Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sent Off!

Went into work on Monday, noticed that the traffic was awfully sparse. Noted that schools were not in session, the dearth of the big yellow school buses was noticeable. It was very quiet...

Too quiet.

When I arrived at my place of employment, I noticed that the parking lot was surprisingly empty for a non-holiday Monday. As I walked to my lab, noticed, well, actually I noticed nothing, the hallways were empty.

When I walked up to the cafeteria for a cuppa, saw that all (save one) of the window offices were closed up tighter than a drum. A lot of so-called managers (strap hangers for the most part) will "work from home" on the Friday before a Monday holiday. But this was different to say the least, even the useful ones were conspicuous by their absence.

The cafeteria was deserted, while there weren't tumble weeds blowing across the floor (and a saloon door in the distance banging against the stops from the wind), there were very few people about.

Got my cuppa and headed back to the lab, where I have been gainfully underemployed since December. Contracts are expected, but the money hasn't shown up yet. So I am kept in reserve, ready to spring to my task at the drop of the hat.

Nobody is wearing hats this week.

On my computing apparatus was an email. "If you can work from home, do so. Just check with your section manager first."

So I did.

In short, as I have nothing to hold me to my oar, I was sent off.

For the foreseeable future.

Yes, I'm still getting paid, full benefits, and I still have a job. But, until the zombie apocalypse subsides, I'm on the sidelines. Laptop at the ready, phone in hand, nothing to do but wait.

As we're well supplied here at Chez Sarge, I fret not.

Still and all, having been gainfully employed for the past forty-eight years,* it feels damned odd to be sitting at home with nothing to do work-wise. I'm thinking this is what retirement will be like, without the having to stay in touch with the office.

Most odd this. But we'll adapt, we must, so we shall.

Still and all, 'tis rather off-putting.

Hey look! Another odd-looking flying machine!

Blohm & Voss BV 141

So it isn't just the Brits who build funny looking aircraft...

* Well, there was that six month stretch at Lowry AFB where the work was so scarce that I worked two hours a day, yup, two hours a day, Monday through Friday, for six months. Hey, rough job but someone had to do it.


  1. I'm thinking the mental music for walking through a mostly deserted office should be composed by Ennio Morricone.
    Work forces an efficient use of non-work time.
    Retirement is remarkably free from structure. That can be either good or bad and that depends on what needs to be done.
    And not surprisingly, my day's activity's are often structured by what "SWMBO" wants done. :)

    Thank goodness the Navy doesn't wast money building useless ships like the various Air Forces build useless aircraft.
    Kidding. LCS being a prime example of getting it completely wrong and not knowing when to stop a bad idea.

  2. I'm field service, and still running the roads. The local store won't open till 0800, I usually hit them at 0600. I wonder what logic looks like to them... "56,000 people a day in our store, so to INCREASE the amount of close contact, lets reduce the hours during a panic."

    Enjoy your time with the missus. Work on that book we're waiting on.

    1. Local grocery chain sent out a message yesterday that 0600 to 0730 shopping hours will be restricted to those 60 and over. Which is kinda cool, protects us geezers from the GenPop!

    2. That's funny. Most geezers (in my sample size of 1) are layabeds until 0800. Because you can!
      Like the rotating headers.
      Your new job, after daily honey dos are done, is author, and we appreciate your efforts.
      John Blackshoe.

    3. In this town that wouldn’t thin the herd very much. I’m still considered a “young’un”. Generally though, that’s a good thing.

      Consider this a pre-game warmup for retirement.

    4. Survived the trip at 0800. a few hundred in line, 2 officers standing at the door. Lots of smiling grocery store brass standing around. no milk, no eggs, limits on everything.

      When the herd gets spooked, it only takes one snort to send them running. I was laughing and joking with everyone, welcoming them to the Bernie Sanders vision of America. Being extra polite and helping old ladies and short folks reach the top shelf. I figure I don't have to run off the cliff with the herd.

      I joked about getting some mayo to put on the tree leaves I was planning to eat for lunch. Got a lot of laughs, and a few raised eyebrows... I think I'm enjoying being the spoiler a bit too much.

    5. John - You can make your sample size at least two. Working on the author gig.

    6. juvat - I consider myself a young'un, even if it is only in my mind. (Which is close to that of a 12 year old.)

      This is kinda like preseason in a way.

    7. STxAR - It's exactly what will happen under socialism, look at Venezuela.

    8. We see the same socialistic effect here in Florida amongst the new arrivals and in heavily socialistic places, like Broward County, whenever a huge swirly storm spins up and gets near enough for the Weather Channel to activate Jim Cantore.

      Shelves cleared, gas stations emptied of all fuel, I-75 (southwest side of FL, heads to spine of peninsula at Tampa, hitting spine and heading northwardly about 30 miles south of Ocala) or I-95 (running on the east side of Florida) or the Florida Turnpike (which goes from Mijami to connect with I-75 about 30 miles south of Ocala, hmmmm) and I-10, which runs across the top of Florida from Jacksonville through Pensacola out to Alabama) all turned into parking lots or cheap imitations of Southern California gridlock, including cars catching on fire from overheating and now the new favorite of electric vehicle owners finding out that Florida has no chargers in the middle of swamps and that Florida is a lot longer than their charges will hold out (especially in heavy traffic in hot humid summer weather with the AC on. Trust me, you don't want to sit on an asphalt parking road in summertime during the day, heck, during night too, in Florida. Between the heat, humidity, insect life and stupid people, it's just downright intolerable.)


      Then there's the socialism associated with cleanup. Honey-child, the tree's on your yard, your car, your house, your pool, your boat, your everything. And the tree came from your yard. So why exactly is it the City's or the State's or the FedGov's responsibility to carefully remove said tree from your everything and then carefully cut up said tree into either fire-sized chunks or pickupable (not using pickup trucks, but using these giant claw thingies and really big trucks) chunks and then pickup the now-huge yardwaste pile. That's your responsibility to arrange or do, not the Government's.

      But every year, somebody has a wall-of-tree months after the storm hits, and is bitching because the governments haven't cleaned up the owner's mess.

      (By the way, the first thing I do and have done at the-now Apartamente de Frijoles after a storm is, secure car, then clean up around the apartment, haul and stack branches, rake leaves and so forth. Yet I see no-one else doing so. Hey, people, just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you can be a lazy-ass.

  3. Our Pick & Save supermarket up here has been limiting the number of packages of TP to 3 at a time, and likewise for the "soap" (or whatever the heck you'd call it) in the little pump bottles that you wash your hands with after using the john. And I think there have been a few places that also have limited early morning hour shoppers to we geezers.

    1. I don't know why some store managers didn't get a jump on this from the start. I've heard some tried, one item per person, then the GenPop would bring the whole family in and get one per person. How about one per family.

      The idiocy in this country is overwhelming at times.

    2. My sister works the local grocery store. Reasonable limits are in place, the least of which was two per checkout. We stopped by to refresh perishables and she said one lady had been in Three times already this morning full cart each time. C’mon this isn’t Uranus and the universe doesn’t revolve around it.

      Other than onions Garlic ( vampire protection) and bleach, we got everything we needed. Lotta people, but calm and friendly.

    3. We're good for a couple of weeks, after that?

      I'm gluing feathers to football shoulder pads now, and mounting a giant guitar amplifier on my car. Gonna go full Mad Max.

      Or not...

  4. There aren’t enough distractions available now to compare this to anything like retirement.
    The only upside, if it can be called that, is all of the neighbors are home and we can yell to one another while keeping social distance.
    MB and I may get the garage sorted [HSWHTPFIHC]?

    1. Ah yes, sorting the garbage. We have new trash/recycling regulations beginning at the end of March.

      I'm sure the Müllkommissare will be out in full force...

    2. One day I followed the local recycling truck to see where it actually went. It went... to the landfill.

      I think they did a quick presort of the already separated metals, but cardboard, glass and plastic all went into the dump.

      Recycling only works when the end locations (smelters, pulp mills, glass grinders and plastic processors) are basically within 25 miles of the 'raw' product.

      Of course, in Rhode Island, everything is within 25 miles of everything else, right?

    3. Heh, everything in Little Rhody is 30 minutes from my buddy's house, according to his wife. Then again, he was a State Trooper (since retired). One day his wife asked hi, how long to get somewhere without lights and siren.

      "Uh yeah, it's gonna depend on traffic, might be 30 minutes, could take an hour."

      Recycling is a bit of a game in these idiot times.

  5. It will be interesting to see how this 'work at home furlough' goes with you. Some preview of coming attractions, except with less money unless your new work retirement is going to pay out at the same rate as working (at least you have Tri-Care so you don't have to worry about shopping for healthcare.)

    This will give you time to see if you need to make any alterations to your current home office area. New desk or arrangement for better work flow and such.

    Though I am sure The Missus Herself can keep you busy.

    Hope things work out with your work and stuff.

    Keep your head down, powder dry, and enjoy a paid semi-vacation.

    (And, as much fun as traveling and doing outside things is, a stay-cation (as the kids these days call it) can be a nice and wonderful thing. Just don't get used to too many afternoon naps as they become addictive and a hard habit to break.)

    1. Trying to stay connected to work has been a pain in the ass. We've told them for years that our websites and intranet suck.

      Now with thousands working from home, they might understand just how bad it is!

  6. Of course I'm one of those crazy nut-job Constitution and responsibilities of liberty guys, so take this with that rather large grain of salt.

    One thing that the unelected bureaucrats of the deep state, the unelected bureaucrats of the supreme court, and the elected bureaucrats of congress learned and learned well in the wake of 9/11 is you never, ever, let a crisis pass without leveraging it into more direct control of the citizens. During the Boosche years all of the above ran wild with this notion, and during the Obama years it was refined and expanded. So far during the Trump years there has been progress on pushing back some of that control, but power corrupts and if "for the children and geezers" is seen by the above entities as a justifiable reason to grab a whole new level of control -- trending sharply toward an attempt at absolute just now -- almost all of those folks will talk themselves into going for the gusto.

    They can get away with this for one reason and one reason only. The vast majority of the populace prefers to have their thinking done for them and to hang on tightly to the constant bombardment of propaganda. Am I the only one checking propaganda claims against basic 7th grade science? I'm surely one of the few. Now I admittedly live in microville in the middle of nothingland, but every person I've talked to over the last few days can do nothing except parrot word for word what the teevee is saying. It's like being surrounded by mindless robots running wordperfect on windows 3.1. And every single one of those robots know with absolute certainty that they are too smart by far to be taken in by propaganda.

    In my mind this is the first existential threat America has faced since the Soviet Union imploded and and the threat of MAD went (mostly) away.

    What will happen? I don't know, but history tells us what can happen, and it doesn't look good at the moment.

    But then again, see line one above.

    1. This is an existential threat to our freedoms.

      I am getting more and more jaded by the day, too many idiots allowed to be out in public. Especially holding public office!

    2. This type of threat to American Citizenry is why we have and pay (way too much sometimes) for Government. Not for art-fairs, or for our businesses and lives to be over-regulated, or for bringing in and supporting illegal aliens.


      Threats, internally and externally are why we have government. The infrastructure thingy like water and power and wastewater? Well, deep at the heart of those are also... security from threats internally (diseases.)

      The rest of the happy crappy stuff? Not the Gov's responsibility.

      Viral threat? Yep.
      Naval threat? Yep.
      Illegal Alien threat? Yep.
      Extraterrestrial threat (of all kinds?) Yep.
      Streets and roads and traffic management? Yep. (seriously, transportation and flow is a safety thingy. Just some people overdo the concept of safety and go right into control.)

      Defining all the 52+ Genders? Nope.
      Teaching and indoctrinating children? Nope. (Though, when done right, it's a good thing. Teachers should only be Veterans. Go all Heinlein...)

    3. As always, you've nailed it.

  7. Dr. Ron Paul has some interesting ideas along these lines. Sarge, please delete if you think this is too far out for the blog. I won't mind at all.


    1. While I think old Ron is pretty far off the Res' at times, this time I kind of agree, the timing is too suspicious.

      Also, any word on the protests in Hong Kong? Yeah, just another coincidence.

    2. NOTHING is too far out on this subj, Dave. Heather MacDonald PhD at the Manhattan Institute & others have published several scathing articles about the lopsided negative economic/financial trade-offs that are being pushed for some dubious sacrificial methods currently hyped to fight this "war." You're cleared in hot, Dave. Comment away! Bombs ripple!!

  8. Oh, by the way, asymmetrical aircraft were a thing around 1937-1940. The French had several designs. It really is an interesting solution to single engined powered planes in order to counteract excessive force from the engine. Also allows for, as with the kraut aircraft above, an excellent observation pod. Well, at least on one side.

    Of course, Burt Rutan has made a few designs using asymmetrical layouts. And, of course, since they look funky, they have not been popular with purchasers.

    My feelings? Toss an extra engine on there, counter rotating against the other engine, and make your central pod the big arsed observation bubble. Or go with a single pusher with twin booms, thus leaving the front all open for as much glass as you want.

    But, well, the Nazi aircraft designers were pushing the envelope of aircraft design at the time.

    1. That should have been "It really is an interesting solution to single engined powered planes in order to counteract excessive rotational force from the engine."

      Rotational force.


    2. I kinda knew what you meant, but self-editing is a fine personality trait.

      Or something...

    3. I always try to picture myself in the cockpit of these funny looking (to our sensibilities), airplanes. Do you need more right rudder? If you are landing in a crosswind from the port side, will the prop hit? How about a skid? Where would I stand to have my picture taken as a zipper-suited flight god to show me (mostly) and the best view of the airplane?

    4. Dave, you and I had the same questions (mostly the last one). According to wikipedia, it wasn't that difficult at high speed, just trim the yaw out. Low speed was handled by P Factor. Didn't remember that from flight school academics, so went here. And realized why I didn't remember it from flight school. I hadn't understood it, so asked my IP (closest thing to a god). He said "Beats the heck out of me, just push on the rudder as needed."

    5. Feed in rudder as needed...

      Got it.

    6. (Don McCollor)...torque and P factor are not to be treated lightly. A WW2 P47 on a slick taxiway could skid in place twisting round 90 degree from a sudden burst of engine power...I seem to recall a story as well of a WW2 P38 (twin counterrotating propellers) out of ammunition and chasing a Me109 at low altitude trying to entice the enemy pilot to turn the wrong way and snap roll into the ground...

    7. (Don McCollor)...even less fun standing still with your brakes locked...

    8. One of the landing being right behind the engine, and said landing gear being long enough, would mitigate the prop digging in.

      Though too steep of an angle with no flair at the end of the landing run before hitting the runway would and did kill many a tail-dragger, from the beginning of tail-dragging planes to today. Not enough up-angle at runway contact, then prop will 'stick the landing' right there, and flip lighter planes, or just mess things up on heavier planes.

      Or so I'm told.

    9. (Don McCollor)...Ground loops can be useful. In a local book written by a civilian employee, he was being flown out in the 1950's (in I believe in a 4-engine plane) to one of the Aleutian Islands. In the few minutes From final clearance to landing, the temperature dropped and the runway went from wet to glare ice with no braking action The pilots ground looped the plane till they were sliding backwards, then revved up the engines to stop it (no reversing props back then). What terrified the author was how smoothly they did it - like it was not the first time it had happened...

  9. You have a moment to check to see what happens when the wheels spin up to 10,000rpm and there is nought to do. Fortunately, you found blogging, and beer, and family, and, God help you, gardening. You are ripe for retirement. But be blessed, you will survive. You have prepared well. Some did not or could not bring themselves to that happy place, blessed be their names. It can be very hard to let go. Very very hard.

    Now I couldn't get some-at that I wanted this morning on account of some saint day and metroparkcentralis found a drive-through virus detector that gridlocked all traffic in the corridor to home. All of it with people blocking intersections willy nilly so they could get tested.

    There's probably a damned good reason Americans are not allowed to buy rocket launchers but I'll be damned if I know what it is.

    1. I would love a rocket launcher...

      For, ya know, exploring space and the like. No, really.

    2. (Don McCollor)...Remembering the scene from James Garner in the movie "Tank". Asked by a reporter why he had a personal Sherman tank, the reply was that it was hard to shoot yourself in the foot with one...

    3. Though, well, as James Garner found out, you can roll over your foot... Or at least smash your ribs trying to retrack your vehicle.

      As to Rocket Launchers, you can have one, de-militarized. For a $200 tax stamp, and a federal colonoscopy, you can own a fully-functioning one, if you can find it.

    4. And, curiously, a mostly funtioning Sherman (de-milled main gun) being used against an unjust and overbearing government. Hmmm. Almost like one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment.

      "Why do you want a fully funtioning tank?" asked Mr. Government.

      "To protect me from you," said the tank owner.

    5. That last part? Not in the movie. But it is 1 part of the reason, a very big part, for the 2nd Amendment. All Arms. All. Just don't use them illegally, for illegal purposes.

      And, yes, I mean all. Even nukes and bio and chem. But use them illegally? Full weight of a trainload of nuclear waste should come down on your head.

      Is this overly liberal?

      Maybe. But the genie is out of the bottle on bio and chem, and nuke just requires a lot of cash, a whole lot of cash. How much for bio or chem? You can do either with standard kitchen appliances and common chemicals. Nasty bio can be made out of the stuff living in the drain of your kitchen sink. Chem is just a shopping trip at the local hardware or grocery store away...

    6. When you go all in, you go all in.


  10. When I saw that airplane pic, I thought it must be a P-Neunzehn, as in half a p-38

    Ditto on the purpose of the 2nd amendment - and why do so damn many people think the Constitution grants rights to the people, when it in fact constrains government from infringing on the freedom of the people?

    1. Bingo!

      Spells out what the gubmint CANNOT do.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.