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Thursday, February 27th, 2003

I bid a sad goodbye to Mr. Rogers and am grateful for the childhood joy and education that he brought to my life, and into the lives of countless millions.

Mr. Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister who used his television show, "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" secularly and inclusively to feed our expanding brains with his gentle manners, and imagination. Like most people, I never met the man, but I'm acquainted with his life which was reputed to be kind and genuine both on and off screen - a truly worthy role model and an educator extraordinaire.

His warm light will live on in generations untold. Thanks Mr. Rogers.

Friday, February 21st, 2003

I had a Cinnabon last night.

I've had the flu since last Wednesday and have had little sleep as of late. Yesterday I was running on 2 hours of sleep.

But I got a Cinnabon at the mall and brought it home. I put on my fading cotten lounge pants, turned on a good, mindless TV show, zapped the Cinnabon in the new microwave for ten seconds and slathered on the extra frosting that I'd bought.

Damn, that was one tasty Cinnabon.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2003

I didn't want to participate in the Columbia disaster media frenzy, nor did I want to see the obligatory explosion footage. Today was the first day that I tuned into (non-radio) news since Friday. I watched the ten minutes of news that are shown on CBS's 'The Early Show', and of course they showed the Columbia exploding.

On a positive note:

Shuttle missions 'must go on', say crew's families
Updated 13:15 04 February 03
NewScientist.com news service

The relatives of the seven astronauts who died on space shuttle Columbia say the exploration of space by astronauts "must go on".

The joint statement from the mourning families released on Monday echoes renewed pledges by US President George W Bush, and backing from the US public.

Evelyn Husband, widow of shuttle commander Rick Husband, read out the statement on US television. She called Columbia's mission of scientific discovery "a great success".

"Although we grieve deeply, as do the families of Apollo 1 and Challenger before us, the bold exploration of space must go on," she said. "Once the root cause of this tragedy is found and corrected, the legacy of Columbia must carry on - for the benefit of our children and yours."

In a speech in Maryland on Monday, Bush praised the astronauts for "their achievements, their heroism and their sense of wonder" and re-iterated the importance of scientific exploration. "While we grieve the loss of these astronauts, the cause of which they died will continue, America's journey into space will go on," he said.

On an ironic note:

George Bush's administration cut $300,000,000. from NASA's budget.

I do not mean to imply direct responsibility for this disaster, however, I feel that it is highly disingenuous to now stand in the lime light and deliver speeches on the merits of the space program while cutting its budget.

Read this March 10th, 2000 article for its foreshadowing.
Report: NASA budget cuts leave shuttle safety in doubt

Tuesday, February 4th, 2003

My microwave oven was fried by an electrical storm some months back. The surge disabled the 'cook' buttons, but left 'time set', and 'defrost' intact. So for sometime now I've been warming food very slowing through the use of the defrost, and have had to forgo microwaved pop-corn all together.

It is a shame, but it just isn't practical to repair the trusty old microwave. Judging from past experience when trying to repair an old VCR (that had also suffered from an electric surge), I didn't expect that I could get the microwave repaired for less than $75. And, as I was surprised to find out (having not even thought of getting a new microwave for over 13 years), one can get a dandy new microwave for $75-$120.

So last night I bought a new, brushed silver, "EWave" microwave oven from Home Depot for $100.

A microwave isn't a fun new toy (though my new microwave does have a snazzy retro-futurist look), - there is always some small thrill that sticks with me every time I see some new addition to the domicile. - It is a little surprise every time I enter the room. "Oh Yeah! I have a new microwave - cool."

(Editor's Note: May, 9th 2003 - Although my microwave could not be repaired economically , I did not just throw it in the dumpster. Instead, I took the oven to a repair shop and donated it so that its organs may live on in other machines and its death will not have been in vain.)

Monday, February 3rd, 2003

I love space exploration, and the loss of the Columbia and her crew pains me. I've avoided pictures of the shuttle exploding. I don't have the heart for it.

NASA and the awesome Apollo missions were fueled in large part by the United States attempt to illustrate the superiority of Democracy over Communism. As far as cold war gamesmanship goes, the space race was one of the few benefits. Besides, even though the politicians and generals were concerned with marketing and tactical value of space, a greater portion of society just loved and valued the science and exploration.

Some question the value of spending so much money on space exploration when there is such need here on earth. Such thinking is short sited. Space exploration holds the potential to solve many of our greatest ills with the prospects of terraforming, off-world resources, gravity defying physics, and it raises the human condition through the joys and wonder of exploration.

Now, Russians are our allies and partners in the International Space Station. Men and women of different cultures and backgrounds explore space. Our knowledge of the universe expands thanks to our space programs. We need these things.
The legacy of NASA today: science, exploration and hope.

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