Fly Me to the Moon

We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon…We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.

John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962
Rice University.

On this day in 1969 Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

John F. Kennedy never saw his dream of reaching the moon fulfilled. But before the decade ended, we heard

The Write Side Shop
(click the pic)

those words…

“One small step for man…”

American spirit.

Yeah, I said it.

It’s like these days, being proud of being an American is a bad thing.

Except that it’s not.

Are we perfect? Far from it. But for almost 250 years, longer since the first European settlers arrived, we have struggled to become a more perfect union.

Fighting to be better, to forge a new path, to excel at what we do, to do the impossible.

It doesn’t feel like that much these days.

In the late 80s and early 90s, we lived and worked in the Washington, DC area. The last years of the Reagan Administration were a grand time to be a young conservative in DC. We were able to hear him speak, as well as George H. W. Bush on multiple occasions.

I worked for an association of state legislators. Annually we took about 150 to the Executive Office Building to hear the President. I was there twice with Reagan, four times with Bush the Elder.

No make that three, one on of those occasions, our son decided it was time to be born the day before. That’s another post.

One of the most memorable times to hear Reagan was at a different event when he spoke at the Jefferson Memorial to a group of thousands. All of the cabinet members (except the designated surivivor) were there. It was a grand day. It was also my birthday.

One of the last times I heard George H.W. Bush speak in DC was just after the end of the first Gulf War when he made that famous statement “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.”

We had many wonderful times sitting on the lawn of the Capitol listening to the Memorial Day concert and then enjoying fireworks.

While neither of us worked directly for Congress, in those pre-9/11 days we had access to the buildings and I frequently traveled the tunnels underneath to get to my wife’s office on the other side of the Hill.

I loved walking in and around those buildings.

I’m still thrilled by fireworks and patriotism. I always have been. I always will be.

I won’t apologize for that.

I don’t need to apologize for that.

That freedom we celebrate gives you the right to disagree.

Fifty years ago we were charting our way to the moon with a slide rule. And, we made it.

I could list accomplishment after accomplishment but I don’t need to.

I might suggest, however, that you consider reading a history book or two.

Knowing where we’ve come from helps us know where we are and helps us determine where we need to go.

It might just land us on the moon.

Cover Photo by Francisco De Legarreta C. on Unsplash


Nothing is Routine this Summer

Editor’s Note: We are on day 123 of 15 days to slow the spread.

Summertime and the livin’ is…just like it was four months ago…

I did not want to go to the gym this morning. But I went.

I also did not want to spend the full 60 minutes on the dreadmill. But I did.

That is not a typo.

My gym re-opened on June 29. So far, I’ve been all but two days. Both days had legitimate reasons and were not just because I didn’t want to go.

I made myself a promise back during the early years of our home arrest.

I tried walking every day and was soon bored with that. I ordered, tried, and returned an exercise program.

And even with our bathroom scales telling me I was up 20 lbs. one day and down 20 lbs. the next, I knew I was losing ground in the poundage department.

So, I made a Scarlet O’Hara pledge.

You remember the scene. Scarlet has returned to Tara towards the end of the war. The house is in disrepair, the crops are all dead. She manages to dig in the dirt and find a small radish. She lifts her head and declares “As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again.”

On a side note, that’s a catch phrase in our household. When the wife and I are discussing the grocery budget an “As God is my witness” grocery run may or may not mean that we need to apply for a short-term loan.

I digress.

Anyway, the pledge that I made was that I would be so grateful for the gym reopening that I would never again miss an opportunity to go.

That’s a pretty big commitment, and now I realize that by telling you, my adoring public, I’m going to have to live up to this promise.

I plan to.

Getting back to the gym has helped with re-establishing a routine in my life.

When there’s no place to go, when there’s no looming deadline, it’s easy to put things off.

But, like I talked the other day, if this is our new reality, then I’m going to have to be proactive in terms of scheduling it and in terms of getting things done.

So, usually my day consists of about 10-15 minutes of arguing with myself to get out of bed. Some mornings it’s less. Then I read the selection from The Daily Bible…I’m working my way through this year. Then, I head to the gym.

Some days it’s the dreadmill. Some days it’s the pool. I’ll work up to the weights again, eventually.

That sort of sets the tone for the day. I don’t need to bore you with the rest of the agenda.

Don’t be that impressed. There are days when all I want to do is sit in the comfy chair and listen to 70s music on Pandora. So, I do, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s made me think about retirement. Would I be disciplined enough to not just sit around watching Netflix?

Probably, because I’m about out of things I want to watch on Netflix.

Also, probably because of the writing, the theater work, and the amusement park. Of course, I don’t have the theater and amusement park at the moment.

When will I get those things back? I don’t know. It doesn’t help to dwell on them.

So, I’ll think about them tomorrow.

After all, tomorrow is another routine day.

Perhaps you should put some additional reading into your own routine. You really should read these. All of them.

Mal-educated rioters and spineless politicians wage a war against democracy
Kay James in The Washington Times

Bari Weiss resigns from The New York Times

Don’t Stop Now
Senator John Barrasso at Real Clear Politics

Uncertain Times; Uncertain Leadership
Shaun Kenney at The Republican Standard

And remember, sometimes the satire at The Babylon Bee hits pretty close to home:

Study: Average American Now Complains More In A Week Than People Living Through The Black Plague Did Their Entire Lives
The Babylon Bee