Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Nice Send-off Amidst a Wintery Spring Week

It's been a crazy and heavy news week here in the US. Between the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon and the filibuster of the Senate for background checks for gun buyers to the return of winter (if it ever left) in Minnesota, there's been little room for good news this week but there was some. Julie Damico's retirement party was one of the bright spots! Even if it meant braving some pretty slick roads to get there it was one I didn't want to miss.

Julie's last day was 3 weeks ago and already you can see that it looks like she's gained at least 5 years of her youth back by the look on her face. I joked with her that it was the wine that was giving her such a nice glow (and it may have helped) but in all reality, I think it has more to do with getting back to a normal schedule, a thing that air traffic controllers know nothing of. She looked so rested. She's excited about doing things in her own time and not being owned by the chaotic schedule at work. Me too. Someday.

We'll miss your pretty smile, Julie. Enjoy! (and I haven't forgotten about the vase!)

Speaking of work—the furloughs resulting from the government's sequester are about to be realized (beginning tomorrow). The sequester began nearly two months ago but it's taken this long for the actual furloughs to reach our workforce. We'll all be forced off work without pay one day each two week pay period. I'm not about to complain because this career has been such a blessing to me and my family but yeah, I'm hopeful that our government soon turns away from its divisive ways and begins functioning once again.

Nobody I've talked with or listened to seems to have a good handle on how this will play out at work. We're simply going to have to get by with less staffing. We can do that to a point but it remains to be seen how we'll be able to allow people to take time off this summer for vacations that were scheduled months in advance. There's a chance those vacations will have to be canceled. I think all eyes will be on the east coast where they've been using a boatload of overtime to bolster their poor staffing numbers. The overtime supposedly comes to an end once the furloughs kick in. If they can't manage the traffic with their reduced staffing it will be necessary to reduce the number of flights across the country destined for their airspace to a more manageable number. That can only mean flight delays. Lots of them. That's what I think will ultimately get people's attention about this whole sequester. Stay tuned.

I didn't think I'd make it out on my Mukluk anymore this year but when I woke up Friday morning and saw that winter had returned in a big way, I couldn't resist getting back out on it one last time.

The roads had improved quite a lot by the time I made it out in the early afternoon so I did my best to find some slush and muck conditions where my Mukluk thrives. She was filthy by the time I got her home. Always the sign of a good ride!

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