Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Visit www.GlobalOrgasm.org for more info on the event. Enjoy.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
So... all the peripherals get installed on the spare 302 sitting in the corner, he rents an engine hoist (for 4hrs), thinking we'll just pull out the old and drop in the new - piece of cake. Well, the old motor does indeed slip right out - remember it's now stripped. But the new motor, complete w/heads, valve covers, etc, does not slip right in, not even close.
He tinkered w/it for 1½ days before I chimmed in w/my observations about the need for the angles to match (the angles of the dangling motor, and the transmission shaft). Notice I said "observations" because I rarely "help" in the garage. So, he made some adjustments (to the angles), and then I lowerd the engine as he guided it easily into the mounts, in perfect alignment with the transmission housing. We really do make a good team - even if he's not always quick to see it that way.
And then, the nice lady at ABZ Equipment Rental didn't even charge him for the overage for having had the hoist for two days. People here are so nice. :)
Monday, November 13, 2006
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
And now it is my turn and so, here I am."
But my wife sends me pictures; he's sure got her smile."
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat."
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money?" I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
Stand your own watch, no matter how long."
"For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 9, 2006
I just can't get excited about politics. Sorry, I know it's not the socially responsible way to be, but they're all so full of it! Me, personally, I'd rather not have to pick a "representative" of my interests - I'd like to cast my own vote on every single item. Ok, clearly not feasible, but still. I'd like to vote on every bill and every budget, knowing that my vote didn't help some absurd greedy pork project. Is there a govt system like that?
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Phoebe & I trick-or-treated for the first time, what fun!! It was a fun end to an already full and fun day - her first full day at daycare. We ran into our little neighborhood friend Ana early, who happened to also be Tigger! The two little cuties held hands, bravely venturing up walkways w/out their Moms, and exploring neighborhood Halloween decorations - until Ana pooped out. Then little Phoebe and I literally sprinted from house to house for another hour - and this before she even ate any candy!
And I love that she proudly reports her accomplishments - "Hey Mommi & Daddi - I went poop, all my byself!"
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Then, with those questions theoretically answered, it becomes a matter of how/when I want to pay for all that - low premiums w/high deductibles and copays? - or higher premiums w/lower deductibles and copays?
My insurance offers an online plan selector and cost estimator - in many cases the combined employee/employer cost of the plan exceeds the expected cost of planned health care services!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
So... our little Phoebe is now officially a BIG GIRL!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Now, you can't beat that for a day's worth of coaching! However... the Hopkins, Town, and Orman bits were all more sales pitches than I realized they would be. Live and learn.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
She concentrated intently for a moment on my right eye, and then said "I found hope."
"You found hope?"
"Yep, I found hope.
Lemme see your other eye...
I don't see anything."
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Yeah, and then there's the "so what" factor... I'm already planning my escape from the industry, so why do I care about certification? Well, just because. It would go against my nature to give anything but my best. Plus, it might be nice to end my defense run on a high note - one little sphere of order (mine) amid the chaos.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
We actually have pet insurance, but their reimbursement rate sucks, and we just went $800 out-of-pocket last month, $400 for her overnight spay, and another $400 for the darn kitty's "dietary indescretion." They're worth every penny, I'm just irritated w/myself for not having that much readily available.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Still a most memorable day... 15 Sep 97, almost nine years ago! Despite my obvious frustration w/parts of my job, I still love having been involved. Bureaucracy aside, I have met some of the best people in the world, and together we have designed and built some of the coolest stuff I'll probably ever see in my life.
Icebreakers are HEAVY, very heavy, and the Mississippi River is only so deep, so when we pushed this big beast of a boat down the ways - it splashed greater than anybody had calculated! Thankfully it didn't stick to the muddy bottom, but it did squirt LOTS of water, and some very dangerous waterbourn debris into the crowd. The VIPs got soaked! We peons didn't even realize it hadn't gone perfectly until we saw a little blood on the ground, and a few dazed and confused among the crowd.
Imagine, the old inclined wooden ways are sturdy enough to support the entire structure through years of construction, and yet also designed to literally fall apart at just the right moment during a side launch. A little grease, a little shove, and then when the speed and angle are just right for the ship's weight... the ways simply crumble into the water with the ship. These broken way bits (massive pieces of lumber and huge nuts & bolts) were what got squirted into the crowd with that massive splash. And because so much of HEALY's hull is reinforced w/2" thick steel, it was far heavier than the shipyard's prior launches, creating an unexpectedly forceful expulsion of the water beneath.
Inclined ways were already becoming a thing of the past, in favor of more precise construction and launch techniques. If my memory serves me correctly, HEALY's launch was set to be Avondale's last side launch anyway, and I think the Navy stopped side launches altogether after HEALY's. Side launches are spectacular, and HEALY's was even more so! A stern launch is still pretty cool to watch, but I have passed on a couple floating dry dock launches (who wants to watch a ship-sized bath tub fill, very slowly).
Monday, July 10, 2006
Oh, I was privy to witness a typical union response to information put out at that the organization is adding full time employees. Okay, I think we can all agree that jobs should be open within an organization before they're made available to outsiders - fair enough. But I think we would all also agree that ANY candidate, from within or from outside, should be QUALIFIED! These people actually believe in their hearts that just bringing your butt to work every day is enough to warrant life-long raises and promotions. Seriously, they do.
I've spent ~16yrs supporting various defense programs, primarily Navy ship/sub acquisition. I recently transferred from HQ to a shipyard, hoping for a more down-to-earth hands-on experience. I thought the change in pace and culture from DC to Hampton Roads would compliment a friendlier more team-oriented work environment. Many of these folks have been at the shipyard, or the affiliated govt organization that I support, their whole professional lives. It's a small enough town that you play sports and go to church with these people, and run into them at the grocrey store or the mall. Was I wrong to assume I would be welcomed here?
And I was welcomed, by the community at large. I've discovered friendly neighbors, honest merchants, good business referrals, it's all I'd hoped for.
But the shipyard... can you say govt "UNION"? These folks hate that I'm there, just because I'm not employed by Uncle Sam. We contractors are specifically excluded from pertinent govt "all-hands" information, and from office social functions. We are seated apart from our customers - a most inefficient situation. Their "affectionate" term for us is "contractor scum." And to top it off, I sit within earshot of a bunch of govt costs analysts who seem to spend their whole days calling into question the integrity of every contractor invoice they process. If they treated and talked about [some minority] the same way they do "contractors" they'd have a major EEO issue on their hands.
If the general tax-paying population had any comprehension of the full extent of government waste and inefficiency, it would become a Congressional crisis. Why should politics and pork be the primary influences for govt spending. It's appalling. Do you know the federal govt is just now switching to a merit-based pay and promotion system!?! And does it surprise you they had to fight the union on that? All with your tax dollars of course.
This govt/union attitude is one of the primary reasons I have decided to explore a true private sector career. I'm looking forward to working in a for-profit environment, where good ideas don't have to fight against bureaurocracy.
And may every civil servant whoever discriminated against a contractor be interviewed by that contractor for their post-retirement job. Amen.
Saturday, July 8, 2006
But now... low and behold... a drive-thru Starbucks just 2½ miles from home, and directly along a reasonable route to/from work - gotta love that! My drink of choice: a Venti Cinnamon Mocha.
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Dogs are what you raise them to be, period. Any breed may have breed traits that must be recognized and managed, be they health or behaviorial. But I knew that our two cats, loving daughter, and my control-freak husband would be the perfect home for Sydney. She is companion and guardian extraordinaire. We are training and socializing her extensively, and I hope to get her into therapy work at the end of her next round of doggy school.
I grew up with the best dog in the world, ever, so I had very high expectations for a family dog. My childhood dog "Jack" was a 110lb black lab - smart, eager-to-please, and full of personality. I never imagined another dog could live up to those expectations, but Sydney sure is trying! My only complaints relate to my own inconsistencies, and occassionally her adolescent insubordination.
USS TEXAS's very first underway was at some unspecified and ridiculous hour of the day. My account and the picture are of a following builder's trial, the unclass pictures were widely distributed in the office.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
It's been slow at work, with TEXAS delivered, we're just prepping for her first availability. The boss has been out all week, and I've been distracted by a personal fubar, publishing MDIHS.org, and starting this blog. Tomorrow will be productive though, I've gotta have something good to show for a week's work.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Born During Hurricane Isabel in 2003
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
So, my new site... MDIHS.org! I'm a sentimental fool, my 20yr HS reunion will be in 2008, and I wanted a place for us to plan it together. But I got such a cool domain name, I didn't want to hog it for just my class, nor just for alumni, so I'm trying to push it as a one-stop hangout for all things MDIHS past and present. It's only been like three days and I'm already wishing I had more users. We shall see.