Time to Vote!
When we set up our corporation, the Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc., we wanted to ensure that CMW would be run by our members, and not someone who has a chokehold on the function and future of our organization. To that end, CMW holds elections EVERY YEAR for 3 Board of Director members.
We are governed by a body of 9 Board of Directors. Each Director may serve for a 3-year term, and upon completion of one term, they may run again. But at the end of 6 years of serevice, they must step away. We do this to keep ideas and leadership young and fresh. We also do not want one individual to control the future of CMW. We want our participating, voting members to do that. And we don't want old worn out cronies to keep control. Right?
So with all that in mind, if you are currently a voting member, and qualified for the Corporate Date of Record in June, as a paying member, you will receive an email ballot tomorrow, August 11th. If we have your current and correct email address, it will be in your inbox sometime during the day. If you do not see it in the inbox, please check your spam/junk folder. It might have landed there. We do use the SurveyMonkey service, so your email service might deem it unworthly of your inbox. But once you are certain that you didn't receive your ballot, please reach out to me via email, and I'll get one off to you right away.
This year, there are 4 candidates. Each one of them is worthy of your consideration. their biographies are included in the ballot so you can make a careful consideration of each of them. Please vote for a total of 3 out of the 4 candidates.
The election closes on midnight (C.S.T.) of September 11, 2019. The candidates will be contacted about the outcome and then the results will be announced by our Secretary on the website, on our facebook page, in our Diaspora, and in the Loch Sloy!
And with that, I wish each candidate the best of luck!
Scotland and the Space Race
Dad worked for NASA in the 60’s. He moved us from Waldwick, New Jersey to Merritt Island, Florida when he took a position, with countless other engineers, at the Kennedy Space Center.
Some of my best memories from my childhood are from the years we lived in Florida. We lived in what I considered a mansion, but in reality, was a 4-bedroom ranch home that backed up to the Indian River citrus orchard, and was close enough to the Banana River, I could picnic on a dock and reel in blow fish any time I wanted to. I try to push back the memories of the nasty mosquitos, palmetto bugs, hurricanes and snakes. I remember long bike rides down island and exploring new construction homes and pick-up games of baseball with other kids in the neighborhood. Those were great memories from an important time in our lives.
So many of the kids in my then 5thand 6thgrade classes had parents who also worked for NASA. Our teachers made a point of ensuring we were outside on the playground whenever there was a rocket launch. The playground would fill with children looking towards the sky waiting to see the tell-tale sign of the trail of smoke from each launch. We vied to be the first to spot the rocket. As the earth rumbled, we all knew our parents were part of something really important. We had no idea just how important.
50 years later, I have a much better sense of just how important the space race was and continues to be. As Steve and I cleared out the last few boxes from the garage that once held all my Dad’s “stuff” we found one box that had been squished among other prized possessions (blow-up rafts, duct tape, various nuts and bolts, and golf shoes). I glanced through the box and decided it alone would be the one box I would take to our new home on wheels to see what was inside. I’m glad I did. Inside was a small posted envelope from the 16thof July 1969 (50 years ago) with the Apollo 11 emblem, postmarked from Kennedy Space Center, to my Dad. We had moved back to New Jersey in 1968, and a fellow engineer had posted it the day Apollo 11 launched. A small note inside told my Dad “… hang onto this it might be worth something someday.” I gave the envelope to my younger child, who in turn just donated it to the NASA International Space Museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The museum was very pleased to receive it. Due to the timely receipt of their new acquisition, it will be on display with other Apollo 11 items this weekend to commemorate the launch 50 years ago. I’m so glad my Dad kept it.
No doubt some of us are old enough to relive the moment we watched American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the moon. Do you remember where you were when you watched that moment? I do. Music Camp, University of Kansas (French horn).
But what does all this walk down memory lane have to do with Scotland? Well… it turns out that Scotland has recently taken a very active part in the Space race. A quick search for Scotland and the Space Race reveals that Glasgow is a leader in Europe. Cally Russel has written a nice article in Forbes that you can read in detail here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/callyrussell/2019/03/06/glasgow-from-ships-to-the-space-race/#562f0854b598
Companies such as Clyde Space, Alba Orbital have been taking the lead. Producing as many as 6 small satellites a month, Scotland has certainly taken their seat at the table of countries that will be at the forefront of space exploration.
Glasgow has produced more satellites in the last 2 years than any other city in Europe, and Scotland will also be home to the UK’s first Spaceport. Located in Sutherland (A'Mhòine peninsula), it will be optimal for satellite shots for polar orbits and more. Wiki has good information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutherland_spaceport
With the uptick in the number of satellites produced in Glasgow, there is also the need to analyze the data that is gleaned by the satellites. So this is the other large role Scotland is participating in. Bird.i, a start-up, is providing new data that will update some of the now outdated Google Maps imagery. (8 years old data, in some cases.)
Universities in Glasgow are also taking a lead in the exploration of space. Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities have world-class facilities focusing on space. They’ve opened up to companies to provide commercial opportunities in Scotland.
So, although I always think of Florida when I think of the space program, it is wonderful to realize that Scotland has stepped up to take a lead a short 50 years after that moment in time we all remember.
Thank you Neil and Buzz and Michael Collins.
If visiting the U.S., you can take a plane, train or automobile (motorcycle, car, RV) to get around. And if you take the train, that would be our AMTRAK. You can visit their website to see about various excursions, prices and much more at : https://www.amtrak.com/home.html. And if you want to dig deeper, check out the history of America's Railroad at: https://history.amtrak.com/amtraks-history I happen to use Amtrak to travel from Lawrence, Kansas to Albquerque, New Mexico when visiting my children. I enjoy the very tiny private compartment due to the overnight trip. I can't say a traveler can plan on a good night's rest. Every little town that the train travels through gets the obligatory blast of the train's horn. So while traveling in Western Kansas, in particular, there are lots of little towns that must be warned of the train "a'coming," even at 2:00 a.m. Most folks eating breakfas in the dining car in the morning, look a little bit travel weary.
Randy and Cheryl MacFarland and Steve and I took a train in Scotland from Bridge of Allan to Stirling during one of our visits. Although just a short jaunt, it was fun to experience the train. According to my favorite website on all things of Scotland: https://www.visitscotland.com/travel/getting-around-scotland/train/. There are connections to Scotland's seven cities. But there are numerous other trains connecting travelers from small locations to the larger cities.
There are 3 types of tickets: Anytime; Off-Peak; and First Class. Per Visiting Scotland:
Anytime tickets are unreserved standard class tickets which can be used at all times of day.
Off-Peak tickets allow for cheaper travel during specific hours when the trains are not as busy.
First Class tickets allow for travel in carriages with extra space, electrical sockets for laptops etc, and sometimes include complimentary refreshments.
To get to the ticket website, go to the Scotrail page: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/leisure
Feel free to Bring Rover With You.
You can bring your pet with you. The Scotrail page says you can bring 2 of your pets with you, but you must have them on a leash, even if they are a turtle! https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/stations-and-facilities/luggage-and-pets
For the Young of Heart Too
You can bring your elderly parents with you too... No leash is required, but if you want to save money, check out the BritRail Pass with discounts if your family members are over 60 (a whopping 15% discount). https://www.britrail.net/passes/britrail-pass. Oh! And if you are between the age of 16 and 25, you can get a 20% discount. If you are under the age of 5 and reading this - you are a terrific reader! But you can also travel for free. And if you are between the ages of 5 and 15, and if you bring an adult with you, you too may travel for free. (Looks like if you travel by yourself and under the age of 5, you are free... check out the link.)
Happy travels! And if you haven't looked at the information on our website about the trip to Scotland and/or Ireland for 2020, make sure you take some time to scroll around to see it!