Why Astronauts Shouldn’t Drink

Astronaut Scott Kelly spent almost one year in space. 

Now that he’s back on Earth, there’s some stuff to get used to, and he will be adjusting for a while, because spending so much time in micro gravity changes the body.  And perhaps the mind!

So I asked Trail Baboon Sing-Song Poet Laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler to create one of his famous lighter-than-air word confections to honor Kelly.  TSW grabbed the necessary supplies and locked himself away in a backyard tool shed, staying there for 340 consecutive hours before emerging with this work of art scribbled on the inside surface of an empty box of Nut Goodies.

It’s final call at Bottom’s End.
A round of suds was bought
as misery engulfed my friend –
a grounded astronaut.

A man who spends much time in space
will change while flying high.
He gets a somewhat puffy face
and lighter in the thigh.

He’d been aloft for many days
but now was unemployed.
He came back full of cosmic rays
and longing for the void.

“I’d wake up as the sun went down
Sometimes, the other way.
It flickered as we went  around.
sixteen full times each day.”

“In orbit, friends, I stood so tall.
Down here I sag and bloat.
I walked on ceilings and the wall.”
Even my tears would float.”

“But now I’m held in place without
a chance of pulling free.
I miss the flying all about.
I miss the space debris.”

“My bones are calcium-bereft.
My muscles all got limp.
I’d gladly go back where I left
to be an astro-wimp.”

“Don’t be so eager to depart,”
I told him with a wink.
“Down here when men drink beer and fart,
the capsule doesn’t stink.”

He smiled the smile of one who’s known
an idiot or two.
“I’d go back even though I’ve flown
with guys more crude than you.”

And then he looked away as if
there was no more to say.
An astronaut who’s seen the sun
rise sixteen times a day

Where are you longing to return?

 

 

67 thoughts on “Why Astronauts Shouldn’t Drink”

  1. Barrow, AK
    Anywhere in New Hampshire, the fewer New Hampshirites present the better
    Savannah, GA
    San Diego
    Pittsburgh
    Anywhere in New Mexico, the more New Mexicans present the better
    Desert Nevada
    Seattle area
    Anchorage
    Black Hills
    U. P.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is time travel available? The places as I remember them in the sixties: Greece, Great Britain, Switzerland, Seattle, Bellingham and the Olympic Peninsula…but as they are now: Norway & Sweden, France, Ireland, Colorado.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. wayne dyer had an expression he used for people who said you shoulda been here when……
        you say ” its a beautiful day” and they say “you shoulda been here last week when the temperature was perfect”…..
        you cant shoulda been here last week.

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  3. I’ve been to many places
    Each with it’s attraction
    From city scene to prairie spaces
    I get some satisfaction.
    Of all locations which to return,
    When all is done and said,
    I’ll go back and adjourn
    To the comfort of my bed.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I am feeling over the hill and far down the other side from thinking about this. Both Sandy and I lack the mobility to go back to the places on my list or elsewhere. How can you, for instance, enjoy Savannah and not be able to do much walking?

    We will go back to San Diego to see our grandson before we lose all contact with him. IF, that is, Sandy does not get the bad news she may get on Monday from a new doctor.

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    1. Compared to what you both have to endure, my complaint is nothing, but last night on the dance floor, a huge drunk man fell backwards on top of me, pinning me to the floor. I have a banged up elbow and a broken rib to show for it. Many scrambled to help me up, but the staff was far more concerned about a lawsuit than my injuries, openly asking if I planned to take legal action.

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      1. Wow, CB, How are you feeling?? I presume the rib is hurting and the wrist… well, how is the wrist?
        Man, asking about a lawsuit????? Sure they’re concerned but it shouldn’t be the first thing they ask.
        Has anything like that happen before to you? Foot stepped on?

        I hope you don’t miss too many Saturday’s due to this.

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  5. Winona, MN…

    Cynthia’s got something with the time travel –
    Half Moon Bay CA, but in 1974, before it got built up beyond recognition. And today there is no Mirimar Beach Inn (local bar&grill)… and of course (as Bill pointed out) I’d want to be 24, not 68.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there you go back to Winona. you have this topic today covered in spades.
      Half Moon was fun for us. For the sake of barb in blackhoof Sandy, my son, and I went to the famous goat farm, which is a standout moment of travel.(Run by a couple, the wife an Englishwoman who only desperately wanted to move back to England.) We walked around Half Moon. Then four years later I did another search for my girlfriend of the U of Chi days, who was simply brilliant. From St, Paul with a very unusual name. For years no Internet search got a hit. Then suddenly there she was, a doctor in Half Moon Bay. I had walked right by her office.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thats a cool thing about cool places. it seems other cool people find them and inhabitat them.
        int he old days they were undsicovered today its harder.
        i met a guy a week or two ago who is developing an app for people to tell about all the cool places they like. it will be good for college kids to learn about new places where they go to school and where some cool day trip ideas are but where he sees the biggest potential is for cool places n out of the way locations . the drugstore in back woods south dakota 15 minutes off the main road tha has the best grilled chees and chocolate shake on the planet.
        the bar in montana wiht the coolest beer can collection on the wall the little walk path out behind the municipal baseball field in ballfour north dakota. you can camp in the park

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      1. wow
        ilooked it up and now its a stealk and fondue joint after the upper bracket but the building and feel are still the same and best yet the placemat full of interesting quotes that i took with me, kept from folding it so i could have it framed and put on my wall is still in use today. i ay have to go back and try the cheese fondue when i return

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  6. When I was a kid, we had relatives who owned a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. I’d like to go back there. I don’t suppose the cabin still exists as it did then – most likely replaced with something more modern.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the hard part is that you cant really go back.
    celestine lake in jasper provincial park just north of banff in the canadian rockies is a spot that holds a place in my heart.
    back in the old vw days i happened upon it ecause it was listed in the back of the rand mcnalley under campsites and showed it had 16 rustic sites with no amenities. i haf=ted te football field koa type of set up we had to stay at some nights when no planning had consequences to deal with. we often stopped at the gas station and asked the kid where a cool spot to camp would be and stayed whereever he recommended.
    this spot had an astrik next to it informing you that it was at the top of a one way mountain pass and that the hours of use were specified. up the road between 12 and 1 down between 2 and 3 and you had to check in at the ranger station at the gate because it was also the entrance to the northwest passage and many hikers would start 60-90 day hikes form this location with backpackes the size of a double bed. everything was cool about it. we got there.me my girlfriend , my littel brother and my buddy and we set up camp and went around to meet the people at the other 11 campsites. almost all were form ann arbor michigan where word had gotten out about this exceptionally cool place where you could spend the summer for free. good people good vibe good pot what a wonderful way to spend a bit of a trip. i meant to stop in and after a week i had to tear my self away and continue on to see vancouver and the west coast o the usa. it was a wonderful trip
    i went back to celestine lake with my buddy the artist bass player 4 or 5 years later and we had a n=real nice time but the park was all ours. people had spoiled the park the year the rand mcnalley listing had occured and winnebagos and tent trailers galore that had no business going up the skinny little mountain trail with no turnarounds. somehow i heard of the horror stories of the winnebagos setting up camp pulling out the stereos and setting up a picnic grounds with a new sense of decadence while the fishing dock became laden with motorized fishing boats people were towing up and the lake filled with broken glass and crushed beer cans…. they figured out a solution in a year but when i stopped back again 15 years later with my 1st wife it was still evident that the scars needed time to heal.
    but that isnt even the point of my thought. i think the magic of the moment i want to return to involves the perspective i cant get back to other than as an overviewer. its harry potter weekend this weekend and i live in house full of harry potter maniacs. the episode last night was with hearry and hermoine watching themselves from afar…behind the rocks and trees and affecting the happenings around by making things that were going to happen to them be avoided. they were able to recall while doing it that while it was happening to them theywere not able to figure it out but now that they realized it was them overseeing themselves it made sense. ( i may need to clean that thought up a bit)
    if you go back to the moment that was so special again the circumstances have changed so uch that now you are experienceing a recollection instead of an event or a moment.
    if or rather when i go back to celestine again i will live it as an old experienced person who understands that ehse moments are to be savored and that is entirely different than the ears perked up sucking in all the sounds views tastes smells vibes of the moments being i was those many years ago. i like to think i am still an ears perked up sucking up all the sounds vibes kinda guy but it is a different exoperience wathcing the old gray beard in the gorilla community than t is watching the adolescent. i feel the difference more in my head than in my heels and i am very comfortable with the evolution of an elder i have achieved. i enjoy going back to revisit the magic monments and those not so magic when i have a moment to spare but i lvoe being in a place where i am comfortable with the knowledge that i am who i am because i have evolved by choice after choice brick after brick into an entity that is me.
    im ready for space and a year wold be fine with me. with google hangout and skype i think heading off to space to colonize the next world would be ok with me . the space pod could be all set up like we talked abou for a comfortable trip and a place to curl up in. book music movies podcasts (on being and ted talks if you please) but in thinking about it how do you soak in a tub in space? i guess i could probualy ge the patent on the space spa now before the other minds get all wrapped up in how to make it better. the timtub could be the jacuzzin of mars travel huh? maybe the astronauts on the next trips could give me some feed back as to how to improve it or maybe that could be my ticket to get a ride on the next adventure i want to go back to in the future.
    aint life grand

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Current travel book reading is a walk across the Alps, not very good. I have read I bet fifty books about people propelling themselves through the alps in various modes. This man comes out of Switzerland down into a valley of Italy, which figured strongly in the 30 years war, which was mostly a Protestant vs. Catholic atrocity, atrocities committed by both. Reading the details of things they did to each other is like reading about religious fanaticism in the Middle East, same attitudes, same atrocities. Awful. awful. I learned for the first time that the Protestants (read mostly Lutheran) held inquisitions. Which makes me want to say Nobody expects a Protestant inquisition, but I would never say that.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Me too. I just finished reading a book I think was recommended by someone on the trail. I kept reading thinking it must have something to recommend it. I never found it although I read it to the end. There’s just no accounting for taste, I guess.

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      2. I have Amazon Prime, which gives me one free book a month. I choose travel books, which are often self-published. I rather like amateurish travel writing, except when they veer off into philosophy. I have only not finished two of them.
        I often check out fiction books from the library and do not finish them. The biggest question for me is whether or not they characters are people I find any interest in. I want to read about people living rather ordinary lives, so the character are then the all. Books like that are not common.
        As I write fiction I find it harder and harder to put my characters through bad experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It interests me, Clyde, that you are so uncomfortable putting fictional characters into threatening situations. One of my pet theories that I’ve never seen expressed by anyone is that writers who are good people, really good at heart, find it difficult to create fictional baddies. Some writers can effortlessly create fictional monsters, but a writer like Tony Hillerman was such a good guy he struggled to write a believable villain.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I found a few of hHillerman’s villains creepy.
          I have wondered that, too.
          I think I could create villains just by using a few people I have met. I would have trouble letting them hurt people. Is that the same thing. Are thoe two things?

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        3. Been thinking about Hillerman. His early novels were more formulaic. Early on it he a couple creepy villains, but he gave them a human dimension. Then he got into stories of people and the villains became just human and flawed.

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        4. Speaking of Hillerman, I would definitely go back to Hillerman country if I could. Love the reservation lands and the Navajo people I met.

          Liked by 1 person

      3. i was given a rule that you have to read to your age in pages
        if you haven’t sold ypur self on it by then give itvup and go to pne you know youll love
        lifes to short yo piss away a good read for a bad one

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        1. Then I’m in trouble. Every now and then I dump something much sooner than my age in pages (once quit a book on page three). I figure even if I’m wrong and I would have appreciated it after many more pages, it’s not like I’ll ever be short of reading material!

          Liked by 2 people

  9. It sounds like I am just like the rest of you. There aren’t any places I burn to return to. What I desire is to return to earlier times, and if I could I would be delighted to go back to just about iany place I used to know.

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  10. OT – Just read that Pat Conroy has died. He announced on February 15th that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that he intended to fight it hard. He passed away last night at his home in Beaufort.

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  11. I just learned that my daughter and grandson were T-boned by a car that blew through a stop sign at 40 mph. The early word is that nobody is seriously hurt. My daughter’s Outback was “totaled,” but its safety engineering did its work. Buckle up, friends. Be sure to buckle up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad no one is seriously hurt, but drivers who don’t obey traffic signals are a serious threat to drivers everywhere.

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      1. You are right, but I’d add that light- and sign-running drivers are especially dangerous in Portland. We lack the convenience and safety of freeways that carry so much traffic in the Twin Cities. (We have freeways, but not so many or well-located.) One result is that people here get used to speeding on tiny streets. My daughter’s accident was on a small street within sight of her home. One of my surprises is how many people die here on city streets.

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  12. Yes, I can do an update. I talked to my daughter. A young man was driving home after picking up his girlfriend from the airport. He must have been distracted by her presence. My daughter was driving on the street where she lives. Portland’s residential streets are scary because they are small, and sight lines are especially poor when cars are parked on both sides. This kid’s SUV blasted through the intersection right past a stop sign. T-bone accidents can be bad, but the Subaru crumpled as designed. After a lot of screaming and weeping, it was clear that nobody was seriously hurt.

    One sign that things are okay was how eager Liam was to tell the story of the accident to strangers. The kid is the latest in a family dynasty of storytellers. When bad things happen to people like us at least we have a story to tell. We don’t know yet how bad the financial consequences will be, but if you are talking about that it means that everyone came through the event without getting seriously hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks clyde
      i just found out pat conroy died
      he was my favorite author. ..still is.
      i knew he was not doing well but i guess i didnt follow it very well. i was unaware he was in serious health situation. he was 70. its scary to realize the guys who were old when you were a kid were only 10 or 15 years older and that they are younger than current friends you consider in your age group.
      i am old today

      but im gonna keep on dancin while ive got my dancin shoes

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I’d like to return to being 5’3″ from my present 4’11.5″ I’ve read that we all lose 11/2″ per decade, but the article neglected to say when that begins.

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  14. Daughter was t-boned in her Subaru last April. It was totaled but she had nary a scratch.

    Son and Dil on route to Montreal today. I would love to go back there. Son is anxious to visit the Tea House in the Old Port we visited the last time we were there. It is still open and still looks wonderful.

    Some Ancestory research plus a visit to the very detailed and fact filled Scottish Mine Disaster Web site helped me find out that husband’s great great grandfather was killed in 1878 in Calderbank, Scotland at the age of 37 when a roof of coal collapsed on him underground. He had two sons ages 18 and 16 who were also miners and a 14 year old daughter who worked as a domestic servant, plus several more children still at home.The wife and all the children immigrated to Ohio in 1883. I wonder if they ever wanted to go back? They all started out in Northern Ireland before they moved to Scotland in the 1860’s. . I wonder if they ever missed County Tyrone?

    Liked by 2 people

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