The Cherry Rumtini

A local ice cream parlor puts cherries on its sundaes. But not some crappy maraschino cherry*. They have their cherries flown in from Italy, and they’re so fantastic I bought some, and had to find other uses for them so I don’t have to eat so much ice cream! What I came up with a buddy says I should call “The Amazing Martini”! The recipe is below.

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The Race to Pluto

Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto by Alan Stern & David Grinspoon I’ve been waiting for this one! After pre-ordering months ago, this book arrived on its publication date: May 1 — and it’s spectacular. In the early 1990s, I worked on the Pluto mission pre-project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so … Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes at JPL

Long-time readers know that This is True was created while I still had a Day Job. It was a very cool job: I was on the engineering staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1986-1996 — True was started in 1994, so there was a two-year overlap).

Shortly after I left to pursue True full time, a friend of mine there took over a public outreach program: the “Solar System Ambassadors” who help educate the public about what NASA (and JPL in particular) are doing.

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Overlooked Heroes

I Was Hoping to Write a different Honorary Unsubscribe this week, but couldn’t because I couldn’t get information. Debbie Crawford, a 25-year veteran paramedic in Denver, died this weekend. The scuttlebutt is that her PTSD got so severe, she committed suicide — she could no longer handle the stress of the job. If that is indeed what happened, and I don’t know for sure because none of the media outlets in Denver has covered her death at all, that’s truly a tragedy.

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Never a Dull Moment

It’s Always Something Around Here! Tuesday night we were awakened at 4:00 a.m. by screaming. Took us a little bit to wake up to figure out what was going on, but we realized it was a baby bear that was screaming. Not a good sign: they usually scream because they got separated from momma.

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A Friend in Need

Not quite three weeks ago (Wednesday, April 9, the day before my birthday), Kit and I stopped by the local hospital to visit a friend. James, a fellow medic, and sometimes firefighter, was also from California, evidenced by his online handle, “FFEMT1A” (a California designation: Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician-1A; I was a plain old EMT-1A myself at first, the A designating Ambulance duty certification, which added some elements beyond the non-transporting FF designation. He had both, and was extremely proud that he dedicated most of his life to helping others in need.)

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Winter Wildlife

One of the things I like about being on the rural side of Colorado is the frequent wildlife sightings. Bunnies and jackrabbits are common. On our property, we’ve also seen coyotes, deer, elk, a badger(!), a bear (alas, only my wife saw that one), prairie dogs, eagles (both Golden and Bald), vultures, foxes, and while we didn’t see the animal, we’ve found mountain lion tracks here.

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