Anyway, I have been duly chided for not having updated in Forever, although trying to get something written for yesterday seemed somewhat... self-defeating somehow. I have, however, managed to miss everything involved with March 1 (in my defence there, my internet WAS out for a week around then until I got a good tech to come to the house), Herself's birthday, St. Patrick's day, Rozberk's birthday, the Equinox and Goddess knows what-all's been on my Flist.
May I offer, to start, ( this interesting essay from J-List (mostly the first and last paras, although the chimp proves that it's not just celebrities and the rich who're doing this:) )
Let's see... ah! ( OMG MARTIANS! )
Through complex and torturous means (it's a good thing I'm still kinda stuck on eating Japanese rice and edamame, although the dogs don't eat cheap), I have a second computer, a desktop whose name is '17 Tauri' but is called 'Electra' (spelling optional). Because of Elektra, I can bring you a couple pictures from my 'adventures' in Second Life' which are much, much nicer than before:
( Pictures behind the cut, alt-tagged without being reminded *grin*! )
Dogs: Everybody's OK and doing much better with the housebreaking stuff and the chewing stuff, for the most part. Annie managed to wriggle out of her harness; I refused to chase her, so eventually she got bored or anxious enough to come home on her own. Gemma has found a new way out of the yard, said portal not having been located yet (obviously). If it weren't for cars and utter gits, I wouldn't worry so much about them being out. Sirius is still in his denatured Azkaban until he realises he is NOT in charge of domestic security issues - he decided Sesame needed beating on, and I was pre-tired of cleaning up dogblood, so Cait's been coaching me on this problem I've never had to deal with previously. Meissa's platelets are finally back up to normal range, so cross your fingers, and hope she's finally spayed at the end of the month. D'Argo is itchy. Would you believe just about everybody's grown up already? Sirius is the only one still under two years for sure, as I'm still really vague on Sesame's age.
Still looking for a job. I am bad at this, by which I mean I look at the listings and NOTHING seems to fit, so then I get depressed and everything grinds to a halt.
But my LAST CAR PAYMENT is on the verge of getting mailed, so that's one less worry!
And with that, I think that's enough babble for now.
Dec 5: Repeal Day (American, boozehoundist/civil rights)
Dec 6: Massacre at L'Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal (Canadian, feminist)
Dec 7: Pearl Harbor Day (American/international, military)
Dec 8: John Lennon's death anniversary (British/American, musical)
Dec 9: ?
Next month we have a whole string of US space programme stabs-in-the-heart — something about January at Cape Canaveral hates spacecraft. It's a good time to remember the cosmonauts, too, even if Russia's tragedies spread out through the calendar.
Harry Turtledove and Michael A. Burstein commented in the above ref'd SFF Net thread,
Quoth Susan Shwartz (SusanShwartz@sff.net)and
> Today is a day that will live in memory.
For a while longer, sure. But the high-school kids taking AP US History in 2119 will go, "Wait a minute. Which one was December 7 and which one was 9/11?".
Life is like that, and a good thing, too, or we'd still be doing memorials to March 15, 44 BC and May 29, 1453
As Harry says, there are a lot of dates to remember. I like to think that each of us can remember the dates that most resonate with us. That way there's always someone commemorating each event on its anniverasry, even if its only one of us.I'm not sure I had as much of a point as an observation, but do you have any particular dates of solemn commemoration that perhaps the public does not share?
It's hard to believe it's been two whole decades since the January 29th on which Challenger exploded due to... well, a bunch of stupid things. I mean, in a way, it's not unlike what happened to the Titanic, isn't it? Assumptions, presumptions, waves of dismissal, 'our tech can't fail, it's our tech' sort of attitudes...? Then Columbia, three years ago (three years?!) on February 1; and next year it will be forty years since the January 27th on which Apollo 1's pure-O2 atmosphere caught fire.
And what are their sacrifices accomplishing? Right now, all we're getting is empty promises and robbed budgets. But there's hope out there yet; hope, and anticipation and excitement. We can -- I hope -- outlast this; and we can hope the taikonauts will be able to learn from their predecessors' misfortunes.
Heard on the news from Lake Wobegone: 'Cindy seemed to consider romance as a sort of social work.' [/possible imperfect quote]
News from puppyville: We all went to the vet's yesterday. Gemma had a distressing cough that sounded unsettlingly like she was coughing up a hairball (but no hairballs produced... which, from what I've heard of hairballs, is a GOOD thing); D'Argo had a lump show up in his neck as if an evil fae had flittered by and hit him with a swelling charm. It was well under the skin, fairly mobile, and didn't seem to be tender to the touch -- but where the blazes did this thing come from? It even alarmed the vet, as D had been in just two weeks before (and would have been in last Saturday except for the fact that Certain People were off at a wedding in Detroit instead of being where my boxer needed them). Meissa was just there because there was the chance the girls would be getting the next round of puppy shots.
As it turns out, Gemma now weighs 7 lbs, 11 oz; Meissa has pulled ahead of her sister at 8 lbs, 8 oz; and D'Argo is large. No reason was found for the cough (which had already subsided substantially from Friday), and D'Argo's strange lump had some blood in it. Once that was aspirated with a needle, there was a definite change in size, but no firm diagnosis. So he's back on antibiotics and needs to be seen next week. No puppy shots either - they're not quite three months old yet, so Marmesh decided to wait until next week.
They were only fiveish pounds the first time he weighed them!
So now Meissa's coughing, and my mother's dosing them with fragments of baby aspirin and some olive oil concoction that actually seems to be doing more good than what the vet did (which was nothing, so that's an easy one). Off to feed puppies now....
P.S. THE MICE HAVE BEEN EATING MY GHIRARDELLI! GRRAARRRGHGHH!!
Major General Marcelite Harris is a woman of "firsts." She was the first woman aircraft maintenance officer for the United States Air Force; she was the first woman deputy commander for maintenance; she was one of the first two women air officers commanding at the U.S. Air Force Academy. General Harris served her entire 30+ year Air Force career as a woman with a mission to be the best. 1 The Air Force sent her to aircraft maintenance school, and being a quick study, Harris learned. "I thought men had been keeping all this a secret," she said, laughing. "It wasn't all that hard." In the service, she earned respect. "When I was in Thailand, one of my airmen said to me, 'A woman can't do this job,'" Harris recalled. "I said, 'What about me?' He said, 'You're different.'" 7
From September 1975-May 1978 she was a personnel staff officer and White House social aide, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
As Director of Maintenance, General Harris organized, trained and equipped a work force of more than 120,000 technicians and managers, and maintained a $260 billion plus Global Reach Global Power aerospace weapons systems inventory, She developed maintenance policy, ensuring the readiness of the single largest element of manpower supporting Air Force combat forces worldwide. She determined and successfully defended an annual budget of more than $20 billion to the office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Management and Budget and Congress. 1
At the time of her retirement in 1997, Harris was the highest ranking female officer in the Air Force. She then became Director of Operations Support and Logistics Processes for the United States Space Alliance, the company contracted by NASA for the launch and recovery of the space shuttle 2 from 1999-2002. Harris found being a manager at a large, private aerospace contracting company in Florida a sometimes trying experience. She liked her colleagues and made good friends, but found that the military, it was not. "In civilian life, you can tell your boss to go fly a kite," as long as you're willing to look for another job, Harris said recently. "I didn't understand" the different attitude. 7 The mismatch prompted her to leave after three years.
She kept a position on the Board of Directors for The Astronauts Memorial Foundation. 3 Governor Jeb Bush recently (2003) nominated a replacement for Harris on Board of Supervisors, Florida Space Authority.
In 2002, New York City's Mayor Bloomberg appointed, to the surprise of many, Joel I. Klein as Chancellor of the new Department of Education. 4 And as it turned out, Klein was searching for someone who was a self-starter with deeply ingrained discipline, who was good at implementing strategies and tactics and who had the outstanding leadership qualities and stubborn drive to serve as his Chief of Staff. Given these requirements, looking for a person with a lifetime of stunning success in the military was perhaps not as unusual as it would seem at first glance.
"I come from a family of educators," she says, relaxing in the spacious fourth-floor conference-room in the Tweed Courthouse. "My great-great grandfather established a school for African-American children. His son, my grandfather, became an architect after being one of the first blacks ever at MIT. My mom was a high school librarian, and her brother is a teacher and principal. He was the Vice Principal at my junior high school, in fact." 2
Joel Klein said about her appointment as his Chief of Staff, "...The Air Force has not been historically congenial to women, much less to African American women. I brought her in partly because she is a unique national treasure, but more importantly because she has a quality that a lot of educational operations lack: She understands what it is to accomplish a mission." 5
Most recently, Harris was one of the keynote speakers at the Sally Ride Science Festival held in Orlando Feb. 2, 2003. It is one of the projects from Ride's Imaginary Lines company, designed to keep middle school girls interested in math, science and technology. 6 Then perhaps the military-civilian mismatch came into play again, as Harris resigned after less than six months on the job as Education Chief of Staff. Her replacement was announced in March, 2003. She is now retired in Manhattan, engaged, and thinking of relocating to Florida. 8
Many have recognized the dedication and excellence of Marcelite Harris including the National Organization of Tuskegee Airman, naming her Woman of the Year. Dollars and Sense Magazine, honored her as 'Most Prestigious Individual'. Harris was named "Military African American Woman" for contributions to the Department of Defense, National Political Congress of Black Women. She was noted as "Black Woman of Courage" by the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners. Harris received the prestigious 'Ellis Island Medal of Honor."
General Harris received many medals and decorations including the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters * Presidential Unit Citation * Air Force Commendation Unit Award with "V" device and eight oak leaf clusters * Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm. She has a B.A. degree in speech and drama from Spelman College in Atlanta and a B.S. degree in business management from the University of Maryland.
(See also: http://www.army.mil/soldiers/apr1998/
Some of you might be less inclined to... be moved by this than others, but there's enough space groupies in my Friends list that I'm really surprised this happened. Expecially that I forgot.
I didn't see anything of this in my Flist, not even in apod. What happened January 28th, over a decade ago? What happened this morning, Feb. 1, last year?
Here's some hints:
We can't afford to forget. Whether you support the space program wholeheartedly, or think it should be set aside for now, there's a lot of hope, courage, hard work, altruism and knowledge which went into each of these flights -- and the astronauts' contributions can not afford to be trivialised or neglected.
Both these shuttles went down near the pagan holiday of the saint/goddess who is the Keeper of the Flame of Knowledge and Inspiration. Easter and Lammas are supposed to be the commemorations of sacrifice -- but now we have another.
I need to remember better.