March 09, 2004

My Daughter’s Visit

She was here with a her vacuum in tow! “Yours doesn’t work very well, Daddy,” she said.

“But, my apartment doesn’t need cleaned, Ruth.”

“That’s what you say. You have dust bunnies wearing dust bunnies.”

“I just vacuumed it yesterday,” I said.

“That’s what I said, your vacuum doesn’t work, and that’s why I brought mine. You need a new one. Maybe for your birthday I’ll get you a new one.”

“ By next September I’ll be knee deep in dust bunnies humping dust bunnies. Besides, while your shopping for me, I’d rather have a new car.”

“Don’t be so difficult. I’m just here to help.”

“I’d rather you came to visit.”

“We’re visiting now.”

“So, sit down beside me on the couch and let’s talk.”

“We’re talking, Daddy!” She said in a tone half between a whine and exasperated gasp. “Besides, we can talk more the next time you come to the farm for dinner. Right now, I want to get your apartment cleaned.”

And so it goes. We go around and around, and all because Ruth is in the process of doing, or has done something, goodness only knows what, that she knows deep down inside she shouldn’t have. It worries me.

John Glenn Bashes Bush’s Manned Mars Mission

I’ve been a science fiction fiend ever since I left the Amish order 65 years ago. Mars, the solar system in general, and the stars are mankind's future as far as I’m concerned. So, I was rather upset when I read about John Glenn’s Bush bashing. However, It seems that Glenn has some genuine concerns. For instance, the Bush plan scraps the International Space Station project in favor of a moon base from which to launch the Mars mission. In effect Bush’s plan jumps from one gravity well, Earth’s to another, the Moon’s, before launching to Mars. The International Space Station would entail only one gravity well, Earth’s. Because of the double gravity well, launching expense alone will be much higher for the Bush plan. Additionally, building a base on the moon will be more expensive than building the International Space Station because of that second gravity well. However, Glenn’s chief concern is the scrapping of all the primary research already planned for the International Space Station. America’s future lies in primary research because applied research is an outgrowth of the former. All the new gizmos and gimcracks that make us the huge economic success and have allowed us to dominated the world economy for the past 50 years are the result of applied research. For instance, just working out the details of systems that will operate the various modules of the space station’s system including the human habitat will provide advances in technology that can be applied to earthside quarters whether industrial, domestic, or institutional.

In short, I was wrong about the one area in which I thought Mr. Bush had gotten it right. He's gotten space exploration screwed up too.

Let’s scrap this president before he scraps America’s future!


* image acquired from the ISS, International Space Station Web Site, (viewed Monday, March 8, 2004, 6:26 A. M. EST)

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