There haven't been any big changes at work since I last wrote. On the average, I'm spending about one-half of all my time - waking or not - at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. There has been a slight slackening of the tempo onboard Memphis, but there's still plenty to keep us busy. Especially for nukes like myself - we've got long and complex evolutions throughout both the short and medium term. And the one big evolution for my division is starting to rear its head. We're going to be making an electrical modification to our main panel; this requires us to de-energize it. In order to do this, we hang spiffy red tags on every possible power source, as well as other components we might lose control over. In the process of hanging these tags, precision in nomenclature is a HUGE deal. If the wording on the tag doesn't exactly match the wording on the breaker's nameplate - regardless of whether the difference would actually endanger anything - there is hell to pay. As such, we spend plenty of time making sure every "t" is crossed, every "i" is dotted, and every period, comma and parenthesis matches completely. We also had an unfortunate occurrence early Sunday morning, when one of our Sailors got a DUI. This is the first one since we've been here in Portsmouth, and we haven't had one in eleven months, but every DUI is treated seriously, as it should be.
Outside of work, things really aren't going too bad. With today's payday, the sum of American dollars in my bank account is solidly back in the five-figure range, and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future. My friends have escalated in their attempts to get me to join the World...of Warcraft, but I have yet resisted, and will continue to do so. I talked to both Ryan and my Mom last night. Ryan has nearly totaled his super sweet Porsche Boxster, and has resolved to sell it as a result of his clear inability to handle its power. He has also indicated a willingness to move beyond the world of late adolescence that he has inhabited for nearly a decade, by joining one of the many online dating services. Hopefully this will work out for him, and he'll meet a girl who'll drag him out to a bar; if this should occur, I hope I can be at said bar to witness and toast the event. As for my Mom, she - and the rest of the family back on Long Island - are trucking along nicely. Last month, Mom had mentioned that she might be visiting her boss, who now lives in Stowe, Vermont, and she said that the return trip would include a trip to visit me here in New Hampshire. As of right now, the plans have changed, and it appears likely that I won't see the parents until the middle of October.
Ah, yes, the middle of October. I have requested - and am likely to receive - seven days of leave from the Submersible Death Trap in about two months' time. The first part of that time frame will be used to attend this year's Grand Bonecoming in Ithaca. Most will know it simply as Homecoming at Cornell University, but for those of us who are members of the Big Red Bones family, it's a chance to reunite with old friends [the people we went to school with], get re-acquainted with even older friends [those who came before us], and make some new friends [current students and recent alumni]. I've been awaiting this since the early part of this year, and I'm really looking forward not only to catching up, but to getting back to the East Hill for the first time in nearly half a decade. And when the Grand Bonecoming festivities are all said and done, I'll be rolling the Minivan o' War down to Long Island for about four days.
All right, I've dropped enough words into the blog for this evening. Keep it real, yo. Respect.