Hi All,

Hope all is well with you and the family.  Though I complain about this it seems every time, it feels like there is nothing new to tell but I’ll give it a shot.  Kara and I both continue to be employed at Dahlgren.  We are STILL house shopping.  We still play disc golf often.  We have been playing advance boards games for a couple years now with that being another fun thing we do.  Our blueberries growing in pots continues, with the second year including a move to larger pots.  This time we tried what is called “smart pots,” sort of cloth pots to allow more air and water in and out.  We bought eight originally thinking some wouldn’t make it, but they all seem to be happy.  One had a tough start but has since fully overcome and is thriving like the rest.  If you want to try your hand at bushes getting them bare root has worked out well for us!  The key seems to have been putting them in the right soil.  Please write back and give us a short update from your end!

To continue a recurring newsletter entry … Fortune cookies say …

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.  It was tense.

Last March we attended our annual gathering of college friends and which is still going strong.  Every year we weigh the differences of driving versus flying with the later taking 12-14 hours.  This trip Kara decided to fly based on price etc. using frequent flier miles.  With it being a direct flight and a little jet we thought nothing of having seats in row 2, UNTIL we got on the plane.  We were in first class but not intended (or so Kara’s claims!). Somehow we later figured out the combined price increase for first class was $190 but we did get free drinks out of that deal.  It was a great trip and I am still amazed and thankful all the friends work to attend.

Tag line … it was Feb and we had to go outside to warm up!  Last winter to highlight weather or restaurant weirdness, we had gone out to eat, not a rare event for us.  Sitting there at that time we realized we were both cold, wondering if at a minimum the heat was not on but possibly the AC was running in the restaurant, we had to go outside to warm up … in Feb.

The credit union on base here occasionally auctions off cars and displays them in a specific location.  Last summer, in that location was parked an excavator, much like one I learned to run working with Jim in New Hampshire.  Having tasted the elixir that is the testosterone pumping power tool / machine, I was excited they might be auctioning one off.  I told Kara about the situation, which later I suspected was a mistake.  Cause only a day or two later the machine disappeared.  I suspect Kara went into the CU and convinced them to get rid of the machine right away.

Kara’s Story:
Wise words to live by … Times when NOT to use the phrase ‘butt-load’ – when giving a presentation to you bosses boss.  To avoid having to explain in terms of boss, bosses boss, and bosses bosses boss, let me say that the hierarchy at work is Branch Head -> Division Head -> Department Head.  I was tasked with giving a Technical Brief to our department head.  My branch head and division head of course wanted to do a dry run so they could approve what I was going to talk about before my giving the brief to the department head.  So during the brief, which was on Space Weather, I was running out of ways to say “a lot”.  So for lack of a better word and wanting to keep the brief moving, I say “buttload”.  Well, I have to say looking out at the audience they were all stunned, but I went on my merry way and never missed a beat.  However, to this day (6 months later), I am still getting razzed for using that phrasing while briefing the division head.  Luckily, when I gave the brief to the department head, I refrained from using that word and instead used “abundant” and “plethora”.  As a side note, everyone on base is invited to these Technical Briefs to the Department Heads.  Most of the time there’s maybe 30ish people, 50 if you’re lucky, 20 if not.  I had more than 120 people show up to my brief!  Luckily there was an RSVP and they were able to make sure there was enough seats.  I call this a success!  


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