Fortune cookie say; A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion
July 17, Headline from NH news – “Man believed to be from NH dies in second New Mexico shootout.” It wasn’t me, really! But what are the chances? I mean, being FROM NH but in NM seems like it would be pretty rare. The getting shot in ABQ, not so rare.
On the job front, the last two months have been a whirlwind of decisions, resume / cover letter writing and such. I will boil it down a bit. In early July, Kara had advanced notice there would be a job posted for an AFRL steering council located at WrightPat in OH. Remember this is one of the places we have been trying to get to so as to improve our location and my job prospects.
There were going to be two jobs with AFRL (current employer) for a council to the chief scientist which would be located in OH (WrightPat). News about the OH job evolved over a couple weeks. Was gonna be military only. Then not. Then only people already in OH would be able to apply. Then not. To finally, one job is military only the other now has requirements above Kara’s rank. Got other people involved, including assistant chief scientist whom was helpful. Got the division director and colonel to compose letters of recommendation.
For me, the previously mentioned summer internship lasted all of 2 days. There got to be political infighting and they decided after letting me start that I was not qualified. Someone was doing CYA, it was not based on new news about me, they knew my story all along.
But wait, there’s more …
A college buddy of mine thinks he can get me a job with him at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in VA. However, likely no job for Kara at the same location. Should I pursue / take a job resulting in us being apart??? Can we get Kara a job there too? We had decided years ago but often revisit; should we each get jobs but be apart question. Remember we did live apart for a while in FL, at the time, Kara was in the Navy and I worked at Raytheon.
On top of that …
Out of the summer internship, I got to meet a couple people in a group here pertinent to what I do. I had started pestering for a job but held off a bit because of the two previous possibilities.
Our lease was up at the end of June. We could have stayed in the current place and pay month to month or move down the street to apparently nicer digs.
Summary, they did not let Kara apply for the job, would not honor their published statement that people could apply for waivers. I am still working on getting the job in VA. We did move 2 blocks down the street. We gained two trees in the yard (they are actually green, not sure how). We lost 2 barking dogs via neighbors. It is surprising how the few little changes made a noticeable difference. We broke down and signed up for cable TV as well.
Kara in mid July had a training class here on base. This class included a couple of field trips, one of which was to the National Museum of Nuclear Science. This seemed like an excellent opportunity for me to see the place as well. The place is divided into two main sections, one on nuclear power, the other explosives. We were very lucky in two regards. First, the guide we had was a retired scientist from Sandia and had worked on many of the bombs displayed, he was able to add many details to some of the stories I suspect one might not normally hear. Since, he chose the explosives side, we could leave the energy side for later when I could make my own personal expert guide me through that side. Reminder, Kara was an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power school. All in all a very nice afternoon.
I don’t remember the motivation but recently while talking to my mother on the phone I conveyed the following story which she suggested I include in this newsletter. A few years ago, I had a trip to Sonoma CA for a work conference. We took advantage of the opportunity, Kara got a ticket too and we spent a few extra days there. Neither Kara or I had ever drank wine we liked prior to this trip. That being said, we were there and the hotel we were staying in could give us certificates for free wine tasting at almost a dozen different places. Apparently, out there the wine tastings are usually not free. As it turns out, we do like wine, none of the cheap stuff of course! I will avoid commenting on the pseudo battle Kara and my Dad have every Christmas about wine from a box. During the wine tasting, we found a couple bottles we liked so much we wanted to bring a few home with us. This seemed it would be quite a challenge, getting wine bottles home intact. Luckily, we had brought a very small hard sided suitcase. We wanted to pack stuff around the bottles though to help insure they survived the airline trip home. We made a trip to the local grocery store to hunt for wine bottle packing materials. The first thing we looked for was a zip lock bag big enough for a bottle of wine which we found. This we hoped might contain the liquid in the case of breakage. But we wanted to reduce the chance of breakage. Neither of us remember why but we went down the isle with diapers. It turns out infant diapers were just the ticket! They have cushion, they are absorbent in the case of breakage and the off brand was very cheap! Two diapers per bottle, one over each end, overlap a bit, use the provided sticky tape and then put in the big ziplock bag. This worked so well we had saved the materials in question and have reused them several times on trips to other wine country.
Our labor day weekend was a bit on the boring side. I had decided I would make no comment in this newsletter about the weather. You put two and two together. Hope everyone of you enjoyed your long weekend. For the most part, we spent the weekend emptying the few remaining boxes from the move and putting a few last things in order.
We also went to one of our new/old favorite restaurants. I don’t remember when I first ate at one, but somewhere in our travels, we ate at a restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes. It’s a salad buffet with homemade soups, pasta and bread along with a really big salad bar. We always liked this place. When we first moved to NM, we found they had one here and went right away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good and so didn’t go back….until a few weeks ago, we decided to try it again. It was really good this time! Maybe the difference is this time we went on a very busy Saturday night and they had lots of turnover on the food. Since, we have been back several Saturdays as it is good food and also slightly healthy! We would probably go more, but Dave complains that it’s ‘so far away’ and ‘takes forever to get there’. When in reality, it’s only 15-20 minutes.
Upcoming: Kara has been requested to be a member of a NASA grant review panel. That is, NASA requests experts from around the world come in the DC for a week, review grant proposals and tell NASA how to spend their money. Kara is going the 3rd week in Sept. I am hoping to go for the VA job interview the same time. A couple weeks after that, we are going to hopefully establish a regular bi-annual visit home to NH. Kara needs to visit the dentist and I should have a follow up checkup on my new eyeballs. We plan to make that a circle trip and include the annual weekend gathering of college friends near Purdue.
Though I have requested before, we do want to get updates from all of you! Keep in touch, tell us what is going on in your life.
Continuing with the theme of showing a photo, below is a shot of a sunset from Kona Beach, Kona HI. This was from our trip to the Big Island in Jan 2011. Not a lot to explain about this view. I have to admit, we don’t know who the person is in the picture. I know, it would have been a better story if I could say it was me or Kara. Enjoy / dream!
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Kara and David
Mailing address has not changed
PO Box 5422
Albuquerque NM 87185
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