Before…

Before there was an iPhone, an Internet, personal computers, a space station, Google, integrated circuits, Apple, WiFi, Java, Linux, Windows, MS-DOS, Silicon Valley, the Space Shuttle, and any number of other technical achievements that we have enjoyed or that we enjoy today, there were these seven guys.

If you don’t know who they are, I will leave it as an exercise for you to figure out.  No they were not computer scientists.  They did not write code.   They did not design electronics.

But they were at the forefront of the most technological advanced period of time in the history of the planet.  Over the course of the ten years after this photo was taken, the US developed the core technology that led to all of the advances I’ve listed above — and many, many more — as a direct result of the space program.  And these guys were at the front of the line driving this national vision.

These were tough guys.  They were not only the world’s best pilots, but they were engineers that knew the tremendous risk they were undertaking.  They embraced it because they knew it would advance our collective knowledge of space and technology, which would propel us forward into our future.

These guys were revered.  They were heroes.  They were men’s men.  And as a child of the 1960s, I can tell you that they drove kids like me into technology fields by opening the door into this world.

And with John Glenn’s passing yesterday, they are now memories.  While they are now all gone, they will never be forgotten.

End of another diving season

model-t 1932 Ford Deluxe Roadster. (07/24/2007)

The end of another diving season is here.  I made my last dive for the season last weekend in 35 degree water in Lake Minnetonka.  It’s a shame to end the season as I had 35 foot visibility!

It was another year of exploration and discovery with Maritime Heritage Minnesota, where I have been a volunteer for the past 9 years.  We continue to dive on anomalies that were discovered during their side scan sonar survey of Lake Minnetonka from a couple of years ago.

My personal stats for the year:

  • 87 dives completed
  • 9 shipwrecks including the passenger vessel White Bear in Lake Minnetonka and the Fleetwing in Lake Michigan (Door County)
  • 2 antique cars — the body from a Ford Model T touring car and a 1938 Ford Deluxe Roadster
  • Water intakes, pipelines, and other artifacts in Lake Minnetonka

Most of these finds have been  documented via video — search for my YouTube channel (K7ALE) to take a look.