It’s been a busy week. Not bad, just busy. Mundane work stuff, really, so I will spare you all the details. On another note, The Soprano’s + HD = Love.
I’ve been holding off on writing this one for a few weeks now. The Army works in mysterious ways and human resource types adhere to a time-table that they alone know. Last Friday, I was asked formally to accept an offer to be the #2 for Plans and Ops. My portfolio is said to include all emergencies in the US, its territories, and dependencies. The plans for how we respond to earthquakes, wildfires, and terrorist attacks will have my fingerprints all over them. In planning sessions with other agencies, I can speak for and commit the organization to courses of action without racing up the chain for approval. The technical description is Lead Civil Planner, but it’s de facto Deputy Chief, Plans and Ops. HR has the paperwork in the queue and I’m expecting the final word to come down before the end of the year.
It’s the job I moved here to chase. The title bump and pay raise are the goal that kept me focused through the post-Christmas move last year and the only slightly organized chaos of creating an organization out of a half dozen empty rooms. It’s why my desk at home is covered almost every weekend with briefing books and white papers.
This should be a moment of supreme satisfaction. The capstone event of a five year race. Hell, most federal employees cap out at a GS-10 or -11 after a 25 or 30 year career. Even if I were to kick back and rest on my notional laurels, the sheer weight of attrition will keep me on an upward glidepath… Not necessarily because I’m the best, but because I happen to be holding the right grade. The whole thing feels a little hollow, really. I spend my life being prepared for the eventualities, but I wasn’t prepared for that. How’s that for irony.
P.S. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t be bitching about this, so tomorrow morning, I’m gonna suck it up and drive on until I figure out what’s next.
Just once. Just one time in my life, I would like to not begin Christmas on the 24th of frigging November. I’m serious here people. There is no good reason for Christmas music coming out of every speaker in a building at this point. I mean, I don’t start playing Sousa marches on the 3rd of June do I?
Arrrgghhh… Pardon me, while I go beat myself about the head and neck with a blunt instrument.
Just for the record, I can actually cook a Thanksgiving dinner. I know, right? It’s a surprise to me too. Now I am thoroughly stuffed and would collapse if bed weren’t three rooms away…
So, next time I am bitching about not having anything to blog, someone please remind me to shut the hell up, please. This afternoon, I was expecting to take delivery of 42-inches of plasma goodness. The delivery guys were on target (yes, the Best Buy truck knows how to get to my house even though there are no maps with my neighborhood in them yet). The minute they started pulling it out of the box, I knew something wasn’t right… of course they were behind it, looking at the connections and hadn’t noticed what I was looking at yet… A simply “uhhhh… guys…” was enough to get their attention and draw it to a screen that wasn’t just cracked. It was shattered. Like a baseball through a window kind of shattered…
No problem they say, we’ll call the warehouse and swing by and pick up a new one and be back in an hour or so. They were even nice enough to call ahead and make sure a new set was waiting for them. An hour and a half later, they call back… There’s a problem. The set is out of stock. Now I know a little something about supply operations and being out of an advertised special the day before Thanksgiving is not a good thing to be, but I digress. To make what could become a long and painful rant slightly shorter, I ended up at the store with the “TV manager” trying to reach an agreement. After some extensive haggling and instance on recompense for my inconvenience, we agree that they will just give me the next higher model at no additional cost. Problem solved.
Yeah… not so much. Turns out this model was out of stock too. By this point I asked the guy to just go back to the warehouse and bring me a list of what they actually do have in stock and we’ll work from that. More haggling ensues, with corresponding increases in blood pressure and vocal volume. Finally, after two hours of dickering, finding out what they don’t have on hand, and my generally being obstinate until I got what I wanted, they agreed to a considerable upgrade. Mainly, I think, to get me out of the television section. Of course by now it’s after 7PM and they won’t be able to deliver it after the Thanksgiving weekend. Sigh. Let’s just say the Jeep has more cargo space than you think it does.
So, yes, my TV is here and working beautifully. Of course the stand I ordered with it still has to be delivered. In the grand scheme of life, it’s a minor detail, but you know how I hate it when things don’t go like clockwork.
I’m feeling a bit like I have been neglecting my bloggly duties lately. The simple truth is there’s really very little going on that is worth of noting, let alone actually recounting after the fact. I’m thoroughly back into the groove of work, class, and home maintenance and while usually all three are filled with potential fodder, it’s been a very, very quiet week. I should probably be enjoying it, but I can’t quite shake the feeling that there is another shoe up there waiting to drop.
I’m a little late to the party, but wanted to send kudos to the King of Spain for telling the loud-mouth of a Venezuelan dictator to shut up. I would love to see more leaders apply this type of simple and easy to understand diplomacy. It’s the kind of foreign policy I can get behind.
There is something unquestionably satisfying about working with your hands. Given the long weekend and the distinct lack of classes at the moment, I was able to take on a bit project I’ve wanted to do for the last few months. For my first attempt at doing tile work, it turned out much better than I expected… and only involved four trips to Lowe’s in the last three days.
Special thanks and much gratitude to the men and women serving in uniform today, their predecessors who stood watch before them, and countless American heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion for the ideal that a Republic could endure the shoals of history’s stormy seas. You are and have been our protectors. May your long vigil on far off shores bring us peace.
I had a bad day today. I mean one of those days when you leave the office that you don’t really care if you ever go back kind of days. I was angry, frustrated, and generally exhausted from the bureaucratic process that drives the federal machine. Actually, I thought I was having a bad day at that point. I also knew that someone I consider a dear friend and one of my favorite targets of merciless flirting was having surgery today.
It was a common procedure that should have been no fuss, no muss, over and done. At six o’clock I learned that it hadn’t been as simple as that. Somehow things had gotten complicated. All I knew at that point was that someone I care for was in trouble and I realized at that moment that I would have given anything to make things right. There wasn’t anything in the world I wanted more than to simply be there, as though just my presence would make some kind of difference. And in that moment, I would have given everything up just to be there and see for myself that she was alright.
I’m not going to sit here and type out a manifesto promising a life-long reordering of my priorities, but I will say that for the first time in a long, long time, my eyes were opened to the world beyond my own little slice of life and how perilous a blade it balances on. She may not be mine to win or lose, but knowing this chick makes me want to be a better man. I’m not there in body, but you can stand assured that I’m most assuredly there in spirit.