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, May 22, 2011

Ah Fortuna, You Nimble Nymph



Hello Troops,
Fortuna, our little mischievous nymph, was up to her usual shenanigans yesterday at the Space Center.

All five simulators were in full performance a little past noon on Saturday. I sat at my desk dispensing advice, giving directions, listening to grievances and running the Space Center in general when the fire alarm suddenly sounded.

"Fortuna, what are you playing at," I thought as I jumped up and raced to the school's office. I typed the passcode into the school's alarm panel then shuffled down the wall to the fire box. The screen showed the alarm was triggered in the Voyager's Crew Quarters. I knew we had a flight going in the Voyager and had there been a real fire I would have known about it. I knew it was a false alarm, most likely triggered by a burned burrito in the microwave or an accidental puff of smoke from the smoke machine on the bridge reaching the uncovered detector. I pushed a series of buttons to silence the alarm then called Pleasant Grove's Fire Department and told them not to dispatch the trucks until I checked the listed area. The dispatcher waited.

Roger (the school's custodian) and I checked the affected areas. We found nothing, which is just what I expected. The dispatcher sent a few firemen over for safety's sake to look through the building. Nothing was found after a thorough search. The firemen gave me the OK to bring everyone back into the building.

I'm pleased with the Space Center's staff and volunteers. The ships were empty and everyone was outside moments after the alarm sounded. They knew just what to do. I'm sure it was strange for the Center's neighbors to see 60 people or so all in some kind of uniform standing on the school's front lawn.

The nymph Fortuna loves to mess with me whenever she thinks I've grown too accustom to normal. She must take great enjoyment taking me by the scruff of the neck and dangling me over some precipice just to see me squirm. She must enjoy the panic it causes as I do everything I can to ensure the Center runs smoothly for our customers and for Central's teachers and students.

I'm wondering if the Voyager's Scanning Station computer and the Magellan's Station 15 computer foreshadowed the fire alarm? The Scanning Station froze at the end of the Overnight Camp and wouldn't load the operating system after repeated restarts. The Magellan's Station 15 has been a mess for quite some time.

Fortuna wasn't happy with my response to these two problems.
"Alex, problem with the Magellan and Voyager," I said to Alex Anderson, our go to programmer for disasters in the Voyager and Magellan.
"I'll get right on it," he responded.

Within minutes he'd swapped Station 15's computer with a newer spare from the Animation Studio. It worked perfectly. The Scanning Station was brought out, a disc first aid was run and the computer healed itself. Both potential royal headaches were dispatched into the 'solved' category without even the slightest concern on my part. I'm sure these speedy resolutions to the problems sent Fortuna into a rage powerful enough to force her to play a higher card in her decks of tricks.

So, with sincere repentance and with thoughts of sack clothe and ashes I grovel at your bony feet Dear and Oh Most Wise Fortuna. I beg your forgiveness for enjoying a moment of fleeting happiness over a few days of perfection. I swear that from this day forward my staff and volunteers will have my permission to slap me hard across the face whenever they see a smile surface across my lips. This will remind me that such frivolity upsets you.

And Now, With Fortuna's Blessing and Patience I Bring you a Few Items from the Imaginarium.
(I'm not smiling at any of these tidbits. I swear).

The perfect tent for today's modern hippies and flower children. My only complaint - it should be yellow.

The perfect scarf for Spenser and now Brock. Oh there is Emily as well. Spenser and Emily for issues relating to cars, roads and other things. For Brock - a case of mistaken identity involving a cement barrier and the disappearance of sand bags.

A Crosswalk in the Imaginarium. Who needs a Walk and Do Not Walk sign when you can generate a hyperspace portal instead?

Anyone for a stroll across this street in the Imaginarium? Count me in. I need a bit of off Earth time. It's been a long school year. I'm thinking of a week or two on Rigel or a cruise around the Orion Nebula.

Things are not always peachy keen in the Imaginarium. Horace Mumps is not a happy camper. There was one scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip left in the bottom of the bucket at the Wonderland Ice Cream Emporium. Of course, being the gentleman he is, Horace offered it to his wife fully expecting her to refuse. She didn't.

Wilma is enjoying the Mint Chocolate Chip while Horace toys with his Vanilla Bean Delight and thoughts of Wilma's upcoming birthday.


Two thoughts to help you get through life's tough moments.
Remember, we are all in this together.

Have your wand at the ready and be prepared for a knock at your window.

Have a Great Week Troops.

I'll see many of you here in the trenches. Remember, don't do anything or say anything that could cause a smile to surface on my face. She is watching and waiting and is ever so patient.

Mr. Williamson

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