Archive for August, 2004
Well, we made it through Hurricane Charley pretty well. There was a lot of leaf litter and debris strewn around and a couple of trees, fences and signs down. Basically just a lot to clean up. It is stormy again today. Our power fickered out and browned out quite a few times last night and continued to do so again this morning. We have a back up power supply for our computers and router, but we finally decided to get another small one for the TV and DVR/cable box. When the power fickers, the box takes about ten minutes to reset itself, and sometimes “hangs up” and has to be unplugged to get it working again. The new uninterruptible power supply should solve that problem.
Well, here I am , waiting for Hurricane Charley to come across. The wind is terrible from the south and we have seen something contacting a power line near us, possibly a tree, that sends up sparks of blue and pink. Amazingly we still have power right now, although the cable is gone. There is a horrible blowing outside, and the storm is not here yet. What a mess. And the next two tropical depressions are following the same track. I think we will just leave all of our plants and patio furniture tied up to the porch like it is, if it doesn’t blow away.
The north part of Florida, where my parents and sister live is getting pounded by tropical Storm Bonnie right now, although I heard it was just downgraded to a tropical depression. And we are faced with the possibility of being hit by Hurricane Charley late Friday or sometime Saturday. At work we had to cover all of the flight hardware (space shuttle pieces) with plasic in case the roofs leak and plastic bag our computers, tie things down, etcetera. We are still not sure if we will even go in to work tomorrow. We have to call the Duty Office after Eight tonight to find out. The space center has its own method of categorizing hurricanes, based on the ammount of time before 50 knot winds are expected. When it gets down to 12 hours until 50 knot winds are expected (also called HURCON II) they send everyone but the Hurricane Rideout Team home. I sure hope we get the day off tomorrrow, but it isn’t looking good right now. If we do have to work, there isn’t really anything we can do anyway, because everything is all wrapped up in preparation for the hurricane. And we have our own hurricane prep to do on our own houses. We are hoping that there won’t be much damage, but we still have to prepare.
Okay, so you may be wondering about the name, Space Chick. I chose that because I am an electrical technician working on the giant black and white gliders known as the Space Shuttle Fleet. It IS interesting, but it is nothing like what you would think as an outsider. The main difference between where I work and anyplace else is that when we come up against a problem we can’t say “This isn’t rocket science”. I am 29 and female which puts me in the minority at work in two ways. The average Space Shuttle technician is a 48 year old male. It is amazing how much women still have to deal with in a male dominated profession such as mine. The rules against discrimination are in place, but the only result is that men have gotten sneakier about the way they treat women. On the whole it is great, but there are always a few bad apples, and it is very discouraging to see how much they can get away with. I worked in the aircraft industry before this as a mechanic and then Quality Control Inspector on business jets, and the “good ol’ boys club” was in place there as well. I’m not bitter or anything, I have a GREAT job, and hopefully I will stay there until I am ready to retire. It just hasn’t been easy.