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Friday, April 9, 2010

Visiting Mr. Williamson in the Future.


Well lookey here. Ya'll come all the way out here to visit me did ya? Couldn't think of anything better to do with your time? How delightful, how bloody delightful..........
Oh, nothing. Just mumblin to myself.


Come on up to the porch and sit yer serves down. Its a nice day so we'll look at the snapshots outside if you don't mind. Those seats are open near the potted plants. The swing seat is nice, two of you can sit there. I'll be right out, I don't move so well these days with this walker; keeps me from falling don't ya know. I'm running a bit behind this morning. The old pipes ain't what they use to be. Some things I eat get them rattlin so bad I feel like a jack hammer bouncing around the living room. There should be a manual on getting old.

Would one of you get the door? That's it. Mind the screen door. Keeps the bugs out don't ya know. Well, where's my seat? Don't think I'm going sit on the steps while we talk. I'd never get myself up. I need that rockin chair so you get out and find some other place to sit. I need a rocker so I can propel myself up when its time to go inside.

Watch yer feet there. I don't want to trip. Last week old Bill Schuler from down the road tripped over his cat. The cat took off screechin and old Bill came straight down landing on the coffee table. Course, he was home alone at the time; nobody around to help so he lay there on the floor moanin and groanin. Broke his hip didn't he? Finally the mailman showed up and heard him yollerin for help. Called the paramedics and they carted him off to the hospital. He'll be laid up for weeks and weeks. Us old timers have brittle bones. Match that with stubbornness and you got the perfect recipe for disaster.

Ahhhh, I'm down. Whose got the picture book? Hand it over here. Now, I'm guessing yer all here to see old pictures of the Space Center. Well, I've got a few here to show ya so if you'll be patient I'll get this open and we'll talk.

Don't stand so close, yer crowdin me. Not to mentioned breathin my air. You younglings can sit around my feet. Watch the slippers, don't go droolin over em.
You olders can stand close but again, don't go breathin my air. OK, lets get this album open and see what we got.

Will ya watch the lemonade? You nearly spilled it on the pictures! What do ya mean you're shocked to see me smilin?

Ya, I was a lot younger then but don't let that smile disturb ya. I'm sure I was cookin up some scheme to kill that crew just like I've been doin for the past few decades. I'm standing near the telephone station on the Voyager. Had a lot more hair in those days. I miss that lush forest, mind you I spent good money on hair cuts as well so there are advantages to havin it all fall out instead.

What did ya say? The logo on my sweatshirt? Yep, that's the same symbol you see outside the Voyager's outside door. That was the first logo I paid an artist good American money to design - none of that phony Canadian stuff. What's it mean. How would I remember that!? I have a hard enough time rememberin where I put my readin glasses don't I? Let's move on...... and you there scoot back, your kneelin on my lap blanket! I'd say something if it weren't for mixed ages bein present.
Here's the old main viewer. I'm proud to say that I did all the tacticals back then. That's what the crew saw when they took the Voyager out of Space Dock. Course we had to do it the old fashion way. It was all done in Hypercard so we had to have someone sittin at the tactical computer and moving things manually. You'd have to draw a box around the ship then click and drag. Whatever was in the box would move with the mouse. Mind you, if you didn't get the entire ship selected in the box you'd leave part of the ship behind as the kids would fire the thrusters. Had to have a steady hand if you worked the tactical station. Who ever worked there had a fear of me somethin fierce. I was like ole Mt. Vesuvius - I could blow at any time.

The screen was monochrome.

Lookey here at the face of that youngling over there by the potted plants. What's yer name? Mary? Why yer a boy if ya hadn't noticed. Oh, its yer nickname is it?

What kind of people are you attrackin to work at the Center these days anyway?

Well Mary, ya don't know what monochrome means do ya? Ya, we could tell by the stupor on yer face. It means black and white, or in this case, kind of a green and white. High tech in its day. Kinda like the VCR today - High Tech! Don't know what I'd do without it.

OK Mary, you think about what I just said, let it stew around up there in yer head for a spell and you'll get it. Bless his heart - he must be one of them special kids.......

OK everyone, this is a picture of one of the Voyager's Bridge Computers. They were monochrome as well....... Ya, there ya go Mary...... Ya get it now don't ya? Bless his heart, someone give the kid a cookie.

I'll have all of ya know that I'm the one that programmed the first controls on the Voyager. You're lookin at the screen I designed for thrusters. Some of my best work that is. I think I'll pause for a moment and let each of you comment on how awesome it looks. Wake me when yer all done........

Finished then? OK. I'm gonna let Bill write about how the ship actually worked, too much talkin is makin my throat dry........... I SAID TOO MUCH TALKIN IS MAKING MY THROAT DRY...... Now look at that, Stacy caught on and is fetchin my lemonade.
No, not that one. Its the other one. Ya that's the one. Its got a little something extra to calm my nerves. Don't go all wonderin. Only for medicinal purposes.

AHHHHHHH that hits the spot. Real American Lemonade, none of that..... All Together Now....... None of that "PHONY CANADIAN STUFF"..... We're sure havin a great time ain't we. Sorry..... aren't we. Gotta remember this porch has mixed ages.

Ya know, there was this one time when Lorraine slammed one of these old computers (we had to do it on some of these older models to get the hard drives unstuck and spinnin) and somethin popped. Smoke started pourin out right during training. Added a real extra somethin to the mission that day. Nearly gave old Lorraine a heart attack but it was sure funny.

I SAID IT WAS SURE FUNNY! ........ Someone wake old Lorraine up. She asleep over there. Ah look, she spilled her refreshment. Emily, you go clean her up will ya. Listen, if you're going to bring Lorraine to these get togethers you got to stay with her. She nods off easily these days. Bless her heart.

What's that? What did the Control Room look like back then? Well, there's a picture right here..
Your lookin at my station there at the end. You'll notice in them days I did'nt have a computer. We all worked from the 2FX station. I talked in the mic and played the music. I shout my orders to 2FX and they'd better be on the ball or all hell broke loose. Ah Crap! I keep forgettin we got mixed ages on the porch today. You younglins ignore my ignorant use of language.

Anyway, you'll also see our mammoth collection of video tapes. In them days we sometimes needed to pull us scenes on the fly. No DVD's in them days. The boom box was use to find music on the tapes for background stuff. Didn't have a voice distorter either. Had to do all the voices myself. Nearly destroyed by vocal chords didn't it? I used to be one of Utah's best shower singers. Now I'm not so sure I can carry a tune.

Last picture of the day. There's a chill in the air and these younglings need their noses wiped. Someone had 'em a Kleenex. OK here you see the preview VCR and Tv. That was the old TV I had during my days at BYU. Monochrome......... Yes. Look at Mary over there. He's noddin his head. He get's it. Learned ya a new word today didn't ya?
Bless his heart? How long does the poor boy have to live did ya say? OH, not terminal. Well I didn't think dim wittedness was? That's a joke Mary, don't you take offense. They all think you're something, don't ya?

OK, well let's see. There's the first phones we used throughout the ship.

What the?????? Did you see that? His nose dripped on my slipper. Didn't I say get them younglings a Kleenex? That's it. Enough for the day. Everybody back to yer cars and head home. Someone help Emily with Lorraine. Wake her up gently. Don't know what a sudden shock will do to someone with frail nerves. Stand back while I rock myself up. A one and A two and Blast OFF! I'M UP!

Well, ya all have a nice day. Ya all come back and see me again real soon, like in a month....... or two. Just kiddin. How about three?

See ya. Yes, right back at ya...... Love you to. For the love of........ would someone show, what did you say his name was? Will someone show Ginger where the bathroom is. He's never gonna make it back to town if ya don't.

Ginger? It's a boy for Pete's sake. What kind of people ya got workin at the Center these days......... Good Lord!


Mr. Williamson
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