Thursday, December 7, 2006

I Wish The Weather, And NASA, Would Make Up Their Minds

Just a quick post as I listen to the NASA TV broadcast of the countdown for the launch of the shuttle Discovery, in about 45 minutes from now. Contrary to the best guesses of nearly everyone, the clouds and winds that have plagued the Kennedy Space Center all day appear to be lifting.

As a reporter and a space fan I'm happy to see it... I can't begin to say how juiced I get watching these launches... but as a TIRED reporter, I was kinda hoping to put this story to bed hours ago with the headline "NASA Delays Discovery Launch Due To Clouds, Rain". Instead, I'm providing ANN REALTIME UPDATES on a launch that appears will actually happen (now in 40 minutes... it took me five minutes to type one three-sentence paragraph?)

I promised an AOPA Expo update in my last post. In an odd bit of kismet... and a stroke of timing... just as I had recovered from the biopsy, my boss went down with the worst case of the flu I have ever seen (him too.) That meant he couldn't attend AOPA Expo... meaning the entire three-day affair was The Rob Show, assisted by His Merry Band Of Aero-Fools.

And it went... well. I had great writers (one of which has since been let go... drat) and I also put in three days of solid work, both in writing and in managing a six-person staff. Everyone had nice things to say about the job I did. I also had the chance to speak with some big names in the industry, most notably AOPA president Phil Boyer.

I also did an extended audio interview with Alan Klapmeier, the very affable co-founder of Cirrus Design. The topic of the interview was safety... but he started out by telling me how his father had suffered a bout of histoplasmosis, as well, about 10 years ago. How we got on that subject is another story.

Something I noticed... last year, AOPA was the second event I covered after just being hired F/T by ANN. Being the staff newbie in more ways than one, I spent most of that show being told what to do, and looking up at the grown-ups Who Knew So Much More Than I Did. This year... I wasn't looking up to them. I was looking them in the eye, asking questions that I expected answers to. It was an awesome experience.

(Rats! The weather just tanked at KSC once again... this is gonna come down to the wire.)
I'd better get back to work... one way or another, I'll need to do a lot of fast writing in the next few minutes.

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

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