Monday, April 2, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
This is what our staff and volunteers look like when given a bit of food at the end of our weekly Space Center Marathon. The 25 hour Marathon begins every Friday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. and ends at 5:00 P.M. Saturday afternoon. During the Space Center Marathon, our brave volunteers and staff work the Friday 4:00 P.M. private mission. Then they stay and work the Overnight Camp. After the Overnight Camp they stay and work the 11:00 A.M. Saturday missions and finish the Marathon by staying for the 2:30 P.M. missions. They volunteer for this torture themselves. It is their way of testing their grit and determination. It is their way of finding out who has it and who doesn't. It is their way of separating the men and women from the boys and girls.
The Iditarod in Alaska is peanuts compared to the Space Center Marathon. Imagine 25 hours of missions, only briefly interrupted by six hours of sleep? Imagine living on drinking fountain water and a bit of soda and a cookie at 11:00 P.M. before bedtime. Imagine eating a couple Walmart donuts, Gogurts, a banana and a bit of milk or Sunny Delight for breakfast. Imagine only having a few day old Walmart dinner rolls to keep you going through the long Saturday afternoon. Imagine dealing with dozens and dozens of campers ranging in age from ten to 90. And worse of all, Imagine having to deal with me all that time! The horror of it all can hardly be expressed in writing. It must be witnessed. Only when witnessed do you truly appreciate the effort these braves souls put into their work.
The Space Center has an awesomely dedicated tribe of volunteers and staff. They work hard to make everyone's visit to the Center meaningful and enjoyable. Please be sure to thank the volunteers and staff who work your next mission. Tell them you appreciate their effort. Tell them you feel sorry for the small pitiful wage (if any) they receive. Tell them they will be in your prayers.
The benefits of taking the time to thank them will result in their extra effort to ensure your mission goes without a fault.
Springtime is when we ask the most from our volunteers. Springtime is that time of the year when we run most of our two a day field trips. Two a day field trips start with two classes arriving by bus at 9:30 A.M. They leave at 1:30 P.M. The second school bus arrives at 2:00 P.M. Those kids stay until 6:00 P.M. Birthdays and other parties arrive at 6:15 P.M. for their evening missions. This could mean as many as 21 missions per day using all five simulators. Volunteers are needed for nearly every mission. A flight director's worst nightmare is to find out there aren't enough volunteers to fill all their staffing needs when they arrive to direct a mission. Once again, we thank our volunteers. They are the Center's life blood.
Please contact the Center by email if you have an interest in volunteering. It is a great way to develop good working habits while interacting with outstanding, wholesome, teens and adults. It is a good place to make new friendships with others your age with similar interests.
And now, from the Imaginarium:
And a bit of something for our hybrid fans (those loving Dr. Who and the Space Center).
I always wondered what became of that little green alien.
Come to find out he's lived here all the time
This should read: "Always be yourself, Unless you can be Batman or a volunteer or staff member at the Space Center!"
This goes hand in hand with the belief that the only way out of our nation's
financial crisis is to print more money!
The only thought that kept me going during the dark times while the Space Center was being built and the program developed.
Friday, March 30, 2012
I'm getting ready for bed while reflecting on the week's news. The USS Space Center hit turbulent water on Tuesday. Mrs. Houston fell ill with bronchitis and took to her sick bed. Mrs. Clegg read the sky and disembarked before the storm. She left us for a sci fi conference of some kind. We were left to our own devices to weather the storm.
Tuesday I sent out a email entitled "All Hands on Deck". The email stated quiet emphatically that no one else could take time off. I explained that we were down to the brass tacks and wiggle room wasn't an option. I'm happy to report that the staff and volunteers rallied to the cause. Megan and Christine taught the class sessions while the rest of us manned the rigging and wheel. We all held firmly through the swells, hurricane winds and multiple lightening strikes. It was one of those journey's you're glad to see the back of when all is said and done.
Sunday starts a new week in a new month. Hopefully the seas will be calm. I hope all our staff will be back to their posts - safe, sound and ready to get back to work.
Tonight we are hosting fifth and sixth grade students from Sage Hills Elementary School in Saratoga Shores. They are handling the ships quite well. Overall the consensus is "Good Kids" (although I remind you that the night is still young and there may be mischief afoot).
"How are they?" I asked Jon.
"I already had to chew two boys out. I told them the next time they see me will be in the morning to wake them up or with you (referring to me) to be moved. We will see how they do," Jon replied as he walked past my desk toward the Voyager with blanket in hand.
All five ships are flying on this Overnight Camp. That is a good thing. Five ships means more money and more money means we survive another week with enough cash to meet our needs and perhaps a bit more for upkeep and maintenance.
I was told the school district's maintenance department will be in on Monday to start building a permanent wall between the sixth grade hallway and the commons area where we inflate our portable planetarium for our field trip star shows. This new wall will be a Godsend. Our sixth graders are a noisy mob between classes and when they are released from their lessons for recess. Their boisterousness makes it nearly impossible to conduct our planetarium Starlab shows. The new wall will insulate our Starlab from the hustle and bustle. It will hopefully cocoon us in beautiful quiet. Needless to say, our Space Center teachers are 'over the Moon' about this development. When they are happy, we are all happy.
Mrs. Houston is off tonight. Metta and Nicole are chaperoning the girls. Metta made a brief stop at my desk to ask me to turn on the gym's air conditioning. Last week they were asking for heat. It is Springtime in Utah.
I almost hesitate to say this for fear of Fortuna's wrath, but our simulators have been cordial this past week. Even the Phoenix has been cooperating with her flight directors. We've learned to really enjoy the good times when everything works as per its design, for we know all too well that dark times lurk round every corner.
It's 12:15 A.M. It's quiet. Not a peep from the ships.
And I spoke too soon. One young man just passed my desk.
"I don't feel too good," he said clutching his stomach. "I think I need to use the bathroom."
"Do you need the Happy Bucket?" I asked.
"I don't think so," he replied.
"Famous last words," I mumbled under my breath.
He's back and feeling better. Water, the miracle cure for all ailments.
I'm off to bed. It will be another busy Saturday with all ships flying.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Space Center's Starship Phoenix was diagnoses with early onset dementia several months ago. The ship forgot it was a Starship, thinking instead it was a pinball machine. This crisis of identity has been the cause of much frustration on the part of the Dave Daymont, Megan Warner and the small cadre of professional flight directors who call the Phoenix their "Home".
"Right in the middle of a mission the weirdest things would happen," said Megan Warner, Phoenix Flight Director and the one most annoyed by the Phoenix's inability to recall even the simplest of tasks, like raising shields or providing oxygen to its crew. Megan continued with an example, "The captain would say, 'fire torpedoes!' and all the ship's toilets would flush at once! I ask how any self respecting Flight Director could put up with that?"
Megan and Dave brought the matter to the attention of Mr. Williamson, Space Center Director Extraordinare and Resident Know it All. Mr. Williamson listened to their plight, seemingly uninterested. It is difficult for Mr. Williamson to understand the plight some of his flight directors live in the simulators. You see, Mr. Williamson exclusively flight directs the Voyager, the ship all agree is the most reliable simulator at the Center. The Voyager is a ship that knows its a ship. It may have the Center's oldest computers (some are rumored to contain original Apple computer boards shipped straight from Steve Jobs garage), but they operate well, despite their age and lack of spare parts.
You see, there is no exaggeration. Some say the Voyager Computer's mother boards
were assembled by Methuselah himself at the time giants walked the Earth.
Mr. Williamson realized the seriousness of the Phoenix's situation when Megan Warner refused to leave the student desk which sits directly in front of his desk. Mr. Williamson finally gave in to her demands and authorized the expenditure of Space Center funds for a new Phoenix brain after several hours of her self imposed 'sit in' accompanied by a 'Hunger Strike' - she skipped lunch.
"What could I do?" Mr. Williamson explained. "She was right there breathing my air...... and those staring eyes put a very hateful chill in the air."
Matt Long, Programming Guild Master, was summoned from Central Elementary's Fallout shelter - long rumored to be the place where Mr. Williamson keeps the Space Center's programmers. Matt was given a pair of Sun Glasses before coming up the long staircase leading from the school's basements. The light of day has been known to cause temporary blindness in those who dwell down in that place rarely spoken about and even more rarely seen.
"Matt, the Phoenix needs a new brain," Mr. Williamson spoke slowly and deliberately. Matt seemed confused by the vibrant blue of his Space Center button down shirt. "Matt, focus on me now. Look at my mouth and focus." Matt looked at Mr. Williamson's yellowing teeth. "The Phoenix needs a new brain and you and your programmers must do it quickly before the ship degrades beyond the point of no return."
Matt fell to the floor and curled into a fetal position. "No Master. No," he begged. His voice was rasp and sounded aged far beyond his years.
"I'll double your daily rations of Twinkies and Doritos and return your Monty Python videos." Mr. Williamson's voice was soft and comforting. Matt looked up from the floor. Matt loved his Monty Python videos. The videos were taken away several months ago by Galileo Set Director Stacy for having delivered a few glitched Galileo computer programs. He fixed the glitches straight away. Stacy refused to surrender the videos, claiming that time lost in entertainment was not time well spent.
"Fun is for the weak minded," she was overheard saying to a new volunteer. He was on the receiving end of her sharp tongue for talking about a movie he'd recently seen during one of her missions.
Matt held out his hand. Mr Williamson shook it. The deal was done. Megan was out the door and down the road toward Taco Bell before Mr. Williamson could look up and pass along the good news.
The programmers took on the job of reprogramming the Phoenix nearly two months ago. Last night they installed and tested the new controls. Megan was on hand to record the event on film. Forgive the pictures' poor quality. The camera's flash couldn't be used out of respect for the programmer's fear of bright lights.
in the Phoenix Control Room. They are wiping Twinkie crumbs away from their
mouths. It is our way of keeping them focused.
videos should the testing of the new controls prove satisfactory.
Our final fuzzy picture is of Megan Warner, the driving force behind the new Phoenix starship controls. Megan deserves a strong and hearty pat on the back for her work in overseeing the look and feel of the controls.
Another special THANK YOU to the Space Center's programmers who went above the call of duty to do this extraordinary task in just six weeks! It is amazing how quickly they pulled this off.
The Space Center is the working home to very special people who look at their work as a calling and not a job. Well Done!
Wyatt Lenhart to Play Chekov
The Space Center's very own Wyatt Lenhart (Odyssey Flight Director) is to play the role of Mr. Chekov in an upcoming series of Star Trek episodes. Read all about Wyatt's amazing opportunity below.
New Webseries, Star Trek Continues, Announces Cast
Taking Star Trek Fan Films to the Final Frontier
Contact: John Broughton, 202.375.4911
WASHINGTON, DC, March 23, 2012 — Farragut Films, the film group that produces the Starship Farragut webseries, and Dracogen Strategic Investments, announced today the cast for the new webseries, Star Trek Continues. Led by Vic Mignogna, one of Farragut Films’ principals, this new webseries showcases Classic Trek with prominent and professional actors:
"A great deal of thought and consideration went into assembling the best cast possible. Every one of them is an accomplished and skilled professional who brings so much to the production. From the beginning, we committed to having experienced actors who would bring deep and endearing performances, and that's exactly what we have,” said Vic Mignogna. “I hope the avid admirers of Star Trek will enjoy this cast's work as much as we are going to enjoy making it!" In the upcoming weeks, additional information will be released on the other characters with biographical details regarding their acting and industry credentials.
Filming of several vignettes will take place in May at Farragut Films Studio in Kingsland,Ga. At nearly 10,000 square feet, the studio is the largest facility of Trek sets in the world. Conveniently located off Interstate 95 near the Florida border and only 35 miles north of the Jacksonville International Airport, the studio has numerous amenities such as hotels, restaurants, and stores. A SAG signatory entity, Farragut Films has partnered with Hollywood professionals, as well as local businesses to help promote Kingsland and bridge the West Coast to East Coast for film projects.
About Farragut Films, a film group headquartered in Washington D.C, produces Starship Farragut, an award-winning webseries based on The Original Series of Star Trek. Farragut Films has completed four live action films, two animated episodes, and one comic book. Farragut Films is in post production of their latest episode, "The Price of Anything" slated for an August 2012 release and are in pre-production of a new webseries entitled, Star Trek Continues. Farragut Films is a non-profit entity within the State of Maryland. For more information, please visit www.Farragutfilms.com.
About Dracogen Strategic Investments. Dracogen Strategic Investments is the creation of Steven Dengler – entrepreneur, pilot, co-founder of XE.com Inc., and all-round geek. Dracogen is committed to making awesome things happen whenever it can. Besides backing some pretty amazing tech companies, it also supports fun creative projects and has a particular affinity for Child's Play Charity. Learn more about Dracogen at http://www.Dracogen.com.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
By Mark Daymont
Space Center Educator
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Before we get into the day's post, I'd like to announce our next Open Mission scheduled for March 29, 6:15 to 8:45 P.M. Please visit our web site's Parties page for more information on Open Missions. Beware, you'll have to work for the information Scrolling down the page will be required. You could work up quite an appetite.
Norman Rockwell was kind enough to illustrate with canvas and oils how news and gossip spreads around the Space Center when the staff and volunteers are too lazy to obtain information from the Space Center's most trusted news source, The Troubadour!
If you seek enlightenment, if you want to know Space Center truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I suggest you go to the horse's mouth. Let The Troubadour be your light in the dark world of misinformation, useless information, and down right viral gossip which hasn't a footing in reality.
The end of mankind has been preached from every pulpit for centuries and taken as gospel by Christians, Jews and Muslims. Knowing it is inevitable, the question we should ask "Will our demise be by fire or ice?". Or will our extinction come from a source not expected.
Perhaps one day I'll wake up, step outside to pick up the morning paper and see a biplane circling overhead trailing a long banner reading, "This is the last thing you are going to see". Then BANG, everything around me will decay into computer code. And for one brief instance before oblivion, I'll know that someone, somewhere just hit the delete button......
What does science say about humanity's boogie man? What are the facts? Let's take a moment and look at the nasty things out there that might be the cause of the worst day of your life.
We start with the Catastrophometer Ratings
OK, here comes your first nightmare....
Ouch. Nasty. I must admit that sliding into a tear in Space Time might be the best way to go - the ultimate roller coaster.
What's next. Hit me.
A Super Volcano several hundred miles from Pleasant Grove?! I have earthquake insurance on my home, but I don't recall Allied Insurance offering Super Volcano insurance. I don't fancy meeting eternity under several tons of volcanic ash. Pompeii did that - so going out this way isn't original or creative. I think I'll pass on this one.
This one may be the one that gets us if this past winter is any indication of what the summer will be like. I'm anticipating July temperatures hitting 130 degrees. Talk about road rage! Imagine getting stuck in a traffic jam on I15 when its 120 plus outside (150 on the pavement) and your cars overheats.
Next, something we can understand at the Space Center.
We prepare for this every day at the Space Center. I suggest you seek safety at the Space Center if you wake up one morning and a find large alien mother ship hovering over your local high school. We have five starships equipped with photon torpedoes, phasers, and warp speed in case our attackers overwhelm our defenses.
The Space Center also has the only reliable star maps showing where the nearest inhabited worlds are located.
Again, the Space Center has an edge on this. Remember, we have intelligent, benevolent, compassionate and human friendly computers in our Starships. We will unleash the almighty Apple ARU 3000 Artificial Intelligent Unit on any super computer that attempts a coup on humanity.
Deadly asteroids can make for a very bad day, just ask the dinasours. Again we have our starships.
Now we have a problem. The Space Center has advanced medicine we dispense during every mission (the magic of M&Ms). While filled with comforting chocolate, I doubt they could stand against a super bug. I'm ordering a few gallons of hand sanitizer and reconsidering the number of times per week I have contact with other humans after reading about this potential game changer.
A Supernova is something we deal with every week at the Space Center. Let's not forget that Dr. Jenkins is on our side. A Supernova may fry the Romulans (they have Dr. Marcus), but I feel confident Dr. Jenkins will provide plenty of warning.
But wait, even if he warns us, who do we protect ourselves from a Supernova explosion? I feel a gloom growing in my gut.
I don't get this one at all. I don't want to be turned into a ball of 'grey goo'.
Down with Nanites.
Let's remember to enjoy life and live everyday as if it were your last. It just might be!
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Bribery Caught on Camera!
"Mr. Williamson?" Marissa interrupted me at my desk.
"Yes Marissa?" I responded.
"You know what?" I wondered what it was she knew.
"You know what I know, and I know you do."
"No Marissa, I don't know what you know. How am I suppose to know what you know. Now run along and bother someone else." There was an awkward pause. She didn't budge.
She half whispered. "I know about your addiction."
"Addiction? Marissa, I'm a well respected teacher, a registered Star Trek Fan and life long supported of Tibet's Freedom from Chinese control. How could I have an addiction? Who told you I had an addiction problem?"
"Let's just say a little bird told me from my window sill." Marissa smiled and tapped the side of her nose with her index finger, the universal sign for the Universal Society of Secret Knowers.
"My patience is quickly evaporating. If you have a point to make, then I suggest you MAKE IT?"
Marissa was holding something behind her back throughout our short conversation. My challenge forced her to play her hand. She produced a box of Girl Scout cookies - Thin Mints to be exact.
My face went white. I knew the proverbial cat was out of the bag. If she knew about my addiction to Thin Mints, then who else might know? Marissa examined my reaction with pleasure.
"I see your breathing harder, and is that sweat building on your forehead?" She pointed to the top of my head.
"Curse you Marissa!" I spat.
"Oh, plenty of time for that." She held the box out for me to take. "I see by your reaction to this last available box of Girl Scout Thin Mints for the 2012 selling season that you're in a world of hurt. I hear withdrawal from Thin Mints can be uncomfortable - to say the least. An experience you'd want to avoid at all costs."
"What do you want?" I spoke in a hushed tone, knowing anyone could walk by the desk.
"I'll let this lovely box of Heaven's Joy go for...... Let's see - how about you give me one of those nearly impossible to get Magellan staff positions for tonight's Overnight Camp. Your generous act might convince me to let you adopt this little box of decadence."
"Do you know how many people want to work in the Magellan?! Am I to ignore them and give you a spot just because you have a box of cook....coo....cookie......cookies in your hand?" I stammered with drool.
"Got that in one. Good job Mr. Williamson. Now let's finish this little transaction so we can both walk away happy. I get the Magellan and you get to sulk away to the school's boiler room to feed your nasty little habit."
"You know about the boiler room?"
"My source tells me that last September school district plumbers found sixteen empty boxes of Thin Mints from last year's selling season in the school's basement boiler room? Nobody knew what to make of it - but I knew where they came from. Now, do we have a deal?"
"I'm better than this." I protested in embarrassment that my one true weakness had been discovered.
"No you're not." Marissa was not one to confuse kindness with plain speaking. "Do we have a deal?"
What choice did I have. "Deal."
I took the box. Marissa smacked her lips in victory, half curtsied and walked away to the Magellan. A moment later I was in my cement corner of Central's basement.
Megan Warner is a perfect example of selflessness. Here we see her directing a Phoenix mission. Behind her sits Andrew - an observer. Yes, you read correctly. Andrew is an observer.
Look closely at the photo. I know it's difficult to see, but notice that Megan is sitting on a hard wooden stool. Notice that Andrew is sitting on the over cushioned and decadently stuffed Phoenix Flight Director's chair. I took my camera and snapped the photo to share with our righteously intelligent Troubadour readers.
If you need a car, ask Megan.
If you need money, ask Megan.
If you need advice, ask Megan.
If you need a shoulder to cry on, ask Megan.
I exaggerate to a fault in an effort to make my point, but what I'm absolutely sure of is this; If you come to the Space Center hungry and see Megan with her bag of Malt O Meal cereal, milk, bowl and spoon - ask for some. She'll had hers right over. Yes, she'll give you the cereal right out of her mouth; that's how generous this modern saint is.
This is Colton. Colton gets the Extra Mile Award for this weekend's Overnight Camp In this photo you see Colton spelunking into the mysterious depths under Central Elementary School's stage.
The Westfield Elementary students had just been assigned to their ships when I called the staff to the gym to set up the sleeping cots. We keep our cots in pull out carriers. The carriers slide in and out from under the school's stage. One of the carriers got stuck and wouldn't come out far enough to get the cots. My first thought was to call for Pleasant Grove's Fire Brigade.
"Not so fast!" Colton jumped into the carrier and went down flat to his belly. "Let an army man take care of this."
"I urge caution," I cautioned Colton. "Nobody knows what lives down there." Colton shrugged and started forward.
"Stop, at least let me send someone to fetch one of my mother's canaries. Coal miners used canaries deep in the mines to test the air. You got out of their fast if your canary snuffed it."
"You got an air mask?" Colton countered.
"Then I'm going in. Live dangerously I always say!"
Colton disappeared under the stage.
"Anyone know his next of kin?" I asked the gathered staff and volunteers. They shrugged a no.
"Who's going in after him if he doesn't come out?" Nabil's voice shook with fear knowing he was the smallest and therefore my answer would be him.
We heard a voice from the dark. "Pull!" We pulled on Colton's command. The carrier slid out holding a dirty Colton and several of the Center's sleeping cots.
Colton earned the Federation's Extra Mile Service Award for courage in the face of UnderSchoolStageCreepyCrawlees. He tread where few go lightly. It is a well deserved honor.
The Miscreant Caught. Bail Posted. Beware.
I could tell by Scott's reaction to my taking the picture that he knew, I knew it was no accident. I called for Voyager Security. The Voyager's two unsuspecting Security boys were pulled from their birthday party mission and brought into the gym. I ordered them to arrest Scott and put him in the Voyager's brig until I could decide what to do with him.
I'm open to your suggestions. Email them. Until then, Scott is to be considered dangerous and armed with a better than average intelligence. He is out on bail at the moment.
A Phoenix Pass Pin was awarded to Aliah E. on Saturday morning during our "We Survived Another Overnight Camp" post camp meeting. Megan Warner awarded the pin due to the fact that the Phoenix's Set Director wasn't in attendance. Dave and his wife were up late Friday night attending a Relationship Seminar for Couples sponsored by his local LDS ward.
"Don't ask," was Dave's response to my question about the seminar when he arrived for the Saturday private missions. My hat is off to the brethren of that ward who attended with their wives.
Aliah is one of the Center's top volunteers. Congratulations Aliah on earning the pin and getting Megan to smile while giving it to you. Megan guards the Phoenix Pins with her life and finds having her teeth drilled without the benefit of Novocain and parting with a Phoenix Pin both in the same category of discomfort.
Space Center Educator
Friday, March 16, 2012
Its Friday night. That means the Space Education Center's starships are out on patrol someone within 400 light years of Earth.
Tonight four ships left Starbase. Reports coming in through the military subspace network tell tales of herosim and valor. The crews manning the ships hail from Westfield Elementary. They do their school proud.
The Voyager is in space dock being deloused. Last week the Voyager picked up a colony of ugly little beasties shed from the matted hair of a Klingon family found stranded on the Olive Moon of Panthea. They were accidently transported onto the Voyager by Ensign Jake Hirschi. Ensign Hirschi neglected to activate the proper transport biofilters during the 'beaming up' - a common rookie mistake. Security was the first to notice the squirming insects in the adult female Klingon's hair as they approached her on the transporter pad to escort them to sick bay. The alarm was sounded and the containment force field sparked into action. Unfortunately not before several of the lice like vermin had fallen to the floor and crawled into the ship's air circulation system.
Ensign Hirschi spent the rest of the week fumigating various sections of the ship. His efforts, though well intentioned, were fruitless. Not even an Ensign facing disciplinary action could stay ahead of the these rapidly reproducing insects.
The Captain ordered the ship back to Starbase for fumigation when several of the creepy crawlies were found in his morning bowl of Froot Loops. Everyone knows there are two things the Captain will not tolerate, insubordination and an unsatisfactory bowl of Froot Loops.
It's 10:44 P.M. Colton McKay is talking 'military' with Metta Smith to my left. Colton is in the Army. Metta is in the Air Force.
Megan is celebrating her Favorite Crew of the Week? She gave them death time. Instead of sitting quietly through Megan's music of choice, they danced - without making a sound. Everyone knows that Death Time is extended if the crew talks during Death Time. Megan was impressed. Its not easy to impress Megan. She purposely goes out of her way not to be impressed.
It's 10:47 P.M. and time for me to stop typing this post. I need to put out the ice cream sandwiches and snicker doodles. Mrs. Houston will be arriving any minute to chaperon the girls.
I'll be back soon.....
It's 11:56 P.M. and all is quiet. The Westfield boys are in the Voyager. The girls are in the gym. There isn't a peep coming from the Odyssey. The staff are either out cold or tuned out with ear buds blasting. I found our little dinasourlite emerging from the seat of my chair. It gave me a fraction of a moment's concern. You'll find it poking its head out of my file cabinet now.
Matt Long, Megan Warner and Ryan Pendleton are in the school's computer lab thrashing out the bugs in the Phoenix simulator's new Cocoa Starship controls. Revolution Code has powered the Phoenix ever since its launching six years or so ago. For some reason, our Revolution Code is exhibiting the same symptoms of dementia commonly found in humans over 80. At times, the Phoenix forgets its a Starship. I think it was a tractor in a previous life.
"Its amazing," Matt Ricks said last week, "how the Revolution programming degrades with use. I fix a bug, it works for awhile, then the same problem resurfaces."
"The ship hates me," Megan chimed in with disgust. "The Phoenix doesn't give Dave or Zac the problems it gives me. It hates me and that's a fact."
To accuse a ship of hating one of its flight directors is a serious allegation. I investigate every reported incident of one of my ships striking back at one of my flight directors. Our ships must learn the basic rule of the Space Center. They are here to serve US, not the other way around. Action will be taken if I feel the Phoenix is to blame for these problems that keep cropping up. That action could be anything from a severe scolding to a exorcism (as was done on the Voyager a year or two back to rid it of a network loop that nobody took responsibility for. The loop was either the work of a disgruntled spirit or a ship that was too big for its britches).
OK, enough of this. I need some sleep if I'm going to be of any use tomorrow.
Wait, what was that? I felt something in my hair............ I knew I shouldn't have gone into the Voyager for that Diet Dew kept in the ship's fridge.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
By Mark Daymont
Space Center Educator
Monday, March 12, 2012
A portal in space time opened sometime during last weekend's Overnight Camp. My best guest would place the other end of the portal squarely in the Jurassic Period. This poor creature happened upon the portal and was stepping through just when the portal closed, trapping it between the Jurassic plains and Central Elementary School 2012.
I came upon the creature Friday night when I stepped out of the office to stretch my legs.
"What the heck!" I believe I said. I approached carefully - fearful of the beast's imminent release from the portal. If I had common sense I would have gone back to my desk to fetch the baseball bat I keep on hand just for things like this, but I didn't. I moved toward it cautiously, one step at a time.
The hallway was strangely quiet for a Friday Overnight Camp. I wondered where my staff and volunteers had gone? My heart raced when the thought that a gaggle of these dinobeasties might have successfully escaped the portal into our time, leaving this poor unfortunate behind, stuck dead when the portal closed on him. I had a vision of my poor staff and volunteers turned into Dinochow at the mercy of this pride of dinosaur lites. I looked for blood splatters on the floor and walls. There were none. That was a good sign.
I took a few extra steps toward the beastie. It looked dead - frozen in time. There were sounds of explosions and yelling. The Magellan was still flying! My blood pressure returned to normal. All was well at the Space Center. My staff and volunteers were alive and unaware of the mystery in the hallway.
What to do with the creature? The closing portal sliced the beast in half with surgical precision. Half a beast might prove entertaining if used on a mission at just the right time and place. The Cosmos had been kind to us.
Don't be startled then if you seen this little throw back to a nastier time in Earth's history suddenly appear on one of your next missions at the Space Center.
And for Something Completely Different......
This is James S. James is shaking hands with overly exuberant Christine. Christine is happy to give James his Odyssey pin. Her enthusiasm is contagious as seen in James' face. Christine spreads joy and happiness where ever she goes.
Did you know that Christine recently received an LDS mission call to Japan? Imagine what her personality will do to help them in their recovery efforts.