On February 10, 2006
Which is likely to be a class of very thin, very pale ale today, on account of the fact that your humble scribe has had well enough, thanks awfully, of incredible shrinking uniforms and has taken up a new regime. Or perhaps he should say getting back on the old one again, the general over-press of life’s many other requirements notwithstanding. The new/old regime comes complete with dieting and physical exercise and I am, to be both short and blunt, very nearly off to the gym. It’s only you that’s holding me back and you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
Now, now. There, there. It’s ok. He didn’t mean it.
I’m very much more a fan of the physical exercise thing than I am of the dieting, since the one gives you that refreshing and restful feeling of having done something good for yourself, while the other only leaves you hungry. And I do so loathe to be hungry. Survival school in primary flight instruction, not to mention SERE school once winged, involve no small element of culinary privation, which, on top of the many other indignities, I resented bitterly at the time, and have spent the intervening period apparently fortifying myself against the never-to-be-underestimated potential of future famine. But enough is well enough. Both diet and exercise are now required to undo a quarter century’s worth of fortification in the form of Guinness stout (for strength!) not to mention Ruben’s down at McP’s or TMI Chicken Wings at you know where.
That’s right. I wasn’t always this edifice of marble, this oak, this paragon of moral virtue that you see before you on quotidian display.
No, alas. I’ve only come on to it gradually.
So as I said.
I’ve received a number of emails from Concerned Readers who want to know if, now that my cover has been blown, I’ll have to either sign off discussing politics completely and go back to merely telling sea stories (quiet over there, all of you!).
No. No, I don’t think so. We don’t give up the right to hold opinions or even to express them when we sign on for the service (although we are prohibited from making sport of sitting presidents and cabinet members, in case that’s been conspicuous by its absence), so long as we don’t claim our opinions, such as they are, to in any way represent the Department of Defense or the Navy. Which I think I’ve made clear.
And also, the wee, thin, gauzy veil of pseudonymity this blog offers is a mere wisp of a thing, easily swept aside for even the more modestly inquisitive Googler. What I’ve tried to do here is insulate both those that I work for, and those who work for me, from any associative guilt. The goal has been to present them, as it were, with plausible deniability.
Got a nice note from a Specialist over in CENTCOM – where the work is being done – who asked me if I knew they had a website of their own, and would I mind listing it? I did, and I didn’t and it’s there for your perusal, unless you’d rather just go here and add it to your favorites.
Which would be nice, I think, considering what they’re doing over there for us, in a rather dreary part of the world.
Had a mid-term exam today in Systems Engineering which went a great deal better, really, than it had any right to do, at least as far as I can tell. Our marketing homework was to pick a favorite commercial from the SuperBowl – I love my prof – and tell why we liked it, what market segment it was pitched at, where they were on Maslow’s Hierarchy (I know) and finally what market “brand” it used.
For those who watched the game, I thought the Ameriquest Mortgage company’s commercials were da bomb: The first had to do with the medical intern who killed the bothersome fly with the resuscitative paddles over a sleeping patient just as the patient’s family got off the elevator to hear the resident say, “Well. That killed him.” Oh, hell. Don’t know why I’m trying to describe it when I can just link it. The other one by the same company was pretty good too – female airline passenger trying to sneak past the sleeping men before turbulence strikes. This one I liked for a different reason.
You know one of the things I personally treasure about this space? It’s the intelligence and graciousness of those who read and comment here. We sometimes tackle uncomfortable issues about current events, and it would be all too easy for us to over-generalize, maybe draw unwholesome conclusions about one or another group of people based on the unfortunate acts of some of that group’s members.
There are other places on the web where people so inclined could go and say that “all so and so’s are like this,” or “each such and such should be despised because of that,” but all of you are mature and stable enough to realize that every group, whether it be defined by religion, or region or voting pattern or whatever, is made up of individuals, each of whom is as complex in their motivation and experience as we are ourselves. While we can draw some tentative conclusions about group dynamics from their observable actions – keeping in mind those things we notice will tend to either be those we find most praiseworthy or those we find most objectionable – there’s nothing useful in those observations which we could apply to any human individual.
You all get that, and I appreciate it.
I can practically promise you a Rhythms serial this weekend, if any of you still care. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll refund you this week’s subscription cost, and you can take that to the bank.
Just don’t try to deposit it.
Have a great weekend!