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Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Quick Review of the Past Week. A Few Stories (a bit exaggerated) and a Comment or Two for Good Measure.

The end of our staff meeting. Most already left.
Some still asleep along the back wall (not shown)

Hello Troops,
What weather we’re having. You’d think Utah suddenly shifted its position on the globe and ended up along the Pacific coast . I’m not complaining. I enjoy the rain and clouds but I know many of you are fair weather creatures and thrive on sunshine and heat. I’d like to say I feel sorry for you but I’d be lying and, because this is Sunday, I can’t bring myself to do it.

For our readers outside of Utah I thought I’d show you what our desert kingdom looks like from my deck. Utah Lake is in the distance in the first picture and the other picture is looking northwest toward Point of the Mountain. Beautiful isn’t it? Well almost. This weather did cause some grief during this last week’s EdVenture Camp.

This was the condition of my office before the Camp started. The Odyssey and Phoenix staff were using it as a dumping ground as they prepared their ships. I had a fit. The staff had to hold me down and administer Diet Coke to calm me down. Once calm they rolled me into a corner and did a quick clean up. I was groggy but alert by camp's start.

The camp started on Monday. Everything went well but I was concerned about the temperature. It was cold and didn’t show signs of warming. Taking the campers and staff swimming Tuesday night would be questionable. I became a temporary sun worshipper and took every occasion to step outside to see if my newly found faith was producing the desired outcome. It wasn’t.

Tuesday morning was clear, but cold. I hoped for the best and the day proceeded. The flight rotations ended at 2:00 P.M. The staff were free to go home. The campers went to class with Sheila Powell and Lorraine Houston. I was exhausted. Not a good thing considering I had half the camp still to go and another Overnight Camp on Thursday - not to mention a couple dozen private missions filling in the non camp time slots. I wanted to sneak into the library where we keep the pads and take a quick trip into unconsciousness. The phone rang. It was Pleasant Grove’s swimming pool.
“Hello,” the voice of a young teenage girl came from the answering machine. She sounded like she had just removed her chewing gum to make the call. Her voice was unusually apologetic. I expected bad news.
“I’m calling to tell you that the pool will be closed all day next Tuesday. We are changing the pump. Sorry. There are a few other days available if you’d like to reschedule your private swimming party. Sorry. Thanks.” I’m sure her regret lasted as long as it took to hang up the pool’s phone and pick up her own cell phone to continue texting her friends.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said out loud. What was I going to do with 60 kids next camp if I can’t take them swimming? I remembered I was exhausted and decided to leave the matter for a day or two. Again the phone rang before I could make my retreat to the relative quiet of the Library.
“Hello. This is Pleasant Grove Pool. There’s lightening. We can’t open the pool if there’s lightening. What would you like to do about your private party tonight?” It was the same girl. What I wanted to say and what I actually said were two different things.
“Can I make the decision in a few hours. It may clear up?”
“Yes. That will be fine.”
“Thank you,” I hung up. I walked passed the school’s library and went outside to examine the clouds. They were gray and ugly. Normally I’d be doing a Snoopy Dance with weather like that but not today. I didn’t need the hassle. My temporary conversion to sun worship wasn’t working. Perhaps my devotion was transparent and instead of a blessing a curse was assigned to my case. I returned to my desk and took out the phone book. I knew from my years living in South Dakota that Indians had rain dances. I wondered if they also had sun dances. It was a long shot but desperation can force a man into desperate actions.

To make a long story short I had to make the decision at 7:00 P.M. It was raining. It didn’t look like it would clear in one hour. It was cold. I called the pool and told them we wouldn’t be coming. I removed the Sun ornament I fashioned out of paper clips I was wearing around my neck and returned to the faith of my fathers. I went from simulator to simulator asking the staff to stay on passed 7:00 P.M. and run a special short mission for the campers to occupy the time normally spent at the swimming pool. The staff agreed. They are great! These are people you can trust in a pinch.

This is Rachel. She is Special. She flies the Galileo. Be nice to Rachel.
Those who aren't regret it. Honestly - they do.


To make a longer story shorter- the night went well. The campers had supper and then went into the ships for another mission. They were very happy to get the extra flight time. At 10:00 P.M. we gathered in the cafeteria for a video and then bed at 11:00 P.M. A crisis was averted.
I expected a restful night’s short sleep. I was almost right. I got a very short sleep but it was interrupted by a camper with a sore throat. He wanted to go home. It was 1:00 A.M. I sat up with him while we waited for his mother to arrive to take him home.

The camp ended Wednesday at 6:00 P.M. We survived!

Overnight Camp.

We had a one night Overnight Camp on Thursday. All went well. Braydn Lystrup ran the Voyager’s new mission “A Matter of Honor”. He did well.
I feel good about our summer stories. They are coming together nicely.

Private Missions.

We had a slew of private missions all week. I spent most of the day at the Center on Saturday.

There was a real storm burst Saturday afternoon. We have been trained to expect power outages in storms’ like that. I’m happy to report Rocky Mountain Power held it together and we got through the wind, lightening and pounding rain without an interruption.
I took advantage of an hour’s break and took my car (The Lincoln Battlestar) into Jiffy Lube for a safety inspection. It failed. Something about a belt that needed replacing and a dash light not working. I didn’t need to hear that. I offered the technician a $10 bribe with a wink in hopes of a quick resolution to the matter. I believe he misunderstood my intentions and backed away from me, nearly tripping over the shop vac. I explained the concept of bribery. I explained that this was the accepted practice in third world countries and if it worked there - well why not here? He wasn’t moved by my argument.

I then attempted to illicit pity and claimed poverty. It failed. We compared income. I lost. In the end I gave him the $10 out of pity and he gave me the rejection notice.

So ends the week.
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