Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Signs the world is coming to an end.

As I was heading up into the mountains on my road bike today I saw one of those billboard trucks, the kind whose sole purpose is to drive around and be seen so that the advertisement it is literally trucking around can get some eyeballs on it. This particular billboard truck was carting around an ad for a wallmart that opened up way east of town. Am I the only one who sees the problem here? A truck was driving around Boulder for no other purpose than to advertise a wallmart that opened up that's not even in Boulder. I give up. Seriously.

p.s. Getting pelted with rain while descending a mountain on your bicycle at approximately 40 mph really hurts. Not my favorite thing in the whole world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Alaska Part III

I just received official notification of my next assignment:

LTJG Ringel,
I am pleased to inform you that the Director, NOAA Corps, has approved your assignment to the following billet:

Billet #0919, Operations Officer, OMAO, Marine Operations Center - Pacific, NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER, MOP-FA, Seattle, WA.

You are expected to report to this assignment on January 1, 2008. You may expect to complete this assignment on January 1, 2010, if the needs of the service permit.

Permanent change of station orders will be prepared by CPC. Please complete a travel questionnaire (NOAA Form 56-26) and forward it to CPC through your supervisor no later than 120 days from your planned detachment date. A maximum of 30 days leave en route may be approved provided your current duty station is not adversely affected.

If you choose to decline this assignment and the Officer Assignment
Board is unable to identify a suitable replacement, your name shall be forwarded to the Officer Personnel Board for consideration for retirement or separation in accordance with 33 USC 3041.

LCDR John T. Caskey, NOAA
Chief, Assignment Branch

Monday, August 13, 2007


I found out today that I was officially selected for promotion. This means that as soon as a slot becomes available I'll be promoted and be able to pin on my Lieutenant bars. And we all know what that means! It means another wetting down party. I'm pretty sure I'm the number 2 guy on the lineal list of LTJG's, so my promotion should happen relatively quickly. Details on the party will be forthcoming when I actually do get promoted.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wait wait...

Don't tell me.

I just got back from seeing a live taping of Wait Wait. They came to Boulder and taped it at Chatauqua auditorium, and I scored tickets to it the day before the show on Craigslist. If you listen to it this weekend you can hear me cheering in the background. I wasn't doing much clapping because my wrist is sore from falling on my mountain bike yesterday. The panelists were the ever funny and sarcastic Paula Poundstone, he of the comforting voice Tom Bodett, and the lovely Kyrie O'Connor. Peter Sagal looks a lot like David Cross from a distance. And he's every bit as funny in person as he is over the radio. I was impressed by how much the show flows and feels more or less in person like it does when you listen to it on the radio. Going to a live taping of E-town was very different. There it was obvious that they were recording it in pieces and it would be totally repackaged and edited for the air. Here you could almost just record it in one take and air it as such. Almost. There were a few spots where they mispoke and had to start again, or wait until the show as a whole was over to get a clean take, but mostly it went smoothly from beginning to end. You can tell they've all been doing it for a while.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Alaska Ho!

Well, my upcoming assignment in Alaska has crept one step closer to officialdom. The assignment board is meeting on Friday and is expected to approve my transfer to NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER. I knew it was coming for a while, but now it all seems so sudden. The plan is still up in the air, but it will likely go something like this:

Late September or Early October: "Familiarization" cruise on Fairweather. This'll be fun as my sole job will be to learn the ship and the people and the systems aboard.

15 October - 9 November: Refresher Training (REFTRA) at King's Point, NY. This is required before a sea tour to renew licenses in things like RADAR and shipboard firefighting.

November - December: ? Might be in Alaska, might still be in Boulder. Vacation time with family and friends.

January - Febraury: Training at Pacific Hydrographic Branch in Seattle, WA. Also, Field Procedures Workshop.

Next two years: Sail around Alaskan waters as a salty sea dog.

It's good to see my 20-year plan is still working out.