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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gang Colors at the Space Center? Staff Over Dosing on Chill Pills? A Debugged Phoenix? Bribery in the Galileo? Chairs Found Tipped on Stage? Passes Earned?

Hello Space EdVentures Fans,
     It's a change up from 'Hello Troops' just to keep things from becoming too routine.  Space EdVentures is the generic name I use to incorporate all the simulators that can trace their pedagogical genealogy back to the mother ship, the USS Voyager simulator at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.
   
The Weekend Space EdVentures News (and that's stretching it).

Farpoint Cadets Lissa, Zack and Jace.  The rest in the picture are unimportant :)

     And now for a bit of reporting fun.
     I made my reporter rounds Saturday afternoon and found the Magellan nearly ready to fly.  Connor was at the Flight Director station displaying Ute gang colors (look closely at the hat).  I made a formal protest to CMSEC director, Megan Warner.  I explained that such a gross violation of the public's trust would never have been tolerated under my watch as CMSEC founder and director.  She assured me that Connor's dabbling with dark side of dangerous gangs was experimental and she'd take time this week to 'sort him out'.
     "This is Utah County."  I wanted Megan to know that those of us who attended BYU claim this as our blue and white turf.  "There's more of us than them..... so, you WILL deal with this, right?"  She nodded and shot Connor a menacing expression.    


     Connor tried to explain that he found the hat in the Magellan Control Room and put it on just to try the fit.  "I don't know who's it is," he insisted.
     That's when I noticed the jar of Chill Pills sitting to his left on the counter.  Prescriptions that large are only given to Flight Directors who really really really get into their missions and need to calm down quickly when the story's pacing needs to shift from battle mode to quiet or scary mode.  They're also good for those times when you get a crew that just won't cooperate, and make the 2.5 hours you spend with them a living nightmare.
     "I'm going to need a few of those if I ever see Ute colors in this holy place I spent 22 years of my life building," I said.
     Connor removed the hat. "Understood," he mumbled.  I turned around to get another picture and heard him shaking the Chill Pill jar.  I turned just in time to see him downing a handful.  He was all about smiles and hugs the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening before the their calming effect wore off.


     Magellan Supervisor Jackie is settling in for a long afternoon and evening of missions.  She's got her blanket and cup of cookie dough to get her through.
     I noticed she wasn't sharing with the rest of the staff and volunteers.  "I only have one spoon," she selfishly explained.
     "That's OK, we can all use our fingers," I replied.
     "And that's NOT happening."  She past the cup to her beloved fiancee Bradyn for safe keeping.

The Phoenix and the Programmers.
     I found the remnants of the Space Center's old Programming Guild in the Phoenix simulator.  Ryan, Matt and Dillon were demonstrating the recent modifications and upgrades to the Phoenix's operating controls.
     "The fixes are finished.  Mercury Station is upgraded," Matt Long explained.  "This ship should work like a dream."  Matt thought for a moment before adding. "I'm thinking of adding flawless to the description, but that would be boastful and we know how much Fortuna hates boastfulness."
     Matt and his team are currently working on a set of new Magellan controls.  Their goals is to have the Magellan ready to fly the new controls come spring vacation.  

The remnants of the Programming Guild: Ryan, Matt and Dillon
Josh Anderson Flying the Odyssey

     I stopped in the Odyssey to say hello to Christine and found Josh Anderson in the flight director's chair!
     "What is this!" I said forcefully, yet quietly, so as not to disturb the mission.  "How long have you been flying the Odyssey?"
     Josh paused the mission long enough to answer.  "I was flight directing when you were the director. You hired me - remember?"  He went back to the mission.
     I felt the fool.  "And what a great flight director you were.......... AND are."  Hopefully that save got me out of trouble.  You don't want to be put in Josh's bad book, because once in, you're never out.

Josh flying the Odyssey II
The Galileo Resorts to Bribery
     I found the Erin, Nathan and Farpoint Cadet Scott enjoying chips and salsa in the Galileo Control area.
     "What is this?" I asked.
     "It's a Galileo thing," Erin answered while stuffing a few more salsa drenched chips into her mouth.
It's hard getting volunteers to come work with us.  The Galileo isn't always the 'fun' ship to work in, so we decided to start our own 'thing'.......... chips and salsa.  You work a Galileo mission, you get chips and salsa on the long five hour mission."
     "Does it work?" I asked Farpoint Cadet Scott.  He tried to answer but his mouth was too full.  He nodded and gave a healthy thumbs up instead.
     I was offered a plate of chips and salsa IF I volunteered to stay and work the rest of the Galileo mission.  I graciously declined.  There are some things I won't do.  A man's got his pride :)  



Some Things Just Never Go Away
     There are some Space Center habits that never die; stacking chairs every which way on the stage to create an away team obstacle course is one of them.  It was the bane of my existence when I directed the place and I see the tradition is holding on like fruitcake at Christmas.   I snapped a photo knowing all of you Space EdVentures fans would feel a twinge of nostalgia at the sight of those chairs and red curtains.  

Christine prepping Farpoint Cadet Isaac O. on the fine points of directing an Away Team on the Stage of  Many Chairs.
Farpoint Cadet Earns Magellan Bridge Pass
     I'm pleased to report that Farpoint Cadet Jake H., got his Magellan Bridge Pass on Saturday.  Shaking his hands on the bridge of the Magellan are Flight Director and Ute Gang Member Connor L., and Cookie dough Lover Jackie.   


     "I want to thank all the little people who helped me along the way," Jake said in his acceptance speech delivered to the other cadets as they cleaned the ship before shutting it down for the night.  
"Mr. Williamson most of all."  
     "I agree," Jackie chimed in.  It was hard to tell what she said.  Her mouth was full of cookie dough.  Connor was passed out in the doorway leading to the hall.  The nearly empty bottle of Chill Pills lay tipped over beside him.  

And in Other Space Center News, Jon Parker, Space Center Assistant Director,  Gets His Typing with One Finger Pass. 



     Don't let the picture fool you.  He was typing with once finger when I walked in the CMSEC office.  He put all his fingers on the keyboard when he saw I was taking a picture.

The Imaginarium
For those looking for an escape from the Ordinary



Protesters vs. Police

Things that Absolutely Drive you Bonkers!















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