Going Dark(er) For A Little While

My job keeps me pretty much tied up. I know I probably surprised some people with bugs showing up on Launchpad. I'm testing Bionic Beaver at home the hard way by using it day by day and watching things break as I try to use them. Sadly we are still using Windows For Warships at work since we are still not cleared to attempt to upgrade to Windows 10 safely. Our current enterprise network isn't handling its current load safely as it is now.

For most if not all mailing lists that I'm on, I'm going to be switching to digest mode by week's end. I've already got a backlog of podcasts that I haven't listened to. That means I'm already 3 episodes behind on the very fine Ubuntu Podcast let alone behind on The Archers Omnibus and RNZ -- Black Sheep. The events in Ambridge amuse me and show me that rural life in my part of the USA isn't that far separated from the UK version. Of course, I also live near an Amish colony so things are a bit skewed out here too.

Things may calm down after April 17th. This depends upon a very chaotic Commander-in-Chief not doing something chaotic that those of us in the civil service find unexpected, of course. Unanticipated civil disturbances could also be a factor. We shall see.

So, yes, I am still out there. To quote that line from The Prisoner: "Be Seeing You"

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Damage Control Report

In no particular order:

  • There was another "partial government shutdown" of the federal government of the United States of America last Thursday. As a federal civil servant, I still rated an "essential-excepted" designation which required working without pay until the end of the crisis. President Trump could have solved the matter if anybody could have rousted him from bed at 0940Z on February 9th. That didn't happen. We had a "technical" shutdown that lasted two hours at the start of the working day with resolution at roughly 1300Z on February 9th. A good chunk of staff "technically" did not bothering to show up for duty when it was required and escaped any consequences.
  • Except for the Department of Defense, the remainder of the federal government of the United States of America remains without full-year appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018 which started on October 1, 2017. Appropriations are set to lapse once again on March 22, 2018. I've been given provisional approval for a vacation day on March 23rd but if we have another government shutdown that would be revoked and I would have to report to duty as "essential-excepted" personnel. Under current command guidance that designation lapses as of 0400Z on April 18, 2018. Chances remain pretty high this will happen again.
  • Donations are always accepted via PayPal although they are totally not tax-deductible. I've been trying to broaden the scope of the Domestic Mission Field Activity at West Avenue Church of Christ a bit. One area of interest is moving beyond just the outreach to one of the local nursing homes where we've been the main spiritual link for some of the residents for the past several months regardless of the denomination they're normally part of. Fortunately I'm not alone in conducting the Activity's functions.
  • I'm open to considering proposed transitions from the federal civil service and the data on LinkedIn is probably a good starting point if anybody wants to talk. My current job puts me at the forefront of seeing broken and shattered lives while I try to both protect the federal government's financial interests and also help meet the needs of callers. A change is needed. There is a limit to how much misery and suffering you end up seeing that you cannot help alleviate.
  • The house is still standing. We haven't lost anything due to wintry weather. With luck we'll be able to mount on top of the roof of the garage the VHF/UHF aerial that is currently mounted inside the garage to the bottom of the roof.
  • Being away for 12 hours per day for work plus commute time leaves little time for Xubuntu let alone Ubuntu MATE unless I give up sleeping. This long of a commute is a problem.
  • I am looking at edX MicroMasters as ways to jumpstart picking up the second graduate degree to be able to teach at the community college level. Beyond that, there is a program from Bowling Green State University as well as one at Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey and something at the Holden University Center if I am not feeling daring. I have one earned master's so an organized program leading to an accredited award from a US institution bearing at least 18 semester hours of postgraduate-level credit is the minimum sought.

Things are looking up. This year has gotten off to a rocky start.

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