By lex, on January 18th, 2007
So it was a two-day conference on top of the week’s operations research/analysis homework, and one got done and the other didn’t and it is left to the reader to wonder which was which while your correspondent tries to fit natural logarithms to y=mx+b curves in order to discover the slope and y-intercept, not to mention the MAD, MSE and MAPE that’s in it for any given data range.
Not that this isn’t fascinating work and as stirring to the soul as the sound of a distant trumpet is to a war horse, or even dropping precision-guided ordnance upon the noggin of some poor sod what deserves it, but I can’t help noting parenthetically that it’s six months and counting until I’m done gentle reader, the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Well that is of course as long as that thesis gets written, which it’s not like it’s writing itself, now is it?
It is not.
To tell you the truth if it were any longer now it’d be spontaneous human combustion, ritual self-murder or else dropping the course entirely, none of which constitutes a palatable alternative set, being that we have come so far that returning were as tedious as go o’er, etc.
The conference went well as these things go, even though when it comes to naval aviators and other alcoholic malcontents, herding cats ain’t in it. We are of course over budget, behind schedule and under performing, so everything is situation normal. I am reassured, in a sense: It is good to at least know where we are.
While entirely consumed with the conference, for which no other leadership was available or indeed, competent (note to self: Re-read De Gaulle) my several in boxes filled to over-brimming with tedious paperwork, cryptically demanding emails and increasing querelously voice mails. It was a new year, there were Bold New Things to accomplish! Was I not aware?
And I may not have mentioned that the same sullen, uncommunicative, closed-door alien misanthrope that occupied the skin of my elder daughter some three years or so ago appears to have summoned a kindred spirit to invade the person of my younger daughter, herself nobbut aged twelve but going gangbusters on 13 now that I ponder on it. It must be a different spirit than the first, since that one has shown no sign of decamping the better to thereby yield the elder daughter back into the warm and embracing folds of humanity. Of such pitiful stuff is a father’s woe embroidered.
Which reminds me, for no very good reason about a summer’s day quite a few years back. A hard, flat sun was beating down on a back yard in Lemoore, California – a yard in desperate need of a lawn-mowing and most of all for someone to clean up after the goram dog. A young lieutenant of my acquiantance stood at the personel support detachment on base, holding in his exuberantly sweating palm a check made out for a Very Great Sum of Money which had been given to him in exchange for the next five years of his life, so long as those years were spent in the continued service of his country.
Upon exiting the parking lot, the young man noted almost without consciously thinking about it that a right turn on to the highway would lead him up to Washington state or even Canada in a day or two’s time, places where a strong young man who didn’t mind working hard with a saw or an axe would always find a paycheck waiting at the end of the week, places where the weather was cooler and the sun didn’t hammer down on a back yard that needed mowing and more than mowing, places with shabby little backwoods bars where the beer was cold but cheap, and the company warm and undemanding. He noted also that the money represented in the check within his pocket could have gone a long way towards living that life anonymously.
The young man thought for just a moment when the traffic light turned green, shrugged and turned left instead. That lawn wasn’t going to mow itself, now, was it?
It was not.
So it goes.