Thanksgiving eve I went to a local bar called Napper Tandy's, and saw many of my old high school classmates, including a lot of people whom I hadn't seen in five years. A lot of them were suprised to hear that I was in the Navy, but they were all happy to hear that I was doing well. A lot of them are still living at home, and some are working in New York City. The fun part of the night was them getting to see how I am after a few beers. (I didn't drink at all in high school.) I ended up having to leave my car at the bar; I ended up picking it up about 3:30 the following afternoon.
It was especially good to be home for Thanksgiving this year, after spending the last one in South Carolina. Dinner was fantastic; it's too bad the football wasn't exactly spectacular.
Monday I became the proud owner of a car. It's the same 1993 Plymouth Grand Voyager that I've been driving for nearly three years. Fun times.
The rest of leave was fairly non-eventful, until December 2, when I made my trek up to my new duty station here at the foot of the Adirondacks. Saratoga Springs is a nice town; the downtown section reminds me a lot of Ithaca, where I went to college. I had a bit of trouble finding the place, but once I did, I found it to be a pretty cool house. I have a king-sized bed, which is a bit more than I need, and it kind of takes away space from the rest of the room. It's about twenty minutes from the place where I work.
Ah, work. It started back up on December 6, and it's an oh-so-fun twelve hours every weekday (except Friday, when we get cut loose early). It's a lot different from A school and power school, where the information was given to us to learn, whereas here you actually have to go find it in manuals and make sense of them. Also, in a sense, here you get tests every day, because to make progress, you have to demonstrate to a staff member you know enough about whatever system it is. At first, I was behind, but now I'm near the top of the section of reactor operators. In a couple of weeks the current phase will end, and we'll go to the "on-crew" or "in-hull" phase, where it's rotating shift work.
I did get to go home for Christmas, which was good. I got another $300 gift card to Wal-Mart, which will probably be used (in part) to buy a new television and DVD player. I had planned to do that today, but the snow has made for bad road conditions, and I think I'm going to wait until it lets up. As far as New Year's goes, well, I played a little game. I was called "Let's see how many beers Matt can drink." The final score was about seven and a quarter.
We still don't have any professional hockey. Eventually the players are going to have to cave. There's just no way around it. And really, would that be such a bad thing? Look at both the NFL and the NBA; both are extremely healthy leagues, and their players are still making millions. The hockey players' union needs to accept a salary cap, and in return should get, at the very least, a drastic reduction (if not an elimination) of the minimum age for unrestricted free agency (presently 31). At least there's still college hockey - and tonight the Cornell Big Red are at Harvard, and they'll definitely have more than half the rink cheering for them.
The Giants finished their season at 6-10. I have no idea why Coughlin pulled Warner in favor of Eli Manning. In the absolutely pathetic NFC, the Giants still had a reasonable shot at a playoff berth when the quarterback switch was made. Instead, we spent the last three weeks of the season playing out the string.