1. AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 24 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. So, we’re still grinding along with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if 30 months of operating nearly exclusively through telework didn’t prove that working from home works. All this is ongoing while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. It’s truly a delight working for the sick man of the enterprise. I’m sure someone could make the case that there’s enough blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 24 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing to deliver for their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) and for continuing to stand in the way like some bloody great, utterly misguided roadblock. No one’s interest is served by their continued intransigence. The elected “leaders” of AFGE Local 1904 should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.
2. Scheduling. Short of hiring an assistant there simply isn’t a mathematical way to give Anya her medication as scheduled on days when I can’t avoid being in the office. I suppose I could take a two hour lunch every day and double my commute to two 40 mile round trips a day. Maybe I could do that for a week or two, but if the meds end up running for a month? Longer? Yeah. No. I’m fairly fanatical about getting these guys the best care I can find, but after all these years and all these animals, I’ve never cracked the code on how the hell to give them medicine every eight hours, or worse, god forbid, every six. At least three times a week there’s a middle-of-the-day dose that just doesn’t happen, so if you’ve worked out a solution, I’m all ears.
3. Russia. Are we really supposed to take a country that rolls out 60-year-old tanks to replace their “modern” armor lost in combat and then uses a manned fighter jet to sideswipe an unmanned drone seriously as a country? That’s before we even consider their questionable standing as a regional power, let alone their once held status as one of the world’s two superpowers. The Russians, like the Soviets before them, have always been a little bit “different.” Maybe it’s just me, but lately the tired old antics of the ailing Russian bear seem to make it much more an object of mockery and scorn than any kind of fear or intimidation. If they haven’t been doing the work to maintain even their most basic equipment in fighting shape, I’m left to wonder what are the chances they’ve had the time, expertise, and money to maintain anything more than the illusion of a strategic deterrence force.