There is a man who was extraordinarily important to the development of NASA and the logistical construction of mission control. He is probably the coolest man ever. Eugene F. “Gene” Kranz.
If there was ever a living person I would want to meet and converse with it is Gene. I’m pretty sure I have a space geek crush on him. If you haven’t read his book Failure Is Not An Option you are missing a immensely great work. The experience of following his path with the space program is interesting, exciting, in some places hilarious, and profound.
The personal insights into astronauts, engineers, directors and most importantly the families hit all the human buttons.
Gene and his early group of engineers and technicians wrote the book, literally, on missions: his perspectives on the division of duties are applicable today, his commitment and loyalty is one to admire and aim for, and the play it by the book and by the seat of your pants gives the reader a vision of what excellence looks like.
He is truly a national treasure we need to hear more about before he is gone.
Gene Kranz, you truly are a “steely eyed missile man”.
Ok, I am not young, chronologically, I admit it. I don’t want to accept it yet there are things going on that remind me I’m not under warranty anymore. I’m paying out of pocket for repairs, and I’m at the nickel and dime stage.
The things that drive my interest, passions and dreams look different. Creativity weighs heavily on me now. Every day I want to touch that creativity in myself – it’s where I find the youth in my heart. When I think “Ooo, I would love to do that,” then the desire is tempered with “really? at my age?”
I would like nothing better than to sell everything, clear out and get a wonderful fixer-upper Victorian by the ocean or next to a mountain lake and open a B&B. But then I think about my hubby with his bad knees and back. He has no business working on fixing a place. He should be fishing.
How long would I realistically have to do this and make a living? Supplementing my social security income with a successful venture doesn’t happen quickly. This is a goal for a younger couple.
So rather than my sewing be making fabric accents for my dream B&B, or my writing be composing promotional pieces…well you understand.
One of the biggest issues for people my age is finding part time work. It doesn’t matter what “company policy” is, age discrimination is real. The thirty somethings don’t understand or want to fill their companies with people they feel can’t put in the time and effort needed. I’ve been looking, especially work from home opportunities which I’m told there is a glut of them. Uh, nope. But I will keep looking.
I will continue doing my creative thing, not giving in to the worlds attitude. Sure I would love to be thirty again. So I will be thirty in my mind. Still singing, sewing, writing, blogging, voice-over.
I just got back from getting a pre-surgery Covid-19 test. My surgery is next week on the 18th. Consequently I have to completely quarantine until my surgery.
My surgery is one of those “it is a straightforward often performed procedure that has a good result and quick recuperation, unless you suffer a stroke or die.”
I sit here wishing it were over. I think of things on the schedule after the 18th and think, “I hope I will be able to do it.” The big difference I have is when all these thoughts and feeling wash over me, pulling me from a confident position is I rely on my strong, unshakable faith in God.
You know, the being that created the universe and loves me. I have given him charge and control over this situation and put my confidence in his all consuming power over everything.
I believe in Him more than I believe that I’m sitting in front of this computer writing this blog.
So…I am going to quarantine, get the surgery, and on the 19th I will write a blog about it all. I promise and I know God will make it so.
Greetings all! I am happy today because this is the day that leads into a weekend of colder temps and a chance of rain. ⛈ Yahoo! It is overcast which means temps rise slower. Those of you who have followed me for a while know my disdain for hot temps.
Another reason I am happy is because of two wonderful women who have become part of my life as close, good friends. One of them I can say is my new BFF. We have so much fun together, have so much in common, and are moving into each other’s world. Her name is Kathy. She is so beautiful and has a laugh that rings. I’ve been missing a bff, and I spent time looking at myself wondering what it is about me that kept me from connecting like that again. But just like my first bestie, Kristen, Kathy just found me. We met at our little church where I sing and her husband plays electric guitar. Her energy is bright and welcoming, and blissful friendship has grown. She calls or texts to see how I am, tell me what’s up with her or figure out ways to get together. I am so enjoying it, and my heart if full. The best part is we can be candid in our conversation knowing confidences are sacred.
My other friend, Kim (both K names, how funny) also share a wonderful connection. Our husbands are buddies: hunting, cigars, and whiskey, and Kim and I share music interest. She also plays the flute and acoustic guitar with the church praise band. Kim is a wonderful person who will go out of her way to help out others. I admire her so for her kind heart. Kathy, Kim and I have been spending time together and look forward to a post-covid new year of growing together as church sisters and besties. Fortunately our hubbies get on well.
Both of them are excited to hear my latest project whether its blogging, writing, VO, or sewing and they are encouraging me as I do all of these things. With some stressful stuff coming up in my life they have both aligned to support and encourage me. I’m blessed.
Speaking of sewing I made a semi-custom costume for my daughter-in-law. It’s the third one I’ve done for her. It took three different patterns, and yards of fabric but her Maleficent costume turned out pretty well. She got a great response to it when she did the downtown Halloween walk where they live.
I gotta say I was pretty please with myself.
So today is laundry/writing/blogging/sewing day. This time I’m making something for myself with deep green velvet.
I hope your day is fantastic, amazing, exciting, and full of love.
When I am writing, whether its blogging or fiction writing I have a second monitor that is always playing YouTube science videos, primarily space videos. The images are so amazing, brilliant in their composition and striking in the thought of how distant these objects are from our little planet.
The video narrations stir my mind with observations of the surface of Venus or the formula for a black hole. I love this stuff and it gives fuel to the muse. I would love to get a narration gig for science videos.
So I sit at my desk,
my coffee on the warmer, the dog and cat are resting, my hubby sleeping after his 4pm-4am shift, and the magnificent creation of the universe pushing my writing mood.
I will be doing some VO auditions this afternoon, but right now my fictional characters are calling out to me with more of their story to be told. Since this is my place, inhabiting the story this morning, so it means I am in Coastal Maine. How fun it is to travel anywhere I want, and live an exciting, adventurous, and romantic life vicariously through my fictional people.
I’m still trying to get some freelance clerical and/or writing opportunities to work from home, along with the VO work. If you know of someone who needs a virtual admin assistant, proofreader, copy writer, or a voice artist send them my way!
We’ve heard and seen all the reactions to the septic that has been 2020.
Disney is going to crap, small business are losing ground, an election year where many worry if President Trump is re-elected the human opposition to his election will erupt in violent, destructive protest. Well – I have no interest in politics. I look at the candidates and party web sites and decide which one I am most aligned with, no one side fully aligns with my concerns.
We’ve all been told that masks and social distancing will help stall the spread of Covid-19, that Covid is fake, or that masks have no effect, that only the very sick or babies will be at risk of death and the rest of us will get a cold and get over it. If the sign says wear a mask I wear one, I wash my hands a lot, and only hug certain people.
I have to have a serious surgery in a couple of weeks which gives me great concern. Disney layed off my son along with thousands of others, I’m still hunting for clerical/writing work from home opportunities and auditioning for VO jobs, Christmas is coming and the purse is full of moths.
Yet there is this:
Osiris rex made a hugely successful mission to asteroid Bennu, effectively touched down and gathered a more
than adequate sample of stardust. As a University of Arizona project I was inordinately proud, and as a space geek I actually had the date marked on my phone calendar so I didn’t miss it. Yay NASA.
Another great thing this year is my nephew got married and it was a perfect time with family in the mountains of central Arizona. A destination site where we all stayed in log cabin style lodging, surrounded by tall pines and aspens, next to a lake. Can I just say the little kids had a great time running around, fishing, and eating their fill. The wedding itself was incredibly romantic, the bride beautiful, the groom handsome.
Another nephew’s business is growing, soundly. He has also been able to turn that success into an even better success with three franchises! I’m so proud of how his hard work is paying off for him. He is a good man, and a good husband and father. This immense improvement in his business is due directly to his conscientious and strategic hard work, and the more than fair treatment of his employees and clients.
My grandson is doing well in kindergarten – his autism is now on the academic radar. His teachers are doing wonderfully with developing his learning and classroom skills while helping him make good decisions, his therapies are done at school so the success he has reflects well on his perception of the learning environment.
It also has relieved some of my daughter’s stress, also good for both of them.
I have also made a good friend, something I’ve really wanted. She is a fun person, a cool chick, and we have so much in common. Also our husbands get on well. I’m so glad to have my girl Kathy.
My mother used to say –
“Life’s too short to be in a bad mood for very long”
and “Speak what you want to come to pass.”
So that is what I will leave with you. I would love to hear the good you’ve had in this year.
ZOOM work, school, social distancing tool, even funerals and memorials.
What kind of world is all this quarantine creating? Is this the thing that initiates a new electronic age of intimacy in relationships?
A movie that spoke to me in a profound way was “A.I Artificial Intelligence” by Stephen Spielberg. It frightened me but also made me curious about the future of technology.
I really liked it so many of it’s robotic aspects, yet I was so moved by the boy robot played by Haley Joel Osment. The warning was strong to the parents about activating the “imprinting protocol” which would cause him to have an eternal love for them . When the unthinkable happens and the robot is cast out, this love sent him on a journey to find himself. I understood the mothers desire for her child’s love, but I also felt the emotions of the robot when he is abandoned.
Will our future be like this? Already technology has become so prominent in all our lives we can’t think of existing without it. August 21st I stopped using Facebook. I am amazed at how much more I get done every day without the FB leash. I still have Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn but these don’t paralyze my brain with nonstop scrolling the way FB did. One of the last days I was on FB I did a three hour scroll! I missed a VO web meeting. I disgusted myself.
My five year old grandson blows my mind with his technology abilities. He has no fear of jumping onto a program. He is a Minecraft fiend.
Kids who are doing ZOOM school don’t think twice about using laptops or tablets to listen to their teachers, interact with learning programs and doing their attendance and homework online. They are not, however, interacting face to face socially with their classmates. This worries me. If these socially distant situations go on until the beginning of 2021 as I have last heard, will they adapt or will they withdraw?
How will advancing tech in our everyday affect who we are? There is a huge push in artificial intelligence for self driving cars to the possibility of autonomous weapons. I am concerned about this desire of technological progression that the human side becomes flattered to see it successfully implemented.
Could ego incorporate programming that devastates? Think hackers.
What if the programmers think they are putting in place an AI designed to help, but it ends up interpreting it with a destructive methodology? Think HAL.
As I said in the beginning I am fascinated with it, and cautious as well. What do you think about technology in the future?
From the time I was little I remember singing. It was something on my mother’s side of the family that happened whenever we gathered together.
My grandmother had a beautiful soprano voice, and she loved to sing hymns whether she was cooking or hanging clothes on the line.
My uncle could out-sing a grand piano with his strong, operatic baritone. His brother could hold his own singing as well.
My mother was a fine alto as were her sisters. Most of my cousins all have varying degrees of singing skills. It’s a family thing.
I’ve always had a good voice which led me to performances in choir and musicals. I love to say I got my voice from my grandmother. After all we do have the same first name!
Now I’m using my voice in a different way by attempting to break into voice-over (VO). My speaking voice when I’ve done readings has always received favorable comments on my sound, tempo, and quality. I feel much of it comes from years of stage plays.
I liked acting, and did it a lot in school and after in local community productions.
When I was just out of school I started doing commercials for local radio. It was a blast. The funny part was when someone would say they heard a commercial that sounded like me. I would ask what was it for and then confirm “Yes, that was my voice.” After a while family and friend would listen for me then tell me they heard me.
Years ago in the local malls (which hardly anyone wants to go to now) they had these mini studios where you could go and record yourself. I went in, found the background music for Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and did a recording. I picked it not because I was a big country music fan, but because I knew all the words. I didn’t try to sound like her, or to try to sound country, but just be myself singing a simple song. Well, we were having a party and I played it. My neighbor, Ed, asked me who it was. I told him and he said “That’s you?”
“Yes, that’s my voice.”
I’m looking for referrals for VO jobs so let me know if I can bring my voice to your project.
I work in a zero sound floor home studio that I use to record, edit and deliver professional quality Wav or mP3 files. Let’s work together.
Ever ridden in a car with kids on a road trip? Yes? You’ve heard this question constantly.
Ever been stuck in quarantine with close family? Yes? How many times did you ask yourself this question?
Ever been a caregiver for an aging parent nearing the end of life? Yes? How often did this thought come to you?
It is in the nature of humans to want to know what is next, what is around that corner, who is coming and when will they be here. Children aren’t the only impatient ones. We all have that thing that we are anticipating and ready to encounter. New job, new relationship, paying off debt, getting accepted to that school – goals and plans require waiting for the next step in the process.
A step that is part of a journey.
For myself this question comes up thanks to my son who regularly asks if the current book I’m writing is finished. I also think this question when I submit voice over auditions, wondering when those paying jobs will start and some cash starts to flow. I wonder this when I am sitting in the hot desert and I think back on my visit to Ogunquit, Maine and long to move away from here and relocate my life to the Maine coast.
Keepsake: a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.
What makes an item a keepsake? Is it necessarily small? When is it bestowed with the emotional attachment of keepsake? I have a quite a few things in cabinets, on shelves and dressers, on nightstands and in drawers that are what I consider keepsakes and cherished mementos. I also have tubs, drawers, and closets full of things that have yet to be given memento/keepsake status.
I suppose this requires defining the difference between collecting vs pack-rat/hoarding.
Collector: a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.
Pack Rat: a person who saves unnecessary objects or hoards things.
I have my own art collection which is primarily art from individuals I am acquainted with, for example my aunt,
my cousin, my nephew’s best friend, the photographer I met in Greer, AZ, the dear friend who passed away. But I do have things that have enormous emotional value like the old radio from hubby’s grandfather,
or the copper plaque presented to my father-in-law by his community when he moved from Kearny AZ to Soda Springs ID. Also the items from my fathers time as a volunteer with the University of Arizona football team.
I’m sure most people place emotional value and attachment to photos. We have a cabinet full of photos. I teased my husband that if there was ever a fire threatening our home it would take his truck to get all the pictures and valuables out of our house.
Some small things that mean a lot to me are in a little jewelry box from my grandmother. An arrowhead my Papaw found and gave me, the broach given to my Nannie by my aunt, and her costume jewelry pieces I remember her wearing. I also have the shell casings from the twenty one gun salute for my father’s military funeral.
These are things I can tell a story about and share with the generations to come. I am fortunate to be part of a family who are close and value family connections, even if we are spread around the country.
We bought a tall cabinet a while back that has a lighted glass case on top and an enclosed bottom. I call it the museum. In the top part are collectible items we’ve obtained from travels, hubby’s camera collection, and sweet things like a hummingbirds nest, and sea shells.
After living in Japan I have this idea of “space is clean” and order gives peace. Clearing clutter feels good. If there is a place to store something then that’s where it goes!
Are you a collector of keepsakes or a pack rat hoarding things that aren’t necessary? What do you do with your collections?