Saturday, April 16, 2011

Smorgasbord Saturday

This week NASA announced where each of the four retiring space shuttles (3 orbiters, 1 test vehicle) will be housed. NASA's announcement coincided with the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle program's first flight and the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man in space. Shuttle Atlantis will make its new home at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida; Shuttle Discovery at the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia, under the administration of the Smithsonian; Shuttle Endeavor will reside at the California Science Center; and, the Enterprise test shuttle will be housed at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York. Obviously, two shuttles did not survive the thirty-year run of the shuttle program, Columbia and Challenger. Unfortunately, Sen. John Cornyn did not like NASA's final decision and decried political favors and connections that resulted in the site destinations. The Texas politician felt that the Johnson Space Center in Houston should have been chosen among the numerous candidates to house one of the retiring shuttles. This is something I really hate about politics--the fact that no matter what, somebody will always be mad at you.

More bad news has come out of Arlington National Cemetery. The Washington Post is reporting that Congress is finally asking the Army why the former administration of the nation's cemetery wasn't reprimanded more harshly for the complete failures they were guilty of. In the last year we have heard that Arlington lost bodies, planted bodies in the wrong plots, has lost record of plot reservations, placed bodies in unmarked graves, buried more than one body in the same plot, and urns had been dug up, their contents dumped in a dirt pile. Despite the oversight that has been taking place in the last year by members of both houses of Congress, especially under the fierce leadership of Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), atrocious failures at the cemetery continue to make the news. We haven't heard the last of Arlington, unfortunately.

I've been watching a lot of baseball in the early weeks of the season. Today on Root Sports I'm catching the Mariners and Royals. This afternoon I'll also catch the Fox game of the week, which unfortunately won't be the Mets/Braves matchup for this time zone, but will be the White Sox and Angels. I haven't seen the White Sox yet this season and the Angels are an interesting team (with a struggling Vernon Wells and a fully healthy Torii Hunter) and am looking forward to it. Blue Jays (they apparently just go by the 'Jays' these days) and Red Sox on TBS tomorrow, probably won't watch that one or the Red Sox until they get it together, but hopefully I'll catch some of Sunday Night Baseball's Rangers/Yankees matchup and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the Orioles Wednesday night against the Twins. I'm not sure I've ever said "looking forward to" in the same sentence with the Baltimore Orioles!

In between baseball and chores today I've listened to a few new songs that I'm loving. One, I mentioned here yesterday in my TGIF Tunes post--a great single called "If I Go, I'm Goin' " by Gregory Alan Isakov. The other single that I'm loving is "Turn On Tune In Drop Out With Me" by Cracker. Both appear on the soundtrack for season 4 soundtrack for Showtime's Californication. I'll update my sidebar with links to both on iTunes (though I used an Amazon gift card to download the mp3s from Amazon).

I'm considering taking a break from the blog for a few weeks, but haven't made a final decision. If I decide to, I'll be sure to mention it before I disappear. Should I take a break here, you can always follow me on Twitter. My tweets tend to be pretty baseball-centric these days, but the format is a welcome relief from the pressure of original long form posts here. Please check it out if you haven't already, the link to my Twitter feed appears in the sidebar.

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