Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Drunken Astronauts...

... a recent new story covers the emerging scandal of "drunken astronauts" flying into space. Apparently over the years, some NASA astronauts had consumed alcohol within 12 hours of their launch time.

Of note, none of the stories detail what the blood alcohol content of the astronauts were, what NASA considers to be a high or inappropriate BAC for an astronaut in flight, or if the incidents involved any of those piloting the craft.

Firstly, let me say that anybody who is either brave or crazy enough to strap their butt to a 10-story tall, 535,000 gallon liquid hydrogen bomb in the midst of a controlled explosion deserves a drink the night before. Note well, these people are not truck drivers or even airline pilots - they are ASTRONAUTS with highly specialized training. There are 6,600,000,000 people on earth, only 460 have ever gone into space - that is less than a billionth of 1%.

Secondly, while routine, space travel is not safe, let me repeat, not safe - it truly falls into the category of risky behavior. Aside from "tippin' the bottle", an even greater risk is posed by dropping foam panels, birds, space debris, computer failure, mechanical failure, etc. Again, when your heiney is plastered into the back of your seat while going 7 miles a second (that's 25,000 mph to you and me), there's not much anyone can do that hasn't already been programmed by Mission Control until they reach orbit.

So, c'mon News Media... lighten up! Aside from the OMG factor, there are bigger fish to fry than Astronauts who had a drink the night before they flew. Iraq may be getting old, but it still qualifies as much more news worthy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I sort of feel obliged...

... to demonstrate I'm still alive. So, here you go.

By the way, I just turned 45 last week - a limpy greying geezer to some my friends, a veritable baby to others. Nancy, her sister Barbara, and our friends George and Zeb went out to Marigold Kitchen (at the corner of 45th & Larchwood) to celebrate - we had a good time and a dee-lish dinner. Marigold is the crew from the adventurous & short-lived Salt Restaurant (which we never got a chance to visit), so the food was very eclectic and tasty.

The other cool thing about Marigold Kitchen is that I used to live a few yards away on Larchwood Avenue. The address numbers that I drew on the front of my old house with Prismacolor pencils in 1987 are still there and as bright as ever. Being in the restaurant was nostalgic since I'd dined there back when it was a meatloaf and mashed potatoes place (yes - people tell the wait staff that all the time, with EXACTLY those words) - and it also had the same layout of my old house... those West Philly Victorians are really grand.

Anyway, a good time was had by all - I received brandy snifters and single malt scotch (Glenfiddich) as presents, so I made out well!