NASA

Posted by ted

(This is a guest post by Ted, the third in a series of three posts from Houston, Texas.)

Rob, on bended knee, proposing to Shawna in the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston

When Hole in the Clouds sent me to Houston as a travel correspondent, the timing couldn't have been more perfect; my business associate Robert Fox happened to be getting married in Houston that very same weekend. 

The wedding chapter of Rob and Shawna's story begins back in the winter of 2013,  at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The two of them had flown from their home in D.C. to Texas, to spend some time with Shawna's parents. Unbeknownst to Shawna, Rob had been carrying a ring around in his pocket for the past few days.

At the space center, Shawna found a cool rocket and set up her camera on a timer, the way tourists do. But when she came back to pose for the snapshot, Rob dropped to his knee. The surprise on her face in the picture above was genuine.

This past Saturday they were married in Texas, in a wedding with a theme. The theme was brunch.

Shawna is a senior producer for NBC's Meet the Press, and there were lots of Washington media types at the wedding, including some of NBC's White House producers. This is how they party:

You can take the producer out of Washington

To help the media types feel at home during the moments between their tweets and e-mails, there was a newspaper for them to read, The Brunch In Love Dispatch (Hot Topic: "Washington, DC, Couple Weds in Texas"), with little NBC logos on each page.

The proposal was in Texas. The wedding was in Texas. According to the Brunch In Love Dispatch, the bride is "a Texas girl with the tattoo to prove it."

And yes, the bride wore cowgirl boots.

The bride, Shawna Thomas, in cowgirl boots!

Posted by Ellen

It's not hard to remember the excitement of those days fifty or so years ago when the teacher would tell us to pick up our chairs and form a line at the classroom door. We would all carry our chairs down the hall from the classroom to the school's "all-purpose room," where we could sit facing a big black-and-white TV set at the front of the room to watch those guys at NASA choreograph a countdown and a liftoff and all the other amazements that were part of America's new space program.

Today, it's hard to figure out exactly what NASA is up to in outer space. There seem to still be astronauts, but it appears that we now rely on the Russians to do that whole countdown-liftoff thing. Americans mostly look at pictures from faraway cameras.

From Ted in Washington, D.C., comes this photo of a sign of the times for NASA and perhaps the grand American dream: a NASA message held in place by a bicycle chain and a couple of sacks of Quikrete. The NASA folks may not be zipping around in space these days as much as they used to, but their public website is freshly launched, or rather relaunched on a freshened, open-source, space-age sort of platform, saving us taxpayers millions in licensing and maintenance costs. For this, we can thank our Ted and his Inner File, the little company that could.

Do people still have hot dogs and watermelon for the Fourth? Hope so.