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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Last Week in Review.

Hello Troops,
We had a good overnight camp on Friday. The Cherry Hill kids were well behaved and did well in the ships. The staff performed brilliantly as usual.

I was under the weather battling the onset of another cold, and with that another sore throat to take the place of strep throat from two weeks before and the Cold of all Colds I caught just after Christmas. There must be generations of germs lurking at the Space Center. You scrub everything with Lysol wipes only to find you’re getting sick again. I’m thinking more drastic action is required. Perhaps gasoline and a match might do the job :)

I want to thank the staff and volunteers for overlooking my abruptness during the camp. I can be sharp with I’m not feeling well. It’s not easy being hyped and all smiles when all you want to do is crawl into bed. I also should apologize to our programmers. I had a meeting with them Saturday afternoon. They attempted to show me their latest programming creations written in Cocoa for the Galileo. They spoke while I tried to listen. I did my best to look enthusiastic but couldn’t keep my eyes open the whole time. It’s kind of discouraging when you’re proudly showing off your the results of your hard work and your boss keeps drifting away into a stupor.

The Fire Alarm

Saturday morning around 9:15 A.M. Bracken kicked me out of the Briefing Room so he could lead his Odyssey crew on an away mission into the Voyager. I went next door into the school’s library where I had two pillows on the ready for a quick lay down (that’s where I go for the 5 to 15 minutes it takes for either the Odyssey or Phoenix to do their “Landing Parties”).

I layed down near the Library’s door, closed my eyes to recapture a few minutes of shut eye lost during the overnight camp. I usually only get 4-5 hours of sleep, add a full 12 hours on Saturday and I need a few minutes from time to time. Just as I bridged the gap between the real world and unconsciousness I was pulled back to complete alertness by the sound of the school’s fire alarm.
“Bracken!” I shouted, knowing what had happened. Bracken went overboard on smoke from the Voyager’s smoke machine. The smoke from a smoke machine can set off the school’s alarms if you don’t have the smoke detectors covered correctly.

I jumped up and ran into the school’s office. I punched in the code on the alarm box to silence the alarm and that was just the first step. As all the campers filled out of the school in their Space Center uniforms I picked up the phone and dialed Pleasant Grove’s fire department to tell them to ignore the alarm. If I didn’t catch them in time we’d have the entire fire dept, police dept, and most likely the community orchestra on our doorstep making for a very embarrassing explanation.

The next step in canceling an alarm was to call the alarm company and give them the school’s password. After that I was back in the office punching in the code to rearm the sensors throughout the school. After that, I unlocked the central fire panel and complete the three steps to reset the alarm in the building. The reset stopped the flashing fire strobes throughout the building.

I was not a happy Space Center Director. I gave Bracken a few of those special looks a boss has in his inventory of “I’m not happy about this situation” looks.

Bracken, in his defense, apologized and explained that he didn’t use any more smoke than I use during the day missions. Jon appeared with the cracked cover used to cover the detector in the Voyager. It appears the damaged cover let enough smoke through to trigger the alarm.

As much as I hated to do it, I had no choice but to let Bracken off the hook.


  • The old Galileo is gone as stated in an earlier post this week. The cafeteria has room enough to hold the field trip classes for lunch. No more feeding them in the Discovery!
  • I heard back from the Nigeria Space School. They are interested in sending some of their teachers to the Center to learn about our simulators.
  • We had our largest classes in this week from Westfield Elementary. We needed to use the Galileo two days in a row for field trips.
  • We did a few repairs on the front of the Odyssey. The new Galileo is having its torpedo launchers installed. Just another cool feature of this new awesome ship.

Well, We start a new week at the Space Center.

Are we ready?

Mr. Williamson
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