Hello All,

I write these newsletters over time from issue to issue, this one will be tough to make it flow with all the changes happening for us and the times which I jot down a few thoughts to include here.  So bare with me in this issue please.

In the last newsletter at Thanksgiving, I mentioned I have a job in Dahlgren VA at the Naval Surface Warfare Center.  That job for me had been in the works for some time, this allowed us to work on getting Kara a job in the area as well.  It turns out Kara now has a confirmed job across the street from me on the same base.  Further, we are starting on the same day, Dec. 17.  This is very exciting for us since this will arguably be the first time in our 17 plus years together we have both had jobs in the same location.

Ok, prepare yourself but here is who I will be working for:

Maritime Protection and Security Engineering Branch
Asymmetric Capability Development Division
Asymmetric Systems Department
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD)

As I stated in the last newsletter, my having this job is mostly due to Sterling, an old friend whom works in the same group.  As I understand it, Sterling can not tell me all about what they do in the group.  One thing I do know is there is an effort to detect “counterfeit chips” as in cpus and such.  Some of you may immediately think “but David has no background in chips”.  True.  However, Ster and another old friend, Chris, from MTU and FL days, do both work in that industry and have taught me much over the years!  Part of the effort will be to look at the fields emitted from chips and see what one can do with that info.  THAT is right up my alley!

Since the last newsletter at thanksgiving, we have been frantically trying to get everything lined up so we could move and have a place to live when we go to VA.  Arranging the move was more than painful, can you say sleep deprivation?  We start on Dec 17, fly the Fri before and our stuff moved a few days before that.  Our car is being shipped by on a separate truck.  Way back when I started working on getting my job, there was a discussion of when I should start.  It was brought up that since I am a new hire, the safest thing would see to be to avoid starting after the first of the year due to the possible fiscal cliff and who knows what congress will do hence the near Christmas start date.

So as part of Dave’s hire, the government moved our stuff, including our car.  I don’t know if any of you have ever shipped a car before, but here’s how it went. Dave submitted a request online to have our car picked up in ABQ and shipped to Dalgren.  He then gets an email response about 4 days later with the name of a subcontractor that would contact us.  We got a call from some russian guy from the company with a time and place to meet.  We met him literally on the side of a road somewhere and all we got from him was a piece of paper and his phone number!  So off goes our car with some strange person who we met on the side of the road!  Needless to say, I was a little leery that we would ever see our car again.  But, 2.5 days later, we got a call from him while we were still in Richmond that he was in town and could give us our car.  I think that while this was not the least stressful part of this move, it was definitely the easiest.  And also importantly, in our trunk was a blanket, two pillows, towels and sheets for our air mattress.While it was somewhat easy for Kara to get a job there due to it being only a transfer unlike a new hire such as me, she did have a staggering amount of paper work to do when she left NM, go get so-and-so to sign you out at infinitum.  The story of how she got the job is somewhat interesting so I shall try convey that story.  Again, Sterling (Ster) had arranged for me to get a job but the paper works took a couple of months to complete.  In that time, we were diligently searching for a job in the area for Kara.  It just so happened one day when I was talking to Ster while he was at work, a co-worker was in his office whom was from another group.  This guy knew his boss liked to hire people with skills just like Kara posses.  So the next day Kara gets a call from that branch head, they talk for about 10 min and he asks “would you take a job without a formal interview”.   It did not take Kara long to respond to the positive.  The soon to be new boss says “good, I had already typed up the email to send to HR to tell them to hire you”.  And I thought my hiring was out of the ordinary.  As of the time of composing this sentence, Kara has learned that boss has moved on and she has no idea whom now is in charge.  Slightly unsettling less than one week before she shows up.So, I apparently can not go a whole newsletter without commenting on the weather in NM.  It actually has been quite pleasant temperature wise.  Highs 50s-60s some lows in the 30s until the last weekend in NM.  There was a storm blowing into town.  We never really had anything much to complain about the construction of the apt though the following statement emailed out from the housing management was interesting.Notification from: Kirtland Family Housing

Freeze WarningLow temperatures combined with high winds are expected to drop the wind chill temperature below freezing on Sunday. Please take precaution and follow all Freeze Warning Guidelines. Be sure to leave your water dripping in all faucets any time temperatures fall below freezing as well as leave cabinets open under your kitchen and bathroom sinks this will help to prevent pipes from freezing.

Apparently, the housing management does not believe the units have enough insulation!

A nearly last minute change before leaving, we found out a unit on base in Dahlgren VA became available and they will hold it for us!  Quite exciting and a big switch from our initial “go there and THEN finding a place to live” sentiment.  For various reasons a house hunting trip was not in the cards.

~~~ a week or so later ~~~

We are both in VA.  Both started work 6 days ago.  First week went well!  The area around the base is …. spartan.  There are several restaurants but only a Walmart otherwise.  The next closest anything is in Fredricksburg VA about 40 min away.  This would normally not be a big deal for Kara and I but our stuff was packed up to be moved 10 days ago (at this point) and it is all STILL in ABQ!  So with the looming holidays we figured we had to go get a few items for the apt, HELLO Ikea.  We decided to head out Fri night before Christmas in the direction of DC.  Not the best choices in timing combined with location for shopping but there was one area there that had everything we wanted, a Best Buy, Furniture store and the Ikea.  Luckily our friend that works at the base has a pickup he leaves on base to get around, more on this in some other newsletter.  So we took his truck drove almost to DC and filled it up with chairs, shelves and a big screen TV.  We now have something to watch and sit on while watching!

The following will only be pertinent to those that went to MTU, apologies to everyone else.  On the topic of restaurants in / near Dahlgren, we realize there is a variety of choices but no general diner or anything similar.  We decided we needed a place like “Eat” (for those that did not go to MTU but still read this, that IS a capitalized name of a restaurant in the UP of Mich).

Kara works for:

Directed Energy Integration Div
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD)

I’ll let her tell some of that part of the story, again, in a later newsletter.

Our new mailing address is:

Kara and David Perry
PO Box 929
Dahlgren VA

Use that for all USPS stuff.  If you need out street address we can provided that as well.

We do keep in touch with a few friends online.  One of the things we have been saying is that we wanted to get back to the the right coast.  That sometimes confuses the left coasters (people in the pacific time zone) as to which meaning of “right” we intended.  I always replied it did not matter.  One of those online friends just visited Oahu and Maui.  In that spirit, the following is another one of our HI pictures.  The photo is of a shoreline on the north side of the Big Island.  The climb down to this point was down a cliff much like the cliff seen in the distance.  This and some of the scenery along the beach shown below were some of our favorite views on any of the islands.  I would call this place “magical”, it is a place you would NOT forget.



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