July 4th, 2006

Whale fluke

Be safe, astronauts.

The shuttle Discovery made it safely to orbit not too long ago.

Stay safe, OK?

I'll admit, shuttle launches make me nervous -- especially near the throttle-up where the Challenger began to break up 20 years ago -- and this time I didn't really breathe easy until after the external tank fell away. (I watched that for the first time from an on-tank camera, and yes, THAT was neat.)

But even when the first post-Challenger launch had happened in 1988, and I knew that the shuttle had reached orbit safely, I still got scared watching the replay. Something that looked like misdirected thruster fire seemed to be coming from the side of the launch vehicle, before the boosters jettisoned. I don't remember if that was an optical illusion, or an atmospheric effect, but I remember it looked disconcertingly like the thrust peeking out from the booster's side that caused the loss of the Challenger.

But the launch has happened, the shuttle is in orbit, and I hope all things keep looking good.
Whale fluke

I don't got no blues. I wanna get mo' snooze.

Today: a good day. An enjoyable day. A not-burnt-to-a-crisp-by-the-sun day (thanks, sunscreen!).

I went downtown this afternoon, and after hitting three ATMs to get some money -- the first was apparently stuck and endlessly beeping, and the second had a non-functioning touch screen, but the third one burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp worked! -- I then appreciated two shows. The first was the Overtime play in the Italy-Germany World Cup game, broadcast on a giant TV that'd been set up in Pioneer Courthouse Square, which was about as filled as it can be with soccer fans. Neat. And the second show was the Waterfront Blues Fest, in the bowl south of the Hawthorne Bridge (and the former site of on-ramps for a riverfront highway that's not there anymore; the bowl is a much better use of the space).

I made a $10 donation plus two cans of Progresso -- the money and food go to support the Oregon Food Bank -- and proceeded to groove. The music made me smile. The eggplant pita made my stomach smile (erm, uh, so to speak). The March 4th Marching Band made my, well, um, arms and legs smi...OK, let's stop extending that metaphor. The March 4th Marching Band made me dance. It made many others dance. I have photographic proof waiting on the one-use camera I brought with me. Oh, and that one dancer? The one in the Union Jack shirt? I think i'm in love. ;-) I wonder if she's a belly dancer as well as a March 4th dancer...

Now I go to bed. I'm actually not in the mood for fireworks -- they might seem a little paltry after the lightning storm I saw last night -- so let's see if I can sleep through them.