Monday, May 31, 2004

Jacksonville Zoo

We left early this morning after breakfast to head out to the zoo early. We wanted to beat the Memorial Day traffic and try to beat the heat of the afternoon sun. We left at 8:30am so that we could be at the zoo when it opened at 9am. Of course we got a little sidetracked on the way through the downtown area to get to the zoo. We were also stalled by two trains. We ended up at the zoo at 9:30am. Here are some pictures from the day.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Comcast gone Kaput

Our Internet stopped working friday. We barely survived the 3 days it took for them to come fix it. This is the first time I've seen the Internet go down but not the cable. Turns out just one outlet went bad. We both were having severe withdrawal symptons. All better now.

We started up our Netflix subscription again, catching up on movies before things get busy. I watched Schindler's List yesterday, one of the best true stories out there. Rikki read the book and didn't want to watch the movie. She gets grossed out too easily. She sat through Kill Bill Vol 1 though. We also watched the WWII memorial dedication yesterday. That was very impressive, but I don't see how it could have cost 170+ million. Too bad it has taken so long.

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Next P-3

The decision is being finalized and may be out next week. I hope Boeing gets it. I'd rather be flying a 737 than a turboprop.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Politics and Essays

It seems utterly impossible to get away from politics these days. The only point of interest I have heard recently was from a Navy SEAL while up in Maine. He pointed out that John Kerry admitted to witnessing the slaughter of women and children in Vietnam. As a Navy officer he took an oath and had an obligation to either stop or report (if attempting to stop it would have only resulted in his death) war crimes. Kerry did neither. The SEAL put it simply "he is either a liar or a coward." I noticed Capt Scott O'Grady picked up on this too.

There is also a very good (very long) essay by Bill Whittle on Strength. He will be combining all of his essays into a book. I plan on buying one for myself and one for Chris & Gina.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Back Up

I completed my survival training and brought our webpage back up. It was down to prevent my mock interrogators from gaining too much information on me. I googled the Internet on myself and removed as much personal information as I could before the training. I was not impressed with what they found on me (they obviously did not use google). I could have easily found more. Although I removed my version of the family tree off the Internet geneaology.com saves their own copy. The only other information they found was something from Norwich saying I was going to be a student pilot and that I was prior enlisted from military.com.

It does make me rethink the value of sharing personal information on the Internet. Not just in case of capture, but also identity theft. I do not put much personal information online, but it would not take much to cause problems. For now I'll just keep thinking about it. Maybe I will take it down when I deploy.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Nathan Comes Home

I was up early this morning. Too excited to sleep and I knew I had plenty to do to get ready for Nathan coming home. Had to finish cleaning, needed to get Angel ready, had to bake and wanted everything in order for Nathan when he got home. Nathan called at 10:30am and stated that he switched his flight and was coming home early. His plane was due in at 12:24pm. It is a great surprise but man once I set a schedule for myself it is really hard to adjust and especially since I was rushed to get ready. Traffic was pretty horrible getting to the airport I had to run once I parked the car to get to the terminal. Nathan was last off the plane so that helped. He went through mail while we were heading home. Angel was excited to see him when he got in. I thought that she would be a little hesitant but she was fine. YAY it is nice to have him home!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Unsafe Car and Nathan Back

I took Nathan's truck into work today. I still wasn't feeling safe in my car yesterday. Troy, Kayla's husband, called to inform me of the promotion ceremony on Monday. After talking to him about this I talked to him about the car and he thought that the wheel alignment was off. Since I wasn't feeling safe driving the car and Nathan wasn't home I took the truck into work. I just had to make sure not to do anything stupid like drive into the gas pump barrier. I guess it is a good thing he left the truck with almost a full tank of gas. I came home to a freaking mess. I was ready to kill Angel. She had EVERY single one of my teddy bears out in the living room on the floor. She ripped through one of the bears and another she had ripped its eye off. All the others had some slobber on them. I also found my stress bars were taken off the book shelf and were chewed through! That was it I couldn't take it. Thanks mom for letting me call and cry! Nathan called me at about 5:30pm to let me know he made it back. Cell phone connection stunk so we ended up bringing our conversation to the computer. He is well and will be home in two days!
Friday I called and made an appointment to have the car in for the wheel alignment. They could take the car that afternoon. I made it home from work, ate and took Angel out for a walk. When we got back in she went right back into her kennel. Yup I kept her in the kennel all day after what she did yesterday! I spent all afternoon at the shop but they fixed the car. They had the repair kits needed to fix the alignment. On my way home I went grocery shopping and filled the car with gas to go get Nathan tomorrow. One more day till Nathan is home!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Start of a Full Week

Today was the start of a full work week. The day didn't start off so great so I was a little nervous about the rest of the day. I was on my way into work, taking I-295N to get there. It is the only way over the river from where we live. I am 2 miles out from the exit when I caught up to a truck pulling a wooden trailer bed and was only going 55mph. As soon as I switch lanes to pass him and get ready for my exit the bottom of the wooden trailer bed flies out of the truck and heads right into the right lane. I slowed down enough so that it wouldn't hit the car but I was still going to fast when I drove over it. The car made it fine to work it was coming home that bothered me. The car was pulling and the tires seemed low. Kayla, a friend of ours who was meeting me for lunch, took note that the tires seemed low to her. Lunch was fun. We went to the Sub Shack for lunch. They have a southern twist to their menu compared to other sub shops. Kayla and I chatted about military stuff and family. We need to get together next time with some of the other wives.
Tuesday I drove the car to work and noticed that going 70mph on the highway didn't feel right so I ended up only driving 65mph. After work I stopped and filled up the front right tire with air. It was a little low. It took me about 45 minutes to get the air pump to work properly because whoever used it last didn't put it away properly. I checked the other three tires to make sure they all had the same pressure. I headed home after I checked all the tires. I thought that would correct the problem. No such luck! I still wasn't feeling comfortable in the car going over 65mph. Nathan has been gone for 10 days!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Picture Day

I go in to have the pictures taken for the directory. Of course I dress professionally. I met many members of the church while waiting. It was a professional studio that was hired to come in and take the pictures. I was surprised. I thought that someone from the church was taking pictures on a digital camera and then using the best picture taken out of two or three. This company took 6 pictures and put everything on the computer so that you could see the pictures from there. This meant no proofs. I bought a very small package since the pictures came out so well. I should have them in two weeks. I just bought enough to send out to family and to have some here at the house. I spent my paycheck from the week.
I heard from Nathan before he headed out for the week, yesterday morning. He sent me an e-mail letting me know he was getting ready to go and was ok and that he would call me as soon as he got in next week. The lack of contact and communication will be a little harder to deal with. One week down!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Second Day at Work

Second day at work I go in to finish the bulletin and get ready to print. I checked with Pastor to make sure that everything looked ok before I ran it off. He gave me the go ahead. I start to print and pastor asked me to stop. He wanted me to put in an in introduction about myself and a welcome statement. I made that correction and reprinted a master and then reran the bulletin. It didn't take me long to do this what took more time was folding and putting the bulletin together. I didn't know there was such a thing as a folding machine?! It is ancient and needs to be cleaned. It is one of the many projects they would like me to do when I have free time and I am use to the office procedures. I met some more of the council members of the church and had more information thrown at me. Pastor also informed me that he will not be in the office on Friday's and he will be heading out on Sunday for vacation for 2.5 weeks. Not anything that I can't handle. Again just going to take time to get use to things and set myself up with a schedule. Before leaving Pastor gets a call about scheduling for Directory Pictures. I made an appoinment for Saturday afternoon to get that done. Today I worked normal office hours which made it easier to get home, 9 to 1pm. Nathan has been gone for 5 days!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

First Day of Work

First Day of work and it was very interesting. Pastor sat down with me to show me some of the basic things in the office and to start work on the bulletin. We opened an old file and starting working on the bulletin from there. It took me the majority of the afternoon just to get one page done for the bulletin. There were a lot of interrupts inbetween. I did glance at the other pages of the bulletin. There was a lot of information thrown at me but not too bad! I worked from 1 to 5:30pm. Not bad at all and it kept me busy for the afternoon. Nathan has been gone for 4 days!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Interview

Nathan has been gone for two days. I was going to start cleaning and work on straightening up the book shelves since when we moved in we just put books up there without any organization to it. I was half way through getting the books organized and I got a call from TRC Staffing. Cindy was calling to confirm my weekly check-in and to let me know that she was going to call the Church for the secretarial position that I was interested in. She wanted to know when I was available today. Of course I told her any time after noon. She was going to talk to the church to see if they were interested in me since I am only going to be here for 7 months and then she was going to call me back. An hour later she called me back and told me that I had an interview scheduled for 3pm. I finished cleaning the book shelves and got ready for the interview. Getting there was easier than I thought. The interview went so well they told me they wanted me to work. They gave me their schedule and wanted me to start on Wednesday. I didn't make it home till 5pm. YAY! This Navy wife has a job and it is going to last longer than 1 month. The bonus is that the church community consists of retired military so they understand my situation.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Some Fun Reading

I ran across a cambridge study a few months ago which is pretty funny:

Aciordcng to a rseearch at Caibrmdge Uvinersity, it deosn't matetr in waht odrer the lettres in a wrod are. The olny impotrant tnihg is taht the frist and lsat letter be in the rhgit plcae.
The rset can be a tatol mses and you can stlil raed it wuthoit peoblrm. Tihs is becuase the hamun mnid deos not raed eevry lteter by iestlf, but the wrod as a wlohe.

And now I found this nice little poem today:

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin not sea

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar Wright
It shows me strait a weigh

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It rare lea ever wrong

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My Chequer toed me sew

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Car for Sale

The Green 1998 Hyundai Elantra is for sale. After much research Nathan and I have decided that it is not worth shipping the car over to Hawaii. It would cost us almost $2000 to ship the car ourselves over to Hawaii. If you don't know already the military will not pay or reimburse us for shipping a second vehicle overseas. If interested please contact one of us!

VP-30 Spousal Meeting

Last night at 6pm was the VP-30 Spousal Meeting. Husbands were welcome to go to the meeting so Nathan and I both went last night. This was an informative meeting to talk about changes that will be happening from here on out. Such as how we are on Terrorist Alert, what the husbands will be doing at their first three year tour of duty and that they will be gone on deployments, what an ombudsman is and how they can help, what Navy Marine Corp Relief Society does and how we can volunteer and of course getting involved with spousal organizations. The spousal organization at VP-30 is not as active as other organizations. After this general information is given out we were then broken into different groups based off where our first duty station would be so that we could get questions answered. Hawaii here we come!
There was a lot of information given out that I didn't know about. A sponsor is assigned to each couple or family to help them with the transition. This can be overseas and state side. I knew that there was a sponsor but I assumed that we were neglected because with all the moves that we have done in the last two years we never had contact with such a person. When talking to Erin, our group specialist, she answered every question that was thrown at her last night. We even stayed with her until 8:15pm the last group in the auditorium. There will be a 3-6 month waiting period for housing and in the mean time we can stay at the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki for the first 90 days and then be placed in temporary housing.
Nathan and I were thinking of selling my car since it won't be worth the $2000 to ship it to Hawaii. We were then thinking of buying a brand new car for me. But when talking to Erin last night her and her husband bought an "island beater" just something for her to get to work with. The two major highways on Oahu are only 28 miles long so one really doesn't have far to go to get anywhere. This might be something that we might do. Erin stated that there would be plenty of these cars for sale on base with others leaving the state and not wanting to keep them.
Erin recommended using Tripler AMC for our primary care facility. Since the Branch Medical Clinic can't handle everything most people get referred to Tripler anyway. I will think about this. It would depend on where I got work.
Express Shipment?? I didn't even know about this. You can request Express Shipment for items such as clothing, utensils, and small appliances. Express Shipment is supposed to arrive at the new duty station in 3-7 days in continental US and 10-14 days overseas. Erin said that this did not work out very well for her and her husband. Erin stated that their Express Shipment arrived the same day as their household goods. So this is something else to think about.
We will be allowed to take 30 days of leave before we head to Hawaii so we will be going home. We may even be able to leave from VT to head to Hawaii. The military will not make our travel arrangements. We will we be doing that. From what I understood the military gives an X amount for you to travel via airplane.
The really good news we got last night. Hawaii has a new rule effective June of 2003. Angel will not have to stay in quarantine for 120 days, not even 30 days she could be in quarantine for 5 days or less. And get this it will be less expensive for the 5 days or less quarantine, which is another bonus. There is a lot of paperwork and things that need to be done to qualify for this. But it is possible to get her as soon as she steps off the plane as long as we met all the qualifications. So as soon as I schedule her yearly appointment there is a whole checklist that will need to be gone through at the vet. The only problem that I found is that Revolution is not an acceptable flea and tick treatment so we may have to switch her monthly treatment. I am not looking forward to that.
Erin had plenty of great things to say about Hawaii. She made some suggestions and recommendations for things to be done while at Hawaii. As we go through the process and get more information we will keep you informed.
The tour of the P-3 was cool! That baby is HUGE! When sitting in the co-pilot seat the windows did not seem big enough for them to see out of. I checked out the engine controls and gauges, the radar system and the "resting" area. The guys in the plane giving the tour were definitely very enthusiastic about what they were telling us. You could tell they loved their job.
After all of that I had the perfect opportunity to talk to the CO. I asked him if any incidents ever happened at base with problems with landing gear. After Nathan's incident in September I wanted to know what happened at the base and how the situation would be handled. After hearing from the ombudsman last night I could not tell if such a situation was something that we should talk to them about. CO told me last night that whenever I am not sure who to talk to talk to them. The ombudsman has authority to speak with the XO and CO whenever there is a question. CO also told me that there is a lot that goes through the XO and CO's head when that situation happens. I felt better about things after talking to him last night. He helped me to understand what goes on from their perspective.

Monday, May 03, 2004

My Altruistic Side

I rarely give out money but I have donated to a few organizations recently. The first this year was Spirit of America which has grown considerably and is now getting the national attention it deserves (I donated for the frisbees). The second was for a friend who is now working for NAMI. Here is the NAMI donation link for team kennedy. Both are for great causes and could use help if you can afford it.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Pilots and Controllers

An email Tobin forwarded to me:

Here are some conversations that airline passengers normally will never hear. The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline pilots and control towers around the world.

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Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"

Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

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"TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."

"Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"

"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

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From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm f...ing bored!"

Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"

Unknown aircraft: "I said I was f...ing bored, not f...ing stupid!"

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O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."

United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight."

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A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your last known position?"

Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

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A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.

San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

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There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut own.

"Ah," the fighter pilot remarked, "The dreaded seven-engine approach."

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Taxiing down the tarmac, a DC-10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What, exactly, was the problem?"

"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant. "It took us a while to find a new pilot."

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A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:

Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."

Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"

Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war."

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Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7."

Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."

Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"

Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers."

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One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"

The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

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The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.

Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."

Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven." The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, --- and I didn't land."

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While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?! I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"

Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"

"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high.

Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?

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