Houston Texas
Volume 3 Book 4 Part 9 of
Living in the Bonus Round
(The Big Voice Chronicles)

Jim races around NASA in his space-racer!
[ Book 3-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-5 ]
April 16, 2003.
Steve Saves The Space Program!
Monday was our day off so Jimmy announced he wanted to see the Space Center here in Houston! The signs pointing to the Space Center are not very clear so we made two wrong turns and missed the entrance once, but we finally found it in "Clear Lake City," where all the homes are new and the boulevards are wide and tree-lined.

Jim approaching the Space Center!

Inside the Space Center were games and exhibitions.
But mostly they were for kids.

We got there just in time to take the first tram ride around the center. We were taken to two buildings. The first one held mock-ups of the space shuttle. This is where astronauts train. What impressed us the most was how big the shuttle was.

Notice the tiny humans below the shuttle's massive engines.

I'm studying the shuttle's controls to make sure they're completely authentic.

Pictures don't do justice to how big the shuttle is.

Our tour guide warned us to "control your personal wind"
in the tight quarters where we viewed the shuttle.
He was all of 20 years old with aspirations of being an astronaut.

Outside is the biggest rocket ever made. It's very impressive to see.
The tail-end of the rockets is in the foreground of the picture below.

The scariest thing I saw was outside. In the background you see the first rocket/capsule.
That little tiny capsule on top of what's little more than a big firecracker.
How anyone had to courage to get into THAT thing I'll never know.

But I did it anyway. NASA needed me!

One of the satellites had veered off course and
they begged me to help them get it back.
They were just lucky I was there!

I got back to earth in time for our Tuesday and Wednesday performances. But I can tell my energy level was very taxed from the space flight. My intestinal problems were causing me great discomfort (probably due to the weightlessness of space and the re-entry) so, though I got through the show, I could tell that I wasn't at full energy. It didn't seem to matter. Tuesday night's show received another great response and standing ovation.

I slept in late Wednesday morning and then slept again almost the whole afternoon. By the evening I was back up to full strength again. I also increased my fiber intake and that seemed to help a lot. I also realized that I most definitely have to have this thing taken care of. The "oatmeal up the butt" test is scheduled for next Wednesday after we get home. Then I have to find time to schedule the surgery. I'm afraid to schedule it before Rochester in May because I don't know how long the recuperation period is.

I think I'm going to wait until July. We have a good, long break after the Dallas production followed by a cruise. Jimmy is doing another lecture and I'm going to accompany him again. In fact, I'm sure that's what we'll do. I'll have the surgery early in July, which will give me time to make sure there aren't any complications, and then in August we'll do the cruise where my only "job" will be to sleep and eat. Nice.

[ Book 3-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-5 ]
© 1996-2003 by Steve Schalchlin.
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