Monday, October 1, 2018

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble*

This week has been a long time coming.  Finally going on Vacay with Mrs J and our winemaker friends.  We're flying to Montreal to spend a couple of days seeing what there is to see (must see suggestions very welcome), then boarding a cruise ship and sailing out the St Laurence and around down and into New York.  One of the stops that I'm very much looking forward to is a short stop in Newport Rhode Island.  I hear Rhode Island is beautiful this time of year, all that snow!

ArggggHHH, juvat!  We don't have SNOW in October (usually). 

Whatever you say O, soon to be eyepatched, yet Fearless Leader.  

In any case, we're looking forward to it.  As many are aware, our district spent $3.5 mil on replacing technology equipment this year all to be done over the summer.  We're down to a few edge cases (one of our school buildings is a 150 year old historic building made of stone.  Not easy to install, let alone compliantly install, technology in.  That's still in progress.  But we're mostly done.

We've taken a few hits along the way.  Our Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, 4 of 6 principals and the usual number of teachers all moved away.  The new Sup and my Boss didn't see eye to eye, so my Boss put in his retirement papers and went on terminal leave.

(No, I haven't officially put in mine yet. More on that later.)

Nothing was ever officially said, but the other 5 folks started looking for me to make things happen.  

So, we've made it through somewhat successfully.  There's something to be said for telling people what needs to be done and in what priority and then getting out of the way and letting them decide the best way for that to get done,

That having been said, there was a lot of circular firing squad action going on at levels above our department about who or what was going to happen to replace my boss.  Word on the street is that the new Sup wants to hire someone from outside.  


Given that Technology Director was my boss's title, but maintaining servers and network infrastructure was his primary responsibility, I'm not thinking that interviewing for Technology Director is the right way to proceed.

It's very interesting, I've had several private conversations with the new Sup about status of projects and such.  At no point, has he ever asked if I was interested, or why I haven't put in an application or asked for any input on what the new person should bring to the table.

Which to me is telling.

So, I'm going to enjoy my vacation and ponder what the future holds.

I just realized that today is October 1st, 2018.  20 years ago today was my first day as a civilian as it was the first day my Air Force retirement took effect.  I'd entered the Air Force, 21 years before at age 22.

Got me to thinking maybe my life is in 20 year (plus/minus 10%) cycles, and I'm just finishing up my 3rd cycle. (Growing up Accumulating useful experience was the first.)  Maybe the Big Guy really does have a plan for me.

I just wish he'd read me in on it.

P.S. My wife assures me there's WiFi access on board, so I have confidence I'll have a post next week.

*(from Macbeth, mostly because Sarge has been waxing poetic lately)
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.


  1. Replies
    1. OK, I'll admit you stumped me. However, the internet is a wonderful thing.

      Macbeth ACT I SCENE I A desert place.
      [Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches]
      First Witch When shall we three meet again
      In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
      Second Witch When the hurlyburly's done,
      When the battle's lost and won.
      Third Witch That will be ere the set of sun.
      First Witch Where the place?
      Second Witch Upon the heath.
      Third Witch There to meet with Macbeth.
      First Witch I come, graymalkin!
      Second Witch Paddock calls.
      Third Witch Anon!
      ALL Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
      Hover through the fog and filthy air.

      A Paddock is a toad.

      During the Renaissance it was believed that Satan sent witches malicious spirits to help them carry out their evil deeds. These 'familiars' or 'imps' would appear in animal form. The familiar of the First Witch takes the form of a cat (Graymalkin) and the familiar of the Second Witch takes the form of a toad (Paddock). The familiar of the Third Witch is not mentioned in the first act but in 4.1, it takes the form of a 'harpy', a nasty creature in Greek mythology with the head and body of a woman and the talons of a bird.

      As always I exit Mondays just a tiny bit smarter than I enter them. Thanks Scott.

    2. MacBeth is my favorite play of Shakepeare's.

    3. Well that explains things. I thought you might just do some late night reading while camping out on the side of a highway.

  2. Enjoy the cruise and here's hoping the colors are fall enough Juvat. The new Sup sounds like he wants his "own" person in the job, like the GM wants their "own" coach for the team...... politics....(sigh). Afraid I can't recommend anything in Montreal, never made it to that neck of the woods. Time to have fun now the two of you.

    1. Hiring his "Own" person seems to be the common perception around here also. We'll see.

      No worries about Montreal. Wandering and discovering are major attractions to new places.

  3. Well, the last time I was in Montreal was 1973. I think it was still owned by France back then, I don't remember if that was before or after the French and Indian War.

    Looking forward to you and your Missus making landfall here in Little Rhody. Sounds to me like you're picking a good time to eject, er, retire. Jolly is inbound, contact Sandy on Guard.

    1. I got to admit, when I read your first sentence, my eyes subconsciously picked French and Indian War, because I read 1793. Now, I know you go by OLD AF Sarge, but........

      See you in a couple of weeks. Best of luck and lots of prayers for tomorrow.

  4. I find taking a cruise is much more fun now that I'm not sharing the ship with five thousand of my closest friends.
    Also the lack of airplanes taking off and landing on the roof makes for a much quieter and more relaxing experience.

    Before my wife retired from her music teacher job, she offered her help to the principal to assist in the selection of her replacement. It became obvious that my wife's input wasn't wanted.

    Have fun.

    A good post that made me think of travel and left me smiling.

    1. Yeah, those large cruise ships are somewhat tedious even without aircraft operations. It is made a bit easier by the ready availability of adult recreational beverages though. Even that can be overdone and become tedious to others. This ship has only 600 folks so should be nicer.


  5. I don't know why, but I'm humming a song that starts "Take this job and shove it..." The good thing is that with two retirements and Tricare for Life you have, at the very least, an escape and evasion plan in place. And retirement has real benefits. Not least of which is that Mrs. J will have the opportunity to get really creative with the Honey Do list. Enjoy your trip while you ponder your future.

    1. Oh....I'm singing that one full force. I don't think they've got any concept what we actually do.

      As to the Honey Do list....Mrs J has been working in a binder for a while. Much like the "Big Guy's Plan", she's keeping that very close hold.

      Be Afraid, be very afraid.

    2. Dave.
      I checked a few minutes ago and the open season for the new dental and vision plans starts 12NOV18.
      Now to sort through the double speak and figure out what plan to enroll in.

    3. Thanks John. Hadn't thought about that (dental) particular part of the retirement plan.

  6. The Big Guy isn’t famous about making specific plans for individuals known to them, just the general op-order.

    I was at Montreal once, in the first half of the last century. I was 4 1/2.

    1. Yeah, I know. I think I used up His guidance in the second and third cycles.

  7. My life has been "chunks" of time & they often overlap but 21 years after I retired from the Coast Guard I still think of myself as a coastie..
    The new boss business won't be until later.
    Enjoy your cruse around that piece of North America, I was looking at a map & it looks like a good one!

    1. And I think of myself as a Fighter Pilot albeit retired.

      Thanks, I'm sure we will.

    2. Me too, albeit resigned.

      Have fun on the ship.

  8. Well, all I can say is have fun on the cruise. The last time I was in that end of Canada the World's Fair was in Toronto and our family took a bus trip to see it. All I remember is being woke up on the bus heading back by some pushy immigration type wanting me to tell him my name. I think I was 6ish, and I was not happy being woken up after a day of walking all over. Lol.

    I do know that your chances of seeing snow in Little Rhody in early October is slim, better chance in Canada. Now, the end of October, all bets are off.

    Personally, I think your options are better going to work for Mrs J...she sounds like a much better boss, at least long term. But, hey, if The Big Guy gives you a peek at his long term plan for you, could you ask about the rest of us? I would love to see mine. :)

    Give OAFS a hug from me. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't know everything, but I do know the power of prayer and positive thinking is pretty strong. Have a great vacation, and don't read your e-mail from will just give you a headache.

    1. I'm always a tad cranky when woken up by pushy....But that's just me.

      As for working for Mrs J, the perks sure are better, that's for sure. :-)

      Will do on the rest, thanks.

  9. Ah, sounds like the new Supervisor is a seagull manager, so duck and cover! Seriously, sounds like they've given you your walking papers already, in a typically clumsy and bureaucratic manner.

    Remember, as of the exact minute you are no longer their wage slave, consulting fees and per diem apply. Feel free to get creative in the billing. Like the 'shop fees' that mechanics toss in, or 'toxic thought processing fees' or 'FUF removal fee' (Frack-Up Fairy = FUF). First, it will line your pocket quite handily. Second, it will ensure that they only call you if they actually admit they need you. Do not go all 'Knight in Shining Armor' or 'Wild West Hero' and ride to the rescue without renumeration. You, as of the last second of work, will now become as mercenary as a 30 Years War mercenary, well, without all the rapin and pillaging and speaking German.

    As to you thinking you're a fighter pilot, well, of course, because you haven't grown up yet.

    Enjoy the cruise with your lovely wife, and chop the Sarge for me. And thank The Missus Herself for letting him come out and play.

    1. Most definitely ducking and covering. Regarding Para 2, see response to Tuna below. No "Knight in Shining Armor"...Roger!

      Thanks and will do.

    2. Get started now and make up some letterhead- "JUVAT Professional Services" and think about your hourly fees and draft up a contract for "professional services" to have handy not if, but when they seek your help. Best make it hourly, not a salary or "per job" fee or they will broaden the scope endlessly while sticking to a fixed price.
      This is a mismanaged government bureaucracy and there is no cause for regret for taking fair (and generous) remuneration for fixing their problems.
      You should also set up a checking account for JUVAT Professional Services and run all your income AND EXPENSES through that, in case the tax man wants to share the fruits of your labor. It is amazing what expense might include, travel, literature, tools, computers, net access, phones, insurance, training classes, etc. And, you only have to show a profit (2 or 3) years out of 5 to remain a business, not a hobby. You can also quit any time you like, or decline any job you don't want to mess with.
      John Blackshoe

  10. Have fun on your cruise and upcoming retirement. Let us know about the cruise, be sure to take pictures to show us.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  11. Congrats on 1. The vacation 2. The big-a$$ tech refresh 3. Getting passed over for Tech Director. Sounds like it might be a bullet avoided. However, since you were a big part of that refresh with the departure of said Tech Director, your stock has to have risen at least a little right? Maybe ask if they want you to put in for it.

    1. Thanks, Tuna. Regarding #3...Most definitely, bullet avoided. I don't think they really have a clue what this department does. Given that, I'm pretty sure I don't want to put up with the effort of changing their minds (if that's even possible). I think I'm gonna go with Beans advice above and have them ask for help on those nice Federal Reserve Note forms with the priorities in the corners and pictures of dead guys in the center, Ben Franklin being one of the higher priority forms.

    2. How about Salmon P Chase, and Woody Wilson, those were nice bills, too!

    3. Yes, they are. And would deliver Bean's message quite effectively as well as keep Mrs J in shoes for quite some time!

  12. A fighter pilot on a cruise ship? Something fuzzy with that picture.

    1. I don't know, the Navy has them all the time. I mean, aren't their voyages called cruise and their vessels ships? Ergo......

      Wait! I detect incoming SAMS!

  13. Eyepatch? Maybe, maybe not, but that led my feeble--or maybe just febrile--brain off on a tangent.
    Do I misremember, or did Fearless Leader (from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons, of course) wear a....monocle?
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. Definitely a monocle, but let's not give him any suggestions. Beans and I haven't recovered from the last Water Skiing episode.

  14. I like the "20 year cycles" thing. I, having a slight flair for the dramatic, have been referring to my time on this rock in "Acts". Act I was growing up in Illinois, Act II was my time behind enemy lines in Kommiefornia, and now Act III is Colorado Retirement.

    1. Act is a good word. Life is Theater and Theater has Acts. I like the term.

    2. And upon reflection, my "acts" or "cycles" seem to run about 30 years. Moved to Kommiefornia at 30 years old, and then to Colorado at 66.

      Doubtful if there will be an "Act IV", though. Too bad I'm not a "Quinn-Martin Production" like the old TV shows. Then I'd have an Act IV right after that last commercial break......

  15. Yep, enjoy the vacation, and screw the rest of it... It will be there when you get back. And maybe it's time to pull the plug. Retirement (REAL retirement) can be rather peaceful! :-)

    1. I sure hope so. Getting real tired of the Drama around here. Feel like I've been binge watching soap operas 24/7/365 for several seasons now.


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