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Sunday, August 23, 2009

News and My Latest Peeve..."The World is Too Much With Us"

Hello Troops,
Excellent job to our staff for the successful completion of our last Super Overnighter of the summer season. Canada was run unexpectedly. Four of the 18 campers had already done “A Matter of Honor” when they came earlier the summer on a three day camp. The staff enjoy running Canada. It has several excellent parts for acting - and great acting rolls is all they ask for.

Our summer season ends at the end of September. We have four more overnight camps and several private missions. We hope to open for school field trips by September 15th. I’ve got to get as many schools in this year as possible. The Alpine School District is growing larger every week, especially in the Lehi and Eagle Mountain communities. Each new student means the loss of another place I can give to schools outside the District. I may only have a few days to give to non Alpine schools by the time I get all our schools booked. Once again I come to my yearly problem - how do I select which schools will be given the few remaining slots? I hate to tell teachers we have no room in the inn but unfortunately we are about to fill and the truth is the truth - we will have no room at the inn.

I need to take four classes per day instead of two. The only way to pull that off is to build more ships. To build more ships I need more money and strangely enough, everyone wants to hang on to their money in this economy. Given that fact, we will muddle along as we have for 19 years. What more can we do?


Last night I attend the my sister’s production of Dancing Under the Stars” at the Scera Shell in Orem. Needless to say the evening was fantastic. The Center Stage dancers were amazing (proudly said because of the fine performances of my nieces - the DelGrosso sisters).

I took my seat on one of those white plastic chairs on the lawn and enjoyed the night air. That’s when I noticed the first problem. When I leaned back the back of the chair started to buckle. I know I carry a few extra pounds but not enough for the back of a chair to curve too the point where I could embarrassingly topple backwards out of my chair and into the lap of the older gentleman sitting behind me. One glance up and down the rows around me and I noticed others were exerperienceing the same problem. After a few minutes you get the hang of it. You learn not to lean back too far.

I noticed the first five rows of this outdoor theater had green plastic chairs. The green chair back support was noticeable more extensive than my white chair's. Of course, you get what you pay for don’t you? If you want to sit in luxury you pay for the green plastic chair. I’ll remember that next time.

A rather wealthy family sat in front of me. You can smell people with money, cant’ you? And if your nose doesn't give them away their appearances do. Perfect haircuts with highlights (as opposed to my Dollar Cut special. Highlights not needed thanks to my gray hair), perfect clothes (as opposed to my ....... I don’t remember where or when I bought my clothes. Yes its been that long), shoes in fashion (as opposed to my black trainers supplied yearly at Christmas by my sister) and brilliant white teeth (again as opposed to my off white chompers thanks to too much diet coke).

The show started. Dance after dance crossed the stage. Now, I’m no expert on dancing although I took dancing lessons at the church when I was in the 9th grade. The lessons stopped after two weeks. The Branch President’s wife couldn’t take the pain of us stomping on her toes while she patiently tried to teach us something latin. I didn’t want to take dancing lessons anyway. The way I looked at it - everyone was a winner. She got out of teaching and we got out of dancing. Now, back to the point - I thought the dancing was fantastic. Then, part way through the first half of the program the teen age son pulled out his phone and began texting. When finished he’d slip the phone back into his pocket only to pull it out again a few minutes later to read the incoming telegram.

A moment later the dad (who was sitting in front of me) pulled out his iPhone and started checking him email. As if that wasn’t enough, he answered several of them while glancing up from time to time to see what was happening on stage.

So, here you have a stage full of performers (one of which was probably theirs) and the dad sitting there conducting business on a Saturday evening with his iPhone. You want to say something but I’m afraid there would be no one left on this planet that would back me up. It seems every year more and more people are becoming addicted to information. They think they need to know what everyone is doing and when they are doing it. Look at the ridiculous things people post on their Facebooks.

“I’m watching TV”
“I’m on the toilet”
“I’m wondering if anyone out there likes me”
“I’m bored. Can someone play”
“I had pot roast tonight. A piece got stuck in my throat. I coughed it out. I’m a different person now because of it”

What people should be Tweeting is
“I’m addicted to information and can’t help myself. I need to know what everyone around me doing because if they are doing something interesting I want to be part of it because I lost the ability to entertain myself and if I really told the truth I hate my own company so I’ll sit here and type everything I’m doing hoping someone will recognize it as my pathetic call for social recognition and..... and....... that’s about it. Maybe I said too much? Is anybody out there? Please respond and say that you like me.”

Nobody really cares what you are doing 24/7. There is such a thing as too much information out there on the web. Sometimes personal feelings are best left personal. It is best not to appear too needy. It has a way of turning people off.

And, it is OK to turn off your phone. I know you can do it. Detach yourself from the matrix and feel what its like to be free again. Do it. I dare you.

And now I’m done. I’m climbing off my soapbox. to let someone else climb up and rant about something else in this world that ticks them off. You may disagree with me and go ahead but please do it in a phone call or in person, NOT in a text! ;)

Mr. Williamson
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