As I Live and Learn

Saturday, January 14, 2006

January 1986

Challenger Crew

"January 28, 1986,11:38:00 a.m. EST. First Shuttle liftoff scheduled from Pad B. Launch set for 3:43 p.m. EST, Jan. 22, slipped to Jan. 23, then Jan. 24, due to delays in mission 61-C. Launch reset for Jan. 25 because of bad weather at transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site in Dakar, Senegal.... Explosion 73 seconds after liftoff claimed crew and vehicle. Cause of explosion was an O-ring failure in right SRB. Cold weather was a contributing factor."
Full report of the incident.

For me, it was personal...

I was in second grade. My teacher had been one of the 8 finalists to be the teacher who went up in the Challenger, to be the first civilian in space. Since she wasn't selected, the "consolation prize" was for her class, my class, to be some part of the trip. We participated in the Student Involvement Program. We received pictures and information from NASA about the space program, outer space, Earth, and the Challenger crew. We grew some of the seedling plants that were on the shuttle. They were going to be used for experiments in the zero gravity of space. We studied the mission learned all about the seven crew members (pictured above).

The whole class was supposed to watch the launch. But it ended up getting moved to our lunch period. My teacher arranged for us to be able to go to the cafeteria and pick up our food and then come back to the classroom to watch the launch.

It happened so fast we missed it.

When we got back to the classroom, the tv was set up and waiting but our teacher wasn't there. After a few minutes she came back. "Something's happened," she said. Then she decided instead of telling us, she would just show us.

I still remember crying in the bathroom. We had one of the pictures of the crew hanging up in there. I don't remember how long it was before I could use that bathroom without crying.

I still remember the prayer circle we held.

I still remember the picture of Earth from space that hung near the US flag. And how that along with everything we'd been doing that year was what made me want to be an astronaut so badly. So much so that I still do to this day.

And I still remember how I couldn't turn on the tv for a week, not even to watch Saturday morning cartoons, without seeing the Challenger blowing up. Again, and again, and again...

I was only seven years old. I had celebrated my birthday just 12 days before. And my life changed. No one that young should have to go through such pain.

It's was the initial reason, the big reason I don't watch, read, or listen to the news. There's too much bad in the news. I figured if something big happened or that I needed to know about, someone would tell me. 9/11 proved me right.

To this day, I still cry when thinking back or reading about the Challenger.

And I learned not to turn on the tv after anything like it, 9/11, Columbia, ....


Friday, January 13, 2006


Thanks for our cooperation?!? There was no cooperation! There was us being informed, and nothing else!

The key bit of information you don't have is that today is payday, not Monday the 16th.

Here's the e-mail we got:

Due to the bank holiday on Monday, January 16th, all direct deposits will be credited to your bank accounts on Tuesday, January 17th. All pay stubs and live checks will be distributed on Monday afternoon.

Detroit people – you will receive a FedEx package Tuesday morning with pay stubs and live checks, but direct deposits will occur on Tuesday also.

I hope this doesn’t inconvenience anybody too much. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your cooperation.

Joel Russell
{snipped contact info}

Here's what I wanted to send back:

This is the second time in the last few months payroll has not been on the correct date due to i33 finance department. Since the 15th is on a weekend, payday is supposed to be the Friday before. That's how it's been in the over two and a half years since I've been here, and never have I seen an announcement to the contrary.

My bills are scheduled to be due on the 1st-ish and on the 16-ish because we get paid on (or before) the last day of the month and on (or before) the 15th of the month. Now I'm potentially going to have late fees and a mark on my good credit record because I can't pay my utilities and other bills on time this cycle. I'm lucky I got the e-mail below before I mailed out checks today, so I won't be bouncing any checks and incurring more fees for that.

I suppose I'm writing to express my disappointment in i33 and my extreme annoyance at this situation not only happening but happening for the second time. Please let me know if it's going to be a reoccurring situation so that I know to change all my bill dates to try and accommodate.


But a co-worker of mine reminded me of a life lesson we all have learned at one point. It is okay to write such things. It it not usually a good thing to send such things.

So here's what I send instead:

Since the 15th is on a weekend this month, payday is supposed to be the Friday before. My bills are scheduled to be due on the 1st-ish and on the 16-ish because we get paid on (or before) the last day of the month and on (or before) the 15th of the month. That's what I expect because that's how it's been in the over two and a half years since I've been here. Now I'm potentially going to have late fees on bills and a mark on my credit record for the credit card bill I can't pay.

This is the second time in the last few months payroll has not been on the correct day. Please let me know if this is going to be a reoccurring situation so that I know to change my bill due dates to try and accommodate.

Thank you,


Monday, January 09, 2006

Yeah, but how messy does an upgrade get?

A totally quiet computer? Hm:


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Christmas is officially over.

Yup, Christmas is officially over. I took down the fabric tree wall decoration today.

I also took down the outdoor lights, and all the indoor decorations except the Cresh (sp?) and the Tree. Most of them are currently sprawled out on my floor, heh. My place looks pretty tore up, but it was all cleaned and nice except for my bedroom before Christmas. Now my bedroom is mostly clean while the rest of the place is messy, because I'm trying to get my bedroom ready for a new dresser and I'm trying to get all the holiday things packed up.

Christmas and the other holidays were good. I got away from work for a couple minutes for the Solstice, and got to make a snow angel for the first time this season!

Mom loved all I did to prep. Yay! The decorations came out looking well, nice like I wanted. The guest bathroom was done up cute, even though I couldn't find a Christmas toilet seat cover I liked nor a Christmas bath mat at all. Turning the bed in the guest bedroom really opened it up, and putting one of the small dressers in there made it nicer. I took down most of my nicknacks and replaced everything in the display cabinet with Christmas things. I took pictures of everything (I think), oh except for the minor kitchen changes. They should be up at some point!

We saw a lot of family, which was fun most of the time. Mom got to see her grand-nephews, meet my granddaughter and her sister and her father for the first time, spend a lot of time with her brother and his family, and have a girls night sleep over party thing with two of her good friends. I'm so glad Mom enjoyed Christmastime at my house so much. It means I didn't take away anything from Christmas by it being at my place because I wouldn't fly. And it means there's hope for me being able to host again in the future. I'm sure part of the reason Mom had a good time was she didn't have to worry about all the details this year.

It was just so much easier and nicer and less stressful for me too. Odd, since hosting usually means having the hardest time. Oh there was a lot more work for me before hand shopping and setting up and trying to get everything ready in time. But during the 10-11 days Mom and Michael were here it was so much better than I remember last year being. Not the week I spent in Mass, which was busy for me but otherwise not really stressful, but the week after Christmas when they came here and I went on overload even though I had nothing out of the ordinary to do for them being here. Somehow hosting Christmas made me happy. And even though there was more packing in of family, and having to work, there wasn't near the amount of stress and annoyance as last year. And almost no family overload!

My goddaughter and I got some time alone to sit and enjoy the scenery. I sang carols and a couple other songs to her, she "joined in" a couple times, and we talked some. My goddaughter is 10 months old now. :) The only word she knows is Da-Da, but she's working on consonants, and really thinks she's singing along.

But, yes, Christmas (and New Years) is officially over. The moment I took the fabric Christmas tree wall decoration was the moment I felt it. The same item that I put up first for Christmas. Which is likely why it marked the end. I think I will make that a tradition.

I hope people had happy holidays and are turning towards a bright looking year.


The Birthday Party Is On

Dispite the lack of all my best friends being there, the birthday party is on. If you read this and are in my area, please come! E-mail me for directions if you need them.

Time: Sunday the 15th, any time after 2pm
Place: Livonia, MI
What: Birthday Party for Me
To Bring: No presents! Just yourself, spouse, and/or children


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