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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Report from the Old Line State

The view from my office this week

As mentioned t'other day, I'm away from Chez Sarge for a bit. Visiting with the newest member of the tribe and his parents.

Had a nice trip from the shore of Narragansett Bay to the shore of Chesapeake Bay. From Bay to Bay as it were. New Jersey traffic was, as usual, somewhat insane. Why some people drive the way they do puzzles me. Are they simply ignorant of the possible consequences of reckless driving, or do they simply not care? Saw the aftermath of one accident just south of Exit 4. Not good, the turnpike was closed for some time. Was open but traffic was backed up for a good 15 minute delay when I got there. An annoyance for me, no doubt a devastating event for someone, perhaps multiple someones.

That being said...

With work laptop in hand, I can actually be productive whilst away from the main facility. I have authorization to make myself useful as the need may arise. On the one hand I won't be completely on vacation (though I have that option) but on the other I won't be burning through vacation time. I can mix and match so to speak.

While I will be returning to the land of Narragansett next weekend, my better half will be staying behind for another month or so. So I will get to return to the land of the Chesapeake at that time, but only for a cuppla days, not an entire week.

Little Robbie getting his hearing checked.

When The Nuke first sent me that picture above, it looked to me like young Robbie was kicking back, listening to some tunes. Then I was told it was a hearing test, which immediately made me think of this -


If you were ever in the military, you recognize that scene. For those who weren't - hearing tests were given periodically to try and catch any hearing loss early on, after all, the military is a very noisy way of life for some career fields. On the flightline it was, F-4 Phantoms are very noisy beasts. After I'd transitioned to software, not so much. Offices are generally far less noisy than the flightline. In my current gig, the lab is rather loud, put twenty industrial strength control consoles in one room and it gets loud. It's the heavy duty fans inside which make all the noise. They're not flightline loud, but loud.

Anyhoo, for the hearing test they put you in this sound-proofed booth with a thingee you hold on to which has a button. You put on a pair of headphones and listen for these really subtle sounds. If you hear one, you hit the button. You also tend to hit the button if you think you hear one, which sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. (My bad habit was always trying to discern a pattern in the utter randomness of the little beeps. There never was one that I could hear. Sigh...)

I was assured that my youngest grandson was not actually sitting in a sound-proofed booth clicking a button. After all, he doesn't really have control of his hands yet. Or anything else for that matter. He is rather second lieutenant-like in some respects.

That being said, he is a cute little guy, but when he cries it's the saddest sound in the world. It's not really an "I'm hungry/soiled/wet" kind of angry cry, it's more of a "why has everyone abandoned me to this fate" sort of cry. Very soul-wrenching it is. Until grandma steps in.

For she is the baby whisperer. Doesn't matter how upset the little guy is, grandma picks him up and starts talking to him and he becomes right as rain.

Robbie in the hands of the baby whisperer.

So all is well here on the shores of the Chesapeake, I fully intend to enjoy my time here and maybe get some work done as well. I also get to see my two granddogs, Bear and Kodi, who are still trying to figure out who this little human is who has arrived in their home.

It's all good.



50 comments:

  1. Grrr - just composed most of a comment and then checked a web site only to have my comment disappeared when I returned to finish the comment ...

    Glad things are going well with the progeny. Enjoy the time with them - doesn't last nearly long enough, does it?

    NJ driving can be very insane at times - I'm headed to New England next week but taking the western route and avoiding most if not all of I-95 and the Jersey Turnpike.see where the American Heritage Museum is back open - may try to stop by there if there's time.

    Safe trip for you back to Chez Sarge!

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    1. Thanks Tom. Avoiding those areas is a smart move!

      From all indications the American Heritage Museum is indeed open, at least their Facebook page says so.

      Thanks!

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  2. Enjoy the time and flexible work rules. Very nice! Be careful on the way home...

    We used to do that test in school. Raise whichever hand was on the side you heard the sound. I lost a bit of hearing from close explosions, loud guns, a few turbines, and those high volume fans on industrial equipment. Not a few lightning crashes on the headphones, and days of static listening for the signal... Rolls off around 10 kHz now. I still remember what the sweep sounded like on the old Zenith TV...

    Constant ringing, but the wetware descriminator can filter it still. Most of the time, I don't notice it. Only when I'm tired. Or it's quiet.

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    1. I get the ringing when I'm really tired. But yes, the wetware does filter out most of it.

      After the trip down, I'll be on high alert during the return!

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  3. I have driven in New Jersey once and taken a taxi there once. I can think of no good reason to drive there, except as a transit point.

    Congratulations to your family (and to your employer, who is being very reasonable about this).

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    1. New Jersey is no fun to drive through on the major highways, but it stands between me and mine, so I push on through, on high alert and with all senses active. It is tiresome when other people have no skill and no manners on the road.

      I truly love where I work and the people I work with.

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  4. Funny stuff there about second lieutenants. I might have taken mild offense, being a butterbar myself oh-so long ago, but I realize how useless I probably was. Almost as useless as those tests were later in my career. CHS test- (can't hear s#1+)

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  5. The pictures sparked a memory of holding the new one with his bottom in the palm of my hand and his head resting in the crook of my elbow. Wow do the grow quickly.

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    1. That's just the size he's at now. They do grow awfully fast.

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  6. I noticed out in Sacramento people are driving really stupid too. It’s a little disconcerting when you see someone coming up behind you with a 40 mile an hour differential and then pass you with maybe 3 feet to spare.

    They come up to the next car and repeat

    During Vietnam a lot of people tried to fool that hearing test. But the way it is with some tones if you can hear those they know you can hear others.

    At least you didn’t have to bend over and spread your cheeks

    Lotta jokes about that one

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  7. I consider myself fortunate in that I have driven outside of N.E. once since 1998. My last hearing test at retirement I was still pushing the button when the technician opened the door. She showed me the printout and remarked the first freq. range a man loses matches the sound of a woman's voice. I asked if it was a survival mechanism which brought forth a real laugh and not a bang on the ear for reset. Old Guns

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    1. Ah yes, the old bang on the ear, upside the head reset. Been there, experienced that! 😁

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  8. Oh, crazy traffic. We have it here in Florida, it's called I-4. Anywhere on I-4. Which has... Tampa, Kissimmee, Orlando and Daytona on it. There are some quiet sections, in comparison, but I-4 is the most Yankee of our highways (I disavow any knowledge of traffic south of Vero Beach on I-95. That's just crazy land.)

    Then there's the I-75 from where it meets the FL. Turnpike (which never really gets crazy) until it meets I-10. 6 lanes of revolting speeding idiots. Either side of that section is relatively normal until you either get near Georgia or Tampa. But it's still not as life- and soul- destroying as I-4.

    I-4, by the way, has Der Ratte (otherwise known as Rat-World or... Disney) on it. May explain a lot. Happiest place on Earth my rather large southern spread!

    As to hearing tests, well, yeah, fail them spectacularly. Especially if they start with the left one. Very loud tinnitus from an early age thanks to some really good life-saving drugs. Take the drugs, lose your hearing, don't take the drugs, lose your life type of situation. Not that I really had any sayso in the matter as I was rather uncommunicative at the time.

    Mrs. Andrew almost caused a rift in the Beans clan. First year we went to family Christmas after middle son had his wife download a sprout, said sprout was fussy and crying and loud and didn't want mamma. So Mrs. Andrew took pity and took over and within a minute, baby was quiet and sleeping. Cat crawled up in her lap, went to sleep. Dog curled around her feet and went to sleep. Mrs. Andrew is one of those Earth Mother people that can just calm the world down. Works with barn animals, too. And with Beans. Some people just have that touch.

    Nice that you're not burning vaca time while on semi-vaca. Good on ya.

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    1. So Mrs. Andrew is the "Every Living Thing Whisperer."

      Nice!

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    2. I don't suppose Mrs. Andrew would consider running for office. Would she?
      Seems like our Country could use her somehow.

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    3. No, she won't run for public office. She can only work with creatures that have souls.

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  9. I may have to drive I-95 to I-4 tomorrow to get the kids to the airport after a two week visit. Maybe (I hope) they'll rent a car for a day. As I sit here in the total quiet of the condo (they are all on the beach, roasting), my head sounds like a hearing test. I don't have a button to push though. So I'll just post this. Congrats on the baby boy! What a wonder new born children are!! Oh, and, working remotely - is that where we're going as a Nation? Would you like it long term?

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    1. Initially I was working completely from home, it was semi-okay. Having to go in to the lab reminds me of how much I like my co-workers. Not being able to work with them is troublesome. I would not want to do this long term. Every now and then is okay, all the time? No, thanks.

      The youngster amazes me. I adore the little guy.

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    2. The pushback against remote working has already started. Seems some (many) managers can't justify their existence without doing the whole "Office Space" hovering and interrupting workers.

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    3. We don't get much of that, most managers have no idea what we do.

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  10. Drove in NJ one time, far enough to get to Pennsylvania from Burlington.
    My experiences tell me that it's the freeways where drivers get really stupid, particularly in heavier traffic.
    The first place that comes to mind is the LA area, but the SF Bay Area is no better, Portland has its challenges, then there's the Greater Seattle area from about Olympia to Arlington.
    It only takes one to make everyone look bad.
    I agree about Sacramento, even the River Road is a challenge during the drive times.

    Hearing tests ...the Navy's told me I could've been a Sonarman.
    Had I known the school was at Key West... who knows?

    Babes in arms, particularly at that stage, are most endearing, even when squalling.
    Enjoy your time with family.

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    1. I think the biggest problem with many drivers is both a lack of patience and a lack of skill. Combine the two and things get crazy, especially on the interstates.

      Babies are amazing.

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    2. And any weather than perfectly clear sunshiny days makes the collective IQ of the driving herd drop even lower.

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    3. Makes many lose what little skill thay have.

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    4. Oh, wait... I see a theme.
      I-5 in the LA area and I-4 in Orlando are both near Disney theme parks.

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    5. How do you explain the 5 down in Sandy Eggo?

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    6. Legoland in San Dog? I need to go back, and take the grandkids, of course.

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    7. Yeah, MCRD would have been my second choice.

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    8. You do know that right directly across the street from MCRD is our Pub, right? Shakespeare's is sitting right there in the open on I-5 like God meant it to so one could sit down and have a civilized dart tossed in one's ear while quaffing and snacking and waiting for I-5 N to get it's act together. It was less than a mile from where I lived on Albatross and less than a quarter mile from my office. I kinda miss those days.

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    9. Know that I did. I've stayed twice at the Holiday Inn Express about a half mile away where one could view the solumn stillness of the 5 as thousands of cars just sat there, like a vast parking lot.

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  11. What's better than grandmas?

    I'm getting the hearing aids fitted next month. The audiologists were just shaking their heads after my hearing test. Flight deck, helos, gunfire, naval gunfire, loud music, yada-yada-yada

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    1. No doubt surprised that you could hear anything at all!

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  12. I-10 in and around Houston,posted speed limit is 65, drops from 8 to 4 at Katy, then construction starts and it's two lane temporary highway all the way west to Brookshire. 18 wheelers are in the left lane doing 85 and/or 55. Minimum speed of traffic in open stretches is 75, right up until they get behind Saint Smitty of Truck who's doing 50, in the left lane and racing his buddy Saint Vinnie also of truck who's also doing 50. Unfortunately the only other way west out of Houston is 290 and it's not much better except it goes through towns with stop lights.
    Love my Daughter, but that adventure requires multi-scotch treatments for hypertension.

    I had forgotten about the hearing tests. I was always convinced that I had failed it horribly. And I was usually light headed from not breathing for fear of missing a beep. Then someone told me that the AF had spent a brazillion bucks to train me as a pilot, they weren't going to ground me for not being able to hear a microdecibel sound. After that I went with the rhythm method after the volume got too low for me.

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    1. Heh, the rhythm method. So that wasn't just me. Nice!

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    2. According to the person running the test, my saying "Bombs away!" each time I pushed the button wasn't helping.

      The Navy in the 70s didn't do hearing protection, and I've little to no high frequency hearing left in either ear.
      I had about motivated myself to finally get to the VA this year and then Covid.

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    3. Damn, why didn't I think of that?

      Lots of plans went the way of "then Covid" this year.

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  13. I would offer congrats but really, what did you have to do with it? :)

    Congrats by the way!

    Hearing tests are just like that. Only slightly better than color blind tests.

    If you're going Bay to Bay is that like San Francisco's Bay to Breakers race?

    Did you win?

    Finished High School in Picatinny Arsenal. Never ever want to drive in NJ again. Ever. Much rather fly over in a Cessna which is the only way to travel NJ.

    solemn tip.......not that it matters........at some point, M-I-L go home is like a bright and fearsome bristle. It's not just husband, it's also new mom. It's kind of like having the IG spend a month living in your house.

    Just sayin

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    1. Much wisdom in your comment Cap'n. MIL in the house, yup, it's kind of like having an ORI (Operational Readiness Inspection). One where the inspectors know way too much about you!

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  14. I think this is "Chant d'arrive'" instead of Chant du Depart!
    Enjoy and congratulations to all,

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

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