Monday, December 16, 2013

As The Year Winds Down...

I'm starting to wear out.

At my company, we normally shut down between Christmas and New Year's. We do this by foregoing a number of other holidays during the year. So of the eleven "Federal" holidays, we get six. To wit: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Yup, that's it.

We don't get Martin Luther King Day, Washington's Birthday, Columbus Day and Veterans Day off. Well we do, but not on the day those holidays are observed. No, those days count towards the "end-of-year" shutdown. (Most of us call it "Christmas Break", only those who are terrified of being perceived as being politically incorrect call it anything else.)

For those who might wonder, I'm not really miffed that I'm normally at work on Veteran's Day. Even though I'm a veteran. For you see, my company has a very nice tribute to we vets upon that day. We have cannons and everything.

75mm Pack Howitzer

Three cannon, just like those above. Normally each will fire seven blank rounds. All of the vets where I work line up according to service, we get a speech (usually an active duty guy, for us it's normally an officer attending the Naval War College in nearby Newport) and those guns wrap things up with the salute. So it's pretty special and I don't mind working that day.

I do rather begrudge not having Washington's Birthday off. But that's more of a remembrance of when I was a kid when we had two (count them two!) February holidays: Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays. I don't remember when the weasels in Congress spoiled that. Now it seems they spoil everything, not just some things.

So this year, the last day of work is the 23rd of December, a Monday. No one officially has to work again until the 2nd of January, 2014, a Thursday. Now many people will take that Monday as a vacation day, ditto the Thursday and Friday of the week of New Year's.

As I ran out of vacation days back in October, I'll be reporting for duty on the 23rd. But I will be taking the aforementioned Thursday and Friday after New Year's off. Primarily because I can and also because The Missus Herself and I will be flying back from Michigan on the second day of the bright, shiny new year. (We're all gathering on Big Time's turf for the New Year celebrations.)

But my substantial derriere is starting to drag as the year grinds down to its inevitable conclusion. I find that, the older I get, the more I need this nearly two week break around Christmas.

So yes, my Master Caution light is illuminated. And today at work I experienced multiple helmet fires. Seems my central processor tends to overheat at this time of year.

Bear in mind, it's an old processor. It has a lot of miles on it. But it will be nearly as good as new come Monday, the Sixth of January. At least I hope so! For now, here's an F-15 (or two).

I'm sure Juvat will like these! (Do I suck up to my readers? Why yes, yes I do!)


  1. Well, thank you very much, Sarge! The Eagle with my name on it (having been suitably corrected in my terminology) was a D model, so pictures of the family model don't bother me. And since I'm one of a very few folks that got to at least taxi out to the runway with bombs (ok little 30 pound practice bombs) on a light grey Eagle, I really don't mind the bomb part. Evidently, the PACAF Commander heard about us bombing up an Eagle and cancelled the mission with a direct phone call to the SOF as we were in the arming area. Pretty sure the conversation went something like this. "Shogun 6, Major Schmedlap speaking" "Major, this is General McPeak speaking, cancel those air to mud sorties." "Ha, Ha, Ha, Smitty, good one........." Anyhow, we didn't get to drop bombs. My white knight of the air is still unsullied.

    1. D'oh! The second bird was supposed to be light grey, but the shiny flares and other cool stuff distracted me. Next time I swear, I'll get it right!

      Taxied out loaded for air to mud? In a single seat? Wow. (They say confession is good for the soul.)

      But yes, your escutcheon remains untarnished! (You did send PACAF a "Thank You" card I trust?)

  2. Press check that sucker, pull the breaker and keep on truckin! :-)

    1. Pulled the breaker. Did a controllability check, I'm good to go. (I only need enough energy to get to 1500 on the 23rd, I'll be fine.)

    2. If that works, then in AIN'T wrong, regardless of what NATOPS says... :-)

    3. Ah yes, the NATOPS, with 2 kids in naval aviation I actually know what that is.

      Though for us Air Force types it's the Dash-1. Or used to be.

      (With the USAF one never knows, we used to have regulations, now we have "instructions". Sigh...)

  3. It used to chap my a$$ I didn't get Veterans Day off during my civilian "career." The irony of ironies is I got EVERY gotdamned one of 'em off while I was in the military and technically not yet a vet... but after? Noooo...

    We always got the week between Christmas and New Years off when I was with EDS, and that was nice. Very nice.

    1. Well, you still get that week between Christmas and New Years. And all those weeks between New Years and Christmas as well. Now that's my goal!

      (And I think we've had the Veterans Day conversation before. And will prolly have it again...)

  4. got to thinking about the Master Caution Light I installed on the dash of my pickup truck many years ago. Got a relay and a little box, rigged it up to come on if I had low oil pressure or high temperature, lots of stuff. To much free time, not enough women to chase! ha ha ha ha good pics. the rat

    1. Master Caution light in your pickup truck, that is truly awesome.

      Copy that on the too much free time etc...

      Ah to be young again, right Rat?


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