I actually updated last night, too, if you click previous.
I was such a lazy bum this morning. First of all, I didn't even make it to the gym until 7:10 (class is supposed to start at 6:30 -- but because there are no lectures on Friday, well...). Then I practically had to force myself to run, and ended up giving up one lap short of the distance I ran on Wednesday. Oh well.
Today I will work in the morning, then this afternoon I am going to go help out at the Kids Rock! space education festival. This weekend, I have no plans, except maybe visit kittens with Sarah and maybe go on a little shopping trip. This is kind of unfortunate, because the following weekend I have too many plans and really need to decide what I want to do and commit to someone (next weekend: a bunch of people going to see 3D IMAX movies, possibly a haunted house visit, the wings over houston airshow and a camping trip. Must decide...)
I've kind of been in a dialog (no, really, this time it wasn't an argument, more like a discussion, not even a forceful one) with Sarah about NASA.
First of all, we both agree that NASA is cool. It is. Now, I am not inspired to work for NASA because I have wanted, my entire life, to sit in front of a computer running simulations all day and using my education to try to make sense of the results. I am inspired to work for NASA because of, in no particular order: Shuttle launches, landing on the moon, space stations, big wind tunnels, the potential for sending people to Mars, astronauts, mission control, probes penetrating the depths of the solar system.
Anyway, our conversation has focused around the "astronaut" aspect of that. Sarah has gotten to the point where (and I will try to quote her correctly) "I'm sorry, I'm just not really that impressed with astronauts anymore."
I have to say, I'm still impressed. I am impressed not only by virtue of the qualifications that led them to be astronauts (honestly, if you were really tunnel visioned about becoming an astronaut, you could stack up the right set of qualifications too). I am impressed by what they do - even more impressed because I know I will probably never get to do what they do, as much as I want to, unless there is some sort of technological breakthrough (or public opinion breakthrough) that lets space travel become more commonplace.
When I worked at Kennedy Space Center, I met people that were at the point of "You've seen one launch you've seen them all" and "I can't believe you are excited to see the Vehicle Assembly Building, we pass it every day driving to work." At Langley I got laughed at when I begged to be taken to what must have been the 20th wind tunnel I visited. People here at Johnson think launches are cool and inspiring. I remember at Kennedy how when the crew of the Discovery came for a pre-launch inspection of everything, practically the whole center was engaged in "astronaut spotting" because they were so excited to see astronauts (probably more so than usual, because John Glenn was on that particular flight).
I don't want to become so jaded that I don't think what happens under my own nose right here at work is so commonplace and heros to become less impressive. I would lose my motivation to sit here and run simulations all day if I did.