is the last group: those who disappeared because Ad2b was no longer one of the top 1% but rather qualified for welfare (which I never took).

I found out who my true friends are.  I found out who would stick with me through thick and thin, stand up for me absent of me being able to do so myself.  I found out who would help coach me along without impinging upon my dignity and my heart.  I found out who would do what they could without looking down their noses at me.

As I rise again, I find the clinger-on-'ers coming back again.  I found out those to whom I have been loyal to, are unworthy.  Painful recognition of facts.

Today, an article on reminded me of it all over again.

Sinatra once fell from glory to 3-bit Frank.  Patsy stood by him and while Sinatra was all alone one Thanksgiving, Patsy opened his restaurant anyway just so Frank would not be alone.  People often wondered why Frank was so loyal to Patsy because when Sinatra rose again, he could eat anywhere, anytime.

That loyalty has been repaid again and again. I hope to do the same for those who were loyal to me.  You know who you are.

Here's the article on Sinatra:  Sinatra

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Love This

As I see it, cheating men (and women) always seem to think they can get away with it.  The woman in the relationship is bewildered when finding out because her choices in beginning to date a man are;

she can choose to believe and trust building a relationship foundation


she can become paranoid and a victim disintegrating what could be a great relationship

Many women choose the first because great relationships are not bourne out of paranoia and martyrdom.

I believe many cheating men believe the woman, when she finds out, will beg him to change, stay, or will just beg and become deflated.  I believe men who cheat think they are above everyone else financially, mentally, and emotionally and therefore, accountable to no one, especially the woman who loves him.

That's why I have to admit, I love Elizabeth (RIP you poor soul), Elin, Sandra, Jenny, Maria, et al.  Heads held high, they kept their mouths shut except for a brief, "This is painful" statement and moved on.  Meanwhile, all those husbands' careers careened off a cliff so sharply that many are only now, years later, finding out how much their cheating hurt them.

I can't help but smirk at those dolts.  Wealth does not give you the priviledge of cheating or of eating your cake, disparaging the woman you cheated on, and living life free of pain.

And generally speaking, it is easier for the women to find better, wealthier, more stable, honest, trustworthy men, than the men are at picking up the pieces after their sordid, disgusting affairs, and declining careers.

Here's to my favorite scorned ex-wife, Elin.  Kudos to you for finding something better than a Tiger who will never change his stripes.

Elin's New Life & Love

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Geriatric Patient Flight Condition

My dad's chronic health issues have been well noted on here. Six months ago, his health took a nose dive off a long cliff and for the past several months, Mayo has been considering naming the wing at St. Mary's after him (kidding!!).

Between various tests, surgeries, medications, check-ups, more medications, more tests, and more surgeries to be followed up with more and different medications, a pacemaker, and some other procedures, my dad... finally kissed his bloody specialist goodbye yesterday with a beaming smile, I think the man who has lost 55 pounds in the last 6 months, jumped for joy.

If not himself physically, his voice sure did.

So, now the question is:

Can he fly?

I have reserved two suites on Sanibel Island for my parents, my son and me thinking my son and I would drive down, and my parents could fly courtesy of all the mileage I still have on Delta.

That begs the question, not can Delta get him there (generally speaking, they can) but can his very weakened body hold up to the pressure at higher altitudes?

Doing a quick Google search I found an article about pre-travel assessment for the geriatric traveler... courtesy of a physician teaching at Yale...

I was reading the article located here:

When I realized part way through, the information might be outdated:

"Remind travelers to request a non-smoking seat (as far away as possible) from the smoking section..."

I chuckled. I remember those days (vaguely). Recycled oxygen containing smoke was shown in various studies to be just as dangerous as second hand smoke down on the ground, if not worse. I did not read further. Newer information might be better... it is my dad, after all. I'd like to give my mom the questions to ask his cardio when they meet so we're all prepared to make the best decision for traveling with a weakened, somewhat immuno-suppresed individual.

He just wants to put his feet on the white sands of FL again. He'd like to pick up shells, reminisce about his youth and his travels with my mom and Mr. and Mrs Z. (noted last year when Mr. Z passed away). He'd like to spend time with his only daughter and only grandson... playing around like we did so many years ago when my son and I lived in FL. He'd just like to know that the past few horrifically difficult months were not in vain and that he still can have a quality life... whatever is left.

And of course, I'd like to give that to him. And of course, if there's a way, I will.

(Oh, and for those wondering, Dad has given me consent to talk about whatever I want related to him. So while not overtly saying what has medically occurred, I am discussing his current state of health.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Birthday Boy

Don't Pet The Gator

Another laugh, courtesy this time of Dr. Grumpy (side panel holds link to his blog).

Strange men can = bad

Strange men holding gator = probably bad

Petting gator being held by strange man = definitely bad