Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Discovery 07.04.06: Liftoff!


Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off about 30 minutes ago, "paving the way for future missions beyond."

All the more moving because the launch signals the rebirth of the Shuttle program, and the diligent work of our best and brightest.

Currently traveling at a speed of 4,000 miles per hour, its external tank separation complete, the Shuttle Discovery enters its initial orbit, well on it's way to Thursday's hook up with the International Space Station.

This Fourth of July launch is spectacular, and every bit as exciting as those Apollo missions I remember as a kid.

Only thing missing? A nice cool glass of Tang.

God, I love being an American.

What do you love about being American?


Encore! Italia, Italia Uber Alles! Well, hopefully. Canna and the boys just took to the pitch against Germany in the Semifinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


Rach said...

Wasn't the launch spectacular?? Major fireworks show there!

My favorite thing about being an American is being a woman in the US. I don't think I would like to be a woman anywhere else in the world. Women here have more freedoms and opportunities available for them (even with all the inequalities that still exist) here than any other place I can think of.

We also enjoy more freedoms than many other countries in the world. God bless America! =)

Julie in Ohio said...

Goodness, Michelle. That is a hard question.
I was going to say a McDonald's on every corner but then again I believe Micky D's has gone international. Not having gone outside of North America, I don't know for sure. :o)
It is easy to take being American for granted but thanks to days like today it is good to sit back and consider what sets us apart from the rest of the world.

On a side note, my grandma used to live in Florida about 45 minutes from Cape Canaveral and we would go down every summer to visit her. We have been down there for several shuttle lift offs and from her back yard you could see it beautifully. It was an amazing sight.

word verif: tuclbrt

Wasn't he the hero in a Christina Dodd book? *g*

Kathleen Eagle said...

Yes, the launch! We're excited because one of my older son's friends since jr-hi--member of his garage band "Trashcan Alligators"--worked on the fruitfly experiment that was part of the mission. Jon is a ND wunderkind who worked for NASA for years until recent budget cuts and "priority shifts" led to letting some of the best scientists go. Well, science, you know. But the fruitflies made the cut, so we were all cheering the launch.

Happy Independence Day!

Kati said...

Ummmm....funnel cake?

Manda Collins said...

Freedom to read whatever I want--without fear of censorship or governmental interference!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Stacy~ said...

I'm going to agree with Rach - we are extremely fortunate when compared many other countries. And I think we have been blessed because of it with our freedoms.

Plus we really do live in a beautiful country, with the mountains, our coasts along the oceans, wildflowers, gorgeous trees, and even on the coldest winter nights, the aurora borealis - I know I've seen that a few times living in northern Minnesota :)

Rach said...

Okay, I forgot to mention how beautiful and diverse our country is. That's pretty special too =).

Julie in Ohio said...

Mary Kate, I'll see your funnel cake and raise you a cotton candy. :o)

Rach said...

LOL you guys! =) What about waffle cones, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies?

Julie in Ohio said...

Wasn't potato chips invented in Germany? I don't think we can take credit for that one...but I like the way you think. :o)

AAAHHH...look at that sweet new pic, Rach. She doesn't look sick at all. I think Baby Bit was faking it. *G*
I really need to figure this "upload" thing out. *sigh*

Julie in Ohio said...

Alright, Rach, because I got curious I googled potato chips and it looks like I have to give it ya. It was invented by a Native American (no less) in New York.

I have no idea what I was thinking of. Which is pretty much the story of my life. *g*

Kati said...

OK :MK rolls up her sleeves:...I'll see your potato chips and raise you Baskin Robins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Rach said...

Thanks for the compliments on the newest pic, Juie. That was actually taken while she *was* sick!

I have to confess I knew potato chips were american made, as were Levi's (oh, yeah, baby!) because I read about it in some stupid trivia book. I LOVE stupid trivia.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Rach. My name is actually JULIE. Only my 5 year nephew calls me JUIE. *g*

Mary Kate, you may be tough but I have a black belt in junk food.
I'll see your Baskin Robbins Mint Choco Chip Ice cream and raise you an elephant ear.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK, not just Levi's, but button fly Levi's on an all-American male. Let's hear it for the rugged American guy. He's comfortable in his skin, says goofy things, can be smooth if he puts his mind to it, and always, always has a sexy smile for an all-american girl whether she's eighteen or eighty. His all-American momma just done brung him up that way. And did I mention he looks great in a nice, weathered pair of button-fly's?

Rach, I;m so glad the little bit is feeling better, and hope the stress is off a little for you. I've been having a great time catching up on what you an dJulieO, Manda, Marykate and the reast of the Bellas have been up to the past few.

I actually took the day off today, kinda. Just been reading and hanging with the family. Trying to get ready for our vacation to Boston. We leave Sat 8 and come back 23. My husband comes back a week earlier. Of course, I'll have computer in tow and will be hanging here every day. Cause I miss youz, and also cause we have great GuestBlogs coming up.

Chips are Native American? That works perfectly with Kathleen Eagle here Thursday.

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle's back! I was begining to get worried. Almost thought of calling out the troops to see what was up. *g*

Isn't it funny how you have to rest up before going on vacation? I do the same thing because vacations are never truly relaxing for me. :o)

Rach said...

Yes, Michelle has been AWOL and it appears she will be again--luck ducky! I've always wanted to head to New England. Good luck with that =).

Now, I'm off to bed and sweet dreams of yummy, All-American Southern boys in button fly Levi's...*grin*

Julie in Ohio said...

Best dream ever!

Rach said...

Okay, really quick post--have you all been here: http://www.fireworkspop.com/Liberty_.htm?

It's really cool! =)

Now, for the yummy Southern boys...

Stacy~ said...

Oh yeah, yummy men in tight, faded jeans - definitely something to be thankful for!

On the radio the other day there was a contest: what was the smell that most reminded people of America? hot dogs? popcorn? apple pie? No, it was the smell of freshly cut grass! Not the first thing that came to mind...what, don't other countries mow their lawns? LOL

Cute new pic, Rach, even if the little one wasn't feeling good. Still a cutie duo.

Kati said...

OK, Julie, I'll see your elephant ear (what IS that?!) and raise you sm'ores around a campfire.

Michelle! Welcome back, we missed you! I wish I were gonna be on vacay, but I'm off to Hotlanta next week to run a program.

I finished Susan Donovan's new one this weekend (STEAMY!!!) and am now reading Kathryn Shay's new one. I love her. She's such a change of pace for me because she writes really lovely romances (not that other authors don't). You know the kind? Where you heave a satisfied sigh at the end? I loved her firefighter series, since you know, I love me America's Bravest!

Hope everyone had a great 4th. I lay by the pool, which was lovely. But the new spray on suntan lotion, while a lovely idea, missed a few spots: like the left side of my forehead and a spot just over my boobs. I look like a leopard. SIGH. It's so tough being me. ;-P

Julie in Ohio said...

LMAO, Mary Kate. A leopard?

Did you really ask what is an elephant ear? It is only the best thing at the fair! It is technically fried dough with cinnamon. Which essentially makes it the healthiest thing at the fair, also. :o)

I'll see your s'mores by the campfire and raise you a Dove dark choco bar.

Michele said...

Why do I like being an American?
good question.
Political Stability
Women are not Chattel
Travel freely between states without paperwork or bribes
Entrepenurial possibilities
Sleep in our own homes at night and know that we won't be dragged out, raped, murdered, sold or enslaved by the people " in charge".

My list sounds harsh, but it's against these things that our soldiers past and present have fought and died for.
Freedoms - overt and subtle, America is a wonderful , beautiful and inspiring land.
It's why many come here.
I'm proud to be an American.

Topic change:
all the hot guys you posted recently.
I have to wear sunglasses - my eyes are steaming!
That's another good thing about being an American..we have the peace at home that allows us to oogle, fawn and sigh over men, some from other parts of the world. We have the time to enjoy the finer things in life by visiting your blog.

Kati said...

Oh, jeez!! How does one top a Dove dark choco bar? OH!! I know!

Thrashers French fries with malt vinegar. Phew! I was worried about my junk food prowess!

Yeah. Just like a leopard. I'm gonna spend the rest of the summer trying to even out the stupid blotch on my chest to make it not tan as fast as the rest of me. Can't you see me at the pool delicately spreading SPF45 on the unsightly splotch on my chest before spraying down the rest of me with SPF 10. SIGH. I'm a dork.

Rach said...

Too hot to go out by the pool yesterday. It was almost 100 here and the humidity was out the roof. You hafta love the South. Instead I stayed in the a/c and finished Jude Deveraux's HOLLY yesterday morning and then we had an indoor picnic with the in-laws in the evening.

It was still 85 degrees at 8:30 so we decided to skip the fireworks this year, but we sure did hear them! Fireworks over the Palace Green at Colonial Williamsburg are wonderful unless you are lugging about a baby and tugging along a four year old while trying to battle the largest crown known to man--only beaten by the crowd at Busch Gardens. Next year for sure.

Oh, and Julie (see, I remembered the "L" this time ;o) ), I too had never heard of an Elephant's ear. Sounds divine though =).

Marykate, so sorry for the leopard spotting. Even if I use sunblock I still come out looking like a leopard due to all my freckles. ;oP

Stace, thanks for the compliment, I think they're pretty great! =)

Rach said...

Michele, I overlapped your post. I really do agree with everything you posted. It's definitely a more serious take on our frivolity, but it's those things you listed that make our frivolousness (word? sp?) possible. Thanks for the reminder =).

Julie in Ohio said...

You poor, poor souls. To never have had an elephant ear is to never have lived...OK I'm being a little over dramatic but they are great. Just a word of warning, don't have one if you are on a diet. You will have set yourself back 3 weeks. *g*

MK, you are a formiable opponent. But I do not admit defeat.
I'll see your Thrashers french fries with malt vinegar and raise you Red Robins all you can eat seasoned steak fries.

Am I the only one who has gained 5 lbs by reading these posts?

Rach said...


MK and Julie, you guys are providing me with a list of excellent foods to avoid on a diet! =) Keep it up, I writing 'em down as you toss 'em out ;oP

But, have you considered Godiva's Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream?

Kati said...

Ugh - A twofer!! OK, how 'bout this, I'm throwing in Rio Grande's Nachos Supreme orrrrr, Ruby Tuesday's Cheese Fries.

Just looking at them you'll gain 10 pounds!

Clearly, I'm going to have to come to Ohio and sample an elephant ear, as I'm open to ALL kinds of cultural foods! ;-)

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, you had me at Godiva. *sigh*

MK, I'll see your fries and nachos and raise a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts fresh and hot.

Rach said...

Oh, Julie, fresh hot KK's are DEADLY!! They're so light and fluffy and OMG, so AWESOME! You snarf the whole box and before you even realize it you're eating your glaze covered fingers! OMG, they are INCREDIBLE. You win. Hands down, you win! I bow to your superior knowledge of that which is awesome.

MK, you're gonna have to really work to top that one! (But I'm sure you must be able to!) =)

Kati said...

Julie - I concede! You are the DIVA of Junk Food. How can you top the red sign at the Krispy Kreme store??

:MK slinking off d*mning herself for not thinking of it first:

Julie in Ohio said...

Thank you, Thank you. *g*

You are definitely a force to be reckoned with, Mary Kate. I'm just sorry I had to pull out the big guns. :o)

I know the feeling of eating an entire box. It's great to begin with but then you start feeling bad that you didn't leave any for the kids. But after all, you can't let them get cold. :o)

Kati said...

See? That's the beauty of not having kids. I don't have to share.


Rach said...

So NOT funny, MK! ;o)

Besides, the Monkey only likes the ones with sprinkles...=)