Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Strangest Thing

You all know I have a beagle, a feisty one at that, only eleven months old. Well, today, after I got home, I let her out, and soon after she ran right back in sniffing at anything, smelling my pants, wanting to bite anything remotely curious, basically making a nuisance of herself. So I let her out into the back to burn off some of that excess energy chasing lizards, smelling for snake tracks, chewing on pine cones, and barking at birds that torpedo across the yard just out of her reach. She reluctantly shares her space with them. Okay, now for a little peace and quiet, I thought.

So here I was watching a rerun of one of the final episodes of "Happy Days", when I realized at the end of the program how peaceful it had been for a while and that strangely enough Ginger had not come to scratch on the door as usual. I said to myself," It's time to call her in." So I called, "Ginger", and no answer. No shaking of her collar, clanging her small rabies badges together like a bell. No rustling in the bush, no immediate lifting of the head to acknowledge I was calling her. Umm. How quiet. This is not like her, where is she?

So I stepped out of the back porch and into the back yard. There on the grass about four yards away lying motionless was Ginger Doodles. She was sprawled out in a odd manner like she had been shot or something. I called to her and she didn't move. I thought oh my God, is she dead? I called her again and no movement. She might be asleep but how strange she was not responding. As I got closer, I noticed she had a metal garden divider twisted around her harness. It had gotten caught on her harness and was twisted around twice causing her to be almost asphyxiated. Her eyes were open and she blinked. Relief! She was still breathing but not moving anything other than her eyes. Would she be okay? I immediately loosened her harness. Before I could count to three she jumped up and started running around in celebration of her freedom. It was a delight to see and it immediately dissipated all my fears. She has been sniffing and running around joyfully ever since, but she did give me quite a scare. Que susto!

Now I have to get some other garden protection because those 10 inch metal ones definitely are too dangerous for the energetic toddler beagle that she is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marvelous Melodies

This morning I got up about a half hour earlier than usual. It was about six in the morning, just when the sun was barely up, and it was still twilight out side and I ventured into the back porch as I let Ginger out and to my surprise, birds in the tall trees next to my house were singing with all their strength like I had not heard them sing before. Perhaps it was that everything was quiet and noise had not yet awaken when the mockingbird, cardinals, and blue birds were calling to greet each other about the beautiful day before them.

So the early bird not only gets the worm but also the serenade... the reward of starting the day early.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Safe Liftoff for Soyuz Expedition 31

Great launch and they are on their way!

Expedición Soyuz 31 a la Estacion Espacial Internacional

Esta noche, 14 de mayo de 2012,  a las once de la noche, hora Atlántica y nueve de la mañana, hora de Rusia, despega la nave Soyuz Expedición 31 con una tripulacion que incluye 3 tripulantes, dos rusos y el Astronauta e Ingeniero de Vuelo de NASA, Joseph Acaba quien es nacido en los Estados Unidos pero de padres puertorriqueños.   El Comandante de la Expedición 31 Soyuz es el Cosmonauta Gennady Padalka, y el ingeniero de vuelo es Sergei Revin, ambos de Rusia.  Esta tarde, 14 de mayo de 2012,  un sacerdote de la Iglesia Rusa Ortodoxa, rezo una bendición sobre la nave Soyuz en la pista de despegue en Balkonur,  Kazakhstan.    Puede ver una cantidad extensa de fotos de la NASA/Bill Ingalls en la red cibernética.  Aprovechen para ver estas fotos que son muy informativas ya que vienen de la NASA dando clic aqui. 

Pueden ver el despegue en vivo por NASA TV esta noche.  La cobertura comienza a las diez y el despegue es a las 11:01 P.M.

Joe, everyone wishes you a very safe and exciting flight and stay on the International Space Station!  Todos le deseamos un vuelo súper exitoso y seguro.  Dios los bendiga!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Joseph Acaba

El astronauta Americano de ascendencia puertoriqueña lleva varios años preparandose para su proxima mission que es como representante de los Estados Unidos a la estacion espacial internacional y va a viajar no en un transbordador o "Space Shuttle," sino en una nave Rusa que va a despegar el lunes, hora Rusa pero domingo, tiempo nuestro.  El astronauta Acaba dentro de su preparacion tuvo que aprender ruso primeramente tecnico y luego coloquial para poderse dar a entender con los que van a ser su companeros en el espacio.  Ha tenido que entrenar en condiciones fuertes para estar mental y fisicamente preparado para estar en el espacio por tiempo extendido.  Estamos todo orgullosos de el y le deseamo todos los exitos en toda los aspectos de esta mision.  Go Joe!

Pueden ver el despegue de la nave Soyuz Expedicion 31 sera esta noche a las 11:01, con cobertura del despegue comienza a las diez de la noche en NASA TV.  Ahora mismo estan transmitiendo una entrevista del astronauta y de los cosmonauta.

The American Astronaut Joseph Acaba with Puerto Rican ancestry will soon be going up in space again after training several years for his next mission in space.  He will not be getting there on a NASA Space Shuttle but on a Russian Soyuz on Expedition 31 to the internatonal Space Station soon to take off at 9:01 A.M.  Tuesday, Russian time.  We will all be sleeping unless they are showing it on NASA TV.  That would be great if they did.  (I just checked and NASA TV will be covering the launch starting tonight at 10 PM.  The launch itself is at 11:01 PM Eastern Daylight time tonight.    Part of his training began with learning Russian technical terms to later learn the Russian language in order to communicate with his future comrades up on the International Space Station.

Here is a nice link to a recent photo of Joe Acaba participating in coordinating trainings with a NASA team at!/AstroAcaba/status/177910309170839552/photo/1/large

Si sigue el enlace arriba mencionado veran una foto reciente del astronauta haciendo un simulacro con su equipo de la NASA.  Para ver el lanzamiento en vivo desde Rusia pueden verlo en NASA TV.

Joe Acaba has posted 91 tweets on his twitter account and in many of them there a pictures to his training and the vehicle he will be flying in, so please follow this link for more information:

Para ver los 91 mensajes en que contiene fotos e informacion sobre su proximo viaje sigan el enlace que sigue:!/AstroAcaba

A Simple Public Telephone

Today, I was in a predicament.  I was behind on my phone payment, and I had been planning to phone in my payment but had errands to run, including taking my dog for a free bath at River Oaks Animal Hospital in Sweetwater.  When all of a sudden in the middle of Wekiva, my phone refused to work.  Fortunately, I had spoken to several of my friends first but then, zap! No more connections.  What to do? What to do?

Of course, I needed to find a public phone, what is the use of a smart phone with no connection.  Dumb phone.

So began the search.  I started logically at a gas station.  There are always phones at a gas station. So I stopped at the corner of Wekiva Springs Road and Welch. No phone.  Surely there would be a phone at Wekiva Riverwalk.  So down the road I went.  I drove slowly into the Plaza, passing Garibaldi's, then Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and no phone.  Passed PETCO, no phone.  Ross, no phone, UA Theaters no phone. Ice cream shop, no phone, no phone, no phone.

Okay, let me try another gas station. So down the road I went on 436 and reached Thompson Road, my old familiar road home to Deer Lake.  There I stopped at a 7 Eleven.  I didn't see a phone and so I got in line to pay for nothing but to ask a question.  Patience, Elba, patience.  And so I started a conversation with a gentleman, who happened to be African American, and he and I laughed at my predicament which did in fact help a lot.  When I finally reached the gal at the cashier she told me there was in fact a pay phone, right outside, next to the dumpsters.  The dumpsters, I thought, "Oh no, that must stink out there, and it must be dark and dangerous, as I pictured the menacing dumpsters in dark alleys.  She must have read my mind, because she immediately told me I could use her phone.  Her phone was an old fashioned land line.  Wow, a land line.  I hadn't used one of those outside of school for years.  It seemed I was travelling back in time.  How remote.  How spoiled I am.

Anyway, I used her phone, made my call, and instantly got my phone service back, but I was still curious about the public phone, so I scouted for it.  It was not in a secluded place but a few feet from the building and yes there was a dumpster nearby, but it didn't stink and neither was it dark, though it was shaded by a robust live oak.  I took a picture because it was a thing of beauty and usefulness, especially when you can't afford a cell phone and you need to call home or be rescued.  I wanted to know where it was. I hope it will still be there and working the next time I need it.

I will bring more change though because the last time I used a pay phone was at the airport years ago when the signal was horrible inside the building.  Then it only cost twenty five cents, and later it increased to 35 cents, but now it is 50 cents!  A dollar will buy you a 5 minute call to Mexico.

Well, though I used another phone, it was comforting to know that the phone was there, and frankly I hope there will be public phones in strategic places for years to come.  Life isn't perfect and it is good to have something to fall back on, don't you think?
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