Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Summer's End and Cars.

Hello Troops,
This is our last week of 2008's summer season. We have one overnighter and a Day Camp. Throw in several private missions and you have it. It will be an easy week and then we are done.
I want to thank all of you for a fantastic summer. Thank you for the extra time you put in . Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for creating a friendly atmosphere at the Center. Thank you for your willingness to do anything asked. I know I
say this over and over but I can't believe the quality and caliber of volunteers and staff we have. I have always said that the right people show up at the right time when we are in need. You all know I can't possibly thank all of you individually so please accept this as a personal thank you and pat on the back.

I've been asked by many what my plans are for the next two weeks. I think many of you think I need a break and are hoping I have plans for a vacation. I thought of traveling but instead have decided to stay home and enjoy the final days of summer without rushing about and driving endless hours only to discover once I get there that I'd rather be home. I'll clean out some closets and cupboards. There is the garage and yes....... the car that needs to be washed. I washed it last in February. I guess you can see I don't place my self worth in the car I drive. To me, the Battlestar (my Lincoln) is a tool that I use to get from here to there. I think of my car like I do my electric can opener. I don't take pride in my electric can opener but would seriously miss it if it stopped working.

I'm not cutting those of you that worship your cars. I understand you look at them as extensions of yourself. I know your 'type' all too well. My Dad is one of you. Saturday's were sacred to my Dad. It was his time to put the messy universe to right by washing our family cars. Each car was taken, one by one, to the car wash. After the wash, the cars were drive home to be toweled dried, waxed, and polished. The interiors were scrubbed. The finishing touch was the placement of the Evergreen Tree Car Freshener placed over the rear view mirror.

You felt you needed to use your shirt tail to open the door on Sunday morning when we got into the car to go to church. Of course we had to sit still and NEVER TOUCHED THE WINDOWS - OH THE HUMANITY OF IT - TOUCHING THE DIAMOND GLASS WINDOWS SPARKLING IN THE SUN.

So, down the street we drove - cardboard figures sitting erect in the car with hands in laps. Dad, sitting in the driver's seat smiling and nodding to neighbors as we roared down 38th Street at 5 miles per hour.

One Sunday we were late for Church. It was a Sunday never to be forgotten. The car was in the garage. We gently and tenderly entered the glistening vehicle and sat with arms in place and heads forward. The last to enter was Father. He of course had to slowly open the garage door to avoid unsettling the dust that had formed between the panels. He got in and started the engine. It didn't start. We looked at each other. He tried again - success. He spun his head around and carefully steered the car out of the garage. He glanced at each of us with the smile of a man about to display his high school MVP football trophy to his daughter's prom date.

Mother was the first to see 'it' from the front seat as the car rolled into the sun. There was a gasp and a quick hand to her mouth. We sat up even straighter and looked forward, past the Evergreen Tree Air Freshener, and onto the hood of the car. Dad turned around and looked at Mother wondering what the sound was and then followed her eyes to the hood of the car.
Non- sabbath words were spoken. Even the baby stopped sucking her pacifier and watched the green and brown words come smoking out of his mouth. He jumped out of the car and ran into the garage giving me the chance to lean forward and up between the seats to see what could
cause such a disaster. Mother pointed with one hand while the other was still up to her mouth. "The Cat" she whispered.

There, across the hood were the distinct paw prints of our black cat. I sat back and smiled. That cat had the guts to do something none of us dared - Show the old man what we thought of that 1965 Brown Rambler. He quickly returned with a soft cloth and wax and began
reworking the hood while darting his head back and forth looking for Whiskers. I sat back in my seat and leaned toward the back window. The cat had its time and now it was mine. I stretched out my finger and reached for the window. Closer and closer my finger moved toward
the glass. My brothers and sisters watched, wide eyed with mouths open.

That day I touched the glass with my finger - way down in the very corner, out of his sight. For weeks and weeks it stayed there, surviving every wash and wax - always a reminder of a son's first act of independence.

How did I get started on that!? Oh yea. My Lincoln and a can opener. Anyway........ it isn't often but there you go. A glimpse into the life of your Director. An opportunity to understand me. So, if you ever see my Lincoln all nice and clean, you have my permission to leave your fingerprint on any window you choose.

I'll See you all in the Trenches,
Mr. Williamson

A Sunday Smile

An elderly lady was well known
for her faith and for her
Boldness in talking about it.
She would stand on her front
Porch and shout PRAISE THE LORD!

Next door to her lived an
atheist who would get so angry
at Her proclamations he
would shout, "There ain't no

Hard times set in on the elderly
lady and she prayed for
GOD to send her some
assistance.. She stood on her
porch and Shouted, "PRAISE

The next morning the lady went
out on her porch and noted a
Large bag of groceries and
shouted, "Praise the Lord."

The neighbor jumped from
behind a bush and
said, "Ha..Ha.
I Told you there was no Lord.
I bought those groceries. God

The lady started jumping up and
down and clapping her hands
and Saying, "Praise the Lord,
He not only sent me groceries but
HE made The devil pay for
them. Praise the Lord!"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Camper Satisfaction Survey Results of our Last EdVenture Camp of 2008's Summer

Hello Troops,
These are the totals for the 7th EdVenture Camp of the summer season running July 21-23, 2008. There were 66 campers ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old.

How would you grade the ships you were in? An Overall Grade for the entire camp.

Great = 1
Good = 2
Fair = 3
OK = 4
Bad = 5

Overall Camp Results VOYAGER:
Voyager General Average: 1.10
Last Week’s: 1.27
Voyager Rotation Average: 1.18
Last Week’s: 1.14

Overall Camp Results MAGELLAN:
Magellan General Average: 1.12
Last Week’s: 1.26
Magellan Rotation Average: 1.18
Last Week’s: 1.36

Overall Camp Results ODYSSEY:
Odyssey General Average: 1.26
Last Week: 1.17
Odyssey Rotation Average: 1.14
Last Week: 1.06

Overall Camp Results PHOENIX:
Phoenix General Average: 1.37
Last Week: 1.64
Phoenix Rotation Average: 1.35
Last Week: 1.52

Overall Camp Results GALILEO:
Galileo General Averager: 1.33
Last Week: 1.29
Galileo Rotation Average: 1.15
Last Week: 1.20



Would you like to come back for another camp some day?

Yes = 92% (61 Campers)
Maybe = 8% ( 5 Campers)
No = 0% ( 0 Campers)

How would you grade your overall experience at the camp this week:

10 = The Funest Thing I've Ever Done!
5 = It was OK. Like a good movie.
1 = The most Boring Thing I've done.

Over All Results: 9.15
Last Week: 7.67

How does our class sessions compare to your normal school classes?

Their choices:
(Much Better than = 1)
(Better than = 2)
(The Same As = 3)
(Worse Than = 4)
(Much Worse Than = 5)

This Camp’s Class Score: 1.40
Last Camp’s Class Score: 1.86

A New Question:
The Campers are asked how coming to the Space Center compares to other attractions:
Their choices:
(Better than = 1)
(The Same As = 2)
(Worse Than = 3)

Going to Lagoon: 1.36
Going to the Movies with Friends: 1.20
Going to the Mall with Friends: 1.13
Going to a Water Park with Friends: 1.26

The follow numbers of students were surveyed for all Rotations:

Voyager: 44 Crew members
Magellan: 55 Crew members
Odyssey: 32 Crew members
Phoenix: 24 Crew members
Galileo: 20 Crew members
Classroom: 66 members

This was the last EdVenture Camp of the 2008 Season. A big Thank You to the staff for going the extra mile and putting in these very long hours.

Thanks Troops,
Mr. Williamson

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Last EdVenture Camp Comes to an End.

4:16 P.M.
We are nearing the end of our 7th and last EdVenture Camp for Summer 2008. The campers will go home at 5:45 P.M.
It has been a good camp. No major equipment problems and the campers were very well behaved. I'm wearing earphones while I type this entry and still hear cheering coming from the Magellan (down the hall from where I am). The staff are very tired. The campers are dragging a bit as well. We keep them busy morning, noon, and night. I think everyone will go home and collapse into unconsciousness.
The Space Center is closed tomorrow (July 24) for Utah's Pioneer Day. We are fully booked for private missions on Friday and Saturday. Friday night is our 2nd Super Overnighter. Monday night is a normal Overnight Camp and Tuesday - Thursday is our Day Camp. A week from tomorrow we will wrap up the summer season of 2008.

Mr. Williamson

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Results from the First Camp Rotation

10:49 A.M.
We've started our 2nd rotation for the last EdVenture Camp. The scores are in for the first rotation (except for the class session which is evaluated at the end of each camp). Here are the results from the camper surveys.
The scoring system is as follows:
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
F = 5

A 1 is a perfect score!
Rotation 1: All Ships Total: 1.20
Last Camp’s Score: 1.25

Voyager: Bracken Funk
Story: Silhouette: 1.09
Last camp Shadows: 1.30
Staff: 1.18
last camp 1.20
Job: 1.27
Last camp 1.30
Difference: 1.27
last camp 1.00
• Total for Rotation One: 1.20
Last camp: 1.20

Magellan: Emily Perry.
Story: Defender: 1.28
Last camp: Defender 1.21
Staff: 1.21
Last camp 1.07
Job: 1.42
Last camp 1.36
Difference: 1.14
Last camp 1.21
• Total for Rotation One: 1.26
Last camp: 1.21

Phoenix: Alex A.
Story: Supernova : 1.33
Last camp Fatal Error: 2.00
Staff: 1.16
Last camp 1.50
Job: 1.66
Last camp 2.00
Difference: 1.33
Last camp 1.17
• Total for Rotation One: 1.37
Last camp: 1.67

Galileo: Stacy Carrol
Story: Maximus: 1.00
Last camp: Maximus - 1.20
Staff: 1.00
Last camp:1.00
Job: 1.20
Last camp 1.20
Difference: 1.00
Last camp 1.00
• Total for Rotation One: 1.05
Last camp 1.10

Odyssey: Caity L.
Story: Heir to the Empire: 1.00
Last camp: Heir to Empire: 1.00
Staff: 1.12
Last camp 1.00
Job: 1.25
Last camp 1.12
Difference: 1.12
Last camp 1.12
• Total for Rotation One: 1.12
Last camp: 1.06

Lunch is coming up next. The camp is rolling along nicely. No Vomiting Yet!!
Happy Day.

Mr. Williamson

EdVenture Camp Update: 8:11 A.M.

8:11 A.M. Day 2
The Campers were good to us last night. They went to bed without a fuss. The staff's attitude improves 50% when we have campers that go to bed quietly. A fussless night means we get sleep. When we get sleep we work harder the next day. I locked all the school's interior doors at midnight as I made my final rounds.

The air conditioning is off in the hallways. It is muggy outside. Without the air it becomes muggy inside. The staff and campers are in air conditioned rooms so the night will be comfortable. After my final check of the boys I found Spencer D (one of our Ranger Staff) sitting in the Voyager's Brig with his leg up and ankle exposed. He gave me that look. I knew straight away we had an ankle problem.
"I leap frogged over Hunter in the halls," he sheepishly said. He continued the story, inserting details as he went. We iced the ankle. He called his sister and left after midnight. He is back this morning - walking with a slight limp. We are in good shape.

We had one girl go home around 1:00 A.M. suffering from severe home sickness. Camper's attitudes concerning home sickness covers the spectrum. Some kids become violently ill after a few hours from home. Once they leave they never return. Some tough it out until late in the evening and then, having exhausted their reserves, make the call for pick up. Others are completely opposite. They don't suffer from home sickness - they are Sick of Home. This type of child is usually more independent - they seem to be natural leaders. They enjoy getting away from home and testing their wings in new environments.
The young lady returned this morning. The camp is whole again. Breakfast is finished. The kids are in their class and simulators. Clouds are moving in promising a storm. All is Well at 8:23 A.M.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Last EdVenture Camp. A Rotation by Rotation Essay

EdVenture Camp 7. The Last of the Summer Season of 2008

8:41 P.M.
The Campers arrived between 7:00 and 7:30 P.M. We have 14 girls and 52 boys on this camp.
Fourteen are on their second or third camp of the season. We wonder what we will do with the repeat campers to keep them on task and engaged.
The 'Campers' appear normal - at face value. Most children appear sweet and innocent - at first.
Only after several hours into the camp will their true nature emerge. We have a good crew of staff and volunteers. Fingers crossed all will go well.

Bracken Funk changed the introduction of the Flight Directors. I normally announce them by name and the ship they run. Bracken turned it into a sporting event by playing the TV announcer and calling each Flight Director into the gym as if they were boxers coming in for a fight. The campers thought it was great!
From my desk I hear the Phoenix crew discuss ways to cool their engines. The Voyager is quiet. I don't think they've launched. The other ships are out of range.
I've finished my safety walk around the school. Everything is locked up tight and we are good to go on our last EdVenture Camp of the season. Stand by for further developments.

Mr. Williamson

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Center's Own Superheros!

Hello Troops,
Two real superheros were overlooked this week due to the attention given to Batman, the so called “Dark Knight”. This could be the result of the latest release of a Hollywood production chronicling his life. While many parts of this ‘story’ must be regarded as fiction I will give credit to Batman for his life’s work in fighting crime and vanquishing evil.
Standing in the shadow of the “Dark Knight” are two home grown superheros. Today, in this essay, I shall tell you a tale of their bravery. This story will never make the headlines or be prostituted into film. The modesty of our superheros forbids it. Instead, I will tell the tale here and let future generations retell it until a legend emerges from the collective consciousness of the bearers of the tale.

On Monday last, our hero - Funkman - sat reading in the halls of the Space Center Institute for Exceptional Children (SCIEC). The SCIEC is a secret government agency, disguised as as a rather traditional neighborhood elementary school, given the mission is to locate children blessed with exceptional talents that could save humanity from universal alien threats. The children come to the “Space Center” (code name for the SCIEC) to attend “Camp”. The ‘Camp’ experience is to fine tune the youngling's ability to work as a team and solve fictional threats against Earth and mankind using a variety of simulations. The simulations (carried out in what appear to be innocent and rather elementary starship simulators) highlight the gifts of each participant. Then, when the younglings reach the age of 15, they are placed in the agency where their talents can be put to the best use in protecting Earth.

I’m risking much by even disclosing this information but I feel the truth should be told and let the consequences be what they may. Furthermore, considering anyone that has access to this essay and Blog already have the highest government clearance - I shouldn’t need to worry.

I’m sorry for digressing....... Let me get back to the story. Funkman was reading in one of the Institutes hallways after 1:00 A.M. Suddenly he felt something dark approaching. This Sixth Sense is a common trait shared by those who work at the Institute. His instincts told him to stand. Something caught his eye. He looked up from his book and down the long hallway to the outside door. Emerging from the dark of night came a stranger with a face not before seen near the Institute. This unknown reached for the door and pulled. The door did not open. Of course it wouldn’t. The Institute is locked early in the evening before it is dark and then all rooms and hallways are checked on a regular basis. The Funkman sprang for the door. The uninvited saw him coming down the hallway. Flames erupted behind Funkman as he charged - ready to defend the Institute. The uninvited ran into the darkness.

Funkman came to get his partner. All superheros have protégés. Funkman’s partner was woken and told to prepare for the defense of the compound. He jumped up (who is he you wonder - that will remain a secret so as not to distract attention from the real hero). He will be referred to as 2 in the essay. 2 grabbed his 'Defense Against the Alien Threat Weapon' commonly referred to as “The Enforcer”. The two of them entered the hallways and began a hall by hall search for an intrusion.

The Younglings of the ‘Camp’ where never made aware. it wouldn’t be prudent to do so.
The situation was completely under control. Once the pair were sure the interior of the Institute was secure they moved to assure the female staff that all was safe and to return to their beds. Suddenly, someone heard a sound on the roof. Although getting on the roof of the SCIEC, after having been seen by the Funkman, would be considered a foolish if not retarded move by a proper villain - the Funkman and 2 decided it was time to take out the BattleStar!! The BattleStar is a moving, metal defense platform on wheels. The Battlestar was engaged and a search of the compound was conducted. Nothing was found. The threat was neutralized not by physical force but because of one sighting of the mighty and powerful FUNKMAN!

Once the Battlestar was put away all went back to bed for a night’s sleep. Oh, I should mention that the local police were also called and invited to join the search for this trespasser but again, nothing was found.

The Institutes safety procedures were tested and found worthy of almost any threat (except a direct hit by a thermonuclear weapon) but new plans are in development for that.

We all wish to thank Funkman for his SuperHero efforts in the defense of the Institute , its staff, and the Younglings.

You may all now forget you read anything about this institute. There is no institute.......
There is only a school with a simple Space Camp located in little Pleasant Grove. Continue with your normal life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Space Center Wins Best Day Camp for Teens!

From: GoCityKids - SLC <>
Date: Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 10:23 PM
Subject: Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks winner!

Congratulations! The Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center has won Nickelodeon's first annual 2008 Parents' Picks Award for Best Day Camp in Salt Lake City for teens. To view the list of winners, you can go to - just select your city, and then click on the appropriate age group.

We'll be mailing out Winner decals by the middle of next week.

Again, congratulations – and keep sending parents to your business's page on GoCityKids/ to rate and review your services. Nominees will be selected all over again next year!


Holly Bishop
Salt Lake City Editor

Fax 801.907.7795

2006 Webby Award Winner "Best Family Website"
2008 Webby Award Official Honoree: Family/Parenting and Guides/Ratings/Reviews

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Space Center's Contributions to Central Elementary

Hello Troops,
Central Elementary closed its books for the fiscal year. The Space Center's contributions to Central School for the last fiscal year are in.
The Space Center contributed $6,471.00 to the general school budget for the year.
The Space Center contributed $500.00 to Central School's PTA for the last year.

The Space Center is located at Central Elementary School. Central's principal is the administrator over me with direct responsibility for the Space Center. We do our part to contribute to the school whenever possible. These contributions are our way of saying Thank You to the school and its staff for their continued patience and help with our programs.

Thank you Central Elementary!

Mr. Williamson

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Last Week at the Space Education Center

Hello Troops,
We are on the downhill slope of the summer season of 2008. Last week began with a 48 hour EdVenture Camp. The campers were fun. The flights went well. It was overall a good camp.
The camp was overwhelmingly male. We had 61 boys and 5 girls! It was difficult finding sleeping areas for that many boys. I slept 30 in the Voyager (thank goodness the bunks were in place in the Captain’s Quarters). I slept 31 in the Gym. We used our cots
and 11 of the new Coleman Air Beds purchased from WalMart. The Air Beds are superior to cots in many ways.

1. They don’t squeak every time you turn around.
2. They are more comfortable.
3. They give you more sleeping area.

The downside to the air bed is the set up time. You must inflate each bed separately. It’s OK for summer because we inflate them once at the start of the season. During the school year inflating and deflating them after each weekend overnight camp could prove to be a hassle.
Several of the campers on this camp were repeating from previous weeks. They were good about repeating missions and the class session.

Every morning at 6:00 A.M. the overhead pounding begins. The roofers are back. The sound is something you can live with. The smell is something you're forced to live with. Sitting right outside the Voyager’s back door is the large tar boiler. It looks like a small locomotive from an old western movie. All day tar bubbles inside it. All day the fume of boiling tar fills the surrounding area. The fumes are captured by the rooftop air conditioners and brought into the building. The tar is pumped from the playground to the Voyager’s roof. This gives the Voyager the distinction of being our smelliest ship. It's so bad your eyes taste it! We could shut off the air conditioning system but then you deal with the heat of a 95 degree day. You’re trapped. The air conditioning system is left on and the smell because a permanent part of the Voyager’s summer mission.
You know the smell is bad when the Voyager staff walk into the ship from the Briefing Room with their shirts drawn up over their mouths and noses.
I suppose their own body's smells are better than tar.
I told the kids the tar boiler was there for annoying campers. Funny enough we didn’t have problems with the younger campers for the entire camp. Being boiled in tar as a punishment for misbehavior didn’t seem to have an effect on the older campers.
This summer will go down as the Summer of Tar. I keep reminding the staff that we have two weeks left. You can endure anything for two weeks - can’t you?

The Space Center’s internet phone system has been giving up grief over the last couple of days. We had another power hick up during the last day of the EdVenture Camp. The brief outage fried the phone server in the wiring closet. Luckily we had a back up server ready to drop in. Brent talked me through installation over the phone. When it was all said and done we discovered the Magellan phones worked fine but not the Voyagers. Brent and Todd both stopped by after their meetings at Technology. After a few hours Brent discovered the problem. The newer IP phones didn’t work. The older phones did. It is a software problem. He sent an email to the phone’s manufacturer. We are waiting for the response.

We ran a Day Camp on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The campers came every day from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Everything went well. On the third day (Saturday) I took the campers to Clark Planetarium for their field trip and class session. We saw the new IMAX on the Swiss Alps. It was very good. We finished the field trip with the Ultimate Universe Star Theater Show. It was OK but the writing was over the kids heads.
I want to thank Metta Smith, Bracken Funk, and Stacy Carroll for helping me with the kids on the field trip. The three of them were operating on no sleep. They were up all night long with our second Super Overnight Camp. What troopers. The Super Overnighter ended giving them just enough time to run out to the bus for Clark Planetarium.
Brady Young is back from his mission to Florida. We stopped by to visit during the EdVenture Camp. His homecoming was today. Brady is considering coming back to the Space Center on a part time basis while he goes to school. It will be good to have Brady back with us in the Voyager. We will need him when Bracken leaves on his mission next month
This will be a strange week at the Space Center. We have a one night overnight camp on Monday evening. Our EdVenture Camp will run Thursday to Saturday. This will be out combined camp with the kids from Astrocamp in Ogden. I’ll create a new working and rotation schedule because the Astrocamp kids will arrive at 4:30 P.M. while the rest of the local campers will arrive at 7:00 P.M. Im good at schedule so I look forward to the challenge.

Well Troops, That wraps up the highlights from last week. Nothing that interesting or important. It is just another week at the Space Center.

Mr. Williamson

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Help an Up and Coming Film Maker.

Hello Troops,
A part of Jared's film was shot here at the Space Center. If anyone out there in CyberWorld
has some time to enjoy his film and vote, Jared would appreciate it.
This is the email I received from Jared:
Mr. Williamson


Hey guys this is Jared Seaich a local student at Mountain View High School. Many of you may know me personally but for those of you who don't I am an independent film maker and I've finally struck a chance to be discovered. This is a HUGE world wide competition and I am a finalist!! But i desperately need your help! I need you to take a few moments to go to the following site and help me out with votes!!!

My film "Last Stand of the Jedi" was made back at the beginning of this year. I was 15 at the time and I kinda blew a lot of people away with how technologically advanced it was. even in comparison to other films made by adults its quite impressive. I dont mean to gloat but I worked a little bit to much on this film... and I'd like to see something come out of it :)

This competition is absolutely HUGE so please show some support and take a few moments to vote. So email and forward the link to friends, family, pets, acquaintances, anything that breathes and eats. I could use all the help I can get so please please please help a young film maker achieve his dream! Thank you so much!

-Director Jared Seaich

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Turning 50 and Other Thoughts

Is turning 50 suppose to have a meaning? If so, what is it? At the turn of the century the average life span for an American male was something between 45 and 50 so turning 50 had real meaning. If you were 50 you were lucky to be alive! Yesterday’s 50 is today’s 80 so perhaps the big celebration should be reserved for 75.
Perhaps the phrase on my birthday banner announcing I am “Over the Hill” is a warning to those standing below me. A warning telling the people its all downhill from here and the old duck may loose his footing. If he looses his footing he could fall, and if he falls how many will he take with him?
Perhaps the phrase is intended to tell me that after 50 years I have earned the right to tell people what I really think and feel. Being 50 and “Over the Hill” means that I can boot political correctness out with last night’s left overs. I’m beginning to feel slightly liberated....... Being 50 is starting to feel pretty good.
I’m a member of the 50 party. Our platform borrows the best from all. We have the knowledge, and fifty years of wisdom, to temper and use that knowledge correctly. We are at the time in our career when we can make a difference. Hey, if you haven’t done it yet then what are you waiting for my fellow Fiftyites? Once you turn 60 or 65 they’ll think you’ve lost your ability to reason and send you out the door with a gold watch and a pat on the back. “I’ll be sure to say hello to you at the WalMart door,” will be their final parting words.
Fifty is Nifty! Baby Boomers - this is our time. The first of our generation is retiring and the rest of us are nearing the shoreline. So let’s do something meaningful. Stand for your beliefs - whatever they are. Let the young ones feed from your table of knowledge and wisdom. Let them see your example. Let them see that growing older brings a freedom they must earn to enjoy.
My friends, I’ll be fine at fifty. Don’t worry about this old duck having one of those “mid life crises”. If, some day, you see me looking a bit down at my desk ask my opinion about something and see me come to life. It’s like dropping a coin into a jukebox. Stand back and listen to the wonderful music.
I want to thank all those that had a hand in putting my 50th Surprise Party together.
I was really shocked when I came around the corner of my sister’s house and saw so many family and friends standing there staring at me. I was long gone by the time everyone shouted “Suprise!”. I’ve never had a surprise party before so that one was one for the books. You Got Me!
I enjoyed the evening but came home hungry. I was so busy saying hello to everyone that I didn’t have time to eat supper or enjoy a piece of my birthday cake. I guess to some degree that party was hard work.
Fifty is now in the rear view mirror. The next milestone will be 65 so I've got fifteen years to go.
One last favor to the old man. When you all come to work and camp please don't walk up, stare, and then say, "Wow, you're fifty. You're so old!" I heard that from enough of the younger ones at the various parties this last weekend that I don't need to hear it at work.
Don't hold the door open for me. Don't offer to cut my food at mealtime. Don't hand me a napkin and motion that I should put it on under my chin. Don't ask me if I need some rest.
Don't offer to drive me home when it gets dark. Don't offer to read the small print. Don't whisper, "Bless his heart he tries so hard," behind my back. I still have excellent hearing.
What can you do for this dear old man? Do your job and do your best. Take out the garbage when its spilling over the top. Don't leave pizza boxes all over the Center. Keep the work areas clean and tidy. Tuck your shirts in and leave one ear unattached to the ipod so you can hear instructions. Smile and be happy even if your exhausted. I'm the only one that has the right to look like death's traveling companion. Don't walk over to the cafeteria's sound system and change Aleta's music. One day she will explode and then you see what a real food fight looks like. Be kind to each other at work and look for the camper that needs some special attention.
I'm ready to get back to work. I'll see you all in the trenches.

Mr. Williamson

Happy July 4th Holiday!

The Space Center is closed for the holiday. I’m please with myself. I didn’t visit the Center yesterday and I don’t plan on dropping in today. For a born again workaholic that kind of behavior would cause some to suspect I’d fallen off the wagon. Let me reassure my loyal Space Center fans that I haven’t. On Monday I’ll return to the home of all Workaholics, the Land of the Lost off the Coast of Despair. I hear the song of the Sirens calling me back to 100 hour weeks and a bottomless inbox.
Being a confessed workaholic is like living in a time machine that only goes forward. Seasons pass with the months like the weeks pass with the days. Everything I do is very repetitive so time passes almost unnoticed. One day I notice its September and the next thing I realize Christmas trees are appearing in the front windows of the houses I pass on my way home in the evening. One June day I celebrated my 40th birthday and suddenly a decade past and I found myself surrounded by a group of people in my sister’s backyard singing “Happy Birthday to You,” while a banner waved in the wind proclaiming to all that I was “Over the Hill”. Yes friends, I hit the big 50 in June. Enjoy your holiday.