Tag Archives: gravity

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?



The Chainsaw Massacre

Header image: © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

Today’s guest post is by Sherrilee

Two Sundays ago I finally pruned my big lilac bush.  It’s been 20+ years so it was definitely a job that needed the chainsaw.  It took a while to get all the branches small enough for the City of Minneapolis to take away so I had plenty of time to think about my chainsaw skills and history.

I moved into my current house a couple of decades ago, when I was still with my wasband. Among other things that we inherited with the house was a sick tree in the front yard. We had a couple of tree folks out to look at it and both had the same opinion; the tree had to go. While we paid for the tree professionals for their opinions, the wasband was not going to pay for someone to remove the old tree (his middle name should have been UberFrugal).  And I’ll admit, the do-it-yourself of the job appealed to me.


The new tree was delivered on a Saturday morning and we tromped down to Home Depot and purchased a chainsaw to do the job. Wasband had it “all worked out”; I would guide where the tree fell with a rope around the tree and he would do the sawing. Knowing what I know now about physics, I can’t believe this was the plan.

Just like a sit-com, the tree started to fall the wrong way.  Of course, it was much too heavy for me to guide and the rope went with the tree.  Wasband dropped the chain saw on the ground to try to help me.  He did manage to shove the tree in another direction from the house; instead it fell right on the chainsaw, splintering it into hundreds of plastic yellow pieces. It was almost as if the tree was saying “if I’m going, you’re going with me!”

So now the tree was down, but we still needed to cut it into smaller logs.  Back to Home Depot.  I’m sure that these days, after 9-1-1, someone would call Homeland Security about the couple buying a second chainsaw on the same day!

Have you ever had a DIY project go wrong?