Dick's Blog

“Walmart Stargate”, Chapter 45 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”, A Free Book

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MY LOCAL STARGATE TRAVEL AGENCY (If you think that Walmart is big now, wait till they get into the travel business)

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A VERY LARGE ARRAY (VLA) ANTENNA LOOKING FOR INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

Next Week, “Too Many in the Shower”, Chapter 46 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”

Update:  

The next 24 chapters and weekly posts are devoted to the subtle humor I find in life. Humor, especially the self effacing kind and not taking life too seriously, is what many humorists and comedians use to survive their own depression. I am no exception. What follows is “Walmart Stargate”, “Too Many in the Shower”, “Non Indigenous Species”, “Welcome to Oinkville” and many more. Hold on to your funny or silly bone and picture the images and pictures I paint with words. Welcome to my world!

Walmart Stargate

On a recent trip to Arizona and New Mexico, we visited the National Radio Astronomy Observatory or Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico. The observatory provided some of the background scenes for the movie, Contact, with Jodie Foster, based on the novel of the same title by Carl Sagan, who was a strong proponent for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence or SETI. The book was on sale in their small visitor center gift shop. Coincidently, the movie was being played on a local channel at our motel the next night. I’m sure the movie gets a lot of play in the area, good for the tourist trade. The story is about the discovery of an extraterrestrial intelligence radio message recorded by the VLA. A gigantic transporter machine is built according to the plans transmitted in the message. Human contact is made with an advanced civilization on a distant solar system. It’s a very good movie.  

We also visited the Kitt Peak National Observatory west of Tucson, home to many optical telescopes, a solar observatory, radio telescopes and new observatories being constructed for studying mysterious gamma ray bursts in the universe. The Kitt Peak Observatory is located on Indian reservation land. Permission was granted by the Indians to locate the observatory near their sacred land because the objective of the work performed here is to better understand God’s handiwork. We all have the same God. No question, the enthusiastic scientists we met and talked to on our tour seemed like reverent and spiritual people.

With this prologue, you will better understand where my mind was when I walked into a Walmart store in Tucson, Arizona. I had purchased a pair of sunglasses for my vacation at the Walmart store in Cromwell, Connecticut. Halfway through our vacation, one of the stems broke off. I didn’t have the sales slip, but my wife suggested that we visit a local Walmart and see what they could do for us. Boy was I surprised! They exchanged the broken pair with no question. Have a nice day!

The major surprise occurred when I walked into the air-conditioned store. Everything was familiar. The aisles and merchandise were identical to the store at home. I could have closed my eyes and felt my way to the counter where they sell sunglasses. The sunglass racks were the same, the same prices, and the same selection. I had this eerie feeling that when I left the store I would be in Cromwell, Connecticut. Even weirder, I could walk out this store and be anywhere on Earth where there is a Walmart store. Weirder still, I imagined that I had walked into a store on a different world. Should I look around at my fellow shoppers and see if they had five fingers on each hand. How many fingers did ET have?

In Contact, scientists built this multibillion-dollar machine or stargate, two in fact, to travel to an alien world. Why not just send the plans for a Walmart store out into space. Build them all over the world and universe. Because of the speed of light, the rate of spreading of Walmart stores throughout our Galaxy will take some time, a hundred thousand years to get to the other side of the Milky Way, but it’s a start. You walk into a store. There is this mild feeling of disorientation, but no nausea. You step up to the counter selling travel tickets. You tell them which gate, swipe your VISA card and you walk out into a different city or new world. If you think that Walmart is big now, wait till they get into the travel business.

Next Week, “Too Many in the Shower”, Chapter 46 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”

 

Dick Sederquist is a retired engineer, engineering consultant, writer, author, hiker, motivational speaker and cancer and depression survivor. Dick suffered an emotional breakdown 35 years ago, realizing that he had been depressed all his life. That started his long journey back to mental health and happiness. Dick writes motivational and inspirational nonfiction short stories and essays for general audiences on many topics including life, family, humor, spirituality, nature, science, his volunteer prison experiences, hiking and travel adventures, depression, overcoming adversity, and what the author refers to as “home improvement”, healing the mind and body we live in. Dick and his wife have been married 50 years; have two grown children and four grandchildren, all part of a close-knit, active, caring and loving family. The whole family believes that the greatest gift in life is helping others.

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