It's about life - not "lifestyle"
Weird scenes are playing out all over today, this 7th day of December, 2001. Christmas is screaming in like an errant smart bomb from a B-52 and my donkey won't go any faster. The hellish December car problems seem past, but the expenses keep coming and the bizzarre bullshit doesn't stop vomiting forth from every electronic orifice I come in contact with.

Something happened on Thursday which at the time I thought warranted a whole page here; I think it had to do with surfing, but I no longer recall. Might have had to do with Krispy Kreme donuts for all I remember.

This morning around 7 a.m. one rocket from Vandenberg AFB in Lompoc, CA, shot up two weather satellites to track the El Nino phenomenon. When the launch was carried live on one Los Angeles television station we knew soemthing special must be happening, so we went out into our front yard and looked in the general direction of previous rocket launches, and sure enough  a sharp white light rose in the sky followed by a nice fuel/vapor trail.

The Santa Anas were just starting to pick up so it was still fairly still and the trail stayed together. The rocket kept to what I think is either a south or southwest trajectory, and eventually the trail got thinner and thinner until the whole thing was barely visible at all, and then it wasn't - it was in space.

That's only the fourth rocket launch I've seen in my life so far. It was the best of two daylight launches, the other being on a lower westbound trajectory as part of a "Star Wars" missle defense test. I have a picture of the trail of that one taken from a Ventura County beach. This morning I didn't have a camera handy. I think I'll remember it anyway.

Anyone born before October 4, 1957, was alive before anything manmade had ever left earth atomsphere. Space had not been penetrated. Amazing things took place in the following twelve years, which culminated with men landing on the moon. There were no limits to the horizons of man.

All that is over now, however, because of politics (spell that m-o-n-e-y) and the space shuttle Challenger explosion. Bad press there diverted money and energy into other avenues, primarily unmanned spacecraft. I'm old enough to be a little cynical when I read about PHD's in astrophysics being shuttle "arm" specialists - my uneducated guess is that a top quality high school graduate could be trained to handle that should there have been enough openings.

In the sports news online this morning there was a quick article about an Austrian snowboarder named Sabrina Blassing who has vowed to compete this season wearing only a bra and panties. She failed to secure a clothing sponsor.

"Without a clothing sponsor there is nothing else I can do" she is quoted as having told "It doesn't really matter as I still have a lot to offer even without my overalls on."

Absolutely. Get Extreme. As far as I'm concerned all professional  competition should be done buck naked, so I think this is an excellent first step. Here is an sportsperson who really understands, a real pioneer, a visionary...
it isn't about sport, it's about money, sponsorship, about what you can get for yourself!

I guess I'll live with it. People with the same kind of glorious vision described in the above paragraph have made sure that space won't be explored, colonized, or really very accessable in my lifetime. It was the great adventure of my era, and the door has been closed. I'm stuck here with the Sabrinas and other pro sports types, so I might as well make peace with them too. After all, I'm a fan of spectacle, and if it doesn't cost you something then it must not be worth much, right?

View From The Beach
Copyright (C) 2001. All rights reserved.