time to make the doughnuts . . .

My keyphrase for drudgery, taken from a very old TV commercial by Dunkin' Donuts, and how they were made fresh every few hours. The doughnut baker never got enough sleep, he was always trudging out the front door, muttering "time to make the doughnuts."

Why the drudgery? Since Angelfire blocks the loading of images from their pages to any other, we can no longer use their ad-suppored free service to store photos and just load them here at WUTT! Not surprising that they'd have such a policy, because their webpages are ad-supported, and remote loading denies them revenue (as if they're getting any from my web page there, but that's another topic).

So I'm building, slowwwwly, the same page on Comcast so I can load it from there instead. The Comcast web server is bought and paid for, but their page builder is a draaaaag to use. No way I can see to just directly edit the index.html as a text file, like on Angelfire.

I have about two-fifths of the photos moved over. So you can see the latest ones again, plus a new one or two. In another six weeks, they'll all be moved and the web page over there will be torn down.

However, I'll be putting all of the fiction up over there, at Ditchweed. More Wise Turkey stories, plus some Scaaaaarrry Stories.

To be fair, though, the blogging tool at Angelfire is not half bad. Whose engine are they using?

Memos I've written, never meaning to send

Department of Defense

Prairie AFB

XXX Civil Engineer Squadron, Readiness Flight

XXX Mission Support Group/CC/CCT/CCF

XXX Medical Group/CC/CCT/CCF

XXX Logistics Group/CC/CCT/CCF

All Readiness Support Team members

All Squadron FSTR Representatives

SUBJECT: C-CW CONOPS Functional Area Training Completion Tracking

  1. In January 2003, AF Civil Engineer Support Agency released training packages introducing the Counter Chemical Warfare Concept of Operations (C-CW CONOPS) to selected functional areas. These packages include CerTest training modules that generate a percentage score of the Airman's mastery of the subject. AFCESA intended for all applicable Squadrons to install the training packages and begin training all of their Airmen with them. The packages were originally published through AFCESA's HTTP secure web site. By May 2003, AFCESA distributed these packages on CD-ROM, through MAJCOMs to all units AF-wide.

  2. No tracking or visibility mechanism was instituted to ensure that Squadrons in fact conducted this training or that Airmen retained the training. The packages were intended to introduce the CONOPS to the functional areas, describe the functional areas' unique responsibilities under the CONOPS, and provide a basis for later integration of the CONOPS into each functional area through longer-term revisions to job qualification standards (JQS) and career field education and training plans (CFETP).

  3. HQ USAF Air Staff directed all applicable units to train their Airmen through their respective functional area C-CW CONOPS training packages prior to their next deployment to CENTAF AOR. In any event, all applicable Airmen must complete the functional area CONOPS training packages no later than 1 August 2004. This deadline represents a slippage from the original suspense of 1 July 2003.

  4. Operational readiness inspections, compliance inspections, exercises, and MAJCOM rollups of staff assistance visits indicate that some Squadrons and even some MAJCOM directorates are not completing the subject training packages. Air Staff consequently has directed all Civil Engineer Readiness flights to track completion of these training packages at the base level, to provide visibility of this effort to HQ level via MAJCOMs.

  5. Air Staff has not issued comprehensive guidance on the metrics or reporting format for CE Readiness to report completion of C-CW CONOPS functional area training. Our flight is merely charged with reporting a percentage of completion, monthly until further notice, for each applicable Squadron assigned to XXX Wing.

  6. CE Readiness Flight has determined that metrics and reporting format for this tasker are of paramount importance to assure thorough, verifiable, and authenticable documentation of the completion of this training. If we reported completion of this training without absolute certainty that it is completed, it would be only a matter of time before the results are invalidated by investigation from IG or Air Staff, and a more stringent tasker eventually would be issued for the same task.

  7. XXX CES Readiness Flight developed the following criteria to estimate and report your Squadron's completion of the subject training packages in the interest of saving all stakeholders, including your Squadrons, considerable effort in the long run:

    1. By close of business 1 June 04, each Squadron Training Manager will submit a memorandum for record stating whether the Squadron is encompassed by one of the functional areas for which AFCESA has release a C-CW CONOPS training package. XXX CES/CEX website lists the training packages, as does AFCESA's website.
    2. For each Airman assigned to or eligible for assignment to a mobility position, in a functional area for which AFCESA has published a C-CW CONOPS training package (as determined in the preceding paragraph), the CerTest provided with that training package will be completed by the Airman and graded results will be printed. The printed results will be signed and dated by both (a) trainer or supervisor and (b) training evaluator, and forwarded by unit training manager to XXX CES/CEX.

      1. A CerTest certificate indicating that the Airman has not completed the entire series of training modules will be reported as zero percent complete.
      2. Only original CerTest certificates, printed in color with completion date and signed in ink, will be accepted. Photocopies and faxes will be rejected.
      3. A crisp, unmarked $20 bill will be paperclipped to each certificate.
      4. All certificates for all Airmen assigned to the Squadron will be forwarded at the same time in a single package, accompanied by a roster of assigned personnel, signed and dated by the First Sergeant or Squadron Training Manager. Rosters will be derived from only PCIII, MILPIDS, or ACES products, and will be generated within 5 calendar days of the print date of the first CerTest certificate.

    3. Readiness Flight will calculate your Squadron's percentage of completion by dividing number of CerTest certificates, by the total number of Airmen assigned to that squadron per the roster. Any discrepancy noticed between certificates and the roster constitutes cause for the return of the entire Squadron package, minus the $20 bills. Discrepancies include but not limited to (a) more than 5 calendar days elapsing between printing of the first CerTest certificate and generation of the Squadron roster, and (b) including a CerTest certificate for an Airman not appearing on the roster.

  8. Due to the manpower loading that this reporting tasker places on the Readiness Flight, the following normally-scheduled activities of the Flight are cancelled until further notice:

    1. NBCC Defense Refresher training
    2. Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance Training
    3. Mobility equipment issue by Prime BEEF
    4. Sizing of Airmen for Mobility equipment

  9. Because this tasker has been imposed on all Readiness Flights Total-Force-wide, other Readiness Flights will not be available to provide these services in lieu of ours. In short, these services will be totally unavailable at this base or any other, until all Squadrons are visible at 90% complete on subject training.

  10. We apologize in advance for the short suspense on this tasking. Please understand that all stakeholders in this process will be making comparable sacrifices to achieve the high level of readiness expected by Air Staff.

[[ SIGNED ]]



Civil Engineer Readiness


Excused absence

There's a damned good reason I am blowing off the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash. In fact, there are four. Here are three of them:

This is the third one I could have made. Kinda bummed but I would have ended up with a lampshade on my head anyway. I have enough to live down as it is.

There'll be a balm in Gilead

Somebody's copping from the Free State Project's playbook: gather your peeps to one state, where they become a competitive single-issue political force, and take it over peacefully.

However, theirs differs by seeking complete independence from the United States. All to stand athwart the scourge of homosexual marriage.

Margaret Atwood saw this coming, and offered a name for their new entity: The Republic of Gilead.

Quote for the day

Hat tip to In-Cog-Nito at ChicagoBoyz:
Jack Ryan is the kind of character that a former insurance salesman who has never been in the military would have created.

Fred Schoeneman


How 'bout some milfs on trampolines?

After another of Mlle. Sklodovska's doctor appointments today, I took her to a friend's birthday party. The party was held at an indoor playground---one hell of a simple business model. Take two parts vacant warehouse, one part labor, and a bunch of inflatable slides, climbers, and obstacles. Throw in a Pilates ball or two, do your legal paperwork, paint in primary colors, and charge better than ten bucks a kid. Not a license to print money, but respectable creation of wealth nonetheless. What else are you going to do with empty warehouse space? Shoot music videos?

A dozen kids bounced around, slid down slides, swung inflated boxing gloves half their own size, climbed a ten-meter inflated volcano, or scaled a fifteen-meter climbing wall, or ran from one to the other. In two hours they were exhausted and statically charged from sliding across the vinyl and plastic.

I noticed, however, as I always do, a Man Show angle in this. As in, some of the other kids' moms bouncing on or climbing the equipment with their kids. "How 'bout some milfs on trampolines?"

Dads, you might be missing out on a vital and rewarding part of fatherhood by not taking your kids to certain birthday parties.

The effect was spoiled later, when one of these women addressed me as "sir."


What's playing? (updated)

I've been posing these music questions lately to friends:

  1. At what age did you first begin to appreciate popular music?
  2. Is that age at least 15 years ago? If yes, proceed.
  3. Can you think of two performers or groups who couldn't get your attention then, but for whom you have a deep appreciation now? Who are they?

Update: Andrew Ian Dodge asks just what constitutes "popular" music. I admit, I had reservations about my choice of terms. So for the purposes of this post, popular means "easily accessible through broadcast at the time." That can include country and western, bubblegum, classic rock, all fine with me.


Dare I eat a peach?

My first pair of bifocals arrived in the mail today.

Provided under TriCare, they are not the gradient kind. A sudden blur occurs at the boundary between magnified and non-magnified portions of the lens. This will take some getting used to, but they're only for the few hours a day after I take out contact lenses.

On the upside, the ophthalmologist says I'm an ideal candidate for LASIK, my corneas are about 580 microns thick so there's plenty of meat for the surgery. Uncle Sugar would pay for it if I were in the right status. Alas, I am not. As Advon puts it, "you're not Active Duty, you're just on active duty."

* * * * *

Firstborn and Middlechild are sleeping their second consecutive night in a tent pitched in the backyard. It's colder tonight, so they get thicker sleeping bags and a blanket tossed over the both of them.

* * * * *

Boy's stitches were removed today. I wasn't there to hear that one either.