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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tired, Tweezers and the Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
We have one week to go for the extended camp season. We may look like powered corpses due to lack of exposure to the sun (a problem we are correcting with a bit of carefully applied make up to restore living human colors to our skin) but I can assure you we are still giving every mission 100 percent.

Bruising is another problem we deal with at this point in the season. The staff navigate the simulators and hallways on autopilot, their brains catch a moment of sleep here and there - including when they are walking place to place. Our natural autopilot system works well except when unexpected obstacles are put in the halls and corridors. One chair or table or trash can out of place can send an employee or volunteer to the floor or into a wall resulting in sudden shock (from being abruptly woken up) and / or bruises and cuts.

Not to worry, we have EMT's on staff to treat the walking wounded. Mind you, some of them are also operating on autopilot so I require everyone treated by one of our EMT's to present themselves to me for inspection after the treatment is applied.

Just last week I discovered an error made by one of our more experienced EMT's (who will remain nameless to protect his /her identity). A volunteer had a nasty cut on his forehead after walking into a carpet cleaning machine the custodian left in the hall by mistake. The volunteer followed procedure and presented himself to me after treatment. He stood for a unnoticed moment by my desk dripping blood. I didn't see him because of an email I was working on.

"What the Heck!" I exclaimed after looking up and seeing the blood. The teen couldn't talk. Instead of bandaging the wound on the forehead, the EMT had mistakenly applied the bandage over the teen's mouth and secured it with the volunteer's leather belt.

Next summer I'll introduce a mandatory minimum directive that every volunteer and employee get at least 3 hours of sleep per 48 hours. That should improve efficiency, not to mention shave food expenses. With extra sleep Mrs. Clegg, the camp's cook, shouldn't make mistakes like the one last camp where she served a spaghetti of red vines and sauce made of tomatoes, Hot Tamales and Mike and Ikes.

The Quest for Tweezers.

Last week one of our campers stopped me while on playground duty.

"I've got a splinter. Can I get some tweezers?"

I examined his palm and sure enough, he had a splinter. I looked through the first aid kit and found nothing. I searched the school's first aid kit, and again no tweezers. I thought if I drop the matter the camper would forget. He didn't. The splinter festered on his mind like an itch that couldn't be scratched.

"There's a boy on my ship that has a splinter. Do we have tweezers?" Brittney asked an hour later. I knew ignoring the matter wasn't going to make it go away.

I jumped into the Battlestar and drove to Walmart on a quest to find tweezers. I walked into the store and froze for a moment. Where in this football stadium sized store was I going to find a small set of tweezers? I could have asked the grandma working as the door greeter but that would be a cop out. Find the tweezers was something I was going to do myself. After all, we focus on problem solving at the Space Center so I should practice what I preach.

I walked toward the food section and stopped when I tried to think were in the food section would WalMart put a pair of tweezers? I stood frozen for another moment to weigh my options. I knew fishermen used tweezers to make flies so that must be where the tweezers were. I searched the sports section and found nothing. A Walmart employee walked by me. I turned to ask but my pride in being a male who doesn't ask directions stopped me from asking. I stood frozen for a moment staring at the department signs rocking back and forth above my head in the breeze created by the store's swamp coolers.

"Sewing! Women use tweezers when they sew?" I spoke out loud. No one heard so my dignity was intact. I searched the store for the Sewing Department. I found it. I searched the isles. There wasn't a pair of tweezers to be found. The woman in charge of the department saw me. She must have thought it odd that a man was roaming the fabric section of the store.

"May I help you?" she asked.
"Should I ask or not?" I debated in my head. The confused and embarrassed look on my face seemed to startle her. She took a few steps back as if I was about to tell her I was sewing a dress and needed a few yards of lace.
"Tweezers?" I blurted out. There, it was out for everyone to see and hear. Mr. Williamson couldn't find a pair of tweezers in a store he shops in every week.

The woman looked relieved. "Cosmetics," she answered while pointing towards the front of the store.

"Thanks." I navigated through the toy section and reappeared in the pharmacy.
"Make up should be in the pharmacy, shouldn't it?" I questioned myself. I told myself "Yes," and moved toward the soaps thinking make up goes on the face and so does soap so that's where I'd find the tweezers.

I couldn't find the tweezers in the soaps. I couldn't find them in the toothpaste section. I thought it odd I couldn't find lipstick either. Surely lipstick should be paired with toothpaste - shouldn't it?

I felt alone in a crowded store. I felt stupid. I'd lost track of the time but I knew if I didn't return with tweezers quickly the boy would most likely get gangrene in his hand, resulting in the Space Center's very first EMT amputation on a lunch room table.

"Make Up?" I questioned another passing male WalMart Employee. He looked startled then smiled. I knew what he was thinking and quickly buttoned the top button of my shirt. "I need a pair of tweezers for a splinter," I continued. The smile disappeared.

"Over there," he said pointing to the one and only part of the store I hadn't explored.

I found the cosmetics department. I will confess my search was side tracked by the endless colors of lipstick I never new existed. Colors have fascinated me since I was a kid. Yes, I'm the kid who wasn't satisfied with the 16 color Crayola box of crayons. I had to have the box of 48 colors with the built in crayon sharpener in the front of the box. But the thought of Rachel, or Emily or Spenser performing a hand amputation pulled me back to purpose.

A few minutes later I found the tweezers. My search was over. I returned to the school victorious in my quest. The boy removed the irritant. His hand was saved and all was well (except for a very disappointed gang of EMTs who were prepared for surgery).

"There there," I patted them each on the back. "There might me an ingrown toenail on the next camp. After all, cutting off a toe isn't quite as serious as a person's hand, is it?" The thought of toe surgery brightened their mood.

Yes, another day at the Space Education Center.

And Now, Let's spend some time in the Imaginarium, Shall we?

I can't wait for the computer to evolve into a small chip inserted in my head. Imagine the power of a computer and the vastness of the internet only a thought away. Drats, I was born too early. You younglings are sooooo lucky.

The women of the temperance movement.
Now I know what drove their men to drink :)

Ahh, the problems of the upper middle class.
Those of us in the lower middle class don't own an ice cream scooper.
The upper class have someone on staff to scoop their ice cream for them!

How to read the moods of your pets.


If there was anyone on the planet that needed a hug, it was him.

And a few more sights of Wonderland along our favorite lane.

Dorleea Eldora Pock is a teacher at Wonderland Elementary School and lives at 32 There and Back Again Lane in Wonderland. She lives in an vertical world and has done so ever since she was a young girl. She is under a doctor's care for a nervous condition. Part of her treatment is to introduce curves into her environment. Her new lamp shade arrived from the clinic's gift shop yesterday. She finds it difficult to relax with the serenity of her enviroment upset but realizes it must be done if she wishes to return to her classroom.

Her doctor's next goal is to introduce Dorleea to color. It is a bold step but one she must take if she wishes to return to work at Wonderland Elementary School.

Laura Livingston has been appointed to take Dorleea's place at Wonderland Elementary School. The students took to her immediately. She sings. She dances. She teaches them to use their imaginations.

"Paint," was the only thing Laura requested from the school's headmaster after being appointed to the position. "These blacks and whites must go."

You read it didn't you? There you go, breaking the rules. When will you stop?

This History of this house is there for all to see.

Ever feel like this?
I think it's a good thing.

I've spent my life looking for a cause. Perhaps I've found it :)

Sorry for the Long Post, but hey - I haven't posted for the entire week?

Mr. W.
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