Milestones...and other news.Today is the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding, killing all seven astronauts on board just moments after lift off. Do you remember where you were when it happened?
I was a senior in high school, sitting in my physics class. I remember watching and being thrilled that this was happening, and the next thing I knew the explosion happened and I was dumb-struck. I'll never forget the feeling of that day as long as I live, and everytime there's another launch, I remember Challenger as well as Columbia. While modern technology has advanced, and while NASA has claimed to improve their program and now listen to the engineers who build these crafts, I often wonder how I'd feel if Jack came home one day and said to me, "Mommy, I want to be an astronaut!" I'd rather my son die another way, not at the hands of the people at NASA, which is sad to say.
My grandfather Irving was one of the creators of the LEM back in the 60's when the space program was getting started. He worked for NASA, as well as a company in Long Island that manufactured the parts for the rockets that carried the original astronauts of the Gemini and Apollo programs. Why does it seem that these men were more efficient than the men at NASA today? Why is it that Management feels the need to over-ride what the experts who built these space ships are saying nowadays? Why can't we just be happy here on Earth, instead of trying to colonize places like the Moon and Mars someday? There are millions of problems to solve here first; then let's move to outer space.
Senator John Kerry is coming home from a trip to Switzerland in order to organize a filibuster in order to block the confirmation of Robert (?) Alito. I'm for it, as I was hoping that a liberal would get the last seat on the Supreme Court. If Alito is confirmed we can kiss Roe vs. Wade goodbye, along with interracial marriages, and say hello to segregated schools once again. I'm scared that too conservative a Supreme Court will abolish Women's rights and throw our nation back 100 years. It's not going to be a pretty day when Alito is confirmed, but I fear it's where we're going. Looks like King George is getting his way, the fucking dicator.
Actor Chris Penn died on Tuesday at the age of 43 of unknown, but natural causes. "Willard" from Footloose, as well as the goofy son Eddie of the mob boss in "Resevoir Dogs", and a few other pretty classic movie characters, Chris was a terrific, if not under-rated actor, living in the shadow of two famous brothers, Sean and Michael. When I woke up Wednesday morning and read it on the internet, I let out a pretty huge sigh. I was really stunned and I felt terrible for his family. I hope that the toxicology report that comes back from the autopsy shows no illegal drug use. It would really cast a bad pallor over a really good guy. He'll be missed.
Last but not least, I've booked my flight home to California to visit my firends and family after nearly three years here in Atlanta. I come into LAX on March 4th, and will come back here on the 11th. A week should be enough time to visit with the people I really want to see, and to soak in the sunshine and smog again. It's not like I miss L.A. but it's time to go home for a visit.
It's been a busy week of remembering and reflecting. Now we move into Black History Month....another four weeks of reflection, especially here in Atlanta! Good times are a comin'...woo-hoo!