The Creative Entrepreneur Page

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Creative Entrepreneur

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I was walking through the woods near JPL on my lunch hour the other day and I saw this tall gaunt man who appeared to be slowly rising up out of the ground.  When he was fully visible, he introduced himself as Doctor Himmel, and said, “Hello there, want to take a ride on one of my elevator rocks?  They only go down about one-hundred and ten feet; and it’s a very slow and safe ride.  And there are glowing walls at the bottom, so you can see some strange symbols all around you.”

As I swept my arm backward toward the science laboratories, I said, “Hi, I’m Bill, and I work at JPL, on our Mars colony resupply project.  The meetings were dragging me down to the point of distraction, so I decided to take a walk.  What’s your name, and do you work at JPL?"

"You’ll really enjoy the ride,"The Doctor said to divert my question, "And it’s very safe yet it is interesting down there.”

As I listened to him say those words in a matter-of-fact tone, it seemed more fantasy than fact.  I was stunned that anyone could or would do what he was doing.  Carefully checking him out and examining the two-by-two-foot square block with what looked like a small button in the middle of the block, he was standing on.  He gestured toward an empty rock and seemed to offer it to me.  The rock was near the edge of what appeared to be a very deep hole in the ground.  Edging closer but trying to keep a reasonable distance from this person who I thought might be a lunatic, I glanced down into the darkness.  The hole appeared to go straight down, and I thought, something’s really wacky here, people just don’t go floating around in air on rocks in the middle of nowhere, then descend and ascend into and out of a hole in the earth.  "You’re saying that you can stand on a small rock and float up and down in this tremendously deep hole?  This is not science fiction, Doctor Himmel, this is Southern California, where reality hits you hard in the face if you walk off the end of an uncompleted freeway construction or start thinking about dancing on the 10l at rush hour.”

“Nice analogy Bill, but this nothing like what you are imagining.  Step closer, you won’t fall in, and if you did trip or something, you could grab one of these other rocks and you’d be supported as if you are on solid ground; just like I’m doing.”  I was not sure of what I was looking at, but six feet away in the center of this fifty-foot-wide hole to nowhere, three other similarly sized rocks were jiggling as they floated just a few feet beyond the one rock platform that supported this mysterious person.

“Take a step, Bill; it’s perfectly safe.”

I bravely stepped off solid ground and on to that jiggling floating platform. It felt solid enough, so I jumped up and down just a bit to see what would happen.  The rock platform was as solid as Mother Earth.

Doctor Himmel moved his rock platform toward me by pressing his forward foot and glided over toward me to engage in what I could only imagine would be the strangest conversation someone in the woods could ever have.

“Wait a minute sir, could you explain that maneuver you just performed in simple Reader's Digest terms?"

"Bill, trust me.  I’m as surprised as you are. Like yourself I was walking here the other day and saw those stones floating in midair.  Gave one of them a slight tap with my shoe to see if it was a mirage or something.  They seemed supportive enough so I bent down and tried to push one with my hand to see if it would go tumbling down into the abyss.  No such luck.  They just moved a little bit and were very hard to move with my hand.

So just as you are doing now, I put my full weight on it and unbelievably didn't move, it just sat there jiggling.  The rock looked big enough to set both feet on it with some room to spare.  So, bravely I stepped onto it feeling stable enough to not panic.

“Are you ready for an afternoon adventure, Bill?  Just press your foot backwards.  You might feel a bit uneasy when the platform moves backward.  Then press forward on the front edge to go forward.  Touch the button in the middle of the rock and you will start to descend slowly and steadily.  Then punch the button again to rise up.  Don’t worry, everything about this process is safe."

I tried to descend a bit it with the button, then I pressed it a second time to rise.  Amazingly it worked. Bravely, I tried to descend once more. as I went down slowly with the light above getting dimmer and the size of the opening above getting smaller, and the walls starting to emit a pink glow I wondered what am i getting into?

And then down came Doctor Himmel. "What do think of this, Bill?"

"So far it's okay, the walls are getting brighter as we go deeper."

"That's the idea, when we get to the bottom, you will see some exciting stuff."

"Hope there is a solid surface, I'm not good at floating....

Ronald L. Lyons E-mail me or converse on Twitter © 2022, Ronald Lyons, all rights reserved. ÛP 

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