Friday, April 22, 2011

Love, Sex, and Friends (with benefits)

First, a BIG shout-out to my now one-thousand views! Here’s to another thousand!
Secondly, my youtube channel is starting to get some notoriety, mainly because of the spectacle: Rocketry.
Thirdly, a public disservice announcement:
Affections are at the top of any high schooler’s mind, and I am no exception. Whether it’s staying on the top of the current rag gossip, or trying to climb the social ladder, people generally love to take an account of who they are interested in, and who they aren’t. I myself tend to take into account as my interests anybody who knows me more than the census bureau. Strangely, anybody who knows me better than the census also knows I am about as open to love as I am to census agents.
Love comes in three general types: friendship, romance, and sex. Friendship is like love, but more openly polygamistic and mellow. It’s obviously a much-thought upon topic, since it’s the basis of everything. You won’t form an alliance with your worst enemy, unless you happen to be in a world war and in need of some considerable dictatorial muscle. Civilization didn’t form from enemies bonding. It formed from friends with a similar interest in a better life. Though, when it breaks, people don’t like it, and find the other person responsible. See: Middle Ages.
 Friendship is like boat tape… when it splits, you come away with much less skin.
Common interests (or, CI’s) are the foundation. They’re what make everything else work. Yes, school does find its way into this group, and if you disagree, ask yourself how much of your time you spend ranting about how much aid teacher sucks. Friends without common interests don’t last long. They devolve into acquaintances. Not that there’s anything wrong with such… as a rocketeer, I find myself with many acquaintances. I’d like more friends…
Another way these relationships can go, in the absence of CI’s, is straight to sex. Nothing wrong with that, but what happens when that gets boring? Then one of the two parties decides they need to break up, and the boat tape . Teenage romance often leads down this dark, sticky road. Sex is like Elmer’s glue… it keeps stuff together on a good day, but if you put too much on, then you end up with a pile of white, crusty stuff that smells bad. Also, it doesn’t work on plastics at all. Again, nothing wrong with a sexual relationship, unless you happen to be carrying around a religion, which I do…
But, with the right combination of mostly CI’s and an attraction to someone else (that I’ve only felt maybe twenty times; the feeling was reciprocated only three of those), a deeper relationship can evolve. This is somebody you trust, somebody you care about, and, if you want a clinical description, I’ve heard Wikipedia has a reliable page about it. Google has 4.46 million answers to a query on love. Bing has less. Also, don’t type “love” into the image query without a filter. Big mistake.
Love, just like friendship, won’t last based on sole romance. In this example, I guess love = sex.
A subset of this reason is the nature of the two. Both have been hailed for as long as humanity has walked and humped on the earth, and it doesn’t look like either are going to step off the pedestal. But, religion has also been spoken highly of. Most religions hold sex outside of marriage to be unwise, for good reason. Generally, religions carry good warnings—but such is the mettle of another post, later.
The other reason why sex and love don’t work out alone is much more physical. Ya see, every month, there’s this thing girls have called a “period”. I won’t go into details, but basically the girl transforms into this angry, six-headed monster that doesn’t want to even think about sex, or romance. She gets crabby, and… other synonyms of crabby. Most guys don’t understand this. Then they get their boat tape ripped to pieces.
Love, unlike sex, or a friendship, is a struggle. With friendships, you don’t have to work at it, because you aren’t about to get all jealous if one of your friends is bored of you, and decided to chill with someone else for a while. Unfortunately, something called morals and ethics (cough-religion-cough) restrain you from feeling the same way if your lover does the same. Both ends of the relationship are locked in a constant war to on the other’s heart. 
At least, that's what my pastor, my father, my youth leader, my principal, and every old couple have told m

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Sometimes I have a hopeful post. I don’t rant, or berate, or vent, sometimes. Most of the time, I do. But recently I’ve realized that, in order to fool people into thinking I’m a half-decent individual, it’s required of me to lend you some pleasant advice. I hope you can refrain from laughing long enough to read this.
As the above paragraph suggests, I am moving onto a lighter topic, one that inspires hope. It’s powered advancement since life existed. It’s been the sole purpose of a couple of world wars. It’s seen the fall of nations and the rise of just as many. I speak, if you haven’t guessed by the aptly named title, Winning.
For some people, it’s the center of their life. Winning becomes a religion, and only utter defeat will squelch their insanity. For others, they feel all possibility of victory, even in the smallest feat, is impossible.  The rest of the world, those considered… “normal”… are just trudging through.
If you consider yourself part of this normal caste, then here’s a hint: pressing alt+F4 will make your computer so much faster. So would throwing your computer off the side of a ten story building.
Okay, are they gone now? Good, that makes this post so much easier.
To the winning-obsessed people: I would throw in a Charlie Sheen joke here, but that man has had so much limelight he glows in the dark. Instead, I say that, if you treat victory as your god, then when would you stop? Case in point, Josef Stalin, in order to keep his massive power, imprisoned seven million people. Adolf Hitler lit the Roman candle of war for power, for victory. The Cold War was just for “winning”. So, unless you want to be a GE CEO, put down your scepter, hang your cloak and crown, and chill.
To those who feel life is impossible, I first must ask you to earnestly stop having yourselves featured in "New Paranormal Teen Romance" novels. Twilight was bad enough (Even though the book was slightly entertaining(that topic is for another post))
I have a quote from Muhammad Ali.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

He speaks of victory as gained before you meet the other person. Ali was such a great boxer, people were terrified of him. His fists were lethal in the ring. He used this to his advantage. “When people get in the ring and they see me, and they know they’re gonna lose, they’ve already lost half the battle”, he would say.
I walk into school and, right before going up that first painful flight of stairs, I’d tell myself, “If you tell yourself it’ll suck, it’ll suck.” I relate this to my friends, and they cling to their fatalistic guns. It might just be because I told them.
Anyway, victory shouldn’t be something avidly searched for. I also don’t believe it should be avidly avoided. Rather, Victory is meant to be a culmination of events and your effects on humanity. And, like anything that just happens, your effect will increase if you keep at it. It’ll ripple, and even a small ripple will eventually show in the whole lake. Of course, if you keep dropping bigger and bigger stones in the lake, the splash will be huge.
And there the analogy falls apart. I was going to say they the bigger the splash the better, but the 9/11 attacks were a pretty substantial splash. Somebody took a car into the lake at highway speeds, and it skipped a few times before breaking apart. On the other hand, the Golden Voice man made a substantial splash, as does every celebrity.
Now that I wasted five minutes of your time, you can go on to your substandard existence with the uncomfortable feeling that I know exactly what you’re thinking. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cloud 9

Sharing a building with an urban karate dojo, a small, quaint shop has set up, since last year. The front is all glass, with a high grey McDonalds-style countertop braced to the window panes. The seats assigned to this countertop, so high my legs dangle a foot off the ground, are four in number, backless, white and chrome. Walking in, though, you first notice a sign saying “Start here” in sloping, curving letters. The poster is blue. The second thing you notice is that the shop is nestled in a giant, blue-tiled U-shaped wall that funnels everyone through its bow.

Upon inspection of the dispensers on the wall just past the sign, and the small mountain of large, bowlish cups, I felt for a second that this shop had stolen the Golden Corral’s yogurt machines. Upon pouring some of the chocolate yogurt, just one of ten or twelve flavors there, I notice a consistency in the yogurt that told of greater quality than the yogurt I used to want to go to Ryan’s solely to eat. After dumping half of the condiments available into the cup after the yogurt, paying for the yogurt, and having it skewered by a spoon, I notice the other half of the available delicacies. Cupcakes with the largest tops I have ever seen dotted the landscape behind a glass pane. The server, who, according to the receipt, was named Michael, told me about the cupcakes. He was loading twenty of them into a holder, “for the people who’re fixing my car. This is just a little thank-you”, he said. Touched by this, I went to sit down at the aforementioned counter-top.

Before I sat down, I noticed the lights. They hung from the ceiling, all white, layered like a tight Sydney Opera House, or one of those pink wildflowers, except white as anything. If ever I wanted to shoplift, I had the most incredible urge to. Those lights are maybe the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

As I ate, I noticed the bear I had left there, for donations to a cancer society. The bear was purchased at the Super Target just five hundred feet from the shop, the animal crackers inside eaten, the container washed out,  a hole cut in the top, and a sign asking for change taped to both sides. This bear was slowly being filled, and last I’ve seen of it, it’s eaten maybe a modest sum of kindness. I spoke to the bear and, as I ate the yogurt, he and I had had a very nice conversation. He had spent most of the day being watched by nearly everyone who frequented the place, weighing down several issues of Snap! Roswell, a couple of flyers, and, of course, the kindness inside. The bear and I moved onto other topics, and as I finished my yogurt, I asked if I could get m good friend, the bear, anything to eat. In polite response, he told me he helped me quite enough. What a bear.

I bid Michael adieu, leaving the shop in a great mood. As I went to my car, I turned to look at the name of the shop: Cloud 9. A vernacular used to relate moments of great elation joy, and peace. When you’ve reached the highpoint of your life, when you’ve just gotten married after winning the lottery, when you sink a hole in one for all eighteen rounds. When you get an A in every final, and get that scholarship that nobody ever gets. Then, you’re on Cloud 9. Purchasing a cup of yogurt and only paying six dollars gives you much the same elation, apparently.

Then I realized I forgot to get my punch card punched for that purchase. You owe me a punch, Mike. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oreos, Views, and Writer's Block

First, I’d like to bring attention the “reduced fat” Oreo cookie. To the producers of this bastard son of the famous product: what were you thinking? Take the pitch you always used and kill it?!? Have you tried soaking a reduced fat Oreo in milk? You can’t. It’s about as absorbent as a rock and about as hard as one too. FIX THIS. My grandmother buys me those by the truckload, it seems, and I must please her by shoveling them down my throat. After I eat them, I must go back and rehydrate my throat with more milk. It’s worse than sea salt.
Secondly, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed an increase in traffic to my blog. Last week, it broke three hundred views. I have some rocketry forum for promoting my “Georgia Rockets In The Sky” post, though I had a small international flood of secondary traffic. I have a few views from Poland, Greece, Italy, Australia, Denmark, and Brazil. To those six people, I love you more than anyone else on this blog. You crossed the border. To the two people from Japan who looked at my blog, ありがとうございます。.
I don’t currently have any inspiration for a post today; Writer’s block has been known to be the commonly misunderstood cause of suicides in young writers. People don’t look past the angsty exterior to realize the source of the angst: the fact that, at some point, everyone loses the sharp wit they write with. It’s a fact of penmanship that, if you lose your edge for a day, obviously you lose it for a while. I feel like I just lost my edge.
Back on track. Writer’s block occurs when you can’t remember, or can’t think of, a way to continue the story. It’s what happened to Michael Bay during half of his Transformers titles (guess which one had no plot). Today, this phenomenon happens to me.
From the onset of WB, writers experience rage, confusion, befuddled minds, and thoughts of suicide. The fact that they have a pen in hand makes that last symptom much more lethal. The obvious answer is to strap the writer down to their beds until their train re-rails itself. The longer the writer stays free, the longer he or she is volatile to the world.
This has been a public service announcement.
If you have any suggestions for future posts, please send them to

Friday, April 15, 2011

Biases (To a Friend)

Today was apparently a “Day of Silence” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transvestite group. The last half of that sentence was very awkward for me to type. The event, as far as I could tell, was an effort to remain silent through the entire day to raise awareness for anti-gay bullying. Apparently, staying dead quiet through the day is a great way to tell somebody you disagree. I thought speaking was a bad enough idea.
I didn’t hear of it until a friend of mine told that she did not participate in the activity. In retaliation, many of these peaceful protestors were reportedly extremely nasty to her, and, knowing the tendency of humans to be very self-righteous, I assume she speaks truth. The silent protestors protested her voice. The quiet disdainers saw her vocalism as the problem. Her friends rejected her. Her peers broke ties with her.
Keep in mind; these are peaceful protesters seeking equality and friendship.
Today I turn an eye of sadness and ridicule on the ridicule and sided conflict of the world. Everyone has an opinion on something, even Switzerland. If a Swiss man wants to disagree with me on that point, then you just proved my point. I’m not going to speak of racial arguments; instead I will speak on intellectual ones.
In keeping with the mould, the example above shows that both sides of an argument can be equally wrong. Just like with the happy-go-lucky Israelis, nobody really knew who started it. On group raided the other out of <insert land here>, and of course the other group can’t just let it go. This mockery of religion provides an amazing example of how even people claiming peace can be just s vicious as those claiming war.
Or, an issue closer to home, that insane preacher down in Florida burned those Qurans at last, signing the death warrants of several of his Christian brothers in Afghanistan. He did this with full knowledge of the ramifications, against the wise advice of every single other Christian in the world. He stooped to the human instinct. You belittle, you insult those who you disagree with.
Now, I won’t go on about how Christians are more accepting and kind, because I don’t want you to be a victim of death by hypocrisy. I also won’t say that any group in this world is any better at being the wise men of the world. No color is better at discerning between the peoples of the world.
The peoples of the world, though, all know silently that they are better. (Of course, I’m not talking about you. I’m of course speaking about everyone else, but you, oh blog reader, are the epitome of discernment and intellect). 
It takes a considerable amount of people, though, to collectively right a wrong. Back in the medieval ages, the dukes and duchesses didn’t win wars alone; they got an army of believers. In today’s world, wars are fought in the Europes and the North Americas of the world with signs and organized events. No such greater evil has ever plagued this world. It doesn’t matter the percentage of LGBT (20-ish percent?) are present in America; obviously if you have entire high schools going suddenly quiet, people will think the percentage is much higher.
I will also refrain from launching into a lengthy attack on homosexuality; that’s another post for another time. But if people on both sides are fighting tooth and nail against each other, while both sides preach a will to return to kindness and acceptance, there is a serious disconnect.
My friend didn’t want to join in on something she felt was wrong. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world was rude to her friends, she peacefully protested a peaceful protest. The peaceful protestors scoffed and scolded her for her protest of a protest. Shame goes full circle. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today, my Death Star laser targets the population. America may be the best nation in the world in many respects, but we have recently (say, in the last hundred or so years) kicked ourselves in the knees so much that Uncle Sam has to drag himself by his arms, which are thankfully very strong thanks to a few thousand more pages of government. Our paraplegic Sam, bewildered, has crawled into a corner of society that has slowly grown, a corner he can feel comfortable and at peace, an umbrella of wealth.
            This glorious corner of reality is the government, the thing our great forefathers did not want it becoming. Sometime in the last hundred or so years (I don’t listen in History classes, sue me), the country has slowly, ever so slowly, warped from a society appalled by accepting aid to a society that expects it. We’ve warped from a country full of people who want to be the best to a country of people who want the best to give them their best cuts.

I’d like to say this cultural backslide is simply a result of American Greed, but the origins of this strange movement started probably back in the 1930’s, when the Great Depression hit. Ultimately, the government tried to help people by expanding government, for if government controlled the money, it could help the country in need. It was a noble ideal.
Thankfully, after a world war, America became one of the handful of nations that could supply the world with things. America grew into the image of “the” nation, “that” nation, you know, “that” nation. The one people look up to. We were (are) amazing. We stormed Normandy (along with the other nations), we dominated Germany and Italy. We dropped nukes after napalming and storming the Japanese. Before it surrendered, we already started building more nukes, ready to use them on more targets. We were the biggest stick amongst twigs.
Shortly after the war, as said before we realized we were the only nation who could readily sell things. We had all the stuff you needed. For all intents and purposes, we were the present equivalent of China. With all this new money, we launched an expensive campaign against communism. This was the part of the History I slept through.

After we conquered communism, we went back to focusing on the poor. By this time, everybody loved America, and there was a bunch of nationalism. More importantly, we became accustomed to the government handling things. I’m sure one of the various talking heads have talked themselves into a shallow grave over this period. I’ll only say two words for this period: Medicaid and Welfare. Let’s throw the former out for now (save it for another post) and stick to the prior.
Welfare grew out of the 1930’s sentiment. The government would help a man in need. There were veterans who were crippled for life, a multitude of people with horrible life-altering circumstances, and down-on-luck peoples who needed to get better, and these people needed a hand up. At first, the only people who were glad for this were veterans (their bodies shielded us from harm, it’s the least we can do). It was shameful back then for people to take free money; it was a stigma of poverty.
Sadly, over time, enough people got on this stigma that it soon became common. People, as I said before, have changed from being abject to aid to feeling “entitled” to it.

Okay, I need to vent here. If you have a friend on a government aid system, this is where you’d throw your chair at the monitor.

Today, people are abusing this system. This entitlement class is sadly proportioned of people who’ve found that, with food stamps paying for their food, they can sit in front of a multimedia device with their vice and live off of governmental generosity. The people that make money make it for charity to the “disenfranchised”, the impoverished. “Jblancs, you’re going to grow up with a few friends who’re going to go through life drinking and eating pretzels,” a wise (anonymous) teacher of mine remarked, “and they’re going to wonder why they can’t get a job. When they don’t get a job, you’ll end up paying for them. Get used to that now.”

I may be a bit dense, but I feel this isn’t what America was founded upon. The very basis for our country- the glorious Capitalism- weeps silently as this bastardized spawn of charity and exploitation works its way deeper into our society. Life for the entitlement class is easy; it’s almost hassle-free. No job stresses, no worries. People look for ways to hurt themselves so they can “sue” someone over (again, another post).
Meanwhile, I look forward to a life of toil and trouble to pay for people who don’t understand why I’m pissed that I’m looking forward to a life of (coercive) charity and (forced) selfless giving.

I’m only slightly biased in this opinion. (Also, some of you wondered why I took down the post about Space a week ago. The Space post, after a query regarding it, was found to be almost completely unfounded. In shame, I removed it. This post, though, I will not remove).
So, to the entitled citizens of the United States of America: my proposal is as follows:

I will give you the bare minimum. No vices, such as booze, cigarettes, lotto tickets, or multimedia will be available to you at the income I will supply you with. Your food stamps will be for cafeteria grade food, and your toilet paper and razors will be mass-produced in an old Soviet Union factory – they’ll be half-ply thickness and one blade. Understand this: you are not entitled to these, I am being incredibly nice by giving you something, because I would really not enjoy somebody dying on my front lawn of starvation. But what I am not doing will let you want to stay unemployed. I’ll make you feel poor. I’m sorry, but I did not go off to college for four years and get into a successful career just to have 30 to 40 percent of my blood and sweat go to you so you can drink booze. Tough love, buddy.
<insert rage here>

If that horrified you, then take this last paragraph, reduce the bitter bias and hatred by a factor of thirty, and then add the percent tax you pay to the result.

Fortunately, it feels good to give. I myself, not having a payroll of my own, feel a better charity is to give your services. A helping hand, a smile, a referral… these are the kind of charity I believe in. but this Coercive Charity is not what capitalism, not what America was born with. America was born with the mentality that you help a brother out, expecting him to bounce back fast. Today, that accountability has gotten its knees kicked in, and is following Uncle Sam into the corner. So hold your fellow Americans accountable for their wallets. For, unless we do such, America won’t last too long. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pollen and Advertising

As I walked to my car with a friend of mine, I remarked at the apparent lack of pollen in the air. I’ve heard the idiot tube prophets speak of great counts of pollen, oceans of green rolling over plains of black tarmac. According to, a high pollen count is around 12 grains per cubic meter. I’m not sure if it uses the same measurement, but Georgia usually rests in the several thousands range of grains. As this is true, I remarked that I see none of the pollen. He responded that his car already has a coat of yellow, and I, a man sensitive to pollen, gave him a doubtful look. In response to this look, he told me he hasn’t washed his car in weeks, so the pollen built up. With this explanation in hand, I relented.

Still, I’ve remembered Georgia my entire life as being blanketed by this yellowness. I miss my pollen. Of course, once you take into account it’s all tree sperm, the sentiment quickly fades.

Though this is not the topic of today’s discernment, though tree sperm is definitely interesting. Today I speak about advertising. In my eyes, there are two or three forms of such: Passive, third party, and aggressive.

An aggressive advertisement is any advertisement that is shown to you by the advertiser itself. An ad in a newspaper, magazine, radio station, or television station would fall into this category. I call it “aggressive” not because it’s a Burger King commercial, but because it’s actively hunting for people. It may be as innocent as a Starship ad, as evil as an ASPCA public service announcement, or as strange as a Geico commercial, but they’ll still be aggressively wanting your attention. I guess a better defining word would be “active”.

A third party advertisement plays off of the active-aggressive ads; they are word-of-mouth, the magnets on the refrigerator, the search page you leave open at a Barnes and Nobles kiosk, hoping the next person who browses will see your preferred book and follow you… Basically, they are collateral of the hunt. People talk about it.

The passive advertisement is the effect of the first two types. You buy a pack of gum, eat it all, and throw the box on the ground. Someone sees it, picks it up, and on the way from the landing site to the trash can, he/she wonders a few things:

Why did this person leave this gum here?
Why am I picking it up?
How can Stride keep all that flavor for so long?
Ya know, if Stride’s commercials were really true, and people would maul you to get you to spit out that first piece of gum, then whoever this guy was that ate this entire box was running a huge risk for everyone in the school. I should take this up with the principle…
I wonder when I’ll go to the gas station next…

Then you get to that fifth statement, you have a future buyer. I find this same thing happens with computers: my old ’05 IBM laptop, which was outdated when I got it, is ridiculed by the fools with the Macs. I cannot say anything against them, because they obviously have more up-to-date technology than mine. Even now, my screen is tinted red because something’s loose. People see the Laptop with the PC XP operating system and instantly ridicule all PC’s based on my single old computer’s performance. Sadly, the rest of the computer lab is in similar squalid conditions, with the two-foot-thick monitors and the desktops from six years ago. The Mac users’ computers are stylish, beautiful, and easy to work with, and thus anyone looking at face value would deem Macs as being he better choice.

Anything that can be felt, touched, or seen has a passive advertisement attached to it. A wheelchair has a logo, which you can attach to a company. A computer has the same properties. Not all services have this blessing. Tax agencies, for instance, cannot show off their product in the same visual way as a three-ton, V-8 something blowing down the highway can. A bank has similar limited passive advertisement, as does practically anything that handles money.

Food, on the other hand, synthesizes the three into one. Each French fry at McDonalds is an advertisement, probably made from recycled advertisements (and what delicious, delicious advertisements they recycle…), which, when devoured, follows by word of mouth: “hey, ____ tastes like horse—“or “hey, _____ tastes better than sex”…or variations of the two. If the first quote follows the taste of your last meal, when you bring it back up on your friend and tell them what is coloring their shirt, they will not likely go back to the eatery you threw their food up on.
If, on the other hand, the eatery’s food is indeed better than, say, sex, then tell me where this place is, and me and all of my best friends will go there…which is to say I’ll go alone.
Now, some places are so amazing their reputation precedes them. Let me tell you of such a place. In Knoxville, Tennessee, there is an eatery called Ye Olde Steak House, which forges 60 oz steaks in such a manner to bring Hephaestus to shame. The steak comes out big, tasty, and commonly, there are pieces left when the waiter comes by.

Two more things:
I need to have a reason to go up to Knoxville, if you are interested and know me in real life, contact me through one of the various non-blog related channels so my father and I can pig out with you
My school’s computer lab needs renovation. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pay it Forward

Short message today, but important:

Today, the strangest thing happened to me. On refilling the car with gas, I was told by the attendant that someone has already paid for my gas. On further inquiry, I learned that he anonymous benefactor had left a thousand dollars at the station, with an earmark towards future transactions of other people. Upon filling my tank, I told the next guy the same, and, indeed, the next hour was free for the patrons of that BP station.
This incident reminded me of the amazing movie, Pay it Forward. In this movie, a young boy devises a charitable pyramid scheme, in which one person helps three people in a significant way—significant in the way that, it’s very hard for you to do. The boy lets a homeless man sleep in his house while he gives him the little savings he has, “enough for me to buy a shirt and pants”, so he can get a job. Long story short, the favors the boy does snowball without his knowledge, and he becomes a national hero. But, in the last act of kindness he had to perform, he tries to help a classmate under attack, and he gets stabbed to death.
After this movie was released, a fever of kindness swept the whole world, briefly. I feel it did not go far enough. I wish to see another pay it forward. Of course, something the likes of a pay it forward fever is directly against human behavior, more strange than charity. I first learned about the phenomenon back when I was in fourth grade, and didn’t understand it until I was in ninth. My father’s cynicism for the world helped in that respect.
But now I’d like to see a subtler version of the original. This subtler pay it forward would be the sort of altruism you’d give an old man mowing his lawn in the midday sun, the sort of altruism you’d give a friend doing yard work. Heck, go to three people’s houses and ask if they need help. Maybe you know how to fix something they don’t. you’d be their angel.
Then, when asked what they need to do to make it even, simply say, “Pay it forward”. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Georgia Rockets In The Sky

*Editor's note: completed, but I still would like any help with further fleshing it out. send advice to:
This weekend is the one I was waiting for. The climax of my life, the point from which I will never rise to again. This weekend, I attain true glory and honor. This weekend, the world knows my name. The world, for me, will never be the same again.
This weekend, this high point of my career, starts at a Jameson Inn, somewhere between a Holiday Inn and an apartment complex. The beds smelled clean, the room looked pampered, and I was sure I’d find the body in the shower, but was sadly mistaken. Though, the television was still several feet thick, which brought me back to reality.
This weekend was GRITS. Georgia Rockets In The Sky, or Girls Raised In The South. It was the first regional rocket launch in Georgia in at least ten years, and the anticipation was so palpable it could be cut with a knife (several people wanted to, but think: if you cut the anticipation, what happens? This question left everyone’s knives in their bags, untouched). Three days of anything NASA wouldn’t care about, coupled with a beautiful field and Great Ribs, “In The South”, and you have any rocketeer’s dream. Forty-seven pads dotted the field, and there were no waits for anything. The FAA waiver was somewhere up at eight thousand feet in the sky, and over two-hundred thirty-five rockets flew to test that height. We'd have lunch made by trusty scouts on each of the three days, and amazing BBQ for dinner on Saturday.
For an idea of the field's size, here's a small rocket on Saturday that went up.
I wasn’t there for the experimental Friday, but early on Saturday, I set foot and realized I must have murdered seven different species of plants on the Calhoun field. Purple flowers covered acres of land, throwing the land into an agreeable hodgepodge of colors. The size of the field made me doubt the distance the away-away cells were placed, which was the regulated thousand feet. People already set up rockets on the pads, half an hour before the launch was begun. People wanted to fly. I myself sat down, preparing for a long day of large, amazing flights.
            What Mother Nature prepared for us was a day when anything not tacked down by a sizeable rock was immediately given free rides across the field. By noon, we communally decided to remove our tent flaps, and the flight line assumed a ghostly non-green-covered pallor. The wind sock was thrown into convulsions many, many times. Despite these worrying sights, the wind stayed below twenty miles per hour, and many people tried their luck. Saturday was successful, in that not much was flown that couldn’t come back.
Sunday was a different story. Any wind was an anomaly. Of course, the weatherman had to point out that the mother of all storms was about to rock the southeast, but I enjoyed this quiet before the storm. Among the very vibrant launches was the ill-fated up-scale of the down-scaled Saturn V. There was an audio recording of the last two minutes before the launch, with all the preparations. The iconic liftoff sounds were sadly ten seconds off synchronization with the actual happenings, the audio playing the liftoff early. Everett Stowe’s beautiful bird went up… then down. Newton would be proud. You’d probably find many videos on YouTube, considering that about ten people recorded it.Link below:
It was a memorable moment. other moments included several certification flights, and a two-stage  rocket that went off two I class motors and came back on the field. the man who flew it was amazing.
Not only are the rockets memorable from this weekend, but the field also begs recollection. At least seven species of flower colored the ground, and you killed five of them no matter where you set foot. At the far end of the field, on the elbow of the Coosawattee River, the camping facilities include two large pavilions, three firepits, a fishing site with six foot fish, and running water (with restrooms!). The cows were moved to a different pasture, though I wanted to tip a few.
In every way, I feel GRITS will get much more attention from the Southeast rocketry community. Thanks to Southern Area Rocketry (SoAR) and Tripoli Atlanta for coming out and participating in this high point of my young life.
links to various rockets who've wormed onto youtube:
Burl's FatNike
Kyle's Qubit
Okay, we need more videos of rockets there. where are all the Saturn V posts???

Search This Blog