Thursday, June 4, 2015

For Here Am I Sitting In A Tin Can.....

Image result for gravity
  The other day, I watched Gravity for the second time. Seeing Sandra Bullock isolated from everyone but at the same time able to see Earth go by her window makes me imagine myself as a 'land astronaut' while traveling in my car. I also see the world go by my window, but at a much smaller distance!  As I have mentioned before, work requires me to travel through a dozen states in my area.  As a result, I have a lot of 'alone' time while in the car.  When one is alone, their mind can wander.  Usually my blog entries get their start while I am driving and this one is no exception. While returning from a service call, I realized I am like a spaceship, isolated from everyone but still seeing everything around me.
  My 'land ship' has everything I need to accomplish my mission.  In the cargo bay, are all the components I need to perform repairs when I go EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity).  I am properly attired with the necessary clothing to protect me from the environment.  I have the necessary communication equipment to stay in contact with Ground Control (the office) and listen to Pandora.  There is only room for one other crew member, but that space is usually occupied by more cargo.  Once I leave the launch pad, the majority of the time is spent in transit to and from the destination.
  So once I get into my gold land ship, secure the hatch, engage the engine, and leave the port, I am on my way.  At this point, the World changes.  Instead of being in a constant environment of home, I am now looking out of my cockpit and watching the rest of the world, not as a blue sphere while 258 miles above it, traveling at 17,000 mph.  Instead I see everything by going through it at 65 mph (well, maybe 72).
Image result for cityscape  When orbiting around New York, and New England, it is usually places I have seen before and the familiar landmarks are like old friends I am seeing again.  However, there is always something I haven't seen before that I have previously missed.  Occasionally, my navigational equipment brings me to a place I haven't been before and that is always interesting.  I find myself studying the buildings, land features, the villages, shops, bridges, monuments, everything.  I wonder how long they have been there, why they are there, or why have they deteriorated or flourished.  I sometimes wish I could touchdown for a visit and learn more.
  Occasionally I am asked how I can travel so much.  I reply that it doesn't bother me; closer to the truth, I enjoy it.  Listening to great music, seeing an endless performance on Earth's stage. Interacting in my mind with me, myself, and I makes the time go by quickly.  Stopping to actually perform in my vocation is a small interruption between going to and coming from.
  Having been a "Mission Technical Specialist" for 40 years has afforded me a job that I have always enjoyed (in case you haven't noticed!).
Image result for cash register  From this tale of fact and fiction, you may not know what my trade is if you haven't read previous blog entries.  I am a field engineer for Point of Sale systems, a fancy name for cash registers.  I love my job and it is going to be very hard to retire, but I think the aches and pains that accompany ageing will be a strong case for retirement.

Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature. - Albert Einstein

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