It's been one of those days when the fool wakes up, opens the curtains and exclaims, "What a beautiful day! What could go wrong?"
His neighbor wakes up, sees the same sun kissed early morning clouds, hears his neighbor jinxing himself by drawing the Fortuna's attention and smiles, knowing what is spoken is heard and what is thought is private. Being wise to her ways, he silently marvels at nature's grandeur, knowing full well what the Madam of Mischief is capable of doing to those with sparkly optimistic dispositions.
I was the foolish man today. I spoke when I should have kept silent. We paid the price this evening with two power outages at the Space Center.
Le Madame de Mischief's first strike occurred at 5:00 P.M. just as our 4:00 and 4:30 P.M. missions were getting underway. Central school and its surrounding neighborhood was plunged into darkness after a lightning bolt hurled from Olympus struck a nearby transmission tower. I risked life and limb to step outside to survey the situation. There was nothing but cold pounding rain and wind. I quickly retreated back into the relative safety of the school, not wanting to give Fortuna another tempting target.
At 5:45 P.M. we told our crews to go home and returned their money. Returning money is difficult, its our life blood, but what could I do? They came to fly and we couldn't deliver - regardless of fault. The Center took nothing in yet had to paid the staff.
And just as we all predicted, the power came on just as we sent our campers home. Fortuna has a wicked sense of humor. At least we had electricity and the 7:00 P.M. Overnight Camp wouldn't be affected.
It was 6:40 P.M. The staff were in their loading places. I was about to give the order to open the doors and let the Overnight Campers in when the gym lights flickered and went out. We were once again plunged into darkness.
"Perfect, just perfect," I mumbled to myself and the demons swirling overhead. Not once in the Space Education Center's 21 year history have we ever had a power outage during one of our Friday night Overnight Camps. Action needed to be taken. I didn't want parents dropping their kids off and driving away. What if I had to cancel the camp? I asked Dave Daymont and Jon Parker to gather the campers and their parents in the lobby and front sidewalk while I went in search of Rocky Mountain Power's telephone number.
We had over 100 people mulling around the front of the school at 7:00 P.M., all waiting for a miracle. I hate being in charge during times like these. I prayed for a blessing. Someone up there took pity on us. At 7:05 P.M. the power returned! We started the simulators to check for damaged equipment (which happens on a regular basis with power spikes). At 7:10 P.M. I gave the "All Clear". The ships were in good condition. The doors opened and the camp was underway. We dodged another bullet aimed directly at us by "you know who, she who shall not be mentioned".
Update. It is now Saturday morning. I'm sitting in the Discovery Room with the staff enjoying our chocolate covered Walmart donuts. Rachel walks in with hands held together in front of her in prayer.
"The Galileo won't start right. It comes on then switches off. What do we do?"
My nose recoiled at the stench of Fortuna's perfume, Parfum de la Carcasse en Décomposition. Mischief was again afoot. Rachel and I fiddled with a few of the power strips under the Galileo's left bunk while Stacy shouted orders over Rachel's phone. We discovered a faulty power strip. I jiggled it a bit while promising Fortuna her pick of any of our new young volunteers as a sacrifice. Suddenly the power strip lit up. We were back in business. Now, who do I select as Fortuna's next whipping boy or girl? I promised her a new young volunteer. I hate being in charge........
Enough depression for one day. How about a few things from the Imaginarium? (you may click on them to enlarge the picture).
This poster is perfect. It reminds me that no matter how difficult our lifes, there are billions that have it worse.
And now a Star Wars reference or two.
My definition of "The Perfect Desk".
We've got a great bunch of campers tonight. They've gone to bed and fallen fast asleep. I appear to be the only one awake at 12:24 A.M. Jon and Casey are the Voyager chaperons. They may be up but I don't care. It is time to collapse.