Monday, November 17, 2008

T Minus 10

Spaceman Spliff

Thursday Tiff, Noah and I hopped on a flight to Orlando with one goal in mind. AVOID the      D-Word at all costs. Well that might not have been part of Noahs plan but we never even told him that Orlando was the home of the place that shall not be named. We went to Orlando to witness a far greater type of ride. A ride with a sign that states "you must be this smart to ride." Someday Noah will get to ride. The shuttle was scheduled for Liftoff from Cape Canaveral at 7:55pm for it's last night launch. We arrived early and decided to drive to the Kennedy Space Center for a look around, yeah, ummmm, you have to have passes to even go down that road on launch day! So we drove up to Titusville along the Indian River. We found a place to watch from and parked our badselves on a bench to wait for 8 hours. About an hour in I realized we were going to need some other seating options, so after a quick visit to a local fleamarket and 4$ later we had some sweet chairs. We eventually were surrounded by people. Some great folks from Scotland, Germany, and some guys that own a astronomy shop in North Carolina set up some telescopes right next to us. Noah had a blast looking at the Shuttle on its launch pad. I don't really know how to descibe the launch other than it was amazing.

Sitting and waiting

our super sweet chairs

Video speaks for itself
(So why can't I keep my stupid gob shut?)

Smoke trail, moon and shuttle on the left

Just a couple interesting facts; at 2 minutes the solid rocket boosters have burned all of their fuel and fall away, at four minutes the shuttle is traveling at 6000mph, and at 8 minutes they are in orbit. To give you an idea of the power of this thing, the largest commercial airliner engines in use are on the 777. each engine on the 777 produces 1 Hundred Thousand Pounds of Thrust. So a 777 takes off with a total of 200,000 pounds of thrust. By comparison the shuttle at lift-off is producing 7 MILLION pounds of thrust.
Needless to say it was pretty frickin awesome!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Of Elections and Elk Hunts

Well, in a way I have come full circle to my redneck roots. I bought a permit to shoot an Elk. My permit was for a spike Elk only and the weapon of choice was a muzzleloader(for those that don't know, think civil war rifle) I have never killed anything with my muzzleloader though I have tried multiple times. I was obviously not in the hunt for a trophy Elk(spike only tag) nor was I in in solely for the meat, but more a reason to get out and hike my ass off before the snow hit, to spend some time alone in the mountains and just to be outside. All of these goals were accomplished with the exception of bringing home some natural steroid free meat. For those that read this and are opposed to hunting let me say this, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be a human being on this earth and not have a negative impact on animals. If you eat meat, someone killed that animal. If you brush your teeth or take medicine, those were tested on animals. If you live in a house, you have evicted an animal from its home. We cannot avoid having an impact on them. Anyway, yesterday I did finally, after 12 years of trying, get my first shot at an Elk, and I missed, I hit the only tree between me and the vital organs of one lucky Elk. However I had a fantastic time hunting with my Dad. During the course of the day we had time to talk about the election and Obamas policies and it came out that Obama is not the best friend of the hunter and that he may propose some new gun laws. I am not afraid of this, I keep hearing people say so many negative things, Obamas gonna take my guns, he's gonna take my money, he's going to support terrorists, all of the crap people are saying is coming from the rightwing fearmongers. I hear so many people saying things that I know are not coming from them but just something someone told them to try and scare them. My mother-in-law said it best the other night. She said "once I knew he was going to win, I really started to listen to HIM and I am impressed with him." and that is the key people. Stop listening to Sean Hannity and Rush telling you to hate and fear, listen to Obama speaking himself and make up your own minds. The country has a great opportunity to come together. Will you be the one that holds us apart? And for those of you who are complaining about the media coverage of the first African American President. I know it's getting old, but it is a huge deal. It was not that long ago that African Americans were being hung in peoples yards, so yes it is a big deal. I am excited Obama won, I look forward to seeing where he can take us, but like he said in his acceptance speech, he needs our help! 

You might not like the video but it definitely had an impact on me.
My favorite line from this speech is,
"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about HOPE"

and now I am going kayaking before Obama dries up all of the rivers, steals our water and diverts it to the terrorists and forces all Mormons to drink alchohol!
(it's true, I heard it from someone)