The Cost of the Final Launch – STS 135


STS-135 Last Shuttle Launch

Image by Robert Scoble via Flickr

Today I witnessed a big moment in American history, world history in fact. I watched the 135th, and the last, launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. It was an amazing sight to see and it made you proud to watch, (even though I am not American) it is a big part of Canadian history too. I held my breath along with millions of others as the shuttle launched into the atmosphere, and felt relief when it didn’t explode into millions of little pieces in front of my children’s eyes. It was grand, to say the least… But I learned a few things today with the help of some inquisitive children…

I learned that to launch each shuttle costs Half a BILLION dollars!!!  HALF-A-BILLION!! Are you kidding me?? I’m sorry but that is a lot of money that would probably be better spent elsewhere! Half a Billion is a big number in itself, made even bigger when you discover that these astronauts are only going to the ‘space station‘ and are only going for “12 DAYS!!” That is an expensive vacation!

Today all the news channels spoke of this last launch and of what it means for NASA and America itself. They asked if it was right for space study to be going off in a different direction…

Well… I would say so!!!

Half a Billion dollars and we have accomplished NOTHING! These space shuttles have made 135 trips to a space station at Half a Billion dollars each… an estimated $196 Billion dollars over the last 40 years. That is a LOT of wasted money!! Especially considering it cost the lives of 14 astronauts. Sure, these shuttles have provided some amazing images, and advances in technology, but when you consider that the original outlook for the program in 1972 was to launch an estimated 50 launches per year, the actual accomplishments don’t really live up to the costs! (or their original plans apparently)

Granted there are accomplishments to be proud of, and those without which we would not function the same today… it is kind of a toss-up in consideration really. Though there have not been advances in many years, and it is clearly time to move on.

I can not get over the Half a Billion dollar price tag for 1 ship to spend 12 days at a space station that they have visited 134 times before… I think if you MUST spend this money on space exploration at least go land on mars, design a ship that goes further faster, or bring back a picture of a little green man. In the very least, for HALF A BILLION DOLLARS, do something that you haven’t done 135 times before!

 

Royally Entertained! Oh Yes, I’m gonna go there…


I admit it…..I am among the millions who rose early to watch the beauty and excitement that was The Royal Wedding. I am ‘one of those people‘ that sat in front of the television at 5 a.m. to see a little girls dream come true. I got teary eyed as I watched Kate Middleton step out of the car and walk down the aisle to meet her Prince and live her dream. (every little girls dream actually) I loved the dress, I love the service, I loved the speeches, and the entire affair. In fact, the sheer beauty of it, coupled with her stunning appearance made me decide that I should forgive the bitch for stealing my man and ruining my life…. It’s OK Kate… I see that you two are happy and in love, so…. I forgive you!

Besides I wouldn’t want to have to kiss in front of all those people anyway….(I’m not one for PDA)

What I did NOT like though is the fact that the media is a bunch of gossip hungry vultures that MUST find fault in everything, no matter how perfect the reality was….

Long after the Ceremony was over, and only minutes after their first kiss, I was bombarded on the internet with play-by-play analysis of how the first kiss was reluctant, hands-free and somewhat cold….. ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME????

The entire wedding was flawless, the bride beautiful, no one fainted, vomited, tripped in their high-heels, or shouted out that they were Prince Williams secret mistress and that they were having his bastard child…I would call that success! It was PERFECT! But that’s the media… they NEED to find something that they can pick apart… and when it isn’t there, they simply create it…

Reluctant, Hands-free, Abrupt, Cold, Disconnected…. HONESTLY???

I want to see them stand up there on a balcony in front of millions of people, let alone the billions of others you know are watching on television from the comfort of their homes, and be able to share a passionate kiss without the awkward discomfort that Kate and William must have been feeling.

I completely understand that this wedding was the biggest media event of the year, I also understand the pressure they must have felt to not only ensure that they were happy with the wedding, but to ensure that the media and the billions of viewers were happy as well… they sought perfection… and in my eyes they accomplished their goal.

I truly could not believe that there were headlines on Google claiming that the kiss looked forced, claiming it looked reluctant, and I even stumbled across one blogger who claimed they didn’t look as if they wanted to kiss! (I will not post the link to that blog here because I will not support someone who is clearly just looking for attention by taking an opposing position to EVERYONE else and probably does not actually believe his own ramblings to be true!)

I say Bull-roar I think that they were amazing.. Kate Middleton held herself together far better than any other bride in her position would. Yes, the girl was nervous, of course she was for crying out loud! I would have been passed out on the floor the minute I stepped out on that balcony and saw those millions of people standing there watching me. Actually, I probably would have abandoned my Prince at the alter knowing that my each and every move was going to be so closely scrutinized. I would have been hiding out in Mexico just to avoid the pressure, Prince or Peasant… That stress would have gotten the best of me. I can’t handle the normal stress of day-to-day life half the time, I would have created a media frenzy when I checked into a mental ward!!

It just disgusted me to see the media and people ripping this moment apart all for the slight chance that they might get even MORE attention, to possibly generate even MORE sales than they already were from one of the biggest “Happy” world events since Charles and Dianna… I think the media, and that blogger need to find better things to write about rather than pick apart perfection when there are no flaws to be found….

Now.. Since I forgive Kate Middleton, as I said before, for stealing my man and shattering my dreams.. I wish them all the best and I hope they have a long, happy, and prosperous marriage….

Besides….

Prince Harry is still available… and he became the better looking of the two anyway….

Until Next Time….

Write On! 

Granny Goes Ghetto


I saw an article the other day (don’t ask me where because for the life of me I can not remember) but it was a story about a young man who made an attempt to rob an older lady outside the neighbourhood bank, well this young man got what he deserved when this lady (age 62) attacked her attacker, spraying her breath spray directly in his eyes…. and then proceeded to beat him with her purse!!!! The criminal was apprehended at the scene, and is now facing charges in court!!!

And you know what I say………

GOOD FOR HER!!!! WAY TO GO GRANDMA!!!

Let me tell you what would happen should some unintelligent young thug  decide to target me in a dark alley….

First off I have not yet reached the tender age of 62, and I like to think that I am still (somewhat) of a spring chicken (perhaps not your prize hen, but I am in the running anyhow…) so that would be the thugs first mistake. Not only would I whoop his ass…… I would ensure that he knew exactly what I thought of his cowardly ways….

“What a “big man” you are.. trying to ROB an innocent helpless woman on her way home to her children… well this time LOSER you made a mistake, because not only am I going to tear you a new arsehole, I am a mother of two and therefore I am BROKE!!! So you are not only going to get nothing, you are going to get nothing and get your ass kicked… Loser! You think your tough? You call yourself a MAN… This is seriously the best you can do… creeping around in the night robbing women??? You make me sick… Get a job scumbag… or at the very least if you MUST rob someone, go rob a drug dealer, or some other scumbag criminal like yourself…. What’s that??? OH…YOUR TOO SCARED TO ROB A DRUG DEALER!!! Hmmmmm… wonder why that would be you little PUNK!!! Instead you have the balls to approach a WOMAN and take the money she would use to feed her children, but robbing a criminal like yourself is too dangerous… well guess what dirtball?? Your gonna wish you robbed the drug dealer by the time I am done with you…. probably would have been safer!!!!!”

Are among the words that I am sure would come out of my mouth (probably with added profanity and elevated levels of rage!!!)

It is a cowardly act to prey on unsuspecting women. Rapists, robbers, abusers, murders, diddlers, they are all COWARDS. Pathetic, disgusting, COWARDS!!! You are that much of a “man” that you can honestly harm a woman (or child) ????? That is not a man… it’s a mouse!!! No MAN hurts, hits, or harms a woman.. No MAN scares a woman. No MAN would ever even want to do those things… A REAL MAN knows that a woman is a gift to be cherished.. a woman is life, a woman is beauty and strength, she is soul and emotion, she is love and tenderness…… A REAL MAN knows that a woman is to be cherished and protected…

So to all you COWARDS out there (the young man in the story included) you will get whats coming to you, because eventually all mice get caught….. and the world is full of us cats…

So….Once again WAY TO GO GRANNY…. YOU MADE US WOMEN PROUD!!!!

The Welfare Debate!!!!


Money (reais)

Image via Wikipedia

OK this is a somewhat touchy subject and I will try my best not to offend anyone, but I have been known to voice my opinion in a somewhat offensive way, and this is an issue I feel VERY passionate about….. so I will not be holding back. 

I have a SERIOUS problem with Canada’s Welfare system and the way it deals with single, childless people. I am not talking about the single mother, father, or single childless person who has issues that prevent them from working, I am talking about the “capable” single individual that could work, but doesn’t

I know a number of individuals who although are “capable” of gaining employment, come up with numerous excuses not to, and remain on Welfare instead. My real issue lies in the amount of time these people are “allowed” to milk the system. I have no issues with the “initial” need for assistance; it is the length of time that laziness is allowed to cultivate that is my problem with the system. 

Here is MY idea; 

I think any single, childless (or not sole-supporter) individual that is “capable” of working and is applying for government assistance should be allotted 6 months of unquestioned assistance at the maximum. In that 6 month period this person should be able to either maintain employment, education, or training that will allow them to discontinue the assistance, or help them to further their needs to be able to do so in a reasonable amount of time. I know this is the basic plan for Welfare and single persons, but it is not implemented by the system for whatever reason. Perhaps it is just a matter of excessive case loads for each social worker, but I truly think that if the system went and weaned out all the clients that truly did not “require” funding the jobs of the workers would quickly become more manageable. Hell, hire me I will gladly take a cushy government job for half the pay, and help get people to pull-up and get a life. 

Now, if in that initial 6 months a single person, with no dependents, can not find employment, education, or training that will help them gain employment, then too bad, they’re done! Harsh? Perhaps, but its reality. This should also apply to clients that have children who are at a sufficient age to care for themselves during regular working hours. If you have a 15 year-old child and you are sitting on Welfare, you should be forced to seek employment, period. Like I said NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE, but honestly it’s true. 

I have heard of many excuses for not getting off the system, the biggest one is that “the client does not want to go work for a low rate of pay.” Let’s evaluate here for a minute, you are on Welfare, you don’t want to go work for minimum wage (which is now $10.25 per hour) because it is not enough to survive….????? Well it’s more than the average $600 a month you are receiving from Welfare as a single childless individual, so suck it up! 

Another common excuse is that there are “no jobs”, I agree it can be difficult to find employment, but here in the city I live there are numerous “temp” agencies that are constantly looking for workers, and there are numerous job postings. They may not be the ideal careers, but again, I am sure it will be more sufficient than the amount you receive from Welfare each month, and it is easier to find a job when you have a job. 

I am aware that there are extenuating circumstances, each case is different, but I also believe that a drug problem is not one of those excuses. Many individuals who are single and on welfare claim to have drug addictions, so hmmm… lets just hand this person 5 or 6 hundred dollars a month instead of helping (or forcing) them to take responsibility for their lives. ??? Doesn’t make much sense if you ask me, even if you don’t ask me I am telling you it is ridiculous. OK you have a problem with drugs, yes addiction is a disease, but you know what? It’s also a choice, I have chosen not to do drugs, I am sure you could too! It’s just not a good enough excuse as far as I am concerned, and if it is your excuse I would give you an option, go get help or get out of the system, period! 

Maybe I am being cruel, unsympathetic, or outright nasty. Perhaps I am not looking at the needs of each individual, but the reality of it is that allowing these people to “use” the system and their excuses for so long is what has fucked up the system in the first place! 

After the 6 months if you have gained employment, education or training and are actively working, or preparing yourself to work then I propose that the system helps provide you with the things you require. For many people this includes drug benefits or supplemental income, fine that I have no qualms about, but if you are doing nothing after 6 months then clearly you are just doing nothing, and deserve the same in return. 

As I said this rant is not meant to offend anyone, it is not meant to belittle, or hurt. It is simply my thoughts on the basic facts. Life is hard, but only as hard as you make it. Welfare was not designed to be a “way of life”, yes the system has major flaws that sometimes make things more difficult than what I have stated above, by no means do I think I can fix all the worlds issues, or the system with this simple thought. But I do think that with a stricter policy for single, capable people on Welfare there would be fewer issues for those that truly do require the help, and there would be far less laziness and excuses on the part of those who could manage without it.