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I’m Often Asked How Someone From Philadelphia Got To Be An Alabama Football Fan

I left Delaware for Alabama in August of 1998. I took a job in Huntsville, Alabama working as an IT contractor for NASA for a year a Marshall Space Flight Center. My year in Huntsville was a trip but maybe I’ll discuss that another time. LOL. So after my year was up and NASA dropped the project I was working on and I couldn’t find another job there I got one up in Memphis.

Oh wait, that’s another story. Ok, so I pack up all my stuff and head South out of Delaware toward Alabama. I left around noon after stopping by the airport where I kept my Cessna to be sure it was tied down good. Who knew how long it would be before I saw it again?

I headed South through Delaware, West to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, over the Bay Bridge to Annapolis… then the beltway around Washington, DC… this is familiar area where I lived most my life but after going halfway around DC I headed West on I66 then down I81 alongside the Skyline Drive… then along the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way before I stopped for the night in Bristol, TN.

The next day I headed West to Knoxville then South cutting the corner of Georgia and into Alabama. Around the time I got to Scottsboro I was getting hungry and thought I’d stop for a sandwich and a beer.

I found a roadside bar and walked in. There was country music – old time stuff like Waylon Jennings – playing on the jukebox and the place was empty except for one dude down the end – like where Norm sat on Cheers. He was looking up at a TV but the sound was off.

The owner or bartender or cook or whoever he was came out. I was feeling out of place so we got to talking and I told him I was headed to Huntsville to work for a year… then I ordered a beer and a sandwich.

He went in the back and I sat down. I sat there for a minute then the guy at the end of the bar looked over at me and in the most redneck Southern drawl I ever heard said “You’re not from around here ARE ya?”.

I said “Nope. I’m from Philadelphia and I’m heading to Huntsville for a year to do some work.”

He waited a minute, took another sip and said “So… Who ya fer?” I looked at him and asked “Who am I FOR?”.

He looked at me again and said “If you’re gonna live in Alabama you got to be for Auburn… or Alabama.” I just stared at him and made my first mistake.

With a wave of my hand I said “Oh… I don’t watch COLLEGE football.” He just looked straight at me like I was some sort of an idiot.

He pointed another boney finger right at me from down the bar and said again… “If you’re gonna live in Alabama… you got to be for Auburn… or Alabama.” Then he said to me “Do you know who Bear Bryant is?”

I was gonna say “Yeah, he’s some dead football coach” but I thought better of it. LOL. I looked around the bar and there were pictures of Bear Bryant everywhere… then I noticed the game on TV was Alabama and Georgia. I looked back at him and said “Yeah, I know who Bear Bryant is…. So I guess I’ll be for Alabama”.

About that time the guy came from the back with my sandwich. The redneck looked over and said “Good choice.” And to the bartender said “Give that man a beer on me.”

And THAT is how I got to be an Alabama fan.

ROLL TIDE!

Phillies Baseball – kid style

I was reading an article on ESPN this afternoon and it was so true.

Back when *I* was growing up – with the exception of a few years, playoff baseball was for all the other teams.  We had a group of years that we won the division but got swept away in the playoffs the first round… The Big Red Machine. Tommy Lasorda’s Dodgers.

In 1980 it was like magic.

The first World Championship in the 126 year history of the franchise… but it wasn’t like we had good years building up to it… it just ‘happened’. 

A few years later it was gone.  Like dust in the wind.

It all showed up again in 1993 with the scruffy group of John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, Curt Schilling, Darren Daulton and Mitch Williams but it was soon gone as fast as a Mitch Williams fastball.

Its just amazing though. Just when you think you’ll never see a championship team again in the city… It’s back.  And it’s BEEN back. And it looks like it’s going to continue to stay.

A kid. A kid who was the bat boy back in that magic 1980 season… is now the General Manager for the Phillies and it just seems like everything he touchs turns to gold. He knows just how to run a baseball team. A hometown kid that captured the hearts of the tens of hundreds of thousands of Phillies fans in a city that just never seemed to be able to get a break.

And they just seem to get better and better.  The fans come out in huge numbers… EVERY game is a sellout. They come out. Not just in Philly but in cities all around the league.  Some away games almost seem to be home games.  They players know it too.

To the kids who love their Phillies now… they’ve ALWAYS been good. ALWAYS been a great team. They have no memory of any of the 10,000 losses – the most by any professional sports team in history… Good for them. :)

I have to just imagine… that being a kid now and watching ‘your team’ do so well… must be an awful lot of fun. GO PHILLIES! :)

Incredibooth

Incredibooth.

That’s the name of this .99 app I found on the appstore for my iphone.

Remember those old photo machines at the beach that you got in and it took four quick black and white pics and spit it out on the outside of the machine?

This is WAY more than .99 worth of fun. 😀

How Cool Is This??? :)

Fun At The Lake

My buddy Mater posted some pics of him and his kids having fun at the lake. I liked them.
They’re great kids… and he’s a great dad.

Maters Little Man Jumping The Cliff!

Maters Little Man Jumping The Cliff!

Climbin' Back Up!

Woo-Hoo! A LONG way Down!

Geronimo!

Jumpin' Off Cliffs Is Fun!

There Goes The Little Guy Again!

Dad & Son Enjoying The Rain At The Lake

Daddy & His Little Girl

A little Lower Jump For The Younger Kids

Hold Your Nose!

Bathing Beauties!

My friend Lori's little girl at the lake...

The Kids Love It!

Lori Doing A Little Wakeboarding

Another Cliff To Jump... But How To Get Up There?

Waterfall Cliff

The Kids Swimming Near The Waterfall

We Found A Way Up!

Woo-Hoo!

A Couple Houses I Can't Afford. :(

It's Not Really A Lakehouse If You Don't Have Your Own Helicopter I Guess.

That's An Awful Long Walk Down To The Boat!

Some Deer Showed Up In The Back Yard

Beautiful Lot For Sale For Only $185k

Doin' A Little Wake Boardin'

How About A Little Wake SURFIN'?

Surf's Up!

Relaxin' On The Lake!

Hi Girls!

Of Course Every Lakehouse Needs A Pool Right?

End Of A Day

I Sure Do Enjoy A Relaxin' Boat Ride. :)

N35351 – New Paint (at last)

I sold my Cessna 172 to my friend Cliff Weaver in early 2009.

He just scanned a photo, cut it out and mailed it to me.  I need to get an actual photo, but in the meantime I scanned it so it’s pretty crappy looking because I scanned a piece of paper but you can see the new paint job he put on it.

Cliff took the plane apart and took each piece back to his shop and painted it one piece at a time… then put it all back together.

He’s really a very talented painter.

I love this paint job.

This is N35351 when she was less than a year old in 1968 (I have no idea who the original owner was but I dig that tie and those sideburns.  That little girl is now 45 years old!)

EDIT 20130614 – Her name apparently is Jane Jacobson.

N35351 in 1968 (less than 1 year old)

This is N35351 the way she looked in 2008 just before I sold her.

N35351 in 2008 (40 years old)

And THIS is N35351 with the new paint job Cliff put on her in June 2010.

N35351 in June 2010 (42 years old)

Not bad for being 42 years old huh?

Cliff also redid the interior but I haven’t seen any photos of it yet.

His wife sent me a check for some money he owed me and put the pics in the envelope.  I called him yesterday and told him what an awesome paint job it was.  He said ‘HOW DID YOU KNOW???’ He apparently wanted me to come up to visit and be surprised.  Ooops.

I told him I’d send him back the money he paid me and take the plane back but he wouldn’t go for it.

EDIT: 20130614: Cliff informed me that N35351 has been sold (as of 2013) to a new owner in Ohio.

Dad Update from Mom: 20100616

Hi Everyone:
 
As most of you know, Bill was diagnosed with metastatic cancer to the liver at the end of 2008; this was a metastasis from his original ampullary cancer.  He received chemo for all of 2009 and intermittent scans showed that the original lesions were slowly reducing in size.  At the end of 2009, however, this changed and new lesions were also discovered.
 
Bill was placed on a new chemo treatment which was much harsher than the previous.  He not only continued to have problems with his food having no taste but he developed “pins and needles” (neuropathy problems) when eating or drinking anything cold; he even experienced this when handling anything cold in his hands.  In addition, his other side effects were very hard on him and he lost a lot of weight (down to 129 lbs), had no energy or strength and was generally very weakened and we feared for his overall health.  However, in March of 2010 the scans showed very little evidence of the original or subsequent lesions and no new cancer.  We were elated with the news and after much soul searching, decided that he would go off the chemo for a short while so he could regain some weight and strength.
 
Bill has been off the chemo since late March, 2010.  He has felt sooo much better.  Most of the taste of his food has returned and his neuropathy has decreased quite a bit.  He is eating non-stop and while he didn’t regain a LOT of weight (his current weight is 145 lbs) you can see a difference and he has regained a lot of his energy and strength.  He has been very happy these past few months and seems to do better daily, despite some persistent pain which we think is a result of the major surgery he had in early 2008 for the original cancer.  Being off the chemo however, has been hard too; you just can’t help worrying out what “might” be going on inside!  We were very apprehensive about returning to the doctor this month for the most recent scan results.
 
Happily, the results remain the same; there is very little evidence of the disease.  What they do see, they believe is the remains of the previously treated lesions.  The doctor said we “might” be able to consider this as a remission of the disease, but it would still require constant vigilance and oversight.
 
So, here we are today, almost 2 1/2 years since Bill’s initial diagnosis, very hopeful again.  Bill will remain off the chemo until the next scans which are scheduled for late August.  Hopefully he’ll gain more weight and strength during that time so that he is better able to handle the chemo if it becomes necessary to go back on it in the future.
 
We appreciate so much all of your concern, thoughts and prayers for us during these difficult years.  We hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers. 
 
I apologize for taking this method of updating you because I know many of you are STILL waiting for an individual response since my last update, but it’s just been a really tough year for both of us.  Since my surgery in January, my health has just been up and down with a myriad of complaints that no one seems to know what to do with.   I have had absolutely no energy and have been very weak with walking difficulties; my physical therapy on my arms had to stop because I was unable to continue them so consequently, I still have very little use of them.  I spend very little time on the computer, and then it is mostly to just read to keep up with what is going on with most of you. 
 
Thankfully, during my worst days, Bill was feeling well enough to take care of me.  I really don’t know what we would have done otherwise.  I have recently been feeling a lot better and seem to be improving.  I am walking better and have a little more energy.  I am seeing some new doctors and am hopeful for a full recovery eventually.  In the meantime though, please understand that it’s not that I don’t care; I just have to conserve what energy I have to keep up with what has to be done here.  So my response to any emails will not likely improve soon!
 
Again, thank you all.  You’ve been great and so supportive.  We are so happy to share this good news with you all!!
 
Love,
 
Betty and Bill
Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad

Beep! (TRL Style)

Ok, so at lunch my boss and I head to Panera for something to eat.

After we eat we hop in his Hyundai and head back to the office.

Beep!

Very faint… just loud enough to annoy you. What the hell is that? I dunno.

Mike starts to wonder if his wife has something in the car tracking him. LOL. Wonder what HE’S been up to? :)

Its very annoying. Every 30 seconds. About 10 minutes later he says its driving him crazy so I tell him to pull into a side street and we’ll find it.

I start searching my side. He searches his. Beep! I’m convinced it is a battery going dead on something. Maybe one of his kids toys. Maybe on a tracking device (LOL). It sounds like its coming from the dash. I’m looking. I tell him to shut the car off and see if it continues. He does. It does. :(

I look under the seat. Beep! Nothing. I walk near the front of the car outside the windshield. He tells me he doesn’t hear it but I do. Nope, its louder INSIDE the car. I pop the hood. I can still hear it but faint. I move to his side and tell him I hear it over there too so maybe the sound is bouncing around in there. Finally we give up and get in the car. He’s almost ready to stop at a garage on the way back to see if they can figure it out.

It sounds loudest on top of the dash on the passenger side… like where the airbag is.

We get back in and drive back to work. I swear it may be in the door. We pull in and he’s ready to tear the car apart. I tell him to park where there is an empty spot next to us so I can open the door. I get on my knees and have my ear next to the door. Nope, doesn’t sound louder there.

Wait! There is a remote control to open the gate on his driveway. I bet the battery is going dead. I hold it to my ear. Beep! Not louder.

This goes on and on for thirty minutes. Its hot. I’m sweaty.

I finally take the remote and walk away from the car with it.

Beep!

I look at him and ask if he heard the beep in the car. Nope. Not since you walked off.

It IS this remote! I pull the battery. Beep! I tell him there’s probably a capacitor in it so it’ll take awhile for the juice to run out.

We go back inside work laughing. I try to get him to put it in the directors office somewhere to drive her crazy. I head back to my desk. Beep!

I reach in my pocket…

Ew.

I spotted one of these growing on one of the floats on Ivan’s dock on Saturday. Today I guess he pulled out a line and there were a mess of ’em. Anyone know what the heck these are???? 

What IS it????

ROLF: You swim in that water? Eat fish caught in that water? I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I hear that a lot of pod people lead perfectly normal lives.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

KRIS added his two cents:

Audrey

JO: Animal, vegetable or mineral? I can’t tell if its a shell of some sort, or a seaweedy pod thing?

DOUG: Did any of you ever watch “Surface”? Me thinks the end is near…

TARA: I believe that’s a form of seaweed/kelp… which is just a large algae. =)

ME: Ew. I just like saying Ew.

RAYMOND: Maybe you should BBQ it!

MICHAELK: Looks like a phaeophyte of some kind, but we’re talking about freshwater, right? Most of the brown kelps are marine.

THERESE: Major ew. Don’t throw it back – nasty!!!

jenhudson: /shudder

Courtesy Of Ivan – A Breakthrough! http://www.villageoffruitport.com/bryozoan.htm

KRIS: Water boogers.

THERESE: Ew.  funny, but EW!

TARA: COOL! I didn’t know bryozoans did that! I would have loved to know about that when I was looking at them under the microscope last year.

ANDREW (Smith Lake Astronomer): I decided to spend some of our Alabama tax dollars and ask the pro…

Along with Bill’s pic of the rope on ‘s dock, I ask the following from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Smith Lake Representative Jerry Moss:

Jerry,
A friend has these odd looking “plants” growing on ropes that are in the water at Smith Lake <<Bill’s pic here.jpg>> . Can you ID this or direct me to someone that can, please?
Andrew

His reply…

This is a common aquatic organism sometimes found in freshwater. They are called Bryozoans and you can find more info by doing a Google Search on your browser for Bryozoa
Good link here: http://www.millermicro.com/bryozoa.html
Jerry Moss
Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
 
 

 

RICHARD: Slime in the ice machine!

LOL.

From the referenced article:

“We looked, we guessed, we measured, and we used a pocket microscope. We e-mailed and Web-browsed for information, and we found it. Not fish eggs, not frog eggs, not insect larvae. They are Bryozoa, literally moss animals. Specifically, we have Pectinatella magnifica, each clump of which can grow to larger than a human head. We can hardly wait.”

Dad Update – From Mom – 20100408

Dad was doing great in 2009 with his chemo. It didn’t seem to be bothering him a huge amount and every three months the scans showed the cancer lesions getting smaller. At the end of 2009 though they didn’t change at all and several more appeared. It was pretty disheartening news.

The Doc put dad on different chemo and he’s had a rough time with it. He’s lost a lot of weight. They went in for the results of the first scan since starting the new chemo on Tuesday. The news was fantastic. :)

********
From Mom:
********

Hi everyone!!

Bill and I got the results from his latest CT and PET scans yesterday. The doctor says that the lesions they saw on his liver from the previous scans are now gone. Also, his original lesions cannot be seen except for v ery vague enhancements.

Needless to say, we are delighted with the news. We had expected bad news since the new lesions showed up in January. They changed his chemo at that time and he has been having a tough time of it. He has lost a lot of weight (is down to 145 lbs right now) and has been experiencing neuropathy in his hands and mouth area, which has made it difficult for him to eat.

He will be continuing with the same chemo, at least for the next three months, but the doctor said it can be adjusted if necessary to relieve some of the effects.

Thank you, everyone, for all your prayers, good thoughts and concerns. We are hoping that things conintue this way and that he soon regains someweight.

Betty

Dad on Honeymoon - 1958

When Nighttime Turns To Day

I’m 50 years old. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not 25 anymore. :(

I really need to stop abusing myself this way.

I was supposed to go to the lake last weekend to help Ivan, John, David & Moe move Moe’s boat dock from where it was built in Steve’s yard to Moe’s lot on Pigeon Roost Creek. I was (and still am) getting over a cold. It was going to be very cold, very windy and miserable at the lake Saturday. I just knew I was going to end up with pneumonia out of the deal. But when your friend needs help you help… especially if you expect them to help YOU when you need it.

After work Friday I shot back to the house. Ivan was loading the gas grill into my truck and I was packing some last minute clothes. The phone rang. Apparently the guy who was going to transport the dock TO the lake and put it into the water decided he couldn’t do it Saturday morning. Plans scrubbed.

So I decided to do the next best thing. Why not fly to Florida to watch the very last (scheduled) Night Launch of a Space Shuttle. :)

So I checked the flights for Saturday and decided the best thing to do was fly to Jacksonville, FL – rent a car – drive to Titusville – watch the launch – drive back to Jacksonville and catch my 8AM flight back home in time to watch the Super Bowl. Sound like a plan?

I’ve seen two other shuttle launches in person. Both were night launches. Night launches are spectacular. Nighttime literally DOES turn to Day.

I used to go to Z-Hills, Florida (Zephyrhills) every year during Thanksgiving week. That was back in my skydiving days between 1989 and 2000.

We’d spend the week there jumping out of old DC-3s and Twin Otters.

One day a guy said he was going to drive to see the shuttle go up and a bunch of us went along for the ride. Zephyrhills, FL is north of Tampa… completely across the state from Titusville. The launch was one of the first since the resumption of shuttle missions after the Challenger Disaster. It was STS-33; a Department Of Defense mission. Because of the nature of it, its details are classified. So was the launch time. They gave us a two or three hour launch window but not a specific time. Oh well. Off to Titusville we went.

The date was November 22, 1989. We got to Titusville. The guy who was driving was from Florida and had done this before. He knew his way around and drove down the street along the Indian River and pulled to the side somewhere. We got out and walked through a reasonable group of people – not packed in or anything – to the waters edge and had a seat.

Looking across the water you could see Discovery sitting on the pad with all the lights shining on it. It wasn’t really too clear because after all it WAS 12 miles away! We all sat around and looked at each other. We all were wondering how long we were going to have to wait. Apparently not very long at all. Five minutes after the window opened they started a 20 minute countdown.

Twenty minutes later – at 7:23PM – The nighttime turned to day.

STS-33 on November 22, 1989 @ 7:23 PM EST

The thing I remember the most was the silence. The sky lit up… I looked up and down the Indian River shoreline and there were thousands of people clapping and smiling in the ‘sunlight’. But… the silence. We were still 12 miles away. I guess it should only take a second for sound to travel twelve miles… but it seemed like longer than that. Then came the rumble. Way low… and quiet at first. But it got louder… and louder… and LOUDER! Until you thought it couldn’t get any louder and then it got even LOUDER! I remember watching several fish jumping up out of the river in the reflection of the fire on the water. I guess they could feel the vibrations in the water just as I could feel them in my chest. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. I kept my eye on Discovery as long as I could. Until she was only a dim speck almost off the horizon. I didn’t want to look away because I knew I’d never find her again. Most people were leaving by now. Over the radio I heard the flight controller say that Discovery was just approaching the coast of Africa. Wow.

Two years later… again at Thanksgiving. There was another night launch. No one felt like driving to Titusville so we sat in the middle of the landing area at Pheonix/ZHills Skydiving Center… all of us. A bunch of skydivers wore out from a day of jumping. Sitting on the ground looking toward the East. With plenty of beer flowing it was quite a party. I wondered just how well I could see the shuttle launch from 112 miles away.

Well they had a radio on. As the countdown hit zero the skydivers (the ones who had watched many a launch from here) screamed out “LIGHTS!” and there was light.

The entire sky lit up in front of me. A bright orange. Just as if the sun were fixing to break the horizon during a beautiful summer sunrise.

It took a good 15 seconds and then there she was. Atlantis this time, with a trail of fire behind her moving up over the trees on the horizon. Another 30 seconds or so later and there was that rumble again. Not as loud as when I was standing 12 miles away but it was there. And again it got louder and louder.

The light didn’t last as long this time but the launch was still an amazing thing to see.

STS-44 was ALSO a Department of Defense mission though not a classified one. She launched on November 24, 1991 at 6:44PM.

A funny thing about the two launches I witnessed two years apart.

1. Both were DOD missions
2. On both Fredrick D. Gregory was the mission commander.
3. On both Story Musgrave was Mission Specialist-1.

That brings us all the way back to this past Saturday.

I went to the gym Saturday and worked out. Then I went back to the house, showered and packed a few things in a carry on and left for the airport. I jumped on a flight to Atlanta that left at 4:05PM. The flight was on one of our CRJ-900 aircraft. I didn’t get to sit in First Class but I got to sit in the first row of coach with no wall in front of me. Alone. It was just as nice. Plenty of leg room and no one was sitting next to me.

When I got to Atlanta I grabbed a sandwich from Arby’s Market and surfed the net for awhile. At 9:35 I hopped a 757 to Jacksonville. This time I DID get to sit in First. Too bad it was less than an hour flight.

I got to JAX, went to the Dollar counter, grabbed my car and hit the road. At 70MPH on I-95 I exited at Titusville about 1:15AM. Only a few miles to the Indian River and the first thing I noticed was that in the middle of the night… still three hours from launch time… there were hundreds and hundreds of people wandering toward the river. Yep. With only five shuttle launches remaining and with this being the last scheduled night launch, the crowds really came out. I found a place to park about four blocks from Space View Park.

After parking I walked the few blocks, through the park to the viewing area. It was mobbed. There must have been a couple thousand people here tonight. The guy I was talking to had been there since noon the day before.

Anyway I settled in (standing) for the three hour wait. They have NASA Mission Control piped in so you can listen to what is going on. The last crew member was just being stowed into the shuttle. There were low clouds over the launch pad and the big spotlights that shined on the shuttle and up into the air showed them very plainly. The biggest problem with the low clouds is that if the shuttle has an emergency they will turn around and land right here back at KSC. If the cloud deck is too low they may not have time to make a correction if they break out of the clouds too close to the ground. It’s not like they can give ‘er some gas and go around for another shot at landing. The clouds were a major issue and some of the other astronauts were doing takeoff and landings on the shuttle landing runway to test the visibility.

After a few built in holds in the countdown we approached the nine-minute mark for the last built in hold. This one was forty-five minutes. At this time the pad crew all jump in their vehicles and leave the launch pad area. Everyone continued to wait for the countdown to pick up at the end of the hold.

I knew if they picked up the countdown with nine minutes to go that they probably were going to go with the weather as it was. At that point the only issue would be a mechanical one.

The end of the hold quickly approached and the countdown was set to resume. There was only a five minute launch window so I knew we weren’t going to be waiting very long.

3.. 2.. 1.. Nothing. Everyone on the launch team was a ‘GO’ except the downrange weather. :(

All of a sudden launch control announced that a wavier had been granted to continue the countdown. A roar went up from the crowd. Others – including myself – looked at one another. A ‘waiver’? I’d never heard of such a thing. Really. The constraints are built in and nothing ever changes that. If the guidelines aren’t met that meant a scrub. But for some reason there was a ‘waiver’ granted. Hmmm. I guess they decided they really needed to get this launch off or something.

Then, very quickly, and to no ones surprise really – NASA Launch Director Mike Leinbach announced that he wasn’t comfortable with the waiver option and scrubbed the launch. The said they’d try again 24 hours later… Super Bowl Sunday. :(

Well I wasn’t about to stick around for another day so I started to walk back to the car along with a thousand other disappointed people. I say ‘tried to’ because… well I remember many times in my twenties standing in one spot for hours and hours watching a WHO or STONES concert at JFK stadium in South Philly… buy the end of the day my legs and knees were almost locked into place. Well when you’re 50 that only takes a couple hours. LOL.

I got back to the car and fought my way back to I-95 and headed north. I swallowed one of those 5-hour Energy Drink things. First time. I didn’t notice a thing. Seemed like a whole lot of nothing. I was still fighting sleep all the way back to Jacksonville.

I got back, turned in the car, hopped a flight to Atlanta at 8AM… hopped a flight to Memphis at 9:35 and was back at my car by 10AM CST. Whew. What a day. :)

Well at least I’d SEEN not one… but TWO other shuttle launches in my life. Most people had never seen even one.  The poor guy standing with me was from Delray Beach, Florida. This was his fourth attempt at witnessing a launch from up close. He’s now 0 for 4. He told me he was done. That was his last try.  Somehow, with only four left, I didn’t believe him. LOL.

I went home, fell into bed to get a few hours sleep before the Super Bowl came on. I had sort of forgotten all about the launch. I woke up the next morning to 8″ of snow on the ground.

8″ of snow. In Olive Branch, Mississippi. Imagine that.

I hadn’t even thought of it… but a few hours earlier – at 4:14:08 AM on Monday, February 8, 2009…

The Nighttime had turned to Day. :)

STS-130 - February 8, 2010 @ 4:14AM EST

Godspeed Endeavour!

A few last notes on STS-130.

The mission marks:

161st American manned space flight
130th shuttle mission since STS-1
24th flight of Endeavour
32nd shuttle mission to the ISS
1st shuttle flight in 2010
1st shuttle flight in the 2010s
105th post-Challenger mission
17th post-Columbia mission
34th night launch of a shuttle, 21st night launch from launch pad 39A

The mission is also expected to mark:

The last night launch of a shuttle
23rd night landing, 21st night landing at Kennedy Space Center
73rd landing at Kennedy Space Center