The last few days have been a blitzkreig of preparation for this event. On top of that I have spent a lot of time working on several projects at once. It' not so bad, actually. Keeping busy is good for me, but finding the right level where it's not hands-on-my-head stress is the challeng. So far, no 'home-alone' moments. The work level is just about right.
I'll be arriving in Cincinnati tonight about 6pm with my compadre Vikas, who is a great system guy. Snow and rain is expected as we land. I'm renting a car. I've never driven in snow/slush. Hilarity is sure to ensue. However, I am banking on the fact that it's been warmer there and the ground is not so frozen. Plus they are in the north, so they are prepared for these things. The drive is about 30 miles from the airport.
The trip is going to be very quick, so probably not a lot of excursions into Cincinnati proper. I'll have Vikas take pictures as we pass through, and I'll try to find things to write about that you all find so inexplicably interesting/funny.
For the plane ride I'll be reading workflow diagrams (fascinating!) or Al Gore's 'Assault on Reason', which I am in the middle of. Pretty fascinating, for real. He has an interesting perspective on a lot of the political issues going on in our age, with a lot of analysis, history, and context I totally didn't think about. I've been more active in this latest political campaign than I ever have been, and there's an explainable reason why, interestingly. You'll have to read the book to find out why though. Neither of the candidates I've contacted have a solid space policy yet. Irritated, but is to be expected. For late evening cool down, I'll be watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica, lent by my brother on DVD. Good show!
Speaking of space. Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off tomorrow - don't forget to tune in. I'll be in a workshop, so will miss it... booo!!! So, watch for me and post some comments about what you thought. I have to add in my little bit of 2009 NASA budget proselytizing:
WASHINGTON - NASA announced a $17.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2009 to continue exploring the solar system, building the International Space Station, studying Earth from space and conducting aeronautics research. NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale said the increase [of about 1.2 billion] for NASA's 2009 budget demonstrates President Bush's commitment to the agency's missions. With the increase, NASA still accounts for less than 1 percent of the federal budget. The NASA budget includes $5.78 billion for the space shuttle and space station programs, $4.44 billion for science, $3.5 billion for development of new manned spacecraft systems and $447 million for aeronautics research.
Think of how much more we could do with technology and innovation if we spent 2% of the budget - about $120 per YEAR per American, via taxes (we currently spend about $60 a year). That's not even a month's worth of gas for most people. Grrr.
OK. I gotta go. Lots to do, travel, blah blah blah. See you in Cincinnati tonight.