Well, this is as close as I’ll get to seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis lifting off. The Shuttle’s Engine Cut Off sensors—which NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has derisively referred to as “Launch Prevention Devices”—has again delayed the launch of STS-122, this time waving off the Saturday attempt. I got the phone call about an hour ago, and at that time, I indicated that I’m going to drive back tomorrow. Thus ends my attempts to see STS-122 lift off in person.
It was a good week, though. I wasn’t really in to all the rah-rah crap that they wanted to do, because I didn’t see that as a big deal. But it really kinda is. I’m fired up to get back and keep doing the good job that I’m apparently doing at work, because it’s really easy to feel that What I Do Is Important.
Having several days to hang out with Josh was great. We’re certainly different than we were sixteen years ago, but we have such a strong bond from growing up and a like-mindedness that allows all those years to melt away quite quickly. As a military brat, you grow up thinking that you’ll just have these friends for a year or four until you go on to your next base; it sucks, but you learn to adjust. But this week, Josh and I have proven that all the reasons for which we were friends for seven years are the reasons we will still be friends at 70.
I was struck by something Josh said as we walked out to get lunch today: “[This week]’s been just like when we were kids.” I think he meant in two ways—not only us being friends, but in the kicking ass and taking names that we did growing up. And yeah … it has been like that.
To my parents: thanks for all the time and energy you invested in me being a smart, hardworking kid over the years. They’ve paid off, but you’ve known that for a while. [Mainly when you didn’t have to pay too much for my college education. 😉 ] To my friends, thanks for putting up with some of my … weird obsessions about work. [And with sometimes putting it above my relationships with people, because I certainly do that.] To my colleagues, thanks for making me look good, because y’all deserve this award even more than I do. And to my bosses, thanks for the chance to try—because it was as much a chance to shine as it was a chance to go down in flames.
And to Atlantis: get off the ground, will ya? The DCSU FSE hardware we built this year needs to get off the SSPF floor, and it can’t do that if you don’t go. So GO!