Back (up) in the saddle
Sorry for the sudden burst of silence. Between hiring a new employee, out of town training, preparing for the Christmas program at church, and the usual client stuff, the opportunity hasn't presented itself. Not to mention the fact it was nice to take a little break after the frenzy of the election. Now that the red and blue states seem to be just thinking of themselves as "Americans" again, I think it's safe to come back up out of my cave. So here I find myself waiting for a backup to run, with no access to my usual working toolkit (I had to log in differently to backup everything), I have a rare opportunity to jot down a few thoughts. If we were thrilled to have Chris home for Thanksgiving, we're overjoyed at learning he'll be home for Christmas too. Back up! I guess I should explain what's going on with Chris. Christopher, Tricia's youngest brother, has been called up from the Ohio National Guard to serve in Iraq. When he went on active duty in early November, we were told he would be in Atterbury, IN for some brush-up training and qualification, then in Kuwait for a week or so while their equipment arrived, then into Bagdad's Green Zone before Christmas. About a week before Thanksgiving, we learned they would be busing his battalion back to Norwalk for Thanksgiving. He was home for about four days. As we were leaving he told us they were pushing them to get them situated early enough they could be useful for the Iraqi elections. Needless to say (don't you hate when people say that, then go on and say it anyway?) when we learned yesterday that Chris and his battalion would be bussed home again for Christmas, it was almost like, well, Christmas. If what we're hearing is true, he'll be home the 23rd and go back the 27th. His revised timeline is to arrive in Kuwait in the second week of January. While I have a lot of confidence in his unit, and I'm hoping for peaceful elections, I'm pretty sure the whole family would be glad to learn about unexpected circumstances which would delay their entry into Iraq until after the January 30 elections. We've been surprised twice before, so anything could happen. Incidentally, Chris is subscribed to this blog through his army.mil address (unless he snuck in and unsubscribed when I wasn't looking), so any comments you make on the web will be emailed to him along with everyone else. I may disable the subscription feature in the future - seems to breed some confusion about the right way to reply. For your reference, if you want to add comments to anything I say here, please visit http://www.toomuchblue.com/blog/bw.html then click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any entry. Any comments entered this way are emailed to everyone who subscribes, the same as my comments. For those of you with RSS readers, there is also an RSS feed at http://www.toomuchblue.com/blog/bwatom.xml. Use it in good health. In other news, I was excited to read the FCC is investigating whether it might be safe to use cell phones on airplanes in flight. It's a very complicated issue, involving not only the navigation systems of the plane, but also pilots' perceptions, the impact on ground cell towers, and even the increased tension of being "trapped" with someone talking loud on a phone. In my experience, during those times when phones are permitted (before backing up from the gate, flight delays, taxiing after landing) I have encountered far fewer loud talkers on airplanes than other places, like restaurants and the train. Tomorrow looks to be a frenzied day, starting with Deacon's meeting at 6, Christmas rehearsal at 9, and Ethan's birthday party at 4:30. Fortunately, we'll have help from Tricia's mom and Granny. Looks like my file copy is successful, which means I can bring my system back up as soon as I post this entry.