The last of the shuttle launches in the dark

April 6, 2010

I set my clock for six… some silly dream was going on.

The “Entertainer” melodic notes provided long ago by Scott Joplin roused me.

I lay there wondering if I should move… didn’t want to.

The cats were clearly having none of it.

The indecision took 15 minutes….

Suddenly it was now or never.

I flipped on the TV… the countdown was still on.

3 minutes.


Stumbled into the living room to fire up the TV that I could wind back time with.

And slipped outside into the cool, quiet wet of predawn.

1 minute 30 seconds

To my right a young man was kissing his girl? wife? good bye as she jalopied off to work.

He sort of looked at me in my slippers and night shorts… who knows what thoughts went through his head.

But I noted his bathrobe, checkered, as he went back inside and the lock clicked.

Safe from me and the thousand other burglars on the prowl.

I was alone with the moon and the illusion of night still heavy.

30 seconds

I looked to the East.

Wondered if anything was changing at the last minute.

And then…

The glow began

That orange intensity that said something big was coming.



Then it popped above the tree line.

Glorious, bringing it’s own early daylight.

That light that is too bright, too big with whooshing billowing streams of smoke pouring out behind it…

A modern remembrance of belching Iron Horses that commanded the prairies in years gone by.

Alone, I was watching it’s graceful arc to chase the space station that had only minutes before scurried across the face of the moon!

No one else was stirring.

No one else chose to take in this magnificent sight.

Everyone else had reached for the snooze buttons.

The billowing thread of smoke paused… a gap, a moment, and then…

This new intense bluish flame erupted… now there were two smoke clouds punctuating the sky.

And as it flared one last brightening time, two tiny red specks silently fell away… cinders to me

Still it arced to the horizon.

Only now straight up became a slope down… as it truly showed the curve of our planet…

I kept it in frame as long as I could…

Finally watching the now tiny candle cradled between two branches of the big tree until it was swallowed by a leaf.

Leaving nothing but the smoky contrails, the upper patch and long streak of initial thrust.

But their turn now as they themselves put on a show.

For the new day which had already begun in the heavens high above us found a short cut down to the twilighted predawn sky.

Each cloud was illumined from within by bouncing starlight racing down the unexpected tubes to earth…

And as they drifted lazily apart they formed what looked like a signature…

The handwritten mark of the shuttle.

Of man in space.

Now the sky lightened, motor cars rumbled and twin headlights began to stab the quiescence as the mundane workaday world resumed.

Reluctantly I breathed in a last look at the tableau above me but knowing I had one more glimpse awaiting inside.

My very own “Way Back” machine that most call Pause.

So there in the darkened living room I watched anew the close up miracle of televised majesty.

All the way to the stunning separation just as the earth finally spun into sunlight… the blue curve of our lifeboat sailing through the starry heavens rimmed with a new day.

Wondering, I padded once more into the awakening of the real dawn to see what had become of the hazy signatures.

Against a yellowing sky sliding quickly into daylight blue they were there … looking more like lines of music now.

Perhaps they were.

Each thread of exhausted gas brilliant with impossible oranges and reds that only the upper atmosphere could provide.

What words can you put to such a morning?

How can mere letters capture the beauty of this?

Somehow, as if my unspoken thoughts were heard, I stepped back into the four walls of my day to day and happened to glance down at my feet.

There all by itself on the fence was a single solitary Morning Glory.

The first one of the new year.

The only one.

Opened with yearning and joy, lit as they are with their own internal light

A haiku of Nature that said more than anything I humbly tried.

For the Writer of the World has always known how to say it best:

The first and only Morning Glory to open at the moment the shuttle flew overhead on it's last darkness launch

Nature's reply to the stunning Shuttle launch April 5th 2010


Only in America!… or is that China?? Italy anyone???!

August 6, 2009
Make up your mind!

Make up your mind!


Spotted recently at a Jos. A Bank store in Central Florida. Does anyone at corporate ever get the irony of what they do??!

Finding humor in where we work… UPS style (aka Great Comeback Lines!)

July 28, 2009
Do Ground Crews Truly Have A Sense of Humor??
(You tell me after you read this!!)

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a ‘gripe
sheet,’ which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The
mechanics corrects the problems, document their repairs on the form,
and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
 Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are
 some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked
 with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance
 By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever had an accident.



 P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
 S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
 P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
 S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
 P: Something loose in cockpit
 S: Something tightened in cockpit
 P: Dead bugs on windshield.
 S: Live bugs on back-order.
 P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute
 S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
 P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
 S: Evidence removed.
 P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
 S: DME volume set to more believable level.
 P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
 S: That’s what friction locks are for.
 P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
 S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
 P: Suspected crack in windshield.
 S: Suspect you’re right.
 P: Number 3 engine missing.
 S: Engine found on right wing after brief search
 P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
 S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.
 P:Target radar hums.
 S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
 P: Mouse in cockpit.
 S: Cat installed.
 And the best one for last
 P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget
 pounding on something with a hammer.
 S: Took hammer away from the midget.

Apple Computer improving life one device at a time. The Next Step:

July 16, 2009

Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play high fidelity music in women’s breast implants.

The iTit will cost between $499.00 and $699.00 depending on speaker size.

This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women have always complained about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Amazing Photographs!

July 16, 2009
Talk about laying an egg!

Talk about laying an egg!

The Ultimate Complete & Concise Guide to the Stimulus Plan

July 16, 2009


It is the month of August, a resort town sits next to the shores of a lake. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 dollar bill on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the pig raiser.

The pig raiser takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 dollar bill to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 dollar bill back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 dollar bill, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism .

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government is doing business today.