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Friday, November 11, 2011

A Few Items of Space Center News and Commentary.

Before we get started with today's post, I'd like to draw your attention to a gift left on my desk Friday morning from my union. My life at a glance!

Hello Troops,

Yesterday's warmth is making a speedy easterly exit up and over the mountains, leaving us venerable to the whims of an approaching cold front. I'm glad I wore my jacket as I made the outside rounds checking for unlocked doors.

Earlier Friday evening our conscientious neighbors fouled the air with backyard leaf burning Druid ritual fires. Their chanting doesn't bother us, nor their peculiar robes. What is bothersome is the smoke from their fires, drawn into the school through our air conditioner's air handlers. I'm seriously tempted to call in the Christian Brothers to squash the heretics.

The school's air conditioners stop compressing air to conserve electricity when the outside temperature drops below 54 degrees. Dampeners automatically open, drawing cold outside air into the school for cooling. We breath our neighborhood's sooty mixture all day. There is no escape. I'm consistently asked if I just returned from a camping trip when people smell my clothes. I understand the logic behind this cooling system, but cooling by bringing in outside air is a poor system for places like Pleasant Grove where half our homes are heated by buffalo chips and high sulfur coal.

We had a few reasons to shake hands and celebrate over the past few weeks.

I'm shaking Nathan's hand and congratulating him for receiving his One Year Pin. Nathan was unaware of significance of the Honor, hence the look of confusion.
"You've been with us one year!" I explained.
"Have I?" Nathan queried.
"You have," I answered.
"Have I?"
"Yes, you have."
"Have I really?"
"Nathan, you've been here one year so stand still so I can pin this on."
"What is it?"
"Its your Year Pin."
"Is it?"
"Yes it is."
"Oh is it?"
"Yes Nathan. IT is!"

Good Grief.


I'm shaking Christine Grosland's hand after successfully pinning a 5 Year Pin on her collar.

"Any words of wisdom you'd like to share with everyone?" I asked. Christine looked confused. Then a calmness overcame her as she pulled something from the very essence of her consciousness.

"Do not touch the sides of the door because you might be electrocuted. And, ah.... we're out of left thumbs in our box of spare parts. I think we have plenty of right thumbs........"

"You're good Christine. Sit down."


This is me pinning Rachel's 5 Year Service Pin onto her collar. We were both so overcome with emotion that a bit of something unpleasant escaped. Such things are a common occurrence for me whenever I climb stairs or stand up quickly. I attribute it to my advanced age.

It is difficult to identify the culprit. Of course I was blamed, but now that I examine the picture I'm starting to wonder. Let's just say it was the shortest pinning in Space Center history.
(Sorry Rachel, the pictures was just too good. Rachel is an awesome sport. I hope..)


This is Stacy receiving her 10 Year Service Pin. People tell me I have an electric personality. I've never believed them, until now. I think it was the combination of a thunder storm, my hand in contact with a metal pin in close proximity to Stacy's collar bone and a sudden lightening strike that generated the voltage.

Stacy has nearly recovered. She still slurs a few words, but other than that, she's 80% of her former self.


I'm offering my hand to Megan after awarding her 10 Year Service Pin. My gesture was immediately refused.

"How long have you owned that hand?" she asked.

"53 years," I answered.

"Have you sanitized recently?"

"It's been an hour or so."

"OH THE HUMANITY!" Jorden shouted from the back of the room where he stood with his back firmly planted against the wall. Everyone at the Space Center gives Jorden a wide berth, knowing his fear of germs and viruses. Jorden unzipped his black fanny pack and pulled out his face mask and hand sanitizer. In seconds he successfully removed his can of Lysol spray from a custom made holster and sterilized the air around him.

Megan smiled, waved me off, took a bow and returned to her seat.



Megan and Stacy wanted a picture together celebrating 10 Years at the Space Center.


Megan and Stacy started at the Space Center when they were very young. They loved playing aliens and perfected the 'alien face' our volunteers still use to this day.



This is Dave Daymont shaking Nathan's hand. Nathan recently completed his Phoenix passes.
"Did I?" Nathan asked.
"Yes you did." Dave responded.
"Did I really?"
"Yes, Nathan. You really got your Phoenix pin?"
"Oh did I?"
"You did."
"When did I do that?"
"Today, during the camp."
"Did I?"
"Yes you did."
"Did I really."


This is Dave Daymont shaking Nicole's hand. Nicole was awarded a Phoenix Pin. Nicole has the strongest grip of anyone working at the Space Center, and only releases after the first bone breaks.

Dave knew her award day was coming. In anticipation of the event, Dave spent the last few evenings studying the proper technique for administering the Vulcan Death Grip. He planed on administering the shoulder pinch right before the pain from her grip became unbearable. This picture was taken just before Nicole bore down. Dave applied the grip. Nicole loosened the tourniquet. The stand off lasted more than five minutes before I called it a draw.


This is Devin congratulating Logan for earning his Odyssey Pin. That is not a look of joy in Logan's eyes.
Devin is standing right next to him.
Devin looks a bit off center, if you know what I mean.
Devin has his hand on Logan's lanyard. The lanyard hangs around Logan's neck.
Devin chases loose chickens around Alpine.
Enough said.


Finally, I'm giving Jack his year pin. Jack is afraid of pins and needles. I believe it stems from a horrible accident involving a pet cat and a pair of knitting needles.

I successfully attached his pin to his lanyard only after taking him through a series of breathing exercises. Just before I reached for his lanyard I ordered him to shut his eyes. This picture was snapped shortly before he passed out.
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