Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school. Director@SpaceCampUtah.org

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Starting the New Year as Any Good Procrastinator Should. Ten Years Ago This Week at the Space Center. Test Flight at the New Space Center. The Imaginarium Theater.

Good Morning Troops!
     It is Sunday, January 3.  I'm sitting at my desk here at the Fortress of Solitude pondering everything I didn't do over the holiday break; all those things on my pre-holiday to do list that seemed so easily accomplished but so difficult to execute once my time was really my own.  Sigh......  
     I looked back in The Troubadour's Archives and found the post below from 2011. Reading it again has given me the courage to shamefully step out of the shadows and confess to all that I am a holiday procrastinator from each cell in my body to the very essence of my character. 
      Considering that 2020 was a train wreck worldwide, I take great solace in still being upright and sane. I will not begrudge the fact that I took time to sit and read a favorite book or two, watch a few favorite TV shows, scan and publish pages from Central's historical albums, do a weekly Imaginarium Theater, and entertain and enjoy a house full of joy, excitement, and many children's voices.  
     Perhaps the slight guilt I feel for neglecting a task or two could best be remedied by rewording my holiday to-do list in the future.

        Christmas Holiday To Do List for 2021
          1.  Rest and sleep in for as long as you can.
          2.  Read a book or two for no other reason than 
                escapism.  
          3.  Enjoy family and friends. When they call, drop 
               whatever I'm doing and join in. 
          4.  Enjoy long phone conversations with far away 
               friends and family.
          5.  Nibble away at those delicious holiday treats. 
               Christmas comes but once a year.
          6.  Everything Else if time allows, knowing there 
               is plenty of time from January on to do
               most of the Everything Else's.

     There you go, next year's holiday guilt free to-do list complete.  
     I'm hoping you all have a wonderful New Year. I'm praying 2021 will bring peace and prosperity to you and yours.  To liberally quote the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Happy New Year!
Victor    

Ten Years Ago. From The Troubadour's Archives

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2011

Procrastinators of the World, Unite!



Hello Troops,
     I'm sitting at home shell shocked and attempting to come to terms with the fact that this is my last day of leave before I pick up my kit and splosh through the slush and muck, across field and forest, to rejoin my comrades in the trenches at the Space Center. Ignorance is once again to be battled. Our holiday truce is concluded. One more good meal tonight, then it's a steady diet of rations; warm beans (if we can make a fire) perhaps flavored with a bit of pork rind. The brown water the cook calls coffee will wash it down.
     I had great expectations for this Christmas vacation. There was a list of things I'd hoped to accomplish but didn't. There's a little angel sitting on my right shoulder right now, chastising me for my laziness. There's a little devil sitting on my left shoulder congratulating me for slacking off. My current headache is the result of their quarrel.
     "That list will have to be done. You've just procrastinated," the angel is saying to me.
     "There's always tomorrow," the devil just countered.
     

     Sometimes you just need to just stop on life's busy highway and vegetate. Sometimes you need to grab a hot cup of whatever and just stare. I've been known to stare out the window or at a point on the wall or at people I don't even know or at that box in the living room (whether it's on or off). I let my brain drift to find its own course, taking me along for the ride. Of course this kind of mental adventuring requires a great deal of sustenance. Frequent trips to the kitchen provide the fuel and Christmas time is always the best time to find the most delicious mental fuel laying about.
     I noticed my belt has shrunk over the past two weeks. Cheap leather is the only explanation. I'll have to either purchase a new belt or make fewer trips to the kitchen. Hummmmmm, I hate tough choices.

Space Center News:
  • The Galileo is about to get a new set of simulator controls. Our Programming Guild has been working for months creating ship controls in Cocoa (Apple's language for the iPad and iPhone).
  • The Magellan has a couple new large signs to dress up its blank white walls. We hope to have more made.
  • The Phoenix's Control Room was reorganized. The Phoenix staff have more counter space now.
  • I took a few minutes yesterday and started up the Voyager. The Voyager has a personality of its own and if it's neglected too long (like the past two weeks) it has been known to throw a bit of a temper tantrum (meaning something won't work, either a computer or sound mixer or monitor). I spoke nicely to the ship before I started anything. I turned on the lights, went up to the bridge and explained why we've been gone for so long. I told her that she was never forgotten during our absence and how excited we all were to come back. With fingers crossed I started to turn everything on. I'm happy to report that the Voyager responded well to my soliloquy. Everything ran perfectly. Fingers crossed I get the same results tomorrow when the field trip arrives.

Test Flights at the New Christa McAuliffe Space Center!  The New Fleet Prepares to Launch.


On December 19th we ran our first test flight for our new simulators. There were still a few bugs to work out with lighting and engineering panels to finish assembling, so it was a 95% completed set. Thank you to the Carlson crew for being our test subjects.
So many hours of work went into preparing for that first flight and it would take too long to thank all who helped make it possible. That being said a huge thanks goes to Natalie and Tabitha for staffing the Odyssey. Jon for all the odd jobs related to getting all the ships ready. Nathan for programming and building our subsystem panel. Matt for troubleshooting a wide variety of projects.
We are so grateful to all the staff and volunteers who have worked hard to get us one step closer to flying again. To the many who are eagerly waiting for your chance to fly again, stay tuned. It won't be long now.
To read more visit the Space Center's Facebook Page:

The Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience


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