26 April 2007

19 Rubber Duckies Down, 1 to Go

So I've been learning a bunch in Russian. In fact, I could say that in Russian. That's probably better than what I could do in Spanish right now. That's 6 months of Russian vs. 5 years of Spanish. Public school is at a severe loss compared to direct government education. I really hate the ads on myspace, and the webcam girls, and the idiots who add them as friends because, and I quote, "Daaaaaaaamn biatch! Ya the hotest shiat up in dis bizzzzzitch Holla bak atcha boi! and chek out these RINGTONES!!!!!" The existence of myspace is proof that God exists and that He HATES US WITH A FIREY PASSION! I'm pretty sure Benjamin Franklin said that... or something like it.

Next item on the list: Work. It's going alright again. I'm learning, and applying my knowledge, and all that. It's awesome. I'm beginning to understand why I ever felt smart in the first place. This is probably one of those good things, because you don't want unsure idiots programming your spaceships. Speaking of spaceships, this makes me sad. This is mostly because I didn't find the Battlestar Galactica on it, and complained about it to a friend. This was before she pointed out that it was there, which actually made me feel a little relieved. That is how you know I am a nerd.

I've got a couple of friends who have just gone live with their website, AnswerPond.com. You ask questions and can offer up a reward for a thorough answer. At the same time, you can earn money by answering questions. You should check it out. I already earned some cashola myself, and am going to be lobbing some easy ones out there to try to get some action going on the site. While you're at it, check out those GoogleAds on the side. Click if you find something even mildly interesting.

Finally, you might want to know that I was nowhere near any shootings at JSC. I was about 6 miles away at my office building. As it was a Friday, I wasn't even going to go there for my Russian class. I do know a guy who works in the same building, but he was off in another building running an errand.

What was kind of eerie about the whole incident is that up until the Monday after this happened, there was a sign up on the fence next to each of the entrances onto JSC. The sign said something along the lines of, "Are you being safe? April is a high injury month at JSC. Please be careful." That wasn't the exact wording, but it was definitely close. Also, they had to change out the 'days without a time lost injury' numbers too. Those won't even start to be updated again until next week.

The culture here is weird about it too. I don't know anyone who knew any of the people directly involved. The people that I do know were all at least semi-sensitive about it, because nobody knows whom anybody else knows. This was also the last day of work for a few hundred people at my site for the company. Layoffs. The managers were all going through a sort of nervous laughter stage about the incident, which we were initially told was a 'domestic dispute'. None of these managers wanted to fire anyone, but they had to. My boss had to let his friend and coworker of several years go. At least everyone in my team had somewhere to go this time.

To return to the original point, the people were weird about it. One of my friends/colleagues ranted about the news coverage of the event, like CNN was being particularly unfair to NASA. They were, if you view NASA as a company. They weren't when you view them as a gigantic, lumbering government pork barrel project. Nancy Grace made wild claims that NASA burns trillions of dollars. This isn't true. NASA is granted less than one percent of the national discretionary budget annually. That's about $0.37 to you and me.

Again, I steer from the main point. People here seem to forget that two people died, and something went terribly wrong, long before anyone picked up a gun. There's something broken here when we start seeing people as cogs in the machine and not for what they really are: people. Living, breathing, feeling, fearing, joyful, real people. I am afraid for us.

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