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Sunday, May 4, 2008

News from the Space Center (With Some Side Distractions)


by Mr. Williamson

I’m tired today. I woke up too early and couldn’t go back to sleep. I reached for the TV Guide. A couple pages usually sends me back into unconsciousness. It didn’t work. I actually got through an article on Hannah Montana. Up until now I thought that was a small two horse Montana town a sneeze off Canada’s border. Kind of like Sidney Montana, the place I was born. Who ever heard of Sidney Montana? Its one of those towns you don’t mind saying ‘your from’. It automatically gives you some credit for attaining something in life even if you spend your days at an intersection holding a cup and poster saying “Save Yourself the next 5 minutes of Guilt and drop some Cash into the Cup!”.

Actually, If I had to live in Sidney today, I would consider joining the Peace Corps and accepting a position in Botswana, a nation in Africa right off the Coast of Despair. According to me, a very reliable source, the best thing to come out of Sidney was my family. When I was a toddler, just growing out of the cricket eating stage, my parents moved our trailer from Sidney to Spearfish, South Dakota. Would you like an analogy? Its like moving from a house with one bathroom to a house with two. No..... that isn’t quite correct. It is like moving to a house with two bathrooms AND a car port. This analogy can’t have a garage until I tell you about our move to Rapid City - but that is another story.

I learned how to crawl in Spearfish. I spent my days crawling around our trailer’s front door. I found I had an appetite for South Dakota dirt . That Montana stuff was too sandy for my liking and too hard on my toothless gums. I think I owe my current tolerance to almost any kind of food to those early, earth eating days.

I don’t remember living in that small trailer. I rely on my mother’s nostalgic memory for that. I’m told It was parked beside my grandparent’s garage, right off an alley lined with garbage cans and rusted bikes with flat tires. This is all great material for my future run for the White House. Everyone wishing to become President must have some kind of humble beginning. Abe Lincoln had his log cabin in the country and I have my Airstream trailer in the alley without a name. Most of time it was referred to as the place to “Toss it there, nobody will see”.

Now look...... I’m off track. You see what I mean when I tell you I’m tired today? What was I talking about? Hannah Montana? Let’s skip that and move on.

I want to write about the week’s happenings at the Space Center. I hope I have the time now that I’ve spewed several paragraphs about my childhood. I also must get back to my Mario Kart. I have a Wii. Yes, I’m a grown man with his own Wii. Come on, a guy has to have some fun in life! Wow, what a game system.

The last system I owned was a Pong system my grandmother bought me from Kmart in the 1970’s. It was unbelievable. There was this ball that moved from side to side on your TV screen. The object of the game was to hit the ball to the other side of the TV with your sliding controller. It was amazing! Our home became the primary source of after school entertainment for most of the kids in the neighborhood. We played Pong morning, noon, and night nonstop for about two days. After two days, something about the game became annoying. On the third day it was shoved under the TV. On the fourth day we forgot we owned it. We were back on our bikes, spending the afternoons at the dirt hills having dirt clod fights with the kids from the neighborhood.

Dirt clods can hurt - especially when thrown at close range by the star of the Little League team. Screams and tears would flow when dirt clods and heads came together at great speeds. The injured would jump on thier bikes and rushed home to mother. Most moms back then would look at the growing lump on the side your head, clean the blood away and ask if you were “Stupid, or something?”. Once cleaned up it was back to the dirt hills. You fought to the last kid standing - or until you got called home for supper.

OK..... I went off again.
Let’s get this done quickly. We did really well at the Space Center this last week. Spenser R. ripped the walls out of the Captain’s Quarters because of mold from the leaking roof (don’t get me started on that story).

The training by MP3 is getting better. I’m past wanting to flush them down the toilet. They have some use. We got new chairs for the Phoenix and Odyssey. The other ones were falling apart. They look cool. Alex A. is getting close to finishing the Phoenix controls. He has time to program and chat with the female staff now. I warned him about writing code and talking to girls. Not a good combination if you want to write error free code. Kids from all over Utah visited the Center this last week. Some kids came from as far away as Cedar City. We had a small overnight camp. Only 28 kids from Sego Lily. It was nice running a camp with small numbers. It almost seems like your not working at all. Bracken fixed the nozzle on the Voyager’s smoke machine. Before, most of the smoke intended for the Bridge ended up in the Control Room. Now, according to Bridger, the Left Wing kids disappear in the fog. You know they’re there because of the coughing and gasping - you can’t see them but you can hear them!
Wow, I got it all in. I think I’ll get back to my Mario Kart for the Wii.

I’m playing online now. A few hours ago I was up against kids from Japan, Germany, and France. I give them grief..... not because I win all the time - I wish. I cause them grief because I’m always in last place and Mario Kart gives the guy in last place the Dreaded Spiked Shell that speeds ahead when released, hunting down and attacking the character in first place. I Love IT.

Take Care and I’ll see you all at the Center!
Mr. Williamson
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