Tag Archives: Creator

My Rocket Scientist Mentor Leaves Earth

Sunset viewed from the air

My friend, Jerry, soared to the Home Office, but not before learning to fly here on Earth

Jerry the Friend

My friend, Jerry the rocket scientist, passed away Tuesday morning. Saw him just a couple weeks before. He was fine. Old, as happens to all of us, but fine. Then suddenly gone.

Regina & I first connected with Jerry & Donna as fellow members of a fledgling church in northern California. They became both mom & dad and counselors to us, their lovely daughters as younger sisters. Jerry and I bonded over electronics, astronomy, and space travel. And I quickly learned he liked anything that flew. I gave him flight instruction through his solo flight.

read more ...

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Bare Hands

Yellow crime scene tape

The police tried to secure the crime scene

Three of us arrived at the crime scene right away. The first response team tried to cordon off the area, but didn’t have enough patrolmen. The looky-loos already pressed the perimeter. Yellow tape wouldn’t hold ‘em for long.

“So what’ve you got, Sergeant?” I asked.

“Well, sir, not sure what to make of it.” He looked around both ways, then down. Pushed his hands into pockets, searching for something. Fidgety. Strange. I’d worked with him before. Always direct. Solid. No messing around, but now different. Maybe scared? “Sergeant?” I repeated.

read more ...

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

A Unique Substance

City lights seen from mountain

Our lights pollute the night sky, denying us a clear look at the ‘Big Picture’

Get away! Escape! Man-made lights—suburbs, cities, car lots, malls, stadiums, soccer fields and freeways— invade the sky, stealing the ‘Big Picture.’

Run to the country side. Climb the mountains. Search out a dark field. Look up at night sky.

Imagine two things: first, your feet firmly fastened to Earth. Second, turn it over so ground is up, sky is down. Now hanging from the planet, stop looking at a flat, speckled mat. Instead, peer into the deep vault of heaven. Dive into the sea of stars, each a local neighbor.

read more ...

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

All The Way In

Neil Armstrong takes man's first step on the Moon

Neil Armstrong takes man’s first step on the Moon

July, early evening in Southern California. The afternoon temperature climbed to the low 80’s in small town Vista. Later, palm leaves rustled in a light breeze while twilight pink and costal clouds approached. But I, along with almost 500 million other people, ignored weather, time, food, and even an upcoming date. A fuzzy black and white image seized our attention.

On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong hopped-stepped down a short ladder fastened to the side of the Lunar Module. He hesitated a moment on a wide, round pad then stepped out to become the first human to walk on the Moon. His crew mate, Buzz Aldrin followed minutes later. They spent almost a day there, rendezvoused with Michael Collins who remained in lunar orbit, then returned to Earth.

read more ...

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Just the Two of Us

Beechcraft BE35 Bonanza

Beechcraft BE35 Bonanza

Flying mixes two of life’s apparent opposites—tech and art. And this week I get to indulge in both.

For the last two days, tech challenged. MAF asked me to deliver a rocket. The donated Beechcraft BE35 Bonanza, scooted along nicely. During the 9-hour flight from Nampa, ID to its new owner in Vicksburg, MS I routinely experienced ground speeds over 210mph. Equipped with way more computing power than NASA possessed going to the Moon, and a solid auto-pilot, I pointed the airplane in the right direction, leveled off at the correct altitude, then sat back and monitored systems. Look outside for other traffic. Look at the ground to confirm the GPS and moving map display tell the truth. Check flight instruments for the right heading and altitude. Switch fuel tanks every 30 minutes to balance the load in the wings. Scan the gages to ensure the engine and its systems still play nicely. Repeat.

read more ...

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail