July 9th, 2013

Break free from the summer lull and get to know our very own Orbital Drop Shock Trooper – Booster MPS. Not only will you learn just what in the world “MPS” means and hear more about his time at NASA, but you get to see pictures of a Gunslinger falling beside him while in a free fall 10,000 feet above earth. Read on and learn about our Most Interesting Man of Midworld.

FaithKeeper: Sir Booster. It is your turn to step up to the mic. Welcome to the Gunslinger Spotlight.
Booster: Thanks FK, appreciate the opportunity. Do I have to use the microphone?
FaithKeeper: There’s still some Pony sammich crumbs on it, so use at your own risk….
Booster: Yeah, he asked me to speak into a microphone one time and …….well. Never mind. Continue!
FaithKeeper: So I’ve always wondered, what does the “MPS” stand for in your GT? Speaking of, how’d you settle on Booster?
Booster: Ah. So MPS is an acronym for Main Propulsion System.
My call sign when I worked at NASA was the MPS officer
I worked on the Booster team for space shuttle and the leader of the team on console was the Booster officer. On the coms when addressing him the call would be “Booster, MPS” as in “Booster, this is MPS”. I said that thousands of times over my career so it seemed fitting when I chose my gamer tag.
Who knows, maybe I will sell out and go TTL Booster one day. One day.
FaithKeeper: That is actually a perfect lead-in to my next question….
TTL Goose wanted me to ask if there’s hope you will one day join us sellouts. The water is warm!
Booster: Ah so you have been talking to that guy? That guy? Seriously he is good in my books and one of my fave Gunslingers to deal lead with. Let’s just say that it has crossed my mind because I owe a lot to TTL. The Gunslingers are a great community and my gaming experience would not be the same. Either way, my identity will always be as a Gunslinger.
FaithKeeper: Gunslinger strong since Mar. 23, 2007!
Booster: Yes indeed! Seems like just yesterday.
FaithKeeper: Time flies when you’re having fun!
Booster: Indeed, time flies.
FaithKeeper: So take us through your journey to where you are now as a gamer.
Booster: I am one of those gamers that has roots going back to pong on a black and white TV. I have also pushed my share of quarters into coin slots in arcades. You could say that I was gamer from day one and have always enjoyed console gaming. In my book there is nothing like a great campaign to draw you into a story so I am one of those gamers that puts equal weight on the campaign portion of gaming as well as multiplayer. As for TTL, like many I found TTL through the HBO front page with the articles linking to the web site. At the time I was playing a lot of Halo 2 so there was a natural synergy there. My passion for competitive and strategic gaming with good communication was a great fit with the way the Gunslingers prepared and planned (forming teams/squads etc).
FaithKeeper: Pong on a black and white TV! That’s old school!
Was your first FPS “Duck Hunt”?
Booster: Yup, pretty much! Never thought of it that way.
FaithKeeper: That damn dog still haunts my dreams…
Booster: So why could you never put a cap in him?
Developers missed out on an opportunity there.
FaithKeeper: That would have been a solid bonus level.
You mentioned your GT stemmed from your time working with NASA, which is pretty damn cool. Tell us about that experience.
Booster: It was a great experience for me starting out my career as an engineer. I was fortunate to have a lot of cool experiences. The first mission that I flew, STS 76 we flew out of the old control center that was used for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo (picture all of the flashing lights and push buttons on the consoles). That was the last mission flown from that control room. The next mission that I flew STS 77 was the very first launch from the new control center that is in use today for ISS. Being a part of that time frame is one of my favorite memories because we developed all of the software and console tools that were used for the remainder of the Shuttle missions.
I also worked very closely with many, many astronauts as coworkers preparing for launch.
FaithKeeper: I cannot do justice with words to say how cool that is.
Booster: It was a great job and very rewarding. It was awesome to work my shift and get off at the crack of dawn and go home and see my launch replayed on CNN and think, “Yup, that is what I did at work today.” Lots of good memories and I truly enjoyed the technical aspects of the system that I was responsible for (external tank, SRB’s, cryogenic systems, and gas systems). I had all the fun toys outside of the main engines themselves.
FaithKeeper: I don’t know too many people that can turn on the news and see their day’s work in action. Incredibly awesome, man.
So what is our resident rocket scientist up to these days?
Booster: Well I made a pretty big shift with the career. It was tough to leave but I fell in love with the finance world after grad school. Having a background as an engineer the commodity world became my passion, specifically power and natural gas. So most recently I have worked in valuation, origination, development and M&A roles in the energy sector. I like to structure transactions and work acquisitions and business development opportunities.
FaithKeeper: Wow, man. That sounds like an awesome new gig and an exciting career change. As we continue to look at developing alternative energy, are we going to be seeing your work on the news again?
Booster: My projects don’t make the big headlines. There is a wind project in west TX that I helped acquire that is operational. A few years ago I worked on a huge compressed air energy storage project in Norton Ohio (shout out to Pony) that ended up getting sold and unfortunately was not built.
FaithKeeper: We’ll be cheering you on as you continue to venture into this new endeavor.
OK, question rapid fire time!
Booster: Ready!
FaithKeeper: Sweet or spicy?
Booster: Spicy. The hotter the better.
FaithKeeper: Chocolate or vanilla or strawberry?
Booster: Age old question……got to go with Vanilla.
FaithKeeper: Do it yourself or call the experts?
Booster: My favorite tool is my credit card. Call the experts. I will leave the DIY to Goose.
FaithKeeper: FPS or RPG?
Booster: FPS, easy choice for me there.
FaithKeeper: If TTL Goose walked up to you and loudly exclaimed “Roll Tide!”, you would ________ .
Booster: check my shoes to make sure I didn’t step in it. War Damn Eagle!
FaithKeeper: What’s your favorite smartphone app?
Booster: Great question. Day to day I really like Evernote for capturing info. I love music and constantly capture screen shots of things that I am interested in. During football season it’s the Yahoo Fantasy app – huge fantasy football booger eating nerd.
FaithKeeper: Yeahhhhhh buddy! Watch out for my guy Doug Martin, aka the Dougernaut, this year. Dude’s going to be BEAST!
Booster: No doubt!
FaithKeeper: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Booster: Given a ticket and the time I would visit some of the famous symphony houses in Europe, particularly Austria. I think I would have to work in some F1/Moto GP and soccer while I was there.
FaithKeeper: Name an item in your house you couldn’t live without.
Booster: Hands down my stereo. I am a big two channel audiophile nerd and love listening to music.
FaithKeeper: What food will you never get tired of?
Booster: Got to go with steak. Ribeye all day long.
FaithKeeper: Preach it!
Speaking of cooking, tell us about your love of fine foods and bringing it all together in the kitchen. Do you share TTL Radiomond’s affinity for Wolfgang Puck?
Booster: Not so much a Puck guy. I will recommend a guy that you can find on YouTube that goes by the handle of FoodWishes. Quanti and I have tried some of his recipes and they are excellent and easy to execute. Rouxbe is a great place to go for more technical help. I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen and enjoying good food and wine.
FaithKeeper: Speaking of wine, I hear you are a wine aficionado. What are your current favorites?
Booster: The big brands are fine but I really like finding smaller production wines that drink just as well. I really like the Terra Valentine Cab, Bremer Merlot, and the Hartwell Cab.
FaithKeeper: Mrs. FK and I are starting to really get into wine, so I’ll add these to the list!
Booster: Cool, let me know what you think.
FaithKeeper: Big philosophical question coming up….
Booster: Hit me!
FaithKeeper: Would you rather date a celebrity or go out with that cute girl in town that you’ve got your eye on?
Booster: Ah, the sneaky hot cute girl wins every time (unless you have Alice Braga just layin’ around and then I gotta go rethink this strategy)
FaithKeeper: There’s an exception to every rule, and Alice Braga is a mighty fine exception.
Most of us know of your love for parachuting, where did that interest come from and where are you at with that it now?
Booster: You know it was one of those things that I thought I would check the box with by doing a tandem jump. I did two tandems and was curious enough to start the student program. I really was not sure if it was something I would stick with but found a lot of encouragement to stay in the sport as I was finishing the student program and I was starting to have a lot of fun. Today I have about 530 jumps, mostly formation skydiving stuff revolving around teams or organized groups. I have been pretty focused on my career for the last couple years so I have not jumped but I plan to be back soon.
FaithKeeper: I didn’t know that! Very cool! From bucket list to hobby list.
Booster: Exactly
FaithKeeper: Any cool parachuting stories?
As if jumping from an aircraft at 5,000 feet from earth isn’t a cool enough story…..
Booster: Try 14,000…
A favorite story that is close to home was getting a certain Gunslinger out and jumping with him – pictures to follow!
Seeing a friend’s face in free fall for the first time never gets old!
FaithKeeper: I can imagine that first look of terror and excitement is priceless.
Booster: Exactly, that look when you see somebody at the point of no return is awesome. Some other good jumps have been helicopter jumps, some – ahem, bandit jumps on the beach in Galveston, and jumping large formations out of tailgate aircraft into the Ballunar hot air ballon festival are favs.
FaithKeeper: You are a special kind of awesome, sir.
Booster: Booster, Awesome < FK Beard
FaithKeeper: You flatter me. However, my beard is my backup parachute if push comes to shove.
Booster: So that is what you have been stashing in there. Got it.
FaithKeeper: As you mentioned earlier, this place is pretty special. What do you appreciate most about Tied The Leader?
Booster: The camaraderie is the best thing about TTL. We have put together an awesome group of guys that are solid from top to bottom. It's great to be able to land in a city and meet a Gunslinger in RL and it is an awesome experience. I met Chae, Deej, Goose, and Jericho just like that and had a great time. Good people, great gamers and I look forward to meeting more in person soon.
FaithKeeper: Well put. Some of the coolest people the internet has to offer call Midworld home, including our very own Orbital Drop Shock Trooper himself, Booster.
Booster: Thank you sir, I am glad to call Tied The Leader home.
Now a question for you
FaithKeeper: Ooh, what a twist!
I'm ready…
Booster: What team does Dwight Howard call home next year?
FaithKeeper: Ugh. I've been on pins and needles all day stressing about it. As always with D12 there are too many conflicting rumors to follow, so I'll just wait in anticipation until something happens. I fear he's going to Houston, but I'm clinging to hope that my Lake Show is still in the mix.
Booster: As a Houstonian and Rocket fan I am torn. Of course you want the talent, but you know going into this you know that it won't end well. DH is a teenage girl when it comes to this whole process.
We will see.
FaithKeeper: So true, man. Drama seems to follow the man.
Booster: And it always will.
FaithKeeper: Before we conclude, I want to put it out there, TTL Booster does sound mighty fine….
Booster: Thank you, I will have to give that TTL Booster thing some additional thought.
FaithKeeper: TTL Booster = WIN
Booster: TTL Booster has a ring to it. We will see!
Booster: Breaking news……DH to Rockets.
“ We have a winner. MT @sam_amick: DHoward has chosen to sign with Rockets, @USATODAYSports has learned. Story to come- http://ow.ly/mH7dN”
FaithKeeper: 🙁
FaithKeeper: Thank you for joining us for another edition of Gunslinger Spotlight. I have a jersey I need to go set aflame. TTL Booster, it was a pleasure getting to hear a little bit more about your quest to be the most interesting man in the world!
Booster: Thanks FK, this was a lot of fun and thanks for giving me the opportunity to chat and do this! – Booster out!