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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two Level Three Flight Directors Discovered. Saturday at the Space Centers. The Imaginarium.

Two Level Three Flight Directors Discovered

     Last week I wrote about Mr. James Porter.  I mentioned that Mr. Porter was a Level 2 Flight Director - able to do two things at once, thus needing a second person to operate his lights during a Magellan mission.     In the article I mentioned that Level 3 flight directors were a dying breed.  I was wrong as you're about to see for yourselves.  

     May I present Jorden O.  Jorden is a Discovery Space Center flight director who also moonlights
at Party Land.  Jorden was flying an Endeavor mission when I caught him Level 3 Flight Directing!  Notice he has one hand on the sound mixer, one hand on the computer for screen and sound effects AND has his flight directing microphone skillfully positioned on his chest.  This is amazing.  I proclaim Jorden O., a Level Three Flight Director.  By the way, his fannypack with the disinfecting wipes, air mask, Lysol mini-spray bottle, and plastic gloves hung on a peg near the door - easily got to in case of a microscopic outbreak or the close proximity of someone breathing his air.    

     Conner L., is the other newly found Level 3 Flight Director as seen in the photo above flight directing a Magellan mission at the CMSEC. You'll notice one hand on the keyboard for music, one toe on the sound effects keyboard and a hand with the microphone.  Not to let Jorden share in the limelight, Conner let me in on a secret.  He is developing a headband with meter stick attachment to be used to control his own lighting.  That will make him a Level 4 Flight Director, something not even the greatest have pulled off.  I'll keep you informed of developments.

     Conner - the one man band - isn't too popular with the other Magellan staff.  Notice Natalie and Tabitha sitting with nothing to do because Conner was doing it all himself.  During a break in the Magellan story, I expressed by concerns about their job security.  Conner chuckled.  "Who needs 'em?  I've got my young clone right here," he said referring to his younger brother.  Collin smiled, leaned forward and whispered into Natalie's ear.  "You're going down," I overheard him say.

Saturday at the Space Centers

      Collin L., is the newest member of our Farpoint Voyagers Cadet Squadron.  I met him during my brief Saturday stopover at the CMSEC.  He was there for his last observation.  You are right to think he looks like someone you know.  Collin is the younger brother of Connor L., renowned DSC and CMSEC flight director.  Collin has decided to follow in his older brother's footsteps and see if the Space Center might be a perfect fit to occupy some of his free time.  Be sure to say "Hello" and "Welcome" to Collin when you see him next.  

     I didn't mean to disturb Andrew.  He was sitting quietly in the Magellan Control Room enjoying a good daydream when I burst in.  A crew of high school students had just loaded; it was their pre-Sadie Hawkins Dance activity.  
     Andrew is an outstanding Space Center employee who started as a volunteer several years ago as a youngling.  He works as a Magellan supervisor.  But deep down inside I sense Andrew would like to do more than supervise.  He looks comfy in that flight director's chair.  He seems to be well acquainted with the simulator's controls.  I believe Andrew was sizing out the chair for a possible lateral employment maneuver.  "Do the current Magellan flight directors have anything to fear?" I asked as he got up from the chair, moved around me, and sat in his normal place at second chair.
"Not as long as you keep what you saw to yourself," he cautioned while tapping an index finger against the side of his nose - the universal sign that he knows something I don't.   I told him mum was the word and his secret would go no farther, apart from you Troubadour fans, of course.  Keep what you've just read and seen to yourselves.    

      Phoenix Set Director Miranda is getting far too lax in her team expectations.  Here she is seen flight directing the Phoenix - FROM A STOOL!  Jordan, supposedly her subordinate, is sitting in the flight director's chair.  Notice he is also out of uniform.
     Could it be that Jordan is calling the shots in the Phoenix now?  Could Mr. Porter, CMSEC Director, have a potential staffing problem on his hands?  Does Miranda have the backbone to stand up to this usurper - this young claimant to power?  Can Jordan be shut down before he makes his next move?
     It may be too late for poor Miranda.  It appears Jordan's next move was already in play.  He brought in the heavy guns for this coup d'├ętat.  

      Why look at who "happened" to drop by for this particular Phoenix mission on Saturday - Christine Grosland, former CMSEC Superstar flight director and Odyssey Set Director.  She smiled for the photo, but let there be no doubt, Christine uses her broad smile as a disarming tactic.
     "Is Christine back?" I asked, speaking to her in the third person as I snapped the photo.
     Christine took no time in answering.  "I just thought I'd pop by. I heard Miranda was flying."  Jordan cleared his throat.  Christine got serious and went back to monitoring her second chair screen.  With that sudden cooling of the air, I thought it best to withdraw and shut the door.  Miranda is on her own now.  Will she survive the week as Phoenix Set Director?

     While all that was going on, Mr. James Porter and Mr. Matt Long were in the school's hallway examine two new switch panels for the Odyssey.  Matt will take the panels, use his electronic magic, and turn them into two cool activities for Odyssey crews.

      Finally, for old time's sake, I took this picture of Central's gym.  This was our (and still is for the current CMSEC staff) primary staging area for camps and home to many of our mission's landing parties.  The old time staff spent so much of their volunteering time setting up and taking down wrestling pads and folding chairs for phaser battles and away teams.  The gym was also one of our primary sleeping areas for the camps.  It is impossible to count all the times the staff and volunteers set up and took down cots for the overnight and summer camps. This was also the home to some of the fiercest Bombardment and Dodgeball battles ever fought on American soil.
     Good times for sure were had in this gym.

Mr. Williamson

 The Imaginarium

They exist as cookies and sewing supplies, until you open the can and observe.

A fountain designed by a student of the imagination.

One Awesome Watch.

Two buttons that tell the truth about politics.

Something for us Dr. Who and Harry Potter hybrids.

Having some imaginary fun with Disney and Potter

Your MisFortune Cookie

Get it? Trix and Illusions? Get it?
I'm lovin it.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Report on Today's Farpoint Voyager Club Meeting at Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space EdVenture Fans!
     Our Farpoint Voyager Club held a general membership meeting today at Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs.  DSim's Casey Voeks and BJ Warner were our guest speakers.  Casey outlined DSim's goals for the coming year. He spoke about the company's growth, with seven ships currently in operation, another under construction, and several more in various stages of discussion.  He stressed that all companies must focus on their core values and purpose.
     BJ Warner shared several screen shots of DSim's new top secret simulator station controls currently in development.  Our cadets were the first to see them outside a few core individuals within the company.  Impressive is an understatement.  They are expected to be installed in DSim's simulators before March 1.

The cadets were given a tour of Lakeview Academy's Leo simulator.  A few of our cadets are pictured above just as they exited the ship.  Mr. Mark Daymont, a long time contributor to The Troubadour's Space and Science News section, maneuvered into the shot and conducted a semi-successful photobomb.  

     This picture of several of the cadets outside the Leo genuinely represents their 'cheery' attitude. Our Farpoint Voyager cadets are generally a happy, talented bunch on their good days and wild on their worst.  Today was an insane day.  Seeing a simulator you've never seen before fires up the imagination.  Young adults are pretty good at keeping the lid on tight.  Younglings like the ones above need time to chill.  We had to leave this bunch outside the ship until they chilled appropriately. I had them picture their favorite furry pet.  "See yourself holding and loving it.  THEN SEE IT UNDER THE TIRE OF A PASSING CAR!" That calmed them down to the point where we could let them into the simulator and trust that nothing would be broken.
     The more reserved of the group were inside the ship.

     The older, calmer cadets posed for their portrait inside the Leo while the younglings worked through my attitude adjustment story outside.
     I want to thank Dakota (the young man in yellow) for providing my pay for the day.  "I'm not paid a dime to be here," I explained to the cadets during our meeting.  "All of the adults you see here today do this as volunteers because we see the value of experiential learning and want to make it available to everyone."
     Dakota came up to me during the a break. "Here," he said, "you're paid to be here now."  A bright shiny dime was in his outstretched hand.  I took the dime and thanked him for the compensation.
     An idea came to mind. "I'm not paid ten dollars to be here," I announced to the cadets hoping someone would follow up on Dakota's offering and cough up a ten dollar bill.  It was a risk that didn't pay off.      

It was a bit crowded on the Leo's bridge but we managed to almost squeeze in.

      Casey was kind enough to offer a few special missions in the Leo for our cadets in the upcoming months.  Keep an eye on the blog for dates and times.
      The Medical, Instrumentation, and Engineering cadets broke off from the pack to meet with their advisors for the last 45 minutes of the meeting.  The rest of the group joined me for a tour of the school.  We were impressed with the school but wonder about some of the students.  Their ghoulish Halloween self portraits show truly twisted minds :)

      I got a kick out of this sign outside Mr. Spencer's door.  Mr. Spencer must have a sweet tooth like me.  We enjoy our candy and use it to motivate our students to work and listen in class.  Sadly, candy cannot be doled out to everyone.  Imagine the drain on poor Mr. Spencer's wallet - especially on a teacher's salary!

     Thank you to all the cadets and adult advisors who attended today's membership meeting.  Another is scheduled for December 13th so mark your calendars and watch for further announcements.

Mr. Williamson    

The Imaginarium