Ramblings from the Warrior's Den
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Note: This entry is the result of an experiment with using my PocketPC to write a Blog entry as things happen. The event in question was the arrival into port of the USS Abraham Lincoln. It was estimated beforehand that 10,000 people were expected to come to greet the carrier's arrival. I don't know how many people actually showed up (the reports on the news say they think the initial estimates may have been low) but it sure was crowded on the pier that was opened to the public where we were, and people say the pier the carrier docked at where the families waited was just as crowded. This event also received national media attention.

Unfortunately, the crowds at the pier made it very difficult to use my PocketPC, so this really didn't turn out quite like I thought it might. It would have been much more effective if I had wireless Internet, and could have posted this as it happened. Nonetheless, here it is:

6:35 AM: We just pulled into a parking spot at Port of Everett Pier 1 to watch the arrival of the USS Abraham Lincoln. We are now first in line waiting at the gate (well, a few traffic cones) for the pier to be opened to the public. This will happen at 8:00, when the Lincoln Starts to come into view. the carrier is expected to arrive at the Everett Naval Station pier across the harbor around 10 AM. I'll try to document events as they happen here. As with many of my Blog entries these days, I'm writing on my pocket PC, which means that there will probably be plenty of typos, but also gives me the flexibility to write events as they happen. We were just informed that the carrier is now in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. More updates later, when things happen (and when it's not so Freakin' cold.)

7:20 AM: Well, it looks like we got here just in time. There's now hundreds of people here in line. there are children here passing out all sorts of various commemorative swag (buttons, stickers, flags, and signs so far.) Right here at the front of the line with us are the organizers of Operation Support our Troops, the group that has been organizing many of the rallies in support of not only the troops who serve to defend our freedom, but also the leaders who refuse to let two-bit European whiners dictate our Foreign policy. The attitude here is festive, and there's plenty of friendly conversation going on here. There's about another half hour until the gate opens.

8:10 AM: The gates opened a little bit early, and we're now out on the pier. The Lincoln is Just now coming into View around Possession Point, and appears to be ahead of schedule.

8:25 AM: apparently, we have a better view of things out here on the pier than the people on the Naval Station pier have. The radio stations are reporting that they are waiting for the Lincoln to break the horizon. Well, from here, the horizon is broken into about a Million pieces or so. You can now see the sailors on deck, and several fire boats spraying into the air in front. There are hundreds of smaller boats out past the Jetty awaiting the carrier's arrival.

9:50 AM: It takes a while for the ship to make the last mile or so into port. The pier was starting to get quite crowded, so it was hard to write anything. It was pretty cool to watch the carrier come in. Since it's hard to write too much here, I'll try to summarize better when I can get back to a real keyboard.

Sunday, May 04, 2003
To make a long story short, over the course of the last week my car broke down, my dog ran away, I’m being audited by the IRS, I finally managed to make the FBI's top ten most wanted list for excessive cow tipping, and a horde of rampaging mutant gerbils is currently laying waste to the landscaping in the backyard and overturning the furniture in the living room*. But other than that, it's been pretty much like any other week. The weather around here has been pretty nice over the past week or so. Of course, This generally means one thing: Yard work. And plenty of it.

Currently, our major project is building a foundation for a shed in the yard. This involves putting together a wall with the concrete blocks strewn about all over the yard as a result of several different projects that didn't happen (usually after hours of hard work.) They’ve been sitting around for quite a while now, and as such have become shelters to all manner of various unpleasant creepy-crawlies of various degrees of sharp, pointy teeth and ability to make one's life miserable. Even though the job entails the hauling of probably a hundred of these blocks (which weigh close to 70 pounds each) across the yard, that's not even the hard part of it. In order to ensure that the whole thing doesn't collapse in a heap, the blocks (especially those on the lowest level) have to be placed very carefully to keep things level and straight. It's a lot of work. but once we get this done and the shed is in place (we're having it built by someone else) we can get a significant amount of Junk out of the garage and start working on the old Jetta project car in the driveway.

At this time next week, me, Jared and my Mom and Dad will be in the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the California coast aboard the Star Princess, Probably eating unidentifiable gourmet stuff that no sane person would ever eat and relaxing by some pool or something like that. I guess this means that I can't call my parents Cruise-taking nerds anymore. On the other hand, the main reason they're going on this cruise is to have been on enough cruises to be allowed into the cruise-taking nerd lounge, so maybe I can still get away with it. I am still not completely certain of how l ended up booked on this cruise in the first place, but I'm not complaining.

You know, for a boring, meaningless existence, that's actually quite a bit if stuff going on there. Actually, I guess my life really isn't all that meaningless, all things considered. It probably isn't all that boring either, for that matter.

*Actually, most of that stuff didn't actually happen**. In fact, only one of the occurrences listed above has actually happened in the past week. But the rampaging mutant gerbils are still being really annoying. They're already broken twelve of those little exercise wheels, and it's starting to get expensive to buy 147 pounds of gerbil food every week. By the way, Are gerbils supposed to be able to chew through steel girders?

** Just in case you can't figure it out, yes, the car did break down.

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