Thursday, December 18, 2014

First Mission - Stages One & Two

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, the Eldership de-Intimidator has been assigned a delicate diplomatic mission involving the bringing together the delegations of a wide variety of cultures for a complicated set of rituals and ceremonies here on the Eldership.   We're struggling with our lack of staffing and in the partitioning of jobs between Wife and I, I've ended up being chef (I know that's not a big surprise). 

I thought that shouldn't be a big deal as doesn't and AgeFleet Command Eldership have replicators like those on the Star Fleet Command star ships from Star Trek?  The answer is, "no they don't."  So it's cooking the traditional way for me.  We have 16 total that will be arriving starting yesterday through the 23rd with another 13 coming on the 27th for two days.  This has called for logistics on meal planning and shopping that they don't teach you at AgeFleet leadership training.  As a result I've been working extremely hard the last week or two getting thing put into shape.

At the Eldership we are very good at being incredibly frugal, putting all sorts of things in the freezer so they won't go to waste.  Unfortunately because we are Elders, 90% of the time we forgot that we've done so.  Since I need freezer space to handle everything I'm making, I decided to do a purge.  As we have a lot of fruit from our garden, I decided to make some fruit preserves something I've not done before.

My first attempt was raspberry preserves.

Here they are cooking away.

Unfortunately, I let them go a tad to long and ended up with great tasting soft raspberry candy :(

Second attempt was a success.

Peach Butter
YUM!

I've also made a pot roast and the base for seafood gumbo that are now in the freezer and roasted a bunch of almonds.



AWAY MISSSION

The report of a snow storm sent me off for my first snow hike of the season!


FIRST DELEGATES ARRIVE!

Early yesterday evening we picked up the first of our groups.  Playing the part of the Cloud/Mist/Rain People for this series of episodes is none other than the #3 Clan!  They were pretty wiped out from the 17 hours of travel.

WIFE SOLVES THE RED TUNIC VOLUNTEER PROBLEM

You will remember Wife and I were quarreling over the role of red tunic enlisted person (the ones who always get killed when the ship gets boarded or they're down on an away mission).  Wife's solution is to make a bunch of red tunics and give them to the delegates as gifts who certainly have no idea of the significance.

Wife on Holodeck 3 working like crazy on red tunics

Wife feels it's never too early to co opt child labor into the sweat shop.
Granddaughter 3.1 (who adores Wife) was easily convinced to take part.

THE ORDER OF THOMAS THE TRAIN

Each grandchild who gets into the 3-4 year old stage gets into Thomas the Train.  I love Thomas the Train too.  It is sad time for our Captain when each child in their turn decides that they are too old for Thomas.  So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that 3.1 has enter the Thomas the Train continuum.  I decided that there would be some Thomas material waiting for her when she got here and had it out and waiting when she woke up this morning.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Staffing The Eldership

Captain's Log Age Date 2014.12.13

As commander of the Eldership de-I, I called a staff meeting with Wife today.  You'd think with only two of us on the Eldership that this would be a relatively simple task but Wife insisted that protocol be followed and wouldn't accept my verbal request and required that I send her an email request.  You may recall that on the bridge of the de-I that I am right across from Wife.  But never mind.

As mentioned last time we are struggling with the fact that while a full ship's complement is 571 there were only 2 of us assigned to this mission.  Wife believes this is because I made such a big stinko to do about even getting semi-retired that the Elder Fleet Command wanted to send me a less than subtle message that you're getting old dodo...accept it!  

None the less, we have to find a way to fill all the jobs.  Wife, is not only acting as the lovely Beverly Crusher, Doctor and gorgeous red head (perfect role for Wife) but she's the Executive Officer as well.  Since she does most of the fix it stuff, she'll be the Engineer and because she handles the books she's the Logistics Officer as well.  I get to take on things like Navigation, Communications, and Weapons Officer.  

However we're having a BIG, BIG fight over one job.

Neither of us will agree to be the red tunic enlisted person who gets killed in every episode.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Eldership de-I First Mission

First of all shame on all you readers who failed to not the new blog description on the top that is the rebranding of the blog...especially after I spent and unconscionable amount of time on it compared to doing something useful like fighting world hunger, Ebola or Russian incursion into the Ukraine.

The Eldership de-I, newly commissioned by AgeFleet Command, has been assigned a complicated diplomatic mission as its first assignment.  This will involve bringing together a number of representatives of different systems for a great celebratory event.  It will require the crew of the de-I to handle a wide variety of customs and mores and really tax our logistical capabilities.  However my executive officer, Wife and I are confident in our ability to prevail.

Captain's Log, Age Date 2015.12.12

I happen to look recently at the standard crew requirement for an AgeFleet Command Eldership.  It calls for a full compliment of five hundred and seventy one.  On the de-I there are only Wife and I.  That's two which is a bit less than five hundred and seventy one.  Makes one wonder what kinds of politics go on in the AgeFleet Command bureaucracy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Catch Up Post

Sorry it's been a while since posting.

THE NEW DE-I IMAGE

As you will see I've spruced up the de-I layout and gone with a whole new branding as befits an officially "Semi-Retired" person.
 
FINISHING UP THE THANKSGIVING TRIP

After Thanksgiving day we hung out with the relatives for a few more days.  This included spending more time with the grand kids including a visit to a cool science museum in the hills above Oakland.

This was supposed to be showing the cycle of the Big Bang


Ready Mission Control!



Movies - the key to grand parental babysitting success!


The drive back to New Mexico was much easier as Wife's back had improved substantially and she was able to take her normal shifts driving.  Still we note as we are getting older that an 8 to 9 hour driving day is about as much as we can handle.  A decade ago we were doing 10 to 12 hour days.

CHRISTMAS ATTACKS!

Remember the movie Mars Attacks?  This year is a the mother of all Christmases as we have the entire clan coming from their varied locations.  I liken it to the Allied recapture of Europe in WWII.  On the 17th the brave forces of Task Force Netherlands make the initial landing.  Then on the 20th reinforcements from the Pulandic Expeditionary Group come in.  Finally the Bay Area Highlanders arrive on the 23rd to drive the break out from the beaches.  Total collapse of the de-I defenses are expected on the 27th when the rest of the extended de-I family comes for our 1st ever family reunion.  That's another 12 people.  

This has required logistical planning at a level not heretofore seen.  Everything from childproofing for infants to menu planning, renting additional space since not even the Tower can hold the 16 of the clan, etc.
Significant heating pad on back time was required after getting all the stuff out this year


While getting the little tree on the ledge I kept thinking about older folks and falling :(




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Redux

We had a very relaxed Thanksgiving in Lafayette California.  Our Nephew and his wife were hosts.  Wife's brother and Wife (Husband and In the Sticks) were there from Ohio.  Of course the entire Daughter #1 clan were there along with a number of 1A's relatives.  I did not cooking which in some ways was good in that I was not all tired.  But on the other hand I suffered a bit of withdrawl.

I rectified that on Saturday when we were at the Nephew's again with hanging out.  The Nephew's kids and the #1's kids get along so well.  I processed the leftover turkey by making a stock from the bones, and a turkey tetrazzini (a baked pasta with a cream sauce from the stock, turkey and mushrooms).  A very chill, relaxed day with family.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks Giving

I give thanks for things large and small

I am thankful that each morning I have hot water and can shower in a world where clean water is a rare luxury.

I thank Wife for making me her partner and for having always accepted me for exactly who I am.

I'm thankful for my wonderful children who were patient enough wait until I got my act together and have turned into fully self-sufficient, productive adults and great partners and parents in their own right.

I'm thankful that my parents gave their absolute best to raising me and wanted only the best for me until their last breaths.

Thank you for my wonderful grandchildren who allow me to return to my own child state.

I'm so appreciative that I won the karma lottery and get to do my time in one of the richest, luxurious countries on earth where we have far more than we need.

Thank you for changing the one letter on my job skill code in my military orders that meant that I stayed in Alabama instead of having to go to Viet Nam.

Thanks for all the very near misses on the highway over the decades that could have led to injury or much worse.

Thanks also for all the mentors over the years who gave me the things I needed to grow and be productive in my work days.

Thank you Gurudev for Shaktipat and the discipline to stay with it.

Thanks for this transition that has allowed me to to drop the illusion of the importance of accomplishment and take a step toward deeper fulfillment.

And thanks for letting me pay back all that I've received by giving a piece of me and life to another.

I hope all of you have as much to be thankful for and can revel in that appreciation today.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Go West Old Folks, Go West

Daughter #1 wanted us to come to California for Thanksgiving.  One of our nephews lives in the same town and their parents (In the Sticks and G) were planning to go there too.  I don't like traveling on Thanksgiving...too many horror trips going up and down I-95 then years of schlepping across country by airplane.  But we decided to make it a 9 day driving trip to take the travel pressure off.

We're driving leisurely to Paso Robles first where we will do some wine buying.  Then going up to Salinas and our friends, Steve and Lady Di.  Finally it's on to Lafayette for four days of Thanksgiving and family.