Well, since I wasn’t there to watch, they finally managed to launch Endeavour on a 16 day mission to ISS. I talked to my cousin at his timeshare in Cocoa Beach, and he said it was a little anti-climactic. Their place at Cocoa is just a little too far away for it to be thunderingly impressive, but it would have been closer than I was here.
So here’s the picture I wanted to take, but wouldn’t have gotten at the beach anyway. It was up on the NASA site.
I somehow can’t imagine putting on the space suit and sitting on top of a big liquid oxygen bomb waiting for someone to light the fuse 5 times before it actually goes on the 6th. I’d do it in a heartbeat, but eventually you’d have to begin to wonder if you were jinxed somehow. NASA guys don’t think that way, mostly, I don’t imagine, but it had to be stressful. It was also stressful on the actual vehicle, as they pumped the big external fuel tank full of hydrogen and LOX six times. That’s got to be difficult on the equipment. But now it’s another mission underway, and not too many more to go before they stop flying America’s Space Truck. I need to go at least once to see it up close and personal.
So where was I when the shuttle was finally launching? At the studios of WBOB, finishing up my 2nd radio show. Our guest was City Council President Richard Clark, who’d not a huge fan of Mayor Peyton’s budget, which includes a property tax millage increase. Unfortunately, he was only able to do half the show, and we wound up winging it for the 2nd half. I’m a little out of practice “winging it” on the radio, but we managed. It’ll just get better as we go forward.
Thing is, there is a lot to discuss. The property tax thing is going to be huge, and we’ve got some serious elections coming up at the local and state levels. I saw a piece the other day that indicated if the Federal climate change bill passes JEA (the local electric/water/sewer utility) could bump rates by 10%. That’s huge, as they did multiple rate increases last year as fuel prices rose almost as fast as the shuttle and equipment started to need repair. But in the depths of a recession, when taxes are going up for schools and possibly for general city revenue, an electric rate increase could be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. After a while, it starts to sound like inflation. And it doesn’t take a Nobel economist to figure out that more spent on taxes and utilities means less spent on discretionary things, because wages certainly aren’t going up. I don’t know very many people who haven’t taken a pay cut, a furlough, (or both) or been let go outright in this recession. There’s just not a lot more to spend. And if we’re spending it on taxes and utilities, what gets cut? Food, shelter? Everybody has to make their own choices. Or you could just shut off the lights and AC and TV and computers …
But that’s where I was. Not at the beach, Not at NASA, but at least not here at the bit grinder. I’m spending plenty of time at that.
Not complaining. I love being back on the radio. But after so many tries, It would have been nice to be down there to see it go.
Maybe next time.