One of the most interesting aspects of living in the section of Orlando in which we do, is that many of our neighbors work for NASA. I know for some people this may not be interesting at all but I am intrigued by the fact that I actually know rocket scientists. It is pretty cool hearing different stories about space flight and NASA on a regular basis.
Now I am not the most brilliant person in the world (as noted by my awful grammar here on the blog) but I can hold my own having somewhat intellectual conversations. And, as my wife will attest to, I can pretty much bullshit with anyone and act like I know what I am talking about. Except when I am talking to the NASA neighbors about their work. I immediately become a 10-year-old kid asking all sorts of retarded questions. Or I make suggestions on how the NASA program could work better because, you know, I have seen Apollo 13 and Armageddon.
When I bump into the NASA engineers or scientists at the playground or pool I get all excited to hear about their current projects. The conversations start with me asking, “So, what are you working on?” And the responses vary on whom I am speaking with and which department at NASA the individual works.
After listening to long answers about fuel boosters and foam insulation and instrumentation and flux capacitors and wave motion guns (okay I added the last two because that is really what I want to hear from them) I usually end up blurting out some type of idiotic question or response. Usually it is an attempt at humor but most of the time they don’t see it that way.
Here is a list of my responses or questions to my NASA Neighbors.
After hearing about how Kennedy Space Center has one of the longest runways in the world.
“Is the end of it shaped like a skateboard ramp? Because I am sure that would help with take off.”
After hearing about my one neighbor being in the Firing Room.
“Do you get to wear a head set and say GO or No GO?”
After hearing about the instrumentation panels used for launching.
“Do you get to push the button?”
After one guy told me he analyzes photos taken from space.
“C’mon you can tell me and I won’t say anything to anybody, do you ever see UFO’s in the pictures?”
After hearing about budget cuts and trying to start new programs.
“What you guys need is a corporate sponsor. Like Nascar. NASA? Nascar? It is a perfect fit. I am sure you could throw a Home Depot decal on the side of the shuttle. You know for a couple of mil.”
And it usually after I have spoken that the conversation comes to a screeching halt.