Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What Will I Do with One Week Off? And Other things.

Hello Troops,
All of us in the Alpine School District will enjoy our Easter Break this week. Some of you already had your break and some may have theirs after us. I’ve looked forward to this vacation since returning back to work from the Christmas vacation. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy working. Some say I live to work but honestly, if I don’t get the occasional break from mission after mission, flight after flight I think the repetition would drive me either to drink or to a more prolonged stay at a certain institution in Provo that specializes in treating people who’ve misplaced their sanity and can’t find it for the life of them.

I knew I was ready for this vacation last Friday. I finished teaching my 9:00 A.M. pre-algebra class. The students left the room leaving a quiet behind that I decided to stay and enjoy for a few minutes. My bag of peppermint mints, used to bribe students to focus on their work and not on their daydreams, sat on the desk needing to be put away. I opened the top drawer where I keep my bribes side by side with the teacher’s manual to put the bag of mints away. I reached into the bag to take one out, closed the bag and put it away. I sat on my cushioned chair and spun around a few times while sucking on the mint. I’m not one to leave things in my mouth too long so I went right to chewing. The swallowing when wrong. The mint bits didn’t all go down. I needed a drink.

The Discovery Room has a sink, faucet / drinking fountain combination. I stood over the drinking fountain, bent down and positioned my mouth over the nozzle and pressed the button.

Its a wonder how your memory works. I’m fascinated with what it chooses to remember and what it chooses to forget. My memory failed me at that moment. If it was working properly , like it was designed to do, I would have remember that drinking fountain’s twisted sense of humor. Instead of releasing a nice arc of water it shoots the water at you with the force of a fire hose. The water isn’t aimed at your open mouth. The fountain shoots it at your eyes.

I pressed on the button and was on the receiving end of 9000 pounds of pressurized water right into my face nearly washing my contacts out of my eyes. I stood dazed for a moment while the water ran down my face and onto my shirt. I thought I heard the pipes under the sink rattle in a form of perverted pipe humor. It was right then and there I knew I needed a vacation. My last remaining finger holding me to the cliff overlooking the chasm of chaos and delirium released its hold. I felt myself falling.

A few rolls of paper towels later I was ready to shut off the lights and return to my office. I still had my wits about me - which surprised me. I’m glad because I’d need them for the overnighter and a full day of flights on Saturday that awaited.

What Will I Do?

That is a good question. I considered a trip to Vegas to visit my brother. Decided against it. There is something about Vegas that bothers me. It could be the heat. Or maybe the sound and look 0f all that money flushed down the gambling toilet every day. I think of what I could do with some of that money at the Space Center.

Several in the family wanted to go and spend the week at my house in South Dakota. It sits on the hillside overlooking the town of Deadwood in a beautiful nestled pine covered valley in the Black Hills. I was raised in South Dakota and it is nice to go back for R and R. My mind was changed on the matter when I found out South Dakota was buried in snow from recent storms. Why would I want to go stay someplace where the snow drifts are ten feet high?

Instead I think I’ll stay right in in Pleasant Grove. After all, it is pleasant in Pleasant Grove. Besides, there is enough work to do at the Space Center to keep me busy all week. And there I go again - I have a week off and I still go in to keep up. At least there are no students in the building and there are no missions. I can actually work at my desk in peace and quiet.

Have you ever looked at where my desk is located? I work right in the middle of commotion. I have the Voyager in front, the Odyssey to my left and the Phoenix to my right. All day and all night I hear clashing music and explosions from the three ships. Add a never ending stream of staff and visitors that swarm around my desk all day and all night long out of necessity to move from ship to ship etc. and its a wonder I get anything done at all.

Think of it this way, imagine you are the manager of a factory that uses noisy machines and employees lots of people. Now take your office and put it right smack dab in the middle of all the machines and people. Now, I dare you to get anything done. Go ahead, just try. Now you understand how hard it is for me to focus sometimes and why there are times you see me crouched in the corner with my eyes shut and hands over my ears ;)

Yet...... I still love my job and the people I work with. You are all fantastic and I appreciate the hard work and dedication you give to your job. I know many of you have things you’d like to do at the Center this week so I’ll send out an email with the times I’ll be in every day.

So, lets enjoy this week. Work if we must and play whenever possible. Let’s let our brains recharge and imaginations run amuck.

Bryson's Married!

I attended Bryson Lystrup's wedding reception yesterday. Bryson worked at the Space Center for years and years. It was very nice. Kyle Herring took the pictures below. Bryson looked happy and his new wife was beautiful. Bryson is a lucky young man.

The Happy Couple

Braydn Lystrup, the Young Brother and Voyager FD. I asked him to bring me a fork.
He had someone else do it. That's gratitude for you.


I enjoy a reception with good food and I must hand it to the Lystrups for the spread at this reception. They had a cheese cake bar complete with two chocolate fountains! While most people stood in the reception line I kept myself in the refreshment line. Brock, Spenser Dauwalder and I couldn't leave until we had taste tested the offerings multiple times.

Good Luck Bryson!

And now troops, I’ll see you all in the trenches.

Mr. Williamson
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