I'm in Seattle visiting my sister and super cute nephew! And...I forgot to bring my camera cables, so no pics until I return to Houston. Monica (my sis) just picked up Bobby (my bro) from the airport. We're going to have a good family time! And I've gotten to babysit John Michael the last two days! Lots of quality auntie time. I'm lovin' it!
Friday, August 31, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Piqued your interest with the title?
So after a productive afternoon of watching the first two Bourne movies with my friends in preparation for seeing the third (hopefully tomorrow), I decided to go for a run before starting on what I am calling my first official order of invitations (for a birthday party! Yay!)
The trail I run on is through a swamp and ends at the beach, so there are signs aplenty warning of alligators and snakes (no, I haven't seen any gators). I've seen snakes twice. The first time I almost ran across one (I thought it was a stick...and then it moved...but I think I moved faster). I'm pretty sure it was just the garden variety. The second time, it was about 100 feet in front of me and just crossing the trail. Today, however, I rounded the corner to see two men standing in front of a bicycle that was lying in the path. The held up their hands for me to stop and called out that there was a snake under the bike. Seeing the snake, which looked suspiciously familiar, I asked if they knew what kind it was...the answer to my fairly ill-timed question was "the kind that hurts you" (and the tone implied I had asked a stupid question...well, I was just curious to see if I was right...and I was, I came home and looked it up...it was a water moccasin...longer than my arm and as big around as my upper forearm...yikes!)
Well, a metal stake aided in the near decapitation and subsequent flinging into the swamp.
As I started running again, I made sure my headphone wires were securely tucked in...I could just see one of the wires brushing my arm and setting off a delayed case of the heebee jeebees and I would look like I was running to an Irish jig rather than the rocking tunes of The Bravery and Plumb.
And that ends today's excitement.
Posted by Melissa at 7:20 PM
Friday, August 24, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
So today we had the day off...we haven't been officially told that there will be no BCC (Backup Control Center) due to Hurrican Dean, so I definitely took advantage of the respite. I woke up early (way too early...my poor body is still on the evening shift schedule, which means I didn't fall asleep until after 3am).
Posted by Melissa at 9:21 AM
Endeavor succesfully undocked yesterday, a day early than originally planned, due to the questionable track of Hurricane Dean. Per tradition, we celebrated with our Russian counterparts.
Posted by Melissa at 9:10 AM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
So I woke up early so I could head to Izmalova for some shopping. Izmalova is a huge, well, crafts fair, swap meet (flea market for you non-Arizonans), souvenir extravaganza. I actually got everything I was looking for, plus this awesome piece of artwork. It's made out of different pieces of birch bark. Birch bark has been used in Russia for centuries (if not longer!) for decorations, household items, gifts, and there are even Russian documents from the Middle Ages that were written on birch bark.
I can't post pics of the rest of my loot, 'cause most of it is gifts and that would just ruin the surprise! Oh and I bought the cheapest popsicle ever, 8 roubles! That's about 35 cents.
Posted by Melissa at 3:48 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Chicken noodle soup, toast, tea, and Powerade...yep that would be a recipe for sickness recuperation. (oh and blue Powerade is really really disgusting...really)
So after some fluid loading and a round of antibiotics, my WBC count was 7 today, much better, but still pretty high for me (mine's usually in the 2 range, due to some meds I take for other reasons). But, I am feeling much better than I was yesterday.
I had to leave work early yesterday due to a sudden onset of some strange bug that the doctors (yes plural, Dr. Flores was baffled- pulled in another doc) still can't figure out. So normal WBC count is 4-10, mine was 20 yesterday! Lauri, I'd gladly donate my WBCs to you!
My diagnosis- high WBC count and sore throat...
Posted by Melissa at 4:23 AM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Okay, it really isn't called 'Tibet Kitchen' anymore, it's just "Tibet' with 'restaurant' written really small underneath. But, it is one of my favorite places to eat. They have this amazing vegetable dish with almonds that I have gotten every time. And really good "dangzhi' chicken. Yummy! Here are some of my fellow HSRers (Karen and Michael). I convinced them to take a picture (although not everyone was thrilled with the idea :) ).
Christina, Karen said she would take me to the cheap sandwich shop! I'm excited! Except she said the smoothies can be warm...that sounds kinda icky...
Posted by Melissa at 1:12 PM
The Houston Support room is where NASA folks sit to support ISS. There are some people over here (HSG-Houston Support Group) who support on 3-6 month rotations, acting as liasions between US and Russia (and they do a lot of other stuff...they always seem really busy!).
Me at the designated ADCO console
Ops Planners (they are the scheduling gurus for shuttle and station), a Russian Systems Specialist, and the ever busy HSG
For those of you who have been in Mission Control, you'll recognize the plaques. They also hang one out here in the HSR.
Posted by Melissa at 1:02 PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The good thing about Moscow, is that you are never lost as long as you know where the nearest Metro (subway) station is.
I think a large portion of the park is an old apple orchard because there a ton of apples on every tree and there were lots of people picking them...
After walking around for bit, promising myself to come back again, I headed to Red Square.
St. Basil's Cathedral
Red Square (Kremlin on the left, St. Basil's behind me)
Kremlin and part of a wall that is supposed to be the original, but I have heard that it isn't.
Posted by Melissa at 10:39 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Well, my coworker, Kevin, and I arrived safely in Moscow. I have some stories.
Good: My new iPod nano (it's red, 4GB), complete with protective silicon case
Good: Finding a cool one at Target on your way to the airport
Bad: Discovering after you've popped 2 tylenol PM that the little thing you blow air into won't close, so the pillow keeps deflating.
Good: MacGyvering a solution from a piece of paper and spit- creating a seal that works! Yay for inflated inflatable pillows (I'm still taking it back when I get home)
Bad: Getting really really really motion sick on the descent into Atlanta (it always gets me...stupid Dutch roll motion... but never this bad)
Good: Managing to get to the ladies room in the airport before uh...loosing your breakfast (although it meant leaving Kevin slighty baffled by my mad dash to the restroom)
Good: shashlik and hoichipuri (Lisa and Christina- I like the Tractor)
Good: Going to the biggest electronics store I have ever seen (something like Garbushnya- you know which store I mean). I bought a copy of 'Monsters Inc' in Russian!
It was Tremayne and Tony's (two guys from the Visiting Vehicle Group who were here for the Progress undock and dock) last day here, so we had lunch with them and then followed them aroudn for their last minute souvenir shopping.
Good: Finally being in a NASA room for the first time ever. The best things about it: the water cooler and the computer.
Posted by Melissa at 12:05 PM
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Did my last pictures look blurry? They look blurry to me...
Okay so this picture IS blurry (operator issue :) )