Sunday, May 31, 2020

Live Streaming Concert to Live Streaming Launch...

Friday night the Dropkick Murphys put on a hell of a live show in an empty Fenway Park. Though it was sad to see the old stadium still sans baseball and sans fans for the concert, it was good to see the boys out on the field, playing their hearts out for two plus hours.

They had drones with cameras flitting about and overall, the folks who put this concert on did a bang-up job. High praise all around. Especially when you consider that the City of Boston said no more than 35 people could be inside the stadium for the event. Usually it takes something like a hundred folks to put this kind of thing on. The 35 included the band!

From the overhead shots I could see where The WSO and I sat for a Foo Fighters concert a couple of years ago. Brought back memories it did.

By my count, something like 60,000 people were watching online, Fenway only seats 37,731 (so the Internet tells me). So quite a good turnout for charity.

Bagpipes in a rock band? Gotta love it, at least I do.

Even Bruce Springsteen made an appearance over the net from his place in New Jersey. It was a lot of fun.

On to Saturday afternoon where I watched the launch of SpaceX and, unlike Wednesday, the weather cooperated nicely.

It was an awe inspiring sight. We're back in space with an American vehicle after nine years.

'Bout time.

Yup, the boys are back.*

* Yes, the girls are back as well, I didn't write the song...

Saturday, May 30, 2020

I Was Gonna Do Airplanes...

It's been an odd week. Though last weekend was a four day weekend, I only slept well Friday night, and for some reason, short work weeks always feel longer than normal ones. That plus the multiple meetings on Thursday really wore my a$$ out. Spent most of Friday trying desperately to focus on the work at hand.

Wasn't easy.

Had a bizarre dream Thursday night. I was sitting in some sort of vehicle, in the back seat, when another guy opens the door opposite me and gets in. Dear Lord if it ain't Bernie Sanders and he's mad as Hell. Then he starts shaking his finger at me and bitching about not running for President. All I could say was, "Wasn't my fault dude, you quit. Not that I would have voted for you, but..."

Still trying to remember what triggered that!

We've had a lot of cloud and bleh this week, The Missus Herself and I were trying to figure out whether or not we had had a sunny day all week. Neither of us was sure, the days are starting to all run together. I have two days on the calendar now, shave day, no shave day. The only way I can tell what day it is is to rub my face when I get up. Really scruffy, shave day, semi-scruffy, no shave day. Bleh.

Had Mississippi pot roast for dinner Friday night (love that stuff, The Missus Herself likes it too). Just as we were sitting down for dinner, The Nuke called. Friday was the day the roofers were coming to replace the roof on her house in Alexandria. She and the next door neighbor went in together as they got a pretty good deal.

She's renting that place out to an Air Force captain and her husband, so she's not there usually. She got a phone call from the roofing crew supervisor saying that they were going to have to replace most of the plywood underneath the shingles, so it was going to cost extra. At some point the roofing guy had a revelation. They were at the wrong address. Same house number, but a different street, not far from The Nuke's house, but different. (It's mostly town houses in that area of Alexandria. Easy to get confused.)

Bottom line is that two families in Alexandria got free new roofs on Friday. As they also had the wrong color shingles, the unsuspecting homeowners were hopping mad as their houses now had gray shingles, every other house had brown, so they wound up shingling those two roofs twice. They also pretty much completely replaced the plywood on both houses. One of the places the rainwater was actually leaking into the guy's attic.

No, the roofing company owners were not real happy with that supervisor. They'll be at The Nuke's place on Monday to "try, try again."

Anyhoo, after spending time "at work" researching stuff for my current task, I didn't feel much like researching stuff for a Friday Flyby nor give you an historical post. Slacking, that's what I did Friday night.

I'm a slacker.

Now I think I'll go walk in the garden, the fog is already rolling in from the sea, looks pretty cool. (And feels pretty cool as well.) That too has been going on all week.

Off to walk, come along if you will, the first few pictures are the sea fog. (Maybe it's bay fog, I dunno.)

I tried to get a picture of the fish for Virgil, but they've heard of him. So they retreated back to the deep end.

No, those are not opium poppies.

Looks like it's time to paint the fence again.

"See" you Sunday.

I'll be right here, slacking...

Friday, May 29, 2020

Gotta Love Those Bavarians

Schloss Neuschwanstein

Once upon a time der Truppe des Alte Luftwaffe Feldwebels had the opportunity, as part of my duties with the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Decontamination Team (Mannschaft für nukleare, biologische und chemische Dekontamination, if you will, and I do) I, and the family, got to spend a week in Bavaria. Oberammergau (yes, the one where they perform the Passion Play every ten years, which the villagers vowed to do if God would spare them from the Plague... Hhmm, I have an idea...) was the place where the school was (and still is as I am reliably informed), the NATO School Oberammergau -

The school is that cluster of aligned buildings on the edge of the forest.
Google Maps
Our quarters, a lovely apartment, or flat for you English-types, is in the building circled on the right,
the school itself is in the circle to the left. Yes, a little over a hundred feet to get to work.

Google Maps

It was a very non-stressful time in the beauty of a small Bavarian town. I really, really, really enjoyed it. Did I mention that I enjoyed it? Well, I did.

Learned about decontaminating stuff and why (I knew both already but hey, NATO paid for the trip), and The Missus Herself and the progeny got to take a day trip to Austria, and we all got to visit that place in the opening photo.

The last night there the school threw a party, where I learned about this -

Mass Bier

Liter mugs of excellent Bavarian beer. (No, I didn't drink that much.) I almost hated to leave.

But yeah, Bavaria, I like the place, I like the people.

Take for instance, this band, not exactly traditional Bavarian music, but rock and roll with a Bavarian kick.

No, I do not own a pair of Lederhosen. Not that I wasn't tempted...

Ja, mein Musikgeschmack ist ziemlich eklektisch.

Hit tip to Doctor Grumpy!

No Friday Flyby today, maybe Saturday, I dunno. Thursday was jam-packed with meetings, two short, one long, which is the Morse Code for "U." Long day, short night... (Morse Code for "N." Okay, I'll stop now.)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Too Much Electricity...

Screen Capture from Making History: NASA and SpaceX Launch Astronauts to Space!

So close, yet not today¹...

They'll try again on Saturday, 3:22 PM EDT.

I grew up with the space program, both ours and the Soviets.

It wasn't long after Sputnik 1 went into orbit that my dad and I drove down to my paternal grandmother's house bringing her a new kitten. Said kitten being named, of course, Sputnik. He was a good boy, lived a good life.

So yeah, that was 1957 or 1958, one of my earliest memories.

After that I remember the pride we all felt when Alan Shepherd and Mercury headed into the heavens. The first American into space and he also walked on the Moon.

Gemini followed, then Apollo.

I remember the absolute shock as my favorite astronaut, Gus Grissom, and his two fellow astronauts died on the launchpad in Apollo 1. We knew of Soviet space accidents, but this was a first for the United States. A tragic first.

The crew of Apollo 1: Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee

I watched as Neil Armstrong stepped from the bottom rung of Eagle's ladder onto the lunar surface. The footage was in black and white, it was grainy, the audio was broken up, but I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I never looked at the Moon the same, ever again.

The Space Shuttle years made travel "off Earth" seem very routine, until the Challenger disaster.

It's good to see an American rocket on the pad, ready to take two Americans into space from American soil once more. A Marine Colonel, Douglas G. Hurley, and an Air Force Colonel, Robert L. Behnken, ready and raring to go.

The ability to see into the capsule, watching everything in close up, high definition detail was quite a change from the "old days." I was really looking forward to Wednesday, but alas Wednesday was not the day, we'll have to wait for Saturday. At least this time I can give the launch my full attention.

Can't wait.

Random screen shots from the video noted above. It was a thrill to see things so "up close and personal." Hoping for better weather on Saturday, but it sounds like a 50-50 proposition. We shall see...

¹ "Today" is yesterday as you read this. Time travel!