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Here to Space

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A new era in space exploration was tested today. The ship Orion with its massive rocket engines blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida . The many hours of building Orion and the engineers and technicians that worked on it must of been peeing in their pants. The rocket blasted into the third orbit which is fifteen times higher than anyone could imagine. It is understood that six astronauts will be able to ride this beast. The three men and three woman have been chosen for the first flight which will take place in 2021. The three girls are in kindergarten at the moment and the three boys are just entering first grade. Their teachers have singled them out because three of the boys can go to the bathroom on their own. This has impressed the teacher so much that she selected them. The three girls were the first of all the class to put ABC block together in order. The teacher, Mrs. Epstein,  is from a school in central New York which was chosen based on scholastic scoring at the school.

We have been informed from the National Weather Company that pockets of atmospheric conditions are going to happen because of the entry into Three Orbit. There is going to be freezing rain here tonight and it is 48 degree’s, certainly  an anomaly for this region. Some other weird thing is happening at the household that I have never seen before. I put two hotdogs on the counter and went into the living room. Upon my return I was astonished to find the hotdogs were completely cooked right there on the counter. I didn’t feel any heat wave or anything out of the abnormal. Something with Orion blasting into no man’s land that we are entering into unchartered regions and maybe this might be the end of the world as we know it. Hotdogs just don’t cook on the counter, this really has me worried if this was a right decision to enter these regions. I was also driving down Route 4 today and saw so much road kill. This is somewhat normal for this region but to drive ten miles and count eighty-six dead animals is unheard of.

I’m happy that NASA and all their research teams are jumping up and down, who wouldn’t be? There has to be some thought about what is at stake for us American’s. Can we afford our life to be affected just for science? I do not know that answer. I will sit here and ponder this question, maybe we should all think about this. What really will we gain by going to Mars, I don’t want to take the long trip. I cannot imagine having to wear a snowmobile suit year round. My spouse certainly would not wear one all the time. She would freeze before wearing one of those.

On a serious note, I’m happy for this endeavor of the Orion space ship and what it has accomplished today. Horah! Five thumbs up.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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When The Smoke Cleared

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When the smoked cleared I stopped for a moment to realize what tragedy I had just witnessed. I stood there, sounds of the regulator, clicking in and out. It was just me and my thoughts. Had I done enough to prevent a loss for this family I had known. I battled the fire with such force and I gave it all my strength to the end. The smoke is all that remains, a tear forms in my eyes. How could I save the little girl in the room upstairs. I couldn’t go up the stairs because of fire from the top to the bottom. It would be the sure death of me if I made that decision. I had to make a split second decision of life and death, mine over hers.

We as responders are faced with decisions at times that no one ever wants to make. We are faced with the aftermath of those decisions. It at times feels like a general sending his soldiers into war knowing the outlook that many men will be sacrificed. Being an officer in a fire department can and will affect peoples lives. Your own men going to battle for the decisions you make.

I hope that I am never faced with the fact I sent men into battle with loss of my own men. I’m not sure I could live with this fact, instilled in my mind forever. This happen’s everyday with first responders. No one ever want’s to hear that someone has died trying to save someone. It is fact, that we are the last resort in many situations. We train for such emergencies, but in the end the tragedies we witness sometimes are forever etched. PTSD syndrome is very real and many people whether it be war, or being a first responder is affected in some way. How can we not be? We try to go home and console with our spouses but they do not understand what trauma we have been witness too. There is help out there. Your local departments should provide help, all you need to do is ask. We provide post CISD or Critical Insident Stress Debriefing, after a tragic event. It is this where we can all talk about what happened to start the process of healing the mind.  http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo27917.PDF

The smoke is clear now and my heart is pounding. I have just talked with a professional about things I have been witness to. I know I have a reason to be a responder. Glad to know someone is out there to listen to us.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

Riding the Gravitron

untitledSpinning things and I do not get along. I remember one fall we had a local fair and my wife and I wanted to take the kids for entertainment. We approached the fair and found parking. I could smell all the food from the venders, oh what a smell that was. We paid the attendant after parking and decided to take the kids through the animal building first. The kids were smiling and petting some of the lambs and all of a sudden, SMOOSH! I stepped my right foot right on animal secreation. I did a Curley Shuffle at that moment and almost lost my stomach. I wiped the stuff off as quick as possible as to not let it sink into the sole of my shoe.

Time to move on so we brought the kids down to the boardwalk where all the guys are hollering at you to spend money so you could get a 20 cent stuffed animal for like two dollars. You can see I’m really enjoying this. I could hear people in the distance laughing so we decided to walk to see what all the noise was all about. There right in front of us was the ride the Gravitron. People were just completing their ride and they were laughing and smiles from ear to ear. I thought, hey that is what I came here for, to have a wonderful time. I look back now at this picture. Do you see any smiling faces?gravitron_lg

I bought tickets for this ride and was standing in line looking at this monster of a ride. It had flashing lights all around it and was in the shape of a spaceship. It was making all kinds of noises and music was playing. It was an impressive looking ride. The door was  open and the line was moving forward. I walk into this spaceship thinking what the heck have I done to myself. The attendant tells everyone to get into position on the outside walls of this vessel and put the strap around your chest. In the center of the cylinder is where the guy operates the controls. The center is stays in one place with the outside which is left to spin. I’m in position, I say hello to both people on the sides of me. I can smell lamb poop, I hope no one else can. The loud speaker makes a squelch noise and the attendant tells us over the loud speaker, HERE WE GO. I’m thinking about this for a second. Where the heck are we going? The vessel starts picking up speed and I can now say I want off this ride. I really do not like spinning on anything. It reminds me of the late night drinking events. This things is moving like Mach 10 when all of sudden the floor I was standing on drops out from under foot. Ok, I am having an almost barf moment here. The people to either side are starting to look a little pale. I think I am pale too. I just do not see any enjoyment here. Why was all those people laughing when they came off before I decided to step on the Gravatron? The ride started to slow down and the floor remounted itself and finally it came to a stop. I took the strap off and fell right to the floor. At this moment I took a quick glance around and everyone else was laying down too. No one, and I mean no one at this point knew up from down, left from right, or even how to get out of this vessel. I crawled on my hands and knee’s and finally exited the ship. http://www.nasa.gov/missions/science/hyper.html A link of information on spinning. Some people just live for this.33542main_hyper1

This was not a laughing matter. I was sick to my stomach, pale, and could smell lamb poop. I look out behind the fence and all the people are laughing. I understand now that it wasn’t the ride dwellers that were laughing it was the parents and other people that were smart enough to stand it out.  So I will never again in my life go on a spinning ride ,thanks to the Gravitron.

Trouble With The Biosphere

bigelow-stationI was the chosen one to be accepted to be commander of a new science lab that was going to be in space. This station would be in space for five years and would provide its own food. There was animals and plants. There would be five men and five woman on this adventure who would control all the systems. The Biosphere, with the garden, was a large bubble and open for viewing all the stars. It was a wonderful place to be, and you could sit in the recliners for hours just dreaming. We had to have insects too to make sure pollen was distributed to all the other plants. The butterflies were so magical in their own way.imagesHRK931PW

We had been about three years now into this scientific adventure when one of my officers came up to me with disturbing news. Sir, he saluted me. We are following a large asteroid which is only hours away. It is larger than earth and is in a direct path with us. According to my calculations there is no way we can maneuver to escape. Sir, we only have one choice, and that is to separate the Biosphere. This is our only food source, certainly we will not survive without it, I said. Please sir, this is the only way, the officer stated. I want all officers on the deck at 0230 hrs, we must make a decision. Sir, the officer replied, and off he went to his station. The time came and the decision was made that a separation is going to happen. We knew that without food we would not survive for a week or less. The time had come.

With all men and woman in the control room we set the countdown for separation from the main station. Some of the woman and a few guys had tears in their eyes. The fact that the Atrium which they had been taking care of for three years, was being remove, but also the fact the chances of survival was very low.  I could understand and felt the same. This was my command and all these people I was responsible for was losing everything and maybe their life.nasa-control-room-hdr

I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly awaken. I remembered that when the engineers were constructing this ship that I was the only one told that two anti- nuclear devices were installed into a hidden cargo area. There was also a launching pad that was stored in the same area. I had to unscrew the caps, take one off and put it on the other. The codes were reversed so I had to remember the code. Why couldn’t I remember them at this moment? I sat for moment and finally it came to me. I got on my radio and commanded all men and woman to the deck. Everyone assembled, and I told them my plan. We was going to wait until the asteroid was within 3000 meters and a launch sequence would be initiated.MSDTWTH EC014

The time had come, all viewing the monitor when 3000 meters was here. I hit the button on the launch and we waited. I looked around the room at all the faces and  I could see fear into their eyes. An explosion was heard and the whole station was rocked sideways. I lost my balance and others had struck limbs upon the consoles. I finally caught my breath and looked up at the monitor. The asteroid had been destroyed. Everyone else had raised to their feet and instantly had smiles on their faces. The cheers starting coming and I heard a hoorah here and there. Everyone on the station was going to continue this mission. I as commander, had made my last major decision, the next decision was retirement. photo%20(52)
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